you had to see

The phrase you had to see (or hear) is used to tell someone about something unbelievable that they missed. In this usage, it means the same as you should've seen. This can be something positive, like You had to see the look on Jim's face when his wife told him she was pregnant. Or something negative, as in the following snippet:

Nicky: So, last night, Natasha and I went to dinner at that new Thai place downtown, and who should be sitting at the next table but your ex boss and her husband.

Ronnie: What? Did they see you?

Nicky: I don't think they know who I am. Anyway, they're whisper-yelling at each other when suddenly he whips out a document and slaps it down in front of her and says, "I want a divorce!" You had to see the look on her face. I thought she was going to reach across the table and strangle him.

⦿ who should be -ing [somewhere] but [someone] | This pattern express surprise at the coincidence of finding someone somewhere unexpectedly. ⦿ whisper-yelling | yelling angrily, but in whispers⦿ to whip something out | This is a lighthearted way of expressing take something out abruptly, suddenly, unexpectedly, quickly⦿ to slap something down | to abruptly and audibly put something down on a flat surface like a table, desk or counter⦿ to reach across | to extend one's arms across a table, counter, etc. ⦿ to strangle | to choke someone to death with both hands around their neck

Adam tells his coworker, Dennis, about the company picnic the day before.


Adam: Too bad you couldn't make it to the company picnic yesterday. I actually had a blast. But you had to see Carl in Accounting... holy shit!

Dennis: You mean that nerd in the corner desk?

Adam: Nerd?! He took off his glasses and his shirt and he's like totally ripped. He downed half a bottle of whiskey and still won the arm wrestling competition. Then he got up on stage and won the karaoke contest!

____________________⦿ to make it somewhere | to manage or be able to go somewhere for an event or occasion.⦿ actually | Here: I didn't think I would, but I enjoyed it, believe it or not.⦿ to have a blast | to have a really good time⦿ like | no meaning, just a filler word⦿ totally ripped | all muscle and very little or no fat⦿ to down | to drink a significant amount of something - often in one gulp