My folk simile is a very popular one in Brazil, in Portuguese the simile says: “Isso tá que nem casa da mãe Joana.” In English this would translate to “this is like mom Joana’s house.” I heard this folk simile for the first time a couple of years ago in a movie. The name of the movie was actually “Casa da Mãe Joana” and essentially what it means is a really messy house with a bunch of people and when things get really out of hand and there are a lot of things going on, super messy, everything is all over the place, this is a mom Joana’s house. So every time I think about a place where things are out of hand I think of this comparison.
As Alexandre mentioned, this simile is very popular in Brazil. People use it a lot in parties when things get completely out of control and everything is all over the place. My parents use it a lot, I guess it’s an old saying and comparison but that has been present until this day. Apparently Mom Joana’s house was a very messy place in the movie and as a consequence people make this comparison. It’s an amusing way to say that the place is a mess without sounding bad. It’s perhaps a proposition to get things in order and organize the place. People who aren’t familiar with this comparison will have a hard time to understand what it means but it’s so common in Brazil that I believe almost everyone knows.