That went over like a lead brick

This was overheard at a meeting.  It’s a nice mashup of the phrases “went over like a lead balloon” (to fail completely or go over badly) and I think “it hit me like a ton of bricks” (surprised or shocked).   “Drop a brick” (to announce a surprising bit of news) might also be in the mix.  And yes, lead bricks are manufactured – see

A big thank you to Jenny Hensley who dropped this one on me!

It hit me like a brick wall

The speaker was talking about how difficult a final exam was.  Given the context, this is a mash up of “hit me like a ton of bricks” (to surprise or shock someone) and “hit a wall” (coming up against an insurmountable obstacle).  The exam must have been difficult and a surprise!  The confusion is obvious: both expressions contain the word “hit” and certainly walls can be made of bricks.  The expression “hit a wall” is also sometimes stated “hit a brick wall”, making the two expressions have even more commonality.  Perhaps the speaker is a Pink Floyd fan as well.  A big thanks to Adam Jacob for hearing this one and passing it on.