The jack-in-the-box has popped, just as we expected it to, but it still made us gasp.
The man of the mechanists would be as funny as a jack-in-the-box.
The removal of the burden was almost like unsnapping the cover of a jack-in-the-box.
jack-in-the-box lent him books, and each day a fresh bouquet was sent in by Miss Glidden.
My man on the bed popped with the agility of a jack-in-the-box for the window.
He was a kindly old man, with a face like a walnut shell, and white hair and beard like a jack-in-the-box.
My rival, closing his window, had disappeared like a jack-in-the-box.
Out from it, like a jack-in-the-box, leaped a little yellow man with long ears.
Released, Bixton shot up from his cot like a jack-in-the-box.
As we neared the railway crossing, jack-in-the-box was half way up the signal-pole.
1560s, originally a name for a sharp or cheat, "who deceived tradesmen by substituting empty boxes for others full of money" [Robert Nares, "A Glossary of Words, Phrases, Names, and Allusions," London, 1905]. As a type of toy, it is attested from 1702.