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I've read this expression at many places, mostly in the book that I'm reading.

The last thing he wanted was to be shot by one of those Launchers.

Though the context (and common sense as well) reveals he doesn't really want to be shot by the Launcher (It's a weapon, denominated in the book), I was wondering why do we use this phrase, I mean, does this phrase show irony? As a whole, I want you to explain me the meaning of the phrase.

Thank you.

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It's an idiom. To say that something is the last thing you wanted is to say that you did not want it at all.

More car trouble was the last thing I wanted.

Compare:

I needed more car trouble like I needed a hole in the head.

That is, you want more car trouble as much as you want a hole in your skull.

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