Never do this.
A line used very, very often on messages summoning someone to a meeting between two people on opposing sides, and it's frequently a sign that one side is being Lured Into a Trap
A variant is one guard on each side.
Almost inevitably, one side or the other will break the agreement and sneak extra people into the area. This side is to be treated as the betraying scum they are, and it doesn't matter anyway, since they will gain no advantage when the other side wipes the floor with them anyway. If both sides break the agreement
, then whoever the audience first learns cheated are the scum; it's not fair, but it's true. Alternatively, the Good Guy will indeed come alone, but the rest of the team will try to follow discreetly and instead be discovered, thus ruining the Good Guy's efforts.
Almost certainly a Dead Horse Trope
, but the occasional hoof-twitch suggests an Undead Horse Trope
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- In Code Geass Suzaku tells Lelouch to come alone to the Kururugi Temple. Both sides honor the agreement, but Suzaku is secretly followed by Schneizel's men and Lelouch is arrested. Lelouch screams bloody murder and Suzaku is left feeling miserable. Lelouch rightly stops trusting Suzaku after this point, but Suzaku curiously goes right back to antagonizing Lelouch.
- In Death Note, the finale takes place when Light and Near agree to meet with each other in a warehouse, each bringing only the few people working with them on the official investigation. However, Near knows that Light will have Teru sneak in as well, and Light knows that Near knows this (as well as that Near knows he knows this), and...
- Gun Grave anime uses this trope when Blood Knight Bloodwar invites Brandon Heat into abandoned warehouse for duel. Played straight as Bloodwar didn't come alone.
- Played straight and then subverted in Baccano!. Jacuzzi comes alone. Then the rest of his gang comes alone. But they bust in together. And then Claire comes alone with them.
- In an issue of Thorgal ("Aaricia"), Thorgal, as a young boy, is challenged by the chieftain's son to a solitary duel on a remote island. Both sides of the trope come in effect, with the evil chieftainling sneaking a pair of goons into the area, and Aaricia sneaking herself in secretly to aid Thorgal.
- Spoofed in a commercial for Verizon Wireless, stressing the reliability of their network: a man shows up to a meeting with black-clad criminals, who angrily insist that he was to come to the meeting alone. We pan back to find the entire cell-phone network, which includes thousands of people and a couple of helicopters, standing directly behind him. The head bad guy seems more intrigued than angry and wants to know if they work down at the docks too.
- Well, what do you expect? "Verizon Wireless: Sign up now for free Cement Shoes" isn't a very market-friendly slogan.
- In The Big Lebowski, when The Dude is dropping off the ransom money, the Nihilists demand he comes alone. This prompts Walter to describe them as "fuckin' amateurs."
- Played straight in The Bourne Identity, where the CIA at least have the sense to disguise their man's backup as innocent bystanders. Unfortunately they underestimated Jason Bourne.
- Farewell My Lovely. A man on the phone tells the Private Eye protagonist to come alone and unarmed. He takes a gun out of the drawer, and informs us that when someone tells you that, it's time to bring a gun that works.
- Se7en. John Doe says he will plead guilty to all crimes if detectives Mills and Somerset (and only these two) will accompany him to where he's left the bodies of his victims. Knowing he's planning to kill two more to make seven, the detectives take every precaution against a trap, only to find John Doe has something else planned.
- Subverted in The Bourne Identity, where Jason Bourne requests it before meeting the head of the CIA. When the guy brings hidden snipers and such, Bourne calls off the meeting. Turns out Bourne was expecting the guy to bring backup, and the real purpose was to get him to a known location so he could plant a tracker on his car.
- In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, when Morgoth offers to discuss the return of the Silmarils with the sons of FŽanor, both sides come with more strength than agreed upon.
- But Morgoth brought the more, and there were Balrogs.
- In The Godfather Michael Corleone is summoned to such a meeting after the Don has been shot.
- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code starts with Artemis meeting Jon Spiro in a restaurant. Butler is twitchy about the place being unsecured, and Artemis quips that the little old lady over there probably isn't a trained assassin. She is. And so is everyone else there.
- Done again by Opal Koboi in "The Opal Deception. She (posing as goblin criminal Scalene) insists that Holly Short and Julius Root (the LEP fairies most directly responsible for Opal's downfall) come alone when they are attempting to capture him. They follow his instructions. It does not end well.
- Double subverted in Discworld, when Vimes is asked to come alone to a meeting with Chrysophrase the Troll. He doesn't come alone, and neither does Chrysophrase. They trade some snide remarks, order their followers outside, and proceed to have as civil a conversation a chief of police and a known Breccia boss can have.
- Subverted in Dorothy L. Sayer's Gaudy Night; heroine gets such a message and remembers hero's remark that characters in books that fall for that are idiots, so she takes precautions.
- A Song of Ice and Fire. In "A Dance With Dragons" Quentyn Martell sets up a high-risk meeting with the Tattered Prince, agreeing that each will bring two men as security. On arrival it's revealed the Tattered Prince has used Loophole Abuse by bringing a third guard, female sellsword Pretty Meris. Although no violence occurs, if it did happen the Prince points out that the odds are now slightly in his favour.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Green Goblin gives this warning when baiting Spider-Man and Tombstone into a Death Course. All three of them are fully aware it's a trap. Subverted when Goblin bluffed about having the "bait" in the first place.