Alice does something for Bob (most often this is saving their life)... then later Bob returns the favour, and one or the other will say "That makes us even" or "I guess we're even".

A malicious variant is when Alice wrongs Eva (or at least Eva thinks they did), and when Eva gets her revenge, she will say "NOW we're even"

See the other side of this, YouOweMe.


* In ''Anime/SonicTheHedgehogTheMovie'', Sonic and Knuckles save each others' lives during the fight with Metal Robotnik, and Knuckles declares that they're both even. Later, during the fight with Metal Sonic, Sonic steps on Knuckles' head (at SuperSpeed!); after the fight is over, Knuckle punches Sonic in the head and declares that they're even again.
* Asuka does this for Shinji in Episode 11 of Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion.

* ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'': At the end of ''Film/TheMatrix'', Trinity saved Neo's life by giving him a HowDareYouDieOnMe speech. In ''Reloaded'', after she's mortally wounded he returns the favor. Afterwards:
-->'''Trinity:''' I guess this makes us even.
* ''Film/AnyWhichWayYouCan''
-->'''Jack Wilson:''' ''[after Jack rescues Philo in a brawl]'' I believe that makes us even.
* ''Film/{{Eragon}}'': Murtagh saves Eragons life part way through the film. In the final battle Eragon takes care of the enemies who have Murtagh surrounded:
-->'''Murtagh:''' ''[Shouts as Eragon flies away]'' I guess we're even!
* ''Film/BatmanBegins'': The malicious variant of the trope comes up when [[spoiler: Ra's Al Ghul burns down Wayne Manor and leaves Bruce to die]].
-->'''[[spoiler: Ra's]]''': Justice is balance. You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even.

* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'': In ''Literature/AgentsOfArtifice'', Jace saves Baltrice's life on Kamigawa, and she returns the favor when [[spoiler:she catches him trying to escape from the Consortium, but decides to give him a head start]].
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': When [[spoiler:Thresh]] saves Katniss from Clove at the feast, he says it's because he owed her for being kind to [[spoiler:Rue and tring to save her]]. He then says that he doesn't owe her anything anymore.

* ''Series/MacGyver''
-->'''Jack:''' Well, [=MacGyver=], you saved my hide again. I guess that makes us even.
* ''Series/{{Roswell}}'' episode "Max in the City"
-->'''Max:''' Liz. You brought me back.
-->'''Liz:''' I guess that makes us even.
* Mr. Chapel's CatchPhrase in ''Series/VengeanceUnlimited'' is "We're even, and I'm out of your life forever." Invariably, the response to that is, "Thank God."
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In the episode "Red Sky At Morning", Sam and Dean, while fighting the MonsterOfTheWeek, end up saving the life of recurring rival [[EvilBrit Bela]]; at the end of the episode, she gives them $10,000 in cash, saying that makes them even.
-->'''Dean''': So hocking over ten grand is easier for you than saying "thanks"? Wow, you're damaged.

[[AC: TabletopGames]]
* At least in ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', Drow has an interesting variation: they usually just don't get a concept of altruism, but ChronicBackstabbingDisorder is counterproductive more often than not, so what to do? Keep scores. Drow being more inclined to act for sport than out of obligations, it's not a score of debt, but a score in the "game".
-->'''Liriel:''' So, what's the score now?\\
'''Fyodor:''' The score?\\
'''Liriel:''' The score. You know: I've pulled your ''[[PardonMyKlingon tzarreth]]'' out of the fire four times, you've saved mine three -- that sort of thing. It says something, doesn't it?

[[AC: Videogames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', [[BadassNormal Sgt Johnson]] says "We're even... as long as we're only counting today," after being rescued by [[SuperSoldier Master Chief]], Johnson having found and revived Master Chief earlier.
* In ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', if you save Falco in the asteroid stage, he will appear a bit later and kill a couple of enemies, telling Fox "that makes us even". It is unknown how killing a few enemies that would heavily damage Falco is even to killing a few foes that would have great difficulty heavily damaging you.
* A one-sided variant in ''Videogame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' from Nathan Drake toward Tenzin since they speak different languages. Nate catches Tenzin's hand and pulls him up to the ledge declaring "You owe me one, pal", of course, with [[TheChewToy Nate's luck]] this lasts about fifteen seconds before Tenzin has to save him from ground breaking beneath his feet.
* In ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'', after helping out The King with a series of quests, he'll say that he owes you a favor, which you can cash in immediately for either a fake passport to The Strip, money or membership into his gang. However, if you hold onto it, during a quest where the NCR wishes to make peace with the Kings, you can use your favor to make him make him agree to settle things with the NCR, at which point he states that you're now even.

* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Moe asks a man to open his store again, a few minutes after he's closed for the night, reminding him of when Moe saved his life by pulling him from a burning car. The man agrees but says that this makes them even.
* When Demona battles the original Hunter in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', she allows him to escape to save [=MacBeth=]. Years later, in the battle when [=MacBeth=] kills the original Hunter, he saves Demona, prompting the following exchange.
-->'''Demona''': Thank you.
-->'''[=MacBeth=]''': I owed you.
-->'''Demona''': Good. That means we're even.
* Used and parodied in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. Baljeet one day saved Buford's life, and thanks to "[[TitleDrop The Bully Code]]" becomes his slave for the rest of his life. Baljeet quickly becomes creeped out and annoyed by this [[LampshadeHanging "60's sit-com cliche"]], and spends the episode trying to settle the score. Eventually he's convinced that having someone follow his every whim isn't such a bad which point Buford saves his life, making them even.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Starscream name-checks this trope when he has Arcee at his mercy and spares her, pointing out that she had done the same in their last fight.