The standard phrase when the villain finds that he has been defeated by the heroes and there is no point in staying around with the immediate Evil Plan
In effect, the villain shows a Determinator
streak and threatens the heroes that he will return to fight them again, and he is sure that he will defeat them next time.
If the villain is in a more poetic mood, they might say their parting words with, "He who fights and runs away/Lives to fight another day." Other variants include: "I'm not finished with you," "This isn't over," "You think you've won!" and "You haven't seen the last of me!"
Often times, the heroes will respond confidently, "We'll be waiting!" (He obviously has never heard of Villain Decay
In some rare cases, the villain with Medium Awareness
might breach the Fourth Wall
by saying: "I'll get you next week", if it's a weekly series. The hero is usually not too concerned.
Also the standard exit of the Enigmatic Minion
during his 'I am not here to fight you today' appearances.
See also Villain Exit Stage Left
, We Meet Again
. Compare to I Shall Return
, a typically more heroic trope.
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Anime and Manga
- Bleach anime:
- In episode #141, as the Arrancar are drawn back to Hueco Mundo they tell their Soul Reaper opponents that they will meet (and fight) again. Except Luppi; oh poor Luppi...
- In episode 319, after the Big Bad Kageroza Inaba is defeated and is about to retreat to the Soul Society he tells Ichigo that they will meet again.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has a rare heroic example: At the end of Chapter 59, Yue swears revenge on the dragon under the Library, mainly because he drooled on her.
- Naruto: In a rather bizarre inversion, Hanzo tells Jiraiya, Tsunade and Orochimaru to "come back to fight me again", after he won the battle. They're among the few people Hanzo considered to be Worthy Opponents, along with the Samurai Mifune. Except that he doesn't live to fight the rematch. He does, however, get a rematch with Mifune... after being raised as a zombie.
- A heroic example occurs twice in One Piece. The first time, Jimbei tells Luffy that they will meet again on Fishman Island. The second time is when he said he will be back to join the crew.
- Happens to the manager of the illegal casino from the second part of Kaiji. After the casino loses lots of money as the result of Kaiji's actions, he is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in a underground labour camp; as he is being taken away Kaiji yells him to make his way out and come back to challenge him; his response: "Isn't it obvious that i will!? You better prepare yourself until then!".
- Pokémon: Team Rocket occasionally says something to this effect when their blasting off again. Considering, outside of the Black and White series, they usually pop up Once per Episode...
- Digimon: Myotismon does this a lot. Ken decides to back off after revealing himself.
- In Soul Eater, Anti-Hero and Ninja Sid goes up against Anti-Villain Samurai Mifune. When the heroes are ordered to retreat, Sid tells Mifune that he has no more reason to fight him, but warns him that if he lets him go Sid might come for him and Back Stab him some day. Mifune's only reply is "Sounds fun. Go."
- A rather terrifying example from Berserk (which is scary enough by itself): every single time Guts drives the Beast out of his mind, the Beast makes it clear that it will return sooner rather than later.
- Luann. Brad's friend T.J. managed to get Ann Eiffel out of her job of manager at Weenie World. When he told Brad about it in the strip for January 12th, 2013, he said that her parting words were "You haven't seen the last of me!"
Films — Animated
- In The Incredibles, after his kidnapping of Jack-Jack is foiled, Syndrome stops to shout, "This isn't the end of it! I will get your son eventually! I'll get your son!" This is a mistake: it prompts Mr. Incredible to end it right there by throwing his car at Syndrome's plane.
- Toy Story 2. Emperor Zurg says it to Buzz Lightyear.
- At the end of An American Tail, after the Big Bad has been knocked onto a ship for Hong Kong, he vows, "Someday, Gussie Mausheimer! Someday! And you too, Mousekewitz! all of you! I hate mice!"
- In The Adventures of Tintin, the pirate Red Rackham curses Sir Francis Haddock as he sinks with the blown-up Unicorn declaring, "We will meet again, Haddock! In another time! In another life!" The Big Bad of the movie turns out to be Rackham's descendent, just as Captain Haddock is to Sir Francis (it's implied reincarnation is involved).
Films — Live-Action
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights: Parodied/subverted: the leader of a band of henchmen calls out "You've not seen the last of us!" as he prepares to retreat. Robin fires multiple arrows with a single shot and pins him to a tree. Pinned Mook: "You've seen the last of us!"
- In Gladiator, Maximus promises Commodus that he will have his vengeance, "in this life or the next."
- The Green Goblin actually yells out "We'll meet again, Spider-Man!" after their first battle in the Spider-Man movie. Considering how straight-faced the movie is otherwise, hearing such a corny line thrown in was really weird.
- The Matrix series
- Tank Girl: After Tank Girl drops a bucket of water on Kesslee, he tells her "It's not over."
- Legend: After Jack blows Darkness away with sunlight, Darkness says "You think you've won."
- The Great Race. "He who fights and runs away/Lives to fight another day.": Baron Von Stuppe to The Great Leslie after being defeated in a sword fight. Made even better by Von Stuppe completely bungling his escape plan a few seconds later.
- Odd heroic usage in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Just before the good terminator blows up the Terminatrix with his own power cell, he tells John Connor, "We will meet again." The twist, in this case, is that the Terminator sent back in time is the one that succeeds in killing John in the future.
- Averted in of all things, James Bond, where villains don't live long enough to say that, and Blofeld, his only recurring nemesis never gets the chance to say this.
- Parodied in the Made-for-TV Movie Men in White: as the villain gets sucked out of the airlock into deep space, his last words are "See you next episode!"
- In Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, Woah, a one boobed woman who appears out of nowhere to instruct The Chosen One, ends her appearance by saying that they'll "meet many more times...in the sequel!"
- Played with in Love and Death, after young Boris meets Death:
Boris: What happens after we die? Is there a Hell? Is there a God? Do we live again? All right, lemme ask one key question. Are there girls?
Death: You're an interesting young man. We'll meet again.
Boris: ... don't bother.
Death: It's no bother. And, of course, they do meet again in the end, dancing away as the credits roll.
- In A Christmas Story, when Ralphie (in his imagination) shoots the bad guys, and Black Bart is escaping, Bart says, "I'll be back." Ralphie replies, "I'll be waitin'"
- At the end of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Megatron and Starscream retreat, with Megatron vowing "This isn't over..."
- The ending of Dr. Strangelove is a montage of nuclear bomb explosions while Vera Lynn sings her famous rendition of "We'll Meet Again'.
- The Country Bears: "THIS IS NOT OVAH ...BEARS!!!"
- The Wizard of Oz: "I'll get you, my pretty...And your little dog, too!"
- In The Mummy (1999), Imhotep corners the heroes, and is taking Evie away to be sacrificed. Before the Big Bad can leave, Rick O'Connell looks right into the Big Bad's eyes and says, "I'll be seeing you again." with all the menace and hatred and promise the man can muster. Imhotep, who doesn't understand a word (the man's an ancient Egyptian who doesn't speak English) get's the message anyway, but he's so assured of his near invincibility that he only reacts with mild amusement. Turns out, underestimating O'Connell was a huge mistake.
- In the British detective story The House in Nightmare Park (1973), the villain screams "I'm not finished! I'll be back!" when carried away in a prison coach.
- Septimus Heap: When Alther drove DomDaniel out of the Wizard Tower in the backstory DomDaniel said that he would return with the seventh son of a seventh son.
- Tale of the Troika: At the end of the second edition of the novel, Vunyukov makes classical "We will meet again!" speech, delivered in his usual bureaucratic manner.
Live Action TV
- Charmed has Zankou who initially appears to be a minor/one-shot character and then ends up becoming a major threat later on in the season.
- Subverted in Firefly when an enemy vows to face the captain of the Serenity again and kill him, complete with over-the-top threats in The Last Thing You Ever See mode. At this, the pragmatic captain immediately kicks him into an engine intake. Schplercht.
- The next of Niska's Mooks they bring up is a little more compliant, to say the least.
- This is subverted repeatedly on Firefly, with Mal summarily dispatching characters that spend the episode seemingly being built up to be potentially recurring villains. However, this was only because the show only lasted a single season, and Word of God is that some of those characters were intended to survive and return for revenge on the crew.
- One of them does in fact re-appear as a villain in a Firefly comic, only to be killed again, this time for good. (Mal shoots him twice, just to be certain.)
- Doctor Who:
- In "Androids of Tara", the defeated villain, Count Grendell, leaps off the battlements while warning "Next time, I shall not be so lenient!"
- The Meddling Monk's last words on the show: "I'll get you for this, Doctor! I'll get you one day!" Over forty years later, he doesn't seem to have got round to it yet (except in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe). The Time War probably put a crimp in his plans.
- "Victory of the Daleks" ends with the Doctor's greatest enemies successfully restoring their species and escaping. It proves the line is actually Badass if you say it when you're winning.
Supreme Dalek: You will never defeat us, Doctor! We will return!
New Paradigm Daleks: WE WILL RETURN!
- The Master never stays away for too long particularly in the classic series. In fact he's the villain in every third or fourth Fifth Doctor story.
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures Miss Wormwood promises this somewhat randomly in the pilot episode. At the end of the second season she reappears, having upped her ambition from "ensure the Bane breed on Earth" to "conquer the galaxy" and needs to sucker Sarah Jane into helping her.
- In Thunderbirds, the Hood is frequently heard to utter a variation on "International Rescue haven't seen the last of me!" after his latest plan ends in an explosion.
- In the season finale of Blackadder II, "Chains", Prince Ludwig the Indestructible is stabbed and exposed by Blackadder, but doesn't leave before talking with Queenie, revealing that he was "the tall and attractive German schtablelad" that held her favourite pony in her youth and, finally, swearing revenge when called "Short Greasy Spot-Spot":
: [Utterly dismayed]
No! [Getting up and walking to the door in a rage]
No! No! No! ... You vill all of you, regret the day that y'ever mocked my complexion! I shall return and wreak my rewengue! [Evil Laugh]
Blackadder: No you won't, you'll die and be buried! [throws knife]
Blackadder: Strange man.
- He is presumed dead, but turns out to really be indestructible and still manages to slay the entire cast in the end. So this doesn't always fail.
- Subverted in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: after an inconclusive skirmish with Buffy, a pair of dimwitted cowboy-vampires threaten her with "This isn't over!" Later in the episode, one of them gets sucked down by a giant underground tentacle-monster, which Buffy then cold-bloodedly hacks to death with a pickaxe. Witnessing all this, the survivor says: "All right. It's over!" and flees.
- Although, in point of fact, they do meet again after that. That time Buffy kills his new vampiric wife, and he runs off again after a muttered, "Later". Maybe he'll be back in the comics.
- He is, in "Chaos Bleeds". This time he yells "We're not done, traitor!" at Spike as he's pulled back into an alternate dimension.
- The trope is lampshaded in "Band Candy" when Trick shouts, "You and me, girl! There's hard times ahead!" before fleeing. Buffy gripes, "They never just leave. Always gotta say somethin'."
- Glory delivers a 'This isn't over' to Buffy and Willow in "Tough Love". Somewhat unusually, she actually follows through at the end of the same episode.
- Turns out to be Tempting Fate in the Angel episode "The Girl in Question". Angelus discovers his Arch-Nemesis The Immortal has slept with his girlfriend and shouts, "This isn't over yet, Immortal! This'll never be over!" And indeed he and Spike keep getting stymied and cuckolded by the Immortal right up to the present day.
- Jim Keats sings "We'll Meet Again" (the sentimental British song from World War II) to Gene at the end of the final episode of Ashes to Ashes.
- In the first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, When Rita Repulsa was defeated, She would exclaim:
"I'll be back! You haven't seen the last of Rita Repuls-AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!"
- She would eventually make good on that, unlike many.
- Her brother once used the "He who fights and runs away..." line. Goldar has been known to swear revenge upon folding.
- On That '70s Show, Fez's crazy girlfriend Caroline declares this when Donna pretends to be interested in him to get her to stop stalking him. Pretty sure that was her last appearance.
- Chaotica, after his final defeat in the holoprogram in Star Trek: Voyager. He warns "You have not seen the last of Chaotica." Chaotica does appear briefly in a future episode.
- The series finale of Hercules The Legendary Journeys has Ares trying to play this trope straight, but Hercules and Iolaus use several villain exit lines in a mocking tone, after which Ares decides to leave without a word.
Mythology & Religion
- In the Bible (specifically the Gospel of Luke) Satan leaves the temptation of Jesus in the desert "until the opportune time," which turns out to be when he could arrange a crucifixion.
- In fact, the Jesus miniseries from 1999 included him saying this trope word for word at this point.
- Don José tells Carmen this in the opera Carmen.
- In Sherlock Holmes, when Holmes has put handcuffs on Moriarty, whom the butler is about to drag him off to the police, Moriarty tauntingly suggests to Holmes that this might not be the end. "Are you quite sure the police will be able to hold me?" he says. When Holmes replies, smiling slightly, that he is sure of nothing, Moriarty slyly tells him that he has heard Holmes is planning to take "a little trip on the Continent" with Watson and will meet him there.
- In the Universal Studios Singapore version of Revenge of the Mummy, when Imhotep is trapped once again in a sarcophagus, he assures the riders that he will return once again, reminding them that, "Death is only the beginning!".
- Mardek RPG: Baron Von Doomkill swore he would return after being killed. An undefined but very long time later he is pulled from the antilife to animate Legion, along with Deena, Bostolm and Miserable Old Martin. Much to his frustration, the magic that summoned him binds him to the control of Mereador, so he doesn't get to even try to reconquer the world, despite being in Mardek's party while he gathers three of the six crystals.
- Super Mario 64: Played with very interestingly. In the game's earlier fights with Bowser, you see Bowser saying Mario will pay for this... later. In these cases, it seems so distant; however, by the time of each next fight with Bowser, it tends to feel like it happened a lot quicker than it seemed like it would at the end of each previous fight.
- Sonic Adventure: Dr. Robotnik sort-of does this, albeit in the middle of the three stories he does it in.
- I WILL FIND YOU AGAIN!
- The Legend of Zelda
Ganondorf: "Curse you, Zelda! Curse you, sages! Curse you, [name]! Someday, when this seal is broken — that is when I will exterminate your descendants! As long as the Triforce of Power is in my hand..."
- In Age of Mythology, Kemos vows that "your head will hang on my mast, Atlantean!" just before he flees the first time you defeat him.
- He says almost the exact same thing, in almost the exact same situation the second time, after which he tries escaping the same way he did the first time and ends up with his head smashed out on the rocks after you defeat him the second time.
- Wesker promises this to Chris when the two are forcibly separated by an explosion at the climax of Resident Evil: Code: Veronica X, and then, Large Ham that he is, lets loose an Evil Laugh that echoes through the self-destructing base.
- In World of Warcraft the Lich King gets a version of this at the Wrathgate encounter. Faced with the combined forces of the Horde and Alliance, Arthas himself walks out, kills Saurfang the Younger, sucks out his soul and looks ready to take on the entire army facing him... when Grand Apothecary Putress unleashes the new Forsaken Plague, slaughtering undead and mortals alike. Weakened but far from defeated, Arthas falls to his knees and retreats back inside with a gasping "This... Isn't... Over!"
- In the Dynasty Warriors series, defeating an opponent with a unique character model (or in some games, any with a name) will usually result in that character saying one of these before retreating.
- Tri Ace Gabriel Celeste/Celesta, a recurring Bonus Boss, will say some variation of "Well done, heroes. I'm sure We Will Meet Again in another time and place. Farewell!" when he is beaten. His difficulty varies between Nintendo Hard and Anticlimax Boss with each game.
- Subverted at the end of Sam & Max Season 2. The Soda Poppers have just finished one of these when the Bermuda Triangle appears above them and pours lava on them, which kills them off for real.
- Inverted in Mother 3; after your last battle with Fassad, he explicitly states that you will not meet again.
- In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Death says this to Alucard at the end of their confrontation at the castle entrance. Indeed they do, but only if you unlock the second half of the game by freeing Richter from his Brainwashed and Crazy state.
- After the second fight with her and her gang in Eternal Sonata, Dolce warns you that you haven't seen the last her and her gang. Indeed, there's another optional battle with them just a bit later in the game and yet another one if you're playing the game on Encore Mode.
- Played with in the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, when pre-insanity Sephiroth kindly reassures an anxious Zack that they will meet again soon. They do meet again... and head off to Nibelheim.
- In Darksiders and its sequel, the demon Samael says this to War and Death after their business is concluded in each game.
- Inverted with one of the Spy's revenge-kill quotes in Team Fortress 2.
Spy: This will be the last time you see me...
- In the "Captain Scarlett" DLC of Borderlands 2, Captain Scarlett says this after you kill Roscoe and she teleports away.
- One of the more chilling parts of the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 base game Soviet ending. Yuri is still very much alive after you thought him dead, and makes his intent to return very clear. All he has do is find a suitable body to reupload his mind into.
- A rare heroic example in The Matrix: Path of Neo
Witch: We'll meet again, some day, Neo.
- In Crystalis, General Kelbesque says after you defeat him the first time:
"Don't think you've seen even a fraction of my power. Next time you see me, it will be your last!"
- Jonny Quest
- Inspector Gadget ends each episode with Dr. Claw saying over the end credits that he will get Gadget next time.
- What all the villains in Kim Possible say when defeated.
- Also subverted in Super Friends in the episodes "Rub Three Times for Disaster" when the arrogant villain taunts the superheroes with the "He who fights..." couplet before making his escape. However, Wonder Woman immediately ropes the villain and hauls him back while saying, "He who fights the Super Friends is always captured in the end." (Except the Legion of Doom, that is.)
- Taurus Bulba in Darkwing Duck after returning from the first episodes got beaten, then flew off with a "I will be back". Of course, that didn't happen...
- Vlad from Danny Phantom parodies this in his first appearance, which ends with him letting Danny go because he's threatening to reveal his identity, by acting over dramatic about it.
- A heroic version is used when Wulf makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Danny and send Walker back to the Ghost Zone, they would meet again. Played much straighter when Walker says the same thing.
- Aku said this to Samurai Jack all the time. He even lampshaded it once. "We all know what's gonna happen. You'll swing your sword, I'll fly away, and probably say something like, 'I'll be back, Samurai!'"
- Barbados Slim in Futurama: Bender's Big Score subverts it. When Hermes gets his body fixed, his wife Labarbara finally dumps Barbados and returns to Hermes. Barbados's final line is, "You haven't seen the last of Barbados Slim. Now goodbye forever!"
- Also counts as Leaning on the Fourth Wall as it was unknown at that point if the series would continue past the other three movies, and the writers weren't going to waste any of them on another Barbados/Hermes sub-plot.
- In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Bowser had his own catchphrase as a version of this - "He who koops and runs away lives to koop another day!" In other words, he left to reKOOPerate.
- The Russian cartoon Nu, Pogodi!! has it in the title.
- The Powerpuff Girls. At the end of one episode Him told the girls "But I assure you, I'll be baaaaack!''
- The Herculoids. At the end of "Return of Sta-Lak", the title villain says "And don't ever forget that I will be back!"
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the absolutely terrifying One-Scene Wonder Eldritch Abomination Koh the Face Stealer says this word for word. He is indeed seen again, but only as a flashback.
- After Alfred destroys Dolf's fascist coup in Alfred J. Kwak, Dolf and his associates are forced to flee. Just before he does that, he shows up at Alfred's door, and warns him that he may have won this time, but that one day he'll come back and be powerful again.
- At the end of The Venture Bros. episode "What Colour Is Your Cleansuit?", St. Cloud delivers a comically straight-faced version to Billy Quizboy:
You win this time, but mark my words, and mark them well: I will get you, Quizboy.
- Played with in The Simpsons episode "Brother from Another Series" where Sideshow Bob is arrested for a crime he didn't commit and the Cecil the real culprit leans across and says to him: "Tell them they'll live to regret this." Bob screams it out the window, only to realise he's just incriminated himself.
- Also, in the episode "The Great Louse Detective". Sideshow Bob states this before vanishing away: "We shall meet again old friend, but now I must steal away into the night!"
- Used in Captain Planet, when after the titular hero defeated his Evil Twin Captain Pollution, the villain vowed to return before dispersing. At first, this seems like a subversion as the evil rings that summoned him were destroyed in the end, but it was then double subverted as toxic chemicals revived him without the use of the rings.
- Used in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go, when Skeleton King must retreat due to the rising sun:
Skeleton King: This is only the beginning. I'll return more powerful than ever!"
Chiro: And we'll be waiting.
- Birdman episode "Mentor, the Mind Taker". As the title villain escapes he tells Birdman "I'll be back, Birdman, to match minds and power with you again!"
- Space Ghost. In "The Web" Black Widow uses that exact phrase to Space Ghost after he defeats her champion and she has to flee.
- Done quite a few times by Dr. Wily to Mega Man, usually along the lines of "You haven't seen the last of me, Mega Man! I'll be back!"
- In the SWAT Kats episode "The Origin of Dr. Viper", the titular villain promises "You haven't seen the last of Dr. Viper!" as he escapes at the end.
- Real Life example/subversion: Asculf, was the last Norse king of Dublin. When the Normans invaded his city he fled with much of the population, only to return with a big army of Vikings. After a savage fight he was defeated and the Normans, in an uncharacteristically merciful move, decided to just exile him. Asculf promply proclaimed he would be back again with a bigger army and recapture his city so they ended up beheading him on the spot.
- "I shall return" General MacArthur on the US evacuation from the Philippines in World War II. His words when the US retook the islands: "I have returned". The US government and military actually wanted it changed to "We have returned" before the landings, but MacArthur refused to draw the attention away from himself. The return it the Philippines was itself controversial, with some arguing that they could have been bypassed entirely and that MacArthur insisted on retaking them purely for personal aggrandizement, while others argue that even if the latter part is true we really did owe it to our Philippine allies to liberate them as soon as possible.
We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when... But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day...