Steve: We already paid!
Brian: I know. It's what you say after restaurant weirdness.
The usual punchline uttered at the end of any sustained mayhem in a bar or a restaurant. Usually delivered by whatever major character either instigated or was caught up in the melee. When not, it is instead delivered by an otherwise nondescript background character who has made it through the entire disaster completely unscathed. Also heard when a guy gets lucky in a bar, just before he heads out to consummate his newfound luck.
Usually restricted to comedies and those dramas which are not afraid of the occasional lighter touch. Compare/contrast the subtler Was Just Leaving.
Check out the Huffington Post's epic "Check, please" supercut here
- The Zales Jewelry Store chain has a commercial showing a woman at a table in a restaurant looking at the jewelry the man she is dining with gave her, then at him, with a sparkle in her eyes. The side message literally reads, "The 'Check Please' store" while the song playing at that moment has the lyrics, "It's nice to see you in my bed."
- A "Got Milk?" commercial where a guy eating pancakes took a 'small sip' on a female customer's milk, but realizes he actually drank most of it. So, he pours most of his water glass into the milk glass to "fill" it back up, with another guy watching the whole thing unfold. The female customer returns and reveals the other guy was her boyfriend/fiancée. The first guy has an Oh, Crap! expression and meekly asks for the check.
- Garfield comics have been doing this for years, practically every time Garfield and Jon visit Irma's diner. The hijinks range from cheese that has been aged in the back of Irma's pickup truck, ice cream cones with scoops of mashed potatoes on top, and lobster so fresh that it grabs the chef's nose (off-panel). Out of those comics, a few use the phrase word-for-word.
- In Pearls Before Swine, it's practically Goat's Catchphrase. One example. And another example here.
- In Get Fuzzy, after Bucky bites another restaurant-goer on the arm for talking loudly on a cell phone, Rob says this word for word.
- We All Make Mistakes:
Hermione: Don't think me a slut or anything, but I have no problem fucking a wizard on the first date.
Harry: Right. Tom! Cheque please!
- In the animated film The Iron Giant, after the squirrel Hogarth wants to keep as a pet escapes and causes havoc in the diner. The mayhem begins when the Squirrel gets In Dean's Pants, and he has to unzip in public in order to let it out. His phrase before the mayhem? "I would like to apologize to everyone in advance for this!"
- After the Sunset has Pierce Brosnan's character saying "Check!" after he and his fiancé are having dinner with a couple who casually admit that they like to swap partners.
- Happens twice in Spaceballs:
- When the protagonists are walking through the desert, Barf says this just before collapsing from dehydration and heat stroke.
- After an alien has burst out of John Hurt's chest at a space diner, then goes on to do an impression of Michigan J. Frog, the main characters say the phrase word-for-word.
- In the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Prince John says this when the fight that's broken out at the big banquet scene lands on his table.
- Star Wars IV: A New Hope, when Han Solo tosses a few coins to the bartender saying "Sorry about the mess" after killing Greedo. However, the bartender is soon grateful: as the Expanded Universe reveals, he grinds up Greedo's body into a drink for Jabba the Hutt.
- Dumb and Dumber, after they inadvertently kill someone (they get away, too).
- In the first Major League movie, Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn uses this trope at a bar when a beautiful woman makes a very flagrant pass at him, just before taking her back to his hotel room. (Only later does he learn that she's the wife of one of his teammates and slept with Vaughn for revenge on her husband, provoked by the latter's own infidelity.)
- Sneakers, uttered by Liz after her nerdy computer date, Werner, insinuates the predictable follow up to the dinner
- In Sahara, there's a scene where Dirk and Al are having lunch, and Al just wants to get the check and can't figure out how to say it in French. Dirk eventually wanders off for plot-important reasons (taking the camera's point of view with him), leaving Al to repeatedly call for the check. We never find out whether he gets the check or just leaves, or how long he sits there.
- Hudson Hawk. Eddie and Anna Baragli are sitting in a cafe. Eddie has just told her that he was in prison.
Anna: You were in the joint. Doing hard time. It's funny, but that excites me.
Eddie: Check please!
- In Fatal Attraction, after Alex bluntly acknowledges the sexual tension between them, Dan calmly declares, "Let's get the check". The next scene is of them going at it in her apartment.
- A non-comedic example in Our Man Flint. Flint is going to every restaurant in a section of Marseille to find a restaurant that serves bouillabaisse made with a specific recipe. After tasting the bouillabaisse at one restaurant, he immediately calls for the check so he can move onto the next one.
- In Big, Josh and Billy are at a diner, looking through the classifieds for a job for Josh to support himself until he can find the Zoltar machine. Billy is eating an ice cream sundae, and Josh takes the cherry, puts it in his mouth and rolls it around on his tongue, disgusting the adjacent customers. It goes to show you the things you do at 13 aren't so amusing at 30.
- Nonverbal example: In the film of Popeye, when it becomes obvious that a group of thugs in the local diner are fixing to fight with the titular one-eyed sailor, several people begin signaling for their checks.
- In 17 Again, after Ned discovers that the object of his crush speaks fluent Elvish, and they're both turned on by this.
- Boy Meets World:
- Shawn tries this in a classroom.
- Another episode had Eric saying this repeatedly in a restaurant while hanging out with a very annoying girl. He can't take anymore, Eric screams, "CHECK! For the love of God, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE BRING ME A CHECK!" The waitress in question, who was only a few feet behind him at the time and taking another order, jumped about a foot in the air.
- In the sequel series Girl Meets World, Riley is trying to figure out why Shawn doesn't come around very much if he and her dad are best friends. She asks if she can ask something a little scary. Shawn is doubtful that a 12 year old can say anything that would scare him. Riley asks if Shawn doesn't come around because seeing her makes him think of what he doesn't have, to which Shawn responds by yelling "CHECK!"
- In one episode of Sex and the City, Samantha and another woman have fought for the attentions of a man in a restaurant. Samantha then corners the other woman and tells her, bluntly, that she doesn't have a chance with the guy in question and offers to pay for the woman's dinner. The woman concedes, whereupon Samantha triumphantly declares, "Check!"
- The page quote is from The Sarah Silverman Program, in which Laura, Jay and Sarah have a discussion about Laura's marriage to Jay. Jay compares the marriage to Sarah living with her dog Doug. "Sarah!" "Laura!" "Check, please!" It comes up later, when Steve demonstrates his understanding of it, although they're no longer in a restaurant.
- A regular sketch in the BBC sketch show Goodness Gracious Me involved a man in a restaurant who would invariably say something offensive or disturbing to his date. When she stormed out, he would look up at the waiter sadly and say "Cheque, please". You can chalk this up to Eagleland Osmosis; it's almost universally called the 'bill' in the UK, but the "check please" punchline is still recognised.
- One episode of The Golden Girls deals with Rose dating a man who is impotent. After a raunchy discussion over dinner, he tells her it's time. "Check, please!" Rose cries.
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife," when Monk is taking Captain Stottlemeyer's children out to lunch, he says this into a microphone after the restaurant staff start performing to a music track on the diner's jukebox.
- A variation of this takes place in the Firefly episode "Shindig," after Mal and Jayne start up a bar fight. Inara doesn't actually ask for a check, but she does tell the barkeep that she'll recommend the place to her friends as she hurries out.
- In Babylon 5 episode "Objects in Motion", as star-crossed lovers Stephen Franklin and Tessa Holloran (Number One) realize they have about an hour before he departs the station permanently, Stephen dashes off to prepare a rendezvous while Tessa throatily calls out, "Check! Check please!"
- Even though this is a little differently quoted The Suite Life of Zack and Cody had a Check reference from the dog Ivana was supposed to mate with, but she went with Scamp.
- Keith Olbermann's fallback response to something truly baffling.
- In The Mentalist, after Patrick Jane shoots who he believes to be Red John, the man who killed his family, in the mall. He then sits back down, and calmly asks for the check. The waitress however fled in terror (along with everyone else in the mall), leaving Jane to simply leave the money on the table, finish his tea, and let himself be arrested.
- An In Living Color! skit has a businessman say it after his blind date Grace Jones cut an alligator's tail off.
Harvey: Waiter, check please!
Grace: Would you like a piece of my tail, Harvey?
- Dinosaurs: Robbie invented a device that'd allow people to draw energy from a volcano. Fearing the financial loss Wesayso Corporation would suffer, Mr. Richfield invited the Sinclairs for dinner and tried to buy all rights to the device. When Earl unwittingly gave Richfield the idea to buy the volcano instead, Richfield quickly left the scene and Earl asked for the check.
- Power Rangers Jungle Fury: Casey, Theo and Lily had to look for a new instructor after their previous one was killed by the Big Bad and all they knew about him was his address: Jungle Karma Pizza Parlor. They didn't know his name or what he looks like. Arriving there, they found a patron that stereotypically looked like an old instructor and they (wrongly) assumed it was him. After unwittingly freaking him out by asking him to train them, he asked for the check.
- The Bachelorette season where Trista Rehn chose Ryan Sutter. In each season the remaining 3 men have a one-on-one date with the Bachelorette. At the end of the dinner, the pair receives a message saying they can spend the night together. During Trista and Ryan's date, after the message arrived, Trista says "Waiter!" and Ryan says "Check please!".
- Ray Charles' At The Club: *whistle* "Hey barkeep! You better come here and get your bread. This little girl's getting ready to split, and I'm about to go out of my head."
- This is the title of a 1996 song by Country Music singer Paul Jefferson, where the narrator dismisses uncomfortable situations in this fashion.
- Used in the P!nk song "Slut Like You" after her date fails to get her increasingly obvious hints.
You, male, come now
You, caveman, sit down
You — shh don't ruin it! Wow!
- In RENT, during the wild song La Vie Boheme, the "straight man" Benny calls anxiously for the waiter after the lines "to sodomy/it's between God and me/to S&M". In the Broadway version, he also actually yells "CHECK!" a little bit later in the song.
- Check, Please is a one-act play by Jonathan Rand about a series of hilariously awful dinner dates. "Check, please," is also the last line of the play, and it's said by a guy in a burlap sack. To a mime.
- In Legally Blonde: The Musical, after Elle and Warner have an awkward breakup during their dinner date, Warner utters this line.
- In an early Megatokyo comic, Piro says this when Dom pulls out a pistol.
- Used at the end of a Terrible Interviewees Montage in Las Lindas as seen here.
- This Nothing Nice To Say features the trope in full force.
- In a guest comic in Nip and Tuck, local throwback Gus Gunthrie makes a nasty comment about a favorite lady fighter of Bandit Ringtail (which just presses the little guy's Berserk Button REALLY HARD), he hops up on a table, and knocks the tar out of the miserable jerk. Nip says it in the third panel.
- This Penny Arcade strip.
- Sandra on the Rocks gives us this strip.
- The Last Podcast on the Left: Parodied in the series on Jonestown, where it's joked that if you're in a cult you can save yourself by yelling "Check, please!", at which point the cult is obliged to let you leave. It sees use again in the show's next cult series on the Order of the Solar Temple.
- In the 5th episode of season 1 of Dilbert , Dilbert is at a dinner party in another country where it is revealed that he is left-handed (being left handed makes you a member of the oppressed minority.) The guards raise their guns at Dilbert, who replies with the trope.
- Family Guy:
- Once featured a cut-away gag with "Check Please" as one of the many cliche lines on the CD "Sitcom Punchlines of the 80's".
- And also said by Death in the episode "Death Lives", after he kills an environmentalist woman he's on a date with.
- Robot Chicken did a The Golden Girls/Sex and the City mashup with Bea Arthur and her friends discussing their torrid, explicit love affairs. A man in the booth next to theirs immediately asked for the check when they started... and kept pleading for the check when it was not delivered promptly after tale after tale. He just left money on the table in the end.
- The Venture Bros.: Hank and Dean pull it off, even while unknown to them, Dr. Orpheus, who was following the boys incognito, mind raped two foul-mouthed rednecks and imprisoned their souls in a little plastic "Homiez" action figure.
- Kim Possible. Said by Shego to Drakken after she got soundly beat by Kim in a restaurant.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man. After he and the Sinister Six have finished their meal, Doc Ock says this to a nearby waiter. The waiter stammers out that it's on the house, which is only natural, considering it's a party of six supervillains. Presumably, he wasn't planning to pay either way, and it was just part of the power trip he's been on all episode.
Doctor Octopus: How kind of you... and wise.
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "In like Ed", when Eddy gives Ed items to sort for Garage Sale day, this exchange happens.
Ed: Service is my middle toe! Check, please!Eddy: You should've ate breakfast, Ed.
- Said in a House of Mouse episode by Red Riding Hood when the Big Bad Wolf comes on stage for his musical performance.
- Said in VeggieTales "Asparagus of La Mancha" when Archibald playing Don Quixote lands on the sign.
- Rocko's Modern Life. Said by Rocko after he accidentally knocks out his date while cutting some meat.
- Invoked several times during the Adventure Time episode "Videomakers". Jake tries to shoehorn the line into several different scenes because he wants to make the movie he and Finn are working on a romantic-comedy, but it isn't really used in a restaurant at any point.
- A series of coincidences once mislead Johnny Bravo into believing time stopped for everyone except for him and he decided to take advantage in every possible way. One was eating at a restaurant for free. Nobody paid attention to Johnny asking for the check because everyone was distracted.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! in the episode "Who Do You Trust", the Avengers are eating out at a resturant when a monster flies by the resturant. As soon as the team sees it, Tony simply says this phrase word for word. However, as Tony is about to pay said check while the others fight, the waitress turns out to be Black Widow who puts a knockout dart into him.
- Used as a one-episode Running Gag in season 6 of BoJack Horseman, as Doctor Champ, fresh off the wagon and pounding drinks at BoJack's preferred pub, keeps saying this trope whenever he makes a point, and then being surprised when he actually gets the check, as he'd just meant it as an expression.