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Was Just Leaving

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Alice is being harassed by Bob, and just as the conversation reaches a climax, a third character walks in and says, "Is Bob bothering you?", to which Alice replies, "No, Bob was just leaving." Then Bob leaves.

One common variant has Bob himself say, "No, I was just leaving."

Contrast Privacy by Distraction, when the diverted party is the one intruding and is done by means of a fool's errand. Compare and contrast with Check, Please!, which is a Stock Phrase said to get out after some restaurant shenanigans.


Film Animation

  • Shrek 2: Exploited. Persuaded by his newest enemy-turned-ally, Shrek goes to Fairy Godmother's workshop to get a magical solution to his problems. Unbeknownst to Shrek, Fairy Godmother has an agenda against him and refuses to sell him a potion. After she monologues about how there are no ogres in any happy ending, one of her workers burst into her office to bring her lunch. The worker says they can return later but Shrek has other plans —namely, sneaking into the factory proper to steal the potion. He politely excuses himself and his companions while wearing a mischievous expression.
    Shrek: Oh! That's okay, we were just leaving. [clasping his hands] Very sorry to waste your time, Miss Godmother.

Film Live-Action

  • The Abyss: Bud defuses the heated situation when Lindsey is confronting Coffey about the nuclear warhead by mentioning that she was just about to leave.
  • Animal House:
    • Subverted when a coed says, "He was just leaving," Boone replies, "No, I'm not."
    • At the Dexter Lake Club: "If I was in your shoes, I'd be ..." "Leaving! What a good idea!"
  • Batman Returns: Zigzagged when Bruce Wayne is meeting with Max Shreck to discuss the power-plant proposal. It isn't too long before their discussion of the controversy turns personal, and then nasty: Max bragging that he's more powerful than even Gotham City's current mayor, let alone an Upper-Class Twit like Bruce, and Bruce retorting that that's only because Max has the Penguin and the Red Triangle Circus Gang secretly helping him. Max responds to this (true) accusation by calling it "mudslinging" and vowing that "if my assistant were here", he'd have her throw Bruce out at once. At that very moment, Selina Kyle actually does show up, and declares that she'd be happy to take Bruce anywhere. Already unnerved by Bruce's suspicions, and absolutely shocked that Selina is still alive (he had tried to kill her the night before), Max gets rid of both his problems simultaneously by ordering Selina to show Bruce the door.
  • Good Will Hunting: When Will walks in on Lambeau and Sean having their big dispute, Lambeau excuses himself with this line.
  • I, Robot: Detective Spooner and Dr. Calvin get into a heated argument over whether the former is a Windmill Crusader or the Only Sane Man (in regards to robots and their increasingly prevalent role in human society). When Calvin's NS-5 hears them shouting and comes in to check on her, she says, "It's fine, Detective Spooner was just leaving." He does.
  • Ocean's Eleven: Happens to Danny when Terry Benedict walks in on Danny talking to Tess (Danny's ex-wife, Benedict's girlfriend) at a restaurant.


  • H.I.V.E. Series: In Aftershock, Shelby walks into a full-of-romantic-tension conversation Otto and Laura were sharing. This Moment Killer causes the two lovebirds to quickly withdraw from their almost kiss and Laura to awkwardly excuse herself with an "I was just leaving".note 
  • Kino's Journey: The chief uses this phrase when kicking Nimya out after refusing to listen to her plea.

Live-Action TV


  • Lorrie Morgan: "Good As I Was To You" is about a woman finding out that her middle-aged husband is seeing a younger woman on the side. In the music video, she then confronts him at the fine restaurant where the Ungrateful Bastard is dining with his mistress. The head waiter approaches them as they are making a ruckus but before he can say anything. the scorned wife announces that she's leaving and that the other woman "[the mistress] can have [the husband], [the wife] don't want [the husband] anymore".

Video Games

  • Dragon Age: Origins: The Warden's Badass Boast scares the leader of the Crimson Oars so much that he orders the Oars to retreat back to the docks after a stuttered use of this trope.
    Warden: Hundreds have died in my wake. You're just a number to me.
    Crimson Oars Leader: I, um... We... We were just leaving. Yes, Oars, we go to the docks!
  • Katawa Shoujo: Late in Emi's route, Hisao visits her home. He can choose to talk to her mother, who will demand from her daughter to answer for his presence. Not missing a bit, Emi tells her that Hisao is on his way out.
    Meiko: Emi, Hisao was just—
    Emi: On his way out of the house? Yeah, I know.

Web Animation

  • DEATH BATTLE!: Tracer utters this phrase to excuse herself after Scout's awkward, unsuccessful attempt to hit on her. She's understandably weirded out after he greets her by calling her "hot stuff" and then asks her whether she'd hold it against him if he tells her that she has a hot bod.

Web Comics

  • Girl Genius: Invoked by Krosp I, Emperor of all Cats, tries to direct Wolkerstorfer's mid-evil monologue Derailed Train of Thought by suggesting that Wolkerstorfer was just leaving when he rants about completely forgetting what you were doing. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
    Wolkerstorfer: [...] Say, don't you hate it when you're in the middle of something, and then you completely forget what you're doing?
    Krosp: Um... You were just leaving?
  • Superego: Sam Herbert, like the Tsundere he is, harshly rebukes any offers of help with all sorts of excuses, including saying that he was about to go.
    Sam: Look, I don't want your help, okay? I was just leaving!

Web Videos

  • Max0r: In his "Incorrect Summaries" take on Resident Evil 4 (Remake), he adds a twist to when Ashley and Ganado walk into a Shirtless Scene between Leon and Luis. Both of them mistake it as Luis and Leon being lovers, so Ashley quickly says that she and Ganado were just leaving and don't pay attention to the boys' attempts to explain.
    Ashley: Leon! The hell are you doing?!
    Leon: Ummm...
    Luis: Uhhh...
    Ganado: Oh shit, am I interrupting something?
    Ashley: No, we were just leaving!
Western Animation
  • The Beatles: In "A Hard Day's Night", the boys are in Transylvania trekking to a deserted castle so they can rehearse in private. A graveyard is nearby as a stone in the ground of a gravesite opens and a one-eyed hunchbacked figure emerges and asks them if they want something. Stuttering, John answers that they were just leaving. The stranger, very much aware of his appearance, chuckles and reveals that he's the caretaker and that he likes visitors.
    Caretaker: You fellows want something?
    John: W-w-we were just leaving!
    Caretaker: No need to rush off on my account. I like to have visitors. Drop in. (chuckles) Being a caretaker here is a lonely lot.
  • Family Guy: In "Patriot Games", Lois drills a hole in Stewie's bedroom wall to peep at Tom Brady in the shower. As she and Meg are shoving each other to claim the spot, Stewie enters and asks what the hell is going on. Lois evades by telling him that she and Meg were just leaving. Curious, he discovers the hole and becomes entranced too.
  • Kim Possible: In "The Big Job", Ron, who has unacknowledged feelings for Kim, knows that she is crushing on him. The problem? He's in a pickled-themed knight uniform (for his new job) and so, is terribly embarrassed at the idea of Kim seeing him like that. When she inevitably finds him, he freaks out and books it after excusing himself. Kim thinks it's adorable.
    Ron: AAH! KIM!
    Kim: Ronnie, I have a little favor to ask...
    Ron: [Loud Gulp] Uh, sorry, KP, I was just... leaving!]]
    Kim: He's shy, but so cute!
    Monique: I'd say green and freaked.
  • The Little Rascals: In "Case of the Puzzled Pals", Spanky tells the other Rascals that they weren't supposed to be in the treehouse. Alfalfa then falls from the ceiling and discovers that Darla and the girls are there. To avoid any questioning, Darla says that they were just about to go.
    Alfalfa: W-What do you mean, Spanky? We—yipes! [falls from ceiling]
    Darla: We were just leaving.
    Buckwheat: Yeah, to the scene of the crime!
  • Rick and Morty: In "Something Ricked This Way Comes", Rick accompanies Summer to the Devil's shop. There, Summer announces that Rick was "just leaving" in the hope he would get the hint and leave. But Rick decides to stick around.