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We Gotta Stop Meeting Like This

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A Stock Phrase involving two recurring characters who meet at least twice in the same awkward, confrontational or dangerous manner.

Maybe Alice and Bob keep meeting by running into each other, or while fighting off hordes of strangely dressed ninjutsu practitioners. Or maybe Alice and Bob, while enemies, aren't afraid to chat cheerfully while trying to beat the living daylights out of each other. If Alice and Bob do this repeatedly and under the same circumstances, one of them is likely to eventually spout the Stock Phrase.

The original use was between characters having an affair together, and suffering pangs of conscience about their infidelity. That usage is now a Dead Horse Trope as it is scarcely ever Played Straight these days but only wryly referred to as described above.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Get Backers: "Get Back the Arms of the Goddess!"
    Akabane Kuroudo: [to the Get Backers] We've just got to stop meeting like this.

    Comic Books 
  • Daredevil and his ex the Black Widow get into a brief fight before realizing each other's identities:
    Daredevil: We can't go on meeting like this.
    Black Widow: True, Matthew. For if we do, we will either fall in love again or do each other grave bodily harm.
    Daredevil: Either one would be a disaster.
  • In Final Crisis Aftermath, Most Excellent Superbat is haunted by the spirit of Ultimon-Alpha, who tries to get him to be a better hero.
    Most Excellent Superbat: Ultimon-Alpha. We must stop meeting like this. Is every old ghost a life coach?
  • From Loki: Agent of Asgard issue #1.
    Loki: Um. Hello, The Avengers. We really have to stop meeting like this. *Flashback to the forming of the Avengers*

    Fan Works 
  • Hoofstuck:
    Rainbow Dash: Applejack!
    Applejack: Whoof! And hello to y'all as well, Rainbow. We really gotta stop meetin' like this.
    Applejack: ...Rainbow, remember what I said earlier about us not meetin' like—
  • Luigi tells this to Malon in chapter 47 of Super Paper Mario X when he finds out she fell down from the sky again.

    Films — Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • Happens between Twilight and Flash Sentry. Just replace "meeting" with "bumping into each other".
    • Happens at least two more times in the sequel. The second time, Flash is less than pleased, though that was only because he was under the Dazzlings' spell.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Jokes and Humour 
  • A woman is having an affair with her dentist. The dentist tells her one day "We've got to stop meeting like this. You're almost out of teeth."

    Live Action TV 
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: Dr Quinn says this to a man with a crushed arm.
  • Highlander: The Series:
    • "Judgment Day":
    Methos: We've got to stop meeting like this, people will talk.
    • From an earlier episode:
    Duncan: We've got to stop meeting like this, Alexi. It's been half a century, what will people say?
  • The above dentist joke was used in an episode of The Muppet Show, in one of the Animal Hospital segments.
    Ms. Piggy: We have to stop meeting like this.
    Patient: [on the operating table] I'll say, I'm running out of organs!
  • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: Tommy to Zeltrax during one of their fights.
  • Person of Interest. Reese says this after the third time he's turned up to save Leon Tao in the nick of time from a gang of thugs he's embezzled.
  • Terrahawks
    Hawkeye: [after a mid-air rendezvous with Kate] We must stop meeting like this.
    Kate Kestrel: You're nothing if not original.
  • The Mandalorian: Said by Moff Gideon near verbatim when confronting Bo-Katan after he traps Djinn behind a blast door during "The Spies".
    Moff Gideon: Bo-Katan... We have to stop meeting like this.

    Video Games 
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Dutch says this word for word to John Marston at the end of his story arc.
  • In Max Payne, Mona Sax says this to the titular protagonist upon meeting by drawing guns on each other for the second time in the game. Its also the line spoken by Mona upon their first meeting in the second game.
  • In the Hitman series the recurring special agent that 47 keeps having to rescue says this eventually. 47 notes that it's unlikely.
  • The cloaker in PAYDAY 2 parodies this through one of his random lines when he incapacitates one of the heisters. Other lines imply that the heister and cloaker enjoy being together for that small moment of time.
  • In Star Control 2, if you let the Dnyarri mind-control you, it will compel you to seek out an Ur-Quan ship to get yourself killed. The first time this happens, you can reason with the Ur-Quan and he will let you go in exchange for information. If this repeats though, your character can say this exact line (which won't make the Ur-Quan any less pissed at you.) Also, if you keep running out of fuel in deep space, the friendly merchants who come to rescue you will eventually say this.
  • Resident Evil 2 (Remake): At the end of Claire Redfield's 2nd Run, when the persistent William Birkin/G charges after Claire and the others at their final battle, we get this exchange:
    Claire: We really got to stop meeting like this.
  • In Case 5 of The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures, if you press Juror #1 in the first Summation Examination, Ryunosuke Naruhodo recognizes him as John Garrideb, one half of the husband-wife couple involved in the trial of Soseki Natsume, as well as a witness he speaks with in the investigation of GAA 2-2, and says something along the lines of "We really ought to stop meeting like this."

    Western Animation 
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Brought up by Spidey after he saves Jameson for the umpteenth time.
    Spider-Man: We've got to stop meeting like this, or else tongues will start to wag.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: The first few episodes set up Marko and O'Hirn (the future Sandman and Rhino) as two of Spidey's regular punching bags. "We have got to stop meeting like this. People are starting to talk... mostly about what dupes you are."
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: During a flashback to when Grandpa Max first met Gwen's grandmother Verdona, he says this when he rescues her.