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.

Examples of We Gotta Stop Meeting Like This include:

Anime and Manga

Akabane Kuroudo: [to the GetBackers] 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?


  • The Battle of Shaker Heights. Kelly has been sent to the office.

Principal Holmstead: Kelly, we have to stop meeting like this.

Judy: We gotta stop meeting like this.

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."
    • Worth noting where this joke came from: When two people are having an affair, one of them might say this to the other to try to put an end to it, usually unsuccessfully. The joke is putting the phrase in a situation where they're obviously not meeting on purpose.

Live Action TV

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!


Hawkeye: [after a mid-air rendezvous with Kate] We must stop meeting like this.
Kate Kestrel: You're nothing if not original.

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 47 keeps having to rescue says this eventually. 47 notes that it's unlikely.
  • 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.