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I'll get you next time, Gadget... next time!
—Dr. Claw, Inspector Gadget
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 objective lost.
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 they will be defeated 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.)
Also the standard exit of the Enigmatic Minion during his 'I am not here to fight you today' appearances.
Anime and Manga
- Pokémon episode "Pikachu Re-volts": "This isn't over."
- 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."
- In Bleach anime 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...
- Naruto In a rather bizarre aversion, Hanzo tells Jiraiya, Tsuande and Orochimaru to "come back to fight me again", after he won the battle. Except that he doesn't live to fight the re-match.
- 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.
- And outright parodied later:
Dr. Brainstorm: (to Calvin and Hobbes, who did little to harm him in that episode) Oh right. DARN YOU and stuff.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- Uhm, considering what the Green Goblin's usually like...
- The Matrix Reloaded: after the Merovingian dismisses Neo, Neo tells him "This isn't over."
- The Matrix Revolutions: after Neo defeats Agent Smith (in Bane's body), Smith tells him "It's not over."
- 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."
- "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 in The Great Race.
- Made even better by Von Stuppe completely bungling his escape plan a few seconds later.
- Odd heroic usage in Terminator 3. 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 appearence 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?
- Toy Story 2. Emperor Zurg says it to Buzz Lightyear.
- In 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 Tranformers: 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'.
- "THIS IS NOT OVAH . . . BEARS!!!"
Live Action TV
- 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!
- 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":
Ludwig: [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]]]
- 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, without any threats. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- With his latest Evil Plan foiled in Bleak Expectations, Mr Gently Benevolent declares "I shall return!" and rides away. He rides back a moment later:
Pip: You returned quicker than I expected.
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Dragonlance module DL12 Dragons of Faith. Kitiara says this to the heroes just before she leaves at the end of the module.
- When a fiend (devil, demon, or other evil outsider) is killed in the mortal world, they aren't truly destroyed, but instead respawn on their home plane and are banished from the material world for 99 years. They'll often make this threat in their death throws, and will make good on it, either against the heroes or their offspring.
- 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.
- Bionicle: at the end of the 2008 storyline, Mata Nui, inside the Ignika, makes the promise "I will return."
- 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!
- Ganondorf has a speech like this at the end of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time:
Ganondorf: "Curse you, Zelda! Curse you, sages! 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..."
- The Large Ham incarnation of Ganon in the CD-I game "Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon" also says something to this effect.
Ganon: "The chains! No! You haven't seen the last of me!"
- 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
- 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 and 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 (averted? subverted? I get them confused sometimes.) 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 the rather silly RPG FNAF World, more than one character makes this claim. As of this writing, in the most recent update, the reigning True Final Boss, the stupendous jerk that is Chica's Magical Rainbow, issues a truly bizarre threat: "You cheated! Didn't your mother ever tell you you can't kill a rainbow?! REMEMBER, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A RAINBOW IT'LL BE ME COMING TO YOUR HOOOOUSE!"
- Parodied on Homestar Runner: "Next episode, Blue Laser! Next episode!"
- The Dreamland Chronicles "You're just delaying the inevitable, fools!"
- Subverted in this Order of the Stick comic:
You may have won this round, Order of the Stick but we swear our revenge on you! When you least expect--!
- Jonny Quest
- Inspector Gadget often ends with Dr. Claw saying over the end credits that he will get Gadget next time.
- Also subverted in Superfriends 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.)
- Dr. Drakken's version of this trope is shouting, "You think you're all that, Kim Possible, but you're not!" while in full retreat. Or, sometimes, the inversion "We won't meet again!" after springing a Death Trap. Of course, Kim always escapes.
- 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.
- 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 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!"
- So you mean he left to reKOOPerate?
- The Russian cartoon Nu Pogodi! has it in the title.
- 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.
- 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 Two. His words when the US retook the islands: "I have returned.".