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If we get out of here, I swear I'll never drink whiskey again... Let's say a hundred... no, fifty... Three days, that's a promise.
—Captain Haddock, Tintin.

This is a line in the form "I swear if X, I'll Y". This is not The Promise, as it is frequently a throwaway line, or may very well go uncompleted. It also has a formulaic conditional element that is not typical of The Promise. X is most commonly worded as "If I/we survive this" or "If this crazy shit works out", and Y is frequently "I'll kill you!" though almost anything than go in either space. Related to Deal with the Devil. Might end up Tempting Fate.

Examples of If We Survive This include:


  • The Last Boy Scout: "I swear to Christ that if I survive this fucking case I'm gonna dance a jig." (he does)
  • The Crow, Sergeant Albrecht. Suddenly finding the taste of cigarettes disgusting after being shot, he mutters, "I'm quitting as of now. If I live." This is also a callback to Draven, a walking dead man, chuckling after stealing Albrecht's cigarette, that "You shouldn't smoke these. They'll kill ya."
  • Kaylee and Simon in Serenity during a massive Reaver attack:

 Simon: In all that time on the ship... I've always regretted... not being with you.

Kaylee: With me? You mean to say... as in... sex?

Simon: I mean to say...

Kaylee: To Hell with this. Dramatic Gun Cock I'm gonna live!



  • In the 5th Harry Potter book, just before his trial Harry promises himself that he'll donate 10 galleons by putting it in a fountain if he gets acquitted. He ends up emptying his entire moneybag into it.
    • In the 7th book, we get Ron going "If we die for them, I'll kill you, Harry!"
  • In the entire Twilight series, Garrett (a minor, almost throwaway character) tells Kate, (another minor, almost throwaway character), "If we make it through this, I'll follow you anywhere, woman."
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' Busman's Honeymoon, the Dowager Duchess reveals how Bunter came to work for Lord Peter Wimsey: during World War I, when they were in a tight spot together, Lord Peter had said he would hire Bunter if they got out of the war. This meant that Bunter showed up when Lord Peter was suffering from severe shell shock, and took over.
  • Played with in the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Vision of the Future. Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade are in mortal peril when he asks her to marry him. "You mean if we get out of here alive?" she says. "No, I mean regardless." "...Yes. I will."

Live Action Television

  • In an episode of Golden Girls Blanche makes a deal with God to have less sex if Rose survives her heart attack.
  • Similarly, in an episode of Cheers, Sam swears to God that if a pregnant ex-lover's baby isn't his, that he'll never have sex again (which he almost immediately cuts down to a couple of months or so). When Sam gets what he wanted, however, Carla warns him of the consequences of reneging.
  • In a late episode of Get Smart, Max and 99 are caught in death-trap with no apparent means of escape. Thinking they are about to die, Max realizes that he's in love with 99 and declares that if they could get out he'd marry her. She immediately thinks of a way to escape and they get married a few episodes later.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Jus in Bello," after Dean refuses to participate in a virgin sacrifice, the virgin in question (Nancy) says, "If we survive this, I'm gonna have a whole lot of sex." Then she looks at the deputy next to her and says, "But not with you." Unfortunately, she never really gets the chance, since Lilith kills her and everyone else pretty quickly.
  • There's an entire episode of Taxi (Louie Sees the Light) dedicated to this one, where Louie makes a promise to be the best person that he can be if he survives surgery. It's almost a deconstruction.
  • In the NCIS episode "Light Sleeper," when Tony and Ziva both insist on staying while a bomb is disarmed rather than escaping to safety as ordered, Gibbs tells them, "If we survive this, you are both fired." (They do, and they're not.)
  • In one of the last episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules and Iolaus agree to retire if they survive the current encounter with an angry Hera. Later they do retire... for about one minute, then realize how utterly boring retirement is and go back to being superheroes.


  • From the song Band on the Run by Wings: "If we ever get out of here / Thought of givin' it all away / To a Registered Charity / All I need is a pint a day / If we ever get out of here / If we ever get out of here."

Religion And Mythology

  • In The Book of Judges, Jephthah vows 'Whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.'It ends up being his daughter. Ouch.

Video Games

  • Wrex gets a classic in Mass Effect: "If we die in here, I'll kill him!" ("him" being Joker, the pilot).
    • Mass Effect 2 has Jack's "If I die, I'm haunting you, Shepard." In the third game, she tells one of her biotic students "If you die on me, I will kick your ass!"
  • From Red vs. Blue:

 Sarge: If we survive this, I'm gonna kill the both of you...slowly.

  • An Engineer in Half Life Opposing Force would say "If we get outta here alive, I'm buying you all a round of beer... hell, I'll by the whole damn bar!" Of course, considering they are all the same NPC, the odds are.... poor that any of them made it out alive.
  • A particularly moving one from Metal Gear Solid after Sniper Wolf's death.

 Otacon: Snake, what was she fighting for? What am I fighting for?! What are you fighting for?!

Snake: If we make it through this, I'll tell you.

Otacon: Okay, I'll be searching too.


Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Anastasia: "If we live through this, remind me to thank you."
  • The Flash in Justice League, "I swear, when I get out of this I'm gonna find you and hurl all over you!"
  • In the Family Guy episode, "April In Quahog," Brian promises God that he'll volunteer at a soup kitchen if he survives the oncoming disaster. It turns out to be an April Fool's joke, and Brian has to make good on his vow.
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