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

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

Examples of Was Just Leaving include:

Live Action TV

  • Alias - Authorized Personnel Only: Part 2
  • Heroes - Daphne is the victim, Matt is the harasser and Daphne's dad is the eavesdropper.
  • German series Liebling Kreuzberg had the protagonist (a somewhat unconventional lawyer) do this.

 Secretary: "Is there a problem?"

Liebling: "No, <troublemaker> just wanted to leave. Didn't you hear? You just wanted to leave!"


  • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The Family That Preys
  • Subverted in Animal House, when a coed says, "He was just leaving," Boone replies, "No I'm not."
  • Susan Calvin of I, Robot does the "He was just leaving" version.

Visual Novels

  • Happens late in Emi's route of Katawa Shoujo, during a visit to her home, if you choose to talk to her mother.

 Meiko: Emi, Hisao was just-

'Emi: On his way out of the house? Yeah, I know.

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