The Best (Worst) Ways to Say Goodbye

Know Your Meme

What do you do when you want to say “goodbye” to something (or someone), but don’t really want to include the good part of that sentiment? Without being outright rude, it can be tough to achieve. Unfortunately, badbye isn’t a real word yet (to learn more about how to make that happen, check this article). But, that’s not going to stop us from exploring the most surprisingly negative farewells you’ll ever hear.

1. Bye, Felicia

This internet-famous farewell comes from the 1995 film Friday. In the scene, the two main characters flippantly dismiss another character, named Felisha, whom they consider irritating and unimportant. It’s shorthand for “You’re not worth the time or energy it takes to deal with you. Just go away.” Likewise, IRL-usage (“in real life”) of this phrase tends to carry the implication that whomever you’re saying it to is someone you consider irritating and unimportant as well. And, as it became more popular, it also became more white-washed and the spelling changed from “Felisha” to “Felicia.” Either way it’s spelled, the very act of using the name Felicia in place of the person’s actual name shows you don’t even have the time to address them correctly. Burn.

2. Adieu

While it may sound pretty benign, adieu literally translates as “to god.” This means it has a sense of finality, like “I won’t see you again until after we’re both dead. Goodbye forever.” Not so charmingly continental now, is it? So, if you want a subtle, under-the-radar way of saying “I’d rather not see you again until I’m dead in the grave” consider adieu.

3. I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me

This is the “It’s not you, it’s me,” of farewells. A little more sad than some of the others, this one does have a more sincere sense about it though. Or at least, it can sound more sincere (unless it’s written on a sticky note). At best, this is a genuine expression of remorse (e.g., “I’m so sorry to miss lunch with you. I have to visit my grandma that day”). At worst, it’s feigned sincerity: a way of gently letting someone down (“I’m so sorry to miss lunch with you. I just don’t want to go”). How do you know which side of the coin you’re on? Vocal and facial cues are your friend in this case. So is past behavior.

4. Don’t call us, we’ll call you

If you hear this at the end of an interview, your chances are . . . not great. The key phrase here is don’t call. It’s a sneaky way of saying “We don’t want to hear from you, or have contact with you again.” Ouch. Sometimes, it’s even more vague than that. We’ll be in touch is a variant of this that sounds super promising, but really means nothing. Maybe they will be in touch. Maybe they actually will call you back (or email since it’s no longer the 1970s). Then again, maybe not. Of course, it’s not always a job-interview situation. Bad date you want to let down gently? I’ll text you . . . (don’t text me).

5. You should leave

This sounds like a request, but it’s not. It could also sound like a suggestion, but it’s definitely not. You should leave is a polite way of saying “You need to leave right now.” The person saying this doesn’t want to see you for one more second. They might say it in a sweet voice or a sharp one. Either way, they want you to go away. There’s no nuance to this, so it’s no use trying to find a loophole to slip through. If someone’s telling you to leave . . . you done f’d up. So, it’s best to just walk away.

6. You haven’t seen the last of me

Ominous, right? This classic cartoon-villain outro rarely leaves people with a good feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Here’s a tip: If you can imagine Snidely Whiplash, the Joker, or your reality TV baddie-of-choice saying this, it probably doesn’t have the most positive connotations. Of course, sometimes you’ll hear this one ironically. Like when your work bestie is leaving the company. They might say, “Don’t worry, I’ll still be in the area. You haven’t seen the last of me.” In this case, they probably mean you’ll still be able to meet up for lunch. Not “I’m going to get my revenge on you!”

7. F*%k this . . . I’m out

This one is as angry as it sounds. In contrast with you should leave (which indicates you’re being kicked out), this is something someone says when they decide to leave. It’s a burst of frustration, and a way of saying they’ve had enough. Do you need the expletive? It’s not totally necessary, to be honest, but it does drive the point home. Like a verbal exclamation point, one could say. If you are super opposed to swearing, that’s cool. Screw this is a decent substitute. And, if you really want to offend (or give ’em a glimpse into your true feelings), you can use this classic version from the movie Half Baked: “F*%k you, f*%k you, f*%k you, you’re cool, f*%k you, I’m out.”

8. Last call

Last call is what they say at bars when they want you to order your last drink, settle up your tab, and go home. It’s the end of the night, and the bar is about to close. So, in terms of farewells, this one is more of a slow, gradual badbye. For the people working at the bar, last call might sound heavenly. If you’re out having a good time with your friends though, hearing these words means the party’s over.

9. Hate to cut this short, but . . .

Nine times out of ten, this one is code for “I really need to end this conversation right now.” Maybe, you’ve been rambling on about football stats for just a little too long? It’s sort of along the same lines as “Oh no, I couldn’t eat another bite,” or “I really shouldn’t watch another episode.” You can easily imagine them adding a silent “but I will.”

10. Show’s over

Cue early 2000s Rihanna with this one. We all know what happens when a show or movie ends. The audience hangs out in their seats, watching and expecting more, right? Wrong. When a show is over, that means it’s time to go home. And, when someone metaphorically says show’s over, that means it’s time to go away. At the very least, it means it’s time to stop watching whatever it is that is going on.

(Read this part in your best Ferris Bueller voice.) There’s no more. It’s over. Go home.

Want to learn some other good excuses to leave bad conversations. Check out our recommendations here. 

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