a game that two can play

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a game that two can play

Something (often deceptive or hurtful) that both parties involved in a situation could do. The phrase typically prefaces an act of retaliation. Did she really start a rumor about me? Well, gossip is a game that two can play—I'll make sure the whole school is talking about her by tomorrow morning! Stu's been getting here early to impress the boss, so here I am, too—that's a game that two can play!
See also: can, game, play, that, two

game that two can play

Fig. a manner of competing that two competitors can use; a strategy that competing sides can both use. (Said when about to use the same ploy that an opponent has used.) The mayor shouted at the city council, "Politics is a game that two can play." "Flattery is a game that two can play," said John as he returned Mary's compliment.
See also: can, game, play, that, two