return the favor


Also found in: Acronyms.

return the favor

To reciprocate one's actions. You helped me last week, so I'll return the favor and do your filing. If Tiffany's the one who started that rumor about me, I'll just return the favor with a rumor about her.
See also: favor, return

return the favor

to do a good deed for someone who has done a good deed for you. You helped me last week, so I'll return the favor and help you this week. There is no point in helping Bill He'll never return the favor.
See also: favor, return
References in periodicals archive ?
Now Webb and the Mustangs' coaching staff are planning to ask the NAIA to return the favor.
The people, in fact, voted to give Davis the boot, and now the outgoing governor is happy to return the favor.
But this year Hancock (2-1) has the opportunity to return the favor.
Today, before cousins Prakash and Stephen play in the quarterfinals Friday, they will return the favor by sitting in the stands to watch their fathers play in the Men's Invitational 45-and-over section of the tournament.
Skating enthusiasts quickly began speculating French judge Marie Reine le Gougne had sided with the Russians in hopes Russia would return the favor for the French in ice dancing, where they are favored.
It would be nice to see the colleges return the favor and make a greater effort to give Independence Day the rousing, lights-streaking bombs- bursting sort of celebration it deserves.
Tenor saxophonist Brecker has supported James Taylor on a number of the singer's albums, so it was time for the Handy Man to return the favor.