return the favor

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return the favor

To reciprocate someone'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