I was watching a movie the other day, and I saw this expression just like that in one of the scenes, the implied meaning was 'for no particular reason'.

The situation was something like this

Guy 1(says) : I am going to X place tomorrow.

Guy 2(asks) : Why?

Guy1 : Just like that.

Since it was some foreign movie with subtitles, so I am not sure if these expression are correct are not.

Is my interpretation of Just like that correct? or Does it have another meaning?

  • 2
    I'd say it was a bad translation & that your understanding of 'for no particular reason' is a much better translation, as are "Just to go there" or "Just because" or "Because I want to".
    – user264
    Apr 25, 2013 at 15:49
  • @Bill: It doesn't have to be a "bad translation". OP hasn't given us the movie, so we can't easily check, but it's at least possible Guy1 is a fluent native speaker. For example, it could reasonably be a "cut-down" version of "I'm just like that" (i.e. - I just make spur-of-the-moment decisions like that). Without the exact context, we're pretty much in the dark. Apr 25, 2013 at 20:37
  • @ Thor: If you can remember the actual movie title, it would probably help. But I should tell you that in my experience, there are an awful lot of really bad English subtitles out there. I wouldn't take too much notice of anything you see in a subtitle that doesn't accord with your own understanding of "valid/expected" forms. Apr 25, 2013 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


I think OP's specific context is a (very slightly) "abnormal" usage, where most native speakers would probably say "Just because" (i.e. - for no particular reason that I can articulate).

In other contexts, just like that is normally used to mean as quickly as that, or with no further deliberation. In such contexts, that references a short (or even, non-existent) antecedent discussion/preparation.

The British stand-up comic Tommy Cooper used "just like that" as a catch-phrase - usually as facetious wordplay (not like this, [just] like that!), after a bungled "sleight-of-hand" magic trick.

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    "Just like that" could also be used to indicate when something is done correctly. "Is this correct?" "Yes, [do it] just like that." Sep 3, 2015 at 21:11
  • @imkingdavid: The implication of "correct" in your example arises solely from the context (yes, this is correct). Which wouldn't apply in, say, I explained exactly why the idea wouldn't work. But you still did it just like that, you idiot!. Sep 4, 2015 at 12:05
  • @imkingdavid: I don't know for sure, but quite likely just is etymologically related to words like justice and justified (it's certainly related semantically in commonplace collocations like just and proper). So your point isn't completely without merit. And there's the colloquial usage Her Yorkshire puddings always come out just so, for example, where it always means exactly right. Sep 4, 2015 at 13:06

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