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Difference between Be there for me and Be there or be square

be there for mehelp me when I need it; be supportive:

  • They told us that they would be there for me and help me through the difficult time I was about to face.

be there or be squareyou better be there because everyone of importance will be there:

  • Cassidy is having a gallery opening…. There’s an intimate dinner party immediately following, so be there or be square.

Note: Neither expression correlates in meaning with the phrase you had to be there—used to say that to appreciate the situation you should have been there:

  • There was such a feeling of solidarity and unity and peacefulness, you had to be there to feel it.