c-MET receptors are activated in cancers through genomic events like tyrosine kinase domain mutations, juxtamembrane splicing mutation and amplified copy numbers, which can be inhibited by c-MET small molecule inhibitors. Here, we discover that the most common polymorphism known to affect MET gene (N375S), involving the semaphorin domain, confers exquisite binding affinity for HER2 and enables METN375S to interact with HER2 in a ligand-independent fashion. The resultant METN375S/HER2 dimer transduces potent proliferative, pro-invasive and pro-metastatic cues through the HER2 signaling axis to drive aggressive squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) and lung (LUSC), and is associated with poor prognosis. Accordingly, HER2 blockers, but not c-MET inhibitors, are paradoxically effective at restraining in vivo and in vitro models expressing METN375S. These results establish METN375S as a biologically distinct and clinically actionable molecular subset of SCCs that are uniquely amenable to HER2 blocking therapies.