catch (someone) by surprise

(redirected from caught them by surprise)

catch (someone) by surprise

To startle, amaze, or come upon (someone) unawares. That car coming around the corner caught me by surprise. She was caught completely by surprise with the amount of donations she received. Don't let hidden bank fees catch you by surprise.
See also: catch, surprise
References in periodicals archive ?
They had been out a little while and I think we caught them out a little bit and caught them by surprise.
We went up there in October and caught them by surprise, but we'll have their full attention now.
They have not been able to do that this summer however, as a more vibrant England side has caught them by surprise.
It caught them by surprise,'' said David Yacobi, owner of a frame shop next to the Van Nuys location.
Cantor may ahve been hardest hit, having been shortest about shirts and spokesman Ian McAleavy explained that the absence of Juan Veron caught them by surprise.
Some tourists and children told French television they had been very frightened as the fire caught them by surprise and engulfed some small huts near the beach.