(the) next thing (one) knows

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(the) next thing (one) knows

All of a sudden; out of nowhere; without warning. I was standing in line, minding my own business, when the next thing I know, a gunman runs into the bank and starts screaming at us to get on the ground! Tammy had only been on a few dates with Mark, but this one had been going smoothly. Next thing she knew, he got on one knee and proposed to her.
See also: know, next, thing
References in periodicals archive ?
Next thing you knew, the Rockets had gone 11 possessions with only one basket, and the Lakers had built an eight-point lead.
The next thing you knew, Parker was adoring the woman's jacket made by an unknown New York designer.
The next thing you knew, it's back on even terms again.