(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 classic literature ?
He tormented yet amused her; was kind one day, and a bear the next; at times she fancied he was never going to be bad again, and the next thing she knew he was deep in mischief, and hooted at the idea of repentance and reformation.
The next thing she knew she was hovering just below the ceiling looking down at her own body.
She said the next thing she knew was the police coming to the house and asking questions about Mr Banton and the car.
She said the next thing she knew was seeing Poppy lying in the road and screamed for help.
But the next thing she knew, he was rubbing her inner thigh, and she could tell he wasn't going to stop there.
But the next thing she knew, he was at her side grabbing her phone from her hand.
Marsh, who was 20 at the time of the incident, claimed that both of them were just kissing at one point and the next thing she knew was that the guy had ripped her trousers and knickers off.
The next thing she knew was coming to in her bed with him lying next to her apologising.
Last night the girl, who asked not to be named, said she had no idea she was about to be attacked and the next thing she knew she was waking up in an ambulance.
The next thing she knew, she was attending seminars on perennials and reading through seed catalogs.
The next thing she knew Lisa was at a formal audition for Holiday on Ice and was offered a place.
But the next thing she knew was that she would not attend the event.
She didn't intend to hurt him with it - only scare him to stop him biting her thumb - and the next thing she knew, he was stumbling and her mother Carla, a trained nurse, was walking into the room and trying to save his life.
The next thing she knew, Cosmo had invited her to dance with Strictly's Ian Waite for a photoshoot and story in the February edition of the magazine.