(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 ?
She was letting her husband know where she was so they could plan the rest of their evening," says Ferguson, "and the next thing she knows, she's being pulled over and given a ticket for what is arguably a very dangerous practice.
On the flight home, Cynthia dozes off on the plane, and the next thing she knows, she wakes up back in her hotel room in Slow Creek.
His loving mum Michelle, pictured with her son, sees him shoot off for a mountain bike ride - and the next thing she knows, her precious son is involved in a near-death X-treme experience.
He shoots her in the head at point-blank range and the next thing she knows she's in 1981.
The next thing she knows, she's shacked up with a Brad Pitt-look alike who actually loves her.
The next thing she knows, Grey awakens in an observation cell in the haunted-mansion-style prison she used to roam freely (y'know, the one with that staple of penitentiary design, an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, apparently there for the sole purpose of enabling her inevitable escape).