(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 ?
The next thing we know, crooked Miami businessman Carl Ridley (Bill Paxton) is dragging his resentful teenage daughter Pippa (Agnes Bruckner) down to Grand Cayman one step ahead of the feds.
The next thing we know, she and Coles are kind of a couple, although bad-girl Thea hangs around representing temptation to them both.
This effort, set in a night-shrouded auto graveyard, does not go well, and the next thing we know Cyrus' fantastic, see-through museum of a mansion has been inherited by his unsuspecting nephew Arthur (Shalhoub).