(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

the ˈnext thing (I knew)...

(informal) used when somebody tells a story and wants to say that something happened suddenly or unexpectedly: I was just walking down the road and the next thing I knew someone was pointing a gun at my face.
See also: next
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 testified, she was on the floor, having been hit with a punch to the left side of her head and eye.
The next thing she knew, there was a crash as another car - not the one she had seen waiting - turned across her path.
The next thing she knew, she was fighting to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace in the fastpaced, pressure-cooker environment of the MasterChef 2017 kitchen.
Next thing she knew, she's on top of a building with a man beside her, bleeding profusely.
The next thing she knew, the kindhearted star had sent Connor lots of Wrestlemania goodies including sweatbands, a t-shirt, baseball cap, DVDs and even a Wrestlemania chair.
The next thing she knew, Hirsch and her team were organizing a November fundraiser from scratch in the 1,400-seat Town Hall.
She was calling the police when the next thing she knew, he was getting onto her balcony and making for an open door.
Life changing The next thing she knew, she was blinking her eyes open to find herself in bed, in a white room, feeling fuzzy-headed and numb all over.
Mr Smith said: "She said the next thing she knew, Imray ran upstairs and said Lee had stopped breathing and was dead.
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.