(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 ?
They basically said they bought their house on a quiet street across the street from a cemetery that barely makes any noise, and next thing they know they have these buses that are driving by every 15 minutes or so,'' said City Councilman Bob Yousefian.
Same-sex weddings are expected to flourish in Hawaii, where apparently gay people will go on vacation, get whacked out on Maui Wowee, put on grass skirts, and next thing they know, they wake up married.