(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 ?
The next thing you know that mortgage will be foreclosed on Mis' Randall, and she and the children won't have a roof over their heads.
And the next thing you know, you are lined up at the bar, pouring drinks down your throat and learning the gentlemen's names and the offices which they hope to fill.
H, by email THE next thing you know the Tories will be proposing children go down the pits again as slave labour - just as my forefathers did.
Next thing you know, Simi Valley trailed by 18 points heading into the fourth quarter.
The next thing you know, you've ingested sake and martinis and wake up with a hangover, coupled with a tattoo and an orange safety cone stuck to your car's radiator.
In an interview with NBC's Channel 10 News of Philadelphia, Pettaway elaborated: "The next thing you know, I just heard somebody in my house and I ran midpoint down the steps and I fired shots randomly.
Next thing you know, you're fighting a grease fire.
I'd be drinking my Pisco Sour, enjoying a pleasant meal, and the next thing you know I'd talked about complete bullshit for five hours straight.
Next thing you know your undie drawer is filled with garlic, and then you're slathering baby oil on her bedroom door-knob and.
The next thing you know, the Supreme Court has fobbed off the parliamentarians.
Then a Shi'ite majority would prevail and they would "go in for shariah [Islamic law], and the next thing you know, you've got a mini-Iran in there.
During the 1998 Games, "I was in the lowly rinks of Connecticut, watching it on TV, and then the next thing you know, three and a half years later--I can't even believe I'm here," Chu says.
Next thing you know, we'll see Bob Dole skateboarding in cutoffs.
Next thing you know, you and three friends have been stung.
I have tried to talk sense into these rascally adults,'' said 15-year old Zack Dude, ``but once they get something in their heads, well, the next thing you know, they're all over each other.