(the) next thing (one) knows

(redirected from the next thing he knew)
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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 periodicals archive ?
He says he didn't see her coming and the next thing he knew, he was on his side, saying, "I was in so much pain.
The next thing he knew, he was under water before surfacing in a sea of burning fuel and floating corpses.
Eichner said the next thing he knew, an elderly man was in his face shouting: ``You saw my space, and you're going to pay for it dearly.
The next thing he knew, his truck was commandeered and the 300-pound Campbell was in fear for his life, he said.
The next thing he knew, Castro said, he was awakened by his mother screaming about a fire.