Ted: I just gotta bump into her somewhere. Now if only I knew her schedule, I could arrange a chance encounter.
Meet Cute is a subtrope of Boy Meets Girl, a way to quickly introduce two characters and set up their burgeoning relationship. A meet-cute is almost always rife with awkwardness, embarrassment, and sometimes outright hostility. It's often used in films, particularly the Romantic Comedy, due to time constraints; while on television a relationship can develop more naturally over many episodes, a movie has to get their couple set up right away to fit within 2 hours.
This meeting can happen by way of any of an innumerable array of circumstances, so long as there's something cutesy about it. Possibly they have an instant dislike for one another. Maybe they crash into each other in a hallway and papers fly about. Maybe one of them has been shopping for ISO Standard Urban Groceries and trips over the other walking down the street. Perhaps mistaken identity or other wacky misunderstanding is involved. Sometimes someone is naked or in an otherwise embarrassing situation.
Anime and Manga
- Used within the first 5 pages of Rosario + Vampire. Moka crashes into Tsukune with a bicycle, and the fun begins.
- Played with in Tenchi Muyo!: Under the misguided impression that Shojo manga are actually a realistic guide to teenaged relationships on Earth (an impression fostered by a mischievous Sasami), both Ayeka and Ryoko engineer classic Crash Into Hello meetings with Tenchi—months after they first met him.
- Kaoru and Aoi Meet Cute at the start of Ai Yori Aoshi. They bump into each other at the station, he fixes her shoe, walks her to her destination (taking a round trip on the train because he didn't want to wake her up) and then they discover they are childhood friends... Aww.
- Yuuichi meets every available girl in Kanon in an odd manner.
- Shuichi and Yuki in Gravitation meet cute twice: the first time, Shuichi's lyrics blow away in the park into the hands of Yuki who insults them, much to Shuichi's shock; the second happens a few days later when Shuichi jumps in front of Yuki's car in the rain and Yuki, after deprecating him again, drives him to his home to dry him off.
- Lampshaded in Lucky Star: two random characters of no importance whatsoever accidentally tangle their bag keychains, and Konata (witnessing this) notes that they are now on the way to being a couple, while Kagami snaps that real life does not work that way.
- In Eden of the East, Akira Takizawa and Saki Morimi meet in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., with the former carrying a cell phone, a gun...and completely naked.
- In Basilisk, during their first meeting, a hiccup causes Oboro to stumble and spill a tray of tea she was serving all over Gennosuke.
- Subverted and lampshaded in Hunter X Hunter during the Greed Island arc with "Love-Love, The City of Romance" which is "famous for its easy meetings": various Moe Moe-looking characters crash into the main characters, lose their glasses, and generally need rescuing, but the main characters ignore them because they've got a mission to complete.
- Most of Love Hina is filled with this trope... Keitaro and Naru get it most often, particularly in the episode where they both decide, separately, that they need to go on vacation, bump into each other, both break their glasses, and have to spend the day together, doing romantic stuff, only to find out when they've regained their glasses who they are, and spend the rest of their trip escorting an anemic girl back to her home island.
- Makoto in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, after several failed matchmaking attempts, uses her time-leaping ability to forcibly arrange a Meet Cute for Kousuke and Kaho by putting them in just the right positions for Kousuke to get involuntarily tackled into Kaho by another student. This ultimately leads to Kousuke and Kaho dying in a train accident, and Makoto later undoes her meddling in favor of a much simpler approach.
- In Code Geass, how Euphemia and Suzaku first met. With her jumping out of a window several stories above ground and landing in his arms. Then again, everything about Euphemia tends to be played as being Moe Moe. Well, almost everything.
- In Kare Kano, Yukino's parents were childhood friends who bumped into each other on her mother's first day in middle school.
- The way Sena and Suzuna meet in Eyeshield 21...so...very...MeetCute...(mixed with some Crash Into Hello.) Seriously, the artist should have put a big fat "Love Interest" label on her forehead. The sad part is that being a shounen sports manga, nothing was ever done with them. Not even in the Distant Finale.
- Double Arts reveals in a side comic that Kiri's parents met this way. When a super-tall boy and a super-tiny girl trying to enroll in a seamstressing school misestimate the "normal" sizes of their trial garments...
- Subverted hard in Darker than Black. Li ends up saving Chiaki several times just by being in the right place at the right time, including once with a Fake-Out Make-Out, and eventually promises to help her escape the country. However, "Li" is just the civilian alias of Hei, a.k.a. "The Black Angel of Death". He was stringing her along purposefully in order to learn what she knew. And on top of that, it wasn't even the real Chiaki- it was a Doll programmed with her personality as a decoy to draw him out.
- In Saiunkoku Monogatari, Shuurei and Ryuuki meet when she tries to get some cherry blossom petals to float in her tea, but can't reach any. Ryuuki stops to help her out, but a strong wind make him accidentally break the whole branch off. They end up having tea and Shuurei's home made sweet bean buns together. Of course, Shuurei was in the garden in the first place specifically to meet Ryuuki, making the encounter semi-planned, but the "cute" of the Meet Cute happened purely by accident.
- In Sailor Moon, Usagi and Mamoru meet when she accidentally hits him with a failing test she'd tossed over her shoulder. This repeated several times in the anime with her hitting him in the head with flung shoes, maintaining the Slap Slap Kiss dynamic they had for much of the first series. They even met again at the finale of the first series, after everyone has lost their memories, and yet she meets him again as the same stock footage of the test paper incident plays from the first episode - making this a reMeet Cute.
- Rei tries to invoke this trope when she develops a crush on Mamoru, by attempting to run into his arms and blush accordingly. It totally doesn't work—he steps on her when she falls. Rei, ever the trooper, goes with it anyway.
- ChibiUsa finds a little boy's keychain when he drops it. Cue bishie sparkle when she sees him and he seems wonderful... until he starts doing a lewd routine from Shin-chan, which his keychain depicts. ChibiUsa is not amused.
- Ouran High School Host Club has an interesting Meet Cute. Haruhi stumbles into the Host Club while looking for a quiet place to study and is mistaken for a boy. When Tamaki finally finds out Haruhi is really a girl he's left speechless and blushing. We even get two different versions: the anime has Haruhi walking out in Ouran's female uniform and Tamaki finally realizes Haruhi's a girl; the manga has Tamaki pick up Haruhi's school ID, and from that learn she's a girl. While Meet Cute tends to force a coupling, Haruhi's initially disinterested in all six boys in her Unwanted Harem and relationships in the manga seem develop pretty naturally.
- Hellsing, of all things have two examples (both fit the Boy Meets Ghoul trope too). First one, manga only, when Alucard and Integra meet which includes an oddly endearing and awkward scene of Integra asking his permission to sit next to him (when he was a corpse) and curls beside him, wishing he were a Knight in Shining Armor that would save her. And, in both OVA and manga, how Pip Bernadotte and Seras Victoria meet, establishing a Slap Slap Kiss dynamic since Pip's taunting and Seras' finger flicking him across the room.
- Although it's not even hinted at (I don't think) in the main continuity, Kyon of Suzumiya Haruhi has two encounters that fit this bill with Nagato during the movie.
- The first is when he helps her get a library card, told in flashback, since he doesn't remember the event. Nor did she find out his name.
- The second is when he enters the former club room to find only Nagato sitting there and finally introducing himself to her.
- The Official Couple of Eureka Seven meet when she crashes her Humongous Mecha into his house. She then sets the remains on fire.
- Becomes a driving plot point in Arashi no Yoru ni, as a wolf and a goat meet in a pitch-black barn one night and become friends, each oblivious to the other's species. This is the setup for their forbidden friendship.
- In X 1999, Yuzuriha meets Kusanagi when he kneels down to pet her spirit dog Inuki, posing himself as the first person, other than her, able to see and touch Inuki. She almost immediately falls into him, in slow motion, and embraces him, Tears of Joy in her eyes, both of them surrounded by hovering white feathers. After excusing herself, she runs away to meet with her comrades, leaving an utterly confused Kusanagi behind her. What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic
- THE iDOLM@STER - 14 of them in the first episode, each with their own little quirk.
- Daily Lives of High School Boys usually lampshades this trope as it appears, under the supertrope of Boy Meets Girl.
- In general, this trope is invoked by the (Literature) girl, and recognized by this name by the boy (Hidenori).
- In High School Boy and Drop-kicks, Emi wondered if the sudden closeness between Hidenori and Kiyohiko was "Boy Meets Boy".
- How did Empowered meet her boyfriend Thugboy? She was a captured superheroine, he was the minion tying her up. Sparks flew. They don't like to talk about how they met.
- The House of Mystery story "Romantic Comedy (With Corpses)": Girl meets boy, boy asks girl out, boy turns out to be a vampire wanting to feed, girl turns out to be another vampire who was actually looking for a date, they decide to go on one after all. The girl vampire, who is firmly convinced she's in a romantic comedy, even calls it a Meet Cute.
- In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, flagship couple Milanor and Nessiah first met up having to wash dishes together as a punishment for falling asleep during the school's opening ceremony. They got into an argument, after which Nessiah wound up hospitalized due to using too much magic, and the two of them became friends there. They didn't actually become a couple until a bit later on, though.
- Meria and Seth first met while the latter was on the run from some teachers after destroying one too many precious objects. Their relationship didn't last too long, unfortunately.
- Not exactly a direct meeting, but the first meeting of Adam Squall and Violet Parr in Rise of the Galeforces turns out to be fairly awkward, especially because Adam had just turned back into a human. It's implied that the two of them hooked up shortly afterward, though, although whether they formed a genuine romantic relationship remains to be seen.
- This trope was already old and dusty when it was used in Singin in The Rain. Early in the film, Gene Kelly's character is running from a crowd of fans. He's jumping from the roofs of cars, taxis, trolleys, etc. until he goes flying and lands in the seat of a roofless car. The driver, played by Debbie Reynolds, accuses Kelly's character of being a no-talent hack, and they yell at each other before he leaves. Needless to say, they end up romantically involved. This makes it Older Than Television.
- The trope's prevalence in Old Hollywood made it a requirement for inclusion in The Artist. Peppy drops her autograph book, ducks under a cop's arm to retrieve it and stumbles right into George, touching off both their relationship and her career at the same time.
- Subverted in Gone with the Wind. Scarlett and Rhett Meet Cute several times over the course of the Civil War, eventually marry... and have a horrible marriage, because people whose only contact is bumping into each other during a war probably don't have much in common.
- Kal Ho Naa Ho must take this to the extreme. Aman yells at the Kapoors for their awful singing, and their arguing gets Naina's attention. When he sees her, he begins singing (beautifully) what develops into a Bollywood/Hip-hop/Gospel remix of Pretty Woman, in front of a giant American flag, with the entire street playing background music and joining in the dance. Of course, he doesn't get her.
- Played with in the movie Made In Heaven, the couple meets, falls in love and gets married in heaven. However, Annie is sent down to earth. Mike goes down to find her, and must Meet Cute by the time he is 30. So, basically, Meet Cute drives the main plot of the entire film.
- A Double Subversion occurs in True Romance. Clarence and Alabama meet cute in classic style, complete with spilled popcorn, bonding over Sonny Chiba movies, and romance in a comic-book store. Then it turns out that she's a call girl who was hired specifically to meet cute with him. However, they do eventually fall in love with each other for real.
- The The Truman Show, being a TV show in which the main character was unaware of his reality, played with numerous tropes like this. Truman's hand-picked cheerleader love interest in his high school years, the woman who eventually would be his wife, was set up to meet him in an artificial Meet Cute; she tripped and fell right in front of him. It didn't work, and an incidental background extra who happened to be nearby at the time was the one he truly fell in love with, and after she was forcibly removed from his made-up world, he nursed a secret, almost obsessive love for her for his whole life.
- In Can't Hardly Wait, the main character finds all the signs of his one true love in his freshman year, up to eating the same flavor of Pop Tart... only to get interrupted by the jock, so they never actually meet. Of course they get together at the end of the movie, though.
- If Will and Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean don't count, nobody does. Especially since that was a Rescue Romance both ways. But even though they met as small children because he was fished from the sea after a pirate attack, it's implied that went through the normal steps of being childhood friends before the romance started. Interestingly, the romance starts to evolve into a love triangle(/quadrangle) when Jack then rescues Elizabeth from drowning. Not that there's ever any real doubt about who ultimately ends up with whom.
- In Disney's animated One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Pongo (the male dalmatian) intentionally arranges a Meet Cute for his owner and Perdita's owner by tangling his leash in their owners' legs and pulling them into a pond.
- This is a staple in many of the classic screwball comedies:
- It Happened One Night - Clark Gable, playing a penniless, cynical reporter, and Claudette Colbert, playing a spoiled runaway heiress, meet on a bus. They argue over who should get the last seat, and Claudette Colbert ends up falling asleep on his shoulder overnight.
- "Bluebeards Eighth Wife" - Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert meet at the men's pajamas counter of a department store. Colbert likes to sleep in a man's pajama top but doesn't wear the bottoms, so she wants to buy only a top. Cooper sleeps in pajama bottoms and doesn't want to buy a top. Since the store sells pajamas only as top and bottom sets, it's inevitable that she and he will choose a pair they both like. This movie was directed by European-born Hollywood director Ernst Lubitsch, who inadvertently invented the term "meet cute" because he had difficulty speaking English.
- Bringing Up Baby - Cary Grant's dorky paleontologist runs into Katharine Hepburn's madcap heiress on the golf course; she mistakes his ball for her own, and he follows her around trying to convince her that it's his ball, not hers. She then drives off in his car, with him teetering on the running board.
- The Lady Eve - Barbara Stanwyck plays a femme fatale out to snag rich men so she and her father can cheat them at cards; Henry Fonda plays a naive but wealthy heir to a brewery. Wanting to make lots of money off him, she deliberately sticks out her foot and trips him, then berates him for breaking the heel off her shoe. He accompanies her to her cabin, where he puts a new pair of shoes on her feet himself as she aggressively flirts with him.
- Mr. Deeds Goes to Town - Gary Cooper plays a naive country boy who suddenly becomes a millionaire. Once he moves to the big city, the cynical reporter played by Jean Arthur wants to meet him so she can do a big story on him—so she pretends to faint outside his mansion, and he gallantly comes to her aid.
- In a scene from the upcoming movie My Best Friend's Girl, Dane Cook's character actually talks about this trope and calls it Meet Cute, saying it's common in Rom Coms because all girls want that funny, witty guy, charming, dorky guy. He then goes on to invoke this trope by running with her on the track and falling over her then being struck by her beauty when she tries to help him up.
- In The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy Trillian and Arthur meet at a costume party where Arthur is dressed as Livingstone and Trillian as Darwin. Amusingly in the commentary Bill Nighy tries to reference this trope but calls it a 'sweet meet'. He is promptly mocked.
- The film whose review gave us the quote at the top of the page, Serendipity, consists of a couple meeting cute for the entire first half of the movie, before trying to Screw Destiny for no particular reason by testing how badly fate wants them to be together (The answer: Fate wants them to get together REALLY badly).
- The Holiday explicitly spells this out via an elderly screenwriter who's probably been in Hollywood long enough to name most of the tropes found in the film. One of the female leads has a meet cute with him that leads only to friendship, but she has another with Jack Black that leads to romance. It's surprisingly effective.
- Played with in Back to The Future. In the beginning, Lorraine reveals that she met George this way and they don't have a particularly good marriage. When Marty goes back in time, he meets her the same way and she falls for him instead. So basically Lorraine would have fallen for whoever her dad's car hit that day. Doc Brown explains this onscreen with the same implications. Ew. Of course, once Marty gets involved, he turns it from Meet Cute into a Rescue Romance and things turn out to go surprisingly well from then on.
- In Goodbye Lenin! Alex meets Lara when she saves him from choking at a press freedom rally.
- Brutally subverted in the movie Red Eye. Lisa meets this charming guy at the ticket counter, they have a drink and flirt at the airport bar, and end up sitting next to each other on the plane. Too bad he's a Psycho for Hire who may or may not be a Stalker with a Crush. She probably should have guessed as much when she found out his name was Jackson Rippner.
- Played with in 50 First Dates, where a woman and a guy meet in standard fashion, in a bar. Except she got a brain injury that kept her from converting her daily short-term memory to long term. The rest of the movie is him making her fall in love with him. Every. Single. Day. They even marry and have kids.
- Rakesh and Vimmi in Bunty Aur Babli meet in a train station after they both fail to get the jobs they really wanted. Vimmi lies to Rakesh, saying she's going to be a model. Rakesh congratulates her and then she starts bawling (in a really loud and annoying way.) they then decide to become thieves and along the way fall in love.
- Lampshaded (and subverted, given what follows) in Disney's Enchanted after Giselle falls into her Prince's arms.
"And in years to come we'll reminisce / How we came to love..."
- In Mississippi Masala, Demetrius and Mina first meet when she accidentally hits him with her car.
- Even though they didn't end up together, Bud and Doyle meeting those two hot scientists in Bio-Dome is a definite Meet Cute.
- Non-romantic example in Star Trek. Kirk and Spock's first meeting involves Spock getting Kirk court-martialed for cheating on the Kobayashi Maru test. The writers have actually stated that the heart of the film is them falling in love with each other - but in a platonic sense.
- In the Russian film You Never Dreamed, Roma and Katya Meet Cute many times over.
- The events of The Adjustment Bureau are kicked off with a meet cute, when David Harris is in the men's room nervously preparing his "defeat speech" after losing the senate vote - and dancer Elise pops out of a stall, having hidden there to avoid security. This meeting was pre-approved by the eponymous bureau. Their next meeting, however, was not.
- In Closer one of the couples (if you can call them that) meets when Larry chats to Dan in an online sex chat room. Dan is pretending to be Anna, and sends Larry to where she's likely to be. He meets her there, and despite some initial confusion she very quickly figures out that Dan must have been pretending to be her. She and Larry then hit it off really well.
- In Tangled, Rapunzel knocks Flynn out with a frying pan when he intrudes into her tower.
- Cited in the commentary of the Dirty Harry movie Sudden Impact when Harry and Sondra Locke's character Jennifer Spencer meet for the first time
- Hardball had Keanu Reeves' character Conor meet his eventual love interest after she unintentionally smacked him with a door.
- Judy Garland and Van Johnson in In The Good Old Summertime. They bump into each other when Van is on his way to work and Judy is on her way to look for a job. He knocks her hat off, accidentally puts a bird on her head, and then her skirt gets caught in his bike wheel as he drives off leaving her in her bloomies. Judy then gets a job at the same store as Van. You've Got Mail does Meet Cute as well, just updates it to 1998.
- In Scrooged, Frank Cross meets the love of his life when she walks out of a store and whacks him "right between the eyes" with the door. She nicknames him "Lumpy" after the incident.
Young Frank: Do you shop here often? Because if you do, I can walk on the other side of the street.
- Used in The Book Thief with Liesel and Rudy, complete with lampshade.
- Brutally subverted in American Gods. Mister Town meets Laura by the side of the road and offers her a lift. Within the span of less than an hour, they make playful banter and run through the rain with newspapers held over their heads, laughing. The character is convinced that he's found true love for the first time in his life. Then Laura kills him just like she killed his friends. Of course, if you've read the novel faithfully up to that point, you already know that Laura is Shadow's undead wife who's willing to murder others to help him, so you know from the start that it isn't going to end well for the hapless guy.
- In the Newbery Award-winning children's book Ginger Pye, the children's father (Mr. Pye) met their mother (the soon-to-be Mrs. Pye) when, for kicks and giggles, he decided to run "up" the "down" escalator in what he thought was an abandoned subway station. Naturally, he ended up running down their mother-to-be, who was riding "down" it. Romance ensued.
- The Wheel of Time has several. Rand meets Elayne after climbing the wall of her palace garden to use as a vantage point and falling down the wrong side of it, Mat meets Tuon (properly) when he encounters her while trying to escape a city occupied by her troops, Bayle Domon meets Egeanin when she boarded his ship to inspect his cargo, etc.
- Jack and Ellen's first meeting in The Warrior Heir is relatively normal, but their introduction to the other's secret identities comes when they are thrown into a ring and forced into a duel to the death to determine which of the two wizard houses would gain supremacy for the next few decades. Ellen ends up saving his life in the duel instead of killing him, due to developing a crush on him during their normal time together. Seph and Madison in the next book meet when Seph tries to use magic to get information out of Madison and she drains his energy through the spell.
- Lampshaded and referenced in Gravity's Rainbow:
It was what Hollywood likes to call a "cute meet," out in the neat 18th-century heart of downtown Tunbridge Wells, Roger motoring in the vintage Jaguar up to London, Jessica at the roadside struggling prettily with a busted bicycle, murky wool ATS skirt hiked up on a handle bar...
- A dwarf boy and his athletic older brother run into a girl pursued by bandits. The older brother fights off the thugs and the younger brother comforts the girl. Boy and girl like each other and get married. This is how Tysha and Tyrion Lannister (with the brother being Jaime) meet in A Song of Ice and Fire... And then It Got Worse.
- In the novel Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson, the protagonist refers to this trope by name when describing his initial encounters with various women.
- Lampshaded in "Identical Twins Aren't the Same in Bed (and other observations): A Novel" where the narrator meets friend he ends up falling for when she persistently IMs him out of the blue with different screen names. He's never met her, except possibly in passing, and he has no idea who the names belong to. Justified in that the author met a female friend (albiet, one ne never dated) that way, and the book is assembled from fictionalized versions of real events. Subverted in that he met her that way years before the events of the novel, they never got together in that time (in fact, he was sort-of seeing someone for part of it) and the plot of the book is partially about him trying to tell her his feelings and that the book ends intentionally ambiguously with regards to whether they ever get together.
- Annie on My Mind has a very peaceful meeting... but the two girls meet when one of them is singing folk songs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Medieval Wing, as I recall). They then proceed to act out swordfighting in the Arms and Armor hall. It's a Meet (Very) Cute.
- In The Phantom of the Opera Christine and Raoul meet as children when he rushes into the sea to save her scarf, which makes this trope Older Than Radio.
- In Frederik Pohl's Day Million, Don and Dora are explicitly said to have "met cute".
- Raptor Red has a series of these with a male raptor, where a series of unusual circumstances prevent him from carrying out the normal courtship ritual. When they first meet, for example, they happen to be hunting the same dinosaur. Awkward!
- In The Crocodile on the Sandbank, Amelia Peabody and Emerson first meet in a museum, where they promptly have a blazing row over antiquities. By the end of the book they're happily married and expecting their first child.
- Verence and Magrat's first meeting in Wyrd Sisters probably counts, at least on the embarassment front; she's soaking wet after spending the morning gathering herbs and he's, well, The Jester in full uniform, which is embarassing enough for anyone. And when he realises he's disturbed a witch, he runs away.
- When Ginger and Victor meet in Moving Pictures, she's dressed as Shirley Temple. She then starts criticising the co-star she hasn't met yet, which is him. Possibly Holy Wood magic insisted on the movie trope.
- An amusing Subversion in Mary Stewart's This Rough Magic: Lucy Waring's cute meeting isn't with the guy who later becomes her love interest — that was a harsh, "You're trespassing. Get off our land." — it's with his father, a famous actor who addresses her by quoting (with a few editorial comments) Ferdinand's first meeting with Miranda in The Tempest ... and Lucy, an actress herself, responds with Miranda's words.
Sir Julian Gale: "...my prime request, which I do last pronounce" (and which you may in fact find presumptuous) "is — O you wonder! — if you be maid or no?"
Live Action TV
- Invoked by name by Kelly in the season 7 episode of the US version of The Office, "Training Day", when she sets up meeting Michael's replacement, played by Will Ferrell, by bumping into him and dropping papers, complete with Meganekko glasses.
- Audrey Parker on Haven actually has two meet cutes-Nathan saves her when her car is about to fall over a cliff and later Duke rescues her from drowning after being knocked into the water after being hit by lightning,then washes her clothes and makes her coffee.
- Even during the aftermath of a deadly plane crash, Jack and Kate on Lost managed to meet cute; she sewed up his stitches while they bantered about drapes and spinal surgery.
- Jack met his wife, Sarah, when he operated on her following a near-fatal car accident. He promised her that she would be able to dance at her wedding, despite the prospect of paralysis; when her fiancé left her and she miraculously recovered, Jack married her. However, his devotion to his work ended up destroying their marriage.
- Though technically they already knew each other, Ross and Rachel met cute in the first episode of Friends. Later in the series, Phoebe and Mike met cute.
- Riley and Buffy meeting in "The Freshman."
- "So, in all the concussion, I didn't get a chance to introduce myself..."
- This has most of the elements, including the fact that Riley was brought in especially as a love interest for Buffy and that most fans didn't care for him.
- They actually get to meet cute again (when they discover each other's secret identities) in Hush.
- The relationship still manages to evolve organically, it just begins with embarrassment and head trauma.
- Dean and Jo in Supernatural: they first met when she was holding a gun on him and after he disarmed her she punched him in the nose. In the minority as after the creators realized that the new character didn't work as intended (coming off more Annoying Younger Sibling than potential love interest) and that roughly 98% of the fans hated the pairing with a passion, the whole idea was called off and never progressed past her having a slight crush. The casting sides for Jo actually included the words "sparks are flying" in the notes though. Yikes.
- Which makes it kind of amusing to note that sparks are literally flying when male angel Castiel first meets Dean...as a result of Castiel's as-yet not-too-controlled energy short-circuiting all the lights in that barn.
- Although there were no plans for the two to get together at the time, Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran had an interesting first meeting in Stargate SG-1. In an attempt to hi-jack the Prometheus, Vala disguises herself as a Kull Warrior, which are normally disgusting artificially grown humans encased in armour. After tying Daniel up to a chair and asked why she chose him, she tells him that she finds him very attractive. Keep in mind at this point, she is still disguised and her voice has been digitally altered to sound deep and masculine.
- "You're not really my type... And I'm more than a little disturbed to think I might be yours.
- How about Lois and Clark on Smallville? He's amnesiac and naked in a field. She even teases him about it later.
- In the commentary for the pilot episode, the producers compare Clark and Lex's first meeting to this. Lex loses control of his car, hitting Clark and plummeting off a bridge into a river. Clark dives in and saves him by ripping the car's roof open. The producers refer to it as a "meet violent."
- Subverted on Gossip Girl, where Dan meets cute a girl early in the second season, by bumping into her, books falling, and you know the drill. So definitely a love interest, except that by the end of the episode they show you that the girl was hired by Chuck and he pretty much orchestrated everything from the get-go.
- Also subverted on Gilmore Girls when Rory meets Marty, naked in her hallway. He falls for her but she chooses Logan
- Samantha and Darrin got together on Bewitched after bumping into each other everywhere.
- Named by Charlie in Two and A Half Men when he flirts with a nurse who is prepping him for a vasectomy.
- And a second time when he is flirting with a doctor checking out his back pain. He tells her not to ruin the 'meet cute thing' they've got going on.
- Coupling: Steve meets Susan in a ladies bathroom, in the middle of having sex with his ex.
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk makes a friend", Monk meets the friend by bumping into him in front of a supermarket. Their groceries fall down and get mixed up. Then they go on to have a relationship that's oddly similar to a romance.
- Farscape was somehow able to pull it off perfectly via Love At First Punch (Pentak Jab?)- right at the start. John Crichton, meet your dream girl. She's not happy to see you.
Aeryn Sun: "Name your rank and regiment!"
- In the Doctor Who episode "Blink", Sally Sparrow drops in on her friend Kathy Nightingale and runs into her brother Larry. Who is naked.
- The entire run of How I Met Your Mother seems to be a setup for a huge Meet Cute.
- Done in Hannah Montana where, during a time-travel/AllJustADream episode, Miley and Jackson try to intentionally recreate the meet cute of their parents to make sure they're actually born.
- Done on Wizards of Waverly Place the movie (noticing a Disney theme here?) after Alex's wish rewrites reality so that their parents don't meet Max spends much of the movie trying to engineer a meet cute. He fails rather miserably.
- In Zoey 101 Chase and Zoey meet when Chase crashes his bike into the school's flagpole.
- Clare and Eli first meet in Degrassi when Clare's glasses get run over by Eli's hearse.
- Eun Chan and Han Kyul first meet in The First Shop of Coffee Prince when she delivers food to his apartment, just as he gets out of the shower. He assumes she's a boy, so he doesn't bother covering up. She spends quite a bit of time gawking as he sits down and dries his feet, until he notices her gawking. She's so flustered she runs out without getting payment for the food.
- Used by name in an early episode of Californication, when Hank's daughter is explaining how he and his ex (the girl's mother) met.
- An amusing variation occurs on the first episdoe of Leverage during Sophie's flashback. This moment ends with her and Nate shooting each other.
- In the episode The Lonely Hearts Job, Nate calls his strategy a "Meet Cute", as he and Sophie have to pretend to bump into each other and become interested in each other in less than 24 hours.
- In Once Upon a Time Snow White and Prince Charming meet when she robs him, he chases her and knocks her off a horse. Right when he realizes that the thief is a woman, she hits him in the head with a rock. This is usually left out of the storybooks.
- Lampshaded in The Dead Zone when Johnny meets Natalie after she spills a drink on him. On hearing the story, Dana replies "Oh, a cute meet. I thought the internet had pretty much done away with those."
- In the musical of Les Misérables, Marius and Cosette play this perfectly straight, randomly running into each other in the street. He apologizes and stoops to help her up, and then they make eye contact. Emphasis added because the musical score emphasizes that precise moment with a Sting.
- The Light in the Piazza: Fabrizio catches Clara's hat when it is carried away by a gust of wind.
- Puccini's opera La Boheme: Mimi comes to Rudolfo's bachleor pad for matches. She drops her key. The wind blows out their candles. The two grope for the key in the dark. Rodolfo finds the key, hides it, and continues "searching" as an excuse to hold Mimi's hand -- "Your little hand is frozen! Let me warm it in my own."
- Being a modernized version of La Boheme, Rent does a similar thing between Roger and Mimi in the song "Light My Candle". Only it's played with a bit as they'd clearly seen each other around before, don't get involved until later in the movie version, and it's implied that Mimi orchestrated it to try to invoke the trope with Roger.
- The play Thoroughly Modern Millie begins with the titular Millie quite literally running into Jimmy, her love interest and also very, very rich
- In Sweet Charity, Charity and Oscar meet by getting trapped in an elevator together.
- A flashback in We Love Katamari reveals that The Prince's parents - The King of All Cosmos and his wife - met cute to a ridiculous degree, in a Crash Into Hello involving a cut-off Pompadour and a half-eaten bread accidentally forming a heart shape. The result: love at first sight. Awww...
- Final Fantasy VII had Aerith meet Cloud when he fell through the ceiling of her church into a flowerbed - from a terminal height, mind you. Also, Crisis Core reveals she met previous love interest Zack in the exact same way. Ironically, Aerith and Cloud's real first meeting was a subversion of the Crash Into Hello where she was knocked over - by a random NPC - before calmly asking Cloud if he wanted to buy a flower as he wandered past.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall first meets Rinoa at the SeeD ceremony. He looks up at a shooting star and looks where it came from, and his eyes lay on Rinoa, who seeks the same shooting star and looks where it's headed to, and her eyes meet Squall's. Rinoa goes over to him and gets a rather reluctant Squall to dance with her. She leaves him open-ended at the end of the dance when she sees someone she knows, leaving a slightly disappointed Squall.
- Deconstructed in (surprise, surprise) Metal Gear Solid 2. We learn that Raiden and Rose met over a pedantic argument over which building King Kong was climbing in the movie. It later turns out to have been all a big set-up to ensure Raiden would fall for her, allowing her to spy on him as part of the set-up for a Evil Plan.
- Non-romantic example - when Snake first meets Otacon, Otacon wets his pants. Snake teases him about it in Metal Gear Solid 2 (in a jokingly flirtatious, 'I remember the day when we first met' kind of way), Otacon jokes about it in Metal Gear Solid 4, and in Metal Gear Mobile it's actually a plot element when Snake asks Otacon what happened when they first met in a Spot the Impostor situation.
- Bioware seems to like this trope.
- Neverwinter Nights: When you first meet Aribeth, you are almost immediately attacked by mysterious assassins. When your new character meets her in Hordes of the Underdark, you just literally defrosted her and she immediately attacks you, following which you either have to convince her that Tyr hasn't abandoned her or that it doesn't matter. You first meet Nathyrra when she is trying to get you not to kill her for being a drow so she can give you important information to help you defeat the evil drow faction.
- Knights of the Old Republic: You meet Bastila when she is in a cage wearing only undergarments being offered as the first-place prize for a victor in a swoop race.
- Jade Empire: Silk Fox is trying to kill you because she mistook you for a minion of the minions of the minion of the evil rival of the Big Bad. The only female Love Interest in a Bioware game who you meet ordinarily is Dawn Star, who you grew up with.
- Obsidian likes this too.
- In Knights of the Old Republic 2, you meet Visas when she is sent to assassinate you and the Handmaiden when she stows away aboard your ship on the orders of Atris. Also, one of the best examples of this trope is the half-naked Exile walking into Atton's cell in Knights of the Old Republic 2.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2, you rescue Neeshka from a band of thugs, Elanee hops in to rescue you from a bladeling and a band of Duregar, and Safiya bandages your potentially fatal chest wound and drags you out of an ancient cavern system in Mask of the Betrayer. A female player meeting the male love interests might also qualify, with Casavir showing up to attack a bunch of orcs about to attack you, and in Mask of the Betrayer you coming into Gann's cell with an offer of freedom in exchange for military service.
- Chrono Trigger features one of these as the the main character runs into (or gets run into by) Marle, and causes her to lose her pendant, which Crono then helps return. Shortly afterwards, Crono goes after Marle when she gets sent into the past.
- Lampshaded in Katawa Shoujo. One version of the scene in which Emi slams into the protagonist Hisao is actually titled "Meet Cute."
- The anime-inspired Megatokyo naturally has this happen several times. Of particular note is the main couple, Piro and Kimiko, who've managed to meet cute 'bout 3 times so far... Largo and Erika probably also qualify, albeit only twice.
- Yuki and Kobayashi's Meet Cute is almost a parody; their first interaction within the strip involving her falling on him from a great height (immediately after he unintentionally distracted her) and giving him three broken ribs, a concussion, and a broken arm.
- Don't forget the exact details of Largo's first meeting with Erika. His near-fatal error of thinking her breasts weren't real and that she padded her Kasumi outfit was followed by his being asked in Japanese "Want me to break your other arm so you have a matched set?" most definitely didn't point at 'cute', rather 'keep your distance, you perv.'
- Last Res0rt pulls a Meet Cute almost right out of the gate with Slick pulling a Crash Into Hello onto Jigsaw as he's trying to evade his guards. Granted, Slick and Jigsaw aren't a couple yet, but being the only other of her species on board so far leaves little to the imagination.
- This Checkerboard Nightmare strip.
- F'ga in Ghastly's Ghastly Comic likes to tell people he and his boyfriend Bobby met through a glory hole. Bobby insists that it wasn't what it sounds like; "F'ga was just reaching through to borrow some toilet paper because his stall was empty and that weird guy with the Chick tracts wasn't in the bathroom that day."
- Questionable Content. Amir and Natasha first met in a mosh pit, when she kicked out one of his teeth. She saved the tooth, happened to bump into him a few days later and offered to return it kicking off their romance. If you're a metalhead you'll go "Nawww!" and if you're something else you'll go "WTF!!".
- Also played with here with Steve and Cosette, though technically she already had his number.
- In the The Dreamer, although Alexander and Beatrice technically already knew each other, they still met cute in issue nine. Granted, they aren't in a relationship yet, it's still worth noting.
- Deconstructed in this Subnormality comic.
- Shroomy from Electric Wonderland tried to invoke this in a Valentine's Day-themed comic.
- Mockingly discussed in Schlock Mercenary here (see the previous page for the event itself).
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang met Katara after running away from home, getting caught in a massive storm, and ending up frozen in an iceberg for a century. Her face is the first thing he sees when he wakes up. The result: Love At First Sight. He immediately asks her to go penguin sledding with him, and she confusedly accepts.
- In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra, Mako and Asami Sato meet when he runs into the street to catch the bus, stepping out from behind a parked car. On her moped, Asami doesn't see him until it's too late, and barely manages to slow down and bump him over. Mako is pissed but changes his tune when she removes her helmet. She invites him to dinner to apologize, which he gladly accepts.
- Although the romance angle is limited to Subtext, in Legion of Super Heroes "Legacy" Superman hits it off with Alexis, richest girl in the galaxy, when he saves her out-of-control mecha-suit from plummeting out of the sky.
- The Powerpuff Girls episode "Mommy Fearest" has Professor Utonium falling in love at first sight to a new woman in the neighborhood who baked him a cake. In the episode "Meet the Beat-Alls," Mojo Jojo comes across an eccentric female chimpanzee (an Expy of Yoko Ono in behavior). In both cases, the romance was simply a means to an end, with the man being a pawn in the woman's schemes, and the love is over within 7 minutes of episode time.
- ReBoot's AndrAIa and Enzo. She's trying to kill him in a game. He thinks she's just another sprite and that her abilities are really cool. They end up working together to beat the game and forever afterword.
- Martial artist Wong Fei-hung met his fourth wife, Mok Kwai-lan, when his shoe flew off during a martial arts demonstration and hit Mok Kwai-lan in the head. She then leapt up on the stage and berated him. Impressed by her spirit, he asked her parents for her hand in marriage, and they accepted.
- Mel Brooks met Anne Bancroft on the set of a talk show. Afterwards, Brooks bribed a woman to find out where Anne planned on eating dinner that night so he could "accidentally" bump into her again. This resulted in marriage and the creator of The Zombie Survival Guide.
- This recently married gay couple in Washington. They met normally at a bar the first time, then proceeded to re-meet cute twice at three year intervals until they finally got around to staying together. It looks like fate really, seriously wanted this one to happen.
- Ann Landers did a series of letters from couples who had experienced this trope.
- Subverted in Dan Savage's series "How Sleaze Is Lived in America" which featured letters from readers who had developed relationships out of drunken hookups, met their partners at orgies, etc. This was in response to Ann Landers, above.
- Documented on Hey, Weiner!.
- This FML, hopefully.