The 20 best meet-cutes in rom-com history
The Holiday (2006)
The two couples at the center of The Holiday may meet pretty cute, but when Iris (Kate Winslet) gives a ride home to her neighbor Arthur (Eli Wallach) while on vacation in Los Angeles, the new friends’ introduction takes the meta gold medal. “Well, this was some meet-cute,” he observes. She doesn’t know the term, so he provides an example: “It’s how two characters meet in a movie. Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in, and they both go to the same men’s pajama department. And the man says to the salesman, ‘I just need bottoms.’ The woman says, ‘I just need a top.’ They look at each other, and that’s the meet-cute.” We want to see that one happen!
The Big Sick (2017)
Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) first meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) after a stand-up show of his, when he confronts her for heckling him during his set. She argues that she was cheering him on, and he explains that any yelling at all during a comedy show counts as heckling. “So if I yelled out, like, ‘You’re amazing in bed,’ that would be a heckle?” she asks. “Yeah,” he replies. “It would be an accurate heckle.”
Just as “date doctor” Hitch (Will Smith) tries to approach Sara (Eva Mendes) in a bar, another guy cuts him off — but so much the better. Hitch swoops in and pretends to be Sara’s boyfriend to get rid of the poor slob whose tired lines are failing on her. Once that guy’s gone, though, even the smooth-talking Hitch finds he’s met his match.
While doing some holiday shopping at a crowded Bloomingdale’s in Manhattan, both Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) reach for the same pair of black cashmere gloves.
Notting Hill (1999)
After being smitten by her in his book shop, Will Thacker (Hugh Grant) spills his orange juice on movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) when he literally runs into her on the sidewalk corner outside of his apartment. In the most chivalrous way possible, he invites her to change at his place.
Annie Hall (1977)
Though they technically first meet on the court during a game of doubles tennis, it’s inside the clubhouse where Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) stumbles over her words in the most nervous, most charming way and gets the attention of Alvy Singer (Woody Allen).
On assignment to profile a sports doctor, Amy (Amy Schumer) sits down with Aaron (Bill Hader) and we quickly learn why she is the least likely, yet best fit for him.
50 First Dates (2004)
Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) gets the attention of Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) after learning she is fond of building little log cabins using her breakfast waffles at a local diner. But after helping her make a waffle door with the use of a toothpick as a hinge, he learns she has no short-term memory and must continue to win her over each day.
Reality Bites (1994)
College valedictorian Lelaina Pierce and MTV-like executive Michael Grates met by accident – literally. After rolling her eyes at his yuppie-like demeanor while parked side-by-side at a stoplight, Lelaina flicks her cigarette into Michael’s convertible, thus causing him to crash into her car.
Fools Rush In (1997)
After some coaxing, Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) lets Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) cut in front of him while in line for the bathroom at a Mexican restaurant. If you ask her, it was a sign for good things to come.
The Wedding Planner (2001)
In what may be the most cliched damsel-in-distress scene in any rom-com, wedding planner Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) gets her Gucci heel stuck in a manhole cover in the same exact moment a rogue dumpster is barreling down a hilly San Francisco street heading right toward her. Her modern-day knight in shining armor, Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey), comes to her rescue by, well, shoving her out of the way. Ah, love.
Before Sunrise (1995)
All it took was an arguing German couple on a train ride to Vienna to break the ice between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). After some small talk, the two end up spending the night talking and walking through the streets of the Austrian capital, only to agree to meet in the exact same spot six months later.
(500) Days of Summer (2013)
As soon as Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) laid eyes on Summer (Zooey Deschanel) at their downtown office building, he knew he had to meet her. And as soon as Summer began singing along to the music he was listening to on his headphones in the elevator they shared, he knew he had to be with her.
Love Actually (2003)
Upon meeting the new British Prime Minister (Hugh Grant), Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), a new junior member of the household staff, nervously drops a number of expletives during their first introduction.
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Though viewers know early on that widower Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) and unhappily engaged Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) are made for each other, we don’t see the two finally meet until the last scene in this Nora Ephron classic. In a nod to An Affair to Remember, the two agree to meet atop the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day and what transpires is the sweetest long-awaited introduction between two strangers.
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
This may be the most awkward meet-cute in rom-com history but the charm of Jack Nicholson’s Henry and Diane Keaton’s Erica make it less so. When Erica escapes to her Hamptons house in search of some R&R, the last thing she would expect would be a run-in with her daughter and her daughter’s new boyfriend, Henry, who is as old as her. So when Henry winds up having a heart attack while having sex with Erica’s daughter, guess who has to stay behind to take care of him?
Most people wouldn’t be as patient as police officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) was when he pulls over a tipsy Annie (Kristen Wiig) for erratic driving. It’s no surprise he becomes easily taken by her goofy antics and hilarious dance moves.
Out of Sight (1998)
When genetically blessed bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) and federal agent Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) are first introduced in the trunk of a car as they are being whisked away from prison, it’s only a matter of seconds before sparks fly. In a meta-meet-cute moment, among the random topics the two discuss while in tight quarters is 1975’s Three Days of the Condor, in which fugitive CIA analyst Joe Turner (Robert Redford) finds himself in a similar predicament with the sultry Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway) after taking her hostage while on the run.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) first meets Ian Miller (John Corbett) when she serves his table at her family's Greek restaurant. She is immediately taken with him, struggling to form sentences as she pours coffee for Ian and his buddy. Their meet-cute continues a few months later, when Ian catches sight of Toula working at a travel agency and can't stop passing by the window.
Maid in Manhattan (2002)
Hotel maid Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is trying on a guest's discarded designer clothes when her adorable son Ty (Tyler Posey) brings by a dashing politician named Christopher (Ralph Fiennes). Ty introduces the two to get his mother's permission to walk Christopher's dog, and Chris sees Marisa as a glamorous society woman.