These Are the Best Meet-Cute Moments in Rom-Com History

If you are a fan of romantic comedies, then you know the movie does not start until the two love interests meet each other for the first time. When this happens, it is typically referred to as a meet-cute. What is a meet-cute exactly? A meet-cute is a scene in TV and film where two people meet for the first time, typically under charming, humorous, or amusing circumstances, that eventually leads to a romantic relationship between the pair. It’s the part of the movie when your heart starts to flutter, and you just know how the movie is going to end.

The meet-cute is essentially a common trope used in romantic comedies and is effectively part of what makes rom-coms so popular. What would, for example, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet be without the adorable fish tank scene? The meet-cute piques our interest in the story and secures our investment in the outcome of the film. Hollywood has come up with all kinds of different ways for couples to meet in the movies. Here are our favorite meet-cute moments in rom-com history.


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Love Actually

Canal Studio

In this Love Actually meet-cute, the newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Hugh Grant) is introduced to his new staff on his first day in office. When he meets one of his assistants Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), she addresses him informally by his first name. Embarrassed at her unceremonious greeting, Natalie becomes anxious and begins nervously spouting curse words. Natalie is, of course, mortified by the impression she made. Despite her embarrassment, however, the Prime Minister finds her quite charming.

Silver Linings Playbook

Mirage Enterprises

Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat (Bradley Cooper) who has just been released from a mental health facility and is determined to get his life back together. He is invited to dinner with his friends Ronnie (John Ortiz) and Veronica (Julia Stiles). At dinner, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), Veronica’s sister, who is struggling with some mental health issues of her own. Upon meeting Tiffany, Pat begins to ramble incoherently and then abruptly asks her how her husband died. Despite the awkward first encounter, they are inextricably attracted to one another. Throughout the meal, they begin an enthusiastic conversation about which medications they have previously been on, which makes the other couple visibly uncomfortable. Tiffany then demands Pat walk her home. The pair seriously lacks social skills, which make for a clumsy but unforgettable encounter.

It Happened One Night

A Frank Capra Production

Spoiled socialite Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) has defied her father and is running away to New York on the sly to see her lover. On the bus, she unwittingly shares a seat with rogue newspaperman Peter Warne (Clark Gable) who has recently been fired. When Peter discovers Ellie’s identity he blackmails her into giving him an exclusive story to help win his job back. In It Happened One Nightthe two leads are polar opposites, but then you know what they say about opposites.

Dirty Dancing

Great American Films Limited Partnership

In Dirty Dancing, Johnny’s cousin, Billy (Neal Jones), brings Baby (Jennifer Gray) to a clandestine party at the summer resort. Baby watches as Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) dance seductively with one another, it is obvious right away that Baby is intrigued by Johnny. When Johnny approaches, Baby is flustered and justifies her being at the party by telling him she “carried a watermelon.” Johnny heads back to the dance floor while baby neurotically obsesses over what she said. Ultimately, it does not matter because the real introduction happens when he lures her onto the floor for an impromptu dance lesson. After that dance, it is clear to see that Baby is hooked. The film ultimately spawned a remake and a long-awaited sequel.

Notting hill

Polygram Filled Entertainment

When movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) pops into a small book store in Notting hill, the owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is immediately taken with her. He nervously strikes up a conversation and makes polite recommendations, but Anna keeps to herself. Shortly thereafter, William bumps into Anna on the street and spills orange juice all over her. Being the gentleman that he is, he brings her to his apartment where she can get cleaned up. Once at the apartment, sparks begin to fly and William is in disbelief at his chance encounter with the world’s biggest movie star.

Related: Hugh Grant Wants To Do Notting Hill 2 Just To Prove Rom-Coms Are A Lie

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Gold Circle Films

While working at her family restaurant, Toula (Nia Vardalos) is instantly attracted to charming high-school teacher Ian (John Corbett) in the critically acclaimed My Big Fat Greek Wedding. While he is approaching the table she is waiting on, she gets busted in a starry-eyed stare. When she snaps out of it, she begins nervously rambling. Toula becomes so enchanted with him that she is completely unaware of her actions. When Ian’s friend asks for more coffee she mistakenly fills up Ian’s cup instead. It is a hilariously awkward moment but also very sweet. The film inspired the sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2which unfortunately did not live up to the original.

The Wedding Planner

Columbia Pictures

In The Wedding Planner, Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is walking down the sidewalk when the heel of her shoe gets stuck in a manhole cover. As Mary is struggling to pull her shoe from the manhole, a freak accident causes a dumpster to come hurtling towards her. Handsome doctor Steve (Matthew McConaughey) jumps to action and narrowly rescues Mary and her shoe. While on the ground, the pair look into one another’s eyes and share an instant connection — that is, until Mary finds out Steve is the groom from one of Mary’s weddings.

Imagine Me and You

imagine me and you
BBC Films

In Imagine Me and You Rachel and Luce meet on Rachel’s wedding day. As Rachel is walking down the aisle she sees a woman and is struck by a thunderbolt. The woman is her florist Luce, later on, after the ceremony, they meet at the punchbowl and have a hilarious encounter while trying to retrieve a ring that has fallen into the punch. Luce attempts to dig out the ring, while Rachel attempts to provide cover with her wedding dress.


Overbrook Entertainment

In Hitch, Sara (Eva Mendez) is approached in a bar by a man named Chip trying to pick her up, Sara politely rebuffs, but Chip persists. Alex Hitchins (Will Smith), who was about to approach her himself before Chip swooped in, interrupts, pretending to be her boyfriend to save her from the awkward encounter. He then picks up where Chip left off, albeit in a much less smarmy fashion. Alex and Sara have chemistry from the get-go, and you can tell she is intrigued by him. Upon its theatrical release in 2005, Hitch set a record for the biggest opening ever for a romantic comedy.

The Big Sick

Film Nation Entertainment

After his stand-up comedy show, Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) confronts Emily (Zoe Kazan), for heckling him during his set. Emily insists she was just being enthusiastically supportive, leading to a hilarious debate over what constitutes heckling. The Big Sick takes the prize for best meet-cute on this list because it is based on the real-life circumstances of how Najiani met his wife Emily Gordon (who co-wrote the film).

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