The main character runs into someone out of the blue. The next day, (usually at school) they think of how they'll never see this person again, when the teacher announces they have a new student... guess who? Often seen in romance stories. This can be considered a VERY
shallow form of Foreshadowing
. Whenever a work takes the time to show someone "accidentally" bumping into a random character, you just know they're not random... and the "reveal" is usually only 5 minutes away at most, anyways. Sometimes it's done so that the main characters can have a different first impression of each other than the rest of the cast, who simply go by a "oh, it's just a new student" attitude.
Not always a love interest; can be a rival, mentor, employee, or whatnot.
Compare Meet Cute
, a sub-trope where a (future) couple meet in an unusual way and will obviously fall for each other in the future; and Chekhov's Gunman
, a character who is introduced but only gradually revealed (or re-introduced) to be important to the plot much
Seen It a Million Times
Up for Grabs
Anime and Manga
- Love Hina: doubled up: Keitaro meets Naru 15 years prior, when they were little. He meets her again while looking at test scores. Then he meets her when he moves into the Hinata House.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji meeting Asuka
- Bleach: Ichigo absorbs Rukia's powers when he meets her, the next day she shows up pretending to be a student and tells him he has to take over her job temporarily.
- Great Teacher Onizuka: Prospective teacher beats up a pervert who is feeling up a woman on the bus. Turns out both he and the woman are applying for work as teachers, and the pervert is the vice-principal...
- HEN: Chizuru runs into Azumi in her boyfriend's apartment when Azumi first moves in, turns out she'll be attending the same school. Girls Love ensues.
- Lake House (for Sandra Bullock's character)
- High School Musical
- Confessions of a Shopaholic: Rebecca is on her way to a job interview and "absolutely must" have a new scarf for it. She stops at a hot dog vendor to get change so she can purchase the scarf "for her sick aunt". A nice young man hands her $20 so she can be on her way and he can get his hot dog. When she arrives at the interview, the man conducting it is.... none other than the nice guy at the hot dog stand.
- Crossing Jordan
- It's fairly common in BritComs for the protagonist to meet and insult somebody they think they'll never see again, only to discover that the person they've insulted is their new neighbour or work boss or bank manager etc.
- Harry Potter: In the first six books, Harry always meets his new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher before school starts.
- Final Fantasy VIII: Squall bumps into several people early in the game who turn out to be important characters. namely, Ellone in the infirmary, Selphie in the hallway, Rinoa at the dance party