How Characters Meet: Non-Cliché Meet-Cute Ideas! (2024)

How Characters Meet Non Cliche

Tired of cheesy meet-cutes, like, a waitress spilling coffee onto an executive’s lap, or two people hailing the same cab at the same time? If you feel the same, dive in to read some non-cheesy meet cute ideas for your characters to meet!

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How Characters Meet: The Breakdown

How do characters meet?

When your characters meet (“meet-cute“) for the first time, sparks should fly. Whether it comes from friction or an instant connection, the readers should be clear that it’s more than just a chance encounter, and it should pique their interest further.

And it’s even nicer when it’s not corny or something we’ve seen a million times before.

For an example of an unusual meet-cute, consider a scene in Out of Sight (1998 movie).

In it, U.S. Marshall Karen Sisco (played by Jennifer Lopez) meets career bank robber (George Clooney) for the first time while the two are being locked up in the trunk of her car. Literally.

And naturally, we’re captivated by it.

A cliché or cheesy writing is anything that’s blatantly unoriginal, inauthentic and overdone. A cliché or cheesy first-time meeting lacks substance; it’s when two characters simply happen to cross paths without having a compelling reason for being in the scene in the first place.

To avoid writing cheesy first meetings:

– Give your characters a compelling reason for being in the scene.
Don’t make them fall head over heels for each other at the first sight.
Don’t use overdone scenes and interactions (cue the few examples at the beginning of this article).
– Characters with unique jobs = interesting stories
– Bonus points if they meet under some type of distress.

Non-Cheesy Meet-Cute Ideas

Without further ado! Let’s get into some non-cheesy meet-cute ideas you can employ in your story!

Meet-cute ideas with a secret identity twist

1. A nurse/phlebotomist meets a needle-phobic, antsy first-time blood donator (who’s there on a dare, perhaps?) How twisted/funny would it be if the nurse turns out to be a vampire?!

2. The two people hired to be the mascots of two rival teams collide into each other due to the gigantic costume restricting not only their sights but also movements.

3. Two celebrity impersonators meet while queuing in a line outside of the restroom in an impersonator contest or convention.

4. A hired clown at a child’s animal-themed masquerade birthday party creates a great connection with an adult guest. When the party ends and the masks come off, are they revealed to be rivals at work, or childhood frenemies, or others?

5. A tightrope walker picks a random person from the audience to walk with him on his rope, not knowing that that person is a famous magician.

RELATED: The Only Character Workbook You’ll Ever Need: Your New Character Bible

Meet-cute ideas with enemies-to-lovers flavor

1. Two seat fillers fight for the last empty spot in a theater production.

2. Two professional queuers arrive at a queue in the same time and fight for a spot.

3. Lawyer A and Lawyer B are involved in a minor car accident, but neither wants to admit fault and each threatens to sue one another.

4. A street musicians goes to his usual performing spot, only to find another street musician already playing there. Fight ensues.

5. When a crabby customer trying to return a purchase, they meet a usually-cheerful customer service representative who’s been having a bad day.

6. Two hackers try to outdo each other, but will their mutual taunting and banters online lead to something else?

7. When a research subject in a sleep study wakes up to an unfamiliar face looking at them, it’s a “hate at the first sight.”

8. A moirologist (aka professional mourner) is scolded by the person hiring them because they think the professional mourner doesn’t cry enough!

9. Because of a misunderstanding, a passenger accuses a passenger pusher of groping them!

10. A mime lashes out at an audience whose food gives the performer a bout of sneezing fit.

11. Bickering ensues when a slider tester at a waterpark accidentally hits another patron as they come down the slide.

Meet-cutes in unusual places/under unusual circumstances

1. In a store (or a bus stop/any place of your choice), a bystander catches an annoyed, fellow patron pranking an entitled “Karen” but doesn’t say anything, supporting the prankster with their silence.

2. Separated by glass windows and suspended hundreds of meters in the air, a window cleaner strikes a conversation with a high-rise apartment dweller who’s confined to her apartment unit due to an illness.

3. Two runners keep passing each other while running a marathon.

4. A golf ball diver‘s routine goes wrong, but thankfully, there’s a caddie nearby to save them from drowning.

5. An online dating ghostwriter (essentially, people who are paid to write other’s online dating profile. Yes, they exist LOL.) agrees to meet an irritating prospective customer in person (despite never doing so).

6. A gamer wakes up one day to find that the character they play in a video game is staring at them.

7. An embalmer finds out the hard way that the corpse they’re working on is still alive.

8. A sushi chef tries to comfort a nervous body sushi model (nyotaimori) on her first day at work.

Serendipitous Camaraderie

1. The characters are abducted by a mischievous group of aliens who intend to keep them as pets.

2. A mysterious benefactor brings a group of artists together, each a renowned artist in their respective fields (painting, music, writing, etc.), offering an opportunity to create an unprecedented collaborative masterpiece.

3. All the characters receive an enigmatic invitation to a secret party where they see each other for the first time.

4. The characters are all contestants in a hilarious and unconventional pet talent show.

5. Due to a magical mishap, characters from different fairy tales find themselves trapped in a world where all their stories have collided.

6. The characters are new volunteers at an animal shelter and discover a mysterious hidden treasure map hidden among the pets’ belongings, igniting the beginning of a zany treasure hunt.

7. The characters all sign up for a dance competition, which turns out to be organized by a group of interdimensional beings who are searching for a chosen one.


Here are some other posts that you might find interesting:

Or browse our Story Ideas & Writing Prompts category for more ideas!

Have any question or feedback? Feel free to contact me here. Until next time!

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