One of my favorite meet-cutes is from You’ve Got Mail when the main characters meet Meg Ryan’s bookstore and Tom Hanks is explaining his complicated family situation. It leads so well into Meg Ryan realizing who he is and that his mega chain bookstore is going to put her out of business.
What is a Meet-Cute and how they can best be developed and utilized in romance?
The meet-cute is when a future romantic couple meets for the first time.
The purpose of a meet-cute is to set up a burgeoning relationship.
Meet-cutes often use awkwardness, embarrassment, or hostility and should hint at potential conflicts or barriers to the relationship as well as show the nature of the relationship. The meet-cute should also set the tone for the story.
Forms of meet-cutes include:
Bad first impression: sparks embarrassment, hostility, misunderstanding, etc. This provides immediate conflict, dislike, or intrigue.
The twist: gives one character the upper hand and presents a conflict.
The odd couple: presents differences that could be either complimentary or antagonistic depending on the situation.
While it’s okay to use a tried-and-true meet-cute (i.e. literally bumping into each other), it’s important to make it unique.
Try a unique location (car accident, painting class, etc.)
Have one character do something unexpected (doesn’t help the other up after a fall)
Involve a unique item (onions cascade off a grocery store display and hit the other’s foot)
Force the characters to interact in an unusual way (assigned seating at a movie separates one from a group due to buying tickets too late)
Bring them together during an emergency (fire alarm, witnessing a mugging, etc.)
For a little meet-cute inspiration for future projects, check out these real life stories!