5 Reasons to Love Meet Cutes

by Connolly Bottum

Regardless of whether I am reading a book or watching a movie or a television show, I always find myself intrigued by meet cutes. For those of you who may not be familiar with this phrase, a meet cute is a scene in which a hero and a heroine meet in a particularly adorable way. Oftentimes, this moment is rather humorous as it typically includes a mistake or a misunderstanding.

Here are five reasons why I love meet cutes:

1. Meet cutes emphasize the instant chemistry between the hero and the heroine. After all, while locking eyes across a room can show physical attraction, a meet cute can also show how the characters’ personalities ensure that they will be a perfect match.

2. Meet cutes are memorable. When I think of meet cutes, a bunch of specific scenes run through my mind in rapid succession. I recall the way Matthew McConaughey’s character saves Jennifer Lopez’s character from a rogue dumpster in The Wedding Planner. I remember watching the scene in The Big Sick in which the hero accuses the heroine of heckling him during his set at a comedy show. Sure, two characters can meet in a more expected fashion, but a meet cute can define how you think of a couple.

3. They can help set up storylines and tropes. How exactly do the hero and the heroine meet? Are they old friends who ran into each other at their favorite coffee shop? Did two colleagues meet in an elevator? A meet cute can oftentimes tell readers or viewers what to expect from a couple.

4. They can tell you a lot about the hero and the heroine. Both characters will react to the situation. If they both grab the same item at a store, does each character fight for the item or do they each try to get the other person to take it? This moment can set up their whole relationship, but it can also help to set up the characters as individuals.

5. They are adorable!

What are some of your favorite meet cutes?

8 replies on “5 Reasons to Love Meet Cutes”

I’d never heard the term, meet-cute, until researching the genres of romance. Currently, I am reading (attempting to read) Gravity’s Rainbow by Pynchon, written in ’73. The novel is set in WWII and seems to use the language of the time, therefore the term may be older than when G’sR was written. Apart from this book, I’ve never seen it used in a novel. Then again, I have not read every one there is to read ; )
Anyone recall coming across the term meet-cute in a novel?

Bumping into one another. It’s sudden, it up close, there’s direct contact, and organic tension. Let’s add sensory details: texture of clothing, skin; scents, fragrances; voice quality. Of course, if we want to go comedic, take a trip on the Way Back Machine and do a Reese Cup riff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7oD_oX-Gio

When I think of Meet Cutes I think of: Must Love Dogs, You’ve Got Mail, The Ugly Truth, Notting Hill, and an old one from the 1980s – Murphy’s Romance. There are more. I am a huge fan of romantic comedy. Those just popped into my mind. I try to incorporate “meet cutes’ in my stories without them feeling awkward or unbelievable. 🙂

Cute meets, or cute meets cute meat. (should I even post that? Sorry!)
Cary Grant and (the late and wonderful) Doris Day in A Touch of Mink.
His car splashes her with with muddy puddle water, and when she storms up to his office to demand an apology, he offers to dry-clean her clothes – and seduce her. Miss Day will have nothing to do with him… or will she?

Kate – I am such a huge Doris Day fan. There are only a few of her movies I don’t own and it’s because they aren’t available. I loved her next to the last movie, “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? It was 1968 and a comedy spoof regarding the 1965 New York blackout. It had an all-star cast and I would love to have a copy but it hasn’t come out. Maybe now she’s gone. 🙁

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