Meet cutes are famous, and the meet cute ideas you have can make or break a reader’s interest in your story. This is the very first time the love interests are interacting and it can full of the best kind of tension.
But because romance is such a popular genre, remaining the #1 selling book genre on Amazon, there are many meet cute scenarios that have already been used. It can be hard to think up a unique, interesting idea that brings your two main characters together for the first time.
For that reason, we’ve put together a master list of meet cute ideas that you can use and tweak to fit how you’re writing your romance novel.
Table of Contents
What is a Meet Cute?
The meet cute is the moment in a romance story where the love interests first interact. It sets the tone for their entire relationship and is often a big moment in the stories themselves.
You can also think of the meet cute as the inciting incident of a romance novel. And they’re really important! How you start a romance novel can dictate a reader’s entire experience with the book.
Most meet cutes involve two characters who are meeting for the first time, but they don’t have to. There are also stories like The Hating Game where the characters met a while ago and suddenly are forming a connection. Even in these “re-meet cutes”, the characters will be forced into close proximity for this realization of attraction to occur.
But remember that when crafting your meet cute ideas, focus on creating a scene that allows for some form of conflict. If your characters meet at an art gallery, for example, and end up disagreeing and getting into a huge argument in front of everyone, make Character A an artist of the gallery and Character B an art curator. This way, after their initial disastrous meeting, Character B’s boss is now requesting a custom piece made by Character A, which forces these characters to spend time together.
A meet cute should, in some way, tie into the main conflict of the story, whether it’s their professions, their family members, a certain location, or something else.
Remember that for all of these meet cute ideas.
City Meet Cute Ideas
- Subway Seat Swap: Character A and Character B are both trying to claim the last empty seat on a crowded subway. They insist the other take it, causing a playful argument that leads to them sharing the seat.
- Photography Encounters: Character A is a photographer capturing city scenes when they accidentally snap a picture of Character B, who becomes enraged about why the fact that their photo was taken without permission.
- Food Festival Meeting: Character A and Character B find themselves in a long line at a food festival, and they decide to sample each other’s food to make the wait more enjoyable. Except they end up hating what the other cooked, accidentally insulting one another.
- Night Market Serendipity: Character A and Character B both reach for the same unique item at a night market and decide to share it together, sparking a conversation.
- Cultural Event Connection: Character A and Character B attend a cultural event or festival in the city, and while participating in the activities, they meet and hit it off.
- Commuter Companions: Character A and Character B are regular commuters who always seem to run into each other on the way to work, and they finally strike up a conversation, using funny nicknames they’ve called one another inside their heads because of their frequent run-ins (shoelace girl and top hate guy?).
- Street Performer Bonding: Character A is a street performer, and Character B becomes an enthusiastic audience member. Their interaction grows after the performance.
- Workplace Mix-Up: Character A and Character B accidentally take each other’s coffee orders at a busy café near their workplaces, leading to a lighthearted coffee break together.
- Rooftop Rendezvous: Character A and Character B both find themselves on the rooftop of the same building, seeking a quiet space to escape the city noise, but when they go to leave, the door has locked, with both characters blaming the other and spoiling what was a nice evening.
- Fitness Class Pairing: Character A and Character B end up as partners in a fitness class and discover they make an excellent team, encouraging each other throughout the session.
- City Scavenger Hunt: Character A and Character B both participate in a citywide scavenger hunt and decide to team up to solve the clues together. Contrarily, you can also have them be neck-and-neck the entire time with one of them outwitting the other.
- Late-Night Diner: Character A and Character B bump into each other at a 24-hour diner while grabbing a late-night snack after a busy evening.
- Unexpected Tour Guides: Character A and Character B are tourists in the city, and they happen to ask each other for directions, deciding to explore the city together.
- Famous Landmark Encounter: Character A and Character B find themselves standing next to each other while admiring a famous city landmark, leading to a conversation about its history.
- Shared Hobby Meetup: Character A and Character B attend a meetup for a shared hobby or interest, instantly connecting over their passion.
- Coffee Shop Connection: Both characters reach for the last cupcake at a popular coffee shop and their hands touch. It would be very romantic if it weren’t for the fact that neither of them wants to give up the cupcake.
- Lost Tourists: Character A is lost in the city, and Character B offers to help with directions, leading to a fun adventure around the city’s landmarks.
- Rainy Day Rescue: Character A’s umbrella breaks during a sudden downpour, and Character B offers to share theirs, leading to a cozy encounter.
- Bookstore Browsing: Character A and Character B reach for the same book at a bookstore, and they start chatting about their shared literary interests.
- Food Truck Fiasco: Both characters are waiting in line at a popular food truck and end up ordering each other’s favorite dishes by mistake, choosing not to swap, but instead to split their portions so they can try each other’s favorite.
- Music Festival Meeting: Character A and Character B both get lost at a music festival, unable to find their friends, so they spend the concert together and bond over their love for the same band.
- Pets’ Playdate: Character A’s dog approaches Character B at a dog park, and they start chatting while their furry friends play.
- Mistaken Identity: Character A mistakes Character B for someone else and strikes up a conversation before realizing the mix-up, leading to a humorous interaction.
- Community Volunteering: Both characters volunteer for the same cause, and they find themselves working together to make a positive impact on the city. The kicker? One is a true volunteer and the other is completing mandatory community service in order to serve a sentence for a crime they committed.
- Escape Room Duo: Character A and Character B end up in the same group at an escape room challenge and must work together to solve the puzzles.
- Fashion Emergency: Character A helps Character B fix a wardrobe malfunction just before an important event, leading to a grateful encounter.
- Charity Auction: Character A and Character B find themselves bidding against each other at a charity auction, each trying to win the same prize for a good cause.
Rural Meet Cute Ideas
- Farmers’ Market Connection: Character A and Character B both run small stalls at a local farmers’ market. But one of them is outselling the other. In an attempt to make up for the lost revenue, Character B starts spreading a rumor about Character A’s product, creating an argument that leads both characters to despise the other. For now.
- Country Fair Encounter: Character A and Character B compete against each other in a friendly competition at a rural fair, such as pie-eating or sack races, leading to laughter and a spark.
- Lost in Nature: Character A and Character B both get lost on a scenic hiking trail, and they navigate their way back together, discovering a mutual appreciation for nature.
- Barn Dance Serendipity: Character A and Character B find themselves as dance partners during a lively barn dance, and they share a memorable evening twirling under the stars.
- Animal Rescue: Character A’s pet gets stuck in a tree, and Character B comes to the rescue, leading to a sweet interaction and gratitude.
- Riverbank Run-In: Character A and Character B meet while fishing or skipping stones by a tranquil riverbank, and they strike up a conversation about their shared love for the outdoors.
- Harvest Season Helping Hand: Character A and Character B team up to help each other during the busy harvest season, fostering a connection amidst the hard work.
- Country Road Collision: Character A and Character B’s bicycles or horses accidentally collide on a quiet country road, leading to a humorous and endearing introduction.
- Stargazing Connection: Character A and Character B both choose the same peaceful spot to stargaze, and they start pointing out constellations together.
- Vineyard Romance: Character A and Character B meet at a vineyard or winery tour, discovering a shared interest in wine and vineyard culture.
- Rural Bed and Breakfast: Character A and Character B are both guests at a charming rural bed and breakfast, that unfortunately loses power thanks to a huge storm rolling through the area. They meet when they both decide to take it upon themselves to investigate and fix the cause of the outage.
- Chasing Fireflies: Character A and Character B are out with their children during a time when the fireflies are everywhere. They run into each other while Character B and their kid are chasing fireflies to catch and Character A is lecturing their kid on the cruel nature of firefly catching.
- Lost Treasure: Character A and Character B join a local treasure hunt and end up teamed together in the search, bringing excitement and adventure to their meeting.
- Volunteer at a Farm Sanctuary: Character A and Character B both volunteer at a farm sanctuary for rescued animals, bonding over their love for animals and compassion.
Work Meet Cute Ideas
- Office Prank: Character A plays a harmless prank on Character B, who just started at the job, leading to laughter and a fun, light-hearted interaction.
- Workplace Mix-Up: Character A and Character B accidentally swap their lunchboxes or files, leading to a humorous encounter as they try to sort out the confusion.
- Elevator Conversation: Character A and Character B strike up a conversation while waiting for an elevator, discovering they work in the same building for rival bosses.
- Coffee Machine Collision: Character A accidentally spills coffee on Character B while trying to use the office coffee machine, leading to an apologetic and quirky conversation. It just so happens that Character B is interviewing for a big promotion and now has to borrow the shirt or sweater of Character A.
- Team-Building Activity: Character A and Character B are randomly assigned to the same team in a team-building activity, and they bond during the challenges.
- Desk Neighbor: Character A and Character B sit next to each other at their shared office space, and they strike up a conversation after Character A overhears an intimate conversation Character B was having on the phone and offers unsolicited advice.
- Company Event Connection: Character A and Character B meet at a company event, such as a conference or party, and discover a connection outside of work.
- New Employee Orientation: Character A and Character B are both new employees, and they bond during the orientation process.
- Office Pet Encounters: Character A and Character B’s pets accidentally meet in the office, leading to an adorable and unexpected introduction.
- Break Room Banter: Character A and Character B engage in playful banter or debate over their favorite snacks or office coffee.
- Innovative Idea Collaboration: Character A and Character B brainstorm together and come up with an innovative idea, impressing their colleagues and drawing them closer. Now, they have to work on that project for a major client.
- Office Olympics: Character A and Character B participate in a friendly office competition or game, sparking a playful rivalry that gradually turns into a friendship.
- Accidental Mentorship: Character A, a seasoned employee, accidentally becomes a reluctant mentor to Character B, a new hire.
- After-Hours Socializing: Character A and Character B end up at the same after-work hangout spot, and they get to know each other outside of the office environment.
Vacation Meet Cute Ideas
- Airport Connection: Character A and Character B meet at the airport while waiting for their flights, discovering they’re going to the same vacation destination.
- Tourist Attraction Encounter: Character A and Character B bump into each other while admiring a famous tourist attraction, striking up a conversation about its history or significance.
- Beachside Rescue: Character A helps Character B when their beach umbrella gets blown away by the wind, leading to a playful and sandy encounter.
- Hotel Check-In Coincidence: Character A and Character B end up at the same hotel reception, realizing they’ve accidentally been assigned the same room.
- Cruise Ship Serendipity: Character A and Character B cross paths on a cruise ship and realize they’ve both accidentally booked a couples cruise, even though they’re single, and are the only single people on the ship aside from the crew.
- Language Barrier Bonding: Character A and Character B meet in a foreign country where they don’t speak the local language, leading to a fun and expressive form of communication.
- Island Adventure: Character A and Character B find themselves on a small, secluded island due to a mishap with their boat, forging a connection in their efforts to find a way back.
- Street Market Connection: Character A and Character B meet at a vibrant street market, bonding over their love for exotic foods and souvenirs.
- Scuba Diving Encounter: Character A and Character B are both beginner scuba divers on a dive trip, and they form a special bond underwater as they explore marine life.
- Train Journey Friendship: Character A and Character B meet on a scenic train journey after realizing they’re reading the same book. When Character A’s book gets doused and ruined by a spilled tray of drinks, Character B offers to share theirs.
- Foreign Cooking Class: Character A and Character B both sign up for a cooking class to learn local dishes, leading to a charming culinary adventure.
- Photography Meetup: Character A and Character B are both photography enthusiasts capturing stunning vacation pictures. When they discover they’re both headed to the same “hidden gem” location to shoot, they try to sabotage each other in an attempt to each be the only person with that elusive shot.
- Unexpected Weather: Character A and Character B seek shelter together during an unexpected rainstorm or snowfall, leading to a romantic and memorable moment.
- Lost and Found: Character A helps Character B find their lost belongings or a way back to their hotel, leading to a charming and grateful interaction.
- Theme Park Adventure: Character A and Character B end up in the same ride queue at a theme park, placing them on the ride together.
- Stargazing Romance: Character A and Character B meet during a night of stargazing or watching the Northern Lights, sharing awe-inspiring moments under the celestial sky.
Events Meet Cute Ideas
- Masquerade Mix-Up: Character A and Character B are masked attendees at a masquerade ball, and they accidentally swap partners during a dance.
- Charity Gala Coincidence: Character A and Character B end up at the same table during a charity gala, striking up a conversation about their reasons for supporting the cause.
- Art Exhibit Encounter: Character A and Character B admire the same artwork at an art exhibit, leading to a discussion about their interpretations and love for art.
- Blind Date Blunder: Character A and Character B are on a blind date at the same restaurant. When their dates both don’t show up, they decide to have dinner together.
- Cosplay Mishap: Character A and Character B, dressed in elaborate costumes for a convention, find themselves in humorous situations that bring them together.
- Wedding Serendipity: Character A and Character B are both guests at a wedding, seated next to each other during the reception, and they bond over their single status or shared connection to the couple.
- Fashion Show Fiasco: Character A accidentally trips and spills a drink on Character B while attending a fashion show.
- Book Launch Connection: Character A and Character B are both avid readers attending a book launch event, and they strike up a conversation about their favorite authors and their least-liked authors. As it turns out, Character B is the author Character A doesn’t like.
- Holiday Market Meeting: Character A and Character B find themselves shopping at the same bustling holiday market, and they help each other find unique gifts for their loved ones.
- Sports Game Spark: Character A and Character B end up sitting next to each other at a sports game, cheering on the same team and celebrating together.
- Film Festival Coincidence: Character A and Character B are film enthusiasts attending a film festival, and they keep running into each other at various movie screenings.
- Workshop Collaboration: Character A and Character B participate in the same workshop or panel discussion at a professional event, and they just can’t seem to agree on anything, making for a lively panel.
- Community Fair Encounter: Character A and Character B volunteer at the same community fair booth, working together to organize activities and enjoying the festivities.
- Outdoor Adventure Meet: Character A and Character B both sign up for an outdoor adventure event, such as hiking, rock climbing, or zip-lining, but only one of them is the adrenaline junky, and the other is terrified the entire time.
- Trivia Night Team-Up: Character A and Character B team up for a trivia night competition, combining their knowledge to win the contest and sparking a playful rivalry.
Holiday Themed Meet Cute Ideas
- Mistletoe Mishap: Character A and Character B accidentally find themselves under the same mistletoe at a holiday party, but not just any mistletoe. It’s the mistletoe that is currently the focus of the host’s story, in which it’s discovered that this mistletoe is special and magical, and therefore they have to kiss, in front of everyone.
- Tree Lot Connection: Character A and Character B both reach for the same perfect Christmas tree at a tree lot, and after several disagreements about who should get it, agree that they will set it up at one house but the other gets to decorate it. Turns out, they have very different decorative styles.
- Snowball Fight Spark: Character A and Character B engage in a playful snowball fight during a winter event, leading to laughter and playful banter.
- Gift Exchange Surprise: Character A and Character B are paired for a Secret Santa gift exchange and end up giving each other surprisingly thoughtful presents. So thoughtful that both feel too guilty to accept such a great gift and try to give it back to one another.
- Charity Volunteering: Character A and Character B volunteer at the same holiday charity event, bonding over their shared desire to spread joy and kindness.
- Christmas Market Encounter: Character A and Character B meet while shopping at a bustling Christmas market, both vying for the very last loaf of the famous fruit cake.
- Ugly Sweater Party: Character A and Character B both show up at the same ugly sweater party, wearing equally embarrassing holiday sweaters they got at the thrift store, and somehow, these two sweaters are a matching pair that must’ve once belonged to a couple.
- Ice Skating Duo: Character A and Character B bump into each other while ice skating at a holiday ice rink, and decide to enter the impromptu amateur skating competition as a pair.
- Baking Contest Collaboration: Character A and Character B become baking partners for a holiday baking contest, working together to create a show-stopping dessert.
- Hometown Reunion: Character A and Character B, who grew up in the same hometown but haven’t seen each other in years, reunite during the holiday season.
- Letters to Santa: Character A and Character B discover that they both wrote letters to Santa as a joke but accidentally sent them to each other’s addresses.
- Holiday Travel Buddies: Character A and Character B meet while traveling during the holiday season and decide to explore the new city together.
- Rescue at the Airport: Character A and Character B end up sitting next to each other at the airport during a holiday travel delay and share stories about their holiday plans, realizing that somehow they’re going to the same party hosted by mutual friends.
- Holiday Light Display Bonding: Character A and Character B keep running into each other while admiring the same impressive holiday light display in the neighborhood.
- Holiday Movie Marathon: Character A and Character B meet at a holiday movie screening or binge-watching event and bond over their favorite festive films.
- Gingerbread House Duo: Character A and Character B participate in a gingerbread house decorating contest, forming a sweet connection while creating their masterpiece.
Remember to make each of these meet cute ideas you use unique and relevant to your overall story. The more tension you can cause after the meeting—like making one of the characters already involved in dating a different person—the more interesting your romance story will be!