Stained Glass

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

Beginning of Time
Eve runs smack into Garden of Eden's resident snake. Original sin is born; fig leaf futures skyrocket. 
Christopher Columbus

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

In search of the West Indies, Christopher Columbus bumps into North America. More than five centuries later, men still refuse to pull over and ask for directions.
Anne Boleyn

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

Anne Boleyn catches eye of Henry VIII. Roman Catholic Church loses its grip on England; Anne Boleyn loses, well, you know.
Isaac Newton

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

What goes up must come down. In this case, it's an apple falling at the feet of Sir Isaac Newton. Hello, gravity.
Jane Austen

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

Jane Austen is introduced to Tom Lefroy, a neighbor's nephew. Legend has it that the relationship leads to a lovelorn Jane and the role of a lifetime for Keira Knightley.
Sojourner Truth

Photo: Mathew Brady Studio/National Portrait Gallery

Sojourner Truth escapes from her slave owner, prays for direction, and in the happiest of chance encounters, knocks at the door of Quaker Abolitionists.
Alice in Wonderland

Photo: TK

Lewis Carroll meets Alice, the 4-year-old daughter of an Oxford dean. Next stop: Wonderland.
The Titanic

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

The Titanic has a chance encounter with an iceberg.
F Scott Fitzgerald

Photo: Van Vechten Collection/Library of Congress

Zelda Sayre introduced to F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance. A gin-soaked Lost Generation gets its poster couple.
Reeses Peanut Butter Cup

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

H.B. Reese gets peanut butter in his chocolate...or was it chocolate in his peanut butter? You know the rest.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz


Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz meet on the set of Too Many Girls and click faster than you can say "Vitameatavegamin."
Alfred Hitchcock

Photo: Ron Galella/

Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train opens—the ultimate chance encounter movie. Don't you just hate it when first dates end in murder?
The Beatles

Photo: US Library of Congress

Sixteen-year-old John Lennon meets a 14-year-old Paul McCartney at a church fete. The long and winding road starts here.
Elvis Presley

Photo: Martin Hagberg

Courtesy of the U.S. Army, Elvis Presley is stationed in Germany, as is Paul Beaulieu, who brings along 14-year-old stepdaughter Priscilla. Graceland, here we come!
Stevie Wonder

Photo: Chris Weeks/

Record executive Berry Gordy meets 10-year-old Steveland Morris. Motown and the kid, later named Stevie Wonder, become a match made in Detroit heaven.
The Rolling Stones

Photo: KMazur/

Former schoolmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards bump into each other on a train. Nearly half a century later, they still can't get no satisfaction.

Photo: Paul Natkin/

Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson meet at a music competition and form ABBA, paving the way for Pierce Brosnan's last singing performance. We hope.
Macbook Pro

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak are introduced in Palo Alto and come up with a little business called Apple. We'll let you know if it ever amounts to anything.
Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton

Photo: Ron Galella/

Hillary Rodham begins dating fellow Yale Law schooler Bill Clinton. The rest is literally history.
Joan Collins

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./

Joan Collins has a chance encounter with a shoulder pad. Dynasty and the '80s will never be the same.
Kate Moss

Photo: Tom Wargacki/    

Modeling agent discovers teen Kate Moss as she strolls through JFK Airport. Stick-thin figures back in.
Hugh Grant

Photo: Tom Wargacki/    

Serendipity brings together Hugh Grant, Divine Brown, and the LAPD.
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson

Photo: SGranitz/

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson are introduced at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Marriage, divorce, and history's weepiest male album, What's Left of Me, ensue.

Photo: © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation

Women happen upon a crazy little thing called Botox. We'd show excitement over this...if only our faces were still capable of expression.
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson at the Superbowl

Photo: KMazur/

One hundred million Super Bowl XXXVIII viewers have a quickie with Janet Jackson's right breast thanks to a "wardrobe malfunction" and an apologetic Justin Timberlake.
Dick Cheney

Photo: David Bohrer/White House/

A quail emerges unscathed from a chance encounter with Dick Cheney. Unfortunately, hunting partner Harry Whittington fares less well.
Al Gore

Photo: J. Countess/

The Earth comes face-to-face with its vanishing ozone layer, resulting in a Nobel Prize for Al Gore. Florida demands a recount.
Paris Hilton mugshot

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office

Stripes are a fashion must-have for celebutantes as Paris Hilton's run-in with a California highway patrolman lands her in jail.
Barack Obama on election night

Photo: Paul Morigi/

America encounters eloquence, vision, and the audacity of hope. Welcome aboard, Mr. President.