Romantic Situations – The Pinecone Moment

Romantic situations.

We recognize them in movies, in books, everywhere. The roses sent to the door, the heartfelt proposals, the picnics and long walks in the sand. We know them, we love them. We swoon right along with the heroine as the hero sweeps her off her feet.

But what about . . . the awkward moments?

The annoying moments?

The scenes that are tough, odd, or just plain un-romantic?

This type of moment is what my critique partners lovingly call The Pinecone Moment.


The Pinecone Moment got its name from the dinner scene in The Sound of Music, where the newly-hired governess Maria sits at the foot of the table . . . only to perch atop a prickly pinecone. She shoots to her feet, cries out, and basically causes a huge disturbance for this straight-laced family. Especially for the captain. The look in his eye is pure annoyance.

“Enchanting little ritual,” he says, sarcasm dripping from his poised voice. “Something you learned at the abbey?”



And it’s not the last time she ruffles his feathers either. Many more times, her quirky behavior stands in stark contrast to his whistle-blowing regimens. At some point or another, viewers could easily begin to wonder if this couple will ever find happiness.



But then an astonishing thing happens. As the movie progresses, we see how her quirks and wonder for life chip away at his curmudgeon exterior. And the best part? There’s a scene where Maria and the captain have fallen in love, and they’re standing in the gazebo, staring into each other’s eyes. He says one of the best lines in the movie:


“Do you know when I first started loving you?

That night at the dinner table when you sat on that ridiculous pinecone.”

Voila! The Pinecone Moment!

It makes me swoon just thinking about it!

Sometimes characters experience love at first sight. They’re both standing in the elevator and slant glances at each other, or they shake hands at a party and you can immediately feel the chemistry. Their “meet cute” is actually, well, cute. But some of my favorite moments in romances are those that aren’t so romantic on the surface. They showcase the characters’ flaws; they’re awkward, sometimes annoying, and leave at least one character vulnerable.  But deep beneath the surface, these moments are building the characters’ relationship, giving them memories to laugh about later, and most importantly, showing how these characters act in everyday real life.

Everyone knows people act their best on first dates. We shower, maybe wear perfume or cologne, and dress in clothes that make us feel confident. We don’t tend to eat food like spaghetti, which is difficult to eat in front of someone new. However, Pinecone Moments show the real us. The moments that make us human. In moments where we are human, we are able to connect.

What about you?

Have you read/watched any great Pinecone Moments?

Have you written any?

Please share!

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12 comments on “Romantic Situations – The Pinecone Moment

  1. I once read a book where the hero was taking care of the very ill (stomach flu) heroine and her 5 kids. He made sure to put the best potato chips on her plate-the ones that curled over on themselves or had “bubbles”-because she liked those most. I thought that was the most romantic thing I had ever heard.

    • Awe, I love that! A great example of a Pinecone Moment. Potato chips don’t “sound” romantic when you first hear about them, but knowing his motivation behind his actions makes the whole situation incredibly romantic; I totally agree. Thanks, JoDee!!

  2. I love both reading and writing the beginning awkward in romances. 🙂 In a favorite novel, “Against the Tide”, the heroine is a bit OCD about the order of her desk, making for fun “pinecone moments” when the hero purposefully moves things out of place each time he visits. You’ve inspired me to think of more!

  3. I think laughter is SO necessary in a romance. Last week I woke up and could hardly get out of bed due to most of the bedcovers either on top of me or falling off of my side of the bed. My husband was still sleeping. I burst out laughing because of how stuck I was among the covers and he had only a mere amount covering him half way down his body. It was a chilly morning. He, with his eyes still closed, in his lovingly sarcastic way said “it’s not funny”. That unexpected comment caused me to laugh all the more. I still giggle thinking about it. 🙂

  4. My pinecone moment was when my husband had asked me to marry him. I had fallen asleep on him. He had to shake me awake to ask me what my answer was… poor fella.

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