Pickup Lines That Work: Or Will They?


"I bet you were an awful cute baby."

"Mind if I get drunk with you?"


These two lines are proof enough that bold one-liners aren't a new way to win people over: The cute baby compliment was actress Jean Harlow's line in 1934's The Girl From Missouri, and the drinking-partner proposition was from the same actress' script in Red Dust, filmed just a couple of years earlier.

Though a Hollywood hottie can get away with blunt come-ons on the big screen, what's a real-life modern guy to do to break the ice with a sexy female he spots across the room? He might take a page out of the movie hunks' book — "Bond. James Bond," for example, has been tried many times — or he could take a chance on a more innovative way to introduce himself.

Eight Lines the Ladies Might Just Hate

They're funny or offensive depending on whom you ask. If you're up for a gamble — will your opener be met with a giggle or a slap? — consider laying it on the line with one of these:

  • Did you invite all these people? I thought it was just going to be the two of us.
  • Do you think we might have a mutual friend who would introduce us?
  • I'm rich and I don't believe in a prenuptial.
  • I'm here. What are your other two wishes?
  • Do you mind if I stop pretending that I'm not staring at you?
  • Would you talk to me for a few minutes? It's good for me to be seen with a beautiful woman.
  • I miss my teddy bear. Would you sleep with me?
  • I think I could fall madly in bed with you.

They might work better than some corny oldies, like "Do you believe in love at first sight or do I need to walk by again?" or "If I told you that you have a nice body, would you hold it against me?" Still, they're daring and call for a cool delivery.

Eight More That Are Made for the More Sincere Single

Here are some more straightforward openers for the slightly faint-of-heart:

  • Do you mind if I flirt with you for awhile?
  • Excuse me, I think it's time we met.
  • So, do you know any good pick-up lines?
  • Why do you look so unhappy (or bored)?
  • How hard would it be to talk you into dancing with me?
  • You look like you could use some company.
  • Are you as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside?
  • You are too beautiful for me not to talk to.

The lines might be fun to try — say, on a bet — but any canned come-on should be a last resort if your hope is to start a relationship beyond a one-night stand, says relationship coach Toni Coleman, a relationship coach in McLean, Va. "When we think of a line, right away we think insincere, canned, something that's used on everybody," Coleman explains — and that's a far cry from the special way we want to feel.

A compliment on a woman's smile or her clothes might be all it takes to win her heart, says Coleman, or try a time-tested opener of the simplest kind: "Hi, how are you?" or "Hi, my name is ..."

Right Line at the Right Time

There are bookloads of canned come-ons for the single set — one comprehensive compilation is Tucker Max's The Definitive Book of Pick-up Lines (Writers Club Press, 2001). If you're looking for the conquest, not a companion, you needn't be at a bar to throw out a line as a pick-up ploy. Author Max even offers one lighthearted line best used at the DMV, of all places: "I had a friend who wanted to get a personalized license plate but it was too expensive, so he changed his name to TXM-645."



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