What’s a Good Opening Pickup Line?

What's your pickup line?
What's your pickup line?

Happy 2010 & the start of a new decade! Since this post marks the start of a new year, I thought I’d do something a bit lighthearted and fun, yet still valuable. Have you ever wondered what to say to that attractive girl/guy (whom you’d like to meet) standing in line behind you? Would saying “Hi” be enough to start a conversation, or should you try a clever pickup line?

Let’s go through your options:

  • You can just say “Hi”
  • Directly show your interest by saying something to the effect of “Hi, I’m a little embarrassed about this, but I’d like to get to know you”
  • Conversation opener line like “[Insert your choice of pickup line]”

Which do you think will increase your chances of that person sticking around to talk to you?

Men vs. women’s reception of pickup lines

Although a humorous comment may seem like a good way to break the ice, it might not be the best time to use that pickup line you’ve been wanting to try depending on whether you’re male or female.

When a female uses a cute pickup line on a male in a bar, she gets a favorable response 90% of the time. In fact, just about any opening line from a female works well – males don’t seem to care too much about what opening lines are used, which may lead them to overestimate women’s liking for pickup lines.

On the other hand, when a male uses a pickup line on a female, it only works 24% of the time compared with a 70% success rate for just breaking the ice by saying “Hi” or directly showing interest. So guys, take note: girls don’t like those cheesy pickup lines! It’ll go over much better if you’d just be genuine and say “Hi.”

So the next time you see someone you’d like to meet, keep in mind it’s much more effective to just say hello than try to be cute… unless you’re a female, in which case just about anything you say will work 😉

What do you think – has a clever pickup line ever worked for you, or do you prefer to just say hello?

This is a guest post by Stacey Yan, a good friend of mine. Stacey has just completed her MSW degree (also has a BA in Psychology) and is currently enjoying her off time hiking around the various trails of Southern California.
You should enter your email address and subscribe now:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

25 thoughts on “What’s a Good Opening Pickup Line?”

  1. Interesting experiment. When I was single, I never once did anything like that. I’ve seen it done, and wow, does it look stupid. But apparently it works.
    I didn’t act this way out of prudishness – I simply don’t have that mentality I guess.
    About women saying nearly anything with a 90% success rate, I was in the 10% that failed. A woman can flirt and it usually comes across as sort of charming. A direct hit and I’m thinking WTF is wrong with her.
    But maybe I’m atypical and not a good candidate for this.
    Good luck.

  2. Nice post Stacey. I think you’re spot on with this. Hi is so much simpler than all this other nonsense. Although I think it would be really odd to walk to somebody who’s sitting and in the midst of a conversation with another person and just walk up and say hi. Anyways, thanks for sharing this. I think it’s great to simplify this process as much as possible.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..The Single Most Important Quality for Peak Performance =-.

  3. @Hal: I would guess that pickup lines work in very few situations, although it’s quite hilarious to watch someone else attempt it. As your experience shows, clever lines don’t always get favorable responses, even if it comes from a female!

    @Srini: As with most things, timing plays a part in how you’re received, so I’d agree that walking up to someone who’s already engaged in a conversation would be a bit awkward 😉

  4. My 2 cents: say hi and then ask an open question. The conversation should pick up from there. I don’t like the concept of lines because they usually reflect you’re trying to impress and this means you’re putting the other person on a pedestal. It doesn’t make any sense to me.


    1. @Eduard: I agree with the open question, it’s a great way to get more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’

  5. No complaining. People think they are establishing common ground when standing in a line with stranger by griping and complaining out loud. That is such a turn off.

    Let your positive attitude and energy show. Shine out loud. When you are happy people will want to be with you.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..You Can Do It =-.

  6. Hi Stacey(and Ken, whoever that is).

    Good point there about saying hi. Anything else takes more effort, which is seen as more manipulative, which is then resisted more often.

    I have said loads and loads of entertaining material out of nowhere, because it is part of my personality, but the “success rate” which was referred to in the article would be low for material of that type.

    Good topic to discuss here.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Shake Good Memories Before They Harden =-.

  7. I sometimes say silly things out of nervousness (not necessarily as a pickup), but luckily I’m a female!

Comments are closed.