Kate Searby: The worst line I ever heard was on a flight from DC to San Francisco. The guy sitting next to me motioned for me to loan him my pen. I handed it to him, and he scribbled something on the newspaper he’d been reading. Then he tapped me on the shoulder and motioned for me to look at the picture he’d drawn. It was a cartoon of a little boy with a thought bubble above his head that read: “Are you from Tennessee?” I said, “No, I’m from California. Why?” Silently, the guy drew another thought bubble above the cartoon boy’s head that said, “Because you’re the only TEN-I-See!!!”
Jenn Heilman: I don’t think there is such a thing as a good pickup line. The best way to introduce yourself is to make conversation—be observant. Has she been waiting at the bar to get a drink for the past five minutes? Push your way up there and offer to get her a drink from the bartender. Whatever it is, if you try to find some commonality or a topic to talk about that shows you aren’t just saying the most ridiculous thing that comes out of your mouth first, it will show you’re interested in finding out more. Plus, it will make the situation a lot less awkward when you’re not embarrassed by the expression of confusion or horror on his or her face.
I don’t think I can tell you the worst one because it would be too indecent! I’ve also come to find that pickup lines from guys in their twenties and thirties differ from men in their forties, fifties and, yes, even sixties. I’m not sure why I attract men old enough to be my father, but that’s besides the point. These pickup lines revolve around technology, like after watching me text on my BlackBerry. The conversation then leads beyond asking how-to questions to where I live and my plans for the night. When you start talking about jobs, you find out he used to teach at your middle school—before you were even old enough to be in middle school.
Lucas Wall: The best pickup line is one that gets a conversation started. That’s what it’s all about. Finding something of mutual interest to talk about is always a good ice breaker. Once a conversation gets started, you can generally sense pretty quickly if there’s any interest. The conversation will either naturally snowball and easily continue or run right into a brick wall and fade off. If things work out, the chat continues until someone works up the nerve to ask for a phone number or e-mail address.
I think the worst pickup lines are complimenting someone on his or her clothes or physical features. While that does express interest in the person, it does nothing to start a conversation. If someone compliments me on my shirt, my response is usually a simple thanks. I mean, what else can you say?
Dana Neil: I don’t really use lines. I just feel too silly. But two different times on the Metro, I’ve met men by not saying a word. On both occasions, the Metro was particularly crowded. I love watching people in these situations to see their reactions. Each time, I caught the eye of an attractive man who seemed to be doing the same thing. We’d smile at each other and laugh sometimes. Each time, they got off at my stop with me. One man asked for my number, and we went out a few times. The other man would wait for me at the Metro after work each night, and we’d ride the Metro home together. We didn’t date.
Maybe I put up a “don’t pick me up” wall or something, but I’ve never had anyone use a pickup line on me. Or maybe they have and I didn’t realize it. Usually a hello or a conversation pertaining to the situation works.
Max Schwartz: I don’t really like pickup lines or being in situations where I would have to use one. It seems smarter to just stay away. I’ve certainly heard shitty pickup lines before, though I’m not sure I could quote you any. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a really good pickup line better than just an introduction or a simple question.
Readers, what say you? Let us know what terrible pickup lines you’ve heard—and if there were any that worked!
Michael Amesquita: I’ve never used a pickup line.