Pickup lines strike a fine balance. You have to say something that grabs someone’s attention but isn’t too forward. You have to make the person want to engage with you without simply coming across as a weird creeper. Your line has to be simple enough to be universal but not so mundane that they ignore you. Walking up to a stranger and trying to strike up a conversation that might lead to bedroom adventure might just be one of the hardest things in the world to pull off well.
Of course, with the advent of Tinder, some of that awkwardness is gone. At the very least, you know that the person on the other end of the line has swiped right on you and is at least a little bit interested. But, you still have to lead with a line that is eye-catching yet appealing. Something that might make one person fall instantly in love and might make another groan and unmatch you.
The people on this list led with horrible pickup lines but got lucky anyway. These lines are full of bad puns, groaners, and incoherent 'intimate' jokes. But, they worked! Some of their matches engaged in epic pun battles. Others fell for the most basic give-me-your-number tricks in the business. It turns out that sometimes, a pickup line is so bad it’s actually good...
15 Well, Does She Want It Or Not?
Is Mady even a name? It seems like it should be spelled as Maddy, in which case it’s missing a D and, in which case, this guy’s pun could really have gone in the complete opposite direction. Maybe that one was too obvious, so he went for the subtler 'd' joke, the one that took a little more work to build up to. As it is, his joke doesn’t make sense. What does May even refer to? The month? I guess you could have a girl named May, but I think Maddy is way more common.
At the end of the day, this guy’s lame joke didn’t go anywhere. But then, he follows it up with a lame rate-my-joke joke, and shockingly, it results in a phone number.
Seriously, how did that actually work?
14 It Usually Takes Me Five Months...
This one isn’t so much about how good or bad the pickup lines are. Instead, it’s about how strangely things can come together on Tinder. These two managed to hit it off in a ridiculous way.
Michelle Arendas and Josh Avsec flirted on Tinder for almost three years. After Josh’s totally lame opener of “Hey Michelle,” there was a two-month silence while Michelle charged her phone, and things only devolved from there. Soon, they were both responding to messages months after they’d initially been sent. Their convo went viral and became an internet sensation. In the end, Tinder sponsored a dream first-date vacation to Hawaii after they finally met on a nationally-television segment of Good Morning America.
This is time-lapse dating. Who knew that the best pickup line of all was not responding to his opening line for two months?
13 The Only Thing Between Us...
This time, it appears to be the girl going in for the cheesy pickup line (but we’re really not sure, based on that blurry profile pic). This one is just weird. She starts off with a joke that has s*xual connotations but is really not that interesting. Ha! Ha! Fine, it’s good for a quick laugh.
But it’s really not the opener that’s the kicker here; it’s the comeback—the dark, depressing, not-so-funny rebuttal. Last time I checked, bringing up a horrendous fatal disease was not the best way to go if you wanna get yourself laid. Yet this guy manages to turn the reference into a punny compliment, and it...worked? I’m a little confused by the response. It seems that his horrifying pun resonated, given that she immediately offered to take him to bed. Although she immediately follows that up with an “ewwww,” which might suggest otherwise.
12 Draw A Line
There’s asking a girl for her number, and then there’s slowly describing an art project until she figures out how to fill in the blanks. I’m stunned that she didn’t see through his little ruse. It seems like she was sitting there actually drawing the lines he was describing, totally clueless. She couldn’t figure it out for herself, asked him what he meant, and BOOM, he was in! I have to take issue with her point, though. Is that really all that clever? I feel like a six-year-old could convince me to play the same game. This guy didn’t even do a good job of explaining the lines she was supposedly drawing. “Erase a few sections on each” could really mean almost anything.
While the whole thing just seems way too transparent and cheesy to actually nab a number, judging from Hannah’s response, it actually worked.
11 Quit Stalin
We have to give this guy props. He managed to spin this girl’s nationality and his love for puns into a horrible opening line...that actually landed! Who knew Russian girls were so into puns? I guess he’s going for humor over good looks. Once he follows his opener up with an even worse second pun, you realize this guy’s going for broke. He’s going to win her heart with puns or not at all. Once she chips in one of her own, it’s over. Ballgame.
I Dar-ya to think of another culture where this kind of cheesy joke would lead to such a punny commentary on a country’s history. (Sorry.)
This conversation just has puns everywhere. It’s breaking my brain! Seriously, though, that opener is horrendous. I think that, judging by the smoothness with which these two wield their Russian history puns, they just might have found their Tinder soulmates.
10 Vegetarian Beef
This time, it’s the girl who opens with the punny pickup line. I’d say these puns were “cheesy” but…well...there’s already enough food in this convo. These two seem to have made an instant connection. In the beginning, she gives this guy (or girl; it’s the 21st century) a time limit on his response, but when he answers right away, she knows her line has landed. They then engage in a pun-petition (pun competition) as they move towards professing their eternal love for one another. The puns just get worse and worse until you long for the original joke which was, at the very least, kind of funny.
Once they finally stop joking around about food and this guy actually takes her out to dinner, I hope he “Amelia”-rates her loneliness. (Okay, okay. We’ll stop for real now.)
9 I’m Vegan Too!
Okay, let’s be honest, this one totally didn’t work. But, it’s hilarious!
There’s just something so dark and serious that comes out in what’s supposed to be just a dumb pickup line. First of all, it grabs Bec’s attention, which is really the #1 goal of any decent pickup line. Second of all, it makes it seem like this guy’s willing to change for this girl. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t changed for a girl? This guy just happens to have decided to change for about as long as it takes to catch his Tinder match’s attention. He’s pulling the old bait-and-switch. After about thirty seconds, he’ll quickly change back into the person he was before he swiped right and hope she follows.
And aren’t relationships all about the cat-and-mouse games to see who will change for who?
8 What’s Yours?
Well, that escalated quickly.
“What are you addicted to?” is somewhere in the range of eye-catching to horrifying. It’s an amazing pickup line because…well…who can ignore that one? But it’s also kind of a dangerous pickup line. Like, if someone walked up to in a bar and said, “Do you want to know more about the body in my basement,” you’ve got to give him props because all of a sudden, you do want to know more about it, but you simultaneously want to get as far away from him as possible and maybe call the cops first before you gossip about it with your friends later.
In this case, while “what are you addicted to” could have meant something innocent like The Vampire Diaries or “cleaning my room,” things get pretty serious when the asker brings up hard drugs. This is either a really dark play at humor, in which case it might actually work, or it’s a very messed-up person looking for love.
7 All I Want For Christmas...
This is a Christmas line for all those Santa lovers out there. There’s pretty much nothing cheesier than telling a girl you asked Santa for her this year. It can come across as cute and cuddly, but it can also seem childish, cloying, and desperate. Really, you should win a girl over with your wit and charm and not make her feel like she’s some object to be unwrapped under the Christmas tree (I think the proper term for that is “trophy wife”). Telling her you wished for her for Christmas is kind of like telling her you know you can’t win her over yourself so you’re hoping some higher power offers her up to you as a gift.
Most girls wouldn’t go for that, but in this case, it seems like Jessie actually found it cute and cuddly. Judging by her response and winky face, it seems like someone might be in for a good time this holiday season.
6 Join My Cuddle Gang
BOOM! Cuddle monster in the hizz-ouse. This pickup line is totally cheesy, but at the same time, I totally get why it works. This guy is doing some weird masculinity joke with the concept of cuddling, and in the process, he’s drawing in a girl who obviously loves to cuddle. Because, really, everyone loves to cuddle sometimes. Somehow, this guy manages to come across as hardcore masculine but also incredibly sensitive.
This line is killer. It’s smooth, but it’s also deceptively complex. It’s a perfect combination of eye-catching, funny, and appealing. This pickup line is funny because it’s weird. But, it’s weird because it’s somehow so relatable and…well...basically, I’m convinced that this guy is a comic genius and deserves every woman he’s ever won over with his pickup lines. Because he’s a bad-a*s (cuddler).
5 We’re Married, So What’s My Number?
Wow. This guy is slick. His opener was to suggest that they were married and then he came in for the phone number kill? That’s a ninja move.
This line might be cheesy in its way but I’ve got to give this guy props for thinking on his feet. I mean, even if he planned to lead with the past-tense marriage proposal, how did he know she was going to jump in with the number of kids? And then, he spun that off into a phone number request. That’s like grabbing a lateral pass and rushing it in for the touchdown. This guy’s going backwards and somehow landing exactly where he wanted to be all along.
Of course, I’ve got to wonder how the conversation got onto the subject of marriage in the first place. Is that really this guy’s opening line?
4 You Look Like Julia Roberts...
This line really isn’t all that good. Compli-insult-ment? It’s like he somehow managed to work in a whole conversation into his first line to come across as super smooth, but it came out clunky. Julia Roberts might be a world-famous actress, but in that movie, she was hardly a character to be idolized.
Do girls want to be told they’re not a prostitute in the first thirty seconds of a conversation? Is that really a good opening line? It seems like most girls would just hear that line and be like, “What? What are you trying to call me?”
But the thing is, this girl dug it. So, maybe he’s onto something. I guess the Pretty Woman reference drew her in. After all, there’s nothing like a shared favorite movie to bring a new couple together.
3 Auto-Complete This
You can’t get much more of a groaner than this. If you were going to separate jokes into levels based on quality (Level 1: professional comedian, Level 2: cocktail party, Level 3: Dad), then this joke clearly belongs on Level 3. You auto-complete me. Ha! ha! I compared you to an iPhone. Want to go out with me now? This is a dad joke to the max, or maybe it’s supposed to be a joke between two total computer nerds who want to maximize their shared love for Apple.
To be fair, Emily seems game. She gives him the old “hahah,” which is a step up from “LOL,” I guess. And she sticks out her tongue, so I guess she’s game. But is that really the best he could come up with?
2 What Is It There For Anyway?
This pickup line is kind of cheesy, but at the same time, it’s too weirdly detailed and specific to come across as really cheesy. Who starts off by talking about an appendix? Yet Alison makes it come across as sweet, a clever metaphor even. She leads up to it slowly, and when she comes out with it, it seems forced but also genuine, sweet, and weird all at the same time. She wants to take him out. Awwww.
What’s impressive here isn’t that the line landed but that this guy came back and one-upped her using the exact same metaphor. These two should start a pickup line battle because their lines are both better than most of the others on this list. Judging from the levels of their pickup game, I think they belong together, whether they have their appendixes or not.
1 What I Had To Do
Oh great, another guy making puns out of a girl’s nationality. I guess that’s old hat at this point. Yes, Persians are from Iran, and this girl has a middle Eastern name. But, does that really have anything to do with her?
This pun is pulled off smoothly, but it doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere. It kind of seems like he ends up exactly where you don’t want to end up in a Tinder flirt—running away. Maybe it doesn’t matter, and just getting her to engage with him was the whole point of the conversation. He does get a round of applause for his joke at the end of the convo, so maybe it led somewhere? I don’t know. It’s a pretty big jump from running away from a middle Eastern guy to actually getting in bed with your Tinder date. For his sake, I hope this Tinder jokester managed to work his way through that maze.