10 pick-up lines that actually work

Ditch the puns, don't be too forward, and leave the props at home

Pick up lines, of any kind, are never ideal. You can’t convey personality, forge a meaningful connection or fail to come off as a bit sudden when you come on so fast and strong. That said, there are a few choice lines that stand out from the rest. Leave your puns and creepy come-ons at home, gentlemen, for here are 10 pick-up lines that actually work.


Simple. It may not be a line, more a greeting, but keeping it conventional can work wonders – that is, if you follow it up with a good conversation…

‘What do you do for a living?’

Showing interest in something beyond looks is always a good place to start. A better bet at after work drinks than on a night out, this is a safe line, but effective all the same.

‘Do I know you?/Have we met before?’

A little odd, given that you’re starting with a lie – most people who use this know full well they’ve never met before – but it breaks the ice nonetheless. Don’t commit to the bit, however. Use it as an opener and move on.

‘I saw you checking me out – did you want to buy me a drink?’

A cheeky line – and one that will only work if you’ve genuinely been making eye contact for a short time before you make your approach – this again can break the ice nicely, and shows you’re up for a laugh.

‘I have exactly those same shoes.’

This will either hit or miss, depending on whether she ‘gets it’. Choose something she’s wearing or holding – be it high heels, earrings or her dress – and say you’ve got the exact same thing at home. If she laughs, you’re in. If she doesn’t, well…

‘Excuse me, is this seat taken?’

This works on so many levels. On the bus, on the tube, at a bar, at Starbucks. A polite, simple way to get somebody’s attention and strike up a conversation. Also, a great way to save embarrassing yourself – if she says yes, you can move on ego untarnished.

‘Excuse me, could you help me with…?’

Bear with us. Suffix this with the wrong request and it could obviously land you in jail. But, if its a tap on the shoulder to ask if she knows who sings the song that’s playing, or to settle a disagreement between friends, she’ll appreciate that you value her beyond looks.

‘Don’t you find this place…?’

Again, be wary of when and how to use this. But if you both find yourself in a newly-opened bar or cafe, this can be a great way to gauge her opinion and strike up a conversation without making it all about yourself.

‘My friends are boring, I need someone interesting to talk to…’

It may suggest you have terrible taste in friends, but she’ll appreciate the honesty, the humour and fact that you’ve approached for her personality rather than looks (you may have noticed that’s a common thread here…)

Further Reading