10 Cliché-Free Ways to Break the Ice

It's practically written in stone: Pick-up lines do not work. They're usually crude, demeaning, condescending, or just plain stupid.

But you've got to say something. And, like it or not, anything you say is going to sound like a pick-up line.

You might as well have something witty to say. Here's where to start.

The Line: "Don't I know you from somewhere?"
The Lowdown: With the right amount of sincerity - feigned or real - you'll secure at least a few minutes of conversation while she struggles to figure out where you've met. In that time, you'll probably get a good idea of her hangouts, her friends, and her hobbies - and whether or not you'd like to know her for real.

The Line: "Do you have a few free minutes for me to hit on you?"
The Lowdown: Hey, you get points for being honest.

The Line: "Didn't I used to pull your pigtails in grade school?"
The Lowdown: It's cute - not sleazy - and usually wins at least a smile. Works even better if you're lucky enough to find a lass with fond memories of her elementary school crushes.

The Line: "Excuse me, but do you know how much a polar bear weighs?"
The Lowdown: "It's enough to break the ice." Okay, yeah, it's corny. But you will be rewarded with a laugh for going with the inherent cheesiness of pick-up lines in such a complete way.

The Line: No line, just a nostalgic note.
The Lowdown: Remember those "Do you like me?" notes from your elementary school days? You're going to do something similar. Don't forget to include a "yes" or "no" box and to pass along a pen. Even if you get rejected, at least it's not to your face.

The Line: "Excuse me, do you have a mutual friend who could introduce us?"
The Lowdown: It's friendly, funny, and just clever enough to have her mentally ticking off all the folks she knows in the room who could do the honors.

The Line: "See my friend over there? He wants to know if you think I'm cute."
The Lowdown: It's slightly unexpected. She'll be anticipating you to do the whole "my friend thinks you're cute" thing, so while she's stumbling to recover for a response, you'll have time to draw her into a conversation.

The Line: "I'm going outside to make out. Care to join me?"
The Lowdown: This requires a certain confidence and a pretty good knowledge of your intended target. Better be sure she's already interested and has the right kind of personality to take you up on your offer.

The Line: "So what haven't you heard tonight?"
The Lowdown: It's original - you'll stand out from the crowd - but also sympathetic. Suddenly, you're both on the same team, making fun of all the losers out there frustrating her and insulting their own intelligence.

The Line: "Hi."
The Lowdown: Don't argue with science: a University of Chicago study proved that "hi" is the best and most effective opening line there is.

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Try These Pickup Lines

  • I hate to see you leave, but from here it's great to watch you go.
  • Roses are red; the sun is gold. I'll get on my knees and do as I'm told.
  • Know what's wrong with you? Not a damn thing.
  • Excuse me, miss. You dropped something: the conversation.
  • Yeah, sure, I'm missing a few teeth. But that just means there's more room for your tongue.