Her legs must be tired, and he wants to rearrange the alphabet.
She’s been running through his mind all day, and if he rearranged the alphabet he’d make sure ‘U’ and ‘I’ were together. Pickup lines, such as these, are cast out by men at parties and bars in hopes of sparking a conversation with an attractive woman.
Although there are many factors to a successful pickup line, most Temple students agree that aspects such as favorable setting, delivery and content can make the difference between a bad night and a great morning.
“I think pickup lines are hilarious,” said junior business management major Stephanie
Lanzelotti. During the summer Lanzelotti
and one of her friends were walking down the street and experienced a rather odd compliment.
“He told my friend, who was wearing pants at the time, that she had nice knees,” Lanzelotti said. “It was the most random thing I had ever heard, but we stopped and talked to him, so I guess it worked.”
Originality is key in the art of pickup lines, according to 21-year-old chemistry major Doug Heiduk. Dropping a stale pickup line will most likely result in awkward silence or a pitty laugh. Neither of which opens the door to conversation. Using the Internet and “Family Guy” for artistic inspiration, Heiduk is always on the lookout for a fresh line. At parties and bars, his favorite, “the famous Doug one,” garners much success.
“Did you know ‘god’ spelled backwards is ‘Doug’ with a little bit of ‘U’ wrapped in it?” Heiduk said. And a word of advice to the novice: Approaching a group of girls with a pickup line, no matter how good, is a recipe for disaster, according to sophomore business entrepreneurship
major Christian Wilkerson.
“If the girl isn’t alone, she’ll look at her friends to see what their reaction is,” Wilkerson said. “And most of the time they won’t be laughing.”
Another way of increasing the success rate of a pick up line is to approach someone who is mildly familiar.
“I don’t have the balls to go up to a random girl, but if it’s someone I see in class or around campus, I’ll try to introduce myself by using a pickup line,” Heiduk said. While some choose a flattery, others feel that nothing touches the heart of a woman like a great putdown. The problem with this approach is that the line between cute and offensive is paper thin.
“Putdowns tend to be a younger thing,” said junior business administration major Brendan Grike. “Once you get a little more mature, you’re less likely to do that.”
If you’re trying to make a good first impression, teasing or poking fun is probably not the best route to travel, according to junior social work major Wendy Markovich.
Markovich is not a fan of pickup lines, but usually laughs or plays along with them to be nice. In social situations, she routinely hears the same pickup line: “Is your dad a thief, because he must have stolen the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes?”
“I’ve heard that one probably about five times,” Markovich said. “I just stop them before they finish and tell them that I’ve already heard it.” Most girls, including Markovich, said they feel the same about pickup lines: sometimes they’re funny, but I’d rather you approach me and introduce yourself.
So why do guys scour the Internet and rehearse these lines in preparation for a conversation?
“Guys are nervous talking to girls and they’re scared of rejection,” Markovich said. “They assume most girls respond well to humor, so that’s why they use them.”
And most girls do practice what they preach as far as pickup lines are concerned. Instead of using thought-out jokes or lines, girls tend to introduce themselves with a simple hello or a compliment, according to sophomore communications major Jennifer Schumann. Heiduk agreed that girls are more likely to use complimentary pickup lines.
“One time this girl came up to me and told me that I had the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen,” he said. “Then I had to tell her that my eyes were blue.”
The truth of the matter is that pickup lines are somewhat unreliable; you never know how they’ll turn out. Wilkerson compares using pickup lines to a close game of football.
“It’s like going for the touchdown and throwing a Hail Mary,” Wilkerson said. “If it works you’re like ‘Wow, I can’t believe it.’ If it doesn’t, then you just give up.”
Rachel Madel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.