The Worst Pickup Lines IRL Are...

by Natalia Lusinski

You've probably seen your fair share of creepy openers on Tinder, but just because dating apps and sites are so popular doesn't mean that those bad pickup lines aren't still being said IRL. You may have thought the person was attractive… until they opened their mouths and said that . Honestly?!

“...Not that I’m any sort of pickup artist,” said Dating Coach Evan Marc Katz in his blog, “but the best pickup lines are entirely contextual—meaning, they arise in the moment. If you’re plotting your line in advance, it’s likely to come across as canned… Just know that when you’re striking up conversation with a stranger, the stakes are low. Desexualize the situation and just start talking about what’s in front of you and voilà—you’re in.”

He goes on to give examples of “lines” people use: “I always get lost in supermarkets—you wouldn’t happen to have a map to the organic tomatoes, would you?”or “Jack and Coke, huh? Maybe I can teach you to drink it straight.”

“Whatever,” Katz said. “All of this is the equivalent of the famous party opener, ‘How do you know the host?’ It’s safe, it’s non-threatening, and suddenly, you’re just talking. You’ll learn later whether you have mutual interest.”

I agree. There’s nothing like “talking”... without the trying-too-hard part. I asked nine Bustle readers about the worst in-person pickup lines they’ve heard. Get ready to cringe.

1. Jenna, 29

“I was with a friend in the South Bay, in L.A. Two guys come up to us, and one grabs my hands (before I can stop him), closes his eyes, and says, ‘I’m a palm reader. And I’m reading that you want to go out with me.’ I thought it was sort of clever, but also sooooo cheesy. Needless to say, I did NOT go out with him.”

2. Norma, 35

“The worst was at a bar in Milwaukee, a guy said, ‘Are your legs tired? 'Cuz you've been running around in my mind all night.’”

“The funniest was on the street in Nashville. Pick-up line: Guy: ‘Hey, you look exactly like my fourth wife.’ Me: ‘How many times have you been married?’ Guy: ‘Three.’”

3. Adam, 23

“I was at a bar in Hoboken and some guy asked me what I do, and I said I work in marketing for a coffee company. He then says, ‘I thought you might work in coffee, because I want to grind on your beans…’ That's probably the worst in-person pick-up line I've ever heard.”

4. Elizabeth, 44

“One was, ‘Hey baby, how 'bout some fries with that shake?!’”

5. Melissa, 37

“I was waiting on line at the deli counter of my local supermarket wearing a pair of sweatpants and my glasses. I felt a tap on my shoulder and quickly turned around. I had not made any eye contact with this gentleman, when he said, ‘Are those your eyes or are you wearing contacts?’ I replied, ‘Clearly, they're my eyes if I'm wearing glasses!’ He said, ‘Your husband must drop to the floor or melt in your hands when you look at him.’ I replied, ‘Thank you and, yes, he does.’ Realizing I wasn't single, he turned around and tried to pick up the lady next to me. HAHAHAHAHA.”

6. Matt, 32

“I was in the West Village and a guy comes up and says, ‘Is it hot in here?’ I’m playing pool and about to take a shot, so I say I don’t think so. He says, ‘You’re wrong. You’re smokin.’ Then, he licks his finger as though it was on fire! (No comment!) What happened to people just approaching each other and saying, ‘Hi’? I don’t get why people try so hard; it does more harm than good.”

7. Rachel, then-21

“It was 1983 and I was walking down the street in Lyon, France, when a guy a bit older than me tapped me on the arm and asked. ‘Excuse me, but aren't you Bridget Bardot?’ A picture of Bridget Bardot popped into my mind: blonde, gorgeous, and 30 years older than me! Me: frizzy brown hair, big nose, on the heavy side. I stopped in my tracks, stared a moment at the man, bemused, and then burst into hysterical laughter. A look of disappointment on his face, the man visibly wilted in front of me and slunk away.”

8. Ann, 62

“I put my teeth in for you.”

9. Joan, then-20

“A guy cornered me at the bar, away from my friends. I said I wasn't interested. He said, ‘Give me your hand. I'll show you why you should go out with me.’ Before I could pull away, he put my hand on, yes, his penis. I was shocked, but tried not to show it as I said, ‘Why do you carry a bald mouse in your pocket?’”

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