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Pickup lines are often corny and pretty ineffective at snagging the man or woman of your dreams, because many people seem to think these lines are supposed to seal the deal all by themselves. The best pickup lines merely break the ice—get the object of your desire to notice you—and most of the best lines happen to be the old classics.

5 Hello

“How you doin’?” worked how many times for Joey on “Friends”? Enough said. OK, so Joey is a fictional character and abnormally cute, so no matter what he said, he’d have gotten the girl. However, the logic behind his famous pickup line is that a simple greeting like “Hello” is often the only line you’ll need. Greetings work because they’re honest. You don’t come off as aggressive or cheesy, and more importantly, you don’t look like you’re trying too hard. Ladies and gents both appreciate the classics, and saying hello is as classic as it gets. Of course, you’ll need to follow that up with some personality, but we can’t do all the work for you.

4 You Look Familiar

Although this line seems too easy to see through, its simplicity is what works. You can offer it in a few ways so that it suits the situation, which helps make it less contrived. For example, instead of saying the woman of your dreams looks familiar, ask her if her name is Michelle. Tell her that she looks like a Michelle you knew in high school. When she says no, introduce yourself. Ice officially broken. Follow up with the offer of a drink and show genuine interest in who she really is.

3 What’s Your Sign?

Now, you’re probably thinking that this line is the worst, most cliché and loser-like line you could ever utter, and you’d be right. However, it works for a couple of reasons. If your intended answers with an astrological sign, you gain valuable information about their personality. If you like the sort that consults their horoscope daily, that’s fantastic. If not, you know to avoid this person in the future. If you get another answer, such as “Stop” or “No trespassing,” then you can laugh, your would-be beau will laugh, and you’ve opened the lines of communication. After that you just bring it on home with your stunning intelligence and witty humor.

2 What’s Your Dog’s Name?

It’s boring. Practically vanilla. However, pets bring folks together, and let’s face it, you shouldn’t spend all your time looking for love in a bar. This is a line that’s been used forever because it doesn’t feel like a line. It’s not creepy and most would-be significant others will respond. Asking a simple question shows genuine interest, and there are very few pet owners who don’t love to talk about their furry little pride and joy. Keep in mind that this line can work for other situations, too. For example, if you’re in a café and spot someone reading a book, ask who wrote it and whether they’re enjoying it. The ice is broken and you’re having an actual conversation with a real live person. Good stuff.

1 Nice Shoes

This can work for any article of clothing or accessory. Pick one, and compliment it. Unlike lines that don’t work, this one isn’t generic. You’re picking something special about someone and asking about it. The shoes are just an example. Maybe she’s got an unusual hairstyle, or maybe his shirt has a slogan that’s hilarious or provocative. Obviously these are things that your would-be beau wants to show off, so when you point them out, you show that you’re paying attention. That always wins points. It also helps prove you’re not just tossing out cheesy lines to every attractive person in the room.
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