What’s the Best Pick-Up Line in Cinema History?

A new survey—involving more than a thousand online interactions—reveals some surprising results

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Looking for that perfect line to impress a potential mate? The results of a new survey — which analyzes the effectiveness of pick-up lines heard in movies — may help.

The experiment, conducted by dating site Badoo and reported by Reuters, offered online-dating users the chance to use 10 pre-selected lines to initiate conversations. More than 1,000 interactions were analyzed, and the data revealed that women in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand would be most likely to use a line uttered by Audrey Hepburn in Charade: “I don’t bite, you know… unless it’s called for.” 

Other lines most likely to be used by women include such classics as “You know how to whistle don’t you?” from To Have and Have Not, “You don’t know how hard it is being a woman looking the way I do” from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and “Was that cannon fire, or is it my heart pounding?” from Casablanca.

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Men responded best to “I’d love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair,” said by Bette Davis in The Cabin in the Cotton. (Which seems like less of a pick-up line than a pick-up-artist line, with its directness and veiled insult.)

Their runner-ups were “Don’t worship me till I’ve earned it” (Terms of Endearment) and the lines from To Have and Have Not and Casablanca.

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Why are all the most successful lines from “classic” movies? In a follow-up post about the survey, a Badoo spokesperson said the staff had screened more recent films, including the rom-com Silver Linings Playbook, and couldn’t find anything that qualified as a good pick-up line.

But maybe they didn’t think hard enough. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—and nothing says romance like crabby snacks and homemades. Did the researchers overlook any other ice-breaking gems from newer movies?

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