Americans reveal the cringiest pick-up lines people have actually used on them

Image for post
Image for post
New research commissioned by HUD and conducted by OnePoll reveals the dating tactics many Americans have used (Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash).

The pick-up line is officially dead, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 Americans who’ve been on a date revealed over half (55%) think one-liners should be forbidden — with men 18% more likely than women to think they should be outlawed.

The most cringe-worthy lines that respondents rolled their eyes at were “I got my library card and I’m checking you out” (45%) followed by “Are you from Tennessee? Cause you’re the only 10 I see” (39%).

But in spite of their cheesiness, a third of respondents confessed that a pick-up line has actually worked on them.

Forty-two percent of men have fallen for a one-liner, while only 27% of women could say the same.

Among the winning lines to actually work were “are you a Pokemon? Cause I’d like to take a Pikachu” and “Can I have a picture of you so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?”

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of HUD, revealed that of those who’ve used a dating app (52%), one in two have used a one-liner in a direct message to catch someone’s attention.

And cringey pick-up lines aren’t the only tactic respondents admitted to using in the search for a partner.

Nearly two thirds (64%) admitted to purposefully taking a long time to reply to a message in an attempt to “play it cool.”

The average respondent said they will take 30 minutes to respond to a message and 69% will delay responding if they think their potential partner took too long to answer them.

Obviously, these romantic games are a source of frustration, as 78% think “games” and response delays are a waste of time and wish people would be themselves.

Beyond games and banter, there are just some things respondents can’t learn over direct message.

Four in five need to hear someone’s voice before agreeing to meet them — and the average person on a dating app needs four days of messaging before they agree to a call with a potential partner.

Other big requirements that can’t be picked up from a text, that respondents want to know before the in-person meet-up, were friendly demeanor, voice intonation, cleanliness and chemistry.

“Casual dating has historically suffered from a dearth of honesty and transparency, so it’s no wonder people are a bit cautious about calling or meeting a person before they feel comfortable with a potential match,” said Katie Wilson, Director of Communications for HUD.

“It’s okay to take your time to get to know someone before you take that next step of calling, video calling, or meeting up. Respect your own boundaries — and if your match is pressuring you, drop them, because they need to respect your boundaries too.”

The pandemic has certainly changed the dating scene, as 64% think they’ll be using dating apps more in the future than they have in the past six months.

With the keyboards of communication open many respondents plan to be honest about what they’re after.

Fifty-nine percent want to be upfront with matches about their sexual desires so they don’t have to waste their time or anyone else’s.

Over half (54%) think it’s actually easier to have conversations about sexual preferences online or on an app than it is in person.

“Since the pandemic started, we’ve seen a big increase in our app users choosing to be straightforward and open about their sexual preferences and desires,” Wilson added. “People don’t want to waste their own or others’ time — it’s just better to tell the truth about what you’re into, because then you’ll have a better chance of getting your needs met.”


  1. I got my library card and I’m checking you out 45%
  2. Are you from Tennessee? Cause you’re the only 10 I see 39%
  3. Do you like raisins? How do you feel about a date? 36%
  4. There’s something wrong with my phone. It doesn’t have your number in it 35%
  5. Feel my shirt. What’s it made of? Boyfriend material 33%
  6. I must be in a museum because you’re a work of art 33%
  7. You must be tired cause you were running in my mind all night 31%
  8. Are you a time traveler? Cause I can see you in my future 30%
  9. My name is Microsoft. Can I crash at your place tonight? 30%
  10. Are you a magician? Cause when I look at you, everything disappears 20%
Image for post
Image for post


  1. Friendly demeanor 27%
  2. Voice intonation 25%
  3. Cleanliness 24%
  4. Chemistry 19%
  5. Banter/quick-wittedness 18%
  6. Home interior 17%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store