Alan Boyle at MSNBC:
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh devised 40 pickup lines, drawn from film, TV, books of one-liners and other sources. All of the scenarios involved a male “chatting up” a female. Some of them took a humorous, even risque approach. Others were compliments (for example, “Your eyes are blue, like the ocean. And baby, I’m lost at sea”). Still others capitalized on the picker-upper’s familiarity with culture, or highlighted his character or wealth. Even the direct “wanna have sex” approach was included. (You can see the whole list here.) …
For the most part, the sappy compliments and the risque humor fell dead-flat. “Wanna have sex?” ranked 30th on the list of 40.
In contrast, the top-rated pickup lines weren’t “lines” at all, but scenarios in which a man lent aid to a woman at a bus stop, or sought her advice in buying a watch, or commented on a painting at an art gallery.
“As anticipated, opening gambits which revealed wealth, and those demonstrating personal qualities such as generosity, the ability to take charge, and physical fitness, were judged likely to appeal to women,” the researchers wrote. “In line with the mating mind hypothesis, gambits displaying a cultured background or artistic talent were also judged likely to be effective.”
So what’s the perfect pickup line? Based on this research, a woman colleague here at MSNBC.com suggested: “Running the marathon made me too distracted to manage my hedge fund today, but can I help you with your coat?”