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Worst Pickup Lines In Movies

Romantic comedies can be entertaining and charming. Still, there are typically issues baked into the plot. Stalking behavior and a don't-take-no-for-an-answer approach are often framed as romantic gestures a man must make in pursuit of his love interest (rom-coms also almost exclusively present heterosexual relationships). 

There's another — less problematic, but still pretty cringe-worthy — element that frequently appears in rom-coms: the pickup line.

Pickup lines are rarely successful in film or otherwise. They're cheesy and sometimes just plain offensive. Others have been overused to the point of becoming trite. Corny come-ons are so unlikely to forge a connection with someone that many rom-coms instead use pickup lines for laughs. Some writers still miss the mark and include them as serious sentiments. Here's a breakdown of the worst pickup lines in movies, intentionally bad or otherwise.

"Someone's got to call God and let him know one of his angels is missing." - Couples Retreat

Couples Retreat, directed by Peter Billingsley, follows four married couples who each are having relationship problems. One of the couples, Jason (Jason Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell), ask their friends to come with them to a couples' therapy retreat on a tropical island so they can get the package rate.

In one scene, Dave (Vince Vaughn) and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) participate in an exercise in which they pretend to meet for the first time. After exchanging names, Dave asks Ronnie if she has a cellphone. When she asks why, Dave responds, "Someone's got to call God and let him know one of his angels is missing."

This line is awful, mostly due to being lame. It's also lazy and unoriginal, immediately recognizable as oft-used and insincere. In Couples Retreat, it is indeed knowingly bad and acts as a punch line. Ronnie responds, "Wow, that is the worst line I've ever heard."

"You give me premature ventricular contractions. You make my heart skip a beat." - No Strings Attached

Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star in No Strings Attached as Emma and Adam, two friends who decide to begin a friends-with-benefits relationship. The two, of course, end up developing serious romantic feelings for one another.

Their casual relationship quickly develops many complications, including Emma initially rejecting a real relationship with Adam after he tells her he loves her. Emma eventually realizes she loves him as well, and the two get together after she confesses her feelings to him. After this grand moment, a blissful Emma (who is a doctor) says, "You give me premature ventricular contractions." And then, after a moment, she clarifies: "You make my heart skip a beat."

Since they've technically already gotten together, this isn't really a pickup line per se, but it sure sounds like one. It's meant to be endearing and reflect Emma's character, and it is slightly more original than many other pickup lines out there. Still, even Portman's charm can't entirely save this line from being wince-worthy.

"I just want to tell you that you look like my dog." - 17 Again

Directed by Burr Steers, 17 Again introduces Mike (Matthew Perry), who, after a freak accident, gets stuck in the body of his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron). While the main plotline involves Mike rediscovering how much he loves the family life he'd become embittered against over the years, there's a subplot with Mike's son Alex (Sterling Knight). Mike — who uses the name Mark Gold to hide his true identity and enroll back in high school — befriends Alex and tries to help him build his confidence in order to go out with his crush Nicole (Josie Loren).

When Alex finally builds up enough confidence to talk to Nicole at a party, he blurts out, "I just want to tell you that you look like my dog." Nicole is rightfully confused by this cringey, insulting line. Alex tries to amend it by saying his dog's hair is soft and shiny, only to further dig himself into a hole by talking about how the dog is now dead.

It's meant to be a funny scene, although it's almost too embarrassing to enjoy. Still, it at least succeeds in eliciting sympathy for Alex, who is clearly very nervous about talking to his crush. He even admits as much to her. Unfortunately, things only get worse for Alex, who shortly afterward accidentally lights himself on fire. Not exactly the smooth moment he was going for.

"I couldn't help but notice you look a lot like my next girlfriend." - Hitch

In Hitch, Will Smith portrays Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, a self-described "date doctor" who makes his living teaching men how to successfully date women. When he meets a woman, Sara (Eva Mendes), who sees past his ruses, he realizes there's more to being in a relationship than the tricks he teaches.

Hitch first spots Sara sitting alone at a bar. He buys her a drink to take over to her and introduce himself. Before he reaches her, another man beats him to it with the same tactic. Hitch stands nearby to eavesdrop on their conversation, during which the man says, "I couldn't help but notice you look a lot like my next girlfriend."

This line is incredibly arrogant. What's more, in this case, it's almost the first thing he says to her, even before asking her name. It's clear he finds it both clever and forward, instead of pompous and unsurprising. In the context of the film, the viewer is definitely meant to interpret this pickup line as bad. Hitch smirks in amusement over the trite line. When professional wooer Hitch does get a moment to talk to Sara, his more straightforward, open approach is meant to be seen as refreshing; he is the romantic lead, after all.

"You're not exactly everybody's type, but you're my type." - Sierra Burgess Is a Loser

Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, directed by Ian Samuels, stars Shannon Purser (aka Barb in Stranger Things) as the titular lead. Sierra is a not-so-popular high schooler who begins a text message exchange with Jamey (Noah Centineo of To All the Boys I've Loved Before fame) after he mistakenly messages her, thinking she's someone else.

There are many problems with this film, namely that Sierra is literally catfishing her love interest for most of it. At the end of the movie, the two get together, even though Sierra has not apologized for any of her lies and other wrongdoing. In the scene where they unite, Jamey says, "You're not exactly everybody's type, but you're my type." 

This line feels both grossly pitying and moderately insulting. The film seems to suggest that Sierra's only obstacle to popularity and a relationship with Jamey is her appearance. It's natural for a teen girl to feel insecure, and the movie aspires to a body-positive message, but this line — which emphasizes that she's not conventionally attractive — strikes a sour note. It's hard to swoon over a pickup line with such a backward message.

"Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Degas?" - The Pick-Up Artist

Essentially an entire film about a man who uses pickup lines to meet women, The Pick-Up Artist follows Jack Jericho (Robert Downey Jr.), an elementary school teacher who spends his free time practicing pickup lines and then using them on various women. When he meets Randy (Molly Ringwald), she couldn't care less about the lines he throws at her, so of course he falls for her.

In the opening scene, Jack is practicing one of his lines in the mirror and says, "Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Degas?" By referencing both an Italian Renaissance painter and a French Impressionist artist, Jack likely believes he's showing off his intellect while complimenting his target. If she doesn't get the references, that might just make him seem even smarter. His other lines include: "Has anyone ever said you have a magnificent smile and skin invented to be touched?" and "Did anyone ever tell you you're too good to be true?" Complimentary questions are Jack's M.O., apparently.

The Botticelli/Degas line is already pretentious, and knowing that he's probably used it more than once makes it all the more obnoxious. Randy isn't impressed and sarcastically retorts: "A tenth-grade art teacher."

"Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? ... Enough to break the ice." - Hall Pass

Just like in Couples Retreat, the marriages in Hall Pass are having problems. Both Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are stuck in stagnant marriages and bitterly miss their single days. Their respective wives, Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate), then give them "hall passes," allowing them one week to step outside the marriages and sleep with whomever they want.

With their newfound freedom, Rick and Fred decide to go to a bar to pick up women. Fred comes prepared with a list of pickup lines to use, all of which fall flat upon delivery. The first one Fred tries is: "Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?" When the woman says no, he continues, "Enough to break the ice."

This pickup line is fairly well known. While it may be sort of amusing the first time you hear it, it definitely loses charm with use. The woman Fred speaks to immediately walks away. His next attempt does not get any better; in fact, it's arguably much worse: "Do you want to try to Australian kiss? It's like the French kiss, except down under."

"Building a parachute?" - Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal, directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, introduces Hal (Jack Black). Just as the title tells you, Hal is very shallow. He has no interest in women who aren't supermodel-pretty. When a life coach sees just how shallow Hal is, he hypnotizes Hal so that when he looks at a woman, he sees her inner beauty manifested as her outer appearance. When he meets Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), a 300-pound woman, he sees her as a much slimmer version of herself. 

Hal first spots Rosemary as she's walking into a department store. He promptly — and, well, somewhat creepily — follows her inside. She's shopping for underwear and holds up a pair in her size. From Hal's perspective, a skinny woman is holding up a large pair of underwear. He doesn't understand why, leading him to go up to her and say, "Building a parachute?"

It's an uneasy moment. Viewers are likely both cringing at Hal's obliviousness and sympathizing with Rosemary. As Hal continues to put his foot in his mouth, talking about how big the underwear is, Rosemary merely glares at him and walks away. Hal follows her, explaining that he didn't intend to offend and was just trying to be funny. Rosemary is confused, but accepts his apology. Still, Hal more than earned his way onto this "worst" list with that line.

"Do you like cheese?" - She's the Man

She's the Man is a modernized retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. After her school cuts the girls soccer team, Viola Hastings (Amanda Bynes) pretends to be her brother, Sebastian (James Kirk), at his new boarding school so she can join their boys soccer team and play against the boys team at her old school.

While pretending to be Sebastian, Viola falls for Sebastian's roommate, Duke Orsino (Channing Tatum). The situation becomes even more complicated because Duke has a crush on Olivia (Laura Ramsey). Since Viola cannot confess her feelings to Duke while disguised as Sebastian, she must offer her advice to Duke when he asks for help talking to Olivia. Viola (as Sebastian) tells Duke to pretend she's a girl he's interested in so they can roleplay a conversation. Duke complains he doesn't know what kind of questions to ask. Viola says he can ask her anything, adding, "Ask me if I like cheese."

Duke laughs at the suggestion, but asks anyway. They end up talking about how they both like gouda. It's a cute moment that shows Viola and Duke have chemistry. Still, when Duke uses the line on Olivia in a later scene and she responds with a confused and annoyed look, it's clear that the line was not such great advice.

"Hey not-Air-Marshal Jon, you wanna get back in that restroom and not rest?" -Bridesmaids

In Bridesmaids, Annie (Kristen Wiig) is asked to be the maid of honor at her best friend Lillian's (Maya Rudolph) wedding. The bridal party experiences hijinks and mishaps in the days leading up to the wedding.

The group decides to go to Las Vegas for the bachelorette party. While on the plane, one of the bridesmaids, Megan (Melissa McCarthy, in her Oscar-nominated supporting role), sits next to a man, Jon (Ben Falcone), who she insists is an Air Marshal, despite Jon's protestations to the contrary. Megan then corners Jon as he's exiting the airplane's bathroom and says, "Hey, not-Air-Marshal Jon, you wanna get back in that restroom and not rest?"

The line turns out to be not nearly as effective as it is funny. Jon tries to get back to his seat. Megan continues to make suggestive comments and even lifts her leg, resting it on the wall to block his path in a hilariously bad attempt at seduction. Jon eventually makes it back to his seat, shutting down her string of pickup lines. But, as it turns out, Megan was right about Jon being an Air Marshal. Not only that, but the viewer also finds out at the end of the movie that Megan and Jon began a relationship. Still, we wouldn't recommend trying this tactic.