A great pickup line serves several purposes: to break the ice, to start a conversation, to show interest, and/or to get to know another person better.
Whether you're looking to strike up small talk with the cute stranger you see every day in line at the coffee shop or trying to make conversation during a first date, try one of these great pickup lines that easily cover all four criteria. Have fun and see where the conversation takes you.
"What Does Your Name Mean?"
Asking someone with an unusual first or last name is a great pickup line, especially if they have a story to tell. If nothing else, you'll learn more about your intended interests' background and family history, and can ask more questions as they provide more details.
"How Do You Fit into the Picture Here?"
There are several variations on this question, such as asking how someone knows the party host, or how they came across the band whose gig you're both at.
This kind of question is especially fun if you are at a larger gathering where everyone seems to know everyone else because oftentimes you'll get introductions to everyone else as well.
"If You Won a Free Education, What Would You Go Back to School For?"
Not only does this question tell you what they went to school for (and if they took any post-secondary classes at all), but also provides you with a hint as to their goals, aspirations, and dreams.
"Can You Suggest Something?"
Depending on where you are will determine what exactly you are asking a suggestion for. Coffee shops and bookstores/libraries are great for this icebreaker, as are local eateries, pubs, sporting events, and grocery stores.
By asking someone's opinion and advice, you are showing your interest. If you take them up on their suggestion, you can then compare and contrast your experiences for a bit longer of a chat. Turning this pickup line into a date isn't terribly difficult either; just ask them if they'd like to explore more of whatever was suggested, together, at a later date.
"Can You Reach That for Me?"
Perhaps you are trying to get a touch of sunscreen on your back, or maybe you are unable to reach something on the top shelf. Either way, this icebreaker will get the two of you in close physical contact (if not touching in the case of the sunscreen) so that you can make smiling eye contact to show your interest.
Don't let the apple of your eye get away with a mere, "Sure," however; try starting a conversation about the item in question, whether or not sunscreen really helps, or some other related item in the vicinity.
"You Look Familiar. Did We Meet at [Crazy, Unusual, or Outlandish Event]?"
This pickup line works in almost any situation, as long as you have a ready-made meeting place with which to start with. Perhaps try unusual but tame, "metal basket weaving class" or "underwater poetry reading" or strange, "pistachio eating contest."
The point is to make the person forget about John and ask about the thought-provoking event you mentioned. You'll get bonus points if you can actually come up with a real-life gathering that requires explanation and further discussion.