Movie Pick-Up Lines That Just Might Work
Pick-up lines are usually groan-worthy, but somehow, our favorite fictional movie characters tend to get away with them. Over the years, we’ve been treated to hundreds of classic one-liners and witty wordplay in cinema, all in the name of love.
Of course, it's important to remember that cinematic pick-up lines aren’t like fine wines — they don’t always age well. But here are some romantic quips, lovelorn laments and smooth-talkin’ prose that have truly stood the test of time.
A Small Club – “Up” (2009)
If you can make it through the first few minutes of Pixar’s “Up” without breaking down in tears, congratulations, you deserve some kind of medal.
And when young Ellie tells young Carl, “You and me, we’re in a club now” — little do they know they’ll be in the ultimate club soon: marriage! — that’s a level of cuteness we simply can’t even process.
A Lifetime of Love – “The Notebook” (2004)
When it comes to classic (albeit cheesy) pick-up lines, we’d be remiss not to mention Ryan Gosling as Noah in “The Notebook.” Although this weepy film adaptation (from Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling book of the same name) is full of great Gosling-delivered lines, the all-time best has to be when Noah says to Allie (who’s played by Rachel McAdams): “It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be really hard. And we’re going to have to work on this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.”
Not only would this pick-up line totally work in real life — especially if Ryan Gosling is the one saying it! — but this 100 percent belongs in everyone’s wedding vows.
It’s Difficult to Tell – “Casablanca” (1942)
It’s no surprise that one of the most romantic films of all time has several timeless pick-up lines, but Ingrid Bergman asking, “Was that cannon fire, or is my heart pounding?” is easily one of the greatest romantic lines in cinematic history, period.
An Outlaw We Can All Appreciate – “Thelma & Louise” (1991)
The 1990’s bad-boy Brad Pitt is our favorite Brad Pitt, and he’s never been more drool-worthy than in “Thelma & Louise.”
Although he only appears on screen for a few minutes (and who cares, considering the women run the show in this movie), this line of dialogue is pretty unforgettable.
A Bit Cheesy – “Unfaithful” (2002)
In the improbably sexy thriller “Unfaithful,” Paul (Olivier Martinez) lays this one on Connie (Diane Lane) in the heat of the moment, making us all shiver with delight.
Sure, it’s a little cheeseball — but it helps that Olivier Martinez is French, okay?
Too Cool for Words – “Juno” (2007)
Ellen Page as Juno MacGuff and Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker are so cute together in “Juno” that it makes our teeth hurt. And the film’s ending makes us weep semi-uncontrollably (please, no judgment):
Juno: I think I’m in love with you.
Paulie: You mean as friends?
Juno: No, I mean for real. ’Cause you’re, like, the coolest person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even have to try.
No More Wasting Time – “When Harry Met Sally” (1989)
When Billy Crystal utters these words to Meg Ryan in the 1989 classic “When Harry Met Sally,” it’s a dream come true for every rom-com fan. This film, written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner, was the rom-com that would go on to forever change the nature of this genre of movies.
While pretty much every romantic comedy that came after this iconic flick copied it in some way or another, there’s nothing like the original. And this pick-up line proves just that.
Some Romantic BS — “Before Sunrise” (1995)
Ah, the “Before Sunrise” trilogy: All three films comprise one of the most romantic cinematic experiences of our time, so it’s tough to pick out only one line, but this one (delivered by Ethan Hawke’s Jessie to Julie Delpy’s Celine) gets us every time.
Maybe that romantic bullshit is just what we need.
A Bit Creepy, but Charming – “Hitch” (2005)
Conceited? Yes. Maybe a tad creepy? Sure. But when “Hitch” (Will Smith) says this to Sara (Eva Mendes), it’s impossible not to be a little charmed.
In fact, given the right circumstances (and the right person), we’re betting that, in real life, this pick-up line would make us a little bit intrigued.
The Whole Package – “Jerry Maguire” (1996)
Back when Tom Cruise was still in his prime in 1996, he (as Jerry Maguire) uttered the words that are forever etched on our hearts: “We live in a cynical world, a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors. I love you. You … complete me.”
To which Renee Zellweger as Dorothy memorably responded, “Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello.”
That’s cinematic gold, people.
Not Calling It Quits – “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
One of the saddest lines in movie history is also one of the most romantic.
Just thinking about Jake Gyllenhaal’s big, brown, puppy-dog eyes when he says this to a lovestruck-but-unavailable Heath Ledger makes us want to bawl like crazy.
Stealing the Show – “Top Gun” (1986)
Sorry, Maverick and Charlie, but Goose and Carol’s romance stole the show in “Top Gun” — Meg Ryan’s famous line, which she shouts at Anthony Edwards when they’re in a bar, sealed the deal for us.
Teenage Angst Gone Right – “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)
Julia Stiles (as Kat) and Heath Ledger (as Patrick) were the onscreen couple of the 1990s, and given how well this film has held up over time, they’re still our fave angsty lovebirds.
At the movie’s oft-quoted end, Kat reads a furious (and, curiously, very bad) poem out loud to Patrick that ultimately turns heartfelt, and maybe it’s the nod to combat boots and ’90s nostalgia, but this scene just does it for us.