The art of pickup lines is something that even the most experienced of daters may fail to properly execute. Many lines are just far too cliche and cheesy, while others are just raunchy enough to earn the deliverer a drink poured on their head. The key is usually to find a happy medium, but sometimes, the outcome of a pickup line is just too unpredictable. The only way to find out is to test it.
Even video game characters resort to pickup lines, and they’re not always safe from the humiliation of a failed pickup line, either. Game series like Al Lowe’s Leisure Suit Larry even revolve around the use of terrible adult jokes to (usually) unsuccessfully seduce others. Just as in real life, many games with romance storylines rely on player dialogue choices to successfully woo a companion.
The hard truth is that sometimes, the pickup lines in video games are just as bad as real life.
"You smell wonderful at this funeral." – The Witcher 3
Wrong place, wrong time. During King Bran’s funeral in The Witcher 3, when the King of the Skellige Isles’ body is sent off to sea for his final voyage to be met by the island’s ancestors, legendary witcher Geralt begins flirting with a sorceress named Yennefer. As she stands beside him listening to the eulogy, Geralt tells Yennefer that she smells "wonderful." She initially shrugs off the comment by reminding Geralt that they’re at a funeral. "You smell wonderful at this funeral," he replies.
Geralt continues on to say that he wants to run away with Yennefer to a secluded cottage for a week, which grabs her attention. She hesitantly flirts back, looking away from him as she asks what they’d do at the cottage, before fully giving into Geralt and looking him in the eyes. "I like what I see," she says.
A funeral is not the most appropriate place to be flirting, but at least it worked?
"You want to go on a vacation to the world of romance with me?" – Persona 3 Portable
What’s a Persona game without a pickup contest? In Persona 3 Portable, high school students Junpei and Akihiko and protagonist Makoto head to the beach. While there, Junpei ropes his friends into performing what he calls "Operation Babe Hunt." After Junpei fails to pick up a pair of girls, Akihiko approaches a woman and realizes that she’s much, much older than him. How the tables have turned — now this "Woman of Questionable Age" has begun hitting on the boys, instead.
The woman sizes up Akihiko and decides that he is the one she wants. "I choose you! You want to go on a vacation to the world of romance with me?" she asks. The phrasing of that line is … interesting, to say the least.
Akihiko and Junpei become uncomfortable and run away from the situation, which makes the woman angry at them for dismissing her advances. Longtime Persona fans will know that this woman appears more than once in the series, and she’s always on the prowl for younger men.
"I’ve got this big gun back at my place I’d like to show you." – Mass Effect 3: Citadel
As part of the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3, customizable character Commander Shepard tries to help a turian named Garrus find a date at a bar for his day off work. All Garrus knows is work, so he doesn’t quite know how to charm a woman. Shepard introduces him to another turian across the bar, but all he can muster up at first is "So, um… Hello, and, um…" Basically, he’s not off to a great start.
Garrus then tries to tell the woman about a time he had to take down a horde of mercenaries and ended up with scars. "I see… maybe there’s an ointment for that?" the woman replies. Oof, Garrus is 0 for 2.
The final nail in the coffin comes when Garrus says, "What do you say we blow this joint? I’ve got this big gun back at my place I’d like to show you." Even Shepard knew that was a bad one, as they shakes their head in the background. The woman then excuses herself from the awkward situation.
"I’ve had to endure half a lifetime without you." – The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone DLC
A bold sense for flirting must run in the family. The soul of Vlodimir von Everec, while possessing his brother Geralt’s body, accompanies a medic named Shani to her friend’s wedding. Vlodimir wants to woo Shani and asks why he has not yet succeeded in doing so. "Perhaps you’re just not my type. Consider that?" Shani remarks. Vlodimir then sets out to prove that he is every woman’s type by hitting on the women at the party.
Vlodimir approaches a woman, who asks if she knows him. "That’s the crux of it — we’ve not met. I’ve had to endure half a lifetime without you," he responds.
When did The Witcher become a cheesy rom-com? What’s worse is that later, Vlodimir starts talking about how fate brought him to this woman. He says that she is a "marvel" of nature and that he wants to show her off as a "true" lady. She becomes flustered as he manipulates her. Of course, the alternative dialogue option is, "Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?" So, it could have been even worse.
"I’m the conductor of the poop train!" – Borderlands 2
Back in 2013, developer Gearbox Software released a promotional short film about Krieg the Psycho, a playable character in Borderlands 2 who doesn’t seem to be the smartest (or sanest). The film dives into the inner workings of Krieg’s head, which is actually filled with coherent and fully-processed thoughts. Unfortunately, the only words that make it out of his mouth are about "meat bicycles" and poop.
Krieg walks along the desert and sees a beautiful woman in the distance. His coherent consciousness begs him to say something about her beauty or say something romantic, but all Krieg manages to scream is, "I’m the conductor of the poop train!" Ouch.
All that does is make her want to shoot him. Later, Krieg saves the woman from being killed by bandits, and again his conscience urges him to say something kind. All he comes up with is, "I powdered my cockatiel for the ribcage slaughter!" Sigh. He tried.
"Maybe I’ll let you do a strip search on me." – Metal Gear Solid
There’s that wrong place, wrong time again. In the opening of Metal Gear Solid, a spy named Snake heads to a nuclear weapons disposal facility, where he is tasked with rescuing two hostages taken by members of Next Generation Special Forces. During his mission, Snake maintains communication with his commanding Colonel, as well as a doctor known as Naomi and a data processing specialist named Mei Ling. As Snake enters his mission, the Colonel reminds the spy that he is unarmed and will need to search for weapons.
"I remember. First I’m strip searched by Doctor Naomi here and then all my weapons are taken away. Imagine yourself put in that position," Snake says grumpily. Things get a little raunchy when Doctor Naomi replies, "Well, maybe if you make it back in one piece, I’ll let you do a strip search on me."
Flirting with an ally right in front of your Colonel probably isn’t wise. Plus, the flirty line didn’t really fit the scene’s atmosphere. Even the player in this gameplay video can be heard reacting in surprised at the line.
"Why don’t you go get yourself something nice?" – GTA 5
Grand Theft Auto 5‘s Trevor Phillips is quite the character. The career criminal is known for aggressively insulting most people he meets and making unwanted passes at women. In one particular scene alongside his partners Franklin Clinton and Michael De Santa, he flirts with Franklin’s aunt. De Santa and Clinton discuss something outside of Aunt Denise’s home until Trevor walks up and comments that he didn’t know Franklin had a sister. Charmed, Denise introduces herself.
When Franklin makes a snide comment about his aunt, Trevor tells him to shut up and hands Denise a handful of cash. "Here, darling, why don’t you go buy yourself something nice?" he says. Denise thanks him and counts the money, realizing that Trevor only handed her a whopping $7. "I said something nice, not expensive," Trevor remarks. He tells her not to be greedy and to get out of here. Well, that ruined the moment.
"I’m hitting on you guys." – Persona 4 Golden
Here’s yet another example of that Persona charm. In Persona 4 Golden, protagonist Yu Narukami and classmates Yosuke and Kanji meet at Okina Station, where they end up in yet another Persona pickup contest. Yu (the player) tries his luck with just about any woman at the station he comes across, and even talks up a male police officer. At one point, Yu tries to pick up a pair of older housewives.
Yu’s first approach is pretty straightforward: "I’m hitting on you guys," he says. Erm, well, at least he’s honest, but that’s not quite a groundbreaking pickup line.
The line doesn’t work, and only causes the housewives to reminisce about their younger days and flirting with their own high school mates. He does not succeed in getting their phone numbers. The other dialogue option here is "Can I getcho numbas?" This is also quite a direct approach, but alas, it yields the same results.
"I have been having slightly more impure thoughts than usual." – Fallout 4
There are plenty of choices for romantic companions in Fallout 4, and all of them see the player engage in some flirting to win over their lovers. In a scene between ghoul mayor of Goodneighbor John Hancock and a female protagonist, Hancock tells her that he feels lucky to have her as a friend. If the "flirt" option is chosen, the protagonist asks if she and Hancock are really just friends.
"Now that you mention it, I have been having slightly more impure thoughts than usual. Maybe we’ll get to … act on those. Heh," Hancock replies. This line isn’t totally subtle, but hey, at least it means the romancing is working.
Companion relationships can be made or broken based on player responses throughout Fallout 4, and they grow from friendship to romance based on levels of charisma and luck. Had the relationship level not been high enough, this conversation with Hancock could have gone a different direction.