11 Queers Share the Best and Worst Lines They’ve Gotten on Dating Apps

In 2019 many people connect with other humans by swiping in one direction or another, whichever way life takes them, on their phone screen. Even after an app informs you that someone you think is cute also thinks you are cute, however, someone (two someones, really, if this is going to go anywhere) have to speak to one another! Sometimes that goes swimmingly, and others it is a disaster. Let us learn from each other’s successes and mistakes. Here are the best and/or worst things people have said to us when trying to date us!


Heather Hogan, Managing Editor

On the dating app of Twitter, which is where I met Stacy, she used the opening line of just a gif of Paula Deen getting hit in the face with a ham. It was very effective! I was like, “Well, now who is this weirdo.” Nine years later we share an entire life. The worst pick-up line anyone has ever used on me on an app was, “Harry Potter is overrated.”


Erin, Writer

One woman began a conversation with something to the effect of “Link me your Instagram so I know this isn’t a catfish account” (which says so much about my whole deal, that this needed to be clarified) before the obligatory “hi,” which told me she wasn’t here to play around and I appreciated the establishing of a direct line of communication. The worst was “Hey I think I follow you on Twitter!”


Rachel Kincaid, Managing Editor

“What’s your cat’s name? She’s beautiful. And so are you. I bet you’re finding lots of people to show you the city, but if you need another, I’d be honored.” This was so good! She complimented me AND my cat, and also invited me to talk about my cat! I want to talk about my cat and be told I’m pretty all the time!


Alexis Smithers, Writer

Best: Tie between:

Hello bunch of mental illnesses in a trenchcoat, I’m Dad. What sci-fi show were you yelling at
(an aside, can you tell what my tinder profile says)

Hey I don’t have a witty opener. I just think you’re super cute! *heart eyes*

Worst: I literally reopened all the accounts on all the apps and literally have just had nice messages so I’m gonna say the worst opening line was an unsolicited dick pic from a cis man


Molly Priddy, Writer

OK don’t judge me, but I’m always the one using the opening line. I have yet to have anyone use one on me! Well, maybe one, who said, “Hey,” which is pretty uninspired to be honest. It all goes so much smoother when you stop thinking about them as “lines” and more like “communicating with another human being who is also cute.” So you mention something specific from their profile or photos, to show you paid attention. Then go from there!


Carolyn Yates, Writer

Best: My profile at the time opened “Kinky, sub-y, poly, hard femme.” Their first message was “Kinky, Top/Dom, poly-adjacent […] . How do you do?” There. For. It.
Worst: “Did I see you at [coffee shop] earlier?”


Riese Bernard, Editor-in-Chief, CEO, CFO & Co-Founder

Okay, so I met an ex through tinder (although we had lots of friends in common), and back when we still talked about being together forever, we were pleased that we wouldn’t have to lie about meeting online in our wedding vows because our meeting online story would’ve been really cute in that context.

Her opening line was “this is the most important thing that has ever happened to me.”

I liked my ex’s opening because it wasn’t coy, it was totally transparent if hyperbolic, serving to inflate my ego and acknowledge that she knew who I was and was into it. I asked her what the most important thing that had ever happened to her was before matching with me on tinder and she said “probably when kristen stewart said she was gay on SNL” and because that had happened a few days earlier i was like “wow this must be a big week for you!” and then the rest is history. History that eventually… ended.

A lot of people say “are you riese from autostraddle?” which like, yes! and then… WHAT THEN!!?? NOTHING. It’s definitely cuter if, when that’s the angle, the person actually references something relevant to me / autostraddle that can start a conversation.

The worst is probably just like, “what’s up?” If you’re not a smooth texter, just say ‘wanna get a drink this week?’ and then we can talk about what’s up.


Sarah Sarwar, Design & Marketing Director

Best: Any over-illustrious GIF that exudes ATTRACTION, i.e. — a winking banana unpeeling itself.

Worst: “Hi Sarah, what’s giving you life right now [seedling emoji]”


Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor

My old OKCupid handle was ze_monsta, a play on the excellent PJ Harvey song “Meet Ze Monsta,” and I kept hoping someone would get it and sweep me away with their romantic understanding of Polly Jean. Nobody ever did, except a tall hot Texan babe with a lip ring who caught the reference and told me about her favorite PJ songs and honestly? That’s all I need. We ended up being lifelong friends. I very rarely send the first message and am very, very shy when I do; dating apps are so awkward and it’s so hard to start a conversation!

My absolute worst dating app pickup was a guy who sent me something like five paragraphs about the OKCupid compatibility question wondering if you’d ever fuck in a graveyard, complaining about the false equivalency with necrophilia that he felt was implied, and wondering what was so bad about that anyway. However, my favorite OKCupid pickup of all time was the guy who wrote only, “Look a little crazy huh” with no punctuation.


Reneice Charles, Writer

I wish I had an answer for the best opening line i’ve ever received but not a single thing is coming to mind, I DO however have one for the worst. Back when I still dated men one particularly confident specimen sent me a message that started with ” You are desperately fetching”. His message moved on from there into some of the worst soft-core porn scripting I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading rife with objectification and highly problematic racial and fat exoticism. It was so bad that I couldn’t believe it was real. Like this man TRULY believed this was an appropriate way to go about finding a date? Wow. Also, desperately fetching??? just…what? I deleted the app the next day.


Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor

I actually opened my Tinder to look at concrete examples for this and all the best opening lines include some combo of a greeting, a compliment, and a suggestion to hang out. I like to use Tinder to meet babes but I’m not looking for an extended pen pal situation – I have enough friends to text with. Get in, ask me to meet in person, get out! Let’s see if we have sexual chemistry ASAP, ya know? I don’t really have any terrible opening line stories – maybe that’s why I’m one of the only queer women who actually likes Tinder?


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39 Comments

  1. I think the worse opening line I got was on OKC. She messaged me and said, “what makes you feel genderqueer when you present in such a way. Can’t you be happy being a man who wears makeup and likes talking about dresses?” I replied cause I am trans. And it went downhill from there. I honestly found this to be a bit worse than the gay Jewish guy who messaged me on OKC telling me his genitals would be good for my overall health. After I told him I am trans he said he replied with calling his member and comparing to the story of Chanukkah. His user name was Mr. Pound or something.

    Weird one, I got last week on OKC, “are you excited for the new L Word season so we can see Jenny die again?” Oddly enough on the same day, I got asked why do I like Jenny from a different person on OKC. My profile mentions I like Jenny.

  2. “Get in, ask me to meet in person, get out!”

    Vanessa this is the most Capricorn thing I’ve ever seen you write BECAUSE I ALSO AGREE WITH IT. Why do people on dating apps want to talk. LET’S JUST GET SOMETHING ON THE SCHEDULE and wait until we’re in person to figure out if we are interested in fucking. In a similar vein, there is no need to text before a date! I have so many feelings about this!

    • See I wouldn’t want to meet someone in person until we’d had at minimum one reasonably lengthy and interesting conversation over text, so I know it’s worth the effort to extract myself from my introvert hidey-hole and go out in public.

      • If we’ve not been texting for at least a few weeks, I’m not investing effort to meet them. I’m tired and busy, and I’m confident that if I’ve got a free night, it will be very pleasant to snuggle on my couch with my cat, so they need to convince me that an evening with them will be nicer. 🤷‍♀

        My record is with a very nice lady who I’ve been texting about once a month for a year and a half, and we’ve only met up once 😬 but you know, life gets in the way and we both had some shit to deal with.

      • Yes. I don’t know how much my opinion counts because I can’t remember ever “going on a date” or “dating” despite spending the vast majority of the past 15 years partnered. My first partner I met online (in a non-dating-related forum) and then met in person after lots of lengthy discussion and I loved it. Everyone else I’ve been with, I knew already from work/school and we had multiple connections in the small city where I live, and there was a major sense of safety in that. I can’t imagine just meeting up with someone without having lots of people in common or talking for a while.

  3. My worst opening line ever was basically “Well, now that you’ve been single for a week I really need to tell you: I love you. Desperately. I’ve always loved you. [Ad nauseam] I need to see you.”

    We’d never addressed each other directly before that, but we were both members of the same online forum dedicated to heavy metal, and I was flying to within 5 miles of him a week later to see my family. Needless to say I was nervous and uncomfortable about going, but he took rejection surprisingly well for someone desperately in love with me.

  4. i’m the literal worst at messaging first but when i do it’s a purposefully cheesy pickup line/joke cause that’s the bulk of my profile

    ‘are you a sixty degree angle? cause you’re twice the person i am and we’re obviously complementary’

    ‘hey! how much does a polar bear weigh? enough to break the ice! hi i’m caitlin’

  5. the best opener I’ve received by far was “I must be at a Whole Foods because I just found a vegan snack! 😘” and the worst I’ve received (also by far) was “what’s wrong with capitalism? without it you wouldn’t have this phone, laptop, car, netflix, no veganism as the government would dictate what you eat” which is like.. what.

  6. I’ve never so much as attempted to meet someone I haven’t seen with my own eyes, but all the times I’ve asked people out are definitely tied for the worst lines because I was adamantly pretending not to ask them out. Someone once came to my house, slept with me in my bed, and I was still only 60% I was supposed to make a move in the morning

  7. Once, on tinder, a girl said she was afraid of spiders in her profile, so I messaged her and volunteered to kill all the spiders for her. Apparently that was the best line she ever had received.

    I wish I could say we met and fell madly in love, but, alas, this is a queer wasteland, and everyone is like an hour away, and things never go anywhere.

  8. I’ve never gotten a best or worst message from a woman, they usually ‘like’ my profile and never message me, unless no message is the worst message possible!
    However, when I thought I was straight and was looking for a guy to date I would get bad messages but one that really annoyed me was this guy who had the nerve to go through my entire profile and tell me I had spelled ‘ect.’ wrong! It’s a freaking OKCupid profile, I wasn’t publishing a book!

  9. The only opening lines I ever got were in response to my “please dont message me if…” from folks who checked all those NO boxes.

    The lady I’m currently smooching on I opened up with a picture of my cat looking like she was tired of my bs.

    Then after some decent chats a Tina Belcher meme with my phone number.

    Those things sum me up and she was into it.

  10. The only pickup line ever tried on me was doomed to fail. I was working night audit at a hotel when I heard the elevators open and this guy starts looking around the lobby for something. As I was the only employee there, I stood up from my computer and ask him if there was something I could help him find. He asks if his brother was down there as they had both been to a wedding and he was worried his brother might have over-indulged. I told him that nobody was down there and he was the first person I had seen in several hours (completely true), and I asked if there was anything else I could help him with. He said no, but then asked if he could help ME with anything. Startled and confused (as I was the employee and there to help the customers with stuff, not the other way around), I said no. Then he got this sly look on his face and asked “Are you sure?” At that point I realized what he was up to, said that I was sure and told him to have a good night before going back to my computer. It was interesting enough to remember, but doomed to fail.

    On OKC every woman who feels like it just leaves “likes” on my profile, but as I can’t afford the site’s premium subscription I can’t see who they are and nobody ever sends messages. So it all ends up going nowhere.

  11. The best one that springs to mind was a girl whose profile said a bunch of cute interesting things and ended with “what do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?” And so the first message I sent her was “*deadpan Kalinda Sharma voice* a stick?” And she responded with “are you my soulmate?”

    I left her city before we could hang out but I do look back fondly on this exchange!

  12. [in response to me mentioning in my profile that I like Broad City]: “I love Broad City! Which scene is your favourite? I think mine is the one where Abbi pegs Jeremy. I think about it every time I peg my boyfriend.”

    [in response to me mentioning in my profile that my favourite food is eggs]: “How do you like your eggs for breakfast in the morning? Apart from fertilised, of course ;)” (that one was from a cishet dude though)

  13. best first line was from someone responding to my tinder bio (which at the time just said “looking for a kidney”) who said: “I’m a twin. (= four kidneys).” had a real good giggle @ that one

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