Do Chinese Pick-up Lines Work?

Aug 17, 2021 | Chinese Apps

So, we recently posted an interesting article on Chinese pick-up lines. We made sure to add a disclaimer at the start to say that we don’t believe pick-up lines would work here in China. But how true was this disclaimer? Do Chinese pick-up lines work? I was determined to find out.
After having a quick glance at Chinese dating apps, I decided to throw myself headfirst into 探探 (Tantan). Surely, this will work, I kept telling myself. Boy was I wrong.

We start this journey on the account creation screen. I let everyone know I am a Taurus, (This is important for dating apps here in China), and I add the most flattering selfies I can find on my phone.

And then, as you do, I spent the next three days swiping right (meaning you like someone) and battling carpal tunnel. Let’s get into some of the results, shall we?

I’ve included screenshots from the whole experience, with pictures and names blocked out for obvious privacy reasons.

So, for this, let’s call it an ‘experiment’, I used a classic:

Nǐ yǒu dìtú ma?
Do you have a map?

This is a two-parter; they answer with why? and with all my hopeful charisma, I could answer with:

Wǒ yǐ míshī zài nǐ de yǎnjīng lǐle
I’m lost in your eyes

But, unfortunately, this did not go as planned. I got repeatedly ignored, and I really do mean repeatedly. 17 times to be exact. About 87% of the time, this pick-up line didn’t even warrant a response. Needless to say, I was bummed out. But there was hope on the horizon. I had finally gotten a few responses.

Ignored #1

Ignored #2

This was the first response I got, and it was to a different pick-up line:


Nǐ yǒu dǎhuǒjī ma?
Do you have a lighter?

The answer:

A: 在哪里学的?
Zài nǎlǐ xué de?
Where did you learn this?

From That’s Mandarin, of course. Unfortunately, this didn’t exactly give me the chance to finish the rest of the line. Which, I’m very certain, would have worked. Here is how I was hoping it would go:


Nǐ yǒu dǎhuǒjī ma?
Do you have a lighter?




Nà nǐ shì zěnme diǎnrán wǒ de xīn de?
Then how did you ignite my heart?


Unfortunately, this next example happened more times than I would have liked. They simply just answered no. Maybe I just caught them on a bad day.

So, do Chinese pick-up lines work? Drumroll, please.


Of course, as with all things, there will be exceptions, however in the case of Chinese pick-up lines, they will be far less frequent. I even went as far as trying these pick-up lines on apps like Tinder, but with the same unfortunate results. You should still try these pick-up lines yourself, and let us know how it goes for you. Hopefully, you’ll achieve better results than we did.

We hope you enjoyed our very failed attempt at Chinese pick-up lines! If you want to see our original article on 11 cheesy Chinese pick-up lines, check them out here.



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