I Messaged Guys On Tinder Using Exclusively ‘Parks And Rec’ Quotes And Documented The Results

Originally written for Swipe Life: CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY. [including all graphics]

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Let’s be real. If you’re an active Tinder user, you’re likely accumulating plenty of matches. But sometimes, after that, your best Tinder icebreakers get you…radio silence. Over time, you may collect a small colony of quiet matches at the top of your app. While the ego boost of matching is nice, it’s much more fun to actually have conversations.

I took a peek at my matches to see who had yet to engage me and decided I was going to message them, but with one stipulation. I would only use lines from one of my favorite comedy shows, Parks and Recreation. This made starting the conversation much easier, and I wondered who would catch on.

I chose two very different quotes from the waffle-loving leading lady Leslie Knope and experimented by starting brand new conversations with 38 matches. Some were given their first taste of me via the cynical existential truth: “Everything hurts and I’m dying.” This is a pretty general statement and isn’t far off from my real at-times nihilistic attitude. Others were presented with the far more flattering but over-the-top (Leslie to Ann) compliment, “You are a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.” It’s a bit, well, strange and far more specific.

via GIPHY

Here’s what happened next:

Some guys went from Parks and Rec straight to… threesomes. (Fun fact: a unicorn is a bi woman who is cool with having a threesome with a guy and a girl already in some sort of relationship.) I bet guys like this can take any TV quote and spin it into a threesome request!

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 1

Some were flattered and wanted to make out like the vigorous oxen they are.

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 2

Others were maybe a bit too flattered. Or perhaps desperate. (That “Ok” is pretty cold, though…) 😥

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 3

One guy had a full-blown conversation with me as I solely spoke in what he later refers to as “riddles” before he finds out what I’m doing.  Every response from me is a new quote from the show. What a patient dude because, honestly, I would have checked out of this unnatural (albeit entertaining) conversation long before he did. But this goes to show any conversation, however cryptic, is better than no conversation!

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 4

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 5

Many of these men are empathetic/sympathetic and completely willing to help out a complete stranger in existential despair. Maybe there is hope for the future after all.

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 6

Aw. How romantic!

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 7

Some were confused, and rightfully so.

Parks and Recs Tinder Icebreaker Chat 8

But the moral of the story is, not a single person reacted with anything negative or rude. Of the 38 men I messaged, 17 responded, most in the first day or two. That’s about a 45 percent success rate — and that’s with a totally random opening line with no explanation. The men were more receptive to the compliment, especially because it’s not the typical, “Hey, you’re cute/hot/attractive” (a line I personally hate others opening with). So give it a shot. Give out a unique (okay, just weird) compliment. The possibilities are endless.

I mean, think about your weekday nights alone in bed. There’s “The Office,” “Game of Thrones,” “Jessica Jones,” “Westworld,” what have you. Or how about classics like “The Simpsons,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “The Golden Girls?” There are an endless supply of darling, funny and snippy conversation starters courtesy of your favorite TV characters, ones you probably already know from weeknight binge watching. So if you’re fresh out of ideas, let someone like Leslie take over.

How did it go for you when you used TV show quotes to start conversations?

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