Mark Twain Pickup Lines

Mark Twain’s not a bad looking young man.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.Org)

It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest American literature fan. While British literature is my forte, I do still appreciate many American classics as well as classic American authors, such as Mark Twain. I must admit, of all the things I knew of Mark Twain, such as his wit and humor, I was not all that familiar with his romantic side, but, through researching this blog post, I found that he did indeed have one.

Mark Twain was married in 1870 and, from all accounts, had a happy marriage that yielded four children. But Mark Twain’s wife, Olivia Langdon, rejected Twain’s first marriage proposal in 1868. How did Twain change her mind? Why, with his words of course. The two lovers corresponded regularly via letter and, once Twain had won Ms. Langdon’s heart and her father’s approval, the two were wed and the rejected proposal was put behind them.

So, while many of us know Twain’s words for their wit and humor, his words also touch on romance. If you’re single and looking to remedy the situation, I’ve found some useful quotes from Mark Twain that can aid you in your quest of seduction.

The situation: You see someone looking bored at a party or a bar.

The Twain line: “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

The result (hopefully): The person smiles and you two share a great adventure that night that may lead to the greatest romantic adventure of them all.


The situation: You ask someone out, and they say you are not their type or they’ve dated someone like you before and they aren’t interested.

The Twain line: “Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

The result (hopefully): You two get to make some bad judgement calls together, or, perhaps, you find that it was a good call of judgement to go out after all.


The situation: You two have been friends, for like, ever. You want that to change. You think they do too, but there’s hesitation to take things to the next level despite it not logically being the best move for either of you.

The Twain line: “You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.”

The result (hopefully): Dating and marrying your best friend.


The situation: You’re shy, and the person you like is shy too. One of you has to make a move eventually, right? Or things kind of just stay stagnant.

The Twain line: “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

The result (hopefully): Things get moving! You or the other interested party feel brave for a brief moment and your intentions match so the romance moves forward.


The situation: You ask someone out but they give some excuse like “I’m trying to be good,” or “I promised myself I’d stay in tonight.”

The Twain line: “Be good and you will be lonesome.”

The result (hopefully): A fun night out that will trump a night in.


The situation: Your partner, or potential partner, accuses you of being kind of naughty.

The Twain line: “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”

The result (hopefully): Um, you get to do naughty things. Insert what you wish in the place of naughty.


The situation: You know this person likes you, but they are afraid. You could be bold and ask them out, or you could push them a little to ask you out.

The Twain line: “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

The result (hopefully): A date! Or whatever is out on that limb with that succulent, seductive fruit.


The situation: You’d like to go try something new or adventurous and your partner or potential partner would rather stay in or do something ordinary.

The Twain line: “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

The result (hopefully): Adventure!


The situation: You ask a girl out, and she says she’d like to be friends first or that she only dates people once she’s gotten to know them.

The Twain line: “One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a women is, until after considerable acquaintance with her.”

The result (hopefully): A beautiful friendship that may one day lead to a beautiful relationship.


The situation: You’re accused of being indecent, by a friend, potential mate, or current lover.

The Twain line: “Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.”

The result (hopefully): A good laugh and the ability to carry on being indecent, hopefully with some company.


The situation: You have two movie tickets, or a reservation for two for dinner, or some other activity that would be best as a pair and you’ve been told to head out alone.

The Twain line: “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

The result (hopefully): You have company for the night and a great time out.


The situation: You have been with a woman for a while and want her to know how much you value her company.

The Twain line: “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”

The result (hopefully): She gets the biblical reference and understands you’d give up paradise because you realize the true paradise on earth is her company. This realization probably comes with some naked cuddle time, hopefully, because that is a damn good line.

Amanda Riggle
Rarely use

Amanda Riggle

Managing Editor at The Poetics Project
Amanda is the Managing Editor at The Poetics Project and of The Socialist, the national magazine of The Socialist Party USA, as well as the Lead Editor of Pomona Valley Review's upcoming 11th issue. She graduated with a BA in English Education and a minor in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in an English MA program with an emphasis in Literature. During her free time, Amanda enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling, crocheting, watching entire seasons of campy shows on Netflix, and, of course, writing blogs.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.

Amanda Riggle
Rarely use

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