There are so many things that can go wrong on a first date. You might get flustered and accidentally introduce yourself as Jailhouse Bruce when your name is really Lisa, or eat 9 crab cakes before remembering that you’re fatally allergic to shellfish, or fake your own death as part of a really poorly thought-out plan (shout-out, Romeo and Juliet).
Yes, dating is fraught with peril, and the trickiest part is making conversation. Once you’ve covered the basics (likes, dislikes, Hogwarts house, ability to correctly distinguish between your/you’re), what’s left to talk about? A lot, if fictional characters have anything to teach us. Before you embark on your next date, study up on the lit-inspired conversation starters below, and with any luck, you’ll never again experience a silence so awkward that you feel compelled to burst into a tearful and largely inaccurate rendition of “Despacito” just to end it. (That was bad, buddy. That was really, really bad.)