Be My Valentine

Because of the holiday, there is an inherent sort of romanticism associated with the name "Valentine"note  .

Writers will utilize this association to hint at the character's heroic roots. The Knight in Shining Armor named Valentine will do anything to win fair lady's hand, while an Anti-Hero or The Stoic may have the name in order to hint at his Hidden Heart of Gold. A girl with a Sugar and Ice Personality named Valentine will often become a Defrosting Ice Queen.

A Villain with the name "Valentine" is often a deliberate subversion on the audience's subconscious expectations, though they do often keep some level of tragic romanticism. They will often be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or perhaps a Noble Demon or Worthy Opponent. Female villains may be The Vamp.

May or may not apply to slight variations (Valentino, Valentin, etc.) depending on their characterizaton.

A Naming Convention. Compare Cherry Blossom Girl and Alice Allusion.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop. She's a Femme Fatale and a Broken Bird who's just looking for love... and for that big gambling win (she's compared to the Queen of Hearts, for obvious reasons). In this case, it's Justified In-Universe — it isn't her real name. She didn't even choose it. The doctor responsible for waking her out of inadvertent cyrosleep named her after his favorite song, "My Funny Valentine."
  • Mai Valentine from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Her last name is Kujaku (peafowl) in the original, though.
  • U.S. President (and Big Bad) Funny Valentine in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run. He is unquestionably a villain, but he turns out to be a (deluded) Well-Intentioned Extremist. Hey...Jesus's corpse blessed him for a reason.
  • Saint Seiya and Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas present a Specter named Valentine, who, although definitely a villain and never redeemed, is extremely loyal and dedicated to his army and his commander.

    Comic Books 
  • The Powerpuff Girls: "The Bride Of Mojo Jojo" (issue #24, DC run) has Mojo looking for love on Valentine's Day because he cannot be "a party of one". But when a dating service fails him, he uses various discards and his own DNA to create a Bride of Frankenstein-style mate. The girls, in the meantime, are entertaining ideas of what kind of mommy they'd want.

    Film 
  • The grandfather in Spy Kids (played by Ricardo Montalban) is named Valentin Avellan.
  • Kevin Bacon played Valentine "Val" Mckee in Tremors.
  • Valentine from MirrorMask isn't romanticized, but he does fit the "anti-hero with a heart of gold" type.
  • Gangster Eddie Valentine from The Rocketeer. Technically a bad guy, but throws his hat in with the heroes once he learns his employer is a two-bit Nazi.
  • Russian criminal boss Valentin Zukovsky is an ally of James Bond in Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough who isn't quite evil but not entirely good either.
  • Billy Ray Valentine in Trading Places
  • George Valentin, the male lead in The Artist, as an homage to silent screen lover Valentino.
  • 1980s British rom-com Shirley Valentine.
  • Val(entine) Kozlowski, the bombardier of the Memphis Belle. He even gets a "bet the women love that!" when the public affairs officer learns his full name.

    Literature 
  • Valentine Wolfe, who never met a drug he didn't like, from Deathstalker.
  • Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land has Valentine Michael Smith.
  • Valentine Wiggin from Enderís Game. Valentine is the sweet, empathetic-to-a-fault middle child. This stands in contrast with her brothers psychopath-but-he-grew-up-okay Peter "The Rock (Upon Whom I Found My Church)," Fisher Of Men, and the youngest practically-inhuman-empathy-and-perfect-warrior 'Ender,' properly Andrew, "brother of Peter", "he-who-insisted-on-being-crucified-on-an-X". You see, their father—the very-Catholic John Paul Wigginnote —gave them significant saints' names and secret baptisms, because Ender's Game was written at a time when Card seriously believed that Da Gubbamint might outlaw the practice of religion and succeed under the pretense of population control. This interacts annoyingly with The Great Politics Mess-Up, for reasons that have nothing to do with this trope.
  • The heroine of the very first of P. G. Wodehouse's "Blandings Castle" novels, Something Fresh (1915), was named Joan Valentine.
  • The real name of reformed safe-cracker Ralph Spencer in O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" is Jimmy Valentine. (The story was filmed twice, in 1915 and in 1928, as Alias Jimmy Valentine.)
  • In G. K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" stories "The Blue Cross" and "The Secret Garden," Aristide Valentin [sic] is the Head of the Parisian police. He is also the murderer in the latter.
  • The main character of Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentines Castle, and some but not all of the following books in the Majipoor Series.
  • Mortal Engines has Thaddeus and his daughter Katherine.
  • Valentine de Villefort, the Proper Lady-like daughter of the Count's enemies in The Count of Monte Cristo
    • And her counterpart in the anime series Gankutsuou, based on The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Valentine, one of the Two Gentlemen of Verona from the play of the same name by Shakespeare
  • Valentinian in the Belisarius Series. He does not have a particularly romantic outlook on life.

     Live Action TV  
  • Becca Valentine from Andromeda.
  • Emily Valentine from Beverly Hills 90210
  • Cat Valentine from Victorious.
  • Emma Valentine from The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Vicious Valentine". She's a villain who pretends to be a matchmaker to steal the inheritances of wealthy men. And she wears heart-themed clothing.
  • Valentine Wannop, Christopher Tietjens' love interest in Parade's End.

    Music 
  • "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine", by Spoon. The song is quite cryptic (and good!), but Monsieur Valentine is mentioned to have a "black heart machine".

     Pro Wrestling 
  • Johnny Valentine, and his son Greg, subvert this as they were both heels for much of their careers.

     Video Games 

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • Tex Avery's 1936 Warner Bros. cartoon "Don't Look Now" has cherubic and childlike Dan Cupid preparing for February 14 with his bow and arrows. A similarly cherubic and childlike Devil sees the day as a chance to mess up Cupid's efforts with mischief.

     Real Life 
  • Once famous as the greatest lover in film, Rudolph Valentino.
  • The original Saint Valentine.
  • Valentine Dyall, best known as the Black Guardian.
  • One early example is also a brutal aversion; "Duke Valentino" was one of the titles of Cesare Borgia, who wouldn't even fit into the villainous use of this trope. since he was a straight-up Magnificent Bastard.
  • Likely also averted with Valentina (the feminine form) Tereshkova, the Russian Cosmonaut.