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 
  • Jill Valentine, one of the main protagonists of the Resident Evil series.
  • Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII
  • Isabella (Ivy) Valentine, from the Soul series.
  • The family of vampires from Shadow Hearts: Keith in the first game, Joachim in Covenant and Hildegard in From the New World.
  • Mr. Valentine, the Big Bad arch-criminal from Guilty Party. Fully in-line with the trope, "he" does indeed have a Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Queen Valentina from Super Mario RPG.
  • Nurse Valentine from Skullgirls. She's The Dragon to the game's Big Bad, serving her for reasons unknown. Her story mode reveals Valentine was forced into serving her after the defeat of the Last Hope, and she was actually a Good All Along Reverse Mole.
    • All of the members of the anti-Skullgirls government group Valentine used to be a part of, the Last Hope, were named after different holidays. So of course, the sexiest one was named after the holiday associated with love. Ironically, her character bio reveals that she was born on December 25th.
  • Valentine is the name of the Big Bad of Guilty Gear 2 Overtune. Xrd adds two characters (Ramlethal and Elphelt) who's last names are Valentine.

     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.