Cupid's Arrow

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Cupid, the personification of Love at First Sight. Always looking for couples to shoot with his arrows to make them fall in love. Sometimes he misfires and hits the wrong person. The results are sometimes Played for Laughs, sometimes not. Unsurprisingly, the day Cupid often does his "work" is Valentines Day.

See also Love Potion and Love Goddess.

Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • In the short comic "Cupid's Day Off" by Evan Larson, Cupid operates like a military sniper, requiring confirmation from Mission Control for every arrow he fires. Naturally, after a particularly stressful mission, he decides to take a day off, leaving the bow and arrow in the hands of his well-meaning but untrained assistant, who decides to just fire arrows at every pair in sight, regardless of whether or not both parties are even sentient resulting in dozens of crack pairings (including Batman and a roll of toilet paper...)

    Literature 
  • In the Myth-O-Mania series, Cupid uses three different kinds of arrows, two of which invoke the Temporary Love Interest trope. Love induced with yellow-tipped arrows only lasts an hour. Orange-tipped arrows create romantic effects that wear off after three days. Red-tipped arrows make people permanently fall in love. Hit the Road, Helen! introduces the "Smoochie Woochie" arrow, which Cupid uses to make Helen of Troy leave Menelaus for Paris. The Smoochie Woochie's effects wear off of Helen after Philoctetes slays Paris.

    Live Action TV 
  • Charmed :
    • The second season introduces Cupids as a type of angel who use magical rings instead of the classic bow and arrows. Cupids in the Charmed universe are assigned to pairing people up with other compatible matches, although not necessarily helping people find their soul mates. It's also mentioned that not all pairings that occur are the result of a Cupid's interference. Piper and Leo's love is prohibited by The Elders because Whitelighters are not allowed to date witches. One can only presume that Phoebe and Cole's love was also not the work of Cupids seeing as he was half-demon. Furthermore, the series' epilogue shows that Phoebe eventually married a Cupid and had half-witch half-cupid babies.
    • The comic book expansion shows Phoebe's Cupid husband offensively using a crossbow against demons, although he doesn't use it to make people fall in love and he notes that it's rather old fashioned. The comic books also show that Cupids are the souls of deceased babies that become cherubim angels, and its implied they grow into full grown adult angels.
  • Cupid, (1998 & 2009 versions) is about a man who claims he is the Roman god Cupid Brought Down to Normal, who has to make 100 couples before he's allowed back amongst the gods. Since he's stuck in human form he has to do it the hard way instead of just shooting arrows.
  • On Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Dora Pixie does this with baseballs, throwing them into people’s mouths. It effects Dan and Boi, making them fall for Mei and Goushi with one of the motorcycles.
  • On Supernatural, Cupids are rotund and jolly naked angels who are responsible for hooking up certain people in accordance with what destiny expects. It was mentioned by one Cupid that the pairing of John and Mary Winchester was a big deal in heaven.
  • Muppets Tonight: When the guard, a grizzly-puppet named Bobo, sees a guest star Cindy Crawford, cupid appears to shoot an arrow at him...however, upon realizing that it was a bear he was supposed to shoot, he immediately exchanges his bow for a heavy crossbow, knowing that it'd take that much firepower to affect a bear. The kick from said crossbow launches him off the screen while he's in the middle of explaining it to the audience. Later on in the same episode, he accidentally shoots Sal, causing him to fall in love with Johnny Fiama.

    Music 
  • "Cupid" by Sam Cooke.
    Cupid draw back your bow and let your arrow go Straight to my lover's heart for me, for me, Cupid please hear my cry and let your arrow fly Straight to my lover's heart for me.
  • Laura Branigan's "Bad Attitude" (a deconstruction of All Girls Want Bad Boys) includes the lines "And with an arrow through my heart, I watch your image fall apart". Australian Girl Group Girlfriend's cover alters one of the lines to "But Cupid's a real good liar".
  • "Stupid Cupid" by Connie Francis, about an embittered young girl who resents Cupid's arrows:
    You mixed me up for good, right from the very start,
    Hey now, go play Robin Hood with somebody else's heart...

    Mythology 
  • Cupid a.k.a. Eros (in Classical Mythology) was depicted making people fall in love by shooting them, in many myths, and can be considered the Trope Maker. Medea with Jason and Narcissus with his own image in a pond, for example.
  • Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love, also uses his arrows to make people fall in love, except his arrows are tipped with flowers instead of actual arrowheads. (He's pretty clearly the same deity as Eros.) But other gods (such as Shiva) don't always appreciate being on the receiving end.

    Theatre 
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream Oberon sends Puck to get a certain flower, "Love-in-Idleness," which was created when Cupid's arrow missed a would-be lover and hit the flower instead. The juice from that flower, squeezed into someone's eyes while they're asleep, makes them fall in love with the first thing they see upon awaking.

    Video Games 

     Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • The premise of the Looney Tunes short "The Stupid Cupid" where the role of cupid is taken by Elmer Fudd, who takes drastic steps to ensure the (already bitterly married) Daffy Duck gets into the romantic spirit of things.
  • In the episode "The Date" of Wander over Yonder the title character is on a valentine-shaped planet, complete with a Cupid's arrow sticking out of it.
  • In the Popeye short "Olive Oyl for President" druing Popeye's dream Olive Oyl gets eleted President. Giving a speech before Congress (depicted as a bunch of elephants and donkeys) who are arguing over her proposals President Oyl calls upon her "Secretary of Love" who is a Cupid with a bow. Seeing the chaos, Cupid ditches his bow for a machine gun, shooting many arrows quickly into the crowd.
  • Parodied in the Life With Loopy short "Larry's Girl", where Cupid instead runs a computer based love-matching service while the bow and arrow are "just part of the costume". Later in the episode, as it turns out Cupid's computer service didn't work as well as planned when Saffron, the girl Cupid matched up for Larry, turned out not to be a good match, Loopy grabs his bow and arrow to save the relationship by stating it has to be done "the old-fashioned way". She tries shooting the arrow at Saffron, she misses, and it lands on another girl named Stacey. The arrow, as expected from earlier in the episode, really was only for show and didn't work- but after realizing they had the same favorite show (and wearing the same shirt to go with it), Stacey falls for Larry anyway, and vice versa.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Love Among The Toons", Cupid - still with Elmer Fudd in the role - hires Concord Condor to take his place as he gets tired of his job. Concord proves incompetent by pairing up the Tiny Toons cast with the wrong matches (one example being Babs falling for Montana Max), causing Elmer to step in and fix things.
  • Cupid is a recurring character on The Fairly Oddparents, and he shoots arrows that make people fall in love with the first thing they see. This has become a plot point for episodes such as "Love Struck!", when it's necessary to make people fall in love with each other again when Timmy separates the two genders of the world by a wall, and "Stupid Cupid!", when Timmy gets Cosmo to fill in for Cupid so Trixie Tang will fall in love with him. Cosmo ends up making him fall in love with himself, Wanda fall in love with Juandissimo, Mrs. Turner fall in love with Mr. Crocker, and Mr. Turner fall in love with a rosebush.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) Valentines' special, "A DuckTales Valentine", Scrooge McDuck finds Cupid's arrows in a sunken Greek temple. Scrooge is only interested in them because they're solid gold, but it turns out they really work: they accidentally make Launchpad fall in love with a shark, and Scrooge and Aphroducky (who had come looking for the arrows) fall in love with each other. It also turns out that True Love can break the influence of the arrows: Launchpad snaps out of his obsession with the shark when Huey, Dewey, and Louie point out he'll have to give up flying to be with it, and Scrooge is willing to give up being with Aphroducky if it means not seeing his family (the one thing he loves more than money) ever again.

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