. Valentine's Day (technically Saint Valentine's Day) is a big deal, and boy do writers know it! The holiday on February 14 has been used a million times in all sorts of media to bring up love and romance. White Day is a similar holiday observed in Japan and South Korea on March 14. In some countries, it's normal to give Valentine's Day cards or gifts to friends, whereas in other countries you'd only give a Valentine's Day present to someone you are romantically interested in, leading to a bit of Values Dissonance
for certain audiences.
In fiction, characters face romantic challenges or break new ground on episodes that revolve around valentine's day. A Valentine's Day Episode plot typically centers around hooking up, or with struggling to find the right gift, or with someone (usually the man
, usually on some kind of comedy) forgetting about the holiday and struggling to find a suitable gift. There are any number of Love Tropes
, comedic love tropes and Sex Tropes
that are common to Valentine-centric plots. Can be fertile ground for Shipping Tropes
. And likely to be a pivotal part of a Romance Arc
While many Valentine's Day Episodes will usually air just before or on Valentine's Day, this is not always the case. To be consider a Valentine's Day Episode a work needs to both explicitly mention Valentine's Day and have a plot focused on love, romance, and relationship
, when that hasn't been the sole focus previously.
For other holidays see Christmas Episode
, Halloween Episode
and Thanksgiving Episode
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- Calvin and Hobbes had a series of comics about Valentine's Day every year during its run. These tend to focus on Calvin's and Susie's nascent crush.
- Peanuts often used Charlie Brown's not getting valentine cards as a theme.
- The Hack Slash and Bomb Queen crossover was supposed to be this, though apparently due to delays causing it to be released after February the holiday aspect was dropped.
- Marvel once produced a number of I (Heart) Marvel one-shots; the Spider-Man themed one, "Web of Love", was all about Spidey trying to think of a good Valentine's Day present for his wife, Mary Jane. In the end he had Tony Stark make a pair of web-shooting bracelets for her.
- The Books of Magic had a Valentine's Day story called "This Is Not About Chocolate", in which Eros/Cupid attempted to strike back against his modern image as a cherub in a nappy (and by analogy, the comercialisation of romance in general).
- Issue #24 of The Powerpuff Girls, "The Bride Of Mojo Jojo," had Mojo seeking love on Valentine's Day. But when a dating service fails him, he uses material from discarded weapons and his own DNA to create his own bride a la The Bride Of Frankenstein. The girls, in a subplot early on, entertain ideas of what kind of mother they'd want.
- Script Fic Calvin & Hobbes: The Series has "Insanity is In The Air", which gave some Character Development to Andy.
- Misa and the Bear is a humorous Death Note Crack Fic where Light has to contend with Misa, his harem of cover girlfriends, L, and Ryuk's misunderstanding of the holiday. Needless to say things don't go as planned.
- The Facing The Future Series has "What She Wants", which features Desiree and Sidney Poindexter, of all people, getting together.
- The Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Hefty, The Luckiest Smurf" begins on Valentine's Day, with Empath giving Smurfette the present of a mock wedding ceremony in the Imaginarium with Hefty as her imagined bridegroom. The rest of the story centers on Empath seeing Smurfette in an alternate timeline falling in love with and marrying Hefty when Empath is forced to return to Psychelia, and how he deals with it after he finds out.
- Older Than Print: The first known connection between romance and Valentine's Day was made by Geoffrey Chaucer.
- Harry Potter has had two:
- In Chamber of Secrets, Lockhart sets up an ill-conceived Valentine's celebration which annoys everyone but himself. Ginny sends Harry a singing valentine using Lockhart's "card-carrying cupids", but it backfires badly.
- In Order of the Phoenix, Harry takes Cho Chang to a date on Valentine's day. This also doesn't go so well.
- The Savannah Reid Mysteries book Sugar and Spite. Savannah laments somewhat over the fact that her only Valentine's Day plan is to assist her cop buddy Dirk with a stakeout. When Dirk's ex-wife shows up and is murdered with his gun, Savannah spends the days leading up to the holiday working to clear his name and find the real killer, comforting Dirk along the way and realizing, not for the first time, that her feelings for him might be a little more complicated than just friendship. At the end he thanks her for her support by splitting a heart-shaped box of chocolates with her.
Live Action TV
- Arrested Development: 'Marta Complex' has a Love Triangle between the titular Marta and brothers G.O.B. and Michael.
- Beverly Hills 90210 a bunch.
- The Big Bang Theory: "The Large Hadron Collision" has Leonard going to CERN and seeing the LHC. He has a plus one and since it will be Valentine's Day would like Penny to accompany him. Sheldon has other ideas.
- "The Locomotion Manipulation": Sheldon and Amy go with Howard and Bernadette on a train ride to Napa Valley. Amy planned on a romantic dinner, but Sheldon would rather talk trains with a complete stranger, leading to an argument which ends with Sheldon and Amy's first kiss. Meanwhile, Leonard and Penny spend Valentine's Day baby-sitting Raj's dog, which eats the box of chocolates Penny brought Leonard and have to take her to the vet, who develops a thing for Raj.
- The Bold And The Beautiful
- Boy Meets World
- Brothers and Sisters
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered". Xander concocts a Love Potion to use on Cordelia so he can dump her in the most spectacular fashion possible, but it backfires. Angelus intends to use the holiday and his history with Buffy to inflict a good dose of Mind Rape on her, but Xander's problems ruin his plans.
- "Crush". Buffy discovers Spike is in love with her. Things go downhill from there.
- Charmed: "Animal Pragmatism" from season 2, in which Phoebe accidentally enables a bunch of her college buddies to cast a spell that turns animals into hunky (but slightly evil) guys.
- Community the first season has 'Communication Studies' and second season has 'Early 21 century Romanticism'.
- Coronation Street
- Cougar Town
- Criminal Minds: "Closing Time". The Bartender who hears everybody's sob stories decides to put the storytellers out of their misery, while Hotch's relationship with his triathlon training partner grows.
- CSI NY 'Blood Actually'
- Days of Our Lives, a bunch.
- Dawson's Creek
- Desperate Housewives
- Dharma and Greg
- The Drew Carey Show
- 8 Simple Rules, at least two episodes.
- Everybody Hates Chris
- Family Matters
- Forever Knight
- Frasier at least two episodes.
- Full House at least two episodes; one of which involves Jesse and Becky's wedding.
- Glee: "Silly Love Songs" and "Heart"
- Grey's Anatomy, the February Day episode reminded two of the doctors that they were single and they proceeded to make out in the closet.
- Guiding Light at least two episodes.
- Happy Days, the musical montage episode "Be My Valentine."
- Home Improvement
- How I Met Your Mother at least two episodes.
- Friends at least two episodes.
- The King of Queens at least two episodes.
- Las Vegas
- Mad Men
- Make It Or Break It
- Married... with Children
- Melrose Place
- The Middle Four episodes as of the fourth season. Like all of their holiday episodes, these episodes are named Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day II, etc.
- Mike And Molly
- Modern Family:
- "My Funky Valentine" in the first season.
- "Bixby's Back" in the second season.
- "Heart Broken" in the fourth season.
- The Nanny at least two episodes.
- The O.C.
- The Office: "Valentine's Day" in the second season and PDA in the seventh season.
- Parks and Recreation
- The Pretender had a Valentine's Day episode in its second season. It was Jarod's first experience of the Day, due to his deprived childhood.
- Punky Brewster. She disavows Valentine's Day then dreams she is an elderly spinster.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch
- Season 1 - Sabrina and Harvey's first kiss turns Harvey into a frog. And she must prove that it's true love to turn him back.
- Season 2 - features Cupid and Mr Kraft fighting over Aunt Hilda, while Sabrina gets magicked into falling in love with Roland the troll.
- Season 3 - Sabrina has to make Cousin Marigold fall in love with a mortal handyman.
- Season 4 - Sabrina discovers that Josh is in love with her and - because she already is with Harvey - she comes down with something called 'Candy Hearts Syndrome'. And must make Josh fall out of love with her.
- Season 5 - Josh and Morgan are on the verge of breaking up - and Sabrina is conflicted by her own feelings for Josh.
- Saturday Night Live at least twice.
- 7th Heaven, at least two episodes.
- Smallville: In the episode "Persuasion", Clark is exposed to wish fulfilling gem-kryptonite on Valentine's Day and wishes for a more traditional relationship with Lois.
- Also during "Crimson", Lois is given some red lipstick which makes her fall for the first guy she sees, Clark (who she wasn't dating at the time).
- Step by Step
- Supernatural: "My Bloody Valentine" from season 5. It focused on desires rather than love, as the Horseman Famine's arrival in a town causes everyone's desires to go overboard. Sam starts craving for demon blood, Castiel starts consuming hundreds of burgers, but Dean is unaffected, which Famine speculates is because he has become empty inside.
- That '70s Show
- 3rd Rock from the Sun
- 30 Rock Liz Lemon does not have the best of luck on Valentine's Day.
- In the series' first Valentine's Day episode, "Up All Night", Lix tries to figure out who sent her flowers.
- In "St. Valentine's Day" Liz goes on a disastrous first date with Dr Drew Baird. Meanwhile, Jack and Elisa spend the evening in church.
- "Anna Howard Shaw Day" in the fourth season had Liz boycotting Valentine's Day, choosing to celebrate the birthday of suffragist Anna Howard Shaw instead, and scheduling a root canal for that very day. Naturally, things don't go according to plan.
- "Double Edged Sword", the fifth season's Valentine's Day episode, looks at the effects of being a relationship with someone very similar in personality.
- "Hey Baby, What's Wrong?" Liz and Criss' relationship is put to the IKEA test, while Frank and Tracy teach Lutz their dirtbag knowledge on how to pick up women.
- Veronica Mars
- Who's the Boss?
- Will and Grace
- The visual novels produced by Voltage Inc frequently put out holiday-themed side stories at appropriate times of the year, and Valentine's Day episodes for February are particularly common:
- Pirates In Love has the "Valentine Kingdom" side story, in which the crew of the Sirius visit a Valentine-themed country.
- Ten Days With My Devil's "Black Valentine's Day" side story involves introducing the demons to the concept of Valentine's Day as celebrated in Japan, and their occasionally comical efforts to understand it.
- There's also the "A Royal St. Valentine's Day" side story in Be My Princess, the "Your 1st Valentine's Day" story in My Forged Wedding, and the "St. Valentine's Day" side story in My Sweet Bodyguard, which all focus on the heroine trying to have a romantic Valentine's Day with her boyfriend in the face of various obstacles.
- Teen Girl Squad. "Issue 12" involves the girls trying to find dates for the big day. What's Her Face finds true love with the Wireless Wizard, the other three girls die. The episode is "drawn" in red pen for the occasion.
- xkcd: Is fond of mixing love and science for Valentine's Day comics. #63, #223, #543, #701.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Had this couple strengthen their relationship on Valentine's Day.
- Electric Wonderland: "Valentine's Day Massacre" has the three main females argue over a guy and make fools of themselves in the process. The comic itself never refers to Valentine's Day by name.
- This kicked off a tradition of Platypus Comix having a new Valentine's comic every year.
- Narbonic: The Demons story arc, which actually took place around Valentine's Day in the original run. Helen decides to have an office party on Valentine's Day. Mell is the only one to bring her own date (recurring character Seth, albeit at gunpoint so she could win a bet with the rest of the office), and Helen and Dave step outside for a serious talk... to be interrupted when Caliban flies naked face-first into a nearby snowdrift out of the sky, demonic loan sharks invade to take him back (and take the the rest of the lab if they can, starting with Seth), and hilarity generally ensues. On the romantic side, Mell and Caliban do become an item after this.
- Welcome to Night Vale has an episode set in the aftermath of Valentine's Day. Apparently mass casualties, the obliteration of whole suburbs, and holiday cards that require specialist disposal squads are all normal features of Night Vale Valentines celebrations, and as such, the holiday is dreaded yearly.
- The Cleveland Show
- Ed, Edd n Eddy's Hanky Panky Hullabaloo
- Blues Clues: Featured in an episode, though in a similar fashion to You Mean Xmas, they refer to the holiday as "Love Day".
- Family Guy had a Valentine's Day episode focusing on many characters and their love-lives, a la Valentine's Day to the point of making fun of its trailer in place of the opening sequence
- 'Put Your Head on My Shoulder' focuses on a Fry/Amy relationship. Just as Fry decides to break up, they get in an accident and Zoidberg has to graft Fry's head onto Amy's shoulder to keep him alive.
- In 'Love and Rockets', Planet Express gets a lucrative job transporting candy hearts, while Bender starts dating the Planet Express Ship's computer, then chooses the worst possible time to break up with her. The whole thing plays out as a very strange parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The episode also features some Ship Teasing for the Will They or Won't They? relationship between Fry and Leela.
- Johnny Bravo had a Valentine's Day special, where it's revealed that Johnny was born on February 14. It had him finally meet a woman who likes him, only she turns out to be a secret agent.
- Peanuts had a few Valentine TV Special, including "Be my Valentine, Charlie Brown" and "A Charlie Brown Valentine".
- In The Simpsons:
- After the actual death of Ned Flanders' wife, Ned at a Valentine's Day dance became conscious of the fact, thanks to Homer speaking out loud about the fact its a day for couples.
- Another Simpsons example, Homer and a bunch of other married men got mad at Apu for making them look bad one Valentine's Day by his over-the-top romancing of Manjula - getting Elton John to sing for her, etc.
- "I Love Lisa" focuses on a crush Ralph Wiggum has on Lisa.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man: Gangland in season two has a huge group date...and a mobster summit where Hammerhead betrays Tombstone/The Big Man, and a three-way fight between Tombstone, Silvermane, and Doc Ock breaks out. The Green Goblin put Hammerhead up to it.
- SpongeBob SquarePants had a story where he schemed to get the best Valentines Day present ever for Patrick. Things go wrong, Hilarity Ensues.
- The Houseof Mouse episode "Goofy's Valentine Date."
- Recess had "That Stinking Feeling" and "My Funny Valentines" paired together for airing. "That Stinking Feeling" was about Spinelli's crush on a boy, while "My Funny Valentines" (which is the more official Valentines episode) was about T.J. making joke Valentine cards for the girls of the school, but with them thinking that he had crushes on him. Ship Tease ensued between T.J. and Spinelli (again). Oddly enough, the episode didn't air anywhere near the holiday (though the show is usually in it's off-season in February)
- Doug's 1st Movie was set around Valentine's Day, centering around a Valentine's Dance.
- While KaBlam! doesn't have an official Valentine's Day episode, "A Nut In Every Bite!" (where Henry falls in love with Dawn, the network executive's granddaughter) was usually re-ran in February.
- Rugrats had a Valentine's Day two-parter.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode 'Hearts And Hooves Day', in which the Cutie Mark Crusaders try to get Cheerilee and Big Mac together using a Love Potion. It doesn't go as well as they'd hoped.
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series had "Valentine's Daze", showing Cruella's dislike for the holiday as she has no one to be her Valentine.
- Tex Avery's 1936 Merrie Melodies cartoon "Don't Look Now" had Dan Cupid preparing for Valentine's Day with his bow and arrows, while the Devil (like Cupid, depicted as a kid) prepares for the day by messing things up for couples-to-be.
- A Scooby-Doo Valentine (a special episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo?) has the gang on Valentine's Day framed for crimes committed by four people who are their lookalikes. They are unmasked at the end as cartoon likenesses of the gang's voice actors—Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Grey DeLisle and Mindy Cohn.
- The animated Punky Brewster had "Be My Glomley." On Valentine's Day, Glomer discovers Glomine, a girl glomley, and with their combined powers can create a gateway back to Chaundoon. It almost works, except when Punky is seen dangling from a hot-air balloon basket, Glomer sacrifices his ticket back home, sending Glomine back, in order to rescue Punky.
- The Smurfs cartoon show special "My Smurfy Valentine".