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

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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.

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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.
  • Valentine in Gankutsuou.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • The grandfather in Spy Kids (played by Ricardo Montalbán) 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 GoldenEye 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 (see the Real Life section below).
  • 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.
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    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.
  • 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 one half of the book's main romantic subplot.
  • 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.
  • Last Mage has the protagonist assume various names — the latest is Elijah Valentine, after someone he loved particularly dearly.
  • The female protagonist of a series of YA fantasy-horror novels by Flemish author Eddy C. Bertin was named Valentina Hellebel. She was a Fiery Redhead, although not until the second book.

    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.
  • DS Jimmy Valentine of Law & Order: UK. Of the villainous variety—he's a murderous Dirty Cop.
  • On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Sebastian Ballentine (actually hinted at in that the name is very similar but not identical) is a phony psychic who turns out to be the killer the cops are looking for.

    Music 
  • "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine", by Spoon. The song is quite cryptic, but Monsieur Valentine is mentioned to have a "black heart machine."
  • "Manic Monday" by The Bangles mentions a dream about "kissing Valentino by a crystal-blue Italian stream."

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

    Theater 
  • In Shirley Valentine, a world-weary housewife named Shirley Bradshaw rediscovers a version of herself who remembers how to live life, represented by her maiden name, Shirley Valentine.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Here Comes the Grump called "Sugar and Spite" has two opposing lands located next to each other. On one side is the dreary Land of Glum, populated by nasty, misshapen creatures called the Baddies. On the other side is Valentinia, whose inhabitants are cheerful little winged hearts called the Valentines.

    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 an 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.

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