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Cupid's Arrow

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I'm Cupid, stupid, can't you see
I’m gonna bet that you’re familiar with my S.O.P.
I spot a match I think is cute,
Pull my arrow back, and let 'er loose!
Cupid, Puppet History

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 Valentine's Day.

See also Love Potion, Putto and Love Goddess.


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  • Primavera: Cupid has an arrow notched and seemingly aimed at one of the Graces.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 5 episode 38, Cupid visits a gorilla couple in a cage, the male clearly infatuated with the female. Cupid intends to hit the female gorilla with one of his arrows, but since Big M. is the victim of an invention that causes any and all nearby projectiles to hit him instead, the male gorilla ends up falling in love with and chasing down Big M.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Mr.Wolffy, Mr.Right! episode 3, a heart-tipped arrow, obviously meant to be one of Cupid's, metaphorically goes through Wolffy's heart when he sees Wolnie in tears, worried she might get fired if she can't find the flash drive that contains the documents she needs for an important meeting. Wolffy decides to help, but is carried out of the room by another employee before that can happen.

    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...)
  • Wonder Woman: Eros is a recurring character, though he trades in the bow and arrow for a pair of guns with bullets that have the same effect. Wondy does not like him using them as they remove free will and he's sometimes unrepentant about shooting those whose partners don't want anything to do with them.
  • In the Books of Magic Valentine's Day Episode, "This is Not About Chocolate", Cupid has replaced his bow with an automatic rifle that fires chocolate hollowpoints filled with Amaretto. The Title Drop is Molly pointing out that the symbolism here is exactly the commodification of love that he's trying to fight against.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the short film God of Love, Ray, who was praying to God to get Kelly to fall in love with him, is sent a box of "Love Dart 3000" darts, from a company called Olympus. In the end, after he has used the darts to get his friend Fozzie to fall in love with Kelly, Olympus sends him the standard bow-and-arrow set, and he realizes that he has actually become Cupid.

  • There's an extended metaphor in The Faerie Queene that as Timias' arrow wound is mended, the wound from Cupid's arrow only grows deeper as he falls in love with Belphoebe.
  • 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 (the only ones he wields in his first appearance, Phone Home, Persephone!) create romantic effects that wear off after three days.note  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.
  • The Mythpunk novel Psyche portrays the Greek iteration of Cupid, Eros, falling in love with his future wife after he is pricked by his own arrow.

    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 Kyōryū 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.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Alex summons Cupid to shoot Theresa after she gets angry at Jerry courtesy of one of Alex's magic antics. To Alex's dismay, however, Cupid turns out to be a literal talking baby with a babyish personalitynote  and only has one arrow which Max keeps accidentally breaking and has to be fix it over and over. It gets even worse that the arrow's effects are temporary.
  • 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.
  • Grimm: One episode deals with the "Cupiditas", which somehow manages to be both cherubic and demonic. It uses a potion made from its own spit to make people fall madly in love with another (to the point of reciting really awful poetry).
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Ye Gods", Cupid sprinkles Todd Ettinger and a woman whom he has just bumped into with magic dust so that they fall instantly in love with each other. He later strikes Todd with his arrow three times so that his feelings for the woman will intensify.
  • Arrow. Cupid is a Distaff Counterpart of the title character, an obsessed fan of Arrow trained in archery who has a psychological inability to form permanent relationships.

  • "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...

  • 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.
    • Cupid also Deconstructed the trope thanks to the reasons and effects of some of his jobs: Narcissus was made to fall in love with his image on the request of Nemesis as punishment for all the women he spurned and drove to desperation or or worse, and it ended with his death either by drowning in the attempt to kiss the image or starving to death because he was too busy admiring his image for anything else; Medea, instead, was made to fall in love with Jason on request of his protector Hera so she would help him claim the Golden Fleece, except this Magical Girlfriend was also crazy enough to cut her own brother into little pieces when he tried to stop him, and when Jason broke his oath of eternal love to Medea her reaction was such that Hera, who should have punished him, could do nothing but let him live with what Medea had done.
    • Even Eros/Cupid was himself not immune to this, as when he met his future wife Psyche he accidentally pranged himself on his own arrow and the rest is history. Well, mythology.
  • 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.

  • 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 waking.

    Video Games 
  • Cupids are fairly common enemies in ToeJam & Earl. Whenever they hit one of the two titular protagonists with one of their arrows, they will temporarily invert the directional controls of the game rather than making them fall in love (though in a two-player game, if Toejam is hit near Earl, he will confess his love for him). The only way they can be defeated is if Toejam or Earl run into them while bouncing on their spring shoe power-ups, thus knocking them out of the sky.
  • Gal*Gun and its sequel, Double Peace, center around this: a trainee angel is working as a cupid as part of her final exam, and shooting an arrow into a human unlucky in love will basically give their romantic chances a big boost for a short time. However the trainees accidentally shoot the protagonists with several dozen arrows at once, drastically intensifying their effects and making every girl who sees him instantly fall in love... but if he's unable to find his "true" love before the day is over, he never will, since all of his romantic karma will have been used up.


    Web Original 
  • The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids focuses on a race of artificial, clockwork Cupids who believe it is their sacred duty to make everyone in the multiverse fall in love with someone, or, failing that, something — and pesky things like "free will" aren't going to stop them.
  • Collegehumor had a sketch about Cupid being frustrated that no one seems to need his help anymore in the era of social networking and dating sites. He gets the idea to break up all those couples and then get them back together, and messes with their Valentine's Day gifts, then shoots them with his arrows. He has one last couple to reunite (the first one he broke up), and runs out of arrows. He puts together "The Love Bomb" (a bunch of candy hearts, confetti, chocolates, and condoms held together with dynamite.) It goes about as well as you'd expect, but the couple in question do get back together on their own, if only for some angry sex in the bushes.

    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.
    • An earlier LT cartoon, "Don't Look Now" by Tex Avery, has Cupid trying to bring couples together on Valentine's Day while the Devil tries to ruin festivities.
  • In the episode "The Date" of Wander over Yonder the title character is on a ♥-shaped planet, referencing Cardiovascular Love, and it has a Cupid's arrow sticking out of it.
  • In the Popeye short "Olive Oyl for President", during Popeye's dream, Olive Oyl gets elected 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.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: In the episode "The Love Cruise", Gramps is entrusted to guard Cupid's arrows while the latter is on vacation. However, Jake steals the arrow and tries to shoot Rose with it during a cruise trip for the school, thinking that Rose doesn't love him anymore. However, things get out of hand when he accidentally starts shooting at other people and making them fall in love (such as the captain to the Statue of Liberty, Fu with himself, etc.), and when he finally shoots Rose she instead starts hating him due to the effects of the arrows on someone who is already in love with you.
  • 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.
  • Disney's "Who Killed Cock Robin?" ends with revealing that the arrow Cock Robin was shot with is actually Cupid's arrow, and Cock Robin isn't really dead.
  • A Little Audrey cartoon does the same thing except with Audrey as a detective trying to figure out the culprit who shot Cock Robin.
  • Promotional posters for Pearlie featured Pearlie dressed as Cupid, pointing a heart-shaped arrow at her park friends.
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, Ed and Bev have "lost the spark" in their marriage, and Cupid tries to make it right by shooting Ed with an arrow. Ed wakes up, but only to tell Bev that they're out of mouthwash. Cue the Cupid pig emptying his quiver all night, Ed just going about his business the next day, and Cupid tossing his empty quiver at a pair of birds in love.
  • Cupid makes various appearances in episodes of The Smurfs (1981), with his arrows causing whoever is struck by them to fall madly in love with whoever is in their line of sight.
  • In Hercules: The Animated Series, Cupid makes several appearances as the son and teammate of Aphrodite, who takes his job very seriously and won't let Hades' minions wreck things.
  • Robot Chicken: In one skit, a cupid shot his arrows at a couple's crotches before questioning whether or not he did it right.

    Real Life 
  • Many species of gastropods stab each other with a detachable hormone-laced spine called a love dart when they mate.