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Platonic Valentine

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It's not Valentine's Day, it's Friendship Day!

"You are my very best friend. When I see you, I'll say, 'happy Valentine's Day'."
Elmo Monster and Abby Cadabby, Sesame Street

Valentine's Day is a day devoted to love. While this can include platonic love, the focus is generally more on romantic love, especially these days. However, this trope is for when a character makes a Valentine for their platonic friend.

There are several reasons why a character might do this: maybe they go to a school where the teacher makes them write Valentines for the whole class so no one feels left out (common in American elementary schools). Maybe they're single but don't want to miss out on the fun. Maybe they just want to express some platonic affection. In Japanese culture, aside from giving Chocolate of Romance on Valentine's Day, they're also known for giving "friend chocolates" and "obligation chocolates" (aka "giri-choco").

When Played for Drama it can indicate that the character is lonely because of their nonexistent love life, but sometimes it's played in a more positive way by showing how strong the characters' friendship is or for An Aesop about how friendship is just as, if not more, important than romance. These two messages may be blended together for the bittersweet message: "I may be disappointed that I don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend, but at least I have great friends." Another reason for enforcing this trope is for when, usually in kids' media, they want to have a plot about Valentine's Day, but there is no romance on the show.

Sometimes this can lead to the two friends falling for each other, but very often they remain platonic friends, and sometimes there is no question of them falling for each other (one's already in a relationship, they're related, the recipient is the sender's teacher/mentor, etc). If the characters are related, it might be used to show how deep their familial bond is.

Often happens in a Valentine's Day Episode, see also Platonic Kissing and Platonic Declaration of Love. May be done by Platonic Life-Partners (especially if they're Like Brother and Sister) or Heterosexual Life-Partners. The use of Heart Symbol in conjunction with this platonic love still makes it Cardiovascular Love.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Fan Works 

  • Zigzagged in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Greg is made to write Valentines for his whole class, which does include Holly, his crush, but it also includes his friends, and his rivals. He decides to just say what he thinks of everyone, which ends up offending the rivals. He also wrote a Valentine for himself, saying, "Dear Greg, I hate your guts", to cover his tracks after offending the rivals.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Tends Bar", the Gang treats Valentine's Day like Serious Business. Dennis tries forgoing the Gang's usual antics and run the bar for once because no one gets him anything for Valentine's Day and Dee becomes jealous when Charlie tries making a Valentine's Day card for Frank's tapeworm (It Makes Sense in Context) to the point where she threatens him with a bag of powdered sugar disguised as anthrax (again, It Makes Sense in Context) if he doesn't give her something.
  • Sesame Street:
    • In one episode, discussing racism and interracial friendship, Gina and Savion, who are a white woman and a black man who are best friends, sing a Friendship Song that involves a list of synonyms for "friends", one of them being "Valentines".
    • One song is about preschool-aged best friends Elmo and Abby making Valentines for each other, likely because they're too young to have romantic love interests.
    • During the "Nine Chickens" song, eight of the chickens give a Valentine to their neighbour.

  • At play in Valentine's Day episodes of Our Miss Brooks such as "The Frog" and "Valentine's Day Date". Miss Brooks gets platonic valentines from students like Walter Denton and Stretch Snodgrass. She also receives valentines from various tradespeople, including an advertisement from a scissors-sharpener. In "Valentine's Day Date" she does receive the one valentine she wants . . . from Mr. Boynton, albeit not as romantic as she hoped.

    Video Games 
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the idols are expected to make chocolate to give out to their fans as Fanservice for the Valentines-themed event Chocofes. Most of them also give out friendship chocolate to the other characters as well, usually with a touch of ship-teasy Ho Yay. For example, at one point foreign transfer student Adonis wonders why girls are expected to give chocolates to boys they have a crush on, and Souma responds mentioning that he himself gave Adonis chocolate. Adonis naturally then asks whether that was meant romantically, but Souma says it was friendship chocolate.
  • On Valentine's Day 2022, the Nintendo Switch news channel decided not to show off Dating Sim games or any other games with prominent romantic elements, but instead featured games with co-op multiplayer, including games with No Hugging, No Kissing stories.
  • Persona 4: If the protagonist isn't romancing her and/or playing the field, Rise admits defeat on Valentine's Day but gives some friendship chocolate anyway to emphasize the lack of hard feelings. Otherwise, if the protagonist remains faithful to just one girl or goes by Valentine's without a significant other, the female members of the Investigation Team still provide friendship chocolates anyway.
  • Persona 5: In the Royal update, Sae gives Joker chocolates on Valentine's Day as thanks for his work throughout the year. As with the Persona 4 example above, staying faithful or single leads to any female Confidants Joker had maxed out platonically give him friendship chocolates throughout the day.
  • Pixie Hollow Online's Valentine's Day event is called "Fairy Friendship Festival".
  • In Tattered World, the yearly Palentine's Day event is just that- an appreciation for platonic relationships just as much as romantic ones.

    Web Original 
  • The Loud House promotional videos:
    • In one, Ronnie Anne and Sid decide to have a "Gal-entine's Day", spending Valentine's Day together as friends. Lincoln then decides to have something similar called a "Bro-entine's Day" with his best friend Clyde.
    • In another, Lincoln gives Valentine's candy away to his sisters and his best friend Clyde.

    Western Animation 
  • Gravity Falls: We see a flashback to when Dipper and Mabel were little kids. Mabel got loads of Valentine's Day cards and was celebrating, until she realized Dipper didn't get a single one. Dipper locked himself in a closet to hide how upset he was, until he saw a card being slid under the door: a collage Mabel made of all the cards she got, with the glittery text, "For My Favorite Brother."
  • On King of the Hill, Bobby wanted to give Joseph a valentine saying, "Hey, hot stuff", with Bobby intending for a simple compliment due to his skateboarding skills, but Hank takes it as something else before he throws it in the trash.
  • Played with in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, where the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" has the Cutie Mark Crusaders give their teacher a heart-shaped card for a Fictional Holiday called "Hearts and Hooves Day" which is similar to Valentine's Day. They're doing this to show their appreciation and because their teacher is single.
  • In The Off-Beats Valentine's Day Special, (A special of a short from KaBlam!) after a failed romance the special ends with Tommy telling his friends that maybe Valentine's Day is also about being with your beloved friends, September corrects him by saying that it's really about commemorating the patron saint of beekeepers who was martyred in 273 A.D.
  • Pepper Ann: In the Bad Future seen during "A Valentine's Day Tune", two garbagemen give each other friendly valentines.
  • At the end of The Simpsons episode "I Love Lisa," Lisa gives a Ralphie a Valentine's Day card that reads "Lets Bee Friends."
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Valentine's Day" features SpongeBob giving valentines to all his friends and neighbors. The main plot revolves around SpongeBob's gift for Patrick. However, circumstances prevent the present from being delivered on time, and after seeing all the gifts SpongeBob gave to other people, combined with apparently only receiving a handshake, Patrick goes on an Unstoppable Rage.