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Valentine's Day Vitriol

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Valentine's Day is a holiday which primarily celebrates romantic relationships. Couples are encouraged do display their affection for one another in public, as well as buy presents for each other, some presents tackier than others.

For various reasons, not everyone is enamored with Valentine's Day; some outright despise it. This may be due to various factors, including lack of romantic involvement with anyone else on the part of the hater, their disdain for what they believe to be unnecessary spending, or if they are romantically involved, because they feel that Valentine's Day merely existing cheapens the displays of affection, due to the fact that one is expected to act more romantic on Valentine's Day. And it's particularly irritating if they find themselves Alone Among the Couples.

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In any case, this may bring the character in question into conflict with people who do like Valentine's Day, perhaps even their own love interest.

This trope can be Truth in Television, with multiple factors contributing to this phenomenon, including the ones just mentioned above.

Compare Birthday Hater, when someone holds negative feelings towards one's birthday; The Grinch, when the disdain is aimed at Christmas, and Crappy Holidays, for holidays in general being miserable. See also Valentine's Day Episode, where this trope may show up, and Anti-Love Song, a musical trope with similar sentiments.


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Examples:

Comic Strips:

  • Peanuts: Charlie Brown does not like Valentine's Day, as it reminds him of how little he thinks people like him.

Film:

  • Valentine's Day: Kara organizes an "I hate Valentine's Day" party, where she meets a sports reporter, Kelvin, who has similar sentiments towards the titular holiday.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Jim Carrey's character, Joel, writes in his journal, "Random thoughts for Valentine's Day, 2003: Today is a day invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."

Literature

Live-Action TV:

  • In How I Met Your Mother, Robin and some of her co-workers decide to protest against the idea that they have to spend Valentine's Day with someone when they are single by hanging out as single women at McLaren's pub. One of Robin's co-workers, Nora, reveals to Barney that she actually enjoys Valentine's Day.
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  • Punky Brewster: Punky does not want to celebrate Valentine's Day, but then dreams of growing old alone.
  • 30 Rock: Liz decides to boycott Valentine's Day one year, deciding to celebrate the birthday of suffragist Anna Howard Shaw instead. She even schedules a root canal for that day, to make it as unromantic as possible.

Radio

  • In John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme, the singer of "The Most Miserable Time of the Year" feels this way:
    Oh, nobody is merry,
    On the fifth of February,
    With Christmas gone and summer still as distant as can be.
    It is quite close to Valentine's,
    But we all know for ninety-nine,
    Percent of us that’s lonely, stressful, boring, or all three.

Video Games:

  • In Persona 5, Joker can choose to hang out with Ryuji on Valentine's Day, where he'll whine about not getting any dates.
  • Fallen London: The game's sidebar snippets on the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, the Neathy version of Valentine's Day, state that many Londoners tend to find the whole celebration obnoxious; a "sizeable" part of the population decide to "celebrate" the occasion by locking themselves in their homes, consuming laudanum, wine and Prisoner's Honey until they forget what time is and hide under the blankets until the whole thing's passed.
  • Ensemble Stars!: In the 2019 Valentine's Day event, Eichi's homescreen comment has him commenting that the holiday is purely commercial in Japan and just an excuse to sell to people. This makes sense given his generally cynical views on society and money. Several other characters also complain that everyone's too noisy and it smells like chocolate everywhere.

Western Animation:

  • In Arthur, this is downplayed for Arthur himself, who doesn't hate Valentine's Day, but finds it a bit schmaltzy.
  • DuckTales (1987): Scrooge McDuck professes a dislike for Valentine's Day more than once during the series, dismissing it as overly sentimental garbage.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In the song "I Wish Every Day Would Be Christmas", Timmy goes through a list of holidays that aren't as good as Christmas, and claims that Valentine's Day just makes him sad. The later episode "Love Struck!" makes his feelings for the holiday even worse when Cupid chooses Tootie to be his Valentine over his crush Trixie.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "I Really Don't Hate Christmas", Doofenshmirtz claims that he finds Valentine's Day to be torture.
  • Recess: In "My Funny Valentines", TJ openly shows his disdain for the day by adorning a bag with an image of an actual heart instead of a love heart and talking down on the holiday to Miss Grotke, and then spends the entire night prior to the day hand-crafting absurd joke Valentine's cards for every girl in his grade. Unfortunately for him, the girls don't get the joke, every one of them assuming they were the only one to get a special, personalised card from him.
  • A downplayed example in the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Valentine's Day". Patrick normally loves the holiday, but all it takes is one lame giftnote  and a heaping dose of jealousy for him to start tearing apart Bikini Bottom's Valentine's festival in a hysterical rage. Only the arrival of Spongebob's real gift calms him down.
  • Pepper Ann had a special based around how much she hates Valentine's Day, interestingly done in a Christmas Carol format.
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