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Valentine's Day Vitriol

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"Today is a day invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."
Joel's journal entry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Valentine's Day is a holiday that primarily celebrates romantic relationships. Couples are encouraged to display their affection for one another in public, as well as buy presents for each other, some presents tackier than others. People not in couples are encouraged to buy flowers, cards and candy for their "crush."

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, or the commercialization of the day. And it's particularly irritating if they find themselves Alone Among the Couples.

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, Anti-Love Song, a musical trope with similar sentiments, and Valentine's Day Violence, when the vitriol for the holiday potentially becomes more intense.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Charlie Brown does not like Valentine's Day, as it reminds him of how little he thinks people like him. This is both referenced and reinforced in both of the Peanuts Valentine's Day specials.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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."
  • 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.

  • Adrian Mole dislikes Valentine's Day most years, often only receiving a card from his mother. In Wilderness Years, he rants extensively about it in his diary; but then changes his tune when he receives a card from a secret admirer the following day.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Professor Gilderoy Lockhart throws a completely gauche Valentine's Day party, complete with dwarves dressed as cupids, much to the chagrin of Harry and Ron, while Hermione enjoys the party.
  • The children's book Don't Be My Valentine! revolves around this trope.

    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.
  • In The Inbetweeners, Will refers to Valentine's Day as "his favorite annual humiliation". The only card he gets is from his grandmother (which doesn't count, according to his friends).
  • Punky Brewster: Punky does not want to celebrate Valentine's Day, but then dreams of growing old alone.
  • Supergirl (2015): Maggie hated Valentine's Day since she was 14 and got Forced Out of the Closet by a girl she asked out through card, leading to her Parental Abandonment. Her dislike for the holiday becomes an issue to her girlfriend Alex, who loves Valentine's Day and never had someone to celebrate it with.
  • 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.

  • CrazyCod: The man in "Coping on Valentine's Day" is utterly frustrated by all the people finding couples except for himself.

  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Persona 5, Joker can choose to hang out with Ryuji on Valentine's Day, where he'll whine about not getting any dates.

    Web Video 

    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 seriesnote , 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.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon episode "Heartless Hal" depicted Split Kit, Clogged Duane and Elliot Mess as not too fond of Valentine's Day, primarily because they're young boys with the "expressing love to each other is icky" mindset.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Un-Valentine's Day" has Rabbit demand the cancellation of Valentine's Day after a few Hundred Acre Wood residents got enough Valentines to flood their houses (thanks to Pooh). It doesn't last however as Pooh receives an anonymous Valentine honey jar, which sets off a chain reaction of Valentines. Eventually, everyone believes it's Christopher Robin who gave Pooh his Valentine originally and perform a play in return. It was actually Eeyore who gave the initial Valentine that started all this.
  • Pepper Ann had a special based around how much she hates Valentine's Day, interestingly done in a Christmas Carol format.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Doofenshmirtz song "I Really Don't Hate Christmas" is about his general distaste for holidays (but Christmas) and explaining why individually, opening with him claiming 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 he 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, personalized 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.