Happy Valentine’s Day, Looters! While some may prefer flowers, chocolates or fancy dinners, we’re embracing our inner Cupid the Looter way by counting down our favorite Valentine’s themed TV shows. Can you feel the fandom love?
Rick and Morty “Rick Potion No. 9” (Season 1, Episode 6)
While technically, this is not a Valentine’s Day episode, it does center around the power of love and the repercussions of that power. The school dance is coming up and in an attempt to win the affections of his crush Jessica, Morty has Rick make him a love potion. Rick reluctantly agrees but feels the serum should be harmless…unless she has the flu. As we’ve learned in literally every story consisting of this plot line, love serums always make trouble. Morty gives Jessica the serum at the dance and everything is going to plan until she sneezes, which splices the potion with her developing flu virus, causing a violent obsession with Morty to spread like wildfire. What starts as an “innocent” attempt to control another person’s thoughts and feelings quickly turns into an out-of-control, worldwide epidemic. Rick tries to counteract the serum with a bunch of different solutions, each one causing more destruction than the next. Out of options and on the verge of a total Kronenberg existence, Rick decides their best recourse is to travel to a parallel universe where he and Morty were able to cure the outbreak, taking the place of themselves after they’re killed in an experiment. Dark, yes, but necessary. Part of the brilliance of Rick and Morty is their ability to take a concept as familiar as love or in this case, infatuation, and turn it on its head in way that’s both troubling and endearing.
The Simpsons “I Love Lisa” (Season 4, Episode 15)
It all started with a simple phrase: “I choo-choo-choose you.” In this very classic Simpsons episode, Lisa gives Ralph Wiggum a valentine after she sees him crying when he’s left out of the class exchange. What she doesn’t realize is this will put in motion a courtship so strong and one-sided that it will be go down as one of Springfield’s most memorable heartbreaks. As Ralph’s love for Lisa gets more intense, she grows more weary of telling him she doesn’t feel the same. When Ralph leaves a Malibu Stacy convertible containing two tickets to Krusty the Clown’s 29th Anniversary Special, Lisa agrees to accompany Ralph after much encouragement from Homer and envy from Bart. In true Simpsons fashion, everything comes to a head when Ralph declares his love for Lisa by calling her his girlfriend on live television. Lisa explodes leaving Ralph heartbroken and humiliated. Realizing her mistake, Lisa apologizes to Ralph, giving him another valentine, this time with a picture of a bee on it saying, “Let’s Bee Friends.” Amused, Ralph accepts the valentine, forgiving Lisa, and all is right in the town of Springfield again. Ahh, young love!
Supernatural “My Bloody Valentine” (Season 5, Episode 14)
“Cupid has gone rogue and we have to stop him before he kills again.” — Dean Winchester
A few days before Valentine’s Day, or as Dean calls it, Unattached Drifter Christmas, couples start devouring each other, and not in a romantic way. Sam and Dean go to investigate, while Castiel informs them that this appears to be the work of Cupid, who’s obviously gone insane. After trapping (a very naked) Cupid and questioning him, the guys realize the reason for the town’s insatiable hunger isn’t Cupid, but Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse there to consume some souls. Both Sam and Castiel start to feel the effects of Famine’s power with Castiel’s vessel craving red meat and Sam craving demon blood— remember when Sam was drinking demon blood?! Cass and Dean set off after Famine and are immediately captured due to Cass’ inability to stop eating. While Famine holds Dean captive, he reveals that the real reason Dean’s been unaffected by the hunger is because he’s broken inside. Just then, Sam shows up, filled to the brim with demon blood and ready to save the day. While Sam is able to defeat Famine by overpowering the demon souls inside him, it’s clear that the bigger issue is going to be getting Sam off the sauce. It was only “natural” that this episode be included on our list since nothing evokes the idea of love like television’s dreamiest duo, Dean and Castiel. Long live #Destiel.
Community “Communications Studies” (Season 1, Episode 16)
It’s Valentine’s Day at Greendale and tensions are high within the study group. Britta, recovering from a massive hangover, discovers she drunk dialed Jeff the night before, humiliating herself and throwing off the balance of their friendship. Jeff, determined to make things right and restore that delicate balance, decides to return the favor with an even drunker drunk dial, putting his relationship with his new girlfriend in jeopardy. Pierce and Troy scheme to send themselves valentines after coming up empty-handed the day before only to be be immediately foiled by Señor Chang, who proceeds to roast them in front of the entire Spanish class. Shirley and Annie take it upon themselves to get back at Chang and defend the honor of their friends only to have Troy and Pierce blamed for their indiscretion. Everything is falling apart and just in time for the big Valentine’s Day Dance! Pantsuits are worn, drunk speak is deciphered, truths come to light and friendships are mended. In the end, what doesn’t kill the study group only makes the awkward sexual tension stronger.
Parks and Recreation “Galentine’s Day” (Season 2, Episode 16)
Galentine’s Day, or as Leslie Knope refers to it, “only the best day of the year,” is the beloved February 13th holiday where women celebrate the most amazing thing in the world: other women. In this season 2 gem, the Parks department throws a Valentine’s Day dance for the senior citizens of Pawnee. Leslie and her boyfriend, Justin (played by Justin Theroux), decide this is the perfect place to reunite Leslie’s mom with her teenage love, Frank. Unfortunately, Frank turns out to be a creepy weirdo leading Leslie to realize Justin is not the one for her either.
Side bar: When Leslie is doing her aside about how romantic it is to bring two people together, she mentions Jennifer Aniston and how she wants her to find true love. Aniston would find true love (from 2015-2017) with none other than Leslie’s episode boyfriend, Justin Theroux. This episode also gives us a first glimpse at the courtship of one of history’s most iconic TV couples, April and Andy, also known as the human equivalent to a moody kitten falling for a lovable pup. “Galentine’s Day” is awesome because it celebrates the importance of love between partners, friends and ourselves.