Loads of geeky shows doff their hats to the holidays by airing crazy-fun themed episodes. From Doctor Who’s traditional Christmas specials to The Office’s Halloween bashes, our favorites are consistently festive. So we’ve selected some of Cupid–centric TV eps you can watch with your beloved, your best buds, or just flying solo. So grab some candy hearts, hunker down, and check these out:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”
After being dumped by Cordelia and told to “learn a second language so that even more girls can reject” him, Xander asks newbie witch Amy to cast a love spell. It backfires, making everyone but Cordelia go crazy lustfull over him—Jenny Calendar, Buffy, Buffy’s mom. What makes this the perfect Valentine’s Day ep is the way it ends, with Cordelia defending Xander, but it’s also definitely worth watching for the two-minute scene alone in which Xander struts slo-mo down the hallway while Average White Band’s “Got the Love” plays. Classic.
Supernatural, “My Bloody Valentine”
This episode earns its title in the first five minutes when we see a couple on a first date whose make out sesh turns into literal cannibalism. When the Winchesters investigate the grossness, Dean’s feelings about Valentine’s Day are made known (“it’s unattached drifter Christmas”) and we learn that a rogue Cupid (“Cherub, third class,” according to Castiel) is literally marking the hearts of couples at the behest of one of the show’s creepiest guest stars ever, the old and decrepit Famine. Sam destroys Famine at the end, but not before he goes into demon blood withdrawl, making this episode as bittersweet as Valentine’s Day itself can often be.
Parks and Recreation, “Operation Ann”
After dubbing Feb. 13 Gal-entine’s Day (it’s a day to hang with your chicas!), Leslie vows to find Ann a man. She also sends her beau Ben on a mega-complicated scavenger hunt—which tickles the hunt-loving Ron Swanson, who helps the poor guy out. It also features surprise unions, (Ann and... Tom?!) Ron Swanson giggling like a giddy little girl, and the fabulous Martin Starr shows up as a sarcastic scavenger hunt clue-giver. It’s vintage Parks and Rec, but with a pink and red twist.
30 Rock, “Anna Howard Shaw Day”
Liz, rallying against Valentine’s Day, (and annoyed by her perpetual singledom) schedules a root canal on February 14, and gets MORE annoyed when she realizes she has no one to give her a ride home after the oral surgery. This episode also introduces Elizabeth Banks’ wonderful character Avery Jessup, who immediately wins over the audience (and Jack Donaghy) as a hilarious Fox-news-esque anchor. And, because it’s 30 Rock, Jenna, feeling abandoned, confronts an erstwhile stalker to see why he has been neglecting her, and we learn that Tracy and his wife’s Valentine tradition involves a heart-shaped hot tub... where they make chili. Yeah. Just watch.
Community, “Early 21st Century Romanticism”
In this installment, the Greendale posse celebrated Valentine’s Day in typical Community fashion: Troy and Abed both try to score a date with the cute, bespectacled librarian, Britta confuses the crap out of a lesbian, and Jeff spends the evening partying with Chang, Starburns, and some dude named Magnitude. The highlight of the episode features Troy and Abed simultaneously confronting the girl of their dreams. Abed, pleading his case: “What you get with me, is the complete package. HBO, Showtime, Starz, Starz Black.” Troy pleads his case not with words, but by displaying alternately deft and daffy dance moves. Perfect, light, Valentine fun!
Glee, “Silly Love Songs”
The kids at McKinley high are all kinds of lovesick in this episode. Rachel is sweating the perpetually-doofy Finn, Puck serenades the plus-sized Lauren, and Artie nails a Michael Jackson cover yet again. But the real highlight here is that we’re treated to double Darren Criss! Just TRY not to swoon when he serenades a very lucky Gap employee! Oh, yeah, and this is the episode where Klaine kinda-sorta started to happen!
Clark, while out with Lois, gets sprayed with fairy dust that’s laced with gemstone kryptonite. He later mentions that he wished he and Lois had a more traditional relationship, so she quits her job, turns into a crazy 1950s homemaker, and things just about come undone before Chloe saves the day. This episode also set up several key plots, from Zod and Clark’s confrontation, to the deepening of the Clark/Lois relationship.
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day-themed eps?