It’s easy to love Valentine’s Day if you’re in a happy relationship — there’s gifts, fancy dinners, the general satisfaction of parading your love for all to see. But, as some of our favorite shows make evident, it’s not always the perfect Valentine’s Days that are the most memorable… Here, we rank the best from one ❤ to five. (*Please note, more ❤s indicate higher entertainment, not romance — unless birthing videos really do it for you.)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"
You can’t really blame Xander for making some bad decisions after Cordelia dumps him on Valentine’s Day. (Of all days, Queen C!) However, when those decisions involve magic and causing every woman — cheerleader, vampire, or mother — to become crazed with affection for him, things get heated and not in a hot, sexy way. Think hoards of frighteningly feisty women clawing at you — including Drusilla. Grr, argh. ❤❤❤❤❤
Glee, "Silly Love Songs"
Kissing booths! Affairs! Disease! And all to the backdrop of love songs? That’s one Valentine’s Day to remember at McKinley High. Plus, there’s a nice empowering moment when Rachel (Lea Michele) decides to concentrate on her career rather than romance which leads to a powerful performance of Katy Perry’s “Firework” — because every once in a while, a girl just needs to stop and ask herself if she ever feels like a plastic bag. ❤❤
The Office, “Valentine's Day”
Big or small, nobody knows how to throw an in-office celebration quite like Michael Scott. Only Michael’s out of the office visiting Dunder Mifflin HQ in NYC and embarrassing Jan, so he can’t get in on the festive fun. Nonetheless, the episode is a lot of fun: Phyllis is buried in gifts by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigerators; Kelly asks Ryan out and is rejected; Pam is less than pleased when Ray’s only gift to her is the promise of “the best sex of her life.” The real clincher though is the longing look Pam gives Jim after he wishes her a happy Valentine’s Day as he leaves the office. Sigh. ❤❤❤❤❤
How I Met Your Mother, “Desperation Day”
The night before V-day is dubbed Desperation Day by Barney who believes single ladies are lonely and therefore easy to hook up with before the holiday. But when he ends up falling for one of Robin’s friends, he finds himself on his first ever Valentine’s Day date. Plus, Ted gets excited/serious about yet another relationship and we’re introduced to Marshpillow <3. ❤❤❤
Friends, “The One with the Candy Hearts”
Oh. My. Godddddddd. There’s probably nothing worse than being set up on a date on Valentine’s Day, well, other than being set up on date with your ex on Valentine’s Day. Worse yet is when said ex is the ever-insufferable Janice. Things improve marginally for Chandler when they’re left with Joey’s credit card, proceed to buy a heck of a lot of alcohol, and end up in bed together later that night. Hey, it’s not all bad: Janice has candy hearts printed with the words “Chan and Jan Forever.” That’s either terrifying or adorable. You decide. ❤❤❤❤
Friends, “The One With the Birthing Video”
You know what’ll really get you in the mood on Valentine’s night? Well, we’re sure there are a lot of things, but one thing that definitely won’t is a home-birthing video. Poor, Chandler — it’s almost like the day’s cursed for him. He pops a video into the VCR believing it’s porn Monica left for him only to be confronted with footage of a woman giving birth. In the end though, a pregnant Rachel finds it the most horrifying. ❤❤❤❤
Gossip Girl, "Crazy, Cupid, Love"
May as well rename Gossip Girl cupid! No wait, that doesn’t sound quite right: “Another picture perfect Valentine’s Day on the Upper East Side. And how am I going to celebrate? By exposing a giant secret today that’s sure to break more than a few hearts.” Not the most reassuring words to open an episode. Also, Georgina’s in town so you know to expect more heartache than happiness. It’s all very convoluted and confusing, but basically, everyone wants to be with someone they can’t be with, and any and all indiscretions are caught on camera. In other words, it’s really just another night on the Upper East Side. ❤❤❤
The O.C., “The Heartbreak”
Valentine’s Day in Orange County means it’s time to attend yet another benefit dance. Mr. Abercrombie a.k.a. Luke has a crush on his ex’s mom, Julie. Thought that was awkward? Not as awkward as Seth and Summer having sex for the first time and the subsequent “talk” Seth receives from Sandy. The worst part? Sandy didn’t even bring his signature bagels for this pow wow. “You, dog, you.” ❤❤❤❤
The Vampire Diaries, "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Don’t you hate it when the bad guy shows up to ruin the most romantic day of the year? Especially when by “bad guy” we’re not just referring to a persistent ex. That’s the case when Damon is dosed with Dr. Maxfield’s (the bad guy we mentioned) magic potion that turns vampires into insatiably thirsty vamps and is in dire need of saving. Oh, did we mention it’s not human blood he’s after — it’s vampire blood? Nothing says Valentine’s Day like hearts, flowers, and vampire cannibalism. ❤❤❤
Parks & Recreation, “Galentine's Day”
This one’s for the single ladies — or the ladies in relationships who just prefer the company of their besties. Leslie throws her first annual “Galentine’s Day” party for her gal pals and proves why she’s such an awesome friend. She presents each of the women with a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait (made from the crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda) and a personalized 5,000 word essay detailing why they’re the best. Um, seriously, who needs a Valentine when you’ve got that kind of Galentine? ❤❤❤
Parks and Recreation, "Operation Ann"
It ain’t easy to find a date in “a loser town full of loser people,” as Aprils puts it — but when did that ever stop, Leslie from trying? While throwing her annual Galentine’s Day party for her girlfriends (complete with gifts, of course), Leslie feels bad that Ann doesn’t have a date so she enlists the parks department to set her up at the V-day mixer they’re organizing, only for Ann to end up at dinner with Tom. Elsewhere, Leslie gives Ben an impossibly difficult scavenger hunt to solve, but luckily Ron has a hidden talent for such things and sets Ben on the right path. ❤❤❤❤
The Simpsons, "I Love Lisa"
There’s an important lesson to learn from this episode: Don’t take pity on single people on Valentine’s Day. Lisa gives Ralph Wiggum a Valentine’s Day card when she notices he hasn’t received any. Of course, Ralph gets entirely the wrong idea and won’t quit pursuing her until Lisa finally snaps and admits she never liked him. It’s not all doom and gloom, though; Ralph rebounds by focusing all his attention on his role as George Washington in the school play and totally nails it. If that’s not a heartwarming V-day tale, we don’t know what is. ❤❤❤
Modern Family, "My Funky Valentine"
There’s always has to be some grand romantic gesture that goes horribly wrong for it to be a convincing sitcom Valentine’s Day. That’s the case when Claire shows up to meet Phil for a romantic evening and decides to spice things up by taking off all her clothes apart from her coat in an attempt to seduce Phil. So what? She’s a little cold? It’s not totally comfortable? Nope, it’s worse. She gets her coat stuck in the escalator and has to endure everyone — including Jay and Gloria — telling her just to take it off to free herself. It’s not all bad though; Clive Bixby, Phil’s almost-smooth talking alter ego makes an appearance. ❤❤❤❤
Grey's Anatomy, “All You Need Is Love”
Hospitals aren’t the most romantic of places to spend Valentine’s Day but apparently they do attract the love-crazed citizens of Seattle. A man comes in who has been hit by a car in an attempt to chase down his disgruntled girlfriend, and a flower delivery van literally crashes into the ER. Meanwhile, Arizona is worried Callie is planning an outdoorsy date for them and Meredith and Derek have bigger problems: They can’t find a secluded spot to have sex without being interrupted. They eventually get to it by ditching their daughter with Lexi for the night. McResponsible. ❤❤❤