The Hallmark holiday is a handy little driver for storylines and characters of the small screen. If you need to show a toughie as a softie, make a Valentine’s Day episode. Need to get two characters to cash in on their on-screen sizzle? A special Valentine’s Day episode. The holiday is a good way to get things going in a stalled story arc.
Do right and folks can enjoy the forced heartwarming moments. Done wrong and it can crash and burn in a horrid mess of red velvet, chocolate and bad writing.
Now, thanks to streaming services, we can remember those tender moments, or dumpster fires, over and over again.
So, snuggle down with some half priced candy and enjoy a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of Valentine’s Day specials and themed episode now available for streaming on Netflix and Hulu. The perfect way to enjoy a post-holiday chill with a box of half priced candy.
The Simpsons: S04E15 “I Love Lisa” (Hulu)
An absolute classic as Ralph choo-choo-chooses Lisa as the object of his affections. Of course, the spikey haired one doesn’t take the news well and unintentionally breaks the heart of Officer Wiggum’s beloved son.
A wonderful throwback to when The Simpsons were at the top of their game.
The Office: S02E16 “Valentine’s Day” (Netflix)
A spotlight on all the best and worst couples of the iconic show.
Back when the would-they-won’t-they of Pam and Jim was starting to bubble, this episode had everything. Michael was able to show his sweet side by covering for Jan and hiding their relationship from corporate. On the other hand, we had Angela give Dwight a bobblehead of himself, while Roy continues to push Pam to Jim by being an oaf.
Parks & Recreation: S02E16 “Galentine’s Day” (Hulu)
The episode that taught us to celebrate the gal pals in our life and inspired a day IRL.
The episode featured John Larroquette and Pamela Reed as Leslie’s mom and her old flame who appears to be missing one beer can short of a six pack. It also took a look at Anne’s terrible taste in men. But more importantly, it created an honest to goodness day out of one of the best sitcoms on television and taught all of us to be a little more Leslie Knope in our way of thinking.
Community: S02E15 “Early 21st Century Romanticism” (Hulu)
This is when the show began to really find it’s stride.
The sitcom takes a familiar trope (Valentine’s Day dance) and turns it inside out by pointing out the ridiculousness of the situation. They are, after all, a bunch of adults in a community college. But by abiding by a TV trope while mocking it is what Community does best.
Antics include Troy and Abed vying for the love of librarian Mariah, while Jeff is forced into hosting duties for a party. It ends on a slightly somber note, but the funny carries you far.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: S02E16 “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (Hulu)
Back when Buffy was the smartest, edgiest show on TV.
After Cordelia dumps him in favor of her friends, Xander asks witchy Amy to cast a love spell, which goes awry. Duh.
All of the show’s best players are on the field here. We have Spike, Drusilla, Angelus, Oz…every side character that made the show great. Not so mention the chance to let Xander shine in great humorous moments. Just a fab episode overall.
Supernatural: S05E14 “My Bloody Valentine” (Netflix)
Nothing goes better with chocolate than a little bit of campy gore. The Winchesters brothers are faced with a conundrum as lovestruck folks begin killing themselves and each other in very crafty ways.
Fans of the series will note all the important elements of the show are present in this episode. Lucifer? Check. Impending Apocalypse? Check. Couple literally devouring each other? Check.
Ends on a sad note, but carries the plot further on a heart-shaped wave.
Big Mouth : “My Furry Valentine” TV Special (Netflix)
Monsters Murray and Connie return for the biggest hormone-driven holiday of the year as the kids from Big Mouth reenact the bumper couch scenes from When Harry Met Sally. Matthew and Jessi discover the joys of platonic dating while Nick makes amends for past errors. We also have a lost Andrew who goes of the deep end after one failed Valentine attempt after another.
A good little pick-me-up for those patiently waiting for the third season.
Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special (Netflix)
Sent on a mission from Santa, crooner Michael Bolton is determined to inspire the world to make love so that 75k more babies can be made by next Christmas in an effort to keep Santa in business. Bolton hosts the world’s sexiest telethon that includes guests such as Adam Scott, Brooke Shields, Sinbad, Bob Saget and Sarah Silverman.
Perhaps the best piece of pop culture ever created for Valentine’s Day, this isn’t necessarily good, but my God, is it entertaining.