Okay, so, yes, I forced the bad rhyme to fit my trend. If you haven’t seen my Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas round-ups from previous years, check them out now.
(I might end up revisiting and revising those lists… My thoughts on some of the episodes I included have changed.)
But today is Valentine’s Day, which means it’s time to break out the hearts and the flowers and the cupids and the candy hearts and the whatever else you can find in reds and pinks. And if you need some TV love to celebrate with today, here are my Top Ten Valentine’s Day Episodes from my favorite series.
(And yes, I am breaking my own rules and featuring some series more than once, because a lot of shows do sad V-day episodes, and I only wanted happy choices on this list.)
Communication Studies (Community, Season 1)
This isn’t just a good Valentine’s Day episode, it’s a brilliant episode in general. Britta drunk dials Jeff and leaves an embarrassing voicemail. For the good of the group, Abed gets Jeff drunk so he can leave Britta an equally drunk, equally embarrassing message. Hijinx ensue, of course, but the thing I love most about this episode is it is when we really start to see the relationships beginning to gel among all the different pairs in the study group.
Early 21st-Century Romanticism (Community, Season 2)
Watch this just for the cold open fight about the Barenaked Ladies. And for Troy and Abed yelling “Books!” in a quiet library. But, truly, if the Season 1 episode shows us how the study group is starting to gel, Season 2 shows us the cracks beginning to form (and the attempts that are made to mend them). Jeff’s text at the end to the group never fails to make me tear up a bit.
Blood Drive (The Office, Season 5)
This is one of those episodes that makes me actually like Michael Scott. We see such a vulnerable side to him throughout this story – he’s romantic, hopeful, and optimistic, yet still goofy and putting his foot in his mouth often. And while the Jim/Pam/Phyllis/Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration (yes, that’s his whole name) storyline gives me secondhand cringe embarrassment, it’s also still funny.
The One with the Candy Hearts (Friends, Season 1)
This is one of the few episodes on this list that is pure Valentine’s Day. The A-, B-, and C-stories all revolve around different aspects of the holiday, from Chandler accidentally hooking up with Janet on February 13th (I know Ryan on The Office gets all the credit for that with Kelly, but Chandler did it first!) to Ross awkwardly running into his ex-wife while they’re both on dates to the bonding/burning event in Monica & Rachel’s apartment.
The One with the Birthing Video (Friends, Season 8)
Any time I pick anything that is the color red, I say “the red one” in the same intonation Ross uses when Monica asks him about her lingerie. I can’t help it. It is burned into my brain (much like the Candy & Cookie video is burned into Monica, Chandler, and Rachel’s brains).
A Chorus Lie (Will & Grace, Season 4)
Matt Damon guest stars. That’s it. That’s the reason it’s on this list.
Dance Cards & Greeting Cards (Will & Grace, Season 7)
Again with the guest stars: Jeff Goldblum, Chita Rivera, Michelle Lee, AND Edward Burns.
Rabbit or Duck (How I Met Your Mother, Season 5)
This episode is one of the more preposterous of How I Met Your Mother (which is saying a lot, because this show gets pretty wacky), but it also has a great message about how time and experience can shift your perspective. So which do you think is better: the rabbit or the duck?
Galentine’s Day (Parks & Recreation, Season 2)
Look, I love Leslie Knope, and I love this episode of Parks and Recreation, but I still want to go on record for the rest of the Internet and say my college suitemates and I celebrated “Galentine’s Day” back in 2002, which was a good eight years before this episode aired, so stop giving it all the credit, okay?! (Related: I love that Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, and Kathryn Hahn still celebrate this together.)
Valloweaster (Brooklyn-99, Season 7)
Okay, this one just barely counts as a Valentine’s Day episode, but I don’t care, because it’s one of my favorite episodes of Brooklyn-99. Part of the “Halloween Heist” series, this triple heist spans Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter (hence: Valloweaster). If you’ve never watched Brooklyn-99 (and you don’t mind spoilers for how the series progresses), I suggest just watching the Heist episodes from each season; you learn a lot about the characters that way.
Which episodes are your favorites? Which series should I include next time?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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