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The best Valentine’s Day TV episodes

Several shows have Valentine's Day episodes like New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. (Hulu/CBS/ABC)
Several shows have Valentine's Day episodes like New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. (Hulu/CBS/ABC)

It's Valentine's Day, which means love is in the air, and on our televisions if we want it to be.

The holiday is of course a celebration of romance, a subject that is beloved in Hollywood and has inspired countless films and television shows since the industry first began. And Valentine's Day itself has also been a source of inspiration onscreen, with some standing out more than others.

Viewers can choose to celebrate the holiday by enjoying a wide range or romantic-themed TV episodes. Here are just some of the ones that will have you swooning with delight.

Modern Family | Disney+

'Modern Family'. (Credit: ABC)
Modern Family features a Valentine's Day episode in its first season. (Credit: ABC)

The iconic sitcom has a number of great episodes, but for those looking for a Valentine's Day fix they need look no further than My Funky Valentine. The season one episode sees the couples of Modern Family all try to celebrate the romantic event in different ways.

In it, Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) decide to spice things up in their relationship by booking a night at a hotel, with the former deciding to wear only her coat — but things take a wrong turn when the couple get stuck on an escalator. As well as exploring their relationship, the episode sees Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofia Vegara) reflecting on their marriage and how their age gap is perceived, while Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) help Manny (Rico Rodriguez) find romance.

The Office | Netflix

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on the American version of 'The Office'. (Credit: NBC)
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on the American version of The Office, which has a Valentine's Day-themed episode. (Credit: NBC)

Another classic sitcom, the American version of The Office has a Valentine's Day themed episode named after the holiday in its second season.

The story explores the co-workers experiences in the office during the romantic event, though it's less swoon-worthy and more amusing as the episode sees Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer) get given several bouquets of flowers by accident. This episode is likely more aimed at those desiring a laugh than those hoping to enjoy some romance.

New Girl | Disney+

Los Angeles, USA. Zooey Deschanel , Lamorne Morris and Jake M. Johnson in ©Fox Network new TV series: New Girl ( 2011 ). The show stars Zooey Deschanel as Jessica Day, a well-liked, bubbly, and adorable woman in her late 20s who is trying to get over her surprise breakup with her model boyfriend. She eventually finds a new place to stay when she moves in with three single guys: Nick, a bartender; Schmidt, a professional and modern-day casanova; and Coach, a former athlete turned trainer. Rounding out this unlikely bunch is Jessica's street-smart model friend Cece. Together, this group of frien
Zooey Deschanel's Jess helps Winston (Lamorne Morris, centre) propose in New Girl's Valentine's Day episode. (Disney+)

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For those looking to be swept away with romance then New Girl has the perfect episode, season 6's Operation: Bobcat which is set on Valentine's Day and sees Winston (Larmone Morris) meticulously plan a proposal to Aly Nelson (Nasim Pedrad). The episode sees Jess (Zooey Deschanel) do her best to help Winston win her heart again after being shocked by her surprise proposal and saying no.

Friends | Netflix

Could we BE anymore excited?! Friends is heading to the stage with its very own musical
Friends is full of romance, but the show has a specific Valentine's Day-themed episode for fans to revisit. (NBC)

There's few sitcoms as iconic as Friends, so it'll be a great show to rewatch in order to celebrate Valentine's Day. While the show has several romantic episodes to choose from, one set during the holiday is season 6 episode The One with Unagi.

In it, Monica (Courtney Cox) is forced to work on the holiday meaning she and Chandler (Matthew Perry) makes plans to celebrate later by exchanging homemade gifts, only for him to give her a mix-tape made by his ex Janice. It's not only a great episode to watch for a laugh, it also reminds viewers that it's the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving.

The Golden Girls | Disney+

FILE - Actors from the television series
Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Betty White in The Golden Girls, which has a fun Valentine's Day special. (AP Photo)

If there's anyone who knows about love it's The Golden Girls, and the series has its own Valentine's Day themed episode in season 4 which sees the quartet all be stood up by their respective dates. As a result, they decide to look back at how they celebrated in the past for an enjoyable trip down memory lane.

The Simpsons | Disney+

<p>America’s favourite family – the longest running scripted TV show is coming to Disney (Fox). </p>
The Simpsons always knows how to pull off a great themed episode, and Valentine's Day is no exception. (Fox)

The Simpsons is well known for its holiday-themed episodes and Valentine's Day is no exception. The series has a number of specials to choose from, like season four's I Love Lisa and season ten's I'm With Cupid. The former follows Lisa as she sends a Valentine's Day card to Ralph as a platonic gesture, only for it to be taken more seriously than intended.

Abbott Elementary | Disney+

A group of teachers try to save an under-performing Philadelphia school in Abbott Elementary. (ABC/Prashant Gupta)
Abbott Elementary follows a group of teachers try to save an under-performing Philadelphia school, but that doesn't mean they don't also have time for romance. (ABC)

For something more recent you'd struggle to find better than Abbott Elementary, the comedy series focused on the daily lives of teachers has gained huge critical acclaim since it first began airing in 2021. The show recently released a Valentine's Day special in its second season, and the fourteenth episode sees Janine (Quinta Brunson) finally realise that Gregory (Tyler James Williams) likes her — a major milestone in their will-they-won't-they romance.

How I Met Your Mother | Disney+

How I Met Your Mother (Disney+)
How I Met Your Mother has a few Valentine's Day specials to choose from. (Disney+)

Another show to feature several Valentine's Day themed episodes is How I Met Your Mother, the show has a few fun ones to choose from like Rabbit or Duck, from season 5, to season 6's Desperation Day. The Drunk Train from season 7 is a good one to watch because it explores the intricacies of relationships and also sees Ted (Josh Radnor) telling Robin (Cobie Smulders) that he loves her. While they weren't originally pitched as the show's end couple, fans of the show know how their romance ends.

Gilmore Girls | Netflix

Gilmore Girls follows the daily lives and romantic exploits of Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) Gilmore. (PA Images)

Romance is a major topic in Gilmore Girls, the comedy about the daily lives of mother-daughter duo Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore. The show has a Valentine's Day episode with season 6's A Vineyard Valentine, which sees Lorelai deal with some struggles with Luke (Scott Patterson) while things get serious between Rory and Logan (Matt Czuchry).