This Valentine’s Day, toss originality out the window and borrow some schemes from your favorite television characters. Each idea listed below references specific episodes from those shows, but readers should take precaution—none of these ideas are guaranteed to turn you into a romanced individual, a thoughtful sponge or Zooey Deschanel.
If you’re Leslie Knope, from “Parks and Recreation:” You’re celebrating Galentine’s Day! On February 13th, host a brunch party for your female friends and hand out little pink cards that compliment their independent lady-ness. Rules: Everything should be monogrammed. Prepare a song performance with personalized lyrics for everyone in attendance to a tune of your choosing. Leslie would probably pick something by Taylor Swift. Bring heart-shaped, edible candy invitations for next year’s Galentine’s Day, because next year’s brunch starts at this year’s.
If you’re Troy and Abed, from “Community:” Let’s face it, Troy and Abed are a match made in nerdy heaven if there ever was. In any case, borrow their moves and fall for a hot librarian. When you introduce yourselves and she asks, “Are you the guys who keep staring at me and intermittently yelling out ‘Books!’?” You will answer with perfect comedic timing, “The very same.” Then ask her to the Valentine’s Day dance. It will be the cutest thing that’s ever happened to her.
If you’re Dr. Temperance Brennan, from “Bones:” You’re too logical to celebrate—it’s a “ridiculous holiday,” because “the banks don’t even close.” It’s just a normal day in the lab for you.
If you’re Will Smith, from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:” Double date with a younger sibling or cousin and her boy/girlfriend. Just be prepared for the possibility that someone’s going to be all over her “like cheese on a Big Mac.” If this happens, act overly protective and ruin everyone’s fun.
If you’re Phoebe Buffay, from “Friends:” Uh, oh, you’re dateless! In this case, take Phoebe’s advice and perform a cleansing ritual in which you burn keepsakes from boys you want to forget. Even if you never dated an attractive Italian guy, burn some grappa, which will hopefully contain so much alcohol that three hunky firemen are required to rescue you.
If you’re Jess Day, from “New Girl:” Somehow, you’re single this year, and so you must convince a friend to be your wingman as you attempt to have an attachment-free fling with a handsome stranger. Just be careful that the night doesn’t turn into a sexual comedy of errors. Then again, you can always widen your adorable doe eyes, pick from the billions of cute skirts that you have, and try again.
If you’re Mindy Lahiri, from “The Mindy Project:” Go watch “Sleepless In Seattle” alone for the 200th time. There’s always next year to find a date.
If you’re Michael Bluth, from “Arrested Development:” Trick your mother into throwing a Valentine’s Day party for your sister even if it’s really her anniversary, so that you can woo a girl that you love. Don’t forget to make an impassioned speech about love when the family starts chanting for one (“Speech! Speech! Speech!”), or else they will keep chanting until the narrator intervenes. (“The family continued to chant “speech, speech, speech” for no one in particular.”)
If you’re Spongebob and Sandy, from “Spongebob Squarepants:” Arrange to deliver a hot air balloon made of chocolate to your most special friend. (If you’re not friends with a starfish, feel free to improvise.) Chocolate hot air balloons are possibly the most delicious gifts you can ever give, even if they are kind of dumb, because no way would a chocolate hot air balloon float under the sea.
If you’re Liz Lemon, from “30 Rock:” Then you’re avoiding V-Day completely. Schedule a root canal. Wish people a “Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day” in an obnoxious tone. (Shaw was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and born on February 14th.) Don’t forget to have a friend pick you up from your root canal, because the anesthesia might cause you to insert a waffle into your DVD player.
If you’re Lily and Marshall, from “How I Met Your Mother:” Aww, you’re taken. Snuggle up and watch Predator, as per tradition. If your beau has other plans, use a stuffed pillow as a stand-in. When he returns later, have a quiet break-up with your pillow, which you have nicknamed “Marshpillow.”