Valentine’s Day is here again: the holiday when couples get free rein to be obnoxiously self-congratulatory about their couple status (even more so than usual), while single people are expected to stay in their homes and cry into a bowl of ice cream.
Is finding a willing partner such a grand achievement, though? Thousands of people manage it every day, and most of them aren’t even all that clever, cool or interesting. To sprinkle a little perspective among the hearts and candy, here are 5 movie characters who kicked all sorts of ass despite not having a designated date night or arguments over whose turn it is to clean the toilet.
Aside from being one of the Coen brothers’ best-loved comedies, The Big Lebowski is a great advertisement for single life. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski’s troubles all stem from another Lebowski’s marriage troubles, and the important life lesson this teaches us is that staying single and just going bowling with your friends is the wisest course in life.
The Dude is so revered that he even became the prophet of his own religion. The Church of the Latter-Day Dude preaches that its followers should just take it easy and go with the flow, and being single is no barrier to acceptance among the Dude’s disciples.
Thor might have found a girlfriend, but it’s scheming trickster Loki who has amassed the greatest legion of fangirls, all of whom have been charmed by his evil ways. Although Hollywood law dictates that Thor should always win in the end, Loki has repeatedly outsmarted his adoptive brother in his efforts to claim the throne of Asgard – and it’s not because he’s hoping to find his perfect queen.
Loki manages to pull off an air of suaveness even in the middle of a prison riot in Thor: The Dark World, and while he lacks a legendary weapon he’s practically oozing with book smarts. It’s just possible that this charismatic villain has a sweet, romantic side, but he’d probably stab you in the back if you went looking for it.
Thanks to the ‘Final Girl’ trope, the horror genre has a relatively high proportion of badass female leads, but they usually have a boyfriend hanging around on the background somewhere (if only so that he can be killed and/or revealed as the killer).
Clarice Starling does not appear to have a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse of any kind in The Silence of the Lambs or Hannibal, but you’ll forgive her for not fretting too much about her single status as she trades conversational barbs with a sadistic cannibal, then later takes down Buffalo Bill single-handedly while Jack Crawford and his FBI tactical team flounder around in completely the wrong state.
There’s a reason that Dumbledore became the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared, and it’s not because Voldemort was envious of Dumbledore’s love life. At 115 years old, Harry Potter‘s friend and mentor was still happily unattached and was one of the most powerful and respected wizards of all time.
Speaking of Voldemort, is it a coincidence that the most powerful dark wizard of all time was also a singleton? Clearly matters of the heart and matters of the wand do not mix well.
There’s a reason that the James Bond movies have such a very long list of Bond girls, and it’s not because 007 kept saying, “Sorry, but I’ve already got a girlfriend.” Being a highly skilled spy and leaping into the mouth of danger almost every day doesn’t lend itself well to holding down a steady relationship, but Bond seems to be pretty happy with his life as a single man.
It’s no surprise, really. On the rare occasions that Bond does start to wonder if it’s time to settle down with just one lady, it always turns out extremely badly. In fact, the only two women he’s ever fallen in love with have both died horribly. Clearly this is a sign that Bond should stick to one movie stands.
If any of our readers happen to find themselves single on Valentine’s Day, just remember that millions of people have managed to score Valentine’s Day dates, but there are only a small handful of people capable of outsmarting Norse gods, tracking down serial killers, intimidating the greatest dark wizard who ever lived or saving the world from nuclear destruction. They just don’t need their own designated holiday to feel good about it.
Romance is a fickle thing anyway, but the Dude abides.