The BEST Episodes of The Vampire Diaries
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: May 28, 2020
Network: The CW
Elena Gilbert is immediately drawn to Stefan Salvatore, the new student at her high school. Little does she know, the attraction leads her and her friends into the supernatural world surrounding their quiet town, Mystic Falls, as they become entangled in the lives of Stefan and his brother, Damon — both of whom happen to be vampires.
#1 - I Was Feeling Epic
Season 8 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 10, 2017
With the fate of Mystic Falls at stake, Stefan and Damon must fight their greatest enemy for one last battle.
#2 - The Departed
Season 3 - Episode 22 - Aired May 10, 2012
Determined to protect his sister, Jeremy makes a decision that will change everything. In the harsh reality of the present situation, Elena longs for simpler times when her parents, Grayson and Miranda, and Aunt Jenna were still alive and her biggest concern was her relationship with Matt. Stefan and Damon leave Mystic Falls together on a mission, but soon split up when Elena needs one of them. Caroline and Tyler are forced to make a life-changing decision. Finally, Bonnie makes a secret deal that has heartbreaking consequences.
#3 - Graduation
Season 4 - Episode 23 - Aired May 16, 2013
On Graduation Day, Mystic Falls is overrun with ghosts intent on settling old scores and fulfilling their supernatural destinies. Damon’s life is in danger after a ghostly encounter, while Matt and Rebekah join forces to battle a ghost determined to find the cure. As everyone gathers for the graduation ceremony and the ghosts converge, help comes from an unlikely hero. Caroline receives a touching and unexpected graduation present, and Bonnie’s plan leads to the closing of the veil. Elena makes a decision about the Salvatore brothers and faces an epic confrontation with Katherine. Finally, Stefan discovers a horrifying clue to the mystery surrounding Silas.
#4 - Founder's Day
Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired May 13, 2010
Founder's Day has finally arrived, and everyone is busy with last-minute preparations for floats and fireworks. Stefan is uncomfortable with Damon's new attitude toward Elena, but Elena is more concerned about repairing her relationship with Jeremy. Jeremy is worried about Anna, but not sure he's on board with her latest plan for the future. While Caroline is enjoying her day as Queen of the celebration, she also tries to help Matt and Tyler get their friendship back on track. Finally, although Damon and Alaric do their best to stop him, Johnathan Gilbert sets a plan in motion that brings Founder's Day to an end amid chaos, destruction and death.
#5 - I'm Thinking of You All the While
Season 6 - Episode 22 - Aired May 14, 2015
An uninvited guest shows up after Alaric and Jo's wedding, leaving Elena in terrible jeopardy. Bonnie takes matters into her own hands after finding herself on the receiving end of a twisted plan. As Stefan and Caroline reach an emotional crossroad in their relationship, a reunion with Liv leaves Tyler faced with a decision that could change his life forever. Meanwhile, Lily's reckless actions cause Stefan to realize the lengths to which his mother will go to reunite with her "family." Damon is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life.
#6 - Home
Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired May 15, 2014
Heartbroken by an unexpected tragedy, Damon pushes Bonnie harder than ever to find a way to stop the disintegration of the Other Side. Elena takes matters into her own hands and demands that Liv and Luke help her, but Liv refuses to cooperate until Caroline provides her with some personal motivation. Sheriff Forbes is horrified when Markos uses violence against Tyler/Julian to prove that Mystic Falls is now under the control of the Travelers. As conditions on the Other Side worsen, Bonnie takes the opportunity to settle an old score. Damon comes up with a dangerous plan that relies on split-second timing from Jeremy and Matt, and and everyone is caught up in the confusion when the plan causes a massive explosion in Mystic Falls.
#7 - The Last Day
Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 28, 2011
Damon is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent Elena from being a victim of Klaus’ plan to break the curse. Damon’s actions put him at terrible odds with Stefan and the tension that started brewing between the brothers over their differing opinions of how to help save Elena’s life blows up into full-scale conflict. Tyler returns to Mystic Falls after receiving a disturbing phone call. With the full moon marking the arrival of the sacrifice ritual, Stefan and Elena spend a romantic day together — afraid it might be their last.
#8 - Klaus
Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 21, 2011
Stefan and Damon are furious when they discover that Elena has defied them both to make a new ally and take control of the plan to out-maneuver Klaus. Disagreement over how to protect Elena leads to growing tension between the Salvatore brothers. Meanwhile, Stefan has his hands full trying to keep a confused and frightened Jenna safe. Flashbacks to 1491 reveal Katherine’s introduction to Elijah and Klaus, along with the origin of the moonstone curse. Elena learns shocking new information about Klaus’ motives.
#9 - The Sun Also Rises
Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired May 5, 2011
With the arrival of the full moon, Elena tries to prepare for whatever Klaus has planned and Tyler faces his second transformation. The terrifying events quickly spin out of control, despite an unexpected act of courage. Finally, Damon admits the truth to Stefan about a terrible new development they must face.
#10 - Homecoming
Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 10, 2011
On the night of the Homecoming dance, Rebekah opens up to Elena about why the evening is so important to her, leaving Elena with conflicting emotions. Caroline and Matt are both shocked at Tyler’s behavior throughout the evening. The night takes a surreal turn when Klaus puts his latest plan into action. Determined to outsmart Klaus, Damon enters into a dangerous partnership, leading to a terrifying turn of events.
#11 - As I Lay Dying
Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired May 12, 2011
Mystic Falls screens "Gone with The Wind" in the town square, and Damon's memories of Katherine in 1864 mix with the reality of present-day Elena. Stefan pays a steep price after trying to prevent a tragedy, and Sheriff Forbes makes a dangerous mistake while trying to keep everyone safe. Multiple lives hang in the balance as the consequences of the sacrifice ritual play out to a horrifying conclusion.
#12 - The Reckoning
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 13, 2011
Despite all that has happened, Caroline is determined to see that Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Tyler all enjoy a traditional Senior Prank Night before the school year begins at Mystic Falls High School. However, when uninvited guests show up, it doesn't take long for the evening to take a deadly turn. Damon convinces Jeremy that he can use his new connection to the other side to help find a way to defeat Klaus. Finally, Klaus deepens his hold on Stefan and uses him for increasingly violent and dangerous purposes.
#13 - Ghost World
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 27, 2011
As Mystic Falls prepares to celebrate the traditional Illumination Night, the town is invaded by spirits of the dead. After a particularly violent encounter with an angry spirit, Damon asks Bonnie to find the reason behind the ghosts' surprising power. Elena convinces Jeremy to use his connection to the other side to help her find a new way to reach Stefan, leading Jeremy to a terrible choice. Finally, Alaric discovers a long-hidden clue to the past.
#14 - Know Thy Enemy
Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Apr 7, 2011
Elena and Alaric both lash out at John when Isobel’s unexpected arrival leaves Jenna devastated. Bonnie works with Damon and Jeremy to find the spell they’ll need to harness her ancestors’ power. A heartbroken Caroline doesn’t know what to do about Matt. Stefan and Damon realize they have a new secret weapon.
#15 - Isobel
Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired May 6, 2010
Isobel returns to town and stuns Alaric with her attitude and her demands that he arrange a meeting with Elena. When mother and daughter finally meet, Isobel refuses to answer most of Elena’s questions, but reveals that she will stop at nothing to find the mysterious invention Johnathan Gilbert has been searching for. Isobel’s dangerous actions lead Stefan, Damon and Bonnie to step in and help Elena deal with the situation.
#16 - Rose
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 4, 2010
Stefan and Damon come to Elena’s assistance and, in the process, learn surprising new information about people, vampires and events in the distant past. Jeremy helps Bonnie after she casts a difficult and exhausting spell, and Caroline does what she can to make things easier for Tyler. Finally, Stefan and Damon reach a new understanding.
#17 - Handle with Care
Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 7, 2013
Silas happily announces his new goal to Damon and Elena, but they are skeptical when he promises to accomplish one important task in return for their help. A desperate Katherine discovers a new and unexpected consequence of becoming human again, and realizes she needs a new place to stay. In exchange for a spot in the dorm room, she offers to show Caroline how to get answers from Dr. Maxfield. Bonnie is touched by Jeremy’s strength and determination to stand by her. Tessa tells Stefan about her next move, and Damon is stunned when he figures out the secret to her plan.
#18 - Gods & Monsters
Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired May 13, 2016
Despite their best efforts to help Bonnie through the harrowing predicament she now faces, Damon, Enzo and Caroline realize their options are running out and drastic measures need to be taken. With their only chance of saving their friend lying inside the Armory, Stefan breaks the news to Caroline that they may need help from an unlikely source – her and Alaric’s twin daughters. Elsewhere, Enzo keeps Bonnie preoccupied by bringing her back to their cabin but when his plan takes an unexpected turn, it’ll be up to Damon to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his closest friends.
#19 - You Made a Choice to Be Good
Season 8 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 3, 2017
Cade returns to Mystic Falls and presents Damon and Stefan with additional assignments, each with unthinkable consequences. Even with tension growing in their friendship, Caroline and Matt do their best to protect the town’s residents from Cade’s appetite for their souls. Bonnie and Enzo hit the road on a romantic trip, taking the bell with them in hopes to keep it safe.
#20 - The Dinner Party
Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 17, 2011
Stefan tells Elena about a dark time in his history and the surprising person whose influence changed everything. After getting the truth out of Luka, Jonas makes his feelings clear to Bonnie and Jeremy. Trying to catch Elijah off-guard, Damon arranges a dinner party for him with Jenna, Alaric and Andie, but last-minute information throws Damon’s plan into chaos.
#21 - The Sacrifice
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 2, 2010
Elena decides to take matters into her own hands and offers a tempting incentive to Rose for her help. When things take an unexpected turn, however, Rose calls on Damon to deal with the plan Elena has set in motion. Jeremy’s reckless attempt to help Bonnie retrieve the moonstone lands him in a life-threatening position and forces Stefan to put himself in danger. Bonnie and Luka form a closer connection. Tyler shows Caroline the Lockwood cellar, where she makes a discovery that leaves them both terrified.
#22 - The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 30, 2014
With Homecoming around the corner, Elena invites Liam to attend a party at the corn maze with her. Instead of attending the homecoming festivities, Caroline is preoccupied after Stefan shows up unexpectedly and needs her help. Alaric reluctantly attends the party, but a devastating accident quickly leaves him and Jo rushing to save lives. Elsewhere, Tyler's werewolf curse is put to the test, and Stefan comes clean to Caroline about his intent to move on from Mystic Falls. Lastly, Damon and Bonnie make an important discovery that affects their quest to get back home.
#23 - The Walking Dead
Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired May 9, 2013
As Graduation Day approaches, Caroline tries to distract Elena by focusing on simple tasks like sending out announcements, but Elena won't be swayed from her new obsession. Sheriff Forbes calls Damon and Stefan to the hospital, where someone has been attacking patients. Still trying to force Katherine to help her, Bonnie refuses to give up on her plan to defeat Silas. As a violent wind storm causes a power outage in Mystic Falls, ghosts suddenly appear — some with good intentions and some bent on revenge.
#24 - Fade Into You
Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 20, 2014
As Caroline and Elena prepare to host Friendsgiving at the dorm, they receive some hopeful news from Alaric and Stefan about the Gemini Coven. Tyler is determined to help Liv after she and Luke reveal some disturbing information about their witch lineage and the impending plans their coven has for them. Meanwhile, dinner takes a drastic turn when Jo, who has revealed some painful details about her past, finds herself fighting for her life, leaving Alaric scrambling to help from a distance. Finally, Kai makes a dangerous discovery that brings him one step closer to his release.
#25 - Katerina
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 11, 2010
Elena puts herself in a dangerous position as she searches for the truth about Katherine’s past and what her own future may hold. Knowing that Stefan would never agree to her plan, Elena swears Caroline to secrecy. Damon uses a new-found confidant to help him try to discover the real purpose and power of the moonstone. Jeremy and Bonnie meet Luka, a new student with a surprising family history.