These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Damon. Is he really that evil or just a victim of love? Considering that Damon is a serial rapist and serial killer, this is Draco in Leather Pants all the way. Most male-and for that matter female-vampires are like this given their disregard for human life. Isobel Saltzman is an obvious example. Some of the episodes have also hinted at Blue and Orange Morality for Damon; this theory has been adopted by some of the fandom.
The reason for Stefan's mission to get the vampirism cure to cure Elena with, is he doing this because he's a caring boyfriend seeking to free her and himself from the curse that has been thrust upon both of them so they can live Happily Ever After, or is Stefan doing this because he's a clingy, controlling stalker that just wants Elena to go back to the way she was pre-vamprism because he just can't stand that she's changing into a different, perhaps better person?
Mr. Tanner didn't want to be a teacher, just a football coach, but was forced to by the school.
There's a possibility that John knew that the Gilbert device would affect Mayor Lockwood and did it because he wanted to become mayor himself, a plot that was only thwarted by Katherine stabbing him.
Angst? What Angst?: Jeremy, after Vicki dies. Justified, since Elena asked Damon to make it so he wouldn't worry about her. However, at this point Jeremy stops angsting about any number of things, stops doing drugs, and becomes a good student. Elena confronts Damon about it. Damon just says he "took away his suffering."
Anti-Climax Boss: Markos and his minions are not killed in a confrontation or fight, instead he is killed when Damon and Elena kamikaze the Mystic Grill. Later his ghost is curb stomped by Lexi and Dragged Off to Hell in under ten seconds.
Ass Pull: The Sun and Moon Curse turning out to not exist and the actual curse being a curse on Klaus, to keep his werewolf side suppressed.
Both times that people need to find Alaric in Season 1, he's at the school...on a Saturday. The first time he has a semi-viable excuse of needing to use the copier but the second...no reason is given.
Noticeably averted with Damon. If anything, the softer side he occasionally exhibits in Season 2 makes him even more badass. Although he's only ever held his own in a fight with humans, and vegetarian-vampire brother Stefan (sometimes) and he's been beaten by every other supernatural creature he's fought with (par the hybrids he killed and Lexi, but those were more surprise attacks that a battle of strength) Elijah, Klaus, Katherine, Caroline, Stefan (occasionally) etc. Really the only fair fight that he has even won was against Kol, but it's.... Kol, so....
Stefan towards the middle to end of season three and all of season four so far.
The Originals. Many fans are happy they got their own spin off, but it's divided between people who like them and want to see a whole show based around them and people who think TVD has become too much about them and want them off their show. And people who just hate and/or like them, and people who like individual Originals.
Damon has also become one as of season four and five. It could be argued that Damon's popularity is almost 50/50, with half of the fanbase hating him and the other half liking or loving him.
Katherine of Season 5, the fact that the writers refuse to let her go away or die has irritated a number of people as has her possessing Elena. And now that Katherine is not only dead, but got Dragged Off to Hell, the fandom has been divided even further. Either Katherine got what was coming to her, or it was a case of Disproportionate Retribution.
Creator's Pet: Hayley, a character despised by the fans that is being carried over to the spinoff. Surprising though, said spinoff has made her quite a bit more favorable to many of her haters.
Critical Research Failure: "Unpleasantville" features many songs from the 50s, and also "My Boyfriend's Back", which came out in 1962. Though, this may be In-Universe because it could have been the students' fault.
Vicki and Damon dancing around and trashing Stefan's room to "Enjoy The Silence"? Awesome. Especially when you notice how it seems to be sang from Damon's POV.
Within Temptation's "All I Need" during the Damon & Elena dance scene in "Miss Mystic Falls".
"Bloodstream" by Stateless in the season one finale, when Damon kisses Elena. Except it's Katherine.
"I Was Wrong" by Sleeperstar in 2x08 when Damon tells Elena that he loves her, and then makes her forget.
Damon and Elena scenes get this a lot. Another highlight has to be "Never Let Me Go" by Florence+the Machine in 3x19 when Elena kisses Damon and they have an extended and passionate kiss scene.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As the series progresses, it gets increasingly dark and gloomy, and characters either die or change for the worse. Thus this creeps in.
Designated Hero: The entire Mystic Falls team enters this because of their tendency to cause destruction and suffering to innocent people all the time if it's to help each other, without any concern for the carnage left in their wake. Example: dooming all supernaturals who have died for the past 2000 years to being trapped (possibly forever) on the other side to suffer just because they weren't willing to let Bonnie pass on.
Elijah - Mysterious Badass Noble Demon Original vampire, with an ability to punch another vampire's head off without so much as breaking a sweat.
Klaus was saved from complete demise both because of this trope.
Rebekah - Alpha Bitch original vampire who's betrayed on a regular basis and isn't afraid to speak her mind. The fact she killed Elena probably doesn't hurt.
Caroline - has always been one due to her Deadpan Snarker nature and endearing ditziness, but her popularity really skyrocketed when she was turned, making her possibly the most competent good female on the show.
Kol - Big time. A charming, charismatic psychopath with some of the best lines on the show. What's not to love? Ever since Elena and Jeremy killed him, fans have been crying out for a resurrection.
Anna - though it didn't save her from Uncle John, It did however, bring her back in the third season, and led to her receiving a less depressing end to her story this time, finally reunited with her mother.
Alaric - the only non-useless adult. So popular, he became a regular.
April. "After School Special" cements her status.
Silas. There are many fans who wish he would return and thought he made a great villain.
Amara. Many fans actually love her more than both Elena and Katherine and wished that she had more screen time as a character and with Silas.
Qetsiyah. Some fans love her and wanted to see more of her.
Enzo, he's only been in a few episodes, but people love him, he even got promoted to regular for Season 6.
Kai, he has become a really popular villain and many fans hope he isn't killed off too soon.
Damon and Elena. By a lot. If you go by fanfiction.net results alone, it's a ratio of about 9.5 to 1.
Although as of season four onwards and especially season five, their popularity has dwindled somewhat due to the relationship becoming stale.
Stefan and Katherine (although this is mainly the Damon/Elena shippers wanting to get Stefan out of the way).
Stefan and Caroline to a lesser extent, although there's a healthy fandom for their platonic friendship.
Stefan and Klaus was very popular amongst the fandom during season three. Some fans actually wanted Stefan to leave Mystic Falls and be with Klaus in New Orleans. Though by the end of the season, it was quickly overshadowed by Klaus/Caroline..
And now Tyler/Caroline is becoming more and more popular, compared to Matt/Caroline.
And now Klaus/Caroline is becoming more popular than Tyler/Caroline.
Anna/Jeremy is still more popular than Bonnie/Jeremy despite the fact that Anna is dead. It was so popular it got revisited in Season 3.
As of season six, Damon/Bonnie (a.k.a. Bamon) has become a fan favorite amongst the audience and a very popular ship. There are many fans and viewers wishing that Damon and Bonnie will become romantically involved. Hell, even some Delena fans have jumped ship and are hopping on the Bamon ship. Quite a few notice that there is a strong and undeniable chemistry between Ian Somerhalder and Katerina Graham (probably because Ian and Kat are extremely close off screen) as well as between their characters. Numerous fans are coming out and openly shipping Bamon and even the media seems to be crazy about the potential couple or pairing.
Katherine also has Foe Yay with everyone, particularly Damon and Stefan.
Klaus and Caroline may count (albeit completely one-sided). As of Season 4, the "one-sided" part is debatable. When they had sex and Caroline admitted her feelings in 5x11 the "one-sided" part is no longer true
Elena and Rebekah downright ooze it in "The Rager"
Recently Kol and Elena have sparked a fandom.
Ripper!Stefan and everyone.
Stefan and Klaus, OH SO MUCH.
Stefan and Rebekah have just as much as Stefan and Klaus.
As of season five onwards, Stefan and Enzo.
Kai and Bonnie.
Growing the Beard: "Lost Girls". The mythology starts to truly be developed, Elena starts to grow a backbone, Vicki's turned, and we find out Mystic Falls isn't much better than Sunnydale.
Season 6 has been called an improvement over the previous seasons
Poor Damon may be lacking in morals, but he's had a really terrible time of it over the past century and a half (a lot of which he blames on Stefan, with some justification). He's also constantly treated with mistrust and hatred by most of the other characters, particularly Elena, Katherine, Bonnie, and his own brother. He does definitely fit the "jerkass" part of this trope, but it's increasingly clear that it's a vicious cycle: other characters insist Damon needs to make amends, Damon tries to make amends, Damon's amends are ignored or belittled, Damon lashes out in a way that is fatal or at least hurtful to someone, other characters insist Damon needs to make amends...
Katherine is also straying dangerously close to this territory, especially with the way she pleaded for Damon to let her out when he sealed her inside the tomb with every intention of letting her starve.
Tyler is becoming this. Only Caroline and Tyler know exactly what a first transformation is like from the DVD recording Mason left of his first transformation. Other than them and other werewolves, no one else has a clue about the bones painfully reforming, the internal organs rearranging, the teeth growing, etc.
Rebekah. It's painfully clear by now that her Alpha Bitch personality is a big cover for her deep fear of being left alone and unloved, given how much her family keeps stabbing each other in the back — and now that her own mother has possessed her body and teamed up with Dark Alaric to massacre the Originals (and thus kill every vampire alive), God only knows if she'll make it out in one piece. When she does get her body back, she has to clean after a dance that she organized but didn't get to attend because of her mother. Who didn't want to give her a hug after that?
Caroline. In Fanfiction, she has been paired with Stefan, Jeremy, (whose actor she dated in real life), Elena, Katherine, Rebekah, Kol, even complete Crack Pairing s like Alaric, Mason, Jenna, and Vicki
Stefan's biggest ship is with Elena, but he is also shipped with other characters, including Caroline, Katherine, Damon, Bonnie, Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, etc.
Damon and Elena are probably the two most common. Both are shipped with just about everybody, though most commonly with each other.
Relationship Sue: Elena fits this trope especially in the novel series in regards to Stefan in particular.
Sympathetic Sue: Elena is often victimized and therefore, receives much sympathy due to her struggles.
Caroline is a minor example, as in terms of characterization she avoids being a Sue, but in terms of how she adapts to being a vampire she fits the Instant Expert part. Namely, when she turns she kills a person once, and then never has any issues with controlling her vampire urges or dealing with her super heightened emotions again, despite EVERY other main character vampire struggling with them the entire run of the show, particularly Stefan.
Marty Stu: Some people within fandom classify Stefan as this trope because at times, he comes off as too perfect.
Damon, so much. He definitely crossed it in season five when it is revealed that he murdered Aaron's parents and every generation of Whitmore but one for years as revenge for being captured and experimented on. The truly despicable part is that he killed the last one only a few months ago meaning that he lied to Elena and his bloodlust and sociopathic nature are still very much alive. Even Elena, who has put up an extremely impressive wall of denial about him, is absolutely horrified.
There were plenty of Elena haters before, but the planning and then killing of Kol by Elena to grow Jeremy's hunter's mark, despite the fact that this would kill all of Kol's line of vampires, which is anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of vampires is considered by even Elena strongest supporters to have swung Elena so far past the Moral Event Horizon that she is now completely irredeemably evil.
Wes turning Jesse into a vampire for his research.
Narm: For those who watch both TVD and The Originals, it's difficult to find Tyler's "Don't be a werewolf again" storyline seriously.
Never Live It Down: Bonnie's attitude for the first few episodes of season 2 is one of the reasons that people still hate her character.
Katherine:(in Caroline's bedroom) We're going to have so much fun together.
Cue a shot of a horrified-looking Caroline.
Older Than They Think: Most viewers and critics initially (And sadly still do, in some cases) dismissed the series as a rip-off of Twilight. The Vampire Diaries books actually predate Twilight by fourteen years.
Opinion Myopia: Some of the fans can't acknowledge when a character they like has raped another and they try to make up excuses as to why it's not rape, when compulsion is actually mind rape, no matter how nicely you try to put it. Forcing somebody down a bed while said person is crying, then manipulate this person's mind to have her be okay with you forcing her is rape.
In the TV show, Stefan, who is in a mutually loving, trusting and respectful relationship with Elena, is often vilified in favour of his murdering rapist brother, Damon. He gets it in the book fandom too, but Damon isn't nearly as bad in the books so it's not quite as mind-boggling. Stefan was even listed as having a Moral Event Horizon for threatening an extremely unpleasant and fan-hated character and telling him to get out of town. It comes off as a rather harsh judgment considering that when the Femme Fatale cut off the same character's fingers, taunted him and then stabbed him it was considered a Kick the Son of a Bitch instead. Post season 2 the show has been kind of trying to make a point that Stefan isn't the white knight that they sort of built him up as in season 1 and to a degree in season 2. His behavior in season 3 is just down right despicable in his need to get revenge on Klaus, and his holier-than-thou attitude ends up derailing his relationship with Elena
Elena gets it herself in both the book and TV fandom. In the book she's antagonized by fans for being a sometimes selfish but also brave, driven and compassionate young woman, in favour of her less self-assured friend. Despite her being a compassionate, considerate and downright selfless young woman in the TV show, she's been seen this way as well. Right down to 'in favour of her less self-assured friend.' Her big mistake, asking to have her brother's memory of his girlfriend's murder (after she attempted to eat his sister) erased to protect him in the aftermath of Elena's own assault by and witnessed death of said girlfriend is treated as unadulterated evil and 'pure selfishness.'
Truth be told, everybody on TVD is The Scrappy at one point or another to a decent portion of TVD's fan base.
Bonnie is one for a big segment of the fandom, due to her very judgmental nature and questionable methods, although she has some fans as well.
Emily, Bonnie's ancestor who all of Bonnie's annoying traits and none of her likable ones.
Esther, an annoying hypocritical villain who's no better than her children who is also a terrible mother.
With Season 4, Elena definitely qualifies. The fanbase has all but completely turned on her when she helped kill Kol and, for all purposes, committed a mass vampire Genocide. The way she broke things off with Stefan and got with Damon certainly didn't help (even if she was sired to him).
Damon in parts of season four and almost all of season five. Many fans turned sour against Damon and found him to be extremely unlikeable, especially after he became the main love interest for Elena. Some fans say that Damon became boring and dull since he became Elena's boyfriend. There's also the fact that he treated his brother Stefan poorly, especially regarding the whole Elena situation. Also, the fact that he did not look for Stefan over the summer or months that he was missing and did not seem to show too much concern over Stefan suffering from PTSD. Add onto the fact that after "Elena" had broken up with him, Damon resorted to killing Aaron, a friend of Elena's and resorting to hurting or torturing Elena's loved ones to get back at Elena, primarily Jeremy.
Wes Maxfield, who is basically John Gilbert with none of his charm. It doesn't help that by all rights almost any of the main characters should be able to take him down with ease, yet the writers keep contriving situations so they won't.
The Travelers of Season 5 are an entire scrappy species, especially since it was retconned that Katherine was one of them (which is when people really started hating her).
Enzo has become this as of season 6. Enzo was originally a relatively well liked an dwell received character in season 5, so much that he even ended up being upgraded to a series regular for season 6. However, since Enzo has made it his mission to make Stefan's (a generally well liked character and one of main characters) life a living Hell, most of the fandom find him completely annoying and useless and are wishing for him to be killed off.
Seasonal Rot: Season 5 is hitting this big time. Katherine's death, the zigzagging plotlines, an overall unlikable Damon, and the show focusing way too much time on the Delena back and forth rather than the actual plot of the season has resulted in plummeting ratings- with 5x21 and 5x22 hitting all time lows for the entire show during season five. Some have gone so far as to say the show's spin-off The Originals, which had its first season alongside this one, is now the far superior show.
Ship Mates: The Damon/Elena shippers frequently ship Matt/Caroline and Stefan/Bonnie. This not only keeps Matt and Stefan away from Elena, but also shoots down any possibilities of Damon hooking up with Caroline again or showing any interest in Bonnie, despite the hints for that pairing in the books. Though the Heartwarming Moments between Stefan and Caroline since she became a vampire have led to an increase in the popularity of that pairing; Katherine and Stefan has also grown in popularity.
The main shipping war is Stefan/Elena vs. Damon/Elena vs. Damon/Bonnie, but there's also quite a bit of conflict between the Damon/Elena shippers and the Damon/Caroline fans. The Jeremy/Bonnie ship has a contingent as well as a Luca/Bonnie one. Anna and Jeremy dwarfs both of them.
Now Katherine's back, expect to see Katherine/Stefan vs. Katherine/Damon added to the mix.
There has been an increase in Damon/Caroline since she's been turned and so is now more than capeable of sticking up for herself.
Damon/Rose and Caroline/Tyler.....
Tyler/Caroline and Klaus/Caroline's fanbases are at each other's throats as well.
Stefan/Caroline are more at odds with the Klaroline shippers.
As of season five, Stefan/Elena vs. Stefan/Caroline vs. Stefan/Katherine shippers are at each other's throats. It seems as though season five is about the fandom fighting over who Stefan should be with. Now that Katherine is dead, there seems to be a major rivalry between Stelena shippers vs. Steroline shippers. There are still some disgruntled Steferine shippers who don't want Stefan to be with either Elena or Caroline though.
Biggest ship war in season 6 is the one between Stefan/Elena fans and Stefan/Caroline fans.
Ships That Pass in the Night: There is a fandom for Kol Mikaelson and April Young despite the two having never met. Kol also gets this with Anna, but it's at least possible that those two crossed paths considering their ages. (And Kol may have even turned her)
Squick: Silas taking Elena's form after it was revealed that his lover Amara was the original doppelganger
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In the season 2 finale Jenna, who's just become the last major character to learn about the Masquerade, is turned into a vampire herself. And is just as quickly killed off, rather than the multitudes of story possibilities that could have come from it.
Took the Bad Film Seriously: Most of the cast but especially Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley. Even people who don't like the show have commented on how good Their acting has gotten, especially Dobrev as both Elena and Katherine.
Wangst: Stefan gets some in the first episode, as does Elena, though she just lost her parents.
What The Hell Casting Agency: The casting of Mia Kirshner as Isobel is strange considering she and Nina Dobrev look nothing alike. Elena looks like more like her adoptive mother than her biological one
Caroline. Caroline. Caroline. Right after Katherine makes her a vampire in Brave New World.
Which isn't to say she didn't get a head start on this one. Her dad abandoned her, she and her mother don't get along, she is constantly finding it difficult to fit in with her friends and is constantly overshadowed by Elena, she is abused and discarded by Damon and her boyfriend neglects her. Really, getting turned was probably the best thing for her.
Stefan. There is NOTHING that Stefan hasn't been through. Everything from love issues, blood addiction, family problems, loss of loved ones, emotional and psychological torture, etc. The show should be called "The How To Make Stefan's Life Miserable Diaries".
Matt as well. His mother and sister are immature wrecks who don't care how much They mess up his life, he is still pining after the girl he loves and he is left with far more responsibility than anyone his age should have to deal with. He and Caroline are starting to sound like a better fit now. He also doesn't have health insurance.
The biggest Woobie might just be Jeremy. Lets count the ways Life has utterly screwed him, shall We? He loses his parents, he is in love with a girl who strings him along and is ashamed to be with him, he gets picked on by teachers, his girlfriend is later murdered and he is mindwiped into forgetting. When things start looking up, he finds out about his past and how the people closest to him deceived him. Just before his next girlfriend is murdered by his uncle and revealed to have been using him which makes him attempt suicide. And that's just in the first season.
The Woobie of the World award should go to Bonnie. In season one, her grandmother dies after over-exerting herself by doing a spell that Bonnie had to convince her to do. Later, she hooks up with Jeremy, only to be dumped for his dead ex-girlfriend's ghost. Then Damon turns her mother into a vampire. Cue season four, Caroline and Elena barely acknowledge Bonnie's existence except when they need a spell and her best friend is making out with the very vampire that has caused her so much misery.
Culminated when Non-Humanity!Elena tried to kill Bonnie, all the while blaming Bonnie for her own faults. Taken into consideration, Bonnie's 'response' is quite expected. Of course, not long afterwards she dies anyway in the process of bringing Elena's brother Jeremy back to life, so yeah... And the first episode of the next season has Silas slit her father's throat in front of a brainwashed crowd, with Ghost!Bonnie there to see the horror.
Rebekah is an original vampire who longs to be a normal human and clings to any sense of humanity she can find. Not only that, but she's used and betrayed on a regular basis; even by her own family. Her father, mother, and older brother have all attempted to kill her. Her mother actually took over her body at one point. She's stabbed in the back by a girl she begins to finally open up to. And to top it all off, Elena has murdered two of Rebekah's brothers: Finn and Kol. You don't get much more Woobie-ish than that!
Elena. The SHOW seems to be about how many more times can life put her through the meat grinder. She can't seem to go a single day without herself or somebody she cares about being hurt, killed, or under threat by some supernatural being ever since the first episode, she has 2 boyfriends that endlessly fight over her that she's constantly conflicted about, she's too compassionate to just blow off anybody who's suffering so she ends up putting herself in even MORE trouble, and to top it all off she has serious loss and abandonment issues. Elena crosses into Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds territory once she becomes a vampire and turns her emotions off.
The new contender for the crown has to be Aaron in season five. In the space of nine episodes, he has seen two of his best friends murdered, found out that his only other friend is a vampire and a killer, his only remaining guardian is a sadist who has been lying to him for years and he has had almost every member of his entire family, including his parents and aunt, murdered by Damon for things They didn't even know about. It's no wonder the poor guy seems to have a perpetual rain cloud hanging over his head. And now he's dead.