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A television series based on L.J Smith's The Vampire Diaries, which premiered on The CW in 2009. The premise is pretty much the same: high school student Elena Gilbert gets entangled with her new classmate, Stefan Salvatore and his brother, Damon, eventually discovering that both of them are vampires.

While the premise is the same, the TV series has significant differences. Writer Kevin Williamson has stated he was more interested to narrate the story of the town, Mystic Falls, rather than focus on a high school setting. Great attention is paid to the history of Mystic Falls, while character background, personalities and events were changed or switched around.

The show ended in 2017, after eight seasons. In 2013, the series spawned a spin-off, The Originals, which concluded in 2018 after five seasons. The Originals spawned a spin-off of its own, Legacies, which premiered the same year it ended and is ongoing.

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This series provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Brave New World" centers Caroline and her becoming a vampire.
    • The appropriately named "Katerina" is about Katherine's backstory.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Richard Lockwood is this to Tyler.
    • Mikael is this to Klaus.
    • Giuseppe Salvatore to Damon. At first he seems merely strict, but the sixth season retroactively reveals that he was physically abusive two both his children and his wife.
    • Caroline's father tortures her quite brutally when he discovers that she's a vampire, although he claims it's for her own good.
  • Action Survivor: Elena is pretty competent while trying to defend herself. For example, when a strange vampire is trying to kill her, she stabs him with pencils — repeatedly — and then breaks a mop over her knee to try to stake him, and when a werewolf attacks her, she instantly sticks a knife into his gut. She's also adept at using her surroundings while trying to run away if pursued by a supernatural. This is magnified in Season 4 after she transitions into a vampire. She goes so far as to kill Connor to protect her brother.
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  • Adapted Out: Elena's friend Meredith Sulez was a major character in the novels, but doesn't exist in the series. Most of her personality traits were given to Bonnie while Caroline takes up her slot in the main girl trio. An older character named Meredith Fell does appear in the third season, but aside from her name and romantic interest in Alaric the two have nothing in common.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: In the novels, Elena lost her parents in an accident when she was young. At the beginning of the series, the accident has only just occurred a few months back and the characters are still processing it.
  • Adaptational Nationality:
    • Stefan and Damon were from Renaissance Italy in the books. In the series the Salvatore family is one of the town's founding families and the two brothers are now Italian Americans from the civil war era.
    • Katherine von Swartzschild was German in the novels. In the series she is eventually revealed to be Bulgarian (just like her actress), with her real name being Katerina Petrova.
    • Klaus was originally implied to be German in the novels as well (judging by the name), although it's later revealed that he's actually much older than originally thought and may predate Germany as a country. In the series it turns out that he, along with the other Originals, are scandinavian and Klaus is short for Niklaus.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Caroline goes from a vicious bitch who tries her utmost to ruin Elena's life to a sympathetic character. She becomes outright heroic after becoming a vampire.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In general, all the main characters eventually become a lot more morally grey than their book counterparts. Details like vampires being The Unfettered by default, temporary Heel Face Turns and Mind Control mean that even the more morally upright characters get their hands dirty once in a while. By the end of the series they have racked up a very impressive body count between them.
    • Damon only kills Mr. Tanner in the novels, and the attack on Vicky is committed by Katherine. In the series, Damon commits several murders from the moment he arrives in town — including Vicky — and subscribes to the idea that Murder Is the Best Solution even after becoming more of an Anti-Hero.
    • Katherine of the novels was turned into a vampire against her will and then corrupted by Klaus into becoming his Dark Mistress. Katherine of the series is a Social Darwinist willing to do anything to survive, even as a human. She turned herself into a vampire when she found out Klaus' intentions with her and threw multiple people under the bus to escape him.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Elena was blonde and blue-eyed in the books, but in the show is played by the dark-haired and brown-eyed Nina Dobrev.
    • Caroline was a brunette in the books, but is blonde in the series.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Elena is a regular Nice Girl at the beginning of the series, and a lot more pleasant than the Alpha Bitch she started out as in novels.
    • Caroline is The Rival in the novels, a former Beta Bitch who schemes against Elena and has little to do with the supernatural. The series turns her into one of Elena's best friends. She is initially jealous of Elena and a bit of a Control Freak, but is aware of her own flaws and becomes a lot nicer after some Character Development.
    • Katherine goes from a Psychopathic Manchild who commits murder as a part of her "game" with the Salvatore brothers, to an ambitious Vamp who kills to further her own goals. Her former romance with the brothers is in turn changed from a childish inability to comprehend why she can't have them both, to her knowing full well and not caring that they would object and resorting to Mind Control to keep them both in line.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • The one teacher we see at the school has zero understanding for Elena or Jeremy despite their loss; Elena's aunt is clueless; even after Vicki is attacked, her parents are nowhere to be seen, and her brother's the only one at her bedside in the hospital.
    • The founder's council is also not all that useful. When the most competent member of the town's anti-vampire defense force is Damon there is a problem.
    • This is not the case with Alaric.
    • Subverted with Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood, as of season three.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Damon is the epitome of this trope. He loves Elena, she doesn't love him back. He loves Katherine, who also doesn't love him back, but instead loves Stefan. Who is in love with Elena. Hoo, boy...
    • Subverted. In 2x22 and 3x09 Katherine reveals she loved Damon too. And both times, she says it after saving Damon's life.
    • Subverted in Season Four when Elena transitions and admits to Stefan that her feelings for Damon have been magnified. This causes a mutual break up.
  • All of Them: When Jeremy asks Bonnie how much of the dead witches' energy she'll need to kill Klaus, this is her answer.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Caroline initially appears to be one of these, but her image is gradually softened as the show goes on.
    • In the third season, Rebekah enrolls into the main character's high school and takes on this role just to spite them.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Caroline feels this way about Elena early in the show.
    • It is implied that Damon also feels this way about Stefan.
  • Anchored Ship: Elena and Stefan, at least during the first three seasons.
  • And I Must Scream: What happens to a vampire when starved of blood. Their skin desiccates and their muscles atrophy, leaving them paralyzed, essentially mummified, and completely conscious.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing:
    • The gang has a party after Klaus is seemingly defeated for good at the end of season 3.
    • Similarly, the gang throws another party when Katherine is lying on her death bed in season 5.
  • Anyone Can Die: Numerous examples, with at least one brutal death per episode. Most recurring character are eventually killed off, and the ones who survive are usually brought back so they can disposed of properly. Every season kills off a regular as well (although death becomes increasingly cheap in later seasons) with the final season seeing the deaths of Stefan, Tyler and Enzo, and the final scene has a flashforward that shows that eventually everyone will Die Happily Ever After.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • In the first season Stefan initially disbelieves in Alaric's resurrection ring, despite the fact that he is currently wearing a magical ring of his own.
    • There's also Damon's kneejerk reaction that werewolves aren't real in season 2.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • While Vicki's role in the story is more or less the same, her being made into Matt's brother along with her romance with Jeremy makes her a far more prominent character than her novel counterpart.
    • Elena's Aunt Judith in the novels had little to no relevance to the story other being Elena's legal guardian, along with her equally unimportant husband. In the series, her equivalent character of Jenna is given much more to do and has several scenes devoted to her love-life and struggles with being Promoted to Parent.
    • Caroline had a fairly large role in the books, but was not one of Elena's friends and had nothing to do with the supernatural. In the show she's one of Elena's best friends and a central character.
    • Elijah as an extreme example. Julie Plec admits that Daniel Gillie's performance and the pull of Elijah's character inspired the writers to make the Originals un-killable to keep him around. He was originally just a "foot soldier" before they decided to make him Klaus's brother.
  • Asshole Victim: Stefan deliberately creates one in Season 4. He turns a confessed murderer so Jeremy can kill him to grow his hunter's mark.
  • Bachelor Auction: In the season 1 episode "A Few Good Men", although it's actually a raffle.
  • Badass Family: The Originals, as revealed in season 3. Also doubles as a Big, Screwed-Up Family.
  • Badass Normal: Alaric, Bill, and Jeremy. Elena is not technically Normal but because she is Blessed with Suck she probably falls under this as well.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Katherine begs Damon to NOT kill Elijah stating that since Elijah had compelled her to stay in the tomb, his death would keep her trapped permanently. Elijah gets killed. Then Damon finds out that Elijah's death actually cancels the compulsion he gave Katherine. So Elijah's death = Katherine's freedom. Brilliantly played!
    • Stefan pulls one off in "Family Ties". He gives Caroline a drink with vervain in figuring that Damon would try to drink her blood. When Damon tries to kill her, he ends up drinking poison.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: The best way to kill a vampire/werewolf hybrid.
  • Berserk Button: If you like having a little brother, don't tell Damon that you prefer Stefan.
  • Beta Couple:
    • Caroline and Matt spend most of season 1 as one to Stefan and Elena.
    • Season 2 has two Beta Triangles to the main Stefan-Elena-Damon one: Tyler-Caroline-Matt and Jeremy-Bonnie-Luka.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Both Salvatore brothers are torn between Elena and Katherine.
    • In Season 3, Caroline is again in a love triangle, with Tyler as the Betty and Klaus as the Veronica.
    • Jeremy with Anna (who has taken on more Betty attributes) and Bonnie (who is more Veronica like) in Season 3. It doesn't turn out well for either of them because Anna is sent away and Bonnie breaks up with Jeremy.
  • Big Bad:
    • In season one, it is a Big Bad Duumvirate with Jonathan Gilbert and Richard Lockwood.
    • Season two has Klaus Mikaelson.
    • Season three Klaus again but it turns into a Big Bad Ensemble with his mother Esther.
    • Season four has Silas.
    • Season five has Markos.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Originals. Let's face it, any family where Klaus carries his family around the world in coffins after sticking daggers in their hearts and their mother wants to kill off her children qualifies.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Bonnie, especially in Season 1. She's a witch, but apart from mind-whammying Damon, using any of her other powers mainly seem to cause her to loose consciousness. Either that or they don't work.
    • Elena's only "power" as a doppelgänger is to look like one of her ancestor, thus making her wanted dead by the oldest vampire ever and immune to any protection spell that's supposed to work on humans.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's revealed that vampires can "turn off" their humanity like a switch, freeing them from negative or connective emotions like fear, love, or guilt. This explains a lot. Stefan leaves his humanity "on" all the time, Isobel leaves hers completely off most of the time. Damon's humanity is "off" at the start of the series, but he's turned it "on" somewhere around the end of Season 1. It is also stated by 500-year-old Rose that the ability to shut off their emotions fades with age.
  • Body Horror: The werewolf transformations takes a big cue from An American Werewolf in London, and is preceded by a ton of audible joint dislocations.
  • Body Snatcher: Klaus possesses Alaric for a little while. Previously Emily Bennett does this to Bonnie.
  • Break the Cutie: And how. The series does a real work on Elena, which makes you wonder how she got so far without snapping. She loses many of her loved ones over the course of the series, including Grayson and Miranda, her adoptive parents, John Gilbert and Isobel Flemming, her real parents, and Jenna Sommers, her adoptive aunt. After losing her brother Jeremy she finally breaks down and has to turn off her humanity to move on (fortunately it doesn't last, and she eventually gets her brother back.)
  • Briarpatching: Successfully used and lampshaded.
    Katherine: I knew if I begged you not to kill him, that's exactly what you'd do.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • People just don't learn that annoying Damon Salvatore isn't a good idea.
    • Klaus. Anyone trying to use/play/betray Klaus or any of the other Originals has to have a death wish.
  • Bungled Suicide: In the first season finale, Jeremy attempts to kill himself (and become a vampire) by overdosing on pills. It doesn't work, as he didn't take enough pills and the vampire blood just heals him.
  • Buried Alive: At the end of season 4, Silas locks Stefan in a safe and dumps him down a river. His lungs explode but, being a vampire, they regenerate... so that they can explode again. He remains dying and regenerating for three months before he's rescued.
  • The Bus Came Back: Vicki and Anna return as ghosts that can only be seen by Jeremy. Later, Matt can see Vicki.
  • Byronic Hero: Let's see, Damon hates most of the characters in the show, has great panache, is very cynical, certainly has a Dark and Troubled Past, is sometimes redeemable by Elena and is a vampire.
  • Cain and Abel: Damon and Stefan. Paralleled in flashbacks by Klaus and Elijah.
  • Captain's Log: The first few episodes of the show started and ended with bits from Elena's diaries.
  • Cartwright Curse:
    • Jeremy dates Vicki and Anna in season 1, both of whom die shortly after they commit to each other. In the next season, another girl dies shortly after it's revealed that she has a crush on him. The curse seemingly breaks when he dates Bonnie but then it gets Zig-Zagged when Jeremy dies, which is followed by Bonnie dying while bringing him back to life. Fortunately, she comes back as well and both characters survive the series. The trope is lampshaded by Jeremy himself, and it's the reason he is initially reluctant to date Bonnie:
      Jeremy: You know, I don't have the best luck in the girlfriend department.
    • Alaric also has this problem. His first wife, Isobel, left him to become a vampire (although he at first thought she'd been murdered) and is dead by mid-season 2. His second love Jenna is turned into a vampire against her will and is dead by the end of season 2 as well. His second wife, Jo, is brutally murdered by her insane twin brother at their wedding. All in all, the only woman who has dated Alaric and not bit it is Meredith (who was simply written out of the show).
  • Cast from Hit Points: Witch's spells appear to take a severe toll on the body. To the point where it sometimes seems that Bonnie can't do anything useful (except mind whammy Damon) without knocking herself out.
  • Casting Gag: Dillon Casey who once played Nina Dobrev's boyfriend plays a vampire trying to kill her.
  • The Cast Show Off: Candice Accola singing in "The House Guest".
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Experienced hunters can resist compulsion, especially if they've had training.
  • The Cheerleader: Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline all start the show as cheerleaders and all quit for various reasons.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Damon tries to dispose of a body with a flamethrower. It doesn't work, but the weapon comes in quite handy later in the episode.
    • The third season establishes early on that Meredith has a stash of vampire blood that she uses to heal dying patients, which becomes important in the Season 3 finale when she reveals that she used it to save Elena from a brain hemorrage before she died.
    • Elena's necklace becomes very important in Season 3 after two seasons of just being a way to prevent compulsion.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Used often enough in the show to suspect at least some Author Appeal.
    • Damon tortures Mason to get information out of him and then kills.
    • Brady does this with Caroline in "Daddy Issues".
    • Jules with Damon in "Crying Wolf". Damon acknowledges the irony.
    • In the Season 3 premiere we see Stefan torturing a werewolf by chaining him to a wall over a dart board and throwing darts at him that have been dipped in wolfsbane.
  • Conversation Casualty: A sympathetic version. Rose is already dying, having been bitten by a werewolf; Damon gives her a Dying Dream of her human life centuries ago, during which he challenges her to a race. He stakes her during the countdown.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Damon tries this to pretty much everyone in the show, but particularly Stefan, Elena, and Caroline. Katherine also does this to Damon and Stefan.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Early in the series, Bonnie is absent from many episodes or has scenes where her only "appearance" is a phone-call.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Katherine after Damon wrecks the plan she's been working on for several episodes: "Do you honestly think I don't have a Plan B? And a Plan C if that fails, and then...well, you know how the alphabet goes."
  • Curse That Cures: Subverted in season 6. Caroline wants to see if vampirism can cure cancer, so she sires a terminally ill man who has the same type of cancer as her mother. It initially seems to work, but then it's revealed that the vampirism has actually made the cancer infinitely worse, and that the man is now in perpetual agony because his cancer has suddenly jumped from stage four to stage ten (and there is no stage ten).
  • Dance of Romance: Damon and Elena in "Miss Mystic Falls".
  • Dark Mistress: Damon and Stefan were the male versions of this for Katherine when they were human.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Damon and Caroline, mostly. Elena is quickly catching up.
    • Her fatalism is showing, and she is related to Katherine.
    • Stefan also sometimes has a dry sense of humor.
  • Death Is Cheap: Most of the main characters have died at least once over the show's course (or were dead to begin with, as it's, you know, a show about vampires). Very few die permanently.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: As long as you wear one of the Gilbert Rings, you will be resurrected if your death had a supernatural element (e.g., neck snapped by a vampire) and are not supernatural yourself. There are only two in the series, however; Alaric has one, and Jeremy inherited Uncle John's.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Isobel is heavily implied to be one. She keeps a sex slave of each sex. Moreover, both are mind-controlled. The male is actually gay, and would presumably be repulsed if he were not mind-controlled, making this all the more squicky.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Caroline has the "Gay Dad" variety.
    • It's revealed in season 1 that Elena is adopted. Isobel Saltzman is revealed to be her birth mother, while her father remains a mystery. In season 2 we learn that it's her uncle, John Gilbert.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Elena may be an Action Survivor for most of the early series, but she is also nearly constantly being threatened and/or kidnapped to enrage Stefan and Damon. This dies down a bit after she becomes a vampire.
    • Caroline also filled this role, especially in early Season 1, but since she Took a Level in Badass, not so much.
  • Doppelgänger:
    • Elena and Katherine are doppelgangers. At first it appears to be because they are distantly related, but it later turns out to have supernatural causes. The third season reveals that they are both descended from another doppelganger named Tatia, whose blood was involved in the creation of vampirism. The existance of doppelgangers is fully explained in the fourth season: Amara, handmaiden of the witch Qetsiyah, drank the immortality elexir alongside Qetsiyah's betrothed Silas. A side effect of the elixir meant that doppelgangers, or "shadows selves", of the pair would appear every few hundred years and die in their place.
    • The fourth season also reveals that Stefan is one of Silas's doppelgangers. He also has a present day doppelganger named Tom.
  • Domino Revelation: First we learn about vampires, then witches, and eventually werewolves and hybrids.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Some relationships in the series involve some level of Mind Control, such as Katherine towards Stefan & Damon, or Damon towards Caroline & Andie. Both characters points out that they never forced the other party to love them, but rather took away their fear of vampires. While it's not treated as a good thing and is only done by villainous (but not irredeemable) characters, the show does its best to downplay the Questionable Consent and never refers to it as rape.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: While Alaric is training Elena on how to kill a vampire after she is attacked and almost killed by a compelled Stefan, he mentions that her reason for this is because "Stefan hurt you, and you don't ever want that to happen again". This as well as a few other mentions of vampires "taking what they want without regard to anyone else" and "finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning" seems to compare his actions more to rape than a bite.
  • Dream Sequence:
    • Stefan has one in which Elena is bitten by Damon. Damon finds this hilarious.
    • Katherine does this several times to Stefan. He has dreams involving him and Katherine doing the dance in 'Miss Mystic Falls' (which was done by his brother and Elena), and a dream with Elena and Damon kissing and acting like cute little love birds. Due to the popularity of Elena/Damon this was presumably partly to provide Ship Tease.
    • A heartbreaking example, also courtesy of Damon: when Rose is dying, he gives her a calming dream of her favorite place and stays in the dream with her until she dies.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Happens a bit too often with the Salvatore brothers but always averted. First both of them wanted to die instead of drinking human blood and becoming vampires. Stefan changed his mind and conned Damon into following suit. Then when Stefan "fell off the wagon" and started drinking human blood again... well, that didn't work either.
    • According to the Season 4 premiere, Elena's actions in the previous season finale were a result of this.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: After a season's worth of building up the vampires trapped in the tomb underneath the church, their leader Pearl is unceremoniously killed in a surprise attack.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Damon often resorts to this.
  • Dumb Blonde: Somewhat subverted with Caroline. She's never been stupid, just fashion and social status-oriented, but she's stereotyped as shallow and dumb. (She herself worries about this.) Listen to her reel off a list of her extracurriculars in "Miss Mystic Falls".
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • In a flashback in the season 3 finale we learn that Elena's father Grayson insisted that Stefan should save Elena rather than him when they were both drowning. In the present, Elena repeats this exact scenario to save Matt's life at the cost of her own.
    • Jenna charging at Greta in an attempt to kill her to prevent Klaus from finishing the sacrifice.
  • Dysfunction Junction: There are a lot of interpersonal problems between the main characters.
  • Enemy Mine: Damon will take a break from harassing Stefan if there's a bigger threat, or if it's in his interest.
  • Enter Stage Window:
    • The constant stream of vampires coming into Elena's room via the window.
    • In 02x02 Matt does this to Caroline for no apparent reason.
  • Enthralling Siren: Seline and Cybil in season 8. They have Mind Control powers that dwarf the ones of a vampires and can enslave them through the sound of their voice. Unlike most depictions, sirens are neither bird-like or mermaids. They are also the only two sirens in existence and were human before they made a Deal with the Devil.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Caroline after first becoming a vampire. Dropped after a few weeks when writers decided it was ridiculous.
  • Eye Scream: Pearl's method of showing Damon who's in charge is to gouge out the his eyes.
  • Fake Memories: Used often; the plot practically runs on this one. At points in Season 1 it seemed that Caroline's brain was going to melt out of her ears with the frequency that she was being mind wiped by Damon. It's still not that clear what exactly she knew when.
  • Fake Weakness: Werewolves and silver. Turns out it's more than "fake;" silver actually jumpstarts their Healing Factor.
  • Familial Body Snatcher: In the first season, Bonnie is briefly possessed by her ancestor Emily.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Elena learns that her uncle is actually her biological father; she was born when he was a teenager, and after the mother left town, he gave his daughter to his much-older brother and his supposedly infertile wife to raise as their own child. This also makes her adopted brother her biological cousin.
  • Fatal Flaw: Damon's impulsiveness, and Stefan's inability to control his addiction to human blood whenever he has even a little.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Vampires mummify when deprived of blood for an extended period of time, but until that happens they are in an extreme state of hunger and agony. This was presumed to be the fate of Katherine and 26 other vamps.
  • Flash Step: Given the actually pretty cool nickname "Stealth-Salvatore" in the Television Without Pity reviews.
  • Flat "What": Jenna's reaction upon learning that John Gilbert is Elena's father.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Mikael, the hunter whose mere name sends Klaus running, is an original vampire who feeds off of vampires.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend:
    • Stefan's "Uncle" Zach dies in the fifth episode. While Stefan mourns him in the episode itself, the character very quickly becomes a footnote in the series' history after his death is covered up without anyone finding out the truth. He isn't mentioned again until the sixth season where he is revealed to have a daughter.
    • Subverted with Lexi. Despite only appearing in one episode, she is mentioned by Stefan several times since her death and she appears in almost every season of the show, either in flashbacks or as a ghost. Stefan admits the reason he doesn't talk about her much is that it brings up memories of her death. In the Series Finale, she and Stefan even end up Together in Death (in a platonic way).
    • Anna dies at the end of the first season. She is then not mentioned again. In fact some people who started watching in the second season asked why Jeremy was so unfriendly to his uncle, because the fact that he murdered his girlfriend never comes up. What makes this more bizarre is that a season later Anna returns as a ghost. After she passes on, Elena attributes Jeremy's downward spiral to Bonnie breaking up with him, apparently forgetting they broke up because he was still in love Anna who, as far as Jeremy knows, is still trapped totally alone in the ghost world, unwilling or unable to appear to him again.
  • For the Evulz:
    • The motivation for a most of Damon Salvatore's actions, at early on where he's an antagonist.
    • In the third season premiere, Stefan is told by Klaus to stop Damon from tracking them. Since Stefan has turned off his humanity and become a rutheless ripper, his chosen method involves killing Damon's girlfriend Andie by forcing her to commit suicide in front of him.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Several vampires feed on blood from a blood bank, or feed on humans but only rarely and lightly from any individual in a deliberate attempt to avoid endangering them. Most vampires who do so do it out of prudence (leaving bodies lying around all over the place would endanger The Masquerade) rather than humanitarianism.
  • Friends with Benefits: Damon and Rose have this arrangement in the second season.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: Vampires can actually shut off their feelings of guilt. This, along with living it up and making his brother's life a living hell, is what Damon Salvatore does. At least until the end of Season 1. It's implied that this ability fades with age, but older vampires have either become true sociopaths, or delude themselves into believing that it is permanent so that they can live with the guilt.
  • Fur Against Fang: Vampires and werewolves are mostly shown to be enemies, which is believed to be a result of werewolf bites being lethal to vampires.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Suggested with Damon mocking Stefan's eating habits
    Damon: Aren't you worried that one day all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back? I mean, surely they talk.
  • Gambit Pileup: In "Homecoming", almost every single character has their own plan and agenda.
  • Gasleak Coverup: In the fourth season, The Founder's Council is killed in a gas explosion. The official explanation is that a gas pipe was busted and the house's owner failed to notice; however, the audience knows that the man actually disconnected the pipe himself and triggered the explosion in a strange murder-suicide.
  • Gender Flip:
    • In the books, Elena had a younger sister. In the show she has a younger brother, Jeremy.
    • The boarding house Stefan stayed in was owned by an elderly woman in the novels rather than Stefan's and Damon's "uncle" Zach.
  • Genre Savvy: Matt develops this in "We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes" when he realizes that anybody who shows up in Mystic Falls knowing anything about the supernatural is usually some sort of threat.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: In the Grand Finale, Stefan is welcomed by his dead friend Lexi when he steps into the afterlife. Later, in the final scene, a flashforward shows Elena reuniting with Jenna, John Gilbert and her adopted parents, followed by the Salvatore brothers greeting each other one last time.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Whenever there's a flashback to the Civil War Era, you're guaranteed to find at least one of these especially on Katherine or Pearl.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • Emily possesses Bonnie in Season 1.
    • Klaus possesses Alaric for a few episodes in Season 2.
    • Esther briefly possesses her daughter Rebekah in Season 3.
    • In the season 3 finale, Bonnie saves Klaus by putting him in Tyler's body.
    • The fifth season has the Travelers, a nomadic group of witches who specialize in stealing people's bodies. Many characters end up possessed during the season, such as Matt, Liz and Tyler. A significant story arc during the season also involves Katherine using Traveler magic to escape her own dying body by stealing Elena's.
    • Season 7 introduces an artifact known as the Phoenix Stone, which can trap the souls of vampires inside it. Said souls can also be released into the bodies of other people. Near the end of the season, the stone is destroyed and all the murderous vampire souls inside escape and possess the nearest host they can find—including Stefan.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Caroline has one in the third season premiere after seeing Tyler with a date during Elena's birthday party. Being what she is, she mind controls the girl to go away and makes her feelings for Tyler pretty clear. Cue Relationship Upgrade.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: A gun that fires little tiny stakes may sound really neat, but the writers seems to be unaware of the fact that guns work by slamming a firing pin into a metal case filled with a combustible material, creating a small explosion enclosed and focused by the chamber and barrel. This explosion is strong enough to deform a hunk of lead and force it into the rifling. Even if the bullets are just wood-tipped or are fired from an airgun, one section of the Geneva Convention agreement specifically bans the use of wooden bullets, because of the fact that they shatter on impact and cause horrific injuries, meaning it wouldn't be a neat stake through the heart.
  • Halloween Episode: "Haunted."
  • Heartbroken Badass: Damon suffers from this in 02x01, first getting rejected by Katherine then by Elena. The rest of the cast are obviously terrified of what he'll do in revenge. He ends up harassing Elena by seeking an unwanted kiss and murders her brother to punish her for turning him down, but Jeremy resurrects due to the ring he was wearing.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:
    • Damon. Every time they start him on a redemptive arc, he turns around and does something evil when he doesn't get his way. To be fair, this happens with less and less frequency as the show goes on.
    • Also Isobel. Really, you never know whose side that girl is on.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Damon Salvatore, who is the king of this Trope. Stefan tries, but somehow it doesn't have quite the same effect.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Zig-Zagged at one point when Elena is being held hostage. Played straight because Elena wants to sacrifice herself to save her friends. Subverted because Stefan thinks that's tragic, not brave, and decides to stop her. Double subverted because she does it anyway. And triple subverted when she uses the "sacrifice" to stab the bad guy and remove the need for her death.
    • At the end of season 2, John sacrifices himself for Elena by transferring his life force to her.
    • In the second season finale, Stefan gives himself up to Klaus in exchange for a cure for Damon's wolf bite.
    • In the third season finale, Elena insists that Stefan rescue Matt while the two of them are drowning, mirroring how Elena's father insisted Stefan save Elena before the show began.
  • Hold the Line: Caroline has to protect Mrs Lockwood from the tomb vampire ghosts until Bonnie can send all the ghosts back.
  • Hufflepuff House: Of the founding families, the Fells are the only one not to have a main character or a major teenage character. The only prominent members are Logan who was around for a few episodes before being killed twice and Meredith. Aside from that, all we know about them is that they're very wealthy.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: All vampires can control humans by staring into their eyes, which is referred to as "compulsion." They can force people to obey any order, tamper with their memories and invade their dreams. Humans can prevent this by wearing or consuming vervain.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • When Stefan finally gets fed up with Damon, he drugs Caroline's drink with vervain, an herb that weakens vampires. Damon drinks from her and ends up poisoned and helpless. All Stefan has to do at this point is remove Stefan's ring and leave him out in the sun (or stake him quickly, just to ensure no slip-ups). Instead, he leaves him in a cell in the basement, conscious, unrestrained, not chained to the wall, and the door isn't even padlocked (just bolted).
    • Pro tip for vampire hunters, especially if you have a magic compass that points to the vampire: hunt in the daylight.
    • Damon sometimes does this, such as trying ineffectively to poison a werewolf on the full moon, and then when she threatened vengeance just letting her walk away instead of, say, following her after she left the bar ands ripping her heart out. Naturally she waited until the moon rose and came after him.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You:
    • Damon for Elena. Her vervain necklace stops her from being compelled by him. At least, while she is actually wearing it.
    • Subverted when Elena gets turned into a vampire with Damon's blood. For the first couple of episodes, Damon says jump, and she says how high, to the point that he convinces her that she can't feed unless she drinks from the vein, and tells her to shut her humanity off. Bonus points for Damon not even knowing he could control her initially.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Elena after she learns what happened to her mother.
  • I See Dead People: Jeremy gains the ability to see dead people after dying and coming back to life. Specifically, he can speak to supernatural beings (such as vampires, werewolves and witches) who are trapped on "The Other Side", the afterlife/prison where non-humans go when they die.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Damon to Elena when he tells her he loves her, then compels her to forget it so it won't ruin her relationship with his little brother.
    • Tyler to Caroline, deciding she'd be better off with Matt.
  • Icy Blue Eyes:
    • Damon Salvatore, which adds to his 'piercing gaze'. Katherine at one point points out how pretty his eyes are.
    • Matt, also lampshaded by Katherine.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Damon kills Mr Tanner right in front of Stefan just to prove to Stefan that he has no good side.
    • In a flashback in the sixth season, Julian kicks and beats Valerie so badly that she miscarries. While the show has many despicable character, the brutality of the scene is meant to establish him as especially vile and completely irredeemable.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Vicki is turned into a vampire and has to be killed by Stefan in the seventh episode, establishing that Anyone Can Die. She still makes a few appearances as a ghost and, in the final season, briefly returns as an antagonist from Hell.
    • The penultimate episode of season 2 kills off Jenna, John Gilbert, Jules and Greta Martin as a result of Klaus's ritual.
    • Subverted with both Jeremy and Alaric. Both characters' deaths are initially treated as the real deal, but they later return as ghosts and are both (separately) brought back to life.
    • The final season kills off Tyler (by turned-evil Damon), Enzo, (killed by evil Stefan) and Stefan himself, in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Stefan kills Ben with a freaking flamethrower in the first season.
    • This is also the council's plan to dispose of the incapacitated tomb vampires in the first season finale. Bonnie almost kills Damon with fire as well, but Elena manages to talk her out of it.
    • Damon tries to burn Elijah's desiccated body with the flamethrower, but fails. Later, he unknowingly kills Luka with it when the latter uses Astral Projection to try to revive Elijah.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Elena's younger brother Jeremy did a lot more than just kiss his crush when they were both high over the summer.
  • Knight Templar:
    • John Gilbert.
    • Bonnie occasionally strays into this territory at times, such as early on where she's willing to kill Damon or the fourth season where she starts practicing Black Magic.
    • The third season has the mystery of a serial killer who is seemingly trying to kill members of the founding council. It turns out to be Alaric, who has developed a ruthless Split Personality after dying and coming back too many times.
  • Large Ham: Damon Salvatore is what happens when you combine the Tropes of Vampires Are Sex Gods, Sociopathic Hero, Aloof Big Brother, and Cain and Abel. He is delightfully hammy when he needs to be. Ian Somerhalder said in an interview that he thinks he has the best lines on TV.
  • Literal Genie: Damon has some tendencies towards this. Elena does pick up on it pretty quickly, and when asking him to put the mind whammy on her brother she makes a very specific request to attempt to circumvent it, but Damon loves a loophole.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Katherine is Elena's great-great... grandmother.
    • Alaric, due to his marriage to Isobel is Elena's stepfather.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Turns out Uncle John is this to Elena.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: Jonathan Gilbert's anti-vampire devices are just fancy clockwork. Emily enchanted them without his knowledge.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • The Gilbert Rings will revive any human whose death was caused by a supernatural being, in a very charitable and literal sense of the word. At one point, Alaric is revived after being run over by a car, simply because a hybrid was behind the wheel. By contrast, this is also used at one point to save his life when Elena (who is a doppelgänger and therefore a supernatural being) kills Alaric so he can be revived, saving him from a mortal wound.
    • In a similar way, a person with the werewolf gene will become a werewolf the moment they kill someone as long as they were the one to deliver the fatal blow. In season 6, Tyler almost becomes a werewolf again when he hits someone with his car, but Liv spares him that fate by smothering the guy to death. She uses the same loophole again at the end of the season when she convinces Tyler to kill her when they are both dying after being caught in an explosion, as she's dying anyway and he'll transform and therefore heal by taking her life.
  • The Masquerade: The supernatural world in general, Mystic Falls in particular. Enforced by both the Founders Council and the Salvatore brothers. The ability of the good townsfolk of Mystic Falls to overlook the abnormally high body count and other weird goings on is truly impressive to the extent it may count as an Extra-Strength Masquerade.
  • Mauve Shirt: Because of how much the creators love the Anyone Can Die trope, this trope abounds.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Damon pleads with the sheriff to spare his life, in the name of their friendship ("But you're my friend..."). She refuses, saying their friendship was a lie. Later on when she's at his mercy, everyone expects him to kill her, but he reassures them he won't.
      Damon: Relax guys, nobody's killing anybody... You're my friend.
    • In the season 3 premiere, Stefan who has become a Ripper greets Damon by saying "Hello, brother" which was how Damon greeted Stefan in the very first episode.
    • The "Hello, brother" gets two more Meaningful Echoes in the final season. In the first episode, this is how a Brainwashed and Crazy Damon greets Stefan when they reuinite after Damon has been missing for months. In the final scene of the series, this how the brothers greet each other in the afterlife.
  • Monster Progenitor: The Originals are the first vampires to exist, and are far more powerful than even the oldest non-Originals. They are immune to everything but the wood of a particular tree (or ash from the same tree), and have the power to compel other vampires. They are susceptible to vervain in the sense that it's still toxic to them and can block their compulsion.
  • Mood Whiplash: Vicki, after dancing and partying it up after Damon heals her, has a breakdown and starts crying about how awful her life is. Damon's response is to snap her neck.
  • Morality Pet: Elena is this for Damon. On occasions Stefan, and lately Jeremy fulfill this function but it's really all about Elena. Depending on the viewer's interpretation of Damon, Elena may in fact be his Morality Chain.
  • Must Be Invited: The limitation on vampires also applies here.
    • One man who became a vampire suddenly found himself barred from his own home. Since he lived alone, there was nobody who could invite him inside, and apparently the rules don't regard a vampire as a rightful owner. Gets especially odd when it is confirmed that a vampire can enter a house whose sole inhabitant is dead. The general fan assumption is simply that someone else owns the house.
    • The vampires themselves have taken advantage of this, by living with a severely compulsed human in order to create a threshold to keep out unfriendly vampires.
    • The opposite is a problem for Damon: He killed the only human in his house, so now hostile vampires can come and go whenever they please. He doesn't even bother locking the door anymore.
    • In the second season Elijah is killed, his body is moved into a house he hadn't been invited into, and comes back to life. In apparent pain he mutters "I can't be here" and runs outside.
    • In the 18th episode of season 2 Elena legally gets ownership of the Salvatore house. The brothers even have to stand outside while the paperwork is filed.
    • In the second to last episode of season 3 Klaus wants to get into the Gilbert Residence to take Elena (who is actually not there at the time). He is told he will not be getting an invitation, so then he super throws a soccer ball and a few fence posts. Last he is seen with a container of gasoline and lite piece of wood.
  • My Grandson Myself: Stefan and Damon Salvatore pretend to be descendants of "the original Salvatore brothers" from Mystic Falls' founding families. However, when Elena discovers that both Stefan Salvatores are identical, she realizes the truth.
  • Neck Lift: Katherine holds Caroline against a wall in "Masquerade". Classic cut to Caroline's feet dangling in mid air with cute booties. Klaus and Damon are found of this troupe too.
  • Neck Snap: Happens constantly. It's justified in that vampires have Super Strength which makes it the fastest and easiest way to kill a human. Vicky, Jeremy, Tyler and too many supporting characters to count die/are turned this way. Vampires also often do this to each other, as it doesn't kill them but works as a reliable Tap on the Head that knocks them out for a while.
  • New Transfer Student: Stefan poses as this to get close to Elena.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When an Original Vampire is killed, all vampires created from their bloodline also die.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Apparently the show takes place in the part of Virginia where no one has a Southern accent and Matt Davis makes no effort to give Alaric a Boston accent
  • Not Quite Dead: Happens to new vampires—they have to die first before returning as the undead.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Matt and Tyler are best friends, despite being a Lovable Jock and a Jerk Jock, respectively.
    • Damon and Alaric have tried to kill each other (and Damon succeeded - sort of), and Damon even turned Alaric's wife into a vampire. And yet, they're friends. The writers love their relationship and even refer to it as 'Team Badass'. As of The Dinner Party, they have acknowledged their friendship.
  • Odd Name Out: Most of the Originals have pretty consistently Hebrew-based traditionally Judeo-Christian names. And then there are Kol (Medieval English/Scandinavian) and Finn (Irish/Old Norse).
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Katherine wears one even when she's in bed. Makes sense, as she lived in Civil War America.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome - Damon giving blood to Caroline to heal her in 02x01. Especially awesome as this time last year he was compulsing her and taking blood from her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Klaus' reaction to seeing his brother Kol undaggered.
  • Ominous Fog: In the pilot, Damon is able to control the fog and uses it to spook Elena at the cemetery. This was dropped immediately, however, as it's never used or mentioned again.
  • One-Hour Work Week: After the first few episodes of Season 1, students at Mystic Falls High School never seem to attend class (other than History) or have homework or even go into the school building unless it's for one of the school's random super-cool parties.
  • Only Friend: Alaric is Damon's only friend... despite the fact that they've tried to kill each other a few times.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Damon to Stefan in the show. He saved Stefan's life because he didn't want anyone else to have the pleasure of killing him.
  • Painful Transformation: Werewolves really get the bad end of the stick here; it takes over five hours of horrible pain before there's even any visible changes. Though at least that part does get shorter over time.
  • Papa Wolf: Bonnie uses a spell on Luka to put him in a trance and get some information. Afterwards, Luka doesn't remember what happened but suspects Bonnie of doing something to him. Jonas marches into Jeremy's house to find Bonnie, grabs her around the throat and takes away her powers.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Damon offering to erase Jeremy's memory in "Haunted".
    • Klaus actually manages this when we find out that the reason he's keeping Stefan around is because he considers him his only friend. Of course, Klaus being Klaus, this involved far too much blood and murder.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Stefan in more episodes than not, though he does smile occasionally.
  • Plot Armor: During Season 4 it was announced that Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah would all go on to star on TVD's spin-off The Originals, ensuring their survival.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: In 'Plan B', Jenna is compelled by Katherine to kill herself. Thankfully, she survives.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: A Hunter looking to kill Elena? A horrible act of bigotry. Elena getting her brother to effectively commit mass murder on tens of thousands of vampires? Just something that needs to be done.
  • Race Lift: Bonnie in the books was a redhead of Scottish descent, but is African American in the show.
  • Rain of Blood: Type 2 in the second episode, where a girl finds her boyfriend hanging above their tent.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Vampires do not show any sign of aging, with many having lived for centuries. For example, the Salvatores are over 160, Lexi is over 300 and the originals have been alive since the viking age.
  • Really Gets Around: Katherine. Seduce/sleep with someone to get what she wants is basically a standard tactic for her. So far, she's done it five times that we know of.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vicki lays into Elena for her treatment of Matt in "Haunted"
    Vicki: Let's get one thing straight you perky little bitch. You had my brother whipped for 15 years. 15 years and then you dumped him. When I look at you that is all I see. And I will see Jeremy whenever I want because I have some fun new little toys to play with and I won't think twice about ripping your little head off.
  • Red Herring: The episodes that introduces Alaric Salzman gives the impression that he's a vampire, due to the ring he's wearing looking like a daylight ring. The ring is actually an enchanted object that can save him from death and he's actually a vampire hunter.
  • Red Shirt: Many characters are introduced only for them to be killed by vampires. Most of them are high school students, but they also go through many of the stock horror victims like campers, joggers, Make-Out Kids and at least one tour group.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Stefan and Elena.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Matt and Vicki are brother and sister in the series, which was not the case in the novels.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Rebekah is stated to have been with Klaus and Elijah in 15th century England despite her role not even existing at the time.
    • In the third season we learn that the Founder's Council is much bigger than thought when new members like Meredith Fell and Brian Walters start to show up. And then, in season 4, a whole bunch more come out of nowhere just to be killed off.
  • Rescue Romance: Stefan saved Elena from the tragic car accident that had killed her adoptive parents.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jonas after Luka dies.
  • Salem Is Witch Country: The Bennet family of witches originally lived in Salem but relocated to Mystic Falls after the trials started.
    Bonnie: Was our family burned in the witch trials?
    Sheila: No, the girls that were persecuted in Salem were entirely innocent. You have to have more than ignorance to trap a real witch.
    Bonnie: How did we end up in Mystic Falls?
    Sheila: Our family fled Salem in 1692 and relocated here. Our ancestors lived in secrecy for over a hundred years. It's important that we still do.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can:
    • Katherine and over two dozen vampires were sealed in a tomb beneath the town church. In a slight subversion of the usual formula, this was actually an attempt to save Katherine from the town's vampire hunters.
    • The dagger dipped in white oak ash only kills the Original vampires if it stays in place. Klaus keeps his siblings in coffins with daggers in them. They are all awakened in the third season.
    • Mikael. As the patriarch of the original family and the one one who turned them into vampires, Mikael is the only thing Klaus fears. He is revealed to have been entombed and chained up by Abby Bennet, Bonnie's mother. He is released by Katherine when the main characters need a way to defeat Klaus.
    • In addition to the bodies of his siblings, Klaus keeps a mysterious additional coffin that can only be opened by powerful magic. When Bonnie and Abby open it, it turns out to contain Esther, the Originals' mother who initially turned them all into vampires. Klaus tore her heart out and has been keeping her in a coffin, thanks to a spell that preserved her body perfectly.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Loads between Damon and Elena, but a particular mean one happens in the first season finale when Damon, thinking he's talking to Elena, wonders when she started thinking he's worth saving. He then kisses her cheek and when he starts to pull away, the two kiss passionately, but are interrupted by Jenna. It's only when she stabs John that we realize it wasn't Elena, but Katherine.
    • The second season starts teasing Bonnie/Jeremy, until they get together for real, of all things: she is surprised that he's all grown up and he's fascinated by her magic.
    • Caroline and Tyler were teased a lot in the second season, until it turns into full-on Will They or Won't They?.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seen multiple times with various pairings.
  • Shirtless Scene: The Vampire Diaries must have a "one shirtless scene per episode" clause in, um, all of its male actor's contracts. Because the two male leads are played by the gorgeous, hunky, and ripped Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, this is very much appreciated by the large female fanbase. Damon and Stefan aren't the only ones running around sans shirt on the show either; Elena's younger brother Jeremy (who is suspiciously ripped for a ostensible sixteen-year-old) is frequently shown shirtless, as is her good friend Matt. And most male characters run around in tank tops when not completely shirtless.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • At the end of the first season it turns out that all of Damon's efforts to rescue Katherine from the tomb were nothing but just a waste of time as she was never there in the first place.
    • Similarly, Anna's efforts to free her mother from the same tomb are rendered pointless when she's killed shortly after escaping. In fact, all the tomb vampires along with Anna herself are dead when the first season ends.
    • The main cast spend the second half of season 2 on how to avoid losing anyone in Klaus's upcoming ritual. People die, hard decisions are made, they acquire all the mcguffins they can to make sure the Big Bad dies and collect a huge ammount of allies for the end fight. The conclusion? The ritual still happens, the Big Bad still triumphs, a lot of cast members die, their best asset Elijah betrays them and the whole ritual ends with a double-funeral on the good guys side and everyone heart-broken and devastated.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss:
    • Tyler gives one to Caroline in "The Descent". Finally.
    • Jeremy's "Enough already" to Bonnie in "Crying Wolf".
    • Caroline does one back to Tyler in the Season 3 premiere when he's telling her that if she doesn't want him to date she should tell him.
  • Sibling Team: Damon and Stefan occasionally join forces, generally when Elena's life is at stake.
  • Sibling Triangle:
    • Stefan and Damon being the most obvious example, over Katherine and then Elena. And in the past, Klaus and Elijah over Katherine.
    • Klaus reveals that he and Elijah fell in love with the same girl — Elena and Katherine's ancestor Tatia — when they were still human. It was her blood that they unknowingly consumed when their mother turned them into vampires, which explains the need for the doppleganger.
    • While they aren't siblings Elena/Stefan/Katherine kinda counts considering that Katherine is Elena's great-something grandmother. Try not to think about that one too hard.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Damon and Stefan . One is a Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire and the other is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or Sociopathic Hero.
  • Sinister Minister: Pastor Young, who takes over the Council as of Series 4 and returns it to it's original kill all vampires mission.
  • So Proud of You: Bonnie is told this by her grandmother's ghost after she closes the gates to send all the ghosts back.
  • Stages of Monster Grief: A truly perfect example of Stage 1: Denial exemplified by Caroline in Season 2, Episode 2, "Brave New World".
  • Stalking Is Love: Stefan admits he did this to Elena from the time of the car crash to the first episode.
  • Start of Darkness: "Katerina" delves into the history of the eponymous magnificent bitch.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Vampires in general are experts at doing this using their superspeed.
  • Straight Gay: Bill Forbes, Caroline's father. His sexuality is barely referenced in any of the episodes he appears in, and if you missed any of the few mentions you would never know.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Creator of the series, Julie Plec, outright states that Ensemble Dark Horse character, Anna was created killed for the sole purpose of causing Damon and Jeremy angst. As if they didn't have enough. Damon didn't even seem affected past the season finale.
  • Suicide by Sunlight: In the season 2 finale, Isobel tears off her necklace and burns to death immediately. It's left ambigous whether it was voluntary or a Psychic-Assisted Suicide.
  • Supernatural Elite: The Originals, the original vampire family. They're the strongest vampires around and can compel lesser vampires to do their bidding. They cannot be killed with standard anti-vampire methods. They're mostly unknown among younger vampires since the Original Klaus hunted down the rest of his family and put them into a suspended state.
  • Take That!:
    • Early episodes have a few to Twilight—some subtle ("I'm not going to be one of those girls who just breaks down without a boy in her life") and others not so much ("Why don't you sparkle?" "Because I live in the real world, where vampires burn in the sun.")
    • Werewolves are mostly extinct except in "books and really bad movies." According to the creators, this is a reference to the Wes Craven film Cursed. Kevin Williamson (one of the show's lead writers) wrote the original screenplay, making it Self-Deprecation as well.
  • Taking the Bullet: Damon does this for Elena in 02x03 then tries to deny this is because he cares about her.
  • Talking to the Dead: A somewhat non-supernatural example has Damon sadly talking to Alaric's grave marker. Sure, the ghost of Alaric is there listening, but Damon doesn't actually know that, so it fits the trope.
  • Teen Pregnancy:
    • Isobel gave birth to Elena at the age of sixteen and had to give her away.
    • Katherine was also a teenager when she had her daughter Nadia. Since this took place in 1490, this was considered scandalous not because she was so young, but because she wasn't married.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Yeah, we know "human blood makes him hard to kill" and stuff, but the only excuse for not staking Damon to a wall is his occasional contribution to cleaning up messy situations...which he usually created...which only he can fix...
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Elena, slowly but surely. It starts in "Haunted" when she goes after Vicki with a 2x4, continues in "Unpleasantville" when she manages to hold off a vampire with just a few pencils long enough for Damon and Stefan to kill him, and becomes even more noticeable in "Let The Right One In" when she saves Stefan by staking Frederick with a vervain dart and momentarily incapacitating him and by offering Stefan some of her blood.
    • Caroline after Katherine turns her into a vampire. With no help from anyone, she manages to feed herself, glamour a nurse into forgetting that she attacked her, and call Damon out for behaving so badly towards her, even flinging him down a hallway.
    • Bonnie, once she starts to practice her witchcraft, can bring on a really nasty migraine in 160 year-old vampires with just a squinty, mean look. Throw in telekinesis and the ability to set fire to water with just her mind and she has the edge on most of the supernatural beings on the show, and she only becomes stronger and stronger as the series progresses.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: John Gilbert, for a while in Season 1. Already a Knight Templar, John knocks out Sheriff Forbes so she can't interfere with his mad plan to use the entire town as bait for the tomb vampires.
  • Uncanny Village: Mystic Falls. The vampires, witches and werewolves are one thing but the level of civic pride shown the good folk of Mystic Falls just screams weird.
  • Understatement: Hm-m-m, do you want to know how Damon became such a bad man? Just ask him:
    Damon: In all this important soul-searching. And cleansing of the demons of Stefan's past, did you ever manage to get the rest of the story?
    Elena: He said there was more.
    Damon: Yeah. That's an understatement.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Inverted - Damon loves Katherine but she's more interested in his little brother.
  • Unequal Pairing: Stefan and Damon are both much older than Elena.
  • Vague Age: All of the Originals ages are unknown. Rebekah and Kol are teenagers where in their teens they fall is anyone's guess and Klaus, Elijah, and Finn are total mystery. It's also unknown at what age Katherine was turned
  • Van Helsing Hate Crime: On occasions but definitely used towards the end of Season 1 with the Founders Council and in particular with John Gilbert's arrival in town — mainly as he's such an unsympathetic jerkass. He does have his reasons as some, if not most, of the vampires really are amoral killers that need to be put down, and even the 'good' ones can go off the rails on occasions. Part of the problem with Uncle John is that he seems prepared to team up with some of the nastiest vampires out there to kill off friendlier ones... and is prepared to risk humans for a chance to kill vampires.
  • Villainous Rescue: Damon saving Stefan because if anyone's gonna kill his little brother, it's gonna be him.
  • Wakeup Makeup:
    • Elena looks impeccable every time she's shown getting out of bed.
    • Vicky in season 1 and Caroline in season 2 both spend some time in the hospital, still looking damn good for hospital patients.
  • Wham Line:
    • Elijah saying that he wants to keep Elena safe.
    • In season three, we hear multiple mentions of "the Original Witch" who is implied to be some sort of leader in the afterlife. It's not until halfway through that we learn who she really is:
      Rebekah: Because my mother was also a witch. The witch of the original family. The original witch.
    • The third season establishes that Dr Meredith Fell sometimes uses vampire blood to save her patients. So in the season finale when she reveals that the recently drowned Elena had a brain hemorrhage earlier and almost died...
      Meredith: I helped her. She needed my help.
      Damon: You what?
  • Wham Episode:
    • While nearly every episode ends with a shocking cliffhanger, a notable one is the first season finale, Founders Day, in which fan favorite Anna, the mayor, and all remaining tomb vampires die, Caroline ends up in the hospital after a car accident, and Katherine returns, stabbing John.
    • Another one with The Sun Also Rises, the penultimate episode of the second season. Here we have the deaths of Jules, Jenna, and John, Elijah's betrayal, the official breakup of Matt and Caroline, and Damon revealing to Stefan that he's dying.
    • "Murder of One" reveals that killing an Original kills every vampire that they have ever turned (and that any vampire descendants), ergo killing them all would kill all vampires.
    • "The Departed" reveals that Elena actually met Damon first and kills off Alaric. It ends with Elena dead before she wakes into the transitional stage.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In an episode of season 2, a witch named Lucy appears working for Katherine, but pulls a Heel–Face Turn upon realizing she is related to Bonnie. As she leaves, she mentions that Bonnie will see her again. She doesn't, and Lucy suffers a Bus Crash a few seasons later.
    • Season three introduces Jamie, a young man who'd been taken in by Bonnie's mother. He and Bonnie clearly have feelings for one another, going back to her home after a dance and falling asleep together. In the next episode he's gone without any explanation, leaving his relationship with Bonnie unresolved.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Caroline sees no problem in trading a hybrid's life for Elena's, even though he had broken Klaus' sire-bond and only wanted to get away from Klaus.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Tyler calls out Caroline and the others for murdering the hybrid Chris in cold blood to lift the hunter's curse on Elena.
    • Stefan deciding which witch to kill between Bonnie and her mother to save Elena by flipping a coin.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The show veers between this and Grey-and-Grey Morality. Countless times, characters are introduced and seem just so mean but often turn out to have genuine motives behind their actions.
    • Anna seemed to be a sinister vampire using Jeremy for her own ends - until we found out about her mother and her Becoming the Mask.
    • Damon seemed to just be trying to make his brother's life a living hell, and then his history with Katherine was revealed, and his gestures of humanity to Elena.
  • Witch Species: The witches run in families.
  • Yandere: Katherine for Stefan. Did you see her smug expression when Stefan got trapped in the tomb with her?
  • Your Vampires Suck: A Take That! to Twilight was uttered in Episode 4, where Damon was reading Caroline's Twilight book. He does profess an admiration for Anne Rice in the same conversation.
    Caroline: How come you don't sparkle?
    Damon: Because I live in the real world where vampires burn in the sun.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Elena causes the slaughter of tens of thousands of vampires without blinking, justifying it because it brings her closer to a cure.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Damon and Stefan tell Matt he should have died instead of Elena in 4x01.


 
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Nothing You Guys Haven't Seen Before

After becoming a vampire, Elena no longer cares about modesty and casually steps out of the shower in front of both of her Love Interests and her best friend.

How well does it match the trope?

4.87 (30 votes)

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Main / ShamelessFanserviceGirl

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