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The 15 best 'Vampire Diaries' episodes

Trying to narrow down the 15 best episodes of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries from every season is no easy feat. From season one, when Elena was hanging out in cemeteries and just learning that vampires exist, to season six, when we had to say goodbye to her, there is no shortage of brilliant episodes. Some episodes were downright traumatizing (we mailed our therapy bills to Julie Plec after watching “Stand by Me,” but have yet to hear back), while some episodes provided us with glorious flashbacks and throwback school dances.

We’re inevitably leaving a number of extraordinary episodes off the list, but here are the top 15 fan (and personal) favorite The Vampire Diaries episodes of all time.

15. Season 6, Episode 16, “The Downward Spiral”

Written by Brian Young and Caroline Dries/Directed by Ian Somerhalder

Is there anything more fun than watching our favorite vamps turn off their humanity switch? Fun fact: This was Ian Somerhalder’s directorial debut.


14. Season 5, Episode 11, “500 Years of Solitude”

Written by Julie Plec and Caroline Dries/Directed by Chris Grismer

The 100th episode (an impressive accomplishment) still stuck to furthering the current plot, but was essentially a love letter to the show’s loyal fans, and we definitely felt the love.


13. Season 2, Episode 12, “The Descent”

Written by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain/Directed by Marcos Siega

What can we say? We’re suckers for depressing and heart-wrenching television. In “The Descent,” Damon gave Rose sweet dreams as she was dying from werewolf venom. When he had to stake her, a single tear rolled down his cheek. The feels!

Damon and Rose


12. Season 5, Episode 15, “Gone Girl”

Written by Melinda Hsu Taylor/Directed by Lance Anderson

This episode gave us some beautiful moments between Katherine and her daughter, Nadia, and eventually led to Katherine being denied passage to the Other Side and getting dramatically sucked out of the church.


11. Season 6, Episode 22, “I’m Thinking of You All the While”

Written by Julie Plec and Caroline Dries/Directed by Chris Grismer

How could this episode not make the list? The season six finale marked the end of an era for The Vampire Diaries. It was the final appearance of Elena Gilbert, as she was sealed away in her coffin for the next 60 to 70 years.



10. Season 4, Episode 7, “My Brother’s Keeper”

Written by Caroline Dries and Elisabeth R. Finch/Directed by Jeffrey Hunt

This episode was what every Delena shipper was waiting for, and it was indeed satisfying. There was bourbon, a roaring fire, floor-length red velvet drapes, and two people who finally decided to give in to their desires. What more could you want?


9. Season 1, Episode 11, “Bloodlines”

Written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec/Directed by David Barrett

Damon and Elena’s epic road-trip episode! This is one of those episodes you could watch every single day for months on end and never get tired of … not that we’d know or anything.


8. Season 3, Episode 22, “The Departed”

Written by Julie Plec/Directed by John Behring

The season three finale was a solid, action-packed, and heartfelt episode. We said goodbye permanently (or so we thought) so Alaric Saltzman, and watched Elena drown when Matt ran off the Wickery Bridge. Surprise! Elena died with vampire blood in her system, setting the stage for season four.


7. Season 4, Episode 23, “Graduation”

Written by Caroline Dries and Julie Plec/Directed by Chris Grismer

Hello, my shadow self. This has to be our favorite season finale of The Vampire Diaries. No one saw the twist coming at the end when it was revealed that Stefan had a doppelgänger … right before getting locked in a safe and pushed into a quarry.

Stefan locked in safe GIF


6. Season 2, Episode 7, “Masquerade”

Written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec/Directed by Charles Beeson

Katherine ripped a girl’s spine out on the dance floor. Need we say more?


5. Season 1, Episode 7, “Haunted”

Written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec/Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Be careful, Damon. Your humanity is showing. This episode is significant because it was the first time we saw Damon do something genuine and selfless, when he compelled Jeremy to forget he saw Vicki Donovan’s death. This episode had it all: Halloween costumes, death, suspense, and a final scene that made us weep.


4. Season 3, Episode 5, “The Reckoning”

Written by Michael Narducci/Directed by John Behring

This was just an all-around badass episode. Senior prank night turned deadly when Klaus showed up, threatened everyone’s lives, and then gave us one of our favorite lines to yell in real life about anything and everything that has the ability to be shut off: “Turn it off!”



3. Season 3, Episode 20, “Do Not Go Gentle”

Written by Michael Narducci/Directed by Joshua Butler

Watching the gang standing in the cemetery with candles to say goodbye to Alaric? This episode was utter perfection, and it haunted us for a while.


2. Season 3, Episode 3, “The End of the Affair”

Written by Caroline Dries/Directed by Chris Grismer

Notice a pattern? Season three is our personal favorite, but can you blame us? “The End of the Affair” is a TVD gem. Seeing bad-boy Stefan live it up in the 1920s with Klaus was refreshing, unexpected, entertaining, and just downright fun. Plus, it was the first time we met Rebekah Mikaelson, so that makes it pretty important.


1. Season 4, Episode 15, “Stand by Me”

Written by Julie Plec/Directed by Lance Anderson

Two words: Nina Dobrev. If you had any doubt that Dobrev had major acting chops, her incredible performance in this episode should have convinced you. Watching Elena have a complete mental breakdown when she finally admitted to herself that Jeremy was really gone was one of the most heartbreaking moments from any season. Bravo to the whole cast and crew for this phenomenal piece of work.

Stefan, Damon, Elena


And some honorable mentions, just because 15 simply isn’t enough:

Season 1, Episode 19, “Miss Mystic Falls”

Season 2, Episode 20, “The Last Day”

Season 3, Episode 1, “The Birthday”

Season 3, Episode 19, “Heart of Darkness”

Season 4, Episode 1, “Growing Pains”


Okay, TVD fans: Tell us what fan-favorite episodes we’re missing—and which ones hold a special place in your heart. Now, excuse us while we go watch all of these episodes over and over again.


TeamTSD (Lindi and Liz)

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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