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The Best Episodes of The Vampire Diaries

Every episode of The Vampire Diaries ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of The Vampire Diaries!

The story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same girl, who bears a striking resemblance to the beautiful but ruthless vampire they knew and loved in 1864.

Genres:DramaSci-Fi & Fantasy
Network:The CW

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "The Vampire Diaries" is "The Departed", rated 9.4/10 from 4027 user votes. It was directed by John Behring and written by Brett Matthews, Julie Plec. "The Departed" aired on 5/10/2012 and is rated 0.1 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "I Was Feeling Epic".

  • The Departed
    9.4/10 4,027 votes

    #1 - The Departed

    Season 3 Episode 22 - Aired 2012-05-10

    Determined to protect his sister, Jeremy makes a decision that will change everything. In the harsh reality of the present situation, Elena longs for simpler times when her parents, Grayson and Miranda, and Aunt Jenna were still alive and her biggest concern was her relationship with Matt. Stefan and Damon leave Mystic Falls together on a mission, but soon split up when Elena needs one of them. Caroline and Tyler are forced to make a life-changing decision. Finally, Bonnie makes a secret deal that has heartbreaking consequences.

    Director: John Behring

    Writer: Brett Matthews, Julie Plec

  • I Was Feeling Epic
    9.3/10 4,175 votes

    #2 - I Was Feeling Epic

    Season 8 Episode 16 - Aired 2017-03-10

    With the fate of Mystic Falls at stake, Stefan and Damon must fight their greatest enemy for one last battle.

    Director: Julie Plec

    Writer: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

  • Founder's Day
    9.2/10 3,131 votes

    #3 - Founder's Day

    Season 1 Episode 22 - Aired 2010-05-13

    Founder's Day has finally arrived, and everyone is busy with last-minute preparations for floats and fireworks. Stefan is uncomfortable with Damon's new attitude toward Elena, but Elena is more concerned about repairing her relationship with Jeremy. Jeremy is worried about Anna, but not sure he's on board with her latest plan for the future. While Caroline is enjoying her day as Queen of the celebration, she also tries to help Matt and Tyler get their friendship back on track. Finally, although Damon and Alaric do their best to stop him, Johnathan Gilbert sets a plan in motion that brings Founder's Day to an end amid chaos, destruction and death.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Sun Also Rises
    9.1/10 2,237 votes

    #4 - The Sun Also Rises

    Season 2 Episode 21 - Aired 2011-05-05

    With the arrival of the full moon, Elena tries to prepare for whatever Klaus has planned and Tyler faces his second transformation. The terrifying events quickly spin out of control, despite an unexpected act of courage. Finally, Damon admits the truth to Stefan about a terrible new development they must face...

    Director: N/A

    Writer: Mike Daniels, Caroline Dries

  • Graduation
    9.1/10 2,648 votes

    #5 - Graduation

    Season 4 Episode 23 - Aired 2013-05-16

    On Graduation Day, Mystic Falls is overrun with ghosts intent on settling old scores and fulfilling their supernatural destinies. Damon’s life is in danger after a ghostly encounter, while Matt and Rebekah join forces to battle a ghost determined to find the cure. As everyone gathers for the graduation ceremony and the ghosts converge, help comes from an unlikely hero. Caroline receives a touching and unexpected graduation present, and Bonnie’s plan leads to the closing of the veil. Elena makes a decision about the Salvatore brothers and faces an epic confrontation with Katherine. Finally, Stefan discovers a horrifying clue to the mystery surrounding Silas.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Masquerade
    9.0/10 2,296 votes

    #6 - Masquerade

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2010-10-28

    Stefan and Damon decide on a new plan to deal with Katherine at the Lockwood’s masquerade ball. Katherine calls on an old friend, Lucy, to attend the ball with her. Bonnie, Jeremy and Alaric all do what they can to help Stefan and Damon, but Katherine has a surprise planned that none of them could foresee. Things take an ugly turn when Matt and Tyler start doing shots with their friends.

    Director: Charles Beeson

    Writer: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

  • The Reckoning
    9.0/10 2,336 votes

    #7 - The Reckoning

    Season 3 Episode 5 - Aired 2011-10-13

    Despite all that has happened, Caroline is determined to see that Elena, Bonnie, Matt and Tyler all enjoy a traditional Senior Prank Night before the school year begins at Mystic Falls High School. However, when uninvited guests show up, it doesn't take long for the evening to take a deadly turn. Damon convinces Jeremy that he can use his new connection to the other side to help find a way to defeat Klaus. Finally, Klaus deepens his hold on Stefan and uses him for increasingly violent and dangerous purposes.

    Director: John Behring

    Writer: N/A

  • The Return
    8.9/10 2,622 votes

    #8 - The Return

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2010-09-09

    The second season begins with Elena discovering her uncle John's bloody body and learning Jeremy's fate, and Damon realizing that Katherine has returned. Meanwhile, Caroline is taken to the hospital following a car accident, and Tyler's mysterious uncle Mason arrives in town.

    Director: J. Miller Tobin

    Writer: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

  • As I Lay Dying
    8.9/10 2,319 votes

    #9 - As I Lay Dying

    Season 2 Episode 22 - Aired 2011-05-12

    Mystic Falls screens "Gone with The Wind" in the town square, and Damon's memories of Katherine in 1864 mix with the reality of present-day Elena. Stefan pays a steep price after trying to prevent a tragedy, and Sheriff Forbes makes a dangerous mistake while trying to keep everyone safe. Multiple lives hang in the balance as the consequences of the sacrifice ritual play out to a horrifying conclusion.

    Director: John Behring

    Writer: Alfredo Septién, Turi Meyer, Mike Daniels, Michael Narducci

  • Homecoming
    8.9/10 2,165 votes

    #10 - Homecoming

    Season 3 Episode 9 - Aired 2011-11-10

    On the night of the Homecoming dance, Rebekah opens up to Elena about why the evening is so important to her, leaving Elena with conflicting emotions. Caroline and Matt are both shocked at Tyler’s behavior throughout the evening. The night takes a surreal turn when Klaus puts his latest plan into action. Determined to outsmart Klaus, Damon enters into a dangerous partnership, leading to a terrifying turn of events.

    Director: Joshua Butler

    Writer: N/A

  • Home
    8.9/10 2,289 votes

    #11 - Home

    Season 5 Episode 22 - Aired 2014-05-15

    Damon's plan causes a huge explosion in Mystic Falls, and everyone is caught up in the confusion, leaving a trail of heroism, sacrifice, relief and despair.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • You Made a Choice to Be Good
    8.9/10 1,525 votes

    #12 - You Made a Choice to Be Good

    Season 8 Episode 11 - Aired 2017-02-03

    Cade returns to Mystic Falls and presents Damon and Stefan with additional assignments, each with unthinkable consequences. Even with tension growing in their friendship, Caroline and Matt do their best to protect the town’s residents from Cade’s appetite for their souls. Bonnie and Enzo hit the road on a romantic trip, taking the bell with them in hopes to keep it safe.

    Director: Carol Banker

    Writer: Melinda Hsu Taylor, Céline Geiger

  • Rose
    8.8/10 2,226 votes

    #13 - Rose

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2010-11-04

    An Ancient Presence In Mystic Falls, Stefan and Damon come to Elena’s assistance and, in the process, learn surprising new information about people, vampires and events in the distant past. Jeremy helps Bonnie after she casts a difficult and exhausting spell, and Caroline does what she can to make things easier for Tyler. Finally, Stefan and Damon reach a new understanding.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: Brian Young

  • Klaus
    8.8/10 2,066 votes

    #14 - Klaus

    Season 2 Episode 19 - Aired 2011-04-21

    Stefan and Damon are furious when they discover that Elena has defied them both to make a new ally and take control of the plan to out-maneuver Klaus. Disagreement over how to protect Elena leads to growing tension between the Salvatore brothers. Meanwhile, Stefan has his hands full trying to keep a confused and frightened Jenna safe. Flashbacks to 1491 reveal Katherine’s introduction to Elijah and Klaus, along with the origin of the moonstone curse. Elena learns shocking new information about Klaus’ motives.

    Director: Joshua Butler

    Writer: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec

  • I'm Thinking of You All the While
    8.8/10 1,928 votes

    #15 - I'm Thinking of You All the While

    Season 6 Episode 22 - Aired 2015-05-14

    In the aftermath of Alaric and Jo’s powerful nuptials, things take a dramatic turn when an uninvited guest shows up, leaving Elena in terrible jeopardy. Despite Matt’s advice to leave town to protect herself, a defiant Bonnie takes matters into her own hands after finding herself on the receiving end of a twisted plan. As Stefan and Caroline reach an emotional crossroad in their relationship, a reunion with Liv leaves Tyler faced with a decision that could change his life forever. Meanwhile, Lily's reckless actions cause Stefan to realize the lengths to which his mother will go to reunite with her “family.” Finally, after a devastating chain of events, Damon is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • It’s Been a Hell of a Ride
    8.8/10 1,288 votes

    #16 - It’s Been a Hell of a Ride

    Season 8 Episode 14 - Aired 2017-02-24

    Damon and Stefan must join forces against Cade in order to save Elena’s casket. Meanwhile, Caroline and Alaric deal with their daughters’ burgeoning magical powers.

    Director: Pascal Verschooris

    Writer: Brett Matthews, Shukree Hassan Tilghman

  • The Last Dance
    8.7/10 1,879 votes

    #17 - The Last Dance

    Season 2 Episode 18 - Aired 2011-04-14

    As the high school prepares to throw a “1960s Decade Dance,” Elena starts receiving disturbing messages from Klaus via an unusual source. Bonnie tries to reassure Jeremy that she is strong enough to help Elena, but a worried Jeremy asks Stefan for advice. Caroline talks Matt into taking her to the dance. Expecting Klaus to show up at the dance, Damon and Alaric attend as chaperones, but Klaus is playing a complicated game that keeps them on edge. Finally, Damon comes up with a new plan of action that shocks and upsets everyone.

    Director: John Behring

    Writer: N/A

  • The Last Day
    8.7/10 1,870 votes

    #18 - The Last Day

    Season 2 Episode 20 - Aired 2011-04-28

    Damon is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent Elena from being a victim of Klaus’ plan to break the curse. Damon’s actions put him at terrible odds with Stefan and the tension that started brewing between the brothers over their differing opinions of how to help save Elena’s life blows up into full-scale conflict. Tyler returns to Mystic Falls after receiving a disturbing phone call. With the full moon marking the arrival of the sacrifice ritual, Stefan and Elena spend a romantic day together — afraid it might be their last.

    Director: J. Miller Tobin

    Writer: Andrew Chambliss, Brian Young

  • The End of the Affair
    8.7/10 2,137 votes

    #19 - The End of the Affair

    Season 3 Episode 3 - Aired 2011-09-29

    Klaus and Stefan arrive in Chicago, where Stefan is reunited with a vampire who hasn't really moved on from her interest in him decades earlier. In a flashback to Chicago in the 1920s, Stefan comes face-to-face with a shocking chapter from his wild past. After Damon gets a tip on Stefan and Klaus' whereabouts from an unexpected source, he and Elena follow their trail. Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler is concerned about Caroline and turns to Sheriff Forbes for help.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Caroline Dries

  • Ordinary People
    8.7/10 1,928 votes

    #20 - Ordinary People

    Season 3 Episode 8 - Aired 2011-11-03

    With help from Elena and Bonnie, Alaric tries to decipher the meaning behind his recent discovery Elena and Rebekah engage in a mean-girl power struggle, until Rebekah finally reveals some of her family's ancient secrets and the violent past she shares with Klaus and Elijah. Damon tries a reckless new approach to make a breakthrough with Stefan, and they're both surprised by an unlikely ally.

    Director: J. Miller Tobin

    Writer: N/A

  • Growing Pains
    8.7/10 3,105 votes

    #21 - Growing Pains

    Season 4 Episode 1 - Aired 2012-10-11

    Elena awakens on the morning after the accident to find the thing she dreaded most has come true – she died with vampire blood in her system and now must go through the terrible transition to become a vampire…or face certain death. Stefan promises Elena that he and Bonnie will exhaust every possible way out of the situation, but Damon is furious with his brother for letting Elena die in the first place. Bonnie pays a terrible price for her attempt to change Elena’s fate, while Damon takes out his frustration and rage on Matt. In a rare moment of empathy, Rebekah is deeply touched by Stefan and Elena’s devotion to one another. Finally, Pastor Young and the Town Council members begin rounding up the vampires and their supporters, leading to an unexpected tragedy.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: Caroline Dries

  • Memorial
    8.7/10 2,172 votes

    #22 - Memorial

    Season 4 Episode 2 - Aired 2012-10-18

    Elena tries to cope with the extreme highs and lows that are part of becoming a vampire, and Stefan and Damon almost come to blows while arguing about what is best for her. Damon decides to help Elena in his own way and asks her not to tell Stefan. A stranger, Connor Jordan, arrives in town and begins questioning Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Lockwood. Connor’s actions quickly convince Stefan that they are dealing with a dangerous vampire hunter. Jeremy and Matt are surprised to see a girl they used to know, April, has returned to town and is enrolling at Mystic Falls High. At a town gathering, Elena comes close to losing control until Caroline steps in to help her. Finally, Damon confides his feelings to an unexpected friend.

    Director: Rob Hardy

    Writer: Jose Molina, Julie Plec

  • My Brother’s Keeper
    8.7/10 2,339 votes

    #23 - My Brother’s Keeper

    Season 4 Episode 7 - Aired 2012-11-29

    Caroline does her best to be there for Stefan and Elena in a tough time. Damon tries to convince Stefan to help him uncover Prof. Shane’s motives, but Stefan is intent on carrying out a different plan with Klaus. At the annual Miss Mystic Falls Pageant, Elena and Caroline give April advice on which dress to wear, while Tyler and Hayley work together on a secret project, and Damon confronts Prof. Shane with his suspicions. Alarmed by the vivid nightmares he’s having, Jeremy turns to Matt for help, but the situation escalates sooner than anyone expected.

    Director: Jeffrey G. Hunt

    Writer: Elisabeth R. Finch

  • Hell Is Other People
    8.7/10 1,483 votes

    #24 - Hell Is Other People

    Season 7 Episode 10 - Aired 2016-01-29

    After finding himself on the wrong end of Julian's plan to avenge Lily's death, Damon awakens to find himself trapped inside the Phoenix stone, tormented by a traumatic experience from his time in the Civil War and forced to face his darkest demon in order to get out. On the outside, Bonnie is in a race against the clock to get Damon out before the effects of the Phoenix stone take over and leave him changed forever.

    Director: Deborah Chow

    Writer: Holly Brix, Neil Reynolds

  • We’re Planning a June Wedding
    8.7/10 1,304 votes

    #25 - We’re Planning a June Wedding

    Season 8 Episode 15 - Aired 2017-03-03

    A wedding is quickly planned in order for Damon and Stefan to lure a dangerous enemy out into the open. This looming threat puts the fate of Mystic Falls in eminent danger and must be destroyed.

    Director: Chris Grismer

    Writer: N/A