The Salvatore brothers were the biggest heartthrobs in an already dazzling cast for The Vampire Diaries. Vampires Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) shot to fame during an era fresh off of Twilight fever, with vampires more sexy than scary. Both characters garnered an almost cult following, with fans dividing into teams offering opposing adoration to each brother in the same vein as Team Edward and Team Jacob.
Here are five times Damon was the superior Salvatore and five times the crown went to Stefan.
10 Damon: The Trip To Atlanta
Damon Salvatore debuted in season one as an antagonist, before that role slowly switched to fan-favorite Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev). Despiting repeatedly causing harm to protagonist Elena Gilbert's (also Nina Dobrev) loved ones, the two began to find common ground after a trip to Atlanta in "Bloodlines."
Elena and Damon have a moment of genuine fun as they take shots with Damon's old friend Bree (Gina Torres), and Elena does appear much more carefree than she ever does with Stefan. The moment is ruined soon after as Damon, unbeknown to Elena, viciously murders Bree.
9 Stefan: Stefan's Sacrifice
Stefan Salvatore has always been portrayed as the more compassionate brother... except for when he's in Ripper-mode. There have been several instances throughout the series that showcase just how much Stefan will sacrifice for his loved ones, but his heroic actions in the series finale "I Was Feeling Epic" are the most vital example of the vampire's selflessness.
Stefan ultimately gives his life to finally take down former lover Katherine Pierce and destroy Hell for good, saving the town of Mystic Falls and giving Elena and Damon a chance at living a human life. It is a heartbreaking scene especially for Caroline Forbes (Candice King), but fans are treated to some closure as we see Stefan reunite with best friend Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) in the afterlife.
8 Damon: His Friendship With Bonnie
Nobody could have foreseen that Damon would become friends with resident witch Bonnie Bennet (Katerina Graham). The two were constantly at odds throughout the series, until they were both banished by Kai after the destruction of the Other Side.
In season six's "I'll Remember," Damon and Bonnie are shown living as well as they can manage, sharing a touching newfound friendship that remains one of the series' highlights.
7 Stefan: Marrying Caroline
Stefan's love story with Elena was the central focus of The Vampire Diaries in its early days, but as Delena grew ever more popular, so did the pairing of Stefan and Caroline. The pair began as best friends before slowly developing into lovers, and the two vampires were married in the final season's penultimate episode.
It was a scene that fans never thought they would see, considering the chaos that threatened their big day.
6 Damon: Visiting Alaric's Grave
Damon had several poignant friendships throughout the series, but his friendship with Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) was his most notable. The pair grew from bitter enemies - Damon did turn his wife Isobel (Mia Kirshner) into a vampire - into drinking buddies and reluctant best friends.
Damon's visit to Alaric's grave during season four's "Memorial" is a heartbreaking moment made even more emotional by the appearance of Alaric's ghost who, unknown to Damon, tells his friend he misses him too.
5 Stefan: Resisting Compulsion
The arrival of Klaus (Joseph Morgan) in season two was a turning point for The Vampire Diaries, as vampires were no longer the most powerful beings in the series. The reveal that Original vampires could compel other vampires was a dire consequence for the Mystic Falls gang, especially during "The Reckoning."
Klaus compels Stefan to kill Elena, but the Salvatore brother fights it in a harrowing scene that proves his love Elena is stronger.
4 Damon: Rose's Goodbye
Rose (Lauren Cohan) was a minor character who appeared in season two and had a brief fling with Damon. Strangely, the pair seemed to have a real connection in a kindred spirit kind of way, though as this is The Vampire Diaries, it doesn't end well.
Rose is fatally bitten by a werewolf, so in "The Descent" Damon gives her a moment in happiness with compulsion, concocting the illusion that they are human again sitting in the sunlight before he gives her a mercy kill.
3 Stefan: His Love For Damon
Stefan has shown repeatedly throughout the series that, despite the awful things his brother has done to him, there is nothing he wouldn't do for him. In the season one finale he runs into a burning building to rescue Damon, and in season two's "As I Lay Dying" he agrees to leave town for good to go on a Ripper binge with Klaus so as the Original will not kill his brother.
Stefan's humanity meant everything to him, but in the end, his love for Damon meant more.
2 Damon: Damon Gets The Girl
Elena and Damon dancing around their romantic feelings towards one another were one of the main focuses of the series, with a slow-building connection spanning four seasons slowly simmering into a passionate love affair. Despite the two sharing multiple moments beforehand, it was the season four finale when the Delena ship truly sailed.
After struggling with her newfound vampirism and breaking up with Stefan, Elena finally admits to herself which Salvatore brother she truly loves. It is a touching moment for Damon to finally 'get the girl,' after being rejected so many times by Katherine and Elena herself.
1 Stefan: Katherine's Farewell
Stefan is ultimately the one to destroy Katherine once and for all in the series finale after he sacrifices his life to save Mystic Falls. However, despite everything the vicious vampire has done to him, he is the only person to give her a beautiful farewell moment in season five's "500 Years Of Solitude."
Stefan uses compulsion to go inside a dying Katherine's mind and show her the face of her baby who was taken from her moments after childbirth. It speaks volumes to Stefan's character that he still has compassion for the woman who made him a monster.