Throughout its eight seasons, The Vampire Diaries gave fans a healthy dose of drama, romance, rage, and passion. None of that came without its heartbreak. From deaths to breakups, to families falling out, the Salvatores, Elena, and friends went through the ups and downs of life with a side helping of the paranormal.
Mere mortal problems caused some of the most devastating moments while others were a result of supernatural intervention. No character was safe from a broken heart in Mystic Falls, and consequences were not minor. Here are 10 of the saddest moments in The Vampire Diaries.
10 Elena's Farewell
When series regular Nina Dobrev decided to part ways with the show, creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson wrote her a farewell so heartfelt that it resonated with the cast and audience as well as the characters. Kai's attack in season six left Elena and Bonnie linked.
While Bonnie lived, Elena would forever remain in a Sleeping Beauty state. The characters gathered to say their farewells one by one, entering her mind through magic. While the immortals would have the chance to see her again when she woke, Bonnie never would again.
9 Bonnie's Funeral
Since becoming a powerful witch, Bonnie Bennett has died many times. Her first stint as a ghost in the afterlife though hit the audience the hardest. It was early in the series, so fans weren't sure if she'd ever come back to the land of the living.
When Jeremy finally reveals he's been talking to Bonnie's ghost and that she is not away for the summer, Elena and Caroline decide to hold a funeral for her. They gather around a chosen spot in the forest to give their eulogies as Bonnie's ghost stands watch.
8 Jeremy's Overdose
After losing the vampire Anna whom he fell for right after losing Vickie, the grief was too much for the little Gilbert. The deaths of his parents and friends combined with his new knowledge of the paranormal led him to take his own life after consuming a vial of Anna's blood.
His attempted suicide with drug overdose failed though, as the vampire blood he took beforehand healed his wounds too quickly to let him die with the blood in his system. The pain of his grief remained.
7 Caroline's Dad Tortures Her
The Forbes family held a long tradition of protecting Mystic Falls from vampires. When Caroline became one, her parents' loyalties were split. Sheriff Liz Forbes called in Caroline's father Bill for backup.
In an attempt to "cure" her of her vampiric nature, Bill brutally tortured Caroline. Her pain and terror were a trauma many in the audience felt on a personal level. The idea of someone who should love her unconditionally failing to do so when she changed rang all too familiar for those in certain communities.
6 Damon's Realization That Katherine Doesn't Love Him
After over a century of pining and planning to release Katherine from the tomb, it turned out she never wanted to be with Damon. Though she escaped the tomb and fled, her heart always wanted to return to Stefan. It's a low blow to the older Salvatore, as Elena, Katherine's doppelganger also fell in love with his brother.
It seemed the Petrova line was destined to follow Stefan to the end of time. The shattering revelation was seen all over Damon's face at that moment, rendering hearts broken.
5 Damon and Alaric's Ghost at Ric's Grave
Though Damon started as the antagonist in Alaric's life, he soon became the history teacher's best friend. Alaric is another character that died a few times throughout the series, but the first long-lasting death left the biggest impression.
In a moment when the audience sees the other side, but the characters left living can't, Damon is seen sitting at Ric's grave talking to his dead best friend. He tells Ric he stayed to watch over the kids, and Alaric's unheard response is, "I miss you too, buddy."
4 Sheriff Forbes's Funeral
After all the supernatural and magical forces the characters in The Vampire Diaries endured and survived, it's a cruel joke that they'd lose Sheriff Forbes to something as human as cancer. At her funeral, her deputies and officers gave her a traditional sendoff, calling her name over their dispatch with no response, claiming her radio number was out of service, "After 12 years and four months."
It's a moment the whole community felt, but none more than Caroline. Damon's eulogy also made the audience cry, as his friendship with Liz was another that blossomed out of hatred.
3 The Other Side Collapses
When Bonnie loses her power of being the anchor to the Other Side, the supernatural afterlife, the dimension collapses. But she and Damon were still in it when it starts and they can't make it back to Mystic Falls to their friends. Damon says his goodbye to Elena who tearfully pleas, "Please don't leave me."
In one moment, Elena loses both an epic love and one of her best friends. As the Other Side collapses, the audience sees Bonnie and Damon hold hands, knowing all they have left is each other and letting go of their past.
2 Elena Forgets Loving Damon
In the wake of her loss, Elena cannot cope with Damon's absence. She resorts to a magical herb that Luke gives her to hallucinate her dead boyfriend. When that ceases to satisfy her grief and puts her in danger of ripping innocent people apart she decides the only way to survive is to forget what Damon meant to her.
She enlists the help of Ric and his powers to compel away her memories of loving Damon. The moment she admits when she fell in love, the compulsion takes effect and Damon's love is erased.
1 Stefan's Sacrifice
By the series end, Stefan was turned back into a human. Happiness looks to be on the horizon for him and Caroline after his humanity returns. But after the events that caused all their dead nemeses to return he makes the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the doorway is closed.
Just before he gives up his life to close the door and let Damon survive to see Elena again, Stefan calls Caroline and tells her he'll be right behind her. They both know it's a lie, but she accepts his promise anyway.