Caroline Forbes had one of the greatest character evolutions in the entire Vampire Diaries series or any of its spin-off shows. She may even have one of the best developments in the history of the CW, on par with the likes of Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass, Gilmore Girls' Jess Mariano, or Hart Of Dixie's Zoe Hart. Caroline went from a shallow, insufferable teen to a strong, thoughtful vampire during The Vampire Diaries' eight seasons, and she did it in a way that was natural and compelling. Caroline was definitely the most-underrated series lead (because everyone already knows that Bonnie Bennett deserved better), and her ability to have chemistry with the most intense bad boys in the franchise made for some great television.
Even though Caroline was the undeniable GOAT, she wasn't perfect. Her journey of self-improvement might have overshadowed some things that were seriously wrong with her in the eyes of The Vampire Diaries' biggest fans and casual viewers. Read on to discover what parts of Caroline Forbes we could have done without, and let us know if you agree with this list, The Vampire Diaries: 20 Things Wrong With Caroline Forbes We All Choose To Ignore, down in the comments.
20 Caroline Became A Better Person When She Was A Vampire
Caroline was a piece of work when the series started. She was a walking stereotype: pretty, petty, and oblivious. Fans didn't expect much more from the character, as that was the exact characterization she had in the Vampire Diaries book series. After becoming a vampire, Caroline grew and matured into one of the best characters on the show. She was smart, she cared about other people, and she went through a tremendous journey of personal discovery. She stopped being bad once she had a legitimate excuse to be bad. This is great and all, but it doesn't make any sense that she would find her humanity after ceasing to be human in the most literal sense of the word.
19 She Technically Dated Her Brother-In-Law
One of the funniest things to happen in the tangled web of Caroline's dating life on the series is that she technically dated her brother-in-law. All the way back in season one, when Stefan straight-up told Caroline that it was never "gonna happen," she had a very public and very dramatic fling with Damon. Nearly a decade later, she would marry Stefan (never say never!), making her ex-boyfriend her brother-in-law. The weirdness of the situation was downplayed, probably because the Damon-Elena-Stefan love triangle involved relationships that were more serious and involved the same pair of brothers, who really need to develop different taste in women. Have these Vampire Diaries characters never heard of the bro code?
18 She Happened To Go To A College That Experiments On Vampires
A college knowing about vampires would be weird. A college actively doing experiments on its vampiric students without anyone finding out would be even weirder. Caroline and Elena actually choosing to attend the one college that happens to know about vampires and take them for scientific experiments is the absolute weirdest decision the Vampire Diaries writers could have come up with. All shows go through a sophomore slump when their characters leave high school for the ivy-covered halls of higher education (except for maybe Gilmore Girls), but usually, it's more in the "having to introduce a bunch of random new characters" realm instead of the "this would never happen in a million years" category of ick.
17 She Lived With Her Mom At The Beginning Of Her Vampirism
When Vicki Donovan became a vampire, the Scooby Gang was insistent that she shouldn't go back into her old home because it would endanger her brother, Matt, and the rest of her family members. When Caroline turned, not only was she sent home to live with her mother, her mother also happened to be one of the primary town council members trying to find and destroy all vampires in Mystic Falls. Sending Caroline home didn't just endanger her mother, it also posed a threat to the entire vampiric population in the town and to Caroline herself. She could have easily stayed at the Salvatore mansion. It's not like they didn't have enough guest rooms to go around.
16 She’s Very Different From Her Character In The Books
Saying that there were a lot of changes made when the Vampire Diaries source material was turned into a television show would be a massive understatement. Meredith Sulez doesn't exist in the television series, Matt's last name in the books was Honeycutt, and also the entire plot of the book series shares basically nothing with the plot of the TV show. In the books, Caroline dates Stefan when he first arrives in town, not Damon, and she becomes a werewolf instead of a vampire. There's also a weird storyline where Tyler "Smallwood" fathers her twin children, but she lies and says that Matt is the father and. Those books were pretty dark.
15 It Took So Long For Her To Develop Feelings For Stefan
Caroline and Stefan were an unlikely choice of best friends, but they were one of the strongest friendships on the series. It was refreshing to see two ridiculously attractive people be close without being romantically attracted to each other, and as Caroline fell in love with nearly every other male character in The Vampire Diaries' extended universe, it seemed unlikely that she would suddenly turn around and fall for the guy that had been there all along. And that's not even mentioning that Stefan was her best friend's ex-boyfriend/soulmate. Still, after all that, Stefan ended up being Caroline's most significant love interest. They even got married! If that was even a possibility, it should have been hinted at way earlier than it was.
14 She Fell In Love With Tyler
Speaking of Caroline's questionable taste in men, her love story with Tyler Lockwood came out of left field. If Caroline was the worst female character in the first season (other than Vicki, of course), Tyler was unequivocally her male counterpart. It also took a supernatural transformation for Tyler to stop being a terrible person, but he turned into a werewolf. Caroline falling for Tyler was dangerous, and her decision to severely endanger herself to help someone that was still pretty mean was strange enough as it is. She also fell for Tyler while Klaus was still in the picture, and her chemistry with the Original Vampire was way more palpable than it ever was with Tyler. The pairing was forced, at best.
13 She Stays Friends With All Of Her Exes
Whether they brainwashed her and literally tried to take her life or they fled town without a second thought, Caroline sticks by her ex-boyfriends through it all. People have completely written off their exes for way more innocuous reasons, but Caroline is super close friends with all of her ex-boyfriends. Maybe she's just superhuman-ly mature, but it seems like it might have just been easier for the writers to have Caroline forgive Damon, Tyler, Matt, Klaus, Stefan, and Alaric than to have to write around any natural bad blood (excuse the pun) that might have arisen between the former couples. There was also a weird lack of jealousy between her past-and-future love interests as the show progressed. Seems like the past really is in the past in Mystic Falls.
12 She Majored In Drama
Caroline was definitely vapid before she became a vampire, but she was also driven. She seemed like the type of person whose career goal was closer to "CEO" or "Broadcast Journalist" than "actress," even if she'd probably be interested in appearing on a reality television series on the side. Post-transformation, her narcissism toned down in a major way, making her collegiate decision to major in drama even more out of character than it already was. Vampires can't become famous actors anyway because it would be too noticeable when they still look seventeen-years-old in their eighties, and drama was a bit of a random choice even before the whole "maintaining a secret identity" issue came into the picture.
11 She Carried Children
One easily noticeable similarity between the Vampire Diaries books and the Vampire Diaries TV series is that Caroline becomes pregnant and has twins. In the books, this makes sense because she isn't a vampire, but in the television series, it's pretty well established that vampires can't have children. Rebekah's whole inner turmoil is basically just a constant rehashing of that fact. Candace King, the awesome actress who portrays Caroline, was pregnant during filming, and instead of employing some clever camera angles or briefly writing Caroline out of the series, the showrunners decided to throw all of the rules out the window and make Caroline pregnant with twins. No matter how they try to explain it away, this was so wrong.
10 None Of Her Boyfriends Chose Her
Caroline dated every male on the series, to be honest. In addition to Damon, Tyler, Matt, Klaus, Stefan, and Alaric, she also dated a handful of supporting characters like Liam and Jesse. Really, the only male characters she didn't date were Elijah, Jeremy, and Enzo, and if the show had continued for a few more years, she probably would have made it to the end of the list. It isn't Caroline's fault that everyone fell in love with her. The weird, sad thing is that none of the men who fell for her ever chose her in the end. Stefan chooses his family, Tyler chooses his vendetta against Klaus, and Klaus chooses to be a menace to society. She never gets the happily ever after she, statistically, should have gotten.
9 She’s AWOL On Legacies
Not only are Lizzie and Josie Saltzman (aka Caroline's twin daughters) the main characters in Legacies, Caroline herself founded The Salvatore Boarding School for the Young And Gifted using money given to her by her ex, Klaus, and a boarding house donated to her by her other ex, Damon, after her ex-husband Stefan's demise. Legacies has Caroline written all over it, but Candice King has yet to appear on the show. Caroline's daughters think she's absent because of a recruiting mission for new students, but apparently, there's some bigger meaning the showrunners have yet to reveal. It doesn't look like Caroline will be showing up any time soon, so the writers need to come up with a pretty great explanation, and soon.
8 She Moves To Texas With Alaric
It's kind of creepy that Alaric fell in love with Caroline. She was his student when he was posing as a high school teacher, after all. Caroline moved to Texas with Alaric to take care of their children with him, but even Caroline knew that she didn't want to be in Texas. She would sneak off and cry alone over her break-up with Stefan every night, and the writers never really show what spurred her to suddenly stop grieving and embrace life in Texas. Also, why Texas? It all just seems a little random and pretty out of character for the over-achieving, community-oriented Caroline. The story didn't develop in a way that Caroline moving to Texas with her history teacher was the right move.
7 She Never Seriously Dated Klaus
The love story between Klaus and Caroline is one of the most shipped couples in The Vampire Diaries universe. Its ramifications even carried over into The Originals, and the chemistry between Candace King and Joseph Morgan, who played Klaus on the show, was off the charts. Their romance will be remembered as truly epic, but the iconic couple never actually dated. The pair might have taken their relationship to the next level in a graveyard, but there was never a repeat of that encounter and after seasons of exposition and will they, won't they longing glances, Klaroline shippers never got an actual relationship out of the couple. They didn't even get together in the final season of The Originals, where Caroline was so important to Klaus' story that she was brought on as a series regular.
6 She Invites Klaus To Her High School Graduation
Speaking of weird stuff in Caroline and Klaus' (non-) relationship, Caroline invited the Original Vampire to her high school graduation. It's amazing that she did, because it gave fans Klaus's iconic "I intend to be your last love" line, but Caroline barely decided she could trust Klaus before he came to save her at her graduation. Why would she invite him to this family event if all of her friends mostly knew him as the man who had repeatedly tried to take their lives? The characters joke that she was just trying to get money from him for her graduation, but we all know she really wanted to see him. She had already started to fall for him while she was dating Tyler, which is a little off in and of itself.
5 She Has No Desire To Be Human
Basically, all of the vampires on The Vampire Diaries want to be human at one point in the series. Even Damon, who would have been the last person to ask for his humanity at the beginning of the series, ends The Vampire Diaries happily living as a human being. Rebekah, an Original Vampire, goes to the ends of the Earth trying to find a vampire cure, and Stefan longs to live a normal human life. Caroline, on the other hand, has no desire to be human. Maybe it's because she became a better version of herself after her transformation, but it's odd that she's never considered taking that positive change and using it during a second chance at life.
4 Her Dad Is Characterized Differently In Season One
The writers of The Vampire Diaries must not have intended for Caroline's father Bill to become a major player on the series. He's originally introduced as absent after leaving Sheriff Forbes for a man. When Bill returns to Mystic Falls, not only are his new boyfriend and his daughter mysteriously absent (even in a passing mention), he's a cold-blooded vampire hunter. While it's possible that the writers always intended for the Bill that was talked about in the first season to be a red herring of sorts, Bill's all-over-the-place characterization seems more like a random happenstance, where it is assumed that no fans would remember how the character was originally described to the audience. This was pre-streaming, people!
3 She Loses Her Ambition
Before she became a vampire, Caroline Forbes did it all. She was the head cheerleader, the head of the dance committees, the leader of the Mystic Falls beautification committee and the recycling program, Miss Mystic Falls, and the de-facto queen of high school. Part of her over-achieving was fueled by insecurity, but that insecurity came from an innate drive to be the best. After she becomes a vampire, she improves in so many ways, but she completely loses her ambition to succeed. Exhibit A: Majoring in drama. Jokes aside, Caroline should have created bigger goals for herself when she became a vampire based on her characterization alone. Opening the Salvatore School showed a hint of the Caroline audiences know and love, but her drive was missing from much of the series as she was distracted by her endless train of love interests.
2 She Didn’t Take The Lives Of Her Victims When Her Humanity Was Turned Off
Caroline didn't take the lives of her victims when her humanity was turned off. She manages to convince Stefan to go full 'Ripper' and turn off his humanity with her, and it stands to reason that they would take a ton of lives as they had fun being soulless. Instead, Caroline somehow manages to be without a soul and still not successfully cause anyone to pass away. She steals Stefan's niece, Sarah, after her friends try to trigger her humanity back on, but nothing that bad happens. She almost does a lot of bad stuff, and then just doesn't. This is a bit too much of a coincidence, statistically improbable, and makes that plotline essentially unimportant.
1 Her Evolution Was The Strongest In The Series
Caroline was never meant to lead The Vampire Diaries. Along with Bonnie Bennett, she did actually become one of the show's female leads after Elena Gilbert passed away before the series' ending, but that was after Caroline had what could arguably be called the most drastic and strongest evolution of any character in The Vampire Diaries' original series. Why didn't the series leads Stefan or Elena have a similar trajectory or as deep of a characterization? It seems strange that a secondary character who was barely the series' third female lead at the beginning of the show would have the most thought-out character development, while other characters changed only marginally or for much murkier reasons.