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Things You Forgot Happened In The Vampire Diaries Season 1

Even though it might feel like the dramatic vampire series aired just yesterday, it's actually been a hot minute (and two spinoffs) since the first season of The Vampire Diaries graced our TV screens. A lot has happened since a doe-eyed Elena attempted to work through her parents' deaths in the hallowed halls of Mystic Falls High. Between break-ups, make-ups, and deadly trysts, it's hard to keep the goings-on of the first season straight.

Wait, you might find yourself wondering, does Stefan really reject Caroline in the pilot? Where does Elena meet Stefan again? And which teen vampire franchise does the show pay homage to during its debut season? Given the fact that The Vampire Diaries chronicles a vampiric love triangle, it's no surprise that the show amps up the drama. Once you've been through the series' slew of ill-fated romances, gruesome deaths, and a whole lot of bad parenting, it can be difficult to recall what went down in the very beginning. We're here to remind you of all the Vampire Diaries moments you forgot happened in season one — and boy, are there a lot of them.

Stefan narrates the series, not Elena

As The Vampire Diaries' present timeline revolves around Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), it's easy to forget that Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) is actually the one narrating the story. At the beginning of the pilot, the tortured vampire says, "For over a century, I have lived in secret: Hiding in the shadows, alone in the world. Until now. I am a vampire — and this is my story." While Elena occasionally narrates from her own diary, the focus is on Stefan's tale — something cemented by the fact that the show ends when he dies.

Notably, Stefan is also an unreliable narrator, especially in the beginning. The series tends to shine sympathetically on Stefan (even when he doesn't deserve it), while Damon is painted as the malicious, evil older brother. And sure, Damon does his fair share of murder and mayhem to earn that medal. But let's not pretend that he's the only one who's been awful to women or kills for fun. Even when Stefan is tearing off heads, he's framed in a sympathetic light. Given his bias and mild victim complex, viewers would do well to remember that we might not be able to believe everything we see on screen. The younger Salvatore brother definitely has cause to skew the story.

The moon loves Tyler

Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) struts through the halls of Mystic Falls High as a bad boy with daddy issues and a quick fist, but we don't fully discover why until season two. However, there are a whole lot of clues just waiting to be noticed in the first season. For some reason, Mystic Falls' teens spend quite a bit of time hanging out in the forest, and Tyler is no exception. In episode 10 of the series, there's an almost uncomfortably long shot of Tyler basking in the light of the full moon. Coincidence? Definitely not.

Clearly planting the seeds of the angsty teen's wolfy future, the writers threw in this little Easter egg to tease Tyler's lycanthropy line and his future as a werewolf-turned-hybrid. Without season two's context, that shot of him beneath the moon seems like a fairly generic CW "pretty boy" moment. But in fact, it's foreshadowing. Some especially discerning fans may have found themselves wondering just what was in store for the Mayor's broody son as they watched this scene, but for the rest of us Vampire Diaries fans, it passed without particularly notice.

Caroline mercilessly flirts with Stefan

Caroline Forbes (Candice King) is one of the least likable characters at the start of The Vampire Diaries, thanks to her uncomfortable lusting after Stefan before and after he starts dating Elena. Mystic Falls' it girl is less than sympathetic to her best friend's grief, and her callous and entitled attitude is nothing to write home about. However, Caroline's personality turns a 180 after Katherine turns her into a vampire. She develops into a strong, independent, and deeply compassionate person — or, well, vampire.

Once you've enjoyed seven seasons of awesome vampire Caroline, it's hard to recall the self-conscious clingy girl from season one who can't take no for an answer — especially since Stefan and Caroline become a power couple later in the series. But go back to the first season, and you'll have to watch Caroline mercilessly flirt with Stefan while he ducks her advances. It's not a good look for the future Miss Mystic Falls. Thankfully, she eventually gets the message that Stefan isn't interested, and their relationship builds from a place of supportive friendship and compassion.

Stefan and Elena have a non-traditional meet-cute

Most people don't dream of meeting their first love outside of a high school bathroom. But real-life meet-cutes aren't always the stuff dreams are made of, so isn't it about time some on-screen ones were just as awkward? Enter Stefan and Elena. While the pair technically meet when he saves her from drowning, it doesn't really count, since she's unconscious at the time. The way Elena consciously meets her first real love is much different.

It's hard to believe that Elena and Stefan's long-time romance begins when she walks out of the men's bathroom after scolding her little brother, but these weird circumstances aren't enough to quench the couple's major sparks. Now, most of Stefan's sparkage concerning Elena comes from the fact that Elena looks exactly like his manipulative ex vampire girlfriend Katherine, but that's beside the point. What matters is how easy it is to forget the goofy truth of this couple's introduction to each other.

The Vampire Diaries deserves some real kudos for giving an awkward meet-cute to two of its romantic leads — and for subtly revisiting the moment when Stefan returns to the high school after a heavy bout of homicide. As it turns out, turning off your humanity is just about as sexy as meeting someone outside of a bathroom. Who knew?

Damon and Caroline fangirl over Twilight

It can be hard to remember that The Vampire Diaries and Twilight existed during the same period of supreme teenage vampire obsession in the early-mid '00s. But indeed, the two vampire franchises battled for the hearts of fangirls everywhere. In reality, most Twihards also tuned into The Vampire Diaries on Thursdays. It wasn't a war — it was a united wave of fandom.

So it's only natural that Damon reads a copy of an unnamed Twilight book on Caroline's bed, though you might have forgotten this fun episode of fandom overlap. It's unclear which book he's reading exactly, but when Damon mentions that Bella has Edward whipped, she tells him that he needs to read the first one to understand. Caroline later says, "How come vampires don't sparkle?" Damon is quick to sass her with a zinger: "Because I live in the real world where vampires burn in the sun." He then trashes Twilight and reminisces about the good ol' days of Anne Rice. Ouch. While the age of the omnipresent teen vampire romance has passed, this moment was certainly significant at the time to all the fans who loved both series.

Damon has a weird thing with crows

Damon's weird thing with crows is so out of place that most fans have blocked it out of their memories entirely. Early on, the series plays with various aspects of the original L.J. Smith books to figure out what might work on screen. In the books, vampires have unique magical abilities: Stefan has telepathy, Damon can transform into a crow, and Katherine can control the weather and shapeshift. The pilot episode sees Damon controlling crows rather than turning into them, and even channeling Katherine's gifts by manipulating the fog to creep out Elena in the cemetery.

Suffice it to say, it is altogether bizarre to watch and feels more like a caricature of vampire media than anything else. As a result, the series abandons the awkward plotline almost immediately. The loss doesn't take anything away from the series — in fact, it makes it stronger and more serious. Many fans complain when changes occur when a book series is adapted into a TV show or a movie, but we can chalk the loss of vampy parlor tricks up in the win column. From then on, Damon's bag of tricks includes compulsion and a mild amount of dream manipulation, but his foggy crow days are long gone. Good riddance.

Matt drives a drunk Caroline home

Most sheriffs wouldn't let a teenage boy drive their drunk high school daughter home after a party, but Sheriff Forbes is too busy dealing with vampires to make sound choices. Ironically, her parenting style gets better once Caroline turns into a vampire — the very thing she has sworn to hunt — but hey, no family's perfect. In a scene you've probably forgotten about, Caroline gets trashed at the Mystic Grill, and Matt offers to drive her home. Without asking any questions, the sheriff lets him do so, and doesn't even check up on Caroline later.

While Matt is a good guy, it's still a little bizarre that a parent, especially a sheriff, wouldn't either take Caroline home herself or find one of her girlfriends to do it. Matt is the perfect gentleman (sort of), but that scene could have gone very, very differently. Sheriff Forbes should have been paying a little more attention to her daughter's obvious drunken cry for help, instead of letting Caroline get carted away from the scene of a crime by a cute boy with a pickup truck.

Bonnie and Elena almost get wrecked by a crow

Back when Damon is doing his weird crow mind-meld trick, one of his birds smashes into the windshield of Bonnie's (Kat Graham) car when she and Elena head to school in the pilot episode. Coincidence? Probably not. Given that Elena recently lost her parents when their car veered off Wickery Bridge, the moment brings all kinds of repressed memories to the surface.

However, any scene that doesn't feature a pair of fangs and a bared neck usually falls to the wayside, and the Salvatore brothers' vampire drama almost immediately overshadows this event. But this long-forgotten moment is a defining one, showcasing Elena's strength and perseverance. It also sets the tone of Bonnie and Elena's powerful friendship, which quickly becomes a cornerstone of the series. Of course, their bond is not without its bumps, and the series has a problematic history with tokenizing Bonnie and her heritage. But at the end of the day, both characters would die for each other, and that's established in this small, key moment.

New history teacher, who dis?

Wait, you might be thinking, is there really another history teacher on The Vampire Diaries besides Alaric (Matt Davis)? Yes, but let's face it: We all hate Mr. Tanner (though you might have forgotten his name). The obnoxious know-it-all (who doesn't really know much of anything) only lasts 10 episodes. Damon kills the unsuspecting teacher to prove to Stefan that he has no humanity — how very high school of these 100-year-old pseudo-teens! Admittedly, this murder is no big deal. No one seems to miss the teacher either on or off the screen, and he's forgotten almost immediately.

Mr. Tanner's tenure is brief and embarrassing: Mostly, we watch him get schooled by Stefan, who actually lived through the Civil War. A teacher who can't accept that they're wrong is bad enough, but a teacher who also tears down a young aunt who just became the guardian of her high school-aged niece and nephew is even worse. Suffice it to say, good riddance to Mr. Tanner, who moonlights as a football coach when he isn't overstepping in the parenting department. Alaric, the replacement history teacher, is way more of a touchdown.

Stefan is a jock for a minute

As it turns out, the death of the coach during the big game is kind of a mood killer when it comes to peppy football scenes. You might remember that moment, but do you remember that Stefan channels his inner high school jock to play football in that single episode of season one? Just as Elena decides to quit the cheerleading squad, Stefan becomes a joiner. Sadly, Coach Tanner's untimely demise puts a wrench in his plans. In fact, Stefan doesn't even get to properly play in his debut game when the field becomes a murder scene.

While Stefan's continuing place on the team is implied a few more times throughout the first season, football isn't revisited on-screen until season three. By then, his place on the team is all but forgotten. At that point, everyone's favorite broody vampire is too busy being Klaus' errand boy to be bothered with pep rallies. It's a shame, really, because Stefan has a wicked good catch — it must be yet another perk of the undead thing.

Damon plays the victim over Katherine

Damon sure does play the victim a lot for someone who spends most of his time trying way too hard to be cool and aloof. Based on his tortured accounts of the Damon-Stefan-Katherine love triangle, he appears to have been wronged when Stefan stole Elena away from him. Yet if the flashback sequences are anything to go by, it's kind of the other way around.

Damon encourages Stefan to chase after Katherine when she sets her eyes on the younger Salvatore in a flashback. He says, "That is a girl who clearly wants to be chased. If you don't do it, I will." But when Stefan chases her, Damon follows anyway. Damon frames Stefan as the villain in his tragic romance, but this small scene shows Damon supporting Stefan's pursuit of Katherine and immediately going after her, too.

Now, Katherine's manipulation certainly plays a role in these events. But between Stefan and Damon, Katherine has to compel Stefan to go along with her vampy extracurriculars, whereas Damon makes his choices with a clear head. Katherine may treat Damon like garbage, but his choices hurt his brother, too. Bros before vamps, Damon.