Four years ago today, something supernatural happened: The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW. And just like that, we fell into the world of Mystic Falls, Va., where the hot new guy in town had a sexy (albeit dangerous) secret, Bonnie was “psychic,” Jeremy was in his drug phase, Elena was sick of faking a smile, and no one knew what a “moonstone” was.
That, of course, would all change, just as we, the viewers, would change right along with it as TVD exposed us to countless wonderful things. Here’s our list of the 20 things we want to thank The Vampire Diaries for giving us:
Paul Wesley’s kissing abilities: So, in general, this show knows what takes a good kiss and makes it great. I couldn’t even count the number of great kisses, from the motel lust explosions to the perfect way to wake up. That being said, I want to pay special tribute to Mr. Paul Wesley. Believe it or not, this is not a ‘shipper thing. Delena has had some of my favorite kisses, and Ian Somerhalder is certainly a worthy adversary, but Wesley’s skills deserve some special attention (particularly when he growls). This is why he would be No. 2 on my best kisser list if I had one, which I obviously don’t (hypothetically, this would be my No. 1).
Damon’s dancing: We all owe TVD a big thank you for taking off Ian Somerhalder’s shirt and making him do the above dance.
Daniel Gillies’ Elijah: One of my favorite television characters of all-time, Elijah knows how to say “I’m Elijah” better than Michael Keaton knows how to say “I’m Batman.” Plus, who else can sound this sexy just reading a letter? And don’t get me started on Elijah’s cry face and comforting hugs. Basically, there’s no one better than the immortal Original vampire whose heightened personality trait is his morality. Plus, he’s so freakin’ elegant when he talks (unlike me), he cares deeply for others, he says “E-lena,” he wears the best suits, and he always, always remains calm.
An epic bromance: The real love story of The Vampire Diaries is between brothers Stefan and Damon. So thank you, TVD, for giving us a complex and truly touching bromance that we can root for more than anything. #TeamSalvatore
An expanded vocabulary: I now use the words “hybrid,” “doppelganger,” “dick,” and “grimoire” more than I ever thought possible. And it’s awesome.
Memorable music moments: Remember that one time they set a massacre to “O Holy Night”?
So many feels: From the obvious tearjerkers — Alaric’s death — to more subtle moments — Stefan’s phone call — TVD knows all about the feels. The perfect example? Reuniting Anna and Pearl in season 3 (above).
Strong women: Let’s give a little shout-out to Bonnie here, because she once took down Klaus. But witches aside, in the vampire world, there is no difference between men and women. If you’re older, you’re stronger. Or in Caroline’s case, if you’re angrier, you’re stronger.
Unforgettable “I love you’s”: All right ‘shippers, let’s not start a war here. How about I give you both an “I love you” worth remembering.
Stefan’s love of Bon Jovi: This is really just a nod to how good TVD is at crafting layered characters, even down to the smallest adorable traits. Plus, the whole Stefan-Lexie friendship, a.k.a. a friendship that was 100 percent platonic, was nothing if not refreshing.
Nina Dobrev’s underwater acting: I never thought that an underwater scene could make me sob like a baby, but Nina Dobrev’s work in the season 3 finale deserved an award all its own.
Tyler’s blanket: Mandi Bierly said it best: “That chenille blanket Tyler owns that looks so soft next to his hard, shirtless torso.”
Damon’s bathroom: Even without the sexy man, this tub, shower, soap dish combination is unbeatable. Side note: Stefan’s room is also quite impressive.
Jeremy’s shirt rip: This is only one example of the many genius reasons TVD has given us to go shirtless.
Making Henleys sexy: When the biggest, baddest hybrid of all wears a Henley, it’s officially trendy.
Candice Accola: Lets not forget to thank TVD for giving us the wonderful Candice Accola, who makes us laugh and cry on a weekly basis. Plus, have you heard her sing?
Making journaling cool again: I can finally write in my journal without feeling like an 8-year-old. Now, I feel like a really old brooding vampire, which, in case it wasn’t clear, is better.
Elena’s bed: Don’t tell me it doesn’t look incredibly comfortable.
The Originals: Without TVD, we would haven’t these beautiful people or their spinoff.
Now it’s your turn, PopWatchers! What do you want to thank TVD for? Decade dances? That one time Stefan said “Mozzarella” with a crazy strong accent? Matt’s adorable face? All that alcohol? Sound off in the comments!