Credit: The CW

The Vampire Diaries is composed almost entirely of twists, but there are some that stand out more than others. You know the ones we’re talking about: the kind that manage to both take viewers by surprise and make complete sense. Well, TVD has them in spades. Here are the 10 biggest TVD twists of all time. Brace yourself for a lot of neck-snapping!

Damon snaps Vicki’s neck

Way back in Season 1, Damon was a lean, mean killing machine. He was biting people left and right. But that doesn’t mean we were expecting him to snap Vicki Donovan’s neck! To we naive Season 1 viewers, Vicki was a main character and you don’t just turn main characters into vampires willy nilly. Boy were we naive. With the first human-to-vampire conversion on TVD, the show lured us into a false sense security. We watched Vicki and Damon party all night until when Vicki breaks down to Damon about how much her life sucks - Damon agrees, seemingly making an in-the-moment decision to snap her neck. You gotta love his Season 1 spontaneity.

Katherine isn’t in the tomb

With everything that’s happened since, sometimes it’s easy to forget that Damon spent the entire first season trying to open a tomb that Katherine had allegedly been trapped in for 145 years. Psych! It turns out Katherine had flirted her way out of a century-and-a-half of entombment and desiccation. While Damon spent that time mooning after his long-lost love, Katherine was busy gallivanting the globe. Ouch.

Katherine chops off John’s fingers

Few make an entrance like Katherine Pierce. After appearing only in flashback form in the series, Katherine makes her present-day entrance by assuming Elena’s identity, making out with Damon on the Gilbert front porch, and then stabbing Uncle John and it is all played out perfectly. The season finale’s final scene starts as a heart-to-heart between “Elena” and her biological father, John. John opens up about Elena’s mother and the mistakes he’s made, while Katherine-pretending-to-be-Elena listens...until she gets bored, takes one of the kitchen knives, and, um, removes the Gilbert ring from John’s finger before stabbing him properly. Trust us: this scene is worth a re-watch.

Katherine turns Caroline

In the TVD tradition of turning people when we least expect it, Season 2 starts off with a bang when in an attempt to relay her seriousness to Elena Katherine kills her best friend. Luckily, Caroline has Damon’s blood in her system and turns into a vamp instead of totally biting it (in the figurative sense). This twist gets points not only because it was surprising, but because it paid off so well. We loved Caroline’s snark in the first season, but watching her shed (most of) her insecurities and turn into a badass vamp version of her awesome self has been one of the best parts of this show.

Klaus kills Jenna

When Klaus turns Jenna into a vampire, we assumed TVD was going to get some narrative mileage out of watching Elena’s aunt deal with her vampirism. Nope! Literally minutes after the Jenna-as-vampire reveal happens, Klaus sacrifices Elena’s legal guardian in the name of some curse-breaking ceremony. This show moves faster than Stefan on a blood lust bender.

Stefan saves Matt instead of Elena

In the Season 3 finale, Rebekah causes Matt’s truck to careen into the same river Elena’s parents died. Stefan dives in to save Elena, but she asks him to save Matt instead, and Stefan actually does it. This is the perfect twist in that it subverts the classic hero move (instead, perhaps, making Elena the hero), while also making narrative sense. Stefan has always let Elena make her own decisions, and respected them even if he doesn’t agree with them. We were impressed and shocked to see him continue that practice, even when it meant her death. Well played, TVD.

Elena turns into a vampire

In terms of sheer audacity and effect, Elena’s transition into a vampire is perhaps the biggest of TVD’s history of insane plot twists. We always knew this was a possibility, but we weren’t sure if TVD would be ballsy enough to turn its gateway character from human to vamp. Moral of the story: We never should have doubted TVD’s balls. Nor, their ability to make the change work. Elena’s vampirism gave the show a new and interesting direction.

Jeremy dies

There has been possibly no darker moment on TVD than the twist of Jeremy’s death. Sure, he doesn’t actually end up staying dead (more on that later), but we didn’t know that at the time! He looked particularly dead after Silas drains him of blood, then proceeds to snap his neck. Honorable mention for this twist list goes to the related moment when Elena burns her house down with Jeremy’s dead body in it.

Katherine gets the cure

We have to admit, we weren’t sure how the whole cure thing was going to play out - and we were getting a little sick of hearing about it. From the beginning, we really thought Damon was going to get it (and we’re kind of bummed he didn’t). But if it couldn’t be Damon, Katherine was an excellent choice - as was the manner in which it was delivered. We can’t think of a better revenge for than Elena shoving the cure for vampirism down Katherine’s throat, forcing the latter to turn human after 500 years as an immortal.

Bonnie trades her life for Jeremy’s

Just when we thought Jeremy was really gone for good, Bonnie pulls the old mortality switcheroo, trading her life for Jeremy’s. This scene is pretty tricky, with Jeremy giving a speech about he’s ready to move on. Not on Bonnie’s watch! We’re still waiting to see how this twist plays out as Bonnie is returning in Season 5 as a ghost only Jeremy can see, but we’re curious if this death will stick.

Stefan is Silas’s doppelganger

Another major, major plot twist that has us waiting for answers is the season-ending reveal that Stefan is Silas’ doppelganger, aka “his shadow self.” We’re still not really sure what this means, but we’re guessing it spells big changes for TVD mythology. Up until this point, we had assumed the Salvatore brothers were just men who stumbled into Katherine’s paths and became vampires for it, but it seems there’s more to the story…

What are your favorite TVD twists? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Season 5 premiere of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Credit: Celebified Photo: The Vampire Diaries Casts Rick Cosnett As New Season 5 Villain For Elena And Caroline