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26 Times TVD’s Stefan Salvatore Shattered Your Heart to Bits

Move over Damon, it’s all about Stefan Salvatore today. Between his beautiful brooding looks and his martyr personality, we’ve been in love with Stefan since he came to CW in 2009, or for some people, long before that in 1991 when the first Vampire Diaries book hit the shelves. We’ve watched him save lives and simultaneously (and quite literally tear them apart), but we literally cannot get enough of him. Vampire Diaries may be ending with Season 8, but we are crossing our fingers that Stefan heads to Louisiana when it’s all over and joins The Originals.

We decided to go back through the years and remember some of Stefan’s best moments. The moments that shattered your heart to bits, and spoiler alert, there were a lot of them.

The first time he meets Elena

From the very first moment we saw Stefan’s brooding look and perfectly sculpted jaw line in the hallways of Mystic Falls High School, we couldn’t get enough of him. When Elena runs into him coming out of the men’s bathroom, it’s fate, and it was also the most perfect meet cute ever.

Elena and Stefan’s first kiss

“I met a girl. We talked. It was epic, but then the sun came up and reality set in. Well, this is reality. Right here.” SWOON! There was nothing like that moment when Elena decided to take a risk and Stefan Salvatore was there to catch her. Talk about heart eyes.

When he tells Elena he will never hurt her

Right after Elena learns Stefan’s a vampire in Season 1 and he comes to tell her that he would never hurt her. It broke all of our hearts. We all believed you Stefan!

Any time Lexi shows up

Nothing shatters our heart more than the relationship between Stefan and his BFF Lexi. Stefan’s reaction to her death almost killed us as does the emotions that happen every single time Stefan gets a brief moment with her.

When he saved Bonnie

Think way back when Emily Bennett was possessing Bonnie and destroyed the necklace so no one could open the tomb. Although we know she’s come back from death multiple times, the first time was all thanks to Stefan. Constantly on the look out for Elena and her friends.

Anytime he broke up with Elena to protect her

Devastated Stefan was so hard to watch, especially when he was trying to break up with Elena. He just wanted to protect her because he’s perfect (when he’s not a ripper of course).

When Elena said "I love you" for the first time

His face though… it killed us.

Both times he locked himself in the tomb to save the Gilberts 

Knowing he couldn’t get out, he first ran into the tomb after Elena when he heard her scream. He trapped himself again when Jeremy was stupid enough to try to retrieve the moonstone from Katherine.

After his first relapse 

After drinking Elena’s blood for the first time, Stefan had a major relapse. He decided he wanted to kill himself and left his ring home. The part that shattered our hearts was when Elena found him and he finally decides to put his ring back on and fight for his life. Total sob-fest.

Literally anytime Stefan saves Damons life

It’s almost impossible to count the number of times this happened, but let’s talk about the best ones. There was the big first one when he ran into a burning building to save him during the Founders Day parade or the time he stopped Damon from killing Klaus because he knew he would die if he did it. How about the time he turned back into a ripper and Klaus’ slave to get Damon the werewolf bite cure or more recently when Rayna meant to stab Damon with the sword, but hits Stefan instead.

The very beginning of Steroline

Stefan teaches Caroline the bunny diet and tries to help her adjust to life as a vampire. “So you’re saying I’m an insecure neurotic freak on crack” “I wasn’t going to say it like that, but…” Aw! The early stages of Steroline.

When he feels remorse for forcing Damon to become a vampire 

“I guess I just needed my brother.” And we’re dead.

When he knew the importance of a girl's night

I’m season two Caroline was tortured by Jules and her pack of wolves. After the ordeal Stefan comes to check on her and delivers backup in the form of Elena and Bonnie. Caroline cries and so do we. Every time!

Whenever Stefan is shirtless

Look at him. How does that not make your heart just melt all over the floor. He’s perfectly sculpted.

That time Stefan tried to sacrifice himself

Okay, so there were multiple times Stefan tried to be a martyr, but let’s not forget the big one. In order to make Klaus a hybrid and trigger his werewolf curse, he had to kill a vampire, a werewolf and of course the doppelgänger. Stefan attempts to trade places with Jenna and save her life. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t go over so well, but at least he tried.

When he turns it off, but old Stefan is still there

Yeah, Ripper Stefan is the worst, but he was still desperately trying to hold on to his humanity when he left town with Klaus to go werewolf hunting. On Elena’s 18th birthday, he calls her and she tells him that she loves him and to hold on to that. He doesn’t respond, but it almost killed us.

When the humanity switch doesn’t work when it comes to Damon

Mikael pops into town and even though Stefan’s humanity is off, when Damon’s life is threatened, he promises to lure Klaus into town. Their brotherly bond is too strong, even for a humanity switch.

The moment you realize Stefan and Elena are over for good

He finally pulls himself back from the edge and asks Elena to tell him she’s not in love with Damon and she can’t say it. It was the moment you knew they were done and it was never going to be like it was. Stefan honestly looked like a sad puppy. The worst.

When Stefan saves Matt’s life

Stefan always chooses to let Elena decide her actions (for the most part), but the hardest to watch was when she made him save Matt’s life before her own after their car went over the bridge. He turned her into a vampire, and never lets himself off the hook for it.

Caroline becomes his new Lexi

After Elena turns, he tells Caroline that he wants her to enjoy becoming a vampire, but he’s scared if he starts to enjoy it, he will become Ripper Stefan again. Caroling promises to be his sober sponsor and take over Lexi’s role of keeping him at bay.

Every time he had to deal with Elena crying

Just when Stefan is trying to have a moment of normalcy and not brooding, Elena comes in sobbing. She literally cries every single episode and when she turned off her emotions, she made it impossible for anyone to enjoy life, ever.

When Stefan helps Caroline let her mom go

Nothing was more adorable than Stefan being there for Caroline when she had to say good-bye to her mom. Everyone was sobbing when Caroline brought her into her final memory of her mom teaching her to ride a bike.

He convinced Caroline to turn her humanity back on

In all the times someone turns off their humanity, Caroline’s was the hardest to watch because she was always the best a being a vampire. We sobbed when Stefan showed her a memory with her mom to get her to turn everything back on. “If I’m going to start something with Caroline, I want it to be perfect.” Ugh! And then he says he will be patient and wait for that moment.

The first time Caroline and Stefan kiss

It’s adorable, and it was the beginning of Steroline.

When he was on the run from Rayna Cruz

He protected Caroline by running around the world, trying to find a way to unmark himself from Rayna Cruz. True love, even if she didn’t understand why he did what he did.

Steroline’s reunion

At the end of Season 7, we finally get what we’d been waiting for: a Steroline reunion. Season 8 begins with our favorite couple back together again.