'The Vampire Diaries' hits 100 episodes: Which was your favorite?

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After months of waiting and speculating, the long hiatus is finally over: "The Vampire Diaries" 100th episode airs on Thursday (Jan. 23).

The milestone episode is practically bursting with huge reveals, shocking twists, OMG moments and heartbreakingly nostalgic throwbacks, making it one of the best episodes of the series so far. It may not be a perfect episode, but with all the moments packed in for the fans, it comes pretty close. 

After watching the episode, "500 Years of Solitude," we got to thinking ... if we had to pick our Top 10 favorite episodes of The CW's supernatural drama, which ones would make the list?

It was a tough undertaking, but we finally culled down our list of favorites to 10 (in chronological order of when they aired):

Season 1 episode 6 - "Lost Girls"

Every new series suffers through some growing pains as it finds its footing, and this was the episode that really launched "TVD" into the show it is today. Stefan finally tells Elena the truth about him and Damon being vampires, and reveals his past with Katherine. You know what that means: The very first flashbacks of the series! It was also the first time we met Katherine, who would go on to become one of the series' most important characters. This episode is when the show finally took off its training wheels.

Season 1 episode 19 - "Miss Mystic Falls"

For most of Season 1, Damon was the bad brother and Stefan was the good guy, but this episode leveled the playing field between the two Salvatores. Stefan loses control of his blood lust and attacks innocent people and Damon subs in for him as Elena's date at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. The dance that Elena and Damon shared was the true beginning of Delena, and it was revealed that Stefan isn't as perfect as he seems. Things became a lot more complicated with the main love triangle.

Season 2 episode 12 - "The Descent"

This episode showed us a whole new side to Damon that we had never seen before. As Rose is dying from a fatal werewolf bite, Damon uses his mind control to give her a dream of a peaceful last day in the sun before staking her, ending her suffering. He then has an existential crisis in the middle of the road with an innocent girl, who he vents his frustrations to, admits he misses being a human, lets her go, and then attacks her.

Season 2 episode 19 - "Klaus"

We had no idea back then who we were about to meet when the character of Klaus was introduced. He was just this idea of pure evil that we should fear, until he became the big bad of the series. This is the episode in which we learned his history via flashbacks: He's one of the Originals, a vampire-werewolf hybrid, and the brother of Elijah. Also, the flashbacks show Katherine at a time when she was a human, plus we learn that the sun and moon curse is fake. It was just something made up by Klaus and Elijah to get everyone searching for the components needed to break Klaus' curse so he could unleash his werewolf side. Twist! 

Season 3 episode 7 - "Ghost World"

All the fan favorite characters (and a few villains) that have died over the course of the series came back as ghosts, which leads to some emotional reunions. Lexi gets to help Stefan one last time, Mason forgives Damon for killing him, Grams helps Bonnie, and Anna finally reunites with her mother Pearl after being alone on The Other Side for far too long. This episode never fails to elicit tears.

Season 3 episode 8 - "Ordinary People"

This is the episode that gave birth to a whole new series, "The Originals." We finally learn the whole story of the Original family, including Klaus' true parentage and the fact that their mother was the one to turn them all into vampires. But we aren't the only ones to learn the truth: Rebekah finds out that Klaus killed their mother, not her father Mikael, shattering her trust in her brother.

Season 3 episode 20 - "Do Not Go Gentle"

Whenever we have to say goodbye to a fan favorite character, it's heartbreaking. But no death was more emotionally devastating than when Alaric chooses to die rather than become his evil alter ego for good. He sacrifices himself for everyone else's safety, and he is repaid by one of the most moving and powerful scenes of the series when everyone gathered in the graveyard to give him a proper sendoff. We can never listen to The Fray's "Be Still" without bawling as a result.

Season 4 episode 7 - "My Brother's Keeper"

Whether or not you're a Delena 'shipper, you have to admit this is one of the most dramatic and game changing episodes in terms of relationships. Damon and Elena have sex immediately after she and Stefan break up, and Caroline and Stefan realize at that exact moment that Elena is sired to Damon. After four seasons of buildup, the payoff was hot, but no relationship on "TVD" could ever be simple. The drama! 

Season 4 episode 9 - "O Come All Ye Faithful"

The "TVD" writers know how to drive a stake through our hearts so brutally and efficiently at this point that we should just expect to be in tears at the end of each episode, but this one truly caught us by surprise. Who would have thought to pair a classic Christmas carol with a bloody massacre? Watching Klaus slaughter all of his hybrids after learning of their mutiny is harsh enough, but then Klaus takes it one step further and drowns Tyler's mother right in the middle of the town square.

Episode 100 - "500 Years of Solitude"

We can't say much about the 100th episode, but it deserves a spot on our list because it has the right balance of nostalgia, fan payoffs, game changing twists and character development. We couldn't think of a better way celebrate reaching 100 episodes than with this episode.

Which episode was your favorite?

"The Vampire Diaries" 100th episode airs Thursday (Jan. 23) at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

More "TVD" episode 100 coverage:

Candice Accola teases the big Klaroline reunion and more

Kat Graham promises fans 'will lose their minds'

Nathaniel Buzolic would love to return as Kol

Matt Davis thanks the fans for the Alaric love

Will Michael Trevino show up as Tyler in the 100th episode?

Executive producers Julie Plec, Caroline Dries preview the 'nostalgic' 100th episode

100th episode promo: Watch Klaroline reunite

Marguerite MacIntyre talks Sheriff Forbes' future and reflects on 100 episodes

Kayla Ewell looks back on 100 episodes and reveals what Vicki's been up to

10 spoilers from '500 Years of Solitude'

100th episode first look photos: Will Stefan join the party?

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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