It's no exaggeration to say that The Vampire Diaries and its spin-offs created some of the best relationships we've ever seen on TV between vampires, witches, werewolves, and even the occasional human. Though we're not denying the genius of the Stefan (Paul Wesley), Elena (Nina Dobrev), Damon (Ian Somerhalder) love triangle or the chemistry between literally all the characters on Legacies, it's no secret that not all ships were created equal. To make a definitive ruling about the best and worst ships from the TVDU, we ranked every ship from The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies! And when we say every ship, we mean every ship. The ships that made us cringe, the ones who were so perfect they simply had to be endgame, and even the ships that never happened in canon. Did Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Caroline (Candice King) win the best ship of all time or did the underdog ship of Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) and Josie (Kaylee Bryant) beat it out for first place? Whether you love Delena, Stelena, or you're a secret Steroline shipper, check out our ranking to find out which couple came out on top!
Our first ship is our worst ship because we can't find literally anything nice to say about Daroline. Consent issues, mind-control, and death threats are not exactly the stuff of great romance, and Damon should thank his lucky stars Caroline forgave him for this abominable period when they were together.
Ew. Gross. No. Kill it with fire. We've got no idea what The Vampire Diaries was trying to do with this ship, but we hated every second of it, and we're not ashamed to say it. We don't care that years had passed since Caroline was his student or that there were weirder ages gaps on the show, trying to ship a student-teacher relationship feels wrong no matter which way you slice it.
Klenevieve was a blink and you'll miss it kind of ship on The Originals, but it still technically counts. Ultimately though, Klaus and Genevieve's connection was mostly physical, and there were far too many double-crosses and manipulations on both sides of this relationship to give it much credit.
Liv and Tyler's love story kind of flew under the radar on The Vampire Diaries, but that's probably just because there were like 18 insane storylines happening at once in Season 6. This ship was actually pretty cute, and the only thing keeping it from a better ranking is the fact that Tyler, you know, killed her with his bare hands to activate his werewolf curse.
Talk about ships that flew under the radar. Alaric and Meredith Fell shared a brief tryst in Seasons 3 and 4 of The Vampire Diaries, but this relationship always felt like it was built to move the plot forward instead of the other way around. Kind of too snooze-worthy to deserve a good ranking.
We're not going to pretend like we cared even a little about Matt and Penny's romance on The Vampire Diaries. However, we're also not going to pretend like the scene where Matt hallucinates her ghost and begs her to take him with her after his car crash was anything other than devastating emotional torture that came out of nowhere and has stayed with us to this day.
Jo and Alaric really got the rough end of the stick as far as TVD ships go. They'd only just started to find their groove when Jo found out she was pregnant with twins, forcing them into a shotgun wedding that ended in tragedy. If these two had been given the time to start their family together the way they should have, we have no doubt they could have become one of the show's best duos ever. We'll have to settle for them creating one of the best duos ever -- Josie and Lizzie Saltzman!
It's hard not to ship all of the Legacies kids with each other considering the great chemistry that cast has, but Rizzie is one we just never loved. Lizzie seems too intense for Rafael, and Raf doesn't exactly seem like the kind of guy that would give her the level of attention and devotion she requires. This ship was kind of a flop in Sesason 1, and we'd prefer it stay that way.
Damon and Rebekah shared one night of tearing ballgowns and tuxes off each other, and then it was never really spoken of again. It's hard to properly rank a ship that basically came down to "that one time we had hate sex," but hookups like this were what The Vampire Diaries was built on.
We really wanted to rank Haylijah higher on this list, but all the passion and angst in the world can't distract us from the cold hard truth: Hayley and Elijah had issues. Major issues. Not the least of which being that he killed her in the final season of the show. Whether you consider their love story to be one of the best or worst this shared universe ever created, at least you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that they gave it all they had.
For as long as we've known Klaus, he was always teetering on the brink of insanity, which is kind of what we loved most about him. Aurora, on the other hand, has been batshit crazy her whole life and it's so not a good look on her. This weird, obsessive, "let's see who can out-crazy the other" romance was not to our taste at all.
We can't claim to be huge fans of the romance between Kim and MG on Legacies, though their names fit together so perfectly for a ship name that we almost demand they be endgame based only on that. Unfortunately, the show never really gave them the screen time they needed to get us invested in their love story before Kym decided she'd had enough supernatural shenanigans and left Mystic Falls.
On every TV show, there are ships that just make us shrug, and Elijah and Antoniette are definitely one of those. They don't even have a ship name, that's forgettable this tryst was. Even with memory loss, hidden pasts, and romantic piano duets, this couple was kind of just meh.
Sebastian and Lizzie may have had potential, but in the end it turned out to be wasted. Their chemistry was off the charts, but like many teenagers swept up in romance, they never really took the time to connect or learn about each other. Maybe that's why they ended on such a sour note. Still, at least Sebastian went out a hero?
You know, we were really rooting for Jeremy and Vicki when The Vampire Diaries first started. They had that whole, rebels who are too cool for school, but not too cool for love thing going on. Ultimately though, we don't think Vicki would have ever calmed down enough for Jeremy, who was really only pretending to be a wild child to deal with his parents' deaths. This ship just wasn't to be.
You know those Season 1 ships that you know are never going to make it, but every time you look back on them they make you nostalgic? That's what Maroline is for us. A cute relationship between two characters we love dearly that just never quite fit perfectly together. That being said, if there had been no vampires or life-or-death scenarios in Mystic Falls, Maroline absolutely would have been endgame material.
Stefan and Valerie had one of the weirdest love stories we've ever seen, but there was still a small part of us that was rooting for them. In a world not besieged by curses and vampire hunters and prison worlds, these two could have really been something! Sadly, Stefan has like five more appealing ships, which is probably why they never really made it that far.
Legacies made a solid attempt to recreate another brotherly love triangle, but we weren't really feeling it with Rafael, Hope, and Landon. Raf and Hope have a great friendship going, but it's probably best left there considering how much more fans seem to prefer her relationship with Landon.
Remember when Marcel and Camille were a thing for a hot minute? Neither do we! Sorry to Marcille fans, but though these two had decent chemistry, they just never got a lot of attention as a couple, and so their love story kind of faded into obscurity.
The Vampire Diaries universe sure does love its enemies to lovers ships, doesn't it? Josie and Jade started off on opposing sides in Kai's prison world, but after Jade turned her humanity back on, things started to change between them. At least the sex dreams they started having about each other did. Jade and Josie might be perfect for one another, seeing as they both understand having a dark side that's hard to deny.
While Caroline and Enzo never made it past the friendzone, we wouldn't have hated it if they'd had a thing. There was a lack of "epic love story" vibes between them, but when Enzo was at his worst, Caroline brought out the light-hearted, carefree side of him. Plus, all things considered, he really was her type - morally scrupulous Brit, who would burn the world down for the people he loves -- why does that sound familiar?
Every day we go back and forth on whether MG and Lizzie are soulmates or whether they're the perfect best friend duo of all time. Could they possibly be both? Sure, Lizzie takes MG for granted sometimes, and MG can be a little thoughtless sometimes, but that doesn't mean these two aren't connected in a deep, meaningful way that most people can only dream of.
Though we only got them for one season, Nora and Mary-Louise had us from the moment they said hello. We do love a bad girl, and two bad girls together? We're toast! Our favorite thing about this ship is that while it was clear Nora and Mary-Louise didn't care about much in this world, they cared about each other, and that was more than enough for them.
When The Originals first premiered, we were sure Klaus and Hayley would eventually fall in love and live happily ever after with their precious loophole baby, but ultimately these two just weren't meant to be anything more than one really hot night. That being said, watching them as co-parents just proves that not all ships need to be romantic to work.
Roman and Hope's sweet, timid flirtation on The Originals was like a breath of fresh air after some of the intense, life-changing, epic love stories we'd been getting for five straight years. Rope -- whoever came up with that ship name was having too much fun that day -- would have ranked higher if the whole relationship wasn't just Roman's ploy to get close to Hope's family.
The Vampire Diaries had the best flashbacks on TV, hands down, partially because when your characters have lived for centuries, you can really mix things up. One of said mix-ups was the revelation that Stefan and Rebekah had been an item back in the 1920s, and while their romance is probably best left in the age of prohibition, it was always one of our favorites.
Hope and Lizzie would definitely have that whole "enemies to lovers" thing going for them if they ever decided to take the plunge together. The bond we've seen these two develop over the course of Legacies has been so wonderful to watch, and while at the moment we prefer them as badass besties, we wouldn't hate to see them head towards romantic territory someday.
When The Vampire Diaries first paired Jeremy and Anna together, we thought our little vampire-loving hearts would give out. They were both so damaged and dark and alone in the world that they somehow fit perfectly together. Not even multiple deaths could keep them apart! Losing this one was hard, but at least ghost Anna came back to hang out occasionally.
Call us crazy, but even through all the craziness and manipulation, there seemed to be a spark of something between Damon and Katherine that was just undeniable. Maybe it was the fact that they both put up a dark and diabolical front to mask their real feelings about the way their lives turned out. This wasn't a ship for the ages, but it certainly was a pairing we'll remember forever.
You know a fandom is strong when it can build a ship of dreams out of like 2 episodes and 10 lines of dialogue, but that's about all Bonnie Bennett and Kol Mikaelson ever shared. And yet somehow, Kennett is always going to feel like the one that got away in terms of ships that totally should've happened but never did.
Despite their messy ending, Klaus and Camille's relationship showed us sides of each character that we otherwise would never have seen. Though it was missing some of the passion usually found in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals ships, it was still absolutely heartbreaking to watch Klaus lose a woman who meant so much to him when Cami died.
This short-lived romance between Josie and Landon may not have been super popular with fans, but it was perfectly in character for both these self-sacrificing loners to find their way to one another. It may not have been a romance for the ages, but it was an age-appropriate and utterly endearing one, and that's good enough for us!
As one of the few ships that managed to make it out of The Originals series finale alive, we have to give Kol and Davina props. Their love story survived multiple deaths, body-swaps, and that pesky problem of Kol accidentally murdering Davina that one time. We want nothing more than peace and happiness for eternity for these two crazy kids.
While some believe Alaric's love life is cursed, those of us who watched the early years of The Vampire Diaries know better. Alaric will simply never find someone as perfect for him as Jenna Sommers, which means he's destined to fall in and out of subpar ships forever. Poor guy, it's rough when your soulmate dies so early on in the first of three sequential shows.
This one's another ship was never technically canon, but as far as we're concerned that was a GRAVE mistake. Klaus and Stefan had chemistry coming out of their ears, and you're seriously trying to tell us that nothing happened between these two during their days of debauchery in the 1920s? Yeah right, you're not fooling us!
Jackson and Hayley may not have had the passion and the fire that some of the best TVD ships boasted, but they had something that very few other pairings had: A rock-solid friendship built on trust and understanding that grew organically into true love. Considering how crazy their world was, they both needed a relationship like this to keep them sane, which is maybe why we ended up loving it so much?
Katherine and Elijah only shared maybe a handful of scenes together over the entire course of The Vampire Diaries, but they're somehow one of three ships we would have watched an entire spin-off about. Their love stood the test of time and somehow overcame hybrid-sized grudges, and that's about as romantic as it gets.
Though we love Marcel and Rebekah (especially when we think about the day they both take the cure and grow old together), this couple had one major problem... One of them wasn't on the show all that often, which meant their romance faded to the background every time Rebekah left town -- which was a lot. We'll put this in the category of ships that were done dirty by logistical, behind-the-scenes stuff.
The Bamon saga was one of the most topsy-turvey things to follow on The Vampire Diaries, but we loved every minute of it. From shipping them a little bit in Season 1 to hating everything about it in Season 3, to watching them grow into best buds in Season 6, Bonnie and Damon went on a journey unparalleled by any other ship in the TVDu. Do we kind of wish they'd given romance a try? Sure. Are we going to let that invalidate how awesome their story was? No way.
We're probably going to get some hate for this, but if we had to pick between all of Elijah's ships, Gialijah would probably win out. Sure, they weren't star-crossed lovers or centuries-old flames, but if you're looking for a healthy dynamic (of which Elijah was sorely lacking) with great chemistry and some awesome scenes, Gialijah is the ship for you.
Hope and Landon are kind of the Stelena of Legacies. Not a pairing that we think will be endgame (no matter how heartbroken that will leave us), but integral to the DNA of the series nonetheless. We're content to enjoy this sweet couple strive for their happy ending, and we'll even root for them most of the time as they grow up together and figure out this crazy supernatural world.
Oh, Josh and Aiden... the ship that was too pure for this world. Literally. Though both these characters bit the dust before all was said and done on The Originals, their love story was super sweet, and, hey, at least we got to see them reunite in the afterlife!
If any of you ever had a crush on your older brother or sister's friends, you'll understand our undying love for Beremy. There was something so cathartic about watching Bonnie realize that Jeremy had grown up to be a sweet, sexy, utterly dateable guy instead of Elena's annoying little brother. Even though they didn't end up together, they deserve a high ranking in this list of epic ships.
Considering how few episodes of Legacies Penelope was in before she bounced, it's remarkable that so many people fell so deep in love with the Posie ship. We guess there's just something intoxicating about a bad girl who will do bad things for the girl she loves. If you come for Josie, Penelope will come for you!
Is it weird that we always kind of thought Stefan and Katherine would end up together when all was said and done? Don't get us wrong, that relationship was toxic at best, but when they were on screen together, you just couldn't pull your eyes away from them. It was like watching a really sexy, complicated train wreck in action.
Considering how often Caroline and Tyler were separated (by distance, evil hybrids, or opposing loyalties), it's pretty impressive that they were still one of the most memorable ships from The Vampire Diaries. This ship mixed the sweetness of Maroline with the passion of Klaroline, creating a happy middle ground for fans to enjoy.
Did we really understand the term OTP before Freelin existed? We doubt it. Freya and Keelin had their ups and downs on The Originals, to be sure, but through it all, there was never a doubt in our minds that these two strong, smart, sexy women were absolutely made for one another. Knowing they're living out their happily ever after in New Orleans with a cute little baby named Nik is the only thing that gets us through the day sometimes.
Considering how many ships exist in this universe, it's shocking that Steroline is one of only a handful to make it down the aisle. Poor Stefan seemed doomed to be forever locked in a love triangle with his brother until Caroline Forbes entered his life. Not only did he no longer have to deal with love triangle BS, he got to marry his best friend, who he knew would support him through thick and thin. If only it hadn't taken them so long to figure out how awesome they could be together.
Sometimes it's hard to ship characters that are thrown together at the end of a series as opposed to the beginning, but that was not the case with Bonnie and Enzo. One minute they were two characters who'd never really interacted much, and the next they were epic loves who had a strong relationship built on trust, compassion, and a lot of laughter. Honestly, they fit so well together even we were surprised by it!
Of all the ships to ever grace our screens over the years, there was something truly special about Stefan and Elena. Maybe it's because we associate their love story with some of the best years The Vampire Diaries ever had, or maybe their connection really was just too epic for words. Whatever the case, Stelena was one for the history books, and we dare you to say different.
It might seem weird to put a ship that's not, technically speaking, canon (yet!) so high on our list, but we absolutely won't apologize for it. Putting aside the obvious fact that these girls are definitely, majorly, into each other, Hope and Josie have proven over and over again that they not only understand each other on a deep, intimate level, they also care enough about one another to go to the ends of the earth to keep each other safe and happy. That kind of devotion when paired with a healthy, supportive dynamic is a killer combination.
Klaus and Caroline never really got the timing right, but maybe that's what makes this ship one of the best in the history of The Vampire Diaries universe. They were enemies, they were lovers, and they were kind of even friends for a minute there, and the fact that they never really got a chance to be together only makes this ship more EPIC. Plus, it's kind of impossible not to swoon when a guy declares he'll be your last love.
Was there ever any doubt that this list would end here? Whether you loved Delena or not, there's no denying this couple was iconic, and a large part of The Vampire Diaries' success was built on their love story. Sure, we would have preferred for them to not have different versions of the same fight for four seasons in a row, but that doesn't mean we don't still get major chills whenever we rewatch their first kiss or their series finale happily ever after.