This article is about an episode. You may be looking for Founders' Day Celebration, an event seen in the episode.

Why wouldn't I be here? Bonnie deactivated the Gilbert invention, Isobel is gone and it's Founders' Day! I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl.
Damon Salvatore to Stefan Salvatore

Founder's Day is the twenty-second and final episode of the first season of The Vampire Diaries and the twenty-second episode of the series overall.


THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING, WITH AN ENDING THAT WILL LEAVE YOU HANGINGFounder's Day has finally arrived, and everyone is busy with last-minute preparations for floats and fireworks for the 150th Founder's Day Celebration. Stefan is uncomfortable with Damon's new attitude toward Elena, but Elena is more concerned about repairing her relationship with Jeremy. Jeremy is worried about Anna, but not sure he's on board with her latest plan for the future. While Caroline is enjoying her day as Queen of the celebration, she also tries to help Matt and Tyler get their friendship back on track. Finally, although Damon and Alaric did their best to stop him, John Gilbert sets a plan in motion that brings Founder's Day to an end amid chaos, destruction and death.


Damon and Stefan see Elena in her Founder's Day dress

Elena and Stefan are getting ready for the Founder's Day parade. Mrs. Lockwood is supervising the preparations, telling the marching band that the lineup is wrong and Matt to get on his float. Damon and Stefan are talking about Elena when she arrives, dressed as a southern belle and strongly resembling Katherine as she curtsies. They both had to take a second look at Elena because she resembles Katherine so strongly dressed up as she is now.

Anna gives Jeremy a vial of her blood

Jeremy is also getting ready for the parade. Anna appears and he says that he feels awful and is worried about her. They talk about John and how he killed her mother. She gives him a vial of her blood, saying she is going to leave town soon and wants him to come with her. She explains how to become a vampire and the ability of vampires to shut off their emotions. He tells her that he had wanted to at one point, but he doesn't think that he can. Before he can say anything else, she leaves him.

Caroline and Matt take a picture together

Stefan tells Elena that John might possibly be her father because he dated Isobel as a teenager and brought her to Elena's father's office for the delivery. Elena doesn't know how to confront him about it and is worried that Jeremy won't forgive her for erasing his mem

Caroline, Tyler and Bonnie in Parde.

ories and lying to him. Stefan reassures her that he will forgive her, just to give it some time.

Bonnie is taking pictures of Matt and Caroline, and Tyler shows up offering to take a picture that Caroline wants with Bonnie. Matt leaves suddenly, and Caroline explains that Matt can't forgive Tyler for what he did after just saying "sorry". Elena tries to talk to Jeremy, but Jeremy shuts her down, reminding her that what she did is not something he'll forgive easily.

The Battle of Willow Creek Float

Mrs. Lockwood announces each float as it passes by: the Mystic Falls marching band float, the Battle of Willow Creek float, the Miss Mystic Falls float, and a Mystic Falls football team float. While Bonnie is watching, Damon interrupts her and thanks her for deactivating the Gilbert Device. Even though she really didn't, she says that she did it for Elena.

Tomb vampires planning an attack

John is showing Mayor Lockwood how the device, which is harmful to vampires, works in the Gilbert Building, explaining where to put the key in the device and the length of time it works saying that he got a tip about a vampire attack tonight. After the device is activated, the Sheriff's deputies will inject them with vervain and bring them to the building to be finished off. A group of the rest of the tomb vampires are shown to be planning an attack on the founding families. They had been planning it for a while and the group leader says to wait for the fireworks to start, but before then for everyone to blend in with the crowd. Anna shows up, acting like she's going along with the plan.

Damon confronts Jeremy about being rude to Elena and Stefan stops their argument

Elena tells Damon to stop with the flirty comments and says, "Don't make me regret being your friend". Elena tries to apologize to Jeremy, but he tells her to go to hell. Afterwards Damon follows him, saying not to talk to her sister that way and to cut Elena some slack. Damon grabs him and Stefan comes and tells Damon to let him go, explaining to Jeremy not to blame Elena and how they are responsible for what happened to Vicki.

John cuffs Sheriff Forbes after knocking her out

John and Mayor Lockwood explain the plan to Sheriff Forbes on stopping the vampire attack with the device, but she doesn't want to go along with the plan. She absolutely refuses, saying her mind is not going to get changed so John knocks her out and cuffs her to a pole. Anna explains to Damon about the tomb vampires plan. Damon tells Alaric to get stakes and Stefan about the tomb vampires being there.

John injects Damon with vervain

Mayor Lockwood tells his son to go home, and demands that he takes his friends with him. Tyler agrees, and Mayor Lockwood gives him his car keys. Anna finds Jeremy and tells him that she needed to see him. Mayor Lockwood announces the starting of the fireworks, and nods to a deputy, so he can tell John to activate the device.

The device affecting Anna

As Mayor Lockwood and his wife leave, Bonnie runs into the tomb vampires leader automatically sensing that he's a vampire and follows him. John activates the device and suddenly all the vampires start to grab their head in pain. John injects vervain into Damon as the deputies inject vervain into the rest of the vampires. Tyler, mysteriously also hears the device which causes him to crash his father's car. Alaric stops a cop from reaching Stefan saying he's got this one and he explains to Elena and Stefan that the cops are injecting everyone who've gone down with vervain.

Mayor Lockwood is also shown to mysteriously pass out. Several cops find Anna and take her also. The cops are dragging the vampires into the Gilbert building basement, along with Mayor Lockwood. Anna grabs John's leg, and he stakes Anna himself, while Damon helplessly watches. John pours oil over the basement floor and on some vampires and lights it on fire killing most of everyone in it. Stefan says that the device felt like needles were piercing his skull. Alaric explains that the cops were taking the vampires who've gone down to the Gilbert Building. Stefan and Elena now find out that Bonnie didn't really deactivate the device.

Mrs Lockwood finds Sheriff Forbes, where she tells her that Mayor Lockwood had passed out and was taken. Damon notices Mayor Lockwood as he comes to, telling him he's a vampire, and is confused to why the mayor's there and not affected by the vervain. Mayor Lockwood's neck gets snapped by a tomb vampire that was still alive. Paramedics are checking out Tyler and when one checks his eyes they are a mysterious yellow color which shocks him. Tyler wakes up soon afterwards. Caroline is shown to have fallen, while Tyler was being checked, and gets taken to the emergency room.

Stefan hears the building on fire, where Elena asks John where Damon is. John tells her that he is with the rest of the tomb vampires. Stefan asks Elena about another entrance, and he goes to rescue Damon. John stops Elena from following him and grabs her arm. John says, "If you take one more step, then I'll alert those deputies that they missed a vampire." Elena says, "I'm asking you not to", to which he replies, "That doesn't mean anything to me." In a matter-of-fact manner Elena states, "As my father it should." Taken aback, he acknowledges the truth of her statement and he lets her go. Bonnie tries to stop Stefan from going in the building, but he wants to save his brother. Elena comes, but Bonnie stops her and grabs her, chanting a spell that calms the fire in the basement just long enough for Stefan to save Damon, but to kill the rest of the vampires that are still alive. Elena tells Stefan that the cover story of the fire is that old wiring started it. Stefan says that he tries so hard to hate Damon but he can't. When Stefan worries about Damon interfering in their relationship, Elena comforts him and assures him that she loves him and that he has nothing to worry about.

Elena tells him that she's going to school to pick up her stuff, and afterwards will check on Jeremy. Jeremy is thinking about drinking the blood, but puts the vial of blood in a drawer. Damon appears, and they have a heart-to-heart talk about Anna dying, and that he wanted to help her. He offers to take his memories away again, but Jeremy refuses. Damon also apologizes for turning Vicki. Jeremy asks if it's true that vampires can turn off their emotions and if life is easier like that. Damon says life sucks either way, but you don't have to feel bad about it if you don't want to as a vampire.

Tyler apologizes for crashing the car and then Sheriff Forbes comes out and explains that Caroline has some internal bleeding and that she's in surgery. She tells Tyler to talk to his mom, about his dad. Jeremy drinks the blood, and pours out the whole bottle and takes over 20 of Elena's pain pills. Bonnie comes to see Stefan, and tells him that she saved him and Damon only because Elena loves him. She says that things have to change and that she knows who she is now.

As Damon is leaving Elena's house they talk to each other on how he came in the town to destroy it and that night he wanted to protect it. He says that he isn't good, it isn't in him. Damon kisses Elena and she kisses him back. Jenna catches them and says, "Its late. You should probably come inside." After Jeremy takes all the pills, he lies down, and his eyes close. John is in the kitchen, and he explains to Elena about Isobel telling her that the reason why he hates the vampires so much is because of her becoming one. Elena grabs a knife and cuts off his fingers including the one where his special ring was and stabs John, where it is revealed that Elena is actually Katherine pretending to be Elena. The real Elena walks in and goes towards the kitchen, where Katherine is, and the episode ends.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast




  • Antagonists: John Gilbert, Richard Lockwood and Katherine Pierce.
  • This episode marks the first modern day appearance of Katherine, who appears at the end of the episode and finishes Season One by cutting off John's fingers and stabbing him in the stomach.
  • Katherine is mistaken for Elena by both Damon and Jenna.
  • Mirror Scenes - Near the end of the episode, John closes the fridge and Katherine appears behind it, scaring him. Something like this happens in the later episode, Daddy Issues, when Elena closes the fridge and John appears, scaring her.
  • The Gilbert building was burned down in this episode when John Gilbert used it as the present-day version of Fell's Church, with the intention of killing all of the rounded up vampires in the fire.
  • This episode takes place in late February.
  • The fire trucks of the Mystic Falls Fire Department are painted white instead of red.
  • Richard Lockwood is killed in this episode, and this is his last appearance in the series and as Mayor. He has his neck snapped by another vampire named Charlie.
  • John also stakes and kills Anna in this episode.
  • This is the final episode of the third chapter of Season One, The Lineage Chapter.
  • In Season 2, episode - Know Thy Enemy, it's revealed by both John and Isobel, that the reason behind their plan to burn the Tomb vampires is so that Klaus wouldn't know about Elena's existence.



Body Count

Production Notes

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 3.47 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.16 million more than the previous episode.


  • Although the whole building was in flames, there was a Big Damn Fire Exit for Stefan to go inside and rescue Damon - thanks to Bonnie!


Damon: "It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl."

Tyler: "I said I was sorry."
Caroline: "You made out with his mother and then you beat him to a pulp. You're gonna have to do a little better than "I'm sorry."

Elena: "I think you should stop with the flirty little comments and the eye-thing you do."
Damon: "What eye-thing?"
Elena: "Don't make me regret being your friend, okay?"

Elena: "I'm asking you not to."
John: "That doesn't mean anything to me."
Elena: "As my father, it should."
John: You know?

Mayor Lockwood: "What are you doing here?"
Damon: "I'm a vampire. What's your excuse? The vervain didn't effect you. You're not a vampire. What the hell are you?"

Bonnie: "Elena is my best friend, and because she loves you, I couldn't let you or Damon die in that fire."
Stefan: "I'm very grateful, Bonnie, I hope you know that."
Bonnie: "I do, but I hope you know that things have to change. Damon has to change."
Stefan: "We both want the same thing."
Bonnie: "We both want to protect the people we care about. The difference is for you, Damon is one of them. You saw what I was able to do tonight. I know who I am now. If Damon spills so much as one drop of innocent blood, I'll take him down—- even if I have to take you with him."

Jeremy: "Even I can't remember why, I still feel empty, alone. Making me forget won't fix it."
Damon: "Life sucks either way, Jeremy. At least if you're a vampire, you don't have to feel bad about it if you don't want to."

Damon: "I came to this town wanting to destroy it, and tonight I found myself trying to protect it. How's that happen?"

Damon: "I'm not a hero, Elena. I don't do good. It's not in me."
Katherine: "Maybe it is."
Damon: "Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you for that."
Katherine: "You're welcome."

Katherine: "Hello, John. Goodbye, John."
(She stabs John with a large knife)



Last.fm_play.png "Every Time You Go" – Ellie Goulding
Last.fm_play.png "You've Changed" – Sia
Last.fm_play.png "It Is What It Is" – Lifehouse

Last.fm_play.png "True Faith (New Order Cover)" – Anberlin
Last.fm_play.png "Bloodstream" – Stateless


See also

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