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The Vampire Diaries Wiki

What are you?
Elena to Stefan before finding out the world of vampires.

You're Undead to Me is the fifth episode of the first season of The Vampire Diaries and the fifth episode of the series overall.


NOTHING HURTS MORE, THAN THE TRUTH — Stefan is hopeful that his plan to get rid of Damon is working. Elena and Jenna are concerned about Jeremy's relationship with Vicki. Stefan decides to reveal parts of his past to Elena. At a fund-raising car washBonnie is surprised by abilities she didn't know she possessed, and seeks advice from her grandmother. Meanwhile, Elena hears a disturbing story about the Salvatore Family from a stranger.


Damon lying on the floor weak.

Damon has been in the basement for three days; Stefan explains this when Damon asks how long he's been in there. Stefan says that he is taking Damon to their family's crypt and explains that Damon's skin will desiccate in a week and he will become a living corpse, unable to hurt anyone. He explains that Damon won't need his ring anymore..


Elena wakes up and tries to write in her journal, but can't decide what to write. She goes to the bathroom and finds Vicki brushing her teeth. A confused Elena goes downstairs and asks Jenna if she is aware that Vicki is in the house. Jenna seems fine with it. Jenna sees her ex-boyfriend Logan on the news, and she and Elena discuss Stefan's absence, and Elena mocks the message Stefan sent her, mimicking it. 

Caroline talks to Tiki via the phone about which outfit to wear, and sees a shadow. She freaks out, and ends her conversation with Tiki. Damon's compulsion has begun to work. Stefan looks at his brother from the cell door, and Damon tells him that the lies will catch up to him, as long as he keeps lying to himself about what he is. At the school, Elena learns the car wash's rules from Caroline, before Caroline "scolds" and "judges" their clothing choices. A man arrives with his car, hoping it will get washed, and Tiki comments that it is a "POS". Bonnie, angered with Tiki's attitude, makes the hose run and Tiki gets wet in the process.


Jenna watches Logan as he reports from the car wash. Elena offers to have Stefan's ring put in her bag, but he declines. Elena informs Caroline that they've run out of towels. Caroline goes to get more towels, but sees a vision of Damon in the hallway. Elena, running the cash table, serves the man who confronted Stefan at the Grill, and he reveals that he stayed at the Salvatore Boarding House and met Stefan in June, 1953, after Stefan's uncle Joseph was killed by an "animal" in the woods. Elena is deeply disturbed by the conversation, and questions Stefan on whether there are other Salvatore's in Mystic Falls. He lies and says that everyone has just drifted away, but mentions Zach.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



  • Antagonist: Damon Salvatore.
  • According to Stefan, three days have passed since the events of Family Ties.
  • Elena realizes that Stefan is not human in this episode, after seeing news footage from 1953 where Stefan is lurking in the background.
    • Elena confronts Stefan at the end of this episode by asking him: "What are you?"
      • It was reveled at a Paleyfest interview that the original scripting of Elena's confrontation had to be rewritten due to it's similarities to a similar scene in the first Twilight novel.
  • It is stated that vampires need to feed fairly often; in less than a fortnight, a starving vampire under the influence of vervain will become a living mummy.
    • Stefan planned to let Damon desiccate enough so that he could place him in the Salvatore family crypt for fifty years, after which point Stefan stated they could "reevaluate."
  • When enticed or hungered by the smell of blood (or even just angered enough, as seen in the pilot episode) vampires' fangs extend, the whites of their eyes darken to a dark, blood-red color, and the veins around the eyes become raised and more apparent.
  • It was demonstrated that Damon still has power over Caroline in his weakened state, even though they were a far distance away from each other. This caused her to see him in the mirror, and allowed Damon to send a crow to her that would lead her to the Salvatore house so he could compel her to free him.
  • Bonnie's anger toward Tiki after she insulted someone at the car wash caused her to subconsciously use her magic to make the hose backfire on her. Grams told her in Fool Me Once that witches' emotions fuel their powers. Bonnie was angered by Tiki's behavior, which thus triggered her powers. Earlier, she wasn't able to light a candle, as she hadn't yet learned how to consciously trigger her powers yet.
  • The stone in the Salvatore rings (as well as all daylight rings/amulets) is revealed to be lapis lazuli.
  • Caroline was no longer wearing scarves around her neck in this episode; this is because Damon had been dosed with vervain and locked up in the cellar and was unable to feed on her, allowing her wounds to finally heal.
  • Damon kills Zach in this episode. Due to Zach's death, any vampire is now able to enter the Salvatore Boarding House without invitation.
  • The Salvatore crypt makes its first appearance in the series, as this is the place where Vicki's friends are hanging out when she takes Jeremy to meet them. According to Sheriff Forbes it's located in the old cemetery.
  • This episode marks Vicki's last full episode as a human.
  • This episode marks the first appearance Sheila Bennett.
  • Logan is related to the reporter Franklin Fell, who reported the 1953 "animal attack" that killed Joseph Salvatore.
    • We learn why Damon killed his relative on June 11, 1953 in The Cell, a Season Five episode.
    • Elena sees Stefan in the background of the June 12th, 1953 news footage of Logan Fell's story about Joseph Salvatore's death. This is what leads Elena to figuring out the truth about both Stefan and Damon.
  • Logan steals the Gilbert pocketwatch/compass from Jeremy's room this episode.
  • The crystal that Damon took from the Lockwood home in "Family Ties" projects a pentagram when light is shined through it. It is revealed by Grams that it belonged to Emily Bennett, their ancestor, and it was her talisman, which is a very powerful tool for witches.
  • Logan mentions that there is a Brady in the tech department at the station, but it's unknown if it is the same Brady from Season Two
  • Damon kills the crow that he has been controlling to feed on its blood. This is the last episode to show a Vampire using this ability. 
  • Zach tells Damon that it's his violent behavior that has caused him to be too afraid to have a family of his own.
    • Though this was unknown at the time, it was revealed in the Season Six episode Black Hole Sun that Zach had a girlfriend named Gail in the 1990s, with whom he had a daughter named Sarah in 1994. After a misunderstanding with Stefan, Damon angrily killed Gail while she was still pregnant with Sarah, but Stefan was able to get her to the hospital quickly enough that Sarah was able to be saved, thanks to a cesarean section by Grayson Gilbert. However, Zach was unaware of that he had a daughter, or that her mother was killed, because Stefan compelled Zach to forget about Gail and Sarah after Gail's death for his own well-being, and Sarah was subsequently adopted by the Nelson family.


Body Count

Production Notes

  • Tyler does not appear in this episode.
    • It is also the first episode in the series in which he is not featured.
  • This episode started four days after the end of Family Ties.

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 3.52 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.01 million less than the previous episode.


Damon: "Where's my ring?"
Stefan: "You won't be needing it anymore."

Stefan: "During the Dark Ages, when a vampire's actions threatened to expose or bring harm upon the entire race, they would face judgment."

Damon: "You know what will happen if I don't feed on blood."
Stefan: "You'll grow weaker and weaker, and eventually you won't be able to move or speak. In a week your skin will desiccate and you'll mummify, a living corpse. Unable to hurt anyone. Ever."

Damon: "So, what, you're just going to keep me in the basement forever?"

Damon: "I'm stronger than you think."
Stefan: "You always have been. But you're not stronger than the vervain."

Jeremy: "I'm a drug-using delinquent. Girl in bed doesn't really rank. Sorry."

Elena: "Jenna, are you aware of what's going on upstairs?"
Jenna: "Uh-huh."
Elena: "And you have no objection?"
Jenna: (shrugs) "He could be craftier about it."

Jenna: "Have you heard from Stefan?"
Elena: "Not since he left that very vague message three days ago. (She mimics Stefan's voice) 'Hi, um, Elena, I, um, I have something I have to do, I'll, uh, explain in a few days.'"

Stefan: (to Zach) "I came here to live a life. It's about time I get back to that. And Elena, if she's still speaking to me."

Zach: (about lying to Elena) "You came back here because you wanted to live as normal a life as you could. You knew this was going to be part of it."

Caroline: "It's like there's holes in my memory lately, it's just...weird."

Caroline: "Maybe I let him bite me."
Bonnie: "Why would you do that?"

Caroline: (about the crystal from Family Ties) "All I know is it's mine now."
Bonnie: "It's ugly."

Caroline: "The Sexy Suds Car Wash is tomorrow. The football team and the band have committed. Well, not all the band. Just the ones who can pull off a bikini."

Stefan: "I'm so sorry I haven't called."
Elena: "No worries. I'll live."

Stefan: "I was dealing with Damon."
Elena: "And did you? Deal with Damon?"
Stefan: "Yes."
Elena: "For four days?"

Caroline: "Stefan, where's Damon? He's got some serious apologizing to do."
Stefan: "He's gone, Caroline."
Caroline: "When's he coming back?"
Stefan: "He's not coming back."

Elena: (about Damon being gone) "This is a good thing, Caroline."
Caroline: "I know that."

Zach: "I'm full of vervain. I've been putting it in my coffee for sixteen years."

Damon: "Family only runs so deep, huh?"
Zach: "We're not family, Damon."

Damon: "I don't guess I could talk you into bringing me a rabbit or something? I'd settle for Stefan's diet at this point."

Damon: "You're like your grandfather. He didn't like it when I came to visit either."
Zach: "You don't visit, Damon. You appear unannounced."

Damon: "Someone has to mow the lawn."

Matt: "Yeah, I'm not going to lie. Your brother and my sister, that's weird."

Matt: "How late is he?"
Elena: "Hitting the hour mark."

Matt: (about what Stefan's hiding) "Like what? That he's a serial killer and keeps a clown suit in his trunk?"

Matt: (about Stefan) "He's great at football, he's a bit of a loner and, as much as I hate saying it... he might be a nice guy."

Elena: "Don't you get it? Every question gets a vague, non-answer."

Tiki's Grandfather: (to Stefan) "I know you."

Tiki's Grandfather: (to Stefan) "You haven't aged a day."

Logan: (to Sheriff Forbes about tracking the vampires) "Well someone who comes out only at night should eventually become obvious."

Jenna: (to Logan) "You have an hour. Make it count."

Jeremy: "Don't answer a question with another question."

Stefan: "Jeremy told me that chicken Parmesan is one of your favorites, and I happen to be a good cook. Italian roots demand it."

Stefan: "I figure if you're going to dump me, you should at least know who you're dumping."

Stefan: "So, let's start with Katherine. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever met. She had this perfect olive skin. And she had this laugh-- it was ridiculous. Her laugh made you laugh. And she was fun, she knew how to have a good time. But, Katherine was also very impatient, and entitled, and selfish, and impulsive. Enter Damon. He claims that he was with her first. I don't know. I do know I did some things that I'm not proud of, and my biggest regret is not being able to make it right before she died. I miss her, but I'm no longer crippled by her loss."



Last.fm_play.png "When a heart Breaks" – S.O. Stereo
Last.fm_play.png "Be There" – Howie Day
Last.fm_play.png "Don't Trust Me" – 3OH!3
Last.fm_play.png "Save the Lies" – Gabriella Cilmi
Last.fm_play.png "Boom" – Anjulie
Last.fm_play.png "Beauty of the Dark" – Mads Langer


See also