In Season One, At the start of the school year, Elena meets Stefan and is drawn to him. They develop a connection, flaring Matt's jealousy. Caroline Forbes is also jealous, as she has feelings for Stefan. Elena's best friend, Bonnie Bennett, encourages Elena and her feelings for Stefan. Elena later invitesStefan into her house.
Elena meets Stefan's brother, Damon, who tells her about Stefan's first love, Katherine. Elena discovers Stefan's bad relationship with Damon and tells him that they're not going to work out. She leaves the Night of the Comet party early, upsetting Stefan, but later shows up at his house. They watch the comet together and kiss.
Elena tries to convince Bonnie to accept Stefan, as she has reservations about him. At a dinner with Stefan, Bonnie, Damon and Caroline, Elena discovers that Katherine died and both Stefan and Damon loved her. Damon encourages Elena to quit the cheer squad as she no longer loves it and she convinces Stefan to try out for the football team. At a pep rally, Stefan gives Elena a necklace. Damon tries to compel her to kiss him but she slaps him.
Elena attends the Founder's Party with Stefan. Damon apologises to her and admits he's trying to punish Stefan by lashing out. Elena promises not to get in the middle of it. Frustrated when Stefan won't open up to her, Elena turns her back on him, only to apologise when she sees bite marks on Caroline and confronts Damon.
Three days later, Elena relays her concerns about her relationship with Stefan to Matt. When Stefan arrives, a man claims to know who Stefan is. At a car wash, Elena meets the man again and he claims that he saw Stefan, who has not changed, in 1963. Elena convinces Logan to let her into news archives. She sees Stefan on camera and goes to his house, demanding to know what he is.
Stefan tells Elena that he's a vampire but that Damon is the one who was killing. He confesses that Katherine was the one who turned them both in 1864 and tells her that Damon has turned Vicki Donovaninto a vampire. Elena promises to keep his secret but breaks up with him, causing her extreme emotional pain.
Elena visits Stefan to see how Vicki is. When Elena tells Vicki that she can't see Jeremy anymore, Vicki attacks and threatens her. Elena takes Jeremy to a Halloween Party to take his mind off Vicki, unaware that he plans on meeting her there. Elena finds them together and Vicki, furious, bites her so Stefan stakes her. Elena slaps Damon, blaming him. Later, Elena asks Stefan if he can erase Jeremy's memory of Vicki's death. He says he can't, but Damon volunteers instead. Elena tells Stefan that she still has feelings for him.
Bonnie tells Elena that she's a witch. Elena realises that she still has feelings for Stefan, but when she goes to tell him she meets Lexi Bransonand assumes they have begun a relationship. Stefan later arrives at Elena's house and tells her that Lexi's a vampire and his oldest friend. He invites her to Caroline's party, but she refuses only to turn up later by herself. Lexi tells Elena that "when its real, you can't walk away." Elena and Stefan later witness Damon kill Lexi, but when Stefan tries to kill Damon, Elena confesses that she still wants to be with him but he can't kill Damon. He rebuffs her.
Elena watches Bonnie throw her talisman away and is shocked when it resurfaces in Bonnie's bag. Elena tries to repair Caroline and Bonnie's friendship. Caroline suggests holding a seance for Bonnie's ancestorEmily. When Emily possesses Bonnie, Caroline brushes it off as a joke but Elena calls Stefan to warn him. Elena observes Damon almost kill Bonnie in his attempts to stop Emily from destroying the crystal. Elena later tells Bonnie all about vampires.
Stefan tells Elena that he's leaving town to protect her. She's hurt by this. Stefan tells her that Logan's a vampire and that he has taken Caroline hostage, however, when Caroline is freed safely Elena offers to drive him home despite his ability to get home himself. When they arrive at Stefan's house, she confesses her love for him and he kisses her. They sleep together for the first time but, when he leaves to get her some water, she finds a picture of Katherine and discovers she looks exactly like her. She drives away from him, hitting a man on the road who then gets up and attacks her as she screams.
Damon saves Elena and, after freeing her from the wreckage, she says "I look like her" before passing out in his arms. He carries her away and, when she wakes up in his car, he tells her that they're going to Atlanta. She ignores a call from Stefan and accepts Damon's offer to have fun for "five minutes". They arrive at Bree's Bar and Elena meets Bree, a witch and former flame of Damon's. Elena and Damon bond and Elena ends up getting drunk. Whilst taking a phone call from Jenna outside, she's kidnapped by Lee. When Damon goes to save her, Lee beats him up and almost kills him until Elena persuades him not to. Lee tells her that he was Lexi's boyfriend and leaves, sparing Damon in Lexi's memory. Damon returns Elena to Stefan and she demands the truth from him. He tells her that he saved her from the crash, learned she was adopted, and that he loves her. They kiss. Elena later confronts Jenna about the fact that she's adopted.
The night before the 50's Decade Dance, Jeremy invites a pizza guy inside, unaware that it is Noah. Noah later attacks Elena, but Stefan arrives in time to chase him off. Damon gives Elena the chance to attend the dance as bait, and she accepts. Whilst there, she receives a phone call from Noah who threatens to kill Jeremy if she doesn't leave the dance. Elena runs away and is able to fend him off until Stefan and Damon arrive. They interrogate him and discover that he's only following Elena because he was in love with Katherine, and he points them in the direction of Emily's grimoire before they kill him. Stefan later tells Elena that he has promised to help Damon use the grimoire to release Katherine from a tomb but it was a lie. Elena promises to help him.
When the vampires capture Stefan as revenge for being the reason they were locked away, Elena, Damon and Alaric help to save him. Elena helps Stefan escape and feeds him her blood as he is too weak. He then killsFrederick. Elena later consoles Matt after Vicki's body is found and he accepts her comfort in favour of Caroline's.
Elena asks Stefan to escort her to the Founder's Ball and, after witnessing Stefan's new out of control nature, he confesses to her that he's having trouble with his bloodlust.
Bonnie returns to town following her grandmother's death and tells Elena that because she blames Stefan and Damon for her death, she's not going to make Elena choose. Stefan agrees to be Elena's escort in thepageant. However, Damon tells her that Stefan is addicted to human blood and is out of control. Elena and Stefan get into a fight, and Stefan disappears. Damon steps in as Elena's escort and they dance together. Damon, Elena and Bonnie find Stefan about to kill Amber but Bonnie stops him. Later, Elena confronts Stefan but he attacks her. Realising what he's become, he breaks down in her arms, and she injects him with vervain. Elena and Damon lock him in the basement. Elena and Damon begin to bond and Elena tells Stefan that she has faith in him, letting him out and giving him his ring. When she discovers he has left without his ring, planning to kill himself, she finds him by the quarry. She convinces him to keep fighting for her and they kiss.
|When Elena's biological vampire mother arrives, demanding a meeting with Elena, she demands to go on a killing spree otherwise. She talks to Elena and reveals she wants the device which Damon has. Elena begins to cry and Bonnie sees her, but walks away. The next day, Bonnie shows up at her door and apologises. Bonnie agrees to deactivate the device before giving it to Isobel and Elena convinces Damon that it will work. Elena gives the device to Isobel, thanking her for being a disappointment, and Isobel tells Elena that Damon's in love with her. Jeremy discovers that Elena has been lying to him and erased his memory about Vicki, making him act very cold towards her.
On Founder's Day, John activates the device and Elena and Alaric hide Stefan to protect him. They discover that Damon has been caught and Stefan goes in the burning building to find him. Elena confronts John about being her biological father, and tries to follow Stefan, but Bonnie stops her, dimming the flames so that Stefan can rescue Damon.
Elena returns home to discover that Damon is already there. Damon thanks Elena for being the reason Bonnie decided to save him and they end up kissing only to be caught by Jenna. She tells Elena to come inside, where she finds John. John tells her about the truth behind his feelings for Isobel and hatred for vampires. Elena then cuts off John's fingers and stabs him, revealing herself as Katherine. The real Elena returns home, telling Stefan over the phone that somebody stole her things, and hears Katherine and John.