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While You Were Sleeping

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The Vampire Diaries
Season 5, Episode 16
Air date March 20, 2014
Written by Caroline Dries
Directed by Pascal Verschooris
Episode Guide Transcript
Gone Girl
Rescue Me

While You Were Sleeping is the sixteenth episode of the fifth season of The Vampire Diaries and the one hundred and fifth episode of the series.


The Vampire Diaries 5x16 Extended00:31

The Vampire Diaries 5x16 Extended


A KILLER VIRUS — When Stefan tries to explain recent events to a very sick Elena, her first instinct is to call Damon. At the same time, Damon is trying to figure out how to make a disturbing confession to Elena. While going through Dr. Wes’ files, Caroline discovers a frightening secret, and is surprised when Enzo appears, claiming to have the solution everyone is searching for. At Enzo’s insistence, Caroline asks Stefan to meet her at a mysterious location where they are joined by a group of Travelers, including Sloan, who reveals new information on the importance of doppelgängers. During spring break on a mostly deserted Whitmore campus, Elena runs into Luke, a student who seems to know her, though she has no memory of meeting him. Recently dumped by his boyfriend, Luke proposes that he and Elena spend the break getting drunk together, but she sends him off on an urgent mission to find Bonnie and the newbie witch, Liv. Damon finally tells Elena the truth about his recent activities, and they come to a new agreement about their relationship.



Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



  • Antagonist: Katherine (indirectly), Elena.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Luke.
  • It has been three weeks since the events of 500 Years of Solitude, as evidenced when Stefan tells Elena that she was possessed by Katherine for that length of time.
  • This episode also marks the first appearance of Tom Avery, who, like Stefan, is a doppelgänger of Silas.
  • We learn Luke is a witch and Liv's twin brother.
  • The title refers to Elena's adjustment to changes since her absence during the time Katherine was controlling her body. 
  • We see Elena's vampire face for the first and only time this season, but it's the vampire-feeding Ripper version displayed by both Jesse and Damon that features darkened eye veins that extend beyond the cheekbones.
  • Elena made her first attempt to turn a vampire in this episode, though she ultimately stops herself before she can.
  • Since this episode takes place during spring break at Whitmore College, it is now late March 2012 in the series timeline. Stefan tells Elena it has been three weeks since Katherine took over her life and body in The Devil Inside, which means that 500 Years of Solitude takes place in late February 2012 or early March 2012.
  • This episode aired on the first day of spring in 2014.
  • Damon and Elena were cured from the "Ripper Compound" using the cures that were given to them by the Travelers via Enzo.
  • Markos is mentioned for the first time in this episode by Sloan and Enzo, and is identified as the leader of the Travelers.
  • It is revealed that Elena and Stefan are important to the Travelers.
  • This episode establishes that prior to the death of Katherine's body in 500 Years of Solitude and her final death (spirit) in Gone Girl there were four doppelgängers in existence at one time at the time of the Pilot: two who were vampires (Stefan Salvatore and Katherine Pierce) and two human (Elena Gilbert and Tom Avery).
    • This is the last episode that Nina Dobrev plays more than one character.
  • Damon and Elena have breakup sex at the end of this episode.
  • This is the first episode of the fourth chapter of Season Five, The Travelers Chapter


Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 2.28 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.09 million more than the previous episode.
  • This is the last episode of the series to date to have viewership over 2 million viewers. Oddly enough its Katherine's final appearance on the series to date as well.

Cultural References

  • While You Were Sleeping; a movie from 1995 starring Sandra Bullock.
  • While You Were Sleeping (Elementary) a TV episode.
  • While You Were Sleeping (album), a compilation album by Canadian rapper Classified.
  • While You Were Sleeping, a single by UK based band Sonic Boom Six.
  • While You Were Sleeping (South Korean TV Series).
  • While You Were Sleeping (song) by the Christian band Casting Crowns.
  • Spring Break is a one week break for students from their studies at college/university or in some cases elementary to high school which sometimes have a 2 week break from March to April. 
  • While You Were Sleeping is a song title used by Jill Sobule on her 2009 Album California Years.


Bonnie: "This is the virus, it's in your head."
Elena: "How exactly do we cure this?"
Stefan: "You have the antidote to this Ripper virus, right?"
Elena: "What's happening to me, Damon?!"
Damon: "Oh, yeah, it sucks. You gotta be craving carbs constantly."
Elena: "I love you!"
Damon: "Then stop loving me!"
Elena: "I can't!" 

Stefan: "We have a lot of catching up to do."
Elena: (to Damon) "The last thing I remember, I was running into your arms. I felt so safe."
Stefan: "Well, you know Katherine. She's not allowed to go out without a grand finale."
Elena: "She's turned me into a monster."
Bonnie: "You have to fight it!"
Elena: "I will kill you!"
Bonnie: "Elena, stop!"
Elena: "I love you!"
Damon: "Well, then, stop loving me!"
Elena: "I can't!"
Elena: "What the hell is happening to me?"

Liv: "I mean, you gotta admit, it was pretty rad. I locked a vampire in her dorm with an invisible seal.  I mean, how many newbie witches have that on their resume?"
Bonnie: "If they do, they don't brag about it as loudly."
Liv: "Oh, come on, this place is dead. It's like serious Spring Break-itis. Besides you're not even a little proud of me?"
Bonnie: "Okay, hot shot. (She pours a line of salt on the bar) Set it on fire."
Liv: "What?"
Bonnie: "It's a simple fire spell."
Liv: "Okay." (She chants but it doesn't work)
Bonnie: "Well, that's weird. Guess your resume still needs a little padding."

Damon: "Hilarious. Give me the damn cup.  Wipe that smile off your face."
Jeremy: "Hey, you're lucky I'm even helping you, considering the last thing you did for me was tell Enzo to strangle me to death."
Damon: "Quit crying. You're still around."
Matt: "Yeah, more than we can say for Aaron Whitmore. Weren't he and Elena tight?"
Jeremy: "Yep."
Matt: "Does she know Damon killed him?"
Jeremy: "I don't know, does she?"
'Damon: "No, she doesn't, because I'm going to be the one to tell her, and if either one of you clowns beats me to it, I'll rip your tongue out."



Last.fm_play.png "Aliv" – Empire of the Sun
Last.fm_play.png "Avant Gardner" – Courtney Barnett
Last.fm_play.png "Fire Breather" – Laurel




See also

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