Caroline is the previously unknown daughter of Karen Spencer, and the namesake of her aunt, Caroline Spencer Forrester, who died of leukemia in 1990 while married to Ridge Forrester. Caroline lived in New York City until 2012, when Brooke Logan offered her a designing position at Forrester Creations. Brooke wanted to divert her son Rick's personal and professional attention away from ex-wife Amber Moore. While Karen once had a relationship with Thorne Forrester and almost married lawyer Connor Davis before leaving Los Angeles in 1994, the identity of Caroline's father was unknown when she moved to Los Angeles.
The Forresters, Logans, and Spencers warmly welcomed Caroline, and were impressed with Caroline's gentle demeanor and work with the Caroline Spencer Cancer Foundation. Ridge, noticing the similarities between his deceased wife and her niece, was especially moved. Caroline sported a cancer ribbon tattoo on the back of her neck as a way to further memorialize her namesake, who died before she was born.
Brooke encouraged Rick to pursue Caroline, but Thomas was also interested. Caroline gravitated toward Rick, but Amber, who wanted him for herself, duped Caroline into believing Rick was a cross-dresser. Proceeding to explore things with Thomas, Caroline took him to meet her mother, Karen, who had just moved back to Los Angeles. Thomas asked questions about Caroline's father as Caroline pressed Karen to reveal their "family secret." Reluctantly, Karen introduced Thomas to her life partner, Danielle, who was Caroline's second mother. Caroline agreed to keep the truth of her two mothers from opinionated half-uncle Bill, who eventually came to accept Karen and Danielle's relationship.
Caroline and Thomas continued dating and came to the rescue of Marcus Forrester when he was arrested for hitting a man with his car while texting. Upon investigation, Caroline and Thomas found out that Marcus had only hit a pothole, while the man had been struck before Marcus' arrival. Rick made no secret of his continuing interest and arranged for Thomas to work with his former love interest, Hope Logan. Caroline was incensed when Thomas kissed Hope as a publicity stunt. But when Thomas was named interim CEO and got into a scuffle with Rick that ended with Rick crashing through a second-story window, Caroline dumped Thomas and began seeing Rick.
Caroline was surprised when Rick admitted he had deceived his half-sister, Hope, in order to keep her away from Caroline's cousin, Liam Spencer. Caroline understood and told Rick he should tell Hope the truth when he was ready. But then, Caroline overheard Bill and his wife, Katie Logan, arguing about Bill using Hope's father, Deacon Sharpe, to sabotage Hope and Liam's wedding.
Caroline confronted Bill, who menacingly told Caroline to keep quiet. During the argument on Bill's balcony, Caroline tripped and fell over the railing. Caroline maintained Bill's innocence when others suspected him of pushing her. In the hospital, Caroline was pleased when Rick confessed a deeper level of feeling, and later Rick and Caroline won a fashion showdown at Forrester that, with the help of Caroline's designs, installed Rick as president of the company.
The usually demure Caroline showed a new side when Rick took her to volunteer at Dayzee's, a coffee house that aided the homeless. Upset that Rick had changed their more glamorous plans, Caroline turned up her nose at Dayzee's and walked out. Caroline became frustrated when it seemed Rick wanted to spend all his time at Dayzee's. Caroline said she was more comfortable writing checks in her charity work, preferring not to get her hands dirty in the field.
Caroline taunted Rick about his volunteer work and failed to seduce him away from it, even by stripping down to her lingerie. Rick's increasing distance mystified Caroline until Dayzee confessed that Rick had become interested in Maya Avant, a down-on-her-luck actress/singer who had done jail time for a crime she didn't commit. Dayzee shared Caroline's desire to keep Rick and Maya apart. Caroline then confronted Maya and told her to stay away from Rick. Danielle was confused by Caroline's disdain for Maya, but Caroline simply said Danielle and Karen had spoiled her by raising her to appreciate the high life in New York. Caroline made sure to mispronounce Maya's name every time she came up in conversation.
Hoping to discredit Maya in Rick's eyes, Caroline bribed a porn producer to cast Maya in one of his movies. But Maya didn't take the bait, and Caroline wanted a refund. The porn producer refused and snapped a photo when Caroline flirted with porn star Herc. Later, when Forrester secretary Pam Douglas was updating the company's web site, she ran across the picture of Caroline caressing Herc. Not computer savvy, Caroline demanded that Pam delete the image from the Internet.
When Rick made Maya the spokesmodel for Forrester's Hope for the Future line, Caroline tried to make Maya feel insecure, then humiliated herself by running into a clothes rack. Feeling that Rick saw Maya as a charity case, Caroline decided to hold a fundraiser for the Caroline Spencer Cancer Foundation in an attempt to impress Rick. She got Rick, Thomas, Carter, Marcus, and Forrester photographer Oliver Jones to model sleepwear on the runway, and the benefit was a huge success, impressing Rick. But when Rick began wanting to have a serious talk with Caroline, she sidestepped his attempts, admitting she had been a snob and horrible to Maya, though deep down she really loved Rick and wanted to build a future with him.
Caroline confided to Bill that she knew Rick was trying to break up with her because he wanted Maya. Caroline feared that Maya hid a scandalous secret that would eventually be Rick's downfall. So Caroline was thrilled when Rick confessed that Maya said they had no future. Caroline gleefully threatened to fire Maya from Forrester, but it wasn't long before Maya admitted that she had only pushed Rick away because Bill was blackmailing her: Maya had been tricked into encountering her ex, Jesse Graves, whom she was to stay 500 feet away from or else risk going back to jail. Maya was sure Caroline was involved, but Bill's scheme genuinely shocked Caroline. Rick finally told Caroline that he was choosing Maya, and Caroline found herself alone.
Caroline arranged to embarrass Maya by designing prison-themed fashions for her to wear during a photo shoot, even setting up a mock jail cell. Maya wasn't thrilled but remained unfazed. Later, Carter, who was an aspiring actor in addition to being a lawyer, snagged a lead role on Room 8, a new web series. The show's producer, Rafael, was a friend of Caroline's in New York, so Caroline went to Rafael and convinced him to cast Maya as Carter's leading lady. Hoping to get Rick jealous enough that he'd dump Maya, Caroline began insinuating herself into Room 8, funnelling in money and adding sexy fantasy sequences to produce a real-life spark between Carter and Maya.
Caroline encouraged Rafael to edit Carter and Maya's PG-rated scenes so they appeared hotter, then made sure Rick got a preview at his Fourth of July party. When Rick seemed to be annoyed, Caroline sexed up the scenarios and again put the footage in front of Rick. Caroline could see that Carter was falling hard for Maya, so when the new scene showed them bonding over guinea pigs, Caroline brought in a waterbed for them instead. But Rafael was getting tired of Caroline's interference on the set, which Maya overheard. Maya blasted Caroline for her latest plot, while Caroline correctly predicted that Maya wouldn't have given up acting for Rick. As Rick walked in to discuss Room 8 incorporating Forrester fashions into the show, an escaped guinea pig scared Caroline; she jumped on the waterbed and punctured it with her heels. Rafael fired the soaking Caroline, who continued to insist she was the right woman for Rick.
Caroline realized that being a brat had gotten her nowhere and tried a more sincere approach when Rick came under fire at Forrester for declining sales, with Thomas and his uncle, Thorne Forrester, clamoring for Rick's job. Caroline threw herself into rebranding Hope For The Future and even made nice with Maya. At the all-important HFTF fashion show, the new foreign buyers Rick and Caroline had invited were unusually quiet, causing concern. But when global orders came pouring in, Caroline and Rick were thrilled. Caroline wanted to celebrate with Rick, but Rafael arrived with news that he had seen Carter coming out of Maya's apartment the morning after the premiere screening of Room 8. Caroline relayed this information to Rick, who got drunk with the buyers. Caroline spent the night at Rick's, happy to have reconnected with him in bed.
When Maya came by to apologize to Rick, Caroline told Maya that her relationship with Rick was over. After arguing with Maya, Rick told an ecstatic Caroline that he wanted to pick up where they left off. Caroline continued to be understanding as Rick's thoughts remained with Maya, who had agreed to marry Carter. Caroline got a chance to meet her new cousin, Wyatt Fuller, another long-lost son of her uncle Bill's.
Caroline got closer to Rick while they worked on incorporating a priceless blue diamond loaned to Quinn Artisan Jewelers into the HFTF line, but Caroline was shocked when Rick brought her to the entrance of Forrester, where they met, and proposed to her. Caroline happily accepted, and was touched when Hope, who was becoming a friend to Caroline, made an engagement party out of the Forrester Thanksgiving dinner. When Rick wanted to take things a step further and get married while everyone was already in attendance, Caroline was happy to oblige him. Despite the animosity that had existed between Caroline and Maya, the ladies set aside their differences; with Maya giving Caroline her blessing to marry Rick and Carter officiating at the ceremony, Caroline became Mrs. Rick Forrester.Months later, Caroline was upset to learn that Maya had approached Rick for a reconciliation, despite being engaged to Carter; Caroline balked when Maya said that she had never had closure after breaking up with Rick and suggested that Carter and Caroline were rebounds. Caroline was surprised when Maya played a recording of Oliver talking about using young Aly Forrester to obtain job security within the company, and didn't believe Maya's claim. Caroline had to travel out of town for a while, returning to learn that Maya was still trying to get Rick's attention. After having designed for the HFTF line, Caroline wanted to spread her wings and attempt designing couture, tentatively showing her initial sketches to Ridge. When Ridge suggested improvements, he clasped his hand over Caroline's and guided it across the pad to show her how to make the fixes. Caroline knew that Ridge had fallen out of a helicopter in the Middle East and came home suffering from brain damage, but Ridge confided that the incident had left him unable to draw, so Caroline agreed when he asked her to secretly help him come up with a collection for increasingly impatient company president Rick.
As Caroline worked with Ridge, she was unprepared for the electricity between them. She caught herself fantasizing about him, and felt she had no choice but to tell Rick the real reason they were working together. Rick felt that Ridge was using Caroline to be able to design, but Caroline insisted that the mentoring she was receiving by working with Ridge was invaluable. However, both Caroline and Ridge realized that something was happening between them, and Caroline pulled away when Ridge finally kissed her. The designers ended their partnership when Ridge's ability to draw started to come back.
Eric Forrester, CEO of Forrester Creations, was about to step down and install Ridge as his replacement when Maya interrupted, reporting that she had seen Caroline and Ridge kissing. Caroline's world imploded as Rick left her and began an affair with Maya, making sure to slam Ridge and Caroline every chance at every turn. Rick became CEO, and, ignoring Caroline's pleas to talk, he tried to sabotage Ridge and Caroline's collection by overpricing it. Meanwhile, Bill, who had been told about Ridge and Caroline's kisses, confronted Caroline, heatedly referring to her as his daughter; Caroline was horrified when she later learned that Bill also confronted Ridge, starting a fistfight with him on the Forrester Sky Lounge. Their collection a success, Caroline told Ridge she was falling for him just as Rick came to Caroline for a reconciliation. Caroline was unsure after Rick had treated her so badly, but when Ridge told Caroline he was going to recommit himself to his fiancée, Katie Logan, Caroline decided to go back to Rick after all.
Caroline was surprised when Rick gave her and Ridge his blessing to design more couture together. Determined to repair their marriage, Caroline told Rick they should have a baby, but felt slighted when Rick always seemed too busy or too tired to make love.