Supernatural Day is a holiday around here at Nerds and Beyond. This year — with it being the final one we’ll get with new episodes on the horizon and all (sorry for the reminder) — we decided to go big. Really big. So, what is Supernatural Day without a rewatch of the best episodes the show has to offer? No holiday of ours, that’s for sure. Our staff put together a list of their favorite episodes, giving you a starting point for your own greatest hits rewatch.
Did your favorite not make the list? Let us know yours in the comments so others can enjoy it, too!
“Changing Channels” Season 5, Episode 8 (Picked by Kaity, Content Manager)
Supernatural is known for both its comedy and high-stakes drama, complete with shocking turns in larger than life storylines. My favorite episode, “Changing Channels,” brings both of those together beautifully. What starts off as one of the most hilarious episodes — with Sam and Dean stuck in various chaotic television situations at the hands of the Trickster — turns into one of the biggest bombshells ever dropped. The comedic performances that quickly transform into the dramatic and heartfelt emotional powerhouse that is the episode’s final act show the ranges and talent of all the actors involved, and the skill of the show’s creator Eric Kripke and season five’s writing team. Plus, who doesn’t love an appearance from the Trickster?
“Don’t Call Me Shurley” Season 11, Episode 20 (Picked by Briar, Owner/President)
This episode was brilliantly written by Robbie Thompson, and was an answer to questions and theories long debated on. In previous seasons, fans were quick to wonder if the lovable Chuck (played by Rob Benedict) could perhaps be God. In this episode we not only got our answer, but an epic story to go along with it. What makes this a “must watch” episode is not only the plot and how important it was to the story, but also the writing, the acting (not only by Benedict, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles — but Curtis Armstrong as well) and the unique look at how the character of Chuck evolved. Plus, it contains the soul-wrenching performance of “Fare Thee Well” performed by Benedict himself. If you’re a fan of Supernatural, this is one episode you can’t miss.
“The End” Season 5, Episode 4 (Picked by Lindsey, Editor Manager)
“The End” is a masterpiece written by Ben Edlund, who has unsurprisingly penned several of my favorite episodes of Supernatural. This episode in particular is jam packed with a surplus of goodies — an alternate universe, Dean Winchester vs Dean Winchester, the absolute best alternate version of Castiel, a dash of Chuck Shurley himself, Lucifer!Sam, and the looming threat of zombies infected with a demonic virus. Supernatural‘s leads were all given a chance to really flaunt their acting skills in this one, as Ackles and Collins portrayed different versions of their characters while Padalecki took on the role of an entirely different character altogether. Though dark and laden with several emotional scenes, “The End” is also laced with humor — you heard Chuck, hoard that toilet paper! I will forever wish that the plot of this story had been stretched across at least another episode, because this was such a fascinating universe that opened up endless possibilities.
“Lazarus Rising” Season 4, Episode 1 (Picked by Julia, Editor)
Supernatural has had plenty of strong season premieres, but none quite stand out to me the way “Lazarus Rising” does. Of course, I was thrilled that Dean was finally back from his stint in Hell, but I was also fascinated with the unknown entity trying to communicate with him. I wanted to know what could possibly talk using head-splitting ringing, shattering glass, and electricity in revolt. I was excited to learn more about the angels Sam and Dean would have to deal with throughout the rest of series, and who would soon prove themselves to be formidable adversaries and occasional allies. We were also introduced to Castiel, who instantly became my favorite character (his dramatic introduction was perfect.) It was so well-written, well-executed, and remains one of my top episodes. I still get chills when I rewatch it.
“Wayward Sisters” Season 13, Episode 10 (Picked by Sarah, Writer)
When this episode first aired, it held a completely different meaning than it does now, because it was set as a backdoor pilot for a spin-off with the women of Supernatural. Now, we all know the outcome, so I do not want to dwell on that. The episode became much more — 42 minutes of a television show became a movement and it’s remarkable.
This is a must rewatch for me because it’s full of powerful, strong kickass women, and Dean Winchester eating a lizard. Claire is now a coming into her own as a hunter; she heads home when getting a call from Jody saying a version of the iconic line that started the show, “Hi, Claire. It’s Sam and Dean. They’re missing. They were on a hunting trip, and I haven’t heard from them for a few days. It’s time to come home.” It had the girls working together to find and rescue Sam and Dean from the bad place, with Kaia and Claire going through the rift. The funniest moment of the episode for me was when the boys were sitting around a fire and Dean was eating a lizard, “It’s a lizard, it tastes like a lizard.” Dean puts it down when they leave after hearing a noise, but it’s Dean, he doesn’t leave food behind and he goes back for it. Bobby once said, “Family don’t end in blood,” so seeing Claire realizing that she needs people — she needs a family after losing Kaia — and Donna, Jody, Alex, Patience, and Claire having dinner as a family, is important.
“Baby” Season 11, Episode 4 (Picked by Michelle M., Writer)
“Baby” is one of my favorite episodes because it is shot entirely from inside of the 1967 Chevrolet Impala that the boys drive, affectionately named Baby. Baby’s point of view makes for an interesting story, and in a feat of cinematic genius simultaneously allows the audience a chance to see what happens on those long road trips. We get to see Dean argue with Sam about the lack of beer in the green cooler, and Sam post-coital as he wakes up in Baby’s backseat, subsequently causing Dean to tease him and begin playing “Night Moves” by “the best songwriter of all time,” Bob Seger. Then, during perhaps one of the best music montages of all time for Supernatural, we are blessed with some amazing brotherly moments. As Dean and Sam fall asleep in the Impala — Dean in the front seat and Sam in the back seat — they discuss their dreams. Dean’s are about their dad, John, and having a normal childhood, and Sam’s are about darker things. After a quick “Bitch…Jerk,” exchange, Sam drifts off and we get a small cameo appearance from Matt Cohen, driving the Impala, talking to Sam as John…or so we think.
Later on, we get a glimpse at an amazingly choreographed fight scene that takes place entirely inside and around the Impala. Jensen’s fighting skills are on display as he decapitates the monster with the car’s door! After the monster is ganked and the boys are ready to leave, Dean says “Let’s go home,” and Sam replies “We are home.” Gets me every time.
“Sacrifice” Season 8, Episode 23 (Picked by Kailey, Writer)
One of my all time favorite finales! Sam is ready to close the gates of Hell with Crowley at the center of the task, but there’s a catch — he will die if he completes the last task. In one of my favorite brother scenes, we see Sam telling Dean how much he has let him down over the years. He even prayed in the church and he is visibly upset and run down from the effects of the two tasks finished before. Dean is reassuring his brother that they can and will do anything — together. It’s the pep talk of the century. “Don’t you dare, think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you.” Sam decides to stop and as Dean wraps his hurt hand he tells him, “We will figure it out together. Just like we always do.” As the angels fall from the sky and Sam’s health continues going downhill, the audience is on their toes. This episode reminds me that no matter how many bad decisions or mistakes we’ve made, there is nothing we can’t come back from.
“The Real Ghostbusters” Season 5, Episode 9 (Picked by Muriel, Writer)
It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me that I am a big Chuck fan, so I had to choose an episode with him. “The Real Ghostbusters” is, along with “Don’t Call Me Shurley,” my favorite Chuck episode. Sam and Dean arrive at a hotel following a text from Chuck asking them to come as soon as possible. When they arrive, Chuck is surprised to see them, and it turns out that it’s Becky, the Supernatural book’s fan, who stole Chuck’s phone and called them to show the brothers the first ever Supernatural convention. Sam and Dean are horrified to see that Chuck’s books have a fan following. The convention has panels, cosplayers and of course a role-playing game involving a ghost story that turns deadly. I love this episode because conventions are a big part of the Supernatural fandom and it was amazing to see the show refer to it and to the links that develop between people in the fandom. This episode has everything — humor, fights, an interesting ghost story, a moment of bravery from Chuck, and a way to show the brothers that they have an impact on the world, even if most people don’t believe it’s real. Also, Chuck gets the girl!
“Yellow Fever” Season 4, Episode 6 (Picked by Shannon, Writer)
Anyone that has watched any part of Supernatural knows that Dean is a “man’s man” and does not usually show much fear to anything. That all changes in this episode and it’s hilarious to watch. In this episode Dean gets infected with “ghost sickness” — which makes him fear just about everything. Sam and Bobby are on a race against time to figure out how to save Dean before he returns back to Hell. In the meantime, we get to see Dean scared of various things, along with some of the hallucinations he’s having. The most popular scene from this episode is when a cat appears from a locker and scares Dean. And at the end of it all is some nice family teasing with the boys and Bobby over beer. In a show that can be dramatically intense, it’s nice to hear Sam have a legitimate laugh during this teasing. Be sure to stay around during the credits, because this is the episode that brought us the video of Jensen lip synching and dancing to “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor while he was in and on Baby!
“The Rapture” Season 4, Episode 20 (Picked by Kailin, Writer)
It was a jaw-dropping moment when Supernatural introduced its audience to angels for the first time. This mysterious being walked into the barn confronting Dean and Bobby, and we find out who Castiel is, changing the show forever. Dean iconically asks who he is wearing and Castiel responds, “This is my vessel.” This moment comes around full circle in “The Rapture” when we are introduced to Jimmy Novak, the man who sacrificed everything to become Castiel’s vessel. Jimmy is abruptly discarded by Castiel after an angel show down. Dean and Sam find him, and the audience learns about how he became the vessel to one of the most powerful angels in the universe. It was heartbreaking learning about this innocent man’s life, along with how he became a vessel, then seeing him reunite with his family only to watch everything get torn from his hands once again. In the end, Jimmy made the ultimate sacrifice. He is not only the face to the show’s most beloved angel, but helped create other changing moments in the show — for without Jimmy Novak, we would have no Castiel or Claire Novak.
“Abandon All Hope” Season 5, Episode 10 (Picked by Rachel F., Writer)
With the two-hero story that constructed the exploration of masculinity since Supernatural’s inception, the narrative hardly served up a female perspective until season two. There came in a mother and daughter duo who made their presence continually known through both their tough exteriors and tumbles with the Winchester brothers. Jo Harvelle held a certain allure for a 16-year old who, alike to the character, was somewhat of an outsider. Whilst she met her demise in season five’s “Abandon All Hope,” it was the sort of wish list episode one could hope to say goodbye in. In a heightened arc that sees the hunters hunt the devil, it is perfectly balanced between the hilarity of the characters together and the pain that came for an emotional sacrifice. It’s years later and I don’t think I’ll ever quite be over Dean tenderly handing Jo the atomic bomb which later sees her blow up alongside her mother.
“Fan Fiction” Season 10, Episode 5 (Picked by Nicole M., Writer)
One of my all time favorite Supernatural episodes is the 200th, “Fan Fiction.” The episode itself is like a love letter to the fans and it’s always one of my go-to episodes to rewatch! Robbie Thompson was able to capture what it means to be a passionate fan with such a level of honesty and respect, yet without any stereotypical belittling, especially with the characters Marie and Maeve. From the brothers’ response to the creative liberties taken in the musical, to their truly heartwarming reaction, to the amazing rendition of “Carry on Wayward Son,” the episode has the perfect mixture of humor and heart. The musical’s other songs, “The Road So Far,” “I’ll Just Wait Here Then,” and “A Single Man Tear” are just as great (and catchy!) and there are just so many iconic moments. The episode even has a new “Monster of the Week” that the boys have never encountered before, Calliope. One of my favorite things about this episode (and pretty much all episodes written by Robbie Thompson) is that it wraps up so nicely as a standalone, yet contains so much history from episodes-past — especially with Sam and Dean driving off in Baby with the Samulet prop hanging from the mirror and the long-awaited reappearance of Chuck and his two words, “Not Bad.”
“What Is and What Should Never Be” Season 2, Episode 20 (Picked by Sam, Writer)
This episode is one that pulls at my heartstrings. I love seeing Dean in such a different environment, one where his mom is alive and Sam and Jessica are still together. It is also one of the episodes that Supernatural has where it shows that although everything seems good and perfect, there are negatives. Dean and Sam only talk on special occasions, they do not have their strong bond. Dean sees how if things were how he wished them to be, others would be hurt. Although Dean wants a “normal” life, it is not ideal for him. You get to see Dean’s struggle, and how he would do anything for the sake of others.
“Moriah” Season 14, Episode 20 (Picked by Natasha, Writer)
Perhaps I’m playing favorites here in terms of characters (I’m a Chuck girl), but the season 14 finale, “Moriah,” was easily one of my top favorite finales of the entire show. Although the fandom let out a collective gasp when Chuck returned and ultimately revealed himself as what appeared to be a villain, the episode was wonderfully written and acted out by everyone involved. When Chuck finally appeared on screen for the first time since we last saw him in season 11, I think we all felt relieved for a brief moment. But, Chuck offered no real solutions. Rather, he was quick to say that Jack needed to die and one of Team Free Will needed to sacrifice themselves to make it happen.
Every line that Chuck uttered in this episode left me increasingly uneasy but excited to see what the real reason behind his return was. The moment when he said, “Yeah. I mean, you’re my favorite show,” in response to Sam asking him if he just sits back and watches them all the time, it became obvious to us (and Sam) that Chuck has been playing them all along. He is just a writer and he doesn’t think of his creations as anything more than entertainment. Chuck’s unexpected behavior and reactions to things not going his way built up and eventually exploded when he realized Dean was defying him and Sam had the audacity to shoot him. His final, chilling lines of the episode, “That’s the way you want it? Fine. Welcome to the end,” and the events that followed, set us up for an epic ending. As Motörhead’s “God Was Never On Your Side” fittingly plays in the background, every monster that the Winchesters have ever killed was suddenly back, ultimately erasing their life’s work. I am excited about how this finale sets up the 15th and final season. What better way to end a series than to make God the final ‘Big Bad’?
“Pilot” Season 1 Episode 1 (Picked by Anna, Photographer)
“Dad’s on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days.” The line that captured so many fans — myself included — now gives us so many feels. When people talk about must-watch episodes of any long running series, the pilot has to be one of them, and Supernatural’s is no exception. It introduces us to the Winchester Boys, our Boys, Sam and Dean, Bitch and Jerk. It gives us the foundation which the rest of the show is built on — hunting monsters, saving people, but most of all, family. I loved the wit of Dean Winchester. I loved the vulnerability of Sam Winchester in his loss. I love Baby! Most of all, I love that they laid out a story that kept me wanting more, more monsters, more saving people, more bro-ments — just MORE.
I was one of the latecomers to this show and had the pilot not captivated me as much as it did, I would not be the person I am now. My life was forever changed by the pilot of a little show I knew nothing about when it started. But here I am, fully immersed in the amazing thing that is the SPN Family, all because two brothers went looking for their dad in a cool car.
“Bad Day at Black Rock” Season 3, Episode 3 (Picked by Nicki, Writer)
As the years have gone on, “Bad Day at Black Rock” has always been an episode that I can’t help but return to when I need a smile. Sam and Dean are surprised to receive a call on one of their father’s old cell phones, alerting them that someone has broken into a storage space that he had secretly kept (cue some adorable trips down memory lane with Sam’s soccer trophy and Dean’s first sawed-off shotgun.) The boys find that a cursed rabbit’s foot has been stolen and Bobby advises them to take heed, as any luck granted to the owner of the foot is sure to turn not only sour, but deadly.
This episode features amazing guest performances by Sterling K. Brown as Gordon Walker, Michael Massee as Kubrick, and Lauren Cohan as Bela Talbot.
Buckle up for all the Murphy’s Law you can handle with this one and also add to your collection of Supernatural quotes — “I lost my shoe…” and “I’m Batman!”
“Mystery Spot” Season 3, Episode 11 (Picked by Suzette, Writer)
“Mystery Spot” is one of my favorite episodes of the series because of its unique blend of humor and heart. When the boys go to investigate a disappearance at a local tourist attraction, Sam ends up trapped by the Trickster in a time loop. Sam finds himself repeating the same Tuesday over and over, each time doomed to watch Dean die as he frantically tries to change the events of the day in order to prevent the inevitable. When he finally breaks the loop only to watch Dean die again, Sam’s descent into madness as he hunts for the Trickster to get revenge showcases the intense connection and willingness of the brothers to do whatever it takes to keep each other safe, a theme that is often repeated throughout the series. This episode also provides us with many iconic moments including the “pig in a poke” scene and the inevitability of getting Asia’s “Heat of The Moment” stuck in your head.
“LARP and the Real Girl” Season 8, Episode 11 (Picked by Emelie, Writer)
Getting decked up in LARP-appropriate gear? Check. Finding a nicely balanced sword? Check. Finding your friend making out with a fairy in the wood? Check. Ending it all with the speech from Braveheart? Double check. An episode like this was inevitable, really, after Sam and Dean met Charlie Bradbury. Because who else will they bump into when they head into the world of live action role=playing to solve some mysterious murders?
“These kids today with their texting and murder,” is one of the best lines to have ever come out of a filler episode. Honestly, to me, a lot of this episode is some of my favorite stuff ever. Because who doesn’t love a good old murder mystery coupled with LARPing? While I don’t LARP myself, I have several friends who do, and there are so many hilarious moments in this episode that hit very close to home. We get glimpses of Dean’s strategic mind as he helps Charlie out with her battle plans, and I get wistful every time I watch this episode because it almost hints at what could have been, had Sam and Dean not gotten dragged into the hunter life.
There is honestly nothing I don’t like about this episode. Just like roleplaying is an escape from the real world for a bit, so is immersing yourself in “LARP and the Real Girl”.
“Swan Song” Season 5, Episode 22 (Chosen by Amanda B., Writer)
Just a few minutes into the episode and you know that “Swan Song” is going to be emotional. Narrated by writer/prophet Chuck Shurley, this episode pulls on fan heart strings as Chuck reflects on the brothers’ bond, their sacrifices, and the role the Impala played in providing the boys a “home”. That commitment to each other, and to save the world, is mirrored throughout the episode as Sam and Dean decide together to take on Lucifer to stop the apocalypse. This episode also gave us “Hey ass-butt!” which is probably the most well-known and most quoted Castiel line in all the seasons since. This episode is so gut wrenching it’s almost easy to forget that such a ridiculous moment was even in the episode. The scene that stands out the most, though, is the epic face-off between Dean and Sam as Lucifer’s vessel. It’s a perfect scene as we scream, “No!” because we were about to lose Dean, and then, “Yes! I knew Sam could do it!” to finally another, “No!” as we realize Sam is going through with the original plan. The writing is perfect in that it hits the spot on the drama and angst that fans of the show love. Then, of course, you can’t leave out that mysterious ending with Chuck that left fans speculating for years. I’m hoping that, as the series comes to an end, maybe Chuck’s words of wisdom at the end of this episode will still ring true. “Endings are hard, but then again, nothing ever really ends does it?”
“Regarding Dean” Season 12, Episode 11 (Chosen by Rachel, Writer)
This episode is one that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. After killing a witch, Dean is hit with a memory curse which causes him to slowly lose all of his memories during the episode. To begin with, it gives us great comedy moments from Dean having to relearn about being a hunter and his excitement over learning about what they do, to Sam covering everything in the motel room with Post-it notes. Sam is clearly annoyed and frustrated to start with, but that soon becomes worry as he has to step up and become the protective older brother figure. Rowena has her own moment of honesty and vulnerability with the amnesiac Dean where we get to see how much she’s changed over the seasons. But the scene that stands out the most to me in when Dean is alone in the bathroom looking into a mirror and trying to force himself not to forget who he is. With each attempt, he loses a little more of himself until he’s left in tears saying, “I don’t know,” as he finally breaks down. There’s a few more moments of comedy as Rowena ditches Dean in the Impala, leaving notes for him to follow while she goes off to rescue Sam.
Also after episode ends, there’s a cute montage of Dean’s adorable moments throughout the episode, along with him riding the mechanical bull “Larry”.
“Hibbing 911” Season 10, Episode 8 (Chosen by Nancy, Writer)
Brilliantly written by Jenny Klein and Phil Sgriccia, “Hibbing 911” is a girl-powered love-fest centered on our two favorite Sheriffs: Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster). Thrown together at a law enforcement convention, these two are like oil and vinegar at first. When supernatural things start to occur, Jody realizes it’s time to call in Sam and Dean, not knowing they will be recognized from a previous interaction with our overeager Donna. Mirroring what was to become one of my favorite off-camera relationships, Jody and Donna find they have more in common that they originally thought: female in a male dominated job and the loss of spouse (one because he was a jerk, one because her son ate him.) Quickly accepting of the not-so-ordinary, these women bond in a “train car careening off the tracks at 90mph” sort of way. And, Jody gets to give her first “talk”!
Jody, as is her wont, comes to Donna’s defense almost immediately, without really knowing her, since Donna is far more likely to accept someone’s back-handed compliment/insult than she is to confront them. When Donna is thrust into a world that no one should have to deal with, Jody is the first to say, “I have your back, and I will teach you if you want to learn.” This is women supporting women, and I am Here. For. It.
“Nihilism” Season 14, Episode 10 (Chosen by Melanie, Editor)
”Nihilism” quickly became a favorite of mine. Right from the start, we get all these little easter eggs throughout the show: The Rocky & Bullwinkle font for the sign, a little stuffed squirrel, Daphne + Fred carved in the bar, and even FBBC (Family Business Beer Company) on tap! It was fun to try and catch all these little references. But the episode was so much more than just a fun little Supernatural scavenger hunt. The episode never dulled for one bit. From Michael’s monster armies chasing down our heroes, a trip inside Dean’s head, a fight in the war room, to a cliff hanger that left you wanting more, this episode had it all. Plus, we get to see Jensen fight himself as both Dean and Michael!
“Clap Your Hands if You Believe” Season 6, Episode 9 (Chosen by Mandi, Photographer)
“Clap Your Hands If You Believe” is one of those “Monster of the Week” episodes that Supernatural is so well known for — possible aliens that turn out to be fairies kidnapping the first born children of prominent families. This episode has it all: aliens, fairies, teacups, Soulless!Sam discussing “butt things,” and Dean yelling “Fight those fairies!” as he’s carted off in the back of a police car. “Clap Your Hands if You Believe” is an episode I can watch over and over again, and still find hilarious.
“The French Mistake” Season 6, Episode 15 (Chosen by Brianna, Editor)
“The French Mistake” is one of those rare gems in Supernatural that leaves you doubled over with laughter and gasping for air. This episode perfectly balances forwarding the season plot while simultaneously scratching that fourth wall as Dean and Sam are sent from their world into, well, ours. They find themselves on the set of the television show Supernatural and struggle desperately to return to their world while attempting to impersonate our world’s Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. With hilarious call outs to their real world lives, like a surprise visit from Jared’s wife Genevieve Padalecki (aka the demon Ruby) and a truly terrible attempt at acting by Sam and Dean, this is one episode I find myself revisiting again and again. It definitely earns a place among the must watch episodes to celebrate Supernatural day!
“The Monster at the End of This Book” Season 4, Episode 18 (Picked by Amanda S., Writer)
This episode served as a teaser of whats to come, as well as showcased for the first time just how dramatic archangels can be. Now for me, this episode is a must-watch for two reasons; one, Chuck Shurley (played by Rob Benedict) is introduced and says the line writers across this fandom relate to on a spiritual level: “Writing is hard.” Number two, in season 11, Chuck is canonically revealed to be God, and that raised the question: was he always God? Going back and rewatching this episode — specifically the scene in the motel room between he and Sam — shows some incredible similarities between then-Chuck and God. I won’t tell you what I saw, but those small, yet distinct patterns might just answer that long-standing question.
What are your favorite episodes? Let us know in the comments below!