Today marks one year since the end of Supernatural; though with 15 seasons there’s a myriad of different ways to experience the show all over again. You could do a full re-watch of every season for the umpteenth time, or you could pick and choose your favorite episodes to provide yourself some of that sweet serotonin.
If you’re like me, you could revisit one episode from each season that you feel deserved more love. Like all shows, Supernatural has its ups and downs, and some episodes are definitely better received than others; but there’s something strangely cathartic about giving a second chance to those few “undesirables.”
Here’s a list of 15 underrated Supernatural episodes.
1.03 – “Dead In the Water“
This episode provided us with our first-ever glimpse of Dean interacting with kids, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. Though it was early in the show’s run, it always stuck out as being particularly unique, because the resolution to the episode had nothing really to do with the Winchester brothers. They fought exactly how they knew to fight, but in the end what stopped the belligerent spirit was the Sheriff’s sacrifice. Another bonus: you have the stellar directing of the late Kim Manners.
Notable quote: “Must be hard with your sense of direction, never being able to find your way to a decent pick-up line.” -Andrea Barr
2.04 – “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things“
Supernatural’s sophomore season dealt heavily with the duality of life vs. death, beginning with John Winchester’s sacrifice to save a dying Dean, and continuing throughout with the question of what exactly was happening to Sam. Dean carried the weight of the secret whispered to him by his father: would he need to kill his own brother? And though this episode might not progress the larger plot forward, it shows how morality can be twisted when a loved one is killed — something the Winchester boys deal with at length in later seasons.
Notable quote: “What’s dead should stay dead.” -Dean
3.14 – “Long Distance Call“
The writer’s strike resulted in a shortened season for us viewers. However, it still features some top tier episodes, including fan favorites “A Very Supernatural Christmas,” “Bad Day At Black Rock,” and “Mystery Spot.” But one episode that’s often overlooked is “Long Distance Call,” with the boys hunting something pretending to be the deceased loved ones of its intended victims. It’s an emotional ride, showcasing a strong performance from Jensen Ackles as Dean, struggling with his own phone call from their father. Admittedly though, I’m a little biased in this pick, because I appreciate that Sam got to take down the monster-of-the-week for once.
Notable quote: “Do you want a poem?” -Sam
4.04 – “Metamorphosis“
Season four is a hell of a ride. It introduces angels into the mix, and Sam and Dean are pitted against each other for a majority of it. In “Metamorphosis,” the boys are trying desperately to stop a suburban dad from transforming fully into a rugaru. It details more of the conflict of how to handle something not quite human, yet not quite monster. And it’s also apparently the first episode where Castiel is called “Cas,” so that’s neat.
Notable quote: “It doesn’t matter what you are, it only matters what you do. It’s your choice.” -Sam
5.05 – “Fallen Idols”
Okay, hear me out. Is it campy? Yes. Is it a little absurd? Also yes. But is it a great time? Definitely. Paris Hilton guest starring isn’t something I ever would’ve considered in a series like Supernatural, yet it works. Fighting a god masquerading as famous dead icons — and the still very alive Paris Hilton — is something only this show can pull off. This episode has the added benefit of being a nice little bit of fluff following the heavier four that preceded it.
Notable quote: “Four score and seven years ago, I had a funny hat.” -Dean
6.05 – “Live Free Or Twihard”
This originally aired during peak vampire-mania; everything was becoming Twilight, up to and including Supernatural. The Winchesters track down a vampire preying on young female fans of an indeterminate yet obvious nod to Twilight, titled “My Summer of Blood.” Dean gets bitten, and it’s then that we learn Sam is very much not okay. I still remember the sinking feeling in my gut while watching live and seeing that slow, detached smile.
Notable quote: “Newsflash wizard, vampires pee too.” -Dean
7.16 – “Out With the Old”
Sam and Dean work to track down some cursed objects, while also dealing with the Leviathans. The episode’s premise isn’t incredibly complex, but cursed objects are always an interesting plot device — because they could be literally anything. Also, watching two grown men try to tackle a little girl in ballet slippers is unintentionally hilarious, but maybe that’s just me.
Notable quote: “If you dig down deep, it’s all Dick.” -Frank Devereaux
8.08 – “Hunteri Heroici”
Castiel wants to hunt! It’s very endearing that he’s trying to be like the Winchesters, because he could just as easily flit off anywhere and leave them in the dust. But he chooses to cut himself off from heaven before trying his hand at hunting, of all things. And his first hunt is this wacky episode featuring death by cartoon gags. It’s one of the episodes you can just put on, turn off your brain, and enjoy. However, if you hate cartoon-like violence and excessive use of zany sound effects, it might not be for you. But even with that in mind, give it a shot. It could surprise you.
Notable quote: [interrogating a cat] “I’ve almost cracked him.” -Castiel
9.08 – “Rock and a Hard Place”
This is the second entry on this list that features a guest star who’d previously worked with Jared Padalecki in a horror film — the first being Paris Hilton from House of Wax. In this episode, Lindy Booth (Cry Wolf) plays Bonnie, who the boys encounter while aiding Jody Mills in a hunt at a Church chastity group. Also in the episode is James Kirk, who played a young Ben in Dark Angel, while Jensen Ackles played the adult version of Ben (As well as his twin brother Alec). It’s a Ben reunion! A Beunion!
Notable quote: “Too many things are things.” -Sam
10.06 – “Ask Jeeves”
This is essentially Supernatural‘s version of Clue; as the Winchesters discover a voicemail on Bobby’s phone leading them to a supposed inheritance. With the boys technically being Bobby’s next of kin, they head to the house in search of answers, and instead encounter a magnificent cast of characters. The guest stars in this episode, combined with the A+ dialogue, make it an incredibly fun watch. Not to mention the numerous references to the aforementioned board game. See if you can spot them all.
Notable quote: “Ugh. Homosexual murderers. Like Leopold and Loeb.” -Heddy
11.19 – “The Chitters”
This episode deserved to be a spinoff. Yes, I said it. Cesar and Jesse Cuevas should have their own show. I’d watch that married couple build their farming business for an entire five-season run. Beyond my love of the two of them, this episode also features a glimpse into a potential non-hunting future for either of the Winchester brothers. It’d previously seemed unheard of to believe that anyone could escape “the life,” but Jesse and Cesar managed it, and it could have given the brothers hope for the same someday.
Notable quote: “Sleeping is the new smoking.” -Dean
12.20 – “Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes”
Sam and Dean are helping Tasha and her twin brother Max search for their mother, who’s gone missing while hunting a powerful witch. Witchcraft featured in the series has always felt unsightly, with grotesque imagery, such as someone’s teeth falling out, or vomiting up their insides. This episode harkens back to days of witches’ past, complete with that unsettling feeling it leaves in your stomach. And the idea of an un-killable twig doll is the thing of nightmares, just saying.
Notable quote: “We do terrible things all the time to save each other. I mean, that’s what you do for family. Who am I to stop him?” -Dean
13.18 – “Bring ’em Back Alive“
The introduction of the multiverse might seem too far-fetched for some, but I appreciate that it at least gave us an opportunity to revisit characters long since passed. Like Charlie, for instance. Though it isn’t quite the same, the alterna-Charlie is still very much welcome if it means more of Felicia Day. This is a good one, featuring the return of Felicia, as mentioned, but also another appearance by the effortlessly charming Richard Speight, Jr. as Gabriel. Not only that, we get to watch Gabriel straight-up murder Asmodeus, and isn’t that what we all want in life?
Notable quote: “It’s been… um… what’s the opposite of fun? That.” -Gabriel
14.15 – “Peace of Mind”
This episode is actually what prompted this entire article. I needed a space in which to declare how my love for this episode burns like a thousand hot suns. It’s nearly flawless; a venture alongside Cas and Sam into the idyllic town that could give Pleasantville a run for its money. Dean partners with Jack as well, but the dynamic between Cas and Sam is what really sells this one. It isn’t often they get to share scenes alone, especially the more comedic ones. I can’t stress enough how much you need to watch this episode. It’s such a good one that I struggled to pick a quote because there are so many that are pure gold.
Notable quote: “God has a beard.” -Castiel
15.10 – “The Heroes’ Journey”
The final season brought with it a lot of throwbacks while simultaneously giving us a fair share of new ideas. For instance, the boys are stripped of their plot armor and have to deal with what is essentially a monster fight club. It’s the only time the Winchesters have been oh so very human, and it makes them all the more relatable. We’ve all been there: gassed for dental surgery and dreaming of tap dancing alongside DJ Qualls, right? No? Just me?
Notable quote: “You need to get a colonoscopy, stat.” -Garth