Just over 15 years ago, on September 13, 2005, we were introduced to the Winchester brothers, the two protagonists of a new dark fantasy TV series, created by Eric Kripke called Supernatural, which premiered on the WB channel, now known as the CW.
When the network ceased being the WB and became the CW, Supernatural was one of the very few shows that successfully made the move. Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) was only 26 years old and Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) was just 23 when the show started.
We’ve all watched the two grow up and age before our very eyes as they hunted monsters such as vampires, ghouls, ghosts, wendigos, demons, reapers, angels, werewolves, and many many more over the past 15 years and 320 episodes.
Tonight, we will watch the final episode and hopefully gain some real closure with a cast of characters who have issues staying dead. Here is a compilation list of the best Supernatural episodes counted down
- 300th Episode
- Season 14, Episode 13
- February 7, 2019
Before Jeffrey Dean Morgan became one of the most hated villains on The Walking Dead, he was Dean and Sam’s father in 12 episodes of Supernatural. The brothers are effective hunters of supernatural beings because they followed in their fathers footsteps.
For several years, the show missed patriarch John Winchester, and thankfully Jeffrey Dean Morgan chose to reprise his role for the 300th episode. Dean accidentally wishes for his family to finally be together and whole. This seemingly innocent “wish” disrupts the balance of time.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, Dad can’t stay. In the last 10 minutes of the show, they have their perfect family dinner with the two sons, the dad who was blinked back into existence by a fleeting wish, and the mom who was previously brought back from the dead by Chuck’s sister, Amara.
- Season 3
- Episode 13
- February 21, 2008
One of the best things about Supernatural is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. This episode parodies the paranormal investigation reality TV genre. After the previous episode’s recap, the show begins with the intro for a fictional TV show called “Ghostfacers!” and the first 10 minutes of the show are as if we are watching this show.
The segues into the commercial breaks are also “Ghostfacers!” instead of Supernatural. Things begin to get a little crazy and our Winchester boys bust in shouting, “Freeze! Police officers! Don’t move!”.
While the Ghostfacers crew are thrilled to discover that they’re chasing something real, Sam and Dean are not as thrilled to have this team and their crew tag along on the job.
What’s great about this episode is that they manage to solve a case as well as introduce a cast of characters who periodically come in and out of this series, as well as their own 10 episode, failed spin-off series.
#8 Yellow fever
- Season 4
- Episode 6
- October 23, 2008
This episode made the list because of its humor. Dean gets infected with ghost sickness, which makes its victims scared of everything in the world around them, ultimately scaring them to death. Jensen Ackles really displays his acting prowess as he shrieks a screams over every little sound or movement.
It’s a great episode where the guys have to solve the “ghost sickness” case, however Sam mostly does all of the work babysitting his older brother who is struggling through hallucinations. Luckily Bobby Singer shows up to save the day and the brothers live to hunt another day. The iconic “Eye of the Tiger” lip sync number is a delicious gift to the fans after the end of the episode.
#7 Changing channels
- Season 5
- Episode 8
- November 5, 2009
You’re going to notice a theme in my picks because my favorite episodes are those which they poke fun at themselves. While investigating a case, Dean and Sam find themselves trapped in a world of television, jumping from a medical drama, to a japanese game show, to an ad, to a drama, and a sitcom.
Castiel appears, but is somehow banished. Sam and Dean jump from TV show to TV show eventually figuring out that the trickster who trapped them there was none other than Gabriel. It’s hilarious to see the actors put in different situations on different sets.
#6 LARP and the Real Girl
- Season 8
- Episode 11
- January 23, 2013
It was a toss-up between this episode and “The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” from season 7. This one makes this list because Charlie is so awesome in this episode and shadows her previous actions in her introduction episode. After interacting with the brothers in the previous season, Charlie disappeared herself and started a new life.
The Winchester brothers find themselves investigating some missing LARPers who are playing a fictional game called Moondoor. When Sam and Dean are told to find the Queen, they are shocked that it’s none other than the spunky redhead they met in season 7 who helped them fight the leviathan.
While helping the Winchesters, Charlie finds herself “rescuing” and making out with a fairy. This is, by far, my favorite Charlie episode. Of course Dean attempts to steal the spotlight by giving the full battle speech from Braveheart in full LARP garb and makeup before leading the LARPers onto the battlefield. This episode is both magical and adorable
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#5 The Real Ghostbusters
- Season 5
- Episode 9
- November 12, 2009
In this episode the lines between reality and fiction are blurred as the Winchester boys attend a convention for the Supernatural book series written by Chuck.
The brothers are tricked into attendance by Chuck’s assistant and before they can process what’s happening they are swept up into the merriment, which includes a Supernatural themed murder mystery which is intertwined with an actual haunting that the cosplayers are completely unaware of. Sam and Dean have to work with other Sams and Deans to solve both mysteries.
Not only is it a haunted house full of Sam and Dean cosplayers, it’s also haunted by creepy children
#4 Mystery spot
- Season 3
- Episode 11
- February 14, 2008
Who doesn’t love the Groundhog Day trope? In this episode, Sam repeats the same day over and over again as he has to watch Dean die repeatedly in several different ways, including Jensen Ackles’ personal favorite “death by taco”. Eventually the time loop is broken only for Dean to be murdered just outside of their hotel room.
Sam has a difficult time picking up the pieces after the death of his brother. He eventually figures out that his world is not reality and the trickster reveals that he is attempting to show Sam that his love for his brother is a weakness. By the end of the episode Dean is returned to the living and the Winchesters get back to hunting monsters.
#3 Swan song
- Season 5
- Episode 22
- May 13, 2010
Many fans would pick this as the number one, all time, best episode, and to an extent, I agree. My top two picks are my personal favorites, but “the original series finale” is hands down, one of the best episodes of the entire series’ 15 year run.
So much happens in this episode as it is the “final” showdown between good and evil, all manipulated by Chuck. Before he vanishes, Chuck says, “Nothing really ends, does it?” and I guess he was right, because the series continued for another decade.
#2 Fan fiction
- 200th Episode
- Season 10, Episode 5
- November 11. 2014
The first time I saw this episode I laughed so hard that I cried. Not only have the Winchester brothers discovered that they are featured in a comic book series and went to one of their very own conventions, now a high school is presenting a musical based on Chucks books.
Sam and Dean are absolutely stunned to discover their life story is being played out in musical form at an all girls high school when they are investigating the disappearance of a teacher.
The girls singing “Carry on Wayward Son” will bring you to tears.
#1 The French Mistake
- Season 6
- Episode 15
- February 25, 2011
This is another episode that brought me to tears from fits of giggles. The Winchester brothers find themselves in another dimension where they are actors named Jensen Akles and Jared Padalecki. Castiel is not Castiel but an actor named Misha Collins.
Sadly in this universe, Jared and Jensen are not as close to each other as they are in our real world nor the Supernatural world where they are the brothers Winchester. This is a delightful look behind the curtain and we are privy to the “behind the scenes” tricks like a collection of Dean’s beloved Impala named Baby in different pieces, or missing the engine, or just half of her.
It was hilarious when Sam and Dean jump into Baby to make an escape and she doesn’t have an engine. Jared Padalecki’s real life wife (Genevieve Padalecki), who he met on the set when she played the demon named Ruby in season 4 played “The French Mistake”’s character Jared’s wife, Genevieve, which also gave me a giggle.
The whole episode is just a charming gift of hilarity and easter eggs for any true Supernatural fan.
It is hilarious how a super religious show lasted on a network television channel, which caters to a young adult audience for the past 15 years. The series even made it into DC Canon when DC Legends of Tomorrow featured the Impala and there was a mention in Teen Titans #40 comics last May. What was their secret sauce?
The show enjoyed success for so many years because we can all manage to identify with one or both of the brothers. Maybe it’s a trauma like losing your mother or sibling, maybe it’s having a close relationship with someone like a sibling or best friend, maybe it’s because they are both flawed and suffer their own struggles, but on some level, the loyal fanbase finds ourselves identifying with one or more of the shows many colorful characters.
The relationships between the characters such as Castiel dragging Dean out of Hell, Crowley and Dean’s “bromance,” or the Winchesters “adopting” Charlie as the little sister they never had, were so well written and believable.
Supernatural valiantly normalizes heterosexual love between men and Dean’s “one perfect tear” normalizes men crying. Those are the reasons why we have loved this series. Those reasons and hell, Jensen Ackles really looks great in a pair of jeans.
We will somehow carry on.
Joia DaVida is a Jersey girl and mermaid at heart taking in all things Geek in California.