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The Most Memorable Supernatural Episodes … So Far

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padelecki as Sam Winchester of The CW series Supernatural.

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/The CW.

A look back at the many times the Winchester brothers traveled to hell and back in order to save the world.


Supernatural road trip is coming to an end as the longest-running sci-fi genre series in television history. Now, as the end nears—and thanks to the spook-busting Winchester brothers—Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles)—not the end of the world.

As the beloved series wraps up its 15th and final season, Watch celebrates the Supernatural phenomena and take a look back at the most memorable episodes. And should you have missed it so far, consider this permission to binge (with spoiler alerts!) and catch up.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

"Pilot" — Season 1, Episode 1

The two winchester boys grappling

Photo Credit: The WB/Justin Lubin.

The pilot episode makes it clear that Supernatural is anything but a typical teen scream drama, as the Winchesters lose their mother when a yellow-eyed demon pins her to the ceiling and sets her on fire. The show's future darkness is on display, but so is its sense of humor and adventure, as summed up in a line from Dean that will play out for the rest of the series: "Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole."

"Devil's Trap" — Season 1, Episode 22

Jeffrey Dean Morgan stares dramatically into the camera

Photo Credit: The WB/Sergei Bachlakov.

It's not your typical family drama, either, but family plays a huge part in Supernatural. Sam and Dean's missing father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) reappears, only to sacrifice himself to a demon in order to save his sons.

Meanwhile, the brothers meet Bobby (Jim Beaver), a fellow hunter who will become their surrogate father. The most important takeaway, however, is the lack of a happy ending in the episode "Devil's Trap" This is a series that feels real. Or as real as a show about demons and witches and vampires could be.

"Heart" — Season 2, Episode 17

A werewolf snarls at the camera

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov / The CW.

If viewers need any more proof that the Winchesters' saga is anything but a joyride, "Heart" delivers and then some. Just as Sam is able to find love again after the death of his girlfriend in Episode 1, it turns out the new woman in his life has a character flaw: She's a werewolf ... but doesn't realize it. Which means he has to kill her. Talk about awkward breakups.

"All Hell Breaks Loose" — Season 2, Episodes 21/22

A shot of a darkened graveyard with Sam resting aginst a headstone

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

The two-part season finale "All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 1)" and "All Hell Breaks Loose (Part 2)" demonstrates that nothing is sacred in the Supernatural universe. In theory, the story is about Sam and a handful of others born with psychic abilities—courtesy of demonic forces—and their showdown to see who will abet unleashing Hell on Earth. In reality, though, it's about the death of a major character and the shocking sacrifice made by another.

The series' mythology also takes a major leap forward, as Hell's front door is open just long enough for demons to escape, with storylines that will fill several more years of episodes.

"Mystery Spot"— Season 3, Episode 11

The boys in a rainy parking lot

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW.

Even though something wicked always seems to be coming for our heroes, there are moments like "Mystery Spot," that are downright comedic. In a clear nod to Groundhog Day, something has trapped Dean in the same day, during which he repeatedly dies in increasingly bizarre ways.

The episode also features one of the brothers' most unique adversaries, The Trickster (Richard Speight, Jr.).

​"Lazarus Rising" — Season 4, Episode 1

A group of people performing a seance with a dramatic flare-up of the candles

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW.

This episode "Lazarus Rising" marks the introduction of the taciturn angel Castiel (Misha Collins), a character crucial in Supernatural lore. It also kicks off what will become a staple for the series—its examination of angels, devils, and all the Biblical beings in between. And the moment when Castiel spreads his wings (in shadow form, anyway) is as indelible any image on screen.

"Lucifer Rising" — Season 4, Episode 22

A shot of a darkened crypt interior

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

Arguably the best cliffhanger in a series known for its season finales, "Lucifer Rising" makes it clear that Dean and his now demon blood-drinking, spirit-sucking brother have taken very separate approaches in trying to keep Lucifer locked in Hell.

Eventually, the brothers are forced to realize that God's forces don't always have humanity's best interests at heart. It is also one of the clearest indications yet that while Sam and Dean aren't afraid to take on hellhounds, Supernatural itself isn't afraid to take on religious dogma.

​"Changing Channels" — Season 5, Episode 8

Two characters in doctor lab coats

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

There's nothing new about TV shows making fun of TV shows, but "Changing Channels" takes the trope to a different level.

The Trickster returns to trap Sam and Dean in a variety of television clichés—the doctor show, the police procedural, the laugh-track happy sitcom, the Japanese game show, embarrassing medical ads, even Knight Rider—in order to force them into igniting the approaching apocalypse. From the classic sitcom twist in the show's opening credits to the dead-on Grey's Anatomy parody called Dr. Sexy, MD, the episode has one goal: giving viewers a break from that whole End of the World thing. Temporarily, anyway.

​"The Monster at the End of This Book" — Season 4, Episode 18

A scene inside a cluttered bookshop

Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/The CW.

No matter how quirky some Supernatural episodes get, even the weirdest storylines usually find a way to enhance the series' overall mythology.

None does that better than this episode "The Monster at the End of This Book," in which viewers discover that within the show's universe, there exists a series of Supernatural novels that have been chronicling every move the Winchesters have made. They're written by a reluctant prophet named Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict), and while the installment plays out like an entertaining meta goof on sci-fi fan obsession, it also lays the groundwork for major twists to come.

"Swan Song" — Season 5, Episode 22

Three actors pose dramatically in front of a crude gravesite

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

Its creators had plotted out the show for five years, with this episode "Swan Song" as the intended finale—which would have been one of the most impressive (and depressing) ends to a show had it not been renewed. The brothers make peace with each other just in time for Sam to sacrifice himself and drop into the underworld with Lucifer, allowing Dean to settle down, demon-free.

The closing narration, provided by the aforementioned Chuck, sums up the show by saying of our boys, "They made their own choice. They chose family and, well, isn't that kind of the whole point? Endings are hard but then again, nothing ever really ends, does it?"

"The French Mistake" — Season 6, Episode 15

The stars of the show an a behind the scenes set

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

For a show that has always fond of breaking down the Fourth Wall, this episode "The French Mistake" reduces that conceit to rubble. To save the Winchesters' lives, the always-entertaining angel Balthazar (Sebastian Roche) sends the brothers into a world where they're actors named Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, starring in a television series called Supernatural.

There are plenty of in-jokes, including a producer suggesting they should "blow off the scene where they sit on the Impala and talk about their feelings," and the director laughing before responding, "Right. You answer the hate mail."

"The Man Who Would Be King" — Season 6, Episode 20

A man wearing a trenchcoat strikes a dramatic pose in a darkened room

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW.

After "The French Mistake," it was hard to imagine anything more the show could do to push the boundaries of traditional television. Then came this episode—"The Man Who Would Be King"—another norm-buster that steps back to reexamine the major events from the past season from Castiel's point of view, cast as an angel allegedly on Earth to save it. He goes from a supporting player to someone as intriguing as the Winchesters.

"LARP and the Real Girl — Season 8, Episode 11"

Actress Felicia Day waves while wearing period garb at a Ren Faire

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW.

Despite all the time spent ruminating on religion and family, Supernatural still gives nods to its hardcore sci-fi aficionados. None is more entertaining than this investigation into mysterious murders amongst a group of live action role players (LARPs) parading around in their Renaissance Faire hand-me-downs.

The episode of "LARP and the Real Girl" marks the return of Season 7 fan favorite Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), as well as revealing that after years of mocking Sam for loving Harry Potter, Dean is a closeted nerd. (It earns extra points for Dean's recitation of the Braveheart speech.)

​"First Born" — Season 9, Episode 11

Action still of an actor thrashing on a kitchen table while another looks on

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.

This episode in Season 9 —"First Born"—provides the perfect trifecta of supporting characters, proving that the series can be just as entertaining even when Sam and Dean aren't carrying the story load.

There's the initial appearance of the charismatic Cain (Timothy Omundsen), who may have the key to resolving this season's cataclysmic crisis. There's longtime frenemy and King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard) actually buddying up with Dean. And best of all, there is Castiel waxing philosophical on the emotional significance that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich holds for an angel.

"Baby" — Season 11, Episode 4

A rusty older car travels down a dusty backroad

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera /The CW.

The Winchesters are constantly on the move throughout the series, but there is one place that essentially becomes their home—the front seats of their Impala. To pay tribute to this important piece of their legacy, the series built an entire episode—"Baby"—around an automobile's point of view, which provides heartwarming insight into the brothers' bond.

"Just My Imagination" — Season 11, Episode 8

Actor Nate Torrance grins goofily

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW.

Given the volume of stabbings, beheadings, and dismemberments, nobody would ever accuse Supernatural of possessing childlike innocence. Still, there is a surprisingly sweet sentiment at its heart, demonstrated here in a story about a killer preying upon imaginary childhood friends. "Just My Imagination" is one of the most creative episodes, swinging from the gory stabbing of a mermaid to an emotional heart-to-heart between Sam and his imaginary childhood buddy, Sully (Nate Torrence).

"Scoobynatural" — Season 13, Episode 16

The characters rendered as animated cartoon characters

Photo Credit: The CW/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

After spending more than a dozen seasons dropping occasional Scooby-Doo references, the Winchesters wind up trapped in an actual Scooby-Doo episode. Between Dean's fascination with Fred's ascot and a tribute to the customary Scooby chase montage, "Scoobynatural" is an episode to watch repeatedly.

"Lebanon" — Season 14, Episode 13

Jeffrey Dean Morgan hugs the two leads

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW.

This 300th episode "Lebanon" offers a nostalgic look back at Sam and Dean's past when magic gives them one last chance to talk to their dad, who has popped in unexpectedly from 2003.

Every heartache and regret they'd experienced comes pouring out, culminating with a tearjerker of a family dinner with their parents, accompanied by the music of Dean's classic rock patron saint, Bob Seger. It's not easy to bring a show full circle when it's been around for 300 episodes, but Supernatural pulls it off.

Supernatural returns with the final 7 episodes on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c. Catch up now and stream free only on The CW.

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