'Supernatural': 50 Best Episodes
Season 2, Episode 17
After a lawyer's heart is ripped out, Sam and Dean travel to San Francisco looking for the werewolf responsible. And boy do they find the monster. It’s a woman named Madison, whom Sam actually ends up falling for. Because of his feelings, the brothers try to cure her of lycanthropy. Unfortunately that fails, and it falls on Sam to take Madison out, a truly heartbreaking turn, both because of the care the script puts into building Sam and Madison’s relationship and because of what this means for Sam’s arc when it comes to his mysterious powers.
Season 2, Episode 9
A demonic virus has taken over a town, and when Sam gets infected, classic brother moments ensue. By episode’s end, Sam is healed and Dean leaves viewers with the cliffhanger of what John said to him before he died. (Hint: If you can’t save your brother, you’re going to have to kill him.)
Season 1, Episode 1
In the hour that kicks off everything, we’re introduced to the Winchester family on the day that Yellow Eyes kills Mary and John begins his quest for revenge. Jump forward 22 years, and Dean is picking Sam up from college to go look for their father, who’s gone missing on one of his “hunting” trips. By episode’s end, the brothers have defeated a Woman in White, and Sam’s girlfriend has met the same fate his mother did all those years before.
47. "Do You Believe in Miracles"
Season 9, Episode 23
Metatron seems unstoppable in his quest to become the new God. He has the angel tablet on hand, and it takes Gadreel sacrificing himself to save Castiel so that someone can put an end to Metatron’s reign. Metatron’s hubris is used in a trick that causes him to lose his angel army, leading to his imprisonment—but not before he injures Dean enough to leave him for dead. That is, of course, until he wakes up with a pair of all-black demon eyes.
Season 14, Episode 20
Not only does Chuck return in the season 14 finale, but when the Winchesters refuse to follow through with his “story,” he puts an end to, well, the world. “Welcome to the end,” he says, just as he brings back every monster Sam and Dean have ever killed. In one of the series’ greatest twists, God is its final villain.
45. "King of the Damned"
Season 9, Episode 21
The battle for the crown of Hell is finally decided with a little help from the First Blade. Crowley shows off a little of his paternal side without losing a bit of menace, as Abaddon pulls his son out of time as a bit of blackmail against her nemesis. She unfortunately doesn’t account for Dean’s newfound power, though, and meets a gruesome end at his hands while Crowley keeps his head on straight. Literally. He’s allowed to.
Season 3, Episode 13
When Sam and Dean come across the Ghostfacers for the second time, they’ve got their own reality show. Only, things get a little tricky when one of their own actually dies while staying the night in a haunted house. Sorry, Corbett. But at least we get to see Ed and Harry again, right?
43. "Monster Movie"
Season 4, Episode 5
One of the series' most creative hours, this season 4 black-and-white episode sees Sam and Dean come across a movie-loving shapeshifter who pays tribute to iconic films with their kills (and definitely does NOT order garlic on their pizza).
42. "Born Under a Bad Sign"
Season 2, Episode 14
When Sam shows up covered in blood after having gone missing for more than a week, it’s up to the brothers to figure out what happened. Spoiler: Sam’s possessed by Meg, who’s back from Hell to torture Dean. Thankfully, Bobby is able to expel Meg, but not before she’s said some pretty harsh things to Dean about his dear old dad.
41. "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
Season 6, Episode 22
Sam’s time without a soul finally comes back to haunt him, and the younger Winchester has to fight multiple copies of himself in his mind. The real Sam wins, but his prize is every memory from the horrible acts he committed during his soulless era. Meanwhile Castiel, drunk on Purgatory souls, destroys Raphael but allows Crowley to escape. Feeling unstoppable, he declares himself the new God. He doesn’t seem like he’ll be a benevolent one, though.
40. ''The Song Remains the Same''
Season 5, episode 13
When the angels travel back in time to kill John and Mary before Sam is born, the Winchesters tag along to stop them. The battle kills Sam—who's quickly brought back to life—and introduces us to Michael, who first appears in the body of a young John Winchester to put a stop to the madness.
39. ''First Born''
Season 9, episode 11
With Dean and Crowley off to find the First Blade, thereby running into the ridiculously charming Cain, Sam and Cas team up to extract the rest of Gadreel's grace from Sam. Along the way, Cas gives Sam a shockingly insightful PB&J-related speech that brings the two of them closer than ever before. As for Dean? Well, he walks away with the Mark of Cain on his arm. But what does it mean?
38. ''Sympathy for the Devil''
Season 5, episode 1
Now that Lucifer has been freed, Sam and Dean are in a bit of a rut. Cas has apparently been killed, Chuck can only tell them so much or incur the wrath of his angel overlords, and Dean has been asked to serve as the archangel Michael's vessel. Thankfully Cas returns and Dean denies Zachariah's request, but there's still one pesky little problem to deal with—Lucifer is around, and he's found a host in Mark Pellegrino.
37. ''The Magnificent Seven''
Season 3, episode 1
''Seven'' introduces a number of interesting elements to the show, including another Biblically inclined villain in the Seven Deadly Sins. They are a thrilling foe to tackle as the show begins its third season, but the episode is also monumental for the first inclusion of a blade that can kill demons and the person who wields it. Ruby makes an impressive debut before going on to become a major player (in several different meat suits) over the course of the show.
36. ''Holy Terror''
Season 9, episode 9
Rest in peace, Kevin. Everyone's favorite prophet Kevin dies at the hands of Gadreel who, until this episode, had been posing as Ezekiel inside Sam's body. The angel commits the murder as a sign of loyalty to Metatron who has set out on his quest for domination of Heaven. Castiel is hoping to thwart Metatron's plans, but with the heartbreaking death of Kevin, the forces of good are beginning to dwindle.
35. "Just My Imagination"
Season 11, episode 8
Leave it to Richard Speight Jr., who played the notorious Trickster God/Gabriel, to direct this delightfully impish episode. In "Just My Imagination," Sully, Sam's imaginary friend from his childhood, pops up to ask the Winchester boys for their help because someone is out there killing imaginary friends. The delightfully imaginative premise allows for the show to reconnect with emotional elements from the show's early years that we haven't thought about since, which was a nice treat.
34. ''The Man Who Would Be King''
Season 6, episode 20
Told entirely from Castiel's perspective, ''King'' takes an intriguing alternative approach to the show's traditional storytelling. Cas is revealed to have been behind many of the season's most important events in a tragic but fascinating episode.
33. ''When the Levee Breaks''
Season 4, episode 21
Sam spends most of the hour in demon-blood detox in Bobby's basement before finally escaping to find Ruby. However, when Dean catches up with him, he finally says the three words that will cripple Sam: ''You're a monster.'' From there, the brothers have one of their biggest brawls to date, which ends with Sam leaving Dean bloodied on the floor of a hotel room.
32. ''Pac-Man Fever''
Season 8, episode 20
Dean's newest foe—videogame logic. Trapped in a Djinn-created dream, Charlie and Dean fight off wave after wave of super-soldier vampires. But the episode's about much more than a crazy concept. It's about learning to let go, which for Charlie means coming to terms with her comatose mother's death. It's a powerful lesson made all the more resonant by Felicia Day's performance—and it's okay to shed a few tears as she reads The Hobbit to her mother for what's presumably the last time.
31. ''99 Problems''
Season 5, episode 17
With the apocalypse starting to set in, Dean and Sam find themselves outnumbered by demons in a small town. Luckily, they find refuge in a nearby church where townspeople have gathered believing that one of their own is a prophet who can hear angels. Only what drunk Cas helps the guys discover is that she's less of a prophet and more of a Whore of Babylon. After the guys take her down, Dean heads to Lisa's to say goodbye having made up his mind to say yes to Michael.
30. ''In My Time of Dying''
Season 2, episode 1
In the wake of the season 1 finale, the Winchesters are in bad shape. Surviving a car wreck, Sam and John contend with a few injuries while Dean lies dying in a coma. Winchesters do all they can to save each other, though, and John would never want to lose his sons to the line of work he introduced them to. So John sells his soul to Yellow Eyes, as well as the one thing that could kill the demon, the mystical Colt gun.
29. ''Devil's Trap''
Season 1, episode 22
In an effort to save their father from Meg, the brothers enlist the help of Bobby Singer, a.k.a. the man who will become their surrogate father and a staple on the show. In terms of the mission, everything comes to a head when Yellow Eyes possesses John and Sam can't find it within himself to shoot his father. If that's not enough, the season ends on a massive cliffhanger when a car accident severely injures all three Winchesters.
28. "Don't Call Me Shurley"
Season 11, episode 20
After 10 seasons, Supernatural finally introduced the big man upstairs: God, a.k.a Chuck (Rob Benedict), the author/prophet we met in "The Monster at the End of This Book." Chuck summons Metatron to an undisclosed bar where he reveals his identity and asks the scribe's help in writing his autobiography. However, their very meta discussion leads to a twist that's even more surprising than the God reveal: the contemptuous Metatron ends up defending humanity and taking God to task for his absence, which is enough to convince God to join the fight to take down his sister.
Season 14, episode 13
The series' 300th episode brings Jeffrey Dean Morgan's John Winchester back for one of the most emotionally charged episodes ever as Sam and Dean get to have some long-awaited conversations with their dad, and more importantly, all four members of the Winchester family get to enjoy a dinner together. John doesn't get to stay for long, but his brief visit certainly has an impact.
26. ''Fan Fiction''
Season 10, episode 5
In what writers and cast members have called a ''tribute'' to the fans, the 200th episode of the series finds Sam and Dean at an all-girls school. The twist? The girls are in the middle of producing a play that's inspired by Carver Edlund's Supernatural books. So Sam and Dean are essentially watching a high school production of their life. Toss in Calliope, the goddess of epic poetry, and a number of unforgettable original songs—''A Single Man Tear'' might be the best—and it's a hilarious and heartfelt hour that any diehard fan would be proud of.
25. ''Free to Be You and Me''
Season 5, episode 3
When Sam decides he no longer trusts himself to hunt alongside Dean, he gets a job as a bartender, which leaves Dean alone to help Castiel on his search for Raphael. Episode highlights include Castiel failing to sleep with a prostitute and Lucifer visiting Sam for the first time.
24. ''Hammer of the Gods''
Season 5, episode 19
After a storm washes out the road, Sam and Dean find themselves trapped in a hotel full of gods (Kali, Odin, and Ganesh, to name a few), who are meeting to discuss what to do about the upcoming apocalypse. To top it off, the episode ends with a showdown between Gabriel and Lucifer that unfortunately leads to Gabriel's demise. Or is he still in that old porno video?
23. ''Good God, Y'all''
Season 5, episode 2
The Four Horsemen were a consistently strong aspect of the show, and War's appearance was no exception. Titus Welliver does an incredible job as War, setting the stage early in season 5 for just how imposing these figures could be. But really, his biggest impact is driving a wedge between Sam and Dean at a time when sticking together is key. And it never hurts to include an appearance by Ellen and Jo.
22. ''All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2''
Season 2, episode 22
The show's first true villain, Yellow Eyes, meets his demise in a season finale that also foreshadows darker events on the horizon. Resurrecting Sam forces Dean to pay the ultimate price—his own soul, and not even the death of Yellow Eyes can erase that decision. It's a powerful and early example of the show willing to push the brothers to the brink without ever giving them a break. The day is saved—even though an awesome railroad devil's trap is destroyed—but trouble is only beginning to brew for Sam and Dean.
Season 2, episode 12
Bank robberies have been around since movies and TV shows started being made, but few of these hostage scenarios are perpetrated by a shapeshifter. It's one of the show's most smartly tense scenarios, as the shapeshifter could be anyone in the bank, but it's also an important episode for putting Sam and Dean's work in context as we discover the FBI has been tailing them. Oh, and that escape scene set to ''Renegade'' by Styx? Sam and Dean have never been quite as badass as in this episode's final moments.
Season 13, Episode 16
In one of the show's biggest swings, the boys are zapped into a Scooby-Doo cartoon — a dream come true for Dean — where they work with the Scooby gang to solve a mystery, all the while trying not to ruin the innocence of Scooby and his friends. The result is FUN. Not only does the episode get points for even attempting such a crossover, but it breaks into the top 20 for its stellar execution in blending the two worlds.
19. ''Mystery Spot''
Season 3, episode 11
Thanks to the Trickster, Sam finds himself in a Groundhog Day-type situation, only every day ends with Dean dying. By the end of the hour, Dean has died more than 100 times, comedy has ensued, and tears have been shed. But after Dean is shot in the parking lot in what feels like an all-too-real scenario, Sam has had enough. He's emotionally drained and doesn't care to listen to the Trickster's lesson about Dean being his weakness. He just wants his brother back, and that's what he gets.
18. ''Death's Door''
Season 7, episode 10
Bobby is one of the series' most lovable characters, but all good things must come to an end. Bobby's troubled past is revealed, but what really sells his farewell is the episode's final scene. In his head, Bobby relives a night he shared with Sam and Dean, his memory of them fading away. The reaper waiting with Bobby gives him an ultimatum—cross over or remain as a ghost. And while we eventually find out Bobby's fate, the episode leaves it ambiguous. The seconds ticking away on the reaper's watch as he waits for Bobby's decision induce goose bumps.