Lasting a whopping 15 Seasons and well over 300 episodes, saying that the CW’s hit series ‘Supernatural’ is something of a milestone in horror television would be an understatement. The show has gone on to surpass genre television classics like ‘Tales from the Crypt’, and even it’s source of inspiration: ‘The X-Files’, and has gained a major fan-base and following.
The popularity of the show is easy to understand as it has pretty solid balance of horror, action and comedy, and with each season having at least a few quirky episodes, making it a fun and engaging watch. While the quality of the show may have dipped, and fluctuates season to season, following the departure of series creator Eric Kripke as his planned five season arc concluded with Season 5’s “Swan Song”, the show never got so bad that I gave up and abandoned it, and I still continue to watch it just as much of a fan as I was when I first began binging the series. That being said, nothing quite beats those first five seasons, which have episodes yet to be topped by any in the following seasons, and the majority of this list is comprised of the earlier material.
The list below is not a ranking, as many of these episodes are stellar in their own way, but instead, this is a list of my personal top 25 favorite episodes of the long-running series, listed in chronological order. Episode titles with * next to them indicate episodes that I consider as “single serving” and can be watched without seeing the previous episodes – the recaps alone should give enough context, if you choose to watch at random to get a feel of the show before committing to a binge.
With that said, let’s dive into my favorite episodes:
NOTE: Synopsis’s below are from the episode guide pamphlets that are included with the DVD and Blu Ray releases (with the exception of my #21 pick, which is a season I own without the pamphlet).
Pilot* (Season 1 – Episode 1)
Synopsis: Along a lonely California highway, a mysterious woman in white lures men to their deaths – a terrifying phenomenon that may be the brothers’ first clue to their father’s whereabouts.
Skin* (Season 1 – Episode 6)
Synopsis: A demonic shape-shifter adopts the likeness of Sam’s college buddy to commit a gruesome murder. When the brothers investigate, the being “borrows” Dean’s form to continue its killing spree.
Simon Said *(Season 2 – Episode 5)
Synopsis: Mysterious cell phone messages turn law-abiding citizens into killing machines. The brothers’ investigation leads them to an easy-going slacker who shares Sam’s psychic abilities.
Croatoan* (Season 2 – Episode 9)
Synopsis: In a small Oregon town, Sam is infected by a supernatural virus that sweeps friends and neighbors into a frenzy of violence.
Night Shifter* (Season 2 – Episode 12)
Synopsis: Sam, Dean, a shape-shifter and hostages are locked in a bank, surrounded by a SWAT team. It all began when the brothers, on the trail of a ‘shifter, ran into a portly paranoiac who’s seen T2 once too often.
Tall Tales* (Season 2 – Episode 15)
Synopsis: Something supernatural is offing do-badders’ at a university. Dean and Sam check into it, mysteriously start bickering like an old married couple and call Bobby for help.
Roadkill* (Season 2 – Episode 16)
Synopsis: Sam, Dean, and a near-victim race the earth’s rotation to vanquish a ghost who kills on the anniversary of his death.
All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1 (Season 2 – Episode 21)
Synopsis: Late one night, Sam walks into a café … and wakes up in a ghost town, abducted with other “special children” by the yellow-eyed demon. Meanwhile, Dean searches through a 3000-mile haystack for his brother.
All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2 (Season 2 – Episode 22)
Synopsis: Driven to the edge of emotional endurance, Dean makes a sacrifice that leads to a cosmic showdown with the yellow-eyed demon … and to consequences even more far-reaching.
A Very Supernatural Christmas* (Season 3 – Episode 8)
Synopsis: What comes down the chimney? Santa Claus. What goes up the chimney? Screaming, clawing victims of the Anti-Claus, a pagan god with an unjolly thirst for blood.
Mystery Spot* (Season 3 – Episode 11)
Synopsis: Groundhog Day – Supernatural style. It’s Tuesday everyday in a town with a tourist trap called the Mystery Spot. Only Sam is aware of the phenomenon – and only Sam will be permanently changed by it.
Jus in Bello (Season 3 – Episode 12)
Synopsis: Is it right to sacrifice one person in the hope of saving many? Sam and Dean wrestle with that heart-wrenching question when they’re jailed in a small town where the locals are possessed by demons.
No Rest for the Wicked (Season 3 – Episode 16)
Synopsis: Dean’s time has run out … With Bobby at their side, the brothers battle Lilith and her demonic army in a last, desperate attempt to save Dean from eternal damnation.
Monster Movie* (Season 4 – Episode 5)
Synopsis: In a black-and-white world reminiscent of classic horror flicks, the brothers tangle with a vampire, a werewolf and a mummy who are thinning the crowds at a quaint Oktoberfest.
Yellow Fever* (Season 4 – Episode 6)
Synopsis: Hell beckons again when Dean is stricken with a mysterious illness that frightens its sufferers to death. Sam and Dean scramble to find the cause of the disease in time to save Dean from sure death.
Wishful Thinking* (Season 4 – Episode 8)
Synopsis: Want to score a hot girlfriend, win the lottery or have your favorite teddy bear come to life? Then plunk a coin in a small town’s wishing well and stand back. One problem: The wishes come true with a twist.
It’s a Terrible Life (Season 4 – Episode 17)
Synopsis: At Sandover Bridge & Iron Inc., Dean is Dean Smith, the buttoned -down director of Sales & Marketing. Sam is Sam Wesson, a cubicle-dwelling tech support guy. What the heck is going on? Or is it what the hell?
The Monster at the End of the Book (Season 4 – Episode 18)
Synopsis: Familiar plot. Familiar characters. Sam and Dean come across a series of novels called ‘Supernatural’ featuring two demon-hunting brothers named Sam and Dean.
Changing Channels (Season 5 – Episode 8)
Synopsis: Paging Dr. Winchester. The Trickster returns with a pretty nifty trick: He sends the brothers into an alternate universe … and roles in a series of alternate TV shows, from ‘Dr. Sexy, MD’, to a police procedural with a lollipop-sucking cop.
Swan Song (Season 5 – Episode 22)
Synopsis: With the apocalypse looming in a showdown between good and evil, Sam and Dean realize they are out of options and make heartbreaking decisions that will change their lives forever.
Weekend at Bobby’s (Season 6 – Episode 4)
Synopsis: After Bobby learns that Crowley has no intentions of returning his soul, he calls upon the Winchester’s, and old colleague, Rufus, for help.
The Prisoner (Season 10 – Episode 22)
Synopsis: Following a tragic loss, Dean takes matters into his own hands – leading to payback for the Stynes. Sam must come to terms with what his determination to help his brother will cost.
Baby* (Season 11 – Episode 4)
Synopsis: Seen entirely from the point of view of the Winchesters’ Impala, Sam and Dean embark on a typical road trip to hunt demons and monsters.
Safe House (Season 11 – Episode 16)
Synopsis: Faced with a dangerous creature, Sam and Dean learn that Bobby Singer and Rufus Turner once tracked the same monster.
Lebanon (Season 14 – Episode 13)
Synopsis: Sam and Dean look to occult lore to solve their latest problem, but instead of a solution, they find much more than either of them had anticipated.
So, what do you think? What are some of your favorite episodes of the series? Please go to our Facebook page and let us know!