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SUPERNATURAL: The Best Episode from Each Season

Season ten of Supernatural is almost here! The Winchesters have traveled a long road, and they’re still alive and kicking. Mostly. We’ve watched them search for their father, battle the Yellow-Eyed Demon, team up with Castiel, fight monsters, and argue and make-up more times than I can remember. We’ve come to know and love the single Dean Winchester tear (a/k/a the “Single Emo Tear of Manly Angst”) and the wrinkle Sam Winchester gets on his forehead when he’s concerned. These weary and heroic brothers and their allies have become our friends over the last nine years.

Since we’re approaching the season ten premiere and the 200th episode of the series, let’s play the greatest hits and remember the road so far by looking back at the best episode of each season.


Season 1 – “Pilot”

Supernatural’s first season had a very monster of the week vibe. The brothers traveled from town to town hunting while they search for their missing father. The pilot episode set the stage and did so well. We meet Sam and Dean, learned what happened to the mother, and saw how that transformed their dad John into a sort of Batman figure looking for vengeance and justice. Dean brings Sam back into the family business and they go on their first case, sort of setting the template for the season ahead. The pilot effectively shows the danger of being a hunter – from both monsters and law enforcement – and pulls you into the Winchesters’ bizarre world.

Favorite lines:
Sam: “I mean, come on, you can’t just break in, middle of the night, and expect me to hit the road with you.”
Dean: “You’re not hearing me, Sammy. Dad’s missing. I need you to help me find him.”


Season 2 – “Crossroad Blues”

Crossroads demons always collect, but they don’t just knock on your door. They send hellhounds. The creatures make their first appearance in “Crossroad Blues,” and they freaked me right out. Supernatural pulls from real life inspiration, and this episode nails the crossroads demon mythology. Sam and Dean investigate deaths and reports about a black dog, and Dean learns his father made a deal with a demon to save his life. Cue angst and guilt.

Favorite line:
Dean: “You know, I usually like to be warned before I’m violated with demon tongue.”


Season 3 – “Mystery Spot”

The hilarious “Mystery Spot” isn’t only one of Supernatural’s best episodes, it’s one of the best time-loop stories aired on television. Sam and Dean live their own version of Groundhog Day in which Sam watches Dean die over and over again until he breaks the cycle. Besides featuring the Trickster – he’s a fan favorite character for a reason – and being funny, the episode shows us that Sammy loves Dean just as much as Dean loves him.

Favorite line:
Trickster: “Dean’s your weakness. The bad guys know it too. He’s gonna be the death of you, Sam. Sometimes you’ve just gotta let people go.”


Season 4 – “The Monster at the End of This Book”

Supernatural is skilled at going meta, and they rock it in “The Monster at the End of this Book.” The Winchesters meet Chuck Shurley. He’s an author writing stories about two brothers fighting monsters, and the two brothers are named Sam and Dean. He knows every detail of their lives and thoughts, and fans gush over the series and the brothers. Sam points out, “For fans, they sure do complain a lot.” Yep.

Chuck turns out to be a prophet of the Lord, and he’s protected by an archangel. Chuck sees what happens and writing seems to make it real. He can’t escape his role or warn the Winchesters about bad things because the skeevy angel Zachariah keeps him on task. The episode balances the meta and makes it work by making Chuck and his role important to the story. The creative team deserves all the props for pulling this one off.

Favorite lines:
Dean: There are ‘Sam girls’ and ‘Dean girls’ and… what’s a slash fan?
Sam: As in Sam-slash-Dean… together.
Dean: Like together together?
Sam: Yeah.
Dean: They do know we’re brothers, right?


Season 5 – “Swan Song”

It’s so hard to choose the best episode for season five. I remember watching this season and being floored by how solid each and every installment was. But in the end, it has to be “Swan Song.” While I adore the series, this would have been a perfect ending. Sam agrees to become Lucifer’s vessel and faces off against Adam as Michael. The final battle. Sam and Michael end up in the pit, Dean’s healed, Bobby’s resurrected… it’s an emotional hour of television and with a satisfying ending – it’s a sterling example of how awesome Supernatural can be.

Favorite line:
Chuck: “Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should’ve. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car… no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.”


Season 6 – “Weekend at Bobby’s”

How can you not adore Bobby Singer? The slightly grumpy hunter is a father figure to Dean and Sam, but this episode took the time to shine the spotlight on his day-to-day life. He’s a busy guy. We’re used to seeing Bobby helping everyone, but here, he needs help. I loved seeing the character explored more and icing on the cake: Bobby has some delightful interactions with Crowley.

Favorite line:
Bobby: “Do I sound like I’m done! Now look. I know you’ve got issues. God knows, I know, but I got a news flash for you. You ain’t the center of the universe! Now it may have slipped your mind that Crowley owns my soul and the meter is running! Now I will be damned if I’m going to sit around and be…and be damned! So how about you two sack up and help me for once!”


Season 7 – “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”

I won’t lie. Season seven wasn’t my favorite. I wasn’t a fan of the Leviathans or losing Bobby, but Charlie was a bright spot. The quirky and geeky hacker with a D20 tattoo came into the picture because Dick Roman forces her to break into an encrypted hard drive with information about the Winchesters. Luckily, she ends up on Sam and Dean’s side and helps them out. Watching her interact with the brothers is priceless, and I’m glad she’s become a recurring character.

Favorite line:
Charlie: “These things are gonna eat everyone I know. What kind of douche bag stands by for that?”


Season 8 – “As Time Goes By”

This episode makes the cut because it introduced the Men of Letters, and the fact that the show can still bring in completely new groups like this in at such a late point in the series is reassuring. The secret society-like order is fascinating, and they look down on hunters. Sam and Dean learn about this from none other than their grandfather Henry Winchester. Of course. The encounter leads them to Abaddon who becomes especially important in the next season.

Favorite line:
Dean: “I understand that this is not your idea of a happy ending and that you’re disappointed that me and Sam are mouth-breathing Hunters. But you know what? We stopped the Apocalypse.”


Season 9 – “Heaven Can’t Wait”

Few things are as wonderful as Castiel trying to understand humans, and in season nine, he has to live as one of us for a while. In “Heaven Can’t Wait,” he gets a job as a sales associate in a gas station, and he is ridiculously endearing. At the same time, watching Castiel muddle through human life lost and confused is heartbreaking. He’s fallen and though he tries to help Sam and Dean, he’s not in fighting form. Not like he used to be. This episode also has some outstanding Crowley moments. Castiel and Crowley were actually my favorite parts of season nine.

Favorite line:
Castiel: “Earth can be a hard place, but these humans, they can get better. They’re just doing the best they can.”

Watch the season ten premiere of Supernatural on Tuesday, October 7, at 9:00pm ET/PT on The CW.

Before you go, scroll to the comments and tell me about your favorite episodes from each season because I know many of you have Supernatural Feelings with a capital “F.”

Image: The CW

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  1. areej says:

    i think the one episode i really oppose is that of season 4. sure chuck’s arrival may have been amazing but nothing beats lazarus rising. nothing at all. i suggest you edit this, nothing beats castiel, am i right ladies?

  2. Anonymous says:

    my favourite episode in season 6 its “frontierland”

  3. Marne says:

    Every show is my favorite season. Hope it never ends.

  4. Supernatural is the best.If you think about it one day soon we will be like they are now. I never miss a show and I record every one .they make me happy when tuesday is finally here.keep up on what your doing   your all great.But what about Bobby is he coming back? SURE HOPE SO.

  5. Dean says:

    There were many standalone episodes in season 1 I liked as much as the pilot, like Bloody Mary.  Or Home, the episode they met their mother’s ghost was pretty cool too.
    Also in season 2, Crossroad Blues was pretty cool, but I really liked No Exit in season 2.  The plot was well done, the episode even made me claustrophobic, and I ended up reading into H. H. Holmes after that episode (ironically, a top bing search a week earlier was for America’s First Serial Killer, which got my attention but I saw it at work so I didn’t look much into it).

  6. SPNDeanFan says:

    Loved your summations… FYI: Season Five’s Swan Song was thought to be the last show of the series. But it got picked up again. It was/would have been a perfect ending. Just hope the writers don’t blow it when it does end. Ackles/Padelecki have both stated they think the brothers will die bloody. I certainly hope not… or I will be pissed!

  7. Heart, everyone ignores Heart, but it’s my favorite sad episode.

  8. Johanna says:

    No Changing Channels love? C’man! “You’re gonna need a bigger mouth!” 

    “Really? Because I swore part of what makes Dr. Sexy sexy, is the fact that he wears cowboy boots. Not tennis shoes!”

  9. Stacy says:

    S1-Something Wicked this way comesS2-Tall Tales S3-A Very Supernatural ChristmasS4-Yellow FeverS5-Swan SongS6-The French Mistake S7-Time after TimeS8-Blood BrothersS9-Dog Dean Afternoon 
    Season 7 isn’t my favorite either but without it we wouldn’t have gotten Benny. His story is probably the best vampire story out there. 

  10. Sarah says:

    2 – What Is And What Should Never Be. Gives me absolute tingles. 6 – The French Mistake. ‘Jensen Ackles, isn’t that fake me? This must be fake mine!’. And I still sob at the S9 finale – ‘I’m proud of us’

  11. Heather says:

    How could you omit The French Connection in season 6?? The self depreciating humor was amazing! 

  12. wisemoon says:

    Here my favorites from each season: S1 is Devil’s Trap. S2 is a tossup between No Exit (Jo and Ellen intro) and Tall Tales (Trickster intro). S3 is a three-way tie: Mystery Spot, Dream a Little Dream of Me, and Ghostfacers (those guys are like the Lone Gunmen in X-files!). S4: The Monster at the End of this Book has already been mentioned so I’ll go with Yellow Fever, with Lazarus Rising and Jump the Shark tied for second. S5: Swan Song-no question. S6 and S7 were not that good, imho, but the bright spots were…S6: Appointment in Samara (reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman), S7: Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, with Time for a Wedding a close second. S8: LARP and the Real Girl and Pac-Man Fever (I heart Charlie). S9: Tossup between Slumber Party and Thinman.

  13. thor says:

    i stopped watching at 7 and now it’s every once in a while ill watch, it kinda got boring for me after a while

  14. subbub55 says:

    I agree with all of the choices except for season 9. I feel season 9 was actually the saving grace of the series. 
    I love supernatural but I’ve found it lacking in what made it amazing in the first place: The monster of the week episode format.
     For that reason, Dog Dean Afternoon is my favorite of season 9. We return to the format I love so much and we get some great comedic moments. 
    Who doesn’t love Dean arguing with a pigeon over crapping on the impala?

  15. Lizster says:

    Decent choices, and I’d agree with many of these. I’m very fond of Charlie, Bobby, and Castiel, as well!

    Love Mystery Spot. Supernatural can do humor + pathos very well when it tries.

  16. Jules says:

    Just noticed that Weekend at Bobby’s is directed by Jensen. If you have the dvd, there’s a nice mini-doc on his directing experience. 

  17. kelios says:

    Solid choices early on, but I can’t agree with 7, 8 or 9.

    My favorite from 7 was Time After Time–not only was Dean stunning (yes, I’m shallow), but it demonstrated beautifully and effortlessly how well Sam and Dean work together, even across insurmountable distances and odds–a jarring contrast to what we were expected to believe in S8.

    My fav S8 ep was Sacrifice. It demonstrated so much of what I love about Sam and Dean’s relationship–how far they are willing to go for each other, the trust they have in each other. Their love is selfish in regards to the rest of us, it’s true–but love often is, and to me their all-encompassing devotion to one another is beautiful. In addition, the acting from Jared, Jensen and Mark was simply superb, easily some of the best we’ve seen.

    S9 is the finale, of course–imo it was one of the few eps worth watching in S9, and certainly the only one I’ll ever repeat. Once again, Jared and Jensen were phenomenal, and Dean’s final words to Sam were perfect. That ending is basically the reason I’m willing to give S10 a chance after the horrific mess of S9.

  18. alex says:

    The series should have ended at season 5, I gave up half way through season 9 and now I pretend everything after 5 didn’t happen

    • Fred says:

      That is a shame. I binged watched basically 1-7 on Netflix and caught up on season 8 on some Chinese website so the first love episode I watched was Remember the Titians and I’ve been watching ever since. Though I believe I saw the pilot years ago and I watched Dark Side of the Moon and Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid on TNT once though I had no idea what was happening.  Anyway, season 9,  6 and 7 I think were the weakest in my opinion in that order. Though all had bright spots, and I still enjoyed it. But I think season 6 and 7 suffered from lack of direction and pacing. It seemed like everything happened near the end. I also wasn’t happy about souless!sam.  Season 8 was a dramatic improvement and I loved it. What bothered me about 9 was that it seemed to erase that intense moment the brothers had, though it came back at the end.  I just kind of got sick of the angel storyline, I had literally no reason to care about them, none of them were likable, except for Gadreel and I hated myself for it since he killed Kevin.  All of the other Angels sucked and I just wanted them all gone. I kind of want God to come back and punish all of them for what they’ve done. Anyway, I’ve kinda started rambling… But my point was season 9 was kind of all over the place, not enough Dean and Castiel’s friendship, too much Sam and Dean fighting, which is getting soooo old and I find it hard to believe the boys keep letting Crowely live.  I honestly loved Abbadon and I wish he/she had been the one to win hell, at least she’s a villain I can get behind, a simpler villian, not one that I have conflicted feelings for like Crowely. Like I said Gadreel and I think Abbadon were bright spots of the season. If only they hadn’t made Gadreel kill Kevin.
      Anyway, you should catch up, season 10 has been awesome so far. I’m happy with how it’s going. 

  19. Season 6 should have definitely been The French Mistake 

  20. rianna says:

    Fairly solid list. Season five was my favorite, and I’m with you on season six. Some of my favorites that weren’t on the list were changing channels, the French mistake, hunters heroicai and let it bleed, which to me was the saddest episode of the show. To see Dean FINALLY get the apple pie life, then to have to taken from him by his higher purpose, broke my heart.

  21. Sil says:

    I was nodding along with this till I came to season 9 (let’s just say that the human Castiel storyline was not a fav. of mine and keep it at that.). My fav. episode of season 9 was Bad Boys (Winchester back story! \o/).

  22. Bryan says:

    Bad Day at Black Rock will always be one of my favorites. Best line is a tie between “I lost my shoe” and “I’m Batman.”

  23. Megan says:

    Born Under a Bad Sign, 2.14 and Everybody Hates Hitler, 8.13 🙂

  24. Lynn M says:

    Season 1: Pilot, 2: What is and what should never be-Jensen Ackles did an amazing job in this episode!, 3: Mystery Spot, 4: Lazarus Rising with Yellow fever in a close second, 5: Swan Song- couldn’t have asked for a better ending! 6: French Mistake- Need i say more!! 7: Death’s Door- Sad to see bobby go but it was very well done! 8: As time goes by and 9: First Born -Timothy Omundson is amazing!!

  25. ZeppelinRules says:

    Nightshifter (season 2) amazing final 30 seconds…!