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30 Best Supernatural Episodes Ranked

Whether you love the classic rock tunes, their trademark 1967 Chevy Impala, or just Sam and Dean Winchester's brotherly bond, "Supernatural" has proven itself to not only be the longest running Sci-Fi/Fantasy series in North America, but one of the greatest stories ever told on television. After 15 seasons and over 300 episodes, the Winchesters were finally sent off in the emotional series finale, "Carry On." Whether you loved the way the show ended or not (there are still a few plot holes out there), it's clear that Sam and Dean were forces to be reckoned with, and were characters that we cherished until their last breaths.

With a potential "Supernatural" prequel series in the works, there's no better time to revisit some of the show's most beloved (and highest rated) episodes. Whether you want to laugh, cry, or get a little scared, there's something in "Supernatural" for just about everybody. With 15 seasons to pull from, it's time to save some people and hunt some things as we join the Winchesters on their most iconic hunts!

30. Don't Call Me Shurley (Season 11, Episode 20)

After years of fan theories and allusions to the prophet Chuck Shurley actually being God himself, "Don't Call Me Shurley" finally confirms it. If you were to pitch "Chuck and Metatron hang out in a bar and write" as a "Supernatural" episode, chances are it's one that people would probably just as soon ignore and move on. But the episode itself proves to be not only one of Season 11's best, it's one of the best episodes of the series. As Chuck divulges where he's been and dances around the looming threat of his sister Amara, the episode bounces between critiquing the all-powerful deity and Sam and Dean's own small-town case (which is honestly the emotional anchor of this episode).

Speaking of the Winchesters, they spend the episode working to save people from an impending black vein virus that has set its sights on a small town in Idaho. The episode's final moments see Chuck singing a rendition of the folk song "Fare Thee Well" before finally revealing himself to the Winchesters via Dean's old necklace that Sam had secretly been keeping for years since his brother threw it out. It's an incredible moment that feels over 10 years in the making, and it definitely pays off here. While Chuck goes on to be the series' ultimate "big bad" (yawn), this episode really makes us wish that wasn't how it all ended.

29. The Monster at the End of this Book (Season 4, Episode 18)

Speaking of Chuck, his first appearance is in the Season 4 episode "The Monster at the End of this Book," where Sam and Dean learn that their life story has been written down by a man named Carver Edlund, who, according to the angel Castiel, is actually a "prophet" named Chuck. Of course, Chuck's true identity wouldn't be revealed until much later, but here we see him as a run-of-the-mill, alcoholic writer who tries to make a living by writing horror stories (that he's convinced aren't real). As Sam and Dean try to use Chuck to gain the upper-hand on the demon Lilith, they slowly realize that their own lives have also been pre-written and that there seems to be no way out.

This episode changed the game for "Supernatural." The show had gone meta before — and would get even more meta as it continued — but the concept that Sam and Dean's entire lives, up until that point, had been written down as novels ... Well, that's the kind of crazy no TV show today would ever attempt, unless it was the entire plot. Yet somehow it really worked, and the books would come back into play on more than one occasion throughout the rest of the series.

28. Death's Door (Season 7, Episode 10)

This heart wrenching Season 7 episode is the series' second "Bobby Singer-centric" tale, this time following Sam and Dean's surrogate father through his memories before he dies. It's emotional, it's inspiring, and it's everything a great episode of "Supernatural" should be. As Bobby avoids the Reaper coming after him (with an imaginary version of his pal Rufus by his side), he hides in his old memories, before having to confront the ghosts that have been haunting him his entire life. The climactic moment where Bobby finally stands up to the memory of his father is a powerful scene that reminds us why Bobby has always been the father the boys deserved.

But in truth, the hardest part about this episode is watching how helpless Sam and Dean are, Dean especially, since he can't keep his anger in check. As they protect Bobby from his shooter, the Leviathan monster Dick Roman, they both break down under the weight of possibly losing the only family they have left. Although it can be quite an emotionally draining episode, "Death's Door" is a must-see for any fan of Bobby Singer.

27. The Song Remains the Same (Season 5, Episode 13)

Yep, "Supernatural" has some time travel episodes, and "The Song Remains the Same" is one of the series' best. This one is a bit more personal than others that would follow, as Sam and Dean travel back to 1978 to stop the rogue angel Anna from killing their parents in her efforts to stop the brothers from being used by the Devil. With the backdrop of the biblical Apocalypse in mind, the Winchesters fight against their destiny to be the vessels of the archangels Lucifer and Michael, leading them back to where it all started. As the boys fight desperately to protect a young John and Mary Winchester, they soon discover that their parents' meeting wasn't by chance at all, but under orders from Heaven.

This episode is a wonderful reunion, reuniting the four members of the Winchester family — Sam, Dean, John, and Mary — for the first time since the "Pilot," and the last time for nearly 10 more seasons. Of course, John and Mary's memories are wiped by the archangel Michael, who also sends Sam and Dean back to the present before they do any damage to the timeline, making history unchanged. Still, watching Sam finally interact with his mother, for basically the first time, was worth the trip.

26. Hammer of the Gods (Season 5, Episode 19)

An episode in a similar vein to "American Gods," this Season 5 trip sends the brothers straight into the arms of every big pagan, Norse, Greek, Hindu, and Roman god imaginable, who plan to use Sam and Dean as bargaining chips against the archangels. As the Apocalypse draws nearer and nearer, even the supernatural creatures are getting more desperate in their attempts to stop the world from ending. The Trickster also returns here, and is finally outed to the greater supernatural community as the archangel Gabriel. This episode is particularly compelling, not only for its social commentaries on religion, but also for the dynamics between the different factions of gods, who all want each other dead, but are willing to work together to stop Lucifer.

Plus, Gabriel's heroic sacrifices against Lucifer — who slaughters all the other gods mercilessly — in order to save Sam and Dean and send them on a quest for the Horsemen's Rings makes up for all his extra years of hedonism, and faithfully completes his growing character arc that began in "Changing Channels" (more on that later). Naturally, like nearly every character on the show, Gabriel would return again by the end of the series (making this "sacrifice" a bit less heroic), but his heroism in "Hammer of the Gods" would never be forgotten.

25. Bad Day at Black Rock (Season 3, Episode 3)

Maybe not everyone's first pick for being one of "Supernatural's" best, "Bad Day at Black Rock" is nevertheless an incredibly solid episode that gets better with each viewing. Not only does this episode feature the first appearance of the Winchesters' Season 3 foil, Bela Talbot (and the brief return of the crazed vampire hunter Gordon Walker), but this episode's main case involves finding a lucky rabbit's foot. You read that right, but tragically this rabbit's foot is cursed. Whoever touches it gets good luck until they lose it, and they always lose it. Watching Sam go from amazing luck once he snatches the foot to terrible luck upon losing it (like dropping his shoe down a sewage drain) is as funny as a "Looney Tunes" cartoon.

The cat-and-mouse dynamic between Bela and the Winchesters is a fun addition to this season as well, and actually turns out to be pretty great in the long run, but the best part of this episode by far is Dean saving Sam's life, claiming that he's "Batman." It's laugh out loud funny. Ironically, Dean Winchester actor Jensen Ackles would go on to star in two Batman animated features, "Batman: Under the Red Hood" and the two-part "Batman: The Long Halloween," the latter of which actually features him voicing Batman.

24. Fan Fiction (Season 10, Episode 5)

If you thought that Sam and Dean discovering that "Supernatural" is a series of books is meta, then "Fan Fiction" will be even further down the rabbit hole for you. In this special 200th episode, the brothers stumble upon an all-girls school musical that's, you guessed it, based on the "Supernatural" books. As Sam and Dean struggle with their life always being on some sort of display (and often being retold incorrectly), the brothers are forced to fight against a prop scarecrow that's come to life and who begins stealing those in opposition of the show, ultimately being controlled by the Greek goddess Calliope.

Besides the hilarious commentary that implies everything post-Season 5 is just "bad fan fiction," and the references to Sam and Dean's dead half-brother who's trapped in Hell (and would continue to be for the next five years), "Fan Fiction" is just really funny. Watching Sam and Dean's reactions to the bizarre nature of their life, and having to come to terms with the fact that there are people who truly love their story, is both entertaining and a bit cathartic.

23. Salvation/Devil's Trap (Season 1, Episodes 21 and 22)

As the two-part finale to Season 1, "Salvation" and "Devil's Trap" can't really be separated, so we're not going to try. After reuniting with their father, the boys finally have a shot at taking out the Yellow-Eyed Demon that killed their mother. That is, until the demon Meg begins tearing through John Winchester's old allies and friends. In desperation, John gives himself up to the demons, and the boys are forced to run in and save him. The climactic scene near the end of "Devil's Trap," where Sam finally confronts Yellow-Eyes, the demon who also killed his girlfriend, is one of the most powerful moments in the series, and Sam's decision not to kill his father in the process is both bold and strong.

These two episodes lay the groundwork for the show's superior second season in more ways than one (including introducing us to Bobby Singer), and the Season 1 cliffhanger leaves us on the edge of our seat as we drive into Season 2. It may be a controversial take nowadays, but this era of "Supernatural" was truly the show at its peak, focused on the rugged realism behind the demons and supernatural creatures the brothers hunted, not in hopes of saving the world, but as revenge for the death of their mother.

22. In My Time of Dying (Season 2, Episode 1)

The Season 2 opener, "In My Time of Dying," is just as riveting and intense as the end of the previous season and doesn't leave us with much room to breathe. After Sam saves his family from a demon attack, Dean lies dying in a hospital, his spirit wandering the halls to avoid a Reaper that's on his trail. As Sam tries to communicate with Dean, hoping to heal him somehow, John takes the situation into his own hands, making the ultimate deal with the Yellow-Eyed Demon: His life for his son's. This sacrifice burns a hole in Dean throughout the second season (and much of the series), and becomes the catalyst for his own demon deal later on.

Watching Sam go through the trauma of nearly losing his brother is a bit hard to watch, but the hope he has that Dean will wake up keeps us going through the end. This was certainly a time when Sam was a bit more optimistic and hopeful, which is refreshing when compared to the rest of the series. But out of everything that occurs in this episode, it's John's ominous final words to Dean that really has us guessing, and as Dean looks at his father in horror, we know something bad is coming for the Winchesters, something worse than ever before.

21. Baby (Season 11, Episode 4)

Not your run-of-the-mill "Supernatural" episode by any stretch, this one is shot entirely from the perspective of the boys' classic Impala. A "day-in-the-life" type episode, "Baby" is special and exciting because of its honesty. Revealing an entirely new perspective on the boys' trademark muscle car, and their lives as hunters, we get to see baby in action, coming through for the boys as always. There's also an entirely new monster in this week's episode, a ghoul/vampire-like creature that doesn't die even after you've cut its head off. If "Baby" does one thing, it keep us, and the brothers, on our toes.

Some of the best moments in this episode include Sam and Dean singing along to Bob Seger's "Night Moves" after Sam's one-night stand, and Castiel's ramblings about old monster lore on speakerphone as Dean kills the creature in the background. It's classic "Supernatural" for sure. Oh, and let's not forget about the teenage girls who took the Impala for a joyride, that's pretty great, too (we even get some Taylor Swift in there). This episode is just full of little joys and surprises, no doubt one of the coolest the show ever did.

20. No Rest for the Wicked (Season 3, Episode 16)

The Season 3 finale, "No Rest for the Wicked," brings the brothers' world crashing to the ground. As Sam, Dean, Bobby, and their demon ally Ruby attempt to kill Lilith once and for all, freeing Dean of his demon deal, it all goes south without so much as a warning. Not only is Dean slowly losing his mind the closer he gets to his deal's close (which conveniently allows him to see every demon's true essence), his paranoia and fear of Hell grows exponentially. Between dealing with invisible Hellhounds and Lilith herself, the boys are a bit outmatched, and unfortunately don't walk away unscathed.

The worst part here is having to watch Sam witness the brutal death of his brother, as his innards are ripped to shreds by the Hellhounds at Lilith's beck and call. Thankfully, by yet-unknown forces, Sam's life is spared and the white-eyed demon flees for her life, leaving Sam to hold his brother in his arms, before we see Dean being tormented in Hell. But even with all that, not everything in "No Rest for the Wicked" is bad. We also get to hear Sam and Dean sing along to "Wanted Dead or Alive," which is pretty great.

19. Lucifer Rising (Season 4, Episode 22)

In the spirit of epic finales, Season 4's "Lucifer Rising" is the culmination of everything the Winchesters have been through up until this point. As Lilith forces Sam to break the final piece of the famed 66 Seals, the younger Winchester kickstarts the Apocalypse by letting the Devil out of his cage. This episode marks a lot of important twists and turns for the show, including Castiel's rebellion from Heaven and Ruby's final betrayal, revealing that she was working for Lucifer the entire time. Although Dean gets to finally kill the black-eyed demon, his satisfaction is short lived by Lucifer's impending arrival.

Season 4 is arguably the darkest season of "Supernatural," and this episode is only the final icing on the cake. Brotherly betrayals, angel and demon wars, and some heavy blood drinking mixed with a bit of torture, have all led to this moment. From this episode's flashback to the Yellow-Eyed Demon's slaughter of a bunch of nuns to Sam's final demon blood binge before killing Lilith, there's a lot here to make your skin crawl. But with a title like "Lucifer Rising," what else could we expect?

18. The End (Season 5, Episode 4)

Speaking of Lucifer's rise to power, there's no better episode to watch if you want to see what would've happened if the Devil won other than Season 5's "The End." It's deceiving title aside, "The End" is not actually the end of the "Supernatural" story, though it shows a potential future that easily might have been. As Dean is sent forward in time by the angels to see what would happen when Lucifer takes control, he meets an angrier, broodier version of himself, a hedonistic, carefree Castiel, and a host of others who have acknowledged that the end has come. But above all of them, Dean witnesses his own death at the hands of Lucifer, possessing the body of his brother Sam.

This white-suited Lucifer's attempts to sweet-talk Dean into "the inevitable" is pretty creepy (especially since he's wearing Sam's "meat-suit"), and given that it's the first time that Dean and the Devil have interacted (at least, on Dean's side of things), there's a lot riding on this moment. Thankfully, Dean is pulled back to the present, where he decides that the best way to fight the Apocalypse is by his brother's side, even if it means their deaths.

17. Lebanon (Season 14, Episode 13)

The series' 300th episode, Season 14's "Lebanon," is one of the more emotional episodes of "Supernatural," especially in the show's later seasons. After accidentally wishing for their family to be together again, Sam, Dean, and their recently resurrected mother, Mary, are reunited with their father — and her husband — John. Having never seen the Winchester family together as mature adults (they were a bit younger when they last interacted in "The Song Remains the Same"), this episode is the gift that keeps on giving, allowing Sam, Dean, and even Mary, the time they needed with John for the sake of their own closure, and ultimately his.

But because John was taken from a moment back in time, not long before his eventual death, he can't stay. Finally getting to say their goodbyes, each cast member gets their own moment with the family patriarch to acknowledge that he did his best, and that they forgive him for how things turned out. It's a really powerful episode that helps propel the brothers into the final stage of the show, which would end just a season-and-a-half later.

16. The French Mistake (Season 6, Episode 15)

"Supernatural's" most meta-themed excursion comes from the Season 6 episode "The French Mistake," after Sam and Dean get thrown into the "real world." Here, Sam is Jared Padalecki and Dean is Jensen Ackles, two actors on the not-quite-a-hit series "Supernatural." If this sounds too outlandish to work, let us reassure you that it absolutely does, and will bring a smile to your face throughout. Watching Sam and Dean try to act is pretty hilarious in and of itself, but learning that Sam, err, Jared is married to the demon Ruby, err, Genevieve Padalecki (who played Ruby on the show), is by far the best part, especially given that they're actually married in real life.

Of course, there are other great moments, too, like when Sam and Dean confront producer Robert Singer on naming a character (Bobby Singer) after himself, or the fatal shooting of "Supernatural" producer Eric Kripke. The episode also features the death of Misha Collins (who plays Castiel) after he had been live-tweeting his surroundings. If you want a zany episode of "Supernatural" to watch that can just pull you out of reality, then "The French Mistake" was made for you.

15. ScoobyNatural (Season 13, Episode 16)

The crossover that everyone had been waiting for, after years of memes involving the Impala and the Mystery Machine, "Supernatural" and "Scooby-Doo" finally came together in "ScoobyNatural." After Sam, Dean, and Castiel are sucked into the world of "Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?" (specifically the episode "A Night of Fright is No Delight"), they get the chance to interact with the main Scooby characters we know and love. Dean's fanboy crush on Daphne, and his encyclopedia-like knowledge of "Scooby-Doo," are perfectly on display here, and watching Castiel hang out with Scooby and Shaggy is quite the treat.

Of course, once the Mystery Inc. gang learns that ghosts, demons, and monsters are real, they all have nervous breakdowns (which reveals Daphne's fear of going to Hell), but eventually they help the brothers and their angel solve the case, as they always do! The episode's real, human villain even "says the thing" at the end of the episode, before Castiel reminds Dean that he's not a talking dog and this isn't a cartoon. This episode might be a bit bonkers, but it's just the right kind of bonkers for "Supernatural."

14. What Is and What Should Never Be (Season 2, Episode 20)

A Dean-centric episode, "What Is and What Should Never Be" is what happens when hunting a Djinn goes wrong, only Dean doesn't quite know it. After being attacked by the Djinn, who have the ability to "give people what they want most" in the form of dreams as they suck your life away, Dean is thrust into a world where Sam is in law school and engaged, his mother is still alive, and he's in a stable relationship with a wonderful woman. As the illusion becomes more and more compelling, Dean begins to prefer the fantasy to the reality of his life, and no wonder, because in reality he's lost everyone but Sam.

This episode acts as a window into Dean's innermost desires and dreams (which are echoed throughout the rest of the show), with him admitting to Sam by the episode's end that he truly wanted to stay in dreamland. Sam, now understanding their purpose as hunters for the first time in his life, argues that the life they live, the lives they've saved, make all the pain worth it. The episode closes with Dean still unsure, leaving no doubt that this episode broke him in ways that would take years to heal.

13. Two Minutes to Midnight (Season 5, Episode 21)

The penultimate episode of Eric Kripke's original "Supernatural" story, "Two Minutes to Midnight" is exactly that. With only two more rings to collect before they can throw Lucifer back into his cage, Sam and Dean are forced to work with the demon Crowley once more if they are to stop the Devil in his tracks. But the brothers split up, with Dean and Crowley headed to Chicago to take on Death himself, while Sam, Bobby, and Castiel stop the Horseman Pestilence's last-ditch effort to release a demon-virus. Of course, they get the rings, after Dean has to promise Death that he'll let Sam sacrifice himself, and the rest is history.

While splitting Sam and Dean up before the final showdown against Lucifer (and Michael) seems like it might not be the best strategy, it works in their favor, allowing for Death's fateful introduction to be as iconic as it possibly could be (the "Oh Death" cover played during his entrance is chilling). Death would go on to be one of the most iconic characters in the series, but it's his role in this episode that makes him the most menacing and interesting. Plus, he's a fan of Chicago-style pizza, and we can totally get behind that.

12. Lazarus Rising (Season 4, Episode 1)

Reeling off Season 3's bloody finale, "Lazarus Rising" brings Dean back to life only four months later (40 years in Hell time), with not so much as a scar from his previous life. Well, he has a burned handprint from Castiel on his back shoulder, but that's new. Dean quickly returns to Sam, and after the two reunite, they team up with Bobby to find out how Dean could have possibly been restored to life. This episode marks the first appearance of angels and the beginning of the biblical Apocalypse storyline that would rage on for the next two seasons, with ripple effects that would mark the rest of the series.

Castiel's explosive entrance, meeting Dean and Bobby for the first time, has proven to be one of the most iconic moments on the show, and immediately set the tone for his complex relationship with Dean. Castiel is a lot more regimented and a lot more militaristic in this episode, a far cry from the rebellious angel we come to know later. Along with Cas, Ruby returns after her previous vessel was stolen by Lilith, this time played by Jared Padalecki's future wife, Genevieve Padalecki (née Cortese).

11. In the Beginning (Season 4, Episode 3)

The first time travel episode that "Supernatural" ever did is by far their best one. "In the Beginning" finds Dean sent back to the 1970s to learn the true origins of his family, which changes the way we see the "Pilot" completely. While here, he learns that his mother, Mary, who he believed to be innocent in the ways of the supernatural, actually hailed from a family of hunters, including his grandfather, Samuel Campbell. As Dean works with Mary and her family to track down a demon (who turns out to be the Yellow-Eyed Demon), he gets to know his mother in a way he never did before. 

Dean actually gathers insight into both of his parents, as it turns out Dean was the one who convinced a young John Winchester to buy their trademark Impala in the first place. As hard as Dean tries to change the past to save his family, he can't, which is the lesson the angels attempt to teach him here. Strong-willed as always, Dean refuses to learn and fights for his free will anyway. But that aside, this episode reveals many of the hidden secrets and origins behind the Winchester family, marking it as one of the best.

10. On the Head of a Pin (Season 4, Episode 16)

Like Season 4 itself, "On the Head of a Pin" is possibly the darkest episode of the series. After Dean spent 40 years in Hell, he became a proficient torturer under the tutelage of a demon named Alistair. Now, the angels have captured Alistair and want Dean to torture information about who is killing angels out of the demon before the killer can strike again. Dean's initial refusal proves futile, as Castiel and Uriel abduct him for the task, essentially forcing his dark side to come out. The conflict within Dean is real here, and after he learns that it's his fault the Apocalypse has begun, it nearly wrecks him.

All the while, Sam does everything he can to get his brother back in time before the demon breaks free to kill him. Sam's desperation is real and after turning both to Ruby and his dark demon powers, he moves one step closer to becoming Lucifer's vessel after killing Alistair with a thought. With all the demon torturing, it's a tough episode to get through, but its rawness is unmatched by the rest of the series. If only this was the furthest that Sam and Dean would ever venture toward the dark side...

9. Yellow Fever (Season 4, Episode 6)

You wouldn't think that Dean suffering from a mysterious ghost sickness that makes people relive their worst fears would be funny, but then "Yellow Fever" would prove you dead wrong. This episode is hysterical, and there's no doubt it's largely due to Jensen Ackles' cartoonish performance. His rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" alone is enough to fuel a "Dean comedy hour." As the episode progresses, Dean quickly becomes a coward, even going so far as to run away from a Yorkie. He is completely helpless and unable to hunt in any capacity, forcing Sam to pick up the slack. 

Avoiding hunting altogether, Dean hides out in their motel room before nearly dying of fright. As funny as it is to watch Dean become a scaredy-cat, "Yellow Fever" has its fair share of tragedy as well, including the poor ghost of Luther Garland, who was unjustly killed and now causes "dicks" to get what they deserve. Luther's story is truly horrible, but what's worse is that in order to stop the ghost sickness from spreading, Sam and Bobby have to kill the spirit the same way that he was killed in life, by scaring him to death. Yikes, talk about brutal...

8. Abandon All Hope (Season 5, Episode 10)

The fifth season of "Supernatural" really sets itself up to be the end of the series, and although the series creator Eric Kripke would move on from the show post-Season 5, Sam and Dean would continue on for another 10 years. Episodes like "Abandon All Hope..." would have you believe otherwise though, as the Winchesters, Castiel, and Jo and Ellen Harville take a "final stand" against the Devil before he can resurrect Death. In a shocking turn of events, Ellen and Jo die in an explosion to help Sam and Dean escape a group of Hellhounds, and the magic gun they used to kill demons, the Colt (which they obtained through the demon Crowley), doesn't even work.

This episode is pretty intense, and the weight of losing Ellen and Jo would be felt over the next two seasons, before they'd be essentially forgotten (which is a real shame). With their sacrifices kind of in vain, the brothers recognize that they might have to sacrifice everything in order to beat Lucifer. With nowhere left to turn, the Winchesters spend the second half of the season scrambling until the final hour. After all, that's the "Supernatural" way, and they're sticking to it!

7. Weekend at Bobby's (Season 6, Episode 4)

The first Bobby-centric episode, "Weekend at Bobby's," is just that. As we follow the surly grouch through his everyday life in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we learn that Bobby isn't just there for Sam and Dean, but an entire network of hunters that he pretends to be the FBI for. This master con artist has got hunting down to a science, and even when he doesn't know something about a monster (such as the one Sam and Dean hunt off-screen), he'll do everything he can to figure it out, and right in the nick of time. Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" proves to be Bobby's anthem, and it makes a whole lot of sense.

This episode doesn't just show us Bobby's everyday life though, it also concludes his arc from the previous season, where he made a deal with the demon Crowley to help stop the Apocalypse. Unfortunately, this deal cost him his soul, but thankfully "Weekend at Bobby's" chronicles his journey to find leverage (with the help of Sam and Dean) to get his soul back. His witty bickerings with Crowley (and his hunting buddy Rufus) are probably the best parts, reminding us why the show kept Jim Beaver around for so long, even after the original Bobby's death.

6. Jus in Bello (Season 3, Episode 12)

Translated to "laws of war," "Jus in Bello" chronicles the demon army's first real attempt to take Sam and Dean out. The brothers had been leaving a trail of demon bodies in their wake throughout Season 3, which naturally wasn't good for business. Here, Sam, Dean, Ruby, and a host of others are trapped in a police station, surrounded by demons and with no way out. FBI Agent Hendricks, who had been on the boys' trail since Season 2, finally learns the truth about the supernatural and helps them fend off the demons. It's a crazy episode that kind of bears a liking to the 2010 film "Legion," but is no doubt the superior story.

Although the brothers make it out alive, the ending of "Jus in Bello" marks the first appearance of their demonic adversary Lilith, who wipes out the rest of the survivors after the Winchesters skedaddle. Not only does this episode raise the stakes, forcing the brothers to recognize how strong Lilith and her army actually is, but it serves as a black spot in their "saving people" book, where nothing they did mattered to anyone besides them in the end. The ghost of Agent Hendricks even haunts them the following season.

5. Mystery Spot (Season 3, Episode 11)

Speaking of spots, "Mystery Spot" is the episode of "Supernatural" that you didn't know you needed, but once you saw it you immediately wanted to watch it again. Stealing its basic plot from "Groundhog Day," this episode forces Sam to relive Tuesday over and over (waking up to Asia's "Heat of the Moment" each morning) as he continues to witness Dean's varying deaths. As it turns out, the Trickster is behind this little time-loop and he won't stop until Sam learns his lesson. Taking place during "Supernatural's" third season (you know, where Dean's clock is ticking), Sam is focused on saving Dean from his demon deal so that he doesn't have to go to Hell, and this episode only makes him try harder.

Although Dean's multiple deaths (which are all hilarious, by the way) are the backdrop of "Mystery Spot," this is truly a Sam-centric episode. As Sam learns what his life would look like without his brother, he fails to learn the lesson the Trickster is trying to teach him, begging for another shot to "try again." While the Trickster lets him off the hook, Sam has to live with the knowledge of the kind of hunter he might become without his brother there to balance him out, and it's kind of scary.

4. Sacrifice (Season 8, Episode 23)

Possibly the most underrated season of "Supernatural," Season 8 is really consistent all across the board. With a strong overarching plot, solid stand-alone episodes, an ever-expanding mythology, and character arcs that honestly challenge Sam and Dean, this season set itself up for success from the moment the Winchesters announced they were going to close the Gates of Hell, forever. "Sacrifice" is Sam's final attempt to atone for his actions in the past few years, and as he is about to complete the final trial necessary to get rid of all demons forever, he's stopped by Dean, who is too afraid of losing his brother.

There's a lot that goes on in this episode, from Castiel's own Heavenly trials to the demon Abbadon's return, so it can get a little overwhelming, but the final five minutes make it all worth it. Here, Sam confronts Dean about choosing others over him all these years, before Dean reminds Sam that nothing and nobody has ever come before him. It's really emotional, and some of Ackles' and Padalecki's best work on the show. As Sam and Dean cease from completing the Hell trials, the angels are banished from Heaven, and the brothers look on as the fallen angels arrive on Earth. It's epic in every way and sets the stage properly for the following season.

3. Changing Channels (Season 5, Episode 8)

If "Supernatural" does one thing well, it's combining hilarious situations with mythology-heavy plot that drives the greater narrative forward. "Changing Channels" is that kind of episode, where Sam and Dean find themselves in TV Land having to "play their roles" in order to survive. Having to live through steamy medical dramas, Japanese game shows, '80s sitcoms, and even a version of "Knight Rider" (where Sam plays the car) proves to be a challenge for the Winchesters, who are definitely in over their heads. As with many of the comedic meta episodes, the Trickster is behind it all, only for the brothers to eventually discover his true identity as the archangel Gabriel.

The comedy aside, Gabriel challenges Sam and Dean to accept their destiny as Lucifer and Michael's vessels and to let the world all come to an end. In true Winchester fashion, they refuse, wanting to write their own destiny, but not before giving Gabriel some advice of their own. Like much of Season 5, this episode does an excellent job combining the stand-alone with the overall plot in a way that is both fresh and engaging throughout. If you're going to watch a random episode of "Supernatural" tonight, make this one your go-to.

2. All Hell Breaks Loose, Parts 1 & 2 (Season 2, Episodes 21 and 22)

The Season 2 finale is so epic that it's the only episode the writers had to split it into two parts. "All Hell Breaks Loose" is the initial conclusion of the Winchester revenge story that began in the "Pilot," and it does not disappoint. The season's slow reveal of other "Special Children" like Sam who were made by the Yellow-Eyed Demon for an unspecified purpose all comes to a head here, as Sam is abducted by the demon and taken to a Wyoming ghost town to duke it out with those just like him. Dean's quest to find Sam, only to arrive too late, is another highlight here, which forces Dean to make a demon deal to bring his brother back, at the cost of his own life in one year's time.

By far the biggest moment in this episode though is when Dean uses the Colt to finally shoot old Yellow-Eyes dead. With the help of Bobby, Ellen Harville, and the ghost of their dead father, Sam and Dean are able to finally bring peace to their family after over 20 years of hunting. Of course, "Supernatural" doesn't end here (though it easily could've), and the boys carry on, but there's no doubt that "All Hell Breaks Loose" marked an end of an era and some serious satisfaction for our boys.

1. Swan Song (Season 5, Episode 22)

The "Supernatural" episode to rule them all, "Swan Song," may be the most beloved episode of the series ever (it's certainly the highest rated), and for good reason. Series creator Eric Kripke's final goodbye to the show (though he would return to write the next season's finale), this episode concludes the Apocalypse storyline and sends both Sam and Dean off to their intended fates. Between the final showdown with Dean, Michael, and Lucifer, to the Gollum-like moments between Sam and the Devil, "Swan Song" delivers in a way no other "Supernatural" episode ever could. Considered by many to be the show's definitive end, there's a reason this episode is as beloved now as it ever was.

Part of what makes this Season 5 finale so special is the voiceover narration by Chuck, who writes the events as they happen. This feels like Kripke himself is penning each page carefully, and setting up each and every chess piece on the board. It's his personal touch, as well as the other personal touches to Sam and Dean's life (not to mention the Impala), that makes "Swan Song" special, and it's Dean's happy ending and Sam's seemingly divine return that make it feel like everything was truly worth it. If you weren't quite satisfied with "Carry On" and you're looking for some definitive closure, "Swan Song" is definitely it.