Supernatural has had a strong following since its debut in 2005. Fans have followed Dean and Sam to Hell and back as they embarked on their cross-country monster-hunting journey. Beautifully written story arcs left fans weeping as the Winchesters went into battle with Heaven, fought against themselves, and struggled to maintain their relationships with each other.
Supernatural also has the unique ability to combine drama, horror, and humor throughout its past twelve seasons, while still being able to relate to audiences on a personal level. For this reason and, because the main actors, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are phenomenal actors, that the show has been on for so long and retains its fans. However, as with any television show, not all episodes are fan favorites, and out of twelve seasons, Supernatural has a few cringeworthy episodes that are not worthy of a rewatch.
The following list compiles the 15 Worst Supernatural Episodes (So Far).
15. Bloodlines (9X20)
Season nine of Supernatural was not lacking in heart-wrenching and emotionally devastating episodes. “Bloodlines”, however, was not one of those viscerally moving episodes. The episode was supposed to be the backdoor pilot for a Supernatural spinoff that never came to fruition. No surprise, as the episode is so lackluster.
The episode focuses on Ennis Ross, who witnessed the death of his girlfriend at the hands of something supernatural and embarks on a mission of vengeance. He crosses paths with Sam and Dean, who are basically like, “Hey, we’ve been where you are, but you shouldn’t join this lifestyle,” and like any flawed, obstinate lead character, Ennis decides he’s going to do the exact opposite of their advice.
In addition to an obnoxious main character, the episode comes complete with cliched mafia-style supernatural families running Chicago’s underbelly. No backdoor plot could be complete without a predictable star-crossed lovers storyline, which added an unnecessary layer of plot to this episode.
14.The Mentalists (7X07)
Season seven of Supernatural was not the most well-received season of the show, as it struggled to find its niche again. The Leviathan storyline pretty much fell flat with viewers as the monsters were a less-than-compelling Big Bad.
The plot of “The Mentalists” held great promise, as the central storyline focused on murdered psychics in America. An episode about murdered psychics can’t possibly go wrong, and yet… “The Mentalists” somehow failed to use this great premise to its full potential. Dean and Sam discover that a killer ghost is the reason behind the psychic murders and the lame reasoning just fizzled “The Mentalists” out into one of the most anti-climactic episodes of the season.
Additionally, both Sam and Dean seemed to be written slightly out of character, as they suddenly buried the hatchet over the death of Amy, which had been the main reason for their falling-out for the past two episodes. The quick resolution was a bit jarring and failed to make any semblance of sense, especially since Sam tends to hold onto these types of grudges.
13. The Slice Girls (7X13)
On a show known for writing strong female characters who habitually get killed off, season seven brought fans an episode about Amazon warriors, who are historically known to be strong, independent and fierce women. However, this is Supernatural, and these Amazon warriors were less Wonder Woman, and more patricidal wackadoodles.
The premise of “The Slice Girls” is a little shaky to begin with, seeing as accelerated pregnancy and “surrendering the child for the good of the Amazonian tribe” aren’t much to write home about. Complicated by the fact that they overemphasized Dean’s deteriorating mental state and relied heavily on old tropes, such as his discomfort about being a father, constant inner turmoil, and doubts about the hunting lifestyle. Then, the episode simply ends with the Amazons not facing any retribution, and Sam killing an infant as a parallel to Dean killing Sam’s childhood friend, Amy.
Though this episode was a nice reprieve from Dick Roman and his merry band of Leviathans, the awkward baby talk and Sam’s unsavory (and not well executed) moral dilemma made this one of the worst episodes of this season.
12. Mannequin 3: The Reckoning Season (6X14)
When you think about it, mannequins are inherently creepy – they’re these faceless, poorly positioned, molded pieces of plastic designed for storefront windows. Using a mannequin as a centerpiece of horror episode is hardly original, as Doctor Who used this as the basis for its revival pilot.
“Mannequin 3: The Reckoning Season” managed to hit all of the predictable B-horror plots and played out like a poorly written urban legend. The mannequin-possessing ghost turns out to be a quiet and shy girl tricked into thinking she had a date and died, so it’s only natural she lies in wait for revenge against her prankers. Then to continue the drama, Dean and Sam have another tiff, and Sam is left to hunt alone while Dean runs off to help Ben and Lisa.
Then, to maximize the creep factor and the drama the mannequin’s eyes move and follow its potential victims. However, when one of the faceless mannequins was about to stab its victim, the creep factor was nullified in favor of being slightly cheesy. As if the episode couldn’t become more unbelievable, in an unnecessary plot twist, Sam discovers that the ghost mannequin is still tied to a kidney that saved her sister’s life. The episode ends with the sister dying, the ghost disappearing, and fans side-eyeing store mannequins for the rest of their lives.
11. All Dogs Go to Heaven (6X08)
This season six episode was an accumulation of the strange and the sad, ultimately serving no point for the overall story arc for season six, but managing to ruin being a dog owner for people everywhere.
Crowley blackmails Sam and Dean into investigating a seemingly cut and dry werewolf killing. However, once there, Sam and Dean discover that the murders are the result of a homeless skinwalker who masquerades as a family’s pet German Shepherd. The skinwalker, Lucky, though incredibly loyal and protective of his family, also meets the definition of a stalker. He creepily obsesses over his owner, going as far as watching her in the shower and killing people who were inconveniencing her.
Unlike previous Supernatural episodes, this episode didn’t vilify the shapeshifter, and Dean allows him to go free even after Lucky had killed three people. This is an unusual choice for the Winchesters, especially since the parting shot shows Lucky back as the German Shepherd, indicating that he’s probably going to do the same thing somewhere else. The premise of “All Dogs Go To Heaven” was a blatant attempt to make Soulless Sam more relatable and his actions less morally reprehensible, but at the end of the hour there wasn’t a whole lot fans could take from this episode, other than an increased distrust of stray dogs.
10. Red Sky at Morning (3X06)
An episode about a mysterious ghost ship that kills people sounds like it would be a great fir for a Supernatural. It has a plot line that could be both thrilling and terrifying. However, instead of focusing on something that would be potentially awesome, Dean and Sam get distracted by Bela’s newest scheme.
Bela’s presence in the “Red Sky at Morning” feels forced and a bit unbelievable, despite Lauren Cohen’s performance being spot on. The boys inexplicably decide to help her and begin to rub elbows with the rich people. Sam receives unwanted attention from elderly Ms. Case, which initially was a nice change of pace as that’s usually Dean’s role, but quickly became an irritating joke that went too far as the episode wore on.
The two ghost brothers from the ghost ship were a compelling parallel to the Winchesters, and the episode could have even delved deeper into the relationship aspect of both sets of siblings. Instead, the episode focuses mostly on Sam and Dean helping Bela. We’ve hardly even reached the climax when Sam reads a convenient summoning spell that gets rid of the ghost brothers and Bela once again evades the Winchesters. Everything was wrapped in a nice bow, leaving fans with a half-formed ghost story that never realized its potential.
9. Slumber Party (9X04)
Any Supernatural episode with Felicia Day tends to be a must-see, as her quirky personality brings a much-needed balance to the Winchester angst. Although “Slumber Party” accomplished the quirky humor aspect and delivered some great performances, the Wizard of Oz/ Supernatural mashup was a lot to buy into.
Sam and Dean accidentally release Dorothy, who has been trapped in the bunker for years, and discover that Dorothy and the Land of Oz are very real. Not only is Dorothy real, but she coincidentally happens to be the daughter of one of the Men of Letters.
The Winchesters, Dorothy, and Charlie all embark on an hour-long adventure chasing after the Wicked Witch of the West, who can kill people with a blast of green light and possess people on a whim. Charlie is killed at one point, and brought back to life by Ezekiel, and then the episode ends with Dorothy and Charlie walking down the yellow brick road together for supposed magical bliss, in a moment that makes absolutely no sense.
8. Route 666 (1X13)
Season one of Supernatural is known for its horror roots and episodes that were scary enough to watch with the lights on. Although “Route 666” attempted to follow the same formula, the idea of a racist murder truck stopped the season’s forward momentum and left fans scratching their heads in confusion.
The problem with this episode, in addition to bad guest acting, is that it fulfills several stereotypes about the South as the truck is possessed by its racist owner and runs its victims down in the dead of night. We also meet Cassie, Dean’s first and only love, and there is a cheesy back and forth that goes on between them as Sam attempts to get Dean to acknowledge his feelings for her.
Additionally, the truck being the villain of this story was weak, as the revving of the truck engine failed to elicit the anxiety and fear viewers would typically have had felt during a typical Supernatural ghost hunt. The story became heavy-handed as they discovered more about the racist ghost’s misdeeds and then was rapidly dismissed as the Winchesters pulled the forty-year-old truck out of the river with a conveniently placed tractor.
7. Like A Virgin (6X12)
Supernatural has had a great run when of monsters that go bump in the night. They’ve had witches, fairies, werewolves, vampires and ghosts to keep fans glued to the edge of their seat, so it was quite exciting to hear there’d be an episode about dragons.
However, this dragon hoarded virgins as his treasure, keeping them trapped in cages in a sewer. It pretty disappointing as the dragon was less of a big, scaly, fire-breathing lizard and more of a… man. If they couldn’t afford to actually show an awesome dragon, why make an episode about dragons?
“Like a Virgin” used the virgins as a clunky metaphor for Sam regaining his soul and symbolically becoming a virgin, in the sense that he reverted to his season one roots, and no longer was soulless or drinking demon blood. Having virgins be the treasure of the dragon was also cringeworthy, as they were just there to serve as a metaphor for Sam.
Once again, Dean decides to keep secrets from Sam to “protect him” which, of course backfires and leads to another frustrating conflict between the two. The episode also just kind of… ends with a dragon escaping and opening the doors to purgatory, allowing for The Mother to escape, which seems like an elaborate way to set up the rest of the season.
6. Bugs (1X08)
Another season one dud, “Bugs” managed to be more gross than frightening. A newly constructed housing complex has a serious bug infestation problem which has mysteriously killed people. Sam and Dean discover that the housing complex is built on a Native American burial ground that comes complete with a bug curse.
Though not scary, this episode was really just an hour of various insects showing up in houses and people dying. The difficulty with this episode was that the show was attempting to find its tone and momentum as it pulled from different horror tropes and myths, producing an episode that used several cliched and overdone tropes. Though the actors did a phenomenal job, the episode has some difficulty balancing Sam and Dean’s contentious relationship – and though their bickering appeared to be real.
Plus, using bugs as the “monster of the week” did not do the show justice when the episode previous had featured the creepy Hook Man. Even Supernatural acknowledges that this episode was terrible, as they mock it in season four’s “The Monster at the End of This Book.”
5. Season Seven, Time for a Wedding! (7X08)
Though one of the best-titled episodes of season seven, the fact that Becky, a mean-spirited caricature of obsessive fans everywhere, was the central character set “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” up for failure. Though the episode was going for lighthearted and humorous, the weak plot and the show’s most annoying character made it one of the most difficult episodes to sit through.
Even the crossroad demon storyline was flimsy at best, as it was just thrown in there for the sake of making the episode look like it had substance.
Additionally, the fact that Becky essentially roofied and kidnapped Sam to carry out her selfish desires lead to an uncomfortable feeling for fans, as it poked fun at the fandom and Becky faced no real ramifications for forcing Sam to almost marry her. Though this episode was terrible all the way around, Sam yelling at Becky after he regains his memories was an oddly satisfying end to this bizarre episode.
4. Bitten (8X04)
Remember The Blair Witch Project? Well, Supernatural did – and based an entire werewolf episode on shaky found-footage as three friends go into the forest only to be hunted by a werewolf. Traditionally, Supernatural doesn’t handle its werewolf episodes well, and “Bitten” keeps with tradition.
As the second werewolf episode Supernatural has done, it was not one that made much of an impact, other than to introduce a character who would eventually be brought back on to the show for the Winchester’s to kill later. The guest acting in this episode left a lot to be desired, and the main female character didn’t leave viewers with a lot of sympathy.
In addition to the filming style and bad acting, the plot itself was incredibly thin. In an attempt to make the episode more compelling, the writers added a nonsensical love triangle between the three friends that was more annoying than anything else. It is hard to care about these three characters and their problems – and the glaring lack of Dean and Sam in the episode didn’t help things whatsoever.
3. Man’s Best Friend with Benefits (8X15)
“Man’s Best Friend with Benefits” is a season eight dud. The premise of the episode boils down to a cop-turned-witch whose familiar is a dog, who is also his incredibly attractive girlfriend.
This episode continued many tropes of the show that fans hadn’t seen since the earlier seasons, including Dean disappearing to get beer and a random dog suddenly showing up. Sam, of course, takes the dog in and, surprise: it turns into a very attractive woman sitting on his bed, which in itself is pretty degrading to females everywhere. Turns out this is Portia, the familiar to their old friend James.
Though this episode did give audiences a break from the Sam Winchester Trials, the problem with the episode lay in the fact it appeared to be based on a joke that had run its course. Not only that, nothing about the episode was of particular surprise, as everything was utterly predictable – right down to the taboo relationship between familiar and witch.
2. Plucky Penny Whistle’s Magical Menagerie (7X14)
This season seven episode has to be based on someone’s traumatic Chuck E. Cheese experience. Dean and Sam’s investigation lead them to “Plucky Penny Whistle’s Magical Menagerie”, a Chuck E. Cheese-type establishment where Dean often dumped Sam when he was a child, sparking Sam’s fear of clowns.
There wasn’t much of a plot for this episode either, other than the fact that some pop-psychologist encouraged kids to draw their fears on paper and those fears ended up coming to life and killing people. This episode has absolutely nothing to do with the greater arc of season seven, and seems to be entirely self-contained, except for it relies heavily on audiences remembering “Everybody Loves a Clown” for its humor, and on Sam’s coulrophobia for the horror factor.
To be fair, the clowns in this episode were rather terrifying to look at, slightly reminiscent of the clown from IT. Though fans were able to see flashbacks of when Sam and Dean were younger, “Penny Whistle’s” just becomes another thing for Dean to apologize to Sam over, which is pretty much in line with season seven as a whole.
1. Clap Your Hands if You Believe (6X09)
Supernatural wouldn’t be here without its predecessor, X-Files, and as such, did a quasi-tribute to the show in “Clap Your Hands If You Believe”. Dean is abducted by aliens, and his ringtone the X-Files theme song, which is amusing.
Turns out, though, it isn’t aliens, but fairies that have kidnapped Dean. The humor in this episode is really the only real reason to watch it, as the dialogue delivered between Dean and Soulless Sam is hilarious. The episode does manage to break up the monotony of season six’s drama.
However, Soulless Sam appears to be taking the place of Cas as he looks to Dean for appropriate social cues. The frustrating part of this is the fact that Sam should already know how to act, as he has all of regular Sam’s memories. Also, the alien abduction point could have served as an interesting plot point, but only appeared to be placed in the episode for the purpose of mocking alien abduction enthusiasts.
Overall, for a Ben Edlund episode, though there were many funny moments in the episode, some jokes didn’t land with the viewers and portions of the Sam storyline really failed to make sense.
What’s your least favorite episode of Supernatural? Let us know in the comments!