Supernatural fans usually don't tune in to see special guests on the show. Between the cool creatures, "the story so far", and of course, the amazing cast of characters like Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, and Castiel, there are plenty of reasons why people not only remain fans after more than a decade of watching but blow entire paychecks on Supernatural conventions to boot.
Even so, special guests on Supernatural are often cause for excitement. Sometimes celebrity cameos bring new fans to the show, and many guest star appearances helped launch actors into much larger, well-known roles as well.
Plenty of cameos give us just what we expect: a little bit of star power and not much else. For longtime fans, it's not much more than a novelty-- and often a forgettable one. But then you get a really big performance or a nod to a star known for his or her time in the supernatural movie and TV world. Remember when The Guild's Felicia Day made an appearance that turned into several episodes featuring the fan favorite?
On the other hand, there are those terrible stunt castings that don't gel with the tone of Supernatural at all and feel like more of a ratings grab than anything.
See which of these powerhouse cameos you like best or worst in these Supernatural's Celebrity Cameos, Ranked From Worst To Best.
15 Paris Hilton
Playing yourself in a role can't be that hard, can it? It wasn't as if Paris Hilton was terrible in her cameo performance in the 2009 episode, "Fallen Idols", but the role itself just wasn't impressive beyond its chuckle factor. When Eric Kripke cast the celebrity on the show, plenty of fans grabbed their torches and pitchforks to do what all angry fans do: yell and scream on the Internet. Sure, it sounded like a goofy idea at the time (and it was pretty silly), but it definitely wasn't as bad as people predicted.
Hilton played the European pagan god Leshii, who shape-shifts into its victims' idols in order to kill them and obtain the sacrifices it's missing so dearly due to lack of followers. At least the fans opposed to Hilton's casting were able to witness Sam chop off her head with an iron axe.
14 Julie Benz
Probably best known for her role as Rita Morgan on Dexter, Julie Benz is a very accomplished actress who has starred in everything from Rambo to Angel, Desperate Housewives to Defiance. In 2017 alone, she continues to star in Hawaii Five-O and Training Day, and she's pretty phenomenal in most of her work. Remember that tiny role she had as the starstruck receptionist in As Good As It Gets? In less than a minute she gave one of the most memorable performances of the movie.
When Benz starred in 2006's episode "Faith" back in the show's debut season, she played Layla Rourke, a dying woman who visited the "healer" Roy Le Grange in hopes of prolonging her life. As admirable as her character was on the show as she finally faced her death with grace, it was almost wasted on Benz, who would've been amazing as a hunter or even a foe to battle.
The first fearsome vampire we ever saw on Buffy as a damsel-in-distress? It just didn't feel right.
13 Meghan Ory
In season seven, Supernatural aired a light homage to the awesome 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting by titling episode 11 with the same name. In this episode, fans saw Once Upon a Time's Meghan Ory, who is known for starring in Vampire High, Merlin's Apprentice, and other fantasy and sci-fi series, portray a Vetala named Sally. Sally fed on truckers with her partner, the Vetala Marlene, and nearly made a meal out of Sam until Krissy, the daughter of a hunter, stabs her with a silver knife.
Sally wasn't the worst monster we've ever seen, and Ory did a fine job for the role written for her. A Vetala is an interesting creature, but the show didn't really portray the monster as it is in ancient lore. Showrunners often take creative liberties with creatures, but Sally was not ghost-like at all, nor did she abide in corpses. It's like substituting glitter vampires for the rotting undead ones we know, love and crave in our macabre media moments: they're simply prettier and sell better.
12 Gary Cole
Gary Cole is a talented actor, and that's what makes him play such a great jerkface. He's not usually an all-out evil character, but he sure knows how to get into mischief. Fans know Gary Cole from his dozens of voice roles and films like Office Space, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and his Emmy-nominated role in Veep. Cole plays a fantastic antagonist.
As the character Brad Redding in Supernatural's season two episode "Hollywood Babylon," Cole starred a frequently ignored film producer working on a film called Hell Hazers II. He mistook Dean for a production assistant, flippantly asking him for drinks as the Winchesters attempt to solve a case involving ghosts who murder people on the set.
Cole's character is the first to die while Sam and Dean investigate the scene, proving that the case was more than a waste of time (or simply Dean's chance to fawn over his favorite actress). A ghostly woman lured him onto the catwalk suspended above the set only to hang him.
Snooki as a demon? Oddly enough, it really works. The reality star played herself possessed by a crossroads demon in season nine's "Blade Runners". The Winchesters are at their wits' end trying to locate Crowley (the joke is on them; he finds them often enough in later episodes) so they decide to summon a crossroads demon, which is always a fun scene to watch.
Nicole Polizzi gives a snarky performance, correcting the brothers as they ask if they can call her Snooki and retorting, "Google him!" when they ask for information about Crowley. Their possession of a demon blade doesn't phase her at first, but ultimately the threat of them scratching up her face, combined with the threat of Abaddon ruling over Hell, motivates her to spill the beans.
In gratitude, Sam exorcises the demon from Polizzi's body while the demon in her body whines, "We had a deal!" Plenty of viewers agreed that it was her most enjoyable media appearance to date.
10 Rick Springfield
Several people have portrayed the devil in Supernatural. Most people enjoyed Mark Pellegrino's original performances as Satan, and David Chisum played Satan the last time we saw him. Even Sam and Cas have had a turn. But casting Rick Springfield as the devil, as out of left field as it seems (has anyone ever randomly droned, "Sanctus! Dominus!" in the middle of "Jessie's Girl"?), seemed to please the masses. Okay, maybe some of us would've liked to have seen Keith Richards as the rocker possessed by the devil, but Springfield's portrayal, while not very scary, still proved to be fun.
As Vince Vincente, Springfield plays a depressed, aging rock star haunted by the guilt of his ex-lover's suicide. She comes to him and promises him peace if he lets her in and, once he agrees, he is immediately possessed by Lucifer.
When he asks Crowley's mother, Rowena, to help slow the decay of his vessel's body, Lucifer instead finds himself on the receiving end of a spell that speeds up his meat suit's deterioration. Although Springfield does kill some people and looks cool as Satan, he only gets to play the role for three episodes before Vincente's body completely burns out.
9 Harry Groener
In season seven, we were subjected to an episode called "The Slice Girls" that featured a group of Amazonian women who used men for procreation, then had their daughters, who were born the next day and rapidly grew up, slay their own fathers as a rite of passage.
Harry Groener played Professor Morrison, the expert on Amazons who assisted Dean and Sam with the lore on their case. While Groener has had a number of roles in both television and various films, it was his role as Mayor Richard Wilkins in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer that had fans excited over his inclusion in Supernatural.
The episode itself, however, wasn't much of a fan favorite. Many fans were displeased with the brothers killing Dean's daughter without trying very hard to help her. Sam killed one of the elder Amazons easily enough; how hard would it have been to trap Emma, give her a chance, and maybe even have an awesome hunter kid join the team?
8 Tricia Helfer
Season two's episode "Roadkill" is among the great Supernatural episodes. It's a perfect blend of an urban legend, the traditional scary movie slasher flick and a twist ending. What makes it even better is that it stars Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica, Ascension, Killer Women and, most recently, Lucifer, as Molly McNara, the tragic ghost stuck in an annual loop of terror.
McNara believes that she's been in a car crash with her husband, when in reality the two of them hit a man fifteen years prior. While her husband, David, survived, McNara relives the moment every year on the anniversary of her death. The man they hit, Jonah Greely, punishes her each year for his death by hunting and torturing her.
The brothers burn Greely's remains and help McNara come to terms with her death, allowing her to move on to what they hope is a better place. Helfer has a lot of emotions to process throughout the episode and she does it all beautifully, creating a character that we believe and care about in her single episode on the show.
7 Mercedes McNab
She may be most well-known for her role as Harmony Kendall on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, but Mercedes McNab will always have a place in our hearts as Amanda Buckman in the Addams Family films. She made every salty cookie-buyer inquire if Girl Scouts cookies were made "with real Girl Scouts."
McNab's character Lucy seems to give nods to both roles in the Supernatural episode "Fresh Blood" in season three. Not only does she behave and look like a grown Amanda Buckman, but she also reprises her role as a vampire (albeit a bit differently!). Harmony's annoying nature even shone through a bit, even though we were sorry for Lucy's attack.
McNab's role is a short-lived one, and the Winchesters decapitate her before giving her a chance to live as a "vegetarian" as they did for Lenore in season three. Even so, most fans enjoyed her cameo, which took place during one of the episodes with the unhinged hunter Gordon Walker, played by Sterling K. Brown, now known for his success in hit shows like American Crime Story and This is Us.
6 Barry Bostwick
Ever since Susan Sarandon cried, "Brad!" in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, enthusiasts of multiple fandoms have enjoyed cameo performances by Barry Bostwick. Even with his film career, Broadway fame and roles in TV shows like Spin City, Bostwick's cameos seem to be some of his most beloved roles to his fans. During season four, Bostwick portrayed a magician in the twelfth episode, hilariously titled, "Criss Angel is a Douchebag."
Jay, the magician, is aging and feeling depressed about being replaced by younger, hipper magicians. It's later revealed that he was thinking about suicide, but his sudden ability to perform outrageous acts of magic perks him back up. He gets caught in a web of magic crafted by one of his friends who is killing other magicians in order to become young and powerful again.
The episode ends with Jay even more depressed than ever, having lost his two best friends. Is it Emmy-worthy? No, but it's a poignant and powerful episode that speaks volumes about friendship, aging and changing times.
5 William B. Davis
When you saw William B. Davis in the season one episode, "Scarecrow," did you shout, "The Smoking Man!" like every other X-Files fan? Not only was the episode one of the best in the entire history of the show, but it featured one of the most well-known figures in sci-fi history, making it a double win.
At first Davis seems like a helpful local professor, explaining the history of the Vanir (the god who needs to be appeased through human sacrifice) to Dean. It's a role we've all come to know, since the brothers are often conferencing with local experts to gain input on a case, but there's a twist when the town sheriff knocks him out, knowing that he is a threat to their prosperity.
It's a small role but it's such a great nod to the sci-fi and fantasy community, and was the first Supernatural episode centered around a god.
4 Amy Acker
No, she didn't play a demon like she did in Angel, but Amy Acker portrayed the first victim that we really connected with in Supernatural's season one episode, "Dead in the Water". Like many episodes in the first few seasons, the case covered an urban legend brilliantly: an accidental death at a lake resulted in an angry spirit trapped and seeking revenge. After three drownings occur with no bodies to show, the Winchesters visit to check it out and meet Andrea Barr, played by Acker.
Barr's husband was recently murdered by the ghost of the lake, so it's kind of callous for Dean to make a play on her. She tells him that his flirting won't work, and reiterates that to Sam, saying she isn't going to fall for his "Jerry Maguire act." But after the Winchesters save both Barr and her son (her father, the sheriff who accidentally killed the ghost during his childhood, sacrificed himself to help save the boy), Barr kisses Dean, symbolizing her entering the healing process.
Acker plays the perfect worried mother in the episode, helping viewers really empathize with the horrors she has experienced.
3 Charisma Carpenter & James Marsters
Most cameo performances don't last for an entire episode, but when Supernatural brought in two fan favorites from another series, the Internet pretty much exploded. Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters, AKA Cordelia and Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame, were perfect as Maggie and Don Stark; a wealthy and sophisticated couple by day and dueling witches by night. A series of deaths connects the feuding couple and the Winchesters attempt to intervene-- only to get beaten around by the pair. Badly.
Sam and Dean have taken on witches before, so it's pretty surprising that they can't manage to best these two powerful practitioners. Eventually they sort of "Dr. Phil" the situation out (hence the episode name, "Shut Up, Dr. Phil") and counsel the witches into rekindling their love. Don even saves the brothers afterwards from an attack by a Leviathan. But given that Maggie in particular had caused so many deaths, it's odd and unfair that the brothers would let them live another day after taking out so many other killers for even lesser grievances...
Until we remember that it's Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters we're talking about here.
2 Robert Englund
Freddy. Freaking. Krueger.
You might say that no more needs to be said, and you're probably right. When Supernatural finally included the king of the scream scene, Robert Englund, the first thought that crossed the minds of many fans was simply, "About time!"
First of all, he gets the name "Dr. Robert," which we love. He made his cameo during season six in the 11th episode, "Night in Samarra". No, he wasn't a monster, but a doctor who patched up the brothers' father, John, time and time again. In this episode, Dean seeks his assistance to temporarily die in order to locate Death.
Dr. Robert isn't in the episode for long, and fans had to survive an emotional roller coaster watching Dean play Death for a day while a soulless Sam tried to track Bobby down to kill him for a spell before having his soul painfully shoved back into his body by Death. Even so, Englund's small cameo is often listed by fans as a favorite, and it would be awesome to see him reprise it.
1 Linda Blair
When word got out that Blair would be starring in season two's episode, "The Usual Suspects", scary movie fans rejoiced and her appearance did not disappoint. She played Diana Ballard, a detective who, like other law enforcement in the series, began the episode suspecting Sam and Dean of committing a crime, only to become a Winchester ally once baptized into the world of the supernatural by the brothers.
The episode had a bit of What Lies Beneath flair as the ghost of a murdered woman attempted to tell Ballard about her murderous boyfriend and partner. Blair, one of the most authentic guest stars on the show, was nothing short of brilliant, and it would be awesome to see her on the show again.
Although fans who read the Supernatural novels know that the detective is probably not working in homicide anymore due to the sketchy details involving their case, she could always become a hunter!
Which is your favorite Supernatural cameo? How about your least favorite? Let us know in the comments!