When Supernatural kicked off in 2005, few expected the show to amass the impressive cult following it’s gained. Only a handful of shows can say they’ve successfully completed a dozen seasons and continue to command attention from viewers and critics alike. That said, Supernatural isn’t without its flaws and missteps. With over 200 episodes, it’s impossible not to do something to offend a set of viewers, or to get a bit too wild, silly, or dark.
Fortunately for Supernatural, the show is based on the weird, silly, and dark. The whole premise of the show is watching brothers Sam and Dean hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and other supernatural creatures. Additionally, the show has done a supreme job of keeping up with the latest trends in pop culture, often incorporating characters and plots from other shows as a parody.
To keep things fresh, the writers of Supernatural have often tried new things and forged new ground, which hasn’t always been successful. In fact, we culled over the hundreds of episodes and found quite a few where Supernatural went a little too far for some viewers.
Here are 16 Times Supernatural Went Too Far (And We Can't Watch It The Same Way Again).
By season six of Supernatural, viewers were used to seeing Dean and Sam get into strange situations. When the two found themselves facing off against a gang of vampires, no one batted an eye. Even Dean changing into a vampire isn’t that farfetched, especially since fans of the show know that at some point Sam or someone else will find a way to change him back to his normal self.
However, the show writers decided to take things an extra step and build in a storyline that was identical to the equally loved and hated series Twilight. While the writers were undoubtedly playing off the popularity of the Twilight saga (which no doubt drew many young viewers to the episode), it was a bit overdone to have the episode based on the Twilight world rather than telling a new, unique story.
This episode started off normally enough, at least by Supernatural standards. Four people have gone missing and many are contributing the disappearances to aliens thanks to numerous UFO sightings. As the brothers begin to investigate, sure enough, Dean witnesses a UFO and goes after it.
It’s revealed shortly after that the glowing things in the sky weren’t UFOs, but were instead fairies.
While viewers can easily handle a simple plot change, such as UFOs to fairies, there’s one moment where the show goes a little too far in its storytelling. At one point, Dean is harassed by a fairy, and to stop it, he traps the tiny glowing woman in a microwave and turns it on, ending the tiny creature's life. While nothing graphic was shown, did he really have to microwave her?
Back in season five of Supernatural, viewers had to experience the loss of Ellen - a character many grew to love. Granted, she sacrificed herself to destroy a terrible beast, but the loss was easily palpable. So it came as a pleasant surprise that Ellen returned in "My Heart Will Go On" in season seven.
Sadly, Ellen’s return wouldn’t last. The episode hinges on a change in history where the Titanic didn’t sink as it was supposed to. Due to the change in history, Fate is out to claim the descendants of those who survived the Titanic but shouldn't have - some 50,000 people. Unfortunately, Ellen is one of those descendants, and both Bobby and the audience have to experience Ellen’s second demise. The pain was just too much for some fans of the show.
For a show about the weird, it honestly isn’t too surprising to see the writers turn inward and take on their own material. In "The Monster at the End of This Book", Supernatural took a turn, with Dean and Sam discovering a novel that perfectly details their lives, and leads them to discover a new danger looming.
The problem is that it seems the writers were running out of ideas and they were only on the show's fourth season.
While the premise is fun, the fact that the show broke the fourth wall so significantly and tried so hard to not take itself too seriously was a bit out there. However, fans seemed to love the episode, which scored very high on IMDb, so the risk seemed to have been worth it in the end.
When Castiel reveals to Sam and Dean that he wants to become a hunter like them, the brothers are understandably skeptical. To determine whether or not Castiel should join their ranks, the brothers agree to investigate a situation Castiel found where people are being done away with in unusual ways.
As the episode unfolds, viewers discover that each victim's life has ended in a cartoonish manner, with someone’s heart bursting out of their chests, and a man who stayed still in mid air only to fall to his demise when he looked down. Where the show really went wild was when the crew stumbled upon a victim at a bank who had been crushed by an anvil. While the idea sounds bad enough, the visuals were worse. It was a bit more than was needed.
As mentioned previously, the writers of Supernatural often bring in stories from other movies and shows. Sometimes the additions are fun and intriguing, while other times they seem forced and gimmicky. In "Slumber Party", it’s more of the latter.
The brothers discover a hidden bunker that contains Dorothy and the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz.
Rather than dispatching the witch as the classic movie shows, Dorothy had instead trapped herself and the witch so the witch couldn’t join Oz to the modern world. As the episode plays out, it becomes painfully obvious that the storyline just doesn’t work. The Wicked Witch possesses people, making friends fight each other. For many fans, this ruined their experience with The Wizard of Oz they had as a child.
In this season seven episode, the brothers head off to Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie, where people have been disappearing in unusual ways. As Sam and Dean investigate, they discover that the children had previously drawn their greatest fears, which had then come to life to end their parent.
While the premise in and of itself isn’t too crazy, especially considering the places the show had gone in previous seasons, it was the execution that got a little to far out there. Instead of keeping it light, the Supernatural writers made the episode a bit too silly, which in many ways ruined the atmosphere of the episode. While some may argue that it added a bit of a child-like flair to the plot, in the end it just didn’t perform very well.
Many shows do something special for milestone episodes like 100 and 200. So it comes as no surprise that Supernatural decided to do the same.
The show took on the challenge of making the episode into a musical, as many other shows have done in the past.
The problem with Supernatural’s musical episode is that the writers once again took on the self-referential point-of-view, with the brothers stumbling upon a school doing a musical on them. Once again, the premise is a bit too over the top, but fans still loved it and showed their support by their ratings around the web. Plus, it helped that numerous fan-favorite characters returned for the episode, which added a fun and intriguing flare to the whole episode.
For the 13th episode of the 13th season, it’s no surprise to see Supernatural take on a big story. Supernatural incorporated big characters and plot devices to celebrate the episode. In "Devil’s Bargain", viewers watch as Lucifer takes over Heaven and pushes Heaven’s angels to fall in line with his demands.
It’s an interesting storyline that had many fans of the show a little perplexed, and even upset.
Granted, not everyone was unhappy with the direction the show took for the episode, but there were a handful of viewers who felt the show took the story a step too far, according to their personal beliefs. But as they say in showbiz, any publicity is good publicity, and it seems any public denouncements from fans only served to provide additional attention and viewers to the show.
Some of the storylines in Supernatural are more absurd than others and "Dog Dean Afternoon" certainly fits the bill. While the brothers are investigating two unusual crimes (as is often the case of this show), they quickly discover that the prime witness is a dog.
To get a witness account from the canine, Dean is given the ability to speak with the dogs.
As the show progresses, it quickly spirals into goofy territory where Dean is acting like a dog and quite honestly embarrassing himself. While it makes for some comedic moments, it goes a little beyond what’s needed to carry the story forward. Toward the end of the episode, viewers are about to learn exactly why dogs are man’s best friend when Dean’s spell wears off and he can no longer understand the creatures’ communication. It seems the secret of man’s best friend will remain hidden forever.
Supernatural has a knack for breaking the fourth wall and setting up a larger storyline for viewers. However, while that works on some occasions, it doesn’t always end with happy fans. Case in point: "The Real Ghostbusters". In this episode, the brothers are convinced to attend a fan convention where they discover Supernatural fans dressed up as Dean and Sam.
While the idea of a convention in Supernatural sounds fun, the writers took it too far by making fun of the show’s fans to an extensive level. In fact, rather than celebrating the fans of the show, the episode made them out to be overly ridiculous.
While it was surely meant to be a tongue-in-cheek play on Supernatural fans, some were not amused by the show’s treatments of its biggest fans.
Supernatural is known for making fun of cliché television tropes, such as one of the main characters getting married.
In that vein, the show introduces Becky, who’s hell-bent on a relationship with Sam.
Fortunately for her, Sam falls in love and the two decide to get married. Obviously, Dean doesn’t like this and thinks there’s something up, so he sets out to investigate. It turns out Becky is using a love potion to keep Sam in love with her. At one point as he’s coming to his senses, we see Becky pour a vial of liquid into his drink.
While the concept isn’t too crazy, the show writers took Becky a little too far and made her a little too crazy. In the end, her character ruins the experience and end up being a little too cliché, which is ironic considering how much Supernatural wants to make fun of the clichés in shows.
As previously mentioned, Supernatural fans are familiar with the larger-than-life storylines the show kicks out. From comic book characters to Supernatural conventions, most are made in jest, even if they don’t always work out very well. In "The French Mistake," it seems the writers were out of ideas and decided to take the concept one step further.
In "The French Mistake", the brothers are sent to another realm where they are actors who are playing the characters Sam and Dean in a show called Supernatural. Obviously, this is the show not taking itself too seriously, going so far as to use the plotline to poke fun at the show and the characters in general.
In the end, it feels a little too contrived. There’s very little reason to have the episode, other than to tell the same story that’s been told before, but with a slightly different angle.
In "Brother’s Keeper", Dean is given the Mark of Cain, which means Death cannot take him until he passes the Mark to another person. It turns out, the Mark was originally given to Lucifer from God as a way to lock away a great darkness, which Lucifer transferred to Cain. Each person with the Mark needs to pass it along before Death can claim them.
As Dean prepares to end Sam's life using Death’s scythe, Dean instead turns the weapon on Death and ends his days. It’s an interesting plot device, but in the end seems a little too farfetched. In fact, the episode left many viewers confused and frustrated with the way the episode turned out. Shortly after this event, the Mark of Cain is removed from Dean, which only adds to the confusion about why he did away with Death and what problem it solved for the brothers.
In Supernatural, the brothers and their crew face off against hordes of different monsters, demons, and unnatural threats. In "Yellow Fever", everything is a threat, at least for Dean, who finds that he’s afraid of everything. The fear comes via an illness contracted from people who had previously passed away from fright.
Like many others in this list, the idea is unique and fun, but goes a little too far into the silly and over-acted. Granted, some will point out that it’s these types of episodes that make the show worth watching, but for others it’s a huge turn-off because of how absurd and ridiculous it is. Dean’s fear of everything gets annoying quickly and viewers are ready for the brothers to discover the cure so Dean can stop screaming at the sight of nearly everything around him.
One thing fans of almost any show can count on, it’s that the main characters will remain, unless something happens to an actor or their contract, in which case there may be an early departure. But for the most part, main characters are expected to stick around.
It came as a shock when in season three, Dean was shot.
As if the shock and disappointment weren’t enough, viewers then had to re-experience his passing away over and over in terrible ways as Sam goes through a dark version of Groundhog Day, losing his brother over and over. Fortunately, the story had a positive ending, but there were undoubtedly fans who felt the writers pulled their heart strings a little too much that day.
Did one of these episodes ruin Supernatural for you? Let us know in the comments!