Ten Incredibly Geeky Moments from Supernatural


Supernatural has reigned for eight seasons as arguably the most underrated and consistently entertaining show on television. Keeping any fantasy/sci-fi/horror series on the air for more than a couple of years seems to take a minor miracle, but this one has been going on strong for nearly a decade with almost zero mainstream buzz, and it has seldom disappointed in that time. To put that in further perspective, I typically acknowledge Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the be-all-end-all of geek-flavored television series.  Well, that one lasted for seven seasons and even the most hardcore of fans will acknowledge that the show was falling apart for the last two and needed to end.

A while back I was watching Defiance and this amazing piece of music came on. As the singer croaked out the melody, I recognized the whiskey and cigarette-ravaged voice as belonging to an aged-but-immortal Bob Dylan. What the hell does this have to do with Supernatural? Well, it put the idea in my head that while most artists run out of steam at some point, others just keep going on and on without losing a step. I realized I was a fool to have ignored the fact that Bob freaking Dylan had a new album out. About a week later I viewed the season 8 finale of Supernatural, which inspired this article. It not only provided one of the most insanely nerdy moments I’ve ever seen on television, but the final shot of the season was so utterly epic I was kicking myself for thinking this should be the last season and that they should quit while they’re ahead.

For at least the last four seasons, I’ve been expecting Supernatural to run out of ideas, to crash and burn, to get canceled, to go out in an epic blaze of glory, or to otherwise simply stop putting out the goods one way or another. There are only so many horror standards to go around, after all.  But at the end of every single season, I always end up jazzed for the next as the show continues to adapt and evolve beyond its roots. It should fail at some point, but it just keeps on winning. It’s also a rare modern Western property to be adapted for the Japanese market as an anime. Geek cred doesn’t get much credier than that. Like Dylan, this show will not die, nor does it ever me a real reason to doubt it’s got plenty of creative gas left in the tank.

What started as a badass love letter to the horror genre consisting of two brothers in an Impala with a ton of classic rock tapes taking down monsters of the week along with the occasional familiar face -including the likes of Katherine Isabel, Amy Acker, and Linda Blair- has blossomed into a universe with an incredibly rich mythology to match the killer music, excellent sense of humor,  soul-scorching drama, horrific violence, and some of the wildest and nerdiest episodes ever aired on television. There are times that Supernatural could teach Community a thing or two with its willingness to push the boundaries of metafiction and make fun of itself and its fans.  Here are some of my favorite bits of geek insanity from one of my favorite shows of the last decade. There are going to be a few minor show spoilers, but nothing catastrophic.

1. “These aren’t vampires, man…. These are douchebags.”

During Season 6 episode Live Free or Twihard the Winchester brothers track a pack of vampires to a club where girls obsessed with the pop culture vampire romance craze gather to meet like-minded male vamp wannabes. Upon investigating the room of a girl who has been victimized, they find it full of posters, novels, PC wallpapers, and everything else featuring preening, sparkly vampires, prompting Dean to utter the tagline above, giving voice to the grievances of thousands of horror fans all over the world. Behold.

2. “What’s a slash fan?”

Season 4 was when Supernatural began toying with the concept of having Sam and Dean interact with the show’s fans via metafiction, specifically in The Monster at the End of this Book, in which the characters meet their first prophet. This prophet is tasked by God to chronicle the lives of the Winchesters in their quest to avert the apocalypse (all of them, actually) and gifted with visions of their adventures, which he has recorded in novel form and published.

The novels became a cult sensation with an internet following, and Sam and Dean are forced to confront the seedier side of Supernatural fandom when they uncover the horrors of fanfiction. Turns out there are Sam girls, there are Dean girls, and then there are the Sam/Dean girls who prefer a little wincest in their literary diet. Awkward moments ensue.

3. “You’re my Marnie, Moose.”


This line is from the aforementioned Season 8 finale, Sacrifice. There are actually two geek references contained in these four words, but I’m going to have to set the stage for this one. The demonic Crowley has been a primary antagonist on the show for a few years now and he is the perfect villain; that rare bad guy that you kind of like more than the heroes. He is a perfect blend of gravel-voiced British snark and charismatic, theatrical arrogance.  He often taunts Sam and Dean by referring to them as “Moose and Squirrel”, respectively, a la Rocky and Bullwinkle which never gets old.

Well, in this episode, Sam has discovered a way to potentially turn a demonic soul twisted by centuries in Hell back into its former human self, and sets to work on the big bad himself as Crowley mocks him by singing Bowie’s Changes. “Time may change me, but you can’t trace time…” As Crowley’s chatter becomes more frantic, he suddenly starts rambling about how he feels he’s become close to the brothers after all they’ve been through together, referencing Band of Brothers.

Upset that Sam appears to have no idea what he’s talking about, the demon gets even more agitated and raves that at some point the brothers must have watched HBO before suddenly switching gears entirely and breaking into tearful praises for Girls, likening himself to Hanna as somebody who just wants to be loved. And Sam is his Marnie. Achievement unlocked: Broken Demon. It was a moment that was hilarious, touching, and 100% batshit all at the same time, but somehow it WORKED. How many shows ever pull off anything like that?

4. “LARP and the Real Girl”


So this is an entire season 8 episode that revolves around a Live Action Role-Playing community, whose fantasy-loving members are being killed by real black magic, which draws in the brothers Winchester to investigate. And who should be the queen of this kingdom? Why, it’s geek sweetheart Felicia Day, whose character’s hacking skills had helped bring the previous season’s badness to a close.  Oh, and she claims to have Slave Leia riding a ten-sided die tattooed on her somewhere. I often pass hours in my head trying to imagine exactly where.

Having an entire episode take place in the geekiest of all possible geek communities is more than enough to warrant a spot on this list. But the geekiest moment of all? I’m going to have to go with the seldom-geeky Sam and Dean, having eliminated the real-world threat, taking up arms on the queen’s behalf and going full Braveheart, leading the charge for the glory of the realm.

5. ”Something called a Jared Padalecki.”

In one of the more insanely metafictional ideas for an episode, season six bequeathed unto us The French Mistake, where our heroes find themselves transported to an alternate universe where their adventures are nothing but a TV show filmed by actors, with their parts being played by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, if you can imagine. The brothers are more than a little confused.

The result is an unusual instance of the characters from a show meeting the real life cast and an amusing commentary from the show’s creators on the actors’ images and fan perceptions of what goes on behind the scenes of the show.  Very funny.


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  1. I love Supernatural (I’ve been a fan almost since its debut), but one of the biggest reasons Seasons 6-8 just plain haven’t been as good as 1-5 is because the ratio of cool/serious episodes to goofy/jokey episodes has been getting more and more unbalanced. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when Natty decides to intermittently poke fun at itself, such as with the Ghostfacers and every single episode involving the Trickster. Using Chuck the Prophet and the Supernatural books was a brilliant way for the show to acknowledge its fans (and make fun of their more…zealous followers). But then the goofy, gimmicky episodes and nerd shout-outs started to get more and more frequent and screwed with the formula that Seasons 1-5 did such a good job of establishing. The word-for-word Back to the Future 2 reference in Season 6 and the cartoon death episode in Season 8 stand out as particular offenders.

    Honestly, I hate Felicia Day’s character in the show. Her function in the story and every line of dialogue she speaks just gives off a real “Big Bang Theory-level mishandled pandering” vibe. Her placement in the series is a thinly-veiled ploy, and it isn’t really working. I hope she doesn’t become too regular.

    I’m really glad I stuck through the okay Season 6 and the meh Season 7, because Season 8 has been pretty good and I get the feeling the show is finding its footing again. Also, I’m pretty jazzed to see Natty on Unreality! I’m pretty sure this is a first.

  2. I LOVE this show. Surprised it never really got the recognition it deserves. Totally agree with your number 1 pick. That scene and the way season 5 ends are the two best scenes the show has ever done. The leviathan season was pretty bad but with 8 seasons and only 1 real misstep, gotta give the show credit for delivering the goods.

  3. i really enjoyed reading about my favorite show from your perspective. Jensen and Jared are both Emmy worthy actors and there have been many episodes that deserved the nod.

  4. I cannot believe more people aren’t into this show. It’s incredibly well acted, has a great balance of drama and humor, and has some gorgeous cinematography. I am so happy to see a glowing article like this on this site. I recently had to stop following another entertainment site I was fond of because they started bagging on the show even though they aren’t viewers. Thanks for this!

  5. Supernatural is definitely one of the most underrated and imo one of the most awesome shows on television. And thankfully, there seem to be more and more people discovering it now, as it was the show with the biggest growth in viewers in 2013! And I was definitely one of those fans that just discovered Supernatural this past year and I was very much “Why haven’t I already been watching this!? This show is amazing!” I’m very glad to be part of SPN’s cult-like following now though, lol. And I cannot wait to see what Season 9 holds for my favorite angel and hunters now!

  6. I aim to please, folks. The fact that Supernatural gets so little praise is the exact reason I feel compelled to write something like this. I know the fans are out there, though. Thanks for the comments, all.

  7. This is one of THE BEST shows on TV. Too bad so many have no clue what they’re missing. You’re gonna laugh, cry, be spooked and, most importantly, be entertained. Give Supernatural a try. But start with season 1.

  8. Corrections:
    6. Eye The producers had nothing to do with it. Padalecki himself said in an interview he decided to wait and see what Ackles would do.
    8. Ghostfacers didn’t create the legend Craig (Shane Meier) posted it on their site where it took on a life of it’s own.
    9. Rabbit’s foot Sam had the rabbit’s foot not Dean. Dean didn’t touch the foot until he accidentally grabbed it retriving it from Bela who’d stolen it off of Sam.

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