Recap: Supernatural S 05 E 08 Changing Channels
Season 5, Episode 8
The Winchesters investigate a mysterious death — in which the widow swears it was The Incredible Hulk
that killed her husband. When Sam finds candy wrappers at the scene of death, they know what they're dealing with — The Trickster
Two days later, they're Trapped in TV Land
. Yeah, it's that kind of episode
For this episode = 1 human.
For the series so far = At least 324 humans (of which 6 were witches), at least 83 demons, 28 ghosts, 11 vampires, 6 changelings, 4 gods, 3 shapeshifters, 3 zombies, 4 angels, 2 ghouls, 2 werewolves, 1 cat, 1 crocotta, 1 djinn, 1 dog, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 rougarou, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, and 1 wendigo.
- Actor Allusion: The Grey's Anatomy has a character Johnny Drake, the equivalent of Denny Dequette from Greys. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played John Winchester, also played Denny.
- Affectionate Parody
- Armour-Piercing Slap: Sam gets on the receiving end for a Rule Of Threes, dodging the third one.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The commercial for the fictional genital herpes medication, Herpexia, lists the drug's side effects as follows (as recited by Dean):
Dean (voiceover): Side effects of Herpexia include permanent erectile dysfunction, thoughts of suicide, and nausea.
- Artistic License - Chemistry: Water on an oil fire. In reality, putting water on an oil fire would result in more fire, not less.
- Ass Shove: Sam turns into a Knight Rider version of the Impala. Later, Dean retrieves an object from the trunk and Sam comments about how uncomfortable it feels. Dean later makes a comment about pulling something out of Sam's ass.
- Autopsy Snack Time: In the CSI: Miami parody, the coroner explains the body to Sam and Dean while sucking on a lollipop.
- Bad Bad Acting: In the CSI parody with Hurricane of Puns, Dramatic Pause and Glasses Pull.
- Bedsheet Ghost / Scary Flashlight Face
- Bilingual Bonus: In the japanese gameshow segment on the wall behind the boys are japanese characters. くるみ割り(kurumiwari) means nutcracker. The lonely character beneath the arc, 苦、means "bitter, hardship, worry, suffering, trial". This ties in quite nicely with the aspects of the gameshow. After all, Sam does not only suffer from a Groin Attack, but the quizmaster asks questions which have hardship, trial and worry as central topics.
- Birds of a Feather: Why Sam and Dean were selected as the vessels of Lucifer and Michael.
- Blatant Lies: Dean insists he's not a fan of Dr. Sexy.
Sam: Have you done your research yet?
(Hot bikini babe comes out of the bedroom)
Oh Dean, we have some more research
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "You're brilliant! And a coward! You're a brilliant coward!"
- Catch Phrase: Dean's "son-of-a-bitch!" is parodied in the sitcom.
- The Chew Toy: Sam throughout this entire episode. He gets hit in the groin, given genital herpes, slapped multiple times and turned into a car.
- Chewing the Scenery: Gabriel gets really hammy once he's outed.
- Also the host of Nutcracker!, but at least he's got an excuse.
- Cliché Storm (In-Universe)
- Dagwood Sandwich: Dean makes one when he finds himself in a sitcom.
- Deus ex Machina: Averted; Cas barges in to save the boys, only to be quickly thrown out by the Trickster. This is a clue that he's much more powerful than a demigod.
- Double Entendre: In the sitcom version of Supernatural.
Sam: I'm sorry but we have work to do.
But we did
do work. (smiles at Dean)
In depth. (Laugh Track)
- Enemy Mine: Discussed. Despite being previously tormented by the Trickster, Sam hopes to convince it to help the brothers fight the Apocalypse.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Dean's tongue-tied reaction to Dr. Sexy.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Herpexia.
- Gas Leak Coverup: The "bear attack"
- Get It Over With: The Trickster's reaction to the Apocalypse.
- Glasses Pull: Multiple times by both Sam and Dean, to "play" their role in the parody of CSI: Miami. A step in distracting the Trickster.
- Groin Attack: "NUT-CRACKAAAAA!"
- Guilty Pleasures: Sam catches Dean watching a hospital show called "Dr. Sexy, M.D.", but Dean claims he isn't a fan of the show. Later on, "Dr. Sexy" actually appears.
Dr. Sexy: You're crazy.
Dean: Really? Because I swore part of what makes Dr. Sexy sexy, is the fact that he wears cowboy boots. Not tennis shoes!
Sam: Yeah, you're not a fan...
Dean: It's a guilty pleasure!
- Hospital Hottie: The entire point of Dr. Sexy, where not only the title character but every other hospital worker is sexy.
- Hot as Hell: The Fanservice Extra girls in the Japanese game show are wearing sexy devil outfits.
- How Unscientific!: Sam asks why a show like Dr. Sexy would even have ghosts.
- Hurricane of Puns: Weaponized by the Winchesters during the parody of "CSI: Miami".
- I Knew It: The trickster is really an angel.
- Improvised Weapon: The boys weaponized a CSI: Miami Shout-Out. They make the obligatory series of puns, which distracts the guy they're talking to so Dean can get behind him and stab him. Except he's not the Trickster. The real Trickster, nearby, was distracted by that stabbing so Sam can stab him. Yes, that's right, they weaponized a Shout-Out, and then weaponized the weaponization.
- Incoming Ham: The Trickster entering the sitcom right after having Castiel Blown Across the Room.
"Helloooo!" (audience goes wild) "Thank you! Thank you!"
- Instant Costume Change / Offscreen Reality Warp: The Winchesters enter an Abandoned Warehouse and find themselves in Dr. Sexy M.D., both wearing a Labcoat of Science and Medicine.
- Ironic Hell: Sam and Dean fear being Trapped in TV Land forever.
Trickster: 300 channels and nothing's on.
- Is There a Doctor in the House?: Yes Sam, it's you.
- Laugh Track: Done during the sitcom segment.
Sam: We could die in here.
Dean: How is that funny? Vultures!
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Sam confirms that the Trickster is involved, Dean retorts with this:
Gabriel: Guys, I wish this were a TV show.
- Left the Background Music On / Proscenium Reveal: An Elevator Going Down scene with accompanying song turns out to be on a medical soap opera that Dean is watching on TV.
- Mood Whiplash: At the end of the episode.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Castiel appears from wherever the Trickster zapped him, much the worse for wear. When the brothers ask what happened, he just waves his hands to indicate it's not important. "I got out!"
- Out-of-Character Alert: Dr Sexy does not wear tennis shoes!
- Point-and-Laugh Show
- Power Walk: In sunglasses. At night.
- Product Placement: Shrimp chips in the Nutcracker show.
- Relative Button
- Reality Warper: The Trickster.
- Repeat Cut: Several instant replay shots of Sam getting smashed in the nuts.
- Share the Male Pain: Dean's reaction to the above.
- Show Within a Show: Dean's Guilty Pleasure, Dr. Sexy, MD
- Special Edition Title: Replacing the opening titles with a sitcom-style montage, complete with appropriately-styled theme song and credits (in the "Full House" font, no less).
- Suddenly Always Knew That: Dean is surprised to find he can speak Japanese when he decides to play along with the gameshow.
- Sunglasses at Night: Lampshaded.
Sam: "You gotta calm down."
Dean: "Calm down? I'm wearing sunglasses at night. You know who does that? No talent douchebags."
- Stealth Insult: "Call it my own little idiot box."
- Stepford Smiler: Sam and Dean in their sitcom.
- Take That: To police procedurals, in particular CSI: Miami. Dean hates that there are so many of them and they're all the same.
- Let it be known that the two shows that get it the worst in this episode were essentially Supernatural's rivals. Grey's Anatomy (the show that Doctor Sexy, MD is parodying) and CSI (the Vegas version instead of Miami) both aired during Supernatural's then-timeslot of Thursdays at 9:00.
- The Grey's Anatomy riff is especially meta, as it references the ghost of a dead patient haunting one of the doctors. On the actual GA that patient was played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a.k.a. John Winchester.
- The Banner and Norton Hulks are derided in favour of the Lou Ferrigno version.
- Theme Tune: Parodied with an over-the-top, sitcom-style opening tune.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech
- Trap Is the Only Option: The boys investigate a police officer desperately calling for backup and find an Abandoned Warehouse with no police cars.
Dean: What does that look to you?
Sam: Crappy. (get out the wooden stakes)
- Trapped in TV Land
- Visual Pun: The Brand X "Mr Cheese" in the fridge as we lead into a cheesy sitcom.
- Yes But What Does Zataproximetacine DO: The Herpexia commercial.