Supernatural: Trope Based Episodes

This page covers trope-based episodes found in Supernatural.

Trope Based Episodes | Tropes A to D | Tropes E to L | Tropes M to P | Tropes Q to Z | YMMV | Shout Outs
  • Animation Tropes: "Hunteri Heroici"
  • Bad Future: "The End", with Jerk Ass Dean, zombie apocalypse, junkie-sex-guru Cas, and Sarah Palin as President.
  • Christmas Episode: And right in the season where it could deliver the most angst, too.
  • Creepy Child: Played with in "The Kids are Alright". It is revealed that the children are actually changelings.
  • Creepy Doll: The episode "Playthings" is chock full of 'em—though they are only creepy, not actually dangerous.
  • Cuckoo Nest: "Sam, Interrupted"
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • "Ghostfacers", which featured two characters from a first season episode and their friends. Fans either loved it or loathed it.
    • "The Rapture", told the backstory of Castiel's vessel, Jimmy Novak.
    • The Impala gets flashbacks and a backstory in "Swan Song".
    • In Season 6, Bobby Singer gets one of these, aptly titled, "Weekend at Bobby's" (also a Shout-Out, as the episode titles often are). It focuses on what Bobby does when he's not helping Sam and Dean, and how that actually interferes with his life. The episode also wraps up the minor Story Arc about selling his soul to Crowley to help save the world.
    • "The Man Who Would Be King" is about Castiel, and narrated from his point of view.
    • "Apointment In Samarra" is one for the Reapers, as Dean learns exactly what the Psychopomps of his reality have to deal with every day.
  • Death by Gluttony: "My Bloody Valentine" and "The Magnificent Seven"
  • Death of the Old Gods: In one episode two pagan gods are eating humans around the Christmas season and one of them reflects on how Jesus is the big new thing. Also in "Hammer Of The Gods". Vesta in "Rock and a Hard Place" complains that "some hippie from Bethlehem" messed up her thing.
  • A Death in the Limelight: "Abandon All Hope" (Ellen and Jo), "Hammer of the Gods" (Gabriel), "Death's Door" (Bobby)
  • Deconstruction: The entire 6th season episode "Live Free or Twi-hard" is a deconstruction/parody of Twilight. It has vampires pretending to be harmless Edward expies because it's so easy to lure Twilight fan-girls into a trap. Also, one recently-turned guy is shown sneaking into his girlfriend's bedroom at night to watch her sleep. Unlike the similar occurrence in Twilight, this scene doesn't come across as romantic. At all.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Jensen Ackles directed season 6's "Weekend at Bobby's", season 7's "The Girl Next Door", and season 8's "Heartache". Season 9's "Mother's Little Helper" was directed by Misha Collins.
  • Fandom Nod:
    • "The Monster At the End of This Book"
    • "Sympathy For The Devil"
    • "The Real Ghostbusters"
    • "The French Mistake" is absolutely full of this.
    • "Fan Fiction", the 200th episode, features such fandom words as "Samulet" and "Destiel".
  • A Fête Worse Than Death: "Scarecrow"
  • Flatline Plotline: "Death Takes a Holiday"
  • For Want of a Nail: "What Is and What Should Never Be", "My Heart Will Go On"
  • Found Footage Episode: "Bitten"
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The season 5 episode "Swap Meat" and lampshaded. Sadly, it wasn't between Sam and Dean.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: "Mystery Spot"
  • Halloween Episode: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: "Dream A Little Dream of Me", "Death's Door", "The Man Who Knew Too Much".
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: "What Is And What Should Never Be", which is also something of It's a Wonderful Plot, in that Dean finds out what happens to the people he and Sam saved in the real world—namely, they all died horribly.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Several throughout the years:
    • "The Monster at the End of the Book" features the discovery of a series of schlocky novels written by a guy who has no idea he's having visions of actual events. Those events being Sam and Dean's lives.
    • In "The Real Ghostbusters", there's a small fan convention for the novels. The motel is (of course) actually haunted and the problem must be solved with the "help" of a bunch of fans who think it's a really cool LARP.
    • "The French Mistake": When the boys are sent to an alternate universe in which their lives are a TV show, the show is not so much leaning on the fourth wall as bursting through it like the Kool-Aid Man and making sure to grind the bricks to dust afterward.
    • And then "Fan Fiction" poured gas on the remains and set them on fire, with the Winchesters encountering a fan-written musical based on their lives (through the novels, naturally).
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: "Bad Day at Black Rock"
  • Make a Wish: The episode "Wishful Thinking" features a working wishing well.
  • Mind Control: "Simon Said"
  • Monster Clown: "Everybody Loves a Clown" and "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie".
  • Mundanger: A Cannibal Clan in "The Benders," feral children in "Family Remains," a human serial killer in "Repo Man," two ordinary guys turned murderers in "#Thinman."
  • Murderous Mannequin: "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning". The Monster of the Week was really lucky that all of its targets happened to work with mannequins or use sex dolls, or it would have had to change its gimmick.
  • Necromantic: "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things"
  • Nostalgia Heaven: "Dark Side of the Moon"
  • "Rashomon"-Style: The season 2 episode "Tall Tales", told through the accounts of both Dean and Sam, is rife with instances of unreliable narrations. Their stories, while the same in essence, differ greatly in the portrayal of Sam and Dean's characters—in Sam's version, Sam comes off as intelligent and mature while Dean is petty and obnoxious. Dean's account shows Sam to be stiff, temperamental and full of angst and Dean as a smooth-talking player and level-headed hunter.
  • San Dimas Time: In "Frontierland", the past and present timelines are synched, so Sam and Dean can only remain in The Wild West for as long as Cas waits in his own time, after their departure, to bring them back. Also used in "Time After Time", where Sam and Jody must perform a ritual to summon Chronos to the present by citing a precise moment in his past, which Dean, who is stuck in the past, takes advantage of in order to return to the present along with Chronos.
    Castiel: You only have 24 hours.
    Sam: What? Why?
    Castiel: Well, the answer to your question can best be expressed as a series of partial differential equations...
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "The Monster At The End Of This Book"
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Failed attempt by the MOTW in "Fallen Idols".
  • Show Within a Show: "The French Mistake", "Changing Channels"
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: "Mommy Dearest", "Caged Heat", "Weekend at Bobby's", "The Song Remains the Same", "Lucifer Rising"
  • Stable Time Loop: "In the Beginning", "The Song Remains the Same","Time After Time"
  • Subbing for Santa: "Appointment In Samarra"
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: "Nightshifter", "And Then There Were None"
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: "Sam, Interrupted", "Meet the New Boss", "Hello Cruel World", "The Born Again Identity" also applies. Sam does not have a good time in season 7.
  • Time Travel: At least once a season since season four: "In the Beginning," "The End," "The Song Remains the Same," "Frontierland," "Time After Time," and "As Time Goes By."
  • Trapped in TV Land:
    • In the season 5 episode "Changing Channels", the Trickster/Gabriel traps Sam and Dean in thinly veiled parodies of Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Miami, and such.
    • Reversed in "The French Mistake". Sam and Dean get thrown out of the show into reality! It's a Mind Screw.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "My Bloody Valentine", Supernatural being what it is, it gets played for as much Nightmare Fuel and Mood Whiplash as you can possibly fit in 40 minutes.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: "Heart": That sweet, beautiful lawyer's secretary you fell in love with? She's actually a werewolf, and you have to kill her. Sorry, Sam.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: "Yellow Fever" Dean, "Home", "Nightmare", and "Simon Says" Sam. Dean and Charlie in "Pac-Man Fever".
  • Zombie Apocalypse: "Croatoan", "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid". Lucifer's endgame also involves unleashing the Croatoan virus on the entire planet, as seen in "The End".