Written by Andrew Dabb.
Directed by Paul Edwards.
Air Date: November 28, 2012.
In an effort to redeem himself, Castiel decides to become a hunter. He brings the Winchesters a case in Oklahoma City involving cartoon physics, but with deadlier consequences. They find that cartoonish phenomena correlate with robberies connected to residents of Sunset Fields Retirement Home. One of the residents is a contact of John Winchester named Fred Jones who used to live outside of Salt Lake City and happened to give both Dean and Sam their first beers. Fred Jones is also a powerful psychokinetic who now seems trapped in his own mind and spends all his time watching cartoons. They discover that the head of the retirement home, Dr. Mahoney, is using Fred's abilities to steal from the residents. Dean tries to thwart the doctor before he completes one final robbery, but finds it difficult to adjust to a world governed by cartoon logic. Castiel is able to enter the cartoonscape in Fred's mind and helps him to control his abilities, but Castiel remains conflicted about his own future. Sam helps Castiel to convince Fred that he has to face the real world, but Sam continues to exhibit stares leading to flashbacks which reveal Amelia's husband turned out to be alive after Sam and Amelia moved in together.
For this episode = 4 humans. (of which 1 is a psychic.)
For the series so far = At least 841 humans (of which 6 were witches), 113 demons, 58 angels, 48 ghosts, 42 vampires, 36 Jefferson Starships, 19 zombies, 19 gods, 9 hellhounds, 7 skinwalkers, 6 changelings, 5 shapeshifters, 5 werewolves, 4 ghouls, 4 Leviathan, 3 djinn, 3 dogs, 2 Amazons, 2 arachnes, 2 kitsunes, 2 rugarus, 2 vetalas, 1 crocotta, 1 dragon, 1 fairy, 1 Khan worm, 1 lamia, the Mother of All, 1 okami, 1 phoenix, 1 Purgatory creature, 1 rakshasa, 1 rawhead, 1 reaper, 1 shojo, 1 shtriga, 1 siren, 1 wendigo, 1 whore of Babylon, and 1 wraith.
- Accidental Misnaming: Mrs. Tate keeps addressing Castiel as her husband, "Charles".
- Accuse the Witness: Castiel uses the Perry Mason method when questioning the grieving widow.
- All Men Are Perverts: When a wife turns out to be OK with her husband cheating on her, as they have an arrangement (she's carrying on her own affair), Dean calls her the best wife ever.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent:
- Amelia's father, Stan, calls her munchkin.
- Later, Stan tells a story where Amelia walked on stage while playing the Sugarplum Fairy with toilet paper stuck on her foot and describes her as waddling and a "chubby kid".
- Animation Tropes
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Gravitational Cognizance. The jumper doesn't fall until he looks down.
- Toon Physics: Wherever Fred is situated, the immediate vicinity becomes a hot-spot for cartoon-like antics.
- X marks the spot: Anvils, rocks, and other heavy objects will land on the X, even if someone moves it.
- Portable Hole: If you draw a door or a black hole on the wall, you can stroll right through it.
- Cranial Eruption: Jogger with a 4-inch lump after he hits his head.
- Circling Birdies: After Dean hits himself on the head with a book and after Dr. Mahoney hits Dean with the frying pan.
- Squashed Flat: The orderly slams his foot on the door and it flattens, but when he shakes the foot it blows back up.
- Face Imprint: After Dr. Mahoney hits Dean with the frying pan, there is a clear imprint of his face on the pan.
- "Bang!" Flag Gun
- Iris Out
- Anvil on Head
- Squashed Flat: The effect is a little more grotesque than usual...
- Armor-Piercing Question:
"What do you want to do?"
- When Naomi refuses to let Castiel back into Heaven, he asks what he should do now. Her response:
- Amelia's father tells Sam he knows what his daughter is running from. "The question is: what are you running from, Sam?"
- The old lady appears senile and Cas Comically Missing the Point as usual when he goes to interrogate the cat. Turns out the cat really can talk.
- The Dynamite Candle apparently results in the usual blood-splatter Gory Discretion Shot, only it's just the cake splattering harmlessly and no-one was hurt.
- The natural assumption so far is that Sam left Amelia because Dean returned from Purgatory. When she gets the phone call, it isn't Dean who's tracked down Sam, it's Amelia being informed that her husband is still alive.
- Berserk Button: Amelia warns Sam about her father's triggers.Amelia: Don't talk politics. Dont say anything bad about the Cowboys. And whatever you do, don't, do not, use the words "moist" or "irregardless".
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Olivia, when Gary's heart explodes from his chest.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Fred Jones knows his mental facilities will fade and then his Reality Warper powers will go out of control. Castiel wipes his powers, but most of his personality as well, leaving only music so Fred can keep his Happy Place.
- Call-Back: Dean demands his four hours sleep from Castiel, as per "The End".
- Calling Shotgun: Castiel tries.Dean: [to Castiel] None of this zapping around crap. Capisce?Castiel: I capisce.Dean: All right, then. [walks to the driver's door]Castiel: Can I, uh, at least ride in the front seat?Dean and Sam: [Sam shoulders Castiel out of the way] No.
- At the end of the episode, Dean grants him the right to ride shotgun.
- Cardiovascular Love: Gary's love for Olivia leaves him with a heart-shaped hole in his chest.
Dean: [puts his arm through a black hole on a brick wall] Awesome.
- Dean's pops up.
Dean: [pointing his gun at Dr. Mahoney] What's up, doc?
- When Dean finds Dr. Mahoney in the bank he borrows one from Bugs Bunny.
- Cereal-Induced Superpowers: Lampshaded when the orderly asks how Castiel healed the gunshot wound.Dean: Guy eats his Wheaties.
- Chroma Key: Part of the episode is filmed in green-screen: Initially a cartoon, then switching to static and We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties screens.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Because he is an angel who has No Social Skills, Castiel's attempts to impersonate an FBI agent, investigate weird deaths, and interrogate suspects are peppered with the conspicuous sniffing of dead bodies, deep questioning of cats, and intermittent usage of minor powers he shouldn't have.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Sam and Dean have to run interference so Castiel's odd mannerisms and behavior don't alert people that they're not actual FBI agents or that the deaths they're investigating are suspiciously comical.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Castiel is intensely interrogating a cat, asking questions and then pausing as though sincerely expecting a response. Dean eventually pulls him away to do something else. Once Castiel and Dean have left, the cat audibly calls Castiel an idiot, implying that Cas was correct in believing he could verbally communicate with animals.
- Comically Missing the Point: Oh, Cas.Dean: It's wabbit season.Cas: I don't think you pronounced that right.
- Continuity Nod
- The jumper was committing suicide due to losing everything when Roman Industries tanked.
- Castiel reads John Winchester's journal and compliments his handwriting.
- When Sam is at the sink with Amelia's father, he rubs his hand in the same way he started to do in "Hello, Cruel World" (S07, E02) when Lucifer was torturing him.
- Cowboys and Indians: Lampshaded by Dean.
- Curse Cut Short:Castiel: So she's not a witch.Dean: Just the best wife ever.Castiel: Then what killed her husband?Dean: Who gives a—[cut to next scene]
- Despair Event Horizon: Castiel is afraid to go back to Heaven out of fear that if he sees the destruction he's caused, he'll be Driven to Suicide.
- Dynamite Candle: In a birthday cake.
- Epileptic Trees: In-Universe Castiel's interpretation of Road Runner cartoons.
- Flashback Stares: Sam continues to stare off before we see a Flashback to his relationship with Amelia.
- Frying Pan of Doom: But of course.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Two. The first in the cold open, and the second actually a huge Bait-and-Switch when it's just cake when the Dynamite Candle explodes.
- Hammerspace: It's easy to miss, but when he fought against Dean, Dr. Mahoney pulled the frying pan out of his pocket.
- Happy Place: Fred plays cartoons in his mind, because he knows he's losing it.
- Happily Failed Suicide: Subverted Trope.
- Healing Hands: Castiel heals the orderly's gunshot in the gut.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Right before Gary Freleng's heart jumps out of his chest.
- Homoerotic Subtext: Castiel offers to spend the night in the same room as the Winchesters, watching over them.Dean: Oh, okay. Yeah. We'll have a slumber party, braid Sam's hair.
- Hypocritical Humor: Dean jokes, "No flirting" when entering the old persons home. Cut to an old lady flirting with Castiel. Then Dean can't help making eyes at the pretty nurse.
- Impossible Thief: The Black Hole.
- Interservice Rivalry: Invoked by Amelia's father, Stan, who served in the army, when Sam mentions that his own father served in the Marine Corps.Stan: Is that your car outside—the Impala?Sam: Yeah, it was my dad's.Stan: Guy had good taste...for a Jarhead.
- Meaningful Echo: Dean's and Stan's use of living in a dream world.Dean talking about Fred Jones: I don't know. Seems to me like the dude's living in a dream world.Stan: Look, I am trying to help. Boy, I'll tell you, if Don could see you...Amelia: [looks over her shoulder at Sam] Don't. Just don't.Stan: [looks over his shoulder at Sam] You can't—you need to come home.Amelia: Is that why you're here—to drag me back? This is my life.Stan: This—it won't last. You are living in a dream world.
- Moment Killer: Dean is acting as The Confidant to Castiel, when Sam provides our Fallen Angel with a welcome interruption.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Inverted and parodied.Dr. Mahoney: [knocks Dean out with a frying pan after Dean's gun fired a flag saying BANG instead of bullets] Give up! I've been dealing with this crazy for months! And you—idiot—bring a gun to a gag fight.
- The Nose Knows: Castiel is able to say that Gary suffered from a recent bladder infection by smelling his dead body.
- Obligatory Joke/Quip to Black:
- Overprotective Dad: Stan Thompson, Amelia's father.
- Polyamory: Gary, his wife, Olivia, and P.J.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
Cas: So we're looking for some sort of insect-rabbit hybrid? How do we kill it?
- Castiel did not seem familiar with Bugs Bunny.
Dean: Let's gear up. Its wabbit season.Castiel: I don't think you pronounced that correctly.
- Or with Elmer Fudd.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Dr. Mahoney.
- Rabid Cop: A Wrong Genre Savvy Castiel tries the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine on a grieving widow.Castiel: I was being bad cop.Dean: You were being bad everything.
- Reality Warper: Psychokinetic Fred Jones.
- Remember the New Guy?: By this point in the series we know John had several friends he could plausibly have leave his sons with, but this is the first we've heard of Fred Jones. Considering how vast his powers are, it seems odd that Sam and Dean never tried to seek him out for help before.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Don, Amelia's husband.
- Serial Spouse: A woman tells Cas he looks like her third husband.
- A Shared Suffering: Stan urges his daughter to come home, saying Sam is a mess.Amelia: I'm a mess. But when I'm with Sam, I'm happy, Dad. And I haven't been happy in a really long time. So please, just... let us be messes together.
- The episode title is a reference to old Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons. There is also a freeze-frame where Dean and Dr. Mahoney are labelled (''HUNTERUS HEROICUS'') and (''GROTESQUES VILLAINUS''), respectively.
- Cartoon references are scattered everywhere, Looney Tunes from The Golden Age of Animation most predominantly
- Woody Woodpecker, Robot Chicken, and Animaniacs get name-dropped.
- Fred Jones or possibly ascot wearing Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo.
- Gary and his wife have the last name Freleng.
- Dean asks Castiel, "So what now? Move to Vermont, open up a charming B&B?"
- The local detective calls Dean Scully after he hands her a card while pretending to be an FBI agent.
- When Castiel and the Winchesters are examining the body, Dean calls Castiel Sherlock to belittle his detective skills.
- The detective refers to the man who committed suicide over lost investments as Madoff.
- Dean tells Castiel to go "Invisible Girl".
- Dean refers to the first death as "Heartbeak Hotel" and the second as "Free Fallin".
- Dean says let's "blow this Termite Terrace".
- When Dean leaves My Card with the detective, she quips, "Whatever you say, Agent Scully."
- The imprint of Dean's face on the pan is a reference to Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
- The Sleepless: Castiel.Dean: Yeah. We'll have a slumber party, braid Sam's hair. Where are you gonna sleep?Castiel: I don't sleep.Dean: Okay, well, I need my four hours, so...Castiel: I'll watch over you.Dean: That's not gonna happen.
- Spock Speak: Castiel.Dean: What's the word, Cas?Castiel: It's a shortened version of my name.Dean: Any tablet chatter on angel radio?Castiel: Oh, I couldn't say. I turned that off.Sam: You can do that?Castiel: It's a simple matter of blocking out certain subsonic frequencies. I could draw you a diagram if you want.
- Stepford Suburbia:Dean: [finding out about the understanding in the Freleng marriage] Frigging suburbs, man.
- Super Strength: Castiel lugs aside the anvil.
- Talking Animal: Bob, the cat."I'll interrogate the cat."
- Tempting Fate: The jumper realises he's suspended in mid-air and shouts joyfully, "It's a miracle! God wants me to live!" Gravity ensues.
- That's All, Folks!: Spoken word-for-word after the bad guy's grisly death.
- Themed Aliases: Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
- Third Wheel: Lampshaded.Cas: I could be your third wheel.Dean: You know thats not a good thing, right?Cas: Of course it is. A third wheel adds extra grip, greater stability.
- Toon Physics: The A-plot of the episode. Someone's worked out how to make them work in real life and they're using it to rob banks.
- Twerp Sweating: Sam gets this from Amelia's father. It's not like he doesn't have cause, as he quickly pegs Sam as a Shell-Shocked Veteran, who appears to be a college-dropout with his own issues — hardly the best person to help his daughter move on. He relents when Amelia urges him to just let her and Sam be happy together.
- Walkie-Talkie Static: When Mrs Tran badgers them for details about what's happening with the search for the tablet, Sam tries to pass her off to Dean, who just switches off the phone. "Must be passing through a tunnel."
- Weirdness MagnetDetective Glass: Tell me: Do you chase the crazy, or does the crazy chase you?Sam: Depends on the day.
- You Look Familiar: Brian Markinson, who plays Stan Thompson (Amelia's father), previously played Jerry Panowski in "Phantom Traveler" (S01, E04).