Considering the fact it’s been on TV for eight years, The CW’s Supernatural has had more than enough time to make some quirky episodes. But unlike most shows, Supernatural didn’t just make one or two meta episodes over the years—they’ve made it a habit in just about every season.
It’s almost become expected among fans, and the writers have managed to slip a fair number of meta nods and TV tropes into plenty of episodes over the years. But a few still stand above the rest, and from a fake sitcom to a trip into the real (real) world, Supernatural has cranked out more than enough crazy romps during its lengthy run.
So in honor of the show’s upcoming season-eight finale (with season nine already confirmed!), we’ve looked back at nine of the most insanely meta Supernatural episodes ever made.
"Hollywood Babylon," Season 2 Ep. 8
The Winchesters investigate a ghost on the set of a horror movie that spoofs the show. It’s pretty hilarious, and pokes fun at all the rules the writers have established in the Supernatural universe.
”Mystery Spot,” Season 3 Ep. 11
The classic, almost required spoof on Groundhog Day. In this version, Dean keeps dying in more ridiculous ways, as Sam works to figure out why. Best death? Crushed by a piano.
”Ghostfacers,” Season 3 Ep. 13
A low-budget Ghost Hunters reality-TV spoof, led by a few woefully unprepared wannabes. Things get serious when they run into Sam and Dean and have to battle it out with a real supernatural baddie. Much of the episode is shot in handheld cam style, which is actually pretty fun.
"The Monsters at the End of This Book," Season 4 Ep. 18
The Winchesters learn about a mostly failed fantasy book series based on their lives called Supernatural, which has been tracking their adventures for years. It’s a great way to go extremely meta, and the writers have a ton of fun with it.
"The Real Ghostbusters," Season 5 Ep. 9
Building on the fact that a book series exists about them, the Winchesters end up crashing a supernatural convention to investigate a case. It’s about as silly as it sounds, but the writers manage to pull it off.
"Changing Channels," Season 5 Ep. 18
Considering that Supernatural already has its own niche, the show takes aim at other formulaic TV shows in this one. The Trickster traps the Winchesters in a revolving world of fake TV shows, complete with typical tropes (Grey's Anatomy ripoff, sitcom, etc.). It’s as awesome as it sounds.
"The French Mistake," Season 6 Ep. 15
Arguably the most meta episode of anything ever, this one finds the Winchesters transported to an alternate dimension (basically the real, real world) where they're actors working on the TV show Supernatural, and they’re inhabiting the actors who play them on the show. Misha Collins (Castiel) steals this episode, just by playing himself.
"Season Seven, Time For A Wedding" Season 7 Ep. 8
Building on the small Supernatural book series, recurring superfan Becky doses Sam with a love potion and inserts herself into an investigation, with hilarious results.
"Hunteri Heroici," Season 8 Ep. 8
The most recent example of meta insanity, this episode employed cartoon-y physics as the brothers investigate one of their weirdest cases. From frying pan hits to all the other jokes you’d expect, it’s a fun ride.