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Supernatural: 20 Greatest Music Moments

Laura Hurley
This article was first posted on January 10, 2014

Supernatural is a show that can be, well, ridiculous every now and then. Sometimes, it’s great. Sometimes, it’s laughable. Sometimes, it’s best to just mute the sound and stare at the actors. After all, in a series based on hunting ghosts, exorcising demons and a questionably close fraternal relationship, sometimes an episode requires a little something extra to stand out and be taken seriously.

Fortunately, Supernatural has a history of elevating small scenes into unforgettable scenes by including just the right song at just the right moment. Currently in its ninth season and with nearly 200 episodes already produced, viewers by this point really need more than just a name and number (and haircut) to recall the specifics of a certain episode. Can every fan remember the title of the one with the Groundhog Day homage? Probably not. But can every fan remember the name and artist of the song playing on the alarm clock in that episode? Almost certainly (Apologies to any readers who now have that song playing in their heads). Whether it is classic rock blasting out of cassette tapes in the Impala’s dashboard or disarmingly appropriate background selections, the music of Supernatural has been one of the show’s most consistently excellent aspects over the past nine seasons. Here are the 20 greatest musical moments so far.

20. “Highway To Hell” By AC/DC (1.1, “Pilot”)

In the pilot episode of Supernatural, we are introduced to three very important characters: Sam, Dean, and Dean’s car. With Sam and the Impala as the two arguably most important elements of Dean’s life, he is conflicted when Sam saves the day–and his own life–by driving the car into a house. Once he is certain that Sam is alive and more or less intact, Dean immediately begins to worry about his “Baby,” threatening to kill his beloved younger brother if she was damaged. In the next scene, we see the Impala roaring off into the night, one headlight out with “Highway To Hell” blasting out of the speakers.

19. “Don’t Fear The Reaper” By Blue Oyster Cult (1.12, “Faith”)

In “Faith,” we see one of the earliest instances in which one of the Winchesters is dying. (Spoiler: it happens a lot.) When Sam drags a dying Dean to a faith healer, the boys discover–after Dean is restored to health–that the healer is harnessing the power of a Reaper to exchange one life for another. Then, to the tunes of Blue Oyster Cult’s most famous song, we see a Reaper pursuing a terrified young jogger through the woods. The forest chase is intercut with a scene of the healer placing his hands on an infirm elderly man. Just as the song swells into the chorus, the jogger dies, and the elderly man rises from his wheelchair, the Reaper having appeared behind him and laid its hand on his head.

18. “Bad Moon Rising” By Creedence Clearwater Revival (1.22, “Devil’s Trap”)

In the last few episodes of Season 1, we meet John Winchester. The boys team up with their dad to try to kill the Yellow-Eyed Demon that murdered their mom, and…it doesn’t go so well. Dean is beaten half to death, John is temporarily possessed, and the demon escapes. Sam loads his brother and father into the Impala, and they roar off into the night toward a hospital. Things are looking not completely terrible, and CCR plays in the background, which helps. Suddenly, a semi truck appears from nowhere and bashes into the Impala, forcing it off the road. The driver emerges to survey the damage, his eyes black with demon possession. Inside the totaled Impala, all three Winchester men are bloody…and unconscious. “Bad Moon Rising” plays on.

17. “Back In Black” By AC/DC (2.3, “Bloodlust”)

After the events of the Season 2 premiere, Dean is not in a very good place. Devastated by his father’s death, horrified by the revelation that he might one day be forced to kill Sam and heartbroken by the destruction of his beloved car, he has a slightly short temper. Fortunately, despite all odds, Dean manages to repair the totaled Impala, and the beginning of “Bloodlust” sees Dean about as jubilant as he ever is as he takes the car back out onto the road. To the tunes of “Back In Black,” Dean celebrates Baby’s recovery by flooring his way across the country to kill some vampires.

16. “Renegade” By Styx (2.12, “Nightshifter”)

When an attempt to hunt down a shapeshifter inside of a bank goes seriously awry, the Winchesters end up in a standoff with law enforcement. The slow opening strains of “Renegade” play as the SWAT team breaks into the bank to take down the brothers, who are forced to knock out two of the agents and steal their uniforms. Their identities concealed, Sam and Dean just walk out of the bank and return to the Impala. Sitting still for a long moment, they reflect on the fact that they will now be wanted men. “We are so screwed,” says Dean. “Renegade” picks up and begins to blast as Dean then starts the car and pulls out of the garage, running a STOP sign on the way.

15. “Heat of the Moment” By Asia (3.11, “Mystery Spot”)

“Mystery Spot” is actually among the funniest episodes of Supernatural. Thanks to the interference of a Trickster (who is actually the angel Gabriel, but that comes much later), Sam is forced to relive the same day over and over again. Each day, Dean dies in some violent, unlikely, and usually hilarious manner, and Sam wakes up to Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” wailing out of the alarm clock in their motel room. The episode takes a sudden serious turn about halfway through, but there is no way that any viewers can go the rest of the day without “It was the heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat of the moment!” stuck in their heads.

14. “It’s My Party” By Leslie Gore (3.13, “Ghostfacers”)

With Dean having only a few months left before the sale of his soul is complete and he is dragged to Hell, he and Sam go on a bucket list hunt to the Morton House, a haunted home where nobody has been able to spend the night and emerge alive. Trapped in the house when delayed past midnight, Sam is abducted by the ghost of Freeman Daggett, a lonely corpse-stealing homicidal taxidermy enthusiast who stages celebrations for himself with preserved human bodies as guests. As you do. The strains of “It’s My Party” play softly as the immobilized Sam–decked out in a party hat–struggles against his restraints before Daggett can materialize and murder him.

13. “Wanted Dead Or Alive” By Bon Jovi (3.16, “No Rest For The Wicked”)

By the time that the Season 3 finale rolls around, things aren’t looking too great for the Winchesters. Dean, having sold his soul the previous year to bring Sammy back from the dead, is on the verge of having his toll collected. Sam, upset that his brother is going to be ripped apart by hellhounds and then condemned to Hell for all of eternity, wants to have a final heart-to-heart. Dean doesn’t want to go out on a chick flick moment, so he cranks up the Bon Jovi. Seriously off-key, he begins to sing along; after a moment, Sam joins in and laughs despite himself.

12. “Eye Of The Tiger” By Survivor (4.6, “Yellow Fever”)

In “Yellow Fever,” Dean–who is still traumatized by his stint in Hell–is infected by a fear-inducing illness that ultimately results in victims being frightened to death. As the symptoms begin to appear and Dean begins to grow anxious, he lies down in the Impala and blasts “Eye of the Tiger” to pump himself up as he waits for Sam to return. Really, who wouldn’t?

But that’s not why Supernatural fans love this scene. The reason that this scene has become immortal is because of the blooper that it spawned. Shown as a clip at the end of the episode, we see Jared Padalecki deliberately miss his cue. Awesomely, Jensen Ackles just pops up and lip-syncs along with the song, throwing himself into the “Eye of the Tiger” spirit and not cracking a smile until the music finally cuts off. Jared Padalecki giggles in the background through the whole thing, and it’s fairly hilarious.

11. “A Well Respected Man” By The Kinks (4.17, “It’s A Terrible Life”)

In this Season 4 episode, the format is a little…different. We open as an alarm blares at 6AM, and–although we immediately see Dean–the scene is all wrong. To the tunes of “A Well Respected Man,” he wakes in what is clearly a well-organized and expensive apartment rather than a dingy motel room. Sam is nowhere to be seen, and everything is very shiny. As the scene progresses, we see that this Dean has gone corporate, complete with espresso machine, palm pilot, sushi, and NPR. His hair is carefully combed, his suspenders are snappy, his tie is straight, and his Gordon Gekko shirt is perfectly pressed. He drives a sedan and dislikes classic rock. He is Dean Smith, Director of Sales & Marketing. It’s all very respectable, and very alarming.

10. “Do You Love Me?” By The Contours (5.4, “The End”)

When Zachariah decides to send Dean forward to a future in which he did not help the angels, Dean wakes in the year 2014 (uh-oh?). Finding himself in an abandoned city, he wanders around until he finds the word “CROATOAN” graffitied on a building. A post-apocalyptic setting combined with Croatoan–a disease that causes uncontrollable murderous rage–does not bode well for Dean. Right on cue, a mob of infected people appears and chases Dean down the empty streets, ala 28 Days Later. Running full-out, Dean finds himself trapped between a blockade and the mob. Suddenly, soldiers appear from behind the blockade and open fire on the diseased pursuers. “Do You Love Me?” blasts out of the speakers of a Humvee. It’s pretty cool.

9. “O Death” By Jen Titus (5.21, “Two Minutes To Midnight”)

In “Two Minutes To Midnight,” as the Apocalypse looms closer and a storm gathers over the Midwest, we get the coolest character introduction this side of the angel Castiel. To the sound of a haunting Jen Titus rendition of “O Death,” Death himself emerges from a white 1959 Cadillac. Swinging a cane, he saunters down a Chicago street. An inconsiderate businessman bumps into him as he passes. “Hey, watch where you’re walking, pal,” the man spits, not once looking up from his cell phone. Death pauses for a moment, brushes off the shoulder of his coat, and glances back at the businessman, who suddenly clutches his heart and collapses. Death resumes walking, and we never see his face beyond a profile. This is why you don’t walk and text, kids.

8. “Rock Of Ages” By Def Leppard (5.22, “Swan Song”)

In the episode that was originally intended to be the finale of the entire show, Sam has assented to becoming Lucifer’s vessel as part of a Winchester plan that doesn’t work at all. Meanwhile, their half-brother Adam takes Dean’s place with Team Heaven and becomes the vessel for archangel Michael. Lucifer/Sam and Michael/Adam meet alone on the final plane of battle. Castiel warns Dean that there is nothing that he can do to save his brothers. Dean says that he will not allow Sam to die alone. So, in classic Dean style, he drives up to the battlefield in the Impala, blasting “Rock of Ages” out of the speakers.

7. “Smoke On The Water” By Deep Purple (6.2, “Two And A Half Men”)

After the events of “Swan Song,” Dean determinedly embraces suburbia, even going so far as to cover the Impala with a blanket and hide her away in the garage. Nevertheless, when Sam returns, Dean falls all too easily back into the hunting lifestyle when faced with the case of a shapeshifter baby (which he puts to sleep by humming the Deep Purple song). Still, Dean resolves to honor his commitment to girlfriend Lisa. Lisa, however, tells Dean that he is free to return to his life as a hunter with his brother, and that she will be there whenever he can come back. So, with “Smoke on the Water” beginning to play in earnest, Dean goes into the garage and whips the dust cover off of his one true love. He’s back!

6. “One Way Or Another” By Blondie (6.17, “My Heart Will Go On”)

“My Heart Will Go On” is another episode that starts off rather strangely. The angel Balthazar has interfered with history, saving the Titanic and changing the present. Angry at the interference, Fate is trying to rebalance the universe by killing the descendants of the people who should have died on the Titanic, as well as Sam and Dean. Persuaded by Castiel that she must be stopped, the boys offer themselves up as bait. They attempt to behave nonchalantly as they wait for Fate to strike them down, but are increasingly jumpy as–with “One Way Or Another” playing over the scene–they are menaced by everything from angry dogs to sword jugglers. It’s pretty funny. Until Fate drops a hug air conditioning unit onto their heads. Which is still pretty funny.

5. “You Shook Me All Night Long” By AC/DC (7.14, “The Slice Girls”)

In “The Slice Girls,” Sam and Dean travel to Seattle to investigate the strange deaths of four men. With no real leads, Dean goes to a bar, where he picks up a young woman called Lydia with surprising ease. AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” opens as she takes him home. Their scene is intercut with that of a sleazy-looking middle-aged man opening the door to someone. Lydia disrobes; the man is flung against a wall, leaving a bloody smear. Dean disrobes, and Lydia shoves him onto her bed; the man’s feet are chopped off. Lydia and Dean get busy; the man loses his hands and has a symbol carved onto his chest. Dean gets la petit mort; the man just gets mort.

4. “Turn Into Earth” By The Yardbirds (7.17, “The Born-Again Identity”)

“The Born-Again Identity” sees Sam in a hospital, dying as a result of the mental wall broken by Castiel in the Season 6 finale. Dean retrieves an amnesiac Cas and drags him back to the hospital to heal Sam, only to discover that the entrance is guarded by demons. Tagalong Meg reveals to a confused Castiel that he is an angel and that he and Dean had been “bestest friends.” Cas looks genuinely apologetic that he can neither remember Dean nor understand why Dean is angry with him, but he agrees to try to get past the demons. As he walks toward the entrance, The Yardbirds’ “Turn Into Earth” begins to play. Castiel proceeds to smite every demon, flashing from the present back to scenes from previous seasons (mostly of Dean) with each kill, and he remembers who he is…and what he has done.

3. “Born To Be Wild” By Steppenwolf (7.23, “Survival of the Fittest”)

After the failure of Castiel’s soul-harvesting plan in Season 6 led to the loosing of the Leviathans, much of Season 7 involved a scrambling by all manner of supernatural creatures to figure out how to send the beasts back to Purgatory. By the end, things are getting a little desperate. In the finale, Team Free Will concocts a last-ditch plan to take out lead Leviathan Dick Roman, the first step of which involves…a distraction. So, for the first time since being sidelined earlier in the year as too conspicuous a vehicle for two fugitives from the law, the Impala makes a triumphant comeback as Meg drives the car through barriers and barricades, blasting “Born To Be Wild” as she wreaks havoc outside of SucroCorp.

2. “Nice To Be With You” By Gallery (8.23, “Sacrifice”)

In the final episode of Season 8, Castiel is performing Metatron’s “angel trials,” the second of which requires him to retrieve the bow of a Cupid. Cas and Dan stake out a bar and wait for the assigned angel to appear. Other than themselves, bartender Dwight, and a regular named Rod, the bar is empty. A delivery woman enters, and Dwight helps her unload a crate of beer. Dean and Cas perk up, certain that these two will be struck by Cupid’s arrows. Instead, she just pats both Dwight and Rod on the shoulder and leaves. “Nice To Be With You” begins to play on the jukebox. Suddenly, Dwight and Rod lock eyes. Rod is clearly smitten already. “How ’bout the next one’s on me?” says Dwight, smiling. Dean is flabbergasted, and it’s pretty funny.

1. “Carry On Wayward Son” By Kansas (Seasons 1-8, Finales)

“Carry On Wayward Son” is one of those songs that everybody has heard and offers a chorus that everybody can sing along with. But to listen to the whole song with the ears of a Supernatural fan? It’s pretty darn fitting for the brothers Winchester. In fact, it is so fitting that it has been used to back the introduction to every season finale so far. By this point, if the Season 9 finale does not feature “Carry On Wayward Son,” there is every chance that Tumblr will, in fact, explode.

As dramatic as that may sound, “Carry On Wayward Son” has become an integral part of the show’s lore, marking the beginning of the end of each season. After all, as much as Supernatural features angels and demons and ghosts, it is truly a show about the relationship between two brothers and their attempts to somehow survive in a world determined to kill them (several times over), and “Carry On Wayward Son” is just about the most appropriate possible song for Sam and Dean Winchester.

Also, it’s super catchy.
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literally posted just for that pun^^ LAUGH
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