‘Supernatural’: Ranking All 15 Seasons, From Worst to Best

Supernatural - Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles - 'Alpha and Omega'
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Supernatural

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Supernatural premiered on September 13, 2005 and ended 15 seasons later on November 19, 2020. The show started with brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) on the hunt for their father John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). It became so much more.

The brothers were later joined by allies like the honorary third Winchester and angel of the lord Castiel (Misha Collins), surrogate father Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), computer whiz Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day), and more. By the end of the series, it was about heaven and hell and even God (Rob Benedict). Over the epic 15 seasons, the brothers faced the Devil himself, and then some.

As is the way with Supernatural, goodbye was not forever, and a prequel series, The Winchesters, premiered earlier this year. As we watch a young John Winchester (Drake Rodger) and Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly) get to know each other, we took a look at the best (and worst) of the original series. Scroll down for our ranking of all 15 seasons.

Jared Padalecki in 'Supernatural'
Jack Rowand / © The CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

15. Season 7

Season 7 is devoted almost entirely to the Leviathan, and it gets a little tiresome. There are some high points, like Charlie Bradbury’s introduction, the miraculous return of Cas from the dead, and some killer lines from everybody’s favorite demon Meg (Rachel Miner). Still, it’s the season that stalls us the most when we rewatch.

Danneel Ackles and Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural'
Bettina Strauss / ©The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

14. Season 14

This season sees the return of Mark Pellegrino’s Nick, AKA Lucifer’s vessel, and with it, the Devil makes a comeback. Pellegrino is great in the role, but it feels like retreading old territory without saying much new. Plus, Season 14 sets up some of our least favorite parts of the final season (the final death of Mary Winchester, anyone?). Danneel Ackles’ guest turn as the angel Anael (she also appears in Seasons 13 and 15) is a high point.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural'
Katie Yu / ©The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

13. Season 15

The final season of Supernatural was divisive among fans. Some loved that it ended as it began, with two brothers and a car. Others felt it undid some of the growth the characters had had over the previous 15 seasons. Still more simply didn’t want to have to watch Dean die.

Season 15 has some great stuff. There are fascinating revelations from Chuck (AKA God) about how little choice Dean and Sam have had their entire lives. Cas finally confesses his feelings for Dean. Sam and Eileen (Shoshannah Stern) are adorable. It also has some disappointing stuff. Cas dies immediately after his speech to Dean. Sam and Eileen are left unresolved. It’s tough to wrap up such a long-running series, and fans still argue two years after the fact about whether Supernatural pulled it off.

Jared Padalecki and Samantha Smith in 'Supernatural'
Diyah Pera/The CW/Everett Collection

12. Season 12

This season has everything: Lucifer possessing the president of the United States and impregnating his employee, an homage to Quentin Tarantino, the British Men of Letters, Dean killing Hitler, an alternate universe full of new versions of Dean and Sam’s dearly departed, and a resurrected Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith).

A lot of this season is a blast, like the Richard Speight, Jr.-directed “Stuck in the Middle (With You)” that is riddled with references to movies like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Lucifer’s biological son/Dean, Sam, and Cas’ adopted one, Jack (Alex Calvert), is a sweet addition to their little family. It’s great to get a little more of Cas’ backstory in “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets.” And it’s a treat to begin to understand Mary as more than Dean and Sam’s mom and John’s wife. This season, we get to understand her as a complicated, imperfect human being. The British Men of Letter plot drags a little long, and the Devil as President plot was a little on the nose.

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11. Season 13

We’re still mourning the Wayward Sisters spinoff that never was. Excuse us while we rewatch the backdoor pilot in this season and dream of an alternate world where we’re five seasons into a show about Claire (Kathryn Newton), Jody (Kim Rhodes), Alex (Katherine Ramdeen), Donna (Briana Buckmaster), Patience (Clark Backo), and Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip).

This season also has one of the most fun episodes of the entire series, “Scoobynatural.” Watching Dean, and Sam drag race the Impala against the Mystery Machine is one of the great joys that can come with a show going on for long enough that anything becomes possible, including an animated crossover with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?.

Misha Collins in 'Supernatural'
Michael Courtney / ©The CW Network / courtesy Everett Collection

10. Season 9

Season 9 sees Cas learn what it is to be human, while Sam sees what it’s like to be an angel. Well, sort of. Sam spends much of the season possessed by the angel Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett), courtesy of Dean trying to save his brother. In the meantime, Cas is human and working (and living) in a gas station.

The show is at its best when the brothers are a united front, and the secret possession drives a wedge between them. Abaddon (Alaina Huffman), one of the last Knights of Hell, is a frightening joy of a villain. The excellent episode “Bad Boys” gives us another look at the boys’ fraught childhood, especially Dean’s as he does a stint in a reform school. It serves as another example of all the boys have sacrificed for each other.

Alyssa Lynch, Nina Winkler, Rachel Warkentin, Kelli Ogmundson, Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural'
Diyah Pera/©The CW Network/courtesy Everett Collection

9. Season 10

Famously, Season 9 closes with Dean waking up from death with black demon eyes. Season 10 opens with Dean living his best demon life with the boys’ favorite frenemy Crowley (Mark Sheppard). Dean is only a demon for the first three episodes of the season, but we would’ve loved to have seen that explored for a few more episodes.

Watching the boys watch a high school musical based on their lives in “Fan Fiction” is a delight, and Timothy Omundson is great as Cain (yes, that Cain). Plus, we get to meet Crowley’s mother, the witch Rowena (Ruth Connell). Unfortunately, this season also has the infamous death of fan favorite Charlie.

Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural'
Diyah Pera/©The CW/courtesy Everett Collection

8. Season 11

“Baby” is one of our favorite episodes of the series. It ambitiously takes place entirely inside of the Impala. We see the boys sleep and eat in their car, which has more often than not served as their only home. Dean and Sam endearingly sing Bob Seger’s “Night Moves,” including, of course, the lyric about the Chevy. It still impresses us that a show could pull off one of its best ever episodes eleven years into its tenure.

Jared Padalecki and Ty Olsson in 'Supernatural'
Diyah Pera/The CW/Everett Collection

7. Season 8

Purgatory was a dark, pulpy departure from the usual setting. The odd throuple of Dean, deceased vampire Benny (Ty Olsson), and Cas traipsing about the underworld looking for a way out was scary and fun, shown largely through flashbacks. Sam gets a girlfriend, and it’s nice to see who he is outside of his identity as a hunter and a brother, bittersweet as it ultimately turns out. This season quietly sets up much of the rest of the series, from the Men of Letters to Metatron, the fallen angels to the tablets, and more.

Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Padalecki in 'Supernatural'
Jack Rowand/The CW/Everett Collection

6. Season 6

It’s no secret that Supernatural was originally conceived as a five-season arc. Season 6 had to figure out where to go from there. It largely succeeds, with standouts like the Cas POV episode “The Man Who Would Be King,” the time-traveling “Frontierland,” and two universe-jumpers with “The French Mistake” (with guest star Genevieve Padalecki) and “My Heart Will Go On.” With nine more seasons airing after this one, it’s safe to say the show found its path.

Jensen Ackles and Lauren Cohan in 'Supernatural'
© CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

5. Season 3

This is the shortest season of Supernatural, cut short by the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America Strike. It only has 16 episodes to try and save Dean from hell. The brothers don’t succeed, but there are some great episodes along the way, like “Mystery Spot,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and “Ghostfacers.” Plus, Bela (a pre-The Walking Dead Lauren Cohan) and Gordon (a pre-This Is Us Sterling K. Brown) both serve as great foils to Sam and Dean’s attitude toward hunting.

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles in Season 1, Episode 1 of 'Supernatural'
Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection

4. Season 1

“Dad’s on a hunting trip. And he hasn’t been home in a few days,” is still an iconic line. Season 1 introduced us to the Winchesters and gave us a taste of all the lore to come. The monster of the week episodes in that first season are often genuinely scary, like “Bloody Mary” and “The Benders.” Sadly, it also has “Bugs,” hated by fans and cast and crew alike. Season 1 is about two brothers looking for their dad, and every other season ultimately comes back to that.

Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki in 'Supernatural'
© CW / Courtesy: Everett Collection

3. Season 2

Season 2’s main plot informs the rest of the series: Is Sam going to become evil? Is Sam going to die? How can we save Sam? This plot, the in-danger party alternating between Sam and Dean, plays out over and over again for the rest of the series. We loved watching them all, but the first (second, if you count Season 1’s “Faith”), might still be the best. Plus, Supernatural Season 2 introduces Ellen (Samantha Ferris) and Jo (Alona Tal), and we still miss them to this day.

Misha Collins in 'Supernatural'
Sergei Bachlakov / © THE CW / courtesy everett collection

2. Season 4

Castiel’s light-shattering entrance in the Season 4 premiere “Lazarus Rising” is one of the best character intros of all time. Season 4 is Supernatural firing on all cylinders, with fun filler episodes like “Yellow Fever,” intense, weighty plot episodes like “On the Head of a Pin,” and the beginning of Supernatural playing with reality and time in episodes like “It’s a Terrible Life” and “Wishful Thinking.” This season almost made our number 1 spot, if it weren’t for…

Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles in 'Supernatural'
David Gray / © The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

1. Season 5

Season 5. The fifth season of Supernatural is our favorite of the series. The fun episodes are a blast, and the plot-heavy episodes are compelling and have real emotional weight. “The End” gives us a terrifying alternate reality in which Sam is completely taken over by Lucifer, Dean has lost himself, and Cas is a human and an addict. “Dark Side of the Moon” takes the boys to heaven for the first time, giving us greater insight into their differing perspectives on a shared life. Cas, Bobby, Jo, and Ellen are all excellent this season as well, supporting the boys while delivering their own heartbreaking moments at the end of the world.

It has the best season finale of the series in “Swan Song” — heartbreaking, moving, and triumphant. The good guys win, but at great cost. This is the first time the Winchesters save the whole world from a biblical, apocalyptic threat. The boys and their friends go on to save the world over and over again, but sometimes you can’t beat the original.