The CW’s longest-running series, “Supernatural,” celebrates its 300th episode Thursday — reaching a rare TV milestone shared by the likes of “Gunsmoke,” “Law & Order,” “The Simpsons” and “NCIS.”
The longest-running fantasy series in TV history is in its 14th season (it’s been renewed for Season 15) and follows demon-hunting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). “Supernatural” premiered in 2005 on The WB, which morphed into The CW.
In honor of Thursday’s tricentennial episode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who plays John, the brothers’ deceased father) will return to see how his sons have carried his legacy. This will affect the world, bringing back Zachariah (Kurt Fuller) — an angel who Dean killed in Season 5.
Here’s a look at some other big moments from the show.
“The French Mistake”
Since magic and alternate realities are part of “Supernatural’s” world, there’s endless potential to be playful. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Season 6, when Sam and Dean must enter an alternate reality, where they are no longer demon-hunting brothers, but actors Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.
In this Season 1 episode, the brothers are faced with a difficult case of finding out what mysterious force is abducting people in a small town. Previously, they’ve successfully handled a slew of demonic creatures … but when it turns out the evil is perpetuated by plain old fellow humans, it’s their biggest challenge yet.
“Good God Y’all”
Season 5 introduces a plot line where the boys have to face down the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Enter Titus Welliver in a memorable side role as War, who comes to wreak havoc on a small town, pitting citizens against one another.
“The Man Who Would be King”
Misha Collins’ angel Castiel is a fan favorite supporting character and this Season 6 episode gives him the spotlight while other characters take a backseat. It’s a journey into his mind and schemes — and he gets a rare fight scene, to boot.
In Season 5, Dean is sent five years into the future, where he can see what the world looks like when it’s ruled by Lucifer. It’s a fun showcase for the audience to see different versions of the characters: Dean runs into a more beaten-down version of himself, while Castiel is apparently a drug-addicted hippie in the future.
“No Rest for the Wicked”
By now, most “Supernatural” characters have died and returned via magical means — it’s called “Supernatural,” after all. Still, the first time Dean dies in Season 3, telling Sam to “Keep fighting” — and Sam cradles his body — it’s a gut punch.
For its bicentennial episode in Season 10, the show goes meta, toying with the relationship between a piece of art and its audience and “Supernatural’s” specific fans and their habits. The episode features students staging a play about a popular series of “Supernatural” books, culminating in a musical rendition of the show’s unofficial theme song, the Kansas anthem “Carry On My Wayward Son.”
“What Is and What Should Never Be”
“Supernatural” excels when it uses its magical plot potential to unlock emotional truths about its characters. This happens in this Season 2 episode when Dean visits a parallel world where his mother (who died when he was a child) is still alive — and he struggles with the decision of whether to stay or return to the real world.