Improvised Lines

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With talented actors who know their characters as well as the leads on Supernatural, it's no surprise that occasionally unscripted dialogue makes it's way into the episode. While we will never know all occasions when this has occurred, many instances have been related during interviews and Convention panels. Others don't make it to screen but end up in the gag reel.

“Most of the improvising that we do is slapstick, jackass tomfoolery, so it’s pretty much just for the outtake reel,” [Jensen] Ackles reveals. “The writers know us, and they know how we speak, so we don’t have to do a whole lot of improvising or a lot of paraphrasing. They write for us because they know how we would say certain things and how we would respond in certain situations, so we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to stick to the script and sound and feel normal and correct. But we do throw in little things here and there, and if it’s something big, we’ll call up Eric [Kripke] and be like, ‘Hey, dude, for me, this just sounds better. What do you think?’ He’ll usually say, ‘Yeah, man, if you’re feeling it, then just go with it.’”

– Nicholas Knight, Supernatural: The Official Companion Season 3. Titan Books, 2009: 112.

Eric Kripke: “Yes. But I generally dig the ad-libbing. The boys [Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki] are awesome at ad-libs. But the director who is the heavyweight champ of ad-libs is Sgriccia. He directed "Nightshifter", "Hollywood Babylon" and "The Kids Are Alright.". Now he’s directing "Ghostfacers". To give you an example, he’s got great instincts and he’ll let them ad-lib and do something hilarious and all these little moments that aren’t scripted, and then also shoots it straight. But 8 out of 10 times we’ll use the ad-lib. Because I don’t give a sh#& where the good idea comes from, as long as it’s funny. It makes ME look good, so why not! You’re going to really like "Ghostfacers" because it’s like Spinal Tap. We’re watching the dailies and there is so much ad-libbing. Harry and Ed, the Hellhounds from Season 1 are back. And everyone is just so funny! We’re going to be using a bunch of dialogue that they just came up with on set.

– Liana Bekakos, “Supernatural Creator Eric Kripke Answers Fan Questions – Part I.” Eclipse Magazine. (April 23, 2008)

Verification and sources are provided where available.


1.08 Bugs

Jensen ad-libbed Dean slapping Sam's ass in front of Lynda after she assumes they're a couple.[1]

1.14 Nightmare

The scene where Dean eats the cocktail sausages was improvised by Jensen, and it set off a running gag of Dean being a stereotypical big eater.[2]

2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign

After Meg is exorcised from Sam and he comes to, Jensen improvised the punch Dean gives him.[3]

3.03 Bad Day at Black Rock

In the final scene, Dean's "son of a bitch" was ad-libbed. You can see Jared break character and laugh.[3]

3.06 Red Sky at Morning

Jensen ad-libbed Dean's line to Sam: "You stink like sex!"

4.06 Yellow Fever

Director Philip Sgriccia (who was also the show's post-production director and producer of each season's gag reel) kept the cameras rolling as Jensen spontaneously launched into a performance of Eye of the Tiger on the roof of the Impala.[4]

5.04 The End

In Castiel's last speech to Dean, Misha ad-libbed, "Except I used to belong to a much better club. And now I'm powerless. I'm hapless, I'm hopeless. I mean, why the hell not bury myself in women and decadence, right? It's the end, baby. That's what decadence is for. Why not bang a few gongs before the lights go out?" where he was scripted to say, "But instead, we become this. The only thing I think we have left, Dean and me, is each other. If Dean says it’s time to go out in a blaze of glory, win or lose, so be it. I’m in."

5.12 Swap Meat

When Sam is being inhabited by Gary, the scripted line was "I would love to have sex with you, Crystal" and Jared changed it to "Crystal, I would love to have the sex with you."[5]

6.02 Two and a Half Men

Jensen improvised both the scene where Dean is crying back at the shapeshifter baby in the store, and the scene where Dean gives the shapeshifter baby some whiskey from his finger.[6]

6.09 Clap Your Hands If You Believe...

  • There are multiple ad-libbed scenes in this episode. When Sam and Dean are visiting the psychic Marion, Jared ad-libbed the line "Do you have bigger cups?" When Dean realizes the little person he has tackled is not a fairy he added, "I’m just kidding!" When, after a prolonged fight with the Leprechaun, Sam belatedly pulls a salt shaker from his pocket, Jared added "Why didn’t I do that earlier?"[7]
  • Jensen added the line "You fight those fairies" after "Fight the fairies."[8]

6.19 Mommy Dearest

Dean: Well, that's great, because without your power, you're basically just a baby in a trench coat.

Castiel does not respond, and looks out the window.

Sam: I think you hurt his feelings.

In this scene, Misha reportedly forgot his line in response to Dean, so Jared added I think you hurt his feelings.

7.17 The Born-Again Identity

There were lines in the script when Dean returns the trench coat to Castiel that Jensen and Misha changed/removed during filming because, "It was too awkward," according to Jensen at JIB con 2012.

8.13 Everybody Hates Hitler

Per the episode commentary with director Phil Sgriccia and writer Ben Edlund, Dean's awkwardness around Aaron Bass during their initial meeting was not scripted, and was Jensen's choice to play it, "Right down the middle. You know, just more awkward about it." Dean slowly dragging his FBI badge across the table was also an improvisation on Jensen's part that was just caught on camera.

8.17 Goodbye Stranger

According to writer Robbie Thompson, Dean was scripted to say, "I love you" to Castiel in this episode. Jensen changed the line to, "We’re family. We need you. I need you."

8.20 Pac-Man Fever

According to writer Robbie Thompson, Jensen improvised two lines in this episode:

  • "Man, I'm telling you, give me five minutes with some clippers." in reference to Sam's hair.[9]
  • The line in the morgue when Sam says "What took you so long?" and Dean replies "I stopped for gas."

9.18 Meta Fiction

According to writer Robbie Thompson, the lines about "shorties" and "precious cargo" were improvised by Richard Speight Jr.

9.23 Do You Believe in Miracles?

Jared allegedly confirmed that Sam was lying in 9.13 The Purge when he said he wouldn't save Dean from dying. So, he changed a line in this episode from "I didn't know this was going to happen" to "I lied".[10]

The original line in the production draft script was:

"I was okay with it. Before I knew you were actually gonna die."

10.05 Fan Fiction

  • Jensen tweeted about one improvised moment "Hey all you "FanFic" writers out there...that look into the camera wasn't scripted. Just sayin. #WinkWink #Supernatural200thEpisode" He's referring to the fourth-wall-breaking look Dean gives after Destiel is mentioned.
  • The "Andrew Floyd Webber" joke was an improv by Jensen according to writer Robbie Thompson.

10.11 There's No Place Like Home

  • According to Robbie Thompson, Dean's "Crap" whilst he's being held in a triangle choke by dark Charlie was ad-libbed.
  • Also according to Robbie Thompson, Charlie's "Arrivederci" was ad-libbed.

10.20 Angel Heart

When Dean is explaining to Claire the value of her father's sacrifice he says "Cas was able to save the world." Not really an improv but the line got changed in performance and was written as "Cas was able to help save the world", according to writer Robbie Thompson.

11.11 Into the Mystic

  • When Sam first meets Eileen, he uses the sign for "fuck" instead of "thank you". This was something Shoshannah Stern and Jared came up with together source.
  • According to a tweet by writer Robbie Thompson, Dean stealing the Viagra was unscripted, and was ad-libbed by Jensen Ackles.

11.18 Hell's Angel

Lucifer: Don't you think about it too long. You know what they say... he who hesitates... disintegrates

This line was added by Misha.

11.12 Don't You Forget About Me

As Claire starts teasing Alex about having sex, Sam goes to get up from the table and Jody says: "Sit! Stay!" which was improvised by Kim Rhodes.

11.21 All in the Family

Dean's speech to Chuck was originally scripted as Dean in "righteous anger mode," it was Jensen's choice to play the scene more tearful / emotional.

12.04 American Nightmare

Dean falling over the gate and Sam walking around as they go to the Peterson house was unscripted.

12.05 The One You've Been Waiting For

The scene near the end of the episode when Dean wants to take the grenade launcher from the trunk of the Impala, and Sam dissuades him was unscripted.

12.11 Regarding Dean

In the script the bunny was just supposed to be nudging at Dean and then he wakes up. Jensen took it upon himself to pick up, pet and say “hey buddy” to the rabbit.

12.16 Ladies Drink Free

In the lobby of the hotel, Dean pockets a handful of mints. This was Jensen's idea.

13.10 Wayward Sisters

The scene where Dean heads back to grab the lizard was improvised by Jensen. He said "Dean wouldn’t leave food. I didn’t think they’d use it, but they did."

13.16 Scoobynatural

Jensen improvised saying "Fucking right you can! to Fred, although the profanity was beeped out for broadcast.

13.22 Exodus

Castiel's German accent was not scripted and was something Misha decided upon after seeing Apocalypse World Castiel's wardrobe for the episode, a choice Misha has apologized for since the episode aired.

14.08 Byzantium

The scene where Sam, Dean and Cas are sitting are toasting Jack after he has died, and are laughing and smiling was the actors not in character. As per Jared: "Yeah, ... that was just us fucking around."

15.07 Last Call

Per writer Jeremy Adams, Lee Webb slapping Dean on the ass while they are singing "Good Ol' Boys", and Dean's reaction were an improvisation from Christian Kane and Jensen.

15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven

During the fight in Hell, Jensen ad-libbed the line "Are any of us even winning?"

15.18 Despair

According to a cast member on set during filming, during Castiel's confession scene, Jensen ad-libbed the lines, "What are you talking about, man?" and "Don't do this," neither of which was scripted.

15.20 Carry On

  • According to Jared, much of Dean's death scene was ad-libbed by him and Jensen, including Dean's, "Always keep fighting," and the throwback exchange:

Sam: I can't do this alone.
Dean: Yes you can.
Sam: Yeah, well, I don't want to.

  • Jared also ad-libbed Sam's last line, "Dean." He mentioned at a StageIt event that he had Dean and Sam's meeting in 1.01 Pilot in mind when he added this.