1.01 Pilot

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Title Pilot
Episode # Season 1, Episode 1
First aired September 13, 2005
Directed by David Nutter
Written by Eric Kripke
On IMDB Pilot
Outline Estranged brothers Sam and Dean reunite to investigate supernatural deaths on the path to finding their missing father, John.
Monster The Demon
Woman in White
Timeline November 2nd, 1983 (flashback)

October 30th, 2005 (Halloween party)
October 31st, 2005 (Dean arrives)
November 1st, 2005 (in Jericho)
November 2nd, 2005 (Jess dies)

Location(s) Lawrence, Kansas
Palo Alto, California
Jericho, California
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Lawrence, Kansas - 22 years ago (1983)
It is a happy family scene as Mary and John Winchester put their children, six-month-old Sam and four-year-old Dean, to bed. Later, Mary investigates a sound coming from Sam’s nursery. She sees a figure standing over his crib and assumes it is John, but when she realizes it isn’t her husband she rushes back in. John, who was asleep in the living room, hears Mary's screams and rushes to the nursery, only to find her pinned to the ceiling with a deep wound across her belly. As he stares in shock, flames engulf Mary and the room. John hands the baby to Dean and tells him to run outside before trying in vain to save his wife. The scene ends with John and the boys sitting on the hood of their Impala as firemen tend to their burning house.

Present Day (2005)
It is Halloween and Sam and his girlfriend, Jess, go out for drinks to celebrate his good LSAT score, which should guarantee him a place in law school. Later that night, Sam awakens to the sound of someone breaking into their apartment. He wrestles with the intruder, only to discover that it is his older brother, Dean. The brothers haven’t spoken for some time, and Dean is only turning up now because their father has gone missing on what Dean calls a "hunting trip."

As Dean tries to convince Sam to accompany him to find their dad, it is obvious that what the Winchesters hunt are supernatural entities. Dean plays a recording of a voicemail from John Winchester, which contains EVP of a woman saying “I can never go home,” and Sam agrees to spend the weekend looking for their dad. He needs to be back at Stanford on Monday for a law school interview. Jess seems worried, but it is clear that she does not know the truth about what Sam's family "hunts."

The boys travel to Jericho, where John has been investigating the disappearances of young men that go back ten years and all seem to occur on the same stretch of road. The latest victim was Troy Squire, and when Sam and Dean speak to his girlfriend, Amy Hein, they find out about a local legend of a murdered girl whose ghost hitchhikes and kills whoever picks her up. After some research, Sam and Dean discover the girl in the legend is Constance Welch, who killed herself by jumping from a bridge after her children drowned in the bathtub. That night, they travel to the bridge, and Sam makes it clear that he doesn’t want to return to hunting with Dean and John. He also questions the value of their quest to find whatever killed their mother. During the confrontation they see a woman jump into the water, and, when they go out on the bridge to investigate, the Impala mysteriously starts on its own and pursues them down the bridge, stopping once they've jumped to safety.

Upon checking into a motel, the brothers find out their father had also been staying there and that his room is still being held. They break into his room and, though it is obvious he has not been there for a few days, the walls are covered in research; newspaper clippings, notes – that identifies Constance as a woman in white. Local law enforcement have been staking out the motel, and Dean is arrested when he leaves to get food. At the police station, the sheriff accuses him of being connected with the disappearances and shows him John’s journal, which contains the notation “Dean 35-111.” While Dean is being questioned, Sam tracks down Constance Welch’s widower, Joseph Welch, who tells Sam that Constance is buried in a plot behind their old house, the same house where their children drowned. He also reveals that he was unfaithful to her, which makes it more likely that she is a woman in white.

Dean escapes from the sheriff's station using a paper clip and a distraction provided by Sam, but before Dean and Sam can meet up again, Sam has a personal encounter with Constance. She tries to seduce him, whilst begging him to take her home. Sam refuses, but she takes control of the Impala and forces him to drive her towards her old home. The car stops outside the deserted house, and Constance attacks him. Dean arrives and shoots at her, distracting her and allowing Sam to ram the car into the house. Inside the house, the ghosts of her children materialize, and as they embrace her, all three vanish.

After the case, Dean is keen to pursue John –- he has worked out that the notation he left Dean in his journal are coordinates to a town in Colorado, but Sam declines and so he drives him back to Stanford. Returning to his apartment, Sam finds a plate of cookies with a note from Jess. He goes upstairs and, hearing the shower running in the bathroom, collapses onto their bed, exhausted. He seems happy, but then something red drips onto his forehead and he looks up to see Jess pinned to the ceiling and bleeding from her belly. He screams, and, as Jess bursts into flame, Dean rushes in and pulls Sam from the inferno of their apartment.

Outside the house, as firemen battle the blaze, Sam tosses a shotgun into the trunk of the Impala. He is back in the hunt again.




  • "Gasoline" by Ginger
(plays as Jessica is getting ready for the Halloween party)
  • "What Cha Gonna Do" by Classic
(plays while Jessica, Sam and a friend are at the Halloween party)
  • "Speaking in Tongues" by Eagles of Death Metal
(plays when the guy stops for the hitch-hiking Woman in White)
  • "Ramblin' Man" by The Allman Brothers Band
(plays when Dean and Sam are at the gas station)
  • "Back in Black" by AC/DC
(plays after Sam finds Dean's "mullet rock" collection)
  • "She Cheated on a Cheater" by Keith Rosier
(plays as Sam and Dean check into the motel)
  • "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC
(plays when Dean says "Saved your ass")


  • "Gasoline" by Ginger
(plays as Jessica is getting ready for the Halloween party)
  • "What Cha Gonna Do" by Classic
(plays while Jessica, Sam and a friend are at the Halloween party)
  • "Civilized" by Rabbit Junk
(plays when the guy stops for the hitch-hiking Woman in White)
  • "All Across America" by Reverend Freak Child
(plays when Dean and Sam are at the gas station)
  • "A Gift to the World" by The Loveless
(plays after Sam finds Dean's "mullet rock" collection)
  • "She Cheated on a Cheater" by Keith Rosier
(plays as Sam and Dean check into the motel)
  • "Smile Like a Tiger" by The Bad Touch
(plays when Dean says "Saved your ass")


John: Take your brother outside as fast as you can - don't look back. Now, Dean! Go!
Dean: Dad's on a hunting trip. And he hasn't been home in a few days.
Sam: Dean, what the hell are you doing here?

Dean: I was looking for a beer.
Sam: What the hell are you doing here?
Dean: Okay, all right. We gotta talk.
Sam: Uh, the phone?

Dean: If I'd have called, would you have picked up?
Sam: I swore I was done hunting for good.

Dean: Come on, it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that bad.
Sam: Yeah? When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45.
Dean: Well what was he supposed to do?
Sam: I was 9 years old! He was supposed to say 'Don’t be afraid of the dark.'

Dean: Don’t be afraid of the dark? What are you kidding me, of course you should be afraid of the dark! You know what’s out there!
Dean: So what are you gonna do? Just live some normal, apple pie life? Is that it?

Sam: No, not normal. Safe.
Dean: And that’s why you ran away?

Sam: I was just going to college. It was Dad who said if I was gonna go, I should stay gone. And that's what I'm doing.
Dean: I can’t do this alone.

Sam: Yes, you can.

Dean: Yeah, well... I don’t want to.
Sam: You and Dad still running credit card scams?
Dean: Yeah, well hunting ain't exactly a pro ball career. Besides, all we do is apply. It's not our fault they send us the cards.
Sam: I swear, man, you have got to update your cassette tape collection.

Dean: Why?
Sam: Well, for one: they're cassette tapes. And two: Black Sabbath? Motörhead? Metallica? It's the greatest hits of mullet rock.
Dean: House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.
Sam: You know, Sammy is a chubby 12-year-old. It's Sam, okay?

Dean: Sorry, I can't hear you. The music's too loud.
Dean: You can pretend all you want, Sammy. But sooner or later you're going to have to face up to who you really are.

Sam: Who is that?

Dean: One of us.
Sam: Come on. We got work to do.

Trivia & References

Mary dies on 2nd November 1983. 2nd November is All Souls Day, also called the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
Sam: We’re not exactly the Bradys.

Luis: And I’m not exactly the Huxtables.

Sam is referring to the family in the TV show The Brady Bunch, a large patchwork family that stands for the ultimate American middle class family. His friend mentions the Bradys' '80s African-American equivalent from The Cosby Show, the Huxtables.

Dean: I love the Smurfs.

The Smurfs was a cartoon series about little blue creatures living in mushroom houses in the woods. There was only one female smurf, Smurfette. Dean's comment here is an allusion to Jessica's boobs.

Sam: So he’s working over-time on a 'Miller Time' shift; he’ll stumble back in sooner or later.

Sam: Yeah, he’s just deer hunting up at the cabin and he’s probably got Jim, Jack, and Jose along with him. We’re just gonna go bring him back.

All references to alcohol: Miller (beer), Jim Beam (bourbon), Jack Daniels (whiskey), and Jose Cuervo (tequila). Miller Time refers to a well-deserved break, relaxation, possibly with friends, after a hard day's work or a job well-done.
Dean: Agent Mulder, Agent Scully.
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the two FBI agents on the popular sci-fi/horror series The X-Files who investigate cases involving paranormal phenomena.
Dean: Okay, thank you "Unsolved Mysteries."
Unsolved Mysteries. was a TV show that featured re-enactments of unsolved crimes filmed in documentary style, with actors portraying the victims, perpetrators and witnesses. Many of these stories hinted at paranormal phenomenon.
Pierce: So you want to give us your real name?

Dean: I told you, it’s Nugent. Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent is the first of Dean's classic rock star aliases. Also possibly a reference to the movie Fletch starring Chevy Chase.
Pierce: I'm not sure you realize just how much trouble you're in here.

Dean: We talkin' like, misdemeanor kind of trouble, or uh, 'squeal like a pig' trouble?

"Squeal like a pig" is a reference to a scene in the 1972 horror film Deliverance, in which a suburban man is told to "squeal like a pig" then brutally raped by crazed mountain men while on a fishing trip. The scene has been listed as one of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments (#63). See Deliverance for other episodes which have quotes from this movie.
Sam: What were you thinking shooting Casper in the face, you freak?
Title character in the famous cartoon series Casper, the Friendly Ghost in which Casper was, indeed, a friendly ghost, unlike the Woman in White.


Filming Locations: The pilot was filmed in March/April of 2005 in and around Los Angeles, CA. The motel scenes were shot at La Crescenta Motel, 2413 Foothill Boulevard, La Crescenta, California, USA. Constance's house was at the Sable Ranch, 25933 Sand Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, California, USA. The roadside where the Woman in White appears was shot on Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA. Footage of the Impala driving that was shot on this road during the pilot also recurs in later episodes in 3.03, 4.04, 4.18, 10.20 and 15.04. Map of known filming locations.
Eric Kripke said the pilot was inspired by Sandman, Hellblazer, American Gods, Evil Dead, Fletch, Good Omens and The House With A Clock In Its Wall.
In an early draft of the script, Sam and Dean's surname was Harrison, rather than Winchester, an homage from Kripke to Harrison Ford, according to McG. source.
Dean uses the line "“shotgun shuts his cakehole” is used rather than the more usual “shotgun shuts his piehole” because according to Kripke: "Two reasons. 1) piehole is widely used, I like to mix it up. 2) Dean regards cake dismissively, so it doubles down on the insult."
Mary's nightgown is pale pink not white.
The episode first premiered on Yahoo!TV on 09/06/2005. The pilot could also be seen on the internet weeks before the airing. The premiere of the pilot episode ran an extra 7 minutes (9:00 to 10:07 EST), bringing the total run time to 57 minutes.
Jensen Ackles cited this episode as his favorite in the premier issue of the Official Supernatural Magazine saying:
"I mean, obviously the pilot stands out among all the rest."
At Jus In Bello Italy 2012 Jensen said that the scene where Sam and Dean were in the library together was one of his favorite scenes, because it was the first scene ever filmed.
The nursery clock stops at 20:12.
A kid's firefighter's helmet can be seen in Dean's childhood bedroom. He tells Sam in 1.22 Devil's Trap, when he and Sam disguise themselves as firefighters, that "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up." He also has a Western/cowboy-themed bedspread. As seen in 6.18 Frontierland and 13.06 Tombstone, Dean has a lifelong love of cowboys.
Sam scored 174 on his LSAT (out of 180).
This episode introduced the much debated question How long was Sam at Stanford?
Every street referenced in this episode is named after a real street in Eric Kripke's hometown, Toledo, Ohio.S1Com, p.18
At the gas station, Sam tosses Dean the Metallica cassette, but it's AC/DC's "Back in Black" that plays, this is because in the original pilot "Enter Sandman" was used, however the show could not get the rights to use it in the broadcast version.
Dean knows how to pick locks, picking his handcuffs using just a paperclip.
Both Mary and Jess die in exactly the same way. In both cases, they die above Sam’s bed.
John's motel room is papered with articles. One is about a cambion suggested John was speculating on Sam's heritage. Another is about Constance Welch. The article says a neighbor described Constance as a quiet but very lovely woman. This neighbor is named Deanna Kripke - the name of Eric Kripke's wife. She is also mentioned in the article Sam finds online, and is quoted as saying "Connie might have been quiet, but she was the sweetest, most caring girl I'd ever met." David Nutter, the director for this episode, was also mentioned as a neighbor.
The following scenes were deleted from the aired version but were subsequently included as DVD extras on the season 1 DVDs.
  • The first deleted scene is the very first scene in the present day. The on-screen caption says "Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Present Day". We open to see one of Sam's friends (who is dressed as a zombie) meet up with Sam and Jess on their way to a Halloween party. He has a go at Sam for not dressing up, but Sam insists that he just doesn't like Halloween - something his friend cannot understand.
  • The second deleted scene is towards the end of the episode, after Dean has dropped Sam back off at his apartment. We see a clip of Dean in his car, interspersed with the footage of Sam in the apartment. Dean looks at his watch and turns the car around.
  • The final deleted scene extends the final scene of the episode. After Dean walks away from the crowd outside the burning apartment building, he asks Sam if he's okay. After Sam answers, we see the familiar trunk slamming moment. In this version, we watch the boys drive off past the fire trucks.
A deleted scene (watch) included on the Season 1 DVD shows the reason Dean returned to save Sam from his burning bedroom: his watch stopped, the car radio send static and that's why he turned the car around, sensing something was wrong. Later on, we learn that in the days before the fires, signs crop up in an area, cattle deaths, temperature fluctuations, electrical storms.
The episode contains a number of scenes that are mirrored in subsequent episodes.
1. In the teaser John hands Sam to Dean and says "take your brother outside as fast as you can, and don’t look back." This is repeated in 1.09 Home when Sam hands Ritchie to his sister Sari and repeats the same words.
2. The sequence of Dean breaking into the apartment and wrestling with Sam is repeated in 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be when, in the wishverse, Sam tackles Dean as he breaks into the family home.
3. The exchange when Dean tells Sam he doesn't want to do it alone is recalled in 7.04 Defending Your Life. It is also repeated in 15.20 Carry On with the brothers' roles reversed, i.e. Sam telling Dean he doesn't want to do it alone.
4. Dean slams Sam against the bridge when he questions the family mission. This is mirrored when Sam does that to Dean in 1.21 Salvation.
5. At the end of the pilot, there is a shot of Dean and Sam standing over the trunk of the Impala. As Sam tosses a weapon into he trunk he says, "We got work to do" and closes the trunk. At the end of 2.22 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part Two, the scene is replayed with the brother's positions reversed. Dean tosses the Colt into the trunk and says, "We've got work to do." It is also re-created at the start of 10.05 Fan Fiction after Dean announces he has found a case. In 15.01 Back and to the Future, Sam says it and closes the trunk, while the image briefly flashes to the Winchesters closing the trunk at the end of the pilot. Variations also occur in 4.01 Lazarus Rising, when Dean asks Castiel why he was brought back, Castiel responds, "Because we have work for you."; in 7.19 Of Grave Importance the line is used by Bobby to explain his presence as a ghost.
It was assumed by Sam, Dean, and fans that Azazel was the one who killed Jessica. However, it was revealed in 5.20 The Devil You Know that Sam's demon-possessed friend Brady did the actual killing, albeit on Azazel's instructions.
Promo poster for Supernatural.

Early reports of Supernatural: September 13 2004: A report on a new WB show in development from allbusiness.com:

Described as "Route 66" meets "The X Files," "Supernatural" focuses on two twentysomething brothers who battle the things that go bump in the night as they cruise the dusty backroads of small-town America in their '64 Mustang.
"We had been talking internally about wanting to do a show that truly scares and creeps you out, and (McG and Kripke) came in and pitched this show that not only serviced that need in our development but truly entertained us with the mythology and eeriness that they want to convey in the show," WB Network entertainment president David Janollari said. "The notion of doing a dramatic show that focuses on a really unique brother dynamic and allows us to enter worlds that scare us and creep us out each week to me is a great recipe."

Kripke: At one point I wanted to do an anthology show. Another time, I wanted to do a series about a reporter who works for a tabloid magazine, pretty much a rip-off of the original Kolchak: The Night Stalker. And then, finally, just through development with the studio, settled on this idea of telling these stories in the format of this Route 66: Great American Road Trip with these two brothers...It's sort of funny how it all worked out. I literally had scribbled [the idea] in a notebook the day before my meeting with the studio, and then I came into the studio and had pitched them my reporter idea. And they didn't like it. They said, "What else do you got?" I didn't have anything. So, I tap danced and said, "Well, I got this great idea about two brothers on a road trip." They loved it, and it ended up being the show. So, it's funny how that works out.
When we started casting, we had archetypes in mind, which were Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. We were really looking for Sam to be empathetic, kind, and likeable, and really the audience surrogate. The person who the audience would most see themselves as and really carry the story through their eyes. And that required a really unique likeability. For Dean, we were looking for Han Solo. We were looking for devil-may-care, charismatic, a little rough around the edges, a little edgy, says things that are not always the kindest thing, as long as they're funny. And that was really what we started out with.

January 17 2005: from the Futon Critic:

SUPERNATURAL (The WB) - David Nutter ("Smallville") has come aboard to direct and executive produce the drama project, which has been given the green light to produce a pilot. Writer/producer Eric Kripke ("Tarzan") created the project, which is set up at McG and Stephanie Savage's Warner Bros. Television-based Wonderland Sound and Vision, and will executive produce along with Nutter, McG and Savage. "Supernatural" revolves around two brothers who travel the country hunting down supernatural beings.
In the first episode of Supernatural: Then and Now, Jared and Jensen described how real fire was used in the scene where Jess dies. " "As soon as you get warm, run," Padalecki says, adding the note they were given was something along the lines of: "Give us what you can, but as soon as you feel unsafe or hot, get out of the fire. Ackles recalls a specific take in which Padalecki was a bit too in the moment and was fighting against Dean, who was trying to pull him out of the room. Ackles remembers telling Padalecki, "I'm getting hot, we gotta go!"" source
In a 2022 interview with Nerds and Beyond, Jared Padalecki revealed that Jeffrey Dean Morgan played the shadowy figure of Azazel standing over infant Sam's crib.
Aaron Schneider was the Director of Photography on the Pilot.

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