5.09 The Real Ghostbusters

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Title The Real Ghostbusters
Episode # Season 5, Episode 9
First aired November 12, 2009
Directed by James L. Conway
Written by Teleplay:
Eric Kripke
Nancy Weiner
On IMDB The Real Ghostbusters
Outline Sam and Dean find real ghosts when Becky invites them to a Supernatural convention.
Monster Ghosts
Location(s) Vermilion, Ohio
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Following a text message from Chuck, Sam and Dean arrive at a hotel, which is the site for a Supernatural fan convention. They find out that it was their over-enthusiastic fan Becky Rosen who sent the message, and have to deal with several Sam and Dean wannabes participating in a fictitious ghost hunt.

After a convention attendee is seriously injured by real ghosts, the Winchester brothers start researching and find out that there's a real ghost haunting the hotel, whose name is Leticia Gore. Gore, who supposedly killed four children by scalping them, was the orphanage caretaker. Together with two copycat Winchesters, Demian and Barnes, they set out to find Leticia's bones to salt and burn them.

When accomplishing their task, they accidentally set the ghosts of the boys free. They find out that in fact the three boys killed Leticia's son and that only the caretaker was able to keep them under control. With Leticia gone the ghosts lock all participants in the hotel and wreak havoc on them. Sam and Dean ask Chuck to keep everyone in the auditorium while they deal with the ghosts, using an actress/Hooters waitress to assume the role of Leticia Gore in order to control the children's ghosts.

However, the plan fails when her cell phone rings, identifying her as a human. The ghosts attack Sam and Dean, but are destroyed by Demian and Barnes, who were able to salt and burn the children's bones just in time.

Upon leaving the hotel, Demain and Barnes give Dean a pep-talk about why being Sam and Dean isn't so bad and don't believe him when he introduces himself as the real Dean. Becky turns her obsession to Chuck and reveals to Sam that in Chuck's book Time Is on My Side, Bela didn't give the Colt to Lilith, she gave it to a demon named Crowley, giving Sam and Dean their first real lead on the Colt.




  • "Topsy Turvy" by The Bughouse Five
(plays when Sam and Dean enter the hotel and see everyone in costume)
  • "Trouble Baby" by The Bughouse Five
(plays when Sam and Dean talk to Chuck about not publishing the books)
  • "Whiskey" by Swank
(plays when Dean and Sam are having drinks and the guy comes in and tells them about the ghost)
  • "Ain't Got Nobody" by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
(plays when Sam and Dean talk to Demian and Barnes after they face the ghost, then try to leave the hotel)
  • "Ring-a-Ling" by Miss Eighty 6
(the fake Leticia Gore's ringtone)


Becky: What? They're going to want to see it!

Sam & Dean: See what?

Becky: Oh My God. I love it when they talk at the same time!!
Con Manager: Welcome to the first annual Supernatural convention. At 3.45 in the Magnolia room we have the panel, 'Frightened Little Boy: The Secret Life of Dean'. And at 4.30 there's the 'Homoerotic Subtext of Supernatural.' Oh, and of course the big hunt starts at 7 pm sharp. But right now, right now I'd like to introduce the man himself. The creator, the writer of the Supernatural books. The one, the only, Carver Edlund!
Hook Man: Ah yeah. Why in every fight scene, Sam and Dean are having their gun knocked away by the bad guy? Why don't they keep it on some kind of bungee?

Chuck: I...yeah, I really don't know.

Hook Man: Ja, follow up. Why can't Sam and Dean be telling that Ruby is evil? I mean she is clearly manipulating Sam into some kind of moral lapse. It's obvious, nein?
Dean: Who gave you the rights to our life story.
Chuck: An archangel, and I didn't want it!
Chuck: Do you guys know what I do for a living?

Sam: Yeah Chuck, we know.

Chuck: Then could you tell me? Cause I don't, all right? I'm not a good writer. I've got no marketable skills. I'm not some hero who can just hit the road and fight monsters, Okay? Until the world ends, I gotta live, all right? And the Supernatural books are all I've got. What else do you want me to do?
Sam: The EMF's going nuts.

Dean: Great. We got a real ghost, and we got a bunch of dudes pretending to be us poking at it.
Sam: No way this ends well.

Dean: Yeah, well, serves them right.
Dean: I'm not Bobby, okay? You're not Sam. You're not Dean. What is wrong with you? Why in the hell would you choose to be these guys?

Barnes: Because we're fans. Like you.
Dean: No. I am not a fan, okay. Not fans. In fact, I think that the Dean and Sam story sucks. It is not fun. It is not entertaining. It is a river of crap that would send most people howling to the nut house. So you listen to me. Their pain is not for your amusement. I mean do you think they enjoy being treated like... like circus freaks?
Demian: Uh...I don't think they care, because they're fictional characters!
Dean: Oh they care. Believe me. They care a lot.

Sam: He..uh...he takes the story really seriously.
Dean: Hey Chuck. Good luck with the Supernatural books, and screw you very much.
Barnes: Oh my God. Supernatural makes digging graves seem so easy. It's not though. I'm gonna throw up.
Demian: No you're not.
Becky: Look Sam. I'm not gonna lie. We had undeniable chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun it was too hot to live. It can't go on. Chuck and I, we found each other. My yin to his proud yang. And well, the heart wants what the heart wants. I'm so so sorry.

Chuck: Yeah Sam. Sorry.
Becky: Will you be all right?

Sam: Honestly I don't know. I'll just have to find a way to keep living, I guess.
Sam: Okay. Oh, hey. Chuck. If you really wanna publish more books, I guess that's ok with us.

Chuck: Wow. Really?
Sam: No not really. We have guns and we'll find you.

Chuck: Okay, okay. No more books.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode refers to a 1980s animated TV show based on the movie Ghostbusters.
In reality, the first Supernatural convention held was WinchesterCon in Nashville in October 2006 attended by 200 fans. Asylum 2007 in England was the first convention attended by actors from the show.
Becky: Oooo, the LARPing's started.
LARPing stands for Live Action Role-Playing.
Sam: "Dad's journal -- Dear Sam and Dean. This hotel is haunted. You must hunt down the ghost. Interview witnesses, discover clues, and find the bones. First team to do so wins a fifty dollar gift card to Sizzler. Love, Dad."
Sizzler is an American steakhouse restaurant chain.
The fans who use the aliases "Agents Lennon and McCartney" and "Agents Jagger and Richards" during the LARPing game are referencing The Beatles singer/songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards.
Demian and Barnes - the fans LARPing Dean and Sam respectively - are the names of the re-cappers and moderators on the Supernatural forums at Television Without Pity.
Dean: How you doing?

Leticia Gore Actress: Busy.
Dean: Well you sure look lovely tonight. Especially for a dead chick.
Leticia Gore Actress: Buddy, I have heard that line 17 times tonight, okay? And all from dudes wearing MacGyver jackets.

MacGyver was an '80s action/adventure series about secret agent Angus MacGyver, who was known to wear a leather jacket.
Dean: Excuse us, mind if we ask you a few questions?

Hotel Manager: Look, I don't have time to play Star Wars, guys. Go ask the guy in the ascot.

Simple reference to the Star Wars series.
Hotel Manager: We generally don't like to publicize this to... normal people... but yeah. 1909 this place was called 'Gore Orphanage'. Miss Gore killed four boys with a butchers knife, then offed herself.
Gore Orphanage is the site of a number of local ghost stories and legends in Ohio (Eric Kripke's home state).
When Dean gets angry with the fans for not taking the "story" of Sam and Dean seriously, it could be seen as a reference to the phenomenon of serious business, used generally on the internet but in fandom to refer to fans who take matters related to their fandom in an uber serious, humorless manner (aka Fandom is srs bsns). Dean's reaction in fandom would be termed a "flounce". This behavior is often mocked.
After seeing the ghosts of the three children while wandering the hotel, Fritz/Hook Man shouts (off camera) "Gott in Himmel!" This is German, and means "God in Heaven!" This is somewhat amusing, because viewers know that in the series, God isn't in Heaven.
"Hook Man": Yeah, how original. Supernatural bringing in more creepy children. Sigh.
Creepy children, the evil innocents, are a stock character in horror movies, In Supernatural creepy children include Peter Sweeney in 1.03 Dead in the Water, Missy Bender in 1.15 The Benders, Melanie Merchant in 1.19 Provenance, Maggie Thompson in 2.11 Playthings, the Changelings in 3.02 The Kids Are Alright, the Girl in the Wall and her brother in 4.11 Family Remains, Jesse in 5.06 I Believe the Children Are Our Future and Lilith in 3.12 Jus in Bello, 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, and 4.06 Yellow Fever.
Dean: You're an actress. We just want you to act.

Leticia Gore Actress: I work at Hooters, in Toledo. No, you can forget it.
Sam: You'll be safe, we promise. This is really important.

Hooters is a food chain known for their voluptuous wait staff.
Dean: Just give her the puppy dog thing, okay?
Fans have long referred to Sam's Puppy Dog Eyes - the pleading look he gives someone, frequently Dean, when he wants something. Dean previously referred to it in 1.11 Scarecrow.
Becky: Chuck and I, we found each other. My yin to his proud yang.
In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is used to describe opposite but interconnected forces.
Chuck: Yeah, I had a huge crush on Nancy McKeon, who played Jo in The Facts of Life. I must have written her 40 to 50 letters, she never wrote back.
The Facts of Life was a sitcom which ran from 1979-1988.
Chuck: Actually my favourite movie was Beaches. Hilary and CC were just so brave. So strong.
Beaches was a 1988 film about two lifelong friends, one of whom develops a fatal heart condition.
Chuck: The way I look at it, it's really not jumping the shark if you never come back down.
A reference to the phrase "Jumping the Shark" a reference to the gimmicks used by a show in its death throes. See 4.19 Jump the Shark for why Kripke named an episode after this trope.


Filming Locations: The hotel the convention was filmed at is Stanley Park Pavilion. Map of known filming locations.
The convention takes place at the Pineview Hotel.
Some of the episodes and characters referenced at the convention are:
Jonathan Bruce, who played the convention host, previously portrayed Larry Williams in 2.11 Playthings (the man whose head did a 180 at the beginning of the episode).
In the DVD commentary for 4.03 In the Beginning, Kripke talks about how Sam and Dean always seem to be dropping their guns, knives etc... at crucial moments.

Jared and Jensen always say to us like the joke is they always say to me and Bob, “Why don’t Sam and Dean have bungee cords on their wrists?”
For the amount of times that guns and knives are knocked out of their hands. Here’s a good game, count how many times Sam and Dean lose their weapon and the reason we do it is a really important blocking reason, they’d be stupid to walk in unarmed but we still have to put them in enough danger for the bad guy to monologue or to feel like they’re in danger before someone else unexpectedly walks in with the weapon that the other person dropped.

Fritz's question to Chuck is why (in the book series) Sam and Dean are falling for Ruby's "obvious" manipulations. It is worth noting that the Supernatural books series had stopped production after its equivalent of 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked was published, and thus before Ruby's motive was revealed in 4.22 Lucifer Rising. Fritz represents a subset of fans who never trusted Ruby and would dissect and question her actions in each episode. In a related vein, it is not clear if Chuck had told Becky about Ruby's betrayal when telling her about the Apocalypse in 5.01 Sympathy for the Devil. Her reaction is to get offended, which may indicate that she is aware that it is a sensitive subject for the boys, or that she is blissfully unaware of Ruby's treachery and is a loyal fan of the "character."
Factual Error: The LARPers are offered a $50 gift card to Sizzler if they solve the case. However, Sizzler does not have any locations in Ohio - the state this episode is set in.
Demian and Barnes are seen re-enacting a scene from 2.10 Hunted where Dean tells Sam that their father had told him he might have to kill him.
Plot hole: In 4.18 The Monster at the End of This Book, it was mentioned that if anything threatens a prophet, an Archangel will appear to destroy the threat. Yet Chuck, who is a prophet, spends the whole episode in a building haunted by murderous spirits and the archangels do not protect him or destroy the ghosts.
John Shaw, who played the hotel manager, previously appeared in 3.14 Long-Distance Call as Ben Waters, the first victim of the episode.
A show of how into character Demian was, look at the similarities in language between him and Dean in separate scenes:

Demian: Where's the body buried, kid? We'll light her up nice and toasty.

Dean: That's it. I'm going to deep fry this bitch extra crispy.
While walking to the graveyard, Demian and Barnes re-enact a scene from 1.10 Asylum where Sam criticizes Dean for being too obedient and deferential to their dad. The original scene was featured in the recap of previous episodes at the beginning of this episode.
Deleted scene: The deleted scene from this episode - the only episode with a deleted/extended scene included in the Season 5 DVD and Blu-Ray - is an extended version of the last scene of the episode where Chuck is on stage answering questions.
This episode was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the "Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBT character)" category in 2010. However it lost to an episode of Parks and Recreation.

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