5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

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Title Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Episode # Season 5, Episode 15
First aired March 25, 2010
Directed by John F. Showalter
Written by Jeremy Carver
On IMDB Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Outline People in Bobby's town are coming back from the dead, but Bobby insists nothing is wrong.
Monster Zombies
Timeline February 2010
Location(s) Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Sam and Dean show up in the town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, five miles from Bobby's home, to find that the dead are coming back to life. Bobby tries to convince them that it's nothing, that all of the omens are coincidence, but Dean doesn't fully believe him. One of the dead that has risen, Clay, gets revenge on his killer and then goes home to his family. When Sam and Dean track him down they find that he seems to be a regular guy, and that the local sheriff is in on it.

Bobby shows the boys why he doesn't want them working the case: his dead wife, Karen, has come back. As Sam and Dean investigate, Sam finds out after being attacked by one of the dead, that about 5 days after rising, the dead begin to turn, starting with a fever, hunger, and then the killing and eating of anyone around them. They set out to find everyone who's come back and kill them by shooting them in the head, including Bobby's wife, and Bobby kicks them out of his house.

Sam goes to talk with the sheriff, and finds that her son, who has come back to life, has already killed her husband. Sam and Sheriff Jody Mills gather the townspeople in the local jail and prepare them to fight off the dead who've turned. At Bobby's house, Karen begins to turn, and Bobby has no choice but to shoot her. All of the dead arrive at the Singer house and trap Dean and Bobby in the closet, but Sam and the Sheriff arrive and stop them.

The dead are put to rest in a pyre, but Bobby makes a separate one for his wife. As Sam, Dean and Bobby reflect on the day, Bobby tells them that Karen was brought back with a message for him. She came to warn Bobby, that because he's helping Sam say 'no' to Lucifer, Death has his eye on him.




  • "You're One of a Kind" by Moot Davis
(plays when Digger tells Dean & Sam about the zombie killing Benny Thompson)
  • "Lovin' the Sin I'm In" by Terry Campbell
(plays while Sam and Dean discuss Bobby and Karen in the diner)


Dean: Mr. Wells, why don't you tell us what you saw in your own words.

Digger: Call me Digger.
Dean: Digger? Who gave you that name?
Digger: I did.
Dean: You gave yourself your own nickname? You can't do that.

Digger: Who died and made you queen?
Dean: Remember the guy you said that was dead and couldn't possibly commit murder? There he is.

Sheriff Mills: And?
Dean: 'And'? And you're welcome – for catching the undead killer zombie.

Sheriff Mills: Whatever he is or isn't that don't give you the right to shoot him in the middle of the street.
Clay: I can't believe you were gonna kill me.

Dean: You're a zombie!

Clay: I'm a taxpayer!
Bobby: You think I'm an idiot, boy? My dead wife shows up on my doorstep, I'm not gonna test her every way I ever learned?

Dean: So what is it? Zombies? Revenant?

Bobby: Hell if I can tell. She's got no scars, no wounds, no reaction to salt, silver, holy water...
Bobby: 'And through the fire stood before me a pale horse. And he that sat atop him carried a scythe, and I saw since he had risen, they, too, shall rise, and from him and through him.'

Dean: So, what, Death is behind this?

Sam: Death, Death? Like 'Grim Reaper' death?
Bobby: No, no, don't 'Bobby' me. Just... just listen, okay? She hums when she cooks. She always... used to hum when she cooked. Tone deaf as all hell, but... And I never thought I would hear it again. Look, just read Revelation. The dead rise during the apocalypse. There's nothing in there that says that's bad! Hell, maybe it's the one good thing that comes out of this whole bloody mess.
Dean: What about the sheriff?

Sam: Uh, last time I checked, the sheriff was pretty pro-zombie.

Dean: Well, I guess you'll just have to convince her.
Sam: All right, if I hand you a gun and you see a dead person, I don't care if it's your friend, your neighbor, or your wife, you shoot for the head. That's the only way we survive.

Man: Uh, you mind telling us who the hell you are?
Sam: Friend of Bobby Singer's.
Man: Town drunk.
Sam: No, I – I thought... he was the town drunk.
Man: Who told you that?

Sam: Bobby Singer... Stay sharp. I'll watch the front door.
Bobby: Kind of a tight fit, don't you think?

Dean: It's all right. They're idiots. They can't pick a lock.
Bobby: Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?

Dean: I'm making this stuff up as I go. Sue me.
Bobby: Death came for me. He brought Karen back to send me a message.

Dean: You? Why you?
Bobby: Because I've been helping you, you sons of bitches. I'm one of the reasons you're still saying no to Lucifer, Sam.
Dean: So this was like a hit on your life?
Bobby: I don't know if they wanted to take my life or... my spirit. Either way, they wanted me out of the way.

Sam: But you're gonna be all right. Right, Bobby?

Trivia & References

The episode title "Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid" is a reference to the 1982 movie of the same name. In this film, Steve Martin interacts with (now dead) stars of '40s and '50s noir movies through use of clips from their movies.
The opening image of the hand rising from the grave is a reference to the popular zombie trope.
Digger: Heads up. Fargo.
Fargo was a 1996 Coen Brothers movie. The reference here is to the character of Sheriff Marge Gunderson, played by Frances McDormand.
The name of the sheriff, Sheriff Mills, may be a shout out to Jim Beaver's character on Harper's Island, also named Sheriff Mills.
Dean and Sam use the aliases Agents Dorfman and Neidermeyer, a reference the characters of Kent Dorfman and Douglas Neidermeyer from the 1978 John Belushi movie National Lampoon's Animal House.
When on the phone to Sheriff Mills, Bobby gives the alias FBI Agent Tom Willis. Tom Willis was a character on the '70s TV show The Jeffersons.
Sheriff Jody: So, whatever the three of you are planning, it ends here- now. Ten-four on that, agents?
10-4 in police 10 codes means "message received."
Dean: You know how many times we called? Where have you been?

Bobby: Playing murderball.

Murderball is the nickname for a type of extreme wheelchair rugby. It featured in an Oscar-nominated documentary Murderball.
Bobby: Dean, I can explain.

Dean: Explain what? Lying to us? Or the American Girl zombie making cupcakes in your kitchen?!

American Girl is a line of dolls, first released in 1986.
The drawing of Death in the book Bobby reads from is an etching from 1784 by Joseph Haynes called Death on a Pale Horse.
Dean: Awesome. Another Horseman. Must be Thursday.
This is a reference to the day of the week that Supernatural aired on in the U.S. at the time this episode aired.
This may also be a reference to the quote spoken by Arthur Dent in the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "This must be Thursday," said Arthur musing to himself, sinking low over his beer, "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."
Lastly, it could also be a reference to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode (Season 6 Episode 7) in which Buffy says, in reference to her sister being kidnapped yet again, "So, Dawn's in trouble... must be Tuesday" -- a play on the repeated tropes of a long-running TV series.
Sam: Bobby, why would Death raise fifteen people in a Podunk town like Sioux Falls?
If a town is "Podunk", it's deemed small and insignificant. In reality, Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota with a population of almost 200k people.
Dean: There's nothing to think about. I'm not gonna leave Bobby at home with the Bride of Frankenstein.
A reference to the classic horror movie of the same name in which the scientist creates a mate for the monster, made from a reanimated female corpse.
Dean: If she decides that Bobby's face is the blue-plate special, I'd like to be there.
Blue-plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants to refer to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily and often presented on a divided plate.
Dean: He's crazy.

Sam: It's his wife, Dean.
Dean: So he goes Full Metal Jacket on us? We're his family, Sam.

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film directed by Stanley Kubrick. Full metal jacket is also a type of bullet.
Dean: Hey, look, I don't know squat from Shinola about love, but at least you got to spend five days with her, right?
Don't know shit from Shinola was a colloquialism dating back to the early 1940s in the United States, which sometimes ended with "that's why your shoes don't shine". Shinola was a popular brand of shoe polish, which had a color and texture not unlike feces. The word shit was probably changed here due to broadcast television rules against profane language.


This was the first episode of Supernatural to be directed by John Showalter.
Jim Beaver confirmed on his Twitter it was being filmed before 5.14 My Bloody Valentine. It started filming on 3 December, 2009. At Salute to Supernatural L.A. 2010, Jim confirmed the airing order of the episodes was changed because of the extended hiatus due to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
On his Facebook, Jim Beaver said "Just finished two days of filming the two most difficult, saddest scenes I have ever shot. Thank goodness tomorrow we can relax and just kill monsters." He also made a short video behind the scenes.
Elizabeth Marleau who played Karen Singer in 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me was unable to reprise the role for this episode as she was very obviously pregnant at the time, and the production team thought a "pregnant zombie wife... would have been more than the episode could handle."S5Com
Carrie Anne Fleming who played Karen Singer in this episode also played a dying nurse in 2.01 In My Time of Dying.
Canon Discrepancy: Sam says the zombies can be killed with head shots, and this is how he, Dean, Bobby, and Sheriff Mills kill the zombies. However, when Dean suggested this method in 2.04 Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, Sam seemed to dismiss the idea and responded, "Dude, you've been watching way too many Romero flicks." Later in that episode, Sam shot the zombie in the head to no effect other than making her angry, seemingly proving his view that head shots didn't work on zombies. See the Zombie entry for more information.
Total zombie count in this episode, based on how many are shown killed onscreen: 20 (Karen Singer, Sean Mills, and Ezra Jones are killed individually by Bobby and Sam. Dean and Bobby kill six in the junkyard and two more inside the house. Sam and the sheriff kill the remaining nine outside the closet.) However, this might not have been all of them. In a later scene Dean says, "If there's any zombies left out there, we can't find them."

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


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