Supernatural, my comfort episodes:
 
What makes a comfort episode? For me it’s an episode that I can curl up with and just watch, no major themes at play, no big uh-huh moments, just something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
 
What do my comfort episodes have? Brotherly moments, humor, sometimes a lot of humor; I wouldn’t say these are usually the strongest or best episodes but they are the ones I like to come back to and just curl up and enjoy.
 
Wendigo is a comfort episode. I don’t like camping either…something about indoor plumbing and not sleeping on the ground with insects, but I like Wendigo. Sam and Dean work as a team to fight the monster, Dean comforts Sam, Sam saves Dean, there’s classic rock and Sam drives the Impala, after Dean offers. It’s probably a guy thing but it’s clear to me that Dean was trying to comfort Sam a bit and Sam decided to take him up on it in the end.
 
Skin is a comfort episode as well. I kinda like the girl, the music is great and while there is the whole theme of leaving everyone behind it’s nice to see that there were some aspects of Sam’s other life that likely would have understood what he did and why. Shame he couldn’t/didn’t open up about it.  I just like this episode. Great fight sequence between Jared and Jensen, awesome shots of the Impala and did I mention the music? Plus, the brothers were cool together.
 
Something Wicked is my last comfort episode from season one. I think I’m a sucker for episodes that have ‘moments’ between the brothers. Here we get some history about Dean and why he’s such a stickler for orders and Sam has a newer understanding of his brother, those are things that will always sucker me in – so why is Route 666 not a comfort episode? I don’t know, it just isn’t, although I love the brother moments in that one as well as in Bugs. Something Wicked is sweet and mournful and I really feel for Dean as he stands at the desk about to sign into the motel and watches Michael pour milk for Asher…I get a little choked up each time it fades to the flashback and I imagine ‘our boys’ growing up. Yeah, I’m just sappy that way.
 
Where do I find comfort in season two? Easy. Everybody Loves a Clown. I love the Shambala at the beginning as the camera pans over the car junkyard – “Wash away my sorry, wash away my pain…” Oh, Dean, that I could. There’s lots of verbal sparring here so it’s a wonder this is a comfort episode but it is. Dean yells at Sam and gets in his face about dad, and Sam actually opens up a bit.  There’s plenty to laugh about – killer clown apocalypse – and the intro of Ellen and Jo and Ash is quite fun to relive.
 
I would say Tall Tales fits into a comfort episode for me; it’s funny, funny and frankly funny. There’s squabbling galore, pranks and Bobby there to hold things together. Even when fighting the boys are working together and that will get me every time – “You guys are breaking my heart, can we leave!”
 
What Is And What Should Never Be, it’s make believe and made up and I love it. It’s gentle and sweet and while it makes me cry every time Dean confronts John at the gravesite, I love to curl up with this episode time and again. Sam choosing to not let his “I can’t believe we’re related” brother do whatever lamebrain thing he has to do and then finding a knife and a jug of lamb’s blood – ever wonder where Dean got lamb’s blood? – and then the whole cell phone toss out the window, I love it.
 
Season three is a short season but there are comfort episodes to be had. I don’t believe in the luck of a rabbit’s foot but like Tall Tales Bad Day At Black Rock is too hilarious to not enjoy. Both Jared and Jensen got to work their comedy chops in this one and like Tall Tales where both were willing to look ridiculous, it works. I wonder if Jim Beaver really spent any time with Jared or Jensen during the filming of this since all his parts were over the phone –  I don’t imagine they actually were talking on the phone, still there’s the audio trailer after principal shooting is done. I don’t know. But it’s very funny and very enjoyable and I liked Bela in this one very much. I think many would have had she not been a recurring character…and knowing Jensen threw that “Sonofabitch” in at the end that got Jared laughing and they actually used the take…good times.
 
A Very Supernatural Christmas, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” it’s so comforting I cry. Damn you, Kripke! And you didn’t even write it. Jeremy Carver stole my heart with this one and sentimental fool that I am, I just love it. For all the blood, ripped out fingernails, almost pulled tooth, the gruesome Santa sack, bloody boot and staked pagan gods, this one is one to curl up with on a hot and humid summer night or a cold and blustery winter evening. It just works. That Sam and Dean showed their love through spiked egg nog, crappy gifts and stilted conversation shows just how much these brothers love each other – words don’t need to be spoken, just spend time together and enjoy the other’s presence.
 
Mystery Spot, yeah, I’m that twisted. A comfort episode, is she kidding us? Hey, these are my comfort episodes; I can’t help that I find comfort in Sam going insane, Dean dying again and again, the Trickster showing up, and Dean dying in Sam’s arms…at least three times that we saw. Awesome.
 
Comfort episodes in season four are a lot harder to come by but Monster Movie makes the list. It’s funny, it’s out there and the brothers are working together even when they’re separate. Lederhosen and organ playing freakishly skinny guys notwithstanding, this is just great…and I have a coupon.
 
Wishful Thinking, again, it’s the brothers, it’s timing, it’s funny. Sure a suicidal teddy bear is kinda disturbing – but I dare any of you to tell me you didn’t laugh out loud, or at least snort, when the puff of stuffing blew across the screen. Bwah! Sam is trying to draw Dean out, Dean’s drinking, Audrey is adorable [and not over the top either, very tough line to tip toe], the brothers are more in sync then out of sync…I love this episode.
 
Finally, It’s A Terrible Life, no baggage, a simple ghost, salt and burn, the ghostfacers make a hysterical cameo harkening to the real Sam and Dean, plenty of symbolism and self-referential jokes and through it all the brothers find each other and play off each other without having any idea of who and what they really are to each other. I love it each and every time.
 
So, there you go, my list of comfort episodes, how do I rank them? I don’t. They’re comfort episodes. It all depends on what I’m looking for; sometimes it’s a monster in the woods, other times the monster is in the sewer. Sometimes I like dreams that are never spoken aloud and other times the dreams are wished out loud. I like bright colors and black and white, flashbacks to sad times and sadder times, there’s clowns and pagan gods, ghosts and greedy mercenaries. I guess I find comfort in a number of different episodes and a number of different ways, happy, sad, scary, silly, ghoulish and grim. It’s Supernatural, baby, it’s good no matter how you slice it.
 
Thanks for reading.

Comments  

Bethany
# Bethany 2009-06-19 01:50
Great list elle2! It's true sometimes you just want to curl up with some of your favourite episodes of supernatural, esp if you've had a bad day. I love the ones you've listed also 'scarecrow' (i'm actually obsessed by this episode) great dialogue, scarecrows really are freaky, great brotherly moments, introduction of meg, Dean "has a plan" and we find out that sacrifice is classier but never know if their apple pie was frickin worth it. I also love the 'monster at the end of this book' i do love people who can make fun of themselves and no one escapes! still laugh at the "but to live through bad writing" line just made me love kripke and co so much more!
Elle
# Elle 2009-06-19 11:29
Wow, Elle2, your comfort episodes are just about all of mine! The exception being "Skin" because while it's a "heebeejeeby" episode rather than a comfort episode for me.

WIAWSNB is my go to episode when I just want to kickback and watch - in fact, I watched it just the other night before bed! It's got everything - great use of music (the lawnmower scene - how excellent!), Dean confessing his feelings to John's grave, Dean and Mary, Dean and Preppy!Sam, "have you been drinking?", etc. Try to find a reason not to enjoy this episode!

I love Wendigo as well, it had the perfect mix of humour and brotherly moments, and additionally I thought there was decent chemistry with the guest cast.

Bethany - Scarecrow is another one that I enjoy a lot too (except the Meg bits, that's less comfort, more uneasy).

My other comfort episodes, not mentioned above:

The Usual Suspects - What I really like about this episode is the sychronicity of the boy's thinking, even separated and the way they tell the story one way but we get to see it play out in a totally different way. And who can forget the video "confession" Dean makes - "My name is Dean Winchester, I'm an aquarius I enjoy sunsets, long walks on the beach and frisky women."

Folsom Prison Blues - I know that a lot of people don't like this episode, but watching Dean slide into prison life so smoothly amuses me to no end.

Hollywood Babylon - how can you not love this episode. Each time Sam is trying to talk to Dean about the case and he's on the headset, or eating (taquito's, miniature philly cheese steaks, etc.), all the references to real life (Gilmore Girls, McG, etc.) and the instant classic (for me) - "You're a damn good PA!" I enjoy meta-episodes.

Those, in addition to Elle2's fabulous list, are my comfort episodes.
Great list, Elle2! Thanks for sharing.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-19 11:46
Hi, Bethany and Elle,

I too love Scarecrow, I read on some threads (somewhere) that 'a lot' of fans think that's a throwaway episode but I don't. The Meg character is great, especially how she 'pushes' at Sam regardging family, I like seeing Dean handle the hunt on his own, goes to the university to track things down. The brothers separating but also dealing with that very well, Dean apologizing and recognizing Sam's independence and Sam realizing that he has to deal in the now, and Dean and him now is all he's got. Dude, you fugly and Bad Company...awesome.

Elle,
having recently gone through all of S2 pretty much in order I really found great moments in all the episodes and Roadkill and Heart improved a lot in my mind and I do like Folsom Prison Blues for all the reasons you mentioned. Hollywood Babylon hysterical and I enjoy it more and more...it ages well.

Thanks for adding to the list both of you.

:-)
Alison
# Alison 2009-06-19 13:19
Great list, Alice.If I'm in the mood for great brotherly moments--ha, when am I not?--then I often watch 'Croatoan'.I love Dean's steadfast refusal to leave Sam or let anyone hurt him.Dean can be a real badass when Sam's well being is threatened and I love watching Jared & Jensen act their socks off in the clinic.
Bevie
# Bevie 2009-06-19 14:29
All your choices are comforts to me elle2, with the exception maybe of "Skin", which I love, but has a little bit too much angst for my comfort, with skinDean confessing hurtful things to Sam for example. But the boys together are so good, especially coming out of the sewer and finding the car.

And I am so very fond of "Scarecrow" and just can never figure out just why I continually enjoy that episode. Of course now that I know about Meg I can really despise her when I see it now. LOL!

The Usual Suspects is high on my list (although I really couldn't be able to rank any of them) for the Dean in prison and handcuffs and snarky attitude, Love that! Frisky women! Ha!

Hollywood Babylon - love it as it shows how Dean can be good at almost anything he puts his mind to. Copy that! And Sam seeing Dean saunter out of Tara's trailer and her comment. You're a hell of a PA! I like to see Dean enjoying his food too, when he's happy I feel happy too.

Folsom Prison Blues - Dean does fit so well into the prison scene, and Sam so antsy about anything, though I couldn't blame him with his prison mate towering over him. Also we got to see Tiny the bodyguard. And Dean still looks good all in orange.

It's a Terrible Life - was a wonderful change from the angsty heart wrenching episodes surrounding it. Loved to see the brothers together even though they didn't know it. And the Ghostfacers cameo. The cleanse, the Prius, the outfits, the hairdo, the tiny cubicles etc. Topnotch comfort episode.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-19 15:06
Hi, Alison and Bevie,

Thanks for giving your thoughts on comfort episodes, I'm with you Alison, bada** Dean is always good. And Croatoan certainly ranks as one of my favorites (along with oh, about 6 dozen or so others...and more 8-)

Bevie, I too love Scarecrow, it's just fun. Kim Manners, Cigarette Smoking Man appears, Dean and pie (and he never gets any pie). I like that Dean just sort of blends (most of the time) into whatever scenario he needs to, something Sam didn't do as well but once he made his decision he blends just fine. Basically I can find comfort in almost any SPN ep (even OTHOAP -- Sam at bedside...sight!

THanks for giving your comfort eps and ideas.

:-)
Suze
# Suze 2009-06-19 18:38
All good choices ... I so love Hollywood Babylon and Bad day at Black Rock is one of my all-time favorites ever. :D

Can I add The Benders ( I just have a thing for inbred weirdos who say it with shovels ... ) and Hell House, which is a total hoot.

PS Scarecrow is great, I'm working my way through all the forgotten gems in season 1 ... I do like Meg, sly, evil ... fab hair!
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-19 20:32
Hi, Suze,

Add away...I like The Benders as well. I like the lady cop...where have I seen her before? Earth 2 I think...wow, that's out there.

Season 1 has a lot of 'lost or forgotten' gems so watch away.

You're too funny...inbred weirdos who say it with shovels...hah!! ! At least there weren't any rats eaten.
trina
# trina 2009-06-19 21:10
My all time comfort episode is "Provenance". I know it is technically not a great one, but boy do I love it. The haunted painting creeps me out to no end. Sarah is a great character, and the first in a long line of petite brunettes to catch Sam's eye. Plus she gives a great outsider perpective on Sam and Dean. Finally, I live near the town it is set in and one of the aliases the boys use is my maiden name. That always makes me giggle.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-19 21:43
Hi, Trina,

I enjoy Provenance as well, and Sarah is a great character...plu s the hotel room gets me laughing every time; I love that this time the boys actually react to the room.

Sounds like a lot of reasons for you to like it, the painting, the town and your maiden name...good times!

There's no rights or wrongs (as I see it) to what makes a comfort episode, heck Wendigo 'ain't that great an eppie but it's one of my comforts.

Thanks for sharing.
Faellie
# Faellie 2009-06-20 07:53
Yea for episodes to curl up to. Mine include -

*Faith (Dean is saved from death)
*In My Time of Dying (Dean is - oh wait, a theme emerges)
*What is and What Should Never Be (Dean lives his dream) (and, yes...)
*The Kids are Alright (another dream of Dean's)
*Lazarus Rising (yes, I know, again, but this time by Castiel!)
*The Monster at the End of this Book (because at the end Sam doesn't sleep with the monster)

The episodes I find it hardest to watch, and which I rarely re-watch, are always the last one or two of each season. They may be "good" in all sorts of ways, but they are never in the "comfort food" category, even when I can immediately follow them with the first episode of the next season. Damn you, Kripke.
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-20 15:12
Hi, Faellie,

Great list you've got...I like your 'theme'.

The comfort eps to me are rarely the ones with big reveals such as season premiers or season finales, although, I tend to watch those frequently as I drink in all the information and ponder where we're going. That being said, admittedly it's been weeks since I've watched Lucifer Rising and I'm getting an itch...
Rose
# Rose 2009-06-21 13:32
Hey Elle2, I just watched Monster Movie again last night and decided that is definitely one of my comfort eps simply because of the way Dean and Sam interact in it - like loving brothers! Especially Sam towards Dean, and with all the "Sturm und Drang" of most of season 4 it was a delightful rest break!
elle2
# elle2 2009-06-21 16:59
Hi, Rose,

I agree regarding how Dean and Sam worked together. Sam is almost 'fatherly' in how he watches Dean run after a big pretzel...fathe rly is wrong but Sam is definitley enjoying his brother's live in the moment over a big pretzel. Also their light-hearted teasing over seeing the new Raiders movie shows a comfort level with each other similarly Sam's acceptance of Dean's desire to rehymenate hee.
Alice
# Alice 2009-06-22 22:21
Wow, I finally get a chance to share my list. Stupid yet another busy week!

Okay here goes:

Bloody Mary (no idea why!)
Home
In My Time of Dying
Simon Said
The Usual Suspects
Croaton/Hunted
Tall Tales
Bedtime Stories
A Very Supernatural Christmas
Mystery Spot (still my all time favorite)
Metamorphosis (fast forwarding the gross bits)
Yellow Fever
Wishful Thinking
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Death Takes A Holiday
When The Levee Breaks (it's intense, but I love it! Still blows me away.)