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Bugs is the 8th episode of Season 1. It aired on November 8, 2005.


Dean Purgatory Blade.png.png There was something about being there... It felt pure.

This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.

After a construction worker is killed by insects burrowing into his brain, Sam and Dean investigate the town's history and find that the new housing development is being built on sacred Indian land. The Indians put a curse on the land after their reservation had been ravished and destroyed. Sam and Dean must find a way to survive and kill the deadly swarm of bees, locusts, spiders and beetles.


<place lat="35.007752" lon="-97.092877" width="300" height="200" zoom="8"></place> Oasis Plains, Oklahoma- Construction Site: The camera fades in to construction men working on houses. Two men, Dustin and Travis, start talking about the houses and how expensive it will be once the houses were finished. Dustin starts to hear and feel the ground shake a little. He feels around the ground and falls into a newly formed sinkhole. Travis rushes to the hole; Dustin screams that his ankle is broken so Travis goes to find a rope. Underground, Dustin starts to hear more noises and notices that bugs are all around him. As Dustin calls for Travis again, Travis runs and brings a rope to him only to find Dustin dead in the ground.

Outside a bar: Sam is reading a paper about the mysterious death, as Dean comes to Sam with money in his hand. Dean hustled money by playing pool. Dean said he would rather take a "fun and easy" way rather than a "honest" way of making money. Sam then brings up the article he read about how Dustin died due to Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease (or CJD, known as the human form of Mad-Cow Disease). Dean confesses that he's only heard of it on Oprah, to which Sam asks, "You watch Oprah?". Dean wonders why would it be their problem. Sam explains to Dean about CJD and how the symptoms don't match; Dustin would have been displaying symptoms of it for months or years before dying of it. Dean and Sam then drive to Oklahoma.

Gas Company: Dean and Sam arrive at the gas company that Dustin and Travis worked for. They find Travis and ask about their "Uncle Dusty". Travis explains the situation to Dean and Sam. Sam then explains the symptoms of CJD to Travis and Travis claims that Dustin didn't have any of them. Dean and Sam asks if Travis could tell them where the death scene was. Travis nods his head, yes.

Death Scene: Caution tape surrounds the hole that Dustin fell in. Dean and Sam bypass the tape and then question what might have happened. Dean questions if it was a creature yet there wasn't enough room for more than one person. Dean taunts Sam to go into the hole by calling him "scared". Sam ties a rope around himself and goes in.

In The Car: All Sam could find were some beetles, and no other evidence that anything else were in there. Sam and Dean decide they need background information. Dean notices an "Open House: BBQ" sign, so he figured that would be a good place to start.

At the House/BBQ: At the door Larry Pike introduces himself before they even get inside and assures them that the house is open to any "Race, Religion, Color, or Sexual Orientation" assuming that the two men were a couple. Dean answers him by saying that they are brothers, and how they are looking for a house for their father.

Once inside, they talk to the Developer, Larry, about the neighborhood. Larry assures them that it is a nice, safe, clean neighborhood and then introduces his wife, Joanie. Larry leaves, as the head of sales, Linda Bloome comes over and introduces herself and goes through the same routine that Larry did. Except this time Dean plays along with a "gay routine" by calling Sam "Honey" and slapping Sam's butt before he leaves to go talk to Larry.

Now on a tour of the house Larry and Dean get talking and come across a jar with many bugs inside. Larry explains that it's his son's. Meanwhile, Sam and Linda are talking about how the houses all have steam showers, as Linda is leaning on a counter where a tarantula is crawling towards her way. Sam excuses himself and takes the spider and notices a teenager behind Linda. Sam confronts the teenager who turns out to be Larry's son, Matt. They have a chat about their bad relationships with their fathers.

Larry then comes over and takes his son away to go yell at him. Sam and Dean watching from afar they have a discussion about their father. Dean says that he doesn't remember, but Sam does because he used to always get yelled at and that Dean was the "good son". Dean tried to defend their father by saying that Sam was sometimes out-of-line. Sam defends his case by sarcastically saying that it was the wrong choice to play soccer over learning to bow hunt. Changing the subject Dean says that he found out about a year ago another man died by a severe bee sting reaction. They make the connection that each death both included bugs.

At night, driving: They discuss why the bugs would do this, as there were no signs of ghost activity. They bring up Larry's son because he does have bugs for pets. Dean tells Sam to pull over to the empty open house they were at. Sam objects to squatting; Dean states he wants to try the steam shower and Sam gives in.

Linda's House: Linda goes into her room and turns on the television. On her bed a bug falls on her so she goes into the shower. In the shower, multiple spiders come out of her faucet, and she is the next victim of the bugs.

Morning, Open House: Sam tells Dean to get out of the Steam shower which he finds "awesome" and explains to Dean about the murder that happened last night.

Linda's House: Police and Paramedics surround the house. Sam and Dean find Larry there and pull over to question Larry. Larry tells Sam and Dean that Linda passed away last night, although they don’t know what it was caused by.

Once Police leave, Sam and Dean sneak into the house and go for the bathroom. They see the spiders within the bathroom and go to question Matt.

Off The School Bus/Wooded Area: They find Matt at his bus stop and notice him walking the opposite direction from his house. They follow him into a wooded area. Matt gets nervous and asks if they are serial killers, to which Sam and Dean comfort him with a "no".

They question him about his bugs and how Linda died due to spiders. Matt gets defensive because he knows that he didn't do the killings. Matt does confess that he knows something weird is happening with the insects and goes to show them an example.

On the walk to where Matt is taking them a discussion about family comes up. Sam assures Matt that things will all get better in two years (he is 16), when he goes to college. Dean thinks that it's bad advice because a kid shouldn't leave his family.

Once deeper into the woods Matt shows Sam and Dean that many insects from Earthworms to Bees have all been congregating in the same general area. Sam points out a large dirt mount where many worms have been. Dean goes digging through and finds a skull.

Outside the Department of Anthropology: Dean and Sam bring a box of uncovered skeletons from the same area where they found the skulls. They decide that it was a spirit channeling through bugs. They then get into another discussion about their father. Sam feels that their father was always disappointed in him. Dean says that he wasn't disappointed, but scared, scared something might happen to Sam if he was all alone. They then enter the building.

Inside the Department of Anthropology: They talk to a professor by lying and saying they were a part of his class, then show him the bones they found. The professor states that the skeletons are from about the time of the Native Americans. Sam questions and asks if there were any tribes within the vicinity. The professor says something about a Euchee tribe about 60 miles from where they were.

Location of the Euchee village: A Native American is playing a game of solitaire as Sam and Dean go inside to talk to him. The man can tell Dean is a liar and Sam isn’t. The man answers any questions Sam has. The man confesses in knowing about the area of the construction site. They tell him about the Native American bones they found, so the man tells them a story that has been passed down for generations. He tells them a story of a tribe that was systematically murdered for six nights following the Spring Equinox, and about how nature will protect that valley for the six nights after “the moon and sun share the sky as equals”, and that after the sixth night, not a single white person will be left alive. The nature he is talking about is the bugs.

Sam and Dean then realize that it is the sixth night, so they have to get Matt and his family out of there.

Matt's House: Matt is outside looking at bugs when he comes across multiple bugs coming out from the ground.

Driving/On the phone with Larry and Matt: Dean tries to impersonate Travis to get Larry out of the house to no avail, as Larry knows Travis. Sam then calls Matt and tells Matt about the situation and how he has to get his family out of there. Dean takes the phone and tells him to lie in order to get them out of there.

Matt's House: Matt is unable to get his family out of the house because he told the truth and his father doesn’t believe him. After arguing, they see the whole swarm of bugs coming. It is too late to get to the car, so they all run into the house.

Attempting to call for help, they find all phone lines are dead and so is the power. They seal off all openings to the house. Dean then goes to find something to fend off the bugs. He gets some flammable bug spray. They then realize they didn't seal off the fireplace and the bugs fly in. They go up to the attic and termites start eat through the wood, allowing more bugs to get in. Everyone manages to survive long enough, as the sun comes up and all the bugs disperse.

The Next Day: Larry moves out of the house and production for the other houses ends due to the bones Sam and Dean found. Larry isn't too sad because he realizes what he didn't lose, as in his family. Sam gently confronts Matt one final time, as Matt is throwing away his bug collection.

Sam and Dean reassure themselves on how they will find their father. Once they do find him, Sam wants to apologize to him for all the things he said to him. They leave for their next case.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]


Featured Supernatural Beings[]


  • Throughout the episode, there are multiple references made to the fact that Dean still thinks Sam abandoned him and their father when he left for college. And that Sam still feels second best to Dean, who chose to follow in their father's footsteps.


  • Antagonist: Cursed Insects
  • This episode is considered to be one of the least favorites among fans. Eric Kripke himself has stated he did not like this episode. Many criticised the inconsistent editing, including a scene where a sunrise occurs in an impossible length of time.
  • This episode along with Red Sky at Morning is alluded to in The Monster at the End of This Book when Chuck Shurley apologizes to Sam and Dean for making them "live bad writing."
  • In Don't Call Me Shurley, God references this episode when he comments that the last time he saw such a dark look on an editor's face was when he wrote Bugs.
  • In this episode, the Winchesters state that curses are impossible to break and that they can only just get out of the way. It is believed this statement is made due to Sam and Dean’s lack of knowledge and experience at this point in the series, because this statement is never again repeated during the episodes with the Winchesters breaking curses in Remember the Titans, which is a "God curse", Love Hurts and Regarding Dean. A major plotline of Season 10 is removing the Mark of Cain which is the First Curse.
  • Andrew Airlie and Anne Marie Loder, who played Larry and Joanie Pike, later played Henry and Janet Whitman in Atomic Monsters.
  • Tyler Johnston who played Matthew Pike in this episode later plays the role of Samandriel/Alfie in Season 8.



  • Willard: A 1971 horror movie about a young man with an unusual connection to rats, which he uses for his own psychotic and terrifying reasons.
  • The Munsters: An old series featuring a family of friendly monsters. "You're like the blonde chick in the Munsters" (Dean). Dean is referring to Marilyn Munster, the only member of the family who did not have the appearance of a monster, and because of her looks was considered unattractive and the outsider.
  • The boys' father kicked Sam out of the house after discovering his son had received a full scholarship.
  • Per Sam's comments, this seems to be the first time the brothers ever 'squatted' in an abandoned house.

Featured Music[]

  • "Rock Of Ages" by Def Leppard
  • "Medusa" by Bob Reynolds
  • "No One Like You" by The Scorpions
  • "I Got More Bills Than I Got Pay" by Sonny Ellis
  • "Poke In Tha Butt" by Extreme Music

Cultural References[]

Mad Cow? Wasn't that on Oprah?

Sam: You watch Oprah?

  • Reference to the "Mad Cow" issue: Oprah Winfrey's influence reaches far beyond pop-culture and into unrelated industries where many believe she has the power to cause enormous market swings and radical price changes with a single comment. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman, Winfrey exclaimed "It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!" Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for "false defamation of perishable food" and "business disparagement," claiming that Winfrey's remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some USD $12 million. On Feburary 26, after a trial spanning over two months in an Amarillo, Texas court in the thick of cattle country, a jury found Winfrey and Lyman were not liable for damages.

Dean: Maybe they're being controlled somehow, you know, by something or someone. Sam: You mean like Willard? Dean: Yeah, bugs instead of rats. Sam: There are cases of psychic connections between people and animals. Elementals, telepaths...

Dean: Yeah, that whole Timmy-Lassie thing... Larry's kid, bugs for pets.

  • Lassie, a television series (1954-1974), revolved around a collie named Lassie and her boy owner, Timmy, a farm boy who was frequently helped out of scrapes by his super-intelligent dog. 

Dean: Maybe they're being controlled somehow. You know, by something or someone.

Sam: You mean, like Willard?

  • Willard is a 1971 movie based on the 1968 novel, Ratman's Notebook. It features a social misfit with an affinity for rats.


Dean: "Kinda hungry for a little barbeque. How about you?" (Sam glares at him.) "What, we can't talk to the locals?"
Sam: "And the free food's got nothing to do with it?"
Dean: "Of course not, I'm a professional!"

Larry: "Let me just say. We accept home owners of any race, religion, color or... sexual orientation."
Dean: "We're brothers."

Sam: "The question is, why bugs and why now?"
Dean: "That's two questions."

International Titles[]

  • Finnish: Tappavat ötökät (Lethal Bugs)
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Insetos (Bugs)
  • French: La Vallée maudite (The Cursed Valley)
  • German: Insekten (Insects)
  • Italian: Insetti (Bugs)
  • Polish: Robale (Bugs)
  • Portuguese: Insetos (Bugs)
  • Romanian: Gândaci (Bugs)
  • Spanish: Bichos (Bugs)
  • Hungarian: Rovarinvázió (Bug Invasion)

External Links[]