Everybody Loves a Clown is the 2nd episode of Season 2. It premiered on October 5th, 2006.
This week's hunt: a mysterious carnival clown who is really an ancient Hindu cannibal, called a Rakshasa. His scariest trick: befriending children so he can slaughter and devour their parents.
Medford, Wisconsin (At Cooper Carnival): The episode opens at Cooper Carnival. The place is crowded with families, rides and freak shows. One little girl in particular sticks out of the crowd. She notices a sombre-looking clown behind one of the booths waving to her. “Mommy, look look, it’s another clown!”, she cries, tugging her mother's arm. But, by the time she gets her parents' attention, the clown has vanished. As they’re driving home from the circus, the little girl sees the clown again off the side of the road in the shadows. It is waving at her, and she waves back.
Later that evening, after the girl is tucked into bed, she notices a strange shadow on her ceiling coming from the window. She gets out of bed to look out of the window and sees the clown waving at her from the front lawn. The girl walks downstairs, unlocks the front door, and invites the clown into the house. The clown takes her by the hand as he steps inside, shutting the door behind him.
Location Unknown: Sam and Dean stand beside each other as they watch their father's remains burn into ashes in a typical hunter funeral. Sam asks Dean if their Dad said anything to him before he died. Struggling to give a response, Dean, with a lump in his throat, replies “No”. The audience knows that this is a lie.
Bobby’s Scrapyard (one week later): Dean’s working hard on repairing the Impala. It’s been a slow process, but work is being accomplished. Dean’s getting very frustrated with Sam because he keeps asking Dean if he’s all right. Sam’s a bit surprised that Dean hasn’t shown the least bit of interest in trying to hunt the Yellow-Eyed Demon since their dad died. Dean says they can’t hunt this demon because they’ve got no lead on where it is and, anyway, they’ve lost the only leverage they had on killing the damn thing: The Colt. Sam tells Dean that he retrieved a voicemail message on one of their dad’s old cell phones that’s four months old, from a woman named Ellen saying, “Hey John, it’s Ellen... look, don’t be stubborn; you know I can help you. Call me.”
Roadhouse: Sam is able to trace an address from the number, which leads them to what appears to be an abandoned roadhouse in the middle of nowhere. Sam and Dean are temporarily driving a minivan, which was the only running vehicle Bobby had, and the car makes Dean feel humiliated. The boys enter the roadhouse, and the only person present is lying on the pool table and appears to be knocked out cold. As they continue to explore the roadhouse, Ellen and her daughter Jo approach them with rifles, but lower them when Ellen realises who they are. Sam and Dean discover that the roadhouse is a meeting place for other Supernatural hunters like themselves. They tell Ellen about their dad’s death and she is saddened. She tells them that the guy asleep on the pool table, Ash, can help track the yellow-eyed demon. While Dean talks to Jo (and, for once, doesn't try to chat the pretty girl up), Sam notices a folder behind the bar and asks Ellen if he can take a look at it. The folder contains an unsolved police case that occurred not far from the roadhouse. Sam and Dean agree to go check out this case.
On the road: Sam looks over the details of this case and explains to Dean that there have been several murders over the past month in this small town, with the most recent murder occurring last week. The suspect is said to be disguised as a clown from Cooper Carnival. He left the daughter unharmed and murdered the parents (ripping them to shreds). The cops have no viable lead. All the employees at the circus were tearing down equipment at the time of the murder, and the girl claims to have seen a clown vanish into thin air. However, the cops are saying that it is trauma that has made the girl imagine this.
Similar murders occurred back in 1981 at Bunker Brothers' Circus. This strikes the brothers as odd, as usually spirits are settled in one particular location. Sam and Dean speculate that a cursed object within the circus could be leading this spirit to move from city to city.
Funhouse (at Cooper Carnival): A young boy, Evan, and his dad walk through the funhouse. Evan is playing a videogame, not showing any interest in the funhouse. As Evan continues to walk through the funhouse, he notices a clown in one of the mirrors waving to him. Evan tells his dad that he saw a clown and looks scared. His dad tries to calm him by telling him that clowns are his friends and that there’s nothing to be scared of.
During the night at Evan’s house, Evan walks into his parents’ room, waking his dad up. “Dad, you were right, he is my friend!”, he exclaims. Looking at up Evan, his dad sees the evil clown standing at his bedside holding Evan’s hand and starts screaming.
Cooper Carnival: If a cursed object is dragging the clown from place to place, they’re going to have to EMF-scan the entire carnival, but Sam says, “That’s like trying to find a needle in a stack of needles. It could be anything”. They decide to get jobs at the circus so they will blend in with the crowd. While looking for Mr. Cooper, the proprietor, Sam and Dean encounter a blind man throwing knives who is immediately suspicious of them.
Upon finding Mr Cooper, they attempt to convince him to hire them, but he is sceptical, saying that the circus is a haven for the "freaks in this world", and that two young men like them should be going to school, finding girlfriends - that sort of thing. A speech from Sam manages to convince him to hire them. After leaving Mr. Cooper’s office, Dean asks Sam whether he really meant what he told Cooper about not wanting to go back to school. Sam tells Dean that he’s been having second thoughts, thinking that their dad would want him to stick with the job.
Later, whilst litter picking, the boys split up and start scanning around the carnival with their EMF meters, but find nothing. When they meet up again by the funhouse to compare notes, they notice a little girl saying to her mom, “Mommy, look at the clown!”. Looking to the spot where she is pointing, Sam and Dean see nothing. They believe that this little girl is the spirit’s next victim. They decide to stake out her house that night, to make sure. Whilst watching the house, they see the girl open the front door and take someone invisible to them by the hand and walk upstairs, heading for her parents’ room. They manage to break into the house in time to stop the clown and fire a few rounds of rock salt at it, but the clown still manages to escape. The girl's parents, terrified and furious, drive them from the house.
On the road: Sam and Dean ditch the minivan off the side of an empty road, fearing that the girl’s parents saw their license plates. Sam confronts Dean about his strong silence towards their dad’s death. Dean, very pissed off, again reiterates that he's okay and that the next person who asks him if he’s okay, he’s going to start “throwing punches” at. Dean finds it weird that Sam spent his entire life fighting with John, and now he wants to do what he thinks John would’ve wanted. Dean says it's too little, too late.
Sam calls Ellen and asks her opinion on this killer clown. She says her best guess would be that it’s a rakshasa - a race of Hindu creatures that take on human form and feed on human flesh. They can make themselves look invisible and they can’t enter home without first being invited. Rakshasas live in squalor, sleeping on a bed of dead insects. They have to feed a few times every 20 to 30 years, which would explain the timeline of the murders at Bunker Brothers Circus back in '81. Ellen also tells Sam that the one sure way to kill it is by using a dagger of pure brass. They guess that Cooper is the spirit because they know he worked at both shows.
Cooper Carnival: Dean visits the blind knife-thrower they met earlier, thinking he might have a dagger of brass that they can use. Meanwhile, Sam sneaks into Cooper’s office looking for “bed bugs” and is caught by Cooper at gunpoint. The blind man invites Dean into his office and asks him to open the trunk in the corner. When Dean opens it, he finds the clown suit, and realizes that the blind man is the rakshaka. Looking back, Dean watches as the blind man vanishes into thin air and starts throwing knives at Dean. He manages to burst out of the office without getting hit.
Funhouse: Sam and Dean head into the funhouse to try and trap the rakshaka. However, it has made itself invisible to them and starts throwing knives once again at Dean. Sam breaks a brass piece off a nearby organ and Dean, who's pinned, turns on a vent, and lets steam come through so they can see the invisible figure. When it sneaks up behind Sam, he spikes the brass metal into the rakshaka. In the midst of all the steam leaving the room, we hear the rakshaka screaming as it decomposes into a pile of dust.
Back at the roadhouse, Ellen is very pleased with the boys' work on this case. Meanwhile, Ash, who’s been tracking the demon for the past 51 hours, tells Sam and Dean that the demon is nowhere to be found. He has, however, managed to collate the existing data on the demon and create a program that will alert him if the signs of the demon (including cattle mutilations and electrical storms) appear anywhere in the world. He says he’ll call them if he hears anything. The astonished brothers ask him how he knew how to build the program, and Ash tells them he went to MIT before he was kicked out for fighting. Jo also tells Dean she'd like to see him again, even after he confesses normally he'd be hitting on her but this is the "wrong time, wrong place".
At Bobby’s Place, Dean is once again working on repairing the Impala. Sam approaches him to apologize for trying to pick a fight with their dad the last time he saw him. For all he knows, their dad died thinking that Sam hated him. He also realizes that what he’s doing really is too little and that it’s too late to make up for the the past. Sam says that he feels “guilty as hell” and that he’s not all right. But he also says that neither is Dean. After Sam walks away, in the midst of the silence, Dean takes a crowbar and smashes the glass of first the door of one of the scrap cars, then the Impala’s trunk, with all his strength, finally releasing all the anger and emotion that was built up inside of him.
Featured Supernatural Beings
"Time Has Come Today" by The Chamber Brothers "Shambala" by Three Dog Night "Do That To Me One More Time" by The Captain and Tennille "Mudd Walk" by Bad Poodle
- Antagonist: Barry Papazian
- This episode is dedicated to the memory of Peter Ellis, a director of the show. Ellis died in April of 2006.
- "Everybody Loves a Clown" is a reference to the song by Gary Lewis & the Playboys.
- The way John's funeral is shot is a visual reference to the end of Return of the Jedi when Luke burns the body of his father, Anakin Skywalker.
- The rifle Jo Harvelle threatens Dean with when the brothers first enter the roadhouse is a Model 94 30-30 Winchester repeating rifle. A little nod to the boys if you know your weapons.
- A rakshasa featured in the 1974 TV series The Night Stalker - the predecessor of both The X-Files and Supernatural.
- The writer of this episode, John Shiban, wrote for The X-Files. Ken Kramer, who plays Mr. Cooper, appeared in three X-Files episodes (as different characters) and Chad Lindberg, who plays Ash, also appeared in one episode.
- The town in which the rakshasa first strikes in this episode is Medford, Wisconsin.
- The Impala is still damaged from the previous episodes. Dean is working on repairing it.
- Sam and Dean give their father (John Winchester) a hunter's funeral pyre. John died in the previous episode after making a deal with the Yellow Eyed Demon.
- First episode to feature Jo, Ellen and Ash.
- This episode established Sam's phobia of clowns.
Lynyrd Skynyrd (1964) (Rock Band)
- Dean's reaction to Ash's appearance "You've gotta be kidding me, this guy's no genius. He's a Lynyrd Skynyrd roadie".
Hawaii Five-0 (1968) (TV Series)
- Dean calls the cops "5-0"
Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ash makes a reference to Pink Flamingos: "I'm on it like Divine on dog dookie"
Joe Dirt (2001)
- Ash makes a reference to Joe Dirt: "Business in the front, party in the back."
Ellen: "Here you go."
Dean: "Thanks...You called our Dad and said you could help. Help with what?"
Ellen: "Well...The Demon, of course. I heard he was closing in on it."
Dean: "Was there an article in the Demon Hunters Quarterly that I missed? The ma - -. Who - -Who are you? How do you know all about this?"
Dean: "I know what you're thinking Sam. Why did it have to be clowns?"
Sam: "Oh, give me a break."
Dean: (laughs) "You didn't think I remember, do you? Come on, you still bust out crying when you see Ronald McDonald on the television."
Sam: "At least I'm not afraid of flying."
Dean: "Planes crash!"
Sam: "And apparently clowns kill!"
- Sam tells Dean that the rakshasa can be killed by a dagger of "pure brass". Brass cannot be "pure", as it is an alloy of copper and zinc.
- Ash states that MIT is "a school in Boston". MIT is actually located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is a small town next to Boston.
- Finnish: Kaikki rakastavat klovnia (Everybody Loves a Clown)
- French: Le Clown (The Clown)
- German: Alle lieben Clowns (Everybody loves Clowns)
- Polish: Wszyscy kochają Klowny (Everybody loves Clowns)
- Italian: Tutti amano i Clown (Everybody loves clowns)
- Hungarian: A bohóc (The Clown)