4.08 Wishful Thinking

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Title Wishful Thinking
Episode # Season 4, Episode 8
First aired November 6, 2008
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Teleplay:
Ben Edlund
Ben Edlund
Lou Bollo
On IMDB Wishful Thinking
Outline Sam and Dean come to a town where wishes come true and no one is careful about what they ask for.
Monster Wishing Well
Location(s) Concrete, Washington
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When an invisible being encounters Candace Armstrong in the showers of the Cascade Women's Fitness Center, it apologizes nervously. Elsewhere, over shots, Dean rebuffs Sam's questions about remembering Hell, and denies flat out that he can. He is, however, eager to investigate the shower-spirit case. At #1 Lucky Chin's, a restaurant in Concrete, Washington, Candace tells Sam about her ghostly encounter (for his book, tentatively titled Supernatural). Rather than harming her, the spirit knew her name and helped her when she fell, begging her not to tell its mom. Dean finds no EMF at the site, but he and Sam do come across a man claiming to have been attacked by Bigfoot – a well-known hoax. They can't explain the huge tracks they find in the woods, though, which lead to a raided liquor store.

A little girl on a bike, Audrey Elmer, drops off a box full of alcohol and porn, along with a "Sorry" note. While passing by the Winchesters, a Busty Asian Beauties magazine falls at Dean's feet from the girl's box. Sam and Dean follow her home, and are surprised when she tells them that her Teddy Bear is responsible for the damage. The girl's teddy is big, real, and can talk – and it's in the midst of an existential crisis, holed up in the TV room crying at news reports. Audrey tells Sam and Dean that she wished for him at the wishing well at Lucky Chin's.

They visit the restaurant, and Dean tests the well by wishing for a sandwich. Dean's wish comes true. Posing as health inspectors, they clear the restaurant and drain the fountain. Dean asks Sam if he's tempted to make a wish, to reset his life so he could be normal again. Sam says he wouldn't, but if he did, he'd ask for Lilith's head on a plate, bloody. They notice an ancient coin at the bottom of the fountain, which refuses to budge. Dean goes on research duty, while Sam repairs to the women's health center, to scold the pervy teen who wished for invisibility.

Back at the hotel, Sam finds Dean being sick in the bathroom. The wishes, it turns out, turn bad, because the coin is cursed. It depicts Tiamat, the Babylonian dragon deity of primordial chaos, and it has been known to wipe entire towns off the map with the trouble it causes. The only way to stop it is to find the first wisher, the one person capable of removing the coin and turning off the magic of the well.

Dean wakes from a fitful nap, dreaming of Hell. Sam confronts him about the nightmares and his increased drinking. Dean deflects the questions, and deduces the first wisher: Wes Mondale, a nerdy guy announcing his surprise engagement to the beautiful Hope Lynn Casey. At his house, Wes confesses that his grandfather found the coin while a soldier in North Africa in World War II, but he told Wes never to use it. Now that it's working, Wes is recalcitrant about undoing his wish, but Sam and Dean convince him, with some helpful threats. Near the well, they see Todd, a small kid with super-strength, terrorizing a group of bullies. Dean tries to talk to him, but gets beaten up for his troubles. At the restaurant, a lightning bolt strikes Sam, thanks to Hope wishing that no one take away her love for Wes. Wes removes the coin from the fountain, reversing all the wishes in town. Hope doesn't even remember his name now. A dejected Wes leaves Sam with the coin.

Later, Sam meets Dean at a pier, confirming that the coin's been melted down. Before they leave, Dean confesses something: he's been lying to Sam, and he does remember everything that happened to him in the Pit. When Sam tries to get him to talk about it, so he doesn't have to deal with it on his own, Dean refuses, telling Sam that there's no way to make him understand.




  • "Friday Night" by Howell-Freundlich Overdrive (Wild Whirled Music)
(plays in the restaurant when Sam asks Dean about Hell)
  • "Main Theme – Peter Blood" by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
(plays from the TV as Wes is sleeping)


Sam: It just doesn't make any sense, Dean. I mean, why would Uriel tell me you remembered Hell if you didn't?

Dean: Maybe because he's a dick. Might have something to do with it.

Sam: Maybe, but he's still an angel.
Candace: So, what did you say you're calling your book?
Sam: Oh, well, um... Well, the working title is... 'Supernatural.' Yeah, I've been crossing the country, gathering stories like yours. But, anyways, you were telling me about your encounter
Dean: No EMF in the shower or anywhere else. This house is clean.

Sam: Yeah. I'm not surprised. I kinda got the feelin' back there that crazy pushed Mrs. Armstrong down the stairs.
Dean: I gotta tell you, I'm pretty disappointed.
Sam: You wanted to save naked women.

Dean: Damn right I wanted to save some naked women.
Gus: It was Bigfoot Hal -- the Bigfoot!

Hal: Gus you're not talking sense here.

Gus: There's a Bigfoot out there damn it, and he's a son of a bitch!
Sam: Audrey, give us a second, okay? Okay. Are we... Should we... Uh, are we gonna kill this teddy bear?

Dean: How? Do we shoot it, burn it?
Sam: I don't know. Both?
Dean: How do we even know that's gonna work? I don't want some giant, flaming, pissed-off teddy on our hands.
Sam: Yeah. Besides, I get the feeling that the bear isn't really the, you know, core problem here. Audrey. Where are your parents?

Audrey: My mom wished they were in Bali, so I think they're in Bali.
Sam: It's too late to go back to our old lives, Dean. I'm not that guy anymore.

Dean: All right, well, what, then? Hmm? What would Sammy wish for?

Sam: Lilith's head on a plate. Bloody.
Dean: The wishes turn bad, Sam. The wishes turn very bad.
Sam: The sandwich, huh?
Sam: Uriel wasn't lying, but you are. You remember Hell, don't you?

Dean: What do you want from me, huh? What?
Sam: The truth, Dean. I mean, I'm your brother. I, I just wish you'd talk to me.

Dean: Careful what you wish for.
Dean: Wesley, how's it going?

Wes: It's 'Wes... ss.' Aren't you the guys from the health department?
Sam: Yeah. And florists on the side.

Dean: Plus FBI. And on Thursdays, we're teddy bear doctors.
Dean: Yeah, people are people 'cause they're miserable bastards, 'cause they never get what they really want.
Dean: I won't lie anymore. But I'm not gonna talk about it.

Sam: Dean, look, you can't just shoulder this thing alone. You got to let me help.
Dean: How? Do you really think that a little heart-to-heart, some sharing and caring, is gonna change anything? Hmm? Somehow... heal me? I'm not talking about a bad day here.
Sam: I know that.

Dean: The things that I saw... there aren't words. There is no forgetting. There's no making it better. Because it is right here... [ taps his head ] forever. You wouldn't understand. And I could never make you understand. So I am sorry.

Trivia & References

The title of the episode "Wishful Thinking" refers to the formation of beliefs based on what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than on evidence, rationality, or reality. It also might be a reference to a British rock band formed in the '60s.
The annoyingly cheerful waiter at the beginning of the episode is a reference to Brian from the movie Office Space, a waiter who has a very similar personality and also wears many "pieces of flair."
Dean: Run, Forrest, run!
A reference to the character Forrest Gump in the movie of the same name, who at one point runs across America.
Dean: So, what -- Bigfoot breaks into a liquor store, jonesing for some hooch? Amaretto and Irish cream. He's a girl-drink drunk.
A reference to a well-known sketch in the Canadian comedy show The Kids in the Hall about a man who gets drunk on stereotypical female drinks.
Dean: Or it's a Bigfoot. You know, and he's some kind of alcoholic-porno addict. Kind of like a deep-woods Duchovny.
A reference to the extracurricular activities of actor and X-Files star David Duchovny.
Dean: What's this, like a Harry and the Hendersons deal?
Harry and the Hendersons is a 1987 movie about a family who hits Bigfoot with their car, and how he ("Harry") comes to live with them.
When we see him at his house, Wes is watching Captain Blood, a famous 1935 swashbuckler starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
Wes's girlfriend name is Hope. It's the name of a villain in the Xena: Warrior Princess, in which Ted Raimi played Joxer.
Hope: I'm thinking a Japanese-ey Ikebana kinda thing.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.
The scene with the invisible guy getting hit by the Impala is reminiscent of a scene from an episode of The X-Files called Je Souhaite ("I wish" in French), where a man who makes a wish to become invisible gets hit by a truck when invisible.
Todd: Kneel before Todd! Kneel before Todd!
This is a play on a line from Superman II spoken by Terence Stamp's character General Zod: "Come to me son of Jor-El! Kneel before Zod!"
Dean: You see, with great power comes great responsi--
Dean is quoting a line from Spider-Man: "With great power comes great responsibility."
In the comic Amazing Fantasy #15, the phrase appears in a caption in the comic's last panel, not as spoken dialogue. In the 2002 movie it is spoken by Peter Parker's Uncle Ben just before he dies. Ted Raimi, who played Wes in this episode, appeared in all three Spider-Man films which were directed by his brother Sam Raimi.


The Chieftain Hotel seen in this episode is in the town of Squamish, BC (where this episode was filmed) and is also seen in the series Men in Trees.
The name of the Chinese restaurant the wishing well is located in is Lucky Chin's.
The name of the lottery winner seen in the Concrete News Daily newspaper headline, George Neuman, is a reference to and picture of Supernatural set decorator George Neuman.
The porn magazine Sam sees left behind in the store is called Backside. It is the same magazine Dean gave him as a present in 3.08 A Very Supernatural Christmas. Audrey also drops a copy of Busty Asian Beauties.
Dean's health inspector badge has the name John MacCarthy on it. This is a reference to first assistant director of Supernatural, John MacCarthy.
Dean says he will shut down the restaurant under Emergency Hazard Code 56C. Sam threatens the restaurant owner with a 44-16.
The name on Sam's health inspector badge is Adrian Diepold, a reference to Supernatural second assistant director Adrian Diepold.
Comments from actor Cainan Webe who played one of the bullies about filming the episode (comment 1), (comment 2).
Sam and Dean are staying at the Tall Totem Lodge.
Anita Brown, who plays Hope Lynn Casey, also played a woman (Lindsay) tortured by the shapeshifter who assumes her husband's form in 1.06 Skin. She also had previously appeared as "Gill Girl" in an episode of Dark Angel alongside Jensen.
In September 2022, Ryan Grantham who played Todd was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his mother.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


Episode Meta