When Supernatural Meta The Honeymooners...

We never met a meta reference we didn’t like, especially when served up in a mega-clever way. So this Friday’s Supernatural (The CW, 9/8c) is truly something super, as it catapults Sam and Dean into an alt-reality where they are “Jared Padalecki” and “Jensen Ackles,” the stars of a TV series called… Supernatural.

Ever since the twisty premise was first revealed — and especially after TVLine brought you a first look clip of the episode, “The French Mistake” (a nod to a meta tune from Blazing Saddles) — TV connoisseurs have made notice of similar, self-referential installments of other series.

Supernatural First Look: Watch Sam and Dean Morph Into Jared and Jensen!

Growing Pains, for example, gave us “Meet the Seavers,” where Ben dreams that he’s Jeremy Miller, an actor on a family-oriented sitcom. And Eerie, Indiana‘s “Reality Takes a Holiday” had Marshall discover that he’s really Omri Katz, but a player on a stage. (Fans of Eerie should know that Supernatural‘s meta outing has a certain something in common with that show’s dramatically tense arc.)

But as I prepped to watch “The French Mistake,” I thought of another, far earlier instance of a TV show smashing down that fourth wall. The exact show and scene was on the tip of my brain but escaped me for a half-hour, until it finally crystalized. I then hit YouTube and dug up this Honeymooners episode, in which (starting at the 1:00 mark), Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason) makes a concerted bid to meet… Jackie Gleason, only to have his best bud Norton encounter “The Great One” instead:

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All of which is a long-winded way of reminding you to check out Supernatural tonight, and of course weigh in below with any of your own recollections of masterfully “meta” TV moments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. michelle says:

    Woo hoooooooooooo!! I am so excited for this episode!i can’t wait!!!
    Thanks Matt for giving us fans more to squeal about.

  2. Shannon says:

    Like when Eric from “Boy Meets World” went to Hollywood to be on the show “Kid Gets Acquainted with the Uinverse” and meets parodies of all of the “BMW” characters

  3. liza says:

    Love Supernatural. Glad to see we get a comedy tonight and a bit of a break from the drama. I love it when Jared and Jensen get to be funny…they have such perfect timing with each other. Misha will be funny too. Castle is a hoot when he gets to be funny.

  4. Carrie says:

    I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode. I have a feeling it’s going to go on my list of all-time favorite eps. It looks hilarious.

  5. thinus says:

    Star Trek The Next Generation had the episode Ship in a bottle in which the characters in the end, speculate that maybe they could be, like the holodeck, something being watched in a box by others. (Which could be true. Webster after all visited Worf and the Enterprise).

    In Sliders the cast ended up in an alternative universe where talk shows reigned and everyone got their own show. When your show got canceled…you died.

    In The Bionix Six, an animation show, the characters become Looney Tunes like ”animation characters” when they are trapped within a cartoon in the very last and final episode. It ends, and so does the series with ”It’s all folks.”

    Denny Crane in Boston Legal, Jack in 30 Rock and Fran in The Nanny (remember when she got kicked off The Young & the Restless…) often broke the 4th wall with specific TV references to themselves.

    The OC in its 4th and final season realized the game was up. The audience was let in on it with a jab when the one character mentioned that her dad, a doctor, left to go and work in that hospital up in Seattle (Grey’s Anatomy was on opposite The OC.)

    Dear Jessica Fletcher investigated a murder in Murder She Wrote on the TV set of a hit sitcom with a twentysomething cast called ”Buds” in an episode entitled ”Murder Among Friends”. Guess what show Murder She Wrote was competing against…

    In Spin City the erstwhile TV dad of Michael J. Fox in Family Ties shows up. You cannot NOT laugh in the moment when you discover that he’s talking about and describing a girl that sounds a LOT like daft Mallory.

    The Samurai Pizza Cats remarks dryly, when they arrive on the scene of a crime and is assumed to be there to rescue everyone. ”Who do you think we are, turtles…” And it was funny when you heard ”MacGuyver” being said in Stargate SG-1.

    It’s funny that One Tree Hill is the most loved show of Britney in Glee. Both shows are on at the same time.

  6. Melody says:

    Tonight’s episode is going to be so fantastic!! I’m extremely excited. EPIC!!

  7. em g says:

    This entire episode is a valentine to the fans. this show has always had a great sense of humor about itself and it really shows in tonight’s episode.

  8. Ellen says:

    This was the BEST SPN episode ever! I’m going to have to watch it again (and again) to even pick up on everything that was going on in the background for the first 25 minutes of the show. Kudos to the best laughs of the series and for actually managing to move the plot along as well!

  9. kat says:

    It was hilarious. One of the funniest parts was Misha Collins syncing his tweets live to the ones on the show. And, him trending during the ET airing.

  10. Jillian says:

    Home run, boys! This will be 1 of my fave funny SPN eps. Always loved the chemistry between Jensen & Jared, and now 6 seasons in, they have it nailed to the wall from every angle. There’s just SO many places for this show to go, I truly hope we see a Season 7 (doesnt feel like it has time to wrap properly in Season 6; not with the dignity it deserves), and even more. I want to see the guys in movies, but they can swing both! The writers of SPN have done a tremendous job AND keep a finger on the pulse of their fans (especially Misha!) b/c they DO hear us & incorporate our ideas, usually from Fanfic or some other things that Ive *really* noticed this season. Special shout out to Misha too, for the show wouldnt be the same without him. Good on all of you! Best love to my boys (you know who), love ya xo~~^J^~~xo

  11. Sarabi says:

    It was funny, but also a bit self-indulgent.
    Meanwhile, Changing Channels is brilliant.

  12. Melissa says:

    His Girl Friday, Cary Grants character talks to Archibald Leach on the phone. Archibald Leach being Cary Grants actual name

  13. donna says:

    one word to describe this episode: dumb.
    I don’t like that line being crossed into reality just so the stars and producers can have a good laugh. Save crap like that for nickelodeon.

  14. moe says:

    Supernatural is the best show on t.v..