Characters / Supernatural: Dean Winchester

This page lists tropes associated with Dean Winchester from Supernatural.

See also the character page for Sam Winchester, and the rest of the Winchester Family.

The main character page for this series is here.

Dean Winchester

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dean_45.jpg
"I got a GED and a give-em-hell attitude."

Portrayed By: Jensen Ackles, Ridge Canipe, Nicolai Guistra, Dylan Everett, Brock Kelly, Chad Everett

Dean is the deuteragonist of the series. He was born January 24, 1979, in Lawrence, Kansas, United States. He is the oldest child of John Winchester and Mary Winchester. He is the older brother of Sam Winchester and the older paternal half-brother of Adam Milligan. His mother died on November 2, 1983, when Dean was only four years old. Since childhood, Dean has made it his purpose and his main mission to protect Sam and keep him safe. It was later discovered that Dean was the one true vessel of Michael and that he was destined to fight Sam as Lucifer during the Apocalypse. In Season 9, Dean took the Mark of Cain from Cain himself so that he could kill Abandon for good. Unfortunately for Dean, the Mark ended up having negative effects on Dean's personality to the point where he became tempted to kill everything in his path. In Season Ten, Dean died after Metatron killed him and he became a demon. Fortunately for him, Sam ended up saving him and reverting him back to human. However, the negative effects of the Mark continued to take a toll on Dean and he eventually became someone who was a Blood Knight and Ax-Crazy. Sam ended up saving Dean in the end by convincing him to not give up on life. Unfortunately, curing Dean of the Mark had dire consequences for the world at large, as The Darkness ended up being unleashed onto the world.
    Tropes A-D 

Tropes A-D

  • The Ace/Broken Ace: Dean may be a tough, capable and badass hunter, but his personal life is nothing but loss, grief, pain and tragedy: His mother was tragically killed by Azazel, his father goes insane with grief and fear for his children and becomes distant, emotionally abusive and turns him into a living weapon, the brother that he loves more than anything is destined for a path of darkness and evil and he might have to kill him to save the world, the 'uncle' he adores becomes a target by association and of his two best friends: one is slowly dying as a result of helping him, the other sacrificed himself to save Sam (who hated his guts) and is now trapped in Purgatory. He feels responsible for Sam, and everyone else he's ever met really, and that if he does not save him, he will blame himself. Every single person that he's ever loved and cared about has died or betrayed him or both. He has had to deal with his brother and best friend dying on him repeatedly or being close to the brink of death numerous times with Dean being forced to go to extreme measures to save their lives. The only two women he's ever loved, he had to leave: Cassie because when he revealed who he was and what his family did she didn't believe him and his father found out and forbade the relationship and Lisa because the The Call Knows Where You Live.
  • Action Hero: Dean has been trained to fight monsters since he was a little older than four. While he and Sam are both hunters, Dean is significantly better at hand to hand combat. And while Dean, and others, thinks of himself as just a grunt and he enjoys hunting and killing supernatural beings he's no slouch in the brains department even if he prefers to leave the research to Sam. As the show progresses it's been shown he's actually a Genius Bruiser, The Strategist and the Blood Knight. In this way he takes after the Campbell side of his family while Sam took after the Winchester side of the family. Initially starts as an Action Duo with Sam, later becomes the Leader of the Power Trio with Sam and Castiel.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He has black hair in Supernatural: The Animation and very light blond hair in the prequel comics.
  • Aggressive Categorism: Dean can be highly judgmental and bigoted from time to time about the monsters they hunt, sometimes to the point where he can look rather hypocritical. For most of the series he has a hard time accepting that there are some monsters out there who aren't interested in hurting humans. Dean has even admitted to being freaked out by Sam, who happens to be part supernatural and was freaked out by his demonic abilities. At the end of season four, Dean went as far as to call Sam a monster after they had a huge fallout (in all fairness Sam was high on demon blood, and was actually less human). Dean absolutely hates all demons and thinks they are absolute abominations (though he is pretty much right). He's often seen insulting angels as a whole, even right in front of Castiel, though he himself is an angel and they're his family. It's a marker of how much he's grown in season eight when he starts to move away from this trope.
  • Aggressive Submissive: Dean has a very outwardly aggressive demeanor, and often will take control with Sam or others in everyday life, trying to assert his power. But when it comes to the bedroom, when Dean is sleeping with a woman (as we see in canon), he lets this aggressive, dominant outer shell down and is soft and gentle with the girl, usually being more submissive.
  • The Alcoholic: After his time in hell between seasons three and four, he starts drinking so he can sleep. By the seventh season, he's about two steps away from becoming one, if he isn't already. Though he's been shown to drink a lot for most of the series, it becomes a more serious problem in season 7. Sam frequently calls him out on his drinking habits but it usually doesn't do much good. He's gotten a bit better in season eight but is still shown to drink frequently. Dean seems to use alcohol as a coping mechanism to cover or deal with his inner pain and suffering. Dean would rather pick up a drink than to talk about his problems. It seems he shares this trait in common with his father John as John was known to be a heavy drinker as well and would also use drinking as a coping mechanism. So it could be safe to say that Dean's alcoholic tendencies are actually hereditary.
  • Always Save The Boy: Dean has repeatedly made it clear and obvious that Sam is and always will be his #1 priority, no matter what. The world could end, and numerous people could die and saving/protecting Sam would STILL be the most important thing to Dean. This is something of a Flanderization, as in earlier seasons Dean would do everything he could to protect Sam, but not to the extent of putting others in danger (for example, in Jus In Bello, when he refuses to sacrifice Nancy to get rid of a bunch of demons who are there to kill him and Sam, even though Nancy is okay with it). Over the years, his mindset has been shifted from "Nobody's expendable except me" to "Everyone's expendable except Sam". This causes significant problems in his relationship with Sam, as Sam, now a full-grown adult in his 30s, of the mindset that his life is worth no more than anyone else's, and well aware of the risks of hunting, doesn't want this level of protection and intervention from Dean, and always ends up roped into whatever fallout arises from whatever Dean has pulled to save Sam this time (on the other hand, Sam is barely any better when it's Dean's life on the line, and in some cases has actually done even more morally dubious things to get his brother back or save his life).
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
  • Anal Probing: In a season six episode, when Dean informs Sam that he is fleeing from a pursuing UFO, Sam pronounces this a close encounter of the Third Kind and suggests that Dean keep running as he has "heard the Fourth Kind is a butt thing". Dean reminds him that he's supposed to be feigning empathy. After returning from being abducted by aliens, Dean confesses to Sam that they tried to probe him.
  • And I Must Scream: Due to the events of the series Dean has garnered the attention of Amara aka Void Between the Worlds who is obsessed with him. Because of this Dean has increasingly been Missing Time and going into Heroic B.S.O.D.. The full implications of this don't kick in until mid-way through season 11 when we find out it's because Amara has been kidnapping him on the regular and he's unable to fight her or even WANT to fight her as she's overwhelming his will It becomes really horrifying when Amara starts killing off EVERYONE ON EARTH and Dean, who is immune to the virus, is left alone with his brother's body in his arms, screaming as he watches everyone die. It's terrifying.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • Once in season six, Dean got bitten by a vampire and started to turn. Fortunately, Samuel provided a cure before Dean became unable to resist the urge to feed.
    • In the season nine finale, Dean is killed by Metatron, only to come back to life as a demon by the episode's end. And not just any demon, it's heavily implied he's taken Cain's place and is now the First Knight Of Hell.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: People do this to Dean pretty often (in the form of "I'll kill your brother" or "Sam doesn't need legs"), and it's always a bad idea.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • Oh boy. Dean gets VERY angry whenever anyone he cares about goes missing or leaves him without any contact. And when Sam takes off by himself without answering his phone and not keeping contact with Dean, Sam ends up getting a stern talking to from a very angry Dean. Part of the reason for this reaction from Dean is Dean's over protectiveness of Sam since he was a baby.
    • "Never do that again!" is apparently the only acceptable thing to angrily shout at your best friend after he just died and was resurrected.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Dean isn't the typical classic Ideal Hero. He has committed immoral acts for the greater good. He starts moving down the scale more and more as the series goes on.
    • Dean is best classified as a Pragmatic Hero, even if he crosses over into darker anti-hero territory. After coming back from Purgatory, he seems to be more of an Unscrupulous Hero.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: To some extent, at least up until the beginning of Season Two. This eventually changes as the series goes on and he becomes more of the Straw Nihilist.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Subverted. Dean may be the absolute king of self-blame, but he doesn't actually apologize very often. It's Sam who stops in the middle of a fight to apologize for bumping into his brother (which, of course, leads to him getting choked).
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Dean knows that monsters, demons, and pagan gods are real, but he doesn't believe in angels. That is, until he actually encounters one in the very beginning of season four. And even then, Dean still remains skeptical. One memorable scene has Dean explaining to Sam why he doesn't believe in angels (their mother said that angels were watching over them, but she was murdered by a demon), despite hunting demons straight out of Hell on a regular basis. When Sam points out that there's more folklore on angels than any other creature they've fought, Dean says that there's a lot of folklore on unicorns as well. In this same scene, Dean says that there's no God. This is an odd belief given that in this series the name of God and holy water are harmful to demons, and Christian exorcism rituals are effective. (According to the series creator, he just sees the rituals as another example of the hoodoo they regularly run across.) By the end of the episode, Dean is less certain that no higher power is at work. Worse, his atheism has been shaken by the events of the episode despite the fact that the "angel" in that episode turned out NOT to be an angel. While he first doubts Castiel, he gets over his skepticism of God and angels in Season 4.
  • Arch-Enemy: Although Dean has many enemies who he has a personal beef with, Azazel (AKA Yellow-Eyed Demon/YED) is still probably the strongest contender for the title of Dean's Arch-Enemy, since it was Azazel who killed Dean's idolized mother, which "Man's Best Friend with Benefits" revealed to be one of Dean's worst memories (even after he went to Hell and Purgatory). In killing Mary, Azazel took away Dean's idyllic family and idyllic life, causing Dean to be raised as a psychologically damaged Child Soldier who would grow into a psychologically damaged soldier. One of the objectives Dean grew up with since childhood was to find and kill the creature responsible for killing his mother, which Dean hoped would fix the discord in his family so that they could be together again. Later in life, Dean met Azazel, who mocked Dean's insecurities and traumas at every possible opportunity, and tortured him while possessing John to the point that Dean later literally died from it. Azazel then killed Dean's father and sent him to Hell in exchange for Dean's life, giving Dean a horrible case of Survivor's Guilt, and was revealed to be trying to turn Dean's little brother evil in order to use him in an Evil Plan intimated to be bad enough that Dean's own father had to tell Dean to kill Sam if he couldn't save him from it. Sam turning evil because of what Azazel did to him becomes one of Dean's worst fears, and he even hallucinates a demonic version of Sam with Azazel's trademark Supernatural Gold Eyes in "Yellow Fever" to drive home the connection. Even years after Dean kills Azazel, Dean's fear of his past life catching up to his life with Lisa and Ben takes the form of Azazel, who claims to be back and proceeds to kill Lisa (pseudo-Mary) and corrupt Ben (pseudo-Sam) in a nightmare sequence, showing that Dean still hated and feared Azazel for what he did to him and his family more than any other enemy he had encountered at that point.
  • Archetype: According to the Word of God, Dean's character is modeled off of Han Solo from Star Wars. Similar to Han, Dean fits The Lancer archetype. He serves as a Foil and a Bromantic Foil for his younger brother Sam, who is The Hero archetype. Both Han and Dean are devil-may-care, rough around the edges, extroverted, humorous, and sarcastic. Dean and Han also share the similar trait of having Big Brother Instinct towards The Hero of their respective stories (Sam and Luke), although Dean's big brother instinct towards Sam is more along the lines of Knight Templar Big Brother.
  • Audience Surrogate: Dean is often the character that the audience both identifies and sympathizes with because the story is by and large told from his point of view.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname:
  • Axe-Crazy: Justified but also downplayed and averted depending throughout the series.
    • Dean does have a natural killer instinct and a penchant for violence. Heís a Blood Knight and The Berserker who seems to take pleasure in killing monsters and supernatural creatures. It appears that when Dean becomes emotionally or mentally unstable, such as becoming angry, guilt-ridden, or depressed, he becomes more kill crazy and violent than the usual. Even though Dean tries to conceal it, he's obviously battling mental instability. It's probable that Dean suffers from an Ambiguous Disorder because he's faced so much trauma throughout his life. Dean may be suffering from PTSD, Borderline Personality disorder, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, and/or Major Depression. When Dean goes into a bad place mentally and emotionally, he uses violence and killing as an outlet for his negative emotions. Fortunately for him, Sam serves as an emotional anchor for Dean and stops him from acting on his murderous, kill crazy impulses.
    • Dean becomes incredibly kill crazy and murderous whenever Sam ends up in peril or mortal danger. If somebody hurts Sam in any way, shape or form, Dean wonít hesitate threatening to kill anyone (including humans and supernatural creatures) in the most brutal or gruesome way. Dean has acted murderous towards humans who've tried to kill Sam, such as the Bender family, Cuthbert ďMagnusĒ Sinclair, Gordon Walker, etc. This makes sense since Sam is and always has been his biggest Berserk Button. Whenever he kills someone that has hurt Sam, he also does it without feeling any guilt or remorse for his it. In some ways, when it comes to killing others in the name of saving or protecting Sam, Dean comes off as somewhat sociopathic in his behavior.
    • It's taken Up to Eleven when Dean ends up getting the Mark of Cain in Season Nine. Dean has become emotionally and mentally unstable and enjoys killing. He feels absolutely no regret, guilt or remorse about it. Dean even tells Sam that they do things his way and it's not a team anymore but a dictatorship. Culminates in him attacking Gadreel while growling at the end of "Stairway to Heaven". It should be noted that when bearing the Mark of Cain, Dean became significantly more unstable and had a stronger urge to kill when Sam "disowned" Dean or created an emotional distance from him. Dean's killer instinct while bearing the Mark of Cain would also be activated whenever Sam was in trouble and needed to be saved. An example of this was when Magnus had physically tortured and threatened Sam. Dean ended up ruthlessly and murderously decapitating his head for simply knifing Sam on the cheek. Although Sam manages to be a trigger for Dean's murderous tendencies, Sam also tempered Dean's murderous urges and therefore, he became a Morality Chain for throughout the entire time he had the Mark.
  • An Axe to Grind: His Weapon of Choice during his stint in Purgatory, which he continues using for some time afterwards.
  • Back from the Dead: Repeatedly. To the point that it's almost a Running Gag.
  • Badass Boast/My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Dean is absolutely no exception, as he claims so in two words.
    Dean: (after throwing a pen into a gun) I'm amazing... (knocks mook out with a TV remote) I'm Batman.
  • Badass Family: Dean is descended from Cain and Abel, meaning that he is a descendant of the most dangerous demon on Earth, Cain. The other half of his ancestry? His mother's family has been hunting since at least the 17th century. His father's ancestors were Men of Letters who recorded and investigated the supernatural. In other words, Dean is what happens when a Slayer marries a Watcher.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Often when Dean is posing as an FBI agent or as a Homeland Security agent.
  • Badass in Charge: Dean is the leader in almost all of the missions and hunts.
  • Badass in Distress: Dean may know how to kick ass and be tough, but he, too, requires a little saving from time to time.
  • Badass Longcoat: Dean gets one in the episode Frontierland and in Out With The Old.
  • Badass Normal: He may not possess superhuman abilities like his brother Sam, but he can still kick major ass and is a strong, capable hunter and fighter. Between the two, Dean actually kicks more ass. Sam is more geared towards the research, able to find patterns and track a monster down. Early in Season 8, Dean walks alone into a nest of vampires with nothing but the blade he brought back from Purgatory and walks back out without a scratch on him. As monster body counts go, Dean probably qualifies as a good-sized natural disaster.
  • Bad Dreams: In season four, Dean spends many nights tossing over his nightmares of hell. In season seven, Dean is once again having nightmares, this time about Castiel's death, Sam's hallucinations, killing Amy Pond and keeping it a secret.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Dean is an excellent liar. He impersonates FBI agents, police officers, park rangers, etc. But when Dean contracts a Ghost Virus, and becomes a complete and total coward, he also turns into the worst liar north of Mexico.
    • The first half of season 9 has Dean unconvincingly scrambling to cover his bases over all of the angel resurrections/healing going on. How no one calls him on it is a miracle in and of itself.
  • Bash Brothers: With Cas and with Benny when the two are in Purgatory between season 7 and 8. And, of course, with Sam the rest of the time.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill:
    • Almost in every single episode, Dean, along with Sam, poses as police, FBI, or even priests to gain access to evidence or question witnesses.
    • Dean has a fake ID for everything and is always willing to show it to anyone who asks.
    • Played Straight in one episode "Hollywood Babylon", where Dean gets mistaken for a PA on a movie set, and goes with it. He originally does it just so he has unlimited access to check for EMF, but finds himself surprisingly good at it, and enjoying it.
    • Dean posed as a high school gym teacher in 4x13.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • A Rare Male Example. Dean even says at one point that coming Back from the Dead erased all his old scars and sorted out his broken fingers.
    • Averted with the Season 5 finale. Dean is beaten till his eye is swollen shut and the rest of his face is a bloody pulp. It isn't long before Castiel fixes him up, though.
    • Seems to usually be subverted whenever Dean runs into angels. In season 8, Dean is beaten till his face is a mess of bruises and blood by Castiel who is being controlled by Naomi. Of course, Castiel heals him a few minutes later so the trope isn't subverted for long.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Dean was destined to be the vessel for Archangel Michael. During most of season five, Dean tries his best to avert this trope and be able to choose his own destiny by refusing to be Michael's vessel. However, this is subverted in a way, since Adam, Sam and Dean's paternal half-brother, ended up being the vessel for Michael instead.
  • Because I Said So: Dean still pulls this on Sam and Castiel once because he is the older brother and feels he knows what's best for Sam at times. Incidentally, their Dad abused this trope their whole lives which is probably where Dean learned it from in the first place.
  • Being Good Sucks: Dean's job as a hunter is dangerous, completely remunerative and, aside from individual thanks from the people he saves the good he does is largely overlooked. The law is after him and Sam for a good portion of the series, both their parents and the great majority of their friends and allies have died in the fight, and Dean's been sent to Hell and back for his efforts.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Dean takes thirty years of torture in the season break he spends in Hell, before he cracks and starts torturing other souls, and enjoying it because he's not being tortured. He blames himself for this intensely. Also notable, they gave him to Hell's chief torturer for most of it; he's a tough cookie, but he gives himself no credit.
  • Berserk Button: Played straight, justified and even exaggerated in regards to Sam. Threaten, hurt, or harm him in any way, then your fate is sealed. And if anyone so much as touches or looks at Sam the wrong way while Sam is in the same vicinity as Dean, they will die. Dean is a Knight Templar Big Brother (with strong Ax-Crazy Yandere tendencies) and he will end anyone who even thinks about laying a finger on Sam. Dean's overprotectiveness of Sam can sometimes go over the top. He has even gone to extreme lengths to make sure Sam is safe.
  • The Berserker: Dean never seems to hesitate throwing himself into a hunting mission or a hunting battle. Dean does it so often that it seems as though he is always seeking death. See Death Seeker.
  • Berserker Tears: In the Season Two finale, Dean sits by Sam's body and tearfully discusses his failure to protect his little brother. This ends with him yelling "What am I supposed to do?!", standing up, and kicking furniture, while tears are still fall from his eyes. He then gets into the Impala to make a deal with a crossroad demon.
  • Better Than Sex: The burgers they serve at his favorite St. Louis diner. Pity that Dean's Persona Non Grata.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Sam are the joint main villains of Season 10.
  • Big Brother Bully: Played Straight, Downplayed and Inverted at various points throughout the series. Dean plays between this, Big Brother Instinct and Knight Templar Big Brother. Dean has a habit of trying to control Sam too much to the point that he starts to become way too controlling and overbearing. At times, Deanís controlling attitude towards Sam starts to border on being abusive behaviour. There are times when Dean has insulted, mocked and even threatened Sam when heís made mistakes or when he didn't obey Dean. He has also used physical violence and force against Sam when heís angry at him. On the other hand, the fact that Sam doesnít often resort to the use of physical violence can arguably make Dean come off as an aggressor and Sam as a victim when it comes to physical altercations that occur between the brothers. It also doesnít help that Dean is arguably a better fighter than Sam (again, this is YMMV, because it is highly possible that Sam just holds back because heís not into using violence and force to get his point across like Dean is) and has physically beaten Sam in almost every single physical fight that theyíve been in. Dean also has a bad habit of lashing out in anger at Sam and will end up punching him or hitting him unnecessarily. Because of this behaviour, there is a small segment of the fandom who feel that Dean is actually abusive. However, many Dean fans believe that Deanís aggressive, abusive, and controlling behaviour or attitude towards Sam stems from the emotional, physical and psychological abuse that he was subjected to by John during his childhood.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In regards to Sam to the most extreme levels, meaning Knight Templar or Knight Templar Big Brother levels. Dean could basically be the Trope Codifier, he defines the trope so strongly. Dean is pretty much this trope personified and this isn't always a good thing.
  • Big Brother Mentor:
    • To Sam, especially in the earlier seasons when Sam is getting back into the swing of hunting. Dean always looks out for Sam and tries to make sure that Sam does the right thing and doesn't make endless mistakes. Dean has been a mentor to Sam mostly about hunting and the hunting world.
    • He occasionally falls into this role with Cas in later seasons, specifically when coaching the angel about his love life or other puzzling aspects of humanity. The inherent weirdness of a human playing Big Brother Mentor to an eons-old angel is somewhat offset by the fact that Cas is pretty naive about life as a human, and seems to appreciate the advice provided Dean isn't too condescending.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Often, along with Sam. Dean does hunt monsters for a living and he ends up saving a lot of innocent lives because of it.
  • Big Eater: Dean loves to eat and when he eats, everything he eats has to be extra large. Especially his burgers and his sandwiches. This was inspired by Jensen Ackles improvising his constantly swiping food while at a funeral, which the crew liked so much that it became a regular character trait, reasoning that after his childhood of constantly moving around and rarely getting to eat well, he now takes full advantage of free food wherever he can find it.
  • The Big Guy: Subverted — Dean is the shorter of the duo, but is also the bruiser of the two. He is no shorty, though, at 6'1". He just looks short in comparison to Sam, who is 6'5". Dean is either Class 1 or Class 4.
    • Little Big Brother: Although Dean is the older brother, his younger brother Sam is much bigger and taller then him. Dean frequently makes comments about the differences in height between himself and Sam.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Usually if someone he loves is hurt and there is nothing he can do to stop it.
    • In "All Hell Breaks Loose", Dean lets out one when he just finally found Sam and seen him get stabbed in the back. Helped by the fact that the viewers are probably feeling the same thing and his look of complete panic and devastation at the sight of his little brother getting knifed.
    • Also, Dean reacts this way in "Swan Song" when Sam!Lucifer telekinetically snaps Bobby Singer's neck.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: After coming back to life as a demon at the end of the Season 9 finale.
  • Blessed with Suck: Dean is totally immune to the hunger-inducing powers of Famine, which seems pretty cool. Except that Famine points out it's due to the fact that Dean is so dead inside that no form of self-indulgence would fill the void.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Dean loves hunting and hunting supernatural creatures. He takes pride in what he does and tries to enjoy himself (mostly in the earlier seasons when he hasn't become so burned out by hunting). He is a natural born hunter.
    • Debatable. Dean fights because it's what he's been trained since childhood to do. He enjoys hunting in the earlier seasons, but he tires of it pretty quickly and it's made clear that he keeps going out of a sense of responsibility to the job than any real enjoyment. 'What Is and What Should Never Be' is one long testament to this, and he's stated outright that if he had the option to do something else, he would.
      • No longer debatable. At the end of Season 5, Dean settles down with a girl and a kid and tries to live a normal life. He ends up leaving them for several reasons, but the most driving one being the fact that hunting was in his nature. It was a part of him, and he voluntarily abandoned a normal family life for hunting evil once again.
    • This is amplified in Season 9 after he gets the Mark of Cain and later the First Blade.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Dean is impulsive, extroverted, fun-loving and daring.
  • Book Dumb: Mostly in comparison to Sam, although see the entry on Obfuscating Stupidity for why he might be Brilliant, but Lazy.
  • Bound and Gagged: For about half of "Hunted."
  • Brains and Brawn: Dean is the Brawn to Sam's Brains. While Dean is more of a hunter, fighter, warrior, Sam is more of a researcher, bookworm and brainiac. Dean seems to take after the Campbell side of the family, who are referred to as the Brawn between the Campbells and the Winchesters. That's not say he's bad with the Brains side when he needs to be though.
  • Break the Cutie: Repeatedly. Up to Eleven. Every single time things start to work out for him, he gets broken. And this has been going on for a loooooong time. In fact, an alternate title for this show could be "How to Break Dean Winchester" and you couldn't fault it, particularly from Season 2 onwards. It has now become a Trauma Conga Line.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite claiming to be Book Dumb and relying on Sam to do most of the lore research, he's capable of pulling off incredibly successful gambits when motivated and frequently comes across as a tactical genius. He can also quote obscure parts of the lore solely from memory. See Genius Bruiser.
  • Bros Before Hoes:
    • Basically Dean's code. Dean has resented Sam for choosing a female (Ruby in season four and Amelia in season eight) over him.
    • Though to clarify, Sam never did choose Amelia "over" Dean (actually the opposite, when a straight-up choice had to be made). But from Dean's perspective, this was certainly the case.
  • Broken Bird:
    • Dean is repressed, stuffing down his real feelings for the sake of his family and the hunt. Throughout seasons three and four, particularly, he is a Death Seeker with little hope and less of the humor he started with. And no wonder, after learning he broke the first seal for the lead-up to the Apocalypse and being unable to protect his brother from himself.
    • In season five, Dean was seriously considering accepting Michael and becoming a major force in the Apocalypse because he didn't trust Sam, Bobby was crippled and contemplating suicide every morning, Castiel was disillusioned with God and had lost his angelic powers, and Sam was operating under the guilt from giving in to The Dark Side above his brother for a chance to kill the Big Bad that turned out to free Lucifer and start the Apocalypse.
  • Broken Hero: Dean has been through it all, yet despite all the problems, chaos and issues that he has gone through since his early life, he has still continued to keep on going. His motto is to "Go down swinging."
  • Bromantic Foil: To Sam, of course. In the beginning Sam was more idealistic and naive in his thinking while Dean was more realistic and cynical in the way he thought. This eventually started to change though as Sam became darker and more cynical with time due to everything that he has been exposed to. In season 5 it was taken Up to Eleven when it was discovered that Dean and Sam were the destined vessels for Archangel Michael and Archangel Lucifer (Satan) respectively.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Dean may be tough, consume copious amounts of alcohol, curse like a sailor and is a badass hunter, but he has a soft spot for children, his family and friends.
  • Brutal Honesty: Dean has a habit of being too honest at times, to the point where his mouth can get him in some serious trouble or even hurt others feelings (Sam seems to be the huge victim of Dean's brutal honesty and it has caused a lot of fights and tension between the two because of it).
  • Buffy Speak: Dean's figurative of speech is rather ...unintellectual at times. Especially in comparison to Sam.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dean frequently hits on girls, has an affection for junk food, and has serious daddy issues. Yet, he is pals with Castiel, an angel, who has his own fair of quirks and he and his brother are feared by both angels and Crowley alike.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nothing goes right for Dean, ever. Dean is a very unlucky guy in all aspects of life. It's surprising that Dean hasn't completely and totally lost it, even more shocking that he is still alive and functioning.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Dean has called John out on many different things, especially about John putting so much responsibility on his shoulders regarding protecting Sam and the family.
  • Came Back Wrong/Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • At the start of season eight after escaping from Purgatory. On the outside, he's normal but on the inside, whatever happened in Purgatory has changed him a great deal, even referring to it as "360 degrees of combat".
    • At the end of season 9 Dean is killed. However, the effect of absorbing the Mark of Cain winds up bringing him back to life... as a demon.
  • Can't Stay Normal: This is the basis of Dean's arc in Season 6. After a year of attempting to live an "apple-pie" life with Lisa and Ben, he returns to hunting as soon as Sam shows up, and comes to the conclusion that, while a normal life is what he thought he wanted, he's only really satisfied when he's hunting.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Dean is very fragile when it comes to others criticizing him or his actions. He doesnít take it lightly when people call Dean out for his mistakes. He acts out in a negative way because Dean suffers from serious self-esteem issues. Any slight against who he is or what he does is like a knife to the gut for Dean. A major example is in Season Nine when Sam calls Dean out on his extreme hero complex and his constant need and desire to save Sam at all costs, even at the expense of himself and other people. Dean didnít take Samís rejection of him and his criticism of all that he has done to save and protect Sam for his entire life very well. He ended up downward spiralling into darkness and it was made worse because Dean had the Mark of Cain.
  • The Caretaker: For Sam since childhood, although he's not the only one Dean looks out for. Not only did Dean raise Sam since he was a baby, but Dean has always possessed nurturing, caring, and paternal/maternal qualities and instincts. He's been shown watching out for Sam, Kevin, Charlie, Krissy, Castiel, Bobby, Mary, John, any little kids he meets—basically anyone who needs help and is in his immediate vicinity.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Averted—surprisingly—when Dean startles awake from dreams of his time in Hell with nothing more than a slight twitch.
    • Played straight when Dean wakes up from a nightmare in 7.05 "Shut Up, Dr. Phil".
  • The Casanova: Dean is a classic ladies' man and very flirtatious. He's not much of a long-term relationship type of guy (apart from Lisa), being more of a one-night-stand. See Really Gets Around.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "Son of a bitch!" Lampshaded in Season 5.
    • Dean refers to killing as "ganking".
    • Dean says "awesome" a lot.
  • The Champion: For Sam. Dean has always made it his #1 priority to protect and save Sam at all costs. To protect Sam, he is willing to kill, sell his soul, go to Hell, or let an angel possess Sam in order to keep him alive. See Always Save Sam.
  • The Charmer: Dean is cocky and charismatic. He is also a womanizer and has plenty of confidence with the opposite sex.
  • Chess with Death: In exchange for bringing Sam's soul back to his body, Dean has to do Death's job for a day. Dean ends up failing the test, but Death returns Sam's soul anyway, first because his real reason for the task was to show Dean what forces he was messing with by constantly being resurrected, and second because Sam and Dean's current investigation suited his purposes. (He may have just wanted a day off, too.)
  • The Chew Toy: Dean never catches a break, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally.
  • Child Soldier: Dean was trained from the age of five or six to hunt by his father, John.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Dean flirts with most of the women he meets, but when we see him with Cassie, we find out that he really loved her, but she didn't believe him when he told her what he did for a living, breaking his heart as she left. And he isn't exactly thrilled when he discovers that Castiel plans to hand a girl named Anna (whom Dean had slept with) over to the angels, who will kill her. Likewise, Dean never takes advantage of women, and it's implied Dean sleeps around so much to achieve the intimacy that his life and job prevent him from being able to have.
  • The Chosen One: Dean is destined to be the vessel for the Archangel Michael during the battle of Armageddon.
    • However, this changes when Michael takes Adam as his vessel instead.
  • Closet Geek: Teases Sam for being a geek, but is the one dropping references to Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, etc. Readily apparent in "LARP and the Real Girl", when Dean comments that the video of the LARP group's activities looks awesome, but turns stoic when Sam turns to look at him. Later, Dean gets distracted by the map for the upcoming mock-battle and begins offering a better strategy to Charlie, before Sam snaps him back to attention.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Dean tortured Alastair.
    • Turns out that Dean became a torturer during his last ten years in Hell after spending thirty on the other side of the knife and being offered a job every day.
    • Also seen in Purgatory when he desperately tried to find Cas and tortured every monster to get information.
  • Comatose Canary: In the first episode of season two.
  • Companion Cube: The Impala.
  • The Confidant: For Sam. Dean is often the one that Sam will turn to during times of need. Sam probably feels that he is someone he can turn to because he is the older brother that often gives him advice and serves as a Big Brother Mentor for him.
  • The Conscience: Primarily to Sam. Dean is known to be the moral compass of the series. He often informs or warns Sam as well as other characters (such as Castiel for example) of whether or not he is doing the right or wrong thing.
  • Control Freak: Dean has a tendency to always want to be in control, especially of Sam. But most of Dean's controlling behavior towards Sam is done out of overprotectiveness.
  • Cool Car: Dean drives the infamous 1967 Chevrolet Impala, known as the Metallicar to many fans. The Impala has such importance that it has earned co-protagonist status along with Sam and Dean. Many of the brothers' most important moments have occurred in or around the Impala. In the season five finale, they acknowledged the Impala's importance by giving it a backstory and having it basically save the world.
  • Cosmic Plaything: For both angels and Heaven.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Understandable, considering that Dean is a hunter for a living.
  • Cute and Psycho: Played straight and justified. During Season Nine, Dean received the Mark of Cain, which caused Dean to become very unstable, resulting in Dean having murderous tendencies. Dean seemed to be in complete control for the majority of the time bearing the Mark, but if Dean was set off in anger or was triggered somehow (such as whenever Sam was in danger or being hurt or whenever Sam emotionally rejected him), then Dean would become The Berserker and Ax-Crazy, intent on lashing out and killing anyone in his way.
  • The Cutie: Before the issues came through thick and fast. Possibly subverted, too, seeing as how whenever the boys act "normal" (Sam in the beginning of Season Three was quipping loads but falling apart trying to save Dean, and in the comedy episodes "Hollywood Babylon" and "Folsom Prison Blues", fans thinking that Dean was somehow really off were proven so right in "What Is and What Should Never Be", when it was revealed that he had only been getting worse and more suicidal), something is usually very wrong with them.
  • The Cynic: Dean is generally a cynical and pessimistic person. He believes that the world is a dark place and there's no good counterpoint to the evil he sees every day. Contrast Sam, who is more The Idealist.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Played straight—Sam's death at the end of Season 2 is the final straw and he makes a desperate and suicidal Deal with the Devil to bring him Back from the Dead.
  • Dark and Troubled Past/Dysfunction Junction: Since childhood, Dean grew up in a very dysfunctional family and unhealthy environment, not to mention that Dean was always surrounded by much darkness and tragedy growing up.
  • Darker and Edgier: Dean becomes progressively darker throughout the show, especially after he returns from Hell in season four.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Dean is named after his maternal grandmother, Deanna Campbell, who was killed by Azazel while he was possessing Samuel Campbell.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dean always has a snarky, witty, or sarcastic comment. In fact, Dean is the king of sarcasm. Sometimes his sarcastic wit turns off a lot of people or annoys them, including Sam. Often, Dean uses sarcasm and makes sarcastic comments in attempts to hide his inner vulnerability. Sometimes he uses sarcasm to push people away so that he doesn't open up or express his thoughts and feelings about much deeper things.
    • Stepford Snarker: Whenever Dean is unhappy or depressed, his sarcastic side is all you see. So basically all the time.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • After Sam died, Dean made a deal with a crossroads demon to bring him back.
    • John made such a deal for him at the beginning of season two.
    • Come Season Nine, Dean makes a deal with an angel in order to save his brother's life after the trials in season eight.
  • Dean Ex Machina: Dean always seems to pop up and save the day whenever Sam (or anyone really) is in trouble.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: When Dean dies in Season 9, the fact that he carries the Mark of Cain means he comes back. As an unstoppable, immortal, killing machine and the First Knight of Hell, only slightly less powerful than Lucifer himself.
  • Death Is the Only Option: Dean chooses to die in Season 9, purposely going up against the Metatron with no backup because the Mark of Cain that he took on to defeat Abbadon is turning him into a monster and he's almost hurt Sam and Castiel multiple times because he can't control it. Unfortunately for Dean this is the same choice Cain made, which is what activated his immortality and unstoppable rage...
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Death has become a recurring theme for Dean (and Sam) that it has become nothing but a mere obstacle.
  • Death Is Cheap: Death and Dean do not seem to be a compatible pair since whenever Dean dies or faces possible death, he never stays dead or dies permanently (same with Sam). This is to be expected considering Dean is one of the main characters and leads of the series.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Subverted. None of Dean's onscreen deaths in Mystery Spot in particular are dramatic/demonic-related. Especially his final death, where he gets shot by a mugger. No going out in a blaze of glory, it could have been easily prevented and nothing heroic about it whatsoever.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Just how many times has Dean (Cas and Sam) managed to either escape or come back from the dead?
  • Death Glare: Dean will give this to anyone whom he dislikes, whom he sees as an enemy or opponent or someone whom he doesn't trust.
  • Death Seeker: Dean seems to welcome death more than any other character in the series. He is the character who is often suicidal. Most of this goes back to Dean's low self-worth and self-esteem issues.
  • Declaration of Protection: Since Dean was four years old, Dean has made it his life's goal and mission to protect Sam at all times and keep him safe. Dean even refers to it as his job.
  • Demon Slayer: Dean primarily hunts demons for a living, although he does hunt other supernatural beings and monsters as well. Despite this, it's demons Dean hates the most, as they are responsible for everything that ever went wrong with his life.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Dean crosses this in "On the Head of a Pin", and it takes angelic intervention to snap him out of it.
    • Dean appears to have crossed it again in Season 7, to the point that he seems resigned to being blown up by Jo in Defending Your Life.
    • Again in Season 9, when Dean feels such immense guilt over getting Sam possessed and lying to him, Kevin's death, and all the other fallout from the possession, that he gets the deadly Mark of Cain and barely even knows what it does. He literally cuts Cain off in mid-sentence when the latter is trying to explain the ramifications of the Mark, indicating that Dean couldn't care less at that point what would happen to him.
  • Destructive Romance: Played Straight. Although it's brotherly love instead of romantic love, he has one with Sam. It is very apparent that Dean and Sam have a very messed up, tangled, codependent and unhealthy relationship. The two simply cannot live or function without each other and that isn't a good thing, considering what these brothers have gone through together and what they have done to keep each other alive, especially Dean in regards to Sam. Dean's one and only serious girlfriend pretty well acknowledged that she always knew she would be second place to Sam.
  • The Determinator: Dean is probably the most determined character in the entire series. Once he sets his mind on something or on a person or mission or plan, HE NEVER GIVES UP. Dean is especially determined in regards to Sam. There is nothing that Dean wouldn't do for him; he would go to Hell for him and would sell his soul for him. However, the one time he didn't live up to this role and almost surrendered, well... he got pinned to a wall in a street and beaten up by Castiel so badly that it wasn't pretty. He also has never given up on Cas. Especially in Purgatory.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: It is clear that Dean is very co dependent with Sam and needs constant human contact, approval and love from others. He is very touchy especially with Cas. Constant shoulder pats and akward touches. It gets even sadder when you consider he's repeatedly told Cas he needs him and yet, from Dean's point of view, Cas keeps leaving him. In season 9, it's actually Dean who pushes Cas away in a (misguided) attempt to save Sam, which ends up worsening his already fragile emotional state even further.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Dean often struggles with his own identity and what he wants in life. Most of Dean's identity and life revolve around Sam.
  • Deus Angst Machina: The stunning amount of bad things that happen to Dean are starting to amount to this. The poor guy hasn't caught a break since Season 3.
  • Deuteragonist: To Sam's The Protagonist. Although the series is told from Dean's point of view, Sam is the focal character of the series according to the Word of God.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: A notable character trait of Dean's. He's flippant and disrespectful in front of powerful monsters even or especially when they're about to kill him.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Dean attempts to steal Death's ring from him. Death sits him down, offers him pizza and then tells him how annoyed he is that although he is infinite, eternal, and will eventually reap the entire universe, he is stuck being tagged to one tiny little planet with one puny little being (a.k.a Lucifer). ... upon hearing this Dean has a little trouble swallowing his pizza. Death does this a second and a third time when the Winchesters (mostly Dean) encounter him, as he has quite a fondness for fast food.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight:
    • Dean dies in Sam's arms at the end of season three when the Hellhounds rip him to shreds. And about 500 times in Mystery Spot.
    • And again at the end of Season 9, when he becomes a demon after being killed by Metatron.
  • Disability Immunity: He's immune to Famine's powers because, according to Famine, he's so dead inside that no amount of self-indulgence could fill the void.
  • Disappeared Dad: For most of season one. Or how about throughout most of Dean's life? Although it's evident in flashbacks that John has been absent before, leaving Dean to take care of Sam by himself.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Dean gets easily distracted by attractive women.
  • Distressed Dude: Primarily in season three.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: At the end of season three, Dean goes to Hell after being ripped apart by Hellhounds.
  • The Dreaded: After a few seasons racking up an enormous body count of demons, ghosts, and monsters, the brothers become this to the supernatural side of things.
    Demon Mook: What's so funny?
    Meg: Dean Winchester is standing behind you...
  • The Drifter: Comes with being a hunter for a living and traveling all across the country.
  • Driven to Suicide: Too many times to count throughout the series. However, it is understandable why Dean would seek death considering how dysfunctional and messed up his life has been.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Dean often uses alcohol to cope with his pain, grief, and depression. Sam frequently calls him out on his excessive drinking, especially in season 7.
  • The Dutiful Son: To a fault. He was basically John's little soldier starting from childhood. Dean obeys his father John without question and berates Sam for questiong his orders. Dean is just as capable of being a dutiful brother and as shown by "What Is and What Should Never Be", tends to idolize Sam. But it was revealed by the shifter in "Skin" that he/Dean does resent Sam for getting to leave. Dean also manages to combine this with Troubled, but Cute.
  • Dying as Yourself: At the end of Season 9, he admits to Sam that he's glad that Metatron killed him because the Mark of Cain was "turning me into something I don't wanna be." Sadly, dying is the final step for the Mark to do just that.

    Tropes E-H 

Tropes E-H

  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: A somewhat lighter version. Dean is known for subverting masculinity tropes and ideals of machismo, and some of his traits and things he likes are things traditionally considered feminine. However, while he's not actually a misogynist, he does have a habit of accusing others (mostly Sam) of being girly/liking girly stuff—as if femaleness equaled weakness—likely due to his own insecurities and internalized feelings of shame. As of season 8, he seems to have started being a little more at peace with himself, though the projection on Sam hasn't stopped.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Dean appears tough on the outside, but he's quite soft and emotional on the inside.
  • Escaped from Hell: Escapes Hell in the Season 4 premiere. In Season 8, he manages to escape Purgatory, which from all indications is just as bad.
  • Ethical Slut: Dean is highly promiscuous and loves sex, although he doesn't get too attached to anyone he sleeps with, considering the dangerous job he has.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As a demon, he refuses to kill a cheating woman since the husband who requested her death was cheating on her too. So he kills him instead.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In addition to hitting on and being appreciated by all females in the area, he's had several...suspect interactions that generally end with something along the lines of "I don't swing that way". Also, in "My Heart Will Go On" Balthazar states, "Sorry, you have me confused with the other angel. You know, the one in the dirty trenchcoat who's in love with you."
  • Extreme Doormat:
    • When it comes to his family, Dean could almost be the Trope Codifier. He thinks he deserves the verbal abuse or blame from just about anybody, and is so needy when it comes to Sam that he sells his soul to bring Sam Back from the Dead. He's saved from living here by being opinionated and obstinate in everything else.
    • In "Hunted", he's kidnapped and used as bait after Sam just abandoned him in the middle of the night, dismissed him with a "he means well", and didn't even try to contact him until he needed him. And all Dean can come up with is a "You ever do that again and I'll...". Do what, Dean? Grow a spine when it comes to dealing with your family?
    • In season four, Sam stops just short of choking Dean to death after Dean calls him a monster on top of Sam's hallucinations of Dean loathing him in one episode. Guess who calls to apologize to whom. Of course, that might be as much practicality, since Dean needed to get Sam to go to back to Bobby's to continue the incredibly painful process of detox. Or at least stop following Ruby's plan. His apology probably would have had the desired effect, too, if the angels hadn't meddled with the message.
    • It gets so much worse in Seasons 5 and 6. No wonder Famine accused him of being empty: he's got nothing left to give, not even to Lisa and Ben, because he's given it all to Sam and John, who never needed him as much as he needed them.
  • Expy:
    • According to the Word of God, Dean was modeled off of Han Solo of Star Wars. On the other hand, Sam is modelled off of Luke Skywalker. From the start of the show, Sam and Dean embodied The Hero and The Lancer tropes according to their backgrounds, personalities and characteristics. Kripke has stated that like Han Solo, Dean is a "devil may care, charismatic, a little rough around the edges, a little edgy, and says things that are not always the kindest thing" type of character. Similar to how Han displayed Big Brother Instinct towards Luke, Dean also displays the exact same attitude with Sam, to extreme levels in fact.
    • There are some fans who think that Dean shares similarities with Obi-Wan Kenobi (also from Star Wars). In comparison, fans have compared Sam to Anakin Skywalker (also known as Darth Vader). Some fans may feel that Dean shares some traits in common with Ob-Wan. Obi-Wan and Dean are both protective of Anakin and Sam, with Obi-Wan seeing Anakin as a substitute younger brother and Dean raising Sam since childhood. Both Obi-Wan and Dean have had to try to stop Anakin and Sam from crossing over to The Dark Side (and both of them end up failing). There is also the fact that both Dean and Obi-Wan serve as The Mentor or a Big Brother Mentor for Sam and Anakin respectively. Dean taught Sam everything about the supernatural and the hunting world while Obi-wan trained Anakin to become a powerful Jedi.
    • Dean is compared to Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings while Sam is compared to Frodo Baggins. This one was lampshaded in "Goodbye Stranger" when Dean tells Sam, "But I can carry you." He then defensively says, "Rudy hobbit always gets a pass."
  • Fantastic Racism: Dean seems to be skeptical of pretty much all supernatural creatures and beings. That includes demons, angels, vampires, spirits, ghosts, etc. Dean is so untrustworthy of supernatural creatures, especially demons in particular, that Dean has even admitted that Sam, who is part supernatural, scares him and makes him uncomfortable at times, especially when Sam's demonic abilities and powers were prominent. However, Dean's dislike for the supernatural is highly understandable and justifiable considering that he is a hunter for a living and he is meant to hunt and kill supernatural creatures, plus he actually proves to be right most of the time.
  • Father to His Men: As de facto leader, Dean often takes this role. He's always ready to reassure others when there spirit is wavering, and is constantly looking out for his friends' welfare. Particularly the younger ones, such as Kevin or Krissy.
  • Fearless Fool: Dean can be rather brash, reckless and impulsive at times.
  • The Fettered: Although Dean can be highly morally grey and has made plenty of morally questionable deeds, Dean still has a strong conscience and strong morals. Dean believes in doing the right thing as much as possible.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: While Dean very easily believes in the supernatural (hence the name of the show) and Hell, he simply flat-out refuses to believe in things like angels, Heaven, and God. "Gods" are simply very powerful monsters, but you can still "gank" them. Dean is forced to face his lack of belief after he returns from Hell, when faced with the angel Castiel. Cas becomes a regular on the show, as does their "prophet" Chuck. Even the demons (re: Lucifer) end up stressing the fact that God existsóHe might not be there, but He does exist. Lucifer goes on this long-winded schpiel about his devotion to his Father (God) being the reason for his falling from Heaven. Dean, while eventually admitting to the fact that God exists, never fails to ruffle the feathers of all the angels he comes across, simply for the fact that they are, as he puts it, "dicks." This is where at least 60% of the humor from season 5 onward comes from, still managing to question the core accuracy of the Bible, or just religion in general.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine (also Choleric).
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Season One to Three: Dean is the Id (emotional, passionate, hot headed, impulsive) to Sam's Superego (smart, intelligent, logical, practical) and Bobby's Ego (balanced, mentor, mediator, peacemaker).
    • Season Four to Six: Dean is the Ego (mediator, penitent, peacemaker, trying to find a balance) to Sam's Id (impulsive, kill crazy, arrogant, hot headed) and Castiel's Superego (stoic, logical, practical, unemotional).
    • Season Eight to Twelve: Dean is the Id (hot headed, blunt, emotional, passionate) to Sam's Ego (mediator, balanced, peacemaker, balances between emotions and pragmatism) and Castiel's Superego (logical, stoic, intelligent, practical).
    • Season Twelve to Thirteen: Dean is the Id (emotional, passionate, opinionated) to Sam's Ego (balanced, peacekeeper, mediator) and Mary's Superego (ruthless, manipulative, practical).
  • Friendship Moment: Most of his scenes with Charlie, Kevin, Benny and also Cas.
  • Friend to All Children: Dean loves children and he seems to have a strong paternal/big brother instinct. This is probably because he has always taken on the role of protector and caretaker since he was a child himself. Dean raised Sam and was considered to be both his big brother and his father at the same time. So for him, kids (human ones, anyway) seem to be a pretty big soft spot for Dean. In seasons six and seven, this is shown to apply to monster kids too.
  • Future Badass: The Dean we know and love may be already be quite badass, but his future self in 5x03 in the year 2014 takes it to a whole new level. He's also a total douche bag.
  • Future Me Scares Me: In 5x03, Dean is disturbed by his future self's propensity for violence, torture and willing sacrifice of innocents.
  • Genius Bruiser: As well as being a brilliant fighter, Dean is also incredibly intelligent, he was able to turn a Walkman into a EMP detector, rebuilt the Impala from the ground up after it was wrecked, and is also highly knowledgeable about the supernatural. Dean's also a brilliant strategist and is very good at assessing his opponents weaknesses. As of Seasons 8 and 9 it's been heavily implied that he gave up multiple opportunities to MIT and other advanced tech/engineering schools who reached out to him when he was in middle school, to take care of Sam.
  • Good Is Not Nice/Good Is Not Soft: He can be a jerk, but believe or not Dean is still a good man. He won't hesitate to kick your ass or kill you if you hurt him, cross him, manipulate or hurt anyone he loves and cares about.
  • Go Through Me: Dean is more than willing to sacrifice himself in order to save or protect Sam from danger.
  • Grease Monkey: Dean loves working on cars, namely his Impala.
  • Green-Eyed Monster/Crazy Jealous Guy: He varies between the two. Dean has a rather strong jealous streak and he also comes off as possessive. Especially in regards to anyone who manages to get close to Sam or tries to "replace" Dean in regards to Sam in any way. That includes men and women. Ruby is the most obvious example in seasons three and four.
  • Green Eyes: Dean's most distinguishing physical feature. It also emphasizes that Dean has a jealous and envious personality.
  • Guile Hero: Dean is capable of resorting to manipulating during the hunt, although this is more of Sam's expertise.
  • Guilt Complex: Dean feels guilty for everything. Everything bad that happens, he blames himself and believes that he is in some way responsible.
  • The Gunslinger: Dean is extremely skilled with guns, firearms and other weapons. He is a skilled hunter after all and guns are a major part of his job. He uses them for fighting, hunting and killing monsters and supernatural beings. He tends to use a Colt 1911, in addition to which he also uses a sawed-off shotgun on occasions where greater firepower is required. He has also been seen with an MSG3 sniper rifle in "Simon Said." Throughout season five, he uses a Model 1887 shotgun against hellhounds and zombies.
  • Guttural Growler: Dean has become increasingly gruff over the seasons (seriously, listen to season one compared to season six). Dean's growling voice was awesomely lampshaded at least twice: once in "The Real Ghostbusters" when a fan was pretending to be Dean, and once in "The French Mistake" when Jensen was playing Dean playing Jensen playing Dean. ("That's how he does it.")
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Dean can be rather quick-tempered and easily angered, especially when he is provoked.
  • Handsome Lech: Dean is a very handsome man and he flirts with anything in a skirt. The man's first thought upon returning from the dead? He had to re-lose his virginity. Anytime he's shown on a computer or with a magazine, it's invariably open to Busty Asian Beauties.
  • Hates Being Alone: Dean has a fear of everyone leaving him or abandoning him. Part of the reason why he took Sam taking off for Stanford so hard and why Dean is rather clingy and needy towards Sam. It happens also with Cas. Sam gets the brunt of this issue with Dean, as between being raised to look after/protect Sammy, and their general isolation from society, Sam is pretty well all that ever stands between Dean and profound loneliness. It has become a double-edged sword for Dean, as by this point he pretty well can't maintain other close relationships if Sam is around.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?:
    • Virtually every single episode of Supernatural features some little scene or line of dialogue for Dean to assert his heterosexuality/masculinity. Dean gets more than all other male characters on the show combined, often at the expense of his brother, who despite being shipped around in fandom is still by far the less slashable of the two. Funny, that.
    • In 'Sex and Violence' Dean declares his glee over working a case involving strippers. Later in the episode, we see him in a strip club devoting all his attention to bonding with a very male FBI agent. All the more amusing since the agent turns out to be the siren they're hunting and Dean was oblivious.
    • Turns out the male siren was actually supposed to be a representation or manifestation of Dean's younger brother (the siren tells Sam specifically Dean wanted him), which is more incestuous subtext than anything.
    • In "Let It Bleed" we also get "I was too busy having sex with women." (Naturally, fans have often interpreted this as Suspiciously Specific Denial for Dean.)
  • The Heart:
    • Dean is the emotional character of the show, whose primary purpose is his connection with others and bringing people together at a time of importance.
    • Subverted as of Season 10, as Dean is now a demon. Sam has now taken over the role as he is the sole human lead and is the only human aspect of the show. Although Dean is no longer a demon and is now back to normal, Sam still has claim over this role since Dean has been battling from the dark and troubling effects of the Mark Of Cain, which gives Dean the urge to kill. It has been shown that Sam serves as a strong Morality Pet and a Living Emotional Crutch for Dean, preventing him from letting the MOC take control over him. Therefore, Sam fits this role the most of the current season due to both being the only true human and serving as a Morality Pet for Dean. As of season 11, it is safe to say that Sam still has claim over this role as Dean is still suffering negative after effects from the Mark, still has the urge to kill and is bound to The Darkness. Sam on the other hand wants to save everyone and has a much stronger moral conscience than Dean. If the spoilers for the season have any weight then it seems like Sam will be sought out by a force of light and goodness which will help him find a way to save Dean and battle The Darkness.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Dean has had his fair share of heartbreak regarding romance and love, as well as in the non-romance department. Most of his significant friendships (Sam, Cas, Benny, Bobby) have left him heartbroken and in pain at one point or another. Most notably, he was this after Lisa and Ben's minds were wiped clean, and in season 7 after Cas' betrayal and death.
  • The Hero Dies:
    • At the end of season three, when Dean is dragged off to Hell by hellhounds after selling his soul to save Sam.
    • Dean dies over 100 times in "Mystery Spot".
    • And again at the end of Season 9, when Metatron stabs him with the First Blade.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Dean, along with Sam, has repeatedly made the FBI's most wanted list.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Someone dies to save him in a season one episode, John dies to save his life in the season two premiere, season two completely breaks him down in as many ways as possible and all of it prompts a suicidally guilty breakdown in which, after Sam dies, Dean ends up selling his soul in an incredibly poor and desperate bargain to bring him back.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Can you blame Dean? Between constantly having to save his brother Sam and trying to save the world and innocent people, it is no wonder that Dean is emotionally and psychologically exhausted from it all.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In the season two finale, Dean engages in a fight with Azazel, the Yellow Eyed Demon while the gates to Hell are open and spirits and demons are escaping. Azazel telekinetically tosses Dean into the air and he hits his head on a headstone (and his bloody forehead indicates that he has sustained a concussion at the very least). His dad's spirit breaks out of Hell, wrestles with Azazel, and then Dean aims the Colt (the magical Kill Anything Gun) at the Yellow-Eyed-Demon and shoots. It hits YED in the chest and he dies. When the rest of the battle is over, Dean walks over to the corpse of the Azazel's host.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Dean has serious and real issues with self-worth, self-esteem and he frequently takes this to suicidal lengths.
  • Heroic Spirit: Dean has it in the sense that he is a fighter and doesn't quit, even when things get rough.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With Sam, even though they are brothers. The two are so close that they are codependent on each other and can't live without the other. In fact, they are so close that they would choose each other over anyone, including friends or love interests.
    • Castiel could count as well, despite the ambiguity of the relationship.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Dean was like this after John died and he had that big-secret-that-totally-wasn't weighing on his shoulders, and has had such moments of ruthlessness every time his family leaves him or lets him down or he's really freaking out about his brother. Such as when he encounters Gordon in season two after his father dies; when he so loses faith in his brother that he agrees to the angels' plan in season five even though it will destroy most of the world; and in season seven when he kills Amy Pond (not that one) because he can't trust a monster not to kill again, complete with a Beatrix Kiddo moment with the woman's son afterward.
    • Future Dean in "The End" (5x04). After losing his brother to the devil and failing to stop the apocalypse, he becomes heartless and unsympathetic, willing to sacrifice all of his loyal friends for a chance to kill Lucifer.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Jensen Ackles can sing and carry a tune quite well. Dean, on the other hand can't sing to save his life. There have been exceptions, like the time he got REO Speedwagon stuck in his head.
  • Honor Before Reason: In regards to Sam, in "Born Under A Bad Sign." But of course, this show being what it is, they do their best to try and break him because of it.
  • Hot-Blooded: Dean can be rather hot headed and impulsive.
  • Human Mom Non Human Dad: Dean is part of an inverted example in "The Slice Girls". Dean sleeps with an Amazon, she has his daughter in a few days and the daughter grows into teenage years quickly. She then tries to kill Dean, who hesitates to fight back, but Sam shoots her dead and saves Dean.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Dean hunts supernatural creatures for a living.
  • Hurting Hero: Dean always goes through so much pain, tragedy and chaos. He can never catch a break. Even though he constantly saves people, nothing ever good happens to Dean in return. In fact, pain and tragedy just keep on piling on for Dean. From losing family, to friends, to allies, to having to stop his own younger brother becoming going to The Dark Side and becoming evil, there is just no happy times for Dean. And even when he does get some happiness or normalcy, it is taken away from him sooner than later.
  • Hypocrite: Dean is one of the most hypocritical characters in the show and his hypocrisy could be seen as a character flaw of his.
    • Dean has strong issues with lying and people keeping secrets from him. Yet he has little to no issue with keeping secrets himself, especially about someone else other than him. An example of this is Dean constantly getting on Sam's case about lying to him about being associated with Ruby and drinking demon blood but at the same time, decided to keep John's dying confession to Dean (about Sam possibly going evil) a secret from Sam.
    • Near the end of Season Six, Dean finds out that Castiel has been working with Crowley, and promptly chews him out for it. Even though Dean did the same thing the previous season. And one of the first things he does in Season Seven is call Crowley for help in taking down Cas.
    • Dean chews Sam out for settling down with a girl when he believes Dean has died and gone to Heaven. Dean does this very same thing himself when Sam was gone.

    Tropes I-M 

Tropes I-M

  • Iconic Item: The Samulet aka Dean's amulet. He even wore it while he was in Hell. As of Season 10, it has returned, in wooden form, as a gift from a fan of the Supernatural books. Dean hangs it from the Impala's rear-view mirror.
  • Idiot Ball: Dean has had his fair share of stupid and idiotic moments throughout the series. One example is Dean in "Swap Meat." They live in a world full of demons and shapeshifters (granted, the tattoos block out the demons) and have angels hounding them to say yes to being possessed by Lucifer, in Sam's case, and yet Dean goes almost the entire episode without realizing that Sam is not Sam. Particularly glaring when Sam noticed Dean wasn't Dean in "Skin" immediately from a minuscule hint. It's possible that Dean didn't notice "Sam's" odd behaviour because of the stress that he was under due to the Colt failing to work against Lucifer, Jo and Ellen's senseless deaths in the attempt, and the pressure to save the world from the Apocalypse. It's also possible that he didn't notice because for once he and Sam were really getting along and he didn't want to risk upsetting that after all the damage their relationship had been through at that point.
  • Incest Subtext: There are some moments. Especially in earlier seasons or when Dean desperately tries to save Sam.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Dean appears overconfident and even brags sometimes, but in reality, he has serious self-esteem issues.
  • Interspecies Friendship: With both Castiel and Benny. Dean is a human while Castiel is an angel and Benny is a vampire.
  • I Am Not My Father: A variation when Bobby tells Dean he doesn't have to be like John and let his relationship with Sam be ruined because he is too proud to forgive him.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Justified, Downplayed, and Subverted with Sam, depending on the situation. Dean sometimes shows shades of this behaviour with Sam.
    • Dean is a Yandere towards Sam and he has a very strong possessive and jealous streak when it comes to him. He gets so suspicious of Samís interactions with other people. Dean doesn't like when others try to come between him and Sam. He has even gone the route of Murder the Hypotenuse (killing or attempting to kill those close to Sam) when a female character in particular is romantically involved with Sam. If he doesnít attack those who get close to Sam, Dean would also be willing to use force or violence against Sam to keep him away from people whom Dean is suspicious of.
    • It seems that Deanís first instinct when Sam develops a relationship with someone else is to a.) manipulate Sam into keeping a distance from other people, b.) manipulate or threaten others into staying away from Sam, c.) threaten to kill or harm others if they come near Sam, and d.) threaten or attempt to use violence against Sam to keep him away from others who Dean sees as a threat to Sam or his relationship with Sam. Dean has restricted Samís freedom such as locking Sam up against his will in order to keep him away from Ruby in Season Four. When Sam ended up escaping being locked up, Dean immediately stated his next goal was to kill Ruby.
    • Dean becomes a Woman Scorned whenever he's under some sort of spell. In a Season Four episode (Sex and Violence), Dean comes under the Sirenís spell and admits that he's very angry, hurt, betrayed and jealous of Samís involvement with Ruby. It is the major driving force to Dean becoming Ax-Crazy and almost using an actual axe to kill Sam. Another example is in a Season Eight episode (Southern Comfort), Dean was also under a spell which was caused by a magic coin. Under the spell, Dean had Sam at gunpoint, berating him that Sam had left him to die in purgatory for a woman (Amelia). This fact was what fuelled Dean's rage and anger under the spell, enough to want to kill Sam and commit fratricide. Dean comes off as threatened by anyone encroaching on his territory (Sam) and he is willing to do what he has to to have Sam all to himself, whether that is threatening, hurting or killing those who come near Sam or threatening Sam or provoking violence against him. Although it comes across as controlling and even abusive, this behaviour from Dean is understandable because Deanís love for Sam is in obsessive territory and he has a very needy and codependent personality. Dean displays that heís extremely possessive over Sam, although Dean lacks self awareness regarding his possessiveness over Sam as being ďprotectiveĒ of him. Also see Yandere, Not Good with Rejection, Love Hungry, Murder the Hypotenuse, and I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • I'll Kill You!: Says this to any person, whether they are human or supernatural, who threatens to hurt or kill Sam. Dean said this pretty much word for word in a Season One episode (The Benders) when he threatened an entire human family that he will kill them all for kidnapping his brothers or even thinking of hurting Sam. He also repeated the same sentiment to Gordon Walker in a Season Two episode (Hunted), when Gordon was hunting and trying to kill Sam because he was one of the Special Children that was an abomination.
    Dean in The Benders (to the Bender family for hurting Sam): "I'LL KILL YOU ALL!"
    Dean in Hunted (to Gordon Walker for trying to kill Sam): "You do that to my brother, I'LL KILL YOU!"
  • It's All My Fault: If anything can be slightly linked to him in any way, expect him to shoulder the burden and expect that burden to break him. Just see how the whole back-from-Hell thing worked out for him in season four.
  • It's Personal: If you hurt anyone that he loves, Dean will hunt you down.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Played Straight and Subverted with Sam, depending on the occasion. Dean has always sacrificed a lot of his own happiness, comfort, and well-being to put Sam and his needs first. Yet, because of his fear of being left alone and co-dependency issues with his brother, he'll occasionally end up trying to control Sam's life so much - believing he knows "what's best" for Sam, his behavior becomes more egotistical than selfless and ultimately detrimental to Sam himself. Also, see if If I Can't Have You....
    • Played Straight with Cas in 9x06. While the immediate reason he can't ask Cas to come back to the bunker is because of the Gadreel situation, it's also clear he's not just doing it because it's convenient when he tells Cas to go live a normal life and experiment and be happy, even though he wishes Cas could stay with him.
  • Jerkass/Jerkass FaÁade: Dean can be a jerk to others from time to time, especially towards those whom he's skeptical or suspicious of. But this mostly has to do with Dean's serious trust issues. However, Dean's future self in 2014 is a real douchebag.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite the fact that Dean has a lot of dick-ish ways, he still has good intentions and has strong compassion for others.
  • Jumped at the Call: Though this might be less "jumped" at and more "picked up and pitched forward at" instead.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Every single time Dean has to keep a secret from his brother (granted, that's mostly because he only keeps secrets about his brother's fate or things he's done that Sam wouldn't like). He keeps the biggest and most extreme secret of all in season nine, when Dean gives an angel the permission to possess Sam without Sam's knowledge and true consent so that Sam could be alive and eventually heal internally. Sam found out. It wasn't pretty.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Especially in the first couple of seasons.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Dean is basically the Trope Codifier. Dean will basically kill or hurt anyone who so much as harms Sam in any way, shape or form. Note to others: DO NOT hurt or harm Sam. Dean will come after you big time.
  • Ladykiller in Love: He was like this during his 10-Minute Retirement with Lisa and her son Ben, and for as long as he could manage after Sam came back.
  • La Rťsistance: 2014!Dean is the "fearless leader" of some of the few remaining humans.
  • Large Ham: Dean can be a rather larger than life character at times. With Dean, sometimes the larger, the better. Especially when it comes to Dean's food.
  • The Leader: Dean often takes the lead in most missions and plans. He also has the ability of bringing people together for a common purpose and goal.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: With Sam. People, notably Bobby and Charlie, frequently comment on how Dean and Sam's interactions are like they are a married couple.
  • Like a Son to Me: Going by his interactions with Sam, Dean sees Sam as not just a younger brother, but as his child or son. Dean was a Parental Substitute for Sam since they both suffered from Parental Abandonment. John was never in Samís (and Deanís) life during his childhood. Therefore, Dean took on the role of parent for Sam in Johnís absence. Unfortunately, the parent-child relationship between Dean and Sam has caused a lot of issues and complications in their already complicated sibling relationship.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Subverted. On the surface, Dean seems a lot like his father. They are both dedicated hunters, share similar tastes and most of Dean's possessions were John's. Later episodes show that most of the similarities are deliberate attempts to imitate John and that Dean's protective, loyal, nurturing personality is more like his mothers'. For all his rebelliousness, it's Sam that takes after John.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Dean doesn't have a particularly vivid and varied wardrobe, mainly because the hunter lifestyle demands practicality and few possessions.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: The Men Of Letters legacy comes from the paternal Winchester lineage, meaning that it is a legacy that Dean can follow. His paternal grandfather, Henry, was a Man of Letters, which means that John was also a part of the Man of Letters legacy as well.
  • Little Miss Badass: Dean was hunting and shooting guns at the age of 6.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Sam. Without Dean, Sam has been shown to become an emotionless robot who is similar to Soulless!Sam. Sam also makes many costly mistakes and acts rather impulsively and rashly without Dean's influence. Dean has mentioned that he and Sam keep each other human.
  • Long Lost Sibling: To Adam. Dean is the older paternal half-brother to Adam since he and Adam share the same father (John).
  • Loveable Rogue: Dean is incredibly rough around the edges, but you can't help but root for him.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Dean is known to be a highly sexual and promiscuous person. See Really Gets Around.
  • Love Hungry:
    • Dean is a very codependent, needy and clingy person. He seems to need constant affection, approval and love from others. If he doesnít receive it, he ends up spiralling into depression and darkness. Much of Deanís desperation to receive affection, affirmation and love from other people is because he has always battled serious self-esteem and self-worth issues stemming from his dysfunctional childhood. In addition, Dean also suffers from severe abandonment issues and is therefore Not Good with Rejection. Deanís need for love and affection stems to everyone he comes into contact with such as Bobby, Kevin, Charlie, Castiel, John, Mary, Lisa, etc. Once Dean builds a relationship with people, he has a very hard time letting go of them, whether itís because they chose to leave.
    • Despite Dean showing neediness towards others, it is unfortunately Sam that ends up receiving the major brunt of Deanís codependence and neediness. Because Dean is so desperate for affection and he has a fear of living without Sam, he will end up crossing many lines in order to save and protect Sam all so that he doesnít lose him. It is obvious that Dean constantly saves Sam through morally dubious ways because he cannot function without Sam and his affections. See Yandere, Desperately Craves Affection, Extreme Doormat, Love Makes You Crazy, and Love Martyr.
  • Love Hurts: His relationship with Sam. It has been nothing but endless tragedy, heartbreak, chaos and ups and downs.
    • Itís obvious that Deanís love for Sam is incredibly toxic, unhealthy and obsessive. Itís also been proven repeatedly that Dean would do anything and everything to save Sam, including damning himself, damning others and even damning the entire world. Deanís attachment to Sam is extremely codependent and he cannot live or function without him. Also see Destructive Romance.
    • Although their relationship has always been messy and hurtful, it reached it's peak of dysfunction in Season Four. After Dean had died and went to Hell for Sam, Sam became closer with Ruby and developed trust and a bond with her. After Dean returned from Hell, Dean felt threatened by Samís involvement with Ruby and felt that Sam was choosing Ruby over him. The Dean-Sam-Ruby situation was a major turning point for Dean and Samís relationship. The debacle between all three characters was so messy and volatile in nature that it became a borderline Psychotic Love Triangle (with Sam being in the middle of it all and Dean and Ruby being a Yandere for Sam, only they were on opposing sides).
    • Thereís also Season Eight, when Dean was sucked into Purgatory for an entire year, only to come back to Sam and discover that Sam, the one person that Dean loves the most, did not even attempt to look for him or search for him when he had abruptly gone missing. The resentment and anger that Dean felt towards Sam had reached itís peak when Dean, under a spell in a Season Eight episode ("Southern Comfort"), had Sam at gunpoint, telling him that he felt hurt and betrayed that Sam spent his year with Amelia and living a normal life with her instead of finding a way to bring him back from Purgatory. Dean also felt betrayed that Sam chose another girl "over him" again (like he had done with Ruby from Deanís point of view back in Season Four).
    • Thereís also that Dean and Sam have a very tragic history going back to the beginning of Time itself and that their entire relationship and history is based on the concepts of destiny and fate. According to their history, Dean and Sam were always meant to be on opposing sides of each other, despite their deep, abiding love for each other.
    • In Season Five, it was revealed that since the very beginning of time, Dean was destined to be the one true vessel of Archangel Michael and Sam was destined to be the one true vessel of Archangel Lucifer. This meant that Dean was destined to kill Sam since the beginning of time, even long before they were even born. Destiny and fate had played a huge part in Sam and Dean being born and also played a part in their relationship. Dean and Samís relationship also strongly conforms to the Cain and Abel trope (with Dean being the Cain and Sam being the Abel). Because of history and fate having Sam and Dean being on opposing sides, Sam and Dean embody the Tragic Bromance trope. Two brothers who love each other more than anything, but destiny and fate wants them on opposing sides. Is it any wonder why Sam and Deanís love for each other is so messed up and hurtful to the both of them?
  • Love Makes You Crazy: His relationship with Sam. It is nothing but endless ups and downs. Dean's love for Sam comes across as irrational and obsessive and he displays Yandere traits towards him. He is extremely codependent and needy towards Sam. He has crossed numerous moral lines in order to keep Sam safe and there is literally nothing that Dean wouldn't do for Sam, even if it crosses into insane or crazy territory. In the name of his love and devotion for Sam, Dean would become violent and kill crazy for Sam, sell his soul to a demon to bring him back from the dead, be ripped to shreds by vicious Hellhounds and dragged off to Hell, be tortured brutally in Hell for three decades in addition to becoming a torturer in Hell for a decade, kill himself to bring Sam back from death, become Death for a limited time to reap people in order to retrieve Samís soul so that Sam would have his soul back, let demons and angels alike possess Sam so that he could save his life and keep him alive, even against Samís will or wishes, trade his life for Samís constantly and be willing to die for him and kill himself in order to be with Sam in death. And that is only some of what Dean is willing to do in the name of his love for Sam.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Dean has made quite a few impulsive, stupid and rash decisions on behalf of his love and constant need to save or protect Sam.
    • There is nothing that Dean is not willing to do when it comes to either saving or protecting Sam. When it comes to protecting Sam, all logic and rationale seems to go out the window for Dean. Dean takes a lot of costly risks in the name of Sam and he will do anything to prevent losing Sam, even if that means that he either gets himself hurt or gets others hurt. The lengths that Dean is willing to go to save and protect Sam can be seen as idiotic and over the top at times. Although there are plenty of cases of Dean being illogical and acting rashly on Samís behalf, the most notable one is at the beginning of Season Nine, when Sam ends up in critical condition after undergoing the gruelling Trials of God during Season Eight. Sam ends up in very bad condition (he is basically dying) and Dean being Dean, is very desperate to save his brotherís life.
    • First, Dean contemplates making a deal with Crowley to save Sam, but he is instead encountered by a fallen angel, Ezekiel. Ezekiel told Dean that he would be able to heal Sam despite being weak himself. Through Ezekiel, Dean is able to witness Sam and Death having a conversation (in Samís mind) about Sam wanting to go with him and that he makes Death promise him that if he dies, itís final and he stays dead, that nobody will be able to reverse his death, make deals of any kind, and nobody would get hurt because of him by trying to bring him back from the dead. Ezekiel suggests to Dean that he can save Sam by possessing him so that he could heal Sam from the inside. Dean is originally very skeptical to that idea, openly admitting that Sam would not consent to being possessed by anything.
    • However, Deanís desperation gets the best of him and he goes against Samís wishes. Dean and Ezekiel conspire a way to trick Sam into saying yes to Ezekiel by having Ezekiel pose as ďDeanĒ (using Deanís dialogue). Sam unknowingly says yes to ďDeanĒ, not really giving his true consent to be possessed by Ezekiel. Dean ends up lying to Sam for months about the possession and he ends up feeling immense guilt over lying to Sam about it. It becomes detrimental to everyone involved when Ezekiel, who is later revealed to be Gadreel, completely takes control over Sam and also kills Kevin in the process (under Metatronís orders).
    • Deanís action of tricking Sam into possession ended up costing numerous innocent lives and ended up getting other people hurt, including Sam himself, who had no control over his own bodily autonomy for months and was basically violated on all levels. All because Dean could not live without Sam. And to top it all off, Dean then tells Sam to his face that he would do what he did all over again because he felt it was the right thing and all that mattered was that Sam was alive and fighting the good fight with him. Itís obvious that when it comes to Sam, Dean is extremely irrational, illogical and even a little crazy at times.
  • Love Martyr: In regards to basically everyone, but primarily Sam. Despite Sam turning into a demon blood addicted junkie who was turning to The Dark Side, Dean still couldn't quit Sam and walk away. He still loved Sam regardless of what he was turning into and he did nothing but try to help Sam overcome his issues in season four, even though Sam was constantly sneaking around his back. Likewise, Dean always forgives Castiel, no matter how angry he may be with him in the short-term, and always wants Cas to come back to him.
  • Loving a Shadow: Dean's relationship with Lisa as a case of this, seeing as he decides to have a long-term live-in relationship with her after seeing her three times in ten years. Dean's actor has stated that Dean was more in love with the idea of having a long-term relationship, an adoptive son, and a stable home than he was with Lisa herself.
  • Machine Empathy: Dean seems to have this in regards to his Impala. This concept becomes very important as the show goes on.
  • Made of Iron: Dean got pistol-whipped, shot in the shoulder (and later had a thumb digging into his bullet wound. Ouch), nearly got beaten to death and was left to drown in icy water. And after all that, he still manages to drive?
  • Man Child:
    • Dean is this whenever the writers decide to take a break from angsting him. For example, he gets super-excited about classic monsters like a proper werewolf, and makes movie references non-stop.
    • In a season three episode, while his run of luck allows him to have incredible reflexes and aim, Dean says "I'm Batman" after taking out an assailant, and looks genuinely disappointed/hurt when Sam responds with a "Yeah right, you're Batman".
    • In a Season Six episode, Dean also shows his childish excitement of classic Western movies and the opportunity to go to the good ol' West.
    • In Season Eight, he gets really into LARPing, despite his initial balking at the sheer geekiness on display.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: Dean hunts supernatural beings for a living.
  • Manly Tears: Dean sheds his fair share of tears, especially when he's angsting about something or crying tears of devastation over losing loved ones unexpectedly (most commonly his younger brother).
  • Mangst: Yes, Dean is constantly marinating in man-pain. No, he does not want to talk about it! Even though everyone in his proximity can sense it.
  • Married to the Job: Unlike Sam, Dean's occasional desire for a normal life is mitigated by the knowledge that he's been a hunter for so long now, he simply cannot go back to a normal life even if he wanted to; even admitting to Sam in Season 8 that he's accepted that he's unlikely to ever settle down and raise a family. He cannot stop being a hunter, since it's an intrinsic part of his nature and who he is.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Dean is easily willing to sacrifice himself without hesitation for his family and those he loves.
  • Meaningful Name: The given name Dean means "Leader". It makes sense since Dean is always the one to take the lead during hunts and missions.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Samulet aka Dean's amulet/necklace. It was given to him at Christmas by Sam. It was originally meant to be given to John but Sam decided to give Dean the necklace because he was there for him when their Dad wasn't. Since then, the amulet necklace has had significant meaning for Dean way into adulthood.
  • The Mentor: To Sam who could be seen as the Jedi Padawan in Star Wars analogy, primarily regarding hunting and the hunting world. Dean was seen as somewhat of a mentor to Sam in the first few seasons in regards to the hunting world and getting Sam to embrace the hunter's lifestyle.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Constantly with Sam. So much that it has become a Running Gag of the series. See Incest Subtext. In one episode, they pretend to be interested in buying a house, and two realtors, on separate occasions, mention that "we accept homeowners of any race, religion, color, or sexual orientation." Also happens in the one episode with the little girl at the old hotel: when they go to check into the hotel, the owner mentions that "We get a lot of gay couples down here because of the great antiques shop." Happens again in the fourth season premiere: when Dean comes back from the dead and proves to Sam it's really him they embrace tearfully and the girl Sam was with earlier says "So you guys are..." before Dean interrupts her with "Brothers." And of course the lovely episode when Dean asks for "two queens" at the motel and the lippy kid, Michael, behind the counter mutters "I bet." In a recent fifth-season episode, Sam and Dean do some ghost-busting at a Supernatural convention with two guys who dressed up like them... At the end of the episode, it's revealed that the duo was gay. It's no wonder, since much of the in-show fanbase are constantly exploring homoerotic subtexts between the brothers. In the season 8 episode "Bitten", the college students the episode focuses on assume that Sam and Dean (who they think are FBI agents) have a "workplace romance" going on. In a season 9 episode, the boys go undercover at a spa (Dean in the kitchen and Sam as a yoga teacher) and one of Dean's co-workers asks him to "stop flirting with the trainer". And these are only a few examples. He has these occasionally with Castiel as well, but it's more in a joking manner. "Ask your angel boyfriend."
  • Mood-Swinger: Dean can alternate between enthusiastic and engaging to sullen and withdrawn, sometimes so abruptly that others have trouble keeping up. Sam is accustomed to it, but it is a common source of tension between them. Castiel doesn't understand it, and his attempts to cope with it just lead him into doing things that cause still more mood swings.
  • Moral Myopia: Dean's attitude towards the possibility of Sam turning into a monster or otherwise being abnormal; he's perfectly willing to kill strangers who might go darkside, but simply refuses to do so with his brother even when presented with clear indications of this happening, because he couldn't bear to live without him. This has taken a turn for the destructive where Sam is concerned. Dean has always had a "Watch out for Sammy!" directive playing in his head since childhood, but by the end of Season 8, he couldn't abide Sam dying even though (they thought at the time) his sacrifice would prevent countless other deaths. As of Season 9 Dean has saved Sam in a way that Sam was pretty well guaranteed to flip out over, resulting in Kevin's death and two bad guys walking free— and Dean still said he'd do it again. By this point in the series, keeping Sam alive has pretty well overtaken any other moral compunction Dean has.
  • Morality Chain: In later seasons for Sam AND Castiel. He's consistently prevented them from crossing moral boundaries or lines. However, this becomes inverted later on in the series as when Dean goes to The Dark Side in Season's Eight to Ten by taking on the Mark of Cain and becoming a demon, it's primarily Sam (with a side of Castiel) that keep Dean in moral check.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Dean has killed some of Sam's love interests including Amy and Ruby (granted, they were both supernatural creatures). He's also willing to kill any female supernatural being who may come between himself and Sam.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dean is appealing to the female fans and non-straight male fans of Supernatural.
  • Mr. Fixit: Dean seems to be rather mechanical and likes to fix things, especially his car.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Dean is a thief, a conman, and a habitual liar. He's also crude, flippant, promiscuous, and violently cynical. He still manages to be pretty damn heroic on a regular basis despite all of this though.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Most of Dean's failures or situations where Dean feels like he failed badly revolve around Sam. One was not being able to save Sam from dying at the end of season two. Also, not being able to prevent or stop Sam from using his demonic abilities, becoming a demon blood junkie, succumbing to his darkness and starting the apocalypse in season four.
    • Pretty well anytime anyone dies, Dean finds a way to blame himself for it, and on occasion even half-jokes that unemployment and the Lindbergh baby are on him too.

    Tropes N-S 

Tropes N-S

  • Narrator/First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Supernatural is primarily told from Dean's Point of View. The story is seen through Dean's eyes, therefore, the audience tends to sympathize with Dean the most.
  • Naytheist: Dean is a non-believer and was strongly against religion; he was a card-carrying atheist. He didn't believe in God, angels or any other religious deities concerning faith, yet he hunts demons and many other supernatural beings. This is more out of his need to rationalize God's noninterference with all the evil he sees in the world than any philosophical problem, however. It's somewhat telling that whenever Dean is desperate enough to resort to using prayer, it's always directed towards Cas. Rather than ask an indifferent God for help, Dean would rather pray to someone he actually does have complete faith in.
    Dean: If he doesn't exist, fine. Bad crap happens to good people. That's how it is. There's no rhyme or reason, just random, horrible, evil, I get it, okay. I can roll with that. But if he is out there, what's wrong with him? Where the hell is he while all these decent people are getting torn to shreds? How does he live with himself? You know, why doesn't he help?
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Dean frequently comes up with nicknames for other characters on the show. But the most common nickname that Dean uses is "Sammy" for Sam. Apparently, only Dean gets to call Sam "Sammy".
    • His nickname for Castiel - Cas(s) - stuck to the point barely anyone calls him by his real name anymore.
    • In Season 9, Dean calls the angel possessing his brother, Ezekiel, "Zeke" for short.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: In the earlier seasons, Dean was the Roguish Male to Sam's Noble Male. However, this is Zig-Zagged throughout the series and the two brothers alternate roles.
  • Not Good with Rejection: It's obvious that Dean normally doesn't take it too well when Sam decides to abandon him or leave him. Dean starts to emotionally and mentally fall apart whenever Sam separates himself from him, withdraws from him, or ignores him. He either uses other people to replace Sam, lashes out in anger towards others, becomes emotionally withdrawn and depressed, starts to drink heavily, or becomes a kill-crazy hunter that is borderline Ax-Crazy who takes pleasure in violence more than usual. This makes sense considering that Dean himself stated that Sam keeps him human. Dean openly admitted in Season 5 that when Sam had ran away in Flagstaff under his watch, he was emotionally and mentally distraught and devastated because he thought that Sam was dead. In addition, when Sam ditched him and John for Stanford, Dean proclaimed that it was ďone of the worst nights of his lifeĒ. It's clear that Sam abandoning him or leaving him is a major Berserk Button for Dean. Mostly because of Dena's serious abandonment issues as well as the emotional/mental trauma came along with it.
  • The Not-Love Interest: To Sam. Although Sam is his brother, Dean treats Sam as if he is the Juliet to his Romeo or the Romeo to his Juliet.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He built an EMF out of a walkman, has a (correctly applied) movie or tv show reference for every occasion, is usually the one to come up with a plan on the spot, has more than once proven that he can memorize anything in just a few seconds. Despite this, he's repeatedly claims that he's not the smart one. He exemplifies this to an almost insane degree. The way he comes off at times it seems a miracle he's not dead. Then he goads a demon into attacking him in order to get it to walk under a devil's trap, Figures out that the Trickster is the Archangel Gabriel, and defeats one of the Knights of Hell by carving a devil's trap into a bullet and shooting her in the head with it. These aren't just Indy Ploys either, Dean is just that good at hunting.
  • Odd Couple: With Sam. Many outsiders often refer to them being like an old married couple.
  • Odd Friendship: With Castiel. They really have nothing in common and it can even be described as an awkward friendship. This could be because Dean is a human and Castiel is an angel.
  • Older Than They Look: Downplayed Trope. Thanks to the Year Inside, Hour Outside going on, Dean spent forty years in Hell during the four months that he was dead on Earth, making him (mentally) well over 70.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Subverted. At the end of season three, Dean really does die and goes to Hell after selling his soul to bring Sam back from the dead. However, Dean is resurrected by Castiel after spending four months in Hell.
  • Papa Wolf: To Sam, Ben, and any children you try to hurt.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dean had serious abandonment issues in regards to John growing up. Because John wasn't often there for Dean and Sam during childhood, Dean ended up not only being Sam's older brother, but also Sam's father figure as well. It's revealed in season 9 that John once refused to bail Dean out of jail after Dean had been arrested for stealing food for Sam. (Dean was later taken to a boy's home, but John apparently didn't care either way.)
  • Parental Issues: Dean had some serious daddy issues growing up and his mother died unexpectedly when he was just a kid.
  • Parental Neglect: Oh so much. It took a while for Dean to come to terms with John's abandonment of his father growing up.
  • Parental Substitute: To Sam. Growing up, John was never in Sam's (or Dean's) life. Dean was the one who practically raised Sam since he was a baby. At times, Dean appears to be more of a father figure to Sam than an actual older brother. As a result, Sam and Dean's dynamic can come off as more parent-child dynamic than that of a older brother/younger brother dynamic.
  • Perma-Stubble: Dean seems to have a permanent five-o-clock shadow. However, in the earlier seasons, he appeared to always be clean shaven. It's obvious that Dean is much too busy hunting and saving lives to shave. Or maybe it's the ongoing chaos and stress that is always overtaking his life.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Dean says this when Sam is dying in his arms in the first part of the season two finale.
  • Please Wake Up: The first part of the season two finale had a variation of this trope (in that of course Dean understands death, he just doesn't want his world to come crashing down around him), where Sam is dying in Dean's arms and Dean is in childlike denial.
    Dean to Sam: "Sam, Sam, Sam. Hey, hey... Come here, come here, let me look at you. Oh, hey look, hey look at me it's not even that bad. It's not even that bad, alright? Sammy, Sam! Hey, listen to me, we are going to patch you up, okay... You'll be as good as new. Huh? I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to take care of you. I gotcha. It's my job, right, watch out for my pain-in-the-ass little brother.... Sam... Sam.... Sam! Sammy! No.. no-n-n-n-n-no. Oh god... Oh god... Sam!"
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Dean is known to be the character who is the source of comedy on the show.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Dean curses quite a bit and uses words like "bitch", "whore" and "skank". Of course, most of those tend to be used in reference to demons who happen to be inhabiting female bodies at the time, not the actual women themselves. Dean just really hates demons. In fact, Dean saying "Look at me, bitch!" to a male vampire as he's beheading him is odd enough that Sam comments on it, and is used as a sign that the Mark of Cain is starting to affect Dean's mental state.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Dean is a fan of classic rock and B-grade horror movies. In "Hollywood Babylon", his movie knowledge paid off. Out of the two brothers, Dean is the more likely to spout off pop culture references.
  • The Pornomancer: Collects numerous porn magazines and even sometimes watches porn.
  • Porn Stash: Dean is heavily into skin mags and porn magazines that it is not that unusual to think that Dean has always had a stash of skin magazines hiding somewhere everywhere he goes. In a season eight episode, Dean opens a folder in the archives of the Men of Letters to find a first edition of Voluptuous Asian Lovelies. Perhaps Dean's interest in Busty Asian Beauties is part of the Men of Letters legacy.
  • The Power of Love:
    • Dean's love for Sam is so strong and powerful that it has saved the world on numerous occasions. To quote Dean himself, he and Sam have a "deep, abiding love for each other." On the other hand, Dean's love for Sam (and vice versa) has also managed to destroy the world or cause trouble as well. Dean's love (or rather codependent and obsessive love) for Sam has often been used as a powerful tool for the greater good.
    • In Season 5, despite Dean losing faith in his little brother, Sam's faith in him was strong enough to make Dean change his mind after agreeing to let Michael possess him to kill Lucifer.
    • Played straight at the end of Season 5. In Sam's plan to prevent both Lucifer's Apocalypse and Michael's killing of Lucifer that will destroy half the world, the power of love does save the day. Dean's presence gives Sam the strength to beat Lucifer and throw himself (with Lucifer inside) into Hell's solitary confinement.
    • Played straight again in 8x17 when his confession to Castiel that he needs him breaks Naomi's mental control over Cas.
    • Played straight at the end of 10x23 when it is Dean's love for Sam that helps him to overcome the negative effects of the Mark of Cain.
  • The Power of Trust: In relation to this, they both try to do this with each other more than once. Sometimes they succeed - it's basically the way Dean convinces Cas to perform his first overt act of rebellion - sometimes they fail, but when they fail it's always because of their individual traits or motivations rather than because they don't trust each other.
  • Pretty Boy: Dean has classic "feminine" pretty boy features. His large green eyes, his long lashes, his freckles and of course his full lips. Although he'd rather be thought of as a Hunk.
  • Promotion to Parent: Deconstructed with Dean for Sam: it left him with a whole ton of issuesónot the least of which is his lack of a spine when it comes to familyóand an unhealthy need to keep Sam alive and safe.
  • Properly Paranoid: Of Ruby in the third and fourth season. Turns out he was right. But really, Dean gets this way towards anyone that gets close to Sam.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy: Dean seems to have accepted his legacy as a Man of Letters and takes pride in it.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Dean similarly has long-since accepted that he's a born Hunter.
  • Race Fetish: Since Dean seems to be obsessed with Busty Asian Beauties, it could be assumed that Dean has a secret thing for Asian women. It's implied in one episode that it is something which runs in the family.
  • Really Gets Around: Crosses into Ethical Slut territory. Frequently. He even got it on with an angel. No, not that one.
  • Real Men Hate Affection:
    • Dean often acts like this, rather to Sam's annoyance, mostly because Sam is more straightforward about his emotions, whereas Dean is notorious for wallowing in Mangst and then denying it.
    • Subverted as of Season Four onwards. Dean is now the more affectionate of and touchy between himself and his brother, and is often the one who initiates hugs with Sam.
    • Actually, as of Season 8 (and before the increased stoicism from his emotional state and the Mark of Cain in Season 9), Dean had started initiating hugs with everyone.
  • Real Men Cook: Dean seems to have taken up the hobby of cooking for everyone.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Dean is a badass demon hunter who watches Oprah, Dr. Sexy MD and Black Swan, cooks, likes Taylor Swift and secretly enjoys wearing women's underwear.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Sam's Blue. Dean is more hotheaded and impulsive, while Sam is more practical and logical. However, the brothers tend to zig-zag this trope throughout the series.
  • Removing the Rival: Dean did this to Ruby at the end of season four when he stabbed her with the demon blade and killed her. All season, Dean and Ruby were basically in competition for Sam's affections and loyalty. Since Dean killed her after she betrayed Sam, Dean won, of course.
  • Rise from Your Grave: In the first episode of the fourth season, Dean is seen coming out of his grave.
  • Rounded Character: Dean has become a much deeper, more complex character than he originally started out as.
  • Sad Clown: Dean often uses humor to cope with his sadness, depression or any issues that he is dealing with. As Season 1 progressed, Dean went from pure comic relief to being a sad, lost little boy who really wanted his family back together and who wisecracks only to mask that nasty pain.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: For such a gruff manly man, Dean has a rather high-pitched scream. Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Screw Destiny: This is Dean's motto in regards to everything in life. His mission too in the fifth season, when he, Sam and Cas nickname themselves "Team Free Will."
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Sam's Sensitive Guy. Arguably subverted later on, as Dean tends to be more nurturing and emotional than Sam, who is seen to be more stoic and calm. Not to mention that Dean has far more emotional moments throughout the show than Sam does.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dean's OTP seems to be Sam/Sarah. Hence his apparent disappointment in "Clip Show" to learn that, despite Sarah's lingering attraction to Sam, she's since married and had kids. When Crowley kills her simply to spite them, he takes it almost as badly as Sam does.
  • Sibling Team: With Sam. They are brothers who are hunting partners. They fight and they battle monsters together.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sam. While Dean is more impulsive, hotheaded and reckless, Sam is more calm, collected, practical and logical. See Cain and Abel, Bromantic Foil, Red Oni, Blue Oni and Manly Man and Sensitive Guy.
  • Single Tear: He sheds them constantly. It's made its way into a drinking game!
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Dean curses quite a bit, and he uses a lot of derogatory words and terms from time to time.
  • The Snark Knight: Dean is all-too-willing to take potshots at anyone and everyone—himself included.
  • The Sociopath: As a demon at the beginning of Season Ten. Dean showed that he had a major Lack of Empathy and didn't care about anything or anyone, not even Sam. He was extremely ruthless and cold yet Ax-Crazy and violent.
  • Sociopathic Hero: During the later part of Season Ten, when the Mark started to become more powerful and started to change Dean's personality. Although Dean was hunting alongside Sam, he was also very Ax-Crazy and a Blood Knight who took much pleasure in killing. It reached its peak in the penultimate episode of Season Ten (The Prisoner) when he lost his sanity and ended up slaughtering an entire human family with no remorse. The only thing that was keeping Dean from giving into the Mark of Cain completely was Sam's presence and belief that he could fight the Mark.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Towards the end of Season Nine after he received the Mark of Cain and also at the very end of Season Ten, when he starts to give into the negative affects of the Mark. There were moments where Dean would lose control and have murderous urges. At the end of Season Ten, Dean snapped and ended up murdering the Styne family in cold blood and without any guilt or remorse. It seemed like he cared more about killing more than anything else and he seemed to actually take pleasure in killing.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He pulls this whenever he uses anger and being rude to cover up for the fact that he's broken.
  • Spear Counterpart: For Ruby. They're both snarky, determined, very sarcastic, hot-headed, incredibly badass, have a passion for fighting and battles, both are fierce soldiers who won't back down from a fight or battle, both are loyal to achieving their missions, both have been caretakers to Sam, both have been mentors to Sam, both have been very protective of Sam and also, both have Undying Loyalty to Sam. Both Dean and Ruby also seemed to be strongly devoted to their respective "fathers" and carrying out their mission (John for Dean, Lucifer for Ruby). Not to mention that both Dean and Ruby have sold their souls, with Ruby becoming a witch and selling her soul to Astaroth and Dean selling his soul to a Crossroads Demon (in order to bring Sam back from the dead). Since both Dean and Ruby sold their souls, they both ended up going to Hell and suffering as a punishment where they were tortured (Dean was not only tortured, he became a torturer under Alastair's guidance). One fan theory is that Ruby deliberately took on some of Dean's characteristics to make a bigger impact on Sam (at that point in the midst of a Heroic B.S.O.D. because Dean was dead) and make Sam more willing to work with her and trust her.
  • Spurned into Suicide: Downplayed. Dean can become very depressed and suicidal whenever somebody he loves, mainly Sam, rejects him, ignores him, abandons him or leaves him. Dean is well known to not take being rejected or abandoned very well snd he very well falls apart emotionally. Although there are numerous examples of this throughout the series, one recent example is in Season Nine after Sam discovered what Dean had done to him by having an unknown angel (Gadreel) possess him in order to keep him alive against his wishes, which resulted in the deaths of Kevin and other innocent people. Dean refers to himself as ďpoisonĒ and that everyone, especially Sam, gets hurt whenever they are near him or within his vicinity. Sam is clearly hurt and angry at Dean and basically rejects him, although in a gentle way. Afterwards, Dean goes on a mission with Crowley and gets the Mark of Cain, which is basically a suicide mission. The Mark would eventually turn Dean into a kill crazy, murderous, vengeful, angry and out of control person who doesnít care about what he does, who he is, about the destruction that he would cause and whether or not he lives or dies. After Sam rejects Dean and emotionally distances himself from him, Dean also fell into extremely self destructive habits and became more emotionally withdrawn, depressed, suicidal, more violent and blood thirsty, and prone to extreme or excessive drinking.
  • Stepford Smiler: Dean comes off as a version of this trope in the supposed lighter moments of Seasons 2 (the season where everything leads up to him making the demonic pact) and 3 (when he has done so). Whether it's the Daddy Issues or Survivor Guilt or his impending death/suicide, he loves to pretend that everything is perfect when it's really, really not.
  • The Strategist: Though he does just charge into situations when he feels there isn't time to plan, Dean comes up with the majority of their plans to defeat the enemy or gain some advantage, Dean's proven on multiple occasions to be a practically genius level strategist, and is very good at assessing his opponent's weaknesses and exploiting them to his advantage. He's also very good at Out Gambitting and quite often if it looks like whatever he's facing is winning, he's only moments away from snapping his trap.
  • Straw Nihilist: Dean is a rare heroic example of this, although with everything that he has been through throughout the series, it's not entirely unjustified why he feels this way.
  • Street Smart: Dean possesses a lot of real world intelligence, and is very sharp. He often uses this to his advantage, making it easier to blend in when hunting.
  • Subbing for Santa: Dean became Death for a day in the sixth season episode "Appointment at Samarra."
  • Supporting Protagonist: While Sam is The Chosen One with the myth-arc of the story largely focusing on him, the story is told from Dean's point of view. An odd case in that Sam was supposed to fill both roles (he starts out with all the traits of an Audience Surrogate) but Dean quickly ended up being the POV character and the show ended up focusing on Dean's reactions to the plots and events surrounding Sam. Also see Deuteragonist.
  • Supreme Chef: Dean seems to have taken up cooking and seems to be cooking for everybody these days. Not to mention that, according to Sam, his cooking is good.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When Dean's separated from Sam, he often forms intense emotional relationships with men who can act as "brothers" to him. Most obvious was the Siren Nick in S&V who deliberately acted as a hero-worshipping younger brother when Dean and Sam were fighting in order to ensnare the former. In FTBYAM in Season 5, while Sam was taking a 10-Minute Retirement, Dean took Castiel under his wing in a very little-brother way, teaching him how to hunt and trying to get him laid. With Benny it was even more overt, with Dean calling him "brother" on more than one occasion.
  • Survivor Guilt: Dean's been feeling this since "Faith," but it was ramped to 1000 when his father died. Season 2 bends and damages him so much that, by the time "All Hell Breaks Loose" rolls around, he's been reduced to a broken, martyred little boy who has a pathological need to keep Sam (who, contrary to his and his dad's belief, is actually a big boy now who might have been at peace) alive.
  • Sycophantic Servant: In Season 1, he just has to think his dad sent a cryptic message, and he'll jump. He makes Lugnut look like an independent thinker. Later in the series, he comes to resent his dad. Oh, the magic of Character Development.

    Tropes T-Z 

Tropes T-Z

  • Take a Third Option: Dean frigging specializes in this. An example would be in Season Five when Dean is told to say 'yes' or 'no' to Michael (well, he's told to say yes or die, but he'll die if he says yes...) When he says 'yes' but takes it back so he doesn't disappoint Sam, Michael then uses Adam, Sam and Dean's half-brother, as a vessel instead (it had to be someone from that particular bloodline).
  • Tareme Eyes: Opposite of Sam, who has Tsurime Eyes.
  • Team Dad:
    • Dean not only has a paternal instinct in regards to Sam (or just people in general), but he also has a rather maternal instinct towards Sam. It's pretty obvious when Dean tries to get sick!Sam to eat and tries to take his temperature with a thermometer. Classic motherly traits and qualities. After the death of Bobby in Season 7, he's apparently inherited the former role.
    • Comes across increasingly as this in Season 8, acting like an older brother towards Charlie and Kevin and being very protective towards Krissy, being downright furious when he discovers that she's hunting again.
  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • In "What Is and What Should Never Be," Dean wants so badly to stay in his Wish!Verse, even after he realizes that Alt!Sam can't stand him. But the call knows where he lives and after a heartbreaking scene at his father's grave, he's back in as the Tragic Hero.
    • In "Yellow Fever," Dean contracts a ghost sickness that makes him terrified of everything and he decides to stop hunting. Of course, in the end, he's cured.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Especially in "Mystery Spot."
  • Thicker Than Water: With his brother Sam, to obsessive and co-dependent levels. Interestingly, only with Sam (and John, when he was alive), and to a certain degree honorary family members such as Bobby and Castiel. Dean is untrusting or outright hostile to other relatives the brothers encounter, such as the Campbells and Henry Winchester (granted in Henry's case this was Dean was under the belief Henry abandoned John when he was child, after finding out what really happened and spending some time together he gets noticeably closer to his grandfather), and took relatively little interest in half-brother Adam.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dean spent over 10 years torturing souls in Hell and 30 years being tortured before that, which did not help his Knight Templar instincts. Then, starting at the end of Season 7, he spent a year in Purgatory, which is filled with the menagerie of abominations that God felt best to lock away for the sake of the world. It does not help his grip on sanity. And then again in Season 9 after absorbing the Mark of Cain.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    You're out of pecan. Story of my life.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: In Season Nine, he's so determined to kill Abbadon that he willingly obtains the Mark of Cain from Cain himself without bothering to learn about the ramifications. As a result, he's slowly transformed into a crazed murderer, and briefly a demon.
  • Tragic Bromance: Dear. God. If it isn't Sam, it's Cas. And now, if it's not those two, it's Benny. Dean just cannot catch a break bromance-wise.
  • Tragic Hero: Dean in many ways fits the archetype of a tragic hero, no matter how many people he saves, he'll never be able to have a normal life, settle down or have a family. Dean's so desperate to have a family that he has no sense of self-worth outside of it. His reason for living is so that he can protect his little brother; his perfect fantasy is a world where he's worthless (but most everyone else is happy and his mother is still alive); he's been Driven to Suicide by guilt and loss from his father sacrificing his soul for him and his brother dying just for starters. After dealing with the torments of hell, suffering a serious case of It's All My Fault since he's responsible for breaking the First Seal and initiating the beginning of the Signs of the End Times, and finding out he's The Chosen One to become a Destructive Saviour, it's losing faith in his brother that makes Dean willing to go along with the angels' destructive plan to end the Apocalypse. And in a show of Flaw Exploitation by his own brother, it's Sam's faith in him and the need to not disappoint his brother that keeps Dean from doing it. Dean is so focused on his brother that he doesn't want Sam to sacrifice himself even if it's the only way to avert the Apocalypse, and he gets called out on it:
    Bobby: ...What exactly are you afraid of? Losing? Or losing your brother?
  • Troubled, but Cute: Boy howdy, does Dean fit this trope to a T.
  • True Companions: With Sam. Even through all the cluster-fucks they face together, at the end of the day, the two still have each others' backs. Became in doubt during Season 9, after Sam declares they're no longer brothers. Re-established at the end of Season 9, when Sam declared that he had every intention of fighting Metatron alongside Dean, and Dean wound up dying in Sam's arms.
  • Trying Not to Cry: It often looks like he's about to burst into tears, but instead he just keeps on doing whatever it is he's doing looking epically broken all the way through it. A particularly tear-jerking example is "Reading Is Fundamental." He manages to look like this for an entire episode while interacting with an out-of-mind Castiel.
  • Tyke Bomb: Dean was trained to be hunter since his childhood by his father. While this Parental Neglect and training was part of demonic plans to groom generally nice Sam into becoming a powerful Anti Christ, Daddy Winchester seems to have worked Dean harder, having him shooting at the age of 6.
  • The Unchosen One: At first. In the beginning of the show, Dean seems to be a regular human in regards to his brother until it is revealed at the beginning of Season 5 that Dean has been chosen by Heaven to be the vessel of Michael.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Sam, his family and his loved ones, oh so much.
  • The Unfavorite: According to "Dream a Little Dream of Me," John doted over Sam, while Dean was just his "instrument." Fans speculate that John thought that Dean, in John's view, should be able to protect his little brother while John was out to hunt, being the older sibling. Nevertheless, Dean's belief that John favored Sam over him, despite the fact that Dean is the one who worships John while Sam rebels against him, seems to be bothering him a lot throughout the series. Azazel even taunts Dean by saying that John was more concerned about Sam than he ever was about Dean. In "Something Wicked," when John barges in, he immediately goes to check up on Sam. While this is understandable given that Sam is who the Shtriga had been targeting, John does not check to see if Dean is okay and instead yells at him for not following his orders. As early as Season 1, John doesn't answer Dean's calls even as Dean is dying, yet he pretty bluntly states that he would've answered them had they been about Sam. To be fair though, John knew that Sam had some dark destiny waiting for him. Being more concerned about Sam was less about caring more for Sam and more knowing that Sam could be in greater danger.
    John: Something like this starts to happen to your brother, you pick up the phone, you call me.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Dean's going to Hell at the end of Season 3 served Azazel's master plan quite perfectly. When Dean learns the truth, he doesn't take it well, to say the least.
  • Villain Protagonist: He's written as this at the beginning of Season 10, after his conversion to demon. There are still some sympathetic moments, but these are now the aberration. The final two episodes reveal that even after he was cured, he and Sam were the Big Bad Duumvirate of the entire season.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Downplayed. Although Dean has a strong penchant for using violence in most cases (he is a hunter after all), he is also willing to negotiate at times. Violence isn't always Dean's first option and he can be diplomatic and strategic. Normally Sam is the one that tries to prevent Dean from going with the route of violence.
  • Vocal Evolution: Started out with a fairly normal voice which has gotten deeper and more gravely over the years. Compare his voice from Seasons 1 or 2 to what it is in Season 7. It's a pretty significant difference. Jensen has admitted he started doing it to compete with Misha Collins' voice as Castiel, and it gradually got out of hand. In fact, when it came time to include his line from the pilot "Saving people, hunting things, the family business" in the Previously On sequence for the start of Season 8, he actually had to rerecord it with Dean's new voice as it was too weird hearing the original.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: With John. Pleasing John and doing what he said used to be one of Dean's main motivators in life.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Is willing to do whatever it takes to kill demons and monsters as long as it means saving people in the end.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: As of Season 8 it's heavily implied that Dean CANNOT die, at the end of season 9 once he receives the Mark of Cain it's confirmed and even though that's been removed and he's been told by Billie that she will personally reap him when the time comes Amara's obsession with him has rendered this null and void. This becomes terrifyingly clear in Season 11 when Amara starts to kill everyone on the planet and Dean begins screaming as Sam dies in his arms and he is the only one immune
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Dean is very afraid of flying. "Why do you think I drive everywhere, Sam?"
    • Dean is visibly shaken in Season 5 whenever he has to deal with hellhounds. Justified in that he was brutally ripped apart and killed by one at the end of Season 3.
  • Woman Scorned: Gender Inverted and Justified. Dean didn't take it well when he discovered that Sam had been in cahoots with Ruby during his time in Hell. He spent pretty much all season being antagonistic towards her and trying to kill her, despite Sam's constant protests. He was also very upset and angry when he discovered that Sam married Becky in Season Seven (Time For A Wedding) without his knowledge or permission. He took Sam choosing to marry Becky over spending time with him in Vegas as a major act of abandonment and betrayal (and cheating if you use Incest Subtext). In addition, he also didn't take it well at all when he found out that Sam settled down with Amelia instead of searching for him while he was in Purgatory. There was an episode during Season Eight (Southern Comfort) in which Dean is under a spell that fuels his anger and betrayal over Sam's actions. Dean had Sam at gunpoint in which he berated him for leaving him to die for a girl (Amelia). It seems to be an ongoing pattern for Dean to feel resentful over Sam getting romantically involved with women or choosing women over him, as he seems to be a strong believer in the Bros Before Hoes code. Plus, Dean is a Yandere for Sam who has serious abandonment issues and is mostly right in feeling betrayed or abandoned by the only family that he expected to have Undying Loyalty to him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In all fairness to him, every single girl he's ever hit is some sort of super-strong monster who is trying to kill him or his brother.
  • Yandere: For Sam and how! Dean is so obsessed with Sam that his obsessive love for him is basically the plot that drives the show.
    • Justified because Sam is a Living Emotional Crutch for Dean. Dean could almost be the Trope Codifier for this trope along with the most extreme levels of Knight Templar Big Brother. Due to this, the Incest Subtext and Ho Yay in Sam and Dean's relationship is very much prevalent. Dean is 100% sympathetic in regards to his feelings towards Sam mostly due to his needy, codependent personality and serious abandonment issues. Dean's love for Sam is highly obsessive, crazy, and psychotic in nature. His love for Sam easily crosses over into insanity. Dean's admiration, worship, love, and loyalty for Sam falls into Love Makes You Crazy and Love Makes You Evil territory. He's so codependent towards Sam that he can't function or live without him. Dean loses all sense of rationale, logic, morality, and sanity when it comes to Sam. He is willing to kill people without hesitation for him and is willing to go to extreme lengths to save, protect and keep him alive even if it's against Sam's wishes.
    • Dean's love for Sam is so crazy that he's a necromantic, someone that is unwilling to let Sam die. Dean is willing to bring Sam back from the dead, even if it's against what Sam wants. After Sam had died at the end of Season Two, Dean refused Bobby's suggestion to bury Sam, who had been dead for a total of three days, even though his body was starting to decompose at that time. Afterward, Dean ended up selling his soul to bring Sam back to life. In Season Nine, Dean couldn't live with Sam dead and was so incredibly desperate to save a dying, comatose Sam that he ended up breaking moral code and manipulated Sam into being possessed by an angel without his true consent. By doing this, Dean negated Sam's wishes and his bodily autonomy, which resulted in him being violated mentally (Sam repeatedly had his memories wiped by Gadreel, was missing time, etc), emotionally (Gadreel was influencing how he felt even though he had been run down and suicidal), physically (Sam was completely unaware that he was possessed by an angel and had angelic powers that were being used to both save and kill people), and spiritually (Sam had serious self-esteem issues and felt like he was a freak or monster because he felt like something was "wrong" with him). Dean allowing an angel to possess Sam without his true consent (possession is often equated to or an analogy to sexual rape, harassment and violation!) is probably the most morally dubious and insane thing that Dean has ever done in the name of saving Sam.
    • Dean is willing to committ suicide for Sam or die to be with Sam without hesitation or second thought! He does this in Season Two after Sam was infected by a demonic virus that would eventually turn him into a rabid monster in "Croatoan" (2x09). Dean was willing to turn into a rabid monster along with Sam and then commit Murder-Suicide with Sam. He did this a second time after Sam was unexpectedly killed and then went onto selling his soul to bring Sam back from death. He did this again for third time in Season Eleven in "Red Meat" (11x17), where Sam "dies" and Dean commits suicide by taking a bunch of pills in order to bring Sam back from the dead by making a deal with Billie or be Together in Death with Sam if the plan failed. He's also willing to die along with Sam in "Don't Call Me Shurley" (11x20) after Sam is infected with Amara's fog virus. Dean desperately and aggressively inhales the fog himself so that he becomes infected like Sam and dies with him.
    • Dean gets extremely jealous, sometimes to highly aggressive levels when it comes to Sam and his interactions with other people. He gets paranoid and suspicious of nearly everyone who is within Sam's vicinity or anyone who tries to befriend him or build a relationship with him. Dean's jealousy over Sam extends to both men and women and it was most notable in Sam's relationships with Ruby, Amy, Meg, Becky, Amelia, and Sully. Dean was also jealous of his friendship with Mick, who Sam had a lot in common with.
    • Dean is Ax-Crazy and murderous over Sam. He shows little to no remorse for killing people who've hurt, harmed, threatened or tried to kill Sam. His lack of empathy or remorse for killing those who've hurt Sam is sociopathic. He's also threatened to kill people on many occasions, including humans and supernatural creatures, who've attempted harm against Sam and even those who've gotten close to him. Dean seems to be a bit of an Omnicidal Maniac who would rather let the world crash and burn than for Sam to sacrifice himself for the world and die. He has been willing to sacrifice or endanger the lives of the world at large in order to keep Sam alive, such as being okay with the Apocalypse happening instead of Sam saying yes to Lucifer and sacrificing himself to prevent it at the end of Season Five or with stopping Sam from completing the Trials and preventing numerous deaths from occurring due to demons still roaming free at the end of Season Eight. Much of Dean's violent, murderous actions have been over his love for Sam.
    • Dean has gone the route of Murder the Hypotenuse on more than one occasion by either attempting to kill or actually killing women who were romantically involved with Sam (such as Ruby and Amy). He's shown shades of an If I Can't Have You... mentality by resorting to threatening Sam or using force and violence against Sam in order to restrict his freedom under the guise of protecting him, normally from other people that he's suspicious of. For example, Dean has locked Sam up against his will in order to prevent him from being with Ruby but also so that he could detox from demon blood. Dean didn't take it well when he came back from Purgatory in Season Eight only to discover that Sam didn't look for him when he went missing for a year and had instead chose to live a normal life and settle down with a woman (Amelia). He even held Sam at gunpoint in "Southern Comfort" (8x06), threatening to kill him under a spell because he felt so betrayed and hurt by Sam choosing a woman over looking for him. Dean discovering that Sam chose Amelia over him made Dean come off as someone with serious Woman Scorned vibes.
    • Dean is also strongly possessive and controlling over Sam. He always wants to know what Sam is doing, what's going on with him, or who he's involved with at all times. He shows that he has zero problems with following Sam under the guise of protecting him, stalking him and invading his privacy (such as checking Sam's phone without permission, looking through his emails, lurking in his room when he's not there, or searching through his things). Dean goes absolutely nuts and into panic mode when he can't get into contact with Sam especially if Sam takes off and wants to be alone. Dean ends up obsessively calling Sam and leaving him endless texts, voice mails and missed call messages. And if he can't reach Sam by phone, he will resort to tracking him down himself and even stalking him with the use of a GPS.
    • Looking back at Dean's actions concerning Sam over the course of the show, it's safe to say that Dean is extremely obsessed with Sam to unhealthy, insane, and psychotic proportions. The fact that Dean has managed to do all of the crazy things that he's done in the name of his love for Sam with most of his sanity is even scarier. One can only imagine the things that Dean would do in the name of his love for Sam if he completely lost his sanity. It should be noted that everything that Dean has done, whether good or bad, is because Dean loves Sam too much. In fact, Dean loves Sam so much that there are quite a few fans who argue that his love for Sam is strongly one-sided or unrequited and that Sam could never love Dean as much as Dean loves Sam. Also see Knight Templar Big Brother, If I Can't Have You..., Not Good with Rejection, Love Makes You Crazy, Woman Scorned, and Destructive Romance.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Dean sells his soul to a Crossroads Demon, condemning himself to an eternity in Hell, to bring Sam back to life because he couldn't live with him dead.
  • Youthful Freckles: More notable in the first few seasons when Dean is in his late twenties.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/SupernaturalDeanWinchester