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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

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

"I got a GED and a give-em-hell attitude."

Tropes:

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    A-B 

  • Abusive Parents: It was implied that John was rather abusive towards Dean. This includes emotional abuse. Dean had an "obey or somebody gets killed" issue while Sam got completely disowned when he wanted to be normal; their tearful phone calls in both "Home" and "Faith" got ignored; Dean got used as an emotional punching bag when John was pissed off with Sam; and he gave them both so little affection that when he acted like a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, Dean thought he was possessed or that there was something incredibly wrong going on. To add insult to injury, he was right.
  • Absurdly Youthful Father: In season seven, Dean sleeps with an Amazon woman and as a result of them sleeping together, she conceives a daughter, Emma, who grows into a teenager within three days. Considering that he is only in his early thirties and she is already teenage girl, it makes for a very awkward situation as she could be seen as more of a much younger sister than his actual daughter.
  • 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. Dean has never gotten a break and he has never found one bit of happiness throughout his entire life: 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 fights monsters and is a hunter for a living, which means that he is involved in plenty of action. Between himself and Sam, although they are both hunters, Dean actually qualifies as more of this trope because he is the brawnier of the two between himself and Sam. Sam, on the other hand, is more of the brains between himself and Dean. Dean even admits that he is a grunt and that he enjoys hunting and killing supernatural beings, while Sam enjoys conducting research while on the hunt. This is not to say that Dean is any slacker in the brains department either. He is strategic and kind set up many gambits against his enemies. Dean is not as brainy as Sam or as book smart, but he is a Genius Bruiser, someone who is capable of being The Strategist when he has to be and a Blood Knight at the same time. Dean is a born hunter and it is in his nature to be a hunter and he gets a joy out of hunting. Dean took after the Campbell's side of the family (while Sam took after the Winchester's side of the family). He is an Action Duo with Sam.
  • 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 think they are an absolute abomination. 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.
  • The Alcoholic: 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 Sam: 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, 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".
    • 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).
  • 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 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 was 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, especially Sammy. 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: Started out as a Type II and eventually progressed to a Type III and a mild Type IV. 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 antihero 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.
  • 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 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 Survivors 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 (The Lancer, Loveable Rogue): According to the Word of God, Dean's character is modeled off of Han Solo from Star Wars.
  • 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 McCoolname: Dean's last name, Winchester. "Like the rifle".
    • In an alternate universe episode, Dean's last name is Smith and Sam's last name is Wesson. Like Smith&Wesson.
  • Ax-Crazy: After getting the Mark of Cain, Dean has become unstable and enjoys killing, and feels absolutely no regret about it. He 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."
  • 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: Dean is strong, tough and a highly capable fighter and hunter. He hunts monsters and supernatural beings for a living. How is that not badass?
    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.
    • 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.
    • Like a Badass out of Hell: Escapes Hell in the Season 4 premiere. In Season 8, he manages to escape Purgatory, which from all indications makes Hell look like Disneyland.
    • Little Mister Badass: Dean was hunting and shooting guns at the age of 6.
    • 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.
  • 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 scrabbling 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.
  • 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.
  • Berserk Button: Try doing something to Sam, and see how long you live. Made somehow more extreme in late Season 9 when Dean was affected by the MOC. One Villain of the Week tied Sam up and scratched his face with a knife. Dean responded...by slicing his head off.
  • Better Than Sex: The burgers they serve at his favorite St. Louis diner. Pity that Dean's Persona Non Grata.
  • 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.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Often, along with Sam.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: A Rare Male Example. 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.
  • 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, Sam, his family and his friends (for example, Castiel).
  • 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.

    C-D 
  • Cain and Abel: With Sam. In terms of personalities, Dean is the Abel (the obedient son) to Sam's Cain (the rebellious son). In terms of brother dynamics and roles, Dean is the Cain to Sam's Abel in the sense that Dean is the older brother (like Cain) and Sam is the younger brother (like Abel). In season five, Dean is discovered to be the destined vessel for Michael and Sam is discovered to be the destined vessel for Lucifer. Dean (the older brother like Michael and Cain) is destined to kill his younger brother, Sam (the younger brother like Lucifer and Abel).
    • Another twist is taken on this in Season 9 when Dean actually meets Cain and learns why he did what he did. Lucifer tried to make Abel "into his pet" and Cain made a deal with him for Abel's soul to go to Heaven if Cain's went to hell, and the catch was that Cain had to send Abel to Heaven himself. In this idea Cain and Dean are the same as both had/have brothers who were/are tempted by darkness and would do anything, including damn themselves, to save them from that.
  • 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 Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Dean is usually pretty open about his enjoyment of all things sexual, to the point that he implies he's gonna masturbate to a vintage issue of Busty Asian Beauties with Sam, and has no problem and makes light-hearted comments when Charlie sees his collection of magazines. He also knows Cas knows what porn is and has already watched it, and yet when Cas catches him with the Busty Asian Beauties site open on his PC, he gets very flustered, shuts the PC, and gets out an embarrassed: "You saw nothing."
    • Not that Cas cares, by the way. In fact, in 8x22 he buys Dean porn as a peace offering.
  • 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, he ends up returning to hunting when Sam returns, 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.
  • The Caretaker: Especially for Sam since childhood. Not only did Dean raise Sam since he was a baby, but Dean has always possessed nurturing, caring and even paternal/maternal qualities and instincts.
  • 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 the classic ladies man and he is very flirtatious. There is not an episode that goes by when he is not flirting with a girl or attempting to pick up a chick. He is not much of a long term relationship type of guy but more of a one night stand type of guy. See Really Gets Around.
  • Catch Phrase: "Son of a bitch!" Lampshaded in Season 5.
    • Dean refers to killing as "ganking".
  • The Champion: For Sam. Dean has always made it his #1 priority to protect and save Sam at all costs. He is willing to kill to protect Sam, willing to sell his soul, go to Hell and suffer torture, willing to let an angel possess Sam in order to keep him alive and willing to let the world crash and burn if it means protecting and saving Sam at all costs. 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: Dean has one of these with Death: in exchange for bringing Sam's soul back to his body Dean has to do his job for a day. Dean ends up failing the test, but Death returns the soul anyway. Firstly because his real reason for the task was to show Dean what forces he was messing with by constantly resurrecting, and also because Sam and Dean's current investigation suited his purposes. He may have 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 a young age 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 his pal Castiel plans to hand a girl named Anna (whom Dean had slept with) over to the angels.
    • Likewise Dean never takes advantage of women, and it's implied Dean sleeps with so many women to achieve an intimacy that his life and job prevents him from being able to have.
  • The Chosen One: Dean was the vessel for the Archangel Michael.
    • 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, and others. Readily apparent in "LARP and the Real Girl", 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 and seemed to have no problem with it.
    • Turns out that Dean became a torturer during his time in Hell and also took joy in torturing.
  • Comatose Canary: In the first episode of season two.
  • Companion Cube: This is what the Impala is to Dean.
  • 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 over protectiveness.
  • Cool Car: Dean's drives the infamous 1967 Chevrolet Impala. The Impala is known as the Metallicar to many fans within the fandom. The Impala has such importance that it has even managed to earn co-protagonist status along with Sam and Dean. Many of the brother's most important moments and memories have occurred in the Impala. In the season five finale, the Impala had such importance to the lives of the brothers that they even did an entire segment about it.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Dean was this for both angels and Heaven.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In regards to Sam. Dean is super possessive of Sam. He gets highly jealous and suspicious of Sam's other relationships, especially Sam's relationships with love interests or women (such as Meg, Ruby, Becky, Amy, Amelia, even Jessica). In season eight after Dean got back from Purgatory, Dean asks Sam what made him quit hunting. He asked Sam if he quit hunting because of a girl. The manner in which Dean asked Sam about whether or not Sam quit hunting over a girl made Dean come off as a jealous boyfriend, a man scorned or a scorned husband. Also, in"Southern Comfort", when Dean was under a spell, Dean had Sam at gunpoint telling Sam that Sam had left Dean to die for a girl (Amelia). Let's not forget the whole Ruby, Sam and Dean debacle in season four. Some fans even consider it the very first (and only real) love triangle of Supernatural.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Understandable considering that Dean is a hunter for a living.
  • The Cutie: Before the issues came through thick and fast.
    • Possibly subverted too, seeing as how whenever the boys act all cutesy and '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"/"Folsom Prison Blues", fans thinking that Dean was somehow really off were proven 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 by nature. He believes that the world is a dark place and that everything bad will happen. Contrast to Sam, who is more of The Idealist.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Played straight for Dean. Sam's death is the final straw for Dean 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 especially after he returns back from Hell in season four.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Dean is named after his maternal grandmother, Deanna Campbell, who was killed by the Azazel/YED, when he was possessing Samuel Campbell.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dean always has a snarky, witty or sarcastic comment to say. In fact, Dean is the king of sarcasm. Sometimes his sarcastic wit often turns off a lot of people and even annoys some people, including Sam. Often, Dean uses sarcasm and makes sarcastic comments in attempts to hide his inner vulnerability. Sometimes his sarcasm tends to push people away so that he doesn't open up to people or have the opportunity to express his thoughts and feelings about much deeper things.
    • Stepford Snarker: Whenever Dean is unhappy or depressed, his sarcastic side will come out of the woodworks.
  • Deal with the Devil: After Sam was stabbed and died, Dean made a deal with the crossroads demon at the end of season two to save Sam.
    • And again come season nine, Dean makes a deal and a pact with an angel in order to save his brother's life after the trials seen 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 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 (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 Bromance: 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 necessarily 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.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: It is clear that Dean is very co dependent with Sam and needs constant human contact, approval and love from others. Sam ends up dealing with the brunt of this.
    • 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 protagonist. Although the series is told from Dean's point of view, Sam is the focal character of the series.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Disney Death: Has died a few times in the series but he never stays permanently dead.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Dean gets easily distracted by attractive women.
    • In 8x07, the audience gets a full toe-to-head shot of cleaned-up Cas just out of the bathroom from Dean's perspective. In the sense that Dean is actually gaping.
  • Distressed Dude: Primarily in season three.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: At the end of season three, Dean goes to Hell after being shredded and ripped apart to death 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,
    Demon Mook: What's so funny?
    Meg: Dean Winchester is standing behind you...
    • It gets to the point that the alpha vampire plans ahead to side with them when they come knocking on his door to try to stop Dick Roman. Granted there was evidence that Dick had double crossed him but still...
  • 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.
  • The Dutiful Son: To a fault. He was basically John's little soldier starting from childhood.

    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 surely not a misogynist, he does have a habit of accusing others (mostly Sam) of being girly/liking girly stuff - as if femaleness equalled weakness - likely due to his own insecurites 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.
  • Ethical Slut: Dean is highly promiscuous and loves women, although he doesn't get too attached to any females, considering the dangerous job he commits to for a living.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In addition to hitting on and being appreciated by all females in the area, has had several... suspect interactions that generally end with "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 trench coat who's in love with you," meaning Castiel.
  • Expy: According to the Word of God, Dean was modeled off of Han Solo of Star Wars.
    • There are some fans who think that Dean shares similarities with Obi-Wan Kenobi (also from Star Wars). They often compare Sam to Anakin Skywalker as well.
    • Dean is also implied to be similar to Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings (Sam is 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."
  • Extreme Doormat: When it comes to his family, Dean is so like this it's scary. 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.
  • 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.
  • The Fatalist: Sometimes.
  • Fatal Flaw: Dean has a few:
    • The Alcoholic: Dean is prone to alcoholism and using alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with his issues and problems.
    • Brutal Honesty: Dean can be extremely blunt to the point where his words can be very hurtful to others.
    • Chronic Hero Syndrome/Martyr Without a Cause: Dean is sometimes too selfless and self-sacrificing, almost to the point of extreme martyrdom. Most of it has to do with Dean's low self-esteem and lack of self worth.
    • Control Freak: Dean can be highly controlling, bossy and domineering. It's his way or the highway.
    • Crazy Jealous Guy/Green-Eyed Monster: Dean has been shown to be prone to jealousy, envy and suspicion, especially regarding Sam and his (Dean) possessiveness over him. Dean has pretty well instantly hates nearly every woman Sam has ever gotten close to (and killed at least one of them himself), and flipped at the idea that Sam had a romantic relationship while Dean was in Purgatory (Dean interpreted this as Sam taking up with a girl instead of trying to get Dean back, when the reality was probably closer to Amelia piecing Sam together after his Heroic BSOD, with multiple comments in flashbacks about how wrecked Sam was at the time).
    • Hair-Trigger Temper: Dean has a short temper and is prone to violence and lashing out at others.
    • Holier Than Thou: Dean is prone to being rather self-righteous and displaying holier-than-thou behavior.
    • Hypocrite: Dean can be very hypocritical at times, especially with regard to the free will of others. Y'know, the same free will he tries to hold onto in Season 5 when the angels are hounding him and Sam to submit to being Michael and Lucifer's vessels.
    • Love Hungry/Desperately Craves Affection: Dean needs constant affection, love and affirmation from others to feel worthy. Because of their general isolation from society and Dean being raised to protect him at all costs, Sam bears the brunt of this, trying to be everything to Dean, being the focus of Dean's often-smothering devotion, and talking Dean back from his worst moments of self-loathing and self-destruction.
    • Love Martyr: Dean is a highly codependent individual to the point where he lets people walk all over him without doing anything about it.
    • Really Gets Around/Anything That Moves: Dean is highly sexual by nature, and has a tendency to sleep around.
      • While Dean's slutty ways are occasionally played for drama (see Season 2), most of a time they are simply a part of his character. Ironically, it's Sam who tends to have far more trouble with love interests.
  • 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 exists—He 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.
  • Friendship Moment: Most of his scenes with Castiel.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • And as is evidenced in season's six and seven, this applies 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 in to a EMP detector, pretty much rebuild the Imparler after it was wrecked, and is also highly knowledgable about the supernatural. Dean's also a brilliant strategist and is very good at assessing his opponents weaknesses. He's proven to be a master at OutGambitted as well.
  • Genre Savvy: See Genius Bruiser.
  • 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, especially Sam.
  • Grease Monkey: Dean loves working on cars, namely his Impala.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Dean has a jealous streak. 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.
  • 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 M SG 3 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).
  • 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.
    • 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 Dean's brother (the siren tells Sam specifically Dean wanted him), which is more Incest-y 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.
  • 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.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Dean, along with Sam, has repeatedly made the FBI's most wanted list.
  • Heroic BSOD: 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.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Dean was like this 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.
  • 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.
  • The Hunter: 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 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.

    I-L 

  • Iconic Item: The Samulet aka Dean's amulet. He even wore it while he was in Hell.
  • 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.
  • Incest Subtext: With Sam consistently throughout the Kripke era, and occasionally later. In fact, Sam and Dean could be the Trope Codifier. Dean and Sam are frequently mistaken as a gay couple by outsiders and observers. Dean has a very obsessive and codependent-type devotion to Sam to abnormal and even unhealthy levels (almost on Romeo and Juliet levels of obsession, unhealthiness and codependency). Not to mention that Dean gets either noticeably or subtly jealous, suspicious or envious of almost every single female character who shows an interest in Sam (i.e. Ruby, Becky, Amelia, Amy, Cara, Meg, even Jessica in earlier seasons). In Season 6, Dean quickly lost interest in Lisa, his only ever serious girlfriend, when Sam showed back up (and Lisa pointed out that the brothers have an incredibly screwed up relationship and that Dean will never manage to be happy as long as Sam's around). Dean's hang-ups were particularly emphasized as Sam was soulless at that point, and while he seemed to want Dean around, admitted to not feeling much of an emotional connection to him.
    • At Comic-Con 2013, show creator Eric Kripke admitted to making "unstated homoerotic subtext" between the brothers while simultaneously lamenting his apparent obsession with putting straight men in close relationships.
  • 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.
  • 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 Sam or anyone that he loves, Dean will hunt you down.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both 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 egoistical than selfless and ultimately detrimental to Sam himself.
    • 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 Façade: 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.
    • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Dean's 2014 self is a total ruthless and cold douchebag.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: Dean spent over 40 years torturing souls in Hell, 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.
  • 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).
    • Is keeping the biggest and most extreme secret of all as of season nine, when Dean gave an angel the permission to possess Sam without Sam's knowledge and true consent so that Sam could be alive and eventually heal internally. This secret that Dean is keeping from Sam could prove to be highly destructive and detrimental to the brother's relationship shall Sam eventually find out, in which he will.
    • Yeah. Sam found out. It wasn't pretty.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Especially in the first couple of seasons.
  • Knight Templar: Dean could be the classic Trope Codifier. However, the title of Knight Templar Big Brother suits him even better.
  • 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 Résistance: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Love Hungry: See Desperately Craves Affection, Extreme Doormat, Love Makes You Crazy, and Love Martyr.
  • 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 Martyr: In regards to basically everyone, but primarily Sam in season four. 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.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Dean, in regards to his brother. When it comes to Dean's devotion to Sam, love doesn't just make him crazy, it makes Dean extremely co-dependent, depressed, self-destructive, and suicidal.
  • 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.

    M-P 
  • 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 8, 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.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Although it's portrayed as not always a good thing. Hilariously, he concludes in season four's Monster Movie that, thanks to full body regeneration after being pulled out of Hell, he is a virgin again. (By the end of that episode he's not.)
  • 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, especially Sam.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Dean means "leader".
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Samulet aka Dean's amulet/necklace.
  • 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." Although Dean is less quick to deny these ones...
  • 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.
    • Taken a turn for the destructive where Sam is concerned. Dean has always had a "Watch out of 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.
  • 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.
  • Narrator/First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Supernatural is primarily told from Dean's P.O.V. 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.
    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?
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Sometimes.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: In the earlier seasons, Dean was the Roguish Male to Sam's Noble Male.
  • The Not-Love Interest: To Sam. Although Sam is his brother, Dean treats Sam is if he is the Juliet to his Romeo or the Romeo to his Juliet.
  • The Obi-Wan: 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.
  • 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 dies 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 (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.
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Sam, even though they are brothers.
    • Castiel could count as well, despite the ambiguity of the relationship.
  • 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.
  • 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 powerful that it has saved the world in many ways. To quote Dean himself, he and Sam have a "deep, abiding love for 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 issues—not the least of which is his lack of a spine when it comes to family—and 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.

    Q-T 

  • 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.
    • As of Season 4 onwards, this is subverted. 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 and secretly enjoys wearing women's underwear.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Sam's Blue.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: Goes with Screw Destiny.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Dean and Sam, with Dean as the Manly Man to Sam's Sensitive Guy.
    • Arguably subverted, 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.
  • 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 / Good 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 BSOD because Dean was dead) and make Sam more willing to work with her and trust her.
  • 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.
  • Stepford Snarker: Dean makes with the witty remarks to cover up his major self-esteem issues.
  • 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 there 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 opponents weaknesses and exploiting them to his advantage. He's also very good at Out Gambitting and quite often if it looks like what ever 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 possess 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."
  • Supreme Chef / Team 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: 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.
  • Take a Third Option: Dean frigging specializes in this.
  • Team Dad / Team Mom: 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 this 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: Especially in "Mystery Spot." Oh, ye gods, "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, and took relatively little interest in half-brother Adam.
  • Those Two Guys: With Sam, of course.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Dean loves pie. Too bad for him Sam keeps forgetting to buy it, or people just keep taking it from him, or...
    You're out of pecan. Story of my life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Now in doubt as of 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.
    • Not So Stoic
    • Broken Tears
  • 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.

    U-Z 

  • 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 the 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.
    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.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Arguably with Castiel.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Characters/SupernaturalSupernatural Sam Winchester

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