Characters / Supernatural: Sam Winchester

This page lists tropes associated with Sam Winchester from Supernatural.

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

The main character page for this series is here.
Samuel "Sam" Winchester

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/samwseason9_copy.jpg
"Saving people means all of the people, Dean. Not just each other."

Portrayed By: Jared Padalecki, Colin Ford, Alex Ferris, Dylan Kingwell

Sam is the protagonist of the series. He was born May 2, 1983 in Lawrence, Kansas, United States. He is the youngest child of John Winchester and Mary Winchester. He is the younger brother of Dean Winchester and the older paternal half brother of Adam Milligan. His mother Mary died on November 2, 1983 when Sam was only 6 months old. Exactly 22 years later on November 2, 2005, Sam's girlfriend Jessica was also killed in the same fashion that Mary was killed. Sam is a "Special Child", who are children chosen by Azazel (also known as "Yellow-Eyed Demon") to take part in the coming of the Apocalypse. As a Special Child, Sam developed special abilities at the age of 22. Sam's powers included premonitions, telekinesis, and later on, the ability to exorcise demons back to Hell and kill demons with the use of his mind.

It is later discovered that Sam is the one true vessel for Lucifer. However, Sam doesn't end up fulfilling his role as the one meant to destroy the world and instead, chooses to sacrifice himself by throwing himself into Hells pit. Unfortunately, after Sam is raised from Hell by Castiel, he ends up soulless. Sam's wall, which prevented him from reliving his worst times in Hell, ends up broken by Castiel. Sam ends up suffering serious mental and emotional torture as a result. In Season Eight, Sam ends up being the one to do the Trials of God, which would result in closing the gates of Hell. Unfortunately, Sam ends up severely ill and eventually falls into a near death coma. Sam is saved after Dean gets an angel named Gadreel to possess him in order to heal him. During Season Ten, Dean becomes a demon and falls to the negative effects of the Mark and Sam makes it his main priority to save Dean from succumbing to eternal damnation and darkness. However, Sam saving Dean by removing the Mark had die consequences to the world at large, as The Darkness ended up being unleashed. To this day, Sam continues to hunt alongside Dean and save innocents along the way as a way to atone for his past mistakes and misdeeds.


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     Tropes A-D 
  • Achey Scars: In season seven, Sam got a scar on his hand after he cut it with a piece of glass. He got this cut when he started to recall some of his memories from Hell after Castiel had broken his wall at the end of season six. Sam used this scar to relieve himself of seeing Lucifer or to get rid of his memories of Hell and his hallucinations of Lucifer. He would have to press on the scar very hard for his hallucinations and his memories to go away.
  • Action Survivor: Sam, with his brother Dean, are heavily involved in a lot of action. They usually are involved in some kind of fight every episode. It comes with fighting supernatural beings and monsters for a living. Sam engages in combat, fighting and using weapons to combat or fight the enemy. However, despite that Sam is just as much of an Action Hero as his brother Dean, Sam is actually more into the research aspect of hunting, as he is often the one who conducts research while on a hunt, He will look up information such as lore and mythology; he almost always has his own laptop to help him conduct research. He is also a Man Of Letters, which involves a lot of books, literature and research. Dean, on the other hand, is more of the brawn to Sam's brains; he is the one who loves hunting, fighting and combat much more than Sam. Dean loves using weapons and combat to fight supernatural beings, just like his father John. In the first season of the series, however, Sam is more of an Action Survivor, as he had left his normal life behind and embraced the hunting world. Sam did begin handling guns and weapons and was exposed to the hunting world at the tender age of eight so he had at least some experience although he did grow rusty over time as he was living his normal life. That said, he can take down a pair of S.W.A.T. officers who have the drop on him.
  • Action Duo: With Dean of course. They hunt supernatural beings for a living together and are constantly engaged in battle together. The two brothers complement each other and each have what the other is lacking. For example, Sam is the Badass Bookworm, who is the brains of the duo, the one who conducts the research on the hunt. He is the one who looks up what needs to be done through the use of the internet, books, literature, etc. Dean on the other hand is more of the Blood Knight who is the brawn in the duo. He is the one who is more into the fighting, killing and kicking ass. They both have differing skills which contributes to their duo and complements them as a pair.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Justified but also downplayed. Flashbacks have shown that while Sam was a bit of a Wide-Eyed Idealist during his childhood, he was actually very intelligent, clever, smart and mature for his age. Even though Sam displayed childlike innocence, he came off as adultlike. Much of this is because Sam never really had a normal childhood to begin with despite John and Dean's attempts at trying to shelter Sam from the dangerous life that they led.Sam was also very much okay with being alone and doing things for himself, which made him into the independent person that he became in his teen years and adulthood. Much of Sam's maturity also stems from the fact that he endured serious Parental Abandonment (he never knew his mother and his father was an absentee father) despite Dean stepping into his role as a Parental Substitute for Sam. However, this is also downplayed because despite Sam's wisdom, intelligence and maturity, there were plenty of times when Sam displayed childish behaviour.
  • Adorkable: Sam is very nerdy, loveable, endearing and a BIG TIME bookworm. Although much of his adorkable qualities are evident in the earlier seasons, Sam still has plenty of adorable and cute moments in the current times, especially when he is conducting research or being his nerdy bookworm self. Sam is a Techno Wizard, The Cutie, a Cute Bookworm and a Loveable Rogue all rolled into one. He is also very nerdy, smart and intelligent which only adds to his quirkiness and cuteness. However, even though Sam and incredibly loveable, do not think that Sam won't hesitate to kick anyone's ass. If he is or his loved ones are threatened in any way, watch out. Sam will take you down. Sam's cuteness and adorkableness (especially with his signature Puppy Dog Eyes of Doom) borderline on Moe territory.
  • Adventures In Coma Land: In the season six finale, Sam went into a coma as a result of Castiel tearing down the protective wall in his mind, flooding it with the memories of hell and of the year being soulless. He ultimately came out of it by killing and absorbing Soulless Sam and Tortured Sam, at the price of remembering both his time in Lucifer's Cage and the year being soulless. Later, in the season nine premiere, Sam's struggle between fighting to live and accepting death is portrayed through an argument between versions of Dean and Bobby and eventually Death in Sam's mind. Bobby, represented the side of Sam that wanted to die, with him telling Sam to accept death, to die in peace and to not fight anymore since it was his time. Dean, on the hand, represented the side of Sam that wanted to live, with Dean telling Sam to not give up on living, to fight to live since it was not his time. In the end, Sam ends up choosing Dean's side, although it does take some coercing and manipulation on Dean's part.
  • Affably Evil: Downplayed and inverted in Season Four when Sam was using his demonic powers and in Season Six when Sam was soulless. During Season Four, Sam was going down a dark road, in which he was succumbing to his dark destiny by tapping into his demonic powers. He was also being manipulated by Ruby, who was influencing all of Samís decisions and actions. Although it seemed as if Sam was succumbing to The Dark Side and was slowly making a FaceĖHeel Turn, Sam was still one of the good guys. Despite Sam delving into his dark powers, he was doing so for the right reasons. And even though Sam became a much tougher, darker individual in contrast to the overly empathetic person he was in the earlier seasons, Sam was still a genuinely good and mostly nice person. The same thing occurred in Season Six, when it turned out that Sam was without a soul. Sam felt no compassion or any kind of emotion because being without a soul didnít permit it. Sam was acting immorally but it wasnít because he was an evil person. Even though Sam was committing immoral and morally ambiguous actions, he was very good at making it seem as though he was normal with a friendly and empathetic facade. Sam could also be seen as sympathetic because ending up soulless was not Samís fault and therefore, all of Samís actions couldnít really be held against him because he was simply Not Himself. All in all, despite Samís morally ambiguous deeds in both seasons, he classifies as more Good Is Not Nice.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Dean often calls Sam "Sammy". Sometimes John would call Sam "Sammy" as well. According to Sam, Dean is the only one allowed to call him that. Sam initially disliked the diminutive and would try to correct Dean when he used it because it made him sound like he was still a little kid, but he gave up the fight halfway through season one. Crowley calls Sam "Moose". It could be assumed that Mark Shepherd chose to have his character call Sam this name because Jared's real life nickname is Moose. (Rule of Funny means that Dean's nickname is Squirrel).
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Played straight but eventually subverted. Throughout Season's One and Two, Sam spent most of the time worrying that he would not be able to control his demonic powers and abilities from completely taking over him to the extent that he would turn to The Dark Side and become monstrous. In the first season, Sam suffered from visions or premonitions out of the future, where he could see events or people being killed before it actually happens. Sam has no control over these powers and they were intrusive and often disturbing for Sam. However, in Season Four, Sam discovers a new demonic power in which he has the ability to exorcise demons from someone using his mind. It is with these powers that he gains a degree of control and whether or not he chooses to use them. There is a significant contrast in the way Sam approached his powers in the first couple of seasons to how he approaches them in Season Four. At first, Sam seemed to fear his powers would end up corrupting him but eventually, it is shown that he accepted them, embraced them and even went out of his way to strengthen them with the use of drinking demon blood and getting trained by Ruby.
  • All for Nothing: In Season Four, Sam completely lost himself by being driven by revenge and getting addicted to demon blood all so that he could kill Lilith. He behaved this way because he had a strong desire to avenge Deanís death and stop the Apocalypse from happening. Too bad that Sam ended up sacrificing his well being, his sanity and his conscience all so that he could end up killing Lilith, who ended up being the final seal, and started the Apocalypse. The very thing that he was trying to stop from happening in the first place. Oh, Sam.
  • All-Loving Hero: Sam always tries to see the best in everyone around him, even if they don't deserve it. He's also insanely forgiving of most people, even those who have harmed him directly and indirectly. He s much more forgiving than Dean and is always willing to give people second chances whenever they make mistakes, such as in the case of Castiel for example. Much of Sam willing to extend compassion and forgiveness towards other people stems from the fact that Sam himself as made his share of mistakes and feels that it wouldn't be fair if he didn't extend the same amount of compassion and forgiveness to others.
  • All Guys Want Bad Girls: Gender-inverted as well as played straight, downplayed and subverted throughout the series. Sam does have tendency to end up falling for women that are evil or morally ambiguous. And if they are not evil, then they tend to be very bitchy, aggressive and feisty. Understandable considering that most of the women or girls that Sam has a tendency to fall for are non-human and are supernatural beings (werewolf, kitsune, demon). Itís also played straight because whenever Sam becomes a darker or morally ambiguous person, such as when he was on demon blood and when he was without a soul, Sam ends up becoming more attractive and appealing to the opposite sex and he becomes The Charmer, The Casanova and a Chick Magnet. This is also downplayed in the case of Ruby (who was a demon who always had bad intentions from the start) because once he found out her true intentions, he ended up regretting being with her, believing in her, following her and he ended up letting Dean kill her. Itís also subverted because Sam has also been in relationships with women that are both human and good (Jessica and Amelia, for example). Also see Dating Catwoman.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Sam is frequently seen as the ďtroubled oneĒ or the ďproblem childĒ of the Winchester family, because many of the tragic events that happened to them were centred around Sam (although not his fault). Sam was also seen as the rebellious one of the Winchester family. He felt left out because he didnít embrace hunting like John and Dean. Instead, Sam wished to achieve a semblance of a normal life away from the family business, but his family, especially John, didnít approve of Samís choice of life. In addition, Sam had demon blood and was one of the ďSpecial ChildrenĒ and he has always felt like a freak, monster or abnormal because of it.
  • Aloof Younger Brother: Zig-zagged in regards to Sam. Sam is smarter, more practical and more refined than Dean, who is much more impulsive and rogue. Sam is also more introverted, calm, cool and collected while Dean is more extroverted, hot headed and passionate. Sam gets straight A's, received scholarship or free ride and attended an Ivy League school (Stanford University), and was an aspiring lawyer. Sam also developed special powers which made him at times, significantly stronger and more powerful than Dean, who was a regular human who had no superhuman abilities. Plus, Sam had a normal life and got away from the hunting life, unlike Dean, who was ultimately trapped in it since a young age. Sam was also in a serious romantic relationship with the love of his life Jessica whom he was going to marry and settle down with. In season one, a shapeshifter read Dean's mind and had told Sam that Dean resented Sam because of everything that Sam had and he didn't. Dean was also jealous of the fact that their father seemed to pay more attention to Sam than he did to him. However, despite that Sam had a lot of things going for him that Dean was jealous of, Sam also found himself jealous of Dean in the sense that Dean is a much more effective leader who can bring people together and that Dean had a childhood which involved knowing their mother Mary unlike Sam himself, who never knew his mother because she had died when he was just a baby.
  • Always Save the Girl: Tragically deconstructed. Sam has done many very morally dubious things when Dean's life is on the line, but more often than not, they don't work. On the rare occasion his interventions have worked, there's been a horrifying cost, such as an innocent person dying in place of Dean in "Faith" (Sam was unaware that this would happen until after the fact). In "Mystery Spot", The Trickster revealed what Sam would turn into if Dean died and he tried to bring him back from the dead at all costs. Sam became a cold and ruthless person who stopped caring and who was willing to kill an innocent man to get Dean back. In season four, Sam becomes completely and utterly self destructive after Dean brutally dies and is Dragged Off to Hell at the end of season three. He ends up aligning with a demon as Ruby manipulates him and gets him to turn to The Dark Side by getting him to use and strengthen his demonic abilities. Sam goes so far to avenge Dean's death by killing Lillith that he ends up drinking demon blood and becoming a junkie who is addicted to it. His obsession with avenging Dean's death comes to an absolute head when he kills Lillith himself, which starts the apocalypse.
  • Always Second Best: Sam always felt this way in regards to Dean since childhood. From Sam's point of view, Sam always felt that John favoured Dean over him, mostly because Sam never saw eye to eye with John and Dean was John's perfect obedient soldier. Sam also points out that growing up, he never felt like he fit in with the family and that he was the Black Sheep, because Sam had different outlooks and goals than wanting to be a hunter like Dean and John. Sam also feels that Dean connects better with people than he does because Dean has a much more sociable and outgoing personality, while Sam himself is more introverted and shy. Sam feels that Dean might have an advantage over him because he is the older brother and therefore, can make orders much more easily while Sam, as the younger brother, has to obey. Because of this parent-child dynamic between himself and Dean, Sam sometimes rebels and prefers to be independent by doing his own thing as much as possible.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There are many signs that Sam actually suffers from PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder due to the constant trauma that he has been subjected to. In Season Six and Seven in particular, Sam is shown to be extremely unstable mentally due to cracks in his wall, and the eventual breaking down of it all together. In Season Six, Sam's behavior and attitude was so bizarre, strange and out there. He seemed to lack social skills, compassion and had a severe Lack of Empathy for others. It became obvious that something was wrong with Sam when he let Dean be turned by a vampire and did nothing to stop the vampire from doing so. He also said that he is a better and stronger hunter than he had ever been before and that he gets a thrill out of hunting and killing. Veritas, the Goddess Of Truth, had sensed Sam while trying to get him to tell her the truth and she had said that Sam was not normal, that he wasn't even "human". Sam then told Dean himself that he couldn't feel anything and that he had no emotion. Sam confessed that he never slept although Castiel had diagnosed that Sam was in perfect physical health. This was all unusual behaviour for Sam, as he is someone who is normally very warm, compassionate, empathetic and has a huge moral and guilty conscience. It turns out that Sam was soulless for an entire year after being brought back from Lucifer's Cage/Hell by Castiel. The soul makes one human, in the sense that it makes a human feel emotion, compassion, empathy and guilt and because Sam's soul was missing, Sam was basically a walking robot who was dead and empty inside, incapable of feeling anything that a human is supposed to feel. In season seven, after Castiel had broken the wall in Sam's head, Sam went crazy and had a mental breakdown. Sam was hallucinating Lucifer as well as his worst memories from his 2 centuries or more in Hell. In order to get rid of Lucifer and his Hell memories, he would have to resort to pressing hard on a scar that he obtained after he started to remember some memories of him burning in Hell and he fell to the ground in suffering, cutting his hand on a piece of glass in the process. Sam's condition got so bad that he became an insomniac and eventually ended up in a mental or psychiatric hospital.
  • Ambiguously Evil: During the course of the fourth season, Sam's morality was deeply grey. It was hard to tell whether Sam was fighting for the good or bad side. He was using his demonic abilities in order to save humans from being possessed by demons. Although Sam was saving humans by exorcising them out of the human host, his powers were based in darkness. Sam was also aligned with the demon Ruby, and she was manipulating him in order to get him to do what she wanted which was to kill Lillith. Sam even began strengthening his powers by drinking demon blood. He was also lying to Dean constantly, not telling him where he was going and going behind his back training his abilities with Ruby. Also, Sam became increasingly distant from Dean and kept numerous secrets from him. Sam became increasingly darker as the season progressed to the point where he became a demon blood junkie and turned against Dean. Although ultimately, Sam's intentions were good, it was just the way that he chose to go about achieving his goals and agenda were rather immoral and morally ambiguous in nature.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Sam's desire for the power to stop Lilith is treated as bad only partly because of the way he goes about getting it, meaning through revenge and anger. Plus, the fact that he was resorting to aligning himself with a demon in Ruby in order to strengthen his abilities which are evil, dark and demonic in nature. It didn't help that Sam was also drinking demon blood to strengthen his powers and lying to Dean about it.
  • And I Must Scream: In the fifth season finale, Sam actually volunteers to trap Satan by allowing himself to be possessed by Satan and then jumping into an inescapable cage at the bottom of Hell. Because being locked up for all eternity with a very pissed-off fallen angel who has nothing to do but take out his frustration on Sam was the only way they could think of to prevent a global apocalypse. Downplayed because his body gets set free by Castiel not long after, and his soul a year later by Death.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: During the course of season four, Sam starts to turn significantly darker, clearly falling deeper to The Dark Side. He falls rather deeply that his powers become powerful enough to kill strong and powerful demons and by the end of the season, his eyes go black while he is killing Lilith with little to no effort.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Averted. Sam is actually the more mature, practical, logical and serious one between himself and Dean. Sam often takes things much more seriously than Dean; Sam is the more serious, introverted brother and Dean is the more fun-loving, extroverted brother. However, from Dean's point of view, Dean has always seen Sam as his child, as someone whom he has to continuously look after an protect to make sure he is safe. Dean's entire life has been about protecting Sam no matter what. Dean has said to Sam that he has always seen Sam as the "snot nosed little kid" that he has always had to take care of and look out for his whole life. This is probably because since Sam's very early childhood (since he was a baby), Sam was raised by Dean and Dean has been both Sam's parent and his big brother. Because of this combined parent and older brother instinct that Dean has towards Sam, Dean can become extremely possessive and over protective over Sam, to the point where if someone so much as looks at Sam the wrong way, then Dean will either harm them or kill them on the spot.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Averted towards John. Sam never saw eye to eye with his father since childhood and the two constantly butted heads. Sam spent much of his childhood, his teen years and his young adulthood resenting John for not accepting that he didn't want to become involved in the family business of hunting. Later on, Sam did come to acknowledge that even though he had constant disagreements with John growing up, he realizes that John did that best that he could with the circumstances that he was thrown in. He even states that even though he didn't always agree with what John did during childhood, he loves his father and has fond memories of him.
  • Anti Anti Christ: As an infant, Sam was fed demon blood and was given special demon abilities by Azazel (or The Yellow-Eyed Demon). Later on, he discovers that he is the vessel for Lucifer and that he was meant to destroy the world. Sam certainly didn't want to lead a demon army against humankind, but he was intended to, and defied that fate despite what most characters expected (meaning that most characters, including Dean and John, his own family, expected Sam to succumb to The Dark Side and do a FaceĖHeel Turn). Too bad he was a major and key part of an overarching plot since his very own birth where he had been infected with demon blood due to a deal made by his mother Mary before he was born, The Chosen One aeons before to set Lucifer/Satan/The Devil free and to act as his one true destined physical vessel during the End of Days, and set up so that his efforts to prevent the Apocalypse using demon-blood-born powers actually caused the prelude to Apocalypse and released Lucifer from his Cage. Acquiescing to being possessed by Lucifer just so he could gain control of his body long enough to throw both of them into the Cage, Sam managed to avert the Apocalypse and the final battle to defeat Lucifer that would raze the whole world.
  • Anti-Hero: When he first joined Dean hunting monsters because It's Personal, Sam was basically the most ethically aware of the two. A few cases of demonic influence, possession, death and soullessness later, and he's at least as pragmatic and ruthless as his brother. Sam is a Classical Anti-Hero or a Knight in Sour Armor in seasons one to two, a Pragmatic Hero in season three, an Unscrupulous Hero in seasons four and five and a Nominal Hero in season six, especially the early half of season six when he was soulless. He seems to be back to the Pragmatic Hero as of season seven, season eight and season nine. However, Sam might become an Unscrupulous Hero in the tenth season, as it is said that Sam will resort to some very immoral behaviour and methods in attempts to save Dean from being a demon. By the end of Season 10, he seems to have become an outright Villain Protagonist, before going back to a Knight in Sour Armour in Season 11.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • During Season Four, Sam became a significantly darker character who fell deeper and deeper to The Dark Side. Sam became addicted to demon blood and was using his demonic abilities to save people (and also strengthening them in order to prepare to kill Lilith). Sam also became obsessed and addicted to using his demonic abilities and became Drunk with Power. His abilities continuously got more and more powerful through demon blood consumption to the point that he was able to exorcise a powerful demon like Samhain and was able to kill powerful demons such as Alastair and Lilith. In season six, Sam was soulless and therefore became extremely ruthless, cold, dark and unsympathetic. However, despite being soulless, Sam was still hunting and kicking ass and saving lives as a hunter.
    • Sam was a Noble Demon in season four specifically. In season four, Sam embraced his dark destiny by strengthening his demonic abilities in order to kill and destroy the enemy (which was Lillith). However, Sam would often question his morally ambiguous actions due to Dean's influence. Because of Dean, he would end up stopping what he was doing, realizing that what he is doing was wrong.
    • Sam was a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in season four and season six. In season four, Sam eventually succumbed to the darkness that has always existed inside of him since his birth. Sam has said many times that he didn't want to become evil or become a monster, however, the circumstances surrounding Sam and Dean caused Sam to embrace his dark side in order to achieve his goal (which had good intentions), which was killing Lillith. In season six, Sam was soulless against his will due to being brought back from the cage by Castiel. As a result, he had zero guilt or remorse for any of his immoral actions. Because Sam was without his soul, it caused him behave and act immorally without really being aware of what he was doing. As soon as Sam got his soul back, Sam had very little to no memories of being soulless and the actions he committed while he was soulless for over a year. So, in conclusion, Sam being soulless was completely out of his control and also, having demon blood pumping through his veins which caused him to develop demonic psychic abilities was also against his will as well. In season four especially, Sam becomes a very tragic character when he becomes addicted to demon blood only because he was trying to achieve his goal which had good intentions and the audience can't help but feel strong sympathy for him, even when he was doing immoral or morally ambiguous deeds and actions in order to achieve that goal.
    • Sam was a Well-Intentioned Extremist in season four. Although Sam was resorting to immoral methods in order to achieve his goal of killing Lillith, he had good intentions and wanted to save the world. Sam also used his demonic abilities for good by using them to save innocent people who were possessed by demons (by using his mind to exorcise the demons out of the human host) without having to use the knife to kill both the demon and the human it is possessing. Sam was drinking demon blood in order to strengthen his abilities so that he could kill Lillith in the end. So while Sam was resorting to immoral actions (drinking and becoming addicted to demon blood, lying, keeping secrets, sneaking around behind Dean's back with Ruby and strengthening his demonic abilities), he was doing it for a very good reason: to save the world and protect mankind. Too bad that it ended up being the biggest mistake ever, which only added to Sam's guilty conscience.
  • Anything That Moves: Sam, while he was soulless in Season 6, seems to have slept with a lot of different women, including a woman who has slept with both Dean and Bobby (Annie). Hell, he even paid prostitutes for sex. Normally, Sam is the chaste one between himself and Dean and does not sleep around with a bunch of women unless he is in some kind of a relationship with them. There are times when even Sam judges Dean for his overly promiscuous behaviour. See Really Gets Around.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: In seasons two to five, with Dean in the role of The Hero who has to try to protect his loved one while also protecting the world from said loved one. When Sam was a baby, Azazel, also known as The Yellow Eyed Demon, went into Sam's nursery and fed him his demon blood. He then killed Sam's mother Mary in said nursery by slitting her stomach and pitting her up on the ceiling and setting her on fire. As a result of Azazel feeding Sam demon blood, he would end up developing special psychic abilities. The reason why Azazel did this to Sam and many other kids, who ironically were all born in the year 1983, was because Azazel wanted to build an army of special children who would serve as soldiers during the apocalypse. John and Sam himself tell Dean to kill Sam if necessary if he can't save him from turning evil, and Dean would prefer Sam to die human than turn into the monster Azazel wanted him to be. Sam eventually starts to strengthen his powers through the use of demon blood until he becomes strong enough to kill Lillith. When push comes to shove, Dean just doesn't have it in him to kill Sam and Sam himself turns out to be the one destined to free and host Lucifer.
  • Apologises a Lot: Sam has a tendency to always apologize whenever he makes a big mistake or whenever he's in the wrong. Sam even apologizes for things that are not even his fault. This is because unlike Dean, who hates to apologize because he does not like to appear wrong or vulnerable, Sam has no problem admitting when he is wrong and does not fear the word sorry. In fact, it's become so frequent in each season, that it is a Running Gag.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Sam often argues with Dean on which supernatural beings, monsters and creatures exist. Sam has been skeptical about some creatures and has been certain that other creatures do exist, most notably angels in season two (turns out that Sam was right about the angels existing).
  • Archetype: According to the Word of God, Sam's character is modelled off of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. Like Luke, Sam is The Hero archetype who had unusual and supernatural events that surrounded his childhood. Sam starts off as a normal college student who actually has a destiny that is much bigger than he knows. Sam just wants to live a normal life away from the world of hunting but his older brother comes to get Sam to tell him that their father is missing. From there, Sam leaves with Dean on a mission. Sam is at first hesitant to go back to the hunting world and leave his normal life behind but when the love of his life is unexpectedly killed, he realizes that he has to leave his normal world behind and embrace the world of hunting. It is from there when Sam goes on a journey and starts to discover what his destiny is and who he is meant to be.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Lilith. Probably Sam's biggest enemy next to Lucifer himself. Sam strongly loathes and hated her for her being responsible for Dean's death at the end of season three. He spent all of season four trying to get revenge on her by trying to hunt her down and kill her. Because of Lilith killing Dean and having him Dragged Off to Hell by Hellhounds, Sam becomes filled with rage and revenge against her. During the time when Sam is emotionally vulnerable and weak, he and Ruby align and Sam strengthens his demonic abilities with the sole intention of using them to kill Lilith. Even when Dean is brought back from Hell by Castiel, it still does not stop Sam's anger and revenge against Lilith. Sam goes so far that he starts to drink demon blood so that he could make himself more and more powerful, so that it is easier for him to kill Lilith. In the end, Sam does end up killing her, although at a very high price. Lilith was the final seal, and by killing her, Lucifer was released upon the world, which started the apocalypse.
    • Brady, who turned out to be Sam's college friend and Jessica's killer. Brady was the one who had introduced Sam to Jessica during his freshmen year but it was all done under Azazel's orders. Azazel had ordered Brady to kill Jessica himself so that it would force Sam to go back to the hunting world and leave his normal life behind. Brady was actually working for Pestilence, one of the Four Horsemen and he was a key player in spreading around the Croatoan virus through disguising it as a vaccine for swine flu. Brady tried to goad Sam into killing him so that Sam could let off some steam and some anger. Brady let Sam know that it was him that was responsible for Jessica's death, which only enraged and angered Sam even more. Brady continued to taunt Sam about how Sam had let himself be manipulated his entire life. An angered Sam tun stabbed Brady with Ruby's knife, which ended up killing him.
    • Lucifer. Probably Sam's biggest enemy. Interestingly enough, despite Sam hating Lucifer, Lucifer actually serves as an Evil Counterpart and a Foil to Sam. Lucifer and Sam actually have almost parallel lives. Both Lucifer and Sam are the younger brother. They both had to deal with being the Black Sheep's of their respective families. They both had an older brother whom they looked up to and whom they were close with (Michael in Lucifer's case and Dean in Sam's case); both Sam and Lucifer had a serious case of Big Brother Worship towards their respective brothers. Both Lucifer and Sam felt betrayed by their brothers because their brothers saw them as monsters and did not support them when they needed them the most. Lucifer then became a Fallen Hero and turned to The Dark Side and Sam also did his own mild version of a FaceĖHeel Turn and became Ambiguously Evil due to the fact that Sam has a destiny of darkness. Sam and Lucifer also share the same trait of pride and arrogance. It was because of Lucifer and Sam's pride that caused them to turn to the dark side. After Lucifer is unleashed upon the world due to Sam breaking the final seal by killing Lillith, Lucifer comes to Sam and tells him that he is Lucifer's one true vessel and that it is his destiny as Lucifer's vessel to destroy the world. This also means that Dean, who is Michael's one true vessel or The Michael's Sword, is meant to kill Lucifer in Sam's body. Lucifer wants to bring about the end of the world through the apocalypse, destroying humanity and mankind in the process. Despite being destined to host Lucifer and help bring about the apocalypse, Sam fought with everything in him and ended up being the one to ultimately take him down in the end.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy:
    • Sam displayed these characteristics in season four and especially in season six, when Sam was soulless. In season four, Sam would bring up about how powerful he is becoming in regards to his demonic abilities. He used demon blood to help strengthen his abilities and he started to believe that it was him and him alone that was going to stop the apocalypse from happening. Dean started to notice a significant change in Sam's personality, how he had started to lie and keep secrets constantly and that he was starting to fall farther and deeper into The Dark Side. Sam became so prideful and arrogant regarding his powers and how strong he was, that he used them to kill Lilith, which only started the one thing that Sam was trying to prevent or stop in the first place, the rise of Lucifer upon the world.
    • In season six when Sam was soulless, Sam confessed that he was a much better and stronger hunter than he had ever been before. This was probably because with his soul gone, he could kill and hunt without feeling any sense of guilt or remorse. All Sam would care about is his hunters instinct and he would never have to hold back. Dean, again, noticed the significant change in Sam's personality and how he had come across as cool, cold, distant, arrogant and prideful, especially when it came to hunting.
  • The Atoner: In the fifth season (after the whole freeing-Lucifer-from-Hell business) and in season six (after getting his soul back). In season four, Sam had gone an a Revenge Before Reason mission after Dean was killed by Lillith at the end of season three. Sam then aligned with Ruby, a demon, so that he could strengthen his abilities. Dean discovered what Sam was up to and that he was hanging out with Ruby and Dean was very angry. Dean told Sam to not use his powers but because Sam liked the way using his powers made him feel, he did not listen to Dean and contented to use his powers to exorcise demons out of human hosts. While doing this, Sam felt that he was doing the right thing, despite the fact that his powers were based from darkness and evil. Dean continuously warned Sam throughout season four, as well as many other characters, that Sam was falling down a darker and darker path that he might not be able to come back from. Sam became so dark that he started to resorting to drinking demon blood to strengthen his powers. He even became a junkie and became addicted to the blood as well as addicted to using his dark, demonic powers. It got so bad, when Sam actually ended up choosing Ruby over Dean and ultimately, he ended up fighting Dean and going off with Ruby instead. Sam ended up using his powers to kill Lillith, who was the final seal, and as a result of killing Lillith, Sam had started the apocalypse which ultimately released Lucifer upon the world. In the beginning of season five, Dean told Sam that because of what he did, he could no longer trust him, even though Sam had apologized. Sam's entire purpose and arc in season five was ultimately about atoning for his actions in season four and basically undoing the damage that he had done. At the end of season five, Sam decided to host Lucifer so that he could take him down and end the apocalypse. He did this by throwing himself and Michael (in Adam's body) into Hell's pit, leaving Sam down in Hell to suffer for eternity. Fortunately for Sam, Castiel ended up rescuing Sam and pulling him out of Hell, albeit without his soul.
  • Audience Surrogate: According to the Word of God (Eric Kripke), Sam was originally intended to be this. However, this role seems to belong to Dean since Dean is the series emotional or point of view character and Sam is the story or myth arc character in which the series revolves around. Sam is The Protagonist and Dean is the Deuteragonist. Although much of the story lines and the myth arc revolve around Sam and his journey, there are many fans who complain that because Dean ended up being the point of view character and the audience surrogate, Sam has no point of view or emotional perspective. Therefore, it makes it harder for the audience to sympathize with Sam in the same way that they do with Dean. This often makes Sam's actions seem misunderstood by the audience and he ends up suffering a lot of unnecessary criticism as a result.
  • Author Avatar: It has been mentioned by Eric Kripke, the creator of the series, that Sam is his avatar. Eric has said that between the two brothers, he relates to Sam the most because of his personal life experience. This is probably why arguably, Eric decided to make the story of series centre around Sam and his heroic journey which is what Eric's mission was from the beginning.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Sam's last name is Winchester. "Like the rifle". The Winchester rifle, also known as "The Gun That Won The West", was known to be quintessential rifle that was seen in many westerns. In today's time, the Winchester rifle is used for hunting. In an alternate universe, Sam's last name is Wesson and Dean's last name is Smith. Like Smith & Wesson.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Sam is the youngest member of Team Free Will, which includes himself, Dean, Castiel, Bobby, Crowley and now as of Season 12, Mary. Interestingly enough, Sam's portrayer Jared Padalecki is also the youngest cast member of Supernatural as well. On top of it, Dean is the older brother while Sam is the younger brother in their Sibling Team. It's been shown that Sam actually resents the fact that he is the "baby" or the youngest of the team. Therefore, he often likes to do things on his own even if it means separating himself from Dean and the rest of the team. There's also that Dean is The Leader of the team, taking charge on all of the missions and plans. Sam is also the one that is constantly overprotected and given the most attention from the team members. As a result, Sam can come off as a Tagalong Kid and a Distressed Dude at times. This causes Sam to need a lot of saving from time to time mostly by his other team members (such as Castiel and Dean), even though Sam is a highly competent and capable hunter in his own right. Also see Tagalong Kid.
  • Back from the Dead: Like his brother Dean, repeatedly. Every time Sam ends up dying or has faced death, he is always brought back or ends up escaping death.
    • Sam died in 2.21, instigating Dean's deal, and later causing his death at the end of the next season. Sam was stabbed in the back by Jake Talley with a blade and was brutally wounded. Unfortunately, for Dean, he could not stop Jake from stabbing Sam and could only hold a dying Sam in his arms until Sam ends up dying. Luckily, after the deal was finalized, Sam was brought back to life at the cost of Dean's life.
    • Sam is briefly killed after being struck by lightning in 4.08.
    • Sam dies in 5.13 after he is stabbed with a piece of metal by Anna but Michael brings him back to life. Anna had actually planned on scattering Sam's cells all over the universe so that Sam would be impossible to resurrect under any circumstances.
    • Sam and Dean both die and are subsequently resurrected in 5.16. Sam is shot to death by a hunter. Dean, unable to live with Sam being dead and telling the hunters that he will be pissed when he comes back from the dead, asks the hunters to shoot him as well. Dean ends up getting shot as well.
    • Sam "dies" at the end of season five in the finale when he sacrifices himself by throwing himself as Lucifer and Adam as Michael into the pits of Hell. He is resurrected, albeit without his soul.
  • Badass Adorable: Sam has the ability of being nerdy, quirky, adorable and cute even while he is hunting. Especially when he's doing research. He's a Bookworm, Genius Bruiser, Cute Bookworm and a Badass Bookworm all rolled into one. Despite the fact that Sam is very nerdy and quirky, DO NOT think that Sam cannot kick some major ass. He can kick ass just as much as Dean can and when he was younger, he was shown to be a very strong and capable fighter.
  • Badass Boast: Sam is definitely not above making threats or boasting to get his way. He is not afraid to threaten many supernatural beings, including the likes of demons and angels. Sam has taken down the likes of Lucifer of all people. When Sam demands (not asking for) Castiel's help, he says that he'll force the incredibly powerful angel to help them.
    Castiel: "Will you, boy? How?
    Sam: "I don't know. But I'll find a way. And I don't sleep."
  • Badass Bookworm: Sam is highly intelligent, intellectual, scholarly, and a skilled researcher and bookworm. Sam also attended Stanford and was going to become a lawyer. He is into reading and researching information on the hunt; he is considered to be the Brains to Dean's Brawn. To help him in his research, Sam always has a lap top which helps him to look up information such as lore and mythology. Despite the fact that Dean is still the brains of the operation and of his Action Duo between himself and Dean, Sam is still a very strong and capable hunter and fighter and he is almost as effective in hunting as Dean is, although Dean is more of a hunter who loves hunting and killing supernatural beings. Sam could best be considered a Genius Bruiser, someone who is both smart and a capable hunter. As of the eighth season, Sam became a Man-Of-Letters and embraced its legacy, just like his paternal grandfather, Henry. It seemed natural for Sam to be geared towards the Men Of Letters legacy, since it involves lots of reading and research. It seems as though Sam took after the Winchester side of the family (which is more of the Badass Bookworm side) in comparison to the Campbell side (which is more of the Blood Knight and Hunter side, the side that Dean took more after).
  • Badass Family: Sam is descended from Cain and Abel. His ancestor is the most dangerous demon on the planet, Cain. Not to mention that he comes from a family of hunters; his matriarchal side of the family, the Campbells, were The Hunters, the Blood Knights and Genius Bruisers and his patriarchal side, the Winchesters, were scholarly, intelligent Men Of Letters who were Badass Bookworms and The Smart Guys. His mother Mary was an Action Girl and a Girly Bruiser to boot who handled weapons and was a hunter herself. His father John originally started out as a Shell-Shocked Veteran who was a part of the military but then became a badass hunter later on in his life. His older brother Dean is a very strong and capable hunter who is a Blood Knight and a Genius Bruiser, was the true vessel for The Michael Sword and who took Cain's place as the First Knight Of Hell (as Dean is now a demon). His maternal grandfather, Samuel, was a strong and capable hunter and his paternal grandfather, Henry, was a Man Of Letters, which is a scholarly book club. It's safe to say that everyone in Sam's family is incredibly badass.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Sam is always seen wearing a suit when he is going undercover while he is on the hunt. This often occurs when Sam is posing as either an FBI agent, a cop or a Homeland Security agent. Often, it is considered to be a form of Fanservice for the audience and the fans when Sam and Dean dress up in a suit.
  • Badass in Distress: Sam sometimes finds himself in trouble and needs a little saving once in a while. In fact, between himself and Dean, Sam is often the one who ends up in the Damsel in Distress role in which Sam is getting either tortured and kidnapped by the supernatural enemy and it is Dean that often has to come and save him. In season seven, Sam's wall is broken and because of it, he ends up having a severe mental breakdown to the point where he ends up in a psychiatric hospital. In season eight, Sam gets so sick after he completes the Trials Of God, to the point where he goes into a coma at the end of the season and Dean has to save him by having an angel possess him.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sam got one in the episode Out With The Old. Instead of wearing a shorter jacket like he normally does, he wore a much longer coat. Dean also had one as well.
  • Badass Normal: Sam is a strong, tough and capable hunter and was raised in the hunting life, despite trying to escape it. He is able to fight and combat many supernatural beings. He starts off as a regular human who wanted to escape the hunting world but was then dragged back into it by Dean. Not only is Sam an Action Hero who engages in fighting, combat and is trained in using weapons, Sam is also a Badass Bookworm who is strong at research on the hunt. He also gained superhuman abilities in the earlier seasons which also helped him to combat the enemy during a hunt. Even without his special powers, Sam can still kick just as much ass as a regular human. He is still a very capable hunter and is very good at using weapons to combat the enemy. Although Sam is effectively more powerful with his demonic abilities, he is still just as capable without them as he is a Hunter of Monsters and a Badass Bookworm. Sam loses his demonic powers completely by season six and he is completely human. As of the tenth season, Sam is fully human (as he is cleaned of his demon blood, is no longer possessed by an angel).
  • Badass Transplant: A variation of this trope. Sam's demonic abilities were given to him due to Azazel feeding him his demon blood at 6 mos. of age. This was all a part of Azazel's plan in creating a demon army out of the "Special Children" so that only one would end up becoming Lucifer's vessel. Turns out that Sam was Lucifer's pre-destined true vessel since the beginning, regardless of all of the "Special Children" that Azazel had created.
  • Badass Tyke: Sam began hunting or was aware of the hunting world at the tender age of 8. By 12 years old, he was already handling guns. In flashbacks, he was seen engaging in combat and was skilled in fighting. He also always carried a weapon such as a knife on him as a child. This is because as a child, John had trained Sam (and Dean) to handle weapons and exposed him to the hunting world. For someone who to be handling weapons at such a tender age is both disturbing and heartbreaking. See Little Mister Badass.
  • Badass Unintentional: Sam had zero interest in embracing the hunter's lifestyle like his father John and his brother Dean. Sam wanted to live a normal life, however, the circumstances surrounding his life forced him to embrace the hunting life and become the badass and capable hunter that he is. What caused him to leave his normal life behind was the fact that Jessica was unexpectedly killed in the same fashion that his mother Mary was killed. This forced him to leave his normal life behind and become the capable hunter that he is today.
  • Bad Dreams: Sam experienced psychic visions, usually of premonitions of people in danger or people who are going to die in the future. These dreams occurred during the first and second seasons. Although these dreams would often help Sam and Dean during a hunt, they would also be incredibly scary and traumatic for Sam as quite a few of them would occur at night when Sam was sleeping. It's also incredibly disturbing for Sam as Sam continuously sees morbid thoughts and visions of people constantly dying and there is nothing that Sam can do to prevent it or stop it from happening. However, there were some cases in which Sam and Dean were able to prevent or stop the premonitions from coming true.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Sam's powers are demonic in nature, and he uses them to hunt demons. He would think that his powers were good and that he was doing the right thing by using his abilities because he was exorcising demons out of innocent human hosts and saving the human hosts. While he did manage to jump-start the Apocalypse, he was actually intending to stop it. Sam began drinking demon blood to strengthen his abilities but unfortunately for him, Sam became so addicted to the feeling of being powerful and strong through the use of his abilities that he eventually became demon blood junkie and did everything that he could to have access to demon blood as much as possible. Although Sam was doing morally ambiguous things, Sam still had good intentions behind what he was doing. His addiction to demon-blood has led to some decisions that can charitably be described as "questionable". Sam spent quite some time worried about "going dark side," and Dean's final wish at the end of season three was that Sam not use his demon powers. But during the time that Dean was suffering in Hell and becoming a torturer, Sam was aligning himself with a demon in Ruby and Ruby was training Sam to use his powers effectively. Knowing Dean would strongly disapprove and be extremely angry, Sam lied about it when Dean came back, and things got worse from there. Sam started to keep secrets from Dean, continued to lie to him, and even chose Ruby over him. Sam slid further and further to The Dark Side under Ruby's influence and he turned against Dean in the process. It was never entirely clear how much of the problem was The Dark Side Will Make You Forget/This Is Your Brain on Evil, how much straight addict behavior from the blood, and how much Sam being an ass of his own free will due to trauma and pride. Still, he was trying to save the world and save people, even at his worst. And he got better.
  • Bash Brothers: With Dean. He and his brother fight and hunt monsters and supernatural creatures side by side for a living. They are an Action Duo who complement each other and each brother has what the other needs or lacks. Sam is the Badass Bookworm who does most of the research on the hunt and Dean is the Blood Knight who does most of the fighting, killing and engages in combat. Sam is also more practical and Dean is more hotheaded, so they balance each other out. Sam and Dean would also do anything to save the other no matter what.
  • Battle Couple: With Ruby during season four. Sam was a human with demonic abilities and Ruby was a demon and they would fight other demons together. They also had a shared mission of wanting to kill Lillith, although their agendas were different. Sam wanted to kill Lillith to avenge Dean's death while Ruby wanted to kill Lillith so that Lucifer would be released and the apocalypse would start. Ruby had helped Sam strengthen and learn to control his demonic abilities. Although this is later averted with Sam as Sam became significantly more powerful with time after Ruby had helped to strengthen Sam's abilities. Ruby in fact let Sam do all of the work by exorcising demons from human hosts with his mind, although Ruby would still kill demons with the use of her demon knife.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In the season six finale, the wall around Sam's memories of being in Lucifer's cage is destroyed, shattering his psyche into pieces - "normal Sam", the Sam who spent a year without a soul, and the Sam who remembers Hell. Normal Sam kills and absorbs soulless Sam, but the third Sam has no interest in fighting and begs Sam to stay in the dreamscape and spare himself the memories of what happened. Hell!Sam told Normal!Sam that if he chooses to come back, he would have to endure the horrible memories from Hell. When that fails, he allows Sam to absorb him.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: In almost every episode, Sam, along with Dean, often poses as FBI, police, and even a priest to gain access to evidence or question witnesses. Sam has a fake ID for everything and is willing to show it to anyone who asks. Sam has fooled patients several times by posing as a hospital orderly/counselor/whatever simply by dressing the part. One of the reasons the writers favor this con is probably related to how Jared Padelecki looks ridiculously excellent in white scrubs. Sam has also posed as a high school janitor in "After School Special". Sam also posed a yoga instructor in "The Purge".
  • Beard of Sorrow: Sam seems to be growing one in season nine. Understandable considering that Sam's health hasn't been very good. Sam's heavier stubble also emphasizes the toll that the three trials took on Sam throughout season eight. It also showed how emotionally broken and vulnerable Sam is as not only has physical health not good but since season six, his emotional health had not been its best either. The scruff seems to be back in season after his brother ends up dying and then becomes a demon at the end of season nine. Although, technically speaking, Sam's beard is more of a "Scruff Of Sorrow".
  • Beauty is Bad: Especially when Sam was soulless and when Sam was possessed by Lucifer. Averted before Sam began hunting.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: A Rare Male Example. Sam may get beaten up from time to time but the effects of his beatings, cuts, bruises don't seem to last that long. This is because there is an angel in Castiel who is always there to pretty much prettify Sam and Dean's faces with the use of his angelic mojo. In 6x07, Sam gets beaten up to a bloody pulp by Dean. But it doesn't last when Dean tells Castiel to clean up his face. Although, this is sometimes averted as there have been plenty of times in which Sam has gotten beaten up and has managed to have cuts, bruises, scars and black eyes for some time.
  • Beauty Mark: Sam has a distinctive and noticeable mole on the left side of his face underneath his eye and near his nose. He also has some other beauty marks on his face that are also noticeable in close up shots. Dean, on the other hand, has many freckles on his face that is particularly noticeable on his nose and cheeks.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Sam went from a naive and idealistic college boy to someone significantly more ruthless, darker, cynical and jaded. In the second season, Sam swore that he wouldn't let himself go to The Dark Side and succumb to darkness and evil. He actually feared becoming a monster because of his psychic abilities and had constantly referred to himself as a freak or abnormal because of what he can do. But by season four, Sam is corrupted by demons (namely Ruby), addicted to demon blood, is obsessed with using his demonic abilities. Sam is borderline Ambiguously Evil and his actions are rather morally grey in nature. Sam became the one thing that he swore he didn't want to become and he became the one thing that he loathes and that he hunts for a living. In season five, it gets even worse when Sam discovers that he is the destined vessel for Lucifer. Not to mention that in season six, Sam was soulless. When Sam was soulless, he was sociopathic, lacked empathy and was extremely ruthless in nature. He even killed innocent people in the line of duty without feeling anything whatsoever. Talk about not succeeding in not wanting to succumb to the dark side. However, Sam didn't so much succumb to evil and darkness as he was manipulated by it. Ruby manipulated him into believing his demonic abilities were the only way and that the demon blood was the only means to achieve that, and as soon as he realized his mistake he worked tirelessly to rectify it, culminating in his willingly dooming himself to an eternity of torture at the hands of the devil himself, not exactly the actions of a dark side individual.
  • Because Destiny Says So: From the beginning, a very evil (albeit vague) destiny was hinted at for Sam Winchester. Sam was destined to be the vessel for Lucifer, which means that Sam was meant to destroy the world while hosting Lucifer. Everything that happened to Sam and the rest of the Winchester family was for this one reason. Azazel had set this plan in motion back in 1983 when Azazel came into Sam's nursery and bled into his mouth, which would give Sam demonic abilities when he became a young adult. Azazel had created a special army of Special Children, who was meant to be an army that would serve during the apocalypse. Whomever would be the last or sole living Special Child would be the one to host or be the vessel for Lucifer. Although Sam was the last remaining Special Child, it wouldn't have mattered if Sam did survive or not as Lucifer himself revealed that Sam has always been his one true vessel and that it was predestined since the beginning of time.
  • Being Good Sucks: Despite all of the good that Sam does as a hunter which results in the protection and safety of many innocent peopleís lives, Sam ends up constantly suffering because of it. Sam may help or save people for a living, but he receives nothing good in return. Instead, Sam has only gone through endless pain, suffering, tragedy, heartbreak and loss and it is a never ending cycle for him. Sam doesnít hunt because he actually finds peace and enjoyment in it, but that he feels it's his duty to protect innocent people from a misfortunate fate.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Ruby in season four. Before Sam and Ruby succumbed to demonic fiery passion and slept together as revealed in 4x09.
  • Beneath the Mask: Sam may be a hunter as a living, but deep down, Sam has always desired and craved a normal life and still believes that after everything that hunting has done to him, he believes that his chance at a normal life is still at reach. Not just for himself but for Dean as well. Sam refers to it as "the light at the end of the tunnel."
  • Berserk Button:
    • Hurting his older brother Dean in any capacity is likely to get a normally even tempered and calm Sam to unleash his inner Hot-Blooded, careless, impulsive and reckless nature with an Unstoppable Rage all while becoming driven by revenge. Sam can become very scary, intimidating, violent and threatening whenever his older brother's life is on the line bordering on being Cute and Psycho. If Dean is hurt, harmed or threatened, generally calm, sweet, and empathetic Sam has the potential to be scarier than Dean if he is provoked into anger. Even The Trickster noted how threatening and ruthless Sam was when it came to his desire and determination to bring Dean back from the dead in "Mystery Spot".
    • DO NOT call Sam a monster or a freak, as he will end up reacting...with his fists. Dean learned it the hard way when he called Sam a monster to his face. Sam didn't react well and Dean end up on the floor with Sam nearly choking him to death.
    • DO NOT kill innocent people in any capacity. Sam has a strong moral conscience and he is a hunter who fights to protect humanity. One of the things that Sam hates is to see innocent people end up suffering because of him. Much of this has to do with Sam having a severe case of Survivor's Guilt, as it appears that everyone who is close to him ends up dying (Mary, John, Jessica, Dean, Castiel, etc). Sam sees hunting as a duty for the greater good and ends up being set off if innocent people end up dying for no reason.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Played straight. Sam is basically a nice guy, but can be just as ruthless as his brother when trying to protect people, probably even moreso than Dean. He's always got a kind word for someone shell-shocked from a brush with the supernatural, prefers to do research rather than pick locks and break faces, and will most certainly fuck you up if you even think about hurting his older brother. Just ask Gordon Walker (beheaded with barbed wire) or the Crossroads Demon (shot in the head). Let's not forget all the things that he did while he was jacked up on demon blood like killing or exorcising three of the most powerful demons in existence with the use of his powers, such as Alastair (for torturing Dean), Lillith (for killing Dean and sending him to Hell) and Samhain (for endangering an entire town of innocent civilians). In addition, what Sam did while he was without a soul is a whole other ballgame.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Dean are the joint main villains of Season 10.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Adam. Sam seemed to automatically take on the big brother role after he got to know Adam. Sam immediately bonded to Adam as soon as he met him. It's probably because Sam saw a lot of himself in Adam before Sam has embraced the world of hunting. Sam wanted to make sure that Adam would be able to protect himself against possible dangers so he started to train him. Sam also showed protectiveness towards Adam in Season 5 after he was ressurected by the Angels. Overall it seems that Sam shared a closer bond with Adam than Dean did. Sam is also this to Kevin. Sam has even referred to Kevin as being his responsibility. When Gadreel had used Sam's body to kill Kevin and when Sam found it, it devastated Sam and he ended up feeling immense guilt over Kevin's death; feeling that he failed to protect Kevin from danger in the end.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Adam, Kevin and Jessie. He is Birds of a Feather with all of them and he sees his life as similar to theirs. Because of this he has a strong protectiveness over them. Sam had taught Adam a bit about hunting and had even trained him to protect himself. Sam also taught Kevin to defend himself against other dangers. And Sam taught Jessie, who is The Antichrist, to hold onto his humanity and encouraged him to make the right choices and not agree to Lucifer's plans.
  • Big Brother Worship: When Sam was younger, he openly admits to looking up to Dean and strongly admiring him. Sam openly stated that he always looked up to Dean since he was a child and he tried to emulate his big brother in many ways. He seemed to have hero worshipped Dean to the point where he would think that Dean could handle everything on his own because he was the big, strong older brother who was the protector and provider. However, this is later on subverted, as Sam, now a fully grown man, has seemed to have overcome his hero worship of Dean, with Sam somewhat resenting Dean later on in regards to Dean's hero complex towards Sam. Sam also comes to realize that Dean is not as invincible as he thought he was. He realizes that Dean is a flawed individual who's made mistakes, especially when it comes to protecting Sam. The loss of Sam's hero worship towards Dean is showcased in Season Four and Season Nine especially, with Sam even calling out Dean for his hero complex attitude and his constant need to save Sam at all costs even at the expense of others.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Often alongside Dean. They are badass hunters after all and they managed to end the Apocalypse.
  • The Big Guy: Subverted. Sam plays the trope straight because he is very tall and is listed as 6'6" (1.98 m). according to police database records. He is also the tallest and largest of Team Free Will, towering over Dean and Castiel. Jared Padalecki is also the tallest cast member of Supernatural at 6'5" (1.96 m). Because of Sam's height, many other characters have given him many different nicknames that are associated with his height (i.e. Moose, Big Bird, Sasquatch, Giraffe, The Big W, etc.) However, he subverts this trope because although he fits the trope physically, he is not that much of a bruiser or a fighter. He is more of The Smart Guy or The Hero. Dean and Castiel fit this trope much better than Sam does. Sam being The Big Guy is usually a plot point because it means that there is something seriously wrong with him. If Sam does classify as this trope, then Sam is either Type 1 (while on demon blood or soulless), Type 2 (while normal), or Type 4 (while normal).
  • Big Little Brother: Sam was a late bloomer, shown to be almost comically shorter than Dean in their teens. By the time the show starts, he's 6'5" and quite a bit taller than his brother. Lampshaded when a character refers to him as a "Sasquatch" (Dean calls him this one time), and Crowley calls him "Moose" and "Jolly Green Giant". Both were adopted by the fandom pretty quickly. There are occasional other jabs at his size. Another name that was used for Sam in the series is "Big Bird".
    Dean: Isn't this the same Lilith that wants your giant head on a pike?
  • Big "NO!": Sam will say this whenever someone he loves ends up in danger or is dying. Interestingly enough, Dean says the exact thing whenever someone he cares about is in danger.
    • 1.01 Sam says this when he is laying on his bed and Jessica dies by being pinned to the ceiling and lit up in flames. In the exact same way that his mother Mary was killed above his crib when he was a six month old baby.
    • 3.16 Sam repeats this again when he sees Dean being brutally ripped to shreds by Hellhounds and being able to do nothing about it because he is being held back by Lilith and forced to watch it happen.
  • Big Sleep: When Sam is fatally stabbed in the back at the end of season two, he is still conscious in Dean's arms, but eventually he closes his eyes slowly as he dies, suggesting that despite being killed brutally, he died a peaceful death.
  • Bio-Augmentation: A variation of this trope. Sam's biology was altered shortly AFTER he was born when Azazel fed Sam demon blood when he was a baby. This gave him special Psychic Powers in his early adulthood.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • Sam shared a connection, bond or kinship with all of the "Special Children", who like him, possess special psychic abilities (i.e. Max Miller , Andy Gallagher, Ava Wilson, Jake Talley etc.)
    • Sam also seemed to have seen himself in Jesse Turner, The Antichrist. Like Jesse, Sam was destined for dark, evil path as Lucifer's one true vessel. Sam immediately bonded with Jesse and had begged Jesse to not succumb to his evil destiny and that he could still be normal and make the right decisions, despite who he is meant to be (with Sam being Lucifer's pre-destined vessel and Jesse being destined to be The Antichrist). Both Sam and Jesse were completely unaware or oblivious to the fact that they were destined for a dark path. They also lived a normal life despite who they were. Both of them even look alike physically and both possess the signature Puppy-Dog Eyes. Jesse is a mini-Sam.
    • Sam also shares quite a few similarities with Castiel. Their journeys basically parallel or mirror each other. They have both let pride and power get the best of them and have managed to put the world at large in danger because of their wrong actions and choices. This is probably why Sam is so forgiving of Castiel when he betrays him (by breaking his wall in his head), even more so than Dean: because Sam sees himself in Castiel. Sam understands and empathizes with Castiel as Sam has made similar mistakes as Castiel in the past. Like Castiel, Sam has also tried to atone for his misdeeds.
    • Sam also shares many traits and similarities with Kevin Tran. Both have had their "normal lives" turned upside down due to being The Chosen One (Sam is a Special Child and the one true vessel for Lucifer, Kevin is a prophet), both have lost their mothers and their girlfriends due to a higher demon (for Sam, Azazel killed his mother Mary and his girlfriend Jessica; for Kevin, Crowley harmed his mother Linda and killed his girlfriend Channing), and both are The Smart Guys and Badass Bookworms who are certified nerds. Both have attended ivy league schools (Sam attended Stanford and Kevin wanted to attend Princeton). Both of them also have absentees fathers (although John was physically there for Sam at times, he was not really there for him emotionally; Kevin's father's whereabouts are unknown). And most of all, both of them just wanted to be normal and safe. However, both Sam and Kevin's lives are brought down by tragedy and the circumstances surrounding their destinies.
    • Sam shares some traits in common with his younger paternal half brother, Adam Milligan. Both of them are book smart, intelligent, and ambitious. Both of them are academic, scholarly and have attended university, with Sam aspiring to become a lawyer and Adam aspiring to become a doctor. Both Sam and Adam had lived a normal life of having friends and a girlfriend before their worlds were turned upside down by the supernatural. Both of them were thrown into or exposed to the hunting world unexpectedly. Both of them spent their early childhoods unaware of the supernatural and the dangers that go along with it. Physically, they even share the same quality of having Puppy-Dog Eyes. These similarities between Sam and Adam is probably why Sam felt such an instant bond and connection to Adam after they first met. Sam probably saw a lot of himself in Adam before Sam was thrown into the hunting world. In other words, Adam represented the innocence and naivety that Sam once had before becoming corrupted by supernatural influence and the hunting world. Adam was basically Season 1!Sam.
    • Sam shares some things in common with Charlie Bradbury. Both Adorkable? Check. Both nerdy? Check. Both bookworms? Check. Both Techno Wizard's? Check. Both love Harry Potter? Check.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Sam possesses demon blood within his veins, because he was fed demon blood by the YED when he was only 6 mos. old. This managed to alter his blood dramatically and he ended up developing special powers in his young adult age.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Sam can get these when using his powers to telekinetically drive demons out of their human hosts. Justified since getting the power to do that requires drinking demon blood.
  • Black Sheep: Even considering the dysfunction of the Winchester family, Sam never quite fit in.
  • Blessed with Suck: His premonitions or the fact that he's Lucifer's true vessel? Take your pick.
    • Sam's visions of doom. As one of a group of psychic children, some of whom have powers such as Super Strength, Mind Control, Telekinesis and the ability to electrocute people with a touch, he gets uncontrollable, painful visions of violent deaths. As one of the other psychics put it: "Dude, [that] sucks."
  • Blood from the Mouth: Sam's Incurable Cough of Death in season 8 that causes him to cough up blood almost on a daily basis.
  • Blood Knight: Not nearly as much as Dean, who actually enjoys hunting and takes more pleasure in killing supernatural creatures, but he's had his moments, primarily when there is something wrong with him. Sam normally uses his brains and intelligence to fight the enemy but he is also a capable fighter and hunter in his own right. However, unlike Dean, he doesn't take as much pleasure in killing monsters. He is more likely than Dean to sympathize with them and even spare them. Sam displayed a stronger desire to hunt and kill when he became Darker and Edgier and was under the influence of demon blood in Season Four. He became obsessed with hunting and killing demons along with Ruby. He also showed a stronger need to kill when he was soulless in Season Six. Sam even admitted that when he was soulless, he even killed innocent people in the line of duty and felt no remorse or guilt for it (because he could not feel anything). Despite the times that Sam has shown a killer instinct, it is normally when Sam is not himself whereas Dean tends to have a stronger killer instinct and need to hunt monsters whether he is normal or not.
  • Blood Lust: For demon blood of course. Whenever Sam sees a demon bleeding, Sam gets strongly tempted to drink it. Sam's addiction was so bad that in 5x14, Famine corrupted Sam and made him intensely hungry for demon blood.
  • Bookworm/Cute Bookworm: Sam reads and researches a lot. He is incredibly book smart, knowledgable and well-read. Sam conducts most of the research on the hunt.
  • Born Unlucky: Sam gets (and loses) a rabbit's foot, which grants people incredible luck while they possess it, and eventually terminal bad luck when they inevitably lose it. At one point while sitting doing nothing in a hotel room, the radiator caught fire. He managed to knock himself unconscious putting it out. He also lost his shoe.
  • Bound and Gagged: Plenty of times throughout the show. It's becoming a Running Gag.
  • Boy Next Door: Sam was a regular college student with a normal life before he got dragged into the hunting world and life.
  • Brains and Brawn: Sam is the Brains to Dean's Brawn. While Sam is more of a brainiac, bookworm and researcher, Dean is more of a hunter, warrior and fighter. It's not that Sam is bad at the Brawn side either, as Sam has been shown to be a capable fighter, warrior and hunter in his own right. However, Sam takes after the Winchester side of the family, who are referred to as the Brains between the Winchesters and the Campbells and Dean seems to take after more of the Campbell side of the family, who are the Brawns between the Winchesters and Campbells.
  • Brainy Brunet: Gender-inverted. Sam is very intelligent and book smart. He is a highly capable researcher and often uses his brains or intelligence over using violence or brute force during hunts. He is also highly scholarly and was an aspiring lawyer at one point. He was a straight A student and shows particular strengths in writing and literature. He even attended a prestiguous university in Stanford before he got pulled back into the hunting life. Also see The Smart Guy, Badass Bookworm, Teen Genius and Child Prodigy.
  • Bratty Teenage Son: This is implied. It is evident that Sam was a rebellious child and never followed authority, especially his father. Dean makes references to how Sam was a Mouthy Kid who would get into fights with John constantly.
  • Break the Cutie: He was a law student, had a social life and a beautiful girlfriend (Jessica) in the Pilot episode. Lasts for about half an episode. Sam's life and circumstances then steadily get worse as the series progresses.
  • Broken Ace: Sam is very intelligent, a good researcher and a very capable hunter yet his personal life is an absolute tragedy. Sam has never had one moment of peace and happiness. And whenever he gets happiness, it is always ripped away from him. Aside from the fact that he doesn't fit in with his family and he was forced into a life that he never wanted, Sam has endured so much loss, tragedy and grief. He has had to suffer his brother repeatedly dying on him, the love of his life Jessica being killed, not knowing his mother Mary because she was killed in his nursery when he was just a baby, having constant problems with his father John, having his normal life ripped away from him repeatedly, having to deal with the fact that he has a destiny of darkness and evil, that he is the vessel for Lucifer, suffering over 200 years in Hell, being saved from Hell by Castiel only to have his soul left in Hell while his soul is being shredded and mutilated by both Lucifer and Michael, having his wall broken so he relives all of his worst memories in Hell and suffering a mental and psychological breakdown, getting extremely sick while completing the Trials Of God to the pint where he ends up in a coma, having an angel possess him without his consent because Dean could not live without him and finally, having his one brother turn into the one thing that he hates and hunts, which is a demon. Sam's life has never been easy and it has never been happy.
  • Broken Bird: Gender-Inverted. Sam has been through such endless pain, tragedy, loss and trauma that it is questionable on how he is still functioning after everything that he has been through since his birth. When Sam was just 6 mos. old, he was already corrupted by demons when Azazel came into his nursery and fed him demon blood, placing a curse upon Sam and the entire Winchester family. Azazel then killed Sam's mother, Mary in his nursery by pinning her to the ceiling, slashing her stomach and setting her on fire, leaving Sam forever motherless. His entire family is pure and utter dysfunction and to make the family dynamics worst, Sam never saw eye to eye with his father John. He was kicked out by John at the age of 18 when Sam decided to attend Stanford instead of continue the family business of hunting. In season one, Sam tragically loses the love of his life, Jessica, when Azazel kills her in the exact same fashion that he killed his mother, Mary. This forever changed Sam's life and dragged him into the world of hunting, which would open the doors for Sam's unknown dark destiny. In season two, Sam loses his father, John and feels extreme guilt about his death, believing that his father died thinking that Sam hated him. He also spends a considerable amount of time dealing with Dean's depression and grief over the loss of John. As if it wasn't bad enough, Sam discovers that he is a possible force for evil and that he could turn evil or go to The Dark Side. On top of that, Dean tells Sam that John told Dean that if he couldn't save him from going to the dark side, he would have to kill him. At the end of season two, Sam unexpectedly ends up dying, only to be brought back to life after Dean sold his soul to bring him back. In season three, Sam discovers that Dean brought him back from the dead by selling his soul for him and getting one year to live before he is dragged off to Hell. Sam loses hope in trying to save Dean from going to Hell and it seems absolutely hopeless. At the end of season three, Sam hopelessly watches Dean get ripped to death by Hellhounds and sent to Hell afterwards. In season four, Sam becomes extremely suicidal and depressed after Dean dies and goes to Hell. He is then manipulated and corrupted by Ruby as a result and she manages to get him addicted to demon blood. Sam goes further and further to The Dark Side. At the end of season four, Sam kills Lillith, who is the final seal, and ends up starting the Apocalypse. In season five, Sam discovers that he is the vessel for Lucifer, the ultimate destroyer of the world. He then has to deal with the fact that Dean has given up on him and has no faith in him or anything; that he will say yes to Michael and will wipe out nearly half the Earth and humanity as a result. Sam feels extremely guilty about starting the Apocalypse so he decides to make a Heroic Sacrifice by saying yes to Lucifer, opening the pit, throwing himself into the pits of Hell and burning in Hell for all of eternity while making Dean promise not to bring him back no matter what and to go live an apple pie life with Lisa and Ben. In season six, [[spoiler:Sam is brought back, but he's not completely himself. It was discovered that Sam was walking around for entire year soulless. Therefore, Sam did many immoral deeds, including the killing of innocent people. On the other hand, Sam's soul was being tortured brutally by the likes of Lucifer and Michael in Lucifer's cage. Sam's soul was so extensively damaged that Castiel even said that Sam might not survive if he got his soul back. After Sam received his soul back, Sam had a wall put up in his head by Death in order to prevent Sam from reliving his worst and most traumatizing memories of his 200 years of suffering in Hell. At the end of season six, Castiel breaks Sam's wall and Sam begins to suffer as a result, remembering bits and pieces of his memories of trauma in Hell. In season seven, Sam begins to suffer from hallucinations of Lucifer and remembering the torture and the suffering that he endured in Hell. Sam loses Castiel, someone whom he considers to be his friend. Sam discovers that his own brother killed his childhood friend and childhood love, Amy, behind his back, betraying his trust. This causes a rift between himself and Dean. Sam also loses Bobby, someone whom he and Dean have considered a father figure since childhood. As a result of the hallucinations, Sam becomes sleepless and starts to go insane. Towards the end of season seven, Sam has a complete and total mental breakdown and ends up in a psychiatric mental hospital. At the end of season seven, Sam loses everyone and is completely and totally alone, after Dean and Cas are zapped into Purgatory and Kevin is missing. In season eight, Sam is ripped away from the normal and safe life that he had built for a year with Amelia, his new girlfriend, and Riot, his dog, and dragged back into the dreaded life of hunting when Dean comes back from Purgatory. In the middle of the season, Sam becomes The Chosen One to close the gates of Hell after successfully completing the first trial. However, the trials make him sicker and sicker with time with Sam coughing up blood being one of the symptoms. Sam continues to get weaker and Sam with each passing trial and it is uncertain whether Sam is going to make it out of these trials alive or even human, since according to Castiel, he is changing on a significant level that even he can't heal or understand. As of the end of season eight, Sam still appears to be sick and the audience is not sure of whether or not he will live or die next season. In season nine, Sam was in a coma and was basically facing possible death. In fact, Sam was wanting to die, but Dean would not let it happen. So what did Dean end up doing out of desperation to keep Sam alive? Dean basically gave an angel (Ezekiel a.k.a. Gadreel) permission to possess Sam's body without Sam actually knowing or Sam giving the angel his true consent. So Sam is walking around with an angel possessing him without his actual consent and unknowingly healing him from the inside because he was so incredibly damaged from the inside. On top of it, Dean is lying through his teeth to Sam about the whole situation and sooner or later, Sam is going to discover what Dean did and it will blow up in Dean's face while Sam ends up feeling really hurt, angered and betrayed by his own brother. To make the situation worse, Gadreel has completely taken over Sam's mind, body and soul that Sam has become non-existent. On top of it, Gadreeel ends up killing Kevin in Sam's body without Sam having any control over his own actions. Sam is also going to likely end up suffering and feeling extreme guilt over killing Kevin out of his control. Sam does find out about what Dean ddid, by violating his body and his free will and choice. Sam is of course justifiably angry at Dean and has even said that he doesn't really want a brother relationship with Dean as of now. Sam has lost total trust in Dean and his relationship with Dean is currently rather strained. To make matters worse, Sam now has to deal with the fact that Dean has the Mark Of Cain and because of it, might become a cold blooded murderer and killer. Not to mention that once again, Sam has to witness his brother being killed and dying in front of his very own eyes. Add onto the fact that Dean becomes a demon, the very type of monster that Sam has feared he would turn into due to having a dark destiny and something that he and Dean hunt for a living.
  • Broken Hero: Been through much trauma and tragedy yet Sam keeps fighting and believing that there is hope in the end.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Sam deliberately breaks his arm punching out Lucifer when he, after inviting the Devil to possess him, somehow manages to throw the both of them back into the Devil's Cage. The upside: the Apocalypse is averted. The downside: His soul is trapped, for the foreseeable future, in an abyss with an enraged and betrayed Satan. The personal kickback is nonexistent.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Sam is angry, frustrated or upset, Sam will not hesitate to speak his mind and sometimes what he says can come off as brutal and harsh. Unfortunately, many of Sam's harsh comments are said to Dean, which ends up causing brotherly angst between the two.
  • The Brute: Sam was this when he was soulless in Season Six. He was very ruthless and manipulative and he would use that to his advantage during a hunt.
  • Bully Hunter: His friendships with Barry in "After School Special" and Amy in "The Girl Next Door" as a teenager both start out with him standing up to kids bullying them. When words don't do the trick, Sam gives the bullies a taste of their own medicine.
  • Butt Monkey: In the traditional sense of the trope (the butt of other characters' jokes), Sam faithfully serves as a minor one to Dean, but this is downplayed because Dean's jokes are almost always just light-hearted ribbing and also because Dean himself is a much bigger Butt Monkey to other characters (including Sam himself). Sam turns into a full-fledged Butt Monkey in Season 5, seemingly as karmic punishment for his actions in Season 4: he gets stuck with two different STDs (the clap and genital herpes, if you're curious), hit in the nuts, and turned into a car with a jar of holy oil stuck in his ass/trunk... and that's just in two episodes. Sam also fits the alternate meaning of the trope as a character who's constantly put through hell. In fact, it's starting to back-fire, as plenty of fans are getting sick of the constant Limp!Sam and would prefer that the writers focus on giving him Character Development.
  • Byronic Hero: In season four, Sam becomes a significantly darker person by nature when he starts to embrace his dark destiny. Sam became much more self centred and his pride began to get he best of him mostly because he was getting more powerful and Ruby was manipulating him and feeding into his pride that he was the only one who could kill Lilith and stop the apocalypse from happening with the use of his abilities. Sam is also intelligent, educated and capable of being highly manipulative. Sam would lie to Dean with little to no effort about where he was going or what he was up to. Let's not forget that Sam had completely lost his innocence at the time; the innocence that Sam had always possessed in season one to three. Sam also displayed rather passionate behaviour and was seen to be rather impulsive and hot headed. It also became apparent that Sam became significantly more arrogant, jaded and prideful as season four progressed, but this was only showcasing just how much Sam had changed as a person due to giving into his darkness.
  • Call to Adventure: In the Pilot, Dean comes to get Sam from Stanford in order to embark on a journey in finding their missing dad. This is the beginning of Sam being brought into the hunters world and leaving his normal life behind.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Happens twice in the pilot episode for Sam. First, his Dad goes missing and Dean comes to get him. He refuses that after killing the Monster of the Week, but watching his girlfriend burn up on the ceiling like his mother finally forces him to take the call for good.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Sam frequently did this with John ever since his childhood. Sam and John have always clashed and never really got along while Sam was growing up.
  • Came Back Wrong: Both at the end of season two and during the beginning of season six. At the end of season two, Sam is stabbed and killed by Jake Talley. Dean makes a deal with a cross road demon and sells his soul so that Sam can live again. Dean's deal gives him one year to live before he ends up in Hell. As a result of the deal Dean made, Sam comes back alive. However, when Sam, Dean, Bobby and Ellen are attacked by Jake, Sam shoots Jake repeatedly without any sense of guilt or remorse. Sam comes off as cold-blooded and merciless after he shoots and kills Jake. Sam's "strange" behaviour becomes more evident in season three, when Sam becomes more cold-hearted and remorseless when he kills demons and the demon hosts. In season six, Sam displays distant, cold behaviour towards Dean. It turns out that he was brought back from Hell soulless by Castiel, hence why Sam was distributing cold, remorseless behaviour with a lack of empathy.
    • Azazel/YED taunted Dean with this possibility in the season two finale, after Dean had made the deal by selling his soul to bring back Sam.
    • More than implied in season six. It was confirmed in "Family Matters" (no, not the sitcom), when Castiel examines him and discovers that Sam no longer has his soul. He gets better (somewhat) in "Like a Virgin," only for it to get reversed by Castiel in the Season 6 finale.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: In the flashbacks when Sam was a young teen, it was shown that he couldn't talk to girls with any confidence. He even asked Dean to give him some advice on how to talk to girls.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Sam gets drunk rather easily and when he drinks too much, "he starts singing karaoke", according to Dean.
  • Can't Stay Normal:
    • Sam tried to live normally before the series started. He went off to Stanford to get away from his family and the hunting life altogether. Unfortunately, in the Pilot episode, he was ripped away from his much desired normal life and dragged back into the much dreaded lifestyle of hunting.
    • In Season Eight, Sam attempted to live a normal life for a year with a girl (Amelia) and a dog (Riot). However, Sam is once again forced to give up his sense of normalcy and is reverted back to his hunter lifestyle once Dean returns from Purgatory.
  • Cartwright Curse: Any woman who sleeps with Sam, or even shows any romantic interest at all, has an excellent chance of either dying horribly or turning out to be evil.
    • Ruby survived a whole season after snaring him, but in the finale learned that explaining your plan to your Unwitting Pawn is a bad idea.
    • Played with in "Sex and Violence," when the boys are tracking a shape-shifting siren. When Sam sleeps with a hot doctor, the audience assumes she will turn out to be the siren and will be killed by the boys. She's not. There may be an element of attempting to protect her from this effect in Sam's 'eh, why bother to say goodbye' reaction before they leave town. But mostly he honestly doesn't care much about her, which is a trauma-induced departure from his previous characterization; Dean hooks up, Sam dates. Only he doesn't, much, because it's not terribly compatible with their lifestyle and he's usually in mourning for someone.
    • He seemed to have gotten away from it for a little while. But then made up for it with four women in one episode.
    • In 7.08, Dean lampshades this when trying to talk sense into a love-potioned Sam with the line: "have you forgotten the average lifespan of your hookups?"
    • With the deaths of Sarah Blake and Amy Pond, this now seems to extend to every woman Sam's even kissed going back practically to childhood. And in Season 5, it was revealed that even his prom date had been possessed.
    • Sam himself comments in Season 9's "A Rock and a Hard Place" that his relationships tend to "end badly."
  • Cassandra Truth: Gordon was right all along about Sam. Subverted, as while Sam definitely has darkness in him and accidentally started the Apocalypse, he sacrifices himself to save the world instead of siding with the demons or helping Lucifer take over the world.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Averted in most of the season one episodes when Sam was having prophetic nightmares.
  • Character Development: Sam is probably the character that ended up enduring the most changes throughout the entire series. But this is understandable from a story telling perspective since the story generally centres on Sam as things are constantly happening to him to cause the development or changes to him. Sam goes from someone who was a normal college boy who was naive, optimistic, enthusiastic and The Idealist to someone who becomes a hardened hunter who becomes more pragmatic, logical and The Cynic with Jade-Colored Glasses. Sam is also the character who has consistently changed the most in regards to Character Alignment.
    • Sam starts off as Lawful Good and Neutral Good in Season One and Two, but eventually becomes Chaotic Good (in Season Three and at the middle to end of Season Six), Chaotic Neutral (in most of Season Four), borderline Lawful Evil (at the end of Season Four), Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Neutral (in Season Five), True Neutral bordering on Lawful Evil (in the beginning of Season Six due to being soulless), Neutral Good (in Season Seven, Eight and Nine), Lawful Good or Neutral Good with shades of Chaotic Good (in Season Ten and Eleven) and finally, Lawful Good with Neutral Good shades (in Season Twelve). When he was possessed by Meg (a demon), Lucifer (an archangel) and Gadreel (an angel), he is Chaotic Evil (Meg, Lucifer) and Neutral Evil (Gadreel) respectively.
    • In Season's One and Two, Sam was someone who would act as a good person is expected and would commit to helping others. He was the empathetic, sensitive, kind hearted and caring character that started out as a reluctant hero but eventually embraced wanting to help people as a hunter, despite his desire for normal. Sam also served as a Morality Pet and The Conscience for Dean, who was a generally impulsive and hotheaded person. However, as the series progressed, Sam slid further and further down the character alignment system. While he was possessed by Meg (who is a demon) for an episode (Born Under a Bad Sign), he was sinister, uncaring, unsympathetic and reckless.
    • In Season Three, he became more a more reckless character but with good intentions. Although Sam wanted to help, protect and save civilians, he also lost quite a bit of his morality in the process. He visibly became more reckless, careless and impulsive in how he approached hunts. This was the season in which Sam went from Ideal Hero to Anti-Hero and when Sam slowly started to descend to The Dark Side.
    • In Season Four, Sam became more individualistic, independent, unpredictable, self absorbed and selfish. As time passed, he became a significantly darker and morally corrupt person. Sam slowly started to turn descend to The Dark Side as he embraced his demonic powers and his dark destiny. He started to care less about being empathetic during hunting and caring more about his individualistic pursuits, such as how powerful he could become to kill Lilith out of anger and revenge for what she did to Dean. At the end of the season, he becomes completely morally corrupted and dark as he loses his sense of sanity, becomes a addicted to demon blood, ends up losing his morals, becomes power hungry, chooses to side with Ruby over Dean, fully embraces his demonic powers and destiny (even becoming monstrous and demonic himself), and unintentionally starts the Apocalypse by killing Lilith. However, while he does commit morally ambiguous or dark actions, he does so with good intentions.
    • In Season Five, Sam went back to being a moral person. He sought to atone and fix the mistakes that he made in the previous season. Sam does this by trying to fix his relationship with Dean as well as committing a Heroic Sacrifice by throwing himself into Hell while possessed by Lucifer and saving the world by averting the Apocalypse.
    • In Season Six, Sam was an uncaring person bordering on sociopathic, because he did not have a soul. Sam came off as The Sociopath who had a severe Lack of Empathy and didn't care about anything or anyone including Dean. By being soulless, Sam was a strong, aggressive, and competent hunter, but he didn't hunt for the greater good or to help others. Sam was uncaring and apathetic because he didn't have any feelings, such as love, empathy or compassion. Once Sam gets his soul back, he is back to normal albeit with slight changes.
    • In Season's Seven, Eight, and Nine, Sam is back to devoting himself to helping and saving other people. He does this even though he is suffering from serious mental health issues due to his wall being broken by Castiel. Despite his personal issues, he still chooses to hunt and save civilians alongside Dean. In Season Eight, Sam gives up hunting completely and embraces a normal life for a year but eventually goes back to the hunting world once Dean comes back from Purgatory. Sam ends up taking on the Trials of God, intending on closing the gates of Hell for good.
    • In Season's Ten and Eleven, Sam shows to be mostly law abiding and morally good, although he does commit some morally ambiguous actions in attempts to save Dean. Sam makes it a priority to save Dean, who became a demon and was suffering from negative effects from the MOC, from descending into complete darkness. Sam is also the Token Human of the group during this time. He also acts as the moral compass for everyone, especially Dean.
    • In Season Twelve, Sam is arguably the most morally good character and the Morality Chain of the group. He believes in doing the right thing no matter what, even if he has to sacrifice himself to do it. He is also The Heart of the group and the most empathetic, compassionate, and understanding towards others during hunts. By this time, Sam has had significant changes in regards to his personality and outlook, but this has happened due to the many life changing events he has endured.
  • A Chat with Satan: In seasons five to seven, Sam had similar talks like this with Lucifer, but Sam has been able to resist Lucifer's seductive nature. In season five, Sam was communicating with Lucifer in person with Lucifer trying to convince Sam to give him his consent to possess him. Sam as always says that it is not going to happen no matter what. Lucifer ends up guilting Sam by using the Not So Different speech about how he is a younger brother and how like Sam, he had an older brother whom he loved and worshipped (Michael). However, Lucifer felt like he never fit in with his family and when Lucifer wanted support from Michael, Michael did not support him; instead, Lucifer was called a monster and a freak, just like Sam was called. In season seven, Sam was communicating with Lucifer in a different way, through hallucinations. Sam's wall had broken and therefore, Sam was reliving his worst memories that he had suffered in his over 200 years of Hell.
  • The Chessmaster: Sam is already a smart, strategic guy. But when he was Soulless!Sam, he was extra manipulative, cunning and would use others to further his own agenda or goal without regret, remorse, guilt or hesitation, especially while hunting.
  • The Chew Toy: Nothing ever really goes right for Sam. It seems that Sam is just destined for bad luck. He has been through endless problems and has went through more suffering than pretty much any other character in the series other than Dean. It's argued that Sam has actually had a worst life and even more bad luck than Dean has. The guy can never catch a break no matter what he does. Sam's endless suffering and trauma throughout the series have pushed him into woobiedom. It's hard to imagine the last time that Sam ever went one season without suffering of some kind.
  • Chick Magnet: Sam is very attractive and appealing to the opposite sex. On the other hand, Dean is more of a womanizer and ladies man. But half of the major female characters or female characters that the brothers meet during the hunt have been attracted to Sam and take him much more seriously as a love interest than Dean. Sam has been seen to be more into serious long term romantic relationships (like with Jessica for example), whereas Dean is more into one night stands and random hook ups (the only serious relationship Dean seemed to really have was with Lisa and his relationship with her started out as a one night stand).
  • Children Are Innocent/Constantly Curious: At least this was Deanís view of Sam. Dean has always seen Sam as an innocent kid that he felt the need to protect and shield from the harsh realities of the world. John and Dean had chosen to lie to Sam about what they do for a living (hunt supernatural monsters) for most of his early childhood in order to preserve Samís innocence. Unfortunately, the lies ended up catching up to John and Dean, as Samís endless curiosity got the best of him and he discovered the truth about his family and hunting at the tender age of eight. He did so by finding his Dadís journal. Sam originally doesnít take it well, but eventually, he is brought into the hunting world by his father and Dean, much to his dismay. This was the time when Sam began to lose his innocence but he didnít lose his curiosity.
    Dean to Dead!Sam: You know, when we were littleóand you couldn't been more than 5óyou just started asking questions. How come we didn't have a mom? Why do we always have to move around? Where'd Dad go when he'd take off for days at a time? I remember I begged you, "Quit asking, Sammy. Man, you don't want to know." I just wanted you to be a kid...just for a little while longer.
  • Child Prodigy: Sam was always a straight-A student throughout his childhood, despite moving from school to school due to the type of lifestyle he grew up in, which is the hunter's life. Later on in his teen years, he got a free ride to Stanford. Sam, along with Adam, are the only Winchesters who knowingly went to college or university. See Teen Genius and The Smart Guy.
  • Child Soldier: Sam has been trained to be a hunter and was involved in the hunting life since the tender age of eight.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Sam is the Chosen One of the series. The story of Supernatural centred around him, his destiny and his journey. He is also this for being chosen as one of the Special Kids with special, unique powers and abilities.
    • Sam is this for Lucifer.
    • Sam was the Chosen One for closing the Gates of Hell in season eight.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sam suffers from feeling severe guilt if he doesn't manage to save someone or he fails to save someone. This is especially true for his older brother Dean. Sam not saving someone will end up harping on his conscience for on a long term basis to the point that he wont forgive himself if he doesn't save someone the way he should have.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Especially from seasons one to three. Eventually, Sam becomes a significantly darker character and he progressively slides down the anti-hero scale.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Sam's demon blood which was fed to him as a baby, which is the primary source of his special Psychic Powers, cannot ever be gotten rid of and will never go away. Sam even says that he has demon blood pumping through his veins and that he "can't ever rip it out or scrub it clean."
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Sam becomes addicted to drinking demon blood, and tries to give it up. Well, they hunt demons, and have a magical knife to kill them with. This happens about every other fight. In several episodes, demons know that their blood tempts him, and are all but forcing themselves down his throat.
  • Comatose Canary: Sam in season six. After getting his soul back from Death, it is mentioned at the beginning of "Like a Virgin" that Sam has been "asleep" for almost ten days. Also, at the beginning of the last episode of season six "The Man Who Knew Too Much" as the mental wall keeping all of the hell memories at bay has been destroyed by Castiel. Also, in season nine, Sam was in a coma in the hospital and was very close to the brink of death. That is until Dean made a decision to have an unknown angel possess Sam without as am's knowledge or true consent just so that Sam would be alive.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: When Sam was soulless, he would often make many humorous comments to others that would be highly offensive without feeling any guilt or empathy.
  • Commander Contrarian: Frequently does this with both John and Dean. While on hunting jobs, Sam was shown to constantly question John and his intentions. He would never obey his orders and was always skeptical of what John was up to. Because of Sam's constant questioning, Sam and John would often get into disagreements and fights, even during hunts. This seems to be the opposite of Dean, who follows John's orders and never disobeys him. Sam also does this with Dean, especially in the earlier seasons. He questions Dean's plans and orders, not because he doesn't trust Dean but because Sam has a tendency to want to do things alone or figure things out by himself.
  • Conflicting Loyalty:
    • In Season Four, Sam faced conflict in regards to his loyalty to Dean and his loyalty to Ruby.
    • Back in Season One, both brothers have a bit of this between each other and their father, John. While they had been raised to obey their father instantly at all times, Sam occasionally talks Dean around to a different course of action, or will do what Dean wants instead of what John has ordered. At the end of Season 1/start of Season Two, Sam's concern for a severely injured Dean far outweighs John's desire for vengeance, which is infuriating for John.
    • A bit of this again in Season Eight, when Sam has to choose between the woman he fell for while Dean was in Purgatory, and continuing to fight alongside Dean. Both Dean and Amelia essentially tell him they need a total commitment to whichever decision he makes. Rather predictably, Sam chose Dean.
    • Happening again in Season Twelve, where Sam seems to be having difficulty choosing between Mary and Dean. Mary and Dean are at odds and don't see eye to eye while Sam is stuck in the middle and is playing the peacekeeper and mediator of the trio. Sam seems more than okay with hearing Mary out on her intentions than Dean, while Dean refuses to even think about hearing Mary's side of things out. Unfortunately, it may cause a bit of conflict between Sam and Dean because Dean feels that Sam is always playing the middle and never picks a side. It's increased even more when Sam chooses to side with Mary and join the British Men of Letters behind Dean's back. Dean eventualy finds out and although he is not too pleased with it, he accepts it and even decides to give the BMOL a chance, mostly for Sam's sake. However, Dean did appear defeated and disappointed when Sam confessed to Dean about signing on with the BMOL.
  • The Conscience: Sam has always been a Morality Pet or a Morality Chain for Dean since the beginning. Sam has proven to be Dean's anchor and his humanity. Without Sam, Dean has been shown to become a ruthless, heartless, blood thirsty killer. This is played up even more in season 9 onwards when Dean received the Mark of Cain. The Mark would cause Dean to lose control and gain the urge to kill. Sam was able to stop Dean from going over the edge and help curb his blood thirsty ways. Sam helped Dean to retain his humanity and constantly reminded him that despite what he was doing and what the Mark was doing to him, Dean was still a good person. It was Dean's strong love for Sam and Sam ''himself'' that ultimately saved Dean and his soul from being eternally damned by the MOC.
  • Consummate Liar: Both of the Winchesters are good liars, but Sam takes it up a notch in early season six. Having lost his soul, Sam is such a cold, baldfaced liar that he can fool Dean. He can lie to a pagan goddess of truth. She knows that he's lying (although not why), but he was still able to lie.
  • The Corruptible: To Ruby, to Azazel, to Lillith, to Lucifer and to demons in general.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Ruby did this with Sam in season four, when she got Sam to become addicted to demon blood and use his demon abilities. The reason why Ruby was doing this to Sam was to trick him into killing Lillith in order to break the last seal and release Lucifer.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Sam was a huge plaything for demons and Hell in particular. Sam's entire life has been orchestrated and manipulated in order for him to follow a destiny of darkness. Although, because of his destiny to be Lucifer's vessel, he was also sought after by angels and Heaven as well.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Sam is a hunter after all, so it comes with the territory that he would be highly prepared for anything and everything that comes his way.
  • Creepy Good: When Sam was an infant, Azazel fed baby Sam demon blood. This caused Sam to develop special demonic abilities and powers by the age of 22 years of age. Sam became known as one of the "Special Children", meaning children who were all born in the year 1983 and were fed demon blood when they were 6 months old. All of the Special Children would gain special demonic powers that were different. Sam's abilities were precognition (being able to see into the future, primarily of people being killed or dying before it happens), telekinesis and being able to exorcise demons with the use of his mind. Although Sam's abilities were from an evil source, Sam still managed to use his demonic abilities for good purposes. He often used them during hunts and missions and his powers proved to be useful, despite the fact that his abilities managed to scare both Sam and Dean alike.
  • Crouching Scholar Hidden Badass: Sam is a Badass Bookworm, The Smart Guy and the Guile Hero that often prefers to use his brains, intelligence, logic and conduct research during hunts. However, Sam is still a very capable fighter and hunter that is able to kick just as much ass as Dean. In most cases, Dean is seen to be the one who is more of a fighter and bruiser, while Sam is seen to be the one who is more of a brainiac and thinker. Although Dean has a tendency to be stronger at the fighting and killing monsters aspect of hunting, this doesn't mean that Sam is any slouch in both departments. Sam is just as trained in combat and using weapons as much as Dean is. It can be argued that Sam doesn't get the same amount of excitement or thrill from combat or killing monsters in the same way that Dean does, but he is still pretty effective at it all the same, especially when it is completely necessary.
  • Crusading Widower: Jessica's unexpected death makes Sam become a hunter obsessed with getting revenge on Jessica's killer. Ironically, his father, John became a hunter obsessed with getting revenge on Azazel, who also killed his wife, Mary.
  • Cultured Badass: Sam is a Badass Bookworm who is scholarly, a skilled researcher, well-read and knowledgable. He seems to garner knowledge on a wide variety of different topics which include art, literature, mythology, folklore, etc. Between himself and Dean, Sam is actually much more refined and sophisticated as Dean is more roguish and blue collar. Dean, on the other hand, is more of a Pop-Cultured Badass, knowledgable about pop culture, such as movies, music, and media.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sam possessed the ability to exorcise demons with his mind without killing the human host. Pretty cool.
  • Cute and Psycho: Not in an Ax-Crazy way but in The Ophelia way. Throughout Season Seven, Sam suffered a serious psychotic, mental breakdown after Castiel had broken his wall. He ended up suffering severe hallucinations, such as envisioning Lucifer. Sam would end up looking completely psychotic and crazy, despite Sam holding up the facade in pretending that everything was okay and that he had his mental issues under control. Unfortunately for Sam, he ended up completely losing it eventually to the point where he couldnít tell the difference between reality and his hallucinations, had a severe case of insomnia where he wouldnít get sleep for weeks, and where he ended up in a mental hospital under serious psychiatric care. The doctors were completely confused about Samís condition and didnít even know if they could even properly diagnose it. Although one could not tell how insane, unstable and crazy Sam was under his mask of cuteness or quirkiness.
  • Cute Bruiser: Played straight when Sam was a child. Sam was exposed to hunting at the age of eight and began hunting at eleven years of age. He was also shown to be quite a tough and capable fighter. Also see Pint-Sized Powerhouse.
  • The Cutie: Played straight in the Season One and Two, before Sam went through serious trauma, tragedy and succumbed to his dark destiny. Sam was originally a naive, optimistic, wide eyed idealist who always saw the best in everyone and tried to see the good in all things. In many ways, Sam was innocent and uncorrupted before he eventually become corruptible to many dark outside influences.
  • Cynicism Catalyst:
    • Sam loses many important people in his life through death, most importantly his mother Mary and the love of his life, Jessica. He loses his father, John, at the beginning of season two and he loses Dean at the end of season three after failing to save him from going to Hell. This triggers Sam's slow turn to The Dark Side in season four. Sam feels responsible for all of their deaths in one way or another and therefore, harbours a lot of guilt.
    • Sam's girlfriend Jessica Moore who gets offed in the pilot functions like a less intense variant of this, and the FBI, who believe the boys are serial killers, interpret it as being this straight.
    • The two several-month periods Sam spends attempting to resurrect and/or avenge his big brother, in "Mystery Spot" and the season break before "Lazarus Rising," see him become Darker and Edgier to the point of being a Blood Knight. He never actually makes a full on FaceĖHeel Turn, but he does start to tolerate a hell of a lot of collateral damage, and then commits the cardinal sin that unmakes any anti-hero: he was wrong.
  • Damaged Soul: Sam in season six, once he gets his soul back. While a safeguard is in place to suppress the symptoms of a damaged soul, there's a possibility it might break down; he's already had one episode involving seizures and being overwhelmed with memories of hell, and when his soul was first returned, Castiel thought he might be comatose. It broke down, with nearly two centuries of being tortured in Hell flooding back (later fixed by Castiel).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Since childhood, Sam's entire life has been nothing but darkness, tragedy and dysfunction. No wonder Sam wanted to get away from his family.
  • Darker and Edgier: As the series progressed, Sam became a much darker character and completely changed from the innocent, puppy-dog eyed, and overly empathetic Sam that we all know and love. Much of this has to do with Sam's dark destiny of being Lucifer's vessel.
  • Dark Messiah: In season four, Sam heads this way, fully expecting / intending to die killing Lilith and willing to shoot a few dogs to do so. In his arrogance, he doesn't realize he's played right into Lilith's hands until it's too late.
  • The Dark Side: After spending three seasons trying to avoid "going dark side", a demon blood-addicted Sam skids down the slippery slope after attacking and attempting to choke Dean following a failed intervention in which Dean called him a monster. Sam kills Lilith, therefore (inadvertently) starting the Apocalypse by freeing Lucifer.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: The demon blood he drinks in season four seems to have an effect on his personality, though it isn't clear how big this effect is exactly.
  • Dating Catwoman: Has a "relationship" with Ruby, a demon, in Season 4. Dean and everyone around Sam strongly disapproved of Sam's relationship with Ruby and Dean repeatedly warned Sam to steer clear of Ruby.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Named for his maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell, who was killed by the yellow-eyed demon.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sam has his humorous and witty moments. Considering that Sam is The Stoic and also the Straight Man to Dean during comeding moments, his type of humour comes off as very dry and sarcastic. Often times, Sam can be very sarcastic and can engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat with Dean, making them come off as an old married couple. Sam also seems to become much more witty and sarcastic when he is under the influence of alcohol.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted twice. When Sam tries to make a deal with a crossroads demon in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" to save Dean's soul from Hell, even if it meant trading places with him, the demon flat-out refused, since Lilith had things exactly how she wanted them. Then later, when Crowley offers to stop killing the people Sam and Dean have saved if Sam agrees to stop the trials, Sam and Dean reluctantly agree and go to sign the contract, only for it to turn out to be a ruse for them to capture Crowley for the third trial.
  • Death by Sex: A running gag is that every woman that has sex with Sam must, by rule, die. Began with the Pilot, confirmed with Heart in which Sam is forced to kill the first woman he has brought himself to sleep with since his girlfriend's flaming death and in recent episodes seemingly subverted until we find out that it is actually a demon in a dead body, so she was already dead! Ruby should still be added to Sam's sex hit list, now that she's been skewered with her own knife. That leaves Sam's track record at three out of four! Subverted later in the season, when the next woman Sam has sex with experiences no karmic retribution whatsoever we are led to believe that she is the demon they're after, until it is discovered the real demon is the guy Dean is cosying up with.
  • Death Glare: Sam gives these to anyone whom he doesnít like or doesnít trust. Many people often refer to this as Samís ďbitchfaceĒ.
  • Death Is Cheap: Sam, along with his brother, never stay dead for long.
  • Death Seeker: In season one, Sam was willing to die killing YED, and in season two, he wanted to be killed before his destiny could change him. Sam's entire season four arc was suicidal, as was season five, which ended with Sam jumping into Hell's solitary confinement to take Lucifer with him.
  • Demonic Possession/Symbiotic Possession: Sam was possessed by Meg in season 2. While possessed by Meg he did many out of character things such as killing an innocent hunter, smoking menthol cigarettes, drinking heavily, abandoning Dean at a motel after knocking him unconscious, attacking and almost raping Jo, attempting to kill Jo, shooting Dean in the shoulder and beating Dean to a bloody pulp. Sam was possessed again in beginning of the ninth season. Dean has Ezekiel, an angel, possess Sam after Sam had fallen into a coma after getting very sick from completing the Trials Of God. the reason for this possession is so that Ezekiel can heal Sam from the inside as according to Castiel, Sam is so internally damaged that it might be beyond repair. Sam is unaware of the fact that he is being possessed by an angel so he ends up being taken over by the angel and he ends up losing track of time and suffers from a loss of memory. Sam does eventually find out about Dean having an angel possess him without his true consent and let's just say that Sam does not take it well at all. Considering that Sam has a history of being possessed by demons and other supernatural beings against his will, it is understandable why Sam would be angry at the prospect of Dean having an angel possess, even though Dean only had good intentions of saving Sam.
  • Demon Slayer: Sam primarily hunts demons for a living. Although he does hunt other supernatural beings and creatures as well.
  • The Descendants of Cain: Sam is descended from Cain and Abel, as the Winchester bloodline is descended from them. Because they are descended from Cain and Abel, the Winchester bloodline is the only bloodline who can be used as true vessels for Archangel Michael and Archangel Lucifer.
  • Destructive Romance: Although it's brotherly love, not romantic love, his relationship with Dean is this. Although Sam and Dean deeply and strongly love each other, it is very clear that they have a very messed up, dysfunctional, and highly codependent relationship. The two simply cannot live, cope or function without each other and are willing to cross moral lines or go to the ultimate extreme in order to keep each other alive. This gets called out occasionally by other characters on the show. Most notably in Sam's case was the Trickster in Season 3 trying to force Sam to accept Dean's death in Mystery Spot. He only succeeded in making Sam more obsessed with saving his brother.
  • The Determinator: Sam is very ambitious, driven and determined. When he has a set goal or agenda that he wishes to achieve or complete, he NEVER gives up and will go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals.
  • Determined Defeatist: For someone who has had such a horrible life along with having a lot of self esteem issues, Sam sure is one determined individual. Even when things seem hopeless, Sam always believes that everything will end up turning out right in the end. Itís normally the case when everyone else around him feel just as hopeless or more hopeless than he does that Sam tries to get everyone to see that there is always a way to solve and fix things. An example of this was in Season Five when the Apocalypse was happening. While Dean, Castiel and Bobby felt hopeless about stopping the Apocalypse, Sam was the last member of Team Free Will who actually had hope and had a plan of stopping the world from ending. And he even ended up succeeding, despite everyone believing that it couldnít be done. Another example was in Season Eleven when it came to defeating Amara (The Darkness). Everyone, including Dean, God, Crowley, and Rowena, were feeling utterly hopeless to put an end to the destruction that Amara was causing. Sam was the only one who expressed optimism and belief that Amara could be stopped. If it werenít for Sam in both instances, the world would have ended both times.
  • Devoted to You: Dean has made it clear that Sam will always be his top priority. He is willing to give up his chance at having a decent normal life, including having a love life, in order to be with Sam. Dean has shown that he has never willingly chosen a woman over Sam, unless Sam had pushed for Dean to pursue a relationship with someone. Such as at the end of Season Five when Sam told Dean to go find Lisa and Ben and live a happy, normal life with her once he goes to Hell. Once Sam comes back from Hell, Dean ends up leaving Lisa and Ben to join Sam.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Sam is stabbed in the back severing his spinal cord as he and Dean are reunited at the end of the penultimate episode of season 2. Sam dies in his arms, but Dean makes a deal with a demon to bring Sam back. Actually subverts the usual form of this trope in that Sam doesn't get a chance to say goodbye or really anything at allóhe just gets stabbed in the back, falls down, looks vaguely unfocused, and dies. He barely seems to register Dean's presence.
  • Dirty Business: In seasons four and five, every time Sam drinks demon blood to fuel his powers he looks at it this way.
  • Disney Death: In the season two finale, Sam is brought back from the dead after Dean makes a deal with a crossroad demon to bring him back. Also in the season five finale, when Sam apparently dies when he sacrifices himself by jumping into the pit. By the end of the episode, however, God brings Castiel back, Castiel resurrects Bobby and then, right before the credits, we see Sam is back from the dead too... The Soulless without his soul.
  • Distressed Dude: Sam may do his fair share of saving lives including Dean's, but Sam is often the object of being captured, tied up and tortured and someone always has to rescue him as a result, namely Dean.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Downplayed. Sam has never gone by his full first name which is Samuel. In a Season Elevel episode (Baby), Dean mockingly and humourously refers to Sam as Samuel for the first time on the show and Sam immediately corrects him, which insinuates that Sam is not a huge fan of being called by his full first name. Rowena has consistently referred to him as Samuel, and unlike with Dean, has never made any effort to correct her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Sam is sick or weakened, Sam's constant response to everyone, most notably Dean, is "I'm fine", even if it's so obvious that he is far from fine.
  • Doom Magnet: Oh boy, Sam never seems to catch a break and trouble never seems to stop following him around. Out of all of the characters on the show, it seems that Sam has or has had the most bad luck. Sam has suffered it all. Sam's mother, Mary, died when he was 6 mos. old due to the YED killing her by cutting her stomach open and setting her on fire above his crib. Sam had parental/abandonment issues with his father, John causing the two to constantly clash. He was fed demon blood by Azazel/YED against his will and given superhuman abilities which at one point, he had zero control over. He was forced into a life of doom and gloom (hunting) by having to abandon his normal life. Sam's true love and girlfriend Jess was killed by YED in the same way his mother, Mary was killed when Sam was six months old (by being cut open in the stomach and being set on fire on the ceiling). He constantly loses Dean when Dean dies repeatedly throughout the series. He feels extreme guilt about his father's death, feeling guilty that he hated him when he died. Sam loses Dean after Sam watches Dean get shredded to death by hellhound dogs and Dean goes to Hell afterwards. He becomes a demon blood junkie in Season 4 in order to strengthen his superhuman abilities. Ruby ends up double crossing, manipulating and tricking Sam at the end of season four, with Ruby using Sam to release Lucifer. All of the women that Sam has been romantically involved with end up dying afterwards; Sam discovers that he's the vessel for Lucifer; Sam throws himself in the pit as Lucifer and sacrifices himself to save the world. As a result of throwing himself in the pit, Sam ends up enduring over 120 years of torture in the worst part of Lucifer's cage. When Castiel brings Sam back from the cage, Sam is brought back soulless. When Sam gets his soul back, he has to have a special wall put in his mind in order to prevent him from revisiting severe trauma that he experienced in Hell. Sam's wall eventually starts to crack, but completely breaks when Castiel destroys Sam's wall in his head. As a result of Sam's wall breaking, Sam begins to hallucinate and sees Lucifer as well as remembering his most traumatic experiences of torture in Hell. Sam almost dies as a result of the wall in his head completely deteriorating; he ends up in a mental hospital eventually. Sam loses Dean again at the end of season seven, when Dean (and Castiel) end up trapped in Purgatory. Sam goes on for a whole year thinking that Dean is dead. In season eight, Sam becomes extremely ill as he is completing the Trials of God, which would close the gates of Hell forever; Sam gets so sick that he ends up in a coma in the beginning of season nine; Sam ends up having his free will and his body violated when his own brother tricks him into being possessed by an unknown angel (named Gadreel), just so that Dean could keep Sam alive; Sam is lied to by Dean about being possessed by an angel for months and ends up having zero control over his own body and his own actions when Gadreel takes over. Gadreel ends up killing Kevin in Sam's body against his will. Sam finds out that his brother lied to him for months about Gadreel and developed survivor's guilt over Kevin's death and finally, Dean ends up dying on Sam again and is turned into the one thing he loathes and hunts for a living, which is a demon.
  • The Drag-Along: Especially in Season One, when Sam was hesitant to join Dean to look for their father in the Pilot. Which is understandable considering that Sam had left home to pursue an education in law at Stanford University and had gotten far away from the family business of hunting. Sam didnít show much of a passion for hunting and even stated that after he found Dad and the Yellow Eyed Demon, he wanted to go back to his normal life and be a person again. Dean would often have to convince Sam to go out on a hunt. Sam had even mentioned to Meg that he felt that Dean treated him like luggage by dragging him every across the country.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The symptoms, especially the coughing up of blood, of Sam's illness due to the trials.
  • Dramatic Sit-Down: Sam sits on the floor and stares on in horror after he realized that by killing Lilith, he set Lucifer free. Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
  • The Dreaded: When Sam is himself, he's already pretty badass in his own right, but when he's soulless? He's scarier and more intimidating than Dean. Understandably so, considering that when Sam was a sociopathic Ax-Crazy Blood Knight who showed no guilt or remorse for killing. Sam went as far as to let Dean get turned into a vampire on purpose (and even smirked about it!) just so he could track down a vampire nest. And he also attempted to kill Bobby (his surrogate father) with an axe. It's safe to say that when Sam was soulless, he was just as scary and intimidating as the most dangerous and threatening villains.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Related to his psychic visions and the premonitions he had about the future during the course of the first two seasons.
  • The Drifter: Sam is a hunter for a living, therefore, he never settles in one place for too long and he travels across the country on hunting missions.
  • Driven to Suicide: Like Dean, Sam has had his fair share of suicidal moments throughout the series.
    • Sam in "Salvation" and, in an I Cannot Self-Terminate moment, "Playthings."
    • Another for Sam would be the angst-filled, additional I Cannot Self-Terminate in "When the Levee Breaks." In the finale of Season Four, Sam doesn't believe he willóor want toósurvive either.
    • Sam at the end of the fifth season (with Dean and Bobby's reluctant approval!) in "Swan Song" (unless deliberately planning on jumping into Hell is seen as anything other than suicide).
    • In the seventh season, this seems to be where Sam's hallucinations are trying to push him - in "Hello, Cruel World", Lucifer suggests it three times.
    • At the end of Season 8, Sam is ill and worn down by the Trials, but most of all is convinced he's an utter failure to Dean and doesn't want to abandon the Trials, even if they kill him, because he doesn't want to disappoint him again.
    • Briefly in Season 9, after Sam learns of the Gadreel possession and that Kevin died at his hands, he is willing to die as part of a slim-chance procedure to track the now-missing Gadreel, insisting that he shouldn't have lived and that his life isn't worth any more than anyone else's.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • Sam in the episode Playthings. Sam feels guilty for not saving the guy who ended up being murdered and therefore, it drives him to drink and get wasted. A drunken Sam then tells Dean that he should have saved the guy because it could prevented him from going farther and farther to the dark side. Sam also tells Dean and makes Dean promise that if he (Sam) goes too far into darkness, that he (Dean) has to kill him, which was what John had told Dean after John had sold his soul.
    • In Season 4, we see in a flashback that while Dean was in Hell, Sam drank himself almost into a stupor before trying to trade his own soul for Dean's. Later on, booze got switched out for demon blood
    • Again at the end of Season 9, after Dean has died and Sam is preparing to either make a deal with Crowley to bring him back or kill Crowley painfully- it's never made clear.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: In season four, Sam became obsessed with using his demon abilities. Although he originally used them with good intentions (using them to exorcise demons out of human hosts instead of using the knife to kill both the demon and the human), Sam's addiction to using his powers were primarily driven by revenge and anger towards Lilith. As season four progressed, Sam became highly drunk on the power that came along with using his abilities and it ended up costing himself and everyone around him much suffering, pain and tragedy, simply because Sam didn't listen.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sam has done alot of heroic deeds by being a hunter and saving many lives along the way. He's even made a Heroic Sacrifice by sacrificing himself in order to avert the Apocalypse. Does Sam ever get any recognition for doing so and being a hero? Instead of getting recognition and respect for his contributions for saving the entire world, Sam is repeatedly put down and blamed for all of his mistakes and is constantly being told that he alone is responsible for the Apocalypse happening. Even though Dean was just as responsible for the whole thing happening because Dean was the one who broke the first seal. Sam is also constantly disrespected in that his wishes and choices are never respected by Dean or other people and his opinions are often disregarded by Dean. In Season Five, Sam points out to Dean that the reason why he went with Ruby was to get away from Dean's controlling behaviour towards him. Sam said that he takes full responsiblity for all the mistakes he made but he wants respect from Dean and to work on his relationship with Dean being more equal and understanding.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In the epic season five finale, Sam looks at Dean lovingly after he takes back control of his body while being possessed by Lucifer. Sam is then confronted by Michael (in Adam's body) in which Michael tells Sam!Lucifer that it isn't going to end this way and that it is his (Michael) destiny to fight Lucifer. Sam then raises his arms up (which represents the symbolism of Jesus Christ on the cross dying sacrificially for his sins), preparing to take the fall in the hole and sacrifice himself in order to prevent a colossal, catastrophic, world-ending fight from taking place between Lucifer and Michael. Sam as Lucifer then jumps in the pit, bringing Adam as Michael along with him. Talk about the ultimate heroic sacrifice of the series by far.
  • Dynamic Character/Rounded Character: Sam goes from a naive, idealistic and optimistic person to a much darker, edgier, tougher and stronger individual who becomes more pragmatic and realistic in his thinking. This is due to all of the significant ups and downs that Sam has gone through over the series that has managed to change Sam as an individual from who he originally was at the very start of the series in The Pilot episode.

     Tropes E-H 

  • Embarrassing Nickname: Subverted. Dean often refers to Sam as "Sammy", although there are other characters who have called him Sammy as well (such as John and Ruby). Sam would often complain to Dean in the earlier seasons about being called Sammy and would commonly correct Dean by telling him to call him Sam instead. Sam stated that he hated the nickname because it's a nickname for a chubby little kid. However, despite his earlier protests of being referred to by that nickname, Sam eventually accepts it as an Affectionate Nickname by Dean. He even tells others openly that Dean is pretty much the only one who he is comfortable with using that nickname for him.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Sam spends half of the sixth season without his soul, which basically means that he's cold, logical, rational and highly efficient as a hunter without any nasty emotions to hamper him on the job. Oh and he also shoots innocent hostages, tries to kill Bobby and lets his brother be turned into a vampire.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: After drinking tons of demon blood and again after he loses his soul. Sam shifts into this in seasons 4 and 5 when he starts gaining direct control over his psychic abilities. Sam had powerful psychic abilities in the earlier seasons which caused him to have premonitions. In season four, he is able to exorcise demons out of human hosts with the use of his mind and at the end of the season, he is strong enough to be able to kill demons with his mind. However, Sam eventually abandons his powers and returns to being a Badass Normal.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite Sam's distrust of Benny, he keeps Bobby from stabbing Benny and acknowledges Benny has been a good friend to Dean.
  • Erotic Dream: Sam has one of these featuring Bela, and is very flustered when he figures out who he's been dreaming about (after waking up with an extremely dopey grin on his face). His face wasn't the only thing grinning. No joke, this is actually referenced when Dean calls him over as he's waking up. Sam starts to rise, then glances down and hesitates, using a stretch to cover for his... awkwardness. He's even more flustered and awkward when Bela shows up shortly after to talk with him and Dean.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Sam's hair or hairstyle has changed rather dramatically over the course of the series. The evolvement of Sam's hair is often a hot topic within fandom.
  • Expy: According to the Word of God (Eric Kripke), Sam was modelled after Luke Skywalker of Star Wars.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the season nine premiere, Sam faces Death, basically ready to die and go to The Other Side with him. Sam tells Death that if he goes with him, he would like his death to be final meaning stay dead for good, that he doesn't ever want to be brought back, that nobody can reverse his death, or that nobody will get hurt by trying to bring him back. It is evident that while exploring through Sam's mind throughout the episode, Sam seems to not fear death in any way but he actually seemed to be both accepting and fine with it. Considering all of the trauma, pain, loss, and tragedy that Sam has been through and endured for years, his feelings regarding the matter are completely justifiable and understandable even though it strongly goes against what Dean wants.
  • FaceĖMonster Turn: Subverted and inverted. Sam was born human, but the fact that Sam was fed demon blood when he was 6 months old by Azazel made Sam turn out sort of monstrous later on in his life. Also, Azazel was manipulating Sam's entire life towards a destiny of darkness.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Sam fits this trope frequently throughout the series on various different occasions. The most notable one is when San failed to prevent Dean from going to Hell at the end of season three. Because of this, Sam ended up feeling like he failed and ended up harbouring guilt as a result.
  • Fallen Hero: Sam went from being an idealistic, naive, heroic and hopeful individual to a significantly darker, ruthless and cynical person overcome with a dark path or destiny (including being fed demon blood by YED, developing demonic psychic abilities, being manipulated by the demons, becoming addicted to demon blood, and being the destined one true vessel for Lucifer.
  • Fatal Attractor: Sam's love interests have included a kitsune, a werewolf, and a demon, and those are just the ones confirmed to be supernatural. Dean uses this trope to deduce that the girl Sam is sexing up is the siren making people kill their loved ones in 4.14 Suprisingly, Dean is wrong.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The end of season five had Sam stuck in hell's solitary confinement with vengeful archangels Fallen Angel Lucifer and Michael torturing him creatively for five thousand years or so.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Played straight during Season Six, when Sam was without a soul. Sam would appear polite, friendly and empathetic the way Sam normally is, but in actuality, he was very sociopathic and showed a strong Lack of Empathy, guilt and compassion, even for Dean. It's understandable why Sam was this way considering that without a soul, Sam did not have the ability to feel any empathy or guilt for his actions. It was also revealed that Sam was so ruthless that he killed innocent people in the line of duty. Let's not forget that Sam let Dean get turned into a vampire and did absolutely nothing to stop it (all while giving a Psychotic Smirk) because he was strategically using his brother as bait to try to locate a vampire nest. Sam also feigned concern for Dean's condition as a vampire, pretending that he didn't get there on time to save him. While soulless, Sam gave off the impression that he was the kind, caring and empathetic person that he normally was, but he was anything but.
  • The Fettered: Although Sam has been morally gray or morally ambiguous in the past, Sam still has a strong conscience and morals and tries to do the right thing as much as possible.
  • Fighting from the Inside: At the end of season five when Lucifer had overtaken Sam as a vessel, Sam used this trope to overcome and take control of Lucifer inside of him in order to prevent him from killing Dean and destroying the world. Because Sam was able to take control of Lucifer, he was able to open the pit, jump in and sacrifice himself to save the world.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Sam gains his power by feeding on demon blood.
  • Forced to Watch: During the third Season Finale, Sam was telekinetically restrained by Lilith, who planted a Take-That Kiss on him before siccing her Hellhound on Dean and making Sam watch Dean get ripped to shreds and Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic (also Choleric).
  • Freudian Trio:
    • S1 to S3: Sam is the Superego to Dean's Id and Bobby's Ego.
    • S4 to S6: Sam is the Id to Dean's Ego and Castiel's Superego.
    • S8 to S12: Sam is the Ego to Dean's Id and Castiel's Superego.
      • Sam is the Ego to Dean's Id and Mary's Superego.
  • Functional Addict: Sam was highly addicted to demon blood, and the detox from it it is not fun at all. In fact, it's downright torture.
  • Future Badass: Sam is the one true vessel of Lucifer. It is therefore Sam's destiny to destroy the world and bring about the apocalypse.
  • Gallows Humor: Sam has a tendency to have a morbid and cynical sense of humour. Especially in contrast to Dean's generally light hearted sense of humour. Sam is most commonly seen as the straight man in his comedic or humourous scenes with Dean.
  • Geek: Sam is frequently referred to as "Geek Boy".
  • Generation Xerox:
    • In Mystery Spot, Dean died and Sam became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against Dean's killer. As you would recall, their mother died (she didn't get better) and their father became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against her killer. Sam is John 2.0, period. He did a less extreme version of this back in season one after Azazel killed his fiancee, but between having Dean to help him through it and it already being his father's quest, it just wasn't as all-consuming. John appears to have been orphaned even before he married. It explains why they didn't get on most of the time, they were just too damn similar.
    • Sammy's I Just Want to Be Normal also goes back to his mom, Mary, who like Sam, absolutely hated the hunting life and wanted to get out. The demon deals thing is just a family tradition at this point. They even spread it to the adopted members, and back to people who died before they were born.'
  • Genius Bruiser: He was a straight-A student, a Mathlete, attended Stanford University on a full scholarship before the show started, and is often involved in the research part of hunting. This has never stopped him from kicking demon ass repeatedly. This is exhibited by the entire freaking family, but especially Sam and Dean. As we find out in the eighth season, this is because the Winchester line actually were Men of Letters, who do research on monsters full-time, and the Campbells were hunters, bringing together "the brains and the brawn" to make what are two of the world's most badass hunters.
  • Gentle Giant: Sam is a big, tall guy who can appear intimidating to others, but he is such a giant puppy who is generally kind, nice, and empathetic with puppy-dog eyes.
  • Godzilla Threshold: By the end of season five, everything has gone so far to hell that risking giving Lucifer a total win by having Sam say 'yes' to Lucifer is the only option. While this option guaranteed a fight between Michael and Lucifer that would destroy most of the world unless Sam could overcome the possessing influence of Lucifer long enough to throw them both into Lucifer's Cage, the apocalypse that would kill or zombify most of humanity would happen if they did nothing. Of course, at the end of season four, they'd all pretty much realised that they were screwed.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In season four, Dean and Bobby hold an intervention to try and break Sam's addiction to demon blood this way. Due to the nature of his addiction it involves him hallucinating numerous people as they harangue, torture, or make excuses for him, spasms, hallucinating dark marks appearing on his skin, and actually being telekinetically hurled about the room.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: Sam went from being a caring, empathetic, normal boy next door in the earlier seasons to a significantly darker, edgier, revenge driven, addictive individual in season four.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Downplayed and played straight depending on the enemy or villain. Sam is generally nice, kind, caring and empathetic, but don't mess with or cross him or the people he cares about. In addition, his kindness and compassion doesn't always extend to those he doesn't trust or especially his enemies. Sam is more likely to seal the fate immediately if they are an enemy of his as he is strongly prone to revenge. Sam was extremely revenge driven in Season One when he was very preoccupied with finding the Yellow-Eyed Demon and killing him for being responsible for the deaths of Mary and Jessica as well as the destruction of his entire family. He spent all of Season Four trying to kill Lillith because he wanted to avenge the death of Dean. Case in point, Sam is mostly kind and will show some compassion towards monsters and even sometimes his enemies, but he doesn't always give his enemies second chances to right their wrongs or prove themselves.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Sam was being driven mad by memories of his time tortured by Lucifer in the Cage during the course of the seventh season. It eventually causes Sam to have a mental and psychotic break to the point, where he becomes a severe insomniac and has to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "Swap Meat", a teenage boy changes bodies with Sam.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Not as intensely as Dean, but Sam definitely has his moments of jealousy and suspicions over Dean and his relationships with others. In Season Eight, while he's understandably dubious about Benny's reformation, part of his Irrational Hatred towards him seems to outright jealousy and pettiness more than anything else; noticeably sporting a Death Glare when Dean refers to Benny as a better brother than he is and the only person who has never let him down.
  • Guile Hero: Sam is very strategic and manipulative when he wants to be. He relies more on his smarts and brain and he will often conduct more strategic ways of defeating and outwitting his enemies.
  • Guilt Complex: Every time Sam makes a mistake, he ends up suffering from extreme guilt afterwards. His brother Dean seems to suffer from the same thing, except to more extremes.
  • The Gunslinger: Sam is highly skilled with guns, firearms and other weaponry. Sam is a hunter after all, whose job requires the frequent use of guns and firearms. He uses them to hunt and kill monsters and other supernatural beings. It is a common misconception that Sam uses a chromed Beretta 92FS loaded with silver rounds. However, it has been officially stated by Christopher Cooper that it is a Taurus Model 99 (though it appears in most shots to be a Model 92, which is a bit thicker around the trigger guard than the Beretta). It is a standard 9mm with a 10-round magazine. Sam (and Dean) do own a blue steel Beretta 92, but it is predominantly used by Dean in the series. Sam also uses a pistol grip 4-shelled 12 gauge shotgun loaded with rock salt.
  • Handicapped Badass: In season seven, Sam still managed to be a very effective hunter despite having his wall broken and suffering a mental breakdown. Sam was having hallucinations about Lucifer and about his time in Hell. Sam was even able to help a girl be relieved of her ghost brother haunting her while he was in a mental hospital himself. And in season eight, Sam was still capable of hunting despite being worn out to an extensive level due to the Trials of God. Castiel had revealed to Sam that he was so internally damaged that he might be damaged beyond repair. Dean was very concerned for Sam in both situations and had tried to stop Sam from hunting because he was not in good health. In both situations, Sam repeatedly told Dean "I'm fine" (even though he clearly was not).
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Sam may fight monsters and supernatural beings for a living, but at times, Sam can become so vengeful and driven by revenge to stop the bad guy or the bad monster, that he even starts to become a monster himself. This happened to Sam in season four, when he became vengeful against Lilith over Dean dying and going to Hell, became a demon blood junkie to help increase his demon abilities in order to stop Lilith. Turns out that Sam killing Lilith only helped the apocalypse happen and helped to release Lucifer.
    • Also, in season six, when Sam was soulless. When Sam was soulless, he resorted to immoral acts, even killing innocent people in the line of duty and not feeling any emotion, most importantly guilt. He often put the people closest to him in absolute danger, even using Dean as bait by letting him get turned into a vampire in order to find a vampires nest.
    • Sam was this after Dean died in Mystery Spot and the season three finale. While he thinks killing Lilith is the only way to prevent the Apocalypse and feeding demon-blood-fueled powers also lets him save the hosts when exorcising demons, his obsession with killing Lilith leads him to break the final seal, releasing Lucifer from Hell.
  • The Heart: Zig-zagged and played straight. Sam often switches this role with Dean and he was originally the actual moral compass of the show. However, Sam was more of this in the 1st and 2nd seasons, until Sam became a significantly darker character as the series progressed. As of Season 10, Sam was definitely this role and had taken over this role from Dean, as Dean was now a demon. Not only this, but Sam was the sole human lead on the show and is therefore, the only human aspect of the show. As of Season Eleven and Twelve, Sam is definitively this role. He serves as the peacemaker of the group and is the one who seems to emotionally connect with everyone by bringing them together. He also tries to get the others to put their own personal problems aside in order to come together for the greater good.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Lost the love of his life Jessica. She was murdered in the exact same way as his mother Mary and both deaths were indirectly because of him. Not to mention that almost every single female that Sam has been romantically involved with has died. Sam has also endured much heartache in regards to his family and his brother Dean. Dean has died repeatedly throughout the series and Sam has had to suffer because of it. Sam's heartbreak over Dean's death came to a head in season four when Sam became significantly darker and darker to the point where he started to fall to The Dark Side under Ruby's influence. Sam's life in general is just one giant tragedy, to the point that it is surprising that he is still in one piece functioning after everything that he has been though.
  • HeelĖFace Revolving Door: Especially during season four. Sam couldn't seem to pick a side, whether it was the good side or the dark side. Most of it had to do with the individuals whom he was most influenced by such as Dean (representing the moral, good side) and Ruby (representing the immoral, bad side). Sam having close relationships with both Dean and Ruby led to him having a Conflicting Loyalty between the two, which led to Sam's moral status constantly being in question.
  • Heel Realization: The moment at the end of season four after Sam has killed Lilith and Ruby revealed that Lilith was the final seal, not the one who was going to break the final seal, is Sam's moment when he realizes he's just an Unwitting Pawn who screwed up big time and brought about the apocalypse. His face conveys complete devastation and he's barely even paying attention when he and Dean kill Ruby.
  • The Hero or Hero Protagonist: In the beginning, Sam was the original protagonist of the series and essentially, the series itself centred on Sam's heroic journey and development. See The Protagonist. See The Hero's Journey, in which Eric Kripke, the Word of God, admits to using as a premise for the series (and hence, Kripke modelling Sam's character off of a Luke Skywalker from Star Wars).
  • Hero Ball: Sam may be the hero but he makes a lot of bad decisions. Some of his actions over the course of the series have been very questionable to both the characters in the series as well as to the audience. At times, much of the audience questions "What the hell are you doing, Sam?"
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Sam, along with Dean, has repeatedly made the FBI's most wanted list.
  • The Hero's Journey: Sam's purpose in Supernatural is essentially this trope. Sam starts out as a regular person, who leaves his familiar world behind and embarks on an adventure of the hunting world. During the process, Sam does some self-discovery and finds out that his destiny is so much greater than just being the aspiring lawyer who wants to have a wife, kids, and a white picket fence.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Sam seems to love dogs and have an affinity with them. Bones and Riot anyone?
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Sam had his after his girlfriend died, causing him to be just as obsessive as John was about hunting this demon. In fact, when he witnesses Jess' death, Sam completely loses it.
    • Sam has this briefly after realizing that killing Lilith actually set Lucifer free. He can do nothing but sit on the floor and stare in horror as Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
    • Pretty well any time Dean dies/is dying/appears to be dead from Season 1 onwards. Despite previously being almost John-level obsessed with killing the demon that killed Jessica, Sam completely blanks on the mission when Dean is seriously injured and is dying, thinks of nothing else but how to get Dean back, and lashes out at John for appearing to even consider hunting the demon when Dean's so badly hurt. This is a reoccurring theme through later episodes- if Dean's on the line, Sam can't even think straight enough to save him. In the first half of "Mystery Spot," Dean's daily deaths leave Sam so scrambled he can't even put basic clues together. In the aftermath of Dean going to Hell, we see flashbacks of Sam mostly drunken and suicidal (before Ruby comes along and tempts him with a vengeance mission, which even then Sam clearly sees as a suicide mission), and when Dean disappears at the end of Season 7 and Sam believes him to be dead, he seems to have lost it completely- not looking for Kevin, not hunting, not checking his phone, just driving endlessly for weeks/months.
  • Heroic Build: Not initialy, but as of season 4 Sam is built like a brick wall. Or perhaps, more like Clark Kent/Superman.
  • Heroic Resolve: While possessed by Lucifer in the season five finale, Sam was able to take back control of his body from Lucifer's possession while he was violently beating Dean.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Sam collapses from the transformations he has undergone by completing the trials.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sam's season 4 Heroic Sacrifice which is averted when his own attempt to sacrifice his soul to save Dean is rejected. His resulting decision to damn himself slowly by using his powers seems like a noble act - until you get to the end and realize that Sam's efforts have been fueled by demon blood that intensifies pride in his own abilities and a sense of superiority to the point where he believes he is The Only One who can stop the Apocalypse. While Sam is genuine in his desire to help his brother and save the world (see "When The Levee Breaks" for his huge inner conflict), he goes about it in a very destructive (especially self-destructive) way. He can't know that killing Lilith starts the Apocalypse; the angels hid that so he would kickstart the Apocalypse by doing what he thought would prevent it. The goal is noble, even with the horrible outcome. It's part of the show's deconstruction of this trope that everything turns out so badly.]]
    • Sam in the season five finale Swan Song: He throws himself (and more to the point, Satan, who's possessing him) into hell's solitary confinement in order to prevent the planet from being razed, with certain knowledge that Lucifer's going to spend eternity torturing him.
  • Heroic Spirit: Sam is very determined. When he wants to accomplish something, he doesn't give up. Sam is known to be very strong, tough and a fighter.
  • Heroic Suicide: In the fifth season finale, Sam's plan to defeat The Devil is to allow Lucifer to possess him and then wrest back control of his body long enough to jump into Hell and take Lucifer with him before the gates seal behind them. He initially fails, but after Lucifer kills two of Sam's close friends and starts to beat Sam's brother Dean to death, he manages to take control long enough to make the jump.
  • Heroic Willpower: Sam has gone through this quite a lot throughout the course of the series.
    • Sam, in season five finale Swan Song, took control of his body while the devil was riding it just so he could throw himself and the devil into hell's solitary confinement.
    • Sam in season six finale. He manages to overcome his "inner demons" such as his past guilt and facing all sides of himself, including Soulless Sam and Hell-Tortured Sam and drag himself to assist Dean and Bobby in the battle against Castiel and Crowley despite obviously suffering under the strain of his "hell memories".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sam's relationship with Dean. Sam and Dean would do anything for each other, including dying for each other and selling their own souls just to save the other. They have been through everything together and they are like two peas in the same pod. They are so physically and psychologically close that supporting characters have been constantly joking about their relationship since the very beginning, and the director has referred to the series as, "The Eternal Love story of Sam and Dean". Dean is so possessive and controlling around Sam that you have to wonder whether it would even be possible for Sam to maintain a healthy relationship with a woman. Because of the extreme closeness in their relationship and the inability for both Dean and Sam to function or live without the other, this often leads many fans of Supernatural to see much shipping potential between them, leading for many fans to actually ship them together, despite Sam and Dean being brothers.
  • Hidden Badass: Only in the beginning of the series, in particular in season one. But this is to be expected considering that Sam had just left his normal world behind and embraced the world of hunting. Nobody would have expected sweet, quirky, nerdy Sam to be tough, strong and badass and be brave enough to face the hinting world and fight supernatural beings just as well as Dean.
  • Hidden Depths: Sam is a deeply complex character. He may appear to be the sweet, boy next door, but underneath is an ocean of complexities, which include pain, guilt, and darkness. With Sam, what you see is definitely not what you get.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Both Dean and Ruby have referred to Sam as being a nerd. One of the nicknames that Dean has coined for Sam is "Geek Boy".
  • Home Sweet Home: Sam is a hunter for a living but there has never been a moment where he hasn't thought of living a completely normal life one day, free of hunting and the hunting life.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sam fits this trope in regards to several human enemies and a few monstrous ones. For example, not killing a human Gordon before he turns into a vampire leads to being hunted by him yet again, but not killing vampire Lenore turns out to be useful. Yet still horribly sad.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sam is very trusting and naive. Hence, he doesn't realize when he is being used, manipulated and corrupted (i.e. Ruby in season four).
  • Horror Hunger: Sam suffered from this in regards to his desire and thirst for demon blood throughout season four and season five while he was a certified demon blood junkie. Sam's addiction to the demon blood was so extreme that he would often go to extreme measures in order to obtain demon blood.
  • Hot-Blooded: Although Sam is calm most of the time and Dean is frequently seen to be the more hot headed and physically aggressive brother, Sam has proven that he can be very hotheaded, impulsive, passionate and aggressive when he wants to be. In Season Four, Sam showed how irrational, rash and aggressive he is when he became a Blood Knight who was intent on killing demons (namely Lilith) at any cost. Even at the cost of damaging himself or damaging his relationship with Dean. Sam also has a habit of jumping into a plan to serve the greater good without thinking about the consequences of his actions. He has also explicitly stated that he has Unstoppable Rage and anger issues in Season Five.
  • Hot Librarian: A gender-inverted example. Sam is a bookworm who is highly intelligent and scholarly. He's also a Man of Letters who conducts all of the research during hunts. If Sam is not off fighting monsters alongside Dean, he can either be found with his face in a bunch of books or wandering around in the MOL library. His nerdiness doesn't make him any less appealing though.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In season four, Ruby taught Sam how to control his abilities and how to exorcise demons with his mind. Sam admitted at first that he was a crappy student for Ruby.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
    • Sam and Ruby in Season Four. Sam is a whole foot taller than Ruby (Sam is 6'6" while Ruby is 5'4").
    • How about Sam and any female character that's ever been on the show? He seems to tower over pretty much all of them, with the exception of Jessica (who was 6'0" by the way). Hell, he even towers over the majority of the male characters including Garth, Bobby, Castiel (who is 5'11") and even Dean (who is 6'1").
  • Humanoid Abomination: Sam has been frequently ben called this by other characters. In the anime, a hunter named Anderson told John that Sam was no ordinary human. Sam has also frequently referenced himself as a freak or a monster.
  • Hunk: Sam is very physically attractive and appealing to the female audience. Also see Mr. Fanservice.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Sam hunts supernatural creatures for a living. It runs in the family, as his maternal bloodline ware or were hunters.
  • Hurting Hero: Sam suffers so much due to his life as a hunter that he never seems to catch a break. Although Sam constantly risks his life for others and saves lives almost on a daily basis, it is far from easy for Sam. In fact, Sam's life has been nothing but one giant tragedy.

     Tropes I-M 
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate:
    • Subverted twice for Sam. In season two episode "Born Under A Bad Sign" Sam pleads with Dean (who obviously can't) to kill him after he kills another hunter while possessed. At the end of season four in "When the Levee Breaks", while suffering withdrawal from demon blood, Sam tells Bobby to shoot him if he wants to help.
    • Played straight in "Heart." Sam's one night stand was a werewolf, but they cured her... except not. There's no cure and she'd already killed a few people, so she asks Sam to shoot her instead. Ouch.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Despite Sam being seriously ill and weakened in season eight due to the intensity of the Trials for closing the gates of Hell, Sam still refuses to stay home and lay in bed as Dean strongly advises him to do and wants him to do. Instead, Sam would rather be hunting and "fighting through the pain".
  • Ideal Hero: At the start of the series, in the 1st season, Sam starts off as a highly moral, noble, idealistic, empathetic and compassionate individual. This was in contrast to Dean, who was more anti-heroic in nature; impulsive, hot headed, roguish, cynical, edgy and sarcastic.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: At the end of the fifth season, Sam says yes to Lucifer, inhabits Lucifer as his vessel and sacrifices himself by throwing himself (and Lucifer) into the pit in order to save the world.
    • In season 10, in order to find his brother Dean who had been turned into a demon, Sam takes a man named Lester to a crossroad to capture a demon for informations. Although Sam intended to stop Lester from making the deal, he came too late to intervene. When Dean calls out Sam on this, he just replies that he's not proud but doesn't regret.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Childhood flashbacks reveal that even though Sam had Dean to look out for him whenever he needed him, he was a very lonely child who was in desperate need of friends and company. He often felt alone and abandoned by Dean and John, mostly because the two of them went out on hunts together and left Sam by himself at hotels. Because of the loneliness that Sam felt, he ended up with an imaginary friend (also known as a supernatural creature called Zanna) named Sully. While Dean and John were away from Sam, Sully would be the one to take care of Sam, encourage him and comfort him during his time of need and loneliness. It's clear that since childhood, Sam has craved a sense of normalcy and that includes building friends and a social life. However, Sam is also okay with being alone and is also a rather independent person who doesn't always need people the way that Dean does.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Sam has always yearned to have a normal life and never wanted to become a hunter, and be surrounded with all of the abnormality and dangers that come along with hunting. Though by early season two, he drops this attitude and decides to devote his life to hunting in the wake of John's death. Sam ran away to college, where his girlfriend was killed, and spent the first season wanting to go back after they defeated the Big Bad. Then he found out he had demonic powers and after getting a taste of The Dark Side, decided he was too much of a freak to ever have a normal life.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Sam, at the end of season 5, when he is possessed by Lucifer, except Dean doesn't fight Sam when Sam as Lucifer beats Dean to a bloody pulp.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Sam's girlfriend died the same way Sam and Dean's mother did. This gives Sam the incentive to leave his old life behind and hunt demons with Dean. Sam feels responsible for her death because he wasn't there to save her and he saw her die in prescient visions but didn't believe them.
  • Imposter-Exposing Test: When Sam comes Back from the Dead in season six, he ties Dean up so that he won't attack him, then cuts himself with a silver knife and swigs a mouthful of salty holy water to prove he's really himself. Dean had the same set of tests run on him when he got back from Hell.
  • It's All About Me: Arrogance can be one of Sam's biggest flaws, although it's amplified in Season Four once the demon blood-induced power trip starts.
  • It's Personal: If anyone that Sam loves and cares about is hurt in any way, Sam will get revenge and he won't stop until he's achieved revenge.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One:
    • Sam felt this way in regards to being one of the Special Children, being Azazel's favourite Special Child, being the Chosen One out of all of the Special Children, and being the vessel for Lucifer.
    • In the eighth season, it's discovered that Sam has been damaged in so many ways that Castiel can not even heal because of his completion of the first trial in the quest to close the Hellgates.
  • I Am a Monster: Sam often thought of himself as a freak due to his demon blood curse and his demon abilities, especially during the earlier seasons.
  • The Idealist: Especially in the first few seasons. This changed when Sam started to go through a lot.
  • Idiot Ball: Sam may be highly intelligent but my God, he's made some idiotic choices throughout the series.
    • An example is Sam in Long Distance Caller. Leaving your unstable, few-seconds-away-from-losing-it brother alone in the hotel room, just telling him not to go anywhere and expecting him to actually stay? I thought you would have known better by now, Sammy.
    • For such a smart boy, Sam has grabbed a lot of idiot balls. The most glaring was in Nightshifter. He might be acting even colder/bitchier than normal and he certainly has all his attention on the job but telling Dean to get the guard outside where the news and police are waiting? Here's an idea, Sam, why don't you (y'know, considering you aren't the one being wanted for murder) do it while Dean takes care of the shifter. That would have made a lot more sense.
  • Ill Boy: Sam is this quite often. In season seven, Sam suffered from severe mental illness including hallucinations and insomnia. Eventually, Sam had a complete mental breakdown and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. In season eight, Sam has become increasingly ill due to him performing the Trials for closing the gates of Hell. Some of the symptoms which Sam has been experiencing include coughing up blood, shakiness, weakness, loss of appetite, exhaustion, headaches, etc.
  • Imaginary Enemy: In the seventh season, Sam begins hallucinating that Lucifer (the Big Bad of season five) is tormenting him as a result of having his soul mangled in Hell. Even though this Lucifer is a hallucination, and Sam knows he's a hallucination, he still manages to cause quite a bit of trouble, including invoking SchrŲdinger's Butterfly and nearly tricking Sam into shooting his brother Dean. The hallucinations get worse as the season progresses, until finally Sam has a mental breakdown and can't even manage basic functions like eating and sleeping. Castiel saves Sam by transferring the hallucination to his own mind. Being an angel, he eventually recovers.
  • Incest Subtext: With Dean constantly throughout the course of the series. Sam and Dean are always mistaken for a gay couple. It was even revealed in the fifth season, that Sam is Dean's soulmate and that they share Heaven. Not to mention, Sam/Dean is the main shipping pairing or OTP of Supernatural fandom, despite them being siblings. It can go way beyond that. The brothers have an extremely close and not at all normal/healthy brotherly relationship that includes a serious lack of personal space, sharing a room for most of the series, being completely inseparable and acting like a broken-up couple when they are apart for any length of time, a lot of danger-related touchy-feeliness, emotional declarations of devotion, tearful stares and glances, jealousy whenever anyone else gets close to either brother, a perturbing level of comfort seeing each other naked or discussing sex (when Dean drops his pants in "Sam Interrupted," Sam doesn't react beyond raising his eyebrows and looking mildly surprised, in CYHIYB Dean walks in on Sam having sex with a woman and just stands there while they get dressed and she leaves, and in RAAHP, Dean gives a graphic description of his sex life, to which Sam merely quips that it's "a bit of an overshare."), hints that they wanted to grow old together, a mock "wedding" in which they stand at an altar and both declare that no one else is more important to either of them than each other, and total insanity whenever one brother believes the other has died. Dean is extremely protective and possessive of Sam, and Sam has given up pretty well everything he's ever dreamed of for Dean and tends to go bonkers whenever he thinks Dean might reject him.
  • The Ingenue: Especially as young!Sam. Sam has always been naive, idealistic and empathetic. However, ironically, Sam is also cursed with darkness.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Sam's blue eyes indicate someone who is kind, caring, empathetic and compassionate, even though he has a destiny of darkness and evil.
  • Insane Forgiveness: Could easily be the Trope Codifier. No matter what people do to him, he'll forgive them. Dean blatantly disregarding his wishes multiple times, not trusting him, blaming and guilting him for everything, letting an angel possess him, killing one of his friends? He forgave that. Cas breaking the wall in his head and forcing him to remember all the trauma of Lucifer's cage and resulting in him hallucinating his torturer? Meg possessing him and using his body to kill people? He forgave them too.
  • The Insomniac: Sam starts staying up all night in the first season when he's having nightmares about Jessica. In a much creepier example, he also stops sleeping entirely in season six, when he's lost his soul. And for several days in season seven, to the point where he nearly dies, after the hallucination of Lucifer left over from his time in Hell becomes unbearable.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Sam is supposed to be the one to perform all of the trials. But as a result from performing these trials, Sam develops tuberculosis type symptoms, including coughing up blood.
  • Informed Wrongness: A few, but a stand-out example is when Castiel brought him out of the Cage and Sam's soul got left behind, which Dean blamed Sam for.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Downplayed. Sam may be intelligent and he has decent social skills overall, but he is not as extroverted and social as Dean is. It appears that Sam has become more and more isolated from others as each season passes. One could assume that Sam doesn't make friends as easily as Dean because he is not as codependent as Dean and doesn't require constant human contact the way that Dean does. Sam is less likely to make friends possibly because Sam feels like everyone that gets close to him ends up suffering or dying. He has always held the belief that all the people he loves and cares about end up getting hurt and that he's the direct cause of it. Hence, it's much more difficult for Sam to open up to others and make friends. This doesn't mean that he is anti-social and he does have a few close friends that he is comfortable with. This is a clear contrast to Sam during the earlier seasons, who was seen to be more sociable and open than Dean.
  • Internal Reveal: The fact that Sam was drinking demonic blood to power his psychic exorcism powers was revealed to the audience in 4x16, "On the Head of a Pin." Dean didn't find out until 4x20, "The Rapture." He wasn't happy.
  • Internalized Categorism: Sam has suffered from this since he was a young child due to the fact that he has demon blood in his veins. Therefore, Sam has always felt like a freak or abnormal. Sam even mentions to Dean, that as child and even when he was completely unaware of the fact that he had demon blood, he still felt "unpure".
  • Interspecies Romance: Sam, a human, has had a romance with many supernatural beings including Ruby (demon), Madison (werewolf), and Amy (kitsune).
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Sam's nickname is Sammy, which is often used as an nickname that Dean has for Sam. Dean frequently calls Sam by this. Dean has also called Sam "Ginormo" and "Sasquatch", which is actually a nickname that Kim Manners coined for Jared off-screen.
    • Crowley has given Sam the nicknames "Moose", "Jolly Green Giant", "Gigantor", "Giraffe", and the most recent "Winchester Jumbo-Size".
  • In the Blood:
    • Sam develops psychic powers slightly before the start of the show, which eventually turn out to come from their family's demonic nemesis having fed Sam his own demonic blood in the cradle. Fear about destiny and inevitability increase as more and more of the other children so marked go 'darkside,' or in one case kill their psychotic brother who had, and their father's final words to Dean are that if he can't save Sam, he may have to kill him. Sam resists the original 'destiny' associated with this status by not killing during the demon's little Deadly Game, but the other survivor opens the gate to Hell anyway. Later, after he developed his powers further by drinking more demon blood to exorcise demons so he could prevent the Apocalypse and became addicted, it turned out that he'd been being prepped for years to open a different door , the one to Lucifer's cage. This gets treated as In the Blood despite it just being a few drops of ingested liquid rather than actual heredity. Once it turned out their mother Mary sold Azazel the right to take 'something' from her house in ten years, and that in cases where he wasn't interrupted no one was killed or kidnapped, it seemed the demon did in fact have the rights of a parent over the kids he'd bought, and the blood thing was claiming that and preparing them to open the doors and enable the endgame. Presumably he was only in charge of opening doors, given that Sam was the favorite but not necessary to his understanding of the endgame, and chance or destiny or Lilith arranged the rest.
    • Destiny also grabbed the Winchesters by the veins in that they are apparently descended on both sides from a line of archangel vessels, and were born to house Lucifer and Michael for their final apocalyptic battle on earth. Lucifer says, "It had to be you, Sam. It always had to be you." Presumably, the Campbell line were Lucifer's vessels and the Winchesters were Michael's, and the reason they had to bring the two together in John and Mary was that the final vessels needed to be brothers. Lucifer's lack of interest in Adam and Michael's in Mary might point this way, but it's not conclusive. The idea of destiny is thrown about a lot here, but given how hard Heaven and Hell both had to work to make it happen, Destiny may just mean 'the plan.' See also, The Call Knows Where You Live.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Sam originally starts out as a naive, optimistic, hopeful Wide-Eyed Idealist. However, after everything that he goes through throughout the course of the series, Sam loses his innocence and eventually begins to become much more pragmatic and realistic in his thinking.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Kind!Gentle!Empathetic!Human!Sam (Jekyll) VS. Arrogant!Violent!Cold!Demonic!Sam (Hyde). And then there is Soulless!Robo!Sammy, who is a completely different category of his own.
  • Jerkass: Oh boy, when Sam was soulless in season six, he was far from the empathetic, kind, and sensitive Sammy that we all know and love.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cares deeply about Dean and his family. Also, wants to save people and acts as the morality of the Dean and Sam duo. Mostly.
  • The Jinx: Sam is a living and walking embodiment of bad luck, doom and tragedy. Everyone around him seems to get hurt or dies.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind:
    • In the 6th season's finale, Castiel breaks down Sam's wall and he has to find his way back to Dean and Bobby by finding and killing Robo!Sam and Hell!Sam, which the wall was making sure he never remembered.
    • Invoked again in the 8th season, when Castiel takes Sam inside the mind of Fred Jones, a reality warping psychic, to talk him into regaining control over his powers since the latter buried himself too deep within his own subconscious to engage him in a more conventional manor.
    • Done again in Season 9, when Sam has to evict the angel Gadreel, who is possessing him. Gadreel has planted Sam in a false world inside his own head to distract him, so Crowley has to also possess Sam, storm in, and tell him what's going on. Sam and Gadreel then fight it out before Sam kicks him out.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Throughout Season's Three and Four, Sam continued to become a much darker and morally ambiguous individual who ended up becoming more careless and ruthless. He was starting to embrace his dark and demonic powers which ended up corrupting him more and more as he started to become Drunk with Power in combination with Drunk on the Dark Side.It reaches it's peak in the penultimate episode of Season Four when Sam ends up being locked in the panic room so that he can detox from demon blood. During this time, he is a full fledged junkie who becomes so strung out for demon blood to the point that he ends up suffering severe hallucinations. Sam ends up escaping and Dean finds out. Dean ends up finding Sam and the two brothers get into a huge fight where Sam ends up almost choking Dean to death. It was at that point where it seemed as though Sam had fully crossed over to The Dark Side and became evil. However, this is later on subverted, as Sam ended up not becoming truly evil and eventually found his way back by trying to fix his mistakes in the next season.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: The few times Sam keeps a secret from Dean that isn't too personal.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Throughout season four, Sam follows Ruby's advice and drinks demon blood in order to become stronger and use his abilities to save the demon hosts. Sam continues to listen to Ruby and use his powers, even though the people closest to him, including Dean, Bobby, and Castiel have repeatedly told him not to drink demon blood and use his abilities. Because Sam doesn't listen and continues to rebel against Dean and everyone else, Sam ends up becoming addicted to demon blood and eventually become a junkie. Sam continues down a downward spiral until he is completely out of control. Sam doesn't realize the error of his ways and how much his actions have consequences until it is too late. (At the end of season four, Sam breaks the final seal by using his abilities to kill Lillith, which results in starting the apocalypse and freeing Lucifer afterwards.)
  • Kill the Cutie: At the end of season two, when Sam is stabbed to death in the back by Jake Talley. That was his first death of many.
  • Knight Errant: Sam travels all across the country and is always saving a Damsel in Distress during the process. Sometimes, the damsel becomes a romantic interest for Sam.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Sam originally started out as the optimistic, hopeful one but after all of the tragedy he goes through, he eventually starts to become darker and more cynical.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Sam is protective of Dean and would go to extreme lengths for him. This is displayed in 3x11, when he did anything and everything to get Dean back and also in the flashbacks of season four, when Sam became very vengeful and determined to bring Dean back and kill Lillith for taking his elder brother away from him.
  • Kuudere: Sam could be a combination of Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3 throughout different stages in the series. Sam is Type 1, because for the most part, he has a very controlled and stoic demeanour especially during times of distress. He got less Hot-Blooded as the series progressed and became a more calm, cooler, practical and logical person. Sam was Type 1 when he was soulless, as he did not display any emotion or empathy whatsoever. Sam is Type 2 because Sam is an introverted or shy person around people he does not know or around strangers. He only really opens up around the people he knows and loves, such as Dean, Castiel, Bobby and Charlie, for example. Sam is also Type 3 at times, mainly in the beginning of the series. He would alternate between Hot-Blooded and The Stoic, balancing emotional and impulsive moments and actions with practical and logical moments and actions. As of Season 11 and 12, Sam is currently a Type 1 or Type 2.
  • Lack of Empathy: Sam lacked empathy during the time period when he was soulless. He didn't care about anything or anyone, including Dean. Dean could get hurt or go missing and he wouldn't start to panic. Sam could shoot and kill anyone without feeling guilt or remorse about it. Even Samuel Campbell mentioned to Sam during the time that Sam was soulless that he was starting to creep him out because Sam came off as so cold and remorseless.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: After Ezekiel possesses Sam, Ezekiel erases Sam's memories of what happened between collapsing outside of the church after not finishing the trials and from when Sam gets possessed by Ezekiel.
  • Last of His Kind: Sam was the last survivor of the Special Children. Therefore, Sam was The Chosen One by Azazel.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: With Dean. Observers and even people who know them (i.e. Bobby and Charlie) comment on how Dean and Sam's interactions are like that of a married couple.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Dean has mentioned that Sam and John are a lot more alike than they realize.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Sam's wardrobe doesn't seem to change all that much. Most of that could have to do with the fact that he is a hunter.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: The Men Of Letters legacy that Sam is following and is currently a part of, comes from the Winchester side of the family. 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.
  • Literal Split Personality: In the season 6 finale of Supernatural, Sam is stuck in a Mental World where his identity has split into three personalities: Sam, Soulless Sam, and the Sam who's been tortured in the Cage. Finding his way out of there requires the other two to merge back into him.
  • Little Miss Badass: Sam was hunting and began handling guns and weapons starting at the age of 8. His father had trained him and Dean to the hunting world and had trained him to use weapons in order to protect himself from supernatural beings. Sam was raised in the hunting world since childhood so handling weapons such as guns and knives was considered normal to Sam growing up. Outside of the Winchester family, it's not normal at all.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Dean. It has been proven over and over again throughout the series that Dean cannot live or function without Sam. Without Sam, Dean would become someone who is emotionless, uncaring, and ruthless. He would also morph into an Ax-Crazy individual who would become The Sociopath and a borderline Serial Killer who would end up killing others or sacrificing others without any guilt or remorse. In other words, Dean would either become the 2014 version of himself that was seen in The End or he would become a savage killer that Cain became. If Dean doesn't become sociopathic, he would end up being a self-loathing, guilt ridden, suicidal, alcoholic who feels that his life doesn't have any meaning, value or purpose. Many instances throughout the show have proven that Dean's major reason for existing or wanting to live is Sam. When Sam rejects Dean by not accepting his love, running away, leaving, or abandoning him, or betraying him, then Dean slowly starts to descend into depression or darkness. Sam is Dean's humanity and Morality Pet.
  • Living MacGuffin: Inverted and gender-flipped. Sam was sought after by both angels and demons, mostly because he was the true vessel for Lucifer.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Sam's hair has always been longer than average, especially in comparison to Dean's hair, which has always been very short. Sam's hair gets to its longest in Season 8, where it is almost shoulder length.
  • Long Lost Sibling: To Adam. Sam is Adam's older paternal half brother, meaning that he and Adam share the same father (John).
  • Lost Aesop: Sam seems to have gotten over the get over Dean's death lesson pretty quickly. Even Dean calls him on it. Of course, since the lesson never stuck in the first hundred times the Trickster tried it, he didn't exactly get over it.
  • Loveable Rogue: Sam may be a hunter who is rough around the edges and is also rugged, but he is also very emotional sensitive and empathetic, which makes you want to root for him.
  • Lovable Nerd: Downplayed. Yes, Sam is very nerdy and intelligent, but he is also incredibly likable because he's kind, caring and empathetic...most of the time anyways. But overall, because he's so appealing to the opposite sex and is not completely socially awkward, he qualifies as more of a Hollywood Nerd or Nerds Are Sexy.
  • Love Hurts: Every single love interest of Sam has died. His most notable one being Jessica. To add, his relationship with Dean has been more than chaotic and heartbreaking.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Lampshaded by the Trickster in Season 3; Sam seems like the saner/more put together/more independent/less clingy brother between him and Dean, but kill Dean off or convince Sam that Dean no longer loves him or wants anything to do with him (think "Levee" or the end of Season 8), and Sam loses it in ways that can include going Kill Crazy, embarking on single-minded revenge missions that he's certain will kill him, drinking himself into a stupor, developing the squickiest addiction imaginable, nearly turning himself into a monster, escaping into a fantasy life and dropping all real-world obligations, or being plain old Driven to Suicide. Dean's the one known for doing crazy things to keep Sam around and is the more codependent of the two brothers when it comes to each other, but Sam has done far more morally dubious and unhinged things when it comes to saving Dean. And spoilers suggest Season 10 will be more of the same, with Sam doing something so ethically dubious in his search for Demon!Dean that fans will apparently question which of them is the "actual" monster.
  • Love Makes You Evil: In season three and four, Sam started turning to The Dark Side so that he could get revenge on Lillith for killing Dean and for him going to Hell at the end of season three.
  • Love Martyr: Sam hunted for most of his childhood because his family pushed him due to the death of his mother, and he hated every minute of it. As an adult, he re-entered hunting to avenge his murdered girlfriend Jessica. After avenging her, he stayed hunting in an attempt to save Dean's life. By Season 8, Sam finally thought he'd left hunting for good and could have the normal life he had always craved since childhood, but then he realized retiring for good would mean leaving Dean alone to fight the forces of Heaven and Hell and the forces of evil. Oh, and at one point Sam fought his way out of a coma and pretty well guaranteed himself a heaping dose of insanity because he knew Dean needed his help.
  • MacGuffin: Sam's soul in Season 6. Sam's soul was the focal point of the entire season as Sam came back soulless after Castiel saved him from Lucifer's cage. Rescuing Sam's soul became priority number one for all of the main characters involved.
  • Made of Iron: Sam has suffered many illnesses and ailments, such as addiction, PTSD, soullessness, a total mental breakdown and currently extreme sickness due to completing the trials to close the gates of Hell. Yet, he still manages to hunt and save lives regardless.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: Sam, who originally starts out as an ordinary college boy who thinks he's completely normal and human, eventually finds himself dragged into the hunters life of tragedy and darkness, is sought out by the opposing sides of both Hell (demons) and Heaven (angels) due to his dark, demonic destiny and being The Chosen One to be the vessel of the destroyer of the world and humanity, Lucifer. Nevermind that Sam is also an attractor of many supernatural beings and creatures, considering that he hunts them for a living.
  • Main Character: Technically, Sam was the original protagonist of the series according to the Word of God. This meant that Sam was the focal character of the show and that most of the storylines and events that occurred or happened were centred on him. Also see The Protagonist, The Hero and The Hero's Journey.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Sam fit this trope in the sixth season as Soulless!Sam. He was very cold, cunning, manipulative and he lacked empathy.
  • Manly Men Can Hunt: Sam hunts supernatural beings for a living.
  • Man in White: As Lucifer in 2014. He is sporting white pristine suit and white shoes.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Sam as Lucifer in 2014. He's sporting a pristine white suit with white shoes.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Like Dean, Sam is always willing to sacrifice himself in order to save others and especially to save Dean.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Sometimes Sam really shows that he loves and cares about Dean. On the other hand, sometimes he comes across as very cold, distant and withdrawn from Dean, especially when Dean wants Sam to open up to him and talk to him. In addition, Samís stated that he appreciates what Dean has done for him by openly thanking him, but then an episode later, he resorts back to being the Oblivious Younger Sibling who doesnít seem to understand Dean. This has often led some fans to think that Sam doesnít love and care about Dean as much as the other way around. Sam has a habit of blowing hot-and-cold when it pertains to how he interacts with Dean. This doesnít mean that Sam doesnít love or care about Dean any less, however. It is probably perceived this way because the show is from Deanís POV.
  • Meaningful Name: Sam or Samuel means "Name of God" or "God Has Heard", which is rather ironic considering that he was Lucifer's vessel.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: In season seven, Sam had a complete and total mental and psychotic breakdown due to the wall (which Death built for Sam in order to prevent him from reliving and remembering his worst memories, torture and suffering in Hell after Sam got his soul back) crumbling in his mind. Because of Sam's wall breaking down, Sam ended up hallucinating Lucifer and images of Hell, suffered from severe insomnia and would remember some of his worst memories in the Cage. Sam's mental breakdown got progressively worse over the course of the seventh season, that towards the end of the season, Sam ends up in a mental or psychiatric hospital after being hit by a car.
  • Messianic Archetype: Sam has a fair share of Messianic imagery - repetitive wounding of his hands and wrists, his destiny as a prophesied leader and savior for the demons (the Boy King), giving the Eucharist in the form of his own blood to Crowley in the season eight finale, and sacrificing himself to seal away both Lucifer and Michael who were to bring about the Apocalypse, complete with a crucifixion pose. This becomes even more ironic as thanks to his demonic destiny that's alluded to throughout the seasons - to be the vessel for Lucifer, he's also set up as the Anti Christ.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Both averted and subverted, as Sam is technically between this and Youngest Child Wins. Sam is the youngest child of John and Mary, but with the addition of a younger paternal half brother in Season Four, Sam became John's middle child. It was revealed that John had another son named Adam. Even so, Sam still classifies and identifies as the youngest child because he was raised as the youngest child. He has the vast majority of the qualities and traits that the youngest child normally have (rebelliousness, impulsiveness, spoiled traits, naivity, over-protected, coddled, favoured by parents, charming, manipulativeness, etc). Despite Sam having most of all of the traits found in youngest children, he displays some classic middle child qualities as well. Like most middle children, Sam, from his own perspective, felt like he was ignored or under appreciated within his family. Sam also felt that Dean was John's favourite, although that could be primarily from Sam's perspective. He felt this way because Dean was The Dutiful Son who appeared to have gotten along with John, bonded with him, had a closer relationship with him, and always obeyed what John asked of him. This was the opposite for Sam, who came off as an Antagonistic Offspring towards John. Sam had difficulties with getting along with John growing up. He constantly fought with him, resented him, rebelled against him, disobeyed him at every turn and was even estranged from him for a prolonged period of times. In addition, Sam was also the Black Sheep (as well as the White Sheep considering that he came from a family that a dangerous job as hunters and Sam craved normal and safe instead) of the family. Being a black sheep is often seen as a common trait found in a lot of middle children. Sam felt like he didnít belong because had different goals from Dean and John in that Sam didnít want to go into the family business of hunting. Instead, Sam aspired to have a normal life of safety. As a result, John ended up "disowning" Sam for not wanting to be part of hunting and wanting to pursue college instead. In regards to Adam, Sam discovered that after he had left the family for Stanford, John had gotten into contact with Adam and doted on him. He treated Adam in the way he and Dean were never treated when they were kids. Sam may have realized that John treated Adam as a replacement for Sam after John had failed to keep Sam from leaving to go to Stanford. So, from Samís perspective, it seems that John favoured Dean and Adam over him in different ways and he felt like he was the "problem child" due to his rebelliousness and not feeling like he belonged. John appeared to have had somewhat decent relationships with Dean (although Dean doesnít feel that John treated him all that well anyways) and Adam (who didnít even know who John was until he was 12 years old and grew up without John as a father), while John had a pretty tumultuous, volatile, and stormy relationship with Sam throughout his childhood. This treatment plays into a lot of Samís serious Parental Abandonment issues and Daddy Issues. Also see Youngest Child Wins.
  • Mind over Matter: When under extreme situations, Sam displayed minor feats of telekinesis. His power grew considerably the more demon blood he consumed to the point where could throw around and restrain top-level demons such as Alastair and Lilith by using his mind with minimal focus.
  • Missing Mom: Sam's mother Mary, died when Sam was just 6 mos old. Therefore, Sam never knew his mother growing up and never had a mother figure in his life.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Constantly with Dean. 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 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.
  • Morality Chain: For Dean. Sam often stops Dean from going over the edge and talks him down when Dean is about to commit an immoral deed or act. And most of the time after Sam talks to Dean, Dean ends up listening to Sam and taking what he says to heart. Taken up several notches as of season 9, especially now that Dean has the Mark Of Cain and The First Blade.
  • Morality Pet: For Ruby in seasons three and four.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Sam is appealing to the female viewing audience.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Sam is a good person who has good intentions, but he has some major flaws. Some of them include his pride/arrogance, selfishness and his prone to being corrupted and manipulated.
  • Must Make Amends: After Sam became a demon blood junkie and broke final seal, starting the apocalypse and freeing Lucifer, Sam realized that everything that he did in season four (drinking demon blood in order to strengthen his abilities so that he could stop Lillith), although he had good intentions, turned out to be a huge catastrophe for not just himself and Dean but for the entire world. As a result of all of his mistakes in season four, Sam made it his mission to undo all of the mistakes and damage that he had done and caused by willing to make a deal with Lucifer by saying "yes" to him so that he could sacrifice himself and save the world by putting Lucifer (with Sam being the vessel for him) back into his cage for good, ultimately reversing the error he made at the end of season four when he released Lucifer.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This happens so frequently for Sam in the series. Most notably after he breaks the last seal and starts the apocalypse by freeing Lucifer.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Initially, Sam's powers manifested solely as a form of heightened senses and occasionally as confusing premonitions of the future.

     Tropes N-S 
  • NaÔve Newcomer: Especially in Season One, when Sam was merely a college boy who didn't have any experience in the hunting world. Dean, who is a much more experienced hunter than Sam is, was seen to be The Obi-Wan or The Mentor for Sam during the first season. Dean tried to get Sam to understand what the hunting world entailed as well as to accept the duty and responsbilities of being a hunter who saves lives from danger.
  • Nay-Theist: Averted. Unlike Dean, who never believed in God or had any faith, Sam has always been a strong believer in Him. In fact, Sam displays that he strong admires and worships Him. When Sam comes face to face with God for the first time in Season Eleven, he can't help but fanboy over Him, constantly talk about God's capabilities and has endless questions for Him on how he does the things that he does.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Played straight. Dean has called Sam a nerd and a geek on a few occasions. And Sam certainly doesn't appear to be an unattractive nerd who has no sex appeal. Also see Hollywood Nerd.
  • Never Sleep Again: During Season Six, Sam has a severe case of insomnia because he was without a soul. As a result, he spent an enite year going without sleep. When Castiel was diagnosing Sam, Sam admitted that he never slept.
  • Nerves of Steel: Sam is known to be incredibly stoic. He is very practical, pragmatic and has a very high tolerance for pain and suffering.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Sam's body living without a soul is treated like sociopathy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In his mission to kill Lilith for vengeance in Dean's death and trip to Hell, as well as to stop her from freeing Lucifer, he pretty much turns into a monster himself and ends up unwittingly breaking the final seal binding Lucifer to Hell by killing her.
  • Nice Guy: In the beginning, Sam is a generally nice, kind, caring and sensitive guy who cares for everyone. This changes as his dark destiny starts to overtake him as the series progresses.
  • Noble Demon: Inverted. In Season Four, Sam was morally ambiguous because he was using his demonic powers but for good intentions and in Season Six, Sam was soulless and was committing many immoral deeds although it was not his fault. But despite his actions, Sam was still on the side of good and still lived by a moral code even though he was committing questionable deeds. Sam is also sympathetic in both cases because even if he was acting shady, he was still doing everything that he did for the right reasons. Although it seemed that Sam would do a FaceĖHeel Turn and turn to The Dark Side in Season Four, he never went completely evil but just became a darker individual overall. He classifies as more of Good Is Not Nice and Knight Templar.
  • Nominal Hero: In season six. Sam was hunting and battling the bad guy alongside Dean, however, he was still rather unsympathetic, due to the fact that he was soulless, and therefore, cold, unfeeling, and sociopathic.
  • No Social Skills: When Sam was soulless in Season Six, he had a serious Lack of Empathy and didn't feel any compassion for other people. He had no sense of morality and he would often do things others without thinking about the consequences. An example is when Dean was abducted by aliens, Sam didn't show any concern for his wellbeing. Instead, he decided to sleep with a girl and was shocked that Dean was so upset by Sam not looking for him when he went missing.
  • Not Afraid to Die: It seems as though Sam does not fear the thought of dying and this is especially evident in both the season eight finale and in the season nine premiere.
  • Not Himself:
    • In the first half of season six, due to no longer having a soul.
    • Sam gets hit with this trope more than any other character (except possibly Castiel) in Supernatural. He's been possessed by demons, possessed by angels, body-swapped with a witch, actually a shapeshifter, the list goes on.
  • The Not-Love Interest: To Dean. Sam and Dean make it clear that, no matter what, they are each other's #1 priority. In the Season 8 finale, Dean flat-out tells Sam "Don't ever think that there is anything I would put before you, ever!" while trying to stop Sam from sacrificing himself to trap all demons in Hell permanently, and Sam tells Dean that his biggest regret in life is all the times he's let Dean down. Sam initially gets pissed at Dean for stopping him from shutting the Gates of Hell, but eventually admits that he would have done the same thing. They've also been Mistaken for Gay many times in-universe. Dean notes in "The Chitters" that the old married couple bicker in much the same way Sam and Dean do (though he doesn't know the former are a couple yet).
  • Not So Different: In season one, Sam admits to his Dad (John) that he and John are not that different anymore and that they probably have a lot more in common currently than they did back then. Especially since they both lost the loves of their life (Jessica for Sam and Mary for John) and were hell bent on revenge in destroying the demon that killed Jess and Mary. Even more pronounced in Season 5, when Sam had just gone on a yearlong revenge tear resulting in accidentally triggering the Apocalypse, and made a spiel about finally completely understanding and forgiving John. Even more Ho Yay and/or Incest Subtext in that it became clear that while Sam became somewhat obsessive and driven after Jess' death, he hadn't reached John's level of obsession or vengeance in Season 1. It was really Dean dying that triggered the same reaction in him that John had had to his wife and the mother of his children being killed.
  • Oblivious Younger Sibling: Even though Dean defines "morally shady," Sam is emphatic that he's more than a killer or a grunt and that he has looked up to Dean his entire life. He lets Dean take the lead in most aspects of their lives, trusts him absolutely (up until Season 9...) and craves Dean's approval. Sam's been shown to go a bit unhinged when he believes Dean has rejected him or that he's disappointed Dean, even though Sam is often Dean's Morality Chain and keeps Dean's most destructive tendencies at bay. Bear in mind that other characters' descriptions of Dean include "two steps away from being a serial killer." It's been noticed that the normally intelligent and perceptive Sam has been remarkably slow on the uptake as to how the MOC/First Blade are affecting his brother through Season 9, mostly just glancing worriedly at Dean and gently broaching the topic on a few occasions. Word of God has suggested that when Sam found out about the MOC, he just kind of assumed Dean knew what he was doing and could handle it, and it's taken quite some time for Sam to fully grasp that neither of those things are true. There have been other factors at play as well, including a major rift between the brothers, but part of the issue seems to be that it hadn't occurred to Sam (who has often fought internal supernatural forces throughout the series) that Dean could be vulnerable to similar internal forces. As children, Dean went to great lengths to keep the younger Sam from feeling the rough effects of their unconventional childhood. Dean would often give his own food to Sam to keep Sam from knowing they were running low on supplies, pretend to have heard from John to keep Sam from knowing that their Dad had been gone longer than originally plan, and steal to make sure Sam had everything he needed. In a flashback in A Very Supernatural Christmas, it is shown that Sam didn't even know the family was hunting monsters until he was eight, which is significant given that they started when he was barely six months old.
  • Odd Couple: With Dean. In terms of personalities and outlooks, Sam and Dean could not be more different. Also see Red Oni, Blue Oni, Sibling Yin-Yang, and Sensitive Guy and Manly Man.
  • The Only One: According to Death, Sam was the only one who could stop Lucifer and successfully put him back in his cage in Hell where he belongs. Sam succeeds at this by throwing himself (with Lucifer possessing him) and Michael (who was possessing Adam) into the pit in the season five finale.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Inverted; Sam seems to become more and more Southern as the series goes on. While Jared is a Texan, Sam's earlier accent is closer to Jared's.
  • The Ophelia: Sam deconstructs very badly on a mental basis during the course of the seventh season. To the point where Sam ends up in a mental hospital after having a complete and total breakdown.
  • Opposed Mentors: In season four, Sam faced Conflicting Loyalty and choosing between his loyalty to Dean and his loyalty to Ruby. At the end of season four, Sam does end up choosing Ruby over Dean, his own brother, which shows just how far to The Dark Side Sam had fallen.
  • Our Hero Is Dead:
    • Subverted in Supernatural Season 2 episode "All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1", in that Sam really does die at the end of the episode. Played straight, however, in that he is brought back the next episode when his brother Dean sells his soul for him.
    • Also subverted at the end of season five, when Sam dies by sacrificing himself to an eternity in Hell. However, Sam is resurrected when Castiel pulls him out of Hell without his soul though.
  • Parental Abandonment: Growing up, Sam never had a solid father figure in his life. John was always out on a hunting job and therefore, never really had time to be a real father to Sam (and Dean). Because of this, Sam has serious parental abandonment issues and has always held a grudge against his father for never being there for Sam and Dean growing up. Also, Sam's mother, Mary, died when he was only 6 mos. old so Sam never knew his mother.
  • Parental Favoritism: Played with. Throughout Season One, Sam thinks that John hates him (when he left for college, he told him to never come back) while Dean is the one who obsessively follows his Dad's orders and can't seem to comprehend not following an order. But it's slowly revealed that Sam is the one who John cares the most about (although this could just be through the eyes of Dean) while Dean is the one who had to grow up too fast and was treated, well, more like a soldier than a son. Although John did try to make it up by doing a deal to save Dean's life, Dean's Daddy Issues (the fact that he still thinks he wasn't good enough for him and that he still thinks he's the one who should have died) continue to this very day. And the Yellow-Eyed Demon knows this. He even taunts Dean by saying that John arguing with Sam was 'more concern than he's ever shown you.'In Season Twelve, it appears that Mary may favor Sam over Dean, mostly because Mary seems to have a much easier going and less tension-filled relationship with Sam. On the other hand, Dean and Mary seem to be somewhat distant with each other and when they are interacting, they are constantly fighting and butting heads. Sam, of course, has to be the middle man in their bickering and is often forced to pick a side.
  • Parental Issues: See Parental Abandonment. Sam grew up without a mother and his father was never there for him growing up.
  • Parental Neglect: Sam was often neglected by John as a child. Dean was the one who took over parental role to Sam during his childhood.
  • Perma-Stubble: Sam seems to be sporting a permanent five o'clock shadow in the recent seasons.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Though Sam was very short and much smaller than his brother Dean during his child and teen years, he was very much a bruiser who had very strong hand-to-hand combat skills that could kick ass and take on people much bigger than himself. Sam displayed this in 4.13 (After School Special) when he was easily able to take down a high school bully Dirk with the use of hand to hand combat. He also showed off his exceptional combat skills in 7.03 (Girl Next Door) when he took down or beat up two teenage guys despite being about their size or smaller.
  • The Pollyanna/Plucky Girl: Sam always goes through extreme trauma, tragedy and pain yet he still remains rather optimistic and hopeful that things will get better eventually.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A lot of problems and issues could have been avoided if Sam just opened up to Dean and confided in him more often. The final seal keeping Lucifer imprisoned could have remained intact if certain parties who wanted the Apocalypse to happen didn't do their best to make sure the Winchesters don't learn until it's too late that Lilith's purpose isn't to break the final seal, she is the seal and her purpose is to be slain by Sam, Lucifer's true vessel. It also doesn't help that Sam made the spectacularly poor decision to trust a demon and that Dean all but disowned Sam when he found out instead of reaching out to him. Bobby called Dean out on that.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Although Sam is more of a Cultured Badass who has a lot of knowledge about art, literature, folklore and mythology, Sam also has a his fair share of knowledge regarding music, movies, television shows and novels. Sam openly admits that he loves Star Wars, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
  • The Power of Hate: He ran on this throughout Season Four. He was hell bent on building up his powers so that he could kill Lillith in order to avenge Dean's death and to stop the Apocalypse from happening. Unfortunately for Sam, his strong need for vengeance and his deep hatred for Lillith ended up costing Sam, such as becoming self destructive, an addict and a strained relationship with Dean. Sam drops his hatred and his need for vengeance after he kills Lilith and unintentionally releases Lucifer. The entirety of Season Five is about Sam trying to atone for his mistakes that were made out of anger, hatred and vengeance throughout the previous season.
  • The Power of Love: Sam frequently uses this in order to be an anchor for Dean, to save the world, or for the greater good.
    • Despite Dean losing faith in his little brother, Sam's faith in him was enough to make Dean change his mind after agreeing to let Michael possess him to kill Lucifer.
    • Played straight at the end of season five. In Sam's plan to prevent both Lucifer's Apocalypse and Michael's killing of Lucifer that will destroy half the world, the power of love does save the day. Dean's presence gives Sam the strength to beat Lucifer and throw himself (with Lucifer inside) into Hell's solitary confinement.
    • Played straight again at the end of Season Ten. Sam tries to convince MOC Dean that he has a good person despite his Sanity Slippage and his descent into darkness. He conducts an Act of True Love by willing to sacrifice himself by Dean killing him. Fortunately, it is Sam's love and faith in Dean that stops Dean from succumbing to the darkness of the Mark. Instead of killing Sam like he was supposed to by Death's orders, he instead chooses to kill Death and spare Sam out of strong love for him.
  • Powers via Possession: As of the ninth season, Sam possesses angelic abilities and powers due to being possessed by the angel Ezekiel.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Sam is actually very practical by nature. However, in the beginning, Sam was much more of an idealist. As the series progresses, he becomes kore of a realist and maybe even a little cynical and jaded. Part of the reason why Sam becomes much more pragmatic and realistic in his thinking and in his approach is because of all that he had gone through throughout the course of the series and all of the events that have occurred and changed his life.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: See Badass Boast.
    Sam to Gadreel in 9.10: GET THE HELL OUT. *Sam casts both Gadreel and Crowley out of his body*
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Although Sam possesses demonic abilities, Sam tries to remain as human as possible. In season two, Sam even said that if he becomes a monster or something that he is not, that Dean has to kill him.
  • The Protagonist: Originally, the series was centred around Sam and his heroic journey. Also see The Hero and Hero Protagonist. Dean, on the other hand, is the deuteragonist while Castiel is the tritagonist.
  • Protagonist Centred Morality/Angst Dissonance: Played straight and also downplayed. Itís not that the audience isnít capable of feeling empathetic, sympathetic or compassionate towards Sam, especially whenever he gets hurt, suffers trauma or constantly has bad things happen to him or the people he loves. However, it seems as though the audience is much more critical of Sam and his actions/behaviour/motivations than they are of Deanís, even when Sam is justifiably hurt, angered or betrayed by someone who does something wrong to him.
    • In Season Four, the audience sided with Dean when it came to Sam using his demonic abilities to save people. Dean came off berating, controlling, insulting and mean towards Sam. He told Sam that if he didnít know him, he would want to hunt him because he came off as less than human. This was a time when the audience should have sympathized with Sam, and although a portion of the audience did feel empathy and compassion for Samís situation, it appeared as though the audience still largely took Deanís side. Also, during the same season, Sam was losing his sanity and humanity by becoming corrupted by his demon powers, being manipulated and used by Ruby and becoming addicted to demon blood. Yet, the audience was extremely harsh, judgemental and critical of Sam and shared the same sentiments and judgements about Sam that Dean had of him. Even though much of Deanís attitude and behaviour towards Sam could be deemed as borderline abusive and controlling. When Sam went through a forced, painful demon blood detox (where he was suffering from severe hallucinations and delusions) which Dean and Bobby had planned as an intervention to sober Sam up, the majority of the audience sympathized with Dean more than with Sam, who was the actual victim and the one who was suffering.
    • In Season Nine, there was also the Gadreel situation. Dean was the one who lied to Sam by tricking him into saying yes to angel possession, knowing that Sam would rather die than be possessed by anything. When Sam found out the truth about what Dean did, he was justifiably hurt, betrayed and angry. However, the audience ended up giving Sam a lot of criticism and unnecessary hate for being angry at Dean for ďsaving his lifeĒ through angel possession. Even though Dean had violated Sam and took away his agency and lied about the possession for months, which also resulted in the death of Kevin and many other innocent people. Many fans were angry and frustrated that Sam didnít just forgive Dean for saving his life and being grateful for it. Instead, much of the audience criticized Samís behaviour and argued that Sam was coming off as an ungrateful, spoiled bratty child who didnít appreciate Dean and what he did for him. The fact that more people sympathized with Dean (the one who was in the wrong) over Sam (the one who was justifiably hurt and was the victim) shows that the audience doesnít sympathize with Sam as much as they do Dean. Then again, itís possible that the majority of the audience is more sympathetic towards Dean and often sides with him is because the entire story or show is told from Deanís POV. Sam is the myth-arc or focal character while Dean is the narrator and POV character. This results in Sam having things happen to him but not being able to express what happens to him or how he feels about it. Or Sam committing actions and the audience not being able to understand why he does them or sympathize with his motivations and intentions.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Sam goes from a normal, well-intentioned, heroic character in the beginning of the series, to a character overcome with and meant for darkness and a dark destiny (this includes developing special demon abilities, becoming addicted to demon blood, becoming addicted to the greed and power of using his abilities, and discovering that he is ultimately the vessel for the the destroyer of Earth, Lucifer.
  • Protectorate: For Dean. Dean has been protecting Sam since he was a baby. He even refers to it as his job. Aside from that, Sam is also a protector of innocent civilians.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy: Sam has fully embraced the Men Of Letters legacy and has accepted being a Man Of Letters.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: This is zig zagged throughout the series. There have been times when Sam takes pride in being a hunter and accepts it, but there have been other times when Sam wants to reject it and live a normal life. This is now played straight as of Season 10, where Sam admits that he has accepted that he is a hunter and he will probably never have a normal life.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Averted. Sam's psychic powers begin as harmless visions that help them save people in peril, but still cause all main characters to completely freak out because they must be evil. Turns out, they are.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Sam suffers severe nosebleeds whenever he used his psychic exorcism powers against particularly difficult demons (such as Samhain, for example).
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Sam often puts his hands on his head on when he is using his psychic powers, mostly because he develops severe pain and headaches when he is using them.
  • Psychic Powers: Only in early seasons. He has none at the moment. By season four, he's developed more control and skill over his abilities, to the point that he can exorcise, and later kill, demons with his mind.
  • Psycho Serum: Sam spent half the season break between three and four, and all of season four, using demon blood to enhance psychic powers conferred upon him by feeding him demon blood as a baby. This allows him to kill demons without necessarily killing their hosts, a power no one else in the setting except angels ever demonstrates, and angels rarely bother. There turn out to be three definite problems with the system:
    • One, the woman providing him with it is engaged in a long-term manipulation to help the current Big Bad with her Thanatos Gambit to free Lucifer.
    • Two, most definitely an unavoidable problem: The stuff is incredibly addictive, and his growing addict behaviors are not good for any other part of his emotional life.
    • Three, it apparently is, to some degree, slowly turning him into something other than human. To what degree his bad behavior stems from this instead of straightforward addiction is impossible to determine; he never seems to approach outright Transhuman Treachery, and he demonstrated a capacity for being dangerously obsessive before he started on the stuff. A majority of his choices were actually pragmatic logic for the greater good, but they sure wrecked his relationship with his brother, who has this weird power to be right about everything even when it's for the wrong reasons.
    • At any rate, a Sam willing to make sacrifices was a major change in his character, and it was one way or another down to the combination of Poisonous Friend Ruby and Psycho Serum.
  • Puberty Superpower: Sam started developing his psychic abilities much after puberty at the age of 22, like all of the other Special Children like him.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: When Sam wants to have his way or wants you to understand where he is coming from, Sam will pull off the innocent puppy dog eyes and nobody, NOBODY can resist Sam's puppy dog eyes of persuasion, especially Dean and not even Castiel. Sam will also pull off his puppy dog eyes when he is feeling sympathetic towards someone else.
  • Rape as Drama: First implied by Balthazar, who says that Lucifer and Michael are probably "hate-banging" Sam's soul in the Cage, in Season 6. It's confirmed by Hallucifer in Season 7, unless you can think of any other way to take him joking about having made Sam his bitch "in every sense of the word" and his missing "real interaction" with Sam—"the rapier wit, the wittier rape!" Poor Sam. Sam confirms it to Dean in Season 11.
  • Rated M for Manly: Sam is rather masculine and manly in his behaviour. Not to mention that he is a hunter for a living.
  • Really Gets Around: When Sam was soulless, he slept with a lot of women. Hell, Sam even paid for sex with prostitutes, a complete 180 from Sam with a soul, who insisted that he NEVER paid for sex.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Sam is a rebellious person and he seems to go out of his way to defy authority or those who are older than him such as John, Dean, and Lucifer. He never liked to listen to authority. Also, the cause of many fights with John and Dean as well as his resentment towards them come from a dislike of taking orders or following rules.
  • Redemption Quest: Much of season five is about Sam trying to make up for his mistakes in season four, after becoming a demon blood addicted junkie and using his demon powers to break the last seal and starting the apocalypse by releasing Lucifer. Sam decides to make all the wrongs that he committed right by saying yes to Lucifer and sacrificing himself in order to save the world. The fifth season is often seen as Sam's redemption journey.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Originally, Sam is the Blue Oni (practical, logical, intellectual, rational and calm) to Dean's Red Oni (impulsive, passionate, reckless, hot headed, overconfident, brash). However, Sam and Dean have managed to switch places a few times throughout the series, especially during and after season four when Sam starts to embrace his dark destiny.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Sam jumped into the pit at the end of season five after he made a Heroic Sacrifice. Castiel pulled Sam out of Hell but he pulled him out without his soul intact. Sam became a much stronger and better hunter than when he had his soul. Unfortunately, because he was soulless, Sam was incapable of feeling emotion and compassion for others.
  • The Resenter: In the first season, Sam resented Azazel (the Yellow Eyed Demon) for killing Jessica and his mother, Mary. During the first few seasons, Sam was determined to destroy and kill the Yellow Eyed Demon at any cost, even by putting his life on the line. In the fourth season, Sam strongly loathed and resented Lillith for killing Dean and sending him to Hell. Because of this, Sam wanted revenge on Lillith and was hell bent on killing Lillith during season four. Turns out that Sam wanting revenge on Lillith by killing her at the end of the season was a huge mistake and resulted in the beginning of the end of the world.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Sam always bases most of his major hunting missions on revenge. First, after Jessica was unexpectedly killed by YED in season one and during season four, after Dean died and was sent to Hell because of Lillith. In season one, Sam started hunting and set out to find the YED and kill him as revenge for Jessica's death. Throughout season four, Sam made it his mission to become powerful enough (including drinking and becoming addicted on demon blood to strengthen his demon abilities) in order to kill Lillith, the White-Eyed Demon.
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: When Sam takes a 10-Minute Retirement and tries to live a "normal" life in the episode Free To Be You And Me, a girl curious to learn about Sam's past but at a loss of words to describe his peculiarity gives Sam the opportunity to quip that he's "a riddle wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a taco."
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Dean had died and went to Hell at the end of Season Three after making a deal to save Sam from death, Sam became extremely angry and vengeful. He made it is number one mission to kill Lilith at all costs in order to avenge Dean. It didnít help that at the time of his major revenge mission against Lilith, he was also deeply stricken with grief over Deanís death and was very depressed and suicidal. Because of it, it also made it easier for Ruby to manipulate him and use him to further her plans. In order to get revenge for Deanís death, Sam actually managed to sacrifice everything about himself, such as his morality, his sanity and even his humanity. He became a vengeful Blood Knight, someone who sought to kill as many demons as possible. He also strengthened his demonic powers so that he could kill Lilith. Sam became extremely ruthless to the point where he became almost monstrous and unrecognizable. By the end of the season, Sam had become Drunk with Power due to letting his demonic powers corrupt him and letting himself become a demon blood junkie. As a result, Sam suffered a Sanity Slippage along with Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and became seriously unhinged, deranged and mentally unstable, so much that he managed to beat Dean and almost strangle him to death. His deep anger and resentment of Lilith ended up resulting in Sam killing her and starting the Apocalypse along with unleashing Lucifer upon Earth.
  • The Runaway: Sam ran away or left home for Stanford. John told Sam not to ever come back if he left. According to Dean in a season five episode, Sam used to frequently run away from home, only showcasing that Sam wanted to get away from his highly dysfunctional and troubled family.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In the season five finale, Sam willingly sacrificed himself in order to stop the Apocalypse, put Lucifer (along with Michael) back in his Cage, save the world and save humanity.
  • Save The World: Sam did this at the end of season five when he became the vessel for Lucifer and threw himself and his brother Adam into the pit, sacrificing himself in order to save the world and save humanity.
  • Screw Destiny: Sam may have done some evil things (by accident), but that doesn't mean he wants to be the vessel for the goddamn Devil himself. That is, until he decides to say "Yes" to Lucifer at the end of season five, but only so he can re-take control long enough to jump into Lucifer's cage.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: Sam was willing to cross many moral lines, including sacrificing his own health, well-being, sanity and delving into his darkness by using his demonic abilities,in order to kill Lilith and stop the Apocalypse from happening. Too bad that it ended up being all for nothing at the end of Season Four. However, Sam did atone for his errors when he made a Heroic Sacrifice and threw himself into the pit while being possessed by Lucifer.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Sam possessed demonic abilities which made Sam feel powerful. Because of this, Sam's ability to do what he does made him rather prideful, self-absorbed and arrogant.
  • The Scully: According to Dean, Sam is more of the Scully and Dean is the Mulder of their Sibling Team. However, Sam doesn't agree at all. This is Zigzagged. Dean is a more shrewd judge of character, which allows him to pinpoint which person is a supernatural being and not a normal human, even when Sam wonít believe this. On the other hand, Sam is much more open about the existence of the different kind of monster and mystical beings, going by the mantra than All Myths Are True, while Dean still believes some monsters are merely legend.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: In the fifth season finale, Sam combines this with Sealed Evil in a Can by inviting Lucifer to possess him, then trying to keep control of his body long enough to jump into the Can they have no chance of getting Lucifer into otherwise. Sam does end up jumping into the cage, with Michael (In Adam) falling in with him.
  • Secret Legacy: Sam is a Man Of Letters, which runs on his paternal side, the Winchester side of the family.
  • Seer: Sam was a psychic, notably in seasons one and two. He got premonitions and visions of future deaths.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: At the end of season five, Sam goes through with a plan to let Lucifer possess him so he can take the Devil back into his prison. Lucifer spends over 120 years getting revenge on Sam's soul in hell while a soulless Sam spends a year being a Jerkass on Earth. And after Sam gets his soul back midway through the season, season six ends with Sam faltering under the memories of his time without a soul and the debilitating and possibly-deadly memories of hell. In season seven, those memories are driving him crazy and overwhelming him while he and his brother are facing a new enemy they can't kill and losing nearly all their allies and bolt holes.
  • Semi-Divine: Sam is technically part demon because he was fed demon blood when he was a baby by Azazel, the Yellow Eyed Demon. He gained special abilities and powers because of this
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness/Spock Speak: Sometimes. There are times when Dean tells Sam to "speak English" when he's explaining things to him. It is understandable, considering that Sam is highly book smart, reads a lot, and went to Stanford.
  • Shadow Archetype: Sam without a soul (Soulless!Sam) is seen to be the darkest, evil and sociopathic side of Sam.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Sam has been to Hell and suffered. Not to mention that Sam has suffered from mental illness, PTSD and hallucinations as a result from suffering in the worst part of Lucifer's cage.
  • Shirtless Scene: Sam has had plenty of these throughout out the series. Much more than any other character, including Dean. The female audience isn't complaining either.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Season six reveals that soulless!Sam once shot a woman being used as a Human Shield by a monster he was hunting. Once she falls over dead, he then kills the monster.
  • Shrinking Violet: Subverted. Sam is introverted by nature and tends to be more quiet and reserved than Dean but he's not so painfully shy that he can't converse or talk to people. Even though Sam is less extroverted and much less sociable than Dean, he still has rather strong social skills and is highly persuasive and empathetic towards others. It was shown at the start of the series that between sam and Dean, it was actually Sam that was much more sociable while Dean was more anti social. Despite this, Sam is still much more open to people that he knows and that he is more comfortable with.
  • Sibling Team: With Dean. He is hunting partners with Dean and they hunt and kill monsters together.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Dean. Sam is rather different in terms of personality in comparison to Dean. Whereas Sam is more empathic and sensitive, Dean is more macho and tough as nails.
  • The Sleepless:
    • In the sixth season, Sam no longer sleeps due to his lack of a soul. It doesn't seem to have had any particular effect on him; his behavior has changed, but it's attributed to the soullessness rather than the permanent wakefulness.
    • In the seventh season, Sam is unable to sleep at all because of the constant hallucinations of Lucifer. This time, however, he ends up in the hospital because of it, which conveniently places him for the case of the week.
  • The Smart Guy: Sam is very intelligent and is known to conduct most of the research while he and Dean are on a hunting case. He also attended Standford (Pre-Law). Sam is very well-spoken, intellectual and highly book smart.
  • Smoldering Shoes: In Hunted, Sam walks into a grenade trap set by fellow hunter Gordon Walker. After the explosion, Gordon sees Sam's Smoldering Shoe on the floor. The trope is subverted when Sam walks up behind Gordon and holds a gun to his head. It helps that Sam had recently met a fellow psychic who had foreseen his death.
  • Smug Smiler: As Soulless!Sam, especially when he watched as Dean was turned into a vampire. Creepy.
  • The Sociopath: When Sam was without a soul during the first half of Season Six, he had a serious Lack of Empathy and compassion for anyone (which is completely ironic, considering that Sam is the most empathetic, moral, and compassionate during most hunts). All he seemed to care about was hunting and killing as many monsters as possible. Sam even admitted to Dean that he had killed innocent humans during the line of duty and that he didnít feel any guilt or remorse for it. He even stated that he didnít care about Dean or what happens to him, because he couldnít feel any emotions such as concern and compassion. Despite this, Sam was still an effective hunter who was saving people, despite his immoral behaviour and actions. Also see Sociopathic Hero.
  • Sociopathic Hero: During the sixth season when Sam was soulless. He committed many immoral acts during the time when he was soulless without feeling any guilt or remorse. Sam didn't feel any empathy for anyone either. This included the time when Sam let Dean get turned into a vampire by standing there with a smirk watching and not doing anything to stop the vampire from turning Dean.
  • The Soulless: In the first half of Season 6. Sam came back soulless after Castiel brought him back from Lucifer's cage.
  • Soulless Shell: Sam during season six when he was soulless. Whether or not Sam technically died is debatable, but when he was pulled from Hell, Castiel accidentally left Sam's soul behind in Lucifer's cage.
  • Soul Jar: As a part of the trials, Sam has to use his arms to trap souls in it and release them. Sam rescued Bobby from Hell and transferred his soul to Heaven through his arm.
  • The Soulsaver: As part of the second trial, Sam, with the help of Dean, Ajay, Benny and Naomi, saved Bobby's soul from Hell and transferred it to Heaven.
  • Spear Counterpart/Good Counterpart: For Meg. Both are headstrong, determined, have serious daddy issues, both are driven by revenge, both have had sheer determination to bring down a higher demon (Lilith for Sam, Crowley for Meg) to avenge the "death" of someone they love (Dean for Sam, Lucifer for Meg), both are frequently subjected to being tortured and both admit to desiring a "normal life". Meg also admits to Sam that Castiel is to her what Amelia was to Sam. Both continue to fight in their own way for those they care about (Dean in Sam's case, Castiel in Meg's case).
  • Spoiled Brat: How some fans see him, especially when it comes to Dean. Some feel that Sam is an Ungrateful Bastard who doesn't appreciate all that Dean has done for him. They feel that Sam takes Dean and what he does for him for granted. On the other hand, some feel Sam just wants Dean to respect his wishes and not constantly treat him as the little brother or a child who is in constant need of protection and saving, especially now that Sam is an adult who is capable of making his own decisions and protecting himself when the time calls for it.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Sam and anyone. But especially Jessica. Specifically because season five shows us that his entire life had been watched, planned and manipulated by Azazel to prepare him for being the Lucifer's vessel.
  • Start of Darkness: Sam's dark destiny started as soon as Azazel/YED bled into Sam's mouth when he was 6 mos. old. Before then, Sam was just a normal baby but Azazel had some special plans for Sam. During Sam's adulthood, he began to develop special abilities. These abilities were a testament to Sam's inner darkness and were foreshadowing Sam's dark destiny or future.
  • STD Immunity: Averted in the fifth season as Sam is shown contracting gonorrhea, syphillis and herpes, though this may be due to Sam being "evil". Since Sam is also repeatedly shown swallowing total strangers' bodily fluids, this is yet another reason why one should avoid having sex with Sam Winchester. It should be noted that none of the STD's are ever acquired due to sex OR due to demonic blood drinking. In both cases, it was due to Sam aggravating a supernatural entity and being cursed.
  • The Stoic: He was like this when he was soulless.
  • The Strategist: Sam is one of the most strategic characters on the show. It was magnified in season six as Soulless!Sam.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: To both his father John and his grandfather, Henry.
  • Submissive Badass: Dean often takes The Leader role in their Action Duo and Dean may be more of a stronger hunter in general, but don't think Sam doesn't kick just as much ass. This is because Sam is more of the follower than the leader type unlike Dean, who has always been very strong at taking the lead and leading groups of people.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: In later seasons.
  • Supernatural Aid: The demon blood pumping through Sam's veins. The demon blood gave him his special, unique powers and abilities during his young adulthood. When Sam was 6 mos. old, YED/Azazel had bled into Sam's mouth. As a result of this, the demon blood within Sam's system manifested into the development of special powers later on in Sam's life. These powers included premonitions, demon exorcism, telepathy, and telekinesis.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When Sam taps into the demonic "special child" aspect, he is extremely powerful (telekinesis, exorcism, torturing/killing of demons, immunity to attacks by demons) but loses all his humanity and morality and becomes arrogant, prideful, selfish, violent and cold. His eyes turn yellow or black (like that of a demon) on a couple of occasions when he uses his demon abilities.
  • Super Strength: The demon blood also increased Sam's physical strength, allowing him to overpower low-level demons and even his older brother Dean with relative ease.
  • Survivor Guilt: Sam has felt the guilt of Jessica's death, his mother Mary's death and Dean's death at the end of season three.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Fans have noted that anytime Dean dies/goes missing, Sam seems to latch onto women that share characteristics with him. Most notable was Ruby, who is widely speculated to have deliberately dressed and talked like Dean, and drove her own car (putting Sam in the familiar shotgun seat) as a ploy to get Sam to trust her.

     Tropes T-Z 
  • Tagalong Kid: Sam is the youngest member of Team Free Will, which includes Dean, Castiel, and Bobby. As a result, he is the most protected of the group and he is often treated like the "kid" of the team. Also see The Baby of the Bunch.
  • Taking You with Me: Sam manages to take himself, Lucifer, Michael and Adam all into a cage of Hell to avert the Apocalypse in the climax of the season five finale.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Sam is physically fit, handsome and very tall at 6'6".
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Sam definitely has his Deadpan Snarker moments and he can be rather sarcastic, especially when provoked.
  • Techno Wizard: Sam is very handy with computers and often used a laptop computer for research during hunting missions.
  • Teen Genius: Since he was a young child, Sam has always been highly intelligent, incredibly book smart and he got straight A's in school. Sam got a full ride to Stanford University at the age of 18. See The Smart Guy and Child Prodigy.
  • Teens Are Short: When Sam was a young teen, he was significantly much shorter then a slightly older teenage Dean. In fact, Sam was called "Midget" by a high school bully named Dirk. Averted later on when Sam eventually outgrows his elder brother.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: In 5x03, Dean and Sam split up and Sam takes a job as a bartender. Some other hunters find him and try to talk him into helping on their current job, but he says he's retired, to get his head together. One of the other hunters says, "What is so important that you can't come back to prevent the apocalypse!?". They then proceed to force-feed him demon blood (of which Sam was staying clean) in a misguided attempt at getting him to fight demons. What actually ends his 'retirement' is the revelation that he is Lucifer's chosen vessel.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Played straight. At the very end of a Season Five episode ("Sam Interrupted"), Sam admits to Dean that he has Unstoppable Rage and that he feels angry or mad about everything for no reason. He tells Dean that he used to be mad at their Dad, Dean himself, Lilith and Lucifer. Sam goes onto admit that due to his anger and rage, he used to make excuses and blame other people, particularly those who are close to him or have affected his life in some way whether good or bad, for his anger. Sam states that some of the excuses that he used to blame his anger on include listening or following Ruby or drinking demon blood. But he comes to realize that it wasn't anyone else's fault why he was so angry and needed anger management. The anger that Sam has always been a part of him growing up.
  • These Hands Have Killed: In season six, Soulless!Sam admitted to Dean that during the year after he had come back from Hell, he had killed innocent people in the line of duty or while hunting. Implying that Sam did some very immoral and terrible things when he was without his soul.
  • Thicker Than Water: With his brother Dean, to obsessive and co-dependent levels.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Sam becoming addicted to demon blood to stop the Apocalypse; he knows he's damning himself, but doesn't expect to survive stopping the Apocalypse anyway. Sam Lampshades it: "So you're trying to treat this like some drug intervention?"
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: In early seasons, Sam refused to kill humans, though he came to accept that it was sometimes necessary to as the series went on.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In both the seventh and eighth seasons, Sam was ill, with Sam having a mental breakdown in season seven and Sam becoming extremely ill due to completing the Trials of God. However, Sam's Hell pain in season seven is cured when Castiel takes it on by absorbing it from him. In the eighth season, Sam's illness is cured when in the ninth season, after Sam falls into a coma and is "near-death", Dean allows an unknown angel named Gadreel to possess Sam in attempts to heal him internally.
  • To Hell and Back: Sam travels to Purgatory to rescue Bobby from Hell and to make sure that he is sent to Heaven instead. Sam does this as the second trial he needs to complete.
  • Token Human: Sam was the sole human character for the first three episodes of Season 10, as Dean had transformed into a demon.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: During the course of the year after Sam came back from Hell and in the beginning of the sixth season, Sam was completely unaware that there was something very wrong with him and that he was soulless until Castiel diagnosed him and confirmed that Sam was indeed soulless.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sam was already badass as it is before, with him being a very strong and capable hunter who is also a Badass Bookworm and is skilled in handling weapons and guns. But Sam became significantly more badass and a much stronger hunter after he came back from Hell albeit without his soul in the 6th season.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • In the fourth and sixth season. Oh so very much in season six. (But only in the first half of season six, and that's because he was The Soulless at the time.)
    • In the beginning of the eighth season, Sam doesn't seem to grasp why Dean is so angry that he took the year off from hunting? Sam, your brother just spent every second of that year trapped in Purgatory, fighting for his life! Why do you think he's so pissed off that you didn't try to rescue him?! To be fair on Sam, he didn't know where Dean was at the time, and had no leads or help due to everyone he knew being captured, missing or dead.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sam loves his salad.
  • Tragic Bromance: Has this with Dean. Sam has watched Dean die over and over again right in front of his eyes and each time, there was nothing that Sam could have done to save Dean or to stop him from dying.
  • Tragic Hero: Sam is so desperate to not be the failure and freak he always felt like and avert Bad Powers, Bad People that he believes demon Ruby when she tells him he's The Only One who can save the world. He allies with and has romantic liaisons with Ruby, getting addicted to the consumption of the demon blood that fuels his ability to do something seemingly good, exorcising demons with his mind and without hurting the hosts. It also makes him feel in control and (overly) confident. He lies to his brother repeatedly, and after Dean calls him a monster while he's high on demon blood, nearly kills Dean in their fight before leaving with Ruby to kill Big Bad Lilith. Sam doesn't take it well when he finds out he was being manipulated into starting the Apocalypse, and his plan to put Lucifer back in his Cage with a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of season 5 is the classic response of a tragic hero who realizes how badly he's screwed up. Not to mention Sam's troubled youth and his dysfunctional family and background.
  • Tragic Mistake: Sam starting the Apocalypse at the end of season four. In Season Four, Dean demands Sam dissolve his alliance with the demon Ruby and giving up drinking demon blood to gain the power to defeat Lilith, as per the angels' requests/warnings, or walk out and "not be brothers anymore". Since Dean calls him a monster and "closes that door" on him just like their father did, and Sam believes what he's doing is the only way to prevent the Apocalypse, it's more believable how Ruby, the demons and the angels deceive Sam. He becomes Lilith's/Ruby's Unwitting Pawn and, in his efforts to stop the Apocalypse, unintentionally busts Lucifer out of Hell to start The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Trauma Conga Line: After everything that Sam has gone through throughout the course of his life since birth, many wonder how Sam is still alive and in one piece.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Sam is generally kind, caring, compassionate and empathetic but he also has a Dark and Troubled Past and has gone through a Trauma Conga Line. Sam has endured nothing but tragedy and loss. It is understandable why Sam has a lot of issues.
  • True Companions: With Dean. This is expected since they are hunters who are Bash Brothers and a Sibling Team that have Undying Loyalty towards each other.
  • Tsundere: Sam is Type B (the ďDere" type). Generally, Sam is nice, kind, caring and compassionate. But if someone angers him or gets on his nerves, Sam will either give the cold shoulder or act out in extreme rage and violence. There are also certain characters that can bring out his snarky side, such as Crowley, Lucifer, Rowena, and even Dean during humorous moments. Heís between this and a Kuudere.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Opposite of Dean, who has Tareme Eyes. Despite this, Sam does have a major case of Puppy-Dog Eyes that nobody can resist.
  • Two Roads Before You:
    • In Season Four, Sam struggled with his loyalty to Dean (the good side) or Ruby (the bad side). Unfortunately, Sam ended up choosing the wrong road, which ultimately lead to the beginning of the end of the world.
    • Again in Season Eight, Sam's ex-girlfriend Amelia invites him to rekindle their relationship, allowing him to resume the normal life he had forged in Dean's absence. Unfortunately, doing so would leave Dean fighting the forces of Heaven and Hell on his own (additionally, Amelia is married, and Sam returning would undoubtedly have destroyed that). Sam ultimately chose to stick with Dean and hunting.
  • Tyke Bomb: Sam was trained to be a hunter and was introduced into the hunter's life during his childhood by his father John.
  • The Unapologetic: Inverted. In fact, Sam is the one to always apologize when he makes mistakes or does something wrong. On the other hand, it is Dean that normally has an issue with apologizing and saying sorry, even when it is blantantly obvious when he makes mistakes or screws up. Also see Apologizes a Lot.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Dean. even though Dean have been through many ups and downs, there is no doubt that Sam is devoted to Dean. Sam even admitted that he now hunts because he doesn't want to leave Dean behind.
  • The Unfavourite: Subverted. From his perspective, Sam believes that Dean was John's favorite because he and John used to constantly fight and butt heads since Sam was a child. Sam was very rebellious against John and they never saw eye to eye. Sam felt that Dean had a better relationship with John than he did. Therefore, Sam felt like he didn't fit in with the family and was the family Black Sheep. However, it turns out that John actually doted more on Sam and tended to show much more concern for Sam than he did Dean. For John, Dean was basically his little soldier that he used for his goals. John barely gave any affection to Dean and when he did, it came as such a surprise to Dean. Even though Sam and John constantly fought, it's revealed that they only fought alot because they were so much alike in both personality and life experiences. There have also been instances where John would tell strangers that he was proud of Sam and his achievements despite Sam thinking the opposite.
  • The Unfettered: When Sam was soulless, he had zero guilt, remorse or conscience. He had no morals and would constantly break the law.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Sam has always had a rugged look in comparison to Dean's clean-cut look.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: In season four. In season four, it became obvious that Sam lost his innocence and became significantly more calculating and ruthless. This was because Sam's major motivator behind everything that's he was dong was anger and revenge, two negative emotions.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In 4x10, Sam came up with the idea of Dean and Ruby giving away Anna's location to angels and demons so that the two sides would be too busy fighting each other to zero in on them. Of course, since the audience didn't see him telling them that, it just looks like they both betrayed Anna up until aforementioned plan is actually brought up on-screen.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Accidentally starts the apocalypse while trying to prevent it.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As a child, teen and a young adult, Sam was shown to be the Wide-Eyed Idealist who had a very innocent, sweet, naive and idealistic nature. He was The Pollyanna who was very optimistic, enthusiastic about everything in life. However, as the series progressed, Sam becomes more of The Cynic who gains Jade-Colored Glasses and he becomes more pragmatic in his thinking. Dean frequently comments about Sam losing his innocence and sense of idealism that defined Sam when he was younger. Much of this has to do with all of the horrible events, loss, pain and tragedy that Sam has gone through since the show began.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • In season six, due to Sam being soulless. Although Sam was technically still a hero, he was also highly unsympathetic and immoral at the same time.
    • He and Dean are the Big Bad Duumvirate of Season 10.
  • Viral Transformation: Sam was fed demon blood by Azazel/YED as a baby. Because of this, Sam has demon blood pumping through his veins and as a result, he developed special demon abilities later on in his young adulthood. Castiel refers to Sam as "the Boy with the Demon Blood".
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Sam asks this question during the course of season five. He questions whether becoming addicted to demon blood was really worth all of the pain and tragedy that came along with it.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Sam is a hunter and therefore, is the target of many supernatural beings. Also, Sam is often sought after by demons's due to his destiny which was set out for him by Azazel.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Sam feels the same need for his father's approval as Dean does, though he isn't as obvious about it as Dean because he acts out against his father's wishes instead of trying to act as the perfect son Dean struggles to be. Mainly because Sam feels like his flaw is what he is, and not something he can change, whereas Dean thinks that if he just does enough, he can earn approval. In later seasons, this seems to have transferred to Dean, as Sam thinks he's frequently let Dean down and disappointed him, and that Dean trusts others more than him as a result. In the Season 8 finale, Sam plans to complete the Trials even if they kill him, because he can't stand the idea of disappointing Dean again.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sam had a few shades of it in seasons 3 and 4 where he was reluctantly willing to sacrifice one for the good of the many.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Sam starts using his demon-blood-born powers to exorcise demons between seasons three and four, and in season four, the prophet Chuck is the first to call him on the way he fuels those powers.
    • Dean finds out when Sam, jonesing for a fix, cuts a demon's throat to drink her blood so he can pull the demon out of Castiel's vessel's wife without killing her. Dean locks Sam up so he can detox from the demon blood. This is followed by Sam leaving to kill Lilith, thinking that's the only way to stop the Apocalypse (too bad that's actually what starts it) after they fight when Dean calls him a monster.
    • In season 6, soulless Sam gets plenty of these. In Live Free or Twihard, Sam lets Dean get bitten and turned into a vampire. Not some BS "Oh it's all my fault" Wangst, he straight up waited until it was too late before he started to help, because it would help track down the other vampires.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Especially in the first season. This was a contrast to Dean's cynicism. It doesn't last long though and any last remnants of it are crushed forever after Dean's deal.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: As the series progressed, Sam's demon abilities became stronger and stronger. Eventually, Sam became addicted to using his powers and loved the power that came along with it. Because of Sam's addiction to the power of using his special abilities, Sam began to abuse demon blood and became a demon blood junkie in order to strengthen his powers. The power only got to Sam's head and caused Sam to take a downward spiral out of control. His addiction to his power eventually caused a catastrophe of starting the apocalypse.
  • White Sheep: Sam has a rebellious personality and has never wanted to follow in the footsteps of John and Dean to becoming a hunter. Sam Winchester grew up in a family of con-artists and violent vigilantes, living on the road. It was his dream to settle down as a normal person and not fight anymore. Considering that his family consisted of warriors fighting monsters (although they didn't always look into whether those monsters were actually evil or even dangerous), he rebelled to go to school so he could become a lawyer, and his entire life has involved demonic influence; unsurprisingly, he's the Black Sheep as well.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: During Season Four, Sam was consistently told by Dean that he was a freak who was not considered to be normal or human. Dean had berated and judged Sam all season for using his demon powers and abilities. Eventually, Sam started to become darker and darker as the season went on. Towards the end of the season, Sam became a full on blood junkie who was addicted to demon blood and was addicted to the power that he got from drinking it. By the end of the season, Sam became extremely powerful due to his consumption of demon blood which also strengthened his abilities. Because of Samís addiction, Dean had decided to conduct a demon blood detox so that Sam could become clean. Dean locked Sam up in the panic room, where he ended up suffering horribly mentally, emotionally, physically and psychologically. However, Sam was let out of the panic room by Castiel and Sam went back to Ruby so that he could get his demon blood fix. Dean eventually discovered Samís whereabouts and the two got into a major fight. The fight resulted from Dean calling Sam a monster which Sam didnít react well to at all. Sam beats up Dean and wins the fight, going as far as to strangle Dean so that he can incapacitate him. Sam takes off with Ruby and embraces his dark side to the extent that he ends up following Ruby, killing a nurse who was possessed by a demon so he can drink her blood to strengthen his powers and kill Lilith. This resulted in Sam becoming demonic, killing Lilith and unleashing Lucifer upon the world. Itís safe to say that Dean really should have approached Sam and his issues with what he was doing in a much better way.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Sam has had a life long fear of clowns since childhood.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Especially during the course of season four. Sam becomes a [1] darker person because he has lost everything, including Dean. He feels extremely depressed and guilty over Dean's death because of Survivor's Guilt. Even though Sam starts to go down a dark path, it can be perceived as somewhat sympathetic because of the tragic situations that Sam has been through.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal:
    • The transformations that Sam underwent after completing the first and second trial. As of the end of season 8, he still hasn't fully healed from whatever the trials have been doing to him.
    • Also, the scar on Sam's hand in season seven, which he used to get rid of his hallucinations of Lucifer by pressing on it hard.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Sam makes the ultimate sacrifice and throws himself into the Cage with Lucifer to save Dean (and the world). And finally, two years later, Sam chooses to remember his time in the Cage (almost two centuries of being tortured by Lucifer) and risks serious psychic damage so as not to leave his brother alone. He nearly dies from the psychological fallout.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Sam is the youngest child of the Winchester family, and therefore, he was doted on and overprotected by both John and Dean growing up. Sam was also the special one between himself and Dean, as he was The Chosen One who was a Special Child" that had special powers and abilities. On the other hand, Dean was just a regular human with no special powers.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/SupernaturalSamWinchester