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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.


Sam Winchester

Portrayed By: Jared Padalecki, Colin Ford, Alex Ferris

"You know me. You know why. I'm not leaving my brother alone out there."

Tropes:

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  • Abusive Parents: John was rather emotionally and psychologically abusive to Sam. Although it has been implied that John was physically abusive to Dean, it is uncertain of John ever physically abused Sam in any way, although it is highly possible considering how much John and Sam fought. Dean had an "obey or somebody gets killed" issue while Sam got completely disowned when he wanted to be normal; their tearful phone calls in both "Home" and "Faith" got ignored; Dean got used as an emotional punching bag when John was pissed off with Sam; and he gave them both so little affection that when he acted like a "Well Done, Son" Guy, Dean thought he was possessed or that there was something incredibly wrong going on. To add insult to injury, he was right.
  • 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.
  • The Ace/Broken Ace: Sam is very intelligent, a good researcher and a very capable hunter yet his personal life is an absolute tragedy.
  • Achey Scars: In season seven, Sam got a scar on his hand after he cut it with a piece of glass. Sam used this scar to relieve himself of seeing Lucifer or to get rid of his memories of hell and his hallucinations of Lucifer.
  • Acting For Four: Jared Padalecki has portrayed FOUR major versions of Sam: Normal!Sam throughout season's one to three (parts of four), Lucifer!Sam in season five, Soulless!Sam in season six and Ezekiel!Sam in season nine. Let's not forget all of the in between versions of Sam that Jared has portrayed such as Meg!Sam in season two, Powers!Sam in season's two and four, Junkie!Sam in season four, Hell!Sam in season six, Leviathan!Sam in season seven, and Crazy!Sam in season seven.
  • Action Survivor —> Action Hero: 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. In the first season of the series, Sam is more of an Action Survivor, as he had left his normal life behind and embraced the hunting world.
  • Adorkable: Especially in the first season. Sam is nerdy and a bookworm. Although much of his adorkable qualities are evident in the earlier seasons, Sam still has plenty of adorable and cute moments, especially when he is conducting research or being his nerdy bookworm self. He would often have a lot of dorky moments and although Sam came off as dorky and nerdy, he was also rather adorable at the same time. 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 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.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Dean calls Sam "Sammy". According to Sam, Dean is the only one allowed to call him that.
    • Crowley calls Sam "Moose".
  • Aloof Younger Brother: To Dean. Sam is smarter, more practical and more refined than Dean, who is more impulsive and rogue.
  • Always Second Best/Always Someone Better: 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.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: In the beginning of season 6, Sam's behavior was so bizarre and out there. He seemed to lack social skills, compassion and had a severe Lack of Empathy for others. It turns out that Sam was soulless for an entire year after being brought back from Lucifer's Cage/Hell by Castiel.
    • Let's not forget that in season seven, after Castiel had broken the wall in Sam's head, Sam went crazy and had a mental, psychological breakdown. Sam was hallucinating Lucifer as well as his worst memories from his 2 centuries or more in Hell. 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 season four, Sam's morality was deeply grey. It was hard to tell whether Sam was fighting for the good or bad side. Although ultimately, Sam's intentions were good, it is just the way that he went about achieving his goals and agenda were rather immoral and morally ambiguous in nature.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Some feel that Sam's desire to go to college and ditch his family was a bad thing but again, this is subjective.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Angel Possession/Symbiotic Possession: As of the season nine premiere, Ezekiel possesses Sam in order to heal Sam, but Sam is unaware of this.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Subverted in a way. Sam is the more mature, practical, logical and serious one between himself and Dean. However, from Dean's point of view, 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.
  • Anti Anti Christ: As a baby, Sam was fed demon blood and was given special demon abilities by Azazel/YED. Later on, he discovers that he is the vessel for Lucifer and that he was meant to destroy the world.
  • The Antichrist: Sam was called this by Gordon early in the series. At the time, Gordon was written off as a fanatical murderer, but the Strawman Has a Point.
  • 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 season's one to two, a Pragmatic Hero in season three, a Pragmatic Hero or a Unscrupulous Hero in season four and five and a Nominal Hero Type V in season six, especially the early half of season six when [[spoiler: he was soulless. He seems to be back to the Pragmatic Hero as of season seven and season eight.
  • Anti-Villain: In 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 may fit all of the types through the series: Type I, Type II, Type III ''and' Type IV from season's four to six.
    • Sam was a Type I in season's 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 Type II 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 Type III 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 seemed 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. See Really Gets Around.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: In Seasons 2 through 5, 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. 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. 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. 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 (The Hero, Heroic Archetype): According to the Word of God, Sam's character is modelled off of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Lilith. Sam 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. In the end, Sam does end up killing her, although at a very costly price.
    • Jessica's killer, the demon possessing Sam's old college friend Brady.
    • Lucifer. Despite being destined to host Lucifer and help bring about the apocalypse, Sam fought with everything in him and ended up begin the one to take him down.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Sam displayed this 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. In season six when Sam was soulless, Sam confessed that he was a much better and stronger hunter than he had ever been before.
  • The Atoner: In the fifth season (after the whole freeing-Lucifer-from-Hell business) and in season six (after getting his soul back).
  • 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 POV character and Sam is the story/myth arc character in which the series revolves around.
  • Author Avatar: It has been mentioned by Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, that Sam is his avatar.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Sam's last name, Winchester. "Like the rifle". In an alternate universe, Sam's last name is Wesson and Dean's last name is Smith. Like Smith&Wesson.
  • Back from the Dead: Like his brother Dean, repeatedly.
    • Sam died in "All Hell Breaks Loose Part 1", instigating Dean's deal, and later causing his death at the end of the next season. Luckily, after the deal was finalized, Sam was brought back to life.
      • Sam is briefly killed after being struck by lightning in 4.08.
      • Sam also dies in 5.13, but Michael brings him back to life.
      • Sam and Dean both die and are subsequently resurrected in 5.16.
      • 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: Sam is a strong, tough and capable hunter and was raised in the hunting life, despite trying to escape it.
    • Badass Adorable: Sam can be rather quirky and cute while he's hunting. Especially when he's doing research.
    • Badass Boast: When Sam demands (not asking for) Castiel's help, say's 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: Highly intelligent, intellectual, scholarly, and a skilled researcher and bookworm. Sam also attended Stanford and was going to become a lawyer.
      • Sam is a Man-Of-Letters, just like his paternal grandfather, Henry. Seems that Sam took after the Winchester side of the family.
    • 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 hunters who were Genius Bruiser's and his patriarchal side, the Winchesters, were intelligent Men Of Letters who were Badass Bookworm's.
    • Badass in a Nice Suit: Often when Sam is posing as an FBI agent, a cop or a Homeland Security agent.
    • Badass in Distress: Sam sometimes finds himself in trouble and needs a little saving once in a while.
    • Badass Longcoat: Sam got one in the episode Out With The Old.
    • Badass Normal: Before and after getting addicted to demon blood.
    • Badass Transplant: A variation of this trope. Sam's demonic abilities were given to him due to Azazel/YED 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. See Little Mister Badass.
    • Badass Unintentional: Sam had zero interest in embracing the hunters 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.
    • Cultured Badass: Sam is a Badass Bookworm who is scholarly, 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. Dean, on the other hand, is more of a Pop Cultured Badass.
    • 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. However, he eventually abandons them and returns to being a Badass Normal.
    • Future Badass: Sam was the vessel for Lucifer a.k.a. Satan, the freaking destroyer of the world, in the year 2014.
    • Handicapped Badass: In season seven, Sam still managed to be a very effective hunter despite having his wall broken and suffering a mental breakdown. And in season eight, Sam was still capable at hunting despite being worn out to an extensive level due to the Trials of God. In both situations, Sam repeatedly told Dean "I'm fine" (even though he clearly was not).
    • Heartbroken Badass: Lost the love of his life Jessica. Not to mention that almost every single female that Sam has been romantically involved with has died.
    • 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 let his normal world behind and embraced the world of hunting.
    • Like a Badass out of Hell: Took an extra level in Badass by leaving his soul there.
    • Little Mister Badass: Sam was hunting and began handling guns and weapons starting at the age of 8. Not normal at all.
    • Pop Cultured Badass: Sam loves Star Wars, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.
    • 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*
    • Submissive Badass: Dean often takes the leader role in their duo, but don't think Sam doesn't kick just as much ass.
    • Took a Level in Badass: Sam became much more badass and a much stronger hunter after he came back from Hell albeit without his soul in the 6th season.
  • Bad Dreams: Sam experienced psychic visions, usually of premonitions of people in danger or people who are going to die in the future.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Sam's powers are demonic in nature, and he uses them to hunt demons. While he did manage to jump-start the Apocalypse, he was actually intending to stop it. But 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. Knowing Dean would disapprove, Sam lied about it when Dean came back, and things got worse from there. 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.
  • Battle Couple: With Ruby during season four.
  • 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. 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 posed as a high school janitor in "After School Special".
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Beauty Mark: Sam has a distintive and noticeable mole on the left side of his face underneath his eye and near his nose.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: In the second season, Sam swore that he wouldn't let himself go to the dark side and succumb to darkness and evil. But by season four, Sam is corrupted by demons (namely Ruby), addicted to demon blood, is obsessed with using his demonic abilities and in season five, Sam discovers that he is the destined vessel for Lucifer. Not to mention that in season six, Sam was soulless. Talk about not succeeding in not wanting to succumb to the dark side.
    • Sam didn't so much succumb to evil 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.
  • Being Good Sucks: Sam may be a hunter who both risks his own life and saves lives on a daily basis yet Sam has only received much loss and tragedy for his heroic deeds.
  • 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: DO NOT hurt or harm Dean in any way, hurt anyone he loves and cares about, or call him a monster or a freak. You will regret it. He will get revenge AND HE WON'T STOP EITHER.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Is basically a nice guy, but can be just as ruthless as his brother when trying to protect people.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Adam. Sam seemed to automatically take on the big brother role after he got to know Adam. Sam is also this to Kevin.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To both Adam and Kevin.
  • Big Brother Worship: As a child, Sam looked up to Dean and strongly admired him. According to Sam, he always looked up to Dean since he (Sam) was four years old, he studied Dean and tried to be just like his big brother.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Often along side Dean. They are badass hunters after all and they managed to end the Apocalypse.
  • The Big Guy: Sam is very tall and is listed as 6'6" according to police database records (Jared is also the tallest cast member of Supernatural at 6'5" (some say that he is taller but opinions may vary). Because of Sam's height, many other characters have given him many different nicknames that are associated with his height (e.g. Moose, Big Bird, Sasquatch, etc.)
    • Sam can be classified as either Class 1 (primarily during season six), Class 2 or Class 5.
      • The Brute: Sam was this when he was soulless in season six.
  • 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 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 Sam despite being killed brutally, he died a peaceful death.
  • Bio-Augmentation/Transhuman: 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, Andy, Ava, Jake etc.)
    • Sam also seemed to have seen himself in Jesse Turner, The Antichrist. Like Jesse, Sam was destined for dark and evil path as Lucifer's one true vessel. Sam 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).
    • 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. Both have had their "normal lives" turned upside down due to being The Chosen One, both have lost their mothers and their girlfriends due to a higher demon (Azazel for Sam, Crowley for Kevin), and both are The Smart Guy's and Badass Bookworm's who are certified nerds. 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.
  • 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. Ironically, Sam is also a White Sheep.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Corrupt the Cutie: Ruby did this to Sam throughout season four. She manipulated him during a time of weakness and vulnerability and even managed to turn Sam against his own brother. Ruby fed Sam the belief that he was powerful to stop and kill Lilith and she managed to get him addicted to demon blood so that he could strengthen his abilities.
  • Broken Bird: Inverted. Sam has been through 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, thinking 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 doesn't get any worse, 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 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 Sam 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, 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 matter 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.
      • IS IT REALLY ANY WONDER WHY SAM WINCHESTER IS SO ROYALLY SCREWED UP?
  • 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.
  • 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.

    C-D 
  • Cain and Abel: With Dean. In terms of personalities, Sam is the Cain (the rebellious son) to Dean's Abel (the obedient son). In terms of brother dynamics and roles, Sam is the Abel to Dean's Cain in the sense that Sam is the younger brother (like Abel) and Dean is the older brother (like Cain). In season five, Sam is discovered to be the destined vessel for Lucifer and Dean is discovered to be the destined vessel for Michael. Dean (the older brother like Michael and Cain) is destined to kill his younger brother, Sam (the younger brother like Lucifer and Abel).
  • 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 normal 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.
    • Also in the eighth season, 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 the season seven episode 'Time For A Wedding' Dean called the trope 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.
    • 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: 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.
  • Celibate Hero: Sam was this from season's one to three, but not in the fourth, sixth and eighth seasons.
  • 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.
  • 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 most 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).
  • 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 8.
  • The Chosen One: Sam is THE Chosen One of the series. The story of Supernatural originally 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 season's 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 clue 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.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: In season four, Sam faced conflict in regards to his loyalty to Dean and his loyalty to Ruby.
    • Back in Season 1, 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 2, Sam's concern for a severely injured Dean far outweighs John's desire for vengeance, which is infuriating for John.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sam possessed the ability to exorcise demons with his mind without killing the human host. Pretty cool.
  • Cute Bruiser: As young!Sam. Sam was exposed to hunting at the age of 8 and began hunting at 11 years of age. He was also shown to be quite a tough and capable fighter.
  • The Cutie: Especially in the first season, before Sam went through serious trauma and tragedy and succumbed to his dark destiny.
  • 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 yo 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 Blood Knight. He never actually makes a full on Face-Heel 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.
  • 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. 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 Is Cheap: Sam, along with his brother, never ever 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: In season two, Sam was possessed by the demon Meg.
  • Demon Slayer: Sam primarily hunts demons for a living. Although he does hunt other supernatural beings and creatures as well.
  • Destructive Bromance: In regards to his relationship with Dean. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 all—he 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.
  • 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;
    • Sam was fed demon blood by Azazel/YED against his will and given superhuman abilities which at one point, he had zero control over;
    • Sam 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);
    • Sam constantly loses Dean when Dean dies repeatedly throughout the series;
    • Sam 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; Dean goes to Hell afterwards;
    • Sam becomes a demon blood junkie in Season 4 in order to strengthen his superhuman abilities;
    • Ruby ends up double crossing 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 almost 5,040 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 as 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 will—or want to—survive 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

    E-H 
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Sam spends half of the sixth season soulless or 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.
  • 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.
  • Face Monster 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.
  • Fan Nickname: Sam has frequently been referred to as Moose and Puppy by the fandom at large. Some even refer to Sam as Sasquatch, Jolly Giant and Jörmungandr (which is also known as The World Serpant).
  • 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 the Ultimate Evil, 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Sam has a few:
    • Ambition Is Evil: Sam is overly ambitious to the point that he only does things for revenge.
    • The Corruptible: Sam is a highly corruptible individual and is prone to falling to darkness due to his dark destiny.
    • The Determinator: Sam is highly stubborn and often has tunnel vision.
    • Drunk on the Dark Side: Sam is prone to darkness and letting power take over him, like throughout season four with the use of his demonic abilities.
    • Drunk with Power: Whenever Sam gains power, he ends up treating those closest to him like crap.
    • Functional Addict: Sam has an addictive personality and is prone to addiction, as he was addicted to demon blood in season four and became a junkie.
    • Guilt Complex: Sam has a very strong guilt complex, to the point where he blames himself for every bad thing that has happened.
    • Horrible Judge of Character: Sam is very naive, easily manipulated and overly trusting of others, especially those of whom are obviously not trustworthy (hint: Ruby, for example).
    • It's All About Me: Sam is prone to selfishness and self-absorption.
    • Pride/Holier Than Thou: Probably Sam's biggest flaw. He has a tendency to be rather self-righteous and proud, and at times, believes he's better than others.
    • Rebellious Spirit: Sam is a highly rebellious person by nature and often does not listen to others.
    • Revenge Before Reason: Sam is highly prone to being vengeful.
    • Unstoppable Rage/Hot-Blooded: Sam is highly prone to anger and he has a temper. This was especially evident and noticeable during season's four and five.
  • 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.
  • The Fettered: Although Sam has been morally tray 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 demons and demon blood.
  • Functional Addict: Sam was highly addicted to demon blood, and the detox doe it is not fun at all. In fact, it's downright torture.
  • Gallows Humor
  • 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 Guy Gone Dark: 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: Sam is generally nice, but don't mess with or cross him or the people he cares about.
  • 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 Swapped Meat, a teenage boy changes bodies with Sam.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Season 8, while he's understandably dubious about Benny's reformation, part of his hatred towards him seems to outright jealously more than anything else; noticeably sporting a Death Glare when Dean refers to Benny as 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.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?
  • 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: 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.
  • Heel-Face 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 Supernatural and essentially, Supernatural 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 Supernatural (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 BSOD: 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 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 RROD: 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. 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.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: It's Dean Forrester!
  • Hidden Depths: Sam is a deeply complex character. He may appear to be the sweet, boy next door, but underneath is a 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: Sam can be just as hot headed as Dean, if not at times even more.
  • Hot Guys Are Bastards: Especially when Sam was soulless and when Sam was possessed by Lucifer. Averted before Sam began hunting.
  • 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 4. Sam is a whole foot taller than Ruby.
    • 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 5-foot-11 by the way). Hell, he even towers over the majority of the male characters including Garth, Bobby, Castiel and even Dean.
  • 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.
  • The Hunter: Sam hunts supernatural creatures for a living.
  • 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.

    I-L 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Impostor 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 in 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 Schrödinger'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.
  • The Ingenue: Especially as young!Sam. Sam has always been naive, idealistic and empathetic. However, ironically, Sam is also cursed with darkness.
  • 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: According to spoilers, 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 which including the coughing up of blood. Sam will keep his illness a secret from Dean of course.
  • 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
  • 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 continue to rebel 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.)
  • 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 Little 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: Type I.
  • 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 Sam 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.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: To Dean. It has been proven over and over again throughout the series that Dean cannot live or function without Sam in his life.
  • Living MacGuffin/The President's Daughter: 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
  • Long Lost Sibling: To Adam. Sam is Adam's older paternal half brother, meaning that he and Adam share the same father (John).
  • Love Makes You Dark: 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.
  • 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/ Gabriel tried it, he didn't exactly get over it.
  • Loveable Rogue
  • Love Hurts: Every single love interest of Sam has died. His most notable one being Jessica.

    M-P 

  • MacGuffin: Sam's soul in season six. It was the major plot and storyline of the season.
  • 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 a 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.
  • 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.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Sam has had many love interests throughout the course of the series.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Sam/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.
  • 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 premier: 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. Sam's also a mix between this and a Morality Pet for Ruby.
    • 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 season 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.
  • Naïve Newcomer: To the hunters world and life in the very beginning.
  • Nerd/Nerds Are Sexy: Well, Dean has called Sam a nerd and a geek on a few occasions.
  • 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: As soulless!Sam in season six. Although Sam had lost his soul and therefore, lost his ability to feel, Sam was still hunting for the greater good. Fortunately, Sam had a Morality Pet in Dean to keep him in check.
  • Nominal Hero: In both season four and season six, however, Sam fits this in season six more. 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.
  • Non P.O.V. Protagonist: This could be considered debatable. While Sam is often the focus in much of the myth arc of Supernatural, he does not seem to have that much of a POV in the story. This is probably why much of the audience often questions or doesn't always understand Sam's actions, motives, emotions, feelings and thoughts. Dean, on the other hand, is the POV character of the series, therefore, the audience always knows what Dean is thinking of feeling about Sam and situations surrounding or happening to Sam. Bottom line, much of the debate is that things happen to Sam and Dean reacts to it, but there is not much POV for Sam in regards to his thoughts and feelings about Dean and events surrounding Dean.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Odd Couple: With Dean.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The Pollyanna/Plucky Guy: 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.
  • The Power of Love
  • 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.
  • 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 has not, that Dean has to kill him.
  • The Protagonist: Originally, Supernatural was centred around Sam and his heroic journey.
  • Protagonist Journey To Darkness: 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.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Averted averted 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 the Samhain demon, 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.
    • Telekinesis: 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.
    • Precognition: Sam had the ability to see what would happen in the future. It would come in sharp flashes and visions in his mind. The visions and premonitions would come out of nowhere and often, the visions would be of something violent and disturbing, like someone dying or someone who is about to die. It often proved to be extremely painful for Sam.
    • Clairvoyance: Initially, Sam's powers manifested solely as a form of heightened senses and occasionally as confusing premonitions of the future.
    • Enhanced 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.
  • 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 definite 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 of 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.

    Q-T 
  • 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.
  • 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, Sam 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 never liked to listen to authority, especially his father's orders.
  • 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.
  • 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 out of 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."
  • 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!
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Sam possessed demonic abilities which made Sam feel powerful. Because of this, Sam 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 won’t 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
  • Seer: Sam was a psychic, notably in season's 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 5,035 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. I don't think the female audience is 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.
  • 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 empathetic 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.
  • 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 Snark Knight: As Soulless!Sam. He was the king of sarcasm.
  • 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 Soul: While Dean is The Heart of the series, Sam is seen as the soul of the series, the "backbone". When Sam is not himself (i.e. addicted to demon blood, on a dark path, soulless, mentally unstable, etc), other characters (especially Dean) seem to be affected by him and the entire show seems to take on a different feeling.
    • A strong example was in season six, when Sam was soulless. The show felt "hollow" and "empty", again when Sam didn't have his soul. But when Sam got his soul back in 6x12, the show felt "warm" and "normal" again to many fans.
  • 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.
    • In Season 9- Abaddon is keeping souls in jars to turn into a demon army, which Sam frees so that they return to their owners.
  • 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).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 child, Sam has always been highly intelligent, incredibly book smart and he got straight A's in school. Sam got a free ride to Stanford at the age of 18.
  • 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. This changes 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.
  • 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: Sam was strongly empathetic towards and often sympathized with monsters, therefore, he was against killing them. Sam mostly like felt this way because he identified with the monsters that he hunted.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • True Companions: With Dean.
  • Tsundere: Type B.
  • Two Roads Before You. In the 4th season, 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.
  • Tyke Bomb: Sam was trained to be a hunter and was introduced into the hunter's life during his childhood by his father John.

    U-Z 
  • The Unchosen One
  • Undying Loyalty: To Dean.
  • 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 and six. 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. In season six, it's taken up to significantly higher levels. Sam becomes even more cold, calculating, manipulative and ruthless in season six but this is because Sam was soulless and therefore lost his ability to del love, compassion, and empathy for others.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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 gets a lot of these after he fails to keep his brother from being dragged off to hell.
    • 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.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Clowns?: Sam has had a life long fear of clowns since childhood.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Especially during the course of season four.
  • 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 seals have been doing to him.
    • Also, the scar on Sam's hand in season seven, in 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.


Supernatural Dean WinchesterCharacters/SupernaturalSupernatural The Winchesters

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