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Supernatural: Tropes Q to Z
This page covers tropes found in Supernatural.

See also the episode Recap page for more trope examples.

Trope Based Episodes | Tropes A to D | Tropes E to L | Tropes M to P | Tropes Q To Z | YMMV | Shout Outs


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    Q 
  • Quit Your Whining:
    • Bobby, to Sam and especially Dean, at various points.
      "You stupid stupid son of a bitch! Well boo-hoo. I am so sorry your feelings are hurt... princess! Are you under the impression that family's supposed to make you feel good? Make you an apple pie, maybe? They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family."
    • At the end of Season 5, Castiel has been stripped of his angelic powers. When he starts to angst about the loss, Bobby basically shames him out of it—Castiel might be only human now, but hey, so are the rest of them, and Bobby, who's in a wheelchair, has a lot more reason to feel useless.
    • Zachariah delivers one of these speeches to Dean, mainly to show what utter dicks the angels are, as Dean's Heroic BSOD at the time was well deserved - Him taking up the knife while he was down in hell was the breaking of the first seal of Lucifer's cage. So basically, Dean set the apocalypse in motion.

    R 
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Seasons 4 and 5, in a nutshell.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The entire subculture of hunters, who have no budget and receive no pay for what they do. They do, however, earn a bunch of psychological issues along the way.
  • Rape as Drama: Implied to have happened to Sam while in Hell. The first time he has a hallucination of Lucifer, he greets him with "Hi, Sam. Long time, no spooning." It's compounded further when he tells him, "You're my bunkmate. My bitch. In every sense of the word." Crosses into Fridge Horror.
    • More or less confirmed in "Repo Man":
      Lucifer: That's what I'm talking about, Sam. Real interaction again, I miss that—the rapier wit; the wittier rape.
    • Implied heavily between Alistair and Dean too. The former mentions "poking and prodding" way too often.
      Dean: They sliced and carved and tore at me in ways that you... until there was nothing left.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: The episode "Tall Tales" when Dean and Sam have different versions of what happens at the bar.
  • Reality Subtext: The Ghostfacers episode references the writers' strike that had caused season 3 to be shortened to sixteen episodes.
  • Reality Warper:
    • The Trickster is a milder version of this. He can't rewrite the laws of reality but can still create matter out of thin air, although it is inextricably linked to him because all his creations will vanish if he is killed. It can be reasonably assumed that all archangels have similar powers, but they're never shown using it. Lucifer even trivializes it by deriding this ability as "amateur hocus-pocus".
    • Jesse, who before even being aware of his abilities caused reality to change around him according to his beliefs about it (see The Antichrist).
  • Reality-Writing Book: Chuck the Prophet writes books about two characters he thinks he made up named Sam & Dean Winchester, who have lives identical to the real Sam & Dean. At some points what he writes lines up with what's happening to Sam & Dean at that exact time.
    Dean: I’m sitting in a laundromat, reading about myself sitting in a laundromat reading about myself. My head hurts.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: The Winchesters on one hand clearly believe this—Sam more unconsciously than Dean, since he has some pretensions toward normality—but, on the other hand, they strongly disapprove of killing humans, and even Dean is not too impressed by killing frivolously. Their resistance to killing humans is broken down somewhat over the years of war and the fact that the only way they have, most of the time, of killing demons (and that one angel) kills the hosts as well, and they use it without hesitating, but it's still not something they're willing to do without good reason. Humans aren't in their jurisdiction.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Obvious subverted as the show has no real theme song, but the unofficial theme that is used for recaps and such is "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas.
    • "Carry On Wayward Son" is used for the Season Finale recap. However, the whole song has never been used as of yet as they usually omit the second verse, one round of the chorus, the guitar solo, and usually ends before the outro/ending guitar solo.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: "Hollywood Babylon" had a trailer for "Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning."
  • Real World Episode: In "The French Mistake", Sam and Dean Winchester get blasted into the real world where everyone sees them as Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, stars of the television series Supernatural. It gets very meta. Among the things that the Winchesters discover is that Bobby is named for a show producer, Jared got married to the actress who played Ruby, Supernatural is filmed in Vancouver, and Sam and Dean CANNOT ACT. Misha Collins (Castiel) and series creator Eric Kripke get Killed Off for Real.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Death. Not that he's there to in anyway help the Winchesters, or anyone for that matter, but he values order, and is in charge of keeping the cycle of life and death continuing so the chaos doesn't destroy the universe. He is incredibly fair-handed in doing this, allows completely for the events of free will to be followed to their natural conclusion, and doesn't use "destiny" as an excuse to fuck people around. This means that all the Angels and Demons out there who play havoc with the natural order, arrogantly declaring that they can do whatever they want REALLY pisses him off (particularly considering how insignificant they are in comparison to him). As a result, if the Winchesters' aims coincide with his own, he will help them out. He is also the only entity in the whole of existence who Dean actually respects. And considering his exposure to both God and the Devil, that is saying something.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Bobby gives an EPIC one to Sam and Dean in "Weekend at Bobby's".
    Bobby: Sam. Dean. I love you like my own. I do. But sometimes... sometimes, you two are the most whiniest, most self-absorbed sons of bitches that I've ever met! I'm selfish? ME? I do everything for you! EVERYTHING! You need some lore scrounged up, you need your asses pulled out of the fire, you need someone to bitch to about each other. You call me, and I come through. EVERY. DAMN. TIME! And what do I get for it? Jack with a side of squat!
    Dean: Bobby...
    Bobby: Do I sound like I'm DONE?! Now look. I know you got issues. God knows, I know. But I've got newsflash for ya. You AIN'T the centre of the universe!
  • Redemption Equals Affliction: In an attempt to atone for his actions in Season 6, Castiel absorbs Sam's mental trauma, and suffers a mental breakdown as a result.
  • Redemption Equals Death:Henrickson Unusual example in that he was never bad, and hunted the boys because he thought they were psychos. He was a bit of a jerk about it though.
    • "Swan Song".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Particularly in season 1, with Dean being red and Sam being blue. Through the magic of Character Development, they have, at times, switched places.
  • Reference Overdosed: Dean often slips Person as Verb references into his conversation, and so does Bobby to a lesser extent.
    • The guest star of "The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons" tattoo is Felicia Day, playing a rather hardcore nerd/geek. When chatting with her co-worker, it's rare a sentence passes between them or issues from her mouth that isn't some sort of reference. This is true of many socially isolated geeks. The episode as a whole has an inordinate number of references.
  • Relative Error: "Of course the most troubling question is, why do people keep assuming we're gay?"
  • Religious Horror: Though it starts out more All Myths Are True, the show inclines towards this increasingly as it goes on.
  • Remember the New Guy: Throughout the series, the Winchesters keep running into Hunters and old friends of their father that they knew growing up. These friends were usually never mentioned before their initial appearance, and are frequently never mentioned again onscreen afterwards, despite the brothers talking about all the adventures they had together and the time spent with their father. Given that most Hunters die horribly instead of retiring, it's a Justified Trope; you try not to get attached to people who usually end up eviscerated or worse.
  • Reset Button: Used several times, though the principal characters are typically left aware of what happened.
    • In "Mystery Spot" the Trickster (Gabriel) killed Dean over and over again, and then brought him back to as if nothing had happened following an excruciatingly funny "Groundhog Day" Loop.
    • By Castiel in "My Heart Will Go On" (though it was passed off to everyone except Sam and Dean as All Just a Dream) when Fate forced him to retroactively re-sink the Titanic
    • By Michael at the end of "The Song Remains The Same", where the only notable change to reality by the end of the episode was the destruction of Anna, which apparently had little practical effect on anything.
  • Resurrective Immortality: the remnants of the Thule Society in season 8 have this. The holocaust was used as a source of bodies to perform necromanic experiments. If one the Societies members dies he will resurrect after some amount of time unless the body is burned.
  • Retired Badass: When Bobby and Rufus are first introduced, they seem to be more or less retired from hunting, though they quickly become more involved with the plot. Sam takes a 10-Minute Retirement early in season five, and Dean retires from hunting from the end of season five until a couple of episodes into season six. Oh, and a season six episode involving time travel showed that Samuel Colt ended up like this in his later years (though Sam was quick to point out that there's "no such thing" as fully retiring from the hunter lifestyle).
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: Often enough to possibly be the Trope Codifier
  • Revenant Zombie: A Revenant appears in the season two episode "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things". She is reanimated by an ancient Greek spell, exactly as she was in life with the exception of superhuman strength, virtual immunity to physical damage and a single-minded focus on punishing her boyfriend and the woman with which he was cheating on her.
  • Revenge: Daddy Winchester ruined his kids' childhood in efforts to find and kill Azazel to avenge his wife's death, and now Sam is ruining his own life trying to kill Lilith to avenge Dean, even now that Dean has returned from the pit.
  • 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."
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: The first season finale. Or the last fifty seconds of it, anyway.
  • Rousing Speech: Subverted in "Sympathy for the Devil." Dean makes one of these for Bobby's benefit, but later admits to Sam that he just was trying to keep Bobby's spirits up, and they have no hope of winning.
  • Rule of Funny:
    • Most of it has to do with what makes the characters afraid, notably "Yellow Fever."
    • Dean's multiple deaths in "Mystery Spot."
    • And the soap opera version of "Supernatural" in "Changing Channels."
  • Running Gag:
    • Dean and the magic fingers. Heh. And eww. And heh.
    • "Lucky guess."
    • Busty Asian Beauties. Dot com.
    • Casa Erotica.
    • All the Mistaken for Gay jokes.
    • Sam calling Dean's bluffs about competence. "Name three children that you even know", "Name the last book you read."
    • Dr. Sexy, M.D.
    • The boys' aliases being singers. According to "Weekend at Bobby's", Rufus Turner, at least, does something similar, though he uses the much less believable "Luther Vandross" and "Reuben Studdard".
      • Classic rock in general, both Dean's love for it, and Sam's distaste.
      • And Dean's "guilty pleasures".
    • Sam and Dean playing Rock, Paper, Scissors (and Dean losing because he always picks Scissors) to determine who will carry out unpleasant tasks. Dean eventually wins in season 6. With Scissors. In an Alternate Universe.
    • Funny enough, the number of times both of the Winchesters die could also be seen as this. Mentioned by Bobby at the start of "Dark Side of the Moon" in season 5.
    • Someone will question Sam and Dean's credentials, especially if they're posing as some kind of federal agents. "I didn't think the feds would have any interest in [this case]" is the standard line. They'll usually reply with something about the current administration.
    "It's a new, kinder administration."
    "Well, change you can believe in."
    "War on terror."
    • I season 8 we're often reminded that Kevin Tran, the prophet, is in 'Advanced placement'.

    S 
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Mary and Jess die in the first episode.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Everyone else.
  • Sad Clown: Dean and Gabriel, to an extent.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Many of the pagan "gods" that appear in season five bear little to no resemblance to their original incarnations; Kali, Ganesh, Baldur, Odin, Mercury and Baron Samedi (Amongst others) are shown feasting on human flesh. While many of the figures did accept living sacrifices, including human sacrifices in some occasions, they all heavily frowned upon actually consuming human flesh, and in Roman tradition (The origin of Mercury) cannibalism is one of the prime sins forbidden by the gods.
    • Or, that's what they wanted you to think. In the Supernatural!Verse, most widely known details about myths are wrong. An Angel even states "Your Bible gets more wrong than it does right."
  • Satellite Love Interest: An arguable subversion with Jo in the second season. Word of God said that she was originally conceived as a Love Interest for Dean, and that she was rapidly phased out of the series due to negative fan reaction.
  • Save The World Climax: The show starts with two brothers hunting ghosts, werewolves and other supernatural creatures in the US while looking for their father. In the fifth season, they're trying to prevent the Biblical Apocalypse from occurring.
  • Saving the World: As of Season 5, the stated goal of the Brothers Winchester. Also the plot during the middle of season 6 with them trying to stop The Mother of All or Eve if you will and then consequently trying to stop Crowley from gathering purgatory's souls.....
  • Say My Name: You'd think the boys were in danger a lot or something. Bonus points if Sammy is used.
  • Schrödinger's Butterfly: Due to a genie's wish-granting hallucinations in Season 2 ("What Is And What Should Never Be") and a plant extract that allows people to enter and control one another's dreams in Season 3 ("Dream A Little Dream of Me").
    • Lucifer invokes this to taunt Sam in Season 7, pointing out that Sam can't be sure if his visions of Hell are the hallucinations or the reality.
  • Scot Ire Land: Demons call Crowley "Lucky the Leprechaun" behind his back because his real name is MacLeod.
    Bobby: MacLeod's Scottish, Einstein.
  • Screw Destiny: Dean usually says something to this effect whenever Sam's dark and evil destiny is brought up. And, as of the end of Season 4, whenever his own destiny is brought up.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: On more than one occasion Sam & Dean have accidentally released scores of demons from Hell and have to go kill them.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Thus far the end of every even-numbered season has involved letting some great evil out of its can. Seasons three, five, and seven have been about dealing with these evils.
    • Season 2 ends with the Devil's Gate being opened with no warning and a mass of demons got out along with their leader Lilith, the new Big Bad.
    • Season 4 ends with Lucifer being freed from his cage by Thanatos Gambit.
    • The Leviathans were the real problem with opening Purgatory for the power of its souls at the end of season 6. According to Death in the Season 7 premiere, Purgatory was specifically created by God to serve as a can for them.
    • In Season 8 the Winchesters do this to Abaddon by cutting her up and sealing the pieces in boxes and burying her, still alive. Later they dig her up to use as a guinea-pig for their final trial but she gets loose.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The Men of Letters, a secret society of scholars hoarding knowledge and ability in combating the creatures of evil, and using their personal elite cadre of hunters to dispose of major threats. They're defunct nowadays, seeing as how Abaddon killed most of them in 1958 and what few survivors there were gave up. Sam and Dean use their headquarters as a base of operations and their library as a source of knowledge for the second half of Season 8. We're also shown that they've had foreign counterparts fulfilling similar roles of being a centralized anti-monster force in "Everybody Hates Hitler".
  • See You in Hell: The last thing Dean says to Bela before she's killed by hellhounds. In a slight variation of this trope, Dean means it literally.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Attempted in "Salvation" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer". It fails both times.
  • Seen It All: To the point where the aversions become important plot points, most notably in the first two episodes of season 4 and the first half of season 6.
  • Selective Squick: In-Universe. The Pagan gods in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" will happily torture and kill, but are offended by swearing and would prefer you to say "Fudge."
  • Self-Parody:
    • Almost every season, in episodes such as "Hollywood Babylon" and "The Real Ghostbusters".
    • "The French Mistake".
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: It would take longer to write out the examples here than than it would take to just watch the complete series in full.
  • Self Stitching: It's the Winchester version of health care.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: played with. At first, it might look like the Winchester brothers are this trope played straight, with Sam being the Sensitive Guy and Dean being the Manly Man. It turns out that hard-drinking and -playing, weapons-happy Dean is more often in a nurturing role than little brother Sam, empathizes more with children and, even though he hides it and denies it, he can get very emotionally-involved once he engages in a (not necessarily sexual) committed relationship; anger-issues Sam is the one who prefers talking it out, nonviolent solutions, and helping civilians. Interestingly enough, the fact that Sam is in general more prone to discuss (his) feelings can make him look more sensitive/less manly than Dean, but as a result help him cope with events in ways that on a deeper level are less affected by insecurities.
    • And even though both brothers are seen crying, let us not forget Dean's more copious and better-known tear-shearing moments.
  • Serial Escalation: Every season finale is able to one up the previous one: Season 4 finale, when Lucifer is released, Season 5 finale, when Lucifer and Michael the Archangel go against each other or the Season 6 finale, when Castiel declares himself God?
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • In "In The Beginning", Dean thinks that his jump into the past is to set right what once went wrong (Castiel all but states it outright), but not only does it turn out he was only meant to witness what went wrong and not change it, it sure looks like he actually caused it.
    • "The Song Remains The Same" had an angel go back to that time to try to kill their mother before they were born. While she seemingly succeeds in killing their father, he is brought back as a vessel for Archangel Michael, who kills the angel.
    • In "As Time Goes By", Henry wants to return to 1958 and be a father to John, but Dean fears that it'll have an unforeseen consequence and stops him by force. Although even Dean is taken aback when Henry points out that his return would mean that the Apocalypse and all the other sealed evils that have killed thousands of people would never have been released.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: The daeva are seen only as shadows attacking their victims in the episode "Shadow", and the death of the first victim is depicted using her shadow, which is covered by a spray of blood.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: A Siren shows up in the season 4 episode "Sex and Violence". It projected visions of the ideal woman to its victims, while its real shape looked more like a rotting corpse. Strangely, it tries the same thing on Dean but as a man, as Dean wasn't looking for a bedwarmer but a friend/brother who looked up to him.note 
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Sam and Dean both are, although the extent to which it applies comes and goes. It is implied that all hunters are as well, or soon will be.
  • Shipper on Deck: Balthazar, Uriel, and Meg all know what's really going on with Dean/Castiel.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Sam shows up in just a towel in "Hell House." It was totally necessary for the advancement of the plot.
    • One for Dean that was completely gratuitous and not gruesome whatsoever was about ten minutes into "What Is And What Should Never Be."
    • Castiel finally gets one in "Point of No Return" though his wasn't exactly gratuitous...
    • The Third Man. Sam's exercise routine was absolutely necessary for... erm... character development? Yes, that must be why it was in. (We'll be in our bunks.)
    • Cas gets a scene at a laundromat in the Season 9 premiere that looks more like an act for a strip club.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Season 6 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.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog:
    • The whole third season. Sam tries so hard to save Dean from eternal torment and gets increasingly unhinged, Dean more or less gets over his suicidal nature and tries hard himself because he's terrified, they both bring the crazy, clingy panic in spades and in the end, none of it means anything because Dean's dead and gone to hell anyway. (Though he was later resurrected by heavenly forces).
    • The season 5 episode "Abandon All Hope...". After retrieving the one weapon that can kill Lucifer and stop him from raising Death the Fourth Horseman, and Ellen and Jo Harvelle's heroic sacrifice to give Sam and Dean the chance to do this, it turns out that Lucifer is immune after he gets back up again with a sore head. Lucifer kills everyone in the town and raises the Pale Rider, Team Free Will is forced to flee, and Ellen and Jo have died for nothing (and they don't come back).
  • The Show Goes Hollywood: "Hollywood Babylon" and "The French Mistake".
  • Show Within a Show: Dean's a big (though secret) fan of the Grey's Anatomy-esque Dr. Sexy, MD.
  • Shown Their Work: Castiel is the Angel of Thursday. The character was introduced during Season 4, when the show aired on Thursday. More significantly, Castiel resurrected Dean on September 18, 2008. Which was a Thursday.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Told to various villains by Sam and Dean.
  • Sibling Team
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • The Winchester Brothers contrast in many different ways. Dean is loud, boorish, slutty and is a Big Eater in a nutshell. But he goes quiet (and even mute in fanon) when hurting, turns all his angst in on himself and his whole life is wrapped in Sam and his family. Sam is mostly celibate (because of that pesky Cartwright Curse), is never shown to be eating and tends to be the quiet one while Dean takes control. But he gets louder and more dangerous when he's upset and his main Fatal Flaws are Pride and self-absorption. And he's far more independent than Dean, showing signs of wanting to flee the nest through the entire show's run, and, unlike Dean, would probably be able to go on permanently with his life if deprived of his family and hunting. The sex scenes (Dean in "Route 666" and "Heaven and Hell," and Sam in "Heart," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," and "Sex and Violence") show a difference between them too. Sex is fun for Dean; he doesn't mind being pushed down on the bed and letting the woman have her way with him. But for Sam, it's violent, kinky and it's clear he has to be the one in control and dominating.
    • Castiel has this with his brothers Gabriel and Balthazar.
  • Single Tear: Dear God, the show loves this trope. Television Without Pity says it best about the ninth season premiere.
    A tear falls from Dean's eye and skips down his cheek. It took just under seven minutes for the One Perfect Tear to make an appearance. Welcome back, salty old friend.
  • Sliding Scaleof Free Will Vs Fate: It's not clear whether fate truly exists or if it it just appears to because powerful beings have exerted significant effort to maneuver their game pieces into position, but the show ultimately comes down in favor of free will - against all odds the Winchesters manage to Screw Destiny in the end.
    • Until season 6, when one of the Fates of Greek mythology makes an appearance..
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way, way over on the cynical side.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: Flip-flops between the two so often that you start to think the show is manic-depressive.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Hallucifer is completely incapable of using chairs correctly.
  • Small Towns Are Evil: All of them!
  • Smart People Play Chess: Jared Padalecki tends to come off as rather silly at times yet in one DVD episode's commentary, the director mentions his complete and utter destruction of chess opponents.
  • 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.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: So they're telling us that nobody got worried about two young boys usually on their own, moving from state to state, with a usually absent father and a dead mother? Good to know.
    • It doesn't say nobody got worried; it says nobody managed to do anything about it. Given John's ability to fly under the radar, that's not terribly surprising.
  • Someone Has to Die
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Seasons 1-2 initially had the Yellow-Eyed demon as the Big Bad, who gets replaced by the more powerful Lilith in seasons 3-4, and then by the Devil himself in season 5. Lampshaded, along with Villain Pedigree, near the end of season five when Sam asks Dean if he remembers when they just fought things like wendigos. When it comes to the big bads, the usual downside of the Man Behind the Man structure is averted, as the lower-ranking villain usually has to free the higher-ranking villain before they can step in. Yellow-Eyes released Lilith, who went on to release Lucifer. After season 5 this trope is subverted, since Lucifer was thrown back into Hell, and none of the season 6 big bads are more powerful than him. Then briefly played straight again when Castiel becomes a villain so powerful that he can destroy the Winchesters and almost anyone else with a finger snap if he wanted to, but his power is unstable and he is forced to repent and give it up. In season 7, the new main villains are the Leviathans, who are the first that Sam and Dean can actually beat in a straight fight. After their defeat it's back to Demons and Angels in season 8.
  • Soul Power: There are several soul manipulators:
    • Over the course of Season 6 of , it is revealed that angels can use souls to gain extra power. In the season finale, the angel Castiel absorbs all the souls in Purgatory and declares himself the new God. This backfires badly since souls aren't the only residents in Purgatory.
    • The Men of Letters can use the power of their own souls to perform particular feats of magic, such as Time Travel.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • At the end of Season 1, the Winchesters are driving away from a confrontation with Azazel when their car is hit by a truck driven by a possessed driver. As the camera shows Sam, Dean and John lying bloody and unconscious, the song "Bad Moon Rising" plays cheerfully on the car radio.
      • Then again, considering the subject matter of the song, it's oddly appropriate.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Dean starts belting out some classic rock to distract himself from his impending doom. Sam joins in, and it's a fun brotherly moment for the thirty seconds before they realize they're singing "Wanted Dead Or Alive."
    • In "Swan Song," to interrupt a tense moment (possibly the last moment before a large portion of the planet is nuked), Dean pops in a cassette and drives the Metallicar into the middle of Michael!Adam and Lucifer!Sam's pre-battle staredown, blaring the music. The song of choice? Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages," complete with German/jibberish intro.
    • In "Born Under a Bad Sign", while Sam is questioning Jo, a record player can be heard playing "The Crystal Ship" by The Doors.
      "Before you slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss..."
  • Spanner in the Works: Invoked by Naomi while confronting Castiel in "The Great Escapist."
  • Special Edition Title: The series has made special opening credit for several episodes:
    • 3.08, 'A Very Supernatural Christmas' Instead of the normal opening (which featured an exploding Devil's Trap), this christmas special had an exploding ornament and a Santa hat over the A.
    • 4.05 'Monster Movie' was a parody of classic black and white monster movies, with a black and white opening
    • 4.18 'The Monster At The End of This Book' showed cover art from the series of Supernatural books within a show written by Chuck Shurley as Carver Edlund.
    • 5.08 'Changing Channels' also contained parodies of several stock television shows, and replaced the opening titles with a sitcom-style montage, complete with appropriately-styled theme song and credits (in the "Full House" font, no less).
    • 6.09 'Clap Your Hands if You Believe' paid homage to The X-Files and redid the opening to play the X-Files theme and show footage of the brothers in the same sort of poses as the orginal X-Files opening did.
    • 6.18 'Frontierland' copied the burning map credits from Bonanza
    • 7.08 'Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!' had an exploding wedding cake with Richard Wagner's Bridal Chorus for music.
    • 9.18 'Meta Fiction' start normally, before abruptly switching the show's name to that of the Big Bad which the episode focuses on.
  • Spoiler Opening: Averted in "Meta Fiction": Richard Speight, Jr. is not listed in the opening guest credits so as not to spoil the return of Gabriel.
  • Standard Powerup Pose: Some demons do this when the black smoke which is their essence leaves the meat suit they're currently wearing.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Surprisingly rare. Most Love Interests usually die before they have the chance to go through any struggles together with their man of choice, or simply have an idyllic relationship with their men before they get killed off.
    • Dean and Lisa, the series' first attempt at a genuine, long-term romantic relationship on-screen, definitely became this by the sixth season. The only truly normal time they had together was the first week they spent with each other before the series started; otherwise, their relationship was complicated by monsters, demon deals, dead loved ones, soulless people, and The End of the World as We Know It. They try hard to be together anyway, but Lisa finally gives up on the idea of there being a "them" and tries to move on with her life when a vamped Dean pushes her son Ben, despite still caring about Dean and him her. It is highly unlikely that they will ever get a happy ending together, especially since Dean has all of her and Ben's memories of him erased. Losing Lisa pained Dean, but he has resigned himself to never having the life he (literally) dreamed of with her.
    • Sam and Amelia. They were in the most serious relationship Sam had had since Jessica when Amelia's husband was revealed to still be alive, prompting Sam to try to do the right thing by breaking things off with Amelia so that she could go back to Don, even though Sam really just wanted to stay with her. Amelia turned out to be the same way; she was still in love with Sam even with him gone and Don back. Sam and Amelia eventually decided that they would settle this by arranging a meeting spot and time; if both of them turned up, they would know that the other had picked them, and they would get back together and Amelia would divorce Don; if one turned up but not the other, that person would know that it wasn't going to happen. Amelia arrived at the meeting spot, proving that she was willing to give Don up for Sam, but Sam decided that he had more responsibility to seeing the trials through and didn't show even though he was still just as in love with Amelia as she was with. Given that ending, they also seem unlikely to get back together.
  • Stargate City:
    • Usually, Vancouver does a good job. but these Winchester boys supposedly travel the entire U.S. For one, Richardson, Texas looks and feels nothing like that, and neither does Pittsburgh, PA. And not every city has snow. Especially not in the middle of summer.
    • On the flip side, they were in MICHIGAN for the Christmas episode. They didn't appear especially cold, and there was no snow. That was actually because of the Monsters of the Week.
    • In the episode "Hollywood Babylon" when they're walking through a studio grounds, Dean comments how he wanted to come to Los Angeles for vacation, movie stars, swimming pools, etc.
    • Then "The French Mistake" had Sam and Dean swapping places with their actors. Cue Dean complaining that if they can't get out of Bizarro-world, they can at least get out of "the Canadian part of it."
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Castiel being the primary offender and Dean the primary victim.
    Dean: Cas, we've talked about this—personal space!
  • Stealth Pun:
    • When Dean is marked as a target of The Fair Folk, he's stalked and eventually attacked by someone who looks like a hobo. He never speaks, and no mention is made of what kind of creature he is, even though he looks nothing like the fairy, elves, and leprechaun that we see. He wears a red wool hat, looks like he hasn't shaved in a few days, and stares silently at his victim... Like a garden gnome. Or, you know, a redcap.
    • In "The End," the camp in which the resistance is based is called Camp Chitaqua, implying that the remaining humans have found themselves up a certain creek...
    • The show's repeated use of "Carry On My Wayward Son" in the "Road So Far" sections is a Stealth Pun since not only are Sam and Dean wayward sons of an equally wayward father, but the Winchesters are from Kansas the state and the song is by Kansas the band.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • The two Pagan Gods in "A Very Supernatural Christmas."
    • Dean becomes a slightly manic version of this when he likes to pretend that everything is perfect. Case in point: The beginning of "Bloodlust", the middle half of Season Two during that nasty case of Survivor Guilt and the first handful of episodes in Season Three where he was a lot jerkier than some people liked.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: In "There Will Be Blood" there's Emily, who has come to see the Alpha Vampire as her "daddy".
  • Stock Subtitle: Supernatural Origins.
  • Story Breaker Power:
    • A fifth season episode introduced Jesse Turner, the purported Anti Christ who (due to being a half-demon Half-Human Hybrid) gained really high-level Reality Warper powers following Lucifer's presence on Earth (which raised all sorts of Fridge Logic questions), and was obviously more powerful than any other character seen up to that point. Having probably realized this, the writers quickly abandoned the character by writing him out at the end of his first appearance.
    • Castiel is made of this trope. Angels are among the most powerful beings in the Supernatural universe, even "grunt" angels like Castiel can effortlessly dispatch most demons and monsters, heal fatal wounds, and even resurrect the dead. While this was fine for Story Arcs where he was fighting other angels who were equally powerful or even stronger than he was, it trivialized the Monster of the Week episodes as Cas could just locate the monster and zap it in two seconds. Thus, the writers were forced to continuously include excuses and storylines which explained why he couldn't help the Badass Normals. In the seventh and eight seasons, the writers continuously toy with the idea of killing or permanently incapacitating Castiel, but they won't because he's one of the most popular parts of the show, and his episodes get the best ratings. Also, he's funny and arguably the show's heart, so his other attributes make the show more enjoyable. The writers just need to figure out how to depower him (it's not like the show is any stranger to the "Only the Author Can Save Them Now " effect, anyway). Indeed, the season eight finale ends with Castiel's grace being taken from him, effectively turning him human.
    • Ezekiel is worse about this than Cas ever was. Introduced immediately after Cas loses his powers, he quickly becomes the show's go-to fix it guy. In nearly every episode since his introduction he has served as some form of Deus ex Machina, including bringing Cas and Charlie back to life, healing Sam from the trial sickness and a slashed neck, and scaring Abbadon away when she and her mooks have the upper-hand against the Winchesters. They try to avert it by saying he's been weakened by his fall from Heaven and doesn't have enough power to be constantly doing this, and yet every time he's needed he's able to muster the strength without issue. But the worst part is, since he's using Sam as a vessel they can't even not have him around when it's inconvenient to the plot like they did with Cas.
    • The series has suffered from the story-breaking power of the angels in general since season 5 or 6. Word of God admits that in hindsight they made them too powerful and have had to come up with numerous Drama Preserving Handicaps to keep them from solving everything single-handedly, hence the proliferation of angel-killing blades and the angels' tendency to Forget About Their Powers. In season 7 they introduced the Leviathans, who were supposedly even stronger than angels, and unlike the angels were all villainous, but a direct comparison of the Leviathan's abilities versus the angels' was still hilariously one-sided in the angels' favor. Season 9 had to issue a species-wide Nerf by casting the angels out of Heaven and burning off their wings, removing their ability to teleport and weakening their other powers.
    • The Colt, a supernaturally powered gun that can supposedly One-Hit Kill anything. Originally it was limited by the number of bullets it had -any old regular bullet wouldn't work, they had to be enchanted like the gun- so the heroes had to save them for kills that really mattered. In season 3, however, the heroes figured out a way to make new bullets for the gun after extinguishing the original supply. Without the limited ammo, the gun quickly became story-breaking as Sam and Dean no longer needed to figure out monsters' weaknesses and could just kill anything they came across by shooting it. Once they realized this, the writers had Sam and Dean lose the Colt, and replaced it with Ruby's knife, which is also a One-Hit Kill, but only works on demons. The Colt briefly resurfaced in season 5, only for it to be revealed that it actually can't kill everything, as the Winchesters discover to their horror that Archangels like Lucifer are immune. It's lost again after only a single episode in the heroes' possession and never seen again.
    • The Angel Blade, the primary weapon angels carry which later fall into human hands. Like the original wielder, it is extremely overpowered in that it can kill basically everything in the attic and the basement, including Angels and Seraphs, Nephilim, Hellhounds, Demons, the aforementioned near-omnipotent Anti Christ, and even Reapers. These weapons tend to drop in and out of the story though, and one tends to wonder why nobody tried to use such weapons on the Monster of the Week as they more than likely would work.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred:
    • In an early episode, Dean does this to a very pissed-off Sam who's had his head messed with by a ghost. Dean even hands Sam a gun and tells him to do it. Sam does. The gun isn't loaded. Dean's not stupid.
    • In season 4, Lilith pulls this with Sam when he'd rather reunite with his brother than kill her like she wants him to so he'll inadvertently start the apocalypse.
    • In season 5, a captured demon gloats to an enraged Sam that he killed Sam's now dead girlfriend Jessica and just how much he loved doing it, and when Sam prepares to slit his throat he's goading Sam into killing him, because it will ruin the Winchesters' plan. Sam eventually resists the urge.
  • Stuffed In A Fridge:
    • The horrific deaths of minor characters Jess and Mary serve to spur Sam and John, respectively, on their quests for revenge.
    • After a two-year absence, we finally get to see Ellen and Jo Harvelle back in action again. Great! But after one episode, they're killed off in order to save the brothers. Not so great.
    • After Lisa and Ben are kdinapped by Crowley, Lisa is hospitalized with a mortal wound. Dean asks Castiel to heal her, but also remove her and Ben's memories of him.
      • In yet another display of Dean's tendency to blame himself for everything, in his cover story he's responsible for her being in the hospital
    • In "Bloodlines", Ennis, a new hunter, sees his fiancée brutally murdered seconds after he proposed to her.
  • Subbing for Santa: Dean became Death in a sixth season episode.
    • This trope sums up Castiel perfectly.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • Crowley does this a lot.
    "Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn't underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?!"
    • So did Pestilence. "If Satan wants them so bad he can GLUE THEM BACK TOGETHER!"
    • Even angels get into the act.
    Zachariah: "I'd walk these halls and people would AVERT THEIR EYES — I HAD RESPECT!"
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Increasingly prevalent in later seasons, where angels frequently spout Technobabble to the effect of Quantum Mechanics Can Do Anything and Crowley has demons working on R&D. Even "Angel Radio" can be hacked into by those with the technical know-how. When asking why Cas cannot heal an ailing Sam, the answer is decidedly non-magical sounding:
    Dean: Hey, what did you mean back there about Sam?
    Castiel: It's difficult to say. It's something on the subatomic level and his electromagnetic field —
  • Suicide as Comedy: In "Hunteri Heroici", a man tries to kill himself by walking off a building. He realizes he can literally walk on air, and sees it as a miracle. He thanks God and cheers, then looks down. He panics and falls to death. It is played in a manner similar to the Running Gag on Looney Tunes but with a person.
  • Supernatural Angst: Practically the Trope Namer.
  • Supernatural Soap Opera
  • Superstition Episode: In the episode "Bad Day at Black Rock," Sam accidentally invokes (by touching) a cursed rabbit's foot. He has incredibly good luck for a while until he inevitably loses it (as father figure, Bobby puts it "Everyone loses it"), and then Sam's luck goes extremely bad. Not a straight example perhaps, because the rabbit's foot is a cursed object, so it isn't just superstition - though how it works is based on superstition - because touching the rabbit's foot really IS good and then bad luck.
  • Super Weight:
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In the Season 7 premiere, the Winchesters and Bobby summon Death to deal with God!Castiel. Subverted, though, in that Cas merely snaps Death free of their binding spell, defusing the situation. The potential danger of doing this is beautifully lampshaded by Crowley:
    You really believe you can handle that kind of horsepower? You're delusional! They'll both mash us like peas.
  • Supernatural Elite: The alphas, who are also the first of their kinds.
    • All are dead now except the Alpha Vampire, as stated in Season 7 along with the Alpha Vampire's return.
  • Supernormal Bindings: They have sets of shackles intended to restrain demons.
  • Survivor Guilt: There's plenty, most of it Dean's.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Along with Soundtrack Dissonance, the primary use of Dean's "greatest hits of mullet rock." Songs like "Don't Fear The Reaper" more than once, "Ramblin' Man" by the Allman Brothers Band in the pilot, and "Carry On My Wayward Son", which plays over the Story So Far Recap for each season finale.
  • Sycophantic Servant:
    • Dean. He just has to think their father sent a cryptic message, and he'll jump. He makes Lugnut look like an independent thinker. Later in the series, he comes to resent his dad. Oh, the magic of Character Development.
    • The majority of demon-kind, Meg included, become this to Lucifer in Season 5.

    T 
  • Take That:
    • Rather depressingly, you could see "What Is And What Should Never Be" as Dean's Take That against himself.
    • In "Free to Be You and Me": Dean slaughters a vampire and shouts "Eat it, Twilight!"
    • Only one person dies in "The Real Ghostbusters"... an overly critical "fan".
    • In "Changing Channels", the David Caruso impressions, as well as Dean's hatred of procedural shows.
      Dean: I'm wearing sunglasses at night. You know who wears sunglasses at night? No-talent douchebags.
      Chuck: It's too preposterous, not to mention arrogant. I mean, writing yourself into the story's one thing, but as a prophet? That's like M. Night level douchey-ness.
    • Sam and Dean also have a brief exchange about how the fans of the book do nothing but complain.
    • The episode "Criss Angel Is a Douche Bag" is one big Take That to more modern magicians. The title alone speaks for itself.
    • An episode of season 6 is titled "Live Free or Twi-Hard", mixes with a little of Your Vampires Suck.
      Dean: These aren't vampires. These are douchebags.
    • One second season episode has Dean mention that a cult has kidnapped a woman named Katie Holmes.
    • In "Mommy Dearest" Dean names a new form of monster "Jefferson Starships" because "they are horrible and hard to kill."
    • The show is fond of mocking Sam/Dean shippers.
    Dean: They do know that we're brothers, right?
    Sam: ...doesn't seem to matter.
    • In Season 7, the writers fill a lot of space by inserting political Take Thats, usually whenever an episode features Dick Roman or references him in some way
  • Taking You with Me:
    • In "Abandon All Hope," Ellen and Jo blow themselves up along with the hellhounds chasing Sam and Dean.
    • In "Point of No Return", Castiel carves a Banish sigil into his chest and literally takes four angels with him to... wherever banished angels go.
    • This was the plan to defeat Lucifer. It worked.
  • Talking to the Dead: Unfortunately happens a lot.
    • Dean does this twice: over his father's grave in What Is And What Should Never Be and over Sam's corpse in All Hell Breaks Loose II.
    • The entirety of Castiel's monologue on his park bench in "The Man Who Would Be King" could be taken as this, though he's attempting to talk to God, who isn't exactly dead. No-one knows this, however.
    • Crowley has a one sided conversation with a dead Dean in the 9th season finale, "Do You Believe in Miracles".
  • Temporary Love Interest: Sam's girlfriend dies tragically in the pilot, after only being on screen for two scenes. The brothers amass quite a collection of broken hearts as the series progresses.
  • Terms of Endangerment:
    • In 5.10 "Abandon All Hope...", Lucifer adressing Castiel as "Hello, brother" before trapping him inside a ring of holy fire so he can raise Death unimpeded and destroy the world. The angels are technically siblings, but Lucifer's creepily calm tone implies a level of brotherhood and mutual comfort that is entirely absent in the following conversation.
    • In 6.20-6.22, the demon Crowley calls Castiel 'kitten' and 'sweetie'.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The plan to free Lucifer involved Lilith getting Sam to kill her.
  • Theme Naming: Unsurprisingly, the angels' names all have an element that means "God". Well, fittingly, not Lucifer.
  • Themed Aliases: Sam and Dean tend to use Rock Star aliases when going undercover, like Catholic priests Father Simmons and Father Frehley. Sometimes they use other famous-names-with-connections-to-each-other aliases as well, like Agents Ford & Hamill from the US Forestry Service. They've only been called on this once or twice.
  • Thicker Than Water: The Winchesters, to a particularly disturbed level in the main characters.
    • Notably averted with more distant relatives, such as the Campbell clan and Henry Winchester.
    • Half-brother Adam Milligan was also mostly uninterested in Sam's entreaties to work with him and Dean to stop the Apocalypse, or in having much of any relationship with the brothers at all.
  • This Bear Was Framed: Happens more than once when a murder committed by an animalistic supernatural being like a wendigo or a werewolf is written off as a bear attack by the police.
  • This Is Reality: Happens at least twice:
    Jamie (GOTW): So you two are like Mulder and Scully and The X-Files are real?
    Dean: No, The X-Files is a TV show. This is real.
    • Said by the Trickster/Gabriel in 5.08 "Changing Channels":
      Guys, I wish this were a TV show. Easy answers, endings wrapped up in a bow. But this is real. And it's gonna end bloody for all of us. That's just how it's gotta be.
    • "Time After Time" has this as a Running Gag. Dean goes back in time and meets Eliot Ness, and keeps making references to The Untouchables, to everyone's confusion.
      Dean: I'm never watching that movie again.
  • Time Abyss:
    • Death. With massive amounts of terror, Uncanny Valley, Cryptic Conversation, and all other manner of unsettling tropes. In his few appearances he has explained several times that he will persist throughout eternity, and is the only thing that could truly never die. He also claims that he's destined to be the one to eventually reap Him as well.
    Death: This is one little planet, in one tiny system, in a galaxy that's barely out of its diapers. I'm old, Dean. Very old. So I invite you to contemplate how insignificant I find you.
    Dean: I gotta ask, how old are you?
    Death: As old as God. Maybe older. Neither of us can remember anymore. Life, Death, chicken, egg.
    • Angels are no slouches either. Castiel (one of the less important angels) remembers when the first fish crawled its way onto land. One of his older brothers warned him not to step on it, telling him, "That's a very important fish, Castiel," implying that it was going to be the progenitor of some future evolved species (possibly/probably humans).
  • Title Drop:
    • Played with in "Wishful Thinking." Sam claims to be writing a book to get a witness to talk to him. When she asks the title, he has to think quickly to come up with "Uh, well, the working title is...Supernatural?"
    • Dean delivers this speech to Lucifer in "The End":
    Dean: You're the same thing, only bigger. The same brand of cockroach I've been squashing my whole life. An ugly, *evil*, belly to the ground supernatural piece of crap. The only difference between them and you... is the size of your ego.
    • Sam does this in "The French Mistake". A twofer, since he's actually referring to (a fictional representation of) the real show, rather than some other element in the story.
    • Also happens on "Party On, Garth".
  • To Absent Friends
  • Together in Death: This was probably what Dean was expecting to happen when he was Driven to Suicide in "Croatoan." Sam would go crazy, kill him and most likely feel so guilty that he would put a bullet in his brain or Sam would go crazy, Dean would shoot him and then eat a bullet. Either way, Dean was a massively hot mess at this point.
  • Tomato in the Mirror:
    • In "Road Kill", the Monster of the Week doesn't know she actually is dead (and thus, a spirit haunting a stretch of highway) until the end of the episode.
    • The Monster of the Week in "Heart" has no memory of her transformations into a werewolf, so she doesn't truly realize what she is until Sam traps her in her apartment and she awakens to see how she's torn the place up.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Poked fun at in the episode "Tall Tales", with Dean exaggerating Sam's empathy in a recollection.
    [to a guy Dean and Sam are interviewing about a case]
    Sam: You brave little soldier. I acknowledge your pain. Come here. [hugs him] You're too precious for this world!
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Castiel was quite Badass in the beginning, but along with his Character Development, there was a slight bit of Woobiefication. Then, in the Season 5 premiere, he enters a room where Zachariah is torturing Sam and Dean, kills two of Zachariah's fellows without even blinking in a really awesome fighting scene (in contrast to the former ones, where Alastair and Uriel handed him his ass as though he was a small child) and threatens a really-scared Zachariah (who is a senior upper-level angel) to fix Sam and Dean, and "[he] won't ask twice."
    • Also Kevin between seasons 7 & 8.
    • Garth, as of Season 8. At his first appearance the guy barely seemed capable of tying his shoelaces, but as of his appearance in "Southern Comfort" he seems to have stepped into Bobby's shoes, rebuilding the hunter network and supplying information to other hunters on how to gank various monsters.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sam and Dean's methods of dealing with the supernatural has grown steadily more militant with each season, veering almost into Van Helsing Hate Crime territory. In early seasons, both Sam and Dean would usually attempt to force Demons out via exorcism and occasionally reflect on the innocent person being possessed after they were forced to kill one. By later seasons Ruby's Knife has become their go-to solution for dealing with any Demon, exorcism is rarely ever being attempted anymore and Sam and Dean don't seem particularly bothered about killing enough possessed people to populate a small county.
  • Too Kinky to Torture, many characters display this over the course of the show in response to torture, although it's usually just meant to piss off the torturer as they're still in agony when it's actually applied. One of the few who doesn't even display any physical signs of discomfort is the Alpha Vampire when he's captured and interrogated (read: getting electrocuted). This trope is also Crowley's reason for changing Hell from physical torture to an eternal waiting line.
    Alpa Vampire: [bored] Oww. Please stop. That hurts.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The woman Tricia Helfer played in the haunted road episode, to the point of being a Damsel Scrappy. Also this occurs throughout the series.
  • Too Powerful to Live: In the season 6 finale, Castiel rose a few power levels too many by absorbing all the souls in Purgatory. He quickly declares himself a god in his supermode, and blows up an Archangel with a finger snap. He loses his powers barely an episode later to be replaced by another set of less powerful baddies, and the Winchesters actually have to involve the cosmic Grim Reaper to offer any meaningful opposition to the villain.
  • Top God: The pagan gods are more or less on the level of most of the monsters that the humans fight, likely as a result of Gods Need Prayer Badly. In contrast, the angels are largely untouchable, with few exceptions, and the most effective way of killing an angel thus far in the story has been to persuade another angel in one way or another to do so, with Zachariah as the sole exception. Then consider that even in their own belief system they aren't the top of the food chain, and we have this trope. The Abrahamic God seems to be part of a duality alongside Death, who is stated to actually be capable of killing Him.
  • Torture Technician:
    • Creepily enough, Dean, at least after going to Hell. His "mentor" there, Alastair, also obviously qualifies. Alastair is in fact considered Hell's greatest torturer.
    • If Sam's flashbacks are anything to go by, Lucifer has a gift for this himself — not that that should be any surprise.
    • Crowley has a few on staff, but is more than skilled at it himself.
    • Very surprisingly, Castiel, who is blatantly hinted to be better in this art than even Crowley. Shocks both Dean and Bobby, Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
  • To Serve Man: Quite a few monsters are prone to snacking on people or specific parts of them, but the Leviathans certainly take the cake, as their entire M.O. seems to be "they eat people".
  • Touch of Death:
    • At the end of season two, when all of Azazel's children meet up, they start comparing their powers: super strength, mind control, etc. Then one woman tells Sam to stop angsting about his death visions and says that when she touches people, their hearts stop. This included her girlfriend, apparently.
    • Demonstrated by the Fourth Horsemen, Death himself during his spectacular introduction. Also, when Dean becomes Death for a day, he kills people simply by touching them.
    • Angels have a specific form of killing touch, it burns out the victims' eyes and liquefied organs. Works on humans, monsters, and demons.
  • Tragic Hero: Anyone who isn't evil. The two main characters' flaws are different flavors of desperation (Sam's obsession and Dean's devotion). Or maybe the same flavor—desperation for approval from an absent father—given different focuses based on their roles in the family.
  • Tragic Mistake: Can usually be summed up as not listening to Dean.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Most monsters; most of the Psychic Children, especially Ava and Jake; and Gordon Walker after he was turned into a vampire who thought anything was worth killing Sam.
  • Trespassing to Talk: In a season 4 episode, the Winchesters find Castiel and Uriel waiting in their motel room to recruit them for a demon interrogation.
  • Triang Relations: Loki/Kali/Baldur. Probably a Type 7. Maybe Type 8.
  • The Trickster: A straightforward example in that the creature is even called the Trickster.
  • True Companions: As brothers who would literally sell their souls for one another, Dean and Sam started out this way and have added Team Free Will to the roster. Bobby's probably more of a father than their real father. In later seasons, Dean tells Castiel he's like a brother to him and they call each other family.
    • When Dean meets a version of himself from five years in the future in 5x04, one of the clearest signs that Future!Dean has changed for the worse is that he sends a group of his comrades and friends, including the emotionally-broken Future!Castiel, into a blatant trap to act as an unknowing distraction and ultimately get killed. Made worse by the fact that it's implied that Castiel, at least, knew exactly what Dean was doing but went along with it anyway. Present!Dean is understandably horrified by this.
    • Castiel rebelled against Heaven to help Dean and Sam. Bobby considers them like sons to him, and in season seven episode "Death's Door" says to his abusive father in a memory while he's dying:
      Bobby: I adopted two boys, and they grew up great. They grew up heroes.
    • Sam and Bobby are uncomfortable with the thought of Castiel possibly allying with Crowley and Dean refuses to even listen to their arguments. When they find out they were right, nobody likes it and Dean, in particular, is outright broken-hearted. He eventually snaps at Castiel for betraying him (and the rest of the team). If this wasn't enought to stress out how much the four are True Companions, even when they are supposed to be enemies after this revelation, Castiel keeps helping and protecting the Winchesters, and Dean and Castiel, though in an unusual, weird way, somehow keep interacting affectionately. When they meet again in season seven Dean can't bring himself to be angry at Castiel and even defends him. After Castiel absorbs Sam's insanity, Sam is on good terms with him, too, and the Winchesters take care of him while he's busy being the Cloudcuckoolander.
    • In season 8, Dean could have left Castiel in Purgatory, but decided to stay and look for him to escape together, and the search went on for a year.
  • True Sight: Angels are naturally able to see the demons' true faces (which are apparently rather monstrous) instead of the face of the person that the demon is possessing.
  • Tulpa: the thought-form monster in the Season 1 episode, "Hell House".
  • Two Shots From Behind The Bar: Happens several times.
  • Tyke Bomb: Dean and Sam were both trained as hunters from a young age. While this Parental Neglect and training was part of demonic plans to groom generally nice Sam into becoming a powerful Anti Christ, Daddy Winchester seems to have worked Dean harder, having him shooting at the age of 6.

    U 
  • Umpteenth Customer: One episode involves a rabbit's foot that grants increasingly good luck until it is lost, at which point it grants increasingly bad luck that ends with death. During the good luck run, Sam wins free meals for life at a restaurant. While eating, he loses the foot to a savvy thief. As Sam's luck turns bad, some people are out to kill him; they didn't know where he was until they...see a picture of him getting his award and thus can find him.
  • The Unchosen One: Sam and Dean dive very heavily into this, particularly Dean who is even more stubborn about not embracing his destiny, and not letting Sam embrace his. Considering their destinies, this is probably for the best.
  • The Underworld: Subverted in the form of Purgatory, which is where the souls of all monsters go when they die, as well as serving as a prison for certain powerful evil creatures that God did not want running loose in His creation. It looks much like Earth, but is Deliberately Monochrome.
  • The Unfavourite: John Winchester had the remarkable ability to make both of his sons feel like they were this. And then a third son comes into the picture, who is also convinced Dad liked the other two better.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The season 2 episode Tall Tales, told through the accounts of both Dean and Sam, is rife with instances of unreliable narrations. Their stories, while the same in essence, differ greatly in the portrayel of Sam and Dean's characters—in Sam's version, Sam comes of as intelligent and mature while Dean is petty and obnoxious. Dean's account shows Sam to be stiff, temperamental and full of angst and Dean as a smooth-talking player and level-headed hunter.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Before Castiel sends the Archangel Michael away temporarily with holy fire, he calls him an "ass-butt." Everyone kind of stares at Cas for a second before the end of the world gets back on track.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Just about every main protagonist.
  • Using You All Along: A freaking epidemic.

    V 
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "My Bloody Valentine" from season 5. It focused on desires rather than love, as the Horseman Famine's arrival in a town causes everyone's desires to go overboard. Sam starts craving for demon blood, Castiel starts consuming hundreds of burgers, but Dean is unaffected, which Famine speculates is because he has become empty inside.
  • Vampire Monarch: The show reveals the Alpha Vampire in season 6. He is the progenitor of all the subsequent vampires, while he himself was sired by the mother of all the monster races. It's implied he might be tens of thousands of years old, he has a psychic connection to all his "children", and orders them to turn more people to prepare for a war against Crowley's demons.
  • Vampire Refugee:
    • Gordon had the perfect set-up for becoming a Vampire Refugee, but since he knew there was no way to undo the change, he decided instead to kill Sam and then himself. Instead, Sam killed him.
    • In season 6, this trope was played completely straight as Dean gets bit, angsts, kicks some ass, and then gets cured at the end of the episode.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Exploited by the vampire Hugo in "Live Free or Twihard", in order to recruit young women into his vampire coven. Spoofed in the same episode when Dean runs across a teenager who wears fake vampire fangs to pick up girls.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crime: Gordon Walker loved pulling these.
    • Sam and Dean veer into this increasingly in later seasons.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Admit it, until "What Is And What Should Never Be"/"All Hell Breaks Loose" came around, you completely missed the hints in "Hollywood Babylon"/"Folsom Prison Blues" that there was something very, very wrong with El Deano.
  • Villain Ball: Every villain on the show. All of them. Except Crowley who, in his own words, is the only one to not "Underestimate those denim wrapped nightmares!" and is therefore the only one thus far still walking around unharmed.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact:
    • A special Colt gun and bullets, made by Samuel Colt himself, can be used to kill practically anything - but not Lucifer.
    • There's a special dagger (identified as an ancient demon-killing blade of the Kurds by Henry Winchester) which is used to kill demons (and the human they possess at the time). Regular daggers don't kill demons, just the host body.
    • In one episode the Monster of the Week is a dragon. As Sam & Dean learn, the only way to kill a dragon is with a sword forged with the blood of a dragon. Dean points out the anomoly: "So you need one [sword] to kill one [dragon], but you got to kill one [dragon] to make one [sword]. How does that work out?"
  • Villain Decay:
    • Meg is The Dragon and a major threat in season 1, and manages to capture Sam and Dean, and later their father when he attempts to double cross her. Sam exorcises her and sends her back to Hell, but she returns in season 2 and possesses him. After that, she disappears. Eventually she returns in season 5 as Lucifer's crony, but by that point the Sorting Algorithm of Evil has expanded far beyond her and the Winchesters are more focused on her boss than Meg herself. Still, she's indirectly responsible for both Bobby being crippled and the Harvelles being killed. Her true decay began in season 6, when she's forced into an Enemy Mine with the Winchesters after Lucifer is locked up again and new King Of Hell Crowley starts exterminating all of his followers. In the following battle Meg proceeds to be captured, tortured, rescued by Sam and Dean, and then nearly killed again when she attempts to kill a devil-trapped Crowley, who easily overpowers her and escapes. By season 7 the Winchesters seem to have forgotten she's a villain at all, and apparently don't have a problem with leaving their insane, comatose, and extremely powerful angel friend Castiel in her care when she openly states she has an ulterior motive (revenge on Crowley) in helping him. Nevertheless, she takes care of Castiel and doesn't even attempt to deceive or betray the Winchesters when he wakes up. She then decides to help them fight the leviathans, wrecking Dean's Impala as a distraction and taking out a couple Mooks before once again being captured by Crowley. When she reappears in season 8 she's largely turned to the good side, although she's still a Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
    • Crowley's character arc has taken a few weird turns over the seasons to the point where he zigzaggs the trope. He started out in season 5 as a Dangerously Genre Savvy snarker who allied with the Winchesters solely for his own benefit. He became a significant threat in season 6, before being forced into another alliance with the good guys in season 7. Then when their interests no longer coincided in season 8, he became a lot more evil, routinely kicking the dog and capping it off with arranging to kill everyone the Winchesters have ever saved. In season 9, he got nerfed due to the aborted demon cure trial the boys performed on him and spent most of it chained up in a cellar. He eventually gets reduced to a human blood-addicted mess who cries at romantic movies while he was supposed to be looking for a special weapon to kill Abaddon, the new demonic threat on the block. The Winchesters openly express their disgust at how inconsequential the supposed King of Hell has become. Then a gambit of Crowley's played out at season's end - Dean is now a Demon, and in Crowley's claws.
  • Villain Episode: The season 9 episode "Meta Fiction" focuses on the evil Angel who has become the new Big Bad. The episode opens as he directly adresses the audience to tell them his story how he outsmarted the Winchesters and has become as omnipotent as a god since he starts to rewrite everything as he sees fit to cast himself as a "hero" against the "villain" Castiel. Even the intro title is changed to reflect his name instead of that of the show.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Invoked by Crowley in the season six finale.
  • Villain Has a Point: Lucifer's speech to Michael about God making him the devil and setting up the Apocalypse as some sort of test sounds like his usual excuses...except Chuck's monologue at the end establishes it was all a test slanted in favor of humans.
  • Villain Pedigree: Once demons started planning to free Lucifer and bring on Armageddon, ghosts and vampires kinda got taken down a notch. Then in season 4, angels are taking demons down a notch themselves. And then by season 7, The Leviathans, who're even older and more powerful than angels and are nigh indestructible are introduced. Though they'd be scarier if they weren't allergic to borax.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Subverted. Crowley tries to pull one with the Boss Leviathan (he even bakes gluten-free baby uvula muffins for the occasion!), but gets shot down.
    • He also tried one on Naomi, who left without a word when he turned around. He was upset, mostly because that's his thing.
  • Villainous Rescue: When the Winchesters have been taken captive by a dozen pagan gods from different pantheons, they are "rescued" when Lucifer arrives and kills the gods.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Averted in "Jus in Bello." While sacrificing the virgin might save their lives, our intrepid heroes instead choose to fight it out.
    Dean: Stop, stop! Nobody kill any virgins!
  • The Virus: "Croatoan", "The End" and some episodes before the end of the fifth season.
  • Vitriolic Brothers: While Sam and Dean are Heterosexual Life-Partners who are insanely devoted to one another, they also fight like cats and dogs a lot of the time. They're two tough, extremely stubborn men with very different personalities, spend far too much time together, and often deal with ethically questionable issues (specifically, which monsters deserve killing and when) which can foment serious disagreements.
  • Voodoo Shark:
    • After the episodes "Taxi Driver" and "I'm No Angel" caused a backlash due to several nonsensical changes to the abilities and motivations of Reapers, CW Executive Chad Kennedy attempted to address the changes on his twitter by stating that Reapers were actually a type of angel. Not only did this fail to actually fix most of the continuity issues, it made absolutely no sense with previous canon regarding both Reapers and angels, and only served to make the issue worse. This retcon eventually did get introduced into show canon in the later episode "Stairway to Heaven", and it was just as nonsensical then.
    • The episode "Thinman" opens with several seemingly impossible murders, which makes the Winchesters think they were committed by a ghost or some other supernatural creature. At the end, they are revealed to be the work of two normal humans working together. While this does explain the monster's apparent ability to teleport, it fails to explain the first murder. What made it unusual, besides the murderer's appearance, was that the victim was found in a room locked from the inside. No matter how many killers there were, this should still be impossible to pull off unless one of them stayed hidden under the bed until the police came in and pretended to have just arrived, which no matter how you look at it should be extremely suspicious.
  • Voodoo Zombie: There's "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things", where a girl killed in a car crash is brought back as a zombie by a guy who had a crush on her using an ancient spell. She's actually pretty normal, apart from being completely psychotic.

    W 
  • Walking the Earth
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Some monsters' weaknesses fall into this, like salt for ghosts and demons, and leprechauns having to count out any spilled grain they come across—said weaknesses are taken from common mythology, though, so they get a pass. Also, Two Words: Leviathans... BORAX.
  • We Can Rule Together: Lucifer tries to tempt Castiel, a fellow fallen angel, into joining his cause. Castiel tells him he'd die first. And Lucifer's overall plan through the entire series was to get Sam to agree to be his vessel, and in the end Sam says yes- but only so he can trap him in an inescapable prison.
  • We Didn't Start The Führer:
    • The demon Alistair implies he had a hand in the creation of the extermination camps in Nazi Germany.
    • In a later episode, the Horsemen War comments that he was over in Germany to cause havok during both World Wars.
  • We Help the Helpless
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: It is safe to say that the entire Supernatural universe has daddy issues.
    • John Winchester to both his sons. In the Season One Finale, his dad telling Dean how proud he is that Dean saved Sam's life using one of the Colt’s bullets tips him off that his dad’s possessed by the Big Bad, since his dad would be furious. Even when Dean gets an attaboy and sign of trust from his father, it comes with a Dark Secret that endangers his relationship with his brother, and his dad dies for him. Sam feels like he can't earn his father's approval because his flaw is what he is, so he acts out.
    • All the angels suffer this, more or less, because God is a crappy parent. Castiel's devotion to his father leads him to start rebelling against his fellow angels and siding with humans, whom he thinks of as his father's "works of art". Come Season 6, Castiel's still trying to carry out his father's wishes by leading one faction of Heaven against the archangel Raphael. And that's since gone horribly right...
    • The demon Azazel, original nemesis of the Winchesters, evidently had this with Lucifer, and his whole program was geared toward getting Hell open to free Lilith so she could bust out Lucifer, in both cases using the 'very special child' Lucifer told him to procure; i.e. Sam. He in turn encouraged this from his own 'children,' such as the demon known as Meg.
    • As of Season 8, Sam seems to have this with Dean as well, which makes sense as Dean seems to have raised him more than John did. He confessed in "Sacrifice" that his "greatest sin" was letting Dean down so that Dean couldn't trust him, and basically determined to finish the Trials, even if they killed him, so that he wouldn't fail Dean yet again.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Vampire hunter Gordon Walker kills monsters but generally does not care if innocents get caught in the crossfire.
    • Sam Winchester had a few shades of it too in seasons 3 and 4 where he was reluctantly willing to sacrifice one for the good of the many.
    • In season 6, the Big Bad of the season is revealed to be Castiel. To defeat Raphael and keep the Apocalypse from being restarted, he has decided anything is acceptable - in this case, allying with Crowley and opening Purgatory, the afterlife From Whence Monsters Come. The Winchester boys do their best to stop their Face Heel Turned ally, until he kills his angel allies, distracts his human allies by breaking Sam's mind, and betrays Crowley to take all the souls' power for himself and then declares himself the new god.
  • Wendigo: One of them showed up in the second episode. Par the course, it's formerly human, feeds on human flesh, and lives in the woods. It also only feeds once every 23 years, and keeps some of its victims in storage.
  • Wham Episode: Often. Namely, every season finale, most season openers, and what feels like every other episode after season 4.
  • What Cliffhanger?: The end of "Croatoan" is... disorienting, to say the least.
  • What If?: At least two episodes ("What Is And What Should Never Be" and "It's a Terrible Life"), but in "Jus In Bello", Agent Henrickson expresses regret at having accomplished so little in his life compared to Sam and Dean upon finding out that the two aren't psychotic satan-worshipping murderers. Too bad he bites it in that same episode.
    Henrickson: My job is boring, it’s frustrating. You work three years for one break, and then maybe you can save few people. Maybe. That’s the payoff. I’ve been busting my ass for 15 years to nail a handful of guys and all this while, there’s something in the corner so big. So yeah… sign me up for that big, frosty mug of wasting my damn life.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: At the very end of "No Rest For The Wicked," Dean is chained in a St. Andrew pose, whose "Martyr" status fits Dean like a well-fitting glove. Sam and the Crucifixion in Season Three.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The identity of the Roadhouse contact who had told Gordon about Sam being one of the Special Children. Once "Hunted" aired, fans speculated on whether it was Ash, Ellen, or Jo. Most believed it to be Jo (by far the least popular of the choices and thus the most desirable to be The Stool Pigeon) because she had been revealed in her blog to remain a friend of Gordon's despite her mother's attempts to keep Gordon away from their family, so fans assumed that she had told him about Sam either out of spite towards the Winchesters or simple ignorance as to what Gordon would do with the information. The truth is much less exciting: there was a cut scene showing Ellen throwing a shady hunter out of the Roadhouse, with the shady guy intended to be Gordon's contact. Of course, there's still the little matter of how anyone — much less the random hunter — found out about Sam and the Special Children...
    • The angels Uriel recruited for Lucifer's side were never even mentioned again after Uriel's death, much less appearing or having any impact on the plot. It is possible that they were found and executed for conspiracy after the discovery of Uriel's plot, or perhaps just unwilling (if they only agreed to save themselves) or too scared to support Lucifer after Uriel's death... but if so, none of these scenarios were even alluded to in canon.
    • Daphne, Emmanuel's wife, is never mentioned again after Emmanuel remembers he is Castiel in "The Born-Again Identity".
    • The Leviathans' inexplicable disappearance from the plot from Season 8 on (apart from the Purgatory flashbacks). Their absence was made more conspicuous because they had supposedly been everywhere at last count — the Winchesters had only actually succeeded in killing one of them in the previous season, and it was stated in the finale that they would have to spend time taking down the rest.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human??: Killing monsters almost regardless of circumstance? Fine. Killing evil humans? A big no no. A few episodes do explore this with the brothers realizing it is not always so black and white. Some monsters do not want to kill, but sooner or later give in to their violent urges. Other times a hunter will want to kill a monster because it is a monster regardless if it is hurting anyone. A similar attitude is extended to both demons and angels.
  • What the Hell, Dad? John Winchester trained his sons from an early age to kill the demon that murdered their mother, and didn't really do much else in the way of parenting. He left parenting Sam to oldest son Dean, treating Dean more like a grown hunter than a child.
    • God himself to the angels. Michael practically raised Lucifer himself and because of the setup of heaven the angels as a whole are emotionally stunted (including Michael) with God one day disappearing leaving them to try and figure out what to do with the universe.
  • 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:
    Chuck: Come on, Sam — sucking blood? You gotta know that's wrong.
    • 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.
      • The whole point of the addiction makes the title all the more fitting...
    • 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.
    • Dean almost says it verbatim ("Sam" instead of "hero") in "Clap Your Hands if You Believe" when he finds Sam having sex instead of trying to find him after Dean had been kidnapped by "aliens."
    • In season six, Castiel gets one in "My Heart Will Go On" from Fate, over how Balthazar altered history by stopping the Titanic from sinking, by Castiel's order, to create 50,000 new souls to aid his side of the civil war in Heaven.
    • More recently, Dean, Sam, and Bobby confront Castiel on the fact that he's working with Crowley and trying to open Purgatory in order to win the civil war in Heaven.
    • A particularly awesome example in season seven episode 1: Death calls out God!Castiel.
  • White Sheep: Sam just wants to live a normal life rather than kill monsters.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Monster Movie, shot in black and white and was a wonderful parody of the classic Universal monster movies from the 30's and 40's.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?:
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: The prophet Chuck says something to this effect in The Monster at the End of This Book. He writes this crap, and when Chuck believed that Dean and Sam were at his doorstep because his writing had come true, he apologized to the brothers for making them live through "bad writing" like the "racist truck".
    Chuck: If I'd known it was real, I would've done another pass.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes??: Dean is terrified of flying and ends up screaming his head off while the plane is about to crash in "Phantom Traveler" and Sam, scared to death of clowns, still busts out crying when he sees Ronald McDonald on TV (or so Dean claims). It's telling that in "Weekend at Bobby's" Dean was willng to endure an all night flight to Scotland so they could locate Crowley's bones and thus gain leverage to break the hold Crowley had on Bobby's soul.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
  • Wolverine Publicity: Castiel's role in Season 6 seems to consist mostly of this. He gets his own solo TV bumper (the Winchesters have to share one), is one of the three characters featured in the publicity stills, and his actor is usually given top billing at conventions. He's even credited on IMDB for episodes he hasn't appeared in at all.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • The villain of "Hollywood Babylon". All he wanted was to make a gritty, real ghost story flick but McG was making it into a generic summer blockbuster.
    Walter: I was making a work of art, and he was replacing it with cleavage and fart jokes
    • As of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" it looked like Castiel was heading down this road for Season 7, but absorbing all of Purgatory and hosting then releasing Leviathans changed that.
    • Lucifer. Inverted. He acts like this, and his excuse that he was cast out of Heaven simply for speaking his mind might have more than a grain of truth to it. However, it's clear as time goes on that he's very much an arrogant sociopath, and there are plenty of hints that he always regarded everything that was not angel as lower than dirt, and he's free to do whatever he wants to them.
  • Word of God: A literal version appears near the end of Season 7. Dick was searching for it, and a new prophet - Kevin - was created specifically to read it.
  • Words Do Not Make The Magic: In "The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester", the Winchesters run into an Irish warlock called Patrick who takes years from people's lifes with a deck of enchanted magic cards, and uses it to extend his own life indefinately and that of his lover. When Dean loses 50 years in a gamble, he tries to reverse the process by breaking into Patrick's safe and stealing the cards. The warlock interrupts them and tells them not to bother.
    Patrick: The magic isn't in the cards, idiots. It's in the 900-year-old witch.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: Starting around the five-season mark. After defying destiny and preventing an Apocalypse led by Satan himself, the Winchesters find there's still no shortage of world-class threats. An angelic Civil War leads to Castiel getting a literal god complex and rampaging across the world. This in turn leads to the release of the Leviathans, a whole new breed of primordial monster who organize the harvesting of all of humanity for food. After they are defeated, the Winchesters try to close the Gates of Hell until a manipulative angelic scribe banishes all Angels except himself out of Heaven, making Earth the new playing ground for all the remaining factions from the attic.
  • Worst Aid:
    • Sam scooping Dean up and cradling him after he'd been hit with enormous force by a car (he got better), with blithe disregard for his spinal column. We can probably assume he was so shocked he lost it.
    • Dean loosely wrapping Sam's recently slit wrists in 4x19 "Jump The Shark" was another example of how this should perhaps not be done.
    • Not to mention a few episodes where they find people who have recently drowned and instead of trying to save them using CPR, wait for them to cough up water or just sigh and walk away.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Azazel's purpose in ordering the killing of Sam's girlfriend Jessica was to drive Sam to The Dark Side, and this works better if he admits to Sam that he was responsible, sooner or later. The demon who did the actual killing, Brady, also brags about having done so, and his motive appears to be significantly more about evil for its own sake than his master's.
  • Write Back to the Future: Done by Samuel Colt in "Frontierland".
    • Dean does this in "Time After Time".
  • Written-In Infirmity: Actor Jared Padalecki injured his wrist in a stunt in the fourth episode of Season 2; because later scenes for the episode had already been filmed, they couldn't put him in a cast until after filming was over. The line "I think she broke my wrist" was added in after they discovered his wrist was in fact broken, not sprained, and explains the cast he wears in the next several episodes.
  • Wrongly Accused:
    • Much of the reason the FBI is after Sam and Dean, though it certainly doesn't help that they've genuinely committed a host of comparatively minor crimes in the process of hunting demons. They still would've gotten at least a few years for the credit card fraud, the FBI impersonation, and the grave desecrations and all the rest, even if they'd been able to clear their names of the murders.
    • Several full episodes have been built on the legal repercussions of the brothers' activities. In "The Usual Suspects", Dean is arrested for the murders committed by the shapeshifter in "Skin" and Sam for aiding and abetting same. In "Jus in Bello", the brothers are set up for arrest by the season's antagonist, which brings in Agent Henrickson to witness what the Winchesters have actually been doing. He survives the subsequent Hilarity Ensues, but not the end of the episode. Henrickson is also after the brothers in "Nightshifter" and "Folsom Prison Blues."

    X 
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Horseman Pestilence planned an impressive one in which he had infected his victims with swine flu. This results in a nationwide demand for the flu vaccine, which is successfully created by Niveus Pharmaceuticals and ready to be distributed across the country. However, this vaccine actually contains the Croatoan virus which would turn the humans into zombies. He has nothing to lose by people dying of swine flu and a lot to gain by making them take the vaccine. (Which is a reference to the original 1976 swine flu vaccine with nasty side effects that left a whole generation wary of flu shots.)
  • Xanatos Speed Chess:
    • Ruby's part in a certain gambit only comes into play because the last survivor of Azazel's kids was Sam, who wouldn't knowingly have broken the last seal, or anything else that would have been asked of Jake had Sam stayed dead, instead of Jake or Ava, who were better at taking Azazel's orders. Lampshaded when Azazel mentions that he was worried when Sam died, but Dean fixed that. Besides, he had a backup plan.

    Y 
  • Yandere:
    • Angela, the crazy dead girl from "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things."
    • Hope ("I love you more than anything") from "Wishful Thinking."
    • As of "Season Seven, Time For a Wedding!," Becky. Becky. Becky. A girl who drugs Sam and marries him while he's under the effects of the potion she feeds him. She even got Dean to leave Sam behind for a moment but then when the effects of the potions go away, she knocks him out, ties him into a bed, and puts a sock in his mouth so she doesn't have to listen to him tell her this isn't the right thing to do. She also knows all about his past from the books that Chuck has written. She gets all possessive over him and almost took a deal with a crossroads demon who killed people early to collect their souls to keep Sam for 25 years.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: everyone knew all too well that as soon as Dean decided he didn't want to go to Hell in "Dream a Little Dream of Me", his fate as Hell's eventual bitch was sealed.
    • Shooting Lucifer in "Abandon All Hope". For a few moments it looks like it worked and Ellen and Jo's sacrifice was worth it... And then he gets up. The expressions on Sam and Dean's faces because they thought they'd managed to win.
  • Yaoi Fangirls: In real life, there are quite a few in the fanbase, and considering this is Supernatural, this is brought up in the show, when the boys find a series of books that seem to be based on their adventures.
    • In universe, there's Becky.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the second part of the season two finale, when Dean reveals to Bobby that he made a Deal with the Devil in order to bring Sam back to life, costing him his own life within a year, Bobby asks how could he possibly have such a low opinion of himself in order to stoop to such a decision.
  • You Are Not Alone: In the season five finale, when Sam has been taken over by Lucifer, Dean tells him it's okay, he's there. Dean's presence enables Sam to throw himself into hell's solitary confinement to trap Lucifer.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: An angel's real voice will make your ears bleed and their real visage will burn your eyes out. Cass claims that his true form is the size of the Chrysler Building, but there's no telling whether that's true for all angels.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: And yet they do. Figuratively throughout the series, and literally in "My Heart Will Go On".
  • You Got Spunk: In "In The Beginning", The Yellow Eyed Demon says this to a young Mary Campbell as she's attacking him.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • Famine devours one of his demon Mooks when he loses a soul that he was supposed to bring to Famine for consumption.
    • The Leviathans have a standard practice for this, called "bibbing". It's called this because the failed Leviathan in question is made to wear a bib, and then forced to eat themselves. When their leader gets really mad, however, he decides not to "waste a perfectly good meal".
    • High-ranking angel Zachariah fully expects his boss Michael to do this to him when he lost track of the Winchesters once again. Subverted, as Michael instead gives him another chance to fulfill his mission. Zachariah later remarks to Dean that for Heaven, a "firing" is very literal.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Crowley enters an Enemy Mine with the Winchesters in Season 5 because he believed Lucifer would pull this trope on the demons if he won the apocalypse. And it's strongly implied that he was right.
  • You Monster!: In 5.22 "Swan Song", Michael has this retort to Lucifer when his younger brother tries to persuade him to join him one last time.
    Michael: You are a monster, Lucifer. And I have to kill you.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Dean, throughout Season 3.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Appeared in "Hell House" when some kids accidentally summon a tulpa, a monster that only exists if you believe in it. Another form of this trope shows up in "Dream a Little Dream of Me" where dying in a dream leads to actual death.
  • Your Mom: In 6.07 "Family Matters", Christian Campbell catches Dean snooping around Samuel's office. As Dean comes up with a weak excuse about needing to call someone in privacy:
    Christian: Ah. Samuel's locked office. Pretty private. Who you calling?
    Dean: Your wife. Let her know I'm not gonna make it over tonight.
  • Your Vampires Suck: The sixth season episode "Live Free or Twihard" has this exchange when Sam and Dean enter a teenage girl's room heavily decorated with Twilight-esque vampires:
    Sam: Vampires?
    Dean: These aren't vampires; these are douchebags.
  • You Talkin' to Me?: Lampshaded in "Folsom Prison Blues". As Dean and Sam are locked up in the county jail, Dean gets approached by one of the inmates with "You talking to me?!". Dean's response:
    Dean: Great, another guy who's seen Taxi Driver one time too many.
  • You Watch Too Much X: In the season 4 episode "Heaven and Hell", Dean's mind immediately jumps to a Pizza Boy Special Delivery scenario when Sam uses the word "Daddy" in describing a case, and replies with the page quote. A later scene veers even closer to the related trope This Is Reality:
    [Sam, Dean, Anna the angel, and Ruby the demon are driving in the Impala. Dean looks at Anna and Ruby in the backseat, amused]
    Ruby: What?
    Dean: Nothing. It's just an angel and a demon, riding in the back seat. (Chuckles) It's like the setup to a bad joke. Or a Penthouse Forum letter.
    Sam: Dude, reality... porn.

    Z 


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