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YMMV: Supernatural
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The live-action series:

  • Acceptable Targets:
    • According to one demon, Dick Cheney has his own personal room reserved in Hell. Plus, Crowley owns his soul.
    • Sarah Palin becoming president is considered a sign of the Apocalypse.
    • From Crowley's Even Evil Has Standards rant to Crossroads Demon who had been breaking deals:
    "This isn't Wall Street, this is Hell! We have a little something called integrity!"
    • Dean suspects Mel Gibson is possessed by a demon.
    • We get a look at Kenneth Lay's personal Heaven, which has a giant, loving picture of George W. Bush on the wall. It's also noted that he escaped Hell despite his heinous activities with Enron purely by being a devout Christian.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Bela and Jo were hated for the majority of their run, the former for being a selfish, treacherous Smug Snake who made making the boys look like idiots her hobby without much comeuppance, the latter character because fans thought she was an immature, somewhat moronic Flat Character who didn't deserve to be Dean's Love Interest. Fans begged the writers to give the characters the boot—preferably with a nasty death scene. Well, the death scenes came — Bela was revealed to be a sexual abuse victim and got ripped up by hellhounds and dragged off to Hell for eternity, while Jo got a heap of Character Development that established her as a matured, pragmatic hunter who risked (and lost) her life to save Dean, and then performed a tragic Heroic Sacrificemuch to the fans' horror. Since then, there have been campaigns to get the characters back, they are better-embraced in the fandom in general (saying that you like them won't get you open-mouthed stares or bewildered questions anymore, at any rate), and those who still don't really like the characters will admit that they got pretty sad send-offs.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The show thrives on this so much that sometimes it comes back to bite them in the ass.
    • Sam can be either saintly or smug. Sam was either jealous of Gordon taking his brother/father/mother figure away from him, or genuinely concerned about Dean latching onto a replacement Daddy figure.
    • Dean's martyrdom is portrayed as either saintly or as something unhealthy and damaging. Dean's sluttiness can jump between funny and harmless or compulsive and slightly sad, or he's either a charming playboy or a womanizer. Dean's attitude regarding Sam can be seen as someone who selflessly looks after his brother no matter what or is alternatively very selfish, controlling, and self-righteous. And because of that, depending on how you look at it Sam could either often times be an Ungrateful Bastard or justifiably defiant when it comes to ignoring his brother's wishes.
    • John Winchester comes off as either a man who is willing to sacrifice everything (including himself) for his family, or a callous bastard who emotionally abused his children in the pursuit of revenge.
    • It remains unclear whether Ruby truly cared about Sam or if she was just using him to raise Lucifer. One could use evidence drawn from the episodes to argue that her apparent concern and happiness for Sam were always all part of an act designed to keep manipulating him for a scheme she didn't survive to follow up on, or as simple mind-games used to toy with Sam. On the other hand, one could also use evidence drawn from the episodes to argue that that Ruby did love Sam, as best a demon can love a hunter, at least, with all the intentional/unintentional cruelty and delusion that entails. For their money, Eric Kripke and Genevieve Padalecki thought that Ruby did love Sam in her own way, but whereas Eric felt that Ruby thought that she was doing what she thought was best for Sam and was well-intentioned at heart, Gen theorized that Ruby's "love" for Sam came from his power and possibly (though Gen didn't mention this part, since it was before The Reveal) her knowledge of his destiny.
    • Was Anna following Heaven's orders or not in "The Song Remains the Same"? There's just as much evidence to support one as the other. In-Universe, she even argues about which one it is with Cass. Moreover, was she the villain of the episode trying to murder the Winchesters even after they helped save her, a very dark, very desperate Anti-hero / Anti-villain using evil methods to prevent a worse outcome, or a Hero Antagonist trying to undo the Apocalypse by making it so the heroes never existed?
    • In "Time After Time", was Chronos an unrepentant monster who killed only to fuel his own powers, or was he genuinely tired of millennia of involuntary "Quantum-Leaping" through time and honestly believed his victims were necessary sacrifices so he could remain tethered to 1944 and be with the woman he loved?
    • Castiel: Is he a naive, socially awkward but well-meaning angel who selflessly devotes himself to his friends and gets abused and taken advantage of? Or is he an amoral, calculating, borderline sociopath on a power trip who gets off on controlling and manipulating everyone around him? At the end of Season 6, did he betray the Winchesters, or did they betray him? Or both? Was he really trying to save the world, or was he just Drunk With Power by that point? There was some, ahem, heated discussion about this following the Season 6 finale.
    • In "Sacrifice", was Jane really the only Nephilim in existence or was Metatron simply lying to Castiel in order to get him to kill "an abomination" as he saw it? Considering that he repeatedly lies to Castiel about what they are doing, this throws the rest of his claims into doubt as well?
    • Is God a benevolent father figure who who truly cares about humans and angels, but values free will to such an extent he is unwilling to do more? A well-meaning, but imperfect creator who means well, but couldn't prevent things from falling apart? Or a hypocritical, jerk whose blatant favoritism of one child and then another and irresponsible make him a deadbeat father at best if not a cruel, capricious jerk who set everything up for his own amusement?
  • Anticlimax Boss: An annoying trend in the series. Each season Big Bad, no matter how powerful they are hyped to be, typically ends up dead due to being stabbed/shot by the anti-whatever-creature-they-are Plot Device in a fight lasting about 30 seconds.
  • Anvilicious:
    • Processed food makes you fat and stupid. Also, the food industry is run by monsters who don't see you as much more than cattle to be exploited. Considering how much Sam and especially Dean enjoyed processed food and food in general in Seasons 1 - 6, it seems to be less Anvilicious and more just a smart plan by Dick Roman... everyone has to eat after all. As for companies being treated that way, it seems to be less the companies than the eternally hungry Leviathans possessing/pretending to be those in the companies.
    • In keeping with the political tone of S7's second half, Charlie ended up being a rather unsubtle mouthpiece for the writers' political beliefs. She's seen hacking into a political website and stealing millions of dollars of other people's campaign contributions and then funneling their donations away to causes that she would prefer to support, which is obviously illegal and wrong, but she's presented as being a wonderful and heroic person for doing it because the campaign she steals from is conservative and therefore obviously "evil".
  • Author's Saving Throw: Ruby possessing a comatose body whose soul had already moved on to the afterlife, in an attempt to remove the rape implications of Sam having sex with her.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Ruby is a snarky, fearless Action Girl in Season 3. In the next season, she... isn't. This is at least partially due to Genevieve Cortese wanting Ruby to seem vulnerable and innocent and so she plays her differently than Katie Cassidy does, but the writing itself for Ruby provides for less Badassery in Season 4.
    • In Season 5, Castiel's power is nerfed and he begins to be used for more comical scenes after being cut off from Heaven; since he's a regular character now, he's not allowed to become too powerful. Completely reversed in the following seasons when his angelic powers are fully restored.
    • Angels in general were described as the most unbelievably powerful entities besides God during Seasons 4 through 6, and everyone in-universe reacted with awe at them... until the Leviathans showed up and were described as being scary even to the angels. That said...
    • The Leviathans. They went from being an ancient evil that was sealed away by God for being too dangerous to unleash upon the world... to suddenly being taken out by normal humans and demons, left, right and centre. Then again, out of all the Leviathans, the heroes managed to kill a grand total of one in the whole season.
  • Base Breaker:
    • John Winchester: Bastard!Daddy or Daddy Of The Year? There seems to be a growing consensus among fans (at least on tumblr) that he was an awful human being who abused and neglected his children and pretty much ruined their lives. However, other fans remain adamant that John was, if not the best father, a three-dimensional character and a flawed human being who still loved Sam and Dean and really did do his best by them. Even the cast and crew seem divided, with Jensen Ackles wanting him back on the show and Jared Padalecki thinking he was a bad parent. Funny, considering their characters' views on the subject. Jeffrey Dean Morgan himself was frustrated by his character's behavior, but ultimately defended him against criticism and said that John did love his kids.
    • Ruby. There are fans who like the character and think she's a good ally and genuinely on the boys' side, those who are suspicious of her motives but think she's interesting, and other fans who flat-out hate her. After The Reveal, fans are divided between those who still hate her, those who think the character got screwed over because fan-hate changed her original direction and preferred her as the demon who remembered being human, those who actually love her for being a devious villain, and those who see her as a Tragic Villain who deserved a redemption arc like the ones Sam, Castiel, and even Meg and Crowley got. Then camps are split between who prefers Ruby 1.0 and who prefers Ruby 2.0, since Katie Cassidy and Genevieve Cortese play the character in two different ways.
    • Bela. Hated for most of her short tenure on the show, she started getting viewed with more sympathy in "Time is on My Side" after she got ripped apart by hellhounds, and became the subject of a petition to be brought back to the show. Some fans love her and want her back on the show because they enjoyed the humor and the moral ambiguity she brought to the table, other fans are more accepting of her as a character after her last episode and would probably be open to future appearances if she were written right, and still other fans who will readily admit that her past was sad but still hate her guts for the things she did in the present and would prefer she stay in Hell where she belongs, thank you very much. That's in contrast to an overlap of people in the first two categories who would at least like Bela to be gripped tight and raised out of Perdition (along with poor Adam) because both groups tend to feel that, whatever her crimes, she doesn't deserve to be paying for them with an eternity in Hell.
    • Castiel in particular and the rest of the angels by extension, starting in Season 4 with their introduction and only getting more divisive every year. Are they still relevant to the series or shameless pandering? And, most importantly, does Castiel need to stick around as a series regular even if the angel storyline gets dropped, all the way up to the end of the series, or does he need to go, too?
    • Sam, starting with his behavior and treatment of Dean in Season 4. Although he tried to make amends in Season 5, his continuing to lay some of the blame at Dean's feet grated some fans the wrong way, and his being the center of many of the more interesting story-lines in comparison to his brother only made it worse. Season 8 saw him become even more divisive with his It's All About Me attitude, which show-runners view as positive Character Development and the majority of the fan-base viewed as incredibly selfish and self-righteous. He won back some sympathy with what Dean did to him in Season 9, but his response to Dean's actions received backlash that poured fuel on an already raging fire.
      • The blame game may have been pretty arrogant, but Sam had something of a point. Dean's only reason for not helping Sam was because the "demon bitch" was a dealbreaker. ignoring how Ruby had saved them countless times. Dean provoked the fight simply because he refused to reign in his phobia, and Sam was clearly being affected mentally by the demon blood. Calling him a monster was not a smart choice.
      • There was a bit more to it than that. Dean found out that said "demon bitch" was getting Sam to drink demon blood, and if the fact that it's demon blood isn't enough to indicate that ingesting it is a horrible idea, there's also the fact that the stuff gives him clearly unnatural powers, apparently alters his mood and cognitive capability, and is highly addictive to the point Sam goes through withdrawals without it and requires a detox in Bobby's demon-proofed basement each time he's trying to get off it. She was also egging Sam on in what was clearly becoming a dangerous and downright obsessive vendetta against Lilith, whom it was stated Ruby had dealings with in the past. Not to mention that by this point, Dean had spent what amounted to forty years in HELL, giving him a very clear inside view of the process that turns humans into demons. He had a number of things to base his judgement on, and while he certainly didn't handle it the best way, it turned out he was right not to trust her.
      • Sam has also struggled in this regard due to the Non P.O.V. Protagonist issues. Not that Sam never gets perspective, and he does do legitimately dickish things on occasion. However, he tends to have a lot more plot revolving around him, and we tend to see a lot of more of Dean's mindset/emotions. Thus, when the brothers disagree, it tends to be a lot easier to understand Dean's perspective than Sam's, and therefore conclude that if Sam is going against Dean, he's "wrong." It doesn't help that since Dean's both a Knight Templar Big Brother and a Parental Substitute whose life largely revolves around Sam, anytime Sam disagrees with him or does something hurtful he looks like an Ungrateful Bastard. Taken to extremes by some fans who cite Sam as selfish for "sins" such as going to college or, uh, dying in Season 9 because Dean was against those things.
      • It's not so much that Sam died, that fans were upset about, it's that when Dean saved him, Sam held it against him for the whole of the season. Yes, Dean was in the wrong for tricking Sam into letting an angel possess him, but all things considered, when Dean was pushed at multiple points by various parties to get over a number of Sam's less than admirable actions season after season, such as Sam running off with a demon who was only using him, killing Lilith and releasing Lucifer, abandoning Dean in Purgatory for a year to try to live a normal life and expressing more angst over the fact that Dean turned to others for help than any true regret for essentially abandoning his brother and friends in the first place... well, it comes off as somewhat disproportionate.
    • The Anviliciously Adorkable Charlie Bradbury. A sweet, funny character doubling as a wonderful bit of positive representation for gays, geeks, and girls alike who is treated as a hero in her own right instead of the usual treatment of being a sidekick to the brothers, a loser, or an evil bitch, and so needs to stay alive and appear in more episodes? Or an offensive portrayal of aforementioned groups and an unbearable Canon Sue and Self Insert for Robbie Thompson who usurps any episode she appears in, got way too close to the brothers in way too little time, and should've stayed dead in "Slumber Party"? The opinion you'll get depends on what site you're on.
      • And it doesn't help at all that the way she's written as a Harry Potter fan is quite tone-deaf, seeming to be based far more on the movies than the books. And of course her being a Harry/Hermione shipper.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • Season 9 included a Poorly Disguised Pilot for a spinoff that wasn't picked up, meaning Chicago being secretly run by monsters will likely just become a weird little thing on the fringes of the show's canon.
    • "Shut Up, Dr. Phil" is mostly a regular episode, but is notable for how it completely screws up Dean's storyline at the time. He's supposedly feeling guilty for killing Amy and then lying to Sam about it, yet here he and Sam both have no problem letting a pair of murderous immortal witches go to continue killing people during their inevitable next marital spat. Even one line about how they were completely outmatched and had to accept they lost this one could have cleared it up, but instead we're just not supposed to think about it.
  • Broken Base:
    • The Psychology Club vs. Action, Monsters, and Rock Salt vs. The Hardy Boys with Hotties.
    • Sam!Girls vs. Dean!Girls vs. Bi!Bro. Castiel!girls are now starting to get into the mix as well.
    • In addition to arguing over who's the best/hottest character, there also are fans, at any given time, arguing over who the show shoves into the background and who takes up all the spotlight: Samnote , Dean, or Castiel?
    • Monsters Of The Week vs. The Destiny/Self-Worth Arcs.
    • Seasons 1-3 vs. Seasons 4 & 5 vs. Seasons 6-8. There's also now a third faction of Season 1-3 and 4-5 supporters who have made peace with each other, but teamed up against Seasons 6-8.
    • More broadly fought are the Showrunner Wars: Eric Kripke vs. Sera Gamble. With Jeremy Carver stepping up as the new showrunner, its bound to only get worse.
    • Dean/Castiel vs. Wincest.
    • "Yay, guest stars!" vs. "Kill everyone who isn't Sam'n'Dean and make it especially brutal if they could possibly become a Love Interest."
    • Following "Everybody Hates Hitler," Canon Bi/Gay!Dean vs. Canon Straight!Dean
    • The whole Sam v. Dean business in general. Due to their Odd Couple personalities, many fans are going to identify with one brother more than the other, but anytime they fight, it turns into one brother being a put-upon selfless martyr who is continually victimized by the other brother's heartless treatment.
      • The Season 9 conflict: Did Dean essentially rape Sam by forcing a possession onto him without his consent, and Sam can't ever trust him again? Or did Dean selflessly and lovingly do what he had to do to save Sam's life, and should now disown Sam for his far worse and more abusive retaliatory speeches? Or, are you in the middle, think both brothers have a case right now, but that they're both acting like teenagers?
    • After the Backdoor Pilot for the spin-off "Supernatural: Bloodlines" aired, there's a division between those who think it has potential and interesting characters and those who think it's full of clichés, has another Stuffed In The Fridge set-up, and shatters the show's canon (having shapeshifters who magically shapeshifts and live in a lavish house instead of peeling off their skin and living in sewers.) Though it's a bit of a moot point after the poor reception got the show dropped. It also helps that the season was an episode longer than normal, meaning we technically didn't lose an episode for it.
    • Jensen and Jared ticked a lot of shippers off with their statements at a con that not only was Dean/Cas never going to happen, but it would "ruin the show." Many fans took umbrage to the implication that a homosexual relationship would wreck the whole series, and quit watching, accusing the show of deliberate queerbaiting for years with no intention of ever following through. This was followed by Jensen supposedly condescendingly brushing off a bisexual fan's question about the subject, causing her to go outside and, again, supposedly break down weeping.
  • Canon Sue: Charlie Bradbury. Even the main season 7 villain thinks she's awesome and she warps Sam and Dean's personalities every time she appears. She turns all of her episodes into the Charlie show and if there is a female character in any of her episodes they will inexplicably be a lesbian.
  • Complete Monster: Many villains come very close to this trope. After all, they are, for the most part, monsters, and that's what they do. As a result, it takes a special kind of evil to actually qualify. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), several of the Big Bads and their flunkies are able to provide just that kind of evil. Here are the assorted bastards:
    • Alistair is Hell's Grand Inquisitor, and is responsible for supervising the torture of newly arrived souls. When Dean arrives in Hell, Alistair tortures him for thirty years, offering to stop if Dean will accept his offer and torment other souls on Alistair's behalf. When Dean accepts, one of the seals imprisoning Lucifer is broken, a fact that Alistair frequently taunts Dean about during their subsequent encounters. During the hunt for Anna Milton, Alistair captures Ruby and begins cutting pieces away from her with her own knife, before trying to overpower and murder Castiel. He murders several Reapers later in the series, and does his best to kill Sam and Dean and banish Castiel, before being finally put out of commish. An utterly sadistic bully, Alistair is rivaled only by Lilith when it comes to being the worst demon in the series.
    • Lilith, the queen bitch of all Supernatural, is the oldest demon in existence, and easily the worst. She massacres a police station, killing everyone that Sam and Dean had just finished saving, uses her position as the holder of Bela's contract to try and force her to kill Sam, and keeps a personal chef on hand to prepare human infants for her to eat. She's also got a thing for possessing little girls, destroying their families from the inside out for her own personal amusement. In the season three finale, she holds a family hostage (killing the grandfather for making her mad), and has Dean dragged off to Hell, laughing the entire time. Reappearing in Season 4, Lilith reveals that her current plan is to free Lucifer, bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. When she discovers that freeing Lucifer will ensure her death, she tries to back out, offering to put off the apocalypse if Sam and Dean will let her kill them. Defeated by Sam in the Season 4 finale, Lilith goads him into finishing her, knowing that her death will result in the deaths of all humanity.
    • The leader of the Leviathans, commonly known by assumed name Dick Roman, wasted no time in establishing himself as one of the worst Supernatural's ever had to offer. Not content with simply lurking in the shadows to feed on humanity, Roman planted his minions in key positions, murdering and devouring every human in the way. Taking control of a major company, Roman began to place chemicals in corn syrup so humanity would be rendered helpless as cattle for the Leviathans to feed on. The Winchesters, who he knew could prove an issue, he framed for a nation-wide killing spree. Other monster species were seen as 'competition,' with Roman planning to exterminate them as well after manipulating them into helping him. A Bad Boss even by the show's standards, Roman was known to devour his minions in a fit of rage or 'bib' them: forcing them to devour themselves. Few villains on Supernatural have managed to inspire the same fear or hatred as Roman did, and his killing of Bobby Singer only deepened the hatred the Winchester brothers had for him.
    • Abaddon was one of the Knights of Hell, demons handpicked by Lucifer to be his strongest and most evil enforcers. She was trained by Cain, the original Knight, but when he fell in love with the human Colette he grew tired of his evil ways and atoned for his crimes. Abaddon tricked Cain into murdering Colette with the First Blade to spite him for choosing a human over her, earning his undying hatred. After millennia of rampaging across the Earth under Hell's banner, she kills a priest in 1958 who was investigating a demon cure before possessing Josie Sands instead of her companion Henry Winchester to infiltrate the Men of Letters. Abaddon notes how Josie is secretly in love with Henry and takes her as a vessel solely to hurt them both. She wipes out the Men of Letters completely in a massacre before traveling into the future where she kills Henry anyway after going back on a deal she made with Sam and Dean. After learning that Hell has been brought under the command of the more pragmatic Crowley in her absence, she sets out to remove him from his position to become Queen of Hell and start a new blood-filled reign of terror on Earth, with torture, murder, and baby-eating in abundance for all her minions. After Crowley regains his human emotions, she kidnaps his son Gavin from 1723 and proceeds to torture him in front of his father. He caves in to her demands and helps her to defeat the Winchesters, but then she decides to kill both Crowley and Gavin anyway.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Ruby, at first. Fan-reaction to her was very negative at first, but Kripke believed that with enough time and characterization, fans would like her. Towards the end of Season 3, it seemed to be working, but the final reaction was... mixed.
    • Charlie Bradbury. While fan reaction is very mixed, she's considered a Scrappy to many, but she definitely qualifies by her second appearance. If being an over-the-top adorkable genius hacker (that even Big Bad Dick Roman thinks is amazing and special) who just happens to be a lesbian wasn't enough, she returns in a later episode, where she's introduced beating a LARP-knight in a swordfight and gets talked up by more and more characters. And in her next episode, she suddenly has Improbable Aiming Skills, a Belated Backstory, and is an Ascended Fangirl. Additionally, she's an Author Avatar for writer Robbie Thompson.
  • Creepy Awesome: Azazel, Alastair, Death, and Abaddon have been big hits with fans, either because or in spite of the fact that they're all incredibly unsettling on-screen. Although most of those listed are evil, though, Death manages to be both Creepy Awesome and largely benevolent... or at least he helps the Winchesters from time to time.
  • Cult Classic: Definitely big, but only within a select number of people. Lampshaded by Sam in "The French Mistake."
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Can sometimes fall victim to this, especially in later seasons. Virtually every character who isn't Sam, Dean or Castiel inevitably winds up dying horribly, the "heroes" often behave in ways that are just as morally reprehensible as the villains, the main characters' obvious mental health issues are never fully addressed or resolved and the brothers seem to be locked in a permanent cycle of lying to and keeping secrets from each other, all of which has lead many viewers to wonder why they should bother caring.
  • Designated Villain: The Phoenix from "Frontierland," who doesn't want to hurt anyone and was perfectly justified in killing the people he did. But Dean says he's a monster, and they need his ashes to kill Eve, so he's played as one anyway.
  • Die for Our Ship: Any female that gets near the boys is vilified by the show's Yaoi Fangirls. Although Ellen and Pamela were typically very popular with female fans. One might wonder if many of the fangirls' chief problem was that most of the love interests were little more than Token Romances and were given few defining characteristics of their own. This is demonstrated by the sudden turnaround in attitudes to Ellen's daughter Jo, who was practically a Creator's Pet during her early appearances in Season 2, but after some serious displays of Badass, seemingly defying physics by turning down a night with Dean, and then performing a Heroic Sacrifice in Season 5, became a much more popular and relatable character to female fans. (Though there are quite a few people who did like Jo from the start and did believe she had a lot of character in her early appearances, not to Creator's Pet levels. The sudden turnaround may not be because they saw she had more character, but because she ''dies'' in the very same episode this happens in.)
    • The fans seem to be easing up a little though, because the fanbase started to embrace Lisa the more episodes she appeared in. Might have something to do with the fact that she's presented as a three-dimensional character that's fairly sensible and supports Dean being a hunter. Also, people found her easier to relate to when she told Dean off and broke up with him after he shoved Ben.
    • And the tradition continued with Meg, after she took Castiel's first kiss in "Caged Heat". And he responded. It caused a fandom uproar from supporters of other ships.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Many fans still believe Ruby actually loved Sam. It is implied that she did, in some twisted way, hope that they could rule under Lucifer together. Doesn't make her any less evil, though.
    • The fanbase tends to focus on the Trickster's humorous qualities and Heel-Face Turn, ignoring the enormous body count that his "jokes" leave behind him. This may be because he killed a grand total of two people on-screen—but remember that he was on Earth as the Trickster and viciously killing/traumatizing people he thought deserved to be taught a lesson for millenia. The Trickster turned out to be decent enough to try to stop his brother, but at best he was a seriously sadistic Knight Templar.
    • Lucifer gets this from quite a few fans, especially after the "Hallucifer" episodes that portrayed him as much funnier than he was initially; fans tend to forget that what was portrayed there was not his actual personality. His "humor", woobie and unfavorite roles that compare him to Sam, and the idea that God and heaven are all jerks are all played up in these interpretations of him, while ignoring or downplaying the terrible things he did.
  • Dry Docking: With the fans who aren't Wincesters (or, now, Destiel shippers). This is why Jo had such a backlash in Season 2 and had to be written out.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Sarah Blake. Seven years after her one appearance, she's still a Fan Preferred Pairing for Sam (when not pairing him up with other males, at least).
      • On the other hand, she's now dead at Crowley's hands, so...
    • Bobby. Even the actor expected him to have a small role, but he was deeply integrated into the show after his original appearance, becoming the third lead behind the boys. When he finally departed for good, you cannot help but feel that the writers have done everything with the character that was needed, and are satisfied with the conclusion to his story despite it being a Tear Jerker. Very few characters anywhere got as much of a privilege as him.
    • On the villains' side of things, there's YED/Azazel. You know you've got yourself a popular villain when the reaction of a fanbase to his sudden reappearance isn't "No!" but "YEEES!" No leather pants involved here: he's beloved precisely because of how marvelously evil he is while still being a sadistic, pervy Deadpan Snarker.
    • The fanbase may not take kindly to most recurring female characters, but it unanimously embraced Ellen; at one point, it was actually more common to pair her up with Dean (or Sam) than with Dean's intended Love Interest, Ellen's daughter Jo. To a lesser extent, there's Ellen's fellow moms Jody Mills and Linda Tran.
    • Gordon Walker.
    • Agent Henriksen. Television Without Pity bestowed upon him the nickname "Agent Scooter Javert Badassitude", and it actually suits him.
    • Gabriel has both a large number of fans (he even has his own Big Bang on Livejournal) and a lot of people who want to see him again even after he was Killed Off for Real by his brother.
    • Castiel was only supposed to appear in six episodes in Season 4 before getting killed off, but he made such a good impression on the fans that the show made him a regular for Season 5. The fact that he's extremely attractive probably doesn't do his popularity any harm, either. Ironically, he's so prominent that people outside of the fandom can recognize him but not the Winchesters, the show's actual stars. In fact, new fans are always surprised when they first watch the series and find that not only does Castiel not come in until Season 4, but he doesn't even appear in half the episodes.
    • Crowley manages to be hilarious, classy, and simply magnificent. He's also played by Mark Sheppard.
    • Death. His Big Entrance set to "O Death" by Jen Titus started it. Part of his badass credentials is that he's one of the very few supernatural entities that Dean actually respects. Dean being the guy that verbally abused an entire room full of gods multiple times as a way to offer his help, while unarmed and with no exit route. Death's on a completely different level from anything the boys have faced. He could solve just about any problem they had, it's just that he doesn't care any more than a biologist would care about the emotional state of a mold sample he's studying.
    • Fans reaction to Abaddon since her promotion to part of the Big Bad Ensemble of season nine has been quite positive..
    • Benny the badass Friendly Neighborhood Vampire from Purgatory, who teams up with Dean and calls him "brother". Being one of the show's latest woobies only sealed the deal.
    • Heaven's most adorable angel AKA Samandriel has the quite the devote fanbase as well. His death only increased it.
    • Meg. Like every other female character, she definitely gets her share of hate, but as the longest-running secondary character on the show, she's also amassed a loyal fanbase and there are campaigns to bring her back after she was abruptly killed off in "Goodbye Stranger".
    • Charlie Bradbury is definitely this, especially with gay/lesbian fans since she's the only lesbian character of any significance in the entire history of the show. It's not hurt by the fact that she's treated with much more respect than most other female characters in the show, brings out Dean's more geeky tendencies and (in season 8) stars in geek-themed episodes, and manages to become one of the very few surviving recurring characters.
    • Linda Tran has quite a large fanbase, who are clamoring for her off-screen death in Season 8 to be revealed to be fake. Their voices have been heard!
    • Despite being the devil, Lucifer is immensely popular with fans.
  • Escapist Character: Charlie is a female geek (like much of the show's fandom) who's smart, pretty, capable, and just vulnerable and flawed enough to be likable. She even gets picked up in Sam's big, strong arms over the course of the episode. She's a lesbian, so there's no chance she'll interfere with the Sam/Dean ship and be castigated by the fandom for it. It's almost as if they specifically designed her to make people demand a second appearance, which happened, and she's now set to come back in the second half of Season 10.
  • Evil Is Sexy: All the female demons (though Lilith only counts when she possesses a grown woman). There's also Bela and Eve. The Winchesters and Castiel count as well, whether they're possessed or Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Castiel's nickname is officially spelled "Cass." It was never adopted by fans even after becoming available knowledge in favor of the one-S version.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Destiel (Dean/Castiel) and Wincest (Sam/Dean).
  • Foe Yay:
    • Bela and Dean ("When all this is over, we should really have angry sex")
    • Sam to Bela (in a single dream sequence).
    • Lucifer seems to want to have this with Sam. Sam's not biting.
    • Castiel and Meg. Their interactions go way past just implying sexual tension, even including a very hot kiss. They even plan to have sex, though they never get around to it.
    • Early on Sam and Meg. At one point she made sexual advances toward him while preparing to have him killed.
    • Castiel and Crowley. Crowley specifically tells Castiel during their deal: "You're the bottom in this relationship."
    • And now Dean and Abaddon. Abaddon compliments Dean's "pretty green eyes" in "Clip Show" (when planning to tear them out, mind you) and admires the rest of his body in "Devil May Care", calling him the perfect vessel and talking about forcing herself inside him. She even calls him "lover" at one point.
    Dean: We going to fight or make out? 'Cause I'm getting some real mixed signals here.
    • Demon deals are sealed with a kiss, and thus have this built in.
  • Fountain of Memes: Despite (or perhaps because of) his Spock Speak, almost every other line out of Castiel's mouth is meme gold.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the sixth ep of season one, Dean says Sam's alright for lying and the truth sucks. That one came back to haunt them.
    • "Cas, are you God?" Harmless in the fifth season finale. Too bad it was Foreshadowing for the sixth.
    • Dean's line to Bela in "Red Sky at Morning": "What, Daddy not hug you enough?" Then you find out Daddy hugged her a little too much, to put it extremely lightly.
  • Growing the Beard: While Season 1 was really quite good, "Devil's Trap" (or perhaps its first half—"Salvation") is widely believed to be the point when the show started to hit its stride.
    • For specific eras, Jeremy Carver's turn as showrunner seems to have accomplished this around the time the "Men of Letters" subplot was introduced, after a spotty first half that left fans feeling that the Seasonal Rot that had really set in during the previous year was just continuing on.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Bobby's outburst in "Lucifer Rising"—"[Family] is supposed to make you miserable, you idiot! That's why they're family!"—becomes pretty cringe-worthy when you find out what his childhood was like in "Death's Door".
    • Sam's words to Dean in the Season Six episode, "Let it Bleed" about erasing Lisa and Ben's memories of Dean: Dean, I've seen you pull some shady crap before, but this has got to be the worst..." Come Season Nine, Dean has tricked Sam into allowing the angel Ezekiel to possess him, and keeping knowledge of the fact from Sam.
    • Dean's nightmare in "Dream a Little Dream of Me" has him confronting a version of himself who has died after his deal has expired, has gone to hell, and become a demon, with the demon Dean screaming "You're going to die! This is what you're going to become!" Although he doesn't become a demon following his death at the end of season three, he does become one at the end of season nine.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Gabriel, due to numerous fake-outs in previous episodes leading them to theorize that he faked his death again, the fact that God repeatedly resurrects Castiel for choosing to fight against the Apocalypse and Gabriel choosing the same thing in the end, and constant teases that he might not really be dead and rumors that writers are trying figure out how to bring him back to the show he does return as a Metatron construct on S9 episode 'Metafiction', however, his status is left ambiguous. Time will only tell if he's back for good
    • Linda Tran for some. Eventually turns out that she wasn't hiding, she'd been kidnapped and held hostage, but is still very much alive.
  • Het Is Ew: For some of the fans. This also extends to real life. To give an idea: some of the Jared/Jensen shippers were seriously squicked by the idea that Jared and his wife's new baby was conceived via heterosexual sex.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "Hammer of the Gods" has Odin, among other gods, as a cannibal. Then Anthony Hopkins would go on to play Odin in Thor.
    • Dean humorously calls himself "Batman" in "Bad Day at Black Rock". Three years later, Jensen Ackles voiced Batman's enemy and former sidekick Jason Todd/Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood. Even better, he stops a man by throwing a pen which jams his gun, which is similar to how Jason is stopped at the end of the film.
    • Rick Worthy played a vampire. He was cast as Bonnie's muggle father on The Vampire Diaries.
    • Before taking the part of Dean, Jensen Ackles appeared in the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, where he played the lover of Patrick Dempsey's character... a man named Cass.
    • In Road Trip, Gadreel possessing Sam kills an angel possessing a teen idol inspired by Justin Bieber. A few days before the diffusion, Jared Padalecki tweeted against the singer.
    • One of the gag reels has Jared asking if Jensen wants to build a snowman.
    • Katie Cassidy joining Arrow as a heroic character wasn't that notable in itself, especially since Ruby's true allegiance wasn't revealed during her time as the character. But the real fun came when the show also featured Amy Gumenick (teenage Mary Winchester) as the Large Ham villain Cupid.
  • HSQ: Reaches stratospheric heights in the later seasons, although probably the largest contributors to this tally would be "Hammer of the Gods" and "Two Minutes To Midnight" which both consist mainly of very powerful beings trying to kill each other and Sam and Dean trying not to get caught in the cross-fire.
    • The last sixty seconds or so of the Season 8 Finale probably qualify.
  • Idiot Plot: In "Let It Bleed", Dean has Castiel remove all memories of him from Lisa and Ben so they'll be safe from further involvement with him. Even putting aside the Unfortunate Implications of mind-wiping someone without their consent (which Sam even calls him out on), this does nothing to solve the problem, and may even make it worse. Crowley didn't kidnap them because of anything they knew, but because Dean cared about them, and their not remembering him doesn't change that. So Crowley or any other villain is still free to use them as bargaining chips, with the added complication that they'll have no idea what's going on. And even if that never happens, what about all the people she and Dean knew during their year-long relationship? Odds are it'll come up sometime.
  • Incest Subtext: See Ho Yay page for a long list of examples, but the short version is that the brothers are creepily close and pretty boundary-challenged with each other in terms of touching, nudity (remember that time Dean dropped his pants and Sam just looked mildly surprised?), and their respective sex lives (remember that time Dean walked in on Sam having sex and stood there while he and the girl got dressed and she left? Or the time Dean graphically described his sex life to a support group and Sam just quipped that it was "a bit of an overshare?"), jealous of anyone else who gets close to either one of them, only started sleeping in separate rooms some of the time in their 30s, insanely canonically devoted to each other, vowed to forsake all others and embraced in a church, are compared more often to romantic couples than anything else, and are implied soul-mates. While even serious shippers don't think anything actually physically untoward is occurring, quite a few shippers and non-shippers agree that their relationship is at least emotionally incestuous.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Any hunter on the show would qualify, since hunters are usually created when their normal lives are ripped apart by some supernatural monster. Rather than drown in despair and alcohol, they pack up their lives, hit the road and chase those monsters.
    • Castiel, especially in Season 5 when he's falling. But even after he's re-angelfied and accepted into Heaven, he finds that he has to become the figurehead for an incredibly personal civil war between his brothers, and he's more or less had to go it alone.
  • Jerkass Woobie
    • Gabriel. It's rather sad when you consider that, given how easily Castiel recognized him while the latter was being assaulted and blinked away in order to keep him from alerting the Winchesters, that he has probably never had any interaction with his family since he left them to avoid the fighting. He finally shows some loyalty (to humans) and is killed by Lucifer. (To those who haven't forgotten his truly Jerkass tendencies in all the other episodes he's appeared in, his Karmic Death is indeed karmic.)
    • Bela Talbot. Despite being a selfish person, some fans feel sorry for her because of her backstory. She was sexually abused by her father as a young girl and made a deal to stop the abuse. She's then killed and Dragged Off to Hell, presumably for eternity.
    • Meg becomes this in season 7 and 8.
    • Crowley. It turned out that his mother, Rowena, sired him at solstice winter orgy, so he didn't know his father, she later abandoned at the age of 8, tried to sell him for three pigs...
  • LGBT Fanbase: There's a reason this show gets coverage on AfterElton.com. As of season 9, the show also has at least one openly gay writer, Robert Berens.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Dean. Let's see—he generates a disturbing amount of Ho Yay with any male he's in the room with, has enough Foe Yay with everyone from Bela to Lucifer, and every straight woman on the show (except his own mother and Ellen) will attempt to get him into bed at least once. The writers haven't been helping, either!
    • Castiel. If he's not being shipped with either one of the Winchesters, he's being shipped with Meg (Megstiel), Crowley (Crowstiel), or any and all of his angel brothers from Balthazar to Lucifer. And that's not even counting the people who ship him with Jimmy Novak, Misha Collins, or even Godstiel and Leviathan!Castiel.
  • Love to Hate: Many antagonists count: Meg, Azazel, Gordon, the Crossroads Demon, and Henriksen in the early seasons, to be joined later by Lilith, Uriel, Alastair, Zachariah, and Lucifer. Around Season 8, Crowley, Abaddon, Naomi, and arguably Metatron are added to the roster of Love to Hate villains. According to Sera Gamble, Bela was intended to be an example of this trope in early Season 3, but just about everybody just found the character to be a major annoyance they wanted her off the screen ASAP rather than an enjoyable villain.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Azazel. Even after his death, he's still able to pull the strings to complete his master plan.
    • Ruby tricks everyone else into thinking she's a traitor, gains the trust of people like Sam and Anna (and a good chunk of viewers) who know that demons like her are evil, convinces Sam that it's a good idea to start drinking her blood and using his demon powers, tricks him into killing Lilith, and single-handedly almost destroys the brothers' relationship—which no other villain has come close to doing—all without anyone realizing her true plans. And that's all without taking into consideration how much Xanatos Speed Chess she must have played in each individual episode, like "Jus in Bello".
    • Crowley. Not only can he play Xanatos Speed Chess like a master, he's done the one thing both the angels and demons have been trying to do since Season 1—get the Winchesters to do what he wants them to! Later in the season, we find out that he's apparently also got Castiel working for him, and they faked his death. In the seventh season finale, Crowley even manages to get his rival killed, capture an enemy Lucifer loyalist, kidnap a prophet of the Lord, and banish Dean and Castiel to Purgatory. Magnificent doesn't begin to cover Crowley's awesomeness.
    • Lucifer is charismatic, calm, and calculating. He knows how to use people's emotional pain and doubts against them and actually succeeded in gaining Sam as his vessel by season 5 finale.
    • Metatron. He brings down Heaven itself with his cunning.
  • Memetic Badass: Dean, Bobby, and Castiel. For some reason, Sam, while also badass in-series, doesn't usually get portrayed this way in fandom. Sometimes the characters' Memetic Badassery comes into play in-universe with other characters commenting on their reputation, a cool quip they just made, or some show of badassery.
  • Memetic Molester: Meg, Azazel, Alastair, Lucifer, and Crowley tend to be seen as sexually harassing/abusing other characters (with a focus on the Winchesters), or just as sexual and creepy in general.
  • Memetic Sex God: Dean. Monsters, demons, humans, and angels alike find him irresistible.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Fans seem to forget that deals with the Devil are never a good thing and Sam and Dean are morally complex characters
    • Some say that Dean being the vessel that Michael needs makes him a special snowflake while at the same time robbing him of agency. The whole point of bringing it up was so that he could reject it and continue to fight in the human way.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Gordon crosses it in "Bloodlust" when he tries to kill Lenore's nest and tortures Lenore, knowing full-well that they're Vegetarian Vampires, but not caring. He didn't care if they were hurting people or not, he wanted to kill them just for being vampires.
    • In the two-part second season finale, Ava Wilson establishes herself as now a remorseless murderer with The Reveal that she's responsible for killing most of the other special children, including Andy and Lily, and now aims to kill Sam.
    • If Jake Talley didn't cross it when he fatally stabbed Sam in part 1 of "All Hell Breaks Loose," then he definitely does it part 2 when he takes control of Ellen and attempts to have her shoot herself. And unlike the first act where he was still reluctant to follow the yellow eyed demon's orders, here he becomes an outright Card-Carrying Villain, mocking the hunters as he does it. You can't really blame the revived Sam for shooting him by that point.
    • Bela shooting Sam in the shoulder in "Bad Day at Black Rock" while he was cursed with fatally bad luck. If it hadn't been for Dean having the rabbit foot's good luck at the time, it could have easily ended up killing Sam. Bela would have taken the foot and left Sam and Dean to die had she not been forced to let them destroy it to save herself. Some of her actions later on were arguably justified by the circumstances (she was trying to get out of her upcoming death and an eternity of Hell), but risking Sam's life just to prove a point had no excuse—she only did it to show Dean that she was dead-serious about stealing the rabbit foot and wouldn't hesitate to kill them to do it. In-Universe, she crosses it when she steals the Colt from them in "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
    • Zachariah cheerfully torturing and threatening the Winchesters and their friends in "Sympathy for the Devil" to try to coerce Dean into saying "yes" to Michael.
    • Samuel Campbell selling his own grandsons out to Crowley in "Caged Heat" is seen as his crossing-over the Moral Event Horizon, in- and out-of-universe.
  • Narm:
    • In "Hookman", Lori's performance. Real!Meg's acting in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester" may also count.
    • Sam dying in Ava's vision in "Hunted" probably would have been a lot better if not for Sam's almost completely flat yell before the explosion.
  • Never Live It Down: It's a common joke among the fandom to say that every girl Sam had sex with dies and they nicknamed Sam's genital "the peen of death", through there are girls that had sex with him and are still alive at this time.
  • Older Than They Think: To most Christian viewers, and other Westerners, Lucifer's origin story probably sounds unique. It's actually taken directly from Islam. The idea of Satan refusing to honor humanity in turn can be traced to the apocryphal Life of Adam and Eve written circa First Century A.D./C.E.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Samhain gets summoned and sent back to hell to never be seen again within the same episode, but he leaves a hell of an impression.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: The show gets like this sometimes. The Winchesters have no magical abilities of their own and routinely go up against demons and monsters with telekinesis or other powers that render the boys' weapons (even the magical ones) useless. Yet something always allows the boys to pull out a win.
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: Many fans blamed the seasons 6 & 7 showrunner Sera Gamble for the show's less-than-stellar state after Eric Kripke, the creator and original showrunner, stepped down (though Kripke still had some input on the show). After season 7, Gamble also stepped down and was replaced by Jeremy Carver. Whether or not he's doing better than her is a bit of an issue amongst the fandom, but both are generally seen as inferior to Kripke.
  • Pandering to the Base: When it comes to the female guest stars, the show is certainly guilty of this. Jo was a love interest for Dean; she was hated by the fans and so got booted. Bela was introduced — to say that she was hated would be an understatement — and she got ripped to pieces by Hellhounds (off-screen). It was then revealed that Katie Cassidy as Ruby had to leave too (However, that was because they didn't have the budget to pay for her return). Kripke has also ended up apologizing for the oft-reviled "Red Sky At Morning" and a few other unpopular episodes. Ruby was a subversion before she got Killed Off for Real. It's revealed in season four that she simply got a new meatsuit after being forced out of the old one by Lilith.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: With all their touchy-feely clinginess and suicidal co-dependent devotion being canon, even the creator of the show has admitted that he can see why the fangirls see Ho Yay in the brothers' relationship.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Bela in "Time is on My Side". It helped that her background and her motivations were finally shown, helping viewers who were annoyed by her selfish personality understand her better and feel sympathetic. Doubles as an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment.
    • Jo. It arguably began in "Born Under a Bad Sign", when she showed up sadder, wiser, and older than before and went through an ordeal that had even some haters sympathizing with her and saying they wouldn't mind her reappearing if the writers continued to portray her as a little sister-type figure rather than as a Love Interest. The process was completed when she Took a Level in Badass, amusedly turned down a night with her old one-sided crush Dean, and made a beautifully written, horribly sad Heroic Sacrifice in Season 5. Also an Alas, Poor Scrappy.
    • Suddenly, after a whole season of hating her, fans like (or at least don't mind) Katie Cassidy's portrayal of Ruby after Genevieve Cortese showed up.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Due to how long the show's been on now, newer fans watching the earlier seasons will probably recognize season three's additions of Ruby and Bela respectively as Laurel Lance and Maggie Greene.
    • Many people might recognize Dr. Garrison from the season 3 episode "Bedtime Stories" as Ted Beneke.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Sam/Amelia in Season Eight.
    • Ignoring Garth isn't that much of a deal breaker, as Supernatural is the story of the Winchesters. No, what pushes this into Romantic Plot Tumor territory is that Sam and Amelia's romance serves no purpose in the story and doesn't deepen our understanding of the characters.
  • The Scrappy:
    • If you're a female character, chances are the fans will hate you. There are too many to list. The fact that the show's fan base is legendary for Shipping the male characters and almost all of them already have a favorite pairing contributes heavily to this seemingly incongruous misogyny, given how many of the show's fans are women. Sheriff Mills averts it more than most, which may have something to do with the fact that she is a slightly older woman who was not introduced for the sole sake of being a potential love interest, she took on the role of a potential love interest to Bobby rather than one of off-limits characters (the Winchesters and Castiel), and she remained her own character enough that she stayed on the series past Bobby's death and is not defined by her romantic attachments anymore than the boys are.
    • Ruby was hated before she even debuted, thanks to inflammatory press releases claiming that she was a new hunter being introduced who was better than Sam and Dean. Fan-hate only grew when she started to come between the brothers and seemed to be encouraging Sam's dark side, which made the brothers have their first real rift in their relationship (and made fans take sides with their preferred brother, breaking the fanbase for the first—but not last—time). It doesn't help that the two actresses who play her most of the time (Katie Cassidy and Genevieve Cortese) aren't well-liked.
    • Fans liked Metatron well enough... until it was revealed that he was manipulating Castiel for his own ends and he cast all the angels out of Heaven after killing Naomi for the sake of (misplaced) vengeance. In the space of one episode, he went from loved to hated. Don't be surprised if fans now say he's worse that Lucifer. This got even worse in season 9, where the writers can't seem to decide whether they want him to be a smart and dangerous Magnificent Bastard or an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who just wants people to like him, resulting in him constantly switching between the two rather contradictory personalities. Sometimes, within the span of a single episode. Also not helping is his tendency for his schemes to rely more on giving other characters the Idiot Ball than actually doing something clever himself.
    • Amelia brought in as a love interest for Sam in the first half of Season 8. She was received so badly by the fandom that not only did the writers acknowledge it, she received only a single scene in the Season Finale Recap despite being in a third of the season's episodes. Part of why she's so hated is that the writers intended for her to be the reason why Sam quit hunting and didn't look for Dean.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 3: Mostly well-liked, though the audience was always Anviliciously reminded that Dean only had one year to live. It was also weakened by the Writer’s Strike, which cut it down from 22 episodes to 16, thus making the storylines of the last four episodes rushed and abandoning great ideas such as the return of Ellen Harvelle (which got pushed back to Season 5). The amount of rock music was greatly reduced and so were the special effects. As well, Executive Meddling let to Ruby and Bela, two characters who have been controversial. There were some good ideas there, but over-focusing on the two over the brothers led to fan derision, and probably contributed to Bela being killed off.
    • Seasons 4 & 5: With their considerable retooling of the Myth Arc, heavy use of Christian mythology, and larger cast, they were looked upon more favorably by newer fans, and generally less so by older ones. Genevieve Cortese, however, is oft-reviled in her portrayal of Ruby, and fans really missed Katie Cassidy (fans that weren’t nearly so loud when she was actually onscreen the previous season). Ultimately, the changes turned out in favor of the newer fans, as Season 4 boosted the show’s sagging ratings enough to ensure there would be a Season 5. In fact, because of the loss of the original show runners and also the high stakes of the Season 5 finale (which definitely felt like a series finale), as well as what is well-regarded as a downward spiral in the show quality ever since, many feel that Season 5 should have been the last season of the show.
    • Season 6: The return to form approach pleased some older fans with its drastically pared-down cast and concentration on the Winchester brothers’ newest trust issues, but turned off newer fans. The realization that Sam had lost his soul and the brothers’ attempts to get it back was planned to be the main arc of the season, but fan backlash prompted the writers to conclude it halfway through and introduce new storylines (Castiel becoming a villain, for example, was only thought of at the last minute as a replacement). The results were still mixed, among them being Eve’s introduction as a new, somewhat derivative Big Bad after more than half the season was already over.
    • Season 7: While Season 6 had its flaws, and definitely suffered from the loss of the original show runners, this was where the show really started to show its age badly for some. For one thing, the Sam/Dean drama had became way overplayed by that point. The abrupt dropping of the very-promising-sounding Cosmic New Order at the beginning of the season (Castiel was going to be the new God, while Crowley was already the king of Hell) was also disappointing. Just imagine the awesomeness of Sam and Dean being caught up in a cold war between Castiel and Crowley while desperately trying to get Cas to return to sanity. The fans were pumped and excited, and one wonders what the writers were thinking when they threw it out, as Castiel and Crowley both vanished from the plot for some time. And who took their place? The Leviathans, who were a complete Ass Pull, and remained extremely vague in their abilities for several episodes. The writers themselves apparently couldn’t figure out what to do with them, so they had them disappear for long stretches of time while still trying to make them out to be this huge threat… except that their goals were completely undefined. Eventually, they had an episode where their leader becomes a Strawman Political Corrupt Corporate Executive so they could do a Take That on conservatives and libertarians, which only served to offend some of the fanbase. Then the Leviathans disappeared again for an even longer stretch of episodes. They weren’t doing very much onscreen, but Sam and Dean’s dialogue constantly exhorted the audience to remember that Vagueness Is Coming. The slow development of the Leviathan storyline resulted in a lot of filler episodes to boot. The fandom was also deprived of Bobby and the Impala for most of the season, resulting in further dissatisfaction. On the plus side, the Leviathans became more well-defined towards the end of the season. We also got the introduction of Plucky Comic Relief character Garth, Castiel returned and developed further as a character, while Bobby got an impressive ghost-arc which tied up his character quite nicely.
    • Season 8: Once again, the previous season’s cliffhanger – this time Dick Roman dragging Dean and Castiel to Purgatory with him – was resolved in the first episode of the season thanks to a Time Skip because Sam and Dean can’t be apart, ever. Dean and Castiel’s time in Purgatory was shown through flashbacks, and were arguably the best parts, but they were few and far between. Sam’s new love interest, Amelia, and perfect-life-while-Dean-was-gone subplots are near universally reviled. His I Just Want to Be Normal speeches, along with his hatred of Dean's new vampire friend, Benny, brought the Wangst to a new high. Crowley returned and appeared to be the Big Bad, though much mileage has varied as to whether or not he was any good at it. Perhaps realizing their mistakes, the writers tried to Re Tool the season around halfway through, much like what they did with Season 6. Amelia was written out, the Men of Letters were introduced, and Sam was given a new story arc about him performing trials to close the Gates of Hell. Most Sam fans were happy, but Dean fans were frustrated about him repeatedly being pushed Out of Focus as his Benny and Purgatory plots were dropped. Regardless, the second half of the season was definitely more well-received than the first.
    • Season 9: Both Sam and Dean took respective levels in Jerkass, leaving Castiel as the only real sympathetic character on the show. Most of the show’s remaining supporting cast were either Killed Off for Real or Put on a Bus. The Myth Arc bounced around without any clear direction for most of the year. Characters like Batholomew and Malachi were introduced and set up as major players in the angel war, only to be dropped shortly afterward (with Malachi infamously being killed offscreen after only a single appearance). Actor Jensen Ackles admitted in an interview that the writers were just throwing out ideas and seeing which ones stuck. Eventually, they settled on the Mark of Cain story, one of the more popular things to come out of Season 9… and then proceeded to do almost nothing with it until the final three episodes of the season. Not helping matters was the fact that the whole season was undercut by several lengthy stretches of heavily-disliked fillers episodes, many of which such as "The Purge" and "Alex Annie Alexis Ann" have been called by fans to be some of the worst in the show's history. There was also "Bloodlines", an ill-received back-door pilot for a spin-off that failed to come to fruition. Amongst it all, there’s the constant fighting between Sam and Dean, something which fans of both characters are getting sick of.
  • Ship Mates: A Destiel writer often hooks Sam and Gabriel up as a Beta Couple if they feel an urge to pair Sam off with someone, and vice-versa.
  • Song Association: "Carry on my wayward son... there'll be peace when you are done..."
  • Squick: Some of the heavier gore is just too much for some to handle.
    • Sam's fingernail being pulled out in "A Very Supernatural Christmas".
    • The teeth and maggot scenes in "Malleus Maleficarum."
    • The end of "Hammer of the Gods," when Pestilence spews mucus all over everything.
    • "Caged Heat". The room in which Dean is attacked by ghouls.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Varies by season, writer, intelligence of watcher, and religious views.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Missouri Moseley, the psychic from the first season. She was funny, had her head on straight, and had great chemistry with the boys that made her seem like a stern grandmother. Despite all that, and having known John well, she never appeared again. Sure, with this show's track record, she'd probably be dead by now, but it's still a shame that she only appeared in one episode. In fairness to them, they did intend to, it's just the actress was unavailable at the time.
    • Cassie Robinson, also from the first season, had great potential to be a love interest for Dean, as she was one of the few women from his past that he was shown to truly love and he was the one who promised to return to her despite her insistence that it wasn't going to work. She never appeared again.
    • Meg's "brother" Tom. He seemed just as powerful as her, but was much more cold and focused. He could've been an interesting contrast to Azazel and Meg's personalities. He played a large role in one episode, and briefly appeared in the following one where he was killed by Dean.
    • Eve was an interesting and powerful new villain who was hyped up for most of Season 6 as the Big Bad. She could disable angelic powers, so Cass being overpowered wouldn't be an issue. Her being the villain would make even non-mytharc Monster of the Week episodes exciting, as it provided a reason why the Winchesters were hunting small-time cases instead of focusing on the Big Bad (they could be tracking down Eve's children to interrogate and such) and Eve could use her children to spy on them and also create new monsters the writers could come up with whole-cloth. Unfortunately, she was killed before the season was even over.
      • There's also the fact that her motivations were actually sympathetic (she just wanted to protect her children) and had no real animosity towards mankind in general (though she is still somewhat sadistic as she did force even her more benevolent children to kill). This is never really explored at all.
    • Season 8 had this problem in multiple instances, due to having too many characters lying around and therefore killing a lot of them off when they're no longer important or convenient to have around. Examples include:
      • Samandriel, one of the few angels who wasn't a total jerk, gets killed by Castiel at Naomi's command after providing a bit of plot-relevant information. The "waste" comes in when you realize he would have been a great fit for the fallen angels plot that arises at the very end of the season.
      • Meg, the only remaining recurring character from Season 1 except for the Ghostfacers, had interest in Castiel, wanted to stop Crowley, and was considering redemption. Makes her a perfect candidate for the "cure a demon" trial, right? Except she's killed ingloriously by Crowley defending the Winchesters and Castiel before the trial in question is even introduced. (This is sadly a case of Real Life Writes the Plot; actress Rachel Minor has developed health problems that make it prohibitively difficult for her to adhere to a shooting schedule.)
      • Naomi, after being hyped all season as a villain who heads heaven's Secret Service and had history with Crowley, does a brief Heel-Face Turn and is promptly killed off as her role as Castiel's manipulator and the focus of the heaven portions of the arc are both hijacked by Metatron.
      • Benny. Badass Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, Purgatory veteran, and ally to Dean at a time when he didn't have many. But he was the center of a Sam/Dean conflict, so he had to go.
    • Kevin. He's gone from an Asian and Nerdy stereotype to losing everything in the span of one year; his future, his mother, and his girlfriend, and becoming a tired Knight In Sour Armour at a very young age, even outsmarting Crowley. In his last appearance, after calling Dean out for ruining his life, a possessed Sam murders him, because according to him "It's for the best". Granted he does then come back as a ghost and gets some closure with brothers saving his mother, and thus ends with the two getting to spend just a bit more time together before he passes on.
    • Ava Wilson has a great introduction as a completely normal person drawn into the story against her will, and is mysteriously kidnapped by the Yellow-Eyed Demon at the end, leaving all kinds of possibilities open. Then she returns, having gone through an offscreen Face-Heel Turn, and is anticlimactically killed off.
    • Agent Henrickson proves to be a quite worthy ally after learning the supernatural is real, and could have been a great recurring character as he tries to come to terms with it further while keeping up his job. Instead, Lilith Dropped a Bridge on Him. Especially notable because the Word of God about why he was killed off doesn't even make sense: after the writer's strike cut the season short, they didn't want Sam and Dean hunted by the FBI for another season... except Henrickson had already cleared that up by the time he was killed.
    • Ellen and Jo have fewer appearances than you'd think given their early prominence in season 2. Afterwards they missed two entire seasons and then returned simply to be killed off in a Senseless Sacrifice for a plan that never had a hope of working (and incidentally, getting rid of the only recurring heroic female characters at the time).
    • Lenore, a Vegetarian Vampire in a constant struggle against her own nature, and played by the geek adored Amber Benson. She appears in a grand total of two episodes, five years apart, and the second is only for a single scene where she's killed off. Some of that lost potential was later realized with Benny, but his own appearance in this list shows that for many it wasn't enough.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot
    • Dean's transformation into Demon!Dean was a completely unforseen plot twist, and every single second of him on-screen was exciting, tense and unpredictable. And in true Supernatural fashion, in three episodes he's cured and back to his old angsty self. Rather than have him remain a Demon and struggle with the inner humanity he still has, we get a quick and easy fix and move onto the next plot-strand.
    • Sam's problems with Dean after learning he killed Amy literally lasted less than one episode. And to many fans, Dean decisively winning the argument was not the way it should have gone at all. Granted there are also plenty of fans who are glad it ended so quickly (with drawn out emotional bickering storylines of the next two seasons being unpopular), and who felt that Dean was perfectly justified in his decision (as although sympathetic Amy had murdered several people) and that Sam was unfairly playing favourites just cause they met briefly several years earlier. So more of Base Breaking.
    • It seems that between seasons 6 and 7, the crew realized they couldn't possibly do a war between Heaven and Hell on their budget, so that story is hastily wrapped up before it even gets going in favor of the Leviathans.
    • The reveal that closing the gates of heaven in Season 9, also means that now none of the dead can go to heaven, and are trapped in the veil destined to become ghosts, is certainly an interesting story idea with a lot of far reaching consequences, and provided some much needed emphasis as to why heaven's gates had to be reopened, with the added concern that its only a matter of time before all these spirits turn hostile, with it now impossible to stop them. And then the writers seem to forget it.
  • Too Cool to Live: Gordon Walker, Ash, Henriksen, Pamela, and Kevin.
  • Totally Radical: Charlie's lines about Harry Potter carry the distinct whiff of non-fans trying to sound like fans. Her raves about Hermione being the best character seem far more based on the movies than the books, and they also don't seem to have realized what a Berserk Button Harry/Hermione shipping is to a large part of the fandom, and they would be instantly turning those people off to her.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Granted, there's funny and there's Breather Episodes scattered here and there, but try sitting through an episode like "What Is And What Should Never Be?" It's widely considered to be a truly fantastic episode, yet it's forty minutes worth of pure pain.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Castiel doesn't blink nearly enough, combined with his trademark thousand-yard stare and deadpan expression.
    • In "The End", Lucifer doesn't quite seem to know how to work his—or rather his vessel Sam's—face. It's one of the creepier bits of the show.
    • Death, like Castiel, rarely blinks.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
  • The Untwist: Lilith holding the contract for Dean's soul. Considering the only other demon of any importance at that point was already dead, it's a bit weird that they even tried to play this as a twist.
  • Villain Sue: Bela and Crowley. Both of them consistently catch the Winchesters flat-footed, to the point of making many viewers wondering if they have some kind of permanent spell about them that reduces the Winchesters' IQ points. Crowley, however, does it more through being smart than blind luck, and people are more lenient of it thanks to Mark Sheppard's performance.
  • Wangst: Castiel in the Season 6 finale, whinging about how all his friends have abandoned him, which is entirely his own fault for not letting them know he was playing Crowley the whole time.
  • What an Idiot: Minor character Garth, a hunter we only hear on the phone with Bobby asking him for advice on a vampire case in season 6. Bobby tells him to call the FBI to handle it, but Garth calls Bobby's fake FBI number instead. We finally meet Garth in a Season 7 episode and it seems he really is that stupid in person, although even Garth thought the victim of the week was an idiot for selling her soul. As of Season 8, Garth seems to have ground a few dozen levels, stepping into Bobby's shoes and edging away from this and into Bunny-Ears Lawyer territory.
  • Yoko Oh No: Any woman that Jared or Jensen dates/marries is going to get this hard from the Fan Dumb, mostly from the RPS crowd. For example: when Jensen's girlfriend tagged along with him to a convention, one of the fangirls "jokingly" asked security to kick her out. And let's not even go into the garment-rending that ensued when Jared's wife got pregnant.

The Anime:

  • Bizarro Episode: "The Spirit of Las Vegas" has screwier and more Animesque humor than other episodes. Fitting, as the Monster of the Week is Japanese.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Given that little to no effort is made to explain what the hell's going on to any new viewers, it seems as though you're expected to have already watched the TV show and just know these things. God forbid someone decides to try Supernatural out through the anime first. Particularly bad in the first episode, which jumps right into a side hunt without laying out the main characters' backgrounds and why there are flaming women on the ceilings.


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