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Castiel

Portrayed by Misha Collins (primary), Sydney Imbeau and Jessa Danielson

First appearance: "Lazarus Rising" (S04, E01)

Rank in Heaven: Seraph; Garrison Leader; Fallen Angel; Leader of the Rebel Angels, The Lord God

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/castiel_0.jpg
Spoilers! Click here to see Castiel in his second vessel. 
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"I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition."

Castiel is introduced in the Season 4 premiere, "Lazarus Rising" (S04, E01), as the angel who rescues Dean from Hell. At first unwaveringly loyal to God and the captain of a garrison of angels, over the course of the series he befriends the Winchesters and eventually joins the rebellion against a corrupt Heaven (at least in part due to their influence.)

As an angel, Cas must occupy a human vessel in order to be safely perceptible to humans. His primary vessel is that of Jimmy Novak, a devout Christian salesman from Illinois. In "The Rapture" (S04, E20), he briefly occupies Jimmy’s young daughter Claire (before Jimmy offers himself as Cas’s vessel again in order to let Claire live a normal life.)

When in Jimmy's body, Castiel is played by Misha Collins; other performers who portray him in different vessels include Sydney Imbeau and Jessa Danielson.

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     A-B 
  • Actual Pacifist: In late Season 7, due to his fear that he'll just screw everything up again. He only very reluctantly agrees to help fight the Leviathans in the finale by ID'ing the real Dick Roman after an extended guilt trip from Dean. Come Season 8, Cas is back to his old self again... mostly.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Meg calls Castiel "Clarence," as in the angel Clarence Oddbody from It's a Wonderful Life. The Winchesters mostly refer to him as just "Cas."
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In the Season 7 premiere, Castiel knows that he has committed horrific acts and become a monster in the eyes of the Winchesters, but is still willing to ask them for help in returning the souls to Purgatory.
  • Always Save The Boy: Multiple characters call him out on his tendency to defy his fellow angels or do things that put the universe at risk as motivated by excess sympathy for the Winchester brothers, especially Dean.
    Metatron: Ah. So Gadreel bites the dust. And the angel tablet - arguably the most powerful instrument in the history of the universe - is in pieces, and for what again? Oh, that's right - to save Dean Winchester. That was your goal, right? I mean, you draped yourself in the flag of heaven, but ultimately, it was about saving one human, right?
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Castiel has a lot of traits like literal-mindedness, limited interpersonal skills, rambling about his special interest in Creation, stimming, and No Sense of Humor, and neurodivergent tendencies like depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation, some of which he attributes to not having spent much time on Earth, even though none of the other angels have any of his problems. Before the civil war, he seems to have been fairly well-liked and to have had a good relationship with his angelic siblings, so his quirkiness probably hasn't caused him any real problems. Ultimately, Cas is most likely just socially awkward, and it has nothing to do with him being an angel.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Castiel appears to be innocent, aloof, and unaware of a lot of different things (especially regarding humanity, human life, or customs), but he is actually a very strong warrior and incredibly badass. He is definitely capable of being very ruthless when he wants to be.
  • Ambiguously Bi: At first he appears to be asexual, but as the show goes on and he develops more of a personality, he becomes more comfortable about sex. He has a flirtatious relationship with Meg (who does most of the flirting) and sleeps with one woman, but with Questionable Consent as, unbeknownst to Cas, the woman was secretly possessed by a reaper who was hunting him in his newly-human, very vulnerable state. He was briefly married to a woman named Daphne while amnesiac and believing himself to be a human, but it's unclear how far the relationship went, and he leaves her as soon as he recovers his memories. In the Bad Future his depowered self engages in drugs and orgies with female participants, though it's depicted as an indulgence tied to his deteriorated mental wellbeing. Meanwhile, he and Dean also have Homoerotic Subtext and Ship Tease that toes the line between Running Gag and genuine Will They or Won't They?, and in Season 15 he confesses to having long been in love with Dean. Since Cas dies immediately after the confession and is never seen or heard from again, there's no indication as to whether his past relationships with women were genuine or merely an attempt to suppress his feelings for Dean.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Late in Season 7, Dean finds Castiel, alive and well, though he now sees himself as a human named Emmanuel and married to a woman named Daphne. To make things worse, he remembers nothing of being an angel and the war he figured so prominently in.
  • And I Must Scream: In Season 11 when Lucifer takes over his vessel, Castiel is trapped in his own mind alongside him.
  • Angelic Beauty: Has a 'dreamy' look about him, especially in his introduction where Castiel looks at a (terrified) Dean with wide-eyed innocence.
  • Anti-Hero: If you're on the side of good, you need not fear him. He does tip into Knight Templar territory by the sixth season finale, but in Season 7, he realizes the error of his ways and pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Anti-Villain: In Season 6, he becomes a Well-Intentioned Extremist during his brief Face–Heel Turn until power corrupted him.
  • Arch-Enemy: Raphael and Crowley. He despises both of them and they are his biggest enemies.
  • Ascended Extra: When Castiel was introduced in Season 4, he was only meant to last a few episodes. But due to positive fan reaction, he remained as a recurring character in Season 4, was upgraded to a regular in Seasons 5 and 6, downgraded to recurring for Seasons 7 and 8, and is a regular again in Season 9.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: At the end of "Swan Song", Castiel returns to Heaven to help restore order.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: A subversion at first, as he seems to be fairly low-ranked despite how much ass he kicks. As the series goes on, he becomes less powerful and a traitor, then loses his angelic status entirely. But then, after standing up to both Michael and Lucifer, he gets revived by God (again), more powerful than ever. He then returns to Heaven as the "new sheriff in town," as Michael, Lucifer and Gabriel are all out of the picture, and eventually ends up having to deal with the remaining archangel, Raphael. He becomes "the new God" at the end of the Season 6 finale, but then loses all his extra mojo in the next season and is banned from rejoining Heaven due to the havoc he's caused.
  • The Atoner:
    • After he works with his fellow angels to bring about the apocalypse in Season 4, he undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and dies gruesomely to protect Chuck from an archangel.
    • For failing to keep his promise to Jimmy Novak that Jimmy's family will be safe, Castiel becomes protective of the teenage Claire Novak.
    • For his actions in Season 6 and going off the deep end as God after he regains his memories midway through Season 7. In Season 8, it turns out he let himself stay sealed in Purgatory as penance for all he's done.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: His relationship with Meg. It is very apparent that Castiel holds some sort of affection for Meg, despite the fact that he is an angel and she is a demon, and angels and demons are supposed to be enemies.
  • Back from the Dead: God resurrects him whenever he dies, although by late Season 7, Castiel has started to feel that this is more of a punishment than a reward, seeing as how every time he comes back, something worse happens.
  • Badass Adorable: Castiel is rather quirky, socially awkward, and has poor social skills. All of these traits contribute to Castiel's adorableness. But at the same time, he is very powerful and can kick major ass if you cross him.
  • Badass Baritone: In a human vessel, Castiel's voice is deep, but Jimmy Novak's voice isn't.
  • Badass Bookworm: Admittedly, the audience (and Dean and Bobby) know from the very start that he's pretty damn badass, and in his first appearance, he seems more interested in reading Bobby's book than actually, you know, fighting off those two armed men. But to anyone who doesn't know who (and what) he is, he's an innocuous guy in a trenchcoat with a lot of esoteric knowledge and poor social skills. Don't piss off the "nerd angel".
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Though being an angel possessing a human body, Castiel's stance and body language is way off, preventing the trope from being used to full effect. See also Unkempt Beauty below.
  • Badass in Charge: Prior to coming down to Earth, Castiel was the captain of a garrison of angels.
  • Badass in Distress: Although Castiel is a very powerful angel, sometimes he's needed saving as well, primarily by the Winchesters.
  • Badass Longcoat: Castiel, the warrior of God, is modeled after John Constantine wardrobe-wise (overcoat and all). Being an angel, his clothes have the added bonus of self-repairing damage from gunshot blasts and stabbings, and magical dry cleaning for blood stains. See Trenchcoat Brigade.
  • Badass Normal:
    • When Castiel's angelic abilities dwindle to nothing during his estrangement from Heaven in Season 5, he switches to knives, guns, and the odd Molotov cocktail to get the job done.
    • He spends part of Season 9 fully human. That doesn't stop him from cutting his hand open with a rose's thorns while being threatened by an angel to try and angel-banish the enemy.
  • Bad Liar: Castiel is the worst liar. It is very easy to tell when Castiel is not being honest or telling the truth. This is evident when Castiel lied to Naomi in Season 8. Sam even accused him of it in Season 9. He managed to fool the Winchesters for about a year in Season 6, but later slipped up and accidentally referenced something he heard them say when they thought he was out of the room, alerting them to the fact that he was spying on them.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: The whole of "Lazarus Rising" builds up the creature that pulled Dean from Hell to be a powerful and frightening demon. Cas is certainly powerful and frightening but in the final scene, he reveals himself to be an angel.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Starts wearing one in Season 8 while in Purgatory. He shaves it back down to his Perma-Stubble after getting out. Also wears one in the bad future Dean visits in "The End."
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Meg.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Castiel may seem amusingly out of touch much of the time, but you really don't want to make him angry. Hell, not even Castiel's True Companions (i.e. Sam and Dean) are safe from this. At a perceived betrayal in "Point of No Return," Cas beats Dean to within an inch of his life. Cas going off the rails is not a pretty sight.
  • Big Bad Friend: In Season 6, he's one of the Big Bads, and was set up to be the main villain for Season 7, although he comes to his senses in Season 7. Castiel was brainwashed into betraying the Winchesters again in Season 8.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Crowley in Season 6. He later turns on him in the finale
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Raphael and Crowley in Season 6. Raphael intends on restarting the Apocalypse, while Castiel plans on stopping him. What makes him a Big Bad though, is that he is willing to work with Crowley to obtain the souls of Purgatory. He goes back on his deal with Crowley and manages to outwit both him and Raphael and take the souls for himself, resulting in Crowley fleeing, and him killing Raphael.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Often saves Sam and Dean when they are completely helpless and hopeless. Crowley even lampshades this in "Caged Heat."
    Crowley: (after Castiel suddenly appears in the room when he's about to kill Meg) Castiel. You the cavalry now?
  • Big Eater: Not usually, since Castiel's powers mean that Jimmy's body stays sort of 'frozen' (and thereby doesn't need nutrition), but when he gets close to Famine in "My Bloody Valentine", it's enough to trigger Jimmy's love of burgers, which Castiel doesn't have the strength to resist. Virtually every scene he's in, either he's actively eating or holding a bag filled with them.
    Castiel: [eating] These make me very happy.
    Dean: Seriously, how many is that?
    Castiel: [still eating] I lost count, but it's in the low hundreds.
  • Big Entrance: Castiel's first scene. All the lights start flickering and bursting, the roof starts rattling, the barn door breaks open, and Castiel casually strolls in amidst the howling wind and sparks.
    Dean: (panicked) Who are you?
    Castiel: I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition.
  • Big Good: Of Season 9. He leads his forces against Metatron until they desert him and join Metatron after Metatron frames him, and he's unable to hurt Dean to gain back their trust.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Sam. The two have very similar journeys and have made very similar mistakes, which have caused serious chaos and destruction. Both Castiel and Sam have let power and pride get the best of them, to the point where it destroyed their relationships with others and caused them to go to the dark side. Not to mention that, arguably, Sam and Castiel tend to be the large part of the Myth Arc in the series. In Season 9, Castiel even acknowledges to Sam himself that they share a lot in common and have similarities.
  • Blood Magic: Castiel's blood is particularly valuable, as it's needed to kill Dick Roman in Season 7.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: There are more than a few moments where it's abundantly clear that he's operating from a very different moral framework to the Winchesters, which is arguably the biggest source of tension between himself and Dean throughout the series.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Was assigned to escort Dean's soul out of Hell and defends him to avert the Apocalypse, and ended up falling for him over the course of the series.
  • Body Horror: During Season 7 the souls of Purgatory (and the Leviathans) trying to escape cause Castiel's vessel to wear down quickly, and at one point horrifically try to break free.
  • Body Surf: Castiel uses Jimmy Novak's body as a vessel, but also possesses his daughter Claire for a time and used an unnamed woman in the past.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: For roughly half of Season 8 by Naomi, until he manages to break free with Dean's help.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Acording to Naomi, she's had to erase or whitewash parts of his memory numerous times in the past because he simply refuses to follow orders he's given by his superiors.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him:
    • In Season 8 He does this to Dean in Purgatory, running away so that the Leviathan after Cas will only target Cas himself at the cost of risking Dean will think he's in distress or has outright chickened out and abandoned him.
    • He then does it again, letting Dean believe they'll get out of Purgatory together, only to stay at the last possible moment, because he knows that if he tells Dean he doesn't intend to come along, Dean will refuse to get out until he comes around. This particular stunt does its job of getting Dean to safety and back on Earth, but it screws Dean up so much, his brain fabricates fake memories to rationalize the event as himself failing to save Cas, or Cas giving up and his grip slipping.
    • Towards the end of Season 15 he does it again in an unusual way in "Despair". When Billie is about to kill both him and Dean, he tells Dean the Empty will take him away at his most happiest moment, and that comes with him admitting to his love for Dean, which causes the Empty to appear and take both him and Billie away, although he is said to have been revived offscreen later.
  • Breakout Character: Castiel was only supposed to appear in a few episodes and then another character was to take his place as Dean's angel guide. However, general consensus decided he'd become the Ensemble Dark Horse. Even though he'd only gotten less than 40 minutes of screen-time at that point, the episode "On the Head of a Pin" (4.16) featured him heavily and 4.20 ("The Rapture") centered on his vessel, Jimmy. In Season 5, Misha Collins (Castiel's actor) was promoted to regular status, and Castiel has since been a major character in every single season afterward.
  • Broken Angel: By late Season 5. Though he seems to regain his faith in God after being resurrected a second time in "Swan Song", he actually becomes even more broken, as revealed in "The Man Who Would be King"—he works with Crowley, spies on the Winchesters, loses his faith in God and doesn't know what to do to stop Raphael from restarting the Apocalypse. In Season 8, he shows signs of deep depression and admits to suicidal thoughts.
  • Broken Hero: Especially from Season 5 onwards. Protecting the Winchesters has definitely taken a toll on Castiel and his well-being.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Although Castiel lost most of his angel powers over the course of the fifth season, he still managed to kick a fair amount of ass via ingenuity and good old-fashioned nerve.
  • Brought Down to Normal: As of "Two Minutes to Midnight," though this gets reversed in the fifth season finale. This also happens to him in the (hypothetical) Bad Future of "The End." He's canonically a Fallen Angel as of "Sacrifice." He regains his angelic powers in "Holy Terror", but only with stolen grace that fades over time.
  • Brutal Honesty: Especially in the earlier seasons where he hasn't quite mastered social skills yet.
    Castiel: I owe you an apology.
    Dean: Cas, it's okay.
    Castiel: You are not the burnt and broken shell of a man that I believed you to be.
    Dean: [caustically] Thank you. I appreciate that.
    • And again when he's rendered slightly mad in the aftermath of his possession by Leviathans.
      Castiel (to Sam): You seem troubled. Of course, that's a primary aspect of your personality, so I sometimes ignore it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Very quirky and awkward even by the standards of the other angels, but is nevertheless skilled enough to be in charge of a squadron of angels by the show's beginning and to be the one to rescue Dean's soul from Hell.
  • Bury Your Gays: The only way that he can save Dean in 15x18 is to admit that he loves him, the Empty immediately killing him afterwards during his one moment of pure happiness.
    • Implied to be back from the dead—again—in the finale when Bobby tells Dean, who's finally arrived in Heaven, that Jack did the heavenly renovations with help from Cas.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor guy has gone through a lot yet he keeps going on.

     C-D 
  • Came Back Strong: In Season 5, his second resurrection not only restores all the powers he'd been gradually losing that season, but makes him "new and improved."
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Anything to do with human emotions or feelings. Castiel just doesn't understand emotions and humanity whatsoever, and he has trouble expressing it. Understandable, considering that he is an angel.
    • Also, whatever he feels for Meg. It's clear that Castiel definitely has an affection for Meg but he seems to have some sort of difficulty expressing whatever he feels for her. It could be because he is an angel and feelings aren't something that he is used to. Or it could be because he is an angel and Meg is a demon and he has a hard time coming to terms with having an affection for a demon, who are known to be the angels' worst enemies. (But most likely, he already has expressed the extent of his feelings for her: protection and "owing her".)
    • When Dean asks Castiel what broke Naomi's brainwashing, Castiel says he doesn't know but he does. His affection for Dean kept him from killing him and let him pick up the angel tablet which freed him fully from Naomi's control.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Although he gets much better at it as the series continues, initially Castiel was horrible at keeping secrets simply because, as an angel, he did not understand the need for duplicity.
    • When Sam's soul is returned, he loses his memory of what happened while he was soulless. In order to preserve the mental wall in Sam's head, Dean decides not to tell Sam what happened and Bobby reluctantly agrees. Sam gets around this by calling down Cas and simply saying that he already knew what happened and just needed Cas to fill in the details, which Cas innocently does. Later, Sam approaches Dean with the information, admitting he got it from Cas.
    Dean: Cas. Friggin' child.
    • When Cas is secretly helping Sam work on the Book of the Damned to help Dean, Dean picks up Sam's phone when Castiel calls him. Castiel is utterly unable to improvise and actually makes Dean suspicious.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: While Cas has gotten better at keeping secrets, he's never really been able to grasp the concept of explicitly lying.
    Dean: Alright, what's the plan?
    Cas: We'll tell the sheriff that he witnessed an angel of the Lord, and the officer will tell us where the angel is.
    Dean: Seriously? You're going to walk in there and tell him the truth?
    Cas: Why not?
    Dean: Because we're humans. And when humans want something, really, really badly, we lie.
    Cas: Why?
    Dean: Because that's how you become President.
    • Sam calls him out on it when he lies about sensing Gadreel's essence in Sam in order to not upset Sam.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: In the seventh season, a slipping Castiel does this to Crowley because he still has use for him despite Crowley's counter-betrayal to him the previous season. He directs Crowley to downsize Hell and maintain the Cage for the two remaining archangels. Crowley happily obliges.
  • The Captain: Castiel was The Leader of his garrison.
  • Category Traitor: How most of the other angels seem to view him after he sides with humanity during the Apocalypse, and especially after he declares himself God and lays waste to Heaven.
  • Character Tics: He licks his lips quite often. In the earlier seasons, he also had a habit of tilting his head to the side when stumped or confused.
  • Chaste Hero: This trait was completely absent in Zachariah's depiction of him in "The End," however.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: First of all, he betrays Heaven in siding with the Winchesters during the Apocalypse. Then in Season 6, he betrays the Winchesters by making a deal with Crowley to gain access to Purgatory and use the souls there for power. Then, he betrays Crowley in order to take all the souls of Purgatory for himself and declare himself the new God. However, these were all done in the interest of saving the whole world from Raphael's attempt to restart the Apocalypse, and Castiel succeeded preventing that. He ends up betraying the Winchesters again in Season 8, although this time it isn't technically his fault as he's being mind-controlled by Naomi at the time.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: Castiel is known for his distinctive trenchcoat over a black suit, white dress shirt, and a loosened tie. A change of clothes is treated like OOC Is Serious Business. Jimmy, Castiel's vessel, removes the trench coat. When Castiel loses his angelic powers, he completely changes clothes (as he is unable to use his angelic grace to keep the clothes automatically clean). When the clothes are back, so is Cas. Fans are so accustomed to Castiel's "uniform" that a change from a solid blue tie to a striped blue tie and back (Season 13 when he returns from The Empty) set off a debate in a fandom as to whether the current Cas was the "real" Castiel.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Taking on Sam's insanity turns him into this when he wakes up from his catatonia. For example, he occasionally asks people to "pull his finger" and tries to play a game of Sorry! while having a serious conversation with Dean. Getting transported to Purgatory seems to have restored his mind somewhat.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Meg is obviously attached to him, and unbelievably attracted to him. Even Charlie finds him "dreamy," but he's so prone to Entendre Failure that anyone trying to flirt with him needs to do most of the heavy lifting.
    Metatron (in exasperation after watching a clueless Cas completely miss a waitress' flirting with him): Should have picked a better looking vessel...
  • The Comically Serious: Extremely Literal-Minded to the point that he scolds automated voice messages and doesn't bat an eye when utterly failing at pretending to be an FBI agent.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: No one in this show is going to pass up the chance to corrupt a (formerly) virgin angel with a conscience. Just ask Dean, Meg, Ellen, Jo, Balthazar, Lucifer, Crowley, etc. In Zachariah's Bad Future, he actually succumbs to hedonism, but then again, it's Zachariah.
  • The Corruption: In the finale of Season 6, Castiel has turned evil and absorbs the souls of Purgatory into himself upon which he declares himself the new God. In the first episode of Season 7, he goes around killing corrupt and wicked people on a massive scale to prove his "godhood," but it eventually turns out that he's also hosting Leviathans, far older, nastier entities who are corrupting him. His body slowly degrades and mutates, and he gets temporarily taken over to perform indiscriminate massacres, ending with being totally under the Leviathans' control after he loses the souls. His body goes through a meltdown under the strain, and the Leviathans escape out into the world.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Has the pretty-but-scary variety. Would you just fricking blink, already?
  • A Day in the Limelight: In "The Man Who Would Be King."
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • He actually gets better at sarcasm the longer he spends time on Earth. He learns to be very subtle about it:
    Castiel: Sam, Dean, I have to get back.
    Dean: You're leaving?
    Castiel: I'm in the middle of a civil war.
    Dean: You better tear the attic up, find something to help Sam.
    Castiel: Of course. Your problems always come first. (departs)
    • And:
    Dean: Where the hell have you been?
    Castiel: On a bender.
  • Deal with the Devil: He makes one with Crowley in Season 6 to find Purgatory and gain the souls there. When he reneges on the deal, Crowley is both stunned and furious, warning Castiel that he can't just break contracts without consequence, and tries to get back at him when he later finds out that Castiel is still alive.
  • Death Is Cheap: Castiel has been dead at least three times, yet he always ends up coming back. It looks like Castiel has caught the Winchester disease of always coming back from the dead.
  • Death Seeker: By about Season 8, Castiel's been feeling so much guilt over what he's done that he's grown into this. He even willingly stayed behind in Purgatory because of his guilt.
  • Defecting for Love: Implied and later confirmed to be the reason he chooses to rebel against Heaven in to help avert the Apocalypse. Rather than making his decision based upon concern for humanity as a whole, he seems to have chosen to help the heroes mostly due to his respect and affection for Dean, who asked for his help.
    Castiel (to Dean): I'm hunted. I rebelled. And I did it, all of it, for you.
  • Defends Against Their Own Kind: Castiel has gone to great lengths to keep the Winchesters safe from the machinations of the other angels.
  • Demonic Possession: It isn't exactly stated whether Castiel himself got taken over from within by the Leviathans at the end of "Meet the New Boss" or whether they just hijacked control of his vessel. Either way, Castiel clearly wasn't in control anymore, especially considering the change in voice from a deep monotone to one that sounds more like an insane Misha Collins.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Even as a low-ranked angel, he was way too powerful, forcing the writers to turn to this trope (usually using the angel-banishing sigil). This was a major reason his appearances were mostly cameos in Seasons 4 and 6.
    • The first time, he time-travels back to when the Winchesters' parents were still alive, and the effort alone nearly kills him.
    • The second time, he branded an anti-angel sigil on his chest to send a bunch of angelic Mooks to God-knows-where. This had the nasty side effect of sending him to God-knows-where, as well as stripping him of his remaining powers.
    • The third time, Castiel is busy fighting an off-screen civil war in Heaven and being part of the Big Bad Ensemble of the season.
    • The fourth time, after he absorbs every soul in Purgatory, he is soon "killed" by the Leviathans inside of him. He later reappears as a normal human, without any memory of being an angel, and gets his powers back just in time for...
    • The fifth time, where he absorbs Sam's memory of being in Hell, which drives him crazy and has him committed in a mental hospital.
    • The sixth time, he gets stuck in Purgatory with Dean but stays behind when Dean manages to escape. He is saved by Naomi, who makes him her Manchurian Agent and prevents him from helping the Winchesters any more than necessary.
    • Finally, he gets Brought Down to Badass because of Metatron.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?:
    • His line to Raphael in "Free to Be You and Me" as he and Dean are leaving the house where Raphael is trapped inside a ring of holy fire.
    Raphael: Do not leave me here, Castiel. I will find you.
    Castiel: Maybe one day. But today, you're my little bitch.
    • Does something equally badass while being tortured by Naomi:
    Castiel: In the words of an old friend, bite me.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He banished the Archangel Michael with a Holy Fire Molotov cocktail in front of his brother Lucifer. The Devil is absolutely livid. The end result is about what you'd expect.
    Castiel: [slowly backing away] Uh...no.
  • Disappeared Dad: The disappearance of God from heaven is arguably the biggest reason for his eventual descent.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Castiel's behavior in his introductory scene is essentially this — he walks into the building where Dean and Bobby are waiting and continues forward calmly even as they open fire on him, while light bulbs burst in his presence and the building shakes and rattles. When he finally reaches Dean, Dean immediately stabs him in the chest, and his response is to look at the knife with a sort of vague amusement before simply pulling it out.
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: He seems to be getting the hang of it as of Season 6.
    Castiel: (to Bobby) You're right. Pardon me for highlighting their crippling and dangerous empathetic response with (using air quotes) "sarcasm."
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • To Dean early on.
    Castiel to Dean in 4x02: You should show me some respect. I dragged you out of Hell. I can throw you back in.
    • In "Swan Song", Castiel is on the receiving end of this himself when he banishes Michael with an improvised weapon with Lucifer standing next to him. Pissing off Lucifer by sabotaging his fight will result in instant death.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: In Season 8, it is clear after Castiel comes back from Purgatory that he is not at full power.
  • Dramatic Shattering: This is what happens when Castiel ends up using his true voice.
  • Driven to Madness: Since Castiel was the one who broke Sam's Hell-wall in the first place, he winds up deciding to save Sam's life and mind by absorbing the hunter's insanity into himself. It's bad enough to drive Castiel (an angel, mind you) into a catatonic stupor for several episodes and render him a babbling Ophelia-esque mess for several more. When Dean reunites with Castiel in Purgatory, he asks if his friend is still crazy, which Castiel admits he doesn't even know anymore, since most insane people believe they're sane.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: At the end of Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7, this has happened to Castiel after he absorbed all the souls in Purgatory to gain the power to prevent Raphael from restarting the Apocalypse. After proclaiming himself a new god, he threatens his friends' lives, goes out for some Disproportionate Revenge, and then accidentally releases the Leviathans, ancient, un-killable monsters, on the world.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: In a particularly cruel twist, confessing his love for Dean is what causes the Empty to kill him and Billie.

     E-H 
  • Engineered Public Confession: The way he reveals Metatron's true plans to the rest of Heaven. Even though it costs him receiving probably the most hurtful evil speech of his life.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Castiel gets a good one. He uses telekinesis (or possibly just the power of his presence) to break open the sealed door of the barn where Dean and Bobby are waiting, and then proceeds to walk slowly over the line of salt (which would keep a demon or normal spirit out) and past every single binding circle Bobby drew without breaking stride while Dean and Bobby repeatedly shoot him, the entire building is shaking, and the overhead lights are exploding(the last two are direct results of his presence). Despite the chaos, he never flinches or even blinks, only seeming mildly curious about the sigils on the walls.
  • Everyone Can See It: Multiple characters including but not limited to Uriel, Balthazar, Crowley, Metatron, and Ishim have commented on Cas being in love with Dean. As it turns out, they were right. Cas confesses his feelings for Dean in Season 15.
  • The Extremist Was Right: His plan to team up with Crowley to find Purgatory, then crack it open and absorb all of the souls inside in order to gain enough power to defeat Raphael. Well, it worked, but...
  • Faith–Heel Turn: Castiel lampshades it in Season 8 while he is in Purgatory with Benny and Dean.
    Benny to Castiel: Aren't you guys all about faith?
    Castiel: Not particularly.
    Benny as they see the portal open: Oh, ye of frigging little faith.
  • Fallen Angel: Resigns from Heaven at the end of the fourth season when he finds out that the higher-ups are corrupt and Dean convinces him to fight back against it. He rejoins in Season 6, but his actions later on have him afraid to return and Naomi forbids him to go back.
  • The Fatalist: All angels take this view; Castiel is the first to avert it.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Inverted with Meg, with Castiel being the Male Angel to Meg's Female Demon.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Manages to fight off and break free of Naomi's control in "Goodbye Stranger."
  • Fish out of Water: As an angel, Castiel (especially in Seasons 4 and 5) obviously misunderstands or just doesn't get human aphorisms and sarcasm.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Castiel obviously has affection for Meg, and Meg openly admitted that she feels for Castiel like Sam does for Amelia's doomed feelings in Season 8.
  • Forced Sleep: Castiel has many powers as an angel including the ability to kill humans, monsters, and demons with a single touch. However, when dealing with innocent bystanders or allies such as Bobby, Sam, and Dean, he "sets the taser to stun" and merely renders them unconscious with the touch of a finger to the forehead.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Cas undergoes a variation of this in Season 7, where after nearly a year of being "dead," he turns up amnesiac, calling himself "Emmanuel," and suddenly married to a woman named Daphne. Needless to say, the marriage doesn't last long.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Cas holds many of God's creations in the highest esteem. Taken Up to Eleven by Crazy!Cas, who adores everything, from bees to monkeys to...wait for it... demons.
  • Gender Bender: Castiel briefly leaves his standard male host (Jimmy) and possesses said host's preteen daughter (Claire). S/he switches back to Jimmy when he begs him/her (Castiel) to take him and spare his daughter. In a flashback in the Season 12 episode "Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets", Castiel takes a female vessel who looks much like a female version of Jimmy.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Crowley doesn't think Castiel, who's weakened from Purgatory and cut off from Heaven, can threaten the King of Hell. Castiel responds by having his eyes glow blue and showing off his wings. It works.
  • A God Am I: In the Season 6 finale, he absorbs all the souls of Purgatory and declares himself the new God. This lasts all of one episode.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In Season 6, Castiel decides that the only way to prevent the Apocalypse from being restarted by Raphael is to make a Deal with the Devil and take in the power of all the souls in Purgatory. This turns out to be a bad idea.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He can be pretty pleasant when he is relaxed, but him being a soldier committed to his mission first and foremost, as well as lacking a human's sense of sensitivity or tact, can result in this.
  • Guttural Growler: Castiel is fairly growly, although this is on purpose; actor Misha Collins felt that as Castiel's natural voice shatters windows and makes people's ears bleed, his voice in his human vessel should be rather tough-sounding. Jimmy's voice is pretty much Misha's normal speaking voice, which sounds, well, normal.
  • Guilt Complex: A huge part of his character arc in Season 8, to the point where he tells Dean that if he sees what he made of Heaven, he might kill himself.
  • Have You Seen My God?: His main mission in Season 5 before he learns that God won't stop the Apocalypse.
  • Heartbroken Badass:
    • As of the Season 9 finale, after Metatron kills Dean to spite him.
    • Not to mention Castiel has endured lots of tragedy and loss in his life in general.
  • Heroic BSoD: Castiel briefly lapses into this after Sam initially fails to regain control of his body from Lucifer, and then again for a significantly longer amount of time when he finally remembers what he did in the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 premiere.
  • Heroic RRoD: The stress of containing the souls of Purgatory (and the Leviathans) causes his vessel to start decaying and nearly kills him.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Season 4 alone (the season he is introduced in) has him switching allegiance several times. He wants to be Face, but he sometimes finds himself put in Heel position.
  • Heel Realization: He often has these and tries to redeem himself. In Season 7, after getting Drunk on the Dark Side and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, Castiel finally realizes he's out of his depth after his Disproportionate Revenge turns into an unintended massacre when the Leviathans inside him take over.
  • The Hero: Can arguably be considered this for Season 10, as the final episodes of Season 10 make it clear that Sam and Dean are the Big Bad Duumvirate of the season in their quest to get rid of the Mark of Cain. Castiel is barely involved in that plot, until the final episodes, where he has a confrontation with Dean after he sees how much the Mark of Cain has influenced Dean. He's also the only member of the main cast of that season who seems to have any sense of morality.
  • Hero of Another Story: In Season 6, after the Apocalypse was over, Castiel was in charge of trying to hold Heaven together and leading his own faction of angels against Raphael and his followers, who were still hell-bent on re-starting the Apocalypse while Hell was in disarray. Frankly, the depiction of such a war would've been beyond the writers and the special effects team, so it took place mostly off-screen.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In Seasons 6 and 7, re-angelified Castiel has taken a particularly nasty route to this, starting with a Deal with the Devil, moving on to murder and betrayal, and then Jumping Off the Slippery Slope with murder and Mind Rape of friends even before diving into With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Honorary True Companion: Despite his increasing importance through the show, he's still not allowed to permanantly join Sam and Dean on their hunts because of his powers that would ruin the Monster of the Week episodes so the writers have to make excuses to have him Out of Focus for most of the season.
  • Hopeless with Tech: A couple of instances of him not quite getting cell phones:
    • One, talking with Dean while he's running out of minutes:
    Castiel: *as if this were the most disastrous thing that could happen* The voice says I'm almost out of minutes.
    • Second, his attempt at recording his personal voice mail message:
    Voice Mail Woman: You have reached the voice mail of *beep*
    Castiel: I don't understand. Why...why do you want me to say my name?
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Trusts Metatron and Hael, for a start. The former took his grace and Hael tried to possess him while he was human.
  • Hot God: Only in the Season 7 premiere. Castiel is acting as God and makes numerous appearances around the globe. One female parishioner describes him:
    Parishioner: We all saw him. No beard, no robe. He was young and... and sexy. He had a raincoat—
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: A variation on this trope (crossed over with Don't Make Me Destroy You and a little bit of Tranquil Fury) comes into play when Dean attempts to sacrifice himself and become Michael's vessel. Unfortunately for Dean, Castiel catches up to him, resulting in Castiel kicking Dean's ass and shouting the following:
    Castiel: I rebelled for this?! So that you could surrender to them? I gave everything for you! And this is what you give to me!
  • Humanity Ensues: For much of Season 9, Castiel was a human and exploring life as one.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: This is what Castiel believes. The longer Castiel hangs out with the Winchesters, the more human-like he becomes.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Castiel is always helping the Winchesters whenever they need help. He is normally the one who ends up fixing things quickly for the Winchester brothers, no matter how major or minor the problem is. Without Castiel, it is safe to say that the Winchester brothers would be completely screwed and would have been dead many times over if he was not there to repeatedly save Sam and Dean constantly. It helps that he is an angel with powerful abilities as well.

     I-L 
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Castiel's eyes can become rather piercing when he is giving someone (mostly an enemy or an opponent) the Death Glare.
  • Iconic Outfit: The holy tax accountant suit, loosened tie, and signature trenchcoat combo — work it, Cas. In the seventh season premiere, he went to a church and replaced the standard Christian stained-glass painting of God/Jesus with himself... in that same outfit. Man, Castiel must love that suit and jacket.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: He is so popular in fandom that many new viewers are surprised he doesn't appear until the beginning of the fourth season.
  • Identity Amnesia: In "The Born-Again Identity," Emmanuel is revealed to be Castiel, although Castiel doesn't even know who he really is, that his true name is Castiel and that he is in fact an angel. Meg and Dean have to tell him who he really is.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • As of Season 6, he's doing/done a lot of things he'd rather not do, but feels he has no choice, since he has to lead half of Heaven against the other half in a bid to prevent Raphael from re-starting the Apocalypse. He also kills another angel, despite saying he doesn't want to, and even pleads with the angel beforehand. He takes this attitude in "My Heart Will Go On" when Fate calls him out on having Balthazar alter history in order to create thousands of new souls to back his side of the war.
    • By Season 8, this is his definitive character flaw; even after the fallout from his actions in Seasons 6 and 7, he still falls back into this way of thinking with Metatron's prompting.
    Castiel: I thought I was doing the right thing.
    Dean: Yeah, you always do.
  • Incoming Ham: Castiel when he's possessed by the Leviathans in Season 7.
    Castiel: TOO LATE!
  • Innocently Insensitive: Castiel is particularly prone to the trope. He called Sam an "abomination" in order to explain a point, and complimented Dean by telling him, "you're not the broken shell of a man that I thought you were."
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Dean and Sam call Castiel "Cas." Sometimes they refer to Castiel as "The Angel."
    • Meg refers to Castiel as "Clarence."
    • Metatron calls him "Asstiel".
    • Crowley and Rowena both call him Feathers.
    • Arthur Ketch calls him Halo.
  • Irony: When speaking with Castiel, Crowley says Castiel is different from Lucifer because Lucifer "is a bratty child with daddy issues" (mirroring what mostly everyone else in the series refers to him as), but Castiel's actions could pretty much be summed up in the same way. Even back during the darkest days of Season 6, however, there was one fundamental difference between the two of them: Lucifer hated humanity enough to want to wipe them out; Castiel loves humanity so much that since his creation, he's been repeatedly disobeying his superiors in order to protect them.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Towards Dean, confirmed as romantic at the end of the show. He does everything for Dean, from coming at his beck and call to rebelling from Heaven to making a deal with the King of Hell rather than drag Dean into another fight to dying several times.
      • In Season 6, he refused to drag him into the war to give him the chance to live a "normal", happy life. One scene has him staring wistfully at Dean with his new girlfriend and adopted son, before he walks off, afraid to disturb his happiness.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: All throughout Season 6, in regards to the War in Heaven. To the point that he's working with Crowley of all people, trying to avert a re-triggered Apocalypse. Desperate to defeat Raphael in the civil war in Heaven, Castiel begins performing many morally questionable acts, not the least of which is allying with Crowley, and rapidly skipping several shades of grey. This ultimately culminates in the season finale, where he jumps right into Villain Protagonist territory when he absorbs all the souls of Purgatory and declares himself the new God.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: In addition to his habit of murdering his "siblings", Naomi forces him to kill over a thousand fake copies of Dean in "Goodbye Stranger." Of course, when he's finally ordered to kill the real Dean, he can't go through with it, but it's a close thing.
  • Kiss of Distraction: With Meg in Season 6. Meg kissed Castiel in order to distract him and steal his angel-killing sword from his trenchcoat. It backfires when Cas spins her around and kisses back, dumbfounding not only Meg but the Winchesters as well.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In the Season 6 finale, Castiel proclaims himself the new God, and demands that the heroes bow and profess their love to him. Season 7 opens with Bobby getting down on his knees and asking if that's good enough or if he wants "the whole forehead-to-the-carpet thing?" Castiel promptly decides it's pointless, since they're only doing it out of fear, and leaves to spread the word of his godhood.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Doesn't start out that way, but starts to become increasingly jaded and cynical from the middle of Season 5 onwards.
  • Lack of Empathy: Castiel may be one of the few angels with a sense of ethics, but the fact that he's an angel first and foremost means that he doesn't have the kind of empathy allowed to humans. This allows him to think little of killing children, wiping out entire towns, and murdering his own kin.
    After Dean tells him that he and Sam have been murdered in "Dark Side of the Moon":
    Castiel: (flatly) My condolences.
  • The Leader: Of the Garrison. Also the leader of the rebel angels.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Cas has had the same tie-and-trenchcoat ensemble since his debut in Season 4. Not counting the Dark Castiel photoshoots for Season 6 where they gave him a Dark Is Not Evil look, there was only two times where he didn't wear his trademark clothing in Season 7: when he'd lost his memories and when he was stuck in a mental asylum. Even then, he started wearing his trenchcoat over his asylum garb. That angel loves that coat. That coat is so iconic that when he "died" early in Season 7, Dean carried the item of clothing with him through multiple states and vehicles, apparently for the sole reason of having Castiel don it again when the latter returned, albeit as Happily Married normal human Emmanuel.
  • Literal-Minded: He's getting better at it, but he still fixates on the literal meanings of English slang. Though he's interacted with humans long enough by now that you wonder if he's also being sarcastic.
    Dean (to Castiel, reading a newspaper): What's the word, Cas?
    Castiel: That's a shortened version of my name.
    Meg: Would it kill you to watch a movie, read a book?
    Cas: A movie, no. But a book with the proper spells — yeah, it could, theoretically, kill me.
  • Little Miss Badass: When he's possessing Jimmy's daughter Claire in "The Rapture."
  • Longing for Fictionland: In "A Little Slice of Kevin," Castiel admits that he missed television while he was in Purgatory.
    Castiel with a beatific smile in front of the TV set: I missed television.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: 2014!Castiel in "The End" qualifies as he is seen having orgies with multiple women.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Uriel tells Dean that Castiel has been demoted from his initial rank because of his burgeoning feelings for Dean. Ishim cites this trope specifically when he tries to kill Dean to hurt Castiel.
    Ishim: I'm gonna cure you of your human weakness, same way I cured my own.
  • Love Martyr: Although Dean can be quite harsh to him at times, Castiel is willing to give up everything for Dean. He loses his Grace, his faith and (twice) his life—choosing to stay on Earth after every other angel has left in a post-apocalyptic world and breaking at the edges, and even condemning himself to an eternity in the angelic equivalent of Hell and he did it, all of it, for Dean.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: He has an unfortunate habit of imploding in season finales (and then getting brought back by God). In the sixth season finale, however, he does this to a terrified Raphael instead — who had done it to Castiel himself two finales ago.
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     M-P 
  • Manchurian Agent: After being plucked out of Purgatory by Naomi, Castiel is forced to spy on the Winchesters for Naomi without even realizing it.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Through his whole stay on the show, made worse the more he sees himself as expandable and thinks risking his life, dying, and being possessed by Lucifer in Season 11 are the only ways to help and make himself worthy because he is not as powerful as he used to be after Metatron took his grace and damaged it. In Season 12, he believed that giving the Winchesters extra three minutes of distracting Lucifer by offering himself to be beaten up and then killed is a fair enough sacrifice.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • When Castiel comes back after his stint as God, he takes on the name "Emmanuel." Emmanuel literally means "God Is With Us."
    • Cas is the root word meaning "to fall" and -iel is a suffix meaning "from God." To fall from God.
      • This also means that when Dean nicknames him "Cas," he is technically removing God from Cas' name, reflecting how Cas ultimately sides with humanity against God and Heaven as a consequence of meeting Dean.
    • While not an attested name in angelic lore, "Castiel" resembles and could be considered an alternate spelling of "Cassiel", which means "Shield/Cover of God" or "Temperance of God".
  • Messy Hair: In his first appearances, Castiel's hair tended to always be windswept and messy. It gets neater as the show progresses.
  • Morality Pet: Revealed to be Meg's in "Goodbye Stranger."
  • Mr. Fanservice: He is that rarest of cases where his type of fanservice involves something as innocent and nondescript as taking off his tie and showing his wrists, rather than stripping off his clothes.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Wears a look of intense regret when he repossesses Jimmy's body at the end of "The Rapture" and seems to understand that he has destroyed his vessel's family.
    • His reaction in Season 7. He falls into a (insanity-induced) Heroic BSoD until Dean shakes him out of it long enough to fix some of his mistakes. By Season 8, it seems he is suffering from an extended version of this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Of all his arguably biggger mistakes and failures, Castiel thinks failing to protect Jimmy Novak and his family as his greatest one.
  • Never Gets Drunk: 10 shots of whiskey makes him start to feel something, and when he actually does succeed in getting drunk, he had to down the contents of an entire liquor store to do so.
    Sam: What the hell happened to you?
    Castiel: I found a liquor store.
    Sam: ...and?
    Castiel: And I drank it. Why'd you call me?
  • Nerves of Steel: He is an angel after all, and tends to approach difficult situations with the same detached affectations as always.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Castiel has a tendency to demonstrate one-off powers that are required to resolve a plot only to never be used again.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • His gulping down all of Purgatory's inhabitants inadvertently unleashes the nigh-unstoppable, omnicidal Leviathans onto Earth, not realizing that God created Purgatory just to keep them from eating the rest of His kids. Oops. Castiel eventually makes up for this (sorta) by helping to kill the Leviathans' boss, effectively derailing their Evil Plan, but he continues to feel guilty for what he did in Seasons 6 and 7.
    • His desire to be The Atoner is effectively manipulated by Metatron in banishing all the angels from Heaven in the Season 8 finale.
    • Feeling overwhelmed by Amara's power, Castiel agrees to let Lucifer use his vessel, freeing Lucifer from the cage.
  • No Biological Sex: All angels in Supernatural are sexless beings, but this is especially evident in Castiel more than the others. Castiel is known to Sam and Dean as male because his current vessel, Jimmy Novak, is male, but in season 4 Castiel uses Claire Novak as an emergency temporary vessel and the episode Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets shows Castiel utilizing a long-term female vessel.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: Castiel disappears with the angel tablet, protecting it from Crowley and the demons, Naomi and the angels, and the Winchesters.
  • No Sense of Humor: At first. Being the unofficial "third Winchester" made Cas pick up some snark even if he doesn't realize it.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: From his first appearance, he has been constantly stepping into Dean's personal space. While staring very intensely into his eyes. He does get better about this with time. Lampshaded in "Free to Be You and Me":
    Dean: Cas, we've talked about this. Personal space.
    Castiel: [backing off like three inches] My apologies.
  • No Social Skills: Is accustomed to either dealing with angels who are used to his odd manner or with humans from a position of celestial authority. When he walks among humans in human guise — or, as in the start of Season 9, as an actual non-powered human — he can be comically awkward.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: When his grace is at full power, Castiel is more or less asexual, only noticing nudity and sexuality for as a curious novelty (usually accompanied by a puppy dog head tilt) or remarking upon the immoral nature of the situation (usually accompanied by a wide-eyed fearful expression).
    Castiel: If the pizza man truly loves this babysitter, why does he keep slapping her rear? [pauses] Perhaps she's done something wrong.
  • The Not-Love Interest: While one of the final episodes reveals Dean is not this trope but Castiel's explicit love interest, Castiel is this to Dean, though in some dubs he is also a full-blown love interest. Dean spends almost a full year in Purgatory trying to save Castiel and praying for him every day, snaps Castiel out of insanity/brainwashing multiple times by telling him he needs him, mourns him like a lost lover whenever he dies to the point where Sam compares it to the way their father grieved over their mother.
    • In fact, one of the main reasons Castiel ended up becoming the closest thing Dean had to a character who played a long-term love interest (as opposed to his usual Girl of the Week) outside of Sam was that he clearly wasn't intended to be a love interest for Dean; as this summary of early Supernatural fandom and creator interactions with them details, the fans vehemently rejected the show's attempts to create a female love interest for Dean because they feared that a romance would take focus away from Dean and Sam's relationship but they embraced Castiel, who was male and thus not a romantic threat to the brothers' bromance, which ironically led to Castiel getting almost the same amount of screentime and emotional energy with Dean that a traditional female love interest would have had.
    • For a more specific example, many of Castiel's scenes in seasons 4-5 were repurposed off of another character, Anna, who earlier in production was Dean's long-term love interest while Castiel was to be a Mauve Shirt. As a result, he receives a lot of the development originally written for a proper love interest, just with the overtly romantic aspects stripped out.
  • Not Quite Dead: For most of Season 7, he was assumed dead by other characters, although he had actually been brought back (again), this time with amnesia. Dean stumbles into him in "The Born-Again Identity" and Castiel eventually remembers who he is.
  • Odd Couple: The ridiculously uptight Castiel develops odd friendships with Meg and Crowley, who are hedonistic demons.
  • Odd Friendship: With Dean. And to a lesser extent, with Bobby and Sam. Also Meg, after she took care of him in the mental hospital while the Winchesters were away.
  • One True Love: Though he's had occasional romantic interactions and Ship Tease with various other characters, he confirms that he's always been in love with Dean.
  • Only Sane Employee: In Season 6, he's the only angel making an effort to prevent Gabriel from restarting the Apocalypse on Earth. To another angel in "The Third Man":
    Castiel: Why won't any of you listen!?
  • The Ophelia: In season 7 Castiel goes mad after he absorbs Sam's Lucifer-tainted memories, and has the same vaguely mystical air around him as usual.
  • Opposites Attract: With Meg. Castiel is an angel and Meg is a demon, and while Castiel's interest is more ambiguous, the snarky Meg is definitely attracted to his seeming innocence.
  • Papa Wolf: In Season 10, Castiel starts trying to connect with his vessel's daughter, Claire, feeling guilty for taking her father away, and he quickly develops a fatherly protectiveness toward her.
    • Also towards Jack, starting before the nephilim was born. And although Jack has implied that he regards all three original members of Team Free Will as his adopted fathers, Cas has been the most overtly paternal in his dealings with Jack and the only one whose fatherly protectiveness and devotion never wavered even after Jack lost his soul and (accidentally) killed Mary.
  • Perma-Stubble: Justified in that he's an angel possessing a man and the body is either in stasis or Castiel maintains it the way it was when he took possession.
  • Pimped-Out Car: As of "Road Trip," he drives a gold Lincoln Continental, complete with rap music blaring from the speakers when Dean starts the engine.
    Crowley: What, are you a pimp now?
    Castiel: I like it.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: He becomes one late in Season 9, courtesy of Metatron who transfers the knowledge of everything he's read/watched that was created by humanity into his head purely to have a conversation without having to stop to explain the references he was planning to use.
  • Power Glows: Castiel has two power modes: Heal and kill. When his hand lights up, the good guys are saved. When Castiel's angelic grace lights up the whole room, the bad guys are in big trouble.
    Castiel: Flee or die.
  • The Power of Love: In Season 8, he is Brainwashed and Crazy due to Naomi and ordered to kill Dean. But when Dean calls him family and tells him he needs him, he snaps out of his trance and starts helping the Winchesters again.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Misha Collins figured that, since Castiel's real voice is a Brown Note, his human voice should be noticeably deep. He made that decision when Castiel was planned to be a minor character; years later, he's starting to worry about medical problems.
  • Pretty Boy: Well, he's possessing one (seeing the real him would, y'know, burn your eyes out of your skull).
    Game show host: Mr. Trickster does not like Pretty Boy angels!
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Tends to make a wide-eyed and pleading expression with a matching head tilt, particularly when he's confused by something, from his very first appearance.

     Q-T 
  • Quizzical Tilt: A sign of him trying to understand the weirdness of life on Earth.
  • Rebel Leader: His role in Heaven in Season 6 against Raphael.
  • Rebellious Spirit: In "The Great Escapist," Naomi expresses her frustration that from the day he was created, he's never followed orders.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Twice subverted. He sacrifices himself in the fourth season finale to try to help stop the Apocalypse when he'd been Brainwashed and Crazy into helping bring it on, but is resurrected by God in the next episode. Then he absorbs Purgatory's souls and goes all A God Am I at the end of the sixth season finale, slaughtering those he deems as evil or disloyal to him, and seemingly gets killed from within by Leviathans right after he has a Heel Realization, only for it to later be revealed that he survived. Actually subverted and played with quite a bit when you think about it. Castiel's first death technically is a straight Redemption Equals Death moment; he redeemed himself by dying for Free Will, and God resurrected him because Dean and Sam would need him later. The second time God resurrects him as a reward for his death against Lucifer. The third time, however, God resurrects him as a punishment because Redemption Doesn't Equal Death and he wanted Castiel to live and deal with what he had done rather than dying and getting out of it.
  • Semi-Divine: In Season 5, after rebelling against Heaven to help the Winchesters save the world from the upcoming Apocalypse, he steadily loses his divine power until he's basically human by the end of the season.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He must like that suit given how many times he has to rebuild his body.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Cas has been through a lot of wars.
  • Shirtless Scene: In a laundromat in the Season 9 opener.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Non-heterosexual example, but Castiel explains that the reason he fell for Dean was because of Dean's caring heart.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: As an angel, Castiel is an extremely powerful being. However, his lack of experience with humanity makes him very gullible and easily manipulated by anyone who is not obviously evil such as Metatron who tricked Cas into helping him eject all the angels from Heaven.
  • Slasher Smile: Oh boy. Happens twice in the premiere of Season 7, once before he starts a massacre, then again to show that, yes, Castiel is pretty much gone. Though it's implied in that first case — and outright stated in the second — that it was the Leviathans doing the smiling.
  • The Sleepless: Castiel has implied many times that he does not sleep. He is an angel after all.
  • Someone Has to Die: A non-lethal variation in which Castiel decides to make amends for busting Sam's wall by absorbing his Hell memories into himself, restoring Sam's sanity and ending up in the nuthouse as a result. Well, you break it, you buy it...
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Sometimes lapses into this due to the combination of his somewhat formal speech patterns with the slang he's picked up from hanging around on Earth. Especially noticeable when he's angry or provoked.
    Raphael: Castiel, I'm warning you. Do not leave me here. I will find you.
    Castiel: Maybe one day. But today, you're my little bitch.
  • Spanner in the Works: Described as such word-for-word by Naomi in 8x21.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • "Cas" or "Cass"? Fandom overwhelmingly prefers "Cas," but the production materials (scripts, episode subtitles, etc.) suggest that "Cass" is canonical.
    • "Castiel" is not a real angelic name, but is frequently presumed to be a variant of "Cassiel" or its own myriad other spellings.
  • The Spock: Highly cold and formal to contrast with the more hot-tempered Dean and in-between Sam.
  • Spock Speak: Tends to speak in very technical terms, but he starts acting more human as he gets more Character Development.
  • The Starscream: Offers to work with Crowley in Season 6, only to betray him for his own ends.
  • Straight Man: He takes the deadpan shtick to a whole new level because he usually has no clue what the joke is or that there even is one, which makes him come off just as hilarious as Dean. Highlighted by having Zachariah's Bizarro future version of him be mucho mellow.
    Dean: Are you...stoned?
    Castiel: Generally, yeah.
  • The Strategist: Often relies on his military/tactical intelligence as much as his physical strength and powers, allowing him to scheme his way out of many a sticky situation where brute force just isn't enough.
    (when discussing his plan to find God): This is not a theological issue. It's strategic.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Being the only angel hanging around the human protagonists, Castiel is consistently subjected to this, most of time in order to let the Winchesters shine and keep the plot from being resolved too easily.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He begins the series very cold and aloof, switching between cuddly devotion to his siblings and an uptight seriousness made even more uncomfortable by his complete lack of social skills. While he still remains formal and professional, as he spends more time around the Winchesters and Character Development kicks in, he learns to become more openly expressive to others, too.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: While Death Is Cheap on Supernatural, Cas stands out for dying a whopping eight times, nearly as many as Sam and Deannote  despite appearing in fewer than half as many episodes as them.
  • Time Abyss: Remembers when the first fish walked on land, making him at least hundreds of millions of years old.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Literally, when he is brought back "new and improved" by God in the Season 5 finale. It was likely this point that he was upgraded from mere angel to seraph.
  • Torture Technician: In "Mommy Dearest" he mercilessly tortures one of Eve's hybrids (off-screen), without even having the use of his powers, and manages to extract the necessary information in all of about five seconds. Then, in the Season 6 finale, it's revealed that he tortured Eleanor Visyak to death, indicating that he's an even better "interrogator" than Crowley. It's also implied that he was involved in torturing the monsters taken prisoner by himself and Crowley for information on Purgatory's whereabouts in the same season. In the Season 8 episode "Goodbye Stranger," we actually get to see him in action torturing demons for the location of the angel tablet, and it's brutal.
  • Tragic Hero: Begins pretty much as soon as he shows up, and reaches completion in "The Man Who Would Be King," which intentionally presents him as such, even identifying the Fatal Flaw of Pride and showing nearly all of his slide into darkness.
    Castiel: That's everything. I believe it's what you'd call a tragedy, from the human perspective.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Castiel becomes an amnesiac after coming back from his seeming death in Season 7.
  • Trenchcoat Brigade: Castiel was influenced by John Constantine's image. Though he's not British and doesn't smoke (as far as we know), he does wear a trenchcoat and is morally dubious, even though he's an angel.

     U-Z 
  • The Unfettered:
    • Once Castiel commits himself to a particular course of action, he's willing to do whatever it takes to see it through, even if it means risking his own life and sanity, betraying his friends and crossing the Moral Event Horizon multiple times.
    • That changed after he became human. By his own admission, his old self would have killed Sam to extract Gadreel's grace, but instead he stops and tells Sam nothing is worth losing him.
  • Unkempt Beauty: The stubble, wind-blown hair, loose tie, and hobo trenchcoat shouldn't be that attractive, but on Cas, it works, so much so that he's right up there with Dean as the most fetishized character in the fandom.
  • Unexplained Recovery: His Heroic Sacrifice in 15x18 leaves him trapped in The Empty, which is established as nigh-impossible to escape, for all eternity, but only two episodes later in the finale he is inexplicably said to be in Heaven (albeit offscreen), without any explanation given. Though given that he's the adoptive father of the new God, and it was established before that God can resurrect people from the Empty, Jack likely pulled some strings.
  • Villain Protagonist: In Season 6. He comes to his senses in the Season 7 premiere.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the character's first appearances at the start of Season 4, his voice is much cleaner and only sounds slightly deeper and growlier than Misha's normal voice (as he hadn't decided exactly how to do it yet.) Misha has also made no secret of admitting doing Castiel's voice is absolute hell on his throat.
  • We Have Reserves: Crosses over with Fridge Horror. In the Season 6 finale, Castiel backstabs Crowley and sends him away. When Crowley returns with Raphael in an Enemy Mine situation, he forces Castiel to leave, taking the Real!Blood with him. They discover too late that Castiel swapped the blood beforehand. However, this meant Castiel knew Crowley would return with a vengeance, and still put up his fellow angels as guards in the warehouse. He knowingly sacrificed his own men in his bid to become God. A far cry from when he tried to teach angels free will.
  • Weak to Magic: Castiel is impervious to nearly everything on Earth. However, in Season 10, when Rowena casts a spell on him, we find out that even angels are effected negatively by magic. This is likely because witches are believed to draw their powers from an unholy covenant with a demon. When cast upon a holy vessel, the grace of an angel and the evil taint of sorcery fight for supremacy. Across multiple episodes, Castiel is visibly, physically distressed, even having seizures and crying blood tears as his grace fights to expel the tainted magic from his vessel.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Definitely. Time and time again, Castiel has sacrificed himself, made painful decisions and gone off the deep end in his quest to fulfill God's will. In fact, it's not until Joshua tells the brothers that God doesn't care enough to stop the Apocalypse that Castiel really begins to unravel.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: What he becomes in Season 6, in regards to the war in Heaven. He's willing to betray the Winchesters and team up with Crowley to stave off the Apocalypse.
  • Wham Line: Has delivered a few of these over the course of the series.
    • "I'm an angel of the Lord", though now It Was His Sled.
    • "I am your new God."
    • His entire confession of love to Dean in 15x18.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Throughout Season 4, he gets called out on his more amoral actions. The biggest are when Anna learns that he's freed Sam from demon-blood detox to allow him to break the final seal in "When the Levee Breaks" (leading to another What the Hell, Hero? when he gets her arrested by other angels after she confronts him about it, which results in her torture, Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and eventual death) and when Dean realizes that Castiel and the other angels are letting Lucifer rise so that they can kill him, rather than simply keep him locked up. Then in Season 6, Sam and Dean are appalled to learn that he's working with Crowley, lying and scheming behind the Winchesters' backs, ready to sacrifice human souls for his goal, and okay with changing history such that 50,000 people die horribly.
  • Will They or Won't They?:
    • With Meg throughout Seasons 5 to 8. When they first meet in Season 5, it seemed to some viewers that there was some serious sexual tension between the two. In Season 6, Meg kisses Castiel to steal his angel blade, and he returns the kiss. By that time, it is possible that there is an attraction between the two, although Castiel is confused by Dean's offer for some time alone with Meg. In Season 7, when Castiel ends up in a mental hospital after absorbing Sam's hell pain, Meg poses as a nurse to become Castiel's caretaker. Castiel expresses affection for Meg, even though he's not himself at the time. In Season 8, their relationship becomes more open as Meg admits to Castiel that she feels for him, and that she desires to have sex with him once the angel tablet is safe. Castiel thinks fondly of their "Pizza Man" kiss, but before he can respond to her offer of sex the two of them are interrupted by the Winchesters entering the room. The audience is left to wonder whether or not Castiel and Meg would have progressed their relationship further, since Crowley kills Meg in the same episode.
    • With Dean. Debatable since when — some fans will say right since the very beginning, others since Season 6 or the end of Season 7, and others since Season 8. As of 15x18, They Do. Well, kind of.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After absorbing the Purgatory souls and the Leviathans, he starts to go insane and start killing people at random.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Especially in Season 6, where he's given his own solo TV bumper and publicity stills alongside the Winchester brothers, despite having less than 50 minutes of screen-time throughout the entirety of the season.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: During his stint as Season 6's Big Bad and Season 7's Disc-One Final Boss.
  • The Worf Effect: Gets beat up quite a bit to elevate Alastair, the Archangels, and the Leviathans, or weakened by spells or the situation. See Drama-Preserving Handicap and Strong as They Need to Be.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A very rare heroic example.
    • In "The Third Man." Castiel tortures a child to figure out the location of the stolen holy weapons.
    • There's also his attempted murder of Jesse Turner, which he more than likely would have gone through with had he not been seriously outmatched by Jesse's power.
    • He also briefly possesses Claire Novak in "The Rapture" in order to save Sam, Dean, and the Novak family from demons. Jimmy Novak, Castiel's original vessel, described angel possession as being akin to "being strapped to a comet". Castiel only relinquishes Claire's body when Jimmy agrees to once again let Castiel possess his body.
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • After the averted Apocalypse and the deaths/imprisonments of the Archangels, Castiel finds himself going from a foot soldier (though one in charge of other angels like Uriel) to the acting "sheriff of Heaven," though he is challenged by Raphael, the only remaining Archangel.
    • Happens again in Season 9 when after killing Bartholomew, the leader of the rogue angel faction, Castiel finds himself in command of Bartholomew's followers.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Although in this case the outcome doesn't bring them together but the opposite, Castiel considers saving Dean and stopping Billie to be well worth the price of spending an eternity in The Empty.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Castiel is severely weakened just after escaping Purgatory, clearly tired-out by actions he can perform easily when at full power. This doesn't stop him from going Super Mode on Crowley to intimidate him into releasing Kevin.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Believing Castiel will likely die in the next day's battle, Dean takes him to a brothel. It doesn't work out as Dean had planned.
  • Your Days Are Numbered:
    • In Season 9, to get his powers back, he kills an angel and steals his grace. Later, we find out that the stolen grace is slowly killing him..
    • And now he's been recharged, but it's another stolen Grace and only a temporary solution.
    • He gets his own grace back midway through Season 10.
    • In Season 14, the ruler of the Empty comes for Jack but Castiel convinces it to take him instead. However, it tells Castiel it will only collect at some unknown point in the future when he is happy and thinks he is safe to further torture him. In the Season 15 episode "Despair", it collects on that promise after Castiel confesses his love to Dean.


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