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  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: In 3x08, the episode "A Very Supernatural Christmas", flashbacks had shown that Young!Sam had a dislike of Christmas because he felt Parental Abandonment and Parental Neglect from having a Disappeared Dad in John. Young!Sam had expected John to show up for Christmas so that they could celebrate the holidays as a family. He had even gotten a present fro John from Uncle Bobby, which was an amulet necklace. However, Sam ends up extremely disappointed when John doesn't show up for the holidays. Sam then finds out the reason for John's absence when he finds out that John is a hunter who hunts supernatural monsters. Sam had discovered that John, along with Dean, had been lying to him the whole time and had kept him in the dark about the hunting life, most likely to preserve Sam's innocence and to make sure that he stayed a child for a longer period of time. Sam found out that John had good reasons for not being there for Sam and Dean but he was clearly upset about it. Sam did end up having resentment towards John and realized that Dean was acting more like a father figure to him than John was. Sam finding out that John lied to him and neglected him during the holidays was what spurned the tension between Sam and John which would manage to get worse during Sam's teen, adolescent years. Sam's abandonment issues with John would culminate in the two constantly fighting and never getting along with Sam eventually becoming somewhat of an Antagonistic Offspring towards John and resenting him for all the times that he abandoned him and Dean when they were kids. However, Sam later on gains some perspective about John and he realizes that although he wasn't the perfect father, he did try the best he could.
  • Damaged Soul: In Season 6, once he gets his soul back. While a safeguard is in place to suppress the symptoms of a damaged soul, there's a possibility it might break down; he's already had one episode involving seizures and being overwhelmed with memories of hell, and when his soul was first returned, Castiel thought he might be comatose. It broke down, with nearly two centuries of being tortured in Hell flooding back (later fixed by Castiel).
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Since childhood, Sam's entire life has been nothing but darkness, tragedy and dysfunction. No wonder Sam wanted to get away from his family.
  • Darker and Edgier: As the series progressed, Sam became a much darker character and completely changed from the innocent, puppy-dog eyed, and overly empathetic Sam that we all know and love. Much of this has to do with Sam's dark destiny of being Lucifer's vessel.
  • Dark Messiah: In Season 4, Sam heads this way, fully expecting / intending to die killing Lilith and willing to shoot a few dogs to do so. In his arrogance, he doesn't realize he's played right into Lilith's hands until it's too late.
  • The Dark Side: After spending three seasons trying to avoid "going dark side", a demon blood-addicted Sam skids down the slippery slope after attacking and attempting to choke Dean following a failed intervention in which Dean called him a monster. Sam kills Lilith, therefore (inadvertently) starting the Apocalypse by freeing Lucifer.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: The demon blood he drinks in Season 4 seems to have an effect on his personality, though it isn't clear how big this effect is exactly.
  • Dating Catwoman: Has a "relationship" with Ruby, a demon, in Season 4. Dean and everyone around Sam strongly disapproved of Sam's relationship with Ruby and Dean repeatedly warned Sam to steer clear of Ruby.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Named for his maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell, who was killed by the yellow-eyed demon.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sam has his humorous and witty moments. Considering that Sam is The Stoic and also the Straight Man to Dean during comeding moments, his type of humour comes off as very dry and sarcastic. Often times, Sam can be very sarcastic and can engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat with Dean, making them come off as an old married couple. Sam also seems to become much more witty and sarcastic when he is under the influence of alcohol.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted twice. When Sam tries to make a deal with a crossroads demon in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" to save Dean's soul from Hell, even if it meant trading places with him, the demon flat-out refused, since Lilith had things exactly how she wanted them. Then later, when Crowley offers to stop killing the people Sam and Dean have saved if Sam agrees to stop the trials, Sam and Dean reluctantly agree and go to sign the contract, only for it to turn out to be a ruse for them to capture Crowley for the third trial.
  • Death by Sex: A Running Gag is that every woman that has sex with Sam must, by rule, die. Began with the Pilot, confirmed with Heart in which Sam is forced to kill the first woman he has brought himself to sleep with since his girlfriend's flaming death and in recent episodes seemingly subverted until we find out that it is actually a demon in a dead body, so she was already dead! Ruby should still be added to Sam's sex hit list, now that she's been skewered with her own knife. That leaves Sam's track record at three out of four! Subverted later in the season, when the next woman Sam has sex with experiences no karmic retribution whatsoever we are led to believe that she is the demon they're after, until it is discovered the real demon is the guy Dean is cosying up with.
  • Death Glare: Sam gives these to anyone whom he doesn’t like or doesn’t trust. Many people often refer to this as Sam’s “bitchface”.
  • Death Is Cheap: Sam, along with his brother, never stay dead for long.
  • Death Seeker: In Season 1, Sam was willing to die killing YED, and in Season 2, he wanted to be killed before his destiny could change him. Sam's entire Season 4 arc was suicidal, as was Season 5, which ended with Sam jumping into Hell's solitary confinement to take Lucifer with him.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • Played Straight at the end of Season 4 in regards to Lilith. Lilith is known to be one of the most deadly, dangerous and powerful demons in existence. Defeating her is almost near impossible because of how powerful she is. However, Sam became so strong and powerful because he had spent months training and strengthening his powers with Ruby so that he would finally be able to defeat Lilith once and for all. In the Season 4 Finale, Sam does what seemed to be the impossible which was finally kill Lilith with the use of his powers, something that he's been on a mission to do for months. Unfortunately for Sam, killing Lilith ended up having dire consequences for Sam and the rest of the world as killing Lilith resulted in unleashing Lucifer upon the world and starting the Apocalypse.
    • Again, in Season 5 when it seems impossible to stop Lucifer and the Apocalypse from happening. After Lucifer is unleashed upon the world after Sam makes a mistake by killing Lilith and breaking the final seal, it seems that it's inevitable that the the end of the world is bound to happen. It appeared as fi the only way to defeat Lucifer and stop him from destroying earth is for Dean to say yes to being possessed by Michael so that he could defeat Lucifer. But the downside of this plan was that not only was it a suicide mission for Dean because he had gone through a Despair Event Horizon, but it Dean being possessed by Michael and battling against Lucifer would result in nearly half the world's population dying all in order to earn Paradise on Earth. Sam, on the other hand, felt that this kind of plan was not an option because he would cause the obliteration of nearly half the world's population. Sam came up with an alternate plan of defeating Lucifer and that was for him to say Yes to being possessed by Lucifer at the risk that he would start the Apocalypse while being possessed in his body and fighting with his brother Michael which would cause just as much destruction and damage to Earth. In the Season 5 finale, Sam successfully defeats Lucifer by jumping into Hell while possessed by Lucifer, dragging Michael who was possessing Adam, and sealing both in Lucifer's Cage. For all of Season 5, it seemed almost impossible to stop Lucifer from starting the Apocalypse and bringing about the end of the world, but Sam and his plan was able to successfully stop Lucifer.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • Sam was possessed by Meg in Season 2. While possessed by Meg he did many out of character things such as killing an innocent hunter, smoking menthol cigarettes, drinking heavily, abandoning Dean at a motel after knocking him unconscious, attacking and almost raping Jo, attempting to kill Jo, shooting Dean in the shoulder and beating Dean to a bloody pulp.
    • Symbiotic Possession: Sam was possessed again in beginning of Season 9. Dean has Ezekiel, an angel, possess Sam after Sam had fallen into a coma after getting very sick from completing the Trials Of God. the reason for this possession is so that Ezekiel can heal Sam from the inside as according to Castiel, Sam is so internally damaged that it might be beyond repair. Sam is unaware of the fact that he is being possessed by an angel so he ends up being taken over by the angel and he ends up losing track of time and suffers from a loss of memory. Sam does eventually find out about Dean having an angel possess him without his true consent and let's just say that Sam does not take it well at all. Considering that Sam has a history of being possessed by demons and other supernatural beings against his will, it is understandable why Sam would be angry at the prospect of Dean having an angel possess, even though Dean only had good intentions of saving Sam.
  • Demon Slayer: Comes with being a Hunter of Monsters. Sam primarily hunts and slays demons for a living as a hunter. Despite demons being the main monster that he hunts, he does hunt other supernatural beings and creatures as well such as vampires, ghouls, and shape shifters for example.
  • The Descendants of Cain: Sam is descended from Cain and Abel, as the Winchester bloodline is descended from them. Because they are descended from Cain and Abel, the Winchester bloodline is the only bloodline who can be used as true vessels for Archangel Michael and Archangel Lucifer.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Played Straight and HOW! Sam has gone through so many times when he has felt hopeless and like he should give up on life because of it. In Season 1, Sam grows hopeless and becomes extremely depressed after Jessica dies. He loses all hope that his life will ever go back to being normal ever again because of the fact that his girlfriend was brutally murdered. Because of her death, Sam ends up suffering from seriously PTSD and major Survivor's Guilt feeling that its his fault that Jessica is dead. Out of fear, Sam ends up distancing himself from everyone including Dean. It takes Sam going on a revenge mission to kill the demon that killed both his mother and Jessica to snap him out of his hopelessness. Unfortunately for him, this is only the beginning of Sam's hopeless moments in the show.
    • In Season 2, Sam becomes hopeless about the fact that he's going to become evil and turn to The Dark Side. He feels that his fate and his destiny is inevitable and there's nothing that can be done to stop it. She he finds out that his father Josh had told Dean that he needed to kill Sam if he ever turned bad before he died, Sam gave up on caring about whether he would give into his dark side. Instead, he was actually getting Dean to promise that if he ever became something that he didn't want to be, that he wants Dean to live up to the promise that he made to Dad and to kill him. Throughout Season 2, Sam also grows into despair feeling like if he can't save people like a hunter should, then he might has well become evil like he's meant to be.
    • In Season 3, his hopelessness increases when he finds out that Dean had sold his soul so that he could bring Sam back from the dead. Desperate to save his brother, he was willing to go to some morally questionable ends to try to find a way out of Dean's deal. He finds out that if he tries to find a way around Dean's deal, then the deal will be null and void and Sam would just end up dropping dead anyways. Dean being Dean simply couldn't have that so he tried to stop Sam from trying to find a way to break the deal. As the season goes on, Sam becomes significantly more discouraged and with that he becomes Darker and Edgier. Sam becomes more ruthless and cold in nature in comparison to before. Dean starts to show concern for Sam's behavior and personality change, but Dean realizes that no matter what, there's nothing that he can do to stop Sam from becoming a dark person especially once he dies and goes to Hell. Sam's desperation in saving his brother is showcased in 3x11 ("Mystery Spot") when he experiences Dean's death repeatedly by the Tricker (Gabriel) putting Sam in a time loop so that he could teach Sam a lesson that his mission in trying to save Dean is nothing but destructive. Towards the end of the season, Sam grows more and more hopeless that he can save Dean. Unfortunately for Sam, he fails at trying to save Dean from dying and going to Hell and Dean ends up dying and being killed by Hellhounds. Sam ends up suffering majorly because of it which in turn causes a major change in his personality.
    • In the flashbacks that were shown in Season 4 after Dean went to Hell, Sam was shown to be Driven to Suicide and was overwhelmed with a combination or grief and Survivor's Guilt. Sam felt responsible for Dean going to Hell in the first place because he was the one who died and Dean traded his life for Sam's. Sam was so hopeless that he didn't care whether he lived or died trying to find and kill Lilith so that he could avenge Dean's death. Even after Dean was resurrected and brought back to life, Sam was still vengeful and wanted to kill Lilith which was why he was strengthening his powers. According to the flashbacks, the major reason why Sam trusted Ruby so much and became so dependent on her was because she was there for him as an emotional support after Dean died. Sam said that he learned to respect and trust Ruby with his life because she's the one that saved his life and if it wasn't for her, he wouldn't be alive. The fact that he was so suicidal and didn't care whether he lived or died showed exactly how much despair and pain Sam was in because of Dean dying for him and going to hell.
    • In Season 7, he ends up becoming mentally ill after Castiel breaks his wall which prevented Sam from reliving his worst moments in Hell. As his mental illness becomes worse and worse, he starts to feel like he's a burden to Dean and that he would rather die than suffer anymore of listening to Lucifer 24/7. In 7x17 ("The Born Identity"), Sam ends up in a psychiatric hospital after being hit by a car and suffering from serious insomnia in which he hasn't slept in a week. The doctors tell Dean that he's so mentally ill that he had to be administered to the ward for psychotic patients who posed a dangerous threat to others. Dean offered to get Sam help and find a cure for his mental health issues, but Sam was so exhausted and tired of it all that he was resigned to dying. Sam told Dean that he was warned about this when he decided to put Sam's soul back in him and the wall would eventually come down. His hope in returning back to normal is revived with the return of Castiel when he decides to make amends by taking on his Hells trauma and ending up in the hospital in Sam's place while he cures Sam in exchange. His hopeful attitude doesn't last long though as at the end of the season, everyone that he loves and knows, including Dean, Castiel, and Kevin all vanish unexpectedly and he ends up completely alone.
    • In the flashbacks during Season 8, Sam spent an entire year suffering from PTSD and running away from the fact that Dean was gone and couldn't do anything to find him because he had no leads to help him. It seemed as though Sam did everything to escape reality and didn't want to admit the fact that Dean was gone. When Dean returned from Purgatory, Sam was so tired of the hunting life that he wanted to quit for good because of the fact that he had found the normal life that he so badly desired after so long of not having it. He couldn't adjust to the hunting life the way Dean had because he had spent his year in Purgatory basically hunting monsters. Sam's life ends up in turmoil again once he ends up being the one to do the Trials of God, which causes him to become seriously ill and sick. He becomes so worn down and ill at the end that he is okay with dying to complete the trials. Sam is so suicidal that he confesses to Dean that he doesn't care if he dies completing the trials because he's so tired of constantly letting Dean down and being nothing but a disappointment to him. Dean, of course, tries to talk Sam out of killing himself and completing the trials because he wants Sam to live. Once Dean convinces Sam that he's worth it, Sam stops doing the trials. Unfortunately, Sam is so internally damaged, ill and weakened that he ends up falling into a coma which carries on into the beginning of Season 9.
    • At the beginning of Season 9, Sam is so apathetic about living and accepts his fate to die. Once he meets with Death, he tells him that if he goes with him that he wants his death to be final so that nobody can reverse his deal by making any deals of any kind and that nobody will end up suffering or getting hurt because of him. Unfortunately for him, Dean ends up overriding Sam's wishes to die and pass on to find peace because he couldn't live without him. Instead, Dean decided to violate his brother in the worst way imaginable by allowing an angel to possess Sam without his actual knowledge and his true consent. Sam eventually starts to piece together that something is wrong with him because of the fact that other monsters are telling Sam that he's still so internally damaged and they don't understand how he's still alive or even standing upright. He also notices how he's missing time as Gadreel was also erasing his memories or taking over Sam at the time. Once Sam starts to feel that something is wrong, he confesses to Dean that he feels that he'll never be normal or alright. that he'll always be a freak and that it's just the way he is. Dean, wracked with guilt for allowing the possession and lying to him about it out of fear, wants to tell Sam about the possession because he deserved to know the truth about it but Gadreel prevents Dean from telling Sam the truth (because the angel had an alternative motive which was not very good). Once Sam does find out about being possessed and about being betrayed by Dean, he loses faith and trust in his brother. He emotionally distances himself from Dean out of anger and frustration. It takes Dean dying at the end for Sam to reunite their brotherhood once again, but it's short lived because Dean dies and becomes a demon.
  • Destructive Romance: Although it's brotherly/fraternal love, his relationship with Dean is this. Although Sam and Dean deeply and strongly love each other, it is very clear that they have a very messed up, dysfunctional, and highly codependent relationship. The two simply cannot live, cope or function without each other and are willing to cross moral lines or go to the ultimate extreme in order to keep each other alive. This gets called out occasionally by other characters on the show. Most notably in Sam's case was the Trickster in Season 3 trying to force Sam to accept Dean's death in Mystery Spot. He only succeeded in making Sam more determined in saving his brother from dying.
  • The Determinator: Played Straight and even Exaggerated depending on the situation or person. Sam is extremely ambitious, driven and determined. When he has a set goal or agenda that he wishes to achieve or complete, he NEVER gives up and will go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals.
  • Determined Defeatist: For someone who has had such a horrible life along with having a lot of self esteem issues, Sam sure is one determined individual. Even when things seem hopeless, Sam always believes that everything will end up turning out right in the end. It’s normally the case when everyone else around him feel just as hopeless or more hopeless than he does that Sam tries to get everyone to see that there is always a way to solve and fix things. An example of this was in Season 5 when the Apocalypse was happening. While Dean, Castiel, and Bobby felt hopeless about stopping the Apocalypse, Sam was the last member of Team Free Will who actually had hope and had a plan of stopping the world from ending. And he even ended up succeeding, despite everyone believing that it couldn’t be done. Another example was in Season 11 when it came to defeating Amara (The Darkness). Everyone, including Dean, God, Crowley, and Rowena, were feeling utterly hopeless to put an end to the destruction that Amara was causing. Sam was the only one who expressed optimism and belief that Amara could be stopped. If it weren’t for Sam in both instances, the world would have ended both times.
  • Devoted to You: Played Straight. Dean has made it clear that Sam will always be his top priority. He is willing to give up his chance at having a decent normal life, including having a love life, in order to be with Sam. Dean has shown that he has never willingly chosen a woman over Sam, unless Sam had pushed for Dean to pursue a relationship with someone. Such as at the end of Season Five when Sam told Dean to go find Lisa and Ben and live a happy, normal life with her once he goes to Hell. Once Sam comes back from Hell, Dean ends up leaving Lisa and Ben to join Sam again.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Sam is stabbed in the back severing his spinal cord as he and Dean are reunited at the end of the penultimate episode of Season 2. Sam dies in his arms, but Dean makes a deal with a demon to bring Sam back. Actually subverts the usual form of this trope in that Sam doesn't get a chance to say goodbye or really anything at all—he just gets stabbed in the back, falls down, looks vaguely unfocused, and dies. He barely seems to register Dean's presence.
  • Dirty Business: In Seasons 4 and 5, every time Sam drinks demon blood to fuel or strengthen his demon powers, he looks at it this way. It's understandable why Sam feels this way since he's been shamed frequently by both Chuck and Dean for drinking the blood.
  • Disney Death: In the Season 2 Finale, Sam is brought back from the dead after Dean makes a deal with a crossroad demon to bring him back. Also in the Season 5 finale, when Sam apparently dies when he sacrifices himself by jumping into the pit. By the end of the episode, however, God brings Castiel back, Castiel resurrects Bobby and then, right before the credits, we see Sam is back from the dead, too... The Soulless without his soul.
  • Distressed Dude: Sam may do his fair share of saving lives including Dean's, but Sam is often the object of being captured, tied up and tortured and someone always has to rescue him as a result, namely Dean.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Downplayed. Sam has never gone by his full first name which is Samuel. In a Season 11 episode (Baby), Dean mockingly and humourously refers to Sam as Samuel for the first time on the show and Sam immediately corrects him, which insinuates that Sam is not a huge fan of being called by his full first name. Rowena has consistently referred to him as Samuel, and unlike with Dean, has never made any effort to correct her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Sam is sick or weakened, Sam's constant response to everyone, most notably Dean, is "I'm fine", even if it's so obvious that he is far from fine. It seems that Sam hates being overprotected, babied and coddled. Probably because he grew up with people doing it to him on a constant basis.
  • Doom Magnet: OH DEAR. Sam never seems to catch a break and trouble never seems to stop following him around. Out of all of the characters on the show, it seems that Sam has or has had the most bad luck. Sam has suffered it all. Sam's mother, Mary, died when he was 6 mos. old due to the YED killing her by cutting her stomach open and setting her on fire above his crib. Sam had parental/abandonment issues with his father, John causing the two to constantly clash. He was fed demon blood by Azazel/YED against his will and given superhuman abilities which at one point, he had zero control over. He was forced into a life of doom and gloom (hunting) by having to abandon his normal life. Sam's true love and girlfriend Jess was killed by YED in the same way his mother, Mary was killed when Sam was six months old (by being cut open in the stomach and being set on fire on the ceiling). He constantly loses Dean when Dean dies repeatedly throughout the series. He feels extreme guilt about his father's death, feeling guilty that he hated him when he died. Sam loses Dean after Sam watches Dean get shredded to death by hellhound dogs and Dean goes to Hell afterwards. He becomes a demon blood junkie in Season 4 in order to strengthen his superhuman abilities. Ruby ends up double crossing, manipulating and tricking Sam at the end of season four, with Ruby using Sam to release Lucifer. All of the women that Sam has been romantically involved with end up dying afterwards; Sam discovers that he's the vessel for Lucifer; Sam throws himself in the pit as Lucifer and sacrifices himself to save the world. As a result of throwing himself in the pit, Sam ends up enduring over 120 years of torture in the worst part of Lucifer's cage. When Castiel brings Sam back from the cage, Sam is brought back soulless. When Sam gets his soul back, he has to have a special wall put in his mind in order to prevent him from revisiting severe trauma that he experienced in Hell. Sam's wall eventually starts to crack, but completely breaks when Castiel destroys Sam's wall in his head. As a result of Sam's wall breaking, Sam begins to hallucinate and sees Lucifer as well as remembering his most traumatic experiences of torture in Hell. Sam almost dies as a result of the wall in his head completely deteriorating; he ends up in a mental hospital eventually. Sam loses Dean again at the end of Season 7, when Dean (and Castiel) end up trapped in Purgatory. Sam goes on for a whole year thinking that Dean is dead. In Season 8, Sam becomes extremely ill as he is completing the Trials of God, which would close the gates of Hell forever; Sam gets so sick that he ends up in a coma in the beginning of Season 9; Sam ends up having his free will and his body violated when his own brother tricks him into being possessed by an unknown angel (named Gadreel), just so that Dean could keep Sam alive; Sam is lied to by Dean about being possessed by an angel for months and ends up having zero control over his own body and his own actions when Gadreel takes over. Gadreel ends up killing Kevin in Sam's body against his will. Sam finds out that his brother lied to him for months about Gadreel and developed survivor's guilt over Kevin's death and finally, Dean ends up dying on Sam again and is turned into the one thing he loathes and hunts for a living, which is a demon.
  • The Drag-Along: Especially in Season 1, when Sam was hesitant to join Dean to look for their father in the Pilot. Which is understandable considering that Sam had left home to pursue an education in law at Stanford University and had gotten far away from the family business of hunting. Sam didn’t show much of a passion for hunting and even stated that after he found Dad and the Yellow Eyed Demon, he wanted to go back to his normal life and be a person again. Dean would often have to convince Sam to go out on a hunt. Sam had even mentioned to Meg that he felt that Dean treated him like luggage by dragging him every across the country.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The symptoms, especially the coughing up of blood, of Sam's illness due to the Trials of God.
  • Dramatic Sit-Down: Sam sits on the floor and stares on in horror after he realized that by killing Lilith, he set Lucifer free. Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
  • The Dreaded: When Sam is himself, he's already pretty badass in his own right, but when he's soulless? He's scarier and more intimidating than Dean. Understandably so, considering that when Sam was a sociopathic Ax-Crazy Blood Knight who showed no guilt or remorse for killing. Sam went as far as to let Dean get turned into a vampire on purpose (and even smirked about it!) just so he could track down a vampire nest. And he also attempted to kill Bobby (his surrogate father) with an axe. It's safe to say that when Sam was soulless, he was just as scary and intimidating as the most dangerous and threatening villains.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Related to his psychic visions and the premonitions he had about the future during the course of the first two seasons.
  • The Drifter: Played Straight. Sam is a hunter for a living, therefore, he never settles in one place for too long and he travels across the country on hunting missions. It was why he had a very hard time settling into the bunker in Season 9 because he has always felt that he never had a place to really call his home. Not just because he's a hunter, but because every time that Sam has tried to build a home for himself, it hasn't turned out well for him.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Like Dean, Sam has had his fair share of suicidal moments throughout the series. In the Season 1 episode "Salvation" (1x22) when Sam is so willing to sacrifice himself so that he can finally get his revenge and kill the YED and, in an I Cannot Self-Terminate moment, "Playthings" (2x11) when he makes Dean promise to kill him if he ever becomes evil or succumbs to his dark side. Granted, Sam was drunk and under the influence of alcohol when he made Dean promise to kill him.
    • Another for Sam would be the angst-filled, additional I Cannot Self-Terminate in "When the Levee Breaks" (4x21). In the finale of Season 4, Sam doesn't believe he will—or want to—survive either.
    • Sam at the end of Season 5 (with Dean and Bobby's reluctant approval!) in "Swan Song" (unless deliberately planning on jumping into Hell is seen as anything other than suicide).
    • In Season 7, this seems to be where Sam's hallucinations are trying to push him — in "Hello, Cruel World", Lucifer suggests it three times.
    • At the end of Season 8, Sam is ill and worn down by the Trials, but most of all is convinced he's an utter failure to Dean and doesn't want to abandon the Trials, even if they kill him, because he doesn't want to disappoint him again.
    • Briefly in Season 9, after Sam learns of the Gadreel possession and that Kevin died at his hands, he is willing to die as part of a slim-chance procedure to track the now-missing Gadreel, insisting that he shouldn't have lived and that his life isn't worth any more than anyone else's.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • Sam in the episode Playthings (2x11). Sam feels guilty for not saving the guy who ended up being murdered and therefore, it drives him to drink and get wasted. A drunken Sam then tells Dean that he should have saved the guy because it could prevented him from going farther and farther to the dark side. Sam also tells Dean and makes Dean promise that if he (Sam) goes too far into darkness, that he (Dean) has to kill him, which was what John had told Dean after John had sold his soul.
    • In Season 4, we see in a flashback that while Dean was in Hell, Sam drank himself almost into a stupor before trying to trade his own soul for Dean's. Later on, booze got switched out for demon blood
    • Again at the end of Season 9, after Dean has died and Sam is preparing to either make a deal with Crowley to bring him back or kill Crowley painfully- it's never made clear.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: In Season 4, Sam became obsessed with using his demon abilities. Although he originally used them with good intentions (using them to exorcise demons out of human hosts instead of using the knife to kill both the demon and the human), Sam's addiction to using his powers were primarily driven by revenge and anger towards Lilith. As Season 4 progressed, Sam became highly drunk on the power that came along with using his abilities and it ended up costing himself and everyone around him much suffering, pain and tragedy, simply because Sam didn't listen.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sam has done alot of heroic deeds by being a hunter and saving many lives along the way. He's even made a Heroic Sacrifice by sacrificing himself in order to avert the Apocalypse. Does Sam ever get any recognition for doing so and being a hero? Instead of getting recognition and respect for his contributions for saving the entire world, Sam is repeatedly put down and blamed for all of his mistakes and is constantly being told that he alone is responsible for the Apocalypse happening. Even though Dean was just as responsible for the whole thing happening because Dean was the one who broke the first seal. Sam is also constantly disrespected in that his wishes and choices are never respected by Dean or other people and his opinions are often disregarded by Dean. In Season 5, Sam points out to Dean that the reason why he went with Ruby was to get away from Dean's controlling behaviour towards him. Sam said that he takes full responsiblity for all the mistakes he made but he wants respect from Dean and to work on his relationship with Dean being more equal and understanding.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Whenever Sam gets upset or angry, his eyes start to become dull and crazy. And when they do, you better watch out and get out of the way! His eyes would also become like this whenever he was angry and had the intentions of using his mind exorcising ability on an obnoxious, smart ass demon who was spouting off things that would upset him. If Sam's eyes are ever like this, then it's a seriously wise idea to back away from him because it won't be pretty!
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In the epic Season 5 Finale, Sam looks at Dean lovingly after he takes back control of his body while being possessed by Lucifer. Sam is then confronted by Michael (in Adam's body) in which Michael tells Lucifer as Sam that it isn't going to end this way and that it is his (Michael) destiny to fight Lucifer. Sam then raises his arms up (which represents the symbolism of Jesus Christ on the cross dying sacrificially for his sins), preparing to take the fall in the hole and sacrifice himself in order to prevent a colossal, catastrophic, world-ending fight from taking place between Lucifer and Michael. Sam as Lucifer then jumps in the pit, bringing Adam as Michael along with him. Talk about the ultimate heroic sacrifice of the series by far.
  • Dynamic Character: Played Straight. Sam goes from a naive, idealistic and optimistic person to a much darker, edgier, tougher and stronger individual who becomes more pragmatic and realistic in his thinking. This is due to all of the significant ups and downs that Sam has gone through over the series that has managed to change Sam as an individual from who he originally was at the very start of the series in The Pilot episode.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Subverted. Dean often refers to Sam as "Sammy", although there are other characters who have called him Sammy as well (such as John and Ruby). Sam would often complain to Dean in the earlier seasons about being called Sammy and would commonly correct Dean by telling him to call him Sam instead. Sam stated that he hated the nickname because it's a nickname for a chubby little kid. However, despite his earlier protests of being referred to by that nickname, Sam eventually accepts it as an Affectionate Nickname by Dean. He even tells others openly that Dean is pretty much the only one who he is comfortable with using that nickname for him.
  • Emo Teen: Played Straight. Sam was a very moody and angsty teen. He was The Runaway who often tried to escape his dysfunctional family life by running away to places such as Flagstaff so that he can be alone and away from his troubled family. He was also incredibly brooding because of the fact that he desired a normal life and he couldn't achieve it with the kind of life that his family led.
  • Emotionless Boy: Played Straight and Justified for the first half of Season 6. Considering that Sam was without a soul and therefore, he didn't have the ability to feel any emotions such as sadness, concern, compassion, guilt, empathy or sympathy, it makes sense why he would be The Stoic. Not even Dean was enough to bring out any kind of emotion in Sam. The only emotion that Sam seemed to show was either anger or worry. Sam showed that he was worried about the prospect of getting his soul back because he knew how damaging it would be and what the downfalls of getting his soul back were (paralysis, hallucinations, severe psychosis, coma, etc).
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Sam spends half of Season 6 without his soul, which basically means that he's cold, logical, rational and highly efficient as a hunter without any nasty emotions to hamper him on the job. Oh and he also shoots innocent hostages, tries to kill Bobby and lets his brother be turned into a vampire.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: After drinking tons of demon blood and again after he loses his soul. Sam shifts into this in Seasons 4 and 5 when he starts gaining direct control over his psychic abilities. Sam had powerful psychic abilities in the earlier seasons which caused him to have premonitions. In Season 4, he is able to exorcise demons out of human hosts with the use of his mind and at the end of the season, he is strong enough to be able to kill demons with his mind. However, Sam eventually abandons his powers and returns to being a Badass Normal.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite Sam's original distrust of Benny (and for good reason), he keeps Bobby from stabbing Benny and acknowledges that Benny has been a good friend to Dean. By that time, Sam is willing to help Benny get out of Purgatory but Benny ends up sacrificing himself by using himself as bait so that he can save Sam and Bobby and get them out of Purgatory safely.
  • Erotic Dream: Sam has one of these featuring Bela, and is very flustered when he figures out who he's been dreaming about (after waking up with an extremely dopey grin on his face). His face wasn't the only thing grinning. No joke, this is actually referenced when Dean calls him over as he's waking up. Sam starts to rise, then glances down and hesitates, using a stretch to cover for his... awkwardness. He's even more flustered and awkward when Bela shows up shortly after to talk with him and Dean.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Played Straight in Season 9. Sam felt extremely betrayed when he found out that Dean had allowed a psycho angel named Gadreel to possess him without his true consent. He was angry and betrayed by Dena because Dean had known that Sam would never say yes to being possessed by anything but chose to override his free will and his autonomy by tricking him into being possessed. As a result of Dean's betrayal, Sam basically ended up disowning Dean and emotionally distancing himself. It took Dean dying at the end of the season for Sam to fully forgive him for his betrayal.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Sam's hair or hairstyle has changed rather dramatically over the course of the series. The evolvement of Sam's hair is often a hot topic within fandom.
  • Expy:
    • According to the Word of God (Eric Kripke), Sam was modelled after Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. He's fits The Hero archetype who goes on a heroic journey and discovers his destiny is much larger and grander than he originally believed. Like Luke, Sam starts off as an ordinary college kid (Luke starts out as a regular Farm Boy) but his life ends up turning upside down due to a supernatural destiny. While Luke discovered that he was destined to be a powerful Jedi, Sam discovered that he was a Special Child who had a grand and dark destiny. Luke developed special Jedi abilities while Sam developed demonic abilities. The two of them became more and more powerful as Luke trained to be a Jedi while Sam trained his powers to get stronger. Both Luke and Sam have had a mentor figure to help them on their journey (Luke had Obi-Wan Kenobi while Sam had Ruby and Dean). Both Sam and Luke have been an Antagonistic Offspring to their respective fathers — John for Sam and Darth Vader for Luke. Both Sam and Luke had a Big Brother Mentor in Dean and Han respectively. Both Sam and Luke have been tempted by The Dark Side and have threatened to do a Face–Heel Turn. His journey also follows the Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey similar to Luke.
    • Anakin Skywalker 2.0, anyone? Even though it's been officially said by the creator that Sam and his character are modeled after Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, there has been a large portion of the fan base that think Sam is much more costly paralleled, comparable or similar to Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker (also known as Darth Vader). Both of them started out as regular kids who had a very dark destiny ahead of them. Both were special in some ways with Sam being a Special Child and Anakin being a Jedi. Both of them developed special powers and abilities with Sam developing demonic abilities such as telekinesis, premonitions, and exorcising demons with his mind and Anakin developing Jedi abilities such as telepathy, premonitions, and force senses. Both of them have become Drunk with Power and Drunk on the Dark Side because they were addicted to using their powers and had a desire to become stronger and more powerful. Both of them are the type to have a Revenge Before Reason mentality and they can be very revenge driven when they are crossed or wronged. Both Sam and Anakin have lost the loves of their lives with Sam losing Jessica in a fire and Anakin losing Padme during childbirth (and dying of a broken heart). Ironically, both Sam and Anakin were having premonitions about Jessica and Padme dying before it happened and failing to do anything successful to stop it from happening. As a result of Jessica and Padme dying, they both become incredibly anxious, depressed, ridden with self blame and self hatred for failing. Both of them became Darker and Edgier and the two of them also do a Face–Heel Turn (with Sam only doing a minor one and Anakin doing a full-fledged one). Both Sam and Anakin can only be saved through the use of The Power of Love. Both Sam and Anakin become "evil" due to love or the influence of love–Anakin became evil because he was trying to save Padme from dying, Sam became darker because he was trying to get revenge for Dean dying. Looking at their characters and their story arcs, Sam and Anakin are almost identical and they are pretty much the same character minus a few things.
  • Extreme Doormat: Although Sam was always the one to rebel against his father growing up and was the one who was the rebellious son between himself and Dean, Sam has noticeably regressed into becoming a very submissive person who lets Dean and other people walk all over him. Dean can yell at Sam, insult him, boss him around and even physically hit him and Sam just seems to take it without fighting back. Many fans notice the troubling change in Sam's personality where he went from being someone that used to stand up to everyone, including Dean and John, to someone who's so unrecognizable because he's become a subordinate and a walking doormat for Dean to take his anger and frustrations out on. Because of this, many fans feel that Sam needs to spend time away from Dean because of the toxic nature of their relationship.

     Tropes F-H 
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the Season 9 premiere, Sam faces Death, basically ready to die and go to The Other Side with him. Sam tells Death that if he goes with him, he would like his death to be final meaning stay dead for good, that he doesn't ever want to be brought back, that nobody can reverse his death, or that nobody will get hurt by trying to bring him back. It is evident that while exploring through Sam's mind throughout the episode, Sam seems to not fear death in any way but he actually seemed to be both accepting and fine with it. Considering all of the trauma, pain, loss, and tragedy that Sam has been through and endured for years, his feelings regarding the matter are completely justifiable and understandable even though it strongly goes against what Dean wants.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Downplayed in Season 4. Sam became a significantly darker character and his personality stated to change dramatically for the negative. He was using his powers without any sense of guilt thinking that he was using them to save people. Unfortunately for him, his powers are from an evil source (demons) and the power started to get to his head. He was so addicted to strengthening his powers that he became addicted to demon blood so that he could become stronger in order to stop Lilith and prevent the end of the world. He was also being manipulated and influenced by Ruby and was luring him to The Dark Side (which is exactly what Azazel, Lilith, and Lucifer all wanted for Sam in the first place). By the end of Season 4, Sam was hardly recognizable to the sweet, caring, kind, and compassionate Nice Guy who was an All-Loving Hero and Ideal Hero that was unrealistic and naive. Instead, Sam morphed into a dark, Ambiguously Evil character who became secretive, manipulative, Hot-Blooded, kill crazy, addictive and aggressive. By season's end, he had Took a Level in Jerkass and was completely unrecognizable due to the many morally questionable actions that he was doing. Fortunately for him, once he gets rid of Ruby's influence and is cleared of his demon blood addiction, he reverts back to his old self.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Subverted and Inverted. Sam was born human, but the fact that Sam was fed demon blood when he was six months old by Azazel made Sam turn out sort of monstrous later on in his life. Also, Azazel was manipulating Sam's entire life towards a destiny of darkness.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Sam fits this trope frequently throughout the series on various different occasions. The most notable one is when San failed to prevent Dean from going to Hell at the end of Season 3. Because of this, Sam ended up feeling like he failed and ended up harbouring guilt as a result.
  • Fallen Hero: Sam went from being an idealistic, naive, heroic and hopeful individual to a significantly darker, ruthless and cynical person overcome with a dark path or destiny (including being fed demon blood by YED, developing demonic psychic abilities, being manipulated by the demons, becoming addicted to demon blood, and being the destined one true vessel for Lucifer.
  • Fatal Attractor: Sam's love interests have included a kitsune (Amy), a werewolf (Madison), and a demon (Ruby), and those are just the ones confirmed to be supernatural. Dean uses this trope to deduce that the girl Sam is sexing up is the siren (presumed to be Cara at the time) making people kill their loved ones in 4x14. Suprisingly, Dean is wrong.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The end of Season 5 had Sam stuck in hell's solitary confinement with vengeful archangels Fallen Angel Lucifer and Michael torturing him creatively for five thousand years or so.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Played Straight during Season 6, when Sam was without a soul. Sam would appear polite, friendly and empathetic the way Sam normally is, but in actuality, he was very sociopathic and showed a strong Lack of Empathy, guilt, and compassion, even for Dean. It's understandable why Sam was this way considering that without a soul, Sam did not have the ability to feel any empathy or guilt for his actions. It was also revealed that Sam was so ruthless that he killed innocent people in the line of duty. Let's not forget that Sam let Dean get turned into a vampire and did absolutely nothing to stop it (all while giving a Psychotic Smirk) because he was strategically using his brother as bait to try to locate a vampire nest. Sam also feigned concern for Dean's condition as a vampire, pretending that he didn't get there on time to save him. While soulless, Sam gave off the impression that he was the kind, caring and empathetic person that he normally was, but he was anything but.
  • The Fettered: Although Sam has been morally gray or morally ambiguous in the past, Sam still has a strong conscience and morals and tries to do the right thing as much as possible.
  • Fighting from the Inside: At the end of Season 5 when Lucifer had overtaken Sam as a vessel, Sam used this trope to overcome and take control of Lucifer inside of him in order to prevent him from killing Dean and destroying the world. Because Sam was able to take control of Lucifer, he was able to open the pit, jump in and sacrifice himself to save the world.
  • Food Chain of Evil: Sam gains his power by feeding on demon blood.
  • Forced to Watch: During the third Season Finale, Sam was telekinetically restrained by Lilith, who planted a "Take That!" Kiss on him before siccing her Hellhound on Dean and making Sam watch Dean get ripped to shreds and Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic (also Choleric).
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Seasons 1 to 3: Sam is the Superego (intelligent, practical, logical) to Dean's Id (passionate, hot headed, reckless) and Bobby's Ego (mediator, mentor, balanced). Sam depended on his intelligence and using pragmatism to get the job done. He would often be the logical one of the trio and the one who consulted all of the research on the hunt. Dean would rely on using empathy and emotions during the hunt as well as his instinct. But because of his emotional nature, he would end up acting reckless, passionate and impulsive and would end up being the type of person who constantly shoots first and asks questions later. Bobby would serve as a mediator between the boys and he would balance out their point of views. If Sam and Dean ever ended up opposing each other due to Sam using logic and Dean using emotion, Bobby would advocate for the both of them to Take a Third Option so that they would come to a compromise and agreement with each other.
    • Season 4 to 6: Sam is the Id (violent, hotheaded, impulsive) to Dean's Ego (penitent, trying to find a balance, mediator) and Castiel's Superego (cool, logical, unemotional).
    • Season 8 to 12: Sam is the Ego (balanced, philosophical, peacemaker) to Dean's Id (passionate, emotional, opinionated) and Castiel's Superego (practical, aloof, obedient).
      • Sam is the Ego (peacemaker, diplomatic, mediator between Dean and Mary) to Dean's Id (emotional, determined, aggressive) and Mary's Superego (logical, stoic, aloof).
  • Friendless Background: Played Straight. Since childhood, Sam never had the opportunity to make friends like a normal kid. This was because he and his family were constantly moving around from state to state because he came from a family of hunters. The hunting life required constant travelling and moving around and therefore, Sam couldn't settle in one place to make long term friendships with other kids. It's no wonder why Sam ended up having an imaginary friend named Sully when he was a kid to help curb the loneliness and isolation that he felt as a young child. While he did have Dean growing up to look after him, it didn't stop Sam from craving a normal life which included having companionship and friends.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Downplayed as Sam didn't become overly evil or an outright villain. Sam started out as an innocent kid who had no idea about the supernatural world. He eventually rebelled against being a part of the hunting world along with his family and went to college instead. In the beginning, Sam was an Ideal Hero who was kind, caring, compassionate, empathetic and sensitive. However, as the series went on, Sam became increasingly dark in personality. He started to become angry, vengeful, aggressive and obsessive. Sam started to take a turn towards darkness in Season 3 when he went on a mission to try to save Dean from his deal. After Dean died, Sam became a significantly darker individual to the point where he came off as highly unsympathetic and morally shady. By Season 4, Sam became addicted to using his demon powers, became power hungry, was being corrupted by a demon (and sleeping with her!), and became a demon blood junkie. He eventually became so powerful that he was able to easily overpower Dean in fight and could kill powerful demons, such as Alastair and Lilith, ‘’with the use of his mind’’. At the end of Season 4, Sam becomes demonic and his eyes turn black. Comparing Sam from Season 1 and Sam from Season 4 is like night and day.
  • Functional Addict: Sam was highly addicted to demon blood, and the detox from it it is not fun at all. In fact, it's downright torture. It was even speculated by Bobby that Sam wouldn't be able to live without feeding him demon blood and that he would eventually end up dying.
  • Future Badass: Sam is the one true vessel of Lucifer. It is therefore Sam's destiny to destroy the world and bring about the Apocalypse. Averted in that he doesn't end up succumbing to his destiny and destroying the world. Instead, he chooses to say yes to Lucifer only to trick him so that he can put him back in his Cage and stop the Apocalypse from happening.
  • Gallows Humor: Sam has a tendency to have a morbid, cynical sense of humour. Especially in contrast to Dean's generally light hearted sense of humour. Sam is most commonly seen as the straight man in his comedic or humourous scenes with Dean.
  • Geek: Sam is frequently referred to as "Geek Boy". Plus, he's certified nerd who's also a brainiac who can have his socially awkward moments from time to time. He's also incredibly knowledgeable about lore, mythology and pop culture.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • In Mystery Spot, Dean died and Sam became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against Dean's killer. As you would recall, their mother died (she didn't get better) and their father became a ruthless hunter, bent on revenge against her killer. Sam is John 2.0, period. He did a less extreme version of this back in Season 1 after Azazel killed his fiancee, but between having Dean to help him through it and it already being his father's quest, it just wasn't as all-consuming. John appears to have been orphaned even before he married. It explains why they didn't get on most of the time, they were just too damn similar. Even Henry states it to Sam's face in a deleted scene from 8x12 how much Sam reminds Henry of his son.
    • Sammy's I Just Want to Be Normal mentality traces back to his mom, Mary, who like Sam, absolutely hated the hunting life and wanted to get out. The demon deals thing is just a family tradition at this point. They even spread it to the adopted members, and back to people who died before they were born.' Like Mary, Sam is also very much The Idealist who believes in a normal life and a happily ever after with a spouse, children and a white picket fence.
  • Genius Bruiser: Played Straight. He was a straight-A student in school, a Mathlete, attended Stanford University on a full scholarship before the show started, and is often involved in the research part of hunting. This has never stopped him from kicking demon ass repeatedly. This is exhibited by the entire freaking family, but especially Sam and Dean. As we find out in the eighth season, this is because the Winchester line actually were Men of Letters, who do research on monsters full-time, and the Campbells were hunters, bringing together "the brains and the brawn" to make what are two of the world's most badass hunters.
  • Gentle Giant: Sam is a big, tall guy who can appear intimidating to others, but he is such a giant puppy who is generally kind, nice, and empathetic with Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Godzilla Threshold: By the end of Season 5, everything has gone so far to hell that risking giving Lucifer a total win by having Sam say 'yes' to Lucifer is the only option. While this option guaranteed a fight between Michael and Lucifer that would destroy most of the world unless Sam could overcome the possessing influence of Lucifer long enough to throw them both into Lucifer's Cage, the apocalypse that would kill or zombify most of humanity would happen if they did nothing. Of course, at the end of Season 4, they'd all pretty much realised that they were screwed.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In Season 4, Dean and Bobby hold an intervention to try and break Sam's addiction to demon blood this way. Due to the nature of his addiction it involves him hallucinating numerous people as they harangue, torture, or make excuses for him, spasms, hallucinating dark marks appearing on his skin, and actually being telekinetically hurled about the room.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: Sam went from being a caring, empathetic, normal boy next door in the earlier seasons to a significantly darker, edgier, revenge driven, addictive individual in Season 4.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Downplayed. For the most part, Sam is a Nice Guy and is generally kind, caring, compassionate and understanding. However, Sam does have a rather unpleasant streak to his personality. He can be prone to revenge, can be selfish and self-centred, can be very stubborn, has serious issues with Pride, and has troubling anger issues. In addition, Sam can also be incredibly hurtful with his words and actions, especially whenever Sam is angry normally at Dean.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Downplayed and Played Straight depending on the enemy or villain. Sam is generally nice, kind, caring and empathetic, but don't mess with or cross him or the people he cares about. In addition, his kindness and compassion doesn't always extend to those he doesn't trust or especially his enemies. Sam is more likely to seal the fate immediately if they are an enemy of his as he is strongly prone to revenge. Sam was extremely revenge driven in Season One when he was very preoccupied with finding the Yellow-Eyed Demon and killing him for being responsible for the deaths of Mary and Jessica as well as the destruction of his entire family. He spent all of Season Four trying to kill Lilith because he wanted to avenge the death of Dean. Case in point, Sam is mostly kind and will show some compassion towards monsters and even sometimes his enemies, but he doesn't always give his enemies second chances to right their wrongs or prove themselves.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Sam was being driven mad by memories of his time tortured by Lucifer in the Cage during the course of the seventh season. It eventually causes Sam to have a mental and psychotic break to the point, where he becomes a severe insomniac and has to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "Swap Meat", a teenage boy changes bodies with Sam.
  • Granola Girl: Gender-Inverted and Downplayed. Sam is not a hippy by any means, but he is highly obsessed with being a health nut. He is constantly seen eating healthy foods, such as salads, and he is almost always working out and staying physically fit. In comparison to Dean, who has a tendency be a Big Eater who indulges in unhealthy food and drinks a lot of alcohol, Sam is most definitely a health junkie.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Not as intensely as Dean, but Sam definitely has his moments of jealousy and suspicions over Dean and his relationships with others. In Season 8, while he's understandably dubious about Benny's reformation, part of his Irrational Hatred towards him seems to outright jealousy and pettiness more than anything else; noticeably sporting a Death Glare when Dean refers to Benny as a better brother than he is and the only person who has never let him down.
  • The Grinch: Downplayed and Justified. Dean described Sam is "the boy who hates Christmas". In 3x08, it's discovered why Sam has a dislike or apathy towards the most festive holiday of the year. It was shown in the flashbacks during Christmas 1991 when Sam was only 8 years old that Christmas was a very sad or unhappy time for Sam because John neglected him and Dean and never showed up during the holidays to celebrate. Instead of spending time with Sam and Dean on Christmas, he would be out hunting supernatural monsters and putting his life in danger. It;s also the time that Sam learned the truth about what their family does for a living, which is hunting monsters. Sam ends up discouraged by this news, feeling like he was Locked Out of the Loop the entire time because John and Dean decided to lie to him and shield him from the dangers of supernatural life. On the contrary, Dean tries to convince Sam that their Christmases during their childhood weren't completely awful and it's shown that Dean often tried to give Sam a decent Christmas when they were kids despite the circumstances that they were in.
  • Guile Hero: Sam is very strategic and manipulative when he wants to be. He relies more on his smarts and brain and he will often conduct more strategic ways of defeating and outwitting his enemies.
  • Guilt Complex: Every time Sam makes a mistake, he ends up suffering from extreme guilt afterwards. His brother Dean seems to suffer from the same thing, except to more extremes.
  • The Gunslinger: Sam is highly skilled with guns, firearms and other weaponry. Sam is a hunter after all, whose job requires the frequent use of guns and firearms. He uses them to hunt and kill monsters and other supernatural beings. It is a common misconception that Sam uses a chromed Beretta 92FS loaded with silver rounds. However, it has been officially stated by Christopher Cooper that it is a Taurus Model 99 (though it appears in most shots to be a Model 92, which is a bit thicker around the trigger guard than the Beretta). It is a standard 9mm with a 10-round magazine. Sam (and Dean) do own a blue steel Beretta 92, but it is predominantly used by Dean in the series. Sam also uses a pistol grip 4-shelled 12 gauge shotgun loaded with rock salt.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Most of the time, it appears as if Dean is the one who gets easily angry but in reality, it's Sam that has serious anger issues and problems with controlling his temper. Throughout Seasons 3 to 5, Sam's short temper and proneness to rage was very prevalent and influenced many of his actions and his attitude. In Season 3, Sam was extremely short tempered, angry and irrational because he was desperate to save his brother from going to Hell. In Season 4, he was so irrationally angry that he spent the entire season strengthening his powers so that he could take his anger out on Lilith by killing her so that he could avenge Dean's death and prevent the Apocalypse from happening. In Season 5, Sam finally admits that he's been angry his entire life and he cannot explain why he's always been angry. Sam's anger issues have been a huge part of his character and it's something that Sam has been actively working on trying to fix. Because Sam realizes that he has a very short, violent temper and ferocious anger when he gets mad, Sam has learned to be more in control of his emotions and has tried to hold back his feelings because if he lets go, then they will just explode like a volcano of fiery fury. This doesn't mean that Sam doesn't occasionally lose his temper from time to time, but he has learned to manage and control his anger much better than in the earlier seasons when he was way more prone to lashing out in anger.
  • Handicapped Badass: In Season 7, Sam still managed to be a very effective hunter despite having his wall broken and suffering a mental breakdown. Sam was having hallucinations about Lucifer and about his time in Hell. Sam was even able to help a girl be relieved of her ghost brother haunting her while he was in a mental hospital himself. And in Season 8, Sam was still capable of hunting despite being worn out to an extensive level due to the Trials of God. Castiel had revealed to Sam that he was so internally damaged that he might be damaged beyond repair. Dean was very concerned for Sam in both situations and had tried to stop Sam from hunting because he was not in good health. In both situations, Sam repeatedly told Dean "I'm fine" (even though he clearly was not).
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Sam's self esteem issues with being a Special Child and being "different" as well as not fitting in are very similar to how homosexuals feel for being different than the norm. Sam struggling with his demonic powers and trying to keep them a secret from those he loves is similar to the shame that someone who's gay would feel about coming out to their loved ones. Although Sam being a Special Child hasn't been directly comparable to homosexuality in canon, it can still be comparable to homosexuality in fanon and there have been many Supernatural meta writers (normally on Tumblr) that have made comparisons between Sam's demon blood and powers and someone who's struggling with being gay.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • Sam may fight monsters and supernatural beings for a living, but at times, Sam can become so vengeful and driven by revenge to stop the bad guy or the bad monster, that he even starts to become a monster himself. This happened to Sam in Season 4, when he became vengeful against Lilith over Dean dying and going to Hell, became a demon blood junkie to help increase his demon abilities in order to stop Lilith. Turns out that Sam killing Lilith only helped the apocalypse happen and helped to release Lucifer.
    • In Season 6, when Sam was soulless. When Sam was soulless, he resorted to immoral acts, even killing innocent people in the line of duty and not feeling any emotion, most importantly guilt. He often put the people closest to him in absolute danger, even using Dean as bait by letting him get turned into a vampire in order to find a vampires nest.
    • Sam was this after Dean died in Mystery Spot and the Season 3 finale. While he thinks killing Lilith is the only way to prevent the Apocalypse and feeding demon-blood-fueled powers also lets him save the hosts when exorcising demons, his obsession with killing Lilith leads him to break the final seal, releasing Lucifer from Hell.
  • The Heart: Zig-Zagged and Played Straight. Sam often switches this role with Dean and he was originally the actual moral compass of the show. However, Sam was more of this in Seasons 1 and 2, until Sam became a significantly darker character as the series progressed. As of Season 10, Sam was definitely this role and had taken over this role from Dean, as Dean was now a demon. Not only this, but Sam was the sole human lead on the show and is therefore, the only human aspect of the show. As of Seasons 11 and 12, Sam is definitively this role. He serves as the peacemaker and mediator of the group. Sam is the one who tries to emotionally connect with everyone by bringing them together. He also tries to get the others to put their own personal problems aside in order to come together for the greater good.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Lost the love of his life Jessica. She was murdered in the exact same way as his mother Mary and both deaths were indirectly because of him. Not to mention that almost every single female that Sam has been romantically involved with has died. Sam has also endured much heartache in regards to his family and his brother Dean. Dean has died repeatedly throughout the series and Sam has had to suffer because of it. Sam's heartbreak over Dean's death came to a head in Season 4 when Sam became significantly darker and darker to the point where he started to fall to The Dark Side under Ruby's influence. Sam's life in general is just one giant tragedy, to the point that it is surprising that he is still in one piece functioning after everything that he has been though.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Especially in Season 4. Sam couldn't seem to pick a side, whether it was the good side or the dark side. Most of it had to do with the individuals whom he was most influenced by such as Dean (representing the moral, good side) and Ruby (representing the immoral, bad side). Sam having close relationships with both Dean and Ruby led to him having a Conflicting Loyalty between the two, which led to Sam's moral status constantly being in question.
  • Heel Realization: The moment at the end of Season 4 after Sam has killed Lilith and Ruby revealed that Lilith was the final seal, not the one who was going to break the final seal, is Sam's moment when he realizes he's just an Unwitting Pawn who screwed up big time and brought about the apocalypse. His face conveys complete devastation and he's barely even paying attention when he and Dean kill Ruby.
  • The Hero or Hero Protagonist: In the beginning, Sam was the original protagonist of the series and essentially, the series itself centred on Sam's heroic journey and development. See The Protagonist. See The Hero's Journey, in which Eric Kripke, the Word of God, admits to using as a premise for the series (and hence, Kripke modelling Sam's character off of a Luke Skywalker from Star Wars).
  • Hero Ball: Sam may be the hero but he makes a lot of bad decisions. Some of his actions over the course of the series have been very questionable to both the characters in the series as well as to the audience. At times, much of the audience questions "What the hell are you doing, Sam?"
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Sam, along with Dean, has repeatedly made the FBI's most wanted list.
  • The Hero's Journey: Sam's purpose in Supernatural is essentially this trope. Sam starts out as a regular person, who leaves his familiar world behind and embarks on an adventure of the hunting world. During the process, Sam does some self-discovery and finds out that his destiny is so much greater than just being the aspiring lawyer who wants to have a wife, kids, and a white picket fence.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Sam seems to love dogs and have an affinity with them. Bones and Riot anyone?
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Sam had his after his girlfriend died, causing him to be just as obsessive as John was about hunting this demon. In fact, when he witnesses Jess' death, Sam completely loses it.
    • Sam has this briefly after realizing that killing Lilith actually set Lucifer free. He can do nothing but sit on the floor and stare in horror as Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
    • Pretty well any time Dean dies/is dying/appears to be dead from Season 1 onwards. Despite previously being almost John-level obsessed with killing the demon that killed Jessica, Sam completely blanks on the mission when Dean is seriously injured and is dying, thinks of nothing else but how to get Dean back, and lashes out at John for appearing to even consider hunting the demon when Dean's so badly hurt. This is a reoccurring theme through later episodes — if Dean's on the line, Sam can't even think straight enough to save him. In the first half of "Mystery Spot," Dean's daily deaths leave Sam so scrambled he can't even put basic clues together. In the aftermath of Dean going to Hell, we see flashbacks of Sam mostly drunken and suicidal (before Ruby comes along and tempts him with a vengeance mission, which even then Sam clearly sees as a suicide mission), and when Dean disappears at the end of Season 7 and Sam believes him to be dead, he seems to have lost it completely — not looking for Kevin, not hunting, not checking his phone, just driving endlessly for weeks/months.
  • Heroic Build: Not initialy, but as of Season 4 Sam is built like a brick wall. or perhaps, more like Clark Kent (AKA Superman). During the four months after Dena died, Sam just became much more muscular and huskily built and he was significantly larger built than Dean. Overall, Sam has the physique of an ox considering that he's also a giant in terms of his height as he's 6'6".
  • Heroic Resolve: While possessed by Lucifer in the Season 5 finale, Sam was able to take back control of his body from Lucifer's possession while he was violently beating Dean.
  • Heroic RRoD: Sam collapses from the transformations he has undergone by completing the trials.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Sam's Season 4 Heroic Sacrifice which is averted when his own attempt to sacrifice his soul to save Dean is rejected. His resulting decision to damn himself slowly by using his powers seems like a noble act — until you get to the end and realize that Sam's efforts have been fueled by demon blood that intensifies pride in his own abilities and a sense of superiority to the point where he believes he is The Only One who can stop the Apocalypse. While Sam is genuine in his desire to help his brother and save the world (see "When The Levee Breaks" for his huge inner conflict), he goes about it in a very destructive (especially self-destructive) way. He can't know that killing Lilith starts the Apocalypse; the angels hid that so he would kickstart the Apocalypse by doing what he thought would prevent it. The goal is noble, even with the horrible outcome. It's part of the show's deconstruction of this trope that everything turns out so badly.]]
    • Sam in the Season 5 finale ("Swan Song"): He throws himself (and more to the point, Satan, who's possessing him) into hell's solitary confinement in order to prevent the planet from being razed, with certain knowledge that Lucifer's going to spend eternity torturing him.
  • Heroic Spirit: Sam is very determined. When he wants to accomplish something, he doesn't give up. Sam is known to be very strong, tough, and a fighter.
  • Heroic Suicide: In the Season 5 finale, Sam's plan to defeat The Devil is to allow Lucifer to possess him and then wrest back control of his body long enough to jump into Hell and take Lucifer with him before the gates seal behind them. He initially fails, but after Lucifer kills two of Sam's close friends and starts to beat Sam's brother Dean to death, he manages to take control long enough to make the jump.
  • Heroic Willpower: Sam has gone through this quite a lot throughout the course of the series.
    • Sam, in the Season 5 finale ("Swan Song"), took control of his body while the devil was riding it just so he could throw himself and the devil into hell's solitary confinement.
    • Sam in Season 6 finale. He manages to overcome his "inner demons" such as his past guilt and facing all sides of himself, including Soulless Sam and Hell-Tortured Sam and drag himself to assist Dean and Bobby in the battle against Castiel and Crowley despite obviously suffering under the strain of his "hell memories".
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: He and Dean have saved hundreds of lives, averted the Apocalypse numerous times, and literally survived Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. And they do all this while surviving on fraudulent credit cards, money hustled from pool games, renting low-rent motel rooms, sleeping in their car, and squatting in abandoned homes. And that's when the FBI isn't looking for them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sam's relationship with Dean. Sam and Dean would do anything for each other, including dying for each other and selling their own souls just to save the other. They have been through everything together and they are like two peas in the same pod. They are so physically and psychologically close that supporting characters have been constantly joking about their relationship since the very beginning, and the director has referred to the series as, "The Eternal Love story of Sam and Dean". Dean is so possessive and controlling around Sam that you have to wonder whether it would even be possible for Sam to maintain a healthy relationship with a woman. Because of the extreme closeness in their relationship and the inability for both Dean and Sam to function or live without the other, this often leads many fans of Supernatural to see much shipping potential between them, leading for many fans to actually ship them together, despite Sam and Dean being brothers.
  • Hidden Badass: Only in the beginning of the series, in particular in Season 1. But this is to be expected considering that Sam had just left his normal world behind and embraced the world of hunting. Nobody would have expected sweet, quirky, nerdy Sam to be tough, strong and badass and be brave enough to face the hinting world and fight supernatural beings just as well as Dean.
  • Hidden Depths: Sam is a deeply complex character. He may appear to be the sweet, boy next door, but underneath is an ocean of complexities, which include pain, guilt, and darkness. With Sam, what you see is definitely not what you get.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Both Dean and Ruby have referred to Sam as being a nerd. One of the nicknames that Dean has coined for Sam is "Geek Boy".
  • Home Sweet Home: Sam is a hunter for a living but there has never been a moment where he hasn't thought of living a completely normal life one day, free of hunting and the hunting life.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sam fits this trope in regards to several human enemies and a few monstrous ones. For example, not killing a human Gordon before he turns into a vampire leads to being hunted by him yet again, but not killing vampire Lenore turns out to be useful. Yet still horribly sad.
  • Hope Bringer: Sam is often the one who brings much hope and optimism during grim or tough times. He's the one consistently chooses to believe that things will always get better no matter how everything may seem. Of the main group, Sam is the one who provides the others with the belief that if they stick together and fight through the tough times, everything will turn out okay in the end. Sam especially serves as this to Dean, who has a tendency to be The Cynic and think negatively or pessimistically about everything in general. Sam is the one to incite life and optimism in Dean when he most requires it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sam is very trusting and naive. Hence, he doesn't realize when he is being used, manipulated, and corrupted (i.e. Ruby in Season 4).
  • Horror Hunger: Sam suffered from this in regards to his desire and thirst for demon blood throughout Seasons 4 and 5 while he was a certified demon blood junkie. Sam's addiction to the demon blood was so extreme that he would often go to extreme measures in order to obtain demon blood.
  • Hot-Blooded: Although Sam is calm most of the time and Dean is frequently seen to be the more hot headed and physically aggressive brother, Sam has proven that he can be very hotheaded, impulsive, passionate and aggressive when he wants to be. In Season 4, Sam showed how irrational, rash and aggressive he is when he became a Blood Knight who was intent on killing demons (namely Lilith) at any cost. Even at the cost of damaging himself or damaging his relationship with Dean. Sam also has a habit of jumping into a plan to serve the greater good without thinking about the consequences of his actions. He has also explicitly stated that he has Unstoppable Rage and anger issues in Season 5.
  • Hot Librarian: A gender-inverted example. Sam is a bookworm who is highly intelligent and scholarly. He's also a Man of Letters who conducts all of the research during hunts. If Sam is not off fighting monsters alongside Dean, he can either be found with his face in a bunch of books or wandering around in the MOL library. His nerdiness doesn't make him any less appealing though.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In Season 4, Ruby taught Sam how to control his abilities and how to exorcise demons with his mind. Sam admitted at first that he was a crappy student for Ruby.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
    • Sam and Ruby in Season 4. Sam is a whole foot taller than Ruby (Sam is 6'6" while Ruby is 5'4").
    • How about Sam and any female character that's ever been on the show? He seems to tower over pretty much all of them, with the exception of Jessica (who was 6'0" by the way). Hell, he even towers over the majority of the male characters, including Garth, Bobby, Castiel (who is 5'11"), and even Dean (who is 6'1").
  • Humanoid Abomination: Sam has been frequently ben called this by other characters. In the anime, a hunter named Anderson told John that Sam was no ordinary human. Sam has also frequently referenced himself as a freak or a monster.
  • Hunk: Sam is very physically attractive and appealing to the female audience. Also see Mr. Fanservice.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Sam hunts supernatural creatures for a living. It runs in the family, as his maternal bloodline ware or were hunters.
  • Hurting Hero: Sam suffers so much due to his life as a hunter that he never seems to catch a break. Although Sam constantly risks his life for others and saves lives almost on a daily basis, it is far from easy for Sam. In fact, Sam's life has been nothing but one giant tragedy.
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