Crowley: This isn't Wall Street, this is Hell! We have a little something called integrity!
Dean suspects Mel Gibson is possessed by a demon.
We get a look at Kenneth Lay's personal Heaven, which has a giant, loving picture of George W. Bush on the wall. It's also noted that he escaped Hell despite his heinous activities with Enron purely by being a devout Christian.
For no particular reason, the evil and nefarious Dick Roman is noted to be an NRA member and 2nd Amendment proponent.
The show makes a lot of jabs towards Winchest (Sam and Dean, together) fans.
Alas, Poor Scrappy: Bela and Jo were hated for the majority of their run, the former for being a selfish, treacherous Smug Snake who made making the boys look like idiots her hobby without much comeuppance, the latter character because fans thought she was an immature, somewhat moronic Flat Character who didn't deserve to be Dean's Love Interest. Fans begged the writers to give the characters the boot—preferably with a nasty death scene. Well, the death scenes came — Bela was revealed to be a sexual abuse victim and got ripped up by hellhounds and dragged off to Hell for eternity, while Jo got a heap of Character Development that established her as a matured, pragmatic hunter who risked (and lost) her life to save Dean, and then performed a tragic Heroic Sacrifice — much to the fans' horror. Since then, there have been campaigns to get the characters back, they are better-embraced in the fandom in general (saying that you like them won't get you open-mouthed stares or bewildered questions anymore, at any rate), and those who still don't really like the characters will admit that they got pretty sad send-offs.
Anticlimax Boss: An annoying trend in the series. Each season Big Bad, no matter how powerful they are hyped to be, typically ends up dead due to being stabbed/shot by the anti-whatever-creature-they-are Plot Device in a fight lasting about 30 seconds.
Anvilicious: In keeping with the political tone of S7's second half, Charlie ended up being a rather unsubtle mouthpiece for the writers' political beliefs. She's seen hacking into a political website and stealing millions of dollars of other people's campaign contributions and then funneling their donations away to causes that she would prefer to support, which is obviously illegal, but she's presented as being a wonderful and heroic person for doing it because the campaign she steals from is conservative and therefore obviously "evil".
Sam's possession by Gadreel, with seven straight episodes hitting the exact same notes of Sam noticing something weird and Dean making increasingly obvious lies about it, while in half of them Gadreel also acts as a cheap Deus ex Machina.
Some fans have argued that, as much as they love Mark Sheppard, Crowley's story seriously wore out its welcome, with the writers visibly struggling with how to give him anything new to do since Season 8, and several episodes (including the whole time he spent in the bunker in Season 9) where Sam and Dean forego a perfect opportunity to kill him for literally no reason at all.
Castiel and any angel storyline in general. Angel-centric episodes generally pull lower viewership ratings, and as Castiel's angelic powers continue to decrease as the series progresses, there have been repeated debates over his and other angels' continued presence and purpose in the show. Word of God is that episodes that heavily feature Misha give Jared and Jensen an opportunity to spend time with their families, which helps to justify Castiel's continued role in the series.
Season 10 was clearly designed to be the end of the show for most of its length, until it was renewed towards the end. The result is that in the finale the nature of the Mark of Cain is abruptly revealed to be completely different than we were always told, and we get a complete repeat of Season 8 where Dean decides to hell with the rest of the world if he can be with his brother a bit longer.
In Season 11 Lucifer can suddenly possess angels, which makes most of the drama from Season 5 completely pointless.
Also in Season 11, Sam's death by gunshot. He was actually in shock and had no problem taking out two non-bleeding werewolves minutes after waking up.
In the Season 14 finale, Chuck randomly turns evil in complete defiance of his personality until then. It's very obviously thrown in at the last minute to have a suitably epic Big Bad for what they'd just found out would be the show's final season, and doesn't even try to make sense with what we'd seen before.
Ruby possessing a comatose body whose soul had already moved on to the afterlife, in an attempt to remove the rape implications of Sam having sex with her.
At the end of Season 8, Crowley got his hands on the Supernatural books and used them to kill everyone Sam and Dan had saved. Trouble is, one of those victims was from Season 7, after Chuck disappeared. The next season has Charlie explain that Becky uploaded his unpublished books online.
In the Season 11 premiere, we finally get to see one of the brothers acknowledge how toxic their relationship is, with the constant lying and willingness to let the rest of the world burn if they can be together, and declare they have to change.
In "Our Little World", Sam and Dean finally checks if a demon's vessel is still alive before killing it.
Seemingly done with "O Brother Where Art Thou?" with Dean and Amara's... "relationship": namely that, going by the kiss, Amara is trying to force Dean to love her without his consent.
In "The Devil in the Details," Lucifer takes some big shots at Sam's actions ever since Season 5 that the fans and even Jared Padalecki himself have criticized. Followed by Sam showing how much he's learned his lesson by refusing to let Lucifer possess him again, saying that his or Dean's deaths would be worth it to save the world.
"We Happy Few" and "Alpha and Omega" bucks the trend of the Big Bad being anticlimactically defeated in 30 seconds by having Amara take a good half an episode and a massive Enemy Mine to even wear down, and instead of being destroyed by the Soul Bomb made in the latter episode, is ultimately stopped by her feelings for Dean and relationship with her brother, which actually had been built up all season. The fact for once the conflict with a villain ended optimistically with Dean actually being rewarded for going the peaceful route is also considered this by some for being something very different from the previous finales and shakes things up.
Season 13's "Bring Em Back Alive" is this in episode form, with an alternate counterpart of Charlie Bradbury being introduced, and with Dean acknowledging that their universe's counterpart died unfairly, a complaint that has been voiced by many fans and people who work on the show. The episode ends with them saving her, and as of her next appearance in "Exodus", she's alive and has been brought to the main reality.
Since Lucifer's return in Season 11, many fans have complained about his Badass Decay, going from a menacing Big Bad to a chaotic and quirky shit who keeps getting his ass kicked. "Let the Good Times Roll" brings his Season 5 persona back in full force, with him absorbing Jack's Nephilim grace and powering up to the point where he could (and will) destroy all of reality, and forces a Sadistic Choice between Sam and Jack, by forcing one to kill the other in order to live, and it takes the combined powers of Dean and Alternate!Michael to put an end to his ass once and for all.
Ruby is a snarky, fearless Action Girl in Season 3. In the next season, she... isn't. This is at least partially due to Genevieve Cortese wanting Ruby to seem vulnerable and innocent and so she plays her differently than Katie Cassidy does, but the writing itself for Ruby provides for less badassery in Season 4.
In Season 5, Castiel's power is nerfed and he begins to be used for more comical scenes after being cut off from Heaven; since he's a regular character now, he's not allowed to become too powerful. Completely reversed in the following seasons when his angelic powers are fully restored.
Angels in general were described as the most unbelievably powerful entities besides God during Seasons 4 through 6, and everyone in-universe reacted with awe at them... until the Leviathans showed up and were described as being scary even to the angels. That said...
The Leviathans. They went from being an ancient evil that was sealed away by God for being too dangerous to unleash upon the world... to suddenly being taken out by normal humans and demons, left, right and centre. Then again, out of all the Leviathans, the heroes managed to kill a grand total of one in the whole season.
Crowley. By Season 10, he comes and goes more or less at the Winchesters beck and call, seems genuinely upset that they don't consider him a friend, and has lost almost all of his viciousness and cunning. Gets called on it by his own mother and Dean of all people.
When Sam even calls out how far gone Crowley has gotten it speaks volumes on how much of a downward spiral Crowley is in.
For a while, Sam was on a downward spiral starting with Season 9, where he got knocked out in almost every single episode of that season, even after he Gadreel was expelled from his body and subsequently healed of the damage the Hell Gate Trials had done to his body. It's ridiculous how many times Sam — a supposed veteran hunter who has previously displayed an immense amount of prowess in combat — is so easily incapacitated in service of another plot, either giving Gadreel a chance to show himself or giving Dean an opportunity to show how badly the Mark of Cain is starting to affect him.
This trend continues for quite a bit even past Season 9, as Season 10 doesn't really give Sam much to do until "Inside Man," episode 17. From there on, he steadily begins to improve, getting an arc of his own that enables him to be a little more dangerous, and proceeding to harden into a more capable hunter come Season 11.
Lucifer has also been getting this since Season 11. Though still not weak exactly, he was originally the ultimate Big Bad in the show and the one character who couldn't be taken on, only contained. There was a time he could singlehandedly wipe out an entire room full of gods with ease. The introduction of more powerful characters has seen him captured and powerless repeatedly with even Crowley getting to dominate him for a while. This has culminated in him losing some of his grace, much of his power, and being overpowered by one of the Princes of Hell he himself once created.
Season 9 included a Poorly Disguised Pilot for a spinoff that wasn't picked up, meaning Chicago being secretly run by monsters will likely just become a weird little thing on the fringes of the show's canon.
"Shut Up, Dr. Phil" is mostly a regular episode, but is notable for how it completely screws up Dean's storyline at the time. He's supposedly feeling guilty for killing Amy and then lying to Sam about it, yet here he and Sam both have no problem letting a pair of murderous immortal witches go on to continue killing people during their inevitable next marital spat. Even one line about how they were completely outmatched and had to accept they lost this one could have cleared it up, but instead we're just not supposed to think about it.
"Man's Best Friend with Benefits." Puts the Season 8 story arc on hold to build an entire episode around the idea that bestiality is wacky, and make everyone uncomfortable by having the title character be a black woman who wears a dog collar and calls a white man her "master."
Lilith holding the contract for Dean's soul. Considering the only other demon of any importance at that point was already dead, it's a bit weird that they even tried to play this as a twist.
Ruby being Evil All Along surprised Sam, but probably not anyone else, in-universe or out. Ditto Metatron.
The existence of the angel tablet. Once the leviathan and demon tablets were introduced, it just seemed like common sense that the angels would have one, too.
That Ezekiel wasn't who he claimed to be was presented as a big twist halfway through the ninth season. Thing is, fans had predicted that as soon as his first episode. They also saw it coming that he would be bad news for the brothers, to the point were anything fans spun casting him as a good guy with no ulterior motives was in the minority and knew it.
Thanks to Jensen Ackles being a mite too heavy-handed with his hints about the ninth season finale, Dean turning into a demon; to be fair, it had already been widely speculated by fans after the Mark of Cain was introduced, but after Jensen said the last few seconds would "be a real eye-opener", many fans knew to expect black eyes.
It was portrayed as a big surprise in the S8 finale that closing the gates of Hell meant sacrificing yourself even though Sam and Dean themselves had pointed out how obvious this was almost as soon as the arc was introduced, with Dean telling Sam "We've been through this before, Sam. With Yellow-Eyes, and Lucifer, and Dick Roman... We both know how this ends. One of us dies.")
Subverted with Season 13's finale. When it was confirmed that Jensen Ackles would be playing someone possessing Dean, many people guessed that it would mean the return of Prime!Michael, who they would team up with to defeat Lucifer and Alt!Michael. Except it ended up being that Alt!Michael was the one possessing Dean, which to be fair, was predicted, although not as much as Prime!Michael was.
Catharsis Factor: Okay, let's be honest here. Lucifer's death in "Let the Good Times Roll" is made of this trope, as we finally see him pay for all the trouble he's caused for Sam and Dean, and their feud with him has finally reached an end, after plaguing them for their whole lives.
Ruby. Fans hated her from the get-go, but Kripke believed that with enough time and characterization, fans would like her. Towards the end of Season 3, it appeared to be working, but the final reaction in light of The Reveal(namely, that Ruby was Evil All Along, complete with gloating) was overwhelmingly negative, and fans were just happy she was finally gone.
Charlie Bradbury. While fan reaction is very mixed, she's considered a Scrappy to many. If being a character that even Big Bad Dick Roman thinks is amazing and special (and for some vague reason can't just be conveniently killed and copied like every single other character with skills or knowledge the Leviathans want to use) wasn't enough, she returns in a later episode, where she's introduced beating a LARP-knight in a sword fight and gets talked up by more and more characters. And in her next episode, she suddenly has Improbable Aiming Skills, a Belated Backstory, and is an Ascended Fangirl. Additionally, she's an Author Avatar for writer Robbie Thompson. Though most fans will agree that her death was senseless, which made her more popular with the fans.
Critical Research Failure: In "I Believe the Children Are Our Future," when Sam asks if Antichrist Jesse is the devil's son, Castiel replies dismissively, "No, of course not. Your Bible gets more wrong than it does right. The Antichrist is not Lucifer's child." The phrase "your Bible gets more wrong than it does right" isn't a bad one for Castiel to utter in other circumstances — Supernatural has no problem contradicting orthodox Christianity left and right — but it makes absolutely no sense in this context because the Bible never says or even implies that the Antichrist is Lucifer's child. In the Bible, he's just a particularly effective false prophet (after all, Protestant Reformation theologians didn't literally think that Satan fathered any of the popes). The idea of the Antichrist as the devil's son actually didn't come about until the twentieth century, and most Christian denominations reject it because only God has the power to incarnate.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Can sometimes fall victim to this, especially in later seasons. Virtually every character who isn't Sam, Dean or Castiel inevitably winds up dying horribly, the "heroes" often behave in ways that are just as morally reprehensible as the villains, the main characters' obvious mental health issues are never fully addressed or resolved, and the brothers seem to be locked in a permanent cycle of lying to and keeping secrets from each other, all of which has lead many viewers to wonder why they should bother caring.
The Phoenix from "Frontierland," who was perfectly justified in killing the people he did and doesn't want to hurt anyone else. But Dean says he's a monster, and they need his ashes to kill Eve, so he's played as one anyway.
Balthazar in "My Heart Will Go On" is portrayed as being the villain because he changed the past by un-sinking the Titanic, even though it seems to have had exclusively positive consequences. The only downside was the deaths of people who wouldn't have been alive at all otherwise.
Die for Our Ship: Usually, although Sarah, Ellen, and Pamela were typically very popular with female fans. However, many fans' chief problem was that most of the love interests were little more than Token Romances and were given few defining characteristics of their own. This is demonstrated by the sudden turnaround in attitudes to Ellen's daughter Jo, who was practically a Creator's Pet during her early appearances in Season 2, but after some serious displays of badass, seemingly defying physics by turning down a night with Dean, and then performing a Heroic Sacrifice in Season 5, became a much more popular and relatable character to female fans. The fanbase started to embrace Lisa the more episodes she appeared in. Might have something to do with the fact that she's presented as a three-dimensional character that's fairly sensible and supports Dean being a hunter. Also, people found her easier to relate to when she told Dean off and broke up with him after he shoved Ben.
And the tradition continued with Meg, after she took Castiel's first kiss in "Caged Heat". And he responded. It caused a fandom uproar from supporters of other ships.
Lucifer gets this from quite a few fans, especially after the "Hallucifer" episodes that portrayed him as much funnier than he was initially; fans tend to forget that what was portrayed there was not his actual personality. His "humor", woobie and unfavorite roles that compare him to Sam, and the idea that God and Heaven are all jerks are all played up in these interpretations of him, while ignoring or downplaying the terrible things he did.
Evil Is Sexy: All the female demons (though Lilith only counts when she possesses a grown woman), or at least when possessing people. Dean states that Ruby's true form is shockingly ugly. There's also Bela and Eve. The Winchesters and Castiel count as well when they're possessed or Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
While Season 1 was really quite good, "Devil's Trap" (or perhaps its first half—"Salvation") is widely believed to be the point when the show started to hit its stride.
For specific eras, Jeremy Carver's turn as showrunner seems to have accomplished this around the time the "Men of Letters" subplot was introduced in Season 8, after a spotty first half which left fans feeling that the Seasonal Rot that had really set in during the previous year was just continuing on.
Bobby's outburst in "Lucifer Rising" — "[Family] is supposed to make you miserable, you idiot! That's why they're family!" — becomes pretty cringe-worthy when you find out what his childhood was like in "Death's Door".
Sam's words to Dean in the Season 6 episode, "Let it Bleed" about erasing Lisa and Ben's memories of Dean:Dean, I've seen you pull some shady crap before, but this has got to be the worst..." Come Season 9, Dean has tricked Sam into allowing the angel Ezekiel to possess him, and keeping knowledge of the fact from Sam.
Dean's nightmare in "Dream a Little Dream of Me" has him confronting a version of himself who has died after his deal has expired, has gone to Hell, and become a demon, with the demon Dean screaming "You're going to die! This is what you're going to become!" Although he doesn't become a demon following his death at the end of Season 3, he does become one at the end of Season 9.
Lucifer's whole Season 5 attempt to bring about the apocalypse came from a deep disgust at humanity, and resentment that God threw him down into Hell for it. In "Don't Call Me Shurley", it turns out that Chuck has actually come around to agreeing with his favorite son about the toxicity of human nature since then, which explains why he was willing to let Lucifer burn it all down and why he's willing to let Amara wipe everything out now. It also explains why Chuck refuses to see Lucifer as the bad guy.
Gabriel, due to numerous fake-outs in previous episodes leading them to theorize that he faked his death again, the fact that God repeatedly resurrects Castiel for choosing to fight against the Apocalypse and Gabriel choosing the same thing in the end, and constant teases that he might not really be dead and rumors that writers are trying figure out how to bring him back to the show he does return as a Metatron construct on S9 episode 'Metafiction', however, his status is left ambiguous. Time will only tell if he'll be back for good. As of "Devil's Bargain", he's back, but it turns out that he's Asmodeus' prisoner, who wants him to kill Lucifer.
Linda Tran for some. Eventually turns out that she wasn't hiding, she'd been kidnapped and held hostage, but is still very much alive.
"Hammer of the Gods" has Odin, among other gods, as a cannibal. Then Anthony Hopkins would go on to play Odin in Thor.
Dean humorously calls himself "Batman" in "Bad Day at Black Rock". Three years later, Jensen Ackles voiced Batman's enemy and former sidekick Jason Todd/Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood. Even better, he stops a man by throwing a pen which jams his gun, which is similar to how Jason is stopped at the end of the film. Additionally, Jeffrey Dean Morgan would eventually play Thomas Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, meaning that Dean's father is now the the father of his adoptive father.
In "Mannequin III: the Reckoning", Dean muses that as they're going to New Jersey they might see Snooki. When Sam asks, "What's a Snooki?" Dean quips, "That's a good question." Snooki turns out to be a crossroads demon in Season 9's "Blade Runners."
In one episode, the brothers finds a picture of their father holding a bat. The actor would later join The Walking Dead as Negan who enjoys killing people with a bat.
A few years after Dean met Eliot Ness and discovered he was a hunter, Misha Collins played him in Timeless.
"The French Mistake" gets a lot of mileage about how the show is on Season 6, and how long Jared and Jensen have been playing their characters. This is either funnier or harsher in hindsight given the show went on to run more than twice that long, with the end finally announced at season 15.
The Season 13 finale featured a long-anticipated climactic showdown between Lucifer and Michael that turned an entire previous season arc hilarious thanks to a heavy dose of Narm. After the Winchesters fought so desperately all Season 5 to prevent the two from duking it out specifically because other characters claimed that, best case scenario, it would still be The End of the World as We Know It and almost everyone would die in the crossfire, it finally happened and turned out to be... a short and decidedly underwhelming Fight Scene Failure with the actors zooming around on wires and punching each other, zero damage done to their surroundings, much less half the planet, and that's with Lucifer supercharged on Nephilim grace, to boot!
HSQ: Reaches stratospheric heights in the later seasons, although probably the largest contributors to this tally would be "Hammer of the Gods" and "Two Minutes To Midnight" which both consist mainly of very powerful beings trying to kill each other and Sam and Dean trying not to get caught in the cross-fire.
The last sixty seconds or so of the Season 8 finale probably qualify.
In "Let It Bleed", Dean has Castiel remove all memories of him from Lisa and Ben so they'll be safe from further involvement with him. Even putting aside the questionable action of mind-wiping someone without their consent (which Sam admittedly calls him out on), this does nothing to solve the problem, and may even make it worse. Crowley didn't kidnap them because of anything they knew, but because Dean cared about them, and their not remembering him doesn't change that. So Crowley or any other villain is still free to use them as bargaining chips, with the added complication that they'll have no idea what's going on. And even if that never happens, what about all the people she and Dean knew during their year-long relationship? Odds are it'll come up sometime.
Sam's distrust of Benny in Season 8 becomes more and more dependent on Poor Communication Kills as it goes on, most notably Dean's refusal to tell him that Benny saved Castiel's life in Purgatory despite his reservations about Cas acting as a beacon to everything in there. Plus, Sam keeps acting like they've never once run into any vampires who were able to live without hurting people, and Dean never feels the need to remind him about Lenore and her group. What makes it even worse is when dealing with Kate (a werewolf who hasn't hurt anyone and promises not to) Sam goes back to his standard characterization of wanting to leave her alone unless she proves to be dangerous, making him seem all the more hypocritical.
When Sam and Dean have to reassemble Abaddon, do they take her to the Men of Letters' demon dungeon they literally just discovered this episode? No, they decide some random warehouse is good enough. And then they both leave her alone for literally no reason at all, except the writers wanted her to be an ongoing threat for Season 9. The result: she frees herself and renders Henry Winchester's sacrifice completely meaningless.
What made it even worse was that reassembling Abaddon was an idiot plot in itself. There was no reason that they needed to cure Abaddon rather than another demon. Yet instead of going out and capturing any generic low level demon to use (the type that they know how to kill and do often) they just decided to reassemble one of the most powerful demons they'd even encountered...why? They already knew they had no way to kill her and that she was extremely dangerous to have around. Yet Sam suggested summoning a demon, Dean suggested putting Abaddon back together, and for one of the few times in the series the characters don't even fight for a second over the decision and just go with Dean's idea immediately.
In "Dark Dynasty," Sam, Dean, Cas, and Charlie are all forced to act like idiots for the sole purpose of killing Charlie off. Most notably the villain is chained up by just one wrist.
The episode "Lebanon" is fueled by most characters making stupid choices. Sam and Dean shoot a store keeper who stole an ancient artifact from one of their friends after a bit of Bond Villain Stupidity, then take all of the cursed artifacts the man collected with them. A teenager steals the Impala after Dean leaves the key in the ignition, then accidentally releases the ghost of John Wayne Gacy. After dispatching the ghost and getting back to the bunker, Sam and Dean use a wish-granting Artifact of Doom to pull John Winchester into the future from before he died in 2003, which causes timelines to start converging and nearly erasing both of them.
Any hunter on the show would qualify, since hunters are usually created when their normal lives are ripped apart by some supernatural monster. Rather than drown in despair and alcohol, they pack up their lives, hit the road and chase those monsters.
Castiel, especially in Season 5 when he's falling. But even after he's re-angelfied and accepted into Heaven, he finds that he has to become the figurehead for an incredibly personal civil war between his brothers, and he's more or less had to go it alone.
Gabriel. It's rather sad when you consider that, given how easily Castiel recognized him while the latter was being assaulted and blinked away in order to keep him from alerting the Winchesters, that he has probably never had any interaction with his family since he left them to avoid the fighting. He finally shows some loyalty (to humans) and is killed by Lucifer. (To those who haven't forgotten his truly Jerkass tendencies in all the other episodes he's appeared in, his Karmic Death is indeed karmic.)
Bela Talbot. Despite being a selfish person, some fans feel sorry for her because of her backstory. She was sexually abused by her father as a young girl and made a deal to stop the abuse. She's then killed and Dragged Off to Hell, presumably for eternity.
Meg becomes this in Seasons 7 and 8.
Crowley. It turned out that his mother, Rowena, sired him at a solstice winter orgy, so he didn't know his father, she later abandoned at the age of 8, tried to sell him for three pigs...
LGBT Fanbase: There's a reason this show gets coverage on AfterElton.com. As of Season 9, the show also has at least one openly gay writer, Robert Berens.
Dean. Let's see—he generates a disturbing amount of Ho Yay with any male he's in the room with, has enough Foe Yay with everyone from Bela to Lucifer, and every straight woman on the show (except his own mother and Ellen) will attempt to get him into bed at least once. The writershaven't been helping, either!
Like You Would Really Do It: The main trio have died so many times and always come back that any drama about them being in mortal danger is severely undercut. Even if they die, they'll be back.
Love to Hate: Many antagonists count: Meg, Azazel, Gordon, the Crossroads Demon, and Henriksen in the early seasons, to be joined later by Lilith, Uriel, Alastair, Zachariah, and Lucifer. Around Season 8, Crowley, Abaddon, Naomi, and arguably Metatron are added to the roster of Love to Hate villains. According to Sera Gamble, Bela was intended to be an example of this trope in early Season 3, but just about everybody just found the character to be a major annoyance they wanted her off the screen ASAP rather than an enjoyable villain.
Azazel, the mightiest of the Princes of Hell and one of the first demons made by Lucifer. The first to find Lucifer and formulate the plan to free him, Azazel begins cultivating the 'special' children and shaping their lives to enhance their psychic powers, including Sam Winchester. Later completely outwitting the Winchesters and defeating them, he convinces father John Winchester to sacrifice his life to bring Dean back to life, eliminating his greatest enemy and sending John to hell so the demons can begin working on breaking the 66 Seals. Azazel manipulates the psychic children further into a gauntlet to determine who will open the gates of hell to free Lilith herself, all for the sake of the winner destroying her to eventually unleash Lucifer while being ready and available as the fallen angel's vessel. Azazel remains one of the most dangerous and personal enemies the Winchesters had ever faced, whose charm and ruthlessness have rarely been matched with his love for his demon children making him a dark mirror to John Winchester himself.
Crowley starts as a lowly demon salesman who realizes Lucifer's intentions to wipe out humanity. Assisting the Winchesters to help bring Lucifer down, Crowley later relies on his wits and power to ascend to become the King of Hell where he becomes the Winchesters' deadly enemy. Using Castiel to assist him into mining Purgatory for the power of the souls within, Crowley usually manages to stay a step ahead of the Winchesters, frequently coming out on top and strengthening his position while eliminating his enemies and rivals. Upon the return of Lucifer, Crowley manages to even outwit and briefly helps imprison the fallen angel before his escape. Even at the end, Crowley manages to achieve a victory against Lucifer by sacrificing his own life, proving that when one faces Crowley, even when he loses, he will win in the end.
Memetic Badass: Dean, Bobby, and Castiel. For some reason, Sam, while also badass in-series, doesn't usually get portrayed this way in fandom. Sometimes the characters' Memetic Badasserycomes into play in-universe with other characters commenting on their reputation, a cool quip they just made, or some show of badassery.
Memetic Molester: Meg, Azazel, Alastair, Lucifer, and Crowley tend to be seen as sexually harassing/abusing other characters (with a focus on the Winchesters), or just as sexual and creepy in general. Justified in the cases of Lucifer and Alastair, who have actually both been implied to be rapists in-universe.
The producers' go-to excuse for any plot development the fans don't like, "The story demanded it." This has led to a lot of jokes about the scripts coming to life and pointing guns at the writers' heads demanding they be written a certain way. It got especially infamous when they tried to trot it out to justify Charlie's death in Season 10, as the road to that event was such a blatantly contrived Idiot Plot that even most of the people working on the show refuse to hide their contempt for it.
"I killed Hitler."
Around early 2019, the line "You've Yeed Your Last Haw" from "Frontierland" reached mainstream memetic status.
The longer the show runs, every announcement of a new season will inevitably be met with jokes begging the showrunners to allow the show die already, and how Supernatural has become as unkillable as Sam and Dean.
Fans seem to forget that deals with the Devil are rarely a good thing and Sam and Dean are morally complex characters.
Some say that Dean being the vessel that Michael needs makes him a special snowflake while at the same time robbing him of agency. The whole point of bringing it up was so that he could reject it and continue to fight in the human way.
In the two-part second season finale, Ava Wilson establishes herself as now a remorseless murderer with The Reveal that she's responsible for killing most of the other special children, including Andy and Lily, and now aims to kill Sam.
If Jake Talley didn't cross it when he fatally stabbed Sam in part 1 of "All Hell Breaks Loose," then he definitely does it part 2 when he takes control of Ellen and attempts to have her shoot herself. And unlike the first act where he was still reluctant to follow the yellow eyed demon's orders, here he becomes an outright Card-Carrying Villain, mocking the hunters as he does it. You can't really blame the revived Sam for shooting him by that point.
Bela shooting Sam in the shoulder in "Bad Day at Black Rock" while he was cursed with fatally bad luck. If it hadn't been for Dean having the rabbit foot's good luck at the time, it could have easily ended up killing Sam. Bela would have taken the foot and left Sam and Dean to die had she not been forced to let them destroy it to save herself. Some of her actions later on were arguably justified by the circumstances (she was trying to get out of her upcoming death and an eternity of Hell), but risking Sam's life just to prove a point had no excuse—she only did it to show Dean that she was dead-serious about stealing the rabbit foot and wouldn't hesitate to kill them to do it. In-Universe, she crosses it when she steals the Colt from them in "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
Zachariah cheerfully torturing and threatening the Winchesters and their friends in "Sympathy for the Devil" to try to coerce Dean into saying "yes" to Michael.
Samuel Campbell selling his own grandsons out to Crowley in "Caged Heat" is seen as his crossing-over the Moral Event Horizon, in- and out-of-universe.
Crowley crosses this in Season 11, Form and Void, when he brings people, including children, for Amara/Darkness, who eats souls. Later episodes, however, suggest that he's still redeemable.
Arthur Ketch in Season 12 crosses it when he coldly guns down Magda Peterson, a psychic girl that the Winchesters recently saved from a life of literal torture inflicted by her own family. However, it is later revealed in Season 13 that he feels remorse and desires redemption for his actions, thus subverting this.
Asmodeus crossed it years ago by imprisoning, torturing, and feeding on the Grace of Gabriel for years on end.
Parallel!Michael is already over it when he's introduced in Season 13, as he has decimated the Apocalypse World and desires to do the same to the main reality, but we see that he's not fucking around anymore when he sends Kevin Tran as a suicide bomber filled with Angel Grace. And if he didn't cross it either then or when he kills Gabriel, then he definitely crosses it when he goes back on his deal with Dean, by taking full control of Dean's body after he powered him up in order to kill Lucifer.
Never Live It Down: It's a common joke among the fandom to say that every girl Sam had sex with dies and they nicknamed Sam's genital "the peen of death", through there are girls that had sex with him and are still alive at this time.
Season 8 was really not good to Sam, saddling him first with apparently not caring at all about Dean or Kevin after the previous season's cliffhanger ending, and then hypocritically insisting that Benny can't possibly be the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire he claims even as he continues to give other supposed monsters a fair chance.
Older Than They Think: To most Christian viewers, and other Westerners, Lucifer's origin story probably sounds unique. It's actually taken directly from Useful Notes/Islam. The idea of Satan refusing to honor humanity in turn can be traced to the apocryphal Life of Adam and Eve written circa 1st Century A.D./C.E.
One-Scene Wonder: Samhain gets summoned and sent back to Hell to never be seen again within the same episode, but he leaves a hell of an impression.
Only the Author Can Save Them Now: The show gets like this sometimes. The Winchesters have no magical abilities of their own and routinely go up against demons and monsters with telekinesis or other powers that render the boys' weapons (even the magical ones) useless, and yet something always allows the boys to pull out a win.
Only the Creator Does It Right: Many fans blamed the Seasons 6 and 7 showrunner Sera Gamble for the show's less-than-stellar state after Eric Kripke, the creator and original showrunner, stepped down (though Kripke still had some input on the show). After Season 7, Gamble also stepped down and was replaced by Jeremy Carver. Whether or not he's doing better than her is a bit of an issue amongst the fandom, but both are generally seen as being inferior to Kripke.
Pandering to the Base: When it comes to the female guest stars, the show is certainly guilty of this. Jo was a love interest for Dean; she was hated by the fans and so got booted. Bela was introduced — to say that she was hated would be an understatement — and she got ripped to pieces by Hellhounds (off-screen). It was then revealed that Katie Cassidy as Ruby had to leave too (however, that was because they didn't have the budget to pay for her return). Kripke has also ended up apologizing for the oft-reviled "Red Sky At Morning" and a few other unpopular episodes. Ruby was a subversion before she got Killed Off for Real. It's revealed in season 4 that she simply got a new meatsuit after being forced out of the old one by Lilith.
Paranoia Fuel: Demonic Possession is good for a lot of this, especially since the show has made an art form out of having seemingly innocent conversations turn sinister by revealing that a person is possessed.
Relationship Writing Fumble: With all their touchy-feely clinginess and suicidal co-dependent devotion being canon, even the creator of the show has admitted that he can see why the fangirls see Ho Yay in the brothers' relationship.
Genevieve Cortese's Ruby is this to Katie Cassidy's portrayal. While Katie Cassidy's Ruby was not liked to begin with, Cortese's Ruby was outright hated, both due to Ruby's Badass Decay and Cortese's terrible acting.
Billie is this in regards to Death, as she not only replaces a beloved character that nobody wanted replaced, but she's also quite petty in regards to her attitude towards the Winchesters. While it's clear that the writers were attempting to make her as distinct as possible in regards to her predecessor, the fact remains that not only was he an Ensemble Dark Horse, but Billie simply can't compare to him in regards to sheer presence. To add insult to injury in the eyes of the fans, not only is she (obviously) much less impressive than Death, but everyone around her acts like she isn't.
Bela in "Time is on My Side". It helped that her background and her motivations were finally shown, helping viewers who were annoyed by her selfish personality understand her better and feel sympathetic. Doubles as an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment.
Suddenly, after a whole season of hating her, fans like (or at least don't mind) Katie Cassidy's portrayal of Ruby after Genevieve Cortese showed up. Ironically averted with the actress herself whose character in "Arrow" is possibly even more hated.
Metatron was rescued in "Don't Call Me Shurley", where he showed signs of improving, such as giving food to a stray dog, later acknowledging that his FaceHeel Turn was a "pitiful cry for attention" and that he was a terrible "God", and giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to God Himself for being apathetic about all the strife and pain that has occurred in the series. And for those who doubt that he was genuine about it, those doubts are erased by his Heroic Sacrifice in the episode afterwards, where he buys time for the Winchesters and dies trying to convince the Darkness to spare the Universe, and that God meant well.Took a Level in Kindness, indeed. Just find a Metatron-related post on Tumblr, and chances are that it's comparing his Humans Are Special speech to Gabriel's from Season 5. Note that Gabriel is a 100% Ensemble Dark Horse, so the fact that the fans are comparing the two says something about how they viewed Metatron after those two episodes.
While not a scrappy, Charlie Bradbury, as noted above, was a Base-Breaking Character and seen as a Creator's Pet in Seasons 7 through 10. Her completely senseless death in "Dark Dynasty", as well as the Idiot Plot used to cause it, made her more popular among fans than ever before, and her alternate counterpart being introduced in Season 13 was embraced by many. She's still alive as of "Let the Good Times Roll", having gone on a road trip with Rowena, and thus bringing up the possibility of future appearances for her.
Romantic Plot Tumor: Sam/Amelia in Season 8. Ignoring Garth isn't that much of a deal breaker, as Supernatural is the story of the Winchesters. No, what pushes this into Romantic Plot Tumor territory is that Sam and Amelia's romance serves no purpose in the story and doesn't deepen our understanding of the characters.
The Leviathans in Season 7 had a bit of a rocky relationship with fan approval. Fans were interested at first, but as the season went on, Levis started appearing less and less due to filler episodes, making it seem like they weren't as big a threat as anyone made them out to be (reinforced by the fact that they all but disappear after season 7). Aside from that, their "eating-people-black-comedy" shtick got really repetitive, and playing them for political satire about the libertarian right-wing probably didn't help.
Fans liked Metatron well enough... until it was revealed that he was manipulating Castiel for his own ends and he cast all the angels out of Heaven after killing Naomi for the sake of (misplaced) vengeance. In the space of one episode, he went from loved to hated. Don't be surprised if fans now say he's worse that Lucifer. This got even worse in Season 9, where the writers can't seem to decide whether they want him to be a smart and dangerous Magnificent Bastard or an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who just wants people to like him, resulting in him constantly switching between the two rather contradictory personalities. Sometimes, within the span of a single episode. Also not helping is his tendency for his schemes to rely more on giving other characters the Idiot Ball than actually doing something clever himself.
Amelia was brought in as a love interest for Sam in the first half of Season 8. She was received so badly by the fandom that not only did the writers acknowledge it, she received only a single scene in the Season Finale Recap despite being in a third of the season's episodes. Part of why she's so hated is that the writers intended for her to be the reason why Sam quit hunting and didn't look for Dean, but showed little - if any - reason for Sam to honestly do so. And while her forcing Sam to adopt the dog he hit (with absolutely no idea if he was equipped for it) wasn't a great place to start, the fact that she's a massiveJerk Ass in nearly all of her appearances is what clinched it. Even Lucifer, of all people, chews Sam out for hooking up with Amelia in "The Devil In Details". To make matters worse, she's an inverted version of Saved by the Fans; the writers decided to let her live precisely because she was so despised, which meant that fan favorite Sarah died in her place during the events of "Clip Show".
Squick: Some of the heavier gore is just too much for some to handle.
Sam's fingernail being pulled out in "A Very Supernatural Christmas".
The teeth and maggot scenes in "Malleus Maleficarum."
The end of "Hammer of the Gods," when Pestilence spews mucus all over everything.
"Caged Heat". The room in which Dean is attacked by ghouls.
Take That, Scrappy!: While fellow Scrappies Bela, Jo, and Metatron all found either sufficient pity or redemption in the eyes of enough fans to escape this fate, the demon Ruby most definitely did not, starting an especially smug round of Evil Gloating before quickly suffering a short but painful death on the end of their own Weapon of Choice as their Unwitting Pawn turns on them to assist in their death and their killer adds insult to injury by literally twisting the knife in the wound in what is easily the most drawn-out kill of many kills with that weapon. While their Evil Plan was ultimately successful, the fans were still thrilled by the Winchesters brothers reconciling long enough to kill her and list it as the Moment of Awesome of the episode.
Too Cool to Live: Gordon Walker, Azazel, Ash, Henriksen, Pamela, Anna, Ellen, Rufus, Bobby, Benny, Kevin, Charlie, Ramiel, Death, Crowley, Gabriel, and Lucifer.
True Art Is Angsty: Granted, there's funny and there's Breather Episodes scattered here and there, but try sitting through an episode like "What Is And What Should Never Be?" It's widely considered to be a truly fantastic episode, yet it's forty minutes worth of pure pain.
Generally, when any Angel shows off their wings counts as this.
The Season 8 finale has this in spades in the final scene, when all of the Angels fall out of Heaven.
And the Season 10 finale even more so, during the Darkness being released and spreads across the Earth.
While the fight between Dean and Lucifer during Season 13's finale falls into Special Effects Failure, Lucifer's death immediately afterwards this full of this. While all previous Angel deaths have shown their eyes and mouth lighting up and seemingly imploding, Lucifer's has him burning instead of simply lighting up. And he's in mid-air, unlikes other Angels, which also helps.
Wangst: Castiel in the Season 6 finale, whining about how all his friends have abandoned him, which is entirely his own fault for not letting them know he was playing Crowley the whole time.
Minor character Garth, a hunter we only hear on the phone with Bobby asking him for advice on a vampire case in Season 6. Bobby tells him to call the FBI to handle it, but Garth calls Bobby's fake FBI number instead. We finally meet Garth in a Season 7 episode and it seems he really is that stupid in person, although even Garth thought the victim of the week was an idiot for selling her soul. As of Season 8, Garth seems to have Took a Level in Badass, stepping into Bobby's shoes and edging away from this and into Bunny-Ears Lawyer territory.
Several of the children from 'Everybody Loves A Clown' — they appear old enough that they SHOULD know better than to let a complete stranger into their home, even if it looks like a friendly clown.
Too many, given that it is a crapsack universe. Jimmy Novak, Adam Milligan, that kitsune boy, and many others come to mind.
Season 14 goes out of it's way to make Nick, Lucifer's vessel, into a bigger woobie than he was already, with most of Team Free Will unable to look at him due him reminding them of Lucifer, some mental deterioration thanks to housing an Archangel, and it's implied that he murdered his family while being possessed by a demon. He also harbors guilt from saying "yes" to Lucifer, which not only nearly brought the world to an end *twice*, but also prevented him from assisting officers form solving his family's murder.
Yoko Oh No: Any woman that Jared or Jensen dates/marries is going to get this hard, mostly from the RPS crowd. For example: when Jensen's girlfriend tagged along with him to go to a convention, one of the fangirls "jokingly" asked security to kick her out. And let's not even go into the garment-rending that ensued when Jared's wife got pregnant.
Continuity Lock-Out: Given that little to no effort is made to explain what the hell's going on to any new viewers, it seems as though you're expected to have already watched the TV show and just know these things. God forbid someone decides to try Supernatural out through the anime first. Particularly bad in the first episode, which jumps right into a side hunt without laying out the main characters' backgrounds and why there are flaming women on the ceilings.
Ugly Cute: The Kappa in "What Lives in the Lake," which looks like a scaly cross between a monkey and a frog. It helps that he does good turns for people who give him snacks.