Supernatural has thrived on many twists and turns in its fourteen seasons of storytelling. While the world has nearly ended more times than we can count in the Supernatural world, we still (for the most part) praise these twists and turns for the series. Some made more sense than others, of course. A good chunk of the time, these plot twists were interesting and compelling in their own ways.
Castiel (Misha Collins) turning out to be the Big Bad; Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) being the one true vessels for Lucifer and Michael; Dean selling his soul to save his brother-- these are excellent plot twists, curving the narrative in a new and exciting way. Others, for whatever reason, do not get to move forward. These canceled twists either end becoming plot holes or a wistful "what might have been" scenario.
Either way, plots get canceled for varying reasons. Fan reactions, behind-the-scenes issues, the story didn’t work out; any reason is a good enough reason in the long run, though they can leave fans feeling a bit frustrated. Sometimes, the twist could actually have seriously improved the story, and fans are left wishing for their own alternate reality. Other times, they’re more than happy for the bullet that has been dodged. With that in mind, we have fourteen seasons of Supernatural to look through and a lot of canceled twists to unpack.
Here are 15 Canceled Plot Twists That Would’ve Hurt Supernatural (And 5 That Would’ve Saved It).
There is such a thing as “cool character, wrong show.” To be fair, Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan) was an interesting character: a thief and antiquities dealer who collected rare and unique supernatural artifacts. She’s not a bad character on paper, but fans weren’t too big on her increased episode count and weird romantic tension with Dean. Plans were, however, to have Bela return as a recurring character rather than a series regular. According to Robert Singer, “If she would’ve been on three times a year, I think that character could’ve really served a purpose going forward.”
It looked like she probably would have. Bela sold her soul, after all. She was taken to Hell. As time passes differently in Hell and considering her skill set, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if she became a crossroads demon or something. Given her lack of popularity, any plans on that were kiboshed.
Apparently in the planning stages of season four, Eric Kripke was reading a lot of comics-- Preacher and Hellblazer to be specific. He would use Preacher, especially, to inform the whole “angels are jerks” mentality of the series. After all, before season four, he had a moratorium on bringing in angels to the show.
Well, he also wanted to bring in some Hellblazer as well. Specifically, he was hoping to bring in John Constantine to the series. Now, obviously, that didn’t happen, and it's definitely a relief. Constantine may fit in with the world of the show, but it wouldn’t mesh in the best way possible. We like Matt Ryan in the role, but who knows who would have gotten it on Supernatural? We still got the nod in Castiel’s trenchcoat.
Missouri Moseley (Loretta Devine) was a character with infinite potential who only appeared in two episodes. In season one’s “Home”, she was introduced as the woman who helped put John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on the hunter path. Then fans didn’t see her until season 13, where she was written off in “Wayward Sisters”.
Missouri, however, almost survived the encounter. She had an extended deleted scene, which offered a bit of hope. Ultimately, however, it was decided to put the focus on her granddaughter, Patience Turner (Clark Backo). Then Wayward Sisters never got picked up, which is another annoyance for another article.
In-show love interests and the Winchesters never really seem to mix much. Back in season two, however, Jo Harvelle (Alona Tal) and Dean Winchester were originally supposed to be love interests. Jo was also supposed to be a bit older and named Alex.
Introducing a love interest for either brother hasn’t exactly been easy for the show. Fan reactions was overwhelmingly negative as was the strong dislike for the character. Eventually, she was cast in more of a little sister role to the brothers, which tested better. At the very least, people took her sacrifice hard in her final appearance back in season five.
Supernatural’s plots tend to be a bunch of standalones tied with some mythology episodes, much like The X-Files before it. Usually, there’s one Big Bad for the brothers to deal with in a season. In season two, it had to do with Azazel’s psychic children, who were given powers via demon blood and had the potential to rule the armies of Hell. Originally, it was supposed to last a lot longer, extending into the third season.
Kripke, in an interview, would admit that they kind of got bored by the plot. He called the season three storyline that they did go with, trying to free Dean from his deal, as one with “a little more teeth”.
Smallville was one of the few shows who survived the crossover from the WB to the CW along with Supernatural. Following Supernatural, Smallville is the network’s second longest running show. It’s still fondly remembered today, even considered to be what kicked off the superhero show boom. At one point in time, there was a crossover in the works between Supernatural and Smallville.
It was eventually scrapped, but the show followed Dean and Sam as they tried to protect Tom Welling from the “Superman Curse”. Essentially, all actors who played the character suffered in some way. It would have been an interesting episode to dovetail with “Hollywood Babylon” along with exploring the urban legend roots of the series. Ultimately, it was canceled. Though experience of being on-set could have helped the brothers in “The French Mistake”.
John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) remains a point of contention amongst Supernatural fans and with the brothers Winchester as well. Since season two, we haven’t seen hide or hair of John. We were going to see John Winchester again a few seasons back. In the season six episode “My Heart Will Go On”, we would have seen an alive John Winchester instead of Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris) As Robert Singer said to Entertainment Weekly, “He was on the table. God knows if we could have even gotten Jeffrey [Dean Morgan]. We didn’t know. As soon as [we] came up with Ellen, we said, 'Yeah, that’s right.'”
Given the issues the brothers have with their father, it does seem to be a cheap way to bring him back. Ultimately, the 300th episode has a little more emotional heft for the family.
Here's another “what might have been” with a love interest. Fourteen seasons in, we might as well just kind of throw in the towel on a lasting romance for either brother. Like we said, it’s another list for another day. In season eight, we learned about the romance between Sam and Amelia (Liane Balaban) that took place during the time Dean was in Purgatory.
The relationship ended before Dean returned as, apparently, Amelia’s previously believed-to-be-deceased husband was secretly alive all this time. There was a plan, however, to bring her back in the back-half of season eight. Given how much fans disliked her, luckily it never came to fruition.
Charlie (Felicia Day) was pretty much a fan-favorite character since her first appearance back in season seven. In fact, the surprise sudden writing off of her character in a violent manner threw fans into a tailspin of rage. While we have an alternate universe version of the character now, it’s still not the same.
Charlie shared a special bond with Dean. In later seasons, however, there was supposed to be a “bromance” with everyone’s favorite awkward angel, Castiel. Talking with Nerds and Beyond, writer Robbie Thompson said "I think the dynamic would be really fun, ‘cause it’s… You have two different personality types coming together and that always works in a funny way.” It would have been fun to see different dynamics between the regulars and the fan-favorite recurring characters.
Many think that the Smallville crossover would have been a bad idea, especially given Jensen Ackles' own stint on the show. While it would make sense for the ever popular Vampire Diaries to crossover with the equally popular Supernatural, the worlds just don’t quite mix. Having the sort of magical beings so different from the established world of either show appear in the universe of the other just doesn’t quite make sense.
Yet, there was plans in the works, according to Vampire Diaries showrunner Julie Plec, “Kevin [Williamson] and I were like, 'absolutely not, because we are vampires and werewolves." She even had the same thought most would at the suggestion. "It's like two completely different supernatural universes!'” She did add that it “would have been fun” in hindsight, but this was likely for the best.
As many fans know, season five was meant to function as a series finale for Supernatural. Kripke made plans to depart the series. The CW, however, had other plans and thus the ending had to be changed. “Swan Song” remains a fitting farewell for Kripke as showrunner. It wrapped up a lot of the plot threads from the first five seasons.
As it was meant to be a series finale, it was also supposed to hurt a lot. In the episode commentary for “Swan Song”, Kripke revealed that Castiel wasn’t supposed to come back after Lucifer blew him up. The deux ex machina that saved everyone’s favorite angel came in at the last minute because Sera Gamble, the new showrunner, wanted to use Castiel in season six.
The Roadhouse was an interesting concept that was introduced in season two. A gathering place for hunters, the Roadhouse allowed Dean and Sam to experience a wider hunting world that John kept them away from as children. While it would introduce fan-favorite characters the Harvelles and Ash (Chad Linberg), the Roadhouse blew up in the season two finale.
Speaking to TV.com, series creator Eric Kripke revealed that he really wishes he never introduced the Roadhouse to begin with. There was even a plan where we never saw it. At this point, it does make more sense to have a series without it. In the early years, the show was a “road show.” The brothers needed to be traveling and they had a home base with Bobby (Jim Beavers).
In the season four finale, Ruby (Genevieve Padalecki) perishes after she reveals her true villainous colors in manipulating Sam to open Lucifer’s cage. As the episode went into production, however, Eric Kripke believed that eliminating her after such a revelation would waste the character. He wanted to instead bring Ruby into the fifth season and use her throughout.
As the episode was already in production, however, he figured it was too late to change anything. He allowed the ending to go on as it did, but still regrets not cancelling it. Given how much fans did not like Ruby at this point in time, it was probably a good thing that Kripke didn’t do the las-minute save. The Winchesters had enough issues going into season five.
In the original ending for “Swan Song”, Sam Winchester’s sacrifice was not going to include a return. Again, this ties into the fact that the show was originally supposed to end with its fifth season. The planned end saw Sam overcoming his possession by Lucifer and taking the Michael-possessed Adam (Jake Abel) with him. While not the happiest ending in the world, it was one that made sense for Sam’s character. It was a redemption and a fulfillment of the mission that John gave Dean before he passed.
Sam came back, however, and he suffered hard. Without him, though, the show would not work as well as it does. Supernatural, at its core, is a show about family. We need those family members there in order to make it the best show possible.
“Devil’s Trap” introduced several characters that were hunters who John Winchester and the boys associated with over the years. We also saw Meg (Nicki Aycox) take out those associated hunters. Well, one of them, Bobby Singer, was not supposed to survive the episode originally. We’re definitely glad that this plot twist was discarded.
Conceived as a one-off character, Bobby eventually turned into a pseudo-father figure for the boys. His habit of calling people “idjits” would become a staple amongst Supernatural fans. Bobby would become such a popular character that his season seven send-off still devolves fans into tearful messes. Jensen Ackles calls it one of the best episodes of the series, along with it being the saddest. Without Bobby, it’s hard to imagine Supernatural being the way it is today.
“Dad’s on a hunting trip and he hasn’t been home in a few days” are the words that set the entire Supernatural journey into motion. While the series does start with the “fridging” of Sam’s girlfriend Jessica Moore (Adrianne Palicki), it originally was supposed to begin in an even more personal manner. The original script for the series saw John Winchester as the one pinned to the ceiling at the end of the pilot episode. This was supposed to be parallel to how Dean and Sam lost their mother (Samantha Smith) in the opening scenes of the episode.
Ultimately, however, John survived the pilot. While his parenting is questionable at best, it did allow fans to see more of the family dynamic and learn how the brothers came to be the way they are as adults.
Earlier in the list, we learned that Missouri had a chance for survival in her season thirteen return. Well, instead of Bobby Singer, the boys were supposed to use Missouri’s home as a sort of base for them to come and visit. Early plans for the series had Missouri taking the role that would eventually go to Bobby in the series. Due to Loretta Devine’s schedule, however, the show scrapped the idea and brought back one-off character Bobby Singer for that role.
It is a shame that we didn’t get more Missouri, though the show brought her back in season 13 only to write her off permanently. A psychic on the side of the Winchesters couldn’t have hurt.
Castiel has grown over the seasons to be one of the most important characters in the series. Misha Collins also has used this platform to do a lot of good works, such as his Random Acts campaign. It’s frankly amazing that the character has lasted as long as he has in the series. He wasn’t supposed to be in it long at all.
Originally, according to Misha Collins in an interview with ETOnline, Castiel intended to perish in the series for a six-episode arc. Due to the popularity amongst fans and critics along with Collins’ chemistry with the main cast, it was decided that the character should remain on the show.
Before Sterling K. Brown was making us sob on This Is Us, he had us all quaking in fear as Gordon Walker on Supernatural. This determined and singularly-focused hunter tended to do anything to get his target. More importantly, he refused to see the shades of gray like Sam Winchester would. After learning of Sam’s psychic abilities, Gordon tried to take him out, which drew the ire of Dean.
Eventually, he was turned into a vampire and eliminated by the Brothers Winchester. This was not the original plan, according to Eric Kripke. They wanted to use Gordon Walker a lot more over the series, but due to Brown joining the cast of Army Wives couldn’t. There was a plan to have Gordon lead a band of “Sam hunters,” who would try to wipe out Sam Winchester permanently.
In the season five episode “The End”, Zachariah (Kurt Fuller) sends Dean to a “future” where the Apocalypse happens and Dean continues to say no to Michael. It’s pretty a horrific wasteland, but it wasn't actually the future. It was just a ploy to force Dean into saying yes. The original plan, according to Eric Kripke, is that it wasn’t a ploy. It was supposed to be a stable time loop where the future version of Dean remembers travelling to this moment in time. It would have raised more questions than it answered, though. Time travel is head-inducing even on shows that use it a lot more regularly than Supernatural does.
Ultimately, the plan was scrapped, which allowed the season to be more open with free will. Scrapped along with it was a plan to show that Sam was Lucifer’s vessel in this episode rather than in “Free To Be You And Me”. Writers figured that fans would have pieced together the clues in that episode anyway.
What canceled plot twist would you liked to have seen on Supernatural? Let us know in the comments!