By lasting as long as Supernatural has (14 seasons!), it's seen the loss of many characters over the years. It’s still amazing that this series about two brothers fighting monsters has grown into this sprawling epic. Arguments may always go on about whether or not the show is past its prime, but if there's one thing that fans can agree on, it's that there have been some awesome character introductions on the show and that it almost always hurts when said characters leave, whether suddenly or planned.
While the show will never part with Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester until the bitter end, it pretty much means that everyone else is fair game for exits. Well, Castiel (Misha Collins) is probably safe, too. Just look at how many times that nerdy little angel has drifted in and out of the show over the years. Outside of those three, we’ll say that everyone is not safe from the powers that be, so to speak, as over the years, fans have definitely felt the cold hand of those powers, seeing beloved or not so beloved characters exit the series. Sometimes, it’s in a sweet and well thought out manner, but other times, it’s sudden and pretty much a metaphorical slap in the face. For one reason or another, these character exits have tugged at our heartstrings or have worked us into a frothing rage (let’s not get started on those who have definitely overstayed their welcome). Here are 14 Character Exits That Hurt The Show (And 6 Who Need To Go).
20 Hurt: John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
John Winchester definitely falls into the bad parent category the show loves to explore. He has left his mark on both his sons: physically, emotionally, and psychologically. While most of the fandom would probably prefer to see John get repeatedly attacked, it does feel like he exited the show a bit too soon. Granted, he went out saving his son’s life.
Given the resurrections of the Winchester family over the years, it would have been nice to see John return as well. At the very least, around the same time that Mary (Samantha Smith) did. If anyone has some things to say to John about how the brothers were raised, then it should go to Mary.
19 Hurt: Garth (DJ Qualls)
Garth is still technically in play because he’s alive, as far as we know. However, he’s also left the life of hunting behind, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see him team-up with the Winchesters anytime soon. Still, Garth was a fun guy to watch. While not the best hunter in the world, he clearly had a lot of passion for helping people against the hidden, but very real, monsters of the world. He even tried to figure out where he belonged in the grand scheme of things, from acting as Bobby for a time, to calling people “idjits.”
Unlike most on this list, Garth did leave the show pretty happily. Sure, he got turned into a werewolf, but he has a loving family and a beautiful wife. Still, we did miss the guy though.
18 Needs To Go: Apocalypse Bobby (Jim Beaver)
Sooner or later, we suppose that the show will go to the multiverse. And with whatever is going on in the Arrowverse, there is only so many world-ending events that can be shown on one Earth. Naturally, it makes sense to see a world where the Winchester brothers were never born and that the Apocalypse eliminated everything. However, we did get to see some familiar faces pop up.
Apocalypse Bobby had a lot of Bobby's traits, but with a major problem toward angels. Although it took a lot of work to get him over that, he’s just a reminder of how much we miss our Bobby. He’s served his part, but definitely overstayed his welcome.
17 Hurt: Ash (Chad Lindberg)
Ash remains a character of infinite, yet untapped, potential, which is a major bummer. An MIT drop-out that looks like a roadie for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ash was a mass of contradictions. While he lived out of the Roadhouse and offered help to hunters, he was mostly hands-off for the monster game. He was still an endearingly-weird character, who longtime friends will remember pretty fondly to this day.
It still remains a waste, though, that Ash was so unceremoniously dumped by the show in the season two finale when the Roadhouse burned down. In later seasons, especially, his technical skills would have definitely been useful to have. With all the Apocalypse World characters, no one thought of bringing back Ash? Bummer.
16 Hurt: Benny Lafitte (Ty Olsson)
During his time in Purgatory, Dean befriends vampire Benny and helps him escape, since Benny and Dean had a really great, sort of brotherly relationship. This was something that was sorely needed during the middle seasons as Dean and Sam were not on the best of terms at the time.
Benny was a great presence to the series. He was weird, funny, and had a pretty interesting story as well. Plus, again, it was nice to have a more “humanized” monster for the show to share with its audience and it does feel like those monsters should be around a bit more.
15 Needs To Go: Nick (Mark Pellegrino)
Nick was always a character that definitely had a lot of mystery about him, but we only really saw him for a brief time before Lucifer took him over. His family was taken from him and Lucifer’s promises were enough to overpower him. Yes, he would become the main form that Lucifer would use, but what about Nick?
Well, it turns out that Nick was a psycho who was only holding back his true intentions because of a moral compass or something. His time with Lucifer showed him that he likes performing dark actions. At the same time, it’s also making us reevaluate what happened to his family and his feelings toward them.
14 Hurt: Missouri Moseley (Loretta Devine)
Missouri Moseley was a psychic that the boys met in the first season with a connection to their missing father, and it looked like she was going to play an important part of the show. Then, she just kind of mysteriously dropped off the face of the Earth without so much as a warning. While she told the boys, “Don’t be strangers,” they certainly never went to see her again. It was too bad, because Missouri was an interesting character and the Winchesters needed someone on their side.
However, in the thirteenth season, it was revealed that Missouri had passed. That was kind of unceremonious for a character with so much potential, especially after such a long stretch of time.
13 Hurt: Amy Pond (Jewel Staite)
Why was this character named after the one from Doctor Who? That is a question only the writers can answer. Again, she is one of the humanized monsters that definitely got the short end of the stick. As a childhood friend of Sam Winchester, this kitsune was spared by her friend after she protected him from her own mother.
The way this character met her end was kind of disappointing. In order to cause a rift between the brothers, Dean had to be the one who took out Amy. I guess the writers just didn't want the brothers to be cool with each other in the middle seasons.
12 Needs To Go: Anael/Sister Jo (Danneel Harris-Ackles)
Introduced in season 13, Anael is an angel who took over Sister Jo's body after healing the woman’s husband in exchange. Working as a faith healer, she ends up joining Lucifer’s cause. First, she gives Lucifer some of her grace in exchange for her joining his cause and then she helps him escape the Winchesters because of this promise. In the process, she ends up becoming the First Lady of Heaven, but when she tries to use her position to affect change, Lucifer shuts her down. He even tries to injure her when she calls him out on his false promises.
Despite Harris-Ackles’ Anael being one of the few angels on the show, her character is just not that interesting. Hopefully, after her brief spot in season fourteen, she’ll stay away.
11 Hurt: Kevin Tran (Osric Chau)
Kevin Tran was a newly named prophet that the Winchesters worked to protect in the middle seasons of the show. A brilliant high school student with an intense mother, Kevin translated various texts for the brothers when needed, until Gadreel, possessing Sam, smote Kevin on Metatron’s (Curtis Armstrong) orders. As a result, Kevin would appear on and off in the show, usually as a ghost.
Eventually, God (Rob Benedict) brought Kevin to his much-deserved peace after he helped him convince the Winchesters of his identity. While our Kevin now rests in Heaven, fans did get to see an overly-worshipful Kevin in the Apocalypse World. He would even sacrifice himself for Michael (Christian Keyes), which did not amount to much in the long run.
10 Hurt: Chuck Shurley/God (Rob Benedict)
Introduced in season four, Chuck was the first Prophet that the Winchester brothers met (or so they believed). Neurotic and more than a little jumpy, Chuck penned a series of books that would later be known as the Winchester Bibles. At the end of season five, he disappeared with a power that made many fans believe he was God, but it wasn’t confirmed in the show until season eleven, when he had to reconcile with his sister Amara (Emily Swallow).
Honestly, God hasn’t done a lot on the show, even when he probably should have done something. With his end, however, it still leaves everyone scrambling, especially with Apocalypse Michael running around. At the very least, he should have tried to make things right before leaving for good.
9 Needs To Go: Arthur Ketch (David Haydn-Jones)
One of the few remaining Men of Letters, Ketch was definitely one that nobody thought would survive. Yet, here he is. Previously, Arthur disposed of the people that the Winchesters saved as a way of “tying up loose ends.” He is also very unforgiving and seems to have no moral compass. Despite his civilized demeanor, this is a man who needs to use violence.
Yet, he continually works with the Winchesters. He helps them defend the world, even though he doesn’t care deep down about anyone. It’s just weird that such an amoral character, monster, or human is still running around. Maybe, it’s just to reiterate that sometimes the good go early. But man, he just gets a little grating after a while.
8 Hurt: Lisa and Ben Braeden (Cindy Sampson, Nicholas Elia)
We’ve said it before in various posts on Supernatural, but Dean needs to figure out if he wants a normal life or not. When he tries for that normal life, it leads him to staying with Lisa and Ben Braeden. During season six, Dean tries to balance that dream with rejoining his brother and hunting again, but it’s a balancing act that ultimately fails and leads Dean to have Lisa and Ben’s memories of him and the hunt erased.
Erasing their memories definitely seems like a hasty move, even if it was to keep them safe. It would have been interesting to see Ben as a hunter, as Ben would be old enough at this point.
7 Hurt: Crowley (Mark Sheppard)
Introduced as a wink and nod to the beloved character from Good Omens, this Crowley has grown into a character of his own over the course of the series. For good or for ill, he played a major part in the Winchesters' lives. Though he usually tries to maneuver situations to come out on top, it only works some of the time.
While Crowley did become the King of Hell after Lucifer’s return to the cage, he eventually grew tired with his throne and eventually, in a last semi-decent, yet kind of selfish act, he did try to seal the Gates of Hell and sacrifice himself to keep Lucifer in an alternate reality. I mean, it didn’t work out in the long run, but he at least has some sort of peace now.
6 Needs To Go: Lucifer
Before Tom Ellis won hearts and minds with his version of the Devil, there was Mark Pellegrino (and a host of others) to do it first. While Lucifer has, time and again, tried to take over the world, it usually doesn’t end well for him. Even when he looks like he’ll win, the guy loses. While he was so menacing and cool in the fifth season of the series, over time, he has become whiny. He’s a complainer, and it just doesn’t make for interesting villainy.
Plus, with all the times that audiences thought he was really and truly defeated, he comes back, and it just loses its effectiveness after a while. With Michael finishing him off, in his true vessel, it still looks like he’s coming back. It just needs to stop.
5 Hurt: Ellen and Jo Harvelle (Samantha Ferris, Alona Tal)
Ellen and Jo Harvelle were introduced in season two and exited fans in season five. Another hunting family, Ellen tried everything she could to keep her daughter away from the life, but Jo, however, wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and help people in her own way. The pair, in season two, provided a safe haven for the Winchester boys, and when that was brought to an end, they were always willing to give them so much needed assistance.
Given that neither Winchester grew up with a mother, Ellen and Jo clearly filled the mother and little sister void in their lives. When they both passed as the Winchesters tried to stop Lucifer in Carthage, it was one of the most gut-wrenching moments in the series. We still miss them.
4 Hurt: Castiel (Misha Collins)
Technically, this probably doesn’t count. Castiel, in the middle seasons, definitely drifted in and out of the show. Still, when he went out after setting the Leviathans free, it looked like Castiel was gone for good and the show definitely got weaker for it. Times were tough for the Winchesters back then and they needed Castiel to balance them out.
In fact, it is a role that he has grown into in the later seasons as he was someone who was there for both Sam and Dean without being a related family member. They need that third party to help them achieve a much-needed equilibrium in their lives. Without it, the show was definitely missing something vital.
3 Needs To Go: Michael
Look, the whole “angels are [bad]” thing is done. They’re mostly wiped out and Heaven is apparently falling apart. How about we stop making angelic bad guys and do something else? Granted, it will probably never feel as big as some of the earlier seasons, but did we really have to bring back Michael? Michael pretty much has the same disdain for humans and wants to rule them. It’s pretty much the same stuff that we’ve heard a million times before.
Michael has father issues, we get it. And while it was great to see Jensen Ackles play him, we just need some other kind of Big Bad for a season. The angel villains are boring, just send Michael on his way and let him be gone. Please.
2 Hurt: Charlie Bradbury (Felicia Day)
Charlie was a breath of fresh air in those weird middle years for the series. She was fun, sweet, had a spine of steel, and a willingness to do good in the world. Much like Jo, she filled a kind of sister role for the brothers, especially with Dean. There’s a trope about removing female characters called “women in refrigerators” or “fridge-ing.” Let’s all agree, Charlie was fridged, hard, and in a really upsetting manner. It felt wrong to do that to the fans and to the character.
While we have Apocalypse Charlie, who is very similar to the one the Winchesters knew. It still feels like too little, too late for a character that deserved better.
1 Hurt: Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver)
Out of all of the characters on this list, this one hurt the most. Yes, even more than Castiel. Bobby remains the only parent that Dean and Sam Winchester ever had and the only person in the world that truly cared about their well-being, happiness, and who accepted them, despite any and all mistakes made on their part. When he left in season seven, it was one of the saddest episodes in the entire series. Bobby remains so important that he was the only character to get an episode-long, emotional send-off. And he deserved ever single moment of it.
While it’s been years since Bobby passed in the universe, it still affects both Dean and Sam to this day. He was their Dad and they loved him, which is something that never goes away for any child.
Are you thinking of any other character exists that hurt Supernatural? What about some that need to go? Let us know in the comments below!