With 13 seasons under its belt and a 14th on its way, the TV show Supernatural has had its share of romantic subplots throughout its long history. Over the years, both the main characters, Sam and Dean, have had quite a few romantic partners. Other characters on the series have also had their share of romances throughout the seasons.
Some of these couplings made a lot of sense and made the show even better. They helped further certain storylines and set events in motion that led to bigger and better episodes. This, in turn, led to bigger and better seasons.
Other romances, though, just simply didn't work. Or even if they did work, they served to demean certain characters (even being excuses to write them off the show) or helped further storylines along that just really weren't all that great. Some of these romances were completely unnecessary and made many fans wonder why the writers even bothered.
Such is often the case with a series with so much time under its belt. Fans have watched Sam and Dean go from young twenty-somethings to much older men, with different hopes, dreams and fears. That goes for the other characters, too: character development is not something the show is without. But when that character development involves romantic relationships, it's not always good - and it's sometimes outright bad. Then again, it's also sometimes just what the show needed at the time.
Here are Supernatural: 11 Couples That Hurt The Show (And 9 That Saved It).
20 Hurt: Becky and Sam
Supernatural first introduced Becky, the ultimate Sam fangirl. in season five. In that episode, she tricked the boys into attending a Supernatural fan convention. She was written in a way that was pretty much a slap in the face of fans of the series, but the show still had her return for an even more horrible story in season 7.
In "Season Seven, Time For A Wedding", Becky drugged Sam with some kind of love potion and forced him to have a romantic relationship with her that would ultimately end in a marriage that Sam didn't want. To say the story was problematic is an understatement and it's an episode that probably should have never happened.
19 Saved: Sam and Jessica
In the very first episode of Supernatural, only Dean was a hunter, having followed in his father's footsteps. Sam was a budding law student, in love with a woman named Jessica.
We saw how he and Jessica met, and it seemed like he had the perfect life.
Dean eventually showed up at Sam's door, though, asking for help in finding their father. Dean refused, not wanting the hunter life for himself. But then he woke up in the middle of the night and Jessica was in flames on his ceiling. That changed everything.
Sam joined his brother to look for their father and the two haven't stopped hunting together since. There would be no Sam and Dean without Jessica.
18 Hurt: Dean and Bela
Bela was one of those people that was both ally and foe to the Winchesters, depending on her ultimate goals. She was a collector of supernatural artifacts, someone who would find those artifacts and then sell them off to the highest bidder. This, obviously, had her crossing the paths of the Winchesters throughout season three. For some reason, the writers thought they would have her and Dean feel some attraction to each other, making off comments about how each other looked or making suggestive comments.
It never really felt right, as if the two really just had no chemistry whatsoever.
Fortunately, nothing ever came out of their relationship and in the end, Bela rode off into the sunset.
17 Saved: Sam and Ruby
One of the most complicated relationships on Supernatural was that between Sam and the demon Ruby. Although they began as enemies, they eventually became lovers, particularly after Ruby started sharing her blood with Sam.
Although this led Sam down a dark road of demon blood addiction, it also spurred on some really great storylines in season four, some of the best of the series.
Although Sam ultimately ganked Ruby, his relationship with her marked him forever. What's even more interesting is that the onscreen romance of Sam and Ruby spurred an offscreen romance for the two actors who portrayed those characters (Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Cortese) and they are now happily married with several children.
16 Hurt: Ketch and Mary
As a Man of Letters, Arthur Ketch befriended Mary Winchester. He promised her a lifetime of hunting monsters that even her sons couldn't give her at the time. Mary, being kind of stupid about the whole thing because she was conflicted about coming back from the dead, went along with it. Eventually, she even left Sam and Dean to hunt with Ketch. This led to the two having a romantic relationship.
He proved himself as a pretty despicable human being, but Mary refused to see it. He did show some affection for her, but Ketch was never a good fit for Mary and certainly no reason to leave her sons, with whom she had just been reunited.
15 Saved: Dean and Anna
Dean never really gets to fall in love much on the series, maybe because his heart is so hardened from years of being a hunter. He still has had his moments where love has knocked at his door. In seasons four and five, he meets Anna Milton, a fallen angel who became human by removing her grace. Once she started hearing angels again, she became a target. Enter Sam and Dean, who wanted to protect her.
Anna grew close to Dean. On what she thought was her last night on Earth, the two got together in the back seat of the Impala. After Dean reluctantly betrayed her to protect Sam, she forgave him and she accepted her fate. Fortunately, she didn't lose her life at that point, but went on to become an angel again - although Michael later ended her.
14 Hurt: Sam and Amelia
There was this whole weird story in season eight that had a very unnecessary romance in it. By then, the Winchester brothers know that they cannot lead normal lives and have normal relationships with people who don't really know about the whole demon and hunting business, but Sam tried anyway.
Sam fell in love with Amelia Richardson, a widow whose husband was presumably deceased in Afghanistan. Then the story took a very soap opera turn, because, of course, the husband wasn't really gone, and showed back up in Amelia's life.
Is this Supernatural or Days of Our Lives?
Then the story became complicated because Amelia had no idea what she wanted and it didn't really do much to further the plot of the series. Fortunately, Sam eventually chooses Dean over her and that was the end of it.
13 Saved: Bobby and Jody
As a hunter, Bobby Singer's personal life was a struggle. He had to take out his wife after she was possessed by a demon. That's bound to turn any man's heart cold. Even his town's sheriff, Jody Miller, once thought of him as nothing more than the "town drunk."
Eventually, though, Bobby and Jody get to know each other, particularly after Jody finds out about the monsters and demons that roam the world and what Sam, Dean and Bobby do for a living. During their battles against the Leviathan, she brings Bobby beer and offers to cook for him. The two inadvertently stumble upon a way to beat the creatures and in the heat of passion, they kiss.
The moment was so perfect and it was nice to see the impending apocalypse bring two deserving people together in this way.
12 Hurt: Dean and Lisa
The trope of "can the Winchesters lead a normal life?" gets played out over and over again on the series. That hasn't stopped the writers from revisiting it every other season. Dean almost had a normal life with Lisa, which included her son. They were so happy and he finally had a family, but, of course, he couldn't allow himself to stay with them 24/7 because he was a hunter and that put them in danger.
It was really a case of everything we've seen before, so there was nothing new to say with the relationship.
Eventually, it ended sadly (as these things always do) with Castiel erasing memories of Dean from her mind.
11 Saved: Lucifer and Kelly
Lucifer spent a lot of time season 12 jumping from one body to the next. Although he started out in the body of an aging rock star who looked like Rick Springfield, he worked his way up to President of the United States. That President had a secretary named Kelly Kline, and it turns out that the two were having a secret relationship. After Lucifer possessed the President, he used that body to impregnate Kelly, basically putting the child of Satan inside her belly.
Although the Winchesters did everything they could to prevent the child from being born, it was, and that child was Jack. Jack, who is half angel and half mortal, though, is one of the best new characters of the series.
10 Hurt: Castiel and Daphne
One of the many tropes of Supernatural that it often falls into is letting the characters have "normal" lives so that they can see what they're missing out on by being who they are, whether they are hunters or angels.
Sam and Dean already had their experience, so naturally it was time for Castiel's attempt.
In season 7, Castiel wakes up in a forest of no memory who he is. Believing that it's a sign from god, a woman finds him and takes him into her home and bed. They eventually grow to love each other and get married. Eventually, Castiel does remember who he is, and of course, breaks her heart in the process.
9 Saved: Gabriel and Rowena
Season 13 of Supernatural isn't just the most recent - it's also one that fans have loved most in recent years. Not only did they get the interesting character of Jack, but two old characters got to return to help the Winchesters build a portal to the alternate world where their mother ended up after the season 12 finale. What was even better, though, was in the episode where everyone in the bunker is trying to make plans to meet up with Mary in the alternate world and Gabriel and Rowena are left alone together.
It all starts out with innocent flirting, but then Sam and Dean catch them, quite literally, in the act.
It's such an odd pairing that it's almost perfect and it is part of what made season 13 so great.
8 Hurt: Charlie and Dorothy
Supernatural has a bad history of mistreating many of its female characters. One of those characters is Charlie Bradbury. Charlie was funny, geeky, wonderful, and a lesbian. She was a refreshing addition to the Supernatural cast and someone that fans really wanted to see stick around.
Except that Supernatural's writers didn't see it that way, so they had her fall in love with Dorothy from Oz (yes, that Dorothy). Then the writers had her run off with Dorothy seemingly forever only to come back and perish very quickly. This made Charlie's entire storyline feel almost pointless, as this is a series that seems to not know what to do with the strong women of its cast.
7 Saved: Jesse and Cesar
In season 11, Supernatural introduced its fans to two hunters, Jesse and Cesar Cuevas, a happily-married gay couple.
Although they only appeared in one episode to date, it was a huge change to a show that had previously been mostly straight.
Jesse, seeking revenge for his brother's end, met up with the Winchesters when they began hunting Bisaan. The married couple shared the knowledge of Bisaan with the Winchesters and ultimately, helped the brothers defeat it. They found all the bodies of those slain by the beast, including that of Jesse's brother, and gave them a proper hunter's funeral. In the end, Jesse and Cesar retired from hunting and returned home.
6 Hurt: Dean and Jo
As the daughter of hunters, Jo has seen some things, so it's no wonder that she ends up getting to know the Winchesters, particularly Dean. She was really young, so when the two started making romantic overtures at each other, it just felt really weird.
It never went beyond flirting, but why was that even necessary in the first place?
They worked well together as hunters, so it's odd that the writers thought that Dean couldn't be friends with a woman hunter without having to flirt with her. Whatever the case, it didn't work, but like most women on the show, the writers eventually wrote Jo off. And, of course, she lost her life trying to save Sam and Dean.
5 Saved: Dean and Daphne
Ask any Supernatural fan what their favorite episode is and many will probably answer with season 13's "Scoobynatural." Although there have long been talks in the fandom about crossing Supernatural over to Scooby Doo for ages, it actually only happened just recently. The result was an episode that was often funny, sometimes scar,y and a lot more amazing than fans had ever imagined.
What was really funny, though, was a cartoon Dean flirting with Daphne, a cartoon character he always had an affinity for. Daphne responded to that flirting in kind. Poor Fred was clueless, and a Dean and Daphne relationship was pretty much impossible, but it was probably one of the best couplings ever seen on the show.
4 Hurt: Sam and Madison
One romance that makes less sense with each passing season of Supernatural is that of Sam and Madison. Madison was a werewolf, although Sam and Dean didn't know about her true nature until later. Every time Madison went to sleep, she became a werewolf and attacked someone.
In the end, they realized that they couldn't cure her, so she begged Sam to end her.
That doesn't make sense, because eventually, Garth became a werewolf and fans learned that werewolves didn't have to attack humans. Garth got to live, but Madison did not. The only reason that Sam and Madison were a thing was for dramatic effect, and that just cheapens them as a couple.
3 Hurt: Garth and Bess
Garth was one of the most interesting supporting characters of Supernatural and the show even set him up as a replacement for Bobby after the passing of the Winchesters' former mentor. He should have been a recurring character, but actor DJ Qualls had too much else going on.
In the end, they decided to get rid of him by having him become a werewolf, basically changing all the werewolf rules the show previously established. Garth was a good werewolf, though, thanks to meeting Bess, and the two were happy in their new lives. The entire plot of that episode was so out of character for Garth that it felt forced, just a way for the series to write off yet another character.
2 Saved: John and Mary
Let's go back all the way to the beginning, way before Sam ever discovered his girlfriend Jessica in flames on his ceiling. Before that, there was a hunter named Mary.
Mary fell in love with a man named John Winchester, whom Supernatural fans learned was not a hunter before Mary's passing. The two married and had two children, Sam and Dean.
Let's face it: without John and Mary, the brothers would not exist and the world would have ended a long time ago.
John and Mary's relationship on the show is probably the most important one of all. At one point, John loses his life, but Mary makes a deal with a devil to save him. That deal is why she eventually loses her own life. And that's where Supernatural truly begins.
1 Hurt: Dean and the Darkness
The all-powerful Darkness, aka Amara, a being created long before God and Death, shouldn't have any kind of romantic interest in humans, but for some reason, she had the hots for Dean. Even she said she didn't understand it throughout the course of season 10, but that's okay because most fans didn't really understand it either.
Dean was attracted to her, too, although she had plans to pretty much eradicate all life on Earth.
He really knows how to pick them, doesn't he? What was really creepy, though, is that she started out as a baby on the series and then had a growth spurt that turned her into a woman who kissed Dean.
What's your favorite pairing on Supernatural? Sound off in the comments!