In 2005, Supernatural debuted its first episode, where Dean Winchester uttered a series of words that changed television forever: "Dad's on a hunting trip and he hasn't been home in a few days." Those haunting words immediately captured the hearts and imaginations of fans, and now, 13 seasons later, Supernatural shows no signs of stopping.
Supernatural, which now airs on The CW, has a long history of episodes about urban legends, vampires, demons, angels, and the apocalypse. The series has gone to heaven, hell, purgatory, and everywhere else in between. The brothers have died so many times that fans have lost count. Sam and Dean have met God (otherwise known as Chuck) and Lucifer and somehow still manage to survive those encounters. They have also saved the world dozens of times.
It's no surprise that a show with such a long history (and an even longer cast list) would have a few skeletons in its own closet that might need exorcising. From racist tweets s to allegations of harassment to problems with minority characters, Supernatural is no stranger to controversy, although much of it gets kept hidden from fans.
Here are 15 Dark Secrets Behind Supernatural You Had No Idea About.
15 Bobby Singer almost never existed
It's hard to believe that one of the most iconic supporting characters on Supernatural, Bobby Singer, almost never existed. The show's creator, Eric Kripke, actually wanted to bring back the character of Missouri Mosley for the series in the season one episode "Devil's Trap," but the actress who played her, Loretta Devine, was not available.
Instead, Kripke wrote a new character, Bobby Singer, and the legend of the man who often called the Winchester brothers "idjits" was born. Bobby went on to become a father figure and mentor for the boys and managed to survive through many episodes. He also remains a fan favorite, even after his death, thanks to the wonderful performance of actor Jim Beaver. Bobby is currently in heaven, enjoying a much-deserved rest.
14 Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki's inappropriate Bill Cosby joke
It shocked a lot of television fans when actor Bill Cosby began to face multiple allegations of assault. This, of course, was just the beginning, but it was the first of many allegations that have come pouring out of Hollywood. It's also something that people should probably not joke about, especially people who are often in the spotlight. But that didn't stop Supernatural lead actors Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki from cracking a very tasteless joke about the allegations at one of their convention appearances in October, 2017.
During a Q&A, they had a very inappropriate conversation that joked about Cosby's drugging and assault of women. Many fans at the convention responded with disgust, and once video of the joke went online, the stars received even more backlash.
13 Mark Sheppard's departure
Mark Sheppard's turn as Crowley, the King of Hell, resonated so much with fans that it didn't take long for him to become a series regular. And it seemed like Crowley's popularity would never end, at least until the character abruptly died at the end of season 12. But why did he die?
Speculation suggests that Sheppard either had issues with the writers or producers of the show, especially after he tweeted that there were "no plans" to ever bring Crowley back to the series. He also announced that he no longer wished to take part in the Creation Supernatural conventions, suggesting that maybe there was some bad blood between Sheppard and the showrunners of Supernatural. Whatever the case, Sheppard's sudden departure definitely seems sketchy.
12 John Winchester was supposed to die in the pilot
In the pilot episode of Supernatural, Sam comes back to his apartment to discover his girlfriend pinned to the ceiling, burning alive, surrounded by flames - the victim of a demon. The two brothers witness this death, which mirrors how their mother died when protecting her children from demons when they were younger (Sam was just an infant at that time).
That scene, though, was almost a lot more emotionally scarring, both for the Winchester brothers and fans. Originally, the writers planned on having their father, John Winchester, burning on the ceiling, meaning that both their parents would have died in the same way. But John Winchester lived on to fight another day, and managed to have a relationship with both of his children before his demise later on.
11 Some believe that Misha Collins is the Anti-Christ
Castiel is one of those characters that fans adore as much as the Winchester brothers. He's almost like a third brother, although his story is quite a different one: he's an angel who fell to earth. Fans of Supernatural understand that angels are also often the bad guys: even Castiel has made some questionably moral choices. But there are some who think that the actor behind Castiel, Misha Collins, is downright evil!
One particular church group posted that they believe Collins is the anti-Christ. That got a response from a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, suggesting that they have been watching Collins for some time because of his popularity with the public and the charisma with which he interacts with the world.
10 Several fans allege that guest star Travis Aaron Wade harassed them
In the era of #MeToo, there are a lot of harassment and assault allegations flying around that have come out of both television and movies. Supernatural is not a show safe from these kinds of allegations. In 2016, one fan started putting together a well-researched list of allegations against Supernatural supporting actor Aaron Travis Wade, who portrayed Cole Trenton on the series.
Women came forward to claim that Wade sexually harassed them in person, as well as harassed them online. Those women also claim that they later received cease-and-desist letters on behalf of Wade to stop speaking about these allegations. Some of Wade's alleged behavior occurred at Creation's Supernatural conventions, followed by online harassment of the women after they came forward to tell their stories.
9 The real reason Sam spent part of season 10 in a sling
The Winchester brothers get a lot of injuries. That's what happens when all their time gets spent hunting demons and fighting bad guys: things get physical and people get hurt. Maybe that's why fans didn't think anything of it when Sam suddenly turned up in a few episodes during season 10 in an arm sling - most just assumed that was due to something that happened to the character.
The truth is that Padalecki was goofing around and playfighting with supporting actor Osric Chau, when he dislocated his shoulder. Instead of delaying production until Padalecki's shoulder healed, they just put him in a sling in true Sam fashion, without ever even explaining why. Such is the life of a hunter: it's a dangerous one and the sling actually made sense.
8 Creator fighting Warner Bros. over profits
There is also a behind-the-scenes battle between Warner Bros. and Kripke over the profits of Supernatural. The show's first eight seasons netted about $570 million. But after paying expenses, fees and all those other things that go to actors, cast, crew and production staff, Warner Bros. reported that the series had a deficit that year of around $23 million. This means that Warner Bros. is attempting to say that there is no money to pay out to the series itself.
Obviously, Kripke questions the studio's accounting and believes that the studio is failing to figure in the money pulled in by licensing the series, as well as the money the series makes on Netflix and Hulu. This is an ongoing battle and fans will certainly hear more about in 2018.
7 Eric Kripke was such a bad actor that he didn’t appear in the “French Mistake”
In the episode "French Mistake", Sam and Dean end up in an alternate reality where they are actually just actors who play roles on a TV show called Supernatural. This means that the other actors, cast, and crew make an appearance in that episode as themselves: all except for one person.
Creator Eric Kripke wanted to play himself in that episode, but admitted that he decided it was a bad idea because he was such a "crap actor." He tweeted, "I can't even die well." Fans missed out on seeing Kripke on television, but it sounds that this is, perhaps, for the best. This is one of the more entertaining episodes, too, especially when Dean learns that he was once a star on a soap opera.
6 Fans tried to keep Mark Pellegrino from appearing at cons due to his tweets
Many celebrities use social media to get political, but sometimes there's backlash from things they post. Mark Pellegrino, the actor behind Lucifer, ironically enough, is one such figure. He has tweeted many controversial statements that have, from time to time, put him in hot water with fans of the show. Certain fans see many of his tweets as hateful, racist and sexist. That's why one group of Supernatural fans put up a petition at Change.org to have him removed as a guest from Creation Supernatural conventions.
"When anyone would dare to disagree with him he would proceed to bully them, and try to sic his followers on the individual who happened to disagree with him," the petition reads. "He has engaged fans using hate speech and sexist, derogatory remarks."
5 Many accuse the series of having issues with women and characters of color
Any fan of Supernatural cannot deny that the show seems to mostly feature white males as main and supporting characters. This means that there is often criticism that the series has a serious problem with showing diversity. It also seems that when female characters, as well as characters who are people of color, get introduced on the show, they generally get killed or written off in ways that don't make sense.
Take Charlie Bradbury, for instance, as portrayed by Felicia Day. She was one of the first major LGBT characters on the show, highly popular with fans, and had a successful story arc. But her character's return as a hunter sent her off to die in a way that was unnecessary and pointless. This is a disturbing trend on the show, as seen with the deaths of Kevin, Jo, Bella, and Ellen.
4 The Winchester brothers' credit card scams
Fans don't really put a lot of thought into it, but Sam and Dean don't really have a day job. They don't get paid for their hunting and they don't have time to go to an office every day. They didn't inherit any funds from their parents. They have no source of income. And yet, their car always has gas, they always get a chance to eat and they always have funds to stay in cheap motels. How do they do that?
Well, they have a wallet full of credit cards that aren't theirs. This isn't a big secret, but though most fans don't really see the boys as criminals, that's what they are. They steal identities and engage in credit card fraud to pay for saving the world. And let's not even get into how they often impersonate federal agents.
3 Jared Padelecki tweeted out the number to a phone used on set
The Winchesters have many different cellphones, including ones to help them impersonate FBI agents and burner phones that they can dump if they need to go into hiding. That means that the Supernatural production goes through a lot of prop phones. But fun fact: those phones actually have numbers attached to them. One of those numbers is 1-(778)-237-3022, which got tweeted out to the world twice by Jared Padalecki as a sort of joke.
Padalecki later confirmed that the number belonged to one of the many prop phones used on the set. It's probably a safe bet that there were a lot of fans dialing that number, although it's doubtful that anyone ever picked it up or that it was ever even turned on.
2 The source of Crossroads Demons
One of the earliest concepts that is now part of Supernatural mythology is the idea of the crossroads demon. The idea is that anyone can visit a crossroads and request a demon to trade their soul for something that they really want. They get what they want for a number of years, but when their time comes, the hellhounds appear to drag their soul to hell. This concept actually comes from music by a blues singer, Robert Johnson, who had songs called "Hellhound On My Trail" and "Me and the Devil Blues."
The idea of trading one's soul to become a musician is an oft-told one in blues music circles. The idea is that there are many blues musicians who traded their souls for their talent.
1 Almost every house interior used on the show is the same one
Here's something that not all fans will notice, even those who continue to watch the series: the production uses the same house for nearly all of its scenes that require house interiors. That house was not just Bobby's home, but it also serves as the home for almost everyone else that the boys come across on the show.
It's the details that give it away: the wallpaper, as well as the kitchen layout is always the same. It makes sense that the production would use the same house over and over, especially since much of the show gets shot on location in Vancouver. Having one go-to house makes filming in-house scenes a lot easier. So be sure to pay attention next time the boys appear in Bobby's old house!
Do you have any other dark Supernatural secrets to share? Leave them in the comments!