Supernatural has grown quite a bit since it was first aired back in 2005. While it was once a simple show about two demon-hunting brothers, it’s become much more than that. The series has grown to include everything from evil angels to the actual apocalypse.
While fans have grown to love an abundance of new characters, Sam and Dean Winchester have always been at the center of the show. Characters like Castiel and Crowley are obviously very important to the plot of Supernatural, but the brothers and their relationship is where the show started and what it has grown around. Without their dynamic, the show wouldn’t be the same.
The pair has certainly endured a lot throughout the past thirteen seasons and will continue to fight more battles in season fourteen. After being through so much together, their bond is a tight one to break. They definitely have a close relationship, but it isn’t perfect. While they have to include conflict and arguments in order to make the show interesting, there are times when the way they treat each other or the things they say are confusing or out of character. Fans certainly love the monster-hunting duo, but their relationship has its issues, like most fictional pairs do.
Here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Dean and Sam’s Relationship.
20 They're In A Continuous Loop Of Sacrifice
Unlike most television shows, when a character on Supernatural perishes, it doesn’t mean their loss is permanent. Sam and Dean have each lost their lives multiple times and continue to come back. Many times, it’s because one brother sacrifices themselves for another. When one of them loses their life, the other won’t let it go.
Of course it’s sad to lose a sibling, but Dean and Sam often will do anything to bring the other back, including taking the deceased brother’s place.
This leads to a cycle of one passing away until the other tries to take their place. Of course, that isn’t always the case, like when Castiel raises them both from Hell, but it’s happened enough that even the reapers had to say something. If neither brother wants to live without the other, neither will break this cycle.
19 They're Only Close Because They're Hunters
While Sam and Dean are extremely close now, when the show first started, they weren’t exactly on the best terms. When Dean shows up asking for help finding their dad, Sam is living at school with his girlfriend and has left the life behind. This is what sets him on the journey to where they’re at now, but if Dean had never shown up, they wouldn’t have a tight relationship. Without hunting, they wouldn’t be close.
In Dean’s dream after encountering a djinn, he imagines that his mother is still alive and that Sam and Jessica got married. Sam stayed in college and never became close with his brother. Without hunting, they didn’t have anything in common and barely were around each other. That’s likely what would happen if Sam hadn’t decided to join Dean in the pilot episode.
18 They Lie To Each Other A lot
For two brothers who claim to always have each other’s backs, they sure do hide the truth from each other a lot. They constantly lie to one another despite being both brothers and hunting partners. The don’t just lie about small things either, though both brothers hide their emotions at times. Sam lied about feeling fine despite hallucinating Lucifer and about drinking demon blood.
Dean lied about his father’s last words and took forever to reveal to Sam that he may have to take his life.
Even when they don’t actually lie, they don’t reveal a lot of secrets to each other. For a pair who hunts together, they sure don’t seem to let each other in on important details.
17 They Still Manage To Trust Each Other
Along with straight up lying to each other, each brother harbors a large amount of secrets from the other. As brothers and hunting partners, they should be pretty open with each other, but they are anything but. They have each betrayed the other multiple times.
For example, Dean took the life of Sam’s friend Amy Pond without telling him after Sam had promised to let her live, and let Gadreel inhabit Sam without his knowledge. Sam has also done his fair share of betrayal, like when he let a vampire bite Dean and hid his relationship with Ruby. Regardless of these betrayals, Sam and Dean still hunt together and claim to have forgiven the other for their awful deeds. It doesn’t make sense to trust so freely with their baggage.
16 Dean Is Basically Sam's Father
While Dean and Sam put a lot of emphasis on being brothers, their relationship doesn’t always function like that of siblings. In a lot of ways, Dean has been more like a father to Sam than John ever was. Dean basically raised Sam. He was the one cooking him dinner, getting him to school, and teaching him about life in general.
Even as adults, Dean does most of the protecting and tries to watch over Sam the best he can.
Their relationship is dysfunctional and codependent and a lot of it has to do with the way they were raised. The father/son type dynamic conflicts with their dynamic as brothers and it has caused some unhealthy attachment issues.
15 Dean Hates That Sam Didn't Like Their Childhood
Dean and Sam grew up in the same family, but they experienced very different childhoods. Dean, however, has problems accepting this and even gets mad at Sam for having a different opinion of how they were raised.
When they went to heaven, all of Dean’s happy memories were of he and Sam, whereas Sam’s favorite memories took place away from family. Rather than be understanding, Dean got angry at Sam and said all his best memories were about leaving him. It’s like Dean doesn’t think they can be happy if they are apart from each other. While family should be important, they shouldn’t consume your entire life and be what you base your whole happiness on.
14 They Find Happiness Outside Of Hunting But They Always Go Back To Each Other
Both brothers have found happiness outside of the hunting life, but inevitably, they always go back to hunting alongside each other. Neither is able to escape the life if their brother is still in it. This goes all the way back to season one. Sam had found happiness with his girlfriend Jess at Stanford. Everything was fine until Dean showed up saying their dad was missing. He went back to hunting.
Dean, also, finds happiness with Lisa and Ben but goes back to hunting when he realizes that Sam is still alive.
It’s like neither brother is capable of saying no to the other. Whenever one needs them back in the hunting world they go back. They’ll never be fully satisfied living a normal life where they spend less time with each other.
13 Dean Forced Sam To Get His Soul Back Despite The Risks
All the way back in season six, Sam is pulled from Hell without his soul. His entire personality changed and he didn’t make any emotional decisions. Dean couldn’t handle this version of his brother and fought desperately to fix him. When they finally find a way to get Sam his soul back, they learn it could absolutely destroy him. If the wall Death puts up falls down, Sam could become an unstable, drooling mess.
Despite knowing the risks, Dean demands his brother gets his soul back even though it was incredibly dangerous and Sam doesn’t want it back. When Sam awakens, he doesn’t remember what happened and Dean decides not to tell him. Sam doesn’t learn what happened until he speaks with Cas. It was pretty selfish for Dean to give Sam his soul back knowing the risks.
12 Sam Took The Life Of Dean's Daughter With No Consequences
Sam and Dean have both taken action when one brother hesitates taking a certain action. They always try to do the right thing for each other, even when it’s hard. This was definitely the case when Sam took the life of Dean’s daughter. His daughter was an Amazon who aged much quicker than an average human. She shows up on Dean’s doorstep claiming that she wanted to leave the Amazons, when she really planned to take his life. She perishes at Sam’s hand after he shoots her to save Dean.
While it was understandable that she had to perish, it makes no sense that there was no lasting impact on their relationship after this incident.
Dean watched his own brother take the life of his daughter but neither brother speaks of it again and they never address any trauma associated with it.
11 Brotherhood Isn't Important When It Comes To Adam
Both Sam and Dean preach about how family is important to them. They are brothers, and that bond trumps everything else in their lives. However, it seems that concept only applies to the two of them, considering they left their other brother in Hell.
While they weren’t very close with their half-brother, he was definitely family and they were worried about him going in to the fight between Lucifer and Michael. When he falls into the pit with Sam, Dean does feel bad, but he’s obviously more focused on getting Sam back. However, once Dean gets Sam back, neither of them worry about getting Adam out, too. It doesn’t make sense for them to preach about how family is everything and then forget about their own brother.
10 They Look Down On Each Other's Choices
As much as Dean and Sam are there for each other, they don’t always support each other’s goals in life. Family is supposed to lift you up, and although they’ve saved each other many times, they’ve also judged each other’s lives pretty harshly.
From the first episode of the show, Dean clearly is upset with Sam for choosing to leave the family and attend college.
Sam is equally as disapproving of Dean’s choice to continue following John’s orders even as an adult. Throughout the rest of the seasons, they each judge each other for leaving and coming back to the hunting life. By now, it’s the clear the pair have agreed on life as hunters but it was back a forth for a long time.
9 Dean Treats Sam Like a Kid
While Dean did technically raise Sam when they were kids, he doesn’t have to take care of Sam his entire life. Despite the two being adult men, Dean still treats Sam like a kid a lot of the time. Especially in the earlier seasons, Dean would order Sam around and would still try to protect him. While an older sibling might always feel a little overprotective of their younger sibling, there’s no need to control an adult’s own choices.
Even when Sam tries to make his own decisions, like when he insisted on continuing the trials in season eight, Dean will try to have the final call. While he let’s Sam call more of the shots in the later seasons, it’s hard for him to let go of the big brother role.
8 They View Religion Quite Differently
While the boy’s view of religion has changed quite drastically since the addition of God, Lucifer, and the angels, they used to have very different thoughts on the subject. All the way back in season two, in an episode called “Houses of the Holy”, the boys hear angels mentioned for the first time. This starts a debate among the brothers about the existence of God.
Dean scoffs at the concept of angels, while Sam says faith is important to him.
When they first meet Castiel, Sam is once again excited about the existence of angels, while Dean is more skeptical. It’s strange that they have such different views on religion considering that they grew up in the same family.
7 They Make Fun Of Each Other's Domestic Happiness
While the boys always end up going back to a life of hunting, they have each found domestic happiness in the past. Sam was with both Jessica and Amelia for a while, and Dean lived with Lisa and Ben. Despite being happy with those lives, each brother made fun of the other for it. When Sam showed up to Dean and Lisa’s house, he rolled his eyes as he found Dean’s golfing equipment and made remarks about how domesticated he had become.
Dean also wasn’t very understanding about Sam and Amelia and even faked a distressed text from her to Sam’s phone in order to keep Sam away from Benny. Neither of them truly accepted the happiness the other had found with each woman. Sam and Dean should want each other to be happy, even if it doesn’t involve hunting.
6 They Argue Over Hunting Tactics
Sam and Dean have been hunting with each other since they were kids, so most people would assume the two have a solid strategy for each hunt when they go into it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and the two often argue how to handle monsters and demons.
Dean once had a “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality. While he eventually grows out of this, he and Sam used to have arguments about that concept.
Later on, Dean is the one who softens up a bit when Sam takes no-nonsense approach. The two never seem to be on the same page, which doesn’t exactly make sense for a life-long partnership, but makes for solid plotlines and conflict on the show.
5 They Each Have Taken The Life Of Someone The Other Loves
As hunters, the boys often have to make sacrifices. These sacrifices, however, aren’t always necessary in the minds of both brothers. Sam and Dean have both taken the lives of someone important to the other brother without major consequences.
Dean took the life of Amy Pond without Sam’s knowledge, and when Sam found out, he was understandably angry. On the other hand, Dean’s daughter perished at Sam’s hands and the boys never addressed it. While they both had reasoning behind their actions, each one should have caused more conflict than it did. Taking the life of someone your brother cares about would certainly be a problem that would not be resolved in just an episode or two.
4 They Save Each Other Rather Than The World
The Winchesters have always placed themselves above all else. While it’s important to care for your sibling, sometimes there are bigger things to focus on. In season eight, Sam attempts to complete the trials that will shut down Hell. Before he can finish, Dean finds out that if the trials are completed, Sam will perish.
While it would be painful for Dean to lose his brother, protecting the entire world from Demons may be worth the cost of one life.
Despite this, Dean begs Sam to stop and think about himself. The message was emotional and fans loved seeing the bond that the brothers share, but they had a chance to shutdown Hell and save thousands of lives, yet they chose not to in order to save one man. In a larger context, it isn’t the decision that made the most logical sense.
3 The Harbor Deep Resentment For Each Other
No sibling relationship is perfect. Every pair of brothers has had their fair share of fights and conflict, and Sam and Dean are no different. While they don’t talk about their emotions much, there have been times when each brother reveals problems that they have with the other when possessed or otherwise controlled.
In season six, for example, Veritas forces Dean to admit to wanting to take Sam’s life because he thought he was a monster. If he hadn’t been forced to say it, he would have kept that feeling to himself. Rather than talking about issues as they come up, the boys stuff their problems down and end up harboring resentment for each other. After years of doing this, it would make sense for the two to no longer get along, but somehow they manage to make their relationship work.
2 They Have Been Mistaken For A Couple
Since the beginning of Supernatural, Sam and Dean have been mistaken for a couple. Not only are jokes made about this in the show, but there are fans who ship “Wincest,” an imagined romantic relationship between the brothers.
The creators never intended for the brothers to be paired together in a romantic way and have made jokes about the idea.
In the episode “The Monster At The End Of This Book”, Sam and Dean find out that fans of the Supernatural books ship them together and they both agree it’s gross. While every show has different ships that fans support, it wouldn’t make sense to have an romantic relationship between the brothers canon on the show and it’s been made clear that it isn’t part of the plot.
1 They Are Each Other's Biggest Weakness
Sam and Dean are both really strong hunters. They're legendary, in fact. Despite this, though, they have a big weakness they can’t seem to overcome: each other. It’s hard for one brother to function without the other. While their codependent behavior is a major part of the show and an aspect that many fans enjoy, it causes a lot of problems. It’s easy for a villian to use one brother against the other.
This weakness is why they didn’t end up completing the trials to close Hell and how Meg was able to track down John by using the boys in season two. The biggest weakness of any Winchester is family. If they’re supposedly the greatest hunters around, their unhealthy relationship shouldn’t be such an easy target for the bad guys.
What do you think? Are there any other things about Dean and Sam's relationship in Supernatural that make no sense? Sound off in the comments!