Long have fans of Moose and Squirrel debated the question: which Supernatural brother is better, Sam or Dean? Jensen Ackles plays leather-clad Dean Winchester, who, with his sense of duty, ganking abilities and smolder, has plenty of fans wrapped around his finger. Tall, brainy and sensitive Sam Winchester, played by Jared Padalecki, also has a strong fan following. So who is the better Winchester brother?
When it comes down to it, each brother has his own strengths and weaknesses. Both brothers would give their lives for one another, but they've also both hurt each other like no one else ever has.
10 Depth: Sam
Whereas Dean's pretty easy to please with a good-looking coed and a cheeseburger, Sam has much more depth throughout the series. He's the one who chose to pursue an intellectual career outside the family business, and he's the one who needs more of a connection before kissing a pretty face - most of the time. Soulless Sam doesn't count because, well, he had no soul.
It's not that Dean has no depth; on the contrary, we've seen him demonstrate otherwise many times. Sam's depth is just so much more consistent and ever-present, which earns him the much more pensive moments.
9 Power: Dean
Even if Sam is taller and generally seems more fit, Dean has demonstrated on many occasions that he's the more powerful of the Winchester brothers. No matter if it's a fistfight, a weapons-laden war or simply leveraging his weaknesses against an opponent's, Dean is the better brother. Much of his power is funneled through his rage, yes, and he certainly talks a big game, but Dean definitely walks the talk.
While Sam might be the Winchester to call to find out what to do about a monster, it's Dean people keep on speed dial to physically take out the ghoulies and beasties.
8 Knowledge: Sam
Whether he's looking it up on his trusty laptop, scouring the local library for the latest news or making calls to more knowledgeable hunters, Sammy is the Winchester who knows it all - or at least knows how to find the information needed. Sam is the hunter to ask when it comes to creature weaknesses or which weapons work best on a monster.
Dean often seems like the brother who took the most traits from his father, but Sammy's studious nature is an obvious nod to John Winchester's dutiful monster logging in his journal. Sam has simply updated the practice with the use of the Internet.
7 Humor: Dean
It's not that Sam is unable to make a quick quip, it's just that Dean is so much funnier. Whether he's a grief counselor here to hug, asking, "Who you gonna call?" or dropping trou and gleefully crying, "Pudding!" he's definitely the funny one. He's even better at pranking than Sam is, although when the two describe one another they can both get pretty funny. We'll never forget Dean with his mouth full of candy like a hamster.
Dean is even funnier when he doesn't mean to be. Compare Dean's yellow fever against Sam's bad day at Black Rock and you'll find that Dean's fear of kittens is so much funnier than Sam's lost shoe.
6 Sensitivity: Sam
All "too precious for this world" jokes aside, Sammy is the brother who comes in handy when there's a sensitive issue at hand, whether it's a missing child, a grieving relative needing comfort or even someone who's just trying to understand the supernatural danger they're facing. Dean's bluntness comes in handy, especially when the hunters are short on time, but Sam's compassion and empathy helps them connect with victims, gain trust and make connections wherever they go.
Of course, this sometimes backfires on the brothers, and there have been instances where getting too close to a werewolf, or even a victim, caused more hardship and pain than anything else.
5 Loyalty: Dean
Family means everything to Dean Winchester, which is why he stuck by his father and remained in the family business. Dean is loyal to the people he loves above all else, repeatedly sacrificing himself to save their lives and valuing them above himself. He's even made deals with demons to protect the people he loves.
Sammy is also loyal, and has also made many sacrifices for his brother over the years. Unfortunately, Sam often makes mistakes, even when his heart is in the right place, and he's proven to be less loyal than his older brother, particularly during the time he didn't even search for Dean.
4 Logic: Sam
Sam was gifted with the logical genes of the family, which, combined with his knowledge and know-how, makes him indispensable on the brotherly team. If there's a key, Sam reasons, there must be a lock, and when he asks Cas if he knows who spies on people, he gives the logical answer: Spies.
Even if Sam is usually the brother who wears his emotions on his sleeve, he's also the one who is better at using reason in a stressful situation. Dean keeps his heart closed to a lot of people, but he's more inclined to respond with his gut, or out of his anger or grief, instead of logic in the heat of action.
3 Instincts: Dean
Trusting one's instincts is usually a good idea, especially if you're Dean Winchester. While Sammy is often prone to giving people (and monsters) the benefit of the doubt, Dean is more likely to go by his gut instincts, which are often on the money. When Dean says not to trust someone, to keep information to yourself, or to get the heck out of Dodge, listen to him.
That's not to say that he hasn't made mistakes, and we're still waiting to find out whether or not one particular monster will enact his revenge on Dean for taking out his mostly benign mother years ago. Perhaps we'll get closure during the final season.
2 Health: Sam
Even with the turducken aside, Dean's eating habits are bound to send him to an early grave if hunting doesn't do it (again... and again) already. The guy would live off pie if he could, he drinks the most beer and he probably eats several cheeseburgers a day. He's practically the Hamburgler with a sawed-off shotgun.
Sam, on the other hand, is health-minded, and not only have we seen him order many a salad or fruit, but he's also worked out during the show, demonstrating his commitment to fitness. Given how strong Dean is, it would seem as if he, too, works out, especially given the amount of time they spend in the Impala, but it's Sam who really appears more healthy overall.
1 Protectiveness: Dean
Since childhood, Dean has been the protective brother, which is common among firstborn siblings. He's always been there for Sammy, even when he shouldn't have had to have been at such a young age, and he would do anything for his baby brother.
Dean has literally been to hell and back in order to protect Sam, and he's gone to extremes to keep his brother safe and well. Of course, it could also be argued that dragging him back into hunting was the opposite of protecting Sam, and a purely selfish move on his part, but Dean has mostly been protective otherwise.