Throughout Supernatural’s fourteen seasons, the characters have been through quite a lot. Each of them have a particular skill set to offer to Team Free Will that helps make their dynamic work. While Dean and Sam are the duo that has been there from the beginning, Castiel has become an equally important character in the show in recent seasons. The three leads of the show all have unique personalities and skills, which is one of the reasons why fans love each of them.
While Cas is an extremely powerful angel with incredible abilities, there are some things he simply can’t do or understand. Dean can’t do everything Cas can, but he’s one of the best hunters around, as he has his own impressive skill set and unique personality. Cas and Dean have worked together countless times, but each of them has their own unique characteristics that help them eliminate threats. Angels are impressive, but humans are impressive in their own way, too.
While Cas fans are quick to point out how amazing the angel is, Dean fans have their own aspects of their favorite Winchester brother to be proud of. Sam fans certainly have things to admire about their chosen brother as well, but for now, here are the 25 Things Dean Can Do In Supernatural (That Castiel Can’t).
25 Escape Holy Fire
While Castiel may seem untouchable at times, there are a few ways to trap and harm an angel. One of those is to lure them into a ring of burning holy oil. If an angel leaves the circle or touches the flames, both the angel and the vessel could perish. Cas has been trapped in one of these flaming circles by none other than the Winchester’s themselves after betraying them.
Angels can’t leave until the fire burns out. While Cas can be harmed by this, Dean cannot. It can only trap or hurt celestial beings, and seeing as Dean is human (at least most of the time), he can escape holy fire. It’s just one thing he can do that Castiel cannot.
While it isn’t exactly the most impressive skill in the world, Dean is able to sleep and Castiel isn’t. Angels don’t need to get any rest, while humans have to. Angels can go into human’s dreams while they are sleeping in order to communicate with them, but they don’t sleep themselves. Without needing to eat, sleep, or worry about personal hygiene, they are extremely efficient at completing tasks when they need to.
One of the funniest Castiel moments on Supernatural happened when he wanted to come over to help the Winchesters, and Dean told him to wait until the morning because he needed some sleep. Castiel famously says “I’ll just wait here then” and stands in the same spot until morning.
23 Go Undetected By Angels
Angels are constantly in contact with each other. Castiel frequently mentions “angel radio,” which even worked when the angels fell from heaven. They’re always able to communicate with each other. While humans are able to talk to angels when they want, like when Dean prays to Cas, they don’t have this same constant communication. Humans can also use Enochian sigils and other means to hide themselves from even the most powerful angels.
Cas doesn’t have the same luxury Dean does as a human. If Dean wants to go off the grid from the people upstairs, he can do it much easier than him. While Cas did have a sigil tattoo at one point, this didn’t hide him from all angels because he was tracked through his pain by an angel with special abilities.
Humans are much more emotional than angels. It takes a long time for an angel to learn what it’s like to feel things like a human, and most don’t understand their emotions or will even openly reject them. Cas, while much more human than he used to be, doesn’t have the same emotional capabilities as Dean. When he lost his grace, he did feel a lot deeper than before, but as an angel, he just doesn’t cry as often as a human does.
Dean has cried many times and feels emotions like grief, anger, and regret much stronger than any angel. That’s part of what separates him as a character. Many times, he has acted impulsively solely based on emotion.
21 Jam To Classic Rock
Dean Winchester and his relationship classic rock is one of the oldest love stories on Supernatural. Since the first episode, it’s been clear that the hunter is obsessed with music, coining the phrase “driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.” He always has it playing in the Impala.
He’s been seen jamming out to artists like Led Zeppelin and Asia, and this aspect of his personality is important to fans. He has a huge classic rock music library. Cas, on the other hand, doesn’t really have an appreciation for music. Angels aren’t keen on popular culture, so loving music is an aspect Dean has that Castiel doesn’t. It’s something distinctly different about the two that makes them the characters they are.
20 Wield The First Blade
When Dean first received the Mark of Cain in season nine, it was made clear that the mark was essentially permanent on his arm. Because of that, Dean was the only personal capable of wielding the First Blade.
It was made from the jawbone of a donkey and, according to Crowley, it’s powerful enough to take the life of an angel. However, even if Castiel wanted to take the life of a creature with it, it wouldn’t work for him like it would for Dean. The Mark and the Blade’s power goes hand in hand. While Dean no longer has the Mark or wields the Blade, it was something that he and he alone could do during seasons nine and ten.
19 Understand Sarcasm
While Cas has adapted to human behavior over the years, he still doesn’t quite understand slang and certain tones of voice. When he first appeared to Dean, he didn’t understand sarcasm at all and took everything literally. He even tried to use air quotes, but he always used them incorrectly.
Dean, on the other hand, is very well-versed in sarcasm. He’s constantly cracking jokes and making fun of people. This always makes for hilarious interactions with Castiel. While Cas once didn’t catch on at all, after spending time with the Winchesters, he sometimes is a little sassy himself, though not nearly as much as Dean. It’s something Dean has mastered and Cas still needs to work on.
Dean’s love for classic rock goes hand in hand with his love for singing. While he doesn’t sound very good, he’s been seen humming and flat out singing at the top of his lungs on multiple occasions. As a demon, he enjoyed getting up on stage and confidently performing karaoke. One of the most famous scenes of Sam and Dean is the pair singing “Dead or Alive” in season three. He even hums Metallica to calm himself down. While Dean definitely likes to sing, Cas has never really been shown doing so.
Angels aren’t known to enjoy music as much as humans. When Metatron turns human, he explains how much better it sounds to humans than celestial beings. That may explain why Dean likes music and singing and Cas could take it or leave it.
17 Become A Demon
One of the biggest plot twists in Supernatural history was the moment Dean opened his eyes after passing away and they turned black. Demon Dean was immensely popular to the point that fans wished he had stuck around for longer.
Demons are created from human souls who have endured immense torture to the point that they become corrupt and evil. They are the polar opposite and enemy of angels, so Castiel can never become a demon. While his vessel, Jimmy Novak, certainly could become a demon if he happened to go to Hell, the angel himself would never become one. While becoming a demon is never a positive thing, it’s something Dean was able to do that Cas could not.
16 Change His Wardrobe
Castiel is known for his iconic trench coat. Even people who have never seen an episode of Supernatural are familiar with the angel’s look. While he’s worn different clothes briefly, like when he was human, he always goes back to his coat. Fans actually get upset when he doesn’t have it.
While the Winchesters are known for wearing jeans and flannel, they have multiple wardrobe options. Dean doesn’t dress in the same exact outfit everyday, just similar looking ones. While Cas doesn’t have to switch outfits everyday, Dean does. This could be because angels don’t have to shower or worry about general hygiene whereas humans do. Whatever the reason, Dean changes outfits every day, while Cas always wears the same exact thing.
15 Drive The Impala
Since season one, it has been clear that Dean is obsessed with his car. His “baby” is his prized possession and he flips out if anyone does anything wrong to it. This includes driving it without his explicit permission. While Sam has been known to drive the Impala once or twice, Dean doesn’t let most people touch his car. The only time Sam has driven it is when there was no other option, like when Dean was turned back into a preteen.
Not only would Dean never allow Cas to drive his car, but for the most part, Cas doesn’t need to. For much of the show, he uses his wings to get everywhere. There are exceptions, of course, like when he was human or when he lost his Grace, but essentially, Dean can drive the Impala and Castiel can’t.
14 Enjoy The Taste of Food
On top of classic rock and his car, Dean’s third biggest love is food. He’s constantly eating something, whether it’s pie, burgers, or that gross Turducken Slammer sandwich from season seven. Cas, on the other hand, is not seen eating very often. The only time he’s seen needing food is when he becomes a human and when he encounters Famine and is constantly eating burgers. While angels can eat, it isn’t necessary to survival and it doesn’t taste very enjoyable compared to humans.
The angel is actually disappointed when he is no longer human because the food doesn’t taste nearly as satisfying. Dean doesn’t have that issue, though. Instead, he is always on the hunt for his next meal.
13 Sense The Darkness
In the finale of season ten, The Darkness was introduced to Supernatural. Throughout season eleven, she was the driving force of the plot. While many fans weren’t happy with the concept, Dean and The Darkness had an intense connection from the moment she appeared on Earth.
God’s sister was linked to the eldest Winchester and no one else. Dean is the one who unleashed her upon the planet, so the two became connected. This did help for tracking her down, as he could sense her easily, but he was unable to end her life. The pair were bound to one another in a way that she and Cas, or any of the characters, were not.
12 Get Drunk Easily
From season one, it was clear that Dean enjoyed drinking. As the years went on, his drinking habits increased to the point that he was accused of being too dependent on alcohol.
While Dean is easily able to get drunk, angels like Castiel are not. In season five, Sam asks Castiel if he’s drunk. He responds that he drank an entire liquor store. Angels can get drunk - it just takes an incredible amount of alcohol for them to feel the effects. Dean, on the other hand, can get drunk quite easily. This came in handy when he, Sam, and Garth once had to get drunk in order to see a monster they were fighting in season seven.
11 Be Death For A Day
Dean has always had an interesting connection with the horseman Death. They aren’t exactly friends or even on the same side, but Dean is one of the only people to meet with Death personally on multiple occasions.
His tolerance of Dean is what lead him to help get Sam’s soul back. In order to get to that point, Dean had to act as Death for a day. Death actually agrees to let Dean wear his ring and be in charge of taking lives. This is something Cas never could have accomplished. He doesn’t have the same established, unique relationship with Death. Only Dean could manage to act as the Horseman in order to save Sam.
On Supernatural, there are plenty of immortal creatures. Castiel is one of them. Unless their lives are taken, angels can conceivably live forever. Injuries and illness don’t affect them, though they sometimes have to switch vessels if theirs is damaged. Some angels have even been around since the beginning of time.
Dean is human the majority of the time. While there have been times when he was immortal, like when he changed into a vampire and became a demon, they were temporary phases. He ages like any other human being does. As hard as it is for fans to accept, it’s highly likely that Castiel will outlive the Winchesters. Dean continues to age while Cas always stays the same.
9 Torture People Extensively
While it’s not one of the skills that Dean is the most proud of, he is extremely efficient at torturing others. It’s one of the darker, more violent aspects of his character. When he was in Hell, he learned how to torture people extensively after being tortured by Alastair. He knows how to inflict the worst pains possible on the victim while keeping them alive. He even turned it around and used it on Alastair himself.
Cas isn’t nearly as well-versed in torture. While he did provide Crowley with monsters to torture in season six, he never did the torturing or experiments on those beings himself. Dean is the expert at torture on Team Free Will.
8 Fix Cars
No matter how much time Dean spends hunting monsters and saving the world, he always finds time to work on his car. Fixing up Baby is one of his favorite hobbies. He’s known a lot about cars since he was a kid.
He is an expert mechanic and he even rebuilt his entire car from scratch after a terrible accident. Not only is he great at fixing cars, but he’s also good at building tools and devices in general. Dean actually made the EMF device that fans always see him and Sam using. While Cas is certainly helpful in other departments, mechanical skills aren’t really in his areas of expertise. Dean is the handy person in the group.
7 Be An Expert Marksman
While most hunters are pretty handy with a gun, Dean is an impeccable marksman. He is well-educated in large variety of firearms and weapons. Dean rarely misses his intended target and has taken out countless enemies with a bullet. He has been in multiple duels and always wins, like when he went up against Elias Finch and took his life without getting harmed in the process.
Cas doesn’t really need to use firearms, so he isn’t skilled in the area like Dean is. It simply isn’t necessary. As a powerful angel, he prefers using an angel blade or smiting demons with his bare hands. Put the two together, and they’re pretty unstoppable in a fight.
6 Turn Into A Vampire
Being human definitely has its downfalls. Humans are extremely vulnerable to being turned into supernatural beings, including Dean. While he’s a skilled hunter, vampires are still able to get the drop on him. He was transformed by a vampire named Boris in season six, while a soulless Sam watched curiously. As a newborn vampire, Dean somehow had massive self-control and refrained from feeding on anyone. Because of that, he was able to be cured back into a human.
As an angel, Cas doesn’t have to be worried about changing into a vampire. He can annihilate them with minimal effort. Dean and Sam, however, have to be a bit more vigilant around the dangerous, blood-sucking creatures.
5 Take Lucifer's Life
Taking out Lucifer has been a priority for Team Free Will since the end of season four. After years of trying to get him, he finally perished in season thirteen. While all of the characters have tried to take his life at one point or another, Dean was the only one able to finally do it, though he wasn’t acting alone. In order to take out Lucifer, he had to say yes to Michael and let the archangel inhabit his body.
Because Dean is Michael’s “sword,” he was the only one able to ultimately end Lucifer. Cas simply couldn’t have accomplished the same outcome since they needed Michael in order to complete their mission.
4 Professionally Hunt Monsters
Dean and Sam have been hunters for essentially as long as they can remember. Dean is a professional at taking out ghosts, monsters, and even Gods. He’s been doing it his entire life. He’s one of the best hunters around there and everyone is aware of it. Even Sam believes that his brother is the best hunter he’s ever seen, aside from Bobby and their father, John.
Castiel has tried his hand at hunting, but he’s never been any good at it. He’s never quite had the patience for questioning others and tends to ramble on about supernatural creatures, which average humans don’t respond well to. While he’s gotten slightly better over the years, his professional hunting skills are nowhere near the level of Dean’s.
3 Effectively Flirt With People
Dean has never been shy about people he is attracted to. He has a very flirty personality and knows how to use it to his advantage. Particularly in the earlier season, he’s frequently seen on the lookout for his next conquest and gets distracted from cases by pretty women.
While he is an expert at flirting, Cas is not. He doesn’t typically understand innuendo and takes everything quite literally. Social cues are often lost on him. When he has attempted to flirt or have a relationship, it usually involves Dean coaching him and Cas still fails most of the time. The only person he was somewhat decent at flirting with was Meg, though she was typically the one making the first move.
2 Reference Pop Culture
One of fan’s favorite aspects of Castiel’s personality, particularly when he first appears, is his lack of pop-culture knowledge. His misunderstanding of popular references makes for hilarious situations. While he’s become a lot more pop-culture savvy than before thanks to Metatron gifting him all of the references he’s aware of from his time on Earth, he still misses out on certain things people say. Dean is the opposite, constantly talking in song lyrics, television references, and movie lines.
The dynamic between the two characters wouldn’t be nearly as fun if they both understood the same quotes and innuendos as the other. Their miscommunication makes for some great Supernatural moments. It’s even better when Castiel actually does understand a reference and surprises Dean.
1 Become Besties With The King Of Hell
Not everyone has an amicable relationship with the King of Hell. Crowley had a soft spot for the Winchesters, but he could be absolutely horrible to his enemies. He had an interesting dynamic with Dean, in particular. The pair have always said they hated each other but, despite that, they usually manage to get along in order to defeat a common enemy. Their “friendship” grew even closer once Dean became a demon and Crowley even called Dean his “bestie.”
While Cas has worked with Crowley in the past, the pair has also tried to take each other’s lives on multiple occasions and they don’t have the same sarcastic, teasing demeanor with each other as Crowley and Dean. Only Dean could manage to become best friends with the King of Hell himself.
Are there any other things that Dean can do (that Castiel can't) on Supernatural? Let us know in the comments!