The best teams are ones where each member has a specific skill set. That is no more apparent than on the long-running fantasy television series Supernatural. From the start of the CW series, the line was drawn with Sam as the reflective smart Winchester brother and Dean as the tough grunt of the duo. Together, they were able to solve most mysteries and figure out ways to eliminate all forms of demons, ghouls and even rogue angels. However, that is also the simplistic way of looking at things. Dean has said that Sam is tougher than anyone gives him credit for and Sam has said that Dean is smarter than anyone gives him credit for. At the end of the day, the Winchester brothers are complete packages.
However, there is also the fact that the two brothers have distinctive things that make them unique, possessing powers and skills that the other does not possess and can not do. Both brothers are expert hunters, possess a genius knowledge of most demons and spells, have an immense tolerance for pain, can perform exorcisms and cast spells in almost any situation and they are expert marksmen. With that said, Dean Winchester has some specific skills that Sam does not have based on a number of reasons.
Here are the 20 Things Dean Can Do In Supernatural (That Sam Can’t).
When using a ritual, Sam Winchester was able to store Bobby's soul in his arm in the season eight episode "Taxi Driver". While that was nice, and it was a good chance to get Bobby's soul out of Hell and back into Heaven where it belonged, Dean Winchester simply smiled and said: "hold my beer."
While Sam was able to store one soul in his arm using the ritual, Dean was able to store about 200,000 souls in his body.
This happened in the season 11 episode "Alpha and Omega", and it was because there looked to be no way to beat The Darkness without creating a Soul Bomb, which could destroy The Darkness with the trigger being Dean himself. Luckily, he didn't need it and God removed the souls, but it was very impressive.
Dean and Sam each got an anti-possession symbol tattooed on their chests that protects them from possession. The tattoos came after Bobby gave them charm amulets with the symbol on them to protect them, so this seemed more permanent (unless they are burned off, as happened with Kevin Tran's mother). With this said, after Dean became a demon for a short time, his tattoo inverted.
It is through the time that Dean was a demon that he possessed the power that the boys worked so hard to protect themselves from. While they did everything they could to keep from getting possessed, Dean gained the power to possess and take control of anyone while leaving his own body while he served as a Knight of Hell.
Dean and Sam have perished and returned from the afterlife more often than just about anyone in the world of Supernatural and made even comic book characters like Jean Grey look tame in comparison. Out of the two, Dean has passed away more than his brother and always found a way back.
However, for a short time, the one power that Dean held over his brother was immortality and the ability to possibly live forever.
When Dean became a Knight of Hell thanks to the Mark of Cain, he could never perish by natural or supernatural means. The only way he could perish after this was to pass on the mark or to meet the pointed end of the First Blade. Even if he did pass on, he would just self-resurrect immediately.
When God locked away the Darkness where it could destroy nothing else, he created a lock and key in a mark which he then entrusted to Lucifer -- who at the time was his most trusted lieutenant. Obviously, that didn't turn out as God hoped and when Lucifer was banished from Heaven due to the curse of the Mark corrupting him, he passed it on to Cain.
Cain then passed the Mark on to Dean. The Mark of Cain started out by cursing Lucifer, and Sam Winchester was the vessel for that Archangel. However, it was when Dean started to develop self-loathing after the passing of Kevin and Sam ending up possessed by Gadreel, that he accepted the Mark of Cain -- and eventually the role as a Knight of Hell as a result.
The Archangel Blade is a personal weapon for these beings and is more powerful than any regular angel blade. These weapons had a significant power -- they could end the life of an Archangel, something that is nearly impossible to do. That makes it one of the most powerful weapons in the universe and the only way it can work is if one Archangel uses it against another Archangel.
However, Dean Winchester actually had the ability to use it as well at one point.
In the season 13 finale "Let the Good Times Roll", Dean accepted Michael into himself as a vessel and then was tossed the Archangel Blade by Sam. While Dean was still in control, he was still able to use this weapon to eliminate Lucifer by stabbing him in the heart.
Sam is immune to a number of things due to him being one of the Special Children. He was immune to many creatures mind control powers and also had a strong immunity to diseases and other demonic powers, including telekinesis. However, after Sam drank demon blood, he lost this immunity, a bad side effect to that deed.
However, when it comes to Dean, he was highly immune to almost all magic when he had the Mark of Cain.
He was able to resist the powers of Abaddon while battling her and then gained a complete immunity to her magical powers after getting the First Blade. He also was immune to spells cast by Rowena as long as he had the Mark. As "King of the Damned" showed, he was also immune to all demonic powers.
Electromagnetic interference causes electronics nearby to malfunction. This is a side effect and in some cases the ability, of a supernatural entity in many cases. The Archangels have this ability and Raphael caused a blackout across the entire Eastern Seaboard at one point. Angels also often counteract electronics and when they first take over their vessel, often causing all lights spark or explode.
Demons, ghosts, banshees, Shtriga, reapers and soul eaters also cause these things to flicker out of control. However, there are also a number of specific characters who display this ability, including Lucifer, Azazel, Raphael, Dagon and the Four Horsemen. Sam never exhibited it but Dean Winchester did when he caused a gas station's security cameras to malfunction at one point.
When it comes to Dean and Sam, it was the elder Winchester who has passed away more often -- and it isn't even close. Of course, many of those times came in one episode where he faced his end over and over again, but there was also a time where Dean did something that Sam has not been able to accomplish.
When Dean was the Knight of Hell, he was not only able to live forever, but never really had an injury he couldn't heal.
Dean had the ability to regenerate any body part that suffered damage. Think of Wolverine or Deadpool, and that is pretty much the superpower that Dean had with the Mark of Cain. He had a stab wound from an angel blade and was able to completely heal that injury without a scar. He even cut his hands with the First Blade and they healed instantly.
Both Winchester boys have time traveled but the amount of time that Dean has traveled through time is just ridiculous. In season 4, Dean went back to 1973 to learn how Azazel's conflict with his family started. In season 6, both boys went back to 1861. In season 7, he went back to 1944.
With that said, Dean hates time travel, claiming that it causes a lot of inner problems that it takes him a while to push out. Interestingly, in the Blu-ray commentary for the fourth season, Eric Kripke said that the entire idea of time travel for that season was a "time paradox." According to Kripke, it was Dean who always went back in time and caused the events that put Sam and Dean on their path to meet Castiel.
Not everything that Dean has been able to over the years on Supernatural is something that Sam would ever really want to do. One of these less than savory instances is the time that Dean became a vampire.
Though the boys have been demons at one point or another, there was also the time when Dean went to the dark side as a vampire when transformed by Boris.
This happened in the season 6 episode Live Free or Twihard. As a vampire, Dean gained super strength, speed, agility, and senses, as well as immortality due to his body no longer aging, invulnerability to all but certain methods, and regeneration. The good news is that Dean never drank blood so the cure Samuel prepared for him reverted him back to human.
There have always been questions about where Sam and Dean Winchester get their money. One of the methods is by using credit cards gained illegally with the idea that credit card companies are immoral anyway, so they are only hurting an immoral company. However, with that said, there is no way of understanding how they get the cards sent to them since they never stick around somewhere long enough to have them mailed to them.
The second manner of raising money is all on Dean. While Sam was in college trying to make a regular life, Dean was helping his dad hunt and developed a great skill at playing pool. As a result, Dean has the skills to work as a skilled pool hustler and often hits up bars on the road to hustle other players for money that the boys then use to live on.
Dean usually has no problem with getting his hands dirty while Sam deals with the brainy parts of their investigations. Knowing full well that Sam can do just about anything with computers and technology means that Dean can just worry about the grunt work. However, even Sam will tell people not to underestimate Dean because he is a lot smarter than he will let anyone know.
Of course, the most obvious example of Dean's skills as a mechanic can be seen with his Impala, which he keeps in peak condition.
He actually once re-built the entire car after it was disfigured. On top of that, he has a talent with just about any electronic device. At one time he built his own EMF meter using nothing but an old Walkman and an electromagnet and then used it to wipe out a room of computers in the season 3 episode "Ghostfacers".
The First Blade is a weapon that was made by the jawbone of a donkey and was connected to the Mark of Cain. The only way to power up the blade is to possess the Mark. This means that Dean was able to wield the First Blade and actually use it to its full extent -- which is to end the life of anything it stabs as long as the person holding it has the Mark of Cain. According to Crowley, it could even end the life of an angel, which makes it a powerful tool.
Crowley is who found the First Blade so that he could give it to Dean in season 9 to aid in their battle against Abaddon. It worked, as the Mark of Cain made Dean immune to Abaddon's powers and he used the First Blade to end the demon's life. At the same time, the First Blade began to corrupt Dean the longer he possessed it.
There is something about Supernatural that doesn't really make any sense. Sam is the vessel for Lucifer while Dean is the vessel for Michael. The entire idea is for Lucifer and Michael to eventually take over the brother's bodies and go to war with each other, possibly destroying the entire human race in the process. It is the Winchester's goal to not let that happen. However, both boys have had their bodies used as vessels for the two Archangels. Sam was first, but Lucifer had to prepare him for this by making Sam drink a lot of demons blood.
According to Lucifer, no one could host an Archangel of his power without consuming demon blood or they would explode.
However, when Michael wanted to use Dean as a vessel, he just went right in with no demons blood and nothing happened.
While this isn't a good thing or a pleasant one, it came in handy when Sam and Dean Winchester needed it. Dean is linked to the Darkness. Of course, the Darkness is the older sister of God and would often go and destroy everything that he made. As a result, God created the Archangels to battle her and they were able to lock her away where she couldn't destroy anything else.
Unfortunately, Dean helped unleash and free The Darkness, which meant that he was now linked to her. This meant that he could sense her and find her, but he did not possess the ability to end her life. According to The Darkness, she and Dean were "bound" to one another and as a result, she chose to make him immune to her fog, which turned all other humans into Rabids.
Dean and Sam Winchester are great trackers. However, while that may be so, Supernatural has shown that Dean is the expert of the two at tracking just about anything. Both boys have expert hunting skills but since Dean continued to work with his dad while Sam left for school, he was able to continue to develop his skills.
Sam has called Dean the greatest hunter he has ever met, and that included both himself and their father John Winchester.
It also helps that Sam calls Dean a genius when it comes to lore, which helps him discern what he is hunting at any time. On top of his basic hunting tracking skills, Dean has also used magic to cast tracking spells as well, and that is how he found Cain.
Dean Winchester has worked on a magic spell that has given him the skill of binding. This is something that allows him to bind someone to his will, and this is something that Dean has used against very powerful beings. Crowley actually helped Dean come up with a spell so powerful that he was able to cast it and bind none other than Death of the Four Horsemen with it.
This happened in season 7 when Dean and Crowley were looking for a way to beat Castiel. Dean was actually able to pull off the spell, summon Death and then ask him to end the life of "God." Sadly, it didn't work and Castiel freed Death. Luckily, Death never wanted to end Dean, although he said that if he ever tried to bind him again, it would be the last thing that he did.
In the season 9 episode Dog Dean Afternoon, Sam and Dean were investigating some bizarre events and they realized that the only witness to the crimes was a German Sheppard dog. The Winchesters then looked up a spell that showed them how to communicate with the dog and when Dean cast it, he got a lot more than he bargained for.
Soon, Dean was able to communicate with the dog, leaning what happened and aruging about his musical tastes.
However, Dean also started to develop the traits of a dog, such as wanting to play fetch and barking at the mailman. Soon, Dean realized he could communicate with all animals, which created one of the funniest episodes in Supernatural history. Dean also almost learned the real reason dogs and humans are paired up but the spell wore off before he could.
Sam has driven the Impala before, but this is not something that Dean allows unless there are no other options. Otherwise, Baby is Dean's car and Dean is the only person he wants behind the wheel driving. There have been 36 episodes where Sam drove the car without Dean in it, and for those instances, Sam should feel very lucky.
In a funny moment, Jenson Ackles was asked at the 2007 Comic-Con why Sam rarely ever got to drive the Impala and Ackles said: "because it's my car." As the show has demonstrated over the years, there is little that Dean cares about more than Baby outside of his little brother. However, if there are no extenuating circumstances, always expect to see Dean behind the wheel of the Impala.
One of the biggest quips that Sam delivers to Dean in the very first episode has to do with music. Sam looks at Dean's music collection and had two observations. First, the music is all on cassette tapes and not on CDs. Second, the bands are ones like Motorhead and Metallica, which Sam refers to as mullet rock. Sam was not impressed.
Dean Winchester owns Baby and he chooses the music that they listen to -- whether it is Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Metallica or Motorhead. Not only that, but there are moments that will live in history that Dean has done that Sam would never conceivably do, such as sit in the Impala and sing "Eye of the Tiger" or jam out to "Carry On My Wayward Son", which is basically the Supernatural theme song.
Are there any other things that Dean can do in Supernatural that Sam can't? Let us know in the comments!