Over the course of twelve seasons, Supernatural has had a lot of ups and downs. When the show is good, it’s damn good, effortlessly weaving mythology, drama, and meta together in a story that not only makes sense, but is engaging and compelling. But when Supernatural’s bad, it’s embarrassing bad – like so bad that you’d rather not tell people you watch the show. It’s because the series has reached such unparalleled heights that some of the bad eggs that inevitably make it onto the screen stink all the more.
When a show’s been running for more than a decade, inevitably, there will be some characters who are left on the wayside, some plot points that were pivotal one season that become inconsequential in the next, and some conflicts that fizzle out with disappointing resolutions. Supernatural is no exception to this widely held truth of the small screen. That said, some of the more embarrassingly bad storylines that the show wants you to forget happened within the show’s first five seasons, which most fans agree are still the strongest of the lot.
So grab a beer and a burger (or a salad if you’re a Sam), and check out these 15 Storylines Supernatural Wants You To Forget.
15 Sam’s Demon Blood Powers
When Azazel visited the Winchester family and Mary was burned alive in Sam’s nursery, the yellow-eyed demon fed little Sammy demon blood. It was Azazel’s blood that powered Sam’s psychic abilities, as well as his ability to exorcise demons. Sam’s powers were amplified whenever he ingested more demon blood, and while his abilities proved to be useful, they definitely took their toll.
Sam chose to stop using his powers; however, he still has the demon blood in him. While God healed him of his addiction to the blood, the blood Azazel fed him when he was still a child should still be in him. Even though Sam purified his blood for the Trials of God, he never finished the final trial of curing a demon, so chances are that Sam’s still pumping that Winchester/Azazel blend.
Having access to that kind of juice now, with Lucifer’s child on the prowl, would undoubtedly give the Winchesters an edge, but given how the Season 12 finale was all about tearing the brothers and their support team down, the writers probably want you to forget that Sam has this incredibly useful talent in his back pocket.
14 Dean Kills Amy And Her Son Vows Revenge
In the Season 7 episode, “The Girl Next Door,” Dean kills Sam’s childhood friend, Amy Pond, in front of her son, Jacob. The episode painted Dean in a morally dark light as Amy was portrayed in a sympathetic manner. As kitsunes, Amy and her son needed to feed on human organs in order to survive. She was able to satisfy their dietary requirements by procuring organs through the mortuary where she worked. However, when Amy’s son grew ill, the desperate mother began to kill unsavory criminals to help treat her son.
Unbeknownst to Sam, Dean paid Amy a visit and killed his brother’s friend by stabbing her in the heart. After he'd completed the deed, he turned around to find Amy’s son in the doorway. Jacob had witnessed Dean murder his mother as she pleaded for her life and swore not to take any more human lives. Too young and weakened to do anything about it in the moment, Jacob vowed to kill Dean when he grew up. A little over five years later, the bloodthirsty Jacob has yet to show up.
13 Dean’s One True Love
In Season 1, we meet Cassie Robinson, a girl who, according to the show, was Dean’s one true love – the only woman he ever truly loved -- but she'd dumped him when he told her about the family business. They reconnected years later when Cassie called on Dean to help her with a ghost that had been hunting her father. When they reunite, it’s clear that they still have feelings for one another, but the two decide to go their separate ways.
Given their deep connection, some fans were surprised when Dean chose to return to Lisa after the Apocalypse, the woman he hooked up with for what he describes as the “bendiest week of his life,” and not Cassie, the woman he supposedly loved and freely opened up to about his line of work. Whatever the reason, Cassie’s never seen or heard from again, while Lisa stuck around for a few seasons.
12 The Show’s Perception of Fangirls
The show has come a long way in its portrayal of fangirls with the introduction of Charlie Bradbury, the cool and lovable uber-nerd who eventually became an important ally to the Winchesters, as well as a good friend. The show also paid tribute to its fans in the charming and playful episode, “Fan Fiction,” but the audience’s first introduction to a fangirl was Becky Rosen, an obsessive, sometimes delusional, woman who at times seemed to highlight the cast and crew’s biggest complaints about their fans.
While she did prove to be helpful several times, like when she informed the boys about the location of the Colt (which, admittedly, she only knew because she was an obsessive fan), she also forced Sam to marry her without his consent. In the Season 7 episode, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding,” Becky gives the younger Winchester a love potion. When she runs out of the potion, and she attempts to acquire more, she tells her dealer that she and Sam have yet to consummate their marriage, implying that Becky was prepared to sexually assault Sam. We haven’t seen Becky since that episode, but with Charlie gone, she’s the only recurring fangirl the show has left.
11 The Problematic “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits”
Where to start with this one? “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits” was a Season 8 episode that stirred up a lot of controversy amongst the fanbase. It’s an episode about a witch, played by a white man, and his familiar - who’s animal form is a dog, played by a black woman. The episode is meant to explore the relationship between familiars and their masters.
While Portia, the familiar, chose to be with her master, she is essentially still his servant. She even wears a collar as a symbol of his ownership of her. While we do see another witch and familiar pairing within the episode, over the course of 12 seasons of this hour-long drama, you can count the number of women of color with substantial roles on your hands, which makes the casting choices for this episode unfortunate. Was there not a single crew member – one of the show’s many producers, the casting director, anyone – who thought that maybe this wasn’t a great idea? It’s just remarkably tone-deaf.
10 Sam Killing Dean’s Daughter
Emma was a product of one of Dean’s increasingly rare one-night stands. Dean slept with a woman who turned out to be an Amazon. As it turns out, Amazons have accelerated pregnancies, and their children experience rapid growth and grow to the age of sixteen over the course of a few days. When confronted by his daughter, Emma, Dean wanted to believe her when she said she wanted to leave the bloodthirsty Amazons and disappear with him, but it turned out to be a lie.
She wanted to kill Dean, and even after learning the truth about his daughter’s intentions, he still couldn’t off her. Luckily, Sam appeared and completed the job.
While Sam did what probably had to be done, earlier in the season, Dean had killed Sam’s friend, Amy, leaving the air between the two brothers tense for most of the early half of Season 7. However, all of that tension abruptly dissolved shortly after this episode, and the brothers never got the time to deal with the additional emotional baggage of knowing your brother killed someone close to you.
9 The Racist Truck
This outing has made it on a lot of worst episodes of Supernatural lists, and it’s not difficult to see why. Season 1's “Route 66” was written by the same two writers who wrote the aforementioned “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits” and “Slice Girls,” two other poorly received episodes from the series. The episode takes place in Missouri, where Dean and Sam learn of a possessed truck that has been targeting and killing black people.
The truck was possessed by a man named Cyrus Dorian, who started attacking black people when his girlfriend left him for a black man. In the hands of more capable writers, perhaps the episode could have delivered a resonating message about racism – which wouldn’t be so out of place, since most of the series takes place in the south. But on the whole, the episode is lazy, using heinous hate crimes for pulpy entertainment.
8 Sam’s Short-lived Domestic Bliss
Remember Amelia? We learned about the sweet veterinarian who was trying to escape the past through a series of flashbacks during the first half of Season 8. While she and Sam made a good match in theory (she did, after all, love dogs), Amelia wasn’t a big hit with the fans. Then again, most love interests on the show aren’t, and that isn’t because fans don’t want the boys to find love, as some of the cast have suggested.
In truth, the love interests don’t do well because, with a few exceptions, they’re seldom all that interesting. For example, Dean gets his own extended period of domestic bliss when he moves in with Lisa and her son after the Apocalypse, but apart from being presented as a limber mom, Lisa isn’t given much characterization. In the few instances love interests are given a decent amount of characterization, like the fierce and lovely Jo Harvelle, the chemistry between the characters is just off.
7 Charlie’s Pointless Death
There was an uproar when fan favorite Charlie Bradbury (played by the charming Felicia Day) was killed back in Season 10. It’s not that fans don’t expect characters to die. After twelve seasons, series followers know what they’re in for. However, this death hit the fandom hard, and many people began to complain that the show had become a little too trigger happy when it came to killing recurring female characters.
Whether that’s true or not is difficult to say, but for nearly eight seasons, the show has featured four central male characters, the brothers, Cas, and Crowley, along with several recurring male characters. So when the series loses a recurring female character, especially one as awesome and beloved as Charlie, the fandom loses it a bit.
However, it wasn’t just Charlie’s death that bothered the fans, but the manner of her death as well. She died because Rowena was so annoying that she had to leave the safety of the warehouse, even though she knew the Styne family was out there looking for her. It was such an out-of-character move for the ever-so cautious Charlie that fans cried foul. In the end, her death served as a plot device to spur Dean into an even darker place than he already was.
6 Kevin’s Equally Pointless Death
Supernatural has a real knack for creating interesting characters that you love, only to criminally underuse those characters and then kill them. This is what happened to Kevin Tran. After the Apocalypse and the loss of Bobby, the boys had to slowly rebuild their support team. Kevin, in addition to Charlie and Garth, made up that team, and Kevin, a former AP student, could have been well on his way to become a Man of Letters – a real asset to Team Free Will. However, instead of continuing to develop the character, the writers chose to kill him off in order to increase the brothers’ man pain. Unfortunately, that meant lights out for Kevin.
Again, while death is nothing new in Supernatural, Kevin’s death, like Charlie’s, was a plot device, written to get the boys to where they need to be emotionally for the next arc in the season. Compare that to Jo and Ellen’s deaths in Season 5 or John’s in Season 2, which were far more meaningful and impactful. Kevin deserved better. The fans deserved better, but they had to watch as yet another character, one of the few recurring characters of color, got a lame death.
5 Castiel’s Disappearing Handprint
Castiel’s first words in the series, “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition,” are seared into the minds of all Supernatural fans, even the ones who hate Heaven’s dorkiest angel. As Cas explains it, the angel dove into Hell and pulled Dean out after he broke under Alastair’s constant torture. The scar resembled a severe burn in the shape of Castiel’s handprint, and it stuck around for two seasons before magically disappearing in Season 7. When we see Dean shirtless just before he gets it on with the Amazon Lydia, the mark is gone.
Fans speculated that the scar healed when Cas healed Dean after Sam leaped into the pit. Jim Michaels, one of the producers of the show, confirmed this theory on Twitter, but we have yet to be given a canon explanation as to why the handprint is gone. Furthermore, it was never explained why Sam didn’t have a similar scar when Cas dragged him out of the pit. Whoops?
4 The Antichrist
During the Apocalypse arc in Season 5, the show introduced the Antichrist. He was a young boy named Jesse Turner, the spawn of a human who was possessed by a demon. Jesse was incredibly powerful – he effortlessly exorcised demons, he could also teleport, alter reality, and move things with his mind. He was so powerful that Castiel said he could destroy all the angels in Heaven with a single word. Unlike what all the mythology suggested, however, Jesse was a good kid. He chose to leave his foster parents and disappeared in order to keep them safe from the demons and angels who would undoubtedly continue to come after him.
When Season 12 introduced Lucifer’s child, many believed that he would be the Antichrist, but so far, they're just referring to him as a nephilim. Lucifer’s son, Jack, is also said to harbor immense power. While the show hasn’t had the opportunity to explore the range of his power, he was able to influence Cas from inside his mother’s womb. Seems like he and the Antichrist might be evenly matched.
While a battle between Lucifer’s son and the Antichrist would be awesome, it’s more likely that Jesse is another one of those conveniently too-powerful beings the show wants you to forget.
3 Dean and Castiel’s Series-Long Romantic Subtext
Destiel, the mothership in the Supernatural fan favorite ships, started pretty much the moment Castiel burst into that barn at the start of Season 4. You don’t have to strain your eyes too hard to see why the Dean/Cas pairing took off. The characters tend to gaze at one another. A lot. For unnecessarily long periods. The fact that numerous characters constantly (mostly in jest) infer that Dean and Cas are boyfriends has only continued to fan the Destiel flames.
Despite the fact that the show likes to poke fun at Cas and Dean’s profound bond, and perhaps even queerbait a little, some of the cast, crew, and fans are emphatically opposed to the shipping of the two characters. At some conventions, the mere mention of the ship can earn a round of boos from the audience. While no one can say what the future might hold for the fallen angel and the hunter, the gifting of mixtapes aside, this ship probably won’t sail.
2 The Show’s First Attempt at a Spinoff
Supernatural: Bloodlines – the spinoff that never was. Bloodlines premiered as a backdoor spinoff during the ninth season of the series. It was going to take place in Chicago, focusing on conflicts between a local group of hunters and monsters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t received very well. Fans complained about the lack of fun and humor that’s such a big part of Supernatural’s charm. Some liked the overall premise of the outing, but felt that the acting was subpar and were annoyed by the stereotypical portrayal of the women in the episode.
In the wake of the recent announcement of a new Supernatural backdoor pilot, Wayward Sisters, the writers probably want fans to forget their first failed spinoff. However, Wayward Sisters will be focusing on characters fans of the show already know and love, and it’ll be starring a cast primarily comprised of badass women. Our hopes are high.
1 Sam and Dean Abandoning Their Other Brother In Hell
Guess who’s been rotting away in the Cage for over seven Earth years (who knows how much time that amounts to in Hell years)? That’s right, Adam, son of John Winchester, brother to Dean and Sam – family before everything – Winchester. Given the number of other people they have helped, the countless strangers they have risked their lives for time and time again, it seems completely out of character for Sam and Dean to not even attempt to rescue their half-brother from imprisonment in a fiery pit.
In Season 11 of the show, the boys visit Lucifer’s Cage, but Adam, who’s still possessed by the archangel Michael, is nowhere to be found. Lucifer makes an offhand comment about Michael going insane, and that’s the last we hear of it. Sure, everyone had bigger concerns at the time, but since they were there with the Cage literally right in front of them, Team Free Will and Company could have made some kind of an effort to help save their brother from eternal damnation.
Let us know in the comments if there are any other storylines you think should have made the list!