Carry on my wayward sons...and sisters! Rev up the Impala and get ready to hit the road, because it's time to explore the world of Supernatural!
Yes, one of the longest running dramas on television is today's article focus. The world of Supernatural follows Dean and Sam Winchester, two brothers raised to be hunters. Hunters are men and women who protect the world by hunting down supernatural creatures destroying humans around the world. The brothers travel through the United States, protecting people from vampires, demons, and even evil angels. They've fought and prevented the apocalypse several times, each passing away and being resurrected in the process, and have even gone head to head with Lucifer himself. Put on this life path by their father John after witnessing their mother being destroyed by a demon, the brothers fight tooth and nail to save innocent people from the things that go bump in the night.
While their heroics are the stuff of legend, the show is not without its share of controversies. Poor jokes made way too soon at conventions. A lack of diversity overall on the show. Even some behind the scenes drama around some fan-favorite characters leaving the show. The show is both legendary and shrouded in darkness, so today is the day we expose the darkness to the light.
Come along on this journey as we explore the thirty darkest secrets about everyone's favorite CW show Supernatural. From sinister family lineages to payment drama behind the scenes, it's about to get real interesting here for us Supernatural fans.
30 Destiel No More
It's not uncommon these days to see fans of shows or movies hoping to see characters get involved romantically. Fans of the show for years have been shipping, or pairing the characters Dean and Cas together romantically.
However, the actor who portrays Dean, Jensen Ackles, refuses to even acknowledge fan questions regarding the pairing.
Fans have argued that Dean might have more to his identity than meets the eye, but when a fan at a New Jersey Comic Con began to broach the subject, Ackles told the fan not to ruin the convention with that kind of question, which sent the internet into an uproar. It even managed to earn a trending hashtag, #NJCon. However, the creators don't mind the questions as they don't want to alienate any of the audience members who enjoy that aspect of the show, especially since Ackles himself has joked about the pairing in gag reels from previous seasons.
29 Lack Of Diversity
One of the things the show has been accused of over the years is having a lack of diversity. In a show with a mostly white, straight male cast, the use of minority characters are often brief, and not always good. For instance two of the more prominent angels on the show were portrayed by people of color, but both were portrayed as being evil. Meanwhile Dean's one true love introduced in a season one episode, Cassie, made one appearance, only to never be seen again.
She too was a person of color.
Even fan favorite hunter Rufus, a man of color, was killed off to further the story of Bobby Singer. This, combined with the lack of other minorities has led to some calling the show bigoted. However, in recent years we've begun seeing this change, if not slowly. The push for a cast of strong female characters (possibly for a spin-off) has begun.
28 Religious Favor
One of the overall arcs on the show has been the heavy use of the Christian faith for the show's mythology. Other religions have been featured in episodes, with even some featuring old gods like Odin and Kali. However, these "gods" were portrayed as weaker and less powerful than the Christian God or even Lucifer. While Christianity is certainly one of the most widely used religions in the world, it appears that it's become the centralized story aspect of the show, despite the fact that not everyone practices the faith. With a show titled Supernatural, it'd be pretty easy to get into more ancient aspects of the mythology of our world. Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, and how they all blend together in our society might be a little more interesting than the continuous Christian theme. Although I will say having watched the show that there are several aspects of the story that would not make devout Christians happy, but I digress.
27 Crowley's Fall
One of the biggest shocks in recent years was none other than the demise of Crowley. A fan favorite character on the show, the British speaking King of the Crossroads Demons turned King of Heck was an anti-hero of sorts, causing trouble for the brothers on several occasions while also lending a helping hand, if not to serve his own needs. His love/hate relationship with the brothers and his hilarious approach to the never-ending threats the brother's face each year made him a staple of the show for years. Fans have speculated that the actor who portrays Crowley, Mark Sheppard, has had a falling out with the show-runners on the program, as he's said he would never want to come back to the set or attend a convention again, and even claimed he had a memorable final line that was cut from the final episode. Sounds pretty rough for the actor.
26 Offensive Slurs
Any show that's been around for as long as Supernatural is bound to have skeletons in the closet, so to speak. As time passes on, so too does the world's pop culture change, and what is once acceptable is now more harmful than good. In twelve to thirteen years since the show has begun, it's not hard to see that the times have changed, and things that were considered funny or humorous have been revealed to be hurtful and cruel. In a season 11 episode, a demon tells the Winchester brothers that it's every "he/she/shimself".
This was at first praise for the inclusion of the word shimself by the writers of the episode.
However further investigation proved that this word was actually a slur to the transgender community. Despite this knowledge, no one from the show has ever come forward to present a proper apology for the use of the word in the episode.
25 No End In Sight
We don't mean for the show itself, but rather the running tension between Dean and Cas. As we previously discussed, the fans of the show have been clamoring for years to see the angel Castiel and older brother Dean finally admit their romantic feelings for one another and become an item. However year after year the teasing and relationship between the two characters never amounts to anything the fans hope to see.
Fans have accused the show of using what is known as "queerbaiting."
This is a term used to describe a show purposefully including romantic tension between two characters and teasing a possible LGBTQ character's reveal, only to never act on the teased pairing or character development. Fans have theorized for years that Dean is attracted to both men and women, and yet the show-runners have never made an attempt to clear up any confusion or act on the possible story.
24 Executive Issues
It's kind of an unwritten rule that you should never, ever mess with the fandom. In any good show, the fandom are the people who drive the show's success. In the Supernatural world, the fans are one of the most dedicated, loyal, and powerful fandoms around. After over a decade of being on the air and no signs of the show's end in sight, the fandom is not to be trifled with. However, one Warner Brothers executive learned this the toughest way imaginable. In a press event, Chad Kennedy was unaware of the fandoms love for Dean's possible attraction to men and women, and while he supports the use of Bi characters, he claimed that he didn't see Dean as Bi and didn't think it'd serve the story of the show. This caused such an intense backlash that Kennedy had to delete his Twitter account to escape the anger of the Supernatural community.
23 Misogyny Run Amok
One of the aspects of the show that has needed a change over the years is not only the lack of female characters, but the treatment of the female characters the show does have. Some of the fandoms favorite characters are women.
While a lot of the women in the show are portrayed as being evil, the good ones are often written off or worse, made to be rescued by the brothers.
This happened recently not only with the tragic loss of fan favorite female character Charlie, who was left lifeless in a bathtub, but when Rowena, everyone's favorite ancient witch and mother to Crowley, was taken out off-screen, with no sort of answer as to her fate. Fans have often complained about the constant use of the b-word as well on the show, with star Misha Collins also speaking out against the writer's using the word so much.
22 Lose A Shirt?
This one is less of a dark secret and more of a shock as to how the show gets away with it. While a lot of the show's fanbase doesn't mind this and in fact clamors for the scenes on a weekly basis, it might shock you to know just how far the show is willing to go to get the guys semi-undressed. Something that is probably no secret is that the men of the show often find excuses to go shirtless. It's no secret that they are considered attractive and muscular, and fans want to see them without a shirt on. Well, the show-runners heard the fans loud and clear, and have gone so far as to create entire episodes for the express purpose of having the brothers be shirtless. They even did this when Castiel was introduced, having a scene where he took off all his clothes except his undergarments.
21 What's My Line?
One of the things the show likes to do is include fun, random, and even monumental episodes. Episodes that take in genres that you would never expect to see in a show like this. Who could forget the time The Trickster put the brothers in a never-ending loop of various TV shows?
Fans were shocked when the show's 200th episode rolled around, and yet there was no sign of Castiel or Crowley.
The show was special as it was a musical episode, a first for the show and a throwback to other "meta" episodes in years past. However, the show failed to include the actors responsible for two fan-favorite characters. Misha Collins told audiences he petitioned to be a part of the episode, writing emails to the show-runners about his role in the episode. Alas, they wanted other actors for this specific episode, and fans missed out on a singing and tap dancing Crowley and Cas in the end.
Any show worth its salt is going to have dumb, unbelievable, and even cringe-worthy episodes. Episodes that defy the show's high standards and show the mistakes they should never make again. After all, the show is made by humans, and humanity is known for making mistakes. One of the show's most controversial and worst made episodes has to be the season seven episode "Time For A Wedding." In this episode, Winchester fangirl Becky uses a love spell to force Sam to love her, getting married in the process. This led fans to have major outrage. You see, not only did the entire episode end up making light of the horrific reality of forced physical altercations but also portrayed fangirls and fans in general as obsessive and willing to do criminal things to be close to those they care for or are attracted to. It was a disturbing episode many wished had never been made.
19 Devil In The Details
One of the most beloved villains on the show Supernatural is none other than the devil himself, Lucifer. Portrayed mostly by actor Mark Pelligrino, the character has become a fan favorite villain. However, not everyone in the Supernatural fan base is a fan of the actor playing him. In recent years Pelligrino has refused to shy away from political or controversial topics on his social media platforms, and some fans have argued that this has led to some possibly racist or offensive remarks. In one instance, Pelligrino made an argument about the Muslim faith's more violent aspects and his wording and views appeared to come off as bigoted towards the Muslim community. While we can't comment on the actor's specific political or religious views, it's safe to assume the creators of the show would rather keep this aspect of the actor away from their show.
18 The Anti...
A lot of shows nowadays are made the subject of ridicule by very serious groups who don't appreciate a show's content. It's safe to say that one of the most controversial groups in the world is the Westboro Baptist Church. The religious group has come under fire for years for their hateful speech and verbal attacks on others.
One actor from the show became the centerpiece for the group's hatred, and that was Misha Collins.
The actor who portrays Cas is well-known to be both charitable and kind. However, this led several members of the Church to claim he was none other than the Antichrist, or in their words, one of several Antichrist figures. This has led to several jokes amongst his fans, who call themselves minions after being labeled by the church as such. However, the Church is not one the show-runners probably want to upset as the years go on.
17 Love Ruins Everything
At least it did for the show-runners on Supernatural. It's not uncommon to hear of stars or costars on film and television projects getting romantically involved and falling in love while working together. Star Jared Padalecki and his wife Genevieve are the stuff of romance lovers everywhere. They met on the set when she snagged the role of demon Ruby, and the two actors fell for one another in real life. They announced their engagement on the show, which caused problems for the show itself as they had planned for the two characters to get married, and the real-life engagement made them feel an on show marriage would be too cheesy. When she reappeared in season seven, the hope was that they could introduce a pregnancy story for the character, but then the real-life couple announced their own pregnancy, and so all plans were scrapped once more.
16 Shocking Actor Interactions
Not all actors on our beloved television shows are the epitome of kindness and sincerity. Just as there is good, there is also bad. Some actors are great to their fans, while others are seriously cruel or harsh to the fans. In season ten of the show, a character was introduced named Cole Trenton.
Cole was a former marine who was seeking revenge against the then demon version of Dean.
However, the actor who portrayed him, Travis Aaron Wade, is no hero, at least in the Supernatural community. The actor has been accused in 2015 of being inappropriate at conventions, with fans coming forward with claims of physical harassment. He would call these fans liars on Twitter, and eventually block them. He then would tweet out inappropriate content on his Twitter, only to claim he was hacked. It was a very intense and shocking turn of events for the actor.
15 Bobby Be Good
There are some characters who make such a huge first impression in a television show that they become instant hits. Characters with memorable catch-phrases, a heartwarming connection to the main cast and a winning personality that brings a fresh new perspective to the show's overall arc. Enter Bobby Singer. Bobby Singer has to be one of the most beloved characters in the show's history. The "idjit" calling surrogate father to the Winchesters, he served as a strategist of sorts, helping keep the hunters organized and helping the brothers battle the forces of evil. However, Bobby nearly ended up not existing on the show. You see, Eric Kripke, the show creator, wanted to bring back Missouri Mosley back in the season one episode "Devil's Trap," but the actress who played her, Loretta Devine, was not available at the time. So instead, Bobby Singer was created, and the rest is history.
14 Too Soon
Sometimes people don't know when they should and shouldn't say something. While some people have messed up senses of humor, not all topics should be on the table for their jokes.
Certain topics should be off-limits altogether, for while intended to be funny, people don't always know who they may hurt inadvertently.
For instance, in recent years the world has been following the case of Bill Cosby, who stands accused of assault against several women. The case is high profile and known for its horrendous actions, and yet at a Supernatural convention, stars Jared and Jensen felt compelled to tell a joke about the case. It's not clear what prompted the joke, but Jared makes a comment (after fans insisted on hearing the joke, which Padalecki insisted on not telling), about asking Jensen if this rag smells like chloroform, which Jensen replies, "No Mr. Cosby." It's a messed up joke that should never have been told.
13 Papa Winchester
There has been one character who was taken very early in the show's history that fans have hoped would return. One character fans have been clamoring to have come back is John Winchester. Played by fan-favorite Jeffrey Dean Morgan (currently Negan on the Walking Dead), the father of the Winchester brothers was their mentor, teaching them the ways of being a hunter after his wife and their mother was taken by a demon. In the pilot episode, Sam's girlfriend at college passed on the same way as his mother. She was pinned to the ceiling and set on fire by the yellow-eyed demon, forcing Sam back into the hunter business. However, originally the show-runners intended for John Winchester to be the one who perished in the fire, not Sam's girlfriend. Luckily for the Winchesters and fans, their father survived the rest of the season and built a relationship with both boys before passing on.
12 Sling Blade Sam
Shows like Supernatural have been around the television waves for so long that they can get away with little things that kind of bewilder audiences. I've seen characters on shows start out with sisters, only to become an only child overnight. I've seen wives recast between seasons and fans are expected to love and appreciate this new actress because the show demands it of them. Did anyone else wonder why Sam was wearing an arm sling through some episodes of season ten? If so you aren't alone. Well in a show where the brothers are always attacked by supernatural creatures, one just assumed he was hurt fighting their latest enemy.
However, that wasn't the case.
While filming, Jared Padalecki was goofing around with supporting actor Osric Chau and dislocated his shoulder. Rather than delay production, the team decided to put Sam in a sling and never explain it.
11 Show Him The Money
Not all of the dark secrets behind the show involve the stars or their personal lives. Some come down to a more business-like nature, and it always involves the green (money). Behind the scenes drama is currently playing out on the show. In the show's first eight seasons, it netted around $570 million. However, Warner Bros. claims that after paying fees and expenses to the cast and crew, the show owed $23, or in other words, was in a deficit and the studio had no money to pay the show itself. However, creator Eric Kripke challenges this, saying they aren't accounting for licensing or the money from Netflix and Hulu. So where's all that money going? I mean, a show as popular as Supernatural, which films in a lower cost setting like Vancouver, should be netting a pretty sized penny after thirteen years on the air.
10 Missed Opportunity
Some of the most memorable episodes of the show have nothing to do with the overall plot of the season. They are the one-off episodes, that bring out the cast's humor, wit, and emotional connections.
Episodes that dive headfirst into the genre fray and come out the other side looking like an entirely different show.
One episode that fans loved for it's "meta" status was "French Mistake." The episode found the brothers transported to an alternate reality where they were, in fact, actors on the show Supernatural. This meant we got to see the actors portraying not only their characters but versions of their true actor selves. However, one person was recast for the episode: creator Eric Kripke. Kripke admitted he was a terrible actor, and no matter how much he wanted to be on the show he didn't want to mess up the shot. So instead he recast himself to better represent the episode's story.
That's right, the Winchester brothers are criminals. Not just for the crimes the government charged them with for their hunting job, but because the only way they ever have money to pay for food, clothes, and gas, is a wallet full of stolen credit cards and identities. It might be a shock to newcomers to the show, as they have managed to shy away from this particular aspect of the story after the first few seasons. However fans who have been around since the beginning know that the brothers are forced to live off the grid thanks to their job, and so they have had to become criminals in the nation in order to fuel their war against the monsters of the world. They commit identity fraud to stay alive and fight another day, but it's fraud nonetheless. It's not the most glamorous or honorable thing, but a person's got to eat, am I right?
Much like any other show, Supernatural makes use of a lot of Hollywood tricks to help sell the story of any given episode. One thing that fans might be interested to know however is that some of the stars of the show have taken to the internet to reveal some of these tricks, and have given fans a way to interact with the show itself.
One of the aspects of the show that's always been fun has been their impersonations of FBI Agents.
Sam and Dean always have rockstar name alias for their FBI personas and a whole slew of phones that connect to other hunters pretending to be FBI field offices. Well, these phones used on the show have actual numbers attached to them, and Jared Padalecki tweeted out the number to one of these phones as a joke. Needless to say, the phone got a lot of calls from eager Supernatural fans.
7 Old World Blues
In the show's early years, the mythology was not as apocalyptic and end of the world driven as it is today. It was more focused on hunting monsters and just survival. One of the big concepts for the show back in it's earliest years was that of the crossroads demon. In this mythology, anyone could go to a crossroads and demand a demon give them whatever they wanted in exchange for their souls. After a number of years having their wishes come true, an underworld hound would be sent out to rip the soul from a person and drag it to the underworld. Well, this is based on actual legends. The legend was that blues singers used to make deals with demons at crossroads for their souls in order to become famous and super talented. The legend stems from blues singer Robert Johnson, who wrote songs like "Hellhound On My Trail" and "Me and the Devil Blues."
6 Looks Familiar
Have you ever watched the show go into a random person's home, only to notice it looks familiar? That's because the show recycles sets. That's right, Bobby's home is also the home of anyone else the boys come across while working cases in the show. It's not an uncommon practice, especially on a show like this. On a network with a smaller budget and a need to utilize the budget for more special effects driven aspects, the set design is something the creators would want to spend the least amount of money on.
Why pay to build a new set when the old one will serve the same purpose?
In fact, I believe the fans care far less about the show's home setting and more about the brother's and their story. The show shoots all in Vancouver, so they utilize one house set for all their house needs.
5 Winchester Pride
The Winchester brothers are not the most famous people with that name, if you can believe it. Fans of horror films might know this, but if you have been wondering why the name Winchester sounds familiar, then look no further. You see, while the use of the name has never been explained for the show, the name Winchester actually refers to the family who created the Winchester rifle, one of the nation's most popular and iconic brands. Back in the day, the creator's widow Sarah Winchester moved to California and built the Winchester Mansion. However, it became infamous for it's supposedly haunted nature. Sarah was told by a psychic that the ghosts of the house were the deceased who were taken out by Winchester rifles, who were bent on tormenting her. So she spent most of her life building onto the mansion and creating elaborate and confusing rooms that she hoped would trap the spirits.
4 Azazel Was His Name-O
When the show first began, there was one central villain that drove both of the brothers in their mission to find their father and get revenge for the ones they lost. One villain who tested the brothers time and again with a secret agenda all his own. One monster that haunted their dreams.
The yellow-eyed demon.
The slippery villain of the first few seasons of the show. The creature responsible for the demise of Mary Winchester, the boy's mother. One of Lucifer's lords or knights of the underworld, he returned to the brother's life twenty-two years after destroying their mother, only to destroy Sam's girlfriend in the same way. Well, apparently this was no coincidence. The number twenty-two is associated with a secret numerology-based association. It's told that the number means the realization of goals beyond personal ambition, and we all know who he ended up serving, right?
3 The Disney Connection
I bet Disney is the last name you'd associate with the show, but it's true. When everyone thinks of Disney, they imagine the House of Mouse, films about beautiful princesses facing great dangers and good triumphant over the forces of evil. However, the last thing anyone would associate the name with is a monster who devours the humans unlucky enough to be lured in with it's beautiful yet haunting voice. One creature used sporadically on the show is the Siren. Much like their mythological counterparts, the Siren is a creature who uses their singing voices or abilities to lure people to an early grave. While depicted as beautiful, they are actually quite monstrous, and in the show, Eric Kripke, the creator of Supernatural, named each Siren starting in season 4 after a Disney Princess, including Belle, Jasmine, Ariel, and Aurora. Yikes. I would hate to get on these princess's bad side.
2 Afterlife Drama
The end of a major character is usually a big deal on a television show. There's a certain sense of finality to it. The character is so beloved, that no amount of magic can ever repair the character as they originally were. However, a select few shows have found a way to utilize magic and the paranormal to bring these beloved characters back from the grave. The thing that connects the brothers for years has been how many times each has passed away or been possessed by a supernatural entity. While Sam has been taken over by Lucifer, Dean has found himself passing on and going to Heaven, the underworld and even Purgatory, suffering in each place so badly that both brothers have come back to life and had serious traumatic PTSD as a result. Not many fans know this, but Dean's also been to one place very few knew existed: Avalon, the land of the fairies.
1 Winchester Royalty
There are some stories throughout history that are quite legendary and used as modern day inspiration for moral stories. One such story is that of Cain and Abel. From the Christian Bible, the story tells of two brothers, one of which grew envious of the other and resorted to the most despicable actions to get his way, only to be cursed for all eternity. One of the most shocking things fans might not have put together is that the brothers are descendants of the most ancient lineage of all: Cain and Abel. Cain himself has confirmed this theory, having appeared and given the Mark of Cain to Dean to use the First Blade to slay several enemies of heaven, the underworld and everything in-between.
It's even given him the strength to take out the Reaper himself.
However, both brothers have defied their lineage by never once trying to end the life of the other, something Cain and Abel were never able to do.
Check out Joshua Mercott's article on Supernatural here!
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