When a show is in its thirteenth season, you can confidently assume that it’s been anything but unlucky. The success of Supernatural has hinged on the life and heartaches of two brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). If this were a comic, we might have seen these two as legit superheroes, what with their death-defying experiences, highly occult dealings, and face-offs in the show (2005–current).
In our top-20 list, we mainly aim to cover dark instances that happened off-screen concerning the cast and crew of Supernatural. Any sane reader will agree that this entire show (rife with demons, angels, demi-gods, fights-to-the-death, demon possessions, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, reapers, the end-times, and a slew of other chaotic elements) is dark in a ridiculously strict sense.
To cover similar secrets from the show itself will be like going on a lore-by-lore tour through ancient history. That said, we have dug up a few interesting factoids that dwell around specific themes used in the show that we feel might have been overlooked, despite being dark in nature. So here are a handful of unnerving real-life incidents and instances that some fans might not have heard about... yet.
20 The Fallen Racist
Mark Pellegrino’s portrayal of Lucifer left us frightened to our cores. He brought that certain ‘pizzazz’ to the role, veering slightly away from tradition (if those jeans and wacky attitude are anything to go by) but staying true to the vague historical personality that is the biblical Lightbringer. In a strange twist of fate, Lucifer has been known, scholarly speaking, to look down on God’s creations. Perhaps Pellegrino dove too deep into his role? His racist tweets seem rather on point with his character in Supernatural (since he debuted in Season 5).
He’s upset fans of the show with his tweets, and many have asked that he be taken off the show. His tweets on gender-bias and white people did not sit well, in fact, he’s even made rude anti-Muslim remarks. Spoiler alert... Rowena and Crowley have even been ‘taken out’ of the storyline while a bigoted Mark Pellegrino lingers on.
19 The King Has Been Dethroned
Also a Season 5 debutant, Mark Sheppard’s rendition of Crowley, the King of the Underworld, practically carried the plotline along unforgettable channels. He’s put the ‘S’ in Scheming. In other words, few can say they did not love what this man brought to Supernatural. Where his ambiguous character and Brit accent endeared him to fans, he seemingly had a falling out with the show’s developers. The writers have (warning: spoiler ahead) killed him off in Season 12, but as with all things Supernatural, fans held their breath awaiting news of the Second Coming of Crowley.
Unfortunately, tweets poured in from the actor himself where he’s stated quite clearly that he won’t be interested in returning. There’s trouble in paradise, and we are yet to gather the full picture.
In every instance of life, women have proven to be as good as men, if not better. And in a show as infused with magical elements as Supernatural, we do indeed see a fair share of splendid female characters, starting from Sam and Dean’s mom, the beloved Mary Winchester (Samantha Smith) and Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) to the wickedly brilliant Rowena McLeod (Ruth Connell) and the geeky-but-cute Ellen Harvelle (Samantha Ferris).
And don’t get us started on the bombshells whose performances have been quite as jaw-droppingly good. Why then are the writers/creators killing them off or not using them as prominently as they do the men-folk? In a show as heavily supported by female fandoms as Supernatural, this is quite the ironic faux-pas. It’s easy to declare Misogyny, but will the storyline ever change to reflect a longer-lasting female-driven script in the seasons to come?
17 Minority Report
It seems ‘impossible’ for the creators to want to hold on to any other character other than Sam and Dean. Not that fans are complaining, but the show IS in its thirteenth season, which means there has been enough room to play with some of the big-hitter characters introduced so far. But the writers simply keep killing them all off prematurely.
Taking inclusive measures could have meant that Raphael and Uriel (played by Demore Barnes and Robert Wisdom respectively) would have had more screen-time in the show. Dean really cared about Cassie (also an actor of color), and we mean bonded-for-life cared, but then she disappears off the Supernatural map. Except for Kevin Tran, non-white actors seem to have it bad where character lifespan is concerned with the show.
16 Becky Slips One
Comic episodes are all well and good until the script says something genuinely inappropriate. Like the time they made fun of date substances, a topic that has received renewed attention, with plenty of serious measures being taken to understand and defeat the problem among teens and adults alike. The Time For A Wedding episode in Season 7 was clever enough not to overly depict abuse but came close enough to make the fact too obvious to refute. Shocker, the victim, in this case, was Sam (played by Jared Padalecki) who was slipped a substance by Fangirl Becky (whom fans actually love and adore) and made to marry her.
See, it’s this sort of open-ended (as opposed to open-minded) comedy that leaves room for viewers to take things lightly, and try out their own ‘love potions’ during dates. You’ll be surprised how impressionable such scenes can be.
15 The Mischievous Mr. Wade
Cole Trenton (played by Travis Aaron Wade) has made for interesting viewing. But it’s the actor’s behavior off-screen that has off-put a lot of people. Though he played a former Marine in the show’s well-paced Season 10, none of his character’s ‘character’ seems to have rubbed off on Wade, who has been accused of inappropriate advances and harassment at conventions and online. This is precisely where you need to be at your best, and not upset or traumatize your fans, but Wade seems uninterested in all that.
Fans rose up with these accusations only to be called liars by Wade, who has also gone on to promptly block several such online contacts. Twitter witnessed dramatic instances of Wade purportedly stating that he was hacked and that someone else was carrying out ill-conceived flirtations via his account. The Supernatural cast and crew have given no reliable comments on Travis Aaron Wade’s penchant for trouble.
14 We Want To... But We Don't
It’s not a bad idea to offer fan-suggestions, which is exactly what happened when droves of online Supernatural crazies demanded to see a little diversity in the show, by which they meant a bi-relationship between Dean and Castiel (aka Destiel). Not only did this meet with severe backlash from the cast and crew, it went on to affect a lot of fans who didn’t quite realize that they were touching a rather sensitive nerve with the request. Just goes to show that you can’t really speak your mind these days.
The underlying premise behind fans’ need to see a change is that the show is ‘white’ enough, ‘straight’ enough, and ‘male-led’ enough, so why not stir things up a bit. A Warner Bros. executive, Chad Kennedy, was a bit rude to convention-goers when faced with this question (events led to his deleting his Twitter account). It’s not like the writers are innocent either because ever since Castiel debuted in Season 4 there has been an almost-tangible bromance tension between Dean and him.
13 To Slur Is Human, To Retaliate... Fandom-ine
It will truly take the Hand of God to prevent a show that’s now in its thirteenth season from meeting the controversy train. Just as God has shown to do in the show, he’s abandoned the Winchesters to yet another backlash, from fans no less. We call your attention to Season 11 Episode 15 where a transphobic misuse of words resulted in a series of fan-initiated demands for an apology from the writers (John Bring and Andrew Dabb).
What’s interesting is that a dialogue came up with a really witty and welcome addition to the gender-identification lexicon, “...every demon for him/her/shimself.” It even received nods on Twitter, for whatever that’s worth. Unfortunately, the word ‘shimself’ is a trans-based slur, not a curious play on words.
12 Are We Men!?
The show is essentially Catholic School with an occult twist, to use a loose definition. Every ‘pagan’ religion mentioned in Supernatural has been shown in an evil light while holy water and all things Christian helped save the day. Hell, they even have angels and God Himself in the show. In a series known for an average (at best) tolerance of diversity and inclusivity (as this article has proven so far), we also see a strong Catholic/Christian message encoded in almost every episode.
Relying on Bible lore is all well and good, but much seems to have been lost in translation, similar to what happened over the centuries with the Good Book itself. Like when the Fallen Angel Lucifer goes on to defeat Kali and Odin, two supreme full-fledged deities in their own right (one Norse, the other Hindu).
11 Shirtlessly Irrelevant
Shirtless scenes involving attractive men are obviously targeted at fans, and their frenzy to see their favorite characters in a lusty light. We found no basis in truth, fact, or necessity for Sam to bare his abs and pecs for the world to see. Something supernatural happened right there; those abs look outlined at times.
The show’s creator, Eric Kripke, made it quite clear that these scenes are intended to entice fans. Episodes like Hellhouse and Skins seem to be portraying his statement to best effect. Misha Collins came on the show as Castiel and before long the writers had him in a laundromat. Anyway, if anything’s heating up in our kitchen, it’s an overwhelming sense of awkwardness telling us to move on.
10 Sense & Sensibility
Misha Collins (who played Castiel in Supernatural) is a giving guy, and he’s been nicer to fans than most of the show’s other members. No good deed goes unpunished, apparently, not even for this Angel of the Lord. That’s if the members of the Westboro Baptist Church have anything to say about it, and they have. They’ve labeled Misha the anti-christ (!).
Collins’ fans call themselves his ‘minions,' which could have struck a rather paranoid nerve in these Baptists who tweeted that Misha Collins is one of several antichrists alive and ticking in today’s world. Convention queries on this topic made Misha joke about it, with fans adding comic flames to the fire. Suffice to say the Westboro Baptists need to cool down with a dip into their own born-again waters. If you ask us, it feels an awful lot like a publicity stunt, though by which party is as yet unclear.
9 Love Is A Battle-Script
Season 4’s Ruby (the demoness with the mostest) saw Genevieve Cortese in the diabolical role. Fans soon came to learn that Jared Padalecki and she were nurturing a passion for each other. Not only were the characters Sam and Ruby falling for each other in Supernatural, they were also together off-screen. The show intended for these two to get hitched on-screen (strictly plotline-based) but then everyone received word that the engagement between Padalecki and Cortese was very real.
To avoid a cheesy script, the writers did what they do best, ignored reality and carried on with another fiction. It’s bad enough that the poor script-slaves wanted Ruby and Sam to say ‘I Do’ in Supernatural and go on to have a baby in Season 7. Guess even show-writers have their dreams broken once in a while. In this case, Truth ended up strong-arming Fiction.
8 Singing Off-Key
Did the developers take his anti-christ rumors too seriously? Because Misha Collins didn’t receive an invite to Supernatural’s amazing 200th episode, a musical that has blown fans away with its simple spectacle-value. Since his coming in Season 4, Castiel has grown into a fan-favorite, and they wanted to see more of him. He was the new angel on the block, which is probably why his emails to the writers asking to be included in the episode went unanswered. "Don’t write us, we’ll write you."
Not only did the show-runners cast someone else in Castiel’s place, they cited the need to "prioritize quality," whatever that means. Crowley (played by Mark Sheppard) also lost his invite in the mail, because even the King of the Underworld wasn’t included in this unforgettable episode, which focused primarily on the stars of the show, Sam and Dean. But the two of them showed up at the after-party, though. That's mighty sporting of them.
7 What’s In A Name?
We do not yet know the precise origins of the name ‘Winchester,' the creators are yet to ‘say all’ in this regard. However, there’s an actual record of a Californian mansion with that name, constructed by the wife of a gun magnate. Sarah Winchester has been observed renovating and constructing the house in bits and pieces over a course of thirty-eight years (!).
Her reasons for performing this maddening series of refurbishments is, as she herself confessed, the result of a medium who told her that if she stopped the spirits of all those killed or self-harmed by Winchester rifles will rise up and kill her. This must be why the house has strange dead-end corridors and stairs that go nowhere. Rumor has it that she built them intentionally to confuse the spirits.
6 Look Into His Yellow Eyes
Remember the Yellow-Eyed Demon (played by Fredric Lehne), the infamous first villain for the Winchester brothers, the one who burned their mother Mary Winchester on the ceiling? We like the way the show’s creator Eric Kripke decided to re-introduce him to Sam twenty-two years later from when he was just a baby and unwittingly witnessed his mom’s death in his room.
Did you know that there happens to be a secret numerology-based connection behind the number 22? Who knew demons believed in the stars foretelling the future. This number represents the realization of goals beyond personal ambition, and Yellow Eyes (actual name in the show: Azazel) returns years later to carry out his aim in the name of a higher master.
5 We Sing The Siren Song Of Disney
The Sirens are one of the most frightening creatures depicted in Supernatural. They look like real-life renditions of what the lore says are beautiful sea-women (that last part is so not true). Personal practicalities aside, the Sirens on the show are each named after a Disney character. Bet you didn’t know that. Yeah, Mr. Kripke, why not name these cold-hearted beasts after kids’ favorites?
In Season 4, the brothers investigate a case involving a Siren named Belle (this one is more beastly than beautiful). Other seasons have rolled out the same wordplay carpet. You’ll find Jasmine, Ariel, and Aurora being killed, Winchester-style (the Sirens, not the Disney Princesses). See our problem? Just imagining harm coming to one of those dear princesses makes us want to hide under the covers.
4 Strange Coincidence
Energy is a very real thing, at least it could well be, at this next point in our top-20. It’s funny how a close bond between cast and crew can lead to bizarre coincidences in the lives of its members. Take, for instance, the creator and executive producer of the show. Eric Kripke and his wife celebrated the birth of their son on May 2, 2007. The show’s been two years running by this time, and enjoying immense popularity.
Guess whose birthday also falls on the same day? Jared Padalecki’s character Sam Winchester (May 2, 1983), created by Kripke. The actor’s own birthday falls on July 19, 1982. The odds are one in something-something, but we’re certain that this sort of synchronicity is rare, perhaps even magical. This point is a small silver lining with occult notes, that’s all.
3 Half Way There, Dyin’ On A Prayer
The core emotional hook in Supernatural is the death of the Winchester brothers’ mother, Mary, at the hands of the Yellow-Eyed Demon. The developers needed something truly motivational to inspire Sam and Dean to grow up into the relentless Hunters they are today. To ensure that, they killed their mom at the earliest possible stage in Season 1’s pilot episode. Talk about flaming the fires of righteous fury.
The show’s creator, Eric Kripke, is on record sharing that it was dear old dad whom he had in mind to burn on the ceiling. Either way, there will have been a massive dynamic shift in the traumatized lives of Dean and Sam with one of their parents gone. In this case, it happened to be Mary who pulled the short straw. You know what they say, fans, from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of Supernatural success.
2 In The Realm Of Gods And Monsters
Both brothers have seen their share of weird experiences in Supernatural. Sam was even possessed by Lucifer for a spell. Dean, though, holds the title for most realms entered; and suffered in. He’s been to both Heaven (where he received a reality check on God and his minions) and Hell (where he was messed with for an inhumanly long time), and, some fans might not have known this, Avalon (the land where fairies dwell).
It all happens in the show, of course, no spin-offs. Then there was the time the mighty Dean Winchester was lost in Purgatory (where he suffered no end of turmoil). The scenes associated with these instances are much darker than we’ve outlined here and has changed the brothers in ways worse than PTSD ever could.
1 Carry On, Our Wayward Sons...
Archangel Michael gave fans a jaw-dropping ‘origins’ reveal, which viewers came across in episodes like Executioner’s Song (Season 10) and First Born (Season 11). It's purportedly true that both Sam and Dean Winchester hail from an ancient lineage, going back to Cain and Abel (!). Cain himself (played by Timothy Omundson) comes to the fore to tell them more about this. Talk about biblical proportions.
While the exact reasoning behind this is as yet unclear (you won’t really find detailed family trees or self-made languages online to sell this fiction), the fact that Dean can use the First Blade and has the Mark of Cain on him is supposed proof that he’s chosen by his greatest grandfather to carry the torch; but with a righteous twist, Dean-style. Ironically, Dean has saved Sam more times than we can count, and vice versa, so you can stop looking for the ‘kill thy brother’ angle. Hey, Dean... Cain... Like Superman. Pardon us, our attention seems to have gone astray a bit.