Having lasted for 13 years and counting, Supernatural is one of the longest running shows on TV. Every year, Supernatural proves its longevity, acquiring more and more fans with each passing day. Supernatural’s premise focuses on San and Dean Winchester, two brothers who go on road trips, eat greasy food, and fight monsters. That said, Supernatural is beloved because it’s less a show about vampires and demons and more of an emotional odyssey featuring two emotionally defunct siblings. Supernatural has a little bit of something for everyone, least of which includes bloodthirsty monsters, body-swapping, and time travel.
Over the course of the program’s lengthy history, the Winchester brothers have put their bodies through not only the rigors of battles, but have had all manner of spells cast on them. When guns and knives can’t get the job done, Sam and Dean have no problem going the extra mile, using spells if need be; even if that means Dean ends up mind melding with a German Shepherd. Anything is possible in the impossibly wacky and dangerous world of Supernatural. Today at CBR we’re checking out some weird tidbits revolving around Sam and Dean Winchester and all the shenanigans they’ve put their bodies through.
15 DEAN'S ALLERGIC TO CATS
In lieu of his father, Dean Winchester is the head of the family. You could argue that Sam occasionally takes on the role, but it’s Dean who drives them from place to place and acts as the voice of authority. When it comes to dealing with angels, demons, or even the devil, there are few people better suited for the task than Dean Winchester. That said, not everybody is perfect, and even Dean has a weakness or two he’d rather kept hidden.
One such limitation is Dean’s horrible allergies to cats. Weirdly, Dean doesn’t have luck with small animals in general, but in the season eight episode Man’s Best Friend With Benefits, Dean’s nose erupted in allergies when he sat across from the feline familiar Philippe LeChat. Thankfully, Dean hasn’t had to fight a werecat, else he’d be in serious trouble.
14 THE MARK OF CAIN
The Mark of Cain was a seal created to lock away the Darkness. Originally, God gave the Mark to Lucifer, but the Devil then gave it to Cain and made it the source of the First Blade’s power, the weapon capable of killing almost anyone or anything.
Often called “the first curse” the Mark of Cain makes whoever wields it utterly nuts. Cain passed the Mark onto Dean and it branded itself on the hunter’s arm, compelling him to kill. It also gave Dean incredible powers, including immortality, super strength, and immunity from the powers of other demons or Knights of Hell. The Mark works on more than just a physical level, as it eats away at the bearer’s character, and it can’t be burnt or cut off. The combination of the Mark and the First Blade are so powerful, then even Death was concerned about Dean’s newfound might.
13 THEY CAN DRINK DEMON BLOOD
There are a bunch of things that the FDA would recommend against you eating or drinking; demon blood is likely one of them. At the beginning of Supernatural’s fourth season Sam started drinking gallons of demon blood. Part of the reason was that the demon Ruby was manipulating him into doing so. For his part, Sam believed he was strengthening his dormant powers so that he might become more efficient at hunting monsters.
However, it was all a scam, for while the demon blood did alter his body and give him incredible powers, it was all to strengthen his physiology and turn him as the perfect vessel for Lucifer. When he was drinking demon blood, not only was Sam’s strength increased, but he acquired abilities like telekinesis and precognition.
12 POSSESS ANGELIC POWERS
In season eight, Sam and Dean work to seal off Hell for good. To do so, Sam must undergo a litany of Trials, each more tedious and painful than the last. Even so, Sam succeeds in completing the trials, but passes out soon after; fulfilling the final trial means death and sacrifice for the one completing the spell. When season nine begins, Sam is on death’s door. Dean makes a desperate prayer to any angel who can hear him.
The angel Gadreel responds and makes a deal with Dean: Gadreel will inhabit Sam’s body, healing both the hunter and the angel himself. Just one catch, Sam must be left unaware of his possession. On account of being possessed by an angel, Sam’s body healed itself and was granted super strength, accelerated healing and some fancy angelic abilities. However, Gadreel had to take control in order to use his Angelic powers.
11 HAVE DOG-LIKE SENSES
They say that dogs are a man’s best friend, but what happens when man becomes like a dog? Well, in the season nine episode "Dog Dean Afternoon", that’s exactly what happened to poor Dean Winchester. While investigating a couple of murders, Sam and Dean come to the realization that there was a witness to both deaths: a German Shepherd. Frantic to know what it is they’re dealing with, the brothers concoct a spell that lets Dean communicate with the dog.
Alas, things don’t go according to plan. And so, Dean doesn’t only communicate with animals, but starts exhibiting traits of dogs. His sense of smell becomes sharper and he starts barking at a mailman and arguing with birds. The whole thing is pretty hilarious and Dean handles the sudden changes to his body pretty well. After a time, the spell wears off and Dean is back to normal.
10 CAN WITHSTAND MORE PAIN THAN THE AVERAGE PERSON
The Winchester Brothers get hurt…a lot. Truth be told, it comes with the territory when you’re out fighting monsters, but the brothers have seemingly come to terms with the idea that they won’t escape every fight unscathed. Even so, both Sam and Dean can withstand far more pain than the average person. They’ve exhibited this trait time and again; their bodies, coupled with their willpower, practically refuse to go out under extreme duress.
Dean’s always been the tough one, but after getting tortured in Hell for several decades, his pain tolerance went up astronomically. As for Sam, he was tortured endlessly by Lucifer while trapped in the Cage with the Devil. When the British Men of Letters captured Sam, they proceeded to torture him, but were astonished when they realized there was little they could do to hurt him that he hadn’t already endured.
9 THEIR BODIES CAN ABSORB SOULS
It’s funny how much souls play a prominent role in Supernatural. For starters, souls have a tremendous amount of power, which some villains have tried to use as fuel to create weapons.
The Winchesters are constantly interacting with souls too. Both Sam and Dean have performed varying rituals that allows them to store souls in their bodies, or rather their arms to be precise. With Sam, he’s used a magical ritual to store a soul in his arm. On the other, hand, Dean’s stored more than just one soul in himself. He’s displayed the ability to store a monster soul in his arm, but the most notable moment of soul absorption was when Dean’s body took in the soul bomb. It was a weapon designed to kill the Darkness; Dean absorbed over 200,000 souls to give the bomb some much-needed oomph.
8 THEY HAVE MAGICAL TATTOOS
When fighting demons, one of the biggest threats posed by these supernatural baddies is their ever-so annoying ability to possess people. Initially, in an effort to stave off getting possessed, Sam and Dean were provided charms by Bobby. This didn’t help with other people getting possessed. When that happened, it was typically a mad rush to spray the victim with some holy water and then utter an incantation or two to release the person from the demon’s hold.
After a time, the brothers figured that rather than keep charms on them at all times, they’d get anti-possession tattoos. This made their bodies permanently blocked off from getting possessed by a demon. Granted, the tattoo could be negated if it was physically destroyed or burned off, but it generally kept Dean and Sam safe.
7 SAM'S BODY WAS A VESSEL FOR THE DEVIL
Now this shouldn’t come as a shock, but Lucifer is one of the mightiest beings in all of creation. Yet like every other demon, angel, or higher power, Lucifer requires a vessel in order to walk on Earth. Not just anyone will do however. If Lucifer hops into a regular person, their body will explode on account of the massive energy. Sam Winchester’s body, on the other hand, would serve masterfully. Branded as one of the Special Children, Sam already had some immunity to demon powers.
After Ruby coerced Sam into drinking demon blood, Sam’s body was brimming with power. Shortly thereafter, Lucifer took Sam’s body for a ride. At the end of season five, Sam re-takes control of his body, and throws himself, with Lucifer still inside him, back into the Cage. From there, Sam would be tortured beyond measure and then later return without a soul.
6 THEY CAN ASTRAL PROJECT OUT OF THEIR BODIES
Managing one’s body is already a tricky enough task, but astral projecting out of your body is pretty eerie experience. That hasn’t stopped either Sam or Dean from astral projecting whenever a particular situation calls for it. In the season four episode "Death Takes A Holiday", the Winchester brothers have to prevent one of the 66 Seals from being broken. In order to do this, they had to leave their bodies and enter the astral plane.
Enlisting the help of the psychic Pamela Barnes, the brothers are first rendered unconscious before they can begin their journey. In later episodes, Sam and Dean would astral project again, this time with slightly different results. In their newer astral forms, the brothers were completely invisible, but also had super strength, telekinesis, and teleportation. Though effectively spirits, Sam and Dean could interact with their physical surroundings.
5 DEAN BECAME A VAMPIRE
Transformations are a heck of a thing in Supernatural, especially when it comes to having your body become undead and then back again. In season six, Dean gets turned into a vampire by the 600-year old nosferatu, Boris. However, Dean didn’t complete the transition to being a full vampire, but he still benefited from having the abilities of one. He could push his body harder and faster than ever before, without tiring.
Now with super strength, speed, etc. Dean took on an entire nest of nearly 20 vampires and killed them all on his own. He found said nest by using an enhanced sense of smell to track the creatures. At the end of the episode, Dean took the cure to revert back to his human form, but it did a number on Dean’s body; wracking him with pain and left him feeling miserable.
4 THEIR DAD IS 12 YEARS OLDER THAN DEAN
To the surprise of few, the Winchester family is horribly dysfunctional. After Mary Winchester was killed when Dean was a boy and Sam a baby, their dad, John Winchester, went on something of a bender. He dove headfirst into the occult, learning everything he could about the supernatural so as to one day avenge his fallen wife. Since he was still a parent, he opted to take his kids with him on the road, raise them in shoddy motel rooms, and put them in life and death situations from a young age.
It didn’t do wonders for their relationship. As Sam and Dean grew older, they also grew apart from dear Papa Winchester. An interesting aspect of their relationship deals with age. In the real world, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays John Winchester, is only 12 years older than Jensen Ackles, who plays his eldest son, Dean. Crazy stuff.
3 THEY CAN DREAM WALK
To be clear, at least in Supernatural, dream walking is not the same thing as astral projection. Having the ability to enter another person’s dreams might not sound terribly useful, but both Winchesters have found the ability necessary in order to manipulate the dreamscape of someone else. To do so, Sam and Dean had to ingest the African Dream Root, which for centuries prior was used by shaman and medicine men for dream walking.
Once when Bobby Singer got trapped in a dream, Sam and Dean had to go rescue him. Mixing the root with some of Dean’s hair and drinking the concoction, what followed was a bizarre experience. While in the dream landscape, Dean was forced to confront his lingering fears about becoming a demon, but Sam was able to manipulate the dream and save the day. Later Bobby theorized Sam’s control came from his latent psychic powers.
2 THEY'VE DIED MULTIPLE TIMES
If you’re going to be fighting demons and all manner of ghastly creatures, then you better be prepared to die. Well, not only have Sam and Dean made peace with the idea that they likely won’t make it to a ripe old age, but they’ve gone a step further and died dozens of times already. Their bodies have endured nearly every kind of death imaginable. They’ve been ripped apart, shot, electrocuted, beaten, and the list goes on, but time and again they keep coming back.
They are among the few mortals who just won’t stay dead. However, because of all the times they’ve died, Sam and Dean have tried, and succeeded, to repress their memories of the afterlife. Such thoughts would drive most people mad, but Dean and Sam’s minds are sturdy stuff and protect them from insanity, but none of that would matter if not for the following…
1 HAVE BEEN HEALED BY GOD AND ANGELS
Sam and Dean have been stitched back together by angels like Castiel, and even God, more than any other human. Because of the work they do, i.e. defending the world against monsters, the brothers get hurt a lot. Occasionally, they will even die in the line of duty.
Dean and Sam are completely selfless when it’s crunch time and somebody needs to sacrifice themselves for the fate of the world. God has acknowledged all the brothers have done, which is part of the reason he’ll bring them back to life (or allow them to be brought back). They were even able to orchestrate a sort of parley with Death. Regardless, whether it’s being beaten black and blue by the Devil himself, or torn apart by helhounds, the Winchesters’ bodies have had so much healing magic poured into them that they might as well be considered mystical artifacts.