|“||Key of Solomon? It's the real deal, all right.[...] You get a demon in one, they're trapped. They're powerless. Like a satanic roach motel.||”|
— Bobby Singer on Devil's Traps
A Devil's Trap is a sigil trap for a demon. Like salt or iron, demons can't escape once inside the trap. They can easily walk into one, but can't get out unless the circle is broken, and they cannot use their powers nor break the circle directly while within it.
Hunters need a roof or floor to draw this trap to catch a demon. They can use, chalk, spray paint, marker, or blood (Caged Heat) to draw it . Even using it as a light can be effective (Weekend At Bobby's). A Devil's Trap can also be concealed and still catch a demon. Once down, this can be used to trap any sort of demon. In addition, it can be used to protect something.
In the episode Devil's Trap, Sam draws it on the trunk of the Impala to protect the Colt. Another situation is in All Hell Break Loose Pt.2, when Samuel Colt created a giant one to protect the Devil's Gate. This one was made out of pure iron railroad tracks, so a demon couldn't break it.
In the episode As Time Goes By, a Devil's Trap is used in a unique way: as they are unable to kill Abaddon, Henry Winchester carves a Devil's Trap into a bullet and shoots it into the demon's head. Having a Devil's Trap in her head severely limits Abaddon's movements like a normal Devil's Trap would and binds her to the body she is possessing. As a result, when her body is chopped up and encased in cement, Abaddon is trapped and can never leave as long as the head with the bullet in it is intact. After being put back together in Clip Show however, Abaddon is able to use her severed hands to remove the bullet and escape. Abaddon herself used this method to incapacitate Crowley during King of the Damned so he couldn't interfere in her final fight with the Winchesters.
As shown in Sacrifice, if a Devil's Trap is painted onto something attached to a demon, such as a pair of handcuffs, it will work as well as if they enter it.
Planting the Trap
Hunters draw traps on places that could easily be overlooked. Some examples include the ceiling, or underneath rugs. A veteran hunter like Bobby has a Devil's Trap in his living room near the fireplace (which is used to trap Meg). He also has one outside the panic room, and two more inside the panic room itself, one painted on the floor, and the other was soldered in the ventilation above the room. He also uses a trap on the door of his car trunk, to transport captured demons and preventing them from escaping. Linda Tran once used a Devil's Trap in a similar manner. To defeat Abaddon, Henry Winchester engraves a Devil's Trap onto a bullet and shoots it into her head. It acts as a normal Devil's Trap would with the added bonus of binding her to her vessel. Once, to capture Crowley, Dean painted a Devil's Trap on a handcuff and handcuffed the demon to himself. This worked as well as a normal Devil's Trap and Crowley was ensnared.
Despite the fact that it can trap most if not all demons, its greatest weakness is that it is simply a drawing. If the drawing is in any way broken or altered, the trap will lose its power.
And although able to trap demons and strip them of their powers, it does not take away their power to cast spells. This was demonstrated by Meg in Born Under a Bad Sign, when she used a spell to shake the house, thus breaking the trap that was binding her. Another demon named Casey was able to cast a spell from within, although she was unable to release herself.
Despite having one inside of her head, Abaddon was able to somehow control her severed hands to remove the bullet and thus the trap (presumably because they were no longer attached to her and thus not inside the trap).
During the Demon Curing Ritual, as the demon becomes more human, they become less and less susceptible to the trap to the point that they can eventually just walk right out without breaking it even before becoming fully human unless they are properly restrained.
Ruby was also able to escape a Devil's Trap through some unknown method after Dean trapped her in one.
While a devil's trap bullet can bind a demon indefinitely, they can remove the bullet themselves and escape if they are not killed or further disabled afterwards.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- The Magnificent Seven - Used to capture Envy and Sloth of the Seven Deadly Sins.
- Sin City - Used to trap the demon Casey.
- Jus In Bello - Used for protection and trapped Ruby.
- Long-Distance Call - Created by Dean to trap the demon that holds his contract. Ineffective as the man it is used against is human.
- Time Is On My Side - Used to trap a demon Sam and Dean interrogate.
- No Rest for the Wicked - Used to trap Ruby.
- Season 4
- Lazarus Rising - Used against Castiel, but didn't work since he's not a demon.
- Are You There God? It's Me, Dean Winchester- In Bobby's Panic Room
- Metamorphosis - Used to trap a demon.
- I Know What You Did Last Summer - Used to trap a demon (in flash back).
- The Monster at the End of This Book - Attempt to use it against Lilith.
- Lucifer Rising - In the trunk of a car, used to trap Cindy McKellan's demon.
- Season 5
- Sympathy for the Devil - Appeared in John's container for protection.
- Good God, Y'all - Used for protection and by Jo and Rufus to trap what they believed to be a possessed Sam.
- Abandon All Hope... - Drawn on Crowley's carpet, but was foiled.
- The Devil You Know - Used to contain Brady .
- Swan Song - Used to trap two demons in order to get their blood.
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- We Need To Talk About Kevin - Created by Kevin Tran as protection.
- A Little Slice of Kevin - Used by Linda Tran to trap a demon in her trunk.
- As Time Goes By - Engraved into a bullet by Henry Winchester to bind Abaddon in one form forever.
- Goodbye Stranger- Used to trap a demon Castiel captures.
- Taxi Driver - Used to trap a Crossroads Demon.
- The Great Escapist - Used to trap two Demons posing as Sam and Dean. Also seen in the illusion of Garth's boat.
- Clip Show - In the Men of Letters Dungeon, and the Bullet they used to bind Abaddon.
- Sacrifice - On a pair of handcuffs and in the church used to do the third trial. Both used to trap Crowley.
- Season 9
- Devil May Care - On the pair of handcuffs, the Impala's trunk and the Men of Letters dungeon, used to bind Crowley, in the abandoned store and on bullets in an attempt to defeat Abaddon and her demons.
- Slumber Party - When The Wicked Witch finds Crowley, she is unable to cross the devil's trap or any of the dungeon's other wards.
- Heaven Can't Wait - Crowley is still bound in the bunker's dungeon.
- Road Trip - Crowley is bound by the bunker's dungeon and later by handcuffs with a devil's trap on them.
- First Born - Devil's trap in John's Lock-Up and in Tara's shop which catches Crowley until she breaks it.
- Captives - Used on a pair of cuffs to bind a demon.
- Blade Runners - Used to trap "Snooki," on the handcuffs that captured Crowley and in the bunker's dungeon.
- Meta Fiction - Seen in the Impala's trunk before Metatron erases it.
- King of the Damned - Devil's trap bullet used by Abaddon to bind Crowley. Removed with a knife after she's dead.
- Season 10
- Black - On a pair handcuff's, Sam used them to hold Dar , so he could torture her.
- Reichenbach - On a pair handcuff's. Sam used them to imprison the Demon Dean, so he could take him back to the Bunker to cure him.
- Soul Survivor - On a pair of handcuffs and the bunker's dungeon floor. Used to imprison the demon Dean who broke free when he became human enough, but after being recaptured, was put back inside until he was cured.
- Girls, Girls, Girls - Sam and Dean use it to trap a pimp demon that is later killed by one of his victims Sheylene.
- The Executioner's Song - Sam, Dean, Castiel and Crowley work together to trap Cain in a devil's trap so Dean can kill him. Though they succeed, Cain still possesses his superhuman strength and telekinesis.
- The Prisoner - Devil's trap bullet used by Sam to incapacitate Crowley. Removed simply by him.
- After Season 2's finale, we see more Devil's Trap being used due to the increased amount of demons.
- It appears that no matter how powerful the demon, a Devil's Trap still effects them as Crowley, even after becoming the King of Hell is still bound by them as is Abaddon and Dean, both Knights of Hell. Cain was bound as well but retained telekinesis and superhuman strength as a result of his great power. However, his other powers seemed to be bound. Likewise both Lilith and Azazel implied Devil's Traps could catch them and did their best to avoid them.
- As of Sacrifice, Devil's Traps have appeared the most amount of times in Season 9 and at least once per season.
- In Season 8, Sam and Dean seem to get more creative and smarter with their use of Devil's Traps. Unable to kill Abaddon, they use a Devil's Trap engraved bullet to bind her so they can entomb her. Later, Dean uses a pair of handcuffs with a small Devil's Trap painted on them to capture Crowley. Possibly learning from Abaddon's escape, even when Crowley is bound in a Devil's Trap on the ground, Sam and Dean leave the handcuffs on, which turns out to be wise as Abaddon breaks the trap and the handcuffs prevent Crowley's escape until Sam can fix the trap.
- Since using a Devil's Trap bullet to defeat Abaddon, Sam and Dean have apparently started using them against other demons as well as when confronted by Abaddon once again and three other demons, Sam, Dean and two other hunters arm themselves with the bullets to use against them.
- Abaddon learned the devil's trap bullet trick and used it on Crowley to keep him from helping the Winchesters fight her. It did nothing to save her but was ironic as it was the same trick used to immobilize her.
- In all of his appearances in season 9 (excluding two), Crowley was affected by a devil's trap in someway.
- In season 9, besides a brief use against "Snooki," and Del (through a pair of handcuffs) Crowley was the only demon affected by a devil's trap unlike other seasons.
- Sam and Dean have both been restrained by a devil's trap and both have broken free. However, Sam was possessed by Meg while Dean had been turned into a demon himself. Meg, possessing Sam, escaped using the Terrakinesis Spell while Dean was rendered immune to a devil's trap by his returning humanity from the Demon Curing Ritual.
- Lilith and Azazel are the only two major demons not to be affected by a devil's trap in some way. Both avoided them with Lilith breaking one to get to Sam and Azazel not being able to cross the one surrounding the Devil's Gate until it was broken. All the other major demonic characters on the show have been trapped at least once in a trap including Meg, Crowley, Ruby, Abaddon and Cain.
- Crowley has twice been affected by devil's trap bullets: shot once by Abaddon and once by Sam. He removed the bullet the first time with a knife and the second time with his hands while pretending to be affected by Defigere Et Depurgare.