Sam and Dean Winchester are brothers and the main protagonists of Supernatural. They are dedicated to one another, though there are many instances of strain throughout the series. Their relationship developed as one of the show's main plot lines.
Dean is four years older than Sam and was always told from a young age to "watch out for Sammy". When a demon killed their mother, it was Dean who carried baby Sam out of the house. Dean was tasked as Sam's protector and, as a result, views himself as such. Thus, whenever their father John went out hunting, Dean would watch over Sam. He would cook and care for Sam as well as protect him while their father was out. One night in the motel room, when Dean got back, there was a Shtriga standing over Sam. Dean pulled a gun out, but didn't shoot. Their father showed up then and got rid of the creature.
As the boys got older, Sam started asking questions about what kind of work their father does and why they always have to move around. Dean tells Sam that their dad is a superhero. Sam continues on by asking if it was because of their mother. Dean gets angry and leaves. He comes back later and gives Sam "dinner." Sam reveals to Dean that he found Dad's journal and asks if it's true. Dean tells Sam it's all true (except for Santa) and how Dad fights these monsters. Dean is essentially the one who showed Sam the truth about the world and all the supernatural creatures. Realizing Dad is probably not coming home because of the job, Sam goes to bed upset. Dean feels sorry for his brother and tries to make it up to him by stealing presents from other houses. Much to his luck however, they are all girl presents. Sam thanks Dean anyway, and gives him the necklace he was going to give to their father. Dean continues wearing this necklace until Season 5.
Sam and Dean also went to high school together for a year (Dean in Grade 12, Sam in Grade 9). Dean displays his protective nature again when Sam gets picked on by a bully in Truman High. Dean threatens to tear the kid's lungs out, but Sam stops him. Dean wonders why Sam didn't take this guy down himself (due to their combat training). Sam doesn't want to be "the weird kid" again, which appears to confuse Dean.
A year later, Sam is left alone when Dean and John go after a kitsune together. Sam helps gather information for them, and often talks to Dean on the phone. Sam later asks Dean for advice on how to talk to girls, and tries it when he attempts to talk to Amy Pond. Sometime after that, they continue hunting until Sam wants to go to college. Sam leaves and doesn't talk to Dean for two years.
|“|| Sam: "I swore I was done hunting for good."|
Dean: "Come on, it wasn't easy, but it wasn't that bad."
Sam: "Yeah? When I told Dad I was scared of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45."
Dean: "Well, what was he supposed to do?"
Sam: "I was nine years old! He was supposed to say, 'Don't be afraid of the dark.'
Dean: "Don't be afraid of the dark? What, are you kidding me? Of course you should be afraid of the dark! You know what's out there!"
Sam is in bed with his girlfriend Jessica when Dean arrives to get Sam to join him in the search for their father. Sam is angry at Dean for even thinking of asking him to go on another hunt. Sam continues on about how messed up their childhoods were, which Dean appears not to have a problem with. Sam does give in though and joins Dean on the search for their father, on the condition they will be back by the following Monday. They head towards their father's last case, only to find he is no longer there. With that fact, they continue to work on the case, during which they have their first (on screen) run in with the cops. Sam gets angry when Dean doesn't show the cops any respect, and stomps on Dean's foot to get him to shut up. Dean follows up by hitting Sam's head. They finish the case and Sam heads home much to Dean's disappointment (Dean wants everything to go back to the way it was before Sam went to college).
Sam returns home, thinking that his hunting days can finally be over, when he discovers his girlfriend pinned to the ceiling with a slash across her chest. Her body then bursts into flames, which engulfs the entire place, the circumstances identical to the ones during his mother's death. Dean rushes in and sees Sam lying on the bed with a burning Jessica above him and drags Sam from the apartment, reminiscent of when he carried Sam out of his nursery when he was 6 months old. Now angry and wanting vengeance, Sam heads out with Dean, back on the job.Sam and Dean travel around looking around for their father, but the trail goes cold. Sam gets angry with this but Dean promises him that they will find their father, but in the meantime they should kill everything in their way and save people. Sam agrees, and helps Dean hunt. Dean also helps Sam deal with Jessica's death and his nightmares about it. He tries to get Sam to open up about it, but Sam refuses.
Sometime later, Sam gets a vision about their old home, and Dean gets upset with the idea of going back there. They go back anyway and find that the house is really haunted. They cleanse the house, and during this Sam gets attacked and Dean saves him (one of many occasions).
Dean is worried and slightly frightened by the increasing number of visions Sam gets, but he keeps it from him, and helps Sam stop them from coming true either way.
Sam is still annoyed by the fact that Dean does everything their Dad tells them to do. He expresses this harshly to Dean in Asylum when Sam's mind gets temporarily messed up by Doctor Ellicott's spirit. Dean attempts to reason with him, but was of no use and Dean knocks Sam out for his own good. Once the spirit is defeated, Sam wakes up, normal again, and the boys patch things up, though Dean knows deep down inside that Sam actually meant some of it.
They get a call from their father, and Sam wants to go after him, but he had given them a mission to carry out and Dean wants to follow through on that instead. The brothers separate, but not for long. Dean doesn't answer his phone for three hours, and Sam realizes that Dean's in danger. He thus returns and saves Dean.
Sam shows his protective side when Dean's life is in danger. Sam looked far and wide for a cure for Dean when he accidentally electrocuted himself in Faith while on a hunt and suffered a heart attack. Sam manages to find a faith healer who heals Dean. In The Benders, we see more of Dean's protective side when Sam gets kidnapped by a group of psychotic killers. Dean teams up with an officer to find Sam.
Dean also made it his mission to get Sam laid. Sam does not appreciate this but lives with it. Dean believes if Sam gets laid he would relax more and it would help him with Jessica's death. Dean tells Sam it's what Jessica would have wanted for Sam. They eventually team up with their father again, and Dean has to deal with Sam and John's arguing. Sam and Dean team up to defy their father's orders, and help him get the Colt, a special gun that can kill almost anything. They head out after the demon.
|“|| Dean: "I don't want you to leave the second this thing's over, Sam."|
Sam: "Dude, what's your problem?"
Dean: "Why do you think I drag you everywhere, huh? I mean, why do you think I came and got you at Stanford in the first place?"
Sam: " 'Cause Dad was in trouble. 'Cause you wanted to find the thing that killed Mom."
Dean: "Yes, that, but it's more than that, man! You and me and Dad ... I mean, I want us to be together again. I want us to be a family again."
Sam: "Dean, we are a family. I'd do anything for you. But things will never be the way they were before."
Dean: "Could be."
Sam: "I don't want them to be. I'm not gonna live this live forever. Dean, when this is all over, you're gonna have to let me go my own way."
— Sam and Dean arguing about the future
Sam gets a vision of the demon attacking another house, and they have to separate with their father. They go after the demon's next target. They arrive on scene, and the demon sets the place on fire, but Sam grabs the baby and manages to save the family. Seeing that the demon is still there, Sam tries to go back in, but Dean stops him. Sam is angry, but Dean believes being alive is better than revenge.
Dean proves these beliefs further when they go rescue their dad and he brings the Colt despite Sam telling him not to. Dean uses the Colt to kill a demon that was trying to kill Sam. Sam is thankful, but is still angry that Dean brought the Colt. Now escaped, they hide in an empty house, and Dean realizes their Dad is not "Dad". When Dean tells Sam this, Sam believes him over "Dad". This proves Sam's trust in Dean. When their dad is found to be possessed by the yellow-eyed demon Azazel, he almost kills Dean, but Sam manages to shoot him in the leg. Dean begs Sam not to kill the demon, which will kill their father as well, and Sam doesn't, despite their father's pleas. After the demon leaves his father's body, Sam and John race against time to save Dean from his severe injuries but while driving to the hospital, they get hit by a possessed truck driver. The season ends with Sam, Dean and their dad all unconscious in the Impala.
|“||If hunting this demon means getting yourself killed, then I hope we never find the damn thing. [ ...] Sam, look. The three of us ... that's all we have ... and that's all I have. Sometimes I feel like I'm barely holding it together, man. And without you or Dad ...||”|
— Dean to Sam
|“|| Sam: I don't wanna hurt anyone else. I don't wanna hurt you.|
Dean: You won't. Whatever this is, you can fight it.
Sam: I can't. Not forever.
— Dean and Sam
in Born Under a Bad Sign
After the accident, Dean falls into a deep coma, and Sam is only one who believes in him. Sam realizes that Dean's spirit is around and communicates with Dean which helps Dean realize he's being hunted by a reaper. Dean does not remember this after John made the deal with the yellow-eyed demon to save Dean. Before John died, he tells Dean one final thing about Sam, which Dean later reveals to him.
Following their father's passing, Sam and Dean are dealing with his death in different ways. Dean begins to fix up the Impala and refuses to actually deal with the grief. Sam shows him a message from one of John's old contacts, Ellen Harvelle. There they find a job and head out. Dean wonders why Sam is suddenly all for hunting now. Sam tells Dean that it's because it's what their father would have wanted. Dean is confused and angered by this because of the relationship Sam and John had. Sam tells Dean the reason is because John is dead, which is why Sam wants to do the job. Once they finish it, Dean asks Sam if Sam really meant it when he said he wasn't going to go to college anymore, and Sam replies yes. Back at Bobby's, Sam apologies to Dean, but points out that Dean's not handling John's death well. Sam leaves and Dean smashes the Impala with a crowbar in a fit of rage and grief.
Sam and Dean hit another speed bump when they meet Gordon Walker. Dean instantly bonds with him, because with Gordon he doesn't need a brave face (which he believes he needs with Sam). His beliefs get tested when Sam tries to convince Dean to leave the vampires alone because they weren't hurting people. In the end, Dean chooses Sam over Gordon.
Over the course of the first half of the season, Sam shows concern at Dean's apparent nonchalance over their father's death and makes several attempts to get him to open up, but Dean refuses. Eventually Dean's repressed emotions is unleashed when he hunts, scaring Sam with his recklessness and harshness. While doing a case over a zombie, Sam loses patience and confronts his brother over his behavior. Reluctantly Dean opens up and he admits he wishes he never came back because he knew it was why their father died.
|“|| Sam: "You're on edge, you're erratic. Except when you're hunting, because then you're downright scary. You're tailspinning, man. And you refuse to talk about it and you won't let me help you."|
Dean: "I can take care of myself, thanks."
Sam: "No, you can't. And y'know what? You're the only one that thinks you should have to. You don't have to handle this on your own, Dean. No one can."
— Sam confronting Dean over their father's death
in Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Later on, they run into another special child, and Sam believes him to be a killer, but Dean believes otherwise. Andy, using his mind-control, makes Dean tell the truth about his feelings on Sam's powers. Dean gets more worried when Sam is immune to a violence-inducing virus that wipes a town in Croatoan. Prior to this knowledge as Sam is apparently infected, Dean defends his brother from the townspeople who want to execute him before he turns, and though Sam begs Dean to kill him, Dean refuses. Dean tells Sam he's tired, and wants it to end, knowing that he couldn't live without Sam. Their situation is resolved when it was revealed that Sam was not infected.
Once they leave town, Dean finally tells Sam what John told him - that Dean needed to look after Sam. Sam protests that this is nothing unusual, that Dean was always put in the role of Sam's protector, but Dean maintains that this was different. John told him that Dean needed to "save" Sam, because if he couldn't save him, then he'd have to kill him. Sam is furious that Dean kept this from him, but Dean begs him to stay with him so that he can protect him.
Gordon Walker begins to hunt Sam in Hunted, believing him to be a key player in the psychic children's army, and therefore, a monster and a threat. Dean, furiously protective of his brother, attempts to fight him off, but is captured in the process. With the help of a fellow psychic, Ava, Sam finds his brother and Gordon, who tries to kill Sam. Sam narrowly escapes, but Dean is still enraged at Gordon for threatening his little brother and wants to kill him, though Sam convinces him to let Gordon go, who gets arrested by the police anyway.
The brothers go back hunting together again, and Dean no longer carries his father's words as a burden. But now Sam does, he expresses this when he gets drunk and makes Dean promise to kill him if he turns into a monster, but Dean tells him he can't do it. In Born Under A Bad Sign, Sam goes missing and returns with memory loss and a murder on his hands. Dean refuses to kill him, and he later figures out that Sam was possessed by a demon. Sam is disturbed by the fact that Dean refused to kill him even though his behavior made him appear evil, but Dean reaffirms his faith in his brother and tells him that he couldn't kill him, and that he'd "rather die."
In Tall Tales, Sam and Dean get into their first (on screen) fight. Sam believed Dean took his laptop and Dean believed Sam messed with the Impala. Once they realize it was really a trickster doing this, the two apologize to each other, working together to kill the Trickster (albeit unsuccessfully).
Later on, Sam and Dean come across a werewolf case in Heart. Sam eventually forms a relationship with Madison, the victim Nate Mulligan's secretary, while he watches over her in her apartment, believing that she is in immediate danger of a werewolf attack. The brothers subsequently discover that Madison is the werewolf, with her unaware of this beforehand, and without a cure for her lycanthropy, Madison pleads Sam to kill her. Sam, who has fallen in love with her, is devastated but he kills her anyway.
The real trial comes when Sam gets kidnapped from the diner by a demon. Dean calls in Bobby to help him search for Sam, while Sam finds himself in an abandoned town with the other special children. Andy sends Dean a clue via long-distance mental projection informing him of Sam whereabouts. While waiting for Dean, Sam tells Jake, another special child, how Dean always tells him everything is going to be fine, like how Sam reassures the rest of the special children. Sam continues on how Dean can't always be there. Eventually, the special children get killed one by one, and Sam and Jake are the only two left.
Dean later arrives in town and finds Sam, only to witness Sam get stabbed in the back by Jake, after the yellow-eyed demon tells Jake that it was either one of them survives, or they both die, Jake not wanting the latter. Sam collapses into Dean's arms as Jake flees, Bobby after him, and Dean attempts to reassure his little brother that he will take care of him. However, Sam's spinal cord is fatally severed, and Sam dies in Dean's arms.
It's been a week since Sam died, and his body is laid in the bed in the next room. With Sam dead, Dean doesn't want to live without him. He doesn't eat, and only drinks. Bobby attempts to get Dean to work, but Dean yells at Bobby to leave. He also tells Bobby that he's given the world enough. With Bobby gone, Dean talks to Sam's body about its his responsibility to take care of Sam and his failure to protect him. With no other option, Dean makes a deal with the crossroads demon to bring Sam back in exchange for his soul, which will be reaped in one year's time, instead of the usual ten.
Sam wakes up and Dean is thrilled to see his brother up and around. Dean tells Sam that it was Bobby who patched Sam up. Sam believes this and wants to get back to work. Dean isn't too thrilled, wanting Sam to rest and recover his strength, but goes with his brother anyway. At Bobby's, they figure out Yellow Eye's plan and head to Hell's Gate. There Dean watches his brother kill Jake, and later Azazel taunts him and tells him that the Sam he brought back might not be a 100% pure Sam, which worries Dean.
After Bobby and Ellen manage to close the gate, Sam confronts Dean about what happened as he learned that Jake severed his spinal cord when he stabbed him, and that he was probably not supposed to be alive. Sam figures out that Dean made a deal to bring him back from the dead, and asks how long he got, Dean replying that he got a year. Sam is upset that his brother made such a sacrifice for him, and when Dean claims that he had to protect Sam, Sam responds by saying that Dean saves his life over and over, and would do anything for him, but doesn't seem to realize that Sam would do the same for Dean. Sam swears that they will find a way out of the deal, and Dean, though less than convinced given the knowledge that breaking the deal risks losing Sam, nods in agreement.
|“|| Sam: "You shouldn't have done that. How could you do that?"|
Dean: "Don't get mad at me. Don't you do that. I had to. I had to look out for you. That's my job."
Sam: "And what do you think my job is? You've saved my life over and over. I mean, you sacrifice everything for me. Don't you think I'd do the same for you? You're my big brother. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you. And I don't care what it takes, I'm gonna get you out of this. Guess I gotta save your ass for a change."
— Sam and Dean after Dean's deal
in All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2
|“||Sam, I've got a year left to live. So what do you say we kill some evil sons of bitches and we raise a little hell?||”|
in The Magnificent Seven
So now with only a year to live, Dean is living large. Sam goes along with it because he was trying to be nice to Dean. Sam is also trying to find a way out of Dean's deal. Bobby, later, calls in them in for a job, which they later find out is the Seven Deadly Sins. After it, Sam tells Dean he's had enough of playing mister nice guy and why doesn't Dean even try to get out of the deal? Dean tells Sam, because if he does, Sam drops dead. He continues on by saying that when John sold his soul for Dean, he already disrupted the natural order; at least now something good will come out of. Dean finishes by telling Sam he's tired and it's done. So Dean says "So what do you say we kill some evil sons of bitches and we raise a little hell?"
So they do that, then they run into some bad luck when they encountered a cursed rabbit foot stolen from John's storage. Sam touches it and gets good luck, which Dean is more than happy about. Then it gets stolen from Sam by Bela Talbot. So Dean now has to watch out for Sam and find Bela. Dean puts Sam in the room and goes after Bela. While he's gone Sam's luck gets him kidnapped by two hunters, but Dean comes in time to save him. As they are about to destroy the foot Bela comes in, but Dean tricks her into touching the foot. Once the foot is destroyed, Sam and Dean don't feel bad about Bela loosing her money.
Later on in Sin City, Dean gets trapped with a demon in a basement. He strongly believes Sam will find him. Dean also asks the demon about hell and eventually seems to get along with her. She tried to spare him the other demon, but before Dean can stop him, Sam uses the Colt and kills both without hesitation, startling Dean. Dean begins to wonder if Sam is still 100% Sam. Bobby tells Dean he's worrying about nothing.
|“|| Bobby: "Sam was saving your life."|
Dean: "Yeah, but you didn't see it, Bobby. It was cold. [...] Back in Wyoming, there was this... moment. Yellow Eyes said something to me.[..] That when Sam came back from wherever... that he came back different.[...] You think... you think something's wrong with my brother?"
— Dean's fears Sam came back wrong
in Sin City
Some time later, Sam confronts the crossroads demon about Dean's deal with the Colt in hand. The demon reveals she doesn't have Dean's contract and can't reverse it. In return, Sam shoots her in the face.
Sam also confronts Dean on his Kamikaze moves. On how Dean is valuing his life, and that Sam know how Dean really feels. Sam knows Dean is afraid, and wants his brother back. Realizing his action affects his brother, Dean agrees and sets up a defense against the now vampiric Gordon in Fresh Blood.
With his year ticking away, Dean wants to have Christmas. Due to unpleasant memories, Sam rather not. But after being almost eaten by Pagan Deities. Sam changes his mind and has the Christmas his brother wanted. They even get each other presents (Sam got shaving cream and Porn. Dean got oil and chocolate). With this in mind, Sam takes steps towards becoming more like Dean. This is seen when they encounter witches and Sam agrees with Dean that they need to be killed. Although Sam is not totally ready for Dean to die yet. When a hex bag is placed in their motel room, Dean starts coughing up blood and Sam goes after the witches with the Colt. Dean also finds out that demons were originally human souls, and in Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Dean finally agrees to help Sam in the search to find a way out of his deal.
While looking for Bela, Sam and Dean run into the Trickster in Mystery Spot. Here Sam watches Dean die over and over again. This makes Sam very on edge, upset and he tries to save Dean, but nothing works. While Dean has no clue what is going on, Sam is going insane watching his brother die. Sam eventually figures out the Trickster is behind the deaths and goes after him, eventually convincing him to stop. But when Dean dies yet again and it's not "Tuesday", Sam goes Rambo and hunts for the Trickster for months. When Sam finally catches him, Sam begs the Trickster to bring Dean back.
Sam and Dean continue to show they got each other's back. In Ghostfacers, Dean goes after the missing Sam. Their relationship also gets strained when Dean get a call from "dad", and Sam doesn't believe it's really him. Once Dean realizes it really wasn't "dad", he apologizes to Sam. In Time Is On My Side Sam finds a way to make Dean immortal, despite the details of having to replace organs once and a while. Dean refuses to live like that.
During Dean's final hours, using Bela's intel, they discover Lilith holds Deans contract. They need to get close to her and Sam suggests they call Ruby. Dean refuses to ask for her help, but Sam summons her anyways. Ruby tells Sam there is another way to kill Lilith, which is to use his powers Azazel gave him. Dean walks in saying he knew Sam would summon Ruby and traps her in a Devil's Trap. Sam chooses Dean over Ruby and they takes her knife. Before leaving, Sam and Dean get into an argument and Dean points out how the bad things out there know how they sacrifice themselves for each other. That is their true weakness. On the way there, Sam attempts to say goodbye, but Dean stops him and turns on Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive". Now it's a race against time and they arrive in the block Lilith is located in. They get into the house and Sam heads upstairs. When he's about to stab the little girl, Dean stops him. Lilith is no longer occupying her.
|“||Sammy, you're my weak spot. You are. And I'm yours. [...] And those evil sons of bitches know it too. I mean, what we'll do for each other, y'know, how far we'll go? They're using it against us. [...] We take this knife and go after Lilith our own way. The way Dad taught us to. And if we go down, then... then we go down swingin'.||”|
— Dean to Sam
in No Rest for the Wicked
Now it's a race against time and they arrive in the block Lilith is located in. They get into the house and Sam heads upstairs. When he's about to stab the little girl, Dean stops him. Lilith is no longer occupying her.Time is now up. Sam and Dean look at each other in despair. Then Dean hears the Hellhounds coming for him. Sam, Dean, and "Ruby" run into a room, and seal it off with Goofer Dust. Dean realizes that "Ruby" isn't Ruby anymore, and Lilith is actually inhabiting Ruby's body.
Lilith pins Sam and Dean. She lets her hellhounds into the room and Sam watches his brother die. Lilith tries to kill him too, but her power doesn't work on Sam and she runs, leaving Sam with Dean's broken body. Sam breaks down as he holds his dead brother's body.
In Hell, a screaming Dean calls out for Sam as he is tortured endlessly but receives no help.
In Between Season 3 and 4
After Dean's death, Sam went out to find a way to resurrect his brother even refusing to burn his body since he would need it. Sam tried to make deals with demons but was turned down before he met up with Ruby and settled in doing cases from a town not to far from Dean's grave.
|“|| Sam: "You were gone. I was here. I had to keep on fighting without you. And what I'm doing, it works."|
Dean: "Tell me, if it's so terrific, then why'd you lie about it to me? Why did an angel tell me to stop you?"
Dean: "Cass said if I don't stop you, he will. See what that means, Sam? That means that God doesn't want you doing this. So, are you just gonna stand there and tell me that everything is all good?
— Sam and Dean
After being resurrected, Dean called Sam but found his number out of service. Dean learned from Bobby that Sam went off to find ways to bring him back and was the one who decided to bury Dean. Dean tracked Sam down at a hotel not far from his burial spot.
Sam and Dean are reunited 4 months after Dean's death in a hotel room. When Sam first sees Dean, he attacks him right away, believing it to be an impersonation of some sort. Bobby stops him, saying it's really Dean as Sam and Dean hug, reunited. Dean initially believed it was Sam who brought him back and questioned him, but his reaction along with his denial tells Dean he hadn't been able the one, although he states that he tried everything he could think of. They begin to investigate who would have had the power to raise a soul from hell, as well as reconstruct Dean's body. During the investigation, Dean asks Sam if he's continued using his psychic powers. Sam assures him that he hasn't, as it was Dean's dying wish that he stop. This is proved false shortly after, when Sam goes after some demons the brothers encountered. Also, Dean lies about not remembering his time in Hell from Sam after he was asked. When Pamela, a friend of Bobby's, does a séance where she is able to use Dean's body to contact the being who raised him. They get a name, "Castiel," before Pamela's eyes burn out from seeing the true form of the creature.
After meeting Castiel, who reveals himself to be an Angel of the Lord, Sam has to help Dean come to terms that angels exist and how he should feel happy to be alive again. Dean is also unaware of Sam allying with Ruby and using his powers.
During In The Beginning, Castiel cautions Dean to stop Sam, or they (being the angels) will. Although initially confused by this ominous warning, Dean discovers Sam using his powers, and realizes Sam has been lying to him all along.
In Metamorphosis. Dean confronts Sam, asking sarcastically if there's anything Sam wants to tell him. Sam tries to explain and Dean notices Ruby. Dean attacks Ruby, but Sam saves her. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Dean still wants to believe the best of his brother. Dean thinks Ruby must have tricked Sam into using his power, but that is not the case. Distraught, Dean punches Sam twice for lying and tells him, "If I didn't know you, I'd want to hunt you". Then Sam gets a call, and they head out. While driving, Dean tells Sam about what he has learned about their maternal family while Sam reveals that he knew about Azazel bleeding in his mouth to Dean, and Dean gets angry. Sam tries to apologize, but Dean is too angry to hear.
While talking about the case, Sam believes this guy can fight off his blood, but Dean doesn't think so. Dean says "Something in his blood, maybe you can relate". This makes Sam angry and tells Dean to stop the car and when the car is stopped, Sam gets out and yells at Dean. He tells Dean this is why he didn't tell Dean about his powers because of how Dean is reacting. He continues on by telling Dean that he has demon blood in him and "this disease pumping through my veins, and I can't ever rip it out, or scrub it clean! I'm a whole new level of freak! And I'm just trying to take this... curse, and make something good out of it! Because I have to." Dean thinks about what Sam has said and agrees to talk to Jack.
So they talk to Jack, but he kicks them off his property but they follow him and come back only to find that Jack took the bait. Jack knocks Sam and Dean out; Sam is locked in a closet. Sam tries to talk Jack out of it, but it's too late for Jack who Sam is forced to kill. As they are leaving Sam tells Dean he's not going to use his powers anymore, but not for Dean or anyone else.
The two work a case and Dean introduces an excited Sam to Castiel. Both brothers stop the angels from destroying a town to defeat a witch. Dean also comforted Sam on his new view of angels and told him to have hope. Though Sam uses his power again to exorcise a demon, much to Dean's displeasure in It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. Also in that episode, Uriel reveals to Sam that Dean actually does remember Hell.
In Wishful Thinking, Sam confronts Dean on what Uriel told him and reveals he noticed Dean having nightmares and asks about his memories of Hell, but Dean denies that he recalls any of it. But in the end, Dean tells Sam that he does remember Hell, but doesn't want to talk about it due to the traumatic experience.
This makes Sam upset due to his brother's pain and he gets drunk at a bar in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Dean comes in seeing his brother drunk and then see Sam go towards Ruby. Ruby gives them a job to find a girl the demons are after. Sam and Dean track Anna Milton down, but demons followed them there. After their escape, Dean asks Sam why he trusts Ruby so much though an annoyed Sam turns it around by telling Dean to tell him about his time in Hell. Later on, Sam confesses how Ruby saved him and taught Sam to use his powers. Then Ruby contacts them and they head towards the cabin. They find out the angels want Anna.
They find out Anna is actually an angel, and both Heaven and Hell want her. So they hide her in a building but Dean gives away their location, due to Uriel threatening to kill Sam. But the Winchesters have another plan, to let heaven and hell battle it out. Once the battle is over, Dean tells Sam what Alastair meant by he had such promise. By this point, Sam has decided to respect Dean's reason for not telling him of Hell. However, Dean finally reveals to Sam of his time in hell, stating that four months is like forty years in there. For thirty years, Dean refused and was tortured by the demon, but he couldn't take it anymore more and agreed to torture others for the other ten years, to Sam's horror. Dean tells Sam he wishes he couldn't feel a thing.
In Sex and Violence the siren uses his power to make Sam and Dean fight each other. During the fight Sam and Dean reveal their true feelings (Dean knowing about Sam's phone calls with Ruby, and Sam about Dean being weak). Just as Dean is about to kill Sam, Bobby comes in and saves them.
During On The Head Of A Pin, Castiel takes Dean away to torture Alastair. Sam begins to look desperately for him because Sam believes Dean is not strong enough because of what happened in Hell. Just as Alastair is about to kill Castiel, Sam comes and kills (not right away) him. As Dean recovers, Sam stays near Dean's bedside in the hospital and even demanded Castiel heal Dean but he can't.
As of It's A Terrible Life, Dean loses his memories about Sam and hunting, instead he lives a normal life where he works in a corporate building. Sam, despite his normal exterior, still has dreams about being a hunter. When Sam tries to confront Dean in the elevator and ask him about the dreams, a confused Dean tells Sam to keep away from him. There is a string of weird murders in the building, and Sam and Dean team up to solve it. Even though they don't remember each other, their previous relationship comes out. Along with Sam's dreams, this speaks to the boys subconscious still retaining memories of their real lives. Dean and Sam banter back and forth and tease each other like normal. Eventually Dean discovers that this life is an elaborate illusion created by Zachariah who motivates him to keep hunting.
Later, Sam and Dean discover there is a book series about them about there called "Supernatural". Not only that, but Sam/Dean fan-fictions, which Dean expresses his disgust at. They meet the author Chuck Shurley and he later tells them that Lilith is coming for Sam. Dean is shocked at this and tries everything to make sure it doesn't happen. Sam on the other hand, wants Lilith to come so he can kill her. However, Dean has Chuck come with him to save Sam from the demon.
During Jump the Shark, the two learn they have a half-brother named Adam Milligan (on their father's side) who contacted them. Though they were skeptical of his claims, they soon realize it was true when seeing a photo of John and Adam together, to their shock. Adam, whose mother went missing asks them for help in finding. This causes Sam and Dean to get into an debate over whether or not they should induct him into the hunter's life with Dean stating they need to respect their late father's wishes by not trying to force that life on his one normal son. Sam tries to train Adam as their father did to them so he could defend himself. At the end it turns out, Adam was already dead and a pair of ghoul siblings was taking his place to have revenge on Sam and Dean for their father's death at John's hands. Dean comes to a captive Sam's aid and the two kill the ghouls and finish the job their father began. They soon burn Adam's body in the style of a hunter's funeral for the brother they never knew. The two reconcile their bond about their previous disagreement but realize that they need each other.
Everything changes when Dean finds out that Sam has been drinking demon blood, Dean locks Sam away so he can detox. Sam begs Dean to let him out and tries to explain why he was drinking the blood. Dean won't hear it and leaves. This action though, does kill Dean inside and he asks Castiel for help. Later Sam escapes and Dean follows him. At the hotel, Dean and Sam fight, but Sam comes out the winner. Dean tells Sam if he leaves, don't ever come back. Sam looks at Dean and leaves.
After the fight, both sides are hurting. Dean wants to have nothing to do with Sam anymore, but it's Bobby who convinces him that Dean needs to reach out to Sam. Dean attempts to call Sam though from the angel's room, but gets voice mail. The angel play the brother's relationship beautifully, by using Dean's voice to send Sam a fake hate message. This causes Sam to go over the edge and head full speed towards Lilith. Dean, with Castiel's help escapes the room and heads towards Sam. Dean arrives just as Sam is killing Lilith. Once Lilith is dead and Ruby's betrayal is known, Sam helps Dean kill Ruby. Sam apologizes to Dean for everything and they watch Lucifer's cage open.
The brothers' relationship is tested in this season, with the Apocalypse starting and both are revealed to be the vessels for Michael and Lucifer.
|“|| Dean: I tried, Sammy. I mean, I really tried. But I can't just keep pretending everything's alright. Because it's not. And it's never going to be. You chose a demon over your own brother and look what happened."|
Sam: "I would give anything, anything, to take it all back."
Dean: "I know you would. And I know how sorry you are, I do. But man, you were the one I depended on the most. And you let me down in ways that can't even ... [...] I just don't ... I don't think we can ever be what we were. You know? I just don't think I can trust you.
— Dean's broken trust
in Sympathy for the Devil
In Sympathy for the Devil, Sam and Dean watch as Lucifer begins to rise from his cage before they are mysteriously placed on a plane. They start off by trying to find Lucifer. Sam tries to talk about what happened, but Dean refuses to partake. Later on, Chuck sends them the location of the Michael sword, a weapon that could kill the devil. Sam also saves Dean from Meg when she and demons attack. Once there they discover Zachariah waiting for them and he tells them that Dean, in fact, is the Michael sword. Michael's true vessel. Sam is shocked to hear that his actions will cause Dean to be possessed by an angel. To persuade Dean, Zachariah breaks Sam's legs as Dean is shocked but realizes Michael needs permission to enter his body. Zachariah then takes away Sam's lungs, despite seeing Sam in pain, Dean still refuses before he is tortured. To the brothers' luck, a resurrected Castiel arrives and save them both. Castiel also hides them from angels, so they won't be pursued anymore. As they are leaving, Dean tells Sam how hurt he is that Sam chose a demon over him and started the Apocalypse, and that he doesn't know if he can trust Sam again. Sam was left guilty at how his act has ruined his relationship with his brother.
Sam and Dean head to a town that is apparently infested with demons. There Dean is watching Sam's every move. First when they head out to get guns and salt. Dean wants Sam to stay behind, but Sam refuses. The next time when Ellen wants to go to look for Jo. Dean tries to get Sam to stay behind, but Sam refuses. Sam asks Dean if Dean thinks he is going to loose control the moment he see demon blood? Dean asks are you? Sam pushes Dean in anger and yells. Sam leaves with Ellen for the search party, but end up getting captured. Despite knowing Sam is captured, Dean manages to keep his cool and figures out it's the Horsemen War doing this. So once Dean gets Sam, they go after War and cut off his finger. After this is over, Sam and Dean have a talk. They realize they need to separate, due to individual problems (Sam knowing he's weak and Dean tired of looking after Sam). Sam also says they could never go back to they way they were. In fact, that was the problem. So Dean continues hunting and Sam works in a bar.
They don't stay separated for long because in The End, Sam contacts Dean to tell him that he is Lucifer's vessel, which meant the angels would fight each other in the brothers' bodies. Dean was not too surprised by this revelation, as Sam was confused by his reaction though his brother mentioned it wasn't something he didn't find hard to expect. Sam tries to get back to hunting with him, since he let Lucifer free and wants to redeem himself but Dean refuses and hangs up on the protesting Sam. Subsequently, Dean is taken to an alternate timeline by Zachariah in which he learns from his future self that he failed to protect Sam who became the meatsuit of the devil. Dean broke down in tears at seeing his brother's fate for himself and was heartbroken at failing him.
After being returned to his time, Dean refused to be Michael's vessel but realized even though he and his brother are weak together, they keep each other human. After being saved from Zachariah by Cass, Dean then contacted his brother and made amends with him.
So in Fallen Idols, Dean takes Sam on a case rather than deal with the Apocalypse immediately, since he needed to put the training wheels on and try to fix their relationship. Sam was annoyed at this but understood Dean wanted to know if he can trust him. Later on, Sam walks in on Dean talking to Bobby and stating the fact that Sam started the apocalypse. Sam asks when will he be off double secret probation, and Dean asks when I say so. Sam argues this was supposed to be a fresh start. After the job, Dean tells Sam he needs to let Sam grow up and they reconcile once Dean admits he had a hand in starting the Apocalypse as well.
In Changing Channels, the brothers encounter the trickster once more and are forced into a television world until they give consent to the Archangels. With clues from Cass, they are able to deduce their enemy was an angel and capture him and learn he was the Archangel Gabriel. The brothers also learn from him on why they are the vessels, their relationship mirrors that of the angels and that one brother will kill the other. The two refuse to give consent and have him bring Cass back but this leaves them unsure of their fates.
So now Sam and Dean revert to a new state of normal. It's different then before, but yet similar. They continue hunting and they manage to find the Colt and Lucifer. So in Abandon All Hope.... they go after Lucifer but only to find that the Colt does not work on him. The two are saved by Cass and are left distraught at their allies' fate.
After Ellen's and Jo's death, Sam and Dean investigate an incident in an insane asylum. Slowly the two go insane and don't know what's real and what's not. Due to an incident, Sam gets locked up and drugged. During this time, Dean comes to visit Sam. Sam tells Dean, that Dean has always been a little crazy. Sam also mentions something about Jo and Ellen's death. Then goes on about how Dean is his brother and how Sam loves him. Later in the episode Dean saves Sam from the Wraith, and the go back to normal.
In Swap Meat it takes Dean a while to realize that "Sam" isn't Sam.
In The Song Remains the Same, after Cass tells them that Anna plans to kill Sam, Dean is outraged while trying to dissuade Sam from considering it. Once Anna travels back in the year 1978 to kill John and Mary, resolving to prevent the Winchesters' birth to stop the Apocalypse and Lucifer, Dean and Sam follow her with help of Castiel. The brothers work with their younger parents, but Anna enlists the help of a past Uriel and soon catches up with them. Dean struggles against Uriel.
Ultimately, Anna succeeds in landing a fatal blow on Sam, to Dean's horror. Dean then watched as Michael appears (in John's body) and burns her alive before banishing Uriel. After Michael renders their mother unconscious, Dean demands for Michael to heal Sam but the latter says they need to have a long awaited talk. Dean discovers that the brothers' whole bloodline are possible vessels dating back to Cain and Abel (their ancestors), but he is Michael's true vessel. Michael appeals to Dean that he can relate to him for his love to his little brother, which is like Dean's love of Sam. However, he resolves that he still has to kill Lucifer for his father and that Dean will have to kill Sam. Afterwards, Michael resurrects Sam and sends him back to the future and turns to Dean. Michael says he'll see him again before sending him off.
In their own time, the brothers help a weaken Castiel after he touches down and begin to worry about their own fate. Sam is worried because Michael got their father to consent and everyone believes they will consent. After Dean responds by stating they have choices as he labels him, Sam and Cass as Team Free Will.
They two realize the truth about each when Sam and Dean enter heaven in Dark Side of the Moon. Dean's heaven is composed of his family. Like when him and Sam lit fireworks in a field. Or even when his mother made him a sandwich when he was young. On the other hand, Sam's is composed of the moments when he was able to be on his own. This surprises Dean at what Sam considered happy moments. Sam's happy moments were not so great for Dean. They also learn they have died several times than they know and were sent to Heaven but each time their memories were erased upon being resurrected. The brothers put their disagreements behind them when Zachariah finds and chases them. They talk to Joshua and learn God will not help them any further than he already has (saving them from Lucifer, resurrecting Castiel, and letting them enter Heaven). After returning home, Castiel returns Dean's necklace. As Dean walks to the door, he drops the necklace in the trash in front of Sam.
Dean starts to lose faith and begins leaning towards saying yes. Sam notices this beginning in 99 Problems. At the end of the episode, Dean runs away and goes to Lisa's before heading to a motel.
In Point of No Return, Dean has his mind up to say yes to Michael. Sam comes to his motel to try to talk Dean out of saying yes to Michael, but it doesn't work. Sam tells Dean he has to stop him, and Dean tells Sam he can try since the last time they brawl, he doesn't have an edge. Sam had come prepared though, and brought Castiel. They put Dean under watch in Bobby's house. The two are soon reunited with their brother Adam Milligan who was resurrected to replace Dean as Michael's vessel. Dean is soon placed in the panic room where Sam talks to him but Dean admits he'll give in to Michael as he's losing faith in everything including Sam and is worried he'll have to kill Sam once he says "Yes" to Lucifer. Hurt, Sam leaves his brother who later manages to escape the room after banishing Castiel. Sam also faces problems while attempting to relate to Adam who tries to contact Zachariah as well as trying to find Dean. However, Castiel instead finds Dean who he beats up and brings back and Dean awakens in the panic room. He tells Sam that he doesn't believe in Sam. Sam looks sad and tells Dean that he believe Dean will do the right thing as he still his big brother as he unlocks Dean's handcuff and takes him along on Adam's rescue. Zachariah manages to corner Dean and Adam before easily swatting away Sam, who he tortures along with Adam. Seeing both his brothers in pain, Dean is about to say yes, but as he looks at Sam and sees Sam's disappointment. Unwilling to disappoint Sam, Dean winks at him to reassure him as the latter is curious before Dean kills Zachariah and escapes the room with Sam. Unfortunately for them, Adam is left behind and is taken by Michael. As they drive away, Dean apologizes to Sam and still can't believe how much trust Sam has in him.
During Hammer of the Gods, they are kidnapped by Pagan Gods but Gabriel comes to their aid. The two initially thought of allying with the deities to stop Lucifer, though Dean learns from Gabriel that they stand no chance. The two nearly face the devil again but Gabriel intervenes and they escape, seemingly at the cost of the younger archangel. However, they learn of a way to seal Lucifer back in his cage after learning a tip Gabriel passed before his sacrifice.
Dean later returns this trust in The Devil You Know when he and Crowley bring Brady back to the house despite Crowley's warning not to. Dean tells Sam he trusts him and to keep calm. Sam sees Brady and gets angry, but Dean holds him back. Sam manages to lock Dean in the washroom and confronts Brady. Sam realizes Brady isn't worth it and lets Dean out. Much later, they get information and Dean allows Sam to get his revenge on Brady.
The real trouble comes when Sam suggest that he says yes to Lucifer and jumps in the hole in Two Minutes to Midnight. Dean doesn't like this idea one bit, but Sam believes this to be the only way to defeat the devil.
As Dean promised to Death, he agrees to let Sam jump in the hole. On the way there, Sam makes Dean promise not to bring him back and to go to Lisa once this is done. Basically live an "apple pie" life. Dean doesn't agree at first, but in the end, he does. When Sam has to drink the Demon blood, he asks Dean to turn away, because he doesn't want Dean to see this. Then they go confront Lucifer, and Sam says Yes. Unfortunately, Lucifer wins and Sam is gone. Dean sinks in defeat and mourns for his brother. But he doesn't give up.Dean heads towards the showdown area for Michael and Lucifer. Dean keeps trying to reach out for Sam and help Sam beat Lucifer, but his efforts appear to have no effect. An annoyed Lucifer begins to beat Dean into a bloody pulp. Dean reaches up and says "I'm here Sammy". Just as Lucifer pulls for the final punch, Sam notices all the memories in the Impala. Like the army man he stuffed in the ash tray when he was a kid. With the power of his memories and his relationship with Dean, Sam overpowers Lucifer and tells Dean "its going to be okay. I got him". With this, Sam opened the hole to Lucifer's Cage and jumps in the hole while taking both Michael and Lucifer with him, leaving Dean there. Dean keeps his promise to Sam and goes to live a normal life with Lisa.
That same night, Sam mysteriously re-appears back from Hell in front of Lisa's house, watching the pair.
|“||You just went. You didn't hesitate, because you care and that's who you are. Me, I wouldn't even think to try."Yes you would.""No Dean. I'm telling you. It's just better with you around.||”|
— Sam and Dean
in Exile on Main Street
Sam saves Dean after a Djinn attacked Dean. Dean is surprised to see Sam again and gives Sam a big hug. Dean ask Sam how he's back. Sam tells Dean he's been trying to figure out who (or what) brought him back for about three weeks but gave up. Dean gets angry that Sam has been back for a year now and didn't tell him. Sam replies that Dean had a good life going and he didn't want to ruin it. After they face the Djinn, Sam ask Dean to join him in hunting again, but Dean refuses and goes to pick up Lisa and Ben.
Sam calls Dean in on case in Two and a Half Men. With Dean on the scene, he suggests they go to pick up supplies where Dean surprises Sam with his knowledge of baby stuff. They notice though that the baby is a shapeshifter and they bring it to Samuel's place. The alpha comes and takes the baby. At the end of the episode, Lisa tells Dean to go back hunting with Sam, but come back when he can.
Though Dean begins to notice changes in Sam. Like when Sam held him back when Castiel soul probed a young kid. Dean expresses this concern to Bobby in Weekend at Bobby's. This confusion deepens further when Sam appears to let Dean get turned into a Vampire. As a vampire, Dean notices Sam unusually calm, but Sam tells Dean is trying to keep calm in this situation. Once cleaning out the nest and getting cured, Dean gets a flashback where he noticed Sam watching him getting turned.
In You Can't Handle The Truth Dean gets a truth curse cast upon him and he attempts to use it on Sam about what happened when he was turned into a vampire. Sam tells Dean that what he thinks happened didn't. But the encounter with Veritas confirms Dean suspicions. Sam tells Dean he did let Dean get turned because he knew they had a cure and so they could find the alpha vampire. Sam tells Dean there is something wrong with him. Dean is silent and then breaks out with a punch. Dean proceeds to beat Sam unconscious for his actions.
Dean enlists Castiel to help figure out what's wrong with Sam. Castiel asks Sam a bunch of questions and Sam answers. Sam can't believe Dean is having Castiel treat him. Castiel soul probes Sam and finds that Sam is missing his soul. This explains Sam's actions to Dean, and Dean asks when Sam is still even "Sam". In the end though, Sam still chooses Dean over Samuel. So they follow Samuel to a compound where they take all the captured creatures. There they meet Crowley who claims to be the one who brought Sam back, and forces the boys to work for him. Dean doesn't like the idea, but Sam promises Crowley will get what's coming to him.
Dean now knows Sam is soulless, and tries to deal with this fact. In All Dogs Go To Heaven, Dean tells Sam to stop trying to be "Sam." Mostly because this soulless version could never be the real one. At the end of the episode, Sam tells Dean the truth about how he really feels. He agrees that he's not really Sam and tells Dean he doesn't care about anything, including Dean, but he needs Dean's help. Dean later acts as Sam's conscience in Clap Your Hands If You Believe due to the fact that Sam doesn't feel anything. Like when Dean gets kidnapped, Sam goes has sex with the hippie girl. Later though, Sam begins to wonder if he really wants his soul back, meanwhile Dean still wants Sam to have his soul.
They attempt to get Sam's soul back when Sam makes a deal with Meg Masters for help on making Crowley give Sam his soul. Dean is shocked and not too happy with the fact that he's working with demons. After Crowley reveals he can't get Sam's soul and is "killed" by Castiel, Sam tells Dean he doesn't want his soul back. Dean can't believe this and Sam walks away.
But Dean doesn't give up as seen in Appointment In Samarra, where Dean makes a deal with Death for Sam's soul. Sam who still doesn't want his soul, tries to look for the horsemen rings, but Dean already has them. Sam lies to Dean by saying he's fine with getting his soul back, when in reality, Sam doesn't want it back. Sam tries to prevent his soul's return by contacting Balthazar for help, he decides to kill Bobby to ruin Dean's plan. As this happened, Dean becomes Death for Sam, but loses the wager.
Even though he lost, Death still goes to get Sam's soul as Dean knocks out Sam when he nearly succeeds in killing Bobby. Dean later watches as Death places Sam's soul back in his body, as the latter frantically calls out to his brother for help while Dean is troubled by Sam's screams of agony.
While waiting Dean is worried Sam will never wake up, but as Bobby and Dean are talking about a hunt, Sam appears and hugs Dean. At last, the real Sam is back. Which Dean is more than grateful for. He expresses this when he and Sam are on a hunt for Dragons in Like A Virgin. Though Sam is made aware of what happened when he was soulless (thanks to Castiel) and he apologizes to Dean. Dean tells Sam it not his fault, but Sam disagrees.
Sam continues to investigate what happened during the time he was soulless and Dean does not want Sam to dig any deeper. He is afraid the wall in Sam's mind will break.
In Unforgiven Sam passes out and sees a moment of hell. Sam's passing out frightens Dean and he has no idea of what to do. Sam does wake up and Dean takes him out. Dean later asks if Sam wants to talk about it and believes what Sam saw was hell. Dean tells Sam to just forget about it and don't kick the wall. Sam doesn't want to forget about it but leaves it alone. Sam and Dean continue to hunt without Sam kicking the "wall". Although Sam does thank Dean for getting his soul back, which Dean is thankful to hear.
In The Man Who Would Be King, they argue over Castiel's loyalty and soon learn that he was the reason came back soulless since he brought Sam back from the cage.
Then in the final hours, Sam and Dean's relationship is tested. In Let It Bleed, Sam stayed with Dean in the hunt for Lisa and Ben. He is also concerned when Dean starts torturing again. When they do find Lisa and Ben, Sam comes with Dean. With them rescued and memories erased, Sam is concerned for Dean, but Dean threatens Sam to never talk about Lisa and Ben again.
Then it gets switched when Castiel destroys Sam's wall inside his head (The Man Who Knew Too Much). This puts Sam into a comatose state and Dean gets worried. Dean stays beside Sam's bedside while waiting for him to wake up. Sam begins to move, Dean gets really concerned. When Bobby makes Dean go back to work, Dean stays by Sam's side until he can't. While leaving Dean leaves Sam the address of where they'll be. Meanwhile, in Sam's head, he has to choose between not remembering everything forever staying in a coma or remember everything (his time soulless and his time in the cage) and help Dean. When Sam does wake up, he heads to Dean's location while he still is messed up.
In order to save Dean from Castiel, Sam stabs Cass only to find out it doesn't work, because the latter was no longer an angel.
|“||Sam, I am so very, very, very, very, very, very tired." "Dean, like it or not, the stuff you don't talk about doesn't just go away. It builds up. Like whatever's eating at you right now..." "There's always something eating at me. That's who I am. Something happens, I feel responsible. All right, uh, the Lindbergh Baby — that's on me. Unemployment — my bad.||”|
— Dean and Sam
in Shut Up, Dr. Phil
In Hello, Cruel World, Dean finds Sam, and brings him back to Bobby's. Sam tells Dean on how he has been having trouble differing between real and fake. In addition to hallucinating Lucifer. This worries Dean, and Sam tells Dean he knows he's not alright. While Sam is working on his gun, Dean goes to Sam's cell phone and turns on the GPS in case Sam goes AWOL. This way Dean can find Sam if Sam goes crazy. When they hear rumors of the Leviathans, Sam insists that Dean goes, and he stays. So Dean goes, but when he comes back, Sam's gone. This is because Lucifer turned into Dean and tricked Sam somewhere. Dean is able to get through to Sam though, when he finds Sam. Knowing the same pain Sam is experiencing, Dean is able to convince Sam this is reality by using pain.
During The Born-Again Identity, Dean is worried about his brother's condition and soon finds a resurrected Castiel to help him rescue Sam from demons who were attempting to fry Sam's brain. Dean watches Castiel to switch places with Sam's mental state. Though Dean is relieved at seeing Sam recover, he is devastated to see Castiel now showing signs of insanity. Sam is a bit shocked that Dean wants to leave Castiel in the mental institution. However, he is forced to agree that their only friend is safer in the hands of Meg
They return together to Bobby's house, but find it burned, and no sign of Bobby. They are soon attacked by Edgar, and they manage to crush him. Although Sam is knocked out, and Dean's leg is broken in the process. Dean tries to wake Sam, but to no success.
In The Girl Next Door Sam and Dean managed to get away from the hospital. Sam is still seeing things, but is using the scar he has to keep him balanced. Dean is still concerned about Sam's mental health. Then Sam sees a familiar case and takes off. An angered Dean quickly chases after Sam, and when he catches up with Sam, punches Sam. In the motel room, Sam asks Dean to trust him, which Dean seemly agrees to, but is lying, and he goes to kill Amy behind Sam's back.
When Dean is put on trial by Osiris, Sam desperately tries to save him, but Dean lets Osiris sentence him before bringing out the third witness (possible Amy Pond). Dean doesn't want Sam to know that he went behind Sam's back and killed her. Sam believes that Dean trusts him because of Dean's lie.
Although in Shut Up, Dr. Phil Sam notices Dean's drinking and later asks Dean what going on with him. Dean points out to Sam that he always feels guilty. Sam does find out later in Slash Fiction when the Leviathan Dean tells Sam that Dean killed Amy. Sam is shocked and angered by this. Later on Sam reveals he knows to Dean, and Dean tries to explain himself. Sam stops Dean, so angered, Sam tells Dean he can't talk or face Dean and leaves. Feeling guilty, Dean lets Sam leave.
A week and a half later (The Mentalists), the two bump into each other again, and Sam is still mad at Dean. Dean manages to convince Sam to work with him though. Finally had it with Sam's attitude, Dean confronts Sam on it, and tells Sam he killed Amy because it felt right due to Amy killing four people. In addition to that, Sam would have done it too had Sam not known Amy. When the case is done, Sam and Dean reconcile and begin working together again. Sam even gets Dean to admit what is eating him. Dean admits that he didn't feel guilt for killing Amy, but about lying to him about his actions. Sam realizes that if he didn't know Amy, he might have done the same thing too and the brothers begin working together again.
A few weeks later, the brothers split up for separate down time and Dean gets a mysterious text message from Sam telling him to come in his FBI suit. Dean arrives and discover Sam is getting married to no other than Becky Rosen. Under the influence of the spell Sam tells Dean that he doesn't need him anymore. When Sam finally snaps out of it, Dean pokes fun at what happened, and Sam mentions that Dean did fine on his own. Dean although isn't happy with that idea. They work to stop the Crossroads demon Guy before Crowley appeared to apprehend Guy. They also learned Crowley ordered his demons not to interfere with them, as they fight against the Leviathans.
When Bobby is shot in the head by Dick Roman, Sam tries to brace Dean and himself should Bobby die, but Dean refuses to consider the possibility, saying that they've been through enough. Then Bobby passes and Sam and Dean are alone again. In Adventures in Babysitting when Frank suggests Dean should quit, Dean refuses saying he can't leave his brother by himself.
Sam begins to worry about Dean when Dean begins to believe that Bobby's spirit is around. Sam quickly turns this idea down. In The Slice Girls, Sam is amused when Dean fathers an Amazons named Emma while Dean is not too pleased by his jokes. Sam later gets angry with Dean for not shooting Emma and the fact the he had to. Sam gets even more insight on Dean's mentality when he asks Dean to stay alive and Dean says he'll do his best.
In Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie they investigate strange murders at the place, and Sam complains to Dean how in the past Dean used to dump him there. Later on Dean apologizes to Sam for doing that, but not after laughing at the sight of his brother covered in sparkles.
Dean becomes concerned for Sam when Sam lands in a mental ward in The Born-Again Identity. Dean becomes angry at Sam's defeated attitude about his condition. Sam tells Dean that he's too tired to do anything, which makes Dean sad. Unable to sit by and do nothing, Dean begins calling up hunter contact and finds a healer for Sam. This healer just happens to be Castiel, but for the sake of his brother, Dean puts his anger aside. Dean manages to get Castiel to help, but it's too late since Sam's mental state is too crumbled. Castiel manages to shift Sam's hell and Dean is glad to see his brother on his feet again. In Party On, Garth, Dean asks Sam if he alright, and Sam tells Dean that he's fine now.
In Survival of the Fittest, Sam takes care of Bobby due to that Dean is too close to Bobby to do it. So in order to spare his brother heartache, Sam takes care of Bobby. When Dean finally takes care of Dick Roman, and an explosion occurs, sending Dean to Purgatory, separating Sam and Dean on different worlds.
|“||I mean, maybe at you're best hacking and slicing your way through all the world's crap alone, not having to explain yourself to anybody." "Yeah, that makes sense, seeing as I have so many other brothers I can talk to this stuff about.||”|
— Sam and Dean
In Heartache, Dean drags Sam along on a hunt hoping Sam's hunting passion would kick in again. In Blood Brother, Dean drops everything and leaves Sam. Sam is shocked and angered by this, but Dean rebuts that he needs a day and that Sam took a year off. Dean later calls Sam and after some ranting on Sam's part about taking down a Vamp nest by himself, Dean tells Sam his location. Thus Sam and Benny meet.
In Southern Comfort, there is tension between Sam and Dean since Sam figured out Benny was a Vampire. When possessed by the Spectre, all Dean's fury at Sam for once again letting him down is brought out and he tries to kill Sam. When free, Sam criticizes him for holding in all that, and tells him to let it go or he would leave. Following the return of Castiel, their relationship returns to normal, and greatly improves, the tension seeming to disappear.
However, in Citizen Fang, after learning that Sam had been keeping tracks on Benny, Dean was shocked. Likewise strain was once again put on their relationship, with no help from Martin who had been keeping an eye on Benny. When defending Benny, Dean once again remarked that he was the only one who had never let him down, hurting Sam. Martin again lights this by remarking he agreed with Sam, about Dean picking a vamp over his own Brother. Later, to save Benny, Dean tricked Sam into thinking Amelia needed him. Upon learning of his trick, and Martin's Death at Benny's hand, Sam was deeply hurt, and simply hung up on Dean not wanting to talk.
During As Time Goes By, the two meet their grandfather Henry Winchester who time traveled to get away from a demon named Abaddon. They have a different reaction to him with Dean being resentful for not being there for their father and Sam accepting him as he suspected it wasn't his fault. When Abaddon takes Sam hostage in exchange for Henry, Dean immediately wanted to save him calling him his only real family, which causes Henry to make a plan. The two defeat Abaddon at the cost of Henry who uses his final moment to express pride in them. The brothers then bury their grandfather in the cemetery of his fellow deceased Men of Letters, and realize the significance of all Heaven positioning the brainy Winchesters and brawny Campbells together to produce them.
In Trial and Error, Dean states that he should be the one to take on the trials as he doesn't have a future, but Sam ends up taking them instead.
In Taxi Driver, the two learn that Bobby's soul is in Hell and decide to rescue him though Sam goes alone. Dean shows great concern while Sam is trapped in Purgatory with Bobby. Likewise, Sam felt guilt when Bobby criticized him for leaving Dean in Purgatory. On Earth, Dean's worry is so much that he kills Benny to go and save him. In Purgatory, Sam stopped Bobby from attacking Benny since he was Dean's friend. Benny stays to fend off some vampires so Sam and Bobby can escape. When Sam returns to Earth, Dean greets him with a hug and gets worried when he sees Sam's condition get worse after fulfilling the second trial and seeing Bobby off to Heaven. Sam also admits that he was wrong about Benny and sees him as a good person for saving him and Bobby.
In Season eight's finale, Sacrifice, Dean deeply emphasized that he cares about Sam, to the extent of putting him above all of his other relationships - like Benny and Castiel.
|“||I made you a promise in that church. You and me, come whatever. Well, hell, if this ain't whatever. But you gotta let me in, man, you gotta let me help. There ain't no me if there ain't no you.||”|
— Dean to Sam
in I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here
With Sam dying from the damage the Trials did to him, Dean goes to desperate measures to save him, tricking him into allowing Gadreel to possess him to heal him from the inside. Dean keeps Gadreel's actions from Sam, coming up with various cover stories but growing less sure of the angel as time goes on due to his continuing insistence on hiding the truth. Dean also hides his concern over Sam's physical state as he slowly heals. Dean is forced to choose between Sam and Castiel due to Gadreel threatening to leave Sam if he doesn't send Castiel away and as this would result in Sam's death, Dean has to send his best friend away to protect his brother.
Finally, after learning that Ezekiel, the angel Gadreel claims to be is dead, Dean tries to tell Sam the truth, but Gadreel only pretends to be Sam and takes permanent control, murdering Kevin and leaving Dean to mourn the loss of both Sam and Kevin. Believing there is no way to save Sam, Dean decides to kill Gadreel at Sam's expense to get revenge for his loss, but dedicates himself to saving him even at the cost of releasing Crowley after Castiel reveals there is hope. Dean goes so far as to allow Crowley to torture Gadreel and thus Sam, though he is unaware of it to try to free him and goes as far as allowing Crowley to possess Sam to save him on the condition Crowley leave Sam afterwards. Dean's efforts ultimately succeed and Sam expels Gadreel, mostly healed by the angel's possession of him to the point that Castiel can finish the job over time. However, Sam is furious about Dean tricking him as he wanted to die and does nothing to stop Dean from going off on his own, telling him to go if he wants and that Gadreel is not the problem as Dean thinks.
Dean goes off alone to find a way to kill Gadreel. However, he finds Crowley on the way who insists on helping find a way.
They go to the house Cain. The latter was intrigued to meet Dean, especially since he didn't kill his brother as Cain did to prevent him from falling under Lucifer's grasp. Dean voiced his disgust at the thought of doing so, even if he and his brother were still on bad terms. After proving to Cain that he is worth it, Dean gets the Mark of Cain. Meanwhile, Sam and Castiel are working together to collect Gadreel's grace from inside Sam so that they can kill him once and for all. This however fails because doing so could kill Sam and even though Sam accepts this, Cass does not and stops the procedure.
When the brothers meet up again Sam tells Dean that they can work together but they have to accept that the brother bond was broken. Dean agrees to this but is heartbroken. Later Dean confronts Sam and says "if the situation was reversed and I was dying you would do the same" to which Sam says "Same circumstances I wouldn't". This leaves Dean in shock and he eventually comes to terms that Sam would not save him if he was dying. Through the next part of Season 9 we see Dean and Sam's relationship getting worse as Dean is obviously hurt and Sam is mad. We get to see a more concerned side of Sam when the mark of Cain starts showing its affects on Dean. Dean, Crowley and Sam locate the first blade and after that they go on search for Abaddon. After a little help from Crowley, Dean kills Abaddon with the first blade but when the rage from the mark takes over he starts to mutilate her corpse using the blade until Sam snaps him out of it.
After this Dean is keen on keeping the blade with him at all times. When Castiel calls them to and tells them to meet him, Sam insists that Dean leaves the blade at the bunker. They bicker about it but Dean eventually says yes and leaves the blade there but we later find out that Dean in fact did take the blade with him. He kills the reaper Tessa making everybody else furious. The other angels tells Cass to kill Dean in order to prove his loyalty but Cass refuses causing the angels to leave him and join Metatron. When they along with Cass get back to the bunker, Dean tells Sam that they are not partners and that it is a dictatorship since Dean is the only one who can kill Metatron. Later Gadreel shows up asking for forgiveness and insists on helping them defeat Metatron. Dean goes to shake his hand and then later whips out the first blade and slashes him with it. Sam and Cass try to hold him back.
In the finale, Cass and Sam lock up Dean because he is out of control. They try to find Gadreel while Dean summons Crowley and asks him for help in escaping. When Sam and Cass come back Deans gone, along with the first blade. Sam eventually finds Dean and they have a plan to find Metatron together. However, when they get to the place, where Metatron is located, Dean knocks Sam out and says it not his fight. Dean fights Metatron but fails because Metatron has taped into the power of the angel tablet. Dean is beaten up and he "calls" the First blade over to him but as soon as gets it, Metatron stabs Dean in the heart. Sam sees this and yells "NO!" and then runs over to Dean. Metatron flees and Dean is about to die. Sam tells him to hold on as he gets him up and starts walking. Dean then questions Sam saying how he said he would be okay with Dean killing Metatron no matter the consequences to which Sam said "I lied". Later Dean tells Sam to stop and tells him he has to say something To say Sam says "what" and Dean says "I'm proud of us" and then dies in Sam's arms. Sam breaks down in tears, and gets him back to the bunker. It is shown that he is drinking alone and he tries to summon Crowley so that he can save him. Now that Dean's actually dead, Sam is trying to make a deal with Crowley. What he doesn't know is that Crowley is already in the bunker, talking to Dean's corpse.
|“||Your brother, bless his soul, is summoning me as I speak, make a deal, bring you back. It's exactly what I was talking about isn't it? It's all become so... expected. You have to believe me, when I suggested you take on the Mark of Cain. I didn't know this was going to happen. Not really. I mean I might not have told you the entire truth but I never lied. I never lied Dean, it's important. It's fundamental. But there is one story about Cain that I forgot to tell you. Apparently he too was willing to accept death rather than become the killer the mark wanted him to be. So he took his own life with the blade. He died. Except, as rumor, the mark never quite let go. You understand why I never spoke of this. Why set hearts a flutter at mere speculation? It wasn't until you summoned me, no, It wasn't truly until you left that cheeseburger uneaten, that I began to let myself believe maybe miracles do come true. Listen to me Dean Winchester, what you're feeling right now it's not death, it's life. A new kind of life. Open your eyes Dean, See what I see, Feel what I feel. Let's take a howl at that moon.||”|
— Crowley to Dean about Sam
After this speech, the camera zooms into Dean's face and Dean opens his eyes, which are now demon black. Season 9 finishes off there and whether he is a normal demon or a Knight of Hell is not clarified. As of now Sam does not know of his brother being alive or of him turning into a demon.
In Black, Sam discovered that Dean was resurrected and tortures a demon to find him. Sam initially believed that Dean was possessed by a demon but he learns from Crowley that Dean is not possessed, but that the Mark of Cain has twisted his soul until it is demonic. When Cole Trenton kidnaps Sam, he demands Dean to meet him or he will kill Sam. Dean refuses, telling Cole that he told Sam not to come look for him, but warns Cole that if he kills Sam, Dean will find him and kill him.
In Reichenbach, Sam is told by Cole of Dean's words and he notes Dean is lost. When Sam breaks out, he tracks Dean but this leads to Cole finding him too (he planned Sam's escape to follow him). Dean is amused Cole didn't kill his brother and fights Cole easily overpowering him. Sam splashes holy water all over him. Dean flails his arms and groans in pain as Sam grabs his arm and cuffs his hand. Dean goes to grab Sam with his free hand, which gets cuffed too. Sam screams at him to stop, that it's over as Dean glares up hatefully at his brother. With Dean in the backseat of the Impala, handcuffed, he watches as Sam hands over the First Blade to Crowley, who tells him that he'll get creative in hiding the blade. When they head back to the bunker, Sam is surprised by Dean's callous disregard to the Impala. He notes there still seems to be some of his humanity left by sparing Cole but Dean scoffs at that by giving the real reason. Then with a smirk, he threatens on Sam what he's going to do to him will definitely not be merciful either. Sam quietly looks concerned, clearly unsure what to do next, as he drives on.
In Soul Survivor, Sam listens to his brother's threats and how it was good not to care for him. Sam proceeds to gather the ingredients for the Demon Curing Ritual, which Dean doubts will work. After Dean breaks free, he hunts for Sam while taunting him before he finds him and Sam soon pins Dean with Ruby's knife but doesn't kill him. Dean tries to kill him but Cass appears and Sam injects the cure. He notices Dean's pain as the spell is conducted but worries it is for the best. Sam is relieved the cure worked after Dean awakens as a human. Dean also worried about Sam possibly leaving him though Cass assures him otherwise.
During Fan Fiction, the two investigate a case about a play regarding their lives. When Dean is given a prop of the Samulet, he remarked he didn't need a charm to remind him of how to feel about his brother. They are content with the play's ending before they are reminded of their trapped brother Adam. At the end, Dean hangs the prop on the mirror of the Impala as they ride down the road.
In Ask Jeeves, Sam is worried when Dean kills Olivia and proceeded to fire several more rounds into her body, possibly as a result of the Mark of Cain. This showed Sam that Dean is still plagued by the mark's effects.
During The Prisoner, Dean gives her a hunter's funeral and is very devastated by Charlie's death. He blames Sam for her dying and lying to him, separating from his brother to go hunting for the Stynes. Sam is also worried by Dean's brutal slaughter of the Stynes. After delivering a violent thrashing to him, Dean tells Castiel to inform Sam of staying away from him.
In Brother's Keeper, intent on getting rid of the Mark of Cain, Dean summons the Horseman Death to help him. Death agrees on the ground that Dean kills Sam to prevent his brother from trying to rescue him, once Death takes Dean to the Empty.
Sam and Dean get into a fight with Dean coming out the winner. Sam accepts his fate and Death gives Dean his scythe to use as a weapon. However, Dean is unable to go through with the plan, and stabs Death instead, killing the Horseman, proving that Dean holds his brother higher than he does to mankind and vice versa, since Sam desperately tries to save his brother while knowing the darkness would be the consequence. Both brothers hold each other higher than they do to mankind.
Dean and Sam do manage to remove the Mark by using Rowena and the Book of the Damned, but this causes Amara to be released from its prison. Sam and Dean are both hit by the giant black fog, that is The Darkness' true form.
Dean is taken away and meets with The Darkness in the form of a woman. Sam, meanwhile, is knocked out, and wakes up to find Dean a mile away from the Impala. They soon encounter a group of people infected by The Darkness, whom Sam refers to as Rabids. While Sam searches for a cure, Dean finds out that a newborn baby bears the Mark of Cain, and is in fact The Darkness herself.
Sometime after, Sam and Dean infiltrate Crowley's lair to kill The Darkness, who has been taken in by Crowley. While Sam dispatches the demons, Dean enters The Darkness' room, but finds himself unable to harm her. When Crowley intervenes and tries to kill Dean, The Darkness saves him. Dean later tells Sam that he failed because, as Castiel reveals, she was God's sister.
After persistent visions of the Cage, Sam manages to convince Dean to help him meet with Lucifer, claiming it to be God's will. They recruit the help of Rowena and Crowley. Dean soon gets distracted by a case involving The Darkness, and gets taken away to a field by Amara herself, who wishes to speak with him. Unable to wait, Sam travels to Limbo without him.
Angels intent on destroying Amara interrupt Dean and Amara's conversation, and Dean is sent back to the park he had been at. He tries to drive back, but is unable to due to the attack by the angels. Thus he returns to the Bunker, but does not find Sam. Crowley calls to tell him that Sam is trapped in Hell with Lucifer.
Sam awaits Dean's arrival, and Dean does come after trapping Rowena in a witchcatcher and forcing her to send Lucifer back to his Cage. Alongside Castiel, Dean confronts and fights Lucifer when the archangel begins beating on Sam. The brothers manage to escape the encounter alive.
Sam's experience prompts him to apologize to Dean for leaving him behind in Purgatory, which Dean forgave him for a long time ago. The brothers then deal with a few minor cases, each reminding Dean of his weakness towards Amara. Convinced he cannot kill The Darkness, Dean tells Sam this, much to Sam's discomfort.
When a weapon known as a Hand of God is identified in the past, Dean and Sam decide to retrieve it through time travel, however, Dean refuses to let Sam come with him, seeing he himself as "the least valuable player". Castiel takes Dean to the past but is forced to come back alone due to wardings, so Sam searches desperately for a way to take down the wardings.
During his research, Sam discovers that Castiel is in fact possessed by Lucifer, and is nearly killed until Castiel intervenes, but returns control of his vessel so Lucifer can retrieve Dean. Sam instantly informs his brother of Lucifer's presence when the two return, and quickly draws a banishing sigil to remove the archangel from the Bunker.
Dean and Sam begin arguing over whether Castiel requires rescuing, since Sam deems possession as Castiel's wish. Sam nevertheless helps Dean in trying to expel the archangel, however, all attempts fail, and Lucifer/Castiel is ultimately kidnapped by Amara.
When a town gets hit by a strange fog sent by Amara, Sam and Dean try to rescue the inhabitants, but Sam gets infected and nearly dies but Dean doesn't leave his side. Dean's Amulet starts to glow in Sam's pocket, revealing that it has been returned to them. They see Sam is cured as the fog dissipates while the townspeople are resurrected, and the brothers discover the reason to be God, aka Chuck Shurley.
They are at a loss but are convinced when God sends Kevin Tran's soul to Heaven. Sam is initially overjoyed to finally meet God, while Dean shows resentment until God talks to him. They are eventually informed by Metatron that God wishes to sacrifice himself to Amara, a plan Dean pleads to God to abandon.
Alongside the Prophet Donatello and Metatron, Sam and Dean conjure a plan to rescue Castiel and Lucifer. While Dean distracts Amara, Sam goes to rescue the archangel from Amara's lair. The plan is a success.
At the Bunker, Lucifer gets angry at God, forcing the brothers to get them to talk to each other so they can work together. The four then plan their attack on Amara, with Dean and Sam recruiting demons and witches respectively. Dean is horrified when he finds out that Sam agreed to take on the Mark of Cain without telling him, but accepts his decision. However, God fails to imprison his sister and is left dying after a vicious attack from her.
Dean and most of their allies grow weary at the thought of the world ending, while Sam persistently tries to find a means to restore the sun, which is growing dimmer due to God's condition. The team manage to devise a plan to use a Soul Bomb, which requires souls as a power source. Sam and Dean go hunting for ghosts, and with additional souls provided from Billie, the bomb is ready.
Since Dean must be the bomb himself, the brothers bid each other farewell, with Dean ordering Castiel to watch out for Sam. Unbeknownst to Sam, the plan doesn't go as intended, and Dean does not die, instead, he helps God and Amara reconcile. When the sun is restored, Sam deems Dean's mission a success and believes his brother to be dead, a belief which he tells Lady Toni when asked of Dean's whereabouts.
Sam suffers torture under Toni Bevell for a period, during which she tries to get various answers out of him. Sam refuses to comply, and shows no sign of breaking. He is shocked however, when Toni manages to capture and bring in the supposedly deceased Dean. Sam is even more shocked to discover his mother alive when the latter bursts in to rescue her sons.
Sam and Dean's reunion is rather joyous, and as usual, they search for cases in order to save lives, this time with their mother by their side. However, Mary's inability to cope with this new, strange world while staying around them leads the brothers to resume dealing with cases on their own.
While Sam accepts Mary's decision, Dean is noticeably more hurt and broken by Mary's departure. He does however, learn to recover and accept reality, which Sam is proud of.
Sam and Dean work together in dealing with Lucifer, though Dean alone is dissatisfied with Crowley and Castiel's newly formed partnership. Dean is also disgusted by Sam's love for '80s hair metal. Despite their encounter with Toni, Sam and Dean both choose to rely on the British Men of Letters for help in dealing with Lucifer. Nevertheless, both suspect that Arthur Ketch cannot be completely trusted.
Both are imprisoned at Site 94 after rescuing President Jefferson Rooney from possession. Accused of trying to assassinate the president and secretly holding ties to dangerous organizations, Agent Camp decides to imprison them in separate cells in order to drive them hysterical and eager to please. Dean is the one to crack first after six weeks. He requests Billie to help them escape in exchange for his life. Billie agrees, and she promptly kills the brothers temporarily.
Once outside of the prison, Sam and Dean work together to defeat the soldiers sent to kill them. They spare Rick Sanchez and Agent Camp after telling them what really happened with the President. The two reunite with Mary and Castiel near their location. They intended to follow through with their deal, but Castiel refuses to let any Winchester die and promptly kills Billie.
Faced with fewer problems than before, Sam and Dean resume their hunting. When a witch curses Dean to slowly lose his memory, Sam goes to Rowena for help. Throughout the season and especially in this episode, Sam discovers more things about Dean he did not expect. He is bewildered by Dean's change of behavior, having grown accustomed to Dean's bravado that he does not feel like he truly knows Dean. The Dean with no memory of hunting displays even more unusual behavior, being jolly, playful and cartoon-loving. Even with his memories gone, Dean still had a desire to save Sam as he rushed inside to kill witches. Dean nearly shot at Sam who directed him to the last witch and Dean believed it. After Rowena manages to free Dean from the spell, the latter and Rowena laugh at Sam's expense. Sam was annoyed but relieved his brother was back to normal.
Sam and Dean stay together until only one of them accepts Mary's offer to visit the British Men of Letters compound. Despite their brief separation, they end up partaking in Project V by hunting down the same vampire nest. During the case, Sam agrees to join the British Men of Letters and promises to enlist Dean as well. Sam does this by lying to Dean about the Brits' competence, telling Dean quite falsely that it was the Brits who killed the Alpha Vampire. He also gives Dean The Colt, without telling him how the weapon ended up with the Brits, a fact Sam himself found out from Mary.
The two partake in a hunt involving Ramsey, a hellhound on the loose. Much to Dean's chagrin, although Sam manages to kill the hellhound, he was unable to defend The Impala from Ramsey. Soon after, Mick Davies joins them on a hunt involving a werewolf. Sam is enthusiastic but Dean is dismissive. Their opinions align when Mick kills Hayden Foster and Sam becomes angry at the British operative. It is however, thanks to Mick that the brothers finish the case and cure Claire Novak.
Sam and Dean work on a few more cases, with their trust in Mick growing. It is this trust, however, that allows Arthur Ketch a chance to wiretape their Bunker during one particular case. At the end of said case, Sam and Dean ponder over their legacy. Much as they did with The Impala, Sam and Dean carve their initials into a table inside the Bunker.
After Castiel returns to them after a long time and unexplained absence, Dean is the one furious while Sam is grateful to have Castiel back. Castiel's return is bittersweet when the angel's determination to deal with Lucifer's child ends with him under the unborn child's control. Dean becomes very worried, but Sam tries to get him to focus on other matters.
In Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes, Sam and Dean help fellow hunters Max and Alicia Banes locate their missing mother, only to find out she died at the hands of a witch. Dean rescues Sam by killing said witch, before her creations can harm Sam.
Sam and Dean's peace is disrupted when American hunters are getting killed at a terrifying rate. One such hunter is Eileen Leahy, with whom they had hunted with mere weeks before. Sam and Dean realize that the British Men of Letters are behind it, and together they capture Lady Toni Bevell, who not only confirms their suspicion, but only tells them that Mick is dead. Toni was also responsible for brainwashing their mother, who returns as an enemy to the brothers and an ally to Ketch.
In Who We Are, Sam and Dean find themselves trapped inside the Bunker with Toni. Dean opts to blast their way out using the Grenade Launcher. The trio then set out to find Mary and undo her brainwashing. Dean, having suffered a leg injury, opts to work with Toni in freeing Mary from her condition, while Sam forms a team to take down the Brits. Both sides are successful and they reunite with Mary back to normal.
In All Along the Watchtower, Sam and Dean finally track down Castiel and fight Lucifer once again. Together, they try to trap Lucifer in an alternate universe. Although they are successful, the price they pay are the deaths of Crowley and Castiel, and the loss of Mary, who ends up trapped with Lucifer. While Dean mourns the loss of Castiel, Sam goes to check on Kelly Kline, who has just delivered her and Lucifer's son.
Due to Castiel's death, Mary's imprisonment in an alternate realm, and taking in Lucifer's son. Sam and Dean experience a turbulence due to their grief at losing their family as well as their way of handling it. It is clear they still care for one another through it all.
In The Big Empty, while going undercover they indirectly confront the other on their mother's fate and argue about it. Despite this, Dean still tries to warn Sam about the attacking shape-shifter but Jack saves Sam allowing the latter to kill the monster. Dean goes to talk to Sam and apologizes for his behavior while Sam nearly agrees with him about their mother but Dean tells him to maintain for both of them as Sam was surprised by this.
During Advanced Thanatology, Sam tries to move Dean out of his grief by taking him to his favorite places and getting him food but Dean sees through his acts. While on a case, Dean temporarily kills himself while dealing with ghosts and his resurrection is halted by Billie who has become the new Death and freezes time after hearing Sam worrying for Dean. While speaking to Billie, Dean admits he wants to stay dead as he lost so much and is tired as he states Sam is trying to fix things while he slows him down. Billie resurrects Dean and Sam is relieved to have him back and questions what happen but Dean tells him they'll talk later but Sam knows it won't happen. Dean then tells Sam of his encounter with Billie and how he just needs a win because of everything they've lost. The brothers left and while Sam slept in the car, Dean was contacted by Castiel who he was surprised to hear from. The two were then reunited with their old friend who was resurrected.
In Tombstone, Dean and Sam reconnect with Castiel happy to have him back. They bring him to the bunker where he meets Jack who shows them a hunter case, a happy Dean tells the team they head out. In Dodge City, Dean acts more happy with Sam noting on this as Dean tells him with Cass back he got the win he needed with Sam being happy at Dean moving past his depression.
In The Bad Place, the two track down Jack and questioned if he killed an innocent but he reveals he didn't as he explains that he was looking for other worlds to find their mother and has located that realm. Jack then shows them that Mary was still alive in the alternate reality but being tortured as they are shocked and somewhat relieved at this. Dean even apologizes to Sam for doubting him and they both promise to get her back. Sam would smile when Dean acknowledged Jack's declaration that they are family and complimented his initiative to find Mary. After procuring Kaia, Sam noticed some of Dean's ways such as threatening the girl and risking the extinction of angels as his brother reminds him of their purpose.
In Wayward Sisters, they are sent to the The Bad Place where they are forced to survive in a forest of monster before they get captured by a hooded figure. They were going to be fed to a giant monster but they are saved by Claire Novak and Kaia Nieves who helps them return to their world at the cost of Kaia.
During Breakdown, Dean notices Sam is experiencing a depression that was similar to him and takes him on a hunt with Donna Hanscum to cheer him up. Dean later saves Sam from being killed by Terrance Clegg. When they return to the bunker, Sam finally opens up about his pain by stating everyone who gets close to them dies.
In Various & Sundry Villains, when Dean is placed under a spell by witches he attacks Sam who tries to help him since he went through a similar event. They are reunited with a resurrect Rowena MacLeod who frees Dean and they are forced to help her in procuring a spell book. Dean later questioned Sam's reason for sympathizing with Rowena about Lucifer since she isn't a friend.
During The Thing, they find a girl Sandy Porter trapped in a Men of Letters bunker and take her to a diner. That night, things get bad when Sam gets captured by mysterious men who attack them. Dean guards Sandy but things turn strange as she turns out to be a monster that devours some people and abduct Dean.
Elsewhere Sam learns the truth from his abductor Ophelia Avila of Sandy who is really Yokoth, a being from another world. After finding Dean was not at the diner, Sam realized his brother was in danger and headed back to the other bunker Marco and Ophelia Avila. They arrived in time as Yokoth prepared to make Dean the vessel of her mate and stopped the ritual from occurring. Sam attacked Yokoth, which distracted her long enough for Dean to free his right hand, snatch the Seal of Solomon and toss it to Ophelia who reversed the spell causing Glythur to be sent back to his world while taking Yokoth with him.
The brothers then asked the Avila siblings for the seal and returned to the bunker with the Seal of Solomon, they joked about Dean's experience before noting that the last ingredient is grace of an Archangel which soon comes as Arthur reveals a battered and still living Gabriel in his possession and are at loss as they believed him dead but Arthur says that wasn't the case. Arthur present a vial containing Gabriel's grace, stolen along with the Archangel blade. In return, Arthur asks for sanctuary at the bunker since Asmodeus will chase him to the ends of the Earth for his actions. Sam and Dean got into refuses his request but to his and Arthur's obvious shock, Dean agrees to Arthur's proposal as he explains to Sam if it can potentially help them get their mother and Jack back.
Afterwards, Sam tends to Gabriel as Dean arrives with his gear and tells Sam to prepare to open the portal to Apocalypse World, as he wanted to save their loved ones quicker. Sam tried to get his stuff but Dean tells him he's going alone as he needs Sam to be the bunker in case he gets trapped and because he needs him to keep an eye on things. Arthur then arrives and announces that he'll join Dean, stating he wanted to be a world away from an angry Asmodeus. To Sam's surprise, Dean instantly agrees to allow Arthur to join him when he won't allow Sam. Sam questions this as Dean tells him that he doesn't care if Arthur survives or not unlike Sam and in fact hopes he doesn't. Dean states there is danger in the other world and theirs is no better as he entrusts the disheveled Gabriel and other things to Sam who takes Dean's point in stride.
They open the rift and Dean assures his brother he'll be back as he and Arthur pass through into Apocalypse World together, leaving Sam and Gabriel behind.
In Bring 'em Back Alive, Sam tended to Dean after he crossed the rift and it closed behind him.
During Funeralia, they try to find Gabriel and go to Rowena for help but she refuses. They also learn Sam is always the one to permanently kill her. When Rowena kidnaps Sam, Dean sets off to rescue him while getting pass her grunt and making in time to find Sam okay. Dean tends to Sam and they enlist Rowena's aid in their endeavors.
In Unfinished Business, they continue to search for Gabriel until he appears to him but they are attacked by demi-gods. Dean was worried about Sam being attacked before Gabriel saved him. After learning Gabriel's reason for the conflict, the chaos, Dean slipped away and decided to confront Loki alone with Gabriel's sword.
At the bunker, Sam confronts Dean about his recent treatment to him lately such as going to Apocalypse World with Ketch and having him miss out. Dean voices his lack of concern for himself and that he only cares about what happens to Sam and mentions the last time the Apocalypse occurred Sam died and that he doesn't want that to happen again as Sam tells him no matter what happens they will do things together even if it means death. Dean watches Sam leave as he thinks about things.
In Beat the Devil, the brothers have Rowena and Gabriel capture Lucifer to open a rift and they travel to the other world. As they traveled, Dean asked Sam about how he feel and Sam told him that his spirits are lifted since they can save their mother and Jack. After saving two humans from vampires, they get directions and travel through a tunnel filled with vampires and Sam ends up dying like Dean feared. Castiel prevented Dean from seeing the carnage and Dean was left shaken but pressed on.
When Dean reunited with his mother, he was unable to tell her of Sam's fate though his tears gave it away and the two mourned Sam. Subsequently, Sam was resurrected by Lucifer and forced to helping him connect with his son.
At the resistance camp, Dean decided to retrieve Sam's body however, the latter arrived alive but with Lucifer, which shocked Dean.
In Exodus, Sam apologizes for letting Dean's fear come true but Dean tells his brother that he's alive and that's what matters. They go to talk to Mary and are pleased when she punches Lucifer in the face as Castiel escorts him. Dean and Sam talk to their mother but she tells him that she wants to defend the world after fighting with the humans. Dean is shocked when Sam supports this and says they will take the survivors to their world which pleases Mary. Afterwards, Dean and Sam went to the resistance's leaders for his proposal and they are skeptical until Mary vouches for them.
On the road, they are not pleased to see Lucifer and Jack bonding. The brothers reunite with alternate Bobby and are told about Arthur and Charlie going on a mission together and become worried.
After getting information, they learn Charlie and Ketch are being held captive. They go with the others and kills the angels before freeing their allies. Much later, the two learn everyone decided to evacuate with them but they had no way to transport them until Dean noticed a bus and they fixed it up and drove everyone to the rift.
As everyone was crossing over, a threat arrived and the brothers were shocked to finally meet the Alternate Michael and were horrified to watch him easily toss aside Lucifer and kill Gabriel.
In Let the Good Times Roll, the brothers helped their new allies from Apocalypse World adjust to life on Earth. They went on a werewolf case with Jack and Castiel, Sam was also amused at Dean's thoughts of retiring.
Sam was horrified when Michael took control of Dean's body.
During Stranger in a Strange Land, Sam has continued his search for Dean and has worked himself to the point of exhaustion and ignores the worries of him mother and friends. At the end, he gets call from Anael about a lead on Dean.
In Gods and Monsters, Sam is still looking into leads about his brother. Sam and Dean are reunited when its revealed that Michael has abandoned Dean and the latter greets his brother. Sam was shocked though tended to the exhausted Dean.
They continue their reunion The Scar, with Dean making fun of Sam's beard and seeing their home overpopulated with hunters calling Sam "Chief". After Dean found a scar on his arm, the two learned an old enemy has returned.
Sam's worry continue in Mint Condition, since Dean stayed locked up in his room and brings him on a case. Dean noticed Sam had shaved his beard and they went out, with the case resembling a horror film. Sam learned more about Dean's preferences of horror movies and compared him to a nerd. After dealing with a ghost, Dean opens up about his possession where he struggled to regain himself.
In Unhuman Nature, they learn that Jack is dying and tend to him.
During Byzantium, the two are stricken with grief by Jack's condition and saddened by his demise. It was shown both considered Jack as their son, since they took to raising him. Dean was also worried that Sam might make a deal with a demon but was proven wrong since he was too sad. Both sought to resurrect him, bringing in Lily Sunder who performs a spell to help them do so. Once they succeed in resurrecting Jack, they share a moment with him and Cass to celebrate.
In The Spear, the brothers plan to go after Michael and defeat him when learning at what he intends to do. Dean also reveals that he empathizes with Sam and Cass for their possession by an Archangel after his own experience. When confronting Michael, they nearly defeat him but Michael takes control of Dean again and reveals his attachment to Sam and the others caused him to resist.
In Nihilism, Sam is devastated at Michael taking control of Dean once more. However, this time, he captures Michael and brings him to the bunker. Michael also tries to taunt Sam with how Dean felt relief about his leaving for college but Sam wasn't fazed. After entering his mind, Sam knew to find his brother that Dean would likely live on a drama and knew the happy fabrication Michael set up was fake. When locating him, Sam reminded Dean of his true life and this helps him recall his possession. They fight Michael and soon lock him away in Dean's mind.
As of Damaged Goods, Sam worries over Dean now that he knows Michael is within his mind and notices something up with him when given a hug. Sam tells his mother that's something Dean never does and soon deduces Dean's moves. After dealing with Nick and his revenge quest, Sam learns of Dean's plans to lock him and Michael away. Of course, Sam doesn't like the idea but decides to help.
During Prophet and Loss, Sam tries to talk Dean out of this mad course of action though Dean is insistent. Sam even breaks a promise to him by calling Castiel to tell him of the plan. When learning of Donatello Redfield's condition, they both share opposing views on it while discreetly relating it to Dean's intentions. After Donatello is healed, Sam relates it to what could happen if Dean doesn't give up but this doesn't sway Dean. At the end, Sam punches his brother before embracing him and mentions that Dean saved him from his fate in The End and persuades him to not give up and Dean thinks on it.
In Lebanon, they do normal cases and decide to use a charm to expel Michael from Dean's mind. However, this results in them bringing their father to the future and they reconnect with him but worry about the ripple in time caused by his presence.
In Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven, the Winchesters bring up of what happened with Adam after deciding they have to go to Hell to get Michael. However, they learn that he and Michael are not present in Hell anymore.
With word from Donatello Redfield, they are finally able to reunite with Adam when he and Michael escape from Lucifer's Cage. When they try to explain their actions regarding Adam to Michael, the archangel relinquishes control to Adam so that they can tell him themselves. Sam and Dean are shocked that Michael allows Adam control, but Michael takes control back abruptly from Adam while they are trying to explain the situation. In turn, while Adam is still angry that his brothers abandoned him in the Cage, he tells Michael that they always try to do the right thing, including trying to prevent Adam from becoming Michael's vessel and Michael should consider what they are saying.
After getting the spell they need from Michael, Dean requests to speak to Adam again which Michael obliges. Dean apologizes to Adam for what happened to him, stating that Adam is a good man and doesn't deserve what happened to him. Adam's response is to ask "since when do we get what we deserve?" and he wishes Dean and Castiel luck before departing.
During The Trap, Sam sees various visions of his and Dean's ultimate end should God be imprisoned.
In The Heroes' Journey, Sam and Dean realized God has cursed them by taking away their luck. The brothers suffer every day problems and are unable to do much against monsters but with help from Garth they live.
As of The Gamblers, they are the journey to get their luck back and investigate a pool hall. They meet the Deity Fortuna who explains her race's history and challenges them to a game for their luck. Sam states he learn how to play pool from his brother. Though they lose, Fortuna restores their luck and wishes them well. At the bunker, the brothers are reunited with a resurrected Jack who tells them of his plans to defeat and kill God.
During Galaxy Brain, Dean and Sam are wondering what Billie's plan is to kill God.
After returning from The Bad Place, they see Kaia off with Jody. When Billie arrives and criticizes them, they demand answers on killing God. The two are shocked to learn God has a book too, as Billie states that everything dies in the end the books write themselves rather than be written by God. To keep the world going, God had no choice but to build himself into the framework of it which is God's only weakness. Billie then reveals that Jack, Sam and Dean are all in God's book and their destiny is to be the messengers of God's destruction, something that shocks them.
In Season 2's What Is And What Should Never Be, Dean is in a world created by the Djinn. A world where his mother never died, and they never become hunters. Sam even turns out normal and is engaged to Jessica (which Dean is happy about). Dean finds out that not everything is as perfect as he thought. He and Sam don't have a good relationship. In fact, they have nothing in common with each other. This contributes to Dean's drive to return to his own world.
In Season 4's It's A Terrible Life, Sam and Dean lose their memories about each other and hunting, and instead live normal lives working in a corporate building. Sam, despite his normal exterior, still has dreams about being a hunter. Sam tries to confront Dean in the elevator and ask him about the dreams, but Dean tells Sam to keep them to himself. There is a string of weird murders in the building, and Sam and Dean team up to solve it. Even though they don't remember each other, their previous relationship comes out. Along with Sam's dreams, this speaks to the boys subconscious still retaining memories of their real lives. Dean and Sam banter back and forth and tease each other like normal. Eventually Dean discovers that this life is an elaborate illusion.
During The Trap, Sam sees visions of him and Dean in God's endings and later he sees him in Dean in the future where they lose their friends or humanity and are forced to fight and kill their friends. However God later revealed that these events were actually Sam and Deans counterparts in the multi-verse who all met different fates for their defiance.
In Destiny's Child, Sam and Dean investigate the sound of a rift opening and meet their counterparts from another world. Both versions are shocked at seeing the other before the other Sam and Dean vanish. Billie explains the phenomena that God destroyed the world and they were fleeing. Afterwards, these Sam and Dean's were trapped between worlds until the brothers freed them and they got acquainted. The Alternate Dean and Sam are still hunters who made a business of it but were spoiled by their father. They are amazed their counterparts are actually going against God.
Skills and Abilities
While they're quite formidable separately, they are a force to be reckoned with together, as they have actively stopped many high-level demons and world-threatening entities together. Crowley, a high-level demon himself and current King of hell, noted them as "denim-wrapped nightmares" and shouldn't be underestimated by anyone. The Leviathans even claimed the brothers ranked high enough to be considered a threat and immediately targeted them after their release.
Both brothers are extremely proficient in both hand-to-hand and armed combat, with Dean having greater fighting skills and Sam physically being the stronger of the two. Although at times Sam is able to beat Dean, it was only due to Dean's feelings and Dean has overpowered his brother always when they fought with him at full focus. Dean has even stated that Sam can only beat him in a fight when he's hopped up on demon blood and when Dean is distracted and outright challenged Sam to try fighting him when he wanted to surrender to Michael, with Sam even noting that he knew he would be beaten by Dean and resorting to having Castiel retrieve Dean instead.
Sam, on the other hand, tends to act smarter and solves problems more economically than Dean does, in the beginning, especially considering the feelings and wants of others. However, Dean is smart though he tends not to show it and has stated that Sam is smarter than him. Sam refers to Dean as the best hunter in existence, better than himself and other great hunters such as their father and a "genius" at lore.
Both brothers are also famously extremely strong-willed, with both Sam and Dean having suffered many emotional losses of dear friends and family members dying and still continuing to fight. Although Sam seems to be the stronger-willed one, as he proved to be more resolute than Dean even in the face of defeat and loss and unlike Sam, who wrestled control from Lucifer forcibly, Dean could not expel the alternate Michael, Dean is by no ways much weaker than Sam in this regard, as Dean fought back so hard Michael decided to leave and later on trapped Michael for months before being knocked out.
Their true strength lies in their teamwork, as they are able to make coordinated plans from non-verbal cues. Their teamwork built from years of trust and their joint belief in "Family Is Everything". While this is belief and trust has been strained and broken over the years, it has always come back better and stronger than ever.
In fandom, a popular pairing involves Sam and Dean. Wincest is the term used to refer to slash pairing between the Winchesters.
"Wincest" is a very popular style of writing and can mostly be found on Fanfiction.net or at other created websites, such as livejournal. With the first Wincest fanfiction, being published shortly after the airing of the first episode Pilot, although the term Wincest was not dubbed until a few weeks later.
Although normally focusing on the brothers, some Wincest stories also feature their father, John Winchester, involved with either, or sometimes both, of the brothers. In addition, after his introduction, some fanfiction began to feature Sam and Dean's half brother, Adam, as he is also technically a Winchester.
The term "Wincest" is a combination of the surname Winchester with Incest. Some fans prefer going over the incestuous part of the relationship by portraying Sam Wesson and Dean Smith, a variation of Sam and Dean which first appeared in It's A Terrible Life who are not siblings.
As with Destiel fans, some Wincest fans are often outraged by the arrival of characters who get in between Sam and Dean, usually a female character. This has led to hate male and female characters getting written off.
Wincest Referenced in Supernatural:
Example from Bugs:
- Real Estate Agent: We accept home owners of any race, religion, color, or... sexual orientation.
- Dean: Right. Um, I'm gonna go talk to Larry. Okay, Honey? (smacks Sam on the butt)
Example from from Playthings:
- Dean: Of course, but the most troubling question is, why do these people assume we're gay?
- Sam: Well, you are kind of butch. They probably think you're overcompensating.
Wincest fanfiction was mentioned in The Monster at the End of This Book by Sam and Dean.
- Dean: (Reading on the computer) There's Sam Girls and Dean Girls and - What's a slash fan?
- Sam: As in Sam-slash-Dean... together...
- Dean: Like "together" together?
- Sam: Yeah.
- Dean: They do know we are brothers, right?
- Sam: Doesn't seem to matter.
- Dean: Aw, come on. That's just plain sick!
- "And then Sam touched—"
- "—caressed Dean's clavicle.
- 'This is wrong,' said Dean.
- 'Then I don't want to be right,' replied Sam, in a husky voice.
→ see also Sam and Dean/Gallery
- Elias Finch says that God judges and in "Swan Song," Sam and Dean were judged by the Creator to have "done alright."
- Both Sam and Dean have fought the other's efforts at restoring them to their former selves:
- Both Sam and Dean have opposed the other in regards to working a case that put them in risky situations:
- Both Sam and Dean have attempted to save the other's life by way of secrecy.
- Both Sam and Dean have fought the other against their relationships with a friendly monster, Sam's being Amy Pond while Dean's was Benny.
- Both Sam and Dean were possessed by an Archangels and sought to regain control before doing so.
- Both Sam and Dean have killed two members of their family.
- Both Sam and Dean have shot and stabbed Castiel at one point.
- Both Sam and Dean were raised from Hell by Castiel.
- Both Sam and Dean have shot a Primordial entity with a powerful gun, said to kill anything but failed in the end.
- Both Sam and Dean were possessed by an Archangel and both took back control of their bodies to trap the angels.
- Sam took back control when Lucifer was beating Dean until he saw Sam's memories.
- Dean took control of his body when Alternate Michael with help from Castiel and Sam.
- Both Sam and Dean have killed a version of Zachariah. The Main Universe Zachariah was killed by Dean in Point of No Return and the alternate timeline Zachariah was killed by Sam in Lebanon.
- Both Sam and Dean have killed a main antagonist.
- Many characters have noted throughout the show that Sam and Dean are each other's weaknesses, and that one would do anything to save the other. Examples include Dean selling his soul to bring back Sam and Sam desperately trying to get Dean out of his deal.