Sam And Dean From "Supernatural" Are Unhealthily Codependent

Stop Ignoring The Fact That Sam And Dean From 'Supernatural' Are Unhealthily Codependent

It's a problem and needs to stop being normalized.



Let me just start by saying that I love the show, all the people involved in making it, and especially the fans. "Supernatural" and the friends I've made through it has brought me from some dark places. So a big thank you to everyone who has made it possible for the show to be renewed for a 15th season!

15 years is a long time for a TV show. To put things in perspective, "Supernatural" first aired in 2005. YouTube was also created in 2005. When the show started, the characters were using flip phones. They used physical maps rather than GPS. "Supernatural" has been around quite a while.

In all this time though, I feel that there is one part of the show that all fans know, but are either ignoring or normalizing: Sam and Dean are clearly codependent. And I don't mean that they care about each other deeply or rely on each other for their safety. I mean they need to seriously consider relationship counseling because of their codependency. Let's analyze their relationship.


The first time we start to see this dependency is season one. In the episode "Faith" Sam finds a faith healer to heal Dean's failing heart. Rather than doing research to find out how the miracles are happening, Sam basically forces Dean to go get healed. And Dean does... at the cost of another's life. It turns out the faith healer's wife was using a reaper to "trade" lives. One person gets healed, while someone she deems unrighteous dies of whatever the afflicted person would have died from. We'll let Sam off the hook for this one. He was desperate and had no reason to suspect the faith healer, right?


Fast forward to the end of season two when Sam dies for the first time. After moping and decidedly not grieving, Dean runs off and sells his soul to the first demon he can find. He's given one year to live and then he will die and Sam will be all on his own. And thus starts the endless cycle of the brothers constantly sacrificing themselves for each other.

"Then let it end!"

Dean was literally ready to let the world end rather than do anything to try and save it because his brother died. "He was upset!" Fine. He gets a pass for wanting the world to end because he was depressed.

I still don't think that selling his soul was the right thing. Didn't he just say earlier that season that...

Yup. He did.

Oh, yeah! Dean was super upset when he found out that his dad had sacrificed himself to save Dean. In fact, Dean convinced himself that he shouldn't be alive and was furious when discovered the deal his father made. So why in the world did he change his mind so swiftly? Because he's unhealthily attached to Sam.

We can see Sam's dangerous attachment in season ten when he was willing to sacrifice the entire world to the Darkness to save his brother... even after he was explicitly told not to by several other people. He was told all around that it was a bad idea by all objective sources. Of course, Cas and Charlie agreed, they are close to the situation. But Death had nothing to gain or lose with the situation. Sam ignored all the warnings and damned the world anyway. That's...

You had one job.

"They're brothers!" I'm sorry, Alec, but if you die, I'm going to grieve like a normal human and eventually I'm sure I'll feel happiness again. And to my sister, Elizabeth, again, I love you dearly, but I'm not about to trade my life for yours. Call me selfish, but I actually value my life and don't see anything wrong with not desiring to sell my soul for someone. And to my closest friend Katie, I will miss you so much, but I will survive.

"They're all the other has!" Is that supposed to be an excuse? You're not supposed to have only one friend in life. That's super unhealthy for this very reason: if your one support dies, what do you do? They should have been making more friends... Oh, wait! They did! Why is Castiel not enough of a reason to live? They both needs wives.

"Are they supposed to just let the other rot in hell?" No. But didn't we learn in season eight another way to save a soul from hell?

"Their situation is different!" Yeah, but that doesn't make the message any less sketchy. I don't agree with the whole sacrificing yourself for the other. I believe in equality. That there is nothing that makes any one person more or less worthy of life than another. In the end, we are all equally dead.

I love the loyalty the boys have for each other, but I really don't think that they should be so dependent on each other and nothing else. People need to be able to function independently from each other. What else makes you unique? What else makes you, you?

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To The Girl Telling Herself She Doesn't 'Catch Feelings,' Stop Lying To Yourself

"Catching feels" is not synonymous with a sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.


We're all guilty of it. We think we have this incredible Great Wall of China protecting our vulnerability; however, we tend to overestimate its security with defense mechanisms that could potentially hurt us in the long-term, concerning the formation of future relationships.

We must let others in to embrace the process of falling for someone

If you're like me, constantly busy and preoccupied with life's demands (sometimes going days without proper inhalation and exhalation), we become almost numb and ignorant of our emotions, mostly as a result from not putting ourselves out there. But this lack of experience is wrongly mistaken for the notion of attachment resistance. It's OK to focus on yourself, but after a while, it is necessary and fun to reawaken those feelings and jubilant moods associated with falling for someone, because in the midst of life's madness, we often forget how to feel.

Do not attempt to avoid to "catch feels" like it's the plague

We're consistently bombarded with false advice from society to avoid "catching feels," or falling for someone, no matter the costs. Why is it suddenly so frowned upon to actually like someone you met? Why should we feel shame in wanting to continue a relationship with this person? Dating is evidently complicated in the 21st century, but don't let this make you try to consciously repress those newly-formed feelings since repression essentially leads to escalation. Embrace the feels because it's the human thing to do.

Loosen your wall's bricks with vulnerability

Some of our jerk-alert senses are more activated than others, mostly due to past experiences, but it's important to hammer into our heads that they're not all the same.

Stop lying to yourself. No matter how much you repress it, you will feel, you will get attached, and you will allow yourself to do this, despite what the norm is for what "dating" is today. Break off from your defense mechanisms and your wall will slowly follow. Remember: "catching feels" is not synonymous with sickness, but with embracing the human capacity to feel that we all too often neglect.

Related Content

Facebook Comments