Supernatural is known for its risk-taking storylines. There are very few shows that aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves, but this show is certainly one of them. Whether you enjoyed “Fan Fiction” or not, you have to admit that it was a service to the SPN Family. But none of this means the show is perfect. There have been some questionable and controversial storylines and decisions over the years. Here’s a look at the seven most controversial ones, from minor to major.
7. The Return of Mary Winchester
From the very first episode of Supernatural, Mary has been dead. She died when Sam was a baby and it was the motivation for John becoming a hunter. Over the years she has shown up or been mentioned, but the show made a controversial move in the Season 11 finale by bringing her back from the dead.
To make it more questionable, it was the Mary from 30+ years ago who came back from the dead. She had to quickly learn all about the real world and live with the fact that her young boys had grown up. As a mom of a 1-year-old and 4-year-old, I could only imagine how that would feel.
The good thing about this is that it brought another strong female to the show. It was a risk and one that is debated whether it paid off or not.
6. Killing Bobby
Killing a fan favorite is always a questionable move. In Season 7, Supernatural decided it was time to make the Winchester brothers hurt more by killing their surrogate father, Bobby Singer. This was a character who was only supposed to appear for one episode, but gained a large number of fans the first time he appeared.
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Fans were definitely not happy about Bobby’s death. The only good thing about it is that dead doesn’t mean dead on this show. Bobby has appeared at least once a season to help out the Winchester brothers when they’ve needed it the most. The most recent was in the Season 12 finale, although it was the Apocalypse World Bobby.
This was controversial but one of the least controversial moves on this list. Yes, it really gets worse than killing Bobby.
5. Very Little Diversity
Almost all the characters on Supernatural are white males. Misha Collins, who plays angel Castiel on the show, has noted that there is a serious problem with diversity on the program. That hasn’t changed anything though.
While there has been the odd character who doesn’t quite fit into the “white male” category (like Mrs. Tran, Missouri Moseley, Jake, Rufus and Gordon), they’ve had a lack of story and development. The most developed characters are Rufus and Mrs. Tran, and they’re now either dead or just abandoned. Other characters have mostly been evil.
The show’s main characters just don’t quite fit the demographic of people watching.
4. Killing Most Main Female Characters
The majority of the female characters just don’t last. The pilot episode even opened with this, as both Mary Winchester and Jessica died at the hands of the Yellow Eyed Demon. Over the years, we’ve said goodbye to strong, independent characters like Ellen, Jo, Charlie and Eileen.
While there are still some female characters around, fans constantly worry that they will be killed off. At one point in Supernatural Season 10 I thought Jody Mills was going to die and vowed to stop watching if that happened. It’s time to keep the women around!
I will say that plenty of men have died in the show, when all the victims are taken into account. However, the main female characters don’t live very long and they also don’t tend to return like the male characters do.
3. Lighthearted Use of Date Rape
Season 7’s “Time for a Wedding” didn’t quite show rape, but it was close enough to it. Becky decided to drug Sam with a love potion and marry him. The whole way the episode was written was funny, but it was actually an extremely serious subject. There really are fans out there that would do this if they could!
Becky even says at the end that she regrets not being able to consummate the marriage. She would have raped Sam had she been given the chance. Let’s face it; under the love potion, he wasn’t able to give consent. If the roles were reversed and Sam was the woman, the audience would have been angry at the “funny” storyline.
2. Sam Kills His Niece
Who thought that showing Sam killing his brother’s daughter was a good idea? Let’s put the story into context. Dean had a one-night stand with an Amazon demon tribe member and they make a baby. Within the episode (and over the course of a couple of days) that baby turns into a teenager, whose sole goal is to kill her father.
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When that’s considered, it makes sense that the character had to die. Yet this is Supernatural and monsters have been allowed to live before. Plus, Sam knowingly killed his own niece. This wasn’t just a random monster but had Winchester blood.
To make it all worse, Sam killing his brother’s daughter is only mentioned once after that in a jokey way. There was never any thought to how it could (and maybe should) have affected Dean.
1. Killing Charlie
The most controversial move that Supernatural has ever done is kill off Charlie. In fact, the idea of Charlie is questionable as it is. It’s sad that the only way a female character could be loved by fans was to make her a lesbian. I’m not saying a lesbian character is bad. I love that she was a lesbian, but I find it sad that the writers had to do that to make it clear that a relationship between Charlie and either one of the Winchesters would never happen. After all, that’s why most of the younger females have never been loved by fans.
It was killing off the character that was the worst move in the world. Firstly, it fit the “bury your gays” trope, which many other shows also did that same year (The 100 and The Walking Dead, I’m looking at you). Secondly, the death served absolutely no purpose to the show other than to pull Dean and Sam further apart. Thirdly, the death happened off screen. The least the show could have done was given us an onscreen death.
Do you agree with this list? What was the most controversial move Supernatural ever made? Share in the comments below.
Supernatural Season 13 premieres on October 12, 2017 at 8/7c on The CW. Don’t forget to follow our SPN Facebook page for all the latest updates.
(Image courtesy of The CW)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Alexandria is a full-time freelance writer and journalist. Alexandria studied Computer Science at Aston University and Criminology at the Open University. She enjoys writing about TV shows and entertainment news. Other than writing, Alexandria loves reading, exploring new countries, and relaxing with her family.