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I kind of see it as the best-case scenario. I mean at least all my crazy's under one umbrella, you know? I kind of know what I'm dealing with. A lot of people got it worse.
~ Sam to Bobby Singer

Sam Winchester is the younger brother of Dean from the TV series Supernatural. He is the main protagonist along with Dean. He is played by Jared Padalecki.

Appearance

He has shaggy brown hair that grows longer and smoother in later seasons; he had a fringe as a child as well as in the first two seasons. Over the course of the show, he grew the fringe out. His eye color seems to change; sometimes they appear light green, sometimes they appear brown, etc. He is noted by other characters to be handsome. Sam is very tall, 6'4" having a muscular build with broad shoulders and chest. This is especially ironic considering that he used to be teased for being short and wiry as a teenager. Like Dean, Sam often wears multiple layers of clothing (namely plaid shirts) as well as jeans and boots. Recently in Season 8 of the series, Sam, who is known for always having a clean shaved face, has been sporting some facial stubble similar to Dean.

Personality

Though Sam is usually kind, empathetic, intelligent and independent; he can also be arrogant and stubborn. He is often the exasperated voice of reason in his relationship with Dean, who in turn sees him as exaggeratedly prissy and teasingly calls him "bitch". Dean actually has respect for Sam as a hunter and trusts Sam to "have his six". Sam shows some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, such as the desire to be in control of his situation and being fastidious about cleanliness and order. He does not seem to drink alcohol as much as Dean does and has a much healthier diet than his brother (Dean himself scoffs at Sam's diet and calls it "rabbit food"). Sam also has a severe phobia of clowns, due to his brother often leaving him at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie when they were children. This is not helped by the fact that every time they have encountered a clown in the show, it has tried to kill them.

Because of his intelligence, Sam is usually assigned the role of researching information for hunts; he is the "brain", whilst Dean is the "muscle". He normally remembers details that Dean overlooks and is prone to make connections quicker than his brother. He also knows a great deal of information that causes Dean to label him a "walking encyclopedia of weirdness". In college, Sam scored a 174 out of 180 on his LSAT, which Jessica noted was "scary good" in the series pilot. In spite of their bickering, Sam has looked up to Dean since they were children and knows him better than anyone else. He tries to get Dean to open up about his emotions and problems, and encourages him to take care of himself; on several occasions, he has even been frustrated by his brother's fixation on placing Sam's well-being above his own. However, Sam shows similar protective tendencies towards Dean, particularly after Dean makes his deal and returns from Hell as a shadow of who he used to be, to the point that Sam's memories of Dean allowed him to regain control of his body while possessed by Lucifer. Sam tends to be driven by feelings of anger and vengeance.

As a teenager and even as a young man, he argued with his father constantly whenever they were together. Sam wanted to live a normal, "apple pie" life instead of continuing to hunt, which led to most of his arguments with John and his estrangement from his family at the beginning of the series. However, Dean once stated that despite his own best efforts to be like John; liking the same music, clothes and cars; being the good son, the soldier and the Hunter; Sam always has been and always will be more like John than Dean is. Sam and John clash and argue so much because they are so similar. Sam does not take this as a compliment, and it is clear that both boys are not overly fond of their father.

After Jessica's death, Sam became fixated on vengeance, but still held out hope for eventually returning to Stanford. Early in Season 1, Sam was more focused on finding Jessica's killer than he was on following John's instructions on which hunts to take, something that often put him at odds with Dean. He was obsessed with revenge, and was even willing to sacrifice his life to kill Azazel, although he ultimately proved that he valued Dean's life over the demon's death in "Devil's Trap".

After John's death in In My Time of Dying, Sam focused all of his attention on hunting instead of returning to a normal life. He felt guilt for angrily confronting his father in his final moments and for not realizing that he had been planning on sacrificing himself. Sam put all of his energy into doing what he thought John would want him to and kept trying to get Dean to deal with their father's death in a healthy way. After the reveal of John's ultimatum to Dean and the discovery of the other "special children", Sam became terrified that he would somehow turn evil. He made Dean promise to kill him if anything were to happen. Everything came to a head in All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One, when Azazel placed all of the special children in a death match. Sam was killed (metaphorically and literally stabbed in the back) because he refused to murder another human being, but when Dean brought him back to life by selling his soul, Sam killed his murderer without hesitation. And after finding out Dean had made a demon deal, Sam declared that he would save his brother no matter what.

In Season 3, Sam spent most of his time trying to save Dean from his deal. He became frantically obsessed with doing everything he could to stop Dean from going to Hell - even going so far as to try to convince Dean to turn them both into monsters and harvest organs for their survival in Time Is On My Side. Sam kept struggling to come up with some way to save his brother to the very end, but ultimately wasn't able to. And he was forced to watch helplessly as hellhounds tore Dean apart.

Following Dean's death and condemnation to Hell, Sam became so fixated on avenging his brother and killing Lilith that he almost turned himself into a monster. Due to his grief at Dean's death, the demon Ruby was able to manipulate Sam into a sexual relationship and convinced him to start drinking demon blood, claiming it was the only way he would be able to avenge his brother. Sam drank so much that he became an addict; showing the same symptoms and going through an immensely torturous detox (at the start of season 5, Sam's addiction is gone, but later he has to drink a great deal in order to house Lucifer in his body). Even after Dean returned, Sam was unwilling to let the desire for vengeance go and he continued the affair in secret. Sam was repeatedly warned by Dean and Castiel that he was making mistakes, but he disregarded their advice, believing that he was the only one who could stop Lilith from releasing Lucifer.

After Zachariah manipulated a fake voicemail message from Dean, saying that he didn't love Sam anymore and was planning on killing him, Sam decided to take Lilith down on his own in a possible suicide mission. Sam was able to defeat Lilith with his powers, but didn't realize that Ruby had lied to him and that Lilith was actually the final seal to unlock Lucifer's Cage. As a result of his arrogance, Sam ended up being the one to release Lucifer from Hell and beginning the apocalypse.

Sam felt extremely guilty over his role in freeing Lucifer throughout the majority of Season 5, and spent a large portion of his time trying to make amends. He also took responsibility in his part of starting the apocalypse. In Sam, Interrupted, Sam confessed that he always felt angry and he didn't know why; as well as the fact that he tended to blame other people for his anger, instead of accepting it as a personal flaw. In Swap Meat, when he temporarily switched bodies with a teenaged boy and was forced to lead said teenager's life, he told Dean that the boy's ordinary life "sucked", and seemed to decide to forgo normal life in favor of being a hunter. In Swan Song, Sam's desire to set things right finally culminated in him sacrificing himself to save the rest of the world, throwing himself into the Cage with Lucifer and Michael in order to protect his brother. It was thought that Sam would be trapped in the Cage forever, but the finale of season 5 reveals that Sam is not in the Cage at all, but on Earth, alive.

At the start of season 6 (one year later), Sam reveals himself to Dean, and they begin Hunting again. however, something about Sam is strange; he let Dean get turned into a vampire in order to find a nest. It is later revealed that, whilst his body and mind are not in the Cage, his soul is. During the time that Sam was soulless in Season 6, he lacked empathy and behaved like a sociopath. Without any emotions or sense of morality, he was often willing to overlook the deaths of civilians as collateral damage, which was an extreme departure from Sam's normal desire to help people and protect the innocent. Without his soul, Sam also felt nothing for any of his loved ones, telling Dean point blank that he didn't care about him, and he even tried to murder Bobby in an attempt to prevent his soul from being returned to his body. After his soul was put back, Sam again felt great remorse for his actions and spent the rest of the season struggling to make up for what his soulless self had done.

In Season 7, after Castiel brought down the wall in Sam's head, Sam began to lose his sanity as a result of the damage done to his soul in Hell. He started to see hallucinations of Lucifer tormenting him, and had a hard time determining what was real and what was a flashback of his torture in the Cage. Dean managed to help Sam distinguish between the two, and Sam was able to block out the worst of the hallucinations. However, in Repo Man, Dean was captured by a serial killer and Sam became desperate enough to save his brother's life that he turned to Lucifer for help. He was able to save Dean, but the reliance on his hallucination meant that he could no longer turn them off, and his visions became so severe that Sam almost died due to fatal insomnia. Dean became determined to save his brother's life in The Born-Again Identity and, luckily, came across Castiel. Sam's mental stability returned when Castiel absorbed Sam's insanity into himself to atone for his actions.

After Dean and Castiel's disappearance in Survival of the Fittest, Sam spent a year thinking that his brother was dead (which he technically was). He "spiraled" out of control for a while, but eventually found some semblance of normality with Amelia. It was at this point that Sam started to re-imagine the possibilities of a normal life. After Dean's reappearance, Sam immediately returned to his side, but Dean was hurt when he found out that Sam hadn't looked for him while he was in Purgatory. Sam defended his choices of quitting hunting and grew jealous of Dean's close relationship with Benny, which led to a growing strain between the brothers. After bumping into Amelia once more, Sam realized that he wanted to stay by Dean's side and chose his brother over his ex-girlfriend. Sam became determined not to let Dean down again and took on the weight of the trials to prove himself. They took an extreme toll on his health, and as Sam got sicker, he became ever more defensive of Dean's attempts to mother him. He eventually got to the point where he was so ashamed of letting his brother down that he was willing to commit suicide in order to finish the trials. Dean managed to talk him back from the edge, but they weren't able to cure Sam before he succumbed to the effects.

Sam started Season 9 in a coma, nearly dying from what the trials had done to his body. He remained somewhat suicidal, deciding to go with Death if he could promise that no one would be able to get hurt by bringing him back. However, Dean managed to trick Sam into allowing the angel Gadreel  to possess him, and for the first half of the season, Sam seemed to be in a much healthier place emotionally. However, once Sam found out that Dean had lied to him, he became furious. He told Dean they couldn't have a brotherly trust anymore and their relationship remained tense until the end of the season.  Eventually, Sam's worries over Dean's reliance on the First Blade took precedence over Sam's anger, and when Dean attempted an apology, Sam forgave him. But they made up just in time for Sam to see his brother die in his arms, and Sam's grief at Dean's death propelled him to try and make another demon deal.

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