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Glaring Plot Holes We Ignored In Supernatural

The longest-running paranormal series of all time as of this writing, "Supernatural" has 15 successful seasons and 327 episodes under its belt, surpassing the likes of other CW (or WB) hits like "Gilmore Girls" and "Smallville." The protagonists of the series are Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) Winchester — brothers who hunt demons and everything supernatural for a profession. As with all good things, the show had to come to an end after 15 amazing seasons, and both Ackles and Padalecki have moved on to other popular shows like "The Boys" and "Walker," respectively. 

"Supernatural" lore is rich enough to have spawned a devoted fan community. With such a long time on air and such an array of complex storylines, it was inevitable that certain aspects of the show would become confusing and that some questions would be left unanswered. While the creators likely tried their best to tie the loose ends as the series came to a close, some plot holes were never explained. Below are some of the most glaring issues we ignored in "Supernatural."

The test for demons

When the Winchester brothers are out to hunt a demon, more often than not, that demon has a one-way ticket to Hell — unless it's the bad guy with capital L and his closest followers. To exorcise a demon from a possessed body and send it back to where it belongs, you first need to identify the uninvited guest. In Season 1, Episode 4 of the show, Sam tells Dean that the best way to spot a demon is by uttering the name of Jesus in front of them. Since most exorcisms have to be done in Latin, this test for demons won't work unless you know that the Latin for Jesus is "Christo." 

In the episode, fittingly dubbed "Phantom Traveler," the brothers use this trick to identify a demon aboard a passenger plane. When they say "Christo," the affected person flinches and their eyes turn black — a classic sign of demonic possession. While the Winchesters ultimately stop the plane from crashing and save everyone on board, they retire this rather effective method of identifying demons. In fact, they don't use this technique once in the following seasons, even though they get several opportunities to expose demons. Did the brothers think it was too easy a tactic and want more of a challenge? Or did the show's creators forget about this episode? It seems we'll never know. 

Castiel's eating habits

This isn't so much a "plot" hole as inconsistent characterization, but food is important in "Supernatural" — e.g., Dean's love of pie — so it warrants inclusion here. Castiel is an angel of many talents. He saves Dean from Hell, defies the other angels when he learns that they would free Lucifer, and even helps Sam trap Lucifer and Michael. His one weakness? Hamburgers. On multiple occasions, Castiel is seen stuffing his mouth with hamburgers. He finds burgers from White Castle and other fast food joints delicious. Famine's impact or not, Castiel can't stop wolfing down juicy patties. It's strange to see a seraph whose real form "can be overwhelming to humans" look fondly at a burger and say, "These make me very happy."

In Season 9, though, Castiel is upset and admits that angels cannot taste food as humans do; instead, he "taste[s] every molecule." Food is not enjoyable anymore and he finds his PB&J boring. Did he lose his taste buds between the four seasons? Or did Castiel suddenly forget his hamburger-loving side?

Sam's Stanford buddies

Sam Winchester once broke away from the family business and won a scholarship to Stanford. When the series begins, he's planning to attend law school and marry his girlfriend Jessica. While elder brother Dean prefers to live in his Impala and hunt monsters, Sam carves out a comfortable, normal life — that is, until Azazel kills Jessica the same way he killed Sam's mother. We can't imagine the younger Winchester was big on frat parties, but he seemed to enjoy his time in college. We even see a few of his friends in the pilot episode.  

Right after Jessica dies, the brothers pack up their stuff and leave on a nationwide mission to eliminate evil, choosing hunting as their sole profession (apart from occasionally hustling pool). Barely a thought is wasted on Sam's college buddies. He leaves Palo Alto like exiting a Walmart. Although we see a few of his friends when the Winchesters encounter a shapeshifter in the first season, that era of his life is rarely mentioned again. There's also broader timeline confusion about how long Sam actually was at Stanford (via Supernatural Wiki). 

The Impala looks better than it should

Dean's '67 Impala "Baby" has seen a lot. Beyond being driven endlessly across the country — that's a lot of mileage on a decades-old car — it's also been driven through the front wall of a ghost's house and smashed into by a possessed truck, among other incidents. Dean often tunes up the car that he loves more than he loves people, and it gets plenty of attention at Bobby's salvage yard, but still, something about the Chevy is off.

All this wear and tear, crashing into walls, and being left to collect dust under a tarp seemingly has no impact on the beloved automobile. In fact, every time we see the brothers riding the car, it looks like Dean just convinced a young John Winchester to buy it. Given the scratches and crashes that the car is usually subjected to, it's quite surprising that the Impala still has that new-car smell, no matter how diligent Dean is about making repairs. Then again, this is "Supernatural," so maybe we can chalk up the mint condition of Dean's Chevrolet chariot to magic. 

How do the brothers pay for everything

According to Mental Floss, the "Ghostbusters" team made $45,000 for the 5-week span of the movie. Assuming they continued at the same pace, that means they earned almost $468,000 for their first year in 1984. All New Yorkers know that if you have ghosts in your apartment, the answer to "Who ya gonna call?" is not just the Ghostbusters but also your accountant. 

That's an issue the folks in the "Supernatural" universe don't have to deal with because the Winchester brothers hunt demons pro bono. They're in it for the love of the game. This raises an important question: How do they pay for everything?

As the brothers travel across the country, they rent motel rooms, eat at diners, keep the Impala's gas tank full, and maintain a trunk arsenal. They charge no fees for their services and have no generational wealth to rely on. In the writers' defense, they show the boys occasionally running credit card scams and hustling pool for cash, but in the real world, these likely wouldn't be enough to sustain a lifelong crusade to rid the earth of demons, ghosts, and monsters.

Does Castiel not like to fly?

We never see Castiel's true form, which can allegedly blind and deafen people and demons, but the show does tell us that Cas has two feathered wings. Despite a true form that's "approximately the size of your Chrysler Building" (via Supernatural Wiki), Castiel seems to enjoy riding in the Impala. The seraph was treated as a part of the family by the Winchesters during the later seasons, which partially explains why he'd accompany the two on their travels. It's also an undeniably great car, so we get the appeal. 

However, there are some rather boring drives Cas endures with the Winchesters when he could just use his teleportation abilities to reach his destination instantly. In Season 5, Episode 10, Cas teleports the brothers as he generates a bright white light. Why can't he do the same for the daily commute? While we're on the topic, why doesn't Cas use his powers of healing or resurrection more frequently when someone dies in the show? It makes sense that he lost his healing powers when he became a fallen angel, but his abilities grew when he was resurrected a second time. Even if his "people skills are rusty," he could have healed a few more. Did the show writers intentionally weaken him to portray the brothers as the heroes?

Breaking the law is fine

In the real world, pushing the speed limit is dangerous and likely to land you a speeding ticket. In "Supernatural," Sam and Dean not only speed, but also trespass, steal, kidnap, desecrate graves, impersonate police, and commit fraud. In the course of battling supernatural monsters, they even take actions that would look to any normal person like assault or murder. 

Yet the routine lawbreaking rarely results in consequences. With such serious charges leveled against them, you'd think the brothers would have a hard time showing their faces in every café, library, and motel they frequent, but nobody seems to recognize them. They don't even change their appearance — or their highly distinctive car — and yet mostly manage to fly under the radar. Each time the cops or the FBI are on their tail, the Winchesters manage to skip town, and their past crimes are conveniently forgotten.

Did they stop caring?

When the show starts, the brothers follow a simple code: save people and hunt demons. They go to great lengths to protect civilians, even boarding a plane to catch a demon in "Phantom Traveler" despite Dean's phobia of flying. In these early years, the Winchesters take great care to exorcise demons in such a fashion that the possessed human is unharmed. 

Over time, the brothers' moral clarity blurs a lot. In the later seasons, the brothers just destroy the vessels of the demons, thereby eliminating both their targets and the humans they control. Isn't this killing innocents? As a confused Redditor posed the question on r/Supernatural, "I remember Sam and Dean killing tons of them, not that long ago. Don't they still have an innocent person inside?"

Moreover, in Season 10, Episode 23, Dean massacres the Styne family to avenge Charlie's murder. The Stynes aren't much different from the Benders back in Season 1, except instead of cannibalizing their victims, they harvest their body parts for their twisted experiments. The Winchesters trap the Benders and leave them to the police, whereas Dean personally eliminates the entire Styne clan in a viciously bloody fashion. Granted, they were serial killers, but isn't Dean supposed to be better than them?

Sam's inexplicable psychic abilities

We all remember the good ol' days of Season 1 when Sam moved a wooden cupboard using his psychic abilities before he started drinking demon blood to grow immune to demon powers in Season 4. Under Ruby's guidance, Sam started exorcising much stronger white-eyed demons like Lilith and Alastair. As his addiction to demon blood deepens, the younger Winchester grows strong enough to destroy Lucifer's demonic bodyguards with one thought. Demon blood makes Sam's underlying psychic abilities come out in full force to destroy Hell's strongest creatures before he's purified of these unholy abilities in Season 8.

However, Ruby once mentioned that Sam's psychic powers are innate and that he always had untapped potential. Season 8 cleanses him of his full range of abilities, including precognition, demon detection, and telekinesis. It remains unclear if his powers are merely dormant or if he was truly stripped of them.  

Lilith and the knife

The demons that you see in "Supernatural" aren't the usual ghosts in generic horror movies that can be exorcised by showing a crucifix. Henry Winchester knew as much when he said to Dean, "Because demons can't be killed by run-of-the-mill cutlery. At the very least, you'd need an ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds." Enter Ruby's knife — a seemingly innocent-looking hunting knife with a serrated blade that terrifies the demons as much as Kryptonite scares Superman. The knife can eliminate most demons and hellhounds and even cut off the fingers of the Horsemen Pestilence and War. However, the knife is ineffective against some of the strongest demons like Cain and Alastair, as well as angels.

Realizing that handing the protagonists a weapon this powerful takes the thrill out of the plot, the writers made some of the oldest demons invulnerable to Ruby's knife. However, this leads to confusion about why Lilith, the oldest and strongest demon, appears so terrified of the knife. The weapon is never used on this white-eyed demon, so we don't know for sure if she's immune to the knife, but Lilith flees her vessel in terror when she sees it. Does this mean that the Queen of Hell has been sapped of her power in recent times? Or did the writers have some other plan for the first demon?

The Leviathans should be stronger

Season 7 sees the rise of a tremendous enemy: the Leviathans. Known as God's first creation, the Leviathans are all-powerful beings with an extreme appetite for human flesh. God once kept these monsters under lock and key in Purgatory because they grew too powerful, but, per CBR, Castiel ends up releasing them into the mortal world. The Old Ones' devastating abilities create a tense atmosphere when they declare themselves to be the dominant species on earth.

Still, Dean manages to kill their leader, Dick Roman, with the help of Castiel and the Bone of Righteous Mortal Washed in the Three Bloods of Fallen (say that three times fast). Although they're stronger than angels, most Leviathans are exterminated as easily as exorcizing a lower demon. With Roman defeated, the Leviathans revert to brainless monsters. Shouldn't beings that are, per Bobby Singer, "like shapeshifters, only a lot more into eating folk" put up a little more of a fight? Moreover, given how supremely powerful God's first creations are, it's surprising that they're never mentioned ever again after their ambitions are thwarted. Surely being more indomitable than angels deserves some recognition in the later seasons. 

Souls and Purgatory

"Bloody. Messy. 31 flavors of bottom-dwelling nasties." Nothing sums up Hell's neighboring area of Purgatory better than this description by Dean Winchester. Distinct from many other depictions of Purgatory over the centuries, Purgatory in "Supernatural" is a foul place where the souls of monsters who died on the mortal plane fight to the spiritual death.  

The writers introduced Purgatory as a way of allowing Sam to enter Hell, serving as a back door to the realm of demons. However, the concept created several questions that were never answered. If this is a place where evil souls are banished, then it's illogical that God gave the place portals that can be used by Reapers like Ajay (or humans like Dean, for that matter). The show doesn't explain how the souls of the dead die once again in Purgatory, nor does it clarify what becomes of them after dying again.