- For the literary and media genre, see Supernatural (genre).
|Abbreviation(s):||SPN, occasionally SN|
|Creator:||Eric Kripke, Robert Singer, Sera Gamble|
|Date(s):||2005 - 2020|
|Country of Origin:||USA|
|External Links:||Supernatural on imdb|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Supernatural is an American television drama that follows the nomadic lives of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester as they travel around the United States in their black 1967 Chevy Impala. They hunt down and vanquish supernatural foes like ghosts, demons, and other mythical creatures.
The Winchesters were raised in the hunting lifestyle by their father, who spent years seeking revenge against the demon responsible for his wife's death in 1983.
Each episode of Supernatural has a monster of the week theme with a self-contained plot, as well as a season-long narrative arc that deals with the repercussions of the Winchesters' hunting lifestyle. In later seasons (5-9) the seasons have evolved to be more about angels and demons than other creatures.
- Having Sam and Dean solve a case on the set of a B-movie, 2x18 "Hollywood Babylon"
- The show acknowledging fanfic writers and the existence of Wincest, 5x01 "Sympathy for the Devil"
- Featuring LARPing, 5x09 "The Real Ghostbusters" and 8x11 "LARP and the Real Girl"
- A Supernatural convention, 5x09 "The Real Ghostbusters"
- Having Sam and Dean get stuck inside TV land versions of their own and other shows, 5x08 "Changing Channels", 13x16 "Scoobynatural" (Scooby-Doo crossover)
- The brothers being temporarily transported to an alternate reality where people think they are actors named Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki who star on a television show named 'Supernatural', 6x15 "The French Mistake"
The Supernatural Fandom
- See also Timeline of Supernatural Fandom
The Supernatural fandom has a large and active presence on LiveJournal, including a daily newsletter  and many communities  dedicated to discussing the show or celebrating certain characters, pairings, or other aspects. While there are very active discussion groups at TWOP and thousands of stories archived off LJ (with a particularly large number at fanfiction.net), Livejournal has always been the major hub of fanworks-focused fandom for Supernatural. Fic festivals like the various big bangs (SPN J2 Big Bang, Dean/Castiel Big Bang, Supernatural Reverse Big Bang Challenge (link)) have hundreds of stories a year and a look at links tagged with Supernatural on Delicious will return thousands of hits, mostly on LJ. The fandom also hosts multiple separate LiveJournal kink memes: the monthly Supernatural Kink Community (spnkink-meme), the twice-a-year Supernatural Anonymous Kink Meme (Blindfold SPN), spn-hardcore, and knotting-focused take-the-knot.
When fandom began splintering away from LJ as clone sites were built and things like Strikethrough made many fans nervous, Supernatural fandom stayed unmoved for the most part. Strikethrough had very little effect on the fandom, and Supernatural remains notable for having a culture of not flocking the sort of content that often is in other fandoms (SPN mainstays like incest, kink, and RPS). In the early years of the SPN J2 Big Bang, nearly every story was hosted on Livejournal exclusively.
The fandom migration to Dreamwidth has been very small given the relative size of the fandom, and the communities there get very little traffic.
As noted below, the Archive of Our Own had just over 2,000 Supernatural fanworks on March 2010. By August 2011, the AO3 had over 10,000 works in the Supernatural category. By December 2012, the AO3 had over 27,500 works in the Supernatural category. As of February 2014 Archive Of Our Own has over 60,000 Supernatural fanworks; and a year later in January 2015, it has over 92,000 Supernatural fanworks.
The evolution began in 2011. Partly due to the The Great LJ DDOS of 2011, the second of which occurred during the posting period for the 2011 edition of the SPN J2 Big Bang and a round of Blindfold SPN, and partly due to a few BNFs putting their back catalogue of fic on the AO3, the willingness to move fic out of the LJ bubble grew very quickly. In April 2011, during the first DDoS attack on LJ, killabeez wrote If you love us, you'll archive your fic., a plea to the fandom to backup their fic somewhere off LJ.
During the first half of 2011, leonidaslion, a popular and prolific author, moved all her stories to the AO3 and deleted her Livejournals. candle_beck cross-posted all of her work there as well, and other authors followed. Interest among readers in using the archive soared during the summer of 2011 as fans in many fandoms were discovering the pleasures of reading big bang-length fic on e-readers and using the AO3 feature that allows downloads in multiple formats to get them in a couple of clicks.
There are thriving Wincest and Destiel shipping communities on tumblr, producing fic, meta, gifs and fanart. While some shippers coexist peacefully, the tumblr community is notorious for ship wars and fan-on-fan hate. In addition to the main ships, there are quite a few unusual and uncommon pairings represented on tumblr. Examples include Micifer (Michael/Lucifer), Adamandriel (Adam/Samandriel), Sevin (Sam/Kevin), Crobby (Crowley/Bobby), Drowley (Dean/Crowley) and many more. Supernatural also gained popularity on Tumblr due to the fandom's enormous range of gifs, often tacked on to both fandom-related and non-fandom-related posts as reactions. The fandom's gifs have become so well known that actor Misha Collins referenced them at 2014 DC Con, saying "We have a gif for that."
The two primary subreddits (communities) for Supernatural are /r/Supernatural, the main subreddit with 118k subscribers and a general or mainstream appeal re: desired submitted content, and /r/fandomnatural, the second most active subreddit with 8k subscribers that places equal focus upon Supernatural fanworks, shipping, fandom meta, etc. There are many more subreddits dedicated to Supernatural, its ships, and/or its stars: /r/FunnySupernatural, /r/Supernaturalgifs, /r/Destiel, /r/Sastiel, /r/MoreThanBrothers, Cockles, /r/jensenackles, /r/jaredpadalecki, /r/mishacollins. Further related subreddits include /r/GISHWHES and /r/WaywardSisters.
Supernatural also has an active presence on fanfiction.net, with a large number of stories archived as well as many story community listings for organizing and reccing stories, and SPN discussion forums.
A few Supernatural mailing lists offer episode discussion. While fan fiction is discussed, and on occasion even offered, it usually is gen and het.
Many members of fandom contribute to the comprehensive Supernatural Wiki.
- See also: List of Supernatural Relationship Names
Three slash ships have dominated Supernatural fandom: Sam/Dean, Dean/Castiel, and Jared/Jensen. However, Supernatural fans have shipped a wide variety of ships over the course of the show's run, and the show also has a large gen fandom.
Slash, RPF, "Destiel", and "Wincest"
Due in part to the show's tight focus on the Winchester brothers, the fandom's initial main pairing was the brothers themselves. This incestuous pairing is commonly known as Wincest, and has occasioned some controversy both within and without the fandom. Some stories and writers portray the relationship dynamic as fundamentally unhealthy and explore the dysfunctional aspects, while others portray their relationship as a more traditional romance, or as some combination of the two.
The actors who play Sam and Dean are also the fandom's main RPF pairing. The ship is called J2 and less commonly Padackles (the smooshname for Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles). CWRPS features actors from Supernatural interacting with those from other CW Network shows such as Smallville, One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars.
The focus on Wincest and J2 as almost the only slash pairings shifted during the run of the fourth season (2008-2009); the introduction of the angel Castiel (played by Misha Collins) led to the meteoric rise of Destiel aka Dean/Castiel. Ship wars and other wank over Castiel's popularity ensued. Many Destiel fans were adamant that Destiel would become canon. Meanwhile, RPS fans started writing stories about Jared/Misha (Mishalecki), Jensen/Misha (Cockles) and "J2M" threesome fics.
Although Destiel and Wincest are the fandom's most predominant pairings, smaller slash pairings also generated a fair amount of fanworks, including Gabriel/Sam, Castiel/Sam, Lucifer/Sam, as well as the poly pairing of Castiel/Dean/Sam.
Het and femslash pairings
There is also a het community, focusing mainly on canon pairings, OFCs, and crossover pairings. Het pairings seen in fanworks include Dean Winchester/Jo Harvelle (semi-canon), John Winchester/Jo Harvelle (non-canon), John/Mary (canon), Sam/Jess (canon), Sam/Ruby (canon), Dean/Lisa (canon) and Castiel/Meg (semi-canon). Briefer canon relationships, such as Sam/Madison, Dean/Cassie and Dean/Anna also appear in some fics, as do non-canon pairings (including femslash ones) that feature Bela Talbot. Sam/Jess/Dean, although rare, may be the most popular FPF M/F/M threesome pairing.
Fanworks focusing on femslash pairings are much more rare than slash, gen, and even het fanworks, but they do exist and thrive in a subset of the fandom. Popular pairings include Anna/Ruby, Charlie/Gilda, Charlie/Jo, Charlie/Dorothy Anna/Jo, Bela Talbot/Abaddon, Jody/Donna, as well as polyamory ships and many others. The femslash community on tumblr organizes periodic fanwork projects like exchanges and bangs, with considerable crossover to feminist projects and campaigns, like those by women4spn. 
Perhaps because there were comparatively few other pairings to choose from and the choice between a main pairing based on incest or RPF is one that many people prefer not to make, Supernatural has a large gen community. A lot of the gen fic (or sometimes Bob fic, stories with a background pairing where the relationship isn't foregrounded) is casefic. Some writers who often write shipfic may also write gen fics.
There is a large amount of controversy in the Supernatural fandom. Alleged sexism and racism in the source material and the fandom have inspired several imbroglios, especially during Season 3. At the start of season three, some fans felt that the show's tone had shifted, becoming disconcertingly misogynistic; the season-by-season Bitch Watch was an attempt to document this assertion by citing the sudden prevalence of sexist slurs in the source.
Supernatural fans have also been known to fight over whether the actors on the show are stupid, cocaine-addicted, would look better with a few additional pounds, or are paragons of virtue, often resulting in wank, such as the aftermath of Jensenvention and PETJA.
In 2013, an incident occurred at a Jibcon panel in which a female fan appeared to be directly asking Jensen Ackles about the possibility of Dean being bisexual. (In fact, she was simply intending to ask him to lend support for the It Gets Better project.) The crowd started booing her before Ackles allegedly cut her off, telling her not to "ruin it" for everyone and to keep the panel "fun and light." The fan apparently left crying, sparking outrage and intensifying fan accusations of queerbaiting by the writers and cast.    The YA book Ship It is based directly on the incident. 
- For a full listing of Supernatural fanfiction on Fanlore, see Category:Supernatural Fanfiction
A large portion of Supernatural fan fiction is posted on FanFiction.net and on Livejournal. The spnnewsletter maintains a set of delicious links or tags. As of Jan 2011, almost 40,000 stories have been tagged.
Popular tropes in the fandom include:
- Pre-series - stories set during Sam's years at Stanford before Sam and Dean's reunion in the pilot episode, or when Sam and Dean were kids. Some pre-series stories focus on the lives of John Winchester and/or Mary Campbell-Winchester before the boys were born.
- Genderswap - fics in which Sam or Dean (or both, or later, especially in human AUs, Castiel) has always been a girl or is temporarily turned into one.
- Fuck or die fics - usually caused by a cursed object or a spell.
- Raised Apart fics - where Sam or Dean (or both) wasn't raised by John Winchester in the hunting life, they meet as teens or adults without realizing they're brothers, and genetic sexual attraction usually takes care of the rest of the plot.
- Amnesia fic - usually a curse or spell causes the brothers to forget that they're brothers, but they decide (usually based on evidence of their constant proximity and remaining feelings of affection) that they must be involved and act on it, angst follows.
- Curtainfic - Sam and Dean or Dean and Castiel or all of them retire from hunting/stopping apocalypses, temporarily or permanently, and set up house together.
- Highschool AU - taking place when some or many of the main characters are still young and partaking in high school. Used often to explore budding romances or to exploit the vulnerability of young minds to create scenes or situations regarding raw emotion
- Evil!Sam - usually focused on Sam's demon-given superpowers (prophetic visions, telekinesis, seen in seasons 1 and 2) corrupting him, on antichrist!Sam or Boy King (of Hell) Sam from references during seasons 2 and 3, on (canonically) demon-fucking and blood-drinking Sam from season 4, on Lucifer!Sam (Sam said "yes" to being Lucifer's vessel) from season 5, or on soulless Sam (a.k.a. Robo!Sam) from season 6.
- Evil!Dean or Demon!Dean - usually based on becoming evil!Sam's (corrupted) Hellish consort, or focused on Dean's time in Hell (where he became a torturer) between season 3 and 4 and Dean not coming back quite "right" from Hell.
- Ghostfic - where during one of their brushes with death (usually in the early seasons) Dean or Sam doesn't remain alive or come back from the dead like in canon, but continues hunting with the remaining brother as a ghostly sidekick.
- Wingfic - popular even before the arrival of angels on the show.
- Angel slash - the arrival of the angel Castiel (and his relatives) in season 4 led to a second major FPF pairing for the fandom, Dean/Castiel. Sam also gets paired with angels (Sam/Gabriel, Sam/Castiel, more rarely Dean/Castiel/Sam, Sam/Lucifer all have adherents). Angel-on-angel slash such as Michael/Lucifer, Castiel/Gabriel, and Castiel/Balthazar is another subgenre, known as Angelcest.
- Soulbonds - a canon reference to Sam and Dean being soul mates, who share the same heaven and Castiel's statement that he shares a "profound bond" with Dean only fueled the already existing fire for soulbonding fic.
- Alpha/Beta/Omega: originating in Supernatural fandom, and still found quite frequently in fics, it went on to become a multifandom phenomenon and an established trope
- Crossovers: crossover fanworks are quite common, especially with other fantasy/sci-fi fandoms. Some of the more popular crossover fandoms include, Teen Wolf, known as SuperWolf, where Dean and Sam usually take the roles of hunters against the werewolves, and some combination of Doctor Who, Sherlock or Doctor Who and Sherlock, known as Superwho, SuperLock and SuperWhoLock respectively, usually with the boys meeting The Doctor or Sherlock and John Watson.
- In-Canon Alternative Universes:
- Endverse: shown in episode 5x04, a universe where Sam accepted Lucifer, a non-angel Castiel and Dean being part of a resistance movement. Fan creators like to explore the vastly different characterization of Cas from the one in the canon timeline, and Samifer, as well as what life may have been like for characters not shown in the episode
- The French Mistake: episode 6x15 where Sam and Dean visit "our world". It has great potential for crossovers between canon and Supernatural RPF, fanworks set during this universe are often humorous
- It's a Terrible Life: an alternative reality created by the angel Zachariah, this universe can be attractive to fans because in it the Winchesters are not brothers
- Apocalypse World: shown from the end of season 12 and throughout season 13. Fanworks often expand on what was shown in canon, with a focus on Jack and his time there, and sometimes changing events so that Sam, Dean or Castiel spend a longer period of time in the alternative reality
- The Bad Place: the dark universe, and home to Dark Kaia, the Wayward Sisters often feature heavily in these stories
- Oz: the land featured in the Wizard of Oz exists in Supernatural canon. This universe doesn't feature much in fanworks, in those that do they often focus on Charlie and her time there, or the aftermath of her Oz visit
- Archive Of Our Own multifandom archive currently in beta run by the Organisation for Transformative Works, nearly 200,000 Supernatural stories. (Febuary 2019)
- Dean Damage -Fic dedicated to Dean Whumping. As of April 2013, the archive has 417 stories written by 18 authors with over 500 members. No slash or wincest or explicit sex alllowed. The M rating is limited to violence and gore. 
- Winchester Journal - A fic archive and gallery
- Wattpad As of March 2015, Wattpad has over 39,000 Supernatural fics, 302,159 Supernatural chapters/parts uploaded and on average 18.5 million minutes of Supernatural fic read each month. RPF and mature content is allowed on the site.
- Rock Salt And Feathers Fan fiction archive for the pairing Dean/Castiel. Over 500 fics (March 2010); site was offline as of February 2011; Archived copy
- A Journey Through Heaven and Hell - a moderated Supernatural fan fiction archive. As of April 2013, the archive had 78 stories with 77 members
- John Winchester Fanfiction Archive - SPN fiction centered around John Winchester. As of April 2013, the site had 8 stories and 10 members
- Just Like The Rifle
- Ghost Hunters - An automatic upload fanfic archive archive link
- Ghost Stories
- Urban Legends
- Sam Dean Slash Archive - An archive which focused on Sam/Dean and was Wincest-friendly. Over 3,800 fics (Jan. 2015), from 2,600 fics (Feb 2011).
- Sinful Desire - A fanfic archive (Wincest-centric). Also accepted J2. Over 3000 stories (moved to A03 as an Open Doors project)
- Supernatural-Fanfiction - A three author SPN archive. As of April 2013, it contained approximately 20 stories.
- Supernaturalville: Unscripted Genius - A general fanfic archive and home of the Supernatural Virtual Season. Over 3000 stories (archive link)
- Supernatural Slash. A bare-bones, high quality collection of fics. (archive link)
- Supernaturally Twisted. A fanfiction archive for cross-overs. As of April 2013, the site had 529 stories by 108 authors and over 4000 members. (archive link)
- See also Category:Supernatural Zines
Most Supernatural fan fiction is online. However, a small quantity of fanzines continue to be produced, mainly of the gen variety. In addition to traditional fanzines, Supernatural has also created a thriving amount of doujinshi 'fan produced comics' in both English and Japanese. The bulk of these fanworks contain Wincest with a small smattering of J2 (or RPS). A complete list of Supernatural fanzines and doujinshi can be found at Supernatural/Fanzines.
Rec and Discussion Sites
- See also: Category:Supernatural Art
- The ABCs of Demon Hunting by Gnatkip: the "Supernaturalphabet"
- Alters #6: Supernatural by vito-excalibur: What if Sam and Dean were black?
- Supernopoly; a SPN version of Monopoly by Reveria: link to art.
- See also: Category:Supernatural Vids
Vidding is very popular in Supernatural fandom. Many vids focus on the relationship between the two brothers and more often than not angst is a major element.
It was a big vidding fandom from the first. Within a few weeks of the pilot airing, a LiveJournal community dedicated to Supernatural vids was created, and two vidding archives were online by the end of season two. There were four Supernatural vids, all made by major vidders, in the 2006 premieres show at Vividcon:
- God Says Nothing Back by Morgan Dawn
- Ghost Song by Greensilver
- Evening on the Ground by Lithiumdoll
- Seems Like A Long Time by Barkley.
Unfortunately, because there was limited footage at that time, these vids featured many of the same shots: a woman on fire on the ceiling, a car with one broken headlight, a woman in a nurse's outfit, etc. The nuances of these excellent vids were therefore missed by the baffled moderators of that year's Vid Review, Luminosity and Speranza, neither of whom had seen the show at that point and who consequently gave them short shrift. (Luminosity later went on to make some of the most famous vids in the fandom.)
Some of the more popular vids are known for their creative approach to visualize certain themes and ideas. For example, Luminosity's The Fifth Circle merges SPN with non-SPN footage to give a better impression of hell and the use of effects is quite stunning.
Other vids are meta commentary on the canon, fanon or fandom of the show. The vid Women's Work drew attention to the simultaneous sexualization of, and aggression towards, women in the source text while Still Alive by counteragent uses images of women from the show to represent fandom/fen and attempts to provide an overview of Supernatural fandom with a focus on Season Three.
- Bricks by Luminosity
- Channel Hopping by ash (a humorous look at the show)
- Fall of Man by Obsessive24
- Grrrindhouse by Danegen
- Low Red Moon by thuviaptarth (a Sam/Ruby character study) (Season 3)
- Ode to a Bitchface by Monkie
- SAIL by ccmrose
- the apocalypse by Deductism
- Seven Nation Army by macho123o91
Supernatural Vidding Communities
- Supernatural Vid Livejournal Community
- Supernatural Vid Rec Livejournal Community
- The Impala (Fanvid Archive) (Offline) - a website linking to Supernatural vids
- Supernatural Video Station (offline)
- See also: Category:Supernatural Podfics
Supernatural is one of the most popular fandoms for making podfic. On the Audiofic Archive, which started in 2006, Supernatural was consistently the top fandom by number of podfics through the 2016 amplificathon challenge. On AO3 it is the fourth largest fandom for podfics as of 2019 (third if you don't count Avengers separately from MCU).
Several podfic-specific SPN-related communities were created on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth:
- spnfic_podcast (2006)
- spn_audio_novel, Archived version (2006)
- spn_gen_podfics, Archived version (2007)
- spn_cwrpfpodfic (2012)
- cakehole_club (2012)
- See also: Category:Supernatural Meta
- Why SPN?; archive link by cereta (November 2007)
- "The epic love story of Sam and Dean": "Supernatural," queer readings, and the romance of incestuous fan fiction by Catherine Tosenberger. Transformative Works and Cultures Vol 1. This article examines incestuous slash fan fiction produced for the CW television series Supernatural. (2008)
- Kroki Refur's amusing and satirical Ten Expressions picspams of Seasons 1-4.
- Transformative Works and Cultures' Supernatural issue (2010)
- How People Really Feel by yourlibrarian (2011)
- Thoughts on homophobia in Supernatural; archive link by cupidsbow (2011)
- Dear Supernatural; archive link by Lisa Schmidt (2011)
- The nonnies made them do it! (Fannish history. SPN. A/B/O), an essay by netweight on the history of the Alpha/Beta/Omega trope in SPN (2013)
- Supernatural‘s Greatest Moments of Meta, by Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor.com (November 14, 2014)
- “Orlando Jones needs to GTFO of our fandom”: Supernatural conventions and gate-keeping; WebCite (2015)
- On the road trip from hell, Melbourne: The Age, 5 January 2006. (Accessed 31 March 2011)
- Meta Episodes page at Supernatural Wiki (Accessed 31 March 2011)
- quote is attributed to gothphyle and first heard at the last Zebracon in 2007. Source: stormheller Never say never - The Link Well, Archived version dated September 17, 2005.
- Supernatural Wins TV Guide Magazine's Fan Favorite Cover Poll accessed 2010-12-18
- SPN Directory
- Fandom page shows 10,978 on August 30, 2011. facetofcathy
- Fandom page shows 27,527 on December 12, 2012. on_verra
- 2016′s Top TV Shows - Live Action
- As of 23 July 2010, ff.net has Over 32,000 SPN stories, 201 SPN ff.net story communities, and 112 Discussion Forums.
- See Big Bang: stats and graphs post of 2 Sep 2011 by missyjack about the SPN J2 Big Bang. (Accessed 1 Jan 2012)
- Supernatural Fic Link Archive page, showcasing black_samvara's fic tagging project.
- Compiled by Trollprincess on May 19-19, 2008, in three posts: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3
- How 1 question triggered a "Supernatural" fandom meltdown
- Supernatural and Queer Love
- An open letter to Jensen Ackles, by a Queer Teenage Girl
- How Fanfiction Has Made TV More Diverse
- From Episode 5.16, The Dark Side of the Moon (accessed 1 Jan 2012)
- From Episode 6.03, The Third Man (accessed 1 Jan 2012)
- WebCite of the front page. The definition of "Dean Damage" can be read here; WebCite.
- [WebCite of the front page.
- WebCite for the splash page; WebCite for the main page.
- WebCite for the main page.
- WebCite for the main page.
- Amplificathon 2016 Points Page, Archived version, accessed 15 April 2019.
- In the Podfic tag, the top fandoms as of 15 April 2019 are Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2076 podfics (parent tag of Avengers), Sherlock with 1083 podfics, Avengers with 1062 podfics, Supernatural with 1006 podfics, and Teen Wolf with 985 podfics. Podfic - Works, Archived version