25 Days of Sam-mas Day #20: Ranking the different Sam Winchester on Supernatural

Supernatural -- "On The Head of a Pin" -- Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "On The Head of a Pin" -- Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /
Supernatural Season 4, Episode 15 best lines
Supernatural — “Death Takes a Holiday” — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

There have been many versions of Sam Winchester over the years on Supernatural. Here’s a ranking of each type of version and character Jared Padalecki has played on the series.

Supernatural has been through many changes over the years. One of those changes was the versions of Sam Winchester we’re seen. Jared Padalecki hasn’t always played his own character.

We’ve seen the likes of Blood Junkie Sam, Soulless Sam, Samifer, and so much more. For the 25 Dys of Sam-mas, we’re looking at each of these characters to rank them in order. Which one stood out the most? Who was the better character for the story?

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Technically, not all the versions of Sam are actually Sam Winchester. They’ve been when demons or angels have taken over them. However, they’re characters Jared Padalecki has played, similar to why the versions of Castiel during the 25 Days of Cas-mas last year.

Body Swap Sam

“I would like to have the sex with you.” Oh, Sammy! Well, it wasn’t really Sam but how great was this version of the character?

Thanks to a young witch, Sam ended up in the body of a teenager. It was up to Dean to help figure out what had gone on and how to switch his brother back.

While that happened, we got to see Padalecki take on the role of a teenager inside the body of a handsome adult. Oh, it was certainly worth the episode.

Supernatural — “I’m No Angel” — Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /


As much as I enjoyed the addition of Gadreel, who pretended to be Ezekiel, this was one version of Sam I couldn’t completely get my head around. It was yet another instance of Dean keeping a secret from his brother and we’d already had enough of that over the years.

However, it was a mature version of Sam. We got to see the switch between the two characters, proving Padalecki’s acting abilities. You could immediately tell when Jared was Sam and when he was Gadreel. The pulled back shoulders and the glint in the eye made it extremely clear we didn’t have our Sammy around.

As funny as Body Swap Sam was, Gadreel just beats him.

Sam Wesson

In Supernatural Season 4, we got the chance to see what life would be like for Sam and Dean if they weren’t hunters or even brothers. Well, okay, it was a version the angel Zachariah created, but still an intriguing version.

While this was actually about Dean, we got to see a hunting-focused Sam. There was this chance to see him eager to hit the road and save people. In a way, he was a version of Sam we could have seen him being had he not been forced into the world of hunting by his dad; had he lived a mundane life beforehand.

Supernatural — “Swan Song” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Swan Song” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /


I’ve got to be honest. There’s a part of me that dislikes Samifer and it’s not because it’s actually Lucifer possessing Sam. There’s something about Jared that looks uncomfortable.

However, it was a huge moment for the series; the first time any of our main characters had been possessed by an archangel. I guess the discomfort was possibly the vessel trying to hold in the power, but Mark Pellegrino didn’t portray that level of discomfort so it doesn’t really fit.

Padalecki certainly gave us the sense of unease and fear when he took on the role of Samifer. “The End” is my favorite of the two episodes with him in.

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In Supernatural Season 2, we had the chance to see Sam Winchester possessed by a demon. And not just any demon: Meg. This was another turning point. For a long time in the episode, we wondered whether Sam had turned evil but then realized that actually, this was a demon with a vengeance.

Unlike when he played Samifer, Jared looked comfortable playing Smeg. He eased into the role and became this threatening, taunting force of nature. I would have been happy to see Smeg for a couple of episodes, rather than wrap that storyline up so quickly.

Supernatural — “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Clap Your Hands If You Believe” — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Soulless Sam

I’m not the biggest fan of Season 6, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate Soulless Sam. When Sam didn’t have a soulless, he was hte best hunter possible. He didn’t care. There were no feelings about killing the monsters and the creatures.

Of course, hunting isn’t all black and white. We’ve seen that over the years, but for the most part, Soulless Sam was an extremely skilled hunter. Without the connections in the world, he didn’t have a weakness demons could use against him.

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Blood Junkie Sam

Now it’s time to jump back to Supernatural Season 4 when Sam became a blood junkie. We got to see a new side of Sam that we never really expected to see. He wanted rid of all monsters and creatures, the chance to eventually get out of the hunting game. To do that, he was willing to sacrifice who he was to protect the world.

Of course, it all backfired. We ended up finding out he was being manipulated, but we got to see that desperate side to him. It was clear that he would be willing to do almost anything to keep the world safe and sacrificing himself in “Swan Song” shouldn’t have been that surprising.

Supernatural — “Route 666” — The WB/Sergei Bachlakov — Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural — “Route 666” — The WB/Sergei Bachlakov — Acquired via CW TV PR /

Sam Winchester

Just regular Sam Winchester is the penultimate version of the character (I think you’ll definitely agree with me on the last, even if you haven’t so far up to this point). I like to think of regular Sam Winchester as the earlier version, that college graduate who wanted to go to law school and have his normal life.

He had his secrets and his guilt, but he was also a good person. All he wanted was for the world to have some sense of goodness. He wanted to contribute in a way he couldn’t as a hunter. More importantly, this version of Sam wanted to make other people happy while being happy himself. It’s a reasonable want.

Leader Sam

Supernatural Season 14 has delivered the strongest Sam Winchester so far. He has stepped up to the plate, bringing us a more confident hunter and inspirational figure. In a way, he could also be called Mentor Sam, as he’s become someone for Jack to turn to in times of need and other hunters to gain advice from.

Leader Sam is the version of Sammy we’ve all been waiting for. He’s not afraid to walk into a trap but will have a plan in mind to prevent a massacre. Without being ashamed, he’s taken on some of the tip and traits of the Men of Letters to make hunting safer and more efficient.

This is a guy who looks out for his people. His only downside is that he doesn’t tend to look out for himself. We’ve seen him run on fumes as he’s searched for Dean, made sure demons and monsters are taken down and tried to protect the hunters and family he cares about.

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Which has been your favorite version of Sam Winchester over the years? What would you like to see from him moving forward? Share in the comments below.

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