Brains and the Brawn?

I think that this has irked many of us wondering where these words really came from. As when I really begin to analyze these words, it begins to register with me that both boys are the brains and the brawn. I don’t know what the writers were really playing at when they invented this did they not think that Dean could do the research as well as showing us he has muscle. Sam also according to Dean is the second best hunter in the world, so why singling them out as individual props? Both men are level headed, intelligent, and book smart. The only thing that stands Dean out from Sam is that he is a bit more street smart than Sam. But on the whole I could not call who had more brains or brawn. Dean has proved himself with the brains, and Sam has proved himself with the brawn aspect.

So where had this logic originally steamed from. Could the writers perhaps have included both brothers as the brains and brawn, was there any real need to split the faction down the middle just to split this criteria. Do we sense underhanded tactics at large? Having introduced the ‘Men of Letters‘ into the myth arc was a grand idea, with the feeling of all that supernatural evidence under one roof. But why categorize either brother just for effect. If it was evenly split I could begin to comprehend, may be the writers were right. But this time I feel totally wrong about this and doesn’t sit well with me. If there was another plot that could have served better, where there was a distinct difference between the two brothers I could get my head around it. But as this stands it does annoy me.


Were the writers trying to single Sam out in saying that he is the brains of the outfit, and Dean is the pure fighter who doesn’t have any brain power or able to work out a case on his own merit. Or are they actually saying that Sam cannot fight or understands how to fight and prefers to be book smart? We all know how Sam loves his books, but Dean also loves to research, and has solved many a case without Sam’s knowledge and input. Sam even as young Sam we knew could fight those school bullies in ‘After School Special’, and kick some ass well and truly at a tender age, he could have been possibly a better fighter than Dean, but that’s not what I am trying to prove who is the best at something. But that both are virtually equals and saying one is the brains and the other the brawn seems a tad ridiculous.

So how do you really feel about the Brains and the Brawn do you think the writers were fair in introducing this aspect into the show? What once again were they trying to prove in categorizing the brothers as individuals. When clearly most of us notice they are equal in this equation. Could they have perhaps found another avenue to look at? So type away angels and share your view about Brains and the Brawn …..



9 thoughts on “Brains and the Brawn?

  1. I know this is pretty late but I thought I’d throw my two cents in.
    I also found myself kind of obsessively thinking about that line. As in, what did it mean? How could it work? I mean, hunting itself isn’t really genetic, nor is being a Man of Letters (besides the whole legacy thing). So how could the joining of both families have any effect unless each family taught Sam and Dean themselves; the Campbell’s how to hunt, and the Winchester’s how to document and understand. So I came to the conclusion that maybe the writers were implying that Sam and Dean might have taken different traits from their parents, or their respective families; Dean with his roguish, kind of gruff approach to hunting and confrontation, and Sam with his knowledge and skills at research. But, like you, I also thought that both held their own physically and mentally. Dean is a more-than-capable researcher, and Sam is obviously larger and probably stronger. And then I wondered that maybe the writers were emphasising this. Individually, each brother is formidable on their own, but they both have a strength over the other. Sam takes from his father’s side in that he respects knowledge and research more, and he’s been told by Dean that he was the “brains” solely because he has the ability to focus on research wholeheartedly and willingly. Dean, however, takes from his mother’s side their aggression and raw skills in combat and the more physical aspects of hunting; even though Sam is physically more intimidating, Dean (like his brother and research) feels more comfortable with the actual act of hunting, like it’s second nature, which Sam comments on by calling him a “genius at hunting” simply because he’s more at ease. While the writers may have wanted to claim that, genetically, they’re both the perfect mixture of scholar and warrior, it’s more likely that they were implying that both had potential in the two areas, but were individually more inclined to lean toward one or the other. So, a less literal interpretation, and more concerning their personalities.
    Hi Jason, and welcome to the group interesting thoughts. This thread was some time ago and needed to fresh my own memory. As Barb said above the writers tend to push them both together in one lump, as they seem to both do it so well together. Dean is bright as Sam is strong. So having them as individuals doesn’t really work. Some say Sam is slightly and very marginally brighter than Dean, but doesn’t mean Dean can’t work it out for himself. He’s told us he hates researching and finds its a means to an end. But Sam clearly thrives in it, its his area of expertise. They both work so well as a team that we didn’t really know about the brains and the brawn until much later in the series. Which I think did divide the fandom a bit. But yes, I feel they are both worthy of the ‘Brains and the Brawn’ even though some can dispute its finer points. Dean to me is the hunter but equally Sam knows how to get out of danger and rescue his brother on occasion. Sam has those inner strengths too. In the past he has admitted that he thinks his brother is the stronger hunter and a genius. So its difficult to really label either of them into pigeon holes. They are both to a degree excellent at both aspects.

    Love Aunty B xxx


    1. How I see it, the show didnt separate Sam and Dean into brains and brawn, they were describing why the angels wanted to get the Winchesters and Campbells together – Sam and Dean inherited the brains of the Winchester family Men of Letters, and the brawn of the Campbells (still figuring out how that works). That personally makes more sense than separating S&D into brains and brawn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with you random. It was a while back when I wrote this article and thoughts have changed a lot since writing it. Its lovely to read other fans interpretations of it yonks later though. I hate to departmentalise characters, and this is a better way of looking at it. However, saying this it still sometimes registers in my head that Sam has the brains and Dean has the brawn the muscles. WE all know that both are equals in both area’s. Thanks for the post, nice to meet you. Bella xx


  2. In the first season of Supernatural the distinction between Sam and Dean (Brains/Brawn) was very distinct, although I find it unfair to lump Dean in the category of just Brawn. I don’t see them as Brains or Brawn; it is more Serious vs. Fun. Sam has always been the grounded/serious one and Dean has always been the Jokester with the classic one liners.
    Firstly welcome to the pack and I’m so pleased I’ve got a newbie and another name sake, two Bella’s in one pack. This will get confusing 😉 So did I find it unfair, exactly. I hated the thought of them separating them out. It would only rattle the fans more. I think both have the brains and brawn equally. They can both fight and they both do the research. Sam is more of a book worm than Dean, but doesn’t mean doesn’t know how to pick up a book or the PC and read and find evidence. Only just in Pac Man Fever he solved the case it was a Djinn, a hybrid Djinn which neither Sam or Charlie spotted. So I think unless it was a family thing like the Winchesters and the Campbell’s. I wasn’t happy about this discovery at all.

    I really loved the concept of the Men of Letters. It really reminded me of “The Talamasca” from Anne Rice’s Witching Hour series. There is sooooo much potential packed into MoL. Also, when reading your post it struck me that with the introduction of the Men of Letters and the episode “Freeks and Geeks” could be a potential jumping off point for the beginnings of a reformed MoL. Especially, since Charlie made the comment of “Men” of Letters. It would not surprise me in the least if this was introduced in part so that they could bring back the hunters in training in a story arch OR make a spin off (what happened to the Sam Colt spin off?)
    I don’t know this title. I don’t think they’ve even touched the surface of this subject by a long shot. A lot on the forum were talking about the spin-off, another thing I’m not really keen on. But it could have potential if approached right. The Men of Letters would be a supper topic for the spin-off. The set would also be well used, and made the most out of. Apparently that set cost a little fortune according to Jensen. I hope we get to see many more stories come from it. It was a shame also that they killed off Henry Winchester as he was a big part of the Men of Letters.

    On a side note I found your comment on IMDB and came here! I love your site! I think I am going to get lost in it for a few hours!
    Cool, thank you so much. Your welcome here any time. 😉 There is almost a years worth of notes so you will have a back log. Some threads don’t have replies as I did a boo bo when clearly out the archives. And I couldn’t get my comments back. The blog will be a year old on the 9th of October the day after the show comes back, which is well timed. Happy reading.

    Thanks for the comments, and please come back 😉
    love Aunty B xxxxxxx


    1. “I really loved the concept of the Men of Letters. It really reminded me of “The Talamasca” from Anne Rice’s Witching Hour series”
      Thats exactly what its like! Good call!


  3. I think its silly to put them each in a different category, they are both smart and both strong. Yes Sam does most of the research but Dean does it too and vice versa. I don’t think that’s what was meant by the writers.
    I’m glad you agree with me barb 😉 I thought it was ridiculous, and really there to cause friction between the fans. I really kept thinking about it, thinking no, there really is no difference here, both are top notch and level pegging. They both are superb at either job. So can someone enlighten me as to what they were on about, cause I ain’t getting it. 😦 Unless they were meaning the Winchesters were the Brains, and the Campbell’s were the brawn.

    Thanks for the comments,
    love Aunty B xxxxxxx


    1. I got the impression that it was about the boys attitudes. I think Sam prefers research to hunting even though he is darn good at both. Dean prefers the hunt. Hes just more tactile and earthy. Dean is the body and Sam is the mind and heart. Bobby was the soul and on occasion so was Dean. I always saw these qualities as metaphors for their characters and not hard and fast rules.
      But I still feel Dean has a heart too.

      Dean is very impressive when hunting. We got to see a lot more of that Dean in Purgatory. Hes merciless when he hunts. Sam’s more relentless about it. He soldiers through it but you get the impression he doesn’t enjoy it. Dean seems to enjoy it and that fuels part of his personality conflicts and why he thinks of himself the way he does. After all how can he be a good man and enjoy killing so much. Its classic.
      I agree with this.

      Also Sam is just hella smart. I think he may have a photographic memory. He remembers everything he sees or reads. I have photographic spatial memory and am pretty good with reading but I’m not in Sam’s league at all. His brain is just awesome.
      He is very focused and seems to have this special absorbency that you rarely see in a person. I don’t know how he physically does it with all the trauma he’s been through too, and still remembers important facts. He in a way reminds me of Data that he can ream off loads of words without really thinking about it. I think this is why Dean tends to let Sam do most of the research cause he knows he enjoys it so much more than he does.

      Thanks for the comments,
      love Aunty B xxxxxxx


Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, come back soon!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s