Some entities are so powerful that they can change the nature of reality or the perception of reality to suit their own ends, whether for deception or amusement. This 'warping' can take the form of altered reality, time loops, or transformations of the natural to the supernatural. Not all alterations are initially clear. Beings with the power to affect reality or the way in which characters see it include angels and archangels, some demons, djinn, wraiths, Jesse Turner the Cambion, and a few unique objects.
- 1 Episodes Featuring Altered Reality or Alternate Timelines
- 1.1 2.15 Tall Tales
- 1.2 2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be
- 1.3 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One
- 1.4 3.03 Bad Day at Black Rock
- 1.5 3.10 Dream a Little Dream of Me
- 1.6 3.11 Mystery Spot
- 1.7 4.08 Wishful Thinking
- 1.8 4.17 It's a Terrible Life
- 1.9 5.04 The End
- 1.10 5.06 I Believe the Children Are Our Future
- 1.11 5.08 Changing Channels
- 1.12 5.11 Sam, Interrupted
- 1.13 6.17 My Heart Will Go On
- 1.14 7.10 Death's Door
- 1.15 8.08 Hunteri Heroici
- 1.16 12.13 Family Feud
- 1.17 14.13 Lebanon
Episodes Featuring Altered Reality or Alternate Timelines
A djinn poisons Dean and traps him in a dream state while it feeds from his blood. This AU is commonly referred to as the wish-verse. It is a construct formed by Dean's subconscious, arising from one wish: that his mother had never died. As a result, Mary Winchester is alive in the present day, with Sam still attending Stanford and engaged to Jess while Dean works as a mechanic and dates a nurse, but John Winchester is still dead, Dean and Sam have a poor relationship, and everyone the Winchesters saved as hunters are dead.
Azazel immerses Sam in a recreation of his mother's death.
The rabbit's foot makes people lucky when they have it, and will kill them with bad luck if they lose it.
The Trickster creates a time loop in which Dean dies in every iteration regardless of what Sam does. When the Trickster is discovered by Sam, he ends the loop with Dean dying. Sam spends six months searching for the Trickster. When he finds him, Sam begs him to bring Dean back. The Trickster says he was trying to teach Sam that Dean is his weakness, and his enemies will use this against him, but he does restore the original time line. Dean does not remember his final death, although it is unclear if Sam remembers the previous six months.
A magic wishing coin grants the wish of the person that throws it in a well, and every person who wishes in the well thereafter.
Zachariah creates an alternate reality where the Winchesters are Dean Smith and Sam Wesson, two men who are not brothers and who work for Sandover Bridge & Iron Inc.. They eventually team up to hunt a ghost in the building. At a time when Dean seems to recoil from hunting, Zachariah constructs the reality to demonstrate to Dean that he will always pursue hunting. This reality is simply constructed out of false memories and is not truly alternate per se.
Zachariah creates a future alternate reality where Sam and Dean are no longer hunting together and haven't been for five years. It's the year 2014 and most of the population are either dead or have become zombies due to the Croatoan virus.
Jesse Turner, a young cambion, is unconsciously enforcing his beliefs, including the lethal nature of joy buzzers and itching powder, on the world around him. When threatened, he turns Castiel into an action figure.
The Trickster traps Sam and Dean in a reality based on TV shows and advertisements. The boys finally expose him as the archangel Gabriel, who is trying to teach them to play their roles as Lucifer and Michael's vessels.
A wraith preys on Sam and Dean, causing them to hallucinate.
On Castiel's command, Balthazar goes back in time and stops the Titanic from sinking. This has side effects, changing reality in many ways: Bobby and Ellen are married, Dean drives a mustang, and Cuba is a popular American holiday destination. A confrontation with Fate leads to Castiel reversing the effects, but he leaves Sam and Dean with the memory of what happened.
After being shot in the head by Dick Roman, Bobby must revisit old memories to try and survive. He remembers a hunt with Rufus Turner, his childhood, the last argument he had with his wife Karen, and times with young Dean.
Fred Jones, suffering from dementia, has retreated into his mind and the world of cartoons. Psychokinetic when younger, this ability now causes elements of the cartoon world to affect reality.
As a result of Abaddon abducting Gavin MacLeod from 1723, he never boards The Star as he is destined to and never dies when the ship sinks. As a result, his fiancé Fiona Duncan boards the ship looking for him and, unprotected without Gavin, is brutalized by the crew who are encouraged by her teacher. After the ship sinks, Fiona becomes a vengeful spirit targeting and murdering teachers in the present day. To set things right, Gavin agrees to return to his own time to protect Fiona on the ship and die when it sinks as he was supposed to. After Gavin's return to 1723, the Winchesters discover that Fiona's murders in the present have been erased from existence, showing that Gavin succeeded. Only Sam, Dean, Crowley, and Rowena appear to remember the alternate timeline where Fiona had become a vengeful spirit.
While trying to use the Baozhu to get rid of Michael, Dean inadvertently pulls John Winchester from 2003, creating an alternate timeline due to John's disappearance in the past. As a result, Castiel remains a loyal and unquestioning soldier of Heaven, Mary Winchester is still dead, Sam never left Stanford and became an Internet-famous lawyer, and Dean remains a hunter but is wanted by the law. Additionally, the Apocalypse never happened, with Zachariah noting that Heaven had "big plans" for the Winchesters before John disappeared. After an encounter with the alternate Zachariah and Castiel, the Winchester family decides to return John to 2003 and unwind this timeline, leaving John with no memory of the experience beyond thinking it to be a really good dream.