Sam Winchester and Mary Winchester have a mother-son relationship. As Mary died early in Sam's life, he doesn't know much about her, or what a mother's love is. Sam does, however, care for and miss Mary.
Sam is Mary's second-born son. Mary was murdered in his nursery by Azazel on the night of his 6-month birthday. Before the demon killed her, Mary recognized him from the deal she made a decade ago and realized what was occurring. She died trying to protect Sam from Azazel. After her death, Sam's father, John, raised Sam and Dean into the hunter lifestyle. Whilst growing up, Sam began to ask questions about what happened to Mary though he didn't get any answers for a number of years. He finally finds out after discovering his father's hunter journal and Dean confirming the existence of the supernatural where he begins to help his brother and father in the hunt for the demon that killed Mary.
|“||To Dad? And his crusade? If it weren't for pictures, I wouldn't even know what Mom looks like. And what difference would it make? Even if we do find the thing that killed her, Mom's gone. And she isn't coming back.||”|
Then in Home Sam has a vision about their old house, so he and Dean head back to the old place. Unlike Dean, Sam doesn't have much memories in the house, so it doesn't bother him the way it bothers his older brother. Later on, Sam gets pinned to a wall by the poltergeist in the house. A flaming figure then approaches him, and as Dean is about to shoot it, Sam stops him as he knows who it is: it's Mary. Mary reveals herself to the boys and Sam looks upon his mother for the first time (that he can remember). Mary looks at Sam and apologizes to him, which confuses Sam. Mary doesn't tell Sam anything else and sacrifices herself for Sam and Dean.
Throughout the first season, her death and Jessica's push Sam to hunting yellow eyes, and fuels his passion for it.
In Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Sam drags Dean back to visit Mary's grave. The grave itself is just an empty casket and a headstone set up by their uncle. At the grave, Sam talks to Mary and puts John's dog-tags in her grave area. This site is like Sam's only connection to Mary.
In All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1, Sam finds out via Azazel that on the night of her death, Mary knew the demon when she walked into his nursery. This confuses Sam and puts questions in his head.
In All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2, Dean kills Azazel with the help of the spirit of John and Sam is stunned that they have finally avenged Mary and Jessica and is at a loss at what to say. Dean, however, finds the perfect words: "that was for our mom, you son of a bitch."
Thanks to Ruby, Sam's curiosity is triggered when she mentions about how all Mary's friends are dead. This causes Sam to begin investigating Mary's friends and family. He eventually finds out that everyone he could find was killed off.
After Dean gets sent back in the past and meets a young Mary, he comes back and tells Sam about the deal she made that allowed Azazel to come into his nursery years ago. Sam also learns about how Mary used to be a hunter, before she married John.
In When the Levee Breaks, Sam hallucinates Mary in the panic room. When she appears, Sam tells her to go ahead and tell him that she is disappointed in him and that he is a poor excuse for a son. Although she died early in his life, Sam still values her opinion. The hallucination Mary answers differently, and tells Sam that he did the right thing. Sam mentions Dean, and Mary points out that she comes from a long line of hunters, and that their family is cursed, but Sam can use it for good. When Sam asks Mary what if he can't control it due to him being weak and if Dean is right. Mary answers that Dean doesn't know Sam's potential, and that Dean is the weak one. Mary continues on to encourage Sam to kill Lilith and go on without Dean. She finishes by saying to Sam to make her death worth something, and shes counting on him.
Sam is now encouraged by his hallucination of Mary that was probably brought on by the demon blood. With this, he continues on his path.
|“||You think you can have that normal life that you want so bad, but you can't. I'm sorry. It's all gonna go rotten. You are gonna die. And your children will be cursed. There has to be a way...||”|
— Sam and Mary
in The Song Remains the Same
When Anna Milton goes back in the past to kill Mary and John, Sam and Dean, with the help of Castiel, head back in the past. Once there, they head over to their old home. When Sam sees Mary, he stares at her, due to the fact this is the first time he has seen her alive and happy. When John leaves, Sam and Dean tell Mary something is coming after her and John. Mary doesn't believe them right away, but they notice John is missing.
Once they have John, and it's revealed that they all are hunters, Mary takes them all to a safe house. There it is revealed to Mary that Sam and Dean are her sons from the future. Dean tells Mary about the demon that comes for Sam when he's six months old and that on the morning of Nov 2, 1983 to take baby Sam and run, but Sam cuts him off. Sam says that the demon will find Mary where ever she goes to find him. Sam tells Mary she needs to leave John, which shocks her. This means neither Dean nor Sam would be born. What shocks Mary most is the fact that her own sons are okay with not being born. Sam continues on by saying that her children will be cursed and will never be normal. However Mary tells them it is too late as she is already pregnant with Dean.
Just then, Anna returns with Uriel. The latter overpowers Dean while Sam tries to shield Mary from Anna. His attempts drive Anna to impale him in the stomach, killing him. Thanks to Michael, Sam is brought back to life but Mary's memories are erased, so she never remembers meeting Sam or Dean.
Eve transforms into Mary in order to torture Sam and Dean and demonstrate her mother's love for her "children." However, Dean tricks her and poisons her with her only weakness, Phoenix ash and taunts her, saying "call ya later mom." Eve turns back into herself and dies.
|“||Well, this is my family. My family hunts, you know? It's is what we do. Mom, for me... Just, um... having you here... fills in the biggest blank.||”|
— Sam to Mary
in Mamma Mia
However, Mary is nothing like the Mary John and Dean taught Sam to know. Sam tries to cope by giving Mary some space, especially after Mary decides to leave them so she can find herself. The two meet again when he and Dean travel to Canada to partake in the funeral of Asa Fox, and discover Mary already there. They learn from Mary that after Dean was born, Mary continued hunting, which led her into meeting Asa and introducing him into the hunting world.
After Sam is imprisoned at Site 94 along with Dean, Mary seeks out the British Men of Letters to help find them. Sam is reunited with his mother and Castiel just outside the prison's area, the two brothers having managed to escape. On their way home, they are intercepted by Billie, who reminds them of a deal Dean made in order to escape custody. Dean and Sam had agreed to go to the Empty if Billie helped them and were prepared to agree. However, Mary steps in on their behalf, Sam and Dean tried to stop her but Billie incapacitated them as Mary prepared to commit suicide as she told them she loved them, proving that she does care for her sons, still. In the end, Castiel prevented any of the Winchesters from dying by killing Billie.
When Mary asks the brothers and Castiel for help in hunting a demon, they don't hesitate to join her. However, the plan backfires when the demon, Ramiel, manages to mortally wound Castiel. He tracks the four down when they try to escape, and demands they return something they stole, much to Sam and Dean's confusion. Although they successfully defeat Ramiel and save Castiel by destroying Ramiel's lance, the whole incident seem rather suspicious to Sam and Dean.
Eventually, Sam and Dean convince Mary to tell them where she's been, and she reveals that for weeks now, she has been working for the British Men of Letters. This leaves Sam feeling uncomfortable, due to Toni's actions against him only months ago.
However, Sam is soon invited to the British Men of Letters headquarters in America. Sam is unimpressed with Mary's decision, and even more horrified when he finds The Colt in their possession. Mary reveals that she had stolen The Colt from Ramiel, much to Sam's horror, since the entire mission had cost the life of at least one hunter and nearly Castiel's. Sam says little on the matter however, and chooses to help the British Men of Letters fight against the Alpha Vampire.
In the aftermath, Sam agrees to work for the British Men of Letters, and along with Mary, he accepts Arthur Ketch's decision to punish Pierce Moncrieff for betraying them to the Alpha Vampire.
Sam eventually convinces Dean to work with the British Men of Letters, while Mary becomes intimately involved with Arthur Ketch. Mary firmly believes that Arthur would do well as a paternal figure for both of her sons, something which Sam proves isn't true when he is appears to dislike working for the Brits through Arthur, as seen in The Memory Remains.
The faith Mary had placed in the Brits and which allowed her to drag her sons into trusting them as well begins to crumble in Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes, when she discovers secrets being kept from her, such as Mick's death and the Brits' plan to monitor her children without their knowledge. She tries to warn Dean but gets captured and interrogated by Lady Toni Bevell, the woman who had tortured Sam mere months ago.
Toni reveals to Mary some of the secrets her sons have been keeping from her, and discovery that John had in fact been a neglectful parent weighs down on Mary's conscience. She is eventually re-programmed into working solely for the British Men of Letters and she, along with Ketch, invade her sons' bunker and leave them for dead. Sam is obviously horrified by her change of heart.
Sam and Mary are reunited once Sam manages to escape the bunker in Who We Are. He and Dean find out that Mary had been sent to kill Jody Mills at her home but failed due to the intervention of Annie Jones, Jody's stepdaughter. Sam decides to take revenge on the Brits by forming a team consisting of American hunters who will infiltrate the British Men of Letters compound and blow it up. Dean is left behind due to an injury and volunteers to free Mary of whatever mind control Toni put her in. As Toni had been their prisoner since Ketch abandoned her in the bunker with them, Dean uses Toni's help to save Mary.
Sam returns home after the mission to find Mary has recovered. Sam embraces her and Dean, the two of them happy to have defeated the Brits for good.
In All Along the Watchtower, Mary learns about Lucifer, a long-time nemesis to Sam and Dean and agrees to help them deal with him. Knowing Lucifer will be going after Kelly Kline, the mother of his unborn child, the three Winchesters try to track him down until they gain assistance from Crowley. The three Winchesters travel to Kelly's location and find her going into labor. Mary stays with Kelly while Sam, Dean and Kelly's caretaker Castiel confront Lucifer.
Once the child is born, Mary leaves the cabin to confront Lucifer as well. She assaults him in a fit of rage but ends up falling into a closing portal with him, rendering her and Lucifer trapped and Sam and Dean alone. Sam would soon find out that the baby Mary had helped to deliver had grown physically into an adult.
Dean informs Sam that he is convinced Lucifer had killed Mary the moment they both fell through the portal but Sam isn't so convinced.
After Jack starts spending time with him and Dean, Sam decides to help him use his powers in hopes that maybe Jack can re-open the portal. He admits to this eventually but he also informs Jack that if Jack can't open a portal, it's alright. Dean, on the other hand, thinks Sam is in denial about their mother. Sam retorts that he doesn't believe he should give up just yet.
|“||...at least you had a relationship with Mom, I mean, who would she always call? Who did she look to for anything? You had something with her I never had, and now I'm just supposed to accept that I never will have it!?||”|
— Sam to Dean Winchester
After dealing with a case, Sam comes to suspect that maybe he really is in denial. Dean tells him that he really shouldn't lose faith since Dean himself no longer believes in anything.
During The Bad Place, Sam and Dean track down Jack who tells them he has been mastering his powers to feel other worlds and found Dreamwalkers to see them. Jack then shows both of the Winchesters, the world Mary was trapped in and how she was suffering. Sam was visibly shocked and somewhat relieved to see that his mother was really alive but sad that she was going through pain. Sam agreed with Dean that they would get her back no matter what happened. While Sam wanted to reunite with her, he didn't share Dean's resolve which was so extreme that he held a Dreamwalker at gunpoint. At one point, Sam questioned his brother but the latter reminded him they'd have to do everything to get their mother back.
During Good Intentions, Mary talks to Jack and learns he was sent by her sons which makes her ask if they are in the world but she is relieved to hear they are not and happy to hear Bobby praising them. In the main world, Sam still wants to get his mother back from that world and is worried for her situation.
In The Thing, the brothers look for one of the last two ingredients for the spell for opening a rift to save their mother. They gather one ingredient and needed the last one which comes in the form of Arthur Ketch bringing Gabriel to the bunker. Sam refuses Arthur's request but to his and Arthur's obvious shock, Dean agrees to Arthur's proposal as he explains to Sam if it can potentially help them get their mother and Jack back. Using the latter's grace and reciting the spell they form a rift, Sam was ready to go but Dean has him stay back as he's going alone. Sam was shocked that Dean would do that as he insists on the chance to rescue his mother from danger.
Sam's anger increases as Dean let Arthur (who had manipulated their mother) to come especially after Dean previously stay for sanctuary. Regardless, Sam agrees to stay after Dean tells him that he is needed to keep the rift open and save Dean if something happened.
During Bring 'em Back Alive, Sam questions Dean on where Mary was after he returned from Apocalypse World as Dean states he couldn't find them. Sam is relieved to hear that Michael doesn't have her or Jack anymore but still worried about her.
In Beat the Devil, Sam dreamed about being reunited with Mary and was happy until he was forced to wake up. In Apocalypse World, he tells Dean that his spirits are lifted since they can save their mother and Jack. Unfortunately, Sam was attacked by vampires and Mary was stunned to learn this when talking to Dean.
Mary mourned Sam and watched as Dean decided to retrieve Sam's body however, the latter arrived alive and smiled at his mother but Lucifer arrived as well.
In another world created by a Djinn, Sam got to know Mary and grew up with her. Without Mary's death, Sam and Dean never go into hunting. Sam can pursue school without fighting his parents. Sam also comes back for holidays to visit Mary. On her birthday, Sam brings Jessica with him, and announces his engagement to her. Mary is delighted to see this, and is genuinely happy for her son.
- According to Jared Padalecki, Sam doesn't need a lot of closure from his mother, unlike Dean.
- Both Mary and Sam had fought against their respective fathers because they desired a normal, non-hunting lifestyle, but while they both got what they wanted, Mary's apple-pie life was destroyed by her own death, while Sam lost his when his girlfriend died.
- Both Mary and Sam had, at one point, been locked away in the same place as Lucifer.