Anime Underground

Ways Supernatural Is Really Just American Yaoi 

Laura Allan
180 votes 48 voters 16 items

List Rules Vote up the best explanations of why Supernatural is yaoi.

Supernatural has been around for over 13 seasons as one of the best supernatural drama TV shows, and its fan base has only gotten stronger during that time. It may be packed with action and horror elements, but it's hard to deny that there are some homoerotic themes. There's intimacy, awkward sexual moments, and even if the show doesn't pair the males romantically, its fans certainly do! All these gay moments in Supernatural, whether they're implied or just expanded on by the fans, make the show an American live-action yaoi, or "Boys Love" (BL). Sure, there's no gay sex, but there are so many other yaoi elements present. 

Now, before you start shaking your head and denying it, just take a look at all the reasons why Supernatural is like yaoi. They use similar character tropes, similar plot themes, and the fan service is off the charts! The character interactions are deeply intimate and they're all crazy pretty to look at. There's even a Supernatural anime. Read on to discover yaoi patterns in the show, and vote up the best reasons for why Supernatural is really an American Boys Love live-action series. 

1
There's Definitely A Seme And Uke
There's Definitely A Sem... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Ways Supernatural Is Really Just American Yaoi
Photo:  The CW

Probably the most common trope when it comes to yaoi is that of the seme and the uke. These characters, when in a relationship together, are best described as an aggressive, domineering one, and a more submissive, temperamental one. Oftentimes, this also equates to top and bottom, though that's not always the case.

Looking at Supernatural's main duo, one could definitely be the seme and one the uke. Sam tends to have a softer heart, is a little more angsty, and tends to be the one who doubts himself and their mission the most. When in fighting situations, he tends not to be the stronger of the two, though he generally can use his brains to outwit any baddies. Dean, on the other hand, is about as aggressive a guy as you can get. He's louder, gruffer, more direct with what he wants to say and do, and he tends to be the one leading the charge and focusing on getting things done.

While the two do exchange these mantles depending on the season and foe, it seems pretty apparent that Sam is the uke, and Dean is the seme. 

Agree or disagree?
2
It Could Be Defined As A Shounen Ai
It Could Be Defined As A... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Ways Supernatural Is Really Just American Yaoi
Photo:  The CW

While the term "shounen ai" has come to be synonymous with yaoi to many Western fans of the genre, it's actually more of a "softcore" subcategory of yaoi. Instead of focusing on the actual sex, shounen ai looks at the romantic interaction between the main male characters. It focuses on how the characters work with each other in the daily life, as well as their intimate moments. There is actually rarely any sex shown, with the rating verging more on PG-13.

This is similar in many ways to Supernatural. The show focuses on the relationship that Sam and Dean share with each other. While it isn't exactly romantic, it is intimate, and neatly fits into the shounen ai type of theme. 

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3
The Emotional Angst And Crying
The Emotional Angst And ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Ways Supernatural Is Really Just American Yaoi
Photo:  nadjalee2000/YouTube

Boys in yaoi are not afraid to cry. Interestingly enough, neither are the boys in Supernatural. In yaoi, one theme tends to be the angst and crying, also known as "wangst," where a character laments their own shortcomings and problems. Then the male characters will find solace and comfort from another male character, and their romance will continue. In Supernatural, the boys cry and feel sorry for themselves a lot. They get angry at the world, they get angry at each other, but mostly they get angry at themselves. One of the draws of this show, as well as in yaoi, is that the guys are so intensely emotional and openly so, that the viewers both relate to them and pity their plight. 

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4
The Boys Suffer Beautifully
The Boys Suffer Beautifu... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Ways Supernatural Is Really Just American Yaoi
Photo:  The CW

One major theme in yaoi is emotional and physical suffering. Men in peril, tragic heroes, and even abused men are themes for many yaoi books and anime. When characters have a bad end, it's usually due to a cruel and unforgiving world that punished them just for being who they are.

This is also the case with Supernatural. The main characters are beaten, abused, emotionally manipulated, played against each other, and literally tortured more than once. One of the main themes in the show is tragedy and sacrifice. This caters to the same sorts of fans who enjoy the "suffering male" aesthetic found in yaoi. 

Agree or disagree?