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Grabbing a drink, Winchester style 
7th-Oct-2013 10:27 pm
Impala Art

I recently created an entry on the Super Wiki for Sam and Dean's green cooler. I thought I'd create a post here too (with a little more comment).

I love it when we see certain props being re-used. Sometimes it's because they have certain items in stock and they use (and re-use) them when decorating a set. Other times it's because it forms part of a character's personal belongs. Like the awesome green cooler.

The cooler they have is a Coleman vintage cooler - circa 1960s. We have no information about how it's come into their possession, but I'd like to think it's somehow connected to the Impala. We mostly see it next to her and as they are both vintage I'd like to think that maybe they were purchased around the same time. I can see John buying something like this.

There are three types of cooler that appear in the show.

Season 3-7 coolerBenny's cooler 8.09
Similar to the one used in 8.10

More information about that first cooler here. These seem to be extremely rare. If your neighbour happens to be throwing one out...grab it!

The cooler first appears in season 3 - Fresh Blood. This is a significant and memorable scene - Dean showing Sam how to fix the Impala so he can look after her when he's gone. The cooler doubles as a trusty seat. I suspect this prop was introduced to create this wonderful scene.


The next time we see it is in season 4 - After School Special. It's another beautiful setting and I love that they include the cooler in this scene. It could be considered a motif now - especially as we see it a third time in season 6 (6.09), where its presence holds greater significance.

Free to be You and Me (5.03) is the first time we see the cooler inside. Dean and Cas are squatting in an abandoned house - so there wouldn't be a fridge. He grabs a beer while talking to Raphael.

4.13 After School Special5.03 Free To Be You and Me

The cooler makes another appearance at this significant moment. It's the final episode of Season 5 (Kripke's last episode) and Sam and Dean take a moment to talk about what's about to happen. I love that the cooler, like the Impala, acts like a support for them. Great to get a close up of it also.

5.22 Swan Song5.22 Swan Song

I think it's significant that it appears in this scene. The previous times we've seen it by the car the boys share a companionable drink. This is soulless!Sam and he refuses a drink when Dean offers him one. I like that Dean has his foot on it this time - I think he's the one needing the support here.

6.09 Clap Your Hands if You Believe6.09 Clap Your Hands if You Believe

Another interior shot - and another squat. I like that their portable "fridge" carries beers and not food. Dean picks it up and puts it right next to him on the sofa so he can have the drinks in easy reach.

7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters

Another squat, another instance where the cooler is used. This time doubling up as a footstool. It's a multipurpose prop!

7.12 Time After Time After Time7.12 Time After Time After Time

A green cooler appears in season 8, but in both cases they are slightly different to the one we've seen the boys with previously. Benny's cooler has the handle at the top and the one that appears in Torn and Frayed has a white band around the bottom. I can't find a cooler like the one in 8.10 on the net (white lines in the bottom white band with hinges that so not appear on the top of the lid). The cooler has been turned around so it's hard to make out which model it would be.

I am very curious about the change in 8.10. I wonder if this means the original prop was lost and they have replaced it with one similar one (thinking we'd not notice). The one next to Dean in Citizen Fang could easily be theirs (the idea being that Dean has given it to Benny for his blood supply), but it's not the same model. Weird...

8.09 Citizen Fang8.10 Torn and Frayed


The green cooler was spotted in 1.15 (The Benders). This is a similar style to the one Benny has. This suggests they have kept this prop from S1 to S8.


I hope we continue to see the green cooler (especially as it has changed!). I adore the roadside drinks, so I'll be keeping my eye out for more of those, AND more of this wonderful prop.
7th-Oct-2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
So much love for the green cooler! \o/\o/\o/ I love that you put this together--it so is an OS (object of significance). :)
7th-Oct-2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
It's such a cool cooler! :) And yeah - definitely significant (I'd love to have one!).


7th-Oct-2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
Lovely research. Thanks.
8th-Oct-2013 01:29 am (UTC)
Thank you. <3
7th-Oct-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
It's funny, until you put this together, I'd have sworn it had been in loads more episodes. It just seems stuck in my head as being there all the time. Which shows how cleverly they've used it for it to be part of my head furniture for the boys! Oh clever, clever show...
7th-Oct-2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Right? It seems to be always there. Just part of the Impala and their nomadic lifestyle with questionable sleeping places where a fridge might not always be available
7th-Oct-2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
Lovely to see all this in one place, it's such an interesting and meaningful prop. I've written several fics featuring it. I call it the "Green Cooler of Conversation", because it seems to be there when they need a reminder of how long they've been fighting this fight together.
I know we see it in Rufus' cabin several times. I can remember one specifically, it was during the silent eating/reconciliation scene at the end of "Torn and Frayed" it's right next to the battered red couch and coffee table, within Dean's reach.
8th-Oct-2013 01:33 am (UTC)
Hee..yes - green cooler of conversation indeed! :)

And yay! It appears in S8? Great - I'll track that down and add it to the post (and wiki). Thank you. :)
7th-Oct-2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Very cool(er). 8-)

I wonder if they started using it because it is sturdy enough to sit on. Is there enough room in the trunk for it? If they put it in the footwell of the back seat, it would get thrown around every time the car got wrecked but that seems like a more likely place. The trunk has to be jammed.
8th-Oct-2013 07:23 am (UTC)

I too wondered about them just having something sturdy to sit on - hence it's introduction.

I have no idea where they'd put it in the vehicle. I have to assume it's in the back seat - which yeah, not safe (ha, of course it's no where, but we do have to make sense of these things...*nods*).
7th-Oct-2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
I agree with what you wrote, but there is one thing about the green cooler and the road stop drinks I don't like. The - we just stop for a moment to have a break and a drink and drive on implication I sometimes see. Where were times when we saw Dean drinking a lot (not always from the cooler) and still he was always the one driving.
If you think of Yellow Fever and their post-hunt drink. Bobby provided sodas instead (something Dean scoffed at) because they were all driving afterwards. So clearly the idea never came to him.
8th-Oct-2013 07:25 am (UTC)
Ah yes...I am pretty sure the drinking and then the driving doesn't even enter their thoughts. (Though 1 beer should be ok - I think :D).
7th-Oct-2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, I love that thing! I had one like it in The Other Side but sadly I didn't get a chance to feature it much. Great post.
8th-Oct-2013 07:26 am (UTC)
Oh hey! I updated the post after I discovered some new stuff. The cooler you have does seem to appear in the show (or one very very similar) - in Torn and Frayed they change the model and it's the one with the white band at the bottom. :)
7th-Oct-2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, thanks for this!

I really searched for a cap, but I haven't been able to find one. The last appearance that I'm aware of of the green cooler was in 8.9, Citizen Fang. It was on the ground at Benny's campsite, with his old pickup with the camper bed cover and the clothesline strung between the trees. I wanted to wank it that Dean had loaned it to him, but I couldn't figure out when that might have happened. I'm pretty sure Benny kept his blood supply in it. I'll keep searching for a cap, but it was such a minor, minor thing the camera didn't linger on it for a full second. And realistically it was probably just the props department saying, "old, beat-up cooler" and not realizing it has mythic importance for fans. Heh.
8th-Oct-2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Oooh, I have to check this out. I can make a cap from the episode if I need to. That's great. How curious if it's THE green cooler. Oh man, that would create some interesting thinky...(though, yeah, probably just...let's use that cooler! damn them...)

I'll check it out. Thanks
7th-Oct-2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
I love the prop department of this show... and thanks for pointing this out...never realized...
8th-Oct-2013 07:27 am (UTC)
Oh me too! And my pleasure...it's fun seeing what they use (and re-use)
7th-Oct-2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
I like that the cooler is an appropriate prop, just the kind of thing John would have bought. When he was young, there were still long, long patches of road with nothing on them. No fast food places, chain-restaurants--things like that. Having a cooler was a life saver and no long trip was undertaken without one. As for sturdy--I bet after an apocalypse, the only things left on the planet would be cockroaches, Twinkies and those vintage Coleman coolers. I love it whenever they drag that thing out.
8th-Oct-2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
Oh I love the picture you paint of John on long trips with his boys. (It was like a mini fic...:D)

And HA! Yes...cockroaches and Coleman products (and the Winchesters) will survive the apocalypse.
7th-Oct-2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
Ah, the green cooler of conversation - pop a beer - have a chat.
I was worried when this disappeared from sight, more so when Benny had it - but I guess Dean will have it back now. It would, after all, have been a nice cool place to keep Benny's head when Dean still thought his soul was coming back...
8th-Oct-2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
Hi! I've actually update the post and it now includes information about Benny's cooler and the one in Torn and Frayed. They are different models - which is really weird.

Hmm...I rather like the idea that Dean might have taken the cooler to put Benny's head in.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Oct-2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
I hope we see it too - especially as I have updated the post and the last time we see it (8.10), it's actually a different model. I would love to see it again to see if they've actually changed coolers...
8th-Oct-2013 07:45 am (UTC)
I love this! Thank you so much for putting it together.
8th-Oct-2013 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! My pleasure. :)
8th-Oct-2013 10:27 am (UTC)
Hee! I love that this is what the question about diamond-shaped logos turned into.
8th-Oct-2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
Yes! This is what it was about (well, the Wiki entry actually - but as usual I wanted to say more about it so made a post here too). Thanks for your help! <3
8th-Oct-2013 10:51 am (UTC)
Outstanding post! Your eagle eye and attention to detail, I love them!!
8th-Oct-2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks bb! <333
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