It seems the simple sandwich plays quite a significant role in Supernatural. We already know how important food is to Dean - we know he loves pie and burgers (extra onion), and we know Sam loves his salads, but sandwiches also feature rather a lot. I thought I'd gather together all the moments sandwiches are used and take a light hearted look at their significance (gif heavy).
The Best Things in Life Are Free Sandwich aka: Look how I can eat and talk at the same time Sammy!
By this episode it's been established how much Dean loves his food. Our first glimpse is in Nightmare (1.14), where he eagerly grabs the tiny sausages offered. We then see him chowing down on - what looks like fries - on Sam's bed in Tall Tales and then later literally stuffing his face with sweets in the same episode. The running gag is continued in this episode. Dean loves his food and we can see how the simple joy it brings him.
Even though these look like little rolls (they'd be called rolls where I'm from ;D) , Dean refers to them as "miniature Philly cheesesteak sandwiches", so I'm going to include them here. Also, he looks so cute when he eats it. :)
2.18 Hollywood Babylon
The Orgasmic Sandwich aka: Dean's been eating take-out for far too long
This is the first time we see Dean eat a homemade sandwich. It looks like it's the best thing he's eaten in a long long time. It's a great reminder of the kind of lives they have and how something like the simple sandwich can taste so good, especially with the added ingredient of a mother's love.
2.20 What is and What Should Never Be
The He Eats Just Like Me Sandwich aka: Crap! He eats just like me…
Ben has a variety of traits that leads Dean to thinking he could be his son. It's great that we get a shot of Ben scoffing down a sandwich. He loves his food, just like Dean.
3.02 The Kids Are Alright
The Too Good to be True Sandwich aka: Be careful what you wish for
Of all the wishes Dean could have he chose food. Of course! :) Poor boy...
4.08 Wishful Thinking
The Porked Up Sandwich aka: Can't let good food go to waste.
I'm sure Jensen regrets the day he made Dean a food lover! Though Dean's love of food works so well for the character. I wrote meta a while ago about how food was probably scarce for the boys when they were growing up. Dean's an opportunist when it comes to eating (snagging whatever free food he can when it is on offer) and here we can see that he clearly doesn't like to see food go to waste. Especially something as tasty as cooked ham!
5.06 I Believe that Children Are Our Future
The You're Going to Need a Bigger Mouth Sandwich aka: Now you're just being silly…
My favourite sandwich! The fact that a giant sandwich is included in the sitcom version of the boys' lives highlights the way food - particularly homemade food - is used to comment on the kind of lives they lead. Rarely food is of the homemade variety (until after the bunker is introduced that is).
5.08 Changing Channels
The Heavenly Sandwich aka: Just go ahead and break my heart why don't you.
This is the second time we've seen Mary involved in preparing a sandwich for Dean (also 2.20). Both moments remind us of what Dean (and Sam) have lost and how much Dean misses this kind of nurturing *sniff*
5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
The Starving Soulful!Sam Sandwich (Sammywich?) aka: Damn it's good to have you back.
Food and eating after death has become a recurring theme in the SPN world. When Sam first returned from the dead in 2.22 the boys shared pizza. Here, Sam scoffs down a sandwich (probably made by Dean), showing us something that was missing from Sam when he was soulless - hunger. Later, after Dean recovers from his demonhood, Sam comments that he's going out to get Dean food. It's healing sustenance, but it also shows care and love.
6.12 Like a Virgin
The What Lies Beneath Sandwich aka: Ewwwwwwwwwww
Dean's love of food is used against him when he becomes addicted (and high!) from the, er, delicious Turducken Sandwich. In the context of food being a source of joy and comfort for Dean this really acknowledges how screwed up things have become. And if we really want to draw out the analogy, we can see it has the darkness that lurks under all potentially innocent things. *nods*
7.09 How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
The Wriggling Sandwich aka: Double eeewwwwwwwwwww
Seriously! You had to go there didn't you! Ewwwwww. Poor Sam. Can't sleep, can't eat. He can't even enjoy the simple comfort or nourishment of a sandwich.
7.17 Born Again Identity
The Sandwich of Solidarity aka: Cas may be cray cray but he knows how to woo the Winchesters
Ah Cas. He knows food matters to the boys and here he has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that what they see is what they get. A healthy, unadulterated sandwich. It's interesting, and rather telling, that after everything Sam and Dean have been through, they are suspicious of this offer.
7.23 Survival of the Fittest
The Meaning of Life Sandwich aka: Molecules are not as tasty as PB and J.
This could also be called the philosophical sandwich. Cas sums up his human experience with the taste of a sandwich - noting that it's the simple things that he'll miss. It also strengthens the significance of sandwiches in the SPN 'verse because we know Sam and Dean rely on life's simplicities to help them through it (yeah, pretty deep I know…;D)
9.11 First Born
The PS: I Love You Sandwich aka: I'm so happy you're not a demon any more but I'm shit scared about that mark of your arm sandwich. Oh and damn I love you.
Sandwich as comfort. Sandwich to show care and love. It's great when they use something like this, something that has been used time and time again to show us how significant the humble sandwich is to the boys, to demonstrate their love and concern rather than to voice it.