Today is Jared Padalecki’s birthday, so we’re celebrating by telling some of our favorite moments – either ones we’ve experienced with Jared himself at a convention, what his campaign “Always Keep Fighting” means to us or what his characters mean to us.
Read some of those moments below!
My favorite memories of Jared are from my convention experiences. I always wear my “Always Keep Fighting” shirts for my Jared photo ops and I love seeing the way his face lights up when he sees it.
The first time I met Jared was at the D.C. convention in 2016. I was a nervous wreck. We walked into the photo op and there he was. What you see on TV does not prepare you for seeing him in person. We were waiting in line, and a fan and Jared had a very emotional moment. Jared got down to this fan’s eye level, and you could see his entire demeanor change. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. Mine certainly weren’t. Seeing Jared’s compassion for his fans was so overwhelming in that moment.
I saw Jared again the Supernatural convention in Pittsburgh in 2017. I walked up to him and he was already smiling and had his arms open. I had one of my AKF shirts for Jared’s photo ops and once again he just lit up and he says “I love your shirt!” When I walked up to him, I told him I wanted the biggest hug he had. He said “You got it,” and pulled me in. Right before we were about to take the picture he took me completely by surprise and squeezed me even harder. When you ask Jared for a big hug, he more than delivers.
Most recently, I saw Jared at the convention in D.C. in November of last year. My only op with him that day was an op with him and Misha that I was sharing with a friend. While my friend was explaining what we wanted for our pose to Misha, I was standing near Jared and once again I had on one of his campaign shirts. I looked up (and up, and up) and Jared and he sees my shirt and he plucked my collar a little and told me again that he loved my shirt. Once we finally got our pose explained he and Misha shoved me and my friend together. We really didn’t have anything planned, so the ensuing pose was all of Misha and Jared’s design. The next thing I knew Jared’s very long leg was swinging at me and Misha was grabbing it. The ending result was pure madness, but it’s one of my favorite photo ops.
Seeing just how much Jared cares about his fans, and seeing that in person is something I’ll always treasure and I’m so thankful I’ve gotten to experience that. Also, you have not lived until you’ve had a hug from Jared Padalecki.
I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Jared on three occasions, Houscon 2017, Supernatural Day in Austin, and recently Chicon 2018 (and in case you were wondering, yes, he really is that tall).
In every instance, he did his best to make me feel welcome, and wanted and safe. I still cherish the picture I took with him, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins in Houston where I was dressed as a Ghostbuster and he insisted on playing with my proton pack. I’ll also remember the #BeanieSquad (if you’re reading this, I hope you love your Pop, Jared). I remember my friend Deb helping me through the crowd to get a picture with him at Supernatural Day, cause I was simultaneously overwhelmed and intimidated at the prospect of asking myself (he kinda has that effect on people).
He’s a giant goofball, there’s no denying that. He made me laugh so hard when he came out during the Houston 2017 gold panel in Misha’s Castiel outfit. But he’s also someone with a heart as big as his home state.
I’ve written before about how his AKF campaign helped me see that the way I was dealing with my anxiety and depression was only hurting me and the people around me. While there were organizations and campaigns out there raising awareness and funds for mental health before AKF, I appreciated his willingness to step forward and be honest about his situation and encourage others to seek help. Speaking from personal experience, admitting something like that isn’t easy. It’s downright terrifying, and I wasn’t the one doing it in the public eye.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, “Thank you.” Thank you, Jared, for the memories and Sam Winchester and AKF. Thank you for now fourteen years that you’ve shared with us both onscreen and onstage. While we know (intellectually at least) that eventually Sam and Dean and Cas’ story will come to an end, thank you for giving it your all and doing the best job you could.
It was the end of a very, very long convention weekend. Panels were done, photo ops were done and all that was left was autographs. As often happens on Sunday nights at Supernatural conventions, autographs got a little messy. I was waiting in one line, but then I had to jump in another line before that guest left, then get back in the first line, the finally finish there and go to Jensen’s line… it was a lot. Finally, all I had left was Jared’s autograph. I had decided to get my copy of Family Don’t End with Blood signed, and I had it all ready to go when I realized: I was the very last person in line. I waited and waited, and finally it was my turn. I was planning on saying what I always say during autographs, “Congratulations on 13 seasons of Supernatural and thank you for being such a big part of my life.” But… the person in front of me lingered for quite a while, so I did not have the chance. Instead, Jared signed my book and when he passed it back, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Guess I’m the last one!” He looked at his handler to confirm, and then stood up. And hugged me. And before I knew it I was hugging Jared and he kissed me on the cheek!
Now, I am one who prides myself in keeping my sh*t together at conventions, and I am able to do this because I rehearse and prepare for all of my interactions with “the faves” throughout the weekend. I COULD NOT HAVE PREPARED FOR THIS. I bet the convention staff got a real kick out of seeing this girl in her “Love Yourself First” shirt flailing her arms and jumping up and down and squealing, not necessarily voluntarily. And not only did they have to endure it, but my friend at the convention had to endure it, the people I was in the elevator with had to endure it, and considering I proceeded to jump around my room for half an hour, probably everyone with an adjacent room to me had to deal with it. But I truly could not contain myself. This was my only Jared interaction of the convention, and it was something I could have never expected and I will never forget.
Jared, you sign hundreds of things for hundreds of people, dozens of times a year. And even still, as the very last person in line, you made me feel special and important. Thank you for that, and a very Happy Birthday. Here’s to many more!
My favorite Jared moment happened at SPNNola. I wanted to do something for my photo ops that was original and not Supernatural related at all. Since I live in Oklahoma, I had a friend design a t-shirt that played up the notorious rivalry between Oklahoma University and the University of Texas. Both Jensen and Jared loved it. It did help that OU had creamed UT a couple of weeks prior. I still remember what Jared said to me, ”Come here, I’ll still hug you even if you are OU,” as he pulled me against his chest.
It was totally hilarious and adorable and everything that makes me think of Jared. He is a wonderful human being who enjoys making others happy. His sense of humor is infectious and you can’t deny his love for his fans when you see him at a con.
Thank you, Jared, for giving me some very special moments to treasure. I’m sending you many happy birthday wishes and I hope you have an amazing day wrapped in the love of your family and friends.
One of my favorite Jared moments is actually from the show itself. In Season 12, Episode 22 “Who We Are,” Sam has what I consider one of the most inspiring speeches in Supernatural’s history. After working with the British Men of Letters, desiring a world free of monsters, a world we know Sam has wanted since the very first episode of Supernatural, he admits to a room full of hunters he was wrong. He admits that’s not what the British Men of Letters really wanted. And then my absolute favorite part, he asks them to follow him. In that moment, Sam became a leader.
I feel like that was a real turning point. Sam wasn’t just a little brother, or just a hunter, or the myriad of wonderful things Sam is. He could do this on his own and lead others. Sam was always strong, but that inner strength Jared portrayed in that moment inspires me to be strong in my own journey. And there are so many more inspiring moments Jared gives us in his portrayal of Sam to be strong, to work hard, to have hope, or to not be afraid to lean on those closest to us when we lose that hope.
And Jared has a way of doing that for us in his own way, too. I’m not sure I’d be as happy and fulfilled in life as I am right now if it wasn’t for stumbling across Supernatural and Jared’s Always Keep Fighting campaign. Hearing his own story helped me to not be ashamed of my own. Jared inspires hope and strength in so many people. I know for sure he inspires me.
Thank you, Jared, for being such a wonderful person! You deserve a birthday just as wonderful filled with family, friends and all the love in the world! Happy birthday, Jared!
So we all know how amazing Jared is, that goes without saying. But I absolutely adore his playful side, and I have two interactions with him that stand out more than any others. The first one was at NJCon 2015. It was my second con and it had been a rough, long Sunday. So when I went in for my op with him, I just asked him for a big hug. Jared proceeded to wrap himself around me and said I got you sweetheart, and then he elbowed me in the side and I cracked up. It’s one of my favorite pictures with him. The second time was during my Jared solo op at Jib this year. I walked up to him, showed him my pose and he was like “Ok, but you’re kind of short.” So I, of course, snarked back at him and said, “Oh I’ve NEVER heard that before.” He laughed, and it was just so much fun.
There are so many facets to Jared’s personality but I think my favorite one is his humility. He always seems surprised at how much people love him and never acts like he’s better than anyone else. He lets his fans see the good, the bad and the ugly and it makes me like and respect him that much more. He is just a really cool dude from Texas that likes to hang out with thousands of us on the weekends. Thank you Jared, I hope you have an AMAZING and wonderful birthday! AKF!
Although I have never met Jared before, I have always admired him as an actor and as an advocate for those who struggle with mental illness. His AKF (Always Keep Fighting) message has swept across the fandom and has truly touched many fans, including myself.
One scene in particular from Supernatural that reminds me of this is in Season 8, Episode 23 “Sacrifice”. As Sam prepares to seal the gates of Hell, he tells Dean what he has prayed about in the church. He prayed about all his mistakes and how each one led Dean to be disappointed. Sam constantly holds that with him everyday, but he never once stops thinking about others and how he can do better. Sam was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice because he doesn’t want anyone else to get hurt because of him.
Often in our lives, we always try to learn from our mistakes and do better for ourselves and others. I think Sam has really tried to overcome his struggles since they began. Sam hasn’t had it easy since he was 6 months old and he never gives up.
That’s why I think Sam and Jared are so important because they teach us to Always Keep Fighting no matter what life throws at us. Happy Birthday Jared and Always Keep Fighting!
There are so many wonderful Jared moments that I’ve witnessed; be it on Supernatural, within gag reels, at conventions, or through the words of fellow Supernatural cast and fans, Jared Padalecki’s presence has touched so many lives, and I find that many people have incredible stories to share about him. I have one favorite memory of a moment I shared with Jared, and it actually took place at this year’s convention in Chicago.
I had recently graduated from my university this past May, and it honestly was such a huge accomplishment and conclusion to one of the most difficult and mentally trying periods of my life. Not only was I constantly suffering from anxiety attacks, I also had undergone a change in my major, was working three jobs (two full-time), and was enrolled in university’s Honors program and had to complete an undergraduate research project. I pushed through and succeeded, though, and did so with straight A’s and Magna Cum Laude!
So, because of this, I made a poster that was a play off of Dean’s speech to Bobby at the end of Supernatural’s first episode of season five, where he says, “What I do have is a GED and a give ‘em hell attitude.” I ended up modifying it to say “Bachelors” instead, and took a Jared and Jensen photo op with it!
My favorite moment with Jared, however, came when I brought the poster to him during his autograph session so he could sign it. Once it was my turn, he grinned at me, and after we exchanged pleasantries, he took a moment to read my sign again. Once he did, he threw his head back with a joyous laugh, and kept smiling while he signed it. He capped his marker, looked up at me, and raised his hand for a high-five.
“Congratulations,” he said, with a smile. “That is amazing.”
It was a fleeting moment, but it was a moment in which I felt that Jared, someone that I have admired for such a long time, was truly proud of me. It honestly made my heart burst with happiness. Thank you so much, Jared. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays, and I hope to see you again next year!
Most of my favorite Jared moments comes from watching him be goofy and silly at conventions. He always seems to have such a wonderfully fun time on stage, and it is hard to keep from belly laughing as you watch his and Jensen’s antics.
The moment that sticks out most for me is during SPNNash 2017 where Jared was making everyone laugh so hard by obsessing over the word “bunghole” and by showing off his rather awful accent skills. I was laughing so hard that my stomach hurt and tears were running down my face.
After reading Jared’s chapter in Family Don’t End in Blood, moments like those mean even more to me. That such an amazing man who has struggled so much can bring that many people joy and laughter by simply being himself is incredible. JARED is incredible.
Happiest of birthdays Jared! Thank you for being you. Thank you for all that you do. But mostly, thank you for making us smile. Have an amazing day!!
I’m lucky enough to have had several very meaningful experiences with Jared. He’s one of my heroes for several reasons, the main one being how he’s helped me come to terms with my anxiety. The interaction between us that sticks out the most in my head took place at the Washington D.C. Supernatural convention in 2017. At this point I had been to a few conventions and interacted with him several times, but I didn’t think he knew who I was. So when I went up with Lynn Zubernis (from Fangasm) and my mom to get his autograph, I was completely unprepared for what he was going to say to me.
Lynn formally introduced me to Jared. He looked up at me with this sly grin on his face and said “oh, I know who Alana is. I’ve seen her videos online. She’s awesome”. I think my mouth opened and closed but nothing came out except a small “thank you”. My mom was obviously unfazed and just struck up a conversation with him. She said “I’m Alana’s mom!” and Jared responded with “Hi Mom, I’m Jared!” before shaking her hand. This is another thing I’ve noticed about Jared. Whenever someone is introduced to him, he always shakes their hand and introduces himself right back. He never expects someone to know who he is, even if he’s at a freaking Supernatural convention. What a sweetheart.
Jared continued talking to my mom even though he had finished signing our items already. “You did a great job,” he said, referring to me, “She’s a good one. I hope my daughter turns out like her.” At this point I just lost it. When your hero tells you that he hopes his own child turns out like you one day… How are you supposed to keep it together? To me, there was no higher compliment that I could’ve been given. I cried for a solid 30 minutes afterwards, during which I saw Rob and Jensen who both asked me what was wrong. My mom spoke for me and just said “Jared,” to which they both nodded knowingly. My tears were happy ones, though.
Jared’s sincerity and kindness continue to touch me to this day. Every time I see him at a convention, I get bone crushing hugs and kisses all over my head. He’s so sweet and encouraging, which I truly appreciate. Happy birthday, Jared! Thank you for being such a beautiful light for me and so many others. To see my open birthday letter to Jared, click the video below.