can u explain why people see dean admitting he likes chick flicks as some sign of character growth? to me its kinda thw opposite tbh. the fact that its taken dean over a /decade/ to *begrudgingly* admit on his *death bed* that he kinda, maybe, under some circumstance, likes chicks flicks is a sign just how little hes grown. and him calling a brother saying goodbye to a DYING sibling a "chick flcik ewww girly emotions" i itself statement the toxic masculinity
I get what you mean, when you put this into a real life situation it is quite absurd that a guy would go to such great lengths to avoid any sign of femininity and it truly is toxic masculinity at its finest.
However, when you put this into the context of a long running TV show where the characters have long established character traits that an audience has come to expect to see, any subversion of those traits AT ALL is suddenly a huge deal. Because it is the show (the writers) itself making a comment on one of its main characters personality traits and pointing out that this is a flaw that said character is trying to address.
Unlike in real life, every decision that the creators make has meaning. Every slightly ‘feminine’ trait that Dean displays is a comment on his changing character. Yes, it is a long time coming and yes, it is taking forever so it seems, but it is still there. We are not where we were in season 1 when Dean was that macho dudebro who objectified women and adamantly denied liking anything even remotely girly in case he ‘caught the gay’.
But it isn’t just the final admittance of liking chick flicks alone that has lead to our celebrations of Dean’s character growth. It is many many little things that we have picked up along the way. The pink ipod, the Taylor Swift song, the Patrick Swayze obsession (meaning he’s actually liked chick flicks all along), the Dr Sexy fetish, the pink panties, the booty shorts, the ballet shoes… it all adds up.
Besides, that moment with Sam wasn’t Dean saying ‘eww gross no chick flick moments’ because of toxic masculinity. It was him making a joke to cheer up his brother and break the tension because he was facing his own death. A joke that they have made several times in the past because it is an ‘in joke’ between them going back to when they first started hunting together after Dean met Sam at Stanford. In the reality of the show, like the “jerk, bitch” moments, the ‘no chick flicks’ rule is another silly brother thing they do to tease each other, because, lets be honest here, they have ‘chick flick’ moment in practically every single episode of the show, and they KNOW it too… especially after Marie and her ‘Boy Melodrama’ explanation in 10x05.
So Dean huffing and saying ‘no chick flicks’ to Sam isn’t him brushing it off or regressing back to his dudebro ways, its him embracing the term, acknowledging the joke in their ridiculous lives, which is why Sam then says “yeah you love chick flicks” and Dean agrees, because the fight drains out of him then and he isn’t able to keep up the joke in the seriousness and the sorrow of the situation.
The character development in that scene was Dean’s acknowledgement of years of chick flick moments, years of emotional, heartbreaking moments spent with his brother that his past self could never have imagined when he first made that ridiculous rule that he broke in episode 2 of the show anyway. Dean knows this, because Dean has grown since then, he is more his own person now than he ever has been before, and him finally letting the joke drop and admitting the truth to Sam was just another way for him to reveal a piece of himself to his brother before the lights went out.