Sam: How many are there -- how many other worlds or -- or universes or realities or whatever?
Chuck: I don't know. Kinda lost count. Most of them are boring. One's in reverse. In one, there's no yellow. One of them's just all squirrels.
God aka Chuck has created many worlds within a multiverse. While usually separate, they can sometimes be accessed via portals. These worlds may be very different from Earth or similar with minor changes. Chuck tells Sam he lost count of how many universes there were, claiming that most are boring, citing to Sam a universe in reverse, one without the color yellow, and one that is entirely inhabited by squirrels.
In addition to these alternate worlds, characters may find themselves in an Alternate Reality constructed by a powerful being or induced by a drug, or they may find their own universe altered by time travel.
In 2020, Chuck starts destroying these alternate universes, excepts for the Winchesters' world. He explains that some of these worlds are simple to destroy, but others are more complex and will take time and extra attention to completely obliterate. The worlds he destroyed thus far include The Bad Place and Earth 2 where he watched the destruction of these worlds on various TV screens.
Worlds in the Multiverse
Fairies live in a realm separate from ours, although they can move between their world and ours. The land of Oz is situated in the fairy realm.
Oz can be accessed from Earth through the use of a special key that turns any door into an entrance to Oz. The only other method of entry into Oz is through natural disasters like tornadoes, the eye of a hurricane, or whirlpools.
French Mistake World
Balthazar sends Sam and Dean into an alternate universe, ostensibly to keep the key to where all the angelic weapons are being stored safe from Raphael. They find themselves in a world where their lives are the basis of a TV show, and they are actually actors - Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. In this universe spells don't work, and the supernatural doesn't exist. When they get back to their own universe, Sam and Dean find out the whole thing was a diversion so that Castiel could access the weapons.
- Episodes: 6.15 The French Mistake
Trivia: In Season Two of the series You, a journalist refers to working on a story about Jared Padalecki. When asked about it, creator Sera Gamble said that the series took place in the same universe as 6.15 The French Mistake.
Apocalypse World is located in an alternate universe, one in which the forces of Heaven and Hell are fighting in an eternal battle with humanity caught in the middle. It is connected to the normal world by a portal opened by the Nephilim son of Lucifer -- Jack.
- Episodes: 12.23 All Along the Watchtower, 13.01 Lost and Found, 13.02 The Rising Son, 13.07 War of the Worlds, 13.09 The Bad Place, 13.14 Good Intentions, 13.18 Bring 'em Back Alive, 13.20 Unfinished Business, 13.21 Beat the Devil, 13.22 Exodus
The "Bad Place" is a world located in an alternate universe, where giant monsters appear to be the dominant species of the planet.
A ghost sends Sam, Dean, and Castiel into a TV where they enter the world of Scooby-Doo, meet up with the Scooby Gang, and join forces to defeat the ghost.
- Episodes: 13.16 Scoobynatural
Tentacle Porn Land
"Tentacle Porn Land", so dubbed by Dean, is the home of the tentacled cosmic deities Yokoth and Glythur. Not much is known of their universe other than that Yokoth and Glythur have consumed most of it.
- Episodes: 13.17 The Thing
In 15.09 The Trap, Chuck reveals that the endings Sam has been seeing are not His drafts for possible endings for Sam and Dean but rather Chuck's memories of alternate reality Sams and Deans. These worlds also include alternate versions of Benny Lafitte and Lucifer while alternate versions of Jody Mills and Bobby Singer are mentioned.
Earth 2 was an alternate universe that Chuck used as His hub while wiping the slate clean of all other universes, except the Winchesters' world. Key differences to this Earth include two moons in its sky as well as Hilary Clinton being the President of the United States and the world making successful efforts in combating climate change. Earth 2 is destroyed by a meteor shower after Chuck spends four weeks squatting in a Radio Shed store, eating junk food and destroying other universes as he watches these events on the tv screens.
- Episode: 15.12 Galaxy Brain
AUs in Fanfiction
In fan fiction set within the universe of the Show, an AU refers to a story that diverges significantly from the canon. Generally the writer will choose to alter key events in canon (known as the Point of Divergence (POD) ) e.g. John dies when Sam is a baby and the boys are raised by Mary, Dean doesn't go to hell, or Castiel falls and becomes human.
Some stories may become AU as new information is later revealed on the Show. This is especially true of stories written between seasons, where a fic is based on certain assumptions of what may occur that are then disproved by later canon (also known as being Jossed, a term coined in relation to Joss Whedon and the Buffy verse). In Supernatural fandom the term Kripked was coined to describe the opposite phenomenon - when events in fan fiction are later confirmed by canon.
If a story is generally compliant with major events, the introduction of a sexual relationship between characters - whether it's Wincest, Destiel, or Gabriel/Balthazar, is not considered to make a story an AU.
Some stories may be set in a totally different universe e.g. Sam, Dean, and Castiel are professional bull riders or FBI agents or baristas. These stories more closely resemble original fiction in that the characters share little in common, other than their names and some personality traits, with their canonical versions. These stories are very common in RPF fics. In RPF AU stories are essentially original fiction, where the major characters are named, and occasionally very loosely based, on real people.
- The Big Damn SPN RPS AU LIST by Janissa11
- SPN AU comm
- AU Fanworks by Fanlore
- Alternate Universes on TV Tropes
- Please, Please, Please Give Me More Coffee Shop AUs by The Mary Sue
- Millennials can’t stop writing fanfiction about coffee shops by The Daily Dot