What I was wondering about is why sometimes the popculture references on the show are of the type 'Ahahaha, Dean.' and other times they are of the type 'Oh, hello pasted-on popculture reference of the week! Look how pasted-on you are!' I never used to get that feeling of pasted-on-ness with BtVS or AtS, not even with the really bad puns. But with all the shows that followed, it's a very small minority of puns that honestly amuse me with their keen insight and sharp zing and just with the funny. But why? Why do they feel so pasted-on a lot of the time?
I mean, it's not even as though they're out-of-character for the characters of Supernatural. Does Dean have a life besides 'hunting demons, killing things' and watching TV at what ever motel they happen to crash at?
(And yes, every week, without fail, I find myself asking... myself, 'Wait, why /am/ I watching this, again?' I suspect that the answer is something to the tune of: because I have even less of a life.)