|Portrayed by:||David Cubitt|
|First appearance:||First You Dream, Then You Die|
|Latest appearance:||The Vault (flashback)|
|Age:||late 30's-early 40's|
|Relatives:|| Norman Bates (son)|
Norma Bates (wife)†
Dylan Massett (stepson)
Francine Calhoun (mother-in-law)†
Ray Calhoun (father-in-law)†
Caleb Calhoun (brother-in-law)†
Sam Bates is the late husband of Norma Bates and father of Norman Bates. He died six months prior to his family's move from Arizona to White Pine Bay, Oregon and his death was the main reason why they moved.
About 17 years before the start of the series, Norma cheated on her then-husband, John Massett, with Sam. She eventually left John to marry Sam, with whom she had Norman, and the Bates family lived in Arizona for years.
Sam was shown dead at the start of the series, when Norman found his body crushed underneath a shelf in their garage. Norma used the insurance money from his death to purchase a motel in White Pine Bay, Oregon and moved there with Norman, who was reluctant to starting over. (First You Dream, Then You Die)
Norma eventually revealed the truth about Sam's death to Dylan Massett; Sam was abusive towards her, so Norman killed him to protect his mother. Afterwards, Norma moved his body and staged an accidental death. When Norman later "found" the body, he had no memory of killing Sam. (The Truth)
When hiding with his friend Cody Brennen from her own father Jimmy Brennen, Norman experienced a flashback to his toddler years. This flashback showed Norma hugging a young Norman tight and assuring him that Sam was not angry, although Sam clearly was. (Plunge)
After arguing with his mother, Norman submerged himself in the bathtub and experienced a flashback where he saw Norma hitting Sam in the head with the blender. (Persuasion)
After Norman found the consent forms, Sam appeared to him and told him that Norma was really the crazy one and that she had lied to him about who really killed him. (Goodnight, Mother)
As Norman was recounting his life as a 7 year old, he revealed that Norma had told him to stay in his room as Sam had been drinking. Norman later found him passed out at the kitchen table when he went to get a drink and when Sam awoke he was terrified. Sam grabbed his son close to him and told him he loved him. When Norma tried to escape with Norman, but was unable to find Dylan, Sam found them and forced them at gunpoint to drive home. He then proceeded to rape Norma as Norman hid under the bed and held her hand through the whole ordeal. (The Vault)
- In the original novel Norman's father was called John. In the film sequels Psycho II and Psycho III it was revealed he was murdered by Norma's sister Emma Spool, although the prequel TV film Psycho IV: The Beginning changed this and claimed that he died after being stung to death by bees.
- In the original novel and 1960 film adaptation, Norma is depicted as the emotionally abusive parent but in the show it is his father who fills that role.