Sabrina the Teenage Witch (TV series)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Sabrina.gif

That Sabrina character certainly gets around, doesn't she?

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a live-action series that ran from 1996 to 2003, based on the Archie comic book. It was preceded by a Pilot Movie with better production values, but a mainly different and much less memorable cast.

On her 16th birthday, Sabrina Spellman, resident of Westbridge, MA, discovers that she is a witch and has magical powers.

The show was extremely similar in characterization and plot-structure to the 1980s Sitcom Out of This World, but was in fact based on material which predated that show by several decades: the same Archie Comics as the series Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies -- though the animated show went in a very different direction.

Now airing on The Hub.

Tropes used in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (TV series) include:
  • Aborted Arc: Dreama's storyline.
  • Adorkable: Miles
    • Harvey may've been a jock, but he could endearingly socially awkward at times.
  • Affably Evil: Salem.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Sabrina has Salem. Only in Series 6 - 7. In series 1 - 4 he belongs to Hilda and in Series 5 he stays with Hilda and Zelda because he can.
  • Alpha Bitch: Libby was the former Trope Namer for a very long time because she was such a striking example of this.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: In an episode where Sabrina uses magical products to make Harvey more ambitious, to the point where he's alienated from Sabrina and only cares about his ambitions of being a money-making businessman, she shows him what could happen if he continues (a la A Christmas Carol). At the end of the montage they see a party which is Harvey's funeral. They're happy because he was a jerk who didn't spend time with his family and cut down all of the trees (except one) in Westbridge.
  • Animated Adaptation: Sabrina the Animated Series, which received its own sequels in the forms of an OVA (Friends Forever) and a sequel series, Sabrina's Secret Life. Although it was a cartoon first, then a live series, then a cartoon again.
  • Anti-Magic: Witches' magic don't work on vampires in this series.
    • There's also a magical quota when magic is used on mortals, exceed it and magic won't work on that particular person anymore... at least for awhile.
      • This seems to hold true only for memory-related spells.
        • Actually, only the memories of the events are erased; if their nose is broken, for example, it would stay broken and another reason would be put in their head after their true memory is erased.
  • Be Careful What You Say: Good advice when doing magic. The Literal Genie trope runs rampant in the other realm, so when casting a spell a witch has to say exactly what he or she means. Sabrina occasionally lands herself in trouble for failing to make her spells precise enough.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For : One episode had her babysitting a 2-year-old. At one point he is constantly crying until she picks him up and holds him saying, "Be a big boy, be a big boy, be a big boy..." inadvertently casting a spell which turns the toddler into a 40-ish looking man who still has the mind of a toddler.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Several guest stars from the Other Realm have appeared as themselves, including Jerry Springer and the Car Talk guys.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: In an episode when Sabrina is on a cruise ship that enters the Bermuda Triangle, she discovers that her powers no longer work but can instead make wishes that are instantly granted.
  • Berserk Button: Amanda, several times. When she was young, it was being denied things. When she was older, well:

Aaron's Mother: "It's so hard to find a bridesmaids dress that looks good on everyone."
Amanda: Oh, I have melted people for less than that!

  • Big Beautiful Woman: Hilda had a very full figure towards the end and still had a more active love life than Zelda.
  • Bitch Alert: Libby, Amanda and Roxie. The latter two do mellow out eventually.
  • Boot Camp Episode: An episode had Sabrina get sent there by her Quizmaster for crashing a train into the living room, and thus failing her first quiz.
  • Brainless Beauty: Morgan. Sabrina herself temporarily became one in 'Deliver Us From Email' after catching a magical computer virus.
  • Brick Joke: Morgan says that Harvey helped her decide between a tiger print and zebra print blouse, and Harvey says (to get rid of her) that everyone is wearing them at Wal-Mart. Morgan reappears towards the end of the episode now wearing a zebra print.
  • Bridezilla: Sabrina became a literal bridezilla in one episode, when, following the advice of Cinderella, she became extremely demanding, causing her lower body to change into that of a dragon.
  • Broken Aesop: Some people think this applies to the final episode when Sabrina ends up choosing her (magically) destined partner Harvey over her fiancee, despite the fact that several characters tell her that even though their soul crystals do not match, what matters is what what the heart wants...
    • Of course the characters' conjectures still hold true, since Sabrina spends half her engagement questioning her feelings towards the groom in favor of Harvey. It's made blatantly obvious that Sabrina and her high-school sweetie are not only destined partners by magic, but actually love each other more than anything.
  • Bubble Pipe: The episode where Sabrina's friend ends up in the Other Realm has the woman who reads out the laws of said realm blow on a bubble pipe when she's having her conversation with Sabrina.
  • Burn the Witch: Played with in an episode. Sabrina's class visits Salem; everyone was given a little slip saying if they were a witch or not, and were supposed to find the witch. Sabrina loses hers without reading it. After all the predictable accusation hijinks goes down, the teacher announces that nobody had a slip that said "witch", as a lesson to the class about crazy witchhunts. Sabrina finds her slip on the bus home, which says "witch" on it. Salem... is not a good place for witches.
    • In a later episode, Sabrina has the chance to tell mortals about her powers because it's Friday 13th, but Zelda and Hilda advice against it because Zelda almost wound up being burned when her teen best friend told the whole village about her powers (She gets dropped down a well in bucket in the flashback and later states she still doesn't feel comfortable with swimming because of it). Sabrina herself has a paranoiac fantasy in which she gets burned by her class-mates after Valerie tells Harvey her secret.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: In "Sabrina Through The Looking Glass", Baltimore Oriole star Brady Anderson stars As Himself and serves as Sabrina's spirit guide when she becomes trapped inside a mirror world. As she's leaving, he advises her to remember that "life is a team sport." After she goes back, Brady delivers the following line:

Brady: Life is a team sport? How stupid does that sound?

  • Cats Are Magic: Salem.
    • Sabrina turns herself into a cat in the episode in which she enrolls Salem on a pet contest. In a later episode she's almost turned into a cat because of her absorbing Libby's evilness and trying to take over the world (Under Salem's advice).
    • One of Salem's classmates from his time in high-school was turned into a cat because she tried to take over the universe. Salem later developed a stalk-y crush on her, but she wasn't interested.
    • One of Hilda's friends, heavily implied to have dated Salem before his befall, turns into a cat so she can date him after Hilda's brithday party in "Tick-Tock Hilda's Clock".
  • Cats Are Mean: Explained in that witches that try to take over the world, like Salem (or anything larger like "the universe", like one of Salem's dates) are punished by being turned into a cat for 100 years. This doesn't happen to everyone though; Hilda, who followed Salem because she thought he would succeed, only had to keep him worm free until the end of his sentence... until she's freed from it that is.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Salem.
  • Chained to a Railway: Parodied: Sabrina even does the scream-and-struggle seizure, but quickly stops as she realizes that screaming is pretty pointless if you're in a silent movie.
  • Channel Hop: Moved from ABC to The WB
  • Character Development: Over the course of seven seasons Amanda goes from being a Bratty Half-Pint to a decent person, and her and Sabrina are on much better terms. Roxie also starts season 5 as an anti-social moody bitch and ends the series as one of Sabrina's closest friends.
  • Cute and Psycho: Ms. Quick certainly shows shades of this.
    • Some fans will agree that Miles does too.
  • The Cheerleader: Played ridiculously straight.

Sabrina: Oh! I'm glad you guys are home, I'm really worried about Valerie. She's fallen in with a bad crowd.
Zelda: Trekkies?
Sabrina: No worse, she's trying to become a cheerleader.

    • Averted during the sixth season's premiere, when Roxie and Sabrina dress up as nice, and very unlikely cheerleaders for Miles' horror movie.
  • Christmas Elves: Subverted in an early episode, where all of Santa's elves are regular human-sized except one.

Elf: We're Santa's elves!
Sabrina: But you're huge!
Elf: Yeah, guess who always gets in the pictures...

    • This, however, was ignored in a later episode when the aunts hire a couple of short elves.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The series was somewhat notorious for this. Several major or reccuring characters (Drell, Jenny, Mr. Pool, Mrs. Quick, Dreama, Brad and Miles) vanished without a trace.
    • Justified in season 5 when the setting shifted from high school to college meaning that the likes of Mr Kraft and Mrs Quick would still be at the school while Brad and Dreama were off at other colleges. Again justified in season 6, when Sabrina moves back to her house and only brings Roxie and Morgan along (The house only has three rooms).
      • an episode at the beginning of Series 7 later has a television broadcast in the background with the words "...Goodman was shot today." said by the announcers, so he may actually be dead.
  • College Radio: Sabrina and Roxie get their own show, but Sabrina quickly steps down when she realizes she's not a very good host.
  • Color Me Black: Subverted. The morning after receiving a lecture from one of her relatives about the importance of not judging by appearance, Sabrina checks herself in the mirror and is grateful that her appearance wasn't modified in the night. Harvey, however, spends the episode transformed into a beast-man, and Sabrina has to accept him before the curse is undone.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: The reason why Sabrina ends up in trouble every episode.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Miles.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: In the pilot episode, the Alpha Bitch performs the drink spill variant to Sabrina. Later, when she does it again, Sabrina uses her magic to make the drink tilt back towards her.
    • Libby commonly tries to pull this off on Sabrina or her friends, but almost never succeeds or goes unpunished.
  • Cool Cat: Salem is almost as cool as he thinks he is.
  • Cool Loser: Despite being an attractive do-gooder and a model student, she was treated with contempt by both Libby and Vice-Principal Kraft. Libby saw Sabrina as a threat to her own popularity, and was jealous of her grades and likability, but Kraft... well some people are just jerks.
  • Costumer
  • Crossover: Done with both the live action series and the comic.
    • Also did one with Clueless, even if it's only for about thirty seconds. When Cher meets Sabrina, she's confused that she had never seen her, despite that Cher knew everyone at school. Sabrina then disappears when Cher's back is turned, leaving Cher baffled.
  • Cult: Had a cult around a fake "witch" who also hoarded its members' worldly possessions. (And made them eat mungbeans)
  • Cute Witch
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Roxie.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sabrina in the first episode featuring Roland. Also in several episodes involving Harvey, like when Sabrina conjures a silent spell that winds up turning the evening into a silent movie or when she turns the boy into a superhero.
  • Dating Do-Si-Do: Mr. Kraft dated both Hilda and Zelda at different times. Sure it's dramatic, but it would sure suck to be in Sabrina's position on that one.
  • Dawson Casting: Pretty much the whole "teenage" cast but notably Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina) (b. 1976), Jenna Leigh Green (Libby), (b. 1974) and Lindsay Sloane (Valerie) (b. 1977).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Salem.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: Played with in an episode. Jenny really does get a horrible (and dramatically shorter) new haircut:

Harvey: You look different. Are those new earrings?
Jenny: Actually they are.
Harvey: People tell me I'm not perceptive!

  • Dumb Jock: There is an episode where Sabrina writes an article for the school paper exposing the preferential treatment given to school athletes and gets the star pitcher for the baseball team benched until he finishes his assignments. She goes to help him and he has doodled that he hates her and wrote her names with three "n"s.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: One episode has Sabrina struggling with trying to learn this technique; it finally clicks for her by the end of the episode in a moment of anger and frustration, and she easily turns into fire, air, water, and earth.
  • Evil Matriarch: Aunt Irma.
    • Technically, she's not evil, she just likes to get her own way and does, in her own crazy way, care for Sabrina; she even hugs her in Series 7 when she thinks Harvey and Sabrina are getting married. Word of God later states that Irma presided over Sabrina's common-law marriage to Harvey. (This used to be in an X-Files related document, but has since been erased; the document, not the information.) So... Irma just cares that her family marry the best and do the best they can. But, if they tell a mortal that Irma doesn't approve of she will turn the moral... or family member, into a fish or some other house hold item; she turns her own daughter into a ballerina type item and turns Hilda, regularly, into dry fruit in a basket, and even turns Salem, Hilda and Zelda into pigs when called "Prune Face".
  • Evil Twin: Katrina, Jezebelda and all the Spellman twins. Combined with Exclusively Evil.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Hilda and Zelda's Historical In Jokes make their lives two of these.
    • It doesn't help that the women seem to have moved not only through space, but also time, so despite being only around 600 years old they lived through much older times.
      • Note, Hilda is 652 and Zelda is 659, so they've lived rather a long time; this raises the question of just how old Sabrina's father, Aunt Vesta and Aunt Sophia actually are? Irma's over 1,000, so they can't be that old... can they?
        • Also future:

Hilda: I've been in the world's end, this ain't it.

  • Exposition of Immortality: Hilda and Zelda mention that they had all the money because they kept a lot of common items over the time of their extended lifespans and sold them when they found they'd become valuable antiques.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl
  • Fallen Princess: Deconstructed in the episode "Geek Like Me". Sabrina uses her magic to turn Libby into a geek, hoping it will encourage her to change her ways and become nicer when she sees how hard it is. It doesn't work as Libby instead becomes the leader of the geeks and turns them into an elite clique that the cheerleading squad originally was.
  • Fan Service Many of the teenage girls in earlier episodes can be frequently seen wearing short skirts and dark tights. The producers of the show would later admit this was deliberate to boost ratings with young male viewers.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Don't use magic for selfish reasons or to skip work!
    • Or to alter your friends' lives, even if you think it's for the better.
  • Fantastic Comedy
  • Fantastic Racism: Sort of. If you count mortals as a race.
  • Fantastic Voyage Plot:
    • Sabrina enters Libby's brain.
    • Later, Sabrina went inside herself to make room in her heart for a new beau.
  • Fictional Holiday: Bobunk. It's too bad that Salem accidentally deleted it... Only Father Christmas, and Salem himself, remember Bobunk.
    • Christmas later almost became this.
    • Witches seem to have their own traditions for holidays, even the ones mortals celebrate.
  • Firemen Are Hot: Aunt Zelda had a thing for milk-drinking firemen, to the point of making one out of magical dough for a perfect date. Hilda also sometimes asks Salem to "trap himself" in a tree so that a fireman can rescue him and give Hilda a chance for a date (Apparently, this is a regular thing as Salem later refuses, only to be persuaded by food).
  • Flying Broomstick: Flying vacuum cleaners, actually- they work just as well, but one crashed when it sucked up a penny.
  • Free the Frogs: Sabrina and class have to dissect frogs, and it seems to follow real life in that the frogs seemed to come pre-killed. Sabrina and her partner express some disgust over it, though they do it with no big drama. The subversion happens when Sabrina accidentally uses her magic to reanimate the frog, and it jumps off the lab table. The frog was pretty much forgotten about for the rest of the episode, since the plot of it was more about Sabrina learning to control her powers and not about saving a frog.
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Five Easy Pieces of Libby", it's strongly implied that the reason Libby doesn't show compassion for other people is because it's never been shown to her.

Quizmaster: "Don't worry, that piece doesn't exist yet. It's Libby's compassion for others. You'll have to gradually fill that space by showing compassion for Libby, even when she doesn't show it for you. In other words, learn to work together."
Sabrina: "I get it. By the way, could this lesson be any more heavy handed?"

    • Roxie being the way she is gets explained in seasons 6 and 7 when we find out her mother was in prison for theft and her father and stepmother pay her no attention, resulting in her never even having a proper Christmas.
  • Freudian Slip: Used as a plot device, near the end of the series, Sabrina has a Freudian Slip when she meant to say "I love Aaron." What she ended up saying is "I love Harvey!" And she does it again later with "I love you, Billy. Did I say Billy?"
    • One of Hilda's stories from her Expansion Pack Past ends in a literal example. (She trips Sigmund Freud. She even jokes that it was "the first Freudian Slip".)
  • Fur and Loathing: Sometimes fur is worn, and it's fake, and occasionally explicitly mentioned as such.
  • Gender Bender: In one episode Sabrina, Hilda and Zelda all become male, though Zelda only briefly.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    • In "Salem's Daughter", Sabrina finds it hard to believe that Salem has a daughter, to which Hilda replies, "He's 500 years old. He didn't spend all that time watching television."
    • In Mrs Kraft:

Lucy: Oh look your hair's down again. I guess everything *looks Zelda up and down* eventually loses the battle with gravity.

  • Gift Shake: Morgan can determine the contents of any gift by shaking it.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: A rare example of a female geek with a male hottie. Sabrina (Cool Loser though she may be) is the unpopular, science and math loving girl who ends up with popular jock Harvey. (Although most female geeks don't look like Melissa Joan Hart, Maxim covergirl.)
    • During a mixer, Miles hooks up with all the Pop Stars.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In the season 4 episode "Jealousy", Sabrina starts acting jealous when Harvey begins hanging out with other people and her jealousy magically consumes her, causing her to become jealous with people even over petty things like somebody getting a good grade on an assignment in class. (A class that Sabrina wasn't even in, no less.) She even comes complete with Green Eyes.
  • Half-Hour Comedy
  • Hates Small Talk: When Sabrina meets Aaron's parents:

Sabrina: Hi, Aaron's told me so much about you.
Aaron's Dad: Then he obviously didn't tell you I hate small talk.

Hilda: Now, obvious fact number one. Willard hasn’t asked you to marry him yet and obvious fact number two...
Salem: Hee hee hee! You said 'number two'!

    • Another example:

Sabrina: Nothing like being embraced in the bosom of your family on the most special day of the year.
Salem: Hee Hee Hee! Bosom! You said 'bosom'! Ha ha ha ha!

  • High School
  • Historical In-Joke
  • Hot Mom: Technically Hilda and Zelda (REALLY Zelda), even though they are her guardians/aunts.
  • Ho Yay: Harvey's friendship with Brad borders in this.
    • Miles has a short moment with a vampire.
  • Hula and Luaus: Played straight in one episode, in which Sabrina and her twin are competing against each other to see which one is evil. Later, Sabrina learns she has a relative who is a Hawaiian volcano goddess.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Witches have some incredibly bizarre biological quirks, far beyond what their magical powers would imply.
    • Witches themselves may not be human at all, since it's stated several times through the earliest seasons that the Other Realms exists physically in a distant galaxy and that Witches "came to Earth" in some point throughout human history.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Sabrina becomes addicted to pancakes (part of an old Spellman family curse, of which there were many), and at one point gorges herself to bloatation. When she tries to go cold turkey, she experiences withdrawal symptoms, hallucinating that Salem is a pile of pancakes asking if she is hungry, imagining that the school is putting on an elaborate musical number imploring her to eat pancakes, and dreaming that a giant syrup bottle tries to convince her to come away to a haven for witches addicted to pancakes, where she can eat to her heart's content. It was a really weird episode.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In the 17th episode of season 3 (Sabrina The Teenage Writer) Sabrina writes a spy story on a magic typewriter and her characters, which mirror actual characters of the show, come to life. At one point the mirror character of Mr. Kraft (Dr. Bad) captures Harvey's character Derek and and ties him to a buzz saw in order to kill him.

"Derek": There's always been an unpleasant edge to you, Dr. Bad.
"Dr Bad": (with his hands on his ears) I am killing you, just to stop the puns.

    • In that same episode, the Spellmans received a chain letter, which was a letter with an actual chain attached to it. And when Hilda crafted a chain letter of her own to send on, it was made out of literal letters.
    • Also in "Dante's Inferno" Hilda gets a case of "punitis" which causes everything she says to be a bad joke and literally happen-for example when she wants ice cream, she looks in the freezer to find an "eye screaming."
      • Another one of these, which is rather hilarious, is when Hilda asks: "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" Salem LITERALLY has Zelda's tongue in his hand...
    • Really, the inhabitants of the Other Realm just LOVE their puns. Rarely is the opportunity for one passed up.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man
  • In One Ear, Out the Other: In 'Deliver Us From E-Mail' Sabrina contracts a magical virus that turns her into an airhead; at one point Zelda looks into Sabrina's ear and gets a clear view out the other side.
    • In an earlier episode, Hilda is shown to be addicted to using "Mental Floss" in order to push out her intelligence. The string is shown to actually go through her head.
  • Invincible Incompetent: Sabrina went seven years without ever learning even one or two simple spells she could reliably not mess up. Notable in that there usually was no villain except for her mastery of this trope alternately causing and fixing problems.
  • Insult to Rocks: In the Season 3 episode "Sabrina's Real World", Hilda puts on a belt that makes her uncontrollably tell jokes, which leads to this:

Hilda: "You wanna talk about frightening, you should see my mother-in-law. They said she was ugly as sin. Sin sued."

  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Valerie once tried to imitate Sabrina...because of Sabrina misfiring, of course.
  • It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: In one episode, Salem has a huge gambling debt to a guy (who later turned out to be a cheater), and the Spellmans are forced to work for him to pay it off. At his gambling hall, we see women wearing fur wraps. The furs are later stated to be fake when the Spellmans try to make a potion, and a hair from a fake fur is an ingredient.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: Often used by Sabrina, especially on Harvey and Roxie. A good example from the episode 'Sabrina and the Candidate':

Sabrina: I have a question for one of the candidates.
Roxie: We're not taking questions from the audience tonight.
(Sabrina twitches her finger in Roxie's direction.)
Roxie: Although here's a crazy idea! Why not.

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Salem. Josh can also qualify.
    • Amanda in her later appearances
  • Karma Houdini: Libby always wins. Mr. Kraft will always defer to the cheerleaders and give them whatever they want. Of course, after they graduate high school this doesn't make any difference whatsoever.
    • Mr. Kraft applies as well, he gives detentions out for things that would be cause for legal trouble (don't like their clothes, personality, or in Sabrina's case "just because" several times) yet never is reprimanded.
    • Later on, Morgan came and averted the rule. She always ended up with the short end of the stick, despite being mostly an airhead rather than a bitch.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Plastic, one of the most common substances in the world, is the weakness of magic. Subverted though, as only certain types of plastic affect magic and only to prevent magic from working on them. In other words, a witch could theoretically be surrounded by plastic and still be able to use magic. However, this would limit their powers to whatever could be done inside the plastic. (Teleportation and conjuring might still be viable options though, depending on the particular rules of the Sabrina universe.)
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Sabrina returns to first love Harvey instead of getting married when the network refuses to allow an hour-long finale.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall / Genre Savvy: "It looks like the spell went wrong in an unexpected way. How unusual."
  • Leprechaun
  • Literal Genie
  • Literal Metaphor: Quite often, and lampshaded by Sabrina once.

Sabrina: Gee, the Other Realm doesn't understand metaphors much.

  • Local Hangout: The coffeehouse, in the college years.
    • The Slicery in the high school years.
    • The Spellman living room and the newspaper in the final season.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Salem bets and loses the Spellmans.
  • Lottery Ticket: An alternate take on this was featured in an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Sabrina is allowed access to a crystal ball that can answer any question. Her first question was, oddly enough, "What if Kenan and Kel won the lottery?". We then see a short segment of the two losing the ticket and coming to the conclusion that is was inside a sandwich that Kel just took a bite out of.
    • Kenan and Kel actually had an episode where they had and lost a Lottery Ticket, but it was different from the clip.
    • In the fifth season's Christmas special, Roxy buys Hilda several lottery tickets as a last minute gift.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Morgan. NOT Libby. (Although they may have been headed there before Libby was written out of the show.)
  • Lovable Nerd: Gordy, Miles.
  • Magical Gesture: Pointing the index finger.
    • While most witches and wizards use their fingers to cast magic, some others use another kind of gesture (Aunt Irma crosses her arms; Cousin Zsa Zsa Goowhiggie moves both arms over each other twice, while Zelda, Sabrina, Amanda and Marigold use their fingers and sparks, and Aunt Hilda uses a large puff of smoke).
  • Magical Incantation: Sometimes.
  • The Magocracy: Mostly in the first four seasons and plots regarding Hilda and Zelda.
  • Man in a Kilt: Mr. Pool wears one in an episode, as he's of Scottish ancestry. It isn't played for Fan Service, as it just confuses Sabrina, and the principal yells at Mr. Pool for doing so.
  • Meaningful Name: Spellman, and Salem the cat. Katrina would be an example, except that season aired before the infamous hurricane.
    • Also, most of the character's names Sabrina gave for her science-fiction story. The villains were Dr. Bad, Lydia Kissenkill, and Vivian Soontodie. Averted with Derek Kink, since his name was based on Harvey's.
  • Missing Mom: Sabrina's mother is mortal and is not allowed to have contact with her. She turns into a ball of wax if she sees Sabrina without approval from the Witches Council. in the series finale, the Witches Council does allow Sabrina's mom to attend her wedding, but demands that one of the aunts be temporarily turned into wax. Hilda volunteered Zelda and she is turned into a red candle.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Hilda and Zelda at a PTA meeting.
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Borderline-parodied in the episode Sabrina the Teenage Writer, with Sabrina's poorly written Bond villain "Dr. Bad."
  • The Movie: Two of them, although they seem to follow their own continuity. However, since Sabrina dates people, they're probably set after Series 4.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Aunt Hilda once had a problem with her biological clock (a literal magical clock) and began a series of desperate measures to try and become pregnant, including randomly choosing a guy off the street to marry. Sabrina eventually offered her own clock as a substitute for Hilda's, but luckily it all worked out in a timely fashion.
  • Muggles: Pretty much everyone in the mortal realm. Sabrina is "half muggle" herself, or is it mudblood?
  • No Control Group: Parodied: Sabrina's aunts have decided to live apart and Sabrina is seeing what would happen if she decided to stay with Zelda via magic crystal ball. She is shown giving anti-aging cream of her own design to a regular looking Libby (after she gives a speech insulting herself and praising Sabrina) and to a very old looking Mr. Kraft:

Mr. Kraft: Sabrina, you can be honest with me. I'm in the placebo group, aren't I?
Sabrina: Maybe not. It's possible you were given aging cream. However, if you were you'd be suffering from hearing loss by now...
Mr. Kraft: Oh, thank you. These are new shoes, actually.

  • Noir Episode
  • Non-Human Sidekick
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In one Halloween Episode, Hilda and Zelda have Edgar Allan Poe over for scary stories. Salem wants to tell his own and after resistance, he finally gets to. We never hear them, but when we cut back to the house, Hilda, Zelda and Poe are in frozen in scared silence.
  • Odd Friendship: After learning Sabrina's secret, Harvey develops one of these with Salem.
    • He did so too before the big revelation, however briefly, when Sabrina casts a Doctor Dolittle spell on him.
  • Official Couple: Sabrina and Harvey.
    • Roxy and Miles are supposed to become this in the future.
  • Oh, No, Not Again:•An episode had her aunts warning Sabrina about wish magic in which if a witch desires something or someone enough that their magic can make them spontaneously appear. The aunts demonstrate this by saying the name of singer Randy Travis three times and he promptly appears in their kitchen. Travis looks around and instead of freaking out he sighs and says “Hello Hilda, hello Zelda and you must be Sabrina. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
  • The Other Darrin: Similarly to M*A*S*H, very few actors carried over from the original Pilot Movie to the series proper. Other than Melissa Joan Hart, only Michelle Beaudoin, who played Marni in the movie and Sabrina's (first) best friend, Jenny, in the series, appeared in both of them. Hilda, Zelda, Harvey, and the voice of Salem were all re-cast. Libby does not appear in the pilot; a character named Katie fills a similar role. There's also a character named Zack in the movie who acts as Wrong Guy First; he has no analogue in the series, as Sabrina is hot for Harvey (which is more or less requited) from the outset.
    • A more conventional example, during the show's run: the two actors who played Sabrina's father not only looked totally different but the replacement was visibly years older.
    • Cousin Marigold is another example.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: There's a huge case of this trope in the opening scene to the final season.
    • First of all, Aunt Zelda gives up her "adult years" to save Sabrina after Sabrina refuses to give up her true love even though she agreed to to save Hilda (confusing already) and subsequently turns to stone and crumbles. Zelda turns into an 8-year-old to give Sabrina the rest of her life. Wait...WHAT? Zelda just gives up her entire life? Because Sabrina was an idiot yet again? Zelda agrees to this in a matter of minutes after Sabrina crumbles to pieces. Also, Sabrina, usually completely ignorant to most witch-things in the past, knows exactly what Zelda has done. But what is even more unsettling is that Sabrina merely gives her aunt a cheap, poorly written, and rapid "thank you" and tells her aunt that she is ready to live her own life. I guess with Hilda newly married they had no use for her and since Zelda doesn't have some convenient boarding school to be shipped off to (Libby) nor a family that is given a new job in Alaska (Valerie) this was their only option.
      • At least, they gave her a sendoff unlike Miles, Jenny, Mr. Pool, Drell, Mr. Kraft, Dreama, and Brad who just got Chuck Cunningham Syndrome and disappeared without explanation.
  • Only Sane Man: After a while, Salem develops into this role, often either suggesting that Sabrina ask her aunts about the magical problem of the week or reminding her what had happened previously when she used her magic to fix something. Yes, that's right, the cat who was a man who tried to take over the world is the sanest of them all.
  • Palm Fist Tap: A common gesture for Sabrina.
  • Parlor Games: There was an episode wherein in order to undo the wacky spell-gone-awry of the week, Sabrina had to get someone to say a certain phrase — but of course, Sabrina wasn't able to actually say it herself, because that would make things too easy. So instead, she initiated a game of charades and tried to get the person to say the phrase that way.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: The end of "Deliver Us From E-Mail" where Sabrina's Evil Twin causes her to become an airhead with a virus has Sabrina getting Katrina will a "Kill-Em-With-Kindness" spell.
  • Personality Swap: An episode has this happen to Zelda and Hilda who willingly purchase some pairs of magical 'Walk in my Moccasins' to get a better perspective on each other.
    • Also happened, thanks to sunspots, with Sabrina and Libby. However, they did not act exactly like each other — Libby went from being the Alpha Bitch to a Friend to All Living Things, and Sabrina went from being her normal self to militaristic would be Evil Overlord with plans to Take Over the World (with a little prodding from Salem). Done again during Sabrina's time at Scorch magazine, when she tries to make notoriously unpleasant rapper Baby B 2 K "like her" as in enjoy her company, and Baby ends up "like her" personality-wise. Baby ends up baking the paprazzi pecan sandies, and Sabrina takes on a jerk neighbor in small claims court.
  • Pilot Movie: Released shortly before the series began. Had much better production values than the series; set in Riverdale, home of Archie's gang, rather than Westbridge, MA. Also had an almost entirely different cast from the series that followed. Basically exists in an Alternate Continuity, along with other Sabrina TV movies released during the show's run.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: 'Witchright Hall'.
  • Power Perversion Potential From episode 18 of season 3, "Sabrina, the Teenage Writer":

Sabrina: The people in my spy story, they came to life and are running around my school!
Zelda: The only way that could possibly happen is if you accidentally used Hilda's magic typewriter, but she got rid of that years ago, didn't you, Hilda?
Hilda: By "get rid of" you don't mean "kept", do you?
Zelda: Hilda!
Hilda: I'm sorry. I know I was supposed to give it away, but I just... I like writing romance stories with myself as the heroine and watching them come to life... that's not pathetic, is it?

Sabrina: Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt, Brad Pitt."

That's the oldest trick in the book. That's so old mortals are doing it!

  • Punny Name: Gene Pool the biology teacher.
  • Put on a Bus: Valerie is put on one to Alaska.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old - Averted with Sabrina, but her two aunts are both in their mid-600s.
  • Retool: At least twice in seasons 5 and 7, and arguably seasons 4 and 2 as well.
  • Rich Bitch
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Harvey Kinkel in later seasons, but in the end he got the girl.
  • Running Gag: In the first season, Sabrina's notes never went beyond 'Mitosis is...' in several episodes. She finally managed to get the definition out in the season finale.
  • Sadist Teacher
  • Saw a Woman In Half: Cousin Mortimer saws Hilda in half. Things go awry when Hilda's legs run off.
  • School Clubs Are Serious Business: Especially in the episode Geek Like Me.
  • Sealed with a Kiss
  • Secret-Chaser: Notably absent, much to the surprise of all. Until Brad showed up.
    • Libby played this role for an episode. (Sabrina was allowed to tell one friend she was a witch and chose Valerie, who told Harvey. One of them later inadvertantly mentioned it in front of Libby.)
  • Secret Keeper: Harvey Kinkel in later seasons.
  • Self-Deprecation: Sort of occurs in the season 4 episode Jealousy. (In the form of the character insulting the actor who plays him)

Sabrina: Why are you so anxious to talk on the phone anyway?
Salem: I need to call into Nick Bakays sports show on ESPN radio. All he ever talks about is the Buffalo Bills and his voice...lord is it annoying.

  • Series Continuity Error: In the first season, when Sabrina kisses Harvey (a mortal), he is turned into a frog. In the following seasons, Sabrina and Hilda kiss several other mortals without them ever turning into frogs.
    • It's stated to only happen the first time.
  • Shout-Out: At least a couple jokes and references to Mystery Science Theater 3000, possibly because one of the producers is Frank Conniff, who might be better known as "TV's Frank" of MST3K.
    • The first episode to feature Dreama is called "Dream A Little Dreama Me", which is reference to an old love song.
  • Sitcom
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Salem.
  • Spell Book: Sabrina has a big spellbook, though it doesn't tend to do her all that much good.
  • Spoiled Brat: This, plus magic powers is a bad combination in Amanda's case.
    • Check that-bad combo in general. In one episode when Sabrina turns into a Spoiled Brat herself, she starts turning into a pile of slime not dissimilar to a months-old peach.
  • Stanfordian Social Situation: One episode had her class simulate the Salem Witch Trials and, of course, Sabrina ends up getting persecuted by her classmates, led by the Alpha Bitch.
  • Stock Punishment: In the Field Trip episode, at the end of the episode Libby ends up in the stock, but does not get things thrown at her.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Valerie (replacing Jenny) and later Dreama (replacing Valerie) and Brad (replacing Libby). The first is often regarded as an improvement by some fans. The other two not so much...
  • Talking Animal: Salem.
  • Teens Are Short: Melissa Joan Hart is 5'2" making Sabrina much shorter than both of her aunts.
  • Terrible Trio: Libby and her two friends.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Zelda as the mother, Sabrina as the child, and then there's Hilda.
  • Three Amigos: Early seasons: Sabrina, Harvey and Jenny/Valerie.
    • Later season: Sabrina, Roxie and Morgan
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Amanda chanted "I won! I won!" whenever she won some board game or card game.
  • Useless Superpowers
  • Vacation Episode
  • Valley Girl: Morgan, though done with a twist. She's not as dumb as some examples and she's red haired. She gets Flanderised into a straighter example by season 7.
  • Victimized Bystander
  • Walk On the Wild Side Episode: Zelda temporarily moves in with Sabrina and her college roommates and decides to become a "hang-loose gal" which involves eating the entire contents of the fridge, spending all night at a rave, driving around in a van with a guy named Vick and trying to get a tattoo. In this case it's resolved by Zelda's subconscious stopping her from doing something untrue to herself.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the first season, there were recurring characters, like Libby's posse of Jill and Ceecee, Principal La Rue and a girl named Emily that vanish, never to be seen or mentioned again.
  • What the Hell, Hero??: When Harvey found out that Sabrina was a witch, he called Sabrina out on her using magic to mess with his life for years.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In "Deliver Us From Email" Sabrina get hit by a stupidity virus that literally leaves her brainless.
  • Witch Hunt: In a Field Trip episode.
  • Witch Species
  • A Wizard Did It: Or rather a witch. A rare justification for this trope.
  • Worlds Smallest Violin: Principal Kraft, under a spell, mouths off to Libby:

Kraft: Aww, here's the world's smallest violin playing the world's saddest song just for you!

  • You Fail Geography Forever: While otherwise a very enjoyable show, it's obvious the producers never set foot in Massachusetts before creating this show. One episode had lines that placed Westbridge nearly 200 miles west of Boston, which in real life is far west of the Hudson River in New York. Another episode said that the same town is about an hour's drive from Salem, Massachusetts, which itself in real life is about 10 miles north of Boston. The fifth series and on also said that Westbridge is very close into Boston, and heavily urbanised. So, apparently, the Massachusetts in the minds of the producers is about six times the size that it is in real life.
  • You Look Familiar: Charles Shaughnessy played Hilda's egotistical date Alec in 'You Can't Twin' and reappeared later that same season as James Hexton in 'Witchright Hall'. ((This second appearance is probably because Shaughnessy was planning to star as Hexton in the series that 'Witchright Hall' would have become had it been picked up by the network.))
    • Lindsey Sloane, who played Valerie, also played a mermaid in Sabrina Down Under. The fact that the mermaid looks and sounds exactly like her best friend completely passes the attention of both Sabrina and Salem...
    • The actors of both Leonard and James from Season 7 (when Sabrina worked at Scorch) each appeared before: James was a defendant/witness in Season 1's "Trial By Fury" and Leonard was Mr. Kraft's cousin in Season 2's "The Band Episode".
  • Your Makeup Is Running