A 1993 [[HalloweenSpecial Halloween-themed]] Creator/{{Disney}} film for [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids "kids"]]. This was the second film directed by Kenny Ortega, previously known for ''{{Newsies}}'' (1993). Now considered [[CultClassic a cult favorite]], the film's rather campy, but pretty entertaining. It does, after all, contain a memorable rendition of "I Put A Spell On You" by Bette Midler. The song "Come Little Children" from this film went on to become a Halloween classic.

The film opens in the year 1693. Thackery Binx (role shared by Sean Murray and Creator/JasonMarsden), a teenager living in Salem, Massachusetts, discovers his little sister Emily (Amanda Shepherd) has gone missing. Emily has been lured away to the farm of the Sanderson sisters, a trio of witches--consisting of older sister/leader Winifred "Winnie" (Bette Midler), middle child/tracker Mary (Kathy Najimy) and little sister/siren-like predator Sarah (Creator/SarahJessicaParker) -- who suck the life-forces of little children to prolong their lives; such is the fate suffered by Emily. Thackery attempts to save her, but the sisters transform him into an immortal black cat. The sisters are soon after captured by the townspeople and hanged. Before her death, Winnie pronounces her death-curse, that "on AllHallowsEve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground."

The scene shifts to 1993. The Dennisons are a California family who have just moved to Salem, bringing along teenaged son Max (Omri Katz) and 8-year-old daughter Dani (Creator/ThoraBirch). Max is a virgin. Halloween night, Max takes his sister trick-or-treating and gets to hang with new {{love interest|s}} Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Allison tells him of the legend of the Sanderson sisters and of a supposed way to revive them; Max laughs and tries it out, bringing the Sandersons back to life. Now the three kids and the immortal cat Binx have to face the witches throughout the night, with the lives of every kid in Salem at risk.

Midler claimed in a 2014 interview that she, Parker, ''and'' Najimy would be interested in playing the roles again if the producers asked. In 2015, [[https://www.facebook.com/BetteMidler/posts/977316588994476?comment_id=977316902327778&reply_comment_id=977347498991385&total_comments=77&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D she confirmed it was not going to happen.]]

[[IThoughtItMeant While a 1994 side-scrolling platformer]] [[SimilarlyNamedWorks by the same name]] [[IThoughtItMeant also exists, they don't have any connection to each other]]. Also unrelated is KurtVonnegut's 1991 novel of the same name.
!!This film provides examples of:

* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Max, Dani and Allison have to flee the witches and zombie Billy Butcherson by following Thackery into the sewers, which are filled with spiders and rats, [[ReducedToRatburgers which is what Thackery eats as a cat]]! Very {{squick}}y to the trio.
* AccidentalMisnaming: In one scene Max introduces himself to the two bullies, Jay and "Ice", and says he's from Los Angeles. They start calling him "Hollywood" from then on.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: During Max's run-in with the bullies, when Max doesn't have any cash or cigarettes to give them, "Ice" mockingly asks what he's supposed to do with his afternoon. Max suggests that he learn to breathe through his nose, and Jay starts laughing until "Ice" glares at him.
* ActuallyRealMagic: Max thinks the tale about the candle is laughable, and lights it.
* AdultsAreUseless:
** The children tried to get help from their parents and the rest of the party-goers. They don't believe them and think it's some kind of Halloween prank.[[note]]In their defense, the parents ''quickly'' catch on that something is in fact quite wrong and that their kids are serious... but the witches manage to cotton on to how Halloween works in the modern day and play it off as a joke introduction for a song-and-dance number.[[/note]]
** They also tried for help from the man they thought was a police officer. (He was only in costume.)
* AllHallowsEve: The Black Flame Candle only works on this day, and once lit, will not last beyond this day.
* AllPartOfTheShow: What the adult party-goers think of the Sandersons taking over the stage and singing a song to them, to the point they indulge in audience participation and sing too, thus ''[[RefugeInAudacity unknowingly enchanting themselves]]''.
* AllThereInTheManual: The screenplay has some enlightening dialog that sheds a bit of light of certain things:
** Winnie's spellbook belongs to (or once belonged) to Satan, and it is valued to the sisters because the information within it can change to be whatever they want whenever they want, making it the ultimate endless evil weapon of ever changing spells.
** If a witch touches salt, it burns her skin. This is why a circle of salt protects against their magic.
** While the sisters look human, their bodies are essentially their souls being contained in a body made of candle wax.
** If the witches consume enough children, they'll be immortal.
** Thackery is not exactly "immortal". While Winnie taunts him that he will live forever, he actually has only 9 million lives and will die when he uses them up. At one point, he says that he has used up 321 of them but there "are only so many ways to go."
* AllWitchesHaveCats: Inverted. The witch sisters transform Binx into a black cat ForTheEvulz. By the time of the main narrative, he's their sworn enemy. As mentioned in Animal Motifs below, Mary's more like a dog.
* AltoVillainess: Winnie, with the voice of Bette Middler backing her up.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: The Sanderson sisters are hanged, not burned, which is much more historically accurate to the fate of most of the Salem witches.
** A more subtle example occurs in the song, "Come, Little Children". While "thee" is most often treated as singular, it's also the correct pronunciation of the plural form "Þe", which modern typography renders as "ye". Said plural form ''was'' in use in 1693, though rapidly falling out of fashion.
* AlwaysWithYou: [[spoiler: A freed Thackery tells this to Dani just as he and Emily are about to head to Heaven.]]
* AmbiguouslyEvil: Whereas Winnie is evil and scheming, Sarah and Mary are basically dumb and more or less harmless -- until Sarah's NotSoHarmless moment. If Winnie wasn't around they probably wouldn't even be villains.
* AndIMustScream: Ironically, This would have been Winnie's fate at the end, had she succeeded in draining Max's life force, having violated hallowed ground.
* AnimalMotifs: The animal itself is never mentioned, but Mary's appears to be a dog, what with her tendency to bark, her power to smell children, and the way she's always at Winifred's side.
* BadassNormal: The kids fight against witches and zombies without any kind of special power of their own.
* BerserkButton: The minute someone calls Winifred "ugly" she starts handing out the DisproportionateRetribution.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Sarah skips along in a daze "prattling idiotically" in the words of her elder sister, but her voice can lead children to their death.
* [[BigBadDuumvirate Big Bad Triumvirate]]: The Sanderson sisters, ostensibly - though from very early on, it's quite clear that Winifred is the dominant one, thus making her the BigBad and Sarah and Mary her CoDragons.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Thackery Binx and Max are both deeply protective of their little sisters, and Binx projects a lot of his feelings about Emily onto Dani.
* BigEater: Mary Sanderson is clearly implied to be this with ''children''. How else do you think she got so much bigger than her sisters?
* BlackMagic: Mind Control, life stealing, turning people into cats, lots of nasty dark stuff here.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: The three witches; Sarah is blonde, Mary has dark hair, and Winnie is a redhead.
* BrainlessBeauty: Sarah, the youngest and most attractive of the witch sisters is none too bright. She'd rather "prance around idiotically" as Winfred would put it.
* BrattyHalfPint: Dani keeps mocking her brother for being a virgin. It's possible she just doesn't know what it means but she does still keep saying it to get a rise out of him. She also mocks her brother's attraction to Allison and to Allison's "yabbos" in particular.
%%* BrattyTeenageSon: Max is this in the beginning, but he gets over it.
* BrickJoke: At the beginning of the movie, the two bullies steal Max's sneakers from him; at the climax, when they plead with him to help them, he refuses, but takes the opportunity to take the sneakers back.
* BullyingADragon: The three witches were about to go easy on the two bullies and leave... Until they [[BerserkButton called them ugly.]]
* BurnTheWitch:
** Averted in a Disney film! The witches are hanged, just like the real "witches" of Salem. (Of course, this is a rare case where the "victims" are truly guilty of witchcraft.)
** Subverted later. The kids trick them into a walk-in kiln and burn them, figuring that's the way to get rid of a witch. They probably got the idea from ''Literature/HanselAndGretel'' rather than the Salem witch trials. The candle's magic keeps them from perishing completely.
* ButtMonkey:
** Max, whose virginity is repeatedly invoked and commented on.
** Billy Butcherson easily suffers the most physical abuse of any character, getting his head knocked off on two separate occasions, and his fingers crushed when he's coming out of the sewers and a motorcycle rides over top of the lid. That's not even going into Winifred poisoning him and sewing his mouth shut so that he can't speak even in death.
* CardCarryingVillain:
** Winnie Sanderson at one point says to her sisters "We are witches, we are evil!" But then, being that they got their powers by selling their souls to Satan, this probably just represents a realistic view of themselves.
** Also, during "I Put A Spell On You" song:
--> ''Your wretched little lives have all been cursed 'Cause of all the witches working I'm the worst. [...] Ask my sisters.''
--> ''(She's vicious!)''
* CatsAreMagic: Binx, a teenager who [[BalefulPolymorph was transformed]] into a black cat by the Sandersons. He has the ability to speak, and he is effectively {{immortal|ity}}.
* CompellingVoice: Sarah's primary power - her song about halfway through the movie calls '''all the children in Salem''' to the Sanderson sisters' home, and lets the viewers know that [[NotSoHarmlessVillain she isn't as harmless as she appears to be]] (up to this point, she played the part of TheDitz and was Winifred's punching bag).
** You can hear Sarah sing at the beginning of the film as that's how she lures Emily Binx to the Sanderson sister's cottage and kicks off the plot.
* ConvenientSlowDance: Parodied: While the Sanderson sisters are in "[[{{Satan}} The Master's]]" house, Sarah goes to "The Master" and says, "Master, wouldst thou dance with me?" She then makes a tender slow dance with him... until his wife shows up and sees them both dancing, which triggers her BerserkButton.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Sarah tortures the two bullies by force-feeding them Halloween candy. (They were already sick from it in the previous scene.)
* CreditsPushback: Because of this, the Creator/DisneyChannel no longer airs TheStinger for the movie.
* CreepyCemetery: It relies on elements from the rest of the movie to add the creepiness factor. It's actually a PlaceOfProtection since witches "can't set foot" on hallowed ground.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: Winnie tries to remember the life potion's recipe but gets stuck at a dead man's....something. Aforementioned Cuckoolander Sarah abruptly shouts out "Dead man's toe!" but is shushed. As Mary and Winifred continue to try to remember the ingredient, Sarah [[FunnyBackgroundEvent shrugs and wanders off screen.]]
* CurseEscapeClause: An accidental one: Winifred cursed Binx to live forever with his guilt over having been unable to save his sister, but once the witches are finally killed, Binx's sister has been avenged, so he no longer has a reason to feel guilty--and thus the curse is broken, with Binx finally dying but being able to join his sister in the afterlife.
* DarkerAndEdgier: For Disney in general. There's a child death in the prologue alone! Any more so, and they'd likely have changed the label to Touchstone.
%%* DeadpanSnarker: Max and Binx. Winnie has her moments, as well.
* DefiantCaptive: Dani, when captured by the witches. Dani tells Winifred directly that she's the ugliest person ever, and that she sold her soul.
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: Thackery and Emily go to Heaven at the end. Thackery consoles a grieving Dani.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Pissing off Winnie usually gets you this.
** Thackery Binx was already going to have his life sucked out of him for trying to stop the witches from killing his sister, but he makes the mistake of [[BerserkButton calling Winifred a hag]] and is instead damned to a FateWorseThanDeath in the form of being trapped in the form of a black cat... for all eternity... living with his failure.
** In case of Billy Butcherson, Winnie's lover. Winnie poisoned him and sewed his mouth shut after she caught him sporting with Sarah.
* DisneyDeath: Binx revives after being crushed by the bus. In a darkly humorous twist, it only seems this way because the characters (and presumably the audience) forgot that he couldn't die (though it also sets up his death later). When he revives, he shrugs it off like it was nothing and is legitimately surprised that the others were concerned.
-->'''Binx:''' (as though getting run over by a bus is the most normal thing in the world) "I hate it when that happens! What? I told you, I can't die."
* TheDitz: Sarah, "Amok-amok-amok-amok!" among numerous other examples.
* DoNotCallMePaul: One of the two bad boys, "Ice", hates being called "Ernie."
* DontGoInTheWoods: The witches lived in the woods prior to their execution.
* DyingCurse: At her hanging, Winifred pronounces that "on AllHallowsEve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground" and then all the children will be theirs.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Sarah's first appearance after being resurrected.
-->'''Sarah:''' My lucky rat tail! Just where I left it!
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Winnie apparently can't understand self-sacrifice, especially for a family member.
* EvilIsHammy: In contrast to everyone else's more subdued performances, the Sanderson sisters and their actresses are certainly enjoying themselves.
* EvilIsPetty: Dozens of helpless potential victims are lumbering mindlessly into the Sanderson sisters' clutches, but Winnie insists on going after Dani because the girl called her ugly.
* EvilPlan: The witches want to be young and beautiful forever but they need to retrieve their spellbook from three human children and a cat.
* EvilRedhead: Winifred the witch has red hair.
* ExtremelyShortTimeSpan: Except for the 1693 prologue, the entire movie takes place in the span of about sixteen hours.
* EyeAwaken: The book is alert at the end of the movie.
* FakeWizardry: Max is able to scare the witches long enough to flee with his friends by convincing them them that he has powerful magic. He does this by setting off the sprinkler system with a lighter, neither of which the witches have ever seen.
* FateWorseThanDeath: The party at the town hall, at least after the witches take over the proceedings. "Dance until you die!"
* FemmeFatalons: Winifred's sharp nails.
%%* FieryRedhead: Winifred.
* FlyingBroomstick: Played straight and then parodied when their brooms are stolen, forcing Sarah to fly on a mop and Mary on a vacuum cleaner.
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself:
** Max wears street clothes when he takes Dani trick-or-treating. His father Dave thinks he's supposed to be a hip-hop deejay, while Dani insists he's a Little Leaguer.
** The Sanderson sisters are dressed as stereotypical witches because, [[CaptainObvious that's what they are]]. Meaning they're attending Halloween as themselves, but just happen to fit in extremely well.
* FreezeFrameBonus: In the cable version, the "phone number" that Max ostentatiously hands to Alison is just the famous FiveFiveFive exchange...and nothing else. The real movie contains a seven-digit FiveFiveFive number.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes:
** Dani going on about Max's nonexistent sex life.
** Also, "You sold your soul!" to Winifred.
%%* FunctionalMagic
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: During a scene where the witches are hiding from firemen after Max sets off the sprinkler, Winnie explains to Mary they must be witch hunters, whereas Sarah notices "a pretty spider" [[{{Squick}} and proceeds to eat it]].
%%* GenkiGirl: Sarah.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: There's so much obvious sexual references being tossed out that it's like Machine Gun Fire Getting Past The Radar. From ''Disney'' of all companies!
-->'''Winifred:''' We desire...''[[EatsBabies children]]''.\\
'''Bus Driver:''' Hey, it may take me a couple of tries, but I don't think there will be a problem.
** Max's virginity is a plot point. At the same time, he is, for some reason, constantly getting shamed and picked on for being a virgin... at ''sixteen.'' It's implied that the only reason Dani harps on him about it so much is because, like most of the kids her age watching the movie, she has no idea what it means, just that it's something bad.
** Sarah shamelessly flirts with every male she sees, and is likewise hit on by numerous men who leer at her. There's also her idea for what to do with Binx: "Hang him on a hook and let me play with him?" There's no possible was it was read so suggestively by accident.
** When Billy the zombie's fingers get smashed by the sewer lid (due to a motorcyclist riding over it), his middle finger extends upward.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The witch sisters claim to have received their powers from the Devil, thus making him responsible for all their evil. However, the fallen angel is otherwise not involved in the plot.
* GoodAllAlong: Billy Butcherson turns out to be this by the end of the movie, helping the kids protect themselves against the witches to the best of his abilities. The only reason the kids - and the audience - didn't know was because his [[MouthStitchedShut mouth was sewn shut]] by Winnie.
%%* HairTriggerTemper: Winnie.
* HandsomeLech: Sarah is a rare female example. It's honestly shocking for a Disney film that she flirts with every single male she comes across--from Thackery to Max to Billy to a random bus driver to Max's bullies to a random costumed man at the party...the list goes on and on. And despite being rather attractive and flirtatious, there is no evidence to suggest she actually is successful with men or boys. Moreover, her idea of [[ColdBloodedTorture fun]] probably isn't what most men anticipate.
-->'''Sarah:''' Thou wouldst hate me in the morning.\\
'''Bus Driver:''' No I wouldn't![[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe ...st]].\\
'''Winifred:''' ''Believe me'', thou wouldst.
** When they are deciding what to do with Binx, Sarah says, "Hang him on a hook and...let me play with him?" in a very suggestive but creepy manner.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Invoked in setting up the VirginShaming RunningGag.
%%* TheHecateSisters
* HeelFaceTurn: Billy starts out chasing the children. They just barely manage to slip out of his arms at the party -- in front of their parents, no less. (Mom wishes she had a camera.) Ultimately, he sides with them after he rips out the threads holding his mouth shut.
* AHellOfATime: According to Winifred, hell is quite lovely.
* HeroicSacrifice: Subverted. [[spoiler: Max interferes with the witches plans to save Dani. Unfortunately for the Sanderson sisters, and fortunately for Max, they are out of time.]]
* HolyBurnsEvil:
** When Winifred sneezes, a passing little girl (in costume as an Angel) says "Bless you!" prompting all three sisters to react with horror.
** As per the spell that only resurrected them for one night, the Sanderson sisters will be turned to dust when the sun rises.
** Witches can't set foot on hallowed ground and when Winifred tries to quickly kill Max in the graveyard before sunrise, she's [[TakenForGranite turned into a stone statue]] for standing in a holy place. As if that weren't enough, when the sunlight hits the statue, it explodes.
%%* HotWitch: Sarah
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne:
-->'''Jay:''' Man, how come it's always the ugly chicks that stay out late?!\\
'''Winifred:''' ''Chicks?''
** Contrast with Winifred's offense at Dani calling her "Ugly."
* IdioticPartnerConfession: At the beginning of the film, the Sanderson sisters are trying to convince the angry mob that they are not witches:
-->'''Winnie:''' Don't get your knickers in a twist! We're just three kindly old spinster ladies.
-->'''Mary:''' Spending a quiet evening at home.
-->'''Sarah:''' Sucking the ''lives'' out of little children!
-->[Winnie chokes Sarah]
* IfICantHaveYou: Winifred's reason behind killing her ex-boyfriend is that he dumped her/cheated on her with her sister.
* InfantImmortality: {{Averted}} in a Disney movie! The Sanderson sisters kill Emily.
-->'''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick:''' First plot point, death of a child.
* IntellectualAnimal: Binx can talk and knows a lot more about what's going on then anyone else.
* IronicEcho: At one point, Winifred swoops in on the kids, taunting them with Max's earlier line, "It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!"
* ItsPersonal: The witches spend much of the time trying to capture and kill Dani, but when she calls Winifred ugly, this very trope makes her even more determined to capture and kill Dani.
* JumpScare: The scene where Max and Allison rush to Dani's bed to wake her up, only to find ''Sarah'' hiding under the sheets. The accompanying ScareChord is what makes this moment effective.
%%* LargeHam:
* LaughablyEvil: The witches are surprisingly comedic considering the fact that they drain the life out of children, particularly Sarah.
* LifeEnergy: With the help of a potion, the witches could just take a few long whiffs and their victim will be dead.
* LightIsNotGood: Beautiful, sunny-haired, ditzy Sarah, singing sweetly to lure children to their deaths at the hands of the witches.
* LiteralMetaphor: "I Put a Spell on You" as sung by Winnie, is not ''just'' a song.
* LittleMissSnarker: Dani comments on Max's crush on Allison and lack of sex-life in general. She also snarks almost every other opportunity. After Max lights the black-flame candle and all manner of visuals and sound effects occur:
--> '''Max''': What happened? \\
'''Dani''': A ''virgin'' [adjusts her witch's hat] lit the candle.
* LivingForeverIsAwesome: You might think the Sanderson sisters are {{Vain Sorceress}}es but eternal youth is only half of what they want.
-->'''Winifred:''' We want to live ''forever''. Not just until tomorrow!
* LoopholeAbuse: *"This is hallowed ground. Witches can't set foot here." What they ''can'' do is hover over it and reanimate a corpse.
* MagicMusic: "Come Little Children" and "I Put a Spell on You" combine this with Compelling Voice. Both of them work magic through lyrics.
* MultipleDemographicAppeal: A major reason that the film ended up being a CultClassic instead of [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids "just another kids' movie"]]. It's ''just'' dark enough to satisfy viewers who came in expecting a horror movie, with enough humor to satisfy viewers who might have preferred a comedy, enough child and teenage characters to appeal to younger viewers, a love story for fans of romance, a ton of musical numbers from Bettle Midler and co. for music-lovers, and a surprisingly earnest story of sibling love for viewers who might prefer a drama.
* MurderByCremation: The main characters do this to the trio of witches. However, [[spoiler:they are later revived by their magic book, and the kids have to come up with a different plan.]]
* TheMusicMeister: The SignatureScene has Winifred enchanting a town hall full of partygoers to literally dance themselves to death. Doubles as a memorable VillainSong too: "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaC-WDrvmUQ I Put A Spell On You]]."
* NatureAbhorsAVirgin: Surprisingly matched with VirginPower. Virginity provides the wherewithal to bring Satan's minions to earth but subverted in that Max never gets over his virginity. (This being a Creator/{{Disney}} film, and Max being 15.)
* NewAgeRetroHippie: Max appears to be this at first, and gets treated this way by most of the other characters, and who can blame them? Max does wear a tie-dyed T-shirt and harbors radical left-wing beliefs (such as his suspicion that Halloween is actually a conspiracy on the part of the candy companies). He ultimately subverts the stereotype [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar when he's offered a marijuana cigarette and he turns it down]].
* NeverTrustATrailer: Some Creator/DisneyChannel commercials omit any reference to the children, instead appearing to promote the witches as the stars.
* TheNineties: Max's ''hair'' alone dates this movie.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Max lights the enchanted candle to impress Allison, showing that he's not afraid of an old legend. Binx nearly says the trope name when he reveals to Max he can talk.
-->'''Binx:''' ''(sarcastically)'' Nice going, ''Max''.
** Hoping to undo the curse cast on Binx, Allison and Max open the spellbook to find an answer, only for it to emit a glowing orange light that gives away their exact location to the witches.
* NoManShouldHaveThisPower: When Max finds out how dangerous the Winifred's book is he is GenreSavvy enough to try to destroy it on the spot. Unfortunately it's protected by dark magic which makes this impossible.
* NoOntologicalInertia:
** The party-goers are cursed to dance until they die. The curse ends when the witches die. The curses binding Binx and Billy to life also break.
** A zigzagged example is when after the Sandersons are led to burn in the school kiln and the group believes they have won, Binx is still alive as a talking cat, and Allison believes another spell is necessary to undo the curse. It turns out to be because the witches are not ''truly'' dead yet.
* TheNoseKnows: Mary can smell children from very far away (possibly a ShoutOut to ''Literature/HanselAndGretel''); this leads to a rather humorous scene, where she can smell them all over the place, but can't see them, and starts to lament that she may have lost her powers. (They're all in plain sight, but the Halloween costumes are confusing all three of them.)
** An interesting case of DidTheResearch, at that; the original purpose of dressing in costumes on All Hallow's Eve was to hide from monsters, and the Sandersons certainly qualify.
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: Billy, unless you count two-timing on his lover "evil". The whole reason he's assumed to be evil for most of the movie is because [[MouthStitchedShut his lips are sewn shut]] and he can't speak; when he finally manages too, ''then'' he's able to express his true loyalties.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: The Sandersons may seem comically bumbling about 80 percent of the time, but you'd be wise not to mess with them when they ''really'' get angry. Sarah in particular seems a harmless, ditzy woman through most of the movie. Then she starts singing sweetly, luring children into the trio's clutches, and you ''know'' she's deadly.
* OffscreenInertia: The last we see of Jay and "Ice", they're still locked in their cages singing a round of "Row Your Boat". Granted, the main trio knew they were there from Dani's earlier rescue, but who knows how long they were left to stew.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: The mob in the prologue successfully subued the three witches and strung them up on a gallows. It doesn't look like they suffered any casualities either.
* OhCrap: Billy reacts in this way ''twice'', each time just before he (literally) loses his head.
* PainfulTransformation: Thackery Binx's tranformation into a cat is intentionally painful because this trope was invoked by the Sanderson sisters.
* ParentService: Sarah shows a lot of cleavage, and you get a very good view of her cleavage during the second singing of "Come Little Children".
%%* PillarOfLight
* PleaseWakeUp: Dani to Binx near the end. It's harsher than the standard because he was immortal up until then.
* PoliceAreUseless: Subverted -- the apparent cop who bullies the children and insults Max's manhood is only in costume.
* PrecisionFStrike: The times within the space of a few minutes when Billy says phrases that involve the word, "Hell!"
* ProductPlacement:
** "[[{{Satan}} The Master]]" gives [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Bar Clark Bar candy bars]] to the Sanderson sisters. They think they are chocolate covered fingers of a man named Clark.
** Also, while still at "the Master's" house, Mary turns on the TV and sees [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ABvOay1g7U a commercial for DuPont Stainmaster with a running baby in it]], and [[{{Squee}} she gets ecstatic]].
* PsychopathicWomanchild: Sarah is so childlike, it's very easy to forget she's homicidal and very dangerous, and her idea of "play" likely involves death and, at one point, possibly torture. Sarah Jessica Parker's delivery makes her lines less creepy, until you think about them. One line sums her up instantly.
-->'''Sarah:''' My lucky rat tail! Just where I left it!
%%* RedheadInGreen: Winifred.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: Thackery is cursed with the ability to revive from anything that kills him.
* RevengeBeforeReason: The witches could have won if they'd given the potion to the two bullies, but Winifred wanted specifically to consume the life force of Dani, who had [[ItsPersonal called her ugly]].
%%* RuleOfFunny
* RunningGag: Max's virginity is referenced oh so often, sometimes as a metaphor for idiot. His eight-year-old sister, Dani, only mentions it three times. It has been theorized that Dani was just getting her big brother's goat without knowing virginity's meaning, but the contexts belie that interpretation. On the other hand, she also twice mocks Max's attraction to Allison (and her "yabbos").
* SalemIsWitchCountry: That's where the protagonist witches were from, and reappear to do their evil.
* SanityBall: Is briefly held by Sarah and Mary when they point out to Winifred that they don't need to chase after Max and Dani because they've already got a kid to feed their potion to, and thanks to Sarah's singing more are coming to the house. They can always make more potion afterwards because they've got the book back, [[ItsPersonal but Winifred's too dead set on getting back at Dani for calling her "ugly" to care.]]
* {{Satan}}: Never appears in person, but the Sanderson sisters call him their "master" (when meeting a man in a "devil" Halloween costume and mistaking him for the real thing), and a museum sign claims he gave Winnifred her spell book.
* SchmuckBait: The candle that is said to bring back a trio of witches is lit during Halloween. Binx calls Max an "airhead virgin" for falling for this.
* SeekingSanctuary: cemeteries are hallowed ground, and any witch who sets foot on hallowed ground gets turned to stone.
* SequelHook: The final shot before the credits shows the book waking up again, implying that either the sisters STILL aren't gone for good or some other evil force is calling to it. However, a sequel still hasn't been made.
* SeeYouInHell:
-->''' Billy Butcherson:''' Go to Hell!\\
'''Winifred:''' Oh! [[InsultBackfire I've been there, thank you. I found it quite lovely]].
* ShadowArchetype: Max begins the film extremely self-centered, over-dramatic, short-tempered and showing an enormous amount of disdain for his annoying but loving little sister. Comparisons are drawn with Max and Binx, but the stronger parallels are with Max and Winifred, an extremely self-centered, over-dramatic and short-tempered witch who despises her incompetent, yet devoted, younger sisters. Sarah and Mary follow Winifred into what will clearly be their own demise and die after a clumsy attempt to save her from Max, a gesture Winifred would hardly return.
-->'''Winifred:''' [[spoiler:What a fool to give up ''thy'' life...for thy ''sister's''.]]
* ShockAndAwe: Winnie can fry painful electrics blasts from her fingers.
* ShoutOut: During the "I Put a Spell on You" number, Winnie calls out, "Hello, Salem, my name is Winifred! What's yours?" This is a nod to Mama Rose in ''{{Gypsy}}'', who said, "Hello, world, my name is Rose! What's yours?" (which was spoken by Louise earlier) Doubles as an ActorAllusion when Bette Midler played Mama Rose in the TV version on the same year that ''Hocus Pocus'' was released.
** At the beginning of "I Put a Spell on You", Winnie gives out a shout-out to one of Music/EltonJohn's songs:
--->'''Winifred:''' Now the {{witch| with a capital B}} [[Music/EltonJohn is back!]] And there's hell to pay.
** Also, the "I Put a Spell on You" number is an {{homage}} to Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who wrote the song, [[BeamMeUpScotty although the original actually started with "I put a spell on you, 'cause you're mine."]]
** Winnie also gives a nod to Music/TheBeatles when she {{shock|AndAwe}}s Max:
--->'''Winifred:''' Hello... goodbye!
* SkepticNoLonger: Max initially makes jokes about the witches, and believes that Halloween itself is a candy company conspiracy. Then the witches show up, he is berated by a talking cat, and is then onboard with the "magic is real" message.
* SolitarySorceress: The witches' cottage seems to be just outside of old Salem (but not so far as to be inaccessible to the mob), though by the modern day it's within the limits of the town.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Binx snarling [[TotallyRadical "Nice going, Max!"]] in his standard 17th-century Colonial accent.
* SpellBook: Bound in human skin, and emblazoned with a living human eye, no less.
* TheStinger: A number of them. After we see [[spoiler:Thackery and Emily finally reunited at the gates of {{Heaven}}]], the end credits are accompanied by the following: Dave and Jenny Dennison and all the other townspeople stumbling out of the town hall in their costumes, with Dave commenting that "I thought L.A. was a party town!"; [[OffscreenInertia Jay and Ice still locked in birdcages in the Sandersons' lair, pitifully singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" to pass the time]]; and a final tip-off that the Sanderson sisters may be NotQuiteDead.
* SummonToHand: If the spellbook is nearby, Winnifred can call to it and it will float over to her.
* SurroundedByIdiots:
-->'''Winifred:''' WHY? Why was I cursed with such IDIOT sisters?\\
'''Sarah:''' Just lucky, I guess.
** Binx as well. Max and Dani are about as sharp as bowling balls, with Allison flip-flopping between good decisions and bad ones.
* {{Symbolism}}: Pay very close attention to the background during the climax, after Binx attacks Winifred and is thrown to the ground: the grave he landed by is that of his sister. He dies on her grave[[spoiler:, and then his spirit is reunited with hers right after]].
* TakeAThirdOption: At the end, Max either has to give up the potion or Dani dies. What does he do? He drinks the potion instead.
* TakeMeInstead: Max drinks the potion to keep Winifred from force-feeding it to Dani. "What a fool to give up ''thy'' life... for thy ''sister's''."
* TakenForGranite: Winifred. The result of her standing on hallowed ground while trying to steal Max's life.
* TalkingAnimal: Binx the talking cat.
* TerribleTrio: The three witch sisters, of course.
* TitleDrop: "C'mon, it's all just a bunch of hocus pocus." Winifred later repeats the same line in a mocking way when they're flying/chasing after the protagonists through the graveyard.
* TogetherInDeath: [[spoiler:Binx's spirit reunited with his sister in the afterlife.]]
* TomTheDarkLord: Winifred, Mary, and Sarah; not evil-sounding names. They're actually very ''common'' names.
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Winifred's spellbook. Bound in human skin (complete with human eyeball) and given to her by {{Satan}} himself. Plus, it's at least partially sentient.
* TooDumbToLive:
** The kids during the final scenes [[spoiler: in the graveyard. Dani is safely protected by a circle of salt - with enough space for the other two to join in the circle as well. Yet they opt to fight the witches outside of it. Then Dani decides to ''leave'' the circle to help Billy get his head back. This very nearly costs her her life and then almost her brother's. At least partly justified since a child her age would realistically make such decisions.]]
* UndeathAlwaysEnds: Thackery's cursed immortality at the end, along with his sister, who has apparently been a ghost for 300 years.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Yabbos" to describe what Max loves. According to [[http://www.imdb.com/search/text?realm=title&field=quotes&q=Yabbos IMDB]], "yabbos" was used in ''[[Film/AnimalHouse National Lampoon's Animal House]]'' for breasts in the phrase "major-league yabbos."
* VainSorceress: The witch sisters are delighted to have become young and beautiful again in the prologue after draining life from a child.
* VampiricDraining: The three witches do this to a young girl to maintain their youth.
* VillainBall: Winnie holds it pretty hard at some points, but the worst is when the three sisters have everything they need to win, at least temporarily -- enough potion to suck the lives of at least one child, which would give them enough time to live at least past Halloween and make more, plus the spellbook and a whole crowd of children on which to use it, and Winnie gives up the perfect opportunity to go get the life of one specific child, who called her "ugly." Even given that Winnie had been shown many times beforehand to be vain, self-centered, arrogant and vindictive, you would still think she would insure that she would live past the end of the night, then go after Dani.
* VillainSong:
** "I Put a Spell on You" qualifies as both this and MagicMusic. Winnie openly gloats over what she's doing to the party-goers, even as she's doing it.
--> "The ''witch'' is back, and there's ''hell'' to pay!" \\
"Your wretched little lives have all been cursed 'Cause of all the witches working I'm the ''worst''! [...] Ask my sisters." \\
"(She's vicious!)"
** Sarah gets one in the form of "Come, Little Children", which she sings to lure the children of Salem to the witches' lair.
* VirginityMakesYouStupid: Virgin is almost a synonym for idiot, and Max [[NeverLiveItDown never lives it down]].
* VirginPower: A virgin can resurrect the witches. Probably ''only'' a virgin can.
-->'''Max:''' ''(after feeling the room shake)'' What happened?\\
'''Dani:''' A ''virgin'' ''(referring to Max)'' lit the candle.
* VirginShaming: The audience is reminded every five minutes that [[OverlyLongGag Max is one]] because no one can believe that a guy his age is still one.
* TheWeirdSisters: The plot revolves around the EvilPlan of three witches, the Sanderson sisters, to suck out the souls of the children of Salem, Massachusetts.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** What happened to the three girls who got the Sandersons' brooms?
** The last we saw of Max's house was the Sanderson sisters completely destroying the top floor. One wonders what his parents will think when they finally get home.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Happens to Binx in the beginning when he is cursed. It's deconstructed as ''eventually'' he gets tired of moping around and starts doing something with his eternal life.
* WitchClassic: of the WickedWitch type. Three of them sucking the souls out of little children.
* WitchWithACapitalB: Winnie does this in a nod to Music/EltonJohn during "I Put a Spell on You"; see ShoutOut.
* WouldHurtAChild: The Sanderson sisters drain Emily's life.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe:
** The Sanderson sisters, and Thackery and Emily Binx, and the rest of the Salem townsfolk in 1693. By the time of the main narrative, 300 years later, Binx no longer talks like that, presumably because he was influenced by the change around him in the English language over time. The witch sisters have not because they've been dead all this time.
** Played with on the bus:
-->'''Sarah:''' Thou wouldst hate me in the morning.\\
'''Bus Driver:''' No I wouldn'st!
** One {{egregious}} example:
-->'''Sarah:''' Come little children, I'll take ''thee'' away.[[note]]Should be "you"; "thee" is singular.[[/note]]
* YouCanTalk: Max's first words to Binx the talking cat.
* YouNeedABreathMint:
** When [[spoiler: Billy insults Winifred]], Max gets a whiff of his breath and almost loses his lunch.
-->'''Max:''' Say what you want, just don't breathe on me!
** It's also relevant to Max's first run-in with Jay and "Ice".
-->'''Ice:''' Gee, we don't get any smokes from you. We don't get any cash. What am I supposed to do with my afternoon?
-->'''Max:''' Maybe you could learn to breathe through your nose.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: For a little while, it seems that [[spoiler:the witches have been cooked in the school oven. They were, but it didn't stick]].
* ZombieApocalypse: Averted; it's just one zombie and [[spoiler:he's not exactly evil.]]
* ZombieGait: Billy's silly zombie stumble.
[[spoiler:[[OverlyLongGag Virgin]].]]