Charmed is a show that ran from 1998-2006, wherein three San Francisco-based girl-power witch sisters vanquish demons through the triple powers of CGI, rhymes, and lots of cleavage, whilst dealing with personal relationship drama.It was moderately successful, with a cast of beautiful women and hunky guys. It experienced a Series Fauxnale in the seventh season, only to be brought back for an eighth season and a series finale that many fans believed was one of the best episodes of the series, despite the general dislike for season eight overall (mainly due to the introduction of Billie, a supposed-to-be replacement witch for the sisters).The series successfully returned in comic book form in 2010 thanks to company Zenescope, receiving mixed to positive reviews from fans and critics alike. There are talks as of 2013 for a rebooted series on CBS, which hasn't set well with stars Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan.
Charmed provides examples of the following tropes:
Achilles' Heel: For all their power, Whitelighters and Elders can be mortally wounded by arrows tipped with Darklighter poison. Additionally, a wounded Whitelighter/Elder cannot heal themselves in this event (but another, unwounded one can).
Adaptation Expansion: So far the comic book series is definitely a good example of this, in fact it seems to have taken a 5 year Time Skip and has continued with the foreshadowing of the final season. This is helped by the fact that three of the original writers of the TV series were hired on by Zenoscope to continue the story. It's also helpful that a few of the first draft scripts for season 9 were recovered and part of those stories are being used to recreate the feel of the TV show.
Aesop Amnesia: The Utopia arc in Series 7 has the sisters go along with the Avatar's plans to change the grand design, despite the numerous times beforehand they've seen how badly this tends to go.
Alas, Poor Villain: Lulu and Frankie, the ghosts who possessed Cole and Phoebe in "Paige from the Past". Despite being villains, you can't help feel sympathetic when it's revealed that their entire Unfinished Business was simply wanting to get married. Considering that they'd have likely moved on afterwards, Piper interrupting the ceremony comes across as kinda a dick move on her part. Of course, sympathies are lessened somewhat by a line of dialogue that reveals that along with being robbers, they were also serial/thrill killers.
Alice Allusion: In the season 8 episode of Charmed "Malice in Wonderland" teenagers, all of whom are named with some variation of the name “Alice” (Alicia, Alexis, Alistair) are being lured down a manhole by a demon, who either shape-shifted into a white rabbit or was wearing a t-shirt with a white rabbit on it inviting them to a garden party and telling them they are very late. They turn up later with no memory and appear to have gone insane from the Wonderland-inspired illusions they experienced “down the rabbit hole”.
All Abusers Are Male: Almost every demon is male. The evil warlocks are mortal men who can use magic, while the good witches are mortal women who can use magic—and although the inverse does exist, most evil female witches on the show get away with not being called warlocks because they don't kill other witches to steal their powers.
Subverted in the first episode of season 4. Paige's firm is dealing with a case about an abused child. Paige is convinced that the father is the abuser and gets manipulated by The Source into trying to kill him, to punish him for this. When her sisters stop her the man turns to his wife and says "I'm not covering for you anymore. Keep your hands off our son."
Another episode features a pair of demonic bounty hunters who are abusive to a child with powers. One of them is female and is not portrayed sympathetically.
Also subverted and lampshaded in the episode with the sisters' grandmother who dislikes the fact the Wyatt is male due to her own past experience with a demon she was in love with. The demon was evil and using her but also genuinely loved her. She comes to learn by the end of the episode that while some men are evil men in general are not inherently abusers and that her prejudice is wrong.
All Myths Are True: Angels? Check. Vampires? Check. Titans? Check. Human representations of the animals in the Chinese calendar? Sure, why the hell not?
An interesting case occurs with Pandora's Box. In the season 3 episode "Sin Francisco", Leo claims a box holding the seven deadly sins inspired the legend of Pandora's Box, implying it didn't exist. The season 7 episode "Little Box of Horrors" would have the Charmed Ones deal with the actual Pandora's Box.
The names of The Charmed Ones all start with a P. (Prue, Piper, Phoebe, Paige.) Not a requirement, but a conscious decision of their mother Patty and Patty's mother Penny. Averted when Piper started having sons of her own (the family previously had had exclusively female births for centuries), and started giving them relatively ordinary names.
The eighth season also had the Triad members Asmodeus, Baliel and Candor, with the demon Dumain at their service. No wonder they didn't want the demon Xar among them...
The seventh season featured Avatars known as Alpha, Beta and Gamma, although whether these are their real names or a hierarchical naming device is unclear.
In the comic continuation, Phoebe has continued with the P name tradition, her currently named daughters are P.J and Parker.
Astral Projection: This becomes Prue's second power. It never fully develops before her death, so her original body seems to go unconscious, and her main power of telekinesis is useless, as her astral clone can't use it and her original body is disabled. Miss Donovan in season seven learns to project a physical astral body in a similar manner.
A second form of astral projection is the ability to create an intangible, invisible spectral form. This is used by season one villain Rex, who can implant hypnotic suggestions this way, and by Barbas, who uses this form to make people's fears reality.
Author Avatar: Constance M. Burge stated that the Halliwell sisters were based off her and her own real life sisters. Three guesses which one Pruewasbasedon.
Babies Ever After: Paige and Phoebe are revealed to have three children of their own. And Piper finally gets the daughter she'd foreseen all the way back in Season 2.
Bad Boss: Demons are quick to kill their underlings for even the slightest infractions. They'll even kill their underlings for not saying exactly what they want to hear at the time. About the only way a demon can hope to last long is by having a skill that's really hard to replace.
Bad-Guy Bar: Not named, but there's the demonic strip club where Cole gets lap dances from a shapeshifting demon who morphs into Phoebe, and the demon bar where a collection of demons watch Witch Wars. There's even a 'normal' bar example where some biker types hang out and where Prue's astral self used to go to unwind and flirt with danger.
Bad Powers, Bad People: Done in the most annoying ways possible. For most of the show, there is no middle ground: if you have "evil" powers, then you are evil, period. Strangely, some good and evil powers are functionally the same — orbing and blinking are both teleporting powers. If a witch suddenly starts blinking, then she's obviously evil because blinking is a warlock-only power, and warlocks are all evil. Occasionally justified by the fact that powers are tied to a specific emotion, and it is hard (though not impossible) to do good things with a power that is powered by hate. It's also occasionally justified by the way one gets those powers. Evil powers generally get given to people who will abuse them while good powers end up with good people. That was the selection criteria for the Whitelighters and Darklighters. In general, bad ("demonic") powers tend to corrupt people; hence why Phoebe got Drunk on the Dark Side in the series 6 episode "Witch Wars" when she absorbed all those demonic powers from an athame.
Baleful Polymorph: The sisters get turned into other things quite often across the entire series. An evil-powered Piper turns a couple of people into pigs wearing blankets. Phoebe also turned a particularly chauvinistic advice columnist into a turkey twice and a pig once.
Ball of Light Transformation: Orbing, the form of teleportation used by Whitelighters and Elders. A sufficiently powerful witch can affect the person while in orb form, as shown at the end of season five when Chris sends Leo to Valhalla.
Bare Your Midriff: Phoebe's belly button deserved its own billing in the credits. The other sisters weren't so shy about it either.
Barred from the Afterlife: This is Cole Turner's final fate - he ends up stuck in limbo, too good for Hell but too bad for heaven. In the after comics, he is offered a chance at full redemption by working with Prue.
Battle Couple: Piper and Leo (after he becomes an elder). Lightning bolts and explosions everywhere!
Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Although the respective characters change due to Character Development and cast changes. The first seasons have Prue (Brains), Piper (Brawn) and Phoebe (Beauty). In later seasons, it's Piper (Brains, after she got promoted to eldest sister), Phoebe (Brawn, especially when she uses She-Fu) and Paige (Beauty, being the sister with the least experience). More accurately, it started out in the ways described, but the She-Fu turned out to be infectious (except for Piper, though she has her exploding power) and they're all played by Hollywood hotties anyway, so really it ends up being the one with the most of X quality.
Becoming the Mask: Belthazor, who was originally charged with stealing the Book of Shadows and/or killing the Charmed Ones, manipulates Phoebe in order to get close enough to do so. Over time, he ends up falling in love with her and does (an albeit temporary) Heel-Face Turn.
Beware the Nice Ones: Leo is a peaceful healer who often gives words of advice to the Charmed Ones. But people forget that he was a medic during World War II and if anyone threatens Piper, he will kill. He has killed an elder and even helped a magical group wipe out free will (though he didn't quite realize this at the time).
Black and White Morality: You are either good or you are evil. Yes, you have to choose and then there's nothing in between. The only ones who don't follow this are the Angel of Death and the Avatars, but they are an entire class of their own, not something in between. To break it down: witches are good, demons are bad. More specifically, anyone who are allies with the Charmed Ones and they like them, they are good. Anyone else is bad. Even the neutral ones because you can't trust anyone who is neutral. Also, all witches after they first get their powers, must decide if they are good or evil within 24 hours.
Black Eyes of Evil: Some demons, like the Source, have them. As do anyone possessed by the Shadow/Hollow/Nexus.
Black Magic: Practically all dark witches, warlocks, demons, dark lighters, and so forth have used one form of evil-based magic spell one way or another.
Blah Blah Blah: Paige once had a date that was so immensely boring that all she heard was blah blah blah; when something more interesting came up she heartily answered "blah!" and happily ran off.
Blood Knight: Paige, who's the most vocal about killing Cole in Series 5 and often the first one to suggest resorting to violence to solve a problem. Her tendency to do this lead Television Without Pity to jokingly refer to her as "Raige".
Fittingly, she wound up becoming the Goddess of War in the Titans two-parter.
Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The season 5 finale turns the sisters into Greek Goddesses. Paige had red hair at the time and Phoebe's was turned blonde with Piper keeping hers brown. Paige hersef also cycled through all the colours having black hair in season 4, red in season 5, blonde in season 6 and brown for the rest of the series.
When two nymphs turn Paige into a nymph in season 5, they fall into this trope.
Blondes are Evil: Quite a few blonde evil witches pop up, including a trio of blonde sisters who served as another set of evil counterparts to the sisters. Paige even makes an in-joke in the episode when looking back into Phoebe's past when she was temporarily corrupted by evil, and notes that she was blonde before considering that she was evil.
Though not a straight example, Piper's ability to seemingly stop time demonstrates this when she freezes bullets, and that tends to happen on occasion. The same goes for Cole when he's stockpiles up on demonic powers in Season 5.
In a second season episode, a hired hit-woman goes after the Sisters and attempts to gun them down. The action momentarily slows down to show Prue using her powers to stop and repell the woman's bullets back at her. And in a seventh season episode the action slows down again while Kyle has Phoebe hostage, a gun pointed at her head as he demands to talk to Avatar Leo. Time slows when Leo throws lightning at Kyle, Kyle throws a vanquishing potion at Leo, and Phoebe just barely dodges the bullet fired from Kyle's gun.
Burn the Witch!: Phoebe really did get burned at the stake in "Morality Bites". Though it's averted when the sisters get sent back to the 1700s and when they're outed as witches they get hanged instead.
Call Back: The episode "All Halliwell's Eve" had a scene where Phoebe is told her true love's name begins with a C. At the time, she thought it meant Cole, but it turns out at the end to mean a Cupid named Coop.
Card-Carrying Villain: Pretty much every bad guy in the show is one of these, if they are not pretending to be human. The Underworld is fully comfortable with being Evil and openly admits to it. The head of the Underworld is even called "The Source of All Evil".
The most dramatic example is Piper, who in the first two seasons was the quiet, shy, mousymiddle sister content to fade into the background while Prue and Phoebe took center stage. During Season 3, and especially into Season 4, circumstances, including the death of Prue and her acquiring a newer, much more aggressive power, she was forced to adopt a no-nonsense, take-charge attitude about things and become the matriarch of the family. She never got over her desire for a normal, magic-free life, but she became much more adaptable to the perpetual crises the family faced.
Chainmail Bikini: Paige has one. It looks as flimsy and unprotective as you'd think.
The Chosen One: Rather The Chosen Ones or The Charmed Ones. Wyatt is also called the Chosen One, disregarding his ability to wield Excalibur.
City of Adventure: The Source of all Evil, along with the Avatars and everyone else, seems to focus entirely on San Francisco.
Class Reunion: Piper had one in "Coyote Piper" and Phoebe's in "Hyde School Reunion".
Clip Show: Framed as a time-travelling memory spell in "Cat House".
Close Enough Timeline: In "Cat House", Phoebe and Paige go time-traveling through Piper and Leo's past, thanks to a botched spell. They manage to figure out how to fix most of the changes they cause, but they accidentally break Piper and Leo's wedding-cake topper and the episode ends with it still broken.
Played for Laughs briefly, when Paige in Season 5 tries to colour-code the pages of the Book of Shadows with sticky tabs for more efficient research. Piper is not amused.
Piper:(ranting) "Beings of evil are red, creatures of good are white." Oh, yeah? Well, what's a Bunyip? Because it's not good or evil, so what the hell color is that? (finds the page with a red and white tab) Oh. Well that's confusing.
In the season one episode "Which Prue Is It Anyway?", Phoebe tries to color-coordinate a trio of Prues.
Comic Book Adaptation: In 2010 they continued with Season 9 and 10 in Comic book form, which has been very successful.
Conflict Ball: In Season 5, the sisters (especially Phoebe) were distrustful of Cole and constantly expressed as much. It didn't matter that Cole was constantly trying to do good, either. The stated reason was because of Cole's turn as the Source of All Evil, but these episodes overlooked that Cole didn't choose to be the Source at all. (Instead, he had been possessed by the old Source and overtaken.) The sisters themselves were even told as much by the wizard ("He didn't die. He was reborn into a new sorry ass.") and Cole's new personal assistant/failed seductress ("You've ruined him. Made him pathetic, weak, good.") near the end of Season 4. Their distrust was rooted in a severe case of Negative Continuity.
Continuity Nod: Sometimes when they're flipping through the Book of Shadows you may notice pages that came from earlier episodes or even seasons. It gets a little more obvious that each page added for an episode never got taken out, because the book seems to get noticeably thicker by the end of the series. This works though, because the Sisters had by the later seasons started adding their own stuff to it. When Paige goes back to 1967 in "Witchstock", the book is appropriately much thinner.
Coolest Club Ever: P3. Although after neglecting it for a bit, Piper has to work to make it popular again.
Cop Boyfriend: Andy for Prue in the first season. This then becomes something of an attraction for Paige: she has Kyle Brody in season seven, an unnamed cop in season eight, and Henry in the same season, who she then goes on to marry. For Paige, at least, she meets all of them because of her Charmed duties.
Courtroom Episode: "Crimes and Witch-Demeanors" has the Charmed Ones arguing for Darryl's life before a tribunal that's charged to keep magic secret, and has manipulated reality to frame him for murder in order to do so.
Crapsack World: Whether you are born powerless and easy prey for demons and warlocks, with good powers but often too weak to be useful and are targeted by same demons and warlocks, with bad powers that are useful but with no real choice but to be evil or find a way to get rid of your powers, or are born with strong good powers like the Charmed Ones, earning you constant assassination attempts by the various forces of evil for the rest of your life. You lose regardless, with the temporary exception of the Charmed Ones who still lost a sister to even achieve a temporary truce.
Creepy Child: In "We All Scream For Ice Cream" reveals the existence demonic children who are incredibly powerful.
Paige: I can understand wanting to take a break from guys, but c'mon already, she's gonna wear out the batteries.
"Do you think Prue will have sex with someone other than herself this year?"
Dating Catwoman: Or in Phoebe's case, being married to the source of all evil.
Deadly Upgrade: Happens when people who aren't meant to be Empaths take (or are given) a legit one's power anyway. However, Prue really turns it Up to Eleven: powers in Charmed are fueled by emotion, and the more emotional you become the stronger your powers become. So, when Prue gets the empathy power she feels more emotions (specifically, those closest to her), so her empathy power becomes stronger. Its area of effect therefore increases, so she feels more (further off) emotions, so her empathy power becomes stronger again, so her area of effect increases again—positive feedback continues ad infinitum. Unfortunately, on top of the fact that these power boosts occur quicker than she has time to adjust to them (making them exponentially unstable), she still has her original powers, which logically "piggy-back" on the gains made by the empathy feedback loop. Given that one of them is telekinesis, the result is ... interesting.
Inverted. Drake dè Mon, played by Billy Zane, makes a deal with a sorcerer to become human (as in, to gain a soul rather than lose one) but keep his demonic powers with the condition that using them offensively will cause him to be sent to purgatory (as in, he's forced to be good rather than bad). The deal only lasts for one year, after which Drake will die anyway (as in, the only thing this means for his place in the world is that he's now on a clock to die), but as it turns out the whole deal was made with help from Cole as part of a Batman Gambit to restore Phoebe's faith in love (as in, the underlying force behind the deal was doing something good).
Another inversion, Cole was willing to transfer the essence and powers of the Source to a Wizard. Only for the deal to be ruined by Phoebe under the influence of the Seer and the unborn Source kid.
Derailing Love Interests: A unique case with Phoebe and Cole where both lovers were derailed. First was Phoebe at the start of season 5 when she suddenly decided Cole was responsible for everything that was bad in her life and blamed him for all her problems. She even went so far as to try and make a vanquishing potion for him.
Deus ex Machina: Paige, whose existence was only revealed in Season 4 after Prue dies, in order to Complete the Power of Three.
Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: One of Page's boyfriends says this when he falls under the effects of the truth spell and inadvertently blurts out the fact that he's married.
More literally than not in the case of Phoebe, who spontaneously levitates out of danger (indeed, its how she got the power to begin with).
In fact, all the sisters have developed at least one power this way: Piper learnt to freeze time initially when Jeremy tried to stab her in the face, Prue got her empathy under control just as a demon was about to murder her sister, Paige orbed for the first time in the just as she was about to crash into a lorry (as well as the aforementioned healing) and Phoebe's levitation has already been discussed. In season 9, when the source attacks, not only does Piper's molecular combustion power also develop radically but Paige gains the power to form an "orb shield" (basically a force field with added sparkles).
Disappeared Dad: Three times. Victor was forced away because he didn't want his daughters to use magic, Sam had to abandon Paige to save her from the Elders and Chris missed his father when the latter was busy as an Elder. At least in the former two cases, Daddy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning Them.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Another whitelighter, Natalie, briefly serves as this in "Blinded by the Whitelighter" for the sisters when she prepares them for battle. Unlike Leo, she refuses to coddle them, leading them to half-jokingly suggest vanquishing her at one point.
The first episode mentions the Three Essentials of Magic: timing, feeling, and the phases of the moon. It's never brought up again, nor is there any indication in the rest of the show that the moon's phases have any effect on their magic. With the exception of an episode where, under a strange occurrence involving a blue moon, the witches are turned into ferocious beasts who maul Whitelighters. It's also commonly pointed out that their powers are linked to their emotions.
In the second episode one of the shape-shifting demons held on the book and tried to get it out of the house by carrying it. Never once did it shock him like the evil sensing and shocking book that would come later. It's heavily implied that the shapeshifter's powers confused the book at first: whilst it allowed him to carry it, the book did refuse to leave the house, flying out of his hands when he tried to force it through the door, and sliding away when he tried to reach for it again. Likewise, the book is shown to be connected to the sister's powers, and it becomes steadily savvier, and more aggressive to evil as the series goes on. It's therefore implied that it's just the book's defensive capabilities strengthening as the sisters' powers do, as opposed to a complete non sequitur.
In the later episodes just about every magical being, good or evil, has at least one of the dozens of teleportation powers. In earlier episodes they aren't as common. It's quite jarring to go back and see chase sequences with the demon of the week running after them, as opposed to just teleporting away.
By the end of season four, the sisters have lost one of their own, but in the process defeated the Triad far earlier than they were supposed to. The Angel of Destiny offers them a life without magic as reward, but they refuse. In season eight, Leo was supposed to have been killed, and the grief would spur them to fight much like the loss of Prue did. Piper, however, convinced the Angel of Destiny to only temporarily take away Leo, who was eventually returned to them. This time the Triad, among others, were Killed Off for Real.
Piper and Leo's entire relationship has been filled with so many trials and tribulations of both the romantic and the magical kind, they're the epitome of this trope for Charmed.
Earth Mother: Piper's role when she gets temporarily turned into a goddess.
Ear Worm: In-universe example: Prue gets the jingle for an ice cream truck stuck in her head. It turns out this was the demon's chord, which attracts demon children so that the ice cream man can seal them away. Prue remembers it because she was mistakenly trapped by the ice cream man when she was younger.
Eating the Eye Candy: Phoebe has to be physically pulled away from watching Bane Jessup put on his clothes.
Eiffel Tower Effect: There are many many shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid, just to remind you that yes, the show is set in San Francisco. In fact, the episodes usually start off with some shots of San-Fran in the morning after the opening credits and then with some night-time ones much later for the "final thought" at the end.
Eldritch Abomination: The Hollow, an entity that exists only to consume power. It can't be controlled and it can't be stopped, and Good and Evil had to join forces to seal it away. It would consume everything in existence if it was allowed to be free. It is vanquished with The Power of Three in the series finale.
Light 'em Up: Light is the domain of Elders and Whitelighters. A few whitelighters in The Sixties would use their abilities to create magical light shows. They aren't seen using them as an offensive power in the series, but they have been used in that manner in the comics.
Making a Splash: The Water Demon that killed the sisters' mother, and the sea hag. May or may not be the same person.
Playing with Fire: Fire is seen as a mostly evil power, so most of the characters who get fire based powers are evil: fireball-throwing demons, Phoebe both in her evil past life and influenced by her demon baby, Evil Future Wyatt, Kali (who lends it to Aviva), Christy, The Source, and so on. There are good characters who use fire powers though, like the witch in the pilot and the firestarter kid.
Shock and Awe: Lightning bolts are a trademark of Elders and Avatars. Energy balls are also electrically based. The shocker demon is an actual being made of electricity.
El Spanish O: When the Elders send a Unicorn as a baby present to Piper, Paige reads the tag, which is torn at the "From:" part to say just "El" and assumes the sender is Spanish.
In a last ditch effort to get an advantage against Zankou, the sisters try to ally with a Vampire Queen, being desperate enough to offer her and her coven immunity (the Charmed Ones won't bother them afterward, no matter what they do). Unfortunately, Zankou got to her first, and offered a sweeter deal.
The preferred power of demons everywhere. Just as much as Fireballs. Cole in particular really really misses being able to use them when he fully turns human for a while.
Strangely one family of witches, Richard's, seems to be able to blast electrical balls at will.
Emotional Powers: The sisters' powers are tied to their emotions - Prue's powers seem to be triggered most strongly by anger. The triggers for whitelighters and darklighters are love and hate, respectively.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Zig-Zagged; Cole mentions that evil cannot love, yet he himself has some evil inside him and has loved Phoebe. There are also demons and darklighters that have fallen in love with mortals.
The show never used Hades (except for a rather dishonorable mention as the father of the demon Nikos in the novel), but Hecate, another underworld god, came off particularly badly, being turned into a demon. (Way to go, have witches fight the patron of witches.)
Yama also got this treatment, becoming the totally amoral gatekeeper of Chinese hell who tried to snatch whatever spirits were not "properly buried" and drag them to hell, regardless of whether they were good or evil.
The Angel of Death on the other hand, is portrayed more or less sympathetically, especially during his first appearance.
Everyone Loves Blondes: Although both naturally brunette, Phoebe and Paige dyed their hair blonde (Phoebe in season 3, Paige in season 6) and their characters fit the trope. It's worth noting that Prue's future self was shown to be blonde where she was the sexy, powerful and successful business woman. Piper also wore a blonde wig when she dressed up as Glinda.
Cole's secretary Julie suggests casting a spell to let her carry Phoebe's baby so that he would "be free to rule without her [Phoebe's] love holding him back", not realising that Cole doesn't want an heir, he loves Phoebe and is excited to be a father.
Played for Drama with Kyra the Seer. She is a demon and cannot feel human emotions, but her visions allow her to experience them somewhat, so she wishes to be turned into a human so she can feel them properly.
They fought an evil trio of warlock brothers who were even called "The Evil Charmed Ones". One of them wanted to be a priest, because doing so would remove his warlock half.
Yet another trio of evil siblings, sisters this time, appear in the episode "The Power of Three Blondes". They went as far as to actually steal the identities of the Charmed Ones in order to form their own evil version of the Power of Three. Their pettiness did them in.
Darklighters are this to Whitelighters. And like Leo, one (Alec) fell in love despite the rules and norms.
The Grimoire to the Book of Shadows, complete with the main force of evil/good having the main version that's called THE book.
A variation appears in Season 1's "Thank You For Not Morphing": When a group of shapeshifters tries to enlist the cooperation of Victor, the Charmed Ones' father, one of them threatens to "rip him into a thousand pieces and dance on his entrails." In response, Victor quips "Ah, so you're lawyers."
Evil Power Vacuum: The Charmed Ones are rather good at bringing about the death of whichever leader the underworld has, so several times demons scramble around trying to consolidate power and allies in order to become the new leader. Cole and Zankou are just a couple of the higher profile demons that try to do this over the years.
The Evils of Free Will: In episode 12 season 7 "Extreme Makeover - World Edition," The Avatar want to create utopia by curbing free will. In the end, in episode 13 season 7, "Charmageddon," the evil side saves the day. In season 2 episode 21 "Apocalypse Not" Leo explains why evil loves free will.
Evolving Credits: Starting from season 2, the title sequence was regularly updated so that actors not appearing in the episode were not shown in the opening credits. Plus, the opening sequence for the pilot episode doesn't show the sisters' individual powers so that they aren't revealed in advance.
Excalibur in the Stone: "Sword and the City" features Excalibur as being protected by the Lady in the Lake and gets stuck in a stone afterwards. Piper gets Drunk with Power by wielding it, believing herself to be the new King Arthur of sorts, but it turns out she's supposed to be its new guardian, being more like a new Lady of the Lake, and that it's Wyatt who's supposed to use it.
Expendable Clone: Subverted in "Which Prue is it Anyway?": Prue's clones are skewed towards her "fun side" and "businesslike side", but each one of them has all of Prue's abilities and memories. They are used as expendable decoys when the villain kills them, but Prue experiences every excruciating moment of their death, and feels like she's dying herself.
Cole is clearly an expy of Angel in Buffy. Reformed demon starts a love affair with female hero, then reverts to evil. Then good again. Then semi-evil (see season 2 Angel series). Aaron Spelling obviously agrees with the saying 'good writers borrow from other writers; great writers steal from them outright'.
The feuding Montana and Calloway families from season 6 are the Montague and Capulet families from Romeo and Juliet, complete with Star-Crossed LoversRichard Montana and Olivia Calloway.
Extreme Doormat: Darryl Morris has done everything for the Charmed Ones. He even forgave them after Phoebe and Paige stole his soul. He had managed to grow a spine after getting put through the wringer one too many times without a thank you and put some distance between him and the girls. They didn't understand why.
Eye Beams: The villain from "The Truth Is Out There, And It Hurts" has a Third Eye that sends out a beam of burning energy. It targets the same area that the victim's third eye would be. Javna also steals the life force of his victims this way.
Eye Scream: There's an episode where a man cursed with blindness sends his son out to steal a pair of eyes for him. The eyes removed from the bodies are just... eeeew.
Fail Polish: The sisters' clothing in season 1 was quite plain and average with only Phoebe being anywhere close to fashionable. By season 3 the sisters always wore the latest fashions and had much more flattering hairstyles. Fridge Brilliance - they can afford fashionable clothes by this time thanks to Piper's club being busy and Prue bringing in plenty of money as a photographer.
Phoebe had fake-vanquished Cole because while the sisters had found out that he was really Belthazor, Phoebe was still in love with him.
In the season seven finale, the sisters and Leo faked their deaths in order to live normal lives. By season eight, though, they couldn't keep up the ruse and eventually reverted to their old identities.
There was an episode where the sisters try to save a man trapped in a painting, but it turns out he was evil all along.
Another episode sees the sisters trying to save some kids from their Ice Cream Truck prison. Turns out, demon children.
And in "Primrose Empath", the demon cursed with empathy pretends to be an innocent human hiding in an old tenement and tricks Prue into taking his power so he can once more wreak havoc. The fact the demon had been given the power by a priest so as to trap him may possibly be a Shout-Out to the Twilight Zone episode "The Howling Man".
"I Dream of Phoebe" has the supposedly docile genie Ginny turn out to be a demon that was turned into a genie as punishment.
Familiar: An episode dealt with familiars; they can become human either by good work, or by betraying/killing their charges. The Charmed Ones' familiar cat, Kit, was rewarded with human form.
Fanservice: And how! And to the point that, whenever any (or, indeed, all) of the girls ends up in a costume as part of the plot, lampshades are inevitably hung.
Phoebe: Why am I always the one that winds up with the wig? Piper: Trust me, you're not.
Witches, of course. In one episode, Bruce Campbell appeared as a Witch Hunter who was such a fanatic that he was willing to kill a woman who all evidence suggested was not a witch (her mother was apparently one, and that was good enough for him).
The Dark Side had a lot of infighting, especially after the Source was killed. Vampires are immensely disliked (to the point of being banished from the Underworld) and Warlocks are viewed with disdain by several other evil entities (going by "Muse to My Ears").
The whole idea that demons cannot love, in how it fluctuates throughout the show, almost functions as an unintentional analogue to internalized prejudice.
Fate Worse than Death: Demons and the like come from the Underworld, but when they get vanquished, they go to the Wasteland. They lose their human forms and face being devoured by a beast under the ground. Cole - having retained his human form because he's only half-demon - kills the beast in Season 4, though.
Played straight for Phoebe's child, who was the offspring of a Charmed One turned (temporarily) evil, and the Source of all evil. It was slowly corrupting Phoebe, even granting her a power she had in her past evil self.
Inverted with Piper's, however. Not only would hers become a powerful force for good, but Wyatt would protect Piper even when he was still in the womb.
Feuding Families: Paige had to deal with this in season six. Interestingly, not only is the reason for their feuding something concrete and recent (the death of one family's daughter) rather than something vague that happened generations ago, but the feud is resolved relatively peacefully after it's revealed that the reason everything was escalating was because the ghost of the dead girl was keeping it going out of a displaced sense of vengeance. Paige's Love Interest from this episode (the same one the ghost wanted) even hangs around for a while, alternately being a source of help or danger depending on the episode, until his attempt to get rid of his family's bad karma ended up endangering Phoebe (and even exposing the magical world to her boyfriend).
Finger Snap Lighter: Many, many demons. However, the very first flaming finger seen was being used by a good witch to light candles, all the way in the first episode.
Fire and Brimstone Hell: Not all the underworld looks like this (most of it being just dark caverns and tunnels), but select places do.
Fire Balls: Demons love to pitch fireballs, but then again so do some of the not-so-nice beings. There are more good characters that use fireballs than Energy Balls, though.
First Law of Resurrection: Oh boy. Over the course of 8 seasons, Piper and Phoebe die 9 times each. Paige reaches the same number of deaths within just 5 seasons and Prue has 3 deaths to show. And of course, being the main characters, they all get better. Well, except for Prue at the end of season 3.
Flash Back / Flash Forward: The nature of Phoebe's power of premonition is that she sees visions of what might happen, and sometimes what had already happened. Then there are spells that have been cast by others to see scenes from both the past and the future.
Flanderization / Early-Installment Weirdness / Seasonal Rot: Something changed after Constance M. Burge left. Originally the show tried to hang on to the spirit of Neopaganism and Wicca, with various levels of success, whereas afterward it became much more about simple "Hocus Pocus" magic (see Fantasy Kitchen Sink), alongside other things. It's just hard to classify what it would be called since it was very abrupt (Flanderization is usually more gradual) and fairly evenly balanced (three seasons on one side, five on the other.) And while Burge tried to focus on the relationship between the sisters, the show became more and more about their various romantic relationships.
A couple of things that happened only in the first season: The Cold Open would fade to black before the theme song and opening credits, and there was a more uptempo piano piece that was sometimes used as the ending theme.
Fountain of Youth: One is being guarded by nymphs, but is really more of a Healing Spring. Another one shows up, and this one actually looks like a stone fountain. Irritatingly enough, Piper says "But that's just a myth!" when confronted with the second one, even after having come across the first one, possibly because she and her sisters had promised the nymphs from the first fountain that they would keep its existance a secret.
Four Girl Ensemble: Although not all four Charmed Ones were on the show at he same time (since Prue died before Paige was introduced), the sisters still fit this trope. Paige was The Ditz, Piper was the Deadpan Snarker, Phoebe was the sexy one, and Prue was the wise Cool Big Sis. Before Paige, Phoebe played a combination of the sexy one and The Ditz. Once Prue passed away, Piper took on her role as the wise Cool Big Sis but still had her Deadpan Snarker traits intact.
Freudian Slip: In the episode about the Sandman, Piper lets it slip that dreams are just "harmless, erotic—exotic fun".
Friends Rent Control: Three twenty-something women own a large, three-story Victorian manor with a yard in San Francisco, a very dense urban area with some of the most expensive real estate in the US. The issue is supposedly handwaved that it has been in the family for generations and has been inherited, but the Halliwells would likely not be able to even afford the property tax on a home that would likely sell for at least $5 million, assuming it's not in a wealthy or desirable part of town.
No need to invoke the A Wizard Did It trope in this case: the house has been in the family for centuries (most likely since it was built) and the start of the series Piper has a job as a cook in a posh restaurant and Prue is a well paid art appraiser for a big auction house. Later they own a very popular night club and Phoebe becomes a famous columnist. A couple of episodes have had the sisters mention the need for a proper regular income. Piper has said to Phoebe on one occasion that they depended on her salary (as P3 was seeing lean times and Paige was unemployed) in order not to lose the house.
The house HAS been in the family since the beginning; in the episode that first featured the Nexus, the girls realize the house is in the middle of a pentagram (star), with the five points all near an element. They figure the house was probably purposefully built their by one of their ancestors.
Gadgeteer Genius: Magical Version: Billie managed to "MacGyver up" a magical potion from the contents of a hostage's purse, despite the show always stating that potion ingredients are quite specific.
Gaslighting: Cole does it to Paige, along with having a demon possess her with a demonic power and a side effect is temporary insanity. He uses demon powers around her, and erases the evidence, so she can't be sure she's seen anything.
Gender Bender: Prue is transformed into a man in one episode in order to defeat a female demon who preyed on men.
Generation Xerox: It's implied in the last episode that Chris and Wyatt are going to follow in the footsteps of their parents and aunts. So much potential spin-off material wasted...
Genre Savvy: When the girls have mentally regressed to children Victor and Penny are arguing over whether to fix the girls or not, Victor has Penny call in Patty as a tie breaker, guessing correctly she would side with him simply because they are the girls' parents.
"Be Careful What You Witch For" brings us Prue announcing a date with a man named Dick:
Phoebe: Prue, you are too hot to have to duty-date. Prue: Yeah, well, all demon-hunting and no play has made me a lot less picky. I gotta figure out a way to put some more balance in my life. Piper: Yeah, but you don't need Dick...
This is the explanation for why the Halliwell Sisters grew up not being able to use their powers or knowing about them: Their mother and grandmother "bound their powers" in order to let them live a safe and normal life. This was never quite as much of an option with baby Wyatt, who is an even greater Chosen One than the Charmed Sisters themselves, but the Halliwell Sisters still had a tendency to wish that they could give Wyatt a normal life, particularly Piper.
Often occurs so they can have conflict with the Powers That Be who act like their bosses. One example that really stands out is a multi-part episode in which it was revealed that the Balance Between Good and Evil is preserved by a Mirror Universe — if good wins in one universe, evil wins in the other and balances it out. Traveling between them disrupted the balance and made the normal universe "too good" — the sun never sets, everyone is freakishly happy all the time, and minor crimes like leaving your cell phone on in a library are punished by mutilation (instead of the suddenly-too-good people just leaving their cellphones turned off). A more reasonable person would consider mutilation to be evil. Somewhat tangential, but one shouldn't forget that in the similarly-disrupted evil balance, the same sort of mutilation was enacted for such trivial niceties as saying "Gesundheit" when someone sneezed. Essentially, the point being made was that Good and Evil cannot tolerate the others' existence, and therefore in a world dominated by one, any act (no matter how minor) that runs contrary to the ideals of either is punished harshly. It is the mix of the two that provides tolerance and temperance.
Give Me a Sign: The titular episode has Phoebe cast a spell to help Piper choose between Dan and Leo, which comes in the form of a whole lot of little coincidences that pop up throughout the day. It turns out that those signs were supposed to help them find Prue, who had been kidnapped by Bane earlier.
God in Human Form: After becoming an Elder and then an Avatar, Leo eventually gets depowered and mindwiped and is plopped somewhere on earth to live as a human and find his purpose. Then one Batman Gambit would foil another, and he would come back home.
Godiva Hair: Lady Godiva herself shows up in an episode and Phoebe dresses up as her at the end of the episode.
Good Is Not Nice: Grams, as well as Cole when he was a good guy. Both are justified, with Grams toughening up after her first husband was murdered by warlocks and Cole being a half-demon who's spent a century as a trained killer.
Goo Goo Godlike: Wyatt. Even in the womb, he was protecting Piper from a souped-up Cole. After he was born, his powers just kept growing.
Gory Discretion Shot: Phoebe, hopped up on demonic powers, is supposed to get stabbed by an athame to get rid of them. Paige is just about to when the scene cuts to a post-battle celebration in magic school.
Grand Theft Me: There is a lot of possession going on throughout the series.
Halloween Episode: Two, the first in season 3 "All Halliwell's Eve" had the sisters sent back in time to the Virgina colony. The second in season 8 "Kill Billie: Vol 1" just happened to take place on Halloween with no plot relating to the holiday.
Infamous cases: Any demon portrayed by Peter Woodward.
Cole during his insanity spree certainly fell into this:
(Piper instinctively freezes the guillotine) Cole:(exasperated) Can you at least let me...not die in peace.
Happily Adopted: Paige was adopted by a loving family when the Elders wouldn't let Patty and her Whitelighter Sam keep the child. Then the Powers That Be had to move the adopted parents out of the way in a more brutal fashion...
Happily Married: Piper and Leo (for a while, and, if the epilogue is anything to go by, again).
The Heartless: The Shadow, the Source and the Hollow. Cole became host to each power once.
The Hecate Sisters: Explored in the episode, well, "The Three Faces of Phoebe". She summons herself from two different points in time - young Phoebe is the maiden, who immediately has a crush on Cole and still believes in the "someday my prince will come" fantasy, present Phoebe is the mother because of her impending marriage (and deciding whether to follow through is the reason Phoebe cast the spell), and elderly future Phoebe is the crone, who is bitter and angry because she didn't marry Cole, and has spent her life wondering What Could Have Been if she did.
Hell-Bent for Leather: Especially in later seasons. Demons went from actually looking kind of demonic to just being dark-haired people in leather. It is explained early on in the show that upper-level (i.e. more powerful) demons tend to appear human so as to be able to hide in plain sight. It would make sense that as the sisters grow stronger, more powerful (and devious) demons would come after them. Furthermore, it reinforces the idea that anyone you meet can be a threat, leading to some very nice Paranoia Fuel. Phoebe actually lampshades it at one point.
Phoebe: Remember when demons looked like demons and innocents looked like innocents? Who changed the rules on us?
Hideous Hangover Cure: Paige is shown making one, with the requisite raw egg thrown in with who knows what else in a blender, to give to Piper.
Hide Your Pregnancy: Holly Marie Combs. Until they decided to write in her pregnancy. And the baby was born in less than six months. The show did note a six-month time jump between the episode where Leo and Piper conceive Wyatt and the very next episode, which justifies how quickly Piper was pregnant and showing. Or would have, if HMC wasn't obviously pregnant long before they wrote the pregnancy in. She also delivered six weeks premature.
High-Altitude Interrogation: Phoebe does this to a corrupt slumlord in the episode "Witches In Tights", where she and her sisters get turned into superheroes.
Housewife: Phoebe gets turned into a Samantha Stevens-esque housewife by way of a magical ring. She did mention that Bewitched was her favorite show.
How Do I Shot Web?: It usually takes the sister a variable length of time to master their powers when they're revealed. Particular credit goes to: Phoebe, who never was able to fully master her empathy power before it was taken from her; and Paige, who took 5 whole seasons before she learnt how to heal.
Human Mom, Non-human Dad: It depends on whether you view the sisters as human or nonhuman. If they're nonhuman, the trope is inverted in the case of Prue, Piper, and Phoebe (human dad/nonhuman mom). If they're human, the trope is played straight in the case of Paige (human mom/nonhuman dad). If they are human, Piper's sons and Phoebe's children have this trope apply to them, as well. Whether they're human or not, the trope is inverted in the case of Paige's children, since she married a "mortal" human, Henry, and is half Whitelighter (and thus, technically, nonhuman). Of course, Paige, as well as Piper's sons Wyatt and Chris, is half dead person, so I'm not sure how that works, but their fathers are still nonhuman. Brandon, the half-warlock from the first season, played this trope straight as well. It was inverted in the case of Cole, whose mother was a demon and his father a human.
Hybrid Power: A common witch power is telekinesis and a common power for Whitelighters is orbing. Paige, Chris, and Wyatt, who are all half-witch/half-whitelighter, they each combine these powers into orb-telekinesis.
Hypocrites: The sisters, especially Phoebe, towards Cole. She and her sisters turn evil because of some magical factor or some manipulation of their powers, it's just a Halliwell thing. The love of her life turns evil because of some magical factor or some manipulation of his powers, she's contemplating his murder. Seen at least twice.
And then there's the thing about whether powers can be inherently good or evil or not. One second the sisters are reassuring a young boy whose power is basically being groomed to be used for the Source that powers have no inherent morality and it's just what you do with them. The next they're mistrusting Cole for his demonic half, and after his possession by the Source, which truly burned Cole more than anyone else, they're downright detesting and fearing Cole, to the point Phoebe pretty much desensitizes herself to him, for the simple fact of his having demonic powers. This only serves to expedite his Sanity Slippage, to the point some fans see his character as little else but Phoebe's Yandere and some others decided in disgust that the show had jumped the shark.
In 'The Witch is Back' Melinda Warren explicitly states that the power of 'blinking' (basically teleportation) that the bad guy of the episode has, was stolen from another witch. Then, in 'Bride and Gloom', Piper claims that blinking is something only the evil guys do. Warlocks are outright stated to be known for stealing witches' powers, so if anything, there should be no such thing as evil powers at all, only good powers that were stolen.
Their tendency to assume anyone acting as the antagonist is evil gets wonderfully lampshaded by the Angel of Death, who points out to Prue that some supernatural entities aren't good or evil, they just are.
In "Wrestling with Demons," Prue finds out Cole is still alive. She constantly criticizes Phoebe for lying to her and for supposedly risking them all, as well as refuses to listen that the half-human demon could have any good in him. However, in the earlier "When Bad Warlocks Go Good," Prue risked everything to help a half-human Warlock because she sensed good in him. Not to mention how this is the episode where Prue is actively trying to save an ex-boyfriend (who never appears in the series again) from a contract with a demonic trainer while he's only one kill away from becoming a full demon. Unlike the other examples here, Prue is called on this hypocrisy by Phoebe (obviously well-before her own hypocrisy became evident).
Although it's later hinted in the final scene of the same episode that Prue was more angry by Phoebe's lying about vanquishing Cole than the non-vanquish itself.
Throughout Season 5, the sisters blamed Cole for becoming the Source. This despite the fact that he was possessed against his will, in the process of saving their lives from the previous Source, was fighting against the possession the entire time, suffered more than anyone else and ultimately died from the entire ordeal, and would have given up the Source's powers if Phoebe hadn't vanquished the wizard who was going to receive the Source's powers, all specifically to force Cole into staying the Source. Predictably, Phoebe never bothered to acknowledge that she was the one who forced Cole to stay the Source.
In the second episode of Season 5, Cole decided to pack up and leave after Phoebe rejected him. However, Paige browbeated him into staying to help save Phoebe by casting a spell that forced him to feel Phoebe's love for him, which ended up convincing him to stay for good. In both Seasons 4 and 5, Paige is even more vehemently against Cole than Prue ever was and repeatedly tries to vanquish him or help Phoebe vanquish him, despite that he was going to leave peacefully before she cast that spell.
Particularly egregious is in the beginning of Centennial Charmed. On the eve of Cole's 118th birthday, he entered his penthouse, sadly looking into a mirror and telling himself happy birthday because there's no one else that's gonna tell it to him. Only to be paid a visit by Paige sneaking into his home from behind while invisible, jumping into his body, and trying to kill him. That scream of agony after he booted her out of his house did not come from nowhere. To make things worse, she practiced this on Leo first! And despite Leo reconstituting after being blown up and outright telling her it's not gonna work on Cole, she insisted she was right and did it anyway! Isn't Cole supposed to be the cartoonishly evil one here?
Of course, Leo became a hypocrite himself in season 8 when it turned out that he'd captured two Noxon demons who were made unvanquishable through Underworld science and had then imprisoned to be used for target practice by students in Magic School.
How about the girl who felt herself get executed in an alternate future timeline where she used her powers for vengeance against a human being and came back realizing before her older sisters that everything that led up to that execution started with the spiteful use of magic to punish a man for his dog's defecation, being the same girl who years later was met at gunpoint by a mortal she used to be friends with in high school and could've easily told her younger sister to orb the freaking gun away so they could subdue him but instead had said younger sister glamour him into their future nephew so he could get killed by demons? Easily goes under both this and Took a Level in Jerkass, and really approaches Moral Dissonance territory.
Additionally, remember the example from "Sam I Am." Phoebe condemned Cole for killing those two criminals in the bar, who threatened to rob it and then shot up the place. Phoebe certainly didn't think he was in the right. She went as far to threaten to vanquish Cole over that - which makes this later event more suspicious.
When Charmed Ones were put on trial for revealing the existence of magic to the world, prosecuting Barbas brought up those two criminals and argued that it was Phoebe's fault for driving Cole to this. Strawman Has a Point, indeed.
Likewise in "Sam I Am", Phoebe starts complaining that Cole hadn't contacted her in a few weeks, before immediately jumping to the conclusion that this means he clearly must be up to something evil! Do you want him to leave you alone or not?!
In "Soul Survivor", Paige decides that individuals who have decided to sell their souls for wealth and power, will full knowledge that this will come at the expense of causing misery and suffering to others, are still considered Innocent. This is despite this making the "victims", actually very little from the villain of the episode, who trades these ill-gotten souls to increase his own wealth and power!
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Cole, having absorbed many powers from hell to return to Phoebe, only causes problems for her and her sisters, so she ends up divorcing him. He also finds that his powers have made him Nigh Invulnerable and, as such, rendered him unable to kill himself from the grief. So he starts causing trouble for the girls to get them to vanquish him. Only to subvert this trope when he explains that he just wanted to try whether he really was indestructable and goes Ax-Crazy for good after the confirmation. He wanted to die and was quite miserable that nothing could be done to make it happen. Now, he was told by the Avatars that this was the case and cryptically said as much to the sisters, but it was quite clear that Cole was hoping against hope that they were wrong.
Identical Grandson: Though subverted in one episode where Leo attends a WWII veterans' reunion as his own identical grandson, even though he obviously wasn't.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The name of almost every episode worked on more than one level — each often included a pun which was at least peripherally relevant to the plot point/Monster of the Week, unless the name of one of the sisters was somehow worked into the title. At the same time, most names were also puns which played off of a Shout-Out to another famous title or work. While just about anything was fair game, the most common contenders were works of literature, rival TV shows, classic films, and well-known songs, often oldies.
Idiot Ball: The later the seasons, the more these tend to be thrown around.
If I Can't Have You: It seems this is the case with some evil characters who fall in love with mortals, like in the episodes "Love Hurts" and Magic Hour".
The "I Love You" Stigma: It's not that Phoebe is embarrassed about telling Jason "I love you"; it's that, as a result of her empath powers, she says "I love you too" before he's actually says "I love you".
Immune to Bullets: Most demons are immune to firearms. At best, they may incapacitate (however briefly) "small fries" like Wendigos, Grimlocks, or Succubi.
There's also a spell that gives a person temporary invincibility, making bullets bounce off them and giving them Super Strength a la Superman.
Important Haircut: Averted. Piper briefly comments on Phoebe's new hairstyle in the first episode of season 6, but that's only because Alyssa Milano showed up with an extremely short haircut right before they started filming that season.
Informed Attractiveness: People on the show talked about Phoebe as if she were the most gorgeous creature to ever walk the Earth. While Alyssa Milano was certainly beautiful, she wasn't significantly more attractive than Rose McGowan or Holly Marie Combs. Their characters weren't praised for their looks nearly as much as Phoebe was (although she did have a tendancy to show more skin than the others did, especially later on). Before that Prue got quite a lot if it as well. She had nearly as many one shot love interests as Phoebe (and she was only in three seasons).
Ingesting Knowledge: In one episode, Phoebe uses a smart spell that allows her to absorb the knowledge of a book by waving her hands over it.
Inspector Javert: Anderson. Rodriguez. Reece Davidson. Cortez. Sheridan. Keyes. Even Darryl Morris started out this way, and even Andy Trudeau got suspicious of Prue for a cup of coffee, and the two of them were among the most reliable friends the sisters had. Needless to say, they got this a lot.
In the Blood: The ability to have powers is, obviously, inherit in all magical species. Crossing that blood with mortals is verydangerous.*
Innocuously Important Episode: P3 H2Ois a subversion as it was likely not written as one at the time. Nonetheless, the episode states that Patty and her Whitelighter Sam had an affair - thereby creating the opportunity for Paige to be bought in and allow the show to continue after Prue's death.
Invisible to Normals: Ghosts seem to be only visible to magical beings, unless they make a concentrated effort.
Invisibility: Some magical beings are invisible by default, like muses and cupids.
Invisibility Cloak: The vainishing spell, which Paige seems to use a lot. Gideon can turn invisible, and so can Leo when he becomes an elder, but it's not quite clear if this is an innate power or if there's some sort of spell or artifact that does it.
Alec: (pointing crossbow at Phoebe) Never used this on a witch before. (Alec gets thrown into a bathroom stall, dropping his crossbow) Prue: (picks up crossbow) Never used this on a Darklighter before.
The episode "All Halliwell's Eve" opens with Phoebe talking about how much she hates the stereotype of witches as wearing pointy hats and cackling while riding broomsticks. Later on in the episode when the sisters are in the 17th century Virginia colony, they need to ward off a group of men with muskets and Phoebe declares "I'm embracing the cliche" and puts on the hat and flies on a broomstick, cackling for good measure to scare the men away. Yep, she may well have reinforced the very stereotype she was complaining about.
An unintentional example but Prue Halliwell, the in-universe "Super-Witch" of the first three seasons, ended up killed off offscreen, never to return again.
I Uh You Too: Piper and Phoebe not that Prue always responds to their I love yous with an "uh huh" or "you too". This is revealed to be a psychological hangup caused by "I love you" having been the last words Prue said to their mother before she was killed.
The sisters' Aunt Gail from season 2 as well when she got her youth restored.
Jerkass Genie: Genies are tricksters and will try and twist wishes to serve their needs (usually to gain their freedom). There are two genie-centric episodes with both literal and jerky genies: "Be Careful What You Witch For", and "I Dream of Phoebe".
Jerkass Has a Point / Strawman Has a Point: In "Crimes and Witch Demeanours", Barbas argues his case that the Charmed Ones should he stripped of their powers, due to their recklessness and selfish abuse of their abilities, nearly breaking the masquerade on a regular basis and putting innocents into situations where they've gotten killed. Turns out, the Tribunal actually agree with most of his argument and decide to strip Phoebe's active powers, due to her being the worse repeat-offender.
Made even more telling when in the very next episode, Paige abuses magic for her own personal gain, which naturally ends up going horribly, horribly wrong. However this time, everyone calls her out on her reckless behaviour and Phoebe is understandably livid.
Barbas also correctly pointed out during the trial that the Charmed Ones repeatedly fail to adhere to any of the rules set in place to protect the magical community (unless those rules benefit them), believe that being the Charmed Ones means not being held accountable for their actions and often treat both their magical and non-magical allies as glorified servants, having the gall to act insulted when said allies express dissatisfaction with being told to put their own lives on hold or head into danger to fix their messes.
They also were this themselves in "That '70s Episode".
Kill and Replace: Prue's stalker intends to do this and replace her as a one of the sisters. She didn't know, though, that Prue had magical powers.
Killed Off for Real: Prue. Due to a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, when her actor left the show. She refused to come back, preventing her character from retuning, even as a white lighter (explained in show that she couldn't appear to her family or it would mess with their grieving process).]]
Kill the Ones You Love: Phoebe needs to overcome her emotions and vanquish Cole. Twice. The first time she doesn't do it, instead faking his death. The second time wouldn't have happened if she hadn't taken the Idiot Ball an episode earlier. The third time he's vanquished is an aversion, as she hated him by then.
King Arthur: Briefly mentioned in "Sword and the City", Piper pulled the sword Excalibur from the stone in a very Arthurian-style and later became corrupted by it.
Knight Templar: Witch Doctors, it's their job to clean up residual evil energies but they'll destroy good beings if they are a threat to the magical community.
Kung-Fu Wizard: Phoebe is a Kung-Fu Witch. She learns martial arts because she's the only one without an active power (and gets bummed when Prue gets another one before she did). Eventually she learned how to levitate, which helped out her martial arts skills a bit.
Lamarck Was Right: Wyatt Halliwell inherits both his mother's molecular freezing and combustion powers and his father's whitelighter abilities. Chris also receives whitelighter abilities, but has powers equivalent to Prue's. In general, the children of whitelighters all seem to inherit their abilities, even though whitelighters themselves are made, not born.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Memory dust. Leo expresses reservations on using it because it isn't quite so precise.
Laser Hallway: Complete with acrobatics from Phoebe. They were actually moving lasers, but having the power to stop time comes in handy during burglary.
Last of His Kind: The last wizard in existence was trying to kill the Source, who just happened to be Cole. Clearly subverted. Not only was that little guy not the last wizard (though he may not have known this at the time), he was trying to become the Source.
Last-Second Word Swap: In "Chick Flick", Piper drinks a potion and then proclaims "Ugh, it tastes like ass...phalt."
Latin Lover: One gets conjured up as a birthday present for Piper in "Prince Charmed".
Lawful Stupid: In the show's mythology, this is how our world would be if there wasn't some evil in it to balance things out.
Literally Shattered Lives: When Piper gets influenced by evil her freezing powers become not-so Harmless Freezing, and when she puts Leo on ice, he gets shattered into a million gruesome-looking red icy pieces. Since he's already dead, though, he gets better at the end of the episode.
Long-Lost Relative: Not only a character trope but also a narrative one. It is basically the only thing that saved the show after Prue was killed off. And the fact that Patty Halliwell's affair with her Whitelighter was mentioned before is the only thing that saved this from being an Ass Pull.
Losing Your Head: Sigmund, a teacher at Magic School, is first introduced as his head is chopped off. Since his body was still at Magic School when it happened, though, he's still alive. All three of the Charmed Ones eventually have their heads cut off too. They still manage to cast a few spells even without their bodies, however.
Louis Cypher: Hecate's human alias is Jade D'Mon, and Billy Zane plays a former demon named Drake dé Mon.
Love Makes You Evil: More than once. Phoebe willingly becomes the Queen of the Underworld to stay with Cole. Later, Cole absorbs all sorts of demonic powers to be reunited with Phoebe, only to be corrupted by them again. Also, Leo willingly becomes an Avatar to save his wife and before that, he killed an elder to save his son.
Lunacy: In "Once in a Blue Moon", when two Blue Moons occur in a year, weird things happen. Including The Charmed Ones turning into werewolves. And yes, it did coincide with "that time of the month".
Mama Bear: Piper, whenever Wyatt is in danger. In fact, all three sisters dove into this right after he was born.
Magical Database: The Book of Shadows is a magical tome the girls inherited which conveniently has listings for whatever monster they might be fighting that week, along with the appropriate counterspells to use. Justified though because of the generations of witches before them adding all they could to the book and the sisters adding to it themselves.
Magical Gesture: Binding witches' hands to their backs often makes them unable to use their powers, even if some have learned to "point" with the eyes instead.
Magical Seventh Son: In the episode "That Old Black Magic", a seventh son of a seventh son is revealed to be The Chosen One.
There was an episode that dealt with a demon of vanity that could de-age others and make them young and healthy again. He then shows that he can also reverse this and rapidly ages two women into piles of dust.
A later bad guy uses a spell to accomplish the same feat on a minor of his that has disappointed him.
An evil witch possesses a mortal man in one episode, and really does touch himself, albeit briefly.
Married In The Future: In a Season 2 episode, the sisters travel ten years into the future where they discover that Piper and Leo had been married, had a daughter together, and then divorced during the ten intervening years. After returning to their own time, Piper and Leo do get married in Season 3, but the daughter and divorce never happen. Instead, they have two sons and are shown to still be happily married 30-40 years later in the series finale.
Masquerade: The mortal world cannot know of the magical one. When the Masquerade is broken, the consequences are serious.
The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: A Running Gag is that you're not a Halliwell if you haven't dated a demon. And keeping this big of a secret from a Muggle boyfriend is impossible, so all the Charmed ones finally end up with magical love interests. Subverted by Paige. Her magical love interest was not only not the guy she ended up with, he wasn't even the next best thing she had.
Meaningful Name / Shown Their Work: The auction house where Prue works is named Buckland's. Raymond Buckland is credited with introducing Wicca to North America.
Also, this could be a coincidence but Phoebe, who gets visions as part of her powers, shares her name with a Titan from Greek Mythology who was associated with prophesy.
Meet Cute: In a Clip Show episode, Coop describes Phoebe and Cole's meeting as this. It consisted of Phoebe nearly roundhouse kicking Cole, who catches her leg.
A mild example in "Which Prue is it Anyway?" when Prue creates two magical clones of herself to both multiply her power and avoid someone trying to kill her.
A much more extreme example happens in "Vaya Con Leos", where, under the threat of the Angel of Death coming for Leo, she casts a spell to try and confuse him. However, in the process, she turns every man in San Francisco into a clone of Leo.
Piper also clones herself in one of the novels, "A Tale of Two Pipers". One of them relaxes, or tends to the home, and the other is busy at P3.
Mirror Match: The season six two-part finale has Paige and Phoebe fighting their evil counterparts. Eventually they realize they're too evenly matched and call a truce.
Mirror Universe: Featured in the double episode "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World".
Missing Mom: Patty was drowned by a Warlock when the main characters were very young. Prue saw her die and Phoebe was too young to remember her at all. Paige never knew her since she was raised by Muggle Foster Parents. They meet her in the past and some episodes feature her as a Spirit Advisor, though.
Mood Whiplash: The season 4 episode "Hell Hath No Fury". Funny jokes about Paige messing with magic and getting an accidental Breast Expansion one minute, a serious story about Piper literally losing herself in rage and grief over Prue's death the next. One of the better-acted episodes in the series, oddly enough.
The aforementioned Cole and Leo are the two greatest examples, and two sides of the same coin. Cole is a demon, and fits the handsome bad boy type. Phoebe gets to play the fantasy of turning the bad boy good. By contrast, Leo is quite literally an angel. He plays the nice guy, and is all about love and goodness. And yes, both of them have had Shirtless Scenes.
While Cole and Leo were both fairly developed and well-rounded characters, the pure Mr. Fanservice would have been Dan from Season 2. Hunky former baseball player turned handyman next door, he seemed to only exist to stand around in tank tops and be that nice guy that Piper saw as her perfect life that she couldn't have with Leo at that point.
Ms. Fanservice: Phoebe. Not that the other girls are completely innocent, mind you.
Muggle Foster Parents: Paige Matthews was given to normal parents after her birth and didn't know her true heritage until her powers started manifesting thanks to a spell Piper had cast to bring Prue back.
In "Sight Unseen", a mysterious stalker turns out to be an ordinary human and not a demon at all.
And in "Dream Sorceror", the titular villain isn't actually a sorceror, but a scientist who built a machine that can project himself into other people's dreams and kill them, Freddy Krueger style. Apparently if you die in your dreams you die in real life.
Barbas, apparently learning that if you confront the sisters directly with magical threats, instead hires a hitman to have them done away with.
Necromantic: Inverted in "Necromancing The Stone". Apparently Grams fell in love with a Necromancer, whom she had to vanquish. He was stealing spirits in order to keep himself firmly on the living side of the line between life and death. When he comes across Grams, he tries to convince her to let both of them be resurrected by using the spirits of the Halliwel line during baby Wyatt's Wiccaning.
The one that might also take the cake: Cole is about to give the evil powers within him to a wizard, so he can finally be free and with his love Phoebe. A minute before he succeeds, Phoebe succumbs to the Seer's trickery and her unborn baby's instincts and kills the wizard — essentially forcing herself to have to choose between her husband and her sisters. She chose him. Now, after this decision, he did have the Seer issue her a poisonous tonic to drink which enhanced her evil side so as to suppress her internal conflict with being surrounded by evil and having abandoned her sisters. But when he told her the truth, she chose to take the tonic anyway — before spitting it out and changing her mind to help the sisters destroy him. Yet she has the nerve to gradually shun him forever as a result following choices that a) were manipulated by outside forces, and b) that SHE made.
Cole's Face-Heel Turn in Season 5 is even worse. In the season 4 finale, Cole manages to come back from the wasteland with a host of demonic powers in time to save Phoebe's life from a witch hunter as well as inform her of his resolve to get back together. Phoebe, conflicted between love and fear, ends up turning into a mermaid shortly after his full-on return to San Francisco ruins her plans for a quick divorce. When informed about this and led to believe it was out of hatred for him he's was halfway out the door to leave the city forever until Paige tugs him back and tells him that Phoebe loves him — which Phoebe later admits along with her fear while still insisting it's over between them. From thereon, while yes, stubborn and motivated by a foolhardy desire to earn Phoebe back, Cole generally tries to do good — either helping the sisters outright or just keeping to himself. However, the sisters (especially Phoebe) don't trust him and repeatedly make that clear to him no matter what he does. Unsurprisingly, this and his legion of powers that don't belong all help wear down on his willpower and sanity. When Cole does in fact go Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, Phoebe even has the nerve to ask him why. Like the fact that co-workers at a law firm that had him for a few months were the closest anyone came to treating him like a person rather than as something to be feared or a tool for power the entire time he was back couldn't possibly have anything to do with it.
In season five, Cole and Piper. Piper reveled in it ("I'm unbreakable, dude!"). Cole? Not so much. They were blasting each other in the episode "Y tu Mummy Tambien" and Leo mentions how pointless it was.
An invincibility spell shows up in the episode "Little Monsters". Paige cast it on Darryl, and it made him pretty much Immune to Bullets. While one wonders why they don't use it more often, it also had the side effect of inflating one's ego, reminiscent of when Prue was infected with the sin of Pride nearly killing her. Plus it turned his strength up to beyond Herculean levels and when we last see him before Paige goes to fix it is surrounded by his broken things in his office because he couldn't control his new found strength.
Nipple and Dimed: Part of Phoebe's nipple actually made it on the air in the episode "Sight Unseen". In a scene at the club, the dress she's wearing fails to cover her up and part of the nipple is visible.
Noble Demon: The Council of the Cleaners is made up of two Elders and two powerful demons. Either both or one of them agreed with the decisions regarding at first letting the Charmed ones off free but at the cost of Morris' life (this was reversed before he was killed) and then agreed to punish Phoebe only for her trying to use magic to short-cut her path to finding a husband.
Subverted in "The Day the Magic Died." After killing a demon mook while all magic is tempoarily down, Phoebe and Paige have to figure out what to do with the body and hide it in a closet.
No Cure for Evil: Whitelighters can't heal evil. This becomes an issue when Leo tries to heal Cole — it cues Leo in that Cole isn't quite human.
Noir Episode: "Charmed Noir". They even have parts of it in black and white.
Not Even Human: It appears rather often, and in one case the whole episode ("Mr. and Mrs. Witch") plays itself out without the Charmed Sisters ever becoming aware of it. The Monster of the Week is in fact a demon, but he appears to be a human Corrupt Corporate Executive. The demon is quite aware that the Charmed Ones won't kill him as long as they think he's human, and in fact the Charmed Ones never do find out. The demon is still vanquished by his superiors for failing to accomplish their evil plan; and in fact, the Charmed Sisters read about this evil executive's "suicide" in the newspaper, without ever being the wiser that this was a demon who they could have dealt with by vanquishing him.
Off with His Head!: The sisters get their heads chopped off in one episode. This doesn't kill them. Not quite so when the Headless Horseman escapes Magic School and lops off a criminal's head, though.
Ominous Latin Chanting: For the most part, practicioners of Good Magic cast spells in English Rhyme, whereas Dark Magic was done in Latin.
Omniglot: Whitelighters on the job have this ability (Paige doesn't seem to have it, though she was able to speak Maori in "Imaginary Fiends"). Lampshaded when Piper became a Whitelighter in "Siren Song" when she automatically gained the ability.
Woman: (in French) Please, you have to help, they're after me.
Piper: (in French) Calm down, I'll protect you. (in English) Whoa, was that French?
Once a Season: In nearly every season finale, the last shot is the front door of the Halliwell Manor closing.
Seasons 1 and 2: Prue closes the door.
Season 3: The demon Shax slams it.
Season 4: The Angel of Destiny closes it.
Season 5: Chris with telekinesis.
Season 6: The only exception — we see the closing doors of a hospital room after baby Chris is born. Though there is a scene where Chris magically closes the door, but it happens in the middle of the episode.
Once in a Blue Moon: On an episode, the blue moon transformed the sisters into werewolf-like beasts and no explanation of such was ever given.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Charmed was Julian McMahon's second role that required him to use an American accent, and as such his native Australian accent breaks through a few times in the early Cole episodes. It tends to happen on the last word or two of his lines.
Outside-Context Villain: Whitaker Berman, the man who called himself "the Dream Sorcerer" from the same titled episode. A completely human Serial Killer, he used science and technology to threaten the lives of innocents by entering their dreams and killing them.
Prue, who is motherly but also very controlling, gets the power of telekinesis.
Nervous, meek, and insecure Piper gets the power to stop time, giving her an opportunity to calm down.
Phoebe, the youngest and most impulsive who lacks forethought, gains the power to literally see the future.
Later Prue essentially gains the power to clone herself, when she feels the need to be in two places at once; Piper gains more confidence and learns to blow stuff up; and a more caring Phoebe becomes The Empath.
In Season 5, the sisters constantly referred to Cole as having betrayed them and becoming the Source of All Evil. The problem is, the latter half of Season 4 made it quite clear that Cole had been possessed by the essence of the Source and was overtaken. The sisters were told as much by a wizard and a seductress, and their dialogue (especially Phoebe's) in the episode after his vanquish clearly establishes that they understand the difference between "Cole the human" and "Cole the Source", so their distrust is completely highly unwarranted in the presented context.
The Cleaners are this, as well. Shannen Doherty may have wanted off the show, but still doesn't explain their only showing up NOW.
The Pollyanna: The ditzy Nymphs from "Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun".
Portal Pool: Zen Masters can use water to go any place.
Power Incontinence: Phoebe is practically the queen of this trope (not that the other sisters are entirely innocent): She doesn't have any sort of control over her premonitions until ~season 6 (and even then she never learns how to turn it off), the flying power she accidentally stole from the dragon in season 2 was unreliable to say the least and she never learned to control her empathy power ever. In act neither did Prue when she [temporarily] became an empath. Also happened to Piper "Exit Strategy", where her ability to freeze time is upgraded to Stuff Blowing Up too. Plus, Paige has struggled with this in her orbing ever since she was a high-schooler.
The Power of Friendship: The "Power of Three" relied on The Power of Friendship to work. At one point the sisters intentionally used their powers on each other in a heated argument, which immediately caused the loss of their powers.
Also Drew Fuller as Chris during season six (he was credited as guest during the fifth season finale).
Protagonist-Centered Morality: Anyone who is against the sisters are declared evil. Except on the occasion where they're just misguided. That said occasionally has the one of the sisters do something stupid or evil and get called for it. The show has a general problem with moral issues, often ripe with Unfortunate Implications. The morality is sometimes exclusively protagonist-centered, sometimes Elder-centered, and sometimes even single-sister-centered. Examples include the Elders forcing Piper through all levels of emotional anguish, suffering and self-sacrifice, Phoebe's infamous glamouring of her boyfriend, and numerous situations between the sisters when an apology that should have gone both ways only went one way.
Consider that the Charmed Ones are meant to be one of the most powerful forces of good in existence.
Which for some reason is enough to excuse, for example, setting up a bank robber Phoebe once knew to get killed by demons.
In Series 7, the sisters are completely fine with Leo getting Drunk on the Dark Side and brutally murdering an Elder, even covering up for him afterwards, but how dare the Elders treat them and Leo with mistrust and suspicion because of it?! Of course said Elder was trying to kill Wyatt and was the one ultimately responsible for turning him evil, making the murder completely justified, and the sisters had past experience of the Elders being...less than willing to listen to reason, but this doesn't completely justify acting as if the Elders would have no reason for mistrust.
Reality Show: Witch Wars, featured in the episode of the same name. There are many take thats to reality shows in the episode, and Survivor in particular, probably because it was beating Charmed in ratings.
Clea (demonic game show host): You'd think demons would've invented reality television. Somehow humans beat us to it.
Repower: Phoebe gains the ability to levitate and control electricity in the future in a second season episode, but ultimately only learns to levitate when that future was averted. This was also discussed during "Is There A Woogy in the House?" when the woogyman/Hollow/Shadow temporarily possesses Phoebe; Piper mentions that their powers are supposed to progress, and not grow in random, in response to Phoebe suddenly being able to will objects into existence.
Revisiting The Roots: The series' Sorting Algorithm of Evil became somewhat more akin to a bell-curve. The first three seasons dealt with them battling warlocks and demons, the fourth had them battling the very Source Of All Evil, the fifth ended with them battling the classic Greek Titans, the sixth had them go against a Well-Intentioned Extremist Angel, and the seventh had them end destroying a past contender of the Source. By the eighth and final season, Word of God says that Billie and Christy, sibling female witches like the protagonists, was a great way to ground the show.
Revival: The series was brought back from limbo by comic book company Zenoscope as a scheduled two-year publication.
Ripple Effect Indicator: An expanded universe book shows changes in the Halliwell family home, Phoebe's appearance, and Wyatt disappearing as the Big Bad changes events in the past.
Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: In the first season finale "Déjà Vu All Over Again" , Tempus the demon of time tries to help another demon, who is masquerading as an Internal Affairs agent named Rodriguez, kill the Charmed Ones. Whenever Rodriguez dies, Tempus would rewind time in a "Groundhog Day" Loop of sorts until Rodriguez would learn enough about his mistakes to successfully kill all three sisters. Phoebe, however, also retains the memory of each day due to her power to see the past and future, which is something Tempus doesn't know about. Eventually the sisters defeat Rodriguez and Tempus permanently, but not without losing Andy.
Rule of Three: "The Power of Three" is what makes these girls some of the most powerful witches ever. Revealed in the comics, because Prue's soul hadn't moved on, when Paige joined the Charmed Ones, the girls were actually held back from achieving their full power.
Running Gag: The poor grandfather clock is destroyed a lot, and every time Piper thinks: "Damn it, we just got that thing fixed." And she actually says it in "Brain Drain" (4x07).
Cole, in response to a cowboy using the trope, says "Been there, done that."
Also, the similar exchange of Prue crying "Go to hell!", with Rex responding, "I'd love to, dear. Miss it terribly."
Something like that seems to be the default warlock/demon response whenever anyone tells them to go to hell. You'd think sooner or later the witches would learn to stop doing it.
Sadly Mythtaken: In "Oh My Goddess!" it's said that the Greek gods were actually mortals the Elders infused with power in order to stop the Titans. This is not a problem in itself — the problem is that Gaea was stated to be one of these mortals, when in mythology she wasn't an Olympian, but the mother of the titans.
Scenery Porn: Every episode shows several flyover shots of San Francisco right after the opening credits. They're rather fond of showing the fog/clouds rolling around the Golden Gate Bridge.
"Primrose Emphath" has Father Thomas, who passed his power of empathy into a demon in order to stop him and ended up in a psych ward due to the depression and insanity that followed.
"Sense and Sense Ability" has an old demon woman stealing a sense from each of the sisters through a cursed monkey totem, although the result isn't so much "sadness" as it is "hilarious confused antics".
"Witchness Protection" has the reveal that the seer Kyra is incapable of feeling strong emotion (whether this is legit or her personal case of Informed Flaw due to demonic conditioning is uncertain) and wants to solve this problem by helping the Charmed Ones in return for a spell to turn her into a human.
Serial Romeo: Phoebe initially though Deconstructed as the show went on. The endless stream of failed relationships leaves her broken and terrified of love and when she finds out she will have a baby in the future she resorts to using her premonition powers to see if a relationship will go anywhere on the first date (for which she is punished by the Elders). This then gets Reconstructed as Phoebe considers getting a sperm donor but then realises that she doesn't just want a baby, she wants love as well and a Cupid is sent to help her out.
Series Continuity Error: In "Desperate Housewitches", the sisters have to face the threat of a resurrected Source. Paige asks Piper and Phoebe how the Source was vanquished last time... as if she wasn't there... which she was... for technically three times. No-one on the writing staff caught this?!
Series Fauxnale: End of Season 7. It ends with Darryl promising his wife he wouldn't help the Charmed Ones anymore, them destroying their own source of power to kill the Big Bad and finally changing their faces and starting living normal lives! Also Prue was mentioned a lot, and even the episode title was a mirror of the title of the pilot episode. But then they got renewed...
Shirtless Scene: Many many demons simply eschew upper body covering. Mortals and warlocks sometimes even get in on the action too.
Shoo Out the New Guy: The second season introduced Jenny Gordon, neighbor to the main characters. Beyond living with her hot uncle (a convenient love interest for Piper), she was apparently important enough to get mentioned in the opening credits, but moved away to live with her parents before she actually did anything important.
In other possible shout-outs to Television Without Pity, recapper Demian at least once per recap expressed his dislike of the character Leo, referred to the supposedly omnipotent Elders as "the ever-useless Elders" due to their apparent inability or unwillingness to help the protagonists. In the episode "Lucky Charmed," Piper refers to the "Fricking ever-useless Elders!" In "The Courtship of Wyatt's Father," the demon-of-the-week is determined to kill Leo, and is named "Damien." And oh, didn't he love that.
This show gave a shout to Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the episode "The Power of Two". Prue and Phoebe are in a mausoleum and have this conversation:
Prue: Ohh, I hate cemeteries at night.
Phoebe: I hate cemeteries at day. What was that?
Prue: Uh ... huh. Probably a zombie or vampire.
Phoebe: Great. Where's Buffy when you need her?
An even better example is when Paige is attacked by a vampire in the fourth season, after Buffy's Channel Hop from The WB to UPN.
Piper: Vampires? That'd be different.
Phoebe: No, that's not possible.
Paige: Why not?
Phoebe: Well, because as far as I know, vampires attack in human form and not as a swarm of bats. You know, it's gotta be something else.
Leo: It's true, vampires have been ostracized from the underworld for centuries. As far as I know they're apart of a whole different network now.
They also do a shout to Psycho when in a season 2 episode Piper is pursued by a serial killer from a movie.
Piper: I am being stalked by psycho killers and I hide in the shower?!
The girls' one-shot "superhero" costumes in Season 5 are reminiscent of the Legion of Super-Heroes, with a dose of some more recent X-Men outfits for flavor. Piper's in particular seems like an updated version of the original Dazzler costume. This may or may not be intentional.
In the season five finale, Paige gets turned into a goddess of war — more a genderswapped version of Ares rather than Athena, but with Poseidon's trident. Phoebe asks her whether she was done being a Warrior Princess.
Another shout out happens in several episodes with Leo (Brian Krause) & Piper (Holly Marie Combs) about their real life dating when Leo quotes he always fancied a stronger woman like a "Bethany" he refered to his then wife Beth Bruce (who he later divorced) and Piper spat back with 'Well to bad your not a Don or David' which refers to her eventual real life husband David Donoho (also later divorced), who she was just casually seeing at the time.
In early seasons, Prue works at the Buckland Auction House. The name comes from Raymond Buckland, who introduced the religion of Wicca to the United States.
The S:3 E:2 episode "Magic Hour" is almost a carbon copy of the plot from Ladyhawke about two lovers who are cursed to become animals at different parts of the day by a jealous ruler. Prue lampshades it with "I feel like I've seen this in a movie somewhere."
A rare female example. The Charmed Ones are three sisters who are the descendants of 17th century witch Melinda Warren. Apparently, up until the birth of the protagonists, there never were three daughters per generation.
Kind of subverted in season 4 when we find out about Paige. But of course nobody had thought of her yet in season 1 when the trope was established. Unless you accept that there is no limit to the number of siblings as long as there is at least three sisters. Otherwise providence would have to wait until the mother reached menopause to grant the powers to the sisters, because more siblings might still be born. Besides we find out in "That '70s Episode" in season 2 that the sisters had their powers from birth — presumably because they were always going to be witches, it's just the Charmed gimmick that wasn't (and couldn't be) established until Phoebe's birth.
Sinister Minister: Averted with most of the clergy on the show. However, Cole's marriage to Phoebe following his accession as the Source has to be a "Dark Ceremony" officiated by a "Dark Priest", who remarks <creepy voice>"It is a long time since I had a human soul dropped in my collection plate."</creepy voice>
Squishy Wizard: Averted. An illusionist wizard was actually quite competent in battling a sword-wielding Cole with his staff. Of course, being the Last of His Kind may have given him a lot of determination.
Spirit Advisor: The main characters can summon their dead relatives if they need help. Well, everyone except Prue, of course.note Justified because she isn't fully dead, as revealed in the comics
Stalker Shrine: Prue's stalker keeps it in a journal at her employee locker at P3.
Status Quo Is God: No matter what happened, or what kind of creature the sisters got turned into (be them vampires, warlocks, valkyries or even demons), by the end of the episode the transformation was undone.
Subverted in "Crime and Witch-demeanors" where Phoebe is stripped of her powers, not regaining her premonition until the next season.
Stepford Smiler: Leo casts a spell on Piper turning her "psychotically chipper" as Paige puts it.
Phoebe becomes this (and also black-and-white) because of Grandma's enchanted (by HER) wedding ring.
Stepford Suburbia: What our world would be like without sufficient evil to balance it out — sure, everybody would be friendly and nice, but parking your car in the wrong place is a capital offense and using your cellphone in a hospital gets your hand lopped off.
Stuff Blowing Up: The ability to blow things up is actually Piper's second power. It's explained as the natural progression of her first power to stop time: at first she halted molecular movement, and now she can accelerate it.
Despite Phoebe having trained in martial arts, the third season shows auctioneer/photographer Prue surpassing her in martial arts skills she has never learned.
Also, in "That '70s Episode", Phoebe suddenly reveals the ability to pick locks. Lampshaded by Prue, who rhetorically asks, "Why am I not surprised that you know how to do this?" (She had been the rebellious one in their teen years...)
In Season 8, Paige showed that she knows martial arts as well despite the fact that we never saw her train in hand-to-hand combat. Must be a witch thing.
Crossing mortal blood with a magical creature's come back in a later episode where it creates a deadly virus.
Super Power Meltdown: Subverted. Prue comes dangerously close to having one of these when she accidentally becomes an Empath in season 3 but following a pep talk from Leo promptly gets her shit together.
Super Senses: The Charmed Ones became superheroes in the episode "Witches in Tights".
Super Speed: The above episode. Also, some magical beings naturally have Super Speed, such as Dwarves and Leprechauns.
Take Our Word for It: In season 5, Phoebe becomes a successful advice columnist, has her own billboard ads, gives radio interviews and is generally said to be really funny. Of course the audience never hears more than a single sentence from her columns. She also ends up sleeping with the boss. We got a little insight when Phoebe first got the job. The person wrote in saying she was still living with her parents and was afraid of living alone. Phoebe's response, which seemed like something of an Ass Pull, was that she should get a dog for a companion. The previous columnist praised this for being proactive (it actually got her out of the house) and for being nonjudgemental. Both her (and Piper's) response was simply "Get a therapist, and get a life." The columnist said hers was better and handed the job over, so she must have done something right.
Take That: In season 3, they seemed to be throwing these toward Shannen Doherty as Prue is Put on a Bus to Hell. In "Sin Francisco", she was possessed by the Deadly Sin of Pride, turning her into a raging egomaniac. "Look Who's Barking" turns her into a literal female dog, and she also was responsible for destroying Piper's wedding in "Just Harried." It seemed like everybody was grateful to see her leave.
Taking Up The Mantle: The Ice Cream Man who fight the demonic children know when their time is coming and go looking for the truck.
Temporarily A Villain: Charmed has many episodes where one of the Halliwell sisters will go to the dark side for a day before switching back by the end of the episode.
A particularly notable one early on has all three sisters turn evil by the end of the episode, only for Leo to save them.
Also, the episode where Paige does a spell to conjure up a 'Mr. Right' for 24 hrs which inadvertently also produces a 'Mr. Wrong' who she allows to seduce her with his seductive naughtiness.
There's No "B" in Movie: Phoebe's favorite movie is a B-horror movie called "Kill It Before It Dies"; in one episode, a demon's powers cause the characters to become real, then the sisters to be trapped in the movie.
Thanatos Gambit: Leo let the other Avatars kill him in order for the sisters to snap out of the spell bringing about Utopia cast on them.
Things That Go Bump in the Night: Lots of things. From the woogy in the basement, to the poltergeists that haunt the manor, to the gremlins that cause havoc at Paige's job.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: Barbas needed thirteen witches killed on a Friday the thirteenth in order to regain his full strength.
The Three Faces of Eve: With Prue's death, Piper becomes the wife, eventually growing from insecure middle sister to capable eldest sister. She is also the first one to actually get married and have children. Paige is the child, being the youngest, newest member of the family and the least experienced in the ways of magic. Phoebe is the seductress, having the most active love life of the sisters.
Third Act Stupidity: Any demon who survives that long. The most disappointing example was Worthy Opponent Zankou who probably could have defeated the sisters if he hadn't been goaded into a situation he knew full well was a trap.
The Avatars and The Cleaners could stop and rewind time.
Piper is a lesser example, able to stop and accelerate time in a very localized area/target. In a season two episode where the sisters go into the future, her powers have grown to almost the same level as the Avatars and Cleaners, at least as far as her freezing powers.
Took a Level in Jerkass: As Alyssa Milano got more creative control, Phoebe went from a likeable, well-meaning ditz to a self-obsessed, selfish Jerk Sue who seemed to be more interested in looking for sperm banks and boy toys than helping anyone find true love, much less herself. Piper, meanwhile, started caring more about her own desire for a normal life than either hers or Leo's magical duties to saving other people. Paige, at least for a time, was more than willing to kill or at least get someone killed to solve a problem even when it was completely unnecessary to do so. The three in general grew a habit of thanklessly enlisting longtime friend Darryl Morris for help and pulling him into magical situations when he's already had a hard enough time covering for them over the years. There's being changed and hardened by going through hell over a period of several years, then there's the show seemingly forgetting over time that the Charmed Ones are supposed to be the heroes.
Even Leo himself wasn't innocent of this trope. He had to solve the overarching crisis of season 6 by killing his mentor in cold blood, which he himself acknowledged was "a great evil". Later he became part of a cult of reality warpers in season 7 and eventually convinced the sisters to help them get their way thinking it would lead to demon-free lives, only stopping when the demon who would become the show's most dangerous Big Bad had to educate him that this meant the elimination of free will. Oh, and a throwaway subplot in a season 8 episode reveals that he'd even stopped being above such things as capturing perceived enemies, holding them prisoner, and getting magic students to use them as crash test dummies, without even adding context to justify this torture beyond the victims being demons.
True Love's Kiss: What kills the villain in "Magic Hour", by undoing the curse he sets.
Truth Serums: The truth spell. Unfortunately it affects everyone in the vicinity, something Prue didn't account for.
24 Hour Party People: Done a few times. First with Piper's baby shower and later would be done for every birthday party Piper's children had. You could probably also count Prue's funeral and the funeral Piper, Phoebe, and Paige had when they faked their deaths.
Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Demons and warlocks and some other magical entities naturally able to steal the powers of other magical beings by killing them.
Villain Ball: In the season 4 the Source might have turned Paige to his side, but then went and did some blatantly evil things, like shocking Phoebe and throwing Inspector Cortez onto a coat hook, badly wounding the man.
Villain Teleportation: Demons usually either shimmer or use flames. Warlocks would just disappear or "blink". Also, note while villains have the most varieties of teleportation, it's the good kind of teleportation — orbing — that appears most often.
Waking Up at the Morgue: Piper does this in "Styx Feet Under". Since the FBI agent who's been following them for the last few episodes is in the room when it happens, it's the event that finally allows him to penetrate The Masquerade.
"All Hell Breaks Lose": The episode where Prue dies
"Love Hurts": Two policeman investigates Andy and Darryl at a loud construction where one of the men ascertains that they're talking about Prue. His confused colleague asks how did he know only to turn to see the first man with red eyes and utter a sonic scream, which kills the second man and confirms the first man as the Big Bad of the first season finale.
"We're Off to See the Wizard": Phoebe is pregnant and joins Cole (now the Source of all Evil) as his queen.
Wham Shot: In "All Hell Breaks Lose" where Piper and Prue are panicking over being outed as witches. Prue frets that "Our entire future, our entire destiny could be wiped out just like that". Piper gasps and the camera pans down to reveal a bloody gunshot wound passing through her chest.
Also inverted in "Its a Bad, Bad World", where Barbas is the Demon of Hope
What Happened to the Mouse?: In Season 3, it was hinted that Cole was working for the Triad for something in return. At the end of the season, it was revealed to be his father's soul, which they had somehow acquired years earlier. However, after obtaining his father's soul, it is never stated what Cole did with it and is never mentioned again.
Played straight (painfully so) in a later season, with a demon trying to help the sisters in return for a soul. Needlessly killed by the Big Bad before she can become human again, but after holding up her side of the bargain. And they were so close to turning her again, too. Her borrowing one of Phoebe's dresses in her last minutes showed just how ready they had gotten for it, and even caused question as to whether they actually pulled it off. This only made her vanquish even more painful.
Who You Gonna Call?: The Charmed Ones, of course, but when they need to get rid of evil spirits that plague the manor, they call upon the services of a witch doctor. He is actually described as someone who gets rid of the Things That Go Bump in the Night.
Season 3's "Pre-Witched" shows the sisters six months before the start of the series right before their grandmother died.
Season 6's "Chris-Crossed" is a flashback of Chris's past, which is technically a flash-forward since Chris is from the future. Doubles as a Wham Episode in that it's revealed that not only is Chris actually half-witch/half-whitelighter like Paige, but also in the future Wyatt is an evil overlord.
Words Do Not Make The Magic: A spell doesn't get cast unless it is said by a being with magical power. In the episode "Animal Pragmatism", it is shown though that even the recording of a voice - this one being Phoebe's - that says a spell, as long as it's by someone with magic, can cast it.
Wrestling Monster: At one point the sisters come across a camp training demons to be wrestlers. Maybe that is how they hide if they don't feel like posing as lawyers.
Yin-Yang Bomb: Prue and War get temporarily displaced when the Charmed Ones and the Four Horsemen accidentally combine powers. It takes another combination, this time intentional, to bring them back.
You Do NOT Want To Know: The Council of two Elders and two powerful demons who control the Cleaners. When asked what happens if it becomes a tie, the Sisters are told this trope.