That Sabrina character certainly gets around, doesn't she?Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a live-action series that ran from 1996 to 2003, based on the Archie comic book. It was preceded by a Pilot Movie with better production values, but a mainly different and much less memorable cast.On her 16th birthday, Sabrina Spellman, resident of Westbridge, MA, discovers that she is a witch and has magical powers. She moves in with her witch aunts Hilda and Zelda, and learns to survive the pratfalls of high school with a little magic on her side. Other fixtures in her life were her talking cat Salem (a wizard punished for his megalomania by being trapped in an animal body), her oblivious love interest Harvey, and her mortal enemy Libby (former Trope Namer for the Alpha Bitch).The show was extremely similar in characterization and plot-structure to the 1980s SitcomOut of This World, but was in fact based on material which predated that show by several decades: the same Archie Comics as the series Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies — though the animated show went in a very different direction. There were also two additional TV movies - Sabrina Goes To Rome and Sabrina Down Under featuring Tara Strong as a movie-exclusive character Gwen.Now airing on The Hub.
All Witches Have Cats: Sabrina has Salem. Only in Series 6 - 7. In series 1 - 4 he belongs to Hilda and in Series 5 he stays with Hilda and Zelda because he can.
Alpha Bitch: Libby was the former Trope Namer for a very long time because she was such a striking example of this.
And There Was Much Rejoicing: In an episode where Sabrina uses magical products to make Harvey more ambitious, to the point where he's alienated from Sabrina and only cares about his ambitions of being a money-making businessman, she shows him what could happen if he continues (a la A Christmas Carol). At the end of the montage they see a party which is Harvey's funeral. They're happy because he was a jerk who didn't spend time with his family and cut down all of the trees (except one) in Westbridge.
Artistic License - Geography: While otherwise a very enjoyable show, it's obvious the producers never set foot in Massachusetts before creating this show. One episode had lines that placed Westbridge nearly 200 miles west of Boston, which in real life is far west of the Hudson River in New York. Another episode said that the same town is about an hour's drive from Salem, Massachusetts, which itself in real life is about 10 miles north of Boston. The fifth series and on also said that Westbridge is very close into Boston, and heavily urbanised. So, apparently, the Massachusetts in the minds of the producers is about six times the size that it is in real life.
Be Careful What You Say: Good advice when doing magic. The Literal Genie trope runs rampant in the other realm, so when casting a spell a witch has to say exactly what he or she means. Sabrina occasionally lands herself in trouble for failing to make her spells precise enough.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Parodied in the penultimate episode. When a tidal wave hits the beach Sabrina and her friends are staying at, Sabrina and Roxie emerge with messy hair, dirt on their faces and covered in seaweed. Morgan is still fine and we get this exchange.
Sabrina: Morgan, how did you learn to scale a palm tree like that?
Morgan: Do you have any idea what a twenty-foot wall of water would do to my hair?
The Bermuda Triangle: In an episode when Sabrina is on a cruise ship that enters the Bermuda Triangle, she discovers that her powers no longer work but can instead make wishes that are instantly granted.
Berserk Button: Amanda, several times. When she was young, it was being denied things. When she was older, well:
Aaron's Mother: "It's so hard to find a bridesmaids dress that looks good on everyone."
Amanda: Oh, I have melted people for less than that!
Big Beautiful Woman: Hilda had a very full figure and still had a more active love life than Zelda.
Bitch Alert: Libby, Amanda and Roxie. The latter two do mellow out eventually.
Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: From season 5 onwards - Sabrina (blonde), Roxie (brunette) and Morgan (redhead). The traditional roles are palette swapped with Sabrina as the Brainy Blonde, Roxie as the Fiery Brunette and Morgan as the Dumb Redhead. Alternately season 1 could also count with Libby and Jenny filling the brunette and redhead roles respectively - though without the personality types as Jenny was brainy too and Libby wasn't dumb, just mean.
Break Up Make Up Scenario: Between Sabrina and Harvey, first when he sees her with Josh, then when he learns (permanently) that she is a witch. Uncommon for a sitcom of that period, both times lasted several episodes.
Breast Expansion: In episode "Sabrina Unplugged", Sabrina accidentally has her breasts enlarged by Leonard when he alters her body through a magical photoshop-like program she was trapped in, thinking it's just a picture of her. Undoubtedly, her new bosom leads to a lot of Male Gaze moments.
Brick Joke: Morgan says that Harvey helped her decide between a tiger print and zebra print blouse, and Harvey says (to get rid of her) that everyone is wearing them at Wal-Mart. Morgan reappears towards the end of the episode now wearing a zebra print.
Bridezilla: Sabrina became a literal bridezilla in one episode, when, following the advice of Cinderella, she became extremely demanding, causing her lower body to change into that of a dragon.
Broken Aesop: Some people think this applies to the final episode when Sabrina ends up choosing her (magically) destined partner Harvey over her fiancee, despite the fact that several characters tell her that even though their soul crystals do not match, what matters is what the heart wants...
Of course the characters' conjectures still hold true, since Sabrina spends half her engagement questioning her feelings towards the groom in favor of Harvey. It's made blatantly obvious that Sabrina and her high-school sweetie are not only destined partners by magic, but actually love each other more than anything.
Bubble Pipe: The episode where Sabrina's friend ends up in the Other Realm has the woman who reads out the laws of said realm blow on a bubble pipe when she's having her conversation with Sabrina.
Also the episode of the murder mystery party, where Salem plays a detective. Leading to this hilarious bit with a suspect:
Salem: The body was covered with pipe smoke!
Suspect: But zat means nozing! You have a pipe too.
Salem: Yes, but mine only blows bubbles! *does just that*
Burn the Witch!: Played with in an episode. Sabrina's class visits Salem; everyone was given a little slip saying if they were a witch or not, and were supposed to find the witch. Sabrina loses hers without reading it. After all the predictable accusation hijinks goes down, the teacher announces that nobody had a slip that said "witch", as a lesson to the class about crazy witchhunts. Sabrina finds her slip on the bus home, which says "witch" on it. Salem... is not a good place for witches.
It's also worth noting that when Jenny is "found guilty" of being a witch, Mr Pool says "you can pretend we hanged her" instead of burning. He was with the history teacher after all.
In a later episode, Sabrina has the chance to tell mortals about her powers because it's Friday 13th, but Zelda and Hilda advise against it because Zelda almost wound up being burned when her teen best friend told the whole village about her powers (She gets dropped down a well in bucket in the flashback and later states she still doesn't feel comfortable with swimming because of it). Sabrina herself has a paranoiac fantasy in which she gets burned by her class-mates after Valerie tells Harvey her secret.
Call Back: In the finale, to the very first season— the "something old" bracelet that Morgan gets out of Sabrina's jewelry box is the bracelet that Harvey gave her during "As Westbridge Turns," and Sabrina running away with Harvey happens at exactly 12:36, which is engraved on the bracelet because it's the exact time they met.
Can't Believe I Said That: In "Sabrina Through The Looking Glass", Baltimore Oriole star Brady Anderson stars As Himself and serves as Sabrina's spirit guide when she becomes trapped inside a mirror world. As she's leaving, he advises her to remember that "life is a team sport." After she goes back, Brady delivers the following line:
Brady: Life is a team sport? How stupid does that sound?
Casting Gag: In one episode, it is revealed that Aunt Hilda (played by Quebec-born Caroline Rhea) failed to fill out her immigration paperwork, and when tested on the legality of her citizenship by reading a sentence, she reads it in an exaggerated Canadian accent. She is then promptly deported to "the Northern Sector of the Other Realm, where she came from." Subsequently, she is traded for badger pelts.
Sabrina turns herself into a cat in the episode in which she enrolls Salem on a pet contest. In a later episode she's almost turned into a cat because of her absorbing Libby's evilness and trying to take over the world (under Salem's advice).
One of Salem's classmates from his time in high-school was turned into a cat because she tried to take over the universe. Salem later developed a stalk-y crush on her, but she wasn't interested.
One of Hilda's friends, heavily implied to have dated Salem before his downfall, turns into a cat so she can date him after Hilda's brithday party in "Tick-Tock Hilda's Clock".
Cats Are Mean: Explained in that witches that try to take over the world, like Salem (or anything larger like "the universe", like one of Salem's dates) are punished by being turned into a cat for 100 years. This doesn't happen to everyone though; Hilda, who followed Salem because she thought he would succeed, only had to keep him worm free until the end of his sentence... until she's freed from it that is.
Chained to a Railway: Parodied: Sabrina even does the scream-and-struggle seizure, but quickly stops as she realizes that screaming is pretty pointless if you're in a silent movie.
Character Development: Over the course of seven seasons, Amanda goes from being a Bratty Half-Pint to a decent person, and her and Sabrina are on much better terms. Roxie also starts season 5 as an anti-social moody bitch and ends the series as one of Sabrina's closest friends.
Sabrina: Oh! I'm glad you guys are home, I'm really worried about Valerie. She's fallen in with a bad crowd. Zelda:Trekkies? Sabrina: No worse, she's trying to become a cheerleader.
Averted during the sixth season's premiere, when Roxie and Sabrina dress up as nice, and very unlikely cheerleaders for Miles' horror movie.
Christmas Elves: Subverted in an early episode, where all of Santa's elves are regular human-sized except one.
Elf: We're Santa's elves! Sabrina: But you're huge! Elf: Yeah, guess who always gets in the pictures...
This, however, was ignored in a later episode when the aunts hire a couple of short elves.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The series was somewhat notorious for this. Several major or reccuring characters (Drell, Jenny, Mr. Pool, Mrs. Quick, Dreama, Brad and Miles) vanished without a trace.
Justified in season 5 when the setting shifted from high school to college meaning that the likes of Mr Kraft and Mrs Quick would still be at the school while Brad and Dreama were off at other colleges. Again justified in season 6, when Sabrina moves back to her house and only brings Roxie and Morgan along (The house only has three rooms).
an episode at the beginning of Series 7 later has a television broadcast in the background with the words "...Goodman was shot today." said by the announcers, so he may actually be dead.
College Radio: Sabrina and Roxie get their own show, but Sabrina quickly steps down when she realizes she's not a very good host.
Color Me Black: Subverted. The morning after receiving a lecture from one of her relatives about the importance of not judging by appearance, Sabrina checks herself in the mirror and is grateful that her appearance wasn't modified in the night. Harvey, however, spends the episode transformed into a beast-man, and Sabrina has to accept him before the curse is undone.
Continuity Drift: The punishment in series for telling a mortal about one's witch powers is that they are stripped of them if the mortal tells anyone. The movie Sabrina Goes To Rome also adds that a depowered witch is also cast out if she doesn't turn said mortal into a pile of stone within 24 hours. Especially Egregious because Cousin Marigold lost her powers the instant Emile told someone about them.
Continuity Nod: In "The Crucible" Sabrina says to ask Jill if that's her real nose - referencing Libby revealing Jill had a nose job in "Bundt Friday".
Contrived Clumsiness: In the pilot episode, the Alpha Bitch performs the drink spill variant to Sabrina. Later, when she does it again, Sabrina uses her magic to make the drink tilt back towards her.
Libby commonly tries to pull this off on Sabrina or her friends, but almost never succeeds or goes unpunished.
Convenience Store Gift Shopping: Roxie unexpectedly ends up spending Christmas with Hilda and Zelda, so she goes out to buy some last minute gifts. She buys the aunts lottery tickets and Gatorade because 7-11 is the only open store she can find.
Cool Cat: Salem is almost as cool as he thinks he is.
Cool Loser: Despite being an attractive do-gooder and a model student, she was treated with contempt by both Libby and Vice-Principal Kraft. Makes some sense, though: Libby saw Sabrina as a threat to her own popularity, and was jealous of her grades and likability, and Kraft hated teenagers in general and especially hated seeing them happy, and thought that charity was "unamerican," thus making Sabrina the perky do-gooder everything he despised.
Couch Gag: The first three seasons of the show had Sabrina changing into four different outfits in front of her mirror, the fourth always being different. She would then make a quick pun or observation based on the outfit in question.
Cousin Oliver: A season 3 episode reveals Marigold has a second daughter Allie that wasn't seen at the Halloween family gathering back in season 1. Also one wonders why she didn't need to be babysat in season 2 when Sabrina did it for Amanda.
Also did one with Clueless, even if it's only for about thirty seconds. When Cher meets Sabrina, she's confused that she had never seen her, despite that Cher knew everyone at school. Sabrina then disappears when Cher's back is turned, leaving Cher baffled.
As part of a night where in Sabrina, Salem had swallowed a ball that allowed the holder to travel to a different time period, the night saw Salem turn up in the other shows on the TGIF lineup at the time, Boy Meets World, Teen Angel and You Wish. This didn't translate well when going overseas, as not every show was exported to the channel - For example, in the UK Sabrina aired on Nickelodeon, but Teen Angel (Which featured the end of the event) & Boy Meets World aired on the Disney Channel.
Cult: Had a cult around a fake "witch" who also hoarded its members' worldly possessions. (And made them eat mungbeans)
In the same episode, Salem responds to neighbor Tobias running over their trashcans and mailbox with death threats over the phone and catapulted water balloons that shatter all his windows. Naturally, the police are called.
In an earlier episode, Cousin (and Emperor) Larry declares open war on Zelda for politely declining to hand over a small country (of three people) she just found out she is a princess of to him.
Distressed Damsel: Sabrina in the first episode featuring Roland. Also in several episodes involving Harvey, like when Sabrina conjures a silent spell that winds up turning the evening into a silent movie or when she turns the boy into a superhero.
Dumb Blonde: Episode "Deliver Us From E-Mail", where Katrina sends Sabrina an "airhead virus", which lets Katrina absorb all of Sabrina's intelligence, turning her into a blonde bimbo.
In the Cold Open of "Five Easy Pieces of Libby", Salem is accidentally turned blonde and remarks "I'm blonde! My IQ just dropped 20 points." Then he lets out one of his characteristic "Gyehhh?!" sounds when Zelda points out that he just said that in front of three blond witches.
Dumb Jock: There is an episode where Sabrina writes an article for the school paper exposing the preferential treatment given to school athletes and gets the star pitcher for the baseball team benched until he finishes his assignments. She goes to help him and he has doodled that he hates her and wrote her names with three "n"s.
Elemental Shapeshifter: One episode has Sabrina struggling with trying to learn this technique; it finally clicks for her by the end of the episode in a moment of anger and frustration, and she easily turns into wind and then fire.
Technically, she's not evil, she just likes to get her own way and does, in her own crazy way, care for Sabrina; she even hugs her in Series 7 when she thinks Harvey and Sabrina are getting married. Word of God later states that Irma presided over Sabrina's common-law marriage to Harvey. (This used to be in an X-Files related document, but has since been erased; the document, not the information.) So... Irma just cares that her family marry the best and do the best they can. But, if they tell a mortal that Irma doesn't approve of she will turn the mortal... or family member, into a fish or some other house hold item; she turns her own daughter into a ballerina type item and turns Hilda, regularly, into dry fruit in a basket, and even turns Salem, Hilda and Zelda into pigs when called "Prune Face".
Exact Words: Spells, especially ones spoken in rhyme, will always take extremely literal effects based on the caster's word choice. There's an entire episode dedicated to this trope—"Oh What a Tangled Spells She Weaves." In it, Sabrina tries to make it warmer in school—the place becomes blisteringly hot. She attempts to cool it down—an indoor blizzard begins. She casts a spell to make Harvey a Hall of Fame-caliber football player—he bulks up into a musclebound giant. She sends her aunts to the location of a rug that she already made disappear with a spell—Hilda and Zelda end up in Merlin's castle, where the rug came from. And that's just one episode!
In "Whose So-Called Life is it Anyway?," Sabrina tries to liven up Valerie's extremely dull family dinner by allowing whatever Mr. and Mrs. Birkhead wish for on a wishbone to come true. Mrs. Birkhead wishes that "our Valerie could be just like Sabrina." Cue Valerie slowly transforming into an actual copy of Sabrina, complete with confidence, blonde hair, and magical powers.
It doesn't help that the women seem to have moved not only through space, but also time, so despite being only around 600 years old they lived through much older times.
Note, Hilda is 652 and Zelda is 659, so they've lived rather a long time; this raises the question of just how old Sabrina's father, Aunt Vesta and Aunt Sophia actually are? Irma's over 1,000, so they can't be that old... can they?
Hilda: I've been in the world's end, this ain't it.
Exposition of Immortality: Hilda and Zelda mention that they had all the money because they kept a lot of common items over the time of their extended lifespans and sold them when they found they'd become valuable antiques.
Expository Theme Tune: The second OP intimates that Sabrina has moved out of her aunts' house, and leads a busy life.
Fallen Princess: Deconstructed in the episode "Geek Like Me". Sabrina uses her magic to turn Libby into a geek, hoping it will encourage her to change her ways and become nicer when she sees how hard it is. It doesn't work as Libby instead becomes the leader of the geeks and turns them into an elite clique that the cheerleading squad originally was.
Played straight when Cousin Marigold is depowered and hooks up with a mortal man. She says she was never happy with magic but is happier now.
Familiar: In the Pilot Movie, Salem is one for Sabrina and her aunts, helping them perform magic as part of his punishment. In the sitcom he has no/limited magic but often acts as an adviser on the subject, particularly for Sabrina.
Fanservice Many of the teenage girls in earlier episodes can be frequently seen wearing short skirts and dark tights. The producers of the show would later admit this was deliberate to boost ratings with young male viewers. Also, episode "Sabrina Unplugged" which features a Breast Expansion heavy plot and countless Male Gaze scenes.
Later, Sabrina went inside herself to make room in her heart for a new beau.
Fictional Holiday: Bobunk. It's too bad that Salem accidentally deleted it... Only Father Christmas, and Salem himself, remember Bobunk.
Christmas later almost became this.
Witches seem to have their own traditions for holidays, even the ones mortals celebrate.
Firemen Are Hot: Aunt Zelda had a thing for milk-drinking firemen, to the point of making one out of magical dough for a perfect date. Hilda also sometimes asks Salem to "trap himself" in a tree so that a fireman can rescue him and give Hilda a chance for a date (Apparently, this is a regular thing as Salem later refuses, only to be persuaded by food).
First Love: Played straight with Harvey and Sabrina.
Flanderization: When we meet Morgan in season 5 she is of course shallow and a bit spacey but completely capable and in control of herself. But then in season 7 she is a complete ditz.
Aunt Hilda gets Flanderized from being the slightly more easy going of the two aunts to being a ditzy slacker. The best example is her music career: she goes from being a skilled orchestral violinist in the first season to having to be nagged into doing any practicing at all by her sister in the third. Though a recurring gag in the early episodes had people be very unappreciative or outright dismissive of her music talents. It makes sense as to why she would lose interest.
An in-universe example in the episode "When Teens Collide". Sabrina and Libby end up swapping personalities due to molecular instability. They both end up as exaggerated versions of the other. Libby becomes a sickeningly sweet Pollyanna and Friend to All Living Things while Sabrina becomes cartoonishly evil and tries to take over the world.
Flying Broomstick: Flying vacuum cleaners, actually- they work just as well, but one crashed when it sucked up a penny.
Follow the Leader: Following the success of Sabrina (as well as the decline of family sitcoms) ABC tried to revive the TGIF line-up with more supernatural sitcoms including Teen Angel (about a guardian angel) and You Wish (about a genie). None were successful. Disney Channel would have better luck years later with shows such as Wizards of Waverly Place.
For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Or rather, the house. When Valerie invites the entire student body over to Sabrina's for a Halloween party, the latter spends the entire episode trying to keep people from seeing the house being... well, the house. When her cover is finally blown, everyone assumes the talking cat and furniture, river of candy corn, and monster Halloween carolers from the Other Realm are props and people in costumes.
Fourth Date Marriage: Aaron and Sabrina meet. Three episodes later they tell each other they love each other...okay. Then in the next episode Aaron proposes and she accepts. Finally in the season finale, only four episodes later Aaron and Sabrina are about to get married.
Free the Frogs: Sabrina and class have to dissect frogs, and it seems to follow real life in that the frogs seemed to come pre-killed. Sabrina and her partner express some disgust over it, though they do it with no big drama. The subversion happens when Sabrina accidentally uses her magic to reanimate the frog, and it jumps off the lab table. The frog was pretty much forgotten about for the rest of the episode, since the plot of it was more about Sabrina learning to control her powers and not about saving a frog.
Freudian Excuse: In "Five Easy Pieces of Libby", it's strongly implied that the reason Libby doesn't show compassion for other people is because it's never been shown to her.
Quizmaster: "Don't worry, that piece doesn't exist yet. It's Libby's compassion for others. You'll have to gradually fill that space by showing compassion for Libby, even when she doesn't show it for you. In other words, learn to work together."
Roxie being the way she is gets explained in seasons 6 and 7 when we find out her mother was in prison for theft and her father and stepmother pay her no attention, resulting in her never even having a proper Christmas.
Freudian Slip: Used as a plot device, near the end of the series, Sabrina has a Freudian Slip when she meant to say "I love Aaron." What she ended up saying is "I love Harvey!" And she does it again later with "I love you, Billy. Did I say Billy?"
One of Hilda's stories from her Expansion Pack Past ends in a literal example. (She trips Sigmund Freud. She even jokes that it was "the first Freudian Slip".)
Gender Bender: In one episode Sabrina, Hilda and Zelda all become male, though Zelda only briefly.
Green-Eyed Monster: In the season 4 episode "Jealousy", Sabrina starts acting jealous when Harvey begins hanging out with other people and her jealousy magically consumes her, causing her to become jealous with people even over petty things like somebody getting a good grade on an assignment in class. (A class that Sabrina wasn't even in, no less.) She even comes complete with Green Eyes.
Ho Yay: Harvey's friendship with Brad borders in this.
Miles has a short moment with a vampire.
Hula and Luaus: Played straight in one episode, in which Sabrina and her twin are competing against each other to see which one is evil. Later, Sabrina learns she has a relative who is a Hawaiian volcano goddess.
Witches themselves may not be human at all, since it's stated several times through the earliest seasons that the Other Realms exists physically in a distant galaxy and that Witches "came to Earth" in some point throughout human history.
Hypocritical Humor: A staple of the series, though one particularly hilarious example is Salem being indignant to find that Neighbor From Hell Tobias is spying on them with a telescope... while he's spying on Tobias with binoculars.
In the later episode "Cloud Ten", Sabrina is feeling ignored by her family and friends. She visits a friend who works for an Other Realm travel agency, who suggests she go to Cloud Ten. To get there, Sabrina must open a bag full of cloud and inhale. Once there she's introduced as a "first-timer", and warned that coming down from the cloud can be unpleasant...
Incredibly Lame Pun: In the 17th episode of season 3 (Sabrina The Teenage Writer) Sabrina writes a spy story on a magic typewriter and her characters, which mirror actual characters of the show, come to life. At one point the mirror character of Mr. Kraft (Dr. Bad) captures Harvey's character Derek and and ties him to a buzz saw in order to kill him.
"Derek": There's always been an unpleasant edge to you, Dr. Bad. "Dr Bad": (with his hands on his ears) I am killing you, just to stop the puns.
In that same episode, the Spellmans received a chain letter, which was a letter with an actual chain attached to it. And when Hilda crafted a chain letter of her own to send on, it was made out of literal letters.
Also in "Dante's Inferno" Hilda gets a case of "punitis" which causes everything she says to be a bad joke and literally happen-for example when she wants ice cream, she looks in the freezer to find an "eye screaming."
Another one of these, which is rather hilarious, is when Hilda asks: "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" Salem LITERALLY has Zelda's tongue in his hand...
Really, the inhabitants of the Other Realm just LOVE their puns. Rarely is the opportunity for one passed up.
In One Ear, Out The Other: In 'Deliver Us From E-Mail' Sabrina contracts a magical virus that turns her into an airhead; at one point Zelda looks into Sabrina's ear and gets a clear view out the other side.
In an earlier episode, Hilda is shown to be addicted to using "Mental Floss" in order to push out her intelligence. The string is shown to actually go through her head.
Invincible Incompetent: Sabrina went seven years without ever learning even one or two simple spells she could reliably not mess up. Notable in that there usually was no villain except for her mastery of this trope alternately causing and fixing problems.
Insult to Rocks: In the Season 3 episode "Sabrina's Real World", Hilda puts on a belt that makes her uncontrollably tell jokes, which leads to this:
Hilda: "You wanna talk about frightening, you should see my mother-in-law. They said she was ugly as sin. Sin sued."
It's Fake Fur, It's Fine: Sometimes fur is worn, and it's usually fake, and occasionally explicitly mentioned as such (but not always).
In one episode, Salem has a huge gambling debt to a guy (who later turned out to be a cheater), and the Spellmans are forced to work for him to pay it off. At his gambling hall, we see women wearing fur wraps. The furs are later stated to be fake when the Spellmans try to make a potion, and a hair from a fake fur is an ingredient.
It's All About Me: Salem. Sabrina also lapses into this from time to time. She is a teenager.
Jedi Mind Trick: Often used by Sabrina, especially on Harvey and Roxie. A good example from the episode 'Sabrina and the Candidate':
Sabrina: I have a question for one of the candidates. Roxie: We're not taking questions from the audience tonight. (Sabrina twitches her finger in Roxie's direction.) Roxie: Although here's a crazy idea! Why not.
Karma Houdini: Libby always wins. Mr. Kraft will always defer to the cheerleaders and give them whatever they want. Of course, after they graduate high school this doesn't make any difference whatsoever. Sabrina can usually taint her victory a little with slapstick, but Libby still ultimately gets what she wanted.
Mr. Kraft applies as well, he gives detentions out for things that would be cause for legal trouble (don't like their clothes, personality, or in Sabrina's case "just because" several times) yet never is reprimanded.
Later on, Morgan came and averted the rule. She always ended up with the short end of the stick, despite being mostly an airhead rather than a bitch.
Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Plastic, one of the most common substances in the world, is the weakness of magic. Subverted though, as only certain types of plastic affect magic and only to prevent magic from working on them. In other words, a witch could theoretically be surrounded by plastic and still be able to use magic. However, this would limit their powers to whatever could be done inside the plastic. (Teleportation and conjuring might still be viable options though, depending on the particular rules of the Sabrina universe.)
Last Minute Hookup: Sabrina returns to first love Harvey instead of getting married when the network refuses to allow an hour-long finale.
While most witches and wizards use their fingers to cast magic, some others use another kind of gesture (Aunt Irma crosses her arms; Cousin Zsa Zsa Goowhiggie moves both arms over each other twice, while Zelda, Sabrina, Amanda and Marigold use their fingers and sparks, and Aunt Hilda uses a large puff of smoke).
Magic Kiss: The first time a witch kisses a mortal, the mortal will turn into a frog. To turn him back, the witch must return to the same place and give him True Love's Kiss. If it's not true love, the second kiss will cause the witch to become a frog as well.
In the pilot movie, it's revealed that a witch who uses her magic to impress a mortal (or otherwise buy/compel his love) will be turned into a cat for ninety years by that mortal's kiss. If the love is given freely, the witch will remain normal.
The Magocracy: Mostly in the first four seasons and plots regarding Hilda and Zelda.
Man in a Kilt: Mr. Pool wears one in an episode, as he's of Scottish ancestry. It isn't played for Fanservice, as it just confuses Sabrina, and the principal yells at Mr. Pool for doing so.
Meaningful Name: Spellman, and Salem the cat. Katrina would be an example, except that season aired before the infamous hurricane.
Also, most of the character's names Sabrina gave for her science-fiction story. The villains were Dr. Bad, Lydia Kissenkill, and Vivian Soontodie. Averted with Derek Kink, since his name was based on Harvey's.
Missing Mom: Sabrina's mother is mortal and is not allowed to have contact with her. She turns into a ball of wax if she sees Sabrina without approval from the Witches Council. in the series finale, the Witches Council does allow Sabrina's mom to attend her wedding, but demands that one of the aunts be temporarily turned into wax. Hilda volunteered Zelda and she is turned into a red candle.
Mistaken for Gay: Hilda and Zelda at a PTA meeting. In another episode they book separate rooms at a hotel but the receptionist assumes they're together and puts them into the same room.
Hilda: I'm sure you realise now that you were very, very wrong.
Zelda: Lawsuit wrong!
Morgan later claims that a drummer from a band must be gay because he ignored her.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Borderline-parodied in the episode Sabrina the Teenage Writer, with Sabrina's poorly written Bond villain "Dr. Bad."
MRS Degree: The episode, Inna-Gadda-Sabrina, has the main character traveling to the 60s where she expresses interest in a certain university but the man tells he that he understands if she wants to get her MRS but they can't let girls in.
The Movie: Two of them, although they seem to follow their own continuity. However, since Sabrina dates people, they're probably set after Series 4.
My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Aunt Hilda once had a problem with her biological clock (a literal magical clock) and began a series of desperate measures to try and become pregnant, including randomly choosing a guy off the street to marry. Sabrina eventually offered her own clock as a substitute for Hilda's, but luckily it all worked out in a timely fashion.
Muggles: Pretty much everyone in the mortal realm. Sabrina is half "muggle" herself.
Never Win the Lottery: An alternate take on this was featured in an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Sabrina is allowed access to a crystal ball that can answer any question. Her first question was, oddly enough, "What if Kenan and Kel won the lottery?". We then see a short segment of the two losing the ticket and coming to the conclusion that is was inside a sandwich that Kel just took a bite out of.
Kenan & Kel actually had an episode where they had and lost a Lottery Ticket, but it was different from the clip.
In the fifth season's Christmas special, Roxy buys Hilda several lottery tickets as a last minute gift.
No Control Group: Parodied: Sabrina's aunts have decided to live apart and Sabrina is seeing what would happen if she decided to stay with Zelda via magic crystal ball. She is shown giving anti-aging cream of her own design to a regular looking Libby (after she gives a speech insulting herself and praising Sabrina) and to a very old looking Mr. Kraft:
Mr. Kraft: Sabrina, you can be honest with me. I'm in the placebo group, aren't I? Sabrina: Maybe not. It's possible you were given aging cream. However, if you were you'd be suffering from hearing loss by now... Mr. Kraft: Oh, thank you. These are new shoes, actually.
Nothing Is Scarier: In one Halloween Episode, Hilda and Zelda have Edgar Allan Poe over for scary stories. Salem wants to tell his own and after resistance, he finally gets to. We never hear them, but when we cut back to the house, Hilda, Zelda and Poe are in frozen in scared silence.
Notzilla: An episode had Sabrina dealing with a Godzilla parody.
Obvious Stunt Double: Salem: it is fairly easy to tell the difference between when he is being portrayed by a real cat and when he is being portrayed by a puppet.
Odd Friendship: After learning Sabrina's secret, Harvey develops one of these with Salem.
He did so too before the big revelation, however briefly, when Sabrina casts a Doctor Dolittle spell on him.
Roxy and Miles are supposed to become this in the future.
Oh, No... Not Again!: An episode had her aunts warning Sabrina about wish magic in which if a witch desires something or someone enough that their magic can make them spontaneously appear. The aunts demonstrate this by saying the name of singer Randy Travis three times and he promptly appears in their kitchen. Travis looks around and instead of freaking out, he sighs and says "Hello Hilda, hello Zelda, and you must be Sabrina. I've heard a lot about you."
First of all, Aunt Zelda gives up her "adult years" to save Sabrina after Sabrina refuses to give up her true love even though she agreed to to save Hilda (confusing already) and subsequently turns to stone and crumbles. Zelda turns into an 8-year-old to give Sabrina the rest of her life. Wait...WHAT? Zelda just gives up her entire life? Because Sabrina was an idiot yet again? Zelda agrees to this in a matter of minutes after Sabrina crumbles to pieces. Also, Sabrina, usually completely ignorant to most witch-things in the past, knows exactly what Zelda has done. But what is even more unsettling is that Sabrina merely gives her aunt a cheap, poorly written, and rapid "thank you" and tells her aunt that she is ready to live her own life. I guess with Hilda newly married they had no use for her and since Zelda doesn't have some convenient boarding school to be shipped off to (Libby) nor a family that is given a new job in Alaska (Valerie) this was their only option.
At least, they gave her a sendoff unlike Miles, Jenny, Mr. Pool, Drell, Mr. Kraft, Dreama, and Brad who just got Chuck Cunningham Syndrome and disappeared without explanation.
Only Sane Man: After a while, Salem develops into this role, often either suggesting that Sabrina ask her aunts about the magical problem of the week or reminding her what had happened previously when she used her magic to fix something. Yes, that's right, the cat who was a man who tried to take over the world is the sanest of them all.
Parental Abandonment: Sabrina lives with her aunts permanently. Her mother is a mortal and is therefore forbidden to have any contact with Sabrina (and will be turned to wax if she does so). Her father visits on occasion, but he's a diplomat and spends too much time traveling to raise Sabrina properly.
Parlor Games: There was an episode wherein in order to undo the wacky spell-gone-awry of the week, Sabrina had to get someone to say a certain phrase — but of course, Sabrina wasn't able to actually say it herself, because that would make things too easy. So instead, she initiated a game of charades and tried to get the person to say the phrase that way.
Pay Evil unto Evil: The end of "Deliver Us From E-Mail"note where Sabrina's Evil Twin causes her to become an airhead with a virus has Sabrina getting Katrina will a "Kill-Em-With-Kindness" spell.
Personality Swap: An episode has this happen to Zelda and Hilda who willingly purchase some pairs of magical 'Walk in my Moccasins' to get a better perspective on each other.
Also happened, thanks to sunspots, with Sabrina and Libby. However, they did not act exactly like each other — Libby went from being the Alpha Bitch to a Friend to All Living Things, and Sabrina went from being her normal self to militaristic would be Evil Overlord with plans to Take Over the World (with a little prodding from Salem). Done again during Sabrina's time at Scorch magazine, when she tries to make notoriously unpleasant rapper Baby B 2 K "like her" as in enjoy her company, and Baby ends up "like her" personality-wise. Baby ends up baking the paprazzi pecan sandies, and Sabrina takes on a jerk neighbor in small claims court.
Pilot Movie: Released shortly before the series began. Had much better production values than the series; set in Riverdale, home of Archie's gang, rather than Westbridge, MA. Also had an almost entirely different cast from the series that followed. Basically exists in an Alternate Continuity, along with other Sabrina TV movies released during the show's run.
Sabrina: The people in my spy story, they came to life and are running around my school! Zelda: The only way that could possibly happen is if you accidentally used Hilda's magic typewriter, but she got rid of that years ago, didn't you, Hilda? Hilda: By "get rid of" you don't mean "kept", do you? Zelda: Hilda! Hilda: I'm sorry. I know I was supposed to give it away, but I just... I like writing romance stories with myself as the heroine and watching them come to life... that's not pathetic, is it?
Plus that episode where the guy turns invisible and the first thing he does is walk into the girl's locker room.
Pretty in Mink: In the first season episode "A Halloween Story", the Spellman's visit Aunt Marigold for Halloween, and she's wearing a cocktail dress with a fur neckline (since Witch's treat Halloween like Christmas). In the mortal world, a guest at Harvey's party is dressed as a 1950s prom queen, and her outfit includes a white rabbit fur shoulder wrap.
Retcon: The decree about Sabrina's mother was originally that she would only turn into a ball of wax if Sabrina saw her before she turned eighteen. When the mother reappears in Season 6 (where Sabrina is at least twenty) it has been changed to Sabrina never being able to see her ever.
Re Tool: At least twice in seasons 5 and 7, and arguably seasons 4 and 2 as well.
Self-Deprecation: Sort of occurs in the season 4 episode Jealousy. (In the form of the character insulting the actor who plays him)
Sabrina: Why are you so anxious to talk on the phone anyway? Salem: I need to call into Nick Bakays sports show on ESPN radio. All he ever talks about is the Buffalo Bills and his voice...lord is it annoying.
Series Continuity Error: In the first season, when Sabrina kisses Harvey (a mortal), he is turned into a frog. In the following seasons, Sabrina and Hilda kiss several other mortals without them ever turning into frogs.
It's stated to only happen the first time.
Shout-Out: At least a couple jokes and references to Mystery Science Theater 3000, possibly because one of the producers is Frank Conniff, who might be better known as "TV's Frank" of MST3K.
The first episode to feature Dreama is called "Dream A Little Dreama Me", which is reference to an old love song.
Spell Book: Sabrina has a big spellbook, though it doesn't tend to do her all that much good as she often lacks the experience to cast its spells properly. It also functions as a supernatural Great Big Book of Everything.
Spoiled Brat: This, plus magic powers is a bad combination in Amanda's case.
Check that-bad combo in general. In one episode when Sabrina turns into a Spoiled Brat herself, she starts turning into a pile of slime not dissimilar to a months-old peach.
Stock Punishment: In the Field Trip episode, at the end of the episode Libby ends up in the stock, but does not get things thrown at her.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Valerie (replacing Jenny) and later Dreama (replacing Valerie) and Brad (replacing Libby). The first is often regarded as an improvement by some fans. The other two not so much...
Walk On The Wild Side Episode: Zelda temporarily moves in with Sabrina and her college roommates and decides to become a "hang-loose gal" which involves eating the entire contents of the fridge, spending all night at a rave, driving around in a van with a guy named Vick and trying to get a tattoo. In this case it's resolved by Zelda's subconscious stopping her from doing something untrue to herself.
Harvey: ''Sabrina, can we talk about the fact that...you're a witch?"
What Happened to the Mouse?: In the first season, there were recurring characters, like Libby's posse of Jill and Ceecee, Principal LaRue and a girl named Emily that vanish, never to be seen or mentioned again.
Arguably, Dreama's storyline applies. Dreama getting her witch's license was very relevant in early season 4, however, we never learn if Dreama got it or not, and she doesn't even appear for several of the last episodes of season 4, never to be mentioned or referenced again.
What the Hell, Hero?: When Harvey found out that Sabrina was a witch, he called Sabrina out on her using magic to mess with his life for years.
Who Even Needs a Brain?: In "Deliver Us From Email" Sabrina get hit by a stupidity virus that literally leaves her brainless.
Kraft: Aww, here's the world's smallest violin playing the world's saddest song just for you!
You Look Familiar: Charles Shaughnessy played Hilda's egotistical date Alec in 'You Can't Twin' and reappeared later that same season as James Hexton in 'Witchright Hall'. ((This second appearance is probably because Shaughnessy was planning to star as Hexton in the series that 'Witchright Hall' would have become had it been picked up by the network.))
Lindsey Sloane, who played Valerie, also played a mermaid in Sabrina Down Under. The fact that the mermaid looks and sounds exactly like her best friend completely passes the attention of both Sabrina and Salem...
The actors of both Leonard and James from Season 7 (when Sabrina worked at Scorch) each appeared before: James was a defendant/witness in Season 1's "Trial By Fury" and Leonard was Mr. Kraft's cousin in Season 2's "The Band Episode".
A variation. The puppet used for the cat Juliet in season 4 is the same one used for Hilary in Sabrina Down Under. What makes this hilarious is that they're both cursed witches and Salem falls for both. Perhaps the Witches' Council are just lazy when turning witches into cats.