Trivia / Charmed

  • Acting for Two: Michael Bailey Smith played Belthazor, the Source and a handful of other demons on the show.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • "Coyote Piper" reveals that Prue was popular in high school, bordering on Alpha Bitch. Shannen Doherty previously played an Alpha Bitch in Heathers.
    • Phoebe gets turned into a mermaid in season 5, in a plot that heavily references The Little Mermaid. Alyssa Milano was the visual model for Ariel when she was sixteen. Season 2's "Chick Flick" episode also has Phoebe wearing a Miami High Mermaids shirt.
    • In "The Jung & The Restless" Paige wonders why she never dreams about Quentin Tarantino. During Season 8 she was also filming Death Proof and Planet Terror, and she had scenes with Tarantino in both.
    • A season 5 episode has Paige attempting to color-code the Book of Shadows, Piper getting annoyed with her for 'defacing' it. When Rose McGowan first joined the show, she would sometimes write her lines or doodle in the prop Book of Shadows between takes - not realizing how much sentimental value it had to the cast and crew.
    • In the series finale, Patty says to Victor "how do I look?" when she meets him in the future. Finola Hughes at the time was the host of the TV show How Do I Look?
    • Charisma Carpenter's character Kyra can best be described as an alternate version of her Buffyverse character Cordelia Chase who was born a demonic seer. To make this a Casting Gag Cordelia was a human who willingly became part-demon. Kyra is a demon who wants to become human.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Paige's romance with Richard was partially the idea of Rose McGowan. She also contributed most of Paige's wardrobe in Season 4.
  • Actor-Shared Background: At the beginning of the series, Phoebe moves back to California from New York. Alyssa Milano was originally from New York and had to move to California when she became an actress. This makes Piper's line "you've been spending too much time in New York" rather amusing.
  • Billing Displacement: Mostly averted. The opening credits only credited the actors who appeared in the episode, different versions of each season's credits accommodating the missing cast members. The Season 2 episode "Morality Bites" is the only episode of the series where the sisters are the only main cast members credited. Although after Shannen Doherty's departure, Alyssa Milano took first billing in the credits, when she had been billed with the And Starring title. Holly Marie Combs had been second-billed and she was given the And Starring afterwards. Plenty of fanmade credits usually bill Holly first, due to Piper being the eldest sister.
  • Career Resurrection: Was part of one for Alyssa Milano. After becoming a child star on Who's the Boss? and a teen pop star in Japan, she was desperate to shake her nice girl image with parts in low-radar erotic films. Melrose Place got the ball rolling, but this put her back into the spotlight. With it came plenty of magazine covers and cosmetic endorsements.
  • The Cast Show Off: Rose McGowan sings in the climax of "Sense and Sense Ability".
  • Creator Backlash:
    • The show runners were annoyed by the network constantly using Sex Sells to promote the series, feeling they were misrepresenting it.
    • Most of the skimpy outfits the sisters had to wear when transformed into various magical creatures. Alyssa Milano got the worst of it and said she hated dressing up in them. The exception is the genie outfit (which she used a picture of for her official website). Likewise Rose McGowan said "Nymphs Just Want To Have Fun" was her least favourite episode because of the nymph costume she had to wear.
    • Holly Marie Combs had this about the famous "Coyote Piper" dance on the bar before she'd even shot it. She claims she had to be drunk while filming the dance.
    • Rose McGowan really hated Paige's Really Gets Around behaviour in Season 5 - where she would be seen with a different guy every week. The main reason being that she disliked having to film these raunchy scenes with actors she had literally just met. This resulted in long term love interests like Richard Montana, Kyle Brody and Henry Mitchell.
    • Kaley Cuoco hated the black leather outfit and wig Billie wore in her introduction episodes. She also burst into tears when she saw the costume Billie would wear in "Battle of the Hexes", refusing to wear a cape as part of it.
    • Brad Kern regrets not including a photo of Prue in the finale.
  • Creator Cameo: The series' costume designer Eilish appears in a photo with Paige in "A Knight To Remember".
  • Creator's Favorite Episode:
    • For Rose McGowan it's "The Power of Three Blondes" and "Charmed Noir".
    • For Alyssa Milano it's "A Witch's Tail" (ironically enough).
    • Holly Marie Combs has listed "Awakened" and "Sword and the City".
    • Shannen Doherty says "Ms Hellfire", "Which Prue Is It Anyway?" and "All Hell Breaks Loose".
    • Brian Krause says "Sense And Sense Ability".
  • The Danza: Alastair the chameleon demon, played by Alastair Duncan.
  • Dawson Casting: albeit a minor one. Phoebe and Paige are younger than Piper, but their actresses Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan are older than her actress Holly Marie Combs.
    • Prue (Oct. 28, 1970) > Piper (June 7, 1973) > Phoebe (b. Nov. 2, 1975) > Paige (Aug. 2, 1977)
    • Shannen (Apr. 12, 1971) > Alyssa (Dec. 19, 1972) > Rose (Sep. 5, 1973) > Holly (Dec. 3, 1973)
  • Directed by Cast Member: Shannen Doherty directed three episodes: The season two finale "Be Careful What You Witch For", the season three episode "The Good, The Bad, and the Cursed", and that season's finale, "All Hell Breaks Loose", where she gets Killed Off for Real.
  • Dueling Shows: With Buffy the Vampire Slayer - both supernatural dramas about Extraordinarily Empowered Girl heroines fighting demons. Buffy tended to be more comedic and high school-oriented (at first anyway), while Charmed was more melodrama. The two shows shared many guest stars, Charisma Carpenter being the most notable. None other than a pre-fame Amy Adams guest starred on both as well.
  • Dye Hard: Phoebe and Paige changed their hair colors a lot on the show. Phoebe went blonde in season 3, went three different shades of brown in season 4 and eventually went black. Paige was black in season 4, red in season 5, blonde in season 6 and then brown for the rest of the show.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Alyssa Milano learned to belly dance for "Y Tu Mummy Tambien".
  • Executive Meddling
    • The creator, Constance M. Burge, left the show in Season 3 due to creative differences; she wanted to focus on the sisters and their relationship, whereas the producers and executives were more interested in doing more stories about their boyfriends, which is why the Cole storyline stretched on as long as it did.
    • After the heavily serialized Season 4, the network asked production to make Season 5 to be more stand-alone. This was a particularly odd request as the ratings were strong and final episodes of Season 4 were highly rated. Tellingly, after Season 5, the series returned to more season-long arcs.
    • Network executives kept requesting for "more skin". This is notable in the change from Season 2 to Season 3 - the latter featuring much more form-flattering outfits for the actresses. In Seasons 5 and 6 this went Up to Eleven, and the three lead actresses protested about this before Season 8 went into production.
    • One of the stipulations for an eighth season was an inclusion of a younger character who could potentially star in a spinoff. The budget was also cut in half, resulting in Brian Krause having to be written out of the show temporarily and Dorian Gregory getting Put on a Bus completely.
    • An interesting one for the eighth season - they demanded that demons look more...well...demonic and that the vanquishes be more exciting.
    • Brad Kern says that pictures of Prue vanished because he was told by the executives that they would have to pay Shannen Doherty's per-episode fee to feature them. He however suspects that they could have been lying so they wouldn't still be promoting her.
  • Fake American:
    • Julian McMahon is Australian but does an American accent as Cole.
    • Melissa George is likewise Australian but gives the Valkyrie leader Freyja an American accent.
    • Rose McGowan is Irish-Italian but has lived in America for most of her life, making Paige a marginal example.
    • Finola Hughes (Patty) is British.
    • Alastair Duncan, the chameleon demon, is British too.
    • Mark Sheppard (Arnon) is British as well.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Lady Godiva is played by Kristen Warren, who is American, but had played an English character on the sitcom USA High too. In the same episode Lord Dyson was played by Maury Sterling, who is American.
    • Elsewhere averted with other English accented characters portrayed by actual Brits - Neil Roberts (Rex), Gildart Jackson (Gideon), Stephanie Beacham (Martha), Desmond Askew (Gith), and Siobhan Flynn (Melody).
  • Follow the Leader: Of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though there were instances where the reverse happened - the Wham Shot was used a year earlier in Charmed to show Piper being shot before it was done in Buffy. Word of God is that the show was heavily inspired by The Craft.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: Glen and Paige-disguised-as-Jessica have their wedding in the same church in Heathers - where Heather Chandler's funeral is held.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy:
    • Holly Marie Combs became pregnant halfway through Season 6 and, while it was eventually written in, they had to resort to plenty of tricks to hide it. Notably in the headless horseman episode, Piper is the first to be decapitated. And once the pregnancy was written in, the next episode skipped ahead six months to accommodate it.
    • Holly was pregnant again in Season 8 but this one wasn't written in. She just wore a lot of black and looser clothes.
  • Hostility on the Set: Tensions between Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano resulted in Doherty's departure from the show after the third season. She has alleged in interviews that the clashes came from both of them being promised the lead role on the show.
    • Earlier in the first season, it was rumoured that the reason TW King was written out was because he and Shannen didn't get along either.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: The mermaid storyline in Season 5? Alyssa Milano is terrified of water. She says she skimmed through the script and okayed it without realising she would have to get in the water. Ironically, she later listed it as her favourite episode of the show.
  • Jossed:
    • Brad Kern Jossed the rumours that Chris was originally meant to be Phoebe's Kid from the Future. He claims that he was always intended to be Piper's son - which is kind of obvious given that he was already a whitelighter. Other writers have said that the arc was planned beforehand, and called Holly's pregnancy "convenient timing".
    • He also denies that Billie was brought in to create a spin-off. He says it was talked about casually but it wasn't the reason she was brought in (see Reality Subtext below).
  • Life Imitates Art: Just as Prue and Phoebe mended their rift on the show, Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano did so in real life.
  • McLeaned: Prue, due to a conflict with the actresses and several people working on the show, Alyssa Milano in particular. Notably, Doherty directed the episode in which Prue was killed off. Granted, the writers no doubt had options to bring Prue back, but by the point of filming, it was quite likely she wasn't coming back for Season 4. She never appeared on the show again (except for a clip of her from behind and one from when she was turned into a dog).
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: If we're talking Seasons 5-7, Phoebe could be the Designated Hero or else Good Is Not Nice. Her actress Alyssa Milano is known for being very friendly and bubbly in interviews, and very kind to fans. Similar is Piper, who is a Deadpan Snarker, but Holly Marie Combs was known as the Team Mom on set.
  • Missing Episode: On the first DVD of Season 6 the episode titled "Love's a Witch" was listed on the DVD menu but not actually present in the DVD collection of videos, a recall was issued shortly afterward in which you could trade in your 'bad' copy and get a 'real' copy.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Rose McGowan (Paige) was always eager to point out that she just liked having a steady paycheck. But she later said that most of her issues stemmed from the long shooting hours and how little personal time she got as a result. She did say she'd be open to a reunion, so it seems she has some affection for the show.
  • Old Shame: The showrunners are deeply ashamed of Season 1's "The Wedding From Hell", which is regarded as one of the show's worst episodes.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Victor Bennett was played by Tony Denison for his first appearance, and James Read in all subsequent ones. They also played him rather differently - Denison's Victor was more confident, while Read tended to play Victor as someone in over his head in magical matters.
    • The Source was played by Michael Bailey Smith in "All Hell Breaks Loose", Ben Guillory in the first few episodes of Season 4 and Peter Woodward in "Charmed and Dangerous" (and later "Desperate Housewitches").
  • The Other Marty: The unaired pilot had Lori Rom and Chris Boyd playing Phoebe and Andy, respectively. It did its job to get the show picked up, so it was re-shot to pad it out and with Alyssa Milano and T.W. King in their respective roles.
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • There is a twelve year age difference between Finola Hughes and Jennifer Rhodes, who played Patty and Penny respectively. Semi justified since Rhodes initially appeared as Penny in the present (well the 90s anyway) - and other episodes had her play the character in flashbacks. When a season 6 episode had Paige going back in time to meet a younger Penny, Jennifer Rhodes was too old to believably play Penny at that age - so a younger actress was cast. Of course only ten years separated the events of that episode with a Season 1 episode set in the 70s (where Rhodes played Penny).
    • Eighteen years also separate James Read who plays Victor, with Shannen Doherty who plays the eldest daughter. Since Read was already grey-haired when he appeared on the show, it's believable. Finola Hughes is also only thirteen years older than Doherty but that's justified since she only played Patty before she died.
  • Playing with Character Type: Kaley Cuoco as the witty bubbly blonde...who also has a Dark and Troubled Past, going through Cerebus Syndrome as the season progresses.
  • Post-Script Season: The show was on the bubble throughout its seventh season. Brad Kern has said that production was game for an eighth season, but they had no idea whether or not they'd be renewed. (They actually didn't get renewed until a week before the season finale aired—meaning, unlike prior seasons, production completed on an air of uncertainty.) So, the writers tried to provide an episode that would allow for closure (the title mirroring the first episode, references to Prue and other departed characters and concepts, Daryl's conflict of loyalties reaching a head, and the destruction of the Nexus), but also leave the door open for continuing (the Charmed Ones being thought dead by everyone and changing their faces). Of course, the eventual eighth season was heavily panned for recycled ideas, a hated new character, budget cuts (which led to Leo having a minimized role and Daryl being outright dropped), and a lack of direction, but its last episode ended up being widely praised.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs were good friends for years, which is echoed in Prue and Piper being closer to each other than to Phoebe. Piper is also clearly the most distraught after Prue's death, which echoes Combs's desire to want to leave the show after Doherty left.
    • The Foe Yay between Prue and Cole in Season 3's "The Good, the Bad & the Cursed" makes a lot of sense when you realise their actors were dating at the time.
    • Phoebe standing up for Piper's right to breast feed in public is taken from Alyssa Milano's own views on the matter.
    • Billie's introduction as someone to help the sisters with demon slaying reflects that the character came in to give the three lead actresses less stunt work to do.
  • Real-Life Relative: Brad Kern's son cameos in the finale as the Magic School student who orbs a book.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Leo's having to be Put on a Bus in the middle of Season 8 was due to budget cuts, requiring for him to be written out for ten episodes.
    • Phoebe being de-powered in Season 6 was because the special effects were too costly. As such she regains her premonitions (and it's implied empathy too) in Season 7, but never levitation.
    • Chris's storyline was heavily written around Holly Marie Combs's pregnancy in Season 6.
    • Magic School was created because the budget kept lowering, and producers cut cost by building one set that they could continually shoot on - as opposed to constantly going out on location.
    • Phoebe and Paige spending most of the finale dead is because Alyssa Milano needed time off to visit family during filming - while Rose McGowan was also filming Planet Terror. "Forever Charmed" was filmed before "Kill Billie Vol. 2" due to them having to Trash the Set at the end.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • While on-screen, Leo and Piper were together as were Cole and Phoebe. Off-screen, Alyssa Milano was dating Brian Krause while Shannen Doherty and Julian McMahon were a couple. Holly Marie Combs also ended up marrying one of the key grips.
    • Alyssa Milano had dated Eric Dane, who played Jason, for a while. As such, she channeled her real life emotions during their break-up scene (they had split up long before this).
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting:
    • Jennifer Rhodes and Shannen Doherty definitely look like they could be grandmother and granddaughter respectively. Likewise the resemblance between Doherty and Emmalee Thompson (who plays Prue as a young child) is uncanny. There is also a big resemblance between Finola Hughes and Alyssa Milano (mother and youngest daughter respectively). This is especially notable in season 4 when the two have similar hairstyles. And rounding off the SABC, James Read as Victor has a resemblance to his middle daughter Holly Marie Combs.
    • Outside the Halliwell family, Kayley Cuoco has a distinctive resemblance to Barbara Niven who guest starred as Billie's mother in a couple of episodes. Barbara Niven also looks quite like Marnette Patterson, who plays Christy.
    • Ellen Geer was cast as the elderly Piper because her Rapunzel Hair gave her a distinct resemblance to Holly Marie Combs. They also gave her contact lenses and shaped her eyebrows to resemble Holly's.
  • Sleeper Hit: Constance M Burge describes the networks originally having very little faith in the show, and they didn't think the witchcraft concept would sell until she made the characters sisters. Likewise, Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano were reasonably known to the public, but hardly huge stars. Holly Marie Combs was known from Picket Fences and TW King and Dorian Gregory were unknowns. The last of the ten episodes ordered was shot as a Series Fauxnale - but the show ended up snagging ten million viewers per episode. It was renewed for a full twenty-two episodes after only the second had aired. Eight seasons later and the show is still remembered.
  • Spiritual Successor: Can be seen as one to The Craft. Word of God is that the 1996 film inspired Charmed and it borrows a number of elements from the film, such as the girl-power themes, witches as the main characters and the magic system. Charmed's theme song, Love Spit Love's cover of "How Soon Is Now", was actually originally recorded for The Craft.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Shannen Doherty's departure at the end of the third season was what marked a decline in her status. The news that she had left a second hit TV show over tension with her cast members (the reason she had been fired from Beverly Hills, 90210 as well) saw her gradually disappearing from the spotlight. After a few failed reality TV show outings, she ended up doing Lifetime movies before fading into obscurity.
  • Star-Making Role: For Julian McMahon who ended up leaving to star in the hit series Nip/Tuck.
  • Talking to Himself: Especially pronounced in the season 6 finale "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World", where Mirror Universe Evil Counterparts of characters interact with good ones.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Producers weren't happy with Rose McGowan dyeing her hair red before the fifth season. She sarcastically suggested they explain it as a potion or spell blowing up on her...which is exactly the excuse the show used.
    • It was a similar case with Alyssa Milano chopping off her hair for her 30th birthday - during the hiatus between Seasons 5 and 6. Rather than having her wear a wig, they threw in a couple of lines referencing Phoebe cutting her hair.
  • Troubled Production:
    • Shannen Doherty had an infamous amount of tension with Alyssa Milano during filming. Reportedly during season 3, the actresses would only speak to each other to say their lines. Reportedly Doherty said something along the lines of "either she goes or I do", though she fully intended to stay when Season 3 wrapped. She was fired while the show was on hiatus. As she owned the rights to her image, the show could not use any images or archive footage of her again.
    • Earlier in Season 1 Ted King's departure was rumoured to be because Doherty didn't get along with him either. Other rumors say he left to pursue other projects, or wanted more screen time but producers couldn't think of ways to use him.
    • Constance M Burge left after Season 2 after protesting the upcoming Cole storyline. She had Creator Backlash about the season-long love triangle between Piper, Dan and Leo - and didn't want another love story. She remained on as Executive Consultant until Season 5.
    • Holly Marie Combs, who was good friends with Shannen Doherty, was rumored to want to leave as well after she did - but was forced to stay by contract.
    • Rose McGowan signed on to play Paige, not expecting to be around very long. Needless to say, she didn't foresee sticking around for five more years. She's been quoted as saying "every year Charmed would get renewed and each year I would cry." Likewise she was fed up at Paige being Flanderised into Really Gets Around and complained to producers about it. She later revealed that she was told she had signed for two seasons. When the ratings went up, they turned around and told her she had signed for five.
    • The actresses got fed up with the increasingly Stripperiffic outfits the sisters would be forced to wear. Alyssa Milano has gone on record to say how much she hated dressing up in them. Before the eighth season, they went to producers and protested. The series' costume designer for six years was fired and replaced. This was also a partial reason for Billie's introduction - as they required a new Ms. Fanservice.
    • For the final season, the network slashed the budget in half. Dorian Gregory had to be Put on a Bus and Brian Krause had to be written out for ten episodes. The network also demanded lots of new characters - hence Billie, Christy, Henry, Coop, Dex and Agent Murphy. Additionally Shannen Doherty was not asked to appear in the finale and the budget was so tight, they couldn't even use a picture of her (which would have cost around $8000). Notably the final shot of the series - the manor door closing - is actually the end shot of the Season 4 finale re-used. The budget was that tight.
    • Years after the show ended, reports came out about sexual harrassment and lewd comments in the writers' room. Brad Kern, who took over from Season 3 onward, was accused of inappropriate behaviour towards female employees too.
    • Alyssa Milano claims that there was no on-set producer from about Season 5 onward, so she and Holly Marie Combs took on that role in addition to acting. She has described the process as "hectic", claiming it would be nearly impossible to get the showrunners on the phone to verify dialogue changes.
  • Urban Legends:
    • There's no definitive answer for why T.W. King left after Season 1. There were rumors of tension between him and Shannen Doherty, with reports of the latter being "very pleased" when he left. Other sources say he left to star in a soap opera instead. And others say he asked for more screen time, but they couldn't find ways to use him.
    • It's a rumor that Charisma Carpenter auditioned for the role of Paige. However many others have said that Rose McGowan was always the first choice for the role, and Holly Marie Combs said she didn't audition and was offered it straight away.
    • In 2013 Shannen Doherty claims that she was asked to appear in the finale but turned it down - not liking what they wanted to do with Prue. This is in spite of others claiming she wasn't even asked beforehand.
  • Wag the Director:
    • Fed up at being given these raunchy scenes every episode that she had to film with guys she had just met, Rose McGowan went to the writers and protested. This resulted in any love interests for Paige being long term, and she was never shown having sex scenes again.
    • They cast different actors to play the older versions of Piper and Leo rather than using make-up to age Holly Marie Combs and Brian Krause because Holly didn't want to wear prosthetics while pregnant.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Although she had difficulties with several people, the biggest reason Shannen Doherty left according to most sources was due to several disagreements with Alyssa Milano, apparently saying something to the effect of "either she goes or I do". How different would the show have been had it been Alyssa who left instead?
    • Actresses Tiffani Theissen (who had replaced Shannen on Beverly Hills, 90210) and Jennifer Love Hewitt were approached to become The Other Darrin for Prue. After they both declined, producers decided to create a new character. Rose McGowan however was always the first choice for Paige.
    • In late 2013, soon after news of the reboot series was announced, Alyssa Milano sent out a tweet that floated the idea to her costars of doing a Charmed reunion movie. Shannen Doherty responded in the affirmative, also retweeting a fan suggesting funding the project through Kickstarter. After the success of the Veronica Mars movie through Kickstarter, the possibility is there.
    • It wasn't just Alyssa, Shannen also had many problems with the producers of the show, due to creative differences; the same reason that led to creator Constance M. Burge leaving. It was rumoured that Andy was killed off because TW King didn't get on with Doherty either - though other sources say he wished to pursue other projects or asked for more screentime and producers couldn't find anything for him.
    • Cole was scripted to appear for seven episodes. But Julian McMahon's charisma, and the popularity of the Phoebe and Cole storyline led to him becoming a regular.
    • Jesse Woodrow was meant to play the Prince in "A Knight To Remember" as well, implying that the prince was Glen's past life. He refused.
    • After Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano were made Producers for season 5, Rose McGowan was offered the position too. She declined, saying that the only thing that changed was her name appearing twice in the credits.
    • The original storyline for Season 5 would have had Paige and Cole start a relationship. In the premiere when Paige casts the spell on Cole, he would have kissed her passionately under the influence. Both actors disliked the idea and it was dropped.
    • Brian Krause, Julian McMahon and Kerr Smith all auditioned to play Andy first.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Charmed Wiki, and the Charmed Fiction Wiki.
  • Written by Cast Member: Brian Krause, who plays Leo, wrote (parts of) "Sense and Sense Ability" (the one where "Paige is proposing violence against the monkey!"), inspired by a monkey prop he saw on the set.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Rebecca Balding appears as Aunt Jackie in Season 1's "The Fourth Sister", before joining the cast in a recurring basis as Elise Rothman from Season 4 onwards.
    • Peter Woodward plays the Source in "Charmed & Dangerous" and another demon in "Someone To Witch Over Me", though he wears prosthetic make-up in the former.
    • Brian Thompson plays one of the four horsemen in "Apocalypse Not" and later Cronus in "Oh My Goddess".


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Charmed