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.
    • Retroactively in "The Jung & The Restless" Paige wonders why she never dreams about Quentin Tarantino. One of her first post-Charmed roles was in Tarantino's Death Proof. She would indeed have a scene with the man himself.
    • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • 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. It extends to Kayley Cuoco too; she burst into tears when she saw the outfit she would have to wear for "Battle of the Hexes".
    • 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.
  • Creator Cameo: The series' costume designer Eilish appears in a photo with Paige in "A Knight To Remember".
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • An interesting one for the eighth season - they demanded that demons look more...well...demonic and that the vanquishes be more exciting.
    • Inverted in the fifth season - Rose McGowan was annoyed with Paige getting so many different guys each episode and complained to the writers. This results in long term love interests like Kyle, Richard and Henry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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: Season 7 was envisioned as the last, but the network renewed it for an eighth and final. Part of the reason was the hopes of a potential spin-off involving Billie.
  • 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.
  • 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 had to be abruptly changed to accommodate Holly Marie Combs's pregnancy in Season 6. The original story for him isn't known (though some fans think he may have been planned as Phoebe's future son instead).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Eight seasons later and the show is still remembered.
  • 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 (her initial contract was for two seasons). 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.
    • 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, including one to potentially star in a spin-off (Billie). The spin-off never happened due to negative fan reactions and Kayley Cuoco's desire to return to sitcoms. 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).
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Charisma Carpenter auditioned for the role of Paige. Instead, she played the minor role of demon seer Kyra. So instead of being a Charmed one, Cordy got to be Cordy again.
    • 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.
  • 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.

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