Trivia: Charmed

  • 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.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Paige's romance with Richard was partially the idea of Rose McGowan.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Sometimes paired with Retroactive Recognition.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Commander Shepard is a friendly neighbor to the Charmed Ones in "Morality Bites". This is one of Jennifer Hale's very rare live appearances, as opposed to her prolific voice-overs.
    • She's not the only one off the Normandy to show up in Charmed: Raphael Sbarge, who voices Kaidan Alenko, shows up in season one.
    • And on a non-Mass Effect related note, Gideon? He eventually became well remembered for a certain speech about how much he loves war.
    • The Angel of Death was Dr. Doom in the second season of the 90's Fantastic Four cartoon, as well as a guest appearance on the UPN Incredible Hulk cartoon.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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. Although, by the time the show was canceled, she did express some bitterness at how the show was treated, so it seems that at some point she did begin to have at least some affection for the show. Similarly, she's vehemently opposed the possible reboot in development when it was announced in late 2013.
  • 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.
  • Reality Subtext: The first few episodes that featured Paige dealt with Piper and Phoebe feeling like she wasn't taking her responsibilities seriously and, specifically, disrespecting the Book of Shadows, including throwing it out the window. Apparently, something very similar happened behind the scenes. Rose McGowan, not realizing how much sentimental value the prop Book of Shadows had to the cast and crew, would actually write down her lines and doodle on the pages of the book in between takes.
    • In Season 5, Phoebe is asked to pose in a tabloid magazine. She states she's an advice columnist, "Not a Playmate." This could be a Take That to Shannen Doherty, who posed for Playboy twice. Or Hilarious in Hindsight, as the episode aired in February of 2003 and Doherty's (second) spread appeared in December of 2003.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Norman Reedus stars in two season 5 episodes. These days he'd be more familiar as Daryl Dixon.
    • Finola Hughes would later be more well known as the presenter of the show How Do I Look?. And would get an Actor Allusion in the series finale - when Patty says "how do I look?" to Victor.
    • Jaime Pressly, known as Joy on My Name Is Earl plays Mylie the mermaid in the season 5 premiere.
    • Thistle the fairy princess is played by a young Scout Taylor-Compton, later notable as Laurie in the Halloween remake and Lita Ford in The Runaways.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 go". How different would the show have been had it been Alyssa who left instead.
    • Actresses Tiffani Theissen 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.
  • 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.