These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
You'd think Victor would be a little more upset that his new bride was actually an evil demon who tried to kill his daughters and kidnap his grandson. He gets a little bit of a pass since his daughter was in the middle of a difficult labor that was bringing his first grandchild into the world, so maybe he decided to push it aside until he could process it properly.
Cole Turner: Misunderstood lovesick anti-hero whose fate was the result of others constantly treating him as something to be feared or to join with for power rather than as a man? Or gradual Yandere who usually just made things worse and couldn't face up to his own mistakes and move on with his life until it was too late? Or was Cole simply in love with an idealised version of Phoebe, that blinded him to her many, many faults?
Did the Charmed Ones become selfish in giving up their lives as protectors, let down all good magical creatures, and only become interested in their own pleasure? Or did they simply retire from a thankless life after putting in years of work, losing a sister, and having to look over their shoulders every second of the day without a moment's peace?
Was Penny Halliwell a loving grandmother who invented the power-stripping potion to give her granddaughters a chance at a normal life, or a Manipulative Bitch who was bumped off by the Elders for attempting to Screw Destiny? It seems far too coincidental that she died just before she could use it... Considering she cursed her wedding ring yet allowed it to remain a family heirloom, has a clear disdain for men and was romantically involved with demons herself... there's a serious argument to be made for her being an Evil Matriarch. Particularly since she later reveals that she regularly mind-wiped them and used magic to stop them from fighting, instead of simply disciplining them.
Phoebe, misunderstood youngest sister whose family wouldn't allow to be herself resulting in a self-obsessive personality with difficulty maintaining relationships, or someone who demands others make sacrifices for her convenience that she wouldn't make for them, with sadistic tendencies towards her devoted boyfriend Cole? Were Phoebe's Empathy, Visions and her work as an advice columnist a reflection of a genuine desire to help people, or just a manifestation of her persistent need to insert herself into the lives of other people at every opportunity? Furthermore, is her levitation because she's a free spirit, or because she considers herself above everyone else?
Leo, a lone voice of reason amongst the group, who reluctantly goes along with morally questionable plans out of his devotion to Piper? Or merely a spineless lapdog, long since brought to heel by his controlling wife and sisters-in-law?
Did Kyle Brody really love Paige, or was he just using her to help with his vendetta against the Avatars and she just happened to take the level in dumbass necessary to be duped?
Wyatt. The kid's future alignment seems to switch back and forth so often, it makes more sense that his chaotic upbringing has left him already evil and the Good Future is simply the result of a Heel-Face Turn. Him turning evil because of Gideon's betrayal was perhaps understandable, but because of an (demonic) imaginary friend and a cursed teddy bear is just bizarre? Rather, Evil Wyatt makes more sense as simply the culmination of the increasingly petty and selfish attitudes of the sisters in later seasons, coupled with Leo's increasing spinelessness, leaving him as a Spoiled Brat with too much power and no decent role models.
The Elders. The Big Good of the show who believe The Needs of the Many and are sometimes forced to do morally questionable actions to keep the forces of evil in check, or simply a collection of Jerkass Gods who desire to keep their monopoly on power at all costs? Especially considering they wanted to wipe out the Avatars despite knowing nothing about them or their motives, just because they were threatening their status as the most powerful faction in the series.
Alternate Show Interpretation: Considering the many changes the show went through, including both Shannen Doherty and creator Constance M. Burge leaving after season 3, seasons 1-3 and seasons 4-8 can be seen as 2 entirely seperate shows.
The first show is about Prue, Piper and Phoebe. They are 3 women whose strong sisterly bond make them the most powerful witches to ever live. This was unfortunately Cut Short by an unresolved cliffhanger. Paige, the fourth sister, doesn't exist.
The second show is about a young woman, Paige, who had dedicated her life to helping others, only to discover that she is a witch with three other sisters. After one of her sisters died, she was reluctantly pulled in to complete the trio. Prue, the dead sister, is The Ghost. Her name is constantly mentioned and she is said to be a very powerful superwitch but her face was never seen on the show's entire run. In contrast with the other show, this trio - Piper, Phoebe, and Paige - no longer has a sisterly bond; their interactions are closer to that of roommates. This makes sense as Paige didn't know her sisters and never grew up with them. They also focus more on using magic to resolve their personal drama than saving lives, making this a much lighter show.
There was no mention of this before by either sides but in Season Eight, there seemed to be the Ultimate Power that is more powerful than the Charmed Ones and they are a pair of sisters.
Pretty much every new big threat after the Source could count, really, seeing how the Source was set up to be THE Ultimate Evil of the show.
Not just major threats, but many things about later seasons just came out of nowhere when, in the context of the show, should have shown up much earlier. The Cleaners and Magic School are two such things that are brought up.
Awesome Music: The opening theme "How Soon Is Now?" covered by Love Spit Love. Also "Blame It On The Weatherman" by B*witched from the end of the fifth season premiere.
Broken Base: The infamous feud between Shannon Doherty and Alyssa Milano still causes heated debates among Charmed fans to this day, despite the fact that the two actresses seem to be at peace with one another now.
Cliché Storm: The episode "Chick Flick" parodies all the typical slasher movie cliches when a demon releases psycho killers from horror movies and sends them after the sisters. Since their powers don't work on the killers, the sisters have to follow the typical cliches. And there's a nice little shout out to Psycho.
Piper: "I'm being stalked by psycho killers and I hide in the shower?"
In a season 5 episode (see both Conflict Ball and Derailing Love Interests) Piper tells Phoebe "you don't have a mean bone in your body". There's sisterly love and then there's just plain lying through your teeth. (In this case, though, it was a matter of life or death. With Paige mortally wounded and the only way to save her being to get Phoebe over her fear of being evil, Piper may have been willing to stretch the truth.)
Billie from the final season. The often nicknamed "Maggot Neck", "Bimbo", and "Ultimate Retard" was loathed for many reasons - creating useless subplots that were often just rehashes of previous storylines, distracting focus from the titular Charmed ones, threatening the world with a spin-off, getting a character that had been around since season one (and Piper's husband) encased in a block of ice for over half the season due to budget cuts, and breaking canon by having the ability to alter reality with her mind making her and her lisping sister the Ultimate Power - but no reason garnered as much hatred as Kaley Cuoco's inability to express any semblance of humanity that resulted in her character being alienating and just downright unlikable. Being Brad Kern's pet means you can get away with anything.
The Charmed Ones by Series 5, with Phoebe being the worst offender. They spend most of their time complaining about and shirking their responsibilities, ignore saving innocents to focus on their own petty problems and use their status as the Charmed Ones to act like entitled bastards, believing that the world owes them for saving it a few times! The "heroes" also spend their time condemning Cole as irredeemably evil from the moment he returns despite forgiving (or flat out ignoring) Phoebe constantly being in identical situations. It only gets worse from there before it gets better, what with Phoebe's utterly shallow approach to men (especially after being dumped by Jason Dean), Piper's zeal for a normal life overtaking both hers and Leo's duties, Paige's penchant for violent solutions to problems even when it's unnecessary, the girls' thankless habit of enlisting Darryl to risk his life to bail them out of situations, and even Leo subtly absorbing some of the worst "ends-justify-the-means" traits from the sisters, the Elders, and Bad FutureChris.
PENNY A.K.A. GRAMS. She is absolutely horrible when it comes to men and has been for over 40 years, in particular following her first husband Allen's death. She's had numerous husbands since and never been able to keep one, and this would show in the way she lorded over her daughter and granddaughters in that department. She forced the "Halliwell women keep their names" issue, undermined Victor and Patty's marriage and eventually chased him out of his own daughters' lives after Patty's death. She cursed her wedding ring to turn its wearer into a stereotypical housewife so she (and apparently anyone else after her) wouldn't want to marry again. It's implied that she killed/disappeared an ex-boyfriend of Prue'sfor attacking her back when she was sixteen, thus setting the stage for magically murdering human male antagonists to be considered perfectly acceptable Charmed One behavior. She even refused her own great-grandson's Wiccaning because Wyatt was a boy until her own personal Cole (Armand the Necromancer) forced her to confront a home truth about their relationship. Her mentality throughout the show can be best summed up as "All men suck except for my first husband," and, with few exceptions, "anything that gets in the way of our Wiccan calling has to go away." If there was ever a character to point the finger at for some of the sisters' worst moral and romantic tendencies, she's it. Here's a moment from the sixth season episode "Witchstock" says it all about Grams. She states directly to Piper's face that she has repeatedly advised her to look at men as tools to be used and discarded at her leisure. Piper's husband Leo and her new whitelighter Chriswho also secretly happens to be her second son both enter the room immediately after this statement. The Wiccaning episode was in season five, and as this is episode takes place in season six, Penny still being an openly proud misandrist no longer makes any sense in context by this point; her even thinking she can get away with it in front of the first Charmed One to become a wife and mothernote excluding Prue's one day marriage to a warlock in season 3 when she was corrupted by an evil ceremony, with said Charmed One's husband and new magical guide/second son in the next hallway, should be even more nonsensical. Yet she received no objection nor reprimand whatsoever for her remarks in-universe. If the genders were reversed, the way this scene played out would've been grounds for feminist petitions up the nines threatening to force the show off the air before the season could even finish. Enjoy the quote in question below:
Cole during Season 5. It was clear the writers wanted you to sympathize with Phoebe and view Cole as the problem, but many viewers didn't agree. The Charmed Ones continually shun any of his efforts to be a force for good, claiming his powers are inherently evil, even when he uses them to save lives. Eventually Cole grows so miserable that he attempts to goad the sisters into vanquishing him and when Phoebe realises this she actually refuses to grant him a Mercy Kill. After failing to kill himself, Cole finally has a genuine Face-Heel Turn mid-season but only after Phoebe kept harassing and threatening him without provocation, even in the face of his obvious mental disintegration. Unsurprisingly, viewers sympathized more with Cole.
The Wizard who sought to kill the Source and take his powers, intending to use it to resurrect his near-extinct brethren. He's immediately declared evil, despite coming across more as a desperate individual, tired of being the Last of His Kind. Then again, he literally is trying to become the Source of All Evil, which doesn't exactly help his case.
Savard in "Repo Manor", whose evil plan amounted to training three demons to impersonate the Charmed Ones, siphon off their powers, vanquish the Slave King and free his people from enslavement. Likewise, he earns himself an Alas, Poor Villain moment when the Charmed Ones blast him in the face, causing him to fall and be impaled in the head by a strategically placed, pointy rock. Of course, it's highly unlikely that he and his followers would give up the sisters' powers, or release them for that matter, somewhat mitigating how sorry you should feel for him.
Draco in Leather Pants: Cole. A villain with some sympathetic qualities of course, but arguably not to the extent some of his fans claim. He was an infamous agent of evil for many years and genuinely tried to kill the Charmed Ones on multiple occasions. However come Season 5 the sisters constantly denouncing him as "irredeemable" becomes rather hypocritical given the sheer amount of times one of them has turned evil or gone off the rails. And unsurprisingly it's usually Phoebe who goes AWOL but always finds swift forgiveness. At this point Cole actually became more sympathetic to the general fandom, by virtue of the heroes being characterized as selfish jerks.
Henry was one of the more popular characters introduced in Season 8.
Chris. His appearance on the show sparked massive fan love in Fanfiction.net. His character can be found under TWO character filters, Chris H. and for some reason, Phoebe's boss Elise R. (this probably because his character became popular before FF.net gave him his own place in the list). Apart from that, the Chris H. character filter generates more pages than anyone else on the series. Though this can be explained by the lack of filter in the earlier days of Charmed, it's pretty impressive for a character who was only a regular for one season. Nowadays, Chris fics make up most of the updates and new stories in the fandom.
Evil Is Sexy: Well, Evil tends to have more revealing outfits, anyway. And apparently there exists a Demonic Strip Club.
In the pilot episode Prue remarks, "This house is perfectly safe." Piper responds, "Don't say that! In horror movies, the one who says that ends up dying." Poor Prue. May also double as Hilarious in Hindsight, as the exchange seems to be a reference to Scream (1996) which co-starred Rose McGowan.
Everyone's shock that Future!Phoebe is imprisoned for using her powers for evil and to kill a man in "Morality Bites". Given her increasinglyselfish behaviour in later seasons, she ends up doing a lot worse and actually has a much higher bodycount, having either directly or indirectly let people or innocents die out of spite or sheer neglect.
Aside from the Scream reference above, there's "Wrestling With Demons". Think about this: Prue and Phoebe defeated the two guys that would later win tag team championships together as part of the Main Event Mafia.
The first season episode title "The Fourth Sister" considering they had a fourth sister all along.
Miles from "A Witch In Time", was yet another boyfriend of Phoebe's that ended up becoming a demon.
The demons know where the sisters live. They can teleport in at any time. They could easily teleport into the house in great numbers at night, when the sisters are sleeping, and kill them in a matter of seconds. Instead they come up with long plots to shame, divide, frame, or otherwise inconvenience the sisters outside the house.
Or since they can create spells, why they never bothered to figure one to prevent anyone from teleporting in! It's somewhat sad that the only one Dangerously Genre Savvy enough to do this was Ludlow, who protected his demonic training academy with spells to make it both untraceable unless you already knew it's location, as well as impossible to teleport into!
A season, Paige jumps from temp job to temp job. Like she suddenly forgot she had a law degree and had been a social worker. However, she did give reasons for it - her witchy duties and social worker job weren't meshing so well, and she noticed that she always landed the temp jobs she got for a magical reason.
Many episodes stress The Masquerade, yet everyone teleports in broad daylight and in severely populated areas. At one point Leo casually orbs out of a diner, doesn't even go to the bathroom or anything, just orbs from his seat.
Wyatt has near-godlike powers and Piper constantly goes on about how she wants to give her kids a normal life. Yet she absolutely refuses to bind his powers, even though they could easily give them back to him once he's older, when he'd be able to control them better. It becomes especially ridiculous after the Dragon incident, where numerous people musthave been killed as it rampaged across San Francisco.
Internet Backdraft: If you go on a Charmed forum and bring up which actress you believe was in the wrong during the whole Alyssa Milano/Shannen Doherty feud, you'd better have a hose with you to put out all the flames you're going to cause...
Les Yay: The lesbian vampires. Paige gets a couple, like being kissed by nymphs and mentioning how cute Darryl's wife is. Also, there isn't quite as much Incest Subtext as you would think (a lot lessIncestSubtext in Charmed than there is Incest Subtext in Supernatural, for example), but there was an episode where Phoebe was channeling a guy's lust towards Piper. Both sisters are a bit creeped out. Phoebe and Kyra, almost to the point of Lampshading.
Mary Sue: Let's see how many boxes Prue can check?
Cool name: Prudence Halliwell.
Exceptional Talent/Success?: Is a successful museum curator when the series starts, rises to a prominent position at Bucklands auction house very easily. After choosing to leave that job, she's almost immediately hired as a photographer for a magazine. She's also the only sister with an offensive power for ages, meaning she gets to vanquish the most demons. She's also the first sister to get a second power. Then there's the episode where she gets a power boost and super Matrix-style fighting skills. Two episodes later she does those exact same skills with no power boost, even better than Phoebe who had been studying martial arts for years.
Surrounded by tragedy?: Mother died when she was six years old, father walked out on her many times. According to the other characters "had to sacrifice her own childhood to help raise us". Then the season 1 finale adds The Lost Lenore to the list.
Flaws?: She's bad tempered but rarely called out on it, and she can get away with it because she's the big sister. Any flaws that she does have are usually one-shot problems that exist for her to overcome by the end of the episode. She displays little to no psychological trauma from all the tragedy above apart from getting annoyed whenever her father is mentioned.
Attractiveness?: Prue is somehow able to get away with dressing in very inappropriate clothing for an auction house environment. One episode has her wearing a see through blouse with just a black bra underneath. She gets a love interest off the bat from the first episode and after that has two more recurring ones. Then there's a good amount of one-episode boys. And this is only in three seasons. She was also head cheerleader and popular in school.
Story Focus: Only in the third season is she not the focus of all the storylines. Even then Piper was made into a subplot on the episode of her own wedding day to accommodate Prue's problem-of-the-week. The first three seasons are essentially about the "greater glory of Prue" as Piper lampshades it.
Other?: Is frequently touted as the strongest Halliwell sister and her powers are enough to vanquish an upper-level demon which should have needed the Power of Three. She's also rarely shown to be in the wrong when it comes to disputes in the trio. She's also given an almost Anvilicious number of Girl Power moments.
Billy: It's okay, the man is here to save the day.
Prue: Billy, it's the 21st century, it's the woman's job to save the day.
After Holly-Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano become producers, both Piper and Pheobe become Mary Sues.
Most Annoying Sound: Anytime one of the Charmed Ones screeches "Leo!" in later seasons, summoning him away from life or death emergencies to deal with the most trivial problems whatsoever. This did get lampshaded at least once, when Chris annoyingly asked Piper, "Have you ever noticed that at the least sign of concern, you always call out for Leo?" And considering Chris is Piper and Leo's kid from the future, it suggests that Piper probably keeps doing this in the future while they're raising their kids.
Rooting for the Empire: Cole was treated as an outright villain when he returned in season 5 despite wanting to be good. It was just that Phoebe suddenly decided it was his fault for everything bad that had happened to her, ignoring her own mistakes and refusing to take responsibility for her own actions in the previous season. Many fans felt she treated him unfairly and applauded when he punched her in an alternate reality and when she was killed off briefly in another episode. It didn't help that Phoebe got some really heavy Character Shilling in that season.
Around about Season 5, Cole started getting this way, thanks to some serious Ending Fatigue regarding his arc. Though at least in his case, it's more a Base Breaker.
Inspector Sheridan rapidly became this. Aside from her endangering The Masquerade and the sisters both, thus showing the problems with bringing law enforcement into the supernatural realm, her Arbitrary Skepticism and fanatical pursuit of 'justice' because she believed the sisters were criminals and killers made less and less sense as the series went on. At least the FBI agent pursuing the sisters in the first season had a good excuse (he was a demon). Granted, Sheridan did get put in mortal danger (though it was her own fault) and get her memory wiped for a long time, but by the time she remembered everything and could be said to have a valid reason for disliking the sisters, she was so detestable it was bordering on Laser-Guided Karma when she walked in on Zankou and got herself vaporized. Self Disposing Scrappy?
Seasonal Rot: Fans are divided on where the show started to go downhill. A lot of fans dislike the second season for its lack of magic and overemphasis on drama in the sisters' lives, plus the pointless love triangle between Dan, Piper and Leo. Many hardcore Prue fans vilified every season after the third for not having her. Seasons 3 and 4 are generally accepted to be the best of the show. Season 5 is arguably the weakest and most despised, as it featured Phoebe's sudden Jerkass ways beginning, fan-favorite Cole being suddenly written as a Designated Villain, a lackluster one hundredth episode, and a return to episodic storytelling after two seasons of arc-driven stories. Season 6 is Love It or Hate It - some despised it for the Piper/Leo drama, the too light and childish storylines and continued awful characterization of Phoebe, while others loved it for returning to the arc-based storytelling, having future Chris, and an epic two-parter finale. Season 7 is much like Season 6 in terms of fans and the last season is largely despised because of Billie but considered to have an excellent finale.
Some of the "valuable" items that come into Buckland's look more like cheap import shop goods than priceless old antiques.
Interestingly enough, the visual effects themselves are not all that bad, especially when compared to most of the props. Not only are the above-mentioned ‘antiques’ often off the mark, but also the magic items. Most egregious examples are the 'Fearsome Plastic Falchion' of the evil Warlord, the hundreds-of-years old 'poignard' with a laser-sharp engraving, and 'Melinda Warren's blessing cup' - a rather tacky piece of colored glass.
Strangled by the Red String: While there's nothing really bad about Paige and Phoebe's eventual husbands, they were introduced extremely late in the game (about one-third through and two-thirds through season eight, respectively), so it was kind of obvious that the writers were just trying to get Paige and Phoebe hitched before the end of the show.
Prue, the oldest and most powerful sister, was McLeaned thanks to backstage drama.
Cole had to die in order to allow Phoebe to have more love interests once it was clear she and Cole were done.
Chris had to go back to his own future eventually, but dying was done to set up Leo's Story Arc in season 7.
Drake was only supposed to live long enough to help the Charmed Ones out of their collective funks.
Kyra's death was the final push the sisters needed before they could agree with the Avatar's Assimilation Plot.
Trapped by Mountain Lions: Phoebe's sabbatical from her advice column to "relax and recharge her batteries". Instead, she spends practically every waking moment complaining about it, obsessing over her column and hanging out at the office, making the entire subplot ultimately pointless.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Cole Turner is this. This is mostly due to the actor being Julian McMahon who greatly appeals to the predominantly female audience, but even without that his story is a fairly good cause. He spent most of his life working for the forces of evil but became good because he fell in love with Phoebe Halliwell. After a great deal of work, he became a normal human. Which in itself may have been his biggest mistake because following that point he lost total control of his house of cards. He ended up being possessed by the Source of all Evil and the Charmed Ones had to vanquish him. (After Phoebe killed a wizard who could have taken the Source's power from Cole.) After he came back, the sisters just flat out dismissed him as evil and didn't trust him from the start. They didn't even bother finding out if he was possessed by evil by an entity that had possessed humans before (even though said wizard and Cole's assistant had practically told them as much). Cole tried over and over again to prove that he was good until he snapped and became evil again (although, to be fair, he has killed several humans and gotten seduced by a siren into almost killing Phoebe). This caused a lot of Phoebe fans to hate Phoebe and feel sympathetic to Cole. Further made worse in retrospect when one realized Cole never would have been infected by the source if he didn't have to take his powers to save the sisters who were going to be killed, and was only evil due to the source controlling him. And how many times they get to choose between good and evil and have evil actions reversed after becoming good again, but Cole is somehow irredeemable.
What an Idiot: The sisters make Billie stop wearing the wig and sunglasses she used to disguise herself while vanquishing demons. It's understandable as a woman walking around in black leather and sunglasses is bound to draw attention. However one wonders why the sisters never tried to have Billie protect her identity with magical disguises - especially considering they were using that particular spell at the time.
What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Kaley Cuoco as Billie. Why would you give the comedic hip young actress the inconsistently-written melodramatic role from hell?
Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Inverted with Cole. He goes through hell to get back to Phoebe, and all she does is tell him he's evil and try to kill him. Repeatedly. It reached the point where several times he backed off and one where he planned to leave forever, only for Phoebe/someone else to realize he's needed for something and completely mess with his head further. The only reason he turned evil again was on accident and to save all three sisters when they were failing.