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YMMV / Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Comics

  • Adaptation Displacement: Just look at this Wiki and how it favors the show. Not only do many people not know the show was based on a comic, or even that Sabrina is from the same comic family as Archie, many elements and characters from the show were used in later versions of the comics (such as Salem originally being human.) There was also a 70s Saturday morning cartoon (Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies) that older audiences may recall and a TV-movie before the show that no one remembers.
    • This has been changing with Sabrina's appearances in popular Archie spinoffs and the main Archie comics itself.
  • Dork Age: The animesque era in the 2000s is considered quite ugly and unappealing to fans and manga fans. Many people who read it enjoyed the stories but the art style is a turn-off.

TV Show

  • Anvilicious: Many of the magical illnesses or other Plot Coupons in the TV series were based around obvious Aesops. (Too vain, turn your boyfriend into wolf-boy. Try to use magic to get your rival out of your hair, nope, now you're tied to her.) Lampshaded by Sabrina. (See Freudian Excuse on the main page.)
  • Author's Saving Throw: Harvey was axed after Season 4 because producers felt Sabrina needed to leave "that high school baggage behind". After numerous fan protests, he was made a regular again in Season 6.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The instrumental theme from the intro of the first three seasons. Other seasons' themes might also count for viewers with a particular fondness for those episodes.
    • "Funky Song". It is also an in-universe example of this trope.
    • Harmony, Harmony, gosh we're feelin' swell
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Salem again. Libby was also Love to Hate. She was the former trope namer for Alpha Bitch because she was such a shining example of it.
  • Girl Show Ghetto: Inverted. To cash in on Sabrina's popularity, ABC produced two Urban Fantasy series, Teen Angel and You Wish, though with male protagonists. Both shows ended after a season, while Sabrina lasted for years and even had a few spin-offs.
  • Growing the Beard: Seasons 2 and 3 are generally considered to be the best the show was at.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Season 3's Valentine's Day Episode has Cousin Marigold trying to bond with her new boyfriend's kids. In Season 5's "Witchright Hall", we learn that Marigold has divorced again - and given how bratty Amanda still is at that age, it's almost certain she had her part to play in the relationship failing. There's also some inherent Fridge Horror in if she did something else to Emile or his boys once she got powers of her own.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When Zelda uses magic, the magic produced is pink. While whenever Hilda uses magic it produces smoke, one episode where their magic is stolen shows that it's green. Zelda is the responsible one. Hilda is the more easy-going and "fun" one. A few years later, a responsible magic user's represented by pink, and the easy-going one with green.
    • In season three, to stop Valerie from becoming a cheerleaderr, Sabrina tells her that no cheerleader ever went on to become president. Two years later, George W. Bush was elected - and he had been a cheerleader.
    • Also Valerie's desire to join the cheerleading squad becomes absolutely hilarious - bordering on Casting Gag - if one watches Bring It On where Valerie's actress Lindsay Sloane plays head cheerleader and Alpha Bitch Big Red.
    • Hallie Todd's episode as Cousin Marigold ends with her attempting to bond with her new boyfriend's kids. Hallie Todd guest starred in an episode of Two of a Kind where she tried to do the same thing - and failed miserably.
    • In Season 2's "Quiz Show", Sabrina says to the Head Quizmaster "you must have been confusing me with my evil twin". One season later it's revealed Sabrina does have an Evil Twin.
    • "Oh, don't you remember two years ago when you "loved" orange? It was the new black or something.
    • In Season 4 Zelda finds a genie's bottle and conjures up an outfit clearly inspired by I Dream of Jeannie. Two seasons later Barbara Eden herself guest stars as Zelda's Aunt Irma.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Harvey's friendship with Brad borders in this.
    • Miles has a short moment with a vampire.
    • Entertainment Weekly once suggested that the whole show was secretly a metaphor for homosexuality (largely citing the idea of Sabrina having a big secret that she can't tell her friends for risk of alienation or even persecution). They even went so far as to say that Hilda and Zelda were secretly in a lesbian marriage; this bordered on Critical Research Failure, though, as both Hilda and Zelda were clearly interested in men over the course of the show.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Try to resist the impulse to hug Amanda at the of the Season 7 episode "Bada-Ping", when she realizes she's the cause of Sabrina's predicted death. (A prediction that, thankfully, never comes to pass.)
  • Mis-blamed: The show was constantly accused of being a rip-off of many similar shows during its run, most notably Out of This World and Bewitched. Despite popular belief, Sabrina was originally a comic book character in the 1960s, and predates Bewitched. To its credit, Sabrina was inspired by Bell, Book and Candle, which was also the inspiration for Bewitched. The idea that a witch would become mortal if she fell in love with a human, which was mentioned in the first comic, and later dropped entirely, was directly taken from the movie.
  • Older than You Think:
    • Sabrina started out as a comic in the 1960's. She is older than Bewitched.
    • In Japan, the show was often mistaken as a rip-off/remake of I Dream of Jeannie, due to the shows being dubbed "Cute Witch Sabrina" and "Cute Witch Jinny" respectively. Funnily enough, Sabrina in the Filmation cartoon was dubbed by Akiko Nakamura, who was also Jeannie's dub voice.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Aunt Vesta only appeared in one episode, but Raquel Welch was extremely memorable, and the character was referenced unseen in later seasons.
    • Barbara Eden as Aunt Irma, who only appeared in the last two seasons. Supposedly, she would have become a recurring character if the show had lasted.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Josh for Harvey. Whereas Harvey and Sabrina had a fairly healthy relationship, Josh's relationship with Sabrina was all about her giving and him just taking. He was going to move to Prague without considering her feelings, is obsessively jealous, chews Sabrina out for embarrassing him at work and never supports her plans or wishes. This is hilarious considering Sabrina actually ends up with the fan-favorite, Harvey, in the series finale.
    • In season 4, Dreama for Valerie and Brad for Libby.
    • Inverted with Valerie herself, despite being a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, she's far more popular and remembered than Jenny, her predecessor.
    • Likewise inverted with Mrs Quick, who seems to be at least as popular if not more than her Cool Teacher predecessor Mr Pool.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Downplayed but Zelda's characterisation is almost universally preferred from Season 2 onwards. She began as a much sterner and stricter character. In Season 2 she was greatly softened and got a lot of Not So Above It All moments. The dynamic between her and Hilda was much improved as a result.
    • Roxie gets much better after she defrosts, and is shown in a far more sympathetic light. It's safe to say that she ends the series as one of the closest friends Sabrina has ever had.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A young Ryan Reynolds plays a bleach-blonde bad boy in the pilot.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Mr Kraft for being a Jerk Ass to the students for no reason most of the time.
    • Morgan for some, due to how unlikable she started becoming as the show progressed.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 5 with the switch to college and the show trying to become more 'mature'. It also coincided with characters like Mrs Quick, Harvey and Gordie being dropped (though Harvey did return in Season 6). Overall it lacked a lot of the fun of the first few seasons. Some would argue Season 4 as well, with the departures of fan favourites Libby and Valerie. Seasons 6 and 7 are recognised as being a little better than Season 5 but still not as strong as the first seasons.
  • Show, Don't Tell/Shocking Swerve: The first couple of minutes of the first episode of Season 7, which very clumsily explained the resolution to the cliff hanger ending of Season 6.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A straight example in the final season that ultimately evolves into a Deconstruction. Sabrina falls for Aaron in his debut episode so much that she uses magic to find out what his flaws are. They hook up at the end of the episode and for the rest of the season simply act as a couple that's been together for years, rather than developing slowly. It's never explained why Sabrina literally makes room for him in her heart. However cracks start to appear as Sabrina initially thinks his proposal is a trick caused by the Monster of the Week and accepts reluctantly. The rest of her actions during their engagement come across as straight-up denial more than anything else. Finally when her wedding day comes, she gets cold feet and dithers between that and denial. She and Aaron ultimately agree to call off the wedding.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: It seems almost too coincidental that Josh is the one who gets murdered in the Season 6 Halloween Episode. Especially when it's revealed that everyone wanted to kill him.
  • They Just Didn't Care: Many fans felt this way about the show forgetting that Sabrina only had to wait two years so she could see her mother again, as opposed to never being allowed to see her for the rest of their lives.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SabrinatheTeenageWitch