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Series / Charmed (2018)

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Nothing is stronger than your sisterhood.

Charmed is a 2018 fantasy drama series developed by Jennie Snyder Urman airing on The CW, based on the 90s series of the same name created by Constance M Burge.

Sisters Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie Vera (Sarah Jeffery) have been estranged since the mysterious death of their mother, Marisol, three months before. The two separately attend Hilltown University, where Mel is a graduate student while Maggie is a freshman. One day, they are approached by Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock), a new scientist at the university lab, who introduces herself as their long-lost older sister. Subsequently, the three learn from Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans), the head of Mel's department, that they are actually the most recent generation in a long line of witches; their powers were previously bound by a spell, which Marisol removed before she was killed. Harry himself is a Whitelighter, their guardian angel.

Initially apprehensive, the Veras soon learn that Harry was telling the truth, after Macy and Maggie exorcise a demon possessing Maggie's ex-boyfriend. Together with Mel, they defeat a demon disguising himself as Macy's superior. The sisters begin training under Harry's guidance as the Charmed Ones, protectors of the innocents against dark beings, while continuing to investigate their mother's death.

The cast also includes Galvin Burdette (Ser'Darius Blain), Macy's fellow scientist and love interest; Niko Hamada (Ellen Tamaki), a Hilltown detective and Mel's girlfriend; and Parker Caine (Nick Hargrove), a half-demon sent to get close with the Veras for a sinister purpose. The second season adds Jordan Chase (Jordan Donica), a boxer and the cursed descendant of a family of witchfinders; and Abigael Jameson-Caine (Poppy Drayton), Parker's sister who has ambitions to rule over demons.

In a case of History Repeats, on July 19, 2021, Mantock announced her departure from the series after Season 3, mirroring Shannen Doherty's own departure from the original show after Season 3. Coincidentally, Doherty also played the eldest sister, much like Mantock. In her place, a new Charmed One, Michaela "Kaela" Danso, was introduced in Season 4, played by Lucy Barrett.

On May 12, 2022, The CW canceled the show after four seasons.

Charmed contains examples of the following tropes:

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    Tropes A-E 
  • The '80s: Briefly seen in a time travel spell, when Mel and Maggie see Hilltowne University during this period. Besides the general bright, spandex clad and patterned aesthetic, there's also a protest against apartheid going on in the background.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • In the 90s show, Whitelighters were the Charmed equivalent of Angels with the Elders (the leadership) being higher tier much like Archangels and Good Counterparts to upper-level demons. Here "The Elders" are composed of senior members of the witch community and act as the governing body.
    • In the original show, Darklighters were the evil counterparts of Whitelighters. Here the idea of counterparts is taken quite literally as Darklighters are a by-product of the creation of Whitelighters, being identical copies of Whitelighters. Every Whitlelighter had a Darklighter copy who they were intrinsically linked to, if one were to die, so would the other.
  • Adaptational Badass: The Charmed Ones of this iteration begin the series with much more skill and power than the Halliwells and they are able to cast complex spells with little effort within weeks of discovering their powers.
    • Early on in the series Macy is able to move objects with more control and weight than Prue and Paige did when they first appeared in the original series. Maggie is able to overcome her Power Incontinence much quicker than Phoebe who never really learned to control her visions. And Mel's freezing power far surpasses Piper's even in the later seasons (although, to be fair, most of the episodes in the first part of season 1 have shown that Mel requires more concentration to hold the freeze and that demons have rather easily broken out of her hold.)
    • Halfway through season 1, this is taken up to 11. Macy can stop a heartbeat using her mind, Maggie can channel emotions into raw energy blasts and forcefields and Mel can accelerate the effects of time on objects. In the original series, the siblings took around 2-3 full seasons before developing new powers and took much longer to master them.
  • Adaptational Name Change: The Halliwells and Matthews become the Veras and Vaughn. Also Prue, Piper and Phoebe become Macy, Mel and Maggie.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In the original all three sisters were heterosexual, while in the reboot the middle sister, Mel, is a lesbian.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Maggie's power is telepathy instead of premonition. However, she is referred to as an empath several times — a power Phoebe eventually developed. Mel's power to freeze time is more similar to how Piper's power was initially described. Rather than slow or speed up molecules, Mel can actually alter the flow of time. That is, until both sisters lose their powers and gain new powers more directly similar to their original counterparts. However, while Mel's power is molecular manipulation like Piper's, her "freezing" aspect is more literal.
  • Adapted Out: Penny Halliwell aka "Grams" doesn't appear in the new series, becoming a Composite Character with Patty Halliwell to become Marisol, the girls' mother.
  • Age Lift: Downplayed. The Charmed Ones from both series are adult women, however Phoebe in the original series had a storyline involving returning to college while Maggie is a college freshman.
  • And I Must Scream: When Maggie holds Angela's hand while she's unconscious, she hears her constantly screaming through her telepathy.
  • Anti-Villain: Chloe the pixie, a magical creature who only wants to bring joy and whimsy into the world, who unfortunately has her heart literally stolen by a man, meaning she has to do what he asks her to do—including committing murder. Once she gets her heart back, she is horrified by what happened.
  • Asshole Victim: Cameron—he's one of the virgins whose blood Angela (or rather the Harbinger demon possessing her) consumes. Mel later points to his status as an incel as a possible reason for it.
  • The Atoner: Deconstructed. Maggie does everything in her power to ask forgiveness from Lucy for kissing her boyfriend, but eventually realizes that she's being selfish and prioritizing her guilt over Lucy's feelings, and decides to give her time.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Mel learns a spell that creates a sonic boom, which Harry refers to as one of the most dangerous a witch can use. She uses it to capture the Harbinger, but nearly kills Macy in the process.
    • Mel's freezing power could also fall under this. The ability to stop time completely would make her arguably the most powerful Charmed One, if not for the fact that several demons and other magical beings are immune to her power.
  • Back for the Dead: The first victim of the Harbinger was Cameron, the men's rights activist who narrowly escaped death by impalement in the first episode.
  • Back from the Dead: It turns out that Macy was resurrected by a dead necromancer whom her mother called for this purpose after her death as a baby.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Season 1 finale. The Elders and Sarcana are dead, Galvin's dead, Parker has left for parts unknown, and Mel has let Niko go for her own good. Good news is that The Source has been purged from Macy and split into three jewels hidden across the world ensuring no one will find it. Further, the Charmed Ones are selected by the Magical community as its new leaders in place of the Elders.
  • Bluff the Imposter: When she begins to suspect something is off about her mother, Michela talks to her "mom" on how she'll "always be your little Baa-Baa-Boo," with her "mother" agreeing as if it's an affectionate nickname. Too bad for her Michela made the entire thing up on the spot.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Unlike most of the other villains, the Charmed Ones are not immune to Viralis's powers. Maggie falls under his power after he gazes into her eyes, and then tries to kill Mel after being fed his blood.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Marisol bound each of the girls' powers after they were born so they could lead normal lives.
    • Charity, after the Charmed Ones learned she was the one killing all the elders, loses her powers in the temple under the house.
    • At the start of "Surrender", Harry was stripped of his Whitelighter powers, which caused his body to slowly age until it caught up to his actual age of 98. Fiona restores him at the end of the episode.
    • After the sisters are attacked by a demonic assassin in the season 2 premiere, their auras are stripped and their powers bound to protect their identities. This leaves Macy as the only one with active powers since she still has access to her demonic magic.
  • The Bus Came Back: Niko is photographing Mel kissing Jada at the end of "Keep Calm and Harry On"
  • Butterfly of Doom: There's a spell which can be used to rewrite history by changing or erasing specific events, the trade-off being that it requires the Power of Three and will have unforeseen, unintended consequences. The girls use the spell in the episode "Other Women" in order to recon Mel and Niko's relationship in order to protect her, with the first of those consequences being Mel losing her job at the university. (Or rather she never had it in the first place.)
  • Casting Gag:
    • McKaley Miller, who was the villain of the week in "Kappa Spirit", previously played a similar sorority sister with a tragic ending in Scream Queens (2015).
    • Malaya Rivera Drew plays a witch named Cyd in "You're Dead to Me" who resurrected her boyfriend 20 years prior to the episode, however with a terrible cost. In The Originals her character is also desperate enough to bring back her murdered daughter, who Came Back Wrong and led to the death of someone else who Drew's character was trying to save, just like Cyd.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When phone text bubbles appear on screen, they appear in the color related to who sent it.
  • Creepy Crows: After discovering their mother's body, a bunch of crows flew out of their house. Crows have also been spying on the sisters. They're eventually revealed to be under control of the Sarcana, but Jada claims that they were trying to protect Marisol.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: Used in the third episode, with the girls hunting a demon but then messing it up when Mel accidentally kills both of her sisters with a spell. Foreshadowed in that Maggie seems more concerned about what's happening on her phone than the demon and her sisters don't particularly call her on it.
  • Dating Catwoman: Maggie's relationship with Parker turns out to be this, as he's actually a half-demon, and the son of the demon who stole the Harbinger's vessel.
  • Deadly Gaze: As usual, Medusa's gaze turns people to stone. Actually inverted. She only turns people to stone when they look away from her, as it reminds her of how people shunned her after her rape.
  • Deceptive Legacy: It's already rough for Mel and Maggie to deal with the witch thing. It's bad enough to then handle having a half-sister they never knew about. But it gets worse when Macy reveals the DNA tests that prove Mel is the half-sister, not Macy.
  • Decomposite Character: Parker is introduced as a clear counterpart to Cole as a conflicted half-demon who falls for the youngest sister, though is much more reluctant and innocent. His sister Abigael on the other hand is closer to Cole in terms of being a cunning manipulator. Essentially, each character embodies one end of Cole's morality more prominently than the other yet is overall less balanced than their precursor.
  • Demonic Possession: The sisters have to deal with this when Angela gets possessed by the Harbinger.
  • Dirty Old Man: Professor Thaine is accused of sexually harassing female students (and implied to have caused one to attempt suicide), leading to him being suspended... until someone murdered the Veras' mother, who was spearheading the suspension and gets reinstated by default. He's also revealed to be the ice demon Taydeus.
  • Disappeared Dad: Macy's and Maggie’s dad is dead, while Mel’s dad is a deadbeat who doesn't even show up for Christmas with them.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Alister Caine appears to be the Big Bad, as he's actively working towards raising the Source so that demons can rule. Midway through Season 1, however, his plans are foiled by the Charmed Ones throwing the Harbinger into Tartarus, and he flees town.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: The Scythe of Tartarus, which can open portals to said Prison Dimension, was split into three pieces and divided amongst guardians in order to keep anyone from using it.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Parodied in the Pilot. When Macy claims that there must be a scientific explanation for magic, Harry mocks her by making up science-sounding names for Mind over Matter.
    Harry: Uh, yes, there is. It's called molecular witch-etics.
    Harry: Particle witch-ology?
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Hunter and Harry in "Jingle Hell". Well, Tartarus, but it looks the same.
  • Driven to Suicide: A comatose female student who was a victim of Thaine's harassment is said to have attempted suicide as a result, although given that Thaine is a life-force draining demon in disguise, it's questionable whether or not this is truly the case.
  • Exact Words: When Hunter first turned into Macy, he found he couldn't enter the Veras house. Mel then talks to him and mentions how it might be because of Galvin's mark, and that Parker was also affected by this. Hunter-as-Macy then says it might be the mark keeping "her" out, since "I'm as much demon as he is."
  • Expy: Played with. While the sisters are obvious counterparts of the original Charmed Ones, they are not directly similar to specific sisters. Macy's got Prue's powers and is a long-lost sister like Paige, but is more similar in personality to Piper in the early seasons. Mel is the middle sister with a variation of Piper's powers, with Prue's domineering personality and Action Girl tendencies. Maggie has Phoebe's empathy power with many of Phoebe and Paige's personality traits.
    Tropes F-J 
  • Family Theme Naming: Just like how in the original series the sisters' names all started with "P," in this reboot the sisters' first names all start with the letter "M" per the Vera family tradition. Marisol is the girls' mother and the leads of the series are Macy, Mel, and Maggie. By happenstance. Macy's last name of "Vaughn" means that the girls all share the same initials despite her being a half-sister.
  • Fantastic Drug: The emotion-numbing spell that Maggie uses to stop feeling her heartbreak after discovering Parker is a demon is noted to be habit-forming.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Like the original show, the series revolves around three sisters as its main protagonists, and often involves women's issues as well. In fact, their mother was even a professor of women's studies at the local university.
    • Somewhat played with: their attitudes sometimes cause more harm than good, and it's Harry who has to clear the mess.
  • Forgot About Her Powers: As with the original, expect many instances per episode when the Charmed Ones don't think to use their active powers to solve simple problems. In one episode, Macy watches helplessly as a possessed Maggie attacks Mel— without once thinking to move her away.
  • Frame-Up: After Trip is accidentally killed, Charity plants evidence at the scene of his death to implicate him in the recent Halloween murders, to Mel's shock and his partner Niko's grief.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Due to Maggie's powers being amplified, she ends up switching bodies with Mel in "Switches and Stones". Naturally, the powers do not switch with the bodies, leaving them initially struggling to learn each others' abilities.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: There is a book listing the all the previous Charmed Ones in groups of three sisters. One of the names is Tabitha Montgomery.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: All the Elder witches dress all in white. When Charity falls from grace and joins Alistair, she starts dressing in red. The Sarcana dressed mostly in black.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mel chooses to leave a wound on her shoulder from Jada, since it was the same one found on her mother's corpse.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • The Harbinger takes over a host in order to act in the mortal realm. At the end of Episode 2, that host is Angela, the girl in the coma.
    • The villain from "Witch Perfect" possesses Mr. Manuella to enact his plan.
  • Granola Girl: Chloe acts like one being a woodland pixie.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Unlike the previous series, which used rhyming couplets for its spells, many of the spells in this series are in Latin. Though others do follow the old rhyming method. There have also been stray Latin phrases found elsewhere, such as the KTK motto and the inscription on Marisol's old mirror.
  • Groin Attack: Viralis is defeated by Macy throwing his phallic dagger right at his groin.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Jada is the child of a whitelighter and witch. As a result she was shunned, and rejected the Elders for it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • We learn that Parker is actually a half-human, half-demon. This makes him sick, and finding a cure is part of the demons' motivation.
    • Much like Paige in the original series, we learn that Jada is half-witch, half-White Lighter. These relationships are forbidden in witch culture, and thus she is shunted to the edge of witch society.
    • Thanks to being brought back from the dead with demon blood, Macy is part-demon.
  • Half-Sibling Angst: The series kicks off with Macy introducing herself to her maternal half-sisters Mel and Maggie after their mother's death. Macy's jealousy at not having known her mother or sisters complicates their attempts to bond as a family. She then finds DNA results that reveal that their mother had an affair with her father during her marriage to Mel's father, resulting in Maggie's birth, which makes Mel the half-sister, not Macy. Macy is quick to latch onto this information and excitedly announces it, completely missing the identity crisis she's just given Maggie.
  • Halloween Episode: "Sweet Tooth", which allowed the Villain of the Week to walk around like a horror and barely get questioned for it.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: After Maggie kisses Lucy's boyfriend Parker, Lucy instructs her to find the person he's cheating with. She debates what to do for a while, but when Lucy "realizes" that there is no other woman and the problems in their relationship are her own fault, Maggie comes clean.
  • An Ice Person: Taydeus has the power to generate frost and project ice, and his true form is of a demon covered in frost and icy spikes.
  • Inconvenient Summons: When called out for appearing out of nowhere (on the basis of it being an invasion of privacy), Harry points out that the girls summoned him and that he was in the middle of something when they did so.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Sisters of Arcana are a rebel group of witches who oppose the Council, but they refer to themselves as the Sarcana. Charity tends to use their full name instead of the contraction.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Niko complains of this perception, since a fellow cop asked that she translate a Chinese menu for him, when she's not Chinese (to judge by her name, she's Japanese-American).
  • Internet Stalking: After Lucy suspects Parker cheated on her, she and the girls do a deep dive on social media to find dirt on him.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: In "Exorcise Your Demons", Mel gets upset when others refer to the Harbinger as "it", since she still sees her friend Angela as the host.
  • It's Always Spring: The original show was set in San Francisco, where snow isn't expected. However, the episode after the Christmas episode shows no snow on the ground in Michigan, despite there being a huge storm around Christmas.
    • "Memento Mori" does have a scene of Mel and Maggie outside while it snows, although none is seen gathering on the ground.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Mel is eventually forced to retcon her and Niko's first meeting to keep her safe from the demons. Afterwards, she and the other sisters discuss whether or not it's even safe to have relationships as a witch, since their loved ones will be targeted.
  • Jerkass: Cameron, a male student who not only advocated for Thaine's reinstatement, but also mocks Mel about her mother's death. Even the demon that impaled him (he got better, thanks to Harry) lampshaded it, saying he had it coming.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Tessa is introduced, she is very critical of Harry's performance as the Charmed Ones' whitelighter and their lack of knowledge about their own powers. Despite her abrasiveness, it IS concerning that Harry didn't teach the girls more about their powers.
  • Jumped at the Call: In contrast to Macy who's still having a hard time handling the reality of it and Maggie who outright refuses it, Mel is eager to take up their mother's legacy.

    Tropes K-Z 
  • Kick the Dog: The shapeshifter demon Hunter desecrates Trip's grave just for fun.
  • Kiss of Distraction: To prevent Parker from seeing the Harbinger in the float warehouse, Maggie kisses him. She instantly regrets the act, feeling guilty for kissing Lucy's boyfriend.
  • Life Drain: Taydeus has the power to absorb the life force of other beings and has killed countless women over the centuries.
  • Literal Metaphor: While trying to have sex with Parker, Maggie creates a glowing protection shield around her vagina. When trying to discuss this with Macy, she uses coy language such as "an explosion... down there". Macy thinks it's just a metaphor for orgasm, but then Maggie clarifies that it was quite literal.
  • Living Shadow: "Out of Scythe" features a demon who turns into a full-bodied, mobile shadow. It turns out to be Parker.
  • Logical Weakness: Charity threatens to silence Mel's voice when she wants to cast a spell that would exorcise the demon from Angela's body rather than simply kill them both, since you can't do it without an incantation.
  • Loophole Abuse: Charity wants to simply kill Angela and Harry seems bound to her as he has to obey the Elders. When the girls find a message from their mother of a spell that can save Angela, Harry agrees to help. When asked if he's willing to disobey the Elders, Harry points that because the girls' mother was an Elder and clearly she wanted them to do this, he's actually following an Elder's orders perfectly.
  • Magic Staff: Maggie receives an enchanted staff that allows her to channel emotions into energy.
  • Magical Accessory: Mel's bracelet allows her to speed up her own movements through time, and Macy's pendant helps her find balance when overwhelmed by dark magic.
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Used a few times, especially the Necromancer who made a bargain with demons for eternal life and power in exchange for infecting people brought from the dead with demonic blood which will turn them into demons. In a fight, the necromancer tries to kill Parker only to realize too late he's half-demon. By attacking a demon herself, she's broken the terms of the pact and turns to dust.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Like in the original, their mother's murder. Mel doesn't buy it and keeps thinking something's wrong.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Relationships between whitelighters and witches are forbidden. Those who engaged in them, and their children, are shunned.
  • Man Behind the Man: The Maestro was the one who gave the Sirens their distinctive song that stole men's souls. He was a bit angry that they stole all the credit for his work. He turns the Hilltones into another siren group, to steal the souls of the entire audience.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Invoked by name. Chloe is an actual pixie who had her heart stolen by Zach, a film student. With her heart stolen, she becomes completely obsessed with the one who holds it and acts on their behalf.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Impostor Demons specialize in this, with an additional power of Empathy to influence their targets' emotions and make them more irrational. One preys on the girls in the form of their deceased mother.
  • The Masquerade: Played with in the first episode. Harry is about to wipe the memories from Cameron, a bystander who witnessed Professor Thaine's demon form. The sisters instead choose to let him keep his memories, relying on his outlandish claims to seem ridiculous to anyone he might tell.
  • Medusa: The villain of "Switches and Stones". She was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple and then cursed to cover up the crime, and since then she's sought vengeance on any who shame and degrade women or who stand by and let it happen. Macy feels a certain empathy with her, as she is also a witch cursed to become a demon through no fault of her own, and in the end Macy manages to defeat her by empathizing with her and promising to do all she can to right the wrongs done to her and women like her.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Maggie gets this big-time. It ranges from how her pledge sisters feel about her to reading her friend-with-benefit's mind during sex which ranges from thinking of "boobs" constantly to trying to think unsexy thoughts to slow himself down to how he loves her and wants to win her back.
  • Mind Rape: How Tartarus works — people imprisoned there are forced to relive their most painful memories, over and over.
  • Missing Mom: Marisol left Macy when she was just a toddler. Then her father claimed Marisol died, and Macy didn't find out the truth until she'd really done so (along with the fact that she also had two half-sisters).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When struggling to use her power intentionally for the first time, Mel throws her hands up in erratic gestures that clearly mimic how Piper triggered her power. Once Mel gains control of her freezing, she typically gestures with one hand perpendicular to her body.
    • Just like Phoebe, Maggie ends up romantically involved with a morally conflicted demon/human hybrid.
  • The Multiverse: the end of the 4th season establishes this show shares a multivese with Charmed (1998) via Canon Welding and a Inn Between the Worlds in the shape of VHS Rental stores.
  • Nature Abhors a Virgin: The Harbinger feeds off of virgin blood, and it's mentioned as a source of power for many demons.
  • The Needs of the Many: Charity cites this when arguing that they must kill the Harbinger, even if it's still possessing Angela, since hundreds more could die if it got loose. Mel however rejects the idea and looks instead for a spell which can exorcise this.
  • Never Suicide: After his accidental death, Trip is made to look like he hanged himself by Charity as a cover.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Maggie seems to develop a new application of her power per episode. Though she started out just reading minds, she has since developed the powers of energy projection, forcefield generation, soul transference, mediumship and more.
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: Madam Roz, a Haitian Yoruba priestess. She does readings and uses her sight to pay the bills.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The first minutes of season two strip the girls of their powers, destroys the Book of Shadows, and has them relocated to a new base in Seattle (though the house is teleported with them, so that set is unchanged).
  • Our Witches Are Different: No Muggles can learn magic. Witches are tasked with protecting mortals from demons. They all have a basic power set of spellcasting, potion making and divination, which includes not only using Ouija boards but also scrying, while individual witches might have extra Personality Powers as well.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Maggie instantly knows something is up when she goes to see Lucy as the woman is not only dressed like someone out of the 1980s but is subservient to a "Kappa" (really a ghost) that Maggie has never seen before.
  • Personal Gain Hurts: While not as intense as in the original show, Maggie using a bunch of glamours to throw a party drains her energy so she falters during a fight with the Harbinger. Harry also notes there's balances in the use of magic, so if you overuse glamours to beautify things, you'll later get glamoured to look ugly.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In "Witch Perfect", the Charmed Ones have trouble invoking the Power of Three because everyone is mad at each other after Macy revealed that she and Maggie are full sisters, but Mel is only half. Only after confessing these feelings are they able to vanquish the villain.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Harry keeping things quiet in "Let This Mother Out" backfires on him majorly. He never bothers telling the girls an Impostor Demon is on the loose. And when he sees the demon posing as their mother, his first instinct is to try and attack rather than warn the girls it's an impostor, which gets him knocked out and them nearly handing a powerful artifact over to the demon.
    • Played with when the girls are surprised to find their mother was an Elder. Harry says he told them in his opening speech. When Mel snaps he had said "senior witch," Harry shrugs that "obviously" that means the same thing. Even Elder Charity agrees with the girls that Harry could be a bit more specific on such points.
    • Played With again regarding Trip's death. Because Charity refused to listen to Mel about finding a means of exorcising the Harbinger sparing Angela Wu's life, she [Mel] became frustrated and proceed to look for answers herself when Charity had asked to keep an eye on Niko and Trip. Mel feels his death, which was indirectly caused by him following the sisters, could have been prevented had she listen to the Elder. Charity reassures Mel it wasn't her fault.
    • A more nuanced take comes with the secret of Macy's "darkness." Mel and Maggie keep their overhearing it during a trip to the past secret from her, while she keeps the discovery of a key she has some strange connection to secret from them, and they end up acknowledging both sides are equally at fault for the consequences and resolve to tell each other everything from now on.
    • Both Jada and Tessa point out that the Charmed Ones are concerningly unfamiliar with the scope of their powers, and blame a lack of communication on Harry's part. All three easily discover new applications of their powers with little effort after being prompted.
  • Post-Modern Magik: All over the place. Potions include both the typical Eye of Newt ingredients and modern chemicals, whitelighters use tech to contact everyone, and when a demon is smart enough to smash all the mirrors in the house, Maggie just turns on a mirroring app and vanquishes it that way.
    • In the episode "Other Women" we're introduced to Charity, an Elder, and Alister Caine, an upper-class demon, who are both heads of international and influential corporations. This is in contrast with the original series where the idea of human identity, resources, and methods were seen as a novel (if unorthodox) idea by demons.
  • Power Incontinence: During sex, the witches' powers can sometimes be set off. Macy mentions making her bed levitate while Maggie created a "sex bomb". Parker's smoke abilities sends him and Maggie into the basement of the house.
  • Power Limiter: Subverted as Maggie tries to wear gloves in hopes not touching people's skin means she won't hear their thoughts. It doesn't work.
  • Prison Dimension: Tartarus is a prison for the worst of all demons and monsters. Or powerful witches that the Council feel should be there.
  • Product Placement: Almost every computer seen on screen has very prominent Microsoft branding.
    • In one episode, multiple characters prominently use a Google Pixel phone. This is particularly jarring because the same characters had noticeably used iPhones up to that point, and use them again after the one-off episode.
    • Gap shopping bags are featured in several instances, which can be somewhat hilarious when you consider that it's very obvious none of the sisters are shopping there given their somewhat elaborate (and expensive) personal styles.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Like in canon, powers are affected by their emotions. Mel's power is suppressed when she's angry and she learns to harness it after letting go of all the anger she has accumulated.
  • Pursued Protagonist: As the sisters gain more power and a longer vanquish list, they become a bigger target for demonic assassins. This leaves them completely vulnerable to attacks and requires them to abandon Hilltowne in the second season.
  • Race Lift: The white Halliwells of the 90s series become the Latina Veras, with eldest half-sister Macy Vaughn having a black father, in the 2018 series.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • Professor Warner Thaine is accused of sexual harassment and both Marisol and Mel are angry at the possibility of him being allowed back to the university after his suspension. He also turns out to be a life-sucking demon.
    • Medusa was originally a witch who turned into a demon after being raped. She ends up terrorizing the campus in vengeance for someone who was also assaulted, attacking anyone she sees as complicit. Macy defeats her not through violence, but by acknowledging her pain, saying "I see you."
  • Refugee from TV Land: Macy accidentally opens a portal to her favourite 90's Urban Fantasy series, "Heaven's Vice". Initially only bringing the two male leads, angels who fight monsters on Earth, monsters slowly creeped through.
  • Religion is Magic: An ancient artifact stored on a saint's corpse was made by a fallen archangel and can drain witches' power. It is guarded by an Orthodox priest who's able to send people into Hell (well, Tarturus) with a chant.
  • Retool: Season 2 and how. In the very first minutes of the premiere, the Book of Shadows is destroyed, the manor is blown up, the girls are stripped of their powers and relocated to a base in Seattle where they now are tasked with saving others in danger around the country.
  • Revealing Hug: In "Sweet Tooth", the first hug Mel and Angela share has the latter rolling her eyes, confirming for the audience that she is indeed possessed by the Harbinger.
  • The Scream: All three sisters shriek in unison after Harry (whom Mel already thinks is creepy) uses his powers to abduct them by magically tying them to chairs in their attic.
  • Secret-Keeper: After Christmas, Galvin becomes this to the sisters.
  • Shout-Out: When the Charmed Ones meet their replacement White Lighter, Tessa, Maggie initially calls her Anne Hathaway (due to her strong resemblance). Mel later calls her Regina George, which Maggie prefers.
  • Shown Their Work: Mel's "strong women were called witches" quote may have been a throwaway line, but makes sense given that their mother was a Women's Studies professor. A staple topic of study concerns periods in European history where accusations of witchcraft were used to target women, particularly healers, often with the reasoning that success in medicine as a woman was not possible without supernatural, demonic aid. [1]
  • Skewed Priorities: While Mel is all for being a witch and Macy is at least willing though reluctant to go along with it (and possibly get a Nobel Prize in the process), Maggie is by far the least enthusiastic and far more worried for how it affects her social life than murderous demons after her.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Played with. Impostor Demons are infamous for their ability to pull this off through their mental powers giving them the answers their targets want. However, Mel identifies a spirit impersonating their mother this way when it gets greedy and tells her how special she was to her, as their mother didn't play favorites.
    • Played for laughs when Mel and Maggie swap bodies. At a party, Parker comes to kiss "Maggie" who tells him she's Mel. He thinks it's roleplaying.
    Mel: No, you cliché of a straight white male!
    Parker: Oh, you really are Mel.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Macy and Harry have become this. Many of the first season was about Macy and her coming into the family, being a virgin and the demon side plot, which took up a good chuck of the second half while getting the best episodes. Come season 2 Macy is the only sister with active power (until Maggie gets Foresight) and is the only sister to proactively be involved with exploring and saving other people while Mel is more of a tagalong and Maggie just focuses more on her life at Safe space. Adding the the amount of Macy x Harry ship adds further to this as well coming at the expense of Mel and Maggie who's plots are sidelined to romance options, taking up recent episode plots.
    • Despite being just added as a series regular Abigail is starting to become this due to the increased focus leading people to believe she might overshadow the girls the way Cole, Chris and Wyatt did to the sisters later in the original show.
  • Take That!:
    • Donald Trump's presidency is the first sign of the apocalypse. The line revealing this also calls him "the weakest man."
    • "Let This Mother Out" has presidential tweets deemed a sign of danger from The Underworld.
    • Harry is convinced that an Impostor Demon was responsible for Brexit.
  • Take That Us: When Mel and Maggie switch bodies, Maggie says it's "like that Lindsay Lohan" movie. Mel says it's more like "the Jodie Foster one. The original is always better than the reboot."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Harry and Mel do not get along, due to Mel being reckless and rebellious while Harry is more a stickler for the rules.
  • Taking the Bullet: Tessa takes a blast intended for Mel, dying in the process.
  • Touch Telepathy: Maggie's telepathy works through touch. When holding hands with her sorority sisters, she is able to hear thoughts from everyone in the circle.
  • Truth Serums: Played for laughs as the girls whip up one to use on Harry to find out the truth about him. But Niko ends up drinking it instead. She proceeds to tell a suspect they have no case against him; rants about her various beefs with other cops; reveals she doesn't need her glasses and just wears them to be taken seriously; and while she loves Mel, she also slept with her ex-fiancee a week ago.
  • Virgin-Shaming: Zigzagged in the third episode. There's some jokes at Cam's expense, but it's because he's an incel, not a virgin. Macy also finds her own virginity a bit pathetic, but her sisters reassure her it's nothing to be ashamed of. When impersonating Macy, Hunter is thrown to find out she's a virgin, muttering "Seriously?"
  • Wham Episode: "Memento Mori": It is revealed that Charity is the one who killed Marisol and the other Elders (to cover up the first murder). It's also revealed that the temple under the Vera manor is for her sister Fiona's use. At the end, Charity is stripped of her powers and is about to be imprisoned in Tartarus, but Alastair kills the guards and saves her.
    • "Red Rain" the penultimate episode has Charity being killed by Fiona, Fiona dying because she ignited the Sacred Flame, Macy becoming the Source vanquishing Alastair healing everyone from the Harbinger Virus and resurrecting Galvin.
    • The season 2 premiere "Safe Space": the Book of Shadows is destroyed, the sisters are stripped of their powers, and they relocate to Seattle in a bunker with a new task.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the episode "Other Women", Alistair Cane's "Whoever killed those witches" serves as one, revealing that the group that retrieved the Harbinger and are going after powerful witch DNA; and whoever killed the Elders are two different entities.
    • In "Kappa Spirit", Madam Roz reveals that Macy has a darkness in her, one that's been there since she was born and is probably why she was given up.
    • In "Keep Calm and Harry On". Galvin shows Macy the files they took from the lab. That is when she learns that she and Maggie share 53% of their DNA while Mel and Maggie only share about 23%, making Mel the half-sister.
    • In "Witch Perfect", reading one of the old letters between Marisol and Macy's father reveals the nature of Macy's darkness: she was brought Back from the Dead.
  • Wham Shot: The end of "You're Dead" which reveals that Lucy is under Alister's spell to push Parker and Maggie together.
    • At the end of "Switches & Stones", Macy has a vision of Charity killing Marisol. The episode ends with Charity snapping the neck of the elder who was helping Macy.
    • The end of "Perfecti Is The Enemy Of The Good" has Mal awakening from a magical coma now pregnant with her child from the future.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mel finally tells Niko how they were once together and Mel used magic to erase their relationship. Niko is massively irate, slamming Mel for making this massive decision without even bothering to consult Niko. She also rails on how she's been worried over losing her mind over gaps in her memory and her feelings for Mel and wants nothing to do with the woman anymore.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Macy and Galvin seem to be shaping up this way, but it's not so much their attraction that's in question but their ability to hook up. Especially as there's a voodoo mark on Galvin that seems to actively keep him from Macy.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": Inverted in "Kappa Spirit". While out drinking with her sisters, Maggie says, "Let's drink, bitches!" in typical sorority girl fashion, but explained that she's using it as code for them actually being witches.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: In the first season finale, no matter what she does (whether preventing the death of their mother or even sacrificing herself), Macy cannot prevent Galvin from sacrificing himself to save the world.
  • Younger and Hipper: In the original series, the sisters were out of college and working various jobs. In this series, Maggie is a college freshman (as opposed to an adult student like Phoebe became), Mel starts out as a grad student/teaching undergrads, and Macy works in a lab owned by the college but does not appear to be a student of any sort. However, they are noticeably younger, on the whole.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Thaine wasn't the demon that killed their mother. Every clue they seem to find ends up in a dead end, until Macy sees Charity throw her out the window in a vision.