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Series / Just Add Magic

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Amazon Prime's version of Charmed (1998) note 
You are dealing with powerful forces you cannot control!
— Gina Silvers in "Just Add Dogs"

Just Add Magic is a Prime Video original series released in 2015. It follows the adventures of best friends Kelly, Darby, and Hanna, who come into possession of a cookbook full of magical recipes. Using the power of the book, they delve into the mystery of how Kelly's grandmother became cursed, while occasionally solving some personal problems. Unfortunately, the spells in the book always come with a downside.



  • Addictive Magic: Kelly quickly becomes addicted to the use of magic in Season 2. Her friends even stage an intervention for her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Charlotte is a wealthy girl who loves to lord her status over other people. She's especially tough to people on the basketball team. She does display a softer side in the Pilot, but "Just Add Halloween" shows that this hasn't changed the girls' opinion of her that much.
    • Leah in Season 3
  • An Aesop: Particularly in earlier episodes, like "Just Add Brains," which ends on
    - Kelly: It's like my grandma always said, there are no shortcuts.
  • Bad Future: When a young Becky Quinn changes the past so Ida and Gina never got in an argument, Becky got stuck in the cookbook when Chuck saved Rose, Gina Silvers was poisoned and turned evil, took over as mayor, and ruled Saffron Falls with an iron fist.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: BFFPBJ turns anyone who eats it into your best friend forever. The downside? The "forever" part is Not Hyperbole. The person will never leave you alone, even if you'd prefer they did.
  • Big Good: The Traveler
  • Birthday Episode: The pilot episode is Becky Quinn's birthday
    • and Just Add Birthdays is Darbie's birthday
    • Advertisement:
    • Just Add Surprise is one for Kelly.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break:In Just Add Birthdays. Not only does Darbie have to keep a half-their-aged Kelly and Hannah out of trouble, she had to break into Mama P's pantry to get the ingredients for the cure. Doing it at night also helps.
    - Darbie: Worst birthday ever.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mama P in Season 1
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Darbie is a nice girl, but she's quick to turn to the magic cookbook every time something goes wrong, for all she knows, the side-effect could make the problem worse. Hannah calls Darbie on this in one episode. Plus, she hates math and tried to put her math teacher under an itch spell, which Hannah quickly rejects. In one episode she said that if they taught magic in school she wouldn't sleep would. Except... yes she would. There's more to magic than just saying a sequence of words. If she found out magic was complex, she'd fall asleep on the first day, trust me.
    • Jake isn't any better. He one tricked Darbie into making him a magic recipe, just to cure his cold, and another time to fix his food bike.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chuck came back to help the girl trio in the Season 3 finale. Sure it was for one episode only, but he still came back.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jake qualifies as one.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Willy, introduced in "Just Add Dogs", later gives Hannah information on the missing Chuck Hankins.
  • Cliffhanger: Surprisingly, not even a kids' show is safe from having cliffhangers...
    • Season 1 ends with the girl trio accidently getting rid of Chuck Hankins's curse, allowing him to get his revenge on the Original Cooks.
    • Season 2A: After the issue with Chuck is resolved, a man is listening from outside of Mama P's thinking of current protectors.
    • Season 2B: After the girls bring back magic to the world, they lose something equally as important, which is unknown as the screen starts to go white.
  • Control Freak: Both Kelly and Hannah will often fall into this trope.
    • Kelly is this when it comes to magic
    • Hannah is this when it comes to school work, and organization.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Mama P vs. Chuck Hankins. Mama P pretended to be on the heroes' side, but turned out to be a Hidden Villain and revealed herself to be self-centered, caring only about her personal gain. On the other hand, the audience knew Chuck Hankins was bad from the start, but he turned out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who wanted to rescue his sister from the cookbook, but he still posed as a major threat.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Each type of ingredient comes with a curse attached, but most spells include a way to break the curse as well.
  • Cutting the Knot: The girls need to use three ingredient families to break a curse, but mixing families can be very dangerous. The girls get around this by cooking a triple layer cake so they don't need to mix.
  • Darkest Hour: Just Add Pluots is easily the darkest episode of Season 1, with Kelly trying to cure her grandma with a cure with a dangerous price, even after Hannah told her it was too risky. Kelly finally being punished by her mother, The girls friendship at risk, Mama P's true intentions revealed and The story of how Becky got cursed and an old enemy of the girls coming back
    • One happens in the Season 2 episode Just Add Fire when Chuck got his cookbook and the morbium seed back, and most of the girls' recipes were in the hands of Chuck. And if that's not bad enough, Grandma Becky turned out to be the one who destroyed the Original Cooks protectorship of the cookbook, and Kelly didn't trust her grandma anymore, because she thought she was lying about other things as well. It seemed like there was no way to stop Chuck.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ms. Silvers. Lives alone in a creepy house, is very frightening and antisocial, uses a crow to spy on the girls, and ultimately just wants to protect them.
  • Decoy Antagonist: RJ in season 2B The real Big Bad of Season 2B is Jill/Caroline Palmer
    • Erin Chua; The real Big Bad of Season 3 is Kelly Quinn after she was poisoned and turned evil.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Kelly's grandma, who sees it as what drove the original trio apart and as a danger to her family. She is not happy to have her granddaughter cooking again.
  • Driving Question:
    • Season 1: Who cursed Kelly's Grandma, why, and with what? Answer: It was a consequence of her efforts to get rid of the book.
    • Season 2A: Why does Chuck want the magic from the book? What exactly is his ultimate plan? His sister was trapped in the book as a result of an immortality spell he was trying to make. Everything he did was an attempt to save her by putting one of the girls into the book in her place.
    • Season 2B: Who's cursing protectors to forget about magic knowledge? It's Jill/ Caroline who thought magic was dangerous and tried to destroy it for the good of humanity. And she wasn't to far off from the truth.
    • Season 3: What's the downside of bringing the garden back to life?/ Who stole the night-blooming spice plants? Removing the poison from the garden caused Kelly's mind to be poisoned instead. The poison preyed on her fear that she, Hannah, and Darbie wouldn't be fiends without magic. She took the night-blooming mint as part of a larger plan to bind the book to them forever.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Chuck Hankins appeared in a photo in the first few episodes, who will later become the focus of Season 2 Part 1.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted. No one is eager to forgive Mama P for freezing the town, least of all Jake, even though she claims she knew the girls would find a way to break the spell.
  • Emotionless Girl: Part of Becky Quinn's curse.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Chuck Hankins was tried terrorizing the family for spices because he loved his younger sister, Rose Piezer and didn't like showing his sensitive and caring side. Gina Silvers was right, there was good in Chuck.
  • Eye of Newt: One of the ingredients for the magic recipes is a special spice that varies by the spell. Cedronian for Balance, Lapsus for mobility, Taurian for time, Werpoes for the body, etc.
  • The Faceless: Chuck Hankins, until Season 2.
    • The mastermind behind protectors losing their thought on magic until the season 2 finale.
  • Foreshadowing: There are several signs that show that Kelly was poisoned and turned evil in Season 3 and wanted to keep the cookbook permanently.
    • In Just Add Time Travel, during the Bad Future where Ms. Silvers took over, Ida said Ms. Silvers got poisoned and turned evil, when she was trying to rescue Becky from the cookbook.
    • In Just Add Plants, Kelly said the magic spice plants overgrowing was a better downside than losing the cookbook. This indicates that she wanted to keep the book.
    • In Just Add Piper, "Erin" said that the spell she cooked didn't attract the morbium she needed, just "a bunch of dusty relics" as she calls them. Ironically this was from the same location the girls went earlier and found the strange watch.
    • In Just Add Rot, When "Erin" was stealing some of the spices from the cabinet, Kelly was the only one who wasn't tracking her down.
  • Functional Magic: Each ingredient "family" influences something different, like Cedronian for balance, Taurian for time, etc. Individual spices within the families have different effects, combining families is difficult, and being able to make your own spells rather than rely on recipes takes years of study.
  • Generation Xerox: In a flashback it shown that the previous trio was like the current trio with Ms. Silvers being the Hanna, Mama P being like Darby, and Grandma being like her granddaughter.
  • Genius Ditz: Darbie may not be very good at her schoolwork, but she can draw scale models for a blueprint like a boss.
  • Gilligan Cut: When the pampered dog that Kelly was supposed to be watching escapes, Darbie keeps worrying about him. Every time she wonders how scared he is, the camera cuts to the dog thoroughly enjoying himself.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Happens in Just Add Do-Overs when the girls cook a do-over spell so, Kelly can prevent his brother Buddy from destroying something in the house, Hannah can secretly sneak around in Ms. Silvers, and Darbie can work on a model stage, for her art class.
    • Happens a second time in Just Add Tommorow, which happened to be the main plot of the episode.
  • Halloween Episode: "Just Add Halloween"
  • Heel–Face Turn: Chuck at the end of Season 2, since he was only trying to save his sister, Rose. He ends up managing to do so without having to hurt anyone.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Becky Quinn was willing to do whatever it took to get rid of the magic cookbook, so it wouldn't tear the girls apart. One day she cooked something in a large pot, and tried to erase the pages, but the book fought back, and she got cursed to be emotionless and nearly speechless as a result, she knew the consequences, but she took the risk anyway, she really wanted to protect her granddaughter.
    • Happens again when The Traveler uses an unknown recipe to sacrifice her body and protect the girls from Chuck in Season 2.
  • How We Got Here: Happens in the beginning of Season 2 Part 2 where the spices have be disintegrated and it seemed like there was no hope, and goes back two months to explain what happened and doesn't go back to the same moment until the season finale.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the episodes have "Just Add _____" in the name.
  • Idiot Ball: In "Just Add Saphrön", Jake casually takes a breath mint from the girls, despite knowing that they regularly create magical recipes. Fortunately, it's just a lie detecting spell and it actually works out in his favor by allowing him to tell that his would-be new boss is planning to exploit him for cheap labor.
  • Kid Hero: Kelly, Hannah and Darbie are the protectors of the Cookbook who just happen to be kids.
  • Missing Time: The episode Just Add Memories has Kelly make a soup that allows her to recall one memory with perfect clarity (in essence, a temporary Photographic Memory). The downside? The more she uses it, the more time she loses in the present.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Cooking. Justified since it's magical.
  • Mr. Fixit: "Chicken and Fixits" turns anyone into this, able to fix anything, no matter how badly broken. However, if you don't finish the original task, you become compelled to fix anything and everything, without rest or breaks.
  • Never My Fault: Sometimes when something goes wrong between the trio, Kelly will point the blame on the other people. Luckily, she usually owns up to her mistakes and/or apologizes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the Season 1 finale, the curse-breaking cake ends all the curses in Saffron Falls. Unfortunately, this included the curse that kept Chuck Hankins from coming back.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Brainwashed Kelly thought keeping the cookbook forever was the only way to keep in from falling in the hands of bad protecters, but the truth was, she was actually worse than those other protectors, since they at least had good intentions.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kelly's grandmother is visibly terrified to learn that Chuck Hankins has been released from his curse.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Grandma snaps out of her silence to warn Kelly to trust her instincts since she's opened the cookbook.
  • The Paranoiac: A side effect of the "Trust Me Tabouli" spell: It makes whoever eats it trust you, but you lose your own ability to trust people as a consequence.
    • Even without the above spell, Kelly has a habit of freaking out over nearly anything. See Control Freak above.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Darbie's usually the source of jokes in the series.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lampshaded by Ms.Silvers, who notes that if she was better at communicating the current crisis might have been averted.
  • Power at a Price: Cedronian spice specifically invokes this. It always works as intended, but curses those that poured it. Magic in general tends to work like this.
  • Power Glows: Lampshaded. Darbie asks why Kelly couldn't tell something was wrong when the cookbook started glowing.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Of a sort in "Just Add Beginnings": A spell accidentally makes Hanna, Darby, and Kelly forget they were friends and Jake and Miss Silvers need to recreate the exact moment they met in order to restore their memories, but everyone who was there has a different memory of what happened. Fortunately, the one thing all version of events have in common is that Charlotte was there making fun of the girls, so they're able to get the full story from her.
  • Secret Keeper: Jake, although it takes an episode to convince him.
    • Piper becomes this in Season 3 until Evil Kelly wipes her memory of magic.
  • Shout-Out: One of the many recipes in the cookbook is Lazy Lasagna. Guess where that's from.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Darby or Darbie? The episode descriptions on Amazon Prime use Darbie, but the subtitles use Darby.
  • Stable Time Loop: Early on in "Just Add Halloween", Darby recalls how she got pushed into a jellybean display at Mama P's during the last Halloween. Darby herself turns out to be responsible for this, using it as a diversion so the girls can sneak into Mama P's spice cabinet.
  • Temporarily a Villain: Ms. Silvers becomes the main antagonist of the Bad Future segment of the Season 3 premiere.
    • The side effect of bringing the garden back in Season 2B, is Kelly turning into a magic Control Freak. It takes most of the season for Hannah and Darbie to figure this out.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to say anything about Chuck Hankins without revealing he's from the past and trying to bring his sister back.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Caroline, the Big Bad of Season 2B, also known as Jill, Terry's campaign manager. She's a former protector who believes that magic is dangerous to those who use it and needs to be destroyed for the good of everyone.
  • Wham Episode: "Just Add Goodbye". The cookbook moves on to Erin's daughter Zoe, and Kelly, Hannah and Darbie are no longer the protectors.
  • Wham Line: "I have ways of making the others cook."
  • Wham Shot: The fake Erin turning into Kelly.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: "Just Add Camping", in which a spell needs the casters to face their fears in order to work. Hannah fears being unprepared, Darbie fears being alone, and Kelly fears failure, leading to a Despair Event Horizon when the spell convinces her that there's no way to save her grandma.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Darbie gives one to Hannah in part 1 of Just Add Pluots, when she rats out Kelly for the bad things she's done, and makes up some the nonsense so Kelly would get grounded. Hannah says she's trying to protect Kelly, but that's no excuse for what she did.

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