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Trivia / Sabrina the Teenage Witch

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Trivia Tropes for the Comic

  • Adaptation Overdosed: There have been four different cartoons, two live action shows, and a movie if you count the Pilot Movie for the '90s sitcom.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The late 90s/early 2000s Sabrina animated series (and its versions of the cast, etc.) was adapted back into the comics, in the context of being flashback stories to Sabrina's junior high years.

Trivia Tropes for the Television Series

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  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Soleil Moon Frye and Melissa Joan Hart have been good friends since their child star days and had longed to star in a project together.
  • Billing Displacement: Michelle Beaudoin is billed as a series regular in Season 1, but Jenny only appears in thirteen of the twenty-three episodes.
  • California Doubling: In this case New Jersey doubled for Massachusetts.
  • The Cast Show Off: In "The Band Episode" has Jenna Leigh Green demonstrating her singing voice. She became a Broadway star after leaving the show.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Mexican soap opera actress Vanessa Acosta voices Sabrina for the first season.
  • Channel Hop: Moved from ABC to The WB. As a result, most of the cast members aside from the Spellmans, Salem and Josh were fired (though Harvey was brought back eventually after fan protests).
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  • Contractual Purity: Melissa Joan Hart had grown up by the time Clarissa Explains It All had ended but her mother didn't want her to pursue adult roles. This was less about purity and more because she saw the business potential of marketing towards Melissa's strong kid/teen fanbase. Melissa did, however, send Archie Comics into a frenzy when she appeared in Maxim around the time the show was airing. Archie Comics is infamously protective of its 'wholesome' brand, never mind that Melissa was twenty-three when the issue came out. According to Word of God, the main backlash was from the magazine advertising Sabrina posing rather than Melissa - making it look like she was doing it in character.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Caroline Rhea pokes fun at the terrible wardrobe choices on the show, saying Sabrina went to school "dressed like an accountant" and that Hilda looked like she was "going to a coronation for a very senior royal member."
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    • Jenna Leigh Green was initially embarrassed by the show, thinking it was cheesy and childish. But upon watching it again years later, she came around.
    " I have gone back and watched a couple episodes and I feel like it was a smart show that appeals to that age group universally. Whether it was 1999 or now, kids are still interested in it. I love that kids are still watching it."
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: "Pancake Madness" was Melissa Joan Hart's favorite episode, loving that she could do I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin! on a family show.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Melissa Joan Hart was twenty when Season 1 aired, playing Sabrina at sixteen. She doesn't turn eighteen until Melissa herself was twenty-four.
    • Nate Richert was borderline - eighteen playing Harvey at sixteen.
    • Jenna Leigh Green and Michelle Beaudoin were the oldest of the actors playing high schoolers - already twenty-two and twenty-one respectively.
    • Lindsay Sloane meanwhile was the same age as Valerie.
    • It extends to the college seasons as well. Roxie is nineteen, but Soleil Moon Frye was twenty-four. Elisa Donovan was nearly thirty as Morgan (who is twenty-one at the oldest). Trevor Lissauer was twenty-five.
    • One of the student extras was a balding man!
  • Directed by Cast Member: Melissa Joan Hart directed nine episodes, while Beth Broderick did three.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Melissa Joan Hart bobbed her hair for the Pilot Movie, to match Sabrina's hairstyle in the comics. But she wore it long in the TV series, save for the third season.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • According to Michelle Beaudoin, the reason Jenny was axed was because the network wanted Sabrina to have an 'ethnic' best friend. This is odd, seeing as her replacement Valerie wasn't ethnic (unless being half Jewish counts). Sabrina does gain an ethnic best friend in Valerie's replacement Dreama.
    • For Season 5 the showrunners wanted to rename the series to just 'Sabrina', since she was no longer a teenager. Archie Comics refused the change. The WB still however advertised it as 'Sabrina' or 'Sabrina Goes to College' in marketing.
    • Harvey was dropped in Season 5 because producers felt Sabrina "needed to leave that high school baggage behind". Due to negative fan reactions, he was brought back in Season 6.
    • Miles got dropped from the last season due to budget cuts and because producers felt fans weren't responding well to his character.
  • Fake American: Canadians Ryan Reynolds, Michelle Beaudoin, Lalainia Lindbjerg, and Laura Harris in the Pilot Movie. Technically, though, the movie is set in Riverdale (as opposed to the show's Westbridge) and Archie Comics have said that Riverdale could be anywhere - including Canada. Which would make Melissa Joan Hart a Fake Canadian in that case. But as the show is set in Massachusetts, Michelle Beaudoin still counts as this trope.
  • Former Trope Namer: For Alpha Bitch - previously known as 'The Libby' because Libby was such a shining example of the character. By extension, this named other tropes - Lovable Alpha Bitch (Lovable Libby), Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch (Knifing The Libby In The Bank) and Former Friend of Alpha Bitch (Libby My Old Friend).
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: Inverted. Zelda was the strict and stern one of the aunts. Beth Broderick is just as much of a goofball as Caroline Rhea in real life.
  • I Am Not Spock:
    • Nate Richert is known entirely as Harvey, as he didn't do much more acting after leaving the show.
    • Beth Broderick has a pretty extensive resume in both TV and film, but she's best known as Zelda.
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Twice the show has made Hilda out to be a terrible performer - first when she performs a stand-up routine under the influence of a belt that turns her into a Pungeon Master, and second in a What If? scenario where she's pretending to be a ventriloquist. Caroline Rhea is also a stand-up comedian.
    • "The Band Episode" shows Harvey to be a Dreadful Musician. Nate Richert had a music career after the show ended.
  • Jossed: It is rumored that Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down the role of Sabrina. However in the 2017 cast reunion Special, and her book Melissa Explains It All It was revealed that producer (Paula Hart) brought rights to the Sabrina The Teenage Witch character from Archie Comics specifically for Melissa Joan Hart.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Similarly to Mash, very few actors carried over from the original Pilot Movie to the series proper. Other than Melissa Joan Hart, only Michelle Beaudoin, who played Marni in the movie and Sabrina's (first) best friend, Jenny, in the series, appeared in both of them. Hilda, Zelda, Harvey, and the voice of Salem were all re-cast. Libby does not appear in the pilot; a character named Katie fills a similar role. There's also a character named Seth in the movie who acts as Wrong Guy First; he has no analogue in the series, as Sabrina is hot for Harvey (which is more or less requited) from the outset.
    • A more conventional example, during the show's run; Sabrina's father was first played by Robbie Benson in Season 1 and Doug Sheehan in Season 4 and 7. Notable because the latter looked several years older.
    • Cousin Marigold is another example, first played by Robin Ricker and later Hallie Todd.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub, Vanessa Acosta originally voiced Sabrina for the first season. When Acosta left to focus on her theater and soap opera career, Xóchitl Ugarte took her place for the remaining six seasons.
  • Prop Recycling: A strange example. For some reason there was no Season 6 photoshoot, so the DVD box uses Season 5 promotional photos of Melissa Joan Hart. Photoshop changes her hair from red to blonde, and the colour of her jacket.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Recurring character Amanda (Sabrina's evil cousin) was played by Melissa's little sister, Emily Hart - who, as noted above, ended up playing Sabrina herself in the cartoon.
    • Likewise, Amanda's little sister Allie is played by another Hart sibling - Alexandra Hart-Gilliams.
    • Another family member - Elizabeth Hart - appears in small roles in the high school years as a student called Emma (that's her getting mocked for her outfit in "When Teens Collide") and in the college years as a featured extra.
    • The band Course of Nature appear as themselves in Season 7. Melissa Joan Hart is married to member Mark Wilkerson.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Hilda's rocky love life in Season 1 parallels that of Caroline Rhea; she had just gone through a bad break-up when she was cast. She jokes that she signed on as soon as she heard that Hilda imprisoned a man in a ring for not loving her.
    • The Season 4 premiere has Britney Spears being zapped into Sabrina's room to hang out briefly. According to Melissa Joan Hart's autobiography, this parallels how when they were filming, Britney would not be allowed to go to lunch with the other cast mates - because her entourage insisted on her doing more work.
  • Recycled Script: Season 7's "Ping, Ping a Song" is a pretty blatant recycling of Season 2's "The Band Episode" - Sabrina and friends enter a talent contest, use magical items to make themselves better singers, a side effect causes them to become egotistical and ends with them letting their more talented competition perform. It's even lampshaded by Sabrina and Harvey.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot:
    • The subtitle The Teenage Witch was added to avoid confusing people with the 1995 remake of Sabrina (which is given a Shout-Out in a Season 1 episode).
    • According to Melissa Joan Hart, some of the characters being dropped came about because the writer that created them left and execs didn't want to pay them to keep using the character.
  • Sleeper Hit: ABC didn't really support the show in its early days, favouring Clueless instead. Sabrina ended up as the highest rated show on the network for four years.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Martin Mull played Mr. Kraft in order to impress his daughter, who was a fan of the show.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The Seasons 5-7 opening sequence has a moment where Melissa Joan Hart leans back on the bed but smacks her head on the wood, and she can be seen rubbing her head.
    • Sabrina inexplicably dyeing her hair red at college is something Melissa Joan Hart did when she was at college.
  • Typecasting: Lindsay Sloane frequently played neurotic characters like Valerie in The Odd Couple and The Wonder Years.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • They attempted two spin-offs with Amanda. The first would have been about her, Allie, and Marigold moving in with Emile and his boys - one of whom played by Frankie Muniz. The second would have focused on her antics at Witchright Hall. Neither happened, though Emily Hart did get to voice Sabrina in the Animated Adaptation.
    • The plot of Season 7 would have revolved around Josh proposing to Sabrina and the growing love triangle with Harvey. When David Lascher opted to leave the show, Aaron Jacobs was created to fill his role. Additionally, they wanted a two-part finale but were only granted one episode.
    • Some plans for a Season 8 would have involved Sabrina and Harvey moving into a haunted house. Barbara Eden would have joined the show as a regular.
    • Had the aunts stayed on board for Season 7, the plot would have involved them giving up their magic and trying to live mortal lives.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Charlene Fernetz played Zelda in the Pilot Movie and later appeared as Gail - the girlfriend of Sabrina's father - in Season 1.
    • Bumper Robinson appeared as Clifford Weaver in Season 1's "Trial By Fury" but re-joined the show as James in a regular role for the seventh season.
    • John Ducey first appeared as Wayne Kraft in Season 3's "The Band Episode", and again was a regular in Season 7 as Leonard.
    • Tara Strong voiced Molly Dolly in Season 3's Halloween Episode, and appeared in live action as Gwen in Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under.
    • Evelyn Furtak appeared briefly as Isis in the Season 1 finale, and stars as Senora Guadagno in Sabrina Goes to Rome.
    • Lindsay Sloane was Valerie in Seasons 2 and 3, and Fin in Sabrina Down Under.
    • Sean Laughton appeared in various episodes throughout the first three seasons as cops and firemen, but also starred as Valerie's boyfriend Ken in Season 2's "The Equalizer".
    • Charles Shaughnessy played Hilda's egotistical date Alec in 'You Can't Twin' and reappeared later that same season as James Hexton in 'Witchright Hall'. (This second appearance is probably because Shaughnessy was planning to star as Hexton in the series that 'Witchright Hall' would have become had it been picked up by the network.)
    • Donald Faison had a small role in Season 1's "Magic Joel" as a student called Justin. He reappears in Season 2 and 3 as Dashel - another half-mortal witch who is Sabrina's love interest.
    • A variation. The puppet used for the cat Juliet in season 4 is the same one used for Hilary in Sabrina Down Under. What makes this hilarious is that they're both cursed witches and Salem falls for both. Perhaps the Witches' Council are just lazy when turning witches into cats.
    • An odd example with Elisa Donovan. She starred on Clueless, to which Melissa Joan Hart crossed over as Sabrina. She later joined Sabrina as Morgan in Season 5.
    • Frank Conniff plays the adult Rudy in "The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie", and the out of shape prince in "Troll Bride".
    • Patrick Thomas O'Brien plays the indexer in "Meeting Dad's Girlfriend" and then has a recurring role as Cupid in Seasons 2-4.

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