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"Water, fire, earth and air — Guardians, unite!"

Based on an Italian comic book. This show aired on ABC Family and Toon Disney's Jetix block (plus reruns on ABC Kids, the successor to One Saturday Morning) and decided to try something else from the typical comic book adaptations at the time. It re-imagines the first two story arcs of the comic, tying them together and making them one central, stand-alone, connected plot-line told in the show's serial narrative. To some fans' regret, however, this results in them changing a few things around. Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles, was a showrunner during the second season.

On the distant planet of Meridian, a tyrannical young man named Phobos has acquired the royal throne and begun his crusade to spread his reign over all other planets in the universe. In order to counter his ambitions, a magical wall, known as the Veil, was created in order to seal Meridian away from the rest of the universe. However, over time, the Veil has begun to deteriorate, creating tears in the fabric of space which turn into portals, allowing free passage between Meridian and Earth. On Earth, five young girls are recruited to become the Guardians of the Veil, a group of super-powered defenders who are tasked with keeping order in the universe and acting as the protectors for all planets in the various galaxies of space. To do this, they must maintain the Veil by closing the portals.


Soon into their Guardianship, they encounter Caleb, the young leader of a rebel army on Meridian. The rebel army opposes Phobos's rule, as Meridian is a matriarchal planet, and he tells the Guardians that the rightful heir to the throne, Phobos's sister, is hidden away somewhere on Earth, and now that the Veil is weak enough to pass through it, both the rebels and Phobos are racing to find the heir located somewhere on Earth. As they work together to search for the rightful heir to the throne, the Guardians slowly begin to learn that other forces are at work behind the scenes, manipulating and coercing various events involving the war on Meridian, and that everything and everyone they encounter is not what they appear to be.

The five girls (whose initials spell "Witch") are joined by a Meridian rebel, a Mentor (grandmother of one of the girls from a previous team, CHYKN), and a goblin-like smuggler from Meridian who is both cute and utterly gross. This may sounds fairly standard, but the show distinguishes itself by clever plotting, writing, and bold attempt at creating a series with a centralized plotline that develops each episode with little-to-no filler episodes. Most of the episodes revolve around chess-like maneuvers between the villains and the girls, and the girls start out on the losing side of the war, and must slowly build up their victories. However, they tend to lose more often than they win due to the villain's cunning intelligence, but the plot still moves one step closer to its conclusion.


This show is also notable for avoiding many tropes typical of the action genre. For example, the Sorting Algorithm of Evil; neither Phobos's minions or the girls get any more powerful, or visibly better at using their powers. Instead, the Character Development comes from how both sides treat their war. The girls initially treat their missions like a game or a nuisance, and get much more serious with time. Both the girls and Phobos get much smarter, too. Early episodes have the girls making Keystone Kops blunders in trying to hide their secret, while the bad guys make ham-fisted attacks. By the end, both the girls and Phobos are incredibly sneaky. The second-season avoids it as well, even though the girls get some upgrades and neat new powers, they still have trouble beating the season's Big Bad Nerissa, even though she's arguably weaker than Phobos. The trouble the girls have stems from Nerissa's uncanny scheming ability.

See also, the comic: W.I.T.C.H.

Due to ratings, the show was cancelled after its second season.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Caleb, though only when it comes to non-powered opponents.
  • Action Girl: Well, it's a show with heroines and an acronym for a title. To make this scream action girl any louder, you'd have to add the word "squad!"
  • A-Cup Angst: Will is less than well-endowed and, in the comics, rather sore about it, too.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The colors in the show are way lighter than in the comics, however Matt and Hay Lin's grandmother both got black hair in the cartoon adaption of the comics (whereas they usually have brown and grey hair respectively).
    • In the comics, Phobos and Elyon have medium straw blond hair. In the shows, they have a platinum shade.
    • Irma's hair is in a lighter shade of brown.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Cornelia is presented as more of a straight Alpha Bitch than the Lovable Alpha Bitch she is in the comics. She's ruder and generally more aggressive. In the comics she is a Bully Hunter but in the cartoon, prior to her Character Development she was The Bully herself.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Nerissa, while still a villain, has some redeeming qualities. Unlike in the comics, she is actually remorseful over murdering Cassidy, and genuinely loves her son, Caleb and her lover/Caleb's father, Jullian, but not enough to redeem her.
    Yan Lin: Are you going to destroy us like you destroyed Cassidy? Does her memory mean so little to you?
    Nerissa: You have no idea what she meant to me!
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted, the only times the kids beat the adults are when there's a large power gap, such as the Guardians fighting the non-magical Mooks. When they fight other magical-endowed adults, however, they tend to lose the battle due to their lack of experience and power.
  • Aerith and Bob: In Meridian, we have names like Caleb and Cedric alongside Phobos and Elyon. And on Earth, we have names such as Matt, Nigel, Martin, and ...Alchemy?
  • Aesop Amnesia: In the season one episode 'The Stone of Threbe', the girls learn a lesson about taking their powers for granted. Come the season 1 episode, 'Caleb's Challenge', and they're all too happy to use their powers to bake cookies.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: The guardian costumes are rather...provocative for 13-14 year-old girls. Lampshaded by Cornelia's mother in season two when she sees Hay Lin wearing the costume.
  • The Alcatraz: Cavigor prison, which is basically an island surrounded by a Bottomless Pit instead of water.
  • All for Nothing: Everything the Guardians allowed to happen since freeing Phobos to stop Nerissa: letting him take the Hearts of Meridian and Zambala, allowing him to reconquer Meridian, not interfering with his plan to invade Kandrakar, and throwing the battle when he attacked Kandrakar, all as part of a plan to make Phobos break his vow on Kandrakar's power and lose everything was rendered this when Cedric devours Phobos and gains his powers and conquests just before the vow was broken.
  • All Your Powers Combined: This was a major theme for the villains in the second season, with each villain becoming more powerful than the last because they kept capturing each other.
    • Happened to Cornelia in "N is for Narcissist" when she's inadvertently infused with all the other Guardians' powers and becoming Uber-Cornelia, causing the others to go powerless. She proceeded to curb stomp Nerissa's minions. In the end, she makes the decision to give up the newly gained power and distribute them back to the others.
  • Alpha Bitch: Cornelia sometimes, mainly in the first season, the Grumper Twins definitely.
    • Nerissa was very likely one when she was a teenager, going by how she acts with restored youth to her teen years.
  • Animesque: The Sailor Moon inspirations are pretty obvious with the Magical Girl motifs.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Irma's brother Chris, and Cornelia's sister Lillian.
  • Art Evolution: Season 2 was animated at Dong Woo Animation in Korea; replacing the Wang Film Productions/Hong Ying duo of the first.
  • Ascended Extra: Caleb had a much smaller role in the comics.
  • A Simple Plan: If only.
  • The Atoner: Tynar, as seen in "B is for Betrayal".
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever- Cedric in the finale.
  • Back from the Dead: Caleb's father, who was thought long gone turns out to be alive and a prisoner.
    • Nerissa brings Cassidy back to life in the second season to serve in the revitalized CHYKN. This actually sticks by the end of the season and Cassidy returns home to her elderly mother.
  • Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Prince Phobos.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Caleb - by the end of the second season, he's the only character who can't shoot some form of laser beams. Caleb eventually molds Matt into this with warrior combat training, to the point that our musician can match Caleb in a spar, but then Matt gets powers of his own, leaving Caleb alone once more.
    • Raythor. He has no extra or magical abilities, he's merely a normal Meridian member of Phobos's army. That doesn't stop him from crawling his way out of a bottomless pit, a feat that took six months and left him gaunt from starvation by the time he reached the top.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Every one of the main protagonists does this in their Guardian forms. They show less midriff in their civilian forms when they show it at all.
    • Nerissa, but it's really just her stomach & navel. Not much else.
  • Barrier Maiden: Practically the entire point of the first season.
  • Bastard Understudy: Cedric, Miranda.
  • Batman Gambit: Plenty of characters pull these, including the good guys.
  • Beach Episode: I is for Illusion.
  • The B Grade: Taranee fears this, as shown in "The Labyrinth" when an Absent-Minded Professor loses an essay of hers.
    Cornelia: Taranee, we all grieve for your loss, but the world's been invaded by monsters! Focus!
  • Big Bad: Phobos in Season 1, Nerissa in Season 2.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Caleb and Cornelia in "Z is for Zenith" as it was right in the middle of a battle.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead
  • Book Dumb: A rare female example: Will. A gifted leader and strategist she may be, but academically she flounders hard. Its a frequent source of drama between her and her mother.
    • Irma has similar grades, but flat-out says she just doesn't try and "lives in the now."
  • Book-Ends: Z Is For Zenith consists largely of the girls remembering the final battle with Cedric after they went One-Winged Angel.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Averted with Hay Lin, her braces are normal and she's proud of them.
  • Brainwashed / Brainwashed and Crazy: Hay Lin under the Horn of Hypnos (along with half of Heatherfield); many of the WITCH girls' boyfriends (sans Matt and Caleb) by Nerissa in the second season.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Hay Lin actually SLAMMED her face into the screen after she first transformed.
  • Breast Expansion: Downplayed. Transforming into a Guardian give a temporary instant puberty growth. Do the math.
  • Brick Joke: In "I is for Illusion" the Guardians go to Kandrakar for information on Nerissa, not knowing her name they refer to her as "Ugly old hag" with a "No offense!" thrown in from Irma to The Mage, in a OOC moment The Mage (normally The Stoic) puts her hands on her hips and glares out a "None taken" back This becomes a billion times funnier when it's revealed that The Mage is Nerissa in disguise and has been all along. Really there’s a lot of them in regards to Nerissa's identity as both The Mage and Trill.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cornelia. If one of the guardians screws up, chances are Cornelia's the one hit in the face, or drenched in water, or otherwise screwed.
  • Buxom Is Better: It's an official plot point, in the comics, novelizations and TV series... subverted by Irma, however, whose oversized bust is the butt of jokes.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: The girls' transformation is initiated when Will holds up the Heart of Kandrakar and yells, "Guardians, unite!".
  • Calling Your Attacks: The girls call out the name of their element whenever they manifest them during a battle (“Water!”; “Fire!”; “Earth!”; “Air!”).
  • Camera Abuse: In the first episode, after the girls first transform, Hay Lin starts flying circles around the other girls (especially Will), presumably due to her being the air element. She ends up flying straight into the camera. Also possibly a case of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Canon Foreigner: Blunk is original to the cartoon. As are Alchemy and Miranda (though Miranda takes some cues from other characters from the comics).
  • Cast From HP: Old Guardians must do this without access to Aurameres or a Heart.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Elyon, who is the lost princess of Meridian raised by adoptive parents on Earth.
  • The Chessmaster: Nerissa - this is unsurprising given that the second season had as a showrunner Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles and thus of David Xanatos.
    • The second season also featured Will giving it a try. The Wham Episode Y Is for Yield shows that, with the help of the other Guardians, Caleb and Matt, she successfully outplayed the entire cast, Nerissa included. Except for Cedric, who realized what she was doing and derailed her scheme at the last moment
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Played straight thrice: Elyon is the Queen of Meridian, Caleb is the leader of the rebellion, and Will is the head of W.I.T.C.H.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Altermeres, as opposed to astral drops, are people with free will. Of the two we meet, Will acknowledges her altermere's free will before she dies, and Yan Lin introduces her altermere to her family as her Long Lost Sibling Mera.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Phobos does this to Will in episode 2; we don't see all of it (just the part where she's trapped in plant vines) but when Will encounters Phobos face to face several episodes she's visibly terrified of him.
  • Composite Character: In the original comics, Shagon and Khor are simply a random man and his dog, transformed by Nerissa. In the cartoon, they are the transformed forms of Will's boyfriend Matt and pet Mr. Huggles.
  • Consummate Liar: Miranda.
  • Continuity Nod: Every episode, more or less.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Miranda, pardon, "Melinda".
  • Creepy Child: Miranda again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Irma leads the pack.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Guardians were forced to cooperate with Phobos in order to defeat Nerissa. Subverted in that they never planned on him holding to his word and were in fact relying on him betraying them for their plan to work.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Cornelia.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Elyon is imprisoned for much of Season 2, keeping her out of fights she should've been easily able to win for the Guardians otherwise. Justified since it was all part of The Plan.
  • Dirty Coward: Nerissa in "T is for Trauma". Realizing she couldn't win, she runs despite their fight won't have any runners, which Will calls her out on, but of course, the evil hag pulls Loophole Abuse, saying that Will agreed to not run but she herself didn't.
  • Disappeared Dad: Both Caleb and Will start the show with these, for different reasons. Caleb's turns up mid-season 1 and Will's in season 2.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Martin.
  • Downer Ending: Just about every episode in the second season until the ending.
  • The Dragon: Cedric.
    • In the second season it gets a bit more complicated, with Raythor first being The Dragon to Nerissa, then Shagon. When Phobos regains power, Cedric becomes The Dragon again- and when he takes over, Miranda becomes his Dragon for all of one episode.
  • Dye Hard: In season 2's "W is for Witch". Accidentally Invoked for Cornelia when Napoleon knocks her pink nail polish onto a strand of hair. Leaving that strand dyed pink for the remainder of the episode.
    • Taranee briefly dyes all her pink and styles it into a punk-ish when she goes into a brief "bad girl" phase when her mother forbids her from seeing Nigel.
  • Eat the Evidence: Will mentions this as a possible way she could hide a bad grade from her mother.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Infinite City for the rebellion. It wasn't created by them and the show doesn't reveal who did.
  • Elemental Baggage: Averted.
    • Played with when the Guardians fight inside at a swimming pool and Cornelia has no earth or plants to use. She makes do with algae from the pool.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Embarrassing Nickname: 'Pink Perky Poopie Pumpkin' for Will, 'Snoopy Pants' for Irma and 'Corny' for Cornelia.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Really. Even if Phobos weren't evil, he's disqualified from taking the throne of Meridian by being male.
  • Evil Minions: Most who serve out of fear. Once Elyon takes the throne they switch over pretty fast.
  • The Evil Prince: Phobos.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Phobos, Nerissa.
  • Evil Twin: (Jeek is technically an Evil Counterpart, but he can impersonate Blunk easily)
  • Exact Words: Cedric asks for, and is granted, "a fraction" of Phobos's power. Turns out that four fourths is a fraction...
  • Fallen Hero: Nerissa.
  • Fatal Flaw: How Nerissa gains control of the former guardians "It is the chink in the armour of your soul... And all I need to make you mine!"
    • Nerissa's is primarily Pride with serious hints of Greed: her entire Start of Darkness was because she couldn't stand Cassidy being given the Heart of Candracar instead and her ultimate downfall is because she can't resist going after the Heart of Earth via Napoleon during the Halloween Episode and her later attempt to screw over the rest of CHYKN and Elyon during the series finale backfires and traps her forever in a dream world.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Caleb and Aldarn in one episode, due to Elyon's inadvertent mind control.
  • First Kiss: All the W.I.T.C.H. girls and their respective crushes.
  • Fisher King: Meridian is a dreary wasteland under Phobos and a fairytale-style kingdom under Elyon. Justified because of the magical powers of both rulers, as well as Phobos damaging Meridian during his rule by leaching life-energy out of it, which Elyon didn't do.
  • Five-Token Band: Irma is Hispanic, Hay Lin is Chinese, and Taranee is of mixed black and Asian race. Will is Ambiguously Brown due to her Mixed Ancestry and Cornelia is the Token White.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Kandrakar gives off this vibe in both the comic and show.
  • Flying Firepower: Will in second season aquires her elemental power of Quintessence, that manifests in devastating lightning bolts. Nerissa in her Guardian form has the same abilities and more experience (and usually power, as she doesn't divide her energy source with others).
  • Foreshadowing: Numerous aspects; most of the major plot points and plot twists are foreshadowed and can be picked up by attentive viewers.
    • One particularly subtle one regarding Nerissa being Caleb's mother comes in "K is for Knowledge:" not once but twice during the battle, she traps him in a lightning cage. A rare moment of Mama Bear coming from a villain as she tries to keep her son out of danger.
    • In the second season opening, the song asks "and who has power over earth?" while showing Cornelia reviving a flower for her sister Lillian. It takes until "U is for Undivided" before we learn that not only does this refer to Cornelia's powers, but also to Lillian being the Heart of Earth. (American viewers, however, didn't see that, as a different intro was used State-side for both seasons.)
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Practically everybody that can transform in "W is for Witch".
    • In comic issue #100, the girls go to a party and find out it's a costume party. Guess what happens next.
  • Fun with Acronyms: W.I.T.C.H. in first season, then C.H.Y.K.N. in the second. Hay Lin, author of both, had only one thing to say: "They were C.H.Y.K.N.? Wow, I'm so glad we're W.I.T.C.H."
  • Gambit Pileup: Most of the second season.
  • Garden of Evil: Phobos is rather proud of it.
  • Glamour: In one episode Nerissa used her new young form to enthrall the mortal men of Earth and turn the girls' crushes against them.
    • A Glamour Zone is a massive illusion field that can alter the perception of anyone who walks into it.
  • Grand Finale: With a stinger of sorts that was never followed up on.
  • Happily Married: All of the parents of W.I.T.C.H. have a healthy and loving relationship.
    • Possibly averted with Will's parents, who are divorced. Then, played straight with Will's dad, Tony and Serena (Will's new stepmom), who will be this.
  • The Heartless. The Knights of Destruction.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Raythor, Sandpit and Gargoyle join the Guardians and the rebels after Raythor is disillusioned by Phobos's lack of honor.
  • Heroic Bastard Implied for Caleb
  • Heroic BSoD: Hay Lin, "T is for Trauma", where Nerissa controlled Yan Lin's clone and Eric.
  • Heroic Resolve. How Hay Lin breaks out of the aforementioned Heroic BSoD.
  • High School Rejects: Uriah and his gang.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Following 'W is for Witch', Phobos regains his position as the series' Big Bad until Cedric pulls a Starscream on him in the penultimate episode.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: All the girls in the first episodes. Cedric in the season finale.
  • Hulk Speak: Blunk. In fact, all Passlings speak that way.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: In "N is for Narcissist", a barefoot Cornelia gets her toes stepped on, causing her to hop around in pain.
  • Hypocrite: Will calls her mother out on lying about having a boyfriend when she earlier lectured her daughter about doing the same. Taranee also bawls her mother out for jumping to conclusions about her and Nigel being involved in a serious crime just because Nigel is a bit of a prankster.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Will tells her mom that she really does want her mom to be happy, even if it's with her History teacher.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The titles of the second season episodes are in the form of an alphabet primer.
  • In the Blood: Nerissa tries to use this on Caleb, but he refutes it.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Matt, Eric, Nigel, and Andrew Hornby. Stephen is only available in the comic.
  • Initialism Title
  • Irony: Nerissa runs from her failed battle in "T is for Trauma" by invoking Exact Words: she made Will swear on the Heart of Candracar to not run from the battle, but states she did not make the same promise. Later in season two Will makes use of this by making Phobos swear on the Heart to not keep the power of Nerissa's Seal, knowing full well that he'd break the promise and suffer some sort of retribution if he then set foot in Candracar; Nerissa accidentally taught Will the key to her own defeat and Phobos's.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cornelia and Irma.
  • Jokester: Irma, obviously, even on bad timing, she still jokes around. Almost all of the episodes she jokes. This can annoy the other girls a lot, especially Cornelia.
  • Just Desserts: When Cedric eats Phobos.
  • Karma Houdini: Nerissa ends up much happier than she deserves, being trapped inside the Seal of Nerissa in a delusion that she's fulfilling her dream of conquering the universe.
  • Kick the Dog: Phobos does this VERY frequently. He tortures Will in the second episode among other things.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Phobos does this to Nerissa and Miranda; Nerissa by trapping her in a jewel and Miranda by turning her into a really small spider and locking her in a cell for almost half a season. It is hinted that Nerissa was kicked around by Elyon and the previous Guardians after she was absorbed into the jewel by Phobos, as they were NOT happy to see her.
  • Killed Off for Real: Quite a few characters.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The girls in the first season. And most secondary characters throughout the entire series.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Nerissa is Caleb's mother. She knows it. He does not.
  • Loophole Abuse: In season 2 it's shown that swearing on a magical talisman like the Heart of Candracar can bind a person to that promise with bad results if they actually enter the realm of Candracar. Will uses this to entrap Phobos to try and invade Candracar after he swore on the Heart to return his sister's power-it's implied it would have worked had Cedric not intervened by pulling his own Loophole Abuse and taking a "fraction" of Phobos's new power. Ironically, Will seemed to have gotten the idea from Nerissa's actions under Dirty Coward above.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The girls go through one at the end of the series.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Nerissa is Caleb's mother.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: WITCH is here to kick ass and take names!
  • Male Gaze: The transformed girls get this on occasion, sometimes from the perspective of their love interests.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nerissa, to a lesser extent Phobos.
  • Meganekko: Taranee.
  • Me's a Crowd: Astral Drops.
  • Meet Cute: Will and Caleb meet when she literally falls into his arms, and immediately start bickering. This misled a lot of viewers who weren't familiar with the comics, thinking THEY would be the Official Couple.
    • In an aversion to what happened in the comics, Will didn't have an (onscreen) Meet Cute with Matt, he just sort of showed up for her birthday party. Ditto for Caleb and Cornelia. Hay Lin seeing Eric for the first time would have counted if she hadn't turned invisible out of embarrassment.
  • Mind Control: Happens a few times but most noticeably in "G is for Garbage" in which all the heroines (except for Irma and Blunk), Jeek and Matt fall victim to this.
  • Missing Mom: For Caleb. Becomes a plot point in season 2.
  • Mooks: The rebels, Phobos's Guards, later Elyon's guards.
  • More Than Mind Control: Elyon in the first season and the members of CHYKN in the second season.
  • Most Common Superpower: Apparently magic powers=breast implants... and none of the girls complain, for obvious reasons.
  • Mundane Utility: The girls once guardian-up in order to bake a few pastries for a school function.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "U is for Undivided", Cornelia when she realized the bedtime story she was telling Lillian was ACTUALLY HAPPENING outside, Where the other Guardians were fighting Nerissa and her group according to how the story was told.
  • Mythology Gag: "U is for Undivided" had the "Yuppie Couple" from another Greg Weisman/Disney series, Gargoyles, show up (with swapped names- Brenda and Marco) as people living in Cornelia's apartment building- and they still can't escape the weirdness that befell them on Gargoyles.
  • New Super Power: Beginning in season 2 the girls all get an expansion in powers. Along with several Psychic Powers (see below) Hay Lin can turn invisible, Cornelia gained the ability to grow taller and Irma could change the colors of clothes, possibly other things, too. The biggest upgrade has to be Will finally having a few defensive powers of her own as she accepted her control over Quintessence.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Will's decision not to tell Elyon ultimately results in Phobos successfully manipulating her for half the season.
    • During her plan to get Phobos to break his vow on Candracar's power, Will allowed him to reconquer Meridian and deliberately lost the fight when his forces invaded Candracar which unfortunately was rendered All for Nothing when Cedric devoured Phobos and his powers.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted, sort of. A relationship between Nerissa and Cassidy is alluded to (and confirmed by Greg Weisman at a con), though later on we found out she seduced a man to impregnate her to have a child. While one could argue she only used him to get pregnant, she has shown loving feelings for him, such as when she spared him his life during a deadly confrontation.
  • No Loves Intersect: Rather than crush on a character for the entire series, the characters have the nerve to break trope tradition and ask the character out with little hesitance, which causes them to hook up fairly early on in the series.
  • No Social Skills: Caleb is clueless about Earth.
  • Older Alter Ego: The girls age up noticeably when they transform into their guardian form. At one point a transformed Cornelia is thought to be her own (non-existent) older sister. When Cornelia's mother sees Hay Lin in her transformed state (using it as her "Halloween costume"), she comments how she didn't know Halloween costumes nowadays came with that kind of padding.
    • Exaggerated in "N is for Narcissist" when Cornelia is accidentally imbued with all of the Guardians' powers, she transforms into a fully adult version of herself. Caleb even calls her "hot."
  • Open and Shut: This appears to be Will's power (in season 1 at least). She can transform the other four together, and connect places with portals.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Phobos is this during Season 1; up until the season finale Will's the only G
uardian who's actually met him.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Passlings.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Many of Meridian's natives are orc-like to a greater or lesser extent, but the lurdens fit best both in terms of appearance and role in the story.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Hay Lin is usually the cheerful one, but in "T is for Trauma", she goes catatonic after seeing clone Yan Lin and Eric being controlled by Nerissa. Even when transforming, she silently had her back turned, not even bothering to do her usual pose.
  • Out of Order: Season 2 Halloween episode, 'W is for Witch', which in order to air in time for the holiday, had to be shown before 'T is for Trauma'.
  • Parental Abandonment: Mostly averted, though we are never given a clear picture of what actually happened to Phobos and Elyon's birth parents. Given the nature of the eldest child, however, we can make an educated guess.
    • Played straight with Caleb, whose one parent is believed to be dead when the series starts and the other is not around.
  • The Plan: Phobos pulls off a good one in Season 1, and everyone gets in on the act in Season 2. Then there's the fact that Phobos's initial plan was in fact part of an even bigger one pulled by Nerissa. Which is the only way that Phobos's take-over makes much sense in the first place. Think about it. His little sister is in her early teens. He is in his twenties. Phobos would have been somewhere around twelve when Elyon was taken to another dimension because he was such a threat to her life. Enfant Terrible or not, you'd think someone was around with the power to send him to his room.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Blunk.
  • Psychic Powers: The girls gain some pyschic abilities in the early part of Season 2.
  • Psychoactive Powers: All the girls have issues with their power upgrade in Season 2 being triggered by their emotions, but Cornelia has the worst of it due to her breaking up with Caleb making her lose control over her powers at a critical moment.
  • Race Lift: Witrh the minor characters Bess and Courtney Grumper. While their race is never technically stated, in the comics, they have golden-brown skin and bluish-black hair with dark eyes, similar to Theresa Cook, which suggests an Asian heritage. In the cartoon, however, they are white with red hair and green eyes.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Quite common. Cornelia, Hay-Lin, Nerissa, Kadma, and Halinor all have long hair.
    • Phobos and Cedric provide a male variant.
  • Reality Warper: Elyon and Lillian.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Which is why Lillian gives her powers to the Earth Regents.
  • School Play: Based off a story line in the comics where the girls recreate the origin of the Heart of Candracar for a school production. It doesn't go as well in the show.
  • Second Person Attack: Will decks Raythor in the third episode.
  • Shout-Out: Several to the Lord of the Rings films. In the second season, when Greg Weisman takes over, he can't help but throw in a few shoutouts to Gargoyles, as well.
    • In two episodes of the second season Usagi makes a brief background cameo.
      • Pokémon cameo in the European intro sequence. Really. (As does a stuffed frog on Will's bedside table that looks a lot like Kermit.)
    • A few to Star Trek- Irma says "Star Trek convention" at one point and two characters are named Trill (Jadzia/Exri Dax's species) and Kor (TOS era Klingon who appeared several times on DS9). (It should be noted Rosalind Chao- who played Keiko O'Brien in TNG and DS9- voiced Hay Lin's mother Joan here. Coincidence?)
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Eric and Hay Lin's relationship toward the end of Season 2.
  • Slumber Party: Teenage girls, obviously, but in the second season they hold one specifically to fight the evil invading their dreams.
    • Will used one in Season 1 as an excuse to brainstorm for their school's upcoming renaissance festival.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Many thought Elyon would be it, and while the show does indicate that Caleb fills this category, the comic offers somebody different entirely.
  • Smug Snake: Phobos and -literally- Cedric. Nerissa.
  • Snow Means Love: Will and Matt had their first kiss under a tree in a light snowfall.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Kinda. In the comics, Yan Lin dies of old age shortly after having presented the girls with their powers. However, she turns out to live on in Kandrakaar, as part of the Council. In the series, she lives on in Heatherfield. Also, Mr. Huggles dies after being hit by a car in the comic, though it is in a later storyline that was never adaptated for TV.
  • Skeleton Government: The entire planet of Meridian seem to be run by a single monarch, assisted by a couple of advisors. In a particularly egregious scene in the second series, Elyon was asked to negotiate a boundary dispute between two groups of farmers. You'd think there'd be some sort of regional governor to see to such matters.
    • Zamballa's the same.
    • May be justified in both cases as Meridian was recently under a dictatorship and probably lacks any infrastructure while Zamballa's population is basically a bunch of living trees. Also, the map of Meridian makes it seem smaller than Earth.
  • So Last Season: "J is for Jewel" features the previous season's Big Bad Phobos and several other villains that were imprisoned with him breaking out and trying to stage a coup. But the Guardians have become much more competent since those days, and have several more powers, and easily kick their asses.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted: when Nerissa first appears, she is much weaker and less influential than Phobos ever was, though that changes overtime.
  • The Starscream: Cedric and Miranda in the Season 2 finale. After being left to rot in prison by Phobos, the two plotted against him in secret, while forming a relationship. Their plan was successful as Cedric succeeded in capturing all of the power Phobos had collected as well as taking control of Kandrakar and Merridian in one fell swoop. Fortunately, they weren't any lucky than the previous villains they succeeded.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: One sided in the comics. Will's empathetic powers makes animals respond to her mood and thoughts.
  • Super Hero: Tights and all.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In Episode 11, a giant plant monster tries to eat Blunk. After a few seconds of attempting to eat the filthy Passling, it spits him back out.
  • Town Girls: Irma is Butch, Cornelia is Femme, Will, Taranee and Hay Lin are Neither.
  • Transformation Sequence: Usually all the girls together. This trope was played with in one episode: while every girl cheerfully announce their element as they transform like they always do, Hay Lin, while still going through the sequence with everyone else, stands still quietly with her head bowed.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Heart of Kandrakar.
  • Two-Timer Date: In "F Is For Facade" Cornelia goes ice skating with both Caleb (as her human form) and Peter (as her Guardian form).
    • Though it wasn't her plan to date both at the same time, but rather Elyon's plan to get Caleb back into Cornelia's graces. Unfortunately, she didn't know about Peter.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Nerissa's one-episode stint as "Stacie".
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Kadma in the show. She was suckered by Nerissa that the Guardians were attacking Zamballa, causing her to imprison the group when they first arrive until only Taranee was left. When the ruse was found out, she doesn't bother to apologize for her mistakes nor thank them for saving Zamballa and reviving some of her coma-induced subjects after she coldly undermined the Guardians' abilities that they could. This more than annoyed Taranee.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: It's clear from Caleb's face that the revelation that his Missing Mom is also the season's Big Bad is not welcome news.
  • Villain Decay: In season 2, in the same episode that he was freed from prison for the first time, Elyon forces Phobos back in, without even an onscreen fight.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Will's father.
  • Wham Episode: "Y is for Yield". All of the Guardians' "losses" since Phobos's release were planned by them to get Phobos in a position where he had no choice but to lose. Some of Phobos's minions have pulled a Heel–Face Turn. Finally, right when Phobos is about to do what W.I.T.C.H. has been manipulating him to since they released him, Cedric eats him.
    Hay Lin: Did he just...
    Irma: ...Swallow Phobos whole? Oh yeah.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Heart of Kandrakar grants four of the girls elemental powers, and to Will, the power to give them those powers! Maybe not totally lame, but at the least, unfair. This is Retconned in Season 2 of the TV show when it's explained she had no powers as most of hers were used to keep the Veil up. When the Veil is lowered, she gains a lot of new abilities as well as her own element, Quintessence.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Heatherfield's location isn't specified, but unlike in the comics, it's unambiguously set in the US (the comics went back and forth on it being in either the US or Europe). Some of the coastal and topography elements seem to imply it's in Connecticut, possibly as a fictional counterpart to New Haven.
  • World Building: The universe certainly opens up after Season 1!
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Nerissa adjusts her plan throughout season 2.
  • You Are Grounded: Since she has to keep up The Masquerade, Will gets this more than any girl trying to save the world deserves.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Phobos congratulates Will for cheating with her powers to win a swim race in "V is for Victory".


Example of: