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

W.I.T.C.H. is a Magical Girl fantasy animated series produced by French studio SIP Animation in close collaboration with Disney and its former global network Jetix, which also aired on ABC Family and ABC Kids in the US. Based on the comic book of the same name, the cartoon serves as a distilled and re-imagined version of the comic's first two story arcs, tying them together into one central and connected plot-line. The adaptation is perhaps best known for having Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman serve as showrunner during its second season, replacing writing duo Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers.

On the distant world of Meridian, a tyrannical young man named Phobos has acquired the royal throne and begun his crusade to spread his reign to all other worlds 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 that serve as portals allowing free passage between Meridian and the town of Heatherfield on Earth.


In response, five young girls from Earth are recruited to become the new Guardians of the Veil, a group of super-powered defenders who are tasked with keeping order in the universe. The five girls (whose initials spell "WITCH") are joined by a Meridian rebel named Caleb who alerts them that Phobos isn't just a tyrant, but an usurper to a matriarchal throne: the rightful heir is hidden somewhere on Earth. And so their mission is clear: close the portals and figure out the identity of Phobos's younger sister before his men do. But as they, the rebel forces, and an odd goblin-like smuggler 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 show distinguishes itself from the bulk of Western Animation with a bold attempt at creating a series with an overarching Myth Arc that develops the plot without filler episodes, as opposed to more episodic cartoons that only occasionally delve into multi-part story arcs. 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. They must contend with the main antagonists having uncanny scheming abilities that they have to develop the skill and cunning to counteract. By the end of the series, both sides are playing Xanatos Speed Chess. In addition, W.I.T.C.H. Played With Cerebus Syndrome on a meta level in that while the plot and characters largely remain the same, the show's tone initially portrays the Civil War as more of a game or nuisance, and gets much more serious over time.

Despite laying the groundwork for an adaptation of the comic's third story arc, and relatively high ratings on Jetix, producer and investor disinterest resulted in the show's second season being its last.

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!"
  • Action-Hogging Opening: In the US, the opening was replaced with a Clip Show consisting almost entirely of action clips ripped out of context, making the show seem far more hardcore than it actually is.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In general, the colors in the show are way lighter than in the comics.
    • Matt and Hay Lin's grandmother both got black hair in the cartoon adaptation 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 show, they have a platinum shade.
    • Irma's hair is a lighter shade of brown.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comics, Irma is somewhat chubby Depending on the Artist. In the show, she's just as thin as the others.
  • Adaptational Badass: Caleb is a lot more badass as Rebel Leader, even verging on The Ace.
  • Adaptational Curves: The comics artstyle makes the girls look significantly younger than they're supposed to be when in human form, contrasting sharply with their Guardian forms. This is especially true for Will, who has A-Cup Angst and prefers to be in Guardian form as a result, and Hay Lin, who's much skinnier than even her friends. In the show, however, they look like the young teenagers they are in human form, so the effect of the transformation is downplayed. Ironically, all of them are about a year younger in the first episode than at the start of the comics.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the comics, Caleb doesn't appear until the middle of the first arc. In the cartoon, Caleb is the very first character seen in the show (not counting the Title Sequence).
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: The entirety of Kandrakar. It's lampshaded too.
    Irma: Wait-wait-wait, Kandrakar exists? Huh, I thought it was just a magical brand name.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Cornelia is presented as generally ruder and more aggressive than she is in the comics, especially in the first few episodes. In the comics she is a Bully Hunter, but in the cartoon prior to her Character Development she was verging on The Bully herself.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Hay Lin's Guardian outfit is less revealing in the show.
  • 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, Julian, 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: Subverted; most of the 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 magically-endowed adults, however, they tend to lose the battle due to their lack of experience and power. Also, the Guardians invoke Parental Obliviousness to keep up the Masquerade, but it gets more difficult as their parents grow more suspicious.
  • 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 Stone of Threbe", the girls learn a lesson about taking their powers for granted. Come the later episode, "Caleb's Challenge", and they're all too happy to use their powers to bake cookies... and make some extras for the rebels.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: The guardian costumes are rather... provocative for young teenage girls. Lampshaded by Cornelia's mother in season two when she sees Hay Lin wearing the costume.
  • Age Lift: A very minor case - the girls start out at 12/13, as opposed to 13/14 respectively in the comics.
  • 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 powers and distribute them back to the others.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Downplayed by the Grumper sisters - they can be rude and mean, and like to spread gossip about other characters, but come off as wannabes because they don't have the popularity to pull it off.
    • Nerissa was very likely one when she was a teenager, going by how she acts with restored youth to her teen years.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: At least 3 themes, with numerous variants.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore:
    • The US "rock ballad" theme song is quite different from the original melodic rock intro, with an Action-Hogging Opening to match.
    • Inverted in Italy, where both the theme and opening are much more upbeat than the originals.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Heart of Kandrakar. The guardians can use their Elemental Powers even in human form, but they're very weak, at least in the first season.
    Yan Lin: One of the five binds the others, and with the Heart of Kandrakar unites them, summoning and magnifying their powers.
  • Animesque:
  • And the Adventure Continues: Each season ends with the ongoing story fully resolved, followed by a Sequel Hook with the next major antagonist... or would-be antagonist in the case of the series finale. (Though at least the latter character is from the comics, unlike in the first season.)
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Irma's brother Chris, and Cornelia's sister Lillian.
  • Another Dimension: Meridian in season 1. In the second season, it's revealed to be just one of an infinite number of such worlds, of which we also see Kandrakar, Zamballa, and (briefly) Aridia. Travel between them only becomes possible once the Veil protecting the other worlds from Phobos is taken down, at which point the Guardians of the Veil are given a new title: the Guardians of the Infinite Dimensions.
  • Arc Welding: The second season explicitly does this via Nerissa, particularly when she reveals that she was posing as multiple characters in season 1 to help La Résistance, and had a child under one of these false identities specifically in order to give the rebels a Rebel Leader who could bring them to victory.
  • Art Evolution: Season 2 was animated at Dong Woo Animation in Korea, replacing the Wang Film Productions/Hong Ying duo of the first. It's downplayed in that the resulting visual differences are quite subtle, though definitely noticeable. (The second season showrunner emphasized the seamless continuity of model sheets - and character voices - in an interview.)
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Caleb had a much smaller role in the comics.
    • Matt's character is greatly expanded in season 2 from being Will's Satellite Love Interest in the comics.
  • Asian Airhead: Subverted by Hay Lin, who's a Cuckoo Snarker.
  • Asleep in Class: Happens to Will in one episode. It's an unusually dangerous instance of the trope as it makes her an easy target for the resident Dream Weaver.
  • The Atoner: Tynar, as seen in "B is for Betrayal".
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Cedric and Miranda 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. Lampshaded in "Framed".
    Phobos: I detest art that's beautiful or life-affirming. Tends to breed hope in rebellious spirits.
  • 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. In season 2, it's exploited by her guards to protect the castle.
  • Bastard Understudy: Cedric, Miranda.
  • Batman Gambit: Plenty of characters pull these, including the good guys.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Matt vs. Shagon.
  • Beach Episode: I is for Illusion.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason for Tynar's defection from Phobos' side to the rebellion. When he is poisoned by a Meridian scorpion creature, the Guardians take him to Earth and nurse him back to health. It's made clear that such kindness is not granted to those who serve Phobos, and he is able to convince several of Phobos' guards to side with the Guardians and the rebels.
  • 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.
  • Big Eater: Hay Lin and Yan Lin both fit this trope in "S is for Self".
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The guardians combine this with You Gotta Have Blue Hair.
  • Book Dumb:
    • A rare female example: Will. A gifted leader and strategist she may be, but academically she flounders hard. It's 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" largely consists of the girls remembering the final battle with Cedric after they went One-Winged Angel.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Double Subverted with Hay Lin; her braces are normal and she's actually proud of them... until the Big Bad convinces her that her boyfriend hates them among other things. She snaps out of it by the end of the episode.
  • Brainless Beauty: Subverted by Hay Lin, who's a Cuckoo Snarker, and Cornelia, who may well be the ultimate subversion of the Valley Girl archetype.
  • Brainwashed / Brainwashed and Crazy: Hay Lin under the Horn of Hypnos (along with half of Heatherfield), and almost all the Guardians in a later episode; 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 gives 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 identities as both The Mage and Trill.
  • Buffy Speak: Downplayed. It's used very sparingly, and pretty much exclusively when there probably isn't an actual term for whatever is being said.
    Caleb: But if the Phobos plan was on a need-to-know basis...
    Will: Then the Raythor twist was even needier-to-knowier.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cornelia, particularly in the early episodes (when she's also more of a Jerkass). If one of the guardians screws up, chances are Cornelia's the one hit in the face, or drenched in water, or otherwise screwed.
  • 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: In the first season, the girls call out the name of their element whenever they manifest them during a battle (“Water!”; “Fire!”; “Earth!”; “Air!”). It's rarely done afterwards, but Nerissa does the same thing with Quintessence throughout much of season 2.
  • 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 a case of Breaking the Fourth Wall.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Subverted. Rather than crush on a character for the entire series, several of the characters work up the nerve to break trope tradition and ask others out with relatively little hesitance, which causes them to hook up fairly early on in the series. It helps that it's pretty much always a case of Twice Shy.
  • Canon Foreigner: While the characters on Earth are almost all from the comics (except Alchemy), numerous Meridian inhabitants are original to the cartoon, as are many of the individually-unnamed creatures living there (which the showrunners of the first season considered to be a necessary Adaptation Expansion on their part).
  • Cast From HP: Old Guardians must do this without access to Aurameres or a Heart.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Played With. The second season is unquestionably Darker and Edgier, but the show's lighthearted and sometimes zany humor and Schoolgirl Series side plots aren't played down at all (in fact, this was actually enforced by the network, after the original scripts for the season played the trope more straight).
  • 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.
  • Civil War: Meridian in both seasons - first with the rebellion vs. Phobos, and then The Remnant vs. Elyon's reign.
  • 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 Mira.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Phobos presumably does this to Will in "It Resumes"; 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 later she's visibly terrified of him.
  • Combo Platter Powers: In addition to their Elemental Powers, the guardians also get Flight and Super Strength, plus the ability to create Astral Drops. Later they get Psychic Powers and Teleportation as well.
  • 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.
  • Cuckoo Snarker: Hay Lin may be the epitome of this trope. It can be incredibly jarring how she flips back and forth from child-like Cloud Cuckoo Lander to full-on Deadpan Snarker, and everything in between... sometimes in the same scene. And unlike some cases of the trope, she's never portrayed as Obfuscating Stupidity - this is her actual personality.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique / Deadly Upgrade: In the series finale, the girls are forced to become physical embodiments of their elemental powers in order to stop the final villain, who has amassed several times their power combined. This makes them far stronger, but the tactic carries the risk of permanently losing one's humanity, both physically and mentally. Said technique is also a lampshaded Chekhov's Skill, which borders on Chekhov's Boomerang when it's revealed that Nerissa proposed the technique to the guardians as "an improvised plan", knowing that it would both allow them to win the day and leave them unable to resist her Mind Control afterwards - leaving her free to fulfill her own goals with little resistance.
  • 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.
  • Delinquent Hair: Taranee briefly dyes all her hair pink and styles it punkish when she goes into a short "bad girl" phase after her mother forbids her from seeing Nigel.
  • Dénouement: The show ends with a lengthy monologue by Will summarizing what happened after the Final Battle.
  • 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.
  • Dimensional Cutter: In season 2, portals are replaced by folds, and several magical items are able to create them.
  • Dirty Coward: Nerissa in "T is for Trauma". Realizing she couldn't win, she runs despite saying 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, to Irma.
  • The Dragon: Cedric in season 1. In the second season it gets a bit more complicated, with first Raythor, then Shagon being The Dragon to Nerissa. When Phobos regains power, Cedric becomes The Dragon again - and when he takes over, Miranda becomes his Dragon for all of one episode.
  • Dream Weaver: Nerissa tries this tactic against the Guardians in one episode.
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted by Cornelia, who may well be the ultimate subversion of the Valley Girl archetype.
  • 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, though it wasn't created by them.
    Caleb: Nobody knows who built the Infinite City. In 4,000 years, no one's found an end to it in any direction.
  • Elemental Baggage: Mostly averted, but it happens to Cornelia occasionally.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Embarrassing Nickname: 'Pink Perky Poopy Pumpkin' for Will, 'Droopy Pants' for Irma and 'Corny' for Cornelia.
  • 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.
  • Evolving Credits: The international opening changes completely between seasons, reflecting their different premises as well as new characters. The others do not.
  • 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 armor 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 Kandrakar 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: In the second season, Will acquires her elemental power of Quintessence, which manifests in devastating lightning bolts. Nerissa in her Guardian form has the same abilities and more experience (and usually power, especially when she doesn't divide her energy source with others like the Aurameres do).
  • 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 international 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 this refers not only 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 who can transform in "W is for Witch".
  • Free-Range Children: Heatherfield is a big city. Portals pop up all over town. The guardians' main job (at first anyways) is to close them. Said guardians are 12 or 13 at the beginning of the show. You do the math. And that's to say nothing of their frequent travel to other worlds altogether. It's somewhat downplayed in that the girls sometimes have to come up with excuses to hide their activities from their parents, and are occasionally grounded (especially Will)... but when grounded they just sneak out anyways. (The first season showrunners actually wanted the girls to have even more freedom, especially during school days, but the network enforced some restrictions.)
  • 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: Much of the series, especially the second season.
  • Garden of Evil: The Whisperers. Phobos is rather proud of it.
  • Glamour:
    • Used numerous times in the second season, particularly by Nerissa. In one episode she 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.
  • Glasses Curiosity: In "K is for Knowledge," Uriah Dunn purposely bumps into Taranee, which causes her to drop both her books and her glasses. He steals the specs and later puts them on to mock her.
  • Gossipy Hens: The Grumper sisters are almost defined by this.
  • Grand Finale: And the Adventure Continues, with a Sequel Hook from the comics.
  • Happily Married: All of the parents of W.I.T.C.H. have healthy and loving relationships. (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.)
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the second season, Will goes from subverting What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? to averting it entirely. It's explained she had no element of her own because some of the Guardians' power was being used to keep the Veil up. When the Veil is lowered, she gains a new Psychic Power (alongside the other girls) as well as her own element, Quintessence.
  • The Heartless. The Knights of Destruction.
  • Heart of the Matter: The most obvious example is the Heart of Kandrakar, the artifact that empowers the titular heroines' elemental abilities. Loss of access to the Heart greatly decreases their magical powers. Also present in the series, and possessing similar powers, are:
    • The Heart of Meridian, Elyon Brown, who rules that world and can directly channel its magic. The ability is stolen and placed inside a jewel, allowing Nerissa to do the same.
    • The Heart of Zamballa, possessed by the ruler of the planet Zamballa and repository of that world's power. Stealing it from Kadma greatly increased Nerissa's power.
    • The Heart of Earth, also known as Lillian Hale. To protect her, the heroes manage to get her to empower a trio of allies, transforming them into the powerful Regents of Earth.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Raythor, Sandpit and Gargoyle join the Guardians and the rebels after Raythor is disillusioned by Phobos's lack of honor.
    • Shagon and Khor join the Guardians' side in "U is for Undivided".
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Nerissa works with Yan Lin, Elyon and the rest of the former guardians to help W.I.T.C.H. take down Cedric. However, when victorious, she reverts to her old ways which results in her staying trapped in the pendant while the others escape.
  • Heroic Bastard Implied for Caleb.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Hay Lin in "T is for Trauma", where Nerissa controlled Yan Lin's Altermere and Eric.
    • "F is for Facades" showcased this trope with Cornelia when she was told Caleb didn't make it. He is revealed to be still alive when he returns moments later, which leads to her Heroic Resolve.
  • Heroic Resolve: How Hay Lin breaks out of the aforementioned Heroic BSoD.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: "Q is for Quarry" has Will coming this close to becoming like Nerissa when her paranoia over yet another sudden change in her family life on Earth (not to mention the events of the preceding episodes) coincides with Kadma pushing her into absorbing the Heart of Meridian and forcibly becoming Elyon's "regent". Her friends lampshade it throughout the episode and try to pull her back, which only strengthens her resolve to prove all of them wrong until she snaps out of it at the last possible moment. Then Kadma pushes Will aside and tries to take the power herself, which is exactly what Nerissa was waiting for, as it allowed her to take all of Kadma's power for herself. In other words, if Will hadn't stopped herself Nerissa would have taken the Heart of Kandrakar and presumably ended the show right then and there. It's actually still downplayed compared to the comics, where Will is in constant fear of becoming like Nerissa throughout the second arc, with the general question even being asked of whether the Keeper of the Heart is destined to become this. Said question is referenced by Irma in the episode.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend:
    • Ember had a moment of this in "S is for Self".
    • Also, Irma's original reaction to Martin until "L is for Loser".
  • 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.
  • Hydrant Geyser: Hay Lin gets hit by one of these in mid-flight during a battle in episode 9.
  • 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 a perfect alphabet primer - 26 letters for 26 episodes, all in order.
  • 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.
  • The Ingenue: Hay Lin is a child-like and (mostly) innocent teenage girl, who explictly says she doesn't want a boyfriend... the very episode before she actually gets a crush on a guy. But even then, their eventual relationship is by far the sweetest in the show. True to the trope, both Big Bads take advantage of her disposition (on separate occasions)... only to learn that breaking the cutie isn't as easy as it seems.
  • Initialism Title: Take a guess.
  • Internal Homage: The two seasons of the show are reflections of each other in so many ways that they naturally end up full of these. The fact that they're both exactly 26 half-hour episodes long makes references even easier.
    • In the first season, La Résistance opposes the powerful tyrant in Meridian, while in the second The Remnant tries to depose the new, benevolent ruler. And then there's the difference between the two major villains.
    • Also happens with individual episodes, where the plot of a second season episode is quite similar to one from the first on the surface, but significantly Darker and Edgier. Examples include "A Service to The Community" and "Q is for Quarry" (Will jumping to conclusions about a Glamour), "Divide and Conquer" and "T is for Trauma" (a new girl comes to the heroines' school and charms the boys away from them), and rather obviously given the role of the Horn of Hypnos in both, "Walk This Way" and "G is for Garbage". In the first case, it's openly lampshaded, while in the second the same Background Music plays during the scenes in question.
    • Relationships too. Two of the girls get boyfriends in the first season, two in the second. It's almost taken to Leaning on the Fourth Wall levels when the scenes in which two of these finally happen are uncannily similar - one in each season, both at the ends of their respective episodes, again right down to the exact same music.
  • Irony: Nerissa runs from her failed battle in "T is for Trauma" by invoking Exact Words: she made Will swear on the Heart of Kandrakar 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 Kandrakar; Nerissa accidentally taught Will the key to her own defeat and Phobos's.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cornelia and Irma.
  • The Jester: 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 a Kid: Lampshaded in the first season finale, with a generous helping of irony.
    Matt: How can I help?
    Will: What are you talking about? What are you doing here? You're just a kid!
    Matt: So are you! Yesterday you said Earth was in danger.
  • Just Desserts: When Cedric eats Phobos.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The girls assault their teacher thinking he was a monster in disguise, undermine and cover up a police investigation into their friend's disappearance, and sneak into a big corporation to destroy an important document related to Will's mom's job, among many other instances, all without any karma backlash from silly issues like morality. It happens so often in fact that it may seem like a parody of And Knowing Is Half the Battle.
      Will: OK, we lock the door, fly out the window, have his car towed and tomorrow, we'll put the papers in his desk. He'll think he dreamed it!
      Taranee: What about his clothes?
      Cornelia: Sprinkle him with crickets and release the lizard so he thinks Mr. Scales ripped them up?
      Will: That's crazy! Do it.
    • 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 many 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 also 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.
    • Phobos himself is on the receiving end of this twice. When Nerissa breaks the Knights of Vengeance out of prison, he orders Miranda to release but she refuses because he had insulted her earlier. Then in the penultimate episode of season 2, he is eaten by Cedric, who had become wise to the Guardians' true plan.
  • La Résistance: The rebellion in Meridian, led by Caleb.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Two of them, though they're just a Continuity Cameo from the comics intended as setup for the never-made third season, and have nothing to do with the plot beyond And the Adventure Continues.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Downplayed by the main girls in the first season. They wear the outfits from the international intro very often, but they do have several other sets - and that's not counting those for winter weather, sports, etc.
    • Many secondary characters throughout the entire series, though it's justified for most characters from Meridian.
  • 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 Kandrakar can bind a person to that promise with bad results if they actually enter the realm of Kandrakar. Will uses this to entrap Phobos to try and invade Kandrakar 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.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The girls go through one at the end of the series. Nerissa does too... but unlike them she doesn't get out.
  • 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.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Meridian.
  • 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, and thought they would be the Official Couple.
    • In an aversion of 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 / Mind-Control Device: The Horn of Hypnos in "Walk This Way", and most noticeably in "G is for Garbage" in which all the heroines (except for Irma - and Blunk), Jeek and Matt fall victim to this. Though it's actually the simplest way to effect mind control in the show, and More Than Mind Control is far more prominent.
  • Missing Mom: For Caleb. Becomes a Plot Point in season 2.
  • Mooks: Most of 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.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The animated series deliberately moved away from the girl-oriented writing of the comics to appeal to a wider audience.
    • The first season specifically tried to appeal to boys after a network Retool during early production forced the writers to redo the scripts for the season up to that point, and play up male characters like Caleb and Blunk along with focusing more on the action and less on the comedy.
    • The second season took this and ran with it: the combat sequences became significantly more intense and frequent, more male characters got important roles (particularly Matt), etc. The international season 2 opening took it all the way Up to Eleven: compared to the season 1 intro, the already tonally dissonant melody is remixed to sound more rock-like (without going full rock ballad like the U.S. theme), while the visuals are somehow both far "girlier" and far more badass.
  • Mundane Utility: The girls once guardian-up in order to bake a few pastries for a school function.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Cornelia in "U is for Undivided", 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.
    • Obviously it's an adaptation, but the show is full of references to the comics even for those aspects that were Adapted Out or downplayed. Phobos' Whisperers are one example; Irma's question under He Who Fights Monsters is another.
  • New Super Power:
    • Beginning in season 2 the girls all get power expansions. Psychic Powers aside, Hay Lin could turn invisible, Cornelia gained the ability to grow taller and Irma could change clothing colors. The biggest upgrade though has to be Will finally having an element of her own as she accepted her control over Quintessence.
    • A much more minor but still quite important case occurs in episode 20, when the Heart of Kandrakar (and by extension Will) gains the ability to open portals, not just close them.
  • 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 Kandrakar's power, Will allowed him to reconquer Meridian and deliberately lost the fight when his forces invaded Kandrakar which unfortunately was rendered All for Nothing when Cedric devoured Phobos and his powers.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Blunk, to the guardians and especially Caleb.
  • 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 Social Skills: Caleb is clueless about Earth.
  • Odd Friendship: Caleb and Blunk.
  • Older Alter Ego: The girls age up noticeably when they transform into their guardian forms.
    • 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".
  • The One Guy: Caleb is this to the girls in the first season (though Blunk can also count). Towards the end of the series, Caleb is sometimes Out of Focus (as he's on Meridian while much of the action is on Earth in the second season) so Matt tends to become this.
  • Open and Shut: Will starts out with closing the portals between the worlds as her main responsibility as wielder of the Heart of Kandrakar, in addition to transforming the guardians. The Heart later gains the ability to open portals as well, not just close them.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Subverted and later averted completely by Phobos.
    • In season 1, he doesn't interact much with the Guardians directly, but that's largely because they're in different worlds most of the time. He's constantly on screen though, and actively involved both with the Evil Plan - especially later on when Elyon comes to Meridian - and crushing La Résistance. Phobos does meet the Guardians face-to-face a few times during the season, but more often it's when they're at a distance in the air - or in one egregious case when they taunt him through his viewing stone after not only foiling his latest plan and freezing his mooks (yet again) but also causing the destruction of his entire mining operation.
    • Averted in the second season, where Phobos of all characters briefly becomes the Token Evil Teammate to the guardians before returning as the Big Bad but with more universal ambitions.
    • Ironically, in the comics he very much is this trope, to the point that few even get to see his face.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Invoked by the guardians, who often have to come up with excuses for where they were at a given time. Even so, it's downplayed as several of their parents slowly get more concerned and suspicious.
  • 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 the rebellion itself was in fact part of an even bigger one pulled by Nerissa.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Blunk.
  • Psychic Powers: The girls gain some psychic 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 break-up with Caleb making her lose control over her powers at a critical moment.
  • Race Lift: With 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 male variants.
  • Reality Warper: Elyon and Lillian.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Which is why Lillian gives her powers to the Earth Regents.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: As in the comics, Elyon is revealed to be a princess. Unlike in the comics however, this is done much later into the series, with almost half of the first season largely dealing with both sides trying to find her.
  • Rearrange the Song:
  • Rebel Leader: Caleb is the leader of the rebellion in Meridian.
  • The Remnant: The Knights of Vengeance, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits made up of the most prominent followers of Phobos (mostly those who didn't get captured at the end of the first season).
  • Save Both Worlds: Meridian and Earth, and later the entire universe.
  • School Play: Based off a story line in the comics where the girls recreate the origin of the Heart of Kandrakar for a school production. It doesn't go as well in the show.
  • Second Person Attack: Will decks Raythor in the third episode.
  • Series Continuity Error: Rather shockingly for a show that is so meticulously planned out in every respect, at first glance there is a glaring continuity error regarding the very premises of the two seasons. In season 1, Phobos' Evil Plan is to bring his long-lost younger sister - the true heir and Heart of Meridian - back home and steal her magical powers. At the same time, throughout the season he takes every attempt available to him to steal the Heart of Kandrakar from Will as well, explicitly stating that doing so would double his powers. In season 2, Nerissa's main plan was to trick the owners of the Hearts of the Worlds into giving them to her willingly so she could become more and more powerful and eventually unite said worlds, all under her rule of course. The problem? The only reason she needs to plan as she does is because it is repeatedly stated throughout the second season that Hearts cannot be taken by force. Oops.
    However, during the first season Phobos repeatedly emphasizes one critical aspect of his plan (to an increasingly impatient Cedric): he must wait to reveal his true nature and steal his sister's powers only at their peak. In other words, Elyon is not at full power for most of the season, and towards the end of said season there is a Race Against the Clock both from his side and that of La Résistance as a result which he attempts to pre-empt altogether by holding her "coronation" early. At the start of the second season, it is also revealed that the Guardians did not have their full powers until the Veil was taken down, at which point they both receive new abilities and become significantly stronger in both forms. Notably, said event occurred long before Nerissa obtained the Heart of Meridian and matched the strength of the guardians combined. But most telling of all, in the series finale Cedric is defeated physically and the jewel holding the Heart of Meridian cracked open, which releases its power - which makes no sense by the second season's own rule, unless he himself were subject to this... cue this quote from the battle:
    Nerissa: Cedric's power may dwarf theirs, but he is new to controlling the elements. There is still a chance.
  • Sheet of Glass: Used by the rebellion in Meridian to stop a convoy of Phobos' troops and get the food their carts were carrying. The glass doesn't break, but the animals pulling the carts are forced to stop suddenly to avoid it and the guards go flying off and hit the glass, leading to their swift capture by the rebels.
  • Ship Tease: Ember is on the receiving end with Tridart in "S is for Self" when she taunts Taranee.
    Ember: Alright flame girl! Let's see how much heat you can take!
    Taranee: More than your boyfriend!

  • Shout-Out:
    • A few to Star Trek - Irma says "Star Trek convention" at one point in episode 19, and two characters are named Trill (Jadzia/Exri Dax's species) and Khor (the TOS era Klingon Kor appeared several times on DS9) respectively. It should be noted Rosalind Chao - who played Keiko O'Brien in TNG and DS9 - voiced Hay Lin's mother Joan here. Coincidence?
    • In the second season, when Greg Weisman takes over, he can't help but throw in a few shoutouts to Gargoyles. In two episodes of season 2 Usagi also makes a brief background cameo.
    • Pokémon cameos in the second international intro sequence. Really. As does a stuffed frog on Will's bedside table that looks a lot like Kermit.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Eric and Hay Lin's relationship toward the end of season 2.
  • The Sixth Ranger: Elyon and Caleb in different contexts in the first season, Matt in the second.
  • 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.
  • Skunk Stripe: Accidentally happens to Cornelia in "W is for Witch" when Napoleon knocks her pink nail polish onto a strand of hair, leaving that strand dyed pink for the remainder of the episode.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: For a show in which each season is essentially the story of a Civil War (or not-so-civil war later in season 2), it comes down incredibly hard on the Idealistic side. And it's not just the Non-Lethal Warfare - though it does often seem to be invoked from the guardians' side, to the point that they Save the Villain mooks multiple times in the first season alone (and benefit from it).
    • In the first season, Meridian has been under the thumb of an oppressive tyrant for over a decade. Yet hope and optimism is in the air, not only among the regular inhabitants but among La Résistance as well - which actually grows stronger leading up to the finale, despite many setbacks.
    • In the Darker and Edgier second season, it's outright lampshaded. When a group of villains goes as far as to attack the heroines on Earth (including their families), and one of them explicitly goes out of his way to make said heroines hate him on purpose, their battle ends with this:
      Will: Compassion and mercy are more powerful than hate, Shagon. I can teach you that.
  • Slumber Party: The main characters are teenage girls, after all.
    • Will used one in season 1 as an excuse to brainstorm for their school's upcoming renaissance festival.
    • In the second season, the girls hold one specifically to fight the evil invading their dreams.
  • Slumber Party Ploy: The girls sometimes tell their parents they're having a Slumber Party when they're actually handling their Guardian duties.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: Blunk can be considered a Reconstruction. He's very much a Plucky Comic Relief, but also a full-fledged character in his own right: a passling with the species-specific ability to smell portals, both of which make him an invaluable member of the team - especially after his Character Development from odd (and shady) businessman to loyal companion by the end of the first season.
  • Smug Snake: Phobos and (literally) Cedric. Also Nerissa.
  • Snake People: Cedric.
  • Snow Means Love: Will and Matt had their first kiss under a tree in a light snowfall.
  • 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: Inverted with the Big Bads of the two seasons; when Nerissa first appears, she is much weaker and less influential than Phobos ever was, though that changes over time.
  • 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 adapted for TV.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's always Kandrakar in the Closing Credits, but it's alternatively spelled "Candracar" in subtitles for later season 1 episodes because of the real-life Kandahar. (According to the showrunners, it was actually supposed to be changed to Candrakar.)
  • 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 Meridian in one fell swoop. Fortunately, they weren't any luckier than the previous villains they succeeded.
  • Storming the Castle: The first season finale is very literally this.
  • Super Hero: Tights and all.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Matt becomes this as Shagon, leading to a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Teleportation: In season 2, it's revealed that all Guardians have the ability to teleport within the same world, but it's very risky without years of practice. Of course, Nerissa uses it without much trouble.
  • Thinking Up Portals: The Heart of Kandrakar gains this ability in a late first season episode.
  • Third-Person Person: All passlings seem to talk like this, along with Hulk Speak.
  • 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. Also an Amplifier Artifact.
  • True Companions: The friendship between the girls is so strong that it can survive something as painful as one of them losing her best childhood friend to The Dark Side because of a misjudgement by another... to say nothing of everything the villains throw at them to turn them against each other. Also applies to their major allies, especially later in the series.
  • Twist Ending: Numerous throughout the show, especially in season 2 (when they also tend to have more of an impact on the overall plot).
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Every single episode consists of a largely episodic, often Schoolgirl Series B plot (that still generally provides Character Development and other important storyline progression) woven through the strictly continuous A plot of the guardians and their allies fighting the villains. C and further plots are often mixed in.
  • Two-Timer Date: In "F is for Facades" 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 "Stacy".
  • 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.
  • Urban Fantasy: Heatherfield, the guardians' hometown (and, except for some cameos, the only setting on Earth).
  • Valley Girl:
  • 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.
    • Inverted in the last few episodes of the season, where Phobos steals the Seal of Nerissa, making him far more formidable than he was in season 1 - in theory, anyway. In practice, Cedric eats him.
    • Cedric plays this totally straight, getting easier and easier to defeat each time he shows up. Even after betraying Phobos and absorbing "ultimate power" in the end, he winds up not knowing how to properly use it and is defeated yet again.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Will's father.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The heroines are unusually well-adjusted socially compared to most instances of this trope (and even compared to the comics), despite their Limited Social Circle. The only significant exception is the occasional Cannot Spit It Out, but even these tend to be resolved relatively quickly. So instead of anxiety over mundane adolescent milestones, their stress is mostly over fulfilling their Guardian duties and upholding the Masquerade (including keeping their concerned parents Locked Out of the Loop).
  • 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 Could Possibly Go Wrong?:
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Subverted in the first season. Will doesn't get an elemental ability, unlike the other guardians - instead her main role is to wield the Heart of Kandrakar to transform all of them. But when transformed, she still has the "generic" Guardian powers such as flight and superstrength (the latter of which is far more prominent than for the others), along with various powers from the Heart itself, which include firing pink beams to attack enemies. (Ironically, the latter ability is very similar to her actual elemental power in the comics.) In fact, her lack of an element isn't brought up even once in the entire series... of course, by the second season it's for a rather different reason.
  • 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.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: While the show's lore is remarkably consistent in most respects, as befits its strict continuity, both seasons feature apparent contradictions of this type concerning timespans and character ages.
    • In the first season episode "The Stone of Threbe", a flashback shows an "heir to the throne", Weira, as the little red-headed girl for whom the semi-titular Star of Threbe was created by a younger-looking Mage. Said heir is heavily implied though not explicitly stated to be the mother of Phobos and Elyon, as she very accurately matches said character, down to the name given in season 2 and different hair color in the comics. All well and good... except that while gloating about finding the Star, Phobos says the line "a thousand years of searching". Either both Weira and the Mage lived to be thousands of years old, or there happened to be essentially identical characters a thousand years prior... or Phobos simply misspoke.
    • There's also the fact that Weira's father attempted to destroy the Star by throwing it into an active volcano, and it was found while digging through rock - a change that can take millions of years on Earth. However, Meridian geology isn't necessarily consistent with Earth's, to say nothing of all the magic floating around.
    • In the second season, Nerissa first implies and then outright states that she was released from her prison on Earth when a stray portal opened, setting her free on Meridian. Early in the season, portals are explained to have appeared only after the Veil was raised "13 years ago, [when] Prince Phobos came to power". (Indeed, folds are referred to as "the old ways of traversing dimensions".) Later, it is revealed that Caleb is Nerissa's son, as she had been in a relationship with his father Julian under a false identity. Problem is, the second episode of the show had Caleb explicitly state he was already 15, and both Nerissa and Julian are well aware of how long ago said relationship occurred: 17 years before the episode the deception is discovered, while the real Mage's grave reveals she died 18 years ago. To make matters worse, what the mistake is here is not at all obvious as Caleb is clearly older than the 13-year-old Elyon, who was the true heir brought to Earth through a portal as a baby to keep her safe from Phobos' rule. One possibility is that Nerissa lied about how she got free, but there is no indication of that in the show, nor any obvious reason why she would want to lie about that fact.
    • As if to add a further twist, the second season example also reinforces the first because the flashback to Nerissa and Julian's relationship shows the Mage looking seemingly identical to how she did when she created the Star, in stark contrast to her appearance during the events of the series, suggesting human-like aging.
  • World Building: The universe certainly opens up after season 1!
  • World in the Sky: Kandrakar. Much more justified than most examples because it's literally its own world... though such things as gravity and atmosphere are sufficiently Earth-like for ordinary humans to not notice any difference.
  • World of Snark: Simultaneously exaggerated and downplayed. It may well be impossible to find a significant character in this show who doesn't snark on a regular basis. At the same time, the show lies so far on the Idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, even in the darker second season, that the usual cynical variants that come with this trope like Snark Knight essentially don't exist here. Among the main girls, Irma and Cornelia lead the pack (obviously including plenty of Snark-to-Snark Combat with each other), Hay Lin is the resident Cuckoo Snarker, and the others are somewhere in between.
  • Xanatos Gambit / Xanatos Speed Chess: Nerissa adjusts her plan throughout season 2... as does Will in later episodes.
  • 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".
  • Zany Scheme: The girls occasionally get themselves out of mundane trouble on Earth (albeit generally caused by their guardian responsibilities in some way) with these.


Video Example(s):


W.I.T.C.H. transformation

The transformation of the Guardians of Kandrakar.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TransformationSequence

Media sources:

Main / TransformationSequence