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Western Animation / W.I.T.C.H. (2004)

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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 action brand 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 (Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin, whose initials spell "WITCH") are joined by a Meridian rebel named Caleb who alerts them that Prince 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 minions do. But as they, the rebel forces, and an odd goblin-like smuggler named Blunk 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.

Despite laying the groundwork for an adaptation of the comic's third story arc, and relatively high ratings on various Jetix blocks and networks, 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 (whereas they originally had 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 than in the comics, 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 Name Change:
    • Elyon's (adoptive) name is Elyon Portrait in the comics, Elyon Brown in the show.
    • Matt's band is called Cobalt Blue in the comics, Wreck-55 in the show.
    • Will's full first name (which she hates either way) is Wilhelmina in the comics, Wilma in the show.
    • In the comics, the world that Caleb, Elyon, Phobos, Cedric etc. come from is called Metamoor, or the Metaworld, and Meridian is the name of its capital city. Here, Meridian is the name of the world.
  • 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!
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In the comics, Will and Taranee are both new students when the story begins; in the show, Will is the only newcomer and Taranee is already friends with Cornelia, Hay Lin, Irma and Elyon, though she was new the previous year.
    • In the comics, Elyon had a crush on Matt, and her jealousy of Will dating Matt was a factor in her Face–Heel Turn. Here, he doesn't appear to be anything more than another classmate to her.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the cartoon, Elyon's foster-parents' true forms are much more monstrous than they are in the comics, where they were much more humanoid. This was probably done to make Elyon more horrified to learn the truth.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Cedric and Elyon suffered this in the cartoon series. In the comics, Cedric was a more formidable fighter and gained several different new forms, whereas in the show he's always under The Worf Effect, while Elyon in the comics had her own agency as a villain and was nigh-invincible once she became the Light of Meridian, while in the show she's a total dupe of her brother and gets imprisoned by Nerissa even as the Heart of Meridian.
    • Will had her energy powers from the beginning in the comics, whereas in the show she spends the whole first season without any and uses "Heart" or "The Heart" as her transformation phrase, leaving her with only the ability to fly, activate the others' Elemental Powers, and (after the Heart absorbs the Seal of Phobos) create portals. In the second season, she finally starts manifesting (and saying) Quintessence. Out-of-universe, this had to do with the change of showrunners. In-universe, it's explained as the Heart of Kandrakar not having had enough energy to grant Will her full powers while it was helping maintain the Veil, which went down at the end of the first season.
  • 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? Also, no one in Heatherfield seemed to think Elyon had a weird name.
  • 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. Although the girls become older teenagers in Guardian form.
  • 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 is 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 Zamballa, 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 takes over his powers and conquests just before the vow would have been broken. They only manage to ultimately defeat Cedric by taking on their pure elemental forms, which is very risky and they nearly suffer Loss of Identity in the process.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • This was a major theme for the villains towards the end of the second season, with each villain becoming more powerful than the last because they kept capturing each other.
    • In "N is for Narcissist", Cornelia is inadvertently infused with all the other Guardians' powers and becomes a Quinto-Guardian, allowing her 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.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song
  • 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 when the girls are untransformed, 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.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Just like in the comics, the Power of Quintessence can create these - Will's Season 2 ability to converse with electrical appliances being the most common example.
  • 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.)
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: In "M is for Mercy", Shagon physically assaults Herbert Olsen, nearly causes Anna Lair's car to crash, produces a small explosion in front of Taranee's brother, stalks Lillian Hale, and threatens Yan Lin in a dark alley. Cornelia realizes that the villain is specifically going after their loved ones in order to spite them, as the heroines' hatred fuels his powers.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Irma's brother Chris and Cornelia's sister Lillian both frequently get on their respective siblings' nerves.
  • 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 has a much bigger role than in the comics, as he actively assists the Guardians in most of their battles and receives plenty of screen time due to his developing relationship with Cornelia.
    • Matt's character is greatly expanded in season 2 from being Will's Satellite Love Interest in the comics, as he eventually becomes Shagon's alter ego.
  • 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.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • In "U is for Undivided", Cornelia tells Lillian a bedtime story based on her own adventures as a Guardian. This triggers the girl's latent powers as the Heart of the Earth, causing her to subconsciously warp reality so that it matches Cornelia's fairy tale. As a result, Nerissa is turned into a giantess, with the implication that her new size is due to Lillian believing it would make her a more intimidating antagonist.
    • In the finale, Cedric grows gigantic as a side-effect of devouring Phobos and absorbing the latter's powers. He later shares some of his energy with Miranda, causing her to grow huge as well.
  • Back from the Dead: 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 "Bad Acting": In "Y is for Yield", the Guardians have to lose a battle against Phobos' army as part of Will's Batman Gambit. Cornelia joins the scheme by allowing the Gargoyle to grab her and screaming for help, but her acting is so ridiculously over the top that Taranee has to ask her to tone it down.
    Cornelia: Puh-lease! (gasp) Somebody heeeelp! Argh!
    Taranee: Psst! Drama queen, too cartoony!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted. In the final episode, there is a prolonged sequence in which Nerissa escapes her jewel prison, seizes control of W.I.T.C.H. and uses them to subjugate the entire universe. Witnessing her power, Caleb finally acknowledges her as his mother and says he is proud of her, causing her to smile triumphantly... only for the camera to pan out and reveal that Nerissa is actually still trapped in the jewel, doomed to live in a fantasy for the rest of her days.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: In "Framed", Prince Phobos says he detests art that's beautiful or life-affirming, as it 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.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In "X is for Xanadu", Hay Lin enters an art contest, where the prize will be awarded to the participant whose painting is considered to best depict the image of paradise. Unfortunately, she is suffering from artist's block due to the ongoing war and ends up producing a nightmarish painting of the heroes fighting against Phobos' army. When the judge questions her decision, she explains that her art is meant to represent the idea that paradise is a hopeful state of mind, the belief that each dawn brings the promise of a brighter future. After hearing this, he smiles and says he has found his winner... before declaring it to be a completely different artist, who had made a Sickeningly Sweet painting of a group of bunnies.
  • 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!
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Caleb and Cornelia in "Z is for Zenith" as it was right in the middle of a battle.
  • Book Dumb:
    • Will is a gifted leader and strategist, 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."
  • 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.
  • Break the Cutie: Hay Lin, the chirpiest of the Guardians, is terribly insecure when it comes to talking to her crush Eric, as first shown in the episode "J is for Jewel". This makes her an easy target for Nerissa's psychological torment in "T is for Trauma", where the villainess brainwashes Eric and has him bully Hay Lin over her dental braces. To make matters worse, Hay Lin is tricked into believing her grandma has betrayed her and joined Nerissa's side. Believing she is hated by the two people she loved the most, Hay Lin sinks into depression and spends the majority of the episode crying.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Hay Lin slams her face into the screen after she first transforms.
  • Breast Expansion: Downplayed. Transforming into a Guardian gives a temporary instant puberty growth. Do the math.
  • 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.
    • Blunk has hardly any serious impact and is generally just a laughingstock of the entire series.
  • 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.
  • Canine Confusion: This cartoon has a scene with a fox hunting a rabbit. The fox makes noises that are probably stock dog noises.
  • 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 from the previous generation who don't have access to Aurameres or a Heart can only use their former Elemental Powers by sacrificing some of their own life force. Nerissa has being doing this constantly, hence her crone appearance. Her natural age would be the same as Yan Lin and the others'; old, but not that old.
  • 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 is the lost princess of Meridian raised by adoptive parents on Earth.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Nerissa has been working behind the scenes for most of the first season to ensure Phobos' downfall and her own rise to power. Throughout the second season, she is one step ahead of the heroes at all times, to the point they conclude they have no choice but to turn to Phobos for assistance.
    • The second season 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: Elyon is the Queen of Meridian, Caleb is the leader of the rebellion, and Will is the head of W.I.T.C.H. All of them are in their teens.
  • 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 are clones of the Guardians, but unlike the similar Astral Drops, they 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.
  • Combination Attack: Hay Lin can combine her air-based powers with Taranee's flames to generate a massive fire tornado; or with Irma's water streams to freeze her targets solid.
  • 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.
  • Convection, Schmonvection:
    • Halinor's preferred tactic is to encapsulate her opponents within fire spheres, which drain the oxygen around them and cause the victim to suffocate. Regardless of the proximity to the flames, the targets are never shown suffering any burns.
    • Guardians who have powers over fire frequently employ the flames as a form of barrier, either to trap their targets or protect their allies. As shown with Irma in "N is for Narcissist", this never causes burns, even if the person is inches away from the fire.
  • Cultural Translation: In the Divide and Conquer episode, Taranee mentions that Sondra mocked her for not reading Tolstoy's War and Peace in the original language, only for Taranee later catching her on not knowing a basic Russian word for "hospital". In the Russian dub, where it would be hard to impress anyone with knowledge of Tolstoy's language, Sondra tries to impress Taranee with Goethe instead.
  • Curse Cut Short: After seeing Cedric swallow Phobos, Matt prepares to make a scatological joke, but his line is interrupted by the villain's Evil Laugh.
    Matt: "I so don't wanna be around when he..."
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: 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. Fortunately, Nerissa got trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine and only managed to dominate the elemental-form Guardias in her imagination.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 is more action-packed than Season 1, along with having more insidious plots and deeds that often fly under the Radar.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Nerissa exploits the psychological vulnerabilities of the former Guardians by granting their wishes at the cost of their free will. She enslaves Cassidy by promising to bring her back to life so that she could reunite with her mother; Halinor by preying on her desire to feel safe; and Kadma by taking advantage of the latter's lust for power.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Will cradles her Altermere in her arms as the latter is dying from the wounds she sustained after being attacked by Nerissa.
  • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Phobos hates beautiful artwork because he believes it will motivate rebellion against him. "Framed" shows that he once had an artist named Alias imprisoned in his own painting for depicting a cheerful coutry town.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Martin repeatedly makes hopeless attempts to woo Irma.
  • Doppelmerger: In "H is for Hunted", Will creates an Astral Drop of herself to do her chores for her, but it is turned into an Altermere — an Astral Drop with sentience — by Nerissa. When the Altermere takes a blast from Nerissa meant for Will, she re-absorbs her back into her body so her memories and experiences can live on. Unfortunately, these memories include the Altermere witnessing Will's mother kissing her teacher Professor Collins.
  • The Dragon:
    • Cedric is the most recurring antagonist in season 1, as he is Phobos' right-hand man.
    • 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 invades the Guardians' dreams in "E is for Enemy". The girls respond by sleeping over together to fight her off in their dreams together.
  • 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: Zig-zagged. The Guardians can create and manipulate their elements at will, except for Cornelia, who depends on a preexisting source of earth or plant life. This becomes a plot point in two episodes: In "N is for Narcissist", the battle takes place in Kandrakar, with Cornelia being unable to do anything because, in her own words, "plants don't grow in thin air". Then when the Guardians fight indoors at a swimming pool in "V is for Victory", Cornelia can't do anything except cover her opponent with algae from the pool.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Will and Nerissa are the Guardians of Quintessence, which lets them shoot lightning and animate objects.
    • Irma and Cassidy are the Guardians of Water.
    • Taranee and Halinor are the Guardians of Fire.
    • Cornelia and Kadma are the Guardians of Earth and can also manipulate plant life.
    • Hay Lin and Yan Lin are the Guardians of Air.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: 'Pink Perky Poopy Pumpkin' for Will, 'Droopy Pants' for Irma and 'Corny' for Cornelia.
  • Empowered by Negativity: The Knights of Destruction feed on their adversaries' negative emotions, with each member growing stronger when they are exposed to a specific vice. Shagon deliberately taunts his enemies to bask on their hatred; Khor is drawn by others' anger; Tridart grows larger by absorbing feelings of fear and despair; and Ember thrives on her opponents' pain and regret.
  • Evil Minions: Most of the monsters in Phobos' army serve him out of fear. Once Elyon takes the throne they either switch over pretty fast or are imprisoned along with Phobos.
  • Evil All Along: In the final episode of the first season, the viewer finds out the Mage has a hidden agenda, as she ominously declares that, with Phobos imprisoned, her plan can finally begin. However, the heroes don't realize her true nature until "N is for Narcissist", halfway through the second season.
  • 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...
  • Expendable Clone: Astral Drops are non-sentient duplicates the Guardians use when they need to be in two places at once (ex. saving the world and doing chores), who can only follow simple instructions and are absorbed into the Heart of Kandrakar when no longer needed. The second season introduces the concept of Altermeres, which are what happens when an Astral Drop is given a life and soul of their own via Quintessence. The death of Will's Altermere at Nerissa's hands is treated as a tragic thing, and Yan Lin's Altermere ultimately survives and is introduced to Hay Lin's parents as Yan Lin's "long-lost twin sister Mira" in the finale.
  • Fake Identity Baggage: In "S is for Self", Shagon finds himself in danger of blowing his cover as Matt when he struggles to perform Matt's song for a concert. Matt convinces Shagon to allow him a bit more control over their shared body to play the song which is actually a ploy for Matt to regain control over himself again.
  • Fallen Hero: Nerissa used to be the leader of the previous generations of Guardians, until the Oracle noticed her growing lust for power and decided to take the Heart of Kandrakar away from her and entrust it to Cassidy. In a fit of rage and desperation, Nerissa killed Cassidy and was imprisoned for it, but her years in isolation only fomented her mental instability, turning her into the megalomaniacal villainess she is at the start of the second season.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Nerissa reveals in "O is for Obedience" that after she managed to escape her prison in Mount Thanos, the Mage took her in with the intention of helping the former Guardian reform. Nerissa repaid that generosity by taking up the Mage's identity after the latter died (possibly by her hand) and using her resources in her Evil Plan.
    Caleb: Why would the Mage help you?
    Nerissa: She wanted to… "save" me. Wanted me to see the bigger picture, which I did… to her regret.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Nerissa can gain control of the former Guardians by exploiting "the chink in the armor of their souls", leading her to tempt them with what they desire the most until they succumb to her influence.
      • Cassidy's is mercifulness. She unflinchingly refuses to be brought back to life when Nerissa tempts her with mundane things, but is shaken after meeting her grief-stricken mother. Desperately wishing to reunite with her mom, Cassidy willingly submits herself to the villainess's control.
      • Halinor's is cowardice, as she attempts to steal W.I.T.C.H.'s powers for herself in a desperate attempt to protect Kandrakar from the Knights of Destruction. This single treasonous act is enough for Nerissa to corrupt her soul.
      • Kadma's is Pride. Nerissa purposefully loses a series of battles to boost Kadma's ego, after which the latter becomes convinced that she is destined to absorb the villainess's Heart of Meridian into the Heart of Zamballa. However, since hearts cannot be forcefully taken, this action results in Nerissa claiming both jewels, while also enslaving her former friend in the process.
      • Yan Lin is a subversion. She is offered her youth, which would enable her to use her Guardian powers without draining her own life force; and the opportunity to protect Hay Lin, which she also turns down because she believes in her granddaughter's potential. Nerissa ultimately concludes that Yan Lin is incorruptible, and decides to create an Altermere to replace her, knowing that the clone wouldn't have the same strength of character when she threatened to erase her from existence.
    • 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 by targetting Lillian's familiar Napoleon the cat 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.
  • Faux Action Girl: Luba is a member of the Council of Kandrakar and the appointed protector of the Aurameres. However, she never gets to display her supposedly enormous magical powers, as both fights in which she participates have her being quickly defeated in a single blow.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Caleb and Aldarn in one episode, due to Elyon's inadvertent Mind Control.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Played with. When Taranee is angered, she manifests small flames in the lens of her glasses, making it look like her eyes are filled with fire.
  • 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.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Kandrakar, the realm inhabitated by the series' Big Good figures, resembles a palace in the clouds.
  • 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:
    • 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: Everybody who can transform (the Guardians, Shagon, Khor, Cedric and Miranda) takes advantage of Halloween to power up as a group in Cedric's bookstore and move around the city freely in search of Nerissa 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. (Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, Hay Lin) in first season, then C.H.Y.K.N. (Cassidy, Halinor, Yan Lin, Kadma, Nerissa) 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." Although "C.H.Y.K.N." didn't actually go by that.
  • Glamour:
    • One of Nerissa's powers is to cast an illusion that causes others to perceive her as a different person. In "V is for Victory", she tries to convince the guardian of the Heart of Aridia, a male golem, to relinquish the object to her by impersonating a female member of his species and seducing him.
    • A Glamour Zone is a massive illusion field that can alter the perception of anyone who walks into it. In the last episode, nobody notices the massive battle across Heatherfield because the Guardians arranged for a Glamour Zone to cover the entire city, causing the inhabitants to perceive the damage as a cartoon in a jumbotron.
  • 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.
  • Good Castles, Evil Castles: The series presents an example using the same castle under different rulers. Phobos makes it a point to keep the castle gloomy and dark, representing both his personality and to remove any hope and optimism so as few citizens as possible are inspired to rebel. When Elyon is reunited with him, Phobos uses Glamours to make the castle seem brighter and less scary than it actually is, only revealing the truth about what it looks like in the first season finale where he tries to drain her powers. After Phobos is defeated and imprisoned, Elyon changes the castle's appearance for real to reflect the benevolence of its new owner and how Meridian is in a new age.
  • Happily Married: All of the parents of W.I.T.C.H. have healthy and loving relationships, except Will's parents, who are divorced but Amicable Exes (in the cartoon; in the comics, Will's dad is more of a jerk).
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Subverted in "Q is for Quarry". Will comes 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 encouraging her to absorb the Heart of Meridian and forcibly become 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.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the first season, Will's abilities as a Guardian were heavily overshadowed by her friends', as her lack of Elemental Powers meant she didn't play much of a role in combat other than transforming her friends, strategizing, and closing the rifts between Meridian and Earth. In the second season, 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 are demon-like warriors created by Nerissa to feed off of negative emotions (hatred for Shagon, despair and fear for Tridart, pain for Ember and anger for Khor).
  • Heart of the Matter: Each world has a Heart, which is a major source of magical power that takes the form of either a Power Crystal or a Living MacGuffin. 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 called the Seal of Nerissa, 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 and absorbing it into the Seal of Nerissa 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 "S is for Self".
  • 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 BSoD:
    • Hay Lin breaks down crying in "T is for Trauma", due to Nerissa brainwashing both Yan Lin's Altermere and her crush Eric and having the two bully her.
    • In "F is for Facades", Cornelia is devastated when she is 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: Hay Lin breaks out of a Heroic BSoD in "T is for Trauma" by concluding that she does not have the luxury to feel sorry for herself when her friends are in danger. Her determination ultimately turns the tide of the battle and enables the heroes to have a decisive victory over Nerissa.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Realizing Nerissa is about to blast Will while the latter is distracted, Will's Altermere jumps in the path of the lightning bolt to intercept it.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend:
    • Ember says this trope word for word in "S is for Self" when the Guardians assumed she and Tridart were a couple.
    • Irma's original reaction to Martin until "L is for Loser" is to loudly yell that he is not her boyfriend whenever she was teased over the boy's obvious crush on her.
  • High-Voltage Death:
    • In a flashback, Nerissa is shown ordering Cassidy to return the Heart of Kandrakar to her. When the latter refuses, Nerissa is consumed by anger and electrocutes her. In the aftermath, it's shown that the lightning bolt the villain conjured was powerful enough to destroy part of the cliff where her victim was standing.
    • In "H is for Hunted", Nerissa tries to take advantage of Will's distraction to electrocute her. However, Will's Altermere jumps in the path of the blast and is killed instead.
  • 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.
  • Homage: Matt Olsen's band Wreck 55 is actually called after Crush 40, the band known for Sonic the Hedgehog franchise music.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Downplayed, when Cassidy lists the reasons why she enjoyed going to the beach: Feeling the sand between her toes, inhaling the sea breeze, and (in a noticeably suggestive tone) kissing "a lifeguard or two".
  • How Do I Shot Web?: All the girls go through this learning curve in the first few episodes. Cedric goes through this in the Season 2 finale, but is unable to master his new powers in time, leading to his defeat by the Guardians.
  • Hulk Speak: Blunk and all Passlings speak by referring to themselves in third-person and communicating in mangled, almost childlike sentences.
  • Humble Pie: As revealed in the final episode, Kadma's humiliating defeat to Nerissa, as well as her time serving as the villainess' mindless slave, had a profound effect in the former Guardian of Earth. Acknowledging that her arrogance was the key to her own downfall, she relinquishes the Heart of Zamballa to Ironwood, and abdicates the throne to live a humble life on Earth.
  • 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.
  • Hydro-Electro Combo: In "Z is for Zenith", Irma soaks Cedric with water and asks Will to fire a lightning bolt at him. The attempted electrocution fails, since the villain can also control electricity and redirects the blast back at them through his eyes.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Shagon's main strategy is to tease and taunt his opponents so he can feed on their hatred to make himself stronger.
  • 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.
  • Idea Bulb: Played with. Will has an epiphany in "V is for Victory", at which point her powers spontaneously manifest and cause nearby lightbulbs to flicker and flash. Her friends quickly conclude that it's a sign that she has just come up with a "bright" idea for the problem at hand.
  • 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 from "A is for Anonymous" to "Z is for Zenith".
  • Impersonation-Exclusive Character: Halfway the second season, Nerissa is revealed to have been impersonating the Mage for the entire series. After she escaped from solitary confinement, the Mage took her in with the intention of helping her reform, but Nerissa stole her identity after she died, with not even the Oracle being any wiser for years. After the ruse is exposed, Nerissa directs Julian to the real Mage's grave to prove both that the latter is truly dead and that it was she, not the Mage, who gave birth to Caleb. The only instance we see the real Mage is the flashback where she's younger and creates the Star of Threbe.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Yan Lin is consistently portrayed as a thoroughly benevolent character, which is highlighted late in season 2, when she resists all of Nerissa's attempts to corrupt her.
  • 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: The title refers to the initials of the five main heroines.
  • 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:
    • In "L is for Loser", four of the heroes battle the Knights of Destruction in Heatherfield, producing large explosions and wide-scale destruction. Meanwhile, Irma wanders in the city streets, completely oblivious to her friends' struggle. The irony comes from Irma failing to notice the brawl right above her head because she is too lost in thought wondering why others tend to accuse her of being too self-absorbed.
    • 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.
  • Ironic Echo: When W.I.T.C.H. and Kadma join forces to fight Nerissa, Will boasts that it's "Two hearts to one! Advantage: Good guys!" After Nerissa claims the Heart of Zamballa to herself, she quips "Two hearts to one! Advantage: Mine!"
  • 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: Cedric eats Phobos in "Y is for Yield", both to get revenge on his former leader and to absorb his powers into himself.
  • 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.
  • La Résistance: The rebellion in Meridian, led by Caleb.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Two of them in the Season 2 finale, 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.
  • Left Hanging: The final episode introduces two suspicious men who are hinted to be aware of the heroes' secret identities. One of them introduces himself as Raphael Sylla, the girls' new teacher, who states he is "very interested" in getting to know the five of them. Due to the show's cancellation, this plot point ultimately goes nowhere.
  • Legacy Character: The girls are not the first team of Guardians; the previous generation consisted of Hay Lin's grandmother Yan Lin along with Nerissa, Kadma, Cassidy and Halinor. It isn't discussed how many there were before them.
  • 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 are always seen wearing the same clothes, even the ones that hail from Meridian, despite their ragged appearance not making much sense once Phobos is deposed.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Cedric's bookstore in Heatherfield, which he sets up in order to drawn in the lost princess.
  • Living MacGuffin: The hearts of worlds either take the form of Power Crystals (like the Hearts of Kandrakar and Zamballa) or are living entities. Elyon is the Heart of Meridian, a big stone man is the Heart of Aridia, and Cornelia's little sister Lillian is the Heart of Earth.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Nerissa is Caleb's mother. She knows it. He does not.
    • An Invoked Trope in the series finale; Yan Lin's Altermere doppelganger is explained to her Muggle son and daughter-in-law as her "long-lost twin sister", Mira.
  • 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 - namely five fifths/three thirds/two halves, you get the idea.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: By the end of the series, Nerissa is left trapped inside her own jewel, where she will spend the rest of her days living in a dream.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Nerissa, the main antagonist for most of the second season, is Caleb's mother.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: The main heroines can transform into fairy-like forms with the aid of a Transformation Trinket, gaining control over the elements of nature and using their new abilities to combat tyrants who threaten both Earth and the parallel world of Meridian.
  • Male Gaze: The transformed girls get this on occasion, sometimes from the perspective of their Love Interests.
  • Me's a Crowd: The girls have the ability to create Astral Drops, unintelligent clones of themselves who can barely follow even basic instructions, but are useful when they need to be somewhere else and need to distract those who are not aware of their status as Guardians.
  • Meaningful Echo: Irma frees Cassidy from Nerissa's influence by using her power of persuasion, telling the former Guardian to "wake up". In the final episode, Irma is trapped in her zenith form, leading Cassidy to try to bring her friend back to normal by uttering the exact same words.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Meridian's aesthetic resembles a Medieval city, complete with a castle surrounded by smaller villages.
  • 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, rather than Will with Matt and Caleb with Cornelia.
    • 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.
  • Missing Mom: Caleb is clueless about his mother's identity and whereabouts. This becomes a major Plot Point in season 2, when she is revealed to be Nerissa, the Greater-Scope Villain.
  • 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 opposed to Brendan and Margot - as people living in Cornelia's apartment building... and they still can't escape the weirdness that befell them on Gargoyles.
    • "W is for Witch" has Napoleon the cat talking about how Halloween is important, and we see one kid with a mask that vaguely resembles Hudson from Gargoyles — especially since Napoleon is voiced by Hudson's VO Ed Asner.
    • 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's Whisperers are one example; Irma's question under He Who Fights Monsters is another.
  • Never Say "Die": Though Cassidy is shown being murdered by Nerissa, other characters refrain from using the words "killing" or "death" when mentioning the incident. For example, Halinor specifically states that Cassidy was "destroyed" by her former friend.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Nerissa starts displaying never before seen powers in the episodes that follow her acquisition of the Heart of Meridian, such as enslaving those who are consumed by their innermost desires, binding spirits to the mortal realm, and rejuvenating herself.
  • New Super Power:
    • In episode 20, the Heart of Kandrakar (and by extension Will) gains the ability to open portals, not just close them.
    • In season 2, one episode follows the girls as they try to learn how to control their new powers: Taranee realizes she can read minds, Hay Lin can turn invisible, Cornelia is telekinetic, Irma has limited mind control abilities and Will finds out she can bring inanimate electronic appliances to life.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Will's decision not to tell Elyon her origins ultimately results in Phobos successfully manipulating her for half the season.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Blunk, to the Guardians and especially Caleb.
  • No Social Skills: Caleb's status as the leader of the rebels leaves him completely clueless on how to behave around other teens on 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 pretends 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 goblinoid Blunk can also count). Towards the end of the series, Caleb is sometimes Out of Focus (as he's on Meridian with Elyon 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, by absorbing the Seal of Phobos.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Passlings, who are pretty much the goblins of Meridian, but have the ability to locate magical portals.
  • 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.
  • Paper Tiger: Nerissa's endgame involves brainwashing the former Guardians to do her bidding. Though the de-aged girls prove to be quite dangerous at first due to their years of experience and Nerissa's ownership of multiple Hearts granting them greater mastery over the elements, their threat level quickly diminishes once it's discovered that the lack of free will prevents them from strategizing or making simple decisions without Nerissa's guidance, and are generally less effective facing a Guardian of a different element instead of their own younger counterpart. As a result, they are curb-stomped in their debut, lose yet another battle once W.I.T.C.H. and the Earth Regents start working together, and are finally freed from Nerissa's spell during their third appearance, making them the least successful group of villains throughout the entire season.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Will's parents trying to move on after their divorce elicits a strong negative reaction on the young girl. In the first season, Will wrongly convinces herself that her mother's new date is secretly one of Phobos's servants and furiously sics the Guardians on him. She nearly commits the same mistake in "Q is for Quarry", when she suspects her father's current partner is a disguised Nerissa, though the episode concludes with her finally accepting that she has to let go of the past in order to give her parents another chance at happiness.
  • Parental Abandonment: Subverted. Caleb's father is believed to be dead when the series starts, while his mother's whereabouts are unknown. The former is revealed to be alive late in season 1; whereas the latter becomes season 2's central antagonist.
  • 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.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Blunk is a small goblin creature who lacks the impressive powers of the Guardians or Caleb's training, but is kept around due to his unique ability to locate rifts in space. Even then, his uselessness compared to the rest of the cast means most of his scenes are dedicated to him either making a fool of himself or creating problems that the others have to solve.
  • Portal Picture: In "Framed", Will, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin are pulled into a museum painting which served as the prison for an artist whose work had offended Phobos. Irma and Caleb come to their rescue by entering the painting's world through another copy in Phobos's castle.
  • Power Crystal:
    • The hearts of worlds either take the form of a person (like the Hearts of Meridian, Aridia and Earth) or these (like the Hearts of Kandrakar and Zamballa). The Heart of Kandrakar gives the Guardians their powers and is carried by their leader, usually the Quintessence Guardian, i.e. Will in this generation and Nerissa in the previous generation until the Oracle saw Nerissa was being corrupted by power and gave it to Cassidy the Water Guardian instead.
    • Nerissa tricks Elyon into being absorbed into a jewel which she then puts on top of her staff and calls the Seal of Nerissa, and later fuses the Heart of Zamballa with it.
  • Power Echoes: In the rare occasions when someone is granted the ability to manipulate all five elements, their power surge is highlighted by a noticeable echo whenever they speak.
  • Psychic Powers:
  • Psychoactive Powers: All the girls have issues with their power upgrade in season 2, as their new abilities are triggered by their emotions, but Cornelia has the worst of it due to her break-up with Caleb, which causes her to 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.
  • Reality Warper: As the Heart of Meridian and the Heart of Earth, Elyon and Lillian are this respectively.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: As the Heart of Earth, Cornelia's eight-year-old sister Lillian can warp reality, but is too naive to even realize she is doing so. When she is told a bedtime story, her imagination runs wild and causes her to subconsciously manifest it in the form of a massive battle between the Guardians and Nerissa. To keep her from harming herself or others, Matt tricks her into transferring her powers to the Earth Regents until she's older.
  • 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).
  • Riddle for the Ages: It's assumed in-universe that the reason why the girls became the next generation of Guardians is due to Yan Lin desperately searching for young warriors who could save Meridian from Phobos' tyrannic rule, leaving her with no choice but to entrust the Heart of Kandrakar to her granddaughter's group of friends. However, this theory is shattered in "U is for Undivided", when Luba explains that each girl was hand-picked by the Oracle for a specific purpose, such as Hay Lin being chosen to provide a continuity of spirit, or Cornelia being chosen so she could protect her sister, who is the Heart of the Earth. Although the other girls express great interest in finding out why they became Guardians, Luba replies that "Such truths only emerge with the fullness of time". Given the show's cancellation, the answers to their questions, if any, will never be revealed.
  • Sadistic Choice: Nerissa forces Yan Lin's Altermere to choose between being erased from existence or remaining alive as a brainwashed slave. Having grown attached to Hay Lin and her own life on Earth, the clone sorrowfully opts for the second alternative.
  • Save Both Worlds:
    • Downplayed in season 1, because Meridian was isolated from the other worlds by the Veil specifically to contain Phobos. However, Earth would still be endangered due to portals opening between the two worlds, enabling Phobos's forces to manifest on the heroes' hometown.
    • The second season ramps up the Sliding Scale of Muggle Involvement, leaving the Guardians increasingly playing defense even on their own turf. In part because the Veil is now down, and also because Nerissa's goals include stealing Will's Heart and taking over the whole universe. Come the finale and the newly empowered villain Cedric outright decides to attack their hometown on Earth, in full view of everyone.
  • Scared of What's Behind You: When a deliquent gang jumps Blunk while ransacking in the museum, he tries to scare them off and it seems to work. Then he turns around to find Cedric behind him.
  • 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.
  • Scully Syndrome: Discussed. The final battle causes substantial property damage to Heatherfield, though the citizens attribute the destruction to a snow storm. Will points out that their explanation makes no sense, but people believe in what they want to believe.
  • Second-Person Attack: Will decks Raythor in the third episode.
  • Sheet of Glass: Used by the rebellion in Meridian to stop a convoy of Phobos's 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!
  • Shoehorned Acronym: In the second season, the heroines find out that the previous Guardians of Kandrakar were Cassidy, Halinor, Yan Lin, Kadma and Nerissa. Hay Lin jokingly proposes they refer to the group as "C.H.Y.K.N." (chicken) for short.
  • 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.
    • In two episodes of season 2, Usagi makes a brief background cameo.
    • In the second season's international opening, Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko appear in the wallpaper in Will's bedroom, while Kermit cameos as a stuffed toy.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Bryan, Elyon's one-off love interest in "The Princess Revealed", has orange hair and green eyes. The heroes suspect him of being a spy for Phobos but he turns out to be a completely normal kid, making him a subversion of this trope. In fact, Cornelia states that Elyon's ideal partner is tall with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • Sinister Suffocation: Desperate to save Kandrakar and convinced that the new Guardians are too incompetent, Halinor decides to steal their powers for herself. She uses a fire bubble to drain the oxygen around her ally Luba, thus preventing anyone from interfering with her plan. However, this act of treason denounces the vulnerability of her soul, enabling the Big Bad to corrupt her.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: For a show in which each season is essentially the story of a Civil War, 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). Only two characters are depicted being actually killed - Will's Altermere in "H is for Hunted" and Cassidy in the backstory (both by Nerissa).
    • In the first season, Meridian has been under the thumb of an oppressive tyrant for over a decade. Yet hope and optimism are 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:
    • Will uses 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 so that they're all in one place to fight the evil invading their dreams together.
  • Slumber Party Ploy: The girls sometimes tell their parents they're having a Slumber Party when they're actually handling their Guardian duties.
  • Sidekick Creature Nuisance: Blunk. 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.
  • Snake People: Cedric has a snake body from the waist down. His upper half blends humanoid and ophidic features, such as long blond hair and green skin, respectively.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.)
  • Squick: In-Universe. Hay Lin and Irma are visibly disgusted when they find out the Snake Man Cedric and the Giant Spider Miranda have started a relationship.
  • 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.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Irma learns to influence other people's thoughts early in season 2. As demonstrated by Cornelia in "N is for Narcissist", such power can quickly end fights, as it can be used to convince enemies to fight each other. Given Irma's inexperience, she never exploited the ability in such manner.
  • Super-Deformed: In the final episode, the Regents of Earth create a giant glamour zone in Heatherfield, causing all civilians to perceive the battle as a cartoon being transmitted to a jumbotron. Some of the action scenes are presented from the citizens' perspective, with the girls drawn as small fairies with big heads and Wingding Eyes.
  • Super Hero: The heroines' transformation grants them wings and tights in addition to superpowers.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Nerissa transforms Matt into Shagon, who acts as a Literal Split Personality and fights the boy for control of his body. Though Matt eventually frees himself from the monster's influence, he is once again transformed into Shagon in "U is for Undivided", though this time Matt is in full control of himself and helps the Guardians fight off Nerissa.
  • 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: To emphasize the species' Hulk Speak, all passlings are shown referring to themselves exclusively by their respective names.
  • 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 other girl cheerfully announces 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 due to trauma.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Heart of Kandrakar is necessary to transform the heroes into their Guardian forms.
  • 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.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Or in this case, Three Aliases, One Character. Nerissa is at separate instances of the second season revealed to have already been pulling strings during the first season as Trill, the kindly palace worker, and the Mage, the enigmatic mystic guardian of the Infinite City. The Mage is a case of an Impersonation-Exclusive Character, while Trill is an entirely fabricated identity.
  • 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", a popular new student who is the villain in disguise.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Kadma was suckered through disguises by Nerissa and the Knights of Destruction into thinking that Yan Lin had gone evil and was having the Guardians attack Zamballa, causing her to imprison the group when they first arrived until only Taranee was left. When the ruse was found out, she didn't bother to apologize for her mistakes or thank them for saving Zamballa and reviving some of her coma-induced subjects after she coldly disparaged the Guardians for thinking that they could. This more than annoyed Taranee.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: From season 2 onwards, the guardians wear a completely different outfit each episode.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: It's clear from Caleb's face that the revelation that his Missing Mom is also the second season's Big Bad Nerissa is not welcome news.
  • Urban Fantasy: Heatherfield, the Guardians' hometown. Practically like any other big city in this genre, with seedy magical happenings in the background.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Nerissa's goal is bring peace to all worlds. Unfortunately, she intends to do so by subjugating everyone to her will.
    Nerissa: Only I have the vision to create a perfect universe. All worlds will be united under my rule. No more war or conflict! No injustice or suffering! If I demand obedience, it's only for the greater good!
  • Valley Girl: Subverted by Cornelia, who talks exactly like one, has an obsession with shopping, and enjoys flaunting her beauty and wealth. But she's also cynical, sarcastic, perceptive, and overall down-to-earth, not to mention more emotionally sensitive than the other Guardians; to the point that she's clearly The Lancer and often ends up butting heads with Will as a result. The second season takes it a bit further by revealing her "favorite non-fighting-evil activity": ice skating, of all things.
  • 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... and then subverted when Cedric easily ambushes him and steals his powers.
    • Cedric gets 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 in Season 2.
  • 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).
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Knights of Destruction feed on negative emotions to grow stronger, but exposure to positive ones greatly weaken them. Ember panics when she notices Irma's growth into a more selfless person; Shagon is brought to his knees when Will offers him compassion; Tridart is knocked unconscious when Cornelia forces him to absorb her confidence; and Khor is weakened when Taranee learns to control her angry impulses.
  • 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.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?:
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: In "F is for Facades", Irma learns she can change the color of objects and Cornelia reveals she can change her own appearance to look slightly older. The two have fun with it throughout the episode, but the abilities are so ineffective they never come up again.
  • 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.
    • A lot of storylines the cartoon added for C.H.Y.K.N. ignored the fact that the members should have been around Yan Lin's age. Halinor was a posthumous character in the comics, but has been Spared by the Adaptation and seems much younger than Yan Lin in the cartoon. Cassidy's mother is somehow still alive. There's even an argument Nerissa should have been too old to conceive Caleb, even with her chronological age. Even Kadma, who was somewhat frail and elderly in the comics, is still strong and capable enough to fight as a Magical Girl Warrior without restoring her youth.
  • Worldbuilding: The universe certainly opens up after Season 1, with multiple new worlds for the Guardians to protect and explore in Season 2.
  • 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.
  • X-Ray Sparks: When Will electrocutes Cedric in the final episode, the viewer gets to see the silhouettes of the monster's skeleton and lungs.
  • You Are Grounded!: Since she has to keep up The Masquerade, Will gets this more than any girl trying to save the world deserves.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Nerissa breathed life into Ember and Tridart so she would have assistance while recruiting the former Guardians. Once the group is reassembled, she unhesitatingly sacrifices the former to rejuvenate Halinor and Kadma, and has the latter be absorbed into Cassidy and Yan Lin despite his pleas.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Phobos congratulates Will for cheating with her powers to win a swim race in "V is for Victory". She responds by regretfully tilting her head down.
  • 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):

Alternative Title(s): WITCH


W.I.T.C.H. Season 2 (spoilers)

Will explains what happened after the bad guys were taken down. There's also a sequel hook for the season 3 that ultimately didn't happen due to producer and network disinterest.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / Denouement

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