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  • Adaptation Displacement: Just look at This Very Wiki and how it favors the show. Not only do many people not know the show was based on a comic, or even that Sabrina is from the same comic family as the main Archie Comics, many elements and characters from the show were used in later versions of the comics (such as Salem originally being human). There was also a 70s Saturday morning cartoon (Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies) that older audiences may recall, and a TV-movie before the show that no one remembers. This has been slowly changing with Sabrina's appearances in popular Archie spinoffs and her appearances in the main Archie comics themselves. This may change with the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
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  • Audience-Alienating Era: The era from the early 1990s to late 2000s. The first noticeable thing was Sabrina temporarily being changed from being a witch amongst humans to a witch living amongst supernatural creatures. They also changed her hair from having white bobbed hair to it being long and blond (as in the aforementioned live-action series). Next were the other changes made due to the popularity of the TV series: Sabrina got a last name, her aunts look more normal, and Salem got a complete overhaul (he could talk, his fur changed from red to black, and he Was Once a Man). Not soon after that, the comic was given an ugly, "manga" redesign that turned off fans, even though the storyline is arguably one of the best the comic has had and they returned Sabrina to having short hair. After its cancellation, Sabrina has only appeared in Archie Comics cameos within the last few years. With Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, it seems this age has completely passed.
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TV Show

  • Adaptation Displacement: Salem was not originally a human in the comics, and the aunts' personalities were reversed (Hilda as the responsible one, Zelda as the ditzy one). These details were also used in the Animated Adaptation, and Salem was later Retconned as having once been a warlock (although cursed for a different reason than in the TV show), making some newer fans convinced they were always comic canon.
  • Adorkable:
    • Sabrina has many cute and bumbling moments that, combined with her bubbly nature, makes her this.
    • Jenny for some with many liking her non-confirmist and shy nature.
    • Gordie is bumbling and dorky, but a good friend to Sabrina. Valerie briefly crushes on him.
    • Mrs. Quick is an excellent adult example with her quirks, positive attitude and being a dedicated teacher who wants to see her students succeed and (thanks to Sabrina) actually stands up to Mr. Kraft.
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    • Valerie, for being a shy and awkward Naïve Everygirl with low self-esteem, comes off as an endearing, relatable character.
    • Harvey despite being a football player who begins the series a little dumb, but he’s also a very nice guy who gets a little smarter. Add the cute moments he shares with Sabrina and he qualifies for this trope.
    • Miles, Sabrina's odd roommate during college, is a sci-fi nut and Lovable Nerd.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: It's implied in "A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It" that Harvey's brother and his friends are the ones who egged Libby's house and shut down her party. Did Harvey deliberately take them there in the hopes they'd sabotage the party to prevent her from upstaging Sabrina?
  • Anvilicious:
    • "The Crucible" ends with a Character Filibuster from the teachers running the mock Salem Witch Trials. (For context, the kids in Sabrina's class were asked to find out who was a witch after being given cards that said either "WITCH" or "TOWNSPEOPLE".) Libby accused Jenny out of spite and Sabrina for defending Jenny, so they were put on trial. Jenny's sticking to her convictions gets her condemned and Sabrina is cleared for her honesty about being a witch because no one believes her confession; Sabrina has to do some magic to get Libby to admit she was committing perjury. The teachers then reveal that no one had a witch card; it was an idea planted in the students' heads, and they condemned one of their classmates. They created the witches, with classic mob psychology. The kids understandably walk onto the bus with some shame about how they egged on Jenny's conviction, with the exception of Harvey and Sabrina. Sabrina says with annoyance that that if she hadn't lost her card, she wouldn't have been so worried. Harvey in the meantime is relieved his friend and girlfriend weren't convicted.
    • Many of the magical illnesses or other Plot Coupons in the TV series were based around obvious Aesops. (Too vain, turn your boyfriend into wolf-boy. Try to use magic to get your rival out of your hair, nope, now you're tied to her.) Lampshaded by Sabrina. (See Freudian Excuse on the main page.) The show did avoid using a Very Special Episode, which was deliberate according to Word of God, so it's not too glaring.
    • The novelizations often had a lot more moralizing from Sabrina - which is due to Executive Meddling wanting her to be a good role model for kids. One book in particular 'Witch Way Did She Go?' has rather a lot of passages where Sabrina considers everyone's feelings before doing something that might be wrong - that seems slightly at odds with her impulsive character on the show.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Harvey was axed after Season 4 because producers felt Sabrina needed to leave "that high school baggage behind". After numerous fan protests, he was made a regular again in Season 6.
    • Sabrina ends up with Harvey in the finale after three seasons of Character Shilling other guys like Josh and Aaron.
    • Word of God confirms that Zelda's sacrifice in the series finale restores her adult years and removes the curse on Diana.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Season 7's "Sabrina Unplugged" is remembered entirely for Sabrina getting Breast Expansion and being put into a tight pink minidress.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • One episode in Season 1 opens with a random appearance from Kevin Nash mistakenly thinking he's meant to be attacking the Spellman house - only to realise he's been sent there thanks to a clerical mistake. Said scene has nothing to do with the rest of the episode.
    • The first Halloween Episode has a stinger where Sabrina and Salem give a Golden Moment speech about the true meaning of Halloween. Not only is this one of the only times Sabrina herself breaks the fourth wall, the show normally avoids delivering Aesops like this. Salem breaks the fourth wall in the Season 3 and 4 Halloween episodes however.
  • Catharsis Factor: Valerie's spy alter ego beating the tar out of Libby is very cathartic for those who hate how mean she is to the poor girl. This also allows Libby to get her comeuppance while Valerie still retains her morals.
  • Crazy Is Cool: Mrs Quick is rather Cute and Psycho, with many episodes showing that she has some Hidden Depths - where she's able to argue with Mr Kraft to get his pet Libby to do cafeteria duty, her competitive nature gets amped up to eleven by a medal, she has an addiction to game shows and she is rather easily convinced that she's dreaming whenever something magic happens.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The ending of "Geek Like Me" - Hilda wins a water balloon fight with the kid across the street. By using a cannon.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Despite how many times Sabrina laments that magic just makes her life even more stressful, it still seems as though it would be a lot of fun to have her powers.
  • Escapist Character: Sabrina is a beautiful young woman, who does very well in school, and always gets one up on the Alpha Bitch and Sadist Teacher. She has a great boyfriend and great friends. Oh and she also has amazing powers that can alter the laws of the universe if she wants to.
  • Fan Fic Fuel: Due to the decree that the mortal parent of half-witch children get turned into wax, this does leave options open as to what may happen to Sabrina and Harvey if they ever have kids.
    • Fortunately, nothing. It only happens if Harvey and Sabrina ever divorced, like Sabrina's parents did. If they stay together, things are fine.
  • Fanon: Salem is sometimes interpreted as possibly bisexual, given his Camp tendencies. He shows very obvious interest in women, but gets a handful of Ambiguously Bi moments.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some fans choose to pretend the series ends with "The Good, the Bad and the Luau" - the Season 3 finale. It's the last episode of what's widely considered the sitcom's strongest season and has a somewhat triumphant ending with Sabrina getting her Witch's License and affirming that she's staying in the Mortal Realm with Harvey. Ending it there also means fan favourite characters Valerie and Libby don't get Put on a Bus only to get replaced with Dreama and Brad and the much-maligned Josh isn't introduced.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: Both Hilda and Sabrina give themselves long hair for the sake of a gag but say the upkeep is too much. Doesn't stop them from both looking gorgeous with it.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Inverted. To cash in on Sabrina's popularity, ABC produced two further Urban Fantasy series, Teen Angel and You Wish, though with male protagonists. Both shows ended after a season, while Sabrina lasted for years and had a few spin-off opportunities (which sadly weren’t picked up). There in fact seem to be more male fans than female of the sitcom. Unsurprising, since Melissa Joan Hart's previous sitcom Clarissa Explains It All had broken out of the ghetto and got her a big male fanbase.
  • Friendly Fandoms: The sitcom is popular among the Sailor Moon fandom given their similarities in tone and premise, all the way up to the main characters having talking black cats as sidekicks. Interestingly, Melissa Joan Hart could have portrayed Sailor Moon in a live action Disney film that got shelved early in development.
  • Growing the Beard: Seasons 1 is a perfectly fine season, with some fun episodes. But Season 2 irons out any flaws; notably Harvey's Dumb Jock tendencies were a little annoying rather than endearing - and he gets a little smarter to become a more lovable doofus. Zelda likewise was very stern, strict and humorless - but Season 2 started playing her status as the responsible one for laughs, giving her many Not so Above It All moments and establishing the dynamic between her and Hilda. Sabrina also became the more confident friend, as Melissa Joan Hart was best suited to playing a Plucky Girl than a Shrinking Violet - and Valerie made for a much more fun best friend than Jenny (who was fast becoming redundant towards the end of Season 1). The puppet used for Salem also looked much better.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Any episode that features Sabrina trying and failing to do something rebellious - like sneaking into a club. Melissa Joan Hart admitted in her autobiography that when the show was airing, she was going through a drug-taking phase and her infamous Maxim photoshoot happened while she was on drugs.
    • Season 3's Valentine's Day Episode has Cousin Marigold trying to bond with her new boyfriend's kids. In Season 5's "Witchright Hall", we learn that Marigold has divorced again - and given how bratty Amanda still is at that age, it's almost certain she had her part to play in the relationship failing. There's also some inherent Fridge Horror in if she did something else to Emile or his boys once she got powers of her own.
    • In the Friday the 13th episode, Valerie outs Sabrina's secret to Harvey. This eerily parallels the fourth season finale where Harvey finds out Sabrina's a witch on his own again, and this time dumps her for it.
    • The episode where Sabrina tries to convince Harvey to go to college by slipping him an ambition potion, only to realize she accidentally gave him a "Blind Ambition" potion that makes him a ruthless corporate tycoon who scales back environmental protections and turns America into a polluted Industrial wasteland; and the stinger involves Salem accidentally drinking the same potion and making the call, "Remember: Greed is Good! Get Trump on the phone!" Given how much the cost of college and student loan debt has skyrocketed since the episode's premiere, and Trump became president with a platform of rolling back environmental protections and giving huge Big Corporate and Big Oil tax handouts... the episode became a lot less harmlessly funny to watch, to say the least.
    • In Season 3 Hilda and Sabrina's attempted Relationship Sabotage to Zelda is Played for Laughs. Three seasons later, this time it's Zelda trying to sabotage Hilda's relationship - and the result is one of the biggest Tear Jerkers in the series.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In Season 1's Valentine's Day episode, Sabrina goes through a series of tests to prove that it's true love with Harvey. Zelda says at the end "at sixteen, it's always true love". As of the finale, it turns out it is indeed true love.
    • Libby showing legitimate talent at singing in Season 2 becomes this when Jenna Leigh Green carved out a successful Broadway career after the show.
    • In "Sweet Charity", Sabrina lies to say that Libby made up with her real grandmother. Season 2 reveals that Libby does in fact have a close relationship with her grandmother.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Troll Bride", the Spellmans' lawyer gets too hot and takes off his pants. According to Zelda he has "great legs". Guess who played the lawyer?
    • In "Sabrina and the Beanstalk", Salem laments that he needs to stop "melting cheese and drinking it as a beverage." In Dreamfall Chapters, an early quest requires you to bring Cheese Soup to your boyfriend.
    • When Zelda uses magic, the magic produced is pink. While whenever Hilda uses magic it produces smoke, one episode where their magic is stolen shows that it's green. Zelda is the responsible one. Hilda is the more easy-going and "fun" one. A few years later, a responsible magic user's represented by pink, and the easy-going one with green.
    • In season three, to stop Valerie from becoming a cheerleader, Sabrina tells her that no cheerleader ever went on to become president. Two years later, George W. Bush was elected - and he had been a cheerleader.
    • Also Valerie's desire to join the cheerleading squad becomes absolutely hilarious - bordering on Casting Gag - if one watches Bring It On where Valerie's actress Lindsay Sloane plays head cheerleader and Alpha Bitch Big Red. "The Pom Pom Incident" has Sabrina hypnotising Valerie into thinking she'll become an Alpha Bitch if she joins the squad.
    • Hallie Todd's episode as Cousin Marigold ends with her attempting to bond with her new boyfriend's kids. Hallie Todd guest starred in an episode of Two of a Kind where she tried to do the same thing - and failed miserably.
    • In Season 2's "Quiz Show", Sabrina says to the Head Quizmaster "you must have been confusing me with my evil twin". One season later it's revealed Sabrina does have an Evil Twin.
    • "Oh, don't you remember two years ago when you "loved" orange? It was the new black or something.
    • In Season 4 Zelda finds a genie's bottle and conjures up an outfit clearly inspired by I Dream of Jeannie. Two seasons later Barbara Eden herself guest stars as Zelda's Aunt Irma.
    • According to Melissa Joan Hart, ABC didn't have any faith in the show early on and were constantly pushing Clueless to be the popular program on the network. Clueless actress Elisa Donovan later joined Sabrina as Morgan, but only after it had moved networks to UPN.
    • In Season 3, Sabrina panics when Harvey decides he won't go to college and instead go for a steady job as a mechanic. Melissa Joan Hart dropped out of college specifically to work on Sabrina.
    • Tara Strong's voice role as Molly Dolly is very amusing when compared with her other role as Gwen in the TV movies. As Molly Dolly, she's powerful enough to seal the Spellman house and match Sabrina's magic. As Gwen, she's so incompetent she showers people with water when she tries to freeze time.
    • Speaking of Molly Dolly, in the episode Sabrina sarcastically calls her "the next Teddy Ruxpin." A decade later Doug Walker starts portraying a Teddy Ruxpin doll very much like Molly Dolly here.
    • Jenna Leigh Green playing the rival to a witch is quite amusing when one discovers that after she left Sabrina, she played the role of Nessarose in Wicked. For those unfamiliar with Wicked, that is The Wicked Witch of the East.
    • The early rivalry between Sabrina and Roxie is lampshaded by Melissa Joan Hart in her autobiography - where she claims she and Soleil Moon Frye met when they auditioned for Punky Brewster and Melissa bragged in the elevator that she probably got it.
    • Melissa also lampshaded the similarities between herself and Sarah Michelle Gellar - since Buffy the Vampire Slayer started airing only six months after Sabrina. Both featured teenage girls as the protagonists with magic powers, both lasted for seven seasons and both moved networks in their fifth (both to the UPN too). Robin Ricker played Cousin Marigold on Sabrina and then Amy's mother on Buffy in the same year.
    • "Sabrina and the Beast" has a gag where Zelda snaps at Hilda and says "if you break another promise, I'll kill you". Fast forward to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina where Zelda apparently regularly kills Hilda and buries her in the garden.
    • Sabrina's fake ID in "Sabrina and the Pirates" doesn't get her into the nightclub because it's of "a cross-eyed redhead". Sabrina becomes a redhead in Season 5.
    • "The Band Episode" has a small gag where an egotistical Valerie writes a song called "My Valerie". In 2006 The Zutons released a song called "Valerie" (although it was about a girl recovering from a DUI as opposed to worshipping her beauty). There was also a song called "Valerie" by Steve Winwood, which would be more along the lines of what Valerie would like to sing.
    • Sabrina's aunts are called Hilda and Zelda; Years later, in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, we meet a version of Zelda from a Mirror Universe called Hilda.
    • Hilda as the ditzy slacker is amusing to fans of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody - where Caroline Rhea plays the tyrannical hotel inspector Ilsa. And her debut episode involves getting in trouble with cats!
    • "Salem the Boy" has Salem being put into Gordie's essence, while the cat is left as a normal house pet. Oddly prophetic of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina where Salem becomes a Decomposite Character. His status as the snarky helper of the Spellman household goes to a human called Ambrose, while he remains as Sabrina's familiar but as a speechless cat.
    • "Sabrina's Real World" contains quite a lot of incidents that become amusing when thinking about Chilling Adventures of Sabrina:
      • When pitching his reality show, the network executive axes Salem as a cast member, foreshadowing Salem's reduced role in Chilling.
      • Zelda has to wear a grim reaper outfit as part of a service she's ordered to do. She tries to cover up to Hilda's mortal date by saying it's "religious garb". In Chilling, the Spellmans are members of the Church of Night, with Zelda being the most devout to her faith.
      • The network has to force Sabrina's show to be more exciting. Chilling is a Darker and Edgier horror-themed series featuring Sabrina battling demons.
      • Sabrina has to be pushed outside to fight a dinosaur threatening the school. Chilling's Sabrina would need very little persuasion to start that fight.
    • One episode has the aunts conjuring up Frankie Avalon to trap Sabrina and friends in a recreation of the 60s Beach Party movies. Beth Broderick would also star in Psycho Beach Party, which is another parody of the genre.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Harvey's friendship with Brad borders in this.
    • Miles has a short moment with a vampire.
    • Hilda and Zelda get mistaken for a lesbian couple more than once.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • Valerie acts as if she's an ugly, repulsive girl who will never be able to get a date. Lindsay Sloane is just as gorgeous as Sabrina, Libby and the other female characters - and she plays an Alpha Bitch in Bring It On. Emphasis is placed on her neediness and low self-esteem, but that's more directed towards sucking up to Libby. Season 3 seemed to remedy this by ignoring any comments about Valerie being undesirable - even getting an episode where she wears a sexy Spy Catsuit.
    • Miles too is a nerd but not exactly repulsive. Like Valerie, his hobbies and quirks are what makes him unattractive. It is hinted in the Valentine's Day episode that Roxie does fancy him, but just needs the spell to help her realise it.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Morgan can be a superficial Rich Bitch from time to time, but Season 5's Christmas Episode shows how miserable her home life is - with parents that constantly fight and criticise her, as well as a creepy older brother. For whatever her flaws, she also genuinely liked Josh and was devastated when they nearly broke up at Valentine's Day.
    • Roxie as well, but that's the point of her Character Development. She starts off as nasty and antagonistic to Sabrina, before her Hidden Depths and sad home life are revealed, leading her becoming nicer.
    • Try to resist the impulse to hug Amanda at the end of the Season 7 episode "Bada-Ping", when she realizes she's the cause of Sabrina's predicted death. (A prediction that, thankfully, never comes to pass.)
    • Aaron when he finds out someone invited Sabrina's ex to their engagement party. We also learn that he's been engaged several times, and his mother doesn't think any woman's good enough for her son; Sabrina completely misses the implication that Aaron's mother may have inadvertently ended those relationships. While he comes off as mean despite Sabrina looking frantic and stressed on meeting Aaron's mother, and hearing how many exes he's had, he's understandably annoyed that Harvey arrives and more annoyed that no one can give a good reason why. To make matters worse in a later episode, Aunt Irma turns him into a fish merely because Irma doesn't want Sabrina marrying a mortal. And after he had made a good first impression on her!
    • Libby of all people becomes one in "Rumor Mill" where she gets evicted from her home thanks to the rumor Sabrina started. She gets evicted because of how mean she is, but the parents apparently told her they never even loved her. It's not played for comedy at all.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains:
    • Libby the ultimate Alpha Bitch and main antagonist is quite beloved by the fan base, since she's so comically mean and gets no end of slapsticky comeuppance. Ditto for the Sadist Teacher Mr Kraft. Libby's replacement Brad is much more hated, despite being less of a bully than her; he's Harvey's friend from nowhere who's mistrustful of Sabrina because he was born with a witch hunter gene he doesn't know about - and he's never more than just casually rude to her.
    • There's also Sabrina's next boyfriend Josh - one of the most despised characters in the show. Some of this is admittedly due to him not aging well (particularly the fact that he's a college student in his 20s pursuing a high schooler) but he's rather unpleasant in a lot of situations; sending Sabrina secret admirer cards when he knows she has a boyfriend, intending to move to Prague without considering her feelings, often assuming she's cheating on him over misunderstandings (which is hypocritical of him considering how easily Sabrina's Evil Twin got him to cheat on his girlfriend, and how he tried to get Sabrina to cheat on Harvey). This puts him in contrast to aforementioned evil twin and other antagonists like Sabrina's Bratty Half-Pint of a cousin Amanda (who does at least mellow out as she gets older) - who caused far more intentional trouble for the characters.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Beth Broderick talks about RuPaul telling her that the show had a significant following of LGBT viewers, many of whom watched it as a Friday night ritual before going out. Zelda in particular became a queer icon.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Libby! Despite being a rotten person, she's so entertainingly mean she's hysterical to watch. Helped by her getting the occasional Pet the Dog moment.
    Sabrina: Why don't you surprise us all by changing and doing something nice for once!
    Libby: Why mess with success?
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I grew up to be Aunt Hilda" became a Twitter meme in 2018. Caroline Rhea even acknowledged it.
    • A screenshot from Pancake Madness, where a distressed Sabrina tries to eat from dozens of pancake stacks, is often used to demonstrate a fandom being oversaturated with content, or being overwhelmed with choices.
  • Mis-blamed: The show was constantly accused of being a rip-off of many similar shows during its run, most notably Out of This World (1987) and Bewitched. Despite popular belief, Sabrina was originally a comic book character in the 1960s, and predates Bewitched. To its credit, Sabrina was inspired by Bell, Book and Candle, which was also the inspiration for Bewitched. The idea that a witch would become mortal if she fell in love with a human, which was mentioned in the first comic, and later dropped entirely, was directly taken from the movie. According to Word of God, part of the show's Multiple Demographic Appeal was for older fans nostalgic for the likes of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • After the first season, Sabrina's best friend Jenny disappears without explanation and is replaced by new girl Valerie. While Jenny also has her fans, Valerie becomes a popular and memorable character for being funny and Adorkable.
    • Mrs Quick seems to be at least as popular if not more than her Cool Teacher predecessor Mr Pool.
    • Aunt Irma follows on from Great Grandma and Grandma Lydia in terms of Spellman family matriarchs, but she is far more memorable. It helps that she's played by Barbara Eden, and gets plenty of depth beyond being an Evil Matriarch.
    • Ironically Aaron, the Romantic False Lead created to replace Josh, is seen in a much better light. Mostly because he lacked the qualities that made Josh so annoying, and was played sympathetically. The only issue people tend to have with him is that he looked too much older than Sabrina (Dylan Neal was already in his mid-thirties, while Melissa Joan Hart was twenty-seven).
  • Narm:
    • The novelization "Showdown at the Mall" treats the rivalry between Sabrina, Libby, Jill and Cee-Cee over who gets to work at Too Chic Boutique as Serious Business - with the entire class apparently waiting to see who gets it.
    • Season 5's Christmas Episode has Roxie Squeeing over a reindeer in the house as though she's in a cheesy Christmas commercial.
  • Narm Charm: Salem's animatronic puppet becomes more and more endearing as time passes (although it was seen as fairly convincing at the time).
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Sabrina games in general hit the mark, but A Twitch In Time for the Playstation stands out as a black sheep.
  • Older than You Think:
    • Sabrina started out as a comic in the 1960's. She is older than Bewitched.
    • In Japan, the show was often mistaken as a rip-off/remake of I Dream of Jeannie, due to the shows being dubbed "Cute Witch Sabrina" and "Cute Witch Jinny" respectively. Funnily enough, Sabrina in the Filmation cartoon was dubbed by Akiko Nakamura, who was also Jeannie's dub voice.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Aunt Vesta only appeared in one episode, but Raquel Welch was extremely memorable, and the character was referenced unseen in later seasons. She appeared in the novelizations due to her popularity.
    • Barbara Eden as Aunt Irma, who only appeared in the last two seasons. Supposedly, she would have become a recurring character if the show had lasted.
  • One True Pairing: Sabrina and Harvey are the only ones for each other. Even though Libby occasionally tries to court him and the show spends a few seasons shilling Josh and Aaron, Sabrina and Harvey are proved to be soulmates in the finale.
  • Popularity Polynomial: The show had a sizeable Hatedom in the 2000s, mocking it for all the cast changes and the shift in tone when it moved networks. These days it's nostalgically seen as a smart, funny show that was a hallmark of 90s television.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Josh for Harvey. Whereas Harvey and Sabrina had a fairly healthy relationship, Josh's relationship with Sabrina was all about her giving and him just taking. He was going to move to Prague without considering her feelings, is obsessively jealous, chews Sabrina out for embarrassing him at work and never supports her plans or wishes. This is hilarious considering Sabrina actually ends up with the fan-favorite, Harvey, in the series finale.
    • In season 4, Dreama for Valerie. Dreama's status as an Inept Mage makes her an even more incompetent version of Gwen from the TV movies - and without Tara Strong's Adorkable charm. Rather a lot of Season 4 episodes involve Dreama screwing things up for Sabrina, and never improving her magic. Her arc as Sabrina's student abruptly ends, making her a rather pointless character. Not that she doesn't have her fans; she's just seen as wasted potential.
    • Season 4 also has Brad for Libby. Libby was very much Love to Hate and had enough Hidden Depths to be endearing. Brad meanwhile just hates Sabrina on principle because of his witch hunter gene and is merely mean - as opposed to hilariously mean like Libby. He also appears as Harvey's never-before-mentioned childhood best friend, meaning that Sabrina is made to look bad for disliking Brad - even though she has good reason to.
    • Season 7 has Aaron for both Josh and Harvey, many felt that him and Sabrina's romance wasn't the least bit convincing(mostly due to how rushed it was with them getting engaged despite knowing each other for only a couple of months) and found him to be overly bland and lacking in personality by comparison.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Downplayed but Zelda's characterisation is almost universally preferred from Season 2 onwards. She began as a much sterner and stricter character. In Season 2 she was greatly softened and got a lot of Not so Above It All moments. The dynamic between her and Hilda was much improved as a result.
    • Roxie is introduced as an aggressive bully who tears down Sabrina at every turn. Soon her Hidden Depths are revealed, as well as her miserable home life. She undergoes genuine Character Development, developed a fun Soapbox Sadie persona and ended the series as probably Sabrina's closest friend.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • The Scrappy:
    • Morgan for some, due to how unlikable she started becoming as the show progressed.
    • Josh for many reasons such as flirting with Sabrina while she has a boyfriend and therefore treating Harvey with hostility because he feels entitled to have Sabrina. Then in Season 5, he tries to pressure Sabrina into going out with him, friendzones her after going on a date with her Evil Twin and then gets jealous whenever she dates someone else. He treats Morgan horribly too, even intending to break up with her on Valentine's Day because he finds her controlling. And when he and Sabrina get together, he's rarely supportive of her and is very quick to assume she's cheating in multiple episodes. Few were sad when he was Put on a Bus in the seventh season.
    • Dreama for a number of fans due to them seeing her as a poor substitute for Jenny and Valerie, with many feeling she lacked the chemistry with Sabrina and as such wasn't convincing as a best friend and far too many season 4 plots revolved around her accidentally screwing something up with her magic and Sabrina having to fix it. The fact that her mentor storyline was abruptly dropped and never resolved made her inclusion on the show feel especially pointless and only intensified fans overall dislike of her. Plus there's the Unfortunate Implications of the only major supporting black actor being inept at magic.
    • Aaron was considered the worst character by several fans as they thought he was overly bland and lacking in personality compared to Harvey and even Josh and felt like his romance with Sabrina was extremely rushed and unconvincing with them being engaged despite only knowing each other for a short time.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 4 is recognised as the start of the rot, with storylines suddenly becoming a lot less fun. Fan favourite characters Libby and Valerie were Put on a Bus to be replaced with inferior substitutes like Brad and Dreama.
    • Season 5 likewise relocated the show from high school to college, dropped most of the supporting cast and introduced a load of new characters. The storylines also got more 'mature', which clashed with the earlier fun feeling of Seasons 1-3(though some fans did enjoy the more mature tone feeling like it was an organic evolution with Sabrina growing up). Dropping Harvey resulted in fan outrage too. Seasons 6 was noted to be a little better than 5, though not as close to the quality of earlier seasons.
    • Season 7 is considered by some to be the worst due to Harvey being absent for most of it and Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda being MIA until the finale. Many also took issue with the romance storyline with Aaron, whom several fans considered to be the worst of Sabrina's love interests(even moreso then Josh)due to how bland and lacking in personality he was and with how incredibly rushed and unconvincing their romance was(having known each other only a few months before getting engaged)as shown below...
  • Strangled by the Red String: Sabrina falls for Aaron in his debut episode so much that she uses magic to find out what his flaws are. They hook up at the end of the episode and for the rest of the season simply act as a couple that's been together for years, rather than developing slowly. It's never explained why Sabrina makes room for him in her heart. However cracks start to appear as Sabrina initially thinks his proposal is a trick caused by the Monster of the Week and accepts reluctantly. The rest of her actions during their engagement come across as straight-up denial more than anything else. Finally when her wedding day comes, she gets cold feet and dithers between that and denial. She and Aaron ultimately agree to call off the wedding, and she ends up eloping with her true soul mate Harvey.
    • It makes more sense when you learn that the character of Aaron was supposed to actually be Josh, but David Lascher refused to return to the show, and the storyline had already been planned out. Also considering that many fans prefer Aaron to Josh, quite a few don’t mind the new love interest.
  • Strawman Has a Point: It turns out that Dr. Jacobs, Aaron's mother, ends up being Properly Paranoid about Sabrina not being the right fit for her son. We're not supposed to see her as anything but My Beloved Smother, but her skills as a psychologist are on point. It's why Sabrina goes to see her actually, when Sabrina actually blurts out that she loves Harvey and not Aaron. She advises Sabrina to look into her heart to figure out why the Freudian Slip happened and makes no bare bones of her dislike.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: It seems almost too coincidental that Josh is the one who gets murdered in the Season 6 Halloween Episode. Especially when it's revealed that everyone wanted to kill him.
  • Testosterone Brigade: Melissa Joan Hart is gorgeous, as are her two aunts. Starting in Season 2, more attention was paid to their wardrobes and plenty of episodes liked to get them into nice evening wear or sexy costumes. Sabrina’s high school friends and Libby knew how to dress too. This was even more notable in Seasons 5-7, which added more beautiful female supporting characters (Roxie and Morgan) and plenty of hot guest stars. In her autobiography, Melissa referred to the show as "a geek's wet dream".
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Cassandra Peterson claimed that the show was a rip-off of a failed pilot she had shot the previous year - The Elvira Show, also featuring a teenage witch with a talking black cat and two older aunts.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Libby the ultimate Alpha Bitch disappears after Season 3, explained as being sent away to boarding school. It was hinted numerous times that Libby had Hidden Depths, and it could have been interesting to see how that would evolve as she matured. A fan tweeted Jenna Leigh Green saying the same thing, to which she agreed.
    • Jenny also vanishes after Season 1, gradually featuring less and less as the season went on. Since the fan-favourite Valerie replaced her, it's not as glaring. Part of the problem seems to be the dynamic that was presented - Sabrina was the shy one, Jenny the confident non conformist. Melissa Joan Hart had better affinity for playing Sabrina as a Plucky Girl than Shrinking Violet, so Jenny became redundant.
    • The Quizmaster is Brother Chucked in between Seasons 2 and 3, with Sabrina just being told she's about to be awarded her Witch's License in the premiere.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Zelda deciding to study medicine in Season 4's "Dreama the Mouse" could have lent itself to more plots and hi jinx. Instead it's forgotten about after that one episode.
    • The novelizations often had some pretty interesting and exciting plots that would have been good as episodes or spin-off movies like Sabrina Goes to Rome and Sabrina Down Under. Most of the more interesting ones came from when Sabrina was at college, and thus could have helped with the criticisms that Seasons 5 and 6 were too dull.
      • "Witch Way Did She Go?" is about Sabrina and Salem getting stuck in a maze in the Other Realm. It's full of Continuity Nods - with fantasy versions of Jenny, Dreama, Libby, Valerie, Mr Kraft, Quizmaster and Skippy - appearing. Granted this one would probably require far more special effects outside the show's budget (one sequence has Sabrina and Salem outrunning a giant metal ball).
      • "Milady's Dragon" features Sabrina accidentally going back to the Middle Ages and meeting the teenage versions of her aunts. The climax does indeed involve a dragon.
      • "Topsy Turvy" is especially interesting, with Sabrina casting a spell to make her mortal friends understand how hard she has it as a witch. It results in an inverted world where mortals have powers and witches have to pretend to have magic to fit in. And the kicker - the entire spell was a fake reality created by the Witches Council to teach Sabrina the Aesop herself.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, despite being adapted from the comics and having virtual no relation to this show, unfortunately got a lot of comparisons to it - even when it was established it was a horror series and its own entity. Netflix tried to do damage control by having the original cast record good luck messages for the Chilling cast, later having reaction videos and getting Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick to guest star.
  • Unintentional Uncanny Valley: Salem's animatronic puppet for some, especially if you're not a fan of eerie puppetry like that. More so the one in the earlier seasons where the puppet itself was stiffer and slightly different in appearance due to different puppet producers between Season 1 (Jim Boulden and his company Animal Makers) and the rest of the show (The Chiodo Brothers).
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Interestingly, both the high school years (Seasons 1-4) and the later years (5-7) capture the 90s and 2000s in their own ways.
    • Season 1 lays the 90s fashion on heavily in particular, but other pop culture references pinpoint the seasons to that decade; "The Band Episode" features a cameo from the Backstreet Boys, "Sabrina and the Pirates" has Sabrina and Valerie trying to sneak into a club to see N Sync, and "No Place Like Home" climaxes at a Britney Spears concert (complete with the "Crazy" video in The Stinger). Zelda likewise is the only character who uses a computer - a particularly blocky laptop (although Valerie questions why Sabrina doesn't have one in "Sabrina The Teenage Writer"). Kevin Nash and Billy Gunn guest star at the height of their popularity in pro wrestling. Figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan cameo when they were still competing (both retired in the early 2000s). "Inna Gadda Sabrina" also subverts the 60s nostalgia that was especially prevalent in the 90s. "And the Sabrina Goes To" also has a gag where Sabrina claims she's "getting ready for the millennium." A novelization actually focuses on the Millennium Bug too.
    • When Hilda and Salem begin marketing Zelda's instant cleaning potion, Salem alludes to Bruce Jenner appearing on their infomercial.
    • The later seasons update the technology by having Sabrina's magic book be accessible via computer - but it's now a CD Rom. Sabrina now has a laptop that's slightly more up to date than Zelda's, but it would look dated by the end of the decade. Morgan is a budding fashion designer, and all her outfits and designs are the bold, colorful 2000s fashion (though they came back into style at the end of The New '10s). There's also a few episodes that hinge on the characters not having cellphones and being invited to parties via flyers or anonymous landline calls. The Season 6 premiere likewise has an obvious Shout-Out to The Matrix. Season 7 in particular features Avril Lavigne when she was a pop culture sensation. Daniel Bedingfield plays a big role in an episode, performing his debut single "Gotta Get Thru This", and Ashanti likewise with "Happy".
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: While Sabrina usually gets Laser-Guided Karma for being too quick to use magic to solve her problems, sometimes issues come from her doing something without her aunts having warned her or told her not to do in advance (the pancake addiction, Aunt Dorma, her pen pal Martha). She'll also sometimes get detention just because Mr Kraft is feeling particularly evil. Likewise is "The Great Mistake" Sabrina confesses that she bought the tomorrow ball and that she half-assed her homework (which she usually doesn’t do) without having to be probed. She also intends to improve her homework assignment over the weekend - but her aunts still make her miss the concert that she had tickets for. Seems unnecessarily harsh since she'd clearly learned her lesson already.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Zelda in "Mrs Kraft" and "Silent Movie". In the former, she has Mr Kraft move into the Spellman house and in the latter, she's expecting him to propose and then for everyone to live together. It's one thing to simply date someone her sister and niece disapprove of, but she's forcing Hilda and Sabrina to live with a man they despise. And Sabrina's dislike of him is perfectly justified - since he frequently goes overboard in punishing her at school, and favours her bully often. As Sabrina's legal guardian, Zelda comes across as incredibly ignorant of why her niece wouldn't want to have her vice principal living with her.
    • The Quizmaster is often just a Troll who seems more concerned with screwing things up for Sabrina in the name of teaching her a lesson - like speeding time up to make her miss lunch and stress her out even further, or taking her on a quiz when she needed to help Valerie with her Spanish - and due to Sabrina having to hide her magic, she just looks worse to her friends. Hell, in "Quiz Show", his superior fires him precisely because Sabrina rants about how much he's upsetting her. It's Sabrina who has to beg for forgiveness, rather than him for admitting that he failed at his job.
    • Sabrina herself towards the end of Season 4. After Harvey forgives her for cheating on him with Josh, Sabrina continues to keep Josh around and expects Harvey to just be fine with it. The conflict is framed as "can't we all just get along" when Sabrina wants her boyfriend to be AOK with her continuing to hang around with the boy she cheated on him with, and very obviously still has a thing for her, and is openly hostile to Harvey for being with her. It's not surprising that Harvey eventually dumps her off-screen.
    • The aunts in Season 5's "Beach Blanket Bizarro". Despite learning An Aesop back in Season 1 to trust Sabrina to have good judgment when she's out with friends, they essentially Mind Rape everyone into having "good clean fun" - because they're worried about Sabrina's spring break.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Sabrina decides to give herself a new makeover for college, she starts dying her hair. She starts slowly going from pure blond to a nice enough light red but in the middle of Season 5 she dyes it again this time a ghastly dark red and at the same time gets very thin eyebrows. She keeps the look for the rest of Season 5 for reasons unknown. She's back to being a blonde by Season 6 though.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Salem is the Butt-Monkey of the Spellman house, with the aunts barely tolerating him and getting No Sympathy from Sabrina. He's easily the most popular character of the show.
    • Valerie is seen as a needy wannabe that the popular girls despise. In the fandom she's one of Sabrina's more popular friends.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In "What Price Harvey", Sabrina learns that Harvey doesn't want to go to college and become a mechanic instead, so she spends the rest of the episode trying to get him to go in order to get a decent job for his future. It ends with him still wanting to be a mechanic but deciding to go to college as a failsafe. It was made back in the 1990's before the rising college tuitions, cost of living, and wage gap became so great that obscenely high student debt and struggling college graduates became the norm by the 2010s. Vocational education has also increased in popularity in the 2010s due to people discovering the benefits of learning a trade (steady income, excellent job security, non-sedentary work, employment guarantee, no risk of trade jobs being outsourced), plus it doesn’t cost as much as getting a four-year-college degree. As a result, most viewers today would probably see Harvey's plan to forgo college in favor of learning a trade and gaining career success that way to be a smart financial decision.
    • The Season 2 Halloween Episode has a gag where Valerie is the only one to go to the party in costume. This looks extremely odd to modern viewers. In the 90s dressing up for Halloween was seen as something only kids would do, but there was a strong revival in costume parties and dressing up for the holiday - especially with the trend of slutty Halloween costumes for girls - that it looks odd that the other teenagers wouldn't show up to the party in costume. Likewise the Season 5 and 6 episodes also have Sabrina's college friends not being fans of Halloween - which looks weird to college students in the 2010s/20s.
    • A Couch Gag in one of the earlier seasons has Sabrina donning a Kabuki theatre inspired costume and putting on a stereotypical Japanese accent. This looks a little uncomfortable in today's society of cultural awareness.
    • Josh has not aged well as a character. He's four years older than Sabrina when first introduced (she's eighteen and he's twenty-two) and freely makes advances on her when he knows she has a boyfriend. The narrative has no problem shaming Sabrina for cheating when she's with Harvey, but Josh is never demonised when he asks Sabrina out, initiates a kiss and still sends her secret Valentine cards while he knows she's in a relationship. He openly acts antagonistic to Harvey because he's Sabrina's boyfriend and is never called out for essentially petty jealousy. And in the college seasons, he happily goes on a date with what he thinks is Sabrina while he'd committed to going out with Morgan note - and again the narrative doesn't criticise him for cheating like it did for Sabrina in Season 4. And when Sabrina dates the witch Derek, Josh acts jealous even though he has a girlfriend, and looks smugly satisfied when he hears they've split up.
    • In "The Competition", Sabrina learns that being competitive makes her "ugly" and so she has to apologize to Josh for standing up to his sexist father - after he patronized Sabrina and his wife, also throwing a temper-tantrum because they beat him at tennis. Josh's father learns nothing, and Sabrina somehow ends up apologizing for standing up for herself. Apparently women should be expected to roll over and accept sexism, or else they will stop being attractive to men. As women have become progressively more aware of benign sexism, this lesson hasn't aged well at all.
    • In late season one, Sabrina unwittingly enters into an And Now You Must Marry Me contract with a troll named Roland. Said troll is very clearly an adult, while Sabrina is 16 years old (this is lampshaded as witch law where Sabrina is revolted, and mentions her age, and Roland's response is "you're kind of old"). This would be bad enough, but it's not just a contractual thing—Roland is portrayed as having feelings for Sabrina and becomes a recurring character, at times treated (Played for Laughs) as a romantic rival for Harvey. Sabrina is uncomfortable, but this is treated as a funny annoyance, and not one adult in her life comments on it or tries to make him stop.
  • Values Resonance:
    • The series has been praised for showing an unconventional family structure - Hilda and Zelda raising their niece together - and portraying both the aunts as independent and intelligent in their own right. Both find fulfillment outside of relationships - Hilda with her music and eventual businesses, and Zelda with her science and college professor job. When Cousin Marigold and Aunt Irma make fun of them for still being single, it's used to show them as old-fashioned.
    • The episode where Sabrina tries to find a paying journalism job and fails because she doesn't want to accept the entry level positions that later vanish because she didn't accept them soon enough. It's highly relatable to graduates in the 2010s.
    • One episode has Sabrina rejecting the advances of a ski instructor (who is several years older then her) who kisses her, telling her that she's only OK with Harvey kissing her. This episode became even more relevant in the wake of Me Too! which prompted a lot of discussion about consent.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Her Back?:
    • The reasons why Harvey broke up with Sabrina were because he caught her kissing another guy, found out she was a witch, and she cast so many spells on him that he would no longer forget them or the effects of her magic. These are all very valid reasons, especially the whole "You've been casting spells on me since high school without my consent?!" issue. Sabrina sadly accepts all these reasons, despite the giant hole in her heart that is still there years after the break-up. Harvey is the one who initiates getting back together with Sabrina, and makes no bones of his feelings when he arrives at her engagement party and openly flirts with her. Sabrina in the meantime wants to move on and be fair to her fiance Aaron, since she thinks she loves him. It's implied Harvey realizes that the way Sabrina's acting is normal for witches, and now that there are no more secrets between them he can forgive her.
    • Sabrina has decent taste in boys (Harvey, Dashiell, Aaron) but she spends Season 5 wanting to be with Josh and when she’s dating him in Season 6 he proves not to be good boyfriend and yet HE dumps her (granted that was one mean thing he didn’t have control over).
  • What The Hell, Costuming Department?:
    • Caroline Rhea pokes fun at the terrible wardrobe choices on the show, saying Sabrina went to school "dressed like an accountant" and that Hilda looked like she was "going to a coronation for a very senior royal member."
    • Season 1 is an especially bad one for costumes and hairstyles, especially on the two aunts. Season 1 also has the Spellmans wearing an uncomfortably excessive amount of make-up that thankfully gets toned down in Season 2.

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