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  • Adaptation Displacement: Compare both the quantity and detail of entries concerning the cartoon series to that of the original comics. That's mainly because of the lack of availability in the English-speaking world for a long time. Especially in the United States, with Hyperion's translation being Cut Short in the middle of the second story arc. It would take until Yen Press gained the license in 2017, years after the comics ended, for the whole series to start seeing a complete, official English release.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
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    • Italy seems to uniformly despise the animated series. The web is full of Italian comments about it, yet it's hard to find a single one that's even non-negative - let alone positive. Of course the comics are beloved in their country of origin more than anywhere else, so it makes sense that any adaptational changes would be most sensitive there.
    • The French seem to uniformly dislike the cartoon as well, though not quite as much as Italians. This is rather bizarre considering the show was primarily produced in Paris. There is some more appreciation for the second season, however.
    • In the US itself, the show is quite obscure but then so are the comics, so it's hard to gauge opinion on either. Most obviously, Americans largely reject the original intros, while other nationalities generally prefer those, though the US theme is still well-regarded. Americans also consistently prefer the second season to the first, while with other nationalities it is not uncommon to find someone who strongly prefers season 1 to season 2 - basically unheard of in the US.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: "Merely" subverted in season 1. Completely and utterly obliterated in season 2!
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    • The first season features plenty of Schoolgirl Series shenanigans and zany humor throughout... but also plenty of dark imagery in Meridian courtesy of Phobos, to the point that nearly every episode started with a dreary shot of the castle. Oh, and the main plot? Two adult men find a young teenage girl who was taken away to Earth as a baby to protect her from them, one of whom brainwashes her into turning against her friends by manipulating her emotions all the while pretending to be "the only one who understands her". Does This Remind You of Anything? isn't just in full effect here, but blatantly enforced by the framing of some of these scenes. All of this is to say nothing of the Civil War going on, with plenty of battle scenes (involving huge, hideous monsters no less) that could definitely give some younger kids nightmares. On top of that, the season is chock full of incredibly Family-Unfriendly Aesops with Karma Houdini being the norm, almost to the point of parodying the usual episodic moral lessons found even in some of the most well-respected children's shows.
      Phobos: Once my sister is identified, we must slowly and carefully bring her into our confidence, and then right into our trap.
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    • The second season is... something else in terms of this trope. On the one hand, the color scheme used for the animation is far brighter, reflecting both the In-Universe defeat of Phobos and the Out of Universe change of animation studios. On the other hand, it may actually be an understatement to say that the actual content of the season gives a whole new meaning to What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?. The epic page quote on the show's Radar page (from a YouTube comment of all things) probably puts it better than anything else ever could.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • After a, for the most part, spectacular second season, things climax with a final battle against Cedric, who was defeated, like, 100 times before, and even with his new powers, this didn't turn out any different because he has no idea what to do with them.
    • At the end of the Ragorlang saga in the comics, Edward Folkner, the Ragorlang hunter, is forced to fuse himself with the Ragorlangs, when the magical box he had created to capture the Ragorlangs is threatened to be taken away from him. He's going to come back some sagas later as a dangerous foe, right? Wrong! In the next issue, the girls defeat him quite fast at the end of that issue.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Matt's band's songs, "The Will To Love" and "The Demon In Me" are both catchy and touching, though for very different reasons. Having Jason Marsden play Matt's singing voice as well as his speaking doesn't hurt.
    • Both the American and European intro themes.
  • Badass Decay: 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-invicible 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 Light of Meridian.
  • Dork Age: The issues following the New Power saga up to the comic's cancellation. The action packed and adventurous stories are done away from simple Slice of Life one-shots with brief storylines in between. What also didn't help was that many of the beloved supporting cast left (rather crudely) to be replaced by generic one-note replacements who couldn't live up to them. Orube, Cedric, Himerish and Eric were just a few of these losses.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Phobos, young Nerissa, Cedric in human form. Phobos gets special mention for bathing naked a lot in the comic, though he is censored by water or the whisperers holding up a towel around his... Fortress Of Kandrakar. It also acts as foreshadowing when Phobos-Possessed-Endarno is bathing in one of the issues in the fouth saga
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • At the beginning of the television series premiere, Will/Caleb was far more favorable than Cornelia/Caleb. It seemed to die out pretty fast, but still has a strong following in fanfiction, to say nothing of the Girls' Love slash shipping.
    • In the comics, this is taken in the form of Caleb/Cornelia vs Peter/Cornelia. While many liked the fantastical aspects of the first romance, many more admit Cornelia would be much happier with Peter, considering he was much less superficial than Caleb. Other favorite couples in the fandom were Hay Lin/Eric and Orube/Cedric (and funnily enough, both pairings were tragically cut short).
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Winx Club, another western Magical Girl series starring a Five-Man Band that uses Elemental Powers and debuted in the same year. Though it's not universal among fansnote , it is official in the sense that a former Disney executive apparently derided Winx Club for being produced quickly, stealing the spotlight from his own company's show and leading ultimately to its cancellation (well that and the fact the comics came out so late in the U.S.) according to this forum post.
  • First Installment Wins: In the comics, many fans think that the Meridian saga is the best arc in the series, citing that there was a more mysterious and mystical quality to it that was never truly matched later on.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The comics/franchise as a whole in Europe. In the USA aside from the show, W.I.T.C.H. was always more of a niche thing, but in Europe during the mid-2000s it was a huge deal. Not only did the comic magazine sell like hotcakes, it also spun a whole set of other parts: licensed dolls, the comics reprinted as graphic novels, spin-off books, and makeup were just a few things that were part of the franchise.
    • This franchise is also popular in Japan. It even went so far as to have its own manga adaptation of the same name.
    • The show is vastly more popular in Russia (having a following on the now-defunct Image Board 0chan among other places) than anywhere else in the world, though compared to other shows that's still not saying much. The comics are still pretty popular there as well. Notably, the second season opening is generally preferred to the first.
    • The cartoon series is quite popular in Poland as well. Unlike in Russia though, the season 1 OP is generally preferred.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Subverted by the Animated Adaptation – unlike the comics, which were never shy about being primarily oriented towards a female audience (though they certainly had a Periphery Demographic of their own).
    • 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.
  • Growing the Beard: The second season of the show, headed by Disney action veteran Greg Weisman, greatly cut down on the bad comic relief, introduced a very cunning villain in Nerissa, placed more focus on WITCH itself, made the story an interesting battle of wits and trickery, and improved the combat sequences. Shame it ended right after.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Irma Lair is the Guardian of Water. Some 16 years after W.I.T.C.H debuted Hurricane Irma develops into one of the most devastating hurricanes in history, causing unprecedented flooding and storm surges in Florida and the Caribbean Islands.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Taranee, the Fire Guardian, is a dancer and has a connection to a dragon. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Firebending's most ancient tecnique is the Dragon Dance, and Firebending itself was learned from dragons.
    • Also, Mitchell Whitfield had two previous roles that seemed to lead to his role as Phobos: first as Barry, Rachel's ex-fiance and the "Evil Orthodontist" from Friends, then Norbert Klerm in another Disney cartoon that aired on ABC, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The characters are Magical Girls, not witches. This is even noted in-series:
    We're not witches! That's just our initials!
  • Jerkass Woobie: The cartoon version of Nerissa. While she does a lot of heinous acts, she's remorseful for killing Cassidy, and she does love Julian and her son Caleb. When Greg Weisman's opinion is asked about her, he responds like this:
    That she's complex, interesting and fascinating with the tragic flaw of most great villains. Plus she loved and mourned Cassidy. And in her twisted way, loved Caleb and Julian too. And that makes her at least a little sympathetic. Though, of course, the fact that she killed Cassidy and used her, Caleb AND Julian also undercuts that sympathy more than a little.
  • Les Yay:
    • "E is for Enemy" has Irma and Cornelia sleeping together, with Cornelia's hand on Irma's breast, as you can see in this image.
    • The comic has a lot of "moments" for Irma. A comic had this comment from her: "Oh, Will. I love when you take command."
    • According to Cornelia, Elyon describes her ideal partner as tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. How would you describe Cornelia's appearance? In the comic, Cornelia says that Elyon always was "more than a friend, but more than a sister".
    • In "Happy Birthday Will", Irma teases Will by calling her by Will's mother's ridiculously saccharine pet name for her — "Pink Poopy Perky Pumpkin" in the English dub, "mon petit lapin rose en sucre" ("my little pink sugar bunny") in French.
    • In the very last issue of the comic, all the Guardians tell each other how much they love and appreciate one another... and it's kicked off by what looks a lot like an Anguished Declaration of Love from Irma to Cornelia.
    Irma: I mean... I like you! A very very very big lot! Seeing you in the past really opened up my heart!
    Cornelia: Irma? Are you actually being serious for once?
    Irma: Silence, Blondie. There are some things I never told you. I have to tell you... You're really beautiful... I mean both on the inside and he outside! The outside is so pretty my eyes hurt!
    • Basically all the girls have moments with each other.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Take your pick as to when Nerissa crossed the line.
  • Narm:
    • Happens a lot with the dialogue in the TV series - but Nerissa declaring that "Baby needs a spanking" in "W is for Witch" deserves special mention.
    • Also whenever Nerissa speaks. Her voice sounds like someone's giving her pleasure. Then again, there is a trope for that.
    • In two episodes of season 2, Nerissa and her brainwashed guardians admit defeat when Taranee creates a circle of fire around them. However, common sense would dictate that they could easily escape the trap either by putting out the flames with their own powers or simply by flying away. What is supposed to be a badass moment that shows the heroines triumphing over the villains becomes hilarious by making the evil guardians seem dim-witted and incompetent instead.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Blunk, though it's not so bad as people make it out to be, especially once he's toned down by the end of Season 1. It still says something that a character voiced by Steve Blum could be so unpopular in the first place.
    • In the comics, Matt in New Power saga onwards. His revelation that he came from Kandrakar - a complete Retcon - and his cold attitude don't help.
  • Seasonal Rot: There are many fans who think that the later comics aren't as good as the first few sagas; mostly due to the fact there are no real villains that stick around longer than a couple of issues, and the stories can sometimes come off as Anvilicious. Where it started varies heavily between fans, though most will say that everything following the New Power arc constitutes the Dork Age.
  • Squick:
    • Will's reaction in "T is for Trauma" when Cornelia accidentally brings up the subject of Parental Incest between Caleb and Nerissa.
    • In the same episode when Altermere!Yan Lin tries to steal her granddaughter's boyfriend. Even though she has a youthful appearance, Yan Lin's flirting with her potential grandson-in-law is quite unsettling.
    • Also Irma and Hay Lin's response to Minion Shipping with Cedric and Miranda. The second is pretty understandable, as it is both bestiality and pedophilia. Miranda is a little girl that transforms, Cedric is a monster disguised as a man.
    • Nerissa essentially raped Julian via a Bed Trick, and that's how Caleb was born.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: A recurring instrumental rock tune heard throughout season 2 sounds only slightly off from "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The comic purists dislike the show for making random changes and inserting more "boy/kid friendly" elements to the story like wacky comedy or obvious comic relief sidekicks (Blunk). Cartoon fans say the story is still well-developed and fixes a lot of the weird things present in the comics that the purists don't acknowledge. To this day, there's still no pleasing. There are some who like both versions for their own qualities, however.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Orube was liked by many for being a kick-butt warrior girl while also having a gentle, noble side (after going through some character development, of course), and others found her semi-romance with Cedric engaging. The fact that she was often pushed to the side after the Arkhanta saga and then booted off the series after the Ludmoore saga did not amuse many. Quite a lot of fans also think that Orube would have been a suitable trainer for girls instead of Matt in New Power saga onwards due to her extensive experience in combat.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In the first arc of the comics, before the creators got screwed by the publishers, they were setting up Elyon to be a We Used to Be Friends scenario where she was actively manipulating circumstances on Earth so that her friends, the new Guardians, would be captured and Will would have to surrender the Heart. She explicitly mentions having her adoptive parents arrested for lying to her and keeping her from her "real" family. Also, she had a crush on Will's crush, Matt, and expressed jealousy about it. This created an ongoing conflict where the Guardians were put into a Fighting Your Friend scenario and Elyon wasn't completely wrong in her anger and rage. Come the second half of the arc, however, Elyon gets disillusioned by Cedric being an Ungrateful Bastard about Will saving him and from there finds out all the other deplorable aspects of her brother's regime, Cornelia renews their friendship, Elyon decides to save her adoptive parents from prison, and it's revealed Elyon is the rightful ruler of Meridian and a Hope Bringer. Phobos also makes it clear that he's planning to absorb Elyon's powers and kill her at the coronation, when before she was proving to be a formidable ally to him.
    • Two noteworthy cases in the post-New Power stories:
      • The Ladies appear out of nowhere for a few issues and then are abandoned without explanation of what they are or where they came from at the start of the final arc.
      • The Runic Wizards' wider organization. They're presented as an organization with the stated goal of destroying Kandrakar, they've managed to give five boys what appear to be the 'dark' counterparts of the Guardians' powers, and after their introduction the only one to have a few appearances is Nashter, who's apparently on the run after being blamed for their operation's failure.
  • Too Good to Last: The TV series, which was cancelled after its second season which many felt was a vast improvement over the first.
  • Toy Ship: Lillian and Christopher in "W for Witch".
  • Ugly Cute: Blunk. According to Hay Lin he's "sort of cute."
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Sometimes it can be hard not to find Will as this. Despite the fact her mother is also having trouble adjusting to Heatherfield, Will gives her attitude a lot of the time and shows her very little empathy even though her mother just presumably got divorced. While a child blaming the parent that's still around for a family split is probably Truth in Television, this reaches uncomfortable levels in the episode Will's astral drop gains sentience, as her astral drop is far kinder to her mother. Happens in the comics as well, leading to many thinking Will was "whiny" and disliking how often her problems took center stage above the other girls' issue (and noting how the other girls didn't make a fuss about their problems as much as she did). She had so many problems it even leads to a point of her lampshading it after her dormouse is put to sleep in the comics.
    • Some find Elyon to become this as the first season of the TV show goes on. She starts out legitimately sympathetic, learning that her whole life is a lie and that her adoptive parents and best friends have been deceiving her, driving her into the arms of her brother who is also deceiving her and with actual harmful intentions behind it. However, more and more things start to clearly poke holes in Phobos' facade and should reasonably make Elyon start to question everything, and yet she stubbornly refuses to and clings to the belief that her friends are evil and Phobos is good, only pulling a Heel–Face Turn after Phobos reveals his true colors and tries to kill her, with her friends having to bail her out.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • In the show, Will deciding not to tell Elyon Brown she is Phobos's sister and the princess and rightful ruler to a magical kingdom. She justifies it as Elyon wouldn't believe them or would freak out out, and instead decides to have the Guardians keep a close eye on her. (It's implied that Will is remembering her response to learning about her powers and ownership of the Heart of Kandrakar.) Elyon as a result becomes isolated and vulnerable to Cedric's manipulations after he gives her a job at the bookshop and performs a spell that breaks down her mental barriers. This gets lampshaded later on when Cedric and Phobos manage to convince Elyon that everyone is lying to her, including her parents, and turn her against the Guardians.
    • "N is for Narcissist" had one. The group is barefoot for almost the entire episode because Blunk requests the girls' shoes so that he can pose as them in the mortal realm after ducking out of a school car wash. The girls all shed their shoes and socks and depart without them, and Taranee promptly steps on Cornelia's foot by accident. Their transformed states give them shoes so it isn't a real problem. However, when all but Cornelia are temporarily de-powered to channel their powers into Cornelia, it is. They decide to return to the car wash but none of them remember to retrieve their footwear from Blunk, and people start to question why they're barefoot. Namely, Will gets questioned for her shoes suspiciously being gone (even though going barefoot at a car wash isn't unusual to avoid wet shoes, which she could have easily argued that she took her footwear off so it wouldn't get wet and wearing wet footwear would be unpleasant feeling, but apparently didn't). Eventually, the adults realize the trick the girls pulled, and unaware of their heroic secret identities, assume they're being selfish. They're accused of shirking their duties and made to wash a bus, but Cornelia takes the rap. The girls decide to help her wash the bus anyway out of gratitude. Then, at the very end of the episode, Cornelia's feet get wet from the girls messing around with the cleaning water and she finally realizes none of them have shoes on and opines where hers might be. Took a long time for the shoe to drop, huh?

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