Season 1 Episode 17

That '70s Episode

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 07, 1999 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
626 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A powerful warlock shows up claiming that he made a pact with the sisters' mother in which he spared her life in exchange for the girls' powers. Fleeing him, the three sisters go back in time to the 1970s when their mother was still alive and they try to prevent the pact.moreless

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  • I'm In This Episode

    I worked on this episode. I'm outside the cafe and in the back booth inside. I've always been a Shannen fan. But when I meet and spoke with Shannen, I liked her even more! She is a professional actor, who truly appreciates her craft. I caught a episode here and there from seasons 4-8, but I NEVER missed an episode from seasons 1-3.
  • That '70s Episode

    That '70s Episode was a blast from the past and a perfect episode of Charmed! I really enjoyed watching because the Halliwell sisters travel back in time to save themselves from pact their mother made with a demon. I loved seeing the sisters see younger versions of themselves except for Phoebe who wasn't born yet. There was a lot of character and plot development along with action, magic and intrigue. Grams was a powerful witch and I wouldn't have crossed her. I think it was neat to see the sisters connect with their mother for a short time. Every thing works out the way it should in the end. This was a fun episode which really focused on building the sisters bond. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The Power of 3 Generations...

    Okay, I was wrong when I listed the best of Season 1 and left this off the list. This is clearly one of the top episodes of Season 1, which though clearly lower in production value and unspectacular in its villians is still turning out to be one of the better seasons dramatically. The sisters are forced to travel back in time to stop a deal that their mother made with, what?, a warlock, would be my guess, named Nicholas. I don't think he was called a demon at any point, he doesn't look like a demon, and warlocks again are Season 1's thing, so... Nicholas himself is neither especially frightening nor intimidating though he does have a rather sinister power, being able apparently to cause painful death with a turn of his hand.

    No, the best part of the episode are the characters of Grams and Patti, played very well throughout the entire series by Jennifer Rhodes and Finola Hughes. Grams especially is fantastic as the snappish, feminist superwitch, who seemingly was more the sisters' mother even before Patti died. Patti herself is more concerned with her daughters' normal lives than their magical ones, being similar to Piper in that way though few others. It is great to see the women work together to get rid of Nicholas and get back to their own time. The young girls as Prue and Piper were cute, of course. Anyone else notice that the young Piper had blue eyes? I guess they changed color at some point. Oh well, minor. Great episode.moreless
  • Awesome Episode!!!

    I can't really describe this episode better than anyone else in this forum review. A great story line and the superb acting skills by all actresses are in their best. This episode is definitely in my top 5 episodes in season 1. I love the scene where the sisters end up forcing Prue to go downstairs to see what really happen when the phone's ringing. This is the first time she realized that they are back in the 70's.

    There are also many hilarious&sad moments found in this episode. It will make you sit and won't go anywhere from the fisrt till the last scene.moreless
  • Groovy Baby, Yeah!

    The best episode from season one, That '70s Episode is one of the best examples of well-written Charmed, with an interesting demon storyline as well as some important family dynamics at the core.

    In the episode, a demon called Nicholas tries to kill the sisters and tells them that their mother made a pact with him which allowed him to take the sisters' powers when they are given them. Whilst trying to find a vanquishing spell, the sisters are accidentally sent back in time to 1975 where they have to make sure Patty doesn't make the pact with Nicholas.

    Compared with Witchstock from season six, in which the sisters go back to the 1960's, That '70s Episode is a million times better. The events which unfold in this episode actually mean something. Phoebe finally gets to meet the mother she never knew whilst Prue and Piper discover that they had powers when they were younger. Jennifer Rhodes and Finola Hughes are brilliant in this episode as Grams and Patty and the scenes between them and the sisters (in particular the diner scene) are extremely meaningful.

    So many demons on the show nowadays just pop up and try to kill the sisters. Looking back on the old seasons, we saw demons that had proper motives, like Nicholas, who were determined to kill the Charmed Ones or steal their powers for actual reasons. It's sad to see how bad the show is in its current seasons compared to the brilliant writing and excellent acting in the Shannen Doherty seasons.

    I absolutely love this episode and despite being one of the earliest episodes of Charmed, remains one of the most classic hours of the show.

    Rating: A+moreless
Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson


Guest Star

Jake Sakson

Jake Sakson

Little Andy

Guest Star

Megan Corletto

Megan Corletto

Little Piper

Guest Star

Finola Hughes

Finola Hughes

Patty Halliwell

Recurring Role

Jennifer Rhodes

Jennifer Rhodes

Penny 'Grams' Halliwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (22)

    • When the girls meet Nicholas he says the clock says noon, however the clock on the wall next to the sisters does not read noon.

    • TRIVIA: Emmalee Thompson, who plays little Prue, is the only child to appear as a younger version of a sister to appear in every season that her adult counterpart appeared in.

    • After Grams throws the girls out of the house thinking they are warlocks trying to take the girls, they all walk over to the diner to see Patty. Penny calls while Patty is talking to Piper and Prue are at the table. This obviously took a little bit of time for them to get there, so why did Grams wait so long to call? However this could suggest that she tried to console the little girls to ensure them everything was okay, before calling Patty.

    • Why would Patty who ran out of work after hearing that warlocks tried to take Prue go home and then leave shortly after to see Victor? Wasn't the point of her leaving work to go home and protect the girls?

    • When the girls are at the park with their youngerer selves, Phoebe comes back from the payphone and says that Patty works til five and Nicholas is on duty until six. However, at that same time he is attacking Patty at the hotel. While, it is reasonable that he could go to the hotel while working, why would Patty's job say she was at work when she wasn't?

    • TRIVIA: This is the first time one or more of the sisters experiences time travel. During the course of the show, this will happen a total of 16 times.

    • To establish the year as 1975, scenes were shown including The Mod Squad (a reference to another Aaron Spelling program) on TV, but The Mod Squad went off the air in 1973. Although it could have been a rerun on TV, a 1975 Aaron Spelling program (such as The Rookies) could have been shown.

    • In the earlier season episode "Thank You For Not Morphing" it was mentioned by Victor that Piper's and Phoebe's ages were twenty four and twenty one, but in this episode Nicholas says that Patty made a pact twenty four years ago, the time when Patty was pregnant with Phoebe. This fact would also be contradicted in future episodes and the family tree that state the girls are two years apart but by that math if Patty was only a few weeks pregnant in this episode,that would have meant Piper should have only been a year and a half old if that and she clearly was older than that.

    • While the girls are in the park with little Piper and Prue, the little girls are practicing using their powers. What about the issue of exposure?

    • Prue and Phoebe discuss their mother's power as if they knew what it was, but during the first couple of seasons, the girls said numerous times they didn't know much about their Wiccan heritage. So how could they have known Patty had the power to freeze?

    • When Phoebe meets Patty outside the restaurant, they run into Nicholas. Phoebe calls him by name to his face and he makes no reaction about it.

    • When Patty goes to Victor's apartment and Nicholas is there he uses his "ring" on her but he doesn't have the ring on him to hurt her.

    • When little Piper freezes Piper and Prue after Andy walked in, when little Prue starts talking, it's visible that her hair was frozen when she should've been out of range.

    • This is the first time we learn that Grams was married numerous times. The number changes in future episodes.

    • TRIVIA: Featured music in this episode -
      -Never Can Say Goodbye by Gloria Gaynor
      -Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves by Cher
      -Heatwave by Martha Reeves
      -S.O.S. by ABBA

    • In the episode "Thank You For Not Morphing", Victor gave the girls a videotape in which they all had Christmas, but in this episode, he left before Phoebe was born.

    • TRIVIA: Little Prue can channel her powers through her hands, something Prue can't do yet. Little Piper unfreezes Prue, Piper & Little Andy, with a nod of her head, but that's not how her power works in the future - she channels it through her hands. Unborn Phoebe gives her mother a premonition from the womb, which shows how strong their powers were at that age.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first episode in which Finola Hughes takes on the role of Patty, the girls' mother, who was previously played by an uncredited Alyssa Milano in "Thank You For Not Morphing", in the video that Victor dropped off and then again in by another unclear and uncredited actress in "From Fear To Eternity".

    • The lectern that holds the Book of Shadows is facing away from the door - the opposite direction it usually faces.

    • TRIVIA: Prue calls Grams "Grandma" in this episode.

    • The picture that Phoebe takes of Piper, Prue and Patty does not match the one that is shown at the end. When Phoebe took the picture, little Piper's head was down and when they looked at the picture in the end, her head was up facing forward.

    • The established date in the past this episode occurs is March 24, 1975 and a movie marquee with Jaws on it is shown. Jaws actually opened four months later. Other anachronisms include the "No Gas" sign referring to the OPEC Oil Embargo, which ended on March 17, 1974, a full year before this episode, and the TV series Mod Squad being shown - it had ended in May 1973 and was neither being shown in syndication or re-runs at that point in time.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • Phoebe: I can't stop thinking about mum. How I lost her and then I found her again.
      Prue: I'm just glad that you finally have memories of her.
      (Phoebe points to the flowers.)
      Piper: What? I'm supposed to throw out perfectly good flowers 'cause they came from a creep? If that was the rule then we'd never have flowers in this house.
      Prue: Well, they didn't just come from a creep, they came from a warlock who tried to kill us.
      Phoebe: Still, if it weren't for him, I probably would've never gotten to know mum.
      Piper: We all wanted to save mum, Pheebs, but both mum and Grams said we can't change destiny.
      Phoebe: But, um, I still wrote her a note anyway.
      Prue: You did?
      Phoebe: Yes, I wrote her a note telling her to stay away from water on the day that she died. And then I put it in the Book of Shadows.
      Piper: I can't believe you did that.
      Phoebe: You don't understand. Every time I've made a wish, I wished for time with mum. And I believed in my heart that someday, somehow, that wish would come true and when it finally did, I didn't wanna let her go. You know, but then I realized that I had to let her go, so I took the note out and put it in my pocket.
      Prue: Maturity sucks, doesn't it?
      Piper: Still, faith has its rewards. (She shows them the picture that Phoebe took in the attic.) It's a pretty good one of us, but once again, not a great one of you, Pheebs.
      Phoebe: Are you kidding? That is the best picture of me I've ever taken.

    • Piper: How do we know we're back in time? What if we just brought the past to us accidentally. We've done it before.
      Prue: Piper, look around. What do you see?
      Piper: A messy attic, like always.
      Prue: No. Not just like always. We have a black light, a typewriter, eight-track tapes and a pet rock. I mean, we got rid of this stuff years ago, remember?
      Piper: And you saw us? As kids?
      Prue: Yeah.
      Piper: This can't be happening. I'm getting a migraine.
      Phoebe: Better not. I don't think Advil's been invented yet. And apparently neither has this spell. It's not in here anywhere.
      Piper: But we just cast it, that's how we got back... here.
      Phoebe: Yeah, well, wherever here is, it's before the spell was written.
      Prue: So, there's nothing in there about how to get back to our own time?
      Phoebe: Nothing. Uh, let me be the first to say we're screwed.
      Prue: No, okay, at least we're alive, I mean if we stayed in our own time, Nicholas would have killed us. We barely got away as it was... is... will be... you know, I've never been good with tenses.
      Piper: What are we gonna do?
      Prue: Well, Grams is right downstairs, maybe we should just go and tell her who we are.
      Phoebe: And say what? Hi, we're the ghosts of grandchildren future. Come on, even Grams is going to have a little trouble with that.
      Piper: Plus, she has that heart condition.
      Prue: Okay, fine, so we need another plan, but first we need to get out of the house.

    • Grams: I beg your pardon? Well, Donna, I'm just hurt that you would suspect my little angels of such a thing.
      Prue: (to herself) Grams?
      (A young Prue and Piper run past Grams.)
      Grams: Prue. Uh, just a moment, Donna. Prue, Piper, girls, don't run in the house. Yes, yes.
      (Prue goes back in the attic.)
      Piper: What did you see?
      Phoebe: The warlock?
      Prue: No. Us.

    • Prue: Yeah, but that's exactly what you did. Or, do. Will do. You know what I mean.

    • Phoebe: These girls have major juice. They have control, they can aim.
      Prue: Yeah, well they've had their powers a lot longer than we have. I mean, did. I think.

    • Prue: How did you...?
      Phoebe: Heating duct to upstairs. I used to listen to you guys for hours. Especially when you used to sneak Andy to your bedroom in high school.

    • Piper: No, wait! We're ready, aren't we, Prue?
      Prue: Prunes. Prunes. She wants to know if you have any prunes.

    • Grams: If husbands were supposed to stay married, God would have made them live longer!

    • Grams: What's IBM selling in your time?
      Patty: Mom! This is not time for personal gain!
      Grams: If they could just nod their heads.
      (Penny gives Grams the "no" look)

    • Prue: What are we going to do when we see a bad guy?
      Little Prue: She's gonna cry.
      Little Piper: Am not! I'm going to freeze him.
      Little Prue: And then I'm going to move him.
      Prue: And we'll take care of him. Then what are we all going to do?
      Little Prue & Little Piper: Run like the wind!

    • Phoebe: Every time I've made a wish, I've wished for time with Mom. And I believed in my heart that some day, some how, that wish would come true.

    • Grams: You're going to be a handful, aren't you?
      Phoebe: Oh, you'll learn to love me.

    • Penny: Fine, if you must go, go; I can't stop you. But I also can't promise I won't teach the girls a new spell while you're gone.
      Patty: Can't you just bake cookies with them like all the other grandmothers?
      Penny: The recipes they learn from me don't come from Betty Crocker, dear.

    • Phoebe: There aren't many pictures of me growing up.
      Prue: That seems impossible. I mean, you weren't exactly camera-shy.
      Phoebe: Well neither were you and Piper, or you and Grams, or you and Dad... Oh look, here's another one of you and Piper...

    • Phoebe: I thought that you said that Mom's power was to freeze time.
      Prue: It is…was…you know what I mean.

    • (Little Piper is running, and little Prue moves a couch in front of her sister, blocking her way.)
      Little Piper: No fair using magic!

    • Phoebe (about Grams): She was one scary witch.

    • Grams (about Victor, Patty's husband): You didn't even take his last name!
      Patty: You didn't let me.
      Grams: That's beside the point.

    • Piper: Prove it? How the hell are we supposed to do that?

    • Prue (after young Piper freezes young Andy): Maybe that's why Andy's so suspicious of us.

    • Grams: We're witches, dear. We can do anything.

    • Piper: We didn't go anywhere. We were just standing here, and then...
      Phoebe: We were just standing here.

    • Prue: Wow. I'm really glad I never got on Grams' bad side.

    • Little Prue: That's my doll!
      Little Piper: You gave it to me!
      Little Prue: No I didn't you stole it!
      Prue (to Piper): That's true you did steal it.
      Piper: I did not! Shh!
      Prue: Yes you did!
      Piper: Shh!

    • Prue: Buddy's has not changed a bit. Didn't? Wouldn't?
      Piper: Give it up, I know what you mean.

    • Little Prue: You're pretty.
      Prue: So are you.
      Piper: Oh, give me a break.

    • Grams: Well, it moved them through time.
      Patty: Yeah, like 10 seconds.

    • Grams: Where was I born?
      Patty: Mother, this isn't the time. We have to undo the pact with Nicholas.
      Grams: I'm still not convinced that these three aren't warlocks or--
      Prue: Boston. In a hotel room. Breach.
      Grams: What was my husband's name?
      Prue (tilts her head): Which husband? (Phoebe snickers)
      Grams: Who is Melinda Warren?
      Phoebe: Our first ancestor. She gave us our powers, our destiny.
      Grams: What's the secret ingredient in my blueberry cobbler?
      Piper: Honey...and a splash of rum.

    • Piper: Nicholas must die spell...that wasn't there before.
      Prue: Grams must have put it there as sort of a welcome back...or front.

    • Piper: Maybe only one set of us can use our powers at the same time, in the same time.
      Prue: Thank you, Mr. Spock.

    • Grams: Well, look at you. All three of you. Oh, Patty, I always knew I'd deliver the Charmed Ones. (Patty and the girls give her a look) Once removed of course. Prue. Piper. And ...
      Phoebe: Phoebe.
      Grams: Oh, another 'P'. What a surprise.

    • Piper: I can't believe we got arrested for kidnapping ourselves.
      Prue: Yeah, well, it should make for a pretty interesting defense.
      Piper: Do you think this is funny? Prue, we're not just stuck in jail, we're stuck in the past.
      Prue: Yes, I know Piper, I've been following.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Prue: Thank you, Mr. Spock.
      This is a reference to the alien science officer on the classic sci-fi show Star Trek.

    • TItle: That '70s Episode

      This is a reference to the TV series That 70s Show which premiered and ended the same years as Charmed. Coincidentally enough, both shows underwent not-so-well received cast changes for their final eighth seasons as well as losing original cast members at the end of the third season (Shannen Doherty and Tanya Roberts).

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