Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

4
Aired Friday 8:30 PM Sep 27, 1996 on ABC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
93 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Sabrina Spellman isn't having the best of luck. After finding out that she and half of her family are witches, she must start at a brand new school. The popular girl, Libby, not only hates her, but wants her hands on Sabrina's crush, Harvey. When Sabrina decides to stand up to Libby, things take a turn for the worst. The Spellmans have to enlist the help of The Witches Council to undo Sabrina's mishap.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Read bellow

    10
    Sabrina the Teenage Witch is really entertaning. This episode being the first gives viewers a great exampleof what Sabrina is all about. The episode and all the other episodes are funny and interesting.

    Sabrina is a really good charactor and she act's how a true teenager would act if they found out that they were a witch. Also Sabrina has a proper life and the way she has to compine the two brings all the excitment into the show.

    The fact that Salem is a talking cat makes the whole show much more funny. The only problem is that i think the fact that Salem was turned into a cat because he wanted to take over the world is a bit extreame.

    Overall i think Sabrina the teenage witch is a spectacular show and its actors are fabulas.moreless
  • First episode of the series...

    8.9
    It's Sabrina's 16th birthday, and it's also the day when she gets her powers. At first she doesn't believe her aunts, thinking that they're just trying to distract her so she doesn't think how it's her first day at a new high school. On her first day, she meets Jenny, Harvey, and unfortunately, Libby. Libby tries to make life difficult for Sabrina, like she does for almost everyone else. Sabrina realizes that she really is a witch when she gets a magic book, and her dad is inside it. She learns that now that she's a witch, she can't lay eyes on her mother or else her mom will turn into a ball of wax. Hilda and Zelda help her practice her powers, by telling her to turn an orange into an apple. But, all Sabrina can do is turn the oranges into pineapples. The next day at school, one thing leads to another, and she accidently turns Libby into a pineapple. Zelda is able to reverse the spell, but Libby says that she doesn't know what Sabrina did to her, and the whole school will know how much of a freak Sabrina really is. Sabrina is upset, and later Hilda convinces Drell(head of the witches council, and also Hilda's ex-boyfriend) to let Sabrina re-do the whole day. Sabrina gets to re-do the day, and changes everything so she doesn't turn Libby into a pineapple. She also gets used to the idea of being a witch.moreless
  • Sabrina discovers being a witch isn't all fun and games

    8.2
    I saw the pilot for the first time yesterday, on ABC family. I had seen most of the other episodes, including the ones of Sabrina in college, but it was interesting to see how it all started. On Sabrina's 16th birthday her aunts Hilda and Zelda tell her that she is a witch. They give her something that Sabrina thinks is a "black pot" but they tell her it is a cauldron. Then Sabrina has her first day at school. She finds a friend named Jenny, and enemy named Libby, and a boy named Harvey. She at first doesn't believe she has any powers, but then at school she turns Libby into a pineapple. She's afraid the whole school will think she is a "freak" so she goes to the witches council to ask them to let her turn back time. At first they decline but later Hilda gets the head of the witches council to agree. Then Sabrina has a much better day. She decides she likes being a witch!moreless
  • Here comes a witch!

    9.0
    Sabrina has recently moved to a new town to live with her two rather eccentric aunts, and has started at a new school. She thinks it's a touch odd when their birthday present to her is a black pot. Returning from school, she finds they have set up a private party for her at which point they give her an old book. When she finds out that her father lives in the book, that she's a witch, and that the cat can talk, it all becomes a bit too much for her. When things go wrong at school, she decides to ask the Witches Council to allow her to turn back time so she can live the terrible first day over again.moreless
  • In this episode, we meet Sabrina, a teenager who became a witch on her 16th birthday. Decent pilot, but the show definitely gets much better as the show progresses through the years.moreless

    5.7
    This was a very basic pilot episode. Salem, the talking cat, looked much more like a stuffed animal, without the moving lips. The writing is definitely not as good in the pilot as it will be, starting with season 2. The laugh track is almost non-existent in the pilot, along with the jokes. Even the actors seem clueless, like they were not sure how they wanted to portray their characters. Luckily, that predicament only lasts a couple of episodes. We witness the first meeting of Harvey and Sabrina, and can see that the attraction between the two was "like" at first sight. The supporting characters are nowhere as likeable as the second season on. We have Mr. Poole, an annoyingly gangly and gawky science teacher, and Jenny, a boring prop. At least there is a bit of spark in the form of blatant antagonism between Libby and Sabrina, which will entertain us for many more episodes. Although the actual story is promising, the writing and execution of it didn't seem well planned in this first episode.moreless
Caroline Rhea

Caroline Rhea

Hilda Antoinette Spellman

Beth Broderick

Beth Broderick

Zelda Spellman

Nate Richert

Nate Richert

Harvey Dwight Kinkle (recurring in season 5-7)

Jenna Leigh Green

Jenna Leigh Green

Libby Chessler

Michelle Beaudoin

Michelle Beaudoin

Jenny Kelley

Paul Feig

Paul Feig

Eugene Pool

Robby Benson

Robby Benson

Edward Spellman

Guest Star

Shaun Weiss

Shaun Weiss

Male Student

Guest Star

Teller

Teller

Skippy

Guest Star

Melissa Murray

Melissa Murray

CeeCee

Recurring Role

Bridget Flanery

Bridget Flanery

Jill

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Sabrina learns that she's half-mortal, because her father is a witch and her mother is mortal, which explains why her powers didn't develop until she turned 16. However, her father and two aunts are full witches, which probably means that they have had their powers since birth. This tells us that, in this show, their magic powers are genetic.

    • The fourth outfit in the credits for this episode is a witch's outfit, complete with costume hat (which she will wear in "A Halloween Story"). Her comment is "This is so not me."

    • In her magic book, Sabrina's father tells her she can't meet her mother and if she does Diana will turn into a ball of wax. It was a way to discourage witches from marrying mortals.

      When he tells her that he said she couldn't see her in the next two years but her mother still turned into wax when Sabrina saw her years later, when she was in college.

    • When Sabrina uses her powers to turn Libby's drink over, the string used can easily be seen.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Zelda: Wait 'til Sabrina finds out what doors this will open for her.
      Hilda: Wait 'til she finds out you still get zits at 600 years old.

    • Libby: You did something to me, you sent me somewhere. It was small and it smelled like Hawaii.

    • Mr. Pool: I'm Mr. Pool. And I know you were hoping I was going to spend the day mispronouncing your names but instead let's jump straight into biology huh?

    • Jenny: Knock, knock.
      Sabrina: Who's there?
      Jenny: Brad.
      Sabrina: Brad who?
      Jenny: Brad Pitt. Is there any other Brad worth mentioning?

    • Sabrina: I hate being a witch! I just turned the most popular girl in school into a pineapple!
      Hilda: Why?
      Sabrina: Because it's the only thing you taught me how to do!
      Hilda: Chill. I can fix this. (grabs the butcher knife) Chunks or rings?
      Zelda: Hilda... there are other ways.
      Hilda: Wedges?

    • Zelda: Here is a present from your father. (places the magic book on the table in front of Sabrina)
      Sabrina: An old book, a black pot... Doesn't anyone shop at The Gap anymore? (reads title) "The Discovery of Magic". Why'd he give me this? (opens book up to the page with Edward Spellman's photo) Oh, that's why. This old magician looks just like my dad.
      Edward's Photo: Surprise! (Sabrina is taken aback) It is your dad! Happy birthday, Sabrina.
      Sabrina: Wow! Hallmark has gotten really high-tech. Can he say anything else?
      Edward's Photo: I'm not a hologram, honey. I'm just in a different realm.
      Sabrina: A different realm? I thought you were at the Toronto Midway Motor Lodge.
      Edward's Photo (to the aunts): Zelda! Hilda! Didn't you explain to her she's a witch?
      Hilda: She doesn't believe us!
      Sabrina (closes the book): Not this again. Look, I know you went to a lot of trouble to set this joke up, so, ha ha ha, now it's over.
      Hilda: No. It's just beginning. You are a witch.
      Zelda: With real magical powers. And now that you're 16, you can use them. And you wanted something from The Gap...
      Sabrina: So what are you saying? I'm not who I think I am? You're not who I think you are? And my father lives in a book?
      Hilda (to Zelda): Finally, she gets it.
      Sabrina: This is insane. (gets up) I'm going to my room. Come on, Salem.
      Salem (before Sabrina leaves the room): Can you wait till I finish my milk?
      Sabrina (walks back in): Did the cat just talk?
      Salem: Yes. And get this stupid hat off my head!
      Sabrina (freaked out): Oh my god! (runs out of the room)
      Zelda (after an awkward pause): I think we better let her father handle this. Ted?
      (the book floats up)

    • Edward (to Sabrina about her mortal mother): You see, there's a rule. If you set eyes on your mother in the next 2 years, she'll turn into a ball of wax.
      Sabrina (puzzled): What?
      Edward: It's the way they discourage mortal-witch marriages.
      Sabrina: So is that the reason you and Mom got divorced?
      Edward: Mmm... no.
      Sabrina: So, do you think maybe you could get back together?
      Edward: Mmm... no. That's another ship that's sailed.

    • Hilda: Now! Now! Be careful pointing your finger at people, it could be dangerous.
      Sabrina: You're pointing at me.
      Hilda I have the safety on.

    • Libby: You know, if you stink I'm not sure it's fair to blame the frog.
      Sabrina: Well at least I don't splash on aftershave to remind me of some boy who dumped me last summer.
      Libby: How'd you know that?

    • Sabrina: And I suppose my mom's a witch too.
      Hilda: I always thought so.

    • Sabrina: (While practicing her magic) Salem into apple...
      Salem: I think that's enough magic for one night.

    • Sabrina: (To her father) I don't want to be a witch, I want to be normal.

    • Sabrina: Oh look, you put Salem in a party hat. How cute!

    • Jenny (to Sabrina, about their frog): Let's name him. Tad. Tad Pole.

    • Sabrina: I love being a witch! I don't know what made the Council change their minds but I got to do the whole day over again, and now the teachers think I'm smart, the jocks think I'm cool. Oh and I'm going to the movies with Harvey and Jenny Saturday night. Woo-hoo! I'm normal! Gotta go tell the cat. (She runs upstairs to see Salem)
      Hilda: Teens.
      Zelda: What about them?
      Hilda: Just in general.

  • NOTES (4)

    • In the original 1996 movie, which led up to the series, Melissa Joan Hart is the only character who appears in both, playing the same character. Michelle Beaudoin, who plays Jenny in the series, plays Marnie in the movie. The aunts, played by different people in the movie than in the series, are more true to their Archie comic book roots: Hilda is the more stable, serious aunt and Zelda is the wacky aunt. Even Salem isn't voiced by the same person. The Spellmans live in Riverdale, not Westbridge. And Sabrina's parents are traveling on sabbatical (Sri Lanka is one of the places they visit), instead of being divorced.

    • There are two endings to this episode. In the first one Salem tells Sabrina how to use magic to get a glass of milk and in the second one Salem tries to tell the audience that they are under his control, but leaves when he hears a can opener. "Please be tuna." "Please be tuna."

    • There are different people playing the roles of Harvey, Zelda, and Hilda in the TV series. Marnie has a new name, but remains Sabrina's best friend.

    • Director Robby Benson has a literal "cameo" role as the talking photograph of Sabrina's father Edward.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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