When Charmed premiered on the WB in 1998, it followed the Halliwell sisters Prue, Piper, and Phoebe as they learned about their family secret. As fans know, the trio actually came from a long line of witches. As they came into their “Charmed” powers, they discovered that their destiny is to protect the innocent from evil.
Over the course of the series, not every episode focused on fulfilling that destiny. Some were geared towards “creatures of the week.” In those episodes, the sisters often found themselves transformed into those supernatural entities and trying to find their way back instead of fighting evil. Other episodes saw them trapped in alternate realities, training new charges, or getting a little family history.
There may be a reboot of Charmed that just got a season two renewal, but let's take a look at the original show. Amongst the more than 175 episodes, some were much better than others. Here are the best and worst episodes of the original Charmed.
10 Best: That 70s Episode S1E17
Although a lot of series struggle to figure themselves out in their first season, Charmed had a lot of stellar hours in its first outing. The first season provided an excellent benchmark for the rest of the series.
In season one, the series first introduced time travel out of necessity in “That 70s Episode” as the Charmed Ones lost their powers. They traveled back to their childhood to figure out a way to beat their enemy. Not only did it create the first ripple in a whole lot of time travel in the series’ future, but it also gave fans an inside look into the lives of the Halliwell family.
9 Worst: Malice In Wonderland S8E02
The later seasons of the show saw the Charmed Ones go into hiding by faking their deaths. Demons weren't exactly fooled by this, and since random women showed up to save the day, they didn't stop looking for them.
In this particular episode, Charmed put a twist on the classic Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. Teenagers were abducted by demons into another world where they were tortured into babbling about Wonderland. The whole idea was that the demons were using innocents to lure the Charmed Ones into the open. A better plan would have been for the demons to actually do whatever they wanted to take over the world and see what happened instead, especially so early into the sisters being in hiding.
8 Best: Deja Vu All Over Again S1E22
The season one finale of the series put the Charmed Ones in a nearly impossible situation. Prue, Piper, and Phoebe found themselves caught in a time loop against the sorcerer Tempus.
Phoebe’s powers of perception made her the only one able to see that they kept repeating the same day. It made for an interesting dynamic between the three as Phoebe had to unload information constantly throughout the episode instead of her older (and usually wiser) sisters. The episode also tugged on the heartstrings as fans lost their ally Andy in order for all of the sisters to survive (and make it to season two).
7 Worst: Hulkus Pocus S8E09
While the series spent a lot of time putting its own twist on mythology, in season eight, Charmed briefly tried its hand at a comic book homage. “Hulkus Pocus” saw a government experiment create beings similar to the Marvel Comics character Hulk.
When the government captured a demon, they planned to combine his DNA with a normal human’s to create super soldiers. That sounds like just about any comic book experiment gone wrong. In this case, the combination caused a virus that attacked the magical community, causing powerful beings to “Hulk out.” The episode fell flat with a lot of fans, like many of the episodes focusing on government interference.
6 Best: Charmed And Dangerous S4E13
After three seasons of battling demons and magical creatures, the Charmed Ones finally had their big confrontation with the Source. Although the episode landed in the middle of season four, plenty of fans believed it would have worked well as a season finale.
In the episode, the Source decides to release the Hollow, an entity that would plague the sisters for a long time. Unlike the Source, the Hollow could consume any magic. If left unchecked, it would consume all of the magic in the world. “Charmed And Dangerous” marked the end of the first chapter of the series and the beginning of the next in a definitive way.
5 Worst: Wrestling With Demons S3E12
Before this season three episode, it’s unlikely that many fans thought there was a lot of overlap between the Charmed audience and wrestling fans. Real life wrestlers guest starred on the show as demons in a set of grueling trials.
“Wrestling With Demons” provided the audience with their first glimpse into how humans became demons. It was also the only glimpse. Through a series of magical trials, which literally involves wrestling with demons, their humanity is slowly eliminated until they’re full demons. The episode used Prue attempting to save one of her love interests to show the way the system worked. Unfortunately, the same system never returned for the next five seasons of the show.
4 Best: Witchness Protection S7E10
Not only did this episode introduce the audience to one of the show’s best villains - Zankou - but it also brought a familiar face to the series. Buffy’s Charisma Carpenter guest starred as the Seer.
In the episode, the Seer had information the Charmed Ones and the Avatars needed to help vanquish evil. As a result, the Avatars requested the sisters place Kyra in their own version of witness protection. Carpenter’s performance as a demon who ultimately longed to be human again was a fun addition to the show. The conflict of Leo becoming an Avatar without telling the Charmed Ones also added a new layer to their relationship.
3 Worst: Nymphs Just Want To Have Fun S5E19
Since the Charmed series featured a lot of creature of the week episodes, one or more of the sisters typically wound up transformed for the hour. It was always a race against time to transform them back.
In this particular episode, Paige wound up as a nymph while a demon tried to get eternal life. Unfortunately, the stakes for Paige as a nymph just weren’t as high. The transformations in other episodes, like Phoebe giving into one of her past lives or Piper becoming a wendigo, were always tied to deeper emotional stories. This wasn’t, and the episode suffered as a result.
2 Best: Forever Charmed S8E22
Like a lot of the best episodes of Charmed, the series finale employed time travel in a way that added to the story instead of making things more confusing. In “Forever Charmed,” it was Piper who had to do most of the heavy lifting.
Piper called on the cupid Coop to help her travel back in time. She wanted to prevent the deaths of Phoebe and Paige. The time travel allowed fans one more appearance of Patty and Penny, as well as jumping forward to see the families of the Charmed Ones. It brought the show full circle and found a way to give all the sisters a happy ending.
1 Worst: Lucky Charmed S5E17
In season five, Charmed continued its string of "creature of the week" episodes with one featuring leprechauns. It likely would have worked fine if the episode had done any kind of twist on the mythology.
Most of the episodes featuring supernatural beings provide some sort of new backstory for them. With the leprechauns featured here, the writers didn’t take that route. Instead, they relied on Irish and little people stereotypes. As a result, the episode failed to land well with very many fans.