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Once Upon a Time

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Once Upon a Time
Season 3, episode 3
Prue Phoebe-Fairy
Prue and Phoebe see a Fairy.
Episode Information

October 19, 2000

Written by

Krista Vernoff

Directed by

Joel J. Feigenbaum

Production Code


Episode Guide

Magic Hour


All Halliwell's Eve


Once Upon a Time is the third episode of the third season and the 47th overall episode of Charmed.


For a complete plot of Once Upon a Time, go here.

Phoebe comes across a young girl, Kate, who is being terrorized by trolls because she is protecting a fairy they seek to harm. Although Prue and Phoebe believe the young girl needs the help of The Charmed Ones, Piper goes on strike from helping innocents until The Powers That Be allow her and Leo to be together again. While Prue and Phoebe try to save Kate and the fairy from the trolls, Cole attempts to gain access to the Halliwell Manor to get the Book of Shadows.


Characters in bold appear for the first time in the series.

Book of ShadowsEdit

Book of ShadowsEdit


The mystical fey that inhabit the enchanted
worlds of the magical realms. These flighty pranksters
can only be seen by combining the spells,
To See What Can't Be Seen,
To Cultivate Innocence,
The Power of Three Spell.


The Charmed Ones cast the spell to see Trolls

To See the UnseenEdit

  • Prue combined the spell To See What Can't Be Seen, Cultivate Innocence, and the Power of Three Spell.
In this tween time
this darkest hour,
We call upon this Sacred Power.
Three together, stand alone
command the unseen to be shown.
In innocence we search the skies,
enchanted are our new found eyes.



Magical BeingsEdit

Mortals Edit

Notes and TriviaEdit

Charmed 3x0300:32

Charmed 3x03

Once Upon a Time WB Trailer

  • This is the first episode in which Phoebe levitates on command rather than as a reflex.
  • This is the first episode in which the Book of Shadows is seen to have its full protection; where evil beings can't even touch it.
  • This is the first time Phoebe is regressed to acting like a child, the next time is in Cheaper by the Coven.
  • Darryl does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the first fantasy themed episode of the series. This would become more common starting with season 5, in which more fairytale beings are introduced.
  • This episode reveals that Piper is a Gemini and Phoebe is a Scorpio. However, according to the family tree, Piper is actually a Leo.
  • Actress Scout Taylor-Compton, who plays Thistle, later reprises her role in several episodes. However, she is never referred to by name again. Coincidentally, she is also killed several times and returns without explanation.
  • The record that Cole has collected about Phoebe is detailed in the link Cole's Notes on Phoebe.
  • This is the first appearance of Belthazor, Cole's demonic alter-ego.
  • In this episode it is said that fairies and trolls can't be seen by adults, even magical ones, only by children. Because the Book of Shadows was written by adults, it didn't have any entry on fairies or trolls. But in season 8 an entry on fairies is seen with a beautiful drawing and calligraphy. This could've been done by Phoebe as she has encountered fairies and we've seen her draw on occasion. It could also be that Paige made this entry as we learn that Paige is a talented artist in the season 4 episode Muse to My Ears. Additionally, by season 5 the Charmed Ones were able to see fairies.
  • While at P3, Piper finds the Valentine's Day Card that Leo gave her in Animal Pragmatism.
  • In The Honeymoon's Over, Phoebe says to herself, "I've got to get a cell phone" and indeed, she has gotten herself one by the start of this episode.
  • The Elders in this episode are referred to as The Powers That Be, the same name that is used to refer to the higher powers in the Buffyverse series Angel.
  • At the beginning Phoebe wears the same t-shirt she will wear in the flashback episode Pre-Witched.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Piper's assistant manager Abbey, who will try to kill Prue later in "Sight Unseen".
  • The movie "Inhabited" has a similar storyline to this one, about Trolls and Fairies.

Episode StillsEdit


Piper: (to the unseen trolls) Oh! You better run while you can you little rodents. (then, to the heavens) I bet you guys think this is real funny, don't ya? Haven't you taken enough from me? You have to send trolls to kick me while I'm down? I had a nice normal life, once. And you took that from me. You took my boyfriend, you took my life, the least you could do is leave me my freaking car keys. I am a good person. I'm a good witch, and damnit, I woulda made a great wife. And how dare you take that from me? I deserve... no, you know what? I demand that you send him back to me. You hear me? Right now. I'm going to stand in this very spot until you send Leo back to me.

Piper: Sorry I'm late.
Phoebe: Hey. Are you okay?
Piper: I thought this wasn't about me.
Prue: Well, it just... you don't seem like you're very open.
Piper: I'm as open as I'm gonna get in the next five minutes, so let's just do the damn spell.
All: In this tween time, in this darkest hour, we call upon the sacred power. Three together stand alone, command the unseen to be shown. In innocence we search the skies, enchanted are our new-found eyes.
Phoebe: You've really gotta lay off the rhyming, Prue.

International TitlesEdit

  • French: Il était une fois... (Once Upon a Time...)
  • Finnish: Olipa kerran (Once Upon a Time)
  • Polish: Dawno, dawno temu (Once Upon a Time)
  • Czech: Bylo nebylo (Once Upon a Time)
  • Slovak: Kde bolo tam bolo (Once Upon a Time)
  • Hungarian: Egyszer volt, hol nem volt (Once Upon a Time)
  • Russian: На пороге времени [Na poroge vremeni] (At the Dawn of Time)
  • Russian: Только дети видят фей [Tol′ko deti vidjat fej] (Only Children See Fairies)
  • Spanish (Spain): Érase una vez... (Once Upon a Time...)
  • Spanish (Latin America): Había una vez (Once Upon a Time)
  • Hebrew: hayo haya (Once Upon a Time)
  • Serbian: Nekada davno (Once Upon a Time)
  • Italian: C'era una Volta (Once Upon a Time)
  • German: Von Feen und Trollen (About Fairies and Trolls)

The Latin American title of this episode is the same for the episode Pre-Witched.

Previous Episode:
Magic Hour
Next Episode:
All Halliwell's Eve
Episodes: Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

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