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.
To read the full script of Once Upon a Time, go here.

Piper goes on strike against The Powers That Be, so Prue and Phoebe must work alone to save a little girl protecting a fairy princess from trolls.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]




Book of Shadows[]

Book of Shadows[]


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.


To See the Unseen[]

  • Prue combined the spell To See What Can't Be Seen, Cultivate Innocence, and the Power of Three Spell so the sisters could see Fairies.
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.


Notes and Trivia[]

  • This is the first episode in which Phoebe levitates on command rather than as a reflex.
  • When they were younger, the sisters could see a fairy named Lily before growing up and not seeing her anymore.
  • 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. The book has been handled before by a Shapeshifter in Thank You For Not Morphing, though it prevented the demon from removing it from the manor; and it was taken by Abraxas, who kept it in another plane within the manor in Witch Trial. This progression in the book's protective abilities could be explained by the sisters growth in power years later.
  • 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.
  • Actress Scout Taylor-Compton, who plays Thistle, later portrays various fairies in other episodes.
  • The record that Cole has collected about Phoebe is detailed in Cole's Notes on Phoebe.
  • This is the first appearance of Belthazor, Cole's demonic alter-ego. This is also the first time Phoebe and Prue face him.
  • 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".

Continuity Errors[]

  • Phoebe reads that at midnight, the world itself becomes a tween. But it's never midnight at the same time, all over the world.
  • When Piper is attacked by the trolls at the parking lot, her purse falls out of the street light's area. In the next shot, it's right next to her.
  • This episode reveals that Piper is a Gemini and Phoebe is a Scorpio. According to the family tree, Piper is a Leo, though the tree is known to contain errors.
  • In this episode, it is said that fairies and trolls can't be seen by adults, even magical ones, only by children. In later seasons, fairies are visible to magical beings without the spell.
    • Because the Book of Shadows was written by adults, it didn't have any entry on fairies or trolls. It is possible one of the sisters added the entry.


Episode Stills[]


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 Titles[]

  • 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)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Era uma 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)
Previous Episode:
Magic Hour
Next Episode:
All Halliwell's Eve
Episodes: Season 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
Comics: 9 - 10