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Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012) was an Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel sitcom about three siblings growing up in New York and dealing with the typical problems all teenagers go through. The catch? They're wizards. Shares some qualities with other shows and movies, but manages to distinguish itself with clever writing and (in later seasons) a strong focus on Continuity. Hijinks ensue as Alex (Selena Gomez), Justin (David Henrie) and Max Russo (Jake T. Austin) try to deal with being wizards while not exposing magic to the normal world.
The show finished airing its 4th season, and boasts a successful made for TV movie and two consecutive Emmy wins. This is one of only three times Disney has ordered a 4th season of one of their live-action shows, the other two being That's So Raven and Hannah Montana. It is also their first (and to date, only) series to run for longer than 100 episodes.
It is part of the Disney Channel Live Action Universe.
The series finale aired on January 6, 2012 with the Family Wizard Competition that will decide which of the three siblings will become the family wizard. It turns out, Alex wins (if only on a technicality. Justin originally won but gave up the prize), Justin is given powers and the headmaster job by Professor Crumbs, and Max gets the Waverly Sub Station.
- Absentee Actor: Jake T. Austin in the most recent episodes. He took a break to go back to New York where he goes to school, while the writers wrote his character to be temporarily played by a different actor.
- An unusual, possibly unique, case, in that the actor playing his part is a girl.
- David DeLuise would miss a few episodes every season - usually with a reference to Jerry being out of town. Sometimes this was because DeLuise would be directing an episode.
- Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Alex constantly abuses Justin, both physically and mentally. She's just joking around, but still.
- Abusive Parents: There's an example to be had in almost every episode, though usually played for laughs.
- Academy of Adventure: Wiz Tech.
- Acting for Two:
- In "Delinquent Justin", David Henrie plays four different versions of himself, two of them at the same time.
- Also, Selena Gomez plays herself and Harper in "Family Game Night". In "Quinceanera", she plays herself, her father and her mother. In "Third Wheel", she plays herself and Justin. So, basically, she played almost every main character, except for Max.
- Special mention to "Family Game Night" where Alex and Harper's brains are in the same body
- Jake T. Austin plays Max, Justin and Alex in "Three Maxes And A Little Lady".
- Both David Deluise and Maria Canals Barrera play Alex in "Quinceanera".
- Jennifer Stone plays Alex in "Family Game Night".
- Adorkable: Zeke. And Justin, according to Alex.
- Adults Are Useless: Neither of the parents have magical powers, though Jerry did before. Also averted and played with as Jerry is often the one who has a fix for whatever Alex has screwed up, and sometimes is the catalyst for her screwing up.
- Aliens Speaking English: In "Wizard For A Day". Lampshaded by the fact that they have no use for Justin and Zeke's "alien language".
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Alex and Dean, although they did break up - partly because it was a Long-Distance Relationship, and partly because Alex decided that it wasn't working out. Of course this being a Disney show his "badness" is limited to wearing a leather jacket, liking fast cars and occasionally cutting class. Alex is the "bad" one of that relationship. On more than one level.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: What other reason is there for putting both Alex and Harper on the cheerleading squad?
- All Myths Are True: The show seems to be something of a kitchen sink fantasy series. Always Played for Laughs.
- All There in the Manual: The show's website does more of an efficient job at explaining the functional magic rules and plots than the program itself does through dialogue.
- Alpha Bitch: Gigi.
- Always Save the Girl: Justin saved Alex countless times and Juliet when she was kidnapped by the mummy.
- Always Someone Better: In the series, Justin is always referred to as the superior to Alex. In the movie, however, which sibling is superior changes from one to the other.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Alex seems to think so (and Justin has gone there himself, but not without cause).
- Ambiguously Catholic: There are St. Gabriel candles in the lair, and Max mentions that they go to church in the Werewolf special. Considering they're Hispanic/Italian that might be likely.
- Ambiguously Gay: In Season 1, Episode 3, the pocket elf has that familiar Lisp.
- Also Stevie.
- American Accents:
- David Deluise and David Henrie, who are from California, and Maria Canals Barrera, who's from Florida, pepper their speech with a very subtle Noo Yawk accent.
- Harper had an accent in some early episodes and the later ones.
- Jake T. Austin is from New York so he has a natural accent in the later seasons.
- Anchored Ship: The return of Mason (and to a much-better lampshaded return by Juliet) after the epic Wizards Vs. Werewolves counts as this for any mention of Jalex. This looks to be a serious case of Executive Meddling.
- And Starring: David Deluise.
- Angrish: Jerry frequently lapses into this, which involves it being Lampshaded in one episode by Justin, who says that they can always tell when he is angry by him beginning to spout gibberish. According to him, these rants often end in "ALEX!"
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Inverted, in the movie. It was more like an Anguished Declaration of Admiration/Desperation. Justin and Alex may have Incest Subtext coming out of every orifice, but saying they love each other is the one thing they refuse to do. This is Lampshaded in "Delinquent Justin". They're probably saving the 'I love you' for a crowner in the final movie/finale.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Alex and Max.
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Alex Russo. She is self-centered, manipulative, irresponsible, and often cruel to those she loves, but she really does love them and will usually do the right thing in the end, even though "the right thing" usually means fixing a problem she created.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Max believes in Martians - an attitude not shared by the rest of his family.
- Artistic License Geography:
- Most things regarding New York locations. For example, in the episode with a flying carpet, they are badly superimposed over Manhattan, where they see Shea Stadium. Shea Stadium, when it existed, was very much in Queens.
- Not only that—Waverly Place itself is about a two block street just off Washington Square by NYU, at least the portion that is east of Washington Square Park, and this portion is definitely nothing like the SoCal-icized location shown. It does continue west of the park, however, for several blocks well into the West Village, and the set depicted on the show appears to be a somewhat plausible fictionalization of Waverly Place in the West Village. Not overly so, but at the very least, it's probably intended that the Russos live on Waverly Place somewhere in the West Village, as opposed to the eastern portion of it, which in reality is bounded by nothing but NYU buildings and one or two non-NYU apartment buildings.
- Additionally, the area surrounding the baseball field in the episode "The Supernatural" has a little too much fauna (and not exactly specific to Downstate New York) to be located anywhere in the five boroughs.
- Artistic License Physics: Usually irrelevant due to supernatural forces being at work, but also surprisingly Subverted in that the Laws of Thermodynamics are maintained by stating that magic is fueled by an external power source.
- Ask a Stupid Question / Get a Stupid Answer: All. The. Time.
- Author Appeal: Todd Greenwald created Justin, Alex and Max out of inspiration from his own kids. Originally they were even going to have the same names. For example, in the first episode, Justin calls himself 'Jman', Todd's son's nickname.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Justin and Alex.
- Back from the Dead: Commonly occurs with Stevie in Fan Fiction, due to the general dissatisfaction with the fact (and the way) that she died.
- Bad Future: For fantasy writers.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: In at least one episode, "Don't Rain on Justin's Parade--Earth", Alex is upset at the thought that she has become good under the tutelage of Mr. Laritate, and is pleased and relieved when he calls her an evil genius.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Alex, Harper and Juliet. See Blonde, Brunette, Redhead below.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: When Alex asks a genie to stop people from comparing her to Justin, no one remembers who he is.
- The reason for the plot of The Movie.
Alex: I wish you and dad had never met!
- Because Destiny Says So: In "Future Harper", the future Harper wondered if Alex's bad mood was because of Mason breaking up with her. A second one from 'Future Harper': She mentions that one of the four of them will reveal magic because he or she 'has a big mouth'. They blame Max in the episode despite the fact that Justin revealed magic to the government and Alex suggested that they need to reveal magic to the world. Luckily the whole situation wasn't real.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: So very much Alex and Justin.
- Bellisario's Maxim:
- Invoked in one episode. (No, seriously.)
Mr. Laritate: These people are all very excited to hear Justin lead a chant about how unexciting everything is. *pause* Try not to think about that sentence too much.
- Alex paraphrases the Maxim in "Dancing With Angels":
Alex: Look, we're angels. We've got wings. *pause* Don't look at them too closely.
- Beneath the Mask: Behind her facade, Alex is insecure, dependent, and scared teenage girl, who desires to be accepted (somewhat by her peers and definitely by her parents, but mostly by Justin).
- In Real Life, David Henrie, Selena Gomez and Jake T. Austin are almost the opposite of their characters, Justin, Alex and Max Russo. In the show, Justin is actually a klutzy, uptight nerd, while David is laid-back, boisterous and supportive, inclined towards the cool guy type, Alex is a Manipulative Bastard, apathetic Anti-Villain, whereas Selena is really nice, vibrant and open, and Max is a big idiot, dumb enough to misspell his own name, while Jake is smart and studious, much more serious than his cast mates, as seen in most interviews. Selena and David even impersonate each other in a live talk show, and the difference between the representations of their real personalities and their characters' personalities is quite striking.
- Berserk Button: Each of the characters have at least one.
- Justin: Never break Alex's heart. If you do, he will have a word with you.
- Harper: Never call her a bad friend.
- Zeke: Never mention there can be more than 3 meals a day in his presence.
- Mason: Never try taking Alex away from him.
- Theresa: Never try and stop her from protecting her kids.
- Jerry: Standing between him and food.
- Beta Couple: Zeke/Harper to Justin and Alex, and their respective relationships. Bonus points awarded due to Zeke and Harper being Justin and Alex's best friends, respectively.
- At one point, even Juliet and Mason were a Beta Couple, due to the fact they had been in a romantic relationship, before each one became Justin and Alex's girlfriend and boyfriend respectively.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Both Justin and Harper have their moments.
- Mason is pretty nice too just don't hit his Berserk Button.
- Big Applesauce: Generally played straight, since the show is set in New York, but subverted (probably unintentionally) in "Quinceanara" when Jerry claims to have caught Alex in the check-out line at the mall. There are very few shopping malls in New York.
- Big Brother Instinct: Played straight, and one of the foundations of the show. Justin enjoys Alex messing up, and usually puts on a winning, smug smile when he's told he has to fix her mistakes.
- Happens a number of times in The Movie, where she flat out admits that she expects for him to come up with the ideas on what to do.
- Big Brother Mentor: Justin, to both Max and Alex, though mostly Alex. Also Link in the episode "Paint By Committee", as a slightly older mentor who teaches Alex the nature of being a true artist. At the end of the episode, Justin is shown to be the one who shows Alex how to be confident in her work.
- Big Eater: Alex, stealing food from paying customers, emptying granulated sugar right into her mouth, keeping pizza and milkshakes in her school locker.
- Bittersweet Ending: "Wizards vs. Werewolves" ends with Mason being turned into a full wolf, Juliet becoming an old woman after losing her vampire powers, and Alex and Justin mourning over the loss of their loved ones. While some were unhappy with Juliet's death, most found this to be a satisfying ending that allowed them to go back to the more family-oriented storylines. At least for a little while.
- Black Humor: Used occasionally.
Max: Hey look! The monster hunters left behind their equipment to help us. Wait, what are we supposed to do with this pile of charred bones?
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Juliet, Alex and Harper (featured in a few episodes). The thing is that all three have deep connections to Justin, the first being his canonical Love Interest, the second his sister, and the third his Stalker with a Crush.
- Blondes Are Evil: Played straight with Gigi, Rosie (who's a Fallen Angel) and the blonde/parrot from The Movie, and subverted with Juliet (you expect a vampire to be evil, but she's not).
- Body Paint: Justin, in the "Wizards On Deck" crossover.
- Book Dumb: Alex.
- Brainless Beauty: A girl who was Justin's love interest.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Happened to Justin in "Wizards VS Angels".
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Alex.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In some of the closing credits. Harper, in "Alex Saves Mason" after getting her kiss with Zeke interrupted one time too many.
- Breather Episode: Usually after a major story arc.
- Breath Weapon: Alex uses wind element magic from her mouth on Justin in The Movie.
- Broken Aesop: Alex never learns to handle life without using magic to get her way. However - she is learning...
- Brother Chuck: Gigi, the school Alpha Bitch and Alex's archenemy, disappeared early in the second season and hasn't been referenced since (probably because Alex was becoming alot worse than her now, so their rivalry had little point any more.)
- Also Brad, who said he'd find out why the Russos were so weird then was never mentioned again.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Played with, and unknowingly approved of by Theresa and Jerry, in "Justin's Little Sister".
- Brother-Sister Team: This happens rarely, but it happens.
- Buffy-Speak: The kids do this sometimes. Especially Alex, because she doesn't pay enough attention (or cares) to know the name of things.
- Bumbling Dad: Jerry has his moments.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Harper's intelligent enough so that cribbing off her and getting her to do her homework is one of the reasons Alex hangs with her but she is decidedly odd, especially when it comes to fashion choices. Although, in "Dollhouse", her ability to paint incredibly small things precisely (due to her fashion design skill - those are some very strange outfits) helps Justin make a nice chunk of change.
- The Bus Came Back: The Wizards of Apartment 13B story arc loves this trope. So far, Mason, Gorog and other Wizards who've played large parts in certain episodes come back, and in the final episode, reaveled thanks to a commercial on Disney Channel, Juilet comes back, although it may or may not be her, since it is Gorog they're dealing with here.
- Butt Monkey: Justin never gets a break.
- Cain and Abel: Not a serious, dramatic case, but it gets pretty intense sometimes, even though it's not quite clear who is Cain and who is Abel in Justin's and Alex's relationship. There are episodes when Justin is angry at Alex, because she's easily forgiven by their parents and gets away with her mischief and there are episodes when Alex is jealous of Justin, because he's smarter, more mature and better than her at almost everything. She even made a wish with a genie that everyone would stop comparing her to Justin, resulting in the genie making everyone forget him. Which resulted in... other, creepy stuff.
- Can't Catch Up: Basically the entire point of the series, but mainly focused on in Season 3 and 4.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Alex. When she does get away with something, it's usually just something Played for Laughs.
- Even moreso with Justin, who even says in "Taxi Dance" that while Alex sometimes gets Easily Forgiven or rewarded rather than punished for the bad things she does, he never does.
- Cartwright Curse: The writers have played with our expectations by leading us to believe that Justin and Juliet, as well as Mason and Alex, might actually go the distance. Mason goes from werewolf to full wolf, and Juliet gives new meaning to "showing her age".
- Cassandra Truth: At first, Alex didn't believe Justin when he said that their Aunt Megan was just like her, but after Megan says that she doesn't like hard work, Alex comments, "Oh my gosh, she is just like me". Subverted later in the episode, when Justin rescinds his statement and points out the difference between the two of them: Megan never learned how to apologize or even admit that she was wrong.
- Cast Incest: Selena Gomez and David Henrie have been seen going on dates, and being much more friendly with each other than they are with rest of the cast members, throughout the course of filming the show.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: In the movie, regardless of whether they're hovering over a doomy canyon of doom, or trying to thread narrow walkways with falling pillars, Justin and Alex still find time to snark incessantly at each other.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: In "Wizard For A Day", some non-magical Human Aliens cross interstellar space in a matter of days to get a milkshake.
- Catch Phrase:
- Harper yells "See you in P.E.!" when making a hasty exit.
- Alex's "We're/They're gonna be together forever."
- Alex: "Yeah...it was totally me."
- Both Jerry and Justin: "But-he-you-she-ALEX!"
- Theresa's "Knock it off!"
- The Cheerleader: Subverted with Harper who is nice, smart and not at all slutty. Played somewhat straighter with Alex who can be a bitch and is Book Dumb but also subverted in that she doesn't want to be one but was tricked into it by Justin.
- Chekhov's Gun: A future Harper is introduced in Season 2. She wrote books based on Alex and her adventures. Some of the things she says are used as plot points later on and guess what Harper's doing in Season 4. She's writing the books.
- The fact that Mason likes to paint dogs takes on a whole new meaning when it turns out he's a werewolf.
- Chewing the Scenery: In "Wizards vs. Finkles", Justin lampshades this after eating some enchanted ham by running onto the stage and asking the Finkles if they mind if he chews up a little scenery.
- Chick Magnet: Justin.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Whatever happened to Gigi, Alex's supposed archenemy since kindergarten?
- Claustrophobia: Justin has it. Although he's never shown any signs of it, especially when he was in the caves of the Stone of Dreams.
- Clip Show: The creator stated they wanted to do one of these filled with bloopers, but iCarly did it first.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Max.
- Max is actually an interesting variation. In "Wizards vs. Werewolves", he makes a comment that implies that his Cuckoolander-ness may actually be intentional.
- In "Alex Tells The World", we learn he is a minor example. He's still The Ditz, but he exaggerates it to prevent himself from breaking the Masquerade.
- Cold Open
- Comedic Sociopathy: Really applies to pretty much every wizard and everything magic on the show. Max shattering Stevie apparently didn't register with anyone as an accidental homicide; no one seems to see anything wrong with Justin creating a frankenstein-esque monster and setting her loose in school; and Stevie's sending Jeremy from Science down some magical hole to "no idea where" is purely played for laughs even though Harper implied he died. Compared to these offences, even though she's the perennial trouble maker Alex's petty pranks aren't actually all that bad (especially since she invariably ends up punished or apologising).
- Continuity Cavalcade: A lot of the spells that the Russo's have used over the course of the series come back in the Grand Finale, either as an answer to a quiz question or a spell that they use in the competition.
- Continuity Nod: In an early episode the action news weatherman is replaced by a new girl that Justin thinks is hot. Several times in later episodes he references her and it's her vision that he sees in the "Eye Of The Beholder" spell that shows everyone what they want to see. At end of an episode, Alex asks Justin if he is curious about what she did to his cape and lightsaber. In the beginning of another episode, we hear someone telling Justin to pick up his cape and lightsaber at Lost and Found, to which Alex comments: "I can't believe they found out where I hid those."
- Continuity Porn: The writers take this show's continuity very seriously, as seen in Season 3. Although, they sometimes attempt this so much that they tend to mix things up. Justin confusing the Edgebono Utoosis spell with another is one example. In "Future Harper", Max refers to a pet lizard that ran away, with Alex and Justin inferring that it died. Later, in "Max's Secret Girlfriend", Max's dead lizard is his most loved possession.
- Who says it's the same lizard?
- Mason is pretty much a product of this. In "Future Harper", the Future Harper asks Alex if she had broken up with Mason yet. Alex looks confused, and nothing more was said about the subject. Guess who shows up later on?
- Future Harper seems to be the hub for all plans, because she wrote books based on Alex's wizard adventures. Dozens of episodes later, regular Harper began to write a book based on Alex's life.
- In the Grand Finale, there are plenty of Call Backs to previous episodes, and there are a lot of spells that are used in this episode that have shown up throughout the entire show.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: During the episode "Dancing With Angels" Max (who has been turned into a little girl) refuses to tell his parents where Alex, Harper and Justin have sneaked off to. His punishment? Being entered into a beauty pageant for 7-12 year-old girls.
- Cool Car: The Russo family's flying carpet.
- Covered in Gunge: Alex covered in chocolate.
- Crapsack World: The wizard world is full of Fantastic Racism, only one wizard kid from a family can keep their powers, any wizard who wants to marry a non-wizard has to give up their powers, and that's just the start...
- Crazy Prepared: Justin, usually played for laughs.
- Crossover: Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana.
- Interesting to note is that Selena Gomez was in all three shows, but not as Alex Russo in the other two. Also worth noting that despite the supposed three way crossover, none of the Wizards cast actually interacts directly with any of the Hannah Montana cast. Though, since Selena Gomez does play Alex and Miley's rival, Mikayla, it would be best to keep the Russo family as far away from Miley, Lilly, and Robbie Ray as possible to avoid confusion and conflict. However, it would have been interesting to have Alex appear as Mikayla's look-alike, and see what might happen.
- Cute Bruiser: Juliet.
- Cute Monster Girl: Frankie Stein who's just a cute, if very tall, girl with a rubber forehead attached. Also Alex and Harper when they're pretending to be werewolves in "Meets the Werewolves".
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Alex knows she's going to get her way, and she'll be a Smug Snake till it happens. Averted in later seasons, where Alex is wrong more and more frequently.
- Darker and Edgier: As the series progressed, werewolves, vampires, mummies and Franken-monsters passed by, not to mention that Alex's magnificent Noble Demon skills developed and Justin became a monster hunter and a Mad Scientist. Oh, and Max lost his conscience for an episode or two. Really. Not to mention that they apparently killed off Stevie without anyone seeming to care. Alex even made a harsh, sarcastic comment about her death, then walked away happily.
- Season 4 seems to be taking it up a notch with the "Wizards vs. Angels" trilogy.
- Dark Is Evil: Played straight.
- Dating Catwoman: Justin and Juliet.
- Deadpan Snarker: Alex, mostly. Justin, to a lesser extent, with the entire rest of the family having their occasional snarky moments.
- Did Not Do the Research: Comic writers/artists are not chosen by mail-in competitions.
- In an early episode, Alex's father worries that she might use magic to access a calculator during a math test, but calculator use has become standard practice in the typical math classroom in American high school.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In part two of the "Wizards VS Angels" special:
- Discontinuity Nod: In "Max's Secret Girlfriend", when asked about what he told to Nancy, Max says that he told her about everything except the dragon dog. In "Curb Your Dragon", the Russo's adopt a dragon dog, but it never appears again.
Max: I still have no idea what happened to that.
- Does Not Like Magic: Theresa even openly admitted to HATING magic. In the movie, that is completely true, in the series, it varies from episode to episode, sometimes she hates it, sometimes she is just being cautious, and sometimes she enjoys it. She also implied that she wanted to be a wizard too, so much of this inconsistency can be attributed to...let's call it "Wand Envy".
- Played straighter with Harper, who mentioned giving Theresa her 'I hate magic' T-shirt, and pushes Alex to learn how to do things normally (during Alex's Ten-Minute Retirement from the magic competition).
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Alex's painting that resembled the symbol of anarchism in "Paint by Committee", Justin playing with his wand under the sheets in The Movie, Alex asking Justin to give her his wand, Alex's and Justin's hug in "Dollhouse" and many more.
- Dogged Nice Girl: Harper in relation to Justin.
- Dog Latin: A particularly painful sort in the incantations for the spells of the first two seasons. Eventually, the writers decided English would suffice.
- Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune
- The Doll Episode
- Downer Ending: The first episode of Season 4, "Alex Tells the World". Alex and Justin are found guilty of revealing magic to the world and are demoted back to Level 1 wizard studies, which results in everyone thinking that Max will become the family wizard.
- Dramedy: Some episodes of Seasons 3 and 4.
- Driving a Desk: Played straight.
- Drop-In Character: Since a lot of the plot takes place in the sub shop, it's easy for characters to 'drop in'. Harper was this until she actually started living with the Russos.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: This is Disney so you can bet they were not actually going to kill someone off (even a vampire) so instead they settled for sending the growing in popularity Juliet to hell.
- The problem is they have. On screen. Granted, it's not graphic but people don't usually come back from being frozen and shattered.
- Dumb Blonde: One of Justin's love interests.
- Dysfunctional Family: This night should be like any other family game night.
Max: I'm blaming the closest person to me. It's how this family works.
- In "Wizards vs. Vampires", the parents are pretty sure it will be Harper who takes care of them in their old age. She seems genuinely happy with the idea.
- Harper's family has been shown to be pretty dysfunctional too, but it's Played for Laughs.
- Dystopian Edict: The Contest.
- Easily Forgiven: Justin and Alex cycle through this. Lampshaded and inverted a few times.
- Elevator School: The only explanation for Max being in the same school as Justin and Alex since the show started.
- It's even more blatant after Max gets turned into a little girl (apparently in the fourth grade) and still goes to the same school.
- Although it may be somewhat justified by the fact that it's a private school.
- El Spanish-O: "Honey, adding '-ito' to something does not make it Spanish!"
- Embarrassing First Name: Herschel Larritate? Seriously?
- Emo Teen: Harper, behind her happy facade.
- Emotional Torque: The entire movie focuses on Justin and Alex relating to each other, confessing secrets, and getting closer than ever before. Then Justin got taken away. You didn't care that their parents didn't remember them, no one seemed to care when Max was taken away except Theresa, but when Alex lost Justin and she started to cry for the first time in the entire series. You didn't care how it happened, you wanted Justin to come back.
- Epic Fail: Some of Alex's screw-ups are actually pretty impressive, such as using the Wizard instant-mailing key to make the entire living room disappear.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the first episode, Alex is introduced by having her convince her dad to do what she wants with puppy dog eyes. That was just the beginning.
- Expy: Alex is basically a female version of Hyde from That '70s Show. And looks like she could be Jackie's sister.
- Face Palm: Justin uses this a lot. And everyone has used this at least once when it comes to Max.
- Failed a Spot Check: Used a lot.
- The Fair Folk: Some of the wizards come off this way.
- "Falling in Love" Montage: For Mason and Alex, Lampshaded by the latter and Played for Laughs.
- Fanfic: Since this is a show about magic, naturally this opens up the doors for every type of fanfiction imaginable. (Warning: Most fics in this fandom are Justin/Alex fics, hopefully with a Don't Like, Don't Read summary. Although sometimes, even a story that claims NOT to be a Jalex fic, will end up one anyway.)
- Fandom-Specific Plot: Adoption fics. See Fanon entry below.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Usually where Justin and Alex aren't related.
- Hurt/Comfort Fic: This is a big one. In order to make the Justin/Alex plot make sense, usually the two are set up in a hurt/comfort situation: either someone dies (often the entire rest of the family), or they can't get over a breakup with a lost loved one (Mason and Juliet usually). Almost all Harper fics involve her terrible home life or self-loathing issues, and her latching onto Justin, Max or Zeke for support.
- Other common ones include Dark Fic (the 'bad Justin' from "Delinquent Justin" has nothing on the Justin in dark fics...), Child Fic (either Harper or Alex get preggo, and Justin is usually the father.), and Continuation.
- Fantastic Aesop
- Fantastic Comedy
- Fantastic Racism: Wizards have problems with both werewolves and vampires. Giants are more accepted but there are still offensive jokes.
- Don't forget the Monster Hunters, who were prepared to hunt down Juliet and her entire family simply for being vampires, despite the fact that they hadn't hurt anyone!
- Except for the thousands of people they killed.
- Well, Juliet is nice, but her parents are understandable...
- They also apparently imprison tons of monsters, which is probably justifiable for some, but one that we're shown basically does nothing but be a Deadpan Snarker (the manual Justin gets says that's its only tool for survival. It makes you wonder if the wizards are paranoid or just jerks).
- Don't forget the Monster Hunters, who were prepared to hunt down Juliet and her entire family simply for being vampires, despite the fact that they hadn't hurt anyone!
- Fantastic Romance: In every way imaginable...
- Fatal Attractor: Justin. So far there's been a vampire, a werewolf, and an angel of darkness. He's also been out with a centuar and a half-elf, which aren't so much as dangerous as they are weird.
- Fearless Fool: Max. Lampshaded in the Zombie Prom episode.
- First Girl Wins: Averted, in that Harper never seems to catch a break in terms of landing Justin. They do, however, find out that they do make excellent friends - but things revert back, because Status Quo Is God. And now she's not interested anymore.
- Five-Man Band:
- Alex was a playful, mischievous, rebellious and snarky but sweet jerk. Now she's a harsh Villain Protagonist, who takes advantage of everyone.
- Justin was a collected Bookworm, who never broke rules. Now he's an almost vicious Smug Snake Mad Scientist who uses magic to get revenge on Alex.
- Max was a Plucky Comic Relief airhead, who had sometimes witty lines. Now he doesn't even know how to spell his own name and all his lines are made of one or two words that don't even make sense most of the time.
- Alex's and Justin's innocent Sibling Rivalry turned into a spiteful enmity that is characterized by revenge and scorn.
- Jerry and Theresa, although frustrated with Alex's trouble making, were loving parents none the less. Now, Justin seems to be their only child they actually like.
- Theresa has become increasingly narcissistic and self-obsessed, to almost Miss Piggy levels, so much that it has become almost the sum total of her character.
- The Fool: Max.
- Foreign Sounding Gibberish: Justin and Zeke's "alien language". Lampshaded by the actual aliens.
- Forgets to Eat: One of the side effects of the muse shell, as demonstrated when Alex uses it on Mason.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: How many major issues (Justin losing Juliet and Max becoming a girl come to mind) could have been resolved with the Time Reverse Spell and Undo Dust?
- Freak-Out: When Alex's schemes are involved, expect at least one.
- Freaky Friday Flip: In the episode "Quinceañera", Alex switches bodies with her mom to avoid her titular 15th birthday party. Which is okay with Theresa, who never got a Quinceañera and always wanted one.
- Freudian Slip: "Alex Does Good" with Harper, "It's time I got some appreciation, Mom!" We also see this in The Movie, when Justin lets slip that the reason he's always tried so hard to be perfect is that he's afraid that his parents won't love him otherwise. And Harper again in "Monster Hunters" when she's teaching Alex study tricks. She starts singing a mnemonic song and it turns into a rant on how Alex is a bad friend.
- Freudian Trio: Alex (ego), Max (id) and Justin (superego). Also: Harper (ego), Alex (id), Justin (superego).
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Juliet. Her parents - not so much.
- Friends Rent Control: Nobody in New York, especially not owners of a sandwich shop that seems to be perpetually half-empty, can have a house, complete with basement, parking lot, and balcony in TriBeCa. Though there could be explanation in that Jerry (the dad) seems to STILL have some very big pull in the magical world. This would help with the situation.
- Functional Magic: Formulaic Magic and Item Magic. It's strongly implied that the incantations mainly serve to focus the thoughts of the wizard on a specific spell and aren't strictly necessary.
- Gambit Roulette: One of the villains on the show was a shopkeeper who sold the kids a pet dragon. For some reason, Alex can't tell her parents about it. So she pretends it's a lost dog that they found, and they post lost & found posters. Suddenly the shopkeeper apparently responds to the posters and takes it back, claiming to have done this several times before. This way, he can sell the dragon several times to different people while getting it back each time. So the guy apparently planned for Alex, and everyone he sells it to ever, to do something stupid like that. Either the guy was just a really devious shopkeeper, or you could just blame this on bad writing.
- Gender Bender: Max undergoes one in "Three Maxes and a Little Lady", thanks to a mutant spell cast by Alex and Justin. The end of the episode states that he will remain female for a while.
- Generation Xerox: Justin, Alex, and Max's sibling dynamic was revealed to be surprisingly similar to Jerry with his brother and sister. To cap it all off, Justin won the Wizard competition, but gave up his powers, just like Jerry, though both the reason he did it and the sibling he gave his powers to are different.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Its Own Page!!
- Girl Posse: Gigi's friends.
- Goth Girl: Justin's first girlfriend, Miranda. Although, aside from the clothing, she seems relatively un-Gothic.
- Grand Finale: Alex becomes the family wizard. Professor Crumbs retires and passes on full wizardry power to Justin, who becomes the Headmaster of Wiz Tech. Max inherits the family business.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Odd aversion - despite only Theresa being Hispanic (Jerry's Italian), they apparently never spoke it in front of their kids, one of whom is now failing Spanish.
Theresa: With my help you'll be fluent in Español in no time!
- In The Movie, we find out that Justin also speaks Spanish - and although Jerry may not speak the language, he understands enough to know what Spanish-speakers are talking about.
- The amount of Spanish has increased in later seasons. Theresa calls Alex mija (and so does Max when doing an imitation of her), but the kids still don't seem to understand her.
Theresa: (running from a childhood monster) I promise I'll behave, Mama! I'm sorry! (Unintelligible Spanish)
- Growing Up Sucks: Only one of the Russo kids (the one who's found to be the most experienced) will get to keep their magic when they reach adulthood. Has potential for Chekhov's Gun when combined with "Wizards cannot marry non-wizards" - Justin or Alex are going to be (a) non-wizard(s).
- Hammerspace Hideaway: There is enough Hammerspace in Harper's suitcase that she herself can fit in it when it's closed. This came in handy for a "Suite Life On Deck" Crossover.
- Happily Married: Jerry and Theresa are actually a fairly realistic portrayal of how a happy marriage isn't a perfect one.
- Hates Being Touched: Alex. Most of the time...
- Heh Heh, You Said "X": In the episode "Future Harper", our teenage wizard heroes travel about using a device called the Inter-wizard People Porter. Max (and a oneshot character in Egypt) pick up on the fact that the acronym sounds like "I pee-pee".
- Helping Hands: Justin creates a floating hand as a project to help the elderly.
- High School Dance: Many are talked about, but only one is actually shown in an episode.
- Historical In-Joke: While in 1957, Harper manages to invent both the poodle skirt and the sock hop. Max invents the high-five, but twenty years too early, so it ends up being called a "max" instead, which Alex considers a "Close Enough" Timeline.
- Hollywood Nerd: Even though Justin is a nerd, he is very good-looking and has little trouble with finding a girlfriend.
- Lampshaded on one occassion with an exchange between Justin & Max, during an episode where he's dealing with a Stalker with a Crush:
Max: Congratulations! I never thought you'd get in a relationship.
- Hot Mom: Hmm, be a wizard, or marry a smoking hot Latina? So long, Professor Crumbs! This is also a point in The Movie, when the dad (after meeting the mom post-Alex's latest screw-up) deliberately blows her off, stating that he could fall for her, but that he doesn't want to give up his powers. And later falls for her anyway.
- Human Aliens: The aliens who land at Waverly Place in the episode "Wizard For A Day" to steal Jerry's milkshake machine wear silver suits and have dealy-bobs coming out of their heads, but otherwise look just like us. You'd probably see weirder things on an average day in New York.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In "Justin's First Kiss":
Miranda: Do you know who makes video games? Corporate America. I hate Corporate America. I'm starting a club about it at school. We're looking for sponsors.
- Also this, during the "Wizards vs. Angels" series:
Alex: I'm not turning bad, you little twerp.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes: Possible Shout-Out to That '70s Show.
- Idol Singer: Selena Gomez (Alex).
- If You Know What I Mean: Alex explains to her parents her new idea of a sandwich called "Meet Me In Turkey", then she turns to Justin and grins, telling him that he knows where she's going with that.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Justin is a crack shot with an alien blaster he picks up off the ground. Could also cross over with Informed Ability.
- Incest Subtext: The relationship between Justin and Alex (Jalex) was so filled with subtext that at one time it had its own sub-page for it, the contents of which can now be found on the Analysis page.
- And it wasn't just a Relationship Writing Fumble either. By the time the biggest subtext scene, the campfire in The Movie, came around everyone including the writers knew about the pairing, fandom and existing subtext. It's quite possible the subtext from The Movie onwards is completely real and put there by the writers. It's gotten to a point where it's possible the Disney Execs found out, and did some Executive Meddling to reduce the amount of Jalex scenes and plots in the final season.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals / Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: The monotone woman who kept making appearences throughout Season 1 and once in Season 2 probably fits one of these tropes... Not sure which one it is.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The family wand. Couple that with the Forbidden Book of Spells, and well...
- Informed Attractiveness: Just look at how cute Maxine is!
- Innocent Innuendo: Well, non-sexual, but hardly innocent:
Harper: What are you looking at?
- Insult Backfire:
- When the tutor for Max turns out to be a really pretty girl, Alex disdainfully tells Justin that guys are so easy falling for a pretty face. Justin just gives her a grin and agrees.
- Also, when Justin snarkily suggested "A Night To Dismember" as a name for Alex's zombie prom, she decided that sounded cool.
- Harper has rewired her brain so insults come across as compliments.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Alex and Mr. Laritate in the third season. Also, Justin and his peers.
- Invisible Streaker: In one episode, Justin is turned invisible by Alex's careless wording of a wish to a Literal Genie. He strips off his pajamas so his parents won't notice him, leaving him naked in a room with his parents and his sister. Hilarity Ensues as Alex attempts to prevent the parents from accidentally sitting on him, etc.
- I Shall Taunt You: Justin and Alex go back and forth with this trope.
- Is It Always Like This?
- It's All About Me: Alex.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: An unusual inversion, in that Alex stays in the family wizard competition so that she can stay in her relationship with Mason (because Muggles and magically-oriented beings can't have relationships).
- Jerkass: Everyone in the Russo family can slip into this occasionally, though Alex is this almost all the time.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her attitude, Alex does have her moments of kindness.
- Just Smile and Nod: At the weird foreign girl...
- Karma Houdini:
- Alex flip-flops around this trope. While in some episodes she escapes retribution, she is punished quite a bit.
- Max, on the other hand, is now made of this trope. Hmm... make things harder for your older brother to win the family wizard contest by taking a book with every single type of monster in existence, release all of these monsters into New York City - and when all of the other Monster Hunters are killed by the hordes of monsters (not to mention God knows how many normal people, not a word is said or anything done to Max. Hell, they were going to take away Alex's powers FOREVER for turning her parents and a teacher into guinea pigs... but Max is probably considered not to be in the running for the contest, anyway.
- Not anymore. Now he's in the lead.
- T.J. Taylor is this, until he is caught for good.
- Kidanova: Justin was this until Juliet came along.
- Justin is still this - Juliet and Rosie were just stopovers.
- Kids Are Cruel: Max, at the beginning of the show.
- Killed Off for Real: Gorog in Wizards vs. Everything. Also Stevie in Season 3.
- Kink Meme: For just Justin and Alex. NSFW
- The Klutz: Harper. Jerry also could qualify.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Don't break Alex's heart. Justin has taken a level in badass since the end of Season 2 and The Movie, and will bust out Capoeira moves on you as well as whatever magical explosions he sees fit.
- Mason learns this the hard way when Justin refuses to let him back into Alex's life. He even goes so far as to threaten Mason, even though he's pissed off beyond belief in full-wolf mode.
- The entire latter half of the 1-hour Werewolves special, Justin can be seen (whether he's prominent in the current shot, or in the background) giving Mason the dirtiest looks he's ever given. In fact, Justin is just blatantly pissed off in general, and it wasn't until Mason was gone that he finally stopped being angry long enough to comfort Alex, and deal with his own loss.
- Mason learns this the hard way when Justin refuses to let him back into Alex's life. He even goes so far as to threaten Mason, even though he's pissed off beyond belief in full-wolf mode.
- Konami Code: The spell used to go to the Bermuda Triangle begins as this.
- The Ladette: Alex fits this trope to a T.
- Stevie, even more so.
- Alex's grandmothers seems to be a more elderly version of this:
If I see one scratch on that bike, someone's gonna eat spokes.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- Alex and Mason are throwing water balloons from the roof to below residents, whom are not amused.
Mason: We should run.
- And when the Russos are investigated by the government for being wizards, a scientist starts asking questions, and the man says "you skipped all the questions you asked the other kid" and he says "excuse me for keeping it fresh".
- Late to the Punchline: Max.
- Latin Lover: The chocolate elf.
- Laugh Track: Except in the movie.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the very end of the Grand Finale, Chancellor Tootie Tootie says, "And that's our show, everybody! Thanks for watching!" Almost as if it, and the gameshow itself was directed towards us, the viewers.
- Like a Son to Me: Parodied and subverted in one episode between Max's conscience and his mom.
Crumbs: My hands are tied.
- He then shows Alex he's handcuffed to his desk.
- Little Miss Badass:
- Alex is this, at least sometimes:
By the way, we're having dragon heart for dinner.
- Max, after he's turned into a little girl and proceeds to kick Justin's ass in karate class.
- Lonely at the Top: In the movie, Alex wins the Wizard Competition and has Full-Wizard abilities, but this comes at the price of losing the person she cares most about and being left alone.
- Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Who? When? How? Not telling!
- Looks Like She Is Enjoying It: Alex, at the end of "Dollhouse".
- Love Dodecahedron: Alex and Justin have a complicated relationship, meanwhile Alex is going out with Mason, who in turn confessed his undying love for Juliet, who is also the current girlfriend of Justin, who Harper has a stalkerish crush on but who may also love Zeke, and...
- Love Letter Lunacy: From Alex to Justin.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Harper, before her much needed Character Development. This could also be said of Justin, ever since "Wizards vs. Vampires" - and is specifically stated as the reason why Justin didn't dump Rosie when he found out that Rosie was an Angel of Darkness.
- Love Martyr: Justin, with Alex.
- Love Redeems: Rosie.
- Magic Carpet
- Magic Hat: The hat that the Russo siblings have to wear when they are initiated in the art of magic.
- Mangst: Justin, when he lost Juliet.
- Mayfly-December Romance: Justin and Juliet. She may have been joking when she talked about Caesar but she's been to well over five hundred proms.
- I'm not so sure as it slipped out by accident and she even stomped her foot on the ground as it did so. Not to mention, when she talks about her relationship with Mason during the finale of that arc, she says she loved him a 'long time ago' - 'Like, before America was discovered'.
- That would mean that this trope applies to Alex and Mason's romance too.
- Meaningful Name: Juliet.
- Tutor the tutor. According to Alex in that episode, parents in the Wizard World always name their children for jobs they want them to do. Of course, she says it doesn't always work.
"My dad goes to a doctor named Butcher."
- Medium Awareness: Alex declares the start and end of her "Falling in Love" Montage with Mason, and in another episode, stops talking for about a minute to prove that comedies are unfunny without dialog.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Justified in that it explains why Alex does what she does (she's not only the middle child but a daughter), and inverted/lampshaded in the episode where Aunt Megan is introduced. (Jerry/Megan/Kelbo = Justin/Alex/Max.)
- Mirror World / Mirror Universe: In "All About You-niverse".
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: Justin's delinquent class in "Everything's Rosie For Justin", when they do their wand drill. Subverted in that they all fail, because Rosie has no magic.
- Also, that they all passed, because Rosie was never a wizard, and the rest of Justin's class knew what they were doing. This doubles as yet another Ass Pull to keep Justin and Alex behind in the wizard competition.
- Mistaken for Cheating: From the episode "Future Harper".
Harper: I had my mom's private investigator track her down.
- Moment Killer: Poor Harper, she tried so hard to get Zeke to kiss her.
- Mood Whiplash: The show is a lighthearted teenage comedy without any serious consquences for anyone for years until suddenly Justin's very old vampire girlfriend ages to her real age and Alex's boyfriend turns out to be a Jerkass and is turned permanently into a wolf.
- Morality Pet: Arguably Harper and/or Justin, for Alex.
- Motionless Makeover: While Justin practices a time freeze spell, he puts a glass of water on Alex's head while she's frozen. This plan backfires as Justin falls to the ground, causing time to unfreeze, Alex to look down, and the glass to fall on Justin.
- Motorcycle Jousting: Happens in "Graphic Novel".
- The Movie: Okay, so it's not going to be in theaters, but it's still called "Wizards Of Waverly Place: The Movie".
- Mr. Fanservice: Whether you like muscles (Justin), a nice smile (Mason), nice hair (Zeke), or a cute face (Max), this show has something for all the ladies.
- However as a werewolf you expect this from Mason but he is probably the one werewolf in existence to never lose his clothing.
- Muggles: Justin and Alex had to make plenty of explanations for the people who accidentally witnessed their magical antics.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In a show about magic, you bet your ass this trope is in use.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: G-Rated Version in "Wizards vs. Werewolves", in which Mason gives Alex a magic pendant that glows when the person wearing it is in love with the person who put it on them.
- Name's the Same: Tribeca Prep's team name is the "Turkeys", as is Moperville North.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Justin and Zeke are some nice looking nerds. In an episode, a dozen of supermodels want to play "Dungeons And Dragons" with them, rather than parade on the stage.
- Never Lend to a Friend: In this case, your sister.
- Never Say "Die": Averted in the movie when Jerry says that every year two or three wizards go looking for the Stone of Dreams and wind up dead.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The promo for "Alex Charms A Boy" makes it looks like Alex sadistically charms some random boy into falling in love with her. In the actual episode, the boy becomes her boyfriend the old fashioned way, and she only puts a charm on him to get him to paint her.
- No Accounting for Taste: Archie and Giselle in the movie. Your Mileage May Vary as to who this refers to.
- Nonuniform Uniform: the outfits that the wizards wear for the competition and other activities 'in the field', so to speak, judging by the fact that Jerry (in The Movie) also had a similar uniform.
- Noodle Implements: When Justin asks Alex's advice of how to get rid of a girl and she tells him to use a road flare, a barrel of maple syrup and a mini-trampoline. Then she goes on to say that the maple syrup isn't for what he thinks.
- To fix the lamp he broke, Max will need "A broom, a dustpan, double-stick tape, and small dog." The first three are subversions, as it's obvious enough what they'd be used for, but it's never explained what he intended to do with the last one.
- Noodle Incident: In "Saving Wiz Tech: Part I", Justin is being mocked by Dean for being a teenager wearing a suit without any special reason --he thinks. Justin then replies that he could tell people he was going to advocate him, for what Dean happily answers:
"Would you do that?! Great! Now we just have to prove I couldn't throw that thing so far..."
- In The Movie, we never do find out what it was Giselle did that caused her to be turned into a parrot.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In contrast to the above examples, Selena Gomez makes no attempt to affect a Noo Yawk accent, and on occasion, her native Texas drawl comes through.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Superintendent Clanton was played as a bad guy (and was a little stern), but was probably better for the students than Mr. Laritate. He didn't fear Alex, didn't let Justin brown nose him, and even convinced Max to go to college.
- Not Using The D Word: In "Dancing with Angels" and "Wizards vs. Angels", fallen angels are consistently referred to as "angels of darkness", and their place of residence is referred to as "the dark realm." They are never called demons or devils, and their realm is not called hell. Furthermore, Rosie, despite the fact that she uses Justin's love for her to get him to do bad things, is never called a succubus.
- Additionally, the ruler of the angels of darkness is called "Gorog", not Satan, Lucifer, etc. The good angels do sing "hallelujah", but that is the only reference they make to God.
- Not What It Looks Like: In "Justin's Little Sister", where Harper leaves furiously, thinking that Alex and Justin are together, because Justin "has already moved in".
- N-Word Privileges: In the episode "Third Wheel", Alex and her new wizard friend make fun of media portrayals of wizards by donning pointy hats and beards. When Harper tries to join in the fun by holding her hair in front of her face and pretending it's a beard, both Alex and Justin tell her it's offensive.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In the Season 4 premiere episode, Max reveals that he has been doing this.
- Odd Couple: Alex and Harper.
- Of Corsets Sexy: In "Western Show", not only does Theresa say she likes the corset she's wearing, but then Jerry asks why he doesn't have one.
- Only Sane Man: Justin. Jerry also qualifies.
- Order Versus Chaos: Justin vs. Alex, and Jerry vs. Kelbo.
- Our Monsters Are Different:
- Our Angels Are Different / Our Demons Are Different
- Our Centaurs Are Different
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Our Elves Are Better: Everyone loves them, like babies, puppies and pizza.
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Our Genies Are Different
- Our Ghosts Are Different
- Our Giants Are Bigger
- Our Goblins Are Wickeder
- Our Gryphons Are Different
- Our Monsters Are Weird
- Our Vampires Are Different
- Our Werewolves Are Different
- Our Zombies Are Different
- Out-of-Character Moment: More like Out of Character episode. In "Alex's Logo", written by first time writer David Henrie, everyone is generally not themselves, and ironically the biggest victim is Justin.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: In "Magic Unmasqued" Alex starts to have a flashback and tells it to go away.
- Papa Wolf: Jerry has shades of this.
- Parent Service:
- As Jerry might say of his wife Theresa - 'Mamma mia!' There was even one episode where she had serious cleavage showing, and they blurred it out.
- And in the movie he is blatantly checking out her ass and even comments on it.
- The Parent Service gets really blatant at the end of "New Employee" - just check out Theresa's dance routine, and her 'Flashdance'-inspired last line: "And pull the cord!"
- A recent episode features Theresa dressed as a schoolgirl, really proud of the fact that she was the most popular girl at school, which is explained by Jerry who says that she was the first girl admitted in a boys highschool.
- Parody Magic Spell: Most of the spells are either the last name of one of the show's creators and a made up word that rhymes, or exactly what the spell does, with a Latin suffix such as "ius" tacked onto the end. Those that aren't are probably Shout Outs of some kind.
- Parrot Exposition: Parodied:
Justin: (on the phone with Alex) The museum? Paintings? A security guard? I should stop repeating everything you're saying?
- The Password Is Always Swordfish: Justin, in trying to activate the manual override self-destruct mode on a Time Bomb missile to blow up an asteroid, is told that there are 100,000 possible 5-digit combinations. Of course, Alex gets it right on the first guess, with "1-2-3-4-5".
- Pet the Dog: Alex has had several. When she helped an old lady cross a street, when she helped Harper at the Loser Party Gigi was throwing and several with Justin as well.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: In one episode, the wizard power plant had gone offline, and the Russos had to go almost an entire episode without magic.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Alex to Justin, after he loses his memory, in The Movie.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Max, whose dialogue consists of nothing but bad one-liners.
- Portal Book: "Literarium terrarium!"
- Wizard storybooks are an Inversion of the concept: Rather than the reader entering the book, reading them makes the story become real in our world.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Lampshaded in "Everything's Rosie For Justin" in reference to Justin's delinquent class:
Alex: Now normally, I would be all for giving up without a fight, but this wand drill's too important.
- Reality Subtext: David Henrie (Justin Russo) and Selena Gomez (Alex Russo) liked one another in Real Life (and they probably still do), a fact which affected their characters' relationship to the point where even the fans, the critics and their friends noticed that Justin and Alex acted a little "strange" around each other, especially in The Movie.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Jerry usually qualifies, as does Mr. Larritate.
- Recurring Extra: In the first two seasons, Amanda Tepe portrayed various oneshot characters, to the point that she earned herself the Fan Nickname "The Monotone Lady".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Alex and Justin.
- The Red Planet
- Red String of Fate: While not necessarily the romance aspect, it is heavily implied throughout the series that Justin and Alex are destined to be by each others sides through thick and thin.
- "I'd never leave you" - Justin, at the end of the movie.
- Don't forget the way Alex always ends up with her head on Justin's shoulder during the last scene in break-up episodes, mainly "Wizards vs. Werewolves" and "Wizards vs. Angels".
- Remember When You Blew Up the Sun: Right before the wizard competition, Jerry listed Alex's many world-saving achievements as his reasons as to why he thought she would win.
- Retcon: In "Alex's Logo", Mr. Laritate has mysteriously forgotten that Ms. Majorheely "texted in her resignation". This is due to actor David Henrie writing the episode, but that doesn't justify the error. The majority of fans have already shunned this episode from canon anyway, not without reason.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Seen in the 'Wiz Tech' episodes, but notably inverted in The Movie, when Alex, Justin and Jerry wear combat uniforms that seem not only stylish, but actually practical, and look like something you'd see in a superhero film.
- Here's hoping that we'll see them in uniform again - perhaps even Theresa will get one?
- Alex and Stevie jokingly don a wizard hat and matching beards in one episode.
- Romance on the Set: Between David Henrie and Lucy Hale, he asked his girlfriend for couple years to play his love interest on the series, whose weirdly resemble to his on screen sister much.
- Romantic False Lead: The wind surfing instructor in the first movie.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Harper. Her clothes have been based around such things as food and markers.
- Harper goes beyond this and into crazy costumer, since she makes her own outfits.
- Running Gag: Justin forcefully grabbing Alex's arm and dragging her after him to tell her something in private, or pull her away from a certain situation. The same for Alex, who usually snatches him to complain about her problems. Lampshaded in "Delinquent Justin".
- Sadistic Choice: Humorously subverted in "Wizards vs. Vampires: Tasty Bites". Jerry and Theresa consider the possibility that they might only be able to save either Alex or Harper from Juliet's vampire parents. By the time of the confrontation, however, they've already decided to save Harper - reasoning that she's the one who will take care of them in their old age.
- Sand in My Eyes: Justin's "allergies" start acting up when he gets sad.
- Sarcastic Clapping: Justin does it one episode, after Max attempts to take out the garbage using magic and fails. (This is the episode just after Alex and Justin have been bounced back to level one wizard training.)
Justin: (Clapping) Ladies and gentlemen, the future family wizard.
- And then a moment later, when Alex declares she's quitting the wizard competition
Justin: (Clapping)) Ladies and gentlemen, the Russo family quitter. We are an impressive bunch.
- Screw Destiny: Stevie and nearly 5,000 other wizards feel this way about potentially losing their powers.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers: Only Justin averts this trope.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them: Professor Crumbs gives full Wizard status to both Justin and Alex, despite the fact that there's a rule saying that only one wizard per family can be a full wizard. This is so Justin can take over his position as headmaster of WizTech. The only reason he could possibly be allowed to disregard the rules in this manner is because he is the head of the governing body that created them.
- Screw Yourself: Alex doesn't meet herself to do... you know what, but she still falls in love with herself when she drinks both halves of a love potion. And her head gets big.
- Second Love: Justin and Alex had many love interests.
- Secret Test of Character: The premiere of the 4th season revealed that the whole Government discovering wizards was actually another test by the wizard council to see if the Russo kids could avoid exposing magic. Alex and Justin fail miserably and end up knocked down to Level 1 Wizards, putting Max in the lead of the competition.
- In "Who Will Be The Family Wizard?" it turns out the cancelling the competition was this as well. The Wizard Council wanted to know whether the Russo family bond could survive the loss of magic. It did.
- Security Cling: Alex to Justin numerous times throughout the series.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Zeke and Justin, even though both of them are bookworms.
- Series Continuity Error:
- In the episode "Art Teacher", Mr. Laritate is surprised that his phone gets text messages when a teacher "texted in her resignation". In a later episode, he apparently still doesn't know what a text message is.
- In the episode "Monster Hunter", Jerry says that he remembers when Justin was still turning bricks into rabbits and Justin nostalgically responds "Edgebono Utoosis". However, in "The Crazy 10 Minute Sale", it's shown that "Edgebono Utoosis" is a spell to create a duplicate of whatever it's cast on. Not to mention Justin never turned a brick into anything. He duplicated a rabbit, and in a totally different episode, Alex turned a dove into a brick.
- A recent episode had Alex say that every wizard learns the zombie language when they're little, but an earlier episode established she didn't know she was a wizard when she was little.
- In "Make it Happen", Jerry says his father was a rodeo clown, but in "Rock Around the Clock", Grandpa Russo clearly owns the sandwich shop.
- Serious Business: Anything and everything that interests Justin.
- Shallow Love Interest: Every one of Alex and Justin's potential boyfriends/girlfriends, arguably. Juliet being the only exception.
- She's Not My Girlfriend: In "Family Game Night".
- Ship Tease: A lot between Justin and Alex, but the most blatant ship teasing would be in Max's Secret Girlfriend, where Justin and Alex willingly pretend to be married with three kids. Bonus points awarded for them getting into a heated argument, and then snapping back into 'loving' mode, just like actual married couples.
- Shirtless Scene: Justin gets one in the "Wizards On Deck with Hannah Montana" crossover.
- Sibling Rivalry
- Skirt Over Slacks: Alex's wardrobe frequently consists of this.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Justin and Alex are constantly making fun of each other, but will (almost) always make up in the end. Due to Relationship Writing Fumble most fans have actually stopped seeing them as siblings.
Wowp creator: Oh my gosh, we got a Jalex question.
- Slash Fic
- The Slow Walk: Parodied in "Wizards Vs Asteroid".
- Smart People Play Chess: In the episode "Make it Happen", the Russo's kids have to choose an alternate career in the case of they don't become wizards. Justin's first idea is to make money by traveling the world defeating robots at chess.
- Smug Snake: Justin occasionally in the series, much more so in the movie although he gets better. Alex more than a few times too.
- Spaghetti Kiss: In the episode "Wizards vs. Werewolves", Alex and Mason attempt to do this with a sub sandwich, since Alex thought it would be romantic. When Mason points out how gross it is, they decide to skip straight to the kiss, before being rudely interrupted when Harper alerts Theresa.
- Spicy Latina: Theresa, when the mood strikes her. Averted with Alex who's too all-American to fit this.
- Spiritual Successor: To Phil of the Future, in the sense that it's Disney's current show with supernatural/magical elements. It's been said that the money Disney gained from the success of Phil was used to create Wizards.
- Spit Take: Justin and Jerry do this a lot.
- Also Kelbo, who announces them, and goes out of his way to do them.
Kelbo: Usually when a guy goes to get a glass and does a spit take, it says suprise!
- Stalker with a Crush: Harper with Justin. She actually somewhat lampshades this by once dumping soda over his head after spying on him and his date at a movie theater, saying "Just because I'm your girlfriend and you don't know it doesn't mean you can cheat on me!"
- She made him a sweater out of her own hair.
- A more serious and frightening example is Mason towards Alex.
- Stationary Wings: Wings do not flap when flying. There's even a spare set in the angel's disembarkment agency "sitting around, just in case."
- Good Wings, Evil Wings deserves to be a subtrope of this since feather color, stated to be a distinguishing angel trait, is not a permanent quality.
- Status Quo Is God: This show is very good at avoiding this, given its strong sense of continuity. The only instance where this trope was invoked was with the dragon dog.
- Stepford Smiler: Again, Harper big time.
- Straight Man: Justin.
- Straw Loser: Harper.
- Strictly Formula
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Anyone who is an elf has this effect on people.
- Sugar and Ice Girl: Alex.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial
Alex: No, I'm not. Harper, am I a wizard?
- Take That: In-Universe. Harper's puppet show to Alex.
- "Take That!" Kiss: Alex, to Justin. No... not like that... Alex kisses another boy in front of Justin, to prove a point.
- Teasing Creator: The creator is known to joke about the Justin/Alex pairing, recently stating that if he ever runs out of ideas, he'll do a whole season of Jalex-filled episodes.
- Temporary Love Interest: This show thrives on this. Although some love interests last a couple episodes or so, there are still a few who only manage to last one.
- Terrible Trio: Gigi and her friends.
- There Can Be Only One: This has been the premise of the series for all four seasons, but it was ultimately Subverted in the Grand Finale. See Screw the Rules, I Make Them above.
- This Explains So Much: On Alex's belief that there are no rules if you're on an island:
Harper: But you live on Manhattan Island.
- Thrash Metal: Justin is a fan of a metal band called Tears Of Blood.
- Three Amigos: Justin, Alex and Max. Sometimes...
- Also Justin, Alex and Harper. See "Justin's New Girlfriend" as an example.
- Titles Always Spoil: Future Harper- three guesses as to who H.J. Darling is, and the first two don't count.
- Tomboy: Alex, especially when explaining why she doesn't want a quinceañera.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Alex and Harper, though Alex is more fashion-concerned than Harper (who may as well be a Cosplay Otaku Girl).
- Took a Level in Badass: Definitely Justin. In The Movie, he saves Alex and Harper (while taking a moment to give off a well-deserved Smug Snake vibe), kicks ass windsurfing, nails the Sixth Ranger of the plot with magical blasts without even trying, does some adventuring that (with his brains) slips him into Adventurer Archaeologist territory, and throws down during the family wizarding competition like a true Badass - a competition that later on, he's sure to win (having gone through a personal mix of Crazy Prepared and Charles Atlas Superpower in his training). One can only hope that they won't hit the Reset Button on him - but it is Disney, so Status Quo Is God.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the episodes following "Wizards vs. Werewolves", Justin transformed almost instantaneously from a stand-up guy who was willing to fight to the death for his loved ones, into Alex's bitter, vindictive arch-rival. This seems to have been a temporary change, but Justin is still not as kind-hearted and noble as he was in Season 2.
- The three siblings in the finale, temporarily. They soften up towards each other once they work together to bring business to the sub shop.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Mason is a werewolf. The promos try to be vague about it, but anyone with half a brain can put the clues together.
- The Cablevision description for the episode "Moving On" is "Harper convinces Alex to her transform into Juliet to help heartbroken Justin move on." For the record, the fact that Juliet is actually just Harper in disguise is supposed to be a suprising twist.
- Rosie's an angel. Or, "She's an angel" as Justin put it in the promos as they showed Rosie with wings and advertised it as the first episode in the "Wizards vs. Angels" trilogy.
- Troubled Fetal Position: Justin almost goes into this in "Third Wheel", although falling debris kept him from completing the pose.
- Tsundere: Alex, Type A. Mostly uses The Taunt strategy, and her blatant insults towards Justin are what keep her from being full Kuudere.
- Tuckerization: Executive Producer Peter Murrieta likes to insert his last name randomly into episodes, such as the name of a business on Waverly Place, and in the incantation for a spell. Also, the sub station is across the street from Greenwald's Hardware.
- Twofer Token Minority: Agent One is a black man in a wheelchair.
- Two-Teacher School
- Überwald: Transylvania.
- The Unfavorite: To be honest - Alex does bring it upon herself.
- Unfazed Everyman: Arguably Theresa, also Harper.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Alex.
- Unwanted Harem: For a guy who is supposed to be a high-school loser (according to Alex), Justin sure seems to get a lot of action going on. Granted, they seem to be all of the Clingy Jealous Girl type, but there were the supermodels who played role-playing games, not to mention the incestuousness that popped up when Alex accidentally had a genie make everyone forget that Justin existed, and not only did Theresa push Alex towards trying to date him, but Harper went away angry because she thought Alex had gotten him first. Lampshaded: by Justin who at one point lists them all and wonders why people think he doesn't date.
- He also seems to be somewhat of a stud by Wizard World standards, having dated a centaur, a werewolf (briefly), and a vampire, all of whom seemed to find him resonably attractive. Not to mention attracting an angel, although she initially only approached him in order to corrupt him. However, her love for him was enough to make her turn good eventually.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Even without the unfortunate implications that run rampant, this trope so defines Alex and Justin.
- Urban Fantasy
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: When Justin, the monster hunter, met Juliet, the friendly neighborhood vampire.
- Versus Title: Few of the episode titles start with "Wizards VS".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Alex and Harper, type 1. Alex and Justin, type 2. Alex spends a good portion of the time insulting or using the people around her and they either don't notice (Alex: Why don't you go start on my homework and I'll make some sandwiches?" Harper: "Oh, you're such a good friend!") or snark back. Recently Harper has begun to transition to Type 2, specifically in "Franken Girl" and "Monster Hunters".
- Inverted somewhat with Alex and Laritate. they usually don't get along to well and constantly clashing though they do have there moments where they get along very well.
- Volleying Insults: Justin and Alex.
- Weaksauce Weakness: "The enemy of all magic" is...wait for it...plastic! The Villain of the Week even manages to take over WizTech by filling the place with plastic balls. Considering how ubiquitous the stuff is in the mortal world, it's a wonder magic works at all.
- Weirdness Censor: To the point where the characters can just cast spells in front of everyone.
- Werewolf Theme Naming: Mason Greyback.
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Alex in "Positive Alex", after her cheering for the other team caused her own school's cheerleaders and pep band to be banned from sporting events. Harper was especially not to happy about this.
Harper: This is too much positivity, even for me.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Justin's eyes, as Harper points out. "You're staring at me with those eyes, I think I might faint."
- What Does She See in Him?: Every supposedly decent girl that Justin falls for - first Juliet, and then, Rosie.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Whatever happened to Dragon? Lampshaded twice, once by Max and once by Zeke.
- What He Said: Variation, Alex waves her wand and casts the same spell as Justin by saying "What he did."
- Who Even Needs a Brain?: Harper when Alex accidentally gets both their brains.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Alex, to Hershel.
- Wizard Duel: In The Movie this is how control of the family wizarding power is resolved. It's implied that at some point in the series Max, Justin and Alex will have to have a three way fight.
- Wizarding School: Wiz-Tech, in the episode "Wizard School".
- Xanatos Speed Chess: In "Franken Girl", Justin tries to Alex-proof his room. He's foiled by Max once and then by Alex three times, but eventually succeeds.
- Yandere: Harper, towards Justin. Thankfully, she lost this trait before her interest in Zeke. And he conveniently doesn't seem to remember.
- You Can Always Tell a Liar: So much of this show is based around lies/lying. Alex in particular knows all about lies and how to spot one.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Justin, Alex and Max will battle for the family's wizard power. The winner is the only one who gets to be a wizard, hence the whole serious Sibling Rivalry.
- Also, there's the children growing up to be (almost) like Jerry, Megan, and Kelbo.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
Justin: What's... what's going on?
- You Look Familiar: Amanda Tee has played a worked at the Gurt Barn, a museum security guard, and a hot dog vendor.
- Youngest Child Wins: How many people think the series is going to end. They were wrong. Middle child wins.
- Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: Max and Alex are seemingly locked in Mortal Kombat over who is the master of this trope.
- Not entirely unrealistic, though, given that Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn have such malls as Queens Center, Gateway Center, and Kings Plaza, respectively.
- We know they aren't Martian locals, because Martians aren't Human Aliens
- Granted, the Time Reverse Spell is implied to be dangerous, but the Undo Dust on the other hand...
- Note that in Sabrina, magic simply didn't work on plastic, as opposed to plastic actively cancelling out the effects of magic. The rules in the Wizards universe seem to be different though.