Whoa! Do you know what's just dawned on me? You guys had lives before I got here. This is amazing, we have a lot of catching up to do. So, were you ever kids?
— Sabrina to her aunts.

The Great Mistake is the 22nd episode of Season 1 of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


Sabrina, disregarding her aunts' warning, buys a "tomorrow ball" from an Other Realm door-to-door salesman, and believes its prediction that she will get an A- on her science project. Unfortunately, Mr. Pool (dressed in a kilt for "Scots Pride Day") gives her a C and a chance to redo the project overnight. Instead, Sabrina tries to sneak out of the house aboard her vacuum cleaner to attend a Smashing Pumpkins concert, but gets pulled over by a cop and cited for flying over the town "with a full bag and bad dust emissions." An abashed Sabrina shrinks to miniature size as a result of guilt. To cheer her up, her aunts share stories of how they have "messed up" over the centuries.

Salem visits his witchly parole officer, and pleads that his rehabilitation is going well, but lets slip that he still dreams of world conquest.



Guest starring

Magic Notes

Uses of Magic

  • Hilda makes a list of things borrowed but not returned appear.
  • Hilda and Zelda turn Sabrina around.
  • Sabrina opens the window to fly her vacuum cleaner.
  • Sabrina shrinks.
  • Sabrina grows.


  • Zelda: Balls, balls, balls, balls!
  • Hilda: What's going on? It sounds really interesting! (Sees Zelda surrounded by tennis balls) Oh. That's all?
  • Sabrina: Whoa! Do you know what's just dawned on me? You guys had lives before I got here. This is amazing, we have a lot of catching up to do. So, were you ever kids?
  • Hilda: Yes, although it was back in the fourteenth century. There were no phones, no TV's, things were very different.
  • Hilda: Oh no, she's gone again.
  • Sabrina: No I'm not, I'm on the bed.
  • Hilda: How'd you get over here?
  • Sabrina: Salem carried me in his mouth.
  • Salem: It took all my self control not to eat her.


  • In this episode, we learn why Salem lives with the Spellmans: Hilda was once one of his followers during his quest to take over the world, being apart of the refreshments committee, and as punishment, she has to take care of him and keep him worm-free during his sentence as a cat.
  • We find out that Hilda and Zelda lived a lavish lifestyle before Sabrina moved in, with trips out to the opera, having handsome male servants, and having a disco in what would become Sabrina's room but they gave it up for Sabrina.
  • Libby doesn't appear in this episode.
  • Zelda was married to a lute-player named Benvolio when she was living in Florence during the renaissance. The marriage only lasted three days.
  • Hilda and Zelda tried their hands at various jobs over the centuries.
    • Hilda's worst jobs included Blacksmith, donkey walker, and deep sea fishing.
    • Zelda's worst job was as a coal miner in Wales.
    • The only time the two sisters worked together was when they worked as a double act in the Wild West, but they ended up being ran out of town, but they found the secret to financial security: junk.
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