teacher wearing witch hat

Hocus Pocus/Disney+

‘Because that’s what I wrote’: Teacher scene from ‘Hocus Pocus’ draws laughs, questions

She went all-out in a bit of exposition.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 7, 2023

Our entry point into spooky season arrives earlier and earlier on the calendar each year, and this year is no exception with the emergence of a viral clip from Hocus Pocus.

The scene from Hocus Pocus—which, coincidentally, was a summer movie doesn’t involve Bette Midler’s rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” or any hijinks the Sanderson sisters get up to. Rather, it’s a classic piece of exposition.

After a 10-minute prologue involving the depiction of the crime that resulted in Thackery Binx being turned into an immortal cat and the Sanderson sisters hanging for killing Binx’s sister, the scene transitions to a high school classroom in then modern-day Salem.

“Now, there are those who say that on Halloween Night, a black cat still guards the old Sanderson House, warding off any who might make the witches come back to life,” Miss Olin says before shrieking and tossing a black crepe paper roll at a student.

The camera cuts to Max (Omri Katz), the new kid in town, a major skeptic, and the virgin who will eventually (and unintentionally) bring the Sanderson sisters back to life. But in the clip posted to Twitter, which is paired with a casual observation asking why Miss Olin does what she does, the focus is on the teacher. From her Halloween-inspired outfit to the theatrics in telling them the—as it turns out, very true—story of the Sanderson sisters to her tossing a paper roll at one of her students, spooking her in the process, she makes herself out to be a riot.

The clip went viral as people pointed out both the absurdity and also 

“If I was a teacher I’d do this too,” @depthsofallison wrote.

Some also brought up a clip from another one of Freeman’s previous roles: A memorable turn in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

But Mick Garris, who’s more than a little familiar with Hocus Pocus as one of the film’s screenwriters (and also gets a story credit), might’ve had the best response.

“Because that’s what I wrote,” he said.

And hell, it works.

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*First Published: Aug 7, 2023, 12:55 pm CDT