Once upon a time
, there was this troper who decided to come up with an idea for a brand new trope. This is essentially a trope where different fairy tales are often retold, often in in new or hilarious ways. The most common fairy tales that are told are Little Red Riding Hood
, Jack and the Beanstalk
, The Three Little Pigs
If a fairy tale is often derailed and ends significantly different than how they originally end, then this is a Fractured Fairy Tale
Compare: Storybook Episode
, Parody Episode
, Rhyming Episode
Related to Paranormal Episode
and Off to See the Wizard
Anime & Manga
- An early episode of Ouran High School Host Club is titled "Haruhi in Wonderland". Among all things, it features Honey as the White Rabbit, the twins as the twin Cheshire Cat, Tamaki as the Mad Hatter, and others. There are also four actually five Alices: The twins as Alice A and B, Tamaki as Alice C, and finally Haruhi as the 'true' Alice. And at the end we get Mori as Alice D.
- One chapter of Yandere Kanojo features the cast in a Cinderella world, with Reina as Cinderella and Nanami and her gang as the stepmother and sisters. She bullies them instead. She also ends up with the Wizard (fairy grandmother stand-in), who is played by Tanaka, instead of the prince (who is played by Shiratori). Turns out it was All Just a Dream from Reina.
- Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru had the OVA titled Tsunderella, which recast Takako as Cinderella while the main protagonist, Mizuho, gets recast as the Prince. Similarly, many other characters from the series get set in roles befitting Cinderella.
- The Suite Life on Deck had an episode that put the main characters into different fairy tales. They ha fallen asleep in class and the fairy tales themselves were all just dream they were having.
- An episode of Charmed had the sisters finding out that at on point in time all fairy tales were actually true an thy have to battle against an evil witch who find out by asking her magic mirror that she isn't the most powerful witch in the world because the charmed ones were. To fix this she puts the sisters into different fairy tale roles. Phoebe becomes Cinderella, Paige is Snow white, and Piper is little red riding hood.
- Wizards of Waverly Place had an episode in which Alex's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis Gigi enters her magical diary only to find a magical fairy tale-esque world. In contrast to moat examples this doesn't directly reference any particular tale and rather just plays with a few motifs. Alex was the princess and her boyfriend was her knight in shining armor.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch the TV show had a couple of episodes playing with fairy tale tropes. In one, a troll kidnaps Sabrina in order to force her to be his bride, he locks her in a tower and its up to Harvey to save her. In true Rapunzel fashion Sabrina casts a spell to make her hair absurdly long and Harvey climbs her tresses in order to get into the tower. In another episode Sabrina drops some magical beans which cause a giant beanstalk to grow in her back yard. Harvey ends up at the top of it but rather than a giant being there, there is an evil witch in a gingerbread house like in Hansel and Gretel. And she is prepared to fatten up and then eat Harvey.
- The whole of the first season of Once Upon a Time is an inversion as it's several fairy tale beings unknowingly trapped in the "real" world thanks to the Evil witch's spell.
- The Supernatural episode "Bedtime Stories" has fairy-tales inspired murders (a nice old woman eats people who got lost in the wood, for example). It turns out to be the work of a comatose girl's projected spirit, who influences people to act like the fairy tales she heard her father narrating.
- Happy Tree Friends had "Dunce Upon A Time" which is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, with Lumpy as the giant.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series has her accidentally switching Harvey with Cinderella, so Cindy is in the real world and Harvey is stuck in the fairy tale world. Sabrina then ventures into the storybook world so she can meet a fairy godmother capable of reversing the magic. While there she meets several fairy tale beings.
- Many Looney Tunes shorts have the cast reenact fairy tales in their own unique way. To wit:
- Classic Disney Shorts: along with straight adaptations in the Silly Symphonies, the main character series occasionally took detours into storybook land.