Created By: TheDalaiLamaHimself on November 15, 2011 Last Edited By: TheDalaiLamaHimself on December 3, 2011

Fairytale Folk Make Life Better in NYC

Fairytale characters land in the Big Apple creating happy endings for certain New Yorkers

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Figures from fairytale land find themselves (perhaps via a hole or vortex) in a very real, very bustling New York City). This fall into reality enables a plot device by which the fairytale character does essentially two things: (1) severely disrupts the life of a real world character initially but then (2) causes the real world character to reassess his/her life and be a better person for it. This trope also enables the hijinks and/or mayhem typical of Fish out of Water and Outside-Context Villain.



  • In Enchanted, the cartoon version of Giselle is pushed down a well and, via a New York City manhole, comes out the other side, very much a human being (and very much Amy Adams). She encounters and is taken in by the soon-to-be-married Robert. Giselle and Robert eventually hook-up, sparing Robert the fate of marrying his apparently unsuitable fiance, Nancy. Fortunately, Nancy hooks up with Edward, the fairytale prince who came up the manhole to rescue Giselle.

  • Attempting to evade the evil Gargamel, The Smurfs slip into a vortex landing them in NYC. They are taken in by a young couple, Patrick and Grace. In the end, after much mayhem, the Smurfs help Patrick embrace his art as well as his impending fatherhood.

  • In Elf, Buddy somehow migrates from Santa's Village to the real world of New York City. Buddy finds his "real" dad and proceeds to ruin his life. Ultimately, however, Dad lightens up and quality of life improves for all concerned.

NOTE: All three of the above films have scenes featuring Central Park. Must be the hot dog vendors.

Comic Book:

  • Fables, written by Bill Willingham, is a D.C. Comics series under the Vertigo imprint. It involves fairy tale characters who, forced out of the fairytale world, have taken refuge in -- where else? -- New York City.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • November 15, 2011
    Live Action Television:
    • In Once Upon A Time, The Kingdom turned Doomed Hometown builds a capsule that can teleport one person away to save the day later. Prince Charming had planned to place Snow White in the capsule, but instead her infant daughter ends up in it, and winds up in an orphanage in the modern world, and grows up not believing in fairy tales, until she meets (28 years later) a boy claiming to be her son.
  • November 15, 2011
    Fanfiction: So many fics involve the authors being sucked into the world of the story they're writing about. However, the opposite can happen too, where the characters get taken to the real world, where they meet the author or assist in the problems of the times.
  • November 15, 2011
    A subtrope of Fish Out Of Water, obviously. Compare Alien Among Us and Blithe Spirit.
  • November 15, 2011
    Fables has a forced mass exodus of fairy tale characters into the world of "munfies" when their kingdoms are overrun by the Adversary.
  • November 15, 2011
    Alternate Title: From Fantasy To Reality This will help people find it in searches and it makes sense. :)
  • November 15, 2011
    (Is there an entry for the trope that has the jilted love-interest nevertheless finding someone to hook up with by movie's end?) Pair The Spares?
  • November 15, 2011
  • December 1, 2011
    Pair the Spares. Good. Yeah, Welcome To The Real World. The trope I'm proposing would definitely fall under that. However, I note that the def of Welcome to the Real World includes Up The Real Rabbit Hole. So, granted, the Alice in Wonderland allusion is played; I've removed it from the proposed title. But in the same way that Up The Real Rabbit Hole fits under Welcome to the Real World, might not "Fairytale to Reality"--also fit? Or are are we trying to avoid narrowly cast tropes if a broadly cast trope that covers the matter already exists? Whatever the case, please see my revised proposal above.
  • December 1, 2011
    So this leans more towards Mundane Fantastic than it does Urban Fantasy?
  • December 2, 2011
    whereas Welcome To The Real World concerns characters the viewers have been following for some time prior to this, and no indication had yet been given that they were in fact fictional

    This to me sounds like Welcome To The Real World is an entirely different trope to this; Real World Episode is, as described, about 4th wall breaking and fictional characters discovering they're fictional. This is about fictional characters ending up in the real world without any kind of fourth wall being involved at all - it's just that they end up in a world identical to ours.

    The Tenth Kingdom has an enchanted Prince in the form of a Golden Labrador end up in Central Park by way of a magic mirror, closely followed by a Wolf. Between them they manage to cause chaos for Virginia.
  • December 3, 2011
    Don't forget to add that NY, being City Of Weirdos, is very prone to the Unusual Uninteresting Sight, Somebody Eleses Problem, and No Big Deal, among many other "fantasy in real life gets a shrug" tropes.