%%%% Zero-context examples are not allowed on wiki pages and have been commented out. Don't uncomment them unless you provide more explanantion about what the trope means and how the example fits it.

Imagine ''Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meeting]] ''Literature/TheBoyInTheStripedPyjamas'', then joined by ''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley'' with a sizable portion of [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm The Brothers]] [[{{Grimmification}} Grimm]] thrown in.

You'll get...

''Pan's Labyrinth'' (Original Spanish title: ''El Laberinto del Fauno''), a dark, modern-day fairy tale, complete with [[TheFairFolk fairies]], [[SecretTestOfCharacter Secret Tests Of Character]], and monsters -- not all of them supernatural.

It's set in 1944, just after the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar (a favorite period for Mexico-born Creator/GuillermoDelToro, the film's writer and director) with UsefulNotes/{{Spain}}'s democratically elected socialist government overthrown by UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco's Falangists (Spanish Fascists or "National-Catholics") and the new government attempting to weed out the last traces of LaResistance. The story centers on Ofelia, an only child whose widowed mother Carmen [[GuessWhoImMarrying has agreed to marry]] the ruthless Captain Vidal to provide for them. In turn, he expects her to bear him a son.

Ofelia and her mother are taken to a villa in the mountains near an old labyrinth (the titular Faun's one) to be near Captain Vidal for the birth while he hunts down rebels. She is quickly [[BrokenMasquerade taken into]] a ChangelingFantasy about how she is [[RagsToRoyalty secretly princess]] of the underworld fairy kingdom, lost to humanity for many ages. The Faun and his labyrinth were one of many made by her father, the King of the Underworld, as gateways in the hope she would return.

As [[MagicalGirlQueenlinessTest she undergoes trials to prove her soul is uncorrupted]] by [[HumansAreBastards living among humans]], so do the rebels, her mother, and her nursemaid and only friend Mercedes.

Warning, this film is a TearJerker. A ''profoundly disturbing'' TearJerker, as well as a great source of {{horror}}. For those of you who [[RRatedOpening missed the R rating]]... [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids This fairy tale is very definitely not for children]].

It is notable that many {{squick}}s and nightmares were induced by this movie due to it being advertised as "family friendly." Especially in Europe, trailers shown only mentioned the fantasy parts. The fact that it takes place during Franco's regime is completely ignored, as is every mention of gruesomeness. Rated everything from 12+ (UsefulNotes/{{France}}, UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}, UsefulNotes/{{Iceland}}, and UsefulNotes/{{Taiwan}}) to 21+ (UsefulNotes/{{Singapore}}) in cinemas.

Del Toro's earlier ''Film/TheDevilsBackbone'' is considered its "[[SpiritualSequel brother film]]". It's also now the subject of an upcoming [[TheMusical musical adaptation]] written by Del Toro himself, with Gustavo Santaolalla (''Film/{{Babel}}'', ''Film/BrokebackMountain'' and ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'') and Music/PaulWilliams composing music/lyrics, respectively.

Should not be confused with ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'', which is considerably LighterAndSofter, although their premises and sensibilities are comparable.

!!This film provides examples of:

%% * ActionSurvivor: Ofelia. [[spoiler:Though not for long]].
* AdultFear: For a film with supernatural terrors as scary as the Pale Man, it's an accomplishment that the most chilling moments in the film come from the very real evils of Fascism and the authoritarian, sociopathic figures that it attracts.[[spoiler:For mothers: [[DeathByChildbirth You die of childbirth]] leaving your little daughter with only your new husband, who turns out to be a sociopath [[WickedStepmother wicked stepfather]] who has no qualms with killing her if she someday gets in his way.]]
* AllJustADream: [[spoiler:NOPE! Guillermo del Toro states that everything in the film was real.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: By the end of the film [[spoiler:nearly every established character is dead, including the protagonist.]]
* ArcSymbol: Circles to symbolize goodness amongst the evil Captain's more angular scenery.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: In RealLife, fighting the rebel guerrillas was the job of the Guardia Civil - the guys in green uniforms and [[NiceHat tricornes]] seen in the train wreck scene - but Vidal and his underlings belong to the Policía Armada. Del Toro must have thought that the grey police uniform, with its stronger [[PuttingOnTheReich Fascist flavour]], was more appropriate for the BigBad than the GC green.
%% * AstralCheckerboardDecor
* AudibleSharpness:
** During the shaving scene, a key is heard.
** In the scene with the eyeless man, we hear the knife.
* BadassBoast: Mercedes is a more understated but no less determined badass when her moment to shine comes.
-->"[[PrecisionFStrike Motherfucker]], don't you dare touch the girl. You won't be the first pig I've gutted."
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Mercedes preferred to take her own life than give her pursuers the satisfaction of killing her. [[FateWorseThanDeath Or worse]].[[spoiler:Just before she was rescued by the rebels.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Ofelia dies from her wounds on Earth but is reunited with her true parents of the Underworld.]]
%% * BigBad: Vidal.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:The rebels save Mercedes from the Captain's henchmen right before they're going to [[FateWorseThanDeath take her back]] and inflict ColdBloodedTorture on her.]]
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: One of the biggest criticisms among detractors of the movie is that the Spanish Civil War is shown as having no moral complexity, with Republicans who seem to have no flaws fighting Fascists who seem to have no good qualities.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Captain Vidal, though this is because he has a severe mouth injury.
%% * BloodKnight: Captain Vidal.
* BloodMagic:
** The plant that the Faun gives Ofelia to heal her mother requires a few drops of fresh blood daily in order to work.
** At the finale, blood is supposedly needed to open the magic portal.
* BlownAcrossTheRoom: An inversion, many times people are shot and barely react at all before dying. One character get shot in the back while walking and doesn't break stride for another couple of steps before falling. This holds true when [[spoiler: Vidal shoots Ofelia in the stomach, she looks more confused than in pain. Vidal himself gets shot just below his [[BoomHeadshot right eye]] and has time to blink two or three times before collapsing]].
%% * BreakTheCutie: Having fun yet, Ofelia?
%% * BrickJoke: The lottery ticket.
%% * BrokenMasquerade
* BulletproofHumanShield: Averted, when Vidal turns his gun on the senior hunter, who's being restrained by a soldier. The soldier sees what's about to happen, and quickly changes his position to holding the man at the side, rather than directly behind him as the man's body would most likely have not protected him from Vidal's close range gunshot.
* ByTheEyesOfTheBlind: The Faun, even when in plain sight, can only be seen by those who "know where to look" and are ready to believe. Or so says WordOfGod Creator/GuillermoDelToro on the DVDCommentary.
* ChangelingFantasy: An early scene even emphasizes that Ofelia is left-handed, a feature of changelings from folklore.
%% * ChekhovsGun:
%% ** The knife Mercedes rolls up in her dress after cutting potatoes.
%% ** The sedative the doctor leaves on Ofelia's mother's bedside.
%% ** The chalk comes up again.
* ChildEater: The Pale Man. This is made very clear just from looking at his lair, which includes among other things his collection of children's shoes. This is overt Holocaust imagery.
* ClassicVillain: Vidal, who mainly represents Pride and absurd amounts of Wrath.
* ClockKing: Captain Vidal, the villain of the movie, is obsessed with being puctual and is often checking his pocket watch.
%% * CoDragons: Garcés and Serrano to Vidal.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Captain Vidal likes torturing his captives, most of the time to extract information, but he also tortures ForTheEvulz or to show that his men [[YouHaveFailedMe failed him]] or that they [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness have outlived their usefulness]].
%% Complete Monster gets listed on the YMMV tab.
* ConvenientlyTimedAttackFromBehind: The soldiers on horseback were ambushed just before they were about to recapture TheMole.
* CoupDeGrace: The soldiers on both sides do a single shot to the head.
* CrapsackOnlyByComparison: It is indicated that our world is a CrapsackWorld compared to the other one early on. Later footage subverts this, or at least makes you wonder about the priorities of the one doing the comparison.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The various fairy creatures are certainly frightening, but may not be malevolent. It's humans you should watch out for.
* DarkReprise: A dark''er'' reprise -- Mercedes' [[IronicNurseryTune wordless lullaby]] to Ofelia, both while she's worrying about her mother and [[spoiler:[[DiedInYourArmsTonight while she lies dying.]]]]
* DeadlyDistantFinale: [[spoiler:Jaime and Carlos]] from ''Film/TheDevilsBackbone'' appear among the partisans, [[spoiler: revealing they survived the ending of that film. They're not so lucky this time.]]
* DeathByChildbirth: Carmen dies giving birth to her son.
* DeniedFoodAsPunishment: Ofelia is sent to bed without any meal dinner because she ruined her dress for the dinner.
* {{Determinator}}: Captain Vidal, who is beaten up and down but still keeps kicking so many times in the movie's finale that it's almost a RasputinianDeath.
%% * DiedHappilyEverAfter: See DiedInYourArmsTonight.
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler:Mercedes and the rebels find Ofelia mortally wounded and the heartbroken Mercedes holds and sings to her as she dies.]]
* DisappearedDad:
** Captain Vidal's father was killed when his son was a boy, and it's implied that his death haunted Vidal all his life. Hence why he wants his own son so badly.
** Ofelia claims her father was a deceased tailor. The Faun, however, tells her that he's actually king of the underworld [[spoiler:and she meets him at the end]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything?: The children's shoes piled in the den of the Pale Man are eerily reminiscent of the Holocaust. Given the movie is set in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII 1944]], this is likely intentional.
%% * DoomedMoralVictor: Ofelia, paralleling the Republican side in the actual UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar.
%% * DoomedNewClothes: Ofelia tries to [[DefiedTrope defy this trope]]. [[DoubleSubverted It doesn't work]].
%% * DownTheRabbitHole
* TheDyingWalk: [[spoiler:Doctor Ferreiro begins walking away from the room where he gave a MercyKill to Vidal's torture victim and revealed himself as TheMole. Vidal shoots the doctor in the back as he's walking, and the doctor continues walking, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhSjnG5pMOY but only for a few more steps]]...]]
* EatenAlive: Two of the three fairy guides are devoured alive by the Pale Man.
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: From the obvious (the tree the frog resides under is shaped like a ram's head) to the more subtle (the bannisters in the house ''also'' have ram's heads, and the headboard of the mother's bed has details shaped like ram's horns. The opening of the tree is also intentional vaginal imagery.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: For Vidal -- "It's the right hand." He's in the movie for less than ten seconds and we already have him pegged as a cold bastard obsessed with "correct" ways of doing things. Then he murders two prisoners with a bottle a bit later, just in case you didn't get it the first time.
%% * EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: The film's TagLine states: "Innocence has a power evil cannot comprehend." Which is presumably why, at the end of the movie, [[spoiler:Vidal can't see the Faun standing right in front of him]].
* EyelessFace: The Pale Man first looks like he has no eyes whatsoever. They are in his hands.
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: The Pale Man has his eyes ''in his hands''.
* FacePalm: The faeries cover her face with their hands when Ofelia breaches the Faun's order and eats the grapes.
* TheFairFolk: Initially they look like large, winged walking sticks. But with a bit of metamorphosis they can turn into humanoid faeries, though brown and with leaves for wings. The Faun belongs to this kind as well and he seems to be made out of rotting wood.
%% * FairyTale
* FamousLastWords:
** Vidal seems to have put a lot of thought into what he will say when/if the time comes. Subverted as we never hear it because he is [[ShutUpHannibal made shut his face]] and [[BoomHeadshot killed]].
** [[spoiler:Dr. Ferreiro]]'s last words are fairly memorable as well:
-->''But Captain, to obey -- just like that -- for obedience's sake... Without questioning... That's something only people like you do.''
* FantasyForbiddingFather: Fantasy Forbidding Parent. Ofelia is chided for reading too many fairy stories when she's supposed to have outgrown them. Her stepfather is outright hateful of them, her mother just considers it childish, [[spoiler:but when she throws the mandrake into the fire as proof of its superstition, the plant's pain kills her]].
%% * FaunsAndSatyrs
%% * FingerTwitchingRevival: The Pale Man.
* FollowTheWhiteRabbit: On the way to her new home, Ofelia follows a big bug to find a pagan-esque statue in the woods. Later she follows the same bug to find the large stone structure in the labyrinth by her house, and the Faun.
* FoodChains: Eating food for fairies is never a good idea, especially if you are warned not to do it. Don't eat the food on the table means, ''don't eat the food on the table''. It can be explained, though, that Ofelia likely hadn't had a chance to eat fresh fruit for a long while because of the war. Also, she had been sent to bed without supper, so was more hungry than usual.
* ForbiddenFruit: The grapes. Ofelia is not allowed to eat anything, but the food on Pale Man's table look delicious, especially the grapes.
* ForegoneConclusion: The film opens with Ofelia, lying on the ground, with BloodFromTheMouth -- or, in this case, her nose. Although the blood is flowing ''backwards'' - so maybe not so foregone after all.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Dr. Ferreiro remarks to Captain Vidal that blind obedience without questioning is something only men like him practice. [[spoiler: For her last task, Ofelia promises the faun that she will obey any command he gives without questioning, but refuses to risk her brother's safety.]]
%% * FracturedFairyTale
* GlasgowGrin: Vidal gets half of one when he finds out that Mercedes is spying for the rebesl. He tries to capture her, but she slashes his mouth with a knife that was on her. He then stitches himself up. Squick.
* GoodIsNotNice: Going along with DarkIsNotEvil above, the Faun is frightening and downright mean at times, but he's on Ofelia's side... Or so we assume.
* GoryDiscretionShot: In some scenes, the gory section is either shown or shown an initial effect (e.g. sawing off the leg, or smashing a person's face.) Other gory scenes are skipped (e.g. torture scene, or cutting the captain's mouth.)
* GrievousBottleyHarm: In a horrific scene, Vidal beats a man's face in with a bottle. Notably averts the GoryDiscretionShot.
%% * GrotesqueGallery: The Pale Man.
%% * GuessWhoImMarrying
* HeroicSacrifice: The doctor shows mercy and euthanizes the captured rebel, even though he surely knows it will cost his own life.
%% ** [[spoiler:Ofelia herself at the end.]]
%% * HeroOfAnotherStory: Pedro, the leader of the rebels.
%% * HumanoidAbomination: The Pale Man. Ohh, The Pale Man.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Played with. The depiction of Franco's fascist regime, as well as the Holocaust imagery hinted at in the Pale Man's lair, certainly has echoes of this, as does the Faun's insistence that Ofelia not be tainted by human contact. As the film goes on, though, we see many examples of courage, integrity, and compassion from various human characters, even in the grim and hopeless circumstances they find themselves in.
* ICannotSelfTerminate: Vidal orders Dr. Ferreiro to treat the wounds of a rebel he is torturing so that he can be tortured some more. The man begs Dr. Ferreiro to kill him, and Ferreiro obliges by giving a lethal injection.
%% * IHaveManyNames: The Faun.
* ImaginaryFriend: All the fairies might (possibly) be in Ofelia's imagination.
* ImpossiblyDeliciousFood: The feast at the Pale Man's den. In following the fairy tale motif, it was ''faerie'' food which is almost always glamoured to make it seem like irresistible. Ofelia likely haven't eaten at least a day so she was probably starving, making it seem all the more delicious.
%% * InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Averted.]]
* InkblotTest: The foreshadowing towards [[spoiler:Carmen's pregnancy hemorrhage]] as Ofelia's book inks the shape of a bleeding uterus, drenching the pages in red.
* InvertedTrope: According to WordOfGod, in this movie, set in Falangist Spain, it's courageous ''dis''obedience, rather than blind obedience, that is the true virtue. This is nearly the opposite of pretty much any normal fairy-tale. Dr. Ferreiro gets a [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Reason You Suck]] line aimed at Vidal to this effect.
%%* IronicNurseryTune: Averted.
%%* JustFollowingOrders: Subverted.
* KickTheDog: The scene with two farmers who were just hunting rabbits and a bottle of wine -- Vidal smashes the son's face with it, and then shoots the desperate father and finishes off the son with a shot. This scene single-handedly establishes Captain Vidal as psychopathic sadist. Cut it and he could easily pass as a right-winged UnscrupulousHero fighting terrorists/dirty commies.
* KillHimAlready: Mercedes should probably have [[spoiler:killed Vidal when she had him at her mercy to avert the BittersweetEnding. However, according to WordOfGod: Mercedes' knife was intended to be too small to inflict serious damage on as formidable an opponent as Captain Vidal. On a symbolic level, such a fearsome monster as Captain Vidal needed something equally fearsome to finish him off. Such is the nature of a fairy tale.)]]
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler:Ofelia's final fate. She is a lovely child, kind and good, but she dies -- at least for this real world.]]
* LaResistance: The rebels. Overlaps somewhat with TheRemnant, since by the time the movie takes place (1944) the Republicans had already lost the war, and there were only a few isolated pockets of resistance remaining.
* LetsGetDangerous: Mercedes at first comes off as a gentle woman, and she considers herself a coward. This façade lasts right up until it comes time to have her BigDamnHeroes moment.
* LightIsNotGood: It's our bright world with sunlight that can feel pain, according to the exposition backstory. Also, the Pale Man lives in a place vaguely shaped after the interior of a church coloured in rich golden light.
%% * LivingLabyrinth
* LostInTranslation: There are a few scenes that have a little extra depth for Spanish speakers that unfortunately don't translate into English.
** When the Captain welcomes Ofelia and the pregnant Carmen to the villa, he says ''"Bienvenidos"'' to them, the Spanish form of "welcome" that one would use in addressing multiple people when at least one is male (you'd say "Bienvenidas" to two women.) This would instantly telegraph to a Spanish-speaking audience whom he ''really'' cares about, especially since the baby's sex is still unknown. Although del Toro gets the point across for non-Spanish speakers too by having the Captain wait until he's checked Carmen's pregnant belly before he welcomes them.
** The Faun [[spoiler:(and later the Fairy court)]] use the "vos" form when addressing Ofelia, rather than "tú". The "vos" used here (not to be confused with the "vos" form used in Argentina) was the formal address given in Spain during medieval times, specially to nobles and, above all, royalty. Not only does add a bit of atmosphere to the characters, but it also overlaps with the ''RoyalWe''.
** The scene when [[spoiler:Mercedes breaks free from Vidal and attacks him with a knife she had concealed]]. Up until that point [[spoiler:she]] was addressing [[spoiler:him]] in the formal form ("usted"), but here changes to the informal form ("tú"), which at the time was considered a HUGE disrespect to someone of higher rank. Which of course, makes the ensuing scene all the more cathartic!
** The line: "[[PrecisionFStrike Motherfucker]], don't you dare touch the girl. You won't be the first pig I've gutted." The insult in Spanish is "hijo de puta", which means "son of a bitch". The thing is, in Spain "son of a bitch" is considered way more offensive than "motherfucker" is in English. Actually, it's considered THE worst insult you can say to a person.
%% * TheLostWoods
%% * MagicalGirlQueenlinessTest
* TheMagicGoesAway: The Labyrinth is one of the last (if not ''the'' last) of the portals the King of the Underground Realm opened for his daughter to return home through. [[spoiler:When Ofelia messes up her second task, the Faun proclaims that the magical world will fade along with her eventual death]]. However, by the end of the film, [[spoiler:it is said that the Princess left traces of her existence in places where people could find them if they looked carefully]].
* MamaBear: Mercedes is a maternal figure to Ofelia, and she violently protects her near the climax, even more than Ofelia's real mother Carmen, who actually proves to be a fairly weak person.
* MauveShirt: Garcés and Serrano are the biggest examples. Others, like [[AnArmAndALeg Frenchie]], the stuttering rebel, the Guardia Civil captain and the troop medic, either recur or are given slight characterization against the masses. They all die in the course of the movie.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Are the fantasy creatures real, or the product of a lonely girl's imagination? Up in the air, although the director insists that ''he'' believes the fairies are real. And if they're not, that actually creates a few plot holes (the chalk door probably being the most difficult to explain away if you're so inclined).
* MeaningfulName: Girls named [[Literature/{{Hamlet}} Ofelia]] don't tend to have happy endings.
* MercyKill: Dr. Ferreiro kills a wounded rebel soldier at his insistence, to spare him from more torture.
* MilkyWhiteEyes: The Faun appears to be aged and blind when he first appears, but grows more youthful in appearance as the film progresses.
* MonstrousHumanoid: The Pale Man is a pale, skeletal, humanoid [[TheFairFolk creature]] with [[EyesDoNotBelongThere eyes on the palms of its hands]] that usually sits at the head of a table laden with an [[FoodChains enchanted feast]]. Anyone who eats the food wakes him up and, [[IAmAHumanitarian well...]]
%% * NeverSayDie: Also, never say "pregnant."
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailers used for the US release 1) gave no clue that the actual film was in Spanish, and 2) made it look like a ''Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' type family fantasy -- which is of course wrong. Driven home on the [[CoversAlwaysLie cover of the DVD]], which promises that the movie is "on the same altar of HighFantasy as ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy," and throws another mention of ''The Lord of the Rings'' on the back of the cover, obviously trying to make whoever buys it believe that the movie is going to be just like it. If anything, it's more of an UrbanFantasy, and certainly not HighFantasy as Wiki/TVTropes defines the term.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The brutal deaths of those two fairies (and lots of other terrible things) could have been avoided if Ofelia had not eaten those two grapes.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler: After Ofelia refuses to let her innocent newborn brother's blood to be spilled for her final test, she's shot by Vidal. As she lies dying, the blood from her wounds fulfills the test's requirements and she's finally allowed to reunite with her parents in the underworld.]]
* NoNameGiven: The Faun has no name; it is simply "The Faun". The English title seems to confer the name "Pan" on him, but that's just by way of sounding evocative. Del Toro has said the Faun is not meant to be Pan, who was far too sexual a character for this kind of story.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: You have to really look for it, but after the rebels win their battle against the government troops, they proceed to shoot their captives to death, [[LaserGuidedKarma thus mirroring an earlier moment of Vidal's soldiers doing exactly the same thing to surrendering partisans]].
* OffingTheAnnoyance: If it wasn't just ForTheEvulz, this was the reason Captain Vidal killed those two farmers. He'd told them to be quiet and take their hats off a few times beforehand.
%% * OffscreenTeleportation
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: The Faun's fairies disguise themselves as insects.
* OurOgresAreHungrier: Del Toro says that the Pale Man is his conception of the classic, child eating ogre of fairy tales.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: [[spoiler: Pedro's killing of Vidal for the murder of Ofelia.]]
%%* ThePlace
%% * PluckyGirl: Ofelia.
* PointThatSomewhereElse: Captain Vidal aims his pistol at a wounded revolutionary, who weakly pushes it away once, twice, then rests his hand over the barrel. Vidal just shoots him.
* PragmaticVillainy: Captain Vidal was annoyed that he killed two hunters he mistook for rebels only because his men didn't check on them thoroughly, thus wasting his time, and killing innocent civilians would probably incite the townspeople to support the rebels.
* PrecisionFStrike: "Motherfucker, don't you dare touch the girl. You won't be the first pig I've gutted."
* PreMortemOneLiner: "He won't even know your name." *BANG!* [[spoiler: Mercedes to Vidal, who wanted his son to know all about him, his father's clock, etc.]]
%% * PsychoForHire: Captain Vidal.
%% * RageAgainstTheReflection: Captain Vidal.
%% * RagsToRoyalty
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The Pale Man has red eyes, adding to the already existing [[EyelessFace eye]] [[EyesDoNotBelongThere horror]].
%% * ReverseMole: Mercedes and Doctor Ferreiro.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified: The band of guerrilla fighters in the hills are depicted as overtly heroic, though they do noticeably execute the fascist prisoners in a scene that mirrors the summary executions of their own members early in the movie.
* RobbingTheDead: The Captain takes killed hares or rabbits after killing an innocent hunter and his son.
%% * RuleOfScary
* RuleOfThree: Three tests to prove her worth. Three items to be collected. Three times Ofelia goes to the Labyrinth, three times the Faun comes to her in her room. Three doors made with chalk. Three fairies. You get the picture.
* SceneryPorn: Very visually stunning movie with gorgeous interior and exterior shots.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: In short, is it better to play it safe and obey, or to take the chance and be disobedient when you don't trust the authority in question? This theme is foreshadowed, in microcosmic form, in Ofelia's bedtime story for her unborn brother.
* SchmuckBanquet: The Pale Man's cursed feast. Ofelia was instructed not to touch it and not to eat under any circumstances, but she could not resist those delicous-looking grapes. Too bad it woke up the horrible creature...
%% * ShootTheShaggyDog: If you can't accept that the magic is real.
* ShamedByAMob: Captain Vidal is shamed by the rebels near the end of the movie.
%% * ShoutOut: In the commentary, Creator/GuillermoDelToro points out many shoutouts to Creator/CharlesDickens, Creator/StephenKing, several surrealist painters, and many others.
%%% Please list concrete examples.
* ShutUpHannibal: [[spoiler: Vidal when he finds out he will not win promptly tries to break Mercedes and the rebels by a speech about his greatness. Mercedes won't even bother to let Vidal finish his speech.]]
%% * SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: This movie simultaneously pits the two ends of the scale against each other.
* SoftGlass: Subverted in a scene early on which has Captain Vidal smashing a man's face in with a wine bottle. The ''bottle'' doesn't break. On the DVD commentary Del Toro relates a barfight he was in, seeing a friend beaten by a bottle which remained whole the whole time.
* TheSouthpaw: Ofelia is left-handed. It is a subtle sign that she actually is a changeling. Also the first KickTheDog moment for her stepfather, who tells her to use the right hand instead, though it was quite common to try to correct children in that time.
* SpiritualSuccessor:
** WordOfGod identifies this film as the second in a loosely connected trilogy started by ''Film/TheDevilsBackbone'' and to be concluded with a ghost movie set in the '70s.
** There were some who saw it as a SpiritualSuccessor to the Franco-Era Spanish classic TheSpiritOfTheBeehive, another film that deals with a young girl's experiences in the early Franco years and her perception of the real-world realities of the time through a fantasy lens (in this case through Boris Karloff's Frankenstein).
* SupernaturalProofFather: Vidal is unable to see the faun standing just in front of him.
* ThemeAndVariationsSoundtrack: "Mercedes' Lullaby" is the dominant musical motif of the film.
%% ** Other themes make an appearance, though.
%% * ThemeTuneCameo
%% * TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: [[spoiler: The underworld on the other hand.]]
%% * ToThePain
%% * TortureAlwaysWorks: Vidal seems to think so, but it's ultimately subverted.
* {{Unperson}}: "He won't even know your name." [[spoiler: Vidal and Carmen's son will be probably brought up by kind Mercedes, but she promises her evil father his son will never hear about him.]] Ooh, that stings...
%% * VaderBreath: The Pale Man.
* WhatTheHellHero: Ofelia eats the grapes when she was strongly instructed not to. Two fairies were killed because of her and she escaped just in time, almost devoured herself. The Faun is harsh and berates her thoroughly.
* WickedStepmother: Vidal becomes an evil, intimidating step-father to Ofelia. The word "wicked" is a bit too mild to describe him.
%% * WouldHurtAChild: Captain Vidal.
%% * WouldntHurtAChild: [[spoiler: The Faun, although he's pretty effective at playacting otherwise.]]
%% * WrongGenreSavvy: Almost all the real world characters, but Carmen (Ofelia's mother) most of all.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: When the giant toad pukes up its insides.
* YouWatchTooMuchX: According to her WrongGenreSavvy mother Carmen, Ofelia reads too many fairy tales.