'''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/index.html "Beauty and the Beast"]]''' is an old French FairyTale which was, at the time, basically propaganda for ArrangedMarriage using RagsToRoyalty. Over time it has lost that meaning and become more romanticized. The original literary version of the story was written in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve, and was a sprawling and convoluted affair of {{contrived coincidence}}s and last-minute exposition, in which the Beast and Beauty were revealed to be [[DoubleInLawMarriage double]] [[KissingCousins first cousins]], [[HalfHumanHybrid half-fairy]] (on their mothers' side), and [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses royalty]] (on their fathers' side). In 1756, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont condensed it to the version which is best known today (excepting Disney's). While presumably based on older tales, de Villeneuve's version is the first to use the title "Beauty and the Beast".

In Leprince de Beaumont's version, Beauty is the daughter of a rich merchant who is suddenly plunged into poverty. When one of his ships comes in unexpectedly, the merchant asks his three daughters what they would like him to bring them for presents. The two eldest ask for jewelry and dresses, but Beauty only wants a rose.

The ship turns out not to be profitable, and the merchant turns back, empty-handed. There is a winter storm, and he takes shelter in a mysterious but hospitable castle, where, finding a magically summer garden, he picks a rose for his daughter. Immediately, a monstrous beast appears and threatens his life. The merchant pleads on his daughters' behalf, and the Beast allows the merchant to go home to say goodbye to his daughters, or persuade one of them to come in his place.

The daughters succeed in learning the father's adventures, and Beauty insists on going in his place. She soon finds that the Beast is gentle and polite, in spite of his appearance, and that he wishes her to marry him. She refuses to do so, although she grows increasingly fond of him. One day, on learning that her father is ill, she asks the Beast to let her go home and visit her family. He does so, reluctantly, asking her to come back within a week.

Once she is home, her jealous sisters conspire to keep her longer, in the hopes of making the Beast angry with her. Their ploy succeeds, and Beauty remains at home until she has a dream of the dying Beast. Returning to the castle, she finds him in the garden, having lost his will to live. She tearfully agrees to marry him, which breaks the curse that had made him ugly. He is magically restored into a handsome prince, and they live happily ever after.

It is Aarne-Thompson type 425C, which has a good number of variants (some found [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/beautybeast/other.html here]] and [[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0425c.html here]]), but in folklore it is less common than tales of 425A, such as "Literature/EastOfTheSunAndWestOfTheMoon" -- which it has nevertheless engulfed in popular culture. Also compare Literature/TheFeatherOfFinistTheFalcon.

The tale has been widely adapted in many media as a TwiceToldTale. These include:
* ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast'' (1946 film by Jean Cocteau)
* ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast'' (2014 film by Christophe Gans, director of ''Film/BrotherhoodOfTheWolf'')
* ''Series/BeautyAndTheBeast'' (1987-90 drama series on CBS)
* ''La BÍte'' (a 1975 adaptation that is very pornographic and very French)
* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' (the DisneyAnimatedCanon adaptation, later a stage musical)
* ''Literature/{{Beauty|ARetellingOfBeautyAndTheBeast}}'', ''Literature/RoseDaughter'' (books by RobinMcKinley)
* ''Beast'' (young adult novel by Donna Jo Napoli)
* ''Literature/{{Beastly}}'' (a book by AlexFlinn, filmed in 2011)
* ''{{VideoGame/Bronze}}'' (a work of InteractiveFiction by Emily Short)
* ''Beauty and the Werewolf'' (one of Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms'' novels)

Obviously, the {{Trope Namer|s}} and TropeMaker for BeastAndBeauty and BeautyToBeast. Probably more significant in terms of trope theory for giving us TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside, which is one of the more common {{A|nAesop}}esops.
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!!The archetypical Beauty and the Beast fairy tale contains the following tropes:

* AnAesop: Inner beauty is more important than appearance. Considering that Beauty's "reward" for following this aesop is that the Beast becomes handsome at the end, though, this might be considered a BrokenAesop, unless you're one of the people who believe the Prince returning to human form is ''his'' reward.
** Also, "be kind to those less fortunate". The reason the prince was cursed as a beast was that he cruelly sneered and turned away a beggar woman who came to his door. She was a fairy (in some versions a witch) in disguise, and cursed him to wear the form of the beast he had showed her until he could get someone to love him despite that.
** That is only in the Disney version. The fairy/witch is usually a jilted lover in most versions, if she is even given a motivation.
* AndIMustScream: In some versions, [[spoiler:the two older sisters are punished in the end by being turned into statues by a good fairy. They still retain their ability to see and feel Beauty's happiness]].
** In some versions, the Prince/Beast is a victim of this as well: part of the curse is that he retains all his intelligence, eloquence, et cetera, but will be physically unable to speak as he normally does or tell anyone about the curse.
* {{Animorphism}}: The Beast is cursed into his monstrous form, and eventually changed back.
* BeastAndBeauty: TropeNamer
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Beauty is the most attractive of her sisters, and, of course, the Beast doesn't stay ugly.
** de Villeneuve's version takes it even further with the fairies: the fairy who cursed the prince is said to be old and ugly and is clearly intended to be unsympathetic, whereas the fairy who helps the prince is said to be beautiful and good-hearted.
* BeautyToBeast: TropeNamer
* {{Curse}}: The cause for Beast's hideous outward appearance.
* CurseEscapeClause: A girl (specifically a [[NatureAdoresAVirgin virginal one]] in some versions) must agree to marry the Beast in spite of his monstrous appearance for him to be restored to his human form.
* DaddysGirl: Beauty is often stated to be her father's favorite.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The poor merchant didn't even ''know'' that taking a single flower would lead to either his death or the loss of his beloved daughter.
* DoggedNiceGuy: The Beast keeps on asking Beauty to marry her every night even when she keeps on refusing, and it's Beauty's realization that he really is a kind and caring man underneath his monstrous exterior that induces her to finally agree to marry him.
* DumbIsGood: One version portrays Beast as rather lacking of intellect. This is a virtue in this telling, and at the end of the story, she even meets the fairy who cast the spell who tells her that a "true heart" is better than good looks or "clever brains". Beaumont praises Beauty for choosing virtue over "wit or beauty".
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: In de Villeneuve's version, Beauty turns out to have been a princess SwitchedAtBirth.
** Another BrokenAesop, because even after the curse breaks, the Prince is nearly denied being able to marry her because of her low birth and even Beauty refuses to marry him rather than shame him by her lower class. While the fairy that protected the prince tries to shame the Queen into dismissing Beauty like this, her revelation that she had personally chosen Beauty because of her RoyalBlood pretty much borks that moral.
* TheFairFolk: Depending on the telling, the curse is actually placed on the Beast by a fairy.
* FairyTale
* GirlOfMyDreams: In de Villeneuve's, adding to her problems, Beauty is dreaming of a handsome young man begging her to help him.
* HappilyEverAfter
* HornedHumanoid: The Beast in some versions.
* IJustWantToBeBeautiful: This is the eponymous beast's desire after being transformed from a handsome prince into a hideous beast.
* ItWasAGift: Asking for a simple gift is what starts it all off.
* LaserGuidedKarma
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: Early versions of the tale give Beauty a handful of brothers as well as the two sisters (see RuleOfThree below).
* MeaningfulName: Just try and find a version of this tale in which the heroine's name means anything other than "beauty" or "rose".
* MissingMom
* NoNameGiven: The Beast.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: One version of the tale notes that along with his appearance, the Beast was also required to act witless and stupid, thus ensuring that he would be judged only on the pureness of his heart and nothing else.
* PrinceCharmingWannabe: Not a traditional part of the story, but modern adaptations often include a villainous suitor who is beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside, contrasting with the Beast who is ugly on the outside and beautiful on the inside. Jean Cocteau's 1946 film version may or may not be the first to include this character, naming him Avenant, but it's certainly the codifier. And, of course, Disney codified it further with Gaston.
* ThePunishmentIsTheCrime: In contrast to the harsher punishments in the long original versions, some of the condensed versions of this story simply have the two older sisters' crime be that they are constantly envious of Beauty for both her good looks and how well she bears up under her various misfortunes; then, after everything works out so well for her, their punishment... is to go on being jealous of her for the rest of their miserable lives, which are only miserable because their envy keeps them from enjoying how well they've done for themselves.
* RagsToRoyalty
* RuleOfThree: Mme. Leprince de Beaumont condensed the merchant's original family (six boys and six girls) to three of each.
* SacredHospitality
* HeroicSelfDeprecation: Many versions of the story have the Beast constantly mocking and belittling himself and his appearance in his conversations with Beauty. Beauty is constantly arguing that [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre he's better than that]].
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: The Beast, in spite of his appearance, is kind to Beauty which causes her to eventually fall in love with him. (In contrast, [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Disney's version]] goes the LoveRedeems route -- but even then, it's the Beast's inner goodness that Belle falls in love with.)
* StockholmSyndrome: The story is ''very'' difficult to tell right, and often sounds like this.
* SweetAndSourGrapes: She gets her handsome prince as soon as she decides that she doesn't care what the beast looks like.
* SwitchedAtBirth: See above.
* TalkingInYourDreams: In the oldest version, a handsome prince appears in her dreams, begging her to save him. In due course, he proves to ''be'' the Beast.
* TakenForGranite: The two older sisters [[spoiler:are turned into statues in the end]].
* TwoPersonLoveTriangle: In de Villeneuve's version, Beauty feels conflicted between the dream prince and the flesh-and-blood Beast.
* YoungestChildWins
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