[[quoteright:281:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anon1909.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:281:Rapunzel (with, as she is often depicted, golden hair)]]

->''Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!''

Once upon a time, a couple lived next door to a witch with a beautiful garden. The wife developed such a craving for the rapunzel (specified as rampion in some versions) in this garden that the husband snuck into the garden and stole some for her. The longing increased, and the husband tried to steal more, only to be caught by the witch, who demanded their unborn child as a consequence.

Sure as her word, the witch took the couple's daughter and called her Rapunzel. When she was twelve, the witch shut Rapunzel into a tall tower without doors. Whenever she wanted to enter, the witch would call, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair", and Rapunzel would lower her [[RapunzelHair extremely long hair]] for the witch to climb. One day, a prince [[LoveAtFirstNote overheard Rapunzel singing]], and, having taken an interest in her situation, soon saw how the witch came and went.

He repeated the witch's trick, Rapunzel dutifully let her hair down, and the two made plans to elope. One day, however, Rapunzel [[IdiotBall accidentally]] revealed the Prince's existence to the witch, who [[TraumaticHaircut cut off the girl's hair]] and banished her to the desert. The witch then lay in wait for the Prince, and pushed him off the tower into a bed of thorns, which blinded him.

The [[StarCrossedLovers unlucky couple]] wandered the wasteland for some time (during which Rapunzel bore twins) before running into one another. Rapunzel immediately embraced him, weeping, and her [[SwissArmyTears tears fell on his eyes and healed them]]. He took her back to his kingdom, and they lived HappilyEverAfter.

The best known version of this story comes from Creator/TheBrothersGrimm, probably based on Giambattista Basile's "Petrosinella". Initially, Rapunzel betrayed the Prince's existence by remarking on how tight her dress was getting around the middle, but the Grimms decided that [[{{Bowdlerise}} this was too raunchy]] and so in later versions, she instead remarked that the witch was much heavier to pull up than her Prince.

The story may be based on the legend of Rudaba as found in the ''Literature/TheShahnameh'', as well as the tale of St. Barbara. Many of the older forms -- such as "Literature/SnowWhiteFireRed" -- appear more closely related to a tale type called "The Girl Helps The Hero Flee" -- such as "Literature/TheWhiteDove". Another variant is "Literature/{{Prunella}}".

A Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon version of this fairy tale was released in 2010 under the title ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' as a result of ExecutiveMeddling figuring a non-gender specific title would bring more people in.

Creator/AndrewLang's version of the tale can be read [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/index.html here]].
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!! "Rapunzel" contains examples of the following tropes:

* AdaptationExpansion:
** Very prone to it. ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' expands on the relationship between Rapunzel and the Witch (as well as Rapunzel's mental state when it's all over...) There is also a graphic novel, ''ComicBook/RapunzelsRevenge'', set in the Old West where the title character escapes on her own, uses her hair as lassos, and sets out to overturn the wicked witch's empire.
** Donna Jo Napoli's ''Zel'' delves into the psyche of the Witch, the Prince, and Rapunzel, including the effects of being locked in a tower and devoid of almost all human contact for months at a time.
** Regina Doman's ''[[Literature/FairytaleNovels Rapunzel Let Down]]'' retells the story in a modern setting.
** ''Series/OnceUponATime'' puts an interesting spin on the story: [[spoiler:The "witch" is actually just a physical embodiment of Rapunzel's fear, created when she ate something called Nightroot, which is a cure for anxiety.]] Also, the prince who rescues her is Prince Charming from the story of Snow White. As he is already married, they do not become a couple.
** ''Faerie Tale Theatre'' pads out the first half of the story, focusing on the parents. It's also implied that the witch hypnotized the mother into wanting the vegetables.
* AdaptationalHeroism: ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'' does this with the parents. In contrast to the original story, the mother is actually dying and she needs to be cured with a magical flower - that the witch was using to keep herself young. They take the flower unknowingly from the witch. And she simply steals the child rather than offering them to trade. What's more is that the parents disappear from the original story and never bother about the whereabouts of their daughter - [[spoiler:here, they were searching for her, and are reunited at the end]].
* BabiesEverAfter: Almost all versions end with Rapunzel and the prince living happily ever after with their two children (even if Rapunzel's pregnancy was not mentioned earlier on).
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In the revised edition of the BrothersGrimm's story, Rapunzel (handling the IdiotBall) asks the witch why she's so much heavier to bring up the tower than the prince. This was changed from the original version, determined to be [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids unfriendly for children]], in which Rapunzel innocently asked [[TeenPregnancy why her dress was getting so tight around the middle]].
* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: If Rapunzel's parents had just ''asked'' the witch politely for some of her greens, instead of outright ''stealing'' them, the story probably wouldn't have happened. (Then again, the witch might have refused, or asked for the baby ''anyway'' as legitimate payment rather than restitution, so who knows?)
* DamselInDistress: The titular heroine, who is locked in a tower and in need of rescue. Interestingly, however, the prince does not actually save her - she only gets out of the tower when the witch banishes her. In the end, ''Rapunzel'' saves the ''prince'' by healing his eyes with her tears.
* DefiledForever: The original version where Rapunzel gets pregnant and that's what tips off the witch. So Rapunzel is banished to a faraway desert.
* DumbBlonde: Rapunzel can come off as this in the Grimm version, where she carries an IdiotBall in her moment of forgetfulness to ask the witch why she is heavier to bring up the side of the tower with her hair than the prince.
* EnterStageWindow: The only entrance and exit into Rapunzel's tower is a window, through which she uses her hair to bring people up and down.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Rapunzel is not a princess in the original tale, being the daughter of two peasants. More than one adaptation, including ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', makes her a princess by birth.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Rapunzel's tower serves as her prison, doubling as this.
* EvilMatriarch: Rapunzel calls the witch "Frau Gothel," which means "godmother," While it could be just a formality, she is a literal godmother in some early French and Italian variants of the story.
* EyeScream: The Prince is blinded near the end of the story, either by falling into thorn bushes or by the witch scratching his eyes out.
* TheFairFolk: In early versions, the witch was a fairy. She sure acts like it!
* GirlInTheTower: Possibly ''the'' girl in the tower.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: The innocent, beautiful, pure, inaccessible maiden is blonde. Yup.
* HandicappedBadass: The prince may qualify, as after he's blinded, he ''still searches for Rapunzel on foot.'' Some versions have him do this for ''[[{{Determinator}} years]]''.
* HappilyEverAfter: After suffering at the hands of the witch, Rapunzel and the prince return to his kingdom in happiness (with their twin children in the original version).
* IAmNotPretty: Some variations give Rapunzel self-esteem issues, making her believe she's ugly.
* IdiotBall: Creator/TheBrothersGrimm gave Rapunzel this in their {{Bowdlerise}}d version when they have her, unprompted, mention the Prince to the witch. The first edition at least makes sense -- Rapunzel wonders aloud why her clothing no longer fits. Unsurprisingly, considering how the girl lived her life, she didn't know she was pregnant. The ''Faerie Tale Theatre'' adaptation removes the IdiotBall by giving Rapunzel a pet parrot who mimics the prince when the Witch comes to visit.
** The parents also carried an Idiot Ball, considering they lived next door to a woman they knew was a witch and then chose to even ''risk'' stealing from her. WackyCravings or not, that was just dumb in its purest form.
** However, in some versions, the mother's want for the lettuce is so strong that she faces death if she doesn't get it, caused by the witch herself, or both.
** In at least one version (and, again, ''Disney{{Tangled}}''), the mother is ill and the flower is a magic cure.
* IfICantHaveYou: Mother Gothel, of course.
* ImprobableHairstyle: Needless to say, human hair probably can't grow that long or be strong enough to climb up (not to mention a nightmare to maintain). Since she's living with a witch, AWizardDidIt could come into play -- suggesting that the witch enchanted the hair. In ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'' it's justified because the hair is a result of magic. Subverted in ''Barbie As Rapunzel'' where the hair is only floor-length - which is possible in real life, depending on the person's genes. And the maintenance is believable because she's only locked in the tower for one day.
* KarmaHoudini: In most versions, it isn't mentioned what happens to the witch after she banishes Rapunzel.
** It is often common in retellings to have her be stuck in the tower. The earliest known variant, [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rapunzel/stories/petros.html Petrosinella]], avoids this by having her get eaten by a wolf.
* TheKindnapper: Some interpretations of the witch.
* KnightTemplarParent: [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation Some versions]] of the witch.
* LettingHerHairDown: Something Gothel and the prince keep asking Rapunzel to do; [[FreudWasRight Freud had a field day with the metaphorical implications of this request]].
* LawOfInverseFertility: Her parents had long wanted and never had a child. Apparently the witch also wanted a child. And in some versions, Rapunzel inconveniently becomes pregnant.
* LoveAtFirstNote: The prince for Rapunzel.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Rapunzel for the prince.
* MissConception: In the first edition of the Grimm tales, the sorceress gets wind of the prince visiting Rapunzel when Rapunzel wonders why her dress is seemingly getting tighter and tighter around the middle. Obviously it does not occur to Rapunzel (probably because of her extremely sheltered life) that she could be pregnant. This version of events was sanitized from the second edition onwards, where Rapunzel simply blabs out that the prince visits her in a moment of thoughtlessness.
* ParentalAbandonment: Her father was pretty quick to accept the witch's deal of some rapunzel lettuce in exchange for his unborn child. Maybe she really was better off with the witch.
* PregnantBadass: Rapunzel. Living alone in the desert isn't easy at the best of times, especially for a pregnant woman who has no survival skills.
* RaceLift: ''Series/OnceUponATime'' gives Rapunzel one (and her parents by extension) where she is played by mixed race actress Alexandra Metz. What's more is that the script specifically called for a black actress to play the character.
** Raphaela Zilberger in ''[[Literature/FairyTaleNovels Rapunzel Let Down]]'' is Hispanic.
* RapunzelHair: TropeNamer.
* ShakingHerHairLoose: Some versions the story say that Rapunzel's long golden hair is braided or tied up 90% of the time, and it's only untied when Mother Gothel or the prince climb up it.
* SwissArmyTears: Rapunzel's tears unblind the Prince.
* TeenPregnancy: In the first edition of ''Grimm's Fairy Tales'', Rapunzel is actually pregnant. And gives births to two sons ([[UntoUsASonAndDaughterAreBorn in some versions a boy and a girl instead]]).
* TraumaticHaircut: Done to Rapunzel by the witch.
* WackyCravings: Rapunzel's mother's craving for a herb is what starts the entire plot.
* [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse What Happened to the Witch?]]: In many, if not all, versions of the story, the witch vanishes completely from the story after blinding the prince and sending Rapunzel elsewhere. Where did she go? What happened to her? She just seems to go away, scot-free. Unless one takes the view that the cut hair fell away from the tower before she could descend, [[DeathByIrony leaving her trapped in there to die alone.]]
** Rapunzel's parents are never mentioned again after she is taken. Though considering they sold her to a witch, she might be better off...
* WickedWitch: In earlier versions, [[TheFairFolk a fairy.]]
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Rapunzel.

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