[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/into_the_woods_graphic.jpg]]

->''"[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor I wish...]]"''

'''''Into the Woods''''' is a Musical by James Lapine and Creator/StephenSondheim that weaves together the {{fairy tale}}s of ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}'', ''Literature/JackAndTheBeanstalk'', ''Literature/LittleRedRidingHood'', and ''Literature/{{Rapunzel}}''.

In the first act, a baker and his wife who desperately want a child are told by the witch who cursed their family with infertility that she'll lift the spell if they do something for her first. She sends them on a quest that takes them in and out of the other stories, collecting Cinderella's slipper, Jack's cow, Little Red Riding Hood's...riding hood, and some of Rapunzel's hair. There's also a mysterious old man who appears from time to time, trying to help the quest along for reasons of his own. After a certain amount of deception, theft, and murder -- you remember how these stories go, right? -- everybody gets what they were wishing for at the beginning, and there's a big song-and-dance number about how [[TemptingFate they will all live happily ever after]].

Then comes the ''second'' act, where [[FromBadToWorse everybody has to grow up and face the consequences of their actions.]]

The show is one of Sondheim's most famous, alongside ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' and ''{{Company}}''. In the year dominated by ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', it was able to snag three Tony Awards, for Best Score, Best Book, and Best Leading Actress (Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife). The original Broadway production has since been followed by a notably contentious revival in 2002, as well as numerous productions across the country at everywhere from the regional to the high school drama level.

Many people are most familiar with the excellent version filmed by PBS under its ''American Playhouse'' banner in 1991 and subsequently released on home video; this was based on the original Broadway production and had most of the same cast. In 2012, a limited-run revival as part of New York's Shakespeare in the Park starred Donna Murphy as the witch -- just months after she could be heard playing much the same role in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''.

[[{{Creator/Disney}} Walt Disney Pictures]] will release a film adaptation on Christmas Day, 2014, with Rob Marshall (''Film/{{Chicago}}'' and ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean 4'') directing an AllStarCast including AnnaKendrick as Cinderella, ChrisPine as Prince Charming, MerylStreep as the Witch, JohnnyDepp as the Big Bad Wolf and many more. This being a Disney production, Sondheim himself [[http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/06/23/stephen-sondheim-statement-into-the-woods/ has confirmed]] that this adaptation will be LighterAndSofter than the original (linked article contains spoilers for both versions).

Now has a [[Characters/IntoTheWoods character sheet]].
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!!''Into the Woods'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActingForTwo
** According to OriginalCastPrecedent, the Narrator and the Mysterious Man are played by the same actor. Same goes for Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf, as well as Cinderella's Mother and the Giantess ''and'' Granny. Usually played in an AndYouWereThere fashion, at least for the first two actors.
** In the Broadway revival, Cinderella's Mother was played by a recording of Cinderella's own actress.
** In the Central Park production, the Narrator was changed to a young boy so instead the Mysterious Man doubled as Cinderella's Father (played by Chip Zien, the original Baker, in a nice RemakeCameo). And they got Glenn Close to lend her (prerecorded) voice as the Giantess.
* AnAesop: Several, some subtler than others.
** Actions have consequences. You can't just go recklessly about doing whatever you want.
** Be aware that the way you act and the things you say will impact the next generation--children may not always obey, but they ''do'' listen.
** BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor
** Nice is different than good, and the good people aren't always the ones you think.
** Life is hard, but rather than run away, you have to grow up and deal with it.
* AfraidOfBlood: Cinderella's Prince.
-->"Yes but even one prick, it's my thing about blood!"
* AlcoholicParent: Cinderella's Father: "The closer to the family, the closer to the wine."
* AllForNothing: The second act does this to the first act. Especially for [[spoiler:the Baker.]]
* AmusingInjuries: It's really funny when Cinderella, singing instead of paying attention to Florinda's hairdo, twists the bun tighter and tighter while Florinda reels in a circle. [[SubvertedTrope It's]] ''[[SubvertedTrope not]]'' [[SubvertedTrope funny]] when Florinda slaps Cinderella for it a second later.
* AndYouWereThere: Depending on the production, some characters with similar traits are played by the same actor. See ActingForTwo above.
* AntiVillain: The Witch
** Also the Giantess. Let's face it, she's got a lot to complain about.
* AnyoneCanDie: Played to the extreme when they kill off the least likely character of all... [[spoiler:the Narrator.]]
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Little Red Riding Hood doesn't believe Jack's really been up the beanstalk or that a hen laid a golden egg despite the world they live in. She similarly responds in disbelief to Cinderella talking to birds despite the fact she talked to a wolf.
** The Steward and Cinderella's family don't believe the Baker when he reports the Giantess despite a Giant having just been slain a little while ago.
** Used as a gag when everyone is trying to guess what happened, listing off Dragons, Giants, Thunder, and Manticores. The Witch disdainfully comments that Manticores aren't real.
* ArcWords: No specific phrase, but count the number of times they say "children", "giant(s)", "witch(es)", "wish(es)", "wolves", "spell(s)", "right", and "wrong" just in a generic context.
** "I wish" is always sung the exact same way, with the same two notes.
** Also the words "nice" and "good" -- particularly in lines sung by Cinderella and Little Red.
** And what about "wood" or "woods"?
* AuthorExistenceFailure: InUniverse. [[spoiler:The characters freak out after the narrator is killed as he was "the only one who knew how the story went."]]
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler: Milky White]]
* BadBadActing: The Baker's Wife when she tries to get Jack to trade/buy the magic beans for the cow. "Oh... Oh! Oh no, we ''mustn't'' give up our beans!"
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: "Wishes come true, not free."
* BigEater: Little Red Riding Hood. Between the prologue and reaching Grannies, she eats nearly the entire basket of goods she was meant to bring a loaf of bread, a sticky bun (or four), and a few pies. She is even eating when she isn't singing her orders.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Jack, Red Ridinghood, Cinderella, the Baker, and his child are alive. But Rapunzel, Jack's mother, Red's family, and the Baker's wife and the father who only just came back into his life are dead. Cinderella has left her philandering prince. Neither Prince seemed to learn a lesson. The Witch is dead and much of the country has been destroyed by the giantess stomping around]].
* BlameGame: "Your Fault" is the characters placing blame on each other for their bad choices or the choices of those close to them. They go through primary blame, secondary blame, and then weedle it all down to the Witch's fault for having grown her garden in the first place.
* BlindWithoutEm: The giantess is nearsighted and so can't actually tell which of the little people running around her feet are the boy she's trying to kill.
* BookEnds: "I wish..."
* {{Bowdlerise}}: A [[http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000189 "Junior"]] version of this show is available from the company that licenses the full-length version for community theaters and schools. The entire second act is cut out, both to reduce the voluminous runtime and to produce a kid-friendly version without the cruelly ironic twists of the second act.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: When the second act rolls around the characters get a little sick of the narrator and set on him.
** Bernadette Peters also talks to one of the audience members when Rapunzel sings for her.
* BrokenBird: The Witch. Her misanthropy and belief that "the world is dark and wild" must come from somewhere, although we never learn exactly what happened. We do get a hint when she sings ''Lament'':
-->''Couldn't you stay content / safe behind walls / as I / could not?''
* TheCasanova: Both Princes.
* CatchphraseInterruptus: The Mysterious Man's enigmatic introduction, the final time he offers it; overlaps with RuleOfThree.
* ChangedMyMindKid: [[spoiler:The Baker, at the end of Act II after he snaps out of his HeroicBSOD.]]
* CharacterDevelopment: In the end, the only good thing out of the whole mess was that the (still living) main characters grew as individuals and are ultimately better people than they were before.
* ChekhovsGun:
** Cinderella's Prince [[spoiler:tars the steps of the palace to try and keep her from running.]] In Act II, [[spoiler:Cinderella considers doing the same to the Giant's Wife to keep her still so they can kill her.]]
** The bean Cinderella throws away in Act I [[spoiler:allows the Giantess to climb down from the sky kingdom in Act II.]]
** In the filmed version Jack is seen holding what look like giant glasses in the Act II Prologue. Guess what the giant's main problem is?
* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot
Via the Witch's major [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Reason You Suck Song]] on Cinderella, Jack, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Baker pointing out what their actions from Act I have gotten them into.
* CrapsackWorld: The world becomes this during the second act. As the Narrator puts it, "You don't want to live in a world of chaos."
* CurseEscapeClause: [[spoiler:The Witch cannot touch any of the items needed to remove ''her'' curse.]]
* CutSong: "Giants in the Sky", "On the Steps of the Palace", and "Last Midnight" were all replacements for less appropriate songs written earlier. There was also a song called "The Plan" that was cut.
** The initial versions of those songs are included on the original soundtrack; the prototype of "Giants In The Sky" is notable for being so fast-paced that it's nearly unsingable.
* CuteClumsyGirl: Cinderella while wearing the gold slippers--they're terrible to walk in.
* DarkestHour: Act II.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Acknowledged in "No One is Alone" that giants and others beings can be good.
* DarkReprise
** Inverted with the first parts of "Stay With Me" and "Lament", which later become the happier "Children Will Listen".
** And most ironically, the song "Ever After," where everyone joyously sings about how everything has worked out perfectly, is reprised into "Your Fault" which is the principal five characters trying to place the blame for how everything got ''so messed up.''
** And in a very, very meta example, the melody of "Any Moment" [[spoiler:(sung by Cinderella's prince as he seduces the Baker's Wife)]] is used as the counterpoint in "Moments in the Woods" where she regrets the discretion.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The entire second half of the play.
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Little Red Riding Hood.
** The Witch.
* DeadPersonConversation
** Cinderella with her mother's spirit when visiting her grave. Mom later stooges off the stepsisters when they try to swipe Cinderella's fiance.
** [[spoiler:The Baker and his fathe in the final act. He's [[NotQuiteDead not completely dead]] -- if only in the sense that you carry your parents with you forever. He hangs a lampshade on this, of course]].
** [[spoiler:The Baker and his wife near the very end.]]
* DeathBySex: Well, whether sex was involved is up for interpretation, but [[spoiler:The Baker's Wife does die very shortly after her 'encounter' with Cinderella's Prince.]]
* DeathEqualsRedemption: [[spoiler:The Mysterious Man. Depending on interpretation, the Baker's Wife. ]]
* DeathGlare: The filmed version (and several stage versions) have the Witch deliver a glorious (and often hilarious) one to the Baker when he says, "Giants never strike the same place twice."
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of fairy tales, specifically the homogenized children's versions. The original versions are pretty dark but don't have any WhereAreTheyNow scenes.
** DeconstructionCrossover: The play combines no less than five [[spoiler:seven if one counts Snow White and Sleeping Beauty]] fairy tales with some characters fitting into other roles, like the Baker [[spoiler:saving Red and her granny]], but at the same time, their interactions help pint out the issues the original characters must go through and the consequences their choices brought.
* DespairEventHorizon
** [[spoiler: Respectively, Rapunzel and The Baker's Wife's deaths for The Witch and The Baker]].
** [[spoiler: Rapunzel is so traumatized she's gone crazy by the beginning of Act Two and eventually throws herself in the Giant's path]].
* DidNotDieThatWay: The Baker believes that his parents died in a "baking accident". This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the narrator who shrugs in confusion, implying "Hey, I just say what I'm told to." As it turns out, [[spoiler:his mother died on the day Rapunzel was born, and his father ran off, too cowardly to face his son over his part in causing this tragedy on the family]]. Baking was not involved at all.
* DisappearedDad: Jack's. Mentioned as being "not back" for one line in the first act and never brought up again.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
** The Wolf and Little Red's entire encounter can be seen as a child predator and his victim, including her song about what she learned, "Nice is not Good" indeed.
*** Little Red's post-encounter song "I know things now" is a pretty good analogy for any first sexual encounter, not just a predatory one.
** "Well... perhaps it will take the two of us to get this child."
* DoubleStandard: See Karma Houdini below, but in a nutshell: [[spoiler:The Baker's Wife is unfaithful and dies moments later, while the Princes -- who were also being unfaithful -- forget their wives and find other women to rescue, marry, and presumably cheat on again.]] Justified (?) in that the [[spoiler:Baker's Wife's]] behavior is not portrayed as making her a horrible person, and the Princes' behavior is not portrayed as being reasonable or excusable.
* DraggedOffToHell: [[spoiler: The Witch after "Last Midnight"]].
* DramaticIrony: When the Baker meets Cinderella in Act 2, he assumes that the Prince is off seducing a woman instead of trying to stop the Giant. [[spoiler:Turns out he is and that woman is the Baker's Wife!]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Rapunzel -- though up for argument, given how deranged she seemed -- and The Witch. ''Something'' took her away at the end of "The Last Midnight," and she appears in the epilogue at the same time as the Baker's Wife's ghost.]]
* DumbBlonde: Cinderella's stepsisters. Rapunzel also show elements of this in act one. By act two she's fallen apart somewhat.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A key part of the story, but that said, the characters learn to be careful which path they chose because there will be consequences.
* ElevenOClockNumber: "Your Fault/Last Midnight."
* EnsembleCast: Though some characters do get more stage time than others, the plot does not revolve around a singular protagonist and many get approximately equal stage time.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Of the many characters in the show, only Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack get actual names. The stepsisters are given the names "Florinda" and "Lucinda" in the script, but are never referred to as such in the actual dialogue.
** [[spoiler: The Narrator uses one of their names at exactly one point at the end of Act I - when Cinderella's Prince comes to have them try the shoe. He says it is taken into "Florinda's room", and then Lucinda is referred to as the "other sister" when it is her turn. Either way, it allows the audience to tell the difference after that.]]
* ExactWords / LoopholeAbuse: The Baker needs to find "Hair as yellow as corn." Nothing says that the hair [[spoiler:cannot come from an ''actual'' ear of corn]].
* ExtremeOmnivore: After collecting all four of the items, the Witch order the Baker and his wife to [[spoiler:feed them to the cow, then milk her.]]
* EyeScream
** Rapunzel's Prince gets his eyes gouged out by thorns as per the original story.
** As do Cinderella's stepsisters (though by birds rather than thorns).
** [[spoiler:And the Giantess.]]
* FireForgedFriends: The Baker, Cinderella, Jack and Little Red.
* FiveStagesOfGrief: [[spoiler:The Baker goes through these during Act II after his wife is killed.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}
** The last lines of the 1st Act are "Happily ever after!", right after the narrator adds "To be continued."
** There's also the Baker's Wife eagerly asking Cinderella's questions about the Prince and admiring the Princes.
*** Additionally, when Cinderella's prince and the Steward meet the Baker's Wife and she lies about Cinderella's whereabouts, Cinderella's Prince can be seen glancing back at the Baker's Wife in many productions.
* ForTheEvulz: Because watching [[spoiler:the Baker's father cry and the Baker's mother die when she claimed Rapunzel]] wasn't enough to mollify the Witch, she cursed the Baker to never have children.
* FracturedFairyTale: The story is a mixture of at least seven different fairy tales and conflicts driven from this strange mixture.
* FromBadToWorse: The second act, particularly with the death of [[spoiler: the Narrator]], immediately after which [[spoiler: Rapunzel and Jack's Mother also die, and the Baker and his wife exchange angry last words to each other]].
* GeniusBruiser: "[[NoIndoorVoice NOT ALL GIANTS ARE DUMB!]]" The witch also highlights the fact that this is what makes a giant so dangerous.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In both professional outdoor productions, the sexual tension between the Wolf and Little Red is heightened even further when the Wolf appears to be [[DoubleEntendre ''eating'']] Little Red... ''and she enjoys it.''
* GhostSong: Twice: "No More" and the brief reprise of "No One Is Alone" by [[spoiler: The Baker's Wife]] before "Children Will Listen".
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Pointed out in act 2. The giantess that was causing so much destruction was rightly furious at Jack, and the chaos and carnage she caused was largely accidental. The characters spend a scene or two contemplating just who is the villain anymore. Probably best summed up in "No One Is Alone":
-->''"Witches can be right. Giants can be good. You decide what's right. You decide what's good. Someone is on your side/ someone else is not/ While we're seeing our side/ maybe we forgot: They are not alone. No one is alone."''
* GrammarNazi: A sadly oft-missed joke, Rapunzel's Prince points out that the plural of "Dwarf" is, in fact, "Dwarfs," not "Dwarves."
* GriefSong: "The Witch's Lament" and "No More".
* {{Grimmification}}: Of Grimm stories themselves!
* HamToHamCombat: '''Agony!''' Far more ''painful'' than yooooours!
* HappilyEverAfter: Subverted, or rather deconstructed.
* HappilyMarried: The Baker and his Wife.
* HeroicBSOD: The Baker, BIG TIME [[spoiler:after his wife dies]].
* HopeSpringsEternal: By the end of the play, the Baker has come to see these.
---> '''Baker, Jack, Cinderella, LRRH:''' The light is getting dimmer..\\
'''Baker:''' I think I see a glimmer--
* {{Hypocrite}}: The Witch. She participates in the song "Your Fault", but then when the ultimate blame falls on her, she accuses them of only caring about the blame ("Last Midnight").
* HypocriticalHumor: At the end of Act 2, Little Red says to Cinderella, "[[LampshadeHanging You can talk to birds?]]". This is effective and funny… [[FridgeLogic until you realize that Little Red had an entire conversation with a wolf in Act 1.]]
* IdiotHero: Jack. One of the idiot-est.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Several:
** [[spoiler:Baker's Wife to Baker;]]
** [[spoiler:Rapunzel to Witch (though ironically ''not'' Rapunzel's Prince);]]
** [[spoiler:Jack's Mother to Jack]]
** [[spoiler:And to a lesser extent, Granny to Little Red.]]
* InteractiveNarrator: Hoo boy. He's even [[spoiler:mortal. ''Very'' mortal]].
* InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves: The Witch's perception of human nature.
* IWantSong: Really, the first act is one big IWantSong. Or "I Wish" Song.
* IWasQuiteALooker: The Witch. [[spoiler:And she becomes a looker again.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The Witch is more than just a classic villain, especially considering her moment of anguish after [[spoiler:Rapunzel dies]], and the fact that she, of all people, is the one who sings the beautiful "[[TearJerker Children]] [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Will]] [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Listen]]" at the end.
* KarmaHoudini
** While the stepsisters are blinded by birds, their mother and stepfather -- arguably even more responsible for Cinderella's suffering -- never gets such treatment, [[spoiler:although it is implied that the whole family starves to death at the end: "when going to hide know how to get there, how to get back, and eat first."]]
** Worse still, [[spoiler:Cinderella's Prince seduces the Baker's wife. She realizes that it was a mistake and learns a lesson from it, and promptly dies. He continues on without changing and winds up with Sleeping Beauty.]]
** Even worse, [[spoiler:the other prince watches Rapunzel die, runs off in fear (or grief, depending upon how he is played) and only shows up again in the finale with Snow White. At least Cinderella's Prince is shown to be conflicted, and is even told by Cinderella that she no longer wants to be his.]]
** One could argue [[spoiler: that the two princes are obsessed with the new, never being happy with what they have, always being disappointed in what they can't have, and thus will never actually have a happy life.]]
** [[spoiler:To Rapunzel's prince's credit, his wife was insane and he had two kids to think about.]]
** [[spoiler:[[DirtyCoward The Steward]] literally gets away with murder.]]
** [[spoiler:Jack is actually arguably the biggest one. Even though everyone is guilty in some way for the events of Act 2, Jack is arguably the most responsible. On his first trip up the stalk, after being taken care of by the Giantess, steals her gold when her husband appears and escapes. He later goes back simply to steal more to get his cow back. Then, after being taunted by a girl he had probably never met in his life, he goes back and steals AGAIN just to prove her wrong. In Act 2, he never pays for his actions. The only punishment he has is the indirect death of his mother, and he when he learns about this, he wants to kill the man who tried to stop her from pissing the Giantess off more, instead of feeling guilt for causing it all in the first place.]]
* KnightTemplarParent: See MyBelovedSmother below.
* LargeHam
** Both Princes (see HamToHamCombat above), but Cinderella's Prince is definitely more of this trope, since not only does he get another scene [[spoiler:where he flirts with the Baker's Wife and eventually seduces her]], but the actor who plays him [[OriginalCastPrecedent usually]] plays the Wolf as well.
** Don't forget Creator/BernadettePeters as the Witch.
* LampshadeHanging: Little Red to Cinderella in the end of act two: "You can talk to birds?"
** Every time someone meets Rapunzel, they feel the need to point out how much of a strange name she has.
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:Jack's Mother]], right before dying, demands that the Baker protect [[spoiler:Jack from the giantess. And the Baker obliges to the best of his ability.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: In "Moments in the Woods", the Baker's Wife sings "I'm in the wrong story". According to WordOfGod, Sondheim added this line after he realized that the story of the baker and his wife feels much more contemporary than the others. Joanna Gleason, who played the Baker's Wife, felt like her character was in the wrong story, and so did Sondheim. He felt like this needed acknowledgement.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A short musical theme, heard when Jack gives the beans to the Baker, finds its way into several of the songs, and is the entire basis for the Witch's "Stay With Me".
* LemonyNarrator: Unusual for this trope, [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou this backfires on him.]] ''Spectacularly.''
-->'''Witch''': "You wanted to get rid of him, too."
* LightIsNotGood
* ListSong: The Witch's Rap
* LittleBrotherIsWatching: The song "Children Will Listen" warns parents that children will copy their behavior.
* LittleRedFightingHood: One of the main characters.
* LivingProp: Literally? In the original production of ''Into the Woods'', Milky White was usually just a wooden figurine of a cow, just like the horses. But in the revivals and more modern productions usually Milky White is played by a character in an elaborate cow costume, though they still mostly just stand in place and are then dragged on and off stage.
* LongLostRelative: Pretty much the Baker's family. His younger sister was taken away from him and his family and his [[spoiler:father]] abandons him and doesn't contact him until he's married and is attempting to break the family curse.
* LosingTheTeamSpirit: A good chunk of Act II after [[spoiler:The Baker's Wife is killed and The Baker has his HeroicBSOD, abandoning the other surviving characters for a while]].
* TheLostWoods: The titular Woods.
* LovingAShadow: [[spoiler:Cinderella and her Prince's character development comes from them both realizing they do not love each other, but will always love "The Prince at the ball" and "The girl who ran away"]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:The Mysterious Man to The Baker.]] He doesn't actually say it, though, preferring to remain unknown; it's the Witch who [[IncrediblyLamePun spills the beans.]]
* MakeAWish: "I wish..." opens the show. Magic, however, comes in only indirectly -- Cinderella going to her mother's grave to request silver and gold (a dress appears); the Baker and his Wife agree to [[FetchQuest fulfill the demands of the Witch,]] who would then allow them to conceive a child. However, all of their wishes come back to haunt them in Act II, which opens with the same words. Ends with them, too. (But it's usually drowned out by the applause.)
* MamaBear: For as dumb as she is, Jack's Mother.
** If you really want to count the Witch being angry that the Baker's Wife yanked out a lock of [[spoiler:Rapunzel's]] hair because she truly loves her, then she's one as well.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and an original work all exist in the same world, in the same kingdom, in the same woods.
* MassiveMultiplayerEnsembleNumber: The opening numbers of both acts, "Ever After", "First Midnight", and to a lesser extent "Second Midnight".
* MisfitMobilizationMoment: When The Baker, Jack, Little Red and Cinderella team up to kill the other giant.
* MissingMom: Cinderella's mother, who helps her out as a ghost/spirit in the tree. [[spoiler:But in Act 2, the tree is destroyed.]] By the end of Act 2, [[spoiler: The Baker, Cinderella, Little Red, Jack, and the Baker's Son all]] have dead mothers.
* MyBelovedSmother
** Rapunzel summed it up best.
-->'''Witch:''' What's the matter?\\
'''Rapunzel:''' [[SarcasmMode Oh, nothing!]] You just locked me in a tower without company for fourteen years, then you blinded my Prince and banished me to a desert where I had little to eat, and again no company, and then bore twins! Because of the way you treated me, ''(cries)'' I'll never, never be happy!\\
{{beat}}\\
'''Witch:''' ''(defensive, yet sincere)'' I was just trying to be a good mother.
** Jack's Mother is pretty controlling too... though given what an IdiotHero he is, Jack might genuinely need it.
* MythologyGag: The first act keeps all the most important points in the original fairytales, but they're [[PlayedForLaughs played]] ''[[PlayedForLaughs hilariously]]'', including the parts you never thought could actually be funny. Notable examples include Cinderella's stepsisters cutting off their toes, Little Red and Granny coming out of the Wolf's stomach, and Rapunzel crying into the prince's eyes.
** The show also plays with the fact that Cinderella's slippers are incredibly valuable. Wouldn't they be a little hard to walk in? [[CuteClumsyGirl Yes.]] According to Cinderella, they're not very good for dancing either.
** Also, how does the Witch climb up Rapunzel's hair without any trouble and without hurting the girl? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy7b66adOYo She doesn't.]]
* NarratorAllAlong: In the recent outdoor productions, the child Narrator [[spoiler:turns out to be [[TheReveal the Baker and his Wife's son]].]] However, because of the events in Act 2, there is some disagreement on the accuracy of this.
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: [[spoiler:The Baker and his wife. MAJOR Tearjerker.]]
** Even worse, the last time the spoke to each other, [[PartingWordsRegret they were fighting.]]
-->"[[TemptingFate Will only a giant's foot stop your arguing?]]"
* NeverMyFault: The whole premise for the song, "Your Fault", until the Witch [[WhatTheHellHero calls everyone out on it]]
* [[GoodIsNotNice Nice Is Different Than Good]]
* NinjaProp: The narrator [[spoiler:becomes one]].
* NoBodyLeftBehind: In the Regent's Park Open Air (and later the Shakespeare in the Park) production, [[spoiler: Rapunzel's twins turn into dust after her death]].
* NoFourthWall: Especially in the PBS filming where The Witch talks to a little boy in the audience for a moment.
* NoNameGiven: Only Jack, Cinderella, Cinderella's stepsisters, and Rapunzel have actual names and the stepsisters are never referred to by their names in the dialogue.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: The Steward in the Act Two opening.
* OffTheRails: Extremely so, and very suddenly, in the second act when the characters [[spoiler:give the narrator to the Giant's wife who drops him to his death when she sees he isn't Jack]].
* OnlySaneMan: The Witch has elements of this in Act Two, when she shows herself to be the only person who understands the gravity of the situation, and the unpleasant things that may need to be done to solve it. Although her violent and overprotective behavior throughout most of the play cannot exactly be called sane.
* TheOphelia: Rapunzel.
* OriginalCastPrecedent: Responsible most prominently for the ActingForTwo listed above.
* ParentingTheHusband: The Baker's Wife, a little bit. The Baker even admits that he depends on her for everything [[spoiler:after she dies]].
* PatterSong
** "Your Fault", and the Witch's raps in the act openers.
** "Maybe They're Magic" and "Moments in the Woods"!
* PetTheDog: The Witch towards Rapunzel, except when she's angry at her. In the first act, she instantly changes emotion and starts fawning every time she hears Rapunzel singing.
* [[PlayingATree Playing A Cow]]: Since the 2002 revival, Milky White has been played by a live actor in many productions. The results range from TearJerker to CrowningMomentOfFunny.
* PlotCoupon
* PrinceCharming: Deconstructed -- see PrinceCharmless.
* PrinceCharmless: "I was raised to be charming, not sincere."
* PrincessClassic: Deconstructed/subverted with Cinderella and Rapunzel.
* PromotionToParent: In Act II, Cinderella and the Baker have to move on from young adults who still rely on the ideals of their (absent) parents, to being mentors to Little Red and Jack, respectively. Played for laughs when Jack asks who will take care of him now that his mother is dead, and Little Red chimes in with "I'll be your mother now". Made even better by the fact that, in many productions, Red is ''clearly'' younger than Jack, by at least a couple years.
* RageAgainstTheAuthor: [[spoiler:They give the Narrator to the Giantess to save themselves.]]
* RemakeCameo: Chip Zien, who starred as The Baker in the original Broadway production appeared in the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production as The Mysterious Man ([[spoiler: his original character's father]]) and Cinderella's Father. That same year, Danielle Ferland, who originated Little Red, later starred in the Westport Country Playhouse production as The Baker's Wife.
* RhymesOnADime
** A lot of The Witch's dialogue during the Act I and II openings.
** Averted with the Mysterious Man, who has clearly rehearsed his rhyming introduction.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Averted in that both Princes are frickin' useless. Played with in that Cinderella tries to help, but has to dress as a commoner to do so.
* RuleOfThree: In Act 1, there are three days of events.
* ShoutOut: To ''Literature/SleepingBeauty'' and ''Literature/SnowWhite''.
* SnicketWarningLabel
* TheSoprano: Averted (mostly) with both Cinderella and Rapunzel, at least by the second act -- they both have quite a bit of [[TheIngenue ingenue]] about them, but neither of them is a PuritySue or SatelliteLoveInterest.
* SpitTake: At least in the original production, watch the Baker's reaction to Little Red's "Never can tell what lies ahead, for all that I know she's already dead."
* SpoofAesop: Several characters learn the wrong lessons from their troubles, like the Witch saying "I had everything but beauty. I had power!", or Cinderella's song "On the Steps of the Palace", about learning to duck important decisions.
* StayInTheKitchen: This is the Baker's attitude in the beginning of the first act, but he gets over it.
* StepfordSmiler: Cinderella's stepsisters at the start of Act 2. They're blinded and lame but they still insist that they're happy as long as Cinderella is happy.
* SurvivorGuilt: The surviving characters at the end of the show. [[spoiler:Especially The Baker.]]
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: The Witch really didn't like having to rely on the Baker and his Wife to help her.
* TenorBoy: Jack
* TheyveComeSoFarSong: "It Takes Two" has the Baker and his wife singing about how their quest has helped them develop character.
* TookALevelInBadass: The Baker, Jack, Cinderella and Little Red.
* TotallyRadical: The Witch's {{Patter Song}}s have elements of this, musically, being Sondheim and the orchestrator's idea of what rap music sounded like.
* TrueCompanions: By the end of the show, [[spoiler:the Baker, Cinderella, Jack, and Red Riding Hood]], as the surviving heroes seemed destined to become these.
* TwiceToldTale: The show will be massively confusing to anyone who doesn't know the original fairy tales; fortunately, just about anyone who watches is will know them from their childhood.
* TwoActStructure
* TheUnintelligible: Rapunzel only has a few scenes where she actually talks. The rest of the show, she expresses her feelings by "humming a lighthearted air" and screaming. Somewhat {{lampshaded}} by her prince. After the reprise of "Agony," Rapunzel, out of nowhere, lets out an enormous scream. The prince doesn't look the slightest bit shocked and says "Rapunzel," in deadpan.
* UnnamedParent: Half the cast -- The Baker and his Wife, Jack's Mother, Cinderella's Mother and Father, [[spoiler:The Mysterious Man]].
* VillainLoveSong
* VillainousBreakdown: The witch after [[spoiler:Rapunzel's death]], quickly leading to "Last Midnight" and her subsequent [[spoiler:abandonment of the rest of the cast.]]
* VoiceOfTheLegion: Normally, this is the voice of the Giantess.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: The two princes run on this trope. They obsess in the song "Agony" over the women they can't have, but once those are won they're immediately off pursuing a ''new'' set of seemingly unattainable women (with occasional dalliances on the side). It's all capped off by this exchange, as Cinderella and her Prince break up:
-->'''Cinderella's Prince:''' I shall always love the maiden who ran away.\\
'''Cinderella:''' And I, the faraway prince.
* [[WhamLine Wham Moment]]
** Act Two is going great, everyone's "So happy" -- until the Giantess enters.
** There is a very minor [[WhamLine Wham Line]] near the beginning; when Red Riding Hood enters, she says that she found her house collapsed, and the music stops briefly [[spoiler: when she says that she couldn't find her mother.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse
** What Happened to the Cow? It probably [[ForceFeeding died of]] [[IAteWhat indigestion.]] Or got crushed when the giantess crushed Jack's house.
** [[spoiler:Rapunzel's twin babies.]] In some productions, [[spoiler: they die with their mother under the Giantess' foot. In case you didn't get that Act II was going to be rough...]]
** The witch tells the baker offhand that he has a sister that the witch had taken from his parents. The narrator confirms that Rapunzel is indeed his sister. This is never brought up or mentioned, and none of the characters bother with this connection.
** Also an example in-story during act two: the heroes have to do some quick thinking to remember, "''What happened to the last magic bean?''" The answer: The Baker's Wife tried to pawn it to Cinderella, who just threw it aside, and the Wife never found it. That allowed that bean to [[spoiler:take root and grow into a ''second'' beanstalk.]]
** Rapunzel's Prince leaves the stage after Act 2's version of "Agony", and doesn't show up again.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman
** "Ask a wolf's mother."
** "A giant's still a person, isn't it?"
* WhatTheHellHero
** The Witch's interruption of "Your Fault" with "Last Midnight" strongly involves calling out the other main characters for their contributions to the general misery.
** "Your Fault", meanwhile, is everyone calling everyone out for awhile, before deciding to throw all the blame on the Witch, who is definitely not blameless.
** "No More" opens with the Baker calling [[spoiler:[[CallingTheOldManOut his father]]]] out on his actions. And the rest of the song is [[spoiler:the Baker's father]] calling the Baker out on his decision to run away from his problems.
* WhenTheClockStrikesTwelve
** The Baker and his wife had to get the ingredients before midnight of the third day, although interestingly averted with Cinderella as her dress was permanent and she left before midnight on all three nights
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: [[spoiler:Rapunzel's Prince]] doesn't like dwarfs.
-->"Dwarfs are very upsetting..."
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: The Witch's VillainousBreakdown CrowningMusicOfAwesome, "The Last Midnight".
* WrongGenreSavvy: After the giantess attacks the characters return to the woods, confident in the grit and determination they acquired to achieve their happy endings in the first act. It's not going to be enough. It's not going to be anywhere near enough.
* YouAreNotAlone: "No One" is, after all. [[spoiler:Should be noted they acknowledge even the "bad guys" are not alone.]]
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