Characters: Once Upon A Time Former Main Characters
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Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archibald "Archie" Hopper
Jiminy Cricket: "Giving into one's dark side never accomplishes anything."
Archie Hopper: "You'll ruin my life? You'll do your worst? Because I will always do my best."
Played By: Raphael Sbarge, Adam Young (child), Morgan Roff (teenager)
Centric Episodes: "That Still Small Voice"
The son of vile criminals whose desire for an honest life results in his transformation into a cricket. In Storybrooke, he's a psychiatrist named Archie Hopper.
The Huntsman/Sheriff Graham Humbert
The Huntsman:"I gave up my heart so that the Queen would spare Snow's. Don't let my sacrifice be in vain."
Sheriff Graham Humbert:"It's my heart, Emma. I need to find it."
Played By: Jamie Dornan
Centric Episodes: "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"
A quiet, introverted Huntsman who is employed by Queen Regina to kill Snow White. In Storybrooke, he's the town's sheriff who is having a secret relationship with Regina Mills.
- Adorkable: Constant ties and vests? Check. Cute accent? Check. Complete inability to impress a girl with his jokes? Check.
- Badass Beard: He was a very capable fighter in the Enchanted Forest and sported his beard then as well.
- Berserk Button: In the Enchanted Forest, do not threaten wolves around him.
- A Death in the Limelight: He gets killed off during his centric episode "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter".
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: He maintains that he cannot feel and presumably keeps searching for something that will help in that regards. He eventually settles on Emma.
- Dirty Cop: He toes the line of this trope whenever Regina is involved. He doesn't want to be, but he's enthralled so he can't defy her.
- Dying as Yourself: Got his memories back before dying.
- Empty Shell: Thanks to having his heart ripped out by the Evil Queen.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: In the Enchanted Forest he is known only as the Huntsman. Considering he was literally raised by wolves, he might not have a real name.
- Evil Brit: Played with but eventually subverted. His close interactions with the Mayor have some very sinister overtones and he sides with her by default, but he otherwise seems helpful and just as Sheriff. We later learn he doesn't have much of a choice but to side with the mayor at all times.
- Fair Cop: Because Regina made him her Sheriff.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: The episode after his death is the last time he's really mentioned or remembered. Until season 4, when Emma mentions his death along with Neal's and Walsh' as the reason she fear the same thing can happens to Hook.
- He does reappear in flashbacks twice, once in the finale of Season 1, and during flashbacks in Season Two.
- Friend to All Living Things: As the Huntsman, despite his chosen profession, he nonetheless weeps over the animals he's forced to kill, honouring their sacrifice so that he may survive.
- Happily Adopted: As the Huntsman, he seems very happy with his wolf family who took him in after his parents abandoned him.
- Heart Trauma: The Evil Queen does to this to him when she finds out he let Snow White go. Results in his ultimate demise when Regina decides to destroy his heart after he dumps her.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: His usual day ware involves some leather.
- Hipster: He sure dresses like one in his Storybrooke form.
- Humans Are Bastards: As the Huntsman, he seemed more willing to kill people than animals and in general thought that a human being could never be innocent until he met Snow White.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Retains this ability even in Storybrooke.
- Killed Off for Real: Because he dumped Regina.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: Due to being raised by wolves and watching them being hunted by humans all his life.
- Manly Tears: Many as the Huntsman.
- Mr. Fanservice: He is a very handsome man and occasionally seen without shirts on.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He carries out Regina's commands though he does sometimes question them.
- Noble Top Enforcer: As the Sheriff of Storybrooke.
- Not Good with People: As the Huntsman, he prefers the company of animals to that of people. The Evil Queen mistakes this for ruthlessness.
- People Puppets: He could be one if Regina spoke into his heart. As it is, she seems content with merely enthralling him and having him parrot her instructions whilst arresting people, such as in "Welcome to Storybrooke", where he appears convinced that Kurt Flynn is guilty of drink driving, despite not being drunk or anywhere near a car.
- Protectorate: In exchange for agreeing to carry out the hit on Snow White, his sole condition was that Regina outlaw the hunting of wolves and make them a protected species in the Enchanted Forest.
- Pun/Don't Explain the Joke: In Episode 2, his weak joke to Emma about hurting the town's "signage" because she knocked over their sign.
- Punch Clock Villain: In both the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke, he did try to avoid doing some of the orders the Queen would give him.
- Raised by Wolves: In the Enchanted Forest, it's to the point that he doesn't acknowledge having a name, though he's somehow learned human speech and is literate.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To the extent that Regina will let him.
- Sacrificial Lion: The first character in the present story to die.
- Sex Slave: Once his heart is removed, he is this to the Queen and Regina in both worlds.
- The Sheriff: His job in Storybrooke.
- Shirtless Scene: At the end of Episode 4.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Yes, yes, and yes to all these features.
- Tin Man: After the Evil Queen removed his heart.
Pinocchio: "I don't wanna go. I don't wanna leave you!"
August Booth: "If you need evidence for everything, Emma, you're going to find yourself stuck in one place for a long time."
Played By: Eion Bailey
Centric Episodes: "The Stranger", "Selfless, Brave and True"
The son of Geppetto, Pinocchio is saved from the Dark Curse and sent with Emma to be her protector. However, he abandons her early on and takes the alias, August Booth, only to return to Storybrooke many years later.
- Agent Mulder: As August, in order to help Emma to believe.
- The Atoner: His time in Storybrooke and his attempts to make Emma believe are motivated mainly by him breaking his promise to Geppetto to look after her in the land without magic, and trying to fix it.
- Badass Biker: As August. Subverted because he doesn't do anything particularly badass.
- Become a Real Boy: A wooden August is turned back into a young boy in "Selfless, Brave and True".
- Big Brother Instinct: Word of God has said that they've moved August into big brother territory with Emma. However, this was subverted in Season 1 when August asked Emma out on a date and Eion Bailey's audition material was Bonnie & Clyde.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: After 28 years of (mostly) ignoring The Call, woke up in agony and discovered that he's slowly being turned back into a puppet.
- Body Horror: He starts reverting back into a wooden puppet.
- Deadpan Snarker: As August, big-time.
- Fatal Flaw: He has zero ability to resist temptation.
- Heel Realization: After failing to steal something from a woman with cancer that would help her get better (or so he thought), August officially realized what a bad, screwed-up life he'd made for himself and decides to change it.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: A leather jacket is his de-facto outfit.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He convinced Neal to leave Emma and let her get arrested so that she could focus on breaking the curse.
- He abandoned Emma in an orphanage because, as a 6 year old boy in a completely foreign land, he couldn't handle the pressure of protecting her and having abusive foster parents.
- Ill Boy: Without magic, he is beginning to turn back into a wooden puppet.
- Implied Love Interest:
- He may have asked Emma out on a date but his reasons were fairly ambiguous. Is he romantically interested in her or is he just trying to get her attention about something else?
- He also flirts with Ruby at one point. But then again, so does everyone else.
- Jerkass: Had become one buy the time he met Neal, persuaded him to abandon Emma, and even stole the bale money he left for Emma. As he himself puts it "I haven't exactly been a good boy."
- Leave Your Quest Test: He failed it.
- Long-Lost Relative:
- Subversion. He tricks Mr. Gold into thinking he is Rumpelstiltskin's son and Morality Pet Baelfire, but he's not. Mr. Gold is... displeased with this development.
- Later played straight with his father, Geppetto.
- No Name Given: Initially, leading to him being referenced as "The Stranger" in all promotional materials. Subverted in Episode 13 when he finally reveals his name. It's notable, however, in that he had refused to give his name for several episodes, despite living an otherwise normal life in Storybrooke. It becomes Egregious when he hesitates in giving his name to Emma after asking her out on a date.
- Perma Stubble: "A typewriter wrapped in an enigma wrapped in stubble."
- Pinocchio Nose: August proves to be an exceptionally bad liar, when he tries to fool Mr. Gold into handing over the knife by posing as his son. Not to mention Emma is extremely skeptical of his claims to be an out-of-town writer, since he seems to know more about the town than he should. It's because he's Pinocchio that he knows about the town, and has trouble lying.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: And he's the trope namer!
- Promotion to Opening Titles: After Episode 16, "Heart of Darkness", Eion Bailey started being credited as a series regular.
- Demoted to Extra: However, in Season 2, he is no longer billed in the opening credits.
- Promotion to Parent: Subverted. Geppetto entrusted him with the responsibility of ensuring Emma would know what it was she was destined to do when Emma was old enough, but he left her to run away with the other foster kids.
- Redemption Equals Death: For August, anyway. Pinocchio ends up resurrected as a little boy.
- Put on a Bus: The writers had him turn back to wood, have one episode (plus a small cameo in the second episode of season 2) to write him out and transformed him back into Kid!Pinocchio.
- Replacement Love Interest: He showed up pretty quickly after Graham's death, dated Emma briefly, and later on in "Selfless, Brave and True", his initial jealously and then relief that Emma's not back together with Neal implies that he might harbour some feelings for her.
- Ship Sinking: Sunk with Emma as of Series 2. Particularly now he's been turned back to human again, but as a young child.
- Taken for Granite: August is suffering a slower, nastier case of this as his body turns back to wood.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: As is fitting for a Badass Biker.
- Troll: Just watch his and Emma's first real meeting and conversation at Granny's, where he toys with her about what's in the box he's carrying around and ends up getting Emma to agree to paying for a drink... some other time.
Red Riding Hood/Ruby Lucas
Red Riding Hood: "When there's something I want, I'm good at tracking it down."
Ruby: "I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna screw it up. I mean, I'll screw up with flair, but..."
Played By: Meghan Ory
Centric Episodes: "Red-Handed", "Child of the Moon"
A confident young woman from a small village with a dark secret. In Storybrooke, she's a flirtatious waitress named Ruby.
Baelfire: "The deal is struck."
Click here to see Neal Cassidy
Neal Cassidy: "We've been on the road long enough. Maybe it's time we retire the 'Bonnie and Clyde' act."
Played By: Dylan Schmid, Michael Raymond-James
Centric Episodes: "The Return", "Second Star to the Right", "Quiet Minds"
The beloved son of Rumpelstiltskin and Milah who grows to fear his father following his transformation into "the Dark One".
- Abusive Parents: Baelfire's parents are a borderline example. We see his mother leave him home alone when he's six years old so she can go out drinking. Rumpelstiltskin himself kills people in front of his child and causes him much emotional stress. They both genuinely care about Baelfire, though and don't intentionally hurt him.
- Adorably Precocious Child: In "Desperate Souls", before everything goes south.
- Arc Symbol: Dreamcatchers are important to Emma because of him.
- Break the Cutie/Jade Coloured Glasses: Being abandoned by Rumpelstiltskin and being on his own for most of his life has turned him from an adorable kid to a bitter thief.
- Calling the Old Man Out:
- Repeatedly calls out Rumpelstiltskin on his actions once his father becomes the Dark One. He also calls his father a coward right before he disappears into a portal.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Neal was introduced in the first episode of Season 2. We don't find out his connection to Emma and Henry until Episode 6. And we don't find out that he's Baelfire until Episode 14.
- Child Soldier: He almost became one at 14. Rumpel's attempts to avert this lead him to become the Dark One.
- Crazy-Prepared: He's learned a lot from having father/brother figures like Rumpelstiltskin, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan, and each time, something they've taught him has come back to bite them in the ass. Emma learned a lot from him in resourcefulness during their time together.
- Learned how to navigate the stars from Hook, and creates a map that leads the way home that not even Hook himself can read. It's later revealed not to be a map, but a trap for no less than Pan's shadow, the only remaining mode of transportation in and out of Neverland.
- Shoots an arrow laced with paralytic ink at Peter Pan. Pan predictably catches it, as we've seen him do it an episode before. Neil's response? He didn't cover the tip; he covered the shaft.
- Contrived Coincidence: Since he left the Enchanted Forest a long time before the Dark Curse (and was the unwitting inspiration for its existence in the first place), he had no way of knowing who Emma really was. That is, until August/Pinocchio intervened.
- Daddy Issues:
- Having Rumpelstiltskin for a father will do that to you.
- Having Captain Hook as a father figure doesn't help much either.
- Deadpan Snarker: As Neal Cassidy.
- A Death in the Limelight: "Quiet Minds" shows the price he paid for reviving his father: his own life in exchange.
- Death of the Hypotenuse: Dies so Emma and Hook can be together in the finale.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Dies in the arms of Emma with his father at his side.
- Dies Wide Open: Until his father closes his eyes.
- Disappeared Dad: He's Henry's biological father and was asked to leave Emma by August.
- Dying Declaration of Love: His last words are to reiterate his love for his son, Emma, and, finally, his father.
- Easily Forgiven: He has his problems with his father, no doubt, but he seemingly bears no ill will towards him being the one to kill his mother.
- To Hook as well. He doesn't seem to hold a grudge for Hook selling him out to the Lost Boys where he was trapped for so long, being the reason his mother left, and initially using him to, and almost succeeding in, kill his dad. He does get into a scruff with him over Emma but that was quickly done and they both end in good terms, especially in his final moments.
- Generation Xerox: He's a lot more like Rumpelstiltskin than he would probably care to admit. They both have the same Papa Wolf tendencies- they both genuinely thought that the the woman the loved would be better off without them, only to reconnect with her later.
- Genre Savvy: Years of hurt from various figures in his life up to and including his father Rumpelstiltskin, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan as well as the harshness of the Land Without Magic has resulted in an extremely smart and dangerously clever Papa Wolf that won't even trust his own father with Henry.
- Good Parents: Once Neal found out about Henry's existence, he was very keen on not repeating his father's mistakes. True to his word, Henry and Neal spend a lot of time bonding together in late season two. Once he found out that Peter Pan had kidnapped his son, he instantly tries to help Emma save him.
- Has Two Daddies: Granted the only time they're all in the same room is when Hook is unconscious and Rumpel is dying of poison.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gives his life so that his father can live and help save the others from the Wicked Witch.
- He's All Grown Up: When he was abandoned by his father, he was fourteen. Now, he's a dad.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He just wants to lead a normal life with his father. Too bad his father isn't willing to give up his powers.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He literally says this when reconciling with Emma in his death episode.
- Killed Off for Real: Though the show is capable of reversing deaths, it seems that Neal is one of those characters who is gone for good.
- Living Emotional Crutch: According to the Blue Fairy, he is the light that kept his father human at his core. After he disappears, Rumpel goes insane.
- May-December Romance:
- Subverted, in several ways. The reveal that Neal is Rumpelstiltskin's son kind of... complicates things in regard to timelines between The Enchanted Forest and the Land Without Magic. Neal coming to the Land Without Magic as Baelfire when he was fourteen means he's, at the very logical least, fourteen years older than Emma. If Rumpelstiltskin's plan for Snow White and Prince Charming's romance took place over the least amount of possible time (nine months for the pregnancy right after weeks of Snow and Charming being separated over a period of time), then Neal is at least fifteen years older than Emma. If the ages of certain characters (Geppetto, Snow White, and the Seer) are taken into consideration, at least fifty years had to have passed between Bae's departure and Emma's. From a purely looks-based standpoint, for Neal to have a justifiable reason to still look as young as he does, time had to pass at a faster rate in the Enchanted Forest and absolutely no time had to have passed in the Land Without Magic between Bae coming to the Land Without Magic and Emma coming twenty eight years ago. Regardless of what line of logic is used to guess Neal/Bae's age, this makes his and Emma's romance dance around the boundaries of this trope - even though Neal doesn't remotely look the part of December. The writers have confirmed that Baelfire crossed space and time when he came to the Land Without Magic and Rumpelstiltskin constructed the Dark Curse to take everybody to the generation where Baelfire is currently in, making this a Subverted Trope.
- In "The Queen is Dead" Neal tells Emma he would be "a couple hundred years old by now" if our world was his first stop after leaving the Enchanted Forest. His recognizing Captain Hook and being able to sail his ship makes it clear he's spent time in Neverland, among other worlds.
- Missing Mom: His mother abandoned him and Rumpelstiltskin because she ran away to join Captain Hook's crew. She is later killed by Rumpelstiltskin in a fit of rage. Interestingly, he doesn't make much of a big deal about not having a mother, which is somewhat justifiable considering his father hurt him more deeply.
- Morality Pet: To Rumpelstiltskin. Some of Rumpel's most humanizing moments are with his son.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He tries to save his father by sending them both to a land without magic. This ends with Bae disappearing and Rumpelstiltskin searching for a way to get to the same world.
- In "Quiet Minds", Belle even warns him against reviving Rumpelstiltskin, saying that he's making the same mistake his father made. Rumplestiltskin becoming a slave to Zelena would make her nigh unstoppably powerful and at the moment, Neal was too focused on getting back to Henry and Emma. As bad as Rumpelstiltskin falling into the Wicked Witch's hands was, the price for doing so was even worse: his own life.
- Not Quite Dead: Survived falling through the portal as a child, ending up in our world. And again as a grown man, except this time he was also wounded, and washes up on an Enchanted Forest beach.
- Older Than They Look: Neal's statement that he'd be over two hundred years old if it weren't for his world-jumping places him as one of the oldest characters in the series - at this point he actually may be older than his own father and most of the rest of the cast barring the more magical beings like the Blue Fairy.
- Outlaw Couple: Was one with Emma.
- Out of Focus: In the first three episodes of Season 3's second half.
- Parental Abandonment: His father chooses magic over him and Baelfire gets sent to a new world alone. His mother is later revealed to have abandoned the family to join her new lover, Captain Hook, at sea.
- Papa Wolf: Will go so far as to immobilize his own father to protect his son.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Michael Raymond-James has been upgraded to be part of the regular cast in Season 3.
- Promotion to Parent: In a way, he and his father reverse roles and Baelfire becomes his father's minder after Rumpelstiltskin becomes the Dark One. Baelfire becomes his father's moral compass and the voice of reason once Rumpelstiltskin starts to act childish and homicidal due to his new powers.
- Reformed Criminal: Neal and Emma embarked on a life of crime together until August tracked him down. Seems like he's since gotten his act together when we first met him in the Season 2 premiere.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives PLENTY of these to Rumpelstiltskin as a child and a fair amount of them to Rumpelstiltskin as an adult.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Virtually every appearance of his in Emma's life ends with them being forcibly parted. (For what it's worth, "Going Home" did give them a chance to say goodbye for once.) The trope finally reaches its most tragic culmination in "Quiet Minds".
- There Are No Coincidences: One of the few things he and his father still agree on.
- Walking Spoiler: Due to being one of the keystones of the plot in multiple ways. Don't highlight anything here if you haven't finished Season 2.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: He proves to be very perceptive for someone so young.
- You're Not My Father: After Rumpelstiltskin becomes the Dark One, Bae thinks his father has changed so much that he is no longer his father.