'''Jacob Ludwig Carl''' and '''Wilhelm Carl Grimm''', known collectively as '''The Brothers Grimm''', were German linguists born in the late 18th century, who, in an effort to preserve Germany's heritage and promote cultural unity in a period of [[AllTheLittleGermanies political disunity]], collected a vast array of folk tales from their fellow Germans (mostly middle- and upper-class friends). The brothers eventually published these stories in the famous collection which they called ''Kinder- und Hausmärchen'' (''Children's and Household Tales''), but which is generally better known among English-speakers as ''Grimms' Fairy Tales''.

While the original intent of the collection was to preserve the stories exactly as told, the Grimms gave in more and more in each new edition to the temptation to make various "improving" alterations. The scholarly Jacob sought to establish more Germanic forms of the stories by replacing foreign words such as "''Prinz''" and ''Prinzessin'' with Teutonic terms such "''Königssohn''" and ''Königstochter'', replacing [[TheFairFolk fays]] with enchantresses and wise women and by supplying missing plot-elements from historic sources; the more creative-minded Wilhelm tried to make the stories more acceptable to a popular audience (presumably including children), by selectively [[{{bowdlerise}} Bowdlerizing]] the tales published, notably removing evil mothers and replacing them with step-mothers (as in the case of "Literature/SnowWhite"), by removing implications of sex and pregnancy (as in "Literature/{{Rapunzel}}"), and by re-writing the stories in a more literary style. (Though they notably did not tone down the violence, even for the children.)

Standards of child-friendliness have shifted in the past 200 years; [[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm047.html some]] of the Grimms' stories are now considered [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath shockingly violent]] -- and at least one of them, [[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm110.html "The Jew in the Thorns"]], notoriously [[ValuesDissonance religiously insensitive]]. ([[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/antisemitic.html Similar stories]] appear in the Grimms' other, more adult, story collection, ''Deutsche Sagen'' (''German Legends''). The... well, ''[[IncrediblyLamePun grim]]''... nature of many of the original stories have made the Grimm Brothers the TropeNamer for {{Grimmification}}. It should be noted, however, that some of the tales included by the Grimms were not intended for children in the first place -- hence the distinction made in the name of their popular collection.

Although many of the Grimms' fairy tales now languish in obscurity, a significant chunk of these stories remain in the popular consciousness. Those with pages of their own on this site include:
* "Literature/{{Bearskin}}" (''Der Bärenhäuter'')
* "Literature/TheBremenTownMusicians" (''Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten'')
* "Literature/BrotherAndSister" (''Brüderchen und Schwesterchen''=''Little Brother and Little Sister'')
* "[[Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin The Children of Hamelin]]" (''Die Kinder von Hameln''; in ''German Legends'').
* "Literature/TheElvesAndTheCobbler" (''Die Wichtelmänner''=''The Gnomes'')
* "Literature/TheFrogPrince" (''Der Froschkönig, oder der eiserne Heinrich''=''The Frog King, or Iron Henry'')
* "Literature/TheGoldenGoose" (''Die goldene Gans'')
* "Literature/TheGooseGirl" (''Die Gänsemagd'')
* "Literature/HanselAndGretel" (''Hänsel und Gretel''=''Johnny and Maggie'')
* "Literature/IronHans" (''Der Eisenhans'')
* "Literature/LittleRedRidingHood" (''Rotkäppchen''=''Little Red-cap'')
* "Literature/{{Rapunzel}}"
* "Literature/{{Rumpelstiltskin}}" (''Rumpelstilzchen'')
* "Literature/TheSevenRavens" (''Die sieben Raben'')
* "Literature/TheSixServants" (''"Die sechs Diener"'')
* "Literature/SleepingBeauty" (''Dornröschen''=''Little Briar Rose'')
* "Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs" (''Schneewittchen'')
* "Literature/SnowWhiteAndRoseRed" (''Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot'')
* "Literature/TheStoryOfTheYouthWhoWentForthToLearnWhatFearWas"
* "Literature/TheThreeLittleMenInTheWood" (''Die drei Männlein im Walde'')
* "Literature/TheTwelveDancingPrincesses"
* "Literature/TheWolfAndTheSevenYoungKids" (''Der Wolf und die sieben Geißlein'')

Full collection [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms.html here]].

Although the Grimms' collection does contain a version of "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" ("Aschenputtel"), the better known version is based on an earlier story by Creator/CharlesPerrault. "Literature/SleepingBeauty" and "Literature/LittleRedRidingHood" also appeared first in Perrault, but the Grimms' versions ("Dornröschen" and "Rotkäppchen") are better known. And despite popular belief, "Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast" has nothing to do with them at all.

While best known today for their fairy tales and mythological studies (such as the monumental ''Deutsche Mythologie'' (''Germanic Mythology''), they were also pioneers in linguistics (Jacob in particular is remembered for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm%27s_law Grimm's Law of Consonantal Shift]]), wrote the first bit of the German dictionary, and were two out of the "Göttingen Seven," the prominent liberal professors at Gōttingen University whose dismissal by the autocratic English King of Hanover caused a major stir in 1830s Germany.

The Grimms were the subject of a [[HollywoodHistory highly fantasticated]] {{Musical}} {{Biopic}} in 1962, called ''The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm'', with Karlheinz Böhm as Jacob and Laurence Harvey as Wilhelm; the film won 1 [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscar]] (Costume Design) and was nominated for 3 more. In 1998, the brothers, played by Andy Henderson and Joerg Stadler, made an appearance in ''[[Film/EverAfter Ever After: A Cinderella Story]]'' (despite the film being a riff more on the Perrault than on the Grimm version of ""Literature/{{Cinderella}}"). In 2005, Creator/TerryGilliam made ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'', a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids decidedly unsettling reinterpretation]]; Heath Ledger and Matt Damon were the brethren in this outing. The Grimms in the form of Allen Smith and Millen Baird were deconstructed in the 2006 film ''Big Bad Wolves''.

The Grimms, this time portrayed by Dean Jones and Paul Sand, were also the subject of a well-remembered 1977 TV movie, ''Once Upon A Brothers Grimm'', which was nominated for 5 Emmys, winning 2.

An anime series, ''Gurimu Meisaku Gekijou'' (retitled ''Shin Gurimu Meisaku Gekijou'' in its second season and shown on Western television under various titles such as "Anime/GrimmsFairyTaleClassics") was produced in 1987-1988. Not all were actually found in the Grimms' collections. The webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'' is another modern collection of some of their tales.
!!Examples of tropes in the Grimms' folk tales:

* AbusiveParents: Well, step-parents, anyway.
** In a lot of cases, this was an example of editing on the part of the Grimms themselves. One of their areas of emphasis was on the virtue of a good, German family, so they changed all abusive mothers in stories to step-mothers.
* AnAesop
** Often in these tales the aesop is that following instructions ''to the letter'' will make your dreams come true, and conversely that not doing so will land you in [[OhCrap big trouble]]. These are often directed at young girls, making sure that they stay in line into adulthood.
** "Odds and Ends": a bridegroom will prefer a servant to the daughter of the house if he learns she is thrifty and industrious, unlike the daughter.
* AllAreEqualInDeath: ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfather_Death Godfather Death]]'' about a man looking for a godfather for his newborn, and asks Death to do so for this reason (having previously rejected God for giving to the rich and not to the poor and the Devil for tempting men).
* AllTheLittleGermanies: The settings of these stories, with their numerous small kingdoms and forests infested by bandits (and very often down-on-their-luck peasants and discharged soldiers) reflect the fragmented character of Germany in this period.
* AndroclesLion
* {{Animorphism}}: Many fairytales deal with breaking an enchantment that has turned someone into an animal, including "Literature/TheFrogPrince" above.
* BackFromTheDead
* BalancingDeathsBooks
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
* BettyAndVeronica: In "Odds and Ends", the daughter of the house and the servant.
* TheBluebeard: "Fitcher's Bird" and "The Robber Bridegroom" are this. ''Bluebeard'' appeared in the first edition but was cut as French, not German.
* BrideAndSwitch
* TheBeastmaster: The two protagonists of "The Two Brothers" become hunters and collect a train of animal companions--a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox, and a hare--each.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: In the Goose Girl at the Well, a king asks his daughters how much they love him, their answers decide how much of the kingdom they will get. The youngest daughter says that "The best food does not taste good without salt, therefore I love my father as I love salt", what does the king do? He divides the kingdom between her older sisters and [[AbusiveParents sends her deep into the forest]] with a bag of salt bound to her back.
* DamselInDistress
* DancesAndBalls: In "Aschenputtal"
* DeathByChildbirth: In "The Juniper Tree"
* DeathsHourglass: "Godfather Death" used candles. The taller the candle, the longer the life. And if the candle is extinguished, that person dies.
* DealWithTheDevil: Both literally and figuratively. This normally [[BrokenAesop turns out very well]] for the protagonist. ([[http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm044.html Death,]] [[TearJerker however...]])
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: The man looking for a godfather in "Godfather Death". He tells off both ''{{God}}'' and ''TheDevil'' and refuses them both as candidates.
* DudeWheresMyRespect
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* EggSitting: In ''Fitcher's Bird'', the sorcerer Fitze Fitcher carries young women and gives them an egg, then tells them to carry it everywhere except the sorcerer's room and to be very careful with it for a few days before he can marry them. Failure to pass the test results in [[CruelAndUnusualDeath the women getting dismembered]].
* EngagementChallenge
* EvilMatriarch: The Grimms made an effort to avoid this by having evil mothers being step-parents instead.
* FairestOfThemAll
* FairyTale
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence[=/=][[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath Death]]
* FearlessFool: "The Youth Who Went Forth to Learn Fear"
* TheFool: Quite a lot of stories are simply amusing anecdotes about foolish people, without any supernatural element at all.
* GhibliHills: Rose Red and Snow White live by one. It's usually less safe.
* {{Grimmification}}: Surprisingly, although they're the trope namers for their often FamilyUnfriendlyViolence, this trope is just as often {{averted}}. Once they realized that ''Kinder- und Hausmärchen'' was being [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids read by children]], they {{Bowdleri|se}}zed some of the sex and violence for subsequent editions.
* HappilyEverAfter
* HeadlessHorseman
* HeadTurnedBackwards: The hero of "The Two Brothers" is beheaded in his sleep by a wicked marshal. When the hero's train of animal companions find him, they send the hare to fetch a magic root that can restore people back to life. It works, but the not-too-bright animals have put his head on the wrong way. The hero does not immediately realize this due to being lovesick, and only when he tries to eat lunch he notices there is something amiss. The animals fess up to their mistake, and the lion mends the damage by [[DeathIsCheap ripping the head off]], then putting it back on the right way with the magic root.
* ImAHumanitarian: Cannibalism figures in several stories, most notably "The Juniper Tree."
* ImpossibleTask: In "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/94peasantcleverdaughter.html The Peasant's Clever Daughter]]", a king promises he will marry the heroine if she can appear before him "not clothed, not naked, not riding, not walking, not in the road, and not out of the road". The peasant's daughter wraps herself in a fishnet that is being dragged by a donkey along the edge of the road.
* InterClassRomance: Seen in a few stories, such as "Die Kluge Bauerntochter" (The Peasant's Wise Daughter).
* LongNeck: One of the servants in "The Six Servants" has this characteristic.
* LoyalAnimalCompanion: The titular brothers of "The Two Brothers" each have a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox and a hare for companions.
* TheLostWoods: The usual setting of the fairy tale
* KarmicJackpot
* TheMarvelousDeer: In ''The Two Brothers'' following one is how one brother gets into trouble.
* NamelessNarrative
* NoEnding: "The Golden Key." The story ends as the reader waits for the boy to unlock the box.
* NoNameGiven: Sometimes
* ObnoxiousInLaws: The "Wicked Mother-In-Law" is fragmentary, but we do know she wants to kill her daughter-in-law. In the first edition, the mother-in-law was the villain in the second part of "The Girl Without Hands."
* OnceUponATime
* ParentalAbandonment: "[[Literature/HanselAndGretel Hänsel und Gretel]]"
* PlotTailoredToTheParty: Among others, "How Six Men Went Far In the World"
* RagsToRoyalty
* RuleOfSeven
* RuleOfThree
* ShootTheShaggyDog: "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/2catmousepartnership.html Cat and Mouse in Partnership]]
* SilverBullet: In "The Two Brothers", a [[ImmuneToBullets bullet-proof]] witch is shot down by silver bullets, fired from a gun.
* StandardHeroReward
* TheUnreveal: "The Golden Key." A boy finds a buried box opened by a golden key, but you'll have to wait for him to unlock it before you find out what's inside.
* WeaksauceWeakness: The Devil in "The Girl with Silver Hands" is adverse to water. He orders the girl's hands chopped off because they're soaked with her tears. When he comes back and her arm stumps are now soaked as well, he decides it's too much trouble to collect her.
* WickedStepmother: A classic villain in many a Grimm tale. Many were mothers in the first edition, though.
* {{Youkai}}: Nine-tailed foxes? Wonder where they got that idea...
* YoungestChildWins: Usually, though there are some exceptions. "One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes" is a rare case where a middle-child wins.