Literature / Peter Pan

Second to the right, and then straight on till morning.
The original directions Peter gives to Neverland (although it turns out there isn't really a 'direction' as such. He just gets there. He only gives these directions to sound clever to Wendy.)

James M. Barrie was a prolific writer at the turn of the 20th century, but his most-beloved works are his play and novels about Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up and lives in Neverland, a Magical Land. He has a feisty Fairy Companion in Tinker Bell.

One spring evening, Peter follows his wayward shadow into a young girl's bedroom. When Wendy Darling fastens his shadow back on, Peter invites her to come and look after his Lost Boys, kids who (like him) lack a mother.

Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, fly away to Neverland, where the boys have many adventures while Wendy mothers them. Finally, after a climactic battle with Peter's archenemy, the pirate Captain Hook, Wendy decides she's had enough of Neverland. Peter agrees to let her go, and to let her take her brothers and the Lost Boys with her. Twenty years later, Peter Pan returns for Wendy's daughter Jane, and the adventures begin anew.

The original play is fairly Child-Friendly: Captain Hook is a blustering comic villain, the violence is usually a pratfall or similar form of Slapstick, and death is treated more like a time-out (in the famous 1954 version with Mary Martin, every pirate Hook kills lies dead on the floor for a few minutes, then gets up again and joins in the pirate crowd scenes without comment). In contrast, the book version later written by Sir James M. Barrie is a sly Deconstruction of the Victorian notion of the sacred innocence of children, full of Parental Bonus dark humor and subtle Gallows Humor; Barrie was a master satirist for his time, though few of his satires are remembered today.

Peter Pan is a trickster, only nominally human. In his first appearance, Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens (which was one of several stories included in the book The Little White Bird), Peter is alluded to as being half bird; as all children in fact come from birds, but only Peter is close enough to his youth to remember being a bird. In Neverland, he is more like a playful demigod, with aspects of Puck and Pan. The character has become something of a cultural symbol for youthful exuberance and innocence, especially if it persists into adulthood; it also evokes the poignant flip side - never becoming truly mature. Michael Jackson identified with the character so much he named his estate (with an amusement park, et. al. on the grounds) "Neverland Ranch". The darker implications of eternal youth and perpetual irresponsibility is likely why a well-remembered 1987 film about teen vampires was called The Lost Boys.

Also in the 1950s, a successful Broadway musical version of the story was launched; live TV broadcasts of it with Mary Martin as Peter were ratings winners, and this version is frequently staged in US theaters great and small to this day. An unusual quirk of most stagings of the play and musical, going back to its original productions, is that Peter is traditionally played by a young woman instead of a preteen male actor. (As late as the mid-1950s, the labels for Peter Pan peanut butter showed "Peter Pan" as a woman with shoulder-length hair and lipstick, wearing a green dress to her knees and high-heeled pumps.)

Between licensing by Great Ormond Street Hospital (who still holds certain rights in the UK) and the expiration of copyright in most of the world, there are clashing Sequel and Prequel books and films. In addition to the 1953 Disney film and a 2002 sequel, there was a 41 episode anime adaption as part of the World Masterpiece Theater series in 1989, the 1990 animated series on the first season of Fox Kids, Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991), a sequel that posits what would have happened had Peter eventually decided to grow up, and a 2003 live-action adaptation. See also Finding Neverland (2004), a Very Loosely Based on a True Story drama about Barrie's conception and initial production of the play.

For various major adaptations, see:
  • Disney's Peter Pan and its sequel Return to Neverland
  • Peter Pan, the musical(s).
  • Peter Pan & the Pirates, a cartoon series which aired on Fox Kids in the early 90s.
  • Peter Pan no Bouken by Nippon Animation, also aired by Fox Kids at the same time.
  • Hook (1991) which tells what happens after Peter, played by Robin Williams, grows up and leaves Neverland.
  • Peter Pan, the 2003 film.
  • Writer/Artist Brom's novel The Child Thief.
  • Tigerheart by Peter David, an alternative version in which "The Boy" lives in "the Anyplace" and fights Captain Hack (and his sister Slash).
  • Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, a novel series that acts as a prequel to the original story, which was also adapted to stage, having a popular run on Broadway.
  • Peter Pan In Scarlet, by Geraldine McCaughrean. The official sequel approved by rights-holder Great Ormond Street Hospital. McCaughrean was selected during a competition in 2004, and the book was published in 2006. Her Majesty Elizabeth II received a specially printed copy.
  • Peter Pan, a Darker and Edgier French comic book by Régis Loisel.
  • Jake And The Neverland Pirates, a Disney Edutainment cartoon based off their film adaptation, aimed at young children.
  • Neverland, a 2011 Syfy miniseries, which acts as another prequel to the story. By same guy who directed Tin Man and Alice.
  • The New Adventures of Peter Pan, a 2013 CGI cartoon by DQ Entertainment starring Peter and the Darlings set in the 21st century.
  • Once Upon a Time features Hook as The Dragon to the first Big Bad in season 2, but by the end of the season, and throughout the first half of season 3, Peter himself is the Big Bad, and Hook is on the side of the heroes.
  • The New Adventures Of Peter And Wendy, a 2014 web series and a modern adaptation.
  • Pan, another retelling of Pan's origin focusing on Peter's friendship with Hook before they became enemies.

Tropes from all or most adaptations:

  • Betty and Veronica: Wendy (Betty) and Tinker Bell (Veronica) for Peter Pan with Tiger Lily as the Third-Option Love Interest. Although in the book, being a child, he displays no romantic interest in anyone and doesn't even comprehend the concept.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most versions tell of Wendy, her brothers, and the Lost Boys all growing up, with varying degrees of happiness or regret. Wendy herself in time - although it's hinted she hoped Peter would have come for her - get married and has a daughter. Peter himself stuck forever as a boy revisits Wendy every year - mostly - as promised but at some point she becomes too old to play with him. Tinker Bell, being a fairy, had passed years before. However, Wendy's daughter Jane soon becomes Peter's companion playing out the same role as her mother, and it's implied that future generations of girls through Wendy's bloodline will do the same.
  • Broken Masquerade: Neverland, pirates, fairies.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Trope Namer comes from a famous scene. A fairy is mortally wounded any time a child says "I don't believe in fairies;" in the scene in question, Peter uses the effect in reverse to save the fairy Tinker Bell's life by calling on children everywhere to indicate that they do believe in fairies. (In the original stage version - which predates the novel and the various film and television adaptations - this was an audience participation bit...and, in case you're wondering, if the audience is a bunch of heartless bastards who won't clap, the orchestra is instructed to begin the applause.)
  • Compressed Adaptation: While the novel has the children staying in Neverland for weeks, if not months - Michael has all but forgotten their London home by the time they actually do get back, though to be fair he's very little - most adaptations cut the duration of their stay in Neverland down to a single night and day.
  • Crosscast Role: In just about any theatrical or film version, Peter is played by a woman. On film, the only exceptions are the Disney version, which has Peter voiced by Bobby Driscoll, and the 2003 version with Jeremy Sumpter. Meanwhile, the only male to have played Peter Pan on Broadway is Jack Noseworthy, who was an understudy in Jerome Robbins' Broadway, a musical revue of highlights of choreographer Jerome Robbins' work, which included the Mary Martin Broadway version.
  • Damsel in Distress: Wendy, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily are all captured at one point or another.
  • Dawn Attack: In Neverland, all attacks take place at dawn. Captain Hook is considered a vile scoundrel when he has his pirates attack before dawn, when nobody's ready.
  • Friendly War:
    • The Lost Boys and the Indians take turns attacking each other as a game. It turns serious in the Disney version when the Chief accuses the Boys of kidnapping Tiger Lily, who was actually taken by Captain Hook for the purpose of trying to get the location of Peter Pan's hiding place out of her.
    • In the Disney sequel "Return to Neverland", Hook tells Jane that his relationship with Peter is this. He's lying.
  • Growing Up Sucks:
    • The Lost Boys.
    • Deconstructed in the Hook movie, as the happy memories that the now adult Peter won as he grew up are what restores his ability to fly.
  • Just Desserts: The fate of Hook in the original play and book, as well as many adaptations.
  • Literal Disarming: Inverted. At some point prior to the events of the book, Peter and Captain Hook dueled and Peter cut off Hook's right hand, throwing it to a crocodile. Hook made the most of this situation and weaponized his missing member.
  • Living Shadow: Peter's shadow is alive and tries to escape. Wendy sews it back on.
  • Lost in Imitation: Tons. In many adaptations and spinoffs, nobody ages while on Neverland. Yet in the novel it's clear that people do age and grow to some degree - the Lost Boys arrive as infants, after all, and Peter "thins them out" (which knowing Peter, is probably lethal) if they seem to be growing up. For more examples, see the page on Disney's Peter Pan.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Wendy first meets Peter, he's crying over the fact that he can't get his shadow to stick, causing her to ask, "Boy, why are you crying?" Years later, Peter cries again upon finding out that Wendy had grown up and can't return to Neverland, waking up her daughter, Jane, who then asks Peter the exact same thing.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    • Mr Smee. So. Very. Much. The original book goes into great detail about how pathetic-but-loveable he is.
    • Though he's still willing to tickle the kids with Johnny Cork-screw if the situation demands it. More than one critic has pointed out that, viewed in a certain light, Smee is deeply frightening in that he's an innocent simpleton who is completely sanguine about murdering children.
  • Moby Schtick: Barrie openly acknowledged that the enmity between Captain Hook and Peter, and the crocodile's relentless pursuit of Hook, were inspired by Ahab. Even more emphasized in adaptations that stress Hook's attempts to kill the latter.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Skull Rock in the various versions, where Captain Hook takes the kidnapped Princess Tiger Lily.
  • Neologism: The name 'Wendy' was not commonly recognized as a viable name for a girl before this book.
  • Nominal Hero: Pan, who 'thins out' any Lost Boys who appear to be growing up; can subsist perfectly well on pretend food, and beats any boys who demonstrate hunger after they've missed meals and had to just pretend they ate; cuts parts off the boys to make them 'fit' the trees that are the secret entrances to their hideout; and often changes sides in the middle of battles to make the fight more exciting.
  • Noodle Incident: Hook's origins. Barrie wrote, "To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country (England) in a blaze." Future tellings reveal he attended Eton College, although the records were destroyed to prevent further scandal.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Hook towards Pan. This wasn't as much so in the beginning. Hook saw Pan as another annoying child, but after his hand was fed to the crocodile it became personal.
    • Peter, for his part, has made all the Lost Boys promise to leave Hook to him.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: The Darling children wear their PJs throughout their adventures.
  • Pirate: Naturally, Captain Hook and the pirates.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Well, they do quite a few things within the story, but no actual piracy. This may be a Justified Trope because there is a reason: Hook has no intention of leaving Neverland and resuming regular piracy until he kills Peter Pan.
  • Puff of Logic: This is how fairies are killed.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Captain Hook doesn't die in the Disney version. Various unofficial sequels such as Hook also retcon the original ending to keep him alive.
    • In the novel, fairies have extremely short lifespans and Tinker Bell died of old age not long after the Darling children's adventures. This is changed in any adaptation that takes place after the Darling children return home.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is Disney's version of the fairy companion's name spelled "Tinkerbell," "Tinkerbelle," or "Tinker Bell"? The Kingdom Hearts series uses Tinker Bell, and so does the new Disney movie that centers around her. It's likely that Tinker Bell is the official spelling, as it is spelled that way in the original novel.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Crocodile, after eating Hook's hand, liked the taste so much that it has constantly pursued Hook ever since, hoping to eat the rest of him.

Tropes mainly from the novel or play:
  • Accidental Murder: Averted; the Lost Boys think Wendy is dead after Tootles shoots her, but she's really alive.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In-universe, the narrator calls the defeated Hook "not entirely unheroic" just before his death.
  • Alien Sky: Neverland has "ever so many more" suns and moons than the Mainland.
  • All Myths Are True: The furnishings in Tinker Bell's room are dated according to fairy tale character names - e.g., the mirror is a Puss-in-Boots and the dresser is a Charming the Sixth.
  • Alternate Continuity: From Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens.
  • Ambiguous Innocence:
    • The defining characteristic of children, according to the novel — and of Peter Pan in particular — is that they are "innocent and heartless." Peter Pan laughs as Wendy's siblings nearly fall to their deaths and in general lives up to his last name. He even attempts to convince Wendy that her mother abandoned her.
    • It just goes to show the downside of innocence; namely, a lack of knowing right from wrong and Moral Dissonance. Innocent doesn't necessarily mean 'good.'
  • Audience Participation: The clapping to save Tinker Bell in the stage version. Such a famous example that it extends even to the book sometimes—people reading it aloud to little kids encourage them to clap at the same point in the story. The main character's younger sister and her mother are shown doing this in the movie ET
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Hook certainly feels this way. He carries poison around with him in case he's taken alive, and in the play, when he senses that death is imminent, he tries to blow up his entire ship.
  • Book Dumb: Peter is an extreme example—he's loaded with mysterious knowledge of magical things, but is absurdly "ignorant" of everything mortals regard as normal.
    Not one of them could fly an inch, though even Michael was in words of two syllables, and Peter did not know A from Z.
  • Born Unlucky: Tootles, as described in the narration.
  • Canine Companion: Wendy keeps a wolf cub as a pet on Neverland.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Trope Namer, used to revive Tinker Bell of Captain Hook's poison.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: All the female characters in the story except Mrs. Darling are in love with Peter. He never catches on.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Wendy. She leaves Neverland because she realizes that her relationship with Peter can only be a shallow imitation of the adult life she really wants.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Mr. Darling gives one of these to himself after the children fly away because he chained Nana in the yard. He vows to trade places with Nana and live in her kennel until the moment the children come back—even having the kennel loaded onto the cab every morning and riding it to work.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Captain Hook even introduced the Hook Hand as part of the standard pirate attire.
  • Driven to Suicide: Hook in the play, upon being defeated, goes to the crocodile "like one greeting a friend." A Death Seeker perhaps?
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Nana is just as ashamed of Mr. Darling as the children are when he tricks Michael into taking his medicine. That it's a dog is probably the worst part about it for poor George.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Wendy (until Peter saves her) and Hook (when he's eaten by the crocodile).
    • Peter, also, when he's about to drown alone on Marooner's Rock.
  • The Fair Folk: Fairies in the books are notoriously fickle and love playing tricks on people. Peter Pan is the only one they don't mess with. Though Peter himself is not a fairy, he bears a good resemblance to folkloric fairies, with his child-stealing and general amorality.
  • Fisher King: Peter is this to Neverland. The land wakes up when he arrives, and reflects his mood. The 2003 movie adaptation showcases it prominently.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall: Why did the crocodile's clock stop ticking? The author says we stopped it. Then Barrie later says that he might tell Mrs. Darling that the children are coming back, but that she would essentially be angry at us for spoiling the surprise.
  • Generation Xerox: Wendy's daughter, Jane, sees Peter weeping on the nursery floor and addresses him with the words, "Boy, why are you crying?" They proceed to go through dialogue highly reminiscent of Wendy's with Peter. This might be justified in that Jane has often heard the stories of Peter Pan from her mother. Note that she also shares some traits with her uncle Michael, complaining "I won't go to bed!" in the same way he complains about being bathed at the beginning of the play and book.
  • Genre Savvy: Everyone in Neverland knows how battles of Indians vs. white men are supposed to work — the white men camp on high ground by a stream, the tribe attacks at dawn and the white men get wiped out. The rule is so secure that Tiger Lily's tribe camps out by the only such spot in the area waiting for the pirates to arrive ... and Captain Hook deliberately avoids it, pulling the Indians out of position and setting them up for defeat.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Piccaninnies' codes of honor prevented them from taking strategic moves that would have saved a fair number of them from being slaughtered by the pirates.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Michael is reluctant to take his medicine, Mr Darling tells him that he always took medicine perfectly as a kid and he should be a man..when he's forced to take some as an example for Michael....
  • I Call It "Vera": The pirates seem to do this a lot. Smee's cutlass is named "Johnny Corkscrew", the ship's cannon is called "Long Tom", and the plank is called "Johnny Plank".
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • In the original book, Hook is eaten by the Crocodile at the end.
    • In fact, all the other pirates died except Smee and Starkey, who ironically is implied to have drowned in the film.
    • Averted in some pretty bizarre early drafts of the play script, which had Captain Hook make it out of the crocodile and head to London to hunt down Peter and Wendy.
    • Tinker Bell.
  • Liminal Being:
    "You will be a Betwixt-and-Between," Solomon said,
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Tiger Lily" is a pretty apt name for a tsundere - aside from being the name of a real flower, it combines a vicious predator with a beautiful flower.
    • Oddly enough, this is averted with the Lost Boys—Peter named them (well, except for Slightly), but their names make absolutely no sense, even in context. It's possible that Curly might have curly hair, but this is never stated. (Peter Pan In Scarlet goes ahead and states that Curly's hair is curly.)
    • Peter Pan himself may qualify. Peter keeps the way to and from Neverland, just as the Biblical Peter is the keeper of the keys to Heaven. Pan, of course, was the wild, unpredictable god of nature in Greek mythology ... an apt pairing for a boy determined never to become an adult and submit to civilization.
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • Due to Neverland's nature, the book states that Peter's Freudian Excuse of Parental Abandonment may not have really happened how he remembers it, if at all.
    • In the prequel Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Peter's mother lost him very much against her will. He could have chosen to go back to his mother but he kept putting it off because he was having so much fun among the birds and fairies, even though he knew his mother must have been missing him. By the time he had finally resigned himself to giving up his freedom, his mother had had another baby, and to prevent this one from becoming lost as well she had had bars placed over the nursery window. She must have believed Peter was lost to her forever. Tragically, the bars prevented Peter from coming back in, and so the two were forever separated.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: Yet another reprise of the pirate's Villain Song gets interrupted when Peter kills Bill Jukes.
  • Name and Name: The book was originally published as Peter and Wendy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Slightly, being "madly addicted to the drinking of water when he was hot," has swelled up and become the fattest of the Lost Boys — and so he has secretly expanded his entrance to the secret underground home so that he can fit through it. This means his entrance is large enough for Hook to get through and enter the underground home to poison Peter.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Even after gaining celebrity through riding to work in Nana's kennel, George Darling gets no respect from the maid, Liza. In fact, her respect for him actually lessens.
  • Oblivious to Love: Wendy, Tiger Lily, and Tinker Bell all have a crush on Peter, but Peter is so immature he can't see a female as anything other than a mother figure.
  • Oedipus Complex: Despite Wendy and Tiger Lily's obvious sexual/presexual interest, Peter regards his relationship with Wendy as a mother/son one. Furthermore, Peter manages to get Mrs. Darling's "hidden kiss"—a symbol which the 2003 film promptly renormatized as romantic between Wendy and Peter.
  • Open Shirt Taunt: Occurs after Tootles shot Wendy down with an arrow:
    Tootles did not flinch. He bared his breast. "Strike, Peter," he said firmly, "strike true."
  • Pet Baby Wild Animal: Wendy's not-so-imaginary abandoned wolf cub. (The wolf is only mentioned twice, but it's obviously meant as an example of Wendy's penchant for nurturing lost wild things—including the Lost Boys and Peter.)
  • Poison Is Evil: Captain Hook carries a bottle of poison everywhere with him (to be used as a suicide drug in case he's taken alive), and employs it to kill Peter Pan.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Skylights the pirate, who is killed solely to show Hook's method of dispatchment.
  • Servile Snarker: The Darling's sole servant, Liza, toward the end of the play. Granted, her master was living in a dog kennel at the time, so he was practically begging to be snarked at.
  • Shout-Out: Hook describes himself as "the only man whom Barbecue feared, and Flint himself feared Barbecue". Captain Flint was the pirate captain in Treasure Island, and "Barbecue" was the nickname of his cook — Long John Silver.
  • Sociopathic Hero: During the climactic fight against Hook and his crew, Peter actually attacks both sides in order to keep things "interesting."
  • Sympathetic Villain: The novel Peter And Wendy states that Captain Hook and his crew had been successful pirates until Peter Pan decided it would be fun to fight some pirates, drawing them to Neverland and then trapping them. The novel suggests that Captain Hook believes he will never be able to escape Neverland or his life as the Designated Villain of Peter Pan's adventures until he kills Peter Pan, providing him with a sympathetic motivation for his hatred.
  • Tsundere:
    • Tiger Lily.
    • Tinker Bell, too. As a fairy, she literally only has room to experience one emotion at a time, but those emotions are strong.
  • Vague Age: Probably intentional. The book states that Peter has all of his baby teeth, yet all of the female characters have (or develop) a crush on him. Even so, Peter is too immature to notice.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Captain Hook is the main villain in all adaptations and the official sequel.
  • Villain Song: The pirates, especially Hook, have a habit of bursting into song:
    Avast, belay, when I appear By fear they're overtook
    Nought's left upon your bones when you Have shaken claws with Hook
  • We Are as Mayflies:
    • Inverted in the novel - fairies have short lifespans, short enough that at the beginning of the book Tinker Bell hasn't yet reached adulthood, but a year later she's most likely reached the end of her natural life. Of course, none of the adaptations have the heart to kill her off so soon.
    • Played straight with Peter's lifespan in comparison to those of mortals; he'll probably be picking up Wendy's descendants and taking them to Neverland until the world ends.
  • Westminster Chimes: In the play, quoted in "Tender Shepherd".
  • Yandere: Sweet, sweet Tinkerbell....wants to kill Wendy for clinging to Peter Pan. Somewhat justified in that Tink is a fairy, and thus too small to experience more than one emotion at a time. She's either a perfect angel or an utter demon, and when she's jealous, well...
  • World of Ham: Neverland — Justifiable, since it is the product of children's imagination. The pirates, and Captain Hook especially, are generally Chewing the Scenery with great enthusiasm in most productions.
  • You No Take Candle: The Piccaninnies talk this way.

Tropes from the authorized sequel, Peter Pan In Scarlet:

  • Applied Phlebotinum: Turns out that putting on someone's clothes makes you become more like that person.
  • Back from the Dead: Tinkerbell, who died in the original book, is in the last third of this one resurrected thanks to Fireflyer.
  • Big Damn Heroes: So many times. It would probably be quicker to list characters who don't get a Big Damn Heroes moment in this book, than listing the ones who do.
  • Big Eater: Fireflyer, the newborn blue fairy, is always hungry and will eat anything, including musical notes.
  • Blatant Lies: Fireflyer's modus operandi. Occasionally this comes in handy.
  • Bus Crash: Michael died in the war during the time skip.
  • Catch-Phrase: Fireflyer, whenever he thinks he's not getting enough attention, will inform everyone that "Fairies die if people ignore them!"
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few, sometimes even bordering on Continuity Porn.
    • On at least two occasions, Peter tells everyone that nobody's allowed to touch him — this is taken directly from the original play, where he in their first scene together tells Wendy that "No one must ever touch me," and during the course of the play no one does.
    • John is a patriot to the extreme, which is a nod to the fact that his motivation for refusing to be a pirate in the original book was that he would no longer be subject to the British Crown.
    • Slightly in the original book is mentioned to make flutes and whistles for himself and make up tunes to play. This is brought up and expanded upon here, as he's taken up the clarinet and his musical talent plays an important part in the plot.
    • In one chapter, Wendy tells Peter and the Lost Boys a story about a little white bird in Kensington Gardens. This is a Shout-Out to Barrie's book The Little White Bird, which featured the first appearance of Peter Pan.
    • The Crocodile is revealed to be female. In the original book, the narrative does refer to the Crocodile as a "she" in the first scene it appears (the rest of the book uses "it").
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Despite all the Continuity Nodding, here are a couple of really noticeable contradictions here. Some, as mentioned, are seen as Acceptable Breaks from Canon, while some seem a little off:
    • In the original book, it was explicitly stated that Peter cut off Hook's right hand. In this book, probably influenced by all the adaptations, it's stated that it was Hook's left hand that was cut off.
    • It's stated that nobody can fly without a shadow, but this contradicts the first book, where Peter is perfectly able to fly after he's separated from his shadow. (Then again, the character who states this is Hook, and nobody really sets out to prove him wrong — he may have been lying.)
    • The fate of the pirates is completely different. In the original book, all of them except Smee and Starkey are killed in the final battle. Here, Smee and Starkey are still the only survivors, but the other pirates are mentioned as having been given leave to go fight in World War I, and never returned. It is, of course, possible that Hook was talking about a different crew, but it still doesn't fit the original timeline very well.
    • Confusingly, both Smee and Starkey are referred to as having been Hook's "first mate." Reading the original book, it's Starkey who is the real first mate; Smee is the bo'sun.
  • Crying Wolf: It doesn't get very much attention, but since Fireflyer lies almost constantly (and he and Slightly treat it as a sort of game to see how tall his lies can get), it does mean that nobody's forewarned that the Roarers are in the area because nobody even pays attention to him — even the narrative gives no indication that he's not just making things up like usual.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Turns out the twins are named Marmaduke and Binky. Subverted in that the twins themselves don't find the names embarrassing at all, but are just thrilled that they finally know their real names.
  • Gender Bender: Tootles, for the entire book, after putting on his daughter's ballet dress to magically become young again. (He has no sons). In typical Neverland fashion, he quickly forgets his past life, including the fact that he was a guy in the first place, and becomes girlier even than Wendy. Things get pretty awkward when he decides, like every female character, that he wants to marry Peter.
  • Killed Off for Real: Michael. But not Hook.
  • Love at First Sight: Fireflyer and Tinkerbell, sort of. Fireflyer is revealed to have developed a crush on Tinkerbell long before he even meets her, thanks to Sightly's stories about her, and it's his wish that eventually calls her back to life.
  • Odd Friendship: Loud, abrasive and self-centered Fireflyer is a devoted friend to the gentle, considerate and poetic Slightly.
  • The Power of Rock: Or should we say, rhythm and blues.
  • Running Gag: Peter doesn't know the word "please." At several points during the story, someone will ask him "What's the little word that gets things done?" and he'll begin listing random words in the hope that one of them is the right one.
    "I don't know! Is it 'flogging'? Or 'plank'? Or 'maroon'?"
  • Spin-Offspring: Averted with the human characters (though Wendy's daughter Jane appears a few times, and children of other characters are mentioned, though not by name). Played straight with "Puppy", a descendant of the original Nana, who joins the adventure.
  • Self-Proclaimed Liar: Fireflyer claims that he never tells the truth (but this is confirmed to be a lie).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted with Fireflyer, who's mostly in the story as a replacement for Tinkerbell, but beyond being the "token fairy" he's almost nothing like her, being an over-enthusiastic, gluttonous Motor Mouth and liar who befriends Slightly rather than Peter.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Bratty, vain Slightly became extremely sensitive during the time skip. It's possible to infer that he was softened out by misfortune, as Tootles was in the original; the book and play imply that he was taken down a peg or two after the boys left Neverland (this is made explicit in the novel, which states that he gets put into the bottom set at school while the others do all right) and by the events of Peter Pan In Scarlet his wife has died, leaving him with no children.