[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eastofthesun.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:297:[-A heroine about to discover [[ForbiddenFruit one of the commonest fairy tale tropes.]]-] ]]

%%Do not add anything to this list unless it has examples of fairy tales on its page. Preferably, several examples. Fairy tales are so widespread that we shouldn't list anything that has ever happened in a fairy tale as "common".

''Tropes common to [[FairyTales fairy tales]]. See also [[MythicalMotifs mythical motifs]].''

''Surprisingly, ''[[OurFairiesAreDifferent fairies]]'' in the winged, fluttery sense are absent, as are modern, ''[[OurElvesAreBetter pointy-eared]]'' versions of the {{fair folk}}. Also, a fair number of tropes that are thought of as "fairy tale" do not actually appear in fairy tales.''

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!!Tropes
[[index]]
* AbductionIsLove: In all tales of the type "The Golden Bird."
* AnArmAndALeg: All variants of the Girl Without Hands have her mutilated.
* AndroclesLion
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Rare but not unknown to appear; personified Fates and Months can intervene.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: When a talking animal advises you to take the ''dull'' object, not the ''shiny'' one -- '''listen'''.
* BackFromTheDead: Common (though not invariable) for heroes, but rare for other characters. In some cases, being killed in a certain way is the CurseEscapeClause for the faithful NonHumanSidekick who has accompanied the hero on his journey.
* BadBoss: Kings, queens, ogres, and witches don't need you to work for them to assign you the {{Impossible Task}}, but it seems to encourage them.
* BalefulPolymorph[=/=]{{Animorphism}}: Frequently a curse cast by a WickedWitch, WickedStepmother, or so on.
* BearsAreBadNews: Invariably dangerous, though frequently good
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Especially about your baby
* TheBigBadWolf
* BigFancyCastle: Whether the prince's or the monster's
* BlueBlood: Rare but not unknown. Characters of noble blood can act as the LoveInterest of a peasant, like a prince or princess; or be the ones who marry up into royalty.
* BrideAndSwitch: It can be the whole plot, when the heroine is replaced en route to her wedding, or a final complication.
* CainAndAbel: Older brothers often turn violently on their youngest, successful brother.
* ChangelingTale
* CinderellaCircumstances: ''Cinderella'' and a fair number of its variants -- not all.
* ChildMarriageVeto: Almost never portrayed in a good light. A girl who refuses the husband her father chooses for her either faces trials until her pride is broken or misses out on an incredibly good catch. The exception is when the father chooses ''himself'' as his daughter's husband.
* ClingyMacGuffin
* {{Curse}}
** CurseEscapeClause
* DamselInDistress: Women often end up endangered in some form or another, whether or not they're the protagonists.
* DancesAndBalls: But be back [[WhenTheClockStrikesTwelve before midnight]]! Or show up at it -- read your fairy tale carefully to know which one.
* DavidVersusGoliath: The youngest or smallest one will turn out to be smarter than his big enemies.
* DeaderThanDead: Common in disposing of the villains
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: The MissingMom or DisappearedDad will have been a saint; the living dad and his WickedStepmother will be indifferent or actively hostile to the young protagonist.
* DistressedDude: Men need rescuing as often as women, if not more so.
* DontGoInTheWoods: Going into the wood triggers the tale. This is not a good thing.
* DragonsPreferPrincesses
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Kings often treat any success as proof that more should be demanded.
* DueToTheDead
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Some fairy tales require enormous effort for this.
* EngagementChallenge
* EvilMatriarch
* EvilSorcerer: Particularly dangerous when you're apprenticed to him.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness
* ExactEavesdropping: Talking Animals have a marvelous tendency to talk where the hero can overhear them.
* TheFairFolk: Despite the name, these rarely appear. Powerful magical folk tend to be unambiguously good or evil,with [[BeautyEqualsGoodness appearances to match]].
* FairestOfThemAll
* FairyGodmother: Although a NewerThanTheyThink trope.
* FakeUltimateHero: A form of the false hero
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: Run away from the father who wants to marry you? You still have to eat, don't you? Princess or not?
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence
* FauxDeath
* FeminineWomenCanCook: The heroine sometimes has to prove her worth as a bride by doing household chores. Often crosses over with ImpossibleTask.
* TheFool
* ForbiddenFruit: Very common.
* FrogsAndToads: Odious creatures. You may be cursed by having them drop from your lips as you speak, or you might have to EarnYourHappyEnding by having the honor to marry one.
* FracturedFairyTale: What you get when these tropes are {{parodied}}.
* GenderFlip: Usually played straight
* GiantFood
* GingerbreadHouse
* GirlInTheTower: One tale type is usually named this.
* TheGirlWhoFitsThisSlipper: In two forms -- this is how PrinceCharming finds his bride, and this is why the heroine's father wants to marry her.
* [[SchmuckBanquet Goldilocks And The Mines Of Moria]]
* {{Greed}}
* GreenEyedMonster: The stepmother can hate the stepdaughter's beauty on behalf of herself or her less-attractive daughters; older sisters (and brothers) frequently envy the success of younger sisters (and brothers)
* {{Grimmification}}
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: More in the illustrations than in the text, though it's not unknown there.
* HappilyEverAfter: The source of the phrase
* HauntedCastle
* [[TheHedgeOfThorns Hedge of Thorns]]
* HeirClubForMen: Tends to be hard on the daughter
* TheHighQueen
* HitchhikerHeroes
* HonoraryUncle In ''The Three Spinners'' and its variants, the heroine's helpers want to be her Honorary Aunts.
* IfICantHaveYou: The prince may be shapeshifted because of his refusal to marry a terrible bride. Conversely, the ogre/witch/what have you that was raising the heroine may curse the prince to forget her after they run away.
* ImpossibleTask
* ImpossibleThief
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: Though not as common as the BalefulPolymorph transformations mentioned above.
* KnightInShiningArmour
* LaserGuidedKarma: Show compassion to the helpless old woman? She's a good fairy who will give you valuable assistance. KickTheDog? He was a sorcerer disguised as a wolf, and now you're a wolf too.
* LastRequest: A frequent cause of the parent form of the Girl Who Fits this slipper.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Mostly of the "want but can't get" variant, though there are a few fairy tales in which virgins can get pregnant involuntarily by magical means, such a drinking from a certain spring
* {{Leaf Boat}}
* LiminalTime: Both the time about the wedding and that about the birth of the first child are dangerous; the villains often get power over the heroine here.
* LittleRedFightingHood: Common in {{fractured fairy tale}}s
* TheLostWoods : A common setting
* LoveAtFirstSight
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: The hero's beautiful love interest may be the daughter of an ogre, a witch, or even the Devil himself.
* MagpiesAsPortents
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: If there aren't three, or only one, it's this, usually.
* MaliciousSlander
* MeaningfulName: Characters will be named after their visual appearance or characteristics.
* MercifulMinion: Take the character to woods and bring back -- a hand, a heart, eyes, as evidence. (Never the head for obvious reasons.)
* MockMillionaire: Puss-in-Boots and its variants
* MovingTheGoalposts: Often done on top of {{Impossible Task}}s.
* NamelessNarrative: Sometimes one or two characters (hero, heroine, villain) get names, but frequently none do.
* NobleFugitive
* ObnoxiousInLaws: Mothers-in-law are often murderous toward their daughters-in-law.
* OfferedTheCrown: Many a hero has succeeded to the throne after the RoyalBrat king has been finally hoist by his own petard.
* OffingTheOffspring
* OnceUponATime: The source of the phrase
* OriginalPositionFallacy: Sometimes the antagonist meets his end according to a method that he himself suggested when asked for a good way to execute a scoundrel.
* OverprotectiveDad
* ParentalIncest: A common motive for the heroine to flee home is that her father has decided to marry her.
** BrotherSisterIncest: Sometimes a brother substitutes for the father. Same plot, though.
* PinocchioSyndrome
* PleaseShootTheMessenger: That's the way to ensure that the poor boy/girl doesn't marry your child! That is, until someone tampers with the message so that it says to marry the bearer to the child.
* PrincessForADay: prior to being princess for life
* ThePromise
* TheQuest: Archetypically -- the character leaves home voluntarily or not, and pick up something to search for on the way if they don't have it already.
* RagsToRoyalty: Often after a decline from royalty, or at least wealth, to rags.
* RapunzelHair: In certain stories, especially the ones based on the TropeNamer.
* RedHeadedStepchild
* RescueRomance
* RipVanWinkle
* RoyalBrat: Usually the king objects to his daughter's marriage.
* RoyalBlood
* RuleOfThree: Three siblings of the same sex is the commonest.
* RuleOfSeven: Seven children, seven brothers, seven dwarfs, seven goats
* TheRuntAtTheEnd
* SaveThePrincess
* SculleryMaid: A common role for the heroine, particularly if she is a princess incognito.
* SecretIdentity: In ''Iron Hans'' and many (not all) of its variants, the hero is a servant at the court, and disguises himself in armor before fighting in the tourney or battle.
* SecretTestOfCharacter
* SelfFulfillingProphecy
* ShapeShifterShowdown
* ShapeshiftingLover
* SheCleansUpNicely
* SiblingTriangle: The hero's brothers or the heroine's sisters/stepsisters are often the final obstacle to his or her happiness.
* SoulJar
* StandardHeroReward
* SwansASwimming
* SweetAndSourGrapes
* TalkingAnimal: Virtually omnipresent. Sometimes justified; usually not.
* ThresholdGuardians
* TrailOfBreadCrumbs
* TreacherousSpiritChase
* TrueLovesKiss
* UriahGambit: A rare but known variant is for the king to send off a married man on the quest to get at his wife.
* WealthyEverAfter
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Characters who served their function often vanish.
* WhenTheClockStrikesTwelve
* WickedStepmother
* WickedWitch
* WonderChild
* YearOutsideHourInside
* YouHaveWaitedLongEnough
* YoungestChildWins
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