What, you thought King Arthur was human?
A branch off the Something Completely Different
tree, in which in the characters are cast into a "storybook land" in which there are chivalrous knights
, beautiful maidens
and, of course, dragons.
Such archetypes will be applied to each of the lead characters, their current situations and relationships
in order to draw on familiar archetypes
, but also to suggest a Happily Ever After Ending.
Note that these "Storybook" settings are incredibly generic. They are not adaptations of any previous material, just The Theme Park Version
of fables and chivalry. If it is a straight adaptation of a specific fairy tale, then it falls under Whole Plot Reference
. If it is a parody or subverted version of a popular story, it's a Fractured Fairy Tale
May or may not be a dream
, as one character is often narrating. See also Trapped in TV Land
- The Elseworld Story Superman: Kal
- The Powerpuff Girls: "Bedcrime Story" (issue #17) had the girls interpreting the story of Little Red Riding Hood in their own individual perspectives.
- In Uncanny X-Men #153, "Kitty's Fairy-Tale", Kitty tells Illyana a bedtime story in which the X-Men are fantasy characters. The concept was re-used in the '90s cartoon with Jubilee.
- The New Mutants graphic novels "Rahne of Terra" and "Knight of Terra" feature a fantasy alternate universe in which Rahne is a princess and the other characters are knights and mages.
- Wizards of Waverly Place has an episode which takes place largely in Alex's magical Secret Diary. Shedding her typical "tough-girl" image, the diary is filled with knights and, whenever she transports herself into it, she turns into a princess.
- Scrubs: "My Princess", which consists of Dr. Cox relaying his day at the hospital to his son in the form of a fairytale as a bedtime story. Elliot is the princess, Turk and Carla are a two-headed witch, JD is the village idiot, Cox is the brave, attractive knight, and Kelso is the villain (either a demon or The Devil). The princess' handmaiden is being attacked by a monster, and the only way to save her is to retrieve a ring from the forbidden forest being guarded by the villain. (Elliot's patient is dying and needs to be diagnosed as quickly as possible, while Kelso is trying to prevent potential lawsuits by preventing the doctors from working overtime). The story itself had a happy ending (the girl was saved in time), but in reality, the diagnosis was made too late, so she was unable to be saved.
- MacGyver: "Good Knight MacGyver".
- Farscape: "John Quixote".
- The Cosby Show had an episode where it was Rudy's fairy tale story, with all the actors as characters (in costumes that looked as if they were drawn with crayon).
- The Monkees: "Fairy Tale"
- Andy Richter Controls the Universe: "Final Fantasy"
- Fringe: Excellently done in "Brown Betty" where Walter tells young Ella a story. Instead of a generic fantasy tale, he casts her aunt Olivia as the heroine of a film Noir mystery full of Schizo Tech, in which characters (and corpses) break out in song.
- Married... with Children did a "pirates" episode, complete with David Garrison making a return as the bad guy.
- I Love Lucy did it first.
- The Prisoner does this in "The Girl Who Was Death" (though the frame doesn't get revealed until the end of the episode).
- The game show Hollywood Squares did a week as Storybook Squares with the celebrities as storybook characters.
- X-Men: "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater"
- Fairly Oddparents: "Timmy the Barbarian".
- Samurai Jack: Aku reads some fairy tales to children with Jack as the villain of each one.
- Futurama: Bender's Game.
- The Backyardigans: "Knights are Brave and Strong", "A Giant Problem", "Tale of the Mighty Knights" and "Escape from Fairy Tale Village".
- Tom Goes To The Mayor: "Rat's Off to Ya!" (incidentally doubles as the Christmas Episode)
- There's a fantasy Fairy Tale-ish land in the Ghost Zone of Danny Phantom, complete with knights (what Danny is anyways), princesses, and dragons—not to mention a Damsel in Distress plot (though subverted). The only problem is that it isn't happy, thanks to a certain Evil Prince.
- Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter tries to read his sick sister a story, but she quickly got bored when he's just reading a science textbook. Deedee takes it and reads it for herself, changing the story to Deedee Locks and the Ness Monster, making all sorts of plot holes from various other fairy tales (such as the three pigs made entirely of straw, sticks, and bricks, and a Napoleon-esque wolf that is small in stature but big in ego)
- Rocko's Modern Life: "Yarn Benders"
- South Park: "Woodland Critter Christmas". Its twistedness is no surpriseŚnot just because it's South Park, but because it's Cartman telling the story.
- Phineas and Ferb: "Excaliferb"