We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
Once Upon A Time: Tropes G to H
Tropes A to D
| Tropes E to F
| Tropes G-H
| Tropes I to L
| Tropes M to P
| Tropes Q to T
| Tropes U to Z
Once Upon a Time provides examples of the following tropes:
open/close all folders
- Game Changer: Storybrooke is a town in Maine where all the denizens of a fairy-tale world were sent by the powerful curse of Snow White's enemy, the Evil Queen Regina and live in an amnesiac state unaware of their true identities. Here, they do not age. The narrative revolves around Snow's daughter, Emma, the very reluctant designated curse breaker. She succeeds in breaking the curse in the first-season finale.
- Garden of Evil: The Queen of Hearts' hedge maze, where the walls devour anyone who gets close.
- Generational Saga: Snow White loses her daughter, her husband, and her whole world as the evil queen sends them "someplace horrible", the real world. Emma, Snow White's long-lost daughter, is street smart and resents her biological parents for her abandonment. It takes her own long-lost son Henry to bring her back to the family that she never knew and the idea of the enchanted world they came from. And as more of the past is revealed, we find that this saga went all the way to the great-grandparents generation (Cora/Eva).
- Gender Flip/Tomboyish Name: The hero of Jack and the Beanstalk is named Jacqueline.
- She's also subjected to an In-Universe Gender Flip as Hook is under the impression that she was a man.
- Genghis Gambit: When Cora and Hook come along, Rumplestilskin and Regina unite with the rest of the town to save the day.
- Genre Blind:
- Cinderella. It appears that she doesn't know the outcome of Rumplestiltskin's story. But she becomes Genre Savvy when the princes reveal the trap for Rumplestiltskin, as she just knows it's going to backfire.
- Regina/The Evil Queen. She clearly doesn't understand what kind of story she's in. She's the Manipulative Bastard equivalent of Unskilled, but Strong; she mostly just plows through her obstacles with a combination of magic and hate.
- Emma and her gun. To the point of it almost becoming a Running Gag.
- Genre Savvy: Both Emma and Henry, given that they're aware of the original fairy tales, to the point where neither has to ask "Who?" when a name like Peter Pan turns up.
- Lampshaded in "Witch Hunt" where the Storybrooke residents are under the impression that Oz and the Wicked Witch are fictional characters until they are informed otherwise by Regina. Cue a string of joking references primarily to the 1939 Wizard of Oz film, including a great bit of deadpan snarking by Regina.
- This continues in "It's Not Easy Being Green" in which Regina and her allies are able to make an educated guess about the Wicked Witch's game plan due to being familiar with the heart-courage-brain element of the original story, with Regina even referencing the Scarecrow.
- In the finale, the brief glimpse of Elsa that we see has her immediately destroying the urn she was trapped in
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Witch Hunt", Hook comments on Charming waking up to discover his wife's pregnancy:
Hook: Almost harvest time and you can't remember the planting. That's bad luck, mate.
- Gilded Cage: Storybrooke. At least until midway through Season 3. After the second curse is cast and the town is restored, people get turned into flying monkeys if they try to leave.
- Regina's castle, as more of her backstory and motivations are revealed and her evil level decreases.
- God Save Us from the Queen!:
- And how, although she seems to have lost most (or all) of her ruling power before Snow White's wedding in the pilot.
- "Hat Trick" shows that The Queen of Hearts is up to her old tricks.
- The latter half of season 3 appears to be moving towards an inversion of this, with Regina, granted for more personal motives than altruism, takes on the role of town protector against the Wicked Witch, especially once she realizes that she is, literally, the lesser of the evils.
- Gold Silver Copper Standard: Is in use in the Enchanted Forest, as seen in "Hat Trick". The different coins don’t even have names; they’re called 'silvers' and 'coppers'.
- Gonna Need More X: Inverted when Charming is tasked to hide a a giant egg containing bottled true love within "the belly of a beast".
Charming: Where is the beast that reigns over this castle?
Maleficent: That would be me.
Charming: I'm gonna need a smaller egg.
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Mary Margaret and David, who in Storybrooke is married to Kathryn. However, they were originally married in the Enchanted Forest as Snow White and Prince Charming.
- Regina and the Genie are arguably a subversion of "Good" Adultery. Regina seems to start her affair with the Genie due to her unhappiness over her arranged marriage with King Leopold, which her mother pressured her into. But it turns out she was manipulating the Genie into killing the King.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars:
- Charming has a very visible and significant scar on the right side of his chin.
- Jefferson has a very noticeable one on his neck he covers with scarves.
- Regina sports a scar on her upper lip, the origin of which has yet to be revealed in-universe (in real life, the actress got it when she was bitten by a dog at age 10).
- Grand Theft Me: Peter Pan pulls one on Henry.
- In "Bleeding Through", Cora briefly does this to Snow in order for her to be able to answer Regina's questions about Zelena.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Henry's book of fairy tales apparently contains the entire history of the Enchanted Forest, even though it clearly isn't big enough (especially with all the full-page illustrations).
- In Season 2, it is revealed that Dr. Victor Frankenstein's story is not in the book, implying that there are many other characters in Storybrooke from tales that are unknown to Henry.
- The third season expands further on its usefulness. Touching it cures Henry of his amnesia, the same way that Emma finally believes him after touching the book back in the season 1 finale. And in the finale, Hook and Emma use it while they're stuck in the past to make sure that they don't undo Snow and Charming's relationship, and Emma's existence by extension.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: In "Welcome to Storybrooke", it's shown that the town was like this. Due to no time passing, every day was the same. Regina (the only one aware of it) is initially happy to have won, but the tedium of it quickly begins to grate on her.
- At times inverted, however, as although the town was frozen in time for more than 20 years, recent innovations such as the Internet and cell phones are available in the town. It is also suggested that TV broadcasts from outside Storybrooke are received as well.
- Guile Hero: Henry shows some inclination toward following his adopted mother's manipulative tendencies.
- Guns Are Worthless: If you're trying to kill a fairy-tale monster, trying to shoot it with a gun never goes right. You'll need to do it the old-fashioned way: with a sword. (See Heroes Prefer Swords, below.)