Snow White’s cursed identity bears the name ‘Mary Margaret,’ “Mary” being a common Biblical name for woman, two of the more famous figures being the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. Also, Our Lady of the Snows, who's named Mary.
Prince Charming’s name is David, referring to the shepherd turned king, much like the character here was a shepherd but is now royalty.
Numbers ‘4,’ ‘8,’ ‘15,’ ‘16,’ ‘23’ and ‘42’ that frequently appear in the show are recurring numbers in LOST that corresponds with one of the final candidates to replace Jacob as protector of the Island as well as forming the coefficients in an equation that predicted mankind’s extinction.
Like how fictional Apollo Candy Bars made numerous appearances throughout LOST, these bars appear through this show as well.
From the Cinderella fairytale, The King, the Prince (Prince Thomas), the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella first appear.
Cinderella is identified as just Ella, hinting at the true origins of her name being Ella who is covered in Cinders or Cinderella for short, making her name actually Cinder Ella. Cinders are also known as Ashes which leads to her Storybrook name of Ashley which could be taken as an adverb being used as an adjective to imply she too is covered in Ashes (Cinders).
The wolf hanging in Ruby's car is added allusion to her Red Riding Hood identity, escorted through the woods by the Big Bad Wolf.
Just like Cinderella, Henry loses his shoe on the stairs toward the end of the episode.
The Evil Queen's vault where she keeps the Huntsman's heart has nine columns and twelve rows, which, by adding the LOST numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42) equals 108 total boxes.
Sheriff Graham wakes up in the middle of the night because of a dream, which is actually a memory. He says to Regina, "It didn't feel like a dream. It felt like a memory," similar wording to what Desmond tells Penny, "It wasn't a dream, Pen. It was a memory."
Title refers to 1940 novel of the same name by Carson McCullers.
During Emma’s confrontation with Mr. Gold in his shop, a large Mickey Mouse figurine rests in a case on the bottom left of the screen and a small Minnie Mouse figurine is also on the table, to the right of Mr. Gold.
The names that the duke’s knight Hordor called Rumplestiltskin in the forest and he used near the end, when he showed himself as the new Dark One, are some of the names the miller's daughter tries in Rumpelstiltskin.
Morraine, BaelFire and the Dark One are inspirations from Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series/
The Dark One’s name being ‘Zoso’ refers to a nickname for Led Zeppelin guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, who was represented on their fourth unnamed album by a symbol resembling letters ‘ZoSo.’note Coincidentally or not, this episode premiered on the night before Page's 68th birthday.
Song “Kool Thing” plays while Mary Margaret walks in on Emma '“fixing” a toaster.
The Storybrooke counterparts of fairies are reviewed to be nuns, where they seem to be similar to Roman Catholic Religious Sisters, which is evident such as: doing community service, refers by others and themselves as "Sister" and also have a Mother Superior who is in charge of them.
The name ‘Jefferson’ eludes to Jefferson Airplane who recorded a song titled “White Rabbit.”
Also, Jefferson’s daughter Grace alludes to lead singer Grace Slick.
When Jefferson and Regina enter Wonderland, the Caterpillar turns to them and slowly asks, "Who... are... you?,” one of The Who's most famous songs is called “Who Are You?” to which lead singer Roger Daltrey voices the Caterpillar, which is also used as the theme to the original CSI.
The outside of Jefferson’s house is the same one used as Johnny Smith’s house.
When Jefferson takes Regina through the hat they end up in a room filled with doors into different worlds. One door, close to the Looking Glass, is emerald green with two golden door handles. The handles are each a golden "O" with a smaller golden "Z" in the center, signifying that this door leads into Oz, the world in the Wizard of Oz story.
Name of Rumpelstiltskin’s son is “Baelfire,’ who at one point speaks to his young lady friend in blue named ‘Morriane,’ both deriving from The Wheel of Time series, in which ‘balefire’ is a powerful magic weapon, and one of the first users of "balefire" is a young woman "Moiraine," who is known for wearing blue
The wooden donkey Mr. Gold finds in Pinocchio’s Storybrooke counterpart August’s room refers to Pinocchio witnessing children being turned into donkeys on Pleasure Island.
Geppetto mistakes Pinocchio for dead and even witnesses him turning to a real boy.
Pinocchio escapes the orphanage with another boy in the real world, who bears a resemblance to Lampwick, the boy who enticed Pinocchio to escape with him in the 1940s film. In August's case, he mentioned that he had returned from Phuket, a vacation resort island in Thailand that parallels Pinocchio and Lampwick's visit to Pleasure Island.
After Regina takes back her mother’s old spell book from Mr. Gold, he warns her against the potential effects of the book to which she responds with “I don’t care if they turn me green,” a possible reference to Oz: The Great and Powerful if not any other Oz adaptations.
The pit Emma, Mary Margaret and Cora are placed in resembles a scene in which the survivors were also caught and sent down to a pit with another person willing to help, only to later find out the person was a traitor.
As his only debut, Sir Lancelot is a character from the King Arthur legend.
Lancelot's epitaph on Charming's mother, "God in His mercy, lend her grace", is a direct quote from Lancelot's words on seeing the dead title character in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem The Lady of Shalott.
When Lancelot presents chimera as a food source, Emma asks if it's like turducken; a dish consisting of de-boned chicken stuffed into de-boned duck and then stuffed into a de-boned turkey.
Although the episode is named for the supernatural characternote Who doesn’t appear in the episode from Arthurian legend, disambiguation of the title refers to:
1) a United States Navy schooner that participated in the War of 1812.
2) a steamboat built in 1897 at Seattle, Washington later rebuilt and renamed Ruth.
3) another steamboat launched 1942 commanded by Captain J. J. Tylor.
As Rumpelstiltskin prepares to kill Captain Hook in their first duel, he says, "Tick-tock dearie, Tick-tock!" an allusion to the crocodile that takes Hook's hand.
William Smee and Killian “Captain Hook” Jones from Peter Pan are introduced.
In the J. M. Barrie play and novel, Captain Hook's hand was cut off by the title character and fed to a crocodile, which had also swallowed a clock, alerting Hook to its presence. In this episode, Hook refers to Rumpelstiltskin as a crocodile because of his appearance (he also sports an alligator skin vest). Rather than having swallowed a clock, Rumpelstiltskin uses the phrase "tick tock" repeatedly in his encounter with Captain Jones.
When David passes out a flyer to Ruby at the diner, one of the flyers reads as, "MISSING: Please contact Moe at Game of Thorns,” again referring to Game of Thrones.
Ruby brings snacks to David and the dwarves in a little basket, a reference to her fairytale counterpart.
In the library scene, Mr. Gold quotes Sir John Lubbock's famous utterance "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth" from his book The Pleasures of Life
Near the episode’s start, when Jefferson gives Rumpelstiltskin a crystal ball in lieu of the slippers he was sent to find, Jefferson makes a reference to The Wizard of Oz by saying the slippers had "been sent to another land" to which Rumpelstiltskin replies, "I needed the slippers to 'get' to that other land."
Mulan makes note of the Ground Poppy Dust, sleeping powder originating from poppy seeds also present in the film mentioned above.
When Victor first appears, he’s wearing roses tinted spectacles, an allusion to the “Rose Tint My World.”
While interrogating Hook, Emma says, "So much for fortune favoring the brave" a reference to Latin phrase "AVDENTES FORTVNA IVVAT," found in The Aeneid.
Not only does the gender-flipped version of Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk appears but Emma and Hook make their ascent onto the beanstalk as well as their encounter with a giant named Anton.
Baelfire’s Storybrooke counterpart being named “Neal Cassidy” shares a similar name to Neal Cassaday, a member of the of the 1950s Beat Generation, inspiration to writers Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and, in a later generation, Ken Kesey, among others. He was known, like the character sharing his name here, to have stolen cars and for his charm along with being real-life model for the Dean Moriarty character.
Billys Enchanted Forest counterpart is household mouse Gus.
Inspired references, elements and quotes
According to show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the inspiration for this episode came from The Rolling Stones, in particular the title “Child of the Moon,” which came from the B-Side to their single Jumping Jack Flash and the design for Anita’s den.
The scene of Captain Hook standing at the top of his mast as his ship approaches bay, and then coming down with a rope as well as the camera angle make it almost a dead ringer for Jack Sparrow’s famous entrance where he stood on top of his mast as his ship approaches the bay, then comes down with a rope.
When Cora invades Gold's shop, Neal/Baelfire takes up a sword to stand alongside Prince Charming and Emma to defend Rumpelstiltskin, the mannerism in which he holds his sword screams Kingdom Hearts where he holds the blade the same way Riku, Vanitas and Master Xehanort hold their Keyblades.
The flashback scenes involving August meeting a woman in Phuket then leaving for Hong Kong, his tattoo on his leg, and the Dragon seeing who August really is, are allusions to episode "Stranger in a Strange Land."
August’s prized possession is a necklace that bears the image of a whale, referencing the “Terrible Dogfish” from The Adventures of Pinocchio.
During Greg and Regina’s chat in the diner, “Got It” by Gabriela plays in the background.
Mary Margaret listens to “Bad Reputation” while practicing archery in the woods.
John carries an umbrella and top hat while Michael carries a teddy bear.
The time on Big Ben is 8:15, the same time shown in the Disney film.
During the commercial break, series star Lana Parrilla spoofed her character Regina Mills/the Evil Queen in a promotion for the Magic Kingdom in which she vowed to "take over" the area of New Fantasyland.
Mulan: What's it like? The other world? Neal: Well, for starters, they think that this place is just a fairytale. Like a legend, like we're all just characters in a story. Mulan:I'm in a story? Neal: Yeah, they made a movie about you. It's actually pretty good. Mulan: What's a movie?
After Hook kisses Emma, she asks him to give her five minutes alone, to which he replies “as you wish,” where Dread Pirate RobertsWestley says the same line to Princess Buttercup, actually meaning “I love you.”
Leroy quips “No time for whistling, boys” elludes to the song “Whistle While You Work.”
Ariel's entry into the present day for the first time and being intrigued by what she sees while seeking out Belle parallels a similar scene in Splash.
Mr. Gold asks Belle for her help when the sand dollar beamed a hologram image of himself.
Where Wendy lies to Henry on behalf of Pan claiming that because magic is dying so is sh, being connected to its fate so to speak and Pan convinces Henry it’s up to him to save Wendy is like in The NeverEnding Story, the Empress too is dying because of lack of faith and belief in the human world, and that it would take Bastion to save her