These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Regina and her relationship with Henry: is he right that she's just pretending to love him for show, or does she honestly care about him as much as she's able to with the void the curse caused in her heart? From the last episodes of the first season, Emma's Living Lie Detector hasn't worked actively in all cases, and the finale reveals she genuinely loves Henry, albeit not in a particularly healthy way. Alternatively, Regina genuinely loves Henry, but not as much because he's Henry, as for how he has the capacity to make her feel (due to his kind-hearted yet morally demanding take on the worlf). Loved, wanted, and appreciated. Her actions in Welcome To Storybrooke speak to this theory.
Rumplestiltskin alleges Cinderella's Fairy Godmother is actually evil as she wasn't going to mention the Equivalent Exchange part of magic in the Enchanted Forest.
The Blue Fairy, related to the above.
Is Rumplestiltskin just pissy about not being the only one granting wishes and that she gave his son the magic bean that separated them, or is the Blue Fairy not telling people everything? She is profiting off the slave labor of the dwarves...on the other hand, Jiminy was perfectly fine with trading his humanity to aid Gepetto in order to get away from a life of crime. Yes, magic comes with a price, but the fairies might actually be more willing to ask for a sacrifice that the recipient can live with.
Her treatment of Nova and Dreamy is also suspect. Dreamy doesn't enjoy mining and all the other Dwarves think he's insane for wanting to leave, while Nova is incompetent at her job and the Blue Fairy herself admitted she's not going to be a Fairy Godmother anytime soon. Why exactly would it be so bad to cut them lose and let them be together? Or does she believe that the tenets of True Love only applies to humans?
Fans speculate the Dark Curse creates alternate versions of the Enchanted Forest's inhabitants. As for the Storybrookers themselves...
Kathryn: Really someone who wants David back, or is more interested in the trappings of marriage than the man himself? She wants her husband and their kids someday but it's clear the person with her is more interested in fulfilling his obligations than 'her', but is she so guilt-ridden about their earlier tragedy she ignores it?
Emma Swan: Giving Henry his best chance by sticking around, or a lonely woman who is clinging to the closest thing she has ever had for family?
David and M.M.'s affair: True love, the most powerful magic (directly stated by Rumplestiltskin) logically overcoming the Dark Curse? A deconstruction of how harmful all-consuming passion and fairy tale fancies are in Real Life? Or two weak-willed adults refusing to act emotionally mature or responsible?
In the Enchanted Forest, there's the ring Ruth, Charming's mother, gave to him when he left home. It guarantees that he'll find true love. You can watch him fall for Snow when he's not fast enough to stop her from putting it on, and she only considers him romantically after doing so. So if she hadn't put it on, would they have still fallen in love, or is their true love the result of permanent brainwashing by his mom's ring?
Rumplestiltskin's wife, Milah: Self-empowered woman who escaped a confining marriage to a weakling coward to embrace true love and a life of adventure and exploration? Or self-centered bitch who abandoned a loving family to pursue her own selfish whims and ultimately got her comeuppance?
Snow's father, King Leopold: Awesome King, loving father and all around Nice Guy who wants nothing more than the happiness of all who set foot in his kingdom? Or douchebag who didn't see a problem with proposing to a teenager, took her mother agreeing as a "yes", and after all that was a lousy husband. Furthermore, if he's aware he's not a good husband, why does he get so jealous when he discovers his wife has affection for another? And did she "accidentally" leave the diary in plain sight, knowing he'd read it... or does he normally read it? Or is his jealousy the reason he's aware that he's inadequate as a husband. Or perhaps he's so blinded by his grief over losing his wife that he just doesn't realize how immoral his actions are.
August/Pinocchio. Manipulative Jerkass who is only breaking the curse because he's turning into wood or a man who was given a massive responsibility as a kid that he wasn't ready for and is now trying to fix his mistakes? The latter gets some weight to it when Gepetto, his own father, says as much and that August is shown to be willing to die if it means making up for his mistakes in the process.
Anticlimax Boss: The Blind Witch is billed as a vicious cannibal and powerful witch, but she's barely onscreen for ten minutes before the children/Evil Queen cook her. They even skip over the whole "Gretel is a slave and the witch fattens up Hansel."
The Dragon in "Selfless, Brave and True". He looks ready to go One-Winged Angel on Tamara, but she takes him out mid-transformation.
Badass Decay / Villain Decay: Hook. He had been so many times defeated and stunned that many viewers can't take him seriously now.
This is pretty much a sad case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as the actor playing Hook broke his leg, and was unable to perform a lot of the more action heavy stuff for the character.
Also, there are many fans who feel the constant Break the Haughty moments for Regina in Season 2, usually resulting in her crying, have ruined all the menace she had in Season 1.
Mary Margaret’s one night stand with Doctor Whale. Consensual sex between two unattached adults which is being blown out of proportion by the rest of the fan base or the unnecessary sullying of a beloved classic character who is supposed to be the epitome of innocence and goodness? Furthermore, why does she alone get the flack for sleeping once with Dr. Whale, when judging by Kathryn's pregnancy scare, David was also actively engaging in a sexual relationship with someone else? Doesn't this make it an even worse offence, since he's Prince Charming after all? Likewise, in-universe, why did David get none of the hate when the affair between known?
This has somehow lessened with internal fights amongst Regina fans with creation of some Enemy Mine alliances with Rumple fans. Some people think that Hook and Regina are Not So Different and root for both, others don't and are then criticized by this side for what is perceived as double standards. The defendent usually justify it either by pointing out (for Regina fans) that Hook was always a pirate whereas Regina was Driven to Villainy, or by telling their opponents (for Hook fans) that Regina's revenge is on someone who had less responsability than Rumplestiltskin had for his misdeeds on Hook. Some Regina fans started liking Cora in the second season and tried to justify everything she did to her daughter by making Rumple guilty for her transformation. Others thought that what she did deserved This Is Unforgivable and that she was responsible. As Rumple fans can also be Rumbelle or Golden Heart shippers, think that Hook is somehow justified, think he isn't, or declare that he is too dreamy for them to care, message boards can get complicated.
Also the inclusion of Victor Frankenstein, who while not the sole example of a literary character on the show (as characters from Carlo Collodi's "Pinocchio", Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan" were already used) does stand out among characters used in Disney films and traditional folklore. It's helped a bit by his coming from a third universe, presumably one full of horror movie characters.
The inclusion of both Arthurian legend (via Lancelot and the Lady in the Lake) and Mulan.
The revelation that Henry's father is Baelfire, Rumple's son. Some fans really did not want this twist.
Snow murdering Cora, particularly the way she did it. There's the camp that thinks she had no choice and that Cora (and Regina) really had it coming since they would murder them without a second thought. Snow would've never escaped that tomb alive if she tried to crush or control Cora's heart because Regina WOULD HAVE killed her and there was no way she could reach Cora herself without Cora noticing. And keeping Rumpelstiltskin alive is the best strategy against Regina and her temper tantrums. Then there's the camp that thinks saving Rumplestiltskin was a piss poor excuse, that using Regina to murder her own mother was beyond cruel, and that if she wanted to do the right thing, all she had to do was crush the heart herself...or, if she could let go of her vengeful feelings, just put it back in Cora without cursing the candle, which might have prompted a Heel Face Turn from Cora.
Broken Base: Season 2 turned the already passionate fandom into a snake pit full of hissing vipers. Regina fans, Regina haters (often The Charmings fans or Rumple fans), Rumbelle shippers, people who feel Rumbelle is squicky or boring, Neal/Emma shippers, people who feel Neal is The Scrappy, people who feel the writers are succumbing to Draco in Leather Pants syndrome, people who still like everything...
Continuity Lock-Out: To a degree. Don't even think about going into season 2 without watching the last 2 episodes of season 1, and the Story Arc of Kathryn's kidnapping means you need to at least see episode 13 to make sense of what's going on in the real world in season 1. The Loads and Loads of Characters present don't help at ALL, though since they're based on the disney/fairytales we all know, at the least, we can understand who's doing what. Still, since they love to pull twists on the tales, this starts building up after a while.
Regina gets this as well. Mainly because despite all the awful, unforgivable things the Queen has done, Lana Parrilla can make a face like a kicked puppy dog, and lately had scenes revealing she always had some reason to do so. And even she wears leather pants.
Killian Jones (AKA Captain Hook) is something of a hot Jerkass with a dead girlfriend. His main motivation is revenge against a villain and he occasionally goes out of his way to minimize collateral damage (Like when he saved Aurora's heart). Other times, not so much, like shooting Belle (thus ensuring she'd lose her memory) and helping to trap Emma and her friends in Rumplestilskin's cell. And he wears leather pants. Yeah...
The Evil Queen. Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold could also be considered this (depending on your tastes), but the Queen/Regina is the most clear-cut example. It's also notable that in the Fairy Land flashbacks, the more overtly evil she's being, in general, the more plunging her neckline. Before her husband's death, she is shown dressing demurely, by the time the curse is made, she appears to have a wardrobe consisting entirely of corsets.
The Blind Witch, with her impressive cleavage and the orgasmic sounds she makes when after food.
Killian Jones. It's very easy to forget what a Jerkass he is because he's so damn pretty.
That, and Cora was pretty much curb-stomping everyone with impunity until Snow stopped her and saved Rumplestiltskin using the most reprehensible option. Good was completely ineffective, and only got innocent people killed. The evil option worked, even if Snow's paying a heavy price for it.
Greg and Tamara are shaping up to be nasty pieces of work as well, Tamara especially, but no one can doubt that their methods (including kidnapping and murder) are effective.
The Queen's fans are called Evil Regals, Snow White's are the Fairest, the Seven Dwarves' are Team 7, Prince Charming's are Charmers, Ruby's are Little Reds, and Belle's are Beauties. Emma's fans were originally called "Team Emma" though "Ugly Ducklings" is becoming more popular.
Fan Dumb: Lancelot being black has elicited quite a bit of this, with people complaining about it not being true to the character, despite the character being fictional. It gets even more dumb and racist when you consider that people can accept things like Red Riding Hood being a werewolf (that definitely wasn't in the original story) or Jack from "Jack And The Beanstalk" being a woman but apparently a minor (and posthumous, it turns out) character who appeared in only one episode being black is just such a ridiculous character alteration.
The super devoted Regina fans who hate Henry and see him as ungrateful for not wanting to be around Regina because she's a dangerous mass-murderer who keeps trying to kill his family. This is in spite of the fact that he's the one who continually stops the Charmings from killing Regina, and alot of episodes in Season 2 reinforce that he cares for her in spite of everything.
Henry: She's still my mom.
And if there were any lingering doubts on this matter, the Season 2 finale dashes them completely.
That's not specific to Swan Queen shippers. All shippers for any pairing in this show get Fan Dumb when their pairing is not happening and accuse the writers of giving into pressure from some other group or just not having a clue. The reason it gets more intense with Yuri shippers (especially Swan Queen shippers) is because, despite the large amount of characters, not a single one is canonically gay or even bi - leading to the rather worrying implication that in a world of magic and happy endings there is no homosexuality.
A minority like Snow and Charming but dislike M.M. and David. Weird as they're the same people trapped in different realities/personas. Part of it may be since in the human world, David is married, and the affair that results from it turns out rather ugly.
And judging by the response of "Skin Deep", Rumplestiltskin and Belle. Much like on LOST, side couplings end up more compelling than the show's primary romance. Lesson: OTP can't be forced.
Minutes after "Hat Trick", shippers wanted August to get out of town so Emma wouldn't be bothered if she decided to shack up with her other creepy stalker, Jefferson/Mad Hatter, instead.
One of the most popular couples among fans is the Crack Ship/Foe Yay pairing of Regina and Emma ("Swan Queen"). It is by far the most popular possible pairing for either woman and currently the most popular pairing in the fandom (it was second in popularity only to Belle and Rumplestiltskin.)
Come Season 2 there has been a lot of support for the Emma/Hook pairing.
There are many who think that Ruby makes a better Beast for Belle than does Rumple. There are even some parallels between the show's depiction of them and the Disney movie. Ruby thinking that she deserves to die in "Child of the Moon" among others.
Mulan and Aurora, especially with their Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic. More than a few viewers would love to see their Les Yay get a full upgrade.
After exactly one scene, there's already a following for "Frankenwolf"—Ruby/Red Riding Hood and Dr. Frankenstein. Then again, Dr. Whale's very first scene had him ogling Ruby, so...
Flame War: Who should have custody of Henry, Emma or Regina? Also whether or not Henry's distancing himself from Regina is justified.
In Storybrooke, David/Prince Charming left his wife for Mary Margaret/Snow White. In the real world, David's actor Josh Dallas divorced his wife around the same time he started dating Mary Margaret's actress Ginnifer Goodwin. (though to be fair, his now ex-wife had already been seen in public with a new paramour by that time, so it's more of a case of freak timing).
"I just didn't want you to lose your mother... like I lost mine." It was an angsty line in an angsty episode to begin with. As of "The Miller's Daughter", it's just painful.
He Panned It, Now He Sucks: Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, while not completely giving Once Upon a Time a terrible score, didn't exactly give it praise with its pilot episode. So when even people who watched it with low expectations wound up loving the show, just about everyone reading his opinion piece ripped him a new one. A possible subversion, given that some of Ken's attackers already loathe him for numerous reasons, and used this as yet another reason to call him a grumpy dinosaur (despite his surprisingly wide tastes in TV).
Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma, was also James T. Kirk's mother in Star Trek and named him after her father. Prince Charming is Emma's father and his name is James. So yes, James T. Kirk was in fact named after his grandfather. (Although "Tiny" reveals that his real name is David, but he's been forced to adopt the name James.)
Even more hilarious? Josh Dallas (Charming) was previously Fandral the Dashing in Thor, and Chris Hemsworth in Thor was George Kirk in Star Trek, meaning that at one point, his daughter married Thor.
Isn't Emma's actress dating Bucky/The Mad Hatter now?
When she first becomes a deputy, Emma refuses to wear a tie. Here's the outfit Jennifer Morrison wore to PaleyFest 2012.
Dr. Whale led an angry mob to Regina's house in the second season premiere. This becomes funny once it's revealed that he's really Dr. Frankenstein.
Particularly when one considers that as Frankenstein, his whole motivation was to defeat death, when David Anders' previous well-known role was an immortal.
Robert Carlyle once starred in a movie entitled Once Upon a Time in the Midlands.
Holy Shit Quotient: Raised significantly in the Season 2 premiere. How do you still have a show after the first season's ending? The answer: Trapping Emma and Snow White in the Enchanted Forest.
Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Pretty much all ship names. Each character has their own "code name" and each ship is a combination of those names. For example, Emma/Regina is "Swan Queen", Ruby/Belle is "Red Beauty", and Hook/Emma is "CaptainSwan".
Emma = Swan
Regina = Queen or Evil
Mary Margaret/Snow White = Snow
David/Prince Charming = Charming
Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltzkin = Gold
Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket = Cricket
August/Pinocchio = Wood
Ruby/Red Riding Hood = Red or Wolf
Belle = Beauty
Captain Hook = Captain
Mulan = Warrior
Aurora = Sleeping
Dr. Whale/Victor Frankenstein = "Franken"
Daniel = Stable
Neal/Baelfire = Fire
There are also a few ship names that don't fit this pattern, such as Snow/Charming which is "Snowing."
It's hard not to feel sorry for Rumplestiltskin in "Desperate Souls", "Skin Deep", and "The Return". Or "Manhattan". Good Lord, Manhattan.
By We Are Both it's damn hard not to feel bad for Regina, too, especially when you see how her mother (and later Rumplestiltskin) put considerable effort into screwing her up and prompting her Face Heel Turn, and Fridge Horror dictates that her whole life has been them both trying to make her violent and a perpetual assault on her goodness and sanity (which both managed to hold after The Lost Lenore, at least sixteen years of Abusive Parents, and an Old Man Marrying a Child situation). Even The Stable Boy did have some impact, making most pf the Regina hatedom go from "She does this just because, This Is Unforgiveable !" to "I am sorry for your terrible childhood, at the start I could even still have forgiven you, but This Is Unforgivable !".
Killian Jones. Yes, he's an unrepentant pirate willing to kill anyone in the way of his revenge...but much of this (except for the pirate part) was just because he fell in love with a cripple's wife, and then that cripple became the most powerful dark magical entity in the land.
Jefferson the Mad Hatter and Dr. Whale/Victor Frankenstein.
Young Cora in "The Miller's Daughter" before she rips out her own heart.
Emma is commonly paired with her step-grandmother and archenemyRegina, who also happens to be her biological son's adoptive mom. Also fairly popular are Emma/Graham, Emma/August, Emma/Jefferson, and Emma/Gold. You'll also see your vocal minorities of Emma/Ruby and Emma/Archie shippers and those who would ship Emma/Mary Margaret if Mary Margaret wasn't actually Emma's mom. Or who ship it regardless. AND a more recent ship is her with Captain Hook. Not to mention Baelfire after "Manhattan".
Ruby/Red is also shipped with quite a few characters—Emma (as mentioned above), Archie (due to both characters' popularity with fans and lack of canon love interests), Gold (especially before the introduction of his canon love interest Belle), Snow White and Belle, and Graham by fans who like Graham's character too much to take the convenient Killed Off for Real exit to further their preferred Emma ship. Jefferson and Regina, too, even though they (and Gold and Archie, come to think of it) have never actually interacted with Ruby. August and Ruby had one conversation of Ship Tease and gained a small-but-loyal fanbase, Charming/David, since she became his de-facto second-in-command in post-curse Storybrooke. And then there are those who liked Red's original love interest Peter from her tragic backstory. Unsurprisingly, "In the Name of the Brother" created many Ruby/Whale ("Frankenwolf") shippers.
Regina has been shipped with Gold, Emma, David, Snow, Jefferson, Ruby, Archie, Daniel, Hook...
Captain Hook has been paired with Ruby, Emma, Regina, Aurora, Mulan, Jefferson, Cora... even characters who have yet to appear like Ariel, Peter and Wendy.
Les Yay: Let's face it, the series is rife with it (probably due to the unusually high number of female main characters). No wonder there's a big LGBT following.
Aurora/Mulan. Sure, their meaningful glances can be chalked up to awareness of each other's feelings towards Phillip. Mulan's introduction to Aurora directly mirroring Snow's introduction to Charming, however...The end of "Queen of Hearts" with Mulan bringing Aurora's heart back to her and Aurora saying, "Have you ever done this before?" as Mulan leans over her to put it back, is overflowing with subtext.
Emma and Regina. No surprise they've become the most popular ship on the show; about forty percent of the first season is them staring intently at each other.
Regina: "How to get the savior to taste my forbidden fruit?"
Snow and Red.
Emma and Red. "Emma was my lemur", anyone?
Now we have Red and Belle.
Cora and Eva. Sure, Cora murders her but that kiss on the fingers caused a few eyebrows to be raised.
At one point, Regina bribes the Severe Nurse with a rose.
Lana Parilla appearing in character as Regina in a commercial for New Fantasyland sounds like a good idea on paper. After all, Disney loves an opportunity to cross-promote. In practice however, it just screams Unfortunate Implications, particularly considering the commercial features Belle and the Beast.
Moral Event Horizon: Oddly enough, the show seems to operate under the premise that there is no Moral Event Horizon and that, while redemption is no cakewalk, no one is "irredeemably evil". Both Regina and Rumplestiltskin have tried to redeem themselves with varying degreesof success. However, fans still insist on making their own judgements:
Even if Leopold was a neglectful bore of a husband who saw her mother's acceptance of his proposal as a valid answer when she was still a teenager, even if he knew that he would never make her happy, and expected her to stay faithful to him for all the duration of the marriage, even if he may have planned to kill her potential lover, was it really necessary to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on the yet innocent Genie smitten with her, get him to kill Leopold for her, and then let the Genie plunge into eternal servitude as her magic mirror ? Mostly when watching the consequence in 1x07 and Snow's reaction. You could have just bribed a guard !
And if you were wiling to accept even that possibility and still forgive her, then the revelation that she's kept Belle (who, unlike Snow White or the Huntsman, never crossed her or did her any harm at all) shut away in a mental ward for twenty eight years, presumably either to keep her quiet or as some sort of bargaining chip against Mr. Gold might just do it. Although then again, Regina just shows a Cycle of Vengeance mindset(taking leverage material to deal with what she knows, is almost evil incarnate but with very human qualities such as a fondness for Belle, and nearly omnipotent), while Rumple already demonstrated his capacity to screw her life over more than needed at that point in the chronology. Non-dearies Non-Rumbelle fans tend to dismiss it as a sort of Karmic Retribution.
All the murders and the later kidnapping can be argued to acceptable losses to further her plans. But sending defenseless CHILD after CHILD into a cannibal witch's house to retrieve the poisoned apple crosses it. She's shown she could have taken care of the Blind Witch herself (via mirrors and fireballs) making her look worse when she sends Hansel and Grutel in. Without remorse or hesitation she sent over a DOZEN kids to certain doom just to get a McGuffin just to screw over ONE PERSON. ONE PERSON.
She was involved in Kathryn's disappearance and attempted to commit a murder. She then uses her supposed friend's death to screw over someone who's already miserable, and for kicks she also makes Sidney, who's hopelessly in love with her, confess to the crime.
What she did to Jefferson; deliberately screwing him over so that she could get her father back (who she'll kill later anyway, rendering the whole Wonderland trip meaningless) and then hypocritically shooting his words 'You don't leave family' back at him, before leaving him behind to be separated from his daughter forever - as well as from his head, if only for a while. BITCH. Though she gets a Sympathetic Murder Backstory-ish storyline AGAIN, since, before his daughter was even born, Jefferson was The Hedonist and helped drive her insane in exchange from some material help from Rumplestiltskin. They'll probably laugh it off in a couple of centuries...
Regina trying to get Kurt and Owen to stay in Storybrooke and, when that didn't work, chasing them down like criminals, having Kurt arrested and thus depriving Owen of his father. Who cares if she cried in remorse? That was dreadful. To be fair, she learned her lesson in the present time, as evidenced by destroying the love curse rather than forcing Henry to be her perfect, loving son, but still, her selfish actions back then have now put everyone in Storybrooke in jeopardy in the present day, as Owen is back and out to prove that magic exists to the whole world.
She may or may not have killed Kurt as well. It's up in the air at this point, as there's no definitive proof, just her word and a buried skull.
In "The Evil Queen", she has a village destroyed and all it's inhabitants slaughtered back in the Enchanted Forest. And in the present, she's planning on doing the same to Storybrooke and all the people in it, and even mind-wipes Henry of this plan so that he won't try to stop her. This also ends up directly enabling Tamara and Greg's Moral Event Horizon of basically doing the same thing, making Regina doubly guilty.
Cora: If you didn't already consider Cora to have crossed the Moral Event Horizon with her constant emotional and physical abuse of her own daughter, then killing Daniel in cold blood and forcing her to marry the King probably would do the trick.
Most of the Regina haters can pin the blame on this woman for sending Regina down that path.
Cora is still up to her old tricks: Killing Lancelot and taking his form, then ripping out the heart of every single person in Lancelot's village are amongst her latest antics. Shortly after her reappearance she has made it plain that the intervening years have not improved her at all.
Framing Regina for Archie's murder, not only did she ruin Regina's reformation, but she killed a totally innocent bystander and all to lure the very daughter she turned evil back into her arms.
And if any of these didn't do it for some, then the cruel and needless murder of Johanna just might.
Creating the damn curse to start with may qualify. While wanting to find his son is a sympathetic Freudian Excuse, ruining the lives of all around him to do so is just heinous.
Later, encouraging Regina to kill her own father. He starts by grasping her throat as if he was going to strangle her, then giggles through his whole rant, probably rejoicing because poor Henry ended up with the woman he loved in the past. It is still sympathetic in hindsight, because that was very likely his first romance after Milah.
In The Price Of Gold, killing an innocent, benevolent woman whose job is to make desperate people happy without hidden side-consequences. This means he may have put thousands of Happy Endings into jeopardy, when he could have just locked her somewhere.
To start with a disagreeable pattern, ripping out Milah's heart, whatever your opinion on whether she had a right to seek her own happiness or should have stayed with a family who loved her. Though that one can also come across as a crime of passion, and whatever you think she deserved, her personality and behavior are often considered a solid Freudian Excuse in themselves, this is the most shocking of a series of incidents which all reinforce the subtext that he may be ready to hit women who piss him off.
What makes all the previous incidents even more hurtful is that he doesn't hesitate, or care for what his victims feel, unless he wants revenge, proving that he is the boss or using these feelings.
He dove over this line in "Child Of The Moon" by killing a man in cold blood, framing his murder on the innocent (and already guilt-ridden) Ruby, almost killing her, and then destroying the Mad Hatter's hat (which, in Storybrooke, is the only known way to get Emma and Snow back), all in the name of a petty grudge on Charming, not even any of the people that he screwed over during the episode!
Imprisoning Charming and having him executed just because he didn't go along with his Arranged Marriage, and then cursing Snow to a childless life. Evil Is Petty, indeed
Attempting to kill Belle, simply because she was of no use to him.
Some Sleeping Hook shippers were put off by Hook stealing Aurora's heart. Of course, some viewers started shipping the two because of that scene. Still, this likely counts as a subversion, as Hook also ends up saving her heart when it's about to be lost forever.
Hook shooting Belle and letting her fall over the Storybrooke line so she'd lose her memories was a real dick move. It's become apparent Hook is more interested in making Rumple miserable and some kind of inverted Suicide by Cop.
Greg and Tamara:
Individually, Tamara's is either killing August in "Selfless, Brave and True" or shooting Neal in "Second Star to the Right", and Greg's is his Cold-Blooded Torture of Regina in the same episode. Together, they probably cross it for many by deciding to wipe out Storybrooke and everyone in it.
The original Prince James and Jacqueline's callous genocide of the giants in "Tiny".
Arguably (very, very arguably), Snow White crosses it in "The Miller's Daughter" when she deliberately manipulates Regina into killing Cora. By playing on her already colossal Mommy Issues, her love for her son and her desire to be loved by someone. The writers don't treat it this way (it's seen as a terrible Kick the Dog in the spurr of the moment), Cora needed to go down and Regina was probably overdue some payback, but damn girl, that was cold. Of course, the character who treats it the most like a Moral Event Horizon in-show...is Snow White herself, so fans tend to forgive her after seeing her colossal guilt.
Prince Charming on Abigail and Frederick: "Have you tried True Love's Kiss?" Admittedly they do live in a world where the power of love can legitimately break curses, but come on, he sounds like he's recommending chicken soup for a cold.
The Boob.. er... Blue Fairy along with a bunch of other fairies making a bombing run with all the vigor and seriousness of an army. In their usual slippers and puffy glittery dresses. The 'bombs' are fairy dust that put the targets to sleep. Made possibly more Narm-y since it's shown along side people fighting with swords and other weapons hacking each other to death.
The ending of "An Apple Red As Blood". All things considered, a magical apple turnover just lacks a certain amount of dramatic gravitas.
August after being turned to wood, thanks to the dodgy CGI.
Greg and Tamara, in private, talking about "the package", asking if it's been "delivered", and if it's "secure". You're completely alone, dumbasses! Just say you have freaking Hook tied up and gagged in the back of a truck. And on that note, all that "package" talk becomes extra narmy.
Tamara and Greg strike again with their Bracelet of Science that can block Regina's magic. Really, show? Really?
The general reaction of the fandom to Cora kissing Rumplestiltskin. At least until theirbackstory is shown, which makes it much more understandable (and, for some, more interesting than canon Rumple/Belle).
Regina and Greg. Please stop touching his face, Regina.
Maleficent appears for exactly one scene with the Evil Queen and has yet to even appear in Storybrooke, but there is already a massive fan outcry to see more of her. She appears in Storybrooke in the season finale...in her dragon form.
The Caterpillar and the Queen of Hearts. The only thing stopping all of Wonderland from being this is that the other Wonderland denizens shown are the soldiers and the Queen's servant, and they show up in two scenes.
The Blind Seer has two scenes in one episode, as a child and then an adult. Her design is completely unforgettable and if you trace events backwards, it turns out that her imput in Rumplestiltskin's life is the cause of nearly everything that happens in the show.
Additionally, Snow and Charming get this from Regina fans. Some Swan Queen fics will show Emma turning against her parents for Regina.
The Blue Fairy gets the blame for Bae leaving without his father by Rumplefans. She also got a little hate for lying to Snow and David about the amount of people that the wardrobe could carry and a lot of hate for breaking up Dreamy and Nova.
Fics about Regina's time with King Leopold tend to turn him into a generically evil rapist and abuser. In the series, Leopold is, at worst, a bad husband who is desensitized to Regina's unhappiness through Deliberate Value Dissonance and cares more about running his kingdom and raising his daughter (two domains he is very good and talented at) than her happiness. He is, for example, aware of Regina's unhappiness but certain that it is normal and she should accept it since this is the way things are in their world. He is also insensitive to her privacy and unconcerned to her comfort and freedom. Though he knew her mother was pressuring her into the marriage, that is not unusual based on the values of their world and he probably didn't demand sexual relationships as the only thing he wanted was a mother figure for his daughter. As for the privacy issue, well, he is the King (supreme authority and all that) in a kingdom where this is considered normal, so he is desensitized to that too.
This is particularly noticeable in Manhattan and We Are Both reactions. These episodes show them doing nothing evil, only entering the path that will lead them to it due to external circumstances.
Neal. Good lord, Neal. The amount of people who treat his abandoning of Emma to prison as a Moral Event Horizon and call him "Douchefire". Though as of "Second Star to the Right", his Heroic Sacrifice for Henry and Emma's sakes has changed many a former haters' minds.
David Nolan (the Storybrooke citizen, NOT Prince Charming). Hilariously, even Prince Charming insults David Nolan in Season 2.
King George. While he was merely a Jerkass in Season 1, fandom is now in an uproar over his actions in "Child of the Moon".
Henry, who was liked well enough in the first season, has become this for many fans in the second season, who have started to see him as emotionally manipulating both of his mothers. And even if he isn't really doing any manipulating, he and his welfare/happiness tend to be used as a tool by many who do manipulate (Cora to Regina, Rumple to Snow, etc.) At this point (season 2 finale) Henry is hated so much that often even fans belonging to very different groups of the Broken Base unite in their hatred of him.
Actually, him hugging Regina and telling her that he loves her in the season 2 finale has redeemed him in the eyes of many a former hater...
Milah, due to how badly she treated Rumplestiltskin and not seeming to care that she abandoned her family to run off with Hook, after knowing him for just one night. The second season finale makes her look either better or worse...she evidently DID regret abandoning Baelfire and had hoped to one day go back to take him aboard the ship with her and Hook...however, that plan would mean taking him away from Rumple forever, once again showing a disturbing lack of sympathy for her husband, who loves their child too.
Tamara, Neal's fianceé, is quickly becoming one after "Selfless, Brave and True". Not only for being directly in the way for being in the way for Neal/Emma shippers, but because that episode reveals her as a Manipulative Bitch who got herself into Neal's life after overhearing a conversation between him and August, in search for magic for some unknown reason. Also, she killed August, and is having an affair with another man.. That's not even getting into the fact that she lied about having cancer.
Greg Mendell aka Owen Flynn has become something of a Scrappy through association with her. This is somewhat counterbalanced by his Freudian Excuse, though even that becomes iffy when he begins to disregard it, focusing more on enacting Peter Pan's evil plan than on finding - or avenging - his father.
Special Effect Failure: Sometimes, the special effects are pretty good for a series that works with a regular TV budget. Sometimes, they fall under this trope.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Some fans feel this way about Rumplestiltskin and Regina, who have had a lot of episodes centered around them in a show that's supposed to be an ensemble. This is especially noteworthy in Season 2.
Strangled by the Red String: Some think that the show is relying too much on Because Destiny Says So to convince the audience that Mary Margaret/Snow White and David/Charming are meant to be together instead of building a genuinely meaningful connection between the two. Or they think this in regards to Mary Margaret & David but not Snow White & Charming.
Some fans believe that Neal and Emma are a bit too hasty to declare their undying love for each other... Minutes after Neal finds out that the woman he was going to marry is actually a villain. He was going to get sucked down to portal at this point, but still, some found it quite jarring.. Others, not so much.
Strawman Has a Point: Regina is a horrible person, and that's not even getting in to the things she did as the Evil Queen. And while it's left ambiguous exactly how she feels towards Henry, it's clearly not normal and healthy love as we'd understand it. But what she says regarding how a woman who adopts a child and raises the child is the "real mother" and not the biological mother who abandoned the child makes a lot of sense, even if she herself is a terrible example of that. Emma even accepts that point, doing her best to distance herself from Henry and only becoming involved when it becomes obvious that Regina is a terrible person. Even after Regina frames Mary Margaret for murdering a woman she had kidnapped, Emma accepts that Henry is Regina's son.
When Snow slaps Geppetto after he reveals that he lied about the wardrobe only being able to transport one person, it's implied to be the result of her darkening heart due to killing Cora. But it's hard to blame her for getting angry at him for betraying her trust and depriving her of a chance to care for her daughter.
Strawman Political: True North can get preeety preachy on the problems of the foster system.
Tastes Like Diabetes: For a show that's Lighter and Softer, it actually manages to generally avert this. But there are a few times where it can fall into this trope. Especially when it comes to the forces of good and "true love".
Although this is somewhat lampshaded by Rumplestiltskin, who mockingly refers to it as "Twu wuv!"
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Character: Many feel that the writer's just didn't care about August's character, despite his rich backstory. Particularly noticeable when they chose to revert him to human after being turned to wood, as a 7-year old boy with no memory of his adult life.
Toy Ship: Henry with either Gretel or Paige/Grace.
Uncanny Valley: Probably Invoked with August's wooden face, glass eyes, and obvious CGI facial expressions.
In Episode 9. "There are no good foster parents." Actually, there are good foster parents. Gepetto counts as a good foster/adoptive father and King George was a good father to Charming's twin brother prior to falling into villainous descent. Also, there aren't that many good biological parents. The most notable examples being Regina's parents, Cora and Henry Sr., and to a lesser extent, Jiminy's parents. Also, Milah abandoned her son, Baelfire without saying a word to him and letting him think his mother was dead. Graham's own parents left him in the forest to die. However, then you're left with the implication that men can make good adoptive parents, but women can't.
"Skin Deep" lampshades the A Match Made in Stockholm implications of the Beauty and the Beast story—the problem is that the person bringing it up is Regina in the context of deceiving Belle.
The only black characters (the Genie, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother) literallyonly exist to magically make the lives of white people better. At least until Lancelot showed up in Season 2. And then he turns out to have been Dead All Along. But it's debatable whether or not Lancelot was still just there to further the white people's stories, albeit in a negative way. Even the priest that marries Snow and Charming is just there to serve, really. Near the end of Season 2, we get Tamara, who is independent and resourceful. And... you know... a cheating murderous, Manipulative Bitch. To say nothing of the fact that for Pinocchio to identify his killer in Season 2, all he would have had to say in THAT town is that the woman who killed him was black, and the number of probable suspects would be reduced pretty much to one right then and there. Then there's Billy, who turns out to be one of Cinderella's pet rats. Make of that what you will.
Dwarves are born to work as miners until they die without pay and are not allowed to leave, they are basically a Slave Race and are expected to be fine with it. This, however, does not go without lampshading, and although the episode ends with Grumpy returning to the mines, we're obviously not supposed to be happy about it.
In an episode, Emma finds out that Regina was misappropriating funds from the town to build herself a house, and presented it in a meeting. Turns out it was a set up, and Regina calmly admitted that she did it, but to build a center for children. So it's ok to steal money from a town as long as you do something good with it? This is presented as Emma being wrong, and Regina getting the upper hand. Shouldn't someone else have questioned it?
Red and Granny turn into monstrous beasts once a month (well, Granny used to, when she was younger), and only the power of a magical red cloak can stop Red from slaughtering everything in her path.
Not being able to have children being considered as a fate worse than death. Although the person saying this is King George.
Related to the above, Ruth's heroic sacrifice to restore Snow's fertility. What's wrong with an adopted child, two loving parents, and a doting grandmother? Although, considering that this is a medieval setting and Snow is the only heir to her father's kingdom, having a trueborn heir would probably be considered necessary for the dynasty. Besides, as the closest thing their world seems to have to an adoption agency is Rumpelstiltskin...would you want to risk it?
Some think this applies to Milah's backstory due to her being shown in a negative light for wanting more than marriage and motherhood. Others disagree, wondering if they'd justify a man abandoning his family for a woman he just met.
Unpleasable Fanbase: Dear Lord! One really has to feel sorry for the writers of Once! You’ve got the fans who think too many episodes focus on villains, fans who want to see even less of the heroes, fans who like/dislike certain ships and think that the writers should/shouldn’t include more scenes centered around them. Then there’s the whole “portrayal of adoption” issue and the debate over the portrayal of Regina and her relationship with Henry. And many, many more. No wonder season 2 has been so unfocused!
The Untwist: Let us just say that by the time it is finally revealed that Baelfire is Henry's father, there were not really many people that would have been surprised. It is compensated because of how the episode relied less on the plot twist and more on the emotional level.
ABC's/Eddie and Adam's marketing of the show run into this a lot. The promos for "The Queen of Hearts" tried to build mystery around the identity of the title character, this of course, was seven episodes after we saw Regina shove Cora through the looking glass and into Wonderland. Same with the promotion of "The Miller's Daughter" where a tweet said that the episode would feature a couple that the audience would never think of in a million years. As it turned out the couple in question was Cora and Rumplestiltskin whom we'd already seen kiss on screen some time earlier.
Wangst: Ashley and Mary Margaret complaining how love isn't what they thought it would be in "Skin Deep". Both are complaining how hard it is. To elaborate: Mary Margaret is dating an adulterer and Ashley's baby's daddy works all the time. Ashley's boyfriend is a 19-year old supporting a cleaning lady and newborn daughter!
The Genie in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree". After meeting Regina for two minutes he decides he's going to not only kill for her but kill the man who freed him from eternal slavery. Then when he finds out she set him up he refuses to flee and instead boneheadedly uses a wish (wishes he knows hardly ever turn out well) to be by her side forever. This for a woman who purposely led him on, used him and then set him up for murder. What an Idiot indeed.
Emma in the same episode. Despite her much vaunted Living Lie Detector "superpower", she's taken in with consummate ease by a con that anyone with an ounce of Genre Savvy should have seen straight through.
Snow in "An Apple Red As Blood".Snow agrees to eat a poisoned apple because the Evil Queen says that if she eats it, then she won't kill Charming. Snow doesn't have any reason to believe that the Queen will keep her promise, but she eats the apple anyway. Naturally, the Evil Queen tries to execute him shortly afterwards.
Jefferson, also in "An Apple Red As Blood". Jefferson agrees to help Regina, even though she screwed him over last time he worked with her. He makes a deal with her that if he helps her retrieve what she needs, then she will wipe his memory of the Fairy Tale world, make Grace remember that Jefferson is her father, and set them up for a good life. Regina agrees to this, but insists that he help her get what she wants first, which he does. After Regina has the apple, she refuses to hold up her end of the bargain. She has no reason to do anything for Jefferson after he gets her what she wants, since he has no leverage. Also, if she wiped Jefferson's memories, he'd have no way to know if she had upheld her end of the bargain or not, or even that there was any sort of bargain to begin with.
In the same episode, Emma throwing the True Love potion up to Mr. Gold in a blatantly obvious set-up.
Emma in 2x03. Shooting a gun with ogres around and telling Regina's even eviller mother about Henry.
Rumple's ex-wife. Telling him (the most powerful being in the Enchanted Forest) that she never loved him after revealing that she abandoned her family for a pirate wasn't very smart.
Arguably, Charming trusting the woman who has tried to kill and hurt his family MULTIPLE TIMES to watch his ten year old grandson. Though in fairness, he turned out to be right on that one.
Rumplestiltskin taking the Seer's powers, then accusing her of tricking him. She referred to it as a burden before he agreed to it, it wasn't like she wasn't up front about how much it would suck.
In "The Evil Queen", Regina is explicitly told by Rumplestiltskin that the magic put on her will make her unrecognizable to anyone and that she'll be unable to use her magic. So naturally, she promptly forgets this and acts like a complete moron once she's out and about among the peasants and her guards, insisting she's the Queen and attempting to use magic.
Emma Swan. Henry too, whenever he isn't being The Scrappy.
And the sad but very sweet Miss Mary Margret Blanchard.
Dr. Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket, who is constantly abused by...everyone. Mostly Regina, but everyone else is a little too quick to snap at their conscience.
Shepherd-David being forced to never see his mother again and having to call the man who threatened her "father" for the rest of his life all in the name of duty. And later, said father seems to have ended up resenting David anyway and declares to Snow White that he isn't his son. Only the king's pragmatic nature and desire to preserve his kingdom keep him in check.
Graham/The Huntsman. Because he spared Snow White, the Queen ripped out his heart, condemning him to never feel anything again, then made him into her Sex Slave. He spends his whole last episode on the verge of psychic collapse, torn between his feelings for Emma and Regina as memories of the other world intrude on his mind. And then, when he finally, finally pulls himself together and shares a sweet moment with Emma, Regina crushes his heart and kills him.
Abigail/Kathryn. Kathryn is easily sympathetic, but Abigail becomes this as well once her backstory is revealed.
Really, most of the cast whether due to the Dark Curse or otherwise, have gone through some pretty terrible things.
Red. See... Granny was bitten by the original Big Bad Wolf who, as it turns out, was a werewolf. And Granny's husband. In turn, this meant Granny's daughter would become the 2nd Big Bad. And in turn, Red herself is the 3rd Big Bad. Who happens to eat her love.
Aurora. Under a sleeping curse for thirty years that makes you relive your worst memories. Her true love sacrifices himself to save her and gets his soul sucked out. She's plagued by horrible nightmares and won't sleep. Then Cora kidnaps her. Then Hook rips out her heart and gives it to Cora. Girl cannot catch a break.
Baelfire aka Neal. Who has suffered as much, if not more, crap than anyone else; crap which is still being revealed.
The Evil Queen is primarily motivated to avenge the death of her former lover, Daniel. Who was killed by her abusive mother, as a result of Snow White telling her about the love between them. This will now intensify with the death of her mother, right when she had finally become able to truly love her.
Rumplestiltskin, for that matter. He literally "destroys this world for the next."
Owen/Greg. Through no fault of their own, he and his father find their way into Storybrooke, and become Regina's new object of obsession; when they refuse to stay she chases after them, and while Owen manages to get away his father doesn't - leaving Owen essentially orphaned and trying to find Kurt again for 28 years. Is it any wonder he joined an anti-magic coalition as an adult?