One of the interests of the author seems to be how human psyche can cross lines that were established either by itself or by society, and the effects it creates. Everything is designed to make these transgressions more striking, thus the use of many tropes about Subverted Innocence
and subverted naivete :
- Cute But Psycho: Mary Margaret.
- Cute Is Evil: Mary Margaret, young Snow White, Henry, unicorns and Danvers the Dove. This seems to be a general rule in the series's universe, as Rumplestiltskin states things that imply that evilness of unicorns is proportional to their commonly-accepted degree of cuteness.
- Enfante Terrible: Henry.
- Medium Awareness: Which makes the mentioned characters's detachment even more chilling.
- Self-Deprecation: More like self-admition of terrible things to make jokes about it.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Gretel, Snow White and Henry.
It is interesting to consider that in addition to subverting innocence tropes, the author likes to Double Subvert
usual tropes about viewer indulgence : Freudian Excuse
s, caring and having a good side (Hidden Heart of Gold
), giving only a watered-down version of the usual answer and thus giving a more ironical and less emotionally-invested portrayal of moral transgressions than the origional, all while being quietly judgemental...
- Freudian Excuse: Regina's and Rumplestiltskin's are toned down, except for Cora's abuse of her daughter. The moment a character snaps into doing something questionable is usually entirely Played for Laughs.
- Hidden Heart of Gold / Even Evil Has Standards: Is usually turned into Everyone Has Standards.
- They Really Do Love Each Other: Double Subverted with Gold, Emma, Regina and Jefferson. The first cares for his son, his two gorlfriends and his stepson, but is self-centered. The second cares for and loves her son, but is critical and abrasive towards him. The third cares for and loves her son, but doesn't like to see him develop and grow the way he wants to and probably the way he should. The fourth has some kind of narcissist-fueled affection for his daughter. Still up in the air for Henry and either of his moms, although he does care about what they think and say. He does love Mr. Gold.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Emma and Regina were more of a sweet kid when teenagers, but this is subverted with the character of Snow White, who actually acts as the smartest and most mature character, and learns from her mistakes. Anyway, none of them were incorruptible pure pureness, but Regina was really cute !