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The enduringly popular story of Peter Pan has appeared in various media over the years.

The character was created by J. M. Barrie in the story "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens", published as part of the book The Little White Bird in 1902, and featured in the stage play Peter Pan, first produced in 1904. Barrie adapted the play into a novel, known variously as Peter and Wendy or just Peter Pan and first published in 1911.

Peter Pan has been adapted as a musical twice.

The first was done in 1950 and is the lesser known of the two, although it was done by Broadway legend Leonard Bernstein (of West Side Story fame).

The version most people think of when they think of Peter Pan: The Musical is the 1954 version originally staring Mary Martin as Peter (the musical continues the tradition of cross-casting women as young boy Peter to this day). Its notability can be attributed to the fact that NBC aired live stagings of the play several times between 1955 and 1960, to excellent ratings.

Numerous screen adaptations exist, including the widely-known Disney version, also from the 1950s.

Between licensing by Great Ormond Street Hospital (who still holds certain rights in the UK) and the expiration of copyright in most of the world, there are clashing Sequel and Prequel books and films. In addition to the 1953 Disney film and a 2002 sequel, there was a 41 episode anime adaption as part of the World Masterpiece Theater series in 1989, the 1990 animated series on the first season of Fox Kids, Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991), a sequel that posits what would have happened had Peter eventually decided to grow up, and a 2003 live-action adaptation. See also Finding Neverland (2004), a Very Loosely Based on a True Story drama about Barrie's conception and initial production of the play.


This is an index for all the Peter Pan-related pages on TV Tropes.

Works in the Peter Pan franchise with TV Tropes pages:


Tropes from all or most adaptations:

  • Betty and Veronica: Wendy (Betty) and Tinker Bell (Veronica) for Peter Pan with Tiger Lily as the Third-Option Love Interest. Although in the book, being a child, he displays no romantic interest in anyone and doesn't even comprehend the concept.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most versions tell of Wendy, her brothers, and the Lost Boys all growing up, with varying degrees of happiness or regret. Wendy herself in time - although it's hinted she hoped Peter would have come for her - get married and has a daughter. Peter himself stuck forever as a boy revisits Wendy every year - mostly - as promised but at some point she becomes too old to play with him. Tinker Bell, being a fairy, had passed years before. However, Wendy's daughter Jane soon becomes Peter's companion playing out the same role as her mother, and it's implied that future generations of girls through Wendy's bloodline will do the same.
  • Broken Masquerade: Neverland, pirates, fairies.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Trope Namer comes from a famous scene. A fairy is mortally wounded any time a child says "I don't believe in fairies;" in the scene in question, Peter uses the effect in reverse to save the fairy Tinker Bell's life by calling on children everywhere to indicate that they do believe in fairies. (In the original stage version - which predates the novel and the various film and television adaptations - this was an audience participation bit...and, in case you're wondering, if the audience is a bunch of heartless bastards who won't clap, the orchestra is instructed to begin the applause.)
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Tinker Bell is very jealous of anyone else getting Peter's attention, even to the point of attempting to have Wendy murdered.
  • Compressed Adaptation: While the novel has the children staying in Neverland for weeks, if not months - Michael has all but forgotten their London home by the time they actually do get back, though to be fair he's very little - most adaptations cut the duration of their stay in Neverland down to a single night and day.
  • The Croc Is Ticking: The Trope Namer is the crocodile who swallowed an alarm clock.
  • Crosscast Role: In just about any theatrical or film version, Peter is played by a woman. On film, the only exceptions are the Disney version, which has Peter voiced by Bobby Driscoll, the 2003 version with Jeremy Sumpter, and the 2015 reimagining with Zak Sutcliffe. Meanwhile, the only male to have played Peter Pan on Broadway is Jack Noseworthy, who was an understudy in Jerome Robbins' Broadway, a musical revue of highlights of choreographer Jerome Robbins' work, which included the Mary Martin Broadway version.
  • Damsel in Distress: Wendy, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily are all captured at one point or another.
  • Dawn Attack: In Neverland, all attacks take place at dawn. Captain Hook is considered a vile scoundrel when he has his pirates attack before dawn, when nobody's ready.
  • Friendly War:
    • The Lost Boys and the Indians take turns attacking each other as a game. It turns serious in the Disney version when the Chief accuses the Boys of kidnapping Tiger Lily, who was actually taken by Captain Hook for the purpose of trying to get the location of Peter Pan's hiding place out of her.
    • In the Disney sequel "Return to Neverland", Hook tells Jane that his relationship with Peter is this. He's lying.
  • Growing Up Sucks:
    • The Lost Boys.
    • Deconstructed in the Hook movie, as the happy memories that the now adult Peter won as he grew up are what restores his ability to fly.
  • Hook Hand: Guess who? Captain James Hook certainly turned out to have a prophetic name when he got a prosthetic hook to replace his hand.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Hook is always seen to be decked out in his finest in all the adaptations.
  • Just Desserts: The fate of Hook in the original play and book, as well as many adaptations.
  • Literal Disarming: Inverted. At some point prior to the events of the book, Peter and Captain Hook dueled and Peter cut off Hook's right hand, throwing it to a crocodile. Hook made the most of this situation and weaponized his missing member.
  • Living Shadow: Peter's shadow is alive and tries to escape. Wendy sews it back on.
  • Lost in Imitation: Tons. In many adaptations and spinoffs, nobody ages while on Neverland. Yet in the novel it's clear that people do age and grow to some degree - the Lost Boys arrive as infants, after all, and Peter "thins them out" (which knowing Peter, is probably lethal) if they seem to be growing up. For more examples, see the page on Disney's Peter Pan.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Wendy first meets Peter, he's crying over the fact that he can't get his shadow to stick, causing her to ask, "Boy, why are you crying?" Years later, Peter cries again upon finding out that Wendy had grown up and can't return to Neverland, waking up her daughter, Jane, who then asks Peter the exact same thing.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    • Mr Smee. So. Very. Much. The original book goes into great detail about how pathetic-but-loveable he is.
    • Though he's still willing to tickle the kids with Johnny Cork-screw if the situation demands it. More than one critic has pointed out that, viewed in a certain light, Smee is deeply frightening in that he's an innocent simpleton who is completely sanguine about murdering children.
  • Moby Schtick: Barrie openly acknowledged that the enmity between Captain Hook and Peter, and the crocodile's relentless pursuit of Hook, were inspired by Ahab. Even more emphasized in adaptations that stress Hook's attempts to kill the latter.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: Skull Rock in the various versions, where Captain Hook takes the kidnapped Princess Tiger Lily.
  • Neologism: The name 'Wendy' was not commonly recognized as a viable name for a girl before this book.
  • Never Grew Up: The point of Never Land is that all the children who live there never have to grow up, like Peter himself, making this the Trope Namer.
  • Nominal Hero: Pan, who 'thins out' any Lost Boys who appear to be growing up; can subsist perfectly well on pretend food, and beats any boys who demonstrate hunger after they've missed meals and had to just pretend they ate; cuts parts off the boys to make them 'fit' the trees that are the secret entrances to their hideout; and often changes sides in the middle of battles to make the fight more exciting.
  • Noodle Incident: Hook's origins. Barrie wrote, "To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country (England) in a blaze." Future tellings reveal he attended Eton College, although the records were destroyed to prevent further scandal.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Hook towards Pan. This wasn't as much so in the beginning. Hook saw Pan as another annoying child, but after his hand was fed to the crocodile it became personal.
    • Peter, for his part, has made all the Lost Boys promise to leave Hook to him.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: The Darling children wear their PJs throughout their adventures.
  • Pirate: Naturally, Captain Hook and the pirates.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Well, they do quite a few things within the story, but no actual piracy. This may be a Justified Trope because there is a reason: Hook has no intention of leaving Neverland and resuming regular piracy until he kills Peter Pan.
  • Puff of Logic: This is how fairies are killed.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Captain Hook doesn't die in the Disney version. Various unofficial sequels such as Hook also retcon the original ending to keep him alive.
    • In the novel, fairies have extremely short lifespans and Tinker Bell died of old age not long after the Darling children's adventures. This is changed in any adaptation that takes place after the Darling children return home.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is Disney's version of the fairy companion's name spelled "Tinkerbell," "Tinkerbelle," or "Tinker Bell"? The Kingdom Hearts series uses Tinker Bell, and so does the new Disney movie that centers around her. It's likely that Tinker Bell is the official spelling, as it is spelled that way in the original novel.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The Crocodile, after eating Hook's hand, liked the taste so much that it has constantly pursued Hook ever since, hoping to eat the rest of him.
  • Team Mom: Wendy is literally treated as the mother by all the Lost Boys.
  • Villain Exclusivity Clause: Captain Hook is the main villain in all adaptations; even the ones that acknowledge him getting in eaten by the crocodile find some way to bring him back. Including the official sequel.

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