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Literature / Land of Oz

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"The Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us."
The Good Witch of the North, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Land of Oz is a fantasy setting created by L. Frank Baum in his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The book has had 39 official sequels published by Reilly & Lee, with the originals generally being called "The Famous Forty", 13 of the sequels being written by Baum, and 35 books illustrated by John R. Neill. L. Frank Baum wrote the second book only to capitalize on the success of the stage version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Reilly & Lee convinced him to write an additional four books, and Baum attempted to end the series after book six, only to be forced to return to the series three years later after some poor theater investments and poor sales on his other fantasy series starring the characters Trot and Cap'n Bill (who were later imported into the Oz books). He wrote a total of 14 books before his death in 1919. With L. Frank Baum's widow Maud Baum's blessing, the series was continued by five different authors (with Ruth Plumly Thompson, the first to continue the series, eventually publishing more Oz books than even Baum). The books came out basically yearly until the output began to slow down in The '40s, after Thompson left the series and Neill's untimely passing. The last book was published in 1963, 63 years after the first book, with many unauthorised sequels and spinoffs coming afterward once the books began passing into the public domain, including a few by former authors of the Famous Forty, which some fans may consider at least as good as canon, but still unofficial. Here's a list of titles:

    open/close all folders 

    Oz books written by L. Frank Baum 

    Oz books written by Ruth Plumly Thompson 

    Oz books written by John R. Neill 
  • The Wonder City of Oz (1940)
  • The Scalawagons of Oz (1941)
  • Lucky Bucky in Oz (1942)

    Oz books written by Jack Snow 

    Oz books written by other writers 
  • The Hidden Valley of Oz by Rachel Cosgrove (1951)
  • Merry Go Round in Oz by Eloise Jarvis McGraw and Lauren Lynn McGraw (1963)

The first 21 books are now public domain in the United States. With the expiration of the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, The Cowardly Lion of Oz entered the US public domain in 2019, and the next book, Grampa in Oz, entered public domain in 2020. This will continue yearly unless another copyright extension law is passed. Thompson's final five books entered the public domain decades ago when the publisher failed to renew their copyright; this is also true of both of Jack Snow's books. Books that are still under copyright can be significantly harder to track down, with many of them being out of print.

However, these books are not necessarily PD in other countries. Since Baum died in 1919, all of his books are PD worldwide; this is not the case for works by other authors. For example, none of Thompson's books are PD in the EU or UK. Both entities base their copyright terms on the lifespan of the creator—to be exact, works enter the PD on the January 1 that follows the 70th anniversary of the creator's death, except in Spain, where the term is "life plus 80" for creators who died before 1987. Because Thompson lived until 1976, her books won't be in the EU or UK PD until 2047, or the Spanish PD until 2057.

For more about the many spin-offs and adaptations, including numerous books not included in the "Famous Forty", see Land of Oz.

Check out the Character Sheet.

The Land of Oz was the Older Than Television, Unbuilt Trope Trope Maker / Ur-Example / Trope Codifier for:

  • Clockwork Creature: General Tik-Tok may have the distinction of being the first depiction of a clockwork-powered robot in fiction. He's also the Ur-Example of the loyal Robot Buddy and We Can Rebuild Him.
  • Cyborg and Unwilling Roboticisation: Possibly the earliest example of a full-body-replacement cyborg in modern literature is the Tin Woodsman from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He was once a perfectly ordinary human being until a witch cursed his axe, which repeatedly attacked him to chop off his body parts. He gradually replaces his missing body piece by piece with tin prosthetics — until essentially all that was left was a mind in a tin shell. note 
  • Food Pills: Created by Professor Woggle-Bug. The books actually avert most of usual tropes - the pills can serve as emergency rations, but attempts to replace regular meals with them were stopped. Violently.
  • Robo Speak: In "Ozma of Oz," Tik-Tok, a wind-up robot (though not called that since the word was not yet in circulation) who speaks in mon-o-tone and in-flex-i-ble ca-dence.
  • Patchwork Map: A good look at the map of Oz and its surrounding lands screams "PATCHWORK!" at the reader. It's understandable since Baum made it up as he went along; also, one should keep in mind fantasy world building was a new concept that the Oz books basically pioneered.
  • Worldbuilding: Maps by Baum depict Oz's four regions and its neighboring kingdoms. The world-building came about because of fans clamoring for more stories and places to explore. (Continuity Snarl ensued.) Baum also got East and West mixed up on his map, and it took decades for future writers to untangle the mess that caused.

Books in the Famous Forty with their own trope pages include:

The remaining books in the Famous Forty include examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Mombi was no doubt a villain in The Marvelous Land of Oz who kidnapped Ozma and changed her gender, and disposed of King Pastoria, but Ruth Plumly Thompson made her into even more of an evil villain. In The Lost King of Oz she is revealed to have transformed prime Minister Pajuka into a goose, erased Pastoria’s memory, tried to take over Gillikin Country and become the Wicked Witch of the North, and during the book she plots to take over the Emerald City, while throwing Snips the Button Boy down a well (who overheard her plans and was being kept prisoner by her). And in The Giant Horse of Oz, Thompson reveals that she imprisoned the kingdom of the Ozure Islands by unleashing a sea monster to keep the populace trapped on the island. This could be why Thompson gets Mombi Killed Off for Real.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dorothy and Ozma's hair color varies from artist to artist and medium to medium. For instance, in their first appearances, Dorothy was a brunette and Ozma a blonde, but later illustrations show a black-haired Ozma and a blonde Dorothy. Long-time Oz illustrator John R. Neill lampshaded this with one drawing, showing his blond version of Dorothy looking at a statue commemorating W.W. Denslow's brunette.
  • All Just a Dream: Averted in the original books. Baum himself stated that the land of Oz is located somewhere in the world, it's just surrounded by impassable deserts. Indeed, The Emerald City of Oz, which Baum originally intended as the conclusion to the series, has Dorothy moving to Oz permanently along with her aunt and uncle.
  • Aloof Leader, Affable Subordinate: The cruel Nome King, Roquat the Red, is paired with his kind-hearted steward, Kaliko. Kaliko is essential to keeping the Nome Kingdom running (he's a skilled mechanic and good at getting along with people), and when Roquat is eventually deposed, Kaliko becomes king himself.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Mangaboos in the Hollow World are very xenophobic and attack anyone who steps on their territory. Whenever they appear in a novel, they're usually portrayed as villains.
  • Amazon Brigade: Jinjur and her completely pathetic, knitting-needle-armed army successfully conquer the Emerald City in The Marvelous Land of Oz by exploiting Wouldn't Hit a Girl and intend to take the rest of Oz eventually. Glinda's counterattack with her actual Amazon Brigade leads to their almost immediate surrender.
  • Backstory: In response to fan mail asking questions about Oz and its characters. There's just enough info to give an idea what Oz was like before Dorothy came to it.
  • Ban on Magic: Magic is banned from Oz for all except Princess Ozma, Glinda the Good, and the Wizard of Oz. This is to prevent anything like the Wicked Witches from rising again. Of course, the plot of almost every book in the series from the time the ban is mentioned involves someone unlawfully using magic.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness:
    • In general, good witch = pretty, bad witch (unless magically disguised) = ugly.
    • The books often play this straight for other characters as well. Notable exceptions include Mrs. Yoop (a stunner according to the illustrations, but possibly the most terrifying person in all forty of the books) and grotesques like Dr. Pipt and the Braided Man (darlings both, but undeniably odd-looking).
  • Big Bad: The Nome King.
  • Big Sister Is Watching: At least two.
    • Ozma's Magic Picture can show any scene she wishes it to, and she often uses it to see what her friends are doing.
    • Glinda has a book in which everything that happens anywhere in the world is recorded.
    • The powers of both extend to the mortal world, including the USA.
  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: The Wheelers, whose name says it all. And the one-legged Hoppers who hop around.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness:
    • Bunnyburg; Glinda apparently loves rabbits.
    • In the last of the Famous Forty. Merry-Go-Round in Oz, it's revealed that the Easter Bunny lives in Oz as well.
  • Captured by Cannibals: The Scoodlers from The Road to Oz.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Nome King is a sadistic old bastich who enjoys being angry because it makes everyone around him miserable.
  • Catchphrase: The Glass Cat has pink brains, "...and you can see 'em work."
  • Cats Are Mean: Both Eureka and the Glass Cat have their moments of this.
  • Character Title: Most books, followed by either “in Oz” or “of Oz”. A notable exception is The Road to Oz.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Princess Ozma, who's roughly ten to sixteen, is the benevolent dictator of what is essentially an empire made of four large countries and a city-state.
  • Clockwork Creature: Tiktok the Machine Man. You have to wind him up every few days or he'll run down.
  • Continuity Drift: Coherent continuity isn't one of the Oz books' strengths. Probably deliberately, as Baum, no Tolkien, was much more interested in exploring his fairyland than keeping track of it, and was only writing the sequels anyway as a result of fan clamour for more. The eventually-insanely-convoluted explanation for how the Wizard became the ruler of Emerald City is perhaps the best-known result of this. Other fanbase-dividing changes to the setting include the issues of money (first it existed, then it didn't), death (first it existed, then it didn't), and whether or not Emerald City had its color because of the city's construction or if the green tinted glasses are still being used.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Emerald City of Oz has Dorothy and her group facing a series of statues, including one of Dorothy from the time of her first visit. Illustrator J. R. Neill used W. W. Denslow's original version of Dorothy for the statue. (One wonders how Dorothy felt about that old image.)
    • Most of the books have a paragraph or two of narration dedicated to continuity and backstory, but again, the continuity changes so often it's more like a check of what's going to be canon according to that book in particular.
  • Continuity Reboot: When Jack Snow became the new author for the series, he ignored characters and locations introduced in Ruth Plumly Thompson and John R. Neill's books and just wrote a direct sequel to L.Frank Baum's final book. Thompson was reportedly fine with this, as she didn't really want her Oz characters to be used by future authors in the series. It could be described as a soft reboot; the previous stories weren’t flat out retconned, just never mentioned again.
  • Crystal Landscape: Present to varying degrees. Some depictions (such as in the movie) of the Emerald City portray nearly everything there as being made of crystal. The books are inconsistent about many architectural details but the city is full of large crystals in The Marvelous Land of Oz. The Nome Kingdom has areas covered in crystals as well.
    • In Thompson's books we are introduced to the Sapphire City, capital of Munchkin Country, said to be second only to the Emerald City in beauty.
    • The small kingdom of Regalia in Gillikin Country, which shows up in two of Thompson's books, is dominated by an amethyst castle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly, the narrator in ''The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', at times.
    "For," they said, "there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man." And, so far as they knew, they were quite right.
  • Denser and Wackier: The books written by John R. Neill turn the weirdness and surrealism up to eleven.
  • Deus ex Machina: Virtually all of the books end this way. Sometimes there's an attempt at setting things up via Chekhov's Gun, but just as often the ending comes completely out of the blue.
    • In his sixth Oz book, The Emerald City of Oz, the Nomes and a few other unruly tribes of creatures plan to invade Oz, destroy it, and enslave the people. The surprise is initially ruined by Ozma's convenient Magic Picture, allowing her to plan ahead of time. With her trusty Chekhov's Gun, the Magic Belt Dorothy stole from the Nome king in a previous book, Ozma uses its power to dehydrate the army, whose invasion tunnel is conveniently right next to the fountain containing the Water of Oblivion, which makes anyone who drinks of it forget everything. The first thing the invaders do when they come out of the tunnel is drink the water; war avoided.
    • The majority of Rinkitink in Oz involves the adventures of Prince Inga and King Rinkitink in another land entirely, until Ozma and company show up at the climax to save the day. (Baum originally wrote it as a standalone fantasy novel ten years earlier, and shoehorned Oz characters into the ending of the book after public demand.)
  • Direct Line to the Author: L. Frank Baum styled himself the "Royal Historian of Oz", all the stories came from Dorothy telling them to him (eventually through a magic wireless after Dorothy moved to Oz permanently). He also made an attempt to use this trope to end the Oz series at one point, claiming a spell of Glinda's to detach Oz completely from the outside world meant he was no longer in contact with Dorothy. It didn't stick any better than sending Sherlock Holmes over Reichenbach Falls, of course. This trope was downplayed by future authors in the series.
  • The Ditz: Button-Bright, in spite of his nickname, is actually really stupid. He asks a lot of questions, but he's not good at taking the answers to those questions and making connections or thinking critically about it.
  • Domed Hometown: The island of the Skeezers in Glinda of Oz is covered by a glass dome, and can be submerged in or raised above the surface of the lake with a spell known only to the queen.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Jinjur, having failed to take over Oz, appears in a later cameo, placidly explaining that she is content with her quiet life with her husband — and her husband is nursing a black eye because he had milked the cows in any order she did not approve of.
  • Easily Conquered World: Oz has always been this, partly due to their almost complete lack of a military (which consists of one soldier with a gun, who isn't even good at shooting), and partly due to the fact that Ozma is a pacifist almost to the point of Suicidal Pacifism. It is protected mainly by the surrounding Deadly Desert. Some quick thinking allows Oz to fend off an invasion in The Emerald City of Oz without having to fight back, but this practically came down to luck. It reaches new levels of ineptitude in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, when an Ozian warlord from southern Oz named Mogodore easily conquers the Emerald City while every single person of importance in the palace is playing Blind Man's Bluff, and is blindfolded. So while the desert protects Oz from external threats, it is highly vulnerable to internal threats.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Oz of the first two books is notably different from the Oz in subsequent books. A lot of this can, and has, been explained and justified by Ozma coming to power and radically changing things; for example, the spell that prevents death in Oz apparently depends on a descendant of Lurline being on the throne, explaining why death occurred in the first book when the illegitimate Wizard was on the throne.
  • Eats Babies: The Hungry Tiger wants to eat fat babies, but his conscience won't allow him to actually do it. Hence why he's always hungry, you see.
  • Election Day Episode: John R. Neill’s The Wonder City of Oz centers on an American girl from New Jersey who arrives in Oz and immediately wants the throne, challenging Ozma to an election.
  • Expansion Pack World: The first two books, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz" were originally meant to be stand-alone stories. Fans of those books kept asking Baum questions about Oz. So Baum kept writing the Oz books to answer those questions and laid down some backstory.
  • Face Stealer: Princess Langwidere, who can change her head at will, and wants to trade Dorothy's head for one of her own.
  • Fairy Tale: Wizard of Oz was Baum's attempt to write an "American" fairy tale.
  • Fake Wizardry: Zig-Zagged. Magic is real, but the Wizard gets by on stage magic until Glinda the Good teaches him some real magic.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • In the later books, no one can die. This information comes after characters in the books have been chopped into pieces, beheaded, melted, and so forth and it's mentioned that you could be transformed into an inanimate object, turned into sand, and buried. Even so, you'd still be alive and presumably conscious forever.
    • Note also the spell which caused this also prevented aging, and took effect on everyone in Oz at the same time; this means that any babies in Oz are eternally babies, and that anyone who was at the moment of death is permanently caught there, and so on...
  • Fantasy World Map: One of the earliest examples. Baum apparently used Chinese geomancy (Feng Shui) to make the map. It made west and east look inverted. The map makes a lot of sense if the POV is in the Emerald City, looking southward. See this map.
    • Because of this reversed map, Ruth Plumly Thompson referred to Munchkinland as the west, and the land of the Winkies as the east.
    • On the other hand, the Books of Wonder publishers revised the map to restore the Munchkins and Winkies to the east and west.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The Land of Oz was founded by a woman (Lurline), and the countries in it were ruled by four women (the Witches) up until the end of The Marvelous Land of Oz. (It's pretty clear the Wizard and the Scarecrow only ran the Emerald City, and nominally at that.) In that book, one of the women (Glinda) works with another woman (Mombi) to restore the rightful ruler of the land of Oz. Guess who that is? Yep, a woman (Ozma).
    • Incidentally (and probably not coincidentally), Baum's mother-in-law was Matilda Gage, one of the greats of the First Wave of Feminism.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Deadly Desert, which surrounds Oz and protects it against invasion. It's supposedly impenetrable, but of course is crossed many times over the course of the series, usually by flying over it somehow, but it has been tunneled under and sailed across in a sand boat too.
  • Forced Transformation: A favorite trope of Baum's, this happens to someone almost once per book. The Nome King uses the Magic Belt, and later his own magical powers, to turn people into objects. Dorothy later uses it to turn a villain into a dove in The Lost Princess of Oz. Red Reera uses her Yookoohoo abilities to turn herself and her pets into different creatures at a whim. (She also transforms some guests, but only after getting permission.) The magic word in The Magic of Oz also allows characters to inflict this on one another.
  • Funny Robot: General Tik-Tok, a helpful clockwork man and Robot Buddy to the other characters. Usually he's very serious, but he can be very funny when his brain winds down before his voice and movements do; without any actual thinking to govern it, he wanders aimlessly and blabbers nonsensically until someone winds up his thought mechanism.
  • Giant Flyer: The Gump and the Ork.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Shaggy Man attempts to use his Love Magnet on the Scoodlers, who are threatening to cook him and the gang into soup. It makes them love him, all right— they assure him that they'd love him in soup.
  • Hair Antennae: John R. Neill sometimes drew the Wizard of Oz with long hair antennas, with the top of his head bald. He particularly had fun doing this in Little Wizard of Oz Stories by L. Frank Baum.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Common all throughout the original books. The queer people in the fairy land of Oz sure are gay!
    • The Dicks of Dicksy Land are "queer" about their shoes and their diets.
    • In The Tin Woodman of Oz, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman call their young traveling companion Woot the Wanderer "our boy friend." Hmmm...
    • Then there's this gem from Kabumpo in Oz (for context, the main character Prince Pompadore is going to be married to an old hag named Faleero who's hobby is gathering bundles of sticks...aka faggots, but Kabumpo the elephant wants to spare him this fate).
    "Did you suppose old Kabumpo was going to stand quietly by while they married you to a faggotty old fairy like Faleero? "
  • Heart Trauma: In The Scarecrow of Oz, the evil witch Blinkie freezes the heart of Princess Gloria of Jynxland to keep her from loving the gardener's boy, Pon. When the princess' heart has frozen, she not only acts ice-cold towards everyone but seems incapable of any real emotion.
  • Heinousness Retcon: In the second book, it's revealed the Wizard overthrew King Pastoria in order to rule Oz and gave away the infant Princess Ozma to an old sorceress. When he reappears in the fourth book, it was retconned such that it was the Wicked Witches who did the evil deeds and all the Wizard did was rule Oz in the royal family's absence.
  • The Hero's Journey: Most of the books follow this plotline. The first book in particular is one of the textbook examples in modern times.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman; Dorothy and Ozma.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Dorothy Gale is a sweet little girl, but in the first book she is hired by the eponymous wizard to assassinate the Witch of the West in exchange for being sent home. She kills the witch, and then returns to the Wizard to be paid.
  • Hollow World: The Land of the Mangaboos underneath Oz is one, with six artificial suns of different colors, and the population of talking vegetables live in glass houses. It also counts as a Villain World, as the Mangaboos are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Baum liked puns. Ruth Plumly Thompson liked them even better.
    • The Scarecrow's "brains" are made of oat bran mixed with pins and needles. The Wizard calls them "bran-new brains", and the Lion calls the needles "proof that he is sharp." There's also an interesting Stealth Pun in there: Bran + pins = brains.
    • The kitchen-supplies-based kingdom of Utensia in The Emerald City of Oz. A sieve is the priest, because he's the holiest one there. A corkscrew is a lawyer, because he's accustomed to appearing at the bar; he's a corking good lawyer, but accused of being crooked, and laments that he has no pull at this court. Inadvertently back then, he often screws people over. The knives make sharp remarks. The fork has a tinny voice. It just keeps going.
    • The Woggle-Bug spends some time singing the praises of the art of punning; he considers puns to be the highest and most sophisticated form of humor because they rely on wordplay and the duality of language.
  • Hypnosis-Proof Dogs: A baddie puts up an illusion of a wall of flame. Everyone else is stopped but Toto just walks right through it because he can't see it, or sees that it isn't real, or something.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Trot and Cap'n Bill. She's a little girl, he's a retired old sailor.
  • Immortality: After the first few books, everyone in Oz has this, though it drifts between The Ageless and Age Without Youth.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Fyter the Tin Soldier is introduced, it's clear that he also wishes to marry the Tin Man's sweetheart, Nimmie Amie. Instead of fighting about it, both tin men agree to let her choose between them, and when it turns out she's Happily Married, they respectfully agree to leave her in peace.
  • Joker Immunity: The Nome King never actually dies, but at least twice his memory gets wiped supposedly reverting him to an innocent. It never sticks, and sooner or later he's back to his scheming again. Thompson used him repeatedly as a villain during her run. When last seen in the Famous Forty, he's been turned into a cactus.
  • King Incognito: Ozma's father.
  • Lady Land: Oz is a borderline case, as the two most powerful rulers are female, but in the second book The Marvelous Land of Oz a female general named Jinjur overthrows the Scarecrow, ending his brief reign, and tries to turn Oz into a Lady Land, forcing men to do all the cooking and housework while women live lives of leisure. Her all-female army is defeated by Glinda the Good’s all-female army, Princess Ozma takes the throne, and from then on the genders are basically equal in Oz.
  • Land of Faerie: Oz is called a fairyland, and was a normal land before the Fairy Queen Lurline enchanted it.
  • Level Ate: Several examples in Oz, e.g., Bunbury.
  • "Let's Watch Our Show" Plot: "The Real Critics", a 1979 short story by Geoffrey L. Gould focuses on the main Oz cast discussing the 1939 MGM film after watching it, and their reactions vary.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: "Oz" was named after a file cabinet labeled "O-Z" in Baum's office. (Or so Baum claimed after the fact, his wife Maud was among those who disputed this version of events.)
  • Long-Running Book Series: 63 years, and that's only if you stop counting after the Famous Forty. New Oz books were released almost yearly from Baum's return to the series in 1913 through the early 1940's, after which production slowed considerably, with the final two books over ten years apart.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Both averted and played straight. Although magical characters like Glinda and the Wizard display New Powers as the Plot Demands, most magical artifacts in the series have clearly defined rules and limited powers, as opposed to being Green Rocks or a Swiss-Army Weapon. Notable examples include the Golden Cap from the first book, Ozma's Magic Picture, Glinda's Book of Records, and the Powder of Life. The Nome King's Magic Belt is probably the biggest exception.
  • Magical Land: Oz and the countries around it.
  • The Magocracy: The Quadling (South) Country of Oz is this, being ruled by Glinda. The whole Land of Oz becomes this after Princess Ozma takes the throne.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: In The Road to Oz, when characters from several of the author's other books gather at Ozma's birthday party.
  • Medium Awareness: The Shaggy Man: "No one can know that, except for the person who's writing this story."
  • Mix-and-Match Critters
    • The Kalidahs, creatures that have the head of a tiger and a body of a bear.
    • The two characters who transform themselves into Li-Mon-Eags (lion-monkey-eagles) in The Magic of Oz invoke this trope, since they are trying to win the loyalty of all the wild beasts in Oz and want to avoid looking partisan.
    • The Orks in Scarecrow of Oz., which have a four-legged ostrich body, the head of a parrot, and an organic propeller for a tail.
    • And of course the winged monkeys.
    • And the Gump? Well, there are Gumps, which are basically elks, but the Gump has the head of a Gump mounted on a plaque, two sofas for a body, palm tree limbs for wings, and a broom for a tail, all tied together with clothes line.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Handy Mandy in Oz features the adventures of a seven-armed goat herder who finds herself whisked away to Oz via an underground geyser. At several points she does indeed wield a weapon in each hand to go against her enemies, being quite adept at using her extra limbs.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In The Magic of Oz, the Wizard turns Cap'n Bill and Trot (trapped on a magic isle) into bumblebees so they can escape. Immediately afterward, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger, along on the rescue expedition, eat a pair of bees. (Fortunately, it wasn't them).
  • The Needless: Anyone brought to life by the Powder of Life is said to be this, not needing to eat or sleep. Although no one can die in Oz they do seem to still need to eat and sleep to keep their strength up.
    • The Sawhorse is a saw horse which Pip brought to life using Old Mombi's life-giving powder. Later Jim the (real) Cab Horse comes to Oz, and tries to convince the Sawhorse that being a meat and bones horse is better than being a wooden horse magically brought to life, but all the examples that Jim gives actually come out in the Sawhorse's favor: for example Jim says that he can bleed and that's good because people can know where he's hurt - the Sawhorse points out that he doesn't get hurt, so he doesn't need to bleed. Jim is the only animal from our world who, having come to Oz where he can talk, begs to go back to the real world where he's just a dumb animal.
  • No Name Given: The "shaggy man", who is indeed shaggy and unkempt. He first appears in The Road to Oz when he runs into Dorothy in Kansas and winds up wandering into Oz with her, turning into her guardian and companion. He is never named. His brother is even worse off, always being referred to as, yes, "The Shaggy Man's brother."
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Lots of them.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Notta Bit More in The Cowardly Lion of Oz is a friendly clown. Twiffle in The Shaggy Man of Oz is another such example.
  • Offered the Crown: Happened quite often, especially if the book featured a villainous king or queen (almost invariably deposed and replaced with a heroic character or a subordinate who had managed to Pet the Dog).
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Baumian dragons tend to be extremely long-lived (the dragonettes in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz are mere hatchlings but are said to be 66 years old, while their mother is over two thousand), hibernate underground for long periods of time (the dragons Woot the Wanderer meets in The Tin Woodman of Oz sleep for a hundred years and only awaken to eat), and have very long bodies (like Quox in Tik-Tok of Oz). They're generally not friendly to humans, though there are a couple of exceptions.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Jinnicky the Red Jinn is a small magical man who keeps his body encased in a jar and commands an army of slaves (yet he is depicted as benevolent). He becomes a recurring character in Thompson's books, and is one of the main reasons Thompson's Oz books have aged far less gracefully than Baum's.
  • Our Witches Are Different: Witches are high-powered female magic users.
  • The Place
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: The Oz books arguably have more of a pop-cultural impact than the movie. For instance Tik-Tok was one of the first fictional robots, and Princess Ozma went on to inspire Princess Leia of Star Wars.
  • Post-Scarcity Economy: Oz doesn’t use money (at least once Ozma comes to power), and food is plentiful. Meat even grows on trees. Baum goes into detail about this, stating that no one works more than half of their day and can devote the rest of their time to leisure, no one is forced into a job they don’t want to do, and food produced by farmers is taken to the Emerald City and divided evenly among the population, free of any charge. Although as Ojo and his uncle know too well in the seventh book, you do have to be near enough to where the food is to benefit from this, and if you live in too remote of an area you can still go hungry (but at least you can’t die).
  • Princesses Rule:
    • Princess Ozma, although given the political reality of Oz she might be really an Empress. Ozma is occasionally referred to as a Queen in later books, such as those by Ruth Plumly Thompson, but it never really sticks. Dorothy herself became a Princess in one of the later books.
      • Alternately, Ozma, being a descendant of Queen Lurline, is a Fairy Princess, but also Queen of Oz. The title of “princess” may only refer to her rank among fairies, not her rank in Oz.
    • In Tik-Tok of Oz, Ozga, the Rose Princess, would have been one of these, except that her people rejected her as they wanted a male ruler.
  • Pretty Boy: John R. Neill's penchant for drawing anyone who isn't old, a non-human, or evil as very pretty and effeminate regardless of gender leads to this trope coming into play, at least as far as the illustrations go. See just about any illustration of Ojo for example.
    • Another reason for this is the typical male attire in Oz, which includes tight pants, shoes curled up at the toe, lots of ruffles, and pointed hats such as those witches typically wear.
  • Public Domain Character: The first 16 books are public domain and that's still enough material for fanfics and different takes on Oz. Even now there are new comics based on Land of Oz and sometimes they Crossover with other public domain characters, like Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Pumpkin Person: The series has a rare non-evil version with Jack Pumpkinhead, who is introduced in The Marvelous Land of Oz and shows up in several of the later Oz books (eventually getting one named after him: Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz), as well as appearing as a character in Return to Oz. He is basically a wooden scarecrow with a carved pumpkin head brought to life by a magic powder. His pumpkin heads eventually rot, so he keeps a pumpkin patch to replenish them, and Ozma carves him a new face (or he does it himself.) The old heads are buried in a graveyard at his house.
  • Princess Classic: Princess Ozma, other than the whole growing up as a boy thing, which is decidedly not traditional.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Dorothy and Ozma. They kiss often, and by the sixth book Ozma makes Dorothy her Princess.
  • Rapid Aging: In The Lost King of Oz, Dorothy accidentally wishes herself back to America and starts to rapidly grow into a young woman due to the anti-aging spell in Oz. However, when she wishes herself back to Oz, she is a child again. This frightens her into deciding to never go back to America again.
  • Reality-Writing Book: Glinda the Good Witch of the South has a book (The Book of Records) in which is written everything that happens around the world, as it happens. If she needs to find out what happened at any given time she just looks it up.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Used by Baum on occasion (Tip in The Marvelous Land of Oz, Bilbil the goat in Rinkitink in Oz), used almost once per book by Ruth Plumly Thompson, who had more of an affinity for European-style fairy tales about royalty, making this one of her favorite tropes.
  • Recursive Canon: Later Oz books present them as being recounted to the author by Dorothy. New visitors to the land (such as Betsy Bobbin and Trot) are often familiar with the land of Oz and its inhabitants long before they even set foot in the land, because they've read the previous books.
  • Retcon:
    • The story how Ozma's father was overthrown was changed to make the Wizard less of a villain.
    • Ozma herself went from being the human daughter of the former King Pastoria, to a fairy princess descended from Lurline who pretty much always ruled Oz save a brief interruption.
    • Jack Pumpkinhead was heavily implied to have died at the end of the second book when his head spoiled; Baum brings him back in the 4th book with the explanation that he replaces his heads when they spoil.
    • Not so much a retcon as a neatly-patched plot hole: after it was established all animals can talk in Oz, someone finally asks why Toto never has. Betsy observes that Dorothy understands Toto's normal-dog communication just fine, and he resists being asked to talk, only relenting when his little mistress pushes the issue.
    Dorothy: I've just learned, for the first time, that you can say words—if you want to. Don't you want to, Toto?
    Toto: Woof! [No]
    Dorothy: Not just one word, Toto, to prove you're as any other animal in Oz?
    Toto: Woof!
    Dorothy: Just one word, Toto—and then you may run away.
    Toto: All right. Here I go!
  • Road Trip Plot: Many Oz books are the literary equivalent, with the characters taking a journey that results in a series of small adventures (rarely more than two chapters each) that have nothing to do with the main plot or each other. Occasionally, there might be an interlude that advances the main plot along the journey. The main plot will generally wrap up very quickly once the characters reach their destination.
  • Robo Speak: Tik-Tok's way of speaking and one of the earliest examples of this trope.
  • Royal Blood: Princess Ozma
  • Schizo Tech: Oz is a fairyland with wind up robots (Tik-Tok) and cyborgs (The Tin Woodsman).
  • Secondary Character Title: Just because a book is named after a character doesn't always mean they are a central character. Tik-Tok of Oz could probably have had the same plot without Tik-Tok's involvement and he doesn't even appear until about a third of the way through the book, and in Scarecrow of Oz, the Scarecrow doesn't appear until more than halfway through the book.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Patchwork Girl Of Oz could easily be this. The characters journey to find the ingredients for a magical concoction that will save two people who have been petrified. They find all of them but one, which should have been the easiest; the wing of a yellow butterfly. But the lands on which yellow butterflies live are ruled by the Tin Man, and he won't let a butterfly come to any harm, rendering the quest pointless. And then Glinda just fixes the people by magic anyway, making it even more so. The characters even met with Dorothy and Ozma earlier on, and they didn't even suggest this possibility, or mention the Tin Man's feelings about living things.
  • Shining City: The Emerald City.
  • Signature Headgear: Princess Ozma usually wears a tall gold crown, a tiara with the OZ symbol (a large “O” with a “Z” inside), and big red poppies over both ears like earmuffs. John R. Neill was the first to illustrate her this way, as Baum doesn't mention it in the text. And a pointed and brimmed hat is part of Oz's default national costume.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Possible with both the Magic Picture and to a lesser extent the Book of Records, but Ozma and Glinda only use them for good. It’s a different story though when villains get ahold of them, and this has happened at least twice in the original series.
  • Single-Palette Town: The Emerald City and each of the four quadrants of Oz: East, Munchkins, blue; West, Winkies, yellow; North, Gilikins, purple; South, Quadlings, red.
  • Steampunk: The Oz books sometimes flirt with this. Tik-Tok is a prime example.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: As the Shaggy Man says in The Patchwork Girl Of Oz, Oz is a place "where magic is a science."
  • Sugar Bowl: The land of Oz under Princess Ozma, despite periodic threats from outside and certain parts of Oz of being way out there, generally follows this trope. Only when ruled by Ozma, though. If someone else takes the throne, generally you get a Crapsaccharine World (e.g. Jinjur's revolt, the witches running wild).
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox:
    • In The Road to Oz, Jack Pumpkinhead is shown with a garden of new pumpkins grown to replace his head whenever the current pumpkin spoils. He claims that since the majority of his body is still the same, he remains the same person (although the quality of the pumpkin has some effect on his intellect). In The Marvelous Land of Oz, they also replace one of Jack's legs when he happens to break it, to no ill effect.
    • The Tin Woodman from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He pissed off a witch who enchanted his ax so that it would cut off pieces of him, and he went to a tinsmith to replace the missing parts. Eventually he was made entirely out of tin - but since it was a gradual process, he's still human Nick Chopper and not a new person. Even more paradoxically, however, the tinsmith kept the old head in a closet, where, due to the no-death nature of Oz, it remained sentient, desiring nothing to do with the Tin Man when he returned to retrieve it.
    • It gets even weirder in The Tin Woodman of Oz, where we meet the Tin Soldier, who suffered an identical fate to the Tin Woodman— an unfortunate soldier named Captain Fyter gradually had bits of himself chopped off and replaced until he was entirely tin, with the old "meat" parts still being sentient. But the tinsmith glued together pieces from both bodies to create a new man, named "Chopfyt," who lived happily ever after. It doesn't take long for both Fridge Logic and Fridge Horror to kick in here.
  • Threshold Guardians:
    • The Guardian of the Gates of the Emerald City.
    • The Iron Giant in Ozma of Oz.
  • Tiny-Headed Behemoth: The Whimsies are one of the groups that conspires with the Nome King to conquer the Emerald City. They are huge, hulking humanoids who have heads that are very small for their bodies. They wear large, garishly painted masks to cover their heads.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The inhabitants of the Valley of Voe who eat the dama-fruit - they become invisible. However, it doesn't grant invulnerability - there are really nasty predators in the Valley of Voe that also eat the fruit, and are also invisible...
  • Trapped in Another World: Many early Oz books had this as the plot.
  • Tunnel King: The Nome King.
  • Underwater City: The Skeezers' island in Glinda of Oz, when submerged.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: John R. Neill depicts Dorothy as a fashion savvy child with multiple dresses. Dorothy was only supposed to have one dress according to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, though it's possible that she gained a larger wardrobe as the books went on.
    • John R. Neil codified Ozma as a teenager with long, brown curls, which has been her design in almost every media since (including a film that Baum himself was involved with). However Ozma is described with reddish blonde hair in her introduction in The Marvelous Land of Oz. Neil drew Ozma with blonde hair but changed her to a brunette in the next book Ozma of Oz. According to The Tin Woodman of Oz, Ozma looks fourteen-to-fifteen and Baum himself has stated she should look no older than sixteen. John R. Neil drew most of Ozma's iconic official art but he was very inconsistent on her age, which fluctuates between being Dorothy's age to resembling a 20-something year old. Oftentimes within the same book she changes from a teenager to a little girl. She's not always the only character with an age problem in the illustrations either; take for instance Woot from The Tin Woodman of Oz, who's either a small child or a teenager.
    • In more modern reprintings of the books that use different illustrators, you can usually expect to see even bigger inconsistencies with the text, especially when they blatantly base their illustrations off the 1939 movie.
  • The Unreveal: The parentage of Button-Bright, the little boy that Dorothy randomly encounters in The Road to Oz. He has no idea what his name is or who his parents are. When Dorothy meets Santa Claus towards the end of the book, she asks where Button-Bright comes from, but Santa doesn't tell. In the end, Santa sends Button-Bright home in a magic bubble. Where he comes from or why he was just sitting by the side of the road when Dorothy and the Shaggy Man encountered him is never explained. (Though in the Trot-and-Cap'n-Bill series in which he originally appeared, his background is detailed.)
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While in the original books the Land of Oz had many Crapsaccharine World elements, the stories were quite light-hearted. However most of the villains were truly evil, menacing and dangerous.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Plenty of examples in Baum's books. Just about every book has them to a large degree; The Road to Oz in particular has almost nothing more to the story.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Nomes are weak against eggs.
  • White Bunny: Glinda created the city of Bunnybury specifically to be home to all the pink-eyed white rabbits of the forest.
  • Wicked Witch: The Wicked Witches of the East and West, of course. The Good Witches of the North and South are a subversion. A special subversion, as the notion of a good witch was alien at the time. In later books, it is revealed that there were two other Wicked Witches: Mombi, who kept Ozma imprisoned but was stopped from gaining power over Gillikin Country by the Good Witch of the North, and a fourth witch who was stopped by Glinda in the south.
  • The Wonderland: Oz itself, with talking scarecrows and robots before there were robots...
  • World of Pun: There's really no escaping the puns in the Land of Oz. If the characters aren't making them, the narration is, and if the narration isn't, the scenery is. Weirdly enough, in The Marvelous Land of Oz the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman show a dislike for puns when the Wogggle-Bug tells them, but that book is the only one in which anyone seems to have a problem with puns — so it's possible that what they realy objected to was the Woggle-Bug's superior attitude.
  • The X of Y: Most titles in the series are either this, or (character name) in/of Oz.