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Fractured Fairy Tale

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The Papa Bear went to the second little piglet who lived in... a house of cards?!

The stories in this book are almost Fairy Tales. But not quite. The stories in this book are Fairly Stupid Tales. I mean, what else would you call a story like 'Goldilocks and the Three Elephants'?

Once Upon a Time, there was a beautiful Damsel in Distress, a handsome prince on an epic quest, his magical sidekick, and a spell they needed to break before the stroke of midnight.

But wait! The damsel's not distressed! The prince is charmless! The homely comic relief sidekick is the Knight in Shining Armor! The Wicked Stepmother is an angel and the 'mistreated stepdaughter' is just a brat! The sweet little girl in the red cloak is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath! And just about everyone's ridiculously Genre Savvy! And all of that is before you get to the ending, which will probably go entirely Off the Rails.

What you have here is an example of a Fractured Fairy Tale, a story with all the basic elements of a classic Fairy Tale, but all of them broken, rearranged and re-presented with modern-day sensibilities and morals. It may also be a parody of fairy tales, a Deconstruction of these tales' settings, morals and sensibilities, or a Perspective Flip (for instance, retelling it from the villain's point of view, often suggesting that the better-known version had an Unreliable Narrator). In all these instances, mundane aspects of the real world can pop up to further subvert tropes related to the genre.

Virtually every Fractured Fairy Tale features (at least) one of perhaps a dozen fairy tales that are considered common knowledge in the culture. This is because they don't work without the audience recognizing the original and so being able to appreciate the divergences. When the Fractured Fairy Tale sticks to, and warps, one specific tale, it is a form of the Twice-Told Tale. Combining stories into a Fairy Tale Free-for-All is also possible, though it, too, sticks mostly to the best known tales — perhaps even more so, since the characters have shorter periods to make their character known.

These are a lot more common than the naive observer would be led to believe. In fact, just about any myth or folktale presented to any older child or adult is bound to contain subversions of some sort, to the point that a completely non-ironic fairy tale itself feels like an irony.

It's somewhat common for these to overlap with Feminist Fantasy, satirizing the original story's gender politics. For instance, a popular twist is to have the brave princess rescue a knight in distress, or object to the idea of the suitor being awarded her hand in marriage.

May contain elements of Grimmification. Nursery Rhyme elements and characters frequently also appear. Aesop's Fables are somewhat rarer but not unknown.

The Trope Namer comes from a Rocky and Bullwinkle segment of the same title and overall premise.

Compare and contrast Ironic Nursery Tune and Derailed Fairy Tale (when the listener or the teller takes the story Off the Rails). A Sub-Trope of External Retcon, and often a Whole-Plot Reference to an existing fairy tale. A Super-Trope to Dystopian Oz, Beanstalk Parody, Cinderella Plot, and Little Red Fighting Hood. Often overlaps with Dark Parody.


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  • This award-winning ad for The Guardian. The Three Little Pigs are arrested for wolf murder (they boiled him alive, for mercy's sake!) and prosecuted. Who is the real victim here? The pigs whose houses were burnt down? The wolf? Did the pigs go too far? The pigs actually committed an insurance fraud because they were unable to pay their mortgage payments, and they try to frame the wolf for the "accidents". People came to blame banks and big corporate institutions for the whole mess.
  • This ad for Symbicort takes a different spin on the Three Little Pigs. Apparently, the poor wolf had COPD. With the right medicine, he can spend time with his happy wolf family—and blow the piggies' house down.
  • Some of the GEICO "Short Stories and Tall Tales" ads for the department that does stuff like renters insurance are this, such as retelling of "Ba Ba Black Sheep" in which a guy doesn't have any wool because all of his wool sweaters, as well as his flat-screen television and other stuff were stolen by some hooligan. Fortunately, he had the renters insurance, so they replaced it all and later the guy whole stole the stuff was caught selling it online and arrested.
  • The McDonald's ad "Mixed-Up McStory" has Ronald roll his eyes at the McNugget Buddies putting on a play where all of them play the parts of famous fairy tale characters while unable to agree which story they're performing or even get the details of the story right.
    Ronald: You're all in the wrong story.
    McNugget Buddies: But the right sauces.
  • A UK advert for Rustlers hamburgers has Red Riding Hood arriving at her grandmother's house and seeing the wolf ...and then it turns out the wolf really is her grandmother.
  • Some Weetabix adverts from the UK have these kinds of treatments to classic stories: the three bears flee in fear after discovering the intruder in their house has eaten their Weetabix, the giant fearfully leaves Jack alone after seeing him have his Weetabix and the wolf sucessfully blows down the brick house and eats all the pigs because he... you get the idea.
  • "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl": As learning about seat belt safety, Supergirl and her young wards run into parodies of fairy and children's tales characters: Humpty Dumpty is a -terrible- taxi driver, the Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is reimagined as an elementary school teacher, and the Three Little Pigs are two reckless yuppies and his more grounded and careful older brother.
  • A UK advert for Sky Secure security and insurance has the Giant and Mother Bear explain how their new security systems helped them deal with Jack and Goldilocks, respectively.
  • A 2002 animated ad for the Toronto-based eating disorder clinic Sheena's Place has Hansel and Gretel happily eating the gingerbread house when suddenly Gretel remembers triggering comments their parents made about her weight and eating habits. The ad ends on her inducing vomiting offscreen.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Beauty and the Beast of Paradise Lost: Belle is a Broken Bird who believes she is ugly because she grew up hearing her father saying that. Beast is an Anti-Hero who fights the monsters created by the same witch who cursed him because he was going to marry someone that wasn't her. Said witch is obsessed with beauty a la Evil Queen and captures young women to steal their faces. And there are other fairy tales mixed, too.
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Chapter 82.5 is a collection of these mashed together:
    • "Thumbelina" - the truest to the source material, with "Shizulina" being stolen by a toad and a beetle, before meeting a mole who wants to marry her.
    • "Hansel and Gretel" - "Kurutel" eats the breadcrumbs that her brother drops to help them find their way out of the woods, so he abandons her, leaving her in danger of being eaten by the witch after she devours the entire gingerbread house.
    • "Little Red Riding Hood" - "Little Red Riding Kusuri" thinks that her grandmother drank a "makes-you-wolf-like" drug and is nearly eaten by the wolf.
    • "Hermes and the Woodcutter" - "Haharmes" offers the woodcutter a choice between a platinum axe and a diamond axe, and is then attacked by the second woodcutter.
    • "The Red Shoes" - "Ikaren" puts on the red shoes and finds herself cursed to dance day and night, but is too masochistic to even try to remove them.
    • "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" - "Princess Naddya" decides to go to America instead of the Moon, and has to be forcibly dragged to the Moon by the messengers.
    • "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" - "Momice" chases the White Rabbit intending to grope him, then is sentenced to execution as punishment for groping the Queen of Hearts.
    • "Cinderella" - "Meiderella" leaves the ball before midnight, and doesn't leave behind her glass slipper.
    • "Urashima Taro" - "Princess Yakuhime" rejects Urashima Taro when he proposes to her, explaining that she's really 89, so he uses the treasure box to age himself, then tries to cancel her on Twitter after being rejected again.
    • "The Crane's Return of a Favor" - "Omeme" becomes so embarrassed when the old man tries to see her eyes that she pulls off her Ninja Log technique.
    • "Snow White" - "Mimi White" dismisses her stepmother's desire to kill her, but still eats the poisoned apple.
    • "The Little Match Girl" - "Chiyona" finds herself unable to light any of the matches, considering it "embezzlement".
    • "Romeo and Juliet" - "Hakariet" accidentally drinks too much of the "induces-death-like-state" drug and nearly dies for real.
    • "Sleeping Beauty" - "Aumame" refuses to let anyone cut or burn the brambles, as they are "living things too".
    • "Rapunzel" - "Nanonzel" refuses to let down her hair, as she doesn't want to risk falling to her death.
    • "The Little Mermaid" - "Kariel" tries to tell the prince that she saved him, but her Tsundere personality makes it difficult for her to do so.
    • In the end, "Prince Rentaromeo" obliterates all the problems, and everyone lives Happily Ever After.
  • Assassination Classroom features a play of "Momotarō," written by the class Chuunibyou and "starring" Koro-sensei as the peach. This version is all about the elderly couple's divorce and legal battle over the miraculous peach, and ends with the old man plotting revenge by training the dog, pheasant and monkey to attack his ex-wife. Momotaro himself does not appear, and the island of demons is a metaphor for the human heart.
  • The world of Akazukin Chacha seems to function this way.
  • Dr. STONE has the 100 Tales, a set of stories passed down by the natives of post-petrification Earth. The only one we specifically see is their take on Momotarō, who looks like Kenshiro and has a bear, lion, gorilla, and crocodile as his companions (instead of the dog, pheasant, and monkey from the traditional version); Senku, who knows the original version, is flabbergasted by this "overly wild" take. Later on it's revealed that the 100 Tales were written by Byakuya Ishigami, Senku's astronaut father, who avoided petrification because he was on the International Space Station when it happened. He used classic folklore as a way to preserve as much of humanity's scientific knowledge as possible via oral tradition, hoping that future generations could use the knowledge to try and rebuild society.
  • Dragon Ball started out as this regarding how it tells its take on Journey to the West (even lampshading it at the end of the first Chapter). Among other changes, the Monkey King is now a country boy who has to pat people's crotches to tell their gender, he and his friend travel the land on motorbikes that can be stored in pocketable Capsules, the first Chapter ends with the female lead pissing herself in fear, the owner of the flying cloud is a Lovable Sex Maniac, and the handsome rogue gets paralyzed with shock every time he sees a pretty lady (this not even mentioning the extremely raunchy humour on display in this portion of the story).
    Narrator: Remember your Chinese fairy tales? You don't? Not even the impish Monkey King and his magic staff, the Nyoibo? Oh well...
  • Fairy Tail managed to slip one into their play. It begins with a knight setting out to rescue the princess from an evil villain, but aside from said knight's stage fright, he doesn't even find that villain. The man he does find summons an evil dragon... that he then teams up with the knight to defeat for no apparent reason, and they both happily flee when the princess somehow unties herself and claims she'll hold the dragon off. It Makes Even Less Sense In Context. Later on, Natsu compares Lucy's battle victories to "The Tortoise and the Hare", with Lucy as the hare; the hare only lost the first race, learned his lesson, and beat the tortoise the next hundred times.
  • Freezing Vibration: In the 3rd OVA, Julia Munberk wrote a fanfiction based on Cinderella, casting Cassie Lockheart as Cinderella and herself as the fairy godmother, and asks Satellizer and Rana to critique it. It starts out normal at first, but when the fairy godmother appears to help Cinderella, instead of giving her a dress, she erases her clothes, then forcibly gives her a bath while groping her. Then the story abruptly ends. Satellizer and Rana realize Julia let her lesbian fantasies go out of control.
  • In Fruits Basket, the main characters' homeroom class quickly realizes that everyone has been woefully miscast for their School Play of Cinderella. The scriptwriter rewrites it so that the roles better suit the actors playing them, but this results in a very different version of the tale. A stoic and comically serious Cinderella (played by Hanajima) is impervious to her Wicked Stepmother (Minami)'s demands, but she loves her sweet and innocent stepsister (Tohru), who suffers at her mother's hands because she wishes to marry her off. While the Fairy Godparent (Yuki, who's male) succeeds in getting them to the ball (after Cinderella asked him to burn the palace down), and the not very charming prince (Kyo) does find her (though Cinderella can tell he's more interested in the stepsister), in the end Cinderella and her sister open a yakiniku shop. The play is renamed "Sorta Cinderella".
  • One of the Full Metal Panic! short stories is a complete parody of Cinderella. Cinderella (played by Kaname) learns the moral that "depend on your own hard work and initiative rather than relying on fairy godmothers", sells the glass shoe for ludicrous profit to a wannabe princess, and goes into the wandering merchant business with the fairy (played by Sousuke).
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler! Season 2, there is a part in an episode where Alice in Wonderland Hinagiku version is shown. You can guess it wasn't very close to the original.
  • Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger uses the fracturing of fairy tales and classic literature as a plot point, thanks to the interference of the evil Jyarei monsters. Some of the examples of the results include Momotarō IN SPACE, The Tortoise and the Hare as gangster drag racers, and a Peter Pan who's afraid of heights. It's the Eto Rangers' job to fix these stories, or else the worlds they take place in will be fractured very literally.
  • Ludwig Revolution, written by Kaori Yuki, deconstructs, spoofs and Grimmificates all at the same time. appropriately enough all the tales portrayed are based on the Brothers Grimm Version, in which the 2 main characters get their names from.
  • MÄR takes the "character as a Fractured Fairy Tale" idea to its logical extreme. Nearly every minor to important character is a parody of at least one fairy tale. Ginta always takes the time to make note of this, because he's obsessed with the stories. Justified by the fact that Mär Heaven is the world of Märchen, or fairy tales. Just on Ginta's team, we have:
    • Princess Snow. From her name, we have a play on "Snow White" (she even fights a character who has a magic sword ask her "who is the fairest one of all"). Her introduction is more Snow White stuff combined with a bit of Sleeping Beauty (Damsel in Distress is in a death-like state, awakened with a kiss... sort of), and she runs away from her wicked stepmother, like Cinderella.
    • Jack, who is a young farmer who lives in semi-poverty with his mother. His dream is to one day grow a beanstalk so tall he can see the world from it.
    • Alviss, who is followed about by a jealous fairy named Bell, and who goes on to defeat a Chess Piece named Mr. Hook.
    • Dorothy, who is a huge The Wonderful Wizard of Oz reference: she is a "good witch" named Dorothy, and her guardians include a scarecrow, a metal knight, a lion, and a dog named Toto.
    • And the team itself was formed by a fortune teller prophesying that Snow would have to gather "the Seven Dwarves" to defend Mär Heaven. The Chess Pieces have even more, considering how many of them there are.
  • A lot of Princess Tutu revolves around playing around with fairytale tropes (and Swan Lake in particular) and subverting them, while also staying within the Magical Girl genre. The knight's armor isn't exactly shiny, the Prince ends up marrying the Dark Magical Girl, and several fairytales are mentioned and commented on. For example...
    • The main character and the prince end up trapped in a woman's restaurant while she keeps bringing them more and more food, and Ahiru thinks it's Hansel and Gretel and they're being fattened up for her to eat. In reality, the woman is just very lonely and trying to make them stay.
    • The opening narration at one point questions whether Sleeping Beauty really wanted to wake up, or if she wanted to keep dreaming.
    • In an episode titled "Cinderella", the main character loses the pendant that allows her to become the Magical Girl, and it's found by one of the male characters. He spends the rest of the episode trying to find her... because he considers Princess Tutu an enemy and wants to attack her.
    • The main story is one for its own original fairytale, The Prince and the Raven: For example: in the "original", a helpful minor character dies tragically after confessing her love. In the series, the main character is that helpful minor character, and she's not too keen on dying to preserve the story. The Prince is still a heroic, but in-series he serves as a Distressed Dude for a time and even becomes an antagonist via possession. The story's author is a recurring character that wants the stories to be played straight, but since the stories he loves have tragic ends, the characters do not like where their fates are headed and seek to change it. Some plot beats remain the same though: in the end, as in the story, "Princess Tutu" is gone for good — that is to say, the human girl. The little duck who became her continues to peacefully live as a duck.
  • Used in Monster, where elements of fairy tales are brought together to inspire Mind Rape and nightmares.
  • Moonlight Act is literally about fairy tales folklore from all over the world that have gotten fractured by the light of the blue moon, resulting in characters going berserk and needing to be pacified (by force).
  • All the characters, and many of the episodes, in Ōkami-san are fairy tale analogues, which in most cases are warped nearly beyond recognition. Particularly funny is the version of Cinderella where the "prince" (a popular tennis player) falls for a mysterious girl who accidentally kicked him in the face. So he has all the girls in school line up to kick him until he recognizes who clobbered him from her shoes. Turns out he's really into it.
  • The "Delivery Skit" segments in Osomatsu-san are usually done in this style, ranging from a variety of stories to spoof. Of particular note is the Honest Axe skit where a fisherman drops his fishing pole, is asked if he dropped two statues in return, and receives a human man.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Shibiretta's modus operandi in Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! involves trapping the Cures in these.
    • There's a whole bunch of these in Smile PreCure!, as expected from a fairy tale themed season. It features villains and their abilities based off from fairy tales and Japanese folklore. The first episode has Cure Happy retreating behind a house, believing Wolfrun would give up because the wolf in the Three Little Pigs couldn't blow down a brick house but Wolfrun laughed it off and just turned the house into an Akanbe. Another episode involves Miyuki and the others reenacting Cinderella with the Bad End Generals posing as the wicked stepmother and stepsisters.
      • This is taken to extreme in the season's movie. Nico rewards the Cures for saving her by letting them be the characters of any story of their choosing. However, they all ended up getting their stories and characters mixed up as this is a set up by Nico.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena is this trope + Grimmification.
  • Episode 3 of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai re-imagines a version of the "Hare of Inaba" story, where Sasami is the "rabbit" and her brother is the shark.
  • In one episode of Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it, Himuro and Yukimura decide to analyse popular stories to see if they can shed light on the nature of love, which leads to them rewriting fairy tales with themselves in the lead roles. Cinderella and The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter mostly follow the same beats as the source material, except the leads are science nerds. The Crane Returns A Favour, on the other hand, ends up going completely off the rails (but has a much happier ending).
  • In Ugly Duckling's Love Revolution, Hitomi and Souta are trying to pick out a fairy tale play to perform for the kindergarten class, and Souta latches onto "Hansel and Gretel". He even writes his own script, which involves Hansel and Gretel being found by The Sweets Fairy, who is actually a princess under the witch's spell. A prince falls in love with her and by eating sweets together, she returns to her true form.
  • YuYu Hakusho's Dark Tournament arc has a combat team named Fractured Fairy Talesnote . All of their members are based on characters from Japanese folktales. Reverse Urashima claims that they are fighting to get better endings for themselves, but he himself thinks that the stories are educational, and is thus willing to lose to Kurama. It turns out that he's not only lying about throwing the match, but the fairy tale origins of the team members may also be false.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The whole point of the six-episode "The Fairy Tale Adventure" story arc from Season 4 is that Big M. and Little M. go into the fairy tale world to ruin the stories, and the Supermen must stop them. The children of Planet Xing are not amused by the ruined versions of the stories, needless to say.
    Preschool teacher: [reading from a book to a bunch of children] "Once upon a time, there was an ugly duckling. Later, it turned into a roast duck."
    [the children start crying]
    Preschool teacher: Why didn't it become a swan? [grabs another book next to her] We'll change books. [starts reading again, with the children's crying stopping as she does so] "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful duckling. Later, it turned into a bleached roast duck."
    [the children start crying again]

  • Kabaret Potem has gained notoriety with an entire program of these. Included are: Cinderella (whose evil sister marries the prince, cause the shoe fits her); Little Red Riding Hood who gets eaten by the wolf, a little bit; Kay's song (The '70s style); a princess who loves a frog and a prince who kisses frogs, trying to find one that's actually an enchanted princess

    Comic Books 
  • Fables does this. For starters, Prince Charming is actually a scoundrel and total womanizer who's been married and divorced three times, and cheated on his first wife Snow White with her own sister, Rose Red. The Big Bad Wolf is a werewolf who did a Heel–Face Turn when he and the others were threatened by a common enemy, and although "Bigby" is still frightening, he proves to be a sweet and loving husband to Snow White and father to their "cubs". Cinderella is a secret agent, the three little pigs start a rebellion, Goldilocks is a gun-toting revolutionary who's sleeping with Baby Bear, and Snow White splits Goldilocks' head open with an axe.
  • Monica's Gang usually has many comics that are parodies of fairy tales, and sometimes there are mutliple different parodies of the same tale. If Monica or Maggy are playing the princesses, expect them to act as bratty as they usually are in canon, but of course the story treats them as the heroines. Jimmy Five usually becomes the Prince Charmless, and since most stories end with this character marrying the princess, he treats it as a Fate Worse than Death, specially if the princess is Monica.
  • Nightmares & Fairy Tales loves this. Virtually every story is some sort of fairy tale variation, with twists. For example, Little Red Riding Hood has a love of wolves and later turns out to be a werewolf herself. Cinderella's prince is a cruel man who she has no desire to marry and the stepmother summons demons. Snow White becomes a zombie after her stepmother rips her heart out and uses it to be beautiful. And Belle is a lesbian who is beaten and locked in the basement (and presumably raped) on her religious father's orders before he finally hands her over to the Beast, who just so happens to be her lesbian-lover under a curse.
  • In Issue #54 of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, Raven finds herself skipping from fairy tale to fairy tale—in order, "Snow White", "The Little Mermaid", "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Cinderella". She proceeds to screw with the usual order of events and deliver feminine empowerment speeches... while stripping the girls naked and Gothing them up. Because to be a confident woman you have to show your tits and/or dress like a stripper. On the plus side, she inadvertently turns Red into B.B. Hood.
  • Nodwick runs through a whole series of these, all of which go Off the Rails very quickly. Partially, this is because Yeagar, Artax and Nodwick are forced into the roles of the tales' main characters and begin breaking character as they start building a resistance to the mind-affecting spell affecting them.
  • Fairly common in some early DC Comics villains. A prominent example is the Batman classic Scarecrow, whose backstory is pretty similar to Ichabod Crane's from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (bookish, gangly, fearful kid who gets rejected by the local Alpha Bitch and humiliated by the local Jerk Jock) but with a dark turn.
  • The French comic Garulfo runs on this, starting with the titular hero, a frog who wants to become human because he idealizes mankind. The Princess is a Spoiled Brat, the Ogre is lonely and never ate children, and the dragon-hunting Paladin is horribly near-sighted.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Played with — Hobbes is a predatory animal and Calvin often sees things from a tiger's point of view, so inverting the ending makes it happier than they would have found the original version.
    • Calvin (and Hobbes) wrote their own called "Goldilocks and the Three Tigers and Calvin requested that his dad read it. His dad was disgusted by the story and quit halfway through, disappointing both Calvin (who lamented that his dad didn't even look at the illustrations) and Hobbes (who complaint was "Now I'm all hungry").
    • Ironically, that version of Little Red Riding Hood is actually closer to the original version that the standard version, seeing as there was no hunter in the original story, and the wolf just plain ate her in the end.
  • Often in Frank and Ernest, like the Hood family feud: Little Red Riding can't believe that Robin robbed Granma and gave it to the poor.
  • Madam & Eve: Mother Anderson often tells these to Thandi, to the consternation of Gwen. Such as in this example.
  • Mutts: Doozie decides to recreate Beauty and the Beast with Moochie, believing that the cat will become a prince if they'll dance together and fall in love. They dance dressed (in her imagination) as Belle and Beast, but she is disappointed to see that Moochie is still a cat. Later, he tells Earl that he loves happy endings.
  • In Peanuts, Lucy retells "Snow White": she was having a horrible time sleeping until she got this apple from a witch to help, and then, just as she was settling down to a good night's sleep, this prince came and woke her up.

    Fan Works 
  • The world in The Cat Returns's AU fanfic To Know Oneself is made of this trope combining with Folklore and myths. As the main character Haru/Bearskin travel, she met Snow White, young!Robin and Marian, Rapunzel, Medusa, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, etc... Also, her companion is Baron the cat who later becomes Puss in Boots. This is not to mention that Haru herself is the daughter of the princess from All Kinds of Fur and granddaughter of Cinderella.
  • Pinkie Tales is a series of voiceover animations of Pinkie Pie retelling classic fairytales to Pound and Pumpkin Cake with her and her fellow characters from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic filling the roles. Each story has an Interactive Narrator, who constantly bickers and is annoyed with Pinkie reeking havoc by Breaking the Fourth Wall and shifting characters and story elements to work to her own amusement. Changes to the stories include: one stepsister recognizes Cinderella, but is ignored by her family; the Big Bad Wolf wanting to eat apples rather than Little Red Riding Hood; the Wolf blowing down the houses of The Three Little Pigs due to them not meeting proper architectural standards; everybody but Sleeping Beauty falling asleep; and Rapunzel becoming a rising supermodel and fashion designer hopeful.
  • Trixie White And The Seven Fillies is a retelling of Snow White, but with ponies. With the questionable casting choices of having the innocent Fluttershy as the evil queen and the egocentric Trixie as Snow White, as well as several other mixups. And a narrator who's repeatedly talking to the other characters and making fun of them, or lampshading the Fridge Logic of the source material.
  • In the Skyhold Academy Yearbook installment The Memory Band, Hawke writes one of these called The Adventures of Dodo and Ick, in which characters based on Varric and Dorian get sent on something of a Chain of Deals through several different fairy tales to help their other friends resolve assorted issues.
  • What's Wrong With Being a Little Bad? takes various Disney fairy tales and replaces the villains with their counterparts in Twisted Wonderland, resulting in fairly different stories. Alice helps Riddle's friends break him out of the mindset his abusive mother drilled into him; Leona becomes something of a reluctant mentor to Simba, who is inspired by him to try and end discrimination in his home; Azul ends up sympathizing with Ariel's desire to become human and gives her a better deal than she got in canon; Aladdin gets an offer to become Jamil's assistant so he can climb through the ranks and become someone worthy of Jasmine's hand in marriage; Vil trains Snow White to one day take his place as the fairest in the land; Megara ends up becoming the platonic Persephone to Idia's Hades (and it's noted that Idia never really paid attention to Hercules, outside of sending him a baby shower gift); and an uncursed Aurora invites Malleus to her wedding as an apology for her parents driving him away (not realizing at the time he’d been secretly helping their kingdom).

    Films — Animated 
  • Despite most folks thinking of it as a return to form for Disney, The Princess and the Frog has some elements of this. For one thing, the kiss between the princess and the frog prince, instead of turning the frog back into a prince, turns the princess into a frog too because she isn't an actual princess. It should be noted that the movie isn't actually based on "The Frog Prince" fairy tale, but The Frog Princess, a 2002 book by E.D. Baker that does a lot of the same deconstruction; the main change for the movie is Disney setting it in 1920s New Orleans.
  • Frozen (2013): It has many of the classic Disney elements; the Plucky Idealist Princess who believes in Love at First Sight, the Powerful Sorceress who curses the land and/or protagonists, a Race Against the Clock to save the princess (with True Love's Kiss no less) and a Prince Charming waiting in the wings. The main difference is, Elsa didn't curse the land on purpose; it's just a case of Power Incontinence. Anna's naive belief in Love at First Sight proves to be disastrous, as Hans turns out to be the Big Bad, and was manipulating her naivete to get the throne. Finally, the curse is not broken by True Love's Kiss, but instead a Heroic Sacrifice, on Anna's part. We never find out if the kiss (from Kristoff) would have worked.
  • Another Disney example, albeit as a short film, was Redux Riding Hood which is set after Little Red Riding Hood and features The Big Bad Wolf who, after being unable to cope with failing to catch Red, builds a time machine to help his past self succeed in that goal. Things only get worse for him and the multiple past selves he acquires throughout each attempt.
  • Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio: To start of the movie is set in the Fascist Italy and Pinocchio is meant to be a replacement for Geppetto’s dead son. The Cricket only becomes Pinocchio’s conscience for selfish reason (at first) and spends most of the movie with Geppetto. The Fox and The Cat are replaced by a human circus master and his abused monkey sidekick, while Coachman is replaced by Fascist officer and Land of Toys with a Child Soldier camp. Most notably, Pinocchio never becomes or even expresses the desire to be “a real boy”, instead learning to embrace himself as he is. Oh, and Mussolini shows up.
  • Shrek, which makes the ogre the main character, the damsel anything but in distress, and the Prince Charming the villain, even coming with a subversion of True Love's Kiss. The beginning says it all, really, starting with a generic fairy tale storybook that almost immediately gets used as toilet paper. The sequel Shrek 2 ups the ante by making the Fairy Godmother a villain as well, who is bound and determined to undo Shrek and Fiona's happy ending because "ogres don't live happily ever after." And we are sure that the fact that Prince Charming was her son did not sway her in the least.
    • The Shrek franchise and its spinoffs play with this concept as a whole for most of its characters. The character of Fiona is a parody of the tale of Sleeping Beauty, The Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming are stock tropes of old, Rumpelstiltskin is a major antagonist of the fourth film, and both the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner have their characters featured as an Anti-Villain and a selfish villain respectively in the movie Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.
    • However, The Last Wish also has the only subversion in the entire series: Death is not only played dead seriously, but his pursuit of Puss for his hubris fits Death in fairy tales as a cautionary tale against vice.
  • Hoodwinked!. Mixed with Troperiffic Affectionate Parody to some other genres, it's basically Little Red Riding Hood crossed over with Rashomon elements and made into a cop drama.
  • Hófehér, a Hungarian animated film by Pannonia Film Studio, is more or less a direct parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • In the bonus section of the DVD of Home on the Range, Mrs. Calloway tries to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs, but everyone keeps interrupting the story. Maggie and Jeb eat the first and second pigs' houses, Gracie calls the third pig paranoid, Buck tries to take over the story, Audrey spoils the ending, Maggie adds a science fiction twist to the story, Buck tries to take over the story again by calling himself Buckzilla and even challenges the Big Bad Wolf to a fight. Needless to say, Mrs. Calloway has had enough and tries to tell them off, but the piglets love the changes. Even Mrs. Calloway has to admit it's pretty fun to add your own take on a story everyone's heard.
  • Chicken Little twists up the namesake fable by having the falling sky actually be a camouflage piece of a UFO and Chicken Little saving his hometown from an alien invasion.
  • The Magic Riddle, an Australian film features elements of fairytales including Cinderella, Snow White, The Ugly Duckling, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio or The Three Little Pigs.
  • Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs applies this to the original Snow White tale. The titular character is a chubby, relatively plain-looking young woman who ends up in possession of a pair of shoes that make her look like a more conventional Disney princess; the dwarfs are a team of heroes who were cursed into their current form, and they need Red Shoes' help to break the curse. The end credits also apply this to a couple other well-known fairy tales — Arthur falls for a version of Little Red Riding Hood who turns into a werewolf under the full moon, and Hans awakens Sleeping Beauty completely by accident when she smells his cooking.
  • NIMONA (2023): The trailer opens with a story by Nimona about a princess in a tower who insults Nimona in her bird form, only for Nimona to set her on fire and destroy her kingdom.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Enchanted spoofs and satirizes many common elements of Disney fairy tale films, notably subverting Love at First Sight and True Love's Kiss. The prince is stuck-up and rather dimwitted, Spontaneous Choreography occurs on the streets of New York, and when Giselle enlists "forest creatures" to clean Robert's apartment, they're rats, pigeons, and cockroaches. When Prince Charming is searching for Giselle, he knocks on an apartment door that is answered by a weary-looking pregnant woman with three small children note . She glances at him with only mild surprise and deadpans, "Sorry. You're too late."
  • Maleficent deconstructed much of the traditional fairy tale tropes. The Fairy Godmothers, being fairies, have no experience raising a human baby and nearly get her killed. Repeatedly. Love at First Sight and True Love's Kiss fail to break Aurora's curse, because you can't have true love with someone you've known for a day; what really breaks it is Maleficent's maternal love, also showing that love doesn't have to be romantic to be true. Charging a forest full of powerful, magical and (to the humans) evil creatures gets you curb-stomped.
  • In the Cut: Though this dark film is not a fairy tale itself, it is very much a deconstruction of fairy-tale idealizations of romance and Happily Ever After myths. The engagement ring, long a symbol of romance and love, is literally turned into a death sentence here, as it is part of the serial killer's MO.
  • The Princess Bride is a story about a handsome prince who sets out to save his beautiful fiancée when she is kidnapped before their wedding. He finds her in the clutches of a pirate king, rescues her, and imprisons her captor. Alas, the prince is a scumbag, the princess is only marrying him because she must, and the pirate is her actual true love. Also, the kidnapping of the bride was planned (and since the pirate foiled it, the prince is plotting her murder). Lastly, the hero saves his lady without even crossing swords with the villain. (They still manage to fit a climactic swordfight in, but it's between two members of the supporting cast).
  • The Fall. Although a lot of fairy tale elements are played entirely straight.
  • If You Dont Stop It Youll Go Blind (an R-rated blackout sketch film) has Little Red Riding Hood get stopped by the Big Bad Wolf:
    Wolf: I'm going to eat you!
    LRRH: Eat eat EAT! Doesn't anyone fuck anymore??
  • Due to Adaptation Expansion, the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! essentially becomes this to the original Dr. Seuss story, with the Grinch being a misunderstood, bitter loner who was ostracized by the Whos and hates Christmas for that reason. In the end, he's not the only one to learn the lesson that "Christmas doesn't come from a store."
  • In The Teddy Bears (1907), Goldilocks meets Theodore Roosevelt, who takes her bear problem into his own hands.
  • About the Little Red Riding Hood is a Continuation Fic that at the same time deconstructs a lot from the original story – the hunter is a Glory Hound who cares more about presenting himself as a hero than about the lives of people (or wolves), while the members of the wolf pack have different fleshed-out characters rather than being Always Chaotic Evil, are deeply sympathetic, and ultimately decide against taking revenge on Little Red Riding Hood.

  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly follows a boy named David as he enters a Crapsack World of warped fairy-tales managed by a failing Fisher King. While some are mostly harmless (the seven dwarves are court-ordered to protect Snow White after their failed attempt to murder her), others are far more dangerous, such as the cannibalistic children of Red Riding Hood and a wolf, or The Crooked Man.
  • Gregory Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, the stepsisters aren't wicked in the slightest. Ruth is slow-witted and Iris is quite practical and is the main character. The Cinderella character, Clara, is initially bratty but the three become good friends. While the stepmother is prone to greed (as is Clara's father), she is not evil so much as concerned about the well-being of her daughters and certain that Clara will ruin their chances to financially secure themselves. There are no magic elements.
  • There's an entire genre of Land of Oz deconstructions and grimmifications known by many names. The Oz Wikia refers to it by its most well-known title, "Alternate Oz", while this site calls it "Dystopian Oz". Examples include:
  • Simon Hawke's The Reluctant Sorcerer trilogy is so directly inspired and informed by the original Fractured Fairy Tales that you can hear Edward Everett Horton playing the role of the Omniscient Narrator.
  • The Discworld novel Witches Abroad has the witches as a disrupting influence in the Theory of Narrative Causality, trying to stop a Happily Ever After that is nothing of the kind. The scene where we see what it takes to make a "Big Bad Wolf" and what Granny Weatherwax does about it is a total Tear Jerker. It also mentions a Wicked Witch who, rather than turning people into frogs and having a house made of gingerbread, turned people into gingerbread and had a house made of frogs.
  • The short story "The Glass Slip-up" by Louise Cooper (published in The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy) is set after the events of "Cinderella", where we find out why the not-so-wicked stepmother kept her hidden away: Cinderella ("Rell") is a complete social disgrace with bad table manners, a love of raunchy jokes, a fancy for certain... odd practices in the royal bedroom, and many other disastrous details that make Prince Charming very determined to track down the Fairy Godmother so she can correct her mistake.
  • Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes turns up on banned book lists for the dark turns it steers classic fairy tales into, like Cinderella discovering her Prince Charming is a sociopath who chops off women's heads at the slightest provocation, or Goldilocks getting eaten by the Three Bears for breaking into their house. The teen-oriented Rhyme Stew has several more fractured retellings, though they tend to steer the stories in bawdier rather than bloodier directions.
  • Neil Gaiman is very fond of this trope:
    • Stardust: Both straight-up and fractured; the hero is successful on his quest, but instead of winning the girl for whom he went questing, by the time his quest is over he's fallen for someone else.
    • The short story "Snow, Glass, Apples" is a retelling of Snow White with the stepmother as the main heroine, who realizes her stepdaughter is not quite human.
    • "The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" mashes up several nursery rhymes into a Private Eye Monologue as Hardboiled Detective Jack Horner tries to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty.
    • In The Sleeper and the Spindle, a grown-up Snow White investigates Sleeping Beauty's castle, making use of her prior experience with evil sorceresses and enchanted sleep. There's a twist to Sleeping Beauty's curse: the sleeping beauty in the castle is the sorceress, leaching the life force out of her surroundings to regain her youth and beauty, while the old woman Snow White encounters is the princess, cursed to stay awake and keep the sorceress from harm.
  • The book Caperucita Roja y Otras Historias Perversas (Red Riding Hood and other Vicious Stories) of Triunfo Arciniegas, is all about this.
  • This is the basic concept of Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, in which the ambient magic in the land tries to make all fairy tales play out straight (no matter how the characters might feel about it), and the only way to get out of it is to shift the situation so that it fits another tale better.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic II: The Cinders Case sets up fairy godmothers and bad fairies and the like as part of the same organization, and is told from the point of view of a fairy godmother explaining why she wants a transfer to the curses department; namely, her last case, which was the straw that broke the unicorn's back. It sounds like a pretty standard Cinderella story; girl wants to go to ball, stepmother said no, fairy godmother is thus determined to see that she does, in fact, go. The problems start from square one: Cindy is tall, gangly, big-footed and not the prettiest thing ever. Her stepsister is the gorgeous waif the godmother has come to expect her clients to be, and is helpful, sympathetic, and wants nothing more than for Cindy to be happy. Then it turns out "Cinders" was the client's idea in the first place, and it's a stage name. She's not interested in the prince, she wants to play the fiddle as a musician at the ball. The godmother makes the best of things (she manages to save Cindy from getting roped into a "standard 10-percent contract" with a talent agent who looks like an encroaching mushroom and, when he's too drunk to lie, shamelessly admits that it means she forks over all but 10 percent of whatever she earns), but she's pretty despondent by the time the night's out (not least because the not-remotely-ugly stepsister does end up in the prince's arms) and after a case like that, her superiors will probably understand if she wants to transfer.
  • The Merry Spinster from Daniel M. Lavery has darker takes on such tales as The Little Mermaid in The Daughter Cells where instead of a standard mermaid, the creature is essentially a sponge or anemone person and has few humanoid characteristics - the creature also ends up slashing the Prince and his bride's throat and storing their souls to get their "eternity". Another one is The Rabbit where the Velveteen Rabbit is a vengeful sociopath that never forgets any slights (including the Boy temporarily losing interest in it) and becomes "real" by slowly parasiting the Boy's life force making it seem like he has an illness.
  • The children's book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales presents a series of derailed stories that often get fractured by the characters themselves. Examples include "Little Red Running Shorts" and "Cinderumplestiltskin."
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by the same author as The Stinky Cheese Man retells the Three Little Pigs from the Big Bad Wolf's point of view. He claims to have been a Nice Guy who just wanted a cup of sugar from his neighbors, but he had a cold that caused him to blow the houses down whenever he sneezed.
  • The Politically Correct Bedtime Stories series by James Finn Garner satirically presents fairy tales as mangled by Political Overcorrectness. In the first story, for instance, Little Red Riding Hood accuses the "woodchopper-person" of being sexist and speciesist for "assuming that womyn and wolves can’t solve their own problems without a man's help!"
  • Howl's Moving Castle, for the most part. While not necessarily a "fairy tale" overall, it does subvert, lampshade, and otherwise mess with many a fairy-tale trope.
  • The short stories in Andrzej Sapkowski's earlier The Witcher. The Beauty and the Beast? The Beast likes his transformation, whereas the Beauty is so much more monstrous than he is. Don't even ask about what he did to Snow White.
  • In Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper, based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Beauty tricks her half sister into being pricked by the magical spindle. Once escaping the sleeping curse, Beauty travels through different eras in history and unwittingly causes other fairy tales to happen. The book's version of Snow White is told almost "straight"— except for the character motivation. The prince is clearly insane, while Snow White is essentially brain-dead: "Tell me, why did you accept the old woman's apple after we particularly told you not to take any food from strangers?" "Because it looked good and I was hungry."
  • In The Storyteller by Saki, a man on a train is being annoyed by some little children whose aunt can't keep them quiet by telling them boring normal stories, so he tells them one with a Space Whale Aesop (don't be too well-behaved, or you'll be awarded medals that will clink against each other at an inopportune time, leading you to be eaten by a hungry wolf).
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles is full of these. The first book, for example, starts with a princess running away from home in order to work for a dragon.
  • The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, where the wolves are the ones constructing houses, and the pig the one knocking them down. It's a case of Sequel Escalation as the first house is made of bricks, the second of concrete, and the third of barbed wire, steel plates, and heavy metal padlocks.
  • Tanith Lee has written many of these. One of her anthologies Red as Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer is a collection of fairy tale retellings, most of them much darker, one with a science fiction twist. The Snow White retelling has Snow as an evil sorceress while the Stepmother is a good witch trying to stop her evil and finally kills Snow with an apple that has a Eucharist hidden in it. The Beauty and the Beast retelling has the Beast as the last member of its alien species except that sometimes the spirits of these aliens are reincarnated as humans and a female reincarnation is genetically compatible enough to have children with the Beast.
  • In Jim C. Hines' The Stepsister Scheme Cinderella's stepsisters kidnap her Prince and she, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White (who are nothing like one would expect) have to go save him.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, Phaethon explains the "true" myth of Phaethon: obviously the claim that he burned the earth while riding the chariot of the sun, so that Jupiter had to strike him down with a thunderbolt, was false, because the earth had not been burned up, and so the likely story was that Jupiter had struck him down to ensure that mortals would not succeed at it, and the moral is that beings who think they are gods should not be allowed near thunderbolts.
  • In The Golden Transcedence, Pandora explains her own name: it's not because of her spate of questions or her being a plague, but because what Pandora really received was foresight, which allowed women to foresee all the plagues that would harm their children, but also to avert them, which gave them hope.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, the characters Red and Penny are a painting of Achilles and Pentheselia, but they do not match the myth and are indeed a Battle Couple. Which means that he didn't kill her and (for in-universe Squick) didn't rape her corpse.
  • For that matter, GRRM's, A Song of Ice and Fire sometimes strayed into fairy tales that are exactly as twisted as you'd expect in Westeros. Like the story of Falia Flowers, a bastard girl whose family forced her to do chores... until she was swept off her feet by a brutal pirate king who took her as a lover and forced said family to wait on his crew in the nude. Cersei Lannister also has quite a lot in common with Snow White's stepmother, and gets back at her "Snow White" in a deeply disturbing way.
  • Since it's by the author of Ella Enchanted, Fairest also falls under this. The Snow White character is actually ugly (or at least Hollywood Homely), and her singing, while popular at first, eventually forces her to flee the kingdom because the townspeople think it makes her an inhuman seductress. She does wind up living with dwarves (or rather, gnomes), and it turns out she's probably descended from gnomes herself. The Wicked Queen is still a bit of a Yandere, but she and Snow White are friends first, and it turns out she was mostly being manipulated by the magic mirror all along. And the story is actually set in a country where people sing most of the time.
  • Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber is a collection of short fantasy stories for adults based on reinterpreting and subverting common fairytale themes - often based on the moral and adult subtext of the original itself, in order to pick apart their gender stereotypes and social ideas. Enter a Little Red Riding Hood who ends up "knowing" the wolf after he's killed her grandmother; a Snow White who is created as a product of the father's desires, dies at the prick of a rose's thorn and is subsequently deflowered by him; a Beauty who finds that she is far more comfortable becoming a Beast rather than for her Beast to become a human... fascinating, if slightly disturbing, reading. For the intrigued, it can be found online here: though the experience is undoubtedly better when it is read in physical form.
  • Melisande: or, Long and Short Division by E Nesbit is a highly inventive and somewhat tongue-in-cheek retelling of "Rapunzel", or is it "Sleeping Beauty"? Just to start, the king knows better than to throw a christening party that will inevitably leave one fairy out and piss her off, but it doesn't stop the princess from being cursed to be bald. Fortunately, the king has a spare wish from his fairy godmother, but the princess's careless wish for golden hair that will grow faster the more it's cut leads to predictable problems, and it takes several attempts and the logic of a wise prince to make her hair stop growing without making her grow into a giant (It Makes Sense in Context; read the online tale for the full story!).
  • Twice Upon a Time re-tells "Rumpelstiltskin" from the point-of view of the girl's father, who gets into tax-trouble, and all the "Prince Charming gets the girl" stories from the point of view of the prince. He eventually turns into the Beast, jaded and nearly insane, and ends up with Beauty because her pets don't sing (She's only got the horse, silent as the grave, by the way), she doesn't do fancy fixtures (Cinderella, who drained the treasury), have a blood/ sharp stuff fetish (Sleeping Beauty, whose "thing" got way out of hand), or like groupsex (Snow White, whom he executed for cheating-with all seven dwarves). Hansel and Gretel have a different ending, they get adopted by Rumpelstiltskin and his wife.
  • Several of James Thurber's Fables for Our Time start out as normal fairy tales or Aesop's Fables, but then veer into more cynical or absurdist territory. His version of Little Red Riding Hood, for instance, ends when the little girl, recognizing that "even in a nightcap a wolf does not look like your grandmother any more than the Metro Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge," produces a handgun and shoots the wolf dead. "Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be."
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem is a collection of short stories that aim to correct the Fridge Logic and Plot Holes of the original fairy tale (why did the king believe so readily that a poor miller's daughter can make gold out of straw at will? Why did Rumpelstiltskin agree to spin straw into gold for a ridiculously small payment for the first two days? Wouldn't marriage to a king who threatened to kill you if you didn't make enough gold for him be a tad problematic? etc). The twists vary with each retelling: one of them has Rumpelstiltskin as the true hero who the miller's daughter falls in love with and eventually runs away from her unhappy marriage with the king to be with him, for example.
  • In Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, a character tells a story where the princess, as an animal, ends up killed and stewed because she was unloving.
  • The anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me is a book filled with stories based on screwed-up fairy tales. It includes short stories by Neil Gaiman and Joyce Carol Oates, and a brilliant retelling of "Donkeyskin" by Aimee Bender.
  • The novel Snow White by Daniel Barthelme is an all but unrecognizable Setting Update of the fairy tale written in a stream-of-consciousness sort of style designed to irritate the reader.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is a retelling of several classic fairy tales in the Crapsaccharine World of the distant future. Each book in the series is a take of a different fairy tale:
    • Cinder: A retelling of Cinderella. In it, Linh Cinder is a cyborg and Prince Kai (Prince Charming) is the prince of the Eastern Commonwealth (aka east Asia). In this retelling, Prince Kai is actually charming as opposed to being Prince Charmless like in many others.
    • Scarlet: A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, where Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) is a French farm girl who meets with an enigmatic street fighter named Wolf and enlists his help in a search for her kidnapped grandmother. Despite his name, Wolf ultimately plays the role of the Huntsman, saving Scarlet from the real Big Bad Wolf, his little brother.
    • Cress: A retelling of Rapunzel. Rapunzel is cast as Cress, a young hacker trapped in a satellite (rather than a tower) by her abusive guardian, and is rescued by Lovable Rogue Carswell Thorne, who plays the role of the prince. Thorne even goes blind like the prince in Rapunzel, though as a result of a traumatic brain injury rather than falling into a thorny bush.
    • Winter: A retelling of Snow White. Winter takes the role of Snow White, a beautiful young woman whose life is threatened by a jealous queen, in this case the Big Bad of the series and her own Wicked Stepmother, Queen Levana. Her childhood friend and personal guard Jacin Clay plays the roles of the Huntsman and the Prince, being ordered by Levana to kill Winter and faking her death, and then reviving her when she is put into a coma after being poisoned by Levana.
  • Deceived is a loose retelling of "Cinderella" that not only turns the "Cinderella" male but depicts the prince as a lazy, spoiled womanizer who the Cinderella most definitely does not fall in Love at First Sight with and attends the Masquerade Ball solely to seduce him and humiliate him afterward. Things still end quite happily though, after a good dose of Becoming the Mask and Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • In Jessica Day George's Princess of Glass, Cinderella is a Fallen Princess and Spoiled Brat desperate to regain her former wealth and status, her fairy godmother an evil witch who cons her into making a Deal with the Devil, and the true heroine one of the princesses from the "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" tale who's grown to hate dancing after her traumatic experience from that tale but finds herself forced to do so to save the man she loves.
  • E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess. Perhaps most obvious in that the old woman who asks Annie for food neither blesses nor curses her; she gets cursed herself for not appreciating what Annie hands over.
  • In Tom Holt's Snow White and the Seven Samurai, a cyberspace fairy-tale land is literally fractured by three mischievous kids who mess with the Wicked Queen's magic mirror, resulting in such chaos as the Three Little Pigs building a heavily-armed concrete bunker, which turns out to be useless when the Big Bad Wolf turns into a frog.
  • The Paper Bag Princess reverses the "hero rescues girl" story. After a dragon steals Prince Ronald, Princess Elizabeth (who is forced to wear a paper bag because the dragon destroyed all her clothes) sets out to save him. She does by appealing to the dragon's vanity, challenging it to fly around the world twice, which tires it out and lets her sneak past it. However, Ronald turns out to be an Ungrateful Bastard who tells her to return when she looks more like a princess. As such, she decides she's better off without him.
  • The "Myth-O-Mania" series does this to Classical Mythology. The narrator of these stories is Hades, who claims that Zeus falsified the ancient Greek myths to make himself look good. Hades is presenting the (supposedly) real stories of ancient gods and heroes.
  • Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen deconstructs the fairy tale by having the prince kiss an unattractive girl first as practice before waking up the beautiful (but Alpha Bitch-y) princess, only for him to fall in love with the plain girl based on her kind personality.
  • Instead of the standard Knight rescues Damsel from Dragon, in Dragon-in-Distress, the Knight has to rescue the Dragon from the Damsel!
  • Rump is the story wherein Rumpelstiltskin's mother died before naming him in a world where names have power and so goes only by Rump and he is cursed with his Gold Spinning power to be forced to accept any payment offered for the task. He didn't even ask for the baby. The miller's daughter just assumed.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the Nursery Rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle" is defractured by way of External Retcon. When tavern patrons in Bree ask Frodo for a song, he sings "The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late". The narration explains that Bilbo wrote the song, but "only a few words of it are now, as a rule, remembered." In this longer version, every element that is complete nonsense in the nursery rhyme gets explanation and context. Because this kind of deadpan humour is a little unusual for The Lord of the Rings, and because of Tokien's scholarly reputation, some readers are left confused as to which is the true original version.
  • The School for Good and Evil took place in a world where children of Good and Evil are studying for 3 years before going on their fairy tail. One of main girl's 3 roommates is a descendant from Gaston (Beauty and the Beast).
  • Babette Cole's Prince Cinders Gender Flips Cinderella and makes Cinders a spotty skinny fellow, who is turned into a swimsuit-clad gorilla by an Inept Mage of a fairy before losing his trousers at the royal disco.
  • October Daye is full of fractured fairy tales. The most notable are
  • Indexing is themed around an agency dealing with faery tales in the modern day and staffed by faery tale characters who are not currently following their Narrative because they tend to be somewhat resistant to Narrative influence. Defying their Narrative is a constant battle and almost impossible to do permanent short of sex reassignment surgery.
  • Kill the Farm Boy manages to combine three different fairy tales (including one of the Disney spins on them) as part of its backstory. After a witch fails to be invited to a noble girl's birthday party (she was, actually, but didn't get the mail), she casts a curse that will result in her pricking her finger on a rose and dying; though the Earl bans all roses, the court bard (who didn't get the memo) gives her one she finds and the castle falls into slumber, complete with giant thorns. Likewise, the rose becomes a magical heart of the castle and the still-awake bard becomes a Beast—specifically, an adorable anthropomorphic bunny girl. Finally, after sleeping so long, the sleeping lady's hair (all over her body) has grown long enough that a braid of it can be used as a rope to enter the tower. Of course, the book subverts every fantasy trope known to man.
  • This is the premise of the Nursery Crime series. In the books, characters from nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and other works in the oral tradition are real and live in the modern world. The events of these stories play out in the books, but are treated as crimes investigated by the police. Most of the nursery stories roughly have the same outcome, but with humorous and modern twists. The first book details the murder of Humpty Dumpty, and the second book weaves the stories of Goldilocks and the Gingerbreadman into a gritty crime thriller.
  • A chapter book based on the Teen Titans (2003) animated series, Raven's Secret, saw the Teen Titans get trapped in a fractured fairytale world thanks to a combination of Raven and Jinx's powers hitting a book Raven was reading at the time. Starfire became a Fairy Godmother-type character, Cyborg was stuck in the role of Pinocchio, Beast Boy was The Frog Prince, Robin was trapped in a golden goose egg at the top of a giant beanstalk, and Raven had to locate and save them all while trying to remember what her catchphrase incantation was (it was the key to getting them out, but she got hit with Laser-Guided Amnesia).
  • Played for Drama in the novel Briar Rose by Jane Yolen. Gemma's retelling of Sleeping Beauty breaks from the original in several key points, leading her granddaughter Becca to investigate what happened in Gemma's past that gave her the idea to change the story. Turns out the reality was even more disturbing than fiction.
  • Ironically, if you were to tell the oldest versions of fairy tales today, they'd come off as fractured. For example, in one of the original tellings of Snow White: she wasn't asleep, she was dead; she wasn't awakened, but stayed dead; the king who found her didn't kiss her; her corpse had the king's children. Cinderella's step-sisters often mutilated themselves in their desperate greed, and get ready to be shocked by the violent anti-Semitism everywhere.
  • Spinning Silver features a retelling and deconstruction of Rumpelstiltskin. In Miryem's world, the story is that a Jewish moneylender gave a woman jewels to help her marry, but she wanted to keep them, so she rallied a mob to kill him. The other people in the town take it as a lesson that Jews are untrustworthy, while Miryem sees it as someone refusing to pay what they owe. Miryem herself takes on Rumpelstiltskin traits when she successfully turns silver to gold through good business deals, forces the townspeople to pay their debts to her family, and demands a man's daughter as payment for his debt, but really to save her from her father's abuse.
  • Tatu and Patu: "Tatu and Patu's Weird Sleep Book" features two: "The world's most boring bedtime story", called "Silver Hair and Six Bears" that ends with Silver Hair leaving before the bears even arrive, and "The Story of the Prince who Couldn't Sleep" which is a version of "Princess and the Pea" that has the prince stay awake because he's constantly worried and not even noticing the king dressed as a pea under his mattresses.
  • Momotarō has been subject to this. As early as 1918 within Japan, shifting societal views began looking at the story from different angles where the oni were victims of random violence. While Momotaro is still a beloved folk tale, there are some adaptations of the story where Momotaro is rewritten as simply speaking to the oni and talking them down rather than outright attacking or killing the oni. These stories try to imply the oni aren't bad, and either need to be told their actions are causing strife, or Momotaro realizes they aren't actually hurting anybody and are left alone. These versions have not overtaken the original tale by any means, but have become influential towards other media and have managed to give the story an aesop about not judging by appearances and looking for diplomatic solutions, or about how history is Written by the Winners who may make themselves look better than they actually were. Some versions, albeit more rare, even rewrite the story implying Momotaro and his companions were Anti-Villain bandits (and even some further rewrites drop the "anti" and just make them villains). Despite these rewrites, the original tale is still considered an important part of Japanese folklore, and is commonly known to grade-school children.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Monty Python: Fairy Tale sketch, featured in one of their German TV specials and on an album. Ya de buckety, rum ting fadoo... Their version of "Little Red Riding Hood"... The girl looks nasty and eats the food for her Grandma on her way. The vicious bad wolf looks as the most adorable thing ever. And so on and so forth.
  • A famous episode of The Monkees, "Fairy Tale", plays with this trope with many a humorous twist, including Michael Nesmith in drag, playing a hilariously obnoxious princess.
  • The miniseries The 10th Kingdom places a couple of contemporary New Yorkers into a world where all the fairy tales took place centuries before, and plays fast and loose with fairy tale tropes. An interesting variation in that the New Yorkers are familiar with the modern versions, but it's the darker Grimm versions that actually happened in this universe. This leads to natives having to explain the differences to them and the audience.
  • The final episode of Tales from the Crypt retold "The Three Little Pigs" as a bloody tale where the wolf messily eats the first two pigs, then frames the third for the murder, resulting in a trial in a Kangaroo Court.
  • The fairy tales in Once Upon a Time are quite fractured. For example, Snow White was a forest bandit who met Prince Charming by robbing his carriage, Jiminy Cricket was a man turned into a cricket to serve as Geppetto's guide, Cinderella made a Deal with the Devil to go to her ball, and Little Red Riding Hood is unknowingly a werewolf that terrorizes her village on full moons. The chief point of fracture seems to be Rumpelstiltskin, who in this continuity is a major Bad Samaritan and who has so far appeared in nearly every fairy tale portrayed to change either its backstory or its ending, to the point where he ends up becoming the Beast and the Crocodile.
  • Pretty much the premise of Grimm. Though this show utilises some of the lesser known Grimms Fairy Tales, in contrast to Once Upon A Time which goes for the more famous ones.
  • The Charmed episode "Happily Ever After" uses this trope. Fairy tales are actually re-tellings of ancient battles between Good and Evil - and a Wicked Witch seeks to use them to destroy the Charmed Ones. Paige eats Snow White's poisoned apple, Phoebe is turned into a pumpkin by putting on Cinderella's glass slippers and Piper is nearly eaten by a shape-shifting wolf.
  • SCTV - on the kiddie show "Mrs. Falbo's Tiny Town", guest G. Gordon Liddy (Dave Thomas) plays Goldilocks in a little story that focuses on the use of firearms when breaking into a strange house.
  • El Chapulín Colorado did a few of these, the most notable having been "Blancanieves y los Siete Churinchurinfunflais".
  • Toby Terrier and His Video Pals's rendition of The Three Little Pigs goes off-the-rails when the third little pig builds his house out of aluminum siding. Then, when he builds it out of bricks like he's supposed to, he doesn't use mortar and the wolf blows the house away. Luckily, the three pigs then blow the wolf away.
  • The 7 Yüz episode "Hayatın Musikisi" loosely adapts plot points from Cinderella, only to subvert them at the climax. A young woman, who is an outcast among her peers, receives help from a mystical figure, who gives her a seemingly magical solution to her problems. The only difference is that her "fairy godfather" is actually a con artist, the "magic spell" is simply the Placebo Effect at work, and the "ball" was never worth attending in the first place. She does end up getting her "prince", however: he's the only person at the "ball" who accepts her for whom she really is.
  • The children's show The Toy Castle did a Cinderella episode, with the Ballerina as the titular character, the Soldier as the prince, the Sailor as stepsister #1 and the fairy godmother, and the Strongman as stepsister #2. While it's a fairly straight retelling for the most part, the Strongman was upset with his role and retaliated when he could with Pet the Dog moments (throwing his dirty socks at the other stepsister instead of Cinderella, leaving Cinderella his pet cat for company when he leaves to go to the ball, and helping the prince identify Cinderella as the one he danced with). He also shows up as a "pumpkin taxi service" and gets into an argument with the fairy godmother over who's taking Cinderella to the ball (she decides to go on foot, figuring their argument wouldn't end anytime soon).

  • The first part of Cole Porter's song "Two Little Babes in the Wood" is Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale played straight. The second part, "for the tired businessman," has the orphaned girls go from Rags to Riches and move to New York.
  • The music video of Kanon Wakeshima's "Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by solita~" features the J-Pop singer running around as in a storybook populated by living cut-outs from old illustration and basically messing around with various fairytales, such as cutting down Rapunzel's tower with a pair of giant scissors, turning the wolf chasing after pigs into a domesticated cat, shrinking Cinderella's glass slipper and waking up Sleeping Beauty/Snow White with an alarm clock. Also features other random shenanigans often associated with fairy tales like playing cards, giant fauna, wild animals willing to listen to a cello performance, gothic lolita clothing (which is a standard for Kanon, anyway) and ticking clocks.
  • Paramore's song Brick by Boring Brick is about a naive little girl who lives in a fairy tale-and the narrator's trying to pull her out into the real world.
  • There's a song by Green Jelly called "Three Little Pigs", a twisted, modern version of the story about the pigs taking safety in shelters while trying to protect themselves from The Big Bad Wolf... and then they call Rambo near the end of the song. Also, the music video for the song is a claymation video, with a scene of the band with puppets for a few seconds.
  • Speaking of "The Three Little Pigs", Insane Clown Posse completely fracture the story in the rap song "Piggie Pie", about hunting down "piggies" (crooked/evil/racist cops whose houses are made of wood, bricks, and gold, rather than straw, sticks and bricks) in order to make a "piggie pie".
  • The Oingo Boingo song "Cinderella Undercover":
    The cartoon animals on Old McDonald's farm
    Are nodding off in hotel rooms with needles in their arms
    The seven dwarves, ha!, there's only four alive today
    Cinderella's working for the CIA
  • Evillious Chronicles: The story of Hansel and Gretel is fractured in the song "Abandoned on a Moonlit Night", where the twins abandoned in the woods—Hansel and Gretel—are able to find their way to the witch's house and defeat the witch and her henchmen immediately — the witch and henchmen who were actually the parents who abandoned them in the first place. The franchise as a whole makes a habit of drawing on several classic fairy-tales and their archetypes with its songs.
  • Laura Janssen's song 'Wicked World' is about this. She alludes to the Big Bad Wolf and the Wicked Witch not being that bad, Red Riding Hood and Jack (as in Jack and Jill) being The Tease. The music video's setting is a bar full of fairy tale characters. Alice takes ecstasy, Tinkerbell and Dorothy get into a Cat Fight, Belle and Cinderella fight over a prince, Hansel and Gretel are implied to be an incestuous couple and Sleeping Beauty is passed out at the bar.
  • Pied Piper by Heather Dale is a retelling of The Pied Piper of Hamelin... in which the children ask the Pied Piper to take them away and come up with the whole plot.
  • BIGMAMA has a couple songs with this theme:
    • In "Keisandakai Cinderella" ("Calculating Cinderella"), the Cinderella manipulates everything to turn out in her favor; she wears the glass slipper even though it makes her foot bleed and cooks and eats her pumpkin carriage. Her ambition and cunning impress the prince, and he ends up falling for her anyway.
    • In "Nidonesuru Nemureru Mori no Bijou" ("Sleeping Beauty Goes Back to Sleep") the prince finds Sleeping Beauty and kisses her, but when she doesn't wake up, he wonders if she's dead. Turns out, she did wake up, peeked at the schmuck that interrupted her sleep, decided he wasn't her type, and feigned sleep until he left her alone.
  • Cendrillon by Hatsune Miku twists the classic Cinderella story, by making Cinderella an assassin sent to kill the prince by her fairy godmother, but after falling in love with him, doesn't want to go through with it. Different interpretations vary on whether she actually goes through with the murder or not.
  • Cinderella: Another Story by Rin and Len Kagamine features Cinderella being turned into a cat for not leaving at midnight, leaving the prince heartbroken. While she continues to watch over the prince in her cat form, they're eternally separated.
  • The Arthur album Arthur's Really Rockin' Music Mix includes the track "Goldilocks and the Bears Trio (As Told by Sue Ellen)," which is a twisted version of the Goldilocks tale which includes The Big Bad Wolf as a part of the plot (he's a musician.)
  • Discussed in the Gabby Sophia song "fairytales", where she applies Alternative Character Interpretation to various fairy tales — for example, she wonders if The Little Mermaid stole her voice from someone else before the sea witch took it, and if Prince Charming was the one who poisoned Sleeping Beauty because she rejected him.
  • Elio e le Storie Tese's "Burattino senza fichi"/"Puppet on a Swing" is a retelling of Pinocchio where he is tired of his Barbie Doll Anatomy and asks Geppetto to give him a wooden member. Geppetto complies and so he indulges in all the vices like getting horny about the Blue Fairy, picking up lots of girls at the club, jerking off and ejaculating sawdust, blackmailing the Fox and Cat and other weird stuff.
  • 2 Live Crew's "Dirty Nursery Rhymes" takes well-known rhymes like "Jack and Jill" and fairy tales like Rapunzel, and rewrites them to be far more sexual.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Kermit's News Flashes tended to be these. For example:
      • True Love's Kiss turns Sleeping Beauty into a frog who goes off with Kermit.
      • True Love's Kiss makes Prince Charming fall asleep.
      • Prince Charming breaks Cinderella's glass slipper.
      • The glass slipper fits Kermit.
      • Rapunzel "lets down her hair" by letting it fall off her head.
      • Little Miss Muffet sits on a water bed, eats granola and, unlike Kermit, isn't scared of spiders.
      • The king's horses (and cow) and men do put Humpty Dumpty together again, then Kermit slaps him on the back and he falls back off the wall.
    • In Episode 0500, Gordon is about to tell some kids a story, when S.A.M. the Robot comes by, offering to do it himself. S.A.M.'s story features elements from different fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rumpelstiltskin, and Cinderella. After Gordon corrects S.A.M., the robot admits that for the first time, he made a mistake... he neglected to tell the part where the Seven Dwarfs slid down the beanstalk.
  • The educational special The Muppets on Puppets includes a skit where Rowlf attempts to narrate a fairy tale for the other Muppets to act out, but the story keeps getting changed on him. Cinderella's stepmother sends her to take a basket of goodies to her granny, and in the middle of the wood she meets Hansel, who is taking Gretel the cow to market...
  • The Muppet Show had a few sketches based around fairy tales and folk tales. One such notable sketch has Sam the Eagle telling the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, only after winter arrives, the grasshopper drove his sports car to Florida and the ant got stepped on.
  • On Bear in the Big Blue House, Shadow's stories are often based on traditional fairy tales or Nursery Rhymes, but with various pop-culture references, or characters that are more hip or off-the-wall than their traditional fairy-tale counterparts. For example, in the story of Little Bo Peep, Little Bo Peep dials up a "lost sheep hotline" and a criminal crook is at first shown during the line "And then she took up her little crook."

  • One episode of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme features a version of Snow White when the Evil Queen's chancellor realises there are much more interesting applications of a magic mirror than asking who the fairest is, including espionage and insider trading. He'd have thought of it sooner, but as long as the only question the mirror was asked was "Who is the fairest of them all?" and it responded by showing the Queen, everyone in the kingdom except the Queen had assumed it was really just a normal mirror. Oh, and he sends a sniper to assassinate Snow White, just to keep the queen happy.
  • German satirist Hans Scheibner was the host for a program where fans sent in their own tales. One memorable highlight (argueably) was the Ugly Popperling raised by Punks. Until at the end Kim Wilde dropped in and they happily popped after. note 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: This is the guiding idea behind the plane of Eldraine. For example, the card "Tall as a Beanstalk" has Jack mistakenly eating the magic beans... and the name says it all, really. While the Throne of Eldraine focuses mainly on Arthurian legend elements, Wilds of Eldraine leans much more heavily into the plane's fairtyale aspect.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The second edition campaign A hero's Tale includes the adventure The Mistake which is a take on a Snow White tangentially tied to the main story. In it a group of evil gnomes ambushes travelers to sell them to slavery until in a carriage they find an unconscious woman who won't wake up no matter what. Once they take her to their lair she wakes up with the sunset, turning out to be a vampire, who promptly takes over their operation and makes them her bodyguards.
    • The fifth edition adventure A Fomorian Who Would Be King from Through the Veil: Tales of the Feywild anthology is another, similar take. Snow White equivalent is once again a vampire, who was trapped in a coffin deep underground by her sister and was discovered by a group of Duegar, enslaved and forced to mine gold for a Fomorian giant. The player characters can try to free her and seek her help in dealing with said Fomorian. if they play their cards right she may even become a long-term ally.

  • Cinderella (Lloyd Webber): The story is still about a girl named Cinderella with a Wicked Stepmother who is transformed to go to a ball and gets with a prince. But Cinderella's now a goth rebel, the prince Sebastian is an unpopular nerd, the fairy godmother is a plastic surgeon, Cinderella's dance with the prince is the lowest point of their relationship, Prince Charming is gay and marries a man, and finally, rather than become Queen at the end, Cinderella runs away with her prince.
  • Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's musical Into the Woods combines several well-known fairy tales, initially playing them straight but then gradually deconstructing them.
  • The musical Once Upon a Mattress is a cheeky retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" with a mother-henpecked prince, a song based around the princess (originally Carol Burnett!) wryly commenting on "Happily, Happily Happily Ever After", and much more.
  • Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld is a warped retelling of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, where Orpheus' marriage is on the rocks. Eurydice has a lover, Aristaeus, who turns out to be the god of the underworld who sees to it that she dies of a snakebite so she can be with him forever. Orpheus is then spurred on to make his Journey to the Underworld by an Anthropomorphic Personification not of Love (as in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, a specific target of the parody) but of Public Opinion.
  • Red: The Red Riding Hood Musical starts out as a fairly normal, if somewhat expanded musical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, as told by her Gypsy descendants. However, each of them has a favorite version of the story, and they all try to make the reenactment end to match their version. This all comes to a head with the song "The Endings," which basically amounts to each of the Gypsies rapidly and forcefully directing the others to reenact their preferred ending, while the others protest that the ending doesn't make sense. By the end of it, "all" of the characters (except Blue Boy) have been killed in one ending or another.

  • Ever After High has this as its premise. It stars the children of famous fairy tale characters who are destined to follow in their parents' footsteps...except this generation's Evil Queen, Raven, doesn't want to be evil, and inspires other characters to choose their own destinies. And then we get to the fact that Red Riding Hood married and had two daughters with her Big Bad Wolf...

    Video Games 
  • Brown Dust II: The Character Pack "Rou's Labyrinth" takes place in one, being a melting pot of fairy tale rejects including an obese Cinderella, an insomiac laden Sleeping Beauty, a straight-forward Pinnochio among others. Most of their problems can be traced back to the Magic Tree wilting and weakening their fantasys, to which Red Riding Hood sets out to fix with her friends the paranoid Snow White, enigmatic Robin Hood, and the sadistic Alice by going to the alleged Wicked Witch's gingerbread house to get her to undo her curse, except she isn't even the bad guy of the story.
  • Resident Evil Village: The Framing Device of the game's narrative, foreshadowing the villains that Ethan are about to confront, was literally a Gothic Fairy Tale Storybook, told in paper-cut-out stop animation like the nightmares of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. And sure enough, as Ethan enters the nightmare-proper of the village itself, he is confronted with the Gothic Caricatures of the Vampire (Lady Dimitriscu), Gepetto the Puppeteer (Donna Beneviento), The Merman (Moreau), Black Knight (Heisenberg) and the Wicked Witch (Lady Miranda) archetypes; all to the backdrop of a deep black forrest filled with Big Bad Wolves (The Lycans) that would not be out of place from the pages of The Brothers Grimm
  • In American McGee's Grimm, you play an ugly little dwarf who goes around messing up "cutesy" fairy tales, making them dark and violent again.
  • The game Fairytale Fights has four Fairytale protagonists (Jack, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Emperor of The Emperor's New Clothes) attempt to regain their former glory via killing everything in their way in as violent a way as possible.
  • Flash RPG DragonFable has elements of this trope, including some major Deconstructions. It's all for the Rule of Funny of course.
  • Although technically Alice's Adventures in Wonderland isn't a fairytale, American McGee's Alice shows Wonderland as twisted and violent after Alice's parents die in a fire and she's sent to a mental institution.
  • It's hard to tell in King's Quest if the writers are going to play their fairy tale tropes straight or veer into one of these.
  • Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ. Little Red fighting a zombie apocalypse is only a fraction of how fractured it is.
  • Also dealing with Little Red Riding Hood is The Path, an indie game dealing with six different girls each named after shades of red. Each one of them deals with their individual "Wolf" in the most horrifying of ways.
  • Emily Short has written a number of Interactive Fiction games that fit this trope:
    • Alabaster bills itself as a "fractured fairy tale" of "Snow White". Not only does Alabaster follow in Neil Gaiman's footsteps of heavily implying Snow White to be a vampire or something else not quite human, but it has a Perspective Flip of the huntsman being the PC and having more than one dark secret of his own. Snow White is possessed by Lilith, Queen is insane witch, Mirror houses wicked ghost, and you're actually the missing King who voluntarily blood-sundered yourself in a infernal bargain called blood-sundering to atone for the terrible war you brought upon your kingdom at the cost of losing all memories about your former life. You can undo this blood-sundering in one ending.
    • Bronze is a fractured retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" that makes the Beast more morally ambiguous, fills his castle with numerous secrets that the PC of Beauty/Belle has to uncover herself, and even gives her the option to kill the Beast if she wishes to do so. Whole game is centered around demonical ''contracts'' and long spanning revenge that started with first king defeating demon Mephistopheles and taking his pen he (Devil) used to create aforementioned contracts. This however turned to be trick as it corrupted royal family, who used pen to bind demons and people to serve them in life and death. After that, one of future kings married Devil's daughter Lucrezia, who brought new magics and binding ways from Medici-Credenza. Last king-Beast-used to kidnap girls and force them to serve him. Last before Beauty, Yvette, turned out to be Lucrezia's great-great-granddaughter. Beast stole her away and got rid of her marriage contract. Her father was as result, financially destroyed. She became pregnant,feared that child will be monster too, and using her magic girdle, transformed king into Beast before taking her own life.
    • Glass retells "Cinderella". The story gives Cinderella a secret that causes the Prince to have her executed in one ending, and even the happy ending is quite atypical in its treatment of the Prince and Cinderella's relationship. Additionally, all the plot happens in one room, and you a play pet parrot that is trying to match up the classic pair. Cinderella is actually a natural enchantress, but lives in a kingdom where most people are overly religious, believing magical powers to be the result of a compact with demons despite this being untrue. The Prince couldn't recognise her because of an enchantment which is restored when she puts on the slipper. Her family regards her with a mixture of fear, repulsion and pity, hiding her because they're both ashamed of and wish to protect her-the stepmother is even implied to experience a Crisis of Faith. Depending on your decision, the stepmother either switches slippers and the Prince marries a stepsister, realizes the use and leaves, executes Cinderella or destroys the slipper and evidence of her magic, eventually finding reason to court her and marry.
  • The Sims Medieval has the quest "Legend of the Talking Frog," a fractured Frog Prince that, depending on your approach, involves either kissing the frog or finding out the frog was an evil prince in his human life and serving his legs to the King.
  • The 2014 yearly familiars from Kingdom of Loathing are themed around fractured fairy tales. The Grim Brother drops "spleen items" that relate a random dark fairy tale, and the Grimstone Golem drops masks that let you enter a Perspective Flipped fairy tale (like one where you help the Hare beat the Tortoise, who tried to cheat by bringing a motorcycle to a foot-race; or where Rumpelstiltskin runs an orphanage and tries to get kids out of lousy homes by bribing their parents).
  • Magical Makeover is a quirky, light-hearted Choose Your Own Adventure game that starts with the protagonist getting ready to go to a grand ball...except that since she's no Cinderella, she has to make herself beautiful through the application of dubiously legal/safe magical cosmetics. All of which turn out to have unexpected side effects like turning into a plant-person, becoming a butterfly vampire who wants to eradicate the entire human race, or discovering a hives-inducing allergy to fairy dust. Also, instead of wanting to go to the ball to find her Prince Charming, she has the goal of freeing a mystical bird from the ball host's chambers to get a wish granted by it — but depending on your choices, she can instead spend her evening helping an extradimensional alien being fulfill a dragon's prophecy, being unceremoniously kidnapped by a giant owl who claims to be a princess under a curse, or becoming the unwitting victim of a season-changing ritual.
  • The premise of Bubsy in: Fractured Furry Tales is that Bubsy goes around "humbling" the bad guys from storybooks like Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland.
  • This is pretty much the point of Revolve 8 Episodic Dueling. Some examples include social media star Red Riding Hood (where the whole wolf encounter at her grandma’s was just a misunderstanding), a bodybuilding Naked Emperor, a motorcycle riding pop star Cinderella, and a Japanese themed Snow White with seven ninja dwarves.
  • Parodied and Played for Laughs in Korean mobile Endless Running Game, Princess Rush. The beginning shows Snow White recently having a date with Prince Charming, hoping he can return for her another date. Until she saw some news: Not just Snow White The Prince Charming dated with, but he also dated with Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and other fairytale princesses. In fact, they dated with the same prince, who is actually a Harem Seeker! This, of course, make her consumed in fury and wields her Hyperspace Mallet to kick Prince Charming's butt.
  • Played with in We Happy Few. During the nighttime hours, Uncle Jack reads the citizens of Wellington Wells bedtime stories based off classic fairy tales. However, since this is a town where everyone spends their time taking a mood-depressant drug called Joy, and those who don’t are subjected to ostracism, beatings, and murder, the stories are changed to become quite macabre.
  • Lies of P is a Souls-like RPG video game centered around a Dark Fantasy take on Pinocchio. Set in a dark, Belle Époque city called Krat, players control Pinocchio, here a “puppet mechanoid”, as he sets off to find his creator, Mr. Geppetto, fighting through countless enemies to do so amid the ruins of a city overrun by mechanical monstrosities.
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Blood and Wine DLC, the Land of a Thousand Fables was originally created as a wonderland for a magician's children. Unfortunately, it was eventually abandoned and, without the magician to maintain the magic, suffered entropy that caused everything to deviate quite heavily from the script. The Little Matchstick Girl sells drugs, prince Charming died in an accident, and Rapunzel hung herself with her own hair, among many other horrors.
  • Cinderella Escape: Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters are abusive as usual, but they actually allow her to accompany them to the ball. At the ball, Cinderella witnesses the Prince murdering his father the King, but he immediately frames her for it and has Cinderella, her stepmother, and stepsisters arrested and thrown in a dungeon. The Fairy Godmother empowers Cinderella with glass slippers that give her incredible kicking and leaping ability so she can try to escape. It is eventually revealed that Cinderella murdered her original family.
    • Cinderella Escape 2: Revenge: The Fairy Godmother again empowers Cinderella so she can get revenge on the Prince for framing her. Along the way, she crosses paths with other fairy tale characters like Snow White, who is trying to reclaim her kingdom.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Pokémon Bombirdier is essentially a fractured take on the Delivery Stork. It bears a strong resemblance to common depictions of the bird, with long feathers acting as a makeshift bag, but instead of delivering babies it prefers to drop rocks at random (not caring whether or not they'll hit someone) for seemingly no reason besides being a Jerkass. Appropriately, it's part Dark-type.
    • The Teal Mask (the first half of the DLC for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet) introduces the Pokémon world's take on Momotarō, with Pecharunt being Momotaro, the Loyal Three (Okidogi, Munkidori, and Fezandipiti) being based on the heroic dog, monkey, and pheasant, and Ogerpon being based on the villainous oni. However, the player quickly discovers that the true story is far different: Pecharunt and the Loyal Three were the villains, a group of thugs trying to steal masks inlaid with valuable crystals from the innocent Ogerpon and her human partner, possibly killing said partner in the struggle. Ogerpon then killed the Three in revenge and injured Pecharunt until it retreated into its shell for ages, but that was the only part that the villagers saw, which led them to believe that the Three heroically sacrificed themselves to save the village from the rampaging oni. Fortunately, the player, Carmine, and Kieran manage to set the record straight at the end. An equivalent to Momotaro in the form of the mythical Pokémon Pecharunt would be revealed later; following the trend, it's an Obviously Evil poisonous creature who corrupted the Loyal Three, but the lore video released alongside it implies Pecharunt did everything it did for the adoration of its human parents (who were also partially under the influence of his poison), making it Ambiguously Evil.
  • Fairest mashes different stories together in interesting ways. For example, the hero of "The Three Feathers" has an unkind stepmother and two stepbrothers, while the woman his feather leads him to is the evil queen from "Snow White", who was sent off to live in poverty.

    Visual Novels 
  • Cinders is a visual novel that takes most of the plot elements from Cinderella and plays them for drama. The stepmother, Carmosa, does what she does because she wants her daughters to end up well off. The stepsisters, Gloria and Sophia, aren't inherently bad people; most of their actions are driven by their desperate desire to please their mother. Cinders can befriend any or all of them throughout the game; it's even possible for Cinders to replace Carmosa as head of the household if she can prove that she's the right person for the job. The Prince himself is hardly a presence compared to Cinders' family and isn't the only available love interest; Cinders can even marry him for the money and power while carrying on an affair with either Tobias, her childhood friend, or Perrault, a member of the King's guard. The fairy godmother is an ominous figure that repeatedly implies that her help comes with a price, and there are implications that she had a hand in the death of Cinders' mother. The traditional tale of Cinderella itself is even lampshaded: at one point, Cinders mentions having recently read a book about a girl who suffered at the hands of a wicked stepfamily but was eventually saved from her situation by a handsome prince after years of waiting around and doing nothing; she decides that the book is dangerous to girls and that it might give them a "martyr-like attitude".
  • Cinderella Phenomenon features several characters who suffer from the Fairytale Curse, a witches' enchantment that takes a well-known fairy tale and twists it into a curse for the victim. The main character is cursed to experience the exact reverse of "Cinderella": instead of being a kind girl with a cruel stepfamily who goes from Rags to Royalty, she's a cruel princess with a kind stepfamily who goes from Riches to Rags with almost everyone forgetting that she was ever royalty. Other Fairytale Curses include the Neverland Curse that traps its victim in the body of a child, the Rumpelstiltskin Curse that gives its victim Laser-Guided Amnesia about their name and identity, and the Beauty and the Beast Curse that makes its victim irresistibly beautiful to the opposite gender but transforms them into a beast when they fall in love with someone else. All of these curses have a Curse Escape Clause, but there are witches who intend to make sure they'll never be broken or manipulate the curses for their gain.

    Web Animation 
  • 50 Ways to Die in Minecraft: The entire Fairy Tale edition is this trope, Played for Laughs of course. And in Minecraft.
  • Dirty Doll's Creations's Red Riding Hood is this trope on the Little Red Riding Hood story.
  • Beauty and the Beast (Phelous) is a cynical, Black Comedy-filled retelling of Beauty and the Beast in which almost everyone is an Adaptational Jerkass. It ends with the villain, Wabuu, killing the Beast and marrying Beauty like he wanted. However, the primary target of the parody is actually Dingo Pictures, a company known for making low-budget animated movies sometimes based on fairy tales.
  • Dark Secrets of Garry's Mod: In a Three Little Pigs retelling the three pigs build houses for themselves where they would have sex with a female pig. It got deleted but it is reuploaded into a compilation.
  • The Happy Tree Friends TV episode "Dunce Upon a Time" has this trope as its gist. It's basically a grisly retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, though it also includes elements of Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin.
  • If Disney Cartoons Were Historically Accurate, as the name implies, is a Disneyesque music video full of all the gross and gory things about the Middle Ages that Disney cartoons tend to ignore.
  • Being a series with heavy Fairytale Motifs, RWBY has more than a few of these.
    • One of the main villains is based on Cinderella. Her back story is a retelling of the tale with a dark twist. Abused and enslaved by her step-mother and step-sisters, her version of "Prince Charming" is a Huntsman who requires her to endure seven years of abuse while he trains her in secret to be able to legally escape her guardian when she turns 17 years old. However, Cinder cannot endure it for so many years, snapping and killing them when they discover her weapon; she then kills her mentor when he tries to arrest her, and goes on to develop into a manipulative, power-hungry villain with an evil Fairy Godmother, who has "gifted" her with the ability to steal the power of the Four Maidens.
    • The truth behind the in-universe fairy tale "The Girl in the Tower" is a subversion of Rapunzel. The fairy tale is that the maiden is locked in a tower until rescued by a hero; they fall in love and live happily ever after. In truth, he actually dies, leaving her alone in the world and unable to cope with her loss. She takes dire measures to try and bring him back, leading to catastrophic consequences. She clashes with the gods, and triggers an apocalypse that sets off a chain of events that leads her to becoming the Big Bad.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • My Damn Channel's Fairy Tale Friday features often NSFW retellings of fairy tales, with questionable messages, depraved sex, and frequently unsympathetic protagonists. Specifically:
    • Thumbelina is a pretentious vegan hippie who bakes weird gluten-free food for no apparent reason, and was nicknamed "Cockchafer" in college.
    • Alice is a gullible spoiled brat who is too insecure to say no (making her popular with the boys at school).
    • Red Ridinghood is extremely obsessive compulsive, and is afraid of going into the woods because she thinks bugs will crawl up her legs and into her vagina. In the end, she has the wolf savagely neutered by the Village Idiot, turning up the music on her iPod to drown out the wolf's agonized screams.
    • The Beast is a graphic designer who hires Belle as an assistant. The transformation occurs after they hook up in a public bathroom. He fires her, and she sues him for sexual harassment. Moral of the story: Don't dip your pen in the company ink.
    • A very squicky retelling of Rapunzel where the witch posts videos of Rapunzel on a fetish website for men who like really long hair. The Prince is a Stalker with a Crush who has sex with her hair, and leaves her after the witch cuts it off. The story ends with Rapunzel going into the adult film industry.
    • Cinderella is a lesbian who doesn't really care about the ball, or the Prince, and ends up marrying his sister. The Prince ends up on a talk show for Princes who get dumped by their lesbian girlfriends, and the two stepsisters are still douche-bags.
  • Legendy Polskie retells several stories 20 Minutes into the Future.

    Western Animation 
  • The Magic Key: In “Master Hansel And Miss Gretel”, the titular story ends up being fractured pretty badly, due mostly to the interference of Kipper, who keeps trying to be Genre Savvy but failing due to not remembering how the story goes.
  • The trope namer is the "Fractured Fairy Tales" segment from Rocky and Bullwinkle. In each episode, a different fairy tale was retold with a humorous effect, changing part of the plotline. It even got a book in 1997, and one was made as a theatrical lead-in for the 1999 live-action version of Dudley Do-Right.
  • Looney Tunes shorts did this a lot, to the point that a whole disc in one of the DVD box sets focuses on them. "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Three Little Pigs", "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Goldilocks" were particularly popular targets, with different versions to fit various characters and their shticks (Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Tweety, etc.).
  • Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood, which turns Red Riding Hood into a torch singer at a night club.
    • Also Little Rural Riding Hood and Swing Shift Cinderella, the latter of which has Cinderella as a wartime factory worker and the Fairy Godmother trying to seduce the big bad wolf.
  • The Jim Henson Company's Unstable Fables direct-to-DVD films Three Pigs and a Baby, in which a wolf is raised by the pigs in an Oblivious Adoption; Tortoise vs Hare: The Rematch of the Century, in which the original characters' kids get dragged into their rivalry; and The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show, a fake Reality Show in which pop star Goldilocks has to spend a month living with an ordinary family of bears.
  • Martha Speaks: "Martha Spins A Tale" spoofs everything from Jack and the Beanstalk to Alice in Wonderland, complete with characters from the show.
  • The Simpsons did this in the "Treehouse of Horror XI" segment "Scary Tales Can Come True"; Bart and Lisa are left behind in the forest a la Hansel and Gretel. Armed with a book of Grimm Fairy Tales, they're able to recognize various tropes. They don't cross a certain bridge, knowing there's a troll under it. They realize they're in a house belonging to three bears, and lock the door to keep the bears in (too bad for Goldilocks though). Bart and Lisa later stumble upon a Gingerbread House where a Wicked Witch lives, though they trust her against their better judgement (unsurprisingly, she plans to eat them). Homer also likewise tries to free Rapunzel from her tower... with bad results.
  • The Disenchantment episode "Faster, Princess! Kill! Kill!" revolves around a dark parody of Hansel and Gretel, in which the titular siblings (but not the witch) are actually a pair of cannibalistic serial killers who like to lure unsuspecting travelers into their gingerbread house to have them for lunch. Oh, and the aforementioned Witch? She didn't kidnap Hansel and Gretel nor tried to eat them, she was actually just a nice old lady who let them live in her house, which turned out to be a big mistake.
  • Rugrats:
    • Defied in one episode of the 1991 series that's a Whole-Plot Reference to Cinderella. Chuckie (as Finsterella) answers the door to Phil and Lil as Hansel and Gretel, looking for directions. He replies: "You're even more lost than you think; you're in the wrong story."
    • A minor one when Angelica believes she is a princess in another episode of the 1991 series. To test, they use elements from different fairy tales. First the babies try to climb up her hair. Secondly they try to see if she can feel a pea through a mattress (Chuckie eats the pea so they use a fork instead). Finally they see if a slipper fits her foot. When it fits (because it's from her own closet), Angelica declares that she has passed and expects the King to pick her up any day.
    • The DTV "Tales From The Crib" plays this straight, featuring two episodes based around fairy tales - one on Snow White and the other on Jack and the Beanstalk.
    • The second season of the 2021 series has a four-episode story arc where Susie tells the babies stories to help pass the time while their parents paint the mural at Angelica's preschool:
      • "The Climb" has Susie tell the babies the story of Jackie and the Beanstalk, with her in the role of Jackie, Angelica in the role of the Bean Dealer, the babies in the roles of the Giants, and Dil in the role of the Golden Goose.
      • In "Wolf at the Door", Susie tells the babies the story of The Three Little Pigs, with Phil, Lil, and Tommy in the roles of the title characters, Angelica in the role of The Big Bad Wolf, and Chuckie in the role of a skunk who makes the best cookies in the world. The pigs' three houses are made of flowers, mud, and Click N' Pops. All three houses get knocked down and Angelica succeeds in getting Chuckie's cookie recipe, but she only ends up making cookies that are hard as bricks. She and Chuckie form an alliance and start a successful brick-making business.
      • "Chuckie Little" is a Chicken Little-esque story with Chuckie in the role of the title character, who believes the Sky to be falling after an acorn hits him on the head, and various characters trying to sell falling sky-proof products.
      • In "What's Your Wish?", Angelica takes on the role of "Cinderangelica", and tries to make herself look more sympathetic then she actually is. Her stepsiblings are actually very nice to her, and she purposely turned down her invitation to the ball so the Fairy Godmother would grant her wishes. Angelica also purposely runs away from Begley, who takes on the role of the prince, and ends up putting the glass sneaker she left behind on Tommy.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had an episode where Rocko and Heffer attempt to tell Filburt the story of Hansel and Debbie, in which they get captured by a witch and then a giant, have their genders switched around, and then the witch feeds Cinderheffer a mint that turns him into a wooden puppet. Don't worry, Rocko revives him/her by putting the witch's shoes on him.
  • This was pretty much the point of the British television series Wolves, Witches and Giants.
  • Daria provides some In-Universe examples:
    • Daria and Jane tell these to a pair of kids they're babysitting. For example, in their version Cinderella has the Fairy Godmother make her the first female president, while the Prince realizes that the monarchy is obsolete and opens a video store.
      Jane: And the dish ran away with the spoon, but Hawaii was the only state that would recognize the union as legal.
    • In one episode Daria's family is camping and telling scary stories, and Daria picks "Hansel and Gretel," delivering it in her usual monotone:
      Daria: So the witch tore Hansel's arm off, popped it in her mouth, said, "Hey, pretty good," and within minutes had devoured the rest of his body, leaving only the lower intestine for fear of bacteria. Gretel she decided she wanted to hold onto for a while, so she crammed her into the freezer the best she could.
    • Quinn also took this route, with Faux Horrific results:
      Quinn: So Cinderella said, "I can't go to the ball in these rags." And her Fairy Godmother waved her wand and behold, she was wearing a gown of silver and gold. Big, clunky silver and gold sequins, like you wouldn't wear to one of those 70s nostalgia proms, much less a formal party at a palace! And when she went to check out herself in the mirror, the one that usually made her look thin? Instead, she looked bloated!
      Helen: Quinn, honey, is this really a scary story?
      Quinn: Wait! I haven't gotten to the shoes yet!
  • Muppet Babies (1984) examples include "Slipping Beauty", "Snow White and the Seven Muppets", "Pigerella" and "By the Book."
  • Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain:
    • A pre-Elmyra episode of Pinky and the Brain called "Brainy the Pooh" riffed on Winnie The Pooh, casting Brain as Pooh, Pinky as Piglet and Christopher Walken as Christopher Robin.
    • One episode has Brain, against his will, telling Elmyra the "real" story of Cinderella, in which the actual protagonist is an intelligent mouse (played by Brain and named Cranky Mouseykin by Elmyra) who invents leather shoes for the people in the kingdom of Fairyland and has "Cinderelmyra" wear them to the prince's birthday party.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Once, there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died. The End.
  • The series finale of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, "Sonically Ever After", involves Robotnik turning expies of some more famous Grimm's Fairy Tales into this trope. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Two episodes of Tales From The Cryptkeeper had handsome but self-absorbed Heroic Wannabe Chuck and his nerdy sidekick/fraternal twin brother Melvin getting caught in a fractured fairy-tale, "The Sleeping Beauty" (where what they think is a typical Girl in the Tower is actually a vampire trying to make them her prey) and "Chuck (and Melvin) and the Beanstalker".
  • The whole point of Once Upon a Time (1995) is retelling classic fairytales with varying degrees of twistedness:
    • In the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the story is set in Africa, with humanoid mice as Africans and a hyena in place of the wolf. Also, Red Riding Hood is a Literal Man Eater from a Cannibal Tribe who seduces hyenas to lure them to her grandmother's hut, where instead of them trapping her, she traps them so she can eat them and steal their goods.
    • In the Donkeyskin episode, it's implied that Donkeyskin isn't a princess forced into poverty, but a genuine peasant girl who is pretending to be a fallen princess so that she can secure a rich husband with the aid of her fairy godmother.
    • The Three Little Pigs are the antagonists of the episode, bullying a poor wolf by forcibly evicting him from various squats until he realizes they are pigs and he is a wolf, so he tries to eat them.
    • The Goldilocks episode has her moving in with the bears and helping them to become extremely wealthy as a rap group.
    • The episode retelling Jack and the Beanstalk, depicted Jack as a poor boy in a grimy miner's town and replaced the giant with a millionaire who owned assorted magical money sources. It went for a very Hard Truth Aesop by having Jack's efforts to bring money to his poor widowed mother be foiled by her honesty, up until the millionaire offers her a check so that Jack will stop knicking stuff (he didn't care that the boy pinched a few things, but bringing them back all the time is ruining his reputation)... and then ending with Jack watching in disdain as his mother weeps in the kitchen because they've used up the check money and are now as poor as ever. Cue the narrator declaring that being honest does not keep you from starving to death and principles are a poor substitute for money.
  • Dexter's Laboratory has "DeeDee-Locks and the Ness Monster"; Dexter's mom convinces (read: forces) him to read DeeDee a story because she's sick, which leads to Dexter reading her from a complicated science textbook. Bored to sleep, DeeDee takes over and makes up her own story, taking a bit of everything from old fairy tales with her own twists; such as three pigs made of Straw, Sticks, and Bricks, a Big Bad Wolf with the stature of Napoleon, and a three-headed bag-pipe monster named the Ness Monster (each head with its own personality and Punny Name: Silly Ness, Grumpy Ness, and Sleepy Ness). Dexter interrupts halfway and lampshades the lack of story structure, but was ignored.
    Dexter: STOP! This is ridiculous, I don't even know what's going on! There's no kind of structure, no plot...
  • Blazing Dragons has several examples of fairy tales being fractured. One example of this is the depiction of Sleeping Beauty as The Thing That Would Not Leave, being a loudmouth, eating the inhabitants of Camelhot out of house and home, etc. This goes to the point that several of them want Beauty to go back to sleep, and try methods ranging from hypnotism to dancing. Beauty eventually goes back to sleep with help from one of Flicker's inventions. The series itself can be considered this to Arthurian Legend.
  • Ever After High is a school for fairy tale characters who add their own odd quirks to the stories, but some of them are rebelling against the system. Raven, who is supposed to become the evil queen like her mother from "Snow White", doesn't want to be evil, and spends an episode looking for another character to take her place.
  • Magic Adventures of Mumfie's "Scarecrowella" episode was this. Brought about as a dream after Scarecrow read the story and drank 3 cups of hot chocolate, the characters are going to The Queen of Night's Royal Ball, but Scarecrow doesn't want to go after Mumfie says he must believe in fairytales. Then, strange things start to happen.
  • Samurai Jack: The episode "Aku's Fairy Tales" stars the main villain Aku, appropriately enough, who has realized that the people of his empire aren't extremely fond of their evil conqueror, and decides to endear himself to the local children by telling fairy tales. He tells stories like Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks, except they all star Aku as the hero and Jack as the villain. The kids have an understandably hard time believing that their hero, Jack, could be as cartoonishly evil as Aku paints him.
  • One episode of Uncle Grandpa provides its own take on "Jack and the Beanstalk". Uncle Grandpa is Jack, Mr. Gus is the Giant, and Pizza Steve is the Golden Goose. Oh yeah, and the Giant Realistic Flying Tiger is a princess. Surprisingly, the plot of the original tale is kept for the most part.
  • The Yogi's Treasure Hunt episode "Snow White and the 7 Treasure Hunters" definitely qualifies.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the episode "Let's Play Once Upon a Time", Kaeloo tries narrating the story of Little Red Riding Hood to the others as a bedtime story. Eventually, Stumpy takes over the narration and turns it into a bizarre story featuring aliens, superheroes and teleporters.
    • Episode 122, designed to be a sequel to that episode, has Kaeloo try to narrate more bedtime stories, but Mr. Cat keeps making them more realistic, for example by having Cinderella call the police and report the stepmother for abuse.
  • The entire concept behind Alf Tales an animated series based on the fairy tales re-imagined by ALF.
  • On Goldie & Bear, the main characters, who have made up following the chair-breaking incident from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, adventure in "Fairytale Forest," a hodgepodge featuring a lot of major traditional fairy tale characters. However, The Big Bad Wolf is an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who mainly just has a big appetite, The Three Little Pigs are given names and work together as builders, and the Giant at the top of the beanstalk is friendly. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Three Little Piglets" (which provides the page image) has Pooh try to narrate the story of the Three Little Piglets (i.e. pigs), only for the story to keep on going Off the Rails due to Pooh's tendency to constantly think of honey and Tigger's tendency to butt in and make changes to the story like turning the Big Bad Wolf into the Big Bad Bunny and conjuring up the house of cards that can be seen in the above page image. And then somehow Rabbit ends up doused in honey at the end of it.
  • Garfield and Friends had various segments centered around the characters telling fairy tales, mostly in the U.S. Acres segments; often, these fairy tales end up messed up somehow.
    • "Hansel and Garfield" sees Garfield tell Nermal the story of Hansel and Gretel. He's forced to make it Lighter and Softer at Nermal's request; instead of getting shoved in the oven, the witch has her house foreclosed on because it's made of gingerbread, and even then she gets a happy ending afterwards.
    • "The Ugly Duckling" has Booker and Sheldon make up their own version of the titular story, in which the titular character (played by Wade) tries to have a wizard fix his ugly face.
    • "Bedtime Story Blues" has Orson attempt to tell the story of Cinderella to Booker and Sheldon, who make numerous changes to it. These include making Cinderella and her stepsisters boys (and the latter ninjas), having Cinderella work at a pet store, making the king's messenger a rap master, making the fairy godmother the richest guy in the world, and having the characters get attacked by dinosaurs. Orson eventually becomes so annoyed with the twins' changes that he reads the story the right way very fast.
    • In "Hare Force", Orson tells Booker and Sheldon the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. They find it boring and decide they can tell a more interesting version of it, so they reimagine it as a science fiction epic where the turtle is a space hero and the hare is an intergalactic villain.
    • In "The Name Game", Orson tries to read Rumpelstiltskin to Booker and Sheldon. The twins keep asking Orson to change the characters into things like ninjas or monsters, but Orson puts a stop to that for the most part. Then Wade (who played the miller's daughter) butts in and has the daughter be changed to a son, and as a result, the price to be paid becomes the son's VCR. Things devolve into a Summon Bigger Fish duel when the miller's son is about to say Rumpelstiltskin's name because Roy (a Super Hero-style Rumpelstiltskin) tried to alter the ending in his character's favor, much to the protests of both Wade and Orson.
    • The two-parter "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs" sees the U.S. Acres cast try to re-enact the story of Snow White, again with Wade in the title role. Instead of seven dwarfs, there are seventy-seven, each with an adjective for a name (leading to a Who's on First?-style running gag); additionally, the story ends up going Off the Rails when Roy (playing the prince) initially refuses to kiss Wade to wake him from his enchanted slumber.
  • The episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy aptly titled "Nursery Crimes" is about the kids telling messed up versions of the fairy tales because Billy's too hyperactive to let them sleep. Mandy starts off with a telling of Humpty Dumpty that morbidly says his remains splattered the entire kingdom, keeping them fed on eggs forever. Then Billy tells a completely made up story about a fat wizard that's as bizarre as he is. Grim concludes the episode with a magic fairy tale book that sucks them into a telling of Hansel and Gretel that he warns them to stick to. Billy being Billy wanders off and meets Pinocchio, whose obsessed with becoming a real boy per usual, but with the twist that he can become one by cooking and eating the flesh of a real boy, which he tries to do with Billy. The episode ends with them both still stuck in the book because Grim fell asleep reading.
  • Touché Turtle and Dum Dum:
    • "Red Riding Hoodlum" finds Touché and Dum Dum pressed into service to help out Little Red Riding Hood.
    • The poem "The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe" and the story Jack and the Beanstalk get mashed up together in the episode "The Shoe Must Go On."
  • Terry Toon's 1939 short The Three Bears turns the bears into an Italian family and Goldilocks into a jazz-loving scamp, but neither group is portrayed as actively malicious, and Goldilocks even happily stays with the bears for a while. The real antagonist of the short is an Egomaniac Hunter whom Goldilocks helps the bears outwit, and even lampshades what an atypical retelling of the story this is by saying "Well, I guess this ain't in the book!" when he corners the bears.
  • The premise of the Tales from the Goose Lady shorts on Oh Yeah! Cartoons is that an anthropomorphic female goose and her talking magic wand Juanito continuously pester two children named Dot and Randy by forcing them to listen to bizarre versions of famous fairy tales, with some examples being a version of Hansel and Gretel where the witch is the innocent victim of her gingerbread house being repeatedly devoured by two fat and greedy children who pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to get a woodsman with feminine mannerisms to cut her in two with his ax (requiring her to sew herself back together each time), a take-off of The Ugly Duckling where the titular character takes advantage of his ugliness breaking stuff to save lives before eventually getting plastic surgery to look handsome after an accident, a retelling of The Three Little Pigs that reimagines the porcine trio as a jazz band and the Big Bad Wolf as their crooked agent and a send-up of Humpty Dumpty where he aspires to become King of Fairy Tale Land, but has his reign end when his subjects are so fed up with his laziness that they throw vegetables at him and knock him off his wall when he takes a tomato to the crotch.


Video Example(s):


Scarlet's Bedtime Story

Scarlet tells a bedtime story to the Minions similar to that of the Three Little Pigs, but is rewritten to tell them about her villainous plan.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / FracturedFairyTale

Media sources: