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Storybook Episode

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Camelot is about to get radical.

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl with an adorable red cape... and GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!"
Aku, Samurai Jack

A branch off the Formula-Breaking Episode tree, in which in the characters are cast into a "storybook land" in which there are chivalrous knights, beautiful maidens and, of course, dragons.

Such archetypes will be applied to each of the lead characters, their current situations and relationships in order to draw on familiar archetypes, but also to suggest a Happily Ever After Ending.

Note that these "Storybook" settings are incredibly generic. They are not adaptations of any previous material, just The Theme Park Version of fables and chivalry. If it is a straight adaptation of a specific fairy tale, then it falls under Fairy Tale Episode. If it is a parody or subverted version of a popular story, it's a Fractured Fairy Tale.

May or may not be a dream, as one character is often narrating. See also Trapped in TV Land and RPG Episode.


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    Comic Books 
  • The New Mutants graphic novels "Rahne of Terra" and "Knight of Terra" feature a fantasy alternate universe in which Rahne is a princess and the other characters are knights and mages.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: "Bedcrime Story" (issue #17) had the girls interpreting the story of Little Red Riding Hood in their own individual perspectives.
  • In the Elseworld Story Superman: Kal, Kal-El arrives on Earth in the Middle Ages, and he defends the lady Loisse from the villainous Baron Luthor.
  • Vampirella: Feary Tales is a five-issue miniseries in which the titular protagonist is sucked into a book of fairy tales.
    • Issue #1 has her facing Bluebeard and then escaping the captivity of her Wicked Stepmother and Ugly Stepsisters.
    • Issue #2 places Vampirella in the role of Snow White and then later on has her rescue the Little Mermaid from the abusive Sailor Jim.
    • Issue #3 has her against the The Three (were)Bears, then escapes the Nutcracker and finally in the role of Little Red Riding Hood.
    • Issue #4 has Vampirella acting out the tale of The Emperor's New Clothes in which the con artist tailors are asura and the villagers are BDSM vampires. She then goes on to battle evil, monstrous versions of Hansel and Gretel who were cursed by the food the witch gave them.
    • Issue #5 has Vampirella in a grittier version of the Princess and the Frog in which the Frog Prince is actually a serial killer. Then she goes on to the Sleeping Beauty tale where Sleeping Beauty is actually her evil twin sister Draculina who had been imprisoned in the book by Lilith.
  • In Uncanny X-Men #153, "Kitty's Fairy-Tale", Kitty tells Illyana a bedtime story in which the X-Men are fantasy characters. The concept was re-used in the '90s cartoon with Jubilee.


    Light Novel 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Cosby Show had an episode where it was Rudy's fairy tale story, with all the actors as characters (in costumes that looked as if they were drawn with crayon).
  • Fringe: Excellently done in "Brown Betty" where Walter tells young Ella a story. Instead of a generic fantasy tale, he casts her aunt Olivia as the heroine of a film noir mystery full of Schizo Tech, in which characters (and corpses) break out in song.
  • The game show The Hollywood Squares did a week as The Storybook Squares with the celebrities as storybook characters.
  • Jessie has "The Princess and the Pea Brain", in which the peasant Tony and the dashing "Prince Smarming" (a counterpart to Guy of the Week Brody) compete for the hand of the fair princess Jessie. The entire story is told by Zuri as a way to get Jessie to go out with Tony instead of Brody — and it worked, especially after Brody proved himself to be as charmless as his fairy tale counterpart.
  • MacGyver (1985): "Good Knight MacGyver" transports Mac back to the court of King Arthur.
  • Married... with Children did a "pirates" episode, complete with David Garrison making a return as the bad guy.
  • In one episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Kimberly, Tommy, and Rocky find themselves trapped in an in-universe children’s book called Grumble the Magic Elf while volunteering at a book fair.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Backyardigans: "Knights are Brave and Strong", "A Giant Problem", "Tale of the Mighty Knights" and "Escape from Fairy Tale Village".
  • Clémentine sorta uses the concept in its first part, with Hemera sending Clementine to different worlds that are based in either tales (Pinocchio, the legend of Momotarou, Hansel and Gretel) or fictionalized biographies of real-life people (Leonardo Da Vinci, Akenathon, Saint Kateri Tethawicka, etc.) so she can banish the Big Bad Malmoth from there.
  • There's a fantasy Fairy Tale-ish land in the Ghost Zone of Danny Phantom, complete with knights (what Danny is anyways), princesses, and dragons—not to mention a Damsel in Distress plot (though subverted). The only problem is that it isn't happy, thanks to a certain Evil Prince.
  • The Magnificent Muttley installment "What's New, Old Bean?" has Muttley as Jack from "Jack And The Beanstalk" and Dick Dastardly as the giant ("Fee, fi, fo, fooch...I smell the blood of a mangy pooch!")
  • Dexter's Laboratory, "Dee Dee Locks and the Ness Monster": Dexter tries to read his sick sister a story, but she quickly gets bored when he's just reading from a science textbook. Dee Dee takes it and reads it for herself, making up a crazy story combining all sorts of fairy tale elements (such as a three-headed bagpipe creature called the Ness Monster; three pigs made entirely of straw, sticks, and bricks; and a not-so-Big Bad Wolf who's small in stature but big in ego).
  • The third act of Futurama: Bender's Game sees our heroes pulled into a weird fantasy Alternate Universe based on Bender's sudden obsession with Dungeons and Dragons.
  • The Garfield Show had "Furry Tales", in which a "handsome cat" (Garfield) had to help Prince Jon find a wife, lest he lose his royal title to Viceroy Whipple, who plans on putting taxes on numerous things (including lasagna consumption). Along the way, he has to fight off a dragon and a witch (the latter being in the Viceroy's employ).
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: "Nursery Crimes". When Billy is unable to fall asleep and won't leave Mandy alone because of it, Grim decides to tell them "Hansel and Gretel", except they have to be the kids in the story. Then they get side-tracked and Billy meets Pinocchio, who believes that if he eats Billy he will become a real boy!
  • Martha Speaks had an episode called "Martha Spins a Tale", where Martha the dog tells a story where she's Goldilocks, Helen is Little Red Riding Hood, Daniel, Mariella and Jake are the Three Bears, T.D. is Robin Hood, Mrs. Demson is the Queen of Hearts, Alice is Sleeping Beauty's cousin, Pablum and Otis are ogres and Nelson breathes fire.
  • Krypto the Superdog: In "Storybook Holiday", Krypto and Kevin are transported inside a magical storybook and meet characters resembling Kevin's visiting relatives.
  • Even though Peter Pan & the Pirates is already a fairy tale story, one episode is a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland with Tinkerbell's magic turning all characters into Wonderland's denizens.