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Narm / Once Upon a Time

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  • Every time the Dark Curse is used it will always occur in the middle of a scene where the characters are having a long conversation. The curse only starts to work after everyone has finished speaking even though they are ALWAYS standing right next to it.
  • The Blind Witch, who is very much like the Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth, should be absolutely terrifying. Except that she's played by Anya and talks as if she's always orgasming.
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  • Prince Charming on Abigail and Frederick: "Have you tried true love's kiss?" Sure, that's a well-known cure for curses in the Enchanted Forest, but it sounds like he's recommending chicken soup for a cold or something.
  • The Boob... er, Blue Fairy, along with a bunch of other fairies, making a bombing run with all the vigor and seriousness of an army. In their usual slippers and puffy glittery dresses. The 'bombs' are fairy dust that put the targets to sleep. Made possibly more Narm-y since it's shown alongside people fighting with swords and other weapons hacking each other to death.
  • Really, any scene with the Blue Fairy is damaged due to her actress waving her arms at her sides, in the same way that a child may pretend to be a fairy, as well as her infamously silly-looking costume.
  • The ending of "An Apple Red As Blood". All things considered, a magical apple turnover just lacks a certain amount of dramatic gravitas.
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  • August after being turned to wood; it's supposed to be an emotional moment, but it just ends up hilarious thanks to the dodgy CGI.
  • When Mulan begins to chop down the beanstalk, Mary Margaret's cry of "Nooooooooooooo!" can leave you laughing on the floor.
    • Ginnifer Goodwin has a lot of moments like this, where emotional yelling ends up just sounding absurdly hammy.
  • Greg and Tamara, in private, talking about "the package", asking if it's been "delivered", and if it's "secure". You're completely alone, people! Just freaking say you have Hook tied up and gagged in the back of a truck! All that "package" talk becomes extra narmy. The writers could have at least tried to have one of these two lampshade how ridiculous it is to talk in code at all times.
  • Tamara's magic taser (able to electrocute wood!) has quickly become a joke among fans. The showrunners themselves have now said they wish they hadn't done it. The same goes for their Bracelet of Science that can block Regina's magic. Really, show? Really?
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  • Tamara's cheesy dialogue. "Magic does not belong in this world. It's unholy. We're here to cleanse this land of it!" Note that Tamara had never mentioned anything about "holiness" or a lack thereof at any point prior to this scene.
  • Greg in general has moments of this by just the way he looks and talks. Mention must go to him stammering "She was the-the-da queen! The-the evil queen!" in response to Tamara asking which fairy tale character Regina was, making comebacks like "No, you don't know who YOU are dealing with!", him wildly digging for his father's remains while saying "no no no no no no!", and the expression he makes right before the shadow comes down and kills him.
    • "THAT'S SCARY, AIN'T IT?!?!?!"
  • Baelfire's sudden shock and panic upon seeing Neverland. Where, exactly, did he think Peter Pan's shadow was going to take him?
  • The moment poor Tinkerbell is stripped of her wings, turning her from a cheerful, kind person who tries to help everyone to a bitter cynic, is somewhat ruined by her shiny green underwear being exposed as she faceplants into the ground.
  • Killian Jones' hammy Rousing Speech to his crew when he first becomes a pirate (complete with throwing off his coat) was the source of much amusement for many viewers.
  • The last two acts of "Going Home" are quite dramatic and moving. Shame the effect is kind of ruined with the rampant, unapologetic use of Talking Is a Free Action, as it seems our heroes have all the time in the world to talk through all their remaining issues even as the curse bears down on them.
    • On the subject of "Going Home", it can now be pretty hard to take the ending seriously, with such a huge deal being made about how everything is changing and can never be the same again, when most of it is reset in the span of just one more episode, and anything that still isn't ends up being so by the end of the season.
  • Red's actress couldn't return for the scene where everyone arrives back in the Enchanted Forest due to other commitments, so the writers apparently felt the best solution was to awkwardly photoshop her into the scene of the main cast's arrival. It's especially amusing since they could have just said she was with one of the other groups showing up.
  • People regularly use the Curse Names rather than their actual names after the first Curse is broken. Sometimes this can make sense; anyone calling Grumpy 'Leroy' can be handwaved by the fact 'Grumpy' is a rather iffy name, while David is both Charming's curse name and his real name, so it works either way. But anytime anyone uses 'Mary Margaret' instead of Snow White just runs straight into this trope. It's made worse by the fact that Charming is the one who uses it the most despite the fact that he knew her FAR longer as Snow White (while others might have the excuse of knowing her for nearly 30 years under the curse, Charming was in a coma until a few months ago, but knew her for years prior), and the fact that when he does use 'Snow White', he often shortens it to just 'Snow', while any time anyone uses her Curse name it's always given in full, despite 'Mary Margaret' being a much bigger mouthful, something even she lampshades when encouraging Emma to call her 'Mom'. It doesn't help that 'Mary Margaret' is borderline Unfortunate Names given how wallflowerish it is.
  • After so many neat twists on fairy tale and Disney canon, it's a bit silly to see Grand Pabbie from Frozen taken straight from the film. As in, it literally looks like the CGI model from the film was put directly into the live action footage. It's incredibly jarring and clashes horrendously with the live actors in the scene.
    • Really, any non-major Frozen character that the writers included. The painstaking detail they put into recreating Oaken the shopkeeper and the Duke of Weselton resulted in a very cartoonish look that is bizarrely different from the show's usual tone. Helga's death was one of the most dramatic moments of the season, but when you remember that it was instigated by the funny-looking Duke with the Dodgy Toupee... well, it gets a little bit harder to take it seriously.
  • Hook attempting to dig Emma out of the ice with his hook. Yeah, he's desperate, but really now. Even David has to stop him and point out that it's useless.
  • While for some it may be seen as Narm Charm, the constant ice jokes in season 4 have reached Mr. Freeze levels of ridiculousness.
  • Rumplestiltskin has managed to get hold of the Sorceror's Hat; when he threatens the Snow Queen in "Family Business", the menacing effect is ruined by the fact that he's holding the rather childish and cartoon-like hat.
  • The scene of the Snow Queen first discovering her powers, with three not-so-great child actresses saddled with Ed Wood levels of tin-eared dialogue.
  • The scene at the end of "Fall" where the Spell of Shattered Sight hits Storybrook was a little over the top, if only because of how long the scene played out for, and especially since the effects of the spell itself ends up largely Played for Laughs in the next episode.
    • And during that aforementioned incident, we have an incredibly suspenseful, action packed sequence involving Hook attempting to kidnap Henry while under Rumple's control. Unfortunately for our favorite guyliner-toting swashbuckler, Henry is all too prepared for someone to betray him. After a series of childish taunts and comebacks, Hook is at his wit's end and breaks in with a magic potion - only to fall victim to a simplistic trap that makes Kevin McCallister's handiwork look like a Nobel prize-winning exercise in engineering. What really pushes it into Narm territory is the way Hook flies in the air and lands on his ass in the most unrealistic and un-badass way possible, followed immediately by a shot of his ridiculously over the top grimace while Henry dashes out. And once Will enters the picture - well, you've got one of the Narmiest moments in a series defined by Narm Charm!
  • With the reveal that there are multiple copies of the "Once Upon a Time" book, Regina's search for the author bears quite a distracting resemblance to the Myth Arc of Gravity Falls.
  • After Cruella and Maleficent show off some impressive abilities to help Rumple get the Dark Curse, Ursula's contribution is simply to pick it up with one of her tentacles, with no explanation of why or even if this was necessary.
  • The If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten tests Regina is put through by the Queens of Darkness. First is taking a shot of booze, like we've wandered into an after-school special. Then there's a game of chicken where they park in front of a train and see who'll be the first to break and magically save them all, apparently never considering that a true villain would just save themselves.
  • In Poor Unfortunate Soul, Rumple tortures August into giving him and the Evil Queens information. How does he do this? By holding August in front of a fire, so that if he lies and his nose grows, his nose will be burnt off.
  • In the same episode, Ursula asks Hook if her happy ending is in his ship - as if it's a physical thing.
  • In "Best Laid Plans", we see how Cruella and Ursula get to our world by standing there yelling at Snow and Charming until they accidentally get sucked into the portal along with Maleficent's baby.
  • Season 4B's talk of heroes and villains as though they were fixed, immutable concepts can come off as slightly ridiculous, given previous arcs' love of tragic anti-villains.
  • The season 4 finale has Henry being chained up about to be fed to an ogre. Jared Gilmore calls for help as "desperately" as he can.
  • Some villains fail at looking appropriately menacing. For example:
    • Peter Pan's shadow looks like a naked Jawa.
    • Malcolm looks like Russell Crowe with flapper hair.
    • Zelena looks like The Mask.
    • In her first appearance, Maleficent's blond curls and excessive frills give her a look that reads, "Miss Piggy". She did get better in later appearances, though.
    • The Wizard of Oz's supernatural facade is represented as a little silhouetto of a man.
    • Hades looks like Kevin Bacon if he ate a sparkplug.
  • Emma's hair once she fully embraces the Darkness; it looks like it's been sprayed white with hair spray.
  • After Merida kidnaps Belle, not a single one of the heroes seems to give a damn about her disappearance and just go on their merry way fighting Arthur without so much as a single line acknowledging it. It gets even funnier when you remember this isn't even the first time this has happened to Emilie de Raven.
  • In the Season 5 Winter finale there's a shot of Emma hearing Henry screaming for help from outside. Next shot is her running outside and Henry is standing there completely expressionless. Mood Whiplash much?
  • Season 5 features some rather excessive flowery dialogue from all the characters. How about Hook's father talking about "while I slumbered"?
  • Rebecca Mader is usually good when she's throwing sarcastic barbs at everyone else. However in Season 5 when she has to show genuine emotion and make us feel sorry for Zelena? It results in Narm. This one, at least, improves over time, with her being on par with the rest of the cast by the end of the season.
  • Hades' blue CGI flaming hair shows that the producers didn't learn their lesson at all from the above-mentioned Frozen arc; namely how something that looks fine in a cartoon doesn't necessarily translate well to live action. Not helping is the fact that the first time it happens, it appears to have absolutely no in-universe reason, existing entirely to confirm for the audience who he is.
  • Oh god, the scene of Hyde/Jekyll splitting might be Nightmare Fuel for some, but the ridiculous expressions they make during transformations! And the weird gestures with their bodies. Both men look like exaggerations of hysterical women giving birth than a human being literally ripped in two. They make Bruce Banner's transformation into a green giant look more realistic. This transformation also occurs twice, and it is so obvious that they just reused the footage; and as if to make it even worse, Lana Parrilla has her own version which is much better.
  • The reveal that Violet's father is the title character of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It starts pretty well with a subtle hint that you're free to either pick up on or not, then the very next line spells out the whole book title to a very Don't Explain the Joke effect. Though to be fair, many in the audience might not have been aware of the book which might have led to them wondering why this convoluted explanation for the two staying in Storybrooke was used.
  • The resolution of the Season 5b finale revolves around Henry giving a speech to get the residents of New York to wish for a portal... by having them throw pennies in a wishing well. It immediately drew comparisons to the climax of Elf and was quickly called out for being ridiculously unrealistic, even by OUAT standards. It hovers somewhere between this and Narm Charm.
  • Zelena carrying her "baby" at the end of the Season 6 premiere is up there with the infamous American Sniper doll.
  • The entire obsession with all Saviors being destined to die in Season 6. The way everyone talks about it, it's like they have no idea that everyone dies, and think people are like Tolkien elves, immortal unless they're killed.
  • There are also numerous jokes about Hook not getting modern pop culture gags. Some of them work, while others are incredibly forced - especially if they come during a dramatic moment. The worst one is a Star Wars reference while Henry and Hook are trapped in the Nautilus.
  • Emma's shaking hand during her visions in Season 6 is way over the top, often being quite reminiscent of the "But I shoot with this hand" bit from Blazing Saddles.
  • There are a couple of times in Season 6 when the Blue Fairy grows up to human size in the flashbacks. This means that all the problems with her dress become magnified. She looks even worse than usual next to her evil counterpart, Fiona the Black Fairy, who many agree has a much more stylish dress sense than all the other fairies combined.

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