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Recap / Tangled: The Series "Before Ever After"

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I'm just going to go ahead and say your hair magically grew back, I'm not gonna ask how, obviously you don't want to tell me or else you wouldn't have tried to hide it from me so I won't ask how it grew back but tell me please how did it grow back!?
Eugene, to Rapunzel

Rapunzel grapples with the responsibilities of being a princess and the overprotective ways of her father. While she wholeheartedly loves Eugene, Rapunzel does not share his immediate desire to get married and settle down within the castle walls. Determined to live life on her own terms, she and her tough-as-nails Lady-in-Waiting Cassandra embark on a secret adventure where they encounter mystical rocks that magically cause Rapunzel’s long blonde hair to grow back. Impossible to break and difficult to hide, Rapunzel must learn to embrace her hair and all that it represents.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Once Rapunzel touched the spikes, they started chasing her and Cassandra relentlessly.
  • Agony of the Feet: The very first time Rapunzel ever wears shoes in her entire life, and they're high heels. Ouch.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Rapunzel and Eugine twice; they are interrupted by Cassandra each time. They finally get to kiss in the end.
  • Bait-and-Switch: It looked like Lady Caine wanted to target Rapunzel, but her sight was the King that locked away her father.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lady Caine is defeated and Eugene agrees to wait until Rapunzel is ready to tie the knot, but the King forbids her from leaving the kingdom without his permission. Arianna seems to promise, however, that she'll work on the King and Rapunzel strengthens her resolve to find out the secret to why the magic in her hair returned.
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  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Duchess of Quintonia is one of the guests Rapunzel has to greet at the beginning, and leaves after making a snide remark. She returns in the narrative much later, because she's the infamous Lady Caine in disguise, who was spoken of a lot, but never seen until this moment.
  • Diegetic Switch: "Life After Happily Ever After" starts out in the internal thoughts of Rapunzel before switching to herself, Eugene and Fredrick actually singing onscreen. Ditto for "Wind In My Hair" and its reprise.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Ever since Rapunzel disappeared, the King cracked down on all vice and crime in the kingdom, even petty crooks. This was a tad overkill, and became Lady Caine's motivation.
  • Distant Duet: The last verse of "Life After Happily Ever After" becomes this.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: While in the original movie it was more of a peculiarity about Rapunzel going barefoot, this pilot pokes fun at it by showing how someone mocks her for not wearing shoes while being royal, her wiggling her toes on the ground because they are free, and Rapunzel has apparently never worn shoes before period when it turns out she has no ability to walk in anything besides her bare feet.
  • Dramatic Irony: Fredric decides, at the end, that Rapunzel is no longer allowed to leave the kingdom without his consent, putting her in a similar situation to when she lived back at Mother Gothel's tower. Once again, Rapunzel knows she isn't going to quit.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Cassandra using her fighting skills and revealing herself to be a secret warrior was seen as an absolute last resort, as this double life of hers is a threat to her position as a lady-in-waiting.
  • Gratuitous French: The inside cover to the journal Rapunzel gets from Arianna has an inscription reading "Plus est en vous", which is French for "There is more in you".
  • Hair Flip: Rapunzel does one after taking off her wig revealing her newly grown long hair prior to stopping Lady Caine and her goons.
  • Hair Reboot: Quite literally rebooted, too. Rapunzel's magical hair is restored by a blast of magic much like a jump-start. This soon becomes a problem for her because the cutting away of this hair was a symbolic growth of her choosing her freedom and individuality and she ends up regressed back to a state of captivity. Rapunzel’s goal for the series is to find out why this has happened.
  • HandWave: At the end of the movie, Rapunzel lost her golden signature hair and de-powered to her natural brunette state after it was cut. Here, she receives a plot-contrived magical jolt that inflicts a Hair Reboot, explaining why she has the gold hair for the series.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Rapunzel hits a bunch of these during "Wind In My Hair".
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The gang of criminals went about committing any sort of crimes, then suspiciously surrendered themselves to the guards without even putting up a fight. It was all part of Lady Caine's plan to invade the castle from the inside.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: When Rapunzel discards all her cumbersome royal getup to enter the fray in a tense situation, she immediately kicks off the high heels she had on, which is very justified because she could not walk in them at all.
  • Mood Killer:
    • Cassandra purposely ruins the moment between Rapunzel and Eugene in the boat.
    • Again when Eugene has another moment with Rapunzel after her hair is restored. While Pascal and Maximus are moved by the scene, Cassandra frowns in disgust.
    • Averted with Pascal when he sees that Rapunzel's hair is back; Eugene is shocked - Pascal just stares with a look of utter glee at the sight of it, having realised that something has happened, but there's nothing he can do about it and everything is all familiar again.
  • Motor Mouth: Eugene after seeing Rapunzel's hair restored to its super long blonde locks again. He hurriedly tries to come to terms with the event, how it happened, why it happened, and trying to assure this changes nothing between them. Kudos to Zachary Levi for saying the entirety of the following spiel without stopping for a breath at any point.
    Eugene: Hoooo.... hoooo mama! Ha! Okay! Okay... this is new, I mean, no, not new, right? 'Cuz we've seen this, obviously, that whole magic thing is involved again. It was magic, right? Actually, you know what, you don't need to tell me. I'm just going to go ahead and say you hair magically grew back, I'm not gonna ask how, obviously you don't want to tell me or else you wouldn't have tried to hide it from me so I won't ask how it grew back but tell me please how did it grow back? Don't answer that. The important thing is you're okay. You are okay, right? Because as long as you're okay, I don't care what happened, I mean I care, obviously I care but I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation - WHERE IS THE WAR!? - that you'll share when you're ready!
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Most of the trailers play up the parts where Rapunzel's hair grows back; while this does indeed happen, it doesn't occur until the second half of the movie.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rapunzel has a rather huge one when she realizes her hair has magically grown back.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Plays while Rapunzel and Cassandra are running from the rocks when they suddenly sprout up behind them and when Rapunzel’s hair magically grows back.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Rapunzel gives Eugene a frying pan which he uses a shield against one very large thug's sword. When two more thugs show up to surround him, he throws it Captain America style, somehow bouncing it off their heads to knock all three thugs out.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • While Rapunzel is a Magnetic Hero and overall nice person, she has never had proper social interactions with anyone other than Pascal and Mother Gothel for eighteen years, and six months after that, she's only interacted with her parents and Eugene. So, when she meets visiting aristocrats she does some mildly inappropriate things.
    • The king and queen try to give Rapunzel constant princess lessons to make up for eighteen years of lost time. It's not enough to make her Silk Hiding Steel.
    • As many a statistics expert can say, cracking down on parents that commit petty crimes won't endear people to the authorities nor offer much familial stability.
    • Having spent eighteen years not knowing where his daughter was or if she was even alive can do a number on someone's psyche. King Frederic's over-protectiveness may be overkill but it's not unrealistic given the circumstances.
    • Although Eugene's marriage proposal is well-meaning, Rapunzel turning it down is natural. Someone who's been imprisoned the first 18 years of their life is bound to feel anxious at any indication they'll be bound to one place for the remainder of their lives.
    • Then partially averted with the fact that she is not against marrying Eugene - she actually looks thrilled when he asks. It's the "never leaving the castle again, ever" thing that's the problem.
  • Revenge: Lady Caine's father was a petty thief locked up after Frederic went to town on the kingdom's criminal element, and her attack in the opening movie is based off of revenge for that.
  • The Stinger: The last shot of the movie before the credits is a P.O.V. Cam of someone staring at the black rocks surrounding the tablet that Rapunzel and Cassandra examined earlier.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Following a brief Dark Reprise of “Life After Happily Ever After”, Rapunzel sings an upbeat reprise of “Wind In My Hair” as she prepares to face the world one obstacle at a time.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: King Frederic comes off as this at the end after Rapunzel, Eugene, and Cassandra repel the bandit infiltration in the castle, in the process saving him and the other nobles. Rather than see that his daughter can obviously handle herself and see perhaps he may have been too overprotective, Frederic instead confines her to the kingdom more strictly than before.


Video Example(s):


Rapunzel's hair grows back

After coming into contact with mysterious black rocks, Rapunzel magically regains her long, golden hair.

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Example of:

Main / HairReboot

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Main / HairReboot