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The Bible
  • Snow White’s cursed identity bears the name ‘Mary Margaret,’ “Mary” being a common Biblical name for woman, two of the more famous figures being the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. Also, Our Lady of the Snows, who's named Mary.
  • Prince Charming’s name is David, referring to the shepherd turned king, much like the character here was a shepherd but is now royalty.


  • Since Disney owns ABC, certain shout outs to Disney films appear such as names of the seven dwarfs here share the same names of their animated movie counterparts.
  • Fictional game ‘Space Paranoids’ created by Kevin Flynn is shown.


  • Numbers ‘4,’ ‘8,’ ‘15,’ ‘16,’ ‘23’ and ‘42’ that frequently appear in the show are recurring numbers in LOST that corresponds with one of the final candidates to replace Jacob as protector of the Island as well as forming the coefficients in an equation that predicted mankind’s extinction.
  • Like how fictional Apollo Candy Bars made numerous appearances throughout LOST, these bars appear through this show as well.
  • Fictional band Geronimo Jackson appears.


  • Characters from certain fairytales appear.

    Season 1 


The Bible
  • The priest at Snow White and Prince Charming’s wedding is dressed in robes similar to the robes worn by Christian Deacons.
  • Mary Margaret Blanchard, who originally was supposed to be a nun, appears wearing a cross in a necklace.


  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is known as the ‘Evil Queen.’
    • When Emma wakes up in the jail cell, the song Grumpy’s Storybrooke counterpart Leroy whistles is “Whistle While You Work” when he sees her.
    • Much like her counterpart, Snow White’s placed in a glass coffin mourned by the dwarfs and is awakened by Prince Charming’s kiss.
    • Snow White attracts a blue bird that flies into her hands. Mary Margaret sets free a blue bird from her hands into its nest house.
    • Sheriff Graham’s full name is ‘Graham Humbert,’ the surname being the Huntsman’s name.
    • The Dwarfs are even named Doc, Bashful, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy and Dopey.
  • Pinocchio
    • The fairy with the turquoise hair is called ‘The Blue Fairy.’
    • Pinocchio plays with a wooden whale, a nod to Monstro.
    • Archie is heard whistling the song “Give a Little Whistle” as he walks away from Emma and Henry.
    • The candle that Emma puts on her birthday cupcake is star shaped. She then makes a wish before blowing it out, referring to the “When You Wish upon a Star” song.
    • Name of the cricket is Jiminy Cricket.
  • Peter Pan
    • As Emma’s car passes into town, a lawn pinwheel of Tinker Bell spins in the wind.
    • 8:15 is also the time that Peter Pan and the Darling children change the time to after landing on the minute hand of one face of the Clock Tower.
  • 101 Dalmatians
    • Name of Archie’s Dalmatian is ‘Pongo.’
  • There’s a Minnie Mouse plush in Emma’s baby room at the castle.


  • There’s a Geronimo Jackson sticker on Emma’s car.
  • Henry gets off the bus at Gate 4.
    • Emma checks into Room 4 at the inn.
  • Regina and Henry live at house number 108.
  • When Emma arrives, town clock is stuck at 8:15, referencing Oceanic Flight 815.
  • There’s a close-up of Emma’s eye after she wakes up from the car crash.


  • Debuting in this episode from the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fairytale are Snow White, the dwarfs, the prince and the Evil Queen.
  • Red Riding Hood and her grandmother from Little Red Riding Hood also debut.
  • Geppetto, Pinocchio, the talking Cricket and the turquoise haired fairy from The Adventures of Pinocchio appear as well.
  • Last but not least, Rumpelstiltskin of the same fairytale appears.
  • A Red Riding Hood plushie doll sits on the nursery shelf.
  • Archie shares his name with Hopper, an actual hopper.
  • Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were inspired by the song “The Song Remains the Same” to create this episode’s opening.
  • During the chase between Emma and Ryan, “Howlin’ For You” plays in the background.
  • Some of the books on the top left shelf of Regina’s study are Mother Teresa, Spy by Ted Bell, A Game of Secrets by Thomas Wiseman, A Rule of Proxy by Bruce Ducker and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
  • Snow White and Prince Charming use a powerful magical wardrobe to transport their baby from their magical world into the real world.

The Thing You Love Most

  • Sleeping Beauty
    • The name “Maleficent” for starters.
    • Maleficent makes a sleeping curse on Sleepy Beauty.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • The poisoned apples and the fact Henry refused to let Emma eat one out of fear.
  • The Black Cauldron
    • The gnome the Evil Queen turned into stone has similar characteristics and behavior to the Horned King’s lackey, Creeper.


Snow Falls

  • A group of trolls inhabiting a bridge comes from Three Billy Goats Gruff.
  • The song playing during Mary Margaret’s date is “Red River Valley” by Lloyd Green.
  • In order to meet up with Emma at the diner, Henry's cover excuse to his mother is playing Whac-A-Mole at the arcade.
  • Making her first appearance is Princess Abigail, based on Midas’ daughter from the Greek myth Midas.
  • Dr. Frankenstein's name, Dr. Whale, is a reference to the director of the classic movie, James Whale.

The Price of Gold

  • Cinderella
    • Cinderella’s dress.
    • And when Cinderella and Prince Thomas kiss.



  • From the Cinderella fairytale, The King, the Prince (Prince Thomas), the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella first appear.
  • Cinderella is identified as just Ella, hinting at the true origins of her name being Ella who is covered in Cinders or Cinderella for short, making her name actually Cinder Ella. Cinders are also known as Ashes which leads to her Storybrook name of Ashley which could be taken as an adverb being used as an adjective to imply she too is covered in Ashes (Cinders).
  • The wolf hanging in Ruby's car is added allusion to her Red Riding Hood identity, escorted through the woods by the Big Bad Wolf.
  • Just like Cinderella, Henry loses his shoe on the stairs toward the end of the episode.
  • Henry’s seen reading Incredible Hulk.

The Still Small Voice

  • Pinocchio
    • Martin and Myrna have costumes resembling Honest John and Gideon.
    • The talking cricket is named after Jiminy Cricket.


  • The candy bar Archie takes from Henry’s backpack is the Apollo brand.

The Shepard

The Bible
  • To King David:

    1) Prince James duels a man known as the ‘Behemoth,’ a creature from the Bible.

    2) Like King David, Prince Charming was a former shepherd.

    3) Prince Charming’s mother shares the same name of King David’s grandmother: “Ruth.”

    4) Prince Charming’s betrothed to Princess Abigail, the name of King David’s third wife.

    5) His cursed Storybrooke identity is named ‘David Nolan.’


  • When zoomed up close, the back of the dish Mary Margaret is washing has a Disney logo.


  • When Emma offers Mary Margaret a drink, she grabs a bottle of MacCutheeon.
    • Alan Dale who portrays character Charles Widmore who favors the brand, even guest stars in this episode.
  • The Nolan’s address is 444, one of the LOST numbers repeated thrice.


  • Prince James and his twin brother Prince Charming are based on characters Prince Edward VI and Tom Canty respectively.
    • King George, who makes his debut here, is even based on King Henry VIII from the novel.
  • King Midas of the Midas myth makes his one and only appearance.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Both Evil Queen Cora and Regina collect humans hearts.
    • The Evil Queen sends the Huntsman out to kill Snow White and bring her heart as proof of death, but he cannot bring himself the deed.


  • The Evil Queen's vault where she keeps the Huntsman's heart has nine columns and twelve rows, which, by adding the LOST numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42) equals 108 total boxes.
  • Sheriff Graham wakes up in the middle of the night because of a dream, which is actually a memory. He says to Regina, "It didn't feel like a dream. It felt like a memory," similar wording to what Desmond tells Penny, "It wasn't a dream, Pen. It was a memory."


Desperate Souls

  • During Emma’s confrontation with Mr. Gold in his shop, a large Mickey Mouse figurine rests in a case on the bottom left of the screen and a small Minnie Mouse figurine is also on the table, to the right of Mr. Gold.


  • The names that the duke’s knight Hordor called Rumplestiltskin in the forest and he used near the end, when he showed himself as the new Dark One, are some of the names the miller's daughter tries in Rumpelstiltskin.
  • Morraine, BaelFire and the Dark One are inspirations from Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series/
  • The Dark One’s name being ‘Zoso’ refers to a nickname for Led Zeppelin guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, who was represented on their fourth unnamed album by a symbol resembling letters ‘ZoSo.’note 
  • Song “Kool Thing” plays while Mary Margaret walks in on Emma '“fixing” a toaster.

True North

  • Ava and Nicholas Zimmer hide a stolen Apollo candy bar in Henry’s bag, to which he is accused of theft.
  • August Booth’s license plate features 23.


  • Hansel, Gretel, the Blind Witch and the Woodcutter from Hansel and Gretel make their one and only appearance.
  • A rack full of Marvel Comics, such as Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, are shown in the opening scene.
    • Other comic books seen on the convenience store rack include various issues of Dazzler, Ka-Zar, Power Pack and West Coast Avengers.

7:15 A.M.



  • Mary Margaret grabs an Apollo bar off the store shelf when she bumps into Kathryn buying the pregnancy test.
  • One of LOST creators Damon Lendilof provides the voice of the Storybrooke meteorologist.


  • David’s comment “The apes haven’t taken over. Yet” refers to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • At the Pharmacy, Regina is holding the Fantastic Four #263 - R and R comic issue.
  • Mary Margaret is seen reading Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island.
  • Doc says the line, "Now we are seven" as a possible reference to Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, but he says it in a different context to either Heihachi or Chris; In Seven Samurai Heihachi says the line mockingly as Kikuchiyo calls out the farmers for not responding to the samurai fast enough; in The Magnificent Seven, Chris says the line in the same situation, only he genuinely welcomes Chico into their group. Doc says the line because they were once eight before Stealthy is killed in the rescue mission, after not taking Snow White's helpful advice.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree



  • Emma crashes her police cruiser into a street sign where the roads are numbered 4 and 23.


Skin Deep

  • Beauty and the Beast
    • Gaston, Belle and Belle’s father Maurice shares the same names from the Disney movie.
    • Belle’s as well as Gaston’s clothes are similar to what their animated counterparts wear.
    • Rumpelstiltskin turns Gaston into a rose, giving it to Belle, saying that he had bought it from an old woman selling roses.
    • There is a kind of fur with horns which resembles titular Beast.
    • When Belle drops the teacup and picks it ups, she says there’s a chip in it, referencing Chip, the boy transformed into a teacup.
    • There’s even a candelabra with three candlesticks and clock in Rumpelstiltskin's castle resembling Lumière and Cogsworth.
  • Fantasia
    • In the castle, there’s a hat resembling that of what Master Yen Sid wears in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene.


  • Sir Maurice and his daughter Belle first debut in this episode from Sleeping Beauty.
    • Rumpelstiltskin symbolizes the Beast from Beauty and the Beast.
    • Sir Maurice’s Storybrook counterpart name being Moe French refers to the fact the fairytale was at first an educational French tale and "Moe" can be short for "Maurice."
  • When the Evil Queen tells Rumpelstiltskin about Belle, in the background is a golden scythe just like the one used in season seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Couple of references to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are made:

    1) When the Evil Queen enters the mental ward, she first meets a Nurse Ratched look-a-like.

    2) In the end of the episode, the mopping janitor bears a striking resemblance to Chief Bromden.
  • The book David is reading in the diner is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
  • The song playing while Mary Margaret, Ashley and Ruby hang out at the bar is "1989" by Tape the Radio.
  • On the pharmacy's counter is an ad for the Canadian lottery Classic Black with their common advertising phrase "300,000 prizes of $50 or more."
  • On the side of Moe French's van reads "Game of Thorns" likely referencing HBO series Game of Thrones which Once Upon a Time writer/producer Jane Espenson also has a writing credit on.

What Happened to Frederick

  • TRON
    • Henry is seen playing ‘Space Paranoids.’
    • Emma alludes to Keven Flynn by quoting his advice "It's all in the wrists" to Henry while he’s playing the game.
    • Henry even has a TRON lunchbox.


  • The siren is from Greek mythology, where they lured sailors to their watery graves by appearing as beautiful maidens and singing an enchanting song.


The Bible
  • The Storybrooke counterparts of fairies are reviewed to be nuns, where they seem to be similar to Roman Catholic Religious Sisters, which is evident such as: doing community service, refers by others and themselves as "Sister" and also have a Mother Superior who is in charge of them.


  • Astrid's statement, "Someone once told me, 'You can do anything, as long as you can dream it,'" is a paraphrase of a quote by Walt Disney:
    "If you can dream it, you can do it."
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Both Grumpy and Leroy whistle “Heigh-Ho.”
    • Sister Astrid gives Leroy a pie to thank him for selling candles to help the convent like how Snow White baked Grumpy a pie.
  • Beauty and the Beast
    • Here, Belle wears a short sleeved version of her animated counterparts’ blue dress.


  • Astrid tells Leroy the nuns only sold 42 candles last year.
  • Leroy refers to everyone as ‘sister,’ similar to how Desmond calls everyone ‘brother.’
  • Another mentions of LOST’s numbers is Storybrooke’s zip code being 04815, a combination of 4, 8 and 15.


  • After Stealthy’s death, there are now seven dwarfs remaining.


  • Make Mine Music!
    • Peter is a hunter pursuing a wolf in the middle of winter refers to the Peter and the Wolf segment.
  • The Three Little Pigs
    • When Peter first visits Red Riding Hood at her cabin at the episode’s beginning, he begins to say “Let me in or I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow the...” if she doesn’t have out to talk to him.


  • As mentioned above, references to Peter and the Wolf and Three Little Pigs are made.
  • Snow White's inclusion in this episode is most likely a reference to the tale Snow-White and Rose-Red
  • Granny’s line to “For another thing, Liza, you dress like a drag queen during Fleet Week" specifically refers to drag queen actress Liza Minnelli.
    • Ruby counters back with “And you dress like Norman Bates when he dresses like Norman Bates’ mother!”
  • Does Red Riding Hood turning out to be the big bad wolf sounds familiar?
    • There’s even a character named “Peter.”
  • When Ruby walks into the diner to get lunch for Emma, the song “Settling In” by Sharon Jones & The Dap-King is playing.

Heart of Darkness

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Snow White hums “With a Smile and a Song” while reaching for the bluebird just before she tries to clobber it with a broom.
    • Snow White wears a similar looking red bow hairband as her Disney character adaptation.
  • Bambi
    • A small Bambi statue is in Mary Margaret’s apartment.


Hat Trick

  • Alice in Wonderland
    • When approached by Regina and the Mad Hatter visiting Wonderland, the Caterpillar blows his hookah pipe and asks very slowly, "Who are you?"
    • The doll in the marketplace Grace wants is a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat.
    • Regina picks a piece of a mushroom from Wonderland for her father Henry to eat so he can return to normal size after having been shrunken.
    • The Queen of Hearts is ruler of Wonderland, and orders her soldiers to cut off the Mad Hatter's head with the phrase, "Off with his head!"
    • Mary Margaret hits Jefferson over the head with a croquet mallet.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • The Evil Queen disguises herself as a hag to lure in Jefferson's daughter, Grace.


  • First appearing in the episode are the Caterpillar, Queen of Hearts, Knave of Hearts and Mad Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The name ‘Jefferson’ eludes to Jefferson Airplane who recorded a song titled “White Rabbit.”
    • Also, Jefferson’s daughter Grace alludes to lead singer Grace Slick.
  • When Jefferson and Regina enter Wonderland, the Caterpillar turns to them and slowly asks, "Who... are... you?,” one of The Who's most famous songs is called “Who Are You?” to which lead singer Roger Daltrey voices the Caterpillar, which is also used as the theme to the original CSI.
  • The outside of Jefferson’s house is the same one used as Johnny Smith’s house.
  • When Jefferson takes Regina through the hat they end up in a room filled with doors into different worlds. One door, close to the Looking Glass, is emerald green with two golden door handles. The handles are each a golden "O" with a smaller golden "Z" in the center, signifying that this door leads into Oz, the world in the Wizard of Oz story.

The Stable Boy


The Return

  • Among the relics in Gold’s pawnshop cabinet is a Mickey Mouse doll.
  • Pinocchio
    • Look below.


  • Name of Rumpelstiltskin’s son is “Baelfire,’ who at one point speaks to his young lady friend in blue named ‘Morriane,’ both deriving from The Wheel of Time series, in which ‘balefire’ is a powerful magic weapon, and one of the first users of "balefire" is a young woman "Moiraine," who is known for wearing blue
  • The wooden donkey Mr. Gold finds in Pinocchio’s Storybrooke counterpart August’s room refers to Pinocchio witnessing children being turned into donkeys on Pleasure Island.
  • The Blue Fairy gives Baelfire a magic bean.
  • The song playing during Mary Margaret's homecoming party is "Origins" by Tennis.

The Stranger

  • Pinocchio
    • Monstro appears.
    • Geppetto mistakes Pinocchio for dead and even witnesses him turning to a real boy.
    • Pinocchio escapes the orphanage with another boy in the real world, who bears a resemblance to Lampwick, the boy who enticed Pinocchio to escape with him in the 1940s film. In August's case, he mentioned that he had returned from Phuket, a vacation resort island in Thailand that parallels Pinocchio and Lampwick's visit to Pleasure Island.
  • Sleeping Beauty
    • August met Emma for the first time as an infant parallels seven year old Prince Phillip meeting the infant princess Aurora.


  • After stepping out of a tree in the forest, Pinocchio is startled by an airplane and as he looks at it flying overhead, there’s an Oceanic Airlines logo.


  • On Henry’s bed is an edition of Avengers vs. X-Men.
  • Speaking to August about his plans, Emma refers to it as a “Magical Mystery Tour,” name of a song by The Beatles.

An Apple Red as Blood

The Bible
  • When the Evil Queen gives Snow White the poisoned apple, a cross can be seen on Daniel's grave.



  • The card Regina leaves on Paige’s bike is of the White Rabbit.

A Land Without Magic

  • Sleeping Beauty
    • Maleficent transforms into a fire breathing dragon.
    • Emma throws the sword at the dragon’s heart to kill her in the same fashion as Prince Phillip did.
  • Enchanted
    • Live-Action sorceress turning into CGI dragon.


  • Clock stops at 8:15.
  • An Apollo bar is seen when Emma empties Henry’s backpack.



    Season 2 


  • Sleeping Beauty
    • Aurora and Phillip share the same names as their counterparts.
    • Prince Phillip cuts down thorns to get to the sleeping Aurora.
  • Mulan
    • Aurora mistakes Mulan to be a man after she sees her dressed in heavy armor. However, when Mulan takes off her helmet, Aurora is surprised to see a woman.


  • As Neal Cassidy holds his iPod while struggling to close the apartment window, back of the iPod’s case is shown to be a Geronimo Jackson logo.


  • First character introduced to not be based from a fairytale is legendary Chinese figure (Hua) Mulan featured in classic poem The Ballad of Mulan.
  • Also introduced are titular Sleeping Beauty and the Prince of the same fairytale.
  • As well as featuring the Wraith, a mythical combination of a creature found in both European and Chinese folklore, in its only appearance.
  • Song playing on the iPod is "Charley's Girl."
  • When first introducing Ogres to Emma, Emma first confuses their story with the Giants "Fee Fi Fo Fum". Snow then responds with "Ogres are worse".
  • The New York City apartment has a framed Aesthetic Apparatus poster containing the image of a red hand, which was created for the Communication Arts Magazine 2008 May/June issue.
  • Next to the sign "Cleaners & Hatters" on the wall, an Aesthetic Apparatus Bike Ride poster is hanging.
    • Besides the shelf next to the door, there is a black skateboard with the words "NOMEANSNO" from punk rock band Nomeansno's The Day Everything Became Isolated and Destroyed album logo.
    • The album photo by the window with the words "13 Songs" peeking from the corner is John Guliak's 7 Stories & 13 Songs.
  • Neal enters a building across the street from actual Italian pasta supplier Piedmont Ravoli Co. Inc., located on 162 Mulberry Street, while the frontal retail store is on 190 Grand Street in New York.
  • Star Wars: Archie warns that "Giving into The Dark Side won't solve anything." Doubles as Actor Allusion due to Knights of the Old Republic.

“We Are Both”

The Bible
  • Dr. Whale asks David whether or not nuns can date as the Dark Curse was broken reflecting the oath Roman Catholic nuns made with joining the community.


  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Near the closing scene’s end, the Dwarfs with the exception of Sneezy, takes their pick axes and walk down to the mines, singing “Heigh-Ho,” following the same scene from the film.
      • Leroy even quips lyric “It’s off to work we go” from above mentioned song.
    • Regina uses the “fairest of them all” line.
  • The Lion King (1994)
    • There’s an African mask in Mr. Gold’s shop.


  • Dopey wears a Geronimo Jackson shirt.


  • One the notice board where Marco posts his drawing, several other posters for missing persons are visible:

    “PIERRE ABELARD” refers to real life medieval philosopher whose love affair with the scholar Héloïse d'Argenteuil became a legendary story of tragic lovers doomed to be apart.

    A sign beginning with “Dearest Cressida,” being a character that appears in many medieval and renaissance retelling of the Trojan War.

    "Desperately Looking For Peasblossom" refers to a fairy.

    Pyramis and Thisbe come home” not only refers to a play-within-a-play in A Midsummer Night's Dream but is the inspiration of Romeo and Juliet.

    And on the notice board opposite Marco’s drawing is the name “TITANIA,” Peasblossom’s master and the Queen of Fairies.
    It’s also the name of former queen of Fairyworld in The Fairly OddParents!: Shadow Showdown.
  • After Regina takes back her mother’s old spell book from Mr. Gold, he warns her against the potential effects of the book to which she responds with “I don’t care if they turn me green,” a possible reference to Oz the Great and Powerful if not any other Oz adaptations.
    • As well as being some great, subtle foreshadowing for the villain of the next season and her half-sister through Cora, Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Regina is given a looking glass from Rumplestiltskin to send her mother away, the looking glass being a nod to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
  • In his speech, David uses the line "Live in a shoe if you want," a reference to There Was an Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe nursery rhyme.
  • Name of Regina’s horse is “Rocinante.”

Lady of the Lake

The Bible
  • Sir Lancelot is nicknamed “The Leviathan,” a biblical creature.


  • Mulan
    • Mulan telling Emma and Mary Margaret “you might survive” is a lyric from “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”


  • The pit Emma, Mary Margaret and Cora are placed in resembles a scene in which the survivors were also caught and sent down to a pit with another person willing to help, only to later find out the person was a traitor.


  • As his only debut, Sir Lancelot is a character from the King Arthur legend.
  • Lancelot's epitaph on Charming's mother, "God in His mercy, lend her grace", is a direct quote from Lancelot's words on seeing the dead title character in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem The Lady of Shalott.
  • When Lancelot presents chimera as a food source, Emma asks if it's like turducken; a dish consisting of de-boned chicken stuffed into de-boned duck and then stuffed into a de-boned turkey.
  • Although the episode is named for the supernatural characternote  from Arthurian legend, disambiguation of the title refers to:

    1) a United States Navy schooner that participated in the War of 1812.

    2) a steamboat built in 1897 at Seattle, Washington later rebuilt and renamed Ruth.

    3) another steamboat launched 1942 commanded by Captain J. J. Tylor.

    4) an excursion vessel on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

    5) a poem by Sir Walter Scott.

    6) a 1928 British film.

    7) an opera by Gioachino Rossini.

    8) title of a novel.

    9) an alternate title for The Speeches at Prince Henry's Barriers.

    10) a song of the same name by Rainbow and Jade Warrior.

The Crocodile

  • Beauty and the Beast
    • Mr. Gold gives Belle a library to try to regain her affections similar to what the Beast does.
    • Mr. Gold attempts to make Belle eat something after their fight.
  • Peter Pan
    • Like his counterpart, William Smee’s hat is red.
    • As Rumpelstiltskin prepares to kill Captain Hook in their first duel, he says, "Tick-tock dearie, Tick-tock!" an allusion to the crocodile that takes Hook's hand.


  • William Smee and Killian “Captain Hook” Jones from Peter Pan are introduced.
    • In the J. M. Barrie play and novel, Captain Hook's hand was cut off by the title character and fed to a crocodile, which had also swallowed a clock, alerting Hook to its presence. In this episode, Hook refers to Rumpelstiltskin as a crocodile because of his appearance (he also sports an alligator skin vest). Rather than having swallowed a clock, Rumpelstiltskin uses the phrase "tick tock" repeatedly in his encounter with Captain Jones.
  • When David passes out a flyer to Ruby at the diner, one of the flyers reads as, "MISSING: Please contact Moe at Game of Thorns,” again referring to Game of Thrones.
  • Ruby brings snacks to David and the dwarves in a little basket, a reference to her fairytale counterpart.
  • In the library scene, Mr. Gold quotes Sir John Lubbock's famous utterance "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth" from his book The Pleasures of Life

“The Doctor”



  • When Regina asks Rumpelstiltskin to bring Daniel back from the dead, he replies "Dead is dead," not only a line said by Benjamin Linus but it’s also an episode title.


  • Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his creature (Gerhardt Frankenstein) are prominent characters from Frankenstein make their first appearance.
  • Several references to the 1931 Frankenstein:

    The use of lightning to bring the monster back to life.

    In the film, it’s a bad brain that causes the creature to go bad but here, it’s a heart.

    Igor character.

    With the exception of selective color for the heart, the final scene is shot in black-and-white.

    Famous line “It’s Alive!”
  • Just like the police inspector in Son of Frankenstein, Dr. Whale’s arm is ripped out of its socket by Daniel.
  • Victor Frankenstein’s Storybrooke counterpart’s name being “Whale” alludes the director James Whale of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.
  • Near the episode’s start, when Jefferson gives Rumpelstiltskin a crystal ball in lieu of the slippers he was sent to find, Jefferson makes a reference to The Wizard of Oz by saying the slippers had "been sent to another land" to which Rumpelstiltskin replies, "I needed the slippers to 'get' to that other land."
    • Mulan makes note of the Ground Poppy Dust, sleeping powder originating from poppy seeds also present in the film mentioned above.
  • When Victor first appears, he’s wearing roses tinted spectacles, an allusion to the “Rose Tint My World.”
  • While interrogating Hook, Emma says, "So much for fortune favoring the brave" a reference to Latin phrase "AVDENTES FORTVNA IVVAT," found in The Aeneid.




  • The keychain stolen by Neal and given to Emma has a swan design very similar to central part the Dharma Initiative logo for The Swan station, more commonly referred to as "The Hatch."
  • Character goes from Portland to another location.
  • A character stays for a period of time in Phuket.
  • Character flees from another.
  • Jorge Garcia plays a kind character who ends up being "in charge" of his "realm" which appears to be isolated from the rest of the "world."
  • Emma Swan is shown collaborating in a theft of Apollo Candy Bars at a convenience store.


  • Ground Poppy Dust is used to knock out a giant.
  • Not only does the gender-flipped version of Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk appears but Emma and Hook make their ascent onto the beanstalk as well as their encounter with a giant named Anton.
  • Baelfire’s Storybrooke counterpart being named “Neal Cassidy” shares a similar name to Neal Cassaday, a member of the of the 1950s Beat Generation, inspiration to writers Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and, in a later generation, Ken Kesey, among others.
    He was known, like the character sharing his name here, to have stolen cars and for his charm along with being real-life model for the Dean Moriarty character.

Child of the Moon

  • Cinderella
    • Billy’s Enchanted Forest counterpart is household mouse Gus.
    • Inspired references, elements and quotes


  • According to show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the inspiration for this episode came from The Rolling Stones, in particular the title “Child of the Moon,” which came from the B-Side to their single Jumping Jack Flash and the design for Anita’s den.
    • And possibly Shakira’s 2009 single, She Wolf.

Into the Deep



  • The poppy used to put Mary Margaret to sleep is a reference to the poppy field in The Wizard of Oz which makes people fall asleep.
  • During Mr. Gold and Belle’s date at the diner, “I Want to Tell You” by The Brymers plays in the background.

“Queen of Hearts”

  • Alice in Wonderland
    • The Queen of Hearts tells Hook to call her “your majesty.”
    • The mask Cora holds resembles the baton the Queen of Hearts carries.

“The Cricket Game”

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
    • The scene of Captain Hook standing at the top of his mast as his ship approaches the bay, and then coming down with a rope as well as the camera angle make it almost a dead ringer for Jack Sparrow’s famous entrance where he stood on top of his mast as his ship approaches the bay, then comes down with a rope.
  • When Emma brings Pongo to Gold so they can magically read his memories, and Pongo responds to him favorably, Gold (the show's version of the Beast) comments he has a way with dogs because he "knew a sheepdog once". The footstool in Beauty and the Beast was revealed to be a sheepdog after the curse is broken.


  • Upon being told the battle is lost, the Evil Queen says "Don't tell me what we can or cannot do!" is a spin on the mantra often repeated by Locke.


  • The song featured in one of the episodes promos known as “Timeless Love” is “Timeless” by The Airborne Toxic Event.

The Outsider

  • Mulan
    • Mulan tells Belle to only fight for what's worth fighting for, which is a reference to the song "A Girl Worth Fighting For.”
  • Beauty and the Beast
    • Belle reverses a curse which makes a beast become human again.


  • Emma quotes “You plotting your escape from Shawshank, kid?

“In the Name of the Brother”


  • First and only appearance of Alphonse Frankenstein, based on Victor’s father from Frankenstein.
  • Leroy mentions E.T. and Splash as examples of how extraordinary things discovered in the real world are likely to be "studied to death."
  • Character name Greg Mendell is similar to that of Gregor Mendel, who is known as the father of modern genetics.
  • Greg’s cellphone ringtone is the theme from Star Wars.
    • Hospital room "R2-42," in the alphabet, four corresponds to the letter "D," as in "R2-D2."
  • Red compares Dr. Frankenstein to “the werewolf” refers to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.


The Bible
  • Prince Charming’s real name is David, just like the shepherd-turned-King.
  • David Nolan fights against a giant is similar to the story of David and Goliath.


  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Leroy and the other dwarves whistle the “Heigh-Ho” melody when they begin to farm.
  • The Little Mermaid
    • Anton desires to see what the humans look like and in his brother's mannerisms by being concerned and warning him about the humans and what they would do if they discovered their world.
    • Additionally, all the giants have names beginning with “A.”


  • The airline Emma, Henry and Mr. Gold travel on is Ajira Air.
    • Just prior to their flight taking off in the last scene, the attendant announces mentions that plane was of 'Ajira Airways.'
    • The total time of their flight was 42 minutes.
  • Fictional television series ‘Exposé’ featured on LOST is advertised on the television Belle is watching in the hospital as Ruby comes in to talk to her.
    • The announcer of the television just before fictional show ‘Exposé’ returns from a commercial is one of the show’s creator Damon Lindelof, reprising his vocal cameo of Bill Godwin.



  • The number on Neal Cassidy's apartment address box (407) reference to the 407 area code, where Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida.
  • The Sword in the Stone
    • The scene in which Regina uses her magic to open Belle's purse.


  • Apartment number 403 is housed by “P. Lesh,” which is a reference to bass guitarist Phil Lesh.
    • Another apartment is housed by ‘T. Munson’ that refers to two-time World Series-champion baseball catcher Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees.
  • The poster next to the locker Henry is searching through is an alternately colored Aesthetic Apparatus artwork.
  • Behind Mr. Gold is a promotional poster for studio album release party of Canadian garage rock band The Pack A.D..

The Queen Is Dead

  • Making her only debut in this episode, Queen Eva is based on the Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • References to Peter Pan were hinted at in this episode when Baelfire/Neal alluded to having a youthful appearance, his knowledge of Hook's ship and his stay in Neverland.
  • Snow White makes a nod to Princess Leia’s line by saying “Help us, Mother Superior. You’re our only hope!”

The Miller’s Daughter

  • King Xavier is based on the King from Rumpelstiltskin.
  • When Cora invades Gold's shop, Neal/Baelfire takes up a sword to stand alongside Prince Charming and Emma to defend Rumpelstiltskin, the mannerism in which he holds his sword screams Kingdom Hearts where he holds the blade the same way Riku, Vanitas and Master Xehanort hold their Keyblades.

Welcome to Storybrooke

  • TRON
    • Kurt and Owen’s last name is ‘Flynn.’
    • A bus bench features an advertisement for fictional corporation ENCOM
  • Aladdin
    • Of the three magic laws, Emma only refers to magic is not capable of bringing back the dead or making someone love.
  • TRON: Legacy
    • Again, Kurt and Owen’s last name being ‘Flynn’
    • The ending of the episode: The younger Flynn is pushed into the portal going back to the safety of the "real" world, while the elder one is forced into a Heroic Sacrifice and the younger Forced to Watch while his dad is drug off to his death. Really, the whole plot of the episode reads like a TRON: Legacy alternate universe fanfic whipped up by Stephen King
  • Tangled
    • Though not probable but ‘Flynn’ is the first name alias of the male protagonist.


  • The song playing on the radio besides Kurt and Owen’s campsite is “This Must Be the Place (Native Melody.”
  • One of the newspaper headlines read “Reagan: Marines Will be Staying in Beirut” referring to the bombing American and French troops in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War in 1983.
  • Not only does Owen have a Return of the Jedi sleeping bag, but he compares the red and green gimp key chain Kurt makes for him to Luke and Vader’s light sabers.
    • “Owen” is even the name of Luke Skywalker’s uncle.
  • Kurt mentions he’s from New Jersey, home of the Boss.

Selfless, Brave and True

  • Winnie-the-Pooh
    • There’s a honey neon sign for a pub called “Winnie’s”
  • Mulan
    • The Dragon showcases his ability to draw smoke from his nostrils.
  • Pinocchio
    • Blue Fairy grants August a chance to become a real boy again.
  • The Little Mermaid
    • Tamara uses a shell-like mirror to see Neal and August talk.


  • The flashback scenes involving August meeting a woman in Phuket then leaving for Hong Kong, his tattoo on his leg, and the Dragon seeing who August really is, are allusions to episode "Stranger in a Strange Land."


  • August’s prized possession is a necklace that bears the image of a whale, referencing the “Terrible Dogfish” from The Adventures of Pinocchio.
  • During Greg and Regina’s chat in the diner, “Got It” by Gabriela plays in the background.
  • Mary Margaret listens to “Bad Reputation” while practicing archery in the woods.


  • Beauty and the Beast
    • Rumpelstiltskin shows Belle the library in his home, similar to what the Beast did.
    • In the Enchanted Forest, Belle wears is similar dress to the one in the ballroom scene.


  • Folk hero Robin Hood of the same legend as well as Lady Marian and the Sheriff first appear.
  • As Mr. Gold walks into the Rabbit Hole, “The Day That Never Comes” plays.
  • Title of the book Belle was reading is titled ‘The Rise and Fall of Galaga.’
  • While Lacy is at the jukebox machine, “Love Is Alive” by Gary Wright plays.
  • During Mr. Gold and Lacey's date, "Fill a Heart (Child Hunger Ends Here)" by Tori Kelly plays in the background.

“The Evil Queen”

  • The Little Mermaid
    • When changing Regina back into the Queen, Rumpelstiltskin says “so sad, so true,” a reference to a lyric from “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”

Second Star to the Right

The Bible
  • Tamara remarks magic is unholy.


  • Peter Pan
    • John carries an umbrella and top hat while Michael carries a teddy bear.
    • The time on Big Ben is 8:15, the same time shown in the Disney film.
  • During the commercial break, series star Lana Parrilla spoofed her character Regina Mills/the Evil Queen in a promotion for the Magic Kingdom in which she vowed to "take over" the area of New Fantasyland.


  • Again, the time on Big Ben as mentioned above.


  • First appearances of Wendy Darling, John Darling, Michael Darling and the (living) Shadow from Peter Pan.

“And Straight On ’Till Morning”



  • Episode’s plot has parallels to Peter Pan in its focus on Hook, the Neverland setting, introduction of the Lost Boys and mention of Peter Pan.
  • Beauty And The Beast is referenced when Belle’s dark side is restored to her normal self by drinking from the chipped cup.
  • Lilo and Stitch: "She's family. We don't leave family behind."

    Season 3 

“The Heart of the Truest Believer”

  • Mulan
    • This conversation between Mulan and Neal:
      Mulan: What's it like? The other world?
      Neal: Well, for starters, they think that this place is just a fairytale. Like a legend, like we're all just characters in a story.
      Mulan: I'm in a story?
      Neal: Yeah, they made a movie about you. It's actually pretty good.
      Mulan: What's a movie?


  • Time of Henry’s birth is given as 8:15.


“Lost Girl”

  • Peter Pan
    • Emma notes Captain Hook's appearance in the animated film as sporting a "waxed mustache and a perm."
  • The Sword in the Stone
    • Behind the opening title, a sword’s ebbed into the stone.


  • A sword being ebbed in stone behind the opening title is like Excalibur from Arthurian legend.
  • When Hook threatens the Hooded Lost Boy, he makes mention of what he did to Rufio.
  • Emma talks about growing up with the childhood fictional tale of a heroic Peter Pan.
  • There’s Regina’s use of a telekinetic chokehold.

“Quiet a Common Fairy”

  • The Wonderful World of Disney
    • As alluded in the opening sequence, Tinkerbell and her likeness flies up and touches the show logo, causing it to erupt into fireworks.


“Nasty Habits”

  • Silly Symphonies
    • The Sheriff of Hamelin is exactly dressed like the Mayor in the Pied Piper segment.
  • Aladdin
    • How Neal escaped Neverland.
  • The Little Mermaid
    • When Neal uses a sea shell to lure a large squid


  • Tinkerbell holds up a watch that stopped at 8:15.
  • Rumpelstiltskin yelling out for Baelfire, echoing Michael's crying out for his son

“Good Form”

  • Peter Pan
    • Liam's directions to Neverland were "the second star to the right and straight on 'til morning" in the flashback, quoting Peter's directions to Wendy.
  • Hercules
    • Pegasus is mentioned by Captain Liam as a legendary horse whose feathers were used to create a magic veil in allowing their ship to fly into the sky.


  • Regina offers Devin an Apollo bar.


  • Peter Pan novel is mentioned.
  • After Hook kisses Emma, she asks him to give her five minutes alone, to which he replies “as you wish,” where Dread Pirate Roberts Westley says the same line to Princess Buttercup, actually meaning “I love you.”


  • Oz the Great and Powerful
    • Regina mentions the evil munchkins' dirt road.
  • Aladdin, Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin: The Series & Aladdin and the King of Thieves
    • Eric states he will be exploring the great deserts between his kingdom and Agrabah
  • The Little Mermaid
    • Character here shares the same name as the protagonist as well as her prince being named ‘Eric.’
      • Regina disguises herself as Ursula.
      • Both the statue of Ursula and Regina's disguise are similar to the animated version although much slimmer.
    • The ‘Under the Sea’ dance shares the same name of the song sung by Sebastian the crab.
    • Ariel collecting random human objects.
    • While masquerading as Ursula, Regina says to Ariel, "My dear sweet child," which are the spoken words at the start of the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls" sung by Ursula.
    • Like Prince Eric, Ariel saves Snow White from drowning.
    • Ariel learning what a fork is.
    • Both Ariel and Eric mentioning a ship wreck where they first met.
    • Regina’s line “You can be part of Eric’s world” alludes to the song “Part of Your World.”
    • Regina taking away Ariel’s voice as well as calling her a little mermaid.
  • Snow White's ball dress has small Mickey Mouse faces on it.


“Dark Hollow”

  • Peter Pan
    • The teddy bear dressed in pink on the keychain of the Home Office agent’s car is the same one that Michael Darling clutches.
    • How Henry meets Wendy.
  • The Little Mermaid
    • Ariel says "Look at this stuff" in Mr. Gold's shop, which is the first sentence in the song 'Part of Your World.'
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • Leroy quips “No time for whistling, boys” elludes to the song “Whistle While You Work.”


  • Ariel's entry into the present day for the first time and being intrigued by what she sees while seeking out Belle parallels a similar scene in Splash.
  • Mr. Gold asks Belle for her help when the sand dollar beamed a hologram image of himself.
  • Where Wendy lies to Henry on behalf of Pan claiming that because magic is dying so is sh, being connected to its fate so to speak and Pan convinces Henry it’s up to him to save Wendy is like in The NeverEnding Story, the Empress too is dying because of lack of faith and belief in the human world, and that it would take Bastion to save her

“Think Lovely Thoughts”

“Save Henry”

  • TRON
    • Regina mentions Henry playing ‘Space Paranoids.’


  • When Rumpelstiltskin tells Neal that Peter Pan destroyed his father is similar to a scene in A New Hope.
  • Furthermore, the revelation that Peter Pan is actually Rempelstiltskin’s father is similar to scene in The Empire Strikes Back.

The New Neverland

  • Medusa is based on a Gorgon of the same name from the Perseus myth.
    • The way she's portrayed (having a snakelike tail, and living in an old ruin with pillars for the heroes to hide behind) is straight out of Clash of the Titans.
  • Charming's joking suggestion of sending Regina the head of Medusa in a box brings to mind Percy Jackson sending the same to the gods in his first adventure.

“Going Home”

  • Emma’s apartment alarm clock rings on 8:15


  • The song featured in Emma's New York City apartment is "Charley's Girl.”

New York City Serenade


Witch Hunt

Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Dr Whale says "I'm a doctor, not a vet!"

The Tower


Quiet Minds

  • The shot where Emma and the gang get ready for a fight with the lost boys is lifted directly out of The Avengers.


  • Zelena's house and farm was the same one used as Hank and Emily's house and farm in TinMan

     Season 4 

A Tale of Two Sisters


  • Emma talks to Regina through a door, just as Anna did to Elsa in Frozen. Given that this is a Frozen-inspired season, it's appropriate.
  • Rumpelstiltskin and Belle recreate the ballroom dance from Beauty and the Beast, complete with clothes and music.
  • The house where Rumpelstiltskin and Belle are staying has Mickey's sorcerer's hat inside.

White Out


  • Firstly, the episode title is the same as the song from the Frozen soundtrack that plays during the climax.
  • While Emma is trapped in the ice cavern with Elsa, she asks her how she can stand how cold it is. Elsa's response: "It never bothered me."
  • When Anna meets Charming in the Enchanted Forest, the alias she gives is Joan. As in, the painting of Joan of Arc in the Arendelle palace she talked to/looked up to in "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?".
  • Once again someone talks to Regina through a door: Henry. This time she opens it.


The Snow Queen


  • Rumple has Thor's hammer (!)

Heart of Gold


Operation Mongoose


  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice, in late December 1966, mentions that Isaac's predecessor as Author recently passed away, insinuating that the previous Author was actually Walt Disney himself.

     Season 6 


A Bitter Draught

  • David uses a trashcan lid as a shield to block Edmond's attack, similar to Steve Rogers.


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