Once Upon a Time (TV Series 2011– ) Poster

(2011– )


Jump to: Spoilers (17)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) met on the set of this show, fell in love, are married (as of 4/12/14) and have two sons together, Oliver Finlay (May 29, 2014) and Hugo Wilson (June 1, 2016)
The role of Rumplestiltskin was written specifically for Robert Carlyle.
Names for many characters in Storybrooke are often coordinated with their fairy tale counterpart. For example:
  • Mary Margaret Blanchard (Snow White): Blanchard derives from the French word "blanc" or "blanche" for white. The name "Mary Margaret" is from a real-life woman believed to be the inspiration of the Snow White character named "Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina Freifräulein Von Erthal" (born on June 15, 1729 in Germany).

  • Regina Mills (Evil Queen): Regina is a Late Latin and Modern Italian feminine noun and name meaning "queen". Regina's grandfather was a Miller so that is a connection to her last name.

  • David Nolan (Prince Charming): The masculine name David means "darling" or "beloved." In Biblical text, it is also the name of the shepherd who became King David after defeating the Goliath the giant. Nolan is a Gaelic name meaning "noble," "fighter," or "champion."

  • Mr. Gold (Rumpelstiltskin): Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold in his story.

  • Ruby (Red Riding Hood): A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone.

  • Ashley Boyd (Cinderella): Cinders precede ashes in the burning process. Boyd derives from the Gaelic word "buidhe" meaning yellow-haired.

  • Sidney Glass (Mirror): Because another word for mirror is glass or looking glass. Also, his newspaper is called "The Mirror." Sidney's character as the Queen's minion trapped in a mirror parallels a genie trapped in a bottle/lamp as a master's servant. The name Sidney refers to Sidney Sheldon, the creator of I Dream of Jeannie (1965).

  • Archie Hopper (Jiminy Cricket): Crickets often hop to get around. Also, crickets are sometimes called hoppers.

  • Jefferson (The Mad Hatter): The group Jefferson Airplane has a song called "White Rabbit" which uses lyrics derived from the "Alice in Wonderland" tales.

  • Paige (Grace): In the real world, the Hatter's daughter is named Paige but in the fairy tale land, her name is Grace. Grace Slick was a member of Jefferson Airplane and writer of their song "White Rabbit."

  • Dr. Whale (Dr. Frankenstein): In his black and white fairy tale world, he is Dr. Victor Frankenstein. James Whale was the director of the original Universal Frankenstein (1931) and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

  • Cora (The Queen of Hearts): Derived from the Latin word "cor" meaning heart.

  • Zelena (The Wicked Witch): Zelena means "green" in various Slavic languages.

  • Neal Cassidy: named after Neal Cassady an infamous thief who served 11 months in prison for stolen goods; the same time Emma Swan was given when he let her take the fall for his crime.

  • August W. Booth (Pinnochio): W. Booth references to Wayne C. Booth, who coined the term the "unreliable narrator" i.e. a blatant liar who misleads the audience. August's fairy tale counterpart is known for lying.

Singer Christina Perri dedicated her song "The Words" to the show's main couple, Emma Swan and Captain Hook. Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) is in the song's music video.
JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who plays the mermaid Ariel, cannot swim in real life.
During one of the episodes, Prince Charming mentions to Snow about falling through a portal to Asgard, a reference to Marvel's Thor. Josh Dallas played Fandral in Thor (2011).
At the 2014 Oz Comic Con, Jennifer Morrison confirmed that one of her favorite scenes was when Hook quoted the infamous "as you wish" to Emma, saying that it was her own 'Buttercup moment.'
The friendship between Snow-White and Little Red Riding Hood is a nod to "Snow-White and Rose-Red", another German fairy-tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.
Many actors from Lost have appeared in the series, including Lana Parrilla, Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Alan Dale, Rebecca Mader, Naveen Andrews (who appears in the Spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland as Jafar), Patrick Fischler, Daniel Dae Kim and Elizabeth Mitchell.
The wardrobe that Emma was sent through when she's born is a nod to Narnia.
Sarah Bolger (Aurora/Sleeping Beauty) once said in an interview that her first on-screen kiss was with Colin O'Donoghue (Hook/Killian), when they co-starred alongside each other in The Tudors (2007).
Co-stars Jennifer Morrison and Sebastian Stan dated from May 2012 to August 2013.
Most of the objects in Mr. Golds were brought in by the cast.
In the song "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from Disney's major motion picture Frozen (2013), Anna makes friends with the portraits to ease the loneliness. In one line, she talks to a portrait and says "Hang in there Joan." In Once Upon a Time (2011), Joan is the alias she uses with Charming/David.
Elizabeth Mitchell found it hard to wear high heels in the woods for her role as the Snow Queen and suggested that she be bare footed instead.
Snow White's name in Storybrooke is Mary Margaret. In the enchanted forest, Snow told Ruby/Red her favorite names were Mary and Margaret.
The creators formally offered the part of the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior to singer Lady Gaga. However, according to Edward Kitsis, they never heard back from her management staff. The part then went to Keegan Connor Tracy.
Kristin Bauer van Straten briefly appeared in season 1 but she was unable to return due to her role in True Blood (2008). However, once the show concluded its run in 2014, she returned in season 4.
Originally, there was a plan to bring back Jamie Dornan for the finale of the third season. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the plan was scrapped.
Every major character (except Henry) wears a leather jacket in Storybrooke.
Captain Hook's ship is the replica of the 18th century ship Lady Washington, based in Grays Harbor, Washington. Lady Washington has appeared in various films, portraying HMS Interceptor in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and the brig Enterprise, a namesake of the Starship Enterprise, on the holodeck in Star Trek Generations. She provided the basis for the RLS Legacy in the Disney animated feature Treasure Planet (2002).
Because Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills) is a minor, he is only allowed to work 10 hours. Due to that, they have stand in's when he is unavailable, and off camera have people speaking his lines. When performing one of the scenes one of the actors thought the stand in was actually Jared, and when he found out it wasn't, broke out laughing because it was actually a twenty year old woman.
Of all the Prince & Princess couples that could have been the focal point of the series, Snow White and Prince Charming were chosen because of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) being the first movie Disney produced.
There are many references to the TV show _Lost_ in Once Upon a Time (2011). Among them are many of the same actors and actresses, the Apollo candy bars, and the TV show Exposé. However, if you look closely in the first season, you will also see an Oceanic Airliner flying overhead and the time that Storybrooke gets frozen is 8:15. The same as Oceanic Flight 815. The address for Regina's house is 108 which is the amount of minutes on the clock in the hatch.
There is a Mickey Mouse toy at Mr. Gold's shop.
Many of the reoccurring actors and actresses can also be seen as supporting characters on _Supernatural_. Once Upon a Time (2011) and _Supernatural_ both film in the Vancouver area. The season 3 episode of Supernatural: Mystery Spot (2008) was primarily filmed in Steveston, the filing location for Once Upon a Time (2011).
Emma Swan's first name was originally going to be 'Anna'.
According to the official timeline of the show, Emma and Neal met sometime in early 2001. However, Henry was born on August 15, 2001. So, unless Emma gave birth several months prematurely (which isn't likely since he was adopted by Regina when he was only a few weeks old and premature babies often spend several weeks in the NICU after birth) then the latest she could've met Neal to give birth to Henry at full term would be November 2000.
Jennifer Morrison has played a character who is in love with a Captain twice before. She had a recurring character in How I Met Your Mother (2005), who was married to a man named "The Captain," and she was married to James T Kirk's father in Star Trek (2009), who was captain of his starship for just 17 minutes.
Katee Sackhoff auditioned five times for the role of Emma Swan.
When Robin Hood is looking through the Wizard of Oak's/Oz's drawers in New York, you see a Mickey Mouse shaped object in one of them next to some scissors.
Most of the storybook's characters, especially Queen Regina, are wearing Indian Jewellery. Princes' and kings' attires are Indian as well.
Sunny Mabrey and Ethan Embry who play Glinda and Greg Mendell respectively were married for 7 years until 2012. However, in 2015, they have rekindled their romance, and are engaged to be married once more.
There are multiple cameos of Apollo candy bars, like from the TV show Lost (2004). There was also a TV in one episode playing a show called Exposé, also from (or similar to) Lost (2004).
Elizabeth Lail's debut in a TV series.
Michael Socha previously played Will Scarlet in the spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2013).
Rob Thomas, the creator of iZombie (2015), in which star Rose McIver (Tinkerbelle) and David Anders (Dr. Whale), went to the same school as the creators of Once Upon a Time (2011), Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
Cruella De Vil's car is a Zimmer Golden Spirit.
Paula Marshall was cast as Maleficent but was replaced by Kristin Bauer van Straten after producers decided to go in a different direction with the character.
Both Jennifer Morrison and Amy Acker have appeared in How I Met Your Mother (2005).
Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), Patrick Fischler (The Author), Raphael Sbarge (Jiminy Cricket) and Wes Brown (Gaston) have all appeared on Criminal Minds (2005).
In season 4, Captain Hook gets a change of clothes which began on the first date he had with Emma Swan
Mary Margaret is Emma's mother in the show, but in real life the actresses (Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison) are only one year apart in age.
Ruby's real name is never revealed. In the pre-Curse flashbacks, she's only ever referred to as "Red."
The fairy tales are set during the Medieval times but some of the characters have Revolutionary war era clothes and some modern day fancy dresses in the enchanted forest.
Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas have appeared in Five (2011) prior to appearing in Once Upon a Time (2011). The TV movie is an anthology of five short films. Morrison and Goodwin appear in the 1st one and Dallas in the 2nd one.
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David Anders and Rose McIver both star in the TV series iZombie (2015).
Regina Mills's adopted son Henry was named after the two loved ones in her life, her late father Henry and her late fiancé Daniel.
Julian Morris and Jamie Chung both starred in Sorority Row (2009).
Rose McGowan, who plays the young Cora, has played a evil queen before in an episode of Charmed called "A Knight to Remember". She also played Red Riding Hood in an web series called "Doctor Lollipop".
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Emma Caulfield played Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), where Jane Espenson was a writer/executive producer and is now writer/executive producer on Once Upon a Time (2011).
Rena Sofer (Queen Eva) and Emilie de Ravin (Belle) previously appeared in Carrie (2002).
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In an episode of season 1, Henry was playing a game that Regina bought him, which is Space Paranoids. In the Tron (1982) franchise, Space Paranoids is a game created by a major character, Kevin Flynn. Writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are the writers for Tron's sequel, Tron: Legacy (2010), and the producers/developers for the TV show Tron: Uprising (2012-2013).
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Lana Parilla (Regina Mills) was sitting on the front porch with her cat when she was ten years old. Moments later, a dog attacked her. Because of this, Lana has a scar on her upper lip.
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One of Cinderella's step sisters is anastasia. In season 1 they are seen and mentioned in Cinderellas flash back. Her character, though a different actress plays her has a significant role in once upon a time in Wonderland. Her love interest is is the knave of hearts/Will Scarlet, who is also linked to Robin Hood from once upon a time. In season 6, there is a flash back to Cinderella's past with her sisters. Neither of which are anastasia.
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Liam Garrigan (King Arthur) and Adam Croasdell (Brennan Jones) have previously worked together in the TV series 'The Chase'. They played Matt Lowe and Sebastian Montgomery respectively.
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Rock superstar Roger Daltrey had a very quick cameo as the caterpillar in an Alice in Wonderland episode.
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Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) and Sarah Bolger (Princess Aurora) both played characters in the show The Tudors.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The storyline of Snow White and Prince Charming's second baby was written to accommodate Ginnifer Goodwin's real life pregnancy.
Lana Parrilla specifically requested for the writers to change the abusive relationship between Regina and Henry. She is also responsible for the introduction of Regina's Season 3 love interest Robin Hood.
Yvette Nicole Brown played Ursula in season 3 but the role was recast to get Merrin Dungey for season 4. However, later in the show, it was hinted that there are two Ursulas: Ursula the Sea Witch and Ursula the Sea Goddess - the latter being voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown and the Sea Witch being played by Merrin Dungey.
Due to her starring role on the short lived TV series Intelligence, Meghan Ory was absent from several episodes of season 2 and was subsequently demoted to recurring status.
In one of the season 4 episodes, when Ingrid and her sisters are talking to Rumpelstiltskin, Thor's hammer Mjölnir can be seen behind the three sisters. It can also be seen in a previous episode where Neal is searching for a portal to get to neverland in Rumplestiltskin's palace.
The farmhouse where Mr. Gold is held captive by the Wicked Witch of the West in season 3 is the same farmhouse where DG resides in the miniseries Tin Man (2007).
Though Robbie Kay is the youngest actor to portray a major villain in Once Upon a Time (2011), his character is the oldest villain in the series so far (2015).
When Emma and Cpt. Hook are in the Enchanted Forest, Emma changes her clothes to period appropriate clothes. The clasps on her cloak are in the shape of Mickey Mouse.
In season 2, when Belle gets pushed over the town line, she is entered into the hospital. Her scrubs in the hospital are yellow, a nod to her yellow dress in the animated version of Beauty and the Beast (1991).
Outlaw Queen fans are petitioning online to bring Robin Hood back and give Regina her happy ending.
Before the curse is broken in the first season, several characters mention leaving town to start a new life in Boston. That is a nod to where Henry finds Emma, at her apartment in Boston.
Giancarlo Esposito was unavailable for filming due to his commitments to the TV series Revolution hence his limited appearances in seasons 2-3.
There have been 3 versions of Operation Cobra throughout the series. The first is the original "Operation Cobra" which was meant to break the first curse in season 1. The second version is "Operation Cobra Rescue" which is meant to rescue Henry from Peter Pan in season 3. The most recent version is in season 5, "Operation Cobra Part 2" which is meant to bring back everyone's memories from Camelot.
Mr.Gold has not been given a first name. He is often referred to as Mr.Gold, Gold, Rumple, or Rumplestiltskin.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz offered the role of Isaac/The Author directly to Patrick Fischler.
Greg Mendell mentioned to Regina that he was from Carlisle, Pensylvania, a nod to Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumple.
when Hook is looking for Emma in NYC, he pays a visit in her apartment. He is sitting in a table and a poster behind shows a visible lettering as " Rackham " which belongs both the surname of a famous pirate as well as a british llustrator of many fairy tales.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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