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Once Upon a Time (TV Series 2011–2018) Poster

(2011–2018)

Trivia

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Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) met on the set of this show, fell in love, married (as of 4/12/2014), and had two sons together, Oliver Finlay (May 29, 2014) and Hugo Wilson (June 1, 2016).
The role of Rumplestiltskin was written specifically for Robert Carlyle.
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JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who plays the mermaid Ariel, cannot swim in real-life.
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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 are sometimes called hoppers, because they hop to get around. "Archie" could also allude to the cockroach poet created in 1916 by Don Marquis.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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".
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During one of the episodes, Prince Charming mentions to Snow White about falling through a portal to Asgard, a reference to Marvel's Thor. Josh Dallas played Fandral in Thor (2011).
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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.
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Many actors and actresses from Lost have appeared in this series, including Lana Parrilla, Emilie de Ravin, Jorge Garcia, Alan Dale, Rebecca Mader, Naveen Andrews (who appeared in the spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2013) as Jafar), Patrick Fischler, Daniel Dae Kim, and Elizabeth Mitchell.
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The friendship between Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood is a nod to "Snow White and Rose Red", another German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
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Most of the objects in Mr. Golds were brought in by the cast.
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The wardrobe that Emma was sent through when she's born, is a nod to The Chronicles of Narnia.
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Of all of the Prince and 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.
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Jennifer Morrison and Sebastian Stan dated from May 2012 to August 2013.
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Sarah Bolger (Aurora, a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) once said in an interview, that her first on-screen kiss was with Colin O'Donoghue (Hook, a.k.a. Killian), when they co-starred alongside each other in The Tudors (2007).
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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.
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Captain Hook's ship is the replica of the eighteenth century ship Lady Washington, based in Grays Harbor, Washington. Lady Washington has appeared in various films, portraying the H.M.S. Interceptor in 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 (1994). She provided the basis for the R.L.S. Legacy in Disney's Treasure Planet (2002).
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The creators formally offered the part of the Blue Fairy, a.k.a. 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.
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There are many references to the television show Lost (2004). Among them are many of the same actors and actresses, the Apollo candy bars, and the television 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. Henry Mills' apartment in season 7 is 815.
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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.
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Because Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills) is a minor, he is only allowed to work ten hours a day. Due to that, they have stand-ins 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.
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Lana Parrilla (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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There is a Mickey Mouse toy at Mr. Gold's shop.
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Kristin Bauer van Straten briefly appeared in season one, 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 four.
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In the song "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Disney's 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 this show, Joan is the alias she uses with Charming, a.k.a. David.
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There are multiple references to Walt Disney once being The Author. In season four, episode seventeen, "Best Laid Plans", August (Pinocchio) makes reference to there being many authors, including "a man named Walt", and in season four, episode twenty-two, "Operation Mongoose: Part 1", the episode starts in December 1966, with reference to The Author recently passing away, and a new author needed. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966.
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Emma Swan's first name was originally going to be "Anna".
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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 George in Star Trek (2009), who was Captain of his starship for just eighteen minutes.
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Katee Sackhoff auditioned five times for the role of Emma Swan.
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Many of the recurring actors and actresses can also be seen as supporting characters on Supernatural (2005). This show and Supernatural (2005) film in the Vancouver area. The season three episode of Supernatural: Mystery Spot (2008) was primarily filmed in Steveston, the filming location for Once Upon a Time (2011).
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Every major character has worn a leather jacket in Storybrooke.
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Sunny Mabrey (Glinda) and Ethan Embry (Greg Mendell) were married for seven years until 2012. However, in 2015, they have rekindled their romance, and are engaged to be married once more.
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Snow White's name, in Storybrooke, is Mary Margaret. In the enchanted forest, Snow told Ruby, a.k.a. Red, her favorite names were Mary and Margaret.
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When Robin Hood is looking through the Wizard of Oak's, a.k.a. Oz's drawers in New York City, you see a Mickey Mouse shaped object in one of them, next to some scissors.
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Most of the storybook's characters, especially Queen Regina, are wearing Indian jewelry. Princes' and Kings' attires are Indian as well.
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There are multiple cameos of Apollo candy bars, like from the television show Lost (2004). There was also a television in one episode playing a show called Exposé, also from (or similar to) Lost (2004).
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In season four, Captain Hook received a change of clothes, which began on the first date he had with Emma Swan.
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Michael Socha played Will Scarlet in the spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2013).
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Regina Mills' adopted son Henry was named after the two loved ones in her life, her late father Henry, and her late fiancé Daniel.
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Cruella De Vil's car is a Zimmer Golden Spirit.
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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 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after birth) then the latest she could've met Neal to give birth to Henry at full term would be November 2000.
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Elizabeth Lail's debut in a television series.
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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.
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Rob Thomas, the Creator of iZombie (2015), in which appear Rose McIver (Tinkerbelle) and David Anders (Dr. Whale), went to the same school as the Creators of this show, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
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Mary Margaret is Emma's mother in the show, but in real-life, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison are only one year apart in age.
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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.
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Rock superstar Roger Daltrey had a very quick cameo as the caterpillar in season one, episode seventeen, "Hat Trick".
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Neal Cassidy gets his name from the Beat generation's Neal Cassady, the friend and mentor of writer Jack Kerouac. The aloofness and independence of his character (as well as the run-ins with the law) is based on the real-life Cassady. He spent his teen years in and out of jail, due to numerous arrests for grand theft auto and petty crime. He served eleven months in prison for sale of stolen goods, the same prison sentence that Emma spends. Cassady also knocked up his second wife and abandoned her to raise their child alone, much like the character of Neal.
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Jennifer Morrison and Amy Acker appeared on How I Met Your Mother (2005). Jorge garcia also appeared in this show and how i met your mother
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Sean Maguire (Robin Hood), Patrick Fischler (The Author), Raphael Sbarge (Jiminy Cricket), and Wes Brown (Gaston) appeared on Criminal Minds (2005).
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ABC has CANCELED Once Upon a Time after seven seasons! The fantasy drama series which was re-vamped for its current season will end in May 2018.
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Rose McGowan (young Cora) played sister Paige on Charmed (1998), season four, episode six, "A Knight to Remember". She also played Red Riding Hood in an web series called "Doctor Lollipop".
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Coincidentally, Adelaide Kane and Gabrielle Anwar have both previously appeared on TV as real life British queens. In Reign (2013), Adelaide Kane played the role of Queen Mary Stuart (aka Mary, Queen of Scots). In The Tudors (2007), Gabrielle Anwar played King Henry VIII's sister Princess Margaret Tudor (later Margaret, Queen of Scots). Margaret, Queen of Scots was the paternal grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots.

In Once Upon a Time (2011) they play Drizella and Lady Tremaine (respectively).
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One of Cinderella's stepsisters is Anastasia. In season one, they are seen and mentioned in Cinderella's flashback. Her character, though a different actress plays her, has a significant role in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2013). Her love interest is the Knave of Hearts, a.k.a. Will Scarlet, who is also linked to Robin Hood from this show. In season six, there is a flashback to Cinderella's past with her stepsisters. Neither of which are Anastasia.
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David Anders and Rose McIver appeared in the television series iZombie (2015).
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In an episode of season one, 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: Legacy (2010), and the producers and developers for the television show TRON: Uprising (2012).
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Julian Morris and Jamie Chung appeared in Sorority Row (2009).
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Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Josh Dallas appeared in Five (2011) prior to appearing in this show. The television movie is an anthology of five short films. Morrison and Goodwin appear in the first one, and Dallas in the second one.
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In seventh season Henry Mills lives in the apartment number 815, same number as the "Oceanic" Lost's flight.
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Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) and Sarah Bolger (Princess Aurora) appeared in The Tudors (2007).
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Rena Sofer (Queen Eva) and Emilie de Ravin (Belle) appeared in Carrie (2002).
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Emma Caulfield Ford played Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996), where Jane Espenson was a Writer and Executive Producer, and is now Writer and Executive Producer on this show.
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On both Once Upon a Time and How I Met Your Mother, Jennifer Morrison plays a character with a criminal history.
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Some actors and actresses were also in the television series Covert Affairs (2010).
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Liam Garrigan (King Arthur) and Adam Croasdell (Brennan Jones) appeared in the television series The Chase (2006). They played Matt Lowe and Sebastian Montgomery respectively.
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Kristin Bauer van Straten (Maleficent) and Giles Matthey (Gideon) have both appeared in the series True Blood (2008-2014). Coincidentally Giles Matthey portrayed a Faerie on the show.
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Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook aka. Killian Jones), and Julian Morris (Prince Phillip) have both worked with an actor who's appeared in the movie 'Ashes in the Snow'. Colin appeared in the movie, 'Carrie Pilby' with Bel Powley, where they played Professor Harrison and Carrie Pilby respectively, while Julian appeared in the TV show, 'Little Women' with Jonah Hauer-King, where they played John Brooke and Laurie Laurence respectively. In 'Ashes in the Snow', Bel Powley played the character of Lina, while Jonah Hauer-King played the character of Andrius Aras.
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Spoilers 

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.
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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 three love interest, Robin Hood.
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The farmhouse where Mr. Gold is held captive by the Wicked Witch of the West in season three, is the same farmhouse where DG resides in the miniseries Tin Man (2007).
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Yvette Nicole Brown played Ursula in season three, but the role was re-cast to get Merrin Dungey for season four. 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.
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Though Robbie Kay is the youngest actor to portray a major villain in this show, his character is the oldest villain in the series as of 2015.
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In one of the season four 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.
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When Emma and Captain 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.
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Due to her starring role on the short lived television series Intelligence, Meghan Ory was absent from several episodes of season two, and was subsequently demoted to recurring status.
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Outlaw Queen fans are petitioning online to bring Robin Hood back, and give Regina her happy ending.
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Mr.Gold has not been given a first name. He is often referred to as Mr.Gold, Gold, Rumple, or Rumplestiltskin.
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The following characters share a curse-breaking True Love's Kiss: Snow/Mary Margaret and Charming/David, Belle and Rumplestiltskin (incomplete; the curse starts to break, but doesn't finish), Emma and Henry, Aurora and Philip, Regina and Henry, Brennan Jones and an unnamed woman, Zelena and Hades, Ruby and Dorothy, Aladdin and Jasmine. Also, while Emma and Hook never share an official True Love's Kiss, they are confirmed as true love in season five, episode twenty, "Firebird", after passing the test in the Underworld, while trying to recover Ambrosia.
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Giancarlo Esposito was unavailable for filming, due to his commitment to the television series Revolution, hence his limited appearances in seasons two and three.
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In season two, 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).
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The Dark Curse is cast a total of four times throughout the series: once by Regina (who sacrificed her father), once by Peter Pan (who sacrificed Felix, his right-hand man), once by Snow White (who sacrificed David, although he was resurrected shortly thereafter), and once by Hook as dark one in Camelot, sacrificing Merlin (as Nimue, the first dark one).
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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.
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There have been three versions of Operation Cobra throughout the series. The first is the original "Operation Cobra", which was meant to break the first curse in season one. The second version is "Operation Cobra Rescue", which was meant to rescue Henry from Peter Pan in season three. The most recent version was in season five, "Operation Cobra Part 2", which was meant to bring back everyone's memories from Camelot.
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Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz offered the role of Isaac, a.k.a. The Author, directly to Patrick Fischler.
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Greg Mendell mentioned to Regina that he was from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a nod to Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumple.
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When Hook is looking for Emma in New York City, he pays a visit to her apartment. He is sitting at the table with a poster behind him showing visible lettering as "Rackham", which belongs to both the surname of a famous pirate, as well as the British illustrator of many fairy tales.
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See also

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

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