Storybrooke, Maine is a Land Without Magic location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.
During First CurseEdit
In the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen cast a powerful curse, which sends all of the inhabitants to a newly created town in a Land Without Magic called Storybrooke. The curse is prophesied by Rumplestiltskin to be broken in twenty-eight years by Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter Emma. To protect their infant daughter, a magic wardrobe is constructed that brings her to another land just before all of the Enchanted Forest is engulfed in the curse. Secretly, the wardrobe can protect not one, but two people, which is something the Blue Fairy failed to disclose due to a deal she made with the wood carver Geppetto to allow his son Pinocchio to also be safe from the curse. Geppetto asks Pinocchio to look out for Emma as she grows up. Pinocchio goes through the wardrobe first, and later carries Emma into a nearby diner. They are placed in the same foster home, though he later abandons her. ("Pilot")
During the first week of the curse, the Evil Queen assumes a new life in Storybrooke as the town mayor Regina. She relishes in the haze the other residents live in, with their true identities completely wiped, while time does not move forward. Unexpectedly, a man named Kurt and his son Owen wander into Storybrooke. Regina does her best to minimize their stay in town by having Kurt's broken down car fixed in about a week. After a few days, Regina becomes frustrated because everyone in town heeds her ways not because they want to, but due to the curse's power. She entertains the idea of having some change in her life and invites Kurt and Owen over for dinner. For Regina, forming a connection with Owen is the first interaction she's experienced since the enacting of the curse that feels real and true. Owen is cheerful at the suggested idea he and his father move from their original residence of New Jersey to Storybrooke, but Kurt politely rejects the notion. Not wanting to lose Owen, she resorts to using Sheriff Graham's heart to make him arrest Kurt for false drunk driving charges. Kurt overhears her threat and hastily attempts to speed out of town with Owen, but they are blocked by Sheriff Graham's police car at the border. To save his son, Kurt sacrifices himself to be arrested while urging Owen to run. Sadly, Regina allows Owen to leave as she knows if he is made to stay by force, it won't be "real". After Owen comes back to the town border with policemen to find his father, Storybrooke is no longer visible to outsiders since Regina put up a barrier. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
Eighteen years later, Regina decides to adopt a child to bring more meaning to her own life. With Mr. Gold's assistance, he directs her to a Boston adoption agency where an infant boy is awaiting a new home. Regina passes the potential parent interview and returns to Storybrooke with her new son, whom she names Henry, as a namesake for her father. When he vomits on Regina's clothes, she brings him to the hospital to be checked out by Dr. Whale. He can find nothing wrong with the child and suggests Regina look into any genetic illnesses Henry may have inherited from his biological parents. Since it was a closed adoption, Regina can't access the information. She calls up Sidney to help her sleuth around. While on the phone, she hands Henry, who won't stop crying, over to Mary Margaret. In the next instant, Regina is stunned that the latter managed to calm Henry down. Alas, the minute she takes her son back into her own arms, he starts wailing again. With a sinking feeling, Regina begins to suspect there is something wrong with herself that is causing Henry's fussy state. While awaiting the information from Sidney, she tries one last time to soothe Henry, which miraculously works. She receives faxed documents about Henry's birth mother, and is stunned to learn the woman in question was abandoned eighteen years ago in the woods. Regina puts two and two together, recognizing the woman as the savior of the curse, and promptly stomps into Mr. Gold's pawnshop to confront him with the news. He remembers nothing of his prior life and believes the pressures of motherhood are getting to her. The next day, Regina drops Henry back at the Boston adoption agency where he will go to the next-in-line potential parents, but can't bring herself to part with the boy she has grown to love as her own. She decides to keep him, though her fears about his birth mother do not subside. To quell out these emotions, she prepares a potion and drinks it to wipe away knowledge of Henry's birth mother. ("Save Henry")
Ten years pass, and Henry grows up feeling unloved and lonely. He doesn't believe Regina truly loves him, and glumly sees his birth mother's abandonment as another notch to his unhappy life. One morning, his teacher, Mary Margaret, finds a mysterious fairytale book sitting in her bedroom closet. She takes it with her to the school grounds. After learning of Henry's plights, she is inspired to let him have the book as a way to see that the fairytale stories have the one thing he needs most--hope. He begins flipping through the book's various pictures, and for a brief moment, sees Mary Margaret as Snow White. Once Henry sees a photo of Snow White and Prince Charming's infant daughter, he instantly recognizes her name as Emma. ("Going Home")
Henry becomes persistently convinced that Regina is the Evil Queen and everyone in town is living under a curse she cast. He decides to find Emma, who is also the savior, so she can break the curse. Without his mother's knowledge, he steals Mary Margaret's credit card to look up Emma's residence in Boston. Armed with his fairytale book, Henry skips his therapy session with Archie and shows up on the doorstep of Emma's apartment. Reluctantly, Emma has no choice but to drive him back to Storybrooke, though he refuses to tell her his address. They step out of the car for a minute, where Emma meets Archie and gains Henry's address. Once they pull up in front of the house, she comes face to face with Henry's mother Regina and is invited in for some apple cider. Shortly after, Emma is on her way out of town when she notices Henry sneakily left his book in the car. Startled by a wolf on the road, Emma loses control and crashes her car into the Storybrooke sign. She awakens the next morning in the sheriff department jail cell for drunk driving, but is released when Regina needs her help to find a missing Henry. Eventually, Emma finds Henry sulking at his castle playground. He is disappointed bringing her to Storybrooke did not help to weaken the curse. Despite his ramblings and pleas for her to stay in town for at least a week as proof the curse is real, she drops him back home again. Emma doesn't understand Henry's wild imagination, but begins to feel a bond with him. Though grateful for Emma's help, Regina wants her gone and out of Storybrooke before she gets too close to Henry. Surprised at Regina's callous protectiveness, Emma takes Henry's advice on a whim and checks into the inn for a one week stay. That night, Henry stares at the clock tower and smiles as the long minute hand moves toward to eight-sixteen that signifies time is moving forward. ("Pilot")
Across the world in Phuket, Thailand, August's past is catching up with him. Once formerly known as Pinocchio, August has since forgotten his father's last request to watch out for Emma until he begins changing back into wood. Unable to find a solution to the problem himself, he decides to face fate and makes his way to Storybrooke to Emma. ("The Stranger", "Selfless, Brave and True")
When Regina finds out Emma did not leave town, she wreaks havoc on the woman's life by trying to drive her away, but instead this causes Emma and Henry's relationship to strengthen. Emma makes a friendly acquaintance with Mary Margaret, especially when she bails her out of jail and offers her advice to stay in Storybrooke for Henry's sake. Harboring the suspicion Mary Margaret is Snow White, Henry wants her to read to a comatose patient only known as John Doe, who he thinks is Prince Charming. Emma asks her to do so under the pretense to show Henry fairytales aren't real, but is shocked to learn John Doe grabbed Mary Margaret's hand while unconscious. Trouble arises when John Doe vanishes from the hospital, and surveillance footage shows he woke up and wandered out into the forest. Henry insists John Doe is looking for Mary Margaret. When he is found unconscious and bleeding, Mary Margaret resuscitates him with CPR. John Doe is sent back to rest at the hospital where his estranged wife, Kathryn, is waiting for him. Emma finds it suspicious Kathryn assumed John Doe, whose real name is David, had left for Boston after their last argument and disappeared. She thinks Regina has something to do with keeping David in the hospital, but lets it slide for now. ("The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls")
Emma meets a pregnant woman, Ashley, who isn't confident in her ability to care for her future child. When advised by Emma that only she can change her own life, Ashley decides to keep the baby by stealing back the adoption papers she signed to Mr. Gold. Caught in the pawnshop by him, Ashley fights her way out by pepper spraying him and making off with the papers. Not willing to settle for a broken deal, Mr. Gold enlists Emma to track down Ashley while giving the charade that his request is out of concern for the girl. In fear that Mr. Gold will forcibly take away her baby, Ashley borrows a car from her friend Ruby and skips town to Boston, but never makes it there as she begins going into labor. Emma brings her to the hospital where Ashley gives birth to a girl she names Alexandra. To free Ashley from her deal with Mr. Gold, Emma promises to owe him a future favor, which he accepts. Ashley reunites with the father of her child, Sean, and the three become a family. Previously, Emma is offered the job of sheriff's deputy from Sheriff Graham. Since she wants to be a part of Henry's life permanently, Emma takes him up on his offer. ("The Price of Gold")
Emma receives her first assignment as sheriff's deputy when a collapsed sinkhole near the mines endanger the welfare of the townspeople. Regina finds a piece of a glass near the site, which she hides to herself. Henry begins to include his therapist, Archie, on his plan to find evidence in the mines to prove the curse is real. Frustrated at her son's stubbornness, Regina gives Archie a firm threat to put him out a job if he doesn't wipe out Henry's delusion about the curse. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret feels romantic sparks for David, but abstains from acting on her feelings because he is still married to Kathryn and seemingly trying to rebuild his life. Though all seems to be going well on David's end, he admits to Mary Margaret that things only feel real when he's with her. Despite that his feelings for her are requited, Mary Margaret feels a duty to not be in a relationship with a married man, and quits her volunteering job at the hospital. Concurrently, Archie follows Regina's command to give Henry a reality check, but this only further compels the boy to venture in the mines himself to seek proof. Emma and Archie search the grounds of the exterior of the mines for Henry, but he is nowhere to be found. Just before the sinkhole entrance collapses, Archie dives in and reunites with Henry inside. While stuck in an elevator, Archie apologizes to Henry for his earlier behavior and realizes he is not the man he wants to be. Outside of the mines, Archie's dog Pongo sniffs out where his owner and Henry are trapped, so Emma is lowered down to pull the both of them to safety. Archie finally stands up to Regina by rejecting her previous request and calmly asserts she'll be the one losing in a custody battle with Emma. In the evening, Regina takes out the glass piece she pocketed earlier and throws it down a mine shaft. At the very bottom, it collects together with the other broken shards of Snow White's coffin. ("That Still Small Voice")
David is discharged from the hospital to be welcomed back by his various friends and associates, who he doesn't remember, at a homecoming celebration. Mary Margaret continues to deter him until he confesses he is going to leave Kathryn to be with her. They agree to meet at the Toll Bridge where Mary Margaret found him the day he awoke from his coma. On his way there, David bumps into Regina, who purposely gives him the wrong directions. Instead, he ends up at Mr. Gold's pawnshop and enters to ask for the correct directions. In the shop, David sees a windmill and from looking at it, begins to recall the memories of his life with Kathryn. Deciding to uphold his marriage, he turns down an expectant Mary Margaret and goes home to his wife. That same night, Emma is patrolling on night duty when she sees a stranger climb down from the second floor of Regina's house. Thinking it is a thief, Emma catches him and is shocked to see it is Graham. Putting the implications together, she realizes he and Regina were having a tryst while Henry is asleep in the house. Horrified, she expresses disgust at the news. ("The Shepherd")
While drunkenly playing darts at the diner, Graham sees Emma walk in and proceed to dash back out after she notices him. He follows her out to explain that his relationship with Regina is purely physical. In the midst of it, he kisses her and gets a flash of memories from his life as the Huntsman. Emma harshly rejects him and in his own emptiness, he seeks out solace in Regina's arms. He awakens from a dream with himself, a wolf and a woman resembling Mary Margaret. Unsure of what he is seeing, Graham asks Henry to show him the fairytale book. Henry tells him about the Huntsman whose heart was stolen by the Evil Queen, and points out the vault where it is kept. From this, Graham makes it his mission to find his heart. Though skeptical, Emma helps him look and they are guided by a wolf to the vault. They are unable to find it, and when confronted by Regina, she and Emma fight over Graham. After the two leave, Regina concludes Graham is no longer under her control and takes out his heart. At the sheriff department, Emma and Graham share another kiss, in which he receives all of his memories back, but suddenly collapses in death as Regina, in her vault, crushes his heart to dust. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
After Graham's death, Emma is fired by Regina from her job as sheriff's deputy. Regina intends to put Sidney as sheriff. She holds a conference at town hall intending to announce it, though Emma interrupts to state that a mayor can support a possible sheriff candidate, but not give the position to someone. Against Sidney, Emma also runs for sheriff in an election. With unlikely help from Mr. Gold, he starts a fire in Regina's office that forces Emma to save her life and wins the townspeople's support. Despite that Emma wants to win the election, she doesn't feel right being the victor by dishonest means. At the electoral debate, Emma fully discloses and indicts Mr. Gold as the arsonist to the townspeople. Accepting defeat, she nurses the loss at the diner, but is later congratulated on the new position as sheriff since her speech won the hearts of the people. ("Desperate Souls")
Emma helps to solve the mystery of the biological father of orphan siblings Ava and Nicholas. In her search, Henry becomes curious about the identity of his own biological father is. Reluctant to tell him the actual truth, Emma makes up a story about his father being a firefighter who died saving someone else's life. From showing the siblings her own baby blanket as an item linking her to a past, Ava gives Emma a trinket her mother once owned. By asking Mr. Gold, Emma is given the name of the man who bought the trinket, Michael. Unaware he had children, Michael refuses outright to take responsibility for the children. Regina prepares to have Emma escort the siblings to Boston where they will be put in a foster care system. On the ride there, Emma's car breaks down and she calls Michael since he is a car mechanic. From the backseat, the siblings watch as Michael converses with Emma. Michael is convinced the children are his, and agrees to take care of them. That night, Emma and Henry see a stranger—August—ride into town on his motorcycle. He stops long enough to ask for the nearest place to stay, to which they direct him to the bed and breakfast. ("True North")
The next morning, August is fixing his motorcycle outside Regina's house. Henry approaches and converses with him, which Regina witnesses. She, in turn, orders Emma to find out more about the man. Emma discovers August is in town for writing inspiration. Unable to shake her attraction to David, Mary Margaret spends her mornings rushing to the diner by seven-fifteen so she can get a glimpse of him. Unknown to her, he is doing the same thing, picking up coffee for himself and Kathryn at seven-fifteen, all to get a glimpse of Mary Margaret. While shopping, Mary Margaret bumps into Kathryn and sees she is buying a pregnancy test. Later, she takes a walk in the woods and comes across an injured dove. From a visit to the pet shelter, the veterinarian heeds that the dove must reunite with its flock or risk being alone forever. An impending storm occurs, but Mary Margaret tries to brave it in the hopes of releasing the dove. David persuades her to wait it out, and take cover in an abandoned cabin. They nearly kiss, but Mary Margaret chastises David for not thinking about Kathryn, who might be pregnant. Afterwards, she is able to free the dove as the flock passes overhead. Mary Margaret and David agree not to see each other again. David talks to Kathryn about the current state of their marriage and what might help to smooth things out. To his relief, Kathryn is not pregnant. David agrees to have therapy sessions with Archie. The next morning, instead of going to the diner, he has breakfast with Kathryn at home. At seven-fifteen, Mary Margaret miserably stares at the clock in her apartment. A little later, she goes to the diner, and sees David walk in. Immediately, he backs out, but Mary Margaret follows. They discover both of them have been coming to the diner at the same time to see each other. Unable to fight their feelings, they have a passionate kiss as Regina watches from across the street in her car. ("7:15 A.M.")
Fed up with Sidney's prior incompetence in losing the sheriff election, she fires him from his job as a reporter for the Storybrooke Daily Mirror. One morning, Henry finds his castle playground being demolished on Regina's orders. He rushes to find his book in its hiding spot at the playground, but it is not there. In actuality, August obtained the book. In Sidney's dejected state, he teams up with Emma to find incriminating evidence against Regina to show how corrupt she is as mayor. Emma is aware there is some money missing from the town budget, and Mr. Gold affirms Regina bought some land. They break into Regina's office to find out what she is using it for. Mary Margaret and David continue their affair and have a picnic in the woods. At the town meeting, Emma and Sidney publicly call out Regina with proof that she stole money from the budget to build herself a house in the woods. Regina reveals the money is being used to build a new playground for the children. Ashamed and humiliated, Emma leaves. Outside, Regina takes away her privileges of seeing Henry, and warns her against trying or there will be a restraining order. Though Emma and Sidney vow to be allies against the mayor, he is actually still working under the radar for Regina. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
Due to late rent payments, Mr. Gold takes away Moe's flower delivery on the day before the busiest time of the year--Valentine's Day. On the street, Regina requests to speak with Mr. Gold, but he refuses and asks her to "please" get out of his way. Shocked, Regina begins to suspect he retained memories from the Enchanted Forest as the "please" enchantment was something she promised him in their previous lives. Regina goads Moe into getting back at Mr. Gold by breaking into his house and stealing some items. Emma is called to retrieve Mr. Gold's belongings, though one missing item causes him to take things into his own hands by kidnapping Moe. As a girls' night out, Ashley, Mary Margaret and Ruby hang out at the bar. Ashley is bummed out since Sean has to work on Valentine's Day, but is surprised in the bar with a marriage proposal from him, which she accepts. Mary Margaret watches the happy couple leave in Sean's truck when David approaches to hand her a Valentine card. He makes a blunder by giving her the card meant for Kathryn, which causes Mary Margaret to push him to go home to his wife, even though David can't part with his feelings for her. Elsewhere, Mr. Gold has kidnapped Moe and holds him captive in a cabin in the woods. He beats the man into a bloody pulp, working himself up in a rage over an unnamed woman, when Moe attests to not knowing where Mr. Gold's missing item is. Emma breaks up the altercation and questions Mr. Gold about the woman he mentioned to Moe, but he won't talk about it, so she slaps him with assault charges as well as a night in the jail cell. Regina comes to the station with Henry, and allows Emma to spend thirty minutes with him while she speaks privately with Mr. Gold. He asks her if she has the missing item, which Regina admits to. However, she won't give it back until he tells her his name. At first, he insists his name is Mr. Gold, but she asks for his name elsewhere. Cornered, he says his name is Rumplestiltskin; showing he has memories of his previous life. Satisfied with the answer, Regina hands back the item—a chipped cup. Afterwards, she heads to the hospital's psychiatric ward. In one of the cells, she visits a female patient, who is the same woman Mr. Gold spoke of. ("Skin Deep")
Over dinner, Kathryn tells David she has been accepted to a law school in Boston. She has high hopes of moving there with him so they can start afresh and make new memories for the future. He is uneasy about the idea, and talks about it with Mary Margaret. She believes it'd be a good thing to tell Kathryn the truth so they could stop hiding their relationship from everyone. David is unsure, but agrees to let Kathryn know. During one trip to the diner, August discloses his full name to Emma and invites her to an outing with him. Later in the day, David breaks the news to Kathryn he can't go to Boston, stating that they are "not connecting", and fails to make any mention of Mary Margaret. Secretly, August begins to dry and put new pages into Henry's fairytale book. In tears, Kathryn talks about her problems to Regina. When Regina makes note of a "homewrecker", Kathryn is torn to see snapped photos of her husband and Mary Margaret engaging in an affair. She storms off to the school and publicly slaps and berates Mary Margaret. From the confrontation, Mary Margaret realizes though David told her earlier on the phone he did tell Kathryn about them, he actually did not. Gossip spreads around town about Mary Margaret, and she reaches her car only to see David washing off the spray painted word "tramp" off of it. She is hurt he lied to her, and as a result, everyone is hurt. Mary Margaret breaks up with David for good. August drops by the diner on his motorcycle and takes Emma to the wishing well to grab a drink. In secret, August places Henry's book in a metal box under Emma's car, which she later finds and returns to the boy. After having some time to cool down, Kathryn recognizes that she and David's marriage has always been littered with issues even before his affair with Mary Margaret. She informs Regina of her plans to leave for Boston alone, and leave a note behind urging David and Mary Margaret to be happy together. ("What Happened to Frederick")
Unbeknownst to Kathryn, Regina and Mr. Gold conspire to make her disappear so Mary Margaret will be blamed for murder. Regina agrees to get the district attorney to drop Mr. Gold's assault charges while he causes something terrible to happen to Kathryn. He also suggests that once Mary Margaret is brought in as a murder suspect, Regina should put a key in the jail cell to tempt the woman into escaping. Regina steals and burns the note Kathryn left behind for David. On Kathryn's drive out of town, she is kidnapped and held hostage by Mr. Gold. Her car remains at the border, and is found by the school gym teacher. ("What Happened to Frederick", "The Stable Boy")
Emma investigates further in the matter of what David knows about his wife's strange disappearance. Despite that Sidney pulls up phone records that show Kathryn had an eight minute phone call with David, she is still reluctant to bring him in for questioning. Just as the annual Miner's Day festival rolls around, Mary Margaret, in an act of rebuilding her shattered reputation, signs up as a volunteer to sell candles. Notably, but less disliked by the townspeople than her, is Leroy, the town drunk. He falls head over heels in love with a cheerful nun named Astrid and initially signs up as a volunteer to impress her. Later on, he catches her in a money dilemma and offers to help sell enough candles to earn back her nunnery's rent payment to their landlord Mr. Gold. Unfortunately, the whole town shuns Leroy and Mary Margaret as outcasts and no one buys the candles. He tells Astrid all the candles are sold, though it is a lie. When she realizes he was not telling the truth, Leroy feels ashamed at her disappointment. To make up for it, he causes a blackout by short circuiting the whole town's power system and thereby forcing the townspeople to rely on buying candles as light sources. He and Mary Margaret sell out all their candles, and Leroy personally delivers the money to Astrid, who is impressed and grateful. During the outage, Regina pressures Emma to stop protecting David or she will hire another sheriff to do the job she can't. Finally, she finds David and brings him over to the police station. ("Dreamy")
Emma spends the night asking David about the phone records, but he doesn't remember speaking with Kathryn the night of her disappearance. With not much to work with, she sends him home and suggests he gets a lawyer. During the same evening, at the diner, Ruby is told by Granny to begin working on Saturdays so she can learn how to manage more things in the diner. Ruby dislikes being given more work, so she quits and packs up her things. While waiting at the bus stop, Dr. Whale tries to flirt with her, but Emma and Mary Margaret chase him off. Mary Margaret offers Ruby to stay with them until she can gain her footing. Sometime later, in the woods, Mary Margaret meets a dazed David, who ignores her and continues his search for Kathryn. At the sheriff department, Henry helps Ruby look for a new job, but she rejects all offers as none appeal to her, and partially due to low confidence in herself. When the office phone won't stop ringing, she casually answers and helps out those who call. Impressed, Emma hires her as an assistant. Ruby goes off to fetch lunch as Mary Margaret comes in to informs Emma about David's strange behavior. Coolly, Ruby enters the diner to pick up food while boasting to Granny about her new job. Granny perceives Ruby is doing the same job she did before as a waitress, which leaves the girl in low spirits. Emma decides to bring Ruby along to search for David. Strangely, Ruby hears him and leads Emma to his unconscious body. Upon awakening, David remembers nothing of anything that occurred after he left the sheriff department. Emma brings him to Dr. Whale, who reports he is experiencing a similar state to post-coma. David fears that he may have harmed Kathryn during his blackout period. Regina bursts in demanding Emma resume looking for Kathryn. Before David has another blackout, Emma hastily requests Ruby to go to the Toll Bridge and search for anything out of the ordinary. However, Regina, behind the scenes, beats Emma to the punch by deliberately planting Mary Margaret's jewelry box containing a human heart with Kathryn's DNA near the riverside. Ruby finds the box and the sight of the heart shocks her so much that she quits. She makes up with Granny; stating that learning all the new stuff for the diner scared her. Granny believes in her skills, and gives Ruby her job back. Later, Emma runs tests on the fingerprints on the jewelry box, which turn out to be a match for Mary Margaret. ("Red-Handed")
Left little choice, Emma has to follow her duty as sheriff and take Mary Margaret in as a suspect, even though she believes her friend to be innocent. In an interrogation room, Mary Margaret is questioned and shown the jewelry box. She admits it is hers, but has no idea how it ended up at the Toll Bridge. Emma searches the premises of Mary Margaret's apartment for signs of a break-in. Henry tags along and strongly believes Regina framed Mary Margaret; with the sole reason being that she "hates Snow White". After a thorough search, there is no evidence of forced entry, but Emma finds a dagger, which matches the supposed knife used to kill Kathryn. David pleads Regina for mercy on Mary Margaret's behalf, and doesn't believe she is capable of murder. He brings up the topic of his blackouts and the possibility he might have harmed Kathryn, but Regina dismisses him. Emma informs Mary Margaret about the dagger and advises her to get a lawyer as soon as possible. Mr. Gold offers his services, and though Emma distrusts him, Mary Margaret is willing. Henry steals a chain of keys from Regina, and demonstrates, much to Emma's shock, that one of them opens Mary Margaret's apartment. To get to the bottom of his blackouts, David undergoes hypnosis with Archie's help. He recalls memories from his life as Prince Charming, but mistakes them for events that occurred in Storybrooke. He glimpses Snow White, who he thinks is Mary Margaret, attempt to harm someone. Immediately after, he goes to question Mary Margaret, who is stunned at his accusations and orders him out. In the morning, she finds a key in her jail cell cot blanket and tests it out on the door, which unlocks. Emma arrives with grim news that the heart being a DNA match with Kathryn, and her pending case will go through. Devastated, Mary Margaret uses the key to escape her cell during the night. ("Heart of Darkness")
Mary Margaret runs off through the woods, but is caught by a man named Jefferson and taken hostage in his house. Once Emma receives word of Mary Margaret's escape, she searches around while cruising in her car. On the side of the road, Emma accidentally hits Jefferson, or so she thinks. Jefferson fakes a leg injury in order to lure her into his home. Ever since Emma came to Storybrooke, he has figured out that she is the one who can break the curse. Desperate to get out of a town stuck in a time loop, Jefferson orders Emma to use magic and make a hat "work", in exchange for Mary Margaret's safety, so he can return home. She is in disbelief when Jefferson shows her a young girl next door who he believes to be his daughter. Emma tricks him by playing along, stating that she thinks her mother is Mary Margaret, but once his back is turned, she knocks him out. She manages to untie Mary Margaret when Jefferson catches up with them. For a few moments, Emma and Jefferson wrestle for a gun until Mary Margaret uses a croquet mallet to hit and kick him out the window. When they look down below, Jefferson is nowhere in sight, and only the hat Emma made remains on the ground. Outside, Emma presents her with the choice of leaving to Boston or facing the charges. If Mary Margaret chooses to stay, Emma promises to help her as she considers her family. Touched, Mary Margaret returns to the jail cell in time just as Regina strolls in with a crestfallen expression as she had expected the schoolteacher to have fled. Prior to the start of school, Emma visits Henry and sees the same girl Jefferson pointed out to her. Curiously, she flips through the fairytale book to see a photo greatly resembling Jefferson and the girl. ("Hat Trick")
Mary Margaret is interviewed by the District Attorney, Albert, and asked repeatedly if she wanted Kathryn gone. Despite answering no several times, in a fit of frustration, she says yes, which is taken as a murder confession. Emma obtains inspiration from August, who advises her to go back to the crime scene in order to find an answer towards helping Mary Margaret. She reexamines the hole where Ruby used a shovel to dig and find the jewelry box. In the soil, a piece of a shovel tip is found. Suspecting Regina is involved, she and August secretly look through the garage to find the shard is a perfect fit with the actual shovel. The next day, Emma shows up with a warrant to search Regina's garage, but finds a different intact shovel in place of the old one. She accuses August of conspiring with Regina while he admits to nothing. The police come to take Mary Margaret away for the upcoming trial. Emma is upset that putting her trust in Mr. Gold has yielded no help for Mary Margaret, to which he mysteriously promises to "work a little magic". In frustration, Emma throws a flower vase across the room in her office and is shocked to see an audio spying device inside. She apologizes to August for suspecting him as the flower vase was given to her by Sidney. Suddenly, a scream alerts both of them. They find Ruby, who is too stunned to find the words to explain and only tells them "she" is behind the diner. Emma sees someone laying in the alley, and upon closer inspection, it is a struggling Kathryn. ("The Stable Boy")
August awakens to experience terrible leg pain through his gradual transformation back into wood. He calls Henry and asks him to go into the pawnshop and distract Mr. Gold for a while. August enters through the back to look the Dark One's Dagger. When caught by Mr. Gold, August feigns interest in looking at maps. Due to Kathryn's reappearance, the charges against Mary Margaret are dropped and a homecoming party is thrown at her apartment as the whole town is in attendance. While Emma thinks Mr. Gold has something to do with Kathryn's kidnapping and safe return, he is suspicious of what August was doing in his shop. After breaking into August's guest room, Mr. Gold finds a drawing of his dagger. His alarm turns to apprehensiveness when he learns from Mother Superior that August is looking to reunite with his father after a long separation. Mr. Gold takes this to mean August is his lost son Baelfire. Pursuing guidance from Archie, he gets the courage to speak with August and apologize for his failure as a father, and hands over the dagger. However, Mr. Gold realizes this man is not his son after August attempts to use the dagger against him. Though Mr. Gold wants to kill him, he relishes in August's admission of having a terminal illness. In the hospital, David and Kathryn reunite on better terms. He is remorseful about lying and cheating on her, but Kathryn knows they were never meant to be. Attempting a reconciliation with Mary Margaret, she hears out his regrets in not believing in her innocence, but refuses to take him back as there's always something inexplicably keeping them apart. Mary Margaret wants to hold onto the good memories they have together rather than continue to make bad ones. At the very end of the evening, Emma makes a stop to the sheriff department where Regina awaits her. Rather than a confession from the mayor herself, Regina has Sidney take the fall, which Emma can obviously see through. In private, Emma swears that she will take Henry away from her. ("The Return")
Emma prepares to build a custody case against Regina with Mr. Gold's help. Before she can, August convinces Mr. Gold to turn Emma down so he himself can enlighten her on the true nature of the town. While Henry is flipping through his story book, he sees the Pinocchio fairytale, which someone added in. Later, Emma is refused assistance from Mr. Gold as he doesn't think battle that can be won, so she goes to find August. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret returns to her teaching job where she runs into Regina. She expresses pity for Regina's actions in attempting to frame her for Kathryn's murder. To get back at Mary Margaret, Regina wins the sympathy of David and he stays for dinner at her house. Yet, when she moves in to seduce him, he clarifies his feelings for her are not of the romantic nature. After he leaves, Regina seethes in rage. August and Emma ride out of Storybrooke on his motorcycle and stop in the woods. He shows her the tree she came out of from the Enchanted Forest, but Emma is in disbelief. Temporarily, she is drawn in when he reveals details about her that was never published in the newspaper. He claims to be Pinocchio; leading Emma to realize August is the one who put the story in Henry's book. Emma, thinking he's feeding her nonsense, walks off, but comes back when August falls down in pain. August details what happened, halfway across the world while he was in Phucket when she came into Storybrooke, and pulls up his pant leg to show a wooden leg. Due to Emma's doubt in magic, she is unable to see anything but an ordinary leg. In frustration, he berates her for having such a hard time believing magic, to which she thinks his mind has gone off the rails. August pleads she is their only hope, but Emma doesn't want responsibility in other people's happiness. Stalking off, she decides to skip town by taking Henry along in her car for the drive. ("The Stranger")
Only after Henry recognizes Emma means to actually leave town, he abruptly forces the car to swerve to keep her from leaving; insisting everyone else needs her to break the curse. Returning to the apartment, she is greeted by Mary Margaret, who is very upset Emma left without saying goodbye. Mary Margaret is worried she is reverting to her old ways and chides a life on the run with Henry is not what's best for him. So, Emma consults with Archie about her chances of winning custody of Henry. Archie stresses it's not likely because since she's entered Henry's life, he has demonstrated bad behavior by stealing, skipping school and repeatedly put himself in danger. He believes Emma and Regina need to stop fighting as the one getting hurt over all this is Henry. In a rush to put a stop to Emma's desire to leave town, Henry goes to August, but finds the man turning into wood. Since he failed to convince Emma, August hands the duty over to Henry to help her believe in the curse. In a discussion with Mr. Gold, he and Regina recognize that Emma's presence in Storybrooke is gradually weakening the curse. She plots for a way to be rid of Emma, even though they both know killing the savior will break the curse. Instead, Regina summons Jefferson to help her retrieve a poisoned apple from the Enchanted Forest, which is laced with the Sleeping Curse. In return, she will reunite him with his daughter, Paige. To power the hat, she sacrifices a ring and successfully nabs the apple. While Regina bakes it into an apple turnover, Emma pays her a visit to settle their disputes with each other. She promises, for Henry's sake, to leave so Regina can raise him, but will come back to visit. Seemingly, they begin a cordial relationship and Regina gives Emma the turnover as a present. While Emma is packing her things up, Henry begs her not to leave. Despite the difficult decision, Emma knows if she keeps butting heads with Regina over him, someone else is always getting hurt. They hug until he sees the apple turnover sitting on the counter. He has no doubt it's poisoned, though Emma thinks he's exaggerating things again. As proof, Henry takes a bite of it, and to her shock, falls unconscious. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
Emma rushes Henry to the hospital, though Dr. Whale can't find anything wrong with him. Frantically, she can't think of an answer until picking up the fairytale book, which gives Emma a blast of memories from her short time as an infant in the Enchanted Forest. Stunned and enraged, she recognizes the curse is real and confronts Regina with the truth. Regina is horrified that Henry ate the turnover instead, but the two set aside the blame game and head to Mr. Gold for help. He sends Emma to retrieve a bottle of true love from the depths of the clock tower by fighting a dragon using her father's old sword. Before Emma and Regina head there, they each take turns have last words with a comatose Henry. Jefferson demands Regina give him his reward for helping her, but she cuts off the deal since Henry, instead of Emma, ate the apple. While Regina operates the elevator switch, Emma goes down alone and face the beast. After killing the creature, she fetches the potion and is taken back up through the elevator shaft. The ride halts suddenly, due to Mr. Gold's interference, and he tricks Emma into throwing up the potion and taking it for himself. Before she and Regina can chase him down, they are called back to the hospital. Behind the scenes, Jefferson gets back at Regina by freeing the female patient in the psychiatric ward and telling her to go find Mr. Gold. The girl, Belle, ends up in the pawnshop where Mr. Gold is flabbergasted to see the one person dear to him that he thought was dead. Back at the hospital, Dr. Whale pronounces Henry to be dead. Emma says farewell to him by planting a kiss on his brow, which triggers true love's kiss, reviving him to life. Additionally, her power breaks the curse and brings back everyone's memories of their true selves. Out in the forest, Belle has a brief happy reunion with Mr. Gold as he leads her to the wishing well. Once there, he drops the true love potion in and causes magic to infiltrate the town of Storybrooke. ("A Land Without Magic")
During Second CurseEdit
After a year, a new curse is cast by Snow White bringing the Enchanted Forest inhabitants to Storybrooke But since the Wicked Witch of the West dropped a forgetting potion into the curse; causing everyone's memories of the past year to be erased. The last thing anyone can recall is the day Regina stopped Pan's curse, with the price being they all had to return to the Enchanted Forest, but no one can remember anything that occurred after that. The only clue that a year has passed is Mary Margaret's own pregnancy. Mysteriously, some of the townspeople begin vanishing. ("New York City Serenade", "Witch Hunt")
David and Mary Margaret fill Emma in on the new curse and how their town residents have been disappearing lately. Hook mentions that his quest to bring Emma back to Storybrooke was prompted by a messenger bird he received while still in the Enchanted Forest, and had assumed it was from Mary Margaret. After two more dwarves are reported missing, Emma looks into it. In the morning, Regina is pulled aside by Emma, who questions her about the new curse. The mayor denies being responsible, which Emma believes. Mary Margaret invites Henry on a trip to the library and while he is getting his coat, a woman, Zelena, strikes up conversation with her. Mary Margaret learns that she is a midwife and gladly accepts her help for the baby's due date. At the town line, a resident, Little John, is kidnapped by a winged beast, to which Emma sends David, Hook, Robin Hood and the Merry Men to search for him. They find Little John in the woods with a bite wound, whisking him to the hospital, where he transforms into a flying monkey and takes off. Meanwhile, Emma and Regina lure the townspeople, at a town hall meeting into believing the mayor is responsible for the new curse. She and Emma later regroup in her office to make a potion to recall the year prior to the curse, but it fails. In another plan, they have Leroy spread the false word that Regina is making a potion, so whoever drinks it can recall who cursed them, in order to smoke out the crook. Zelena breaks into the office to steal the potion, with Emma and Regina nearly apprehending her, but she teleports away. Afterward, Regina meets Henry; inviting him on a town tour and ice cream, to which he accepts. Later, David and Hook report Little John's transformation as the group conclude that the Wicked Witch cast the new curse. That night, Zelena brings food to her cellar prisoner, Mr. Gold. ("Witch Hunt")
While searching the mayoral office for evidence of the Wicked Witch, David finds a holly berry and pinpoints the plant's growing location past the Toll Bridge. He is called away by Mary Margaret, who wishes for him to meet their new midwife, Zelena, so Emma and Hook continue the search together. Earlier on, Zelena extracts Mr. Gold's blood to break into a locked compartment in the pawnshop and gain a plant called night root. On her first day as midwife to Mary Margaret, she makes tea for the expecting mother and David. Spiking David's tea with night root, the herb later causes him to fight a manifestation of his greatest fear in the form of himself. David owns up to his fear of being a bad father the second time around, since he already lost Emma twice, and channels courage into a sword hilt, which he uses to kill his false twin. Directly after the fight, the sword hilt is magically retrieved by Zelena. As everyone is kept busy looking for the Wicked Witch, Regina keeps Henry company. When Emma and Hook discover a farmhouse with a locked cellar, they regroup with her before meeting up with David, who recounts to them how he was tricked by the Wicked Witch's magic. Altogether, they reach the cellar, but find it strangely busted open. After inspecting the empty cell inside, a spinning wheel with strands of spun gold are found littering the floor, implying to them that Mr. Gold is still alive. ("The Tower")
Trapped in StorybrookeEdit
When someone attempts to leave Storybrooke, something always prevents the person from actually leaving:
- Ruby desires to leave for Boston, but her grandmother suffers a heart attack and that keeps her in town. ("Pilot")
- Ashley attempts to escape out of town to Boston so she can keep her baby, but goes into labor before exiting the border. ("The Price of Gold")
- Kathryn applied to a law school in Boston and decides to move there alone, but is kidnapped by Mr. Gold before she makes it out. ("What Happened to Frederick")
- Emma is forced to take orphan siblings Ava and Nicholas Zimmer to Boston and place them into the foster care system, but her car breaks down on the drive out of Storybrooke. ("True North")
When someone crosses the Storybrooke town line, he or she forgets everything about his or her life in the Enchanted Forest due to Mr. Gold bringing magic:
- Mr. Clark is pushed out by Leroy in an experiment to see what will happen if someone crosses the town line, and he suffers memory loss. ("We Are Both")
- Belle falls over the border when she is shot by Hook and she loses her memories. ("The Outsider")
As a counter effect to retaining one's memories:
- Mr. Gold created a spell to allow himself to cross the border with his Enchanted Forest memories still intact. He pours a memory potion on an object of great sentimental value, and it becomes a talisman allowing the person to cross the line and keep their memories. He first tested this out on William by dumping some of the potion on his hat. Then, he pushed William across the border with the hat. The potion works, and thus, Mr. Gold later uses it on his son's shawl and wears it as he crosses out of town. ("The Outsider")
As a solution to regaining one's memories of his or her prior life in the Enchanted Forest:
- Mother Superior created a memory potion, with one of the ingredients being a strand of Pinocchio's hair, in order to enable the user who drinks it to have his or her memory restored. She made two doses of the potion and gave them to Leroy. In order for the potion to work, the potion must be poured into an object of sentimental value to the one who drinks it. The dwarves find Mr. Clark's old drinking stein at the pawnshop and later use it so he can regain his memories. As for the other potion dose, Leroy hands it to Mr. Gold, which he decides to have Lacey drink it so she can become Belle again. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")
When someone tries to leave Storybrooke, he or she gets carried away by a Flying Monkey and they are turned into a Flying Monkey. ("Witch Hunt")
- Little John accidentally goes past the town line and is turned into a Flying Monkey.
For detailed location information, please see the list of Storybrooke locations.
^: The Storybrooke Pet Shelter is replaced by Any Given Sundae in "White Out"
^^: La Tandoor is replaced by Duperré & Hughes in "Broken". In "White Out", Chop Shop has also become part of the same building.
^^^: Worthington's Haberdashery is replaced by the Storybrooke Pet Shelter in "The Stable Boy"
- The town's name is a pun on "story book".
- Filming of Storybrooke scenes takes place in Steveston Village, British Columbia, Canada.
- Storybrooke can be accessed by other worlds in the following ways: Via the Land Without Magic at the Storybrooke town border, via the magic wardrobe, using the ashes of the wardrobe combined with the waters of Lake Nostos, using a magic bean to create a portal, or via a rabbit hole (the latter only works after magic is brought to Storybrooke). ("Pilot", "Queen of Hearts", "Down the Rabbit Hole")
- Boston seems to be the nearest city to the town because many characters who tried to leave were heading there. ("Pilot", "The Price of Gold", "What Happened To Frederick", "A Land Without Magic")
- According to the marked route on the Darling brothers' map, Storybrooke appears to be in the location of Thomaston, Maine, a small seaport town west of Rockland. ("Dark Hollow")
- Storybrooke is filled with nods to where the inhabitants come from; the Enchanted Forest:
- The inn has pink floral wallpaper.
- The diner has forest-themed wallpaper.
- The mayor's office and the town hall have birch-tree wallpaper. There are matching birch tree logs by the mayor's fireplace.
- Archie has green stripes on his office walls tapestry. This is a subtle a reference to his former life as a cricket; crickets live among the grass. Above the green, there is wallpaper which depicts a forest at sundown. The trees are well above eye-level; fitting for a former cricket. Fittingly enough, at eye level, there are mushroom ornaments on Archie's bookshelves.
- Tree and flower motifs are decorating the wall next to Mary Margaret's bed in her apartment.
- In the pawnshop, actual birch trunks are scattered around as dividers. The wall behind the main counter has crenelated "windows" which are full of paintings of trees and woods. Similar paintings can be seen in other parts of the shop.
- Kathryn's house has flower printed wallpaper.
- One of Mary Margaret's school classrooms has tree silhouettes and falling leaves on the windows.
- The pet shelter has silvery forest wallpaper on the counter and behind the counter, and tree silhouettes on the window panes. Above the fish tank, there is a framed picture of a winter woods scene, with birch trees. Real birch tree trunks are used as decorations.
- Birch trees are used as decorations at the town bar.
- Jefferson has birch tree trunks in his living room. A room in his mansion has forest-themed wallpaper and floral curtains. There's a silver tree-like rack inside the hat room.
- Storybrooke is also filled with references to the maritime part of the Enchanted Forest:
- There are ship paintings in the bedrooms at the inn, and a ship in a bottle and a miniature rudder on the mantelpiece in the lounge.
- The business next to the diner is called Atlantic Twine and Net.
- This is a real location called Pacific Twine and Net.
- Storybrooke Country Bread has a ship's steering wheel on display in the window.
- The steering wheel was not added for the show. It is an actual part of a real location known as Romania Bread.
- There are two model ships in Archie's office, and a ship painting in the hallway. When Emma first visits him, there is a big sea shell on his desk.
- There are many model ships in the pawnshop, and a canoe hanging from the ceiling. Other maritime objects include a miniature ship's rudder, a couple of ship paintings, and a real ship's rudder.
- There is a business called the Marine Garage.
- This name was not created for the show; Marine Garage is a real location in Steveston.
- A large painting of a ship is hanging on the wall outside the mayor's main office, and there are several paintings of ships and boats inside the Town Hall.
- Giant sea shells are seen in one of Mary Margaret's school classrooms.
- There is a hand carved wooden model ship in Marco's shop.
- A business located next to Granny's Diner has two model ships on display in the window.
- An old, weathered row boat filled with withered plants is used as a decoration in the yard next to Granny's Diner.
- There is s a model ship in the mysterious mansion where Mr. Gold and Belle spend their honeymoon.
- Sara's Ice Cream is a real-life Steveston Village business that features Once Upon a Time inspired ice cream names and flavors such as Once Upon a Thyme, Cinderella’s Carriage, Entirely Emma, Mr. Gold and Grumpy's Road.
- Goof: In "The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls", "The Price of Gold", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "What Happened to Frederick", as well as the flashbacks from 1983 in "Welcome to Storybrooke", the blue storefront next to Granny's Diner is the actual Worthington's Haberdashery located on Moncton Street in Steveston Village, where Once Upon a Time films. By the time of the "The Stable Boy", however, this storefront has become the Storybrooke Pet Shelter, thanks to a false facade.
- The storefront next to the pet shelter changes as well, beginning as the actual La Tandoor restaurant in "The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls", "The Price of Gold", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "7:15 A.M.", "True North" and "What Happened to Frederick", before becoming the Duperré & Hughes law firm in "Broken". In "White Out", Chop Shop has also moved into the same building.
- Storybrooke's coat of arms is an apple tree. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
- Storybrooke's zip code is 04815. ("Dreamy")
|Once Upon a Time: Season One|
Is a Lonely
|"Fruit of the|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Two|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Three|
|"The Heart of|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Four|
The Edge Of Town":
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland|
|Once Upon a Time Books|
|Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale:|
|Shadow of the Queen:|
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Magic is Coming":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
The Price of Magic":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Journey to Neverland":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Wicked is Coming":
|"Once Upon a Time:|
Storybrooke Has Frozen Over":
Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.
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