12 Things You Didn’t Know About “Once Upon A Time”

You might be caught up on the show, but we’re sure there are a few things you don’t know. For instance, a massive pop star almost starred on this show? Also, do you know why Peter Pan is such a little pill? The answers to those questions and more below …

Charming Was Supposed To Die In The Pilot Episode
In the very first episode of OUAT, Charming suffered a near fatal stab wound while trying to get his daughter to the Magic Wardrobe. In other words, Charming was originally meant to die in that episode. But show runners decided that his character was too important to the overall storyline and it would have been difficult to continue arcs without him. Instead of his stab wound being fatal, Charming ended up with a coma in the hospital.

There’s True Fairytale Love Within The Cast
Most hardcore OUAT fans already know this, but Ginnifer Goodwin is married to her on-screen husband, Josh Dallas. The two met while working together on the show, married in April 2014, and one month later welcomed their son Oliver. They had their second son in 2016. No wonder their on-screen chemistry is so convincing.

Lady Gaga Was Offered A Major Role
It seems like a perfect pairing, right? The theatrical Lady Gaga in the magical world of Once Upon a Time? It was close to happening. Producers offered Gaga the part of the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior. It was a big gamble because of the size of the part and Gaga’s availability restrictions, but when her management team failed to return calls, the role went to Keegan Connor Tracy.

Disney Appearances Always Line Up With New Disney Movies
Ever notice how the Disney characters who make seemingly random guest appearances on OUAT also happen to be in a new Disney film for sale at the same time? For example: Ariel and Cruella – that casting was no coincidence. Ariel appeared on the show when The Little Mermaid was re-released, same with Cruella when 101 Dalmatians was re-released. The Wicked Witch showed up on the anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and a year after the release of Oz The Great and Powerful. It helps that Disney owns OUAT’s network, ABC.

The Show Does Have Some Historical Inaccuracies
History geeks are not going to like how fast and loose OUAT producers are with certain historical inaccuracies. Sometimes, the fairytale timeline doesn’t add up. For example, in one episode, the characters talk about using a guillotine. The problem is that these fairy tales are set somewhere between the 1200s and 1500s, and guillotine wasn’t used until the French Revolution in 1792. Things like that make some OUAT purists give the “side eye.”

Captain Hook Is Part Solo, Part Westly
Notice anything familiar about Captain Hook? If you know about sci-fi and fantasy heroes, you’ll recognize that Captain Hook is directly inspired by Westly from The Princess Bride and Han Solo from Star Wars. It’s most obvious when Hook comes back to help at the end of Season 2 like Han Solo and says to Emma (as Westly did to Buttercup in The Princess Bride), “As you wish.”

The Series Is Filled With Hidden References
When it comes to hidden meanings and references in OUAT, the best place to start looking is in character names. Most of the main characters names have meanings that tie back to their fairytale counterpart. For example, Mary Margaret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin), who plays Snow White, has the French word ‘blanc’ in her name which translates to ‘white.’ Also, Mary Margaret comes from the full name Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina Freifraulein Von Erthal, who is believed to be the real woman behind the original character of Snow White.

Close Calls In Casting
It’s difficult to imagine now, but the role of Emma Swan almost didn’t go to Jennifer Morrison. Fellow actress Katee Sackhoff auditioned five times for the role of Emma Swan before producers went with Morrison in a head-to-head fight for the role. Gil McKinney also auditioned to play Hook. He didn’t get it, but but he eventually came back and made an appearance as Prince Eric. On the opposite end of that, the role of Rumpelstiltskin was written specifically for Robert Carlyle.

The Real Reason Why OUAT’s Peter Pan Is Evil
The producers and show runners of Once Upon a Time didn’t decide to write Peter Pan as an evil villain just to shake up the show. In the original screenplay by J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan is a bad guy. The story almost ended up with Pan killing the Lost Boys when they get too old. In an interview with Hitfix, Edward Kitsis, co-creator of the show said, “Peter Pan was very mischievous in that book. If you think about 12-year-old boys, we think back to our youth. To want to be that for the rest of your life is dark! What happens to somebody who wants to cling to youth at any cost? For us, that is a villain.”

Colin O’Donoghue Has Always Been A “Peter Pan” Fan
O’Donoghue knows his character well. “[Disney’s Peter Pan] was one of the first films I saw,” he told Buzzfeed. “I read the book and knew the character.” Because of his extensive knowledge of the character, O’Donoghue has made an effort to distance himself from the Disney villain. “I wanted my Hook to be slightly different and to be less outwardly evil and more of a rogue,” he continued. “I wanted to be more pirate-ish, as opposed to just a nasty piece of work.”

OUAT Is Almost Like A Lost Reunion
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. Also, if you look closely in the first season, you’ll also see an Oceanic Airliner flying overhead, and the time that Storybrooke gets frozen, is 8:15 (the same as Oceanic Flight 815). And the address for Regina’s house is 108 — the amount of minutes on the clock in Lost‘s hatch.

Ever Wonder Why The Snow Queen Is Always Barefoot? 
Elizabeth Mitchell found it impossible to wear high heels in the woods when she played the Snow Queen so she had the show runners write in that her character was just always barefoot. There was no reason given, Mitchell just couldn’t do her job in heels.

All photos: ABC