by Zach Van Norman (@TheZachVan) with contributions from Ashley Benson (@MitigatedText)
The spring premiere of Once Upon A Time 5B is almost here! (FINALLY!) The show has had many memorable moments over the past 5 years. To celebrate the spring premiere of this season, I've assembled a list of the top 35 moments of the show to count down the days until we enter the Underworld with our heroes. Let's look back at the unforgettable moments of our favorite fairy tale!
Click here for Part 2
#19: Daniel's Death,
"The Stable Boy"/"The Doctor"
Cora (Barbara Hershey) holds Daniel's (Noah Bean) heart as Regina (Lana Parrilla) tries to save him. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Regina spent the first season of the show wreaking havoc on both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest and generally being a very unlikable person, but once we saw "The Stable Boy," episode, everything changed. Regina's mother Cora, ever a loving person, crushed the heart of Regina's love Daniel after she learned of their relationship from Snow White.
Finally we knew the reason for Regina's rage and her unyielding quest to kill Snow. It was a (literally) heartbreaking moment that changed Regina forever, both on the show and in the eyes of the audience.
Above left: Regina (Parrilla) despairs over Daniel's (Bean) death as Cora (Hershey) crushes his heart into dust (above right).
Regina would unfortunately have to relive her sorrow in "The Doctor" during season two, when Doctor Whale (aka Frankenstein aka Whalenstein) successfully resurrected Daniel from his preserved state. But like the story that bears his name, the good doctor's creation became a monster, and attacked Henry. Regina was able to connect with his good side, but there was no saving him from his fate, and she was forced to kill him again, this time destroying his body rather than keeping it in a glass coffin.
The #19 spot on our list is two moments, it's true, but they are both so powerful and connected that we merged them for one position. Barbara Hershey's cold performance made Cora the ultimate Mommie Dearest, and Lana Parrilla delivered some of her strongest work when she had to kill Daniel and finally let him go. It was a devastating plot that incorporated not one, not two, but three familiar stories (Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, and Frnakenstein) with perfect execution, one which we won't soon forget.
A short=lived reunion. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Magic destroys the monster. Image Credit: ABC Studios
"Goodbye, Daniel." Image Credit: ABC Studios
#20: Tale as Old as Time, "Skin Deep"
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) share true love's kiss. Image Credits: ABC Studios
"Skin Deep" was the 12th episode of the first season and the favorite episode of the series for many viewers. Writer Jane Espenson created what seemed impossible: a love story for Rumplestiltskin, one which would change our perspective of his character. He was no longer just an evil imp with a penchant for creating misery, but a man afraid of loving another and earning their love in return. Much praise has been given to Robert Carlyle's performance in this episode, deservedly so, as he brought new depth and charm to a previously unlikable fellow. Emilie de Ravin's Belle was as smart and confident and sweet as her animated counterpart and made for a great foil for his arrogance, while the various references to the animated film on which it was based made for a fun Easter egg hunt and viewing experience. It was a beautiful episode which altered the course of Rumple's story and brought another empowered heroine to the show, and so it takes the #20 position on our list.
Above: Belle (de Ravin) becomes Rumple's (Carlyle). guest Image Credits: ABC Studios
Beauty (de Ravin) tames the Beast (Carlyle). Image Credits: ABC Studios
#21: Rumple and Cora Spin Gold, "The Miller's Daughter"
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Cora (Rose McGowan) make magic. Image Credit: ABC Studios
As soon as Rumplestiltskin appeared on Once Upon A Time, we knew there was a possibility that we would see a new spin on his fairy tale, and it was even hinted at in the 'Stable Boy' episode of season one. Writer Jane Espenson finally delivered it to us in the second season, crafting an episode that went against the traditional telling of the tale and created a compelling history between the imp and the miller's daughter. Rumple taught Cora that bloodlust was the key needed to unlock her magical potential, and she delighted in yearning for the kneecaps of her enemies to crack and freeze on the stones as their necks broke from bending to her presence. It was a powerful and disturbing beginning to their short-lived romance.
Simply put, this scene was hot. Robert Carlyle and Rose McGowan brought a level of sensuality that hadn't been seen on the show before, sharing a sexual tension that could be cut with a knife. Mark Isham's score was hauntingly beautiful, moving with a slow and deliberate tempo that kept pace with the character's actions. This scene was incredible from start to finish and the repercussions would shape the future of the entire storyline for the show, and so we place it at #21 on our countdown.
Cora (McGowan) and Rumple (Carlyle) make a deal. Image Credits: ABC Studios
#22: Emma becomes the Dark One, "Operation Mongoose Part 2"
The dagger reveals its new servant. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Thanks to the Apprentice's magic, the darkness was exiled from Mr. Gold's heart into the Sorcerer's hat, where our heroes thought it would be contained, but the magic of the hat was not enough to stop it. It erupted from its prison and into the Apprentice before Emma used her magic to drive it out. It disappeared into the Storybrooke night, apparently gone, yet Emma knew better: the darkness surrounded them. It encompassed Regina and began snuffing out the light within her. Emma, ever the Savior, refused to let Regina's happiness be destroyed again and raised the dagger in preparation.
Above left and right: Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), David (Josh Dallas) and Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) try to stop Emma (Jennifer Morrison) from sacrificing herself to the darkness. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Her father cried out, but she turned to him and her mother and told them that they had taken the darkness out of her once, and now they needed to do it again... as heroes. Hook tried to stop her as well, but he failed. Instead, he Swan told the Captain that she loved him.
Above left and right: Emma and Hook (Morrison and O'Donoghue) say goodbye. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Pushing Hook away, Emma turned and raised the dagger, drawing the darkness away from Regina. Oil-like tendrils latched themselves to her arm as her loved ones watched in horror.while she cried out. The darkness surrounded Emma like an evil cyclone, blocking her from view and raising her from the ground before disappearing. Where Emma had stood, there was now only the dagger.
Above left: Emma (Morrison) tethers the darkness to the dagger - and herself. Above right: Her parents (Goodwin and Dallas) react. Image Credits: ABC Studios
Emma's transition into the Dark One, #22 on our list, was the culmination of 4B's storyline about Snow and Charming taking the darkness out of Emma and putting it into Lily. It was Emma at her finest, doing what was right for the good of all and living up to her title of Savior. The cliffhanger ending was an incredible moment, one which left us on the edge of our seats wondering what would come next, and that final shot of Emma's name on the dagger was a jaw-dropper of epic proportions.
Top: The darkness engulfs Emma. Above left and right: Hook (O'Donoghue), Regina (Parrilla) and Robin (Maguire) watch the Savior disappear. Image Credits: ABC Studios
#23: Emma Blows Up, "The Snow Queen"
Jennifer Morrison's Emma Swan can get very scary when she's angry. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Ingrid the Snow Queen's arrival in Storybrooke heralded a compelling and much-needed look at Emma's past as a teenager in the foster system. Placed in group home after group home, Emma was losing hope that she would ever have a family, until she finally met someone who would come to love her: Ingrid. The two of them bonded and eventually Ingrid intended to adopt Emma so that she could fulfill the Apprentice's prophecy that Emma would become Ingrid's sister. But Ingrid's attempt to bring Emma's magic to the fore backfired and Emma ran away.
Above left: Emma (Morrison) isn't happy with Elizabeth Mitchell's Ingrid (above right). Image Credits: ABC Studios
After their reunion in Storybrooke years later, Ingrid planned to make Emma her new family whether Emma wanted it or not. Her attack plan was simple: she would use Emma's feelings of abandonment against her by bringing up her parents' choice to have a new baby and their fear of her powers, and this would cause Emma to join Ingrid as her sister. It worked in spectacular fashion. Emma lost control of her emotions and blew a hole through the sheriff's station wall.
Emma (Morrison) loses control of her powers as the Snow Queen (Mitchell) looks on. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Emma had done magic before but not on this scale, and never out of anger. This was the first hint at her dark side and the magnitude of what she could unleash. It was a defining moment of her evolution and the beginning of her descent into darkness. The actors' commitment to their emotions added major tension to this scene, including an especially intense performance from Jennifer Morrison. She showed a dark side of Emma that we hadn't seen before and intimidated the audience in a powerful way, which is why this scene takes the #23 position on our countdown.
Above left: The Savior (Morrison) can't control her magic while the Snow Queen (Mitchell) enjoys her freedom from handcuffs. Above right: Emma (Morrison) is shocked at what she's done. Image Credits: ABC Studios
#24: Henry's Love Talk with His Moms, "Dreamcatcher"
Above left: Henry (Jared Gilmore) tells his mothers about Violet. Above right: Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) are surprised at Henry's newfound romance. Image Credits: ABC Studios
One of the best scenes of the Camelot storyline was when Henry, Emma and Regina discussed their first loves. After meeting Violet's father, Henry wanted to become something more than what he was: a knight worthy of Violet's affections. After hearing that Henry wanted to change who he was for love, Emma described her romance with Neal and that she liked him because he was always himself, while Regina asserted that she loved Daniel because he was so different from the other men in that he didn't try to impress her. They joined motherly forces to help Henry see that since he was a mysterious stranger from an exotic land, he was unlike any other boy in Camelot, and being himself would set him apart. Henry took their advice and later arranged a date with Violet.
It was unique to see the three of them have a discussion about something so relatable to the audience. The fantasy elements and the family dynamics are two of the enduring qualities that give Once Upon A Time its heart, and the relationships between Henry, Emma and Regina are arguably one of its strongest foundations. Watching Emma and Regina use their past experience to co-parent Henry, romances that the audience had seen before, was sweet and engaging, and provided a loving contrast to their relationships in season one. It was the kind of scene that we didn't know we wanted until we got it, the type which will hopefully appear more as the show progresses, and it takes the #24 spot on our list.
Top left: Regina discusses Daniel. Top right: Emma talks about Neal. Above: Henry listens with delight. Image Credits: ABC Studios
#25: CaptainSwan's First Date, "The Apprentice"
Colin O'Donoghue's hook-less Hook greets Jennifer Morrison's Emma Swan for their first real date as her parents Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) look on. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Emma Swan and Killian 'Hook' Jones have experienced many things in the time they have known each other, but nothing was sweeter than watching them go on their first date.
Above left: Emma (Morrison) gets opinions on her dress. Above right: Mary Margaret (Goodwin) snaps a pic of her daughter before her date. (Even fairy tale characters experience this rite of passage.) Image Credits: ABC Studios
After the embarrassing yet endearing start with the Charmings, Emma and Hook went to a fine Italian ristorante instead of Granny's for a romantic bella notte. It was incredibly sweet to watch Hook help Emma into her seat and the two of them hold hands across the table, the first real date for the couple and possibly for them individually.
Above left: Emma (Morrison) is curious about Hook's (O'Donoghue) behavior. Above right: Hook is ready to pillage and plunder. Image Credits: ABC Studios
Though there was a brief interruption from Will Scarlet and Hook's seemingly-possessed hand, the night went off without a hitch and ended with a tender goodnight kiss outside the Charmings' front door before Emma went inside feeling truly happy, But the evening wasn't over: the Charmings had more awkwardness to throw her way. Mary Margaret was full of questions while David didn't want to know a thing, typical reactions from parents watching their child go on a date for the first time. As Emma went upstairs to bed, her parents discussed the date further, leading to a wonderful moment when Emma called out, "I can hear you guys."
The development of Emma and Hook's characters separately and together was a highlight of the series. Emma never got to experience a first date or a fancy ball with her parents sending her off, and watching the family's interaction was heartwarming and made up for some of what they'd lost. Likewise, Hook's metamorphosis into a caring, respectful suitor was another welcome change to his character, one which endeared him more the CaptainSwan fans all over. It was as enchanting a Storybrooke Prom as one could have hoped, and it takes the #25 position on our countdown.
Above: Emma (Morrison) and Hook (O'Donoghue) share a good night kiss.
Image Credit: ABC Studios
"So how was it?!" Mary Margaret (Goodwin) asked with a thrilled David (Dallas) next to her.
Image Credit: ABC Studios
Emma (Morrison) thinks to herself, "I really need to get my own place." Image Credit: ABC Studios
#26: The Charmings Cast the Curse, "A Curious Thing"
Ginnifer Goodwin's Snow White bids farewell to Josh Dallas' Prince Charming. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Snow White and Prince Charming have endured obstacles the likes of which would destroy any other couple, but their true love has survived despite them all. But nothing could have prepared them (or the audience) for the moment when Snow White would kill her husband. The music was superb, the dialogue was perfect, and the performances from Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas were absolutely gut-wrenching.
Top left: Ginnifer Goodwin. Top right: Josh Dallas. Above: Lana Parrilla's Regina's heart breaks as the Charmings say goodbye. Image Credits: ABC Studios
Zelena's addition of the forgetting potion to the curse could have been the end of the Charmings' story, but, as always, there was still hope. Snow realized that her heart was strong enough for both of them, and in a mirrored image of their history, Regina ripped out Snow's heart and broke it in two, placing one half in her stepdaughter and the other in her stepson-in-law, saving both of their lives.
The inclusion of Regina and the role she played was one of the highlights of this scene. She had sought their destruction for so many years, had even cast the curse that separated them from each other and their daughter for decades, and yet here they were, together, about to cast the same curse. In this moment, Regina cared about the two of them. The juxtaposition of their situation (teaming up to stop Zelena) set against their history as enemies was sheer brilliance on the parts of the writers. and Regina's sorrow could not have been played better by Lana Parrilla. It is undeniably one of the best scenes of the series and for that reason, it takes the #26 spot on our list.
Top left: Regina splits Snow's heart. Top right: Will it be enough to save Charming? Above: Charming lives! Image Credits: ABC Studios
#27: Once to the Future, "Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home"
Zelena's time portal. Image Credit: ABC Studios
The two-part season 3 finale "Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home" was basically "Once to the Future." And it was an awesome Once movie: Emma and Hook go into the past, mess up the time line, and have to fix it. It's a simple concept with a grandiose execution (not Snow's execution; we'll get to that) and ended up as a really fun adventure. Meanwhile the altered timeline let the audience experience the story in a new way. The differences in Snow and Charming's first meeting, Snow's theft of Ruth's ring, the troll bridge and more refreshed what we knew and left us questioning how it would all resolve, and the unknown resolution made the journey more fun.
Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan. Image Credit: ABC Studios
The emotional center of the story was, appropriately, Emma. She finally got to experience what life was like for our heroes before the curse and see them in a new light. It gave her an understanding of their history and relationships in a way that she could never have experienced before; there's only so much you can get out of the story book and hearing the stories from everyone after the fact.
Top left: Morrison, Colin O'Donoghue as Hook. Top right: Christie Laing as Marian, Morrison. Above: O'Donoghue and Morrison. Image Credits: ABC Studios
It was an episode with a lot of great moments for the Savior: her reaction to Rumplestiltskin, meeting Belle for the first time, and telling Hook that no one saves her, among others. It also built her relationship with Hook and showed that his love for her and investment in her well-being were genuine. She was no longer a conquest to be taken, but a woman whose love he needed to earn. (And if you're reading this wondering when we'll mention her princess dress, well... it's coming soon. Have faith.)
Her interactions with her parents, the crux of the story, made her appreciate them more and led to the realization that she wanted a better relationship with them. When she finally admitted that she wanted to go home, it was thanks in part to something that Neal had told her: "you don't have a home until you just miss it." Storybrooke was her home, and her trip to the past helped her realize it.
Above left: Morrison, Jared Gilmore as Henry Mills, Josh Dallas as David/Prince Charming. Above right: Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret. Image Credits: ABC Studios
These episodes were also a showcase for other relationships on the show. We saw quiet intimacy between Regina and Robin and a new look at Regina and Snow's relationship. Snow White was ready to kill Regina and this was the first chance she'd had that we've seen, giving Snow an air of menace that she didn't have before. The execution scene hit everyone right in the feels, but Lana Parrilla's delivery of her lines when she said "Snow White" and "Dark magic is my strong suit, NOT YOURS!" in Regina's bedchamber was like a slap in the face. It was a great scene made better with intense emotion from both Parrilla and Ginnifer Goodwin.
The ending included the announcement that the newest Charming's name was Neal, the "here's some feels" wedding of Mr. Gold and Belle, the reveal that Emma had brought Robin's wife Marian back from the past, and the emergence of Elsa of Arendelle. Like #29 on our list, these episodes had too many great moments to choose a few, and this is why they take the #27 spot on our countdown.
#28: Regina's Breakdown, "The Cricket Game"
Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills. Image Credit: ABC Studios
"The Cricket Game" is one of the best episodes of the entire series, thanks in part to this incredible moment of vulnerability from Regina. Hiding from the Charmings after they accused her of murdering Archie, she waited in her car for Henry to get off his school bus and watched as Emma broke the news to their son. Overwhelmed, Regina finally broke into tears, taking the audience's hearts with her as she succumbed to her feelings while a sad and lonely variation of Henry's theme music played quietly. Regina is an undeniably strong woman, in both magic and emotion, but we rarely see her show signs of weakness, and the contrast in seeing her express such despair is what made this moment so powerful.
#29: Reality Warp, "Operation Mongoose Parts 1 & 2"
Image Credit: ABC Studios
"Operation Mongoose Parts 1 & 2" is, quite simply, one of the best episodes of the show, a movie-length adventure in an alternate reality where every character's personality was flipped, from Rumplestiltskin the Knight to the Evil Queen Snow White, We had dark dwarves, a dark Granny, Regina as a bandit, Deck Hand Hook, a Savior who needed saving, familiar moments for fans (cosplay at a convention) and pop culture references (looking at you, Wookiee prisoner from the kingdom of Kashyyyk),
Above left: Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin. Above right: Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White. Image Credits: ABC Studios
There were also parallels to past episodes, including "My name is Henry, and I"m your son" (a reference to the pilot) and Snow hating Regina for getting her true love killed (we miss you, Daniel), as well as little things that you may or may not have noticed, like the cadences in Rumple and Snow's speaking styles.
Josh Dallas's Dark Charming watches as the Evil Queen addresses her council. (Listen to her voice when she asks "Where is Regina's heart?" She sounds just like the animated Snow White!) Image Credit: ABC Studios
This episode was definitely popcorn-worthy as we saw what another life could be like for our heroes, and the journey to the Heroic Forest was particularly special for Henry. It was his first adventure in another world and he finally fulfilled his dream of following in his family's footsteps and being the hero of the story. It was fulfilling to see him standing strong and showed how he has grown from the little boy in the first season into a smart, capable and brave young man, while his ascension to being an Author was absolutely perfect and an exciting full-circle moment. The scene between he and the Apprentice was a particular highlight: a quiet moment when he could express his feelings about missing his dad, and he proved himself wise and worthy of his title when he broke the quill to prevent another rewrite of history.
Above: Jared Gilmore as Henry Mills. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Above left: Timothy Webber's Apprentice speaks to Henry about the powers of the author. Above right: Henry breaks the cycle.
While it may be unfair to put an entire episode into one spot on our countdown, the alternate universe was a fun idea to explore and everything that happened in it contributed to a fantastic episode with a stunning conclusion (we'll get to THAT ENDING soon), and so the Heroic Forest takes the 29th spot. Click below for a gallery of what made this episode so great!
#30: Sword fight at the Sheriff Station, "Shattered Sight"
Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills/Evil Queen. Image Credit: ABC Studios
"I want to see you bleed."
With those words, the Battle Royale of Storybrooke began. Ingrid's Spell of Shattered Sight brought out the worst in everyone but it was the animosity between Snow White and the Evil Queen that was the most entertaining. Years of pent-up anger came to a head as they walloped each other in the sheriff station. Snow was no longer the sweet, peaceful princess of the Enchanted Forest, but a protective mother defending her child and letting off some frustration in the process.
Ginnifer Goodwin as Mary Margaret/Snow White. Image Credit: ABC Studios
The fight came down to one thing: Regina's hatred for Snow telling Cora about Daniel. But Snow was quick to remind her that "[she] was TEN" and gave Regina a dose of her own medicine. When the spell finally lifted, the two of them dissolved into laughter at Regina's outfit. The fight was their entire relationship abbreviated: anger and fighting, then peace and (dare we say) love. It showed how far the two of them have come and gave us some great comedy in the process.
Image Credit: ABC Studios
#31: Secrets of Echo Cave, "Ariel"
Image Credit: ABC Studios
The journey to save Henry from Neverland brought many surprises for our heroes, including the scene that allowed them to slow down and reveal their feelings about what was happening in their lives: the rescue of Neal from Echo Cave. They had to reveal their darkest secrets in order to save him, and the dynamics of the group were drastically altered as they admitted what they'd been holding back from each other.
Above Left: Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan. Above Right: Colin O'Donoghue as Hook. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Hook kicked things off by admitting that he never thought he would find anyone to love again after Milah, until he met Emma. His truth was quick in delivery but heavy in repercussions for both himself and the Savior, a truth that made him drop his pirate persona of Captain Hook and speak from the heart as Killian Jones. It was a refreshing change for Hook to be himself, and a sign that he truly cared for Emma, one which delighted CaptainSwan shippers everywhere.
Above Left: Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret. Above Right: Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David Nolan. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Things took a more heart-wrenching turn when the Charmings spoke to each other. Snow White acknowledged that she was not OK with the fact that Emma was grown up, and while their relationship with their daughter was unique, it was not what she wanted. Her pain was palpable as she lamented their absence during Emma's childhood and feeling like they had been cheated out of her first step, first word, and first smile. Not only was she deeply hurt by what they had missed, but she also felt guilty about what she really wanted: a chance to raise a child by having another baby. It was a rare opportunity for Snow to acknowledge what she had lost and express how she felt about it, the type of moment sorely needed for the main characters on the show.
Charming then upended his wife's vision for their future by telling her she could never have another child with him, finally admitting that their fight with the Lost Boys had exposed him to nightshade and that he could never leave Neverland or he would die. Charming had kept quiet because he meant well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and his was the secret with the most severe, life-changing consequences. It was a crushing blow to Snow's heart and a betrayal of the trust they had built between them.
This was the first real test of their marriage post-curse. Though they had gone through other trials, this was the first one that grew from an internal conflict rather than an external enemy. It gave depth and relatability to an otherwise "perfect" relationship, which made it one of the best moments of their story, sad as it was.
Above Left: Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan. Above Right: Michael Raymond-James as Neal Cassidy. Image Credit: ABC Studios
With her parents secrets out in the open and the bridge to Neal's cage complete, Emma crossed over to save him, trying to avoid telling her secret but she could not. She had to admit that she had never stopped loving him and always would, but that she had hoped it was all a trick that she had hoped he'd be dead so she could put their past behind them rather than face the pain of their relationship. And with that, Neal's cage opened and the two of them shared a hug, hitting Swanfire fans right in the feels.
This entry on the list is a combination of moments rather than one individual scene, it's true, but the significance of these moments cannot be denied, and for that reason they are combined for the #31 spot.
#32: Zelena reveals her identity, "It's Not Easy Being Green"
Beverley Elliott as Granny, Rebecca Mader as Zelena, Sean Maguire as Robin Hood. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Though we at home knew who she was, Zelena's Storybrooke identity check was stunning to our heroes. She entered into Granny's Diner with a confident swagger as only she can provide, waving the Dark One dagger and delighting in her wickedness. Even better, her gift of a "sad, sad day" mirrored the moment in the pilot when Regina bestowed the Charmings with their "happy, happy day," proving that the apples (both red and green) truly fall close to the family tree.
Above Left: Lana Parrilla as Regina Mills. Image Credit: ABC Studios
#33: Ingrid's Farewell, "Shattered Sight"
Elizabeth Mitchell as Ingrid. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Of all the seasonal villains on Once Upon A Time, Ingrid the Snow Queen was the most fascinating thanks to a captivating performance by Elizabeth Mitchell. Though her decisions were horrible, Ingrid's need for a family was understandable, and her final moments were heartbreaking as she realized what she had done and destroyed herself to save Storybrooke from her Spell of Shattered Sight. The beautiful music of Mark Isham helped set the tone as she disappeared and was finally reunited with her sisters. Storybrooke was free of her cold shoulder, but its residents and the audience would never forget her.
#34: 'Once you go green, you'll never go queen,' "Broken Heart"
Rebecca Mader as Zelena. Image Credit: ABC Studios
This quote from “Broken Heart” in season 5 made many Oncers laugh out loud. All of the characters have had zingers over the years but this one went above the norm with its hurtful yet hilarious tone. It’s one of the sickest burns ever, one of the best lines of the entire show, and it was delivered by Rebecca Mader with a wicked glee that forever cemented Zelena as the witch we love to hate. Kudos all around to the writers who came up with that one!
#35: The Clock Moves, "Pilot"
Jared Gilmore as Henry Mills. Image Credit: ABC Studios
Ah, the pilot episode. The one that started it all and launched our journey into the show. There were many great moments from that first chapter, but none so enticing as when the clock finally moved and signaled that Emma was staying put and time was moving forward again. The fantastic music from series composer Mark Isham underscored the happiness we shared with Henry. Storybrooke would never be the same, and we haven't looked back since!