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This article focuses on the first iteration of Cinderella.
For the second iteration, see Cinderella (Hyperion Heights).
For the fairytale, see Cinderella (fairytale).
For the film, see
Cinderella (film).

All you did was show that anyone can change her life.

Snow White to Cinderella src

Princess Ella, better known as Cinderella, currently known as Ashley Boyd, also known as Ash, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. She débuts in the fourth episode of the first season and is portrayed by guest star Jessy Schram.

Cinderella is based on the titular character from the fairytale, "Cinderella," and Cinderella from the Disney film of the same name and its direct-to-video sequels Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. She is also an allusion to the miller's daughter from the fairytale, "Rumpelstiltskin."


Before First Curse

Ella is a housemaid for her stepmother Lady Tremaine and her stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe. Lady Tremaine became her stepmother after Ella's father married her, but after her father's death, Tremaine made Ella into a maid. For years, Ella is filled with longing whenever she sees fireworks coming from a nearby castle as a celebration is going on. During one day, Tremaine criticizes Ella for not finishing her work, while Ella points out that neither Clorinda or Tisbe are helping. Tremaine coolly explains that had Ella's father left her with money, she could've hired a proper staff, but instead, he only had Ella. When a royal messenger, Jacob, arrives from the King's castle, Clorinda and Tisbe rush out to look presentable, while pushing Ella out of the way. They receive an invitation to an upcoming royal ball, where Tremaine intends to have her daughters dazzle Prince Thomas. Ella later watches her stepmother attempt to pick out gowns for Clorinda and Tisbe, and she gathers enough courage to ask if she can attend the ball as well. When Clorinda inquiries about what she will wear, Ella pulls out a dress she inherited from her deceased mother. Tremaine gives the dress to Clorinda, who puts the gown into the furnace, as Tisbe holds back Ella. Afterwards, Ella cries over the ruined dress, and Clorinda coins the nickname "Cinderella" for her because of the dress being covered in cinders. After her stepfamily leave, Ella's mouse friend Gus comes to comfort her, during which she discovers a key in her mother's dress. She recalls the story her mother told her of the key's magic powers, which could turn any door into a portal to the Land of Untold Stories. Shrugging it off as silly, since magic doesn't exist, Ella drops the key into a box. ("The Price of Gold," "The Other Shoe")

The night of the ball, Cinderella sees her stepmother and two stepsisters leave for the castle. She watches them with longing, and after they are gone, her Fairy Godmother arrives to grant her wish to attend the ball and meet her prince. Before the fairy can work her magic, she is killed by Rumplestiltskin's fireball. He, in turn, collects the Fairy Godmother's wand as Cinderella is drawn into signing a deal with him so she can change her life permanently. As part of the contract, she'll forfeit something precious to him in the future. Desperate, she agrees and Rumplestiltskin transforms her rags into a beautiful gown. ("The Price of Gold")

At the ball, Cinderella is escorted in by a human Gus, whom she excuses to allow him to pursue a tray of cheese. She spots Clorinda and Tisbe, but in her hurry to avoid them, she bumps into Princess Snow. Snow befriends Ella and nudges her towards Prince Thomas, who is interested in her. Ella shares a dance with the prince, in which she decides not to tell him her name, and he dubs her the "girl with the glass slippers." After their dance ends, Thomas excuses himself but tells her not to go anywhere for the time being. Ella is giddy with happiness over this encounter, however, she sees Thomas meeting with Clorinda and giving her a rose. Prompted by Tremaine's callous remarks that Thomas is toying with her feelings for him, Ella flees from the ball, accidentally leaving behind one of her glass slippers. At home, Gus reminds a heartbroken Ella of the key, and she decides to test it on the wardrobe, which opens a portal. Before she can leap through, she is stopped by Clorinda, who clears up the misunderstanding about Thomas, as the rose was from Thomas' footman Jacob, whom she loves. Clorinda also reveals Thomas is looking for Ella, and that she intends to run away with Jacob. Knowing her stepmother will never let the couple be, Ella gives her the key so she can be in a land where Tremaine will never find them. When Tremaine threatens to shatter the remaining glass slipper, which is Ella's proof to Thomas of who she is, she reveals Clorinda's location to her. However, Ella's luck runs out, as Tremaine destroys the slipper anyway. Tremaine then locks her in a room, leaving her unable to meet with Thomas when he comes to find her, but with help from Gus, Thomas unlocks the door. Ella apologizes for deceiving him and believes he won't want her now, but Thomas proves his feelings for her are genuine and proposes to her. She accepts, but then excuses herself to stop Tremaine. Ella reveals she is engaged to Thomas, while Clorinda realizes Ella ratted her out to her mother. Before Ella can help her stepsister, Tremaine goes to the Land of Untold Stories and drags Clorinda there with her. ("The Other Shoe")

On the eve of her wedding celebration to Thomas, Cinderella happily watches the fireworks display on the balcony, before she and her future husband go downstairs to greet their guests. As a waltz begins, she dances with Thomas' father, who teasingly hints at his desire for a grandchild. Charming offers good wishes for a happy marriage before Thomas cuts in, but Cinderella is then whisked off for some time with Snow, who is proud of her for changing her life. Changing partners again, Cinderella is shocked to see Rumplestiltskin, and even more stunned when he asks for her first-born child as part of their deal. ("The Price of Gold")

After some time, Cinderella discovers she is pregnant and decides to run away from the kingdom, but Thomas catches her in the act. After much questioning, she admits her deal with Rumplestiltskin, and as his payment he wants their child. Thomas assures her that he will fix this, and they simply need to make a new deal to undo the old deal. With Prince Charming and Grumpy, a special prison is created to trap Rumplestiltskin. Cinderella must get Rumplestiltskin to sign a new contract with a magic quill dipped in squid ink to paralyze him. She manages to seal the deal with Rumplestiltskin, who is then taken away by Prince Charming and Grumpy. With that problem settled, Thomas suggests to Cinderella that they name their child Alexandra. Suddenly, she begins feeling contractions as Thomas rushes to fetch water from the well. When the pain stops, she calls him back. Not hearing a response, she searches for him and finds his cloak. Fearing the worst, she confronts Rumplestiltskin, demanding answers about what he did to Thomas, and learns the price for breaking the original deal is her husband's disappearance. ("The Price of Gold")

Sometime before or after this, Cinderella gifts Snow White and Prince Charming, who are expecting their first child, a unicorn mobile. ("Best Laid Plans")

During First Curse

At nineteen, Ashley is pregnant and abandoned by her boyfriend, Sean, at the insistence of his father Herman. Instead, Mitchell arranges for Ashley to give up her rights as parent and sign adoption papers for Mr. Gold to find a good family for the child. While doing laundry in the back room of diner, Ashley sees Emma walks in to get a replacement shirt after spilling cocoa on herself. Miserably, the girl tells Emma no one thinks she will get anywhere in life because she is nineteen and pregnant. Emma proceeds to tell her about her own teenage pregnancy and Ashley feels inspired enough to do something about the situation. That same night, Ashley breaks into Mr. Gold's shop to steal back the adoption papers. Mr. Gold demands to know what she is doing, and Ashley fiercely replies, "Changing my life," and knocks him out with pepper spray.

The next day, Mr. Gold feigns concern for Ashley and asks Emma, to which she agrees. In actuality, he doesn't want Ashley to break the deal they made by running away with the adoption papers. Emma interrogates Ruby about Ashley's possible whereabouts, who redirects her to Ashley's ex-boyfriend, Sean. Showing up at the doorstep of his home, Emma tries to convince him to help Ashley. Instead, his father Mitchell steps in to inform Emma finds out about the adoption papers Ashley signed and gave to Mr. Gold. At the diner, Ruby finally tells her she lent Ashley the car to escape town and go to Boston. On the drive out of Storybrooke, Ashley begins to go into labor. Emma and Henry find and bring her to the Storybrooke General Hospital. Ashley delivers a healthy baby girl named Alexandra and Mr. Gold comes to collect the child. Emma makes a deal with him and he forgives the debt. As Ashley rests in her hospital room with Alexandra, Sean arrives to apologize for his past behavior. He and Ashley reconcile, and Sean presents a gift for their new daughter—a pair of shoes that fit her feet perfectly. ("The Price of Gold")

On Valentine's Day, Ashley bumps into Emma and Mary Margaret at the diner. As she comes in, Granny holds Alexandra while she rests. She tells Emma and Mary Margaret that Sean has become increasingly busy with work, so Ruby proposes a girls' night out, but Emma declines to attend. While at the bar, Ashley is urged by Ruby to try talking to other guys since Sean is not with her. Since she refuses, Ruby goes on to flirt with them. Ashley finds it hard to enjoy herself and misses Sean until he suddenly shows up and proposes to her, which she accepts. They leave to spend their remaining free time together driving around in Sean's car. ("Skin Deep")

After First Curse

After Emma breaks the curse, all Storybrooke residents, including Ashley, regain their Enchanted Forest memories. During the Wraith attack, a man shows up at the diner just as Leroy is leaving is leaving with Ashley, who is currently working as a waitress there.[1] As the man walks toward the diner, he bumps into Ashley and secretly swipes a key from her. Leroy yells the diner is closed, but the stranger ignores him. ("Down the Rabbit Hole")

Some time after, she and Sean move in together.[2]

After Second Curse

As Ashley raises Alexandra, she starts a daycare, Mommy & Me, a place where mothers and their babies can spend quality time together. Among the attendees are Aurora and her son Phillip as well as Mary Margaret and her son Neal. During one get-together, they finish the session by singing a song to their babies and Ashley announces she has made CDs for everyone so they can learn new songs for their next meeting. When Emma arrives to pick up Neal for babysitting, Ashley welcomes her with a hug. She advises that, if Neal has trouble falling asleep, Emma can tell him that he's going to turn into a pumpkin by midnight, which will put him right to sleep. Emma asks if the meetings are for learning baby tips, but Ashley explains it's also a support group of sorts since it's not easy being a first-time mother. Emma is perturbed by this, since Mary Margaret is learning everything for the first time despite that Neal is her second child, but she attempts to sympathize with her mother's circumstances. Even so, Emma's jealousy comes out in the form of magic when she unknowingly causes Neal's bottle of milk to boil. Ashley, Aurora and Mary Margaret are shocked by this, but Emma insists that it's just magic she's been practicing. ("The Snow Queen")

As Mary Margaret and David carry out their plan to steal Maleficent's ashes and prevent her resurrection, they leave baby Neal under Ashley's care. ("Unforgiven")

After Third Curse
During a stop at the town diner, where Sean goes to grab some food for his wife and daughter, Ashley takes Alexandra in with her to greet Emma, Hook and Henry. She talks to them about her plans to help the Untold Stories residents by offering free babysitting, and then asks to see Henry's list to determine which of them have kids. Ashley prompts Hook to keep Alexandra distracted while she looks at the list. Seeing Hook's natural inclination with her daughter, she inquiries about how things are between him and Emma, and whether they will have a fairytale ending. Hook explains that they are taking things slow and aren't even living together yet, but Ashley believes he and Emma will be fine because of her own experience with finding happiness. On Henry's list, Ashley sees the name of her stepsister Clorinda and decides she must protect her from Lady Tremaine. She heads home and leaves a note for Sean, telling him that she is going to see Clorinda, before taking Sean's hunting rifle with her. Ashley looks for Clorinda at the harbor, where she reveals to Emma, Hook and Henry that, in the past, she was wicked towards her stepsister and is now trying to make things right with Clorinda. She runs off when Emma gets distracted, and eventually finds an injured Clorinda hiding inside a pumpkin farm. Ashley unties her stepsister's bandage, only to discover there is no wound, and that Clorinda and Lady Tremaine have lured her into a trap. Clorinda's vengeance against her stepsister comes to a halt when Ashley reveals the farm belongs to Jacob, and that he and Clorinda still have a chance at happiness. Tremaine brings Jacob in, intending to kill him, but Ashley blocks her, insisting she can't hurt others just because she herself is in pain. Tremaine refuses to listen and stabs Ashley, however, Emma manages to heal her in time. Ashley and Clorinda make up, and the two stepsisters and their beaus later spend time together on the pumpkin farm. ("The Other Shoe")


Mother †
Father †
Lady Tremaine
Ashley Boyd
Prince Thomas
Sean Herman


  • Solid lines denote blood relationships
  • Dashed lines denote marriage relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • Cinderella's father was married first to her mother
  • Cinderella has two stepsisters via Lady Tremaine's previous marriage
  • Alexandra was conceived in the Enchanted Forest, but born in Storybrooke



  • It was her stepsister, Clorinda, who named her "Cinder-ella." ("The Other Shoe")
  • The name "Ashley" is of Old English origin derived from the words "æsc" and "leah" that means "ash tree clearing."[3] Cinders precede ashes in the burning process; in the fairytale, Cinderella received her name because she lives among the cinders, or ashes, of the kitchen. In the Brothers Grimm version of the fairytale, the character is named Aschenputtel.[4]
  • The surname "Boyd" is of Scottish origin, and is a habitual name for the island of Bute.[5] As a first name, "Boyd" is of Scottish and Irish Gaelic origin derived from the word "buidhe" that means "yellow." It is often used to refer to a person's blonde hair.[6] In the Disney film Cinderella, the character has blonde hair.

Character Notes

  • The Fairy Godmother who appears to Cinderella, is also patron to King George's family. ("The Price of Gold," "The Shepherd")
  • Cinderella and Snow White were pregnant at the same time. However, Snow White gave birth before the Dark Curse arrived and Cinderella did not. This resulted in her counterpart Ashley's twenty-eight years long pregnancy until giving birth following Emma's arrival to Storybrooke. ("The Price of Gold")
  • According to Ruby, Ashley has "a stepmom and two stepsisters she doesn't talk to." However, this is just a false memory fabricated by the curse, since Lady Tremaine and Clorinda didn't arrive in Storybrooke until several years later. ("The Price of Gold," "The Other Shoe")
  • During the events of the first season, Ashley is nineteen years old, yet she is shown drinking in a bar even though the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol in Maine is 21. ("The Price of Gold," "Skin Deep")

Storybook Notes


When the two sisters returned
from the ball, Cinderilla asked
them if they had been well diverted, and if the fine lady had
been there. They told her, Yes, but that she hurried away immediately when
it struck twelve, and

When the two siste[image ends]
from the ball, Cinde[image ends]
them if they had b[image ends]
been there. They t[image ends]
it struck twe[image ends]

with so much haste, that she dropped one of her little
glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, and which the
King's son had taken up; that he had done nothing but look at
it during all the latter part of the ball, and that most certainly he was
very much in love with the beautiful person who owned
the little slipper. What they said was very true; for a

with so much haste, that she dropped o[image ends]
Glass Slippers, the prettiest in the worl[image ends]
King's son had taken up; that he did n[image ends]
her all the time of the ball, and that [image ends]
very much in love with the beautiful person who owned
the little Slipper. What they said wa[image ends]

few days after, the King's son caused it to be proclaimed
by sound of trumpet, that he would marry her whose foot
this slipper would just fit. They whom he employed began to try it on upon
the princesses, then the duchesses, and all the Court, but
in vain. It was brought to the two sisters, who did all they possibly could to

few days after, the King's son caused [image ends]
by sound of trumpet, that he would [image ends]
this Slipper would just fit. They be[image ends]
the Princesses, then the duchesses[image ends]
in vain. It was brought but ju[image ends]

thrust their feet into the slipper, but they could not effect it.
Cinderilla, who saw all this, and knew her slipper, said to them laughing:
"Let me see if it will not fit me?" Her sisters burst out
a-laughing, and began to banter her. The gentleman who was
sent to try the slipper, looked earnestly at Cinderilla,
and finding her very handsome, said it was but just that
she should try,


and that he had orders to let every one make tryal. He invited
Cinderilla to sit down, and putting the slipper to her foot,
he found it went on very easily, and fitted her, as if it
had been made of wax. The astonishment her two sisters

and that he had orders to let eve[image ends]
Cinderilla to sit down, and putting [image ends]
He found it went on very easily, [image ends]
had been made of wax. The as[image ends]

were in was excessively great, but still abundantly greater, when Cin-
derilla pulled out of her pocket the other slipper, and put
it on her foot. Thereupon, in came her godmother, who
having touched, with her wand, Cinderilla's cloaths [sic], made (…)

were in, were very great, but [image ends]
derilla pulled out of her pock[image ends]
it on her foot. Upon this [image ends]
having touched her with her wa[image ends]

Ella thanked him, went to her
mother's grave, and planted
the branch on it, and she wept
so much that her tears fell upon
it and watered it. It grew and
became a beautiful tree.
Ella went to this tree three times
every day, and beneath it she wept and prayed. A
white bird came to the tree every time, and whenever
she expressed a wish, the bird would throw down to
her what she had wished for.
Now it happened that the king proclaimed a festival
that was to last three days. All the beautiful young girls
in the land were invited, so that his son could select a
bride for himself. When the two stepsisters heard that
they too had been invited, they were in high spirits.
They called Ella, saying, "Comb our hair for us. Brush
our shoes and fasten our buckles. We are going to the
festival at the king's castle."
Ella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have
liked to go to the dance with them. She begged her
stepmother to allow her to go.
"You, Ella?" she said. "You, all covered with dust and
dirt, and you want to go to the festival?. You have

neither clothes nor shoes, and yet you want to dance!"
However, because Ella kept asking, the stepmother finally
said, "I have scattered a bowl of lentils into the ashes for
you. If you can pick them out again in two hours, then
you may go with us."
The girl went through the back door into the garden, and
called out, "You tame pigeons, you turtledoves, and all
you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to gather:

The good ones go into the pot,
The bad ones go into your crop."

Two white pigeons came in through the kitchen window,
and then the turtledoves, and finally all the birds beneath
the sky came whirring and swarming in, and lit around
the ashes. The pigeons nodded their heads and began to
pick, pick, pick, pick. And the others also began to
pick, pick, pick, pick. They gathered all the good grains
into the bowl. Hardly one hour had passed before they
were finished, and they all flew out again.
The girl took the bowl to her stepmother, and was
happy, thinking that now she would be allowed to go to
the festival with them.

Production Notes


  • Cinderella's blue dress and opera gloves are similar to what Disney's Cinderella wears in the film, and her hair is styled similarly. ("The Price of Gold," "The Other Shoe")
  • Just like Anastasia in the direct-to-video sequel Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella's sister Clorinda falls in love with a low-class man, but Lady Tremaine, her mother, disapproves of their relationship, refusing to let her daughter marry a commoner and thinking low-class people are beneath them. Eventually, Clorinda is helped by Cinderella, before standing up to her mother and being reunited with her lover, just like Anastasia in the film. ("The Other Shoe")
  • To ruin her stepdaughter's evidence, Lady Tremaine picks up one of Cinderella Glass Slippers (the one she didn't lose at the ball) with her cane and drops it, shattering the slipper into a thousand pieces. This mirrors a segment in the direct-to-video sequel Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, where this is the result of the character using the Fairy Godmother's wand to reverse time and undo Cinderella's happy ending. ("The Other Shoe")

Props Notes

Set Dressing

Costume Notes


  • The episode "The Other Shoe" establishes that Ella was given the nickname Cinderella immediately before the King's ball, an event which takes place after Snow White and Prince Charming become an official couple. However, in the novel Red's Untold Tale (which takes place before Red Riding Hood meets Snow White in "Red-Handed and therefore before Snow White and Prince Charming met), published one year before the episode was released, Red Riding Hood already refers to the character as Cinderella, when she says to Peter that animals adore her "every bit as as much as they do Snow White or Cinderella."[18]
    • Furthermore, if you look closely, or play it in slow motion, as Cinderella signs Rumplestiltskin's contract in "The Price of Gold," the first letter she writes is clearly a C; seemingly proving that her true name is Cinderella, and "Ella" is simply her nickname.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:W101ClosingTime.png (in "Down the Rabbit Hole," Ashley is seen wearing the same kind of uniform skirt as the rest of the waitresses at Granny's Diner (see this image for comparison)
  2. TwitterLogo Ananda (@ananda_ev) on X, formerly Twitter: @AdamHorowitzLA where is Crinderella ? [sic] (March 26, 2013). (backup link) (archive screenshot)
    TwitterLogo Adam Horowitz (@AdamHorowitzLA) on X, formerly Twitter: @ananda_ev living with her prince in SB (March 26, 2013). (backup link) (archive screenshot)
  3. Ashley. Behind the Name. Retrieved on January 6, 2019. “From an English surname that was originally derived from place names meaning "ash tree clearing," from a combination of Old English æsc and leah.”
  4. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic, London, Titan Book, October 2013, p. 63
  5. Boyd. Behind the Name. Retrieved on January 6, 2019. “From the name of the Scottish island of Bute (Bód in Gaelic), which is of unknown meaning.”
  6. Meaning of Boyd - History and Origin. Meaning-of-Names.com. Retrieved on January 6, 2018. “In Scottish, the name Boyd means - From the Gaelic buidhe meaning yellow. Used commonly as a name referring to its owners blonde hair color.”
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:407ThomasCinderellaStorybook.png
  8. The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, by Charles Perrault, et al, Translated by Robert Samber and J. E. Mansion, Illustrated by Harry Clarke. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved on November 15, 2020.
  9. File:603WhereAreYou.png
  10. Once Upon a Time - Set of Storybook Pages (3141). iCollector (September 8, 2019). Archived from the original on September 3, 2021. (File:603Prop4.jpg)
  11. D. L. Ashliman (June 1, 2011). Cinderella. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. University of Pittsburgh. “Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave, and planted the branch on it, and she wept so much that her tears fell upon it and watered it. It grew and became a beautiful tree. (...)”
  12. File:104AshleyBoyd.png
  13. File:W101StolenKey.png
  14. File:120HenrysRoom.png (close-up; note that Cinderella is obscured)
  15. File:122SomethingsComing.png
  16. File:104FirstBorn.png
  17. Betsey Johnson Bow & Teardrop Earrings. Coolspotters. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved on January 6, 2019.
  18. Red's Untold Tale, Wendy Toliver, Kingswell Teen, September 2015, Chapter 13
  19. File:603WhereAreYou.png

Warning: Display title "Ashley Boyd" overrides earlier display title "Cinderella".