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There are many, many things in this shop, but this... This is the only thing I truly cherish.
Mr. Gold to Belle src

The Chipped Cup is an item featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the twelfth episode of the first season.

The Chipped Cup is based on Chip from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast.


Before First Curse

To save her family and friends from the warring ogres in the Enchanted Forest, Belle willingly adheres to a deal with the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin by becoming his eternal castle servant. After her arrival to his castle, she begins serving him tea when Rumplestiltskin makes a joke about skinning children he captures. Surprised at his remark, she drops a cup and picks it up to see the rim is now chipped. She apologies for the damage, but he has little care for only a simple cup. ("Skin Deep")

On another day, shortly after Rumplestiltskin has returned from a trip to Camelot, Belle uses the now chipped cup to serve him some tea. Rumplestiltskin lifts the cup to drink from it while Belle proposes her theory on why he collects so many items: because he has a hole in his heart. ("Heroes and Villains")

Despite the less than ideal circumstances, Belle falls in love with Rumplestiltskin and begins to see a softer side to the man everyone fears so much. Wishing to free him from darkness, she chances upon a meeting with a Queen who tells her of one way to break Rumplestiltskin's curse with true love's kiss. Belle follows through with the plan, but Rumplestiltskin wrongly accuses her of conspiring with the Queen to take away his powers. Furious, he locks her up in the dungeon while hurling various items at the wall. Upon grabbing the chipped cup, however, he sets it down on the table. After much due, he forces Belle out of his castle for good. Some time passes and the Queen pays a visit to mention Belle's miserable end, culminating in the girl's suicide, after he threw her out of the castle. Once left alone, Rumplestiltskin is so upset over Belle's death that he removes a golden chalice from his display stand and replaces it with the chipped cup, as an homage to her. ("Skin Deep")

During First Curse
In Storybrooke, Sheriff Emma receives a message about a residential break-in and goes to Mr. Gold's house to investigate. When Mr. Gold arrives home, he draws a gun and enters, walking slowly in. He turns to find Emma, who also has a gun drawn, and he claims to her he has been robbed. When Emma says that it keeps happening to him, Mr. Gold replies that he is a difficult man to love. When Mr. Gold says Emma can go home because he has got everything under control, she refuses and threatens to arrest Mr. Gold if he does not tell her everything. He accuses Moe of robbing his home because of a "disagreement" they had earlier. Emma recovers the majority of Mr. Gold's items, but there is still something missing that upsets him. When Emma says that she will get it now that Moe is apprehended, but Mr. Gold rushes off to deal with the matter first. After kidnapping Moe to a remote location, he interrogates and beats him about the location the item he believes the man stole: the chipped cup. At one point, Mr. Gold blames him for "her" death. Emma bursts in to rescue Moe and arrest Mr. Gold on charges of physical assault. While he is jailed, Regina privately reveals she is the one who stole his precious cup. She promises to give it back, but only if he tells her his "real" name. Mr. Gold finally admits his name is Rumplestiltskin and only then she pulls out the cup. Regina teases him about his hostile behavior over a "sentimental little keepsake", which he counters with a subtle threat. Once Mr. Gold is left alone in his cell, he clutches the cup tightly in his hands with visible relief. ("Skin Deep")

After First Curse

After the Dark Curse is broken, Belle is reunited with Mr. Gold. He discovers she was previously locked up by Regina in the town psychiatric ward for twenty-eight years while the curse was still in effect. She makes him promise not to seek vengeance on Regina, but Mr. Gold's hatred is too strong. He brands Regina for death with a medallion and sends a Wraith to suck out her soul. In the pawnshop, Belle accidentally overhears him discussing the matter. Following a heated argument, she leaves in tears. Upon her return, she sees the chipped cup. Mr. Gold admits that among the many objects he keeps, that is the only one he truly cherishes. She seems touched that he kept something to remember her by and decides to stay with him. ("Broken")

After Belle loses her memories because of accidentally crossing the town border, Mr. Gold visits her in a hospital room with the chipped cup. Placing it in her hands, he asks Belle to look at it and concentrate, in the hopes that if she tries hard enough, some of her lost memories will come back. He mentions the cup is charmed with magic, which only causes her to take the cup away. Mr. Gold insists she try, but she repeatedly refuses. In the midst of the two pushing the cup back and forth into each other's hands, Belle, agitated and frightened, hurls it against the wall. With the cup shattered to pieces, she urges him one final time to leave, to which he does in despair. ("In the Name of the Brother")

At some point, Mr. Gold returns to the hospital to collect the shards of the cup and keeps them in his shop. His close call with death at Hook's hands leads him to make a last confessional phone call to Belle. When Mr. Gold survives, she is incredibly relieved and begins to trust that he can help her recuperate from amnesia. Before that can happen, Regina intervenes to plant false memories in Belle so she takes on the persona of Lacey. Completely opposite of her old self, Lacey is drawn to the dark side of Mr. Gold and the two begin a relationship. ("The Miller's Daughter", "Lacey")

In a ploy to destroy Storybrooke, Tamara, who entered the town under the guise of Neal's fiancée, teams up with her partner, Greg, to gather intel on magic. As a side quest of sorts, she helps Greg capture Regina for interrogation about his missing father's whereabouts. Tamara pockets a trigger from Regina, which in turn, after sending it into their employees, The Home Office, the item is discovered to be the catalyst for annihilating all of Storybrooke's residents. Eventually, Greg and Tamara are forced to flee as David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Neal close in on the building to rescue Regina. In the midst of Tamara's escape, she knocks out Emma and fatally wounds Neal who appears to fall to his death into a portal. Later, David and Mary Margaret give condolences to Mr. Gold about Neal's death, yet also ask for his help in halting the trigger's effects. Unfortunately, the news of his son's passing breaks any resolve in him to assist them. ("Second Star to the Right", "And Straight On 'Til Morning")

As the end of Storybrooke nears, Mr. Gold is given an extra brewed batch of Mother Superior's memory potion by Leroy, which will work to restore a person's Enchanted Forest memories if the user drinks it from one of his or her own precious items. Leroy pushes him to have Lacey drink it so at least she won't die without knowing her true self. He ignores the advice until a troubling moment when Lacey attempts to clean up a drink spill using a shawl as a mopping rag. Horrified, he snatches back the shawl, which belonged to his son, and shouts at her about its importance and how she would not understand. Confused, Lacey apologizes, but the incident helps Mr. Gold to realize the one person he needs most right now is Belle. Reluctantly, he takes out the cup shards and restores the object to its original state. Lacey doesn't understand his fixation with the cup, though he says it's something from their past. Then, he pours the potion liquid into the cup and she drinks it in a toast. Seconds after ingesting the potion, Belle returns and reunites with Mr. Gold as she comforts him over the loss of Neal. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

Eventually, the trigger is stopped with the combined powers of Emma and Regina. However, Henry is kidnapped to Neverland by Greg and Tamara; leading Mr. Gold to join in on the journey there to rescue him in honor of Neal. While he believes the only way to save Henry from the villainous Peter Pan is to sacrifice his own life, Regina suggests that there must be a way to contain their nemesis. Mr. Gold has just the item for the job, except the weapon itself is sitting in his pawnshop in Storybrooke, so Regina barters with a mermaid, Ariel, to retrieve it. Ariel is sent off to Storybrooke with a request from Mr. Gold to give Belle a magically enchanted sand dollar. Once the item reaches Belle's hands, she activates it to project an image of Mr. Gold along with a specific message from him. He informs her that she can indeed find the necessary item to defeat Pan "with the strength of their love". The riddle puzzles Belle until she thinks of the one item that is symbolic of the wear and tear their love has been through, which is the chipped cup. Unsure what to do with the cup, she places it back in the cupboard on a saucer; triggering a spell to open a hidden compartment in the floor. Inside, Belle finds Pandora's Box. ("Dark Hollow")

After Third Curse

Ordered by the Dark One Emma to train Mr. Gold into becoming a hero, Merida seeks out a way to motivate him, coming to learn of the chipped cup's importance to him by reading the Henry's storybook. She heads over to Mr. Gold's shop where she rummages through the back of the shop until finding the chipped cup, and then returns to continue training Mr. Gold at the park. Merida taunts Mr. Gold with the cup, recognizing its value as well as just how fragile it really is. She threatens to drop and break it should he refuse to fight her for it, and to Merida's delight, Mr. Gold begins to do just that, albeit not too well at first. Though they still have a long way to go before Mr. Gold can face Emma, the cup's safety has been ensured. ("Dreamcatcher")

A little while later, Merida leaves Mr. Gold tied up, alone, so she can go get Emma to show her his progress, but the chipped cup is left sitting in front of Mr. Gold. He reaches for the cup and kisses it before whispering "I'm sorry, Belle" and smashes the cup so that he can use one of the pieces to cut through his the ropes binding his wrists. The cup is next seen in shards when Merida and Emma find that he's escaped and fled the area. ("The Bear and the Bow")

When Belle falls under a self-induced sleeping curse, Mr. Gold makes it his mission to find a way to wake her up. This leads him to enter her dreams, having one hour to make her fall in love with him again. In Belle's dreams, she's working as a maid in Rumplestiltskin's castle again, and one scenario that occurs is she begins preparing tea for him. Due to her nervousness, she drops one of the cups; however, rather than the cup hitting the ground, Rumplestiltskin catches it and comments how it's "not even chipped." ("The Savior")

After Fourth Curse

In the Edge of Realms, after Mr. Gold and Belle build themselves a new home there, they decorate the inside of the house, with the repaired chipped cup being one of the items placed on display. ("Beauty")

Sometime after Belle's death, Mr. Gold goes to a cave where communication with the dead is possible. He conjures a picture of a smiling Belle on a candle shrine, where the chipped cup is beside the photo of her. He tells her how their son Gideon is doing and how much they both miss her. Suddenly, Dr. Facilier interrupts the moment to try to use voodoo magic to steal Mr. Gold's Dark One powers rather than allow him to forfeit his powers to Guardian Alice, but it doesn't work. Later, Alice joins Mr. Gold at the cave where she begins absorbing his Dark One powers so he can be free of his darkness for good. As this happens, Belle's shrine and the chipped cup shakes from the force of magic being used. Mr. Gold recalls Belle's last words to him before she died, in which she told him he is a good man whose heart is pure. This ultimately causes him to stop Alice from taking on his burden. ("The Guardian")

Years later, when another Dark Curse is going into effect, Rumplestiltskin hands the chipped cup over to Alice. Explaining that he's put "Mr. Gold" in a room inside of his mind, he tells Alice that the chipped cup is the key to trigger his memories and to get it to him to help him remember himself. He tells her it should release Mr. Gold, but if it doesn't then she knows what to do. Alice, holding onto the chipped cup, huddles together with Rumplestiltskin and her girlfriend, Robin, as the curse engulfs them. ("The Eighth Witch")

During Fifth Curse

Somehow, the chipped cup ends up in Hyperion Heights while the Dark Curse is in effect. When Tilly starts to regain memories of her old life, she leads Weaver to her boxcar and shows him the cup in an attempt to jolt him into remembering his true love. Weaver is confused and instead points out that it's just a chipped cup. Growing frantic that he is not waking up as he should be, Tilly makes a grab for Weaver's gun and points it at him. Weaver questions why she is doing this, to which she angrily reveals he told her to before calling him by his real name: Rumplestiltskin. Tilly then shoots him, and upon seeing Weaver collapse in a pool of his own blood, she is so shocked by her own actions that she drops the cup, shattering it into pieces. ("Beauty")

At some point later, Weaver spends time in his work office and begins gluing the broken pieces of the chipped cup back together. Rogers walks in and notices what he is doing, commenting that he never took Weaver for an antiques' kind of guy. He asks Weaver if he wants to grab lunch and work on the Candy Killer case. Weaver declines, deciding they both need a break, and remarks that his wife used to say wandering another path leads people to where they need to go, hence why he is focusing on fixing the cup. ("Sisterhood")

Entertaining the possibility that everything in his novel actually happened, Henry creates a map of characters and items and tries to match them to people and things in real life. When Tilly and Rogers come to talk to him about Eloise, he shows them the picture of the chipped cup from his novel and how it coincidentally looks identical to a cup that Weaver owns. ("Flower Child")


Production Notes

  • When creating the chipped cup, the prop department scoured the town for the right-looking retail teacups, and each took turns breaking one. When they got the perfect break, they cast the actual prop in hard-impact plastic with the break already built into it, and added the blue-painted embellishment.[1]


Set Dressing


Other Notes

  • The chipped cup used during the filming of "Skin Deep" was taken from set by Robert Carlyle as a memento.[10] It was later autographed by both Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin and put up for a September 2012 charity auction for With Kids Glasgow,[10][11] a charity organization focused on helping children in need, which Robert Carlyle supprts.[12] The cup that was auctioned off was used in all shots of the episode except for the scene between Mr. Gold and Regina at the sheriff's station, where a duplicate prop was used. The winning bid was 2,450.00 pounds.[13]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic, London, Titan Books, October 2013, p. 41
  2. File:411CupOfTea.png
  3. File:601ImSoSorry.png
  4. File:603BelleReading2.png
  5. File:604WhateverHappened.png
  6. File:112ImSoSorry2.png
  7. Footed Cup & Saucer Set Val D'Or by ROYAL ALBERT. Replacements, Ltd. Retrieved on August 4, 2018.
  8. File:704ChippedCup.png
  9. File:704PlacingSpinningWheel.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gareth Hughes & Laura Foster (July 6, 2012). Broken Hearts & Chipped Cups: An Interview with Robert Carlyle. Once Upon a Fan. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. “Finally, the fans have been so supportive and we were amazed at how they got behind our campaign to raise money for With Kids. Over £1000 already raised and we have a charity auction to come in early September. What would you like to say to all the fans who made it possible? And why is With Kids so very important to you? (...) As regards the auction coming up in September, I will be donating what I believe will be the ultimate piece. The actual chipped cup from "Skin Deep"! I took it from the set as a memento of what I thought was one of the finest pieces of television I have ever had the pleasure to be involved in. I shall autograph it, ask Emilie to do the same and put it up for auction.. BUT.. it will take an enormous bid to prise [sic] it from my grubby hands!!”
  11. Barnett, Barbara (September 24, 2012). Once Upon a Time Fans Bid to Help With Kids Glasgow. blogcritics. “The British Once Upon a Time fansite, Once Upon a Fan has teamed with With Kids Glasgow to auction some fantastic items this week, including fan art, rare DVDs, a signed script and more. In fact, Mr. Carlyle has donated a very special Once keepsake to the auction—Rumplestiltskin’s treasured chipped cup, used in last season's "Skin Deep." The cup is autographed by both Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin, who, of course, plays Belle in the series.”
  12. Martin, Rebecca (September 26, 2012). Win Awesome Once Upon a Time Memorabilia in Charity Auction. Wetpaint. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. “OUAT fansite Once Upon a Fan has created a OUAT-themed charity auction to benefit Glasgow-based charity ...With Kids, an organization focused on helping children in need which Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin) supports.”
  13. Once Upon A Time - The Chipped Cup - Original Set Prop!. E-Bay UK (September 28, 2012). Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. “Winning bid: £2,450.00” (Scroll down to see the details.)

    The Chipped Cup - Original Set Piece Signed by Robert Carlyle & Emilie De Ravin. E-Bay UK (September 28, 2012). “Just a bit of additional info that Robert Carlyle has kindly supplied. The cup shown was used in all shots except for the scene between Mr Gold and Regina in the Sheriff's office in "Skin Deep". Chip got a body double for that.”
  14. File:505BelleRumpleStorybook.png
  15. File:719ExactCopy.png
  16. File:719Board.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Chipped Cup

  • Promo season 4

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    • Nice.  Just be careful not to share any blonde jokes with them around. you're liable to get a cold shoulder (or worse).
    • Hmcooper4 wrote:Nice.  Just be careful not to share any blonde jokes with them around. you're liable to get a cold shoulder (or wors...
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