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This article focuses on the items.
For the Season Five episode, see "Dreamcatcher (Episode)".

Well, it's capable of catching so much more.

Mr. Gold to Emma src

Dreamcatchers are magical and non-magical items featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They first appear in the first episode of the second season.


Seeing Memories

Magical dreamcatchers allow people to view others' memories. In order to do it, one must wave it over someone to catch a memory. However, a Dark One can also use a stronger dark magic to get the image on the dreamcather without waving it over someone, but it is said to be very unpredictable. ("The Cricket Game", "Dreamcatcher")

People who don't possess any magic are also seen to be able to use magical dreamcatchers and see their own memories. ("Page 23", "Leaving Storybrooke")

Ripping Memories

It can also be used to extract someone's memories into the dreamcatcher. After then, one can also split the memories of several people into separate dreamcatchers. After Emma rips her family and friends' memories into one dreamcatcher in Granny's Diner and puts it into the curse cauldron, Emma is seen to own several dreamcatcher of several people in Storybrooke, making it possible. ("Dreamcatcher", "Broken Heart")

The ripped memories can also be seen through magic without waving it over someone. It is also only the ripper who can return people's memories. ("Dreamcatcher", "Broken Heart")


During First Curse

After Emma and Neal begin a relationship together, they find a motel room that they decide to crash in for a while. In the room, Emma sees a dreamcatcher that the previous tenants, the Granola family, had left behind. She recalls that dreamcatchers keep all the nightmares out and let the good dreams in to protect one's home. At first, Neal doesn't seem to be impressed, but then, he insists that they should keep it. ("Tallahassee")

When Emma sent to jail, Neal keeps the dreamcatcher as memory of his relationship with her. ("Broken")

After First Curse

Researching the sudden death of Archie, Emma is not convinced Regina is to blame while her parents, David and Mary Margaret, insist she is. Emma believes Mr. Gold is involved, but he clears his name by giving her a dream catcher, which can "see" into the memories of the only witness to Archie's death—Pongo. Concentrating, she channels magic into the object and views Pongo's recollection of Regina killing Archie. However, Emma remains unaware that in this memory, Regina is actually Cora in disguise. ("The Cricket Game")

While Mr. Gold, Emma and Henry search the apartment of Mr. Gold's long lost son, Emma notices the dreamcatcher that she and Neal once shared. Seeing her stare at the dreamcatcher, Mr. Gold suspects she knows something, while Emma tries to lie her way out of the issue. Despite Mr. Gold's threats to harm her if she continues to withhold the truth, Emma refuses to say anything. In the nick of time, Neal bursts in, telling his father to back off from Emma. ("Manhattan")

During Second Curse
During the year after Regina gives Emma and Henry new lives and memories because the first curse was undone, the two live together in New York City. Hook finds his way to New York and tries to get Emma to remember the past because her family needs her help. Because she is skeptical, he gives her an apartment address, insisting that once she goes there, she'll know the truth. Only when she gets there, Emma sees a familiar looking dreamcatcher hanging on the window, causing her to recognize that the apartment belongs to Neal. She later mistakenly believes Hook was hired by Neal to get to Henry, but with Hook's persuasion, she drinks a potion and regains her old memories. ("Going Home", "New York City Serenade")

After Second Curse
After arriving to New York City save Robin Hood from Zelena, Emma sees the old dreamcatcher in Neal's apartment, which is a memento of her and Neal's past together. Lily notices Emma's reaction to the dreamcatcher and asks her about who owned the apartment. Emma tells her that his name was Neal, and he was "a lot of things" to her, but thanks to Zelena, now he is gone. ("Mother")

Before Third Curse

Emma, as the Dark One, learns how to use dark magic on dreamcatchers to view and capture people's memories. She later uses one to view her parents' memories and learns they were cursed. Emma uses the dreamcatcher again to view Merlin's memories and discovers how he was turned into a tree. In order to enact the spell for freeing Merlin, a tear from a broken heart from a lost first love is required, so Regina uses the dreamcatcher to relive the memory of losing her first love Daniel after Cora kills him, causing her to cry over Daniel's death. However, because Emma believes Regina's tear is not fresh enough, since her love for Robin allowed her to recover, so she later forces Violet Morgan to break Henry's heart so his tear will work for the spell instead. ("The Broken Kingdom", "Dreamcatcher")

As Merlin details the plan to find the Promethean flame with Emma while everyone else steals Excalibur from King Arthur, Hook peers out the diner window, seeing Emma sitting outside and making dreamcatchers. Hook asks Merlin how he foresees them getting Excalibur, but when the sorcerer admits there are many paths that can be taken, Hook loses his temper. He expresses anger at Merlin's unspecific answers, particularly when Emma's wellbeing is at sake, which he exemplifies by pointing out how Emma doesn't sleep anymore and makes dreamcatchers instead. Later, Emma is so caught up with weaving a new dreamcatcher that, at first, she doesn't hear Merlin calling for her. ("Nimue")

After Emma bonds Hook's life to Excalibur, he reemerges from the Vault as a new Dark One. And he plans to cast the Dark Curse to get back to Storybrooke, so with that way, he could get his revenge on Mr. Gold. Then he crushes Merlin's heart and put it into the cauldron. But Emma arrives and puts him into a sleep. Then, she magically teleports everyone into the diner and erases their memories with the dreamcatcher to prevent them to explode Hook's Darkness. The curse is cast and the diner and all Camelot travel to Storybrooke. ("Broken Heart")

After Third Curse

In the shed near her new house in Storybrooke, Emma keeps numerous hanging dreamcatchers. She pulls one down, clutching it to her chest, as she cries. Later, Hook finds a dreamcatcher in the house, which Regina steals, believing Emma used it to wipe everyone's memories. With Robin Hood's encouragement, Regina harnesses the dreamcatcher and sees the memories of Violet Morgan, a girl Henry has a crush on. In it, Emma approaches Violet and rips out her heart, asking the girl to break Henry's heart so she can have a tear from a broken heart, a spell ingredient for freeing Merlin. Henry, glimpsing the memories without Regina and Robin noticing, is so shocked he drops the item he was carrying. Later that night, when Emma comes to Regina's doorstep asking to see Henry, Regina takes out the dreamcatcher and confronts her about what she did to Violet and Henry. ("Dreamcatcher")

To find out why Emma became the Dark One, Hook freezes her with squid ink and demands answers from her. Before Emma can say anything, Zelena waltzes in with Hook's dreamcatcher that she picked up from the shed. Having already viewed the dreamcatcher's contents herself, she reveals the truth to Hook by stabbing him to prove he is immortal. When Hook still fails to understand what this means for him, Zelena uses the dreamcatcher to show him his lost memories of how Emma made him a Dark One to save him from a fatal wound. ("Birth")

Hook, unable to tell Emma about his murder of David's father Robert, makes plans to burn his own dreamcatcher in a fireplace. As he is viewing the dreamcatcher's memories of how he stabbed Robert to death, Emma walks in and is shocked by what she sees. ("Page 23")

After Fifth Curse
While in the Dark Castle Weaver, believing that he will never be able to reunite with Belle due to the loss of the powers of the Guardian, looks over his memories with her using a dreamcatcher belonging to Wish Rumplestiltskin and apologizes for not being able to reunite with her. ("Leaving Storybrooke")

Seen Memories

Ripped Memories

Returned Memories

  • Hook ("Birth")
  • Emma Swan ("Broken Heart")
  • David Nolan ("Broken Heart")
  • Henry Mills ("Broken Heart")
  • Mary Margaret Blanchard ("Broken Heart")
  • Merida ("Broken Heart")
  • Regina Mills ("Broken Heart")
  • Robin Hood ("Broken Heart")


On-Screen Notes

  • Just like magical dreamcatchers, the Forget Me Knot allows the user to see into the past. However, it only shows the past of a location when looking through it, while dreamcatchers catch people's memories. ("Forget Me Not")

Props Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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