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Don't you know how to use a magic bean? You think of the place you want to go, and it takes you. It's quite simple!

Black Beard to Hook src

Magic Beans are magical plants featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They first appear in the nineteenth episode of the first season.

Magic beans are based on the items of the same name from the folktale, "Jack and the Beanstalk".


Magic beans are pod vegetables that can be used to cross realms, even between magical and non-magical worlds. They can be used as a transport to any place desired by only thinking where one wants to go. ("Snow Drifts", "The Price of Magic")

If the bean is old, it loses its power. However, the waters of Lake Nostos can restore withered magic beans to their former ripe state. ("Tallahassee", "Queen of Hearts")


Before First Curse

As a young child, Rumplestiltskin, is frustrated by his father Malcolm's continued behavior as a liar and cheat, despite that he loves him very much. When given a magic bean by two spinsters, Rumplestiltskin shows it to his father as a way of escaping the Enchanted Forest and starting over as a family elsewhere. Malcolm settles on going to a place called Neverland, which he often visited in his boyhood dreams. They arrive in Neverland where Malcolm is giddy with excitement. He attempts to demonstrate a magical flying ability in Neverland, but it doesn't work without pixie dust. Malcolm goes to grab some from atop of a tree of flowers containing the dust, though a shadowy creature bluntly tells him that adults cannot fly and nor do they belong in Neverland. In a desperate act of regaining his boyhood years, Malcolm abandons his son so he can become young and immortal. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

When he reaches adulthood, Rumplestiltskin becomes renowned in the Enchanted Forest for both his dark powers and cruelty. His only son, Baelfire, becomes increasingly worried that the powers are corrupting his father. Rumplestiltskin promises to give up his powers if and when Baelfire can find a proper method to do so. From speaking with a friend, Morraine, Baelfire is suggested into calling the Reul Ghorm, who has the most powerful kind of magic. The Reul Ghorm, also known as the Blue Fairy, comes to his aide. Though she cannot return Rumplestiltskin to the man he once was, it is possible to take him and Baelfire to a land where magic does not exist. She gives him the last magic bean in existence, which Baelfire later opens into a portal. Despite Rumplestiltskin's promise to his son, he backs out of their deal due to fear of losing his powers. He lets go of Baelfire's hand and watches him disappear into the closing portal alone. Only after his son is gone, Rumplestiltskin regrets his choice and summons the Blue Fairy. She berates him for having caused his own misery by abandoning Baelfire and states that there is no other way to get to the same land without magic. However, after some probing, she accidentally lets it slip that a certain curse can bring him there if he sacrifices his homeland. Nonetheless, the Blue Fairy is certain he can never accomplish this, though he vows to spend as long as it takes to reach Baelfire. ("The Return")

Many years later, Rumplestiltskin meets in a tavern with William Smee, who claims he can retrieve a magic bean for him, but wants eternal life in return. Rumplestiltskin agrees to the deal. Smee sneaks onto the ship of Captain Hook to steal the bean, but is caught by Milah. She wrings the truth out of him and confronts Rumplestiltskin as he is preparing to kill Hook. The trio have history together, as Rumplestiltskin was once married to Milah, until hearing of her kidnapping at the hands of Hook. He discovers it was all a lie, and she went along willingly with Hook because she loves him. Milah wants to exchange the bean so he will not harm her or Hook. The next day, they meet aboard Hook's ship. A heated conversation ensues between Milah and Rumplestiltskin. He questions her decision of leaving Baelfire behind. Milah admits letting misery cloud her judgement, but couldn't stand to be in a loveless marriage with Rumplestiltskin any longer. When she spitefully claims to have never loved him, he moves towards her. Milah, believing he is after the bean, throws it to Hook, who catches it. Instead, Rumplestiltskin tears out Milah's heart and crushes it to dust; resulting in her death. While reeling in grief over Milah's death, Hook refuses to part from the bean, so Rumplestiltskin cuts off his left hand containing the item. In actuality, the bean is in Hook's right hand, but Rumplestiltskin departs believing he has won. Later, only when Rumplestiltskin examines the severed hand does he realize his own mistake. Hook throws the bean into the ocean, opening a portal, which takes himself and his crew to Neverland. ("The Crocodile")

Atop a beanstalk in the Enchanted Forest, a race of giants live together in seclusion with no contact with the humans below. In the past, giants often grew magic beans and traded them with humans. However, this stopped once the giants learned the humans were selfishly using the beans to conquer and plunder other worlds. Since then, they still harvest their grown beans, but celebrate success over keeping them out of human hands. The smallest giant in the family, Anton, is very curious about humans and doesn't understand his brothers' enthusiasm for having beans that no one ever uses. One day, he climbs down the beanstalk to explore and becomes friends with two humans, Prince James and Jack, despite that they have bad intentions. They tell him about the necessity of gold and treasures to keep the human kingdom afloat, and Anton sympathizes enough that he wants to help him. He goes back home to fetch some of the giants' treasures for them, but secretly, Prince James and Jack follow him up to lead an army to slaughter the giants and steal their magic beans. In the midst of the battle, Jack is killed by the poison of her own blade while Prince James grabs all the treasure he can carry, and leaves down the beanstalk. Only Anton manages to survive and destroy all of their growing beans so humans cannot have them. Before Anton's brother, Arlo, dies, he gives him a preserved budding from a stalk that can grow new beans. Since the massacre of his entire family, Anton grows to hate humans. ("Tiny")

After First Curse

Many years after, the story of the giants is passed down by humans, but becomes misinterpreted. The legend paints Jack as a famed giantslayer, and the giants as cruel beings who used magic beans to take over other realms. Hook brings Aurora, Emma, Mary Margaret and Mulan to the beanstalk to hunt for an enchanted compass that the last giant, Anton, possesses. With the compass, Emma and Mary Margaret can open a portal to Storybrooke. Emma and Hook climb the beanstalk to retrieve the item, and force the giant out of his lair. When entrapped by Emma, Anton makes no secret of his hatred for humans and wears a withered bean, the same one Arlo gave him, as a reminder of how dangerous they are. However, he sees the good in Emma since she hasn't killed him. Anton gives her the compass and also holds back Hook as per her request. In some manner, Hook escapes Anton and steals the withered bean; leaving the giant with only the stalk left. Later, Anton is shrunken and kidnapped by Cora. ("Tallahassee", "Queen of Hearts", "Tiny")

Aurora, Emma, Mary Margaret and Mulan learn they can stop Hook's partner in crime, Cora, by freezing her with a bottle of squid ink. While searching a cell for it, they become trapped after Aurora, controlled by Cora via her own heart, locks them in. Emma tries to sway Hook to her side, but he is embittered that she did not trust him enough. He shows her the withered bean he stole from Anton, and states it is just like her; once full of hope and life, but now shriveled up and dead. After Emma and Mary Margaret beat Cora and Hook by escaping into the portal to Storybrooke, the two are left behind to lament their failure. Nonetheless, Hook still has the bean. Although it appears to be wilted, the bean is restored to full form once placed in the waters of Lake Nostos and activated into a portal for them to sail to Storybrooke on Hook's ship. Along for the ride, an imprisoned Anton is taken along as well. ("Queen of Hearts", "Tiny")

While still a prisoner aboard the ship, Anton is freed by David, Leroy and Mary Margaret. However, he mistakes David for Prince James, not realizing the two are twins, and vows revenge against him. With the help of a growth mushroom, Anton regains his old size and terrorizes the people of Storybrooke. Anton is only halted once the effects of the mushroom wear off and he falls into a hole while clinging on to life. He learns to trust humans when David and the townspeople save him, and then shows them the stalk of the magic bean. After accessing some fertile soil in town, Leroy and the dwarves help him plant it to re-grow magic beans. ("Tiny")

To keep the beans a secret, Mother Superior shields around the area surrounding the bean fields with an invisibility barrier. After much time, the beans to grow into whole fields, and David and Mary Margaret take Emma to see them. She reacts with shock at their grand plan of returning to the Enchanted Forest by using magic beans. While her parents are keen on the idea for themselves, they allow her to decide if she wants to stay in Storybrooke or go along as well. ("Lacey")

After viewing the bean fields, Emma does a lot of thinking about whether or not she and Henry should go to the Enchanted Forest, too. Without meaning to, she draws Regina's suspicion that something is going on without her knowledge. Using magic to track David's recent car trail, Regina discovers the bean fields. She takes a bean to plant her own beanstalk while destroying the rest of the beans. The next morning, David, Leroy and Mary Margaret discover the wreckage of the fields too late, but have no qualms that Regina is to blame. While Regina builds an alliance with Hook to retrieve a trigger to erase Storybrooke, he later betrays her to Greg and Tamara. ("The Evil Queen")

Regina is kidnapped by Hook's allies and taken to the cannery for interrogation by Greg. Early in the morning, Tamara breaks into Regina's office and steals the remaining beans. Greg makes preparations to administer electroshock waves to force Regina to tell him the whereabouts his father. Disinterested, Hook leaves. Tamara excitedly informs Greg about what Neal told her about magic beans, to which he exhibits jealousy. Meanwhile, David, Emma and Mary Margaret storm Regina's office, but do not find her or the beans inside. Suspiciously, Emma discovers the system security was broken by an override code. She suspects Tamara, but David and Mary Margaret believe Regina's disappearance is Mr. Gold's work. Eventually, Mr. Gold is cleared of involvement when he helps David and Mary Margaret use a special method to track Regina to the cannery. Emma and Neal lag behind to stay on the lookout inside the building while her parents rush to save Regina from Greg. Unwittingly, Tamara ambushes Emma by knocking her out and threatens Neal with a gun. However, Emma is unable to stop her from shooting Neal and opening a portal with a magic bean. Neal pulls Emma up to safety to keep her from falling in, but when their positions are switched, he lets go and falls into the portal. ("Second Star to the Right")

Greg and Tamara take the next step in their plan to get rid of magic in Storybrooke by setting off the trigger in the mines. Hook, valuing his life despite his thirst for revenge, switches sides. Now faced with destruction of the whole town, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina work together to find a way to stop it. Though Regina attempts to hold back the trigger's power with her own magic, she does not have the capacity to contain it for long. David and Hook steal a magic bean from Greg. The idea is to take everyone into the portal when the trigger detonates, but Hook's strategy is to escape alone and secretly makes off with the bean, which no one finds out until the end is nearing. Grief-stricken, all hope is lost until Emma recognizes Regina is not able to stop the trigger alone, but if they combine their powers, it just might work. Together, they deactivate it and save Storybrooke. However, in the midst joy, Henry is unknowingly snatched by Greg and Tamara, and are too late to be stopped from using their last bean and travelling to another land. With Henry gone, panic ensues until it is brought to everyone's attention Hook's ship is still sitting in the harbor. Despite Hook's selfishness, he decided not to use the bean when reminded of a time in the past when he genuinely cared for someone other than himself. He agrees to help them find Henry, and after Mr. Gold locates the boy's location to be in Neverland, Hook throws the bean into the water as the ship and all parties on board are sucked into the portal. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

Before Second Curse

After the Dark Curse is undone, the inhabitants of Storybrooke are transported back to the Enchanted Forest. As a side-effect of the undone curse, travelling between worlds is now impossible. ("New York City Serenade", "A Curious Thing")

Breaking apart from Prince Charming and Snow White's group, Hook reclaims his ship and resumes travelling at sea. One day, he receives a messenger bird, attached with a vial of memory potion, as well as a note asking him to seek out Emma. While a second curse approaches, he abandons his crew and sails his ship as far as he can outside the curse's purview. Now that the curse is cast, transportation between worlds is possible again. Knowing that magic beans are still possible to come by if something of great value is traded, he gives up the Jolly Roger for a bean. Thus, Hook opens a portal, escaping the second curse, and returns to the Land Without Magic. ("Witch Hunt", "The Jolly Roger", "There's No Place Like Home")

Known Owners

Known Users


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also