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This article focuses on the Season Five episode.
For the Storybrooke character, see Ruby.
For the magical items, see Silver Slippers.

Ruby: Well, yeah, but I almost lost you.
Dorothy: You didn't. You came back for me.
Ruby: I always will.

"Ruby Slippers" is the eighteenth episode of Season Five of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Andrew Chambliss & Bill Wolkoff, and directed by Eriq La Salle. It is the one hundred and sixth episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 17, 2016.


In flashbacks, Ruby and Mulan find themselves in Oz, where they meet Dorothy. After the three witness Zelena’s return to Oz, they look for a way to defeat her once and for all. However, Dorothy mysteriously disappears, and Ruby’s search for her new friend lands her in the Underworld. Reunited with the heroes, Ruby teams up with Emma, Regina and Snow to continue looking for Dorothy. Meanwhile, Snow and David struggle with not being able to be with their son, Neal, and devise a plan so that one of them can escape the Underworld.[2]


Deleted Scenes

A scene where Ruby and Mulan are standing next to a green and gold, pyramid-shaped portal on the ground in Oz,[3] was deleted from the episode.



Guest Starring





Production Notes

Event Chronology

  • The Oz flashbacks take place years after the flashback scenes from "Our Decay".
    • They also take place immediately after Zelena is banished to Oz in "Swan Song", and before she goes back to Storybrooke in the present day scenes in "Our Decay".
  • The Underworld events take place after "Her Handsome Hero" and before "Sisters".
  • The present Oz events take place not long after Zelena leaves in "Our Decay".

Episode Connections



  • Dorothy mentioned that she was committed to an asylum after telling her family about Oz. This is a reference to the 1985 Disney sequel film Return to Oz.

Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Props Notes

so tangible and intoxicating to her, was merely in her
head. It was a thought that was too crushing to
bear, not to mention that it also meant Dorothy would
be doomed to lie on that dais forever. Ruby could hardly
take the pressure, and suddenly she needed someone by
her side to reassure her, someone who could instantly
put all this turmoil into perspective.
Fortunately Snow White was only a few feet away from
her. Dorothy turned to her uneasily, and Snow nodded
her on, as if to share a little of her own courage.
You can do it, Ruby", Snow said. "Go on."
[image begins] was enough to bolster Ruby, who turned back
[image begins]ing up the courage to say something
[image begins] toward anyone before. But
[image begins] to look at Dorothy in
[image begins]. Ruby's eyes
[image begins]ew she
[image ends]

And then she leaned down and kissed Dorothy. For her,
it was the kiss of a lifetime. She felt a jolt of electricity
pass from her lips to Dorothy's. And just as she was
[shot ends]

  • According to a photograph from an online prop auction, an unseen page reads:[25]

The normally bustling Munchkin
was unusually quiet. In
fact, it had been quiet for quite
some time, ever since the tragic
day an armor-plated female war-
rior had brought the Munchkins
the somnolent body of Dorothy
Gale, along with Dorothy's dependent Cairn Terrier
Toto. This was brave and loyal Mulan, who had
sworn to Dorothy after she discovered her friend
had fallen victim to a sleeping curse at the virescent
hands of the Wicked Witch of the West. And protect
Dorothy she did, placing her on a dais in the middle of
town, and watching over her in a silent vigil, day by
day. And the normally jovial Munchkins stood by her,
day by day also, their jovial spirits drained by the sight
of their beloved Dorothy gripped in an eternal slumber.
And Toto stood by them also, loyal to the very last, his
snout forever bowed at the feet of his fallen master.
The streets of Oz had never before seen such a tableau
of tragedy and despair, and yet here it was every day,
with not a soul in the realm able to do a single thing to
help Dorothy.

And so this tableau repeated every day, until one day, a
miracle happened.
Right smack dab in the middle of a particularly long
bout of silent, mournful meditation, Toto started bark-
ing. The yapping came so fast and furious that for a
brief moment, Mulan thought it was another of Zelena's
destructive cyclones, and she immediately drew her
sword, ready to take the Wicked Witch on with her
trusty blade. But there was no cyclone. No Wicked
Witch. In fact there was... nothing. Toto was barking
at thin air.
"What is it, Toto," Mulan said. The poor little dog
didn't answer back, he just kept on barking. Only it
wasn't an angry, defensive barking. It was an excited
barking, a barking of recognition. Mulan half expected
the little ball of fur to hop up on his hand legs and do a
dance of joy when finally she and the Munchkins saw
what Toto had been able to detect moments before them.
In a great whirling poof of magic two people suddenly
appeared on the street. One of the people Mulan had hoped
to see. Even expected to see. And there she was in her
bright red cloak.
"Ruby?" Mulan said.

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

Filming Locations


International Titles



  1. Porter, Rick (April 19, 2016). Sunday final ratings: ‘Once Upon a Time,’ ‘The Good Wife’ adjust up; ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘Crowded’ adjust down. TV by the Numbers. “Once Upon a Time (ABC) (...) 3.76”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, April 17, 2016. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#518) "Ruby Slippers".”
  3. InstagramIcon.png officialmeghanory (Meghan Ory). May 30, 2016. "That time we were almost in Oz" (archive copy)
  4. File:518Title.png
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (January 27, 2016). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya March 6th when #OnceTurns100 !" (screenshot)
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:518Underbrooke.png
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:102Storybrooke.png
  8. 8.0 8.1 File:309WhoIsThis.png
  9. File:419ImGoingAfterGold.png
  10. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). April 19, 2016. (archive copy)
  11. Whitney, Alyse (May 6, 2016). 'Once Upon a Time': Who Will Die in Season 5's Penultimate Episode?. Hollywood Reporter. “One person who won’t be affected in this finale is Belle, who will be in a sleeping curse until next season so the actress could go on maternity leave. But Kitsis notes she still will play a "pivotal role."”
  12. File:5x18 - Ruby Slippers - Promo
  13. File:518LoveWithYou.png
  14. Lindemans, Micha F. Moloch. Encyclopedia Mythica. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017.
  15. File:518SomethingsWrong.png
  16. Dove, Steve (February 13, 2012). Storybrooke Secrets: Skin Deep. ABC. “"Dark Star Pharmacy" is a reference to the Grateful Dead staple "Dark Star."”
  17. Monica (October 21, 2013). Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis Talk New Seasons of OUAT and OUATIW. “I was a deadhead, loved The Grateful Dead.”
  18. File:518FlippingThroughBook.png
  19. Lorem Ipsum. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  20. File:517TurningPage3.png
  21. File:518AppearingInOz.png
  22. File:201WhatHappened.png
  23. File:301IsHeWell.png
  24. File:518HenryText.png
  25. Once Upon a Time - Set of Storybook Pages (3141). iCollector. Retrieved on May 7, 2019. (Photograph)
  26. File:518LetThatHappen.png
  27. File:418DeadDarling.png
  28. File:511Rumple.png
  29. File:316TheseSlippers.png
  30. File:518SimpleTrade.png
  31. FacebookIcon.png americanduchess (American Duchess). April 19, 2016.  "Glittered "Pompadours" appear on "Once Upon a Time" as Dorothy Gale's silver slippers in Episode 18, Season 5" (archive copy)
    "Pompadour" French Court Shoes (White) (1680-1760). American Duchess. Retrieved on January 27, 2019.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Stowell, Lauren (September 23, 2013). 8 Reasons to Love the New American Duchess Pompadour 18th Century French Court Shoes. “Pompadours have been sent to production companies all over the world, from Film Afrika in South Africa, to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Our particular favorite was the appearance Pompadours made in NBC's "Smash," on the feet of lead actress Megan Hilty. Smash, Season 2, Episode 6 - a pair of pink painted Pompadours makes a rather bold appearance on actress Megan Hilty
  33. Isberg, Allison (April 19, 2016). OUTLANDER Gets a Dose of Culture Shock. And THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER Gets a Dose of Spoilers.. SciFi4Me. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. “Season Two, Episode Two: "Not in Scotland Anymore" (....) And special shout-out goes to Lauren Stowell at American Duchess for her fabulous Pompadour shoe, featured in the opening credits.” (Note that the source erroneously states that the shoes are featured in the opening credits, but they actually appear in the opening scene, immediately after the credits.)
    Screenshot from Outlander: "Not in Scotland Anymore"
  34. Gittins, Susan (February 6, 2016). SHOOT: ONCE UPON A TIME Films Ruby Slippers in Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery with Meghan Ory. Hollywood North Buzz. “Once Upon a Time filmed three nights in Vancouver's Everett Crowley Park for this episode, where fans saw Mulan (Jamie Chung).”
    TwitterLogo.svg @BastardSonVan (Larry Andreutti) on Twitter (February 15, 2016). "Photo set from #OnceUponATime filming taken on January 28, 2016 in Everett Crowley Park, Vancouver, BC (FTL)" (screenshot)
    FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Once Upon A Time January 27, 2016 (January 27, 2016).  "Once Upon a Time set photos from Everett Crowley Park, Vancouver, BC (Fairy Tale Land) taken on January 27, 2016."
  35. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). May 25, 2018. "Teri and Jamie back in the land of Oz." (archive copy)
    TwitterLogo.svg @EriqLaSalle23 (Eriq La Salle) on Twitter (February 5, 2016). "Working with Mulan--an original badass warrior." (screenshot)
  36. File:107NotRunningAway.png
  37. File:512IImagine.png
  38. Milbrand, Lisa. Why You Might Not Have Morning Sickness. Retrieved on August 25, 2018. “"Some women may experience morning sickness, and some women may not; some women have it in one pregnancy and not the next," says Marra Francis, M.D., an ob-gyn in Woodlands, Texas, and a contributing author to the Mommy MD Guides. "Not everyone experiences morning sickness, just like not everyone gets motion sickness."”
  39. When does morning sickness start?. BabyCentre. Retrieved on August 25, 2018. “Morning sickness usually starts when you're five weeks or six weeks pregnant. Some women may start to feel queasy as early as four weeks. If you don't feel queasy in the early weeks, you may miss morning sickness altogether.”

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