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This article focuses on tears used as ingredients for magic, and not on every instance of tears.
For the Season Seven episode, see "One Little Tear".
You take the most precious thing in the world: love, and turn it into a weapon.
Anna to Rumplestiltskin src

Tears are a magical ingredient featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They first appear in the twenty-first episode of the second season.


Before First Curse

At one point, Merlin tries to get rid of the Dark One, Nimue, for good by summoning her with the dagger. While she heeds his call, Nimue magically flits back and forth, until Merlin orders her to stop, prompting her to materialize right in front of him. He attempts to stab her with the dagger, but cannot bring himself to do it and drops the dagger. As he is lost in grief over losing her to the Darkness, Nimue picks up the dagger, allowing one of Merlin's tears to drip onto it, causing the Sorcerer to turn into a tree. ("Dreamcatcher")

Learning of the Sorcerer's Hat with the ability to absorb magic, Rumplestiltskin decides to obtain it to be free of the dagger's will but also keep his Dark One powers. First, he poisons the Apprentice guarding the hat. Then, with good timing, Rumplestiltskin strikes a deal with Anna; sending her to douse the Apprentice's tea with a bottled substance. While it is an antidote to cure poison, Rumplestiltskin is simply testing Anna, who believes the substance is lethal, as he knows she doesn't have it in her to do it. In the end, he reveals the truth and shows her the Apprentice's reversion into a mouse. While Anna runs off to the man's cottage, Rumplestiltskin materializes there as well. Since she broke the contract, her punishment is to be locked up in his castle forever. Because of the hat's second line of defense, in which it can only be touched by one who has been tempted by darkness but hasn't succumbed to it, he goads Anna into acting against her kind-hearted nature. A desperate Anna threatens him with a sword as he insists she has to kill him in order to walk away. Following a tense moment, she collapses in tears, horrified over his manipulations of her. One of her tears drips onto Rumplestiltskin's dagger, which he uses to breach the hat's second line of defense and gain the hat. ("The Apprentice")

After First Curse
While spending time with Lacey at the pawnshop, Mr. Gold is approached by David and Mary Margaret. Mr. Gold asks Lacey to leave so he can take care of business. The pair ask for a way to locate a missing Regina, and he helps them due to being indebted to Mary Margaret after she saved his life. Bringing out a bottle containing one of Regina's tears, Mr. Gold collects Mary Margaret's tear and mixes the two together. Afterwards, he instructs her to put the liquid into her eye so a temporary bodily connection with Regina can be breached. Later in the loft, David helps Mary Margaret tests out the concoction by dripping it into her eye, causing her to shudder in pain as she is able to feel the agony that Regina is in. ("Second Star to the Right")

Before Third Curse
From a dreamcatcher, Emma discovers the origins of how Merlin became a tree, with Regina helping her to realize they need to make a potion from a tear of a broken heart to free him. Although Regina provides the tear after reliving the memory of her first love's death, Emma suspects it may not be enough because Regina has moved on, and Emma eventually coerces Violet into breaking Henry's heart so his tear will work instead. Just as Arthur arrives to stop them from saving Merlin, Emma activates the potion and channels her Dark One powers onto the tree, reverting Merlin to human form. ("Dreamcatcher")

After Third Curse
Giving a fake backstory to Emma on how be became a bartender, Gideon proceeds to claim that he has never successfully been able to write himself a story and went to the Land of Untold Stories to attempt to accomplish this, noting that his real-life story is simple but sad, in that he was an artist who loved his wife but she decided she didn't love him back. Emma relates to this, believing that Hook abandoned her as she does not know Gideon was responsible for him being taken away and begins to cry, wiping her tears on a napkin. Gideon discretely takes the napkin and later confronts Emma outside of her house as she attempts to communicate with Hook through an enchanted seashell, revealing that she cannot as long as he has her tears. ("A Wondrous Place")

During Fifth Curse
Working towards reviving her comatose daughter Anastasia, Victoria allows Lucy to read her story from the book before bringing her to see Anastasia at the hospital. She attempts to open Lucy's eyes to the reality of this fairytale, as she once sacrificed everything for her family and did not get a happy ending, but Lucy insists people can if they work for it and stubbornly believes she and her parents will get that in the end. Victoria shatters these hopes by playing a recorded video of her mother Jacinda and Nick kissing to prove Henry means nothing to Jacinda, especially since Henry has already left town, and that no matter how hard Lucy believes, her dream of having a reunited family with her parents won't happen. As Lucy sheds tears of grief and lets go of her belief, one of her tears fall onto the storybook, which Victoria collects and drips onto Anastasia's body, resurrecting her, while elsewhere in Hyperion Heights, Lucy collapses in Jacinda's arms. ("One Little Tear")


On-Screen Notes


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    • I've been thinking of creating an article about blood and since no one seems to mind, I went ahead and created it :-)
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