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True love, Miss Swan. The only magic strong enough to transcend realms and break any curse.
Mr. Gold to Emma src

True Love, and its action True Love's Kiss, is a type of magic featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.

True love is based on the prince's kiss from the Brothers Grimm version of "Sleeping Beauty", and Prince Phillip's kiss in the Disney film of the same name; as well as love's first kiss from the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


True love magic is one of the main aspects of light magic. It is the most powerful and simple form of magic with capabilities of breaking curses through the act of true love's kiss. It is so powerful, that sometimes it can break not one, but two curses simultaneously. It is also able to reverse effects of any potion. ("Skin Deep", "Heart of Darkness", "A Land Without Magic", "Kansas")

In his endeavor to capture the elusive and rare physical form of true love, Rumplestiltskin sought out to make deals with both Snow White and Prince Charming. On both occasions, he took a strand of each person's hair as payment. Combining both hairs in a bottle, he successfully created a true love potion, which he uses to bring magic to Storybrooke ("7:15 A.M.", "Heart of Darkness", "Land Without Magic")

Numerous times, true love's kiss has been used to bring someone out of a sleeping curse. Emma's, and later Regina's, success in using true love's kiss on Henry proves that true love can exist in not only romantic relationships but also parental relationships. It can also occur within friendship bonds and even through loyalty; such as Felix's loyalty to Pan. ("Pilot", "A Land Without Magic", "Into the Deep", "Going Home")

True love's kiss will not break a Dark One's curse if the dark one does not want to give up the power.[1] When the afflicted wants it, it is no longer a curse. Nor will true love's kiss work if both people involved are Dark Ones.[2] ("Skin Deep", "The Price")

As some practitioners of witchcraft can rip out another person's heart, those born as a product of true love, such as Emma, have the power to resist such magic. However, Aurora, who is also a product of true love, had her heart ripped out, meaning it is still possible to accomplish. ("Queen of Hearts", "Enter the Dragon", "Into the Deep")

In special situations, when the love is extremely true and pure, then the pair sharing true love can survive with having one heart between the two (both metaphorically and literally); such as Snow White and Prince Charming sharing two halves of one heart. They can also feel the pain of one another if one of them is harmed in some way. ("An Apple Red as Blood", "To Catch a Thief", "A Curious Thing", "The Final Battle Part 2")

According to Elsa, the only way to cure a freezing spell is an act of true love. Regina takes this to be a true love's kiss. ("Rocky Road")

Simple-looking objects, such as Ingrid and her sisters' ribbons, can be infused with true love, which causes them to have some magical abilities. ("The Snow Queen")

The first spark of two people's True Love can very rarely create a powerful sprout made of True love. ("Heartless")

A pixie dust flower has the ability to unite anyone who shares true love, and can return lost memories, awaken someone from a coma and even create magic doors. ("Awake")

In order for true love's kiss to work, both parties involved must believe in magic and true love. Henry failed to wake up his daughter Lucy from her coma because she had lost her belief. Similarly, Henry and Jacinda's kiss did not break the Dark Curse because Henry stopped believing in it. ("The Eighth Witch", "Flower Child", "Is This Henry Mills?")

Known Practitioners


Props Notes

  • The inscription on the true love scale reads "ΜΟΝΟ ΜΙΑ ΚΑΡΔΙΑ ΓΕΜΑΤΗ ΜΕ ΑΛΗΘΙΝE [sic] ΑΓΑΠE ΜΠΟΡΕΙ",[3] which is Greek for "only a heart full of true love can pass". (Note that "αληθινe" is a misspelling of "αληθινη", the Greek word for "true".) ("Firebird")

Other Notes

  • There is no kiss in the "Snow White" fairytale. In the first edition from 1812, the apple is dislodged from Snow White's throat when one of the prince's servants, angry for having to carry the dead Snow White's coffin wherever the prince goes, strikes the sleeping princess. Beginning with the second edition from 1819, the apple dislodges when a servant accidentally stumbles while carrying the coffin to the prince's castle.[4] Snow White being awakened by the prince's kiss is an element which was added for the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • In the Charles Perrault version of "Sleeping Beauty", the prince finds the sleeping princess and, finding himself infatuated with her, falls to his knees, just as the curse breaks.[5] In the Grimm version, the prince does not fall to his knees; instead, he stoops down and gives her a kiss just as the curse breaks.[6] This was modified for the Disney film Sleeping Beauty, where the prince actually awakens the princess with a kiss, which breaks the spell and wakes everyone in the palace.


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

See also


  1. TwitterLogo @AndrewChambliss (Andrew Chambliss) on Twitter (October 4, 2015). "Rumple explained to Emma after kiss - it doesn't work if you like the power/don't want to give up"
  2. TwitterLogo @InkTankGirl (Brigitte Hales) on Twitter (November 15, 2015). "Yep." (screenshot)
  3. File:520ScaleTable.png
  4. Little Snow-White: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. University of Pittsburgh (November 15, 2015). “Some differences between the edition of 1812 and later versions: (...) Beginning with the edition of 1819, the poisoned apple is dislodged when a servant accidentally stumbles while carrying the coffin to the prince's castle. In the first edition the apple is dislodged when a servant, angry for having to carry Snow-White's coffin wherever the prince goes, strikes the sleeping princess.”
  5. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood: Charles Perrault. University of Pittsburgh (November 15, 2003). “There he encountered the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. Reclining upon a bed, the curtains of which on every side were drawn back, was a princess of seemingly some fifteen or sixteen summers, whose radiant beauty had an almost unearthly luster. Trembling in his admiration he drew near and went on his knees beside her. At the same moment, the hour of disenchantment having come, the princess awoke, and bestowed upon him a look more tender than a first glance might seem to warrant.”
  6. Little Brier-Rose: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. University of Pittsburgh (February 16, 2015). “The hundred years had just passed, and the day had come when Little Brier-Rose was to awaken. When the prince approached the thorn hedge, it was nothing but large, beautiful flowers that separated by themselves, allowing him to pass through without harm, but then behind him closed back into a hedge. (...) Finally he came to the tower and opened the door to the little room where Little Brier-Rose was sleeping. There she lay and was so beautiful that he could not take his eyes off her. He bent over and gave her a kiss. When he touched her with the kiss Little Brier-Rose opened her eyes, awoke, and looked at him kindly.”
  7. File:321OpensBook2.png
  8. File:413PinocchioGeppettoStorybook.png
  9. File:518HenryText2.png
  10. File:622TrueLovesKissPage.png
  11. File:710NovelPage.png
  12. File:712StoodNearby.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about True Love

  • True love's kiss

    7 messages
    • Love has to exist on both sides, yes, but if it's a curse (and TLK is always on a curse) as Belle said, it only works when the person wa...
    • What was clearly stated about TLK: *Both parties must be in love (source: Ruby in 518, various implied occurrences) **This also apparen...
  • 1x22 Henry didn't die

    3 messages
    • Agree
    • I don't think it matters. It's really semantics and depends on your definition of death. By all real-world standards, he was dead --...
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