Names for many characters in Storybrooke are often coordinated with their fairy-tale counterpart. For example: - Mary Margaret Blanchard (Snow White): Blanchard derives from the French word "blanc" or "blanche" for white. The name "Mary Margaret" is from a real-life woman believed to be the inspiration of the Snow White character named "Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina Freifräulein Von Erthal" (born on June 15, 1729 in Germany.) - Regina Mills (Evil Queen): Regina is a Late Latin and Modern Italian feminine noun and name meaning "Queen". Mills refers to the Greek word "Milo" meaning "apple" in modern Greek, which is in reference to the Queen poisoning Snow White with an apple. Also in the series, Regina's favorite fruit are red apples; she also owns an apple orchard and is seen frequently holding apples. Also, Regina's grandfather was a Miller so that is another connection to her last name. - Mr. Gold (Rumpelstiltskin): Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold in his story. - Ruby (Red Riding Hood): A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone. - Ashley Boyd (Cinderella): Cinders precede ashes in the burning process. Boyd derives from the Gaelic word "buidhe" meaning yellow-haired. - Sidney Glass (Mirror): Because another word for mirror is glass or looking glass. Also, his newspaper is called The Mirror. Sidney's character as the Queen's minion trapped in a mirror parallels a genie trapped in a lamp as a master's servant; the name Sidney refers to Sidney Sheldon, the creator of I Dream of Jeannie - Archie Hopper (Jiminy Cricket): Crickets often hop to get around. Also, crickets are sometimes called hoppers. - Jefferson (The Mad Hatter): The group Jefferson Airplane has a song called "White Rabbit" which uses imagery from the "Alice in Wonderland" tales - Paige (Grace) In the real world the Hatter's daughter is named Paige but in the other her name is Grace. Grace Slick was a member of Jefferson Airplane and writer of "White Rabbit". - Dr. Whale (Dr. Frankenstein): In his fairy tale world he is Dr. Victor Frankenstein. In the real world James Whale was the director of the original Universal Frankenstein and its sequel Bride of Frankenstein.
The candle that Emma puts on her birthday cupcake is star shaped. She then makes a wish before blowing it out. This is a reference to the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" in Disney's Pinocchio. Disney owns the network that produces the show.
The Mayor's address is 108, the sum of all the Lost numbers.
When Emma wakes up in the jail cell, the song Leroy is whistling is "whistle while you work." from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Leroy's fairy tale counterpart is Grumpy, one of the seven dwarfs.
The key's holder of Emma Swan's room has a swan in it.
Cinderella is identified as just Ella, hinting at the true origins of her name being Ella who is covered in Cinders or Cinderella for short, making her name actually Cinder Ella. Cinders are also known as Ashes which leads to her Storybrook name of Ashley which could be taken as an adverb being used as an adjective to imply she too is covered in Ashes (Cinders).
The wolf hanging in Ruby's car is added allusion to her Red Riding Hood identity, escorted through the woods by the Big Bad Wolf.
When Henry loses his shoe on the stairs towards the end of the episode, it is an allusion to Cinderella losing her glass slipper on the stairs.
Two objects of Emma Swan's childhood are hidden in this episode: -The glass unicorn mobile from Emma's crib in the pilot can be seen hanging in Mr. Gold's pawn shop. -The purple and white baby blanket she was found in, also from the pilot, is visible in a suitcase behind Emma as she unpacks boxes.
Emma says to Ashley that "there are no fairy godmothers in this world." While she means in the real world, Storybrooke does not have a counterpart for the Fairy Godmother, so there literally is no Fairy Godmother.
Emma pours Mary Margaret a glass of McCutcheon's scotch - the same as Mr. Widmore (played by Alan Dale, who is also King George in this episode) refuses to pour for Desmond on Lost.
The Nolan's address is 444, one of the Lost numbers repeated thrice.
The mobile that David is first looking at in the pawn shop is the mobile that was hanging above Emma's crib in the pilot.
Henry is accused of stealing an Apollo candy bar. Apollo candy bars were the candy bar of choice on Lost.
When Snow is in the Jail and meets Grumpy, he whistles a tiny part from the "Heigh-Ho" Snow White and the seven Dwarfs Disney song.
On the side of Moe French's van it reads "Game of Thorns" likely referencing the HBO series Game of Thrones which Once Upon a Time writer/producer Jane Espenson also has a writing credit on.
When the evil queen is telling Rumplestiltskin about Belle, in the background is a gold scythe just like the one used in season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Astrid's statement, "Someone once told me, 'You can do anything, as long as you can dream it,'" is a paraphrase of a quote by Walt Disney, "If you can dream it, you can do it."
The outside of Jefferson's house is the same house used as Johnny Smith's house in The Dead Zone, which also takes place in Maine.
When the Queen and Jefferson walk into Wonderland the Caterpillar, voiced by Roger Daltrey of The Who, greets them with the iconic line "Who are you?", which is also a song by the band.
When Jefferson takes Regina through the hat they end up in a room filled with doors into different worlds. One door, close to the Looking Glass, is emerald green with two golden door handles. The handles are each a golden "O" with a smaller golden "Z" in the center, signifying that this door leads into Oz, the world in the Wizard of Oz story.
In this episode, Rumplestiltskin's son's name is Baelfire, who at one point speaks to his friend, a young woman in blue named "Morraine." This is possibly a connection to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, in which "balefire" is a powerful magic weapon, and one of the first users of "balefire" is a young woman "Moiraine," who is known for wearing blue.
When the plane flies over Pinocchio's head in the forest the logo for the Airline is Oceanic Airlines, the airline from Lost.
You can see blood on Charming's hands, from repeated attempts of hitting the rock against the cell door trying to escape.
When Emma empties Henry's book bag, you can see an Apollo candy bar, the candy bar of choice on Lost.