36 of the most memorable quotes from Once Upon a Time

The iconic series has lots of lines that stand out - from sarcastic to meaningful, and everything else in between. Here are some of our favorites.
(ABC/Bob D'Amico)
(ABC/Bob D'Amico) /

During its seven-season run, there's loads and loads of dialogue from Once Upon a Time. The fairy tale series, now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu, has so many awesome characters - some sarcastic, others snarky, and there's those who always have a message about hope or soomething heartfelt to say.

Well, I love the variety! The show did such a great job of including some very iconic lines, quotes, and phrases that still stick in our minds to this day even though the magical production came to an end in 2018. There's a lot of them, but here are 36 of the most memorable quotes from Once Upon a Time that are our favorites. Read on below to check them out!

Emma Swan

"People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, 'no this is who I am.' You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things, you're going to have to go out there and change them yourself because there are no fairy godmothers in this world."

Season 1, episode 4

This quote just sums up Emma's personality, and it shows just how strong she is. The circumstances and hardships she's had to go thorugh have given her this wisdom. Emma's had a lot of great lines over the years, but this one definitely stands out and might be the characters' most memorable one. It's relatable to many people, and it helps motivate Ashley, aka cursed Cinderella, to keep her baby. And that's the first major change Emma starts to bring to the cursed citizens of Storybrooke!

"You don't have a home until you just miss it... Storybrooke is my home."

Season 3, episode 22

Emma searches for a home her whole life, and she could never quite find it. She's lead a lonely life, and it's so sad to see. It takes her a while to warm up to her parents and accept the family she has, wanting to run away. But after her time-travel adventure with Killian, she finally understands that Storybrooke is her home. This was a big turning point for the character whose first instinct was constantly to run up until this point. And the reunion between Emma, Snow, and Charming is so sweet when she calls them "mom" and "dad."

Other memorable quotes:

  • Cora: Oh you foolish girl. Love is weakness. Emma: No, it's strength.
  • Emma: You traded your ship for me? Killian: Aye.
  • Emma: But our future. Killian: I'll just be happy knowing that you'll have one. Emma: That's not enough for me!

Killian Jones/Captain Hook

"A man unwilling to fight for what he wants, deserves what he gets."

Season 2 episode 4

Killian may not have always made the best choices as a pirate, but he still lived by a code and had honor. At least most of the time. When he falls in love with Milah, Rumple's wife, he takes her away as she's tired of living with a coward. Her words. When Rumple shows up and asks for her back, he wouldn't even pick up the sword to fight for her. And this is when our favorite pirate says this iconic line. It definitely defines his character. Killian is always ready to defend what's important to him.

"When I win your heart Emma, and I will win it. It will not be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me."

Season 3, episode 7

This line may have sounded cocky. But if you look at the way Emma responds to Killian's words, they definitely have an effect on her, even if she doesn't want to admit it. Neverland has some of my favorite Captain Swan moments, and this one is definitely one of them. Killian's feelings are already so strong, and he knows and can feel the connection between them. He's always worn his heart on his sleeve. It takes a while for our precious Swan to get to where he is. But she does eventually! And oh how glorious it is.

Other memorable lines:

  • "When I jab you with my sword you'll feel it."
  • "I'm always a gentleman."
  • "There's not a day that will go by that I won't think of you."
  • Henry: Why are you dressed like that? Killian: "Why are you dressed like that?"
  • "Dirty? I bathe quite frequently, thank you very much."
  • "Don't you know Emma? It's you."
  • “Even heroes make mistakes.”
(ABC/Jack Rowand) /

Mary Margret/Snow White and David/Prince Charming

"I will always find you."

Multiple episodes

"You found me. Did you ever doubt I would?"

Multiple episodes

Ah. Snow and Charming. Or Snowing as us shippers like to call them. This inseparable couple goes through many trials, tirbulations, and separations. But if there's one thing they know deep in their hearts, it's that they will always find each other. The above two quotes are iconic when it comes to the couple, and it's what you think about when Snow and Charming are brought up. It basically sums up their whole character arcs throughout the run of Once Upon a Time, especially the first couple of seasons. No matter what happens, they never lose hope. That's just how strong their connection is.

Other memorable quotes:

  • Snow: And what exactly do you think fairytales are? They are a reminder that our lives will get better if we just hold on to hope.
  • Charming: We share one heart and nothing can come between two halves of one heart.
(ABC/Jack Rowand) /

Regina/Evil Queen

"I shall destroy your happiness, if it is the last thing I do."

Once Upon a Time pilot

I mean honestly out of any other lines in this post, I think this one from the Evil Queen is the most iconic. It sticks in your mind and you can just hear it when you read it. The pilot episode of OUAT is by far one of the best on television, and it was this moment that was a true highlight. We saw the direction the show was going and could see the absolute hatred between the Evil Queen and Snow. The way the queen walked in dramatically and interrupted the wedding. Just iconic.

"You defeated me in a way no one thought was possible. You made me your friend."

Season 5, episode 13

In the complete opposite of that moment in the pilot, we see how Regina and Snow's relationship grows and gets to a much better place later on in the seasons. And it's so true. Regina and Snow do become friends, and it's such a full circle moment. This was one of the examples the show portrayed that even villains can be reformed. Regina went on a long redemption arc, and it paid off in the end.

Other memorable quotes:

  • "Or what? You'll win her over with your rainbow kisses and unicorn stickers?"
  • And in the end we can get past it all. With hope.
  • Bonus (Robin): "A thief that steals from those in need has no honor."
(ABC/Katie Yu) /

Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin and Belle

"All magic comes with a price."

Multiple episodes

Each of the characters has one line that truly stands out and makes you think of them when it's said or read. And "all magic comes with a price" is definitely one associated with Rumplestiltskin. It's kind of one of the main themes in the show, with of course all the magic that does happen over seven seasons. This one along with "dearie" are so Rumple. Unfortunatley, many of our heroes have to learn this lesson the hard way, and it's one that almost all the characters have to go through.

"No one decides my fate but me."

Season 1, episode 12

Belle's story arcs and character development wasn't necessarily always a favorite of mine on Once Upon a Time. But that doesn't mean this princess didn't haver her good and strong moments that deserve to be highlighted. And this is one of them. When Rumple shows up to help Belle and her kingdom during the Ogre Wars, he agrees to help them in exchange for Belle to come with him. While her father and Gaston immediately refuse, she proves how brave she is and decides to go with him. And let's the men know clearly that she's the one who will choose how her life goes.

Other memorable lines:

  • Rumple: Tell me. What's her name. Snow: Emma. Her name is Emma.
  • Belle: Sometimes the best teacup is chipped.
  • Belle: Once I saw the man behind the beast. No there's only a beast.

Zelena/Wicked Witch

"The queen may be evil, but I'm wicked. And wicked always wins."

Season 3, episode 12

Zelena is probably the most sarcastic character, and I'm so here for it. I always looked forward to her scenes and what she was going to say next. Of course, this line is her most memorable as we were introduced to the Wicked Witch. She was such a great villain (at least in season 3), and one I'm glad we had. Zelena's quips and timing were always so on point, and provided for a great laugh. Who else could have had such an iconic and green-filled introduction?

Other memorable lines:

  • “Once you go green, you’ll never go queen.”
  • “You know, this whole driving thing’s quite easy when you’re actually trying to hit something.”

Henry Mills

"You may not believe in the curse. Or me. But I believe in you."

Season 1, episode 21

Henry has been such a sweetie since we first met him in Once Upon a Time season 1. Emma may be the Savior, but it's really all thanks to him that the curse was broken. He had so much belief in Emma, and had to take drastic measures to make her believe. The poor kid had reached his breaking point. It made for such a dramatic season 1 finale, and I don't think any of us saw it coming that the curse over Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest citizens would actually break by the end of season 1. And it was all thanks to Henry.

"You don't have to be afraid of being alone because you never have been. Their song has been inside you the whole time. It's not your weakness. It's your strength."

Season 6, episode 20

This theme and Captain Cobra relationship stays strong throughout the series. Emma of course had a very tough childhood, growing up with abandonment issues. But Henry is constantly there to remind her that she's not alone, and never has been. He's always so great about doing that! This line helps get Emma up and face the Black Fairy with the song inside her heart. And it was such a powerful moment in not only the musical episode, but the show overall.

  • "My name's Henry. I'm your son."
  • "I'm done reading about heroes. I wanna be one."
  • Henry: You lied to me. You are a Lost Boy. You work for Pan. Pan: Not exactly. I am Peter Pan... Come on boys. Let's play.

All seven seasons of Once Upon a Time are streaming on Disney+ and Hulu.

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