Once Upon a Time, the fairytale drama series that aired on ABC for seven seasons from 2011 to 2018, produced a ton of exciting episodes. 155, in fact. We already looked at which of these episodes weren’t as great as the rest, so this time around, we decided to focus on the ones that take center stage. To do this, we’ll once again be turning to the ratings on IMDb. Every episode of Once Upon a Time has been assigned a ranking on the popular movie and TV show website. These star scores are based on the votes of registered users on a scale of 1 to 10.

It’s time to hop in Emma’s yellow bug and head back to Storybrooke. Here are the best episodes of Once Upon a Time according to IMDb.

10 Skin Deep (8.9)

Beauty and the Beast got a new spin in the twelfth episode of Season 1. Flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest show Rumplestiltskin offering his help in the Ogre Wars in exchange for Maurice’s daughter, Belle. Though Belle is set to marry Gaston and Maurice rejects Rumplestiltskin’s offer, Belle agrees on her own terms and becomes Rumplestiltskin’s maid. Though their relationship with each other is at first harsh, they start to fall for each other. However, when Belle tries to offer Rumple true love’s kiss, he pushes away, afraid that she is simply trying to strip him of his powers.

In present-day Storybrooke, Emma tries to uncover the truth behind the robbery at Mr. Gold’s mansion. The ladies also figure out their relationship drama through a girl’s night out, and Regina and Mr. Gold reveal that they are aware of each other’s fairytale counterparts (the Evil Queen and Rumplestiltskin).

9 Manhattan (8.9)

This Season 2 episode had storylines taking place in Storybrooke, The Enchanted Forest, and New York City. In the past, Rumplestiltskin gets recruited for the Ogres War and decides to fight to destroy his family’s cowardly reputation. Unfortunately, after he comes in contact with a Seer, he learns he might die in battle. Because he doesn’t want his soon-to-be-born child to grow up fatherless, he injures himself to get out of serving in the army, only to learn that this will lead to an even worse fate.

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In New York City, Emma, Henry, and Mr. Gold search out Gold’s son, Baelfire. Things become uncomfortable for Emma after Baelfire turns out to be her ex-lover under a different name. Finally, in Storybrooke, Captain Hook and Regina team up with Cora to locate the Dark One’s dagger. Turns out, her plan competes with theirs.


8 Operation Mongoose: Part 1 (8.9)

The two-part Season 4 finale begins with the Author teaming up with Gold. This causes Emma, Hook, Regina, Snow, and Charming to panic, and so naturally, they set out to figure out what they could be writing, how to stop them, and what effects it could have on the town.

The flashbacks of this episode focus on the mysterious Author, Isaac Heller, and his rise to becoming a successful novelist. However, things don’t go as planned for him when Henry gets trapped inside the book and in the storybook world, Zelina nearly marries Regina’s true love, Robin Hood. The cliffhanger set up perfectly for the stressful and satisfying episode to come.

7 A Land Without Magic (9.0)

The Season 1 finale had Emma uncovering her destiny in Storybrooke while Prince Charming and Snow White try to escape from the Evil Queen and find each other in The Enchanted Forest. Though Charming’s quest is difficult and filled with obstacles, he eventually reaches Snow and kisses her awake like in the flashback shown in the series’ premiere. They decide they’ll work together to take back the kingdom.

In Storybrooke, Henry has been put under a sleeping spell having taken a bite of a poison apple. Though things at first look bleak, Emma’s act of love brings him awake and the memories of the townspeople are soon restored. David and Mary Margaret (Charming and Snow) also find themselves reuniting in the real world.

6 Is This Henry Mills? (9.0)

Jumping all the way to the twentieth episode of Season 7, a past version of Henry debates about his future and whether or not he wants to go to college. In the present day, Gothel prepares a new spell for the Land Without Magic. It definitely doesn’t help that though the threat looms, Henry struggles with his belief.

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Thankfully, not all is lost when Henry finds a way to talk over the phone to his younger self.  This causes him to ultimately join together with Lucy and Regina to break the curse over the land. However, the story isn’t over quite yet, as a Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin kills Facilier and schemes with Weaver.

5 Snow Drifts (9.2)

In this Season 3 episode, Mary Margaret and David celebrate their son’s naming at Granny’s Diner while Robin and Regina continue to grow closer than ever. Though it seems things are working out for everyone, Emma begins to realize her desire to head back to New York City. Though this almost becomes a reality, she ends up getting sucked into the Enchant Forest via one of Zelena’s time portals. Hook chases after her.

Hook and Emma end up getting brought to the moment at which Snow and Charming met, but after accidentally messing with the meeting, they must find a way to bring each other back together as to not mess up the future.

4 Operation Mongoose: Part 2 (9.2)

The high stakes continue to rise in the second episode of the Season 4 finale. Things are looking to be on the up and up after Regina reunites with Robin and Isaac writes himself a happy ending, causing his authorship to end and Henry to become the new Author.

However, soon after everyone wakes up in Storybrooke, the Darkness breaks out of the hat and starts wreaking havoc. Right before the Apprentice dies, he tells Hook and Emma that the only person who can stop the Darkness from destroying all things is Merlin. Emma realizes that though they can’t rid of the darkness, they can control it. As to not undo Regina’s progress, she offers herself up by letting the Darkness absorb inside of her.

3 Leaving Storybrooke (9.2)

The final episode of the entire series has the gang battling against Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin’s schemes to destroy all the happy endings.  Sir Henry plans to murder Regina, and Alice and Robin search through Storybrooke for someone who will help them rescue Henry, Jacinda, Lucy, Weaver, and Hook.

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Though winning isn’t easy, good always prevails, and all the realms are finally united together. Regina rules over these realms as “the Good Queen” and it all fades to an end with one final look at the “Leaving Storybrooke” sign.

2 Going Home (9.3)

In Season 3’s “Going Home,” Rumplestilskin forms a plan that he hopes will put an end to Peter Pan. Pan, who currently occupies Henry’s body, plans to cast the Curse by combining items he stole from Regina with Felix’s heart. Though his original plan doesn’t come to fruition, the gang still gets separated after everyone is sent back to the Enchanted Forest as Storybrook disappears. Henry and Emma, however, are excluded from this and head back to New York City to live out life.

Flashbacks show Snow White and Prince Charming preparing for the curse, Hook setting out to get revenge on Rumplestilskin, Rumple and Belle discussing his son, Mary Margaret giving Henry the Once Upon a Time book, and Emma birthing Henry.

1 There’s No Place Like Home (9.4)

The Season 3 finale of Once Upon a Time got a higher episode rating than any other. Immediately following the aforementioned “Snow Drifts,” Emma and Hook wander through a past version of the Enchanted Forest, where they must find a way to get Charming and Snow to end up together. This proves to be a challenge as multiple obstacles, including the Evil Queen, threaten to end their existence.

This season ends by teasing the one to come. Rumple’s urn has fallen through the time portal and ended up in Zelena’s barn. Out of it emerges a woman with a blue dress, a blonde braid, and ice powers: Elsa from the Frozen universe.

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