In a show filled to the brim with fantasy, magic, and the power of true love, it's almost too much to bear when things start to go sideways. Over the last six seasons, ABC's beloved fairytale series has had its fair share of moments that tore at the ends of our delicate heart strings. And even in its overhauled upcoming Season 7, I doubt it'll spare us any of those moments in the future.
Here are some of the most heartbreaking moments that made the show the guilty pleasure it's become today.
14. Mulan's Unspoken Love For Aurora
In Season 3, shortly after aiding Neal in getting to Neverland to rescue Emma and Henry, Mulan was propositioned by Robin Hood to join his gang of Merry Men. Seeing the lengths Neal would go to be with his true love, Mulan rejected Robin's offer to deal with her own situation back home. Ready to proclaim her love to Aurora, Aurora announced she was expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Mulan instead confessed she was joining Robin Hood's band, turned away, and forever left her love unspoken.
13. The "Death" Of Snow White
At the end of Season 3, Emma and Hook are sucked into a portal that takes them to the past. During their escapades, Emma accidentally interrupted her parents meeting for the first time and set in motion a journey to reunite them before she faded from existence. During that task, she unintentionally set her mother, Snow White, to be captured by The Evil Queen and then was forced to watch helplessly as her mother burned at the stake. Fortunately, Snow did survive after turning herself into a ladybug in the nick of time.
12. Her Destiny Is Not With You
After spending an entire childhood wrought with disappointment, Emma had finally found true love with the son of Rumplestiltskin, Neal Cassidy (Baelfire). In a Bonnie and Clyde type deal, the pair scammed their way to happiness. But when Neal suggested Emma fetch some stolen watches to fence for getaway cash, Emma was left holding the bag when Neal didn't show up. Due to Pinocchio telling him her destiny was not with him, she was arrested and her faith in other people was totally destroyed.
11. I Can't Be A Mother
In the Season 3 premiere, viewers were treated to Emma's first moments with infant Henry. As the doctor gets ready to put the newborn baby into Emma's arms, she turns from him, refusing to take her child. The doctor reminds her she can change her mind about giving up, to which she tragically replies, "No. I can't be a mother."
10. I No Longer Believe In You
Fans were ecstatic when Rose McIver took on the mantle of fairytale favorite, Tinker Bell. The character would prove to be a fan-favorite after her initial appearance but sadly ended up getting the #OnceUponATime treatment and dealt some heartbreak herself. As she attempted to help Regina reclaim true love, she disregarded the rules in doing so. After she failed, the Blue Fairy stripped Tink of her wings and sternly proclaimed, "I no longer believe in you."
9. You Would've Been Enough
Regina's relationship with her mother, Cora, was never the stuff of dreams come true. Their tempestuous back and forth only led to Regina utterly despising her mother and her controlling nature. But when Snow White, wrought with despair and hopelessness, tricked Regina into killing her own mother, Cora's true feelings broke free. As Cora lay dying, she looked at her rebellious daughter and said, "You would've been enough."
8. Emma Says Goodbye To Hook
On a perilous journey to the Underworld, Emma sets out to rescue her beloved, Hook, but is forced to leave him behind after days of toiling and facing off against Hades and his evil desires. While in Underbrooke, Hook's body began to decompose and the small blip of hope they had to rectify it ended up being nothing more than a trick. Their goodbyes, the slow release of their hands, brought tears to many eyes that fateful Sunday night.
7. Swim Back Home, Little Mermaid
Ariel is a beloved #Disney icon, so when she joined the series in its third season, the reception was over the roof elation. But like Tinker Bell, Ariel was burned by Regina who took her voice as punishment for helping Snow White escape her clutches. As Regina said, "The only thing worse than telling your prince how you feel and him rejecting you, is never telling him at all."
6. Villains Don't Get Happy Endings
Without a doubt, Regina is the one character on the #ABC series that's never had things go totally right for her. She lost not one, but two true loves. With the second, she actually lost him multiple times. She said goodbye to him as he departed Storybrooke with his family, again when Hades murdered him, and once more when she realized the alternate version she brought back could never love her the way her dearly departed did.
5. I Never Want To See You Again
Flashbacks to Emma's teen years were some of the hardest for fans to endure. She jumped from orphanage to foster home to foster home until she finally just ran away. When she met Lily, things seemed to get better—until they didn't. Twice Emma was burned by Lily, but the second time was the most depressing. Having finally found a family that wanted her, Emma was rejected and fled when Lily ruined her chance at happiness by stealing her foster family's vacation money.
4. Regina's Ultimate Sacrifice
Following Peter Pan's attempt to recurse the town of Storybrooke, Regina was forced to make the devastating decision to end the original curse and send everyone back to the Enchanted Forest. That action, though heroic, forced Regina to pay the ultimate price: Giving up Henry. As the curse swept the town and its inhabitants from our world, Regina left one final bit of magic for Emma and Henry: new memories, granting them the bliss of always having been together.
3. What Have I Done?
The inclusion of Disney's Frozen characters wasn't met with the best reception from fans, but Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen was a welcome addition. Her journey to reclaim the love of her family paralleled so deeply with Emma's. But in an act of ignorance, The Snow Queen almost damned the entire town, but soon came to know that even though her own family made some terrible mistakes, they always loved her. To rectify her wrongs, the Snow Queen sacrificed herself to save everyone else.
2. One Last Kiss
In the first season of #OUAT, as Emma worked to restore the happy endings for the residents of Storybrooke, the curse on Sheriff Graham weakened and his memories started to roll back in scattered pieces. When he and Emma, brought together by fate, shared one final kiss, Graham's memories were restored and in a fit of rage and jealousy, Regina crushed Graham's heart. As he fell to floor unresponsive, Emma was left holding him in her arms, pleading with him to wake up.
1. I Love You, Henry
In the Season 1 finale, all hope seemed lost as Henry lay dying after ingesting Regina's cursed apple to spare his mother. The scene forced Emma to come to terms with her true feelings, believe in magic, and break the curse once and for all. As she kissed her son, the end of the curse spread through the town, waking the residents of Storybrooke and restoring their journey towards happily ever after.
'Once Upon A Time' returns to ABC with a new curse, a new savior, and a new story on Friday, October 6.