Once Upon a TimeTV

Our go-to ‘Once Upon a Time’ episodes

We all have those episodes of your favorite show where you can watch multiple times and not get sick of them. Once Upon a Time has multiple episodes that have become my go-to episodes when I’m feeling sad, happy or annoyed. No matter the mood, OUAT has got my back! They will be episodes I can go back to when the series is over. (Jk, I’ll definitely just rewatch the series on loop.) Some of them just happen to be Captain Swan centric. It just happened.

“New York City Serenade”


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one! I think it has the perfect balance of laughter and seriousness. It was interesting to see Emma and Henry’s life in NYC (we don’t talk about Walsh. That’s a touchy subject with me. Ew.). We also got to see our beloved characters go back to the Enchanted Forest, unwillingly so. I loved Emma and Hook’s dynamics throughout the episode because even though he barged into her life, he still saved her. It was just the beginning.

“The Song in Your Heart”


Musicals episodes have become a weird subject in the TV industry, and it only made sense for OUAT to have one as well. I will admit, I didn’t know if I would be crazy about a musical episode, but I was so wrong. This is one of those episodes where you can turn on and just feel a sense of joy. Disregarding the last ten seconds of the episode—another thing we do not talk about. To see our characters jam out and to witness a Captain Swan wedding, it was truly magical!



This episode made me cry so much. To see Snow and Charming get a glimpse of little Emma while in Storybrooke broke my heart! I felt for Snowing in this episode; they deserved better. Also, to see Emma literally hightail it to Neverland to save her man and receive a proposal, in the end, was worth all the tears. Every single one of them, and there were a lot.

“Swan Song”


I don’t know why this is one of my favorite episodes considering it’s sad AF. However, the range of the emotions made you feel like you were connected to the characters. And in this episode, we saw Hook embrace the mistake he made and altered his fate. He became a hero, despite the darkness pulling him, and he managed to save Emma and her family. Also, we saw Emma’s unwillingness to love without him. “I’m giving into love.” *cries a river*



While we’re on the topic of crying, this episode is another one that tugs at your heartstrings. We get a true love confirmation between Emma and Hook, so what is not to love? I also really appreciated Emma’s flashback within this episode because I was always intrigued to see how she came about her career…and her red leather jacket. Can you believe Emma’s jacket got a backstory episode? Iconic. Although, we also get a somber goodbye with Emma believing she would never see Hook again. I am okay…



Captain Swan beanstalk adventure! Can I just leave it at this? I’m going to. Him wrapping her hand with his teeth though. Okay, I’m done.



A classic. Honestly, you can never go wrong with watching a pilot episode of any show, and OUAT is no exception to this rule. It brings you a sense of nostalgia and gives you that smack in the face of why you became so obsessed with this show. The magic and excitement were portrayed so well with what was yet to come in the series. Boy, was it an adventure.

“Good Form”


A Killian Jones backstory and the first kiss between Emma and Hook? Yes, please. We take a look at Killian’s backstory and why he became a man out for revenge. However, it flows cohesvely with his fight to be a hero within this episode and to win Emma’s heart. All for her. Also, Captain Charming…

“The Apprentice”


Emma and Hook’s first date and Hook getting his hand back. Nothing can quite beat that. I also really enjoyed David going all protective dad on his 30-year-old daughter, and meanwhile, Snow is just fangirling in the back. She’s just snapping pictures like a mom at prom.

“Snow Drifts/ There’s No Place Like Home”


Hands down, one of the strongest season finales of the show. Heading back to the past to see Snow and Charming falling in love through the eyes of Emma and Hook was really creative! The episodes as a whole were crafted so well, and there was never a boring moment. We got to see Snowing and Captain Swan both falling in love during these episodes. “YOU SOLD YOUR SHIP FOR ME?”

“Operation Mongoose”


This finale takes a close second to the season 3 finale. These episodes were so different since everyone was cursed back in the Enchanted Forest with the villains getting their happy endings. Like Rumple being a knight-in-shining-armor? Not to mention Zelena and Robin marrying, and Emma being held in a tower with Hook as a deckhand allergic to rum. What a wild story. Also, we get Captain Swan’s first “I love you,” and then Emma becoming the Dark One.



My favorite thing about this episode happens. Yep, Emma saving Hook from the knick in his neck by Excalibur and turning him into the Dark One. Yay! I also believe this is the episode where Hook tells Emma he’ll love her no matter what she’s done. They’re the best, you guys.

“Last Rites”


Welcome back to another tear-inducing episode! Seriously, what is up with me picking all the heartbreaking ones? Anyway, the Hook and King Arthur team-up was literally my favorite thing because it was such an unlikely pairing. And because of Hook’s heroism, Zeus sent him back to Emma.  Turning into one of the cutest reunions of the show. However, we also see Robin’s totally unfair death, but at least he was doing it to save the woman he loved.

Which episode is your go-to? Sound off below or tweet me!

Feature image by Once Upon a Time wiki


Madeline Klepec

Madeline is a college student majoring in journalism with a minor in broadcasting. When she isn't writing for Hollywood News Source, Talk Nerdy With Us or her college's paper, she's drinking too much coffee and probably fangirling over Captain Swan. She also likes to watch Hallmark movies and mercilessly rewatches 'Once Upon a Time'.

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