Once Upon a Time: Neal, Ruby, Elsa and 12 Other Characters We Want Back

Once Upon a Time Missed Characters

Not everyone gets a happy ending on ABC’s Once Upon a Time — including the fans who latch onto, and then must bid adieu to, characters that are either doomed or deigned to disappear.

In the wake of the resurrection of Maleficent, a saucy sorceress who many felt had been unjustly jettisoned way back in Season 1, TVLine took stock of other characters whose potential was left untapped, and who, if among the living/mostly dead, could still bring a certain spark to life in never-quiet Storybrooke.

Review our countdown below, then weigh in on the gone-too-soon characters you’d most like to see be given a second chance.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Melanie says:

    Yes yes yes. thank you for making Neal #1! I stopped watching when he was killed off. I’d start watching again in a heartbeat if they undid that horrible decision. So much story and potential just wasted. <3 Neal.

    • Alice says:

      Glad to see some love for Neal. I like seeing MRJ in his new projects, but I quit OUAT as soon as he died. If they couldn’t figure out a way to give Neal a happy ending, I just lost confidence in the writers ability to write anyone a happy ending. Not worth the investment.

      • Melanie says:

        Neal is loved and he is missed! Fans have been saying it for a year, then we got the people’s choice nomination, and now this article. It seems as time goes on people are feeling the ramifications of how Neal’s death really effected the soul of the show. Bring back Neal!

    • Vari says:

      NO THANKS. He was just a plot device

      • Melanie says:

        OK, I’ll bite, lets say Neal is a plot device. Traditionally a plot device isn’t a bad thing, it simply drives a story forward – which is much better than not being need for the plot at all. Neal is the reason the story exists in the first place. That’s important. Neal’s connections to every other character on the show is also important. Take Neal out of the story, and we have no show at all. Take other characters out of the story, like some people on this list, or Hook, or others, and there are small, or no, ramifications at all. I’m not saying that those characters aren’t loved and wanted, but I’d rather be a plot device than simply have no involvement to the plot at all.

        • Rebecca says:

          “which is much better than not being need for the plot at all.” Which arguably…. Is what Hook is. Not really needed for the plot at all. So…. At least Neal had a reason to be on the show, driving story’s forward. Hook doesn’t do anything.

          • Lj008 says:

            Hook is written to fit Emma and her elements and her issues, and same way she is too.
            Hook has past histories with alot of the characters…. Rumple, Cora, Regina, Pan, Ursula, Maleificent.
            And again Hook was WANTED since season 1.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Just ONE (1) user name per IP address, thank you so much!

          • abz says:

            And every character that is not needed for the current plot or doesn’t drive the plot forward should be eliminated from the show?
            Snow/Charming barely had much to do with the Frozen arc. I don’t recall either of them moving that much of the story forward while they were in Neverland either. Does that mean they should’ve been taken out of the show?
            Some characters may be essential to the plot at one point and at another point they may be needed for the development of other characters. Hook is needed for Emma’s development. They should definitely develop his character more on his known, but he does have a purpose on the show. Emma was a very closed off person when we first met her. She constantly wanted to run. Her relationship with Hook has helped her open up quite a bit and she has changed a lot. There is definitely a connection between her and Hook. He’s also put a lot of effort to help her see that she should be with her family in Storybrooke and not run off to New York and that she shouldn’t close herself off. He also serves various elements of the plot. He was essential during the Neverland arc. He brought back Emma’s memories so she could come back and work to defeat Zelena. No one is saying he’s perfect (he was a pirate after all) but he serves a purpose on the show whether you like it or not.
            One can even argue that Belle (who is another popular character) serves a very similar purpose to Hook. She is primarily there for Rumple’s development. She has an impact on his emotions and actions. She sort of tames him at time. Recently, they’ve been showing her becoming more independent and taking action and she had an impact on the direction of the show during this second half when she exiled Rumple, but in the end she is there as Rumple’s true love, much like Hook is there for Emma.

    • K says:

      I agree, Neal is missed. He brought more Gold angst/ Henry bonding. Not a Rumbelle fan, just a Carlyle/DeRavin fan, but it seemed a more natural way to keep Henry/Gold as part of the cast. I do like Belle, so pls no flaming.

      I’d just like to see her stand on her own, maybe explore the with thing with Will. Robert Carlye is at his best when he chews scenery. He just makes the show w/ Lana so much better, imho. Married life, meh… Something just seems missing. I tried to like it.


      Gold yay, Belle yay,
      Together – ehhh …not so much.
      Bring Neal back for stories w/ S1 cast.

      • K says:

        Devil’s advocate for a sec…
        Rumple WAS Belle’s true love. Then he died.
        Yea he was resurrected, but following the Regina/Robin canon … they had true loves too, who died — Making R&R soul mates. Ditto Emma/Neal. We wouldn’t have a bunch of Hook/Emma shipper happy if not for that. Henry was a product of true love right? Allowing him to believe in order to break the curse w/ Emma? Heart of the truest believer and all?

    • Joey says:

      The sad thing is that naming Neal #1 for this list still somehow feels like he’s being ranked too low.

    • Is Neal really dead though? If I remember correctly he fell into a portal and it was cut off after he feel into that portal…so if that is the case, maybe the writer’s are just waiting the time to see when to bring him back…the thing is that they are diving into all of the other fairy tale characters first and it may take another couple of seasons before neal returns…

      • abz says:

        No Neal is really dead. The part you’re referring to was at the end of season 2. Did you get a chance to watch the third season? If not, you can go back and see how it happens?

  2. Patriciarich says:

    I love Hook why does everyone want her old boyfriends back. Colin is wonderful. I would like Peter Pan tho

    • Cal says:

      I love Hook, but I adored Graham and would welcome him back with open arms. That’s a pipe dream at this point, though. I don’t really miss Neal, but it has nothing to do with any romantic involvement with anyone. Other posters have mentioned it, but I felt that MRJ was miscast. He has been great in other shows, but the character of Neal just never came to life for me – he often seemed unenthused and uninterested in what was going on. I was a huge True Blood fan so I had difficulty “unseeing” Rene, and his performance didn’t really help that.

    • Amanda says:

      I don’t want Neal/Baelfire back for Emma their romance was a dud but the character should have been more then that. He was Rumple’s son and the motivation for the curse. We should have had more Baelfire and because they killed his character off it feels like we lost out on some needed father/son scenes.

      • Lisa says:

        In a sense, Baelfire tempered Rumple. He brought out Rumple’s conscience. He gave Rumple an inner conflict that could help shape and change his character. Yes we get some of that from Belle but Neal was a force that had interesting effects on Rumple that needed to be explored because he’s spent Bae’s whole life losing him because of his selfishness and greed for power. Perhaps they wanted to free Rumple from his conscience, or they felt since Belle affects his conscience also there was no need for the character. However, Neal represents the happy ending he’s always chased but never obtained.

        Rumple gets in his own way, but Neal brought out both the best and worst in Rumple.

    • Vari says:

      I love Hook too.

      The point of Graham was sadly – is that he was written to be dead. (he was never long terms, just 7 episodes)

      And Neal was just a plot device to see what happened with Rumple, and Emma’s heartbreak and issues.

    • aurat22 says:

      I too love Hook and Hook and Emma! I also loved Graham but I too don’t think he will be back. Neal’s character was not to my personal taste but that being said I wouldn’t mind if they brought him back and paired him with another lady besides Emma.

    • Marco says:

      Well, Neal’s story was cut horribly short, not to mention him, Killian and Emma had perfect chemistry.

    • gloria 098 says:

      i agree patrlclarlch i did not like neal at all he was so mean to rumple(and that is not the only reson i dont like him) pan was pretty cool but im not sure i want him back XD.

  3. amy says:

    I love a lot of these characters especially Ruby, Graham and Ashley but lets be real the show already struggles balancing the mains it has. Plus there should always be more Granny

    • amy says:

      Oops that being said I would like some more Mulan and to see her story have more completion. I liked seeing Marco last week. It would be nice to touch base every now and then with alive supporting characters

  4. Jo says:

    The Elsa segment was so contrived I was forced to give up the show all together….I sure miss Hook.

    • abz says:

      I, for one, would love to see Elsa again. She was so great and it was nice seeing Emma have another friend to hangout with. I hope we see her again.

  5. Dominique says:

    i miss graham and pan the most, although i’m not happy mulan hasn’t been seen either.
    where’s jefferson on this list tho?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      He was on an earlier draft of the list, but didn’t make the final cut. Not sure exactly what having him around would add to the storytelling.

      • Dominique says:

        welll sebastian is very pretty :P
        but ever since they did ouatiw, i’ve wanted to know more about jefferson’s background as well. and ot be fair; half the characters in storybrooke don’t add anything to the storytelling.

      • autumnd23 says:

        Yes, I would have definitely included the Mad Hatter (I do think he’s more interesting and charismatic then several on this list, but it is subjective of course). Some imagination could easily include him back into the story I’m sure, though I don’t think the actor would come back. I would also add real August to the list. Never liked the creepy August turned back into a boy plot. Just gross.

      • murley says:

        Personally I would take Jefferson over Ashley, whose connection to the larger plot I fail to see. With Will Scarlet hanging around you have a Wonderland connection plus he is a mysterious and morally grey character. Plus he is Sebastian Stan.

      • K says:

        I’d take Whale over Jefferson tbh, although I would like to see him and his daughter. together in an episode.

    • Elz says:

      Completely agree that Jefferson should have been included on this list. He is such a great character with a super compelling backstory and I felt that he did add to the show. I really want to know more about his past, where did the hat come from, how did he learn to use the hat? And his future, how is he getting along with grace/Paige and her adopted parents for instance? Also the Sebastian had great chemistry with Jennifer Morrison and they never got to share anymore screen time outside one episode even when he was back.

    • Jefferson is #1 on my list.

  6. Mark says:

    Killing Neal was the best move that the show ever made. He had zero chemistry with Emma. I couldn’t stand the character.

    • Rebecca says:

      He had more chemistry with Emma than Hook does. Hook has better chemistry with the floor than Emma. CS is a load of crap.

      • Vari says:

        It was always going to be Hook and Emma, that was pretty obvious the moment – the beanstalk episode was shown etc

        • Rebecca says:

          Whatever helps you sleep at night….. Yes b/c the MOMENT Hook pulled Emma to him and she look ‘disgusted’ was TOTES a romantic moment for them!!!!!!! *rolls eyes*

      • abz says:

        Hook and Emma have great chemistry. MRJ was just not great in the role. Any chemistry between Neal and Emma was just not as strong as hers with Hook, IMO.

    • Ginger Snap says:

      Neal’s purpose wasn’t to be a boy toy for Emma. It was Rumple and Henry. Rumple has lost his soul since the death of Neal.

      Emma has her boy toy, but the show has lost its soul.

      Bring Neal back. For Rumple’s happy ending.

    • Amy says:

      I couldn’t stand him either. He treated Emma so horribly it was impossible to not cringe every time I saw him.

  7. Kim&Bey says:

    Neal was boring, he should stay dead.

  8. CJ says:

    Yes Neal Cassidy! Never should have killed him especially just to keep around a creepy useless pirate. Bring back Neal, kill Hook!

  9. Alex says:

    The Mad Hatter!!!!!!

  10. JC1 says:

    Yes to Ruby! She’s the #1 character I’d like to see back. I really miss her. I also miss Elsa, but I know there’s next to no chance of getting her back.

  11. brandydanforth81 says:

    Agree with . Neal, 3.Ruby 4. Elsa.As for the others, I’m gladd they’re gone

  12. Bianca says:

    yes! Robin Hood!! The marian storyline is my least fave thing OUAT has done.

    Anxious for Robin to come back!

  13. Amanda says:

    If not MRJ returning I would love to see Baelfire return, maybe the teenage version. I feel like we didn’t get enough scenes with Rumple and his son, since Baelfire was Rumple’s main motivation for the curse I wanted more from their reunion.

    • Isobel says:

      Teenage baelfire was cool, I could get behind that

    • abz says:

      I don’t have much interest in seeing Neal again, but I’m all for young Baelfire flashbacks, especially Neverland ones. That could be a perfect way to get more Hook backstory and possibly bring back Peter Pan for flashbacks. Also wouldn’t mind seeing more Bae/Rumple flashbacks, but they’d have to get on it soon because the young actor is probably growing up fast.

      • Katie says:

        Wow, what a shock. A CSer only caring about their precious pirate, and what another character’s backstory would reveal about Hook. Jeeze, you guys are absolutely exhausting. Bring back Neal!! Don’t pair him with Emma because, frankly, he is WAY too good for her, but, rather, let his focus be saving his Papa, and if they want to give him a LI, give him a woman who actually loves him the way he deserves.

        • abz says:

          Cry me a river. Really? He is way too good for her? Despite Emma having a destiny to fulfill and that being his excuse, he still let her take the fall for his crime and she spent 11 months in jail because of him and had to live out her pregnancy and give birth to her son in prison. Stop trying to make him out to be a saint because no character on this show is.
          And yes so many of the comments here are about how much more they could have done with Neal. Baelfire and Neal are the same character. The young actor who plays Bae is just much better than MRJ, who is very poor in the role IMO. Bae has a connection to Hook. So why not accomplish both? Fleshing out Baelfire’s history and his time after he was separated from Rumple and giving Hook some more backstory since he is very underdeveloped character compared to other characters in terms of flashbacks. They’ve only given him like three episodes since the second season devoted to his history so yes, I would like a character who is CURRENTLY on this show that I like to get a more fleshed out history. And showing Baelfire and Hook backstory together is also a great way to have Peter Pan and others like Tinker Bell return which is what this article is about, characters who many would like to see again.

  14. Stephon J.S says:

    Neal. Neal. And Neal!

  15. Rebecca says:

    Bless you for making Neal #1. He was killed off purely so CS could happen which is ridiculous considering that…. Take away Emma…. Hook has no REAL connections (Even Emma’s not a REAL connection tbh) to anyone else in town. Neal did.

    • Cal says:

      I fail to understand the reasoning behind this continued insistence that Neal was killed off to make way for Captain Swan. If CS/Hook weren’t ever well-received in the fandom, then it would make sense to get rid of the more popular romantic rival. But that wasn’t the case. Hook became quite popular after his introduction (generally speaking, of course, as not everyone likes him) and CS has had a lot of support since – just look at E’s couples tournament! There was definitely a place for Neal outside of a romantic relationship with Emma. His relationships with Rumple and Henry could have been further developed, and seeing as there are already multiple male leading characters, he could have continued on the show even with CS happening. Which is why I think it was either a different “creative” reason – e.g. drama for Rumple – or a behind-the-scenes issue like MRJ wanting to move on. It just doesn’t seem logical – let’s kill off a character intimately connected to important people on the show to make an already popular character/pairing more popular.

      • Vari says:

        Hook was ALWAYS wanted since season 1. But didnt get the rights to it till season 2. Hook and Emma was always the plan. THe beanstalk laid the groundwork for them… past v present based on Emma’s romantic structure.

      • Ginger Snap says:

        MRJ didn’t want out. Neal’s death was planned from the beginning. He knew when he signed his contract that it was temporary.

        Just as Hook was planned be a boy toy for Emma. But Neal was more interesting because his other relationships on the show. Hook is just boring.

      • Jeannette says:

        Yes, it’s completely silly to say that Neal was killed off to make CS happen. CS was going to happen whether Neal was still around or not, that was clear. All that had to happen for CS to happen was the writers writing it that way! Had zero to do with Neal.

    • abz says:

      He was not killed off so that CS could happened. That’s just your bitterness talking. Who says even if Neal was alive and still around that Emma/Hook wouldn’t happen? Emma forgave Neal and was ready to move on but it became clear throughout that Neverland arc that she no longer wanted anything romantic with him. Sure, if they kept him alive they could be friends and Henry would be with his dad, but they said it was a creative decision and plus MRJ was just not that great in the role period. His acting was very poor. A lot of the times while watching it felt like he was phoning it in. He looked disinterested and bored. There was no life in the character. He was just…..there. Now, young Bae on the other hand was perfect and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. There could be a way to see more of him via Hook and Rumple flashbacks. We could see his time spent on Neverland and that could be a way to see Peter Pan in flashbacks, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hook encountered Bae again in Neverland after he let him go. Would also like to see him in Rumple flashbacks, although they’d have to do it soon as I imagine the actor is growing up pretty fast.
      Hook has connections to and knows several people, but so little of his backstory has been shown. And also even if he didn’t have connections he’s still made connections with people including Emma and her family and friends.

  16. I agree with so many of these choices, but especially Neal. The reasons stated in the article are mine as well. The show IMO has suffered tremendously since his loss because of his connection to so many characters that we never got to see explored on the show. It isn’t just Neal that was killed off, but all the stories and relationships that went along with him, some of which were part of the foundation of the show. The show hasn’t been the same since. I’ve been a viewer of this show since the pilot. I watched in real time. Killing off Neal was not something that I was on board with at all.

  17. Letti says:

    So glad for Neal being number one. I miss him so, and he should have deserved a happy ending. But he had to die for CS to have a safe chance. Sigh. For me Neal and Emma seemed much more natural and much more meant-to-be. But with or without Emma, I loved Neal and I’d love him back. He’d make the show much better. Like Ruby, who I miss soo much. I hope she’ll return before the season ends. These two are who I miss the most, though the article had many who I also liked.

  18. Kelly says:

    Most of those character’s are still around. And the of the one’s that are gone there’s only Pan I’d like to see come back. The other’s were mainly plot devices that were discarded when not needed any longer.

    • Rebecca says:

      Well, Hook’s a plot device that we could toss aside/get rid of and would make ZERO difference to the the plot. He’s LITERALLY only there to be Emma’s puppy and look pretty. He makes ZERO contribution to any plots/storylines.

      • Letti says:

        Amen, Rebecca

        • Rebecca says:

          Thank you. :-) I mean, without Neal…. There would be no OUAT really. He was the whole reason the curse was cast. He was Emma’s first love, Rumple’s son and Henry’s biological father…. But somehow HE’S the ‘plot device’? Yeah right. Hook’s a useless character that the writers only kept around because he’s hot. At least Neal had substance as a character. An interesting mythology to him, etc.

          • Vari says:

            LOL. Hook was made main regular even before his first episode (and wanted since season 1) . He was always going to be Emma’s romantic partner. That was the plan.

            Plot device is furthering other ppl’s characters and connection and their povs (Neal wasnt the focused) he only moved other ppl’s stories and connections.

      • Sylvia says:

        Actually I think Hook leaving would make a huge difference to the show. Not because he is Emma’s love interest but because he is one of the characters where the premise of the show really comes out- there is good in all of us and we have to balance the light and dark. Who Emma is with isn’t really the issue but it has to be someone who brings out the best in Emma- Neal never ever did that for her- he brought the worst in her-IMO!

        • Rebecca says:

          I disagree SO MUCH with this. Hook literally contributes nothing to anything in SB. He brings Emma food. He’s her delivery boy toy. That’s it. That’s literally all he does besides lie to Emma or fails to mention any of his past sins. So yeah, if Hook goes…. It would make ZERO difference to the plot line.

          • mo says:

            Hook isn’t just connected to Emma, he’s connected to Rumple in case you forgot and one of the subplots was Hook/Rumple getting revenge on each other. I do agree Hook has been a bit useless this season but hopefully that will change.
            And if they killed him, do you really want to see Emma mope around for a long time. I hate it when characters mope.

        • Lj008 says:

          Exactly Slyvia. He was written for Emma. And he has history and past with the other characters and rich history on his own as a pirate and so on. And also how he connects with Emma and the romance of Emma Swan and Hook’s story is here.

  19. Josh says:

    I miss Elsa! The first real Gal Pal Emma ever had. I also Miss Neal, Ruby, Anna, and Peter Pan

  20. aurat22 says:

    I’d rather have Anna than Elsa. Agree with Sheriff Graham, Tinkerbell, Ruby, and Ariel though.

  21. Azerty says:

    I agree Neal is the first character I would like back on the show. I don’t care for romance or love triangle with Emma and Hook but more because of Rumple. Since Neal died Rumple has been a one dimensional powers hungry villain. The presence of Neal in Storybrook and his absence in the Enchanted Forest created a lot of different layers to the character of Rumple but now I find him…well now his goals and methods are no better than Cora’s or Pan’s which were definitily not the most interesting villains.

  22. Ray says:

    Elsa?? Matt, please take that one back or your journalistic integrity card may be revoked,

    • Josh says:

      God forbid Emma has a real friend by her side, not the forced relationship with the woman who ruined her life who the writers make Emma try to please when Emma doesn’t owe her a thing

  23. Steve says:

    I want more of the Mad Hatter! How did he not make the list?

  24. Anna says:

    Neal should never come back. He was the worst, and I almost quit the show because he was so annoying.

    People not mentioned who should come back:
    Jiminy Cricket/Archie- because Geppeto is still around and August is reappearing in some way.
    Mad Hatter/ Jefferson- if for nothing else then to help the knave find Anatasia
    Any of the Wonderland cast- same as the reasoning for Jefferson’s return.
    Jack- to cause trouble for Charming of course.
    Lancelot- He should have lived! Besides Storybrooke could always use another cop.
    Gaston-we never got to see him as a viable threat.

  25. Drew says:

    Killing Graham was a turning point for the series. From that moment on, the show has been in a nosedive. Those early season 1 episodes were creative and intriguing, mixing the real world with fairy tale elements. Since then it has become nothing more than a very bad children’s series that would be better suited to Saturday mornings than Sunday nights.

    • Amber says:

      I agree to an extent as I think the show is entertaining to watch even if it’s not a great series. I definitely agree that killing Graham off was a bad creative decision that hurt the series. Killing Graham became kind of a bad joke. It was like they were trying too hard to prove that their show was a serious drama by saying he was REALLY dead. But it seemed to have the opposite effect. Good for the actor though, since he’s become a huge star since. But I really couldn’t understand why they would choose to kill the character played by an actor with such charisma. In regards to the show not being great, there isn’t proper research behind the fairy tales and folk tales they take from either which makes the plot lines come across as fan fiction of Disney cartoons from time to time (some of them horribly bad like the Ariel story or the dwarfs). That said, there have been great episodes here and there proving they have the potential to be a better show. I find as long as I watch the series without taking it seriously I’m quite entertained. Otherwise, I might be inclined to laugh at it.

      • Drew says:

        The fact that it could be really good makes it more frustrating to me.
        The funny thing is, I think that Jamie Dornan was going to be a star no matter where he landed. If they had kept him, he would have been the breakout star of the series and would have taken it in a whole different direction, both creatively and in terms of fandom. His leaving was good for him because he gets to do other things. The Fall is a really solid series.

  26. Rachel says:

    LOVE this gallery, and I wholeheartedly support all the choices made (though I also think Jefferson should have been on this list too). YES to Robin, Ruby, and Neal… All great characters with so much untapped potential.
    Also, one note: Albert Spencer isn’t Kathryn’s father… King Midas is =)

  27. Anna says:

    Also bring back Astrid because she was adorable, and you can’t say no to more Amy Acker.

  28. hopemullinax says:

    The one character that I would add to this list is Jefferson. Jane Espenson joked at Dragon Con 2013 that he’s the only actor in history to get a spin off and not be in it. He would have been great in Once: Wonderland. Also with all the doors apparently popping up in the current season, we know he has a hat full of doors that I feel we’ll never go back to.

  29. Tiffany says:

    Not just Elsa but Anna too. It’s a package deal. All or none. You can’t just bring one without the other.

  30. Alyse says:

    I would love for them to bring Graham and Neal back but their both dead. I would love to see Ruby and Ashley again.

  31. Vari says:

    I do NOT want Neal back, he was just a polot device.

    And stupid!!!

    • DBianco says:

      I think you may want to look up the term ‘plot device’ again. You’re free to dislike him and think he was ‘stupid’, of course. But objectively a character with so many ties to the heart of the show’s, story wise and in terms of his connections to the main characters, could never be a plot device.

      • Anna says:

        I think Neal is more of a Marty-stu rather then a plot device especially with how Swanfire fans act like he can do no wrong.

        • Lj008 says:

          Also claim like he didn’t send Emma to prison when he was the one with August who KNEW that she was going to prison as that was the plan. And then he was insensitive jerk when she found him in NY and shouted her coz she brought his dad to him. And he laughed in her face at her heartbreak

      • DBianco says:

        I’m not sure we’re even watching the same show to be honest.

        • Rebecca says:

          I’m almost always positive the CSers are watching an entirely different show than everyone else with their wild, outlandish and sometimes even…. Delusional claims to be honest.

      • H says:

        That’s the definition of plot device.

  32. DBianco says:

    Oh wow, I agree with so many of those choices it’s probably easier to name those I don’t agree with. Personally I don’t think Graham would add anything to the show at all anymore and I think he served his purpose when he unexpectedly died in season 1. He’s better off dead. Same thing with Peter Pan. And I really don’t miss any of the Frozen characters. At all.
    Neal and Robin Hood are the ones I miss most, Ruby/Red comes in third. I still have hope we’ll see at least two of them again. I never really understood why they felt they had to kill off Neal. In my opinion that was a big mistake because he still had a lot to offer as a character and on this show there are so many ways a character can disappear for a while without them having to go for the final blow. Same with Cora. I don’t understand why they didn’t leave a door open for her to return. She’s an amazing antagonist, has history with many characters, and come on, Barbara Hershey!

  33. Gozde says:

    I miss him so much

  34. Sylvia says:

    With or without Hook, Neal’s purpose was served. He was Henry’s baby daddy and just another person who,abandoned Emma. Any future romance with him would.not have worked. The writers could,have kept him around but not as Emma’s soulmate or true love. I would, love to see Mulan back, Ruby and Tink back, Doctor Hopper- all of those season 1 and 2 characters that added so much to the show.

    • M says:

      That’s a really shallow conception of true love when Rumbelle is supposed to be all about how true love is hard work, which The Charmings used to say, but then Belle is now hooking up with Will after failing to even notice Rumple’s PTSD for being in solitary confinement and a slave for a year. This show used to be about the hard road of redemption for Regina and Rumple. But now anything that requires hard work and genuine understanding and forgiveness has been abandoned or retconned in favor of blind pardons and superficial “we met last week and we’re totes in love forevers and evers”. Characters that aren’t sexual partners are killed off or written out ASAP. There’s no family bonding unless it involves matchmaking and friendships last an episode before those characters are never seen again. Filial love? Friendship? Naw, who needs that in life? Emma doesn’t need to bond with her parents or care that her son’s growing up without a dad like she did. Regina can throw Henry away for Robin, the happy ending she was MEANT to have. Because fairy tale happy endings are all about the genitals! It’s just sad what a soap opera mess this show has become.

      • Sylvia says:

        I think you misinterpreted what I said. I was only talking about Neal and Emma and their purpose on the show. I don’t think Neal was ever meant to be Emma’s great love. Killing Neal off in the way they did suited it as fr all Neal did his redemption was sacrificing himself. It doesn’t have anything to do with any other couples or relationships. And I agree wholeheartedly with you about RumpBelle and the road to redemption for Regina and Rumple. I am not liking Will and Belle’s relationship at all and I didn’t like the way Regina and Robin have been written either but this thread is about what characters we want back and I don’t think bringing Neal back will add to the show at all. It is my opinion and everyone else has theirs.

  35. Autumn says:

    Sorry but the Huntsman will always be number one to me. He really is the character with the most untapped potential since they stupidly killed Graham off as early as episode 7. This silly choice still baffles me to no end. It took me a couple of years to go back to this show on Netflix. Binging the absurdity makes for a much better experience overall. Too bad Jamie Dornan will never come back…

    • Vari says:

      He was written to be dead. Which even Jamie knew before he started the show. Episode 7, thats early stages of the show getting started, he knew he was dying.

      • autumnd23 says:

        And writing him to be dead from the beginning was a poor choice. Sorry but that’s my opinion. They wanted to “prove” that they mean business when it comes to death in a fairy tale show because they thought they were Lost. But apparently dead is only important when it comes to Graham as this article proves. Anyone could come back at any point, just like Maleficent.

  36. Gerald says:

    That’s easy, my picks are: Jefferson, Zelena and Cora.

  37. M says:

    15. Pan – He was great in the beginning but got a bit too cartoony at the end. Plus, he was turned back into his con-artist grown-up self. And flashbacks would be about Hook’s man pain, not Pan’s sociopathy. It’s Once Upon A Hook, after all!
    14. Lancelot – I loved him. He deserves some flashbacks. The Snowing flashbacks have been boring as watching paint dry without him. Plus, as you said, the PoC issue. OUAT has fewer PoC than Empire has white people on it, and OUAT has no excuse for leaving out PoC from the secondary cast outside the core family. Someone needs to call Shonda Rhimes up to school OUAT Casting on diversity!
    13. Ashley – I think she’s too busy with Dr. Whale trying to figure out why her baby girl aged only six months in a year and half and became a boy. Alexandra should have been walking and talking, but instead Alex is a drooling baby in her lap. Again, WTF Casting!?
    12. Ariel – She needs to come back just to tell Emma that Hook left Eric to die for his ship. But even if she does Emma will forgive him, because… reasons that make no sense and make her look like an idiot.
    11. Cora – She can stay dead. Barbara is too good of an actress for this show now for more than flashbacks. (SPOILER ALERT: She will be in a flashback later this season.)
    10. Tinkerbell – I do not need to see her hanging out with Hook. The dirty pirate doesn’t need more useless flashbacks than he’s already had. But I would like to see her and Nova in a backstory of the Blue Fairy. They seem to be the only fairies to defy her by following their hearts, and so she punished them/the people they cared for. Blue is one shady beotch.
    9. Dr. Whale – He and Ruby had such potential for interesting B plots. And what became of his brother? We’ll never know. But at least he got one last Snow White upskirt gander before he left.
    8. Robin Hood – How about bring back Tom Ellis? Regina’s soulmate forest hobo can stay in New York while Regina continues her delusional rants about all the time she spent together with him, Roland, and Henry. He won’t fall down a manhole and disappear forever, of course. (SPOILER ALERT: Looks like Regina rewrites history so they can be together in the Enchanted Forest. It’s the OQ version of the CS Season 3 two-part finale. Uncreative much?)
    7. Mulan – She’s a PoC/LGBT sized plothole. If they bring her back, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided she’s no longer gay.
    6. Albert Spencer – Pretty sure he’s running wild like all of the other murderers in Storybrooke. David let him go to cry over Jefferson’s hat.
    5. Sydney – Heaven forbid they keep around a PoC, and one with actual acting chops. Giancarlo was too good for this show anyway.
    4. Elsa – No, just no. Let that plotline go. It was long and boring for 30 seconds of queer-baiting when they retconned Elsa’s magical acceptance from the movie AND Emma’s magical acceptance from Seasons 2-3, ruining both messages, just to make those two have a scene together. Awful Disney marketing.
    3. Ruby – Her absence is bordering on the absurd. They have Snow doing all of the tracking now without every saying “Ruby’s busy and can’t do it”. She was Snow’s BFF and you’d think they never met at all.
    2. Graham – That sad thing is that Adam & Eddy pretty much said Emma will never find out that Regina murdered him. (Graham is probably rolling in his grave at Emma’s corrupt sheriffing with her father. He would be ashamed if he returned and saw what has become of the Storybrooke Sheriff’s Department and his hand-picked successor.)
    1. Neal – Thank you! Henry deserves to have a father in his life. Having that family with NO fathers for three generations is a terrible message for a family show, especially since he was killed off solely so Emma could “hook up” with his STEP FATHER who sold him out to Pan for spite and is the epitome of the kind of boyfriend you’d get a restraining order against in real life. But Once Upon A Creepy Captain Swan Love Story had to kill a man (a loving father who suffered for 300 years wanting a family) for their ship.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Re #2, yes, seriously, just recast Ruby at this point. The character is so conspicuous absent sometimes, the audience would forgive a new face.

    • Lj008 says:

      Neal NEVER once chose Emma, so stop making him out to be some poor soul who didn’t want to come back to that world and was running from his father etc

  38. Matthew B Lawler says:

    I for one do not miss Neil at all and can’t believe adult Pinocchio or grumpys fairy gf didn’t make the list

  39. Jennifer says:

    How could you forget Jefferson? Besides him, I vote for Cora, Ruby, and Lancelot.

  40. Matthew B Lawler says:

    Robin Hood shouldn’t be on this list as everyone already knows the character is returning to storybrooke later this season as well as zelena so I understand her not being on the list

  41. brandydanforth81 says:

    Neal,Elsa,Aruba Ariel are the only I’d like back,the rest I’m glad are gone

  42. Amber says:

    Sheriff Graham, Jefferson and the Snow Queen the most! But especially Sheriff Graham. :)

  43. Becky says:

    I miss Sheriff Graham the most.

  44. Lj008 says:

    Way too baffled at Neal being no1. He DID nothing much in the show as much when he was on at all.
    Neal being the missed most baffling.

    I miss Ruby/Red

  45. So glad to see some love for Neal! Still wish we could have seen more with his and Rumple’s relationship

  46. Katt says:

    No August or Madd Hatter but Neal is number 1…. What has this works come too!

  47. HCDZ says:

    I liked the idea of Neal, but the casting fell really flat for me. I would have liked him better if it were a different actor, I think.

  48. Ginger Snap says:

    Bring back Neal, August, and the sheriff and get rid of Hook!

  49. Jeannette says:

    Ruby should be No. 1. Her absence is glaring, since she was so important in Season 1 and there’s no story reason she couldn’t be around, like, say, death. I miss her.

    Neal was underdeveloped for sure, but that’s because he was mostly a plot device. The show doesn’t need or miss him. I loved Baelfire, but Neal was a giant douche who treated Emma like crap and never respected her feelings. He treated her like a possession he could drop or claim as the mood struck him. Besides being wrong (Neal and Emma weren’t separated by the Dark Curse, since he’d been long gone from the Enchanted Forest when Regina enacted it), your writeup makes him out to be more of a good guy than he actually was. Much like the show, actually. He lost me for good when he laughed in Emma’s face about the pain his betrayal caused her. That was a jerk move. He set up his underage girlfriend to go to prison because Pinocchio told him to and he was too scared of seeing his father again. Also a jerk move. I hate that the awesome Baelfire turned into the awful Neal, but that’s what happened.

    I’d rather the show actually address that Regina murdered Graham instead of him coming back. She got away with that one scott-free — I wonder if Emma would be pals with Regina if she knew Regina murdered the man whose shoelace she still wears? Probably why the show will never address it, because the answer is No.

    • Amy says:

      I also loathed Neal and was super disappointed that he was Baelfire. Young Bae was and still is one of my top 5 favorite characters on the show. Neal, not so much. ;)

  50. Mary says:

    I want more Cinderella, so that we can find out where Thomas disappeared to. Snow and Charming seemed to be great friends with Cinderella and Thomas but no mention of them now and no wondering where he was!!!! So frustrating.
    I just need everyone to know that Regina killed Graham, it drives me crazy that no one knows that, but we all know she wouldn’t be punished anyway!
    I would so rather read this series as a book, so all these characters will still be there