What we've learnt about life from Channel 5's fantasy drama Once Upon a Time

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The Disney drama with a huge cult following has taught us a few valuable life lessons...

Once Upon a Time Snow and Prince Charming

© Disney/Channel 5

All the fairytale characters you've ever read about (or seen in a Disney film) are happily living their lives in their fairytale land, when the wicked Queen Regina spells them all into the real world where magic doesn't exist.

To add insult to injury she wipes everyone's memories, so Snow White becomes Mary Margaret Blanchard and her devilishly handsome Prince Charming becomes ordinary David Nolan.

Enter Emma (Jennifer Morrison from House) who gave her son Henry up for adoption when he was just a baby. When Henry arrives back in her life unannounced saying he needs her help to solve a magical curse in Storybrooke, the pair set off to solve the riddles and save the day.

If you've not seen it, here's what we've learnt from the show...

Love at first sight? More like tolerate at second glance

In fairytale land, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming don't exactly get off to a flying start. In fact, she steals from him and he traps her in a net! But after a few weeks in each others' company the pair come to realise that the hate and disdain they feel for each other is actually genuine affection.

The lesson here? Don't judge a book by it's cover or discount someone just because they don't appear to be your perfect match from the get-go. They could grow on you and surprise you if you take a chance and get to know them.

Once Upon a Time Mary Margaret

© Disney/Channel 5

Family can let you down

Poor Belle (played by Lost's Emilie de Ravin), first her Dad sells her to Rumpelstiltskin and then *shock horror* she falls in love with Rumple, only to end up locked away in a mental asylum by the wicked queen in Storybrooke.

If Once Upon a Time teaches us anything it's that families, step-families, parents and siblings are complicated and take a lot of hard work. Luckily, they're all Disney characters, so they take it on the chin and strive to repair their familial bonds.

We say, you're allowed to be grumpy with your family if they upset you. Just make sure you remember that they still love you, care for you and want to see you sat round the table for Christmas dinner.

Once Upon a Time

© Disney/Channel 5

She may be the evil villain, but her life's been pretty crappy

The Evil Queen, aka Regina, aka the Mayor of Storybrooke, is the adopted mother of Henry and although she's a bit rough round the edges she still loves the little tyke - even though he's constantly running back to Emma.

Throughout the series we learn more about Regina's childhood, including her cray-cray mother, dead boyfriend and her disastrous run-ins with Rumplestiltskin. After a while we start to realise that she's a good baddie who just needs to be loved aaaaahhhhh.

If someone's being a bit testy in your life Once Upon a Time has taught us to get to the root of the problem before casting them out for good.

Once Upon a Time still

© Disney/Channel 5

If your gut tells you not to trust someone you're probably right

When Emma meets August, a tall dark and handsome stranger, she pretty much fancies the pants off him but she has a horrible feeling that he's up to no good. Cut forward a few episodes and her suspicions are shown to be true. We could tell you the awesome plot twist but that would ruin it!

Listen to your gut instincts, follow your intuition and remember that trust needs to be earned over time. If you've only just met someone you don't have to take them on face value (unless you've got Sherlock Holmes style abilities).

Once Upon a Time, Emma and pinnochio

© Disney/Channel 5

Once Upon a Time Series One (Available on DVD now), £23.20, amazon.co.uk.

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