Is Snow White following Emma in the OUAT Pilot? OUAT Secrets

Once Upon is filmed in and around Vancouver. They have great location scouts and they find great locations to use for Once Upon a Time.

When I’ve rewatched the Pilot, many things stand out to me, but some initials found their way into the background. Coincidence? Possibly, but I don’t think so.

A little back ground first. In the Pilot, the location for Emma’s blind date/bounty trap was an upscale eatery with a cylindrical elevator in the center.

* The actual location was Gotham steakhouse in Vancouver ( ). We found it on our most recent (and past) trip(s) to Vancouver.


Here is the location from

So, back to the OUAT Pilot. Remember the elevator that Emma took? Well, I hate to spoil the illusion, but we were tricked. Let’s look at this photo.


Notice anything funny that doesn’t match the Pilot? The exterior that Emma exits is only a single floor building. That ties in with the first background Easter Egg that I think Adam and Eddy may be causing Emma’s mother to creep into Emma’s Boston life.

Here is the first instance;


The ‘S’ in the back of the elevator. Is it just an artistic flourish? Hmm, I don’t think so. What does the ‘S’ stand for? Swan? Maybe, but I think it stands for ‘Snow’. Let me continue to Emma’s apartment.

Wait! One more thing. A few blocks away from the Gotham steakhouse is the bus station where Henry caught the cab to go to Emma’s Apartment in the Pilot episode.


Here is the location from

Here is the second instance. Later on in the episode when Henry arrives at Emma’s apartment, we see something else in the background that could be a coincidence or the location was chosen on purpose to show it.


The red ‘W’ turning in the background. Could it be another Easter Egg finishing the initials for Snow White? Was it the beginning of ‘Swan’?

It’s not a CGI effect. It turns out, its real.


It’s called the ‘Woodward’ or ‘W’ building sign.

Coincidence or chosen? What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Is Snow White following Emma in the OUAT Pilot? OUAT Secrets

  1. Manny

    I wouldn’t doubt it was chosen for a second, Jeff. Season one was so meticulously thought out for 9+ years and polished to such a shine, that it wouldn’t be any surprise at all…. We missed so much b/c there was so much info packed into 40 minutes, that it was impossible to catch everything. The meaning behind Emma’s 28th birthday eluded us and why….. We totally missed that we were being told in the pilot that Ruby and Granny were werewolves…. A&E sneaked a whole full moon right by us in the pilot and we didn’t catch it. They hid many of their clues right in the dialogue. Telling us that Emma and Henry shared the same bday in the pilot and confirming why Henry was a 10 year old still in the 4th grade. Someone had to sit down and think this stuff out. That’s the kind of detail that stands out above the rest for me. Unfortunately, they just don’t get that kind of time btwn seasons and it’s what makes season one so memorable for most. They had time to connect all the dots.

  2. Pingback: More OUAT Pilot Mythology. The Hero Arrives in Storybrooke.Once Upon A Time Fan Podcast

  3. RumpeLove

    I agree with Manny. I really doubt that anything in there was only a coincidence. Adam and Eddy know how to tell a great story and although they only have several months between seasons we are still seeing later season episodes tie back to season 1. I’ve seen the pilot a million times; but I clearly need to see it again. I totally missed being told that Granny and Red are werewolves!!

    1. Admin of Storybrooke ;) Post author

      Hi RumpleLove, Manny is the OUAT Genius! As far as the no coincidence with Season 1, it’s sort of like a band’s first album – they’ve already had it written their whole lives, and that’s why it’s so good. A&E had a winner first Season in their heads for years (since Lost), and I’m glad they got to make it!

  4. Katie

    I believe that most of these were there on purpose. Adam and Eddy are too smart for that. I hadn’t noticed those things before, but that just means I will have to rewatch it to catch them. I noticed that there were a bunch of words and numbers on Emma’s door in the pilot, but I wasn’t able to see what most of them said. Do you remember any of them?

    1. Admin of Storybrooke ;) Post author

      Hi Katie! 🙂 Here is an early blog post about it with as clear as I could get screencap Here

      Another post from another great site: Here

      As the story goes (from Adam and Eddie), the door was on the apartment when they filmed the Pilot, and they used it. Even though the language sounds fairy-taleish, it seems that it was a happy accident, and not planned by the producers.


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