Squid Ink
General Information

Bottomless Sea

Current Location


Physical Description

Ink from a rare species of squid



Usage Information
Created by


Possessed by

Blue Fairy

Used by

Blue Fairy

Used on

Dark Dungeon's bars

Used for

Magical paralysis
Memory trigger

Show Information
First appearance

The Price of Gold

Latest appearance

Nasty Habits

"It wasn't the quill itself, but the ink, what captured the Dark One... Harvested from the rarest species of squid, from the bottom of the bottomless ocean. Impossible to find, unless you're a mermaid, or me."
Mr. Gold to Henry[src]

Squid Ink is a magical substance featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fourth episode of the first season.


Before First CurseEdit

Squid ink is known to be found in a bottomless sea and taken from the rarest squid. For a person seeking the ink, either it could be obtained via a mermaid or the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin. ("Into the Deep")

Desperate to change her life, Cinderella makes a deal promising Rumplestiltskin an unknown price. After she attends a ball and wins the heart of a prince, Rumplestiltskin reveals he desires her first-born child. With the Blue Fairy's help, Cinderella tricks the Dark One into signing a new deal with a magic red quill coated with squid ink, which freezes him in place. Now paralyzed, he is transported to his jail cell to keep him from taking her child. ("The Price of Gold")

Secretly, Rumplestiltskin takes a jar of squid ink with him to his prison. In exchange for information about the Dark Curse, Snow White tells him her unborn child's name, Emma. Because he created the curse and knows how it can be broken, he is aware of the power of Snow White and Prince Charming's true love, and the product of such being their daughter, Emma. In order to be sure he will remember her name even if he loses his memories once the curse takes effect, Rumplestiltskin repeatedly writes Emma's name down using squid ink. ("Pilot", "Queen of Hearts")

After First CurseEdit

In StorybrookeHenry is having dreams of being in the Netherworld due to recently waking up from the sleeping curse. In this world, he meets another trapped person, Aurora. They are able to exchange information so Henry knows Emma and Mary Margaret are now stuck in the Enchanted Forest with a nemesis, Cora, preventing them from finding a solution to return home. Mr. Gold tells Henry to inform Aurora while in the Netherworld that the best way to stop Cora is the same way he was stopped—with the squid ink. By means of communication with Aurora, Henry tries to tell her about the ink in Rumplestiltskin's old cell, but she is forced out of the Netherworld and doesn't hear him. ("Into the Deep")

Mary Margaret and Emma only find out about the squid ink after both David and Mary Margaret undergo the sleeping curse to breach another line of communication in the netherworld. They arrive at Rumplestiltskin's cell and find the jar to be empty, but discover a piece of parchment with Emma's name repetitively written on it. Cora and her accomplice, Hook, trap them in the cell. Growing desperate for a way out, Mary Margaret suddenly remembers Cora practicing magic from her spell book and a certain way she used to make the magical substance appear. Demonstrating, Mary Margaret blows the ink off of the parchment, which forms a cloud, and the enchanted metal bars disintegrate; allowing for their escape. ("Queen of Hearts")

After Peter Pan abducts Henry to Neverland, this prompts the boy's family to launch a rescue mission. Neal arrives and reunites with his father, Mr. Gold. Mr. Gold intends on giving up his life to save Henry, but Neal has a better idea. Neal kills a colossal squid by the lake so Mr. Gold can extract squid ink from it. They storm into Pan's camp after Mr. Gold puts all the Lost Boys as well as Henry to sleep. Neal shoots an arrow at Pan, which is coated at the shaft with squid ink. Pan catches it in his fist; paralyzing him. As they make off with a slumbering Henry, Pan tells Neal of a prophecy that Mr. Gold wants to keep from happening by murdering Henry. Neal later demands an explanation from his father, who reluctantly acknowledges that the prophecy spoke of a boy, presumably Henry, who will help him find his son, but ultimately is his own undoing. Despite his father's insistence this was before he discovered Henry is his grandson, Neal begins to lose trust in him. Too afraid his father will go back to his old ways, Neal purposely presses a leaf coated in squid ink into Mr. Gold's palm; paralyzing him. ("Nasty Habits")