A single coin flipping through the air.

Once Upon a Time: Favorite Tron References

It’s no surprise Once Upon a Time is one of my favorite television shows, since it was created by Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Each twist and turn kept me coming back for more, and I was a dedicated viewer to the very end.

One day, I plan to rewatch the series and catch all the subtle hints and references I missed the first time around, but there are a few Easter eggs I remember clearly. They are near and dear to my heart because they’re related to the Tron franchise.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite Tron references.

Henry from ONCE UPON A TIME holding a TRON: LEGACY lunch box.
Credit: ABC Studios, Kitsis/Adam Horowitz

Tron Lunch Box

“AHH! Henry has a Tron lunchbox! This kid is doing everything right.” That’s what I tweeted when I first saw the episode “The Stranger.”

Regina arrived at the local school and gave Henry his Tron: Legacy inspired lunch box. I still remember the pure joy I felt upon seeing that marvelous Easter egg and the slight sting of jealousy because I wanted a Tron lunch box for myself!

An ENCOM advertisement in ONCE UPON A TIME.
Credit: ABC Studios, Kitsis/Adam Horowitz

The Bench

Not only does the episode “Welcome to Storybrooke” have a character named Kurt Flynn, but an ENCOM advertisement briefly showed up on a street bench in front of the Marine Garage. It was promoting a new personal computer with the slogan, “Make 1983 the start of your personal digital revolution.”

Henry playing a handheld game console in ONCE UPON A TIME.
Credit: ABC Studios, Kitsis/Adam Horowitz

Space Paranoids

In “What Happened to Frederick,” Regina gave Henry a handheld game console. Towards the end of the episode, Emma saw Henry playing with it and mentioned how she used to play with Space Paranoids as a kid all the time. As he played, she also told him to relax and added, “It’s all in the wrist.” Talk about two amazing back-to-back references to Kevin Flynn.

Henry and Jacinda at Flynn's Barcade in ONCE UPON A TIME.
Credit: ABC Studios, Kitsis/Adam Horowitz

Flynn’s Barcade

One of the best Tron references popped up unexpectedly in the last season of the series (“Sisterhood”) in the form of Flynn’s Barcade. There was a wall-sized version of a Recognizer in the background and a Tron-tastic moment when Henry flicked a Flynn’s branded arcade coin up into the air. If a real Flynn’s Barcade existed, I can guarantee I would be in there ALL the time.

Were there other Tron references I missed or you considered your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.


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Featured Image: ABC Studios, Kitsis/Adam Horowitz

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