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You know how if you hold a shell up to your ear you can hear the ocean? Certain shells, the ocean can hear you.
Neal to Mr. Gold src

Conch Shells are magical items featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. They first appear in the first episode of the third season.


History

After First Curse

During a journey to Neverland, the heroes aboard the Jolly Roger fight off a horde of mermaids. They catch one on a fishing line and haul the creature onto the deck, where they try to decide what to do with her. The mermaid retaliates by blowing into a conch shell and signaling a storm at sea, which, unknown to the heroes, intensifies because of everyone's growing animosity towards each other. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

Instead of letting Rumplestiltskin sacrifice himself to Peter Pan and rescue Henry, Neal uses a conch shell to summon a giant squid. After killing the squid, he allows Mr. Gold to extract the ink from it, which they'll use to paralyze Pan. ("Nasty Habits")

Upon joining forces with Mr. Gold to save Henry, Regina finds out from him that there is an item in Storybrooke capable of defeating Pan. Neither of them can cross realms to retrieve it, however, she knows just the person who can help them. As Regina picks a conch shell, Mr. Gold mistakenly assumes she means to find a squid and get its ink, which is something he already tried before. Instead, she calls a mermaid named Ariel, who is capable of swimming between realms. ("Ariel")

After Second Curse

Believing Ursula can offer information about Mr. Gold's plans, Hook goes into the woods and uses a conch shell to summon her to him. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")

To turn Emma towards darkness, Mr. Gold uses conch shells to mimic the sound of Henry calling for help, in order to give false leads to Regina and Hook. Emma confronts Cruella alone, and kills her to save her son. ("Sympathy for the De Vil")

After Third Curse

While packing up his belongings from the Jolly Roger, Hook gives Belle a conch shell as a form of protection, in which if she speaks into it, he can hear her and come to her aid. Belle later begins feeling uneasy around Dr. Jekyll and tries to reach for the shell to call Hook, but Jekyll grabs her and smashes the shell before she can. As she struggles to free herself from him, Belle stabs Jekyll with a sharp piece of the shell and then runs off onto the deck. Jekyll, after dislodging the shell from his neck, follows after Belle. ("Strange Case")

In Storybrooke, while Emma is grieving over Hook leaving town and abandoning her, she packs up Killian's things, with one of them being a small conch shell. Unknown to her, Hook was forced out of Storybrooke by Gideon and finds his way to Agrabah, where Ariel provides him with a conch shell to use. Not knowing if Emma is listening on the other end, Hook takes a chance and speaks into it. As Emma is carrying Hook's things out of her home, she hears Killian's voice coming from the shell she has. Hook tells her the truth about what happened, and Emma is elated to know he didn't willingly leave her and still wants to be with her, but when she attempts to respond to him, he doesn't hear her at all. After the shell connection ceases, Emma learns Gideon has found a way to prevent her from talking to Hook. ("A Wondrous Place")


Appearances

Broom
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Reason: Special appearances