Into the Woods

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Into the Woods (1986) is a fairy tale-themed musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine about the experiences of various familiar fairy-tale and fable characters in the woods, as they strive to get their wishes and deal with the consequences of those wishes. Audio recordings and a televised broadcast of the Broadway play helped to popularize it, and it was adapted into a filmed version in 2014.

Jack's Mother

  • Slotted spoons don't hold much soup.
  • The slotted spoon can catch the potato!
  • [to Baker's wife] Have you seen a boy with carrot-topped hair and a sunny, though occasionally vague, disposition, answering to the name of Jack?
  • There's a dead giant in my back yard!
  • [to female giant] We’ve suffered too! Do you think it was a picnic disposing of your husband's remains?
  • [to baker] No one cared when there was a dead giant in my backyard! I don't remember you volunteering to come to my aid.


  • Milky-White! Now I have two friends: a cow and a harp!
  • I buried her in a footprint.
  • The difference between a cow and a bean is a bean can begin an adventure!
  • I don't want another mother, I want a friend... And a pet.
  • [After his mother says someday he will have a real pet] A piggy?
  • I miss my kingdom up in the sky.
  • I wish my cow would give us some milk.
  • Play harp.
  • Please pal, squeeze pal.
  • But where am I to go? I have no one to take care of me.
  • Then he must DIE.
  • I'm going to KILL him.
  • There are big tall terrible giants in the sky
  • Maybe I shouldn't have stolen from the Giant.

Little Red Riding Hood

  • (incredulously, to Cinderella) You can talk to birds?
  • The prettier the flower, the farther from the path.
  • [Referring to her sick grandmother] For all that I know, she's already dead.
  • Nice is different than good.
  • Stay away from my cape or I'll slice you into a thousand bits!
  • Maybe I shouldn't have strayed from the path.


  • The SPECIAL beans!
  • Go to the wood!
  • (appearing during an argument between the Baker and his wife) WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cares?!?!?! The cow is gone! Get it back! Get it back!
  • (hearing Rapunzel sing) Oh, my precious calls to me.
  • (sweetly) Rapunzel, Rapunzel... (Rapunzel continues singing) RAPUNZEL! (strikes Rapunzel's tower with her staff) Let down your hair to me.
  • (to Rapunzel) I was just trying to be a good mother!
  • The giant's a woman!
  • Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched.
  • Ask a wolf's mother.
  • So big that we are just an expendable bug beneath its foot! BOOM! (stomps shoe on ground) Crunch...
  • (to narrator, after he says that he has to tell the story) Some of us don't like the way you've been telling it.
  • When you're dead, you're dead.
  • Don't you know what's out there in the world? Someone has to shield you from the world
  • Princes wait there in the world, it's true. Princes, yes, but wolves and humans too
  • It's your father's fault that the curse got placed and the place got cursed in the first place.
  • (to main characters, during Last Midnight) You're so nice. You're not good; you're not bad; you're just nice.
  • Careful the things you say—children will listen.


  • (to Wife) Will you please go home!
  • (to Wife) Well... perhaps it will take the two of us to get this child.
  • (gesturing towards Milky-White) Look at her, she's crying!
  • (about his baby) He always cries when I hold him.
  • I will care for him... when he is older.
  • (to Jack) It's magic that... defies description.
  • (to baby) Once upon a time... in a far-off kingdom... there lived a young maiden, a sad young lad, and a childless baker... with his wife.
  • (about the witch) I don't like that woman...
  • (during the Finale) Maybe I just wasn't meant to have children...

Baker's Wife

  • I've never lied to royalty before...I've never anything to royalty before!
  • (to Cinderella's Prince) We can't do this, you have a princess! and I have a... a baker.
  • You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.
  • (to Cinderella) I need that shoe to have a child!
  • Oh, these beans are no ordinary beans, son. These beans carry magic.
  • (referring to Cinderella's Prince) What was that?...
  • This is ridiculous, what am I doing here, I'm in the wrong story!
  • I need your shoe!
  • If you know what you want, you go and you find it and you get it

Cinderella's Prince

  • I was raised to be charming, not sincere.
  • Worrying will do you no good. If he's safe, then he's safe. And if he's been crushed... well, there's nothing we can do about that, is there?
  • I can capture my own damsel, thank you.
  • Rapunzel, Rapunzel. …What kind of a name is that?
  • The harder to get, the better to have.

Rapunzel's Prince

  • Rapunzel, Rapunzel! What a strange name... Strange, but beautiful and fit for a prince.
  • (when asked if he'd learned Snow White's name) No, there's a dwarf standing guard.
  • Dwarfs are very upsetting.
  • The harder to get, the better to have.


  • Wanting a ball is not wanting a prince.
  • But how can you know what you want till you get what you want and you see if you like it? What I want most of all is to know what I want.
  • I wish...
  • Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
  • (birds chirp) What about the prince? (birds chirp again) That doesn't matter right now
  • (singing, to Baker's Wife, about the ball)...they have far too much food...
  • My father's house was a nightmare. Your house was a dream. Now I want something in between.
  • He has charm for a prince I guess
  • (Singing) And you've learned something too, something you never knew on the steps of the palace.
  • Maybe I shouldn't have attended the ball.

Mysterious Man

  • (to Jack) You'd be lucky to exchange her for a sack of beans!
  • ("to Baker") When is a white cow not a white cow?
  • ("To Baker") Would you buy yourself a child?
  • (on different occasions) "When first I appear I seem mysterious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
"When first I appear I seem delirious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
"When first I appear I seem deleterious, but when explained I'm nothing serious."
  • No knot unties itself.
  • Every knot was once straight rope.

Florinda and Lucinda

  • (To Cinderella) Look at your nails!
  • (Screams and slaps Cinderella) Not that tight!
  • (To Cinderella) Clod.


Red Riding Hood: And perhaps a sticky bun? Or four?
Red Riding Hood: Never can tell what lies ahead, for all that I know she's already dead. But into the woods!
Jack's Mother: There are bugs on her dugs!
There are flies in her eyes!
There's a lump on her rump big enough to be a hump!
We've no time to sit and dither
While her withers wither with her,
and no one keeps a cow for a friend!
[spoken] Sometimes I fear you're touched!
Red Riding Hood: I have no fear
Nor no one should
The woods are just trees
The trees are just wood
Cinderella: Mother said 'be good',
father said 'be nice'
That was always their advice
So be nice Cinderella, kind Cinderella,
'nice', 'good', 'good', 'nice'!
What's the good of being good
when everyone else is blind
and you're always left behind?
Never mind Cinderella, kind Cinderella,
'nice', 'good', 'nice', 'kind', 'good', 'nice'!
Witch: I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans!
I was watching him crawl back over the wall when
BANG! CRASH! The lightning flashed! And--
well that's another story, never mind, anyway...
Witch: Your father cried
Your mother died
When for extra measure--
I admit it was a pleasure--
I said, 'Sorry, I'm still not mollified.'
And I laid a little spell on them-- You too, son--
That your family tree
Would always be
A barren one...
Witch: So there's no more fuss
And there's no more scenes
And my garden thrives-
You should see my nectarines
But I'm telling you the same
I tell kings and queens:
Don't never ever ever
Mess around with my greens!
Especially the beans!
Baker's Wife: The cow as white as milk
The cape as red as blood
The hair as yellow as corn
The slipper as pure as gold.
Wolf: Hello, little girl, what's your rush
You're missing all the flowers
The sun won't set for hours
Take your time...
Wolf: Just so little girl
Any path
So many for exploring
Just one will be so boring
And look what you're ignoring!
Wolf: There's no possible way
To describe how you feel
When you're talking to your meal!
Baker: (to Wife) Will you please go home!
Baker's Wife: If the thing you do
Is pure in intent,
If it's meant,
And it's just a little bent,
Does it matter?
Baker: Yes.
Baker's Wife: No, what matters is that
Everyone tells tiny lies.
What's important, really, is the size.
Red Riding Hood: And though scary is exciting
Nice is different than good.
Red Riding Hood: Now I know
Don't be scared
Granny is right
Just be prepared
Isn't it nice to know a lot?
And a little bit... not.
Rapunzel's Prince: You know nothing of madness 'til you're climbing her hair...
Rapunzel's Prince: Agony! Far more painful than yours!
When you know she would go with you,
If there only were doors.
Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince: Agony!
Cinderella's Prince: Misery!
Rapunzel's Prince: Woe!
Cinderella's Prince & Rapunzel's Prince: Though it's different for each.
Cinderella's Prince: Always ten steps behind!
Rapunzel's Prince: Always ten feet below!
Both: ...and she's just out of reach!
Baker's Wife: And-? The Prince-?
Cinderella: Oh, the Prince...
Baker's Wife: Yes, the Prince!
Cinderella: Well, he's tall.
Baker's Wife: Is that all?
Mysterious Man: No knot unties itself.
Witch: Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched.
Jack: The difference between a cow and a bean is a bean can begin an adventure!
Jack's Mother: Slotted spoons don't hold much soup.
Red Riding Hood: The prettier the flower, the farther from the path.
Witch: One midnight gone!
Baker's Wife: You may know what you need, but to get what you want, better see that you keep what you have.
Princes: The harder to get, the better to have.
Florinda: Never wear mauve at a ball.
Lucinda: Or pink.
Cinderella's Stepmother: Or open your mouth.
Cinderella's Father: The closer to the family, the closer to the wine.
Granny: The mouth of a wolf's not the end of the world.
Cinderella: Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.
Baker: It takes one to begin but then once you've begun
It takes two of you
It's no fun
But what needs to be done you can do
When there's two of you
If I dare
It's because I'm becoming aware of us
As a pair of us
It's accepting a share of what's there
Baker & Wife:
It takes just a bit more and we're done
We want four, we had none
We've got three, we need one
It takes two
Jack: And you scramble down and you look below
And the world you know begins to grow
The roof, the house, and your mother at the door
The roof, the house, and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen
And you wish that you could live in between
And you're back again, only different than before
After the sky
There are giants in the sky
There are big tall, terrible,
Awesome, scary, wonderful giants
In the sky!
Witch: Why could you not obey?
Children should listen!
What have I been to you?
What would you have me be?
Handsome like a prince?
Oh, but I am old
I am ugly
I embarrass you!
Rapunzel: No!
Witch: You are ashamed of me!
Rapunzel: No.
Witch: You ARE ashamed!
Yo don't understand...
Rapunzel: I'm not longer a child. I wish to see the world.
Witch: Don't you know whats out there in the world?
Someone has to shield you from the world.
Stay with me...
Princes wait there in the world, it's true.
Princes, yes, but wolves and humans, too.
Stay at home
I am home
Who out there could love you more than I?
What's out there, that i cannot supply?
Stay with me...
Stay with me, the world is dark and wild
Stay a child, when you can be a child
With me.
Cinderella: Now it's he and not you
Who is stuck with a shoe,
In a stew... in the goo,
And you've learned something, too,
Something you never knew,
On the steps of the palace!"
Narrator: And it came to pass all that seemed wrong was now right, and those who deserved to were certain to live a long and happy life. Ever after.
Florinda: I was greedy.
Lucinda: I was vain.
Florinda: I was haughty.
Lucinda: I was smug.
Florinda and Lucinda: We were happy.
Lucinda: It was fun.
Florinda: But we were blind.
Florinda and Lucinda: Then we went into the woods to get our wish,and now we're really blind.
Cinderella's Prince: If it were not for the thicket...
Rapunzel's Prince: A thicket's no trick. Is it thick?
Cinderella's Prince: It's the thickest!
Rapunzel's Prince: The quickest is pick it apart with a stick.
Cinderella's Prince: Yes, but even one prick, it's my thing about blood!
Rapunzel's Prince: Well it's sick!
Cinderella's Prince: It's no sicker than your thing with dwarfs.
Rapunzel's Prince: Dwarfs?
Cinderella's Prince: Dwarfs!
Rapunzel's Prince: Dwarfs are very upsetting
Witch: This is the world I meant
Couldn't you listen?
Witch: How could I, who loved you as you were?
How could I have shielded you from her
Or them...
Witch: No matter what you say
Children won't listen.
No matter what you do
Children refuse to learn.
Guide them along the way
Still they won't listen.
Children can only grow
From something you love
To something you lose...
Cinderella's Prince: Anything can happen in the woods
May I kiss you?
Any moment we could be crushed
Don't feel rushed
Baker's Wife: This is ridiculous, what am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story!
Cinderella's Prince: Best to take the moment present
As a present for the moment
Baker's Wife: Oh, if life were made of moments
Even now and then, a bad one
But if life were only moments
Then you'd never know you had one
Witch: It's his father's fault that the curse got placed and the place got cursed in the first place.
Jack: Wait a minute though, I chopped down the beanstalk, right? That's clear.
But without any beanstalk then what's queer
Is how did the second giant get down here
In the first place? Second place?
Cinderella: Yes!
Little Red: How?
Baker: Hmm?
Jack: Well, who had the other bean?
Baker: The other bean?
Cinderella: The other bean?
Jack: [To Baker] You pocketed the other bean.
Baker: I didn't! [realizing] Yes I did.
Red Riding Hood: So it's your falut!
Baker: No it isn't because i gave it to my wife!
Red Riding Hood: So it's her...
Baker: No it isn't!
Cinderella: Then whose is it?
Baker: Wait a minute! She exchanged that bean reclaim your shoe. So the one who knows what happend to the bean is you!
Cinderella: You mean that old bean that your wife... Oh, dear! But I didn't knew it, so I dropped it right here!
Cinderella, Jack, Baker, Red Riding Hood: You're responsible!
You're the one to blame!
It's your fault!
Witch: It's the last midnight, it's the last wish.
It's the last midnight, soon it will be boom… squish!
(to Baker) Told a little lie
(to Jack) Stole a little gold
(to Red Riding Hood) Broke a little vow, did you?
(to Cinderella) Had to get your prince
(to Jack) Had to get your cow
Have to get your wish doesn't matter how, anyway it doesn't matter now.
It's the last midnight. It's the boom… splat!
Nothing but a vast midnight! Everybody smashed flat!
Nothing we can do
Not exactly true
We can always give her the boy!
No? No, of course what really matters is the blame. Somebody to blame.
Fine, if that's the thing you enjoy
Placing the blame
If that's the aim, give me the blame!
Witch: You're so nice. You're not good; you're not bad; you're just nice.
I'm not good. I'm not nice. I'm just right.
I'm the witch; you're the world!
Witch: It's the last midnight.
It's the last verse.
Now, before it's past midnight,
I'm leaving you my last curse:
I'm leaving you alone.
You can tend the garden, it's yours.
Mysterious Man: We disappoint, we disappear
we die, but we don't.
They disappoint in turn, I fear
Forgive, though they won't.
Baker: No more riddles.
No more jests.
No more curses you can't undo
Left by fathers you never knew
No more quests.
No more feelings.
Time to shut the door.
Just- no more.
Mysterious Man: Trouble is, son
The farther you run
The more you feel un-defined
For what you have left undone
And more, what you've left behind
Cinderella: Just remember:
Baker: [Echo] Just remember:
Both: Someone is on your side
Jack, Red: Our side
Baker, Cinderella: Our side--
Someone else is not
While we're seeing our side
Jack, Red: Our side..
Baker, Cinderella: Our side--
All: Maybe we forgot:
They are not alone.
No one is alone.
Cinderella: Hard to see the light now.
Baker: Just don't let it go
Both: Things will come out right now.
We can make it so.
Jack's Mother: The slotted spoon can catch the potato.
Mysterious Man: Every knot was once straight rope.
Baker: [to baby] Once upon a time... in a far-off kingdom... lived a young maiden, a sad young lad, and a childless baker... with his wife.
Witch: Careful the things you say, Children will listen.
Witch: Children may not obey but children will listen.


Jack's Mother: "You foolish child! What in heaven's name are you doing with a cow inside the house?"
Jack: "A warm environment might just be what Milky-White needs to produce his milk!"
Jack's Mother: "It's a she! How many times do I have to tell you? Only shes can give milk!"

Baker: "No, no, the spell is on my house. Only I can lift the spell, the spell is on my house."
Baker's Wife: "No, no, the spell is on our house. We must lift the spell together, the spell is on our house."

Jack's Mother: "You be careful with your children."
Baker's Wife: "I have no children."
Jack's Mother:(Staring off into space) "That's okay, too."

Rapunzel's Prince: "I stand beneath her tower and say, 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair to me.' And she lowers the longest, most beautiful head of hair - yellow as corn - which I climb to her."
Cinderella's Prince: "Rapunzel, Rapunzel... What kind of a name is that? You jest!"

Baker's Wife: "I need your shoe to have a child!"
Cinderella:(puzzled) "Well, that makes no sense."

Baker's Wife: "These are no ordinary beans, son. These beans carry magic."
Jack: "What kind of magic?"
Baker's Wife: (to Baker) "Tell him."
Baker: (nervous and confused) "Magic that... (after long thought)... defies description!"

Baker's Wife: "I see you've the red cape."
Baker: "Yes, only two more items left to locate."
Wife: "Three."
Baker: "Two. I've the cape and the cow."
Wife: "You've the cape!"

Jack: "What a beautiful cape!"
Red Riding Hood: (pulls out a knife & points it at Jack) "Stay away from my cape or I'll slice you into a thousand bits!"
Jack: "I don't want it, I was just admiring it!"
Red Riding Hood: "My granny made it for me from a wolf that attacked us. I got to skin the animal. And best of all, she gave me this beautiful knife for protection."
Jack: "Well, look what I have: a hen that lays golden eggs."
Red Riding Hood: "I don't believe that egg came from that hen. Where did you get that egg?"
Jack: "I stole this from the kingdom of the Giant up there, (points upward) and if you think this is something, you should see the golden harp the giant has. It plays the most beautiful tunes without you even having to touch it."
Red Riding Hood:(sarcastically) "Of course it does. Why don't you go up to the kingdom right now and bring it back and show me?"
Jack: "I suppose I could."
Red Riding Hood: "You could not!"
Jack: "I could!"
Red Riding Hood: "You could not, Mr. Liar!"
Jack: "I'm not a liar! I'll get that harp, you'll see!"

Narrator: "It's interesting to examine the moral issue at question here. The finality of stories such as these dictates..."
(he looks upstage and notices everyone staring at him; he advances toward them)
Narrator: "Sorry, I tell the story. I'm not part of it."
Red Riding Hood: "That's right."
Witch: "Not one of us."
Baker: "You're always on the outside!"
Narrator: "Well, that's my role! You must understand, there must always be someone on the outside!"
Steward: "Well, you're going to be on the inside now!"
Narrator: "You're making a big mistake!"
Stepmother: "Nonsense!"
Narrator: "You need an objective observer to pass the story along!"
Witch: "Some of us don't like the way you've been telling it."
Narrator: "If you drag me into this mess, you won't know how the story ends! You'll be lost!"
Baker: "Wait! He's the only one who knows the story."
Narrator: "Do you think it'll be much fun having to finish it yourselves? Think of your baby."
Baker's Wife: "He's right. (to Red Riding Hood) You put that away."
(Red Riding Hood puts her knife away)
Narrator: "Now that's better. You don't want to live in a world of chaos. There must always be..."
Witch: "Here's the lad!" (throws the Narrator offstage)
Narrator: "I'M NOT THE LAD!!!"
Giantess: "This is not the lad!"
Baker: "Don't drop!"
(we hear a squish, indicating that the Narrator has been killed by the Giantess)
Baker: "Why did you push him into her arms?"
Witch: "You wanted to get rid of him, too."
Baker's Wife: "We might have thought of something else."
Witch: "If it were up to you, a decision would have never been made."
Red Riding Hood: "Well, now that he's gone, we'll never know what'll happen next."
Baker's Wife: "We'll manage."

Baker: "We had a cow as white as milk, honestly we did!"
Witch: "Then where is she?"
Wife: "She's dead."
Baker: "We thought you'd prefer a live cow."
Witch: "Of course I'd prefer a live cow. So bring me the dead cow and I'll bring her back to life!"
Baker: "You can do that?"
Witch: (pauses, then yells) Go!"

(Rapunzel comes in, screaming hysterically)
Witch: "What's the matter?"
Rapunzel: (stops and speaks very calmly) "Oh... nothing. You just locked me in a tower without company for fourteen years, then blinded my prince and banished me to a desert where I had little to eat and again no company...and then bore twins! Because of the way you treated me, I'll never, never be happy!"
Witch: "I was just trying to be a good mother."

Granny: No! Let the animal die a slow, painful, agonizing death!
Little Red Riding Hood: (startled) Grandmother!
Granny: Oh hush child! (excitedly) Now, you go get some great stones, we'll fill his belly with them, and then we'll watch him try to run away!

Baker's Wife: (to Baker, referring to Little Red Riding Hood) Well, there's no use frightening the poor thing.
Baker: You can't frighten her.

Baker: (directed towards Cinderella) You look just like the princess...only dirty. You are the princess!

Jack: Wait till my mother hears that I've slain the giant.
Baker: Jack, your mother's dead.
Jack: (shocked) Dead? Was she killed by the giant?
Baker: She was arguing with the giant, trying to protect you, and she struck a deadly blow by the Prince's Steward.
Jack: Why would he do such a thing?
Baker: He thought she was provoking the giant, trying to get us all killed.
Jack: Nobody can bring her back to life?
Baker: Nobody.
Jack: (with hostility) That Steward will pay for this. After we've slayed the giant, I will slay him, too!
Baker: (also with hostility) You will do no such thing!
Jack: But he shouldn't have killed my mother, right?
Baker: I guess not.
Jack: He must die.
Baker: Well, no.
Jack: Why not?
Baker: Because that would be wrong.
Jack: But what he did was wrong. He should be punished.
Baker: And he will be, somehow.
Jack: How?
Baker: I don't know! Stop asking me questions that I can't answer!
Jack: I'm gonna kill him!
Baker: Then kill him! (pause; calms down) No, don't kill him.

Rapunzel: Ooh...ooh...(screams loudly)

Rapunzel's Prince (sighs) Rapunzel.

Cinderella's Prince: My love, why so cold?
Cinderella: Maybe it's because I am not your only love, am I?
Cinderella's Prince: (beat) I love you. I do.(pause)But yes, it's true.
Cinderella: Why, if you love me, would you have strayed?
Cinderella's Prince: I thought if you were mine, that I could not wish for more. And part of me is content and as happy as I have ever been. But there remains a part that continually needs more.
Cinderella: I have, on occasion, wanted more. But that doesn't mean I went in search of it. If this is how you behave as a Prince, what kind of King will you be?
Cinderella's Prince: I was raised to be charming, not sincere. I didn't ask to be born a king, and I'm not perfect. I am only human.
Cinderella: (after a pause) I think you should go.
Cinderella's Prince: Leave? But I do love you.
Cinderella: Consider that I have been lost. A victim of the Giant.
Cinderella's Prince: Is that what you really wish?
Cinderella: My father's house was a nightmare. Your house was a dream. Now I want something in between. Please go.
Cinderella's Prince: (Begins to exit and stops) I shall always love the maiden that ran away.
Cinderella: And I, the faraway Prince.

Other Quotes

  • "I wish..." (Opening and closing lines of the play)
  • "The Woods are just Trees. The Trees are just Wood."
  • All: "Into the woods, and out of the woods, and home before dark!"
  • "One midnight gone!"
  • All: "Careful the things you say... children will listen."
  • Steward: (to Mysterious Man) Shut up.


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