Prince Eric is a minor character on Once Upon a Time. He is Ariel's one true love. Having been rescued from a shipwreck by this romantically enthusiastic mermaid, Eric had dreams in which he envisioned her face, hoping that one day he would get the chance to meet her. Luckily for them both, this day came to pass, and the two of them arranged to travel the world together. However, Ariel ran into some trouble and had her voice stolen by the Evil Queen, meaning she and her true love were unable to be together, much to the prince's dismay. Years later, the two of them were given a second chance at their happy ever after when they reunited in the town of Storybrooke, Maine after the Dark Curse took place, where Eric received a new identity as the local fishmonger.
Before the Curse
Eric meets his true love, Ariel. ("Ariel")
When Snow White almost drowns while she is on the run from Regina's guards, Ariel saves her just in time. Snow is shocked to discover that Ariel is a mermaid. When they reach shore, Ariel reveals that she's in love with a prince named Eric, whom she previously saved during a shipwreck. However, he doesn't know her true form. Ariel then turns her tail into legs, stating that it's a gift given by a sea goddess, Ursula. They then attend the ball, during which, Ariel dances with Eric, and he seems to like her back. He claims to have seen her before in his dreams and concludes it was a gift given by Ursula. He then asks Ariel to run away with him, but because of her secret, she seems unsure. He then gives her a choice to come or not. Ariel later goes out to the sea and attempts to summon Ursula, hoping for help. Regina, disguises herself as the goddess and gives the mermaid a way for her to keep her legs. Ariel gives Snow a bracelet she was given by Regina, but it turns her into a mermaid. The Evil Queen then shows up, revealing her true identity, and she forces Ariel to leave with her love, for if she doesn't, both she and Snow will suffer. Ariel however stabs Regina in the neck with a fork she stole and then escapes with Snow. When they reach safety, Snow tells Ariel to find her prince, which she does. However, when she attempts to call out for him, she discovers that Regina has taken her voice. She then swims away, heartbroken, for she shall never know true love. ("Ariel")
Jafar poses as a prince. ("A Wondrous Place")
As he said he would at the ball, Prince Eric indeed ends up travelling to Agrabah, staying in a caravan with his flag emblazoned on it and his royal navy in tow. Ariel makes it her mission to find him, and Agrabah's princess - Jasmine - decides to help her, needing an army for her city's protection and figuring that she can kill two birds with one stone should she acquire the help of Eric's navy. However, Eric leaves for whatever reason, and the villainous sorcerer Jafar takes his form, tricking Ariel into thinking she's reuniting with her prince. She is currently in the possession of a magical necklace which grants her both a set of legs and her voice, and she admits to Eric that she's in fact a mermaid. He - though really, Jafar - says that of course he accepts her, for he was bored with regular girls and has a great love for her people... especially poached, and with lemon and capers. Ariel is horrified and it is then that Jafar unveils himself, using his magic to banish the mermaid back to the sea and to wipe Agrabah off the map entirely. ("A Wondrous Place")
After the Curse
An immediate reunion. ("The New Neverland")
Ariel, who's been dolled up by Belle, struggles to walk in heels as her new best friend aids her towards her true love, Prince Eric, who, in the cursed town of Storybrooke, is the local fishmonger. The mermaid is a tad offended when she sees him chopping fish by the docks, thinking it means he may not like her, but Belle convinces Ariel to go to him, and she obliges. Eric soon notices her, remembering her from their brief encounter back in the Enchanted Forest, and after he removes his gloves he immediately grabs her and passionately kisses her, much to Ariel's, and an onlooking Belle's, delight. Before long, a noise is heard in the sky as the Jolly Roger tears through the protection spell and heads downwards, containing all those who journeyed to Neverland to save Henry, and some additions. Belle is ecstatic that Rumple has returned to town, and before long, the ship docks, allowing Ariel to reunite with old friends such as Snow White. The mermaid then presumably leaves with Eric and begins staying with him, the two of them happy to have been reunited with one another. ("The New Neverland")
After the Second Curse
Eric lives out his happy ending with Ariel. ("The Jolly Roger")
After Regina undoes the Dark Curse in order to vanquish Pan's threat, everyone is returned to the Enchanted Forest, including Ariel and Eric. However, Eric is soon kidnapped by a band of pirates aboard the Jolly Roger, led by Black Beard, who leave him on a deserted island in order to ransom him at the right time. Ariel attacks Captain Hook, thinking he's responsible, but it soon becomes apparent that he hasn't been able to find his ship since the undoing of the curse. He then helps her locate her prince, wanting the Jolly Roger back, but Ariel is devastated to learn that Eric isn't on board, begging Hook not to kill Black Beard so that he can tell them where he is. However, Hook feeds Black Beard to the sharks and a betrayed Ariel removes the enchanted bracelet which grants her legs and swims away in the ocean, hoping to locate Eric by herself. Eventually, she finds him stranded on Hangman's Island, and the two of them joyously reunite, living out their happily ever after together. As it turns out, Hangman's Island is outside the proximity of Zelena's new curse, and so Eric and Ariel aren't transported back to Storybrooke along with everyone else. When Zelena tries to fool Hook, he learns from her what really happened to the mermaid, and Emma and Regina use mirror magic to check in on the couple. Mary Margaret is happy to hear that her friend got such a happy ending. ("The Jolly Roger")
After the Third Curse
Eric continues to reside on Hangman's Island along with Ariel, though one day heads off to visit a few of his "land-lover" friends, with Ariel staying behind and keeping fierce guard over her collection of knickknacks. As it turns out, one such knickknack is the genie bottle which contains Jafar, and finally Jasmine is able to defeat him and restore Agrabah - all before the prince arrives home. ("A Wondrous Place")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.