Stephen is a minor supporting character on Once Upon a Time. He was a kind and simple man who lived in the woods with his wife, Donna, and his young son, Geppetto. One night, Stephen and her wife were unfortunate enough to provide shelter and food to a family of scheming thieves who conned them for their worthy possessions. Ultimately, Stephen and Donna were turned into a pair of wooden puppets by accident, when they swallowed the potion Rumplestiltskin made for Jiminy to give his parents.
Before the Curse
Pretty dollies. ("That Still Small Voice")
Jiminy does a favor for Rumplestiltskin, the famed dark magician, and tells Rumple that he wants to be free but his parents keep holding him back. Rumple gives him a potion, and tells him that after he uses it on his parents, he'll be free. As payment, he just has to leave his parents where they are and Rumple will come and collect them. Jiminy takes the potion, albeit rather reluctantly. One night, Jiminy and his parents make their way to a house in the woods and ask of the lovely young couple - Donna and Stephen - living in it to provide them with some shelter. The couple welcomes them in, and after supper, Jiminy's parents make up a story of how a plague affected the nearing town, and add that they are immune to the plague because of an elf tonic. The couple, concerned, asks to buy some elf tonic from them, and thus another scam is set in motion. The couple gives them some of their most precious possessions, and keep the bottled tonic. Outside of the house, Jiminy scolds his parents for taking from good people. He then hears the crickets, and, feeling as though he has no other choice, he throws the content of the bottle at his parents... only to find out that his parent switched the bottles, which means that Jiminy gave the nice young couple whatever was meant for his parents. He rushes back to the house to find that the tonic has been drunk and that the couple has been turned into a pair of wooden, lifeless puppets. His parents mock the puppets, and then a young boy arrives at the house, calling for his parents... and it's the same boy that gave Jiminy his umbrella - Geppetto. Jiminy is horrified. ("That Still Small Voice") They're later seen hung up in his Dark Castle. ("The Snow Queen"/"It's Not Easy Being Green"/"The Apprentice"/"Heroes and Villains"/"Skin Deep")
After the Curse
The dolls are present. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
Regina enters Mr. Gold's shop in a rush, setting off the door's bell. She tells Gold, who is cleaning a tea pot, that she's not happy, to which he promptly replies that Dr. Hopper's office is down the street. She tells him she doesn't want to talk to Dr. Hopper, she wants to talk to him. He asks her what she wants to talk about, and she tells him, as he moves to put the pot back in its place, that this town wasn't the deal they made. Gold places another piece of the same tea set on the counter and tells her he doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't believe him right away, but then she can tell from his look that he just might be telling the truth. He goes on to dust the pieces of the set as she walks around the store, telling him that she was supposed to be happy there. He reminds her that she's the Mayor, the most powerful person in the town. He asks her what there is to be unhappy about, and she answers that everyone in town does exactly what she wants them to. He scoffs and asks if that's a problem, and she says that they do it because they have to, not because they want to. "It's not real." He then asks her what she wants exactly, and she says, "Nothing you can give me." He looks further confused, and she starts to walk away. The puppets were visible through all of this. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
Mr. Gold has obtained some familiar items. ("That Still Small Voice")
When breaking into Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Ashley walks past a pair of wooden puppets, who were once Donna and Stephen. ("The Price of Gold") As Gold walks through his shop, Geppetto's parents in puppet form can be seen. ("That Still Small Voice") When trying to find the Toll Bridge, David Nolan stops by Mr. Gold's shop to ask for proper directions when Regina lead him the wrong way. In the background, the wooden puppets are visible. ("The Shepherd") When August visits Gold's shop and witnesses his father, Geppetto, there, speaking with the store owner about fixing a coo-coo clock, the wooden puppets are visible. ("The Stranger") The puppets are also present when Regina visits the shop to speak with Gold about the curse failing. ("An Apple Red as Blood") When Emma finally believes in the curse, she and Regina stop by Gold's shop; the puppets are visible. ("A Land Without Magic")
After the Second Curse
The dolls cameo in the background. ("Snow Drifts")
Following the defeat of the Wicked Witch of the West, a time portal opens, which Emma Swan and Captain Hook are sucked into. They are taken back in time to the Enchanted Forest of the past, back when the Evil Queen, Regina, was still hunting Snow White. Wanting to find a way home, Emma and Hook decide it be best the search out the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin, who instead meets up with them and later takes them back to the Dark Castle. There, the Savior and the Pirate run into Belle, whose future they spoil to Rumple (the two of them falling in love), something the Dark One simply cannot believe, especially after hearing he and Hook puts their differences aside and have agreed to put the past behind them. Throughout all of this, the puppet versions of Geppetto's parents, Donna and Stephen rest in the background. Later, after fixing the past and getting Snow and Charming to meet and fall in love, Emma and Hook return, only to be locked up by Rumple for safe keeping; the puppets are also visible for this. Emma and Hook do get home through a portal, however. ("Snow Drifts"/"There's No Place Like Home")
After the Third Curse
Representations of Donna and Stephen in the Underworld. ("Souls of the Departed")
When Hades decides to mold the Underworld after Storybrooke, the puppets of Donna and Stephen appear hanging up in the hellish version of Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer. It is somewhat ambiguous whether these are replicas of the original dolls, or the souls of Donna and Stephen that have been transported to the afterlife as the puppets they died as. They "witness" an interaction take place between Mr. Gold himself, who's come down to the Underworld to help rescue Hook, and Peter Pan, who is the owner of his son's shop down there. Pan implores Gold to help resurrect him, though Gold shows no interest. However, he does accept the Ale of Sinead from his dear old dad. ("Souls of the Departed") The two dolls remain in the shop when Gold returns to find Pan missing, and proceeds to make a crystal ball to view Storybrooke. ("Devil's Due") They remain there also when Belle approaches her husband to tell him that she's going to allow for him to try and figure out a way to protect their child. ("Her Handsome Hero") Finally, the dolls are present when Rumple tricks Pan by putting a fake heart in his chest full of water from the River of Lost Souls, thereby condemning him to eternal torment. ("Firebird") The real Donna and Stephen are seen in Gold's shop in Storybrooke, and Henry uses them as an example of how magic causes nothing but harm. ("Only You")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.