In Return to Oz, Dorothy has trouble going to sleep, and is taken to a hospital by Aunt Em, who hopes that she can be cured of her "dreams".
The treatment is electric shock therapy. Another patient is aware of this and helps Dorothy escape from her room and down the hallways. Nurse Wilson attempts to catch them, but they both escape and fall in a river. The other girl vanishes but Dorothy grabs onto a chicken coop that floats by, gets in, and falls asleep.
When Dorothy wakes up she is in Oz, with her pet hen, Billina, and floating in a very small pond within the Deadly Desert. Dorothy picks up Billina and jumps on rocks, avoiding being turned into sand, and onto the shore where they find a lunch pail tree. They bring two down, eat the food in them, and begin walking into the forest.
They get to Dorothy's old house that she arrived for the first time and notice that the Yellow Brick Road has been upturned. They walk along with it until they get to the Emerald City which has lost its green color. The journey inside, where Dorothy discovers all of its citizens, including her friends, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, had been turned to stone, and the Scarecrow is nowhere to be seen. They soon come across the Wheelers who chase them. Dorothy hides in a secret room that houses a robot named Tik-Tok. She winds him up, and he explains that he was designed to be Oz's one-man army but was shut down. With his strength, Dorothy reopens the door and he takes down the Wheelers, allowing them to defeat them. One directs them to Princess Mombi, who explains that the Nome King had taken over the Emerald City and captured the Scarecrow. She wants Dorothy's head for her head collection. Dorothy, refusing, is locked up in Mombi's attic along with Billina. There, they meet Jack Pumpkinhead, a being whose "mother" was created to scare Mombi. Dorothy devises a plan to retrieve the Powder of Life from Mombi's head collection while she's asleep. This she does, but not before waking Mombi up. Rushing back to her friends, they attach the head of a Gump to a sofa that they intend to bring to life and make fly. They narrowly escape Mombi and head towards the Nome King's mountain.
However, the Gump falls apart, sending everyone plummeting down onto the Nome King's mountain. He confronts Dorothy and tells her that the Scarecrow had been turned into an ornament for his collection. As soon as everyone joins her again, he proposes that they play a game with him. If they touch the correct ornament and say the word "Oz" within three guesses, then the Scarecrow will appear and they could go free. One by one, they go into the ornament room and fail to guess correctly. During Tik-Tok's turn, the Nome King tells Dorothy that thanks to her, the ruby slippers are now his and he can use them to send her back home, never to think of Oz again. She refuses and goes in after Tik-Tok, who lured her in by pretending to wind down as a part of his plan to see if she could see what he changed into. His plan fails, however, as he is nowhere to be found after his final guess. Dorothy then guesses twice and is able to find the Scarecrow as a green ornament. They then rescue the others (who were green ones as well), but the Nome King stops them and tries to eat them, starting with Jack, but Billina, who's hiding in his head, lays an egg that falls into the Nome King's mouth. This kills him, as eggs are poisonous to Nomes, leaving the ruby slippers for Dorothy to take. As the mountain collapses, she clicks her heels and wishes for all Ozians to return there safely and the Emerald City and everyone in it to be restored.
The ruby slippers' magic works and a celebration is thrown. The Ozians encourage Dorothy to be the Queen of Oz, but she says that she has to go back home to Kansas. The understanding Ozians comfort her in wishing that she could be in two places at once. But as she says this, the ruby slippers reveal the girl from the hospital in the mirror behind her. She reveals her name is Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, and promises Dorothy that should she ever need to return, she is always welcome. As she leaves, Billina decides to stay behind.
Dorothy returns home and is found by Toto, Aunt Em, and Uncle Henry who tell her that the hospital burned to the ground after getting struck by lightning (with Dr. Worley in it) and they see Nurse Wilson being taken to jail. Returning home, Dorothy sees Ozma in her mirror with Billina. She tries to notify Aunt Em, but a hush from Ozma tells her to keep Oz a secret. Smiling, she runs outside to play with Toto as the film ends.
Dorothy makes a cameo appearance in the episode "Broadway Bound & Gagged".
Dorothy appears in the ABC TV series Once Upon a Time, in the Season 3 episode "Kansas". In it, she is whisked away to Oz by a tornado, where she is rescued from the debris of her home by Zelena (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda. Impressed by her durability in surviving, they welcome her with open arms, but Zelena (who had recently joined the sisterhood of the witches) feels envious of her quick acceptance by the witches, and only grows in anger when Zelena had read a prophecy stating that the greatest evil would be slain by a newcomer to the realm. Believing she is the evil, Zelena attempts to attack the unsuspecting Dorothy. However, frightened by Zelena's fire magic, she throws water at her to put the fire out but causes her to melt as a result. A horrified Dorothy asks Glinda to send her back home, but she brings her to the Wizard instead, who gives her the silver shoes to take her home. Clicking her heels, she happily does so, unaware that the Wizard was actually Zelena in disguise, trying to get rid of her so that she could continue her dark plans.
Dorothy returns in the episode "Our Decay". Having been informed by the Munchkins that Zelena hadn't been killed and had taken over all of Oz, she returns to stop her from stealing the Scarecrow's brain. She escapes with him and they make camp. Zelena, however, tracks them down and casts a spell on Dorothy, freezing her, who watches helplessly as Zelena removes the Scarecrow's brain.
When Toto senses a fellow canine has entered Oz, he approaches her and she ends up having to introduce herself to Dorothy as Ruby, a werewolf, along with her friend, Mulan. Together they are searching for Ruby's pack, but Dorothy doesn't take much a shine to them since they cause Toto to run off and subsequently get kidnapped by Zelena, who has returned to Oz via tornado. She wants the silver shoes and offers to give Toto back in exchange for them. Not wanting to give in, the three girls cook up a powder to put her to sleep but need poppies to complete it, which Dorothy agrees to look for. Ruby wants to go with her and they end up bonding along the way; Dorothy delves into her tragic backstory, explaining how her family tried to have her committed and the only one who truly loved her was Aunt Em, while Ruby delves into her own, explaining how her entire village chased her with pitchforks and torches after she accidentally killed her boyfriend, Peter, as a wolf. This causes Dorothy to apologize for calling her "Wolfy", but she doesn't mind, actually kind of liking it and retaliating by giving Dorothy a nickname of her own - "Kansas". They make it to the poppy field but are chased by flying monkeys, and Dorothy is forced to ride on Ruby's back in her wolf form in order to escape. It is during this whole experience that she realizes she's in love with Ruby and she can't lose her, so she goes to face Zelena alone. This proves to be a mistake when Zelena puts her under a sleeping curse, but, after a long time searching, Ruby is eventually able to wake her up with true love's kiss. All is well as they promise to always come back for each other, continuing to consolidate their new relationship.
- The Once Upon a Time depiction of Dorothy Gale is the only official version which is a sapphic. This could be a nod to the original novels that implied her relationship with the ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma, as being that of a romantic one. It could also be due to the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy Gale's classic actress Judy Garland being considered icons in the LGBTQ community and their respective affiliations with LGBTQ history.
- Raven Baxter (portrayed Dorothy in "Soup to Nuts")
- Candace Flynn (portrayed Dorothy in "Wizard of Odd")