Make A Wish


(permanent link) added: 2010-01-03 18:51:30 sponsor: Ronka87 (last reply: 2010-01-03 18:51:30)

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Launching tomorrow: Last call for examples and suggestions!

The evening star is shining bright,
So make a wish, and hold on tight,
There's something in the air tonight,
And anything could happen...

Alt. Quote:

Starlight, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
Wish I may, wish I might,
Grant the wish I wish tonight.

A character in a story always wants something badly; that's one of the rules of fiction. To get what they want, some characters use hard work, some use wit and charm, and some just look up at the nearest star and wish really really hard for it.

It always comes true.

Wishing has power in fiction; it's one of the main sources of Applied Phlebotinum. No matter what you want, from a new car to a sudden age-up, you can get it by wishing. Of course, you have to Be Careful What You Wish For and make sure that if you want to be special, normal, or rid of someone in your life, that you actually mean exactly what you say. Good or evil, the wish-granter is almost always a Literal Genie.

The wish may be made in several different ways. Probably the best known is the wish granted by a Genie in a Bottle or some other magical creature; in these cases, the hero generally gets Three Wishes. He might get lucky and end up with a Benevolent Genie, although unlucky ones will have a Jackass Genie.

Other methods, generally only resulting in one wish, include:

  • Wishing wells
  • Birthday candles
  • Wishbones
  • Wishing on a star
  • Seeing a shooting star
  • Some sort of magic wish tool (like a monkey's paw)
  • A lunar/solar eclipse
  • Any number of other things, like blowing on an eyelash, blowing the seeds off a dandylion, or blowing wishing/pixie dust
  • The power of words

After the wish has been granted, the wisher may discover they don't like the way things are going; they'll generally use another wish to hit a Reset Button, though big wishes may end in a Wishplosion. The final shot may reveal that the wish story was All Just a Dream (Or Is It?), though some stories are much more subtle about it and leave it up to the audience whether the "wishes" really came true or were just a string of marvelous coincidences.

Subtropes include Wonderful Life, I Wish It Were Real.


Examples:

Film
  • The 1986 movie Milly/Willy (aka I Was a Teenage Boy, Something Special), where a girl wishes to be a boy during the solar eclipse.
  • Big, with a wish-granting machine at a fair.
  • Disney is loaded with examples:
    • Snow White, in a wishing well
    • Pinocchio, on a star
    • Aladdin, with a genie in a lamp
    • In Enchanted, the villainess lures Giselle to the portal between her world and ours by saying it's a wishing well.
    • The Princess and the Frog, both the heroine and her best friend make wishes on the evening star, although it's left ambiguous whether it's really the power of the star granting the wish or not. Also, one of the movie's messages is it's not just wishing, but hard work, that makes your dreams come true.
  • In James and the Giant Peach (the movie, can't recall the book), James sends out a balloon wishing for help to take him to New York. Help appears in the form of a strange man with a bag full of magic glowing alligator tongues.
  • Home Alone: "I wish my family would disappear." No magic here, just horrible, horrible bad luck, although Kevin does believe he magicked away his family.
  • 18 Again has a grandfather and grandson who share the same birthday switch bodies after they wish on the same birthday cake
  • The film 13 Going On 30: Wishing powder transports the protagonist into the future
  • Lifetime's How I Married My High School Crush has the teenage heroine transported to the future after making a wish during a solar eclipse. Damn buggy YKTTW.
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