->'''Calvin:''' "If you could have anything in the world right now, what would it be? Anything at all! Whatever you want!"
->'''Hobbes:''' "A sandwich."
->'''Calvin:''' "A sandwich?!? What kind of stupid wish is ''that?!'' Talk about a failure of imagination! ''I'd'' ask for a trillion billion dollars, my own space shuttle, and a private continent!"
->''(Cut to kitchen)''
->'''Hobbes:''' ''[eating a sandwich]'' "I got ''my'' wish."
->'''Calvin:''' ''[grimaces]''
-->-- ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''

With a puff of smoke, Alice the Genie appears! Solemnly, she tells Bob that because of his tireless efforts in browsing TV Tropes for nineteen hours straight, she will [[MakeAWish grant him one wish]] -- ''anything at all.''

Bob, after a moment's thought, wishes for a bag of potato chips.

MundaneWish is the trope when a character, given the opportunity to choose any reward without restraint, intentionally picks something simple and commonplace. While this may be done simply for comedy, it is often used to establish the practical or humble nature of the wisher -- such as if Bob simply doesn't ''want'' or ''need'' anything grand, or doesn't even think to ask for such. Alternately, Bob may be GenreSavvy enough to wish for something simple in order to counteract [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor the backfire potential]] of a [[LiteralGenie literal]] or JerkassGenie.

Typically appears in stories featuring magic ([[ClarkesThirdLaw or a similar substitute]]), but can also appear in non-magical situations, like an Emperor offering an open-ended reward to a hero or a conversation between friends.

This trope is closely related to WastefulWishing, but differs in intent -- WastefulWishing is when a request is mundane because the wisher was being frivolous or made a mistake. A MundaneWish, in contrast, is ''intentionally'' chosen because that's all the wisher wants.

Related to BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor. Subtrope of ThreeWishes, evoking the first law. See MundaneUtility and MisappliedPhlebotinum. Someone who wants a mundane prize but isn't simply being offered it has a HumbleGoal.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* The Tim Tam genie ads were based on this premise: people would wish for a packet of Tim Tams that never ran out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* PlayedWith in ''Manga/DragonBall''. Emperor Pilaf has finally gathered the seven Dragon Balls, and is so overcome as he begins to make his wish to the dragon for the title of ruler of the world, but he stammers a bit. Oolong the anthropomorphic pig takes the opportunity to leap between Pilaf and the dragon and wish for women's panties (the world's most comfortable pair of underwear in the broadcast version of the dub). It would have been WastefulWishing except that the wish saved the world, and [[LovableSexManiac Oolong was very happy with what he got]].
** Commander Red is eventually revealed to want the Dragon Balls to wish [[TheNapoleon to be taller.]] Upon hearing this, Staff Officer Black, enraged that he wasted so many resources on such a petty wish, shoots him dead.
** Again spoofed near the end of the battle with Buu. Vegeta has a plan to defeat Buu, but it requires two wishes from the Namekian Dragon to work. Once those wishes are granted, Dende asks Vegeta what his third wish is, and Vegeta responds "A new pair of boots. Size 10." Dende realizes he's joking, which is good, since they do come up with a use for that third wish later.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'',
** Since Madoka can't think of anything to wish for but wants to help Mami as a MagicalGirlWarrior, they decide to ask Kyubey for a cake feast. The idea was that they would have a party to celebrate their partnership and Kyubey would provide the food for it.
** It turns out that [[spoiler:First-Timeline!Madoka]]'s wish was to save a random kitty that got run over.
** In contrast to most of the series' Magical Girls, most of the Pleiades Saints in ''Manga/PuellaMagiKazumiMagica'' deliberately chose wishes that would act as stepping stones for what they wanted to achieve instead of wishing for them outright to lessen the EquivalentExchange penalty the bigger wishes often result in.
** Side material indicates that another magical girl ''did'' wish for a cake... a cheesecake to share with her dying mother in the hospital. Aww. [[spoiler: Presumably that magical girl [[DespairEventHorizon became the witch Charlotte]] upon realizing she could have wished to ''save her mother'' instead.]]
* ''MetalFightBeyblade'': [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]]. When the [=WBBA=] held a tournament promising to grant any wish to whoever won, Ginga commented he intended to wish for [[TrademarkFavoriteFood a hamburger]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* [[DealWithTheDevil When various villains from DC were offered anything for their souls by the demon Neron]], SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker wished for a box of Cuban cigars. It's up for debate as to whether this was wasted or not, as there is no doubt that Joker was going to hell anyway, and he makes it clear they were good Cubans.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the 2000 remake of ''[[Film/{{Bedazzled 2000}} Bedazzled]]'', when the [[HotAsHell Devil]] tells Elliot to make a wish so [[GodTest she can prove that she's genuine,]] he asks for a Big Mac and a large Coke. They ride the bus to McDonalds and buy one (with his money).
-->"There's no such thing as a free lunch."
** In [[Film/{{Bedazzled 1967}} the 1967 original]], it's a Frobisher & Gleason raspberry-flavored ice lolly, gotten the same way. [[spoiler:Later, when Stanley is in a fix and can't wish his way out, the Devil points out that the ice lolly counted as one of the seven wishes he's now used up. To rub it in, he pays Stanley back the sixpence, telling him "Now we're even!"]]
* A very un-politically correct joke Rocco tells in ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'' has three men (Black, Hispanic and White) each granted one wish; the black man and the hispanic man each wish for their fellow blacks and hispanics to be back in their home countries and not in America, and when the white guy realizes that this means there are no more blacks or hispanics in America, he happily just asks for a coke.
* A non-magical version appears in ''Film/{{Sneakers}}''. The team has been confronted by a group of armed NSA agents who want The Box, and is making demands in exchange for turning it over.
-->'''Carl:''' "The young lady with the Uzi, is she single?"
-->'''Bishop:''' "Carl... Excuse us." ''[Takes him aside]'' "This is the brass ring. You gotta think bigger thoughts."
-->'''Carl:''' "I just want her telephone number."
** He gets it. [[spoiler: Because she gives it to him herself.]]
* ''In the Beginning'', the Prequel Film of ''Series/BabylonFive'', we get an exchange where Londo offers a young Centauri noble any one wish, topping it off with the ArmourPiercingQuestion "what do you want?". The boy answers "I want a story!". Londo, obliging, wryly notes that the boy [[CallBack did far better on that question than he did]].
* In the 1937 adaptation of ''Literature/ThePrinceAndThePauper'', ErrolFlynn's character refuses to believe that the StreetUrchin he's helping is really the heir to the throne. When the prince insists that no-one is allowed to sit in his presence, but allows the granting of a royal favour in thanks for his help, he says, "I wish to sit in the presence of the king!" which allows him to get on with eating his meal. This becomes a BrickJoke at the end of the movie when he enters the throne room and sees the PrinceAndPauper, but can't tell if their plan has worked and the real prince is restored. He finds out just by grabbing a chair and sitting down on it. As outraged courtiers go to throw him out the prince stops them, saying this man has permission to sit in his presence.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* From ''Discworld/TheLastHero'', when the gods of the Disc are granting requests to the heroes for preventing the destruction of the world, Rincewind asks for a blue balloon (to replace one he had lost when he was six). He also speaks on behalf of the Librarian and asks for three thousand file cards, a new stamp, five gallons of ink, and a ''red'' balloon.
** It's a running joke in the City Watch books that, at the very end, whatever else the Watch may or may not be granted from Vetinari, a new dartboard is always on the list.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'' the People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road is talking about what they hope to accomplish, and Vimes says a hard boiled egg. He says that while he's pretty sure that tomorrow there isn't going to be a great deal of Truth, Justice, Moderately Priced Love, and so on around, he might just get the egg. [[spoiler:It ends up being smashed before he can eat it.]]
* Used in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles: Literature/SmallFavor'', when Harry Dresden calls in the favor owed to him by the Summer Court of Faerie - and asks for a doughnut. [[spoiler:The point is, however, is ''whom'' he asks that of, namely, the ImplacableMan MageKiller after his head, and ''when''--namely, a few seconds before said killer rips him to shreds and a few minutes before the bounty on Harry officially expires.]]
** It's revealed in the next book that this little maneuver has made Harry famous among the fey. Well, more famous, anyway.
* There's an old Arab tale about a man who got a wish from a genie in a bottle. He only asks that his net never come up empty of fish. He gets his wish and does well for the rest of his life.
* In one of Caroline B. Cooney's ''The Vampire's Promise'' books, the titular vampire has gifted a high school student named Devnee with beauty and brains by draining the energy out of the classmates she wished she could have the qualities of. The climax of the book comes when Devnee, intending to stop the vampire before he can force her to let him feed on another girl, learns to her horror that her mother has found him and made a wish of her own -- only to discover that her mother only wished for good weather.
* Creator/AgathaChristie[='s=] Tuppence Beresford mentions that in her childhood she knew of a real magic well, where wishes did come true, though she ''did'' use to wish for things that were quite likely to come true.
* In Dani's ''One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale'', the raja is impressed by Rani's honesty in returning a handful of spilled rice to him during a time of great drought and tells her that she can ask for any reward she wants from him. Rani initially asks for just one grain of rice. The raja, surprised, urges Rani to ask for something bigger and she amends her wish to get one grain of rice first, then two grains of rice on the day after that, then four grains of rice on the third day and so on for a month. If you're aware of the mathematics of this doubling-up pattern, you'll know that [[GuileHero Rani]]'s request [[SubvertedTrope wasn't nearly as modest as it seemed to the raja at first]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In a WhatCouldHaveBeen draft of an episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Buffy would have been granted one wish of phenomenal cosmic power. After debating heavily the whole episode on how to use it, she would walk in with a brand new pair of shoes, prompting Willow to lampshade this trope before the big reveal: She actually used the wish to bring Tara back to life.
* ''TheTwilightZone'' The Original Series episode "The Man in the Bottle". The couples' first wish (out of four) is to have a pane of glass in their shop repaired, in order to [[GodTest test the genie's power]] first. The couple then proceed [[WastefulWishing to waste their remaining wishes]], but in the end console themselves with the thought that at least the glass got repaired. Guess what happens next.
* In a ''SesameStreet'' Christmas special, Elmo gets a magic snowglobe from Santa Claus. He uses the first wish to get a drink of water.
** In the show proper there was another sketch where Zoe found a genie's lamp and wasted the first two wishes on having the genie go back into the lamp and pop out again, despite the genie's insistence for a better wish. After the first two, [[spoiler: the genie said that he wished that his headache (which was a factor in him not wanting to keep popping out) would go away, to which Zoe says "me, too", which relieves the genie of his headache and makes him happy to pop out of the lamp again and again.]]
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Je Souhaite", Mulder encounters a genie who was originally a medieval French peasant who encountered another genie and made her take his place after her third wish of "great power and a long life". Her first two wishes were a stout mule and a magic bag full of turnips. After noticing Mulder's "What the hell?" facial expression, the woman once again points out she was a medieval French peasant.
** Also when Mulder asks her what she would like to wish for now, she says she would like to enjoy life as it is in the moment over a cup of coffee. [[spoiler:Mulder uses his last wish to turn her human and the episode ends with her fulfilling her own wish]].
* In one episode of ''IDreamOfJeannie'', Jeannie gets downright exasperated that ''most'' of Tony's wishes are mundane but considering Jeannie's [[LiteralGenie cluelessness]] and occasional mischeviousness, it's hard to argue against him.
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'' it is revealed that a 17-year-old Gunn sold his soul...for a ''truck''. As Fred puts it: "Oh, Charles, your soul wasn't worth air conditioning?"
** It's played for laughs, but the undertones are actually rather dark. (At that time in his life, Gunn was maybe a notch above homeless, in a city where the homeless are basically a vampire buffet).
--> DEMON: "You will sell your future in exchange for present happiness?"
--> GUNN: "What future?"
* A non-magical example in ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. At one point in season two Finch and Reese need help on a job and enlist the help of their old mafia enemy Elias, who they helped put away. Elias agrees to use his network to help them on condition that [[spoiler:Finch become his chess partner, because nobody else in the prison can play anywhere near as well as he can]].
* On ''GilligansIsland'', Gilligan finds a tiki that gives him three wishes. His first wish is a gallon of ice cream, and relating his story to the Professor, accidentally wishes for a second gallon of ice cream. He finally is able to wish the castaways off the island, and the land they're standing on separates from the island and floats into the lagoon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05av9iJvgiQ Everything You Know Is Wrong]]", aliens offer to transport the protagonist to any time in history. He chooses "last Thursday night, so [he] can pay [his] phone bill on time."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In a Sunday strip of ''CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin asks Hobbes what he'd wish for; Hobbes says he wants a sandwich. Calvin doesn't understand why and wishes for enormous wealth. Hobbes gets his wish, and Calvin obviously does not. Another strip had Calvin ask a similar question, to which Hobbes replies that he'd wish for "a big sunny field to lie in." Calvin is aghast at how mundane this is, but then observes Hobbes sleeping in the grass. "Actually, it's hard to argue with someone who looks so happy."
* A ''Frumpy The Clown'' comic had the eponymous sarcastic clown and a kid encounter a wizard who claimed he could give them whatever would "make [their lives] complete." Frumpy immediately wishes for the first {{ABBA}} album on vinyl and a watermelon. While the kid complains that he could have wished bigger, [[GenreSavvy Frumpy quips that he doesn't trust midgets with wands]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/ChuubosMarvelousWishGrantingEngine'': there's a running joke about Chuubo's habit of wishing for ice cream...[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor usually in such a way that it nearly dooms Town]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* After having been turned into an ottsel in the beginning of ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterThePrecursorLegacy'', Daxter gets his chance to turn back into a humanoid in the ending for ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' as the Precursors offer to grant him a wish. He wishes for a comfortable pair of pants. Granted [[spoiler:shortly before that he had discovered that the Precursors ''are'' ottsels, so presumably the knowledge that he is a member of a legendary race borderline worshiped by his previous race rather than just a FunnyAnimal made his condition more bearable.]]
* In ''TwistedMetal'', Calypso uses the stolen power of a demon to grant the winner of the titular demolition derby any wish they desire. Some ending show that he is forced to carry out the wish no matter what it is, making Calypso abuse the LiteralGenie principle very frequently. However, some wishes fall under this, such as Sweet Tooth's wishes in 1 and 3 (for a paper bag and candy, respectively) and Hammerhead in 1 (to repair his truck's tires).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Done in [[http://xkcd.com/152/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip, where the character wishes for a human-sized hamster ball.
* Parodied by PerryBibleFellowship [[http://www.pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF210-Wishing_Well.gif here]].
* One character suggests "infinite soda supply" as a use for Nancy in ''Webcomic/OwMySanity''.
* In ''Puppy Kitten Grand Aventure'' the title characters are granted one wish each by a genie. Puppy's wish? [[http://puppykittengrandadventure.smackjeeves.com/comics/446748/indosarnian-nights-page-17/ Fruit salad.]]
* In ''Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy'', God offers [[http://www.galactanet.com/comic/view.php?strip=543 them]] [[http://www.galactanet.com/comic/view.php?strip=544 both]] the answer to any one question of their choosing. They both ask "Why does KimPossible have a [[WantedPoster picture]] of [[DarkActionGirl Shego]] in her locker?", with Andy stating [[FoeYay his]] [[LesYay own]] [[FanPreferredCouple preferred]] [[GirlOnGirlIsHot explanation]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One of the ''RoosterTeethShorts'' has [[http://roosterteeth.com/archive/?id=1712 Geoff catch a magic fish that grants him three wishes]]. His first is for two milkshakes, one of which he spills. His second is to unspill his spilled milkshake. His last is [[spoiler:to wish it wasn't against the rules to eat a magical fish sandwich.]]
* Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars: Upon gathering the possessions of Thor and placing them on his body, Chuck gets a wish. He promptly uses it on a very delicious strawberry milkshake.
* [[http://thekettlereview.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/bosch-private-collection-twk6831.html An adventurer finds a magic lamp]], after an eight year expedition, in the deepest mountains of Nepal. His first wish? A brand new kettle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' movie special ''Film/WakkosWish'', Wakko wishes for [[spoiler:two ha'pennies]]! This is ''not'' WastefulWishing because [[spoiler:spending them helps revive his home town since it was simply so poor that everyone treated it like a fortune]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'', Eden actually ''refuses'' to grant her master's first wish for a sandwich (fortunately, lacking the words "I wish" in front of it) and instead talks her into wishing never to go hungry again.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''' second ''WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror'', Homer obtains a monkey's paw. Maggie makes the first wish and a limo pulls up. Homer starts to celebrate as the driver comes to the door. He gives her a new pacifier and then drives off.
** After the other wishes backfire, Homer wishes for a turkey sandwich and specifically forbids any unpleasant supernatural surprises. The wish ''still'' backfires ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor because the turkey is a little dry.]]''
** In the fourth ''Treehouse of Horror'' episode, Homer sells his soul to the Devil (aka. Ned Flanders) for a donut.
* Invoked and lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''. Norm notes there's a pattern when he gives a person ThreeWishes. The first is something useless and mundane ("The Sandwich Wish"), the second is a huge change, and the third is changing it all back. His foresight is actually [[spoiler: his downfall, when he gives Chester a sandwich sans wish, allowing him a third wish to hit the ResetButton]].
* In the animated ''PunkyBrewster'' episode "Any Wish Way But Loose," the wish spell Glomer intended for Punky hits Margaux instead. When Allen says something atypically inane, Margaux spouts "I wish you'd disappear!" Allen does just that.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventureTime Adventure Time's]]'' Jake has wished for a sandwich...twice. What makes this even weirder is that his life hung in the balance both times.
** Although Jake didn't actually ''get'' his sandwich wish the second time; Prismo just made him a sandwich and allowed him to keep his wish for something more important.
** In another episode, when the Hot Dog Knights finally get the chance to wish:
-->'''Knight #1''': I wish for a box! ''(box appears)'' Sweeet!
-->'''Knight #2''': I wish to blow up! I mean get big. ''(explodes)''
-->'''Finn''': Wow...you guys are really stupid.
-->'''Knight #1''': What do you mean?
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' "Meeseeks and Destroy", Rick gives his family a "Meeseeks Box", which creates beings called Meeseeks that will fulfill any request the user wants and then disappear. Rick warns them to keep the requests simple. Beth and Summer ignore the advice and ask to be "a more complete woman" and "more popular", respectively. Jerry on the other hand, decides to play it safe and asks to take two strokes off his golf game. This being [[ButtMonkey Jerry]], HIS wish is the one that leads to everything going to hell.
** In another episode, when Summer sees her boss (AKA, [[LouisCypher the Devil]]) try to hang himself, she uses a Monkey's Paw she happened to be holding at the time to make a desk light enough for her to move, the noose to be untied and for her to know CPR. The Devil then notes that those are some pretty insignificant wishes to use on such a a thing.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventuresHowISpentMyVacation'', when Plucky and Hampton's family travel through a tunnel holding their breaths and making a wish, Plucky doesn't get his wish to be at Happy World Land due to breathing before they leave the tunnel, but the rest of them get their wish, the same one they always make, "to be a happy and loving family forever and ever".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Alexander the Great, at one point visited Corinth. While there he offered, according to the story, a particular Philosopher (Diogenes) anything he wanted and, being emperor of just about everything at the time, he could have granted it. Diogenes only looked up, slightly irritated, and asked him to get out of his light. Sometimes interpreted as Diogenes showing Alexander that all his worldly triumphs couldn't compare to the wonders of nature such as the sunlight.
* Three soldiers of NapoleonBonaparte - a German, a Pole and a Jew - have fought well in battle, and he decides to grant each of them a wish.
--> '''German:''' "Before the war, I had a brewery, but it was burnt down."\\
'''Napoleon:''' "You will get it rebuilt."\\
'''Pole:''' "My motherland is under the thumb of other nations."\\
'''Napoleon:''' "You will get it liberated."\\
'''[[GenreSavvy Jew]]:''' "I like marinated herrings so much. Could I get a few of them?"\\
Napoleon is surprised, but promises him the herrings. Later, the Jew explains: "I don't think you'll get your brewery back, or your free Poland. But my herrings - I may actually get them..."
* There's a (likely anecdotal) story about UsefulNotes/JosefStalin and the author of the Soviet anthem. Stalin asked the author, what does he want in reward, a car or a dacha. The author asked Stalin for his pencil, explaining that Stalin's pencil holds a symbolic value for him. Stalin gave him the pencil, and the car and the dacha too.
** Another similar joke has Stalin asking four movie producers what they need in order to work properly. One complains about cramped surroundings - he gets a flat. The other complains he works best outside the city, and gets a dacha. The third has a dacha, but complains it's hard to get there - Stalin gives him a car. The fourth is hesitant, saying it's a big wish, but after Stalin insists, he asks for a copy of Stalin's book "The Questions of Leninism" with an autograph, for inspiration. He got the book... and a flat, a car, and a dacha as a bonus.
[[/folder]]

----