Film / 16 Wishes

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Everyone's sweet 16 is special; Abby's is magical.
16 Wishes is a 2010 Disney Channel Movienote  produced by MarVista Entertainment and starring Debby Ryan as Abby Jensen.

Abby always wanted the perfect 16th birthday and for her 16 special birthday wishes to come true. But when it finally comes, it starts off less than spectacularly - until a fairy godmother shows up with 16 magical candles, each corresponding to one of Abby's birthday wishes. In the process she learns an important lesson - Be Careful What You Wish For.

The movie itself turned out to be a surprise success, especially with a demographic not typically associated with Disney Channel - adult males. For this reason, many give credit to 16 Wishes for helping to establish Debby Ryan as being a "face" for Disney Channel and helping her land her own sitcom, Jessie.

Not to be confused with Sixteen Candles - even though there are, indeed, 16 candles.

This movie provides examples of:

  • An Aesop: Appreciate your youth, because it doesn't last forever.
    • Appreciate things in general, especially your family and friends.
  • Alpha Bitch: Krista... allegedly.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Brick Joke: One of Abby's wishes is for sushi. Guess what's on the plate Celeste is serving in the party?
  • Broken Aesop: One of the messages of the movie can be interpreted as "Growing Up Sucks".
  • Celestial Deadline: The candles’ magic will no longer work at midnight, and the wishes granted will become permanent.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The fact that Abby stuck a photo of her Love Interest to her wish list using chewing gum allows her to undo her wish gone wrong at the end of the film.
    • One of the pictures in Abby's room during the opening sequence is a photo from the day that Abby and Jay declared themselves best friends, setting off Krista's grudge against the former.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Abby and Jay.
  • Cool Car: One of Abby's wishes is to have her own car.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: A non-infiltration example. Celeste shows up at Abby's doorstep "delivering" a pizza as an excuse to come over and cheer her up.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Possibly. Depends on how appropriate a response you feel that making the last eight years of someone's life miserable just because your best friend decided to hang out with them instead of you is. Krista's vengeance would have been better spent on Jay than on Abby.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Abby's parents take one of these and Abby's not happy with it. It turns out to be helpful for later on.
  • Exact Words: Abby's 9th wish was to be treated like an adult and the candles grant it by turning her into one.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: When Abby is accidentally turned into an adult by her ninth wish, her curly hair becomes straightened.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The movie is set over the course of Abby's sixteenth birthday.
  • Feet-First Introduction: How Celeste is introduced.
  • Foreshadowing: Despite supposedly being the Alpha Bitch, Krista never acts openly nasty to anyone but Abby, hinting at The Reveal that she has a personal grudge against Abby.
  • Freudian Excuse: Krista actually had a pretty decent one for her treatment of Abby. Abby stole her best friend, Jay, and the two of them went on to do everything together, leaving Krista out.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Krista. For eight years.
  • Growing Up Sucks
  • Heel–Face Turn: Krista, after a somewhat overdue apology from Abby.
  • Humiliation Conga: After Abby becomes an adult, her parents leave her to fend for herself, her friends literally forget she exists at what was supposed to be her 16th birthday party (and their lives go on better without her), and when she tries to go home her car runs out of gas. And if that wasn't enough, her shoe heel breaks on the walk home - and she naturally gets splashed by a passing car.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Subverted. Through one of Abby's wishes, she learns that the world is better off without her if she continues to act bratty and selfishly.
  • It Only Works Once: Abby's wishes can only be granted once per hour.
  • Jackass Genie: Subverted. The candles blatantly twist wish number 9 into an undesirable outcome (see Exact Words), but it was to teach Abby a lesson that she desperately needed to learn.
  • Loophole Abuse: Abby’s sixteenth wish is simply a picture of Logan attached with bubblegum; she switches that with a picture of herself taken that morning and wishes she could go back to the beginning of the day, undoing all her wishes and becoming 16 again.
  • Make a Wish: The main theme of the movie revolves around Abby using magic birthday candles to make her wishes come true on her birthday.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Played with. The rules of the candles are fairly specific: Only one wish can be granted per hour and Abby can't rewrite the wishes, so she's stuck with what she wrote down. However, the definition of "hour" is pretty loose: You can get one wish at 8:56 and then another one at 9:01 if you want. Also, Abby manages to pull off a little Loophole Abuse on the second one (see Chekhov's Gun).
  • No Ontological Inertia: When Abby uses her sixteenth wish to start the whole day over, all of her previous wishes are undone.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Abby makes her ninth wish for people to stop treating her like a kid, she instead becomes a full-fledged adult.
  • The Scrooge: Abby herself.
  • This Cannot Be!: Abby’s reaction upon the result of becoming an adult thanks to her ninth wish.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Jay's reaction when Abby uses her "grown up" wish.
  • Stealth Pun: Celeste says the wasp infestation has been "nesting for 16 years." In other words, she has had that amount of time to become a pest.
    • She later says that the wasps are all gone "like they never happened."
  • Trailers Always Spoil: All promos show the shot of Abby using her final wish to start the whole day over and scenes from the shared sweet sixteen with Krista at the end.
  • You Must Be Cold: Jay gives Abby his jacket when she's forced to go to school in her pajamas and slippers.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/SixteenWishes