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Literature: The Night of Wishes
The Night of Wishes (or The Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion; German title: Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch) is a comic fantasy novel by Michael Ende (author of The Neverending Story). A sorcerer and a witch, finding themselves on New Year's Eve and both behind on their annual evil quotas, team up to concoct the Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion, which grants wishes to anyone who drinks from it and will give them unimaginable power for evil. All that stand in their way are a conceited cat and raggedy raven. Hilarity (and much wordplay) ensues.

Inspired an animated series, Wunschpunsch.

This book provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: It's Mr. Maggot, not Mr. Larva, if you please.
  • Affably Evil: The emissary of Hell, Maledictus Maggot, is extremely polite.
  • Animated Adaptation: Not only the Wunschpunsch series in general but also the episode "Night of Wishes".
  • Black Speech: The language of the fourth dimension is a variation on this - it literally cannot be translated, because it describes things and actions of that dimension that don't exist in ours.
  • Broken Pedestal: Maurizio, the cat, starts out worshipping his master and is heartbroken to find out said master's true intentions.
  • Carnivore Confusion: A cat and a raven teaming up. Justified in that both work for the High Council of Animals and will stop doing so as soon as they reach their goal (stopping the two evil wizards).
  • Cast From Money: Liquid money was one of the ingredients needed for the Notion Potion.
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted, as the cat is probably the kindest and most compassionate character in the book (if a bit of a dunce at times).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Saint Sylvester, due to being from a higher plane of existence.
  • Crocodile Tears: Evil magic users can't cry, but Tyrannia fakes it to manipulate Beelzebub. It doesn't work.
    • The potion requires literal crocodile tears.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jacob the raven.
  • Deal with the Devil: How evil wizards and witches get their power. And woe to you if you don't manage to hold up your end of the bargain.
  • Determinator: Maurizio, a fat little tomcat climbing up a church tower in a snowstorm to seek divine aid in spite of all Jacob's objections.
  • Deus ex Machina: Saint Sylvester, but only after a lot of prodding from Jacob.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: The fate the villains are attempting to avoid.
  • Dub Name Change: In Brazil, Beelzebub Preposteror became Belzebu Errônius and Maledictus Maggot became Maledictus Vérminus (Worminus)
  • Dysfunction Junction: Beelzebub and Tyrannia come from a whole family of villains, though most of them are dead by the time the story starts.
  • Evil Orphan: Beelzebub's parents died in a shipwreck they caused themselves.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Beelzebub Preposteror, mixed (since the book appears to take place in modern times) with a hefty dose of Mad Scientist. For one, the cauldron mentioned under Technicolor Fire? He produces that by spraying anti-time particles onto the flames.
  • Extranormal Institute: Beelzebub is a graduate of "Sodom and Gomorra Gymnasium"note  and "Ahriman College".
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The story starts at New Year's Eve and ends a few minutes after midnight.
  • Feed the Mole: Beelzebub knew all along that Maurizio was an agent of the Animal Council and kept him in the dark with a facade of kindness (and tranquillizers).
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Subverted. Beelzebub and Tyrannia only feel this way because church bells have sacred powers, including the power to counteract the potion.
  • Fountain of Youth: Tyrannia and Beelzebub accidentally turn each other young with the potion, which leads to some weird moments when they notice how gorgeous the other one is.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In particular, one of the preparation steps for the potion requires going to the 4th Dimension. How do you get there? Why, by injecting Lucifer's Salto Dimensionale... check the initials.
  • Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good
  • Green Aesop: Evil magic is said to be partly responsible for the pollution of the environment.
  • I Do Not Speak Nonverbal: Jacob's winking to hint that he's a fellow spy goes right over Maurizio's head.
  • Kavorka Man: Jacob is an ugly old bird, but has so many wives he can barely keep their names straight. It becomes a Running Gag.
    Jacob: If only I'd stayed in the nest with (Klara, Amelia etc) ...
    Maurizio: Another one?
  • Kid with the Leash: Beelzebub keeps a collection of elemental spirits trapped in jars. As soon as they get free, chaos ensues.
  • Large Ham: Tyrannia enters the house vie the chimney in a shower of gold coins, singing and demanding applause. When she's mad, she conjures a giant camel. Beelzebub isn't much better.
  • Long Title: The Night of Wishes doesn't seem too bad... until you've read the subtitle: The Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion. (And in the original German, Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch was the main title.)
  • Lost in Translation: The translators did their best, but not all of the wordplay survives in English. In particular, the Wunschpunsch, around which the whole plot revolves, has no equivalent in English that preserves both the concise description of its nature and the neat rhyme.
  • Lying Finger Cross: Early in the book, there's an illustration of Beelzebub and Tyrannia where Beelzebub does the finger cross behind his back and Tyrannia is implied to be doing the same. That was the first clue to their Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: Beelzebub has one.
  • Magic Mirror: Beelzebub Preposteror was warned by a magic mirror about the cat seeking shelter actually being a spy.
  • Married to the Job: Beelzebub, in a throwaway line. Not that any sane woman would want him.
  • Meaningful Name: All the villains.
  • Mushroom Samba: See Getting Crap Past the Radar above.
  • Nephewism: Tyrannia is Beelzebub's aunt and former guardian.
  • New Year Has Come: And Tyrannia and Beelzebub need to fulfill their evil quota until then or else...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The potion grants the reverse of what the drinker wishes out loud, which is why the villains planned to use it to commit all the evil deeds in their contracts in one night. However, with Maurizio and Jacob's intervention, all those hypocritical wishes for peace, prosperity etc. end up literally coming true.
  • Odd Friendship: Maurizio and Jacob become this.
  • Old Dark House: Nightmare Villa, custom-designed by Beelzebub.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: A rare villainous version. For some odd reason, that potion recipe seems to require the skills of both main villains.
  • Portmanteau: The more words become part of a potion's name, the better.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The only reason Beelzebub didn't kill Maurizio was his fear of the Animal Council's response.
  • Ravens and Crows: Jacob.
  • Security Cling: Maurizio and Jacob do this with each other several times.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Tyrannia Vampirella, the second villain, is described as a Money Witch. Apparently, "unlike the witches of old", having this kind of power includes an immunity to fire. She also invoked this trope to get Beelzebub through college, by bribing the administrators.
  • Take That: The "Büchernörgele" ("book nag") is a Take That to literary critics, especially a famous German one named Marcel Reich-Ranicki, whose face he has in the illustrated German version.
  • Technicolor Fire: Beelzebub and Tyrannia create a bowl from cold green fire for the Notion Potion.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The two villains, each waiting for the chance to take the other out.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: The Night of Wishes is told more or less in real time on a New Year's Eve, so the first chapter is 5:00 pm and the last is 12:00 am.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Maurizio, who claims descent from Neapolitan cat nobility. He's really just a stray cat, but his mannerisms are still the same.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The deadline. Also, the wishes granted by the potion would only come in reverse if made before the first strike. Saint Sylvester helped the heroes by giving them a strike to be tossed at the cauldron.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Maurizio, in contrast to Jacob The Cynic.

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