"Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space."
A common ending to genie stories. This is what happens when a foolish master wishes for something sufficiently vague along the lines of "make me super-powerful" or "make me immortal". The genie responds by turning the wisher into a genie - with all the burdensome restrictions
of having to obey whatever stupid person finds the lamp.
In some cases, the wisher just wants to be a genie. This works too.
This wish may or may not involve Freeing The Genie
. Unless the first genie is a significant focus in the plot, we don't usually find out.
The Benevolent Genie
will rarely do something like this. The Jackass Genie
loves this one, particularly if it grants him an escape clause.
Note that as far as genie tropes go, this is one of the furthest from the original Middle Eastern stories. Original djinn were just ultra-powerful mystical entities, even when imprisoned, and the idea that someone could turn into a djinn made about as much sense as someone turning into a leprechaun. The trope only works because the genie is treated as inherently captive and incapable of acting on its own initiative.
As mentioned, this is almost always an ending to a genie story, so spoilers ahoy!
Compare Power Copying
, particularly the section on limitations.
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Anime and Manga
- Code Geass has an interesting variation: Geass itself does this. C.C. was once a normal human and had a Geass power like the other characters we see throughout the series. It turns out that in the final stage of Geass, the user can steal the "code" of the one who granted their power and become immortal. The reason people are granted Geass in the first place is to create this outcome. After all, Who Wants to Live Forever? This is the only way to kill someone with Code.
- In the Alternate Continuity manga Suzaku of the Counterattack, Suzaku manifests his own Code as he botches Schneizel's attempt to claim C.C.'s.. In Nightmare of Nunnally, Lelouch gains C.C.'s as a result of their Sharing a Body, and after her death he takes up the name C.C. and begins Walking the Earth.
- Mr. Mxyzptlk is essentially a genie-like being from the fifth dimension (in one issue it was explained that Genies like Johnny Thunder's lightning bolt come from the same dimension as Mxyzptlk). In the Emperor Joker story arc, the Joker turns the tables on Mxy, taking 99% of his Reality Warping powers for himself.
Films — Animated
- One of the vignettes of American Gods (After a fashion): A beleaguered businessman sleeps with a cab driver who turns out to be a djinni, and awakens to find that the djinn has left and taken with him all the businessman's clothes, identification and money. The djinn left behind his own drivers license, clothing and keys to the cab and his apartment. After a brief consideration, the businessman sees this as an improvement over the miserable life he had been living. He gets killed when bridges start getting dropped on all the supernatural creatures.
- Used as the happy ending (!) in the short story "Time In A Bottle", by P. Andrew Miller, published way back in Dragon Magazine. The genie in question is found by an aspiring scribe. His first wish was to visit a place no human had ever seen before. His second is to hear all the stories she knows, so he may record them. By the time she finally runs out of material, he is an old man, a successful anthology writer, and they are long-time friends. His final wish is to join her in her bottle forever as another genie. She's glad to oblige.
- Another "happy ending" example, albeit a variation: Winni Allfours wants a pony more than anything. When her parents won't give her one, she eats all her vegetables to turn herself into a horse.
- This is the curse of the Lamp of Lakash in Jack Chalker's "Dancing Gods" series. People assume they can get three wishes, but in fact the lamp only grants two, and only the first is free; the second will replace the current genie with the wisher automatically (although the wish must still be fulfilled).
- Shel Silverstein's poem "Jimmy Jet" entails a boy watching TV and becoming a TV set.
- Roald Dahl also used this as a happy ending in the retelling of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" that appears in Rhyme Stew; when Aladdin realizes that he'd have the power to make worthy people happy, he decides he'd like to be a genie himself and takes the original genie's place. Every few decades or so, he grants a wish, usually to someone who needs artistic inspiration — Mozart and Shakespeare are cited as examples — and the narrator notes that the reader might just be the next person to find themselves with the lamp...
- One episode of The X-Files features a genie. Mulder asks her how she got involved in all this, and she explains that her third wish was "great power and long life". She's more snarky than outright malicious because she knows it's her own fault she got stuck as a genie. Also, inverted at the end of the same episode, when Mulder uses his own last wish to revert the genie back to her human state.
- One hour-long episode of The Twilight Zone has a nebbish offered just one wish and imagining what he would get if he asked for money, fame, or power. Realizing any of these would be a catastrophic failure for him, he eventually decides that he would rather be a genie himself: he doesn't like his old life, and he enjoys being nice to people. He also gets to wear some sweet Middle Eastern clothes, speak in a cool authoritarian voice, and hang out with his dog. Since it's his wish, he decides he wants to be an old-school genie.
- The dog also gets a turban.
- In the Charmed episode "I Dream of Phoebe" (Season 6 episode 15), the sisters came across a genie in a bottle. Wishing the genie free would replace the genie with the one who wished her free, turning the wisher into a genie.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?: In the episode, "The Tale of the Time Trap", Sardo, the store keeper who sold the box to the protagonist, accidentally frees the current genies of the lamp and becomes a genie himself when he wishes for a million more wishes (the same wish the other genie used when she became trapped in the box as well, and so must grant them to others).
- In I Dream of Jeannie, Jeannie's original orgin was that she was once a human until she was transformed by an evil djin who she refused to marry. This was given a Retcon after the first season to her being born a genie.
- In the techno song "The Djinni", the lead voice's wishes were wishing to live forever, love forever, and finally be the djinni.
- I Dream Of A Jeanie Bottle uses this trope as the basic premise - two friends find an empty genie bottle, and when one of them—ironically named Jean—opens it, he becomes the bottle's new (female) genie. Jean is initially very resistant to the requirements of geniedom (since he is now more or less Neil's slave girl), which tends to get him in trouble with higher-ranking genies that enforce the rules. However, since he was an unrepentant I Dream of Jeannie fanboy who wanted a slavish genie of his own it's all played for Hypocritical Humor
- In Held Within while playing with a strange gem Jenny teases her girlfriend Susie into making a wish. Susie doesn't like the idea of only having one wish, and since Jenny is so eager for wishes Susie mockingly wishes she were her personal vagenie. Jenny starts changing pretty quick.
- Akinator, a genie who loves to play "twenty questions" games, threatens that anyone who plays the game dishonestly will take his place in his lamp.
- An episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy featured a magical jewel-eyed skull that was bound to grant a wish to whoever found it. At the end of the episode, Grim found it and wished that both of them could be free of their curses, which the skull did by swapping their curses—Grim is now a wish-granting skull, and the jewel-eyed skull is now the Grim Reaper.
- There's one episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers where Fat Cat tries to get his hands on a lamp with a genie in it, but Monterey Jack gets the lamp instead. The genie tricks him into wishing him free, which in this case results in them swapping places: the genie is freed (and gets Monterey Jack's outfit in the deal), while Monterey Jack ends up a genie. It's not long before Fat Cat gets the lamp back, and mayhem ensues: only a Reset Button Wishplosion ("We wish none of this ever happened!") puts everything back to normal.
- A non-genie example occurs in Danny Phantom with Freakshow, one of the few human villains. Freakshow finds a magic gauntlet and gains the power to warp reality. Danny exploits Freakshow's envy of ghosts and tricks him into using the gauntlet to become one. Predictably, Freakshow is promptly captured with the Fenton thermos.
- In one episode of The Fairly Oddparents, Timmy wishes Crocker to be a fairy to humiliate him in front of a packed auditorium. The audience tries to attack him, capture him, and bring him to scientists to be examined. He escapes and flies away. It seems to be an actually happy ending in the end for Crocker, as he realizes just how great it is to be a fairy, until the last second, when Timmy remembers to unwish the wish, causing Crocker to fall out of the stratosphere and into the Turners' trashcan.