"My Other Car Is a Broom"Brooms are the traditional flying mount of the Witch Classic. Some even use them as weapons. According to The Other Wiki the idea of witches riding on brooms goes back to at least 1453. In the original woodcuts, they've got the head or brush part in front, logical enough since the original witch's broom was a staff with a carved phallic end and the brush was tied on as a disguise. Today's depictions most often put the head in the back, for sake of an aerodynamic appearance (and for similarity with an exhaust pipe or jet engine). As brooms aren't exactly designed to be ridden upon, riding one would require really good balance so as not to fall off, especially when really high up. Prospective witches and warlocks should also try not to land wrong while sitting on their brooms either or you'll end up "Riding the Rail" if you know what I mean. At some point, witches were portrayed as riding the brooms side-saddle, similar to how women traditionally rode horseback. If two witches are shown together, the difference in how they sit on their brooms usually relates to a Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic. Another (considerably more NSFW) explanation involves sex and drugs, in a certain sense. Accounts from the 16th century revealed that witches' potions contained hallucinogens that, when consumed, gave the sensation of flying. As oral ingestion put them at risk of overdosing, suspected witches applied these hallucinogenic potions topically. It turns out the most effective places for absorption through the skin were on the armpits and in their lady parts, where the broom turned out to be quite handy. In other words, riding a broom is really a 500-year-old Double Entendre. Upright vacuum cleaners are a modern subversion of the broom idea; and atleast one show moved on to a witch flying on Roombas, as an ultra-modern broom. Similar to the Magic Carpet, which is also a flying object but has unrelated origins and applications. For the Speculative Fiction version see Rocket Ride. Compare Sky Surfing, in which various flying objects are ridden on while standing.
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- This GEICO insurance commercial describes customers' savings as making them "happier than a witch in a broom factory", along with a depiction thereof.
Anime & Manga
- The opening credits of the Ah! My Goddess OVAs from the 1990s briefly show Belldandy on a broomstick, followed by Skuld riding a vaguely broom-shaped flying machine, and finally (in a subversion of a subversion) Urd riding a canister vacuum with the hose draped around her like a feather boa. This is used as a visual representation of the different domains of each sister as Belldandy is the goddess of the past, Urd the present, and Skuld the future.
- In the manga, Urd's broomstick is so jazzed up with magic, it is sentient. When Belldandy borrows it, love blooms. Weird, twisted, "sweep with me!" love. Yes, sweep.
- During the Fantasia arc of Berserk , the party meets an attractive (but agressive) witch Morda who rides flying broomstick casually. Isidro is quick to note how impressive it is to see a "actual witch" just to annoy the group's resident non-flying witch Schierke.
- Double-subversion in Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura does not ride a broomstick, but she uses her Magic Wand like this after she captures the Fly card until she upgrades it into a Sakura card and it lets her grow wing.
- In Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki normally uses a traditionally made broom. At the end of the film, however, she is forced to improvise, using a mass-produced deck brush. The deck brush works, but is extremely difficult to control.
- Broom flying is considered such an elementary skill in Little Witch Academia that nobody even considers the possibility that main character Akko can't do it. It becomes a running gag.
- In the TV version, Professor of "Modern Magic" Croix flys on a Roomba.
- Ojamajo Doremi has a button on the girls' taps in the first two seasons that summoned their brooms, but the cutscene is skipped in Motto and Dokkan. Humorously, Majorika flew by using a dustpan.
- Fabia Crozelg of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid uses a witch broom called Hell Gazer as her Device.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, several minor magical characters have brooms, and Negi uses a staff that's functionally the same. He later switches to Sky Surfing on it, and by the end of the series he can fly unaided.
- Dorothy of MÄR rides a broom, preferring it even over the carpet the other characters ride. It doubles as her standard weapon. The broom is about her only trait that most would consider telling for her classification of "witch". In MAR Heaven, it's just the name of a person from a restrictive country. None of the other characters from the same place are seen with brooms.
- Somehow subverted in Narutaru with Jun Ezumi, a girl who rides a flying broom that really is a "dragon", one of the Mons equivalent of the series. The protagonist Shiina even mistakes her for a witch, but Jun says she choose that specific form for her dragon (aptly if not creatively named "Broom") just for fun.
- Brooms in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo comes in several flavours, aside from the standard ones: Modern ones, vacuum cleaners, and giant eating utensils.
- A variation in the Rumic Theater story "One Hundred Years of Love". Ninety-year-old Risa Hoshino gains weird telekinetic powers after a near-death experience, and then can fly by riding a crutch. She doesn't really need it, but it helps her stand up once she reaches the ground. Note also that since she's a Miniature Senior Citizen, the crutch is twice as tall as her.
- Soul Eater:
- We first see Medusa riding a broom... that has an arrow/snakehead.
- Jacqueline turns into a lantern which can propel itself by shooting fire and grow a pole for her partner Kim to hang onto, visually evoking this trope. Which hints at Kim really being a witch.
- People with a certain type of soul can make a Weapon they're holding sprout wings to fly on them if they have the power of a Witch's soul. Maka uses Soul's scythe form to accomplish it.
- Subverted in Strike Witches, with broomsticks being relegated to use as training devices, as season 2 episode 3 demonstrated the Unfortunate Implications and other problems of their use.
- In Tweeny Witches the witches ride brooms and the title character, Alice, combines this with Sky Surfing.
- Mostly played straight in Akazukin Cha Cha, but it is also parodied: the school bus that the class rides to field trips on is this, with enough seats for everyone.
- While Izetta of Izetta: The Last Witch is first seen riding the traditional broomstick, the magic is hers, not the broom's. When she has to catch her beloved Princess Finé from a still-airborne plane wreck, she grabs the closest available substitute: an anti-tank rifle. (A flying boomstick, perhaps?) The gun performs beautifully as a substitute; Izetta can stay abreast of fighter planes doing 400 kilometers per hour.
- Makoto in Flying Witch complains that "Flying for a long time really hurts my but and groin." Her senior-witch sister Akane laughs and points out that "A lot of people think they're riding the brooms," but "The secret is you don't ride the broom. You're actually supposed to levitate yourself too." That explains how witches can ride a broomstick without agony, or having to ride sidesaddle.
- A Ghost Sweeper Mikami episode was about two flying brooms built centuries ago by Doctor Chaos. They have a tragic backstory, as they belonged to a páir of Star-Crossed Lovers whose souls are bound to them.
- A Certain Magical Index: Aleister uses a flying broomstick to rescue Touma from falling, in New Testament 18's Epilogue.
- In Hellboy: Darkness Calls, witches are shown flying unaided, on giant animals (like cats), in cups, and with all types of animals/items... even brooms.
- Often seen (along with occasionally the vacuum cleaner variant) in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic.
- Cute Witch Wendy the Good Little Witch (Casper the Friendly Ghost's friend) used to ride a broom (sentient in some stories, and called Broomie); now she rides a flying vacuum cleaner.
- Leni "Sky Witch" Muller from Top 10 rides a mechanical flying machine that resembles a broomstick.
- In The DCU, Starman foe the Prairie Witch rode on a flying broomstick. Starman was convinced that it was some kind of technological trick until he yanked it away from her (causing her to plummet to the ground) and discovered it was a perfectly ordinary broom.
- In the indie comic The Underburbs, main character Angela is a witch who rides a broom, complete with a black cat living in it. Bearing in mind the broom was part of a Halloween costume made real by magic.
- In his very first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man, the Green Goblin flew around on a high-tech version of a broomstick. Subsequent appearances replaced this with the trademark Goblin Glider.
- In the Franco-Belgian Comic Mélusine, the Cute Witch protagonist and many other characters regularly ride brooms. Her friend Cancrelune, however, is a catastrophically clumsy flyer and a Captain Crash.
- Before appearing in her live action series, Sabrina used these a lot when she appeared in comic books.
- Routinely used by Magicka De Spell and other witches from the Disney comics. Some comics even have the broom act as Magicka's Animate Inanimate Object sidekick.
- In The Smurfs comic book story "The Flying Smurf", the titular character creates one by using a magic spell on an ordinary broom, but it ends up flying without him, and after Papa Smurf finds the book that Flying Smurf used and puts it back in his laboratory, Flying tries to create another flying broom with no success. (This was later used in the Animated Adaptation of the comic book story "The Astro Smurf.")
Films — Live-Action
- The fourth installment of Fantaghiro played with this one hard: When Xellesia and the Black Queen realize that the latter can't transform into anything that flies, they seek an alternate means (including carpets, rejected because they only work well in Arabian Nights Land) and eventually settle on the brooms, despite the Black Queen complaining that they will look ridiculous.
- In Hocus Pocus, when the Sanderson Sisters' brooms were stolen, Winifred was the only one to find a (modern) broom. Sarah had a mop and Mary had a vacuum cleaner.
- An interesting subversion for this trope comes from the movie version of Practical Magic, where witches having the brooms serves a purpose, to sweep away the ashes of the soul removed from possessing Gillian Owens.
- The Wicked Witch of the west rides one in The Wizard of Oz. (In the original novel she carries an umbrella instead of the traditional broomstick, because her secret weakness is... well... water.)
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks, surprisingly enough...
- The Harry Potter movies, of course, featuring everything from high-speed chases to sporting events mounted on the brooms. The actors have often noted that while the broomstick scenes look fun when you see them on screen, they were not fun to film. They were uncomfortable for the male actors (as Daniel Radcliffe puts it, "certain very, very important organs are crushed") and tedious for everyone, since actual filming obviously consisted of spending hours sitting around in front of a blue screen or green screen.
- Averted in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters where the witches fly long crooked sticks, but not brooms.
- In Kamen Rider Wizard In Magic Land, the world is rewritten into one where magic is more widespread and practically everyone can turn into mass-produced Kamen Rider Mages. Among other things, the police ride metallic, Toku-style "broomsticks".
- In the Harry Potter universe, flying broomsticks come in a variety of makes and models. Then there's the spells that go with them and a popular sport, Quidditch, that employs them.
- In Quidditch Through the Ages, it is said that brooms come with a cushioning charm on them, so Harry Potter has A Wizard Did It Handwave. Quidditch Through the Ages also lampshades how these are probably the magical community's worst-kept secret, stating that "no Muggle drawing of a wizard or witch is complete without one."
- Defictionalization: Mattel briefly produced a battery-powered Harry Potter broomstick. This vibrating toy was popular with young girls — it could really make them "fly". No wonder it was swiftly recalled.
- The Lancre witches of Discworld.
- In Equal Rites, Granny Weatherwax once had to make do with her protégé's wizard staff. (Earlier in the book, Esk had disguised the staff by sticking bristles on it, which is one theory as to the origins of flying brooms in the first place.)
- In Wyrd Sisters, it's said you need magic to keep a broomstick up, but other books suggest the magic is intrinsic to the broom, and even Rincewind can fly one; apparently they can store a limited amount of magical energy but require a witch or wizard to replenish it after a while, or several witches if the rider is carrying out a complicated spell at the same time, which is how Wyrd Sisters became the first work of fiction ever to depict mid-air refuelling with broomsticks. (It Makes Sense in Context.) In Lords and Ladies Nanny Ogg complains her grandkids keep joy-riding on hers.
- Averted in Going Postal, Moist von Lipwig just paints an ordinary broomstick blue with stars, in order to fool the antagonist into thinking it was a real one.
- Granny's broomstick is described as the magical equivalent of a split window Morris Minor, and the dwarf craftsman who looks at it is amazed it flew at all. In later books it's been fixed up, but still needs a running start. Though in one case of escaping danger, just outright jumping off a cliff qualifies as a "running start".
- And in Thud!, the wizards speed up a carriage in part by nailing broomsticks to the bottom to make it hover.
- When Tiffany Aching starts riding a broomsticks in Wintersmith, it has two smaller brooms attached to the back to keep her stable. These get removed as she gets more comfortable.
- Keith Roberts' Anita stories had the title character, among other things, learning to fly a broomstick, and IIRC discussing its technicalities with other trainee witches in the same way other kids would discuss motorbikes. There's some bits with "the Controller," who gives out landing clearance instructions like an air traffic controllernote , and a scene where Anita's grandmother, attempting a tricky rescue on broom, tells a friend "Verniers," and a moment later corrects it to "Main jets ... Aggie, fire main jets..."
- There's a book about an apprentice witch titled Wise Child. In a scene where the main character must go on some kind of spirit quest or something and she actually used the broomstick in, uh, the way described by Meiriona; the whole "flying" effect was due to the hallucinogenics being absorbed through a, shall we say, tender area.
- In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, this is the standard transport method for witches. However, we learn that broomsticks are made to fly by the application of a balm, which can be used on anything wooden to achieve the same effect. This is used to make a much more seatable flying basket, although it has stability issues.
- Mention is also made that the standard way to ride a broom is to sit sideways, not astride, which would be far easier on the groin.
- Meg, from the Meg And Mog children's book series, rides a broomstick.
- In His Dark Materials, witches fly on branches of "cloud pine".
- Averted in Septimus Heap, where it is mentioned that no witch uses broomsticks anymore for flying.
- The Dorrie the Little Witch stories used them in the traditional way, and some not traditional, such as pulling carriages in the air.
- Harold Shea enchants brooms in each episode of The Incompleat Enchanter. In The Castle of Iron, he uses a Moorish carpet instead, while flying brooms don't belong in the Kalevala or Old Ireland and, presumably for this reason, aren't resorted to in The Wall of Serpents or The Green Magician.
- This trope is not exclusively western; witches flying on broomsticks are off-handedly mentioned in one story of the Arabian Nights.
- Used extensively in The UnexpectedEnlightenmentOfRachelGriffin. The eponymous Rachel, an expert, rides a hand-made steeplechaser-type broom. Others use more standard "Flycycles". Bristleless brooms are reserved for beginners.
- The children discover Miss Price is a witch in Bedknob and Broomstick when they help her recover from a crash on one of these.
- Robert A. Heinlein's novella Magic, Inc. includes a witch riding a broom the proper way.
- Another Heinlein novella, Waldo, has antigravity vehicles that consist of a horizontal cylinder (containing the mechanisms) with power receptor antennae at the rear. When mounted in a transparent hull, they resemble flying broomsticks, and are referred to as such.
- While not seen in the show itself, the opening credits of Bewitched features an animated Samantha flying around on her broom.
- Lampshaded in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when a Wiccan group at Willow's college complain about this being a "non-empowering stereotype". Sure enough Tara is seen faking a smile when Dawn gives her a broom for her birthday in "Family".
- A Halloween episode of Charmed reveals Phoebe's dislike for the "cackling hags on broomsticks cliché", until time travelling shenanigans reveal that she created the cliché, much to her amusement.
- Doctor Who: In "The Shakespeare Code", Lilith, a witch-like alien called a Carrionite, departs an inn by murdering the landlady and stealing her broom as an escape vehicle. Martha sees her flying away.
- In H.R. Pufnstuf, Witchiepoo drove a broomstick-like vehicle called the Vroom Broom that included a sidecar.
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger had a spin on this, hoverbikes that transformed from brooms. There was also a Magic Carpet for the Sixth Ranger.
- In "Catastrophe", Kate's first appearance on Rentaghost, she and Mumford are transported back from the Spirit World on a flying broomstick; having turned down the offer of a flying vacuum cleaner.
- At least one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has her on a flying vacuum cleaner.
- On The X-Files, Mulder and Scully were investigating a case that appeared to involve witches. They knock on a woman's door but there's no answer. Mulder points to a broom near the door and says, "Probable cause?"
- West is curiously enough the only witch from Witch Hunter to use a broom.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Maple the Witch from The Legend of Zelda Oracle games has first a broom, then a vacuum cleaner, then a flying saucer.
- Koume and Kotake from Ocarina of Time also ride broomsticks.
- Irene from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has one that she lets Link ride to travel quickly between areas. It even does so by itself when she is absent.
- Arche from Tales of Phantasia flies around on a broom, and in battle too, refreshingly. She also uses them for her weapons. This also enables her to dodge many ground-only based effects, such as the Tractor Beam spell.
- In the Kirby games, this is used by one of the enemies which gives you the Clean power, named Keke as an obvious parody to KikisDeliveryService. In Kirby's Dream Land 3, pairing up with Chuchu with the Clean power lets Kirby fly a broom himself.
- Kammy Koopa from Paper Mario has one. Some of the Magikoopas do, as well.
- In World of Warcraft during the Hallow's End event, the summoned Headless Horseman can sometimes drop flying brooms that can be used as mounts as part of his loot. Unfortunately for players, they only last 14 days.
- Cute Witch Marisa Kirisame from Touhou. Word of God says she doesn't really need a broom to fly (since everyone in the games can fly anyway), but uses it because she consciously goes for a Western witch look, and that obviously includes the broom. She also has a Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic with Alice Margatroid, so on the occasion that Alice rides on the broom as well, naturally Marisa sits forward while Alice sits sideways. Marisa eventually also started Sky Surfing on the broom as an attack or simply Rule of Cool, which due to her mini-reactor added to the end makes it closer to a Rocket Ride.
- Gruntilda in Banjo-Kazooie.
- Suikoden III's Rody wants to become a witch just so he can ride a broom. He even uses one as a weapon in the meantime, so he'll always have one handy.
- Flyff has them, although they're not limited to only the magical character classes. Whether a player chooses to ride a broom or a board is largely a matter of taste.
- Later "silly" depictions of Kohaku in Melty Blood gives her this ability. Her broom also has a sword hidden in the handle. The only explanation has been the Tatari's Influence.
- The Witch enemy in Castlevania rides on a broomstick and strafes you with magic. The Student Witch tries... but can't keep it in the air more than three seconds.
- In Magician's Quest/Enchanted Folk, a very Harry-Potter-esque game, it's no surprise that there is a wide selection of flying brooms (well, hovering brooms) to be ridden. There's also a broom-shaped taxi.
- In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Roll rides on her broomstick whenever she dashes forward.
- Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich features Red Oktober, a Soviet witch. When she flies into the air, it's on a broomstick.
- In Magical Doropie, Doropie's broom functions as a moving platform, like Mega Man's Item-2.
- Even RuneScape has a magical broomstick which, when enchanted, can be used to teleport to a certain place, with the animation being of the player mounting it Harry Potter style. Naturally, it is earned by helping out a witch.
- One can buy a broomstick-themed Extreme Gear in the first Sonic Riders. It allows anyone who rides it the ability to grind on pipes.
- In The Sims 3: Supernatural broomsticks were introduced as a vehicle. Although any sim can use them, typically witches will use them automatically.
- A weapon type in Dungeon Fighter Online covering practical-looking brooms and sleeker "paintbrush" designs, intended for the female mage subclass Witch. While airtime is quite limited in play, it allows practical air-to-air melee and air-to-ground bombardment as well as extending some nasty launcher chains. Oddy, advanced broomstick skills tend to involve buzzsaw-type spinning.
- The Creator class shares the Broomstick Control skill and preferred weapon type despite being unable to execute the keyboard commands which would allow riding it, relegating it to a Stat Stick, and despite lore-wise having more effective transportation methods (space/time/planar gate control). Giving Creators the skill (which still implies broomsticks are flyable when you're not playing) isn't really arbitrary, as the weapon type provides a movement speed increase which helps the Creator stay out of enemy lines of attack.
- In Dragon's Crown, investing points in the Sorceress' Levitation skill lets her zoom around the battlefield on her staff. The Labyrinth of Chaos/Tower of Mirages later gives her an actual Witch's Broom to equip as a staff to complete the witch on a flying broomstick visual.
- In Saints Row, It's possible to obtain a flying broomstick as one of your vehicles.
- Evie the Winter Witch from Paladins can fly around on her ice staff like a broomstick.
- The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: On examining the broomstick in the Magic room, Marshmallow says:
"A witch's broom! I wonder if I can fly on this?"
- In Beetlejuice the witches in the Neitherworld use broomsticks to fly around. Beetlejuice and Lydia too when they impersonate witches in order to save Lydia's cat from them.
- In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, there is a cleaning woman-gone-witch named Winifred who flies around on a magic hoover.
- Witch Hazel from the Classic Disney Short Trick or Treat, and subsequent appearances in Disney comics, has a broom named Beelzebub, which acts as both her servant and her mode of transport.
- The Looney Tunes character Witch Hazel uses a flying broom. One cartoon featuring her has a gag about Hazel taking her sweeping broom by mistake.
- Witches in The Real Ghostbusters are seen flying in broomsticks in episodes "If I Were a Witch Man" and "Kitty-Cornered".
- Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies: Sabrina's ride had a big cushioned eggshell-like seat with a flower on top. (Aunt Zelda flew a vacuum cleaner.)
- Bristle in The Scarecrow is a flying broom who just so happens to belong to Miss Bee Bee. At the end of the film Miss Bee Bee creates a female broom so that he can have a dance partner.
- Big Bad Revolta in Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School rides one.
- And Scooby and Shaggy use one for transportation in Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King.
- From She-Ra: Princess of Power, Madam Razz has a flying, talking broomstick with anthropomorphic face and arms named... Broom.
- Most if not all witches in The Smurfs used flying broomsticks. Most notably was Brenda, the good little witch.
- Played with in the Tom and Jerry one-reeler The Flying Sorceress. While cleaning up a mess he made, Tom finds am 'Help Wanted' ad in the paper. He follows up on the ad, to find the ad was placed by a witch. When he takes her broom for a joyride, the witch punishes him by enchanting the broom to shake hiom through - which causes Tom to wake up clinging to his home broom and realize it was All Just a Dream. He then seats himself on the (mundane) broom he's using to clean, kicks it like a motorbike ... and the broom comes to life and flies away with him.
- Hanna-Barbera's Winsome Witch.
- Lampshade in the 4Kids dub of Winx Club when Tecna says, "Real witches don't ride brooms, Zing. You've been watching too many of Bloom's Earth DVDs."