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Freeing The Genie
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Usually done with a wish something along the lines of: "I wish you were free" but it doesn't have be those exact words, or involve wishing. There are two basic forms; if it's a Benevolent Genie, the master may make this his final wish as a reward. If it's a Jackass Genie, such an act of selfless generosity may be the only way to get it on your side - see Wishplosion.

One interesting thing about this trope that should be noted: the reason the Genies are enslaved is almost never given. Originally, they were a race of beings told to obey men by God but they refused, and the wish-granting is their punishment. This is rarely mentioned, one exception is in I Dream of Jeannie, Jeannie was imprisoned by a more powerful, evil genie.

If the genie decides to continue helping you after you free it, it's a case of Sweet and Sour Grapes.

Subtrope of Wishplosion and Genie in a Bottle. Compare Becoming the Genie. See also Tricking the Shapeshifter.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • In the XXXenophile story "Wish Fulfillment", the genie's mistress Zola, who was in love with him, tried to wish him free so they could be equals and lovers instead of mistress and servant. The genie explained that he could only be freed if she made a wish that he wanted to fulfill but could not. He couldn't, for example, create a rock so big he couldn't lift it as "I have no desire to give myself a hernia". After the two enjoy some highly energetic sex, Zola wishes that they could do it again immediately. The genie was so exhausted that he couldn't grant her wish, thus freeing him.
    Zola: (disappointed) Does that mean you can't do it?
    Beat
    Genie: Can you wait five minutes?

    Fan Fic 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A variation in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Near the end of the movie Sinbad throws the lamp into a river of lava, which frees the genie inside as prophesied.

    Literature 
  • In Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones, the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, it is revealed that the Jerkass Genie freed at the end was actually Howl who'd been turned into a bottled genie by a more powerful djinnnote  who wanted him and Calcifer out of the way.
  • There's this short story where a girl has a wish egg. Its by Charles de Lint in the Waifs And Strays collection of short stories. At the end, she sets it free with her wish.
  • One anthology of djinn stories had a tale where the genie had a succession of married couple masters, each of whom wished for "youth, wealth and power"—and each time he made the wishers younger (with correspondingly smaller wealth and power grants), until one of the wishers was young enough to trick into wishing him free.
  • Subverted in the Dancing Gods series with the Lamp of Lakash. Anyone greedy enough to make a second wish from the lamp would automatically free the genie and take its place. The "three wishes" story was a clever dodge by the genies to get themselves freed by unwitting masters.
  • Metaphorical example in Ella Enchanted. At one point, Ella's cursed state is likened to a story about a trapped genie - she grants "wishes" by being forced to be obedient and doing what people tell her, but she absolutely hates it. At the end of the novel, she frees herself through sheer force of will and desire to protect Prince Char.
  • In the Doctor Who novel The Stone Rose, Rose wishes for the G.E.N.I.E. to be able to refuse to grant wishes it deems unwise.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the pilot of I Dream of Jeannie, Major Nelson wished Jeannie free to get rid of her. This backfired when it turned out she was now free to follow him anywhere, and sabotage his relationship with his then-fiance.
    • In future episodes Jeannie was forced to serve other people who acquired her bottle, meaning the writers forgot about this.
  • An episode of The X-Files had Mulder finding a genie in a carpet who was such a pain in the ass about being a Literal Genie this was the only wish that would work.
  • "Addams Family Tree", an episode of The Addams Family, has a woman wish that a wishing well never existed so as to free the ghost trapped inside it.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The storekeeper who sold the protagonist the box containing a female genie accidentally becomes a genie himself when he wishes for a million wishes.
  • Two episodes of Charmed dealt with genies, the first genie needing to grant three wishes in exchange for freedom. The second episode had Phoebe acquire a genie accidentally and when she wished her free, became the genie herself. And the genie turned out to be a demon who was imprisoned in the bottle as punishment.
  • In the 2000 adaptation of Arabian Nights, Aladdin frees the genie of the ring, and offers the same to the genie of the lamp (who refuses).
  • In Once Upon a Time, when wise and benevolent King Leopold finds a genie, his first wish is for the genie to be free, and his second wish is for the genie to get the third wish. Unfortunately, these three wishes prove not to be exceptions to the genie's observation that wishes always end badly for everyone involved.
    • In the spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Will wishes for Alice's suffering to end. Because part of her suffering was being separated from Cyrus, the genie she loved, the wish made Will take Cyrus's place as genie.
  • In one episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy had a genie in a bottle who has become a Jackass Genie because her previous masters all promised to free her with their third wish and each had betrayed her trust. In the end, the genie traps Derek's girlfriend in the bottle to force her current master, Derek's friend (who happens to be in love with the genie), to free her. The man takes a moment to think and wishes that the bottle no longer be a prison for anyone, freeing Derek's girlfriend and the genie at the same time.

    Video Games 
  • In King's Quest V, the genie's first act upon being freed is to put the person who freed it into the lamp.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, this was Zhoom's reason for destroying Zahart's ring in the Sandsea saga, which he had been using to control Tibicenas. Tibicenas promptly enslaves Zahart and escapes to the Djinn Realm to take revenge upon the Efreet, the ruler of all Djinn, for kicking him out. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • Several examples in Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn:
    • In the first dungeon, you can free a genie imprisoned in a bottle by the Big Bad, which gets you a rather powerful sword for that portion of the game. (It's the sword used by the Big Bad of the first game.) One of the dialog options is actually a nice Lampshade Hanging: "You would be the proverbial genie in a bottle?"
    • No bottle or wishing involved, but in the final chapter in hell, there is an imprisoned genie you can either set free or kill. The latter gets you an incredibly powerful sword, but if you are of a non-evil alignment you should do the former.
    • Not in the original game, but a fan-made Game Mod expands upon the circus tent Side Quest. You can find out that Kala got his power from a genie, and he got himself killed before using the last of his Three Wishes. You can use the remaining wish, and one of the possible things to wish for is the genie's freedom, which nets you some Experience Points and a positive nudge of the old Karma Meter.
      • In fact, from a power-gaming perspective, this is the best choice of the four specific wishes to make, awarding the party with +1 Reputation and five thousand experience points. The second best is to send the genie to kill the Rakshasa who trapped the genie in the first place (three thousand experience points). Comind dead last is either resurrecting Kalah or damning his soul, which both grant a thousand experience points, but the former also grants +1 Reputation.
  • Though Genies exist in all versions of The Sims (via expansions), only The Sims 3: Showtime allows you to free them, which adds them to your family as a fully playable genie-Sim.
  • Not exactly a genie, but in a small H-game called Marionette of the Labyrinth, the heroine, Claudia, is a Marionette, a magical doll built for combat that follows orders from the ones who activate them. Claudia is activated by a group of soldiers losing to a band of goblins, and ordered to cover their escape and then follow after them. When she finally completes the second part of the task (having been forced to take the scenic route since the original escape route has collapsed) and makes it back to her creators' nation, she meets the solder who activated her and asks for further orders. Since both he and the kingdom are dying, he orders her to do as she pleases, granting her freedom.

    Webcomics 
  • Averted in The Wotch: [1] Such a wish is explicitly forbidden. Angelique does note however, that Jason planned to do it.
  • The Princess Pi comic "Princess Pi vs. Bottle Blonde" ends with Bottle Blonde the genie telling Princess Pi that she would like to be freed from servitude. Pi tells her that she can't free her without knowing if she's good or evil, so first she wishes for her to admit her affiliation. Bottle Blonde assures Pi that she's good, so Pi frees her. Bottle Blonde retains her magical abilities after this.

    Western Animation 
  • Used in an episode of Samurai Jack. He attempted to rescue a captured fairy who can grant one wish, with which he could get home, but kills the only person who knew how to get her free. In trying to get her out, he gets himself trapped, and after a thinking for a few moments, decides what to wish for— "I wish we were free."
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers subverted it: whoever frees the genie has to take their place (as the Literal Genie who appeared in the episode failed to mention). The genie tricked the wisher into replacing the genie by saying something about having infinite wishes...
  • The Fantastic Voyages Of Sinbad The Sailor cartoon also had a freeing of the Genie at the end on one episode. How? By wishing that there was no lamp.
  • In Aladdin the series, a little homeless girl who gained possession of a genie named Eden who became Genie's Love Interest had every intention to free her. At the end of the episode, the girl is about to make the wish but sadly mentions that "[the girl] wished we could be together forever...". She realizes what happened and tries to take it back, but it's too late. Eden, though regretful that she won't be able to spend more time with Genie, is happy to grant the wish since she bonded with the girl and knows that she is still needed. It's also pointed out that Genies have eternity to spend together, and the lives of humans are a relatively short wait compared to that. Fridge Horror may set in when you realize the girl said "forever", not "for the rest of my life".


Fairy In A BottleWishing TropesGenie in a Bottle
Genie in a BottleMagic and PowersInverse Law of Utility and Lethality

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