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Be Careful What You Wish For / Western Animation

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  • This trope is the entire premise of The Fairly OddParents!, and played various ways in different episodes.
    • A specific example: In the episode "Most Wanted Wish", Timmy wishes that he was the most wanted kid on Earth after spending a day being neglected. He does indeed become the most wanted kid on Earth, including by the police and FBI. Then it goes Up to Eleven when Jorgen appears because he wants Timmy to be his godkid... followed by every other fairy appearing to stake a claim, and because of Da Rules, Cosmo and Wanda have to fight in a game to keep Timmy. Cosmo and Wanda are not affected since, as his fairy godparents, "they couldn't want him more if they tried."
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    • In another episode, he wishes that he and Trixie Tang were the only two people on Earth so she would spend time with him. She does, until it's revealed that she needs constant attention and soon goes into Yandere territory when she starts getting too clingy.
    • In "The Boy Who Would Be Queen", Timmy wants to get Trixie a birthday gift, but has no idea what girls like. Cosmo jokingly suggests wishing to become a girl so he can think like one, and both he and Timmy collapse with laughter. This pisses off Wanda to the extent that when Timmy chortles, "Like I'd ever wish I was a girl!", Wanda hears the words "wish" and "girl" and... poof.
    • Norm, being a genie, can grant wishes that are usually forbidden by Da Rules, but he also delights in twisting them. Timmy wishes for an omelette; Norm produces an omelette but no plate, so Timmy immediately burns his hands and drops it. Timmy wishes, very specifically, that Trixie Tang loved Timmy Turner; Norm makes it so that Trixie loves every Timmy Turner, up to and including an elderly man. Timmy wishes that his father was a billionaire; Norm makes Timmy's dad a billionaire counterfeiter who's on the run from the police.
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  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: Queen Vexus spent most of Season 1 and 2 trying to get Jenny to join the Cluster Prime. But what happens when she finally gets there? She exposes Vexus to be a monster to her people and she’s exiled while her daughter takes her place.
  • Shimmer and Shine is another animated series that thrives on this trope. The main characters are a pair of amateur genies who are able to grant wishes to their human friend, but frequently mess up the wishes they grant.
    • Aside from the troubles caused by the literal way Shimmer and Shine take some wishes, Leah usually wastes the third wish of the day by accidentally making wish-shaped comments.
    • In "Zeta in Training", Zeta must grant Shimmer and Shine three wishes as part of her second chance as a genie-in-training and, at some point, asks them what the biggest and most powerful gem looks like and they unwittingly reply with "Wish we knew", allowing Zeta to use their last wish to get said gem.
    • In "Wishy Washy Genie", Zac accidentally wishes he could stay in Zahramay Falls forever, which he regrets after being told there's no mustard in Zahramay Falls. Kaz explains that he had to grant the wish since Zac said "I wish".
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    • In "Careful What You Wish For", the problem isn't in the kind of wish but in the environment where the wish is made. Zac and the girls visit a room with so much wish magic that any wishes made there keep being granted over and over.
  • Wishfart lives and breathes off this trope. In almost every episode, someone makes a wish that protagonist Dez (who is a Leprechaun) grants, only for the wish to go wrong in the craziest way possible due to Dez's inability to control how his wishes turn out. Wish to be a special guest at a dinner? Get Invited as Dinner with the King of the Underworld. Wish for The Game Come to Life? Your favorite video game character mind controls you to assemble an army to dominate the world. Wish for your mermaid crush to sing? Turns out mermaid singing awakens the Kraken to go on a rampage.
    • The consequences of Dez's wishes are everywhere in the show, with many characters being the way they are due to a wish granted from him. Dez's friend Puffin, for instance, was a normal puffin until Dez wished for him to be able to speak. One episode even had a "Victims of Dez" support group for people whose lives were inadvertently ruined by Dez's wishes (like a mermaid who wished for a jetpack but now can't take it off or turn it off).
  • Chuck's Choice is another cartoon built on this, but it puts an interesting spin on the concept. Chuck's Robot Buddy UD helps him solve problems by giving him three possible choices (basically the show's version of wishes), of which Chuck can choose one to alter a situation. However, Chuck and UD have no control of how the choice comes out. For instance, Chuck chooses to make his older brother Norm cool, but rather than becoming hip and suave, Norm becomes An Ice Person. In another example, Chuck chooses for his friend Misha to become a genius, but she turns into an evil genius bent on destroying Chuck.
  • The Samurai Jack universe has a well that grants any wish. Once, three men wished that they would become the ultimate warriors. And they did! By becoming the well's eternal guardians, robbed of both their sight and minds until Jack came along.
  • In the Reboot episode "Enzo the Smart", Enzo fiddles with the system clock in order to make himself smarter than everyone else, and instead makes everyone else half as smart as he is. Since he's Just a Kid, this ends up making everyone else in the city of Mainframe really dumb.
    Enzo: Dude! Everything's gone 8-bit!
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Desiree grants any wish she hears, typically in Jackass Genie fashion, and often to people who don't even realize Desiree is around. Her first episode had her grant ghost powers to Tucker, resulting in him gradually losing his sanity until Danny separated human!Tucker and ghost!Tucker.
    • The first episode of the second season had Sam merely suggest a possibility without realizing that Desiree was around, and Desiree decided to treat it like a wish anyway, resulting in Danny forgetting he had ever been half-ghost. Sam does eventually hit a Reset Button.
  • In the Robot Chicken skit "Christmas 1914", Private Doyle wishes for Santa to break through the German line, but just as he does, the Christmas Truce is initiated.
  • The pilot of Transformers Animated had Optimus Prime nostalgically wishing that he'd been around to fight Decepticons in the Great War. Ten minutes later the biggest, baddest Decepticon of all time shows up with his warship. It's not pretty.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • Parodied in the episode "A Dumb Wish". Grim's mom gives Billy, Mandy, and Grim three wishes. Billy squanders his wish, and his arguing with Grim bugs Mandy enough that she wishes they would shut up, causing Billy and Grim's mouths to become sealed shut. Since Grim can't talk, Mandy gets his wish, and Grim and Billy compete to see who gets their mouth fixed by buttering up to Mandy. They only succeed in driving Mandy to the point that she shouts "I wish everyone in the entire world would just go away!" After everyone else on the planet disappears, Mandy seems to regret what she did, only to instead smile for one of the only times ever and say "Perfect".
    • Another episode, "Wishbones," also played with this trope. A Literal Genie trapped in the form of a talking, rhyming skull named Thromnambular spends most of the episode granting various characters wishes, which inevitably backfire. (It's explicitly said that it doesn't matter what they're wishing for, it'll screw them over regardless.) Thronambular is condemned to grant nine wishes before it can be freed from its skull form, more on that later. One example of a wish (and its reworking) is General Skarr wishing to be ruler of the world. A giant statue of himself rises from the ground beneath him and grows so large, he ends up in the upper atmosphere and suffocates. When it's Mandy's turn to make a wish, she realizes that any wish she makes will only turn out badly, so instead she decides to sell her wish to the highest bidder. A frustrated Grim pushes the Reset Button when he declares "I wish you two had never found that skull!" This wish does not backfire, instead returning everything to the way it was before Billy and Mandy found the skull. Grim then wishes that he was free of his promise to be Billy and Mandy's best friend, and that Thronambular was free of his imprisonment, hoping that Thronambular would be grateful enough not to stab him in the back. To Grim's horror, Thronambular grants the wish by trading their dilemmas: Thronambular had to keep Grim's promise, but gained a body. Grim found himself trapped as a skull, and bound to carry out the eight remaining wishes.
  • The Simpsons:
    • One of the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes features a segment based on "The Monkey's Paw". Homer buys the magic paw at a Bazaar of the Bizarre and he and his family try wishing for fame and wealth (which backfires when everyone gets sick of hearing about the Simpsons) world peace (which backfires when aliens attack the now defenseless Earth) and a turkey sandwich (which backfires because the turkey's a little dry) at least Homer specified "I don't want any zombie turkey, I don't want to turn into a turkey when I eat it...".) Homer gives the monkey paw to Flanders in the hope that it backfires on him too, but the Rule of Funny ensures that no such thing happens.
    • One episode parodies "A Case of Spring Fever", a 1950s educational film which has a young man foolishly wish that zinc didn't exist (?!), which proceeded to ruin his life because he couldn't (a) drive his zinc-less car to pick up his girlfriend for a date; (b) call his girlfriend to postpone their date with his zinc-less telephone; and (c) shoot himself in despair (as even the hammer in the gun was made of zinc). The young man is quick to regret his desire for a world without zinc ("Zinc! Come back!"); fortunately, it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
    • One of the darker episodes entitled "Homer's Enemy" features said enemy, Frank Grimes, a man who's enraged that he had to struggle through everything in life to get where he is, whereas Homer had it easier than him and thus Grimes resents him to no end. When Carl and Lenny question him for his rage, Grimes states: "I would die a happy man if I can prove to you that Homer Simpson has the intelligence of a 6-year old!" To ensure that he could prove his point, he tricks Homer into entering a contest exclusively to children to humiliate him. To his shock and bafflement, everyone loves Homer's presentation and he wins the contest, and Grimes is promptly driven insane by the illogicality of Homer's success, and then he gets his wish when trying to fruitlessly imitate it.
    • In "When Flanders Failed", Flanders quits his dream job in pharmaceuticals to open the left-handed store we see in later episodes. Homer, envious of all of Flanders' success, wishes with a wishbone that he'll fail. Homer not only laughs at his failure, but hides the existence of the store from his left-handed friends. He then takes advantage of Flanders' debt by buying all of his possessions for peanuts. But learning about Flanders' debt, and seeing a ruined, despondent Flanders and his family forced out of their home horrifies Homer, and decides to help Flanders' after all.
  • In the Animaniacs short "Dot's Quiet Time", Dot is trying to find quiet so she can read, but no matter where she goes, searching the whole world, she can't find a place. Eventually, she climbs to the peak of Mount Everest itself, and finally finds quiet... And then realizes it's much, much too quiet. (So she pulls a boom box out and turns it on, then returns to her book.)
  • "Wish World" from the Mighty Orbots series. Oh-No wishes to be human—and thanks to one of the Big Bad goons, she becomes human—but discover that Oh-No can't power up the Mighty Orbots in this form.
  • My Little Pony
    • The episode "The Magic Coins" features this trope.
    • Also, in "The Prince and the Ponies", the First-Tooth Baby Ponies were jealous of the extra attention the newborns were receiving and wished them ill only to be sorry when they saw it had actually happened. An important and applicable lesson for the target audience.
  • The entire premise of the Celebrity Toon Wish Kid.
    • Nick gets a magical baseball glove that lets him have one wish a week - and that's it. And they're all temporary and can end at any time, meaning that every single wish he makes disappears at the worst possible time. All so he can learn this trope as a moral every single episode.
    • Nick isn't the only victim of this trope, either. At a science fair, Frankie destroyed Darryl's dinosaur egg, so Darryl used Nick's glove to wish for another one. He forgot to specify he didn't want a real dinosaur egg.
    • Not knowing about the glove's power (Nick's best friend Darryl is the only one who does), Frankie started hitting it while preparing to do the same to Nick. Right before he hit the glove a third time, Frankie stated that, after he's done with Nick, Nick would wish he was miles away. Frankie winds up hanging off the spiked crown of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Gargoyles:
    • When we first meet Puck, he plays Literal Genie to Demona. Later, it's revealed that when Puck revealed himself to Xanatos for the first time, he offered him either a single wish or a lifetime of loyal service as Owen Burnett. Proving himself to be the smartest person in the entire series, Xanatos chooses the latter.
    • Puck ended up on the receiving end of this too. One of his major motivations throughout the series is delaying his return to Avalon because he finds the mortal world too fun. At the end of "The Gathering", Oberon decides to give Puck what he trapping him in human form (except for the purposes of training a changeling in magic or defending his ward) and banishing him from Avalon forever.
  • The Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "A Lad in a Lamp" has the heroes meet a malicious genie who would teach them just this if the episode didn't come with its very own built-in Reset Button.
  • A similar thing happens in an episode of DuckTales (1987): both Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold find a magical lamp. To decide who gets it, the genie tells them to race each other back home. Glomgold wins, and his first wish is for Scrooge to be stranded on a desert island. However, his second wish is that he could see the look on Scrooge's face, and he's sent to the same island to do so. Then he wishes that he "had never found this blasted lamp". Cue the Reset Button, and Scrooge this time wildly chases Glomgold out of the cave without finding the lamp, just before a cave-in traps it forever.
  • Extreme Ghostbusters: The team fought a wish-making ghost named Duophanes who functioned as a Literal Genie. It turned Eduardo into Kylie's cat (because he "wanted her to treat him with the same respect she does her cat"). The episode was actually titled "Be Careful What You Wish For".
    • On a lesser extent, in the episode "Till Death Do Us Start", Leonard Bates encounters a ghost called a Wishgiver disguised as a wishing well in his new house's shed. He wishes for a bride. He gets an obsessive, skinless ghostly woman who can find him wherever he is. The reason the ghost is so obsessive is it wants to suck away his life energy via kissing, to the Wishgiver. The plot ensues thanks to this encounter, and this newfound knowledge. What makes it worse, is that until the Wishgiver is captured, the same bride keeps manifesting over, and over, and over again which doubles as Nightmare Fuel.
  • A preview episode has Ben 10 easily dispatching criminals, and, in the end, he was wondering if there was any challenge left for him. The episode in question is the Series Finale, which introduced the Negative 10.
  • One episode of Wunschpunsch revolved around it - Wizards created a spell that granted one wish for every person in the city, but always in the way to backfire. The wizards used it later for themselves, sure they'd found a wish that would let them get rid of their boss and not backfire at them in any way. They were wrong.
    • One of the lines the wizards recite while casting Wunschpunsch spells is "hear our wish and grant us a notion". See Hoist by His Own Petard for details.
    • Jacob and Maurizio aren't immune to the trope. In "Nice Wizards", they tampered with a spell and wished Bubonic and Tyrannia became good people. Even well-intended, the wizards' spells cause disaster.
    • In "Mayor for a Day", Bubonic switched bodies with the Mayor, who said he'd rather be struck by lightning. After it happened, Tyrannia quoted the trope.
  • Towards the end of Tinker Bell and the Last Treasure, Tink accidentally uses the Mirror of Incanta, which she intended to use to repair the broken moonstone, when she snaps at her Non-Human Sidekick, "I wish you would be quiet for just one minute!"
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: In "Group Therapy", Peter has to deal with Doc Ock forming his Sinister Six and ends up outclassed. After a rough day, he goes to sleep, saying "I wish I could just wake up tomorrow, with Doc and his merry morons back in jail." The Symbiote, whom he was with at the time, grants said wish... by puppeting Peter's sleeping body to fight against the Six (which it does manage to win), which leaves Peter both exhausted and more suspecitble to the manipulations of the symbiote (which include being too ill-tempered to talk to JJJ, who called to inform him that his aunt has been hospitalized from a heart attack.)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants had an episode that featured Mr. Krabs selling his soul for the wish to talk to money. Mr. Krabs' vision of how it would go is shattered when it's revealed his money just wants one thing: to be spent, as it was what they were made to do. Unfortunately, it's also that they wish to be spent on certain things, something which annoys Krabs. The episode ends on a hilarious note when it's revealed the Flying Dutchman was not the first person that Krabs sold his soul to and there's a line... which includes Spongebob of all people.
    Spongebob: He was five dollars short on payday.
    • In "Wishing You Well", the people who wished for stuff at the wishing well get their wish, and Mr. Krabs chalks it all off as coincidence. To prove it, he wishes he was steamed with a side of butter. You can guess what happens next.
    • At the end of the episode "Shanghaied", SpongeBob and Patrick have used up two of the three wishes the Flying Dutchman will grant them and he's about to eat them and Squidward. SpongeBob wishes that the Dutchman was a vegetarian so he can't eat them, but he's going to eat them anyway because he turned them into fruits in a blender.
  • Cow and Chicken: In the episode of the same name, Chicken, fed up with Cow's Motor Mouth, wishes that Cow would just shut up. Cow decides to grant his wish by never talking again. Though Chicken enjoys it at first, it ultimately backfires when Cow, due to the wish, is unable to warn him of an incoming truck, resulting in Chicken being run over by said truck. Subsequently, when Chicken is put on trial for jaywalking, Cow is unable to speak in his defense either, and the Red Guy, serving as the bailiff, misinterprets her attempts at signing that Chicken is innocent as declaring him guilty, resulting in Chicken getting fifty years in prison.
    • Used to a lesser extent in the episode "Chachi, the Chewing Gum Seal". Cow wishes that Chachi, a seal she made out of chewing gum, was alive so he could be her friend. When Chachi comes alive, he's always complaining. When Cow tells Chachi to stand up for himself, he brutally attacks Chicken in revenge for Chicken chewing on him. But after Cow congratulates him, Chachi yells at Cow, calling her a freak and a waste of bones and organs.
  • The HumancentiPad episode of South Park has Cartman demanding God to "give me a courtesy lick before I get fucked!" after Cartman loses his Human Centipede/iPad hybrid. God complies by smiting Cartman with a bolt of lightning, landing Cartman in the hospital.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: In "Wishing Not so Well", K'nuckles wishes to be left alone and immediately finds himself in a Stormalong that contains no other people. It doesn't work out so well for him.
    • Ironiclly one episode had them swipeing candies from a magical mermaid which could grant wishes, no string attached. Flapjack and K'nuckles could've used it to go to Candied Island but K'nuckles ends wasting the candies on fravalous things. When down to one candy (thanks to Flapjack trying to return them out of guilt, only for it to wind up moot since the mermaid turned into an angel afterward). K'nuckles tries to enact a Loophole Abuse by adding an "and" to the wish. However the first part counted as "one" wish and once again Candied Island eluded the heroes.
  • In "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", Candace busts Phineas and Ferb on building an unsafe airlift, and their mother sends them away to a reformatory school; at first, Candace is glad they are away, but it is not too long before she begins to miss them. Then when she finds out how the reformatory school is run. Candace's friend Stacy even calls her out on this:
    Stacy: You finally have everything you ever wanted. Call me when you get over it!
  • A recurring theme in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, though the series uses it in a more lighthearted way than it's usually used.
    • The first two episodes of the first season seem to have a hint of this, with Twilight Sparkle at first not wanting to make new friends, only to find out later that "just when I learn how wonderful it is to have friends, I have to leave them." That is a milder case, though, as it turns out Celestia lets Twilight stay in Ponyville with her new friends anyway.
    • In "Green Isn't Your Color" the theme has been doubled! Rarity getting what she thought she wanted earlier on left her making the same mistake in the opposite direction later on.
      • Earlier, Rarity insists that she wants Fluttershy to become a model. As a result, Fluttershy becomes so famous that Rarity gets very jealous.
        Rarity: I'M the one who should be mobbed by strangers wherever I go!
      • Later, Rarity explains this was her reason for standing up for Fluttershy; in her jealousy, she thought she wanted something embarrassing to happen to Fluttershy on-stage, but she felt extremely guilty when it actually did.
    • "Sisterhooves Social" has Rarity wanting to get away from Sweetie Belle earlier on but missing her later on.
    • In "The Cutie Pox", Apple Bloom uses a magical flower called "Heart's Desire" to finally get her Cutie Mark. Unfortunately, over the course of the day she gets several more cutie marks, each of which brings both a new talent and a compulsion to practice that talent endlessly, whether it's window-washing, tap-dancing, speaking French, or lion-taming.
    • A hint of this also shows up in "May The Best Pet Win", with Rainbow Dash insisting earlier on that she wanted a fast, agile, flying animal for a pet... and after putting the animals through competitions testing these (among other) traits she found out that the falcon met her standards the most... but by the time she found this out, she had evidently changed her mind about what she wanted in a pet after all, as she clearly wasn't happy about being told that the falcon won. Of course, she found out a loophole in her rules that allowed her to adopt a tortoise instead, in a clear contrast to what she at first wanted.
    • Pinkie Pie runs into this trope head-on in "Baby Cakes". She begs the Cakes for a chance to babysit their newborn twins, but ends up running herself ragged after they let her do it.
    • Pinkie Pie wishes in "Too Many Pinkie Pies" to have a clone to be able to have fun in two places, but then she makes more clones to have more fun, and then the clones clone themselves further, which ultimately obscures who the real Pinkie Pie is. Now the real Pinkie can't have any fun at all.
    • In Inspiration Manifestation, wishing for a spell that will make one's imagination come to life might cause them to want to inflict it upon the town.
    • Villain example, Starlight Glimmer wanted revenge on the Mane Six for ruining he Equealist colony and found a means to prevent them from getting their cutie marks via a time spell. She gets her wish that they didn't get their cutie marks at the same time by changing the past but soon finds out that because they didn't, the Elements of Harmony were never activated and they weren't around to prevent powerful villains from running roughshod on Equestria. Twilight shows her first hand the consequences of this when she takes Starlight back into the future with her and shows her a desolate Equestria devoid of any life. It takes awhile, but eventually it does sink into Starlight the weight of her actions and she's drops her vendetta.
  • In the Young Justice episode "Misplaced", Zatanna tells Artemis how she wished her Overprotective Dad would give her some space. The very next second, her father (and the rest of the adults) disappear before them. At the end of the episode, Zatara sacrifices himself so that Nabu wouldn't possess Zatanna. She may never get her father back.
    • Cut to Season 2; we get a confirmation...She didn't.
  • Garfield and Friends: In one episode, Garfield found a wishing well and wished there were no more mondays. At first, when he learned the wish became true, he was happy. A few weeks later, Garfield felt the drawbacks of a world without Mondays: the streets were full of garbage because garbagemen only came at Mondays; gyms that used to be open for all days of the week were closed; movie theaters never showed new movies because they only changed their movies at Mondays; Jon couldn't buy more food because he always received his paychecks at Mondays; and he always made lasagna at Mondays. Being a Big Eater, the two last bits were what horrified Garfield the most. He then returned to the wishing well, desperately asking for the Mondays to be back. The well refused and threatened to remove other stuff, until the well's mother, who revealed they were actually aliens who look like wells, forced him to restore everything back to normal. Garfield then started loving Mondays. At least until he was reminded of why he hated them in the first place.
    • In another episode Garfield gets a fairy godfather who grants him three wishes. The first wish is for lasagna, which the godfather steals from a nearby chef. The chef immediately suspects Garfield and takes it back. Then Garfield wishes for money to buy lasagna with. The godfather zaps in money from a bank and Garfield is promptly thrown in jail.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: An Earth Kingdom general wants Aang to get into the Avatar state. Despite Aang's warnings that he can only enter it when he's in genuine danger and You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry, the general presses the issue and threatens his friends. Well, he sure did succeed.
    • This is one of the contributing factors to Azula's Villainous Breakdown in the finale. Her faithfulness to her father, Fire Lord Ozai, was what allowed her to become Fire Lord of the Fire Nation, which is the endgame of her Control Freak personality. Unfortunately, Ozai goes on to declare himself Lord of the entire planet, effectively rendering her title useless. Combine this with Azula's perceived lack of love from her mother Ursa, the Heel–Face Turn of both of her friends, and ultimately her defeat at the hands of Katara, a Water Tribe peasant of all people, and it's no surprise that she's last seen bound in chains and driven to tears.
  • In the season 5 premiere of Adventure Time, Finn and Jake chase the Lich into a mysterious room in an alternate dimension where a creature named Prismo offers to grant each of them a wish. Finn tries to wish that the Lich never existed, and ends up in an Alternate Universe where Simon Petrokov/The Ice King sacrificed himself to prevent the Mushroom War, but wound up freezing the world for 400 years after getting slowly crushed to death by a frozen bomb. Finn ends up putting on the Ice Crown himself in an effort to save his family from a gang, and proceeds to go mad with power (becoming the new Ice King) and accidentally set off the bomb (which causes the Jake from his universe to turn into the new Lich). When Jake tries to make a wish to fix things, Prismo even gives him a brief speech warning him about this trope, as Prismo can't control the outcome of the wishes and the vaguer they are the more likely it is the wish will go wrong.
    • An earlier episode had them find a being in the center of a maze who granted wishes, but had this trope in mind in granting them. Finn ultimately outwits it by actually being careful about what he wished for and wishing for an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant and then having it wish for everyone to be healed.
    • In "Evergreen", the titular character is trying to create a magical crown that will grant the user it's wish, intending to wish away a deadly comet. His "student" Gunther ends up having to put it on, and looking up to Evergreen wishes to be like him. The result? A insane ice user screaming "Gunther no!" due to his skewed perception of Urgence Evergreen. The artifact ends up repeating the same mistake with Simon Petrikov(and an Alternate Timeline Finn), making him the crazy Ice King.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Popcorn Panic" finally has the characters getting the titular popcorn. Too much of it.
    • In contrast, in "Wishful Thinking" the big disaster for the penguins is caused by the fact that any idiot (read: Zookeeper Alice) gets his wishes granted. (Still counts because a few of the wishes in the episode backfire or don't come out as expected.)
  • Family Guy
    • In the Episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail No. 1", Peter finds a genie, who will grant him three wishes. His first two wishes (to see what Kelly Ripa was like off the set, and that he had his own theme music) go fine. But when he's on a bus, a man threatens to break every bone in his body. Peter hastily wishes that he had no bones. The wish is granted, but the trope kicks in when he realizes how hard it is on his family with him as a boneless blob.
    • In another episode, Lois addresses a meeting of the PTA to complain about the school using sub-par education materials, and upon hearing that the school is being denied funding due to its low average test scores, demands the principal does something to raise the average. The principal responds that there's a very easy way to raise average test scores - expelling her son Chris, the dumbest student in the school.
  • Sofia the First: King Roland's wish for a baker's life in "The Baker King". To a lesser extent in that same episode, Amber wanting the cake to have one hundred layers.
    • In "When You Wish Upon a Well," a Literal Genie wishing well issues this warning, and indeed, Amber regrets two of the three wishes she makes. All King Roland reveals about his first wish is the fact that he regrets it as well.
    • In "Winter's Gift", Winter the faun wanted Glacia the mountain witch to give her an ice touch. This resulted in her being unable to touch her friends and family for fear of freezing them.
    • In "The Curse of Princess Ivy", Amber steals the Amulet of Avalor so she can make it introduce her to a Princess. The Amulet brings Princess Ivy.
    • In "The Birthday Wish", Sofia's birthday party falls into ruins and she wishes she could do it again. Tizzy grants the wish, and she's stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop being forced to live her birthday all over again until she has a "truly happy birthday".
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Shredderville" has Master Splinter recite this as An Aesop when the Turtles wish they have never became mutated, only to find themselves in a world where they never existed in the first place — a world where Shredder becomes its ruler (albeit a rather incompetent one), Bebop and Rocksteady are still humans, April O'Neil and Irma are their servants, and humans and mutants are mutual enemies of each other because of Krang and his Dimension X allies — which near the end of the episode turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "The Pulverizer Returns" has Timothy (a.k.a. The Pulverizer), an enamored fanboy of the Turtles, joining the Foot Clan in order to impress the Turtles. When the Shredder announces that Mutagen will be experimented on Foot Soldiers in order to make them more of a threat towards the turtles, Pulverizer voluteers to be the first, hoping to turn on the Foot and join the Turtles in the hopes of becoming a mutant like them, DESPITE the Turtles warning him of how dangerous and stupid of an idea it is. In the end, Timothy painfully gets his wish. He is now Mutagen Man.
  • The American Dad! episode "One Little Word" has Francine trying to get Stan to say "no" to his boss Director Bullock's increasingly ludicrous demands so they can have a couples vacation. Stan bends over backwards trying to satisfy them both without actually rebuffing Bullock, but it all ends with Bullock being shot. He begs Stan to call 911, but of course this is the point where Stan has finally had enough and says no, all while Francine desperately (and fruitlessly) tries to convince him that this is a time where he should be listening to Bullock.
  • An episode of Rick and Morty featured a mysterious store owned by a strange man that gave away magical items that seemed to solve the user's problems, with the "price" being that they always featured an ironic twist (for example, a cologne that makes you irresistible to women while also making you impotent). Rick not only guesses that the owner is the Devil mere seconds after meeting him, but manages to create a device that instantly detects the curses of the items and later starts a neighboring business that removes the curses solely to spite the Devil.
  • In one episode of the ongoing Aladdin series, Jasmine tried to prove to Aladdin that she could survive the way he did originally by dressing up as a "street rat" (much the way she did at the beginning of the first movie) and going to the bad part of town. (Dragging Iago with her this time.) She managed to steal something - a mirror, which she had no idea was able to grant wishes. After getting away with it, she looked at it and declared herself a "street rat", while Iago sarcastically said, "If you're a street rat, I'm a frilled lizard!" at which point the mirror's magic turned them into a real rat and frilled lizard. (Worse, the mirror itself shattered because she dropped it when it happened, making it unusable as a solution to the problem, and worse yet, humans couldn't understand what they were saying anymore, making them entirely on their own.) The whole rest of the episode consisted of the two of them trying to make it back to the palace without getting stepped on or otherwise killed so they could get Genie to break the spell, which was not easy.
  • DC Animated Universe:
  • An episode of Hercules: The Animated Series had an episode where Herc tried to make his own golem girlfriend who was "crazy for him". Well, he certainly got the "crazy" part down.
  • King Leonardo and His Short Subjects: Tooter Turtle visits Mr. Wizard the Lizard and asks to be something he wants to be. Mr. Wizard grants Tooter his wish, only to bring him back home after he bites off more than he can chew.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • "Coupon for Craziness" showed Dexter getting frustrated with his family's goofy behavior at the grocery store and accidentally trading places with an Identical Stranger, which results in his going home with a couple who look just like his parents but are scientists. At first Dex is elated at the idea of a family of intellectual equals, but after seeing them treat everything with the same cold, clinical detachment (such as eating Food Pills instead of a home-cooked meal made with love), he starts getting homesick. Thankfully, both families go to the store the very next day, Dexter switches back at the first opportunity, and the episode ends with him gleefully participating in his family's goofy shopping rituals.
    • In "Oh, Brother", Dexter gets tired of Dee Dee goofing around in his lab, and invents a device that sends him to a parallel universe where he has a brother instead of a sister. Unfortunately, he finds that in this universe he's The Unfavorite to "Dudey", a Jerk Jock and Big Brother Bully who's more obnoxious and destructive than Dee Dee ever was.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: in the first episode, Muggle Best Friend Marco wishes for a bit more danger in his life- and gets just that when Star comes to Earth. In fact, in hearing his wish for more excitement, she creates a monster butterfly!
    • In "Brittney's Party", another student asks Star to zap him with her wand. He becomes a piñata, and is happy at first...until the rest of the student body approaches with blindfolds and baseball bats...
  • The Day My Butt Went Psycho!: When Zack, Elanor, and Deuce wish Gran Freeman's butt, a Drill Sergeant Nasty par excellence, would loosen up so they can watch the evening's Bummy Rippa marathon, Zack and Deuce find a way to give them their wish by transforming Gran Freeman's butt into a fun-loving butt. However, Gran's butt immediately organizes a massive party which not only prevents them from watching the marathon, but also causes Deuce to go buttserk and destroy the house.
  • The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Dulcinea gets a wishing star, and while both her and the star have the best intentions, a combination of poor wording and the star simply being a bad wish granter causes every wish to backfire terribly until the town devolves into utter chaos. Puss is genre savy enough to get an idea of what's going on.
    Puss in Boots: I've heard many stories of wishes, and they all end the same way: badly!
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 77, Kaeloo makes a Heroic Sacrifice and as a result is left standing on an exploding planet while the others escape in a spaceship. Stumpy tearfully says he wishes he could trade places with her, and suddenly finds himself standing back on the ground while Kaeloo waves to him from the spaceship. However, he does survive the whole ordeal.
  • Janine in The Real Ghostbusters episode "Janine's Genie" asks two wishes; be the boss of the Ghostbusters and Egon to fall in love with her. She get's tired of them soon enough as be a boss meant to have to deal with a lot of responsibilities and Egon was kind of annoying. Of course the real problem was that the genie was really a demon trying to open the door of hell.
  • Lesson learned by Babar in episode The Coin when he wishes never to be king (as it was a too stressful job) only to discover that without him as king Rataxes would rule the elephants and rhinos horribly.
  • King of the Hill: While Hank is laid up from a horrible Groin Attack he received from Bobby, Bill wistfully says he wishes he had a son to kick him in the nuts. Dale is happy to oblige, and says the trope name verbatim while poor Bill is doubled over and whimpering.
  • Biker Mice from Mars: While escaping from Catatonians in "Changes", Stoker says he'd love to see Rump's face. Rump ends up catching him and he says he should be careful what he wishes for.
  • Happens several times in Little Princess
    • Not for the whole episode, but in one part of "I Don't Want to Go to Bed", the Princess wants another person to share her room with and ends up sharing with the Maid, who keeps her awake by snoring.
    • In "I Want a Bicycle", the Princess wants a bicycle and she gets one but cannot ride it properly.
      • Similarly, in "I Want a Sledge", the Princess wants a new sledge but it's too big for her to ride.
  • Miss Moon: In one episode, Miss Moon accidentally gives Lola a magical diary that turns whatever is written on its pages into reality but in a messy way.
  • Hey Arnold!; "Suspended": After receiving a D on his test, Harold decides that he hates school so much that he wishes that he'd never had to go again. Harold calls Principal Wartz a "stupid dork", and Principal Wartz suspends him for a week. Overjoyed that his wish came true, Harold goes home and tries to watch some TV, but the only thing on all channels is news coverage of an economic summit in Japan, which Harold finds very boring. He then decides to go shoot baskets out in the basketball court, but when he can't score a hit in the basket (ending with him accidentally tossing the ball out of the court and it bounces off and damages several cars offscreen), Harold finally understands the true misery of his punishment, and is desperate to return to school.
    Harold: I hate being suspended! And it's only Monday! I can't take it! I WANNA GO BACK TO SCHOOL!
  • Rugrats:
    • "Party Animals": After being read the story of Aladdin, Angelica makes a wish on her lamp that the whole world were a circus, and when the babies see the costume party the adults are throwing, they believe Angelica's wish came true. They like it at first, but then they believe that their parents have gone missing (not realizing that their parents are all in costumes, some of which, such as Chas' well-balanced breakfast costume, aren't much different from their normal appearances). Tommy even calls the trope by its name when Angelica makes her wish.
    • "When Wishes Come True": After Angelica intentionally wrecks the babies' "sculpture" (a bunch of blocks stacked on top of one another somewhat haphazardly), Tommy wishes that "the baddest thing in the whole world happens to Angelica" (possibly meant to be a euphemism for wishing death upon someone). The babies later find a life-sized glass statue of Angelica, and think this means that their wish came true and she was turned to stone. Tommy is deeply regretful when he realizes he went too far in the heat of the moment.
    • "Angelica For a Day": While Tommy and Chuckie are playing in the park, Angelica explains the phrase "I wouldn't want to be in his/her shoes" to the babies— she tells them it means that if you put on someone else's shoes, you become just like him/her. Tommy tries this with Chuckie so he won't be afraid of everything; Chuckie puts on Angelica's shoes and turns into a bully, while Angelica puts on Chuckie's and is constantly in a state of fear. Tommy soon wishes he had the old Chuckie back, and, somehow, the old Angelica as well. Fortunately for Tommy it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
    • In "Dil Saver", after Dil knocks down a tower of blocks the other babies built, Tommy wishes Dil would go away. Following some trickery from Angelica and a photo of Dil being used as a background for Stu's computer, Tommy believes that Dil is trapped in the computer, and is desperate to get him out.
  • The Heckle and Jeckle short "The Rainmakers" begins with Heckle and Jeckle on a picnic that is ruined because of rain. Jeckle makes a wish that it would stop raining forever, which results in the entire world suffering a water shortage and the two magpies being forced to do something to make it start raining again.
  • The Little Audrey short "Audrey the Rainmaker" has the same plot as the above, where Audrey's wish for it to stop raining creates a 107-day long drought.
  • The Flintstones: In "Boss for a Day", The Great Gazoo grants Fred's wish to trade places for a day with his boss, Mr. Slate. Fred enjoys it at first, until he finds out being boss comes with a lot of stress and responsibility, including having to deal with the board of directors.
  • In the Thomas the Tank Engine episode, "Hasty Hannah", Hannah comes to the Island of Sodor to work with Toby while Henrietta is having new seats installed at the Steamworks. Hannah loves to race at high speeds, despite Toby's warnings that tramway coaches like her and Henrietta are not built for high speeds, and wishes that she could go as fast as she wants. Hannah eventually gets her wish when Toby leaves her on a siding and James pulls her, but it leads to her falling apart as James goes faster and faster.
  • Played for Laughs in The Tale of the Great Bunny. When the weasel king is given Abigail's wishing egg as a gift, he's so moved that he wishes he had enough chocolate to share with her, The Great Bunny, and everyone else in the whole world. Cue his tunnels becoming flooded with chocolate eggs.
  • In the Wacky Races episode "The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby," Dick Dastardly releases a genie from a bottle. In this case, it's not about being careful what Dastardly wishes for, it's how he phrases those wishes. When he tells the genie to put him in front of the other racers, the genie does just that, with the Mean Machine facing the oncoming drivers who flatten him. Obviously, Dastardly could simply wish to win the race, but his need to do it the hard way supercedes that.


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