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Becoming the Genie

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"Slave, I make my third wish. I wish to be an all-powerful genie!"
Jafar, Aladdin

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.

As mentioned, this is almost always an ending to a genie story, so spoilers ahoy!

Compare Power Copying, particularly the section on limitations. Compare Demon of Human Origin.


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    Anime & 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.
  • In selector infected WIXOSS this is the result of a selector having her wish granted and becoming an Eternal Girl. The truth is that the LRIG takes her place and lives out her wish while the selector becomes an LRIG and must fight Wixoss battles alongside a new selector in order to become human again.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • Gaz Dreams of Genie has this happen to Gaz in the end with her wish for the ability to grant wishes herself resulting in her and the genie Azie switching lives.
  • A Wish for the Ages: Twilight, as an alicorn, doesn't suffer very much of the genie curse when she deliberately does this to herself to stop Rarity from having to continue a millennia-long time loop caused by the unavoidable distortion in every genie wish.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aladdin (2019), naturally, has Aladdin goad Jafar into the exact same mistake as the original. The only difference is that Jafar doesn't ask to be a genie, specifically, but to be the most powerful being around. Genie, who knows what Aladdin is going for, takes advantage of the "grey area" in the wish.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: After Maxwell Lord finds the Dreamstone that will grant the user one wish (at a cost), Lord wishes to become the Dreamstone. The stone crumbles and he gains its power, with the ability to grant wishes and take anything from the wisher as payment. But the cost he pays is that his health rapidly deteriorates, with him frequently having to take health as his payment from wishers and give to himself like a sort of vampire.
  • Timmy gets turned into a reality warping fairy at the end of the Fairly OddParents movie, A Fairly Odd Summer. It's not clear if he got his own godchild.

  • 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...
  • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar is a Paranormal Romance story about a girl named Margo and her genie, Oliver. In this world, you get free three wishes from a genie, but a fourth will turn you into a genie yourself. Margo is forced to do this at the end to save Oliver's life. The sequel, The Fourth Wish, depicts her trying to get used to her situation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The X-Files: The episode "Je Souhaite" 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.
  • In the Charmed (1998) episode "I Dream of Phoebe", the sisters came across a genie named Jinny in a bottle. Wishing the genie free would replace the genie with the one who wished her free, turning the wisher into a genie. It also turns out that Jinny was actually a vicious demon; she had been cursed into being a genie and trapped in the lamp by a sorcerer she refused to marry. To add further insult to Phoebe, the lamp came with a written warning that freeing Jinny would result in this trope. When Phoebe points out it was written in Arabic and that there's no way she could've known, Leo and Chris effortlessly read it (which still isn't fair since as whitelighters they're both omniglots). The sisters spend the rest of the episode working to put Jinny back in the bottle.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: In the episode "The Tale of the Time Trap", Sardo, the storekeeper 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.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • In the spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, people who steal water from the Well of Wonders are transformed into genies by its guardian, Nyx, as punishment (unless they intend to use it on someone who's not meant to die yet). This results in Cyrus and his brothers Taj and Rafi becoming genies.
    • Later, Will Scarlet (the Knave of Hearts), having been given one of Alice's wishes, wishes to end her suffering. Alice had earlier wished that she would die if Will did; since he's just been hit by lightning, they're both dying, so the wish first restores her (and by extension, him) to health, then frees her true love Cyrus from his bottle, but makes Will take his place as a genie.
    • In the series finale, Jafar also tries to steal the water before they can return it to the Well, and the Nyx punishes him by making him a genie (he ultimately manages to overpower the curse and free himself in season 6 of the parent show after being released from his bottle); also, since Cyrus had been returning the water he stole, his brothers and Will are all returned to normal.
    • In the original series' season six, Aladdin manages to recover the lamp that held his genie, whom he had freed long ago. He dons the genie's cuffs to purposely make himself a genie, and passes through a series of masters (the Serum Queen and Regina, David, and then Jasmine) before Jasmine uses True Love's Kiss to both break his genie curse and revive Agrabah.
  • In Genie in the House, in one episode Emma becomes frustrated with the aforementioned Genie Adil and wishes her Sister was a Genie through a slip of phrase. Sophie becomes a Genie, but with an entirely different far more subservient personality and no memory of her previous life. Eventually the process is reversed and she becomes human again, not after having the hot nerd of the group as her Master.
  • The Twilight Zone:
    • The Twilight Zone (1959): "I Dream of Genie" has a nebbish man 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.
    • The Twilight Zone (1985): A non-genie example in "Rendezvous in a Dark Place". After she dies, Barbara LeMay becomes an agent of death. She is very happy that she can share the beauty and peace of death with others.

  • In the techno song "The Djinni", the lead voice's wishes were wishing to live forever, love forever, and finally be the djinni.


    Video Games 
  • A particularly Jackass Genie in King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! exclaims "Aaah! Freedom at last! Now YOU spend the next 500 years in the bottle!" upon being freed, and promptly traps the person who freed him in his former prison. Including the player. Have a Nice Death!
  • Fafner, one of the Wizard-faction heroes in Heroes of Might and Magic, has a backstory in which he became a genie this way. Over a thousand years before the main plot, he found a genie bottle and made a wish to become as powerful as the genie granting the wish, which seems to have worked out for him in the long run. Especially since he successfully escaped from Enroth to Axeoth when the former exploded.

  • 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.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this is downplayed when Ashley requests to be transformed into a genie form near the end of the "Goonmanji 2" storyline. The form is temporary, doesn't bind her to a container and is restricted to the power to transform others into forms from the board game she just played including the genie form itself.

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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. Who has to live with Billy and Mandy.
  • 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.
    • After granting their three wishes, Genies are sucked back into their lamps but they can trick other nearby magical creatures into taking their place like what Norm temporarily did to Cosmo and Wanda.
  • Aladdin: The Series episode "Power to the Parrot": This is subverted. Genie gave Iago his power for a day. However, by that point, he was already free, so Iago wasn't burdened by the lamp.
  • Shimmer and Shine: In "Genie For a Day", Leah wishes to be a genie for a day. She wouldn't have minded except that Zeta got her genie bottle to become the person she had to grant Three Wishes to.
  • Wacky Races: At the end of "The Dipsy Doodle Desert Derby", Dick Dastardly's genie laughs at his latest misfortune and Dastardly says he'd teach the genie to laugh if they switched places. The genie then switches places with Dastardly.
  • The Pink Panther becomes a genie (of sorts) in the short "Genie With the Light Pink Fur" when an Aladdin's Lamp-type lamp goes on a promotional spiel about being a genie. Pink's stint at being a genie results in hijinks.
  • A Woody Woodpecker episode stars Wally Walrus as a genie (or "Yeenie" with his accent), and Woody uses his third wish for this when he finds out that the interior of a genie's lamp is actually the lap of luxury. But then the now de-powered Wally wishes to be the genie again with his own third wish (after Woody intentionally screws up the first two). The two of them rapidly wish back and forth to be the genie, until the lamp explodes from overuse and both of them end up powerless.
  • Nate Is Late episode, "The Genie", involved a Genie tricking Nate into taking his place as he was tired of being trapped in the lamp. And indeed when Nate finds himself in the lamp, the opening is blocked by cell bars till someone wishes for something and the only thing to keep Nate occupied till then is books.
  • Bugs Bunny pretends to be a genie to fool Hassan, the guard of Ali Baba's cave in "Ali Baba Bunny."


Video Example(s):


Aladdin tricks Jafar

When strength and speed aren't enough, Aladdin turns Jafar's own pride and power-lust against him.

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