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I Wished You Were Dead

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Joanne: You're going to be the death of me.
Helena: I wish I was.

Alice wishes Bob, usually a parent, was dead. Often times Bob is a total Jerkass and Alice tells him to "Drop dead" in a heated exchange. Bob then dies, or contracts a deadly disease, or has a horrible accident, or jumps off a cliff. Cue the angst as Alice then broods believing that she somehow is responsible for the tragedy even if Bob had seemingly no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Alice is typically a child. Often they also Never Got to Say Goodbye, so even more drama ensues. Usually lasts only one episode but can be milked indefinitely as Alice acts more and more irrational/self-destructive. You can also milk it for drama by making Bob not die, but become deadly ill for an episode. The wisher will learn a lesson, and the status quo will resume. Even more classic (and Truth in Television) is children blaming themselves for their parents divorcing.

Aesop: Be Careful What You Wish For, though obviously the granting of the wish isn't really caused by the wishing, most of the time.

See also It's All My Fault. If a character says this out of grief for a third party, see You Should Have Died Instead. Can be a Parting-Words Regret. And There Was Much Rejoicing is when a character is genuinely happy (and relieved) that the person died.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Alice's wish in Alice 19th for her older sister Mayura to disappear causes Mayura to be transported to another realm where she becomes the minion of evil forces. For people like Alice, words are literal powers. We also find out near the end that Kyo wished his father would die.
  • In Change 123, Motoko said this to her mother as a child. Immediately after she said it, a load of steel I-beams just happened to fall off a truck and onto her. This is the incident that created Zero to protect her from this memory.
  • A Cruel God Reigns: Jeremy repeatedly wishes for Greg's death, and often tells him during the abuse, however, he does not feel bad about it when Greg actually does die. He does feel bad when Sandra dies though.
  • Somewhat subverted in Death Note when Teru Mikami's past is revealed: after being bullied to increasingly dangerous levels, his mother tells him to give up his high views of justice out of concern for him. Mikami, in turn, stops thinking of her as his mother and wishes that this new obstacle to justice would be taken care of. What happens? She gets run over by a stolen car that the people who bullied him were driving; she dies, and they all get life sentences. Instead of being miserable over this, Mikami is delighted, thinking that a higher sense of justice has prevailed and eventually linking the event (perhaps wrongly) to Kira.
  • In the episode of Digimon Adventure 02 exploring Ken's past, it's shown that he had a complicated relationship with his older and more popular brother Osamu, whom he both resented and admired. One day, after the two got into a heated argument, Ken spitefully wishes for Osamu to "disappear". The next scene shows Osamu being fatally hit by a car, which was the first in a chain of events that led Ken to become the Digimon Kaiser.
  • In the third volume of Dramacon, we see Beth talking to Christie and Matt, and at the same time, we see Beth's mother who is driving down the road... Thankfully, it's subverted— Beth's mother survives and they make up.
    Beth: I hate her.
    (Beth's mother is at a stoplight.)
    Beth: I hate her so much!
    (Beth's mother looks alarmed.)
    Beth: I wish she'd d—! (sobs)
    (cut to Beth's mother's car being crashed into)
  • A variant occurs in Happiness is the Shape of a Wound. Torii, the main character, is interested in befriending Kai, a talented yet aloof piano player, but Kai refuses all of Torii's requests to go out. Frustrated, Torii begins to wish that Kai would injure her hand and be unable to play the piano anymore, although she dismisses it as just a fantasy. Kai ends up injuring her hand, and Torii, horrified at the idea that her wish caused Kai to be injured, decides to atone for this by comforting and spending time with Kai- Kai eventually recovers and the two fall in love.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer has protagonist Yuuhi plan for fellow Knight Hangetsu Shinonome to die if he ever gets in the way of / harms Samidare. Then Hangetsu dies a brutal death to a golem trying to protect him. While he doesn't cry about it initially, he's guilty as hell.
  • Near the beginning of Monster, Dr. Tenma vents to an apparently unconscious patient after the hospital directors screw his career over for disobeying questionable orders that would likely have killed his patient. Among other things, he angrily claims, "They're the ones that should die." The patient turns out to be awake and thoroughly agrees with this sentiment. Murder ensues. In this case, Tenma knows he isn't responsible, and the reason he goes after the patient later was because he saved him; it's the police that think he's involved in the deaths.
  • End of Evangelion has the Psychological Horror variant: Shinji gets so depressed that when Rei asks him what does he want, he goes on an almost whispering rant about how it doesn't make any difference whether he lives or dies and summons this trope against the entire world, himself included. Unfortunately for everyone else, Rei takes this statement literally and promptly annihilates mankind. Afterwards, Shinji mulls about and realizes that this isn't what he wanted because in a world without pain, there's no happiness and if there's nothing in there, he doesn't exist and therefore no one does. He decides (without the slightest sign of regret) that he wants everyone back and Rei obliges, killing herself in the process and dumping Shinji with a catatonic Asuka into a Crapsack World. Gainax Ending at its finest...
  • An unintentional and unknowing version occurs in One Piece's tenth movie Strong World where Xiao and her mother are relieved that Shiki was finally going to leave their village alone and go to East Blue, not knowing that Shiki intended to destroy the entire area with his army of beasts. Nami, who hailed from East Blue, happened to hear them excitedly wish that Shiki would leave for East Blue sooner. When they found out, they immediately expressed regret over their words and apologized.
  • In Sakura Gari, Masataka wishes for his boss Souma's death (by then he has a lot of reasons to want it, since Souma was forcing him to work off his brother's debt with sex... but said brother was dead, and Souma hid that from him.). Souma, who is madly in love with Masataka (but very bad at expressing it), takes it literally and slashes his wrists, much to Masataka's dismay.
  • In Sarazanmai, Kazuki gets so mad at Enta for stealing the Dishes of Hope that he tells him they're through and he never wants to speak to Enta again. Reo then shows up to steal the Dishes and shoots Enta in the process, ensuring Kazuki won't get the chance to. Kazuki spends most of the episode after this event wracked with guilt.
  • In Subaru, the titular character got into an argument with her mother over her sick twin-brother. In the heat of the moment, Subaru lets out her feelings of having been neglected compared to her sick brother by yelling 'I wish he wasn't here anymore!' Kazuma's condition worsens shortly after this happens, causing Subaru to blame herself for it.
  • Variation in the Valkyrie Profile manga: Yumei shares the story of how her parents died with a boy from a fishing village. When her tears turn into a cerulean lapis, a gem that grants wishes, the boy wishes that Yumei could be with her parents again. Naturally, this means sending her to the next life, but Lenneth cannot wrap her head around it.
  • Your Lie in April has Kousei that telling his ill mother Saki to die after being fed up with her abuse and harsh critique of his piano playing. Apparently she died sometime after it and they never made up.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, after being irritated once again, Keiko shouts at Yusuke, "Why don't you just die?" Shortly thereafter, Yusuke gets hit by a truck while saving a child; Keiko's resultant breakdown is part of what convinces him to work his way back to life.

    Comic Books 
  • There's an Archie Comics story where a variant occurs. Reggie gets so frustrated with Moose that he wishes he'd break his leg. Sure enough, Moose does break his leg, and Reggie feels so guilty about it, he helps get him to the hospital.
  • In The Death of Superman, a teenager (whose family had been saved by Superman during Doomsday's attack) came to Metropolis to try and find some of Superman's family. He was feeling guilty because the day of Doomsday's attack, he and some friends had decided to jinx Superman as a joke and he thought that somehow that had caused Superman to get killed.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Downplayed. In one strip, Calvin wakes his parents up in the middle of the night. The mother, cranky at having been awakened, says she hopes it's because he's sick (as opposed to some trivial reason). When Calvin throws up, however, she guiltily exclaims, "I didn't mean it!".

  • Haruhi wishes for Keiichi to die in The Cries of Haruhi Suzumiya. He complies right then and there.
  • A variant in that Gensokyo 20XX's Chen wished for Yume Ni to suffer and she did, through long term illness, the which she succumbed to. She's felt terrible about it ever since with that being the last thing she's said to her.
  • At the beginning of the Hetalia: Axis Powers doujin Silencer, America says angrily to England that he should just disappear if he argues with him. After that, England is nowhere to be seen and no countries other than America remember him. Ultimately subverted, as it's revealed that the reasons for England's disappearance are far more complex than that...although you'll probably wish that they weren't.
  • The plot of 3 Slytherin Marauders kicks off when a girl named Lila delivers a vicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Dudley over his treatment of Harry, capping it off by telling him that he and his family will probably be killed once he finally snaps. Later on in the fic, Vernon ends up shooting Petunia and Harry and Dudley seemingly disappear; while investigating this, Dumbledore comes across Lila, who is tearfully recounting what she said to the other kids and hoping that Harry isn't dead.

  • Copycat. Nicoletti is jealous of the handsome detective Reuben Goetz that his ex is working with. But Reuben is killed by a prisoner who got hold of Nicoletti's pistol, so he pours out his guilt to her over this trope.
    Nicoletti: I can't tell you how many times I saw the two of you together...I'd see you with your heads together. He'd be making some kind of dumb joke. I wished...I wished him dead. Every time.
  • Happens twice in the 1943 film Day Of Wrath, made more serious by the fact that it's set in the middle of a 17th century witch hunt, and wishing people dead isn't considered an idle threat.
  • In Dead Friend (aka The Ghost) Eun-jung wishes a ghost would take her sister away. Guess what happens not five minutes later?
  • The voice-over for Eve's Bayou starts with the main character, Eve, as an adult, saying, "The summer I killed my father, I was ten years old. My brother Poe was nine, and my sister Cisely had just turned fourteen." The story of that summer then unfolds, revealing that the main character believed her father had molested her sister and asked a voodoo practitioner to kill him. She eventually changed her mind and tried to have the voodoo stopped, but her father was still shot to death. Interestingly, in this case it is Eve's own actions (telling her father's lover's husband about the affair) that lead to her father's death, making her more "responsible" than most instances of this trope. Near the end, Eve finds a letter where he denies the accusation. The ending of the theatrical version makes it pretty clear that his version of the story was true, though the director's cut is much more ambiguous.
  • In the film Home Alone, Kevin wishes that his family would disappear. They do - they mistakenly left him behind when they went away to France on vacation, but he thinks they no longer exist. He's happy about this, but starts missing them after a while.
  • In Labyrinth, in a fit of frustration, Sarah wishes that the Goblin King would come and take her little brother Toby away. Naturally, he hears and obliges.
  • Helena and her mother in MirrorMask. Her mother falls ill and has to be hospitalized after Helena wishes her dead in an argument. Helena's guilt over it is, according to one interpretation, the driving force of the dream sequence that makes up most of the film.
  • In Music of the Heart, one of the students tells another to "drop dead" during a heated argument. Some time later, the other student gets shot and killed, and the one he argued with blames himself for telling him to drop dead.
  • The "wish" part is taken literally in The Outing, as the main character releases a genie from a lamp after telling her father that she wishes he's dead during a fight.
  • In Poison Ivy, after Sylvie's mother by all appearances jumps to her death, Sylvie admits that at times she wanted to kill her because she was embarrassed at what she perceived was her mother playing up her illness for attention, and now deeply regrets not realizing she was really in pain.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera Shilo is told by Rotti to capture the Repo Man to get the cure to her blood disease. When she actually DOES confront him and finds out that he's actually her father, Nathan, she's furious. It doesn't help that a hologram shows up on the wall behind them, revealing that her godmother, Blind Mag, has been murdered. "Don't help me anymore, dad. You are dead, dad, in my eyes! Someone has replaced you. Dad, I hate you! Go and die!" Guess what happens about five minutes later?
  • Subverted in Zathura. One of the brothers, Walter, shortly after having an angry argument with his brother, Danny, gets a free wish from the game. Their older companion warns him not to wish that Danny would disappear because that's how he got stuck in the game. Walter wishes for a football signed by Brett Farve.

  • Amaranta Buendía goes through this twice in One Hundred Years of Solitude. The first time, she was a teenager caught in a vicious rivalry with her stepsister Rebeca. She prays for something horrible to happen and keep her from killing the other girl; soon after, their sister-in-law Remedios has a fatal miscarriage. The second time, Amaranta was an adult, and her Dogged Nice Guy Gerineldo Márquez was in jail. She made a flippant remark about his possibly being in line for execution when Amaranta's mother tells her to marry the guy. Some days later, Colonel Márquez is marked for death via firing squad, and only Amaranta's older brother (Colonel Aureliano)'s threats save him from execution.
  • Used a few times in Agatha Christie novels. The conviction of young characters that they "caused" the deaths of disliked relatives leads to them becoming murder suspects.
  • A Brother's Price: Standing outside of the theater where her older sisters and abusive husband were watching a play, Princess Halley discussed said husband and she said "I wish Keifer was dead." A moment later a bomb went off in the theater. Halley misses and feels guilty about her sisters' deaths—but she always meant what she said about Keifer.
  • In the children's story The Bull Run, a young boy is dared to run across a field that has a bull in it. While the bull doesn't actively attack the boy, he scares him so much that the boy wishes him "gone". The next day, the bull and his entire heard are gone, and then the boy realises that they were probably taken to the slaughterhouse and feels bad about it.
  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath: When Brenwyr was 6, she wished her mother dead in a fit of anger. But Brenwyr is a Shanir maledight, which means that her curses come true—wishing her mother dead really did cause it. The guilt haunts her the rest of her life.
    Brenwyr: When I was six. I borrowed my brother's clothes and dressed up in them. Mother caught me. She was furious, called me perverted, tore them off… I-I was so angry. "I hope you break your neck." I said that. And she did, going down the stairs with her arms full of shirts, and pants, and boots… Oh, Mother, don't! I take it back, I take it back…
  • In the novel version of Contact, David Drumlin dies during an explosion while diving to save his old student Ellie. They'd both been candidates to go on the Machine, and her first thought as she realized that he was dead was I can go, they'll have to send me, there's nobody else, I get to go. She immediately is aghast with herself, and while soul-searching she realizes this.
    Gradually she discovered that there was a part of her that had wished Drumlin dead—even before they became competitors for the American seat on the Machine. She hated him for having diminished her before the other students in class, for opposing Argus, for what he had said to her the moment after the Hitler film had been reconstructed. She had wanted him dead. And now he was dead. By a certain reasoning—she recognized it immediately as convoluted and spurious—she believed herself responsible.
  • In Darth Bane: The Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn, it just so happened young Dessel had been wishing his abusive father to die and imagining it happening all through the night on the night when his father's heart really stopped. It's not until much later when he's adopted the name Bane and being trained to become a Sith Lord because of his exceptionally strong connection with the Force that he realises it probably wasn't a coincidence. The realization that he may have been directly responsible for his father's death prompts Dessel to feel guilt and remorse for the last time in his life — it gets so bad that his connection to the Force is badly weakened. Sadly, he gets over it.
  • Brutha from the Discworld book Small Gods was beaten by his grandmother every morning, because, even if he hadn't done anything wrong at that point, he surely would during the day. One day, he yelled after her, "I wish you were dead!" She died the next day.
  • The book A Gift of Magic: Nancy wishes that her sister would stay with the family instead of going off to ballet school. Unfortunately, Nancy has ESP, and her wishing causes her sister to fall down a flight of stairs and injure her foot permanently. When she realizes what she's done, she uses her powers to reverse the damage.
  • In Colleen McCullough's novel of ancient Rome, The Grass Crown, nine-year-old Servilia angrily curses her uncle, aunt, mother, and stepfather by saying, "I hope you all die before I'm old enough to marry!" They all do. Servilia is happy that they died.
  • Paul Auster once asked the audience of NPR to send in short stories under the one condition that the story had actually happened (which makes this an example for the Real Life section as well). He published the best ones in his book I Thought My Father was God. The titular story is told through the eyes of a young child watching her father confront a neighbour like this: "Why don't you just drop dead?". The guy actually does, leaving the author with the impression of her father having god-like powers.
  • In Little Women, Amy follows Jo and Laurie when they go ice skating at the river, hoping to make up with Jo after having burned the latter's manuscript of hand-written fairy-tales. Laurie calls out a warning that part of the ice is thin, but Amy is too far behind to hear him, and Jo, despite suspecting that she didn't hear, is still so angry about her manuscript that she refuses to repeat the warning. A moment later, Amy falls through the thin ice, with Jo and Laurie narrowly managing to save her from drowning. Jo is racked with guilt afterwards, blaming herself for the accident, and learns just how destructive uncontrolled anger can be.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Denethor wishes that his second son Faramir had died instead of his first son Boromir, and sends him on a suicidal charge to "redeem" himself. When he's brought back, apparently dead, Denethor succumbs to despair and burns himself alive.
  • Mother of Learning: Rea speculates that Raynie has often wished ill on her little brother, due to their acrimonious family history, and that Raynie is thus feeling incredibly guilty about him being kidnapped.
    Rea: Shifter tribes have a somewhat superstitious view of curses. Wishing misfortune to someone in your head is not just harmless catharsis to a lot of them.
  • In the third book of The Power of Five series, Jamie recounts the events of the night his foster father Ed died: His twin, Scott, told Ed to go hang himself. Both twins are telepathic. Needless to say, Ed immediately did just that. This is why Scott and Jamie don't usually use their powers with anyone but each other.
  • Rhythm of War: After a particularly bad argument with her abusive husband, Gavilar, Navani burns a prayer petitioning the Almighty to kill him. When he is assassinated shortly thereafter, Navani is horrified, especially since she is genuinely devout and religious.
  • Searching for David's Heart: A Christmas Story: This is the Plot-Triggering Death; during a serious fight, Darcy wishes out loud that her brother David was dead, right to his face—and he is killed in a car accident when he is chasing her down to apologize.
  • Jon Snow of A Song of Ice and Fire, after having an argument with his beloved uncle, momentarily sees him lying dead in the snow in his mind's eye and Jon is horrified and sickened by this. His uncle goes missing not long after, devastating Jon.
  • Warrior Cats: Lionblaze's hatred towards Heathertail grows throughout Eclipse, until towards the end of the book where he has a dream about finding her mangled corpse, at which point he thinks she deserves what she got, though he quickly grows to realize how completely psychotic this is. However, throughout the next book, he is tortured by very graphic nightmares of himself killing her violently and, you guessed it, angsts about it.
  • In Whortle's Hope, a prequel to The Deptford Mice, Jenkin Nettle's father Isaac says in a fit of anger that he wishes an owl would swoop down and carry him off so he'd never have to see his face again. The main trilogy book The Crystal Prison has Jenkin dying in that exact manner, leaving Isaac regretful and heartbroken.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Aishiteru has a character wishing her little brother would die. If he didn't, there wouldn't be a show.
  • Played with in Arrested Development when Lucille prays to keep Buster from going to Iraq, and a seal bites off his hand. When she says it's all her fault, Michael simply responds, "God's not going to listen to you." GOB then says it's his fault for releasing a seal that had tasted mammal blood when he fed it a cat; Michael says he makes a better case.
  • In the Being Human episode "Sticks and Rope", Oliver the Victorian ghost wished that his sickly brother Albert would die because Oliver resented the attention their parents gave Albert. When Albert actually died, Oliver was Driven to Suicide by the guilt. When Oliver finally accepts that he did not cause Albert's death, his door appears, and Albert heart-warmingly welcomes him to the afterlife.
  • Boy Meets World did this in an early episode. Fortunately for Cory's conscience, Mr. Feeny recovered.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Weight of the World", when Dawn is captured by Glory, Buffy goes into Heroic BSoD mode. In her mind, she repeats the same images over and over again; one of them was her placing a book back on the shelf in the Magic Shop. Buffy explains to Willow (who has gone on a journey to the center of Buffy's mind) that it was a memory of when she had momentarily given up on saving her sister Dawn and briefly wished Dawn would die just so the fear would be over.
    • Inverted when Buffy tells Angel, who is contemplating suicide, that she's tried wishing him dead, but it doesn't work as Angel survived her attempt to kill him and she's still in love with him regardless.
  • In one episode of Cold Case, a young victim's mother had, shortly before the boy's death, prayed to God to ease her burden, as she was overwhelmed by caring for three children; she's felt horribly guilty ever since. The ending montage suggests that, now that she knows what actually happened to lead to her son's death, she may finally be able to start forgiving herself.
  • Slight inversion of the 'My parents got divorced because of me' version, Zoey of Eureka is visiting a retirement home (as community service), and two former scientists are trying to explain nuclear fission (I think). She asks them to dumb it down (just for the trope apparently, since she does belong in the town) and they use the analogy of her parents' divorce. She processes this for a moment before asking if they intended to imply that she was the cause. They glance at each other and fervently try to convince her that wasn't their intent. It's never brought up again.
  • On Fawlty Towers, Basil was always making comments like this to his wife specifically in the hope that some tragedy would befall her.
    "Try not to drive over any land mines on your way over, dear."
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had an episode where Will told off his uncle's Jerkass political mentor-turned-rival, including a "drop dead." Seconds later, he has a fatal heart attack. Will attends the funeral out of guilt, only to learn that he was pretty well universally hated - most of the "mourners" are there just to make sure he's really gone. Will admonishes them for their callousness, causing one to ask who he is; when he responds "I'm the dude who killed him," he gets a standing ovation. "Tough room."
  • There was an episode of Grey's Anatomy that Kay Panabaker guest-starred in, where she and her sister that apparently cannot stop fighting for more than a few seconds are brought into the hospital. Something is apparently more wrong with the older sister than meets the eye, and she is wheeled off to ICU. The last words her sister says to her? "I hope you die!" A short time later, blood starts coming out of the girl's nose and her eyes are shut. So...
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Lily gives her estranged father her "You're Dead To Me" look, then regrets it when she discovers a complete stranger she gave the look to had died.
  • Mentioned in passing in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    Defense Lawyer: Hell of a railroad job on what he said in the heat of the moment. I mean, thinking about the fights with my wife, what people might say... sometimes I want to kill her.
    Alex Cabot: If she dies, then you've got a problem.
  • In Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls' jealousy of her newborn baby brother turns to guilt after said brother dies. Thinking she was responsible, Laura runs away from home and climbs a mountain — and we are not talking here about a childish exaggeration of 'hill' — to get "closer to God." She hopes that she'll bring about a miracle by doing so. (The true miracle may be that she was able to find a mountain in Minnesota.)
  • In one episode of Lizzie McGuire, Lizzie wishes someone would "knock Kate off her pedestal" moments before Kate actually falls off the pyramid and breaks her arm, prompting Lizzie's cartoon avatar to ask "Since when do I control the wind?" While she doesn't feel guilty, exactly, she does wind up teaching Kate some rhythmic gymnastics she can do one handed because Kate's temporarily replacement is actually worse than she is.
  • In the Lost episode "Not in Portland", Juliette says she wishes her boss would get hit by a bus or something...and you know how the trope goes. She didn't have the kind of power alluded to in the Louis C.K. example above - it was simply Played for Laughs at the expense of her boss, who probably wasn't really a bad guy.
  • In one of his stand-up comedy specials, comedian Louis C.K. has a bit about his friend telling him he should never say things like "I hope your plane crashes" because "wouldn't [he] feel terrible if it came true". His pithy response is that he actually thinks it would be pretty cool: "Are you kidding? I would gladly sacrifice your life for knowledge of my super-power!"
  • The Malcolm in the Middle episode "Health Scare" where after Malcolm and Reese got home from a party of ladies they snuck to, He yells this to their parents who sadly walk to their room if a disapparent grounding doesn't work.
  • Oz. When Father Mukada is falsely accused of molestation by sociopathic inmate Timmy Kirk, he prays for Kirk's death. The next day Kirk is murdered by a crazed inmate who believes he's carrying out God's will, whereupon Mukada tries to convince himself that God doesn't carry out that kind of request.
  • Subverted on Seinfeld, of all places, in the episode "The Betrayal" when Kramer spends the entire "backwards" episode finding ways to protect himself from Franklin Delano Romanowski's birthday wish, which was for Kramer to "drop dead."
  • This happens in the first part of an episode of Sledge Hammer! but it isn't the main plot. When the show's Cowboy Cop protagonist watches a used car dealer's TV commercial, he expresses disgust, and wishes he was dead... And then the guy dies of a heart attack. He quickly regrets saying it, thinking he made it happen, and eventually, to convince him otherwise, his partner shows him some recent obituaries to prove that this happens to people in that profession all the time. (It convinces him, but then they realize that all of them died suspiciously, and via a similar means, making them suspicious that a serial killer is targeting used car salesmen, leading to the main plot.)
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Downplayed. In "Lineage", it's revealed that when B'Elanna was eleven, she overheard her father say that he regretted marrying a Klingon (said Klingon was B'Elanna's mother) and so angrily yelled at him, "If you hate living with us, then why don't you just leave!?", only for him to actually leave soon after. This makes her feel guilty, even as an adult.
  • In the "Hook Man" (S01, Ep07) episode of Supernatural, Lori does this to her father when she finds out he is having an affair and accidentally summons the titular Hook Man.
  • In an episode of That '70s Show, Eric is telling off his grandmother (Red's mother) and asks "Would it kill you to be nice?" She immediately drops dead. At the end of the episode, he's explaining what happened to Red, who just laughs and says, "That could only happen to you."
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: During a faculty party for a universally-hated teacher in "Body & Soul & Dick", Mary tells Dick that she wishes that the guest of honor was dead, only for said guest of honor to die of a Hollywood Heart Attack a minute later. Dick, being Dick, congratulates her on getting her wish, but Mary is horrified, and the next time we see her, she's knocking back martinis like it's going out of style.
  • The X-Files. A man dying of yellow fever in the 19th century captures a glimpse of Death and avoids its gaze, hoping it will take the nurse who's been trying to help him stay alive. It does so, cursing him with immortality because he missed his chance. "People should be careful what they wish for."

  • In Sound Horizon's song "Sacrifice," the singer (who, if not actually The Unfavorite, certainly feels like she is) wishes death on her little sister, who promptly comes down with a nasty case of the plague that's going around. The singer, feeling guilty, takes her wish back, and her sister recovers... only for their mother to die instead, leaving the singer Promoted To Parent.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • There was this gem from Nikki Bella from the Bella Twins feud, fresh from her Face–Heel Turn, saying this to her sister, Brie.
    Nikki:"I wish you died in the woOOOOmb!"

  • In Adventures in Odyssey a young boy wishes his baby brother would never come. His mother then miscarries, and he spends most of the rest of the episode feeling guilty about it.
  • Played for Laughs (Black Humor, since this is exactly what happened to him) in Adam Long's Condensed History of the Conservative Party, with regard to Sir Robert Peel:
    First Conservative: He's always trying to reform things! If he wants to reform things so much, why doesn't he form a Liberal Party or something?
    Second Conservative: You know what? I wish he would fall off his high horse and die!
    Sir Robert Peel: AARGH!
    Second Conservative: Okay, now I feel kind of bad...
  • Inverted on a broadcast of Imus in the Morning where Don Imus seems to be obsessed with theories regarding Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss to where cast member Charles McCord gets fed up:
    Charles: (to Imus) Do you understand? You have driven us crazy with this crap! They're DEAD!! Whittaker Chambers is DEAD!! Alger Hiss is DEAD!! Richard Nixon is DEAD!! I wish I were DEAD!!

  • In Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol Scrooge inadvertently does this to himself when he begs to be killed, which makes Death appear to grant his wish.
  • In Little Shop of Horrors, after the sadistic Domestic Abuser Orin goes missing and is presumed dead, his girlfriend Audrey seems rather sad and regretful, even though he treated her horribly and, frankly, anyone else would be glad he's gone. When her coworker asks her about it, she confesses that she always secretly wished Orin would disappear, and now that he actually has, she feels understandably relieved, guilty for feeling relieved, and partially responsible for his "meeting with foul play". While she didn't directly cause Orin to disappear, his abuse of her is the reason Seymour decided to kill him.
  • Used as one of the main Red Herrings in the the Agatha Christie play Spider's Web: teenaged Pippa finds a book about "black magic" and casts a spell to kill her mother's hated boyfriend. When she finds his body, she's convinced she's responsible, but is too hysterical to explain why she thinks that, leading her stepmother to believe she actually killed him.

    Video Games 
  • Averted in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Aside from surprise, Lahral's reactions to his father's death are wishing he had been the one to killing him, and in the anime, berating him for dying by choking on food. He also once states "I'll kill you!" only for Etna to remind him the king is already dead.
  • In Final Fantasy X, young Tidus wishes (in a Flashback) that his Disappeared Dad would never return. When his mother tells him that Jecht might be dead, Tidus' reaction amounts to Fine!.
  • Persona 4: When the elderly Hisano Kuroda (your Death S-Link) saw her husband become ill and beginning to forget who he was, she wished he would die so neither of them would have to suffer anymore. She considered his death a Mercy Kill since the husband she'd known was already 'dead'.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: Sort of: At the end of Chapter 4, as Elaine is sharing her Last Kiss with the fatally wounded Guybrush, LeChuck taunts him by saying, "Aren't you dead yet? I've got wedding plans to make!" As if on cue, Guybrush dies in her arms and leaves her heartbroken and angry. Cue the Informal Eulogy.
    • Played with in Chapter 5, when Guybrush (as a zombie) confronts LeChuck, who tells him, "I do wish you hadn't made such a pest of yourself. I wanted you alive to see me marry Elaine!"
  • In Touhou Project, Yuyuko Saigyouji, is literally described as being capable of "Invoking death as she wishes." This trope may have factored in her suicide. Fortunately, she's too polite to use this power nowadays...well, usually.
  • In Valkyrie Profile, one character wishes that Yumei (one of the recruitable characters) can live happily with her parents just like she wanted. Thing is, Yumei's parents are dead, so he basically wished that she would die so she'd be with her parents.
    • A wish which, by the way, doesn't come true, since its only result is to have the Valkyrie recruit her. The implication may be that Yumei's parents are in Valhalla, and by becoming an Einherjer, Yumei is destined to be reunited with them eventually, but this is never explicitly stated in any way.

    Visual Novels 
  • In a series where bad ends are the norm, one arc of Higurashi: When They Cry takes this trope to a near-superpower level. To clarify, the hero, Keiichi, had decided to murder the abusive uncle of one of his friends, and soon after wishes death upon a nurse who suspects his involvement in the crime, a police officer who is a jerk to him, and the doctor whom he confided in when he realizes that the doctor thinks he's crazy (he is) and is planning to sedate him. All three are soon reported dead. At the end, after things get even more out of hand, as he falls from a bridge into the river, he wonders how things went so wrong and wishes for the destruction of the entire town. Cut to a TV screen detailing the Hinamizawa Gas Disaster; the entire village died in one night, leaving Keiichi as the sole survivor. TIPS reveal that after that, Keiichi has basically lost his mind and believes himself to have God-like powers. When he feels that a reporter is being rude, he tells him that he'll die in water. It's noted that, years later, the reporter died in a fishing accident. The twist? It's all coincidence. Keiichi doesn't have God-like powers, and one of the first three people is Faking the Dead.
  • After the first set of murders in the first arc of Umineko: When They Cry, Battler pleads to the hypothetical Beatrice through Maria, asking that, if Beatrice is going to kill anyone else, to do it in a way that is impossible for anyone else, if only so he wouldn't be forced to suspect his friends and family. Not long after, Eva and Hideyoshi are found in a Locked Room Murder with very occult-looking stakes drilled into their foreheads. Maria's response?
    Maria: Uu~ Satisfied?

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!: In this story, Akane wants to apologize to Yuzuriha for bullying her back in middle school after finding out she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was told she had less than three months to live, Yuzuriha obliges and visits her. However, Yuzuriha reveals that she was burying all of her anger towards Akane for the sufferings she received from her, including the fact she was burning her school uniform to bully her furthermore, she then wishes in front of her that she would die sooner from the cancer.

  • This Penny Arcade plays with it.
  • Unsounded: At one point Siya wonders aloud why it's not her sister who has to die, since as the younger of a set of twins Siya is meant to be killed in a ritual sacrifice sometime after her twenty-second birthday. She quickly takes it back, but to her despair Sara does die the next day when the shrine they've been raised in is attacked.
  • In Wapsi Square, the last thing Shelly said to her mom before her sudden death was "I hate you." It took her a long time to stop blaming herself.
  • Parodied in this Wondermark comic.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • A variant from Animaniacs (specifically the "Randy Beaman Kid"): "Okay so this one time there was this bully that kept bugging Randy Beaman, and so this one time Randy Beaman told the bully to get lost, and he DID, and nobody ever saw him again. Creepy huh? Okay, bye!"
  • Reversed around in Bambi II. In an argument with his father over his upbringing (namely being taken in by a surrogate mother, leading Bambi to think his father no longer wanted him) he angrily snaps that he wishes "Mother was here instead of you". Despite his regret afterwards however, it is Bambi that suffers the Disney Death instead of the Great Prince.
  • Daria: "The Misery Chick" introduces former Lawndale quarterback Tommy Sherman, who is being honored with a new goalpost named after him, and who is also a world-class Jerk Jock. After Daria comments on how, even though he's an asshole, he'll still be treated like a hero for the rest of his life, Jane makes a crack about how he might not live that long — just in time for him to be killed by his own commemorative goalpost. Afterwards, Jane spends the next few days avoiding Daria, because she's freaked out by the coincidence and doesn't want to think about it.
  • A villainous variation occurs in the Ducktales 1987 episode "Master of the Djinni", where Glomgold, after finally getting his hands on a magic lamp he and Scrooge had been warring over, wishes to get rid of Scrooge by marooning him a desert island. Though he obviously doesn't regret that part, he makes the mistake of rhetorically wishing he could see the look of Scrooge's face. His genie, eager to get rid of his master, pretends to take this literally and sends Glomgold on the same island, leaving him stuck there unless he uses his final wish. Glomgold, furious at getting gipped, carelessly wishes he never found the stupid lamp. He has roughly two seconds to realise what he just said before a magic time reset causes the lamp to get shuffled out of sight so Scrooge and Glomgold never found it in the first place.
  • An episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy focuses on the other Cul-de-sac kids as they discover that the Ed's are mysteriously absent from the neighborhood. At first they enjoy their freedom from being constantly hassled by the Ed's scams, but as the hours creep by, they begin to worry as they find that the Ed's are nowhere to be found. Jimmy confesses that he's wished for this to happen almost every birthday, and feels guilty that it seems like it came true. The other kids all feel the same way, with the exception of Kevin, who grows increasingly paranoid that their absence is all part of a massive, complicated scam. In reality, the Ed's have been wandering around all day looking for the mascot costume mask that Ed lost.
  • An episode of Felix the Cat (Joe Oriolo) had the Professor and Rock Bottom setting out to capture the leprechaun king, as in doing so grants them each three wishes. They each wish for riches, planes, boats. When Felix intervenes, the Professor and Rock both wish Felix would disappear. Instead, their fortunes do as making a fourth wish automatically negates their three legitimate wishes.
  • One episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy featured a three wishes genie. Mandy gets annoyed and wishes that "everyone in the whole wide world would just go away." They do. She is approximately as pleased as she always is.
  • In the Justice League that shows us the story of the Thanagarians who crash-landed on Earth in the days of Ancient Egypt and where they become rulers, Hawkman learns that his wife is having an affair with a man implied to be Green Lantern John Stewart's ancestor. In a fury he mutters, "I wish they were dead." Unfortunately for him, his vizier overheard it and...
  • Inverted in an episode of King of the Hill when Luanne, arguing with the ghost of her boyfriend Buckley, tells him "I wish you weren't dead!"
  • Little Princess: In "I Want to Do Magic", the Princess tries to cast a magic spell to make her teddy bear Gilbert go away, but due to being angry with the Queen, accidentally says, "Make my mum go away" instead, and so when the Queen goes for a walk without telling anyone, the Princess thinks she's made her vanish into thin air. Justified, since A.) The Princess is only four and is a bit too young to think logically, and B.) She thought the magic tricks used real magic.
  • Inversion: At the end of the Looney Tunes film "Hare Ribbin'", the dog goes into a massive guilt trip after thinking his bite of the "rabbit sandwich" killed Bugs Bunny and wishes he were dead. Bugs hands the dog a gun ("Do you mean it?") and he blows his brains out. (In the director's cut, Bugs shoves the gun in the dog's mouth and shoots.)
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Prince and the Ponies", the First Tooth Babies are jealous of the Newborn Twins and hope for bad things to happen to them. They eventually find out that the Newborn Twins were only invited to the palace so the Duchess's daughter could take them as her pets.
    "That what we hoping would happen to them."
    "Only now, me not feel good 'bout hoping for it."
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to a minor variant, although inverted for two reasons. Rarity, annoyed that Fluttershy ended up becoming popular instead of her, gets so stressed over it that she outright wishes that her popularity suddenly stopped. Inverted the first time, because she realizes just how terrible it is to wish bad things on a friend at the moment of saying it (As Twilight immediately points out), and Inverted again because Fluttershy doesn't want all the attention required from her new work, but is staying in it for Raritys sake.
  • Punky Brewster: In the episode "Any Wish Way You Can", the wish spell Glomer intended for Punky hits Margaux instead, giving her three wishes. Allen says something that irks Margaux, who growls "I wish you'd disappear!!" Allen's body does just that, leaving his clothes in midair. (Glomer brings him back, though. Margaux certainly wasn't going to waste her second wish on his behalf.)
  • Rugrats:
    • There was an episode ("When Wishes Come True") where Tommy wished the worst thing ever would happen to Angelica. Angelica goes home, but Tommy finds a statue of her and is racked with guilt, thinking his wish had turned her to stone.
    • Invoked in "Dil Saver", when Tommy is angry with Dil and wishes he would "go away". Angelica overhears this and so when Lulu takes Dil off to change him, Angelica shows Tommy the screensaver of Dil on the family computer and lies that Dil is trapped in the computer to scare Tommy.
  • In the South Park episode "Pinkeye," Stan gets so upset with Wendy because she wore a Chewbacca mask for Halloween instead of dressing up like Raggedy Ann (he dressed up as Raggedy Andy), that he says he wishes she was dead right to her face. Later he feels guilty when he and the other boys discover Wendy is a zombie (albeit until Kyle kills head zombie Kenny).
  • In Transformers: Animated, Sentinel and Blackarachnia finally meet for the first time since the latter as Elita-One was left for dead before the events of the show. Elita was turned into a techno-organic due to her powers screwing her up when she tried to use them on the giant spiders native to the planet they went to, and Sentinel had developed a hatred towards organics ever since, as well as blaming Optimus for Elita's demise rather than taking up responsibility. In their reunion, Sentinel tells her that her state is a Fate Worse than Death and that it would've been better if she was dead.

    Real Life 
  • King Henry II of England, during an argument with Thomas Becket, cried "Will no one rid me of this Turbulent Priest?" To his horror, his knights took this as a request and murdered Becket.
  • After giving up his seat on a charter flight, Waylon Jennings jokingly told his friend Buddy Holly, "I hope your ol' plane crashes!" It did. The words so tormented Jennings that, for years, he felt personally responsible for Holly's death.
  • As shown in a Rolling Stone magazine, about a young criminal named "The Airplane Thief", he often got into fights with his mother (as she described, "He was like the Tazmanian Devil"). Once time, when he was 12, she screamed at him "I wish you would die!" He lived to be captured and to go to prison, but still...


A young Ken's wish

"I wish he would just disappear!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / IWishedYouWereDead

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