Follow TV Tropes


Jackass Genie

Go To
"Can I wish for a better genie?"
"Of course you can!"

"The Last Night of a Jockey" is an old Twilight Zone episode about a jockey who gets suspended from riding horses, then wishes he was bigger. The wish, obviously, backfires, because The Twilight Zone was basically one giant PSA about the dangers of evil genies.

A Jackass Genie is a djinn who will exploit every loophole in the book to grant the most nightmarish interpretation of your three wishes possible. Whereas a Literal Genie will make logical but basic interpretations of a wish—nothing more and nothing less than what the wish explicitly states—a Jackass Genie is specifically trying to make your life hell and claim that they are supposedly just doing their job.

No matter what you wish for, the Jackass Genie will find a way to twist it so you end up worse off. Expect him to milk Exact Words and Metaphorically True for all they're worth. And taking the Literal Genie approach of making sure your wish is very specific is nothing but a trap. Unless you know a rule that he absolutely has to follow, he'll just move the goalposts and screw you over anyway: "You asked to be rich, you didn't ask for the money not to come from your spouse's life insurance..."

Oftentimes the Jackass Genie just seems to be taking cheap shots at characters who are literally helpless before him. As a result, expect him to be the clear villain when he appears. The Literal Genie can be excused somewhat if they're just naturally ditzy or are trying to teach you a lesson about being careful what you wish for, but the Jackass Genie can lay no such claim. If there is any lesson to be learned with them, it might be "if an offer seems too good to be true, it is" — after all, this genie acts like a supernatural Con Man, and you always had the option to walk away and/or wish none of this ever happened. If you literally wish for the latter, however, don't be too surprised if the genie erases you from history. Morton's Fork may apply.

Genie jackassery is a natural repercussion of the original mythologies, where most wish-granting djinn are faeries enslaved by sorcerers (usually this specific one) and are rather unhappy with their servitude. As such, they will take every opportunity to screw over their master. Genies following this tradition are basically sending An Aesop that "you shouldn't consort with magical beings, full stop" or "trust God to guide your life." note  Nowadays that might be because "hard work is good for you" or "Wanting Is Better Than Having".

Has nothing to do with fitting Johnny Knoxville in a bottle... or the other way round, knowing him.

Compare with Deal with the Devil and Fairy Devilmother. Due to their common motivation, many of them are also Trolls.


    open/close all folders 

  • In this commercial, a lad called Tim wishes he was rich, cool and irresistible. The genie turns him into a packet of chocolate Tim Tams biscuits placed in his minifridge. Which then get eaten by his girlfriend.
  • The Toyota RAV4 genie. A family of four meets the genie and is granted wishes. The man wishes to get rid of his "spare tire"; the genie gets rid of a literal spare tire. The woman wishes that she could eat all the chocolate she wants; the genie gives her a medical condition that requires her to eat chocolate to survive. The boy wishes to be an astronaut; the genie launches the family car into space with the family in it. The girl wishes to be a princess; the genie makes her a princess in a setting similar to Game of Thrones. The man wishes for unlimited wishes; the genie mishears that as "witches". The man then rephrases his first wish; the genie has him chased down the street by a dog so he'll exercise.
  • An Energizer ad features a treasure hunter coming upon a magic lamp; for setting the genie free, he is granted three wishes. First wish: enormous wealth (he's surrounded by gold). Second wish: to be adored by women (beautiful ladies surround him). After the genie warns him to use his last wish wisely, he makes said wish: long life. To the genie's maniacal laughter, that is how the Energizer Bunny came to be.
  • An Indian commercial for 7 Up shows a pretty princess rubbing a lamp and summoning a genie (7 Up's mascot Fido). She wishes to be curvier; Fido responds by turning her into a 7-Up bottle and taking her place as ruler.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ah! My Goddess demons are like this in contrast of Benevolent Genies of Heaven. When it's just standard wish fulfillment, anyway. If the wish involved falls in line with the demon's desires as well, they'll pull out all the stops to get everything right.
  • Subverted in Cheeky Angel. Megumi wishes for manliness, so the genie, just to be an asshole, turns him into a girl. The subversion? That's a false memory, planted by the spirit itself when it granted her wish to the best of its limited ability.
  • Crayon Shin-chan has a What If? story where Shin-Chan randomly encounters a genie (from... a disused water kettle. Somehow) who offers him four wishes. Being a Dirty Kid, his first wish is for a swimsuit model from a magazine to come to life, only for said genie to materialize the model... while fully clothed (and not even scantily-clad like Shin-Chan expected). Shin-Chan then wishes the model away (wasting two wishes in a row) and in frustration, tell the genie to "SHUT UP!" when she reminds him he's down to two wishes... and then down to one left. But when Shin-Chan asks the genie to let him reconsider his last one, the genie is eager to follow suit without screwing him over - Shin-Chan considers using his last wish to either make him the king of his house, for the genie to turn everyone in the world into swimsuit models, for his gorgeous college-age neighbor he had a Precocious Crush on to fall madly in love with him, but eventually uses his last wish when he realize his baby sister Himawari is down with a terrible fever and wished her to be healthy again.
  • In the Devil May Cry: The Animated Series episode, "Wishes Come True", there was a "genie" that inhabited a creepy-looking mask who offered to grant your wish, but he would not grant your wish to be rich or beautiful, because "it's impossible" or "I don't like the idea." Instead, he would stalk you and wait until you said to someone: "I wish you would die," at which point he'd melt the person alive with hell-slime. This is because the "genie" was really a demon, and killing people was the only "wish" that it could grant.
  • In a chapter of a Doraemon manga, Doraemon introduces a robot genie that is literally this trope. Incapable of magic, the robot goes out to rob and even abduct people to fulfill Nobita's wishes. Though in this case, the jackass part is that it's a jackass to the people it's robbing/abducting and not to Nobita.
  • The wish-granting devil in Dorohedoro prefers to grant wishes that are stupid or selfish. The main characters figure this out and realize that he can be manipulated into granting selfless wishes if they're phrased in such a way as to sound selfish.
  • Not a genie, but Dragon Ball Super has Lord Zuno, an alien being said to know everything in the universe, and only grants a limited number of questions per person. When Bulma goes to him to find out about the Super Dragon Balls, she gets three questions but two are wasted because he interprets any question Bulma says out loud as counting towards her total, even if it's rhetorical or confirming information she'd already gotten.
    • Strongly averted in the whole Dragon Ball franchise by the wish-granting dragon Shenron. While his rude mannerisms (in which he makes no effort to hide the fact that he doesn't want to be summoned or grant wishes) would make you expect him to screw over wishers when the opportunity presents itself, he's actually highly benevolent about it.
  • Alluka from Hunter × Hunter is an interesting example. She has the ability to grant 'any' wish, provided that whoever's with her fulfills three of her requests. The downside is that it's not the wisher who gets screwed... but the next person she asks for her requests. If the previous wish was very complex, her requests become much more severe (such as asking for body parts) and if her requests are refused four times in a row, the person and their loved ones are reduced to pools of blood. Her brother Killua reveals that he understands her wish-granting better than everybody else, and can negate all the downsides of this by instead of wishing for her to grant something, commanding her to do it. He's very careful to keep the rest of his family from finding this out, and it's likely that she'll only obey "commands" from Killua since he's the only one who treated her like a person, let alone family, rather than just a wish-granting object.
  • Inuyasha: The Shikon Jewel is said to be able to grant any wish; in reality, it will twist a wish to its own benefit at worst or simply not grant it at best. It's even stated in-story that every single attempt to use the jewel for good has backfired. What this amounts to at the end of the story when someone is in a position to make that wish is that there's only one precise wish that can be made that will actually work (apparently the Jewel has no power to pervert that one) and anything else will result in doom. Kagome wishes for the jewel to vanish from existence forever, which is said precise wish.
  • Cameo and his Stand, Judgement, from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders fit this role to perfection (not surprisingly, as he was one of Dio's servants). He encountered Polnareff alone and, through his Stand, promised him 3 wishes. Polnareff first wished for gold, and at first, Cameo seemed honest, creating a glittering pile of treasure with no negative effects whatsoever. Then Polnareff remembered his guilt over not being able to save Sherry or Avdol and wished that they both be brought back to life. Cameo interpreted this as two wishes (giving Polnareff no way to escape the consequences), then led Polnareff to his newly-raised sister and ally... which were reborn as zombies who attempted to kill him. In truth, Judgement's real ability is manipulating earth, and Cameo only uses granting wishes as a ruse: the treasure it gave Polnareff was made of dirt, and the Sherry and Avdol zombies were clay golems.
  • This is essentially how Fukuzou Moguro, the titular character of The Laughing Salesman, functions. He approaches someone and offers to make their heart's desire come true, only to screw them over in the end. One episode, for example, has him approach a man who wishes to no longer be lonely. He makes the man think that he's going to meet a beautiful woman at the park, but instead he sets him up as being a pervert who's been preying on women and has him arrested, commenting that this will ensure that the man will receive national attention and never feel alone anymore.
  • Romeo from Make 5 Wishes. To make it even worse, the first, small wish that Hanna asks for, for her crush to finally notice her, is granted without any ill effects at all, leading to her becoming bolder and making bigger wishes that backfire on her horribly. For the fifth and final wish, she thinks he's screwed her over again, but he hasn't. She just doesn't realize that the fifth wish was granted exactly as she wanted.
  • The manga Only One Wish by Mia Ikumi (also author of Tokyo Mew Mew) revolves around the so-called Angel of Wishes, a mysterious entity looking like a woman in school uniform and witch hat that gives people cell phones to contact her and make a single wish who she'll then proceed to screw over:
    • The first chapter features the three friends Rikako, Ai and Mai getting the cell phone. Rikako uses her wish to get Ai and her beloved Yamaguchi together, only for Ai to start ignoring them and Yamaguchi later admitting he liked Rikako. When a pissed-off Rikako tries to get back Yamaguchi and Mai tries playing peacemaker, Ai cries out she wishes that Rikako and Mai would disappear while she was in contact with the 'Angel', who proceeds to summon an Eldritch Abomination to eat them until Yamaguchi gets the cell phone and wishes the monster away. Mai, finally, feeling betrayed by her friends, for whom she was willing to renounce to both the wish and Yamaguchi's love, makes an untold wish that is implied will kill them. The 'Angel' did all this just to show that friendship can be a fickle thing.
    • In the second chapter, a girl named Misa, who has drowned to save a cat, wishes to come back to life. The 'Angel' gives her a temporary body and will annul her death if she manages to kiss the boy she loves before midnight... But doesn't tell her that her friend Akio, who died with her and loves her, made a similar wish with the same condition. And Akio doesn't too but decides to help Misa live. The only reason they don't get screwed up when Misa throws away her chance to live and kisses Akio is that his wish was to stay with her for the following year, and the "Angel" decided it meant that they should both live.
    • In the third chapter, a girl named Kumi has a crush on a boy named Kisarazu, and wishes for him to become small so she'll be able to care for him in her home and he'll fall for her. The 'Angel' obliges and enjoys the show when Kisarazu is terrified and utterly furious when he learns that Kumi is responsible for his condition.
    • The fourth chapter opens with a man lying in his own blood and a high school student crying she didn't mean that when she wished her teacher would disappear, while the "Angel" states she fulfills any wish and that's the wisher's problem if she isn't happy with the result. She later states she'll screw up another wish upon sending a cell phone to a girl in need... and is happy when the girl ignores the cell phone: the "Angel" screws up wishes on purpose, because she doesn't like it when people cry for help at the first problem even when they can actually fulfill their wishes on their own (thus explaining why she didn't screw up Akio's wish: bringing people back to life is beyond current human abilities). She ends the chapter and the manga by preparing to screw another wish up.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Kyubey is a variation on this. While he grants wishes honestly and fully, he deliberately neglects to tell the wisher a few important details about the contract—specifically, that their soul will be removed from their body, and eventually they will become one of the monstrous witches they fight. The wishes people make are rarely, if ever, worth this level of sacrifice; and even if they were, his ultimate goal is to destroy all of human civilization to create energy for his own, making it all pointless from our perspective. Furthermore, the wishes themselves will always backfire- not that Kyubey has to do much, since the girls themselves will often make their wishes without really thinking about what they truly want:
    • Mami, having been dying in a car crash, wished to survive and got her wish, but then realized she forgot to ask Kyubey to save her parents as well.
    • Kyoko wished for people to listen to her priest father, who was ridiculed for his radical preaching. They did, but we’re basically brainwashed puppets. When the father found out, he snapped and killed her entire family and himself.
    • Sayaka wished for Kyousuke to heal his wrist, allowing him to play the violin again. He does, but what she really wanted was to gain his love for it- only for him to ultimately end up with Hitomi instead.
    • Homura wished for a chance to save Madoka from death, so Kyubey gave her the ability to turn back time- not telling her that Madoka is practically fated to die or become a witch, and turning back time to save her will only make her witch self even more powerful.
    • Until the end of the series, where Madoka sends the jackassery back where it came from.
    • Other works in the franchise include actual jackassery in the wish, though it also has elements of Literal Genie, and terrible coincidences making said wishes useless. For example, wishing to "disappear" from her own lack of self-worth, Magia Record's Sana instead continues living on. She has disappeared, i.e. become invisible, to those who aren't magical girls.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Lilith, the spirit of Lilith's Mirror, grants a wish to whoever possesses her mirror, but after said wish is granted, she terrorizes her victims and steals their souls.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Gruesome Deformity depicts a horrified woman, with a half-seen faced covered by growths and lesions, staring at herself in a bowl of water. The flavor text then describes how she asked a demon for the ability to inspire fear wherever she went; the demon was happy to comply.

    Comic Books 
  • The 1990s Marvel Comics series Sleepwalker had a demonic genie named Mr. Jyn who appeared to down-on-their-luck losers and pretended to grant their fondest desires, but actually manipulated his "masters" into letting him cause more and more chaos until he would be free to roam the Earth.
  • Id, a JLA villain, started off as a Literal Genie, granting a child's wish that everything was made out of chocolate, or Superman's wish that the Leaguers didn't have to maintain two identities. When it reacted to a disfigured film star shouting "Don't look at me!" by turning everyone in the city blind, Green Lantern realised "It's getting creative."
  • In Michael Dialynus's short comic The Knight Who Would Be King a Knight Errant helps an old man in exchange for a wish. Naturally, he wishes to be king so the old man turns him into a tree and carves a chess piece out of him.
  • The Bog Roosh, a mermaid-witch from Hellboy: The Third Wish. Three mermaids perform a task for her in exchange for a wish for each. The first wishes to be reunited with her lover. The Bog Roosh informs her that said lover is dead, then raises him as a zombie; he promptly attacks and kills the mermaid. The second mermaid wishes she could breath air and for legs, so she can be united with the human she loves. The Bog Roosh grants this immediately; as they're at the bottom of the ocean, the ex-mermaid drowns. The third mermaid wishes for a lost spear, so she can return it to the grave of her father. The Bog Roosh summons the lost spear from the depths of the ocean, and the mermaid safely swims away to deliver it. Apparently, the Bog Roosh is a misanthrope who hates romance, but she respects someone who cares for their parents. The third mermaid arguably suffers an even worse fate than her sisters. For no readily apparent reason, returning the spear to her father's grave condemns him to Hell, and when Hellboy kills the Bog Roosh, the mermaid has to take her place. It is more than likely the Bog Roosh knew the girl's father would hate the fact that she sacrificed Hellboy for the sake of a lost object and would condemn her for it, his Hell being the shame and disgrace of his daughter's actions. So yeah, Bog Roosh is a jackass genie through and through.
  • In Babymouse: Beach Babe, Babymouse has an Imagine Spot where she finds a bottle with a genie that looks like Felicia. She wishes for ice cream and gets pickle flavor (since she didn't specify what kind), she then wishes for straight whiskers, only for the genie to make them straight, but so long that they touch the ground. Finally, she wishes for "someone cool" to play with, only to come back to reality, where she only has her baby brother for a companion.
  • Superman: In one storyline Mister Mxyzptlk is trying to be helpful granting the wishes of people in Metropolis, however the wishes cause chaos in various ways: Buildings getting arms and legs and walking through the city when a resident wishes for a river view, hundreds of people winning the lottery, etc.
  • When wishes are made of djinn in Fables, they haven't been seen to twist words. However, if the third wish isn't used to put them back in the bottle, they'll go on a rampage instead. In a Cinderella spin-off, we even find out that Aladdin has a genie with one more wish, just to make life hell for anybody who's about to kill him.
  • Played with in G. Willow Wilson's Cairo. The jinn Shams can't make things appear out of thin air when granting wishes, he can only manipulate probability. This results in a surprise for protagonist Shaheed when he wishes that he didn't have to pay for his breakfast.
  • The Simpsons:
    • One story, "Ala-diddly-addin and His Magic Lamp", features Ned Flanders as Aladdin and Homer as a Jackass Genie. First, he complains how long he's been in the lamp, so Aladdin remarks he should have a drink — the genie interprets this as his first wish and grants himself a beer. For his second wish, the starving family wishes for food, so the genie calls up a combination of a strip club and buffet. When the staunchly-faithful Aladdin complains, he passingly tells the genie to "forget I just said that", leading to the genie taking it as his third wish... though this works in Aladdin's favor, as he erases his own memory, so he thinks Aladdin still has a wish. When Aladdin wishes for his dead wife to be alive again, the genie pulls the classic trick and brings her back as a living skeleton, while outright copping to the fact he'd probably have screwed up the wish had it been differently worded. In the end, the genie also wrecks Aladdin's last wish (to "escort himself" out of town), creating a duplicate he winds up getting drunk and crashing with Aladdin's family with.
    • Another story taking place when Homer was a kid had Homer find a mean genie who tried to pressure Homer into making a wish and point-blank telling him that he intends to grant his wishes so that they have negative consequences, such as having Homer's wish for a million dollars result in Homer getting the money illegally and his father getting mad at him for it.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • During the Inferno (1988) Crisis Crossover, the current Hobgoblin followed a group of demons to their lair, where he met their boss and offered up his soul in exchange for power. After he finishes laughing, the demon tells the Hobgoblin that his corrupt soul is worth nothing, but since he got a laugh out of this, decides to indulge his request for power... by fusing Hobby with a crazy Knight Templar demon outcast.
    • In the first Excalibur storyline, the team took on a band of alien mercenaries called Technet. One member of Technet, Joyboy, has the power to telepathically discern his victim's fondest wish and grant it in as unpleasant a way as possible. He is able to take out Kitty Pryde (who at this time has to concentrate to stay solid) by granting her wish for a solid body. A five-hundred pound solid body. She reverted to normal once Joyboy is knocked unconscious.
    • Mephisto, the closest thing to Satan in Marvel Comics, may sometimes wander into this. Once, he decides to play along with a popular Urban Legend that sometimes the devil may visit a bar and, if the bartender provides him with good service, he will grant him a wish. When the bartender asks for immortality, Mephisto drags him to Hell, extracts all his blood when grinding him like fresh meat, and uses it as ink to write letters. Words are immortal.

      More infamous is the deal he made with Johnny Blaze, a.k.a. Ghost Rider. Blaze asked for his foster father Crash Simpson, a stunt rider, to be cured of his cancer in return for Blaze's soul; Mephisto granted the wish, but when Crash next tried to perform a stunt it went wrong and Crash died — Mephisto reasoned that he had saved Crash from dying of cancer, but had no obligation to save him from dying in some other fashion.
  • In Archie Comics, there is an old man that fits this: he has wish-granting powers, and Archie receives wishes that turn out to amuse the old man when they turn out wrong. Archie is so warped by anger over this that in a moment of evil, he wishes that REGGIE receive the remainder of his wishes. The moment of evil goes like this: "Are you kidding? I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!" (Archie's eyes glow with skulls for pupils and hellfire for irises as he gets an evil grin) "Or maybe... I would!" Which the old man provides. The first thing it leads up to? Reggie getting run up a tree by Moose.
  • The Suske en Wiske comic De perenprins features a genie that always grants the exact opposite of what you wish. For example, when Lambik wished for the genie to give them some allies that didn't have to be very tall, he instead gave their enemies three giants as allies. This is not because the genie is evil or malicious, but more that he is extremely clumsy. He always apologizes afterward for his screw ups. Eventually, both Wiske and Jerom get smart enough to realize the genie's flaw and exploit it by actually wishing for the exact opposite of what they really want. When Jerom defeated the giants, he wished for 3 more giants. The result: the genie screwed up again and accidentally made the 3 already existing giants disappear, exactly what Jerom really wanted.
  • The Candlemaker in Doom Patrol. He grants Dorothy Spinner two wishes without a catch, but when she makes her third one, he grants her wish and resurrects Joshua Clay as promised, but then escapes her mind and immediately kills him.
  • In "The Aladdin Frame-Up" in Plop! #11 a guy who finds a genie in a lamp he stole from the cart of a junk peddler wishes for money. The genie disappears for a bit, then comes back and tosses him a pile of cash — dripping with the blood of the man he killed to get it, whose corpse just so happens to be lying right outside the wisher's rundown apartment building.
  • The genie from the Misty story "The Evil Djinn". After a nurse saves her life, she gives the nurse three wishes, but every one of them has a negative consequence. The nurse first wishes for legally gained wealth...and her sister is killed at work, leaving the money from the life insurance policy. She then wishes for her sister to be alive again, and the wish makes it so that the sister is paralyzed for life. Unfortunately for the genie, her jackass behavior backfires when the nurse uses the last wish to wish that they had never met, and the genie dies.
  • The Mickey Mouse Comic Universe story "Absolutely Mickey" had Mickey encounter what appeared to be a Benevolent Genie that permitted him to wish for infinite wishes and stuck around to advise him. It seems to end up a big lesson in Be Careful What You Wish For: wishing for everyone in the world to be nice ended up with them cowed to obedience, wishing for adventures turned out to be boring because there was no challenge when you could decide exactly what would happen, etc. Then it turned out that the genie was not so much a Genie in a Bottle as a Sealed Evil in a Can that was poised to Take Over the World at will now that he was released (what with being The Omnipotent and all), but also liked to grant mortals wishes and make them go wrong.
  • In World's Finest comic book story "The Three Magicians of Bagdad!", Superman must pretend he's a genie who must obey the villain's commands. When commanded to bring gold, he brings molten gold. When commanded to bring a weapon he can seize the city with, Superman uses a long chain to bring lightning.
  • In a My Little Pony G1 comic, spotted four-leaf clovers mess up the wishes. Luckily they're really sophisticated idiots.
  • In Dylan Dog, getting the wrong devil for a deal can end up like this: in "Baba Yaga" a terminally ill man sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the death of the men that killed his family, but the devil refused to carry on his part until the man was almost dead just to keep him from enjoying his revenge, pushing the man to make the same deal to Baba Yaga (who immediately blew up the targets and brought him with her so he could enjoy the show).
    • In "Devil in the Bottle", the titular devil, contracted to screw over crusaders, screws up a knight's wish to rule over the world by making him king of an alien planet (and a race of tentacled Eldritch Abominations). He becomes a bit less of a jerk and more compliant once he finds out he was actually in the present day at a LARP convention and needs the protagonist's help to get back to Hell.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. Yua is this. She has a good reason: as a banshee from the world of Arkhanta, and the most powerful of all, she has to grant three wishes, within the limits of her powers, to anyone who manages to capture her, and while she was unable to grant Ari's original wish she merely stated her inability and then granted him his next two wishes... Then Ari wished she'd be in his servitude granting his wishes forever, and that earned him her hatred. Being smart about it and knowing he could use the wishes to punish her, Yua continued granting his wishes the usual way while manifesting her hatred with simple shouts of anger and acting creepy to his guards until he, having to face the Guardians of Kandrakar in combat, wished for an armor invulnerable to their magic and she it made so heavy he wouldn't be able to right himself if toppled, and when that happened she was out of hearing range.

    Comic Strips 
  • Curtis: In an out-of-continuity story, a nearly broke unemployed man releases a mouse from a trap. The mouse turns out to be a shape-shifting "brengir" and offers him a wish. The poor man wishes for "worldwide peace on Earth". The next morning the man finds that the brengir has granted the wish... by making him the only person on earth. Months later, the brengir returns. The man asks for another wish, but the brengir refuses. The man says, "You will grant me another wish, or I'll wring your neck!" The brengir responds, "A threat against a brengir is punishable by death!", and kills the man's dog.
  • Retail: This trope is precisely why Heather would decline wishes if she was offered them. She also would chuck a monkey's paw into the ocean. Donnie loves her answer.
  • Ziggy, being Ziggy, has had his fair share of bad genies, ranging from ones who used up all three wishes on someone else, to ones who'll only grant wishes they can find in a Sears catalog. Some lamps don't have a genie at all—just an answering machine!

    Fan Works 
  • The third death scene judge turns out to be one in Farce of the Three Kingdoms. Zhuge Ke angrily refuses to have a random anticlimactic death - he wants to finish his war, get a more dramatic death scene, and have some memorable last words. Easily accomplished:he loses the war, gets an absurdly long-drawn and over-the-top death scene, and his last words are ''Why am I in a frog’s body? Why am I in a maid outfit?" Oh, and he has to go through the rest of the chapter with an arrow sticking out of his head.
  • Japan in Hetalia: Axis Powers Deconstruction fic Mistakes managed to Jackass Genie himself. He'd found out that his humans were doing unspeakable things to his brothers and confronted his Prime Minister. Nation-tans have to obey orders from their human leaders. Under normal circumstances, "forget about them, we have bigger problems" would have been dismissed as a colloquialism, but Japan really, really wanted to forget that he'd played a part in getting his own brother raped. So he did. China was not pleased.
  • The Nuptialverse: As shown in the flashbacks in Metamorphosis, Discord promises to fulfill then-pegasus Chrysalis' desire to obtain the powers of all three pony tribes. Chrysalis thinks it means she will become an alicorn, but Discord thinks just turning her into an alicorn would be boring.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • Pandora. As explained by Ceal in Act V chapter 29, he once wished for the dragon Fafnir to die "by his hand." Pandora granted the wish by severing Ceal's left hand, so he would only have the one hand to kill Fafnir with, and then making it so Fafnir can only be killed by Ceal.
    • Her elder brother, Hex Lagon, also has shades of this. In Act VI, when Gabriel loses his game of chance, in accordance with the deal, Gabriel is stripped of his grace and angelic power. As the others point out, Gabriel losing his wings was not part of the terms Hex mentioned.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic The Wishing Pool, Rarity goes to a wishing pool to ask for a perfect romantic partner and wishes to be a princess, too, while she's at it. Although she's smart enough to thoroughly describe the kind of partner she'd be happiest with (Canterlot-born, more than just a trophy spouse, not a mindless adoring slave, etc.), she never specified that said partner should be a stallion, and it doesn't escape the pool's notice that you can become a princess by marriage, too...
  • In the Opposites Destroy, the heroes are forced to fight Djinn, a Genie of the necklace who had a habit of manipulating his masters' wishes to produce the worst possible outcome as he believed that genies should rule humans rather than serve them. Djinn has a long history of bending the rules of geniehood to harm his masters as much as possible by twisting their wishes, with it being lampshaded that even Jafar, as bad as he was, had far less experience as one than Djinn does. For example, if a master wished to meet a nice girl, where Genie might send him to a well where a nice girl goes to get water, the average Jerk Genie would just drop the master next to the nearest available girl regardless of factors such as age or personality, and Djinn would transport them to the daughter of a mercenary in the hopes that he'd be killed by said man. Djinn hates Genie so much because when they ended up with the same master Genie actively interfered with him doing this, and Djinn, hating his servitude and believing that genies should rule the world, vowed revenge. Djinn first appears when he is able to manipulate a little girl who has just heard Aladdin's story into making a sequence of wishes that free him from the usual limitations of genies while retaining his full power, and one of his first acts is to kill his would-be master just because he could before flying to Agrabah to try and kill Genie.
  • The narrator of the story “Genies Are Jerks” from Lair of the Hack Writer tries to make the argument that all genies are like this. Within the story itself, we have Desiree (a textbook example of this trope) screwing with the Crystal Gems by giving them each one wish and then twisting the wishes so that they have negative consequences. Lapis Lazuli manages to beat her with some Loophole Abuse.
  • The Invader Zim fanfic Gaz Dreams of Genie has an example mixed with Laser-Guided Karma. After breaking the lamp of Azie the genie and wasting her first two wishes, Gaz wishes for the power to grant her own wishes. Azie obliges... by switching places with Gaz, making her the genie and imprisoning her in the lamp, while stealing her place as Dib's sister. Not only that, but she also rewrites reality so that she, Azie, is and has always been Dib's sister and Professor Membrane's daughter, essentially erasing Gaz's previous life from history so no one will ever remember her. Gaz is left to fume inside the lamp prison, plotting her revenge, while unbeknownst to her, the lamp is stuffed in a crate and locked away in a Secret Government Warehouse.
    • Gaz herself counts after the switch, as she vows to use her new powers to eventually escape and take revenge on Azie and Dib (whom she blames for the situation), or at the very least make her next master's life a living hell just because she can.
  • Iron Kissed: Lady Nightmare manages to get Gabriel Agreste to agree to trade his firstborn for a crown by disguising herself as a whore and getting him blind stinking drunk.
  • An old Ranma ˝/Ah! My Goddess crossover fanfiction, Only Half a Wish, is basically Heaven clearing out a bunch of old faulty wishes by granting them to a group of less than sane teenagers. In addition to the traditional Monkey's Paw, there's a wish with a credit limit, one that is effectively the inverse of this trope (giving the person exactly what they really want without following the wording at all), one that literally grants half of what the wisher asks for, and more.
  • A Ranma ˝ story, Second Time Around, uses this to set up its Peggy Sue plot. Ranma manages to use the Wish-Granting Sword from canon to undo his curse, and gets sent back to right before he got it... just in time to be knocked into the spring again. He probably spends all of five seconds cured.
  • Under the Northern Lights:
    • When describing her past interactions with the sorcerer Wiglek, Luna explains that his undead state is a result of her doing this when he magically summoned her and tried to ask her for everlasting life in exchange for creating a temple for her in Tarandroland. Luna was furious at being summoned and wanted to destroy Wiglek for his impertinence, but also really, really wanted to be worshipped; granting Wiglek's wish in a way that screwed him over was her way of reconciling her vindictiveness with her egotism.
    • Discord put a curse on the Sampo that makes it work so that it turns every request made of it into a cruel joke — for instance, a reindeer who wished for the deaths of her enemies died multiple times in succession, each time in the way one of her foes was fated to die.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar:
    • Jafar, when Abis Mal initially tries to demand his wishes from Jafar instead of wanting to cooperate with him, demonstrates this trope when Abis Mal asks for a legendary sunken treasure. Jafar promptly brings Abis Mal to the the bottom of the sea, and forces him to make a second wish to save him.
      Jafar: That was two wishes. Take your time with the third... or you will wish you had never been born.
    • That particular scene is also a very interesting Call-Back: The original Aladdin also had a scene of the genie saving his master from drowning at the cost of a wish, at a time when said master was incapable of wishing. The main differences are that Genie saved an unconscious Aladdin from an assassination attempt out of kindness (and he only counted it as a wish because he'd already declared "No more freebies" after Al tricked him into getting him out of the Cave of Wonders without expending a wish), while Jafar deliberately put Abis Mal in the ocean and then wasted the wish so he could further manipulate Abis into following his agenda.
    • Later in the movie, Abis Mal muses out loud about wishing for a famous treasure chest of some mythical king. Jafar (who is trying to pressure Abis into setting him free) traps him inside the chest, just to remind him what'll happen if he tries it.
      Jafar: Oh, I'm dreadfully sorry. I thought that was your wish. Are you quite all right?
      Abis Mal: [irritably] No, I am NOT qui—
      Jafar: Wonderful! Good to see all's well.
    • Jafar, however, does give him a freebie regarding enough treasure to fill Abis Mal's heart's content, in exchange for the third wish to set him free from the lamp (after Aladdin is believed to have died). Abis Mal was going to wish for Jafar's freedom, but stops himself and wonders whether Jafar's going to actually keep his word about the treasure, or if the treasure will disappear once being set free, apparently having become skeptical due to Jafar's tendency towards this trope. Jafar finally loses his patience at this point.
      Jafar: The more pressing question is: how will you stay alive if you DON'T?!
    • There's also the Running Gag about the fact that in the Aladdin-verse, genies can't actually kill anyone. "But you'd be surprised at what you can live through."
  • In The Book of Life, Xibalba takes on this role when dealing with Manolo. Manolo wishes he could be with Maria, whom he thinks is dead, so Xibalba kills him, sending him to the afterlife.
  • The Princess and the Frog: Dr. Facilier.
    • When reading Prince Naveen's fortune, he "predicts" that Naveen wishes for "the green" and to be able to "hop from place to place." Naveen never actually says anything like this, nor does he even acknowledge this as an accurate "prediction", yet Facilier transforms him into a frog anyways. Naveen agreed to Facilier's deal when he shook his hand, tacitly giving him permission to make the wishes described come true. Although to be fair to Naveen, he had no idea that he was agreeing to anything. Facilier carefully phrased it as such.
    • An Aborted Arc was going to revolve around Louis once being a human who made a deal with Dr. Facilier to be a great trumpet player. He got his wish but was also turned into an alligator as an unwanted bonus.
  • The witch in Brave is not presented as evil, but seems to interpret every wish as an excuse to turn someone into a bear (because the wisher desired the "strength of ten men", or in the main plotline of the story, simply wants her mother to "change"). She explicitly warns the heroine that she has a history of "dissatisfied customers".
  • Shrek Forever After:
    • Rumpelstiltskin offers the titular character, who has grown weary of a settled life as a father and seeks to relieve his past as a hated ogre, to live out the dream for a day in exchange for another day from his past. The problem is that Rumpel ends up stealing the day Shrek was born, which triggers a chain reaction of events that leads to a dystopian alternate universe where ogres are persecuted and enslaved.
    • The film also reveals that years ago, King Harold and Queen Lillian nearly made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to save Fiona in exchange for giving up Far Far Away, which was averted when Shrek ended up becoming her savior. In the alternate universe, without Shrek to save her, they ended up sealing the deal, only to learn to their horror that it not only stipulated them to give up Far Far Away, but also their own existence, leaving Rumpelstiltskin free to reign as king.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The eponymous genies from the Wishmaster series deliberately interpret any wish they're given in the most negative manner possible — typically involving a Cruel and Unusual Death — then take the victim's soul to Hell for further torture. For instance, some poor guy is rendered blind simply for answering a question in the negative ("You don't want to see this, do you?"). Depending on how vague the wish is, the Djinn can interpret it any way he wants. Near the end of the second film, the casino manager wishes "this nightmare would just be over" and the Djinn decides that means "kill everyone". However, he still has to obey the Literal Genie conventions because he can't just ignore a wish because he doesn't like it. When a security guard wishes for him to go away, he's forced to do just that. When he then threatens the guard as he walks away, the guard responds with "The only way you're coming through this door is through me. And that is something I'd love to see." The results are predictable.
  • Bedazzled (1967): The Devil twists all seven of the wishes made throughout the film so that they don't actually bring the happiness he guaranteed to Stanley, and get him one step closer to claiming Stanley's soul. For example, Stanley wishes to be a famous rock star, but he almost immediately loses his fans to a new, more popular singer who is, of course, the Devil. His last wish is to be living in peace with the object of his affection far away from the busy city, so the Devil turns them into lesbian nuns.
  • Bedazzled (2000) has the Devil, who twists all of Elliot's wishes. He wishes to be rich and married to his crush and the Devil makes him a Colombian druglord despised by his wife. He wishes to be emotionally sensitive, because chicks dig sensitive guys, so now he can't help but burst into tears if he even glances at a sunset. He wishes to be a great basketball player with a humongous body, and the Devil also makes him stupid and gives him a small penis for no reason at all except to make him waste another wish. He then explicitly asks to be erudite and witty, AND for a big penis, so the Devil makes him gay. He wishes to be President of the United States, so the Devil turns him into Abraham Lincoln on the night he's assassinated. She also counts a demo wish for a Big Mac and fries he made before he'd even signed the contract. At least, in that case, he got what he wanted (even if he had to pay for it).
  • Near the end of Leprechaun 2, the Leprechaun is trapped in a wrought iron safe by Morty (the leprechaun, being a fae type, is harmed by cold iron), who forces the Leprechaun into granting him three wishes. The Leprechaun grants Morty's wish for his gold by materializing it into his stomach. After the Leprechaun makes Morty waste his second wish by wishing him free of the safe, the Leprechaun grants the third wish (getting the gold out) by ripping Morty open. When Morty whispers "Help me" afterward, the Leprechaun leaves him for dead since he's out of wishes. Suffice it to say, this is the titular Leprechaun's MO in ALL of the films. For added points, the Leprechaun was legally obligated to ask Morty every time if he is certain that this is his wish. That's right: not only was Morty yelled at the entire time to stop, but the villain himself had to ask him every time to confirm the screw up order. The Leprechaun even says outright that this is what Morty gets for being so greedy.
  • The titular pencil from the short film Pencil Face. The girl asked for (drew) a lollipop. The pencil materialised a black hole which sucked her in.
  • The wish-granter in Interstate 60, O. W. Grant, will grant wishes this way if he doesn't like you or thinks your wish is boring.
  • The mundane version happens quite often in Pirates of the Caribbean. When the deals actually are fulfilled by both sides, usually someone has twisted the words of the agreement via either Loophole Abuse or Exact Words.
    • Most notably and frequently, Barbossa, particularly in The Curse of the Black Pearl.
      • First, Elizabeth manages to negotiate the cessation of hostilities against Port Royal in return for the Medallion. However, she neglects to negotiate her return to shore. Barbossa quickly abuses this by kidnapping her, stating that her return to shore was not part of the agreement, and so he "must" do nothing. Next he points out that the Pirate's Code is only for pirates and thus he was being courteous by negotiating with her at all. Then finally he points out they don't actually have to follow these rules at all, and that they tend to bend or break them whenever it's convenient — the only time they're required to follow the rules is when Captain Teague is around who will shoot a man dead for even suggesting they break the code.
      • Secondly, when Will reveals himself as the son of Bootstrap Bill (meaning Barbossa explicitly needs him alive), he negotiates that in return for giving himself up, the crew will not be harmed, and Elizabeth goes free. The crew ends up imprisoned (no word on what the final plan for the crew was after the curse was broken), and Elizabeth was forced to walk the plank with Jack and marooned on a deserted island.
        Will: Barbossa, you lying bastard! You swore she would go free!
        Barbossa: Don't you impugn me honor, boy! I agreed she would go free, but it was you who failed to specify when or where.
    • Jack attempts to do this to Davey Jones in Dead Man's Chest when they negotiate one hundred souls in return for Jack's freedom. While Jack has every intention of fulfilling that agreement (at first), he tries to rustle up the one hundred souls from the island of Tortuga.
      Mr. Gibbs: And how do you intend to harvest these 99 souls in three days?
      Captain Jack: Fortunately he was mum as the condition in which these souls need be.
  • In Aladdin (2019), Genie demonstrates how he can be this trope to Aladdin when Aladdin carelessly wishes "Make me a prince," conjuring a random prince out of thin air to illustrate the "grey area" of his request before allowing Aladdin to properly word his wish to get the intended result. In the climax, Aladdin tricks Jafar into wishing to be "the most powerful being in the universe," and Genie uses that ambiguity to make him into a genie bound to a lamp, as opposed to the original where Jafar just wished to be a genie without considering the ramifications.
  • A variation occurs in The Room (2019). The Room is 100% genuine in giving anyone who asks it their desire, exactly as they intend to have it. There is catch, though, and it's a big one: Whatever you wish for cannot be taken outside the house, or it will crumble into dust.
  • The djinn in When Evil Calls deliberately interprets every wish (apart from Samantha's) in the worst possible way. A girl wishing to be hot catches fire; a boy wishing to thin is squashed between a van and the wall; a girl wishing to never see her boyfriend again has her eyes gouged out...
  • Tales from the Crypt: The Chinese statue in "Wish You Were Here" grants its owner three wishes, but grants them in the most perverse way possible. The inscription on the base even warns them of this.
  • The Room in Stalker (1979) is an interesting twist on this trope. It does not twist wishes to screw you over; quite the contrary, it grants you your greatest desire, with no catches attached. But you don't get to ask for what you want, the process is automatic, and what you think you want may not be what you actually get. Case in point, the protagonist's mentor, Porcupine, went into the Room to wish his dead brother back to life, and was given a huge sum of cash because deep down he wanted to be rich more than he wanted his brother back, subsequently killing himself out of self-loathing. Put simply, whether the Room is a Jackass Genie depends on whether you know what you truly want and whether you really want to know.
  • Wonder Woman 1984 plays with this.
    • The Dreamstone grants its victims' wishes literally, but the cost of the wishes is so extreme that it usually isn't worth it. For example, Barbara Minerva wishes to be more like Diana, so she becomes beautiful, confident and gets Diana's powers to boot. However, the Dreamstone takes her morality in exchange, eventually resulting in her turning into Cheetah. Wonder Woman's wish is for Steve Trevor to come back to life, but she only gets him back via possessing another man's body, and she loses her powers in the deal. This is because the Stone was actually created by the Duke of Deception (reimagined in this universe to be the god of lies) specifically as Shmuck Bait to doom humanity.
    • Max Lord tries to exploit a loophole in the deal by wishing to become the Dreamstone, thus deciding for himself what toll he will extract from unfortunate wishers. Surprisingly, the Dreamstone doesn't turn him into an inanimate rock, probably because it knows it will be able to inflict more chaos on the world by letting Lord get what he wants. Max Lord eventually renounces his wish when he realizes it will doom his son to death in nuclear war.
  • Absentia: Callie makes a deal with the creature in the tunnel to save her pregnant sister in exchange for herself. She doesn't specify enough, as the creature ends up tearing her sister's unborn baby and throwing it to her.


  • The "a dwarf walks into a brothel with a jackass and a honeycomb" joke.
    Dwarf: I need a woman, for mine has left me.
    Brothel owner: What happened, friend?
    Dwarf: Well, she found this lamp. She rubbed it, and a genie came out and gave her three wishes. First she wished for the greatest ass in all the world, so he gave her this donkey. Then she wished for a house fit for a queen, so he gave her this honeycomb.
    Brothel owner: What was her third wish?
    Dwarf: She wished for my cock to hang down past my knees.
    Brothel owner: Well, that's not so bad, is it?
    Dwarf: Not so bad?!? I used to be six feet tall!!
  • A classic Russian joke involves a man asking the Golden Fish (the traditional Russian wish granter) to make him a Hero of the Soviet Union. He promptly finds himself on a battlefield, staring down five German tanks while armed with a knife and two hand grenades.

  • In The Monkey's Paw, the first wish is for two hundred pounds (sterling). Just to show how old this trope is, the characters in this story are aware of it and more worried one of them is going to be killed by the money falling from the sky in change and beaning them on the head. However, it is instead received via the eldest son dying in a horrible accident at work and the corporation giving them a settlement out of pity (because this story was written in an age where lawsuits for this kind of thing were unheard of). It gets worse: The mother is so distraught she forces her husband to wish the son alive again — but she didn't specify what shape she wanted him back in. It turns out his fatal accident had horribly mutilated him, and they hear a knock on the door. We never do find out just what shape the son is in, because when the mother goes to answer the door, the father rushes back in order to make his final wish, which is presumably to wish the son dead and back in his grave, because when the mother opens the door, no-one is there. Though some versions have him as a literal zombie, growling and scratching at the door.
  • Death, in the tale of the Three Brothers in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, pretends to congratulate the titular brothers for cheating death, and rewards them, with the full intention of being this. Only the youngest brother sees through the ruse and has his reward tailored specifically to prevent Death doing this to him. The other brothers are not so lucky.
  • In Castle in the Air, the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, Abdullah has the company of one of these who turns out to be Howl transformed by a Djinn. At one point he manages to actually outwit the Genie who claims he will grant every wish in the worst possible way by wishing for a friend who is running to go to the nearest castle that isn't in his home country. And even that is kind of twisted.
  • In the Discworld book Eric the title character attempts to summon a demon to make a Deal with the Devil for three wishes. Demons, needless to say, give people "exactly what they asked for and exactly what they didn't want", although Eric doesn't really make it that difficult. For instance, the eponymous Eric wishes to live forever. He is promptly transported to the beginning of the universe since that's when forever starts. Enjoy the next couple billion years.... He also wishes for the most beautiful woman and to rule the world. He gets a case of Values Dissonance and a country where people kill their rulers.
  • George R. R. Martin is fond of this trope.
    • His short story "In The Lost Lands" features Gray Alys, who according to legend can sell you anything you want but that it is better not to ask her to. People approach her anyway, and she goes to some considerable effort to give them just exactly what they asked for in precisely the way they didn't want it.
    • A Song of Ice and Fire has Mirri Maz Duur. Daenerys asks her to save her husband, Drogo's life, who has an infected wound. She can do it, right? She warns her that saving a life would cost another one. Dany cleverly asks if the price would be her life, for which the answer is no. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Dany's yet unborn son is killed, and while Drogo lives, he became a Soulless Shell. Of course, she had other motivations.
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, "demons" such as Bartimaeus highly resent the magicians who summon and bind them (well-deserved. It's basically slavery), and actively search for any loophole in the magician's power or orders. In addition to usual malicious literalness, one popular method they use is to creatively interpret pauses for breath as periods, rendering commands completely worthless if the magician can't get them off in one breath. Some spirits are more creative with this than others. They usually do follow orders as long as they are worded correctly without obvious loopholes, but it is mentioned that Nathaniel once encountered one who allegedly required a command half an hour long just to correctly fill his bath. Most spirits are reluctant to go that far, as wizards don't require a spirit's assistance to use torture spells on their slaves. Also, that's not even getting into what happens if a demon learns the summoner's True Name, or worse if the summoner botches a summoning ritual. When trying to summon high-level spirits, even the smallest mistake can get one eaten alive.
    Bartimaeus: One magician I worked for once called for my aid during an earthquake which was toppling his tower. Unfortunately for him, the precise words he used were: "Preserve me!" A cork, a great big bottle, a vat of pickling fluid, and — presto! — the job was done.
  • In InCryptid, The Crossroads are this. People come to the Crossroads to make a Deal with the Devil, but they lean more towards this than Literal Genie. Of course, people don't generally go to the crossroads unless they've got no other options. Crossroads ghosts (at least good ones, like Mary) are there to try and talk them out of it, or if they can't, to act as the person's contract lawyer and get them the best (or least bad) deal they can. It turns out the Crossroads wasn't originally like this and operated on a much fairer Equivalent Exchange system. About 500 years ago, it was taken over by a cosmic parasite Life Drinker.
  • The Book of Lost Things: A greedy and gluttonous man requests that the Crooked Man pay him in gold the weight of everything that he has eaten at a buffet. The Golden Man pouring molten gold down his throat.
  • In The Callahan Touch by Spider Robinson, there is a clurichaun (a relative of the leprechaun) who is bound to grant three wishes. Upon hearing "...I show Ish (short for Ishmael) this table fixed", he claims he heard "I sho' wish this table fixed." Subverted in that the narrator/protagonist Jake realized that even with the game of twisting the wishes as far as they would go, the clurichaun didn't actually harm anyone and in fact three wishes were a great gift. Even if they were "three wishes you have to get exactly right", they were still incredibly valuable. The real hazard was that once a clurichaun enters a bar, he won't leave unless you remove all alcohol for at least a year, and drinks every bit of alcohol magically. In the end he asks for the final wish to be that the clurichaun pay for all of his drinks "in real gold, mind you". Since a clurichaun can and will magically drink a bar dry twice over every night, the bar went from a losing proposition to an ongoing successful business overnight.
  • The Daevabad Trilogy: During his enslavement, Dara the daeva was bound to obey the letter of his masters' wishes, but took every opportunity to do them harm. He killed over eight hundred masters. Justified in that his enslavement was torturous in itself and was made much worse by the atrocities his masters forced him to commit.
    • In-Universe, enslaved djinn often turn out to be this. When an ifrit places a slave vessel for a human to find, they usually do so hoping that the human will create a lot of entertaining chaos, and the djinn themselves are trapped in a Fate Worse than Death and fight it by granting wishes in the worst way possible. The eventual fate of an enslaved djinn's master is always to be killed by them through some form of Loophole Abuse.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book 1 (Dealing with Dragons) features a genie released after over three hundred years of imprisonment, only to grant the protagonist, Princess Cimorene, the choice of how she would die. The immediate response, "Old age", turns out not to work because she has to die that day. After some questions, it turns out that the genie, having really been imprisoned in the bottle for only two hundred and seventeen years, was actually required to grant Cimorene three wishes — however, for the genie to return home without killing Cimorene would render him a laughingstock. In the end, Cimorene convinces the genie to go back into the bottle for eighty-three years, thus allowing the genie to return home with his pride intact and fulfill the "old age" request for how Cimorene would die. He turns out to be a pretty good sport about the whole thing, though; in return for the brilliant idea, he grants Cimorene a wish, so she uses it to get the hen's teeth she's been looking for.
  • Djinn Rummy has genie Philly Nine, who is actively attempting to wipe out humanity (so he won't have to grant their wishes anymore). Among other things, he appears to a Druid coven in the guise of their goddess and actively suggests which seven plagues they would like to have inflicted on the Earth, so he can then go out and inflict them. This is in addition to misinterpreting every wish in a way that lets him try to destroy the world...
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Long ago the creator of the Black Court of Vampires, Vlad Tepesh a.k.a. "Dracula", came to Mab with a request to be together forever with his human lover whom he did not want to turn into an undead monstrosity. Mab granted this wish by encasing them both in ice and using the resulting sculptures as decoration for her ice garden.
    • Harry, at one point, strikes a deal with Mab which is heavily slanted in his favor, and includes a clause about her not harming him in retaliation. Mab reluctantly takes the deal, and promptly forces Harry to stab himself with a letter opener. When Harry tries to invoke the anti-retaliation clause, Mab just laughs; she didn't harm him, he did, and it wasn't out of retaliation, it was to make a point about Harry not being nearly as smart as he thinks and because it was funny.
  • The sandestin in Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories. They do their best to subvert the orders of the Arch-Magicians that control them.
  • The Ghosts of Fear Street book Three Evil Wishes has Gene. He grants wishes poorly due to either incompetence or hidden malice, and purposely neglects to inform his summoners that one of them will have to take his place in the bottle once he grants all three wishes.
  • Leonid Kudryavcev wrote a story "Genie" describing the worst possible example of this trope. In-universe, it is a common knowledge that every genie will use any opportunity to abuse the wish to switch places with the wisher, making him slave of the lamp and freeing the genie. Humans are the only species dumb enough to play this game. The Rat King, the protagonist, is forced to assist a human warlord to help him formulate his wishes. He spends two out of three wishes to let them learn the rules of the lamp and ALL the rules of the lamp, which made them realize that any wish they can formulate will result in imprisonment of the warlord. Finally, he spends the last wish to allow the warlordnote  to learn the exceptions in those rules that allow a safe wish. But the warlord has no more wishes and he is too paranoid to let anyone touch the omnipotent lamp, much less teach them to use it properly. The story ends with the Rat King carrying the lamp to a faraway land for a hefty reward. Meanwhile, genie inside the lamp wonders whether the Rat King spent enough time with humans to be infected with their insanity. After all, the temptation is big as he only needs one more wish to learn the exceptions in the rules and the way to formulate a safe wish. And if he does, will the Rat King realize that there are exceptions within the exceptions.
  • The short story "The Genie and the Inquisitor" at Fantasy Scroll Magazine features a showdown between a Jerkass Genie and a clever protagonist. It turns out that the protagonist has been trying to find a genie that doesn't fit this trope but when his latest summoned genie proves to be just as evil as all the previous ones, he has no qualms in wishing for it to answer his questions with "absolute, unambiguous honesty" (with it undergoing extremely painful Body Horror if it tries defying his wish) and then asking it what it fears the most and how he can word his next wish to make that worst fear come true for it.
  • The wish-granting witch in the Goosebumps book Be Careful What You Wish For is either exceptionally malicious, exceptionally incompetent, or both. In order...
    • 1) Main character Samantha Byrd wishes to be "the strongest player on her basketball team". The witch doesn't make her stronger, but everyone else weaker, to the point where the star players come down with severe illnesses. This leads to a scene where said star player (and bully) Judith is accusing Samantha of being a witch herself...
    • 2) Samantha angrily wishes JUDITH would disappear. The witch makes EVERYONE IN THE WORLD disappear as well. Because... the wish is hard to aim?
    • 3) Samantha wishes everyone back and wishes that Judith "thought she was the greatest". This, as you might have guessed, makes Judith obsessed with Samantha and how "perfect" she is to the point of insanity, forcing Samantha to flee and running into the witch again after her three wishes had been used up.
    • 4) Given one last wish, Samantha wishes "she had never met the witch... that Judith had met the witch instead". Reality returns to what it previously was, but then Judith (no longer aware she was there because she was obsessively chasing Samantha) says "Why don't you fly away, Byrd?" for the thirteenth time in the book, and Samantha is turned into a bird. JUST 'CAUSE.
  • The Magic Goes Away: In "The Wishing Game", it is established that literal genies in a bottle do exist. They can only be coaxed out of the bottle with the promise to play the 'game of jynn', where they match wits with the human that freed them. So presenting the client human with three wishes, and placing some kind of sadistic twist to the request is their only motivation to grant wishes in the first place. Granted, the only persons that can gain possession of a genie are some very old and canny sorcerers, who believe they can outwit the genie. So at least there is sport in this contest. This genie was a cross between a Jackass Genie and a Literal Genie, in that he cannot change the original wish or add on to it, and that the game has a very specific goal: to grant the wisher nothing in the end. So one previous, not-so-clever, non-sorcerous player of the game wished for "wealth", so the genie granted enormous wealth on the spot, such that the wisher could not carry it away before bandits stole it. However, the genie had to rely on already nearby bandits, and the genie only partially won because the man grabbed some of the wealth and ran since the wish neither allowed for creating bandits from nothing nor sealing away the wealth so the man couldn't reach it.
  • At the end of The Monk, Ambrosio sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for being freed from his prison cell before his execution. The Devil flies away with him but smugly points out that Ambrosio didn't think to ask for any protection other than to be taken away from his cell and drops Ambrosio from a great height that shatters his bones and leaves him at the mercy of vultures that painfully devour his body.
  • A short story "Not in a Hurry" by Sergey Lukyanenko offers an interesting subversion. A young occultist summons a demon and strikes a Faustian deal with him: any number of wishes in exchange for the guy's soul after his death. As a default clause of the contract, the guy demands to be made immortal and invincible to any harm except for the effects of his wishes. Demon agrees and makes pretty clear that he will act as a Jackass Genie to his worst. Subversion ensues when the guy never makes any wishes at all, content with his immortality.
  • In Princess Holy Aura they face the Mirrortaint, which gains power every time it grants a wish, which it will always twist into something that benefits itself or ties the person making the wish closer to it.
  • In Diane Duane's Rihannsu Star Trek novels, Romulan starships are frequently named Rhea's Helm. The original legendary helm was the product of a sorcerer-smith who, when captured by his enemies, was asked by them to create a helmet that would make the wearer impervious to all harm. When the helm was donned, the demon he'd bound into it bit the wearer's head off — nothing can harm a dead person.
  • A rare heroic example: the djinn in the Rose of the Prophet trilogy generally don't do this because their masters have complete power over them as long as they hold their mortal dwelling place (lamp, basket, incense burner, etc.) and they're bound to use their magic to serve their masters completely rather than only granting a limited number of wishes. However when the lamp and basket of Sond and Pukah fall into the hands of the miserable Jerkass fisherman Meelusk, the two of them play him like a fiddle, throwing him into his fishing boat and hijacking it across the waters to rescue the heroes from the dread island fortress of the Paladins of Zhakrin, claiming they're fulfilling his unspoken wish to embrace heroism in battle against the Paladins. When he later attempts to assert his ownership of them and they're forced to admit they do actually have to obey him as long as he holds their dwellings, they grant his wishes — they give him "fine clothes" by swathing him in silks so thick he can't even move, "fine jewels" by weighing him down with heavy gold ornaments that bring him to his knees, then finally surrounding him with gorgeous adoring women that he distractedly starts groping. When Pukah, pretending to get carried away, shouts "A new lamp and a new basket for my master!" the distracted Meelusk absently shouts "Yes, yes!", dropping their dwellings and letting the hero Khardan pick them up again. Sond and Pukah promptly make everything vanish, "regretfully" tell him that he freely gave up ownership of them, then toss him back in his boat and shove him back out to sea to take his chances with the ghuls.
  • In Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost, a tablet that grants any wish written on it mostly acts as a Benevolent Genie. The wish "Make them worship me like a god" seems to leave it annoyed, though — the wisher turns to stone, and those nearby start to worship the statue.
  • The Nightwatcher from The Stormlight Archive is a borderline example. She will grant anyone who finds her a wish—but at the same time exact a curse. A character tells his friend that he'll word the wish to get around loopholes, but his friend says that's not how it works. You ask for the boon, and the Nighwatcher gives you a curse she feels is equivalent, which might be related to the wish, but more often is not. One person wished for a bunch of cloth and was cursed to see the world upside down for the rest of his life. In addition, she's not even obliged to give you what you asked for, though she does usually try. For example Lift asked to be The Ageless, but instead was left with a curious condition allowing her to interact with normally-intangible creatures and Cast from Calories (it's not clear if this was the boon or the curse or both or whether it was supposed to fulfil her request), while Dalinar asked to be forgiven, which resulted in him not receiving anything from a confused Nightwatcher and a different entity that understood humans better stepping in to grant him a boon and curse of her own devising.
  • Warrior Cats, in the Clans' mythology, has a wish-granting snake named Mouthclaw, as thick as a pregnant badger and very toxic. After a young lion named Sunpelt from LionClan defeats her, she grants him a wish, which was that she would shrink down to the length of a cat's tail. She does just turning herself into thousands of smaller, equally poisonous snakes.
  • The Eelfinn in The Wheel of Time are like this.
    • Mat mistakes them for their answer-granting cousins, the Aelfinn, and when they won't answer his questions, he starts venting his frustrations on them instead, which they take as his wishes. They grant his wishes in the laziest way possible, and the wishes also come with a price that can be negotiated. Since he doesn't name a price and doesn't specify that he wants to leave their realm alive, they hang him. On the other hand, since he survived being hanged, the things they gave him did actually fulfill the wishes; to let him "be free of Aes Sedai," they gave him a nifty Anti-Magic amulet, to "fill the empty holes in his memories" they shoved his head full of multiple lifetimes' worth of experiences, and as a kicker they gave him a pimpin' magic spear that fulfills his third wish, for a way out of the Eelfinn realm; it doubles as a magic key that can carve open gateways leading out of their domain.
    • Later, the readers learn exactly what happened when Moiraine and Lanfear passed into their realm in The Fires of Heaven. The Eelfinn grant both of them their three wishes. Then they torture them and drain them of their life-force, permanently draining away their ability to channel bit by bit. Yeah, the Eelfinn are just assholes.
  • In Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Roger's tea kettle turns out to house a genie who got so fed up with granting people's wishes that he decided to just straight-up kill anyone who summoned him. Roger escapes being killed because he didn't know of the genie's existence or that the words to a song he liked to sing were indirectly summoning it, but the genie still twists his wishes so that his wish to become a famous movie star came with the catch of him being stuck in a permanent sidekick role to Baby Herman and his wish for Jessica to love him came with a one-year limit. And when Roger finally learns about the genie? He becomes very dead.
  • In The Scholomance, the titular Wizarding School provides written spells and spellbooks to students from the Void Between The Walls on the condition that the student sits down and commits them to memory. Given that it has taken a particular interest in one Galadriel Higgins and puts some effort into cultivating her talents where El would just as soon it did not, their relationship has strong overtones of this.
    Orion: Why would you ask for a spell [that summons dozens of malevolent and hard-to-extinguish fire elementals such as the one trying to kill them]!"
    El: What I asked for what a spell to light my room, you twat, that is what I got.
  • Inheritance Trilogy: The Enefadah gods are forced to obey any order given them by an Arameri, but will gleefully take any opportunity to twist those orders. Given that the Enefadah first saw their sister/mother murdered by one of her siblings, then were trapped in mortal bodies and used as slaves for two millennia, their behaviour is quite understandable.
    • For example, Yeine is warned early on that if she ever tells an Enefadah to "do what it likes" or any similar order, it will immediately kill her because killing Arameri is what the Enefadah most enjoy. Similarly, if she commands an Enefadah to "go away", it will promptly flee to some remote wilderness just to force some luckless Arameri to track it down and order it back to Sky.
    • In the backstory, a slightly foolish Arameri lord commanded one of the Enefadah to destroy an invading army. He remembered to specify that he himself was not to be harmed, but the Enefadah unleashed a magical cataclysm that destroyed not only the invading army, but also the Arameri capital and all the lord's family and servants, leaving only the lord himself alive.
  • A Master of Djinn: The Marid introduced at the beginning of the book. After two humans wake him up and ask for wishes, the Marid tells them to decide how they will die. Fatma outsmarts him by asking for them to die from old age at the end of their natural lives. When she wakes him up again later, asking him to remove the spell making her and Hadia forget Sulayman's ring, he grudgingly does what she asks. But he makes the process excruciatingly painful, just because Fatma didn't tell him not to make it painful.
  • The Rainy Devil in Bakemonogatari makes a deal with Kanbaru Suruga that obviously references Monkey's Paw, to the point where she actually gets her arm replaced with that of a monkey and interprets wishes very liberally and dangerously for everyone involved. Subverted, as instead of misinterpreting anything the devil simply obeys her hidden desires to the letter, which are far darker than what she'd expected.
  • Defied in How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King. Aur summons Lilu, a succubus, to be his familiar, and prepares for her a very thorough demonic contract to ensure he'll always have the upper hand while dealing with her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?:
    • "The Tale of the Time Trap" has Belle, who loves to make wishes as disastrous as possible. "Someone once wished for an exciting voyage; I gave them the Titanic. A kid didn't want to go on a camping trip; I exploded the volcano at Mount St. Helens. World War I? A reporter wanted an interesting story." The female genie trapped in the box also makes life hell for the protagonist, and for her own amusement, twists his every wish so that everything turns out wrong. He wants a book report that he forgot at home, but the one she gives him is about the movie adaptation. He wants superior athletic skills, but hits the coach in the face with a dodgeball and gets detention. She gives him a new car, but it's someone else's, and he's taken into custody by police for grand theft auto. He wants her to leave him alone, but he's placed in a dark, lonely dimension all by himself. He wishes himself "out of this nightmare", but is placed in a timeline where he never existed. He wishes himself back to the day before, when he bought the box, and ends up right in the middle of trafficnote .
    • "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" is explicitly a rehash of The Monkey's Paw, with a more optimistic take. A pair of boys vandalize the local witch's house on "Mischief Night" (the night before Halloween). When the witch opens her front door unexpectedly, they spray shaving cream in her face and run away, accidentally breaking a large vase in the process. The next day they go trick-or-treating at her house, and she gives them a bird's talon that serves the same purpose as the monkey's paw in the original. When all their wishes inevitably go wrong, they use the last one to say, "We're sorry we broke the vase, and we wish it never happened!" They find the vase whole and gift-wrapped for them at their house. It seems the witch wasn't so bad after all; she just wanted to teach the boys a lesson.
  • Atlantis: In the mountains above Atlantis lives a witch who grants wishes. When Hercules wishes that his girlfriend would fall in life-long love with him, she gives him a potion that (a) causes her to fall in love with him, and (b) poisons her so that she would die within days. Hercules didn't specify how long life-long was to be, after all.
  • Babylon 5 has Mr. Mordem, technically a human but working (and altered by) the Shadows, a million-year old civilization who also goes around offering people to grant wishes, normally with a high price to pay specially for Londo.
  • Big Wolf on Campus has Merton's sister Becky finds a genie in a bottle who at first seems like a pretty cool guy. He actually gives her what she wishes for with no tricky wording or messing with exact words, and even lets her get away with a "run-on wish" (several things lumped together under one wish). The catch is, however, that once he grants your wishes you get trapped in his bottle and he is set free, and the only way to escape is to learn magic (which will take thousands of years according to the genie) and grant wishes to trade out with another victim.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer's vengeance demons. Sometimes the wisher gets taken out (or is at risk of being taken out) by the wish at the same time as the subject of their vengeance because the vengeance demon behind the wish didn't think about the potential consequences (or didn't think they'd be important). This can, occasionally, backfire on the demon in question... for instance, in one Season Six episode, Halfrek curses everyone at the Summers house to stay in the house forever, and then makes the mistake of dropping by the house to gloat, with the result that she gets stuck in her own curse and has to reverse it. Another example is an unnamed vengeance demon's head exploding after a wisher asked for the heads of every other female in town to explode. Anya managed to use her vengeance demon powers to spark the Russian Revolution. This ends up biting D'Hoffryn, the lord of the vengeance demons, in the ass during the Season 10 comics. When Buffy and the Scoobies confront him and are fully prepared to kill him, he tries to bargain with them, offering them each one wish if they let him live. Buffy turns him down, knowing there will always be a catch, and chops his head off.
  • Most genies in Charmed are of the Jerkass type. They're tricksters by heart and will twist wishes in order to gain their freedom.
    Leo: There's always a catch... Say a guy wishes for a new car. The next day, his father will die and he'll inherit a car.
  • The Earthsea miniseries has Ged force a dragon, Orm Embar, to submit and give him information by speaking its true name. The dragon first tricks him into giving up one of his three questions by telling him he only gets two and then answers Ged's question about the Amulet of Peace with a riddle.
    Orm Embar: Two questions, wizard, and two questions only.
    Ged: Isn't it usually three?
    Orm Embar: True, but with that, you're back to two.
  • Fraggle Rock has an episode where Wembley finds an old bottle and polishes it up, only to notice pictograms saying "Do Not Rub This Bottle". Out pops a genie, who unlike most of these examples doesn't try to trick Wembley with Exact Words or Literal Genie shenanigans—he just refuses to grant wishes, and instead starts using his magic to prank the other Fraggles. After an attempt to re-trap him in the bottle ends with Wembley being tricked into letting him back out under the promise that he'll leave Fraggle Rock (but the genie merely goes I Lied), he mind controls all of the Fraggles except Wembley. In Wembley's attempts to get him to stop he discovers that the genie actually has to grant any wish Wembley asks of him (he just didn't want to), which results in Wembley wishing to have the other Fraggles no longer be mind controlled, to have everything the genie broke fixed, and for the genie to have a Heel–Face Turn
  • Goosebumps: The live-action adaptation of "Be Careful What You Wish For" mostly keeps Samantha's wishes granted by the witch backfiring in the same way, but changes the ending to give the Alpha Bitch a karmic comeuppance. Instead of Judith turning Samantha into a bird, she instead wishes for herself to be "Beautiful and adored forever" in which she is turned into a statue in the center of the city park with people commenting on how beautiful she is.
  • Most of the Imagin in Kamen Rider Den-O fall into Jackass territory.
    • A particular example is the Jellyfish Imagin; its contractor wanted to find the time capsule he and his deceased fiancée buried a year before, but the Imagin simply finds some random time capsule and tries to claim it's good enough. When the man refuses, the Imagin starts physically attacking him and yelling at him to open the damn box. In this case, it springs from the Imagins' agenda: when they successfully complete a contract, they can then open a portal to the past using their contractor's strongest memory (in this case, the day the man and his fiancée buried the capsule), at which point they go on a rampage and try to alter history.
    • Curiously, some of them go out of their way to be jackasses even when a simpler solution exists. In episode 11-12, a doctor makes the wish that he "wants to see his daughter". (Said daughter is a teen fashion idol, and he intentionally cut ties with her so she could realize her career instead of staying with him.) The imagin could have gone off and kidnapped the girl and brought her to the father, but instead, it interprets the wish as "destroy her career so she'll have to go back", possibly because it'd allow more opportunities to rampage.
  • After beating Pearl in a game of Three Card Monte in Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike won the right to watch whatever movie he wanted, of which he decided to watch Hamlet. Unfortunately, he didn't specify which production of Hamlet, so Pearl picked out the dullest, boring production she could find.
  • An interesting subversion on Once Upon a Time: All of the genie's wishes do in fact act like this, but not because the genie is himself horrible; it's the magic. The king who frees the genie is eventually killed by him out of romantic jealousy, and uses his dying breath to rue his act of charity. Then the genie, not wanting to be separated from his beloved, wishes them together, only to end up a prisoner of a magic mirror, which the Queen does in fact converse with often. The genie's schtick ties into something that is often stated, usually by Rumplestiltskin: "All magic has a price."
  • The Spin-Off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland continues the trend. When the Knave of Hearts, having been turned into a genie as a result of his own wish, ends up with his old friend Lizard as his master. Since they're friends, she lets him use the first wish to give free beer to the town they're in. This one goes well. For the second wish, she wishes for him to turn her into the kind of girl he would fall for. Again, this one goes well. When she finally confesses that she is in love with him, a conversation ensues about The Knave being unable to feel anything for anyone. An effect of having your heart removed in the OUAT verse. Lizard carelessly says "I just wish that you would feel something for me." This accidentally invokes her third wish, causing her to be killed while The Knave is Forced to Watch so that he can feel grief over her loss. Magic is a real Jerkass.
  • In Power Rangers, there are two cases of evil genies appearing as the Monster of the Week. The first one is simply called The Genie, who is fought by the original team. The second is Wicked Wisher, who appears in Power Rangers Turbo. These are inverted examples, however, because while they are villains, they are more than happy to obey their masters. Another wish-granting monster, Wish Star, appears in Power Rangers Dino Charge. His shtick is to grant wishes that become disastrous. As with the others, his master is Sledge, not the wishers, and is happy to obey him and help undermine the Rangers.
  • In the Round the Twist episode "Santa Claws", when each member of the family gets two wishes. Bronson wishes to be bigger than his brother Pete. Instead of making him a few inches taller, Claws makes him about as tall as the lighthouse (how he does this inside the lighthouse without killing him goes unexplained). Bronson is forced to wish himself back to normal.
  • Special Unit 2 has a unique case. The genie in question doesn't actually have magic powers, other than being able to turn into dust and hide in small objects. Thus, when people make outrageous wishes, she has to fulfill them personally. For example, when a guy asked for a million dollars, she walked off, robbed a bank, then left him with the evidence and the cops on his ass while she disappeared. She still interprets such wishes negatively, though, because she wants to get through them as fast as possible. Once she reaches her quota, she'll have free will.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Sci-fi version with Q, a superpowerful Energy Being alien who can grant wishes but most of the time with some dark twist or some "lesson" he wants to teach specially to Picard. Q also plays a similar role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager appearances.
  • Supernatural:
    • Downplayed with the Crossroads demons. They can seemingly grant any wish in exchange for your soul after a specified period of time (usually 10 years), and Crowley takes pride in him and his underlings averting this trope as much as possible in grounds of "integrity" (case in point, dragging one demon back to Hell after finding out it had been murdering its "clients" shortly after securing their souls). He makes it pretty clear though this is only so people will keep making deals with them; after all, where's the incentive to make deals with them at all if you're not even going to get what you asked for? Of course, this still somewhat counts, since a) most people they deal with are either very desperate, or just gullible idiots in over their head, and b) when the allotted time is up and it's time for your soul to be collected, the manner in which this is done is to have you ''hunted down by hellhounds who rip you to shreds", whereupon you wake up in the abyss to be tortured into becoming a demon yourself.
    • Double Subversion in the episode "What Is and What Should Never Be". The djinn is introduced as a monster preying on people, but after Dean encounters it, he wakes up to find that his wish that his mother never died has been granted. Dean's new life is pretty pleasant, and the only downsides are logical outcomes of the wish, such as him and Sam not getting along without hunting to bring them together, and all the people that they would have saved dying instead. Then it turns out that the djinn doesn't actually grant wishes. It just induces magical hallucinations in its victims to make them think that their wishes have been granted, then drinks their blood for a few days until they die (though the hallucinations can subjectively last for years, even a lifetime).
    • "Wishful Thinking" features a chintzy restaurant wishing well spiked by a cursed wish-granting coin. Amongst the wishes granted by this coin is an actual ax-crazy fiancee, a teddy bear made real but given a healthy dose of existential crisis and a free sandwich with a side of food poisoning.
  • Harlan Ellison's "Djinn, No Chaser", which was adapted as an episode of Tales from the Darkside in 1985 had a genie with this temperament because unlike the others he couldn't be freed via rubbing his lamp. Luckily for the lamp's final owner, she figured if the lamp couldn't be rubbed open she was going to brute force the damn thing with a can opener. She ended up with a grateful genie for a friend.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Man in the Bottle", a genie grants a man four wishes. The genie fixes a broken display window for free, but then the man wishes for a million dollars... and after giving away a lot of his money, gets stuck paying the tax on a million-dollar lottery win, leaving him no better off than he started. The man's third wish is to become the head of a contemporary foreign country who can't be voted out of office. The genie turns him into Adolf Hitler at the end of World War II, in a bunker under attack. The man has to use his fourth wish to escape this fate. Then he accidentally breaks the window again.
      Genie: No matter what you wish for, you must be prepared for the consequences.
    • "What You Need" has a reluctant case; the peddler himself is benign or even charitable with his ability to give people exactly what they are going to need in the near future, but when the gambler tries to abuse the peddler's power, the peddler gives the gambler some shoes that have no traction, especially on ice, and uses them to get away and get the gambler killed by car accident.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): The episode "Tooth and Consequences" has a dentist wish for his crush to love him back and for his patients to respect and look forward to their appointments. A tooth fairy grants it, but his crush's love is suffocating and his patients now won't leave him alone. He ends up hopping a freight train to get away, where he meets other dentists having gone through the same thing. Apparently the tooth fairy is running a con because he wants more people to lose their teeth.
  • Played with in Weird Science. Lisa the genie is a nice girl, but her magic usually has nasty side effects that don't just follow logically from the wish. It's like her magic itself is playing this trope on her and everyone.
  • In What We Do in the Shadows (2019) Nandor's djinn grants most wishes straightforwardly, but when Nandor decides to wish for a bigger penis he spends hours with him creating a contract to prevent it backfiring. The djinn concedes this is responsible, but annoying, and fully intends to twist his wish. Penis enlargement comprises about 90% of his work and seems to be where he exercises most of his creativity, ultimately succeeding in finding a way to ruin it.
  • In The Witcher (2019), the genie they encounter turns out to be pretty hard to handle, made worse because you don't need to say what you want out loud for it to "grant your wish". Its master ends up almost killing his friend through strangulation by silently wishing he'd shut up. Geralt notes that a freed genie isn't dangerous, and this malevolence is a result of their imprisonment.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, Jerry gives his kids a lesson about genies and how tricky they are in granting wishes. Ignoring Jerry's warning, Alex releases a Literal Genie from its lamp and uses her first wish to get everyone to stop comparing her to Justin. However, the genie instead makes everyone except Alex forget who Justin is. Alex later summons the genie back at the cost of a wish and tries to use her final wish to fix her mistake. However, when she wishes that everyone sees Justin clearly for who he is, the genie uses Exact Words by turning Justin invisible. Fortunately, it is discovered that genie's lamp has a literal Reset Button that undoes all the wishes.
  • The X-Files: In the episode episode "Je Souhaite", the genie is a Literal Genie, but the genie who turned her into a genie seems to have been a jackass genie. She was living in medieval France, and had made three wishes — a stout mule, a magic bag full of turnips, and "great power and a long life." The genie decided to use that last wish to turn her into a genie trapped in his place. Jerk. She herself tends to be pretty mean also, but only when the wishes are stupid. Which, according to her, is "all the time":
    Mulder: You know, I think I'm beginning to see the problem here. You say that most people make the wrong wishes, right?
    Jenn: Without fail. It's like giving a chimpanzee a revolver.
    • In the end, Jenn qualifies as more of a Jerkass Woobie Genie, since she didn't ask for her situation and she's really, really sick of it. Mulder himself recognizes this and frees her with his final wish, turning her into a normal woman with a regular lifespan.
  • You Can't Do That on Television has the Genie doing hit-and-run wishes, leaving the other person in a mess. "My work here is done."

  • Dragon Magazine:
    • A Planescape Blood War comic featured a cambion spy, whose girlfriend had cheated on him with a balor, but has managed to steal baatazu battleplans to assault their fortress. He then gives them to an aasimon in exchange for three wishes: "I want the tannar'ri to respect me as a hero, I want to show I'm better than that sodding balor. I want Alamanda to respect me. To love only me." The aasimon corrects the battle plans, returns them to the baatezu, and then tells the cambion that time flows differently here, and the assault has already begun. When he returns he finds that he's a hero for stealing the plans, even though it didn't do any good. He's better than the balor because he's still alive. And Alamanda says she loves him ... with her final breath.
    • At one point, Dragon Magazine dedicated an article to fleshing out a list of different types of wishes. Besides Benevolent and Malevolent, there were also Half wishes (Deliver half the wish and cut it in half in a creative way), Misinterpretation wishes (guaranteed to always hear at least one word wrong in some way), and several more options for making the act of wishing that much more uncertain.
      Genie: Let me get this straight. You want me to raze all your ability scores...?

  • Stormfrun: In "Down Below", a sailor with a gambling habit makes a deal with Davy Jones: in exchange for becoming the wealthiest person on the ship, he will serve Jones after his death. Jones fulfills his promise by sending storms and ill luck to kill of the rest of the crew, leaving the luckless signer the wealthiest person aboard by virtue of being the only.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Nanabozho, the trickster spirit of Ojibwa mythology, is once visited by a group of humans. One wishes for eternal life and is turned into a stone. Another wishes to be lucky at hunting and is turned into a fox. The rest, seeing where it is going, ask to enchant their talismans with healing power. This time, Nanabozho grants the wish because they don't ask for too much. Later, caught in an Orpheus plot, they end up losing it anyway.
  • Most wish-granting genies in the Arabian tales are Benevolent Genies, but then, they didn't have to grant wishes, either. Some non-wish-granting genies would instead offer such options as "You may choose how you would like to die," or "Should I change you into a dog, an ass, or an ape?" Thus taking Jackass Genie to a whole new (old?) level. The modern mythos of the genie is the result of the mythological equivalent of the telephone game. Originally, the point of the wish-granting genie wasn't that it granted wishes; it was supposed to impress upon you how powerful some sorcerer or other was (since djinn were actually very powerful spirits that roamed about doing more-or-less than whatever they damn well pleased) that he managed to trap a genie at all. Another version of the mythos is that some trapped Djinn were originally Benevolent Genies, but didn't particularly enjoy being imprisoned and forced into servitude by a powerful sorcerer, making their resentment and transformation into a Jackass Genie end up being rather justified.
  • Satan in Islam is either a Fallen Angel or this. Yes, the whole thing about tempting humankind into sinning IS otherwise unchanged...
  • Greek Mythology:
    • Aphrodite in The Trojan War. She promises Paris that the most beautiful woman in the world will fall in love with him and keeps her word, but neglects to mention that the most beautiful woman in the world is already married — to a powerful king who won't be too happy and has all the kings of Greece bound by oath to defend their marriage with everything they have, and actually getting with her would mean breaking Sacred Hospitality.
    • The Sirens were actually closer to this than seductresses people often incorrectly claim them to be. Through their songs, they promised to give whoever came to their island some gift that the person wanted more than anything. For example, they offered Odysseus incredible knowledge and the power to see the future. However when people swam to/wrecked their ships on their island they learned the hard way that the sirens couldn't grant them their heart's desire in the first place even if they wanted to. Then the sirens would proceed to eat them.

  • Like the genie from the Wishmaster movies, the blue genie in Tales of the Arabian Nights falls under this only because "Evil Genie" isn't available. He appears to be an unbound genie who kidnaps princesses and destroys towns just because he can, and can only be defeated with an enchanted scimitar.

  • Subverted in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, when a djinni tries to pull this on Frank and Sadie Doyle by giving them "more liquor than they could possibly drink," The Alcoholic mediums take it as a challenge.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock has an episode called "Wembley and the Mean Genie". Though he's something of a subversion in that he's a bullying jerk all on his own, and it's Wembley using the wishes (which he apparently can't twist) that fixes his damage.
  • LazyTown: In the episode "The Lazy Genie", Robbie acquires a genie, and his first two wishes are for all the fruit and vegetables and all the sports equipment to disappear, but he forgets to specify a duration, and they return not 5 minutes later. Robbie then uses his final wish to get rid of Sportacus—but the Genie gets rid of Robbie instead because he found him "annoying".

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: A woman finds a genie who warns her ahead of time that he's one of these, but since he likes seeing his wishees happy he does strongly suggest that if she wants a non-backfiring wish she should just ask for something simple, like a fancy sportscar. She wishes for world peace instead, which backfires tremendously.

  • Witch Quest: The Incubator that originally contracted Rochelle twisted the wish (something even Kyubey never did) in order to cause Rochelle to witch out faster. The voters have joked that this probably makes him the 'black sheep' of the Incubators for having to resort to such blunt methods.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • When a Game Master awards a roleplayer a wish, this trope often results in the player taking twenty minutes to formulate their wish to ensure that it comes out as planned. "... and I want it to happen now and I don't want to lose it later and I don't want anyone to get hurt for me to obtain it and I want it to be accessible and..."
    • In earlier editions, before wishes had set limits, there was a certain type of GM who basically used wishes to troll by waiting for players to ask for absurd things and then ruining them for doing so. The player wishes to be an immortal? The GM may make them a mountain, or maybe change the character's name to "Anne Immortal". The player wishes for vast wealth? They are teleported to a vein of gold beneath the earth with no means to survive the pressure or heat, or rewarded with a vast sum of acorns and transformed into a squirrel. The list goes on and on. However, this is against the terms of the spell as written even in 1st and 2nd Edition, where wishes have general limitations on what they can and can't get done.
    • Do note that when the player actually memorized and cast the spell, they are subject to the aging and experience penalties the spell usually has for casting. It's usually when a wish is gained through some other method that the jackassery happens. And the descriptions of the spells cautioned against greed, stating that it usually ends in disaster for the wisher (the DM becoming a Jackass Genie).
    • It's important to note that the above-mentioned "free-form" version of the wish spell came from the old AD&D 2nd Edition rules. In D&D 3.0 and 3.5, wish and miracle spells have a set of specific game-mechanical effects that they're explicitly allowed to accomplish with no penalty. Additionally, the spell description also says that the DM should let wishes of a similar power level work the way the player wants them to — and because wish is, canonically, the most powerful spell a wizard can cast,note  it ought to be capable of doing some pretty impressive things. It's only if the players go overboard that the DM is supposed to stop it, either by playing Jackass Genie with their phrasing or, if that isn't possible, by simply having the power of the spell be over-stretched and fail to get the job done. (The 3.0 Player's Guide has an example of the latter: a wizard wishing that everyone in the land considers him their rightful king ends up with everybody simply realizing that the wizard tried and failed to magically control their minds.)
    • The D&D Rules Cyclopedia version of the wish spell recommends that not only should wishes be carefully worded to avoid poor interpretations, but that if the wish is carefully worded but unbalanced, the DM should go out of his way to come up with a negative interpretation. The given example, "I wish to immediately and permanently gain the gaze attack power of a basilisk while retaining all my current treasure and class features," is given an example result of the character growing a second, basilisk head.
    • And 4th Edition did away with wish altogether, at least as a spell that players can cast. It remained in the form of a ritual available only to pit fiends (the highest-ranking type of devil, short of the archdevils) that allows them to grant a mortal's wish once every 99 years... but if you're going to trust the outcome of your wish to a freakin' pit fiend, you deserve whatever you get.
    • Fifth Edition has brought back wish, but with the major caveat that a caster using it to do something other than duplicating a spell has a 33 percent chance of being unable to cast it ever again. This applies even if the spell is cast through a magic item.
    • Dungeons & Dragons also has actual genies, though only the "noble" ones (about 1% of them) can actually grant wishes. The description of noble efreeti (the evil type of genies that come from the Elemental Plane of Fire) specifically says, "Whenever possible, an efreeti will twist the words of a wish to bring pain and destruction upon the wisher."
      • To prove that the game designers are evil, the only genies kept in the 4E Monster Manual were Efreeti... and the books specifically stress that they act like Noble Demons until someone presses them into servitude... like, say, to grant a wish.
      • The good news is that despite legends to the contrary, the 4e Efreeti can't actually grant wishes. The bad news is that they've cultivated enough connections and favors to perform a remarkable simulation. If you're kind enough to release one from servitude, it might grant a "wish" for you in thanks — and actually uphold the spirit of the wish as best it can due to its sense of honor — but it can also twist a "wish" or just generally make the rest of your (blessedly short) life hell if you try to force it into servitude.
      • The second Monster Manual brought back the actual Djinn (genies of air, described as "master engineers of the fabulous"), many of whom were sealed away in objects (like the traditional lamp) after the end of the Dawn War between Primordials and Gods. They don't grant wishes any more than the Efreeti do, but they are grateful to those who help them and will usually reward somebody who aids them considerably. Oppose them, however, and you're screwed.
      • The fifth edition Monster Manual includes a story about a halfling who met a genie (a Marid to be precise, genies of water with a canonical Chaotic Neutral alignment and whose egos make them think of mortals as amusing playthings) and wished for immortality. The genie turned him into a fish, which flopped around for a few minutes before suffocating. The in-universe narrator notes the story is a thousand-year old tale of caution, so in a way, the halfling got his wish.
    • The effects of a Jackass Genie DM are arguably removed with the Wish-equivalent psionic powers bend reality and reality revision They function the same as limited wish and wish, respectively, but since Psionics is thought, the power would affect the way the manifester thinks. Intention over interpretation through the power of thought, no messy words to get in the way. However, on that note, if you try to stretch these powers too far, it simply flat-out fails, and just wasted a bunch of psychic power and time to no effect. And also, you even must explain it your wish to your GM, and he can act as the Jackass Genie. "Oh, so you wanted to alter the reality so you could be the greatest Psion? Well, now you're sixty feet tall. You SAID me that was your wish, player". Rule Zero, my friends!
    • On a related note, the Clerical version, miracle is adjudicated by the caster's god (despite functioning via the spellcasting game mechanics, a cleric doesn't actually "cast" a miracle, they "request" one). If they ask for too much, or something not following the god's philosophy, god says "no", and you waste time and a spell. And in the later case, the GM could reasonably have the god punishing the cleric for their temerity.
    • Of course, as this strip from Real Life Comics shows, even if the wish itself works out exactly as you want, the DM can still screw you around.
    • In the Binder of Shame, Ab3 of RPG.Net fame notes that some Killer Game Masters do this as their very style of running a game. In the RPG.Net rant, "A Night at the Inn, a Day at the Racists", he recounts the tale of Psycho Dave, one particular such Game Master:
      As you can see I soon realized that Psycho Dave ran a game in roughly the same way that Warwick Davis in the film Leprechaun granted wishes. Everything you said your character did was scrutinized for some way to screw you over and the dice ruled all. He was the only guy I know who used a random monster encounter chart for Call of Cthulhu. You haven't lived until you've had a character go mad because he saw a nightgaunt sitting in a restroom stall reading a copy of the Necronomicon.
    • Leprechauns could act like this, but with a twist. If a leprechaun is captured by a mortal or his pot of gold is stolen, he can offer the mortal three wishes in exchange for his or the pot of gold's release (but is only capable of granting what is permitted by the limited wish spell). If the mortal agrees, the leprechaun will indeed grant the wishes, doing so in a way that will tempt the mortal into wanting more. After doing so, he'll offer the mortal a fourth wish as a bonus. If the mortal falls for this and makes a fourth wish, a type of Leprechaun Law will allow the leprechaun to undo the effects of the three wishes and then teleport the wisher and his companions hundreds of miles away; they'll never be able to find that particular leprechaun again.
    • Ravenloft:
      • The setting has a monster called a Wishing Imp, a magical statue that you CANNOT get rid of, that will explicitly try to pervert anything even remotely possible to be interpreted as a wish... It DOES classify as a curse though, the idea is that you should want to get rid of it.
      • Similarly, the Dark Powers seem to spend a lot of time thinking up ways to give Darklords exactly what they say they want and take away what they actually want. Such as Strahd's desire to evade death bringing with it the deaths of everyone he cared about.
    • The Deal with the Devil usually goes this way too, with the D&D devils being malicious but always keeping their side of the bargain. And you'll have problems with that, as they have literal "Lawyers out of Hell".
    • Tomb of Horrors:
      • The module features a cursed gem that purports to grant wishes; when the wish is made, it will do an exact opposite or otherwise turn the wish against you (given example: when asked to bring somebody back from the dead, it'll instead destroy his remains, or even kill somebody else), AND then it explodes, burning everybody in the vicinity to death.
      • There's also an efreeti in a bottle. If the players try to bargain with the efreeti to let him out, he'll grant three wishes but will be a jackass about it. If the players mishandle his bottle in any way he won't even give them that; he simply attacks them outright. If the players open the bottle without attempting to bargain with the efreeti, however, he'll grant their three wishes without any malice.
  • Pathfinder:
    • The adventure path "Legacy of Fire" plays with this. The main antagonist is a genie who's adding minor twists to every wish he grants so that it moves him closer to his ultimate goal; towards the end he resorts to just forcing people to wish for the things he wants to do at swordpoint, but prior to that he tends to just rely on riders and quirks to get what he wants. Meanwhile, the genie backing the heroes is effectively the head of the Society for the Promotion of Ethical Wishcraft and will only engage in this if the player characters keep wishing for stuff she's not willing to give them, like a way to end-run around the adventure or win fights automatically.
    • Glabrezu demons specialize in doing this. Their main schtick is tempting and corrupting mortals by offering them whatever they wish, and then using their magic to give it to them — and, since glabrezus are just as evil and sadistic as any other demon, deliberately twisting said wish to cause as much harm and grief as possible. For instance, a smith wishing for fame and recognition might end up with a wealthy patron — who happens to be a cruel warmonger who uses the smith's weapons to spread death and misery. Or someone grieving over the death of a loved one might see them brought back from the dead — as a vampire. And so on.
  • One GURPS supplement offers a perk that causes any wish the character makes to err in his favor automatically specifically to avoid players writing out multipage wishes to avoid getting screwed over. Needless to say, it's a tad over-powered for what should be a relatively minor ability.
  • In Warhammer, Daemons of Tzeentch love using this trope. It helps that most people are too terrified by their appearance to focus on wording the wish correctly. It should also be mentioned that Tzeentch and his servants have an infamous reputation amongst tabletop players and especially 1d4 chan for being Trolls, due to their Jackass Genie tendencies.
    • The Warhammer spinoff game Mordheim features a character who made the mistake of wishing for a Lord of Change to make him the greatest mage in the world. The daemon did just that, making him 15 feet tall.
    • A story from the "Tales of the Ten-Tailed Cat" comic has three adventurers releasing a Lord of Change, who grants them all one wish. The first wishes to live forever, and is turned into a vampire and then killed by the dwarf. The second wishes for the power of flight, and is turned into a fly. Finally, the dwarf wishes to be worth his weight in gold and is turned into a gold statue.
    • The Changeling (also a Tzeentchian Daemon) is even worse. In Warhammer 40,000, he once "assisted" a rebellious governor who found himself standing on the wrong end of a Dark Angels assault. The Changeling bargained the souls of the man's daughters for a device that would bring the siege to an end. It turned out to be the teleportation homer for a squad of Deathwing Terminators. Naturally, the siege quickly ended.
    • Tzeentch himself likes to join in the fun on occasion; once, he overheard a Space Marine Chapter Master who, worried that his Chapter's dealing with the Inquisition was killing more innocents than heretics, prayed for a means to tell who was lying and who wasn't. Tzeentch "blessed" the Chapter by letting them hear every single lie spoken in the entire Imperium. The unlucky recipient swiftly went insane and turned traitor in almost record time.
  • This is one of the side effects Mage: The Awakening suggests using on mages who abuse the Fate arcana. Bend fate so you meet a friendly, cute girl in the bar? OK. Do it over and over again? Turns out she's a psycho-stalker, or she has an STD and 'whoops' looks like you should have used protection.
  • Mage: The Ascension has these has a type of Umbrood. Due to a rather unpleasant war and the work of Solomon teaching humans how to trap and control Djinni, they're usually pretty pissed at humanity, and ESPECIALLY the Taftani Craft whose magic works by and large by messing with Djinn. Needless to say, you'd best be VERY careful when giving a Djinni orders, and only the Taftani have much of the knowledge required to actually command them long term without Jackass issues popping up. (It's outright stated that powerful Taftani have entire PALACES floating over deserts, with hundreds of Djinni servants maintaining the place and its magic, in addition to Djinni concubines, cooks, and even Djinni who are skilled at games for entertainment.)
  • Exalted:
    • Infernals powered by Cecelyne can be this, as they have wish-granting powers from Hell. However, the real jerkassery comes because the person whose wish is granted now owes the Infernal a favor. Oh, and the Infernal can be a jackass about interpreting someone as having made a wish.
    • Demons, however, when summoned and bound with the proper rituals, are not — they're magically made loyal to their summoner, not just obedient, and will attempt to be a Benevolent Genie to the best of their ability. The catch is that they still have an alien mentality, and therefore may legitimately fail to understand concepts like 'babies die if you twist their limbs too hard.'
    • The Unconquered Sun also has the power to summon and bind the defeated titans who created the world. He's never used it, precisely because he fears that they would play Jerkass Genie with his commands.
  • In Nomine: This is how the Djinn function. The demonic counterparts to the Cherubim (Guardian Angels), a Djinn suffers Dissonance if he actually harms the person he's attuned to... unless he can claim he's "giving them what they asked for".
  • This is something that you always have to be careful of when buying something at a Goblin Market in Changeling: The Lost. Market Law says that all products and services must work as advertised, but Ain't No Rule that says the merchant has to fully disclose all negative qualities and side-effects of a purchase.
  • Legend of the Five Rings suggests this as a possible way that the Nothing might grant "favors". One of the source books includes an example of a Shiba bodyguard who was being blackmailed by the Scorpion Clan and made a deal with an agent of the Nothing to get rid of the Blackmail. The agent did so—by telling everyone the Shiba's secret, eliminating the hold that the Scorpion had on him but ruining his life in the process.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II has a Limited Wish (and TOB a full-powered Wish) spell. Just like the other D&D examples, it WILL twist your wishes if you are not careful. "I wish to be more experienced." makes it summon a horde of monsters for you to (try to) kill, for instance. "I want to go on an adventure like one I've never been on before!" sends you on a quest to track down someone's grandmother's gong from a variety of improbable characters... Wishing to be prepared against the undead makes it summon a group of hostile vampires while giving you no additional protection against them whatsoever.
    • In this game, "being careful" means ensuring that your caster has a high enough Wisdom score to word the wishes properly, or by using "bad" effects to your advantage. Having the genie "summon an army" nets you 50 rabbits. Needless to say, a bunch of harmless, completely ordinary bunnies won't do any damage by themselves, but they make for a very nice distraction: enemies tend to attack the closest target, so if the rabbits are between you and the enemies, the enemies will waste turns attacking the rabbits while you pepper them with arrows and blast them with magic. Similarly, the horde of monsters summoned if you wish for experience is always a group of golems (though the exact number and type are based off your level), and there are several magic weapons in the game that are extremely powerful against golems, so if prepared you can get a lot of experience points for very little effort.
  • Baldur's Gate III has Auntie Ethel, a hag who enjoys tormenting people by granting wishes in the most sadistic manner possible. A dwarf had a terminal disease (which she gave him), so she halted its progress by having him Taken for Granite. An elf wanted to know his future, so she cursed him with nightmarish visions of things yet to come. A woman wanted to resurrect her husband, so she plotted to bring him back as a zombie for their Baby as Payment, which she would then eat.
  • It's a bit unclear on how the Grievous Miracle works in Blasphemous - most prayers dedicated to it tend to be granted in the most awful manner imaginable, inflicting great suffering upon the individual. However, there's also other selfless acts that work perfectly without any Body Horror, the most notable of them being the Order of Kissers of Wounds, who by, well, kissing the wounds of others in an act of contrition and mercy, heal said wounds without invoking any penalty. Given that most people in Cvstodia tend to pray for great suffering as they believe very strongly in atoning for sin through penance, the Miracle may be a downright Benevolent Genie simply giving the people exactly what they want.
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle gives us the System that oversees the artificial world that the Tag Battle Tournament takes place in. Clavis Alucard created the System to observe possibilities, but faults within the system meant that it would try to overwrite whatever worlds it used as a base for its observations, necessitating its lockdown; the game's plot happens because Rachel unlocks it, and it takes the personality of a depraved tournament hostess who will fuck with any request made unto her, uses tag battles as a way to break up any meaningful dialogue between characters, and loves watching others fight waaaaaay more than she should. Case in point, when Ragna expresses frustration that she is pulling the strings in affairs, she summons Azrael back after having teleported him away for losing his fight to Ragna Also, she locks Hyde into a battle with him by protesting that his lust for battle is overriding her whims despite the aforementioned incident.
  • Critical Depth, being a game from the developers of the below-mentioned Twisted Metal, have the alien Cephalopods acting as the game's equivalent of Calypso, with the same approach to granting the factions' desires:
    • The CIA wishes to know more about the aliens' technology. The Cephalopods invite them onto their ship... and promptly dissect them, being genuinely confused as to how they have "turned against their own kind" and offered them to be killed by other alien species in exchange for technology over the years.
    • The Soviet Die Hards want to restore the Soviet Union and Communism, which is regularly referred to in their storyline as "every person being an equal part of a larger whole". The Cephalopods merge every person on Earth into a giant grotesque blob.
    • The French Oceanographers want to be respected. The Cephalopods send them to a gladiator arena to fight for their amusement.
    • The VLO wish to have their nation no longer be oppressed by other countries. The Cephalopods flood the entire world except for their tiny island.
    • Doctor Pocalypse wishes to kill the entire human race and repopulate it with his own "superior" DNA. The Cephalopods kill off the rest of humanity but also kill his wife Evelyn, instead giving him a genetically superior "mate": a horrific-looking alien.
    • The Order of Nisroch is told their god Zornad has been asleep right under their noses in the ocean, and the Cephalopods awaken him for the Order to commune with. Zornad is an Eldritch Abomination and he promptly eats them.
    • Team Earth Hope seeks to protect the Earth's natural wonders. Upon meeting them, the Cephalopods are outraged at how humanity has destroyed the environment and flood the entire Earth to give it back to its "true masters": dolphins.
    • Mordrid Corporation CEO Dana Nadel wants to be "showered with wealth". The Cephalopods bombard the Earth with meteors made from solid gold, killing them.
    • Professor Armstrong is an Adventurer Archaeologist seeking to unlock the secrets of the past. The Cephalopods send him back in time to witness it for himself, where he ends up mummified.
    • Jack "Lock Jaw" Keon seeks fame and admiration by becoming a Collector of the Strange. The Cephalopods turn his head into a living alien museum exhibit where he will be admired for thousands of years.
  • Cuphead: Djimmi the Great, one of the debtors you fight for the Soul Contracts, fits this down to a T, although he is kind of an Anti-Villain himself. With all that said, he returns from defeat as a grateful Benevolent Genie when Cuphead and Mugman incinerate the Soul Contracts, including his.
  • Destiny: The Ahamkara take this to the next level; they’re not just wish-granting dragons, they’re Emotion Eaters that feed on deception, meaning they have a vested interest in twisting any wishes they get in horrible ways. But what really takes the cake is that they can sign off on wishes without permission, request, or even awareness; when you fight Riven, she senses that you’re fighting to cleanse the Dreaming City of a Taken curse and regards that as a “wish”, breaking the curse for you... and then promptly starts the curse again due a wish one of the Hive gods made before you even got there.
  • The Djinni Chronicles: You're a djinn who grants people's wishes. Apparently, due to the nature of the magic the djinn uses to grant the wishes, any wish-granting will inevitably carry something unpleasant with itself, no matter if the djinn wants it or not. The only exception are wishes free from "San" — which apparently is best translated as "selfishness".
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series has Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes, who is this trope at his most malevolent. Crossing over with Deal with the Devil, Clavicus Vile loves making deals with mortals that they later come to regret. Vampires pray to him for a cure to their affliction? Vile has a hero come along and Mercy Kill them all. A man wants to cure his daughter of lycanthropy? Vile gives him an enchanted axe to put her out of her misery. Pray to him for the power to "crush your enemies"? Vile will turn you into a weapon. Clavicus Vile is usually accompanied by an "external conscience" named Barbas, who typically takes the form of a Big Friendly Dog. With Barbas, Vile tends to be a bit less malevolent, coming closer to a Literal Genie. However, following the events of Oblivion, in which his quest ends with him possessing an artifact weapon capable of splitting he and Barbas, he became much more malevolent. This is rectified in his Skyrim quest.
    • The Ideal Masters are immortal beings who were once powerful mortal sorcerers during the Merethic Era. After finding their mortal forms to be too weak and limiting, they entered Oblivion as beings of pure energy and settled an area of "chaotic creatia", forming the Soul Cairn. The Ideal Masters are most infamous for their trafficking in souls, especially "Black" sapient souls. All souls trapped in soul gems end up in the Soul Cairn and are considered property of the Ideal Masters. Individuals seeking power, especially mortal necromancers, have long contacted the Ideal Masters. The Ideal Masters grant it in exchange for souls, which often includes the soul of the necromancer themselves. (Though the necromancer may not be aware of this fact as the Ideal Masters are Manipulative Bastards who often get what they want through Exact Words and You Didn't Ask.) In Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, you encounter Durnehviir, a Dracolich the Ideal Masters ensnared within the Soul Cairn. In exchange for power, he agreed to guard Valerica for the Masters "until she dies". However, Valerica is a vampire, and thus, The Ageless, essentially binding Durnehviir to their service for eternity.
  • Arguably happens with the magic box in Fable II. While not a "genie" as such, it grants your wish, but only after Your sister, family, and pet are all dead (possibly) and you've had to buy the place anyway for a million. Not to mention all the other horrible things that happen to your character on the way. Not a nice box, really.
    • However, since the exact wording of the wish was never given, you could see it as having been fulfilled when the two of them go to the castle, unless it included the word "live".
  • Used benevolently in the ending for Jak 3: After granting Daxter's wish for a comfortable pair of pants, Daxter's human girlfriend innocently states that she wished she had a pair of pants like that. The Precursors grant her wish... and also turn her into an Ottsel so she can fit into them. Anywhere else, this would be a perfect example of this trope except in this case, the Precursors are Ottsels, too (to say nothing of removing the biochemical barriers between the two). Earlier in the game the Precursors (while talking through their floating hologram thing) offer to turn Jak into a Precursor. However, Count Veger shows up with a gun and demands that he be turned into one instead. You can guess what happens. While this may be an example of Literal Genie at first glance, keep in mind that during this scene, no one (not even the player) knew what the Precursors really looked like...
  • Doesn't really have anything to do with wishes, but the genie King Graham finds in King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! locks whoever released him in the bottle. If you gave the bottle to the greedy witch, great. If not...
  • Tahm Kench, the River King of League of Legends, is a smooth-talking demon who offers bargains to people down on their luck. He fulfills his end of the deal perfectly... long enough to build his victim's hopes up so that when he comes to take back everything his deal provided, Tahm Kench can feast on the renewed despair and hopelessness along with everything else.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, one character asks a Poe for incredible wealth, so the Poe fills his house with treasure, paralyzes him, turns him into a gold statue, turns his eyes to gemstones, and turns his cat into solid gold. Ouch.
  • Shows up in Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader in the Crypt. The efreet in the lamp gives you one wish, but will actively try to mock you for actually using it. It is revealed that this genie is responsible for Jeanne's curse, because she wished for a way to eternally protect the relic from the undead, and became a revenant endlessly fighting the undead horde.
    • If you wish to be stronger, congrats, you're now stronger-smelling, resulting in lowered Charisma.
    • If you wish to be smarter, the Djinn will fill your brain with useless trivia knowledge, stating that you do indeed become smarter from it, but to no actual effect.
    • Want to be rich? Great, you can be renamed to "Rich" at no cost!
    • Wish all nearby enemies were dead? Well, you're in a crypt full of undead, so that's another job well done!
    • It is possible for the player to overcome the jackassery of the genie, though: wish for it to get lost (which makes him disappear, much to his horror), or wish for Jeanne to be free (which counts as a good deed, but player loses the strongest companion in game), or, with high Speech skill, to ask for a wish granted out of generous good will, to which the genie will disappointedly agree and grant any of the above normally, without negative effects.
  • Makai Kingdom: A mild example. Pram helps Zetta wish for his new netherworlds, but neglects to point out that they will be full of monsters he needs to defeat until he's already in there. He accepts this requirement once it's explained.
  • Melty Blood: TATARI, AKA 'Night of Wallachia', does this. He manifests the rumors and desires of where he forms but twists them all into his Omnicidal Maniac persona. A village hoped for good crops? He used their bodies as fertilizer. Two feuding villages desired peace? He killed them all, ending the conflict by proxy.
  • Might and Magic 5 has several Jackass Genies. While some will offer the player a choice between money, gems and experience, three fit this trope. The classic version is: "So, more greedy mortals seeking a free wish. I'll give you one. Choose from one of the following wishes:
    - I wish to die.
    - I wish for my friends to die.
    - I wish I had never rubbed this lamp.
    • Option 2 kills the character who rubbed the lamp (Die, selfish scum!).
    • Option 3 results in "Hmmm. Granting that one would create a paradox. I had better just kill you all."
  • Miitopia: The Genie enjoys causing mayhem in the Neksdor Village and stealing the Desert Star's fortune. He does a Heel–Face Turn after the heroes try to get him back into his lamp and helps them get to the next area of the game after they save his face when it gets stolen by The Dark Lord.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, there's a succubus who you can bargain with three times in exchange for the necessary talismans to free her from her prison, and due to the rules of her prison, she's forced to keep her bargains. The first two bargains go off without a hitch and you can get some decent loot out of them. The third talisman frees the succubus, at which point she attacks you (as you probably expected if you were paying attention).
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer: This comes back to bite the wish giver's ass. A quest involves helping a wizard get his soul back from a devil after he promised it in exchange for more power. The solution is to examine the contract carefully and then get some details out of the wizard. The contract is null if the devil does anything to force the wizard fulfill a condition against his will. One of the conditions is that the wizard murder someone. Part of the contract was granting the wizard a single wish, which the wizard turns out to have unwittingly used to escape his mentor — as the wizard fled, he was thinking about how much he wanted his mentor "gone". The devil interpreted the thought as a wish and disintegrated the wizard's mentor. Thus, he claimed, the wizard had murdered someone and fulfilled the condition... but the wizard did not want his mentor dead, only "gone". By killing the wizard's mentor, rather than getting rid of him any other way, the devil forced the wizard into fulfilling a condition. Point this out, and the devil is dragged back to the Lower Planes without the promised soul, cursing your name.
  • In Persian Wars your character will encounter a genie, and if he asks to never be thirsty, he will be turned into a fish. Later, on the same campaign, after a drought, you can ask a demon to make rain... resulting in him flooding the world.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): Master Alice, who grants wishes to people in exchange for their souls, plays this role with Inago's wish, intentionally twisting it. Inago asked her to stop Akemi's bullies from picking on her. She asked for them to be dealt with in a peaceful manner, but because that technically wasn't part of the deal, Alice pushed the bullies off the school building, killing them.
  • Pirate101: The Monkey's Paw, forged from the hand of a Monquistan saint, grants three wishes to any Monquistan who holds it, but wishes made with an impure heart will always go awry. When a group of Monquistan soldiers was stranded in a dangerous cave, their commanding officer wished on the paw for them to be able to fly so they could escape. The paw turned them into winged demons, meaning that even if they left the cave, the Holy Church would have them all executed for what they became.
  • Local racist shopkeeper Herbert Moon from Red Dead Redemption II is implied to have made a Deal with the Devil with the Mysterious Stranger (who’s implied to be God, Satan, or the incarnation of death) from the first game to survive a cholera outbreak in the town. It’s further implied that in exchange, the man arranges for Herbert to lose his relationship with his daughter. He had her fall in love with and marry a Jewish man, knowing Herbert would never approve and disown her.
  • In Reflections of Life 8: Dream Box any wish made on one of Mara's dream boxes will have a heavy price. A girl who wishes to beat her sister in the annual jeweler's contest receives the uncontrollable ability to create butterflies that turn anything they touch into amber. A man with writer's block who wishes to write a hit play receives eyes that turn anything he looks at into amber.
  • Sacrifice:
    • In the backstory, Eldred summons a powerful demon called Marduk and charges him with destroying the armies of his political rivals, who are rebelling against the empire he was stewarding. Marduk obliges by destroying the entire world, forcing Eldred to escape into another dimension.
    • The dimension he runs to wasn't any luckier. A local god summoned Marduk and charged him to "sow discord". Marduk did this by turning all the gods against each other as a precursor to destroying the world. The sad part is that Marduk claims he has destroyed countless worlds over his long career, meaning that there's no shortage of idiots willing to summon him.
  • The Secret World: During Issue 11, players exploring the Orochi Tower can end up paying a visit to Faust Capital's omega floor, where they soon make the acquaintance of the company CEO — who turns out to be one of these. During your visit, the CEO will offer you three choices, all of which will be rewarded in mean-spirited, cheap or just unnecessarily complicated ways:
    • In your first wish, the CEO offers you a choice between eternal life and Eternal Love: picking eternal life will summon an extremely hungry vampire into the room while picking eternal love sets you up for a date with a violently horny succubus. For good measure, once you've killed that particular attacker, the CEO remarks that the succubus really did love you — it's just she didn't know how to express it.
    • The second wish offers you money or power: choosing money gets you a single PAX credit — though picking it up causes another credit to appear in front of you, so you can technically earn quite a lot if you have the inventory space for it. But if you pick power, you get... a common household battery. Even the CEO apologizes for the terrible joke.
    • Lastly, you're given a choice between musical talent and knowledge. Technically, this is the most beneficial of the wishes, but you've still got to jump through the hoops if you want it to actually benefit you. If you pick music, you're given a flute identical to the one encountered in "The Christmas Conspiracy," and are told to follow the music prompts; if you succeed, you get to keep the flute as a nifty cosmetic item. If you pick knowledge, you have to answer a series of riddles, the last of which can only be answered if you've been listening to the CEO's hints and can guess his true name: Mephistopheles. Answering correctly nets you a fragment of otherwise unattainable lore... about the Jinn.
  • In Skullgirls there is the Skull Heart, which can grant any young woman her wish. If, however, that young woman's heart is impure, it will corrupt even a completely selfless wish into something horrible, and turn the wisher into a Humanoid Abomination to boot. The Skull Heart is also alive and sentient, wanting to make new Skullgirls to destroy the world. Its definition of "impure" is such that even the slightest iota of self-interest within a wish will make it turn the user into a Skullgirl.
    • The past Skullgirls' wishes are as follows: Annie's mother wished for her daughter to remain a child forever to spare her from having to deal with harsh struggles and realities of being an adult. On top of becoming the Skullgirl, she trapped the now-forever-15-year-old Annie in an endless struggle against future generations of Skullgirls, burdening her anyways. Selene Contiello wished to bring back her family, recently murdered by Black Dahlia. She became the Skullgirl and her family was brought back as mindless undead minions save for her daughter Squigly, who only avoided the "mindless" part thanks to being bonded to the Parasite Leviathan and forcing her to help kill her. Queen Renoir wished to stop a massive world war. That wish was fulfilled by making her a Skullgirl so horrible and destructive that the countries had to stop fighting each other just to take her down. Ironically, the only Skullgirl whose wish seems to be fulfilled in a satisfactory way is that of the current Skullgirl, who wished for revenge against the Medici crime syndicate and depending on the story route chosen, gets her revenge before falling apart.
    • In the story endings, some of the characters make wishes on the Heart. Fillia wishes to restore a normal life to Painwheel. Her wish is nearly pure, so she becomes a Skullgirl slowly, but Painwheel receives a normal life as Painwheel, and doesn't have any memory of her former life. Parasoul wishes that Umbrella will never become the Skullgirl, so she will become the Skullgirl in her place and leaving her time to train Umbrella for that inevitable battle. The only wish that isn't corrupted in any way among the original cast is Valentine's because she wished to become the Skullgirl. Miss Fortune narrowly avoids it: just as she's about to make a wish she realizes that this trope is in play and opts to destroy the Skull Heart, instead.
    • Black Dahlia is another rare exception, as her wish on the Skull Heart in her ending not only doesn't backfire, it completely fulfills the qualifications of a Selfless Wish and causes it to vanish forever. Her wish? To be sent to a Death World where she can fight, maim, and kill for as long as she can stay alive. Because her wish provides no benevolent assistance to anyone else, nor does she truly obtain personal gain since it's all on her own ability to survive, it fulfills the Skull Heart's Blue-and-Orange Morality. It actually sounds overjoyed at her wish.
  • Slay the Spire: The Ironclad sold his soul to demons in exchange for making him the strongest warrior in his clan. The demons killed the rest of his clan and told him that since he's the only one left, he's now the strongest by default. That said, many of his cards have him using powerful demonic abilities, so it's possible they actually granted him the strength he asked for and then killed his clan anyway just to be even bigger assholes.
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings: Erazor Djinn, the Big Bad. Ironically enough, the one time he actually does fulfill a wish, he does them perfectly, and every wish is exactly how Sonic wants it. To be fair to Erazor, Sonic was holding his lamp at the time.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. — Shadow of Chernobyl has various endings, two "right" ones and five "false" ones which involve the main character finding a large stone called the Monolith, also known as the Wish Granter. Depending on what the player has done in the game, he will make one of five possible wishes. All of them backfire.
    • If he says "I want to be rich", he sees coins falling from the sky. In reality, the roof collapses and crushes him.
    • If he says that "Humanity is corrupt and must be controlled", we see flashes of war, death, and other atrocities, then we see him left alone in a void.
    • If he wishes for the Zone to disappear, we see him in a pristine countryside, but his eyes are blanked out.
    • If he says "I want to be immortal", he turns into a statue.
    • If he says "I want to rule the world", he's disintegrated and absorbed into the Monolith.
  • In Twisted Metal, Calypso grants the winner one wish. Unfortunately, he is also a Jerkass. It's toned down in the first game, where he's closer to a Literal Genie and even tries to warn some winners of the dangers of their wishes, but in the sequels, this trope is in full effect.
    • The drivers of Outlaw in the first two games and Twisted Metal: Head-On get caught in a cycle of these. Officer Carl Roberts, the driver in the first game, wished to be in a world free of the Twisted Metal tournament. Calypso responded to this by hurling him into space, a place where Twisted Metal wasn't held. In the second game, the driver of Outlaw 2, Carl's sister Jamie, demands to see her brother, and Calypso responds by hurtling her into space the same way he did her brother. This turns out to be a Batman Gambit on her part, as she was smart enough to modify her police car for space flight. She rescues her brother and the two return to Earth, plotting revenge. Finally, in Head-On, Carl and Jamie get into an argument over whether or not to just shoot Calypso right there. Carl accidentally wishes for Jamie to "shut up", and Calypso erases her mouth Matrix-style.
    • In Twisted Metal: Black, Roadkill's driver John Doe, an amnesiac character, wants to know who he was. Calypso grants his wish and then shoots him, because he was an FBI agent and Calypso is on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.
    • Dollface, the driver of Darkside in Black, wishes to be able to take off her unremovable mask from which she gets her moniker. She's given a Sadistic Choice when it turns out that taking the key to the mask will also mean killing her former employer, the guy who locked her in it in the first place, but since he had it coming, she goes through with it... only to decide that she's fine wearing her mask until she grows old.
    • In Head-On, Krista, the ghostly driver of Grasshopper and daughter of Calypso, wishes to undo the car crash that killed her and her mother. The crash is erased from history... and Krista is put into an indefinite coma in a swingset accident to make up for it. With this, it would even appear that Calypso is not in total control of his Jackass Genie ways, as even he is depressed by the outcome of this wish. Most likely Karma in his case.
    • Hammerhead's ending from TM2 is an odd example. The drivers wished to gain the ability to fly... and as soon as Calypso said "Wish granted", they jumped off the edge of the building and fell to their deaths, leaving him standing there dumbfounded with a pair of plane tickets in his hand. So while he was pulling a jackass interpretation of their wish, he wasn't actually going to harm them personally — their deaths were all on them.
    • The third game, one of the two Twisted Metal games that don't exist, was especially bad when it came to this. The character Axel wishes to become completely mechanical, so Calypso turns him into a wristwatch. Angela wants to sit at home and watch TV all day, so Calypso ties her to a chair and forces her to watch nothing but infomercials. The cops want a crime-free world. Okay, great, now they're out of a job and destitute on the streets since there's no need for police anymore. One character wishes to party all night long, so he gets sent to Antarctica where nights last for 6 months. The demon Minion wishes to spend eternity in hell and ends up trapped in Hell, Michigan.
    • On the other hand, though, there were a few characters where he honestly granted their wish. Endings involving revenge (such as No-Face, Mr. Grimm, Raven, and Billy Ray Stillwell's endings in Twisted Metal: Black) are usually granted with no strings attached, as they are pretty simple ones that screw someone else over. The first game also had Calypso generally be more honest with his wishes, with the only driver who got unambiguously screwed being Carl Roberts, the driver of Outlaw — and that was likely because he made a wish (ending the Twisted Metal contest) that served as a metaphorical slap in Calypso's face.
      • There is some room for ambiguity on the part of Bruce Cochrane, the driver of Thumper in the first game. Having lived his whole life in fear within a neighborhood constantly torn apart by gang violence, he wished for all of that to end, and Calypso granted his wish. Bruce returned to his neighborhood to find that "... Calypso was not lying." There are two interpretations for that ending — either Calypso brought peace to the neighborhood, or he killed everyone so that there would be nobody left to kill and rob each other.
      • In Head-On, Mortimer simply wishes to be able to return to his grave and sleep again. Calypso grants him this wish exactly as intended with no strings attached. Cousin Eddy's ending has him simply ask for a better RV, which Calypso grants just to make him leave him alone.
      • In Twisted Metal: Black, No-Face, a former boxer, had gotten his ass kicked in a boxing match and was then malevolently butchered and mutilated by a back-alley doctor who lost money betting on him, having his eyes and tongue removed and his eyelids and mouth sewn shut. His wish was for revenge against the doctor. The next scene shows the doctor Bound and Gagged while No-Face is putting on a boxing glove covered with knives and scalpels. The scene ends just as the boxing glove is about to make contact with the doctor's face.
    • There are also cases where the driver really did get their wish granted, but it ended badly for them.
      • In the first game, the driver of Roadkill wishes to go back in time to undo the deaths of his platoon in the jungles of South America. Calypso tries to warn him of how dangerous this wish is, but grants it anyway. He is sent back in time and is almost immediately shot and killed at point blank range by an enemy soldier.
      • Also in the first game, Charlie Kane, the driver of Yellow Jacket, asked for information on his son's whereabouts. It turned out that his son Needles was the driver of Sweet Tooth and a wanted Serial Killer, and that Charlie had actually killed him that night during the contest, helping to bring a feared criminal to justice. Charlie leaves with a sense of anguish and plans to re-enter the competition next year and wish for Calypso to take away his suffering.
      • In the second game, Mr. Slam's driver, Simon Whittlebone, wished to build the tallest building ever, and he got his wish. However, he then got worried that other people would break his record, and so kept building his tower higher. In the end, he accidentally fell to his death.
      • The ending for Captain Rogers, the driver of Warthog, in the second game is a case of semantics. Rogers wants to be young again, and when he wins the tournament he asks Calypso to give him the body of a twenty-year-old. One would assume that the head is included when one says "body", but Calypso doesn't.
      • In the second game, Amanda Watts, the driver of Twister, wishes to be able to go at the speed of light. Calypso tunes her car so that it can do that, and she winds up breaking the laws of physics and traveling back in time, eventually running out of gas in the prehistoric era and getting stomped on by a dinosaur. Her sister Miranda in Head-On wishes that she can find her, and she comes back as a zombie.
      • In 2, Mr. Grimm wishes for people to die faster so he can feed on their souls. Calypso does just that, causing people all over the world to fight and kill one another so Mr. Grimm could least until humanity went extinct, and he was left jonesing again.
      • Also in 2, Bruce Cochran, the driver of Thumper, wishes to Take Over the World. Calypso grants him that very wish...too bad humanity was driven to extinction by the Twisted Metal contest, leaving Cochran to Go Mad from the Isolation, futilely screaming commands to the piles of corpses that constituted his "subjects".
      • In Black, Agent Stone, the driver of Outlaw, wants to go back in time and spare an innocent family he accidentally killed while staking out a terrorist cell. He gets to go back, and he makes absolutely sure to only shoot the terrorists. Only he's not thorough enough, and one of them pops back up and shoots him in the head, killing him.
      • Also in Black, the Preacher, the driver of Brimstone, has been possessed by a demon after performing an exorcism, and it causes him all kinds of mental anguish. Calypso promises to take away the demon if he wins. Only Calypso takes away the demon by informing Preacher that the demon was never real in the first place, and he's actually severely mentally ill. Preacher decides the only way to be free of the torment in his mind is to kill himself.
      • In Black, Needles Kane, the driver of Sweet Tooth, is a serial killer who's caught and given the chair. However, Preacher shows up at his execution and curses him, which results in the flames on his head that he can never be rid of. Calypso promises to get rid of the curse if he wins. Calypso delivers, but he says the curse will return if Needles ever kills anyone. Needles decides he likes killing too much to give it up and that he'd rather live with the flames. His first new victim is Calypso himself.
      • Needles' wish in the 2012 game is to find his daughter Sophie Kane, who stabbed him in his left eye and is the only person to have ever survived an encounter with him. He ends up getting teleported into her casket. She shot herself ten years prior, unable to take the grief of having witnessed her Serial Killer father murder her family. In the original draft, he finds Sophie, in this version not related to him and who has become a serial killer like him, and he falls in love with her right before she decapitates him with a pair of hedge clippers and uses his flaming head as a torch to hunt more civilians.
      • 2012 Mr. Grimm wishes to go back in time to before his father died doing a stunt. He's teleported into his father's truck and causes him to crash, then is shot to death by his younger self, condemning him to a Stable Time Loop. In the first draft, he wishes to be able to successfully pull off the stunt that killed his father and is given a spectral bike to do exactly that. The bike makes the jump, but Mr. Grimm doesn't and falls to his death. In the second draft, he wishes to see his father again, and finds himself in his truck with the latter's 20-year-old corpse at the wheel before it drives them into a truck driven by Calypso.
      • 2012 Dollface's wish is to become the world's most famous supermodel, specifically demanding that Calypso put her on the world's largest runway. She's teleported onto an airport runway and run over by a plane. Poor choice of words there. In the first draft, she wishes to have her mask removed like her Black counterpart, but is horrified by her own reflection, seeing minor imperfections that her imagination blows up into monstrosities. She puts her mask back on and walks into traffic. In the third draft, she gets the mask removed, only to see that her face is now horribly deformed (the text compares it to The Elephant Man), and she goes on a spree of murdering supermodels out of rage.
    • And finally, there are those characters who recognize that Calypso is a Jackass Genie, and react accordingly. The drivers of Darkside in the first game and Minion in the second are demons who are there to straight-up take their powers back from Calypso, the latter throwing him into Hell for good measure, while Mr. Grimm in the first game is The Grim Reaper seeking to claim Calypso's soul. The drivers of Pit Viper in the first game, Grasshopper in the second, Quatro and Meter Maid in the fourth, Manslaughter in Black, Crimson Fury, Outlaw, Shadow, and Warthog in Small Brawl, and Crimson Fury and Outlaw in Head-On all enter in order to kill, arrest, or otherwise punish Calypso, and save for Outlaw and Warthog in Small Brawl and Outlaw in Head-On, they get exactly what they want. Sweet Tooth also manages to kill Calypso twice, once in Black and again in Head-On. Calypso himself does this in the fourth game, where Needles Kane has stolen his power and he enters the contest to take it back.
  • Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge features the titular Cosmic Forge, which allows one to rewrite reality. The titular Bane is its tendency to make what one writes happen in the worst possible manner. One minor character, for example, wanted to be loved by the queen and wrote as much with the Forge. He was promptly turned into a giant serpent because... the queen loves snakes.
  • Yes, Your Grace: If no gifts are provided to them, the rodzanice spirits can become this and give Eryk what he wants of them in the most cruel way possible: the baby is made into a boy as asked, but stillborn and the mother dies.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate Series:
    • In Fate/stay night there's one of these in the form of the Holy Grail itself. Since it has been corrupted by an evil force, it will interpret every wish as a desire for destruction. One of the examples given is that a wish to be the wealthiest man in the world would kill everyone richer than you. Another is when a character wished for world peace, the Grail stated its intention to grant that wish by killing everyone on the planet except for him and his daughter (can't have conflict if everyone is dead).
    • Fate/hollow ataraxia reveals that it was originally a Literal Genie until the Third Grail War, when Avenger was summoned. An ordinary villager who was chosen as the source of all humanity's sins, he was tortured his entire life and came to embody the wish for a single source to the world's evils. When his spirit was absorbed by the Grail, it attempted to grant that wish, transforming him into Angra Mainyu, a mindless curse. Any wish granted by the Grail will be tainted by his presence and will release him on the world.
    • Carnival Phantasm, as a Gag Series spinoff of the above, features "Grail-kun", a kooky parody of Doraemon who "grants wishes" by handing the wisher a kitchen knife and telling them to go stab the source of their problems. Notably, Kotomine is the only one to take his advice seriously.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend's Bad Boys Love route, it's revealed that Doctor Shuu made a promise to Ryuuji Kawara that he would grant any wish his son Ryouta wanted. Ryouta's wish was for humans and birds to live in peace and Doctor Shuu, being Doctor Shuu, decided that the best way to grant this wish was to exterminate the entire human race because humans and birds can't keep on fighting if one side is dead, after all. Oh, and his methods to bring about said end of the human race involve deliberately weakening Ryouta's immune system so he can infect him with a virus that kills any humans who come too close to him and then letting his childhood friend/love interest Hiyoko get fatally close to him to test the virus, which leaves Ryouta traumatized for life when he finds out about this. But hey, it was all done to grant a wish Ryouta made when he was a fledgling and didn't know how warped his mysterious benefactor's psyche was at that time! Isn't that so nice of Doctor Shuu?
  • In Utawarerumono Uitsalnemetia is implied to actually want to help people by the wishes he grants, but due to Blue-and-Orange Morality and the fact that a Deal with the Devil has to be made and a price paid, it doesn't tend to work out even if the intention was pure. He is revealed to have played it strait once in the past in a fit of blind rage after his wife and unborn child was dissected by a group of scientists, he decided to grant their wish of immortality by turning the culprits into immortal amorphous slimes. The dark side of Uitsalnemetia that was born from this incident however plays this trope straight as an arrow with none of the pure intentions of the original.

    Web Animation 

  • Biter Comics has a real Djerk (pictured above), who doesn't even bother waiting for you to say "I wish for..." before granting your "wish".
    Djerk: Now, what is your first wish?
    Man: Hmmm... gimme a sec.
    Djerk: Done!
    Man: Hey! That wasn't a wish! You're a dick!
    Djerk: Done! [becomes phallic in shape] And your final wish, my boy?
    Man: Awww, forget it! You're just trying to piss me off!
    Djerk: Done!!! [the phallic genie urinates on the man, the force of the stream knocking him off the flight of stairs leading to the lamp]
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • In "Torg Potter and the Chamberpot of Secretions", the Djinn of the Chamberpot interprets every single wish someone makes as asking to be turned into a chocolate statue. The first two times it happens it's sort of a case of being a Literal Genie ("Could you make me some chocolate?" and "Make me irresistible to women"), but the third time, no-one even really makes a wish, they just shout "Oh good bloody hell!" The genie claims this is Viking for "Turn me into chocolate." When it's pointed out that the Vikings didn't have chocolate, he retorts, "But if they did they would have called it 'bloodyhell'." Tat said, this genie's special thing is that he'll grant you an actual proper wish on the second wish if you manage to get past the first one. The third wish is "witheld for tax purposes." Incidentally, the reason this all is in the story is to parody the implausibility of how in the original, a series of coincidences led to no-one ever being killed by the basilisk, even though just looking into its eyes was lethal. Time after time, the witness would happen to only see it in a mirror or similar, so rather than being killed outright, they would become paralysed instead, which could be safely reversed.
      Torg: Wait a minute. You're saying all three guys just happened to wish something that had the same random result?
      Genie: Yeah, pretty freaky, huh?
      Torg: That's freaking ridiculous!
    • In "That Which Redeems", there's a non-magical example that also confusingly combines it with Literal Genie (as in, a Literal Genie understanding it's asked to act as a Jackass Genie). Lord Horribus asks Dimension of Lame Riff to build him "something terrible", and it's only after several catastrophic attempts that he realizes Riff's inventions have not been working because he took it to mean "something that works terrible".
    • And later, there are the demons Zefolas and Fezeel, who trick mortals to sell their souls for wishes. The first wish is always free, but the second will cost you... YOUR SOUL. You can imagine what the wishes they grant are like, especially the first wishes when they want you to make a second. They even like to grant wishes and make deals in their own realm, where they are almost omnipotent and can ignore any wish they like that might harm them, simply for sport. This allows them to take being Jackass Genies to the extreme since they don't even have to limit themselves to twisting wishes asked for if it's not convenient. The only way to beat them turns out to be to ask for wishes that they don't realize can be used against them, such as wishing for the blood of the innocent to drip from the walls while carrying a magic sword that can kill literally anything after feeding on innocent blood.
  • Oglaf:
    • We get the Wishing Dolly. When we first see it, it seems to be more of a Literal Genie (an ugly girl wishes to be beautiful and becomes so fancy that everyone thinks she's out of their league). In the next strip, however, we get to see that there's more to it than just the wording of the wish. NSFW.
      Wishing Dolly: Awww! Are you sad? Tell wish dolly what you really want.
      Girl: Quick! Wish to go back in time and stop the wish from happening.
      Wishing Dolly: He's tried that! How do you think he got the horn?
      Boy: Piss off, wish dolly.
      Wishing dolly: Heeey! Why don't you wish that I piss off? What's the worst that can happen?
    • Later, the Wishing Dolly enchants a man's penis so that it can cause whatever it enters to instantly have an orgasm and fall asleep; this is not only limited to women but even affects his own hand. Needless to say, he's quite sexually frustrated nowadays. His later attempts to deal with his frustration have to be seen to be believed.
    • There are plenty of comically sociopathic characters. The Djinn is no exception, outright telling the guy who rubbed his lamp that he'll grant one wish, but if he doesn't wish to give the Djinn a blowjob, the Djinn will cut off his legs. The next panel shows his choice... and the consequences. All hail King Simon the Legless!
  • The Wotch: Aside from a few exceptions, the Djinn are all jerkass genies. There's also a cursed genie bottle that forces any djinn summoned through it to grant wishes as if they were a Jackass Genie, even if they don't want to.
  • Goblins provides a few examples:
    • An early joke had Forgath ask the Game Master for a more difficult encounter, to be rewarded with one far above his group's party level. He then asked for a slightly easier encounter and got a pathetically easy encounter.
    • The backstory of Mr. Fingers, the Finger Horror involves a demon who accepts a farmer's plea to cure his son of nightmares. The demon successfully extracted the source of the nightmares from the kid's mind... then set the nightmares loose into reality, where they fled to the deepest darkest corners of the world they could find, and started to breed...
    • In one of the Alternate Universes, a hero made a wish to bring his wife back to life after she was decapitated. The wish rewrote reality in such a way that no-one in that reality can die as a result of being beheaded anymore.
  • The Repository Of Dangerous Things has the main character open up an aspirin bottle, only for a genie to pop out. When asked to get rid of his hangover, the Genie simply explodes his head (he survives, and later has his head regrown with another Dangerous Thing). According to the genie's write-up, this wasn't even a creatively asinine interpretation of his wish — they just always explode your head, no matter what you ask for.
  • Subnormality has a man wish to have, "Everything [he] could ever need!". The genie immediately gets rid of all the non-essentials in the man's home, his hair, and... some other things...
    "So you're one of those genies..."
    "For future reference, you now have one kidney."
The page title reads "They're all like that, actually."
  • The Book of Biff: Biff gets an odd mix of literal and jackass in his genies. The first one grants Biff's wish to be rich by turning him into a hamster because the genie once had a pet hamster named Rich, while the second one grants Biff's wish for wings, but the wings don't work due to Biff not specifying that the wings had to enable him to fly.
  • CollegeHumor: There are two comic strips that use this.
    • This strip by Caldwell Tanner has a boy be given a magic lamp for his birthday. He wishes to be Batman and the genie responds by shooting the boy's parents.
    • Another strip by Owen Parsons does something similar by having a boy who is offered a wish by a leprechaun wishing that he was Superman, which results in the boy flying away in a rocket while the Earth blows up.
  • VG Cats: A variant of this trope appears in a strip where Leo buys a magical wish-granting monkey's paw from a whimsical stranger. He first wishes for Duke Nukem Forever but finds that the nostalgia of his childhood has been tampered with in the form of modern game design. Accepting it anyway, he then wishes for a giant wiener and is granted a massive hot dog, complete with bun and ketchup. It also turns out the Duke Nukem Forever game case is empty.
  • In The Princess Planet, this genie is definitely the jerkass type (she's also on the Literal Genie page, mind). Fortunately, Christi is very smart.
  • Channel Ate: The genies seem to get worse and worse each time they appear. The first one gives the guy only two wishes on a technicality, the second monologues long enough that the two bomb disposal guys he was gonna rescue die when the timer runs out after 30 seconds, the third outright SHOOTS THE GUY FOR HIS THIRD WISH! He said he wanted to meet God, didn't he?
  • Hyperbole and a Half: This comic advises being specific when wishing, just in case the Wish Genie is a total dick.
  • One strip of Port Sherry has a man free a genie and get three wishes as a token of the genie's gratitude. The man wishes for a hundred more wishes, ten more genies and absolute omnipotence. After a Beat panel the genie reiterates that these wishes are just a token of gratitude and that he is in no way obligated to actually grant any of them if he doesn't feel like it because, well, he is free now. Furthermore, he was trapped in the lamp by humans in the past for a reason, what with him being a magical being of great evil, and is now planning on exacting revenge upon the entire human race, so whatever the man wishes will just make him, at best, a king among slaves. The man changes his wishes to "wealth, women and health", which the genie thinks sounds a lot better.
  • minus.: This genie doesn't bother with irony, opting instead to clobber people for no reason. (One person wishes to fly and gets flicked into the air, but that's probably a coincidence.) Double-subverted for the last wisher.
  • Girl Genius: Castle Heterodyne's AI skirts this trope. If given any leeway in its orders it will act in what it thinks is in its Master's best interests, but being created by and likely based on the mind of an extraordinarily Ax-Crazy by-the-standards-of-the-dynasty-and-that-is-saying-a-great-deal Heterodyne Warlord, it has a hard time getting its CPU around the idea that the current heiress considers attacking any theoretical enemy in range, or subjecting her staff to Darwinian winnowing, to be counterproductive. That, and it thinks it has a sense of humor.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
    • "Whenever you have need, reach in the magic horn and it will give you exactly what you need." When the guy reaches in hoping to get some money to pay for his shopping, he pulls out a gun.
    • In this one, the genie is actually fairly reasonable and tries to honor the spirit of the request over the letter. But his former master was the jerkass and made a wish about what the next wisher would get.
    • Parodied in this one: Though there's no indication that it wouldn't grant the wishes properly, nobody trusts the demonic floating skull with a voice like a shrieking baby to do so, instead expecting some horrible consequences.
  • I Dream of a Jeanie Bottle: Jean, the genie protagonist, usually due to Comedic Sociopathy or in response to some slight, real or imagined, though once it was a clear-cut case of self-defense.
  • In The Handbook of Heroes comic "Wish Bound," Summoner binds an evil efreet and extorts him for a wish. The efreet is looking forwards to screwing him over.
  • In El Goonish Shive, during the "EGSNP Q&A - Wrong Answers Only" storyline, it is claimed that Susan encounters one of these who makes her look like Diane when she wished "to be cute and smol".
  • In Our Little Adventure, the cleric Maxo briefly falls into a small subdimension of Hell, and encounters a very powerful demon who offers to grant him a Wish at whatever future point he wants it. Maxo accepts the offer, thinking it might come in handy at some point. Much later, Maxo wants to resurrect one of his friends, and the demon uses that to sneak out of his prison dimension in the guise of that resurrected friend. What pushes it over into this trope is that not only was that not what Maxo wanted, but Maxo did not intend to use the Wish, and didn't even say "I wish Candesco were brought back to life."
  • All Night Laundry: The Botfly grants wishes in the worst possible way:
    • Josephine wanted to be a famous scientist, but recieved Magic-Powered Pseudoscience that cannot be explained and only worked because the Botfly made it work.
    • Gregor wanted his dog to be alive again, but the Botfly stole the dog's soul and gave him a hideous Animalistic Abomination.
    • Bina wanted to fix her past mistakes, but she is stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and every time she travels in time, she damages the universe more and more.
    • Amie is obsessed with Doctor Who and wants to be the Doctor's companion, but if Bina is the Doctor, her companion is Kendra and Amie is just an extra.
  • The genie in this xkcd comic explictly warns he'll twist wishes to teach people a lesson. But Black Hat wishes for things that are so obviously destructive without any creative twisting, the genie gets discouraged and offers to just give him 20 dollars if he'll go away. (Inverted Trope: Jackass Wisher.)

    Web Original 

  • This article from The Onion, in which Justice Scalia meets a genie who grants him a strict constructionist interpretation of his wish for "a hundred billion bucks."
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-694 has a man making a demand to an unseen entity of a "full repeat" of the last 38 minutes after his son is killed in a kidnapping gone wrong. Said entity then proceeds to subject everyone involved to a Time Loop Trap, and all the Foundation can do is quarantine the area.
    • SCP-738 is a set of an antique wooden desk, chair, and throne "possessed" by a normally invisible presence (which takes different appearances depending on who is sitting in the chair, visible only to them) who makes offers. Anyone who accepts (or requests something else) gets their request granted, but incurs an equal amount of misery as the price. On the plus side, it's at least nice enough to specify the price it demands, allowing the person to choose for themselves whether this is what they want or not. The wishes themselves are granted literally. One D-class accepts a bargain for freedom, he is freed but gets recaptured in a few hours since it wasn't specified that he would remain free. Another is offered the power to "never be held in a cell again". Somehow this results in the deaths of 12 Foundation guards and the D-class gets killed off since the Foundation realizes they can't hold him.
      • One of the experiments the Foundation performed was to have the best lawyer in the organization (and given the kind of things they get up to, they have some damned good lawyers) negotiate a beneficial deal out of the guy. Forty-one hours later, the lawyer passed out from exhaustion in the middle of arguing the precise legal meaning of the word "shall", leaving a half-written, 900-page contract on the desk. Next to it was a note that said "Please come back any time. I haven't had so much fun in years."
      • Another experiment involved the SCP working out a deal with a mentally disabled man, with the price being the man's prized stuffed rabbit toy. While the deal was straightforward and went through without a hitch, much to the dismay and grief of the man, an audio recording after the deal was struck captured a "deep sigh" coming from the area of the desk, indicating that while the SCP did its part, it wasn't happy about doing it at all.
      • One example subverted the trope, proving that Even Evil Has Standards. Specifically, the Foundation asked for SCP-738 to permanently kill SCP-682, a reptillian abomination fueled by The Power of Hate. Upon hearing this request, 738 refused to grant it — not because it lacked the power to do so, but because the Foundation couldn't afford what it would cost them.
    • SCP-1481 is a genie that comes out of a plastic drinks cup when someone rubs it and grants them unlimited wishes. However, every time that person makes a wish, it comes out wrong, or the genie deliberately jacks around with it: for instance, when asked for a sandwich, it made it — and then ate it. When asked for a winning lottery ticket, it made a losing lottery ticket. It doesn't seem interested in their requests, and often ignores them outright and goes on to reply that he didn't hear you or that you said nothing at all. Mostly, all this seems to be due to it having a serious drug habit. Apparently, this is all due to it having once been at the opposite end of this trope, as a human once wished for the genie to a) be an alcoholic drug addict and b) for it to be impossible to unwish the first wish, ruining the genie's life out of apparently pure dickery.
    • SCP-2128 is a omniscient furnace known as the Liar's Cradle which will confirm or deny any statement given by a person sitting inside it... by letting the person live if the statement is true and burning them to death if it's false (even if the person themselves doesn't know if the given statement is true or not). It's also sentient, has a bit of an attitude, and derives great pleasure from incinerating people, so it can choose to interpret a statement a certain way if it so chooses (usually if you piss it off enough). For example, it chooses to interpret the statement "The Earth is round" as "earth" meaning soil or dirt and incinerates the person inside (particularly slowly and painfully in this case because this statement followed several taunting ones which it had to answer true to, to its own anger).
    • SCP-3063 is a powerful Reality Warper who communicates with people through the body of a seemingly-ordinary housefly, offering anything they could desire. It always gives people what they want, but it comes with a price: six and a half years after their wish is granted, if the grantee is still alive, they die a slow and horrible death when their body becomes spontaneously infested with fly eggs that hatch and devour their body. It's also repeatedly twisted any attempt to wish for its destruction or containment.
    • SCP-7000-J is a more humorous one, which can only grant a wish that is spoken in a mix of regular Latin and Dog Latin. It's also barely fluent in either, and it's known to screw people over through "Blind Idiot" Translation: a wish meant to cure cancer caused a species of crab to go extinct. Of course, even when it does get what it's supposed to be doing, it's still a jackass: when given a wish to permanently lock down an infamously powerful entity, the project head got an email telling him "TU EST BONEDUS, LOLOLOLEM."
    • SCP-4035 is an ordinary-looking table lamp. When a bulb is inserted, 4035-1, looking like a down-on-his-luck salesman, manifests and offers to sell an undefined product. The very next statement the bulb-inserter makes, regardless of context or wording, is considered to be the desired wish. And unless the wish is very, very precise (like the "I want a sandwich" one), it will be at best Blessed with Suck, and at worst very, very lethal. "Make me rich" did make the subject rich — with a severe overdose of Vitamin C.

    Web Videos 
  • Shenron the dragon from Dragon Ball Abridged starts off as a Benevolent Genie, even pointing out the Loophole Abuse that the characters can use to take care of their problems and offering to do that. They, of course, refuse so they can solve their problems with martial arts battles.
    • In the Christmas Tree of Might special, Shenron turns into one of these when he finds that not only was he summoned by the main cast again, lamenting that no-one else seems to find the Dragon Balls, but Krillin, who is standing in the middle of a burned down forest with terrified, homeless animals surrounding them, wishes for the best Christmas tree in the world instead of saving the forest. An angry Shenron responds by summoning a group of alien marauders who plant an evil version of a World Tree that sucks all the Christmas joy out of the world. It is still a tree, at least.
    • The revelation from the end of Season 2 that Shenron is, in fact, a servant of Mr. Popo may explain his more malevolent nature. Upon being summoned by Mr. Popo, Shenron's question when he realizes who has summoned him is to ask if it is time for them to "lay waste to this world".
    • The new remake of Dead Zone Abridged has Shenron answer Garlic Jr.'s wish for immortality with "Can't wait to hear how you fuck this up." It seems if the wish granter is dumb enough, he doesn't even have to twist it. He mostly seems to grant the wish straight out of surprise that, after years of the Z-warriors using every window of opportunity to revive the dead (and one wish for panties) he finally has someone ask for the standard immortality wish.
    • In the abridgment of World's Strongest, Shenron attempts to be a benevolent genie all over again, but evil Jerkass Kochin doesn't have the sense to see that and insists on doing a bit of Wasteful Wishing. Finally, Shenron gets fed up and grants the wish, while also putting a huge hole in the ozone layer just to screw with humanity for trying his patience.
      Kochin: Oh wow, that was fast!
      Shenron: Yeah, well, I also put a massive hole in your ozone layer. You said it took you 50 years to find me? Good luck figuring out how long that will take to fix!
    • Then there's Slay from the Misfit Minions in the Christmas Tree of Might movie. Slay was once a Mall Santa who molested children and took wishes literally in the worst possible way. For example, a kid who asked him for a fire truck got a real one dropped onto his house. And then there's the part where he starts telling Krillin about the young cancer patient who asked him to get rid of the cancer...
      Krillin: Oh God, this is going exactly where I think it is, isn't it?
      Slay: I blew him up! No more cancer!
  • The comedy sketch "My Command" plays this straight. Subverted when the master at the end begins a wish with 700 pages of terms and conditions.
  • This fake ad is for a law office that specializes in genie cases.
  • SMBC Theater features an episode of this; subverted when the "victims" turn out to be heartless jerks who don't care.
  • "Shazaam: The Lazy Genie" from 5 Second Films isn't as destructive as some of the others on this page, but he does waste his "master's" wishes in trivial and embarrassing ways.
  • In Web Video/Stampylonghead's 2014 Halloween special, he tells the story of an evil pig who transforms into a zombie pigman by night called Mr Porkchop. He was originally a human pig shepherd who was trying to raise the largest pig in order to win a competition. A witch offers to grant his wish for a pig larger than every other in exchange for all his other pigs. When he agrees, she just turns him into a Pigman and takes all his pigs.
  • Cameo/Judgement during the Judgement miniarc in Vaguely Recalling JoJo. He grants Polnareff's wealth wish but buries him in the pile of gold bars. He treats the revive Sherry and Avdol wish as separate wishes, and he accidentally mishears the name Sherry as Cherry. When Cameo's stand user tries to get him to attack Polnareff and Avdol, Cameo refuses because Polnareff did not interfere with the wish-granting.
  • Oxventure has a D&D campaign in which one of their party gains a hammer with the ability to summon a skeleton army that will do the bidding of the wielder, and the skeletons follow the trope. They are set to rebuild a town hall, only for the skeletons to destroy an orphanage to get the material for the project. When they ask the skeletons to rebuild the orphanage that can hold "all of the orphans", the skeletons use the orphans as the mortar for the building construction.
  • Played for Black Comedy in Door Monster's aptly-titled "I Have Nightmares About Genies": The genie (played by Kyle) demands that JP choose whether he will burn down JP's house or severely flood it, describing in detail how either option will likely end in JP's slow death. When he hesitates, the genie adds: "Pick one, or I'll do both." The video ends before we can see his decision.
  • We Got a Monkey's Paw is about the two roommates playing around with the titular object (it's presence is explained as due to one of them being a collector of CursedArtifacts). Naturally, this trope ensues.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Prismo is an odd example. His wish-granting magic works like this trope (he even uses the term "Monkey's Paw" to describe it), but Prismo himself is a really nice guy who goes out of his way to explain the whole thing to Jake. He even ignores a stupid wish for a sandwich Jake makes, and then a knee-jerk, not-well-thought-out one he made upon realizing just how bad a situation Finn got himself into, and finally outright tells Jake a wish he could make that would save everyone.
    • Marceline after being transformed into the ruler of the nightosphere.
      Marceline: But don't you want... abs?!
      Demon: OK. [has his head replaced by abs]
  • Aladdin: The Series: In "Some Enchanted Genie", Eden invokes this when Abis Mal steals her bottle. He makes a couple of pretty impressive wishes but as Eden grants them, she builds in ways to stop them. And then there are the cockroaches.
    Eden: You didn't say forever.
  • The Evil Genie of Darkness in Alfred J. Kwak merely pretends to be the "granting wishes" kind of genie in order to trick people into releasing him from his bottle, and subsequently eat them out of spite for the deity who originally imprisoned him.
  • In an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, the Aqua Teens meet Gene-E, a tiny genie who's only interest is alcohol and money. Once the group makes their wishes, all Gene does is turn them invisible and he's so drunk he can't reverse the effect. Gene also turned Carl tiny despite Carl's wish was to be invisible as well.
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, the episode "A Lad In a Lamp" saw a genie trick Rescue Ranger Monterey Jack into taking his place, thereby being able to leave the lamp. He doesn't even get to the point of lots of backfiring wish fulfillment. It could be argued that Monterey filled this role when he was captured by Fat Cat and his minions, as he then managed to trick the minions into making wishes that would benefit the other Rescue Rangers rather than Fat Cat; he was just being a Jerkass in favour of the good guys.
  • Warren Plotnik from Cyberchase is apparently an evil genie described by Hacker as the evilest being in all of Cyberspace, and actually wants to free him in one episode so he can overthrow the Mother Board and take over Cyberspace himself. Unfortunately, Warren's only weakness turns out to be his own mother.
  • Desiree from Danny Phantom herself is a case of Literal Genie as her wishes can be beneficial if used right, but most of her wishes end up screwing over the wishers. It's intentional; it's part of her vindictive personality — since her happiest moment was shot down, she'll be damned if others' wishes come true! From her backstory, it's insinuated she used to a Benevolent Genie when she first started granting wishes but quickly became bitter when she saw other people happy when she was so miserable.
  • The Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "Halloween Horse Race" had Dr. Zitbag harassed by a genie who was mad at him for breaking his lamp because Zitbag's castle was cold. The first mean thing the genie does is interpret Zitbag's gloating of betting his rival Professor Vermin wished he had a horse like Nightmare for the horse race as a wish and making it so that Zitbag's horse Nightmare was teleported to Vermin. Zitbag stops the genie from causing further trouble by freezing him and stuffing him in a teapot, but by the end of the episode, the genie is freed again and retaliates by turning Zitbag into part of a roundabout.
  • In the DuckTales episode "The First Adventure!", Scrooge and F.O.W.L. are simultaneously racing to find the Papyrus of Binding, a mystic paper which grants the request of anything written on it. However, it works just like a monkey's paw in that it's a malicious Literal Genie that will screw you over unless you're very specific. The Papyrus was last taken by the pirate Captain Yellowbeak, but he only suffered while using it. He wished to escape from the pursuing Spanish Armada and the Papyrus transported their ship to the peak of a mountain, he wished for water, and his crew drowned on dry land. He wished to be free of the Papyrus's curse and he dropped dead on the spot. This comes back in the Grand Finale, "The Last Adventure!" when Bradford, the true mastermind and leader of F.O.W.L. Rules Lawyer'd the living hell out of this to stop Scrooge from adventuring only to have the triplets discover a loophole.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, this is how genies (or at least Norm) work. Cosmo and Wanda warn him that Genies are notoriously tricky and their wishes tend to bite the wisher in the butt. Why does Timmy Turner go through with it?
    • While Timmy's first wish from Norm counts as a Literal Genie moment (Timmy wishes for an omelet, but not for it to appear on a plate), Norm gets immense satisfaction from the result of Timmy touching a burning hot omelet, and eating it off the ground. Again, when Timmy wishes that "Trixie Tang [his Love Interest] loves Timmy Turner," he goes so far as to include the names to prevent this trope. As a result, his love interest is now in love with everyone else in the world named "Timmy Turner". Later on, though, he proves his status as a Jerkass by granting Timmy's wish for a million dollars by having Timmy's Dad counterfeit the money and be on the run from the cops as a result. Curiously, when Timmy wishes he had a lawyer, Norm (inadvertently?) summons up one who's highly competent and succeeds in undoing the damage Norm has caused, rather than following his normal tendencies and giving Timmy an incompetent lawyer. Norm looked really confused when he grants the lawyer wish, so it's likely that his confusion results in him not really thinking about the wish, thus causing him to summon a competent lawyer.
    • Within a time period of "fifteen legal minutes", the lawyer words a wish in a way that'll undo the harms caused by the second and the third wishes and release Cosmo and Wanda, but Norm still finds two ways to screw Timmy: when Timmy's Dad is taken back home from jail, his cellmate goes with him; and Trixie stops wanting to kiss everyone named "Timmy Turner" right when she's about to kiss him.
    • When Crocker gets a hold of Norm, he wishes for a series of absurdly impractical deathtraps for Timmy, prompting Norm to act somewhat benevolent but only to suggest that Crocker is not evil enough and that "Mars is really nice this time of year." When Timmy defeats Crocker and asks Norm to send him to Mars, he's so delighted to have his suggestion taken that he provides Timmy with a spacesuit to enjoy seeing Crocker act out the ending of the original Total Recall. In a way though, Norm still acts this trope, because the wish involves someone getting hurt, which makes it easy for him. In general, it seems that the wishes Norm grants are jerkass in nature; even if the user is on the same page as him, he just can't help it if his wishes happen to backfire.
  • A weird variation of this is the apprentice wizard Fuddie from Filmation's Ghostbusters, who can grant Jake a wish on the night of every full moon. While he is sincerely trying to help, he seems to be hard of hearing, and always gets the wish wrong. (For example, Jake wished to be "invincible", but Fuddie made him invisible instead. (In fact, Fuddie seems to mess up a lot doing other things too.) Fortunately, the heroes can usually make do with what he gives them anyway.
  • There was a Fleischer cartoon where an old man catches a leprechaun and forces it to take him to its pot of gold, which it does. The gold is buried under a tree stump, so the man hangs his coat on the stump and instructs the leprechaun not to move the coat or alter the stump in any way while he gets a shovel. When he returns, the leprechaun has obeyed his orders, and the stump is undisturbed. However, the leprechaun has added a few dozen identical stumps to the area. The old guy promptly dies of shock, probably to keep the writers from explaining why he couldn't just dig up all the stumps.
  • Two leprechauns pull the duplicate marker trick on Dick Dastardly in Yogi's Treasure Hunt, when Dastardly is trying to beat Yogi and friends to the treasure.
  • DuckTales:
    • The leprechaun story with the stump and the marker happens to Scrooge McDuck, but Scrooge is savvy enough to insist that the wish-granting leprechaun not touch his marker. Of course, the leprechaun simply has someone else duplicate his marker. A subversion, however, in that the correct stump is booby-trapped.
    • The "Master of the Djinni" proved himself to be one of these. Not eager to serve any other master, he royally put Glomgold through the wringer with those three wishes. Too bad for him that third wish became his own undoing.
  • Garfield and Friends: In Cinderella Cat, a Fairy Godfather who looks like an anthropomorphic cat version of Marlon Brando, uses all of Garfield's wishes against him for his own amusement. For example, when he wished he had a million dollars, he gives him the money that belonged to a nearby bank, forcing him to run for his life from the authorities. Garfield gets his own back by making a wish that causes the Godfather's wife to show up. She was aggressive enough to make him leave.
  • The Garfield Show actually has an episode that discusses this trope. After Odie finds a bottle with a genie in it at the beach, Jon does some research and discovers that while some genies are good, some are also bad. Garfield frees the genie (named Omar) and as expected, he is a bad genie, and he demands that Jon grant him three wishes. When he has one wish left, he uses it to get unlimited wishes. When Jon fails to comply, he is turned into a frog. Thankfully, Garfield discovers that to defeat the genie, he has to get him to say his own name backward.
  • Gargoyles:
    • It has fun with this trope in an episode called "The Mirror." Puck — the trickster fairy from A Midsummer Night's Dream — is captured by Demona and forced to do her bidding. Puck, either out of a sense of mischief, annoyance with being enslaved, or a sincere desire to avoid harming others — possibly all three — deliberately misconstrues Demona's wishes, as follows...
      Demona: If you can't get rid of all the humans, then at least rid me of that Human! Elisa Maza!
      Puck: Did you say "that Human" or "that Human"? Oh, never mind, I'll figure it out. This just might be fun, after all.
    • Rather than destroy Elisa, Puck uses his powers to turn her into a gargoyle. Thus, as he puts it "The Human Elisa Maza is no more." Demona, still not getting the drift, then makes him do it to the entire population of Manhattan. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues. Puck did say that the Mirror that was used to summon him wasn't Aladdin's lamp, implying even if he wasn't being a trickster, he couldn't kill all the humans as Demona wanted.
    • And at the end of the episode, Demona wishes to be able to stay awake during the daylight hours and the night. Puck makes it so that she turns into a human during the day. How she actually survives like this, rather than collapsing in exhaustion after a few days, is never mentioned in-series. "She does have to sleep now, though she gets by on a few hours per day. Doesn't really improve her mental outlook if you know what I mean." It should be noted that this was actually not Puck's original intent. He actually planned to reward Demona for providing him with such a grand time, but Demona very rudely told him to go away. Thus she wound up getting her wish twisted.
    • It was subverted when Puck tried it with David Xanatos: the fairy took on the form of his Hyper-Competent Sidekick Owen Burnett and was eventually impressed enough by Xanatos to reveal his true identity. He then offered Xanatos a choice between a single wish or a lifetime of loyal yet non-magical servitude as Owen Burnett. Xanatos, as THE David Xanatos, realized that whatever wish he made would end up twisted, so he took the second option — which turns out to be the right one, as it impresses Puck enough to have him keep his word, no questions asked. It helps that Xanatos likes to solve things himself to control the situation, and believes that Owen is too valuable as good help is so hard to find.
  • Ghostbusters:
    • The Real Ghostbusters episode "Janine's Genie"; after going with the Ghostbusters in a work that is paid in kind, Janine picks a genie lamp. She wishes for Egon to fall in love with her and be the boss of the Ghostbusters. The genie does not twist her wishes actually; the jerk part is that it is not a real genie, but some sort of demon using the energy from Janine's wishes to open a gateway from the spirit world into Earth.
    • In the Extreme Ghostbusters episode "Be Careful What You Wish For", the Monster of the Week takes the form of a mysterious salesman who grants people wishes of this type. For example, a guy wishes to be "made of money" and turns into a pile of bills. Eduardo wishes Kylie would show him the same respect she shows her cat, and he turns into her cat.
  • Thromnambular, the Wishing Skull, from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy; Grim even states that no matter what someone wishes for, the Skull will screw the wisher over. Mindy ends up strapped to an exploding rocket to "Be a big star." Pud'n is left to an unspecified but probably gory fate at the hands of a pet rabbit. (He wished for a bunny that would love him, and the bunny he got says that "Love Hurts.") And as for everyone else... Skarr ended up suffocating in outer space, Billy's dad relived just how crappy his high school years were (although this is in no way the Skull's fault), and Irwin got beaten up by Mandy (again, he brought it on himself). Nergal Junior got what was technically the least horrible fate; he simply wished to know what to wish for, but since the skull can only grant a single wish for every person, it poofs away, leaving him to lament that he wished he had it back. When Mandy got it, instead of using it for a wish, she auctioned it off. In fact, the only wish that's shown to work out completely as intended is when Grim uses the final wish to hit the Reset Button. And in the credits, we see what would have happened if Grim had used it to escape Billy and Mandy and free the skull itself. The skull turns himself into the Grim Reaper and turns Grim into a wishing skull. Technically, they're both free of their original curses. You could also argue that the wishing skull is the one you should be pitying (Grim certainly would).
  • In Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats Mungo finds a cat genie in a bottle in the junkyard. The genie is a jerk and knowingly let Mungo (who is, let's say, mentally challenged) waste his wishes with wrong phrasing.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Duck Amuck", the mystery animator Bugs Bunny sometimes acts as this to Daffy Duck, removing the sound effects or backgrounds, knowing that an infuriated Daffy will blurt out a demand for "color!" or "sound!" and invite his own doom as he gets exactly what he demanded. Two years later in Rabbit Rampage, Bugs Bunny would go through the same ordeal at the hands of Elmer Fudd, including moments like these (such as Bugs asking for a tail and ending up with a horse's tail, then being turned into a horse when he points it out).
  • Martin Mystery:
    • One of the few villains to make two non-consecutive appearances was one of these. Normally resembling a beautiful woman, the Djinn's true form was a demon and it rivaled the Djinn from Wishmaster in its ability to screw people over. For example, when the crook who accidentally released it wished to be "the world's most infamous thief", the Djinn turned him into a Half-Human Hybrid, reasoning that no one could ever forget a burglar who looked like a rat monster. Worse still, she could force people to speak their heart's desire, allowing her to torment even the people who knew better than to deal with her. Unfortunately for her, however, when the time came to force Martin's wish out of him, the words that came out of his mouth were "I wish I knew how to save my friends", a wish that was either too selfless or too simple to corrupt.
    • The Christmas Episode has an evil Elf who grants wishes but actually grants the exact opposite of what they want. Ultimately, Martin's wish was to "Have a paranormal Christmas", which, being forced to grant the wish undid everything he did to everyone else and caused him to go away, making it a perfectly normal holiday.
  • The OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Soda Genie" has Rad, Enid and KO encounter a Soda Genie named Citrus Twisty. Enid is all too aware that genies are known to intentionally misinterpret wishes out of spite, so she tries to make a contract to ensure that Citrus Twisty will not grant any of KO's wishes with an ironic twist. This doesn't stop Twisty from tricking KO into wishing that she make Rad a burger, the phrasing of the wish turning Rad into a burger rather than making a burger appear for him to eat. Enid tries to take legal action and the suit ends with Citrus Twisty locked up in jail. KO feels bad for Twisty, so he uses his second wish for Citrus Twisty's freedom. While Citrus Twisty thanks KO for freeing her, she refuses to turn Rad back to normal with the claim that using the second wish to free her means that she's no longer obligated to grant the third wish. Even when KO suggests that Citrus Twisty could still turn Rad back to normal as a show of gratitude for him wishing for her freedom, Twisty rudely refuses and just flies off, leaving Rad stuck as a burger until the next episode.
  • In one Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero episode, Boone uses this trope to his advantage when he's captured by the villain during a mission where he happens to be a genie, interpreting all the wishes inconveniently.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • No genies were ever shown onscreen, good or bad, but a former page quote comes from "The Lake Nose Monster" when Doofenshmirtz, reeling from some hot wings he ate, lays back and discusses this trope to Perry.
      Doofenshmirtz: I wish I never mixed the hot and spicy with the honey glazed. Speaking of wishes, you know what I never understood? Genies. They tell you wish for anything you want and then they add some terrible twist. Like, you wish to jump high, so he turns you into a frog. What—? Why? Who gains from this? The genie? Where's the benefit? You should be fighting genies, man, not me. I'm not the problem. Genies. Genies are the problem.
    • "Just Our Luck" had Doof relate what happened when he actually found a real genie. It involved the Oscar Mayer jinglenote :
      Doofenshmirtz: Ugh! You ever try to sue a genie?
  • Rick and Morty: Lucius Needful's shop is more or less like this; he'll give you something for free that'll fix your problem, but will also come with an ironic twist that'll screw you right over. However, he happened to come upon Rick, who isn't having any of his crap, and opens a store across from Needful that purges the curses for cash. Things didn't go too well for Mr. Needful after that.
  • An episode of Samurai Jack has a wishing well that follows this trope. A group of three archers wish to be the best warriors. The well complies but forces them to use their superhuman hearing and skills to protect it for eternity. After beating the archers at their own game, Jack stabs the well with his sword, freeing the world from its evil.
    Jack: Evil spirit of the well! You will not claim another innocent! I wish thee... destroyed!
  • Shimmer and Shine: During her second chance as a genie-in-training, Zeta plans to trick Shimmer and Shine into making a wish she can take advantage of to make herself more powerful.
  • The first segment of The Simpsons Halloween special "Treehouse of Horror II" involved the Simpson family acquiring the classic Monkey's Paw; which eventually resulted in the entire town of Springfield hating the Simpsons for becoming famous to the point of overexposure, an invasion of Earth by Kang and Kodos after Lisa wishes for world peace, and Homer getting a turkey sandwich where the turkey was a little too dry. Strangely enough, when Homer offloads the Monkey's Paw to Flanders, he wishes away the alien invasion, is heralded as a hero, and remodels his home into a castle, without any obvious repercussions whatsoever.
  • The Smurfs are plagued by a malicious Genie called Genie Meanie who makes the lives of the Smurfs miserable, and then dangerous when Gargamel takes control of him. Fortunately, Papa Smurf finds the special words to put him under his control, forces him to undo the harm he's done and finally orders him to stay in his container until he decides not to be mean anymore.
  • In an episode of Sofia the First, Amber finds a magical wishing well, and she wishes that King Roland was allergic to Sofia, causing Sofia to turn into a purple cat. Later, when Amber tries to undo her error by wishing that Sofia was no longer a purple cat, the well turns Sofia into a pink cat. The series finale reveals what King Roland's first wish was: He wished to have a family. The well granted this via the birth of Amber and James... and the death of their biological mother.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (both examples from the episode "Shanghaied"):
    • The Flying Dutchman gives the main characters three wishes to save themselves from being eaten by him. After accidentally wasting the first two wishes (Patrick wished that they knew the Dutchman would grant them wishes earlier and SpongeBob wished that Squidward was there to see this), SpongeBob wishes for the Dutchman to become a vegetarian. It works, but instead of being sent home, the characters are transformed into fruit for a smoothie.
      Flying Dutchman: Hey, I get a wish too. Fruit prevents scurvy!
    • Oddly enough, there are two alternate endings in which Squidward asks for SpongeBob and Patrick to never have met him (except it just makes them forget Squidward, before they are quickly reintroduced), and Patrick asks for chewing gum to have fresh breath. Both end with them being eaten.
  • On an episode of Superfriends, Gleek unleashes a genie that a baddie has been seeking. The genie disregards his simian master, and instead calls the baddie who failed to obtain him master, obeying his evil wishes.
  • The SuperMansion Christmas special features a reality-warping villain named Mr. Skibumpers, who gains his freedom by getting people to make wishes. He gets free this time by having Cooch wish that Santa Claus was real (who ends up snapping and going on a rampage from trying to figure out how the illogical aspects of his character make sense) and is implied by Titanium Rex to have previously caused problems by deliberately misinterpreting a hero's wish for a giant cock and creating a 400-foot-tall rooster.
  • The witch from the Teen Titans episode "Cyborg the Barbarian" is an odd case. She screws her master over at every turn, but she is perfectly straight with Cyborg, even offering to send him home when her master clearly intends to kill him. Of course, her master is a complete Jerkass and she is obviously twisting his wishes on purpose.
  • A rare aversion in Timon & Pumbaa: The Series, where the two cause trouble to themselves after each wished for a million wishes from a genie they found near the watering hole and ended up fighting for each of them. Doesn't prevent the genie from acting like a jerkass the whole time.
  • The short "Once Upon a Star" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Toon Physics" does this with a wishing star; Elmyra wishes on a star that her Barbette doll were real so that they could play together. The wish brings Barbette to life. However, Barbette is very selfish, rude, and arrogant. The following night, Elmyra wishes on the same star, saying that she wants her Barbette doll to be just like her other dolls. Instead of turning her Barbette doll back to the way she was before, the star brings all her other dolls to life, who act just as selfish, rude, and arrogant as Barbette.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Jerkass Genie, Malevolent Genie


King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

If Graham releases the genie from his bottle, the latter will imprison the former in it.

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / JackassGenie

Media sources: