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Riding a Flying Carpet, an 1880 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov.

A Magic Carpet or Flying Carpet is a carpet that can rapidly transport passengers who sit on top of it, usually by flying through the air. It typically features a Persian carpet design. The Other Wiki gives more details and some examples.

A common artifact found in settings inspired by the Arabian Nights.

Compare Sky Surfing, Flying on a Cloud, Flying Carpet, Flying Broomstick, Hover Board.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • "There's magic in a Solomon's carpet..."
  • Parodied in Iritology #54 where the Arabian Nights-inspired AXIS mascot and his two servants travel on a carpet in the sky, but it's only possible because the carpet is on the top of a falling meteor.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Baishana from Reborn! (2004) rides around on one of these, since he is modelled after a stereotypical snake charmer.
  • M─R's Edward has a magic carpet. It crashes when they meet the last member of their team and it's not seen again.
  • In Dragon Ball, Mr. Popo rides on one.
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Dorabian Nights have Doraemon and friends entering the world of the 1001 Nights and encountering Sinbad, who offers them a ride on his magic carpet when they're searching for Shizuka which is missing in the desert. Spoofed later on when Sinbad lose his carpet, alongside most of his artifacts, but Doraemon managed to retrieve his pocket of gadgets: Doraemon then produces a Magic Blanket which works just like the carpet, but far less comfortable.
  • In the first anime series of Space Adventure Cobra, in ep. 14 ("The Demon King Galtan"), Cobra and Girl of the Week Bellamy make an escape attempt on one — remarkable, because Cobra usually is based in science fiction, while this episode makes heavy use of Arabian Nights motives
  • During the opening credits of Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe!, Chamametchi visits a book where she is an Arabian princess and is seen on a flying carpet.

    Asian Animation 
  • Boonie Bears: In the Season 2 intro, the bears are seen flying on a carpet as Logger Vick is chasing them. Vick blows fire onto the carpet to destroy it.
  • Happy Heroes: The title card of Season 8 episode 11 shows Big M. as an Arabian princess riding a flying carpet.
  • Motu Patlu: In "Wishing Stone", Motu and Patlu use the wishing stone to wish for a flying carpet to fly away from Dr. Jhatka, Ghasitaram, and John the Don, who are all after said stone.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • There's a card named Flying Carpet, which makes equipped creates able to fly. Early versions of it were destroyed if the creature targeted with its ability died; this part was removed in later versions, although the card is still generally considered fairly weak.
    • A nasty combo from the early days (after it got the buff above) was to use Flying Carpet on a nasty enemy, then use Winter's Blast to knock that creature into the graveyard. Useful if you needed to get a potentially powerful creature out of the way.
    • Al-abara's Carpet renders the player immune to attacks from non-flyers.
    • The Flying Men are depicted riding on flying carpets.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix and the Magic Carpet features an Indian fakir with a flying carpet.
  • Iznogoud: Such a common means of transportation that the Caliphate has an entire air force of 'em.
  • The Sandman (1989): A chapter set in the legendary Baghdad of the 1001 Nights features a flying carpet. It's pretty shabby despite belonging to the king and being locked in the deepest, most difficult to reach part of the castle.
  • The Arabian Knight, a Captain Ethnic in the Marvel Universe, rides a flying carpet (as well as wielding a magical scimitar).

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes once took the hall rug for a joyride. Hobbes worried about hurting the resale value. At one point they flew it by Calvin's dad's office window.
  • Mutts had the cat and dog duo ride on a carpet until it landed in another house inhabited by a guard dog (who happened to be a close friend). Subverted as the carpet only flew due to very strong winds rather than magic.

    Fan Works 
  • Imma Wiserd has Snape, who uses a giant dollar bill as a flying carpet because the author thought Snape was a Jew due to him using big words (i.e. non-slang words). When it is revealed that Snape is Vadermort, he still uses the giant dollar bill as his mount.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, magic carpets originated when a Klatchian wizard was experimenting with flying spells, whilst taking long tokes from a hookah filled with the finest hashish. In an increasinlgy blissed-out state in a smoky enclosed room, the smoke and fumes - and the magic - impregnated the carpet he was standing on and the carpet had a freaky trip where it thought it could fly. The rest is history.
    • Magic carpets are generally used by the Klatchians for both civil and military purposes. They run a massive network of passenger carpets flying between all the major cities of the Discworld: they practically have a monopoly on civilian travel by air and this is a massive revenue-earner for the Klatchian Empire. Their Air Force covers everything from small agile fighter carpets to massive "room—sized remnants" used as transport, and possibly as its Bomber Command. Expat klatchians run smaller versions as a taxi service in Ankh-Morpork: the City Watch Air Police, who double as Ankh-Morpork's military air force, have this way "acquired" a few, although the Air Witches prefer other fighting air technomancy; their inventory is a wide and inclusive one which in the most recent tales is expanding to include flying elephants. (With the wooden castle on the back and quite a few heavy repeating crossbows, they are gunning for Flying Fortresses.)

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Indian fantasy film Ajooba have the Hero and the main villain battling each other in a Sword Fight on a flying carpet soaring over the city, which is achieved by green-screening the actors on the miniature sets.
  • The fourth installment of Fantaghir˛ mentioned it when playing with the Flying Broomstick trope: When Xellesia and the Black Queen realize that the latter can't transform into anything that flies, they seek an alternate means, and reject carpets because they only work well in Arabian Nights Land.
  • There was a plan to put a "magic carpet" (that is James Bond riding a carpet down some phone wires) in The Living Daylights, but it was dropped.
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924), probably the Trope Codifier.
  • The 1979 film Arabian Adventure features dogfighting magic carpets.

    Folklore 
  • In Arabic and Hebrew folklore, King Solomon had a magic carpet that took him rapidly from place to place by using Solomon's command of the wind.
  • In Russian folk tales, Ivan The Fool is given a magic carpet by Baba Yaga.

    Literature 
  • Arabian Nights: Multiple:
    • The magic carpet of Tangu or Prince Housain's carpet. The latter doesn't fly, but instantly teleports itself and its passenger wherever the passenger wishes to go.
    • There's a flying carpet in story "The City of Brass", in which it's just another way for King Solomon to get around.
  • The climax of Enid Blyton's Book of Brownies have the titular brownies, and their rescued princess, escaping from a Wicked Witch who pursues them, oddly enough using a flying carpet instead of a Flying Broomstick. Especially when a magic broomstick did appear earlier in the adventure, with the brownies stealing one from an evil wizard to escape.
  • Mark Twain's Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven uses magic carpets as instantaneous teleporters.
  • J. K. Rowling's companion book to Harry Potter, Quidditch Through the Ages, claims that magic carpets are more popular than broomsticks among wizards in the Middle East and South Asia. Also, it mentions that it's illegal to import flying carpets into the United Kingdom. Officially it's because the Ministry of Magic classifies carpets as "muggle artifacts" (which are illegal to place charms upon), but a somewhat popular fan theory has it that broomstick manufacturers retaining expensive lobbyists and dispensing the odd backhander have something to do with it. Prior to that, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch mentioned that his grandfather owned a flying carpet that seated twelve back when it was legal.
  • One features in Diana Wynne Jones's Castle in the Air.
  • Ozma of Oz has an unusual variant. This magic carpet protects users from dangers below. It unrolls itself on the front end and rolls itself up on the back end forever, allowing Ozma and her party to cross the Shifting Sands that separate the Land of Ev from the Land of Oz. It also can function as a bridge, allowing Ozma and company to cross a gully that is too wide to leap.
  • In the Soviet children's novel Old Man Hottabych, which was based on and parodied several Middle Eastern folk tales, features, among other things, a Flying Carpet.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld the Flying Carpet is a moderately common object in Klatch.
    • In Sourcery, the Seriph has one, which apparently doesn't work, until Rincewind commands it to go down. Nijel thinks he's used his wizarding knowledge to deduce the carpet is geased to do the opposite of what it's intended, but actually he just noticed it was upside-down. (Rincewind is, of course, not happy about flying a carpet, due to his long-established fear of grounds.)
    • In Jingo, Vetinari steals one, via a Bavarian Fire Drill (and getting a donkey down from a minaret). It's not a very good flying carpet, all the good ones having been locked up for the war effort. Colon is almost as frightened as Rincewind about riding it.
    • The Complete Discworld Atlas says the origins of flying carpets are lost in the mists of time, but points to a phenomenon seen in a remote region of Klatch where evolution has created mountain sheep and goats which got around all that tricky falling-off-cliffs thing by learning how to avert a messy splat. Accelerated breeding by canny shepherds has created a lucrative market in a rare and very special wool used to weave carpets. Apparently the sheepdogs are also very specialised, and watching the sheep trials in that part of the world is most spectacular. Sheep that learnt how to fly. Hmm.
  • One also appears in Prachett's non-Discworld novel Strata.
  • Family-sized flying carpets are advertised as an alternative to cars in the Incarnations of Immortality series.
  • Harry Turtledove's The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is set in a Magitek alternate universe where everybody drives carpets instead of cars. (Los Angeles still has a major air pollution problem, though, caused by stray fibres shed by thousands of carpets.)
  • In Gullivar of Mars (a.k.a. Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation) by Edwin Lester Arnold, a magic carpet carries Lieutenant Jones to Mars where he experiences a series of adventures similar to those later enjoyed by John Carter of Mars. Jones and his magic carpet also appeared in the first issue of the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
  • In The Black Company, the NazgulTaken use flying carpets both to travel long distances quickly, and for tactical superiority in battle.
  • The Fighting Fantasy gamebook, Magehunter, being set in the Middle-Eastern inspired Land of Kallamehr, have a fight scene where the player battles two opponents on a flying carpet while trying to maintain their balance. It's as complicated as it sounds.
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, the eponymous djinni remarks that flying carpets were made by weaving spirits into Oriental rugs. Shudder.
  • The Swedish YA mystery stories about Ture Sventon features flying carpets (well, at least two of them) in what is otherwise a non-fantasy modern-day setting. It is the eponymous hero's main form of transporation in the first three novels.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: In book 2 (Searching for Dragons), the main characters have occasion to borrow one from a neighboring giantess. It has pink teddy bears on it and a tendency to break down, which is problematic a thousand feet in the air.
  • The Land of Green Ginger being a story in "Arabian Nights" Days mode, it naturally features a magic carpet (said to be the last in the world), which proves both perfectly capable of flight and useless when it is needed. First, when two Wicked Princes purchase it jointly, it proves unable to carry the pair of them together, and later, when the hero and his beloved attempt to use it to escape from her father, the window they have to fly through proves too narrow, and the carpet stops dead.
  • Wonderfully used in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Magical Realism book One Hundred Years of Solitude in which the gypsies bring magic carpets to show the villagers. Jose Arcadio Buendia and his son Aureliano Buendia are more awe-struck from seeing ice.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden once tried to do this when he was a younger wizard. It didn't work. The next time he tries it it does work, when he's drawn into Molly's Battle in the Center of the Mind with The Corpsetaker. It only works here because when you're all thought and magic you don't have to worry about real life constraints like gravity and painful crash landings and can do pretty much whatever you want.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Magic, Inc., set in a Magitek world, carpets are run by 'haulage companies' but fail when above consecrated ground, so carpet routes are diverted around churches etc.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos and related works, also set in a Magitek world (Magic, Inc. is an acknowledged inspiration), enchanted flying carpets are used in military applications and as a cultural equivalent for the family sedan. Broomsticks are racier, and roughly culturally equivalent to motorcycles.
  • In Elise Edmond's Where Carpets Fly, as the name suggests, carpets feature heavily in the plot: the main character is the daughter of a carpet shop owner and carpets are the main mode of transportation in her world.
  • The Four Profound Weaves: The second of the titular magical arts weaves desert sand and wanderlust into a carpet that can fly at its owner's direction. Uiziya, one of the protagonists, made one that she uses for long-distance travel, though it can't get far off the ground.
  • The Hawking Mats of The Hyperion Cantos series were created to be a real world realization of these. It was quickly realised that they were a nightmare in regards to both safety and traffic regulation, and they are now illegal on nearly every planet.
  • Third Time Lucky: And Other Stories of the Most Powerful Wizard in the World: In "Nothing Up Her Sleeve" Magdelene enchants a garishly ugly one to fly, which other wizards concluded was impossible before this.

    Live-Action TV 

    Manhua 
  • Shows up occasionally Old Master Q, usually for a cheap gag.
    • In one strip an Arab Guy shows off his magic flying carpet, so Master Q retaliates by summoning a flying cloud to challenge the Arab Guy to a race.
    • Another strip sees Master Q running a laundromat. A different Arab walks in with a large, dirty carpet rolled behind his back asking for a wash. Halfway through, the washing machine suddenly starts flying (to Master Q's and the Arab Guy's bewilderment).
    • Master Q himself is on an flying carpet when he unexpectedly flies into a thunderstorm. Cue the last panel with Master Q squatting uncomfortably on a six-inch wide carpet.

    Music 
  • In the video for Benny Mardones' "Into The Night", Benny rolls out a carpet for himself and the object of his affections, and it becomes a magic carpet that flies over the city while they make out with each other.

    Pinballs 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a carpet of flying.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has Arabyan Carpet (a flying carpet) as a common magic item (i.e. one that all factions can use)
  • GURPS has a spell to create these.
  • Palladium Fantasy includes them as one of the more rare and expensive magical items in the game. They cost way more than the flying broomsticks do and can't take quite as mush punishment as them but make up for it by being able to hold a few more passengers.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Arabian Fight and Arabian Magic, two different Beat 'em Up games based on Arabian mythology released in the same year, both have a level where your player(s) get aboard a flying carpet to reach the next stage, with plenty of mooks on similar carpets trying to intercept you along the way. Both games have you using the grapple move to instantly fling mooks off their carpets to their deaths.
  • An Egyptian Tale, being set in Egypt like the name implies (close enough to the Middle East) have flying carpets serving as platforms where you can use to access higher ledges and obtain power-ups.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: One of the fanatic types that defend the desert around Blackberry's pyramid flies around on a magic carpet and uses magic to drop a large rock on the player below.
  • In Skylanders, Fling Kong's connection to the Air Element is a flying magic carpet.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Tailors can make them in World of Warcraft and use them as flying mounts.
    • Curiously, on some character models the characters look like they're surfing on it.
  • The hero and his friends ride in on one in Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire.
  • Occasionally appears as a vehicle in Dragon Quest games. Specifically in Dragon Quest V, VI, and VII.
  • Magic Carpet 1001 plays like a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter, except it's set in ancient Arabic times where you fly on a carpet instead of a jet plane while shooting enemies with arrows.
  • The very point of the game Magic Carpet and its sequel Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds.
  • Mabinogi has two of them as cash shop flying mounts.
  • There are flying/magic carpets in the Wario Land 4 level called Arabian Night.
  • In the Super Mario series:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: Pidgits sit on black-colored flying carpets, which Mario and his friends can steal to traverse bottomless pits and reach high areas.
    • Super Mario 64: Many areas of the Rainbow Ride stage are accessed by riding flying carpets that are railed via rainbows. During the transport, Mario has to jump onto obstacles and dodge flames, as both can potentially make him fall down.
    • In Mario Party 5, the Magic Carpet is a vehicle in the minigame Random Ride.
    • Mario Party: Island Tour:
      • This is the means of navigation for the characters in the board Kamek's Carpet Ride.
      • In the minigame Tragic Carpet Ride, the characters stand onto a huge flying carpet that is being devoured by hovering Dry Bones heads, though the eaten portions materialize again after a brief while. The characters have to avoid falling down and stand onto the carpet while avoiding both the holes and the skeletal heads. The last player standing wins, though it's possible for more than one character to win if they can resist during 60 seconds.
      • In the minigame Color Correction, the characters are riding color-coded carpets above a large area whose floor has many special circular tiles. When a character hover above one such tile, it will glow with a color matching that of the character's carpet. Thus, the objective for all characters present is to move around the area to make several tiles glow with their associated color (any character can also override the color of a tile where another already passed by). After 7 seconds, the most common color among all tiles will declare its character the victor.
    • Mario Party 9: The default vehicle for Boo's Horror Castle is a floating carpet. The Boo Blanket is an alternate design that can be unlocked, which has a Boo's face on it.
    • Mario Kart 7: Some Shy Guys ride magic carpets in the track Shy Guy Bazaar.
  • Street Racer, a cart racing Video Game, featured Hodja Nasreddin on a hybrid of a car with a Flying Carpet.
  • RuneScape has magic carpets as a form of transportation in the desert.
  • Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame uses a magic carpet ride to get from level 5 to level 6.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee: Both the Pidgit's and Rainbow Ride's magic carpets from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario 64 respectively appear, the former in Mushroom Kingdom II and the latter in Rainbow Cruise.
  • In Aladdin (Virgin Games), the flying carpet shows up to give short rides in several levels, and it's the vehicle for the escape from the Cave of Wonders.
  • Aladdin (Capcom) also uses the flying carpet for the escape from the Cave of Wonders, and for the "A Whole New World" bonus level.
  • Lemina tries to take the party on a magic carpet ride in Lunar: Eternal Blue. It can only hold one person. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Legend of Silkroad have a few missions where your heroes enters Syria, and are attacked by mooks flying on carpets. There's also a level where you fly on a tigerskin rug.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Ultima V introduced a magic carpet, hidden in the King's chambers. It returned in Ultima VII, this time having had chairs installed to sit on!
  • In King's Quest II, there's a flying carpet that takes you up a mountain. King's Quest VII has a magic carpet that instantly takes you to Dreamland.
  • Used by the Egyptian Lemmings in Lemmings Chronicles to travel from the Ark to their new island home.
  • Knights of Valour have a stage where you take flight on a magical flying tigerskin rug.
  • Magic carpets can be found in pyramids in Terraria. They allow you to fly a considerable distance horizontally, making them useful for mobility early on.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero: One stage has Shantae hopping and hair-whipping her way through a magic carpet race with the riders being used as Temporary Platforms.
  • Magic carpets appear in a few stages of Dragon's Crown. They're large enough for four adventurers to walk around a little and fight off enemies.
  • Salonbus from the Richman series rides one as his car in 6 (the base game) and 11.
  • Shrek Smash N'Crash Racing: The Three Little Pigs ride a flying carpet.
  • The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World: Ramses Burns is fought while he's flying on a magic carpet. Unlike the other bosses, there's no way to damage him personally, instead you have to unravel the carpet by pulling on a loose thread until he falls off.
  • World of Warcraft: Players who level Tailoring are able to craft magic carpets as flying mounts.
  • Secret Agent Barbie makes the moving platforms in the Egyptian levels flying carpets. Barbie has to use them when Roofhopping to make her way from one building to another.
  • Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?: Magic Carpets appear in many stages as floating platforms that the Prinny can use to get to other areas. There is also the Druid enemy, whom floats atop one as he tosses out enemies.

    Webcomics 
  • The Order of the Stick: In "General Assistance", the party is given one to use as quick transportation by Tarquin.
    Roy: Is that what I think it is??
    Belkar: A hamfisted retread of an overplayed cultural motif?
  • In Erfworld, Prince Ansom uses a rolled-up one as a mount. It can be unrolled and used in the traditional fashion if he wants to accommodate additional riders.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: The group acquired one before the show started. Unfortunately, it can carry neither Grog nor Trinket.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Autmn can conjure one up at will.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of American Dragon: Jake Long had a plot that took the characters through a Bazaar of the Bizarre where on vendor is selling magic flying welcome mats.
  • A non sequitur gag in American Dad! has the Smiths work out a mix-up with a stereotypical Sultan where Steve got confused for his oddly-Steve-shaped giant ruby. When he leaves, he sits on a carpet, which levitates as if to fly off, before sprouting monster truck wheels and driving away.
  • Often appeared in The Arabian Knights segments on The Banana Splits show.
  • Bugs Bunny cartoons:
  • An episode of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers featured Prof. Nimnul using electrical flying carpets to steal valuable objects.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: A Dastardly & Muttley Wing Dings blackout has the pair encountering a caliph on a flying carpet that could not be controlled. When Dick asks what's wrong, the caliph says, "I just washed my carpet and I can't do a thing with it!"
  • Di-Gata Defenders: Kara's "Mantle of Yin" spell summons a green flying carpet.
  • In Heckle and Jeckle, the eponymous characters escape from King Tut's Tomb (also the cartoon's title) on a flying carpet, only to have it and their feathers eaten by termites.
  • The Huckleberry Hound Show: A Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinks cartoon has Mr. Jinks obtaining a magic carpet that operates under the command "Chabunagunga."
  • The main characters escape from Shendu's palace on one during the 'Demon World' two-parter in Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • Oscar And Friends: In the episode "The Magic Carpet", Oscar wishes for Doris to turn the carpet he's on into a magic flying carpet. That's what it becomes.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Phineas and Ferb create one in "Magic Carpet Ride", there's even a song about it as a reference to Aladdin.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby and Shaggy arrive at the Caliph's palace on one in Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights.
    • Magic carpets are used in two other Scooby episodes, "Hassle in the Castle" and "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family".
  • Sofia the First: Magic carpets are sold in Tangu, but some of them like the one that Sofia and Amber ride on in "Two to Tangu" are "wild" carpets that need to be tamed before they can be safely ridden on.
  • In The The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, used frequently as a vehicle in the Mushroom World. One peculiar example featured a biplane with magic carpets for wings.
  • A genie gives Dastardly a flying carpet on Wacky Races which he uses to race to the finish line. He fails after colliding with a cactus, the result of not paying attention because he was breaking the fourth wall.

    Other 
  • The Magic Carpet exhibit at The National Media and Science Museum (then The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television). It was a magic carpet placed in front of a blue screen so when visitors sit or lie on it, it looks like they are flying on a nearby TV screen against one of six backgrounds (such as a cloudy sky, over a safari or over a blazing inferno).

 
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Alternative Title(s): Flying Carpet

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The Sultan on the Magic Carpet

The Sultan tries out Aladdin's Magic Carpet.

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