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Make a Wish

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Anyone want to tell him that's actually Jupiter?

"The evening star is shining bright,
So make a wish, and hold on tight,
There's magic in the air tonight,
And anything could happen..."

When you wish upon a star- Oh, right. Characters in stories always want something; it's one of the rules of fiction. Some heroes work very hard in pursuit of their dreams, some use wit and charm, but a few look up to the nearest star and make a longing, desperate wish.

It always comes true.

Wishing has power in fiction; it's one of the main sources of Applied Phlebotinum. No matter what you want, from a new car to a sudden age-up, you can get it by wishing. Of course, you have to Be Careful What You Wish For and make sure that if you want to be special, normal, or want someone out of your life, that you actually mean exactly what you say. Good or evil, the wish-granter is almost always a Literal Genie who will gladly warp reality for the heck of it.

The best-known wish-granter is probably the Genie in a Bottle (or other similar magical creatures) who generally grants Three Wishes. If he's lucky, the hero will get a Benevolent Genie; unlucky ones will have a Literal Genie or even a Jackass Genie.

Other wishing methods, generally only resulting in one wish, include:

  • Wishing on a star
  • Seeing a shooting star
  • Wishing wells
  • Birthday candles and/or wishbones, which generally come with a proviso that telling anyone the wish means it won't come true
  • Some sort of magic wish tool (like a monkey's paw)
  • A lunar/solar eclipse
  • Any number of other things, like blowing on an eyelash, blowing the seeds off a dandelion, or blowing on wishing/pixie dust
  • The power of words

If the story begins with a wish being granted, the wisher may discover they don't like the way things are going and will use another wish to hit a Reset Button. If after all the wishes have been used up, the wisher ends up no better off, they've been Wasteful Wishing. Big wishes may end in a Wishplosion.

If, on the other hand, the story was a Quest for a Wish and the wish is granted at the end after many trials have been overcome to earn the right to make it, it's much more likely to result in a Happily Ever After.

The final shot may reveal that the wish story was All Just a Dream (Or Was It a Dream?), but some stories are much more subtle and leave it up to the audience whether the "wishes" really came true or were just a string of marvelous coincidences.

Subtropes include It's a Wonderful Plot, I Wish It Were Real, Wishing Well, and Wishing for More Wishes. Also, see Mundane Wish for the comic version. Often involves a Reality Warp.

Not to be confused with Make-A-Wish Contribution or the Disney Channel movie of the same name.


    open/close all folders 

  • In this Subway commercial a man wishes on a star and his girlfriend turns into a Subway sandwich.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess has this as the central device that begins the story.
  • Dragon Ball: Anyone who gathers all seven Dragon Balls will be able to summon Shenron and have a wish granted. The first arc revolved around a quest to find them, facilitated by the Dragon Radar built by Bulma. They would rarely feature at the center of the series afterwards but were an ever-present background element, and once the heroes were able to fly around the world at incredible speeds the Dragon Radar made finding them a minor chore that took a few hours at most, so they were often used as a Reset Button to undo the villain's damage.
  • In Eiga Tamagotchi: Himitsu no Otodoke Dai Sakusen!, this is why Spacytchi wants the package the Tama-Friends are delivering to the Gotchi King; he thinks the egg contained within will hatch into a being that can grant any wish of his choosing and he wants to use that wish to conquer Tamagotchi Planet; the egg doesn't contain any such creature, though.
  • In Eureka Seven, most of the things Renton wished for in the early episodes eventually came true (be good at reffing, getting an adventurous life, wanted Eureka as his girlfriend, wanting to hear Holland's "first love" story (episode 7), to see his father and sister, taking Eureka away to a distant place along with her (episode 30), stop the war, kissing Eureka, etc). Ironically, the last episode is titled "Wish Upon A Star", whereby the 3 kids and Renton's grandpa makes a wish upon the stars in the ending.
    • In the movie version ending, Eureka gets to have her long time wish came true: become human.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, the Priestess gets Three Wishes from whichever Beast God she summons. There are some catches, however: although technically, she can wish for anything she wants, she's supposed to use her wishes for the greater good, not for her own gain. Also, she is to remain a virgin until she summons the Beast God. And lastly, if she is deemed to be not strong enough, or not pure enough, she will be completely devoured by the Beast God in question. (This process begins as soon as she summons the god and makes her first wish.)
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer has its Mentor Mascots offering a wish in exchange for service in becoming Knights to battle a being that wants to destroy the world. The wish itself is granted in good faith, but it is possible to squander it.
  • The Jewel Seeds in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha were able to grant the wishes of the Muggles who gets a hold of them. They tend to grant these wishes by way of a new Monster of the Week.
  • Mermaid Saga: eating the flesh of a mermaid is said to grant one wish: immortality. Actually getting immortality is extremely rare. More common is becoming horribly mutated and insane, and much, much more common is the usual result of trying this: dropping dead.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Jirachi is a cute Fun Size Mythical Pokémon that has the power to grant wishes. A Jirachi features prominently as the featured Mon of the sixth movie, Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker. On top of that, the ending theme for the said movie is called "Make A Wish".
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Weasel Mascot Kyubey offering a wish in exchange to turn girls into Magical Girls to fight Witches. He's a Literal Genie and the wishes have a price that he doesn't elaborate on but the miracles are genuine. As a little bonus, Madoka's Grief Seed has a shooting star on it.
  • Yuuko Ichihara's shop in xxxHOLiC sells wishes, for something of equal value to what is being wished for.

     Comic Strips 
  • Very early in the Thimble Theater strip, Popeye would stroke the head feathers of a wish-granting creature called a Wiffle Bird and wish for the strength to defeat his foes (soon changing to eating spinach). Much later the Wiffle Bird would appear in the Al Brodax Popeye cartoons to grant wishes to anyone.

    Fan Works 
  • No Plumbers Allowed: In a moment of desperation, Taylor makes a wish on a star for the ability to make a difference. The star, actually a Luma, considers this before granting her the ability to make technology from the Mario franchise.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Any story that features a genie (Aladdin, many tales in the Arabian Nights)
  • In "Sweet Porridge" wishing to never go hungry results in a family getting a pot that cooks porridge with commands to stop and go the wishers can't remember, which results in a massive flood of hot porridge (or sweet soup, depending on the story) before somebody remembers the command.
  • In "The Fisherman and His Wife", a fisherman gets three wishes granted to him by a magic fish because he spares it rather than catching it. The fisherman and his wife are arguing about how to use the three wishes granted them; the wife wastes the first one on wishing for a sausage, which ends with the husband getting fed up and saying "I wish that sausage was on your nose!" and then having to use the last wish as a Reset Button.
    • There is a similar Russian tale. In that one, the fish offers a poor fisherman unlimited wishes. The man himself is perfectly satisfied with his life as is, but his greedy wife keeps asking him to make grander and grander wishes (on her behalf), which eventually ends up with her becoming queen. However, still not satisfied with this, she demands to be made Mistress of the Seas and command the fish itself, which is not only refusing to grant but also revokes all the previous wishes, leaving the wife with nothing. In another version, the fish does indeed make her Empress of the Seven Seas, but when she wishes to be God the fish simply tells her that it can't grant that wish, and then revokes all the previous wishes.
  • In Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid", the mermaid in question sells her voice to the sea witch in order to get a wish for legs. After she fails to seduce him, her sisters sell their hair to kill the prince that caused her to make the wish and save her life. In some folklore, Mermaids are themselves able to grant wishes.
  • In "The Monkey's Paw", the wishes made by the poor couple may or may not have been granted other than the first one which definitely was... but not as they hoped.
  • In Japanese folklore, it's said that folding 1,000 paper cranes or 100 stars will allow you to make one wish.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney is loaded with examples (some cross over into folklore):
    • Aladdin, with a genie in a lamp.
    • Chicken Little has the star fall on Little, revealed to be the panel of a spaceship.
    • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, with another genie in a lamp.
    • In Enchanted, the villainess lures Giselle to the portal between her world and ours by saying it's a wishing well. (A Shout-Out to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, where the Witch tricks Snow White into eating the poisoned apple by telling her it's a wishing apple.)
    • Lilo & Stitch, with Lilo wishing on a shooting star for a friend. That star turns out to be a crashing spaceship carrying Experiment 626.
    • Pinocchio, on a star.
    • The Princess and the Frog, both the heroine and her best friend make wishes on the evening star, although it's left ambiguous whether it's really the power of the star granting the wish or not. Also, one of the movie's messages is it's not just wishing, but hard work, that makes your dreams come true.
    • Snow White, in a wishing well.
  • In Ice Age: Collision Course, the guys mistake a meteor shower for shooting stars, one of which hit Sid and send him flying into a tree.
    Manny: Hey, look! Shooting stars!
    Sid: Quick, make a wish! You gotta make a— (gets hit) WIIIIIIIISH!
    Manny: Wow, my wish came true.
    Sid: I'm okay! (spontaneously combusts)
    Diego: Mine, too.
  • In Shrek Forever After, the movie starts with Fiona wishing on a star for "every day to be like this one." Cue a "Groundhog Day" Loop and Shrek's midlife crisis.
  • In Turbo, the title character, a snail, wishes on a star to be fast. The star turns out to be an airplane, yet another reminder of his lack of speed. He nevertheless gets his wish.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The film 13 Going on 30: Wishing powder transports the protagonist into the future.
  • 16 Wishes is a Disney Channel Movie about a girl named Abby who has a list of sixteen things she wants to happen on her 16th birthday; once the day starts off on the wrong foot, a mysterious woman named Celeste gives her sixteen candles that can each grant one of those wishes. Interestingly, the moral wasn't so much Be Careful What You Wish For as helping Abby realize that she was kind of self-centered, as the wishes help her realize that the people around her have Hidden Depths and her actions have been negatively affecting them.
  • 18 Again has a grandfather and grandson who share the same birthday switch bodies after they wish on the same birthday cake.
  • Big, with a wish-granting machine at a fair.
  • Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Darby receives three wishes after capturing King Brian of the leprechauns.
  • The made for TV movie A Dog's Tale: a boy makes a wish on a star to get a dog, but as he makes the wish a bee flies by making it sound like he says "I want to be a dog", so he turns into a dog and he must find a way to reverse the process.
  • Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever has Crystal using a magic Christmas coin on a Wishing Well to make a wish for a friend. She ended up gaining the ability to understand Grumpy Cat.
  • Lifetime's How I Married My High School Crush has the teenage heroine transported to the future after making a wish during a solar eclipse.
  • I Know Where I'm Going! has protagonist Joan Webster count the beams in her room to wish away the fog that's delaying her wedding. She wishes a little too hard, though.
  • In James and the Giant Peach, James sends out a balloon wishing for help to take him to New York. Help appears in the form of a strange man with a bag full of magic glowing alligator tongues. (This is only in the movie; in the book, the strange man just appears.)
  • Labyrinth has the heroine wishing goblins would take away her baby brother, thus triggering the plot of her trying to rescue him.
  • Liar Liar had a boy use his birthday wish to wish his lying father couldn't tell a lie for one day.
  • The 1986 movie Milly/Willy (aka I Was a Teenage Boy, Something Special), where a girl wishes to be a boy during the solar eclipse.
  • In A Safe Place (1971), Noah shows Fred a magic box she received from the Magician. The wisher must put something special and important to her into the box while making a wish; when she removes the item, her wish will come true, but the box can only be used in times of genuine need. Noah won't tell Fred what she put in the box because then it won't work.
  • In Ted, it's a childhood wish by John brings Ted to life and it's an adult one by Lori that saves Ted in the end.
  • In Throw Momma from the Train, Larry says about his divorced wife "I hate her, I wish she were dead!" She turns up missing and presumed dead, and since he said it in the middle of a crowded lunchroom, everyone suspects him.
  • In When Evil Calls, a Jerkass Genie unleashes a chain text around a school that grants a wish to anyone who forwards the text on to two other people. The wishes always come true... in the worst possible way.
  • The made for tv movie Whiskers is about a boy who has a misunderstanding with his parents thinking they want to get rid of his pet cat, so he makes a wish on a star to turn his cat into a boy. The wish backfires because the cat becomes a grown man because it was going by cat years, and he has to teach the cat how to be a human.
  • This concept is referenced in the brief spoken-word intro to the song "Pure Imagination" in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: "Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three." (The song and dialogue also appears in the otherwise-new score of the 2013 stage musical version of the source novel, which also has its own take on this trope — see below.)
  • The MacGuffin of Wonder Woman 1984 is the Dreamstone which will grant a wish for anyone who holds it. Diana thinks it's a fake until her One True Love comes back from the dead, and she realises too late it's an Artifact of Doom that has destroyed civilizations. Unfortunately a media-friendly businessman has gotten hold of the Dreamstone, wished that he had its power, and now intends to grant the wishes of the entire world.


By Author:

  • Edward Eager's children's fantasy novels:
    • The Well-Wishers centers around a well that may or may not be magical and grant wishes.
    • Half Magic centers around four siblings finding a magic coin that grants wishes by half (e.g. if you wished for a house, you'd get half a house).
    • Seven-Day Magic centers around a library book that grants literature-related wishes.
  • In a Shel Silverstein poem, the protagonist received a wish from a goblin and used it to wish for two more wishes - lather, rinse, repeat. He eventually died without ever having used even a single wish for anything worthwhile. ("In a world of apples, and kisses and shoes/He wasted his wishes on wishing.")

By Title:

  • Bigfoot and Littlefoot: In the first book, when Boone first appears, one of the first things that he does is pick up a dandelion and blow all the seeds off it. Gigi tells Hugo that Humans do that as a way to make a wish. We later find out in the book that Boone wished to see a Sasquatch, and it had apparently came true because he and Hugo made eye contact not long after.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Spine Tinglers: Miranda Alice gets three wishes from a snail (and promptly wishes for a thousand more) in Those Three Wishes. Unfortunately, she wasn't careful what she said and, after realizing she'd forgotten to study for a test, unwittingly wished to be dead.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Gimmicks Three": Welby's contract provided him with ten years of supernaturally guided life, every wish he had could be fulfilled by seemingly coincidental events that happened to bring him good fortune.
  • In one of the dialogues in Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, the main protagonist Achilles findsnote  a magical lamp whose Benevolent Genie grants him three wishes. Achilles tries to wish for more wishes, only to find out the genie can't do that for him; a wish about wishes is technically classified as a metawish, and in order to grant such wishes one would need a metagenie in a metalamp, whereas Achilles's genie merely is of the base variety... Luckily the genie happens to have a metalamp with a metagenie in, and even petitions GOD to grant Achilles a typeless wish (that could be about wishes, or metawishes, or metametawishes…), but Achilles still manages to mess it up.
  • Goosebumps tended to be quite fond of this trope as a device for lesson learning. "Be careful what you wish for" is probably the best example. Typically wishes don't go exactly as planned and the protagonist finishes the story by wishing nothing had ever happened.
  • Household Gods begins when Nicole annoyedly tells what she believes to be normal statues of the Roman gods Liber and Libera - but which were actually avatars of the real gods - that she "wished she'd lived then" (ancient Rome), and the gods, ecstatic to have a wish they can grant, are more than happy to grant that wish. She wakes up the next morning extremely confused.
  • Journey to Chaos: There are numerous gods in Tariatla that select mortals deserving of aid and grant them a wish, but the manner in which they do so depends on the god. The world is big on free will and self-determination so they won't actually grant the wish so much as make it easier for the wisher to obtain what they want.
    • Fiol, goddess of fire, will essentially make the wisher Hot-Blooded by removing any inhibitions that may be blocking them and amplifying their passion for the wish
    • Wiol, goddess of wind, will chart the many possible futures and show the wisher the one that will lead to their wish coming true.
    • Eaol, the god of earth, will endow them with the knowledge and experience they need.
    • Tasio, the trickster god, will become a personal Stealth Mentor and work In Mysterious Ways until the results came to fruition in a hilarious (to him at least) manner.
  • Towards the end of The Magicians the protagonist captures a Questing Beast which then grants him three wishes. His first wish is impossible, as is the next one and the one after that. The Beast still counts them as his first wish.
  • Mermaids of Eriana Kwai: Early in Ice Massacre, Meela wishes on a four-leaf clover that Eriana Kwai could be free from the mermaids that have killed so many people.
  • The Mouse Math picture book Make a Wish, Albert! is about Albert, the main character of the series, celebrating his birthday. He wishes on his birthday candles for a new scooter after seeing his friend Leo's, even though he hadn't asked for one, and gets one.
  • In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, the circus acquires the Wishing Tree where you light a candle from the ones already lit. Only some patrons can find it.
  • In a rather grimmer way, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here, the wish (that Dorian's portrait would age rather than he) is definitely magic, but the question is, who granted it?
  • The Sabrina the Teenage Witch novelisation "All That Glitters" featured a substance called Wish Dust that would indeed grant any wish and there didn't seem to be a limit. Unfortunately, the dust has a life of its own and finds its way into other people's hands. The kicker has got to be Neve Campbell, Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Winona Ryder ending up at school because one kid heard they were shooting a new movie.
  • Joan Aiken's short story The Third Wish has our hero Mr. Peters freeing a swan from some thorn bushes, who turns out to be the King of the Forest, who grants him three wishes. Mr. Peters wishes for a pretty wife, which is exactly what he gets (her name is Leita), only it turns out Leita's actually a swan that the King turned into a human girl. She loves Mr. Peters but misses her swan sister very badly. Mr. Peters uses his second wish to turn her back into a swan, and Leita and her sister stay with him as swans for the rest of his life..
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, the Leczi gives Jenny one. She tries to use it twice and is warned that it comes in its own time. At the end, Puck shoved her out into the mortal world with the instruction that it works more slowly but more surely there.
  • In Robert Arthur's "The Wonderful Day", Danny wishes on a unicorn horn for all of the expressions adults use to become literally true for just one day. This results in everything from a woman puffing up like a balloon with pride to a man who keeps saying "I wish..." ending up with an entire herd of horses.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batwoman (2019). On Kate Kane's birthday, she blows out the candle on a wedding cupcake Luke Fox has made for her and makes a wish, but we don't hear what she wished for. Immediately after that a Beth shows up from an alternate universe where Kate's twin sister didn't become the psychotic supervillain Alice. Beth has no idea how she got here (she's an anomaly left over when the The Multiverse combined in Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019)) and when asked Kate just replies, "I made a wish". Then in a flashback scene, young Beth (the future Alice) is being held captive by Mr. Cartwright, and makes a wish to see her family again, only for Mr. Cartwright to tell her the wish won't come true now that she's spoken it aloud. At the end of the episode, Kate is enjoying another birthday cake with Alt-Beth, blows out the candle and mentions out loud what her first wish had been. Right then Alt-Beth (and Alice elsewhere) simultaneously collapse to the ground in pain.
  • The plot of Beetleborgs is kicked off when three kids release a friendly spirit from a pipe organ, and he offers them a wish in gratitude. They wish to be their favourite comic heroes, and he obliges. Unfortunately, this also brings the villains to life as an unintended side-effect.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "The Wish", Cordelia decides that Buffy is the cause of all her recent troubles and wishes she had never come to Sunnydale. Unfortunately, she's speaking to vengeance demon Anyanka at the time, who instantly grants her wish by turning Sunnydale into a Crapsack World overrun by vampires.
    • At the end of "Innocence", Joyce presents her daughter with a makeshift 17th birthday cake and invites Buffy to blow out the candle and make a wish. As Buffy's innocence has been shattered forever by Angel becoming the evil Angelus, Buffy just replies, "Let it burn."
  • The sisters in Charmed went up against a genie who delighted in giving you exactly what you wished for. Exactly what you wished for. Complete with every loophole you didn't close.
  • This serves as the plot in the Cold Case episode "Wishing", the developmentally disabled Victim of the Week wished for his classmate to like him, for his caregiver to release him from the psychiatric hospital and for his terminally ill mother to get strong "like a train".
  • Doctor Who. At the end of "Legend of the Sea Devils", Yaz encourages the Doctor to make a wish while skipping a stone off the ocean. The Doctor says hers out loud, as that's what you do on her planet. It's a wish that her time with Yaz will last forever. From Yaz's expression, she knows full well it's Tempting Fate. Right after this comes the On the Next episode trailer which starts with the Doctor saying, "Nothing is forever..."
  • In Free Spirit (1989), Cute Witch Winnie Goodwin first meets Gene Harper after Gene wishes for someone to spend time with him while his father and older siblings have become busy with other things.
  • Friends: Monica insisted on making a flan instead of a cake for Rachel's birthday. During the end credits Rachel blows out the candles on the flan, only for it to be immediately smashed by a volleyball thrown by one of the guests.
    Rachel: Wow, those things almost never come true!
  • The premise of I Dream of Jeannie.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger - The "Greatest Treasure in the Universe" the team have been looking for is revealed to have this power. Not only could it stop the Zangyack Empire, it could make it so Zangyack never existed in the first place. Unfortunately, doing so would take the power of all Super Sentai, erasing them from the new universe as well. After some agonizing, they decide it's not worth it and they'll stop Zangyack their own way - something they underline by blowing up the Treasure.
  • Kamen Rider has several instances of this trope.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki involves a thirteen-man fight to the death over a wish. However, it's all a ruse by the instigator of the fight to build up enough energy to revive his sister.
    • Kamen Rider Den-O involves a race of monsters who grant wishes to people. However, they aren't actual wish-granting beings, so they instead grant them in a way that'd qualify, such as cutting up neckties to fulfill a man's wish of cutting ties. However, the consequence of making such a wish allows them to be corporeal and even hijack the person's body to travel back in time and wreck up as much of the past as they can.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost involves fifteen soul jars containing the spirits of historical figures. In exchange, one can get a wish.
  • In Once Upon a Time:
    • Jiminy tries everything he can think of, including dealing with Rumplestiltskin in order to escape his family's thieving ways, and accidentally kills Gepetto's parents. In desperation, he wishes on a star for a chance to escape and atone, gladly trading his humanity to become a cricket and serve Gepetto.
    • In the pilot, Emma blows out a candle (topped with a blue star) on a birthday cupcake immediately before Henry shows up. At the end of the episode, she tells Regina that she had actually made a wish, not to be alone on her birthday.
  • Seinfeld thoroughly explores this in the episode The Betrayal, which involves the wishing, counter-wishing, and re-wishing of Kramer to "drop dead" using most of the methods in the description. There's also Jerry wishing Man Hands would acquire normal feminine hands. Neither comes true.
  • Smallville:
    • The "Pilot" begins with three-year-old Lana Lang asking Martha to make a wish. She soon does get to "See a little face."
    • There's also Chloe making a birthday wish of being Lois in "Hex".
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers:
  • Subverted in Sword and Fairy when the three main characters make various wishes on a falling star—none of which come remotely true.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) often centered on characters getting what they wished for, through many of the means listed above. This being the Zone, of course, Be Careful What You Wish For is in full effect.
  • In The Worst Witch Sybil and Clarice turn a torch into a magic lamp and immediately ask for unlimited wishes. That's absolutely fine...except the lamp has to drain energy from everything around it to facilitate the extra wishes.


  • This is a key game mechanic in Tales of the Arabian Nights, as making wishes allows the players to choose various bonuses or skip missions entirely.

  • The most powerful entity in Mission to Zyxx offers one wish to whoever unlocks its full potential.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • In the "Birdy Pox" episode, Big Bird and Snuffy's last attempt to make the former's Birdy Pox go away is making a wish on the first star in the sky that they would disappear. It doesn't work, but the spots indeed go away moments after Snuffy leaves and Maria comes to say goodnight.
    • The special Elmo Saves Christmas revolves around Elmo receiving a magic snowglobe from Santa that grants him Three Wishes, and for his second wish, he makes it Christmas Every Day, which leads to disastrous consequences.

  • A frequent theme in Glowfic:
    • Wishcoins are coins you can use to make wishes and they come in tiers of power. The higher the tier, the bigger the wishes you can make and the more pain you must experience to make that wishcoin. The lowest tier is a pinprick and does things like flipping a light switch across the room. The highest tier is so painful no normal human can bear it and it lets you make a subworld where you are basically god. (The main characters use them to set up Society of Immortals and usually well-thought-out Utopia.)
    • Wish (world name) has a wish granter and Gem made the fluffs hand it over in exchange for an infinite power hack and it's also pretty Benevolent Genie in the actual wishing part.
      (The main characters use them to set up Society of Immortals and usually well-thought-out Utopia.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: It's right there in the title - although being a setting focused on the wishing power of the heart, there are other ways to make wishes as well. No matter what the wish is, no matter how impossible it is, no matter how world-changing, it will happen. The fun is dealing with them.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the spells wish and miracle. The 3.5 versions of these spells have very specific things they can do without risking Literal Genie, Jackass Genie, and/or spell failure. (Well, miracle can fail if you try to do something against your deity's nature.)
  • Exalted has Green Sun Princes and the Akuma of Cecelyne. They have a charm chain named Verdant Emptiness Endowment, which allows them to grant wishes they overhear. Recipients owe the Infernal a favor but can gain virtually anything from greater skill with the sword to Sorcery. Fan upgrades include true love and helper demons. The original creators referred to the charm concept as 'Evil Desert Genie'.
  • One of the tricks kitsune can play on fools in Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools is Grant a Wish, which nets the casting fox a new tail if they pay foxfire equal to the fool's level. The explanation is "Sometimes the best way to purify a desire is to fulfill it." And given that the normal way of purifying fools is through karmic pranks, that probably means the fox acts like a Jerkass Genie.
  • Magic: The Gathering has a few wish spells that allow you to take a card from anywhere in your collection, and bring it into the current game.
    • In competitive play you're limited to the cards in your sideboard or cards that were previously removed from the game (so you could wish for a wish you had previously played).

  • In the 2013 West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, after the fourth Golden Ticket is found Charlie (who's already seen his one chance to find a ticket — his annual birthday bar of chocolate — come and go) falls into a blue funk. To try and cheer him up, his father suggests they look through a hole in the roof to see if they can't find a shooting star for the boy to make a wish on, but Charlie sadly says "Don't waste a wish on me." A little later, as Mr. Bucket heads out to look for work once more, he says "Well Charlie, if you won't make a wish, then I will..." Is it a coincidence that soon after, Charlie does find the last Golden Ticket when he uses some dropped money to buy a Wonka Bar? Yes. It was being saved for him.
  • The opening words of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods are "I wish..." Magic, however, comes in only indirectly - Cinderella going to her mother's grave to request silver and gold (a dress appears); the Baker and his Wife agree to fulfill the demands of the Witch, who would then allow them to conceive a child. However, all of their wishes come back to haunt them in Act II, which opens with the same words.
  • In Jasper in Deadland, due to being a half-life thanks to Agnes giving him her heart, Jasper is able to have two wishes come true when in the Underworld.

  • The Star Fairies toyline featured the fairies responsible for granting wishes wished on a star. In the animated special, Princess Sparkle, the head fairy, makes her own wish using the Wishing Well for a helper.
  • The line of Wish Me stuffed toys featured puppies and unicorns with glowing accessories that you make wishes on.

    Video Games 
  • In NetHack, there are a few ways to get a wish (most of them are based on the common tropes, like rubbing a magic lamp). If you find yourself fortunate enough to make a wish you can cause any item in the game to appear in your inventory, with certain limitations (e.g. wishing for enchanted equipment has a failure chance, you can't get artifacts that already exist elsewhere, you can't wish for the three plot required items, and you can't wish for things that would give you more wishes). The best type of wish is that from a Wand of Wishes, all of the other methods have some chance of going wrong (a wish itself is reliable, but a Jackass Genie will simply attack you and not give you a wish at all).
  • In ADOM wishes may be gained from using a blessed ring of djinni summoning, using a wand of wishing, casting the Wish spell, or randomly and unlikely from drinking from a magical pool. Wishes can be used to create items (other than artifacts), raise your stats or skills, summon a specific type of monster, or a few other arcane things. It's possible to gain infinite wishes by either becoming an archmage (defined as a character capable of casting the Wish spell indefinitely) or building a wish engine that can create endless rings of djinni summoning.
  • Strangely enough, this trope is corrupted in Blaz Blue Centralfiction. When Izanami is bested in combat, the Entitled responsible (sorry, Litchi) is granted an Azure fragment to grant their deepest desire... only said wish is usually corrupted in the worst way possible soon after. As an example, Bang's wish to serve Imperator Tenjo again sees Tenjo and Homura dead and Izanami upon the throne. The corruption even goes on a deeper level than that: it is very possible that Izanami herself is tainting these wishes explicitly to point the Entitled towards killing the "absolute Entitled", the inhabitant of the Master Unit, with killing Noel the first step. However, sometimes the Azure fragment crumbles when the wish cannot be granted: while the expected "wish for more wishes" loophole is closed (Terumi is not content with a mere fragment), there's also Rachel and Valkenheyn's wish to abolish Drives (since Izanami is the "Drive-existence" of the Master Unit, granting this wish means Izanami ceases to be) and Makoto's wish for a happy life with her friends (which includes the aforementioned Noel, making the wish divide-by-zero by default), both of which are detrimental to Izanami.
  • In Dominions 3, you can research the high-level "Wish" spell and have one of your mages cast it. You have to type in what you want; there are about 20 possibilities, most beneficial but some quite literal...
  • Elona grants you wishes under very rare circumstances (the easiest way for new players is to drink from all fountains you find). You can type in almost any item's name to receive it, but be sure to have a guide handy because the text parser might read part of your wish, ignore the rest, and grant you something completely different from what you wanted.
  • Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld: This is the main goal of the main characters, in order to get back home.
  • In Miitopia when Miis decide to camp out for the night, there's a chance they'll do some stargazing, then one of them spots a shooting star in the sky. The Miis then decide to make wishes, which triggers a minigame where you have to tap whatever wish you want to come true three times before the star reaches the other side of the screen.
  • Paper Mario 64: The Star Rod, which Bowser steals, is a powerful artifact in Star Haven known for granting peoples' wishes; he uses the rod to wish he were invincible. During the final battle, Peach makes a wish for Mario to be stronger, allowing the Star Beam to match Bowser's Nigh-Invulnerability and defeat him.
  • The Sticker Comet of Paper Mario: Sticker Star grants the wishes of everyone in the Mushroom Kingdom on Sticker Fest; it set off most of the conflict when Bowser breaks it and absorbs its power, as well as separates the Royal Stickers which power it. At the end of the game, Mario uses the stickers to make his own wish for Kersti to be revived and everything to return to normal.
  • Plantasia: To become a full fairy, Holly has to successfully grant a wish. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds when the wisher asks for all of the gardens around his estate to be fixed (and it's a massive estate), setting up the game's plot.
  • Jirachi from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is said to have the ability to grant wishes, and is based on the Tanabata festival. It can't actually grant wishes for the player, though.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team: Jirachi can be found in Wish Cave, and actually can grant wishes to the player if you bring it a Wish Stone and don't recruit it into your party. It can give you money, items, stat-boosters, or even new Friend Areas or Pokémon.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers: In Bidoof's special episode, "Bidoof's Wish", he seeks out Jirachi so that he can wish to become the best explorer ever. He succeeds in making it to Jirachi, but changes his mind at the last second and instead wishes for new apprentices to arrive at the guild so that he can guide and befriend them. It's implied that Jirachi granted this wish by having the protagonists show up at the guild shortly afterward.
  • The plot of Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars heavily involves wishes in between everything else. After the first few minutes of gameplay, the Star Road is destroyed and the titular seven stars, pieces of the Star Road, fall to the earth. Without the Star Road, wishes cannot be granted, and no new wishes can turn into shooting stars. This is a problem because people often wish for something other than their own benefit, like, oh... for Mario to succeed and save the world.
  • The plot of the early Touhou game Phantasmagoria of Dimension Dream involves the cast competing for a wish granted by a pair of extraplanar scientists. If you win with them, Reimu wishes for a way to keep the shrine clean and gets a (useless) Robot Maid, Marisa switches out her Flying Broomstick for an ICBM with a cute face on it, Mima gets the moon put in geosynchronous orbit so she'll always be at full power, Ellen opens up a magic shop (on the Hakurei Shrine grounds), Kana gets a new home (at the Hakurei Shrine), Rikako gains the scientific knowledge she always craved, and Kotohime... didn't have a wish in mind, but settles for locking up Reimu in a jail cell.
  • In Twisted Metal, the winner of the titular tournament gets to make one wish. The problem is that the one granting the wishes is Calypso.
  • In Witch's Heart, the titular Witch's Heart is rumored to be able to grant any one wish to the person who finds it. It turns out to be the protagonist's heart, which means that anyone who wants to get their hands on the Witch's Heart needs to kill her first — hence the game's tagline: "Do you have a wish you would be willing to kill for?"

    Visual Novels 
  • The holy grail in Fate/stay night grants any wishes to the victorious master/servant pair of the Holy Grail War. Though it is later explained that it's a Jackass Genie due to a bad case of Demonic Possession, and will interpret any wish in a way that will cause maximum pain and suffering.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend:
    • Hiyoko has a few different options for what to wish for during Tanabata: Take Over the World by force, rule the world from the shadows, or become a famous artist. Later in the game, you also unlock the option to wish for "the mad love of a fallen angel", which puts you on Anghel Higure's route.
    • Also in the backstory. As children, Hiyoko and Ryouta wished for a world where humans and birds would stop fighting. Dr. Shuu overheard them and decided to grant eliminating the remainder of humankind, so that there would be no humans left for birds to fight with.
  • Wishes have a lot of power in the world of Kanon, but they also come with a high price. Ayu and Makoto, at least the versions of them that we get to know, were brought into existence solely by the powers of their respective wishes to see Yuichi again. Ayu is an Astral Projection whose real body is lying in a coma, and she disappears when she realizes what's going on. Makoto was originally a fox that Yuichi took care of as a child, and her wish to meet him again transformed her into a human at the cost of erasing her memories and gradually draining her life until she dies. The former gets better in the Golden Ending; the latter doesn't.
  • The protagonist of Star-Crossed Myth makes the vaguest possible Tanabata wish for "something wonderful to happen." This becomes more significant than she expected when she's approached by six gods of the zodiac during the Tanabata festival.
  • In Steins;Gate, Mayuri relates a story of wishing on a shooting star for Okabe to get better from his fever when they were kids. Okabe happened to recover the following day. What prompts this discussion is her seeing "the first star of the night sky", which Okabe points out is actually the planet Venus.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2 Substories: Leaping School Festival, Akane, while talking with the protagonist under the starry sky, makes a wish upon seeing a shooting star, in an Event of her storyline. note 

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, Sarge has been wishing on shooting stars every night for the past decade. The wish is, of course, for Grif's violent and untimely death.

    Web Comics 
  • In Cucumber Quest, on a shooting star. Accidentally. If he'd known it would work, he would have made a better wish.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship's take on it.
  • In Tower of God, it's said that those reaching the top of the Tower can have whatever they wish for, and people set out climbing with various wishes. Of course, climbing the Tower involves an average of five hundred years of competition against others trying to do the same thing. Eventually, it's revealed weirdly off-handedly that nobody has actually reached the top of the Tower; contrary to what is implied earlier in the comic, those who finish climbing and are promoted to Rankers merely reach the floor that Jahad reached, and the way up from there is blocked pretty decisively.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • In the Vox Machina campaign of Critical Role, Scanlan learns the "Wish" spell. Since its uses are limited, he tries to hold onto its corresponding spell slot for long enough to free Vax'ildan from the Raven Queen's thrall, but was forced to use that spell slot to use "Counterspell" on Vecna, giving the heroes the chance they need to fell the archlich. In an epilogue one-shot session, Scanlan uses his final "Wish" to temporarily bring Vax back from the dead to visit his sister Vex on her wedding day.
  • In The Guild, Codex spends one opening monologue waiting for a star to fall so she can make a wish and fix all her problems.
    Codex: The stars are being sticky little bitches tonight, huh?
  • Parodied by The Nostalgia Critic in his 'Top 11 Disney Villains' video, whereas he chronicled a list of very very evil, depraved villains that originated from the company that encourages this trope a lot. He ends his video with "When you wish upon a star, EVIL WILL FIND YOU!!"

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Dulcinea gets a wishing star named Esteban and becomes an Official Secret Star Wisher. Although the two of them have only the best of intentions, Dulcinea makes her wishes too vague (Dulcinea wishes for a person's stubborn horse to move) and Esteban interprets them too loosely (Esteban makes the horse never stop moving) causing chaos to erupt.
  • Aladdin: The Series has the creature in "Scare Necessities", which grants wishes as a defense mechanism - when it's frightened, it grants the wish of whatever frightened it in order to distract them from harming it. At the end, Iago shows it a mirror and screams. The creature thus scares itself, and grants its own wish - to go to a paradiscal garden where the rest of its kind lives.
  • The Animaniacs movie, Wakko's Wish, had the entire cast racing to be the first to the Wishing Star. Wakko wishes for another ha'penny.
  • In Annabelle's Wish, the titular character intends to make a wish to Santa Claus so that she can achieve her dream of flying. Instead, however, she gives up her wish and her voice so that her friend Billy can talk again. Years later, Santa repays her for her selflessness by granting her original wish to fly. She gets turned into a reindeer and even gets her voice back.
  • In one segment of the "Adventures of Cliff Hanger" of Between the Lions, Cliff finds a first wishing star on the night sky. Finding help from his survival manual, Cliff makes a wish so that he can get a chance to get off the cliff. Soon Cliff's wish comes true when the Helicopter Chorus (who sing the introduction to start every Cliff Hanger segment) flies in, finally getting Cliff's attention and he is rescued; but it turns out to be all a dream that Cliff was having while dozing off on his branch.
  • In the Christmas Special Christopher The Christmas Tree, when Christopher first meets Hooty, he expresses his belief in wishes, partially to explain why he's still optimistic about becoming a Christmas tree, despite not being picked year after year. "But I believe in wishes. I know they come true, as sure as the stars above." He also encourages Hooty to make a wish, which Hooty does, while a chorus sings about wishing on a star in the background (no, not that song). By the end of the special, both Christopher and Hooty have gotten their wishes.
    • The album on which the animated special is based is even more explicit about wishing on a star, as Christopher tells Hooty, "You can have anything in the whole world you want, if you wish on the Wishing Star. But you gotta believe in it, or it won't come true."
    • In both the album and the animated special, there's a little boy who wishes on the star on his Christmas tree, but since his wish is to be President of the United States, we don't get to see if his wish comes true or not.
  • Two instances from Danger Mouse:
    • "Where There's A Well, There's A Way" has DM and Penfold trekking to find the mystic inkwell of Merlin the Magician. Casting a copper coin into the well and making a wish grants the finder his wish.
    • In "I Spy With My Little Eye," Penfold sees what he thinks is a star and makes a wish:
      Penfold: Oh, little star that shines so bright,
      I'd like a wish if that's all right.
      Oh, little star in the ink-black heaven...
      DM: Forget it, Penfold, It's a 747.
  • Danny Phantom had a recurring villain named Desiree, who would grant you any wish.
  • Dragon Tales did this with a dragon scale in the introduction sequence.
  • DuckTales: "Master of the Djinni", featuring a magic lamp and wish-granting genie.
  • This was the whole premise of The Fairly Oddparents. Complete with the kid's inability to make a wish that didn't go horribly, horribly wrong.
    • It's literally revealed a few times fairy godparents have to grant wishes for their godchild often; if they don't grant a wish long enough, they suffer magical buildup and literally explode into confetti.
    • Norm the Genie on the same show lives in a lava lamp and the third wish sucks him back into the lamp. The third wish is always the Reset Button, too, because Norm is a huge Jackass Genie, and tweaks the wishes to screw over the wishers. Norm parodies this trope too, expressing frustration that the first wish is always something mundane like a sandwich, the second wish is grander but goes wrong, and the third wish is putting everything back the way it was. On an additional note, Norm reveals that you CAN wish for extra wishes, the genies just tell people that you can't.
  • The Flintstones when Barney and Betty wished for a baby after seeing a falling star. They later found Bamm Bamm in a basket on their doorstep.
  • I Dream of Jeannie also had a teenage version Animated Series — her wishes, like Jeannie's, were unlimited.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Episode 93, when Stumpy and Quack Quack realize that they don't know when Quack Quack's birthday is, they can call any day his birthday and blow out a candle to make a wish on that day. They decide to use it on the current day. While Quack Quack blows on the candles, Stumpy makes the wish for him and wishes for himself and their other friends to become pole dancers.
    • In Episode 129, Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack, and Mr. Cat try to stay up late so they can see a shooting star and make a wish on it. Kaeloo and Quack Quack fall asleep, Stumpy stays up but is so tired that he wastes his wish on asking for a bed, and Mr. Cat asks for his own bar and several clones of Kaeloo.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series had an experiment which granted wishes, and could only do a certain number of them, and took your wishes literally (for instance, if you wish to become ruler of the universe, you will become a ruler, that is a stationery equipment). The episode ends up teaching the Aesop of "Be careful what you wish for".
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The reason the Big Bad wants Ladybug and Cat Noir's Miraculous is because, if someone combines them and uses the proper invocation, they can make any one wish come true. The reason the heroes haven't used this to their advantage is that it works on Equivalent Exchange rules. If, for instance, a machine wished to become human, someone else would lose their humanity.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The End of Flutter Valley", Wishful the bushwoolie claims to be able to make things happen by wishing for them to do so. When he tries to put this in practice, however, it entirely fails to work.
    • My Little Pony (G3): In Twinkle Wish Adventure, the ponies celebrate the Winter Wishes Festival with everyone receiving a wish from Twinkle Wish, the star that is placed on top of the tree. Due to the circumstances of the movie, by the time Twinkle Wish takes her spot on the tree, she doesn't have enough power to grant a lot of wishes. However, Pinkie Pie points out that all throughout the adventure, every one of them had said "I wish" something, and that something had come true. In the end, everyone wishes for snow, with Twinkle Wish granting a tiny wish for it to be pink snow.
  • In the PJ Masks episode "The Dragon Gong", Night Ninja steals the titular gong and the mallet that activates it, summoning An Yu, who's trapped inside as a dragon (hence the object's name of "dragon gong") and using her power of granting wishes to get rid of the PJ Masks. However, she fails to mention to him that she only grants one single wish to whoever uses her power, until after he makes his first wish.
  • In PJ Sparkles, PJ's wish on the wishing star for someone to love turns her into a Magical Girl and brings her to Twinkle Town, which is made from children's wishes. Its inhabitants similarly wished on the star for someone to love them.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "Bortron Leprechaun", Sydney tells Jet that leprechauns will grant you a wish. Jet wishes that Sunspot was there with him to help him decide on his wish, and his wish gets granted when the leprechaun is revealed to be Sunspot.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: One of the "Fractured Fairy Tales" segment does a "magic mermaid" variation on the Russian version of the magic fish story (see under "Fairy Tales") with a surprisingly heartwarming ending: rather than taking away all of her previous wishes out of wrath, the fisherman tells the mermaid that all he wants is to make his wife happy, and she grants this as his final wish. When he returns home, he finds that all of the trappings of her previous exorbitant wishes are gone, but his wife is now happy and satisfied with her modest life, and he's happy because she's happy, and as such they live Happily Ever After.
  • Shimmer and Shine: The whole point of the show is the titular genies granting wishes for their friend Leah whenever they want. However, they only grant three wishes a day, and because they're still genies in training, they tend to mess up their wishes on occasion (this was dropped in Season 2 onward). Also, once a wish has been made, they must grant it and cannot be stopped.
  • The Simpsons episode where Flanders starts the left-handed store; he and Homer share a wishbone, and Homer wishes for the store to fail. He briefly considers wishing for Flanders to die, but then decides it's overkill and goes back to wishing for the store to fail.
  • The Smurfs: In the Animated Adaptation of "The Astro Smurf", Dreamy makes a birthday wish that he could travel to the stars, and eventually goes out of his way to build a spaceship so he could make that wish come true. Although it initially fails, the Smurfs end up fulfilling that wish by making Dreamy believe that he actually had traveled to the stars through an elaborate scheme that had Dreamy be put to sleep, his ship dismantled and reassembled within an extinct volcano, and the Smurfs disguising themselves as primitive aliens called Swoofs.
  • South Park: Parodied in "It's Christmas in Canada", where a Mountie claims that the characters have the power inside of themselves to wish themselves to Ottawa. They then attempt to do so while harp music plays. Absolutely nothing happens.
    Mountie: It's OK, boys; the power is inside us to get to Ottawa. We can wish ourselves there!
    French Canadian: Yes, let's wish ourselves there!
    (they close their eyes, harp music plays)
    Mountie: Is it working?
    (no, it isn't)
  • In the first of The '80s' Strawberry Shortcake specials, The World of..., The Face of the Sun reveals that his birthday present for Strawberry is a "magic wish", and she winds up wishing for an army of trees (which, in Strawberryland, are sentient) to defeat the Purple Pieman who had been causing trouble for the kids the whole story. The wish is granted with trees that can also march, and the result is the destruction of his Pie Tin Palace.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go has an episode with the Wigglenog, which is a Jackass Genie. Otto, the green monkey, outwits him with "I wish we'd never even found you in the first place!"
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • In "Henry and the Wishing Tree", Henry visits the old Sodor Wishing Tree and makes a wish on it that he could pull coaches instead of Gordon. His wish comes true, but it isn't as good as he thought.
    • In "Merry Winter Wish", Thomas is to transport a special holiday light — the Star of Knapford — to Knapford Station for a party. It is a special light that engines can make wishes on when passing by. Thomas decides to delay his trip to visit his friends so they can make wishes on it, but when it all goes wrong and he accidentally breaks it, he makes his own wish that his friends can help him. His wish comes true, and eventually his friends get their wishes as well: to all be under the star together.
  • An episode of Tiny Toon Adventures has Elmyra wish on a star for her doll to become real, which it does. After being terrorized for a day, she wishes on the star again to make the doll like all her other they all become real!
  • In the fifth season of Winx Club, once the Winx obtain the Sirenix transformation, they will each be granted one wish should they conquer a life-risking task which tests themselves:
    • Tecna wished for the people of Zenith to believe in magic.
    • Stella wished for her parents to always listen to each other.
    • Flora wished for the people on Earth to respect nature.
    • Aisha wished for Nereus to come back to life.
    • Bloom wished for the Sirenix curse to be broken forever.
  • Wish Kid: It's said Nick got his wish-granting baseball glove when he wished upon a star.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Special Delivery," while delivering ice cream, Malik knocks on a lucky knothole to make a wish.

    Real Life 
  • The Make-a-Wish Foundation raises money to give kids with terminal illnesses a chance to do something incredible, like have a photoshoot in Seventeen magazine, or take their family to Disney World. Maybe humans aren't such bastards after all...

Alternative Title(s): Wish Upon A Star


Stay By My Side, Forever

When offered a free wish by the goddess Belldandy, Keiichi Morisato says he would like a goddess "like" her to stay by his side forever.

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Main / MagicalGirlfriend

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