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Retroactive Wish

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Jaime: I just wish I could meet a cute girl who'd be okay with all the weird.
Traci 13: [teleporting into the room] Are you Jaime Reyes? The Blue Beetle?
Paco: [jaw gaping] Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off! Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off!

A character mentions something extremely unlikely to happen, and is surprised when it actually occurs (usually for a plot-based reason). They (or another character) then mention something else in the hope that that will occur as well. The follow-up wish is often for money, or, if the speaker is male, women.

Compare Cue the Flying Pigs and Be Careful What You Wish For, where the unexpected thing is a Deus ex Machina.

Cousin Trope of Kitchen Sink Included.


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  • There is a State Farm commercial that runs like this; one of the characters sitting around wishes they had reliable insurance, and a State Farm agent occurs. They then proceed to wish for a variety of increasing luxuries such as a sandwich, a pool table, and a hot tub, which all appear. They then wish for a woman (the girl from 4b). The original had the typical version inverted: a group of girls wish for a hot guy with consecutively more exotic qualities. One of the follow-ups has a fighting couple wish for new partners, when the man and woman transform into more attractive versions of themselves. Of course, the woman berates the guy for wishing her more attractive, when she did it to him first.
  • In Brazil there was a series of advertisements where people commented on their chances of having "um carro como aquele" ("a car like that") and said "Só no dia de São Nunca" ("Only in St. Never's Day"). Then a man in a saint outfit falls from the sky. One of those ads had them trying to get women as well but St. Never didn't fall from the sky that time. A narrator then explained St. Never only helped with cars.

    Comic Books 
  • Happens in the Blue Beetle, as mentioned in the page quote.

    Comic Strips 
  • The author of The Perishers confesses to playing with this trope after noticing that he invariably came into possession of things resembling things he had recently introduced into the comic. This was his entire motivation in creating the character of Fiscal Yere, an incredibly rich child. It didn't work.
  • From a Zits strip:
    Hot Girl: [appears out of nowhere] Hi!
    Jeremy: And as long as you're at it, would it be so terrible if I had a million bucks, too?
  • Garfield:
  • In a Bloom County Sunday Strip, Opus, lounging in the "backstage area" for the strip's Animated Actors, is granted several of his wishes because "anything is possible in the funnies," including a colorful but useless 200-pound green and mauve duck on his head. His next wish for "Kathleen Sullivan... in spandex... in a hot tub... filled with warm Jell-O" comes a few panels too late to be fulfilled.

    Fan Works 
  • Changing Lives has this bit when Cloud Kicker introduces her Changeling double to Lyra:
    I would give anything for something to interrupt this awkward moment.
    Fluttershy: No, Mister Parrot! Come back!
    Mr. Parrot: Bwawk! Twilight Sparkle is a lesbian! Bwawk!
    ...I would give anything for a million bits to fall from the sky into my lap. ...No? That was a one time thing? Whatever, I'll take it.
  • This Bites!: In the enormous whale Laboon's stomach, which is painted and lighted enough to resemble the outside:
    Cross: Well, at any rate... maybe we actually are in the belly of a whale? The walls could be painted or something.
    Zoro: You can't be serious.
    Cross: [taking an oath-taking pose] May a Sea King strike me down should I lie!
    [cue giant squid coming out of the water]
    Usopp: AAAAGH! SEA KING!
    Cross: [panicking] May the Sea King be struck down should I lie!
    [cue three giant harpoons promptly killing the squid]
    Cross: [stares blankly, and then looks up] May a billion berries fall from the sky should I lie!
    Cross: Seriously? What omnipotent divine being worth their divine salt doesn't do things in threes?
    Soundbite: RIPOFF!
  • Luna Lovegood and the Wizard of the Island:
    Luna: So — are you ready to talk about it?
    Blaise: When Neville and Hermione get here.
    Hermione/Neville: We're here.
    Blaise: When someone carrying Voldemort's severed head into the room... Bugger.
  • Ultra Fast Pony: "Rocks, Clocks, and Two Stupid Ponies".
    Rainbow Dash: Aw dammit! I really wish my wings weren't broken right now. [her wings magically heal] Like, omigosh! My wish came true! I really wish someone out there loved me! [chirping crickets] Eh. One out of two ain't bad.
  • My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap: Done by Gallus in "School Raze" while on a school trip to Cloudsdale.
    Gallus: Come on, Yona, it's not like you're gonna fall or anything...
    [Yona falls through the clouds]
    Gallus: Yeah, and it's not like Professor Dash is gonna suck me off right now or anything...
    [beat as Rainbow Dash looks puzzled]
    Gallus: Don't be mad, I had to try it.
  • SVTFOE Metaverse: A Jarco kid sullenly looks at the Blood Moon powering the Starco kids' base and wishes it would disappear. Seconds later, she watches it get stolen by the Big Bad, and immediately wishes that she had a boyfriend.
  • The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds: In the sequel The Conversion Bureau: United We Stand, Danny makes two in quick succession. When Rainbow Dash mentions needing Princess Celestia and the Elements of Harmony, only for Celestia to appear across dimensions with said Elements, Danny quickly asks for Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles to appear and declare her love for him. Then later, when it is mentioned that they need to get in touch with the higher-ups, a military escort arrives to get everyone up to speed, and Danny quickly asks for 5 million dollars in his bank account. Neither wish amounts to much.
  • Robb Returns: During a conversation with Jon Arryn, Oberyn Martell expresses his desire to meet with one of the Green Men, which he has tried (and failed) to do before. When a Green Man makes his way to King's Landing to plant a weirwood...
    Oberyn: I wish that I had a million dragons in coins! (Beat, shrugs) Well, it was worth a try.
  • The Wrong Choice For The Right Reasons:
    Harry: Kingsley, Dolohov has gotten away with too much...I want him.
    Kingsley: You will be going to search for him in anger and that is not how it is done, Harry.
    Harry: I don't care. I want Dolohov bound and gagged at my feet!
    [Dolohov appears at Harry's feet, bound and gagged, with his wand snapped]
    Ron: Blimey mate! Now say you want a pile of galleons to appear by my feet.
  • Green Tea Rescue; while on patrol during her internship, Toga asks for something to happen to break up the boredom of always keeping an eye on Tenya just before a woman starts yelling about a pair of purse snatchers. Toga thanks the universe for this before asking for a horny, naked Izuku to show up, and is disappointed when that doesn't happen.
  • Vow of the King: When two intruders fall out of the sky after Yumichika says "a fight won't just fall out of the sky", Ikkaku says the same about a barrel of high quality sake. It doesn't happen.

    Films — Animation 
  • From Robots, after Crank shows no concern over the fact that Bigwell is missing, we get this:
    Rodney: Crank, the idol of millions is gone, and no one seems to care! There should be an angry mob out there!
    [angry mob runs past the window]
    Fender: Wow! That was great, psychic friend! Now say, "Money should be falling from the sky!" (beat) Say it! (sobbing) Say it!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dogma: Jay says "Guys like us don't just fall out of the fuckin' sky, you know!" When Rufus does in fact fall from the sky right in front of them, he adds, "Beautiful, naked, big-tittied women just don't fall out of the sky, you know!"

  • Discworld:
    • During the play near the end of Wyrd Sisters, Hwel the playwright laments the poor special effects he's forced to use after the tin sheet used to make thunder gets bent, and shouts to the heavens that all he wanted was a decent dramatic thunderstorm. As one starts up, he wonders to himself if he should have asked for a wind machine while he was at it.
    • From Hogfather comes the closest thing to deconstructing this trope after the Hogfather's death results in a lot of unused belief coalescing into other entities:
      Susan: You're calling things into being.
      The Dean: Things like the Give the Dean a Huge Bag of Money Goblin?
      • As Susan explains, the things being called are those that have been believed to exist for some time, e.g. a monster that eats socks so there's always a mismatched sock in the laundry when you're sure they were all matched going in, or a gnome that runs around showers giving people verrucas, or an oh god of hangovers (no, not god, as in "What Did I Do Last Night? Oh God"). As the Dean has never had cause to believe huge bags of money were given to him by a goblin, it isn't going to happen.
    • In The Science of Discworld II, the wizards convince a caveman that the large snake population in his area is due to him making snake sculptures out of mud (It Makes Sense in Context). He tests this theory by sculpting a fish, and the wizards obediently make it rain fish. His next sculpture, predictably, is a naked woman. The wizards decide not to help with this one.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: In the first book, Georgia asks her reporter boyfriend Fletcher about Dr. Jocasta Kirkland, and if he'd ever covered a murder. A while later, Dr. Kirkland's dead, and Fletcher's covering the story. Georgia notes the bizarre coincidence, and says that "I wish I'd asked you if you'd ever interviewed an English instructor who'd won a multimillion-dollar sweepstakes."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Disney Channel crossover Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana, Cody can't get Bailey tickets to the Hannah Montana concert in Hawaii. He desperately looks up and pleads to the heavens, "I WAN'T HANNAH MONTANA TICKETS TO HAWAII!" Suddenly, they hear an announcement to a scavenger hunt with the prize being the concert tickets. Woody then yells out, "I want a robot that makes pancakes!"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The episode "Triangle":
      Willow: I wish Buffy was here!
      Buffy: I'm here!
      Willow: I wish I had a million dollars!
    • This is almost a Running Gag with Willow (It also happens in "Dead Man's Party" and "Beer Bad").
  • In the Pilot of Friends, Ross says, "I just want to be married again" right before Rachel appears wearing a wedding dress. Chandler immediately jumps in, "And I just want a million dollars!"
  • Played with in House, when House says that stating things doesn't make them true and, to demonstrate, shuts his eyes and declares, "I am surrounded by naked cheerleaders!" Nothing happens, of course, and he opens his eyes again and says, "See?"
  • In "Rising", the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis, Major Sheppard declares that he's been thinking how to find his kidnapped comrades on a Wraith-controlled planet. Immediately, the telepathic ship delivers him a life-signs detector. Then he says, "Now I'm thinking about a nice turkey sandwich." Nothing happens, and Lieutenant Ford remarks, "Worth a try." note 
  • From Not Going Out:
    Lee: Honestly, who do you know who could break a passport?
    [the cleaner walks in]
    Lee: Honestly, who do you know that's a beautiful nymphomaniac rich widow?
    [nothing happens]
    Lee: Oh, so it's just the one wish then.
  • Shortly after Jon Stewart appeared on Crossfire, called the host a dick and said the show was hurting America, Crossfire got cancelled. When Jon heard the news:
    Jon: I had no idea that if you wanted a show cancelled, all you had to do was say it out loud. So, uh... According to Jim is hurting America?
  • In the Chuck episode "Chuck Versus the Gravitron":
    Morgan: Chuck and Sarah are gonna walk through that door, they're gonna be as happy as could be and everything's gonna be fine.
    [they do]
    Morgan: I could have asked for anything! Swedish bikini team. Uh, DeLorean, flying DeLorean!
What's even better is that like two episodes later he gets a DeLorean.
  • Scrubs:
    J.D.: [inner monologue] It was weird thinking I'd never work with Dr. Cox again...
    [Dr. Cox walks in, starts working with him]
    J.D.: Every time I think something, the opposite happens... I am so not getting laid this weekend.
    Hideous Patient: You're cute.
  • Lost Girl #1x08, when Bo is at Trick's for information on the type of Fae that tried to kill her:
    Bo: Sorry to keep bugging you with all these questions. It's just, there's so many different types of Fae. I wish there was some kind of book or something to keep track.
    [Trick takes out a big book]
    Bo: I also want a pony.
  • Ethan from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder. In the opening two-parter, while he and the other soon-to-be Rangers are looking for Kira, he mentions that it's "not like she's just gonna fall out of the sky and land right in front of us." Kira promptly drops out of the villain's Portal Network and lands on the hood of their car. Ethan then waits until the end of the season before completing the trope — and it works. He always was pretty Genre Savvy.
    Ethan: [forced] It's not like they're gonna fall out of the sky and land right in front of us.
    Kira: Were you knocked on the head or something?
    Ethan: What? Last time I did that, it worked. [the missing characters appear] See?
  • An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond had Debra request that Ray refer to his mother-in-law as "Mom". Once he's alone in the kitchen, Ray contemplates the suggestion by speaking the word aloud a few times, and just then Marie walks in the back door. Immediately Ray declares "Xena: Warrior Princess! Xena Warrior Princess!"
  • Hannah Montana: Robbie Ray Stewart once prayer for God that the dog next door would stop barking. As the dog stopped, Robbie Ray thanked God for that and then apologized for something he said while driving.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs: Baby Sinclair's pacifier was taken by animals, to which he whines and screams "Want suck toy!" At that moment, his pacifier is dropped down the chimney and falls out of the fireplace. Seeing this, Earl shouts that he wants a big-screen TV and cable. As nothing happens, he says he wants a bigger fireplace.

  • After Mo Rocca expressed his dislike of homemade sweaters on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, he was sent loads of them by irate knitters. When he related this story to the panel on a later show, one of them announced "You know what I can't stand? Bricks of gold!"

    Web Animation 
  • From The Demented Cartoon Movie:
    Guy 1: You know what? It would suck if an airplane randomly fell out of the sky and crashed into us.
    [it happens, killing him]
    Guy 2: You know what? It would suck if a large generic wad of cash were to appear right in front of me that I could do whatever I wanted with. Huh? Huh??
    [a shoe kicks his head off]

    Web Comics 
  • This happens in The Order of the Stick.
    Roy: I really wish we had someone who could fly us out of here.
    [a turned-to-stone sylph falls from the ceiling]
    Roy: GAAAH!
    [beat panel]
    Haley: I really wish I had a bajillion gold pieces!!
  • In this comic from Unshelved, Dewey is irritated by the library mascot Buddy the Book Beaver:
    Dewey: I wish he would just go away!
    Tamara: Buddy's been kidnapped!
    Dewey: Mira Sorvino! I wish for a date with Mira Sorvino!
  • This is lampshaded in Goblins with the following exchange.
    Yodette: Will you two cut it out? We're supposed to be hunting goblins, and standing here arguing is not going to make them just fall out of the sky!
    [cue long pause while her two companions wait for something to fall out of the sky]
    Yodette: What are you guys looking for?
    Baka: Well after a comment like that I half-expected a goblin to fall out of the sky due to unrelated circumstances.
    Short Archer: Yeah, me too.
    Yodette: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
    [Dies-Horribly (a goblin) then falls off of the overhanging cliff and into the river; cue smug looks from the other two]
  • Dinosaur Comics does it here.
  • In a strip of Questionable Content:
    Marten: Dear universe: If this is really how you work, may I please have a 1952 Telecaster?
  • Used in a Little Dee strip:
    Vachel: We're gonna land before Henry-Henry crashes us!
    [Henry-Henry crashes them]
    Vachel: I meant to say, "We're gonna land before Henry-Henry gives us ice cream and leads us gently into landing!"
    Ted: I don't suspect that's gonna work.
    Vachel: Hey, it was worth a try!
  • Perfectly set up in this Drowtales strip... but with no extra person to make the second wish.
  • Penny Arcade did this right here. They never did get those doughnuts, though.
  • Anthronauts:
    Parvani: Broken spaceships don't just fall out of the sky, you know!
  • In Housepets!, during the "Let's Imaginate Macbeth!" arc, Maxwell, playing Macbeth, does this.
    Maxwell: In order to be king, I'd first need to be the Thane of Cawdor, and it's not like that's going to happen.
    Sabrina: Hey Mister Mac-B, the Thane of Cawdor has been sentenced to death, so the king declared you the thane in his place.
    Maxwell: Rats.
  • In one strip of Narbonic, Artie and Dave are running for their lives through an imminently exploding moonbase while Artie is stuck in a facsimile of Dave's body:
    Artie: I'm not accustomed to this body! If only I weren't some huge, flabby, imperfectly bipedal ape, I could— [Artie transforms back into a gerbil]
    Artie: [thinking] Oh, sure, but when I say, "If only Congress would unilaterally withdraw forces from the Mideast," the ironic wish fulfillment never kicks in.
  • A Redtail's Dream had a funny moment when Hannu wished it would stop snowing... and it did.
    Ville: I really wish for some steaks to eat!
    Hannu: I really wish to be home right now!
    Hannu: Great. I bet we had one wish, and I blew it on better weather.
  • Skin Horse, when the Mothership shows up just as Renard is trying to remember Tony's weird space theories:
    Renard: Is that ... is that a UFO?
    Turtle #12: just when you were talking about space!
    Mothership: GREETINGS.
    Renard: Um ... hello?
    Turtle #12: wish for a dinosaur next!

    Web Original 
  • This Not Always Right entry somewhat subverts this. A person visiting a national park expresses a desire to see a deer, and then an eagle. Both times, they get their wish, but both cause problems (the deer nearly causes a car crash, and the eagle poops on the boat deck). The man accompanying this person looks down at the deep, cold water their boat is currently sailing across and warns them not to say they want to see a whale.
  • In Spriggs: a Halo 3 Machinima, after seeing Spriggs drive by on a mongoose, Triple M wishes he had one himself. One promptly falls out of the sky. Seeing this, he loudly wishes for a nymphomaniac catgirl with a La Blue Girl fetish, only for Willy, who had been driving the mongoose that fell, to fall next.
    Triple M: Aw, you suck!

    Web Videos 
  • On The Nostalgia Critic review of SNICK, he declares that anyone who shouts all the time should be shot, (he is shot in the forehead) unshot, (the bullet hole disappears) and given a big bag of money (unusually, he immediately receives a bag of money). He then asks for and receives some lounge music too.
  • This finally occurs to the Muppet Newsman, who has a history of the things he reports on falling on him, in a Disney on-line video. It works the first couple of times, but when he wishes for a "brown-eyed blonde" he gets hit with a cow.
  • In the Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger review from Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara complains that the heroes should just shoot the monster after he says there are no rules in a fight. They do, in fact, shoot him, at which point Linkara expresses his surprise and asks them to undo One More Day as well — of course, it doesn't happen.

    Western Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Series: In "Do the Rat Thing", a stolen magic mirror and an ill-timed remark from Iago ("If you're a street rat, then I'm a frilled lizard!") lead to Jasmine getting turned into a rat and Iago getting turned into a lizard. He's later seen verbally kicking himself for his poor choice of words.
    Iago: I could've said "If you're a street rat, then I'm the world's richest parrot!" But what do I say?! (in a mocking tone) "I'm a frilled lizard!"
  • Happens in the Back at the Barnyard episode "The Farmer Takes a Woman".
    Peck: Now-now, Otis, you can't expect a miracle to just zoom up out of nowhere.
    [woman drives up to the farm]
    Freddy: You can't expect a plate of boneless chicken to just drop out of nowhere. [nothing happens] I'M WAITING!
    • And in the final scene of the episode he's still waiting.
  • Clone High: After a "It can't get any worse":
    Gandhi: Hey! At least it can't get any better!
    Abe: That's not how it works, Gandhi.
    [Abe leaves, and a butterfly appears carrying a dollar bill for Gandhi]
  • First episode of Drawn Together:
    Captain Hero: I wish we had one of those hot black chicks.
    Foxxy Love: Bling-bling, Foxxy's in the house!
    Captain Hero: I wish we had a 12-year-old girl and a donkey! [nothing happens] Damn!
The wish actually does come true in a later episode.
  • From the Duckman episode "Joking the Chicken".
    Duckman: If only there was something to bring a few laughs into my life.
    Fluffy/Uranus: [over intercom] Mr. Duckman, four comedians here to see you.
    Duckman: If only there was something to bring a few busty, leather-clad, thrill-seeking ex-nuns into my life.
    Cornfed: It was worth a shot.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    Wanda: I sure hope the boys get home soon. I miss Poof!
    [Poof comes flying through the window]
    Cosmo: Cool. Let me try. I miss rump roasts! Come on, rump roasts!
  • Family Guy: A man tells his wife to imagine "a happy healthy baby boy at play. Now put him in a magic bubble and release him into the universe." When Stewie, in a bubble, rolls by, the man tells his wife to imagine Lindsay Lohan naked and doing a backwards crab walk. Later on, Lohan appears at Peter's door doing just that.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures
    "I wish one of them talismans would come to us for a change..."
    [talisman detector glows]
    "I wish I had a million bucks!"
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Rollercoaster: The Musical!" the recurring farmer couple do this.
      Wife: I can't believe you walked all the way to the service station for jumper cables, but you didn't bring the battery cart! What did you think, a battery cart was just gonna fall out of the sky?
      [a battery cart falls out of the sky]
      Wife: Okay... what did you think, a million dollars was just going to fall out of the sky?
      Farmer: It doesn't work that way.
      Wife: Well, how does it work, then?!
    • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, after Candace vanishes into the other dimension, Stacy tries to invoke the "mysterious force" that protects Phineas and Ferb from being busted in order to get Candace back. When Candace walks in, Stacy tries asking the mysterious force for a car.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer tries this in one episode:
      Homer: I'm sure glad the lightning round's over.
      [lightning strikes him]
      Homer: Hmmm... I sure hope there isn't an ice-cream round!
      [lightning strikes him again]
    • The Mayor of Springfield tried it in another episode. He had just had sex with his lover and commented on how he'd like some cigarettes when a bag of them is thrown in his room. He then offered one to her but she rejected and explained she was pregnant. Mayor Quimby then prayed for God because he had another favor to ask.
  • In a Laughing Hyenas cartoon, a starving Banzai commented he was so hungry he could eat a circus monkey. Immediately a crate containing a monkey that had fallen from a passing plane fell on top of them. After they failed to make a meal of it, Banzai remarked that he could now eat a blue whale. Cue acres of whale falling from nowhere onto their heads.
  • The Replacements: In one episode, Todd had the school librarian replaced with someone who'd turn the library into a place where he'd like to be. Riley got ran over by a hippopotamus right after she asked if they were what'd come next. She asked about a unicorn stampede but nothing happened. She complained because it worked with the hippopotamus, causing another one to run her over.
  • One season of Robot Chicken ended with the creators killing everyone (to have a more impressive In Memorium segment) and getting canceled. The beginning of the next season had them trying to find new jobs, eventually asking Seth MacFarlane for work on Family Guy. He sets up a Cutaway Gag: "Robot Chicken? I haven't heard that name since it was renewed," which of course cuts to someone renewing Robot Chicken. Seth Green says "Quick, offhandedly mention that one time we all solved world hunger!" prompting nothing more than a confused response.

    Real Life 
  • The standard way of saying "Speak of the Devil!" in Egyptian Arabic is to say (translated) "Would that I had said 'a million pounds'!" (or some other large sum of money). This is occasionally turned into "Would that I had said 'a quarter-pound piece'!" (either as an insult or jokingly with friends). (For those not in the know, a quarter of an Egyptian pound is worth slightly more than four cents.)
  • On an interview in Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Patton Oswalt commented on a new KFC commercial for the Famous Bowl featuring a woman who insisted on eating it with a knife and fork, claiming it was almost certainly made in response to his infamous routine where he mocked the Bowl and the fact that you're supposed to eat it with a spoon as utterly pathetic. He then immediately started jokingly "calling out" Porsche on not giving away their cars to "washed up comedians".


Video Example(s):


Angry Mob

When Rodney remarks that nobody seems to care that Bigweld has gone missing and that there should be a angry mob out there, one actually does appear after he says this. This causes Fender to want Rodney to make a another ''prediction'' by asking him to say ''Money should be falling from the sky!''

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / RetroactiveWish

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