Follow TV Tropes


Wish Upon a Shooting Star

Go To
Your wish is its command.
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio

Wishing upon seeing a shooting star shooting through the night sky is an old and common custom. Ancient civilizations thought those were the spirits of the departed and that these could bring your wishes to the heavens, so they could be granted. Nowadays, knowledge of the true nature of these falling "stars" as meteorites that, instead of going into the heavens, are falling straight towards the Earth, did absolutely nothing to deter this tradition's popularity, and it remains quite common to hear about wishing for something when a shooting star is seen.

As such, this trope is rather common in fiction, and one of the most recurring ways for characters to Make a Wish along with the Wishing Wells and the Genie in a Bottle.

Subtrope to Make a Wish. See also Cosmic Motifs.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The title card of Season 2 episode 20 has Doctor H. wishing on a shooting star for Miss Peach, his Celeb Crush, to be there with him. He gets a stone statue of her dropped on him instead.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Dear Little Wish, Grandpa Meteor is a Sentient Star who flies around in the sky on his motorcycle, listens for people wishing on him, and grants their wishes. He plans to retire from his job, but as he is riding his motorcycle along, the goats accidentally shoot him down to the ground with their wishes; when Grandpa Meteor realizes he has way too many wishes waiting to be granted on the Wishing Tree, the goats help him to take care of them - thus starting the plot of the season.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Ice Age: Collision Course, the guys mistake a meteor shower for shooting stars, one of which hits Sid and sends 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 Lilo & Stitch, Lilo sees a shooting star and wishes for a friend. The star turns out to be a crashing spaceship carrying an escaped alien convict...

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Star Darlings series is about beings who live on a star and grant human wishes, with wish-on-a-star motifs being common throughout the franchise.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100: Mentioned in "Twilight's Last Gleaming" — the youths on Earth send out signal flares to let the Ark in space know that they're still alive, leading to this exchange:
    Clarke: Can you wish on this kind of shooting star?
    Bellamy: I wouldn't even know what to wish for.
  • As part of a Disney Channel event "Wish Gone Amiss Weekend", three different shows featured their protagonists wishing upon the same shooting star (simply from different parts of the country), each ending with a Reset Button:
    • In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the twins wish to have super-powers. Cody wakes up in the morning with telekinesis, and Zack with super speed; however, the wish also gives Mr. Moseby his own powers and advanced technology, and he takes the role of super villain. The twins foil his plans but end up with a mess anyway, Zack uses his speed to reverse the Earth's rotation, meant to return them to the previous night, but actually taking them to the stone age. Zack later wakes up, but the episode is ambiguous as to whether or not the whole experience was All Just a Dream.
    • Hannah Montana: When Miley gets sick of her normal life interfering with her life as Hannah Montana, she wishes to be "all Hannah all the time", essentially erasing her Miley side from existence. This proves to be a mistake; her father is married to a Gold Digger, Jackson moved out of the house and lives as a homeless hermit, and her best friends live two completely different lives- Oliver teamed up with Rico as a team of salesmen, and Lily has become an Alpha Bitch. She hates this new life so much she makes a reversal-wish on the first shooting star she sees.
    • Cory in the House: Cory makes the wish to become the President of the United States, with the justification being that kids had received the right to vote. He becomes lazy and passes all the work down to his vice president Sophie. In revenge she uses an alien robot army to take over the country. As they close in on him, he presses the Big Red Button and everything resets.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Betrayal" Kramer wishes on a shooting star that he doesn't drop dead (hoping to cancel out the birthday wish made by his "friend" FDR). He later learns that FDR saw the same star and double-wished for him to drop dead.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Grace Note", the teenage leukemia patient Mary Miletti sees a shooting star and wishes that her elder sister Rosemarie can see that she will one day achieve her dream of being a famous opera star. The next day, after Mary is taken to hospital, Rosemarie is transported 20 years forward in time to March 22, 1986 and sees her future self performing La Traviata to a sold out audience in the Lincoln Center.

    Video Games 
  • In several Animal Crossing games, a shooting star named Wishy sometimes shoots through the night sky, and one can make a wish by pressing the A button fast enough. If successful, the player receives a letter from Wishy the next morning with a rare item inside.
    • This is changed a bit in New Horizons. Blathers's sister Celeste now makes an appearance the night of a meteor shower and will give you a DIY recipe each time she shows up (including the Star Wand). Actually wishing on the stars will result in star fragments washing ashore the next day, with some even being from specific constellations.
  • In Miitopia, when Miis camp out for the night, there's a chance a shooting star will appear, initiating a mini game where you have to help one of the Miis' wishes come true.
  • In Ōkami, the Watcher from Watcher's Cape hopes to spot a shooting star since it would allow him to wish for the Whirlpool Galaxy to appear. After Amaterasu materializes one, he expresses his wish to the star, and it is immediately granted.
  • Paper Mario:
    • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the annual Sticker Fest in Decalburg revolves around making a wish upon the passing of the Sticker Comet. Unusually, it will make a brief stop right on the festival stage, allowing Bowser to touch it and inadventantly wreak havoc in the Mushroom Kingdom. The endgame proves that this the Sticker Comet's wish granting powers are very real.
    • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, upon arriving at Starlight Cape, Huey and Mario spot a shooting star in the twilight sky. Huey wishes to find all the Big Paint Stars to restore Prism Island to its peaceful state, and the orange Big Paint Star immediately appears right in front of them.
  • In Pokémon, the animation for the healing move "Wish" is represented by a shooting star. The turn after Wish is used, whatever is in the user's position will be healed for half the user's total HP. Switching after using Wish is the most common way for one Pokemon to heal another.
  • Inverted in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, where wishes become shooting stars in the Star Road and get granted when they collide with the ground.

    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.

  • In one xkcd strip, two hackers deliberately crash a satellite. As they watch it burn up, one of them tells the other to make a wish.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Memory Blank", Desiree plans to grant the hundreds of wishes elicited by a meteor shower in the most gruesome way possible to become phenomenally powerful and cause chaos in Amity Park.
  • In the The Flintstones, Barney and Betty, after a nasty spat with Fred over spending to much time with his daughter Pebbles, see a shooting star. They both make a wish, clearly for a baby of their own. Lo and behold, they find Bamm-Bamm on their porch the very next day.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Club SpongeBob", as the clubhouse is flung through the kelp forest, a couple mistakes it as a shooting star and the man tells his wife to make a wish.
  • Danger Mouse and Penfold are on a mission in "I Spy With My Little Eye..." when Penfold sees what he thinks is a shooting star.
    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 7-4-7!


Video Example(s):


Color Splash star

The shooting star grants Mario and Huey's wish for the Big Paint Star... somehow.

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / WishUponAShootingStar

Media sources:

Main / WishUponAShootingStar