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Wishing Well

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So you wished it, so shall it be!

"Make a wish into the well,
That's all you have to do,
And if you hear it echoing,
Your wish will soon come true..."

In German and Celtic folklore, springs were considered sacred places, where wishes would be granted by a god (alternatively, the waters were housing some aquatic deities). This carried on with the introduction of wells. Basically, throw a coin in there, and you would get a wish granted. Today still, loads and loads of money are thrown by wishers in wishing wells all over the world. It was estimated that people throw 3 millions pounds sterling in those yearly.

See also Our Genies Are Different, for another type of wish granter, and Make a Wish, for wishes granted otherwise.


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     Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 8 episode 36, Big M. runs into a lake serving as a wishing well when he's chasing a coin he lost. The coin falls into the lake, and Big M. makes a wish that he can find all the elemental staffs. He ends up falling into the lake himself and gets taken to the studio that produces the show.

     Comic Strips 
  • Flo drops a coin into a wishing well in the Andy Capp strip for Sunday 29 February 2004. Andy sneers, "You don't believe in those things, do you?" Flo turns to gaze pointedly at him, and replies, "Not any more."
  • Mother Goose and Grimm:
    • In one strip, Grimmy wishes he could fly while throwing a coin down a wishing well. Turns out the well was some kind of "Literal Wishing Well" since instead of gaining the power of flight, Grimmy finds himself with one giant fly (as in, the insect) in the paws.
    • In another strip, Grimmy wishes to be popular with the lady dogs... and gets turned into a fire hydrant.
  • Perry Bible Fellowship has one strip where a man wishes for true love and obtains a girlfriend. However, he sees other people leaving with wheelbarrows of money, a spaceship or Superman's powers, and clearly has second thoughts.

     Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: From Corruption?: When Ami muses on sacrificing gold in her temple, her Reaper says: "The temple is no wishing well, you dolt!"

     Film — Animated 

     Film — Live-Action 
  • One scene of The Goonies has the kids find themselves at the bottom of one during their quest. When they realize where they are, Andy says she always thought that when you threw in your coin, it turned into your wish. Mouth tries to take several coins, only to be admonished by Stef. He insists on taking them because his wish didn't come true.
  • 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.
  • La Dolce Vita (1961) has an iconic scene at the Trevi Fountain mentioned below.
  • Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) has American secretaries visiting the Trevi Fountain and tossing in coins. Here there's only one wish being granted: if you throw a coin in the fountain and wish to return to Rome, you will.
  • Inverted in 2010 film When in Rome, where an American tourist played by Kristen Bell steals coins from a wishing-fountain and finds all the things she doesn't want now begin to happen to her.

     Live-Action TV 
  • A short silent sketch on The Benny Hill Show has Benny as an old man with his old wife coming across a wishing well. He throws a coin in, his wife disappears, replaced by a young bikini-clad bird. She then throws in a coin, and a muscular stud in swimming trunks appears. He throws a coin in, and the bikini-clad girl disappears, leaving him alone with Benny. Benny quickly gets out of it by throwing one last coin, and the muscle man disappears and his wife reappears.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Wishful Thinking" Sam and Dean investigate a well that seems to grant wishes, often with negative consequences. It turns out that this is actually the result of a cursed Mesopotamian coin that the original wisher dropped in the fountain.
  • El Chavo del ocho: Invoked by La Chilindrina in the episode "La Fuente de los Deseos", claiming that the vecindad's fountain grants wishes so Quico and El Chavo throw their coins in there to steal them later. Funnily enough, Doña Florinda and Don Ramón end up falling for it too and throw a few coins themselves too. However, Chilindrina's plan hits a snag because Chavo tries to steal some coins for himself too.
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In the radio episode, "The Wishing Well Dance", a wishing well is placed in front of Madison High School to raise money. Mr. Boynton wants a lock of Miss Brooks hair; unfortunately unbeknownst to everybody else it's to make a pillow for his pet frog Mcdougall. Still, swayed by the seemingly romantic wish, during the course of the episode, Mrs. Davis, Walter Denton, Harriet Conklin, Stretch Snodgrass and even Mr. Boynton himself covertly cuts off locks of Miss Brooks' hair to grant Mr. Boynton's "wish".
    • In "Blind Date", Miss Brooks meets Mr. Boynton by the wishing well in the park. They end up reconciling after breaking up the day before. Mr. Boynton goes to get his ukuleleso as he can serenade Miss Brooks while rowing her on the lake. Miss Brooks is pleased, and goes to throw a coin in the wishing well - presumably to make a romantic wish. Miss Brooks reconsiders, and dumps out the entire contents of her change purse into the well and only then makes her wish!

     Video Games 
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, there’s a wishing fountain inside the eBuy department store. The game’s narrator gets increasingly sardonic the more coins you throw into it.
  • There are two wishing wells in Divinity: Original Sin but although they have magical powers, they are not very typical use of this trope. They both can talk and are actually brothers (somehow) separated by magic, and each can teleport your party to the other but cannot move themselves. A lengthy quest line revolves around finding means of reuniting them, so it's basically them doing the "wishing" part in this case.
    • There is a wishing well in Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga, but she can only grant minor wishes (enchanted bracelets, experience points) and requests gold for better ones. You can only get one minor wish from her in the game.
  • In DragonVale, every 100 days you play for, you get a wish which you can spend at the Wishing Well. This allows you to get one of any item in the game for free.
  • The first Drawn to Life game has a wishing well. By tossing coins in, you can get anything from extra coins, to new special abilities, to access to the secret creator's section. Not every offer of coins gets results, however.
  • Subverted in Dungeon Keeper as when sacrificing gold in the temple in single-player, one would receive "This is no wishing well, Keeper" as a response.
  • In Elona, drinking from a well or fountain has a small chance of granting you one wish.
  • Fallout 2 has a well you can climb into (it's dry) with a large amount of money in it in the form of coins that have been thrown in by people. If you take any of the money, your character gives a Shout-Out to the scene from The Goonies.
  • Golden Sun has the fountains in Tolbi and Lemuria, a minigame where you throw a coin or lucky medal behind you and get coins/items based on where it lands (crabs and turtles in the drained fountain increase the chance of the toss going nowhere). In Lemuria the fountain also contains the Eclipse summon.
  • Gone Golfing: There's a wishing well in the Cozy Cove golf course. You can drop things in to make it produce a Wilhelm Scream.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there is a fountain at the center of Lake Hylia where Link can throw in rupees. Every hundred rupees thrown, a Great Fairy will appear and grant his wish, which is limited to either the ability to carry more bombs, or more arrows.
  • Near the end of Mickey's Ultimate Challenge, Mickey/Minnie tosses five magic beans into a wishing well, believing them to be worthless. He/She then wishes to find out the cause of Beanwick's constant rumblings, causing a beanstalk to sprout from the inside of the well itself.
  • In Pajama Sam in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside, Sam meets an anthropomorphic wishing well in Darkness' garden. When Sam tosses in a penny and tries to make a wish, the Wishing Well wishes for him. When Sam asks why he did that, the Wishing Well says, "Who's the Wishing Well here, you or me?".
  • In Paper Mario: Color Splash, one of the Plum Park fountains is a wishing well. Since people throw coins in it for a wish, Mario will gain several coins by walking into it.
  • The Sims series is rather fond of these:
    • In the Seasons expansion pack from The Sims 2, the reward given by the Gardening Club for a perfect garden is a wishing well. Sims can throw money into it to grant wishes for money, love or popularity. Beware, though, as using it too many times will cause some wishes to backfire...
    • The star item introduced with Lucky Palms in The Sims 3 is a wishing well (that looks more like a fountain). Sims can wish for Wealth, Love, Power, Happiness or a Child by throwing a coin in it, One can even fish in it and catch awesome fishes regardless of their fishing level. Coins can be stolen from it, and sometimes the Sim might get a Lucky Coin to play in casinos with by doing so.
    • The Sims 4 has the Whispering Wishing Well introduced in the Romantic Garden stuff pack. One can wish for a variety of thing including good grades, love, life, youth, etc. However, one ought to be wary of the mood of statue face adorning it, as the outcome of the wish will be heavily influenced by the well's own mood. Should it be in a deadly mood, so might be the outcome...
  • Sunless Skies has an extraordinarily unusual example in the form of Old Tom's Well. Found near the Leadbeater and Stainrod Nature Reserve in the Reach, it is said that a prospector had made a wish into it and soon after discovered countless veins of hours on the Mother of Mountains and became excessively wealthy. Since then, people from all over the Reach come to the well in order to have a wish granted. How is that unusual? Old Tom's Well is a black hole, and the small settlements built above it are cold as ice and ravaged by strong winds. Some deluded wishers still swear they saw gold at the bottom of it, though. And there is something golden down there, the corpse of a murdered star, but it's the opposite of valuable.
  • In Sam & Max Hit the Road, there's a well outside of Conroy's mansion. Tossing in some money has Sam wish to know what Max is thinking (not much, it turns out), or for the game to be over (when it works, he takes his wish back).
  • A Tale of Two Kingdoms has a wishing well that can only grant you one wish. You can skip certain puzzles, or wish for good health for Branwyn (which has no effect, but is necessary to maximize your Honor score). Or you can wish for a freaking drink, which gives you an amusing cutscene referencing META, another game by the same creators.
  • Trick or Treat Beat!: Some levels have a wishing well that you can search for coins, candy, or the level's special bonus.

  • In an El Goonish Shive filler comic, Catalina uses a wishing well to make Susan fall in love with her.

  • Neopets has a wishing well which can give out items and an avatar.

     Western Animation 
  • Danger Mouse and Penfold go on a trek to find the mystic inkwell of Merlin the Magician (episode "Where There's a Well, There's a Way"). Dropping a coin in the inkwell will make that person's wish come true. A hooded figure, Copper-Conk Cassidy, trails the heroes in hopes of finding the inkwell first so he can envelope the world in darkness and rule.
  • Dragon Tales features a wishing well in the shape of a walrus named Wyatt (though when he was first introduced in the episode "One Big Wish", he was named Willie) who grants wishes to anyone who drops a coin in the well. For example, in the aforementioned episode, Max is tired of being small and makes a wish in the well to be bigger. Unfortunately, the wish works too well, and Max keeps growing bigger... and bigger... and BIGGER... and BIGGER... to the point where he's gigantic.
  • Fireman Sam: In "The Wishing Well", the kids find a well in the strawberry patch. Sam tells them that it's a wishing well, and that when he was young, he wished on it to become a fireman. In case the series title didn't give it away, that wish came true.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • In "Day of Doom", Garfield makes a wish in a well for no more Mondays. At the end, it turns out that the well is actually part of a race of well-like aliens.
    • The U.S. Acres Quickie following "Attack of the Mutant Guppies" has Orson collecting water from a well. When Wade asks Orson if he could make a wish in the well, Orson tries unsuccessfully to tell him that the well isn't for making wishes, it's for collecting water. Wade eventually manages to convince Orson to let him make a wish, and as he tosses in a coin, he wishes that nothing else would ever scare him. Just then, the Mutant Guppies pop out of the well and scare Orson and Wade.
  • The premise of the Looney Tunes special Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island involves Daffy and Speedy discovering a magic talking wishing well while stranded on a desert island, and selling its uses for cash.
  • A scene from the Merrie Melodies cartoon "Believe It Or Else" shows a native figure from India approaching a wishing well:
    Native: O wishing well...o wishing well...I wish I had a million dollars.
    Voice from well: (echoing and slowly) So do I!
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In "All's Well That Ends Wishing Well", Tigger drops a penny in a wishing well, but is disappointed when he doesn't get what he wished for at his birthday party. Later, everyone goes down the well and end up in Wishland, where all of Tigger's wishes come true.
  • In one "Gems" short on Richie Rich (1980), Richie and Gloria encounter a wishing well. After Gloria makes her wish, she and Richie realize that neither of them has a coin. So Richie writes a check and tosses it into the well.
  • One episode of Samurai Jack has Jack seeking a wishing well that will send him back home. It's guarded by blind archers with perfect hearing. Turns out the well corrupts your wish - the blind archers wished to be the greatest hunters on Earth and ended up warped into its guardians. Jack destroys the well rather than allow anyone else to be hurt by it.
  • Sofia the First has one of these in the garden that's mysteriously walled off. She learns why when Amber tries to get a wish from it: it's a Jackass Genie that will twist your wishes against you. Her father finally manages to negate her wishes, and warns her to stay away, saying that he paid a terrible price for it once. As we learn in the finale, he wished to have children, and that's how the first queen suffered a Death by Childbirth.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Wishing You Well" has Mr. Krabs open a wishing well. At first it doesn't work, but when SpongeBob and Patrick dig deep enough, they find the magic.
  • In the Yogi Bear short "A Bear Living", Yogi builds a wishing well without Ranger Smith's knowledge and collects the coins that the tourists drop into it. Yogi uses the coins from the well to pay for his meal at the park cafeteria and later a new sports car.

     Real Life 
  • The Trevi Fountain in Rome is possibly the world's most famous wishing well where coins are thrown in, in return for wishes possibly granted.
  • Wishing wells can be found everywhere in Great Britain and Ireland; Cornwall is the district most closely associated with the tradition. It is believed to go back to the millennia-old Celtic sacrificial tradition, where things of value were thrown into sacred rivers to propitiate the Gods. Refer to The other Wiki:
  • Great Britain also has a tradition of wishing ''trees'' going back for millennia. Old trees are literally studded with coins embedded in the wood.
  • In Scotland and Ireland there is also a tradition of "clootie wells". If your wish is for good health, you take a rag or strip of cloth (a "cloot"), dip it in the well, and tie it to a nearby tree. Your sickness will supposedly be transplanted into the rag. This is probably likewise derived from Celtic votive offerings, although in the medieval period the wells were associated with saints instead (the most famous clootie well — if only because the cloots are visible from the main road — is Saint Curetán's Well near Munlochy). Some of them are also used as conventional wishing wells.


Video Example(s):


Gods Be Praised

A boy throws a coin at a wishing well, only for Cassandra to emerge out of the water and have a freak out when she realizes she's naked in front of a crowd.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / NakedFreakOut

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