Klutzy 12-year-old Samantha "Fly Away" Byrd (as dubbed by her bully, Judith) is given three wishes by a witch named Clarissa after helping the old lady find her way home, which give Samantha what she wants at the price of everyone else around her.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Samantha and Judith's hair colors, respectively blond and red in the book, are reversed in the TV adaptation.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Clarissa the witch is here reimagined as an attractive woman, unlike her elderly novel counterpart.
- Adaptational Karma: Unlike the book where Judith's first wish caused Samantha to get turned into a bird, the former's wish instead causes her to get turned into a statue. This can be seen as comeuppance for all her bullying of Samantha.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: While no less amoral than her book counterpart, Clarissa is actually nicer to Samantha here.
- Adapted Out: Samantha's father, brother and dog do not appear in the TV adaptation.
- Age Lift: Unlike the book, where she is an old woman, Clarissa here looks much younger, appearing to be in her late thirties-early forties.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Just as the title implies.
- Death by Adaptation: Not outright death per se, but where the book has Judith's first wish be for Samantha to become a bird (which she's actually happy about), the episode has Judith wish to be admired by everyone. See a certain trope below for how that turns out...
- Exact Words: Clarissa has each of Samantha's wishes come true, but adds her own twist: Samantha's first wish is to be the best player on the team, so all other players become weak; her second wish is for everyone to buzz off, which causes all the other people to become flies; her last wish is for Judith to be her friend...only for her to become obsessive. Related to this, Samantha tells the obsessive Judith they can study together later, so Judith sneaks into her home in the night. And it just keeps getting crazier...
- Taken for Granite: Due to wishing to be admired by everyone, Judith is turned into a statue.