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Series / I Dream of Jeannie

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"All I do is think and blink."

One of the classic 1960s Fantastic Comedies, I Dream of Jeannie aired on NBC from September 1965 to May 1970.

The series depicted the lives of USAF Captain (later Major) Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman), an astronaut, and Jeannie (Barbara Eden), the beautiful genie he acquired while stranded on a desert island after returning from a one-man space mission. Despite the enormous potential for his own personal gain with no risk, Tony Nelson would rather embrace conformity so as to remain in the astronaut program. This being a Sitcom, complete success in his goal of appearing normal is of course denied him.

The only question is which gender's fantasy is being indulged. In the first episode, as he was about to be rescued from the desert island where he found her bottle, Tony explicitly freed Jeannie from his service. She followed him back to Florida entirely of her own volition, and when Tony took the most logical approach of saying, "I wish you to vanish!", she laughed that he set her free to do whatever she pleased, and what pleases her is to stick around and take over Tony's life, which may explain Tony's persistent failure to ensure her complete and unconditional obedience afterwards.


Tony's efforts to present a stable homelife centered on the opinion of NASA psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Bellows (Hayden Rorke), who had suspected Tony of insanity or worse after the astronaut carelessly described his first encounter with Jeannie during a post-mission examination in the first episode. Complicating this were not only Jeannie and her magical antics, but Tony's friend and fellow astronaut Roger Healey (Bill Daily), who learned about Jeannie and wanted to exploit her powers for his own benefit (although this was toned down after his first attempt led to near disaster).

Dr. Bellows' wife Amanda (Emmaline Henry) complemented his suspicions with her own Secret Chaser tendencies, often leaving Tony scrambling to cover for Jeannie's magical eccentricities.

Jeannie's sister, mother, and various other friends and relatives from the good old days of Caliph Haroun al'Raschid just added to the chaotic mix. Somehow, though, across the course of the five years the show was on the air, their relationship evolved from master-slave to love between partners.


In the last season Jeannie and Tony were married.

I Dream of Jeannie was created by Sidney Sheldon in explicit reaction to the success of Bewitched. Inspired by the movie The Brass Bottle (which coincidentally also starred Barbara Eden, though portly Burl Ives was the Genie in that film, while Barbara was his master's human fiancée), he deliberately inverted the genie trope as it then existed, turning the hideous and borderline-malicious male genie of the Arabian Nights into a beautiful female genie who was eager to please her master. He also gave Tony a clear motivation for maintaining a façade of normality (remaining an astronaut during NASA's glory days, with its chances of making history), as opposed to the unremarkable, dull and conventional life idealized by Darrin Stevens.

Sheldon reportedly wanted a brunette Jeannie — mainly to avoid comparisons to the blonde Samantha of Bewitched — but could not find anyone who could play the role as he had envisioned it; Barbara Eden was cast almost in an act of desperation.

After its cancellation, I Dream of Jeannie demonstrated remarkable success in syndication, winning timeslots across the country and becoming the first non-network program ever to earn higher ratings than network fare in the same timeslot. By Fall 1971, Jeannie Reruns in syndication were reaching a larger audience than saw the program first-run on NBC. Its cult-like success spawned the mandatory Animated Adaptation in 1973, and two TV movie semi-reunions — 1985's I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later (in which Wayne Rogers replaced Larry Hagman as Tony) and 1991's I Still Dream of Jeannie (which eliminated Tony entirely).

A feature-film version has been rumored for years, with every star(let)-of-the-hour from Paris Hilton to Halle Berry proposed for the title role. The latest incarnation of this project is back in Development Hell after being scheduled for a 2008 release for a while, a curiously identical fate to the film version of Larry Hagman's other TV show.

I Dream of Jeannie provides examples of:

  • Accidental Dance Craze: At a party, Jeannie does her 'fold arms, nod head' spell casting gesture. One of the guests sees her and thinks it's a new dance move. Soon, everyone at the party is doing it.
  • Alcohol Hic: One episode had the titular character get hiccups after she accidentally poofed herself into a wine bottle when trying to hide.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: In "Never Put a Genie on a Budget", Jeannie, not understanding modern credit, buys $2000.00 worth of goods. Major Nelson insists she go on a strict budget. She overdoes it, taking in hippies as boarders and splitting a T.V. dinner for supper. Things go south as Major Nelson is expected to entertain a visiting Russian Cosmonaut (who, in a twist, is charmed by the spartan conditions).
  • Alpha Bitch: Jeannie's wicked sister not only fulfills the personality type —- one episode even gives her a Girl Posse of other female genies.
  • Ambulance Chaser: In Who Are You Calling A Genie?: When Jeannie gets amnesia after being hit on the head at NASA, she's represented by a lawyer who happens to have been on a tour of the base at the time.
  • Amnesiac Lover: The fate of Major Nelson after the movie. Jeannie, however, resolves to rekindle their love the non-magical way.
  • Anachronism Stew: Jeannie has supposedly been in her bottle for 2000 years, but knows a number of historical figures from that period personally, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Nostradamus. However, she is capable of Time Travel - as demonstrated by various episodes - which can explain this.
  • Animated Adaptation: 1973's Jeannie, produced by Hanna-Barbera, starring Julie McWhirter in her voice acting debut, former Three Stooges star Joe Besser ("Yapple-Dapple!") and a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Animated by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, this actually began in the middle of Season One and was extended to include Tony in Season Two.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite owning a magical genie, Tony is quite skeptical when it comes to the supernatural. He ridicules Roger for believing in horoscopes, and for visiting a fortune teller (in "Bigger Than a Breadbox, Better Than a Genie"). He also does not believe in ghosts (see below at "Scooby-Doo" Hoax).
  • Artistic License – History: The episode "My Master, Napoleon's Best Buddy" has several inaccuracies regarding Napoleon. It is set in 1803, and Marie Louise of Austria, Napoleon's second wife, is portrayed as an infant. Tony realizes that he's mistaken the time period, and that Napoleon will only marry her eighteen years later. However, Marie Louise was actually 12 years old in 1803, and she married Napoleon seven years later, in 1810, when she was 19. Also, Tony claims that Napoleon was exiled to Elba after his defeat at Waterloo. Napoleon was actually at Elba before Waterloo, and was exiled to the Island of St. Helena afterwards.
  • Artistic License – Military: NASA is depicted as a military organization where astronauts work in dress uniform and maintain strict discipline. In reality, NASA was always a civilian organization and while astronauts during the early days were almost all active duty military test pilots, they wore civilian clothing and were very casual around one another.
  • Artistic Title: The Animated Credits Opening.
  • Audit Threat: In "My Master The Rich Tycoon" it's a case of dueling audit threats. An IRS man (Bewitched's Paul Lynde) threatens to audit Dr. Bellows if he doesn't cough up some information on Major Nelson. Dr. Bellows threatens to have the IRS man drafted. Touché, Dr. Bellows, touché.
  • Babysitting Episode: "Abdullah", where Jeannie (and eventually Tony and Roger, when she has to leave for the day) has to watch her baby nephew, who is also a genie.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Jeannie's outfit, which caused consternation with the censors over the exposure.
  • Batman Gambit: Tony tries this occasionally to outsmart Jeannie.
    • In "Who Needs a Green Eyed Jeannie?", Tony pretends going on a date, so the jealous Jeannie traps him at home. The next day, a male friend of his calls, asking why he couldn't meet him the previous evening. Jeannie, feeling guilty that she didn't believe Tony when he told her it's not a date, but a meeting with an old friend, allows him to go out the next evening. It turns out the whole operation was engineered by Tony, so he could go out on a date with his ex-girlfriend, without Jeannie stopping him.
    • In "A Secretary is Not a Toy", Jeannie becomes General Peterson's secretary, because she wants to help Tony get promoted to General. Tony tries desperately to get her out of NASA before she'd cause any mischief. He lies to Jeannie that a General must be married, and that he already started looking for an ideal wife candidate. The jealous Jeannie of course decides that staying a Major is not such a bad thing after all.
    • In "How Do You Beat Superman?", Jeannie blinks up a handsome millionaire, to make Tony jealous, and succeeds at first. However, when Tony finds out that the man is merely Jeannie's creation, he acts like if he were happy about their relationship, and would start looking for a partner himself. Which, of course, makes Jeannie incredibly regretful that she conjured up this plan, and she gets rid of the illusory guy.
    • In "Have You Ever Had a Genie Hate You?", Jeannie wants to kill Tony due to a magic perfume given to her by her sister. Tony pretends that he is very afraid of the reverse-effect perfume, which of course prompts Jeannie to sprinkle it all over him, and nullify the effects of the hate-perfume.
  • Becoming the Genie: This was Jeannie's origin in season one. It was retconned in later seasons.
  • Bedlah Babe: Jeannie typically wears a pink harem outfit. Jeannie's sister wears a green outfit with a skirt instead of pants.
  • Belly Buttonless: Enforced for Jeannie's costume by the network's censors, who were afraid that more conservative areas of the country would have a fit if Barbara Eden ever showed her navel.
  • Benevolent Genie: Jeannie, the rare moment of anger-induced jerkassery aside, generally has Tony's best interest at heart.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jeannie is the sweetest genie of all long as you don't threaten her relationship with her master.
  • Big Bad: The Blue Djinn could be considered this, since he was the one who turned Jeannie into a genie and trapped her in the bottle in the first place. He certainly causes a lot of trouble to Jeannie and Tony when he appears in the Season 2 premiere.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: "Watch the Birdie", featured a golf game where the ball did lots of bizarre and improbable things, but that was because of Jeannie's magic. Among other unlikely shots, Captain Nelson hit the ball from the branches of a tree. Later in the game, he shoots the ball directly the hole from a water fountain.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Jeannie does this a number of times, usually at the end of an episode where she's kissing Major Nelson and wants some privacy. She'll turn to the camera, blink, and the scene will cut to black. One variant is in the tag of "My Master, The Great Rembrandt", where Jeannie blinks up the artist himself, who proceeds to paint the camera lens black.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Despite Tony's frequent weird behavior and 'crazy' antics, often witnessed by Dr. Bellows, he is considered one of the finest astronauts in the space program. Probably the reason for General Peterson always taking Tony's side and dismissing Bellows' claims as humbug.
    • Roger is definitely an oddball guy, but he's an able, accomplished pilot and astronaut as well.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dr. Bellows is constantly being made out as crazy because of Jeannie's antics. Roger whenever he tries to exploit Jeannie for his own benefit.
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": In "The Birds and The Bees Bit", Jeannie and Roger ask Haji, "the Master of All Genies", if any children Tony and Jeannie have would be genies:
    Roger: If Jeannie marries a mortal, are their children mortals or genies?
    Haji: Their children will be mortals.
    Jeannie and Roger sigh in relief.
    Haji: Ah, but sometimes they may be genies! There's no way of knowing.
  • The Cameo: Groucho Marx appears for the final gag of one episode.
  • Canine Companion: Djinn-Djinn, Jeannie's genie dog.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Jeannie, apparently. Although to her credit, she did guzzle down really powerful Moonshine. Jeannie is, if not Muslim herself, from the Middle East; she probably hadn't had alcohol before and hadn't developed a tolerance.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Roger. In spades... and diamonds, and clubs, and hearts...
  • Cassandra Truth: No matter how many times Doctor Bellows sees the results of Jeannie's magic, he can never get the general to believe it, and it disappears by the time he can convince the general to come and take a look. Doctor Bellows eventually grows aware of this, to the point that in "Who Needs a Green Eyed Genie?" he just leaves Tony trapped in a jail inside his home, rather than reporting it to the general and let this happen once again.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Oh, Master: how do you get yourself into these things?" (Jeannie, when Tony is trying to figure a way out of whatever mess her magic has landed him in this time.)
    • "I've been waiting a looooooong time for this, Major Nelson..." (Dr Bellows, every time he thinks he's finally going to prove the current weirdness is Tony's fault.)
  • Celebrity Star: Jeannie conjures up Sammy Davis, Jr... and later clones him.
  • Chick Magnet: Tony, much to Jeannie's dismay. When he went to Hawaii, he was swarmed by bathing beauties within minutes. The list of women who hopelessly fell for Tony includes a Middle Eastern princess, a Russian cosmonaut, and a Hollywood actress.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Jeannie would do anything she could to keep Tony to herself, using any loophole she could find to get around what he told her to do. (For instance, when he told her to watch three movies so she wouldn't bother him, she used magic to speed the films up and watch them in less than an hour. She one time refused to undo a spell that made him an old man, simply so no other woman would want him. This went on and on for the entire series.)
  • Clip Show:
    • In "One of the Best Genies A Master Ever Had", given the option of being rid of Jeannie once and for all, Tony reminds Roger and Jeannie - and the audience - of all the things she did to him over the last two years.
    • In a more subtle sense, "Hurricane Jeannie", in which Dr. Bellows is shown some of the oddities he experienced in the past that were the results of Jeannie.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Her bubbly personality and unfamiliarity with modern ways cause Jeannie to come across like this at times.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: In one episode, Jeannie gives her powers to Tony without his knowledge. After Hilarity Ensues and he realizes what's happened, he briefly considers using the powers to change the world, like stopping war or famine. Jeannie, though, cautions him that solving such big problems may inadvertently cause even bigger ones, then urges him to stick to something small and manageable. By that time, though, Tony's inadvertently given the power to Bellows and more hilarity ensues...
  • Computer Equals Tape Drive: The giant, billion-dollar, brand new NASA computer in "The Girl Who Never Had A Birthday".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In some of the early black and white episodes, Dr Bellows would refer to the odd things that happened in previous episodes when talking to Tony about finally getting the goods on him.
    • In the very first episode, Jeannie tells Tony that a djinn trapped her inside her bottle because she refused to marry him. In the first episode of the show's second season, said djinn makes an appearance.
  • Credit Card Plot: As mentioned below, Jeannie runs up a massive debt through use of one. Unusually for this trope, however, the next episode had her going overboard in the other direction, imposing a draconian budget in reaction to having overspent before.
  • Crossover: With Laugh In with George Slatter, Gary Owen, Artie Johnson, and Judy Carne as themselves.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite everything Major Healey does and all the failed scams he's tried to pull, if you ever think he doesn't belong at NASA - look at his uniform. His astronaut insignia is the Senior Army Astronaut Badge... the rarest badge awarded by the U.S. Army.
  • The Cutie: Jeannie!
  • Dirty Communists: Referred to occasionally as Tony is in a branch of the Air Force. There are spies lead by a Chinese communist princess in "Jeannie and the Kidnap Caper". Subverted in "Russian Roulette", in which Jeannie's bottle is stolen by a female cosmonaut and it's fretted how the Soviet Union will now be able to conquer the world. Instead, the Russian cosmonaut defects and wishes herself into being a rich American capitalist. In "See You in C-U-B-A", Jeannie accidentally sends Tony to Castro-controlled Cuba instead of U.S.-controlled Puerto Rico.
  • Disposable Fiancée: Tony's fiancée, Melissa Stone, existed solely to lose to Jeannie. She was a general's daughter, and never even knew about Jeannie to the point she was Put on a Bus, she ran off with an ex-boyfriend. Word of God is that she was written off because the writers had no idea what to do with the character.
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Birthday: In the two-part story "The Girl Who Never Had a Birthday", Jeannie tells Tony that she does not know her birthday. However, she does know that Neptune was in Scorpio on the day that she was born. Tony and Roger try to find out the date of Jeannie's birthday by feeding this information into the NASA computer ERIC. After several failed attempts to access the computer, Roger finds out the date but Dr. Bellows ships him off to Alaska before he has a chance to tell either Tony or Jeannie. He eventually returns two episodes later in "My Master, the Great Caruso" and tells Jeannie that she was born on April 1, 64 B.C.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In "My Incredible Shrinking Master, after waking up screaming from a nightmare involving Tony being attacked by a giant cat, Jeannie states that her dreams always come true.
  • Drunk on Milk:
    • Literally. In part two of the "locked safe" arc, Tony and Roger believe the safe that Jeannie was locked in had gone through the crusher at the scrap yard. We later see them drowning their sorrows with wine glasses in hand, but Tony is pouring milk into them.
    • In another episode Tony gets frustrated with Roger who's staying with him as part of a NASA test. Cut to him leaning on a bar and ordering "a double". The camera pans out to reveal he's at a diner ordering milkshakes.
  • Dumb Blonde:
    • Played with when it comes to Jeannie. Part of it is due to her being a Fish out of Water and not being particularly familiar with the ways of the modern (1960s) world, but then other times, others (particularly her evil sister) use her naïveté to their advantage. "GI Jeannie" suggests Jeannie is in fact highly intelligent (she is said to have scored extremely well on an IQ test) but in a Ditzy Genius way.
    • The titular character (played by Carol Wayne) in "Here Comes Bootsie Nightingale".
  • Dumpster Dive: In the first episode, "The Lady in the Bottle", Captain Nelson rifles through the back of a garbage truck in an attempt to recover Jeannie and her bottle. With Captain Healey, Doctor Bellows and General Stone looking on...
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first season was made in black & white. Due to the Switch to Color, the rest of the show was produced in color.
    • Roger didn't know about Jeannie for about half of the first season.
    • Tony and Roger were Captains, rather than Majors.
    • The show's original opening sequence had an Opening Narration explaining the premise of the show, and used a combination of clips from the pilot and some original footage, along with more jazz-styled theme music. The opening was replaced with the more-familiar Animated Credits Opening partway through the first season, but it didn't include Tony until Season 2. The jazz theme also stayed until it was replaced with the more familiar music in Season 2.
    • During the first two seasons, the green harem outfit was simply an alternate costume Jeannie occasionally wore instead of her pink one. From season three onwards, the green costume became the sister’s designated outfit.
  • Easy Amnesia:
    • In the first season finale Tony gets hit on the head with a vase and loses all memory of who Jeannie really is. He remembers everything else about his life, just not her. Another blow to the head at the end of the episode resets him back to before the first vase hit him.
    • Happens to Jeannie in "Who Are You Calling A Genie?". She gets hit on the head by a door at NASA. Later an accidental heat-butt restores her.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: Pontiacs, in this case.
  • Evil Brunette Twin: Jeannie's sister; she's a brunette, has been called Jeannie's twin, and constantly tried to steal Tony from her sister.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Tony gets sent to be an official NASA advisor on a movie which is making one of these in the first season episode "The Moving Finger". This was a deliberate in-joke, as Fantastic Voyage was in production when the episode was made, and was the most hyped coming soon Hollywood movie at the time. The producer even asks the costume designer to make the female lead's spacesuit "look like a bikini", an obvious pun on Raquel Welch's skintight Latex Space Suit.
  • Forced Transformation: Happened very often. Most notable examples:
    • In "What's New, Poodle Dog?", Jeannie turns Roger into a poodle to prevent him from arranging a double date for himself and Tony with two beauty queens.
    • In "Who Needs a Green-Eyes Jeannie?", the jealous Jeannie turns Tony's ex-girlfriend into a chimpanzee.
    • In "Happy Anniversary", the Blue Djinn turns Tony into a lobster and Roger into a chicken.
    • In "This is Murder", Jeannie turns Tony into a dog, a skunk and a parrot in an outburst of anger. She later turns Roger into a parrot too.
    • In "The Girl Who Never Had a Birthday, Part 2", having a similar rage streak, Jeannie turns Tony into a donkey, a fish and a sheep.
    • In "Who Are You Calling a Jeannie?", the amnesiac Jeannie accidentally turns Dr. Bellows into a mouse.
    • Reversed in "Fly Me to the Moon", when Jeannie turns a space chimp into a human (played by Larry Storch).* Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: "Jeannie, fresh as a daisy/Just love how she obeys me/Does things that just amaze me so..."
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In "Haven't I Seen Me Someplace Before?", as a birthday surprise, Jeannie grants Roger one wish. When he casually mentions he wishes he could switch places with Tony, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Freudian Couch: Dr. Bellows has a Freudian couch in his office, as befitting a Freudian psychiatrist. Occasionally, Dr. Bellows uses it to psychoanalyze Major Nelson or Major Healey. Sometimes Dr. Bellows uses the couch himself, when he's not sure of his own sanity.
  • Fun with Palindromes: "Able was I ere I saw Elba" makes an appearance.
  • Gay Paree: "My Master the Spy."
  • Getting the Baby to Sleep: In "Abdullah", with Jeannie's nephew. Tony seems to be the only one who can get him to stop crying.
  • Give Away the Bride: Doctor Bellows gives Jeannie away at her wedding to Tony, presumably because her father was still living in Old Baghdad.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Tony in "Jeannie-Go-Round", when Jeanie II blinks off his pants in a nightclub, and Tony must go home in a tablecloth.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: "My Master, Napoleon's Best Buddy". Jeannie is simply mad about the beautiful dresses of the Napoleonic era.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In this case, Jeannie speaks Persian in the pilot when Tony releases her.
  • Heavy Sleeper: In "Meet My Master's Mother." Furious with Major Nelson's visiting mother, Jeannie seeks to disrupt her sleep by playing drums, trumpets, and even firing a cannon. Mrs. Nelson doesn't so much as bat an eye . . . until Major Nelson leaves his room, calling for her asking if she heard anything. Jeannie is then punished with Laser-Guided Karma for her mean-spirited pranks when Mrs. Nelson innocently uses Jeannie's bottle (with Jeannie in it) to mix up a batch of shampoo! In the end, Jeannie tries a much more successful "if you can't beat them, join them" approach
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Djinn-Djinn.
  • Hot Scientist:
    • Professor Henrietta Swanson (Kay Reynolds) in "First Couple on the Moon".
    • In "The Moving Finger", movie star Rita Mitchell (Nancy Kovack) claims she has a physics degree, to which Tony says she "doesn't look like a scientist".
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Barbara Eden also played Jeannie's mother.
    • In "My Master, the Pirate", Tony looks up the photograph of a 19th century ancestor of his, who is also portrayed by Larry Hagman.
  • Identity Amnesia: Happens to Jeannie in one episode.
  • Idiot Ball: In "How to Be a Genie in Ten Easy Lessons", Tony gives Jeannie The Arabian Nights as a guidebook on how genies should behave, without actually reading it. It turns out the book is full of genies torturing their masters in cruel ways.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Tony is notably blasé about having a genie who is eager to fulfill his every wish. He just wants a relatively normal life.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Roger wants to become popular with the ladies, and in some early episodes, he seems jealous that Tony has a genie.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Jeannie, of course, had her pink and red harem costume with exposed midriff (although her belly button was ordered concealed by network censors!)
    • To a much lesser extent, Major Nelson wore a blue Air Force uniform. Major Healey was the odd man out on the base with his green Army uniform (in contrast to everyone else's blue Air Force uniforms like Major Nelson).
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Happened quite often.
    • In the aptly titled "My Incredible Shrinking Master", Jeannie accidentally turns Tony 6 inches tall. Poor Tony has to escape a vicious cat bent on eating him.
    • In "My Hero?", Jeannie shrinks the giant-sized torturer Ali (Richard Kiel) to rescue Tony from his evil clutches.
    • In "Genie Genie Who's Got the Genie, Part 3", Jeannie's evil sister shrinks Tony to doll size and traps him inside a birdcage in a harem.
    • In "One of Our Bottles Is Missing", Tony suggests that Jeannie should sleep inside a desk drawer when her bottle gets borrowed by Mrs. Bellows. However, she turns the tables on Tony by forcing him to sleep in the drawer instead.
    • In "Have You Ever Had a Genie Hate You?", Jeannie, under the magic of her evil sister, shrinks Tony and blinks him into the kitchen oven to die a fiery death.
    • Jeannie often shrinks to a tiny size and hides from sight so she could observe what's going on and use her magic without being noticed.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Jeannie, as far as 1960s standards would allow.
  • Invisible President: In "My Son, the Genie", the U.S. President appears, seen from the back. The fact that he's wearing a white Texan hat implicitly identifies him as then-incumbent Lyndon Johnson.
  • Island Help Message: In the pilot, Tony uses Jeannie's bottle as part of the second 'S'.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Dr. Bellows's natural state.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Roger may be Tony's friend, but he is not above taking advantage of Jeannie's powers for his own gain. Nevertheless, his heart is still usually in the right place.
    • Dr. Bellows sometimes resorts to questionable means to 'get' Tony, but he's only trying to do his job as a psychiatrist and is a decent man otherwise.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake:
    • In "Jeannie and the Bachelor Party", Major Nelson has a girl coming out the cake at his surprise Bachelor Party.
    • Jeannie herself does this at Tony's first Bachelor Party (back when he was still engaged to Melissa) in "Jeannie and the Marriage Caper".
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The final season had Jeannie and Tony get married, meaning Jeannie's goal was changed from getting Tony's affection to keeping Tony's affection.
  • "London, England" Syndrome: In one episode, Jeannie goes to Reno to file for separation from Tony. He thinks she's been to Reno, Nevada, but she actually went to "Reno, Persia" — which seems anachronistic given that Persia became Iran in 1935. She might not be aware of that and simply refer to it the way she has always known it — Persia.
  • Magical Gesture: Jeannie always crosses her arms and nods her head, then blinks. In the early episodes, the head nod and/or arm crossing are sometimes omitted.
  • Magical Girlfriend: Though she wasn't his girlfriend for much of the series, Jeannie is effectively this, as she moves into Tony's house (rather, she moves her bottle into his house).
  • Majorly Awesome: Major Nelson is seen to be a brilliant tactician on more than a few occasions (i.e., "Genie, Genie, Who's Got the Genie?"). Major Healey, on the other hand, tends to be a bumbler.
  • Make a Wish: Jeannie is a genie. She grants Tony's wishes.
  • Match Cut: Used whenever Jeannie blinks up something.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Jeannie's wicked sister has had hundreds of husbands and lovers. Though she could have simply outlived them all, knowing her, she likely collects husbands.
  • Meaningful Name: Jeannie, since she's a genie.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Shortly after Jeannie and Tony get married, Roger finds a bassinet and a bottle of pre-natal vitamins in their bedroom. He assumes this means Jeannie's pregnant and immediately runs off to tell everyone at NASA. The basket and vitamins were actually for Djinn-Djinn's mate, who is expecting a litter of puppies.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jeannie. Notice how her skirts keep getting shorter and shorter with each ensuing season?
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: What the relationship between Nelson and Jeannie eventually becomes.
  • Mundane Wish: A common occurrence in the show. Lampshaded in one episode when Jeannie gets downright exasperated that most of Tony's wishes are mundane — but considering Jeannie's cluelessness and occasional mischievousness, it's hard to argue against him. Tony justifies this, both by pointing out how much trouble he could get into if unexplained wealth starts pouring into his pocket and by noting that he wants to earn what he gets.
  • Negative Continuity: The show was infamous for its poor continuity.
    • One of the most infamous examples was that early episodes flat-out stated that Jeannie was originally a human girl, born of human parents, turned into a genie so that she could be imprisoned in a bottle by a djinn for spurning his marriage proposal. Later episodes retconned this with Jeannie saying she was born a genie as well as various genie relatives, most notably her evil sister. To make it worse, the show still went back and forth on this. Jeannie having genie relatives was brought up as early as the Season 1 "Is There an Extra Jeannie in the House?," but the second season's "How to Be a Genie in 10 Easy Steps" brought back Jeannie having once been human. Jeannie having been born a genie was pretty much settled on with the third season.
    • One season 1 episode showed that Jeannie had a pet lion when she was younger, stating that it was her only pet. Later episodes introduce Djinn-Djinn who was her long-lost pet dog (who was also a genie-dog.)
    • Whether or not Jeannie could be photographed depended on whether it could cause plot conflict.
    • The second TV movie flat-out stated that Jeannie's sister had never had a master before despite showing one in her first appearance, as well as another episode saying she had hundreds of masters (and husbands) before. Bizarrely, it was also implied she had never gone to the real world before the events of the second movie, as if the character never appeared on the show.
      • Added to that, Evil Jeannie originally had brown hair; it became black in later episodes.
    • One episode explained that if Jeannie had married Tony, she would become human and lose her powers, but their children could potentially be genies. When Jeannie and Tony actually did marry in the final season, Jeannie retained her powers without issue.
      • Added to that, the same episode showed that Jeannie and Tony, if they married, would have a mortal son and a genie daughter. In the TV movies, Jeannie and Tony only have a son, who is treated as a human/genie hybrid.
    • Another point of inconsistency was whether or not Jeannie had masters before Tony. Despite being imprisoned for 2,000 years until Tony found her, right after becoming a genie, Jeannie would often discuss having other masters, and at other time refer to Tony as her first master.
    • In "My Master, the Ghost Breaker," Tony's great uncle's lawyer introduces himself as James Ashley, though is later referred to as Edward Ashley, then listed as James Ashley again during the end titles.note 
  • Nosy Neighbor: The Bellowses, collectively.
  • Not Himself:
    • In "My Master, the Weakling", a sadistic physical exercise instructor (played by Don Rickles) takes joy in torturing Tony and Roger, until Jeannie gives him the personality of his benevolent aunt.
    • In "Have You Ever Had a Genie Hate You?", Jeannie's sister gives Jeannie a magical perfume which makes her despise Tony and fall in love with Roger.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Jeannie is fond of transporting Roger to far-off places like Antarctica and the African jungle. Somehow, he makes it back to Cocoa Beach in one or two scenes without the use of magic. (Happens three times in the first season episode "I'll Never Forget What's Her Name.")
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with Jeannie, her sister (Jeannie), and her mother (ALSO named Jeannie).
    • The German dub hand waved this by explaining that Jeannie II was our Jeannie's stepsister.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Female, in Jeannie's case.
    • Justified with Jeannie originally being human; though this was later retconned.
    • What's more, genies have a corporeal nature, such as having blood. They need to sleep, and Jeannie can often be seen eating and drinking, although it's never revealed if they survive without nutrition or not. They can apparently survive without air, as Jeannie was once trapped in a safe for four weeks, and emerged unharmed. They also cannot be filmed or photographed (but only if it causes more conflict in the plot), though they do have reflections.
  • Parental Substitute: General Peterson sometimes comes through as a father figure to Tony. In "How Do You Beat Superman?" he gives him relationship advice, and it's often implied that he cares for him.
  • Pendulum of Death: In "Have You Ever Had A Genie Hate You?", a magic potion causes Jeannie to hate Tony. After putting him through various tortures, in the end, both Tony and Roger find themselves under a swinging pendulum about to slice their throats.
  • Playing Gertrude: The narrator in Season One implies that Jeannie is over two thousand years old when Barbara Eden was only a month older than Larry Hagman.note  Of course, as a djinniyah Jeannie doesn't age in human fashion.
  • Prima Donna Director: Allen Kerr (Paul Lynde) in "Everybody's a Movie Star".
  • Property of Love: Major Nelson is Jeannie's master, and thus Jeannie is happily "his" property. It's justified as she's a genie and at the start Nelson tries to free her. Although she stays as Major Nelson's genie, she very much has the freedom to do as she pleases. Many of Jeannie's actions are in pursuit of her Series Goal; as she is in love with Major Nelson, her goal is to be Nelson's wife.
  • Qurac: Kajsa.
  • Rake Take: Happens to Jeannie in "U.F.Ohh Jeannie", knocking her out.
  • A Rare Sentence: Quite a few are occasioned by Jeannie's powers:
    "Sorry, sir; I couldn't hear you on account of the giant chicken."
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Well, the Aleutians, actually. Tony and Roger get sent there at one point when Jeannie messes up a diplomatic situation.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Roger is the red (passionate, extraverted, wants a woman), Tony is the blue (more controlled, trying to live a normal life).
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: The black-and-white season 1 used a jazz-waltz style melody, whereas the color seasons 2-5 had the more familiar upbeat theme.
  • Reunion Show: Two TV movies were made.
  • Romantic False Lead: Tony's fiancée Melissa in early episodes. She was dropped when the writers realized the Love Triangle just didn't work.
  • Ruritania: Basenji.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In "My Master, The Ghost Breaker", Major Nelson inherits an English manor. Unfortunately, Nelson's crooked English solicitor tries to scare Nelson off so he could sell the manor and keep the proceeds. Features a shocking bit of Arbitrary Skepticism on Major Nelson's part, when this master of a genie repeatedly denies that ghosts can possibly exist! There's also the fact that Jeannie herself contradicts Nelson and says they do! The trope is subverted at the very end, when a real ghost shows up and frightens everybody away.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Jeannie does this in the first episode after taking a shower.
  • Secret-Keeper: Tony and Roger.
  • Sensual Slavs: The female Soviet cosmonaut in "Russian Roulette".
  • Series Goal: Jeannie wants to marry Major Nelson. She finally gets her wish midway through the fifth and final season.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Tony early on. He does, eventually, fall in love with Jeannie.
  • She's Got Legs: Hell yeah! Watch any episode from the last season (see Ms. Fanservice above).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to Bewitched, which the show was frequently accused of copying.
    • In "The Greatest Entertainer in the World", Sammy Davis, Jr. tells his pianist the song they're rehearsing "ain't The Monkees, but it'll have to do". The Monkees aired on NBC right before I Dream of Jeannie on Monday nights in that current (1966-67) season.
    • In "Please Don't Feed the Astronauts", the nurse who loves taking blood samples is named Nurse Lugosi.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: The relationship between Major Healey and his girlfriends often takes this form.
  • Signature Sound Effect: The blinking sound.
  • Smelly Skunk: In one episode Jeannie, trapped in her bottle, blinks up a skunk (along with a pink gas mask for herself) in order to keep Dr. Bellows away from investigating it.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Said in "How To Marry an Astronaut", during Jeannie's Sister's attempted wedding to Roger. They use this as an opportunity to trick her into getting back in her bottle.
  • Stock Footage:
    • Both for rocket launches, and (at least in the first season) every time Nelson drives up to his house (particularly noticeable because the rear view mirror flashes directly into the camera just as he rolls to a stop in the clip.)
    • In the color episodes, the shot of Tony speeding past the statue to drive up to NASA.
  • Stop Trick: Used whenever Jeannie blinks up something.
  • Story Arc: Most unusual for a 1960s sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie engaged in several four-episode plot arcs.
  • Super Smoke: Jeannie turns into smoke when going in or out of her bottle.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: "Tony Millionaire", the imaginary lover Jeannie conjures up in "How Do You Beat Superman?".
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Roger is facing treason charges (because of all the expensive stuff he got from Jeannie that he can't explain) he begs Tony for help:
    Roger: "Come on, you're my friend! Share and share alike?"
    Tony: "...You're offering me half a firing squad?"
  • They Do: Tony and Jeannie get married in the last season.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Subverted in "Nobody Loves A Fat Astronaut". Major Nelson tries to call home, and argues with a "recording". In reality, it was Jeannie's sister pretending to be a recording.
  • Time Travel Episode: Jeannie occasionally blinks Tony to different historical eras for some adventure and mishap.
    • In "My Hero?", they travel back to Ancient Persia.
    • In "The Fastest Gun in the East", they visit the Old West.
    • In "My Master, the Pirate", they go on a pirate adventure.
    • In "My Master, Napoleon's Best Buddy", they visit Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803.
  • Title Sequence Replacement: The opening sequence originally worked in a sponsor tag, which was removed in syndication.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jeannie and her sister, respectively. This is highlighted by the good Jeannie wearing pantaloons and the wicked Jeannie wearing a skirt. Though this is offset with Jeannie being a Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
  • Training from Hell: Two third-season episodes see Majors Nelson and Healey fall under the control of tough (and insane) officers who run them through unbelievably tough exercises.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Despite being a Fantastic Comedy, the show actually depicted the problems of having a genie: Nelson doesn't profit from Jeannie, not only because of his moral convictions but also because he would be scrutinized by the government about property and money he can't report. He is hounded by his superiors for his suspicious behavior, menaced by supernatural forces connected to Jeannie, and often faced with unscrupulous types who wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of a powerful being, including his own best friend Roger.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Jeannie's sister Jeannie. Her mother too, when played by Barbara Eden in two fourth-season episodes.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Jeannie's ability to whip up a new outfit at will gave the series creators the chance to put Barbara Eden in an endless series of gorgeous costumes.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Roger with both Tony and Jeannie.
  • Voices Are Mental:
    • When Tony and Roger swap bodies in "Haven't I Seen Me Someplace Before" (see above), they keep their respective voices, which confuses the hell out of Dr. Bellows.
    • Whenever Jeannie shapeshifts into another person (see below), her voice always remains the same.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Genies are able to change their appearance at will. Jeannie occasionally uses this power when she tries to conceal her true identity. For example, she turns into a Mexican cook when Dr. Bellows inspects Tony's kitchen or a bearded sailor when the good doctor takes a curious look at the sailboat she blinked into Tony's living room. She turns into a chimpanzee in "Where'd You Go-Go" and into a white poodle in "What's New, Poodle Dog?". One of Jeannie's aunts turns herself into a goldfish while visiting the Nelson home.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: When Major Nelson finally proposes to Jeannie (that is to say, makes a proposal of his own free will that eventually results in him marrying Jeannie later in the season) he simply introduces her as his fiancé to Shaefer and Bellows.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: It's established that if Jeannie is ever trapped in a container (such as her bottle or a safe), she can't use her powers to affect the outside world or to let herself out.
  • Wedding Episode: "The Wedding", where Major Nelson and Jeannie get married. The fact that Jeannie can't be photographed by the press results in no small number of complications.
  • Wham Line: Tony introduces Jeannie to Schaefer and Bellows: "General, Colonel, I'd like to introduce my fiancée."
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: In "Who Are You Calling a Genie?" Jeannie loses her memory after hitting her head. She's taken to the hospital, but when her head is x-rayed it turns out to be empty. It is not clear whether this a trait common to all genies or Jeannie in particular, or if it's part of the inconsistent "Genies can't be photographed" rule.
  • X-Ray Vision: Jeannie accidentally gives this to Tony when trying to improve his eyesight in "My Wild-Eyed Master".
  • Your Costume Needs Work: In one episode, Jeannie throws a party for some old friends, all of whom are great figures of history. Bellows shows up at the house unexpectedly and, assuming it's a costume party, tells Henry VIII that he has overdone it with the fat padding.
  • His Name Is...: More like "Your Birthday Is...", but otherwise used to the same effect during the 'Jeannie's birthday' story arc, where Roger keeps almost revealing her birthday only to get cut-off because he wastes so much time being overdramatic and trying to make the others guess instead of just telling it. Jeannie finally loses patience and sticks him in an iron maiden until he does so.
  • Your Favorite: For Jeannie's Sister - Cherries Jubilee (Our Jeannie is allergic to cherries).