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Western Animation / Wunschpunsch

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The four main characters from Wunschpunsch

By the power, hail and hearty,
of an earthquake on a roll,
prove these parts be part and party,
of the one and only scroll.

Formula of deepest night,
if it's you, then show your might!
Join what once was rend asunder,
to the sound of flames and thunder!
Ready? Set! Wunschpunsch!
The Invocation said by Bubonic and Tyrannia whenever they brew the titular potion

Wunschpunsch is a French and Canadian animated series inspired by Michael Ende's novel Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch (known in English as The Night of Wishes).

Each episode, a bumbling wizard and witch named Bubonic and Tyrannia are forced by their supervisor to cast a spell on the inhabitants of the city they live in. To do so, they have to combine their two halves of a magical parchment. The spell has to last for seven hours in order to become permanent, but can be broken within that time span. Unbeknown to the wizard and witch, they are thwarted each time by their own pets; a cat named Mauricio and a raven named Jacob, who work together with an old turtle to undo every spell before the time is up.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: When Tyrannia grew jealous of the attention the self-centered local news reporter received from men, she and Bubonic cast a spell that made men unable to resist her. Maledictus Maggot became this trope.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Bubonic and Tyrannia are stone-cold villains in the novel the show is based on. Here they are Harmless Villains that have to be threatened and cajoled into doing anything remotely evil.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Pay attention to Maggot lecturing Bubonic and Tyrannia.
  • Agony of the Feet: happens to Bubonic in the episode "Big Feet", and his constant whining about how his feet hurt causes the spell of the week to go wrong (it was supposed to turn people into giants, but instead only made their feet grow)
  • Alliterative Name: Maurizio diMauro, Maledictus Maggot, Barbara Blabber, Peter Pestilence and Professor Precious Perfidious.
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  • Aristocrats Are Evil: in the episode where the wizards reverted the entire city back to medieval times, Bubonic makes himself a king.
  • Animate Inanimate Object:
    • One spell of the week made all electrical appliances come to live.
    • The Christmas Episode did the same thing to toys.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: one episode had the spell of the week turn the entire city prehistoric, which resulted in cavemen and dinosaurs both roaming the city. It is lampshaded by Tyrannia that in real life humans and dinosaurs never lived in the same time period, and Bubonic concludes something must have gone wrong with the spell.
  • Back to School: When Bubonic and Tyrannia wished Maggot would no longer teach them a lesson, Professor Perfidious turned their home into a school and placed them into a classroom full of magical children, who were better at magic than them.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • In one episode, the wizards created a spell that granted one wish for every person in the city, but always in the way to backfire. The wizards used it later for themselves, sure they'd found a wish that would let them get rid of their boss and not backfire at them in any way. They were wrong.
    • One of the lines the wizards recite while casting Wunschpunsch spells is "hear our wish and grant us a notion". See Hoist by His Own Petard for details.
    • Jacob and Maurizio aren't immune to the trope. In "Nice Wizards", they tampered with a spell and wished Bubonic and Tyrannia became good people. Even well-intended, the wizards' spells cause disaster.
    • In "Mayor for a Day", Bubonic switched bodies with the Mayor, who said he'd rather be struck by lightning. After it happened, Tyrannia quoted the trope.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: one spell of the week turned all insects in the city giant.
  • Call-Back: In "Gloom With a View", some previous spells of the week were mentioned.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happened to several characters in the episode where the spell of the week gave everyone nightmares, and to Bubonic himself in a different episode (when he dreamed he was a king, until Mr. Maggot, as a dragon, confronted him).
  • Chained Heat: In one episode, Bubonic and Tyrannia cast a spell that makes people stick together whenever they argue between themselves. Even they becomes victims of this. Later, when the spell is broken, their supervisor punishes them for the failure by turning one of them into a fly paper and the other into a fly and sticking them together.
  • Christmas Episode: The third episode centers around Christmas.
  • City of Adventure: The city in which the series is set.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The wizards' boss uses a new one almost every time. The punishment as almost always has something to do with the (failed) spell the two wizards tried to put on the city.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Every spell cast by using the Wunschpunsch parchment comes with a Curse Escape Clause that comes in riddle shape and it's up to the heroes to figure it before it's too late. (Wunschpunsch spells that last seven hours become permanent).
  • Deal with the Devil: One episode had Bubonic make a deal with Mephisto, a powerful wizard from the underworld, to gain more power, thus enabling him to curse the city all by himself and being able to put Tyrannia in her place. Unfortunately, the deal meant he eventually had to become the wizard's servant.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: One spell of the week turned the city and his residents black and white.
  • D.I.Y. Disaster: In "Appliance Alliance", Bubonic and Tyrannia cast a spell to make appliances revolt against their owners. When Tyrannia decided to bake a cake to celebrate, she realized that she forgot to protect her own appliances against the spell. One of the consequences was her refrigerator spouting flames.
  • Doppelgänger: One spell of the week created a double for everyone who looked into a mirror.
  • Dreadful Musician: Bubonic is this whenever he plays his cello.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In Brazil, Bubonic was translated and Maledictus Maggot, to the amusement of those who read the book, was renamed Maledictus Larva.
    • In the Dutch dub of the cartoon, Maggot's name is changed to Mekker, which is the Dutch first person form for whining. However, in the Dutch translation of the book, he is called Made, which is a literal translation of Maggot, making this change a bit unneeded.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In one episode, Bubonic and Tyrannia save city from flood, which is a consequence from one of their spells, though Tyrannia did this more because of Pragmatic Villainy (why destroy a city, when you do manicure here?).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Bubonic and Tyrannia might hate each other and have no qualms about casting evil spells (despite being usually too lazy to start before their supervisor shows up) but love their respective pets. Then again, unlike their book counterparts, they don't know said pets are the ones who ruin their spells.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Maledictus Maggot to Tyrannia and Bubonic. They have to be constantly reminded to cast evil spells.
  • Exact Words:
    • In the episode that granted everybody a single wish, the wizards wished their boss would never teach them a lesson ever again. Another person showed up to do the teaching.
    • When Mephisto offered to make Bubonic more powerful if Bubonic agreed to become his assistant for "a certain amount of time", Mephisto intended that amount to be forever.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: In an episode where the curse of the week turns everybody into the animal that best suits their personality or character traits, two lawyers get turned into sharks.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The wizards never managed to make a spell last long enough to become permanent, and are punished for it.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: In one episode Bubonic and Tyrannia used the spell of the week to make Maggot inspect everybody's work in Megalopolis, hoping it would make him too busy to bother them (It didn't. He just bothered them with non-magic related stuff). To break the spell, Maurizio and Jacob had to make Maggot realize a mistake of his own, and the only flaw they could find about him was that he was wearing missmatched socks.
  • Femme Fatale: One spell of the week made Tyrannia irresistible to all the men in the city. Maggot was affected as well.
  • Finagle's Law: Bubonic and Tyrannia once used a spell to make people shrink upon contact with water. It stopped raining as soon as they finished casting the spell.
  • Fountain of Youth: One spell of the week turned everybody in the city back into a five year old child.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: One spell of the week made Bubonic and the mayor switch bodies, so that Bubonic (as the mayor) could halt the production of a theme park that was to be built in the wizard's backyard. It was supposed to be temporary, but both Bubonic and the Mayor soon discovered the advantages of their new bodies (Bubonic now having total control over the city, and the mayor now being a wizard) and wanted to stay each other permanently. And unfortunately, the spell also made Maurizio and Jacob switch bodies.
  • Fusion Dance: Subverted, Bubonic and Tyrannia both possess one half of a magical parchment, and only when joining the two halves together does their magic become powerful enough to curse the city.
  • Game Show: One spell of the week turned the entire city into one big game show.
  • Get Back to the Future: One episode, the wizards went back in time to prevent their supervisor's parents from ever meeting each other and ended up stranded in the past. They didn't mind since they both met their love interests there, but their pets had a different opinion and soon learned that, in order to return to their own time, they had to make Maledictus Maggot's parents meet since it was to prevent that the wizards started the time travel in the first place.
  • Gilligan Cut: A spell of the week made people have no hair anywhere they usually do. Mauricio commented how good it was the spell didn't affect animals. The next scene showed him as a hairless cat.
  • Harmless Villain: The wizards would probably be this if Maggot didn't constantly force them to cast all those evil spells.
  • Guile Hero: Mauritio and Jacob usually trick other people (or even their owners) into ruining dark magic.
  • Hero with an F in Good: In "Nice Wizards", Bubonic and Tyrannia were turned into these. Ironically, they cause far more damage to the city while trying to help people than they ever did while they were evil, forcing Jacob and Mauricio to break the spell as usual.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Has anyone kept counting how many spells of the week have somehow brought harm to the wizards or at least one of them? Answer: nearly every episode.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: A spell of the week caused everybody to shrink when making contact with water.
  • Intangibility: One spell of the week made everyone (both humans and animals) able to walk through walls, thus taking away any form of privacy and allowing both criminals and wild animals to escape from prison and the zoo respectively.
  • Ironic Echo: The punishments that Maggot gives to Bubonic and Tyrannia are often ironic echo's of the spell of the week (for example, when they turned everybody into animals, he turned them into snails, and when they made the city prehistoric, he turned them into cavemen).
  • Lightbulb Joke: Jacob asked Meathead (Bubonic's carnivorous plant) how many carnivorous plants were needed to change a light bulb. Jacob said there were needed two: one to hold the light bulb and the other to turn around.
  • Limited Wardrobe: See the clothes Bubonic is wearing at the top picture? You'll hardly see him wearing anything else. The same goes for nearly all other recurring characters in the series. Tyrannia however averts the trope and frequently dresses in different outfts.
  • Living Shadow: A spell of the week turned all the people in the city into living shadows.
  • Living Toys: The spell of the week used in the Christmas Episode made all toys in the city come to live and become evil.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Bubonic has an intelligent Venus Flytrap, who becomes a huge, carnivorous monster plant in an episode where the spell of the week causes all plants in the city to grow uncontrollably.
  • Mayor Pain: The mayor of the city is an incompetent buffoon.
  • Meaningful Name: The wizard Bubonic made a Deal with the Devil with was named Mephisto.
  • Modesty Towel: At the start of the episode "Money Can't Buy Happiness", Tyrannia wants to take a shower but finds out their water is cut off because Bubonic didn't pay the bill. She spends the entire episode dressed in only a modesty towel, even when going out to pay the bill.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Maledictus T. Maggot.
  • Never My Fault: Both Bubonic and Tyrannia to each other, after they get defeated by their pets... and in general.
  • New Year Has Come: "Night of Wishes".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Twice:
    • In "Nice Wizards", Bubonic and Tyrannia tried to cast a spell to make their supervisor a nice man who wouldn't bother if they did their work or not. Jacob and Maurition however realize this is the perfect opportunity to turn the wizards into good people, so they interfere with the spell and Bubonic and Tyrannia are turned nice instead. The problem with this is that they're so clumsy, that all their attempts to use magic to do good deeds end up causing disasters they're oblivious to, making them an even greater threat to the city than when they're their normal evil selves. Thus, their pets are forced to break the spell again.
    • In another episode, when the spell of the week made all the people who where still sleeping at the time the spell was cast (at five o'clock in the morning) extremely slow, Jacob and Mauricio tried to limit the damage by quickly waking up as many people as possible before the spell was activated, thus saving them from the curse. Unfortunately, one of the people they woke up was a bank robber, who took great advantage of everyone else, including the police, being slow.
  • Once an Episode: Far too many to list. Like old ScoobyDoo episodes, the show follows a rigid plot structure.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Happens in the episode where the spell of the week turned everybody's dreams into nightmares. Bubonic and Tyrannia use a special machine to look into the dreams of the citizens, and Tyrannia is eating some popcorn while enjoying the show.
  • Pet the Dog: Unlike in the book, Bubonic and Tyrannia genuinely adore their pets.
  • Plant Person: Tyrannia becomes one after the spell of the week causes her to fuse together with Bubonic's carnivorous plant.
  • Pinocchio Nose: One spell of the week that made people only tell lies had this as a side effect, most likely because a lie detector was accidentally added to the potion when the spell was cast.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The prequel episode shows that turning the city into one of these was the first spell the wizards used.
  • The Prankster: One spell of the week turned everybody in the city into one.
  • Powers as Programs: zig-zagged. When Bubonic and Tyrania turned all inhabitants of Megalopolis into doubles of themselves, it also gave them magic powers. However, when Bubonic and the Mayor switched bodies, Bubonic's magic powers did not switch along with him but stayed with his old body, thus making the mayor, in Bubonic's body, a wizard.
  • Punch-Clock Villain:
    • If it wasn't for the fact that their boss Mr. Maggot keeps reminding them of their duty as wizards, Bubonic and Tyrannia would probably never put a curse onto the city. At worst they are jerkasses while left alone.
    • Mr. Maggot himself considering the episode "Life With Maggot".
  • Reality Warper: The Wunschpunsch curses are powerful enough to -among other things-, send the entire city back to the medieval ages, and turn fairy tales into reality.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: When Bubonic is forced to become Mephisto's servant as a result of his Deal with the Devil, he turns out to be extremely clumsy at what he does, to the point that Mephisto can't stand having him around much longer and kicks him out of the underworld again, canceling their deal and undoing all of Bubonic's spells in the process.
  • Quote Mine: In one episode the spell of the week made everyone hate everyone. The only way to break it was to make someone say "I love you". To achieve that, the two main characters found the love interest of one of them. The Raven asked her "What do you think of me?" while the Cat hid somewhere with a tape recorder. She answered with a rain of insults, Cat quickly paused and unpaused the recording so that, when played back, it finally said the required words.
  • Race Against the Clock: Each spell has to be broken within seven hours, or else it will become permanent. Jacob and Mauricio frequently check their clock to see how much time they have left.
    • And in the episode in which the spell of the week turned everybody into a shadow, the time limit was even shorter because all shadows would disappear at noon.
  • Read the Fine Print: The contract Bubonic signed with Mephisto had a fine print on its back.
  • Reset Button: No matter how they are punished, at the start of each new episode the wizards are totally fine again and back to living their lives. The only punishment that stayed throughout the entire series was the first one; Maggot joining the two houses of the wizards together. Also, nobody in the city seems to recall events from a previous episode, since nobody ever wonders why so many strange things happen in their city. Even the mayor completely forgot about his "Freaky Friday" Flip with Bubonic.
  • Reset Button Ending: Is used in the episode where the wizards created a spell that granted one wish for everyone in the city. To end the spell, the Raven wished the day would restart.
  • Rich Bitch: One spell of the week made everybody extremely rich, but also extremely snobbish because of it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The episode "Ghost Town" starts with Bubonic receiving a jar from an old friend turned enemy, which contains an annoying poltergeist. He and his aunt spent the entire episode fighting the creature until Mr. Maggot finally seals it into its jar again, along with Bubonic and Tyrannia as their punishment for that episode.
  • Season Fluidity: This show is firmly on the "Fluid" side of the scale, to the point that you can watch the episodes in any order you like without getting confused.
  • Send in the Clones:
    • One spell of the week caused all the men in the city to become clones of Bubonic, and all the females to become clones of Tyrannia, complete with their personalities and magical powers.
    • Another episode featured a spell that duplicated everyone who looked at themselves in any mirrors. Having six Aunts instead of one was so horrible Bubonic said "good riddance" when they vanished until he realized that meant the spell failed.
  • Sentient Vehicle: One spell of the week turned everybody into living cars.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Bubonic and Tyrannia.
  • Sneeze of Doom: The episode "Achoo!".
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In The Night of Wishes, Beelzebub and Tyrannia were sent to hell as punishment. In the episode directly based on the book, their animated counterparts were just forced to live together (that said, Hell is other people).
  • Spooky Painting: One spell of the week made all paintings in the city come to live.
  • Strictly Formula: Each episode follows a distinct pattern: We see the villains going about their daily business. Then Maledictus T. Maggot shows up and berates them for not having cast any evil spells lately and forces them to cooperate. The villains berate each other for their lack of achievement before coming up with an idea for a spell. They use their combined power to cast the spell. Their pets witness the resulting devastation and plot to stop it before it becomes permanent. They first seek out the aid of a wise turtle who gives them a cryptic riddle. Meanwhile, the villains take jabs at each other as they revel in their wickedness. The animals figure out the riddle and reverse the spell at the last minute. Maggot shows up and gives the villains their Cool and Unusual Punishment. The animals rejoice.
    • The formula was broken in "Let's Break a Deal". Mephisto made a deal with Bubonic where Bubonic became powerful enough to cast sinister spells on his own, Bubonic cast a spell on his own and later put Tyrannia on her place. Then Mephisto takes Bubonic away and only then Maggot appears. Tyrannia then must find Bubonic's half of the Wunschpunsch parchment and cast a spell on her own before the "grace period" Maggot granted her ends. Because of the level of sorcery employed by Bubonic on the spell, the wise turtle cannot give any riddle to help the animals so they must find another way to break the spell. They don't, but they think they did because they were working on a way to do it when the deal between Bubonic and Mephisto was undone. Tyrannia was taken to the underworld and Maggot gave Bubonic a fifteen-minute "grace period". Bubonic was now trying to rescue Tyrannia so they could cast a spell together. No punishment from Maggot.
    • Also in the episode that had a Reset Button Ending: Maggot never showed up to punish the wizards for their failure.
  • Stupid Evil: Bubonic and Tyrannia. For example, they don't take any precautions to prevent themselves from being target of their spells.
  • Tempting Fate: The episode where Bubonic and Tyrannia turned all pets in the city (including Maurizio, who was only half-affected because he was half-outside the house when the spell was activated but excluding Jacob who, by his own admission, wasn't from a pet material species regardless of what Tyrannia thought) into wild animals. When the spell failed, Maledictus Maggot sent the wizards to a wild area as punishment. When Bubonic told Tyrannia they'd be safe for as long as they stayed inside the car, Maggot made it disappear.
  • Time Travel: Bubonic and Tyrannia once went back in time to prevent their supervisor's parents from meeting each other so he won't exist. Not wanting to get stuck in the past, their pets made Maggot's parents meet since they learned it was the Curse Escape Clause that could break the time travel spell.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: One spell of the week made everybody extremely incompetent for the job or profession they have.
  • Unmoving Plaid: All the fuzzy animal fur and fabric were textured that way.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The wizards do not get along very well, despite being family.
    • In a prequel episode, we see that the first punishment Maggot imposed upon them was joining their homes together, which is notable for being the only punishment that is permanent instead of being undone by the start of the next episode.
    • One time, the spell of the week caused this to all pairs of individuals arguing between themselves. As usual, Bubonic and Tyrannia were no exceptions to this.
    • Also, when the duplicating spell failed, Maggot punished them by sticking their backs together.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve:
    • In the episode that was adapted from the book, the spell was cast at five o'clock afternoon, meaning it had to be broken before midnight.
    • In "Slowly but Surely", the spell was cast at five o'clock in the morning, meaning it had to be broken before noon.
  • Wise Old Turtle: In each episode, Jacob and Mauricio consult with one to get information on the Curse Escape Clause for today's evil spell.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: "Night of Wishes"
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In an attempt to prevent Bubonic and Tyrannia from casting the spell of the week in "Plant Panic", Mauricio placed some banana peels to make them trip and believed the plan would work because he'd seen it happening in cartoons. They simply walked normally and were oblivious to the banana peels despite having stepped on some. Mauricio later fell for his own trap. Just like it happens in some cartoons (and other media sometimes).
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: In some episodes, Jacob and Mauricio try to prevent the villains from casting the Spell of the Week. Their only measure of success was changing a spell so it'd make Bubonic and Tyrannia good people and they needed to break that spell because it turned them in Heroes With an F in Good.


Example of: