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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Jaime: I just wish I could meet a cute girl who'd be okay with all the weird.

Traci 13: (teleporting into the room) Are you Jaime Reyes? The Blue Beetle?

Paco: (jaw gaping) Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off! Say "I wish for a Porsche" before it wears off!

A character mentions something extremely unlikely to happen, and is surprised when it actually occurs (usually for a plot-based reason). They (or another character) then mention something else in the hope that that will occur as well. The follow-up wish is often for money, or, if the speaker is male, women.

Compare Cue the Flying Pigs and Be Careful What You Wish For, where the unexpected thing is a Deus Ex Machina.

Examples of Retroactive Wish include:


  • There is a State Farm commercial that runs like this; one of the characters sitting around wishes they had reliable insurance, and a State Farm agent occurs. They then proceed to wish for a variety of increasing luxuries such as a sandwich, a pool table, and a hot tub, which all appear. They then wish for a woman (the girl from 4b). The original had the typical version inverted: a group of girls wish for a hot guy with consecutively more exotic qualities. One of the follow-ups has a fighting couple wish for new partners, when the man and woman transform into more attractive versions of themselves. Of course, the woman berates the guy for wishing her more attractive, when she did it to him first.

Comic Books

  • Happens in the Blue Beetle, as mentioned in the page quote.

Comic Strips



Hot Girl: (appears out of nowhere) Hi!

Jeremy: And as long as you're at it, would it be so terrible if I had a million bucks, too?

  • The author of The Perishers confesses to playing with this trope after noticing that he invariably came into possession of things resembling things he had recently introduced into the comic. This was his entire motivation in creating the character of Fiscal Yere, an incredibly rich child. It didn't work.

Fan Works

Films — Animation


 Rodney: Crank, the idol of millions is gone, and no one seems to care. There should be an angry mob out there!

(angry mob runs past the window)

Fender: Wow! That was great, psychic friend! Now say, "Money should be falling from the sky!"


Films — Live-Action

  • Dogma: "Guys like us don't just fall out of the fuckin' sky, you know!" Cue man falling from the sky right in front of them. "Beautiful, naked, big-tittied women just don't fall out of the sky, you know!"



 Susan: You're calling things into being.

The Dean: Things like the Give the Dean a Huge Bag of Money Goblin?

    • During the play near the end of Wyrd Sisters, Hwel the playwright laments the poor special effects he's forced to use after the tin sheet used to make thunder gets bent, and shouts to the heavens that all he wanted was a decent dramatic thunderstorm. As one starts up, he wonders to himself if he should have asked for a wind machine while he was at it.

Live-Action TV


 Willow: I wish Buffy was here!

Buffy: I'm here!

Willow: I wish I had a million dollars!

  • In the Pilot of Friends, Ross says, "I just want to be married again" right before Rachel appears wearing a wedding dress. Chandler immediately jumps in, "And I just want a million dollars!"
  • Played with in House, when House says that stating things doesn't make them true and, to demonstrate, shuts his eyes and declares, "I am surrounded by naked cheerleaders!" Nothing happens, of course, and he opens his eyes again and says, "See?"
  • In "Rising", the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis, Major Sheppard declares that he's been thinking how to find his kidnapped comrades on a Wraith-controlled planet. Immediately, the telepathic ship delivers him a life-signs detector. Then he says, "Now I'm thinking about a nice turkey sandwich." Nothing happens, and Lieutenant Ford remarks, "Worth a try."
  • From Not Going Out:

 Lee: Honestly, who do you know who could break a passport?

(the cleaner walks in)

Lee: Honestly, who do you know that's a beautiful nymphomaniac rich widow?

(nothing happens)

Lee: Oh, so it's just the one wish then.

  • Shortly after Jon Stewart appeared on Crossfire, called the host a dick and said the show was hurting America, Crossfire got cancelled. When Jon heard the news:

 Jon: I had no idea that if you wanted a show cancelled, all you had to do was say it out loud. So, uh... According to Jim is hurting America?

  • In the episode "Chuck Versus the Gravitron":

 Morgan: Chuck and Sarah are gonna walk through that door, they're gonna be as happy as could be and everything's gonna be fine.

(they do)

Morgan: I could have asked for anything! Swedish bikini team. Uh, DeLorean, flying DeLorean!

    • What's even better is that like two episodes later he gets a DeLorean.
  • Scrubs:

 J.D.: (inner monologue) It was weird thinking I'd never work with Dr. Cox again...

(Dr. Cox walks in, starts working with him)

J.D.: Every time I think something, the opposite happens... I am so not getting laid this weekend.

Hideous Patient: You're cute.

  • Lost Girl #1x08, when Bo is at Trick's for information on the type of Fae that tried to kill her:

 Bo: Sorry to keep bugging you with all these questions. It's just, there's so many different types of Fae. I wish there was some kind of book or something to keep track.

Trick: (takes out a big book)

Bo: I also want a pony.

  • Ethan from Power Rangers Dino Thunder. In the opening two-parter, while he and the other soon-to-be Rangers are looking for Kira, he mentions that it's "not like she's just gonna fall out of the sky and land right in front of us." Kira promptly drops out of the villain's Portal Network and lands on the hood of their car. Ethan then waits until the end of the season before completing the trope — and it works. He always was pretty Genre Savvy.

 Ethan: (forced) It's not like they're gonna fall out of the sky and land right in front of us.

Kira: Were you knocked on the head or something?

Ethan: What? Last time I did that, it worked. (the missing characters appear) See?


Web Animation


 Guy 1: You know what? It would suck if an airplane randomly fell out of the sky and crashed into us.

(it happens, killing him)

Guy 2: You know what? It would suck if a large generic wad of cash were to appear right in front of me that I could do whatever I wanted with. Huh? Huh??

(a shoe kicks his head off)


Web Comics


 Roy: I really wish we had someone who could fly us out of here.

(a turned-to-stone sylph falls from the ceiling)


(Beat Panel)

Haley: I really wish I had a bajillion gold pieces!!


 Dewey: I wish he would just go away!

Tamara: Buddy's been kidnapped!

Dewey: Mira Sorvino! I wish for a date with Mira Sorvino!

  • This is lampshaded in Goblins with the following exchange.

 Yodette: Will you two cut it out? We're supposed to be hunting goblins, and standing here arguing is not going to make them just fall out of the sky!

(cue long pause while her two companions wait for something to fall out of the sky)

Yodette: What are you guys looking for?

Baka: Well after a comment like that I half-expected a goblin to fall out of the sky due to unrelated circumstances.

Short Archer: Yeah, me too.

Yodette: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

(Dies-Horribly [a goblin] then falls off of the overhanging cliff and into the river; cue smug looks from the other two)


 Marten: Dear universe: If this is really how you work, may I please have a 1952 Telecaster?

  • Used in a Little Dee strip strip:

 Vachel: We're gonna land before Henry-Henry crashes us!

(Henry-Henry crashes them)

Vachel: I meant to say, "We're gonna land before Henry-Henry gives us ice cream and leads us gently into landing!"

Ted: I don't suspect that's gonna work.

Vachel: Hey, it was worth a try!

  • Perfectly set up in this Drowtales strip... but with no extra person to make the second wish.
  • Penny Arcade did this a while ago right here. They never did get those doughnuts, though.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Family Guy: A man tells his wife to imagine "a happy healthy baby boy at play. Now put him in a magic bubble and release him into the universe." When Stewie, in a bubble, rolls by, the man tells his wife to imagine Lindsay Lohan naked and doing a backwards crab walk. Later on, Lohan appears at Peter's door doing just that.
  • First episode of Drawn Together:

 Captain Hero: I wish we had one of those hot black chicks.

Foxxy Love: Bling-bling, Foxxy's in the house!

Captain Hero: I wish we had a 12-year-old girl and a donkey! (nothing happens) Damn!

    • The wish actually does come true in a later episode.
  • Homer tries this in one episode of The Simpsons:

 Homer: I'm sure glad the lightning round's over.

(lightning strikes him)

Homer: Hmmm... I sure hope there isn't an ice-cream round!

(lightning strikes him again)


 Gandhi: Hey! At least it can't get any better!

Abe: That's not how it works, Gandhi.

(Abe leaves, and a butterfly appears carrying a dollar bill for Gandhi)


 "I wish one of them talismans would come to us for a change..."

(talisman detector glows)

"I wish I had a million bucks!"


 Wanda: I sure hope the boys get home soon. I miss Poof!

(Poof comes flying through the window)

Cosmo: Cool. Let me try. I miss rump roasts! Come on, rump roasts!


 Wife: I can't believe you walked all the way to the service station for jumper cables, but you didn't bring the battery cart! What did you think, a battery cart was just gonna fall out of the sky?

(a battery cart falls out of the sky)

Wife: Okay... what did you think, a million dollars was just going to fall out of the sky?

Farmer: It doesn't work that way.

Wife: Well, how does it work, then?!

    • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, after Candace vanishes into the other dimension, Stacy tries to invoke the "mysterious force" that protects Phineas and Ferb from being busted in order to get Candace back. When Candace walks in, Stacy tries asking the mysterious force for a car.
  • Happens in the Back at the Barnyard episode "The Farmer Takes A Woman".

 Peck: Now-now Otis, you can't expect a miracle to just zoom up out of nowhere.

(woman drives up to the farm)

Freddy: You can't expect a plate of boneless chicken to just drop out of nowhere. (nothing happens) I'M WAITING!


Real Life

  • The standard way of saying "Speak of the Devil!" in Egyptian Arabic is to say (translated) "Would that I had said 'a million pounds'!" (or some other large sum of money). This is occasionally turned into "Would that I had said 'a quarter-pound piece'!" (either as an insult or jokingly with friends). (For those not in the know, a quarter of an Egyptian pound is worth slightly more than four cents.)
  1. He is shot in the forehead.
  2. The bullet hole disappears.
  3. Unusually, he immediately receives a bag of money.