• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
Imbox style.png This page needs some cleaning up to be presentable.

This needs to be turned into a category.


Phineas: If you could have a super power, which one would it be?
Buford: That's an interesting question you pose, as it reveals not only one's impulses and desires, but one's deepest fears as well.

Phineas and Ferb, "Out of Toon"

Wish Fulfillment is one of the driving points of fiction in general, most likely serving as the inspiration for humanity to start writing in the first place. After all, if Real Life matched our fantasies, we would not need to create fiction for Escapism. In simplest terms, Wish Fulfillment is basically just using the control that being a writer affords to create a story that addresses one or more outcomes that the author wishes would come about.

Human beings have needs, and some of these needs are psychological in nature. This is an undeniable fact. When a person's Real Life does not provide all of these psychological needs, they can turn to fiction in order to provide for these needs. For instance, someone lives a very boring life going to an utterly mundane job and has no excitement at all. Said person's need for variation and stimulation is not being catered for. Thus, this person might feel very attracted towards stories where an otherwise-normal person they can easily relate to suddenly becomes an extraordinarily powerful being and is thrust into a wild and thrilling series of events.

This, in turn, is why people sometimes defend fictional characters as if they were real, because they are not defending the character but idealized versions of themselves and/or embodiments of their values. An attack on the character is seen as an attack on traits they (the real person) personally possesses and/or admire.

There is nothing at all wrong with this, in and of itself. If Real Life fulfilled every psychological need we human beings have, we probably would not want to write fiction at all. Nor is there anything inherently unhealthy about using fantasy to compensate for a deficiency in Real Life; as long as one avoids becoming a Daydream Believer, escapism and fantasy and Wish Fulfillment are healthy ways a human psyche can deal with dissatisfaction.

While it's a neutral term and an undeniable part of fiction in general, Wish Fulfillment is rarely mentioned in a positive light and with good reason. Usually, bringing up the term suggests that the author sacrificed quality in plotting, pacing, characterization, etc. in order to facilitate their own wishes. Depending on the author Mary Sues and Unfortunate Implications have a way of cropping up. However, it is entirely possible to have Wish Fulfillment stories that are still fluid and well-written.

Contrast with Sour Grapes Tropes and True Art Is Angsty.

Tropes generally accepted to be related to (if not in a direct cause-effect relation with) Wish Fulfillment: