I watched Disney's Aladdin back in 1990's when I was a middle school student. At the last scene, Aladdin encountered a tough choice between (a) using his last wish to become a prince to marry Jasmine and (b) using his last wish to set Genie free.

Even though I was a child, I thought why Aladdin couldn't just lend the lamp to Jasmine to make him a prince, and then use his last wish to set Genie free.

  1. There seemed to be no limitation on how many people getting their wishes. When Jafar took the lamp, he immediately got his new three wishes.
  2. Success was guaranteed. Jasmine was a good person. She would happily made the wish to turn Aladdin into a prince, and she would never have abused her power.
  3. Lending the lamp temporarily does not void Aladdin's last wish. After getting it from Jafar again, his last wish was still valid.
  4. Genie would not have minded. Fulfilling wishes does not hurt Genie in any ways. It was not a hard labour for him. Lending the lamp to Jasmine and fulfilling her wishes could just have taken a few measly tens of minutes. Genie would never have minded his liberation being postponed a few tens of minutes.

So... could there be any explanation other than "It's just a cartoon. Cartoons don't have to make sense all the time"? If you have watched Aladdin, did you think about this, or was I the only weird kid?


5 Answers 5


It's the principle of the thing. If he lends the lamp to Jasmine to give her three wishes, what's to stop him from then lending it to the Sultan, or to Apu, or to whomever else. He still has that third wish in reserve, so technically he can free the Genie at any time, so he hasn't violated the letter of his promise, but it certainly violates the spirit.

Ultimately, I think Aladdin realized the temptation was just too great, and that holding Genie in bondage for any longer was unacceptable to his sense of justice.

  • Thanks. I do not agree on that principle, but that is irrelevant, if the writers thought so. Dec 19, 2014 at 2:34

You are not the only one :), I think it all comes down to the character of Aladdin. He's been written out to be a diamond in the rough. If he uses loop holes to get all that he wants and then figure the genie's freedom, he'd be more like.. a garnet in the rough.

The central plot revolves around "being trapped" - the genie is trapped in the lamp. - Aladdin is trapped in his poverty - Jasmine is a princess trapped in the palace - The sultan is trapped in the kingdom's rules and so on.

Aladdin, accepting his state as a poor and setting one of the trapped characters free causes a domino effect setting every one free.

  • 2
    Lovely answer, Tivep.
    – yurnero
    Dec 20, 2014 at 4:02

The out-of-universe explanation is indeed that Aladdin wouldn't have looked like the good guy if he had done it. However, this question can be circumvented by having the GENIE proposing it ("Hey Al, all that's a fake problem ! What if your girlfriend wish it for you ? You can still free me afterward ! No, no, it doesn't bother me at all. What will it take, thirty seconds ? I've already been stuck in there for 10 000 millennia, you know, it's nothing. Go on !"). Alternately, even if he lost part of his power after having free, there's no reason either that wouldn't allow him to make Aladdin free as a simple gift AFTER being freed (he perhaps couldn't grant phenomenal powers like he did to Jafar, but generating the Prince Ali Ababwa parade ? He can still do similar things, as shown in the sequels — think of the There's party here in Agrabah number in the 3d movie).

There may be an in-universe restriction to the Jasmine-wishing-for-him though. That is, that in the original scene where Aladdin promises the Genie to free him, he says: "No, really, I promise. After make my first two wishes, I'll use my third wish to set you free." OF COURSE, a lawyer may argument that "after" can be "at any time once the two first wishes are done, even ten thousand years later", but it seems quite clear that Aladdin was meaning "just right away after". Without anything in-between. However, once more, that doesn't answer the question of why the Genie couldn't propose it himself (the person to whom a promise is done is actually morally the only one who can break it), and it doesn't say a word about the "making Aladdin the prince once he's free" option either. But it's still something.

A reasonable answer to that last problem could be that the Genie was too moved at that moment to think of it. Too wacky, also, to manage to take the problem from a reasonable point of view. Actually, a few days later, the Genie probably thought: "Dumb me ! WHY didn't I think of it BEFORE ?".


I also thought about this a long time, before coming to the only answer that I can safely consider the one meant to be explained by the movie, but didn't have time to do so.

You see, the rules of the "wish-granting genie" are: 1- you can not wish to kill someone or bring them from the dead 2- you can't wish someone to fall in love with you 3- you can't wish for more wishes

But the unmentioned rule is: 4- you must be the beneficial of the wish

That means: you can only wish "things" to yourself.

Notice that Aladding got the following wishes:

Wish # 0: getting out of the cave, although he did not specifically mention the phrase: I wish for ...)

Wish # 1: was for him to become a prince

Wish # 2: was for genie to rescue him from under water.

Wish # 3: was the freedom of genie.

I know I am contradicting my self when I say that genie got his freedom by becoming the beneficial of Aladdin's wish but that might be the exception, or the beneficial can either be the wishes or the granter.

Support for this theory is Jaffar. He wished:

Wish #1: to become a sultan.

Wish #2: to be come a wizard/sorcerer

Wish #3: to become a genie.

All of his wishes revolved around him.


I think Aladdin may not have been allowed to give the lamp to Jasmine due to loose interpretation of the rule of "no wishing for more wishes." Basically, the rule limits the lamp owner from getting more than three wishes. If owner were allowed to give the lamp to his friend or family, that would, in effect, be getting more than three wishes. To prevent this type of circumvention, the lamp may not grant wishes of someone to whom the owner willingly granted the lamp with the expectation that the lamp will be used for the benefit of the original owner. Jafar would have been able to use the lamp because Aladdin didn't give the lamp to him willingly. I don't know how the lamp would be able to tell the difference between these users, but it may be based on some magical power.

That's my own explanation to the plot hole.

  • 1
    Is there anything in the story that backs up this idea?
    – Erik
    Jun 13, 2017 at 8:01

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