In Disney’s movie Aladdin (1992), Aladdin tricks the Genie into getting him and Abu out of the cave where they are trapped. After that, Genie explains that from then on, only valid wishes will be accepted and makes a big deal about it.

Aladdin then wishes to become a prince. Later he is saved before drowning, but he cannot talk so he really doesn’t wish for it. But he does actually wish later for the Genie’s freedom. Which would bring it to only 2 real wishes based on Genie’s rules.

After that, in the end, a free Genie quickly gives the lamp to Aladdin, and presses him to wish for something “impossible” (making a joke with the homophones “the Nile” and “denial”), so Aladdin wishes for the Nile/denial and gets a “No way!” in response.

Does the Genie trick Aladdin into using his real last wish? And if he does, why?

  • 19
    The 2nd wish "save from drowning" is considered since Genie said initially that there are "no more freebies" after the initial trick Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 7:43
  • 1
    Good point. Although there are some things that could be considered “freebies” outside of the wishes (getting all muscled up during the parade to impress Jasmine, or flying from the cliff to the palace after being rescued) Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 8:09
  • 2
    @GendoIkari It's not entirely clear how wishes interact with becoming royalty. Jafar wishes to be the sultan, and he becomes one. But Jasmine and the original sultan still remember Jafar not being on the thrown and refuse to recognize his authority. If Jafar was actually turned into the rightful sultan, then why wouldn't they recognize it? Aladdin's conversion to being a prince seems to work under similar limitations. In some sense, it is actually a farce. He doesn't have an entire kingdom to go to or the pedigree associated with being a prince. He is still Aladdin and knows it.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 4:09
  • 2
    By the way, thanks for explaining the Nile part. The play on denial is lost in the German dub, so that part always felt extremely random to me. I'd even go so far and wager that the translators missed the joke in the first place. Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 8:03
  • 2
    @hiergiltdiestfu in Spanish that joke is lost in translation too, but they came up with a "close" one: Aladdin asks for the Nile ("deseo el Nilo") and Genie answers "Don't even dream about it" ("Ni lo sueñes"). Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Well no. The Genie was freed. Therefore he had no more obligation to grant the wishes, regardless of whether Aladdin had any wishes left.

If we are going to count the wishes though, the movie does count the saving from drowning as the second wish making freeing the Genie the third. This would have made the Nile wish pointless either way, since either the Genie was free to deny the wish as he was free, or he was free to deny it because it would have been the fourth wish.

  • 13
    Or, as a special favor to Aladdin in honor of their mutual respect and affection, the Genie granted the wish for denial. (By responding, "No way!") - There is only a geas requiring the Genie to grant three wish requests to him who frees Him from the lamp; there is no rule forbidding the Genie from going around granting wishes to anyone He wants to. Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 18:18
  • 3
    @A.I.Breveleri: While I appreciate the rulebending you're doing, Genie's repeated statement of no more than three wishes contradicts that. A wish (in Genie's context, not general English) is something that must be fulfilled, regardless of Genie's opinion or inclination. Therefore, if Genie "goes around granting wishes to anyone he wants to", it is by definition not a wish but rather a favor.
    – Flater
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 12:06
  • @A.I.Breveleri It's also stated in the sequels that free!Genie has only "semi-phenomenal, nearly-cosmic" powers. While this could be because the act of being freed did something to him, I've always figured that Genies are limited to "normal" magic most of the time anyway, and only have unlimited power when granting Wishes(tm) as per their contract. Hence, doing favors is one thing, but there would be a practical limitation preventing him from going around giving wishes to anyone he wants. Commented May 26, 2022 at 21:52

After that, Genie explains that from then on, only valid wishes will be accepted and makes a big deal about it.

"Valid" is not quite right. Aladdin does trick the Genie into freeing him from the Cave of Wonders without using a wish. However, when Aladdin points this out, the Genie insists Aladdin cannot have any more free wishes:

GENIE: (Still as stewardess) Thank you for choosing Magic Carpet for all your travel needs. Don't stand until the rug has come to a complete stop. Thank you. Good bye, good bye! Thank you! Good bye! (Back to normal) Well, now. How about that, Mr. doubting mustafa?

ALADDIN: Oh, you sure showed me. Now about my three wishes-

GENIE: Dost mine ears deceive me? Three? You are down by ONE, boy!

ALADDIN: Ah, no--I never actually wished to get out of the cave. You did that on your own.

(GENIE thinks for a second, then his jaw drops. He turns into a sheep.)

GENIE: Well, don't I feel just sheepish? All right, you baaaaad boy, but no more freebies.

ALADDIN: Fair deal. So, three wishes. I want them to be good.

Aladdin transcript, emphasis mine

He then references this agreement when saving him from drowning:

GENIE: Never fails. Get in the bath and there's a rub at the lamp. (Squeaks the duck) Hello. (Sees unconscious ALADDIN) Al? Al! Kid, snap out of it! You can't cheat on this one! I can't help you unless you make a wish. You have to say "Genie I want you to save my life." Got it? Okay. C'mon Aladdin!! (He grabs ALADDIN by the shoulders and shakes him. His head goes up, then falls.) I'll take that as a yes.

So under the terms of their agreement that Aladdin would not get anymore "freebies," being saved from drowning consumes a wish. In fact, we might argue that he cheated the agreement in Aladdin's favor, since Aladdin didn't technically make an explicit wish to be saved.

This means that Genie did not trick Aladdin in any way. Aladdin's three wishes were used up.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .