Arabian Nights

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
One Thousand and One Nights
Original Title: أَلْفُ لَيْلَةٍ وَلَيْلَةٌ‎
Central Theme:
Synopsis: A collection of folk tales, with the framing device that Scheherazade must tell stories to her sister in order to stop the Sultan from killing a different girl every night
Genre(s): Folk tales
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They lived happily until there came to them the One who Destroys all Happiness.

The Arabian Nights, correctly known as One Thousand and One Nights (Persian Hezār-o yek šab, Arabic Kitāb 'alf layla wa-layla), is a massive collection of Fairy Tales drawn from sources as far apart as the Middle East, India, North Africa, and even China and Greece. It has for centuries shaped the western view of the Middle East, even though only several of the stories are widely known. Genies, evil wazirs and flying carpets all stem from its pages.

In fact, early Arabic versions only contain about 300 nights. The 701 others were added later; most of the additions were by Arab writers, but European translators added some other folktales they'd collected in their editions. Some of these additions were based on other Arabian sources, but others, including "Aladdin" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", appear to have been original stories that the European translators had heard from random Arab storytellers in their time. Of course as all oral stories evolve anyway and the framework is fairly flexible, one can theoretically have as many nights as they like. Despite the English name, it should be noted that many of the characters (and most of the characters in the framing story) are Persian/Iranian, rather than Arabs.

The frame for the story cycle is the tale of King Shahryar and Scheherazade. The King's first wife had cheated on him, so he had her executed. Then, feeling that no woman could be trusted, he hit upon a plan only a powerful and insane tyrant could pull off: He'd marry a woman, spend the night with her, and then, in the morning, send her off to the royal Wazir (aka 'vizier') to be executed. No woman would ever betray him again!

After some 3,000 wives were executed in this manner, the Wazir was running out of marriage prospects to present to the King. Then the Wazir's daughter, Scheherazade, came to him with a plan. Since her plan involved marrying the King, the Wazir objected in the strongest manner possible, but nothing would deter the girl, and finally he brought her to the King.

Come the wedding night, once he started putting the moves on her, she feigned becoming upset, and pleaded to see her younger sister one last time. The King acquiesced, and allowed Scheherazade's sister Dunyazad to stay in the room with them until dawn. Even while they consummated the marriage. Awkward. After that and the three of them went to sleep, the sisters woke up at midnight. Just as planned, Dunyazad asks Scheherazade to tell her a story, but by the morning she was not finished, and ended the story on a Cliff Hanger. The awoken King was so hooked on the story that he postponed the execution for one night, in order to hear the rest. But after Scheherazade ended that story, it was still the middle of the night, and she started up another story, again ending on a cliffhanger in the morning.

The nightly routine continued. Some of the stories were simple, some complex and multi-layered; sometimes a character in one story would begin to tell a second story, and sometimes the story was never actually ended because Scheherazade had gone on two or three layers and never returned to wrap up. Or sometimes she claimed she didn't know the ending, but had another tale that was even more intriguing than the unfinished one. But all of the stories were so compelling that the King could never bear to order her execution without hearing the ending.

So Scheherazade kept up the stories for three years—in the meantime bearing Shahryar three sons—and finally, after 1,001 nights, she said that she had told all of her tales and was ready to die. But the King had fallen in love with her, and had been calmed by her entrancing stories. He declared that no woman in the kingdom was as wise as Scheherazade, and he made her his queen for keeps this time, and they lived Happily Ever After.

From the 1,001 Nights, the three best known stories are "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Aladdin" and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad, which include tropes traceable to Homer. All three have been filmed, and many other Movies draw on the Arabian Nights.

A recentish TV miniseries, called just Arabian Nights, has the King quite insane, with his kingdom being attacked by his brother; and he ends up using fragments of the various stories to create a defense that beats back the larger forces of his brother's army. This adaptation is notable for including some of the less well-known stories, such as The Three Princes, and The Hunchback. It's also notable for using East Asian actors for its version of "Aladdin", since in the original story Aladdin was Chinese.

A stage version entitled Arabian Nights also exists, with the script encouraging characters in the sub-stories and sub-sub-stories to improvise at points, as well as a rather clever device near the end to show off the huge number of stories in the original work after only actually telling a handful of them—it's only a 2-3 hour show. (It leaves out, by the way, all three of the aforementioned famous tales.)

Unlike many legends which deal primarily with the deeds of the nobility (who after all were the ones who could afford to have a bard as a permanent resident at their palaces), Arabian Nights has the fascinating twist that it covers people from myriads of occupations in a highly-complex society.

Lesser known, but no less interesting, stories from Middle Eastern folklore are the Arabian Hero Cycles.

Note: Several versions, including the entire Burton version are available on Kindle at Amazon. These can sometimes be had for free or less then a dollar. Make sure to get one with an active table of contents; for that is extremely useful for this.

Project Gutenberg has a free copy.

Stories from the Arabian Nights with their own trope pages include:

Arabian Nights is the Trope Namer for:

Tropes used in Arabian Nights include:
  • An Aesop
  • Exclusively Evil
    • Black slaves and savages. This can be semi-justified as Scheherazade Pandering to the Base, as the king's original wife cheated on him with a black slave. The exception may be Mesrur, the Chief Eunuch of Harun al Rashid, who's a good guy.
  • Anticlimax - Janshah's life story, begun on the premise of explaining what he's doing in the middle of nowhere looking depressed, rather abruptly ends with "and then she got eaten by a shark on vacation."
  • Author Filibuster - This is a long, long, looong series of stories told about and by a woman who's a genius Muslim theologian...
  • Badass Bookworm: Sheherarzade. Not so much a fighter, but enchanting as a lover, highly intelligent and possessing Nerves of Steel.
  • Baleful Polymorph - Many times, usually when a sorceress or a Djinn turn someone into a beast to teach him a lesson.
    • ... and sometimes just because they can do it. Queen Labe in the story of King Beder is an example of the latter type of sorceress: the first thing King Beder notices on entering her kingdom is the abnormally large number of donkeys, mules and horses on the streets. He later learns they were all her formal human lovers whom she had transformed into animals after she tired of them.
    • A big example comes in the latter half of "The Fisherman and the Genie", wherein the titular fisherman is led by the titular genie to a lake that is full of fish of four different colors. Each day the fisherman brings four of these fish, one of each color, to the Sultan to be fried and eaten, but due to the strange things that happens when he goes to cook them, the Sultan comes to realize that these are no ordinary fish. On trying to find out what's so special about these fish, he comes across a man who is half turned to stone, who is more than willing to tell him; long story short, the man's adulterous wife turned their entire city into the lake, and the fish are its people, with the four colors representing the four religions that they belonged to. And the Sultan was trying to cook them and eat them. Ouch.
  • The Barber - a talkative "man of few words" ("The Tailor's Tale")
  • Beauty Equals Goodness
  • Because Destiny Says So and You Can't Fight Fate - So many of the stories revolve around the themes of fate and destiny that some consider fate and destiny themselves to be leading characters in the Nights.
  • BFS - In one of the stories, appears a huge cannibal black man who is said to wield a really large broadsabre. It doesn't help him in the end...
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In "The Fisherman and the Jinni" the Fisherman "piddled in his clothes" for fear of the Genie.
    • The same happens in "The Reeve's Tale" (nested inside "The Hunchback's Tale") when a young man, hiding in a trunk so he can be smuggled in to see his lover, wets himself with fear when a guard is about to open the trunk.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: "The First Kalandar's Tale" (nested inside "The Porter and the Three Ladies")
  • Call Back: In "The Tale of the Wolf and the Fox", a fox, tired of taking abuse from a bullying wolf, lures the wolf to his death in a pit. Shortly thereafter comes "The Fox and Crow", in which a fox tries to convince a crow to get him food. The crow is skeptical, and at one point answers "The tidings lately reached me of thy treacherous dealing with...a wolf."
  • Canon Immigrant: Many of the stories do not appear in the earliest manuscripts. This includes three of the most famous tales in the series--"Sinbad the Sailor", "Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp", and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves". "Aladdin" and "Ali Baba" for their part do not appear in any manuscript or copy before Antoine Galland's translation, which has led some to believe that Galland wrote them himself and tossed them in with the rest.
  • Carry a Big Stick - The Djinn Shaibar, who's one feet tall, has a 10 feet long beard, hunchback and front and wields a really heavy iron staff as a weapon.
  • The Casanova: In "Nur Al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis Al-Jalis", Nur Al-Din is described as "a Satan for girls [who] leaves no maid in the neighborhood without taking her maidenhead."
  • Chekhov's Gun - There are repeated references to some character or object which appears insignificant at first but reappears later to intrude suddenly in the narrative. One example of this is in "The Three Apples" tale.
  • Cinderella Circumstances - Several tales similar to the later story of "Cinderella" occur in several Arabian Nights tales, including "The Second Shaykh's Story", "The Eldest Lady's Tale", "Abdallah ibn Fadil and His Brothers", and "Judar and His Brethren". The latter subverts the trope by departing from the usual happy ending and instead features a tragic ending.
  • Cliff Hanger - Amusingly, one thousand and one cliffhangers.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: This is part of the nightly routine of the Framing Device. Scheherazade's sister Dunyazad comes into the royal bedroom, waits politely on the bed until King Shahryar finishes having sex with her sister, then asks to hear a story.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: Everyone in "The Story of the Hunchback" in turn assumes that if they're found with the hunchback's body they'll be accused of his murder, so they find some way of disposing of it in secret, only for the next person to find it. In the end, it turns out that he's not really dead.
  • Country Matters: In "The Porter and the Three Ladies" each lady shows hers to the porter and ask him what it's called. He runs through every synonym he can think of.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy and Honor Before Reason - In the tale of "The Three Apples", a man murders his wife because he suspects her of unfaithfulness, much like the later story of Othello.
  • Decapitation Presentation: In "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan", Zau's son Kanmakan kills the bandit Kahrdash's head and totes it around to prove that he did it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Reeve's Tale" a young man forgets to wash his hands after dinner and before embracing his wife on their wedding night. She has his thumbs and big toes chopped off.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan", Sharrkan is challenged to wrestle by the Christian princess Abrizah, and he keeps losing, because she's so good looking.
  • Doorstopper: The Burton version has sixteen volumes.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: In the "Tale of Ghanim Bin Ayyub, the Distraught, the Thrall O' Love", the girl thst Ghanim discovers actually instructs him to wait until she's passed out drunk to kiss her.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first tale, "Tale of the Bull and the Ass" is told not by Scheherazade but by her father, the Wazir, to her, in an effort to dissuade her from her scheme.
  • Erotic Dream: In "The Tale of the Hashish Eater", the titular eater enjoys some hashish in a bathhouse until he passes out. He then has a sex dream, and just when he's about to fuck the girl he's woken up by a crowd of people who are laughing at his nudity and Raging Stiffie. He reproaches them for not waiting until after he had sex with the girl in his dream.
  • Evil Chancellor
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: So many.
  • Finger-Licking Poison: In "The Tale of the Vizier and the Sage Duban", the King, quite unjustly, has decreed that the sage Duban must die. Duban gives the King a magic book and tells the King that after he is beheaded, if the King reads from the book Duban's severed head will answer his questions. What the King doesn't know is that Duban has coated the pages with poison. The King flips through the book, licking his finger as he flips pages, until he dies.
  • Foreshadowing
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum - In the tale of the three princes who each go to seek a marvel, Prince Ahmed finds a magic apple that restores health to anybody who smells it, even if they are at the point of death, and presents it to his father the Sultan. This tale has a sequel, in which the Sultan's advisors poison his mind against Prince Ahmed and persuade him to send Ahmed on a series of impossible quests; one of these is for a MacGuffin reputed to cure all diseases—and not one person, not even Prince Ahmed who gave it to him, thinks to mention that he's already got one.
  • Framing Device - A classic example of a story within a story.
  • Gag Penis - The tale called "Ali with the Large Member" pokes fun at the obsession with a man's penis size.
  • Genie in a Bottle
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Scheherazade is a Lady and a Scholar.
  • Giant Equals Invincible - Averted twice because of Plot Armor. The first is a giant, tower-sized black man who killed many caravans in the past and is instantly brought down by two (TWO) sword slashes. The second one in the following story is a huge man (his meal consist in a whole roasted ox) who, despite his size, is instantly killed by a single arrow.
  • Giant Flyer - The Roc bird, whose eggs are fifty feet broad and is strong eniugh to carry a piece of mountain in his claws.
  • The Good Chancellor - Most notably Ja'far ibn Yahya, but several other good viziers exist. In a few other tales, however, Jafar is depicted as a Treacherous Advisor instead.
  • Greedy Jew: In "The Hunchback's Tale" the Jewish doctor "rose quickly in his greed of gain" when the hunchback is dropped off at his door.
  • The Grim Reaper - The destroyer of happiness, that no man however rich can bargain away.
  • Guile Hero - Scheherazade's best weapon, aside of her good looks, was her mind.
  • Happily Ever After
  • Healing Potion
    • The water from the Fountain of Lions in the tale of Prince Ahmed and the peri.
    • The magic apple in the tale of the Three Princes isn't a potion, but it has the same effect.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Scheherazade risked not only her life but her happiness by marrying the Sultan to save her people.
  • Heroic Spirit - Shehererzade's audacity and sheer nerve for 1001 nights makes her this.
  • Holding the Floor - Probably the Ur Example.
  • Homage: GURPS Arabian Nights. This book gives the ability to use the Medieval Islamic setting for Role Playing either in a fantasy mode or in a realistic mode depending on the player's taste.
  • Hot Consort: Scheherazade
  • Hurricane of Excuses: In "The Tale of the Fisherman and the Genie," the unfaithful princess goes into mourning for her lover, but gives her husband the excuses that "My mother has died, my father has been killed in a holy war, one of my brothers has died of snakebite and the other has fallen off a cliff."
  • Impossible Task
  • Iron Lady - With due allowances for limitations by cultural context Scheherazade would qualify quite well for this.
  • Jerkass:
    • Harun al Rashid. His solution for many of the problems he has to face seems to be "execute Jafar along with 40 members of his family".
    • Many male genies are this. On a second thought, the female genies too..
  • Karma Houdini - The Sultan never receives any comeuppance for having 3000 girls executed. He gets to live Happily Ever After with Scheherazade and their children.
    • The guy who chopped up his wife and threw her in a trunk in "The Tale of the Three Apples" because he mistakenly thought she was cheating on him is rewarded with a stipend and a concubine.
    • The Evil Vizier in "King Yunan and the Sage Duban." The sage is dead because the vizier convinced the king to kill him, but the king is dead because the sage's book was poisoned. No mention of who becomes king and whether the vizier was punished. It's possible he was if the king had sons who could take the throne; it's just not mentioned. It's just as possible the Vizier became king.
  • Kissing Cousins: All the time.
  • Literal Genie
  • Long-Lost Relative: At the end of "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan", Zau's son and his family have fallen into the hands of Ruzman, the Christian "King of the Greeks". Ruzman is about to execute the lot of them when he finds out that they are his family; he is the long-lost son of King Omar by Princess Abrizah, who was murdered as she was giving birth.
  • Love At First Sight: Many times.
  • Made of Plasticine - The son of the Djinn in the first novel: according to his vengeful father, he was hit in the eye by a date seed and died soon afterwards.
  • Magical Girlfriend: The young boy's slave girl, who also patronizes him.
  • Magic Carpet - In the tale of the three princes who each go to seek a marvel, Prince Houssain finds a magic carpet; not a flying carpet, but a teleporting carpet, that will instantly transport itself and whoever is sitting on it wherever they wish to go.
  • Make a Wish - Several of the tales
  • Most Arab Storytellers are Arab Storytellers : Which may be why a beautiful female Arab Storyteller gives a Geeky Turn On.
  • Motif - Recurring motifs are used to bind together several seperate tales into a story cycle.
  • Motor Mouth: The Barber from "The Tailor's Tale", called in merely to give a haircut, who will not stop talking, much to the storyteller's displeasure.
  • Mystery Arc - The tale of "The Three Apples" is an early story covering most of the tropes associated with this. "The Hunchback's Tale" also covers some of these tropes.
    • Start to Corpse - In the tale of "The Three Apples", a dead corpse is discovered near the very beginning of the story, setting up a suspenseful murder mystery. On the other hand, "The Hunchback's Tale", a more humorous murder mystery, the dead corpse doesn't appear until after quite some time into the story.
    • Evidence Scavenger Hunt - In "The Three Apples", the caliph Harun al-Rashid, orders the The Good Chancellor, Grand Vizier Jafar ibn Yahya, who gets a Historical Hero Upgrade in this tale, to play the role of a Detective and sends him on a scavenger hunt to solve the murder mystery and bring the culprit to justice.
    • Perp Sweating - In "The Three Apples", two potential suspects are interrogated, although the interrogation is only verbal and very mild compared to today's Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
    • The Summation - In "The Three Apples", there is a Summation Gathering mid-way through the story. Near the end of the story, Jafar gives the final summation, explaining the truth behind the mystery to Harun.
    • Book'em, Danno - This is subverted in "The Three Apples", where instead of Jafar telling the perpetrator how evil he is, he pleads to the caliph Harun to spare the life the perpetrator, who turns out to be someone close to Jafar himself. In exchange for sparing the perpetrator's life, Jafar tells Harun a story, in typical Arabian Nights fashion.
  • Nerves of Steel - Scheherazade. Oh Yeah!
  • Nested Story - The Arabian Nights takes this further than most other classical literature by occasionally featuring a story within a story within a story, and sometimes goes up to six or seven layers deep.
  • No Ending - Some storytellers throw up their hands and say "I don't even know the rest. But here's an even better story!"
  • No Name Given - In older versions, the Three Ladies of Baghdad aren't named.
  • No Pronunciation Guide - Many characters, especially Sheh-herr-uh-ZAUD. If you have a version with good transliteration in a transliteration system you're familiar with, it's possible to avert this trope. If not, you'll just end up pronouncing Jafar the way they do in Disney's Aladdin and, like everything else in that movie, that isn't accurate.
    • In the Burton translation, the girls' names are given as Sharázad and Dunyázad - meaning city-freer and city-saver, according to the footnotes.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: The hunchback.
  • Off With Her Head : the penalty for marrying the sultan. Averted in Scheherazade's case.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier - In a tale, a sorceress is seen leaving her house at night and join a ghoul in the cemetery, where they dig out and eat a corpse together.
    • In "The Tale of the Prince and the Ogress", a prince encounters a beautiful woman who claims to need help, and accompanies her back to her house, where he discovers she is actually a ghoul planning to feed him to her children.
  • Padding- Invoked: there are sections of stories with long conversations repeated word for word, excessive detail, length titles and epigraphs, overly-flowery answers, and any number of storytelling conventions that suggest a nervous young woman trying to fill time.
  • Plucky Girl - Scheherazade
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender - One of the stories had a groom reveal to the bride on their wedding night that he was actually a woman raised as a man due to her father putting pressure on her mother for a son.
  • Recursive Reality - Scheherazade tells stories of people who tell stories of people who tell stories and so on. For instance, in "The Fisherman and the Genie", the fisherman keeps the genie from killing him by telling it "The Tale of the Vizier and the Sage Duban", during which the evil wazir tells his king "The Tale of the Husband and the Parrot".
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent - The only good serpent in these tales is a winged one who was later revealed as a Fairy (Female Djinns).
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator - Shahryar spends the entire story putting off executing Shahrazad for just one more day.
  • Roof Hopping: In "The Tale of Ali Bin Bakkar and of Shams Al-Nahar", Shams Al-Nahar's handmaid and her companions resort to this to escape a band of robbers.
  • Sacred Hospitality
  • Satire
  • Secret Test: In "The Hermits", Allah tests a shepherd's piety by sending an angel in the form of a sexy woman to tempt him. He passes.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - Some of the tales revolve around self-fulfilling prophecies, such as "The Tale of Attaf" and "The Ruined Man who Became Rich Again through a Dream". The latter used a unique variant of this trope, the self-fulfilling dream, where the prophecy is seen through a dream.
    • In the tale of Prince Ahmed and the Peri, Ahmed's father becomes convinced that Ahmed is planning to overthrow him and take his place as Sultan. No such thought ever crosses Prince Ahmed's mind, even as the Sultan tries several increasingly elaborate attempts to be rid of him—the last of which results in the Sultan's death and Prince Ahmed's succession.
  • Self-Parody - Sheherezade sometimes follows up a relatively serious tale with a Parody version of the same tale to humorous effect.
  • Serial Killer: In "The Barber's Tale of His Fifth Brother", said brother runs afoul of an old woman who promises men sexy fun times with a pretty young lady, only to murder them and take their money.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan", King Omar drugs Princess Abrizah (his son's girlfriend) and rapes her while she's unconscious. Abrizah's father eventually has King Omar murdered for this.
  • The Storyteller - Scheherazade herself, as well as many of the characters in her stories about other people telling stories and them telling stories about people telling stories.
  • Surprise Incest: In "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan", Sharrkan unknowingly marries his long-lost sister Nuzhat. They have a daughter together before Sharrkan figures this out and fobs his sister-wife off on one of his courtiers.
    • And then they win some kind of incest prize when said daughter later knowingly marries her double cousin, son of Nuzhat Sharrkan's brother Zau Al-Makan. It's kind of just...not mentioned that they're so heavily related.
  • Talking in Bed
  • Taken for Granite - In "The Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince" said prince is turned into a stone from the waist down. In "The Eldest Lady's Tale" a whole city of pagans is turned into stone statues by Allah, and also all those who turn around on their way to the Talking Bird gets turned into black stones.
  • Tragedy - Some of the tales end in tragedy.
  • Treacherous Advisor - The Grand Vizier Jafar ibn Yahya is depicted like this in a few tales, though this is contradicted by a few other tales that depict him as The Good Chancellor.
  • Unreliable Narrator - This literary device of the unreliable narrator is used in several tales, to create suspense in "The Seven Viziers" (also known as "Craft and Malice of Women" or "The Tale of the King, His Son, His Concubine and the Seven Wazirs") and "The Three Apples", and to create humor in "The Hunchback's Tale".
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: "The Tale of the Jewish Doctor"--"she took out from the bosom of her shift fifteen dinars...."
  • Villain Protagonist: This occasionally applies to the historical figures of Caliph Harun al-Rashid and Grand Vizier Jafar ibn Yahya in some tales, where one is a Historical Hero Upgrade and the other a Historical Villain Upgrade, and vice versa in some other tales.
  • Where Da White Women At?: King Shahrayar snaps and goes on his virgin-killing spree after finding his wife in the arms of a "blackamoor" slave. Other tales within the Nights repeat this trope.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: "The Tale of Kamar al-Zaman"
  • Wicked Witch: Zat al-Dawahi in "The Tale of King Omar Bin Al-Nu’uman, and his sons Sharrkan and Zau Al-Makan" the evil old Christian crone who is a Master Poisoner and a Depraved Homosexual to boot.
  • Wish Fulfillment: What would a laid back, quiet, coffeehouse storyteller want more in a wife but a beautiful princess who could exchange stories with him?
  • Writers Cannot Do Math - The frame story is set at an earlier time than many of the stories that it's framing.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Depressingly common theme throughout the Nights. Does your wife backtalk you? Smack her around. Did your wife cheat on you? Kill her, and get a new one.
  • You Fail Biology Forever: In "The Tale of Hammad the Badawi", an ostrich flies.
  • Youngest Child Wins - The Three Brothers
  • Your Cheating Heart: Faithless wives cheat on their husbands all the time, starting with the Framing Device and repeated many times in the tales.

The 2010 musical version composed by Felix Gray contains examples of:
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-universe, Sheherazade's stories have the power to blur the lines between fiction and reality, so that her sister Jasmina falls in love with the character Aladdin and an evil sorceress crosses over to wreak havoc in the real world.
  • Breakout Character: Jasmina, the little sister Sheherazade used as an excuse to tell her stories, breaks out with a vengeance as a Yandere who tries to murder her own sister due to her mad magic-induced crush on Sultan Soliman.
  • Crowd Song: "Les Lumieres De l'Orient", "Vive La Mariee", "Demander Pardon", "Ce Qui Ne Nous Tue Pas".
  • Easily Forgiven: Everyone, in the end, without a jot of consequence. Although the music is so awesome, you can almost believe it.
  • Evil Sorceress: Djinninia.
  • Face Heel Turn: The Sultan Soliman, at the end of the first act. But the story's not over yet ...
  • "I Want" Song: "Etre Une Femme" (To Be A Woman), in which all the female characters sing about their wishes - royal status (a happily engaged Sheherazade), the end of her unrequited passion (Jasmina), peace and solitude (Djinninia), and love (Amina, a harem girl, who never had the chance for it).
  • Lighter and Softer: Instead of killing his wives, the Sultan banishes them to some sort of parallel dimension, and after marrying Sheherazade, he sets them all free.
  • Love Potion: Djinninia casts a love spell on Jasmina, to make her forget Aladdin and fall desperately in love with Soliman instead.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Jasmina is deeply annoyed by this.
  • Say My Name: One of Sheherazade and Soliman's love songs consists almost entirely of this.
  • Villain Song: Djinninia, with electric guitars.
  • Woman Scorned: Djinninia. Because of a lover's quarrel with the male genie (we never do find out what he did to hurt her so badly), she shuts him up in that infamous lamp and, after Aladdin frees him, decides to get revenge on both of them by breaking up Aladdin's love affair with Jasmina even though the latter two never did her any harm.
    • Soliman qualifies as a Man Scorned in the beginning.