Flying Broomstick

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Oh, how very .. phallic..

My Other Car Is a Broom

Brooms are the traditional flying mount of wizards and witches. Some even use them as weapons.

According to The Other Wiki the idea of witches riding on brooms goes back to at least 1453, making this Older Than Steam. In the original woodcuts, they've got the head or brush part in front, logical enough since the original witch's broom was a staff with a carved phallic end and the brush was tied on as a disguise. Today's depictions most often put the head in the back, for sake of an aerodynamic appearance (and for similarity with an exhaust pipe or jet engine).

This is Awesome but Impractical, as brooms weren't designed to be ridden upon. You would crash more than on a motorcycle, and would then fall from very high up.[1]

Upright vacuum cleaners are a modern subversion of the broom idea. This page (warning: NSFW) not only mentions an example from 1923, but calls it a trope.

Not to be confused with the Magic Carpet, which is also a flying object but has unrelated origins and applications.

For the Speculative Fiction version see Rocket Ride. Compare Sky Surfing, in which various flying objects are ridden on while standing.

Examples of Flying Broomstick include:

Anime and Manga

  • Ojamajo Doremi has a button on the girls' taps in the first two seasons that summoned their brooms, but the cutscene is skipped in Motto and Dokkan. Humorously, Majorika flew by using a dustpan.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, several minor magical characters have brooms, and Negi uses a staff that's functionally the same.
  • The opening credits of the Ah! My Goddess OVAs from the 1990s briefly show Belldandy on a broomstick, followed by Skuld riding a vaguely broom-shaped flying machine, and finally (in a subversion of a subversion) Urd riding a cannister vacuum with the hose draped around her like a feather boa.
    • In the manga, Urd's broomstick is so jazzed up with magic, it is sentient. When Belldandy borrows it, love blooms. Weird, twisted, "sweep with me!" love. Yes, sweep.
  • In Soul Eater, we first see Medusa riding a broom... that has an arrow/snakehead. Justified Trope in that Medusa can affect the gravity of anything with her arrows. So her broom has a gravity in the direction of the arrow.
    • Kim also rides a broom.
    • This is also a standard higher-level Meister/Weapon combination ability, although the broom is typically replaced with whatever form the weapon takes that is easiest to ride on. Maka uses Soul's scythe form to accomplish it.
  • In Mahou Shoujo Tai Alice the witches ride brooms and the title character, Alice, combines this with Sky Surfing.
  • Somehow subverted in Narutaru with Jun Ezumi, a girl who rides a flying broom that really is a "dragon", one of the Mons equivalent of the series. The protagonist Shiina even mistakes her for a witch, but Jun says she choose that specific form for her dragon (aptly if not creatively named "Broom") just for fun.
  • Dorothy of MAR rides a broom, preferring it even over the carpet the other characters ride. It doubles as her standard weapon. The broom is about her only trait that most would consider telling for her classification of "witch". In MAR Heaven, it's just the name of a person from a restrictive country. None of the other characters from the same place are seen with brooms.
  • A variation in the Rumic Theater story "One Hundred Years of Love". Ninety-year-old Risa Hoshino gains weird telekinetic powers after a near-death experience, and then can fly by riding a crutch. She doesn't really need it, but it helps her stand up once she reaches the ground. Note also that since she's a Miniature Senior Citizens, the crutch is twice as tall as her.
  • Subverted in Strike Witches, with broomsticks being relegated to use as training devices, as season 2 episode 3 demonstrated the Unfortunate Implications and other problems of their use.
  • In Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki normally uses a traditionally made broom. At the end of the film, however, she is forced to improvise, using a mass-produced deck brush. The deck brush works, but is extremely difficult to control.
  • Brooms in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo come in several flavours, aside from the standard ones: Modern ones, vacuum cleaners, and giant eating utensils.
  • Double-subversion in Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura does not ride a broomstick, but she uses her Magic Wand like this after she captures the Fly card.
  • Rental Magica has Honami in Cute Witch classique clothes riding a broom. Complete with blazing exhaust. Positions vary as she maneuvers, with acrobatics that stop just shy of pole dancing.

Comic Books

  • In Hellboy: Darkness Calls, witches are shown flying unaided, on giant animals (like cats), in cups, and with all types of animals/items... even brooms.
  • Often seen (along with occasionally the vacuum cleaner variant) in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic.
  • Wendy the Good Little Witch (Casper the Friendly Ghost's friend) used to ride a broom (sentient in some stories, and called Broomie); now she rides a flying vacuum cleaner.
  • Leni "Sky Witch" Muller from Top Ten rides a mechanical flying machine that resembles a broomstick.
  • In The DCU, Starman foe the Prairie Witch rode on a flying broomstick. Starman was convinced that it was some kind of technological trick until he yanked it away from her (causing her to plummet to the ground) and discovered it was a perfectly ordinary broom.
  • In the indie comic Underburbs, main character Angela is a witch who rides a broom, complete with a black cat living in it. Bearing in mind the broom was part of a Halloween costume made real by magic.
  • In his very first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man, the Green Goblin flew around on a high-tech version of a broomstick. Subsequent appearances replaced this with the trademark Goblin Glider.
  • In the Franco Belgian Comics Mélusine, the Cute Witch protagonist and many other characters regularly ride brooms. Her friend Cancrelune, however, is a catastrophically clumsy flyer and a Captain Crash.

Films -- Live-Action

  • The fourth installment of Fantaghiro played with this one hard: When Xellesia and the Black Queen realize that the latter can't transform into anything that flies, they seek an alternate means (including carpets, rejected because they only work well in Arabian Nights Land) and eventually settle on the brooms, despite the Black Queen complaining that they will look ridiculous.
  • In Hocus Pocus, when the Sanderson Sisters' brooms were stolen, Winifred was the only one to find a (modern) broom. Sarah had a mop and Mary had a vacuum cleaner.
  • An interesting subversion for this trope comes from the movie version of Practical Magic, where witches having the brooms serves a purpose, to sweep away the ashes of the soul removed from possessing Gillian Owens.
  • The Wicked Witch of the west rides one in the film version of The Wizard of Oz. (In the original novel she carries an umbrella instead of the traditional broomstick, because her secret weakness is... well... water.)
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks, surprisingly enough...
  • The Harry Potter movies, of course, featuring everything from high-speed chases to sporting events mounted on the brooms. The actors have often noted that while the broomstick scenes look fun when you see them on screen, they were not fun to film. They were uncomfortable for the male actors (as Daniel Radcliffe puts it, "certain very, very important organs are crushed") and tedious for everyone, since actual filming obviously consisted of spending hours sitting around in front of a blue screen or green screen.
  • Isabel in the Bewitched feature film owns a nice collapsible model which can fit into her purse when she's not using it.


  • In the Harry Potter universe, flying broomsticks come in a variety of makes and models. Then there's the spells that go with them and a popular sport, Quidditch, that employs them.
  • Discworld:
    • The Lancre witches. And in Equal Rites, Granny Weatherwax once had to make do with her protégé's wizard staff. (Earlier in the book, Esk had disguised the staff by sticking bristles on it, which is one theory as to the origins of flying brooms in the first place.)
    • In Wyrd Sisters, it's said you need magic to keep a broomstick up, but other books suggest the magic is intrinsic to the broom, and even Rincewind can fly one. In Lords and Ladies Nanny Ogg complains her grandkids keep joy-riding on hers, and in Going Postal, Moist Von Lipwig just paints an ordinary broomstick blue with stars, in order to fool the antagonist into thinking it was a real one.
      • Which is of course, pretty clever for Moist, as belief is awfully powerful on Discworld.
    • Granny's broomstick is described as the magical equivalent of a split window Morris Minor, and the dwarf craftsman who looks at it is amazed it flew at all. In later books it's been fixed up, but still needs a running start. Though in one case of escaping danger, just outright jumping off a cliff qualifies as a "running start".
    • It is also made clear that they are not exactly wonderful for long range travel, lacking a real seat and being so high in the air that extra layers of underwear are required.
    • And in Thud!!, the wizards speed up a carriage in part by nailing broomsticks to the bottom to make it hover.
  • Keith Roberts' Anita stories had the title character, among other things, learning to fly a broomstick, and IIRC discussing its technicalities with other trainee witches in the same way other kids would discuss motorbikes. There's some bits with "the Controller," who gives out landing clearance instructions like an air traffic controller,[2] and a scene where Anita's grandmother, attempting a tricky rescue on broom, tells a friend "Verniers," and a moment later corrects it to "Main jets ... Aggie, fire main jets..."
  • There's a book about an apprentice witch titled Wise Child. In a scene where the main character must go on some kind of spirit quest or something and she actually used the broomstick in, uh, the way described by Meiriona; the whole "flying" effect was due to the hallucinogenics being absorbed through a, shall we say, tender area.
  • In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, this is the standard transport method for witches. However, we learn that broomsticks are made to fly by the application of a balm, which can be used on anything wooden to achieve the same effect. This is used to make a much more seatable flying basket, although it has stability issues.
    • Mention is also made that the standard way to ride a broom is to sit sideways, not astride, which would be far easier on the groin.
  • Meg, from the Meg and Mog children's book series, rides a broomstick.
  • In His Dark Materials, witches fly on branches of "cloud pine".
  • Averted in Septimus Heap, where it is mentioned that no witch uses broomsticks anymore for flying.
  • The Dorrie the Witch stories used them in the traditional way, and some not traditional, such as pulling carriages in the air.
  • In Theodore Cogswell's The Wall Around the World, the best broomsticks can reach an altitude of 600 feet, which is significantly lower than the titular wall.

Live-Action TV

  • While not seen in the show itself, the opening credits of Bewitched features an animated Samantha flying around on her broom.
  • At least one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has her on a flying vacuum cleaner.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger had a spin on this, hoverbikes that transformed from brooms. There was also a Flying Carpet for the Sixth Ranger.
  • In H.R. Pufnstuf, Witchiepoo drove a broomstick-like vehicle called the Vroom Broom that included a sidecar.
  • A Halloween episode of Charmed reveals Phoebe's dislike for the "cackling hags on broomsticks cliché", until time travelling shenanigens reveal that she created the cliché, much to her amusement.
  • In Catastrophe Kate's first appearance on Rentaghost, she and Mumford are transported back from the Spirit World on a flying broomstick; having turned down the offer of a flying vacuum cleaner.
  • Lampshaded in Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Dawn gives Tara a broom for her birthday.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder and Scully were investigating a case that appeared to involve witches. They knock on a woman's door but there's no answer. Mulder points to a broom near the door and says, "Probable cause?"

Tabletop Games

  • One magic item in most editions of Dungeons & Dragons is some kind of flying broom, along with a magic carpet and a winglike cape. Notably, near any object could be enchanted for this purpose... Autonomous ass-kicking animated broom is also available.


Video Games

  • Maple the Witch from The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games has first a broom, then a vacuum cleaner, then a flying saucer.
  • Arche from Tales of Phantasia flies around on a broom, and in battle too, refreshingly. She also uses them for her weapons. This also enables her to dodge many ground-only based effects, such as the Tractor Beam spell.
  • In the Kirby games, this is used by one of the enemies which gives you the Clean power. In Kirby's Dream Land 3, pairing up with Chuchu with the Clean power lets Kirby fly a broom himself.
    • This appears in the anime, fittingly enough in an episode involving a pastiche of the Harry Potter books.
  • Kammy Koopa from Paper Mario has one. Some of the Magikoopas do, as well.
  • In World of Warcraft during the Hallow's End event, the summoned Headless Horseman can sometimes drop flying brooms that can be used as mounts as part of his loot. Unfortunately for players, they only last 14 days.
  • Marisa Kirisame of the Touhou. It's been speculated that she doesn't really need a broom to fly, but uses it anyway because she consciously goes for a Western witch look, and that obviously includes the broom. Interestingly, she stands on it like a surfboard as often as sits on it.
  • Gruntilda in Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Suikoden III‍'‍s Rody wants to become a witch just so he can ride a broom. He even uses one as a weapon in the meantime, so he'll always have one handy.
  • Flyff has them, although they're not limited to only the magical character classes. Whether a player chooses to ride a broom or a board is largely a matter of taste.
  • Later "silly" depictions of Kohaku in Melty Blood gives her this ability. Her broom also has a sword hidden in the handle. The only explanation has been the Tatari's Influence.
  • The Witch enemy in Castlevania rides on a broomstick and strafes you with magic. The Student Witch tries... but can't keep it in the air more than three seconds.
  • In Magician's Quest/Enchanted Folk, a very Harry-Potter-esque game, it's no surprise that there is a wide selection of flying brooms (well, hovering brooms) to be ridden. There's also a broom-shaped taxi.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Roll rides on her broomstick whenever she dashes forward.
  • Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich features Red Oktober, a Soviet witch. When she flies into the air, it's on a broomstick.
  • In Magical Doropie, Doropie's broom functions as a moving platform, like Mega Man's Item-2.
  • Even RuneScape has a magical broomstick which, when enchanted, can be used to teleport to a certain place, with the animation being of the player mounting it Harry Potter style. Naturally, it is earned by helping out a witch.
  • One can buy a broomstick-themed Extreme Gear in the first Sonic Riders. It allows anyone who rides it the ability to grind on pipes.

Web Comics

  • Eerie Cuties had this mentioned - when Ace invited Melissa to play curling, she told him "No jokes about me holding a broom allowed!"... and after they won, on the way out she herself commented "You'd think they never held a broom in their lives!"
  • Devil Bear has a witch who "doesn't know how to drive a stick".

Western Animation

  • Hanna-Barbera's Winsome Witch.
  • The Looney Tunes character Witch Hazel uses a flying broom. One cartoon featuring her has a gag about Hazel taking her sweeping broom by mistake.
    • In Bewitched Bunny, Hansel and Gretel—having been warned off by Bugs Bunny—jeer at Witch Hazel as they're departing her cottage: "Ahhh, your mother rides a vacuum cleaner!"
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, there is a cleaning woman-gone-witch named Winifred who flies around on a magic hoover.
  • Lampshade Hanging in the 4Kids dub of Winx Club when Tecna says, "Real witches don't ride brooms, Zing. You've been watching too many of Bloom's Earth DVDs."
  • Witch Hazel from the Classic Disney Short Trick or Treat, and subsequent appearances in Disney comics, has a broom named Beelzebub, which acts as both her servant and her mode of transport.
  • From She-Ra: Princess of Power, Madam Razz has a flying, talking broomstick with anthropomorphic face and arms named... Broom.
  • Pretty much any episode of western animation that involves witches will have them riding brooms one way or the other.
  1. Then again, it's magic.
  2. Although he evidently also has authority over several other aspects of being a witch