History Main / TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed

9th Jun '16 5:19:42 PM Katsuhagi
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* Averted in ''Film/TokyoGodfathers'' when Hana's foster mother hears that Hana lost her boyfriend and asks (albeit under her breath) if he died of AIDS. Hana clarifies that he slipped on the soap in the shower.


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* Averted in ''Film/TokyoGodfathers'' when Hana's foster mother hears that Hana lost her boyfriend and asks (albeit under her breath) if he died of AIDS. Hana clarifies that he slipped on the soap in the shower.
9th Jun '16 5:10:08 PM Katsuhagi
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Added DiffLines:

* Averted in ''Film/TokyoGodfathers'' when Hana's foster mother hears that Hana lost her boyfriend and asks (albeit under her breath) if he died of AIDS. Hana clarifies that he slipped on the soap in the shower.
6th Jun '16 7:00:54 AM Minni128
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* Played with in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/4505391/chapters/10245126 Through Thick and Thin]]'' with Ryuuko's illness. Invokedd, as Satsuki, in her narration, prefers not to refer to it by name and neither does everyone, however, from all implications, the former is being treated for cancer.

to:

* Played with in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/4505391/chapters/10245126 Through Thick and Thin]]'' with Ryuuko's illness. Invokedd, Invoked, as Satsuki, in her narration, prefers not to refer to it by name and neither does everyone, however, from all implications, the former is being treated for cancer.
30th May '16 9:19:37 PM MasoTey
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* At one point in ''The Tragedy of Y'' (by ElleryQueen), the York family doctor lets amateur detective Drury Lane read the family medical history, specifically all the parts that talk about the positive [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassermann_test Wasserman tests]]. The book never uses the word "syphilis". Not even when Lane gets access to those medical files by proving to the doctor that he already knew the York children had been born with the disease.

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* At one point in ''The Tragedy of Y'' (by ElleryQueen), Creator/ElleryQueen), the York family doctor lets amateur detective Drury Lane read the family medical history, specifically all the parts that talk about the positive [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassermann_test Wasserman tests]]. The book never uses the word "syphilis". Not even when Lane gets access to those medical files by proving to the doctor that he already knew the York children had been born with the disease.
18th May '16 11:26:25 AM aurora369
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** Doctors in general like to tell the patients their diagnoses as indecipherable TechnoBabble if these diagnoses are terrifying enough to endanger the patients' mental health as well.

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** Doctors in general like to tell the patients their diagnoses as indecipherable TechnoBabble if these diagnoses are terrifying enough to endanger the patients' mental health as well. For example, schizophrenia may be referred to as "SCH" (works particularly well in languages with non-Latin scripts, so the patient cannot make the connection).
18th May '16 11:23:26 AM aurora369
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** Doctors in general like to tell the patients their diagnoses as indecipherable TechnoBabble if these diagnoses are terrifying enough to endanger the patients' mental health as well.
18th May '16 11:19:22 AM aurora369
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* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', there is a lot of characters who have vaguely described medical conditions. This is a medieval world where the local doctors just do not have the knowledge to identify diseases as we do, so all we have is symptoms. Nevertheless, the disease from which Lord Hoster Tully is dying is heavily hinted to be cancer.
6th Mar '16 8:49:47 PM Angeldeb82
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'''LEPROSY. TUBERCULOSIS. SYPHILIS. CANCER. AIDS. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking DIARRHEA]].'''

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'''LEPROSY. TUBERCULOSIS. SYPHILIS. CANCER. AIDS. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking DIARRHEA]].'''
DIARRHEA.]]'''



It's also a way for an artist to hedge their bets [[YouFailBiologyForever in case they got something wrong]], as they can't portray X Condition wrong if they never ''say'' it's X Condition.

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It's also a way for an artist to hedge their bets [[YouFailBiologyForever [[ArtisticLicenseBiology in case they got something wrong]], as they can't portray X Condition wrong if they never ''say'' it's X Condition.



Almost the inverse of an IncurableCoughOfDeath, in that there the illness is [[IncrediblyLamePun ill]]-defined, thus vague. Here it is known, but kept vague.

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Almost the inverse of an IncurableCoughOfDeath, in that there the illness is [[IncrediblyLamePun [[JustForPun ill]]-defined, thus vague. Here it is known, but kept vague.



See also SecretlyDying (which this trope often entails,) NeverSayDie, VictorianNovelDisease, IllGirl, LittlestCancerPatient, TheScottishTrope, AmbiguousDisorder.

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See also SecretlyDying (which this trope often entails,) entails), NeverSayDie, VictorianNovelDisease, IllGirl, LittlestCancerPatient, TheScottishTrope, AmbiguousDisorder.



* Hyatt from ''Manga/ExcelSaga'' suffers from some unknown disease that causes her to ''vomit blood and die'' on a regular basis. [[TheyKilledKenny She always gets better, though.]]

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* Hyatt from ''Manga/ExcelSaga'' suffers from some unknown disease that causes her to ''vomit blood and die'' on a regular basis. [[TheyKilledKenny [[TheyKilledKennyAgain She always gets better, though.]]



* [[ComicBook/ChickTracts Jack Chick]]'s tract "Wounded Children" contains an odd variant: A DepravedHomosexual speaks of his lover dying of "cancer", which a [[FootnoteFever footnote]] tells us means "AIDS".
** JerkassHasAPoint: it wasn't unusual in the 80's and 90's for people with AIDS to say they had cancer, to avoid the stigma. In many cases, it's not a total lie, since Kaposi's Sarcoma is an opportunistic skin cancer (the infamous black lesions) AIDS victims often die from.

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* [[ComicBook/ChickTracts Jack Chick]]'s tract "Wounded Children" contains an odd variant: A DepravedHomosexual speaks of his lover dying of "cancer", which a [[FootnoteFever footnote]] {{footnote|Fever}} tells us means "AIDS".
** JerkassHasAPoint: it It wasn't unusual in the 80's and 90's for people with AIDS to say they had cancer, to avoid the stigma. In many cases, it's not a total lie, since Kaposi's Sarcoma is an opportunistic skin cancer (the infamous black lesions) AIDS victims often die from.



* An amazing example in 1939 {{Tearjerker}} ''Film/DarkVictory'', which uses words like "glioma", "growth", and "malignant", and kills off the IllGirl at the end, but never says "cancer" or "brain cancer".

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* An amazing example in 1939 {{Tearjerker}} TearJerker ''Film/DarkVictory'', which uses words like "glioma", "growth", and "malignant", and kills off the IllGirl at the end, but never says "cancer" or "brain cancer".



* In ''MoulinRouge'', Satine has consumption (tuberculosis), but this is kept from her until near the end of the movie when she [[spoiler:dies from it onstage.]]

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* In ''MoulinRouge'', ''Film/MoulinRouge'', Satine has consumption (tuberculosis), but this is kept from her until near the end of the movie when she [[spoiler:dies from it onstage.]]onstage]].



* In the '90s Australian film TheSumOfUs, Jack Thompson's character is struck down by a stroke. Contemplating this in the hospital, he recalls that when his son came out as gay, he thought he might some day have to watch him dying in hospital of "that terrible disease" (meaning AIDS).
* In {{Tearjerker}} ''Film/OneWayPassage'', poor Joan is dying of...something. Something that leaves her looking beautiful, and perfectly healthy, except for the occasional fainting spell. A throwaway reference to a sanitarium vaguely implies TB, but she never coughs.

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* In the '90s Australian film TheSumOfUs, Film/TheSumOfUs, Jack Thompson's character is struck down by a stroke. Contemplating this in the hospital, he recalls that when his son came out as gay, he thought he might some day have to watch him dying in hospital of "that terrible disease" (meaning AIDS).
* In {{Tearjerker}} TearJerker ''Film/OneWayPassage'', poor Joan is dying of...something. Something that leaves her looking beautiful, and perfectly healthy, except for the occasional fainting spell. A throwaway reference to a sanitarium vaguely implies TB, but she never coughs.



* ''GoodTimes'' was the first time STD (then called VD) was mentioned in a (US) fiction TV show, but they never really said what it was or how it was spread, just that JJ's ex had VD and he should get tested, along with {{Anvilicious}} speeches about VD (given the time frame, they almost certainly meant gonorrhea).

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* ''GoodTimes'' ''Series/GoodTimes'' was the first time STD (then called VD) was mentioned in a (US) fiction TV show, but they never really said what it was or how it was spread, just that JJ's ex had VD and he should get tested, along with {{Anvilicious}} speeches about VD (given the time frame, they almost certainly meant gonorrhea).



* Another STD example on DrQuinnMedicineWoman, paired with GettingCrapPastTheRadar, seeing as how this was a family show airing at 8PM. In the series first episode, prostitute Myra comes to see Dr. Mike about a "female problem". Later, Dr. Mike tells Hank, owner of the local brothel, that Myra needs to be "chaste" for several weeks. When he complains about the loss of revenue, she warns him that he'll lose a lot more if she has to treat his customers as well. In a later episode, Hank asks why Dr. Mike has been oblivious to the fact that her sister Marjorie is ill--"That husband of hers left her with more that anyone suspects". Mike realizes what the problem is and gently tells her sister, "It's not your fault, he gave it to you", then offers to give her an injection of silver nitrate in order to clear up the infection. Given the treatment mentioned, it's obvious that Marjorie's unfaithful husband has given her gonorrhea.
* ''TheHoganFamily'': The first use of the word "condom" and what it's for on a (US) fiction TV show was in a VerySpecialEpisode during the series' second season (episode titled "Bad Timing," when Valerie told David to use a condom if he had sex with his girlfriend. The episode aired with a [[ContentWarnings content warning]].

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* Another STD example on DrQuinnMedicineWoman, Series/DrQuinnMedicineWoman, paired with GettingCrapPastTheRadar, seeing as how this was a family show airing at 8PM. In the series first episode, prostitute Myra comes to see Dr. Mike about a "female problem". Later, Dr. Mike tells Hank, owner of the local brothel, that Myra needs to be "chaste" for several weeks. When he complains about the loss of revenue, she warns him that he'll lose a lot more if she has to treat his customers as well. In a later episode, Hank asks why Dr. Mike has been oblivious to the fact that her sister Marjorie is ill--"That husband of hers left her with more that anyone suspects". Mike realizes what the problem is and gently tells her sister, "It's not your fault, he gave it to you", then offers to give her an injection of silver nitrate in order to clear up the infection. Given the treatment mentioned, it's obvious that Marjorie's unfaithful husband has given her gonorrhea.
* ''TheHoganFamily'': The first use of the word "condom" and what it's for on a (US) fiction TV show was in a VerySpecialEpisode during the series' second season (episode titled "Bad Timing," when Valerie told David to use a condom if he had sex with his girlfriend. The episode aired with a [[ContentWarnings content warning]].{{content warning|s}}.



* After Scott dumps [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] Faith sees him with another girl. She gets a brainwave, goes up to him and claims the sexually transmitted diseases she got from him were clearing up, [[MomentKiller getting some]] measure of [[RevengeByProxy revenge]] for what he did to Buffy.

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* After Scott dumps [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] Series/{{Buffy|TheVampireSlayer}} Faith sees him with another girl. She gets a brainwave, goes up to him and claims the sexually transmitted diseases she got from him were clearing up, [[MomentKiller getting some]] measure of [[RevengeByProxy revenge]] {{revenge|ByProxy}} for what he did to Buffy.



* ''BabylonFive'' included an in-universe example with the disease which ultimately wiped out the Markab. Sufferers would not discuss it or seek treatment because most Markab believed the disease only struck the immoral and impure. At one point, Dr. Franklin [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] the fact that this resembled human behavior surrounding many plagues, including AIDS and the Black Plague.

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* ''BabylonFive'' ''Series/BabylonFive'' included an in-universe example with the disease which ultimately wiped out the Markab. Sufferers would not discuss it or seek treatment because most Markab believed the disease only struck the immoral and impure. At one point, Dr. Franklin [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] {{lampshade|Hanging}}d the fact that this resembled human behavior surrounding many plagues, including AIDS and the Black Plague.



* Prince used "A big disease with a little name" to describe HIV/AIDS in ''Sign o' The Times''.

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* Prince Music/{{Prince}} used "A big disease with a little name" to describe HIV/AIDS in ''Sign o' The Times''.



* TLC's song "Waterfalls" features this. It's a series of morality plays, and the second one is about a man who sleeps around, and it gives us this gem:
-->His health is fadin and he doesn't know why

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* TLC's Music/{{TLC}}'s song "Waterfalls" features this. It's a series of morality plays, and the second one is about a man who sleeps around, and it gives us this gem:
-->His health is fadin fading and he doesn't know why



* R. Kelley's "Trapped in the Closet" has characters mention a disease called "The Package". Averted in later chapters, people ask if "The Package" is AIDS/HIV.

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* R. Kelley's Music/RKelly's "Trapped in the Closet" has characters mention a disease called "The Package". Averted in later chapters, people ask if "The Package" is AIDS/HIV.



* Creator/{{Henrik Ibsen}}'s ''Ghosts'' was incredibly controversial in its time merely for referring to congenital syphilis, even though the disease was never named outright.

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* Creator/{{Henrik Ibsen}}'s Creator/HenrikIbsen's ''Ghosts'' was incredibly controversial in its time merely for referring to congenital syphilis, even though the disease was never named outright.



* As mentioned above, head lice. Although it's not a sign of dirtyness or being low class, the sheer amount of work involved in eradicating the live lice from one's head and home (usually 2-7 days, and most of your day will be taken up with it), and removing the dead nits from the hair (at least two weeks), makes parents cringe when they hear somebody in their child's class has it. And most schools will not reveal who patient zero is, but simply send home the lice letter to everybody in the school, to avoid ostracizing the child.

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* As mentioned above, head lice. Although it's not a sign of dirtyness dirtiness or being low class, the sheer amount of work involved in eradicating the live lice from one's head and home (usually 2-7 days, and most of your day will be taken up with it), and removing the dead nits from the hair (at least two weeks), makes parents cringe when they hear somebody in their child's class has it. And most schools will not reveal who patient zero is, but simply send home the lice letter to everybody in the school, to avoid ostracizing the child.



** This may have something to do with the fact that JohnWayne himself was dying of the disease -- this would be his last film.

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** This may have something to do with the fact that JohnWayne John Wayne himself was dying of the disease -- this would be his last film.



* Oddly inverted, [[TheyJustDidntCare along with just about everything else]], in ''TheRoom''. Lisa's mother says off-handidly that "The tests came back. I definitely have cancer." Setting it up as a possible plot point. However, it is never mentioned again and Lisa herself doesn't seem particularly affected by the news.

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* Oddly inverted, [[TheyJustDidntCare along with just about everything else]], in ''TheRoom''. ''Film/TheRoom''. Lisa's mother says off-handidly off-handedly that "The tests came back. I definitely have cancer." Setting it up as a possible plot point. However, it is never mentioned again and Lisa herself doesn't seem particularly affected by the news.



* Averted in ''Theatre/{{RENT}}'', where characters that have AIDS are pretty frank about it. In the film version, however, Roger and Mimi recognize each others' affliction through the medication without mentioning the name of the disease - though it's still averted in the case of Angel and Collins, who speak about it frankly and by name.

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* Averted in ''Theatre/{{RENT}}'', where characters that have AIDS are pretty frank about it. In the film version, however, Roger and Mimi recognize each others' other's affliction through the medication without mentioning the name of the disease - though it's still averted in the case of Angel and Collins, who speak about it frankly and by name.



* The 1990 ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special ''[[WesternAnimation/WhyCharlieBrownWhy Why, Charlie Brown, Why?]]'' is about Linus befriending and helping a girl with leukemia. This made ''Peanuts'' be the first animated series to ever directly talk about cancer.

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* The 1990 ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' special ''[[WesternAnimation/WhyCharlieBrownWhy Why, Charlie Brown, Why?]]'' ''WesternAnimation/WhyCharlieBrownWhy'' is about Linus befriending and helping a girl with leukemia. This made ''Peanuts'' be the first animated series to ever directly talk about cancer.



* ''BobsBurgers'' - Bob tells Tina to keep quiet about an insurance scam, pointing out that Linda (his wife) can't keep a secret - cut to the two of them entering a cocktail party and Linda cheerfully shouting "Hi, sorry we're late, Bob had diarrhea!"

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* ''BobsBurgers'' ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers'' - Bob tells Tina to keep quiet about an insurance scam, pointing out that Linda (his wife) can't keep a secret - cut to the two of them entering a cocktail party and Linda cheerfully shouting "Hi, sorry we're late, Bob had diarrhea!"
20th Feb '16 6:00:56 AM Minni128
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* Played with in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/4505391/chapters/10245126 Through Thick and Thin]]'' with Ryuuko's illness. Justified, as Satsuki, in her narration, prefers not to refer to it by name and neither does everyone, however, from all implications, the former is being treated for cancer.

to:

* Played with in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/4505391/chapters/10245126 Through Thick and Thin]]'' with Ryuuko's illness. Justified, Invokedd, as Satsuki, in her narration, prefers not to refer to it by name and neither does everyone, however, from all implications, the former is being treated for cancer.


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*In ''Odds and Probabilities'', a prequel to ''Through Thick and Thin'' (see above), Ryuuko's illness was diagnosed to be Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
6th Feb '16 4:55:46 PM Psyga315
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* Inverted in ''Manga/IllBoyIllGirl''. The disease that have afflicted the eponymous duo does not have a name. It's a plot point, though, as the boy has dibs on naming the disease after him... provided he dies from it first.
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