Sick Episode YKTTW Discussion

Sick Episode
(permanent link) added: 2009-09-29 13:51:19 sponsor: ccoa (last reply: 2009-09-29 13:51:19)

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This is part three of splitting Filleritis into the three tropes masquerading as one.

A character comes down with a serious illness, and may be bedridden. This may be in order to pad out the season, to provide an excuse as to why that character isn't present when their skills or powers would wrap up the plot neatly in a few minutes, or to give the love interest and excuse to nurse him or her back to health. In romances, the sickness is all about the worried, tender nursing. And in the comedies, they frequently end with the sick character now all healthy and looking forward to doing whatever... only for their friend to suddenly start sneezing.

Cures for this illness can vary wildly by genre, and obtaining the cure may take up a small plot arc of its own. These illnesses are rarely, if ever, fatal. The illness also mostly never has lasting implications for the main Story Arc, though it's not beyond the pale for a Monster of the Week to be responsable for a character illness or find a way to exploit the opportunity.

The Sick Episode may also entail characters having to work through their illness when they'd really rather be at home in bed with bowls of chicken soup. Or it may cover the remaining healthy characters scrambling to fill the hole left behind. In both of these cases hilarity sometimes ensues.

If the sickness involved is discovered to be maybe life-threatening, you have a Wham Episode instead.

See Definitely Just a Cold and Villain Cooties when the illness is plot related, although these can often overlap. See also Soap Opera Disease for diseases which are ultimately fatal and may or may not be used as Filler.


  • Used in InuYasha, when Kagome comes down with a severe cold. The main plot is put on hold while Kagome goes home to rest and the titular character mixes up a disgusting "cure."
  • Sailor Moon's second season had the Sailors come down sick except Minako, who attempts to come to their aid as Nurse Venus. Be very afraid of Nurse Venus.
  • In the Cardcaptor Sakura episode "Sakura's Dizzy Fever Day", Sakura has a fever but tries to perform her school and Magical Girl duties anyway.
  • Junjo Romantica has a chapter in which Nowaki was sick so of course Hiroki freaked out taking care of him. Slight subversion, however, because even though it was invoked for the cliche nursing tropes, the next day Nowaki reveals he wasn't sick at all, just a little tired.
  • Otani gets a fever in a chapter/episode of Lovely Complex, so Risa shows up to help him out.
  • On Maison Ikkoku both Godai and Mitaka broke their legs, so there was a series of episodes set during their recovery both in and out of the hospital.
  • Pokémon has an episode where Brock was sick and needed Salveyo Weed.
  • Spider-Man was always getting sick for an issue or two, but then his spider-strength would allow him to recover in record time. Unfortunately, he always happened to get this riight when the Monster of the Week showed up.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode Killed By Death.
  • The 8th season CSI episode "Grissom's Divine Comedy" has Grissom come down with the flu and his rest interupted by a case on which the grand jury inditment of a gang leader hinges. Oh, and the flu is getting around to the others on the team too.
  • "Mr. Monk Stays in Bed". And still has to solve the murder of the week and has a musical Get Well card that just won't stop.
  • An episode of Daria features Daria being hospitalized due to a mysterious rash (which is caused by her love interest Trent)
  • As Told by Ginger not only has a sick episode, but in that episode, she is bedridden and hospitalized by appendicitis.
  • There was a half-length episode of Kim Possible where Shego had to call in sick. It actually started with the Tweebs, then Kim caught it, then she passed it to Shego while they were fighting, so Shego caught the end of the episode, pretty much the entire cast was in bed.
  • Hey Arnold! has one, where Helga ge
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