Created By: batgirl1 on June 2, 2011 Last Edited By: batgirl1 on June 8, 2011
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The Tonsillitis Episode

Don't worry, Little Bobby; after this, you can have all the ice cream you want!

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This is a one-episode medical condition that seems to be prevalent in kids' shows. As such, it is played less for drama, and falls more into the category of Very Special Episode. The basic formula for such an episode is thus:

  • The character (usually either a kid, or someone sufficiently child-like) has a throat problem that turns out to be tonsillitis.
  • The character angsts about having to have surgery, but is reassured by his/her loved ones and promised - and this is important - "All The Ice Cream You Can Eat."
  • The operation goes off without a hitch. Whether loved ones actually come through with the ice cream is optional.

Sub-Trope of Sick Episode


Examples

Film Shorts
  • In The Little Rascals short "Men in Fright" Darla has just gotten her tonsils out, and Alfalfa is tricked by another boy into taking his place, not knowing that the other boy is scheduled for a tonsilectomy too.
    • In "No Noise" Mickey gets his tonsils out.

Literature

Live Action TV
  • As an example of the child-like patient, in M*A*S*H, Radar develops tonsillitis, and near the end of the episode, Hawkeye and BJ trade their precious portable bathtub in exchange for ten gallons of icecream for him... which then ends up being shared amongst the entire camp.
  • The Brady Bunch: Cindy needs her tonsils out on the same weekend the family is planning on a trip on Mike's boss's boat. Then Carol needs hers out too.
  • The Nanny episode "Deep Throat" has Fran getting her tonsils out. Maxwell and the Sheffield family stays with her through the procedure, much to C.C. Babcock's horror, who hoped Maxwell would accompany her to her reunion.

Real Life

Stand-Up Comedy
  • Bill Cosby had a routine where he was going to have his tonsils taken out, and after seeing a anesthetized kid, he thought the kid had died and "All the ice cream you can eat," was a euphemism for death.

Web Original
  • Referenced in I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC: Rorschach and Deadpool visit a guy in the hospital after Deadpool shot him. Deadpool talks like a soothing parent and utters the ice cream line.

Western Animation
  • Played straight in Busy Town. I think he even got his ice cream, too.
  • Happened in Madeline.
  • This was also used with Isabella in the Phineas and Ferb episode "I Scream, You Scream".
  • A Rugrats episode had Susie Carmichael suffering from tonsillitis and slipping into an Oz-esque dream world.
  • Little Bill had one of these
  • May have happened in an episode of Arthur.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 2, 2011
    Sooku
    This definitely happened in Madeline. I seem to remember an Arthur episode about it as well, though I might be mistaken.
  • June 2, 2011
    CaveCat
    This was also used with Isabella in the Phineas And Ferb episode "I Scream, You Scream".
  • June 2, 2011
    TheMayorofNorthfield
    A Rugrats episode had one of the characters suffering from tonsillitis and slipping into an Oz-esque dream world.
  • June 2, 2011
    StarryEyed
    A major episode in (the novel, not the movie) Cheaper By The Dozen involves several of the children getting their tonsils taken out. Only the dentist mislabels one of the tonsil x-rays, and so one of the girls who thought she didn't have to get hers out is dragged to the dentist. In a separate, but closely related incident, Dad decides to get his taken out and have it filmed. The operation goes off smoothly, but the cameraman made a mistake and none of it recorded.
  • June 2, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • The Brady Bunch: Cindy needs her tonsils out on the same weekend the family is planning on a trip on Mike's boss's boat. Then Carol needs hers out too.
    • In The Little Rascals short "Men in Fright" Darla has just gotten her tonsils out, and Alfalfa is tricked by another boy into taking his place, not knowing that the other boy is scheduled for a tonsilectomy too.
      • In "No Noise" Mickey gets his tonsils out.
  • June 2, 2011
    Aielyn
    As an example of the child-like patient, in MASH, Radar develops tonsillitis, and near the end of the episode, Hawkeye and BJ trade their precious portable bathtub in exchange for ten gallons of icecream for him... which then ends up being shared amongst the entire camp.

    Good episode, that one.
  • June 2, 2011
    Grain
    The character in Rugrats was Susie Carmichael.
  • June 3, 2011
    dalek955
    We have Sick Episode.
  • June 3, 2011
    batgirl1
    ^Sub Trope? Actually, Sick Episode seems to be kinda vague as a concept...I'm not saying that we need a trope for every illness, but Sick Episode seems to mean a lot of different things in relation to the plot (character is suffering in bed, character is working while ill, character is conveniently off-stage altogether), whereas Tonsilitis Episode pretty much *is* a plot.
  • June 3, 2011
    somerandomdude
    Little Bill had one of these
  • June 3, 2011
    Premonition45
    The Nanny episode "Deep Throat" has Fran getting her tonsils out. Maxwell and the Sheffield family stays with her through the procedure, much to C.C. Babcock's horror, who hoped Maxwell would accompany her to her reunion.
  • June 5, 2011
    robybang
    Stand Up Comedy
    • Bill Cosby had a routine where he was going to have his tonsils taken out, and after seeing a anesthetized kid, he thought the kid had died and "All the ice cream you can eat," was a euphemism for death.
  • June 5, 2011
    bluepenguin
    I'm pretty sure there was an Arthur episode about this, yeah. Unless Sooku and I are both imagining (the same) things. Really, I've Seen It A Million Times, but since this is largely a kids'-show trope, it was naturally all a very long time ago.

    And man, this trope gave me such unrealistic expectations about my tonsillectomy when I was seven. I may still be slightly bitter.
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