-> ''The first three "symptoms you should not ignore" were: rectal bleeding; loss of height; and sudden blindness! ''Who ignores sudden blindness?'' Who sits in the office at lunchtime going "Oh, who turned out the lights? Oh, no, I can't see a thing, it's awful, I'm no use to anyone today. I'll answer phones, that's all I can do, that's all I'll be good for today. Oh, don't make a fuss, don't make a fuss, don't make a fuss."''
-->-- '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvMb90hem8#t=285s Dara O'Briain]]'''

One of the characters has come down with something. They may be having mysterious fainting spells, or losing time, or too weak to stand, but whatever the symptoms, it's clear it's serious. If the influence of mystical power is implied, you would think they'd have cause to worry and confide in their friends about their suspicions. Or at least wonder why they're sick.

Actually, the more obvious it's not a normal illness, the less likely they'll mention it. Even if your cast includes some of the most helpful doctors or mind readers, the character won't bring it up for quite a few episodes in a row, constantly making the excuse they're just a bit under the weather. This manages to convince their [[IdiotBall unusually thick friends.]]

For the reason it never ''is'' "just a cold", see PerfectHealth, a subtrope of the LawOfConservationOfDetail.

This may be used for one or more {{Sick Episode}}s. This may develop into either a SoapOperaDisease or an IncurableCoughOfDeath. If caused by contact with the bad guys, it may be AllergicToEvil. Often used as an excuse by a ZombieInfectee in denial. Opposite of MistakenForDying.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Asa from {{Shuffle}}, who denies there's a problem even as she's intermittently losing consciousness in the hospital. She can easily cure herself with a simple spell, but she ''doesn't want to hurt her mom's feelings.''
* Joe near the end of the ''[[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman Gatchaman]]'' series.
* Watanuki in ''XxxHolic'', when his friendship with the ghost woman is making him extremely ill, to the point of coughing up blood, insists that it is "just a cold"--even when Doumeki repeatedly asks him if he's sure his symptoms don't have to do with "spirits and stuff."
* In ''DeepLove'' [[spoiler:-Ayu-]] believes it's a fever when it clearly isn't. [[spoiler: It's [=AIDs=].]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{District 9}}'': So, you or a coworker for a multinational corporation tasked with monitoring aliens were exposed to an unknown black substance in possession of said aliens, which has caused you to: drip black from your nose, vomit black, drop fingernails, and look like you're suffering acute pneumonia. Do you A. Report your condition and have the original substance examined, B. Take a sick day to sort it out yourself, or C. Nothing at all? The answer, of course, is C. Of course, one must remember that, at the time, said infectee was trying his best to make a good impression after a recent promotion. He refuses treatment so as not to look weak or incompetent to his superiors.
* In ''Film/{{REC}}'', the little girl in the movie isn't infected with latent zombiism... she merely has angina! Honest! Of course, the cast do eventually put two and two together and confront the mother about it, who is [[spoiler:bitten to death by her daughter as the infection finally takes hold]].
* In ''Film/{{Slither}}'', the increasingly deforming marks, welts and swelling caused by infection by the alien worms are invariably "bug bites". Even when the bearers of said bug bites are shambling around like zombies, eating dead neighbors, or turning into amorphous tentacle monsters.
* In ''Film/CabinFever'', Marcy discovers some tender red marks on her back while washing her face. [[AsYouKnow There's a flesh eating disease going around, by the way.]] But Marcy instead seems to believe these marks came from her friend Paul fondling her too vigorously when they recently made love, and even chastises him for this. To add injury to insult, Marcy had (unbeknownst to either of them) just infected Paul with the deadly disease, because she insisted they [[ButWeUsedACondom didn't need a condom]] because [[BlatantLies she claimed she was healthy.]]
* In ''Film/FindingNeverland'', Sylvia Llewelyn Davies tries to pass off her illness as a cold, but she doesn't fool her son Peter, who lashes out about being lied to.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Arrow's Fall'' of the ''HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, Herald Dirk claims his respiratory symptoms are this, after weeks of self-destructive behavior including [[DrowningMySorrows drinking heavily]], standing hopelessly outside in the rain, and generally being miserable. He does this for two reasons: he's pining with unrequited love for Herald Talia, whom he mistakenly believes to be in a LoveTriangle with his best friend, Kris; and he's trying to cope with the tragic death of a trainee who was under his instruction. The fact that the person who is most suited to help him sort out this mess is [[TheEmpath Talia]], the person he least wants to face in person, compounds the problem, which lasts until he collapses... from pneumonia. The Healers who attend him as he recovers spare no effort in telling him what an idiot he was being.
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear: The Planet Plague'' has Tash, feeling [[VirusVictimSymptoms hot and irritable and with a growing rashy lump on her arm]], assuming she just has the flu. In fairness her brother has it and she thought she'd just been inoculated with a preventative vaccine for it, and she asked a doctor - but since that doctor had been the one to infect her [[spoiler: with TheVirus intended to turn her into a BlobMonster]], he said it was nothing that wouldn't clear up on its own.
* In ''Creator/StephenKing'''s [[DoorStopper sweeping novel]] ''TheStand'', events start out with a [[FreakLabAccident security systems malfunction in a lab]] letting an [[SyntheticPlague engineered biological weapon]] to get loose. In the earliest stages, the disease (which would come to be known as Captain Trips) would look just like a cold, with flu, cough, sneezing, sniffles, and stuffy noses. Within a few days, the symptoms would escalate to deadly levels. Many characters think that they caught a cold, and before long...
* Jem to Tessa in ''Literature/InfernalDevices''.
* Melle when she's first suffering the effects of [[spoiler:the Drum wasting gift]] in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'', but it quickly progresses past her ability to power through the increasing weakness of body.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'''s final season, the Founders contract a debilitating disease that affects only them. Odo, who had joined with the disease-ridden Head Founder, kept the fact that the disease was progressing rapidly a secret for several episodes. Bashir synthesizes a cure for the disease, disobeying orders to do so (because it could fall into the Founders' hands). [[spoiler:Ironically, it was the friendly offer of this cure to the Founders that ended the Dominion War.]]
** Played with in that at least one character figures out how sick he is, but doesn't mention it because there is no cure and she knows that he prefers to keep such things private.
* In ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]'', the [[spoiler: cheater gets a bloody nose. He thinks it's just a bloody nose and, if he tells his anything, he says it's only a bloody nose, but it keeps going. It's the early manifestation of a fatal virus.]]
* Parodied in ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' with a increasingly ill looking man with a severe cough who insists it's just that. Until one day his love interest shows up at the train station to meet him and he's not there. Then he shows up looking perfectly fine.
--> '''Woman:''' Look, I thought you had TB!
--> '''Man:''' TB? No, I'd have mentioned that. God! No, it's just a cough.
--> '''Woman:''' Right... [[SophisticatedAsHell wish I hadn't let you do me now.]]
** The Edwardian costume drama film it's supposed to be from is called ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Man Who Has A Cough And It's Just A Cough And He's Fine]]''.
* In the ''{{Community}}'' episode "Epidemiology", a number of guests at the college's Halloween party come down with a mystery ailment whose symptoms include fever and stomachaches. Rich, a doctor, claims the symptoms point to food poisoning which the dean told him to rule out. Then, Star-Burns enters the quarantine area and is grabbed and bitten by the infected Pierce who has a bloodthirsty look on his face. Rich then rules out food poisoning.
* In ''Series/{{Helix}},'' which revolves around a CDC team dealing with an outbreak of TheVirus at a remote ResearchInc.
** Early in the mission, junior CDC team member Sarah begins to exhibit a hand tremor, which senior scientist Julia incorrectly interprets as a symptom of infection until Sarah tests herself and appears clean. Sarah blames fatigue, and the viewer is likely to attribute it to delayed fear reaction from a particularly trauma-filled day. But in the closing scenes of "274" she pops pills in her quarters, and reveals a large vertical scar on her back.
** Also in "274," after being infected by PatientZero Peter, Julia herself goes into denial and tells team leader Alan she fainted in the shower due to fatigue, later projecting and thus accusing Sarah of being a ZombieInfectee herself.
* In TheWestWing, when President Bartlet collapses in the Oval Office, the First Lady (who is a doctor) immediately cuts her trip short and flies back to DC. She insists that he just has the flu and a high fever. As Leo points out, "[You came back] because the President has a temperature. The President's not in nursery school." She then confesses that the President secretly has [[spoiler:multiple sclerosis]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Tracer Tong in ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' develops a cough, but otherwise doesn't make too much mention of it until X51.
* Shion of ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' insists to the other characters that her fainting spells are just fatigue. [[spoiler: It's really symptoms of a condition that comes with coming into contact with U-DO, the same condition that her mother was afflicted with.]]
* Colette in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' kept her [[spoiler: Angel Toxicosis]] secret for a long portion of the game.
** Repeated by her in a later part of the game where she thinks she slept wrong because her neck and shoulder feel stiff. Turns out [[spoiler: [[BodyToJewel her skin is crystalizing into a huge exsphere]]]].
* Happens in ''[[TraumaCenter Trauma Team]]'' during a Diagnosis mission. Joshua tries to claim nothing is wrong with him. The nurse is not fooled. Neither is Gabe. [[spoiler: Much to Gabe's dismay, he has Werner's Syndrome.]]
** Also happens in an earlier Diagnosis. Jacob Tillman constantly claims nothing is wrong with him. Unlike Joshua, who eventually admits he's not well, he fights you to the end, claiming that nothing is wrong. Turns out, [[spoiler: he has a serious heart condition.]]
* In ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice'', Almaz goes with this excuse when he gets infected by an incurable curse that is slowly killing him. [[spoiler: He gets better as long as it's not the bad ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon Conquest}}'' has Hanbei use a similar excuse on Hideyoshi when asked why he's coughing up a storm. Kanbei doesn't buy it and for good reasons. His real life counterpart was diagnosed with tuberculosis and died from it.
* At the end of ''{{Persona 3}}'', the gameplay notes that the main character is very tired. [[spoiler: He dies a couple of days later.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Hanna of ''HannaIsNotABoysName'' has vomited blood, become visibly weak and even passed out cold on his job and still insists he's fine.
* Alan of ''TheDreamer'' has an ominous cough, and has sweat on his brow, but insists that he's fine.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the first season of ''WesternAimation/SouthPark'', a [[ZombieApocalypse Zombie Outbreak]] is mistaken for a nasty case of Pink Eye by most residents, long after the truth should have been blindingly obvious.
[[/folder]]
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