[[quoteright:350:[[http://www.flickr.com/photos/theremina/3369245877/ http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/plaguedoctor_3335.jpg]]]]
->As may be seen on picture here,\\
In Rome the doctors do appear,\\
When to their patients they are called,\\
In places by the plague appalled,\\
Their hats and cloaks, of fashion new,\\
Are made of oilcloth, dark of hue,\\
Their caps with glasses are designed,\\
Their bills with antidotes all lined,\\
That foulsome air may do no harm,\\
Nor cause the doctor man alarm,\\
The staff in hand must serve to show\\
Their noble trade where'er they go.
-->--17th century poem

An ankle length overcoat, boots, thick gloves, a brim hat and, most importantly, a mask [[CreepyRavens reminiscent of a raven's face]], complete with a beak. And now for the story behind it.

A plague doctor is a physician specializing on tending to those who suffered from the bubonic plague. Interestingly, the beak mask itself predates the full head-to-toe protective garment, invented in the fourteenth century. The explanation behind the beak mask is simple: according to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miasma_theory miasma theory of infection]], diseases essentially transfer via the poisonous stench, and the doctors protected themselves from inhaling it by placing various herbs, flowers and other aromatic substances inside the beak. We now [[ScienceMarchesOn know that the miasma theory is false]], but [[RightForTheWrongReasons the full-body leather costume did a good job protecting doctors from exposure to infection, and the mask blocked airborne infections]] (especially if the plants contained phytoncides), thus the plague doctor's outfit is essentially a grandfather to our modern mask-and-labcoat medical uniforms; even more so to {{hazmat suit}}s.

The costume itself was associated with death (where there's plague, there's the beak doctors and also death), which has become deeply ingrained in popular culture. Thus, a plague doctor's outfit is a typical go-to [[RuleOfScary creepy]] costume, the resemblance to both TheGrimReaper and CreepyCrows doing this effect no harm at all. It is particularly used when the setting has TheBlackDeath or [[ThePlague its equivalent]] featured. Another common interpretation of this trope is to make the Plague Doctor ''[[{{Plaguemaster}} spread]]'' [[DeadlyDoctor plague]] instead of treating it.

As the costume is particularly associated with UsefulNotes/{{Venice}} (due in part to being a popular ''Carnevale'' costume), these guys will often show up in a CityOfCanals.

For a modern equivalent see GasMaskLongcoat. CoatHatMask is a broader trope.



[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', one member of Inquisitor Mozgus' QuirkyMinibossSquad wear such a suit. He is a torturer rather than a doctor -- he has to wear a suit due to a serious alergic reaction to sunlight.
* Roujuurou "Rose" Ootoribashi, one of the Vizards from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', bears a Vizard mask resembling the mask of a Plague Doctor.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Sachiel's face bears a strong resemblance to the ''carnevale'' mask. In the ''Rebuild'' series, it has become a trademark of almost all the Angels.
* In the manga reboot of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', Kenshin meets and befriends a doctor who wears this mask. However, the real reason for the mask is because the doctor is really a woman; she knew that many of the close-minded citizens would not believe in or listen to a female doctor. At the end of that adventure, Kenshin encourages her to reveal her face to the town. She is extremely beautiful, and soon all the guys are scrambling to be ''treated'' by her.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Doctor Fell from ''ComicBook/CastleWaiting'' is a plague doctor who has been driven mad by his experiences.
* In ''Franchise/SpiderMan ComicBook/{{Marvel 1602}}'', Baron Octavius (who is dying of the Black Death, and willing to go to any means to cure it) makes his first appearance flanked by plague doctors.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/TheThiefLord'', Scipio dresses like this once.
* In the ''Literature/DeptfordMice'' prequel book "The Alchemist's Cat", a character uses the outfit as a disguise.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{Mortasheen}}'' features a family of monsters that are avian and heavily based in appearance on the plague doctor. This being Mortasheen they spread plague.
* A ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' module features the "Queen's Physicians," who dress like this. [[spoiler:They're actually ''causing'' the plague. On the Queen's command, no less!]]


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' and ''Brotherhood'' have NPC doctors in this costume (which is appropriate for Medici-era Italy). One of the multiplayer characters is a doctor who also happens to be a JackTheRipoff.
* The Wizzrobes from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' occasionally sport a similar outfit.
* Characters reminiscent of plague doctors pop up in ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'', as the decease spreads throughout the town.
* In ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' the guards of the city of Geffen [[http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRofF3aYcDF2iwddL2LO2yDe22cS_ow93oMbNgDO3O4Z-TBHhcl_syvH3g- have a uniform]] heavily based on the plague doctors, sans hat. There is, however, no plague. Note that the plague doctors' outfits in real life are themselves based on military uniforms.
* In ''VideoGame/{{RuneScape}}'' there is a set of quests set in West Ardougne collectively named the Plague City Quests that live this trope to a T. You learn to love Ye Olde Worlde hazmat suits.
* Plague Knight from ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight'' has the iconic mask, but switches out the overcoat for a robe, among other things. Then again, he's also a MadScientist who ''spreads'' diseases as a primary battle tactic.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has a misc item for the medic called the "Blighted Beak". It's not the full outfit, but only the beak.
* Grand Apothecary Putress of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' wears a mask inspired by the beak mask, and is a plague-spreader. Warlocks have a similar armor set, they, however, being demonic mages, have nothing to do with plague.
** Warlocks specialized in Affliction, however, do most of their damage by afflicting targets with various diseases and ailments as a primary means of dealing damage.
* One of the helmets you can find in ''VideoGame/DungeonsOfDredmor'' is a Plague Doctor's Mask. It provides minimal normal defense and a small penalty to your sight radius, but also gives substantial resistance to toxic, putrefying, and asphyxiation damage.
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Spritzee from ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' is a small pink bird who happens to be based on a plague doctor; its face resembles the iconic mask, it has the Healer ability (which lets it heal an ally's StandardStatusEffects), one of its moves is Aromatherapy, and it's known as the Perfumed Pokemon.
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile'' has waxed leather clothing and plague mask hats.
* The Plague Doctor class from ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon''. She ([[ViewerGenderConfusion despite common assumption]]) has some medical skill, but in combat is more often found lobbing plague and acid weapons about, and is implied to be in the party mostly {{for science}}; she wants to see what effects her concoctions have on the various monstrosities of the eponymous dungeons.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Navaan, the [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire "doctor"]], from ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' wears this outfit. Seen [[http://oglaf.com/jarlampham/1/ here]]. (Caution, surrounding comics are NSFW.)
* ''Webcomic/{{Magience}}'' has a guild of Plague Hunters who wear {{black cloak}}s and [[EverythingsBetterWithRainbows rainbow-colored]] beak masks.
* [[http://thewretchedones.smackjeeves.com/ The Wretched Ones]] has Charlie seeing a plague doctor on the street (in the 21st century). So far, no one else has seen it.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'' has [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-049 SCP-049]]. [[{{Creepypasta}} This being the Foundation]], naturally he's a horrifying DeadlyDoctor. He also doesn't seem to be aware that he's a Deadly Doctor, and [[ObliviouslyEvil genuinely thinks that he's helping to treat the Plague]]. He actually isn't a man wearing plague doctor clothes but a humanoid entity which skin and face are identitical to plague doctor's garb and mask.
* In Franchise/TheFearMythos, one of the Fears is known as the Plague Doctor. It looks like the historical doctor, but instead of treating disease, [[WalkingWasteland it spreads it.]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has Princess Bubblegum wear this in the episode "What Have You Done?". She was spraying a green gas that covered the candy kingdom in fog. Unsurprisingly, Finn and Jake got scared.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* There's the continued use of the decorative ''Medico Della Peste'' (Plague Doctor) mask-and-costume set in the Venetian ''Carnevale'' to this day. Many settings even [[CityOfCanals only semi-based on Venice]] have a tendency to trot it out, as well as the other masks (most based in the CommediaDellArte). For instant decadence, just add death and pretty masks.