->''"I'm too sick to go to school today!"''
->''Said Little Peggy Ann [=McKay=].''
-->--"Sick," by '''ShelSilverstein'''

Sometimes in a fictional story, a character will pretend to be sick (otherwise known as malingering). Most often, this is to avoid something unpleasant at school or work, such as a test, visit from management, or similar inconvenience. Some just do it to get a day off, and some just want attention. This is often accompanied by completely overblown "symptoms", often exaggerated further by the character holding a thermometer up to a light bulb to fake a temperature.

In comedy, [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin this almost never works]], with the ruse either being readily discovered or backfiring on the character. A backfire might be whatever they were trying to avoid being moved to a day not covered by their ploy; it's also common for the character to end up missing out on something fun. Another risk is that the character may be compelled to take medicine or otherwise submit to medical treatment, as unpleasant and counterproductive as such things may be for someone who is not in fact sick.

See MunchausenSyndrome for the more serious, even pathological version.

Compare DoWellButNotPerfect, {{Hypochondria}}, ObfuscatingDisability, & YouDontWantToCatchThis. Contrast WorkingThroughTheCold.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/InuYasha'', Kagome's absences from school to go time-traveling in Feudal Japan are attributed to increasingly bizarre illnesses that still somehow manage to fool her friends. Maybe she should try for some smarter friends....
* In an episode of the manga of ''IchigoMashimaro'', Chika really ''is'' sick, and is being cared for by her big sister. Miu pretends to be sick, as well, to gain attention. (Though by the end of the episode, Miu actually gets sick, probably due to prolonged exposure to an airborne illness, and is taken to the doctor.)
* Konata of ''LuckyStar'' often makes up different excuses to skip school, including playing sick.
** So much so, that when she actually does get sick, she gets hit with accusations of CryingWolf.
* The series ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'' is made of this trope. [[spoiler: Lil' Slugger is essentially a means of feigning injury in order to shirk personal responsibilities.]]
* ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' had one of these happen in the early episodes, where the main girl's friends ditch her so she could go on a date, and one of them played sick. When suspected after insisting the main character to go, she just said she was just pushing herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Subverted in a ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip. Calvin won't get up because he's too sick to go to school. His mother mentions that it's Saturday and he won't miss school, but Calvin's only response is to curl up further in his blankets and mutter "I know". Cue final scene of his frantic mother dashing to the phone to call a doctor.
* This is done in a ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' strip where Dogbert describes sick days as "Vacation days with sound effects", and depicts Dilbert with a makeshift slingshot made out of kitchen furniture loaded with a chicken calling his boss and saying "Don't be surprised if I cough and you hear my lungs hit the refrigerator".
** Parodied when Dilbert calls in sick and pretends to have a cough. He then admits that he doesn't have a cold, but he ''does'' have a headache, and he doesn't know how to make a headache sound over the phone.
* Inverted in ''FoxTrot'', Jason attempts to fake being ''well'' in order to go to school and at the very least take a math test despite clearly being sick. The teacher doesn't buy it and tells him to go home.
* ComicBook/TheSmurfs do this in the comic book story ''The Reporter Smurf'' to fool Gargamel into thinking he has contracted a disease from them that turns humans into toads.
* Bob in ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' habitually claimed to be sick to avoid going to work when it would interfere with his gaming. After getting caught at it once too often, he was fired and thrown out by his angry and disappointed father.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* A deleted chapter from ''Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' features Mr. Wonka showing the children an invention called Spotty Powder which you put over your cereal in the morning like sugar. You then eat the sugar and get spots on your face, so that when your mother sees you across the table, she'll think you're ill and send you to bed. Perfect for the day you have exams (as Charlie declares).
* This is, of course, the entire impetus to the plot of ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff''...
* The film ''A Gift for Heidi'' has her friend Clara faking she still has her stomach ache from yesterday (after eating too much ice cream). However, she's doing it so that her chaperone has someone he can care for, for once in his life.
* In the movie ''ET: The Extra Terrestrial'' Elliott very convincingly pretends to be sick (even warming the thermometer using a light bulb) so he can be alone with his new alien friend.
** [[TruthInTelevision Taken from his own childhood]]; Spielberg sometimes faked being sick to stay home from school.
* BillyMadison tries this when not wanting to [[BackToSchool go to school]] while in third grade. Billy's maid would let him shave her armpits before forcing himself to get up and go to school.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's ''The Adventure of the Dying Detective'', Dr. Watson discovers that Sherlock Holmes is bedridden with an exotic foreign disease. [[spoiler:Holmes is faking it in order to tease a confession out of the evil genius who ''tried'' to infect him with said exotic foreign disease. He made a very thorough job of it, though: he starved himself for three days.]]
* In Creator/DianeDuane's ''[[YoungWizards Deep Wizardry]]'', Dairine does this for her ''sister's'' benefit.
* One story from the ''Series/DoctorWho 2007 Storybook'' has a boy putting his head next to a radiator to fake that he has a fever so that he can get sent to bed early and later sneak out to help the Doctor.
* From ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'': Fred and George Weasley's "Skiving Snackboxes". One end of the candy will make you graphically ill (nausea/vomiting, nosebleeds, rashes, etc.); upon being excused from your class, you eat the other half, which restores you to perfect health.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Ron intends to explain why he isn't returning to Hogwarts by claiming to be ill with spattergroit (a highly contagious fungal disease), and has a ghoul impersonate him in bed with the condition. He does this with his family's assistance, since they're really all in danger.
* The Creator/ShelSilverstein poem "Sick" consists of Peggy Ann [=McKay=] listing symptoms of her illness -- from a sliver to a 108 degree fever to a shrunken brain -- keeping her from going to school [[spoiler: until she realizes it's Saturday, when she miraculously recovers]].
* ''{{Papillon}}'' makes this into an artform. Hospitals have less security then the PenalColony and a hospital stay can buy time to make better arrangements for labor assignments or plan escapes. They find ''many'' ways to feign illness; for example planting lice, eating spoiled food, or intentionally causing injuries. If that fails, bribe a doctor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* On an episode of ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'', younger Pete fakes food poisoning by pudding to get out of school for a day, and breaks cardinal rule number one, "Don't leave the house", in the second season finale of ''The Adventures of Pete and Pete''. (Yes, it's the one where [[MemeticMutation he sticks President Martin Van Buren up his nose]].)
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Kennedy fakes being sick to get out of going on a vision quest with the other slayers, giving her a chance to take Willow out on a date.
* In one episode in ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'', a character played this, and used her (supposed) very contagious illness to scare all her neighbors. It ended with all the cast sick... except for El Chavo, who wanted most to get the illness so he could enjoy of hospital attention and regular income of food.
* Subverted in ''TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'': the titular heroine uses her powers to raise the level of mercury in the thermometer -- but accidentally takes it too far, breaking the thermometer, and is sent to school.
* In one episode of ''CSINewYork'', most of the police officers of NewYorkCity call in sick. They're striking due to not being paid.
** This is known as the "Blue Flu". Police unions use this tactic because police officers are not legally allowed to go on strike.
** Also occurred in one episode of BarneyMiller.
** And in an episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' (involved underpaid-and-overworked space station dockworkers bound by a no-strike contract).
* In the ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' episode "The Scofflaw", Jerry learns that his friend Gary Fogel (played by Jon Lovitz) had only pretended to have cancer in order to, according to Jerry, "get some free hair" (Jerry had bought him a hair club membership).
** This comes back to bite him, in a later episode Jerry mentions he crashed his car and killed himself while adjusting the hair piece in the rear view mirror.
** In an inversion of this trope, George spends the week on vacation, but keeps his car in the parking lot. After Kramer and Jerry have to clean it from bird droppings, they crash it on the way back, but still park it back in the same space. George has to come back pretending to be seriously injured after the crash to keep from being fired. It still bites him in the butt when he [[spoiler: doesn't get the raise he was hoping for as they thought he was seriously inured or dead and had to fill the position]].
* Rachel has done this a couple of times on ''Series/{{Friends}}'', for example when she had kissed her co-worker and thought it would be awkward to see him.
* In one episode of ''TheGoldenGirls'', Sophia really is injured and must stay in a wheelchair, so Dorothy hires a nurse to look after her mother. The nurse takes excellent care of Sophia but makes life miserable for the other three housemates, who want to fire her. Sophia fakes being injured long after she recovers in order to go on being pampered by the nurse, noting that the way she treats the other three characters is 'just a bonus'.
* {{ROY}} does this in one episode when he finds all of his friends have come down with an illness, but he can't because he is a cartoon (although he does get ill later in the episode). He then discovers his sister Becky isn't ill either and uses that as blackmail against her.
* In an episode of ''LizzieMcGuire'', Matt tries to pull this, but his mom sees through the act from the start. Rather than send him off to school anyway, she cheerfully proceeds to make Matt miserable by feeding him borscht and sweating out his "fever" by swaddling him in a wool blanket with the heater on. Ironically, this and Matt's further attempts to fake sick did end up making him genuinely sick by the end of the episode.
* In ''UnnaturalHistory'', [[TheHero Henry]] does this to get out of the school when [[spoiler: it is under lockdown due to a mysterious disease to get the cure from the medical repository]].
* DJ did this in an early episode of ''FullHouse'' in an attempt to get Stacy Q's autograph. It almost worked, but Joey and baby sister Michelle just ''happened'' to show up at the mall as DJ and Kimmy were leaving. Of course, Michelle discovered them and led Joey over, thus blowing DJ's cover and embarrassing her at the same time.
* On ''DoogieHowserMD 's'' ChristmasEpisode, Doogie fakes an illness while at the hospital (where he’s worked for 36 hours straight), to go home on Christmas Eve and attend a party with his girlfriend, Wanda. Being a teenage kid, as well as a doctor, he was able to get away with this quite well…but he later feels guilty and decides to return to work.
* In ''HomeImprovement'', Jill is enjoying finishing her classes and getting some time off when her dad calls wanting to visit. Believing he wouldn't accept a simple "no, I'd like some time to myself" (which her mom later agrees would be the case), she fakes a cough and warns him away. Soon after, Dad has a heart attack and passes away, burdening Jill with the guilt that she not only passed up a last chance to see him, but that the last things she said to him were lies.
** A more comedic example involves her oldest son trying to do this, going so far as to put the thermometer into a cup full of hot coffee briefly before placing said thermometer into his mouth. It burns his tongue and causes his temperature to read at 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Since he's up at walking at this supposed temperature as opposed to ''dying,'' Jill is not fooled.
* Played with by Sándor and Tamas on ''SchlossEinstein'': Alexander figures out pretty quickly that Tamas isn't really sick, but lets him skip class anyway; and whenever anyone comes into the room, one of them has to hide depending on who it is (either someone from the Schloss Einstein staff who thinks Tamas is Sándor, or Sándor's father, who knows that Sándor is Sándor).
** Somewhat hilariously, [[spoiler: they are found out in the ''very next episode'', when Sándor's father shows up ''un''expectedly and sees Tamas being called "Sándor" by everyone]].
* [[FawltyTowers Basil Fawlty]] once pretended to faint when he forgot a name while making introductions.
* Series/{{Sirens}} had a mother call 999 because he had a slight cough. Stuart was less than impressed and immediately singled out the cause of his cough was a dislike of Rugby. Oh and then he insulated that the 12-year-old was gay.
* Combined with CryingWolf on an episode of ''Series/{{Community}}''. Leonard's comrade Richard continually says, "Where am I? What year is this?" and the rest of the seniors laugh at this genius ploy of getting out of trouble. This leads to a TearJerker moment towards the end when Pierce and the others discover Richard is actually suffering from dementia, and may or may not have been previously faking.
** Jeff does this to get out of helping Annie move, telling the group that he's at the hospital when he's actually shopping for clothes at the mall. The saleslady, without being prompted, asks for his insurance card and the name of his primary care physician to help the ruse. Watch it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y26QB7Cb-U here]].
* From ''{{Reba}}'', two of said titular character's kids each try to use this trick once. They both fail.
* In "[[ValentinesDayEpisode Valentine's Day III]]" on ''TheMiddle'', Axl, stumped for an assignment where he has to give a speech about a life-changing moment, makes a video where Brick fakes being terminally ill.
* On ''Series/TheBradyBunch'', When Bobby [[CelebrityLie pretends to know]] Joe Namath Cindy tries to help out by writing him a letter, claiming Bobby is terminally ill in the hope that Namath will give him his autograph. However, when Broadway Joe decides to visit the house and comfort him, Bobby has to fake it.
** Peter also does it in one episode, to try to avoid going to a party where a girl with a big crush on him will be.
** In "Today I Am a Freshman," Marcia uses it on the first day of high school; she's incredibly nervous about going to a school where she doesn't know anybody.
* In the ''ModernFamily'' episode "Virgin Territory", Cameron fakes an injury while at brunch in the Dunphys' house so, when everyone's out, he can search it for a Tupperware bowl Claire insists she's returned to him.
* Junior in Series/TheSopranos : He feigns dementia to avoid criminal prosecution. Invoked and then twisted as Junior is really going senile.
* In an episode of ''ThirdRockFromTheSun'', the aliens get the idea of calling in sick. As usual, they think they are total geniuses and that no human has ever thought of this:
-->'''Sally''': Taking a sick day when you're not really sick? It sounds like a crime to me.\\
'''Dick''': It's not a crime... [[MundaneMadeAwesome it's the crime of the century]]!
* Carrie from ''KingOfQueens'' actually gets the flu and Holly makes soup for her. After discovering that Holly is a great cook, she decides to pretend to be sick when she isn't anymore to get Holly to continue bringing her food, even when Holly gets sick.
* Tutter on ''Series/BearInTheBigBlueHouse'' does this once to try to avoid going to Mouse School.
* On ''Series/{{House}}'', the titular doctor once pretended to have terminal cancer so he could get a pleasure drug injected directly into his brain. Even for [[AntiHero House]], this was considered despicable.
* On ''Series/BreakingBad'', Walt needs an excuse for disappearing for two days after he was kidnapped due to his meth-making. So he walks into a supermarket and calmly strips off all his clothes, giving the impression that he had a mental break due to his cancer.
* An episode of ''ThatsSoRaven'', after Raven's principal breaks his back and it looks like he'll be leaving, she faking sick to avoid putting up with him for one more day. However, the principal's back healed, [[ShaggyDogStory meaning that he's staying]]. And to add insult to injury, he took the school on a field trip to a water park to celebrate his recovery.
* The flashback portion of one episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' had Henry catching a young Shawn pretending to be sick so that he wouldn't have to have dinner with their neighbors. Shawn then explained that he didn't want to go over to the neighbors' house for dinner because they were vegans--at which point, ''Henry'' decides he's going to play sick.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* Arthéon from ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' frequently does this for the double benefit of not having to go to class and getting his [[MyBelovedSmother overprotective mother]] to leave him alone "so he can rest".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/WeirdAlYankovic did a song about this, titled ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Calling in Sick]]''.
--> I think I'll call my boss and I'm
--> Gonna hack and cough and wheeze
--> Swear I've got some strange disease
--> What's that little twerp gonna say?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ProfessionalWrestling]]
* A common set-up for a wrestling feud. One such execution will have a face wrestler scheduled to take on a heel, but the scheduled heel is a "no show" because he claims to be ill. So one of the heel's underlings will take his place. The good guy will beat on the underling heel for a few minutes, until the supposedly sick wrestler runs into the ring to mastermind a [[CurbStompBattle severe beatdown of his foe]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', claiming to be sick is one of the dialogue options before taking the [[IneptAptitudeTest G.O.A.T. exam]]. However, your father is the Vault doctor, too and very quickly shuts down the attempt with a light mocking. If you chose this dialogue option, another character comments on you trying the old "I'm sick" routine.
** Mocked by LiamNeeson, and check one more off the list.
* In VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius the character Makalov exemplifies this trope, frequently making excuses and trying to got out of battles and debts by feigning illness. After the game's lord, Ike, overhears him planning this, Makalov is told that the company payed off his debts, that he would be working for free for a while, and not to even think about being sick.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/callinsick/ This]] ''WapsiSquare'' comic has Dietzel recommending that Monica do this.
* A story arc in ''Webcomic/PreTeena'' has Teena Keene, normally an A student, panicked into faking illness to escape a test she hasn't prepared for. Older sister Jeri, a veteran of escaping tests and homework by similar ploys, congratulates her for coming over to the dark side, but Teena's conscience gets the better of her and she shamefacedly confesses and apologises.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron'': Jimmy Neutron once gave his friends special patches that mimicked illness, allowing them to skip school. Unfortunately, the patches got absorbed and made them really sick, forcing Jimmy to pull a FantasticVoyagePlot to develop a cure (hence the episode's title, "Journey to the Center of Carl").
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'s Chicken Pox'', younger sister D.W. pretends to have come down with the titular sickness. It works until the spots come off in the bath.
** Another episode has D.W. faking she has lost her voice so that everyone spoils her. Arthur overhears her talking and has to get help from his friends to make her come with the truth.
*** Actually, she did genuinely lose her voice... temporarily. She got better at some point before the halfway point, which is where Arthur discovers she was faking it by that point.
* One ''Franchise/CareBears'' cartoon has two characters drawing spots onto themselves to fake that they have spots. However, when they wash the spots off and declare they're better, the parents declare that the illness is getting worse!
* The ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "Cry Ed", although Eddy is pretending to be severely injured instead of sick, and trying to get attention and pity from the other kids rather than out of school.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheEmperorsNewSchool'', Kuzco did it after learning that the Royal Treasury would provide funds to look after him (in luxury) if he was ill
* One episode of ''TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'' has Flapjack pretending to be struck dumb by a curse so that Captain K'nuckles will take him to a carnival.
** And another has K'nuckles pretending to be dead so Flapjack will leave him alone.
* The ''[[MyLittlePony My Little Pony Tales]]'' episode "Too Sick to Notice" - Bon Bon feels ignored by her family when her youngest brother gets sick, so she decides to pretend she's sick too.
** And attempted in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Family Appreciation Day" by Apple Bloom. [[spoiler: It doesn't work. Granny Smith, having raised first her own children as well as Apple Bloom's older siblings before her, sees right through it.]]
** Fluttershy does it in "Hurricane Fluttershy" to avoid tornado duty, painting spots on her face and making rather obviously fake sneezes. Rainbow Dash isn't fooled, dumping water on her and washing away the spots.
** "Three's A Crowd": [[spoiler: Discord does this by claiming to have the "Blue Flu" and having Twilight and her visiting sister-in-law Cadance tend to him. Naturally he's doing this for his own amusement in the hopes it'll spoil the visit (though he claims it's also a SecretTestOfCharacter for Twilight to see if she really does care for him). It winds up backfiring since Cadance didn't mind it since it gave her some much needed excitement from her princess duties.]]
* ''PepperAnn'' had an episode where she fakes she has a fever (by putting the thermometer in a cup of coffee) so that she can have a day off school.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' has Angelica faking having a broken leg to get out of chores, and so she can more easily boss the adults around. It works when there is a mix up with the X-Rays at the Hospital.
** Angelica does this again in the spin-off ''AllGrownUp'' in which she starts quoting lines of a deranged character from a soap opera so she can stay in the hospital longer.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Bart does this a few times, in one case pretending to have [[HollywoodTourettes Tourette's Syndrome]] (later changed to rabies via ExecutiveMeddling) and various other symptoms while Grandpa warns him against playing the "boy who cried wolf". Eventually he's attacked by an actual wolf that's escaped from Krusty's show and isn't believed.
** In another episode, Bart eats a jagged O from a box of Krusty-Os and develops agonizing stomach pains. No one believes him except Lisa (although it's also likely that the Teachers not believing him was also simply due to callousness on their part rather than previous faking sick attempts, as Krabappel once mentioned that she also won't be held accountable if one of her students [Milhouse in this case] was eaten by the pet snake), though he is eventually taken to the hospital.
** Ms. Hoover also was speculated to have faked sick by some of the students when she revealed that her Lyme Disease was actually Psychosomatic in one episode, to which she confirms it both faking sick and being crazy.
** Even Lisa got in on the act to get out of a bad birthday party when a lot of the kids get sick from eating raw oysters (which Lisa, being a vegetarian, would have never eaten in the first place).
* In one episode of ''StrawberryShortcake'', Strawberry finds a fairy with a hurt wing and offers to take care of her until her wing heals. The fairy takes advantage of Strawberry's hospitality and all the attention her friends dote on her, pretending she can't fly even after her wing has healed.
** Ginger Snap does it in "Ginger Snap's No Light Night of Fright" to try to get out of going on a camp-out because she's scared of the dark, but it doesn't work.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' did a variation in which Jerry painted spots on Tom to [[InducedHypochondria make him believe he had measles]]. Tom eventually finds out and goes after Jerry, only to find that now Jerry had the measles for real.
* ''CodeLyoko'' does this in countless episodes. "Mrs. Hertz? I don't feel good, I have to go to the infirmary." "Me too!" "And I'll escort them!" Cue running off to Lyoko. With three or four students doing this all at the same time, and it's the same ones every time, you wonder why the teachers don't see through it.
** The teachers and principal start getting fed up with this in the last Season and aren't fooled as often, so it becomes harder for the heroes to pretend being sick.
** Keep in mind that most of these visits [[ResetButton never happened]].
* WesternAnimation/SouthPark: Stan and Kyle give one another ludicrously overblown maladies (date rape psychosis and cancer, respectively) in ''Towelie,'' telling their mothers that they're too busy nursing one another to bother with baseball practice or school.
* An old ''{{Popeye}}'' cartoon has him and Bluto feigning illness to get into a hospital and be treated by nurse Olive. As they try to outdo each other and start fighting, Olive sees through their ruse. A later WWII cartoon has the two in the US Navy; Bluto fakes illness to get out of working. Popeye sees through it and proceeds to teach him a lesson.
* WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender had an entire city pretend that they were sick with Pentapox in order to let the citizens flee the occupied city. This mysterious disease was actually just hickies from a Purple Pentapus.
** Katara also fed Appa a bunch of bright purple berries to make it seem like he was sick, so they would have to stay for longer so that she could be the [[AnonymousBenefactor Painted Lady]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' had the main characters pretend to be sick in order to be sent home from a boring school day (every other student is out with a real illness). Unfortunately, Gretchen mixes up the symptoms, so instead of an illness that would mandate being sent home, the nurse thinks that they've contracted some horrible disease that leads to them being quarantined by public health officials.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMask'', Lonnie the Shark's henchman Pete is prone of making excuses to get sick to avoid doing work.
* Jokey Smurf does it at least twice in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'': once in "Jokey's Funny Bone" in order to get attention, and another time in "Calling Doctor Smurf" in order to make Dabbler feel useful as a doctor.
* Dragon does it in "The Bug Flu" on ''[[WesternAnimation/MissSpidersSunnyPatchFriends Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends]]'' after seeing Spiderus do the same thing.
* In one episode of ''Main/TheFlintstones'', Fred and Barney tried to call in sick to go to a baseball game. Fred's boss believed him, but Barney's wanted him to check with the company nurse. He did, and when she took his temperature, Fred tried to fake a fever for him using his cigarette lighter. ''[[FromBadToWorse Unfortunately]]'' that made it register ''way'' too high, and the nurse panicked and called an ambulance, and suffice to say, [[HilarityEnsues it only got worse from there.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' did this twice, once played very sympathetically and once played very unsympathetically.
** The sympathetic example is when PJ plays sick (at Max's coaxing) to get in one last day of freedom before being GroundedForever for failing his math test, which he thinks he did. Pete is very strict about what counts as "sick enough" to stay home, so Max makes PJ look ''very'' sick, which results in him being taken to the hospital and Pete ''[[AesopAmnesia very briefly]]'' realizing that he's a bad parent. Unfortunately, [[ShaggyDogStory PJ didn't even need to play sick in the first place because he didn't fail the test.]]
** The unsympathetic example is when Pete pretends to be sick so that he can take the day off fishing. This wouldn't be so bad by itself, especially considering Pete is his own boss, but he tells ''PJ'' he's sick and dying and that PJ has to take over his job. He goes so far to make him feel guilty by saying that Peg, Pistol, and Chainsaw will be stuck doing terrible jobs if he doesn't succeed. This starts to backfire when Max and Goofy give PJ the idea to use Pete in some stunts (since he's dying anyway), and [[LaserGuidedKarma backfires even further when PJ tearfully presents the proceeds to Peg and tells her what Pete said.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/HollyHobbieAndFriends: [[ChristmasSpecial Christmas Wishes]]'', Holly is said to have lost her voice due to a "freak scarf accident" and this is the reason why she has to give up her solo to the widow Kelly Deegan. In reality, it's just a scheme to try to restore happiness to this Broken Bird, and it works.
* An episode of ''ChalkZone'' has Rudy faking sick to get out a test he forgot to study for. However, the test turned out to be the next week and instead he was to have gone on a field trip to a dinosaur-themed amusement park, so Rudy makes a portal to [=ChalkZone=] to go to the park without getting caught.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* China's Wei General Sima Yi pulled this trick (along with his sons, too) so that he could plot a coup in secret without anyone being suspicious. This is also written in the novel ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''.
** Cao Cao did this as well. Not to say, they both faked to have some kind of neurological disorder ''in front of people''; Sima pretended to have what we call Alzheimer's now, and Cao pretended he had stroke-- when he was a teenager.
** Lu Meng also used a fake illness to put Guan Yu off his guard.
* In ancient Rome, an epileptic fit was one of the omens considered dire enough to put an end to any public assembly where a fit was seen. The sufficiently cynical would see this as a useful political ploy.
* In her childhood, actress Toni Collette once faked a burst appendix so she could miss school. Her acting was so convincing that she ended up having it removed.
* There's a modern trick called the [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/26/faking-illness-online-munchausen Munchausen by Internet syndrome]], where people lie about their own healths, pretending to be seriously/deathly ill to garner sympathy. A list of some infamous cases are [[http://web.archive.org/web/20120121042216/http://wiki.fandomwank.com/index.php/Pseuicide here]]
* Trying the light bulb thing is an easy way to generate a real-life subversion; choose the light unwisely and the mercury in the thermometer can expand so forcefully it breaks the thermometer.
[[/folder]]
----
->''"Huh? What's that? What's that you say?''
->''You say today is Saturday?''
->''Good-bye! I'm going out to play!"''
----