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A character knows [[YourDaysAreNumbered His Days Are Numbered]] and tries to keep it under wraps. If he's diagnosed with TheVirus or an IncurableCoughOfDeath, HerrDoktor may be begged to keep silent about it. If he's harboring a SecretStabWound, he may wear extra shirts and haphazard bandages to avoid a MortalWoundReveal.

Why? Perhaps he doesn't want his friends handling him with [[DontYouDarePityMe kid gloves]] or passing the DespairEventHorizon, or he wants to spend his last days seeing his sweetheart [[WhenSheSmiles smiling]] rather than grief-stricken. Alternately, he might want to keep his enemies from getting a morale boost out of it. This can also be a selfish act if his condition represents a danger to others, such as with ThePlague or a ZombieInfectee.

Sometimes, though, even the character themselves don't realize this fact, leaving only the audience and a select few to know the truth of the mater. Whether said character is told later on, or ends up suddenly dropping dead without realizing depends.

This may lead to DyingAlone, if taken to its logical extreme. It also can invoke FridgeLogic of the StupidSacrifice variety if medical treatment could have saved or at least prolonged the victim's life.

This is a DeathTrope, and usually a major PlotTwist. The examples section is a [[SpoileredRotten minefield of unmarked spoilers]].


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'', Eagle Vision has an IncurableCoughOfDeath complete with blood. He tries to hide it from all his loved ones, which angers [[{{Foil}} Hikaru]], who has had enough of people wanting to [[YouAreNotAlone bear their burden on their own]].
* In ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', all the kids piloting Zearth would qualify. They don't suffer from any kind of medical condition, but once they pilot Zearth, they die. They just keep this a secret from everyone they know, to avoid hurting their feelings, but they secretly know that once it's their turn to pilot Zearth, they only have very little time left to live. In the manga, [[spoiler:Kana Ushiro]] manages to keep [[spoiler:her]] status as a pilot secret until [[spoiler:her]] turn comes up late in the story.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'':
** Roy Fokker's death in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' (and by extension, ''Anime/{{Robotech}}''). After coming back from a mission where his fighter got shot up, he spends a quiet night at his girlfriend's place strumming his guitar... then keels over, revealing bloody wounds in his back. YMMV as to whether it was a StupidSacrifice or not; since the injuries weren't severe enough to debilitate him, he might have lived if he'd gotten immediate treatment, but on the other hand, [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Roy might have sensed that he was about to die and that no immediate treatment would've been enough]]. If the latter case, he simply decided to ''not'' [[DyingAlone die alone]], going to Claudia's place intending to see her one last time before kicking it. Considering that [[TheAce Roy pulled lots of risky stuff]] throughout the course of the series, it's not that implausible.
** Roy's death is referenced during a subversion in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', where Ozma Lee goes to Ranka's concert while seriously wounded and collapses - but he's rushed to the hospital and survives.
* In ''Manga/{{Dear}}'', Subaru's EvilHand is painfully consuming him. He keeps quiet about it so Komomo won't worry.
* In the anime of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', when [[BadassPreacher Wolfwood]] is mortally wounded in his battle with Chapel, he speaks briefly to Vash, then heads to an abandoned church to confess his sins. Vash is too busy angsting about his own duel with Caine the Longshot (who ended it via suicide) [[DistractedFromDeath to notice the trail of blood droplets in his wake]]. Wolfwood dies as he's praying. In the manga, things are played differently. The kids of Wolfwood's OrphanageOfLove have been sent away to safety, and both he and Vash watch them leave. Then they share OneLastSmoke... and Wolfwood dies as they're talking to each other.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'':
** Season 1 Huang hides a SecretStabWound to sacrifice themself as a distraction. Also in DTB, November 11 believes Amber's precognition that he's not long for this world, but keeps it to himself.
** Amber spans a BatmanGambit to detonate the Gate using judicious use of her time manipulation power. The price she pays for using her power is {{Cast From Lifespan}} in reverse, causing her to age backwards. She worked it all out so that she had exactly enough lifespan left to see her plan to fruition, and unmakes herself the last time she uses her power.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', Rau le Creuset is very slowly dying [[CloningBlues because his cells are a good 30 years older than they should be]]. There are a number of scenes that show him self-medicating to deal with the pain, but the cause is not explained until [[TheReveal The Big Damn Reveal]], as his condition is the root of his misanthropy and thus his desire to [[TakingYouWithMe wipe out humanity with him in retaliation]].
* Kaiser in Season 3 of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''. He wants one last amazing duel before his heart condition takes him down, and he shrugs off concern and support all season when anyone notices the pain he's in.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Hiruluk keeps his fatal illness secret from Chopper. After getting ShooTheDog, though, Chopper learns the truth by listening to Hiruluk and Kureha.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** [[spoiler:Itachi]] had a fatal illness which he barely controlled via medication, and likely would have won his final battle if he hadn't succumbed to it mid-fight. Later, we find out [[spoiler:Itachi wasn't aiming to kill Sasuke anyway]].
** Kimimaro attempted this trope, refusing to reveal his growing illness for fear that he would lose value in Orochimaru's eyes. Kabuto and Orochimaru saw through this and he ended up bed-ridden before the invasion of Konoha.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': [[spoiler: Loke, being a celestial spirit trapped in the human world, could not survive for an extended period, and the fact that he made it ''three years'' before he started dying just makes it that much more impressive. When he eventually reveals to Lucy that he's dying, she flips out and summons the Spirit King to revise Loke's sentence and save his life.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Shigofumi}}'' there was the story of an older man watching over a little girl named Fumika (the same as the protagonist). The older man treated the girl nicely, but did not tell her that he was dying from a condition. He ultimately dies by pushing Fumika out of the way of a bus, though he gets hit and dies.
* In ''Manga/FushigiYuugiGenbuKaiden'' this is the case for Takiko. For the first half of the series, she's repeatedly shown to be [[IncurableCoughOfDeath coughing]] or suffering from colds and it's treated as nothing too bad. Then she finds out that she caught tuberculosis from her [[MissingMom recently deceased mother]] and needs to take medicine. Takiko takes her medicine but keeps the fact that it's ''tuberculosis'' a secret from her companions and lover.
** In a more meta sense, all the priestesses of the Four Gods in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' can count as this, since part of their duty of being the Priestess is to summon the God, become one with them and get [[EatenAlive consumed]] by them for every wish they get fulfilled. [[spoiler: Genbu Priestess Takiko gets killed via murder-suicide by her father in the real world after only two wishes due to the excess pain the consumption causes her, Seiryu Priestess Yui's whole body began to turn scaley and was absorbed into Seiryu and Suzaku and Byakko Priestesses Miaka and Suzuno, respectively, managed to have strong enough wills to not be consumed.]]
* Kaori from ''Manga/YourLieInApril'' had suffered from a disease her entire life and it was getting worse with age. At age fourteen she could tell she didn't have much time left anymore. So she aimed to be the ManicPixieDreamGirl of the boy who inspired her to become a musician. [[spoiler:She dies a little under a year after meeting Kousei due to complications in a surgery meant to make her live longer]]. While at the hospital she tried to downplay her illness as stress-related, even to the point where she didn't want her friends to see her using an [=IV=], but as the anime goes on it becomes obvious it's more serious than she's letting on.
* Giftia in ''Anime/PlasticMemories'' are androids who only have around nine years to live. The purpose of [=SIA=] is to retrieve dying Giftia before their expiration date. When Giftia die, their bodies are reused however they have no memories of their past lives and have completely different names. [[spoiler:Isla]] only has 2000 hours to live at the start of the series. This is kept secret from her love interest and eventual boyfriend until near the end.
* [[spoiler: Kishou Arima]] from ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' is eventually revealed to be dying, as a result of being BlessedWithSuck. The same [[HalfHumanHybrid hybrid]] nature that granted him superhuman physical abilities caused him to age at an accelerated rate. While externally he looked young, internally he was already dying from old age and suffering from Glaucoma. Rather than wait to simply break down further, he chooses to commit suicide.
* {{Downplayed}} in ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia.'' The [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler first few chapters/episodes]] reveal that [[SupermanSubstitute All-Might]] suffered severe injuries a few years back which, combined with the toll that [[SuperPowerLottery One For All]] takes on the body, leaves him coughing up blood and straining to keep his [[HenshinHero hero form]] for more than a few hours. Thankfully, One For All can be [[SuperEmpowering transferred to another person]], and the series begins with him picking the protagonist, [[AscendedFanboy Izuku/Deku Midoriya]], as his successor so that he can safely retire.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'', Ironfist is dying from taking a [[CranialProcessingUnit cerebro-seeking bullet to the head]] in an "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accident]]", and having it slowly working its way closer and closer to its target and unable to be stopped. He hides it because he's assigned to what is a dream mission for him and doesn't want to be ruled unfit to serve it. [[spoiler:Prowl apparently knew all along and allowed Ironfist to go on the mission because fulfilling it would require [[SomeoneHasToDie someone to die.]] Someone else made the sacrifice instead, and Ironfist was eventually killed by the bullet after the mission.]]
* ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'' begins with Superman discovering that he's dying. The comic ends with him telling the world in the form of a Clark Kent article.
* In the "Whitewater" arc of ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'', [[GeneralRipper General Kerimov]]'s plot to resurrect Ice came about because he discovered that he was dying of pancreatic cancer and wanted to die having done something that he could be proud of. He figured that resurrecting a beloved superheroine and offering her up to his country would help make up for decades of morally-questionable behavior.
* In her last arc in ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'', Jenny Sparks knows that she's going to die (she's the spirit of the 20th century, after all, and the story opens on December 30th, 1999), but is determined to keep her teammates from finding out before they've finished dealing with God.

* Played With. This is implied to have been the case in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11245944/1/Raindrops Raindrops]]'' with Ryuuko when she went to live with her sister, as told by Satsuki in flashbacks. Satsuki also noted that Ryuuko never told if anything was wrong and neither would she, however, at the same time, it's never made too clear if Ryuuko really did grasp the severity of her illness, thus that is why she went to live with her sister or if she didn't want to disclose the fact due to denial and her stubborn nature but her sister did note that she had a feeling something wasn't right and couldn't seem to figure out what.
** In the sequel, ''Sunshine'' [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11301117/1/Sunshine]], we initially have this with Satsuki, who didn't reveal to her friends that she was ill with leukemia until she was nearing the terminal stages. Nonon states that, while she laments that Satsuki waited until it was almost too late to tell them, she does respect her choices, nevertheless.
** Similarly, but played with in ''Paper Cranes'' by Creator/{{Amoridere}}, Satsuki is sick but Ryuuko is quite aware that she's hiding something and doesn't know what, regardless, knows that Satsuki seemed to be in denial about dying. In the end, we (and Ryuuko) find out why Satsuki kept the extent and diagnosis of her illness a secret, the reason being because [[spoiler: she was dying of heart failure and the doctors offered to place her on a list to receive a heart transplant, even if there were no donors available, to which she declined, knowing she'd die before a donor is found and not wanting Ryuuko to kill herself, so the latter's heart could be used in a transplant]].
* In the last few chapters of ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'', Littlepip learns that she's dying from a combination of radiation, [[DeadlyGas Pink Cloud]], and [[BrownNote corrupted broadcaster]] exposure, and probably has less than six months to live. She keeps it a secret from her friends, and launches into her final campaign to destroy the Enclave.
* In ''Fanfic/RequiemForALoud'', Lincoln tries to keep his 5 younger sisters from finding out that he only has 2 weeks left to live, considering that the news is already driving his older sisters into a deep depression and he hates to see them like this. [[spoiler:He fails with Lisa, who easily figures it out on her own, and is only half-successful with Lucy, who has her suspicions despite Lincoln claiming to be fine, but he has more luck with Lola, Lana and Lily. At least until chapter 18, when by that point, all sisters (sans Lily due to her being a baby) have learned the truth]].

* Ulric in ''Film/BlackDeath'' has the bubonic plague. He [[TakingYouWithMe weaponizes it]].
* One of the most famous movie examples is in ''Film/ElCid'', when the eponymous hero tells those around him to keep the fact that he is dying a secret so as to avoid demoralizing the Spanish troops and boosting the morale of the besieging Moors. This ends with the famous scene when [[ElCidPloy the now-deceased Cid, strapped to his horse, "leads" his army out of the city gates to victory]].
* Cloud Strife in ''Film/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'', as he hides the fact that he is infected with terminal geostigma from his family and friends.
* [[Characters/MCUIronMan Tony Stark]] in ''Film/IronMan2'' realizes that the Arc Reactor in his chest, which was supposed to keep him alive, is slowly poisoning him. He prepares for his death by handing control of his company to [[GirlFriday Pepper]], and undergoes a public, [[DrowningMySorrows alcohol-fueled]] [[HeroicBSOD breakdown]].
* At the end of ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'', Cheyenne reveals that he's bleeding out from a gut-shot. He asks Harmonica to get him out of sight from the new town before he keels over.
* In ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', Shaun's mum doesn't let anyone see her zombie bite to avoid worrying anyone. This leads to the movie's biggest TearJerker when Shaun has to kill her when she turns.
* Satine in ''Film/MoulinRouge'' is dying of tuberculosis. For the maximum amount of gut-wrenching DramaticIrony, almost everyone knows it before she does (including the audience, since the story is a flashback told a year after her death). When she does find out, she keeps it a secret in an effort to spare her beloved's life.
* Madame Armande in ''Film/{{Chocolat}}''.
* ''Theatre/BreakingTheCode'' (1996). UsefulNotes/AlanTuring is called before Dilly Knox, manager of Bletchley Park, because his overt homosexuality is upsetting his co-workers. Knox tries to convince Turing that discretion is not only appropriate, but kinder to his friends.
-->'''Knox:''' Supposing I said that I'm mortally ill, and that I've only a year or so to live. Supposing I'd broken down and wept. Supposing I'd opened my heart to you, and said that I have no wish to die; that I am frightened and in despair. (laughs) Well I can't believe that you'd welcome such a disclosure, finding it distressing, and embarrassing -- somewhat inconsiderate. And so, having regard for your feelings as well as my own, it would seem to be both correct and appropriate to...[[StiffUpperLip moderate my response]].
-->'''Turing:''' (quietly) Are you dying? (Knox ignores the question[[note]]Dilly Knox died in 1943 of lymph cancer.[[/note]])
* ''Film/PacificRim'': [[FourStarBadass Marshal Stacker Pentecost]] is dying from radiation poisoning due to Mark 1 Jaegers not having proper internal shielding to protect the pilots from the nuclear reactors. Thus, he was slowly poisoned every time he went into combat. He keeps this a secret to keep the morale of his men.
* Inverted in ''Film/NothingSacred'', in which Hazel Flagg is secretly ''not'' dying. It turns out her diagnosis of radium poisoning was a mistake by an incompetent quack, but she isn't going to let the fact that she's perfectly healthy cost her a free vacation to New York.
* The titular protagonist of ''Animation/LeafieAHenIntoTheWild'' is slowly dying for much of the latter half of the film. She lives in a marsh with her adopted duckling son despite being a chicken. The environment is not suitable for a domesticated hen. By autumn Leafie's feathers are messy, she's overly skinny, and she is weak. She keeps it from her son nevertheless. [[spoiler:Leafie doesn't die of natural causes. She [[HeroicSacrifice lets herself be eaten]] by the one-eyed weasel so she can produce milk to feed her newborn kits]].
* This kickstarts the plot of ''Film/AdviseAndConsent''. The President is dying and, since he has no faith in his Vice President to lead, he nominates a headstrong ex-communist to be Secretary of State to carry out his foreign policy once he dies. The only people who know he's dying are the Senate Majority Leader, who is a close friend, and the Vice President, who figures it out on his own.

* Near the end of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, Harry learns that Dumbledore had been hiding an unbreakable death curse from wearing a ring which was a [[SoulJar horcrux]] and that [[spoiler: he had actually asked Snape to MercyKill him as part of his ThanatosGambit for Voldemort to never posses the Elder Wand and set up his downfall by having a high-ranking ReverseMole]].
* In ''Literature/TheCurseOfChalion'', Cazaril has a supernatural tumor in his gut haunted by the ghost of the villain he killed with magic. He tries desperately to keep it under wraps, both for political reasons and so the girls he's trying to protect won't worry about him.
* In ''Literature/TheDogsOfWar'', [[spoiler:Mercenary leader "Cat" Shannon]] has been diagnosed with cancer.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' book ''Death Masks'', [[spoiler:Shiro]] exchanges himself to almost certain death for Harry. Harry learns via a letter that was arranged beforehand that his benefactor was already dying from cancer.
* In the Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Blood Pact'', the reader is led to believe that Ayatani Zweil is dying of cancer this way. He isn't: [[spoiler: Dorden is]].
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', [[spoiler: Jon Connington is dying from greyscale, and tries to keep it secret from his men so he can fulfill his dream of placing Aegon on the throne.]]
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse]]''. Poor Zoe Nightshade knew she would be the heroine in the prophecy to "die by a parents hand", but told no one because she needed to go on this quest, and die for her beloved lady Artemis.
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/BooksOfTheRaksura The Serpent Sea]]''. [[spoiler:Flower]]'s health fails over the course of the book, with her stubbornly shrugging off the others' concerns, until she dies at the end. The subversion: The only one it was a secret from was Moon. Everyone else knew it was coming [[spoiler:because elderly Raksura's scales turn white when they're close to dying of old age]]; Moon, having grown up without other Raksura around, didn't recognize the sign. [[spoiler:Flower]] didn't say anything to him because she liked having someone around that didn't treat her like a dying person.
* As of ''[[Literature/TheInfernalDevices The Clockwork Prince]]'', [[spoiler:Jem is still hiding his SoapOperaDisease from everyone except Will and Tessa.]]
* In ''Literature/TheManWhoCarriedTrouble'', as part of a terrible week, Bill learns that his mother is dying of cancer, and the reason she is finally telling him is because she has only months left.
* In ''Literature/TheSouthernReachTrilogy'', the final book reveals that the psychologist was dying of cancer when she joined the twelfth expedition into Area X, a fact which motivated her because she had nothing to lose and which she kept secret so she wouldn't be forbidden to go on medical grounds.
* The plot of ''Deadline'' by Chris Crutcher revolves around this trope. When the eighteen year old protagonist finds out he has a terminal illness and only a year left to live, he decides to hide it from everyone so he can make the most of his senior year of high school.
* In the 55th ''[[Literature/MadgieWhatDidYouDo Madgie]]'' story, ''Broken Wings'', we have a variation with Doki in that, while she was terminally ill and suffering renal failure, she wasn't entirely honest with exactly how much time she had left, as she said she had a few months to a year, whereas in reality, she actually had a couple of weeks.
* ''Literature/ChainLetter'': Neil, participant in the hit-and-run and subsequent cover-up in the beginning of the book, is revealed to be dying from cancer that started in his legs and moved to his brain. [[spoiler:It's part of the reason he became The Caretaker]].
* ''Literature/TheHeartsWeSold'': [[spoiler:James has a brain tumor. His deal with the Daemon means that as long as his heart's out, it won't progress to the point where it can kill him. With his heart, he'd have three months to live at the outside.]]
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' book Twilight, an unknown cat in the prologue is told by [[DeadPersonConversation StarClan]] that they are going to die soon. This cat ends up being [[spoiler:Cinderpelt]], and she never tells anyone until her death. Turns out that being told in advance was a test, and since she kept it secret she is rewarded by being [[{{Reincarnation}} reincarnated]] as her own niece, who was born the same instant [[spoiler:Cinderpelt]] died.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Since the visions Cordelia had were intended for demons, they begin to physically damage her brain. Skip circumvents this by turning her half-demon.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". Dr. [=McCoy=] learns that he's suffering from a disease called xenopolycythemia which will kill him in one year. When he tells Kirk about it he asks him to keep it to himself so he'll be most effective in his job in the time left.
* Professor Arturo on ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' had an incurable disease which will kill him in a number of months, but didn't want anyone to know.
* [[spoiler: Hiro]] from ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' hides the fact that he has cancer from everyone at the start.
* President Laura Roslin spends most of the first season of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' hiding the fact that she has terminal breast cancer from the fleet at large. [[spoiler:Then, after the news broke, and a miracle cured her, it came out at Baltar's trial that she was hiding a relapse.]]
* During the early part of season 7 of ''Series/TheXFiles'', Mulder is hospitalized for unusual brain activity. At the end of the three-episode arc, it's implied he made a full recovery. In reality, he did not and is dying from an "undiagnosable condition." He hides it from everyone, including the audience. It's not until he goes missing in season 8 that anyone finds out. And how do Scully and Skinner find out? Doggett has the manhunt team bring in his ''family headstone'' from North Carolina, which Mulder had recently changed to include his own name, birthyear, and anticipated year of death.
* In the last season of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Odo conceals from Kira (with whom he's recently gotten together after many seasons of pining) the fact that he's got the disease that's infected his entire species. Slightly subverted in that [[SecretSecretKeeper Kira is actually perfectly aware what's going on]]; she just doesn't let on because she respects Odo's reasons for not telling her.
* From ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', WordOfGod says this is why [[spoiler:Inara]] joined Serenity.
* Early on in ''Series/BreakingBad'', this was Walt's cancer situation. It takes a while before the word "cancer" is even said again after the initial diagnosis. Unlike most examples, though, he does survive.
* Subverted to hell on ''Series/{{House}}''. The ducklings find out that House is dying of brain cancer and has been hiding it from them. They then realize that it isn't cancer and he can be easily cured only to find out that he was faking terminal brain cancer so he could participate in a drug trial and get really strong painkillers.
* The pilot of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' had a business executive whose daughter's murder Beckett was investigating. Castle deduced that he was dying due to no recent pictures and an IncurableCoughOfDeath. This turns out to be a plot point that points them towards his daughter's real killer: [[spoiler:Her brother]].
* Sid on ''Series/{{CSI NY}}'', very possibly. He has Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which is not invariably fatal, but his is well advanced and there's a real chance it will kill him. Jo knows, but no one else.
* [[DaChief Jenny Shepard]] on ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' was plagued by a fatal disease that would have slowly killed her (it's hinted to be ALS), but instead she went out in a shootout, taking down five people before she succumbed to blood loss.
** Three years later, [[RetiredBadass Mike Franks]] also came down with a fatal disease (hinted to be lung cancer) and chose to go down fighting. In both cases, no one else knew about the diseases until the afflicted were already dead.
*** Well, no one except (in Jenny's case) Ducky, to whom she'd gone for a second opinion and advice (and who assumes when Gibbs tells him Jenny is dead that her disease killed her sooner than expected), and in Franks's case, Gibbs, who had enough advance warning he built a coffin, complete with hand-carved Marine Corps emblem, that was ready in time for Franks's funeral.
* [[spoiler: Lady Browne]] on Series/CallTheMidwife is an interesting case. She wasn't technically diagnosed yet, but since she must have been in a great deal of pain [[spoiler: from her metastasized cancer]] she must have known something was wrong and purposely kept it from her daughter.
* ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' contestant Cindy Stowell competed on the show after being diagnosed with colon cancer and [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMoments won over $100,000]] over seven episodes. She and the producers made it a point to hide that she was competing despite having only months to live. Sadly, she died only eight days before her episodes aired.
** Also sadly, Cindy's winnings had qualified her for the next Tournament of Champions. The returning contestants all wore colon cancer awareness ribbons in her honor during the tournament.
* ''Series/MillionYenWomen'': Implied, then subverted with Yuki. She's at some point seen discussing a brain scan with a doctor who tells her that even with continuing treatment, there is only six months to a year left. It later turns out to be a scan of Yuki's husband, not Yuki herself.

* In Act Five of ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'', Cyrano tries to keep his mortal wound from showing to his beloved, Roxanne.
* Violetta from Verdi's ''Theatre/LaTraviata'' is so adept at downplaying her illness that almost no one, not even her love interest, seems to even suspect that she is dying of [[VictorianNovelDisease consumption]] until she is actually on her deathbed.
* Inverted in Puccini's ''Theatre/LaBoheme'', where it is Mimi who seems unaware of the gravity of her illness. Rodolfo is the one who knows that if he doesn't [[BreakHisHeartToSaveHim give her up]] and let her find a wealthier man, she will surely die in his impoverished living conditions.
* Mercutio in ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' downplays the severity of his mortal wound at first: "Ay ay, a scratch, a scratch". Shortly after, [[MortalWoundReveal it becomes obvious]]: "I am peppered (finished), I warrant, for this world."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Proto Man from ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' knows that his power supply is flawed and will eventually run out of energy and he's too distrusting of Dr. Light to get it fixed. He'd prefer to not tell others about it and just accept when his fate will come.
* In ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}}'', Zeke catches TheVirus and hides it from Cole until Cole's powers allow him to plainly see it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'':
** Shinjiro Aragaki is slowly killing himself with power-inhibiting drugs. He refrains from mentioning his poor health to anyone, mostly because he's expecting one of two ''other'' things to kill him before the side effects of the drugs manage to do it, and because he thinks he deserves it. Even when it comes out that he was taking the suppressants, he waves off any concerns about the side effects, and only comes close to hinting how little time he has to the female protagonist in the last few stages of his Social Link.
** The Protagonist goes through this in [[MultipleEndings the good ending]]. After performing a HeroicSacrifice, s/he is just living to meet up with everyone on graduation day, like they promised. However, everyone in SEES has [[VictoryGuidedAmnesia forgotten about what they've accomplished]], even if they haven't forgotten about the protagonist. Only one person remembers ([[spoiler: Aigis]]) and she makes sure that he or she won't [[DyingAlone die alone]]. Unless this is ''Portable'' with a NewGamePlus, then the preferred LoveInterest can spend the Protagonist's last few seconds with him/her.
* Hanbe from ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' hides his [[IncurableCoughOfDeath tuberculosis]] from Hideyoshi and Mitsunari, who know he's ill, just not that it's terminal. If they were aware they'd probably either lose hope and abandon the conquest of Japan, or force him to stop being TheStrategist.
* Comes completely unexpected in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' with Naomi Hunter, who reveals it just after she disabled the implants that extended her life for the last couple of years, and dies within the next few minutes, having completed the last thing she needed to do.
* Depending on how you interpret the implications, [[spoiler: Dr. Neil Watts]] from ''VideoGame/ToTheMoon''. Either that or [[spoiler: he's addicted to painkillers.]]
* Late into ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', [[TheHero Luke]]'s Fonon's (the particles that make up his body) begin breaking down after the events at the Tower of Rem. He opts to keep this a secret from the rest of the party so they won't treat him differently. Subverted in that they all figure it out eventually.
** Asch, too. Mostly found out by doing a rather [[GuideDangIt obscure]] sidequest with late or strange time frames, it's explained that [[spoiler: because of how Luke was created from him]], he's dying. Well, maybe. Probably. The doctor-scientist that explained this to him used many [[MagiBabble extensive words]] [[TechnoBabble that no layman]] would understand easily. Given the conversation, it sounds like Asch flat out ''misunderstood'' the guy and might actually have ''not'' been dying after all...
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', WhiteMage Wynne eventually reveals to you that her life is being artificially sustained by a benevolent spirit, but she knows it won't last forever.
* Litchi Faye-Ling from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' contracted the same corruption that turned her friend Lotte into the creature known as Arakune, and is slowly being consumed by the corruption which will cause either complete memory loss or turning the rest into Arakune. To others, she'll try to say "There's just someone I need to save." and pass off with a reassuring smile and the image of a helpful, compassionate lady that she's fine, to the point that nobody else knows that she's secretly dying. Part of her not revealing it may have to do with how she didn't want to burden everyone that doesn't know better with her quest to save Lotte along with her GuiltComplex.
* Halfway through [[WhiteMagicianGirl Jess']] character quests in ''VideoGame/ManaKhemia'', she reveals that she's been terminally ill since childhood, and attempts to cure her have only managed to prolong the inevitable. Subverted in that she doesn't feel a need to hide it; she's lived with the knowledge long enough that she doesn't understand how sad death makes other people. [[YouDidntAsk The subject just never came up]], and when it does her delivery is so casual that [[TheHero Vayne]] has trouble believing her.
* Arran takes over for [[CrutchCharacter Jagen]] as the CrutchCharacter in [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Fire Emblem book two and Fire Emblem 12]]. His stats and poor growths are explained as [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration that he is really sick]], and he reveals in the ending that [[IllBoy his illness is fatal]] but he wants to go down fighting wirth Marth [[spoiler: to atone for his past, where he helped slay rebellious peasants under orders of his cruel former lord]]. The epilogue even [[ShaggyDogStory says he died shortly after the war]].
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'': [[spoiler: Whoever you saved from the Wither Storm [[TheCorruption has been infected by it]]. They don't want to tell the rest of the group because they're worried it'll slow down the quest, but most of the party has already figured out that something's up.]]
* [[spoiler: Y'sthola]] during the ''Heavensward'' expansion in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' is rescued from TheLifestream at the cost of her eyesight. To compensate, [[CastFromHitPoints she uses her own aether to see]] while fully knowing that doing so will eventually kill her. Nobody except her mentor knows about it.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In the Jiyel origin subplot in ''VisualNovel/SevenKingdomsThePrincessProblem'', [[spoiler:''[[PlayerCharacter you]]'' are. The threatening letter you recieved - intended for your cousin, the ''original'' delegate - turns out to have been coated with a rare and highly lethal poison. While there is no known cure, it's very slow-acting, giving you at least a few weeks of time to look for a solution.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' this is revealed to be the case with [[spoiler: Nagito Komaeda]]. While it's never revealed in the main story, going through his Free Time Events reveals that [[spoiler: Nagito was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma and frontotemporal dementia right before he was accepted into Hope's Peak Academy and has around a year and a half left to live. May or not be subverted as he appears alive and well in ''VideoGame/AbsoluteDespairGirls'' and ''Anime/DanganRonpa3'' but this may be due to [[BornLucky his]] [[BornUnlucky luck]] keeping him alive past his life expectancy.]]
* [[spoiler:Kaito Momota]] in ''VisualNovel/NewDanganronpaV3'' suffers from a terminal disease but manages to keep it a secret until late in the game, [[spoiler:and ultimately succumbs during his own execution]].
* [[spoiler:Shingen]] from ''VisualNovel/IkemenSengoku'' hides the fact that he's slowly dying from a terminal illness from everyone except for a few of his closest allies. [[spoiler:Fortunately, once the main character finally learns about this, she reveals to him that she's a time traveler who can take him back to her time to get him treated by modern-day doctors.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Mortimer from ''Webcomic/{{Newheimburg}}'' is suffering from [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed an AIDS-like illness]], and was attempting to hide it from Jack, ultimately failing.
* [[spoiler: Belinda]] of ''Webcomic/LegostarGalactica'': :Her battle with Literature/TheKingInYellow should have left her mindlessly insane or dead. Turns out that the King's mental assault is doing just that, just slowly.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The protagonist's deceased father in ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' knew he was dying and kept it from his daughters. He decided to make them one last gift - a supercomputer named Synergy - but didn't live long enough to personally give it to them.
* A slightly different version of this trope comes up in the ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' episode "Dying for Pie." Having assumed Spongebob swallowed a bomb, Squidward spent the whole day with him hoping to make his last hours meaningful.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': When Homer Simpson thinks he's [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E11OneFishTwoFishBlowfishBlueFish eaten poison blowfish]] and that he has 24 hours to live, he decides telling the kids will just upset them. (Of course, he hasn't actually eaten the poison in the first place.)

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Admiral Yi Sun-Shin died this way, suffering a mortal injury due a chance shot during the Battle of Noryang. Witnessed only by three people, his final orders were to press the attack home and to hide his death from the crew and fleet, to avoid ruining morale at a critical moment. Two of the witnesses, his son and his nephew, carried his body into his cabin unnoticed. [[ElCidPloy His nephew then put on his armor and pretended to be Admiral Yi for the remainder of the battle.]] His final victory was thus won posthumously.
* Creator/BillHicks never told anyone but his doctors that he had cancer until he died from it, just weeks after his last live performance.
* One version of the death of Turkish Sultan Murad I at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 is that he was killed in his tent before or during the battle by a Serb pretending to defect, and asked his entourage to make sure the news didn't get out to his army. Unfortunately for colorful historical tales, there are other versions in which he is killed fighting during the battle or even afterwards.
* Freddie Mercury kept his AIDS diagnosis secret within Music/{{Queen}} and a few close friends, not publicly revealing he had AIDS until the day before he died.
* UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt had his health rapidly decline starting around late 1943 (due to a combination of the effort taken to [[HidingTheHandicap hiding his paralysis from polio]]; his smoking habit and the stresses of being a wartime President during the height of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII); but ran for a fourth term and attempted to hide his health problems. He managed to get re-elected but died just under three months into that term.
* Music/DavidBowie had been suffering from cancer since mid-2014 but had managed to keep his condition a secret until he died. His final album, ''Music/BlackStar'', which released two days earlier to widespread acclaim, took on additional meaning, as it grappled with his once-secret mortality and him coming to terms with it.
* Creator/AlanRickman had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer around August 2015 when he suffered a stroke. His health rapidly declined until his death in early January 2016, through which he managed to hide it from the public.