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Ill Girl: Live-Action TV

Female Examples

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Drusilla is frail and weak when she first appears on the series. She was believed to have been killed by a mob in Prague, but apparently was only severely injured (How that mistake happens with a creature that turns to dust when killed is anyone's guess), to the point that normal vampiric healing couldn't restore her. Spike manages to restore her to full health by draining power off of Angel.
    • Darla was a high class prostitute suffering from syphilys and waiting for her death. Then the Master gave her a visit....
  • Charmed: The episode "Awakened" revolves around Prue and Phoebe discovering that Piper is terminally ill with the disease Oroya Fever. While real life symptoms of Oroya Fever include being covered in warts and rashes, Piper only experiences coughing, exhaustion, and fainting, all done adorably. Being the main character, Piper survives, but not until after the crying and good-byes.
  • Esmeralda:
    • The titular Esmeralda of this phenomenally popular telenovela is born blind. This is later revealed to be due to congenital cataracts and she successfully regains her sight after an operation. Her personality switches from sweet and gentle while blind to tough, stubborn and unforgiving almost overnight.
    • The female lead from the Chilean telenovela Corazón de María is an upper class Ill Girl with a severe Heart Trauma. She gets a heart transplant coming from a middle-to-low class bride killed in a tragic car accident right after her wedding. The drama starts when she starts searching for the donor María's family, and then she meets and falls for her handsome and hard-working husband Miguel...
    • Alicia, a cute young girl in a wheelchair from Maria La Del Barrio, doubling as a Disabled Love Interest for a certain boy named Nandito. The scene where the Big Bad Soraya threatens her for kissing Nandito while screaming "MALDITA LISIADA!" ("Goddamned crippled bitch!") is so ridiculous and overacted that it has reached Memetic Mutation levels.
  • LOST:
    • Shannon (Maggie Grace), who is asthmatic and needs to have an inhalator handy. Sawyer once stole her medicine and tried to use it to bargain....
    • Juliet's sister is an Ill Girl whose cancer and resulting infertility is what drove Juliet to do some rather... illegal things as a fertility doctor. When Juliet goes to the island, she is afraid to leave her sister alone, but, with typical ill girl sweetness, her sister convinces her to go.
  • Merlin: Happens frequently with Morgana, most notably in A Remedy To Cure All Ills in which the Monster of the Week deliberately makes her sick in order to heal her and so win King Uther's trust.
  • The Tudors: Jane Seymour, another case of Truth in Television considering how she died.
  • The X-Files: Scully takes on this role for one season after it is revealed that the tests preformed on her during her abduction have left her with (probably terminal) cancer. In accordance with the conventions of the trope, her appearance is relatively unaffected by the illness, and the only visible symptom is a Deadly Nosebleed.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, The Mother becomes one during the course of the finale, and we see her in a hospital bed for a few seconds. In the end, she dies of her (unspecified) illness, leaving Ted to go back to Robin 25 years after meeting her.

Male Examples

  • Hawking: Portrays the twenty one year old Stephen Hawking as more of a very smart Ill Boy than a Genius Cripple, unlike conventional depictions of Hawking as an older man.
  • Jappening con Ja: In this Chilean humor show, there was a sketch named "El Enfermito" ("The Ill Dude"). It had an unnamed adult man permanently hospitalised due to an unexplained Soap Opera Disease, and Hilarity Ensues (in a way) whenever his friends drop by to visit him. It's not as funny now due to the actor's own health taking a massive nosedive in recent years.
  • Breaking Bad 's Walter White has lung cancer which slowly kills him throughout the series. In order to support his family and pay for medicine, he goes into the drug trade, using his knowledge as a chemistry teacher to make crystal meth.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: Kengo suffers from an unspecified weakness that rendered him unable to use the Fourze system as well as the Power Dizer; he's actually been nicknamed "King of the Infirmary" due to the amount of time he's spent there (even when he's not just using it as an excuse to help fight the Monster of the Week). The Aquarius Zodiarts uses her healing powers to cure him about 2/3 of the way through the series. This is later jossed in episode 45, when his illness/weakness comes back full force.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Kitaoka Shuichi, even though he's quite a bit older than the usual victim of this trope.
  • Mirai Sentai Timeranger: Ayase / Time Blue suffered from the incurable Osiris Syndrome throughout the entire series. However, after time has been altered near the finale, a cure for his disease is found.
  • Revolution:
    • Danny's asthma causes some characters to perceive him as weak - to this day Charlie is constantly worrying about him and trying to keep her promise to watch over him. Justified given that this is a lawless, unforgiving Crapsack World and other than plant-based medicines there's not a lot that can restore his breathing if he has an attack. In "No Quarter", Danny also uses this to his advantage, to get the drop on the mook Private Richards who's been harassing him.
    • "The Longest Day" has Aaron Pittman and Rachel Matheson meet Philip Blackmore, who has been dying of injuries ever since he fell off a horse. Rachel decides to lead the Blackmores into believing that they can save their son, and then just take off with Aaron and let Philip die.

Mixed Examples

  • Firefly:
    • Perfect example found in the story of River Tam, a young girl who is a schizophrenic empath as a result of extensive neurological modification/experimentation done to her by a shadowy, government-affiliated military research facility. Her older brother, Simon, gives up his life as a successful doctor and makes them both federal fugitives when he breaks her out of captivity. The siblings are forced to live on the outskirts of society in order to avoid capture, and Simon spends much of his time and resources in his efforts to find a treatment to help restore River to her former self.
    • In true Ill Girl fashion, it is also implied that there's no real possibility for River to ever be cured of her insanity; the best that can be done is short-term chemical treatments, as the damage to her brain is extensive and her body eventually rejects any drugs used to help her. Even after the events of The Movie, its not made clear whether she's fully healed or has only partially recovered.
    • revealed adds Inara Serra, resident Oiran.
    • Jayne Cobb faithfully sends money home to treat his ill brother Mattie's damp lung disease.

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