Ideal Illness Immunity
A character who is somehow immune to all disease. In Real Life, diseases are a constant and major threat to survival, even for individuals who lead less adventurous lives. And while the human immune system can perform amazing feats of self-preservation at times, no one is truly safe in the face of new, hitherto unseen virus strains and bacteria mutations (not to mention cancer). In fiction, however, illness mainly happens for dramatic reasons, and some speculative fiction authors even go as far as to invent fantastic means to prevent characters from getting sick in the first place. This trope is about such characters. Compare STD Immunity and We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future. May coexist with Nigh Invulnerable — in this trope's case, it's the immune system that is invulnerable to viruses and bacterial strains.
open/close all folders
- The Legion of Super-Heroes once fought a villain named Immune whose sole superpower was resistance to all forms of disease.
- In Teen Titans one of the side effects of Beast Boy's powers is that he's incapable of getting sick. This apparently didn't carry over to the cartoon, since one episode had him getting a cold.
- The Incredible Hulk is immune to pretty much every disease on Earth, including AIDS. This becomes a plot point when his old friend Jim Wilson returns to his life having contracted AIDS, and has to deal with the dilemma whether to give Jim a transfusion of his blood which could save his life, but condemn him to a life much like his. He doesn't go through with it.
- The elves in Tolkien's Legendarium are utterly unaffected by diseases, along with other nifty talents.
- The eponymous witchers of the The Witcher saga, including the protagonist Geralt, are immune to all known diseases (including plague, which is new to his world) as a result of their mutation. Which, incidentally, allows them to screw around without fear of STDs.
- Most humans born on Earth in the Noon Universe undergo the procedure called "fukamization", which renders them impervious to all diseases and even harmful radiation.
- In the Newsflesh series, a genetically modified virus means people are immune to the common cold and never get cancer. Instead they turn into zombies.
- The vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood very very rarely have to worry about illness, and never human ones—as Wrath points out 'I couldn't catch anything you might give me' and are immune to cancer (which is handy, because several of them smoke like chimneys!) This also extends to having STD Immunity (lucky for sex-obsessed Rhage!)
- In Doom, Arlene gives Jill a sex ed talk during the LA mission. Afterward, she laments that humanity had beaten STDs, including AIDS, just in time for aliens to wipe out most of the species.
- This is one of the superhuman, vaguely-elven characteristics popularly attributed to the Targaryens in A Song of Ice and Fire, with Daenerys being confident enough of this that she personally tends to people dying of the flux (i.e. dysentery). As to the accuracy of this belief, there are three historical cases related in the books of Targaryens getting ill (Daeron II and his two immediate heirs died in the Great Spring Sickness), and Dany is displaying mysterious symptoms of something at the end of A Dance with Dragons.
- Goa'uld hosts in Stargate SG-1 are immune to diseases thanks to the symbiote's innate Healing Factor (it can also heal diseases that the host has before the Goa'uld is implanted). Jaffa, which serve as incubators to Goa'uld larvae, have a lesser version of this immunity and must enter a meditative trance to heal.
- This is actually part of a deal worked out between the Tau'ri and the Tok'ra. Since the Tok'ra require the host's consent before being implanted, Daniel offers sending them hosts from among the terminally ill. The ill would likely agree to become a Tok'ra host in exchange for a cure. Jacob Carter (Sam's father) becomes the first. The Tok'ra symbiote Selmak cures his cancer. In return, Jacob's military experience proves invaluable to the Tok'ra.
- The Outer Limits (1995) episode "The New Breed" involves prototype nanites developed to make this a reality. Basically, the nanites are designed to move through the body and look for any cellular abnormalities. The damaged or mutated cells would then be restored to their original state. And yes, someone even accused the scientist who developed them of playing God. Unfortunately, a friend of his decides to inject himself with the nanites before they're fully tested. Given the nature of the series, things go horribly wrong.
- The Ferengi in Star Trek are immune to almost all known diseases, but they can get infections.
- A variation with the Irathient in Defiance. They are immune to most diseases, but they can still be carriers. This is one of the reasons they are looked down upon by most races, especially since they are inherently distrustful of vaccines.
- Played with in the American version of The Office. Dwight claims that he has never been sick in his life. Jim rightly points out that Dwight shouldn't have any immunities then.
- In Dungeons & Dragons:
- Characters of The Paladin class are immune to all forms of sickness, thanks to their piety and favor with the gods. Consequentially, if they Fall, their immunity to disease is revoked with all the other bonuses.
- In the 1st Edition, the several monster types were immune to disease, such as hollyphants, shades, and werebears.
- One option for the "Life Support" power in Champions is Immunity to All Terrestrial Diseases, 5 points. Or you can just buy Immunity to a specific disease, but if you want multiple immunities it's cheaper to just buy the whole thing.
- In Warhammer 40,000:
"They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them."
- Averted by the Death Guard legion & other Plague Marines, who sold themselves to the service of Nurgle, the god of pestilence and decay, after they were infected with a plague (created by Nurgle himself) so virulent even their enhanced immune systems couldn't cope with it and selling their souls was the only way to survive. Similarly, in the novel Ragnar's Claw a group of Space Wolves is sickened by mere proximity to an Unclean One, a greater daemon of Nurgle.
- Dark Heresy and the other WH40K RPGs have a few traits that make a being immune to diseases (among other things), most notably "machine" (commonly found on machines, but also on techpriests and other heavily cyberneticized beings) and "stuff of nightmares" (usually associated with things like Daemons; gives the being, as stated by the rulebook, "an appalling list of immunities"). Dark Eldar Haemonculi and their fleshcrafted minions also have a trait that makes the immune to poisons and diseases.
- GURPS 3E had the Advantage called Immunity To Disease, which gave complete immunity to all diseases. The Advantage called Immortality included Immunity To Disease.
- In 7th Sea, characters with Sidhe Blood can take a blessing which makes them age more slowly and makes them immune to illness.
- The Exalted are highly resistant to disease, but not completely immune. Some magic, however, can grant such immunity, like the appropriately named Solar charm Immunity to Everything Technique.
- The vorcha in Mass Effect are immune to all diseases, which allowed the mostly vorcha Blood Pack mercenaries to try to take over Omega's slums when the Collector plague hit in Mass Effect 2. Presumably they evolved this to counter their incredibly violent lifestyles (infection would have rendered them extinct long ago without it); even with this immunity, their lifespan is still only about thirty years on the outside.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- In all games save Arena, being a vampire renders you immune to disease, which is a little ironic considering that you become one by contracting a disease (variously known as vampirism, porphyric hemophilia, or sanguinare vampiris depending on the game).
- The Corprus disease in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind grants the infected immunity to all other diseases—at the cost of major case of insanity and Body Horror. If the player follows the storyline, however, they will contract Corprus and be healed of its negative effects in short succession—while retaining the nifty perk of perfect immunity to everything.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, being a werewolf likewise makes you immune to all diseases. Also, with enough skills & materials you can enchant an equipment to fully protect you from diseases, or find such items through luck(which is the prerequisite to unlock disease immunity enchantment through destroying it).
- This serves as a minor plot point in Star Ocean The Last Hope when Reimi contracts an always fatal disease from the inhabitants of a foreign planet. Eventually she has no choice but to reveal that she was genetically engineered to resist all diseases. Within time, the petrification of her left foot disappears.
- On The Simpsons, Mr. Burns has every known disease and a few new ones.
Burns: This sounds like bad news.
Doctor: Well, you'd think so, but all of your diseases are in perfect balance. [gives analogy explaining how they all counteract each other]
Burns: So what you're saying is, I'm indestructible!
Doctor: [anxious] Oh, no, no, in fact, even a slight breeze could —
- In X-Men, Wolverine's Healing Factor also grants him quick recovery from almost any disease. This becomes a major plot point in a two-part episode: Bishop and Cable both travel back in time to prevent a bioengineered plague from wiping out mutantkin; the former is trying to prevent the disease entirely to save billions of lives in the near future, the latter is from further in the future where the virus' effect stabilized aspects of the mutant gene preventing worldwide extinction of both humans and mutants. Cable solves the problem by allowing Wolverine to get infected with the plague. Wolverine recovers in minutes, and his immune system now has antibodies that can be used to manufacture a vaccine for the plague, preventing the deadly epidemic while passing along the beneficial aspects required to preserve Cable's timeline.