Jumping-to-Conclusions Diagnosis

A character sneezes once, says they feel a bit funny, or coughs once—and everyone else thinks that character is sick. The character does not show any illness signs except that one sneeze, cough or (which in reality is not a biggie), but nevertheless the other characters put him/her in bed, or they have to miss something fun or important or both. Often at the end of the episode another character "catches" the false illness by sneezing once. And if there is an actual Sick Episode, at the end this trope often ensues in a second character, especially with coughing or sneezing. Perfect Health (where the characters never sneeze, cough etc unless they are sick) is a similar trope but in this one, the character shows no other symptoms over the course of the episode and therefore most likely is not sick.

All examples of this trope are when a character is assumed sick by one little "glitch", but doesn't show any other symptoms. Any instances where they do show any other symptoms over the course of the episode (fever, persistent unidentified cough, severe headache, wheezing etc) are Not an Example. Compare Logical Fallacies, Perfect Health, O.O.C. Is Serious Business (if that glitch was somehow out of character) and Sneeze of Doom. Contrast Deadly Nosebleed, Incurable Cough of Death (when it seems like this trope but turns out to actually be an illness) and Definitely Just a Cold. Also compare Victorian Novel Disease (except the victims of this often are genuinely sick) and Hypochondria (when someone does one of these on themselves).


Film - Animated

Live Action TV
  • Sesame Street: Madlenka is thought to have a cold but in reality she only sneezed once. Also Telly's joke "Knock Knock", "Who's There?'' "Atch" "Atch who?" "Sorry you're sneezing. Have you got a cold?"
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: When Data is practicing sneezing, Wesley Crusher asks if he has a cold. Which is strange as Data is an android and colds do not exist in the 24th Century.

Western Animation