When writers want to add a little drama but don't want to spend a lot of time building up symptoms and later dealing with recovery, they'll dust off this old chesnut: The Burst Appendix.

What makes appendicitis great for writers is that it can affect an otherwise completely healthy character with little or no advance warning, a sort of Sickness Ex Machina if you will, and instantly creates a sense of ticking-time-bomb tension as the character must get the appendix removed before it explodes! The situation also takes delightfully little time to fix: Rush your character through some emergency surgery, spend a few seconds admiring the cool, new scar, and that's it; roll credits.

As a fairly common and thus well known condition, Appendicitis / RupturedAppendix also falls under SmallReferencePools. [[TheTonsillitisEpisode Tonsillitis]], and occasionally Gall Stones, can get similar treatment. Gall stones also add some drama in that they are less dangerous, but have ''extremely'' similar symptoms to the appendicitis, and thus add suspense due to the need to distinguish them.

(If you have severe stomach pain in the lower right side or that started there and spread, go to an emergency room. DO NOT take an enema or laxative or otherwise try to force a bowel movement - the pressure/stimulation of bowel contractions can cause the appendix to rupture. Also, ''have the surgery,'' because while it may give you a scar and may result in some occasional bowel issues later in life due to the appendix hosting beneficial bacteria, both of those can be easily dealt with - and the surgery is the only absolute cure that ensures the condition won't worsen and kill you, or return if cured via antibiotics or other nonsurgical treatment)

Subtrope of SickEpisode.

[[IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with the extra parts of books.]]

No RealLife examples, please, unless they're extremely interesting. [[note]][[ParanoiaFuel Roughly 10% of the human population will develop this for no explained reason.]][[/note]]
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!!Examples

[[AC: Anime and Manga]]
* A culprit in an early episode of ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' had a son who died of appendicitis, and tried to kill the surgeon's son as revenge. When this is explained, Mouri immediately asks how it's even possible to die of appendicitis in this day and age, and the [[ShownTheirWork surgeon explained he wasn't able to save the kid because it was too late when the father brought him in.]]

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* ''KaraNoKyoukai'' has an excellent example: The main villain of the third movie, [[spoiler: Fujino Asagami]], has a severe case of appendicitis, which leads her to believe she'd been stabbed. (It's complicated.) By the end of the episode, her condition has worsened to a point where even immediate attention is pointless; she's vomiting blood and barely able to crawl. And that's before we mention the killer chasing her, or the repeated rapes she endured previously. [[spoiler:It ends comparably well for her, when Ryougi Shiki (who can literally kill any''thing'') kills ''appendicitis'' inside Fujino and saves her life.]]

[[AC:{{Fanfic}}]]
* In the ''{{Nichijou}}'' fanfic, ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7502317/1/Not-a-Normal-Day Not a Normal Day]]'', Hakase gets appendicitis and has to be rushed to the hospital. Luckily, she comes out of it just fine.
* In Chapter 26 of the ''LuckyStar'' fanfic ''Fanfic/LuckyStarAfterStory'', [[IllGirl Yutaka]] ends up developing appendicitis during her and Minami's senior year in college. After her appendix is removed, her overall health ends up improving greatly.
* In [[RoseOfPollux Crystal Rose of Pollux's]] "Lone Star and Union Jack" collection of Monkees vignettes, a teenaged Davy contracts appendicitis.
* The ''PhineasAndFerb'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6756991/1/Sick-Streak Sick Streak]]''.
* In the ''KimPossible'' fanfic ''[[Fanfic/AloneTogether Alone Together]]'', Kim and Shego are [[TrappedInAnotherWorld stuck]] in an [[GhostPlanet otherwise unpopulated]] {{alternate universe}} long enough to become friends (and eventually [[LesYay more]]). When Kim deveops appendicitis, Shego has to [[MeatgrinderSurgery remove it]], guided only by a frantic review of medical texts from the hospital.
* In ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'', this is why [[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Fluttershy]] has a SickEpisode and is nearly killed by a changeling in the hospital, even though [[CriticalResearchFailure ponies don't have appendixes]].
* John Gage's appendix ruptures before Roy and the ambulance can get him to Rampart in the ''{{Series/Emergency}}'' fic "[[http://audreys-efanfic.freeservers.com/abigdeal.html A Big Deal]]''
** A few other writers have done this as well, the medical nature of the show makes it an attractive storyline.
* In Fanfic/KillLaKillAU, we have this with Satsuki in comic 35 and this marks her as an IllGirl, as stress had done a number on her health to that degree. She turns out okay

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/HouseOfTheScorpion'': In El Patron's backstory, one of his siblings died from this, since his family couldn't afford a doctor.
* {{Literature/Madeline}} had this happen in one of her books, and the scene was also included in the movie adaptation, the 50s animated adaptation, and the first animated special. Some of her dolls even include the scar from the surgery.
* Happens in ''[[Literature/TheAvatarChronicles Epic]]'': Eric gets appendicitis and has to drop out of the competition to move up to the next grade level.
* Doc Leroy, one of the characters in Creator/JTEdson's ''Floating Outfit'' series of western novels, once saved the life of a cowhand with a burst appendix by operating on him with a Bowie knife.
* There was a [[Literature/TheBabySittersClub Baby-Sitters Club]] special where Kristy was stuck in the hospital with appendicitis.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheStand'', after the [[ThePlague superflu]] wipes out most of humanity, one of the survivors dies of appendicitis, because there are no doctors left around. Stu tries to remove it, but fails and he dies anyway. Then the guy's wife commits suicide afterward.
* Creator/RobertMerle's novel ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'' has a similar situation. The few survivors of a nuclear holocaust lose [[spoiler:the protagonist]] when he eventually dies of appendicitis.
* ''Literature/TeenageWorrier's Worry Files'' has Letty's brother being rushed to hospital with appendicitis for the drama factor.
* ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'': Due to drunkenness while on duty, a surgeon botched removing an inflamed appendix from the wife of [[spoiler:Marko Ramius]], the organ bursting because the doctor took too long to try to sober up by breathing pure oxygen.[[note]]The wife's death at the hands of a doctor that [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections couldn't be punished because he was the son of a senior Party official]] is what drives [[spoiler:Captain Ramius]] to defect.[[/note]]
* In one of Creator/JohnBellairs's novels, while Mrs. Zimmerman and Rose Rita are driving home, Mrs. Zimmerman is overcome with a crippling pain in her stomach. She believes it's her appendix, which leads to Rose Rita remembering how a classmate of her's died after mistaking appendicitis for a bad stomachache and didn't seek treatment until it was too late. When Mrs. Zimmerman gets to the hospital, [[spoiler: it's revealed that the pain was too high to have been her appendix. Mrs. Zimmerman tells Rose Rita that she suspects it was actually the effects of a dark magic curse someone used on her.]]
* Lu Clarke has one in ''Cherry Ames: Mountaineer Nurse'' by Julie Tatham. Since she's in a remote valley, she barely makes it to the hospital in time.
* The mother has one in Sydney Taylor's ''All of a Kind Family Uptown'' and recovers.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** In one episode, Hawkeye drugged a colonel and [[InducedHypochondria made him think he had acute appendicitis]], conducting an unnecessary surgery. [[HeterosexualLifePartners BJ ]] [[WhatTheHellHero refused to go along with it]].
** In "The Long John Flap", Col. Blake is wearing the titular long underwear, and Hawkeye and Trapper threaten him, when suddenly Blake reacts as though punched. Turns out it's his appendix rupturing, and they have to operate immediately. The entire camp is mildly happy to hear that Blake's appendix was successfully and safely removed... but overjoyed at hearing that they didn't have to cut him out of the long underwear to do so, and so the long underwear was intact.
** Major Houlihan is mentioned in one episode to have chronic appendix flare-ups, and that she'll be fine and doesn't need surgery as long as she takes a brief break from performing surgeries until it calms down. She intends to eventually get it removed in the city, but just in case, she requests that Hawkeye be the one to operate if necessary despite Frank Burns usually being the surgeon to perform minor operations[[note]] As a result of Burns' sexual dry spell following Houlihan breaking up with him, he can't keep examinations professional and repeatedly tries to grope and neck with her when he tries. This in addition to a short but noticeable string of minor operation mistakes[[/note]]. [[ChekhovsGun Of]] [[ConservationOfDetail course]], it becomes necessary to remove the appendix, and [[spoiler: while she can't get to Tokyo or even Seoul, Hawkeye removes the appendix with little problem beyond Burns attempting to horn in on the operation]].
** A later episode has Hawkeye performing an appendectomy on a singer with a USO troupe. He spends the rest of the two-episode story dissuading the obvious crush she develops on him, thinking a sweet young woman like her deserves a more honorable man in her life than [[TheCasanova Hawkeye]].
* In the Sweet 16 episode of ''LifeWithDerek'', Casey comes down with appendicitis. On her sixteenth birthday.
* ''DoogieHowserMD'': 16-year-old Doogie rushes his appendicitis-stricken girlfriend, Wanda to the ER straight from their {{Drive-In Theater}} date. He proceeds to diagnose her (via pelvic exam!) and assist in the operation himself. Trouble ensues because [[spoiler: he didn't have time to properly ask for the required authorization from her parents (Wanda is 16 and a minor as well), and they're '''not''' happy. (Wanda herself is mostly embarrassed that [[ArsonmurderAndJaywalking Doogie saw her naked]], and she gets better).]]
* On ''IDreamOfJeannie'', Jeannie blinks Tony into a doctor just as Roger gets wheeled into the hospital for an appendectomy.
* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', Jack, the survivors' team doctor, had to have his appendix removed while on the island.
* Daniel has very little to do in the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Nemesis", as he's recovering from an emergency appendectomy. This was because Michael Shanks was [[WrittenInInfirmity recovering from an appendectomy himself]].
* Happened on an episode of ''LaverneAndShirley''; Shirley gets appendicitis while in costume rehearsing for their "Literature/AliceInWonderland" play.
* In the final season of ''AllInTheFamily,'' 10-year-old Stephanie comes down with appendicitis on her birthday.
* This occurred in an episode of ''FullHouse'' with Uncle Jessie, coincidentally while he was in the hospital while his twins were being born.
* Also occurred in ''FamilyMatters'', in the episode "Number One With a Bullet" where Steve Urkel collapses in the middle of the Winslows' floor from this.
* In the ''QuantumLeap'' episode "Ghost Ship", Sam leaps into a pilot who must safely guide a plane out of the BermudaTriangle and save one of the passengers from dying of appendicitis. Unusually for this trope, her appendix actually bursts, but Sam is able to use his medical knowledge to provide supportive care until they reach a hospital.
* In the second season of ''MalcolmInTheMiddle,'' Malcolm goes to hospital with what's assumed to be appendicitis. Ultimately turned on its' head as the diagnosis proves to be wrong.
* In the episode of ''{{Scrubs}}'' entitled "My Day Off" J.D. develops appendicitis and has to experience the hospital from a patient's point of view.
* In the TaiwaneseSeries ''DevilBesideYou'', Ahmon goes onstage after the lead guitarist goes down with appendicitis. He then gets to guitar suggestively in front of his love interest.
* ''{{CSI}}'' had a variation of this, the serial killer Dr.Jekyll, who implanted a guy with a diseased appendix. Naturally, it killed the guy later.
* In Australian children's TV adaptation of ''Literature/TheSaddleClub'', Lisa (one of the three central characters) is alone on horseback when she's overcome by the pain of Appendicitis and collapses on the trail.
* In Series 2 of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'', the TeamMedic (in the persona of the original [[Series/TheBionicWoman Bionic Woman]]) answers Artie's call for a second appendectomy -- he claims that being around all the artifacts made it grow back. [[spoiler:Turns out he was using P.T. Barnum's spinning-top, which can "grow" multiple arms, legs, etc., to regrow it: he had taken a shine to the woman.]] She has to make a call somewhere else, and doesn't get around to removing it. When it gets bad, Artie has to go to the town vet.
* In ''The Big Valley'', Audra contracted appendicitis on the titular "last train to the fair."
* In the ''Land of the Giants'' episode "The Creed", Barry got appendicitis.
* ''Series/FTroop'': Happens to Chief Wild Eagle in "Miss Parmenter"; the men of F-Troop must operate on him, with Captain Parmenter's sister serving as an assistant.
* Colton Cumbie was removed from ''Series/{{Survivor}} One World'' with symptoms that mirrored appendicitis. (To which Kat asked [[TheDitz where it was]]) However, during his appearance on Blood vs. Water, Probst reveals that Colton might not have actually had it, and even accused Colton of faking it!

[[AC:RealLife:]]
* This trope is TruthInTelevision - and it's actually ''quite'' common that almost everyone has at least ''heard'' of appendicitis or an appendix injury.
* Harry Houdini died of a ruptured appendix, which may or may not have been exacerbated by someone punching him in the stomach a few days earlier--one theory is that he may have attributed the early symptoms of appendicitis to pain from the blow, and did not seek help as soon as he would have otherwise.
* Leonid Rogozov, a Russian doctor, got appendicitis. While on an expedition in Antarctica. Where he was the only doctor. [[http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/dec15_1/b4965 So he operated on himself.]]
** This led to a policy of preemptively removing the appendix of critical staff members (with their consent) before any trip to the base.
* James Roday from {{Psych}}, was hospitalized with appendicitis and had to have it removed just prior to his scheduled appearance on WWERaw. He recovered and was even able to make a literal phoned in appearance during the episode, albeit highly medicated and somewhat loopy.
* Music/BuckTick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai developed abdominal peritonitis from a RupturedAppendix while in Nepal, and was diagnosed as potentially terminal. He demanded to be sent home to Japan to die, and somehow, against all odds, recovered once he was back in Japan, becoming one of the very, very few people to survive a ruptured appendix and subsequent peritonitis.
* Masaki Koh, a gay adult video star, developed appendicitis but refused surgery for several reasons (including appearance and that his condition was so advanced that the surgery itself could have ruptured the appendix) and instead chose nonsurgical treatment with antibiotics and the like. Unfortunately, his appendix ruptured, and he would later die from abdominal peritonitis.
* Creator/RingoStarr, drummer of the Music/TheBeatles, nearly died at age six from peritonitis; he missed a year of school while recovering and remained sickly for most of his childhood as a result. It was his constant illnesses and inability to catch up academically that played a big role in him turning to music.

[[AC:{{Theater}}]]
* In ''OurTown'', Wally Webb is KilledOffForReal by a ruptured appendix.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/TraumaCenter'': New Blood has the player character racing against time to remove an infected appendix before it bursts.
** Afterwards, they immediately operate on another patient whose appendix had just burst.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'': Not one but ''two'' different characters (specifically [[spoiler:R.J. Lowe]] and [[spoiler:Helen Wilson]]) have died of appendicitis in version four.
* In ''WebOriginal/DeadEnds'' the abundance of zombies prevents [[spoiler:Winny, Will's wife,]] from getting the operation that could have saved [[spoiler:her.]] It is quite the TearJerker.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* On ''TheSimpsons'', Dr. Hibbert performed an emergency appendectomy on the street, then threw the appendix away as if it were a live grenade. It even exploded like a grenade.
** Another when Bart gets a stomach ache after accidentally eating a jagged metal toy from the Krusty cereal. He's sent to the hospital which it turns out to be appendicitis.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Garfield and Friends}}'' had Jon suffer from appendicitis, though Garfield's obsession with a video game didn't help him at all... but between the antics of [[HeroicDog Odie]] and [[AccidentalHero the noise from Garfield playing the video game]], they managed to alert the paramedics in time.
* Happened on ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' in the episode "Tickled Pinky". Before the procedure, Rocko has a dream in which his appendix is a little kid whom he consoles with a trip to the fair (and other, increasingly silly last requests) before he's taken out.
* Near the end of the final season of ''WesternAnimation/{{As Told By Ginger}}'', shortly after her breakup with [[spoiler:Darren]], Ginger is left feeling as if her "insides exploded". It's discovered that the pain she's been experiencing isn't solely because of the breakup, but is in fact due to acute Appendicitis. She's rushed to the hospital for an emergency Appendectomy.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{The Wild Thornberrys}}'' that takes place in Australia, Eliza has the misfortune of not only developing Appendicitis on Valentine's Day, but also that the commvee and mini-comm are immobile. It's a possible life or death situation as Nigel overcomes various obstacles to get her to a hospital.
* Happens to Hector on one ''WesternAnimation/{{Ozzy and Drix}}'' episode.
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