Self-Induced Allergic Reaction
"If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if that thing is cats."When a character induces an allergic reaction in himself. Perhaps to get out of a bad situation, to stall for time or some other reason. This is usually Played for Laughs. Has surprisingly little to do with *Cough* Snark *Cough*.
—Lemony Snicket, The Wide Window
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- At the end of Innerspace, Tuck is running out of air in his pod and needs to get out of Jack's body soon or he'll die. Currently he is in Jack's lungs, but can't get to a handy orifice in time. Somebody remembers that a human sneeze travels at roughly 300 miles per hour - leading Jack to induce a sneeze by huffing hairspray, as he was diagnosed with an allergy to same at the beginning of the movie.
- In Star Trek Bones uses a variant of this to sneak Kirk onto the Enterprise. He injects Kirk with a vaccine whose side effects cause him to become quickly and visibly sick, allowing Bones to fast-talk a guard.
- The Wide Window: The Baudelaire siblings eat peppermints so they have an excuse to escape from dinner and decode a secret message.
- The children's book Robert the Rose Horse, in which the title character is extremely allergic to roses and sneezes loudly when he smells one. At the end, he deliberately sniffs a rose to muster a huge sneeze to stop a robbery in progress. It turns out that this final sneeze somehow cured him of the allergy.
- In Heir to the Empire, Mara Jade devises a plan to disguise Luke from Imperial patrols while they're on Myrkr: she rubs the leaves of a poisonous plant all over his face and he breaks out in hives.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione uses a jinx on Harry to make his face swell up, hiding him from the Snatchers. It doesn't entirely work, though, and he has to rely on Draco Malfoy's sympathy to keep up the disguise when the trio are brought to Malfoy Manor.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road, Oscar Gordon mentions one of his classmates who avoided the draft by having extreme allergies. No fake, he was allergic to draft boards...
- A significantly more serious example occurs in Otherland, when Renie manages to give herself a heart attack to set off her system's emergency escape system.
- Penny's allergy to strawberries is invoked in the denouement of Edenborn where she used it to fake a deadly disease and make a Last Request. ..to murder the rest of her family for perceived injustices.
- In one of David Sedaris's stories, he describes how chocolate has always given him pounding headaches, but as a child he refused to be left out of what was universally agreed to be the best candy and ate it anyway.
Live Action TV
- The Big Bang Theory: Howard eats a nut bar to stall Leonard so they could set up Leonard's surprise birthday party. And because Penny was going to hook him up with her easy girlfriends.
- Rules of Engagement: Jeff eats a strawberry to get out of an interminable dinner date with an annoying co-worker of his wife, Audrey.
- 30 Rock: Kenneth intentionally eats strawberries so Jenna can have an excuse to see an EMT she likes.
- Veronica Mars: A suspect eats peanut butter cookies in order to trigger his nut allergy and escape from jail.
- In an episode of CSI: Miami, a criminal on death row requests a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his last meal (having requested steak when his sentence was suspended). It turns out he was allergic and wanted to die on his own terms.
- In Red Dwarf: Back To Earth, Lister eats a tomato because he's allergic to them. Why? So he can induce a sneezing fit with which he can do his ironing.
- That '70s Show: When Kelso starts training for police academy, he decides to drink raw eggs like Rocky does. He shushs Jackie's attempts to speak until after he's finished drinking the eggs, at which point she reminds him he's allergic to them.
- In Father Ted, Ted mentions a priest called Matty Hislop who, despite being allergic to cats used to carry a kitten with him and "sniff it from time to time". His reason for doing this was that he was part of a religious sect that involved self-punishment.
- This is a citation from Real Life: in 1920's Dublin, there was a self-scourging religious manic called Matty Hislop, who in addition to delf-denial and literally wearing a hairshirt, was seriously allergic to cats and who did indeed take to carrying a kitten to provoke an asthmatic reaction. There was, and maybe still is, a religious movement dedicated to Hislop being elevated to sainthood, although most people of his time thought he was a nutjob. Brendan Behan described him as dangerous, dissapprovingly citing of his doing unpaid 14 hour working days for no doubt grateful bosses, noting he was doing some other fella out of a paying job in a time of want, and how bloody Christian was that?
- Happens with Robin on How I Met Your Mother, in flashback. After being told she can no longer have lobster, she decides to go on a binge. Realizing that after this, she no longer craved lobster, she decided she would do the same thing when it came to the one man she couldn't stop thinking romantically about, Barney.
- In the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode "Excuses", Cookie tries to impress Vanessa's grandmother by eating walnuts (which she likes), and Hilarity Ensues.
- In Warcraft III, the Druid of the Talon is able to transform into a bird, and one of his joke quotes is sneezing and hoping that he's not allergic to feathers.
- Katherine of Wapsi Square considers taking advantage of her strawberry allergy to get herself hospitalized and avoid a difficult situation at work.
- Used in this Cyanide and Happiness. Peanut allergy, bitches!
- Family Guy: Meg threatens this in the middle of a rant to her parents about how terrible they are, saying that she's just gonna go upstairs and eat a whole bowl of peanuts. It has no effect on Peter and Lois, because they don't even remember that she's allergic to peanuts.
- In Kidd Video, the fairy Glitter becomes super-strong when she sneezes, leading the band to find new sneeze stimuli for her whenever they're in a tight spot.
- In one episode of Regular Show, Rigby attempts to eat a huge plate of eggs to win a trucker's hat, but ends up in the hospital after only two bites.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Creeping Creatures", Daphne uses her allergy to synthetic animal skin to prove that a shipment of gator skin products are counterfeits.
- Zipzee does this with flowers repeatedly in My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade. Not for any strategic reason like the above examples, she just really likes the smell of flowers and Spring, and refuses to let her allergies get in the way of it.
- South Park: In "Obama Wins!", Butters takes an almond M&M like a Cyanide Pill (he's extremely allergic to almonds) to avoid telling Stan and Kyle anything about the missing ballots.