Sickly Neurotic Geek

This character is frequently seen as a sidekick to the lead, and will be a Hollywood Nerdly type. He will likely speak as though his nose is constantly congested, have myriad absurd allergies (and it usually is allergies, unless he needs a Nerdy Inhaler for his asthma) and go to equally absurd lengths to avoid any further ailments. Expect him to talk about his long list of medical issues openly and graphically whether he's asked to or not. His health issues are often implied to be psychosomatic, or Hypochondria: If this character takes a level in badass, expect them to clear up pronto.

Whatever the actual level of ill health, it will be a sign of physical incompetence and social awkwardness - or at least, that's what everyone will assume.

Compare Jewish Complaining, Drama Queen, Playing Sick.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Joe from Digimon Adventure, although it's mostly just played up in the dub. In the original, he comes over as the more mature and rational member of the group.


  • Joly from Les Misérables, who is a hypochondriac, though due to the large cast of characters, isn't actually a sidekick. He aligns his bed to fit with the magnetic poles!
  • Eddie in Stephen King's IT, courtesy of his mother's apparent case of Munchausen by Proxy.

    Live Action TV 
  • Felix from The Odd Couple, especially the TV series which Flanderized his allergies.
  • All of the Dorfmans from iCarly, also Jeremy. Freddie's mom treats him as though he is; this has gotten more and more ridiculous as his actor has gotten bigger and her character has gotten Flanderized.
  • Lisa Zemo, who started off with braces, Nerd Glasses, and a perpetually stuffy nose. Subverted, however, because a season or two later she comes back looking less nerdy and on a new allergy medication. One episode has her temporarily revert to this, as she had allergies again and had to wear hypoallergenic clothing and glasses. This time without the curly hair and braces, though.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Howard Wolowitz. He is asthmatic, allergic to peanuts, almonds, and walnuts, prone to canker sores and pink eye, succumbs to seasickness, has an incredibly high genetic risk of heart illness, and has transient idiopathic arrhythmia.
    • Leonard Hofstadter, on top of having Nerd Glasses (which he is Blind Without 'Em) and asthma, is also lactose intolerant and has a deviated septum.
    • Sheldon Cooper is usually healthy due to his highly regimented lifestyle, but succumbs very easily to illness (and becomes even more insufferable than usual when he does). Any deviation from his dietary routine results in serious intestinal distress.
    • In one episode, Penny lampshades this trope when she asks Amy if there was any part of her body that was working properly.
  • Cyrus from Andi Mack complains of low blood sugar, needs an inhaler in order to participate in physical activity, and becomes nauseous to the point of vomiting from motion sickness... riding a merry-go-round.

  • The eponymous character in The Nerd is like this.
  • William Barfée in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Among other things, it's mentioned that a severe allergic reaction forced him out of the previous year's bee. He also has a "rare mucus membrane disorder" that produces chronic nasal congestion, and is sensitive about his personal space (among many other problems of socialization).
  • The eponymous character in the several versions old Yiddish play The Two Kuni-Lemls is like this—limps, thick glasses, easily confused. Has a long speech about his health problems, including "I get indigestion when I walk." (The first version was a satire of Hasidism. He's an "ancestor" of the Jerry Lewis character.)

    Video Games 
  • Bentley from Sly Cooper, at least until he takes a level in badass in the sequels.
  • Adorkable Communication Specialist Samantha Traynor from Mass Effect 3: "I'm allergic to dust. And cats. And public speaking. And I take a proton pump inhibitor for my stomach. And an inhaler for asthma." She also takes what Shepard informs her is a placebo for headaches.
  • Lester Crest, the geeky Mission Control from Grand Theft Auto V. Justified since he actually has a wasting disease, and needs a cane to walk short distances.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation