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Playing With: Ill Girl
Basic Trope: A character (usually, though not always, female) who is very sick.
  • Straight: Alice has a Soap Opera Disease. It may or may not actually be fatal.
  • Exaggerated: Alice's Soap Opera Disease includes an Incurable Cough of Death and Blood from the Mouth. (It may or may not actually be tuberculosis, though.) She spends a lot of time reflecting on the meaning of her short life.
  • Downplayed: Alice has some unnamed disease and gets tired easily, however she still does her best to be an active part of her group, despite not being able to do as much.
  • Justified: People get sick. And sometimes, especially in times or places where there isn't modern medicine (or where there is, but no cure is as yet available), people's lives can be cut short by the disease.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is sick, but seems to be on the mend.
    • Alternatively, Alice's illness is mostly a mental one, but has a physical component that really takes a toll on her.
    • Alice's illness isn't all that serious.
  • Double Subverted: Just when it seems to have cleared up, the Soap Opera Disease comes back with a vengeance, and this time, medicine cannot cure Alice. Cue A Death in the Limelight.
  • Parodied: Alice is faking sick to get out of school or work, and everyone thinks she's dying.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes, Alice has "good days" where she feels relatively better, can get out of bed, etc. Other days are "bad days" where Alice feels lousy and lacks energy.
  • Averted: Alice is perfectly healthy.
  • Enforced: A Shout-Out to romantic literature (such as that by Edgar Allan Poe), or the writer wants to explore themes of sickness, death, and dying.
  • Lampshaded: "How are you feeling today, Alice?"
  • Invoked: Alice is faking it to get attention.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Alice is very sick, maybe even terminally so, but she refuses to stay in bed contemplating the last leaf on the tree outside. Instead, she goes out and makes the most of the time she has.
    • Alice is very sick, but it doesn't stop her from being a Bad Ass Action Girl. Or really anything else.
  • Discussed: "Alice doesn't have much longer..."
  • Conversed: "It's totally cute to be weak and helpless—as long as she doesn't actually die from whatever."
  • Deconstructed: Alice's sickness causes her to reflect on the meaning of life and regret doing (or not doing) something before she got sick.
  • Reconstructed: Alice's reflection helps her come to terms with her illness (and her mortality). She might even befriend someone who helps make her last days meaningful.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Alice fakes being seriously ill to get out of doing something she doesn't want to do.
    • Alice makes a big fuss out of a common cold.

Back to Ill Girl

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