Series: Mystery Diagnosis
- Arc Words: Mystery Diagnosis is very fond of these. They include: "bizarre," "for some unknown reason," and "In healthy individuals, ______ (explanation of how the body is normally supposed to work)." "But in patients like [patient name] _____" (explanation of what the disease does to body). Test results are often described as "nothing short of shocking," and the loved ones of someone who has a mysterious disease may be described as watching "helplessly" as their loved one suffers. It is said of patients and caregivers that "Nothing could have prepared them" for what is revealed each time a doctor brings back test results.
- Towards the end of the segment, expect a variation of "But why did it take so long for the doctors to diagnose the condition?". This is almost ALWAYS worded as He/She/They "can't help but wonder" why the condition took so long to diagnose.
- Each episode also has variations of comparisons between patients, because some of them have symptoms too debilitating to ignore, while others' symptoms act like a sleeping giant, and still others have symptoms, but don't do anything about them for a long time.
- "Head-to-toe exam" and "thorough head-to-toe exam" are also used a lot.
- Adult Fear: The reason the show is rated TV-14. This is especially true of the parents you see on the show with babies or young children. Actually, the whole thing can be rather freaky (see below).
- Body Horror: To varying degrees depending on the episode you're watching. In some, the worst you'll get is a close-up of a blood draw. In others, you'll see close-ups of horrific rashes, bruising, or in one case, a home video of a boy whose psychological symptoms made him act in "bizarre" ways, such as exhibiting motor and verbal tics at an alarming rate.
- Doctor Jerk: Some of the doctors on the show act like this, especially the ones who are treating children (notably girls) and tell the parents the kid is just being overly dramatic, when the parent knows something is really wrong or the child is clearly in pain or distress.
- Edutainment Show: Of course, nothing is a substitute for actual medical advice, but if you're a big fan, you will learn a lot about rare diseases and symptoms.
- Eye Take: Happens a lot (see below).
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Sometimes, particularly if the patient of the day is suffering from a flesh-eating disease (which happened a few times). This can also happen with large amounts of blood, or even diagrams (such as those that show cholesterol building up around a heart).
- Ill Boy: All the kids featured on the show. A couple also fall under Littlest Cancer Patient.
- Mama Bear: Some of the moms of young children on the show who, when confronted with doctors who basically tell them to go home and quit stressing over their kids, tell the doctors to shove it and start doing their own research.
: The show type itself.Medical Horror
: Again, to varying degrees
- Once an Episode: Often multiple times an episode, usually before commercials, the camera will do a close-up of someone's eyes, usually the eyes of the person the featured disease tried to ravage.
- Papa Wolf: The counterparts to the Mama Bears, though this happens less than with moms.
- Screwed by the Network: Lord, YES, at least in the U.S. Episodes are in different time slots, in different orders, at least once every month. They can be shown in marathon blocks, once a week, not for months at a time...screwed royally.
- Title Drop: Done by at least one doctor.
- Woobie of the Week: The patients understandably become so distraught over their illnesses, they pretty much have to be this. Especially true in the case of kids.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Happened a couple of times, where the actual diagnosis was not a diagnosis itself, but a hallmark of some other disease. Examples included cold agglutinin disease as a hallmark for undiagnosed leukemia and Crohn's symptoms as a cover for a disease called Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome.