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Allergic to Evil

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Sometimes, the act of coming close to something or someone evil has a severe weakening effect on the character. This can be used as or a result of Detect Evil type abilities, but much less useful or pleasant for the character. Characters in denial about the power will often insist this is Definitely Just a Cold.

Other times, the evil entity may be invoking this deliberately; perhaps a character is possessed and it's making them physically ill, perhaps the Artifact of Doom is causing it, whatever. Discovering that there is actually evil behind the apparent illness can take a whole episode or few.

See also Allergic to Love, which is when someone is made physically ill by love. Good Hurts Evil is the inverse. Compare Achey Scars and the offensive version of Killing Intent. See also Cross-Melting Aura for a similar effect on holy items.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Akumetsu has Mary Kirishima aka 'Bloody Mary', a police officer who gets nose bleeds every time she is around those who are evil.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Astral is unable to handle high amounts of chaos (A energy source that Barians primarily use in a negative way) and often collapses in debilitating pain. He usually hides away to combat these effects for days on end within Yuma's key.
  • The Brand of Sacrifice in Berserk on Guts and Casca will start bleeding or hurting if demons are near. If one of the Godhand is near, it gets even worse, as the evil they radiate will cause them to bleed profusely and rack them with serious pain, and if they get too close, the pain and blood loss will be enough to kill them. Guts could only get within about ten feet of Femto before being nearly overwhelmed by the pain during the Guardians of Desire arc. And as for Casca...she was much closer to Femto during what he did to her during the Eclipse. And she could not get away. The Brands also attract demons like moths to a flame, eager to complete the sacrifice that the Skull Knight interrupted.
  • Variation in A Certain Magical Index, Touma has the power to dispel anything related to magic or God (which seem to be interconnected). While he's not inherently bad, his name seems to come from Toma the Unbeliever (which makes sense with his power) and he's implied to be able to cancel out God. One of the nasty side effects for him is that healing magic can't work while he's in the target's proximity, and obviously, not on him either.
  • Allen Walker of D.Gray-Man has a cursed left eye that automatically activates when an akuma is nearby and allows him to see the human souls of akuma and even make them visible to other people, which is incredibly useful for identify disguised akumas, but the human souls are not pretty to look at. "The world he sees is hell," as one of his comrades comments. The souls of level 1 akumas look like chained corpses and can sometimes be identified as who they used to be, but as akumas evolves their souls become increasingly tortured and less human. The souls of level 4 akumas are so corrupted they can't even be shown in the manga, and the mere sight makes Allen puke.
  • Sakura Wars (2000): When she senses the coming of Crimson Miroku in episode 5, Iris comes down with a high fever and ends up screaming in agony when Crimson fully emerges.
  • In Sorcerer On The Rocks, Gin Fizz (apparently) gets ill whenever they're in a bad place, like a seedy town full of whorehouses and casinos.
  • The Oracle from Spider Riders feels pain everytime an object dedicated to her, or an energy barrier she's created is destroyed.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): The (somewhat unreliable) POV of a dazed father in Berezniki indicates that his child fell ill as an early Virus Victim Symptom after being exposed to the Many that are lurking in the city's sinkholes.
  • Freakin Gensokyo: Hana the fairy gets terrible headaches around twisted technology and certain demonic Fluffles.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide Asuka is unbeknownst to herself exposed to the Emerald Tablet, a powerful, but ultimately malevolent artificial intelligence, installed in her Evangelion as an experiment to enhance its performance. The exposure has an adverse effect on Asuka both physically and mentality, as the Emerald Tablet tries to wear her down, so it can exert mind control over her through her mental connection to the Eva, but she doesn't notice it until it is pretty too late because she at first dismisses it as symptoms associated with her period.
  • Underverse: Dream's powers only work in the presence of positive feelings, and he is powered by them. He can also only open portals to places where positive sentiments exist. This renders him a sitting duck for a good chunk of 0.3, as there was no positivity to be found.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (original movie): the Slayer gets menstrual cramps when she's anywhere near a vampire.
  • Melvin Junko, AKA the Toxic Avenger AKA Toxie from The Toxic Avenger received his mutated physiology from toxic sludge irradiated with Tromatons, a radioactive particle that causes Toxie to go into an Unstoppable Rage when in the presence of evil, being drawn towards the source of evil with intent on destroying it.

  • Lone Wolf:
    • Evil has pretty bad effects on anyone who isn't a supernatural embodiment of it such as the Darklords, and Lone Wolf himself is particularly sensitive to it. The Doomstones for example are the Kryptonite to his Superman. When facing extremely powerful and evil entities like Deathlord Ixiataaga, he needs the strongest psychic defense available just to survive this evil presence.
    • Probably the greatest example would be in The Plague Lords of Ruel where Lone Wolf, upon looking at the library of evil tomes the villain has, gets so outraged, he takes 2 points of damage. It's not the tomes being so full of evil magic that they harm Lone Wolf the way so many Artifact of Doom do so through the series, no. It's literally Lone Wolf getting so angry and outraged by what he's seeing it might actually kill him if he's got low enough endurance! That's right, your own emotions can kill you!
      You scan the walls of this reading room and as your eye passes over the books and scrolls stored upon its shelves, you feel an almost uncontrollable urge to tear every one of them to pieces. The wickedness they contain, gleaned after thousands of years of perpetrating the vilest herbcraft known to Magnamund, is so potent that you feel your Kai strength waning in their presence (lose 2 ENDURANCE points).
    • A similar example happens in Vampirium where Lone Wolf's lieutenant has been charged with capturing an immensely powerful sceptre known as the Claw of Naar and delivering it to the Elder Magi to ensure its destruction. Once he manages to get the sceptre, its immense evilness causes an irresistible urge in the Grandmaster to try to destroy the Claw on the spot with his own enchanted weapon, even though he's been told only the Elder Magi have the power to destroy it. There is no way to avoid this, it's just a question of how badly damaged your weapon is in the process.

  • Linden Avery in the second Thomas Covenant trilogy has the ability to sense health or disease in living things. She then finds herself in a world ravaged by a supernatural curse, in which every living thing is diseased.
  • Harry Potter's scar hurts/burns any time Voldemort is close or feeling strong emotions.
  • The Heirs of Alexandria series has "witch smellers", who literally smell dark magic. And sneeze, if it's powerful enough. Detecting useful details takes practice and training, though.
  • Angels in I, Lucifer suffer from crippling agony known as "Angelic Pain". It literally hurts them to commit evil acts and corrupts their very essence. As you can imagine Lucifer's suffering is immense and technically self-inflicted.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring has this effect on its bearer, weakening their resistance to it and eventually possessing them. Also happens in the presence of Nazgûl, due to the effect of the Black Breath (or if they happen to have stabbed you with one of their Morgul blades).
  • In David Eddings' Malloreon, C'nedra is taken over by Zandramas. Symptoms include hallucinations, depressive episodes, and lethargy. It takes Polgara a surprisingly long time to figure out what's going on.
  • In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series, there is Charter Magic, which is used by the Old Kingdom, and Free Magic, which is mostly used by the bad guys. Free Magic is described as smelling "caustic"; a high concentration was once enough to make a character vomit, and some beings that channel Free Magic strongly will burn the flesh of Charter Magic users on contact.
  • In Star Darlings, negative energy is toxic to Starlings and Starland as a whole.
  • Sunshine: In the final showdown, Bo takes no actions and strikes no blows. Instead, he very nearly kills Sunshine and Con with nothing more than the pure reality-defying evilness of his nature and deeds.
  • One of the Torchwood novels has Jack unable to investigate a certain location in Cardiff for decades due to becoming severely ill whenever he tries to go near it. There naturally turns out to be something rotten underfoot there.
  • In the Vampire Academy series, Rose has the ability to sense when Strigoi (a.k.a. the undead) are nearby (this is one of the effects of being "shadow-kissed", or having returned from the dead). While this ability proves useful in terms of self-defense, it manifests itself as severe nausea whenever Strigoi are in the area, which is extremely unpleasant and inconvenient, particularly when she's trying to actually fight the super-strong, super-fast, undead vampires.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Both Delenn and Talia Winters have strong negative reactions to the presence of the Shadows accompanying Morden.
  • In Charmed one cupid gets hurt every time the demon of hate unmakes a relationship he put together.
  • Doctor Who: In the "Remembrance of the Daleks" novelization, any sign of racism brings flashbacks to the fire in Manisha's apartment for Ace.
  • One of Duncan's immortal friends from the Highlander TV series would sneeze and have cold symptoms whenever another immortal was near. It was definitely not useful to him, (and he repeatedly cursed it) since all immortals can feel the presence of each other anyway when they get close enough.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): The character Erik Gerben from Season 3 has this ability. He uses it to Blackmail people. Apparently, his Evilness Sensor doesn't apply to himself. He also can't tell what someone has done, just that it's bad so he leaves vague "I know what you did messages." When he's around really evil people, he starts getting Psychic Nosebleeds. This leads to him refusing a deal that put him in prison, as the combined backlash would kill him in a day.
    Sallinger: Why do I do this to you? Hmm?
    Erik: Because I feel your sick, evil void, your hole of black SHIT! You're barely human!
    • As the season goes on, it it lets him serve as a sort of "morality gauge" for the characters. He shows that Jessica is still a good person, that Malcolm is being corrupted by working for Jeri (but he isn't that bad yet), and that Trish is losing the He Who Fights Monsters problem.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "The Battle", Picard starts having headaches when the Enterprise rendezvous with a Ferengi ship who are "gifting" him his old (and thought lost) ship, the U.S.S. Stargazer. The Ferengi captian is secretly the father of the ship captian that Picard defeated with the Stargazer in the "Battle of Maxia". He has a spooky glowing orb of doom. You can see where this is going...

  • In Razia's Shadow, citizens of the light cannot be around citizens of the dark for extended periods of time without becoming fatally ill. This becomes a big problem when a pair from the opposing sides begin a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance with each other, which is the main plot of the album's second act.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the first edition, a high-level evil cleric could actually turn a paladin that was of lower level.
    • In the 2nd edition Monstrous Manual's entry on the heucuva, it's mentioned that the lair of this undead creature is decorated as a grotesque mockery of an abbey or temple, with corpses posed to represent worshipers. It's a hideous, abhorrent sight that can drive a good-aligned cleric into a destructive frenzy.
  • In Princess: The Hopeful, Princesses have the Blessed with Suck variant in a form of enhanced empathy called Sensitivity, which causes them to feel hurt whenever they witness someone Kick the Dog in a truly cruel manner. At best, they only get a small headache; at worst, it can result in physical injuries, depression, denial or rage, and inflict "shadows" which disturb their ability to transform. The pain can only be tempered by trying to right the wrong, which is a primary reason Princesses tend to be inclined toward doing good.

    Video Games 
  • In Disgaea Angel Trainees cannot survive long in the Netherworld without a special amulet. This is learned in a chapter dedicated to finding Flonne's after it has been stolen, not that she'll actually die or suffer from reduced stats no matter how long you dilly-dally.
  • La Pucelle: As the Dark Prince comes closer to awakening, Alouette begins feeling ill and even dreaming of her death. When Croix ends up awakening as the Dark Prince, Alouette nearly faints from the pain, and ends up being sidelined for a while to gather her strength.
  • The atmosphere of Dark Aether in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is damaging to anything not from that realm. As such, Samus takes constant damage in Dark Aether when not within the field of a light crystal. This being Metroid, she eventually gets upgraded suits that massively decrease and eventually outright negate the effect.
  • In Ōkami, Ammy takes damage and loses ink when she's in cursed areas (and ridiculously fast, too, so you can't skirt into said zones for Sequence Breaking).
  • In Pok√©mon, Psychic and Ghost types both take super effective damage from Dark type (Evil type in Japan) attacks, which are generally underhanded and malicious.
  • In Shadows of the Damned, staying in hell's darkness for too long is damaging.
  • Monsters in Undertale are a variation of this trope. Due to how their physical bodies are linked to their souls, being attacked by a creature with cruel intentions will hurt them more. This is the in-universe reason you LV up as you kill monsters. The more you kill, the crueler you become.
  • In Xenosaga, certain people are capable of contacting U-Do, the mysterious existence which hangs as a boogeyman over most of the game. This contact causes their consciousness to break down with fear, leading to fainting spells and eventually a coma and death. Shion's mother Aoi was hospitalized with this "illness." When Shion starts getting the same fainting spells, she insists it's just fatigue.

    Web Original 
  • Played straight and subverted (or averted) in Sailor Nothing. The way Himei detects the birth of Yamiko is through near-debilitating headaches. However, she can't tell if she's near one, even if it's in front of her, after it's been born.

    Web Comics 
  • Big Ears in Goblins seems to have this as a result of his Detect Evil powers.
    Ears: Imagine the worst thing that's ever happened to you. Now imagine that it's not just happening to you, but to everyone you care about. That's kind of what evil feels like.
    Chief: Blaa! That sounds unbearable! Why would anyone want to be a paladin?
    Ears: So others don't have to.
  • Sluggy Freelance: The Goddess of Goodness is pretty weak when awakened in the middle of the Dimension of Pain, because there's very little goodness around in there.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
    • In "Summit To Save Earth, Part 1", Zarm's evil laugh seems capable of giving Gaia intense headaches, even if she isn't yet aware of his presence.
    • In "A Good Bomb Is Hard To Find", Adolf Hitler's hate (heart-based pollution) was so strong that simply being near it weakened Captain Planet.
  • Danny Phantom has "ghost sense" — whenever he's near a ghost, in human or ghost form, his breath gets cold and comes out blue. Only happens when he's not aware of the ghost, though.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Uncle has the Willies!
  • In Trollz the school principal is allergic to goldenrod and beasts from the realm of darkness, so when Snarf is nearby he breaks out in sneezes.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Hurts Good