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Abby Lee: Hey, guys. I'm here. I'm very sick.
Jill: But you do have a hairbrush... right?

Being sick is a real energy drainer. Anything from the smallest sniffle to the harshest flu will suck the mojo right out of you, and you won't feel like doing anything, including brushing your hair.

That's where this trope comes into play. Bedhead-itis refers to when a character in media has messy hair when they are sick, as a visual indicator of how messy they feel on the inside.

Subtrope of Messy Hair. Compare Expressive Hair (where hair changes based on general emotions), Bad Hair Day (where this trope is not connected to illness), Illness Blanket (where a blanket is used as a visual indicator of illness), and Sickness Equals Redness (where a red nose/cheeks indicate illness). No relation to Alt Itis or Something Itis.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Toyed with in the Noonbory and the Super 7 episode "Tooba-Achooba!"; when the Super Sensors come down with the Tooba-Achoobas, Jetybory, who has Ears as Hair, gets her ears literally bent out of shape, and Totobory, who has Prehensile Leaves in place of hair, has his leaves flop down and become unusable.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

  • Bad Kitty: Downplayed and later subverted in "Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet". Kitty is thought to be sick because she's refusing to eat, but her fur is just a little mangled. Turns out, she's not actually sick; she has a toothache.
  • Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo: The titular Felicity goes to the zoo while she has a cold and her hair is quite unkempt.
  • In the Sesame Street book "Nobody Cares About Me!", Ernie's hair is even more unkempt than usual when he's in bed with a cold.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Chloe and the Nurb

Chloe, sick with a throat infection, has a bedhead.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / Bedheaditis

Media sources: