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Find the Cure!

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Arthur: What do we do now?
The Tick: Well, we find the vegetable villain who did this to me and get the antidote!
Arthur: There's an antidote?
The Tick: Villains always have antidotes... They're funny that way.

One of the characters gets poisoned or sick, and there's a very rare cure for them. May be done by the villain, who will oppose the remaining heroes in getting the antidote, or else is blackmailing the heroes into doing something for them. In which case the villain will usually be Carrying the Antidote.

Not quite a Death Trap on the part of the villain, but related in being needlessly complicated. If they were able to inject someone with a poison that's curable with a MacGuffin, why didn't they just use an instantly lethal means or use it on the heroes before? A bullet instead of a dart, or a poison that would instantly kill someone? One answer suggests that in this one situation, they aren't Genre Blind: a bullet would miss while a dart wouldn't. Another has the villain deliberately not killing the target; he or she wouldn't mind if the target dies, of course, but it's more important to have the heroes busy looking for or getting the cure while the Master Plan unfolds. Or, if the aim is blackmail, instant lethality would likely destroy the culprit's leverage over the heroes.

In the case the sickness or poison is not related to the villain at all, the cure to it may be rare or hard to get, especially if you're dealing with Mystical Plague or other kinds of supernatural sickness. And that's if they know if there's even a cure to it at all — occasionally, the struggle is in making a cure that works.

Can be a form of After-Action Healing Drama. Supertrope to Poison and Cure Gambit. Compare Healthcare Motivation and Saved by the Phlebotinum. Contrast After-Action Patch-Up and There Is No Cure. Not to be confused with the video game.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts' current quest in Berserk has him seeking Puck's homeworld of Elfhelm in hopes that the King can cure Casca's post-Eclipse insanity.
  • Case Closed:
    • Conan is trying to find the poison he was given, because if he finds a sample, The Professor living next door might be able to make a cure. A character who shows up later and is the creator of said poison is also working on a cure, but unfortunately she lost most of her research and thus doesn't have a lot to go on.
      • Ai/Shiho later manages to create prototypes of the antidote that allow the shrunken person to regain their original body for a short amount of time. However, the more often the shrunken uses it, the less effective it becomes and the active duration shortens with each use, as the shrunken becomes more resistant to the antidote. The prototypes are meant to be used for emergency cases. So far, Shinichi has taken the prototypes in four separate cases, and Shiho herself has taken it once.
    • It later turns out that there's another survivor of said poison: Sera's mother Mary. Sera's other goal (aside from finding her brother Shuu) is finding the antidote.
  • One chapter of Delicious in Dungeon involves Laios, Senshi, and Chilchuck trying to find a cure for Marcille after she is turned to stone by a cockatrice.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tamayo tasks Tanjiro into collecting the blood samples of the Twelve Demon Moons to counteract Muzan's cells within Nezuko and other Demons, if possible.
  • Dr. STONE: One of the first story arcs is inventing sulfa drugs to cure Ruri's pneumonia. Later, Senku's goal is to save Tsukasa after he is mortally wounded. Because the wounds are lethal, the only way to cure him is to petrify and restore him, so Senku sets off to find whatever petrified all of humanity.
  • The overall mission of the Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist is essentially this, although the problem isn't technically a disease; the Elrics tampered in God's domain, and as a result, Ed lost An Arm and a Leg and Al is a spirit anchored to a giant suit of Animated Armour, so they're looking for a way to restore themselves. Unusually, they find one possible way bright and early, but it's Powered by a Forsaken Child and neither of the brothers is down with that. Eventually, they find that the cure is a Bargain with Heaven: Al trades the blood seal keeping him tied to his armour and away from his body in Limbo for restoring Ed's arm, and Ed forfeits his alchemy forever to get Al's body out of Limbo. Ed never gets his leg back, though.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin has an episode where the Ohu dogs fall victim to a poison trap from the Iga ninja Clan. When the poison threatens to blind Ben for life, the Iga clan leader, Akame, feels guilty about this and decides to find the herbs that can cure the poison.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, Spain gets sick because of his economic problems and his ex-pupil Romano searches for a cure, even recurring to The Mafia for help. When he returns, though, Spain's economy is better so he's healthy.
  • Kyrie and Iris travel to Earth in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection to find the Examia in the hopes that it can be used to cure both Kyrie's father and help with Eltria's reforestation. Well, Kyrie does anyways. Iris just wants to get revenge on Yuri.
  • In Monster Rancher, Holly gets sick from Black Worm poison due to Taking the Bullet for Tiger. Hare knows the cure is Natsume Berries but doesn't know where to find them, so Tiger goes off to search by himself. Captain Black Worm ambushes Tiger where the berries grow while the other heroes hide from the Black Worm subordinates.
  • In Mujin Wakusei Survive, Sharla and Chako have to find medicinal herbs to cure Luna's fever.
    • And later, upon arriving on the mainland, the cast has to find medicine for Humanoid Alien Adam.
  • Subverted to tragic effect in One Piece; Chopper risks his life to find a mushroom which he believed was a panacea that would cure his mentor's illness. However, he was mistaken and it was actually a highly poisonous mushroom... which his mentor proceeded to eat, grinning, knowing its nature.
  • Used in Pet Shop of Horrors, when Totetsu is shot and Leon must find Count D to learn what type of blood is needed for a transfusion. All is put well in the end when D's father secretly comes to see the animal and tells the doctors what sort of blood to use.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • During the Orange Islands arc, Ash and Tracey fell victim to a Vileplume's Stun Spore, and Misty had to go out to find a cure for the resulting paralysis. In the same episode, Jessie also fell victim to the same Vileplume's Stun Spore, leaving James and Meowth to find the same cure as Misty.
    • At the end of the XY arc's Mega Evolution specials, a Chespin belonging to Mairin, the deuteragonist, falls into a coma. Alain, the protagonist, had previously told Mairin to stay away from him and blames himself for her Chespin's condition. He is told that the Mega Evolution energy he was gathering for Lysandre would undo the coma, so Alain resolves to finish the task, which leads up to his appearance in the main anime. It's all a lie. Lysandre uses the Mega Evolution energy to enslave Zygarde in order to bring Team Flare's goal of creating a new world by destroying the old one into fruition.
  • Ranma ˝
    • The Moxibustion Arc in the manga/anime Ranma ˝. The wicked Happōsai hits Ranma with the Weakness Moxibustion, which makes the strongest man as weak as a toddler. They discover that Happōsai has the ancient scroll with the cure and spend the entire arc training to fight him to get the chart.
    • Whenever Ranma finds out about something that might cure his curse. Of course, Failure Is the Only Option, so every time a cure for the curse is found, it either doesn't work or is lost before it can be used.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: When Shirayuki, Ryuu and Izana visit Lyrias children are falling ill with something that is dropping their body temperatures, paralyzing their muscles and leaving them with bruise-like swirls on their bodies. The source isn't known and by the time they do find a matching description adults are also falling ill and it is described as something which took out over half of the population in the city in which it last appeared so Shirayuki, Ryuu and the local researchers quickly scramble to find the cure which is faded and illegible in the ancient tome that describes the illness.
  • The crew of the Space Battleship Yamato had a year to reach a planet on the other side of the galaxy, get a device that would decontaminate an otherwise radiation-poisoned Earth, and get back to use it, before Earth became permanently uninhabitable.
  • Zoids: Chaotic Century:

    Comic Books 
  • In All Superheroes Must Die, Cutthroat is injected with 90s and goes through a frantic search for an antidote to avoid exploding.
  • Doctor Strange occasionally needs to find a magical cure for an ailment that is beyond modern medicine. The Oath and Spider-Man: Fever both involve his attempts to save the lives of Wong and Spider-Man, respectively.
  • Used in ElfQuest when Skywise has to find some Whistling Leaves (a diuretic) to help cure Cutter's fever. He only finds the leaves in the end due to a small breeze, which causes the leaves to give out the whistling sound they were named for thus, guiding him to the plant.
  • Used on Spider-Man by the Hobgoblin back in the late eighties or early nineties. The Hobgoblin doesn't just shoot him because he wants Spidey to give him the Green Goblin's journals. Played with, in that the Hobgoblin doesn't have the antidote — but Spidey gets it from the Kingpin in exchange for help dealing with Hobgoblin (who is a rogue element in Fisk's plans).
  • The Teen Titans ask for Robin's help when Superboy is dying from his first run-in with a deranged Superboy Prime and Robin quickly surmises that Lex Luthor will have a cure for what's killing Kon. Tim leads them to break into and search one of Luthor's secret hidden labs, where they do indeed find the cure as well as some... less pleasant things.

    Fan Works 
  • FFS, I Believe in You: A large part of the sequel's story is the characters' attempt to find the recipe for a potion with which to heal Jabu Ork&uacute, track down the ingredients, and deliver the finished cure to Zola Province and the ailing Jabu.
  • It's A Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door: Finding a cure for Twilight Sparkle is the central plot of the story, and requires the other characters to trek over two mountain ranges and two foreign countries to recover a very specific Flower from the Mountaintop.
  • In I, Warrior, it turns out that the reason the Master is after Palpatine's holocron is because he believes it can cure him of the illness ravaging his body. He's right, unfortunately.
  • In the Star Wars fic Not Without You By My Side, Leia is bitten by a tropical insect during an off-world visit. There's only one rare strain of bacta the infection responds to, so Luke and Lando Calrissian have to make a trip to Coruscant's shady lower levels to get the stuff from one of Han's smuggler buddies.
  • Played five times in the WALLE Forum Roleplay. Thrice by Buddy, first by attempting to kill Auto (and as many other robots as would likely be infected, since they were expendable to his cause) and then by blackmailing the Colony to Auto scrapped; once by Blacklight, who wanted to wipe mankind off Earth to rescue the robots; and once when the remains of the Black Plague virus actually became sentient.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Something Wicked This Way Comes, this is what sets the plot in motion as the few healthy members of a starship crew use a poorly understood piece of alien technology in desperation to get the antidote needed to cure their comrades in time. It doesn't work - the ship ends up trapped in an alternate universe, and reappears a decade later, triggering the main plot as the Enterprise is called to investigate.
  • In Another Time, Another Place, Another Story, Liu Qingge refuses to let Shen Yuan's chronic bad health cause his premature demise and starts to explore the cultivation world because it has treatments to achieve immortality. It's later revealed that Shen Yuan's father attempted the same quest only to fail, and is currently hoping for Liu Qingge to succeed in his stead.
  • Dance with the Demons: Catwoman has been injected with an unidentified poison, prompting Batman and his allies to look for the culprit to find the antidote.

    Films — Animation 
  • The first Balto movie. In this case, everyone knows approximately where the diphtheria antitoxin is -but they have to get it to Nome in severe weather conditions and precarious snowy terrain that only allow sled dogs and their white and native Alaskan handlers to travel. Planes are out.
  • Barbie movies:
  • In The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists, Grandpa Longneck is stricken with an unspecified illness, requiring Littlefoot and his friends to track down a specific type of flower that contains a cure.
  • Pretty much the whole plot of Once Upon a Forest. A little badger named Michelle becomes comatose after inhaling toxic gas that killed all the local herbs, so her three older friends must travel beyond the forest to find the herbs she needs to be cured.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blade (1998): After Karen discovers she's been infected with vampirism, she sets about using her medical knowledge to find a cure. She discovers a retrovirus that can turn vampires back into humans and she successfully uses it on herself, although she speculates it will only work for vampires who were once human and not for Purebloods due to the vampire virus being genetically fixed into them.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Donovan shoots Indiana's father, mortally wounding him. If Indiana can't get past three deadly traps, find the Grail, and return with it in time, his father will die.
  • The plot of the Based on a True Story Lorenzo's Oil. The Odones search desperately for a cure, or at least treatment, for their son's ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy). Sponsoring an international symposium of scientists, they follow a thin lead to an oil with two specific long-chain fatty acids. This reduces the problem that's causing the disease, but then they learn a case as advanced as their son's also requires replacing or regenerating the nerve myelin sheaths. So they start working on that. Meanwhile, the oil is used on many patients to arrest the progress of their ALD, preventing the damage that harmed the Odones boy.
  • The Neverending Story: Atreyu's quest, in essence, since doing so for the Empress will also save Fantasia from The Nothing.
  • The premise of Saw II. Eight people in a cellar have been poisoned and have two hours (ie most of the movie) to try to retrieve doses of antidote from the various death traps.
  • Twice-Told Tales: In "Rappaccini's Daughter", Giovanni goes to his chemistry professor in the hopes of finding a cure after Rappaccini turns him into a Poisonous Person.
  • Van Helsing: After discovering that her brother Velkan has become a werewolf, Anna mentions that Dracula is rumored to have a cure for lycanthropy, although Van Helsing dismisses it as a pipe dream, and it becomes a moot point once the werewolf curse fully takes over Velkan after the final stroke of midnight on his first full moon. Later, Van Helsing is infected himself, and he and his allies discover that Dracula's werewolf cure is real, prompting Anna and Carl to race against time in order to retrieve the cure and administer it to Van Helsing before he shares Velkan's fate.

  • In Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, the only cure for Angeline Fowl's disease is the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur, except silky sifakas went extinct eight years ago. Artemis himself made sure of that.
  • Biblical Apocrypha has the Book of Tobit, where a young man named Tobias must go search for a cure for his blind dad Tobit. His travel companion happens to be the Archangel Raphael in disguise, and while Tobias searches for both Tobit's cure and falls for a girl named Sarah, Raphael fights a demon that keeps killing every man poor Sarah has married before getting together with Tobias.
  • Bridge of Birds: The plot of the novel — at least until the parallel plot comes to light.
  • Often appears as part of the mindgames played by Butler Parker. You got hit with a blowgun dart? The nice old man tells you to consider your chances should the dart be poisoned? He even has a cure, but wants to get some information from you first? If you give in and tell him what he wants to know, he'll probably give you a 'cure' - an antacid or a breath mint. And yes, the dart probably was poisoned after all - with a slow-acting sleeping poison, and once you wake up again, you'll be none the worse for wear...
  • The Diamond Throne centers on a search for the only thing that can cure the poison that the Queen has been poisoned with. In the villain's defense, he had to make it look natural, so instantly lethal means was out of the question, and he could not have anticipated either the magic that kept her alive long enough for the cure to be found or that there actually was a cure that could be found.
  • In Empire of Ivory, once Temeraire proves immune to the Incurable Cough of Death that is killing the rest of Britain's dragons, there is a scramble to Cape Colony in the hops of finding what cured him of the cold that it was initially dismissed as. Too bad a cave full of the mushrooms in question happened to be under cultivation by a Hidden Dragon Empire.
  • In Ryan Graff's The Fires of Affliction, the Mystery Cult repeatedly poisons, then cures, the heroine Lori as a way of preventing her from escaping their grasp. When she finally breaks out and meets the hero, he scrambles for another way to cure her.
  • The villain of Galaxy of Fear: The Planet Plague didn't know of a cure and just wanted Tash to transform into a Blob Monster. But he got this virus from the ruins of an old civilization and said civilization also wrote down how it could be cured. The heroes were fortunate not only to find that but to have a droid find it so it could be recorded.
  • Juliet Marillier's Heart's Blood: After Anluan is poisoned, Caitrin must find the antidote and brew it without knowing what kind of poison it is or where the antidote is written, all in less than an hour.
  • Used twice in The Lord of the Rings with the Athelas plant (also known as Kingsfoil) which it seems only Aragorn knows how to use as more than a simple headache remedy. The first time, he uses it to help relieve the pain of Frodo's wound from a Morgul-knife and the second time to cure those who have been afflicted by "The Black Breath", spread by the Nazgûl. Both times, the plant has to be sought out since there is none at hand when it's needed.
  • During The Malloreon Zakath is given a poison that has no known antidote. Her search is relatively short, only a chapter, as they consult Cyradis who tells them the only cure is the panacea, quickly identified as Adara's rose.
  • The second book of The Merlin Saga, The Seven Songs, has Merlin's mother Elen stricken by a slowly-killing death curse, forcing Merlin and his friends to embark on a long, Labors of Hercules-style mission to find the Elixir of Dagda, the only cure.
  • Happens at least once in Redwall. In Salamandastron, a Flower from the Mountaintop is needed to create medicine which will cure a plague.
  • The Riftwar Cycle novel Silverthorn has this as the major plot, when the protagonist must quest for the plant of the title in order to cure a princess who was struck down with a poison made from the very same plant.
  • Doubly subverted in Septimus Heap: Physik: Queen Etheldredda is actually trying to lure Septimus into a trap so she can extort Jenna to bring him to a place where he is kidnapped into a time 500 years ago, but there he does find the cure for the Sickenesse that is ravaging the Castle in the present time.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: In "The Grim Grotto", Sunny is infected by a deadly mushroom called the Medusoid Mycelium, forcing Klaus and Violet to find a cure. They find that horseradish is the cure, but since that is not available on the submarine they are in, they use Wasabi as a substitute.
  • The Two Princesses of Bamarre
    • The whole point of The Two Princesses of Bamarre, with the added twist that Addie's not sure if the cure's even real, and when they do find it, it's too late for Meryl, who has to have an Emergency Transformation.
    • Also played with, in that while the cure that Addie ultimately found would have worked just fine, she also inadvertently found the "real" cure, which everyone in the kingdom had been searching for — by being a "coward who found courage", Addie caused rain to fall all over the land. The rain came from the home of the fairies and cured everyone of the disease.
  • A large portion of the Warrior Cats novel Long Shadows deals with Jayfeather trying to find catnip to cure a recent epidemic in his clan after his stock was destroyed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Alias episode "Counteragent," Sydney needs an antidote to a virus that is killing Vaughn. Sark says she can have it if she brings him Sloane.
  • Thoroughly subverted by the Babylon 5 episode "Confessions and Lamentations", in which Doctor Franklin spends the entire episode searching for a cure while Delenn tends the plague-stricken Markab people, and the rest of the cast deals with other consequences of the plague. In the end, Franklin races to the quarantine ward with the cure... only to discover a tearful Delenn, who informs him that he's too late: they've all died. He is in time, at least, to prevent the disease from spreading among the pak'ma'ra, who are also vulnerable.
  • Part of the Sick Episode slash Contamination Situation episode "The Pathos in the Pathogen" on Bones. Arastoo is accidentally infected by a modified virus while processing the victim. The standard issue serum for the disease fails and Booth has to find the killer since the lab group reasons the killer would have an antidote in case he got sick. Turns into Withholding the Cure briefly until Brennan forces the guy to give it up.
  • An example of the second approach occurs in the third season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Graduation Day". Faith shoots Angel with a poisoned arrow; she could easily have hit his heart and dusted him, but she and the Mayor would rather Buffy stay distracted by his illness and eventual, slow, and painful death. Of course, this backfires on Faith when the antidote turns out to be Slayer blood...
  • One episode of Castle hit Castle with a poison that led to this, but justified: the villain didn't even know Castle existed, let alone that he'd been hit with the poison. The actual target of the poison was killed almost immediately by it, Castle just got a low dose of it accidentally (enough to kill him, just not as immediately) by being in the same car with the victim for a few minutes.
  • Chuck has this in the Season 4 finale when Sarah is poisoned by Vivian Volkoff on the eve of their wedding and Chuck has to find a cure.
  • The B5 Spin-Off series Crusade was entirely premised on this: the cast was searching for a cure to a plague visited upon Earth by former Shadow minions, which would conveniently lie dormant for five years before killing everyone. (The plan was to set up an audience expectation that the cure would be found in the fifth and final season, then have the cure discovered somewhere around Season 3 and spend the rest of the series fighting a new and greater danger uncovered during the search. All this was rendered moot when the series was canceled before even airing.)
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Caves of Androzani, the Fifth Doctor is forced to regenerate after he and his companion Peri are poisoned — although he manages to milk the giant Queen-Bat to get the antidote (don't ask), there's only enough for one.
    • Much of "The Green Death" is devoted to finding the eponymous infection. The Improbable Antidote turns out to be the dried spores of the fungus Professor Jones was working on.
  • Happens twice to Aeryn in Farscape: first when she needs a tissue transplant in Season 1 so the team has to infiltrate a Peacekeeper base and again in Season 4 when she is infected with the "Living Death" by an enemy who possesses the only cure.
  • In one episode of Foyle's War, one woman dies of a mysterious illness and Sam comes down with the same symptoms, becoming gravely ill. Foyle's investigation leads him to an Army research post where they are trying to cultivate anthrax as a bioweapon; sloppy handling led to the two civilian infections. Foyle threatens to return with more police, more officials, and worst of all the press unless they give him a cure. They hand him a bottle of streptomycin antibiotic, but (as is Truth in Television) warn him that it isn't a guarantee, just that it will probably help. (Fortunately for Sam, it does.)
  • Game of Thrones: After she learns of his greyscale infection, Daenerys orders Jorah to find the cure and return to her. He gets his wish after being treated by Samwell Tarly at the Citadel.
  • This is an important part of the plot in The Julekalender. Gammel Nok is dying because the music box that plays the melody of his life is about to stop. The main characters Fritz, Hansi, and Günther have to look for the only key that can wind up this music box.
  • In Merlin, Arthur goes on one of these after Merlin takes a poisoned chalice originally meant for him.
  • The New Avengers: In "Target", Purdey and Steed are poisoned and Gambit has to race to find the antidote: which the villain has hidden in the center of the agency's Shooting Gallery.
  • In the Nikita episode "Phoenix", Nikita is injected with an exotic poison in order to force her to assist the Russian private intelligence agency Gogol with the assassination of a U.S. Senator. Unbeknownst to Gogol, however, Nikita's partner Alex has infiltrated the organization Gogol copied the poison from in the first place, and thus has access to its antidote.
  • Starsky & Hutch: In the episode "A Coffin for Starsky", Starsky is injected with a poison that will kill him in 24 hours; in this case what they need to find is a sample of the poison so the cure can be created. A less personalized version occurs in "The Plague", in which Hutch is one of the first victims of an incipient epidemic, and Starsky has to track down a hitman with a natural immunity to the disease.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Season 3, Episode 13, "One Against an Army".
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Section 31 creates a disease designed to annihilate the Founders in order to bring down the Dominion and end the war. In order to transmit the disease to the Founders, they use Odo as a carrier. This leads to three episodes of this for Dr. Bashir, with "Extreme Measures" being the embodiment of this trope.
    • Subverted in "The Quickening." Bashir comes to the aid of a planet that was infected with a plague two centuries ago by the Jem'Hadar, expecting to swoop in with his genius and his gadgets and save the day with another miracle of 24th-century Starfleet medicine. It doesn't work out that way. It turns out the disease was designed to accelerate when exposed to electromagnetic fields such as produced by modern medical equipment, which leaves a wave of patients in mortal agony pleading for euthanasia. However, Bashir was able to accidentally create an in-vitro vaccine to enable babies to be born free of the plague. Although the planet's population and Commander Sisko tell Dr. Bashir that this was a great accomplishment, he is hardly satisfied.
  • In the episode "Poison Ivy" of the 1991 series Tropical Heat, private investigator Nick Slaughter is poisoned and spends the rest of the episode trying to get his hands on the cure.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder desperately searching for a cure for Scully's cancer makes up the episodes of "Redux" and "Redux II." He does.
  • Supernatural: Loves this trope.
    • In Season 4, Dean is infected with ghost sickness which makes the normally brave and heroic Dean afraid of everything. Bobby and Sam have to work to find a cure.
    • In Season 6, Dean is infected with vampire blood, which will turn him into a vampire if he feeds. He eventually manages to find a cure before that happens.
    • In Season 7, Sam is being driven mad by his memories of Hell, and Dean desperately searches for a cure. He seeks out a faith healer who turns out to be an amnesiac Castiel who eventually absorbs Sam's memories into his own mind.
    • A long arc through Seasons 9 and 10 involved Dean having the Mark of Cain, which turns him demonic, and the heroes desperately searching for a cure.
  • The Young Ones: During their Sick Episode, Neil hopes that Mike is able to find the cure. Vyvyan points out that they've got Madness this week.
  • In one episode of the live-action Zorro, Zorro is poisoned by the villain of the week. He later tricks the villain into thinking that Zorro had poisoned him back with the same toxin, making him go to the nearest source of an antidote, which Zorro follows him to.


  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the elven archer Rhylian is desperately searching for a cure to the Blood Fever, a disease that is fatal to elves.
  • In the Adventure Game included with Warrior Cats The Fourth Apprentice, the Clans are coming down with a sickness, so they send out the Adventure Game cats to find some herbs for them.

    • A major portion falls under this (specifically the arc called Bionicle Legends): two parts were dedicated to finding the MacGuffin that could save Mata Nui's life, and the third revolved around restoring him to consciousness.
    • There was also a smaller-scale one in the book "Maze of Shadows", where the plant monster Karzahni forces the Toa Metru to get him a flask of energized protodermis in exchange for curing Nokama of poison — and to prove he could do it, he gave her a temporary antidote. It turned out that Karzahni needed to Find The Cure for a condition of its own, but too bad protodermis has Unpredictable Results.

    Video Games 
  • In ANNO: Mutationem, Ann's younger brother, Ryan, goes missing when he picked up a lead on finding N540, a unique medicine that he wants to find which would cure Ann's Entanglelitis. Even though Ryan succeeds in finding it at The Consortium's base, he was immediately captured when it turns out it was a trap to lure Ann in.
  • A major plotline in Batman: Arkham City has Batman seeking to find a cure to the disease killing The Joker because he gave Batman a blood transfusion as well as "donating" his blood to various hospitals in Gotham to ensure Batman's cooperation.
  • In Beyond the Beyond, the party's strongman hero Samson is cursed by one of the Big Bads early on in the game. The curse is so powerful that it can't be lifted by normal priests, leading the heroes to seek out God Himself to undo it.
  • In Blaster Master Zero II, Eve is infected by mutant cells and Jason and Eve must travel to the planet Sophia to find a cure. It's ultimately subverted, as Eve ends up curing herself prior to the True Final Boss.
  • In BlazBlue, the ultimate goal of Litchi Faye-Ling is to find a cure that will not just restore her friend Lotte Carmine from Arakune to normal, but also a cure for herself about her encroaching corruption. Unfortunately, the one she knew could help her, Kokonoe, flat out refused, and Hazama claims that NOL has the cure. Litchi was quick enough to realize that it's Blackmail and Hazama is a very ominous, suspicious dude, but with her time to get completely corrupted drawing ever nearer, she ends up Forced into Evil to preserve the cure. By BlazBlue: Central Fiction, she actually managed to procure one cure that's guaranteed to be safe to use. Unfortunately, when she managed to confront Lotte about it, he just stated that he actually knew that cure already, and was deliberately not using that cure to stay the way he is, as he has chosen to stay that way. This pretty much rendered everything Litchi did All for Nothing.
  • In Bloodborne, the Hunter suffers from an unknown disease. So they journey to the city of Yharnam, the home of blood ministration, in order to seek Paleblood. FromSoftware seems to like this trope.
  • In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Kain's initial motive for going after the Circle of Nine is a cure for his vampirism... though he slowly begins to embrace it. It turns out however there is no "cure" in the conventional sense. Unknown to Kain until the very end, he is in fact the new corrupted Guardian of Balance, born between the time of the previous Guardian Ariel's death and the Pillar's subsequent corruption, and so killing the other Pillars won't save Nosgoth as long as he's still alive. Ariel's spirit deliberately withheld this information in the hopes that Kain would ultimately willing choose to sacrifice himself in the end. As it turns out, he was rather miffed at this manipulation and it served as the final straw for him refusing to sacrifice himself and fully embracing his vampire state.
  • Chrono Cross: Early on, Kid is poisoned by Hydra Venom, which requires Hydra Humor to cure. Problem being, the hydras are extinct in this dimension. You can choose not to fetch it—she'll be cured by a strange from the mainland anyway Norris and not commit an act of ecological vandalism, but it mostly depends on which characters you want to join you.
  • Dark Souls: The Chosen Undead is suggested to be searching for a cure for their Undeath and discovered that there was no cure for the Undead Curse. Their only options are to become kindling for the First Flame or let it die and try their hand at ruling a world of Dark.
  • In Dark Souls II, the Bearer of the Curse is lured to Drangleic by rumors of a possible cure to the Undead Curse. There is no cure. The rumors were merely the Emerald Herald's bait to bring Undead to Drangleic in hopes of finding someone capable of ending Nashandra and Linking the Fire. At the end of the Lost Crowns DLC trilogy, King Vendrick will bestow a blessing upon all of the crowns that prevents Hollowing as long as they are worn. It's not a cure, but it does remove the only harmful part of the Curse.
  • Dice and the Tower of the Reanimator: Glorious Princess: Bambooblade's goal is to find the elixir that can cure Princess Gloria's disease, but the Reanimator has this item and isn't willing to share.
  • The main plot of The Dog Island is this. The player must travel to The Dog Island to search for a cure for a mysterious and rare sickness that has infected their younger sibling, the cure itself being the Legendary Flower.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Hero of Ferelden is now on a quest to find a cure for the Blight: a magical disease infecting all Grey Wardens that is lethal to all life. The Blight is believed to be impossible to cure, but the Hero has dedicated themselves to proving them wrong and saving all who are infected regardless of what it takes. While most consider this goal to be a pipe dream, those who know the Hero of Ferelden personally have faith that they'll defy the odds and succeed somehow.
  • Eastern Exorcist have this as the main plotline of Xiahou-xue's quest; her brother, Xiahou-qing, sacrifices himself to save her from being poisoned by a Snake Yaksha, and only survives by having his soul escaping his physical body, now uninhabitable because of the venom. Xiahou-qing can still survive in spirit form, but only for six months; players as Xiahou-xue must go on a quest to seek an antidote and restore her brother's body before it's too late.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • While it is widely believed throughout Tamriel that there is no cure for Vampirism, there are recorded cases of individuals being cured. Knowledge of how to be cured is typically suppressed for two major reasons: One, because the cure is often extremely unsavory. Two, in order to discourage wannabe Vampires from intentionally infecting themselves with the disease. In each game where the Player Character can contract the disease, the cure does indeed prove to be rather unsavory. To note:
      • In Daggerfall, curing the Iliac Bay strain of vampirism requires killing the "Bloodfather" of that particular vampire bloodline. Doing so cures the entire clan, however, it does so in the No Ontological Inertia sense. Because of the disease's agelessness property, it causes rapid aging in the newly cured. Any vampires which have already exceeded the lifespan of their race suffer Rapid Aging and die.
      • In Morrowind, getting cured requires currying favor with Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption, who is also the "Father" of all vampires. Given that Molag Bal is one of the few Daedric Princes considered unanimously evil and is one of the "Four Corners of the House of Troubles" to Morrowind's Tribunal Temple, it's easy to see why the Temple censors any rumors of a cure to vampirism and considers the only "cure" to be a swift Mercy Kill.
      • In Oblivion, you must commune with a witch in order to be cured. She requires ingredients for a potion that includes the blood of an Argonian. (You don't need to actually kill the Argonian, but most of them don't take kindly to being stabbed by a special dagger to draw blood.)
      • In Skyrim, getting cured requires working with a Conjurer who will cure you in exchange for a filled Black Soul Gem. "Black" souls are those of sapient beings, and the Dawnguard DLC reveals that sapient beings who have been soul trapped are doomed to spend eternity in the bleak Soul Cairn. Essentially, you are dooming someone to a Fate Worse than Death to cure yourself of the disease. Alternatively, if you are a member of the Companions, you can choose to become infected with Lycanthropy, which clears the Vampirism. That may or may not be considered better depending on the circumstances.
      • Online offers by far the easiest means of being cured. You simply need to pay a Mages Guild healer to cure you instantly.
    • This is likewise the case throughout the series for curing curing Lycanthropy. For similar reasons to the cure for Vampirism, knowledge of the cure for Lycanthropy is likewise suppressed.
    • In Morrowind, part way through the main quest, one of the Big Bad's minions will infect the Player Character with the Corprus Disease, a divine disease created with the power of the heart of a dead god. Corprus comes with a nasty case of Body Horror and decreasing mental faculties. Divayth Fyr, the 4000-year-old wizard is known to be working on a cure, so the PC must seek him out. Ultimately, he Subverts the trope. He does cure the negative aspects of the disease, but not the disease itself. Thus, the PC is left with the positive aspects of being The Ageless and having Ideal Illness Immunity.
  • Fate/Grand Order: While preparing to invade the Atlantic Lostbelt, the protagonist and Goredolf eat half a poisoned cake each, and the assassin who sent the cake made the poison from ingredients not found in Proper Human History. Said ingredients are traced to the Chinese Lostbelt, forcing Chaldea to forego Atlantis for now and search for a cure in the alternate China.
  • Final Fantasy has several examples:
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Rosa comes down with a sickness that can only be cured by the secretions of a rare desert arthropod. This happens to another character in The After Years.
    • Inverted in Final Fantasy V, as in a flashback you learn that a mother of a character had a disease that could only be cured by a dragon's tongue. However, since this would kill the dragon, the character decides not to do it. Played straight on the two occasions the heroes need to find dragon grass to cure sick wind drakes, however: it only grows, in small quantities, on certain remote mountaintops, and in one case has mutated into a monster.
    • Finding the cure for Crystal Sickness kicks off the plot in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time.
  • In Gems of War, the bulk of the Forest of Thorns quest-line involves Rowanne's attempts to find a cure to the corruption there. It also involves fighting off elves who think looking for a cure is a dead end. In the end, the "cure" does stop Gloom Leaf... by killing him.
  • A villainous example occurs in Guacamelee! 2: the Big Bad, Salvador, is searching for the three relics that will lead him to the Sacred Guacamole in order to cure his Incurable Cough of Death (not that he'd ever admit to having one), which was brought about due to his body being unable to handle the power of his mask. And if the Mexiverse has to collapse on itself in the process, then so be it...
  • In Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Lillia's husband is on a quest to find a cure for her Soap Opera Disease. He's looking for a flower that only grows once a decade in a desert.
  • In Heretic II the protagonist is infected with The Virus at the beginning of the story and has to find the cure not only for other people but also for himself.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia, Neptune gets poisoned by the Archbishop of Leanbox, leading Compa and IF to scramble to find seven herbsnote  needed to make the cure. Luckily for them, all of the herbs are contained in the same dungeon, and the enemies are much weaker than the ones the party has faced previously in the story.
  • The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter is seeking the Immortal Cell in order to cure his Incurable Cough of Death. He is not alone in his quest, either; a second drifter is searching for it as well and often shares info with the playable character. In the end it turns out that the Incurable Cough actually is incurable; the Immortal Cell was never a cure, it was an Artifact of Doom, a false hope that The Drifter had to destroy.
  • Delsin and Regggie in inFAMOUS: Second Son set out to find Brooke Augustine after she uses her powers to interrogate and torture their tribe, who will die if they cannot get her to reverse the effects. When she refuses Delsin decides that he must use his own Power Copying abilities to take hers and heal them himself.
  • The Shimmer Cure plot in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist revolves around Sol exploring the Valley of Vertigo to help Tang and Instance find the cure for the disease to save those who got infected such as Geranium.
  • The goal of Larn is to find a potion to cure your daughter's terminal illness.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: An old woman in the town of Mido asks Link to find a medicine so she can cure her sick daughter. Link can find a bottle full of Water of Life in a cave north of Moruge Swamp (which in turn is in the opposide side of the mountain that surrounds Midoro Swamp), but its entrance is blocked by a boulder that can only be broken with the Hammer. Once Link enters the cave and grabs the bottle, he can deliver it to the old woman, who in return lets Link enter her house so he can learn a new spell from a sorcerer.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: One side quest in the game has Link hunt down a Molduga and harvest its guts to cure a Gerudo's husband.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: An old woman in Kakariko Village gets sick from touching Gloom. You have to cook a particular dish that heals Gloom damage to cure her, which also teaches you how to cook such dishes for yourself.
  • The Dangi Corporation in the fan mod Marathon Rubicon develop a cure for a virus they made. It was used in a scheme to take over the galaxy by infecting food from various companies which was sent to various planets. They offered the cure in exchange for governmental control. At least, this is what happens if you stay on Pfhor Prime.
  • Mario & Luigi:
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario wins a game at an arcade and obtains a strange mushroom as the prize. He eats it and becomes inflicted with a disease called Bean Fever, which makes whoever has it slowly turn into a bean, and Luigi has to go to some ancient ruins to find Crabbie Grass, the only known cure.
    • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story the several Toads of the Mushroom Kingdom get the Blorbs, which cause their bodies to swell until they are large and round. Midway through the game, a cure for the Blorbs is discovered, and Mario and Luigi have to gather the three Star Cures to make it.
      • The remake of Bowser's Inside Story has a new side story called Bowser Jr.'s Journey, where the Bowser's Goomba minions are revealed to also become victim of the Blorbs. Bowser Jr. gets a recipe for the cure (an alternative cure from the one the Mario Bros. gets) and goes out to get the ingredients. However, the villains of the mode sold the recipe to Bowser's minions so they could steal the completed cure, and mix it with another ingredient to make a powerful brainwashing drug.
  • This is the main objective in the Storyline of Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen: the King of the kingdom the main character serves, is gravely poisoned by a terrorist group, and the only way to cure him is a mysterious MacGuffin called "The Tear of the Star". It's so rare and legendary, nobody actually knows exactly what it looks like. And of course, the main character is sent on a quest to find it.
  • Justified in Penumbra: Black Plague, as your foe doesn't just want you dead...
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Path of Legends storyline, where you help Arven defeat the Titan Pokémon to find the Herba Mystica, is revealed to be a quest to find a miracle cure after defeating the second Titan Pokémon. Arven shows you his ailing Mabosstiff, whose illness can't be cured by Pokémon Centers or Potions, and he aims to find all the Herba Mystica because they're the only medicine that can heal his Pokémon.
  • Several games in the Resident Evil franchise has you hunting down a cure for someone:
    • Resident Evil, if you're playing as Jill, has you look for Serum to cure a wounded and poisoned Richard, but he dies whether you get the cure to him on time or not. Richard is already dead by the time Chris finds him. In the remake. If you get the cure to Richard quickly, he will be alive, but he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice later on since he's Doomed by Canon.
      • In the original game and the remake, if you get poisoned by the giant snake on your first encounter with it, your character slumps over from the poison, causing their partner character to show up and administer a cure.
    • Resident Evil 2 for Claire's Scenario A has the character developing a vaccine that will stop the G-Virus embryo that was implanted in 10-year-old Sherry Birkin. By Resident Evil 6, the embryo within Sherry remains dormant due to the vaccine, but is not eliminated. Instead, Sherry's body adapts to the embryo and it grants her super healing.
    • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and its remake has Jill getting infected with the T-Virus by Nemesis, which kicks off the quest for the cure by Carlos and he delivers the vaccine on time. The vaccine would cause Jill's body to develop antibodies specifically against the T-Virus and would be an effective cure. Wesker in Resident Evil 5 captures Jill and ues her antibodies against her by implanting a mind-controlling device on her chest.
    • Resident Evil 4 has Leon and Ashley get implanted with the Las Plagas, which will mutate and take control of their bodies if not eliminated on time. Breaking the trend of using a vaccine, the game "cures" the two characters by having them using electrical shocks on each other to kill off the parasite within them.
  • Sailor Moon: Another Story: At the end of the first chapter, Mamoru is hit by an enemy attack which leaves him in a coma; a good portion of the game plot concerns the Sailor Guardians searching the world for the Four Heavenly Kings' Light stones, which have the power to bring forth the Rose Crystal, which can cure him.
  • The Xchagger Plague subplot in the third installment of Star Control. The victims: The Harika/Yorn. The culprits: unsurprisingly, The Crux.
  • A side quest in Tales of Symphonia has Raine falling ill from a (completely non-villain caused) disease and the party has to spread out to find the antidote, which turns out to be a rare plant that only grows on the top of a single mountain in the whole world.
  • The Wind Road: One of the sub-quests in the village sees you trying to find an antidote for your poisoned monk friend, but unfortunately it leads to a Chain of Deals scenario requiring you to find the silver scales of a rare fish, obtain a slab of beef, cross a forest filled with wolves, and save a butcher's protege from bandits.
  • World's End Club: Prior to arriving in Osaka, Chuko was bitten by a mouse and soon comes down with a fever, with the Go-Getters searching around the city for medicine to treat her.

    Web Comics 
  • The villain Black Sundae poisoned the city's ice cream supply, and Lady Spectra & Sparky had to find him and retrieve the antidote before the city's children succumbed.
  • Messenger: Eldora's tribe is stricken with a potentially deadly disease. One of the Tribe's elders sends Eldora to find a cure.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Raya and Yfa have to find a mushroom which grows on the back of a frog, to make medicine for Yokoka.

    Western Animation 
  • Action League NOW!: The episode "What's Eating The Flesh" has The Flesh being infected with a body-eating virus, a virus, basically that eats away at the victim's body until there's nothing left. The League tries to stay away from him until Bill finds the cure, which comes in the form of dishwashing detergent, but to no avail. Thankfully, Bill cured the League in time.
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • In "Mission: Imp-Possible", Nefir the imp poisons Aladdin with a sleeping drug in order to goad Genie into helping him find a valuable treasure, the Golden Silk of Panacea (which also happens to be the only cure for the drug).
    • There's also Iago stealing fancy bath oils intended for the Sultan and thus consuming a poison intended to kill the Sultan that slowly turns him to stone, limb by limb. So of course the others try to get the cure, and Iago just betrays them by giving the Big Bad the lamp in exchange for the cure. Fortunately on the way there he has a change of heart, get captured, gets Aladdin and the rest captured, gets called a traitor, and then gets saved by Genie who points out that Iago changed his mind at the last moment and is not to blame. Make up your mind, Iago!
    • When Genie gets a cold that gives him Power Incontinence, Aladdin and Iago go in search of the Orb of Mackinaw, a cure-all for genies.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "The Blue Spirit", where Aang must find the cure for a fever his friend got during the last episode... which turns out to be a frozen frog you suck on. Two seasons later, his friends are still bitter about this.
  • In the ChalkZone movie, Rudy, Penny, and Snap have to find a cure for "Ballonemia", a disease transmitted by tiny bats that makes Zoners inflate until they explode. A cure doesn't exist, though the adventure gives Rudy the opportunity to contain the bats. Sometime afterward, he draws a giant soda can and has all the infected Zoners drink from it, allowing them to expel all their excess gas by burping.
  • Several times in Chaotic, the main characters have to find a cure for an illness afflicting a creature or a location.
  • Done to the extreme on Code Lyoko at the end of Season 1 when XANA infects Aelita with a computer virus, linking her to him and the continued functioning of the Supercomputer to prevent the heroes from cutting the juice. Hence leaving Jérémie searching for a way to reverse this throughout Season 2, The Cure happening to be Aelita's memories of her former human life, stolen by XANA.
  • Conan the Adventurer does this as an episode. The disease was to make Conan susceptible to the metal in his sword (and his allies' weapons). Ironically, the metal itself would prove to be the cure, although not before the Big Bad was tricking the allies into giving him his weapons to get what turned out to be a non-existent cure, and sending out his minions to destroy a valuable relic (the cloth covering a certain person's body, meant to cure anything) that the allies had just taken, to make sure the Big Bad's route was their only option.
  • The deadly Ecto-Acne from Danny Phantom has main hero Danny looking for the cure after Vlad poisoned his friends with the same dose. The big problem: Vlad has the illness, too. The forced poisoning was intended as blackmail (which works). Danny eventually finds the final formula (it's diet soda)... right after he traveled through time, subsequently ruined the present time period, leaving him to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • The plot of first season episode of Ewoks "To Save Deej" as well as "Rainbow Bridge", the very first in the series of comics revolve over a character's life being in danger and other characters finding ingredients for an antidote.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In "Chicken Poofs", Poof is infected with Chicken Poofs and starts infecting everyone in Dimmsdale with the disease. It only gets worse when chicken-eating birds start hunting the chickens and they end up in the hands of a chicken restaurant owner. Fortunately, Dr. Studwell has the cure...which is stored in a large needle for injection. Poof is unsurprisingly frightened and ends up breaking the needle. As such, Wanda and Dr. Studwell have to travel to a temple to get a cure, which is a flower. However, it turns out that Dr. Studwell was simply getting the flower so that he could get a discount on the cure (which was actually sold at a fairy pharmacy). Also, Studwell was not planning on injecting Poof with a needle but was instead planning on giving him a drink to cure the disease.
  • Gargoyles:
    • "Long Way to Morning" has a B-plot flashback where the Gargoyles had to recover the formula for the antidote to a poison made by an evil wizard who poisoned the prince of their castle.
    • Meanwhile, in the main plot of "Long Way to Morning", Demona thought she poisoned Elisa (but Elisa's hidden badge deflects the dart) and held the clan hostage for the antidote. Goliath plays along; if he didn't chase Demona, then she would have realized her attack on Elisa had failed.
  • Ghostbusters: The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters conducted variations on this.
    • In the RGB episode "Doctor, Doctor," the guys come down with a terrible, unspecified illness after an incident at a chemical plant. Slimer turns out to be the cure: the negatively-charged whatever that's covering the Ghostbusters is attracted to the little spud, and literally flies off their bodies when he comes around.
    • In the EGB episode "Darkness at Noon," the evil Achira spreads a disfiguring plague across New York City. Capturing her ends the sickness
  • In the Hercules: The Animated Series episode "Hercules and the Big Lie", Herc tells Icarus he has "Catastrophia" to get away from a geeky comic-scroll convention. The cure is in the backyard of a giant. Icarus goes after it anyway.
  • Apparently the whole reason the parents of the titular character in Hey Arnold! went missing. Not only do they have to traverse the South American jungle to collect the ingredients of the dreadful Sleeping Sickness, they also have to find the very elusive patients called the Green Eyed People. Note that they do this plot twice... the latter apparently not ending too well.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures, episode 9, "The Rock". It makes some sense that the villain has the antidote in this case, as his plan is to force Jackie into helping him by only giving him the cure if he does what the villain wants.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Blush", Drakken doses Kim with a pollen that will make her disappear little by little as she gets embarrassed. Ron goes to find the pollen, which should cure Kim if she gets a second dose.
  • An episode of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness has Tigress getting sick, leading to her friends trying to get a rare flower guarded by an evil scorpion pharmacist.
  • In Legion of Super Heroes (2006), Brainiac 5 goes hilariously off-the-wall bonkers and needs an ultra-rare ore from Timber Wolf's seriously-ultra-wild-and-dangerous home planet.
  • The Lion Guard
    • In a Season 2 episode ("The Scorpion's Sting) Simba gets stung on the tail by a scorpion, on direct orders from Scar. Kion and the Lion Guard (and Makini) have to find a certain volcanic ash that can cure the dying king, though the volcano where the ash is at is home to Scar' malevolent spirit, as well as Janja's hyenas, Kiburi's crocodiles and Reirei's jackals.
    • Season 3 starts with Kion getting poisoned by snake venom that will corrupt him into becoming an evil lion like Scar (who also went through the same process) and the rest of the season is about the group traveling to the Tree of Life to get a cure for Kion, as well as healing Ono's sight.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: "The Golden Horseshoes". Said horseshoes are the MacGuffins needed to save a Pony from being erased from existence, so... Just the ponies' luck the horseshoes were scattered to the four winds.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: When Zecora is infected with swamp fever, a disease with no known cure that slowly causes victims to permanently turn into trees, Fluttershy goes on a quest to find the journals of a legendary healer who may have known how to cure it. The cure turns out to be the honey of flash bees, who are able to harvest from the trees that spread the disease without being affected by it. Flash bees are extremely aggressive however so the only way to collect their honey is to wear a special flash bee mask.
  • South Park:
    • The South Park episode "Red Man's Greed", the Native Americans gave SARS to the town using infected blankets to try to get rid of the townspeople to build a highway to their casino. Stan, who wasn't sick, went to search for a cure, which turned out to be Campbell's chicken noodle soup, DayQuil, and Sprite.
    • In "Tonsil Trouble", Cartman accidentally gets HIV from a blood transfusion following his tonsil removal and deliberately infects Kyle after being mocked by him. The two of them set out to meet Magic Johnsonnote  to find a cure, which turns out to be "about $180,000 shot directly into the bloodstream".
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Mystery of a Thousand Moons": Anakin and Obi-Wan have to obtain a certain root only found on a moon of Iego that is the only known cure to the Blue Shadow Virus, and they only have a couple of days to do it.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series has this Played With in the episode Pirates of Orion. The cure in question is rare, but can be arranged for easily enough (at least, if you are a Badass Starship Captain calling in a couple of favors to cut the red tape.) The problem is, it got stolen on the way by the titular pirates who mistook it for some other valuable substance.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! had a twist: Snake-bitten Mario needed to eat a special antivenom pizza to be cured. They had the ingredients, but no way to cook it; Luigi had to find a fire flower.
  • Super Noobs: Memnock and Zenblock in "License To Noob" fall ill to swink eye, a contagious space-oriented eye infection that causes blindness, swelling, itching, and discharge in its victims. They task the Noobs to get eye drops for them. This is a subverted case because The Noobs knew where to go to get the drops that are only produced and sold in the beta sector and Memnock and Zenblock couldn't get it themselves because of their blindness. The Noobs get distracted several times also through their irresponsibility with Memnock and Zenblock's spaceship and then having to help a princess save her planet from a race of bee-like people who all happened to have the same eye infection Mem and Zen had. The antidote itself for the condition is actually purple dust capable of curing those with swink eye within seconds.
  • Both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons featured variations of this trope.
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Enter the Fly", April was poisoned by inhaling the pollen from the Doku ("poison") plant, which had been sent to her by an "anonymous admirer" (actually The Shredder). The turtles must then search for the Gazai plant, which is the only source of the antidote.
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episodes "Good Genes" part 1 and 2, it occurs when Donatello is infected with the mutagenic virus making its way across New York, which allows Agent Bishop to extort a favor out of them in exchange for a cure — one that he doesn't actually have. Fortunately, the turtles' ally Leatherhead managed to invent one on his own by the time they got back from stealing the relevant MacGuffin.
  • The Tick: In the Tick's case, it was explainable by the fact that the villain spilled his Applied Phlebotinum at the Tick as a last-ditch attempt to dislodge him... Why the villain in question had an antidote to counteract it, less so.
  • Transformers:
    • Subverted in the Transformers: Beast Wars episode "The Low Road". An... unfortunate side effect of the virus and its interaction with some wild bean vines is what wins the day for our heroes. Needless to say, it's sort of a self-parody episode of a usually much-more-serious show.
    • Beast Wars also had a unique take on this in the episode "Gorilla Warfare". The Predacons infected Optimus Prime with a virus designed to make him a coward, planning to ambush the Maximals when they launch an attack to steal the cure. However, incompetent virus creation turned Optimus into a berserker instead, making him tear through the Predacon base singlehandedly.
  • In Wakfu Episode 7, Amalia is bitten by a devil rose, and her companions have to find the only existing cure for the poison, a very rare sap from a magical tree, in a forest full of Man Eating Plants.

Alternative Title(s): Create The Cure