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Gassy Scare

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Rat #1: [waking up] I'm hungry!
Dr. Dolittle: It's a false alarm. There's nothing wrong with him. He just has gas.
Rat #2: Whoa, you're telling me!
Dr. Dolittle: [to a disbelieving crowd] He just had gas.

This character is minding their own business, going about their day as usual... when suddenly, there's this growing pain inside of their body! Clutching their chest/belly, they're worried that they could be having a heart attack or something! Why does this tension just keep getting worse? What could this strange illness possibly be?!

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Oh.

Nah, never mind, turns out they only had a bad case of gas instead! Or that all they had to do was just go to the bathroom.

If the character isn't typically a Gasshole, this can come off as a shock, then an embarrassment, to them. If this scenario lasts for an entire episode, it will end as a "Shaggy Dog" Story.

An obvious source of Toilet Humor. See also Hypochondria and Mistaken for Dying. Not to be confused with Deadly Gas (well, in a certain sense, at least).


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Examples:

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    Comedy 
  • Discussed when Jim Gaffigan tells a story of his family vacationing in Alaska, miles away from civilization. He gets severe stomach pains and is pre-diagnosed with appendicitis. He gets airlifted by helicopter to the nearest hospital, and spends the whole journey hoping it's not gas, or he would look really foolish.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in Recess: School's Out. As the gang spies on the villains' lab, Mikey nervously eats a granola bar until suddenly he gets an uncomfortable feeling. His friends tell him to try and hold it in, but it's no use and Mikey unleashes a belch that echoes through the entire lab, alerting the Big Bad of their presence and resulting in this classic line.
    "Someone had better said... 'Excuse me.'"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dr. Dolittle, one of a pair of rats the titular doctor had been heckled by in previous scenes appears to be dying of severe stomach pains, resulting an extended scene of Dolittle trying to treat the rat at the hospital, and then performing CPR when the rat passes out on the examination table. Dolittle's attempt at chest compressions pushes out a fart, and the rat is fine and back to heckling him again with his buddy the next day.
  • In The Last King of Scotland, Idi Amin has consumed some medicine with beer, which results in a gas buildup in his stomach; Amin thinks he's dying, but his doctor presses on his stomach with a baseball bat; this lets his gas escape in an enormous fart. This scene is the first time the doctor sees the dark side to Idi Amin's personality; up until now, he has seen Amin as a jolly, comical individual but now he sees him ranting and paranoid (until the doctor cleared the gas, Amin thought someone had poisoned him).
  • Necessary Roughness: Coach Gennaro has massive chest pains and goes to a doctor, seemingly missing his team's final game. The doctor gives him an Expospeak Gag about his symptoms, then when asked "Is it fatal?" the doc replies: "Indigestion? Only in Mexico."
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    Literature 
  • End of Watch: At the start of the story, 2 ambulance drivers named Rob Martin and Jason Rapsis are send to check on a man named Harvey Galen, who is suffering from severe chest pains. However, after a few belches and "a trombone blast from the nether regions that had his social X-ray of a wife booking for the kitchen", he already feels much better.
  • In the children's book, Farley Farts, Farley is farting a lot and his parents worry that it's a sign of something but the doctor assures them that all he has is gas and that "it'll pass".

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon realizes that he'll miss The Singularity by 100 years, and decides to take up healthy eating and regular exercise. However, on the night of his diet change, he comes to Leonard in a panic about his appendix being infected. Halfway down the stairs, he lets out a massive fart. He quickly gives up on the diet.
  • On ER, Frank once thought he was having a heart attack. When a doctor tends to him, he lets out a burp. Annoyingly, NBC put the supposed "heart attack" in the episode's promo, but not the burp.
  • An episode of The Golden Girls revolves around Dorothy's elderly mother Sophia believing that she's having a fatal heart attack. After learning of the Long List of things she's recently consumed, a doctor discovers that it is due to indigestion from overeating.
  • On Murphy Brown, Miles has what he thinks is a heart attack during his 30th birthday party, but after going to the hospital, the doctor diagnoses him with acid reflux caused by stress. "Or, if you want the Cliff Notes version, you got gas and freaked."
  • The Too Close for Comfort episode "Where There's a Will" focuses on Henry making a video of this last will and testament, confronting his own mortality along the way. As he is filming, he gets agitated and has what appears to be a heart attack. As his terrified family commiserates in the hospital waiting room, Henry casually saunters out to them, explaining that "it was just a little gas".
  • The Young Ones: In "Cash", Vyvyan announces that he is pregnant, complete with an alarmingly swelling abdomen. At the end of the episode, it turns out to be merely gas, that is expelled with a very long, very loud, very smelly fart.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Gigglebug episode "Tummy Ache", Barry Bear's tummy doesn't feel so well and have to interrupt their playing to go to the doctor, but once there, they find out it was just gas.
  • Sam & Mickey: "Baby Shower" has Yasmin thinking that she's pregnant with Ken's baby. At the end, she feels like the "baby" is going to come out. Barbie (with a doctor as one of her occupations), gets close to Yasmin to help with the "delivery"... only for Yasmin to unleash a huge fart right in her face.
    Barbie: Are you *bleep*-ing kidding me?!
  • In this Toilet Training Plot stop-motion video made with toy bunnies, a little girl thinks her tummy is sore, but really she just goes to the bathroom. The weird part is, she apparently had to pee.

    Web Comics 
  • Rain: Played with. In chapter 35, Emily pretends to be going into labor while in the principal's office. Maria manages to get the secretary to leave so Emily can help Maria escape school in order to avoid her parents coming to probably take her to a gay conversion camp. When Maria successfully escapes and Emily returns to the principal's office, she tells everyone she just had gas to further cover Maria's absence.

    Web Videos 
  • Glove and Boots: In the Don't Be a Dummy (with Johnny T.) episode "Don't Google Your Illness":
    Johnny T.: The other day, my stomach was kinda upset. So I googled what I should do. In fifteen minutes, I was convinced that I had cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, and AIDS. I didn't have none of those! Turns out, I just had to take a sh-*bleep*.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Animaniacs cartoon "The Three Muska-Warners", Wakko eats the king's dinner to test it for poison. Instantly he looks sick and the king exclaims "It was poisoned!" But then Wakko lets out one of his signature burps and says "No, just mayonnaise."
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: In "Pregnant Pause", Beavis thinks he's pregnant when he feels a pain in his stomach. It turns out that he's just constipated.
  • Cro: In "No Way Up", Nandy has gorged herself on lots of food to the point where she gets sick. Everyone thinks she's dying, so they build a hang glider so she can fulfill her dream of flying. After she takes the glider for a successful flight, she walks off to the bushes to die... then lets out a burp and says she's feeling better.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In "Critical Gas", Dexter is concerned by a build-up of gas in his body after eating a giant burrito. When an experiment to replicate the effect with a balloon leads him to think he's going to explode, Dexter sets out on a list of things to do before he dies. The last thing on his list is telling his parents about his secret lab. Just before he can tell them, he breaks wind with enough force to embed the television (which he was standing in front of) into the wall.
  • Peter tries to invoke this in one episode of Family Guy. After calling his boss and telling him that he and his family were involved in a horrific plane crash as an excuse to get out of work for a Red Sox game, he runs into his boss at the game and tries to brush the whole thing off by saying that the plane crash was just gas.
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs: In "Emergency!", Scorch the dragon thinks he's sick because he's in pain and can't breathe fire, but it turns out he just needs to burp, so Harry burps him like a baby.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Big Bob's Crisis", Bob keels over after eating a load of ribs believing he's having a heart attack. When he wakes up in the hospital, he find out it was just gas but he still believes his "near-death experience" was a sign and he spends the rest of the episode trying to be healthier and more relaxed.
  • Life's a Zoo: Chi Chi's "pregnancy" in "Chi's Having a Baby" turns out to be a deeply held fart, and when Chi Chi unleashes, the stench goes across the entire mansion, and destroys the houseguests' eggs.
  • Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" takes the plot of the aforementioned Beavis and Butt-Head example a step further with "Stimpy's Pregnant," in which Ren and Stimpy similarly believe that... well, Stimpy's pregnant! As it turns out, he's constipated, but Dr. Mr. Horse doesn't have the heart to tell them, so after Stimpy "gives birth," the doctor fashions the massive turd into a baby.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: "Yarnbenders" has this moment:
    "I'm nauseous. I'm nauseous. (farts) I'm better now."
  • The pilot episode of Sam & Max: Freelance Police has Sam resolve the problem of a monstrous, mutated TV dinner wreaking havoc inside The Geek's freezer by fulfilling its purpose and eating it. Just when it seems all is well, Sam begins to moan in pain from severe internal agony, seemingly setting up an homage to the iconic chest-bursting scene from Alien. After a beat, he instead unleashes a MASSIVE belch —illustrated with a live-action cut to a house flattening in an atomic blast— and is none the worse for wear, with the added benefit of his noxious emanations drifting into the upper atmosphere and plugging up the hole in the Earth's ozone layer.
  • In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "South Sea Sick", Pumbaa gets sick and Timon tries to cure him. It turns out that Pumbaa just needed to release a large, loud burp to feel better.

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