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Hiding the Handicap

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Having a disability can change the way some people view you as a person. But what if you don't want people to change their image of you?

Well, you could try to hide your handicap.

Hiding the Handicap is when a character with a disability or other type of affliction chooses to hide that fact. Reasons for doing this can vary: maybe the character in question believes they can't afford to be seen as "weak", maybe they're afraid of being mocked or pitied, or perhaps they'd no longer be allowed to do something if certain people found out. Can overlap with Secretly Dying, if the character has a debilitating mortal injury.

Secret Stab Wound and Feigning Healthiness are short-term versions. Contrast Obfuscating Disability and I Am Not Left-Handed. A subtrope to Clothing-Concealed Injury, where clothing is used to hide the handicap.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Captain Tsubasa has several instances of this, starting with Misugi keeping his heart illness a secret from most everyone (except for his girlfriend/manager Yayoi and the Musashi coach) until it finally comes out in the semifinal match against Nankatsu. Tsubasa himself averts it during the middle school nationals, since everyone knows of his shoulder and ankle injuries, but played straight during the Japan vs Mexico match, as he got an abdominal wound the night before, and tried to keep it hidden until it opened up and he started bleeding in the middle of the match.
  • Dr. STONE: Suika and Kinrou both have blurry eye disease - which just means they need glasses. Problem is that they're not exactly available in the Stone Age. It's not as big a deal for Suika, who's found ways to work around it, but Kinrou is one of the town's guards. As such, the only person who knows about his eyes is his brother Ginrou.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), two orphaned Ishvalan brothers thought their mother had abandoned them when she ran away during a bombing. In reality, she was going blind and didn't tell her kids. She had gone into their room looking for them, and was killed when a bomb hit.
  • In Iris Zero, main character Toru Mizushima is the titular Iris Zero - those who are born without an Iris while everybody else does. He took pains to conceal this fact, by pretending that his "Iris" is to tell what other people's Iris ability are (he's awesome that way) and generally avoiding much attention.
  • A subplot in one of the prequel series of Legend of the Galactic Heroes involves a student at a prestigious Empirial academy who hides the fact that he's colorblind.
  • Itachi from Naruto hid the fact he was going blind and was Secretly Dying until his death. Kakashi suspected the former, but no one besides Tobi knew about the latter.
  • In My Hero Academia, All Might hides his true form from the public after All For One severely injures him so they won’t lose hope in him. No one besides Deku and a few colleagues at UA knows until his second battle with All For One(which forces him into retirement) that he’s actually a skeletal, emaciated wreck with several missing organs who constantly coughs up blood.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul:Re, Kishou Arima turns out to be completely blind in one eye and beginning to lose sight in the other. His reputation requires that he never show any weakness, forcing him to compensate for his blindness and hide the fact he's also Secretly Dying.
  • Yashiro from Twittering Birds Never Fly manages to keep the fact that he is blind in one eye from his underlings for four years.
  • When Miyamoto Musashi meets the infamous Master Swordsman/Blood Knight Ito Ittosai in Vagabond, he notices that Ittosai seems to always be concealing one of his arms. As Ittosai begins goading Musashi towards a fight, Musashi undergoes an entire process of guessing whether Ittosai is hiding an injury (such as if that hand was cut off) or only pretending to do so in order to catch an opponent by surprise. It turns out to be a bit of both; Musashi's arch-rival Sasaki Kojiro had in fact cut off around half of Ittosai's hand in a bout between the two, but Ittosai, no longer able to hold a sword with that hand, has turned to using it for barehanded surprise attacks, as he does to Musashi.

    Comic Books 
  • Matt Murdock of Daredevil fame is openly blind. But as Daredevil, he keeps his blindness hidden from most people.

    Fan Works 
  • In Let Us Be Your Poison, Pyrrha is on the autism spectrum. She hides it because she doesn't like others looking down on her.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Ethan Hawke's character in Gattaca takes on the identity of Designer Baby Jude Law's character as those who aren't are seen as second-class citizens because they can only have the capabilities of an unmodified human - of course, he isn't in peak condition himself, being a janitor for years with bad eyesight and asthma.
  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Great Sebastian (a trapeze artist) gets severely injured. Later he comes back to the circus claiming he's fully recovered and has a job at another venue, but then the manager pulls Sebastian's coat off his arm (he had had it "casually" draped over his arm as if he's just carrying it around) to reveal that his arm is disfigured due to the bone improperly healing. Sebastian ends up a lowly roustabout at the same circus he had formerly starred at.
  • In Grudge Match, Henry Sharp hides the fact that he's blind in one eye so he can be cleared to box.
  • In Just the Way You Are, a lady (Kristy McNichol) puts her leg in a cast at a ski resort to disguise it's permanently lame.
  • In The Longest Day, Brigadier General Roosevelt is trying to hide his arthritis from his commander so he'll be allowed to go in with the assault force. When he meets with his CO, he stashes his cane in the hallway and even lies outright when asked if he's having flare-ups. Averted later on - when he lands on Utah Beach, he has his cane with him and has no
  • In The Prestige, Alfred Borden wears padded gloves to hide a missing finger, lost during a sabotaged magic trick.
  • In the original Total Recall, Benny hid his mutated arm inside a glove.
  • Biopics about Franklin D. Roosevelt will often touch on this (see Real Life below). Both Sunrise at Campobello and Warm Springs deal with FDR essentially pretending he can walk by putting heavy braces on his legs and sort of throwing them forward with his hips while someone supports him by the arm.

  • In The City Without Memory, when Old Mole lost one of his eyes, and the other one began to go blind, Mole claimed it was simply too dark in his castle and ordered lots of candles to be lit.
  • In the first two books of the Codex Alera series, Tavi is generally open about his handicap of having no furies, because he's grown up with everyone knowing about it. This changes when he goes undercover as a legionnaire and has to hide his identity from a noble class who have all heard about the First Lord's "pet freak". His methods of hiding it range from cleverly making fire with magnification to breaking his own leg so others won't notice he can't march at a magically-enhanced pace.
  • Used as a murder method in Father Brown: The victim was convinced that willpower could overcome anything including physical ailments, and smashed her sister's glasses to prove it applied to anyone, not just her. She was nearly blind, her ego fed by a guru leading a sun-worshipping cult who accelerated her eyesight's degeneration with a ritual where they looked into the sun. He arranged for her to fall into an open elevator shaft after signing a will leaving everything to him, but unbeknownst to him the sister had refrained from filling the victim's pen, so the will is actually left unfinished and unsigned.
  • Played with in Genome: When the protagonist negotiates a contract with a possible navigator, he assumes that the latter is a Spec (genetically engineered for his task). Half-way through the conversation, the navigator mentions off-handedly that he is gay, to which the protagonist hastily replies that he is not prejudiced. The navigator then reveals that he is also a Natural (not genetically engineered in any way)—leaving the protagonist in an awkward position of not being able to break off the negotiations without being accused of Fantastic Racism and hypocrisy.
  • Kagura, in Girls Kingdom always hides her left eye with her hair, because when she was younger a golf ball hit it at high speed, wrecking her vision in said eye and probably making it look rather ugly, meaning she presumably hides it to avoid detracting from her otherwise ethereal beauty.
  • In the I, Richard Plantagenet Series, a young Richard, Duke of Gloucester discovers he has a crooked spine. His guardian, Warwick, summons trusted tailors to sew Richard's clothing to hide the disability.
  • By the end of the Knights of the Borrowed Dark series, Grey wears Conspicuous Gloves to hide the Malevolent Mutilation forced on him during the Clockwork Three's enthrallment that's left him with one hand deformed and partially turned to clockwork. All Knights wear the gloves in public to hide the fact that their power turns them slowly to iron, but Grey wears them all the time.
  • In Rose Under Fire, the "Rabbits", who have been handicapped by Nazi experimentation, are all supposed to be executed. They have to hide their disabilities to avoid the gas chamber.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Ser Jaime Lannister pretends he is still a Master Swordsman after his right hand is cut off, while in reality, he cannot even wield a sword properly at first. Most people are simply too afraid of his reputation to challenge him, although a few people figure out he is bluffing. He attempts to learn how to fight with just his left hand and a prosthetic, but his progress is extremely slow.
  • Nessarose from Wicked wears clothes that hide her lack of arms.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 6 of Arrow, Diggle gets nerve damage in his right hand and is no longer able to shoot straight. He keeps it hidden from everyone, although Dinah figures it out. He resorts to buying what he assumes is a steroid that hasn't been approved by the FDA from a street dealer, although it turns out to be a designer drug. The drug helps the tremors at first but later turns out to have done permanent nerve damage, leaving him worse off. Eventually, he's forced to admit the problem to everyone. Eventually, Felicity and Curtis come up with a subcutaneous chip that gives him full use of the hand.
  • Redbeard Rum had no legs, and nobody, let alone Edmund Blackadder, knew it, until he agreed to take Rum on to sail him to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • In Boardwalk Empire, The Commodore suffers a stroke that leaves him severely paralyzed. His wife and son initially attempt to keep it hidden from the outside world, including some close associates; but it gets to a point where trying to hide it becomes futile.
  • This is a core trope of the American series Boss. Thomas Kane is diagnosed with dementia but refuses to let go of his power and so hides his disease from everyone.
  • CSI-verse:
    • CSI:
      • Grissom hid his hearing problem for a while, until he opened up to Catherine and got surgery. It was also a plot point in one episode, where his former mentor, working for the other side, told the defense attorney to question Grissom very softly, knowing that Grissom's mother was deaf and that her condition was hereditary. After a few times asking the lawyer to repeat herself, he managed to get enough by reading her lips to answer properly and slam-dunk the case.
      • In another episode, a police officer who's accused of shooting an off-duty fellow officer turns out to have been concealing his own night blindness, which had led him to mistake the victim for the perp he was chasing.
    • Mac Taylor on CSI: NY. He suffers from speech aphasia in the final season, after being shot and badly wounded in the previous season finale. Being naturally stubborn, used to not opening up to anyone, and worried about his job, Mac refuses to tell anyone what's going on. Jo tries to get it out of him, but despite their friendship, he just snaps at her and gets mad. His girlfriend Christine has to threaten to leave him to get him to admit his problem.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Oxygen", the Doctor is rendered blind after a spacewalk. He seems to get fixed with medical equipment onboard the TARDIS — but it's revealed in the very last line of the episode that it didn't work, and he's been hiding it since then. In the next episode, "Extremis", he's concealing it by a) using the sonic sunglasses, which give him an outline of his surroundings and can tell him if there are people in his line of sight, and b) Nardole explaining what's going on in front of him and covering it up by making it seem he's caught a bad case of Captain Obvious. In "The Pyramid at the End of the World", Bill finally learns the truth.
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum": General Cicero is apparently on the ambulance ship because she has "Cotten's fever". She actually has a more dangerous condition called pilot's heart, and she's hiding it because she doesn't want her brother to worry and because she doesn't think it the sort of condition that a war hero should suffer from.
  • In an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman a famous landscape photographer comes to town to take photos and hides the fact that he's going blind.
  • Mel from Growing Up Fisher spent decades not letting anyone outside his immediate family and friends know that he's blind, doing things such as memorizing the layout and contents of an art gallery beforehand so well that his date was fooled. It's not until he divorces his wife and starts living alone that he has to acknowledge his limitations and begins using a guide dog.
  • House: In "The Right Stuff", a patient who was in training to become an astronaut pleaded with the doctors to conceal her diagnosis so her health history wouldn't get her disqualified for space flight.
  • An episode of NCIS involves a marine who was deafened when a faulty weapon malfunctioned and spent months hiding her deafness. A few shots from her POV come with almost no sound.
  • In the pilot episode of The Powers of Matthew Star, Matthew — named David here — is cared for by an older man who, we learn towards the end, has a robotic hand with only two fingers which he hides in a glove at all times. Had this version of the show continued we'd have learned about why he had this robot hand, but in the show, as broadcast Matthew has a different guardian who doesn't have a robo-hand.
  • An episode of Sweet Valley High involves a high school student who hides the fact that he's analphabetic.

  • In Angels in America, anti-communist and anti-homosexual lawyer Roy Cohn insists that he's got cancer rather than admitting he's dying of AIDS.
  • A variation in Iolanta: Iolanta is genuinely unaware she has been blind since birth, and Vaudemont doesn't realize anything until he asks her for a red rose and she wants to know what "red" means. That's because Iolanta's father has ordered the servants to keep the girl from finding out anything eyesight-related: it's uncertain whether she can be cured, so he thinks it would be better for her not to know about her disability as he is afraid she would sink into depression otherwise.

    Video Games 
  • Dead Island 2: Jacob is blind in his right eye, due to a severe cataract. He gets around fine, but it's important to conceal any perceived weaknesses in the apocalypse, especially from other survivors who could underestimate or take advantage of you. Pre-apocalypse, he worked as a stuntman, and if people knew he had monocular vision he would be put out of work.
  • Woozie from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is blind, but won't reveal this to CJ until CJ has done several missions on his behalf and earned his respect. CJ, however, had already been informed of Woozie's disability by one of his subordinates.
  • Joker in the Mass Effect series has Vrolik syndrome, which makes his bones exceptionally brittle and makes it difficult for him to walk without assistance. Joker doesn’t mention this to most people because he doesn't want anyone to think he's had any special favors to earn his current position, and Shepard only finds out about it when he accidentally lets it slip during conversation.
  • The Silver Case has Sumio Kodai, a police detective who has lost his hearing and learned lip-reading to hide it. Presumably, his obscuring this from his superiors gets him arrested.
  • The Vale: Shadow of the Crown: Shepherd gives Alex a blindfold during a tournament, doubling their prize money. Unbeknownst to her opponents, she's used to fighting this way because she's actually blind.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All:
      • Richard Wellington from "The Lost Turnabout" neglects to mention that he is nearsighted until an error in his testimony prompts Phoenix to confront him about it. This is for good reason, as the fact that he has to wear glasses, and his glasses just broke, is key to proving he is the killer.
      • "Farewell, My Turnabout" features a witness whose icy demeanor and fiercely independent nature hide the fact that she has dependent personality disorder.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has an example of this that goes hand-in-hand with a case of Obfuscating Disability: Famous singer Lamiroir is blind, while her musical companion (a 14-year old boy named Machi Tobaye) is not. Their management decided that the story of a blind, young musician would be much more marketable, so they made Lamiroir hide her blindness while having Machi pretend to be blind.
  • In CLANNAD, the protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki, got into a fight with his father and ended up injuring his right arm, preventing him from lifting it above shoulder level. He generally hides it and makes excuses to avoid getting pity from other characters.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors:
    • The fact that one of the characters suffers from prosopagnosia yet chooses to keep that fact hidden is a plot point.
    • Zig-zagged in regards to Snake. He's open about his blindness, but hides the fact that he has a prosthetic arm.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Not everyone at the school talks openly about their disabilities. Hisao, who has an invisible disability related to his heart, avoids talking to his friends about it. However, if you, as the player, do not disclose Hisao's disability in an Act 1 scene with Lilly and Rin, you will be locked into the bad ending route.

  • Played with in Ensign Sue Must Die, wherein the titular Ensign Sue claims to have done this her whole life with the dreaded "pedal transient paresthesia". (Given that it's a fancy term for her foot being asleep, it probably didn't take much effort.)
  • Flejj Hillmover in Goblins came from a clan of dwarves who practiced eugenics and would kill or exile any disabled members. Flejj himself was deaf but was able to hide his secret for years by being a very good lip-reader.
  • Shine, the protagonist of NEXT!!! Sound of the Future, is an android created to be an Idol Singer who has a bug that makes her unable to sing. She hides it from her neighbors Roll and Gumiya, both due to the shame of feeling like a failure and because fixing it will require her to break the law. She usually gives vague answers when asked why she isn't an idol, and is sure to delete the call history when she uses Gumiya's phone to contact a Back-Alley Doctor.
  • Mecha Maid from Spinnerette has ALS and can barely move without the neural amplifiers built into her armor, but doesn't want anyone else to know. She gets more comfortable sharing the info as her friendship with Spinny progresses, though.

    Western Animation 
  • In Captain Planet and the Planeteers, recurring Mad Scientist Dr. Blight uses her hair to hide the fact that the left half of her face is horribly scarred, which also destroyed her left eye.
  • The Family Guy episode "Papa Has A Rollin' Son" involves Joe trying to hide his disability from his father. This is done by having Peter pose as Joe.
  • Eda from The Owl House kept her curse hidden from King and Luz despite living with both of them (for eight years in the former's case), only coming clean to them after they nearly get killed by her transformed state.
  • On Pelswick, the title character gets set up with a girl who a.) doesn't know that he's in a wheelchair and b.) loves dancing, prompting him to use a machine to fake leg movement. Naturally, it malfunctions.
  • In the fourth season of Total Drama, a character named Mike is introduced. He has Multiple Personality Disorder, but, out of fear of being ridiculed, chooses not to tell anyone about it. His personalities still come out, but he lies and says he's just an overly dedicated method actor. His disorder becomes harder to manage, but he eventually confesses it to his crush Zoey, who accepts him.

    Real Life 
  • Wrestler Kerry von Erich lost his foot after a motorcycle accident and managed to hide it for years by wearing a prosthetic foot under his wrestling boots, never taking his boots off when someone could see him, and always organizing his matches so he could hang onto the ropes as much as possible without it looking weird.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt kept his partial paralysis hidden from the public by giving public speeches and presentations either sitting down from his desk, standing behind a podium and using it to support his weight, or by using a walking cane to support himself. He also had one of his sons travel with him at all times to lean on so they could help him walk. Eventually, it became so severe that the secret eventually came out, but he served the majority of his three-and-a-fraction terms as President keeping it hidden from the public.
  • Similarly, John F. Kennedy was much sicker than he ever let on publicly and was also borderline physically disabled due to a back injury that he first got in college and then exacerbated during the war. He’d been sickly as a child and was eventually diagnosed with a hormonal disorder called Addison’s that left him beset with constant stomach problems. His bad back was common knowledge (although it was much worse than anyone knew) but the Addison’s was a secret. During the presidential primary in 1960, his then-rival and future Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s team found out about it during their opposition research but Kennedy’s doctors put out a very carefully worded statement that said he didn’t have Addison’s that resulted from having tuberculosis as it wasn’t widely known back then that it only accounted for about a quarter of cases. That was enough to publicly quash the health rumors for good, especially because he was only 43.
  • It is not unknown for highly motivated men doing advanced military training to conceal injuries that would otherwise have them washed out of the course, or worse still, back-squatted after medical intervention to do the whole gruelling thing again from scratch. There is a recorded case of a Royal Marines recruit who slogged his way to the end of basic training and passed out with the green beret, only to discover the leg injury he'd been covering up for wasn't just a sprain, it was, in fact, a broken bone. The Parachute Regiment and the SAS can boast similar stories. Tragically, men undergoing selection and training for elite Army/Marine units have died rather than confess to "weakness" and seek medical attention. For obvious reasons, the British Army now discourages heroic doggedness of this sort and is more proactive about checking for injury or potentially life-threatening medical complaints.
  • Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 but kept it hidden until 1998 when his symptoms had worsened, semi-retiring from acting in 2000.
  • James Doohan had lost the middle finger from his right hand during the D-Day landing in 1944, so for Star Trek: The Original Series and its subsequent films, his right hand often got obscured on camera (though it's noticeable in "The Trouble with Tribbles" when Scotty's got his arms full of the titular creatures).
  • Likewise, Gary Burghoff has a congenital deformity of three fingers on his left hand, so in M*A*S*H his character "Radar" O’Reilly would often hold a clipboard in his left hand or otherwise hide his hand on camera.
  • Ditto Anthony Head, who has shortened fingers on one hand. Usually, he's either holding something or hiding it in a pocket on TV and publicity shots.
  • Matthew Perry of Friends has the tip of the index finger on one of his hands missing. This is barely noticeable as he's always shown with his hand obscured or waving it around enough that it's not clearly seen. One episode possibly refers to this, as Chandler is missing the tip of a toe due to Monica dropping a knife on it.
  • Longtime Kansas Senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole was usually seen with a pen in his right hand. Dole had originally been paralyzed due to injuries suffered in World War II, and while after three years he regained the ability to walk he ended up losing most of the use of his right hand as a result.
  • During the last years of his life, Freddie Mercury had been diagnosed with AIDS, so he and his bandmates from Queen strived to keep it secret, even as he was visibly thinning. He only publicly revealed the truth the day before he died in 1991.
  • Game show host Bill Cullen was never shown walking onstage like many hosts, or if he was, it was from the waist up rather than a full-body shot. The reason was that childhood polio left him with a damaged leg and a pronounced limp. It was also common to see a stool behind the podium, allowing him to sit for a few moments during commercial breaks.
  • During a taping of a 1988 episode of The Price Is Right, model Janice Pennington was hit by a camera and knocked into the crowd with enough force that there was some doubt as to whether Pennington would survive (taping would only resume once it was evident she would indeed live). Upon her return, Pennington's shoulder was left noticeably shorter (along with a noticeable scar), resulting in her no longer modeling swimsuits and the few times she wore a sleeveless dress after the accident, she would often have her hair styled in a way to hide the injury.
  • During the filming of the first season of Babylon 5, Michael O'Hare (Commander Jeffrey Sinclair) started experiencing paranoid delusions due to his mental illness. He asked J. Michael Straczynski to keep it a secret and have his character written out of the show after Season 1, much earlier than planned. Indeed, JMS wouldn't reveal the real reason for O'Hare's departure from the show until the actor's death in 2012. In fact, O'Hare himself requested that JMS tell people the truth after his death, in order to increase awareness.
  • Card mechanic Richard Turner spent decades downplaying his visual impairment, which eventually progressed to complete blindness, and honed his abilities to the point that most people would have no idea he couldn't see what was in front of him until he told them. He only began using things like computer aids and a guide dog in his sixties when he came to the realization that stubbornly refusing to accept his limitations was putting undue strain on his family.
  • This is standard practice for many animals, even domesticated predators like cats. Showing your illnesses or handicaps leaves you vulnerable to predators and rivals so animals tend to hide their pain until they're very sick.
  • ADD/ADHD individuals often do this, only telling about it to those who absolutely need to know about it. This is because it has been overdiagnosed in the past, its relative lack of visible symptoms (especially in adulthood) means some non-ADHD people don't believe in itnote  and the fact that some, even non-ADHD people, abuse the stimulant medication leading some to believe it's addictivenote . As a result, there's a social stigma against the disorder, and many prefer to keep it hidden to avoid problems with their family/friends/workplace in case someone they know doesn't believe in it. While it's been getting better in recent years, most people still, unfortunately, know only of the stereotype of a 9-year-old boy running around 24/7, causing underdiagnosis in girls and adults of both genders.
  • Related to the above, many autistic people hide their diagnosis if they can; this is again often down to other people not believing that the autistic person can really be autisticnote , and the fact that stereotypes regarding autistic people can definitely change how an autistic person is treated by others. Like with the ADD/ADHD example above, this also leads to there being a social stigma against autistic people (something that organisations seeking a "cure" capitalise on) and again has led to a stereotype that prevents AFAB individuals and people of color from getting diagnosed. This trope definitely acts as a double-edged sword, however; the ability to hide autistic symptoms, or allow the more obvious ones to be viewed as eccentricity or shyness, can often mean that it's more difficult for a person to actually access resources or help because it's assumed that they're "high functioning" enough to not need any help anyway. Like with ADHD, things have been getting better in recent years, but not enough to prevent this from being a Dead Horse Trope yet.
  • Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin lost his left hand's thumb and index during a grenade incident in his youth. To hide it, he would cover it with his other hand, notably in his televised speeches, or by only raising his right hand.
  • Emperor Meiji allegedly bore his famous beard to conceal his underbite, one of his several birth defects from Royal Inbreeding.
  • The reason Kim Il-Sung was usually photographed from the left side of his face, was to hide a calcium deposit tumor that started to grow on the right side of the back of his neck in his later years. He was so paranoid that doctors would try to kill him, that he refused to have surgery, and by the 80s, the growth grew to the size of a baseball and became too difficult to hide. It's visible here in 1970, and here again in 1984.
  • André the Giant owed his massive size to acromegaly, a growth disorder that, as well as making him incredibly tall and strong, also left him heavily at the mercy of the Square-Cube Law. Though he was fairly quick in his youth, once he hit his 30s and especially his 40s, he was increasingly a physical wreck. Given that he had a career as a professional wrestler, a lot of time was spent in making sure that this wasn't apparent to audiences. His role in The Princess Bride, for instance, had a lot of behind-the-scenes trickery to make sure he never had to lift anything particularly heavy, as his back was giving out.
  • In-between seasons 2 and 3 of Ted Lasso, Anthony Head (Rupert Mannion) lost a concerning amount of weight and gained a limp. The editing and staging try to work around this (such as by having him lean against walls and doorways), but it's visible any time he walks, making it obvious it's not a character choice. It's most noticeable in the finale; in all the shots where Rupert is confidently striding with his full body visible, it's clearly a body double, while any close-up shot of his face has him limping so severely that he almost falls out of the frame with each step. Fans even took to the show's subreddit to see if he was okay, which in turn prompted think pieces on the intrusive nature of fan concerns toward celebrities who have not publicly revealed any health problemsnote .