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Ironic Allergy

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"All the guys keep bringing me ice cream, trying to win my heart. I'll tell you a secret. I'm actually lactose intolerant. I can't drink milk, and I'm a cow!"
Henrietta, Epic Mickey

A trope that usually occurs when a character reveals they have an allergy that is ironic or contradicts their profession, personality, or biology. For example, an animal character that usually produces or loves eating dairy will have lactose intolerance or be allergic to something typically included in their respective Stock Animal Diet. Especially absurdist examples will have a character allergic to (part of) themselves, which tend to manifest as soon as mentioned.


See also Plot Allergy. Compare Ironic Fear and Weaksauce Weakness.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In A Journey Through Fairy Land, Michael has a Green Thumb and loves taking care of plants and flowers, but is allergic to them. His sneezes as a result of working in the nearby greenhouse are one of the things that cause problems during his music classes.
  • Junpei from Nyan Koi! is deathly allergic to cats. After accidentally disturbing the shrine of a cat god, he is cursed to gradually transform into a cat and eventually die from his allergies. The only repentance is to listen to the problems of the cats in the city and help them solve their troubles.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side:
    • In a strip with four ducks, one of them horribly swollen and puffed up, with his wife saying "Oh, that's just Hank's little cross to bear... He's allergic to down and that's that."
    • A similar strip titled "When careers and allergies collide" has a shepherd in a similar condition due to his allergy to sheep.

    Comic Books 
  • In one comic, Joker managed to kill an interviewer even from inside Arkham Asylum and not having any access to lethal weapons. The asylum let him bake some cookies, which they confirmed were completely non-toxic, but they didn't account for the ground peanuts in the flour. The interviewer ate the cookies and died from the allergic reaction. Joker did it entirely because he was amused that a man named George Carver had a peanut allergy.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Boxtrolls: Mr. Snatcher, the Big Bad, is obsessed with climbing up the social ladder by any means necessary. He also has the belief that eating cheese is a sign of high social status, so he eats it constantly. He is allergic to the stuff, to the point that he spends the final act horribly swollen because the reaction is finally catching up with him and eventually even kills him.
  • The young seahorse Sheldon from Finding Nemo claims to be "H2O intolerant" and sneezes.

  • Tanith Lee's fantasy novel The Dragon Hoard contains a story-within-the-story featuring a dragon who cannot follow his natural inclination to hoard gold because he is allergic to it.
  • In the kids' book Eppie the Elephant Who Was Allergic to Peanuts, Eppie is allergic to peanuts, even though they're the Stock Animal Diet for elephants.
  • Patrick, in Two Percent Power derives his powers from milk. He's also lactose intolerant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Highlander franchise, whenever two immortals are close enough to each other, they get a kind of warning sensation (nicknamed "the Buzz") that another, potentially hostile, immortal is nearby. On one episode of the Highlander TV series, main character Duncan had a friend who would break out into sneezing fits whenever the Buzz was triggered for him. Being allergic to a danger warning is bad enough, but even worse was the fact that the Buzz was explicitly shown to vary in terms of how far apart two immortals would be when it would go off. Sometimes it might be triggered when the other immortal would still be a fair distance away, sometimes they'd be right around the corner. Being incapacitated by a sneezing fit due to your warning system while someone who truly believes There Can Be Only One is that close can be a very bad thing.
  • In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Hitchcock and Scully love to eat cheese, cheese pizzas, lasagna and pretty much anything with cheese on it, despite being lactose intolerant. It has predictable effects, much to the dismay of everyone else in the precinct.

    Video Games 
  • Henrietta the cow from Epic Mickey is lactose intolerant, even lampshading the irony of it. Despite this, in one mission, she asks you to bring her ice cream just as a reminder of the pirate Damien Salt who she fell in love with.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Cucco Lady in Kakariko Village is allergic to cucoos and gets goosebumps when touching them. Averted with her specially bred Pocket Cuccos, saying she does not receive goosebumps from touching them.
  • Katsuya Suou from Persona 2 is a Kindhearted Cat Lover and his Persona Helios takes the form of a humanoid cat; he's just severely allergic to them. It gets to the point that in some cutscenes he's allergic to a demon who's disguised as a cat. It's a wonder Helios doesn't cause a reaction. The form of his Persona - which is lampshaded, by the way - is a means to mock Katsuya for his inability to obtain anything he desires.
  • One of the Temmies in Undertale is allergic to Temmies. It promptly breaks out with "hOIVS!"

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Az from Gaijin Smash is allergic to fish, but lives in Japan.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Verminious Snaptrap from T.U.F.F. Puppy is a rat who has a severe cheese allergy which gives him massive swelling if he comes in contact with it. When lampshaded, he says he is well aware of the irony.

    Real Life 
  • There is an Urban Legend that Mel Blanc was allergic to the carrots he had to bite when voicing Bugs Bunny (in reality, he just hated the taste).
  • Clint Eastwood became famous as a leading man in Westerns, and particularly iconic as "The Man with No Name" in the Dollars Trilogy. Despite being considered the quintessential film cowboy, Eastwood is actually allergic to horses, and that is the source of his famous Clint Squint.


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