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Plot Allergy

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"I'm not really lactose intolerant. I just don't put up with lactose's stupid drama."
Kasumi Goto, Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC

Allergies are no fun, but they can be a useful device in fiction.

Want Alice to be able to go somewhere where Bob can't but don't want to introduce fantasy elements? Have him start coughing whenever he gets near it. Want a tough character to be really afraid of just one thing? Have him be allergic to it.


In real life allergies can cause a number of problems from sneezing to death by throat closure, but fictional examples will usually just include sneezing, streaming eyes and occasionally hives. Also covered would be "intolerances," which generally cause stomach troubles; for example, lactose intolerance.

Please note: Danger is not an actual allergy. Neither is love, evil, routine, or any other oddball allergies in fiction.

Can result in a Sneeze of Doom or Congestion Speak.


Examples: (separated into types)

    open/close all folders 

    The movement restriction allergy
"I can't go there! I'm allergic to X!" 

  • In Runaways, Gert doesn't want to fight a Nazi made of bees because she is allergic to them.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Sam's peanut allergy prevents her from going down to the food-making machine with Flint through a pit surrounded by shards of peanut brittle. She lowers him down using a licorice rope, but she gets stabbed by one of the shards and starts to swell up. Flint cuts the rope and goes to the machine alone, while Brent takes Sam back to get her antidote shot. When Sam first revealed her allergy to Flint, he claimed to have the same allergy, but was lying in order to try to make himself seem more attractive to her.
  • Both Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) use this with Pseudo Sonic. Sonic ends up being launched into a field of flowers which causes him to swell up like a balloon. Tails saves the day in both adaptations, but the comic has Bunnie Rabbot coming to Sonic's rescue before Robotnik can get rid of him.
  • In one episode of Dudley Do-Right, Dudley reveals to Nell that he's allergic to marigolds. Snidely Whiplash finds out and creates a suit made of marigolds so Dudley can't arrest him.
  • In Higher Flier, Dainty Dish is allergic to almost everything under the clouds, and her constant sneezing takes a huge toll on her stamina, making her a poor flyer at low altitudes. At higher altitudes, away from her allergens, she's the fastest Pegasus in Equestria.
  • In The Simpsons, when Homer gets a job with Hank Scorpio and moves to Cypress Creek, Lisa is allergic to the pollen from the plants that grow there, and is one of the reasons why they had to move back to Springfield.
  • The Arthur episode "Poor Muffy" has Muffy need to move in with Francine for a week due to an allergy to her carpets.
  • The fourth episode of Farnham Fables is a Dream Episode starring Theresa Doyle, who is severely allergic to peanuts. In her dream, she has to find the Rainbow Keys so she can create a bridge across a river of peanut butter.
  • In Babe, Ferdinand the duck wants to steal the Hoggetts' alarm clock (It Makes Sense in Context), but he's allergic to cats, so to avoid waking the Hoggetts' mean cat Duchess with a Sneeze of Doom, he recruits Babe to sneak into the house and steal the alarm clock for him. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Allergies Dudley and his gang are forced to leave the school library because a hiding Harry's desperate wish magic makes them allergic to it.
  • Lizard Music: One of the reasons Victor's staying at home the summer the story takes place instead of going to camp with his peers is because he found out he was allergic to most of the plants when he went to camp the previous year.

     The relationship hitch allergy
"My new girlfriend has a cat/sent me flowers, guess what I'm allergic to" 

  • In Cheers episode "Diane's Allergy", Diane develops a psychosomatic allergy, driven by her anxiety over moving into her boyfriend Frasier's apartment.
  • One Garfield and Friends episode, his owner Jon finally finds a girl...But it turns out that she is allergic to cats at the very end, and the status quo is restored.
  • Wallace & Gromit: Wallace's first potential love interest (Wendolene) is allergic to cheese, dooming the relationship.
  • Questionable Content:
    • A bump on the road in Faye's relationship here with Angus happens when she give him a coffee with milk and he ends up spending some time in the toilet in gastrointestinal distress.
    • Shortly after Marten starts dating Dora, he surprises her with some roses. The inevitable result is anaphylactic shock, but contrary to the more common results of this trope, Dora actually feels sorry for Marten since he's had an attempt at romance blow up in his face...
  • In PvP, at one point, Skull the Troll briefly dates a girl who works in a nearby cafeteria. A while later, a mutual friend reminds him that he's been neglecting her, and he rushes off to see her with some flowers. Only, it turns out that she's allergic to them, and he's forgotten it. He knew that might happen, and ALSO brought chocolates. Which, as it turns out, she's also allergic to.
  • In Las Lindas, during the 'party' arc, Miles' "The Reason You Suck" Speech for his girlfriend/ex-girlfriend Taffy gets countered by one of these. When he complains that he'd never know if "one more bouquet of flowers" could get her to finally put out, she simply says "I'm allergic to flower pollen. You'd know that if you'd ever gotten me any." Ouch.
    • Also, atypically enough, her flower allergy did come up earlier, in a non-romantic example of this trope - Digit tried to give her a bunch of flowers to say she was sorry about a previous mishap, only for the flower allergy to ruin her attempt.
  • In The Cat Returns, the cats fill Haru's front garden with cattails. In the English dub she later tells the messenger that she's allergic to them. (Actually a slight change from the Japanese version, but given that Haru woke up sneezing the morning after they were planted it's hardly contradictory.).
  • Lana's kryptonite necklace pendant in season 1 of Smallville causes this trope in Clark.
  • DuckTales (1987), "A DuckTales Valentine": The kids convince Aphroducky that she's allergic to money so that Scrooge will be forced to choose between her and his fortune. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the desired effect.
  • A teenager on Untold Stories of the E.R. nearly killed her peanut-allergic boyfriend - twice - by French-kissing him, because she assumed brushing her teeth was enough to eliminate any residue from the peanut-butter sandwich she'd had for lunch. The second time, the two of them had smooched in the ER to celebrate how his first brush with anaphylaxis had been brought under control.
  • Yuuto, the male lead of Omamori Himari, is allergic to cat hair. His bodyguard (and member of his Unwanted Harem) Himari is a cat demon.
  • In Central Park, Molly takes a chance to kiss her crush Brendan, only for it to trigger his peanut allergy since she had just eaten Peanut Butter Parfait ice cream. His face swells up and he has to give himself an epipen injection before staggering off. The plot continues into the next episode, when Brendan doesn't text Molly back and a rumor spreads at her school about a girl who killed a boy from a different school because of a "peanut butter kiss". Molly worries that she either killed Brendan, or that he survived and won't forgive her (it turns out to be neither - Brendan accidentally left his phone with Molly, which Molly forgot).

     The false-alarm relationship hitch allergy
"I think I'm allergic to a person/animal, but really I'm allergic to something on or near them." 

  • In the Adventures in Wonderland episode "Something to Sneeze At," the Mad Hatter starts sneezing whenever he's near the March Hare and they think they can never share a tea party again. But in the end they realize he's allergic to the flowers the Hare has been wearing in his lapel.
  • In an early episode of The Brady Bunch, "Katchoo," Jan develops an allergy to Tiger, the pet dog. They plan to give the dog away. But then Jan discovers that she's not allergic to Tiger, she's just allergic to Tiger's new flea powder. (Ironically this was the last episode to feature Tiger as a major character - it's not that somebody was allergic to him, it's that the original Real Life dog actor (also named Tiger) was hit by a florist truck and died from his injuries before the filming for this particular episode was completed. One other episode talks about Tiger a lot but he's not actually on screen much - he's missing.)
  • In an episode of CatDog "Sneezie Dog," Dog suddenly develops an allergy. They go to the doctor, who thinks that Dog may be allergic to Cat. Winslow decides to help Dog out, and takes the opportunity to torture Cat, as usual, up to shaving him bald and placing a brick wall between them. Eventually they find out Dog is actually allergic to Winslow, and they shave him bald as payback.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode "Wilson's Allergy," Mr. Wilson starts sneezing whenever he's around Dennis, but in the end he turns out to be allergic to a hair tonic that Dennis has secretly been using.
  • In Dragons: Race to the Edge, Fishlegs starts sneezing a lot and becoming strangely itchy, especially when around his dragon Meatlug. He later discovers that Gobber had been using his own earwax on Meatlug's saddle, and that's what he was allergic to, causing Fishlegs to note that he's both "relieved and disturbed".
  • In the Elephant & Piggie book Pigs Make Me Sneeze, Gerald thinks he's allergic to Piggie, but really he just has a cold... which Piggie catches from him.
  • In the Family Affair episode "The Award," Jody and Buffy start to constantly itch, and Uncle Bill worries that they've developed a psychosomatic allergy because he's been overly strict with them. But actually they're allergic to the modeling clay they've been secretly using to make a "Best Uncle Award" sculpture for Bill.
  • Franklin had one in which Franklin kept sneezing. The characters tested a number of possible causes and finally concluded that he was allergic to his best friend, Bear, as he only sneezed when he was around Bear or handled things that Bear gave to him. The two stayed apart for a while, but Franklin eventually decided he didn't mind sneezing if he could play with his best friend. He then found that he didn't sneeze around Bear when Bear was covered in mud. Then, when he went to Bear's house, he got a bath and it was discovered that it was actually the new bubble bath that Bear was using that was causing the sneezing.
  • In the Gilligan's Island episode "Allergy Time," first the Skipper, then all the other castaways suddenly start sneezing when they're around Gilligan. But in the end, it turns out they're not allergic to him, but to the papaya nut oil he's been using as hair tonic.
  • In the Happy Days episode "The Fonz is Allergic to Girls," the Fonz starts sneezing whenever he's around girls and thinks he'll have to give up his Casanova ways. But it ultimately turns out that he's allergic to a chemical reaction between his own aftershave and the girls' perfume.
  • In an old Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic, Jimmy notices a funny ticking sound whenever he's around Superman, which he thinks is his heart. He concludes he has an allergy to the Man of Steel and must stay away until he can find a way out of it, or he risks death by heart attack. He eventually figures out that it was his signal watch, which malfunctioned and ticked whenever it was around gold.
  • In the Mister Ed episode "Ed the Sentry," Wilbur's wife Carol apparently becomes allergic to Ed. Actually, she's allergic to the straw hat he's wearing.
  • In the Patty Duke Show episode "The Friendship Bit," Patty starts sneezing whenever she's near Cathy, and is presumed to have developed a psychosomatic allergy because she's jealous of Cathy's achievements in school. But in the end she turns out to be allergic to Cathy's new pin.
  • On Peg + Cat in "The Allergy Problem," Peg fears that she might be allergic to Cat, but turns out to actually be allergic to four-leaf clovers. They make her sneeze. This one can be chalked up as Artistic License – Biology, since four-leaf covers aren't chemically any different from regular clovers, they just have an extra leaf. If four-leaf clovers caused someone to sneeze, then surely regular ones would as well.
  • In the Petticoat Junction episode "I'm Allergic to Daddy," Steve and Betty Jo's baby daughter Kathy Jo develops a rash whenever her father comes home, forcing him to stay in a hotel. But eventually they realize she's allergic to the insecticide on his clothes.
  • In Rugrats, the babies believe Chuckie is allergic to Kimi since he begins to sneeze whenever she's near him or passes by him. Fearing that the adults would get rid of her if they find out, they try to keep him away from Kimi. It later turned out that Kimi had a bunch of dandelions in her diaper which she was planning to give to Chuckie as a gift.
  • In the Sponge Bob Squarepants episode "Unreal Estate," Squidward purposefully evokes this trope by filling SpongeBob's foghorn alarm clock with pepper to make him sneeze nonstop and think he's allergic to his pineapple house, forcing him to move away.
  • The Swinging episode "The Big Sneeze" is about Augustus suddenly sneezing constantly and thinking he might have an allergy to his daughter Rosy. It's actually an allergic reaction to a flower decoration Rosy is wearing in her hair.
  • In the Wimzie's House episode "Achoo!" (a.k.a. "Nothing to Sneeze At"), Wimzie thinks she's allergic first to her grandma Yaya, and then to her father Rousso, but it turns out that she's really allergic to bell peppers.

     The detection allergy
"We need to find / be warned about a certain creature, and happen to be allergic to it!" 

  • Teen Titans: Starfire's allergy to a metal used in a certain bomb (and lots of other stuff)
  • The Secret of NIMH: Jeremy's cat allergy, warning them that the farmer's cat is near and distracting him when Dragon does arrive.
  • In the Goosebumps book I Am Your Evil Twin, the main character uses his peanut allergy to distinguish himself from his evil clone—since they aren't sure how allergies work, he supposes that the clone might not have it. (After the climactic test, though, it turns out that the clone swapped out the test food for one that he wasn't allergic to, and then made himself throw up so everyone would think he was the real thing.)
  • Snatcher uses a Detection Allergy - the eponymous robots release a masking agent called SNOW-9 which is similar to pollen, causing people (including the protagonist) to sneeze when they're in the area.
  • NCIS: McGee is allergic to a cologne of a suspect, later a body turns up that causes McGee to sneeze.
  • Taken Up to Eleven by Ruby "Pufferfish" Peet in N.E.R.D.S.. This child's allergies are so severe that they actually go off whenever she's exposed to things such as danger, threats, dishonesty, and betrayal. Making her a human danger detector.
  • In Storm Hawks, Junko is allergic to Murk Raiders and Sky Sharks, both of which cause him to release Sneezes of Doom.
  • In The Tick episode "Bloomsday" Arthur uses his hayfever to track down the missing 400 year bloom.
  • The Eighth Doctor does this in the Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Caerdroia", where it turns out that the exact time portals they're looking for give him time sickness just by standing next to them. His two companions delight in dragging him around the field as a living detector device while he struggles to keep standing up.
  • One Donald Duck comic has Donald receive 1 million dollars from a stranger, but when he uses some of it to pay off a debt to Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge immediately starts sneezing; it turns out the money is counterfeit, and Scrooge is allergic to counterfeit money.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Adrien/Chat Noir is allergic to feathers, which comes up in the episode where he and Ladybug have to fight a pigeon-themed akuma.
  • In the Murder, She Wrote episode "Crossed Up", Jessica originally can't figure out which of the relatives put out the hit, because none of them have raspy voices. However, then the family appears on TV. Gordon Rogers is holding his wife's new Persian cat, to which they're allergic. The allergies roughen their voice, creating the raspiness Jessica heard.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Daphne's allergies have been the key to major clues at least twice. In episode 2, the fake gator belts setting off her allergy to imitation animal products lets the kids crack the counterfeit gator ring, while in episode 4, her lack of a reaction to the Man-Crab despite a severe seafood allergy clues Velma in to the fact that the Man-Crab isn't really a crab.
  • In the Warrior Cats novella Pebbleshine's Kits, Pebbleshine hides in a car, hoping it'll bring her back to where she lost her Clan, but is detected by the humans who own it when their child starts sneezing uncontrollably - turns out she's allergic to cats.
  • In the 1998 Madeline film, Miss Clavel is allergic to dogs. Her own sneezing alerts her to the fact that the girls have broken the "no pets" rule and are hiding a dog in the school. Still, she lets them keep Genevieve as long as they keep her outside.

    The assassin allergy
"He was killed with the previously unknown allergy to a X!" 

  • In the last book of the Empire of the Ants trilogy, the protagonist's uncle dies near the secret base because he turns out to be allergic to their sedative.
  • Black Widow. Black Widow Catharine Petersen marries men and murders them by giving them a substance to which they have a lethal allergy.
  • The Bots Master Ziv Zulander and his sister almost fell victims to this trope.
  • The Duckman episode "Days of Whining and Neurosis" features a grotesque murder by lactose intolerance.
  • The Da Vinci Code: Leigh disposes of a butler who knew too much and was allergic to peanuts by putting peanut dust in his wine.
  • One episode of Murdoch Mysteries has the victim of the week, who was allergic to peanuts, die when the rim of the cup they were drinking out of was coated with peanut oil.
  • In the Benjamin January series, one book has a murderer poison his victim's dinner with something he was violently allergic to. Since there's no widespread awareness that food allergies even exist, much less that the victim had one, nobody thinks he could have been poisoned by something that everyone else ate.
  • In One Of Us Is Lying, Simon is killed with peanut oil, which he is allergic to, in his water.
  • In The Occupant, Tomas is established to be extremely allergic to peanuts. Javier injects peanut extract into a can of pepper spray and then engineers the situation for Javier to be sprayed, his death covered up as a bad reaction to the pepper spray.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, the second victim is killed by ingesting peanuts, to which he is allergic. The second motive had made the students aware of one another's weaknesses, and after the students learn about his allergy, they must discover who knew about it before the murder and had the opportunity to poison him.
  • Crypts And Cantrips: Turns out The king is allergic to a posion that should have taken weeks or month to kill him, so instead he dies within hours.
  • House, M.D.: In Season 5, House subconsciously attempts to kill Chase with his strawberry allergy by hiring a stripper to the latter's bachelor party who uses strawberry body butter. House only realizes what he did when he learns of Chase's an anaphylactic shock and deems his hallucination of Amber dangerous.
  • In the Midsomer Murders episode "Red in Tooth & Claw", someone places rabbit fur in the ducts of Cleo Langton's car. Turning on the A.C. system with the windows closed triggers her allergy to rabbits, and someone had removed the allergy medication from her purse, so she dies by respiratory failure.

    The manipulation allergy
"I have your allergen, you will obey me!" 

  • Just about all the husbands on Desperate Housewives have suffered from some convenient allergy which their wives use to manipulate in some way, which is then never mentioned again. Especially obvious in the case of Carlos, who was allergic to eggs for one episode, despite this never inhibiting anything he's eaten in previous and later episodes. You could Fan Wank that all his food is made with egg substitutes and it's just never mentioned, but what all those times he's shown eating scrambled eggs for breakfast?
  • In The Simpsons, Bart finds out about Principal Skinner's allergy (peanuts) and uses it to manipulate him; later it turns out Bart has a similar allergy (shrimp) and violence ensues. This is not mentioned elsewhere, and Bart has had no problem eating at the Frying Dutchman seafood restaurant.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Rodney McKay is mortally allergic to citrus. In "The Pegasus Project", before sending McKay off to help SG-1 on a mission, Sheppard gives Mitchell a lemon in case McKay gets out of hand. Later, when McKay claims that the mission is impossible, the lemon makes a reappearance.
    McKay: What stories? What have you heard?
    Mitchell: Well, for starters, that you didn't know the meaning of the word "impossible"... and that under threat of impending death, you could work absolute miracles.
    McKay: Yes, well it's all true, but I'm not under the threat of impending death, and I don't have a—
    (Mitchell pulls out the lemon and holds it up to Rodney's face)
    McKay: ...Well, I'll see what I can come up with, then.

Other Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Anime gives us an example of allergy as code phrase: in Weiß Kreuz Verbrechen & Strafe, one of the operatives signals her team that something is amiss by referring to a flower allergy she doesn't actually have. (They know she's faking because the other operatives are all florists.)
  • An episode of the first Dirty Pair TV series had as the antagonist a man allergic to women. Mostly played for laughs, and eventually revealed to be psychosomatic.
  • In episode of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, Touka is allergic to cats, so when her younger sister Rikka brings one home, she requests Yuuta to help her get rid of it. When Yuuta expresses reluctance, she presents him an audio clip of one of his rants as the "Dark Flame Master".

Asian Animation

  • Happy Heroes:
    • In one episode, an assassin cat tries to kill Careful S. but gets mistaken to be a stray cat. Careful S. takes care of him despite being allergic to cat fur. However, this allergy highlights the irony with Careful S' appearance (he looks like a black cat).
    • In one episode of Season 11, Moondance is shown to have an allergic reaction to mango when she eats Sweet S.'s pudding, which contains it.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 36, Wolnie is allergic to dogs, which causes problems since her husband Wolffy has been turned into a dog and can't go near her without causing her to sneeze.

Fan Works

  • In First Try Series, the whole plot is set in motion due an exam proctor's unfortunate allergy to peanuts. The exam proctor had to be replaced and the replacement tested Naruto, which allowed him to pass on the first try.
  • In This Bites!, eating biscuits gives Cross an instantaneous and horrible case of diarrhea. It's unclear why, and it's not much of a plot point; it's barely even a Running Gag.
  • A few Miraculous Ladybug fics bring up Adrien/Chat Noir's allergy to feathers when the Peacock kwami Duusu or his holder is involved.
    • Back To Us first brings it up during his first encounter with the Peacock Miraculous holder Pavone, and again when he goes into a sneezing fit in Felix's car — when Bridgette asks if Felix has a pet bird, he replies, "Something like that."
    • A Declaration Of Love turns it into a running gag, because the Peacock holder in this universe is Marinette. Though when Adrien is forced to use the Peacock Miraculous in her place, he's explicitly not allergic to himself.
  • Neither Cameron nor Foreman can eat a certain dessert in the House fanfic "Inferno" because she's allergic to chocolate and he's allergic to pecans, and it contains both.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Unlike Mittens’s owner Jack, his neighbor Darnell likes the cat, but cannot provide an alternative home for her because he has cat allergies in “The Survivor.”
  • In The Cliff, a certain allergy saves the day. Gibich plants two rows of poplars, and soon it turns out Gutrune and Fafner are horribly allergic to poplar fluff. Fafner's sneeze ends up blowing the Ring of Power into the Rhine to its rightful owners, effectively solving the key problem of both the canon and the fanfic, while Gutrune’s allergy attack prompts Brünnhilde to realize what the matter with the dragon is.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: The sleeping sickness is bad enough, with a large portion of the student body falling into magical comas, but then it turns out that Draco Malfoy is allergic to an ingredient in the potions used to keep the victims alive and stable, forcing Harry to find another solution in a hurry.


  • In The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace complains several times about Boris "The Butcher" wearing Old Spice; his violent sniffling and sneezing actually helps him to escape Boris' custody at one point. At the very end, we learn that it wasn't Old Spice causing Wallace's reactions—it was an otherwise-undetectable Amazonian arrow-frog toxin.
  • Addicted to Love: Meg hides crushed strawberries under her ex's pillow, causing him to break out in an embarrassing skin rash and sabotaging his modeling career.
  • In The Boxtrolls, Archibald's severe lactose intolerance (he swells up from a tiny sliver of extra mild Cheddar) is part of what prevents him from joining the White Hats and eventually leads to his Karmic Death.
  • In Peter Rabbit, Thomas McGregor is allergic to blackberries. Later the rabbits pelt him with blackberries, eventually landing one directly in his mouth, but he gives himself an injection.
  • In Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw, the main villain Marvin McNasty happens to be allergic to cats. Cooler eventually takes advantage of this when McNasty orders his henchmen Lumpy and Bones to take away the Pound Purries Hairball and Charlemange by disguising himself as cat so he'd be taken out of McNasty's house with the Pound Purries.
  • Turkey Hollow: Annie is allergic to feathers. When she and Tim get kidnapped and held in a small building full of live turkeys, her father and great aunt need to get her out as soon as possible.
  • In The Incident (2014), two parallel allergies, one to fruit juice and one to bees, drive the intersecting time loops.
  • In Molly (1983), Aunt Jenny is allergic to dogs, so Maxie has Molly spend the night at a barber shop.


  • The Raven Cycle: Gansey is severely allergic to bees, hornets, and wasps. His obsession with Glendower, which the series is based around, started after he was stung to death by hornets as a child, only to live because Noah was dying on the ley line at the same time. He considers his Epipen to be largely useless as it would not be enough to save him even after a single sting.
  • Achoo!: The reason Suzy-Sue sneezed and started the plot was because she was allergic to a flower she sniffed. The dog also appears to have hay fever as he's seen with a runny nose but otherwise appears fine.
  • Rachel ends up with an alien allergy to crocodile DNA in one Animorphs book. She morphs out of control, which is the equivalent of a sneeze, according to Ax, and has to deal with the allergy until she burps up the DNA-in the form of a whole crocodile.
  • What started the plot of the fourth Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, The Egg Hamburg Steak Knows, was an allergy that causes a breakup but hardly "the relationship hitch allergy." Wakatake woke up on Friday and found his face covered with allergy hives, which obviously is not in a state to attend the date later that day. But the unnamed girlfriend decided to break up instead without even asking why he couldn't attend. (The bulk of the novel is about investigating how there could be pork in a egg burger steak supposedly made with 100% beef, and who put it there).
  • In Stephen King's Sherlock Holmes story The Doctor's Case, the reason Watson is the one to solve the case is that Holmes is seriously impaired by two factors: there are ten cats in the house the case is in, and Holmes is allergic to cats. It really doesn't help that one of the cats becomes very fond of Holmes immediately and gets snuggly.
  • Revenge of the Sith: While over at Padmé's apartment, Anakin notes a particular type of broth sitting around, which gets him suspicious (well, more suspicious) since Padmé says Obi-Wan's been over recently, but Anakin knows Obi-Wan is so allergic to that specific broth he once nearly caused an interstellar incident. She has, in fact, been talking with other senators.

Live-Action TV

  • In one episode of Imagination Movers, the Movers get their Idea Emergency when they need to figure out why Dave keeps sneezing. Turns out, he was wool (Scott was wearing wool socks).
  • On The Big Bang Theory, Howard needs to keep Leonard away while the others plan a surprise birthday party for Leonard, so he uses his peanut allergy as an excuse to take Leonard to the hospital. When things get desperate, Howard has to actually trigger his allergy to keep Leonard from going back.
  • On Seinfeld the guys suspect that Jerry's new accountant is a cocaine fiend because he's always sniffling and wiping his nose when they're around. Turns out he's just allergic to Jerry's sweater. Then, after they apologize and rehire him, it turns out he really WAS on drugs.
  • In an episode of Bones, a suspect is eliminated when it turns out she was allergic to some of the plants on the park trail the victim was on, meaning she was unable to follow him there. (Clark Edison also discovers he's allergic to the plants when they're confirming the suspect's claims, but that's just for a joke.)
  • CSI:
    • In one case, the initial reason for a holdout juror's death is thought to be peanut butter in his chili, but they later determine that the would-be killer took the laced food for herself, and a bee sting allergy actually killed the guy.
    • An attempt to kill a boxer in "Ending Happy" involved getting him to absorb shellfish residue through his male organ. It wasn't the final cause of death, though.
  • CSI: NY:
    • There a case where some guys played a prank on another guy by lacing his soup with shellfish. He went into anaphylaxis and grabbed for his medication, but the guys had replaced it with an empty one. He died before help arrived.
    • A victim in another episode had to be rushed to the hospital when his would-be murderer caused him to eat peanuts and he went into anaphylaxis as well.
    • Det. Don Flack is allergic to cats. From "Zoo York":
      Mac: [examining human remains in the tiger exhibit] Hey! Sneezing on my crime scene.
      Don: Sorry, Mac, allergies. Cats. Hate 'em.
      • Comes up in another episode when he and Danny visit a club whose owner keeps his pet jaguar on the premises.
    • Sid suffers from anaphylaxis from an unnamed ingredient in a meatball sub during Stella's HIV scare. He is revived with an epi-pen and taken to the hospital.
    • Late in season 8, it is revealed that Mac is deathly allergic to blueberries.
  • Wishbone:
    • In one episode, Sam, the one chosen to represent her team for a spelling bee, starts eating a snack brought by David, but learns too late that it contains coconut, which she's allergic to. It isn't life-threatening, but she can't go to school and David has to take her place, despite being less confident.
    • Averted in the character of Nathaniel, who has a bunch of allergies, including dogs. He spends the night at Joe's house, which forces Wishbone into being shut away in another room. It turns out his allergy to dogs is psychosomatic, induced by his mother because she doesn't like them. (He may have other real allergies, but none of them get near as much attention.)
  • On an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Captain Holt attempts to give away a small puppy. Santiago immediately volunteers to adopt it, despite being violently allergic to dogs. but Captain Holt doesn't let her.
  • The season finale of Other Space hinges on a big date between a person and the ship's computer, with the latter using a number of accessories to manipulate a willing proxy. The date ends badly when the computer causes her proxy to eat shellfish, to which the proxy reacts very badly.
  • An episode of Flight 29 Down has as one of its subplots the character Eric acting very lethargic. Since he's known as a Lazy Bum among the group, no one thinks much of it until he collapses on the beach and is unresponsive. While they manage to work out that he's having a reaction to the oysters the group had collected and eaten earlier, it's a very near thing and even when Melissa plays The Medic and doses him with an epi-pen, it's painfully clear that she's scared to death she's too late.
  • Monk, "Mr. Monk and the Case of the Missing Granny". Randy has an allergy to cats, which makes things difficult as Mrs. Parlo owned one. This turns out to be the thing that keeps the perps of the week from getting away with their crime. They claim the chair belongs to them, which Monk and company can't disprove until Monk realizes that Randy showed signs of allergy when he was in their house. They claimed they didn't have a cat, so Randy shouldn't have had any symptoms.
  • The main character of That's So Raven had a severe mushroom allergy that causes her to comically swell up when it's triggered during a cooking competition. A later episode had her unknowingly washing her hair with a shampoo that contained mushroom extract, which affected her ability to see the future instead.
  • In Dumbo's Circus, Dumbo is allergic to flowers. Since he's not a baby anymore in this series, but an almost full-grown elephant, his allergy results in frequent Sneezes of Doom that blow things around or knock them down.
  • The InBESTigators: A cat allergy is a major clue in "The Case of the Pestering Prank Caller" and the Twin Switch in "The Case of the Soccer Saga" unravels when Maudie sees someone she's been told is dreadfully allergic to eggs nonchalantly and eagerly eat one of Ava's cupcakes without asking if they have eggs in them or not.
  • Cheers: The episode "Diane's Allergy" is... well, about Diane suffering an allergic reaction to a dog. Sam figures it's psychosomatic, brought on by her uncertainty about her relationship with Frasier. And he's right. At the extreme end, it causes her voice to suddenly crack, making her sound like a chipmunk.
  • Frasier: Niles has an allergy to dust mites in one episode, which causes a problem when he stays up in a library all night before a diner with some Nobel Prize laureates, and takes some antihistamines to counteract it. He overdoses, and promptly gets as high as a kite. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Angry Birds on the Run: In S1 E11, Bomb is enjoying the calm, peaceful nature of a grass field, and then discovers that he is allergic to something in the field.

Video Games

  • In MySims Agents, a man delivered Evelyn's father's journal into the hands of a MorcuCorp minion. You, with the help of Roxie, prove that the man who made the delivery was the mayor, Skip Rogers, partially thanks to a discarded inhaler for combatting his flower allergy.
  • The protagonist of Undertale is apparently allergic to Temmies, which explains why the otherwise-harmless creatures can damage them when they try to "pet the cute human." A Temmie NPC also has the same allergy (yes, they're allergic to themselves), and promptly breaks out in "HOIves" after talking to them.
  • In Bugsnax, the player character turns out to be allergic to the titular creatures, meaning that they can't consume them like the other island inhabitants can. Given the reveals regarding the true nature of Bugsnax, this allergy turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
  • Yakuza 3: Taichi suddenly starts to display asthma-like symptoms, and is worried that it might kill his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. He turns out to be mildly allergic to buckwheat, the key ingredient in last night's dinner. The only reason he presents symptoms at all is that he missed lunch that day, and ate a lot more for dinner than he usually does.

Visual Novels

  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: Tsumugi Shirogane, the Ultimate Cosplayer, suffers a bizarre allergic reaction if she tries to dress up as a real person, which means that she cannot disguise herself as her fellow classmates as a Murder Mystery trick. In the climax of the story, Tsumugi starts cosplaying as characters from previous Dangan Ronpa entries, indicating that in this canon, the previous games are in-universe fiction.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice The culprit is allergic to buckwheat. This becomes relevant when the victim turns out to have been making udon instead. If they had made buckwheat, the culprit would have died from inhaling the buckwheat flour instead.
  • Haruka from Little Busters! loves making egg dishes - in fact, they're the only thing she can cook at all - because she believes that Kanata has an allergy to eggs, so Haruka wants to assert this as the one place she is truly the best.


  • Volume 2 of Ennui GO! reveals that Amoral Attorney Venus is allergic to whale cum. This allergy is what drives her vendetta against Izzy as the latter unknowingly splashed a bucket full of the stuff on her, severely scarring her face and blinding one of her eyes.
  • Double subverted in Homestuck. John is mentioned early on to be deathly allergic to peanuts, but it doesn't come up for him beyond a few narration asides. Later on, Jake's dreamself, who is an alternate universe counterpart of John's genetic father, is discovered dead. Cause of death? The Courtyard Droll force-feeding him peanuts in his sleep.
    • Of course, being Courtyard Droll, he actually just stuffed so many unshelled peanuts in his mouth that he choked.
  • In Kevin & Kell, while running Herd Thinners, Angelique manages to apply an allergen to Kell that leaves Lindesfarne (a hedgehog) unable to live with her without spraying quills every time she sneezes, at least until it's found out and Kell gets it cleaned off. Lindesfarne does manage to get revenge, with the help of one of Angelique's skunk step-children.

Web Original

  • In Dragon Ball Abridged, turns out Goku is allergic to grapes. When Future Trunks gives Goku his cholesterol medication, he has to be convinced by Trunks that it's actually bacon-flavored because it was grapes and he hates grapes. Turns out he's so allergic to them, he turns purple and starts sweating purple.
  • In Sam & Mickey's The Barbie Cooking Show episode 2, Barbie needs to find a new co-host after Chelsea's allergy to almonds lands her in the ICU after handling the first ingredient of Barbie's red velvet cake recipe - almond meal flour.
  • How to Hero mentions allergies as a topic of friction that might come up within a superhero's support-squad. Citing Karen, the mutant-toucan handler who is allergic to peanuts, as an example.
  • RWBY Chibi’s Battle of the Bands arc gives Neptune Vasilias a latex allergy that causes him to start swelling up whenever he touches Jaune’s Smooch-inspired latex face paint.

Western Animation

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids. The artificially intelligent computer who sent the team on missions was allergic to dogs, one of which is the Team Pet.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends:
    • In "The Glass Princess, Part 4", Gusty realizes that she is, of all things, allergic to pigs. Given that their main foe right now is a pig and that constant sneezing makes stealth a touch difficult, this proves to be somewhat of a problem.
    • In "The Magic Coins, Part 3", Niblik is terribly allergic to roses, which very inconveniently for the heroes nixes any value their first treasure, a magic rose, might have for bargaining with him.
  • Regular Show: Played with in "Eggscellent". Rigby enters a contest where he must eat a gigantic twelve-egg omelet in order to win a hat. Problem is, he's allergic to eggs. This does not stop him from trying anyway (he really wants that hat!), and a Gilligan Cut later he's being rushed to the hospital, causing a Last Crusade-esque plot to kick in.
  • Grojband:
    • Four episodes show that Corey's allergic to cats, specifically cat dander, since the cats featured in the episode "Super Zeroes" doesn't have any, while the cats featured in "One Plant Band" (which also incidentally snapped him out of his brainwashing) and "Love in an Nethervator" do.
    • In "Kon-Fusion" and "Pop Goes the Bubble", Trina is allergic to bread crust and bubbles.
  • The Sofia the First episode "When You Wish Upon a Well" reveals that King Roland is allergic to cats, so Amber, upset that he's been spending more time with Sofia than her, wishes that he was allergic to her sister, which results in Sofia turning into a cat.
  • In The Smurfs episode "The Sky Is Smurfing, The Sky Is Smurfing", Papa Smurf comes down with an allergy which happens around the same time that a volcano named Mount St. Smurf is preparing to erupt. However, nobody is able to connect the dots together that Papa Smurf is allergic to volcanic dust until the eruption occurs and he calls for all the Smurfs to evacuate the village.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Flower", Lord Dominator is about to crush a dying flower Wander and Sylvia have spent the whole episode trying to save, when it spews a cloud of pollen in her face. Turns out Dominator has hay fever and she starts sneezing uncontrollably, giving Wander and Sylvia time to grab the flower and escape.
  • In one episode of Regal Academy, the students are tasked with finding a plant that has only recently been discovered, so they don't have any idea of what it looks like. Astoria remembers the teacher mentioning dragons are allergic to it, and figures they'll find it at a pond the dragons always avoid. Once they do find the plant, they confirm it's the right one by having a dragon sniff it, making him start sneezing.
  • In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, Darwin suddenly sneezes a lot, and is assumed to have an allergy to stupidity, so the characters attempt to find a cure before it worsens. In the end, it's revealed that he isn't allergic to stupidity, he just has a feather from a pillow fight stuck in his gills.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has an episode in which Daniel is revealed to be allergic to peaches, mainly to serve the show's purpose of teaching children about this subject matter. He's taught what to do to help others to deal with his own allergy as well, such as making sure to ask before eating anything if it has any peaches in it and also informing others of his allergy, so they know to be sure to keep it in mind.
  • Arthur has an episode in which Binky is revealed to be allergic to peanuts, for similar reasons as the above Daniel Tiger example. Binky's peanut allergy is occasionally mentioned in later installments.
  • Katie and Orbie is another kids show that teaches about food allergies: Katie and Orbie's friend Brynn is allergic to eggs, so she always asks before eating anything if it has eggs in it, and wears an allergy alert ID bracelet.
  • On JoJo's Circus, JoJo has a plot allergy to merryberries, a type of berry found only within the show's setting of Circus Town. In "Tickled Pink," JoJo eats some merryberries, which causes her nose to swell and honk and her skin to turn pink and tingly. Fortunately, she visits her friendly family doctor, Skeebo's mother Dr. Seltzer, who gives her an easy cure - to pat her tummy and rub her nose, then rub her tummy and give her nose a pat. The moral of the story is "So if you feel low / If you feel sad / If allergies make you feel real bad / For upset tummies or aching heads / Listen to your doctor and do what she says / If you wanna get better / Listen to your doctor and do what she says." Also "If you are allergic to a food, never eat it because it can make you really, really sick, and don't be afraid to tell someone if you have an allergy."
  • Total Drama: Allergies come up a lot as reasons why a particular contestant can't go through with a challenge or otherwise fails in a goal. All allergies are limited to a single episode, either because they're so obscure that they could only come up once or just because the writing is inconsistent.
    • Noah's first line when he arrives at Wawanakwa Island in "Not So Happy Campers - Part 1" is to ask Chris if he got his memo about his life-threatening allergies. With the exception of an allergy to panda dander in "Super Crazy Happy Fun Time in Japan", none of these allergies play a role in the story and the line seems to be to establish Noah as uptight.
    • Leshawna does not want to slice pineapples during the cooking contest in "If You Can't Take the Heat..." because she's allergic. Heather forces her to power through it, but it only takes seconds for Leshawna to break out in hives. Heather tells her she'll just have to not scratch until after the contest, provoking Leshawna into vengeance.
    • Harold opts out of the reverse-William Telling contest in "Who Can You Trust?" because he's violently allergic to apples.
    • Leshawna is the only contestant not to eat pizza in "One Flu Over the Cuckoos" because she's mildly lactose intolerant and her bowels will protest if she eats the cheese-covered snack.
    • In "Dial M for Merger", Courtney angrily retorts that she's lactose intolerant when she's asked if she's happy to have won a trip to a local cheese factory.
    • In "Walk Like an Egyptian - Part 1", Ezekiel reveals that he has a peanut allergy when Chris says that people who get to stay receive a barf bag filled with peanuts. He nuances it a beat later by calling it a peanut sensitivity, but Chris has enough of him already and throws him out of the plane.
    • Noah skips out of a challenge that involves pandas in "Super Crazy Happy Fun Time in Japan", because panda dander makes him break out in hives. Tyler notes that he has the same allergy, so Alejandro volunteers to take the round.
    • Cody brings up his deadly allergies that can send him into anaphylactic shock in "The Am-AH-Zon Race". Chris acknowledges the particular danger a trek through the Amazon Rainforest poses for him by handing Gwen an epipen to use if necessary. This is despite Sierra's insistence she gets to hold onto the epipen, which she supports by listing all of Cody's allergies: black ants, brown ants, red ants, bejo beads, wolf spiders, katydid crickets, the clear-winged Cithaerias pireta butterfly, and goat saliva. Some time later, he gets bitten by a red ant after his epipen has gone to waste. Sierra saves him by sucking out the poison.
    • The tie-breaker challenge as to whom will be eliminated between Courtney and Gwen in "Picnic at Hanging Dork" involves feeding koalas eucalyptus leaves without using one's hands. Courtney wins this one because Gwen is allergic to eucalyptus leaves. Not only do they make her sneeze, but as she has no recourse but to use her mouth, her face and in particular her eyes swell up.
    • At the campfire ceremony in "Heroes vs. Villains", Gwen brings Courtney flowers as a sign of good faith. But as it turns out, Courtney is allergic to those flowers and begins sneezing.
    • Zoey is allergic to dog hair and therefore has to abandon her climb in "The Obsta-Kill Course" halfway through when she realizes the rope is made of dog hair. Her allergic response is light sneezing.
    • Dave claims to be allergic to bee stings, tomatoes, weed, peanuts, flowers, mountain lion dander, and most fruit-flavored gums in "Twinning Isn't Everything", but concedes that it's a suspicion and that he's never been officially tested for any of it. The claim that he's allergic to flowers is corroborated in "Mo' Monkey, Mo' Problems", because he sneezes every time he sniffs one.
  • Totally Spies!: In "Wild Style", the girls sneak into the lair of a villain who is turning people into animals to make fashion out of them. While Clover is turning into a leopard, Alex blows their cover when her allergy to cats acts up.
  • Sid the Science Kid has "The Reason Sid's Sneezin'" which brings the learning aspect again as Sid learns about allergies after discovering that he's allergic to pollen like his father.
  • The Spider-Man (1981) episode "Lizards, Lizards Everywhere" had Spider-Man have difficulty taking down the Lizard because of sneezing fits. After he finally manages to defeat the Lizard and consults a doctor, he is informed that the sneezing was because he was allergic to reptiles.
  • In Detentionaire, Lee's father and the Serpent share an allergy to fish, which foreshadows the reveal that the latter is the long-lost son of the former. Lee also takes advantage of the allergy while fighting the latter through some good old Shamu Fu.
  • Thunder and the House of Magic: Thunder, a magician's cat, uses Daniel's cat allergies against him in order to keep him out of the house and selling it behind the owner's back. Usually, just a tail across the face or even just simply sitting around inside the house is enough to get him out the door. However, the payout from selling the house is high enough to motivate Daniel to keep coming back, and even Daniel wisens up to the tactic over time, usually by either using his nose to look for the cat or putting on a hazmat suit to venture in the house without risking a breakout, making this an example of both Movement Restriction and Detection Allergy.
  • King of the Hill: Bobby suddenly develops an allergy to dog dander late in season 5, which when Hank refuses to put down or otherwise give up Ladybird results in them trying medication and then, when that doesn't seem to work, putting Ladybird in a custom doghouse - which Bobby ends up moving into instead when Ladybird doesn't like it. Lampshaded by the doctor who gives the diagnosis, who tells the Hills that "allergies come and go"; sure enough, Bobby's over the allergy by the halfway point, with the rest of the plot dealing with his refusal to move back out of the doghouse.
  • The Ghost and Molly McGee: In "Innocent Until Proven Ghostly", Scratch is accused of eating a cake that Molly's dad made as an anniversary gift. Scratch insists he didn't touch the cake, even when the evidence points in his direct. Molly realizes why when she remembers the cake contains carob, and clears Scratch's name by revealing that he has a carob allergy (which isn't fatal, since he's a ghost, but still causes his body to temporarily swell until it fills the house).


Video Example(s):


Allergic to nature

Scene from ''Angry Birds on the Run'' S1 E11, where Bomb is allergic to a flower that he encounters

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / PlotAllergy

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