Follow TV Tropes


Sick Episode

Go To
Four colds in one TV show? That's an academy record!

"I've got a cold in my nose."

A character comes down with an illness, and may be bedridden. This may be in order to pad out the season, to provide an excuse as to why that character isn't present when their skills or powers would wrap up the plot neatly in a few minutes, or to give the love interest an excuse to nurse them back to health, often using bad-tasting medicine, a hot mug of whatever, and/or soup. In romances, the sickness is all about the worried, tender nursing. And in the comedies, they frequently end with the sick character now all healthy and looking forward to doing whatever... only for their friend to start showing symptoms, almost nearly out of the blue. The latter may invoke Caretaker Reversal if said friend was doing the nursing, but on the other hand, the "symptoms" might only be minor and lead to a Jumping-to-Conclusions Diagnosis, and if it's outright stated that the character isn't sick after all, that is a Shock-and-Switch Ending.

Cures for this illness can vary wildly by genre, and obtaining the cure may take up a small plot arc of its own. These illnesses are very rarely, if ever, fatal. The illness also mostly never has lasting implications for the main Story Arc, though it's not beyond the pale for a Monster of the Week to be responsible for a character illness or find a way to exploit the opportunity.

The Sick Episode may also entail characters having to work through their illness when they'd really rather be at home in bed with bowls of chicken soup. Or it may cover the remaining healthy characters scrambling to fill the hole left behind. In both of these cases hilarity sometimes ensues. Or, sometimes, the character insists on powering through their sickness or injury and continuing their work, even if what they have is severe and every other character suggests that they take time to heal.

If the sickness involved is discovered to be maybe life-threatening, you have a Wham Episode instead.

Sometimes, the character might deny being sick or claim they are less sick than they are. If the disease is serious and they do that, the trope is Definitely Just a Cold.

If the illness is caused by contact with evil, that's Allergic to Evil. See also Soap Opera Disease for diseases which are ultimately fatal and may or may not be used as Filler and Victorian Novel Disease for when a Soap Opera Disease shows barely any symptoms. Compare Hurt/Comfort Fic. Contrast Plot Allergy which may cause symptoms but isn't really a sickness, Playing Sick (and its subtrope You Don't Want to Catch This) for when they're not really sick, just pretending, and Hypochondria (and Induced Hypochondria) for when they're not really sick, they just think they are. Compare Lice Episode, when a character (usually a child) has to stay home to avoid spreading head lice. Also compare Injured Limb Episode, where a character's arm or leg (or wing or flipper, depending on the species) gets injured and Glitch Episode, where an AI or cyborg goes wonky. May lead to, or be defied by, a Disease-Prevention Aesop.

A Super-Trope to:

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Asian Animation 
  • Boonie Bears: In Season 4 episode 4, Logger Vick panics after having come into contact with Hoo Hoo the owl, remembering that the television was playing a news report earlier explaining that there's an outbreak of bird flu going around. Logger Vick does indeed get sick, but as usual he's forced to keep working by Boss Li. Thankfully, he learns at the end of the episode that the illness he has isn't bird flu, but a common cold.
  • Crazy Candies: In Season 2 episode 36, Bubba comes down with a cold after taking a cold bath and alienates the customers and other workers at the Bao House by working there anyway and sneezing on them. Eventually, Marshyo and Jackey take it upon themselves to help Bubba get better.
  • Happy Heroes:
    • In episode 8, Big M. and Little M. catch a cold and spread it all across Planet Xing.
    • Season 3 episode 27 starts with Doctor H. actually being sick and going to the hospital, where he discovers Miss Peach is working as a volunteer nurse. After he recovers, Doctor H. feigns still being sick just to see her.
    • A later episode in Season 7 is focused on Happy S. falling sick. He purchases a mysterious "cure-all" from Big M. that is said to cure absolutely any sickness, hoping it will, y'know, cure him.
  • Noonbory and the Super 7:
    • "Pongdybory's Cold Feet", despite the odd title, has Pongdybory attempt Working Through the Cold while on a mission to rescue the Dotoris. By the end of the episode, Noonbory has a cold as well.
    • "Singeritis" features a breakout of the titular illness, which causes its victim to sing everything they say.
    • "Tooba-Achooba!" has the Super Sensors sans Noonbory come down with the titular illness, which robs them of their Super-Senses.
    • The Tooba Tooba Noonbory episode "Elephant Making a Rainbow" has a brief subplot of PinkAru having a cold.
  • Episode 96 of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons is about everyone in the Green Green Grassland falling sick with the flu and having to be quarantined by Mr. Slowy's robots. Wolffy, after being separated from his wife Wolnie as a result of the quarantine, seeks to make himself sick to be with her.

    Comic Books 
  • Baker Street: "A Case of the Blues" is a short story that appeared in the 1989 Christmas special A Caliber Christmas. In it, Susan is forced to spend Christmas Eve in hospital and receives a string of visitors who sneak in after visiting hours.
  • Dial H for Hero: The story featured as a back-up in issue 31 of New Adventures of Superboy has Chris King suffer from having a cold, finding to his misfortune that using his dial to change into a superhero doesn't instantly cure him and still leaves him sick.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: One story has Donald harassed by an anthropomorphic common cold that only he can see, able to counter medication by taking pills of his own. He manages to get rid of him after noticing machines can see him too, but since no story can end happily for Donald, on the last page he's greeted by an anthropomorphic headache.
  • Futurama: In the comic "A Cure for the Common Cold", Fry catches a disease that's similar to a cold except with a few strange symptoms, the most noticeable being regressing to a primal state. He spreads it to everyone except Bender, Farnsworth, and Zoidberg. Eventually, everyone gets better but they sneeze up giant germs, except the mutants, who save the day by sneezing up giant antibodies.
  • Jem and the Holograms (IDW): Pizzazz has a sick arc. She gets into a car accident and injures her larynx. She can't sing or scream, two things she's known for, and her bandmates have to find a temporary replacement (which turns out to be Blaze). The arc ends with Pizzazz picking herself up after the Trauma Conga Line of feeling useless combined with her father not caring at all that she nearly died leaves her a sobbing mess. Blaze ends up a permanent member of the band.
  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever: In one of the comic books, Ponyville's population come down with something which makes them sneeze, become tired, break out in red spots, have sore throats, and occasionally lisp or talk nonsense. Zecora ends up contracting it too, but then the Sick Episode trope is subverted when it turns out to be an allergy to a certain type of mould, allowing Spike to cure it..
  • Robin:
    • During Batman: Contagion Tim was infected with the Ebola Gulf-A virus and lay dying in the Batcave for the last five issues before a cure is invented.
    • During Batman: No Man's Land Tim had a fight in the sewers with Ratcatcher that left him ill after ending up in the sewage with scratches and bites and having to deal with Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc while trying to get back on his feet.
    • Stephanie Brown (Spoiler) picked up a 24 hour cold in issue #102 that left her struggling to be understood with a stuffy nose before Tim stops by with some chicken soup he made for her that help clear her sinuses.
  • Runaways: The one-shot "It's Not Lupus" features Molly and Chase becoming inexplicably ill. This later turns out to be the result of Nico accidentally casting a spell on them.
  • Spider-Man: Peter was always getting sick for an issue or two, but then his spider-strength would allow him to recover in record time. Unfortunately, he always happened to get this right when the Monster of the Week showed up.
    • The most famous is probably Spider-Man having a cold The Night Gwen Stacy Died.
    • A special mention goes out to the Grim Hunt storyline, in which the villains actually plan their attack to take place when he's sick using the precognitive abilities of Madame Web.
    • One comedic short in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual (2014) had Spider-Man terrifying a group of villains by not speaking, which is considered a massive Out-of-Character Moment for him, as it meant he was pissed. Actually, he had laryngitis this time.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County has an extended series of strips in which various characters visit Steve Dallas in the hospital after he gets punched out by an irate Sean Penn.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • In one strip, Calvin is sick and his mom knows he's not Playing Sick because he says, "I know" when she tells him it's Saturday.
    • One strip involves Calvin's mom getting a cold.
    • In another strip, Calvin catches chickenpox.
  • One storyline in Peanuts has Charlie Brown checking into the hospital when he isn't feeling well (what was wrong with him was never officially stated), leaving all of his friends genuinely worried about him, even Lucy.

    Fan Works 
  • In a fanfiction of The Addams Family, entitled Wednesday and the Chicken Disease, Wednesday catches the chicken pox, then Pugsley and Gomez.
  • Yakko's Sick Day is an Animaniacs fanfic that involves Yakko getting an illness that involves tired eyes (but no actual lack of energy – he is Yakko Warner, after all) and sneezing. The illness is unconfirmed, but Yakko refers to it as "Whoopsie-Schmoopsie Flu".
  • In A Green Christmas: Buttercup gets the stomach flu from Robin which she later passes on to Blossom. Bubbles and the Professor cheer them up.
  • In this Danganronpa story, Kyoko comes down a fever and a stuffy nose after getting caught in the rain. After cuddling with her, her daughter ends up catching it as well.
  • In the Doctor Who fanfic Time Lords Never Get Sick, the Doctor tells Rose that Time Lords (his species) don't get sick, but then he catches a cold. He hides in the TARDIS for three weeks of illness, but at the end, it's implied that he's caught another cold.
  • This reimagining of Drawn Together has Xandir and Spanky Ham both bedridden because their websites are under maintenance.
  • Marmalade Boy is an Edd/Eddy comic where Edd takes care of a feverish Eddy.
  • Happy Days:
    • A user known as Meg Fonzarelli on Fanfiction Dot Net has written several fanfictions, including Arnold's, Sick Blanket Cuddles, Just Fluff, When Fonzie Feels Cuddly, Fonzie's Aggravation, After Work, A Day in the Rain is Worth a Few in Bed and The Fonz Does Not Get Sick. All involve Fonzie getting a cold and his date (herself) "caring" for him. She sometimes invokes Catch Your Death of Cold.
    • In Sick Days, first Howard and Marion appear to get sick, but it turns out they're fine, Ralph, Joanie, one of the girls, and Richie get colds, Potsie and Fonzie get colds later on in the story, and it is implied Arnold has one too. Arnold, Joanie, Ralph, the girl, Richie, and Potsie all get better, but Fonzie's still sick at the end.
  • Harry Potter: In Everybody Needs a Sick Day, Hermione Granger gets sick.
  • Inside Out:
    • Feeling Better focuses on Riley sick with an upper stomach virus that she caught from a classmate. She gets better after drinking a lot of tea.
    • Inside Infected has the emotions somehow get sick.
  • The plot of Intergalactic Illness is Lala getting a cold for the first time and she isn’t used to it due to being an alien. It confuses her and it affects her differently than it would a human, but thankfully the others are there to help her out.
  • Two of them occur in In Which Mistakes Are Made And Nagisa Is Made Fun Of; Chapters 15 and 16 have the sun and moon Cures, along with others, deal with a flu outbreak, while Chapter 18 has the Kirakira gang sick due to food poisoning (except Yukari; she knew better).
  • The Kedabory Verse:
  • Laverne & Shirley:
  • The Loud House:
  • High School D×D: In Volume 6 of Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Rias falls ill after unkowingly drinking poisoned champagne and Makoto has to lead her peerage in the Rating Game against Sairaorg Bael.
  • Mork & Mindy:
    • In the fanfiction Together, Mindy gets what's thought to be a cold but turns out to be flu, then Lily the neighbour gets appendicitis and Mork gets hypoglycemia. Later, Lily gets laryngitis.
    • In this unnamed fanfiction, Mork gets sick with what's apparently a cold.
  • In this The Most Popular Girls in School fanfic, A Turn of Events, Brittnay is the one who gets sick. It's also a Hurt/Comfort Fic.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Melt and Drip. In both of them, a character gets a disease that normally only dragons get. In Melt, it is Twilight and in Drip it is Princess Celestia. The illness has cold-like symptoms.
    • Another My Little Pony fan fiction called A Zebra In the Bed has Zecora get a disease called Trio Cold, which is a nasty kind of cold that lasts for three days no matter what you do, and the second day is the worst. Applejack disapproves of Zecora having to sleep in her bed. Applejack then catches Zecora's cold.
    • In Doctor Whooves – The Series, Along Came A Spider has Zecora get a would-be-fatal disease from a spider bite. Symptoms include bleeding green, being weak and tired, losing the ability to rhyme, and being dehydrated.
    • Fluttershy's Sick Day is a fanfiction where Fluttershy gets a flu-like illness and makes attempts at Working Through the Cold, which her husband Troy tries to stop. Troy ends up catching it. note .
    • In Zecora's Tears, Zecora becomes very weak and sick due to a curse. She eventually dies.
    • There's also Twilight is Sick.
    • Cold Denial has Applejack catch a cold.
    • Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training has Sunburst get the flu, then Starlight gets the horn flu, then Pound Cake gets the feather flu.
    • When Fluttershy comes down with appendicitis in My Brave Pony II: Starfleet Magic.
  • In NUMB3RS story All's Well has Don and Charlie coming down with the flu and being taken care of by Alan.
  • The Phineas and Ferb collabfic Sick in Bed, where Phineas and Isabella catch a virus, and are bedridden together for the whole story. On the same bed. Shipping ensues.
  • Memories of Him is a Rebel Without a Cause fic that has Jim sick in bed soon after the film's events, giving him ample time to grieve (and realize the depth of his feelings) for the deceased Plato.
  • Rugrats:
    • Tommy Pickles: The Terrible Twos is a fanfic set a year after the events of the series. In chapters "Another Family Reunion" through "Visiting Uncle Ben and Aunt Elaine", Cousin Tony has a cold, which Tommy catches, then Phil and Lil catch it.
    • In Rugrats and the Gray Plague, Tommy gets a serious flu known as the "gray plague", ostensibly from a homeless boy named Chongo.
    • The Joys and Sorrows of Young Charles Finster has "Chicken Pox", in which Chas gets the chicken pox, and "The Appendix", in which he gets appendicitis.
  • The Somewhat Cracked Mind Of Uchiha Itachi: Chapter 7 is one for Konoha, in which the flu is particularly contagious this year.
  • This Splatoon fic involves Callie coming down with Squid Flu.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • Enterprise Enquirer has Hoshi Sato get food poisoning.
    • Hoshi's Box has the same character be dealing with "the tail end of a head cold".
    • Pre-Existing Conditions are Not Covered has Hoshi get a headache from Xindi parasites in her brain. Trip then gets infected with something that induces PMS-like symptoms, despite the fact that he's a guy.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Played with in the fanfic A Cold is a Very Human Experience. Data is an android, so he doesn't get a cold per se, but some aliens gave him the symptoms of one as an experience.
    • In Data Catches the Common Cold, Geordi, Riker, and somehow Data, all catch colds.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Step by Step is about Kirk coming down with one of the few illnesses futuristic medicine can't cure — a resistant strain of flu.
  • Chapters 14 through 16 of Sucker for a Cute Face is one for Adagio Dazzle.
  • The X-Files:
  • Played for Laughs in the Adventures Ofthe Galaxy Rangers fanfic "Supertrooper Flu." As a genetically enhanced Artificial Human Super-Soldier, Goose has never been sick before, but his system also didn't account for the latest flu strain. His teammates take turns nursing him through it; Doc is finding the situation hilarious, Zachary is going through the checklist he does when is own kids get a cold, and Niko is Only Sane Woman trying to just make sure Goose gets some rest. The ending? The flu mutated in Goose's system - and all three of the others came down with the mutant strain.
  • Oddballs:
    • The fanfiction, Acute Viral Laseritis is entirely about Echo catching a cold and shooting lasers every time she sneezes
    • School Hateritis is about Max making James look and sound sick so he doesn't have to go to school for a week. However, James is actually sick a week later.
    • In The Masked Sufferer, James has what based on his symptoms is the flu, but as the title implies, he hides it from everyone until he finally confesses in the end and everyone is not surprised.
  • Oversaturated World: The premise of Future Congestive. Sweetie Belle catches a cold that leaves her unable to "turn off" her future sight and causes whatever she sneezes on to instantly age by years or decades.

  • Tom Sawyer gets the measles at one point in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • Amelia Bedelia:
    • At the end of "Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia", Mr Rogers gets chicken pox.
    • At the beginning of "Amelia Bedelia Goes Wild", Amelia has the flu. However, she gets better before the main plot kicks off.
    • In "Amelia Bedelia Ties the Knot", Mrs May is said to have food poisoning, but that book was set twenty years before the main series, so she's fine now.
  • Played for Drama in Animorphs—Ax gets an Andalite appendicitis-like condition called yamphut, which will kill him if he doesn't get surgery on an organ located very close to the brain. It spreads to the rest of the team, bar Cassie, giving them a non-fatal but fairly severe fever. This leaves Cassie alone to do a very dangerous mission—rescuing Aftran from the Yeerk pool (as in the pool itself)—while then doing brain surgery on Ax.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Most notably Stacey's Emergency, Get Well Soon, Mallory, and the subplot to Dawn's Wicked Stepsister.
    • The Little Sister spinoff series also features a few of these, including Karen's Accident and Karen's Chickenpox.
  • Bear Feels Sick in Karma Wilson's Bear series.
  • The Berenstain Bears:
    • In "Go to the Doctor," the cubs are healthy and just visit Dr. Grizzly for a checkup, but Papa Bear keeps sneezing throughout the book, all the while insisting that he never gets sick. Of course in the end, it turns out he is sick.
    • In "Trouble At School," Brother Bear catches a cold and doesn't bother to do the homework his teacher sends him, causing him to fall behind in school when he goes back. Sister also gets sick later on.
    • In "Sick Days", Sister Bear gets a 24-hour bug that she inadvertently spreads to Mama.
  • Blue's Sniffly Day, which is a book of Blue's Clues, has Blue catch a cold.
  • In chapter 22 of The Cold Moons, all but five of the adult badgers fall ill with pneumonia after being stuck all day in a blizzard.
  • In Daisy and the Trouble with Life, the title character is ill with a stomach upset caused by eating a discarded sweet which she picked up off the pavement. What's more, as punishment for doing something so unhygienic, she is not allowed out to play for a whole day, even though she starts to feel better towards the end.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
  • Eight is put out of action this way in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street (in the Eighth Doctor Adventures) for quite a while. Unlike Ten below, he's physically incapacitated for about two months and coughs up black bile.And he has horrible hallucinations, his eyes eventually get black, cloudy stuff on them, and everyone thinks he's going to die. Although his illness rather ruins his own wedding, he doesn't die... no, Anti-Villain Sabbath kicks the dog rather a bit by saving his life by means of Meatgrinder Surgery, ripping his heart out bare-handed, mostly because he thinks it'll be useful.
  • Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo is a picture book, in which a girl named Felicity Floo ignores the "Don't Pet the Animals" sign at the zoo and spreads her cold to them, covering them in gloopy snot in the process. It is meant to have An Aesop about blowing your nose, but due to considerable amounts of Artistic License and Squick, it got lost along the way.
  • Fox in Socks: Six chicks and six bricks are shown sick in bed.
  • Galaxy of Fear: The Planet Plague is a Tash-focused book. Her brother spends most of it sick with a bad case of the flu, either running around denying that he's ill, lying half-conscious at best with a high fever, or floating in a bacta tank feeling better but bored.
  • Gangsta Granny: The Granny gets cancer towards the end.
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid has "Sonata for Unaccompanied Achilles," a dialogue for one in which Achilles is telephoned by the Tortoise, who is apparently suffering from a headache. (The readers only get Achilles' side of the conversation.)
  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew has the camel get sick with a disease called Gleeks which involves hiccuping bubbles and the only cure is twenty weeks in bed.
  • In one of the Just books, Andy deliberately makes himself sick to avoid being cast as a woman in a play. However, he gets better in three days or so by "eating lots of fruit and thinking healthy thoughts".
  • Chapter 15 of the second book in the Little House on the Prairie series has the entire family, besides Carrie, coming down with malaria.
  • Little Raccoon: One book ends with the title character with a cold.
  • Played VERY seriously in Little Women:
    • Robert March fell sick while still at war and that threw a big wrench in the family dynamics since Marmee had to go there and leave the girls alone.
    • And for worse, Beth contracts scarlet fever (an illness that was VERY serious back then). She recovers, but is much weaker from then on. Years later, lingering complications cause her early death.
    • Besides these two serious cases, the characters also occasionally catch colds: for example, Laurie in Chapter 5, Amy at the start of Chapter 8, and Jo in Chapter 17.
  • Llama Llama Home With Mama has Baby Llama get an ambiguous disease (presumably a cold or the flu) which involves sneezing and sore throat. Mama Llama also gets it.
  • In the children's book Marsha Makes me Sick, first baby Marsha, then her big sister Lulu, get the chicken pox.
  • In the first Mary Poppins book, Jane gets an earache.
  • One children's book is titled Melanies Marvelous Measles, in which Melanie (and later her classmate Jared) have what's allegedly a serious case of measles, although they were both still active, their spots didn't even itch, and they'd been vaccinated.
  • The Midnight Gang has a girl called Sally, who has a Soap Opera Disease that may be cancer but is not revealed.
  • Miss Bindergarten Stays Home From Kindergarten, in which Miss Bindergarten, Franny, Lenny, and Raffie all miss school because they are sick.
  • Nicky is mentioned to have a cold in the Mog book "Mog and the Baby", but he seems active enough to play with Mog.
  • Mr Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold has an old man named Mr Putter catch the cold.
  • Baby Gonzo Has a Cold is a book based on Muppet Babies (1984), where Baby Gonzo catches a cold when he plays outside with his friends. By the time he recovers, Baby Kermit catches a cold.
  • Poor Monty is a story where a boy whose mother is a doctor describes a disease whose symptoms include having a sore throat, a headache that feels like "little men in steel boots are walking on my head", and a rash. It's chicken pox.
  • In Pride and Prejudice, Jane catches a cold from getting soaked in the rain on her way to visit the Bingley sisters, and has to stay at Netherfield for the next few days as she recovers. Her devoted sister Elizabeth insists on staying there with her; this leads to both sisters becoming more closely acquainted with their respective soon-to-be love interests, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy.
  • At one point in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona catches the stomach flu and throws up in class. This mortifying incident made it into both media adaptations, the '80s Canadian TV series and Ramona and Beezus.
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • In “Get Well Soon, Roys Bedoys!”, Roys is sick with a respiratory virus.
    • Downplayed in “We Can’t Go to the Beach, Roys Bedoys!”, where they can’t go to the beach because according to Mrs. Bedoys, Joys has “been having diarrhea the whole day”, but it’s left ambiguous as to why.
    • In “Don’t Share Personal Items, Roys Bedoys!”, Loys is sick, and then Roys catches it after using his toothbrush.
  • Rugrats licensed books:
    • In Tommy Catches a Cold, Tommy catches a cold which lasts for three days.
    • In Candy Soup, Kimi gets sick on Halloween.
  • Sesame Street books:
    • The Day Snuffy Had the Sniffles is a Little Golden Book about Snuffy getting the sniffles, and Big Bird's friends giving him various things to help Snuffy feel better. As it turns out, Snuffy just wants to spend some time with Big Bird.
    • In Nobody Cares About Me!, Ernie is sick, and Big Bird is jealous when his friends pay more attention to Ernie than to him, so he pretends to be sick. His plan works, and Little Bird helps take care of him. By the time Ernie recovers, Big Bird really does become sick, and he soon learns that being sick for real isn't as fun as he thought it would be.
    • In It's No Fun Being Sick, Herry's sister Flossie gets sick and he gets jealous of her for getting all the attention, but then he gets sick and learns it's no fun.
  • Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", where Holmes apparently catches yellow fever. At least until the Reveal that he was faking it.
  • In the children's book The Sick Bug, a girl named Tess gets sick and her mother claims that Monstrous Germs are inside her body.
  • In the children's book Sick Simon, a boy named Simon gets a strange kind of cold that has throwing up as a symptom and spreads it to almost the entire school, including the teacher Ms. Lowinski.
  • In the kids' book Sometimes, You Barf, a little girl remembers the only time in her life she threw up was when she got a flu bug and tells the story of it.
  • Spice and Wolf: One of the novella side stories had Holo getting sick and Lawrence taking care of her, using different kinds of foods to balance her humors in true medieval fashion. The story also featured an interesting variant on a usual Sick Episode trope: Holo collapses dramatically with a fever, but when she wakes up, the first thing Lawrence does is scold her angrily for not mentioning that she felt bad earlier. He explains that if she had done that while they were traveling, she could have died.
  • Stuart Little: Stuart has bronchitis the day he meets Margolo the bird.
  • In chapter ten of Tailchaser's Song, Tagalong Kid Pouncequick catches a cold from having had to walk in the rain. In his case, it's more serious than most colds. Tailchaser had previously been annoyed by him, but suddenly he realizes how important Pouncequick is to him and how he doesn't want to be alone. Pouncequick recovers in the next chapter after he is taken to the "city" of First Home.
  • In Lore Segal's picture book Tell Me a Mitzi, the second chapter, "Mitzi Sneezes," has Mitzi, her baby brother Jacob, and both of their parents all come down with a cold. Despite being sick herself, Mitzi's mother is forced to take care of her kids and husband, until finally Grandma comes over and takes care of everyone. Then Grandma catches the cold as soon as the others are well, and they all take care of her.
  • Thursdays With The Crown: Towards the end, Celie, Rufus, Lilah, Rolf and to a lesser extent Celina and Pogue get a plague from poisoned water that made them sleepy, blistered and disoriented. It would have been terminal, but luckily, Celie, Rolf and Lilah's big brother Bran had a cure.
  • Tomcat Blue Eyes' Diaries: Lil' tomcat Blue Eyes eats "ew stuff" in chapter four and gets very ill. He's taken to the vet, but he always spits his medicine. His human is really sad and Blue Eyes decides to die. Eventually, he's so sick that he doesn't care what happens to him and lets the human put the pill deep in his throat. He figures it doesn't taste so bad that way, and after a time he gets well.
  • In The Velveteen Rabbit, the Boy gets scarlet fever at one point. He recovers, though. Unfortunately, all the toys he had in bed with him need to be burned.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Most of ThunderClan became ill in Long Shadows with the deadly disease greencough (pneumonia); we see the healthy cats attempting to keep up with all the patrols and hunting, and cat after cat becomes sick.
    • A small portion of Bluestar's Prophecy focused on Bluestar (then Bluefur), as well as sisters Rosepaw and Sweetpaw, falling ill with food poisoning. Sweetpaw doesn't make it.
  • In Winter Holiday, Captain Nancy gets sick with the mumps. She gets better. The other children see it as an opportunity to pretend she has the plague and skip school.
  • At one point during The Witch Family, the two girls Amy and Clarissa catch colds.

  • In the Gayla Peevey song "Got a Cold in the Node for Christmas", the singer has a cold on Christmas.
    • The songs "I Got a Cold for Christmas" and "I'm Giving You My Cold for Christmas" also focused on colds on Christmas.
  • One kids' song is called "A Cold in My Nose", which is about just that.
  • The children's song "Ebeneezer Sneezer" by Fred Penner is about a boy who catches a cold after he plays outside in cold weather without warm clothes.

  • The second act of She Loves Me begins with a pair of scenes showing Mr. Maraczek in the hospital recovering from a self-inflicted wound (Arpad takes advantage of this and obtains a promotion to sales clerk), and one of his employees, Amalia, in her bed, supposedly sick until Georg approaches her.

    Video Games 
  • The premise of Cold and Flu Invasion is curing a large group of people of colds and flu. Failing makes the player character catch a cold.
  • Danganronpa:
    • At one point in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Makoto Naegi comes down with a fever and has to stay in bed so he can recover. And then he gets attacked by a Malevolent Masked Man.
    • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Monokuma lets out an illness he calls "Despair Disease" that causes some of the others to get a fever and behave erotically odd. One ends up getting so sick, they relapse back into as Ultimate Despair.
  • Happens in Double Homework with Amy just before the end of the story if the protagonist chooses her over every other girl. Having had trouble reaching her by phone, he visits Amy at home and finds her sick in bed. Notwithstanding, they still manage to have some sexy fun.
  • Ensemble Stars!: the story Greek Legends involves Souma falling ill and making it worse when he overworks himself rather than ask for help. Ultimately, Adonis, Arashi, and Mitsuru take care of him and teach him An Aesop that he has friends who will be there for him when he needs them.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
      • The supports between Sain and Fiora have him at first flirting as usual and being rebuffed, but later (by the B support time) she sees him collapse and realizes that he's been protecting her despite being afflicted with a fever. Their A support has her worried for his health and recovery - by that time, Sain and Fiora are pretty much a couple, as said A support unlocks their shared ending in which they get married.
      • A platonic version happenswhen Ninian's younger brother Nils passes out in a fortress near the desert... and then an enemy group attacks the crew. The following mission has Eliwood's/Hector's group protecting the collapsed kid alongside the fortress for at least 14 turns; if he gets ambushed and killed, it's a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • Happens off-screen in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. The supports between Kyle and Ephraim mention that, in the time between their B and A-level talks, Kyle was severely injured and Ephraim personally made sure he was well taken care of.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has more than one example:
      • The supports between the Dark Magical Girl Rhajat and her prospect mothers center on this trope. There has been an illness outbreak in a nearby town and the villagers think Rhajat caused it with her curses, so her mom is caught between helping the village and believing in her Creepy Child daughter. As it turns out Rhajat not only did NOT cause such a mishap, but was actually trying to help the people with protective spells (though sadly, they were casted a bit too late)... and then she decided to Find the Cure! without telling anyone. Rhajat's mother is so moved and proud that she hugs her daughter and cries Tears of Joy.
      • In the Hoshido/Birthright route, Prince Takumi comes down with a severe fever and his White Magician Girl sister Sakura doesn't have the herbs she needs to make him a cure. For worse, this happens when they're stuck in enemy territory. Felicia's older twin sister Flora helps them to obtain said cure, but this turns out to be foreshadowing of her unwilling Face–Heel Turn.
      • In the Nohr/Conquest route Princess Elise falls severely sick, and for worse it also happens in the vincinity of the enemy troops. Logically, Prince Ryoma refuses to give help since Elise is an active member of the opposite army, and that sparks a fight.
      • In all routes, the not-family supports between Midori and a Female Kana center on Midori taking care of Kana and making her medicine when she has a sore throat. It turns out to not be easy since Kana is a Half-Human Hybrid girl so her body reacts differently to each medicine Midori makes.
  • This occurs in a couple of Harvest Moon titles:
    • In Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, a cutscene involves the player being unwell and their child looking after them.
    • In Harvest Moon DS Cute, your husband will spend a day in bed ill if you ignore him for a certain amount of time.
    • Harvest Moon 64: If you go to bed with max fatigue, you'll end up sick the next day.
      • One of the Heart Events for each bachelorette involves them falling ill.
      • On a random day when your child is in the crawling stage, he'll fall ill with the measles.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Emi Ibarazaki and Rin Tezuka's paths share an event under the rain. Both girls get sick, and in each case Hisao will visit each of them. In Emi's path, Hisao will put her to bed and have his Love Epiphany, then will see Emi cry in her sleep as she has Past Experience Nightmares about her Disappeared Dad; in Rin's, she will give him a "Shut Up" Kiss while under the effects of too-strong medicines, but he'll be Above the Influence and put her to bed too, leaving before she wakes up.
  • The entire plot of King's Quest IV revolves around this.
  • Melody:
    • At one point early on, the protagonist has to take care of a sick Melody.
    • Downplayed when Becca has the flu. Instead of having the protagonist take care of her, she barely appears in the story at all for a week.
  • Amnesia: Memories has the heroine get sick from being soaked in the rain and fainting in Spade World. Taking up her boyfriend Ikki's offer to take care of her while sick gives several points to get closer to the Good Ending of his route and a CG, where Ikki confesses how much he likes the heroine.
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • Lady Goo Goo appeared sick when you clicked on her at one point, but it was later subverted as it turned out a robot duck had stolen her voice.
    • Judder catches the flu in the mission "Kick Some Asteroid". He gets cured by chicken soup.
    • In the mission "Candy Catastrophe", the Scummi Bears, Lolliplops, and Barfmellows make the monsters sick.
    • Elder Furi gets a disease called Glumps in "20,000 Leagues Under the Fur", which means he had actual glumps in his body.
    • In "Art-Choo", a comic in one of the magazines, Splatter gets flu.
  • Neopets:
    • The pets can get diseases known as Achy Head, Bloaty Belly, Bloaty Feet, Blurred Vision, Bubbles note , Chickaroo note , Cricky Neck, D'achoo note , Doldrums note , Floppy Tongue, Fuzzitis note , Fuzzy Fungus, Grumbles note , Hoochie Coochies, Itchy Scratchies, Jitters, Kikoughela note , Lumps, Neezles, Neggitus, Neoblues note , Neoflu, Neogitus, Neomites, Neomonia, Neophobia note , Neopox, Neowarts, Pollenitis note , Reprillioritis, Shaky Flakys, Shock-a-lots, Sneezles, Spyder Bite, Ugga-Ugga note ], and Watery Eyes. These diseases can be cured by various cures such as Herbal Scrambled Eggs, Medicinal Toothbrushes, and Step-Out Shoes. They can also be cured by visiting Marina at the Healing Springs.
    • One April Fools' prank involved everyone's pets getting a nasty disease called the Scourgies. Another prank involved the Shop Wizard getting sick which made him give random results instead of his usual results.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3, overexerting yourself in Tartarus will result in you getting sick, thereby reducing your performance in battle until you recover by resting. In September, the main character gets caught in a typhoon on the way home from school and ends up being bedridden for days.
    • Persona 4 Golden has Yu come down with a cold shortly after New Year's, thereby spending most of Winter Break in bed, and forcing the group to reschedule the skiing trip. During this time, he dreams about Marie, who's gone missing.
  • In Resonance of Fate, one of the three playable characters, Leanne, spends all of Chapter 6 bedridden with a cold while the other two protagonists try to retrieve cold medicine for her. Since the cold medicine is stored inside a permanently frozen wasteland dungeon, this is harder than it sounds.
  • In Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, this is what Shinjiro's date with Ratchet Altair quickly becomes, mainly because of Shinjiro standing out in the cold waiting for her for too long.
  • Super Robot Wars V:
    • Ange catches a cold just like in Episode 7 of her home series. Her portrait even changes to reflect this.
    • In a DLC scenario, Otto Mitas catches a fever because of the stress the Shangrila teens put him through. As a result, Beecha, Mondo, and Mihiro take command of the Nahel Argama and fight off Angelo Sauper and his Neo Zeon forces. When Otto recovers, he reprimands Beecha for potentially putting them in danger even though Beecha saved their lives that day.
  • Super Sized Family has the kids get sick randomly, or all at once when the bathroom is dirty. You need to give them medicine to cure them.
  • Tokimeki Memorial: Letting your Stress stat get too high results in a week of illness, during which a character who's in love with you will pay a visit to check up on you.
    • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, this Event was ramped up a notch for Kaori Yae, becoming a full-blown Special Event with a special CG, where she prepares and feeds you mikan lumps. This Event occurs only after she's out of her Heroic BSoD.
    • In Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side, this is an Event for Kazuma Suzuka and includes a CG of him in his pajamas when the heroine drops by for a sick visit. He's surprised that she'd come over for something minor, and gives a Longing Look to the heroine, then insists that he wasn't watching her. Also, each of the girls fall ill on a rainy or snowy day when you reach a certain level of relationship with them.
  • In True Love Junai Monogatari, if the Player Character has high Art by the day the swimming race takes place and has spoken to Miyuki Tanaka aka the local ill girl before, she will show up at the beach to paint the scene... and then pass out right before the event begins. But the PC can't take care of her since he has to compete, so the one who raises to the challenge is his Patient Childhood Love Interest Mikae Morikawa, who doubles as Miyuki's best friend.

    Web Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls : In "Cold Blooded", Frost comes down with a cold, and she keeps accidentally freezing things every time she sneezes. Later on Batgirl, Ivy, and Bumblebee spend all night trying to make her feel better. In the morning, she thanks them for helping her feel better, at which, they become sick .
  • The Grossery Gang webseries arc "Get Well Spewn" has Pizza Face sick with a cold.
  • Homestar Runner had a short cartoon called "Sick Day", where everyone (including The Paper) was sick. It was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as Matt—who voices nearly all of the characters—had a cold that week and wouldn't have been able to make the characters sound normal.
  • JaidenAnimations: "Injuries and Being Sick" is all about illness, in addition to getting injured. Jaiden was actually sick when she made it but got better for the end card.
  • Karekore the Half Blood: Hisame got a fever and Kagechiyo has to take care of her.
  • Simon's Cat: In "Bed Head", Simon is seen lying in bed sick with what appears to be a cold, and the cat snuggles up to him.
  • Star Trek Logical Thinking:
    • In the video about the Argumentum ad Ignorantum, a woman is seen with a cold.
    • In the video about false dichotomies, a tellarite ensign has a disease called colic.
  • Story Bots:
    • In "The Cold Song", one of the robots somehow catches a cold.
    • A robot is briefly seen with a cold in "Grumpy as a Grizzly Bear".
    • In one song, a human is seen getting sick but recovering thanks to "an army of white blood cells".
  • Fazbear and Friends (ZAMination): "Chica is SICK!?" is no exception, Chica is sick in the morning, despite that she still has to work, but Freddy promises her not to infect anyone with her illness, things go haywire when Chica has a hard time with her cold, she sneezes in the pizzas filling them with snot, her blurred vision forces her to put in the wrong cassette and to make it worse, she paralyses on the spot, in the end Foxy tells her that she has to rest so that she can recover, however the others end up sick because they ate the infected pizza that Chica made during work.

    Web Comics 
  • One story from My Milk Toof was all about ickle caring for Lardee while he was sick, bringing him soup and reading a bedtime story to him.
  • The Shufflers: Hiddenite falls ill in “Under the Weather”, leaving him feeling weak and lethargic with a cough.
  • The Petri Dish:
    • Zigzagged for the strip where iBall gets pinkeye. It disables him like a disease, but it's never revealed if it's the infectious kind or not.
    • In one strip, Dr. Thaddeus Euphemism gets the flu and spends several other strips sick at home.
  • Til Debt Do Us Part: Two chapters see Subin develop a fever and Yejun voluntarily take care of her.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Yokoka has a fever through chapter 4, so she has a lesser role while Yfa takes the lead in trying to Find the Cure! together with his sister Raya.

    Web Videos 
  • In Kid Time Storytime, the video for Dragons Get Colds, Too has Doug the dinosaur/dragon hybrid with a cold.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In "Bowser Junior's Sickness", Bowser Junior catches a highly contagious cold, but still wants to play with his friends, Joseph and Cody, when they come over.
    • In "Chef Pee Pee Gets Sick!", Chef Pee Pee is sick and unable to perform his cooking duties, so Bowser Junior takes over for him, with the help of Chris the Cucumber.
    • Jackie Chu is revealed to be sick in "Substitute Teacher!", and Judy is revealed to be the substitute teacher.
    • Chef Pee Pee gets sick again in "Chef Pee Pee's Bucket List!". After Dr. Brooklyn T. Guy does some tests on him, Brooklyn jumps to the conclusion that Chef Pee Pee has feline leukemia and only has 24 hours to live. It is later revealed that Brooklyn accidentally mixed up Chef Pee Pee's test results with a cat's, and that Chef Pee Pee just had the flu.
  • Several web videos on E.S.L. have songs or skits where a character is sick to teach phrases about illness.
  • This kids' song is about keeping yourself entertained when you're sick and the kids act sick for the song...although they appear a bit bored.
  • Andrew Rea recorded the Binging with Babish episode recreating Kenan & Kel's Cold Cure while he was sick with suspectednote  COVID-19.
  • Tamara's Never Seen: Tamara was quite sick during her review of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, so she was very bitter towards the titular character for playing sick just to get out of school.
  • StacheBros: In "Super Donkey Kong Bros", Koopa gets sick and spreads his illness to Mario and Luigi during one of their princess rescuing adventures, leaving them sick in hospital beds. With them out of commission, Toadsworth gets the idea to have Donkey Kong and Diddy rescue Peach in their places.


Poorly Penny

Penny learns why it's important to take sick leave.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SickEpisode

Media sources: