Follow TV Tropes



Go To

When someone wants to come up with a name for a disease and is not at all concerned with medical accuracy, they will often just take a word (or a bunch of words) and slap "itis" at the end of it, thus creating names like "my-head-hurts-itis", "sequelitis", "consolitis", and so on. There's also "osis" suffix that can be used for a similar effect.

Mostly seen in comedic settings. Can also be used by a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, or in situations when someone enters Sarcasm Mode.


In real life, the "-itis" suffix refers to an inflammation of the mentioned body part. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, etc. So to say that a body part is inflamed, you just say the medical terminus of said part with "itis" at the end.

See also Whatevermancy for the magical equivalent and Scandalgate for the media and political variant.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • In the episode "Hypno's Naptime", a bunch of children have been hypnotized into thinking that they are Pokemon instead of humans. Brock calls this "Pokemonitis", but the weird thing is that he doesn't say it as though he's coining a phrase for this one instance, but rather as though it's a recognized medical phenomenon.
    • This is also used as an insult in the episode "All Fired Up!" when Gary claims that talking to Ash would cause him to catch "loser-itis."

    Asian Animation 
  • One episode of Noonbory and the Super 7 is about "singer-itis" spreading to various folks of Toobalooba. As suggested by the name, singer-itis causes its victims to uncontrollably sing all of their speech.

    Comic Books 
  • In an Archie Comics (the newspaper strip, but reprinted in the "Gag Bag" column a comic book), Archie is being examined by the school doctor.
    Archie: I think I've got the bug that's going around.
    Doctor: Yes, I know. It's called "Dodge-an-exam-itis".

  • In a commercial for Cheetos Mystery Colors Snacks (a variety of Cheetos that turn your tongue different colors), one hapless man greets a stranger after having eaten a few, prompting her to scream, "That man's tongue! He's got blue-tongue-itis!"

    Films - Live Action 
  • In School of Rock, Dewey Finn says the children are suffering from "stick-it-to-the-man-eosis" to win the sympathy of the Battle of the Bands judges.

  • Animorphs: Marco and Jake are interrupted by people when Marco is almost out of bird morph, so his face has a huge beak but still has thought-speak, so he coaches Jake into telling them it's a condition called beakanoma (a growth in the shape of a beak, and a very tragic disease because it only affects smart and handsome people). Jake transmits most of it to the crowd and they leave, still shuddering at the Facial Horror as Marco finishes demorphing.
  • Dirty Bertie:
    • In "Worms!", Bertie makes up a list of excuses for not going to the birthday party of his rival Angela and one option is that he has a disease called "party-itis". He eventually decides not to tell this lie, instead Faking Amnesia.
    • In "Ouch!", Bertie accidentally hits his thumb with a hammer and goes to the doctor. He wants to stay in hospital to slack off so he squirts mustard on the injury, pretending it's infected. The doctor says that Bertie has "mustard-itis".
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix it's mentioned that when students use Fred and George Weasley's illness-faking sweets to get out of class in protest of the new headmaster, they say they're suffering from "Umbridge-itis".
  • In the Olivia book where Olivia tries to be a vet, she pretends that Edwin the cat has "furry-foot-itis" and puts an ice pack on his head. It melts and Olivia's mom thinks that he had an accident.
  • In the Ramona Quimby book "Ramona Forever", Ramona is feeling left out when her new baby sister is born and she's not allowed into the maternity ward to see her. A friendly doctor talks with her in the waiting room and diagnoses her with "siblingitis", prescribing attention from her family as the "cure."

    Live Action TV 
  • In an episode of Barney & Friends, B.J. is playing doctors and pretends the teddy bear has "teddy-bear-itis". Someone says, "Teddy bear whatsis?".
  • In an episode of Bear in the Big Blue House, the kids pretend Bear has "Big Bear-itis".
  • In The Brady Bunch episode "You Can't Win 'Em All", Cindy passes a school test to become a contestant on a televised children's quiz show. Of course, she acts all stuck up about how smart she is. But when she she is actually on the show, she freezes up, staring catatonically at the TV camera for the duration of the (live) broadcast. Carol thinks that Cindy has "Television-itis".
  • In the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode "I, Eye Guy", Skull complains that he might contract nerditis when he and Bulk arrive at the science fair.
  • Sesame Street: In one episode, Oscar the grouch gets a disease called "kind-itis". Being kind, however, is only one symptom: the others are rhyming and a headache.
  • In Too Many Cooks, most of the characters suffer from "intro-nitis", a disease that causes them to constantly freeze-frame in a goofy smile.
  • In one episode of Adventures in Wonderland, first the White Rabbit, then the Hatter and Hare, then the Tweedles, and eventually the Queen and Alice all catch "rhyme-itis," which forces them to speak only in rhyme.
  • In the Roger Miller episode of The Muppet Show, all the Muppets except Gonzo catch "cluck-itis," a disease that turns them into chickens.

    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: The third case features a fictional disease called "incuritis". The name only makes reference to the fact that it has no cure or treatment save for a single substance, which can be extracted from a Borginian cocoon.
  • Moshi Monsters has a disease called "frosty fingeritis" that monsters are susceptible to in cold weather. To prevent and/or cure it, you need to wiggle your fingers.
  • Nethack has intrinsic teleportation, which makes the player randomly teleport at times. As many other things in the game, this can have both advantages and disadvantages, but without teleport control it's mostly bad. The Fan Nickname of the condition is "teleportitis".
  • Octodad: In Dadliest Catch's hospital-themed bonus level, there is a disease called "Unicornitis", where the afflicted person gains a unicorn horn and the ability to fly. Justified because the level is actually a story being told by Octodad's children.

    Western Animation 
  • The Animaniacs episode "De-Zanitized" ended with Yakko Warner diagnosing Dr. Otto Scratchansniff as suffering acute Warner-itis.
  • In an episode of Arthur titled "The Secret About Secrets", D.W. gets a secret that she wants not to tell, and asks for a day off from school (she actually gets one) by saying she is sick, then saying she thinks she has secret-itis. Grandma Thora arrives to babysit her and Kate.
    Thora: Your mother tells me you have a very distinctive ailment.
  • The Beetlejuice episode "Generally Hysterical Hospital" had Lydia Deetz getting trapped at a Neitherworld hospital and in danger of undergoing a full body transplant. Beetlejuice saves her by tricking the hospital staff into thinking they've contracted a disease called humanitis from Lydia.
  • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare Tonic", Bugs convinces Elmer that he has the "dread-disease-rabbit-itis".
  • In The Crumpets, Granny is diagnosed with "foulmouthitis", one making "a constant stream of insults", in one episode.
  • Doc McStuffins frequently uses this trope for any toys with diseases or sicknesses. It's somewhat justified given the target demographic, and that they're modified versions of real life diseases and sicknesses that are fairly accurate to reap life.
  • In Futurama an "Eighties Guy" had himself frozen until the 31st century when he developed terminal "bone-itis". He was thawed after the cure was invented, but he never got around to getting cured and at the episode's climax the symptoms suddenly displayed themselves.
  • In the Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs episode "Achoo", Taury gets a disease called "itchy-spot-itis" and Pterence gets a disease called "Thermomo-burst-iosis".
  • One episode of Hey Arnold! had Helga being sick and, because she reads a book of fictional diseases, thinks she has "monkey-nucleosis" (which will supposedly turn her into a monkey and is incurable). As a result, she spends what is a regular 24-hour flu being Mistaken for Dying.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes had an episode titled "Cellphone-itis", which dealt with Beezy having problems with cellphone addiction. However, in the episode, characters alternated between calling it cellphone dependency and cellphone-itis.
  • In an episode of La La Loopsy called "Spot-itis", people keep getting spots on their faces. Rose thinks it's a disease and calls it "spot-itis" but it's actually just paint.
  • Muppet Babies (2018):
    • In the episode "Upside Down Day", Gonzo diagnoses Summer Penguin as having "bad day-itis".
    • In "Doctor Fozzie", Fozzie pretends to be a doctor with Kermit pretending to be his patient. Fozzie diagnoses Kermit as having "green-itis".
  • In Rugrats, one episode has Angelica trick Chuckie into thinking that he contracted "Rhinoceritis", a rare disease that causes its victim to turn into a rhinoceros.
  • In the Sabrina: The Animated Series episode "Witchitis", Sabrina gets the titular disease because she's too scared to get her shot. Unfortunately, the cure is also an injection.
  • The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Iconoclast" had historian Hollis Hurlbut jokingly refer to Lisa's interest in learning about Jebediah Springfield as "Jebeditis". Lisa responds by making a joke about having just gotten over her "Chester A. Arthritis", which results in a brief moment of awkwardness when Hollis misinterprets Lisa as saying she has arthritis.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • There's an episode in the 8th season about Squidward faking being sick to get home from work called "Squiditis." Averted in the episode in that the fake disease is called Squid's Disease.
    • SpongeBob gets a fear of public speaking in "Oral Report." Sandy tells him that he has "oral-report-itis."
    • When head injuries cause Squidward to regress to the mental state of a baby in "Squid Baby", the doctor diagnoses him with "head-go-boom-boom-itis."
  • In the What's with Andy? episode "Emergency Spew Relish", Andy and Danny are on a train and their latest prank is to try and get everyone off the train car. Andy tricks a man into leaving by claiming that he has a contagious illness called rhino-googly-osis. When Danny comments on the name, Andy says that the other name he was thinking of was "multi-snotty-osis".

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: