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Ojo: Bear, hmm, well, uh, I don't know how to break this to you, but you have Big Bear-itis.
Treelo: Dunh duh duh!
Bear: Big Bear-itis?! Is that bad?
Ojo: Well... don't be silly, Bear. It's just pretend.
Bear in the Big Blue House, "Picture of Health"

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. No relation to Bedhead-itis. Or the Cooties.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pok√©mon: The Original Series:
    • In the episode "Hypno's Naptime", a bunch of children have been hypnotized into thinking that they are Pokémon instead of humans. Brock calls this "Pokémonitis", 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."
  • One Piece: Usopp often complains of "Can't-go-on-that-island Disease" whenever a new, dangerous-looking location pops up on the Strawhats' journey. Oddly, despite the prevalence of this trope, English translators rarely adapt it to the "itis" construction.

    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!"
  • A commercial for Lysol air freshener many moons back has the family in the spot joke that their home had "house-itosis."

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Blank Check during a house purchase, the kid hero is using a computer to generate speech. The villain asks what's wrong with his voice, and the kid tells the computer to say, "Sore throat-itis. Cough. Cough."
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 Professor Umbridge, 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 afraid of germs 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, mistakes her fear as Infant Sibling Jealousy, and diagnoses her with "siblingitis", prescribing attention from her family as the "cure."
  • The Discworld squib "Medical Notes", originally published in the 2002 Convention Handbook, ends with "Signitus", which causes the sufferer to groan and sometimes run away when confronted with anyone carrying more than three books, and "Bursaritis", which is the recurring halucination that you have brought hundreds of people together to celebrate something that doesn't actually exist. (At the end of the 1996 convention Terry Pratchett had given the convention chairman the title of Bursar.)

    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 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.
  • 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.
  • Operation Ouch!: The Ouch-Mobile segments. A child would come in, describe their symptoms to Dr. Chris or Xand, and he would say it's a case of (Child's description)-itis!
  • When Punky Brewster is told that the pain in her tummy is appendicitis (episode "Ouch"), she sobs "I have an -itis! I'm worm food!"
  • In the U.S. Shark Tank, Mark diagnoses the mother and daughter creators of the Marker Parker with "Inventor-itis," as they also show off several other products that they've made, but haven't perfected and don't really have sales for. This is a danger sign because it signals to an investor they have terminal wanderlust and a problem focusing on just one thing and making it great before moving on to the next business idea.
  • You Can't Do That on Television: In the episode "Illness", the Preverts scare away bill and fee collectors by claiming they have "spotted-faceatosis," a condition which presents similar to chicken pox and is ostensibly fatal if caught. It turns out they're not just Playing Sick, however, and spotted-faceatosis is a real illness.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In "Picture of Health" from Bear in the Big Blue House, Ojo and Treelo are playing doctor and diagnose Bear with "Big Bear-Itis." Bear asks if it's bad. She tells him to not be silly, that it's just pretend.
  • In the Roger Miller episode of The Muppet Show, all the Muppets except Gonzo catch "cluck-itis," a disease that turns them into chickens.
  • 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 another episode, Snuffy comes down with "Snuffle-itis", which causes him to get a sniffly snuffle which produces discordant orchestra noises whenever he tries to sniff.
    • A third episode has Telly catch "Triangle Sneezeitis", which results in him sneezing nonstop whenever he's near a triangle of some sort.
    • The video Sesame Street Home Video Visits the Hospital has Big Bird come down with a violent case of "Pneumotweetitis Canaria", which causes him to catch a high fever and cough repeatedly, while producing week tweeting sounds from the throat.
    • A Season 39 episode has most of the street except for Elmo and Leela to contract "Mine-itis", a grouch disease which causes its victims to become selfish and greedy and not share anything.

    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann is undergoing treatment for 'Entanglelitis', which causes her to lose consciousness and attack people. It's actually a cover for her supernatural ability to sense and mentally visit other dimensions, something that the Circle Consortium wants to cover up.
  • 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.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: When Mario and Luigi first visit Dr. Toadley, who makes diagnoses based on visions he received in his crystal ball, he claims that the duo have "Bowseritis," which actually turns out to be Bowser barging in, leading to a boss fight against him.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • This very wiki. Along with the examples potholed to in the trope description, Indexitis is our page for sickness tropes as a whole.
  • Zig-Zagged in Neopets; several of the possible illnesses that pets can get end in -itis/-itus, but the suffix is used almost correctly. All diseases with it in its name do describe inflammation as one of the symptoms, but the rest of the name describes the cause rather than the affected area, e.g. Neggitus is an allergic reaction to the local Negg fruits that causes swelling of the ears.

    Western Animation 
  • The Animaniacs episode "De-Zanitized" ended with Yakko Warner diagnosing Dr. Otto Scratchansniff as suffering acute Warner-itis.
  • Arthur:
    • In the episode titled "Crushed", D.W. tells Arthur that doing the jitterbug is good for his "arthuritis". The name is based on "arthritis".
    • In the episode 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.
  • Bugs Bunny: In "Hare Tonic", Bugs convinces Elmer that he has the "dread-disease-rabbit-itis".
  • The Crumpets: In one episode, Granny is diagnosed with "foulmouthitis", making a constant stream of insults.
  • 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 real life.
  • Futurama:
    • "Future Stock": "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 display themselves.
    • "Proposition Infinity": Hermes comes down with circusitis, a disease that causes him to sneeze handkerchiefs, develop a clown-like coloration, orange hair, and swollen feet a great deal like clown shoes, and experience bouts of random slapstick.
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs: In "Achoo", Taury gets a disease called "itchy-spot-itis" and Pterence gets a disease called "Thermomo-burst-iosis".
  • In The Hair Bear Bunch debut episode "Keep Your Keeper," the bears make zookeeper Mr. Peevly think he has a condition called "zoolirium" which calls for six-month vacation.
  • 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 Lalaloopsy called "Spot-itis", people keep getting spots on their faces. Rosy thinks it's a disease and calls it "spot-itis" but it's actually just paint.
  • Let's Go Luna!: In "Leo Moves It", Leo comes down with a case of 'Samba-itis', and his hips won't stop dancing to Samba music.
  • 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 the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Read it and Weep", Rainbow Dash fakes being injured after recovering because she wants to continue reading Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Statue/Stone. The doctor sees through this and diagnoses her with "lazy-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".

    Real Life 
  • "The Itis" (popularized but definitely not invented by the Boondocks episode) is a popular-ish slang term for what's otherwise known as a Food Coma, especially in the African-American community. Originally, there was a word in front of the -itis, but it's not really used today.


Video Example(s):


Big Bear-Itis

Source of the page quote. In "Picture of Health" from "Bear in the Big Blue House," Ojo and Treelo are playing doctor with Bear as their patient. Ojo informs Bear that he has "Big Bear-itis." He asks if it's bad and she tells him not to be silly, that it's just pretend.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / Somethingitis

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