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In a setting where humanity is being wiped out by The Plague, there will sometimes be one person who is mysteriously immune to the disease. This could be due to some inborn genetic resistance to the disease, or it could be that they are unknowingly exposing themselves to the cure in the course of their daily life (particularly if the disease has an Improbable Antidote). On occasion, especially in works that are short or Cut Short, there is no explanation.

Discovering this immune character is often the key to finding a cure to the disease, with the main difficulties being getting them safely to the scientists who can develop a cure and figuring out what factor in their environment protected them. Another possibility is that developing the cure might require extreme measures, leading to dramatic ethical dilemmas and making the immune character unwilling to cooperate.

The heroes will want to protect and study this character to find a cure and save mankind. A Corrupt Corporate Executive may want to kidnap them in order to monopolize the cure, and if The Government is involved in the development of the cure, they will always seem almost creepily enthusiastic in going out of their way to find methods that will not only be highly lethal but also unnecessarily painful. If the disease was deliberately engineered by a villain, then they may want to hunt down and kill the Immune to prevent a cure from being developed.

In darker works, this character's immunity might not be able to be turned into a cure for others, in which case they can become The Aloner in an empty world After the End. In really dark works, someone who had been the Immune ceases to be. Perhaps they were protected by environmental factors that were undermined before they were recognized.

If this character isn't affected by The Virus but is still perfectly capable of spreading it to others, they may also play the role of Typhoid Mary or Poisonous Person. If the character was not human to begin with, Hybrid-Overkill Avoidance may protect them from becoming a Hybrid Monster.

Note that this trope is completely different from the Real Life term "asymptomatic carrier" (that's Typhoid Mary) — a person who is immune will not have the disease or virus in the body even if they contract it (and thus unable to spread the virus or disease), while a asymptomatic carrier will be carrying the virus or disease in the body, but show no symptoms of the virus or disease (and have same potential to spread the virus or disease). However, these two concepts have been used interchangeably and often misused.

Compare Ideal Illness Immunity, a character or species that isn't just resistant to this one disease, but cannot get sick, ever.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Rika. She's immune to Hinamizawa Syndrome and medicine is derived from her blood.
  • Marco and Zeus are immune to the Medusa Virus in King of Thorn because they are too confident in themselves for it to find a crack in their psyches to infect.
  • This is part of the premise of Double Arts, in which the world has been decimated by a mysterious plague (a plague with no permanent cure). While there is a small percentage of young women who possess a tolerance to the disease, it is only the protagonist, a young man named Kiri Luchile, who is truly immune to its effects and even has the capability to nullify the disease when it reaches its final stage; by physically touching the infected person, Kiri can effectively halt the progression of the plague and stave off the infected person's death, but only so long as he holds on to them. This is a major plot point.
  • In Casshern Sins, Casshern and Friender are the only ones who don't succumb to the Ruin, which causes the normally immortal robots to rust and decay much faster than in Real Life. Casshern is immune because he caused the Ruin and is apparently something along the lines of The Punishment. The source of Friender's immunity isn't spelled out explicitly, but it's implied to have come from eating some of Casshern's flesh.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuri proves to be immune to the plague ravaging the Hittite Empire when she spends an extended amount of time tending to the sick. Given that she's from modern times, Yuri believes her vaccinations have granted her immunity, while the people of the ancient time period just take this as further proof that Yuri is blessed by the gods. (A bit of Artistic License there: the historical plague that swept through Anatolia is generally agreed to have been tularemia, which is not a general vaccination and is only administered to high-risk groups due to dangerous side effects. Not to mention that one of the historical figures Yuri is based on, Gassulawiya, did die to the plague.)
  • World's End Harem: Five men (including main character Reito Mizuhara) are immune to a virus that only targets males and has wiped them out of the face of earth in the period 2040 to 2045. The women theorize that this immunity is due to a combination of these five men contracting multiple sclerosis, going into cryostasis in hopes they would find a cure, and consequent cure during said sleep. As a result, these men possess valuable genes that the women compete over to birth a new human race.
  • My Hero Academia: Not exactly a plague, but One for All is the only quirk immune to All for One's quirk-stealing abilities, because it can only be transferred between holders willingly. A great deal of All For One's plans revolve around finding a way around this so he can take One For All for himself.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: The main reason humans were able to decisively end the war with demonkind was through the creation of a gas that prevents demons using their powers to "Demonify" and make themselves stronger. Part of The Reveal of the identity of baby Gospel's father is that his special ability as a demon is the creation of a poison that nullifies other demons' abilities, which was used as the basis for the anti-demonification gas and that Gospel, as a consequence, is potentially resistant or immune to the one thing that's maintained peace between the two races. When chapter 163 confirms that Gospel has potential immunity to the A.D. gas, it causes everyone to panic and work with their doctor to cover it up but, at best, it's only going to buy time before someone notices, at which point the characters fully fear humanity and demonkind will start hunting for Gospel. The threat ends up coming from the latter direction, however, as Gospel's doctor, Veronica, is part of Crown's faction and assists in a kidnapping of Gospel when Lorem refuses her offer to join Crown's demon nation.

    Audio Plays 
  • Saul and his mother Tanya from We're Alive are believed to be immune to the zombie outbreak after several close calls. This is pretty much confirmed in the final season when Saul is bitten directly on the neck by a zombie and doesn't turn. In the epilogue, many people believe that Saul and Lizzy's son, Nicolas, may also be immune, but he hasn't been exposed so it's unknown whether he is or not.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Discussed in a strip of The Family Circus, in which Billy has Chicken Pox. One strip depicts Thel and Billy inside, with all the other kids outside talking to the neighborhood kids, saying Thel is alright because she's "a mune".

    Fan Works 
  • Lelouch becomes this in Knight of Death and Rebirth as he's the only one to resist and even reverse the effects of demonic energy.
  • In Shards of a Memory, something in Ice-Cream Kitty's mutation makes them immune to the Cat King's control.
  • Downplayed with Olive, Otto, Oprah, Oscar and Dr. O in My Dream Is Yours. Catching Dream-Transfer-itis makes one automatically immune to the odd disease after they're cured of it, and as such, neither of them can catch it again. Olympia, Otis, Oona and a host of other agents, on the other hand, are not immune because they've never caught the disease before.
  • In At the Edge of Lasg’len, the Elves are all naturally immune to the plague that wipes out most of humanity in 2037. Around ten percent of humans are immune as well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alice in Resident Evil: Extinction. It doesn't have any actual bearing on the plot, mind; it's just exposited by the White Queen at the end. Given Umbrella bonded her with the T-Virus at the end of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, it makes sense that she is immune. She's already infected.
  • The survivors of the plague in Doomsday, with Cally in particular serving the role of "make a cure from her blood".
  • The protagonist of I Am Legend is one of the few humans that are immune to the disease. He spend the next three years trying to synthesise a cure out of his blood for the humans that instead mutated into the feral Darkstalkers. note 
  • Not true immunity, but in 28 Weeks Later both the wife and the son are infected by the Rage Virus, but show no symptoms, instead becoming carriers. It's implied that it has something to do with the fact they have heterochromic eyes.
  • In Skinwalkers the key to curing lycanthropy are the antigens in a half-werewolf, half-human boy's blood.
  • Joanie in Warning Sign is immune to the bio-engineered Hate Plague because she's the only pregnant woman in the quarantined facility; the special hormones in her blood is what keeps her safe and is the basis of the cure. What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic??
  • In the So Bad, It's Good movie Robot Monster, the only people who are left alive after the alien invasion are the friends and family of a middle aged scientist who'd dosed them all with a cure-all serum. (Initially though, the scientist thinks it's a protective electric barrier he erected that staved off the alien's attack.)
  • In Contagion (2011) Mitch Emhoff turns out to be naturally immune.
  • The doctor's wife in Blindness is the only one whose eyesight is retained in the mysterious blinding epidemic.
  • Planet of the Apes:
    • Of the few surviving humans in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it's stated that most are immune to ALZ-113/Simian Flu.
    • Though the sequel reveals that they're only immune to the baseline simian flu not to a mutated strain that robs humans of speech.
  • The plot of Pokémon Detective Pikachu involves a gaseous Psycho Serum called R, which temporarily shuts down a Pokémon's higher cognitive functions and drives them into a berserk rage. Detective Pikachu ends up inhaling the stuff at multiple points but is never affected (though the movie never draws direct attention to this). That's because he's actually a Fusion Dance of Pikachu and Tim's father Harry. Since his mind isn't that of a Pokémon, it can't affect him.
  • Blood Quantum: All native people are immune to the zombie virus. Due to this, native Canadians on a reservation fight off the zombies and aid the survivors.
  • Patient Zero (2018): Morgan was bitten during the initial infection by one of several people who attacked him and his wife Janet in their car. While Janet turned, Morgan didn't. That said, having the virus in his system allows him to communicate with the infected, since the uninfected only hear feral roaring and shrieking.

  • A big focus of The Andromeda Strain was finding out why two people were immune to the disease when everyone else died. What made it interesting was that they were immune for similar, yet different reasons. The old man was an alcoholic, so his blood pH was acidic, and the baby was hyperventilating through crying, which made his blood pH alkaline. Turns out the Andromeda Strain could only survive within a narrow pH range.
  • In The Changeling Plague, IdahoBlue was one of these for a previous disease epidemic (though not the titular one)
  • In Chasm City of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe, the cure for the Melding Plague, called Dream Fuel, turns out to be blood harvested from an alien with natural immunity
  • Dr. Robert Neville in the book and virtually every adaptation of I Am Legend. In the book, it's a weird bacteria causing the vampires, but it doesn't affect Neville. (The bacteria is sensitive to sunlight and garlic.)
  • The thief in Brian Evenson's short story Fugue State, who breaks into and loots quarantined apartments.
  • José Saramago's Blindness follows the one woman immune to the plague of blindness.
  • In Oryx and Crake, Snowman aka Jimmy believes that he is the only human left in the world after a man-made hemorrhagic virus destroys humanity in a matter of weeks. He inadvertently gained immunity some time before the outbreak of the pandemic via a vaccine created by his friend Crake.
  • Everyone who lives through the first act of The Stand. Captain Trips' initial symptoms resemble a cold or flu, so many don't realize how sick they are without a doctor who knows what to look for, meaning the plague rapidly knocks out 99% of humanity.
  • Every character in George R. Stewart's Earth Abides is immune to the plague for one reason or another - which is only reasonable, since all the non-immunes die within the first few pages.
  • In Diario de un Zombi Paula is immune to the zombie virus, a major plot point since finding out why can save the human race.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Tom Bombadil is the only being completely unaffected by the One Ring (it cannot even make him vanish when he puts it on his finger), implied to be because there is nothing he desires in the world that the Ring can tempt him with. The Council of Elrond considers giving the Ring into his keeping because of this, but the problem is that the very cause of this immunity means he wouldn't be a good guardian—he wouldn't be able to appreciate how important the Ring is and would casually toss it aside and forget about it. As Tom doesn't seem to fit anywhere into Middle-Earth's greater cosmology (only really becomes apparent if you read The Silmarillion, where the connectedness of everything else is laid out), it's possible that the Ring doesn't work on him because he is somehow outside its influence.
  • The Maze Runner: In The Death Cure, it is revealed that most of the kids who were part of WICKED's Trials, along with a very small percentage of the world's population called "Immunes", are immune to the Flare. WICKED took them from their families because they wanted to study their brains in the hope that this would eventually lead to a cure. The few among them who are not immune were chosen as control subjects.
  • In Divergent, Tris is able to resist serums, like most Divergents. She is notably able to fight off Candor's truth serum in Insurgent and cannot be killed by the Bureau's death serum in Allegiant. At multiple points, it is mentioned that her ability to resist is beyond that of most Divergents.
  • In Peeps, Carriers for some unknown reason get the benefits of the parasite that causes "vampirism" while still managing to remain sane. Night vision, super strength, and long lifespans without the urge to commit cannibalism (just a craving for rare meat and a high libido) or aversion to everything they loved before infection. Unfortunately, they can transmit the parasite with as little as a kiss; those who work as hunters usually start out with their exes.
  • The Expanse: In Cibola Burn, an alien microbe blinds everyone on Ilus...except for Holden, who consequently ends up doing all the vision-critical jobs around the colony until a cure is found. It turns out to be his anti-cancer drugs. When they ask if they can borrow his drugs to fix everyone else's vision, which puts him at risk of developing tumors, his response is essentially, "And then I can take a nap?"
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign has a non-physical disease- the White Queen's influence, which has driven people insane just by seeing her. Everyone has some degree of resistance to it, but Kyousuke and Shigara's immunity is total. Given time and effort, he can even snap others out of it. Unfortunately, this makes him very interesting to her.
  • InCryptid:
    • All non-mammalian cryptids are immune to lycanthropy-w. This makes the Wadjet, who are snakes who can pass for human, really helpful as doctors for the infected.
    • Frances Healy is largely immune to cuckoo mind control for reasons unexplored. Her descendants acquire an immunity through family exposure to cuckoo telepathy via Grandma Angela and Cousin Sarah. In Calculated Risks, we find out this is because she was half Kairos.
    • Johrlac, being closer to insects than mammals, are immune to Lilu pheromones.
    • On a more fantastic, less disease-related note, gorgons are naturally immune to the petrification abilities of basilisks and cockatrices, so they can keep them as livestock.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
  • Heroes: Mohinder's blood carries the cure for the Shanti virus
  • A big plot point in the second season of Dark Angel and the three follow-up novels. The Breeding Cult plan to unleash a disease that only they will survive, but Max turns out to possess total immunity
  • An episode of The X-Files dealt with an oil rig worker who was immune to the alien black oil.
  • An episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles revolved around them having to save a woman who will be naturally immune to a disease Skynet engineers to wipe out the Resistance.
  • In the BBC series Survivors (the 2008 remake/"reimagining"), the last remnants of humanity are those who never caught the "European Flu" or who are naturally immune to it. Abby is the only person to ever develop symptoms but then recover, which causes her to get abducted in the season one finale.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In "The Broca Divide", Dr. Fraiser is immune to the virus due to the strong antihistamines she takes for allergies. Daniel Jackson is temporarily immune for the same reasons until he is trapped off-world and no longer has access to his medication.
    • In "Legacy", a contagion that drives Daniel, Jack and Janet insane and threatens Teal'c's life is treated when it's determined that it was developed to kill Goa'uld in a host, allowing Sam to use the protein marker left by Jolinar to devise a cure.
  • Teen Wolf's Lydia Martin is the only known person who is immune to the bite of a werewolf and the venom of a Kanima. The reason behind this is currently unknown, but it's implied to have something to do with her unexplained ability to sense the supernatural. As of Season 3, we know it's because she is a Wailing Woman, otherwise known as a banshee.
  • Sam Winchester in Supernatural is immune to the Croatoan virus (suggested in hindsight to be the result of him possessing demon blood).
  • This is part of The 100's backstory. When the nuclear bombs fell, certain people had a natural resistance to radiation, allowing them to survive while the rest of humanity died out. Their radiation immunity was passed on to their descendants, who became the Grounders. This becomes a problem in the second season in particular; the residents of Mount Weather, cut off from the outside world for almost a century, lacked any natural immunity to radiation, and were thus desperate to capture the Grounders or the Ark residents due to their heightened immunity (the Grounders from their time on the surface and the Ark residents through residual exposure to cosmic radiation).
  • In My Name Is Earl, the "Witch Lady" tries to drug Catalina's tea, with the intent of storing her in the basement along with all the others she intends to kill for bullying her. Catalina gets down into the basement, but explains that she wasn't affected by the drug because so many men have tried to slip her date-rape drugs in the past that she's immune to them. She explains that she only pretended to be knocked out and allowed herself to be bagged and tossed in the basement because she felt sorry for the Witch Lady.
  • The Last Ship: Most of humanity dies out as a result of a Synthetic Plague, with the eponymous ship going on a mission to develop a cure. In the second season it becomes apparent that a lot more people have a natural immunity than previously thought (around 5% of the population). They start a cult that portrays them as the "chosen people" and set out to kill all non-immunes, led by two immune British brothers who were the only survivors of the nuclear submarine they both served in.
  • In Beauty and the Beast (1987), a Russian immigrant ends up infecting the sewer-dwellers with a deadly disease. Vincent ends up having a natural immunity.
  • The Barrier: Alma, the director of a scientific institute trying to find the cure of the deadly noravirus, is actively keeping an eye out for people who are immune to it. All she's been able to find is children who have developed antibodies after getting exposed to the virus in the past.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Monks and Paladins receive immunity to all diseases once they reach a certain level (which varies depending on the game's edition). Paladins also get the ability to cure non-magical diseases, as well.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, several members of the Mirran Resistance against New Phyrexia are immune to Phyresis. The most notable one is the Sylvok outcast Melira, who was born without any metal in her body, unlike most beings on Mirrodin (and Phyresis affects metal).
  • An expensive (and frequently banned) merit in Werewolf: The Apocalypse makes the character immune to contamination by Wyrm taint. The book notes that this will probably lead to some dangerous missions.
  • One minor NPC in Ravenloft's domain of Dementlieu is a man who unknowingly inherited a ring of mind shielding. The mind-controlling villain who secretly controls that nation is aware this man is immune to his powers, and is determined to find out why.
  • Red Markets:
    • In this post-apocalyptic "economic horror" RPG, some people are immune to the Blight that causes zombies, and others, called "latents", become carriers after being bitten and become zombies after dying for some other reason. Immunity or latency can be established at character creation or discovered after getting bitten and making a critical success or critical failure on the fort save, respectively.
    • A drug called Suppressin K-7864 was produced by the DHQS from a mixture of immune marrow cells and antibiotics. It doesn't cure the Blight or prevent infection entirely, but instead turns the infectee latent. As a result Immune in the Recession under government control are subject to "medical conscription" for their cells and in the Loss cults like the Crusaders (who seek a cure) and the Holy Communion (who think the Immune are holy, and eat them) have a habit of claiming their own samples.
  • GURPS After the End offers a possible way to make The Main Characters Do Everything in a Zombie Apocalypse a Justified Trope: Just decree that every Player Character is immune to the zombie pandemic, thus justifying them being the setting's adventurer.

    Video Games 
  • 1213: the protagonist is immune to any disease or poison, which sets up the horrifying ending.
  • BlazBlue actually downplays this trope. Seithr corruption is a perpetual threat in the world due to the omnipresence of ars magus, but seeing as how it is necessary to maintain the current state of the world, nobody sees a problem with it. That said, different individuals process seithr at different rates, so some folks show corruption effects sooner than others. Where this trope comes in is a bit of foreshadowing in Arcade mode, where precisely one character has their erosion rate measured, and is noteworthy of having it being extremely low: Makoto Nanaya, at 0.2%.
    Hakumen: So there are still souls in this world as pure as yours. I suggest you cherish this rare commodity, for the sake of us all...
  • The four survivors in Dead Island are immune to the virus that turns the entire island of Banoi into zombies. As with Left 4 Dead above, it turns out they're just asymptomatic, not immune.
  • Dead Rising: Due to zombie-fighting gameplay of the series, none of the playable protagonists (or even NPCs to a lesser extentnote ) ever get infected by zombie attacks in-game. In-story, this is explained as some people being more resistant to the zombie virus than others; such resistants include Frank West and Tyrone King. The apparent immunity of Chuck Greene, star of Dead Rising 2, while unexplained, is a natural step up from that. Dead Rising 3's hero, Nick is immune to zombification because Carlito inoculated Nick with the cure instead of the zombie virus like the other orphans to ensure that his Zombie Apocalypse would not be unstoppable.
  • In Deep Fear, player character John Mayor faces off many horrible virus-based mutants while trapped in an Underwater Base, but despite the virus being highly infectious, he ends up miraculously immune to it. It's not until later on that he realizes what's protecting him: the common cold that he's had since the start of the game.
  • In Deus Ex, JC Denton tests positive for Gray Death, but shows no signs of infection. It's because the Gray Death is a artificially created nano-virus and JC's nano-augs use the same hardware architecture. He's already eyeballs-deep in such nannites. Presumably, his brother Paul is similarly (not) affected.
  • Not so much a plague as a curse, but Adell in Disgaea 2 is the only one who doesn't turn demonic under Zenon's influence. Turns out it was because Adell was a demon to begin with. He never discovers this himself, but it becomes quite obvious to the player.
  • Carrying into Disgaea 4, Artina, a.k.a. Vulcanus shows absolutely no signs of A-Virus corruption during Chapter 6, and took a shot meant for Valvatores at the end of Chapter 5. The blood of angels like her is a panacea for all forms of disease, the A-Virus included. While Valvatores resists through sheer willpower, or so he claims, after winning Chapter 6, she issues blood samples to the demons both to treat the pandemic and simultaneously fill Celestia's coffers.
  • It's not really brought up in the game, but some of the in-game documents in Dishonored hint that all Serkonans are immune to the Rat Plague because they are the descendants of survivors of a Rat Plague outbreak on Serkonan who passed on their genetic immunity to their offspring. This would explain why Corvo and Daud, both Serkonans, never contract the Plague despite being exposed to it so often.
  • Emeline Shaw in The Division 2 is an asymptomatic of the Green Poison. Unlike most examples, she doesn’t want to spread her immunity, but instead wants to spread the virus in her body, because she and her fellow immunes were wronged by the government during the outbreak.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Meta-example: In Dragon Age: Origins, the entire party is this to the darkspawn taint. Alistair and the player character already have the taint by virtue of being Grey Wardens, but the others in the party develop an immunity to it purely as a gameplay necessity. It was originally intended that the party members could be put through the Joining ritual to become Grey Wardens, as they would otherwise be dying from the taint toward the end of the game, but this was jettisoned for plot and time reasons. Their immunity is not mentioned in the game. This actually serves as a minor plot point in Dragon Age: Inquisition. A magister researching Leliana, a returning character and former Origins companion discovers her to have a higher resistance to the taint than any known subject.
    • Members of the Seekers of Truth, essentially Templar Internal Affairs, are immune to mind control and Demonic Possession. It is a benefit of the same initiation ritual that allows them to use special anti-magic powers without lyrium. Seekers are made Tranquil and then immediately cured by having a Spirit of Faith touch the initiate's mind. If successful, the initiate gains the powers and immunity of a Seeker. If unsuccessful, the initiate is left permanently Tranquil. At some point, a mage attempted to join the Seekers, seeing it as a solution to fact that Mages are at much higher risk of possession. He failed, and accidentally discovered that Tranquil mages can no longer use magic and become invisible to demons. Things spiraled downward from there over the next nine-hundred years.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: It is not given much attention, but this is one of the reasons why the Nerevarine is sent alone into Red Mountain, aside from the prophetic and infiltration aspects — earlier in the main quest the Nerevarine gets infected with Corprus and then cured of the negative sides, which leaves them immune to all diseases, including Blight and Corprus. Since Red Mountain is the source of the Blight and Corprus...
  • The baby in the Fallout 3 DLC The Pitt is immune to harmful mutations caused by nuclear radiation. She is also resistant to 'Troglodyte Degeneration Contagion', a condition caused by radiation and industrial toxins that turns humans into sub-human monsters.
  • Halo:
    • Sgt. Johnson was immune to infection by the Flood, either due to "Boren's Syndrome" caused by "overexposure to plasma grenade radiation", or the real reason hidden by the previous cover-up - the chemicals that were used to augment Johnson into a Spartan-I.
    • Due to the physiology of Hunters (they're worm colonies with no central nervous systems), they are immune to direct Flood infection.
    • In Halo 4: the Master Chief is exposed to the Libarian's memories, rendering him immune to the Composer.
  • In Infected, the main character is not only immune against the zombies, but his/her blood is only thing (short of a nuke) that can kill the zombies. So a scientist makes a gun that shoots his/her blood at zombies, gives them a gun, and tells them to go clean up New York City.
  • Ellie in The Last of Us. Technically they are Infected, but a random mutation rendered their fungal growths harmless. At the end of the game, the Fireflies attempt to create a vaccine from her, even though the process will kill her. Unable to accept this, Joel instead kills his way through the Fireflies and escapes with her, thus possibly dooming humanity.
  • The Green Flu in Left 4 Dead is airborne, and the survivors are the few people that happen to be immune to it. Some of the graffiti in the second game and radio chatter near the Bridge Finale suggests the survivors are actually just asymptomatic carriers. A supplementary comic explicitly explains that the immunity is genetic, and confirms the carrier part.
  • Eve in Mass Effect 3 wasn't originally unaffected by the genophage, but was cured by Maelon in Mass Effect 2, and is now the most important person when it comes to finding a cure.
  • Samus in Metroid Fusion becomes immune to the X parasite in the opening. She got infected and some scientists try an experimental cure: cells from the (now dead) baby Metroid. It works, and she gets sent to exterminate the X in the BSL station. The X get smart, though, and cold X start showing up at a later point in the game (this is because Samus inherited the Metroid's weakness to cold as well as its ability to absorb X). It takes an armor upgrade later on to allow Samus to absorb cold X.
  • In Ninja Blade, parasitic hookworms known as "Alpha-worms" end up infesting the whole city and turning them into monsters...except for the ninja protagonist Ken Ogawa, who for some reason seems to be the only one immune to being infested, and can thus safely battle all the enemies. This turns out to be because he has toxic blood in him, which is deadly to any parasites that would dare try to infest him. And he has that toxic blood because his father, Kanbe, has it too. So the immunity is genetic.
  • Prayer of the Faithless:
    • Miasma and Fog can transform living beings into monsters, but this doesn't fully apply to all beings.
    • Manna and Revenants are a downplayed example. Both are more resistant to Miasma and Fog than humans, but Manna will eventually die from the Fog when they reach the age of 10 while Revenants eventually turn into Hellspawn monsters.
    • The Infused play this straight, since they are completely fused with relics that allows them to process the Fog safely. Since they have the best immunity to the Fog, Vanessa wants to turn as many humans as possible into Infused in order to preserve human civilization. Unfortunately, the Infusion process is unreliable and tends to destroy the subjects' minds, so Vanessa is unlikely to be able to make enough successful Infused to repopulate humanity after the Fog kills them all.
  • The Resident Evil series has several notable examples:
    • It was eventually explained via subtle Retcon that the T-virus and its variants weren't 100% effective and roughly 10% of humanity was resistant to it to some degree, in comparison to the original games running off the assumption that "your character is just so badass that they never got hit". Furthermore, Umbrella has worked on various antiviruses to the T-virus, most notably seen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
    • Sherry Birkin is more or less kidnapped by the US Government and put under constant surveillance because, due to the events of Resident Evil 2, she is the sole known source of both the G-Virus and the Devil Vaccine that cured it. In Resident Evil 6, it's revealed that the Devil only suppressed G and allowed her body to assimilate it, giving her a powerful Healing Factor without losing her mind or turning into a mutant horror.
    • Jill Valentine is implied to be immune to the T-Virus after being cured of her infection in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. This is confirmed in Resident Evil 5, when it's noted that after she got kidnapped by Albert Wesker, she turned out to be useless as a test-bed for T-Viral experiments due to her innoculation back in 3. However, in the same game, it also works against her, as the antibodies in her blood were used to improve the Ouroboros virus and this made Wesker decide to brainwash her into serving him as The Dragon rather than just experimenting on her.
    • Jake Muller is completely immune to the effects of the C-Virus because he is Albert Wesker's son and was conceived after Wesker was juiced up on the virus that gave him superpowers.
    • Sergei Vladimir is a variant; he's one of the one-in-ten-million who has "total genetic compatibility" with the T-Virus and all its strains, which means that infection doesn't turn him into a Technically Living Zombie, but one of Umbrella's ultimate Super Soldiers, the Tyrants.
    • In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, both Ethan Winters and Zoe Baker are this to a degree, downplaying the trope. Ethan is heavily resistant to the Mind Control aspect of the mutamycete's fungal infection, and so he doesn't start to begin suffering it until the final minutes of the game. Zoe, meanwhile, seems to be completely immune to the Mind Control side of the infection, which is why she is The Unfavorite amongst her infected kin, but this doesn't protect her from Eveline's ability to simply kill off those who are infected with her fungus, even after taking the fungicidal serum. You also later find out that Lucas is also immune to the Mind Control aspects of the infection, but thanks to a serum he was given by The Connections he still has full control of his mind: because he's enough of a Psychopathic Manchild (and even was before his infection) not even Eveline was able to realize he wasn't actually under her control.
  • Reimi in Star Ocean: The Last Hope. This is because as a Seed of Hope, she is genetically engineered for survival on new and unknown worlds. Unfortunately, she ended up with a case of Survivor Guilt when a radiation leak killed off all of her friends except for her. The incident with Stone Sickness on Roak shows that there is an adjustment period while her body adapts to a new ailment, which has horrifying implications for the radiation incident.
  • In The Thing, while your allies have a good chance of being infected by Things just by touching them, your main character Blake can never be infected no matter what. You find out midway through the game that Blake's cells have a unique resistance to being assimilated or infected by Things which allowed him to resist infection the entire time.
  • An odd twist can be seen in World of Warcraft; Anyone under the Worgen Curse is immune to the plague of undeath.
  • In Zombie Exodus you find out Devlin was bitten but didn't turn.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tsugumi of Ever17, whose blood provides the cure for Tief Blau.

  • In Wandering Ones, this is the reason Mavon's plague didn't completely sterilize the Earth's human population.
  • The Plague in Stand Still, Stay Silent attacks all mammals, but in every species, some percent is immune. For humans, in Year 90 it's about 7% in Iceland and 48% in the rest of Known World. All cats and non-mammalian species are immune as well. In spite of this, scientists are still looking for a cure, hinting that the discovery of immune people ultimately had limited impact on that particular venture.
    • The trope gets an extra degree of deconstruction by having the setting regularly show the reader that the Plague Zombie monsters are still dangerous to those who are immune. In the prologue, immune non-combatants point out that they would die if they went outside the safe areas. Later in the story, an immune character who took a Plague Zombie bite in place of someone who isn't immune develops an infection due to the fact that she got bitten by another (sort of) living being, which carries the same risks as being bitten by an animal in real life, regardless of her incapacity to catch The Plague.
    • Adventure II also reveals there's a soul affecting only variant of the Rash that affects Finnish mages, and not even immune people are safe from it.
  • Uncreation is about an entire knightly order of them, who stage crusades in the plagued lands on the behalf of The Empire.
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, Canadian healthcare has rendered Canadian Guy immune to Nomura Syndrome. They utilize this to get everyone else cured.
  • In Endtown there are a few people who seem immune to the mutation virus. The Topsiders refer to them as "Typhoid Mary's" since even if they aren't mutated, still carry the virus, and do even more horrific things to them than normal mutants, who are simply disintegrated or turned into Wetware CPUs.
  • Girl Genius: For some unknown reason, the people of Mechanicsburg are immune to slaver wasp infestation. After a sweep by the Vespiary Squad and their wasp eater weasels, the only two revenants found were a couple of non-resident tourists. This in no way will be important later on.

    Western Animation 
  • The lice episode of Invader Zim. Zim (and Ms. Bitters, actually) are immune to the lice infestation. This leads to Zim being studied, and guess what? His skin, it destroys the lice! This lead to the creation of a Skin Gun to take down the "lice Queen". They do eradicate the Queen at least... except Ms. Bitters just has a higher scratch threshold than most, and was infected.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Experiment 624 (Angel) has the ability to change the experiments back from good to evil with her siren song; however, experiments created after her (Stitch, 625) will be unaffected.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "Tip of the Day" has Doofenshmirtz invent a Delete-From-My-Mind-inator, which erases whatever he is thinking of from the memories of everyone in the Tri-State Area. However, people who are unaware of whatever he is thinking of at the moment will be unaffected, so when he unintentionally made everyone forget about aglets (which was Phineas and Ferb's Big Idea for the episode), only Candace was not affected because she never bothered to learn the name.
    • "Cheers for Fears": Doof's Worst-Fear-inator makes whatever is the worst fear of anyone who is zapped by it come to life. However, if the victim is fearless or has no fears at all (Perry for instance), it has no affect on them.
  • A Simpsons Halloween special had Bart immune to the zombifying effects of the Krusty Burger. The survivors of the outbreak wanted to eat Bart, but they compromised by having Bart taking a bath with their food.
  • In South Park, Cartman and Kyle get infected by HIV, and Cartman vows to find a cure. They go to Magic Johnson's house to figure out why he recovered from HIV. They notice that his bedroom is full of piles of money, because he doesn't trust banks. Sure enough, injecting shredded money into their veins cures them. Then Africa is informed of the good news, all they have to do is roll around in all their money.
  • On the SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas Special "Its A Sponge Bob Christmas", Plankton uses jerktonium to make everyone into a jerk. SpongeBob, however, turns out to be immune to its effects due to his 100% pure heart.
  • In the "Legacy Virus" storyline of X-Men: The Animated Series, Cable comes back in time to ensure that Wolverine will be infected with the titular virus, because his healing factor will both render him immune and lead to the creation of certain antibodies that will protect mutants from later plagues. (Cable came back because Bishop's time-travelling experience prevented the virus making the jump to mutants on a large scale; infecting Wolverine is Cable's compromise so that both of their goals can succeed.)
  • Played with in an episode of Rocket Power. Sam gets sick with the Fiji Flu... but he recovers from it very fast. However, every other character (Except the ones who interact with Sam and substitute for the team) get sick.

    Real Life 
  • Vaccines work on this principle. They in effect train your body's immune system to recognize and destroy a specific virus before it can propagate within the body. It doesn't necessarily mean the subject will be completely immune, as it is still possible to suffer some symptoms and even spread the virus during infection, but it also means symptoms will be far less severe, infection will last for much less time, and often reduces what could be a hospitalizing or even fatal experience to common-cold levels of sickness.
  • Dairy farmers in the 18th century were found to be immune to smallpox, due to exposure to cowpox, which is caused by a very similar, closely-related virus but is far less virulent.
    • The discovery that milkmaids had unusually low occurrence of smallpox led to Edward Jenner's invention of vaccination. Historically, inoculation for smallpox involved taking ground-up smallpox scabs and putting them in a cut on the hand (or some such), which did usually lead to immunity but would also typically lead to a mild case of smallpox, and in over 20% of cases full-blown smallpox (John Adams' younger son Charles had such an episode 1776; the process of inoculation is shown in all its graphic detail in John Adams) and in 2–3% of cases would lead to death (which is substantially better than the death rate for smallpox — 20–60% — which is why people bothered in the first place). Jenner's discovery led to a similar process being used with cowpox, which would almost never kill and which typically only caused a bit of inconvenience.
    • The very word vaccination comes from vaccus, Latin for "cow", in honor of Jenner's discovery.
  • Individuals with the Delta 32 Mutation are immune or highly resistant to HIV infection. Historical and family records indicate that the ancestors of these individuals also had a higher survival rate during the Black Plague.
    • While the Delta 32 mutation is the most famous mutation to grant AIDS resistance, people with this gene are actually the minority of long-term non-progressor individuals with HIV. Other genes that assist in stopping AIDS progression are various HLA types: HLA-B5701, HLA-B5703, and HLA-B2705.
    • Individuals with these genes are usually not totally immune to HIV, but instead show the ability to exert long term control over the virus without medication, and may be carriers in some cases.
  • Indigenous populations in areas where malaria is a concern are often prone to sickle-cell anaemia, a genetic disorder characterized by malformed sickle-shaped blood cells. Two copies of the defective gene sickle all blood cells (which is lethal without constant care and debilitating with it), but having one good and one defective gene only sickles one-third of the cells, which hinders the development of any one of the four protozoan species responsible for malaria. So this comes out as a situational evolutionary advantage at the cost of lower physical power and a higher chance of stillborn or disabled offspring. Besides, due to modern medicine, malaria is treatable and a lesser concern.
    • Similarly, it appears that having one copy of the cystic fibrosis defective gene grants some resistance to cholera.
  • There are some relatively rare cases of people who are totally immune to COVID-19 without any vaccination (i.e. didn't catch it at all, weren't sick, weren't asymptomatic carriers and didn't produce antibodies against it).


Video Example(s):


Joe Barista

Already defeated and badly wounded, Joe Barista reveals to Vinnie Cannoli that the latter is actually immune to the effects of the zombie poison. Which is exactly the reason why Vinnie never turned despite being repeatedly mauled and bitten by hundreds of zombies. And also why the Dark Don wants Vinnie alive so badly.

In addition, as payback for betraying him to the Dark Don and the Nazis as well as his collaboration with them, Vinnie decides to kill his traitorous former friend...with an 88mm artillery gun, leaving behind a bloody mess.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill

Media sources: