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Basic Trope: A character with a chronic cough will die by the end of the work.

  • Straight: Bob develops a bad cough, which later kills him.
  • Exaggerated: Bob drops dead after only a couple of random coughs.
  • Downplayed: The cough takes a very long time to kill Bob, or it only seriously damages his health.
  • Justified: Bob has a terminal disease where coughing is a symptom, like emphysema or pneumonic plague.
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  • Inverted: Whatever is causing the cough isn't lethal, but is staving off a fatal disease.
  • Subverted: Bob just has a cold...
  • Doubly Subverted: ...then dies from an aneurism.
  • Parodied: Bob tries smoking for the first time, and dies after a minor coughing fit.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's doctor diagnoses him first with a cold, then leukemia, then the flu, and so on.
  • Averted:
    • No one ever coughs.
    • Alternatively, Bob does cough, but doesn't die, or dies from something completely unrelated.
  • Enforced: Bob is dying of lung cancer, and it would be unrealistic for him not to cough.
  • Lampshaded: "What, he died from a cough? That's pretty lame."
  • Invoked: Alice poisons Bob, causing him to cough and eventually die.
  • Exploited: Alice takes advantage of Bob's impending demise to ask him for his stuff.
  • Defied: Bob visits a doctor after his first coughing fit and treats the underlying problem.
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  • Discussed: "Sounds like you've got a bad cough there. You should get that checked out."
  • Conversed: "Ever notice how people on TV seem to die just from coughing too many times in an episode?"
  • Implied: Convenient Terminal Illness, where the reason is not explicitly mentioned.

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