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Playing With / Incurable Cough of Death

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

  • Straight: Bob often stops to cough, occasionally expelling Blood from the Mouth. Later, it's revealed he is dying from a terminal illness.
  • 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 whereof coughing is a symptom, like emphysema or pneumonic plague.
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    • Bob suffered multiple doses of lifetime radiation and slowly dies of acute radiation poisoning.
  • 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.
    • As soon as Bob coughs everything within a 5 mile radius is instantly quarantined.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob's doctor diagnoses him first with a cold, then leukemia, then the flu, and so on.
  • Averted:
    • Bob is terminally ill, but coughing is not one of the symptoms he shows.
    • Alternatively, Bob does cough, but doesn't die, or dies from something completely unrelated.
  • Enforced: Bob is dying of lung cancer? He should cough a lot so viewers will know he's very sick.
  • Lampshaded: "What, he died from a cough? That's pretty lame."
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deconstructed: Characters with chronic coughs are not necessarily suffering fatal, incurable conditions, but everyone else thinks they are, so they're left alone, and the ailments only get worse and kill them.
  • Reconstructed: Characters who are found to have chronic coughs get immediate medical attention, their conditions are accurately diagnosed, and treatments are prescribed for those that can be cured.
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  • Played for Laughs: Bob gives a small cough and then hams up a simulation of what he thinks being about to die is like.
  • Played for Drama: Bob comes down with a chronic cough and the work is all about him spending his last days despondent that he's inevitably going to die soon.

(cough) Back to Incurable Cough of Death. Don't worry, I'll be fine!