Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Zombie Infectee

Go To

Basic Trope: A character is infected with The Virus during a Zombie Apocalypse (or related scenario) and tries to hide their condition from their friends.

  • Straight: Bob is bitten by a zombie, and struggles to keep this and his infection from Alice, Claire and Danny.
  • Exaggerated: Bob snaps from the stress and refuses to accept that he has been bitten, despite all the evidence, thus prompting him to act as if everything is normal.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Bob denies being bitten by a zombie, but the other characters can get him to admit it with minimal effort.
  • Justified:
    • Bob fears that Alice, Claire and Danny will kill him if they find out he's going to turn into a zombie. He's not wrong. And because he's a Dirty Coward, his survival urges overcome any and all other feelings he may have.
    • Bob doesn't actually know he's been bitten.
    • Bob is a research scientist who believes he can find a cure and save himself if he just buys himself some time.
    • Bob has been bitten but The Virus is not 100% infectious and it's entirely possible that he won't turn.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob deliberately infects someone else with a zombie-creating virus but keeps it secret from them.
    • Bob pretends to have been bitten and leaves the group.
    • Alice thinks that Bob was bitten and he is hiding it, but Bob actually injured his arm in a fall.
    • Advertisement:
    • A different monster results in an ironic inversion of the trope: Bob is attacked by a despair demon. They leave their living victims suicidal and they are doomed to become one of them if they die by suicide or are killed by anyone who so much as shows the slightest bit of pity preventing a mercy kill. Thus the victim's lack of self-preservation is dangerous to others.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob bravely admits that he has been bitten to his friends and nobly agrees to sacrifice his life so that they won't have to worry about the risk of him infecting them.
    • Bob is terrified he has been bitten, but it transpires he hasn't.
    • The 'zombie' that bit Bob wasn't actually a zombie at all.
    • The zombie bites don't zombify the affected unless he dies of other cause.
  • Doubly Subverted:
    • Unfortunately, Bob becomes a zombie before his friends can kill him and bites Danny before they can put him down; Danny isn't as brave as Bob and covers up what has happened to him.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob actually has been bitten after all.
    • The person who bit Bob was a person who was also infected, but just hadn't actually become a zombie yet; Bob is still infected.
    • Just after the survivors realize that bites don't kill you, Bob slips on a banana peel and breaks his neck. He immediately comes back as a zombie.
  • Parodied:
    • It is blindingly obvious that Bob has been attacked and bitten; he's covered in blood, there's teeth marks over his flesh, and he's already turning into a zombie. Despite this, Bob still protests that he hasn't been infected. Once he turns, he shambles around groaning "m'not a zooombiiiie..." And you know which is the "best" part?! The others believe him!!
    • Bob insists he's not turning into a zombie by pointing out that while he has been bitten, it was some time ago and he hasn't turned yet. However, he turns before he can finish the sentence.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • It is unclear whether Bob has been bitten or not; there is evidence that suggests he has, but that evidence is disproven with a plausible and true alternative explanation, but yet more evidence appears, which is yet again revealed to be due to another cause...
    • The first symptom of infection with The Virus is aggressive paranoia with no physical changes, so everyone quickly starts accusing each other of hiding bites whether either of them are infected or not, with their own accusations then being used as evidence against them. Viewers and characters alike spend the majority of the work trying to work out who's genuinely infected, who's Properly Paranoid and who's just snapped under the pressure.
  • Averted:
    • Bob is not bitten by a zombie.
    • Bob is The Immune, so it doesn't matter if he's exposed to the zombie plague.
    • Alice, Claire, and Danny see Bob get bitten.
    • The Virus is swift-acting or instant-acting; even if Bob wanted to cover up what had happened, he is instantly turned into a zombie the moment he is bitten anyway.
  • Enforced: "It'd be really tense if we had one of this party of zombie hunters infected by a zombie, but trying to keep it secret: when would they turn...?"
  • Lampshaded: "You seriously expect us to just take your word that you weren't bitten, Bob?" "It's... a hickey?"
  • Implied: A refugee ship of 'uninfected' winds up being found later filled to the brim with zombies despite it being sealed with combination locks and no external damage.
  • Invoked:
    • Bob was deliberately infected to see how he'd react.
    • Bob refuses to let anyone check whether he's been bitten or not and settles the matter at gunpoint.
  • Exploited: Bob is now used for potential suicide missions, as he is as good as dead already.
  • Defied: After every battle with zombies, the team leader insists that all surviving members of the party strip naked in order to demonstrate that they have no bite marks or evidence of attack on them at all. They are also given an immediate medical checkup in order to scan for the virus, and are quarantined upon return to base in order to prevent them from infecting anyone just in case.
  • Discussed: "You see how funny Bob's acting? I'm not convinced he wasn't bitten..."
  • Conversed: "You've seen these stories; there's always one Jerkass on the team who refuses to tell anyone he got bitten by a zombie, and then goes on to kill them all..."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob is a selfish coward who would rather obey his base [survival-related] urges and risk everyone else's lives rather than face what has happened to him (and the fact that it's going to kill him anyways soon enough.)
    • The concept of Zombie Infectee does more damage than the virus actually does. It isn't close to being one hundred percent infectious. Wrong Genre Savvy ends up killing far more people than the zombies ever could on its own.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Only Bob has a crucial skill or knowledge to get the survivors to safety, but he knows if he reveals himself they won't trust him and might even kill him, dooming themselves. So he plans to take a risk and tell them he's been bit only once they're all safe from the other zombies.
    • Bob fears he will become a zombie but doesn't want to die. Revealing himself to his friends would result in them killing him on the spot but it's 'possible' that he will survive if he doesn't. Regardless, he takes to wearing a gas mask or other headgear that would prevent him from biting his friends if he turns into a zombie. He offers similar masks to his friends for 'safety reasons'.
  • Implied:
    • At the end, Bob and his groups reach a quarantined safe haven. However, Bob has a suspicious-looking wound...
    • Zombies are known to mindlessly parrot their last conscious thoughts; one is heard groaning "Jussst a ssscratch..." over and over.

Back to Zombie Infectee... no, I wasn't bitten. Really! I wasn't!!!

Example of: