How To Fake Being Sick & Get Away With It

Whether you’re trying to avoid going to work, need a convincing enough reason you won’t be able to attend that long-winded family dinner tonight, or just plainly don’t want to go to school, there are tons of reasons you might decide to fake being sick. But the question of the day is how to fake being sick actually?

Well, it’s way easier than you think; all it takes is a bit of makeup and some method acting and voila! You’ve got your whole day to yourself.

Hopefully, you’ve thought ahead, and already have a couple of days lined up so you can really sell the part, but maybe you don’t have a couple of days, and you need to know how to make yourself sick (or at least, appear sick) on the fly, right now! All it takes is a little bit of persistence.

What does “act sick” look like?

What does "act sick" look like?

To put it simply, what’s your ailment? Acting like you have an upset stomach isn’t going to look the same as a headache.

You need to decide what you’re faking and be consistent.

Whatever’s keeping your needs to prevent you from doing your work and being around polite company.

You’ve probably had the flu before, and remember what it felt like so it’ll be easier for you to replicate the symptoms.

Try to think back on the last time you were sick and act the part: maybe you were sluggish, slow, or even a little cranky.

Don’t pick something weirdly specific, and definitely, nothing that might send you to the hospital, you want to stick to something general and serious but not too serious like nausea or diarrhea: two things that have the added benefit of nobody ever wanting to hear about them!

Be sure you’re not getting your symptoms mixed up: if you’ve got a headache, don’t start clutching at your stomach, and if you’ve got a cold, don’t be running to the bathroom.

Remember that you don’t want to submit to an interrogation at any cost, or you’ll blow your carefully constructed cover.

Get a head start on your symptoms

Get a head start on your symptoms

This is what I like to call ‘the breadcrumb trail’. You’ll want to get a head start on faking those symptoms because that’s the difference between learning how to make yourself sick and how to make yourself convincingly sick.

You wake up the morning of a test not knowing anything and tell your parents you’re sick, you’re going to end up in school failing it just as surely as if you hadn’t said anything at all.

O.K, maybe you’re not in school anymore. That’s fair. But when was the last time you were sick and your boss gave you the day off with nothing more than a ‘get well soon?’ It’s probably never happened.

If you want Tuesday off, start acting under the weather on Monday, or even earlier.

Maybe that means you’ve got a cough, or a headache, or nausea so you drop something at work and need to go sit down, or you try asking your teacher if you can have aspirin and put your head down.

The idea is to let people worry, to have them start thinking you might be ill.

Your more severe symptoms will be more believable the morning after, instead of appearing sudden or suspicious.

If you attend school, start but don’t finish your homework. This will make it appear less likely that you’re trying to skip school in the morning.

Try and start your homework somewhere someone is watching, and periodically put your head down, and try to appear as disoriented as possible so that it becomes apparent that you’re too unwell to finish up.

If, and only if, you usually do your homework on time, do it the same as always but stop partway through and complain about feeling ill.

The caveat is, of course, having parents that care about your grades in the very first place.

The night before, go ahead and wake your parents. Let them know you don’t feel too good and start feigning some symptoms. Crocodile tears are great too if you can force yourself to cry, you should. There’s no better way to invoke their sympathy.

Be sure to look the part and act sick

Be sure to look the part and act sick

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Gee, how can I make myself sick?” Probably not. The first thing you thought was presumably “I wish today were over already,” and then you googled how to make yourself sick. Well, first things first: you actually have to look sick.

If you haven’t got any makeup lying around, a dusting of white talcum powder will have you looking deathly ill in no time at all, and you can use some clear glycerin to create the appearance of sweat or snot.

It’s amazing what a little makeup can do, though, if you’ve got it on hand.

You’ll want to start by washing and exfoliating your face so the makeup applies well, and skip out on all of your usual routines if you have one. You’re supposed to look like you’ve foregone any makeup because you’re too sick to bother.

Apply a foundation two to three shades lighter than your actual skin tone, and dab it onto your cheeks, chin, and forehead, so it isn’t too obvious.

Contour your face with a little purple or maroon eyeshadow, sweeping the brush along the length of your cheekbones from your earlobes to the corners of your mouth and blend. The drawn, gaunt effect should make you look suitably ill.

Line your eyes with red cream blush or lipstick. Place a small dot at the outer corners of both eyes and use your fingers or a cotton swab to blend the makeup around the edges and up underneath your eyelids.

Your red, swollen eyes will be a clear sign that you spent the night, crying, sneezing, and very awake. Make sure you’re not using a heavy hand, or you’ll risk looking scary instead of sick

Some red lipstick or blush will go a long way towards making you look like you’ve rubbed your poor nose raw. Apply it to the tip of your nose and around both nostrils and spread outwards with your finger while working it into your creases. Blend thoroughly and be sure to wipe off the excess where it begins to creep higher up on your nose or onto your cheeks. Remember, the look we’re going for is flu-stricken and tired, not a new clown’s first day on the job.

Use the foundation to ensure your lips are pale and parched. Spread a thin layer of liquid foundation over your mouth, then press and pucker like you would with lip balm to create little cracks and creases. You want to be sure you get the inside of your lips as well so your foundation is visible when you open wide. When your lips are the same color as your face, they’ll blend in and you’ll look downright pitiable, which is what we want.

This product can do most of the work: (You can browse more like these)

See this on Amazon

Set it with some setting spray, try not to touch your face and freshen your new lookup as necessary (in private, of course). You can even carry around a box of tissues if you’re really committed. Remember, you want someone to take one look at you and go: “Is it contagious?”

Tamper with your thermometer

Tamper with your thermometer

If by some stroke of luck, you’re left alone with your thermometer, there are a couple of things you can do to make it look as though you’re burning right up.

However, there’s a fine line between bedridden and hospitalized, so you want to make absolutely certain you don’t get it too high or it’ll be clear you faked it, or that you need to be taken to a doctor for your alarmingly high temperature.

  • If the thermometer’s going in your mouth, try drinking some very warm water beforehand.
  • Carefully place the thermometer’s tip near a warm lightbulb or another safe source of heat. Be sure not to place the tip directly on whatever’s hot, mercury is extremely dangerous and volatile.
  • If the thermometer’s not digital, shake it very vigorously by its metal tip, forcing the mercury towards the higher end of the thermometer.
  • If it is a digital thermometer, you can warm the tip up in your hands.

Even if it’s an infrared thermometer, you can simply warm up your forehead by applying a heating pad.

You can use this “Mighty Bliss” heating pad.

See this on Amazon

Fake particular symptoms

Fake particular symptoms

Knowing how to fake your specific ailment is arguably the most important of knowing how to make yourself sick at all.

You can play at being feverish by faking congestion, cough, or a runny nose. Ensure that you’re only breathing through your mouth so it looks like your sinuses are blocked and stuffy.

Play up the lethargy by being slower to react, and talk. You can’t really fake a runny nose unless you’re up to using the glycerin trick I mentioned earlier but it’s easy to make your eyes look watery by consciously not blinking for longer than usual, which should turn them red and teary in no time.

For making your eyes watery, you can use Systane artificial tears.

See this on Amazon

Faking a migraine is all about hypersensitivity to people, and lights and sounds. The great thing about faking a migraine is that there aren’t any external symptoms, so everyone has to take your word for it.

Feign sensitivity to light and sound, and see if you can retire to a dark, quiet room.

Better yet, you can even play at being dizzy and losing your balance to drive your performance home but be sure it doesn’t look exaggerated or you risk being found out.

You can fake an upset stomach by acting as though you’re nauseous and going to the bathroom lots. Try for clammy hands while you’re at it! The easiest way to do that is gross but effective: just lick your hands. Yea I know man! We are just here to help!

The night before, be sure to clutch at your stomach and groan about feeling poorly before you go to bed early, and without dinner. Fake a bout of intense vomiting, and then pour some water, or ideally, fake vomit into the toilet bowl.

The simplest way to make fake vomit is by tossing some salsa and cottage cheese in your toilet bowl, and flushing before anyone can take a closer look. Though whether they’d want to do that in the first place is dubious.

Make sure you take a few extra minutes to ‘clean up’ and leave. Then, as though exhausted by the ordeal, lay down somewhere you’re sure to be seen (without being ostentatious about it) and refuse to eat anything.

Spend the night continuing to go to the bathroom. As a finishing touch, spray a great deal of air freshener to cover the nonexistent ‘smell’, and keep running back and forth to the bathroom in the morning too!

You can even fake having a rash if you don’t want to fake a traditional illness! The quickest way to do it is by using some red flowers like roses or poppies. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

Tear off a few petals and rub them on whatever part of your body you want to look afflicted. Be sure to dispose of the flowers somewhere they won’t accidentally be found.

If you haven’t got any flowers lying around, you can even make use of some bar deodorant and rub it where you want the rash to be. These are both painless and easy, you don’t have to worry about any lasting reactions.

If your parents are whom you’re trying to convince, you can even put up a protest (a weak one)! Complain about having work to make up, or a test to give, or some prior commitment that simply can’t be missed.

That’ll only work if your parents think you care about missed work or tests, it might be safer to seem worried about something you actually enjoy like art or P.E!

Careful not to overdo it, you don’t want to look like you have too much going on, or beg excessively.

Avoid making plans, or doing things you might ordinarily enjoy doing:

And speaking of sick…are you sick of your job? Why don’t you look for jobs for people who get bored easily?

Anyways getting caught because you posted a cute picture of you and your friends enjoying a night out on the town is, let’s face it, exceedingly stupid.

You don’t want to be caught doing something that might even be mistaken for fun when you’re supposed to be at home convalescing or at work, or school or whatever it may be that’s got you reading up on how to make yourself sick just so you can avoid it.

Keep a low profile, especially if you’re at home with your parents, and try and manage their expectations too. You might want to start showing signs of improvement at some point during the day, especially since you don’t want to end up at the doctor’s.

Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end eventually, and you can only fake sick for so long before arousing suspicion. And remember: be convincing, or be caught!

Bonus Tip: apparently the best time to call in sick at work is 6:38 AM on a Tuesday morning because it seems to indicate that you mean business! Nobody messes around at 6:38 AM on a Tuesday morning or has time to google ‘how to make yourself sick’ neither.

Tuesdays don’t raise a red flag quite the same way Mondays or Fridays do, those seem to scream a three day weekend to your boss.

I hope you found what you were looking for to pull off the perfect ‘being sick’ getaway.