How to Fake a Fever

Two Methods:Take The Whole DayGet Out of School or Work Early

Sometimes you just have to say "what the heck", and have a day off—no school, no work, just a day of doing what you want, not what everybody else wants. One of the best ways to do it is to come down with a phony fever. Ready to learn how?

Method 1
Take The Whole Day

  1. Image titled Fake a Fever Step 1
    Wake up early. The key to faking out your parents is to let them wake you up -— with your fever already flaring! To do this, you have to prepare ahead. If you think your parents are just going to touch your forehead, try the following:
    • First things first, tell them you feel cold -- not hot. Just because you have a fever does not mean you're aware that you're actually "burning up."
    • Before your parents come wake you, wake up early and put your whole body (including your head) under a thick blanket to increase body temperature.
    • Get a water bottle or glass full of hot water. If your parents knock or call in to you, you'll know when they're coming and will be able to drink it. This should raise your temperature by a few degrees, and make you look flushed and warm.
    • Get creative with electronics. Is there a hot laptop or light bulb you could use to warm your face if you don't have hot water.
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    Warm up the thermometer to "fake" the stats.
    • Heat an electric thermometer with your hand. Hold the thermometer as still as you can with one hand, and rub your thumb as fast as you can until your desired fever is reached. Keep it to 99º or so -- too high and you'll be rushed to the hospital.
    • Also, you can heat a sock in the microwave for about a minute, put it under your armpit and measure your temperature. You can even do this in front of your parents, just make sure you have large clothing so the sock will not be visible.
    • If your thermometer has an infant/toddler setting, switch to it. Your temperature will go up 1 or 2 degrees.
    • Heat a mercury thermometer with water. Go to a sink (preferably one near the water heater so it'll take less time) and turn on the hot water -- as hot as it will go. Put the tip of the mercury thermometer under the running hot water until your desired temperature is reached/passed. If you pass it, shake the thermometer down until it falls back to your desired temperature. If mom catches you in the bathroom, tell her it seems to be moving to your stomach.
    • Shake your mercury thermometer by holding it from it's tip. But be careful, though, because if you are too violent, it will reach an impossibly high temperature and your parents could either not believe you or send you to the nearest hospital. Be careful not to shake so hard or you will shatter the glass.
    • Use a light bulb. Heat a mercury thermometer on a light bulb for a few minutes before placing it in your mouth. Or whenever your parents walk out of the room, of course!
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    In the event your parents are watching you take your temperature, be clever. You have to pretend you're going to be sick, and run to the bathroom.
    • Thank God! False alarm. But you should probably stay in the bathroom for a few minutes to make sure. Do you need anything? No. Just privacy for a while.
    • Lock the door! Turn on the hot water in the sink. Make horrible retching noises, dump a glass of water (or two...or three) in the toilet bowl. Don't forget to flush!
    • Drink some hot water before you go back to your bedroom. Dab a little on your face, too, so it feels sweaty and you look a little worse for the wear. By now, mom probably forgot about your temperature! Ask her if she could call into school before she gets around to remembering. Or to call into school while you take your temperature.

Method 2
Get Out of School or Work Early

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    Communicate about your symptoms constantly. Throughout the day you have to make your symptoms obvious, but not too bad; complain -- verbally and with body language -- but don't whine or cry. Mention to your teacher that you're not feeling too great and that you may be hitting the restroom more often than normal. That way, you can get up and leave without asking.
    • And take those bathroom breaks. If you're lucky enough to have a concerned teacher, they'll suggest you going to the nurse instead of you having to ask.
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    Stay unfocused. Faking a sickness isn't just about temperature and bathroom habits, it's about the look too. It's imperative that you seem fairly miserable quite consistently. Act like it takes serious effort to move your muscles, including the ones in your face.
    • When it comes to your eyes, don't look alert. You should have a vague look of being somewhere else mentally. After all, you're in your body right now and can't be bothered to appreciate your teacher's lecture on the beauty of the electoral college. All in all, act the part.
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    Drink hot water, especially if you want to go to the nurse. During your frequent bathroom breaks, drink hot water. It'll make you looked flushed, it'll bring your temperature up, and it'll make you sweaty. When you return, decide whether or not you want to report that you vomited. If you do, you'll probably go to the nurse's immediately.
    • Make sure no one from your class was in the bathroom at the time! Otherwise they'll know you're lying.
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    Go to the nurse. This part is inevitable, unfortunately (unless she's not in -- in which case, go home!). When you get there, she'll probably have you lie down for 15 minutes or so to see if it goes away. Keep it up. You're almost home free. Mention a brother or sister having an illness, if feasible. Ask for an extra blanket. If she has any heart, she'll send you home.
    • If she hands you the thermometer, consider if any of the above tactics can be applied to this situation.


  • Bury your head in your pillow and breathe heavily. Place your forehead on the heated area and it will make your forehead feel hotter than normal. Your parents will believe that your head is very warm.
  • If you end up taking the day off you cannot all of the sudden appear to get better. You have to look and act sick the entire day. It is not as easy as it seems.
  • Wake up early, and if you or your mom has a straightener, run it over a towel a couple times and hold it up to your head. If it's too hot, you should cool it off so it's not too hot for your head.
  • If you do walk slowly (remember you have no energy) stay up late so you look tired.
  • You also can use a heating pad to raise your fever; put a blanket over you, and make yourself sweat too!
  • Get a wash rag and wet it with warm water, and put it on your head for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Use ketchup, mayo and mustard for fake vomit, also plain oatmeal(cooked) mixed with cottage cheese and milk looks very convincing, and smells like proper vomit.
  • Do or act as though you are doing homework. It shows your parents that you care and adds to the authenticity.
  • Very slightly complain about the sickness for at least 2 days before. It seems a bit too convenient to get sick on a Sunday!
  • If you have a social networking page (i.e. Facebook, MySpace), remember to update your status accordingly - a simple, "OMG, I feel SO bad...I'm making me some chicken noodle soup" should suffice. The last thing you want to do is update your status about going shopping, swimming, skiing, etc. when you are supposed to have a fever so high you couldn't attend school/work!
  • Hold the end of the thermometer in your hand for about 1-2 minutes then put it in your mouth fast. It is sure to heat it up from 98.3 to 98.7 or more.
  • Try to act perfectly normal during the whole thing. If you act differently than your normal character allows, then you'll blow the whole trick.
  • Make sure your fan is off (if you have one) and get a warm blanket and get under it completely so you will get very hot and start to sweat so when your parent(s) comes in, you'll be really warm and when they put their hand on your head you will be warm. Then when they go to get the thermometer, say you have to go to the bathroom and when you're in there drink some hot water, but make sure it's not too hot or your parents will bring you to the hospital!
  • Place yourself near a hot air vent to increase your body temperature. Focus on the most heat being directed onto your forehead.
  • If you parents take an ear temperature, take a cotton ball, break it in half, and run each half under hot water. Put the hot cotton ball halves in each ear. Tell your mom you don't feel very good. Then once she does it, you'll have a "fever." Make sure you take the cotton out of your ear beforehand!
  • Get a squirter so you can put some water on your forehead and let it slowly come down as sweat.
  • Eat a lot of spicy stuff it will raise your body temperature and you will breathe a little harder making it look feverish.
  • You might want to shiver a little in order for it to look like you have the chills.
  • If you want to make your cheeks (on your face) look warm use red or pink blush to make it look like you are really hot.
  • Be careful when using hot items to raise your temperature as you can burn yourself.
  • Do not stick any thermometer in the microwave. It will not work and you'll destroy the thermometer.
  • If you are using ear thermometers, make sure to put something like a hot paper towel in your ear to raise the temperature.
  • Even if you are hungry, try not to eat. One of the symptoms of fever is lack of appetite.


  • Be very careful not to overdo the symptoms if you're trying to persuade your parents. In the words of Ferris Bueller, "A lot of people will tell you that a good phony fever is a deadlock, but, uh... you get a nervous mother, you could wind up in a doctor's office. That's worse than school."
  • The temperature for a fever is usually around 99.5 degrees.
  • If you get caught, keep acting! If you are convincing enough, you can still pull it off.
  • The doctor will not come out and say you are faking it; they are not allowed to. However, they can make it a bit suspicious for you and the parents will feel like you will soon get better, and will expect you back in school that day.
  • When a mercury thermometer is heated beyond its range it can break. The free mercury and its vapor are extremely toxic.
  • Staying off school for too long will make you fall behind

Article Info

Categories: Feigning Illness