If you’ve written a story that involves a character rushing to the hospital upon learning that they (might) have caused the injury of another, you might want to consider the hospital gag. It usually involves the visitor mistaking a patient in a full body cast for the person they intended to visit.
Visitor: “Is that you? Are you okay?! I’m really, really sorry! – continues to apologize profusely and express remorse – ”
Patient: “… do I know you?”
(Of course, the patient can’t talk, but you know what’s going through his head…)
– The visitor is a person who tends to overreact, meaning they are able to jump to conclusions (that the guy in the full body cast is the one they hurted) by themselves. This means that people like Arnold may or may not be eligible for this type of gag, depending on how the dialogue is written.
– The visitor immediately rushes to the hospital after hearing that they might have caused the injury of another. No time to think it over rationally!
– The visitor tends to touch the patient in the body cast, causing him even more pain. What a great day for that guy, huh?
– The general attitude of the visitor is usually apologetic (e.g. “Are you okay? Can I do anything for you? I’m really, really sorry!”) and/or remorseful (e.g. “If I did this, then you wouldn’t have gotten hurt”) .
– If you are showing this gag visually (i.e. w/ pictures), there is usually a small scene where we look at the visitor from the patient’s point of view (i.e. through the slits of the patient’s bandage).
Examples of When the Hospital Gag was Used
- Sid mistakes another patient for Principle Wartz in “Sid’s revenge”
- Helga mistakes another patient for Phoebe in “Phoebe breaks a leg”