|Trope · Genre|
|See Also:||Feels, Tissue Warning|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Hanahaki Disease (花吐き病 (Japanese); 하나하키병 (Korean); 花吐病 (Chinese)) is a fictional disease in which the victim coughs up flower petals when they suffer from one-sided love. It ends when the beloved returns their feelings (romantic love only; strong friendship is not enough), or when the victim dies. It can be cured through surgical removal, but when the infection is removed, the victim's romantic feelings for their love also disappear.
The Hanahaki Disease trope is not used exclusively within fandom - many people have become intrigued by the concept and created non-fannish artwork, poetry, songs, music videos and other creative works based around the concept. However, Hanahaki Disease is particularly popular within fandom due to its potential for angst, hurt/comfort, pining, and general romantic tension.
The term hanahaki comes from the Japanese words hana (花), which means "flower", and hakimasu (吐きます), which means "to throw up".
The Hanahaki Disease trope was popularized with the Japanese shoujo manga,「花吐き乙女」(Hanahaki Otome), or The Girl Who Spit Flowers by Naoko Matsuda (松田奈緒子), which was released in 2009. The symptoms of the disease are summarized to strong pain, having flowers blooming in the heart and lungs, and then throwing them up.
However, among East Asian (Japanese and Korean especially) fans and creators, the concept of flower regurgitation due to unrequited love dates to before Hanahaki Otome's release. Its true origins are currently unknown.
This trope has several variations, and is used in both happy and tragic stories. It often develops over months or even years, beginning with coughing up a few petals and growing in intensity (and pain) until the victim is vomiting entire flowers, by which point the disease has entered its final stages.
The happy ending version is when the object of the victim's love returns their affections, thus making the love no longer unrequited. The victim is then cured of the disease. This may happen spontaneously when the object of affections realizes his (it's usually a him) love, or the disease may require the object to persuade the victim that their love is mutual. If the victim cannot believe that his beloved returns his love, he will die.
The most common version is when the victim's lungs get filled with the flowers and roots grow in their respiratory system. They choke on their own blood and petals, and die. It is popular due to the angst that comes with character death.
Another version is when the flowers are surgically removed, as are the victim's feelings of love, meaning they can no longer love the person they once loved. Sometimes this also removes their memories of the former beloved, or the victim's ability to ever love again. Often, the one suffering the disease will refuse the surgery, preferring to die rather than losing their feelings.
Many artists and authors tend to use cherry blossoms as the flower of the petals that characters cough up, although it's not uncommon for the flower to be something significant to the characters. Flower symbolism is also popular in western fandom, for example to represent the victim's affections or personality, or that of their loved one.
"You made flowers grow in my lungs and, although they are beautiful, I cannot breathe." --Unknown
- Words That Water Flowers by DecemberCamie: Hunter X Hunter fic with Killua and Gon as high school students and best friends; includes flower crowns and the threat of surgery - Killua's family will not allow him to die. Several fanartists drew pictures of the scenes within the story, and links are included.
- Red As Carnations by v_larr: Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri Katsuki/Victor Nikiforov. Yuuri has the disease for many years after seeing Viktor perform - Yuuri's love of the ice itself is enough to cause him to fall in love with a master skater without even meeting him.
- Blooming by Oonymay: EXO fic; the story begins when Kim Junmyeon has begun to cough up entire flowers, signifying he has only one week for either Kris to fall in love with him, or die.
- petals and blood by NikeScaret: DC Comics fic where Jonathan Kent is in love with Damian Wayne and gets help and advice from Lex Luthor; in this, it's hardly a rare disease at all. Damian's been warned by his mother that he'd be very susceptible so he must promise never to fall in love - she did, but had her flower surgically removed.
- I Bloomed For You... by Meanie_Beanie_nim: BTS fic, Kim Taehyung/Jeon Jungkook. Jeon Jungkook develops the condition after finally meeting his soulmate Kim Taehyung, only for his other half not to recognize him as such. Jungkook is determined to hide his illness from the rest of his friends and from Taehyung, but he finds himself quickly running out of days.
- Pollen Warning, a Persona 5 Akira Kurusu x Reader fic. In this version of the trope, victims of Hanahaki Disease are immediately consumed by the flowers if they are rejected by their love interest. The fic's multiple endings explore different possible outcomes for the disease.
- More of the yoi hanahaki AU... by thehatlady. Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri/Otabek. The artist chose blue primrose for Yuri's flower as it symbolises young love.
- Hanahaki Disease - an illness born from one-sided love where one coughs up flower petals by blackxxcherry. Steven Universe, Pearl (no pairing specified).
- Yoosung Hanahaki Disease by aquariumprincess32: Yoosung Kim from Mystic Messenger, an Otome game, drawn for the Angsty Art Meme on Tumblr.
- An early birthday present for @yaoi-hime \(o7 o\) by cluckycharmer. Miraculous Ladybug, Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Adrien Agreste and Ladybug/Chat Noir. Marinette is depicted as suffering from the disease in her civilian persona, while Chat Noir is depicted as suffering from the disease in his superhero persona.
- hanahaki aesthetic board by letsmcfreakingloseit
- Blue by piperemerald (aesthetic edit with an accompanying fanfic): Dear Evan Hansen (Evan Hansen/Connor Murphy). Hanahaki disease is an established illness in the universe of the fic, and Connor hears about it as a child before contracting the disease in later life.
- Yoonkook | Hanahaki Disease AU by Juu, BTS. In which Jeon Jungkook begins to cough up flowers after falling in love with Min Yoongi.
- Hanahaki disease by Elyciren, Hello Poetry. Published October 13, 2017 (Accessed January 27, 2018).
- 【Fukase English】 Hanahaki 【Original Vocaloid Song】 by Egg, YouTube. Published March 5, 2017 (Accessed January 27, 2018).
- 花吐き病 hanahaki byou by toiletteregina, YouTube. Published September 1, 2015 (Accessed January 27, 2018).
- This quotation appears frequently on Hanahaki Disease fanworks as a title, prompt or tagline, but its exact origins are difficult to identify. Its origins may not directly be related to Hanahaki Disease, but instead the phrase has just come to be used alongside the trope. It's sometimes worded as "You made flowers grow in my lungs and although they are beautiful I can't fucking breath(e)". This Yahoo! Answer about the phrase's origins doesn't suggest any connection to Hanahaki, but instead implies that the phrase is a metaphor for how love can be both beautiful and also hurtful and suffocating.