How to Fake a Fever and Its Symptoms

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Learning how to fake a fever can be an important lesson for life!

The 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has one of the best examples of how to fake a fever. The classic movie gives us all that we need for a crash course in faking a fever in the first ten minutes.

If you don’t have the 90 minutes to devote to the flick, read on to see how you can become a fever-faking pro, and never miss that perfect day again!

What Is a Fever?

According to the CDC, someone is experiencing a fever when their resting body temperature is at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re going to attempt to fake a fever using hot water bottles or anything else, you should know the proper temperature to aim for, you don’t want to cause alarm by being too hot.

There are numerous reasons to fake a fever; for some, it may be that they want to get out of school. For others, maybe they need proof for their bosses, and a quick snap of the camera will help assure their boss that they aren’t just trying to get out of work.

The symptoms of a fever are typically high body temperature, accompanied by shivering, headache, and, in severe instances, confusion. When learning how to fake a fever, we need to remember that we’re just trying to get out of doing something. There’s no need to exhibit these symptoms long-term.

The last thing we want is to get caught attempting to stay home for the day. We typically want to make it look like we have a fever, not that we’re dying.

How to Fake a Fever

Below are some ways that you can fake a fever, without anyone finding out the truth.

How to Fake a Fever

There are many ways to fake a fever, but here are some of our favorites.

The important thing to remember is to exhibit symptoms of fever, not contract a real fever. The “fake sick” card will always trump the “actually sick” card any day.

1. Fake a Fever with Hot Water and a Thermometer

One of the most important things that you can do to help fake a real fever is to use hot water and an oral thermometer. If you’re interested in this method, follow the steps below.

  • Take a sip of hot water
  • Hold it in your mouth for a full two minutes
  • Remove water from your mouth and insert the thermometer
  • Let the thermometer get to the desired range (100-101 degrees Fahrenheit)

Remember, CDC guidelines state that a person with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to have a fever.

2. Heat Your Forehead

  • Apply hot compress to your forehead for 3 to 5 minutes before checking your temperature
  • A thermogenic heat pack can be placed on the body’s core area to help facilitate the symptoms of having a fever
  • Make sure your forehead is dry so that it doesn’t appear that you’re having a heat stroke

3. Make Yourself Look Sweaty, Warm and Flushed

You can easily fake an elevated temperature reading to make it look like you have a fever. To give yourself the appearance of sweats from a fever, all you need to do is go into your bathroom and create some steam.

If that is a little too conspicuous, you could also do some light calisthenics while wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

Additionally, to increase your body temperature slightly, wrap yourself in an electric blanket and let it warm you for 4 to 5 minutes. As you want to appear feverish, make sure that you dispose of the evidence as quickly as possible and keep the appearance going if people are going to be following up with you throughout the day.

4. Eat Foods that Raise Body Temperature

It’s important to know that certain foods can increase your temperature.

Hot peppers, chili, and other types of spicy foods will raise your body temperature. Additionally, foods rich in vitamin B are also known to increase your body temperature.

It is said that if you place cut onion slices under your armpit that it will help when trying to fake a fever!

How to Fake Fever Symptoms

Before you attempt to fake fever symptoms, you need to know what the most common fever symptoms are. Luckily, we’ve listed them for you below.

  • Flushed Face: One symptom that we want to exhibit is a flushed face. What this does is provide redness to our face and give the appearance of being overheated. One way to do this is to hold your breath as long as you can so that you can induce anxiety in your neocortex, and make blood rush to your facial skin’s surface.
    The last thing that you want to do is make your face a little moist and clammy. All you have to do is place a warm compress in between a heating pad and the skin’s surface in order to create humidity and sweat.
  • Chills: One of the easiest ways to show signs of fever is by shivering, and by thinking of the proper imagery you could imagine that you are cold and start from there.
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Discomfort in your body
  • Elevated temperature levels
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dizziness and Fatigue: One of the first things you can do to fake fever symptoms is to make your face look tired and miserable. For example, we all have “morning face” when we wake up. Use that grogginess to your advantage from the minute you step out of bed.
  • Cold & Cough: Don’t forget to start coughing and even say things like “My body hurts” or “I don’t feel very well”. These statements make it obvious that you’re not feeling well and it will grab the attention of anyone that’s around you.

Things to Avoid When Faking a Fever

Using drastic measures, such as intentionally ingesting anything that would knowingly cause an allergic reaction or eating something questionable that could bring on a case of food poisoning, isn’t a smart tactic, no matter how badly we want to get out of something. The point is to stay well while convincing others that you are not.

  • Don’t be overdramatic when learning how to fake a fever
  • Go to the bathroom and make painful sounds to indicate a stomach issue
  • Don’t take any medicine; divert attention while you dispose of the meds
  • Having a fever means that you shouldn’t be hungry
  • Drink plenty of fluids since fevers are known to dehydrate you


People fake fevers for a variety of reasons. It’s not easy faking a fever; careful planning is required. The moment you are caught attempting to fake a fever, the gig is up and so is all your hard work.

Remember, you need to be deliberate in your ruse. In no way are you going to be able to learn how to fake a fever if you are caught spending the day doing something you really won’t enjoy!

A fever is an amazing excuse to get out of just about anything. Because of this, people have become experts at diagnosing other people and realizing when they are lying.

Remember, don’t be like one of those people that get caught faking a fever!