How to Fake a Fever

Sometimes, there might be a day when you feel like you need a break from your regular activities, and you think that pretending to have a fever might just be the way to get that much-needed rest. While it’s important to remember that honesty is generally the best policy, and faking a fever could lead to unintended consequences, there might be benign scenarios where a harmless simulation of a feverish state could play a part in storytelling, acting, or educational purposes. Here, we will walk through various non-technical methods that have been rumored to mimic the symptoms of a fever.

how to fake a fever

Heat and Warmth

Using physical warmth to simulate a fever is a common approach. It can superficially raise your body temperature, giving the impression that you are unwell.

Step by Step:

  1. Dress in warm clothes, such as sweaters and blankets, despite the ambient temperature.
  2. Use heating pads or hot water bottles and place them on your body to increase your skin’s temperature.
  3. Take a hot bath or shower just before having your temperature taken.


The main benefit of this method is that it’s simple and doesn’t require any special tools or substances. However, the increased temperature can be quickly noticed as artificial upon closer examination, such as if a thermometer is placed under the tongue or another internal body site.

Water Tricks

This tactic involves the use of warm water to falsify a high reading on a thermometer.

Step by Step:

  1. Heat water to a warm but not scalding temperature.
  2. Dip the thermometer in the water before placing it in your mouth if you’re doing a self-check.
  3. Dry the thermometer and then place it in your mouth when someone is about to take your reading.


The method is easy to carry out but it’s risky because the temperature may be unrealistically high if not done carefully. It also only works with thermometers that aren’t placed internally or in-ear types.

Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods can raise your body temperature and induce sweating.

Step by Step:

  1. Consume a spicy food item that you can tolerate.
  2. Try to control sweating and facial flushing to avoid suspicion.
  3. Act fatigued and warm to complete the effect.


This is a natural way to increase body temperature and induce symptoms like sweating. On the downside, it can cause discomfort and may not significantly raise internal body temperature to fever levels.


A short burst of physical exercise can raise your body temperature temporarily.

Step by Step:

  1. Engage in some form of cardiovascular exercise such as running on the spot or doing jumping jacks.
  2. Do this shortly before you are to have your temperature checked.
  3. Once you’re done, act sluggish or fatigued, as if you’re unwell.


The benefit of exercise is that it’s healthy and also increases your body temperature. However, it’s a short-term solution, and your body will return to normal temperatures swiftly.

Artful Acting

Your behavior is a significant part of making others believe you have a fever.

Step by Step:

  1. Display symptoms such as lethargy, mild confusion, and general discomfort.
  2. Complain about body aches and chills or say that you’re feeling overly warm.
  3. Use make-up to create the illusion of flushed cheeks or tired eyes.


Acting requires no props but does require skill to avoid detection. The benefit is that it leaves no physical evidence, but it does require consistency and the risk of being caught out if you’re not convincing enough.

Temperature Tampering

This method is about manipulating a thermometer without the use of external substances.

Step by Step:

  1. Shake a mercury thermometer downwards to raise the temperature reading.
  2. Rub a digital thermometer to generate heat through friction.
  3. Be subtle in your actions to avoid suspicion.


The benefit of this tactic is that it directly affects the thermometer, making it seem like you have a fever. The downfall is that it is deceitful and can easily be caught, especially with modern thermometers that are less likely to be tricked.

Assertive Persuasion

Sometimes the power of suggestion can be enough to convince others.

Step by Step:

  1. Assertively claim that you are not feeling well and describe your symptoms vividly.
  2. Avoid excessive detail which can lead to suspicion – keep your story simple.
  3. Utilize verbal and non-verbal cues to reinforce your claim.


This method relies heavily on the trust others have in you and can backfire if you are not seen as credible. It has the advantage of not requiring any physical props or alterations and can be stopped at any time.

Mind Over Matter

Using relaxation techniques can actually increase your body’s perceived temperature.

Step by Step:

  1. Engage in meditation or deep-breathing exercises to relax your body fully.
  2. Employ visualization techniques to imagine your body temperature rising.
  3. Mimic symptoms that often accompany fever, like wrapping yourself in blankets or pretending to have chills.


This is a stress-free approach which might induce mild symptoms. However, the effects are subtle and may not be convincing enough on their own.

Creating a false impression of illness is not recommended for deceitful purposes and should only be considered in circumstances where no harm can result from such pretense. Trying to fake a fever has its downsides, including the potential erosion of trust with others and negatively impacting obligations or responsibilities that you might have.

In conclusion, while these methods may offer short-term solutions to mimic the outward symptoms of a fever, they are neither ethical nor practically foolproof in many everyday situations. If you genuinely feel unwell or in need of a break, it is always best to communicate openly and honestly with the people around you.


  1. Can any of these methods cause a real fever?
    No, these methods can only simulate the appearance or sensation of a fever temporarily; they cannot cause an actual infection or illness that results in a genuine fever.

  2. How long do these fake fever symptoms last?
    Most of these techniques offer only temporary effects, typically dissipating within a few minutes to an hour after cessation of the action.

  3. Could I get into trouble for faking a fever?
    Yes, faking an illness in certain situations, such as to skip school or get out of work, can lead to consequences such as disciplinary action or a loss of trust from others. It’s essential to consider the potential repercussions.

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