Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been an occasional subject of cultural reference.
- In the pilot episode of House, MD, Gregory House sees a patient who thinks he has chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. House doubts the patient and thinks he read about these conditions on the internet. House gives the patient candy from the candy machine in a Vicodin bottle and slips the Vicodin tablets into his own pocket. Later in the episode, the patient returns for a refill and the show ends with House asking for change.
- A 1989 episode of The Golden Girls ("Sick and Tired") dealt with Dorothy developing the illness and trying to cope with doctors who told her it was mental. The actress portraying Dorothy, Bea Arthur, wanted to increase awareness about CFS.
- In the premiere episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Welcome to the Hellmouth"), popular girl Cordelia remarks, "My mom doesn't even get out of bed anymore. And the doctor says it's Epstein-Barr. I'm like, pleeease! It's chronic hepatitis, or at least chronic fatigue syndrome. I mean, nobody cool has Epstein-Barr anymore."
- In Series 1, episode 1, of the UK sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, when throwing ideas of new TV programmes to get his show recommissioned on the BBC, one idea Alan Partridge comes up with is an idea of a show about ME. "Right, ah, now you'll like this one. Knowing M.E., Knowing You. I, Alan Partridge, talk to M.E. sufferers about the condition. You know, we intersperse it with their favourite pop songs, make it light-hearted, you know, give them a platform, you've got to keep the energy up, because...(Tony Hayers shakes his head)"
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