- "What a sad look in your eyes… you, the boy in a red cap. You must be homesick. That’s nothing you need to be ashamed of. Anybody who is on a long trip will miss home. In this case, the best thing to do is to call home and hear your mom’s voice."
- — Doctor, if spoken to while Ness is homesick
Homesickness is a status ailment appearing only in EarthBound. Ness, the only playable character who can be affected by it, will become homesick at a random chance after winning a battle. Instant winning does not trigger homesickness. Homesickness will cause Ness to have a chance of missing turns while in combat; instead he will spend turns reminiscing about home, whether about his mother or craving whatever the player had set as his favorite food.
The primary way of curing homesickness is either by a Telephone call to Ness' mother or by talking to Ness' mother in person. Besides that, the only other ways to get over homesickness are to visit Dr. Saturn, the Saturns' Hot Spring, using the Instant Revitalizing Device or visiting "Your Sanctuary".
In Mother 3, the Mischievous Mole is also able to suffer from homesickness, though unlike Ness, it causes it to miss its attacks rather than waste its turn. This also happens to The Squeekz after he battles with Lucas and friends; he then apologizes to them and reminisces about his family on the Highway, making him realize that he should go back to them.
The probability of Ness being afflicted by homesickness in EarthBound changes depending on his level and is displayed as follows in this table.
- It was rumored that using a Chick would cure homesickness, but this has been proven to be false.
- Ness's mother will call Ness on his Receiver phone shortly after he begins to feel homesick, reminding him that he should contact her. However, despite the fact that they speak, the received call does not cure his homesickness.
- The probability of getting homesick when Ness is between the levels of 31 and 75 is identical to the chance of receiving a rare drop such as the Sword of Kings - 2/256, or 1/128.
- The 0% probability of homesickness pre-level 16 is likely an attempt to integrate the story into the gameplay, as Ness will most likely reach level 16 after leaving Onett. However, it falls flat if the player is overleveled.