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Main Characters

Dr. Gregory House

Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, with specialties in both Infectious Disease and Nephrology. House is a brilliant doctor; unfortunately for everyone around him, he's also a misanthrope and an arrogant jerk to everyone he meets. He walks with a cane as a result of an infarction he suffered in his right thigh and the surgery that tried to correct it; the pain from this drives his Vicodin addiction as well.

Associated tropes:

  • Abusive Father: Ice baths, Denied Food as Punishment if he was ever even the tiniest bit late for a meal, and being made to sleep outside in the yard when he was a child. House loves his mother, but she either did not accompany House and his father when he was stationed at various military bases or didn't notice the abuse.
    • House actually concludes that his mother hated his father, too, when he proves that his dad wasn't actually his dad. Given the nature of this sort of family dynamic, it's very likely she was a victim, too.
  • Agent Scully: He stubbornly refuses to accept any explanation involving magic/angels/misc supernatural, to the point he stuck a fork into a electrical socket to disprove someone else's near death experience.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV (With moments of Type III and V). He has good intentions (most of the time) but he is not a nice man.
  • Badass
    • Badass Labcoat: Well, he doesn't wear one all that much, but considering this man's track record of surviving several things like insulin shock (which he inflicted on himself!), getting shot in his own office, attemting to perform surgery on himself, and a highly deadly bus accident, and all of which were done with no fear for his own life, this doctor is pretty hardcore.
    • Handicapped Badass: See everything in Badass Labcoat, and remember all of this occurred with him being a cripple.
  • Blatant Lies: The most obvious: "I never lie."
  • Brilliant but Lazy: House is shown to excel at almost everything he puts his mind to. Nonetheless, he will jump through all kinds of hoops to get out of clinic duty, and he was assigned interns to keep him from spending all his time watching Soap Operas. He can often be found doing random things in his office (or Wilson's office, or Cuddy's office...), ranging from playing with a Zen garden to constructing a Rube Goldberg machine to practicing yo-yo tricks. He claims in one episode that isolating himself "helps his process." Whether this or the above is true, or perhaps a mix of the two, is anyone's guess.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: A true example of the 'cost/benefit' part of the trope: he's so good at what he does Cuddy earmarks part of the hospital's budget to pay for the inevitable legal fees.
  • Byronic Hero
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: House's typical non-reaction of "cool" or "interesting" when a patient's face melts or some such.
  • Catch Phrase and Memetic Mutation: "It's not lupus."
  • Consummate Liar: He's good at it sure but it plays into his Catch Phrase "Everyone lies" and they do.
  • Custom Uniform: He very rarely wears the white lab coat that all the other doctors are required to wear. In fact, if you do see House in a lab coat, he's probably in the middle of pranking someone.
  • Cynical Mentor
  • Deadpan Snarker: At everyone, especially patients.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Has repeated hallucinations of Amber and Kutner.
  • Determinator: When he wants to prove that he's right.
  • Disability as an Excuse For Jerkassery: Uses his injured leg to do this, though he was a Jerkass before then.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Whether its about his emotional state or his limp he'll chew you out for sympathy.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the series finale.
  • Dr. Jerk: A rather extreme example of this trope.
  • Eureka Moment: How House solves almost all the medical mysteries, to the point that he's become Genre Savvy about them and occasionally tries to induce them..
  • Expy: Of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Fake American: Hugh Laurie is British. His American accent is one of the better examples, though the way he pronounces some words can give it away. Strangely, he keeps the accent even when he's screwed up lines, as can be seen in the outtakes. (When executive producer Bryan Singer saw Hugh Laurie's audition tape, he turned to the casting department and said, "See? This is an American actor!" The casting department had to correct him.) Like most fake-American accents, Laurie uses a "gruff voice" as a cover-up in order to fake an American accent over his English one-- ala Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and John Mahoney on Frasier; not coincidentally, they're all playing stereotypical "tough American detectives" who supposedly all speak in gruff Midwestern dialects.
    • Lampshaded in Season 1 when House calls a doctor in the early hours of the morning. When asked to explain why he is calling at such a time he "puts on" an English accent and pretends he was calling from the UK and hadn't considered the time difference. For this scene Hugh Laurie is putting on the silly voice he used for oddball sketch comedy in the 80s.
  • Faking the Dead: In the series finale, he switches his dental records with those of a former patient who was dying anyway, leading to the patient's body being identified as his own in the wreckage of a burned-down building. He ends the show legally dead.
  • Genius Cripple
  •, Main Character BSOD: Suffering bad ones after Kutner's death, the first hallucination of Amber, Amber's return in the restaurant, and Amber and Kutner appearing in the season finale.
    • Kal Penn is confirmed to be making a return appearance as Kutner in the series' final episode, so possibly House will hallucinate him yet again.
      • Both Kutner and Amber appear in hallucinations in the series do Cameron and Stacy.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Wilson.
  • Icy Blue Eyes
  • Insufferable Genius: House is usually right, and he will make sure you know it.
  • Jerkass
  • Lack of Empathy: Subverted. He is fully capable of empathy. In emotional or sad moments, and almost always private ones, he will display that capacity. He just likes to give the impression that he is an outright asshole.
  • Large Ham
  • Last-Name Basis: No one calls him "Greg", not even Wilison.
  • Made of Iron: Considering his addictions, all the experiments he made on himself and the sheer amount of accidents he's been in, it's a wonder he isn't dead yet.
  • Mad Scientist: Close to it. Very close. One time Cuddy refered to him as this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: To both his friends and his patients; either because it amused him or to find out some secret they're supposed hiding.
  • Mean Boss: Makes race jokes to Foreman, class jokes to Chase, and ridicules Cameron's compassion.
    • Also makes fun of Adams' rich guilt, Thirteen's bisexuality, and Taub's inability to keep a relationship together.
      • Basically, if you ever work with him and you have something to make fun of, he will make fun of it.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Hugh Laurie is a very humble man, who admits he gets worried about the risk of letting the fame go to his head. It seems, at least, that he's doing a fairly good job of keeping his feet planted firmly upon Terra Firma, so far.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Along with Wilson.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: At times. His relationship with Stacy sent him into one period of emotional disengagement. Then when after his relationship with Cuddy goes bad, he refuses the affections of his green-card wife, apparently out of fear that sex with anyone who actually likes him (rather than hookers) might lead to attachment which will hurt him again. Of course, if you showed him this page on TV Tropes and said that it applied to him, he'd probably give you a Hannibal Lecture about what a moron you are for thinking it.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe
  • One of the Kids: House acts likes this occasionally.
  • The Only One: Other characters have made final diagnoses before he has only a few times in the show's history.
  • Perma Stubble
  • Perpetual Frowner
  • Pet the Dog: Plenty, with the golden example being the series finale, wherein House deliberately destroys his own medical career in order to be with Wilson, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, during his last five months to live.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Wilson's red.
  • Screwy Squirrel
  • Self-Deprecation: Has huge issues of self-worth.
  • Sherlock Scan: He has on many occasions been able to deduce a stranger's illnesses after just one glance.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: With Cuddy.
  • Sociopathic Hero: He does, very deep down, want to cure the people he treats but only if their case is interesting and only if he can go to illegal lengths to make sure.
  • The Spock
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Team Dad
  • Troubled but Cute: Hey, fangirls love bad boys.
  • Too Clever by Half
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Wilson.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gets this a lot from everyone.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In "Both Sides Now", the Season 5 finale, House seems to get control of his Heroic BSOD... At which point Amber comes out and congratulates him. The look of absolute horror on his face tells you all you need to know.

Dr. James Wilson

Head of the Department of Oncology, and House's best (and only) friend. Wilson is a sensitive and caring man, whose impeccable bedside manner sharply contrasts House's lack of one. As a result of his nature, he's been married three times, two of them failing as a result of his infidelity, and the third because of his partner's. Very much a people-pleaser. He and House frequently play mind games with one another.

Associated tropes:

 House: You manipulative bastard, did you just invoke the name of your dead girlfriend to play me? You're my hero.

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro, an endocrinologist, and House and Wilson's boss. The frequent target of House's insults and innuendos, Cuddy tries her hardest to rein in her star doctor. Unfortunately, House usually ends up gaining the upper hand.

She resigned after Season 7. House's last act was not pretty. 

Associated tropes:

Dr. Eric Foreman

Neurologist and one of the original fellows serving under House. Foreman is a black man who comes from an underprivileged background. House hired him because he was a thief and a carjacker in his youth. He is the last of the three original fellows to be hired, having only joined the team three days before the start of the series. House seems to favor him above the other fellows as, and Foreman serves as something of a foil to House himself, being the fellow most likely to challenge House's authority or question his actions. He serves as a fellow for House from Seasons 1 - 7 and becomes Dean of Medicine in Season 8.

Associated tropes:

Dr. Allison Cameron

An immunologist, and one of House's original fellows. Cameron is often at odds with House over patient care -- she is more concerned about the patient, while House is more focused on the puzzle. Cameron is a widow, having married a man who she knew was dying of cancer when she was 21. She serves as a fellow during season 1-3 and the first few episodes of season 6. Starting in Season 4, she transfers from the Department of Diagnostic Medicine to the ER, working as a Senior Attending Physician.

In Season 6, she leaves the hospital and divorces Chase, having become disgusted with both him and House. She moves to Chicago and becomes the Dean of Emergency Medicine. She returned in the series finale.

Associated tropes:

  • Actual Pacifist
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her initial crush on House.
  • Black and White Morality: She believes very strictly in a set moral system. For some this may double over into Moral Myopia or Values Dissonance as she condemns Chase as "no longer valuing the sanctity of human life" for killing a mass-murdering tyrant who told Chase that as soon as he got out of the hospital he was going to commit an act of genocide (thereby actively saving the lives of thousands of people), while she herself helped a patient to die via committing euthanasia. And to play the guilt card, Chase did feel terrible about it for a long time. YMMV, though.
  • The Face Cameron is The Heart variety as she is the only one of the main cast that patients will ever actually know. She goes out of her way to 'get to know' the patients, as opposed to the other members of her department who more or less don't care and just ask them about symptoms.
    • The Heart: The moral center, if they would listen to her more often.
  • Last-Name Basis
  • The Medic: Though all of the characters are doctors, her personality best fits the trope.
  • Morality Pet: Tries to be one to House, with occasional if mild success.
  • Naive Everygirl
  • The McCoy / Strawman Emotional
  • Out of Focus: During seasons 4 and 5.
  • Plucky Girl
  • Politeness Judo: Her usual way of dealing with difficult patients or adversarial outside authorities.
  • The Pollyanna
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Although House usually prevents her from doing anything drastic.

Dr. Robert Chase

An intensivist (intensive care specialist), and another of the original fellows. Chase is an Australian of Czech descent, and was originally a seminary student before becoming a doctor. He has a strained relationship with his father, largely due to his father's emotional distance and his mother's alcoholism following their divorce. House seems to single out Chase for abuse, likely due to the fact that he's the only member of the team whom House did not select himself. Early on in the series, he is treated as House's "yes man", often agreeing with him and standing by his side no matter what. He gradualy learns the hard way that he can't please his boss all of the time. Nonetheless, Chase is a brilliant doctor in his own right, and has solved the case a few times when House couldn't. He serves as a fellow under House during seasons 1-3 and seasons 6-8. Chase becomes a member of the surgical staff at Princeton-Plainsboro and becomes House's go-to-guy for surgery during seasons 4 and 5. He finds himself practicing under House again as member of his team in the 3rd episode of season 6.

Associated tropes:

  • Agent Mulder
  • Bishonen: Several characters, including House, have made quite a few quips about his good looks.

 House (upon seeing Chase for the first time in over a year): Beard's a nice touch. Let's everyone else know you're not a teenage girl.

  • Butt Monkey: Sad enough to the extent that House attempted to fire him twice (the first time didn't count as Foreman became House's superior by order of the medical board and Cuddy once, the second time he was fired for real).
  • Dr. Jerk: To a lesser degree than Foreman; Foreman at one point criticizes Chase for acting nice to patients and then talking smack about them later.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: According to House and Wilson, Chase is prettier than Cameron.
  • Expy: In-Universe, he often tries to be one of House, especially in his methods of figuring out patient diagnoses. This does help him out on occasion, amazingly enough.
    • It's worth noting that he starts taking on some of House's physical traits as the show progressed.
      • And in the series finale, after House fakes his own death, he even takes over House's job at Princeton-Plainsboro, complete with House's old office.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens
  • Last-Name Basis
  • Lonely Rich Kid
  • The Mole: To Vogler in Season 1.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: To his father.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: All doctors on the show get this to some degree, but Chase goes from intensivist to someone who can apparently perform every kind of surgery under the sun.
  • Out of Focus: During season 4 and 5.
  • Shoot the Dog / Dirty Business: "The Tyrant".
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse
  • Teeny Weenie: In one episode, a woman takes a naked photo of Chase at a party and posted it on Facebook. At first his crotch was pixellated, but later she uploaded an uncensored version, revealing this, apparently. The other characters, both male and female, tease him mercilessly for it, while Chase insists the image had been doctored.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: To House.

Dr. Chris Taub

A plastic surgeon. He's serves as one of House's fellows during seasons 4-8. Taub is middle aged and Jewish. He was forced out of his successful practice after his partners found out that he was cheating on his wife with one of the nurses. As part of the agreement, he signed a "non-compete" contract, which states that he can no longer pursue a career in his chosen specialty. Taub can be combative, and has tried to undermine House's authority, going so far as to try to get House thrown off of a case.

Associated tropes:

Dr. Lawrence Kutner

Born as "Lawrence Choudray". A sports and rehabilitation medicine specialist. He's a member of House's fellows during seasons 4 and 5. Of Indian descent, Kutner was orphaned at the age of six, following his parents' shooting in a burglary attempt. He was subsequently adopted by another family, leading to his decisively non-Indian name. Despite this, he is generally cheery, and displays an honest enthusiasm for what he does.

Kutner commits suicide for unknown reasons toward the end of season 5.

Associated tropes:


Remy Hadley is better known as "Thirteen". She specializes in internal medicine, and is a fellow during seasons 4-7 (though she is gone for most of season 7). Thirteen prides herself on being a bit of an enigma, and her real name was not known until the end of Season 4. It's later revealed that her mother died of Huntington's disease, and she was reluctant to get tested for the disease herself, feeling that it was better not knowing.

In season 8, she leaves the hospital to be with her new girlfriend and enjoy what time she has remaining. She returned for the last two episodes of the series.

Associated tropes:

  • Bi the Way
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Distaff Counterpart: To House, in the later seasons. House seems to believe that if she can be happy, her life being much crappier than his, so could he.
  • The Chick
    • In temperament, has shades of Tomboy.
  • Happy Ending: At least until her condition begins to advance.
  • Ill Girl
  • Mercy Kill: After disappearing for a year House eventually finds out that she did this to her brother, who was suffering from Huntington's, at his request and made it look like an overdose so she only did time in jail for drug possession
    • At the end of the episode House offers to Mercy Kill her when she gets too sick.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died of Huntington's when she was a child.
  • No Name Given: For most of her time on the show. Her last name is only given a couple of times on screen and her full name only once, both after she'd been on the show for quite a while.
  • Out of Focus: She's gone for most of season 7, due to her actress filming Tron: Legacy.
  • Secretly Dying: Poor Thirteen.
  • Unlucky Thirteen: She has Huntington's.
    • Creator's Pet: She's graduated to this status as the writers continue to overexpose her.

Martha M. Masters

A med student brought in as an intern to replace Thirteen for most of season 7. She does not approve of House's extreme methods. She departs when Thirteen returns.

Associated tropes:

Dr. Jessica Adams

A doctor who originally worked at the jail that House spent the first episode of Season 8. After being fired from that job for taking House's advice in treating an inmate, she joins House as fellow in season 8.

Associated tropes:

  • Expy: In a very general sense, at least, compared to House's other new employee, Dr. Park. She follows the formula of being an attractive female with some emotional baggage as Cameron and Thirteen were, though her baggage doesn't seem nearly as heavy as Cameron's or Thirteens. Yet.
    • She is gradually becoming more and more an Expy of Cameron - she shares the unlucky relationship history and especially the very high moral concerns.
  • Foil: To Dr. Park, in some ways. It makes their first few interactions rather entertaining.
  • Woman Scorned: Patients who cheat on their wives/girlfriends are her Berserk Button, thanks to her own husband having done the same to her.

Dr. Chi Park

A young Korean/Filipino neurologist who joins House's team when he finishes his prison stint in the second episode of season 8. Initially, she is his team. She is nerdy and socially inept.

Associated tropes:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Her crush on Chase is not mutual, and House and Adams taunt her about it occasionally, persumably as he is a Mr. Fanservice even in-universe, while she is seen as a Hollywood Homely (House notes that she is ruining his Charlie's Angels fantasy for the brief time there where only her, Adams and Thirteen on his team.)
  • Asian and Nerdy
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "You're aware I punched the last person who pissed me off?"
  • Formerly Fat: Apparently gained a lot of weight when her last relationship ended.

  Park: They used to call me Park-ing lot.

  • Meganekko
  • Mushroom Samba: After eating ice cream at a patient's house (don't ask), she starts having very vivid and hilarious hallucinations, including seeing Taub as a fairy. It turns out that the ice cream was laced with LSD, due to the patient (who had been blind since birth) wanting to know what it would be like to see.
  • No Social Skills: Seriously. None.

Notable Antagonists/Secondary Characters:

Edward Vogler

A billionaire pharmaceutical magnate who "donated" $100,000,000 to Princeton-Plainsboro in exchange for being made chairman of the hospital's board. Wanting to use the hospital as a testing facility for his company's drugs, he comes into direct contention with House, whom he sees as a serious liability.

Associated tropes:

Detective Michael Tritter

One of House's clinic patients, who bullied House into running a series of (presumably unnecessary) tests; House retaliated by using a rectal thermometer to take his temperature...and left him there, unattended, for two hours. Tritter, who is as hard headed as House (with a bad attitude to match), sees House as a danger to himself and his patients due to his Vicodin addiction, and will stop at nothing to put him away.

Associated tropes:

  • Disproportionate Retribution: Okay, Tritter has reason to be pissed House left him in a clinic room with a rectal thermometer up his ass for two hours straight, but does that really justify trying to imprison House, get him declared a drug pusher/addict, and get him disbarred from medicine forever?
  • Jerkass
  • Graceful Loser: He does concede he could be wrong about House at the end of the Tritter arc, and even wishes House luck while he's at it.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: His raison d'etre for making House suffer.

Dr. Amber Volakis

An interventional radiologist, she was one of the 40 applicants for the fellowship. Devious and manipulative, she earned the epithet of "Cutthroat Bitch". Eliminated in the last round of the competition due to her inability to accept being wrong, she started dating Wilson in the latter half of Season 4. After suffering kidney damage in a bus crash (which brings on amantadine poisoning as a result), she dies in the Season 4 finale...before reappearing as a manifestation of House's subconscious in the latter half of Season 5 following Kutner's death. She returns as a hallucination in the series finale, urging House to kill himself to end his suffering.

Associated tropes:

Dr. Darryl Nolan

Pretty much House's psychotherapist manager in Season 6. Came back for the series finale as Foreman and Wilson asked of House's whereabouts after he was considered missing.

Stacy Warner

A lawyer in the employ of Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital in seasons 1 and 2...oh, and she used to be married to Gregory House. Remarried.

  • Almost Kiss: More like "almost sex." In "Failure to Communicate," House and Stacy attend a meeting in Baltimore and end up stranded there when all the flights are grounded. Stacy books them a hotel room, and they end up kissing, but before things can go any further, House gets a call from his fellows regarding their patient and reluctantly answers it.
  • Hello, Attorney!
  • It's Not You, It's Me: How House ends their final affair; while he still loves her, he isn't able to change for her and knows that another relationship between them would end the same way the first one did.
  • Put on a Bus
  • Your Cheating Heart: Ends up cheating on her husband with House.

Dominika Petrova House

A prostitute of unidentified Slavic origin introduced in Season 7, when House marries her as a green card cheat. House later falls in love with her for real, but ends up sabotaging that, too.

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