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  • Accidental Innuendo: House pretends to play this trope straight with Thirteen in one scene of the season 4 episode "Don't Ever Change", but subverts it at the end.

 House: You do it both ways, right?

Thirteen: What?

House: The ultrasound, standing up and lying down. What else would I mean?

(House pauses; then, as Thirteen starts to leave with the patient, he smiles and winks at her.)

  • Arc Fatigue: Appears whenever House questions his ability to be an exceptional diagnostician without being a drug-addicted misanthrope. If he hasn't found the answer in seven seasons, it certainly feels like he never will.
  • Awesome Ego: House.
  • Broken Base:
    • Reactions are pretty much split down the middle for a lot of fans when it comes to Kutner killing himself. It was either a great episode or a terrible episode.
    • The House/Cuddy relationship in Seasons 6 and 7 is another one.
    • Also the Season 6 premiere. It's either one of the best episodes ever, or the absolute worst.
    • The Series Finale, which seems to have entered Love It or Hate It territory.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Cameron, Thirteen and Marha have all been accused of this. Detect a pattern here?
    • Foreman is on the fast track to this. Nobody hates him yet, but fans seem to be losing their patience over the whole "Foreman is House" B story.
  • Complete Monster: In the Season Six Episode Three, The Tyrant, James Earl Jones plays President Dibala, a corrupt and genocidal African warlord, who kidnaps children and is planning a genocide, and who forces his own men to rape and kill.
  • Epic Riff: The opening notes to Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors "Live Forever", used to promote the final episode.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bobbin Bergstrom, who plays Evil Nurse Brenda and was originally one of the show's on-set medical advisors, has appeared more than any character other than the main six as a nurse. This includes the new team - she's been in 69 episodes to Taub and 13's 39.
  • Everybody Is Jesus in Purgatory: "No Reason". House himself as his rational and cruel side, Moriarty as his emotional side/conscience and the patient as his crippled, self-destructive side that keeps getting worse. Makes sense.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • BOUO (Or, Ball of Unknown Origins), the nickname of that red and gray ball House tosses around.
    • Poor Dead Husband - Cameron's, well, poor dead husband.
    • Evil Nurse Brenda - Brenda the nurse.
    • Boreteen - A play on the portmanteau Foreteen, though sometimes used for just Thirteen.
    • Cottages: His team; little houses, geddit?
    • MRI of DOOOM: Nobody ever make it out of that thing okay.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment:
    • You know all those episodes where House is hypnotized, seriously injured, dreaming or sitting in a sensory deprivation tank and he talks to people he knows who are "manifestations of his subconscious" in stride...
    • "Oh no the death cat is attacking you, you're gonna die," said sarcastically to Kutner two episodes before his suicide.
      • Six episodes before that he described himself as exactly the sort of person who would not commit suicide.
    • In a Season 3 episode, Wilson is asked by Cuddy why he's late, and he loudly snaps, "The buses suck!" (He was forced to take the bus to work as Detective Tritter impounded his car). Considering bus-related incidents in the next season, the line isn't quite so funny...
    • Season 2, Episode 14 has House saying: "Norwegian chocolate. If you buy that kind of stuff, the terrorists will win." Not so funny after the Utoya shooting.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Mirror Mirror", Kutner and Amber are debating which of the two the patient is mimicking. Suddenly a new symptom sets in, and Kutner says "it looks like he's mimicking whichever one of us is dying". Both doctors end up dying within the next year or so.
    • Season eight episode "Parents" has a virginal 16 year old male get symptoms of partial paralysis that wound up being caused by syphilis. Since the disease wasn't given by his mother through child birth, House realized that the patient got it from his estranged father, the one he idolized to the point of wanting to be a clown (his dad's profession) to make kids happy. Pretty unsettling to begin with, but given the Penn State sex scandal still fresh on everyone's minds (the episode first aired on November 14th, 2011), even more so.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "Alvie was grateful I had gotten him out of trouble. It enabled him to go stay in Phoenix without worrying about immigration looking for him there." Poor Alvie.
    • In "Hunting", an episode early in the show's run, Wilson jokes that House could hit another patient to see his ex-wife (after he already hit one earlier in the episode). House jokes that he'd just keep doing the same thing, becoming formulaic, which, as of now, remains the primary complaint about the show.
    • In "Role Model", House tells Joe Morton's character (a Senator) that he's not going to be president because "they don't call it the White House because of the paint job". Um, yeah.
  • Ho Yay:
  • Jerk Sue: House is this to the nth power-- he's misanthropic, hateful, abusive and mean, but it's because he's such an all-knowing genius that everyone's just an idiot compared to him that he can't help it; he puts idiot-strangers in their place, plays mind-games on his friends because they deserve or need it-- and don't ask what he does to anyone unfortunate enough to get on his bad side.
  • Jerkass Woobie: House, occasionally.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: House. He's been shipped with everyone.
  • Magnificent Bastard: House himself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "It's not lupus" (See Once an Episode). Ended up Subverted when "It was finally lupus" in Season 4's "You Don't Want To Know." Good night, sweet meme. Parodied in its own sponsorship messages, on the channels it broadcasts on in the UK - one sting features a girl playing with two dolls, one in a lab coat, the other a suit jacket. She makes one say to the other "It must be Lupus!"
      • Sarcoidosis is approaching lupus status, too.
      • Don't forget Amyloidosis.
      • And Wilson's disease (although it once WAS Wilson's Disease, but the team couldn't even name it for a minute)
      • Wegener's.
    • We're gonna have to intubate!
    • In-show example: "Be not afraid. The forest nymphs have taught me how to please a woman." Of course, the fandom has fun with this too.
    • House's expression in "Spin" has become the default image macro for saying "DO WANT". Photoshopping it into horrific contortions like this one is also popular.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many different possibilities, all hotly debated:
    • Chase's seems to have been basically murdering James Earl Jones' character because he was a murderous dictator; this caused Cameron to leave him, anyway.
    • Masters seems to have had hers in her final episode, "The Last Temptation": A 16-year old girl doesn't want to let them amputate her cancerous arm (yet) so she can beat the youngest person to sail solo around the world record, but Masters wants her to do it immediately, so she drugs her, sending her into cardiac arrest, and then manipulates the parents into signing over their consent, so that the girl WAKES UP WITHOUT AN ARM and is understandably horrified. And oddly, this is presented as being more or less the right decision, and House doesn't object, despite the fact that she got the idea to do it from Wilson's story about Stacy and House and his leg. She realized the crossing herself and couldn't accept it, looking like she wanted to throw up afterwards and decided to give up on the internship because of it.
    • Some viewers feel that Cuddy's dumping of House when he was in need and literally begging her not to was her MEV, especially since she was breaking up with him for not being there for her when she needed him.
    • Many have called MEH at House driving his car into Cuddy's dining room, saying that is makes him go from "eccentric, Jerkass but brilliant diagnostician" to "illogical, psychotic attempted murderer."
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • Season 2, "No Reason" - After getting shot, House suffers nightmarish hallucinations for an entire episode.
    • Arguably, waking up Amber in "Wilson's Heart". Wilson seemed horrified at the idea, but everyone seemed to think it was perfectly okay to wake up a dying woman just to tell her she was dying and have a bunch of people she didn't even like say their goodbyes.
    • House's hallucinations of Amber quickly veer from amusing/annoying right into this trope. That scene where she's singing at the restaurant? Creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.
  • Older Than You Think: Many fans have accused the extremely similar anime Black Jack of ripping off the premise of House. In fact, the original Black Jack manga predates House by about thirty years.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap:
    • Cameron, although that may just be in comparison to her replacement Thirteen.
    • "The Dig" seems to be starting the rally to rescue Thirteen.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Thirteen and Foreman in Season 5, Chase and Cameron later on in the same season.
    • House and Cuddy. Every episode in Season 7 focuses on their relationship. We get it, it's huge, but three episodes have been about how she's mad because he lied to her (hard to imagine he would stoop to such a level), now can we get back to the medical mysteries and the duckies being adorable and the House-Wilson banter/friendship (instead of Wilson being reduced to House and Cuddy's cheerleader)?
  • The Scrappy:
    • Cameron and Thirteen at times.
    • Vogler, Stacy, and Tritter have their fair share of haters as well.
    • Lucas Douglas has gotten pretty darn scrappy as well.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 5 is the most notable series example, but some fans also had issues with Season 3. Fortunately, Season 6 has largely been considered a return to form, and while Season 4 broke with the old team, most fans were willing to give Thirteen, Kutner, and Taub the benefit of the doubt, at least temporarily.
  • Shocking Swerve: Kutner's death.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: House chewing out some idiot vegan parents for forcing their baby to live on almond milk, tofu, and raw vegetables:

  House: Raw food. If only our ancestors had mastered the secret of fire. Babies need fat, proteins, calories. Less important, sprouts and hemp. Starving babies is bad. Not to mention illegal in many cultures. I'm having her admitted.

    • Made worse by the fact that Real Life babies have died from this.
  • Special Effect Failure: In the episode where House flies toy helicopters around the hospital, they are obviously CG-I'd. But they're not bad CG-I...however when he takes the crew on a monster truck later on, everyone jerks back as the car appears to speed up but the background is moving at the exact same speed.
  • Squick: The writers seem to have some weird ideas on communicating with children about sex... one episode featured a mother who never lied to her 10 year old-ish daughter. As such, the daughter NATURALLY knew the mother's sexual preferences and how they have changed ("She used to like being on top, but now she likes being face-down") and an older brother Promoted to Parent telling Foreman it's fine for him to speak about anallingus... in front of his two underage siblings. Huh.

    Oddly, Age-inappropriate conversations are the least of House Squick-factors, rating perhaps a "1" on the House-scale (which, naturally, Goes to Eleven-- with Eye Scream being a "5" at worst). Given the regular appearance of things that would gross out a police coroner, they're included for the obvious reason of presenting a gross-out factor to the audience; while the apparent pretense is "realism," this is contradicted by the fact that doctors are used to it. This is lampshaded in at least once instance, in which House is, as usual, trying to mooch off of Wilson's lunch; Wilson responds "if you're trying to gross me out," and relates what he deals with daily as the head of the Oncology department.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The episode where the team is treating a teenage patient who had a heart attack before his operation to have a deformed part of his skull removed. They're filmed the entire time due to the teenager being part of a documentary, with House constantly angry at the crew for putting his team under pressure and generally mocking the crew. In the very end, the crew sends House and Cuddy an early cut of the program to be aired...which paints House as an extremely caring doctor. House reacts in horror, although it's never revealed if it was genuine or not.
  • Tear Jerker: "Three Stories" and "Wilson's Heart" are guaranteed to make anyone cry. "The C-word" is this when it's not Nightmare Fuel
  • Toy Ship: The episode "Two Stories" had House's Career Day antics land him in the principal's office alongside a young couple that was caught going a bit too PDA for elementary school at recess.[1]
  • Unfortunate Implications: Out of the only two apparently asexual characters to appear on the show, one had a brain tumor causing him to have a pituitary gland disorder and the other was lying when she said she was asexual, just to please her partner. Having a disorder and lying about one's orientation happen to be the most common stereotypes that sexuals like to assume are true of asexuals. Furthermore, this portrayal ignores the fact that it is possible to have a sex drive and still be asexual - the drive just isn't directed at anything. Asexuality is about attraction, not drive. Fixing the pituitary gland wouldn't have changed much. Needless to say, this whole episode had a huge chunk of the asexual community up in arms.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Dr. Chase.
  • The Woobie: Just about everyone has had their turn at some point in the series.
    • Most especially House himself (e.g first episode of Season 6)
    • Wilson gets a special mention: divorced three times, temporarily homeless, his assets get frozen while attempting to keep House out of jail, he suffers from depression, his girlfriend, Amber, dies, and in Season 5 it's revealed that his long-lost, homeless brother that is mentioned in Season 1 is also schizophrenic and that he blames himself for him running away. Added to that his best friend is a socially inept, merciless asshole. Plus those eyes...
      • Even worse now that he has cancer. They never give him a break.
    • Martha Masters whenever House unloads on her.
    • Chi Park fills the woobie role in season 8, especially her rambling at her disciplinary committee.
  • WTH? Casting Agency: Misanthropic American doctor...HughLaurie? (oh...right, then. Carry on.)

Notes

  1. It was eventually established that the kids were in fifth grade, which is not an unrealistic time to start seeing the opposite sex in a different light.
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