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A Stock Phrase often yelled by a character when someone is injured in a public setting such as a theater or a restaurant, though it's been played for laughs since at least the 1930s, making it a bit of a Discredited Trope, hardly ever taken seriously. It can often lead into instances of Breaking the Fourth Wall and Born in the Theatre, and the word "doctor" or "house" might be replaced by something else, either because the plot calls for it or for comedic effect. It is still parodied to this day.

A common variant is on airplanes with "Is there a doctor onboard?", perhaps the second most worrying question you can be asked while flying after "Does anyone know how to fly?" (Though both, in order, work too.)

Real Life examples may involve Fatal Method Acting.

Examples of Is There a Doctor In the House? include:


Anime and Manga

  • Chopper from One Piece made a running gag of saying things like this, then remembering that he was a doctor.
  • Lampshaded and subverted in Cromartie High School in the field-trip episode (one of the three). When the question is asked, comedian wannabe Yamaguchi Noboru notes that it's a nice classic joke. After that, another announcement calls for sumo wrestlers. Out of professionalism, Noboru won't be surprised by such an outrageous demand. After that, another announcement, this time for a green grocer. Noboru muses for a very short while, until snapping: that lady can't be allowed to say whatever she wants! Cue Freddie's wild horse (having trampled masked Takenouchi), being held by two sumo wrestlers, while a green grocer is trying to stop him with carrots. Noboru realises he's way too normal.

Comics

  • One Far Side strip where a fishbowl shattered onstage, with several people in the audience standing up and shouting "Why yes, I'm an ichthyologist!"
  • One Marsupilami story involved a costume party, when one person fainted, a guy in a Doctor Outfit complete with little forehead lamp called out "Is There A Doctor In The House?"

Film

  • Crazy House (1943)

 Ole Olsen: Is there a dentist in the house?

  • In The Three Stooges short From Nurse to Worse, a doctor shouts this frantically while in a hospital surrounded by other doctors, after accidentally giving another doctor sleeping gas when he was supposed to give it to Curly, before slowly realizing that he is a doctor.
  • Doctor Dolittle (1998): an astigmatic police horse.
  • The French title for Airplane! is Y a-t-il un Pilote dans l'Avion - Is There a Pilot in the Plane.
  • Dr. Giggles: The title character's last words, after being stabbed fatally.
  • A variation in the 300 Riff Trax, when a stack of pots falls over in the burning village.
  • "Is there a doctor in the fish?"
  • In the Edward G. Robinson movie Dr. Clitterhouse, the titular doctor is being tried for murder. The lead juror faints after delivering a "not guilty" verdict on the grounds of insanity, and a policeman shouts "Is there a doctor in the courtroom?"

Live Action TV

  • Used in a sketch Peter David and friends put on for Shore Leave 2009. They were doing their Mad Scientist schtick, then one of them collapsed as if he had a heart attack. "Get a doctor!" "Oh my god." "Is there a doctor in the house!?" Enter Robert Picardo. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency."
  • ~M*A*S*H~ episode "Out of Sight, Out of Mind": Hawkeye Pierce, while blinded.

 Hawkeye: Frank, I'm glad you're here. Get a doctor.

    • Zig-zagged in the episode where Hawkeye and Trapper contend with a bigot:

 Trapper: (arriving in post-op) I understand you're in need of a medical man.

Hawkeye: I see you couldn't find one.

  • Scrubs episode "My Conventional Wisdom"

 Turk: "So when the conference starts, I pretend to choke, and you say, "Is there a doctor in the house?" It's going to kill."

    • Also from Scrubs when JD collides into a gurney and injures himself:

 JD: "Is anyone else a doctor?"

  • Angel episode "Smile Time"

 Lorne the Host: [holds torn body of Angel puppet] Is there a Geppetto in the house?

  • In Friends, Joey dates an insane woman who believes him to be Dr Drake Ramoray, the character he plays in a Show Within a Show. While at a restaurant together, she puts Joey on the spot when someone starts choking and this phrase is shouted. He says that he's unable to deal with the problem since he's a neurosurgeon and this is clearly a case of "foodal chokage".
  • There was a very short-lived television series in 1969 called Doctor in the House.
  • Used for the title of an episode of Hogan's Heroes, with a later episode using the variation "Is There a Traitor in the House".
  • 1989-91 Sitcom Doctor Doctor used "Is there a doctor in the house?" at the end of its theme song.
  • I refuse to believe Dr. House is not some form of Stealth Pun on this phrase.
    • Word of God is that House is a pun on Holmes (homes). Not that it can't be both.
    • House himself uses this phrase once so that he won't be bothered to have to be a doctor while not on the clock. In the episode "Airborne", he and Cuddy take a flight, House on the first class, Cuddy on the economy class. A person gets sick, and somebody asks: "Is anyone a doctor?" House looks around, hopefully, then eventually gives up, gets up and says: "Yes! I'll go get her."
  • Used in Monk when there was a doctor in the house when a murder takes place on stage but it turns out he was not a real doctor but an accomplice of the murderer, they catch him when he uses the phrase later on.

 Monk: Last time you were the doctor.

  • I Dream of Jeannie had an episode with this title.
  • The Brady Bunch had an episode entitled "Is There a Doctor In the House?" as well.
  • Seems to have been popular for use as an episode title. Hogan's Heroes also had an episode called that.
  • On The Mentalist the Victim of the Week collapses in front of a crowd as he's about to present his entry in a cooking contest (he's a chef) and the emcee says the line.
  • In a Seinfeld episode George pretends to be a marine biologist to impress his girlfriend. Unfortunately, he happens to be at a beach with her when a whale is beached, and someone shouts: "Is anyone here a marine biologist?"
    • The sea was angry that day, my friends.
  • El Chapulin Colorado: In a Dr. Chapatin segment, a man was starting to feel the consequences of his overeating at a restaurant and his wife asked if there was a doctor around. That was Dr. Chapatin's cue.


Theatre

  • "Who's Got The Pain?" from Damn Yankees has a definitely facetious use of the phrase.

Video Games

  • Bubsy II: The title character.
    • Of course, there's "Is there a veterinarian in the audience?"
  • Trauma Center: Under The Knife actually plays this straight. When the PA on a flight calls out "Is there a doctor on board?", Derek Styles and his assistant immediately answer the call, discovering they have to drain fluid from the patient's lungs. In flight. During turbulence. This is about as tricky as it sounds.

Web Comics

  • One of the very first Eight Bit Theater strips had "Is there a White Mage in the audience?"
  • In an Eerie Cuties strip, when Chloe thinks she's attacked by a snake, her friend, Nina shouts: "Is there a herpetologist in the house?"

Web Original

  • On Episode 52 of Ask That Guy With The Glasses, this question was one of the ones asked. That Guy answered "yes", and proceeded to shoot the doctor off screen.

Western Animation

  • Dozens of Looney Tunes shorts. Bugs Bunny said the phrase in "Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare" and "Hare-Raising Hare". In the latter, after a member of the theater audience declared themselves to be a doctor, Bugs nonchalantly chewed on his carrot and said "Eh, what's up doc?"
    • "A Tale Of Two Kitties" has the variation, "Is there an insurance salesman in the house?"
    • In "The Henpecked Duck", after Daffy Duck loses an egg he was supposed to babysit while doing a magic trick with it and frantically tries to make it appear again, he stops briefly to look at the audience and ask "Is there a magician in the house?"
    • In the short "Rabbit Punch", the boxer Bugs is fighting screams this phrase out after Bugs snaps a wooden board in half while putting him in a leg lock, making him think Bugs broke his leg. Bugs then arrives wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise as a doctor, and wraps the boxer up in bandages from head to toe.
    • Wile E. Coyote says it in one of his rare speaking roles at the end of "Rabbits Feat", a short in which he is pursuing Bugs Bunny.
    • In "The Ducksters", after Porky finally turns the tables on game show host Daffy, the cartoon ends with Daffy strapped to a Conveyor Belt O' Doom (like Porky was at the beginning of the cartoon), shouting "Have you got a doctor in the balcony, lady?"
  • In the Tom and Jerry short "Mouse Trouble", Jerry sticks several needles through a box, and saws it in half, only to realize that Tom was hiding inside. He quickly writes a sign and holds it up so the audience can see it, asking "Is there a doctor in the house?"
    • One of the Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry shorts was called "Is there a Doctor in the Mouse?"
  • In "Blitz Wolf", as the titular character is falling from the sky he lets loose a stream of fake German, which is translated as "Call for Dr. Kildare!"
  • Batman episode "King Tut": Bruce Wayne says it.
  • Parodied in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "The Big Cufflink Caper!"

 Raphael: Improvise? Against those goons? Is there a script doctor in the house?

  • In the World War Two Popeye short, "Seein' Red White and Blue", when Adolf Hitler gets punched out by Uncle Sam the scene is censored by a cue card reading "Is there a undertaker in the house?" with the word "doctor" crossed out.
    • In the short "How Green is My Spinach", Bluto destroys the world's spinach crops and begins to pummel a helpless Popeye. The narrator asks "Is there a can of spinach in the house?" Then we see (in live action) a child in the movie theater who throws Popeye a can of spinach.
  • It's also the title of an episode of the Animated Adaptation of Arthur.
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?", as Dr. Zoidberg goes nuts around some pregnant women:

 Gym Instructor: [after several pregnant women break their water] Is there a doctor in the gym?!

Zoidberg: I'm a doctor! [More pregnant women break their water]

  • On Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer starts choking in a restaurant (aptly called Chokey Chicken) and Rocko calls for a doctor. Everyone in the restaurant is a doctor, but they just ignore him.
  • In the Garfield TV special Garfield Goes Hollywood, at the "Pet Search" talent show, there is an old woman who is trying to make her pet bird, which is most likely dead, perform tricks to the audience.

 Old Woman: (after realizing what's going on) Is There a Doctor In the House??

 Dijon: Ohhh... Is there a doctor in the pyramid?


Other

  • The phrase became very popular among the writers of news article headlines in need of a catchy and cheesy line recently when reporting on Obama's health care plan.
  • Old Joke. A musical is going full swing, when a distraught older woman runs on stage and screams "Is there a doctor in the house?". A man near the stage stands up. "I'm a Doctor" he says. The woman turns to him. "Would you like to meet a nice Jewish girl?"

Real Life

  • Still used as part of emergency medical procedures during any live theatrical event. The House Manager (or Stage Manager) will call for a 'Hold' stopping the production and will then ask to the audience, "Is there is a doctor in the house?"
  • Played entirely straight when President Abraham Lincoln was mortally wounded by an assassin at Ford's Theater during a performance, April 14, 1865.
  • At a Friars' Club roast for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on November 24th, 1958, comedian Harry "Parkyakarkus" Einstein made a phenomenally-received "comeback" performance, after which he received a standing ovation and immediately collapsed onto Milton Berle. Berle said, in complete seriousness, "is there a doctor in the house?", but everyone thought he was joking.
  • Pete Townshend of The Who asked his audience during a concert "Can anyone play the drums? - I mean somebody good!" after their drummer, Keith Moon, passed out due to a drug overdose. An audience member, Scot Halpin, filled in.
  • Narrowly avoided by Dick Cavett, who tells us that when Jerome Rodale died on his show, he asked “Is there a doctor in the… audience?”. He couldn't figure out why he paused, until months later, when Katharine Hepburn told him that he, somehow, knew that the stockline would make people laugh.
  • In 1995, two doctors on board a British Airways flight performed emergency surgery on a passenger whose lung had started to collapse. Using a scalpel, a set of cutlery, a flexible plastic tube, a bottle of water, and a coat hanger, all sterilized with half a bottle of cognac, they managed to get the patient back into stable condition. Then they drank the rest of the cognac.
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