Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, with specialties in both Infectious Disease and Nephrology. House did his undergrad at Johns Hopkins; he also attended medical school there but was expelled for cheating and ultimately got his degree from the University of Michigan. 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.Played by Hugh Laurie.
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 didn't accompany House and his father when he was stationed at various military bases or didn't notice the abuse.
House concludes that his mother hated his father, too, when he proves that his dad wasn't 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.
Anti-Hero: He has good intentions (most of the time) but he is not a nice man.
Break the Haughty: A lot of times; Tritter saw it as his purpose to break his pride and make him apologize.
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.
Composite Character: In addition to being an Expy of Sherlock Holmes, as noted below, his character clearly takes some influence from John Watson as well (even with Wilson being written as an Expy of Watson). He combines Holmes' drug use, deductive skills and antisocial tendencies with Watson's profession as a medical doctor, as well as Watson's limp (Watson walked with a cane, like House, because of a gunshot wound in the Afghan War).
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Whether its about his emotional state or his limp, he'll chew you out for showing sympathy.
Driven to Suicide: In the series finale and "Merry Little Christmas". Decides to keep living in the former, and unsuccessful in the latter
Dr. Jerk: He acknowledges it too: "I'm a doctor you'd never send a gift to." He's got such a reputation for this that his Genre Savvy boss set aside a generous budget for legal expenses when she hired him.
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..
Evil Laugh: He breaks out an impressive one when he has the team cure a braindead woman so they can use her heart for a transplant.
House: We're going to cure her. Cameron: We're going to cure death?! House:MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ...Doubt it.
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; only Wilson and Foreman know he's still alive.
Flanderization: Interestingly, the only Doctor on the show who became crazier as the show went on, suggesting worsening depression and drug addiction. In the first season, House at least tried to hide (however feebly) his rudeness from patients, and went to bat for them if the hospital tried to deny him/her care. Late-season House made it plain that that the patient is irrelevant; all he cares about is the puzzle. There is also a noticeable shift in ideology; a belief that human beings are all shallow narcissists and that kindness springs from cowardice became a moral principle instead of a cynical observation.
Good Is Not Nice: Ultimately, he means well and will go extremely far to save his patients, but he doesn't do it in a nice way.
Has a Type: House definitely goes for brunettes. Cameron, Stacy, Cuddy, Paula the hooker from season two, and Dominika from season seven - all are brunettes. Incidentally, whatever he may or may not have felt for the blonde Amber, the most notable instance of a blonde being interested in House, assuming we discount the post-season three Cameron, turned out to be the result of a fungal infection in her brain.
Anti-Heroic BSOD: Suffering bad ones after Kutner's death, the first hallucination of Amber, Amber's return in the restaurant, learning that he'll be in prison for Wilson's 5 remaining months alive, and Amber and Kutner appearing in the season finale.
Both Kutner and Amber appear in hallucinations in the series finale...as do Cameron and Stacy.
Hypocrite: He openly mocks religious patients for finding comfort in superstition, but privately admits that the evidence for/against God could point either way and his own atheism is partly because he finds it more comforting.
Lack of Empathy: Subverted. He's fully capable of empathy. In emotional or sad moments, and almost always private ones, he'll display that capacity. He just likes to give the impression that he's an outright asshole.
Mean Boss: If you ever work with him and you have something to make fun of, he will make fun of it.
He makes race jokes to Foreman, class jokes to Chase, and ridicules Cameron's compassion.
He makes fun of Adams' rich guilt, Park's social awkwardness, Thirteen's bisexuality, and Taub's inability to keep a relationship together.
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. In "The Down Low", he pretends he and Wilson are a couple as part of an insanely convoluted plan to sleep with the woman Wilson likes, and keep him from sleeping with her at the same time.
Never Be Hurt Again: At times. His relationship with Stacy sent him into one period of emotional disengagement. Then 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 likes him (rather than hookers) might lead to attachment which will hurt him again. If you showed him this page on TV Tropes and said that it applied to him, he'd probably call you a moron for thinking it... and then go home and play his piano, while drinking scotch, alone.
The Nicknamer: A Jerkass version of this trope. He comes up with new, insulting nicknames for everyone every time he sees them. Only one sticks: "Thirteen" for Dr. Remy Hadley. Although black Mormon "Big Love" and Cutthroat Bitch both had pretty good runs. House not calling Amber Cutthroat Bitch even makes for at least two distinct OOC Is Serious Business moments.
Oh Crap: Several, the big ones being identifying Amber as the bus crash victim and realizing she's as good as dead in "Wilson's Heart", and Amber and Kutner appearing as hallucinations in late Season 5.
The Only One: Other characters have made final diagnoses before he has only a few times in the show's history.
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.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Of a sort. For anyone else, accepting a vintage 1965 Corvette from a known member of the New Jersey mob, as House did in season one, would be an invitation to ethical conflict, and an incitement to break all sorts of rules. For House, it was an invitation to Tuesday, and an incitement to do exactly what he does without being bribed. Ironically, apart from the car, his conduct on that case was more ethical than some of the things he would do in later seasons. On the other hand, it may have been an example of...
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Inadvertently causes Amber's death in the Season 4 finale. He called Wilson asking for a ride home, Amber saw the number and went to meet him, they went home on a bus which ended up in a horrific crash. Amber died from a combination of her injuries and the flu meds she was taking.
You Are What You Hate: House harbors a simmering rage at stupid doctors and clueless patients. He's both; when doctors misdiagnosed his clot, House insisted on waiting it out instead of amputation. He ended up with 1½ legs and double the pain.
Dr. James Wilson
Head of the Department of Oncology, and House's best (and only) friend. Got his medical degree from Columbia and did his specialty training at the University of Pennsylvania. It's assumed but never stated that he attended McGill University for his bachelor's degree. 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.Played by Robert Sean Leonard.
All-Loving Hero: Wilson certainly fits this trope a huge percentage of the time. Giving part of your liver to your friend / patient who is dying certainly fits him in this category. In fact, he's always so ridiculously accommodating for other people, trying to help them out and take care of them, that it destroys his romantic relationships because he never wants to burden his partner with his own needs. Amber gets really pissed when he tries to take care of her.
All Take and No Give: His relationship with House. Most of the time. Inverted when he has cancer in Season 8.
On the other hand, Wilson has said he values his relationship with House because he doesn't have to walk on eggshells or soften the truth with House, which is valuable for someone who has to be nice and compassionate to people all day long.
All Men Are Perverts: An authentic example. He still can't abstain from dating other women, even when he was married. He even had an affair with a patient.
Face Death with Dignity: In Season 8, Wilson finds out that he has cancer that gives him, at absolute best, around three years to live. After the first round of chemotherapy is unsuccessful, he refuses any further treatment and decides to just enjoy the roughly 5 months he has left.
Failure Is the Only Option: His first two marriages ended in divorce before the series started. His 3rd marriage fails in Season 2, leaving his extremely dysfunctional relationship with House as the only one that hasn't fallen apart.
Serial Spouse: Wilson had been divorced twice at the start of the show. He went through his third divorce in season two. At one point his second wife says "He’s just so knight-in-shining armor, you know? Always there to support you, until he’s not, but by then you’re hooked." He stopped being there for her because he needed to be there for House.
Shipper on Deck: First to House and Cameron (even as he warns her not to hurt him), then to House and Stacy (even as he warns her not to hurt him and reminds House that Stacy's married) then to House and Cuddy. Mostly, he just wants House to be happy.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Decides to induce protective hypothermia in Amber rather than continue with the defibrillator, so House has more time to diagnose her. She was as good as dead when they agreed on this.
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 actwasnot pretty.Played by Lisa Edelstein.
Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Cuddy constantly gives the impression that she has far too much on her plate, and in her A Day in the Limelight episode "5 to 9". this impression is confirmed with a vengeance, showing that House, for all the antagonism he gives Cuddy, is only about 50% of her problems.
Law of Inverse Fertility: Desperately wants a child, but is unable to conceive; in Season 3 she tells Wilson that she has made three attempts at implantation, two of which never took and the last of which miscarried. In Season 5, her first attempt at adoption falls through when the biological mother changes her mind about giving up her child. It takes until the middle of Season 5 for her to finally successfully adopt.
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.Played by Omar Epps.
Token Minority: For all of Seasons 1-3, parts of 4 & 5 and all of 6 & 7. Something House always jokes about.
The Usurper: Asserts himself as team leader whenever House isn't around.
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, urging House to kill himself and end his suffering.Played by Jennifer Morrison.
Black and White Morality: She believes very strictly in a set moral system. Whether or not this chimes with her willingness to euthanize a patient in season three, or with her condemning 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 saving the lives of thousands of people, is debatable.
Break the Cutie: Before the series even started, she married a man whom she knew was dying of cancer. Subverted by her three years working for House, which, if anything, seem to have strengthened her quite a bit.
Commuting on a Bus: When she works in the ER in seasons 4, 5 and the early part of season 6.
Expository Hair Style Change: Initially a brunette, she goes blonde from season four onward, at the point when she resigns from House's department.
The Face: 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.
Hired for Their Looks: In his words, House hired Cameron because "it's like having a nice piece of art in the lobby," though she had impressive medical credentials to go with them. He quickly elaborates on this: with her looks, Cameron didn't have to work as hard as she did to get where she was, but did anyway, and that was why he hired her. (And, implicitly, because he wanted to figure out just how she was damaged, and just how damaged she was).
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. He leaves yet again near the end of Season 8 to pursue his own career as a diagnostician and step out of House's shadow. When House fakes his death in the series finale he ultimately replaces House as Head of Diagnostic Medicine at PPTH.Played by Jesse Spencer.
Abusive Parents: Took care of his sister and mother after his father left them. His mother turned to drinking after the divorce and died from the DTs while he was in the 12th grade, and his father dies of lung cancer in season 2 without even telling Chase he was sick. His motivation for becoming a doctor? His mother would lock him in the study as punishment; once he stopped crying he read the medical books in there to kill time.
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).
It's worth noting that he starts taking on some of House's physical traits as the show progressed.
In the final season, he was briefly crippled for a few episodes due to a patient attack. 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.
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.
Token Minority: As far as we know, the only member of the PPTH staff who wasn't born & raised in the United States.
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.Played by Peter Jacobson.
Cassandra Truth: Tries to inform a stripper of a potential melanoma. Gets held at gunpoint for his trouble when he can't convince her he's not trying to sleep with her.
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.Played by Kal Penn.
Character Death: When Kal Penn, the actor who portrayed him, left the show to work with President Obama, his character was killed off in "Simple Explanation", via suicide. House thought it was murder, but Word of God stated that it was indeed suicide.
Running Gag: Kutner + defibrillator = disaster — Foreshadowing in "Locked In", Kutner uses the paddles without anything disastrous happening. The next episode is "Simple Explanation", where Kutner commits suicide. As Kutner's previous...mishaps with the paddles were likely a result of his characteristic overeagerness, this shows that, despite appearances, he isn't his usual self.
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 the fourth season finale, she finally gives herself a blood test for Huntington's, which comes back positive. 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.Played by Olivia Wilde.
Distaff Counterpart: To House, in the later seasons, as both their lives seem to be made of concentrated misery. House seems to believe that if she can be happy, her life being much crappier than his, so could he.
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. She kept her prints off the syringes used to administer the drugs so that she only did time in jail for excessive prescribing
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 / Only Known by Their Nickname: 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. Even after her real name is revealed, it's almost never used.
Soap Box Sadie: Her temporary return in season 7 oddly has more of these tendencies. Most notable when she's calling out a patient for dating multiple men in her workplace and when she defends a performance artist's... poor decisions.
An internist 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.Played by Odette Yustman.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Cameron and Thirteem. She specializes in internal medicine, has an unlucky relationship history and very high moral concerns about patient care.
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.Played by Charlene Yi.
All Love Is Unrequited: Her crush on Chase is not mutual, and House and Adams taunt her about it occasionally, persumably as he's a Mr. Fanservice even in-universe, while she's seen as a Hollywood Homely (House notes that she's ruining his Charlie's Angels fantasy for the brief time where only her, Adams and Thirteen were on his team.)
Mushroom Samba: After eating ice cream at a patient's house, 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.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Masters. Opinionated, notably younger than the rest of the team, poor social skills which make her unafraid to call out superiors, and intimidated to the point of speechlessness in her first few interactions with House.
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.Played by Chi McBride.
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.Played by David Morse.
Corrupt Cop: In exchange for Foreman's testimony, offers to get his brother Marcus early parole. Destroys Wilson's practice and freezes the accounts of House's team to extort testimony.
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? And then there's his nonchalant destruction of Wilson's practice as part of his investigation.
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.
Karma Houdini: Other than a judge telling him his charges were overblown, he gets away scot-free.
Knight Templar: Assuming his actions aren't just petty vengeance, he's adamant that his tactics are justified and that House is a drug addict who needs to be dealt with by the police. He never entertains the idea that the Vicodin could be legitimately medicinal, or that pushing for the harshest possible sentence is overreach.
Villain Has a Point: His actions are jumping off the slippery slope, but his irritable lecture to Cuddy hits every point on the head as he rails against House's drug addiction and the fact that those around him enable it. He also accurately states that House is gonna kill someone if something isn't done. This is at foreshadowing for later events in the episode when a strung-out House almost would have caused a little girl to have crippling amputation for the wrong diagnosis if not for Chase's intervention.
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," a nickname that she seems almost proud of. 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 and discusses House's patient with him and convincing him to keep living.Played by Anne Dudek.
Enemy Without: As a hallucination. Initially an ally, she turns dark as House wises up to the fact that her (his?) intents are hostile.
Establishing Character Moment: Amber is the first to balk at House's absurd tests. She announces she's leaving, and half of the trainees follow suit. She returns minutes later, having thinned the herd.
Freudian Excuse: Parodied. When House does his usual 'why are you broken' routine she rattles off cliched reasons like 'Daddy didn't love me enough' or 'Mommy set too high expectations' or 'something' to show her annoyance.
A lawyer in the employ of Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital in seasons 1 and 2...oh, and she used to date and live with Gregory House. Remarried.Played by Sela Ward.
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.
Beleaguered Bureaucrat: As hospital attorney, she is swamped with malpractice & fraud claims related to House's department.
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.
Keeping Secrets Sucks: This is what breaks her and House up, as she was so upset when she learned House was lying when he said she had not got citizenship (House hid the letter stating she could become a citizen, so she would carry on living with him for fear of being deported).