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YMMV: House
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is House a soulless Jerkass misanthrope, or a doctor profoundly committed to medical ethics beyond all reason?
  • 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.
  • Artistic License Law: Tritter. Tritter, Tritter, Tritter, Tritter. Any lawyer worth their salt (especially one as expensive as the one House goes to see Que Sera Sera) would have slapped Tritter so hard legally that his head would spin. Since they'd have documentation of Tritter's grudge against House (he went to Cuddy with it) they'd easily have been able to bring it to a judge that he was biased. By the time he backmails two of House's friends and reneges on a plea bargain, you'll probably be comforted to know that at the end of the Tritter arc he's probably getting thrown off the police force.
  • Award Snub: Hugh Laurie won just about every award EXCEPT an Emmy for his work as Dr. House, despite boasting a total of 6 nominations over the show's 8 years.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • Cameron in the earlier seasons, for being preachy and obnoxious.
    • Thirteen, for having the worst characteristics of Cameron, and being used as a Ms. Fanservice with little personality. Getting extra screentime because she has Huntington's didn't exactly endear her to fans either.
    • Masters was a huge Spotlight-Stealing Squad during her Season 7 appearances.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: House.
  • 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 advisers, 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.
    • Dr. Darryl Nolan, played by Andre Braugher in the sixth season premiere. While the episode itself led to a massive Broken Base, Braugher's performance was uniformly praised.
    • Amber "Cutthroat Bitch" Volakis, a delightfully antagonistic doctor who was one of the candidates for House's new diagnostics team. Fans were bummed when she didn't make the final cut, then rejoiced when she returned as Wilson's girlfriend then cried when she died, then rejoiced once more when she returned as one of House's hallucinations.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The whole show is rife with these.
    • Common ones are "Everybody lies," "Nobody ever changes," and "You can't always get what you want." note ".
    • A big and often used is if you are a genius who other people have to depend on, you can basically be a dick to everyone without many consequences. Though this is more of a Truth in Television variety because often those who don't have to deal with you constantly will let you get away with being an ass if you are good for the bottom line.
      • This particular trope is often subverted too though; House will often intentionally behave like even more of a complete and utter dick than his own natural personality would be, simply because he can. While often it's played for laughs, his cavalier/antisocial/sociopathic tendencies have more than once lead to a patient ending up with lifelong injuries that wouldn't have happened if everyone had just done their job right the first time, at which points he usually feels legitimate remorse and sometimes contemplates (however briefly) if he should really keep doing things that way.
      • Also, a nod to realism early on, when Cuddy mentions that she got him for a steal, salary-wise, because his rampant Jerk Ass tendencies meant that no one else would even hire him.
    • Patient rights are basically hindrances that prevent doctors from doing their jobs correctly. Every time a patient is shown refusing treatment, the team finds some way to either bully, trick, or otherwise manipulate them into conceding. In nearly every episode, the team is shown breaking into the patient's home in order to find out what the patient is hiding from them.
      • The crowning example of this has to be in "Last Temptation": Martha Masters puts a girl with bone cancer into false cardiac arrest with a chemical in order to manipulate her parents into agreeing to let the doctors amputate the girl's arm because she wanted to postpone the surgery and Masters felt that was unreasonably life-threatening. The girl wakes up without her arm and is understandably horrified, but the audience is meant to agree with Masters' actions, judging by the way she leaves content with herself to the strains of "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Wow.
    • The entire Martha Masters arc, which was basically a Filler Arc for Olivia Wilde to leave and shoot TRON: Legacy, is rife with the common tropes from the series along with things like "Being idealistic and hopeful is just something for the immature and you have to be forced to grow up."
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: House/Cuddy, House/Wilson, Thirteen/Kutner.
  • "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...
  • Gotta Ship Em All: The only character who weren't shipped with every other character by at least a handful of fans were Foreman, who was really only shipped with Thirteen, and Taub, who wasn't shipped with anyone. One of the more common non-canon pairings was Cameron and Thirteen, two characters whose time on the show barely overlapped and who never spoke directly to each other.
  • 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.
    • When he's trying to figure out why Wilson is dating Amber, House asks "she's not dying, is she?" Then came the season 4 finale.
    • House learns in Season 5 that Wilson sent a password-protected file to Gonzalez at New York-Mercy, leading House to infer that Wilson was sending his medical records. Gonzalez' specialty is oncology, with a recent article on managing suicidal thoughts in terminal cancer patients. 3 seasons later, Wilson gives up on chemo for his terminal cancer.
    • 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 note .
    • 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.
  • Hollywood Homely: Masters and Park.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: House is constantly referring to how "huge" or "rotund" Cuddy's ass is.
  • 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. Whenever someone else tries to do the things House does in the show they're hit by a hard case of Reality Ensues, just because they're not House.
  • Jerkass Woobie: House, occasionally.
    • Chase and Foreman also have their moments.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: House. He's been shipped with everyone.
    • Thirteen. The fact that she is bisexual helps too.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Season 2:
      • Did you really think they would kill Foreman near the end of the season?
      • Did you really think they would kill House at the end?
    • Season 3:
      • Did you really think they'd fix House's leg for real at the beginning of the season?
      • Did you really think they'd actually get rid of Chase, Cameron, and Foreman when House fired them in the last episode?
    • Series finale: Did you really think House was going to die?
  • Magnificent Bastard: House himself.
    • Wilson has his moments.
  • Mary Sue: Thirteen and Masters. Cameron had hints of this, especially in seasons 2 & 3.
  • 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.
  • Misaimed Fandom: There are a lot of people admiring and saying how awesome acting like jackass such as House is, ignoring the fact about 80% of the show's running time is spent explaining on how House's assholeish behavior ruined his entire life and made him an extremely bitter and miserable broken man with no hopes in life.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Many different possibilities, all hotly debated:
    • Chase's seems to have been basically murdering President Dibala because he was a murderous dictator; this caused Cameron to leave him, anyway.
    • Foreman's and House's may have been helping Chase cover up president Dibala's murder.
    • 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 MEH, 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, Jerk Ass but brilliant diagnostician" to "illogical, psychotic attempted murderer."
      • It's not enough for House to cure a patient just so the man will give him money to refund his diagnostics department so House could get his offices back, and to do so, the man had to move his factories to China, resulting in hundreds of jobs lost. No, House also decides to buy $5000 in stock options from the man's company before the move, resulting in a $200,000 net gain for House, which he simply pockets. Yes, we all know House is a selfish Manipulative Bastard, but to ruin the lives of hundreds just so he could have his offices back and pocket 200 grand he doesn't even need is going too far.
  • 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.
    • Oddly enough, there's a commercial break of sorts in Japan who is a Cross Over between those two series. And with their respective voice actors reprising their roles.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Lucas in early Season 5.
    • The replacement ducklings in early Season 4.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Cameron, although that may just be in comparison to her replacement Thirteen.
    • Taub and Kutner quickly overcame their Replacement Scrappy status after the interview/reality show of early Season 4 ended.
    • "The Dig" seems to be starting the rally to rescue Thirteen.
    • Foreman starting in mid-Season 6, as his resentment of House was downplayed and his usurper tendencies increasingly became Played for Laughs.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Thirteen and Foreman in Season 5, Chase and Cameron later on in the same season.
    • House and Cuddy in Season 7.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Edward Vogler from Season 1, for quickly descending into being a cartoonishly evil Jerkass despite a background and motives that could have made him much more interesting. The main reason he isn't even more unpopular is because he appeared early enough in the show's run that most fans quickly forgot that he ever existed.
    • Tritter in Season 3. For... pretty much the exact same reasons as Vogler. Creating an Arc Villain was seen as pretty much unnecessary, he was a bit cartoonishly evil, and the attempts to play him up as "House, but as a cop" just wound up seeming forced. His arc is pretty much universally disliked.
  • 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.
  • So Bad, It's Good/Narm Charm: The porno in Season 6's "Private Lives".
  • 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 (subverted when it turns out they hired a nutritionist to make sure the diet was appropriate for a baby, cluing House in there was another reason for her illness):
    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.
    • The overall theme of the show is that it's better to be completely honest with your doctor, even if it's at severe emotional cost, than it is to die.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In "Fall from Grace", 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.
    • In season 2's "Humpty Dumpty", the bandage covering Antonio's hand amputation wound is quite obviously pasted on.
  • 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.
      ** 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.
    • One episode had House add a sample of male human breast milk (from a male patient who has started lactating because of a hormone imbalance) to his coffee, while his team look on in horror and disbelief.
    • In "Histories", House tastes a patient's vomit for diagnostic purposes.
    • The season 2 episode "Autopsy" in which Chase kisses a 9-year-old cancer patient.
    • Season 2's oral bowel movement.
    • Season 7 : "Jan Martin just won first place in the Chili Cook-off. Congratulations, Jan! That cocoa powder really did it!" Also counts as a Mood Whiplash, because the announcement happens right after an intense emotional scene between House and Thirteen.
  • Stoic Woobie: Foreman
  • Strangled by the Red String: Foreman and Thirteen go from polite but distant colleagues to a committed relationship. Over the space of a couple episodes.
    • Lucas and Cuddy in Seasons 5 and 6. It's been established that Cuddy has had a crush on House for years, and somehow that leads to her dating a Man Child with many of House's bad qualities and none of the redeeming ones.
  • Strawman Has a Point: A rare case where the strawman is the lead character. In Fetal Position, Cuddy takes a risky course of action, motivated by her desire to save a woman's fetus, when House wants to terminate the pregnancy. The show makes it clear that Cuddy is supposed to be considered right but House's course of action was probably much more advisable. As he himself points out at the end of the episode, 9.9 times out of 10, Cuddy's course of action would have killed both mother and child, whereas House's would save the mother 10 out of 10 times.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-universe; 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.
  • 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.note 
  • Wangst: House during the Tritter arc. It gets really hard to stomach towards the end of the arc, when House keeps playing the victim after he's committed multiple felonies in the name of standing on principle, and refused Tritter's entirely reasonable offer for a plea bargain.
    • In season 5 House effectively cures his chronic pain with methadone. He voluntarily goes back to using vicodin and his pain because it makes him a better doctor. This makes any subsequent pain or drug-related angst hard to take seriously.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The identity of House's biological father. They could have added a story arc about this at any point post-"Birthmarks" but instead did a single episode in Season 8 which raised more questions than it solved: the likeliest candidate also wasn't House's father, and House uncharacteristically finds closure in this.
    • Thirteen's Huntington's. The season 4 finale set up a potentially great One of Our Own plot, but Thirteen pulled off the impossible when her illness made her less likable, as the arc focused on girl-on-girl action rather than characterization or the illness itself. The gravity of the entire situation was undermined by the fact that she appeared healthy; illness as an Informed Attribute doesn't work, especially on a show that prides itself on bizarre or gross-out conditions. Season 7 episode "The Dig" was a genuinely moving plot centered around her Huntington's, but was basically a standalone plot.
  • What an Idiot: Taub in late season 7, twice: cheating on his new girlfriend with his ex-wife, who divorced him because of his infidelity and not using condoms with either woman.
  • 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.
  • Too Cool to Live: Kutner
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Misanthropic American doctor... Hugh Laurie? (oh... right, then. Carry on.)
    • Though Bryan Singer was genuinely fooled by his accent in the audition.

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