These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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.
The Volger arc in season one was disliked for similar reasons. Having a megalomaniacal hospital administrator harass House did not exactly endear fans. In later interviews, David Shore admitted that he was forced to write the plotline to appease Fox executives, mainly because House struggled in the ratings during season one. Fortunately, by the time that sideplot ended, ratings were healthy enough for renewal, so Shore was able to get rid of the character.
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.
In Fall from Grace, the team cures the Patient of the Week, only to learn that he's skipped town. Nothing out of the ordinary, until it's revealed at the last moment that he's a cannibal and serial killer
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; her obnoxiousness and naivete outside differentials went over poorly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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 *
this episode aired in 2010; about 2 weeks prior to the airdate, Arizona passed an extremely strict anti-illegal immigration law
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.
In "Wilson", they move in together. And an episode later ("The Down Low"), they're being Mistaken for Gay and Wilson actually proposes to House in a restaurant. Of course, he's only doing it to get back at House.
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.
"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)
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 extremely bitter and miserable broken man with no hopes in life.
Chase's seems to have been basically murdering President Dibala because he was a murderous dictator; this caused Cameron to leave him, anyway.
Foreman and House may have joined Chase in crossing the Moral Event Horizon when they helped him cover up president Dibala's murder. House doesn't even think twice about helping Chase.
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.
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.
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)?
Seasonal Rot: Season5 is themostnotable 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.
Season 7 had issues due to the Huddy relationship and Thirteen's temporary absence & replacement with Masters.
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 "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.
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.
And don't forget the episode where House adds 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.
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.*
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.
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.
If someone is nice or honest, it's either a serious mental illness, or an attempt to distract from an unrelated lie. Devoutly religious patients sometimes fall into this trap as well.
In "Fools For Love", since the patients, who are also half-siblings, didn't grow up in the same house or interact like siblings normally do, their relationship is not incestuous and therefore morally acceptable, at least according to Foreman.
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 herless 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.