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Trivia / House

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  • Ascended Fanon: The Portmanteau Couple Name "Fourteen/Foreteen" was invented for the Foreman/Thirteen pairing, natch. This is an Official Couple, and that particular name has an added connotation (fourteen = thirteen + one), so House has used that portmanteau name. He does not want them shipped, but...
  • Billing Displacement:
    • While Chase and Cameron generally have less screentime than Thirteen, Taub and Kutner during Seasons 4 and 5, Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison continued to be billed in the opening credits over their actors. Kal Penn was never listed in the opening credits, while Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson had to wait until Season 7 before doing so. Speaking of which...
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    • Despite appearing in barely a quarter of the episodes in Season 7, Wilde was billed as a main cast member over Amber Tamblyn, who had a far larger role in the season.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Felicia Day auditioned for the pilot. She showed up as the POTW in a season 5 episode.
  • Creator Backlash: David Shore came to dislike the infamous scene where House drives his car through Cuddy's living room, because he wrote the scene assuming Cuddy would be in Season 8. Had he known Lisa Edelstein would be leaving the show, he never would have written it.
  • Creator's Pest: Executive Meddling reared its head and Fox execs demanded the creators cast a "villain" to go up against House. The creators reluctantly created the character of Vogler, a hospital admin who wants to get rid of House and his team, but they were not happy with the character. Luckily for them, Fox began airing House after American Idol giving the show ratings clout and producer David Shore the ability to make creative changes... like getting rid of Vogler.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • The 15-year old model in "Skin Deep" is played by a then-27 year old actress.
    • Cuddy's daughter is usually played by a much older child actress (looking about four or five) but is treated as though she's two. This is pretty jarring as it looks like the child has developmental disabilities.
  • The Danza: Lisa Edelstein as Lisa Cuddy.
  • Defictionalization (sort of): The University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (opened in May 2012), which even looks somewhat like the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital. However, it has nothing to do with Princeton University (which has no medical school); it is instead loosely affiliated with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the medical unit of Rutgers University (based in nearby New Brunswick).note 
  • Development Gag:
    • "Dead and Buried" had a toy zebra as an important clue. "Chasing Zebras" was considered as a title for the show, based on the medical saying "If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras."
    • In the Pilot, Wilson forgets the patient's name, calling her "Rachel Adler" instead of "Rebecca Adler." "Rachel" was the intended name for the character in the original script.
  • Directed by Cast Member: "Lockdown" and "The C-Word", by Hugh Laurie himself.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Jennifer Morrison dyed her hair brown to play Dr Cameron.
  • Executive Meddling: The reason why Vogler was introduced in Season 1 (see page 2 of the article).
  • Fake American: Hugh Laurie as Dr. House. 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.
    • Lampshaded in season one when House calls a doctor in the early hours of the morning. When asked to explain why he is calling at such an early hour 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 of course putting on the silly voice he used for oddball sketch comedy in the '80s.
    • Like most fake-American accents, Laurie uses a "gruff voice" as a cover-up in order to fake an American accent over his British — à la 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 (although Laurie does put in enough suburban New Jersey to fit comfortably in the spot).
    • Wait... Sir William was the energetic Butt-Monkey host of KaBlam!?!
    • Subverted with Jamie Bamber as the Patient of the Week in "The Confession", sporting a nearly flawless American accent as he has for the majority of his US TV appearances. But he has American ancestry and citizenship despite being born in London (his father is American, which automatically grants him this). One wonders if he and Laurie spent breaks discussing the best way to maintain a false accent.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • House's team is often referred to as 'the ducklings'. House is sometimes called 'papa duck', though this is rare.
    • 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.
    • Cottages: His team; little houses, geddit?
    • MRI of DOOOM: Nobody ever makes it out of that thing okay.
    • The various (un)official couples all got these.
      • House/Wilson: Hilson
      • House/Cuddy: Huddy
      • Lucas/Cuddy: Luddy
      • House/Stacy: Housy/Hacy
      • Sam/Wilson: Samson
      • Boreteen - A play on the portmanteau Fourteen/Foreteen, though sometimes used for just Thirteen.
      • Hameron: House/Cameron.
  • From Entertainment to Education: Even if it has been blamed for med students jumping at a rare disease, it has actually been used to explain students on how to be more careful when conducting said tests for those help the diagnoses.
    • In Germany there is a diagnostic specialist doctor who taught a course looking at the show and drawing lessons to help their real life work. He managed to cure a baffling long term case in a patient exactly because the symptoms lined up with one of the heavy metal poisoning cases on the show.
  • I Knew It!: Most fans worked out pretty early on in Season 4 that Thirteen, Taub and Kutner would be the new team, as aside from them the only candidates to get even the remotest shred of character development were Amber (who was too much of a Jerkass to realistically be a long-term main cast member), Dobson (who didn't have any medical qualifications) and Cole (who was a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Foreman, and thus left redundant as soon as Cuddy re-hired Foreman).
  • Life Imitates Art: Construction is already underway on the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, which is replacing the already existing University Medical Center at Princeton. Seeing as how the "university" in the name is not Princeton University, why else would you put both names in?
  • McLeaned: When Kal Penn left the show to serve in the Obama administration, the producers had his character, Kutner, commit suicide. Though this was due to the first reason, not because of any friction with the rest of the cast. They just wanted some drama and a Very Special Episode. The director later joked that if he'd left for another acting role, the death would have been autoerotic asphyxiation.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Hugh Laurie had reservations about taking part in an American TV show because it meant spending months away from home and his family and because American networks insist on actors signing multiple-year contracts. He would openly state in interviews that he wasn't keen on spending much more time playing the character of House (despite major US and international success) and, in order to convince him to stay, the network gave him substantial pay increases until he became the highest paid dramatic TV actor in the world.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Before House, Hugh Laurie was famous in Britain as a comedian and half of the Fry and Laurie comedy team.
    • Detective Tritter is a sharp contrast to the soft, kindly fatherly types David Morse usually plays.
  • Playing with Character Type: Wentworth Miller became synonymous with Chronic Hero Syndrome after his exposure on Prison Break as Nice Guy Michael Scofield. In an episode of House, he plays a wealthy Good Samaritan who is so altruistic that he'd happily sign away all his assets to anybody if they asked him for help, but is only doing so because of a brain disease that is affecting his judgement. His wife is rightfully freaked out that he doesn't prioritize either himself or their family over the well-being of random strangers, as her husband actively wishes that he will die of his ailment so his organs can be used to save a few more lives.
  • Quote Source: Key Under the Doormat
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Thirteen's being absent from most of Season 7 was because of Olivia Wilde's budding movie career.
    • Lisa Edelstein didn't return for Season 8 because of a contract dispute. Lucky for the production team, the events of the Season 7 finale led to have a plausible reason to write Cuddy out.
  • Referenced by...:
    • An episode of Scrubs spoofed House, with Dr. Cox taking House's place and even giving him a limp and a cane temporarily, and giving stylistic flashbacks.
    • A Disney comic had Mickey and friends (and Pete) watching a TV show which spoofed House. The title of the story was, of course, Mouse.
    • On Monday Mornings, the medical team has a problem to diagnose a patient. Michelle points out that they must be missing something and asks if they should call House.
    • The Simpsons:
      • There was an Itchy and Scratchy segment with the mouse in House's role.
      • Lisa (Simpson, not Cuddy) was once seen/heard watching the show and mentioning that Dr. House and his team are about to make a final diagnosis.
  • Romance on the Set: Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison, who play Drs. Chase and Cameron. They were at one point engaged to be married, but called it off shortly before the wedding. Meanwhile, in a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, their characters also got together romantically... but the plot didn't catch up to their real-life breakup, so the actors were filming proposal and wedding scenes well after they had broken up.
  • Similarly Named Works: House the medical drama? Or House the Haunted House horror/comedy flick?
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Portraying Allison Cameron gave Jennifer Morrison a big push.
    • Hugh Laurie had already been established in his native UK, but playing House is what established him to American audiences.
    • While she had attracted some attention beforehand for her short-lived role as Alex in The O.C., portraying Thirteen is what gave Olivia Wilde a sustained push, to the point Thirteen being absent from most of Season 7 was because of Wilde's budding movie career.
  • Trope Namer: For Finding Judas; this was the title of a third season episode where Wilson reports House to Tritter.
  • Underage Casting: Doctors typically graduate from medical school at twenty-six. However, Olivia Wilde was twenty-three when she started on the show as Thirteen. Similarly, Jesse Spencer and Charlyne Yi were both twenty-five, and Odette Annable was twenty-six (the character had previously worked as a prison doctor and therefore, was obviously not straight out of medical school).
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Season 1's "Role Model" has the patient of the week, an African American United States Senator, running for President. The episode both directly and indirectly pillories as unrealistic his odds of winning the White House. Fast forward four years and an African American US Senator being elected President suddenly doesn't seem so unrealistic anymore.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • David Cross, Patrick Dempsey, Denis Leary and Rob Morrow were considered for Dr. House. Kyle MacLachlan auditioned for the role. He described it as one of the worst auditions of his life.
    • A physical deformity or handicap was always part of the character design for House, but early versions of the show put him in a wheelchair rather than giving him a bum leg; this was thrown out because it limited the character but showed up in the episode "Needle In A Haystack", where House tries to go a week in a wheelchair as a bet. In another early character design, he had a giant scar on his face.
    • Season 8 could've been much different if Lisa Edelstein hadn't left the show due to a pay dispute.
    • Season 8 nearly had Martha Masters brought back to replace Thirteen, and one of the unsuccessful fellowship candidates from back in Season 4 (likely either Cole or Dobson) brought in to replace Cuddy. However, the writers felt that they had taken Masters as far as they could, and that Foreman's personality was just too perfect a fit for the Dean of Medicine role to give it to anybody else. In addition, had it been known that would be the show's final season, odds are that Adams would have been limited to appearing in the season premiere (if even that), and Park would have been the only permanent addition to the main cast.
    • Hugh Laurie's best friend and almost perma-collaborator Stephen Fry was in talks of having a role in the series following the Tritter Arc but the plan fell trough due to Fry's busy schedule.
  • Working Title: Chasing Zebras was an early working title for the show, after the common med-school saying "if you hear hoofbeats, you think horses, not zebras" (i.e. a simple, mundane explanation for a group of symptoms is likelier to be right than an exotic or complicated one).
  • The Wiki Rule: The House Wiki.


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