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Characters ::  Doctor Gregory House

Dr. Gregory House
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House.
Tuesdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Credit: Nigel Parry/FOX
Played by:
Hugh Laurie
Counterpart in "Holmes" stories:
Sherlock Holmes
Medical Specialty:
Infectious Diseases / Nephrology / Diagnostician
Job Title:
Head of the Department of Diagnostics
Position with the House Team:
  • Undergraduate: Hopkins (when asked where he went to college, he says this [#312])
  • Medical School: Wilson says, "You went to [John] Hopkins and studied under Brightman and Gilmar." But he was "thrown out for cheating". [#212]
Personal Life:
  • Plays the Piano
  • Watches the soap opera "General Hospital"
  • Plays computer type games
  • Into Sports: watches baseball and lacrosse and uses sports analogies
  • House: "I cleverly have no personal life." [#113 Cursed]
Professional Life:
"I've been through three regime changes in this hospital." [#114 Control]
About his leg pain:
Cameron (explaining, why House keeps popping into the room from the hall way: "His leg hurts. Walking takes his mind off of it." [#223]
When asked why he became a doctor:
"When I was 14 my father was stationed in Japan. I went rock climbing with this kid from school. He fell, got injured and I had to bring him to the hospital. We came in through the wrong entrance and passed this guy in the hall. It was a janitor. My friend came down with an infection and the doctors didn't know what to do. So they brought in the janitor. He was a doctor. And a Buraku. One of Japan's untouchables. His ancestors had been slaughterers, grave diggers. And this guy, he knew that he wasn't accepted by the staff, he didn't even try. He didn't dress well. He didn't pretend to be one of them. The people that ran that place, they didn't think that he had anything they wanted. Except when they needed him. Because he was right. Which meant that nothing else mattered. And they had to listen to him." [#307}
When asked if anything bad has ever happened to him, he finally tells this story about being raised by his father, but when he first tells it he says it's about his grandmother so he uses "she" instead of "he" and we have removed the "s":
"...he liked things the way he liked them. And he believed in discipline. He was right, I suppose, because I hardly ever screwed up when he was around. Too scared of being forced to sleep in the yard or take a bath in ice." [#312]
Additional Information:
"Hugh Laurie... said.... he's often asked to summarize Dr. Gregory House's character 'in a couple of sentences? It can't be done. That's what's fascinating about him.... He's an endless round of contradictions.'"
        — reported in the Hollywood Reporter Online July 15.
Quotes about Himself and being a doctor:
  • "...treating illnesses is why we became doctors, treating patients is what makes most doctors miserable." [#101 pilot]
  • "I'm bad at search parties and I'm bad at sitting around looking nervous doing nothing." [#102 Paternity]
  • "I'm the most curious man in the world." [#104 Maternity]
  • "I have difficulty with is the whole concept of belief. Faith isn't based on logic and experience." [#105 Damned if You Do]
  • House: "I don't like anybody." [#114 Control]
  • "I am exactly where I want to be doing exactly what I want to do." [#116 Heavy]
  • "Medical screwing. It's what I do." [#122 Honeymoon]
  • "Doctors love anomalies.... I'm interested in things that don't fit." [#201]
  • "I love rare." [#201]
  • House: "This is good!"
    Foreman: "Good? This is bizarre."
    House: "Bizarre is good! Common has hundreds of explanations. Bizarre has hardly any." [#204]
  • "I get to ask the questions. I've found you look a lot smarter asking the questions than dumbly not answering." [#204]
  • "When I was a kid, my dad was stationed at a marine base in Egypt. We were in the middle of nowhere and there was absolutely nothing for a kid to do except look for a mummy's tomb.... I never actually did find a mummy, but I did learn a fair amount about the ancient Egyptians. For example, they discovered that stannous chloride is not only great for toughening ruby glass, but if it's mixed with gold, it turns bright purple." [#215] See information on House's parents and his relationship with them.
  • House: "The only thing I can do is think. I can pretty much do that anywhere. As long as no one's bugging me." [#221]
  • House to Cuddy: "I'm a really good secret keeper. I never told anybody that Wilson wets his bed. Oh, you tricked me."" [#223]
  • House about Cuddy's refusal to let him treat a patient: "She was right to say no. I had no objective reason to think I was right. Just needed the puzzle." [#301]
What Others Say about/to/with Him:
  • House: "I'm going home."
    Cuddy: "To what?"
    House: "Nice." [#101 pilot]
  • Cuddy: "Look, Dr. House, the only reason I don't fire you is because your reputation is still worth something to this hospital." [#101 pilot]
  • Cameron: House doesn't believe in pretense. Figures life's too short and too painful. So he just says what he thinks." [#101 pilot]
  • Chase: "He likes crazy people. Likes the way they think.... They're not boring. He likes that." [#106 Socratic Method]
  • Cameron:"You're a misanthrope, not a misogynist." [#107 Fidelity]
  • A patient:"I heard about him. Obsessive son-of-a-bitch?"
    Foreman: "That's him." [#109 DNR]
  • Cuddy:"When I hired you, I knew you were insane. I will continue to try and stop you from doing insane things, but once they're done. Trying to convince an insane person not to do insane things is, in itself, insane, so when I hired you I also set aside $50,000 a year for legal expenses. So far you've come in under budget." [#109 DNR]
  • Wilson: "You know how some doctors have the Messiah complex, they need to save the world? You've got the Rubik's complex, you need to solve the puzzle." [#109 DNR]
  • A Patient: "I'm guessing you weren't exactly Mr. Sunshine even before your leg got messed up. [John hands House his trumpet as It's a Wonderful World starts to play. Aw.] I want you to have this. " [#109 DNR]
  • A patient's wife: "You got a big 'Keep Out' sign stapled on your forehead." [#112 Sports Medicine]
  • Wilson: "You want to know everything." [#113 Cursed]
  • House: " I just like knowing stuff." [#113 Cursed]
  • Wilson: "You do the cases you want to do, when you want to do them. You're not going to get that anywhere else." [#114 Control]
  • A patient: "Why did you fight for me? You risked so much, and you hardly know me."
    House: "You're my patient." [#114 Control]
  • Chase: "He doesn't like anybody.  And nobody likes him." [#115 Mob Rules]
  • Cuddy: "He really cares about his patients." [#115 Mob Rules]
  • Vogler to Cuddy: "Eight years he's worked here, never made a dime for you, never listened to you." [#115 Mob Rules]
  • Cuddy about House: "I don't like him.... I don't get along with him!" [#115 Mob Rules]
  • Wilson: "That's you. Mr. Standard Procedure.... Everybody lies, except politicians? House, I do believe you're a romantic. You just didn't believe him, you believed in him. Do you want to come over tonight and watch old movies and cry? Dr. Cameron's getting to you. Well, I guess you can't be around that much niceness and not get any on you." [#117 Role Model]
  • Vogler (telling the board why House should be fired): "A man is the sum of his actions. Here are a few of Dr. House's. He violated a DNR and was charged with assault. He brought a termite into the OR and spat on a surgeon. He accepted a Corvette from a patient who was a known member of the New Jersey mafia.... These are the last three months."
    Wilson: "...He's saved hundreds of lives."
    Vogler: "He is a drug addict who flaunts his addiction and refuses to get treatment. He is a disgrace and an embarrassment to this hospital. I'd go on, but it gets kinda mean, so I'm gonna keep this simple. House goes, or I go.... And by I, I mean my $100 million.... Gregory House is a symbol of everything wrong with the health care industry. Waste, insubordination, doctors preening like they're kings and the hospital their own private fiefdom." [#118 Babies and Bathwater]
  • House (starting out sarcastically): "That's right. I'm subjecting a 12-year-old to a battery of dangerous and invasive tests to avoid being bored." Houses pauses when his audience doesn't believe he wouldn't do that. "Okay, maybe I would do that, but I'm not." [#119 Kids]
  • Dr. Petra Gilmar (interviewing for a fellowship with House): "I know you like to play games with people. I know you like to say outrageous things and study how they react." [#119 Kids]
  • Wilson: "You always find some tiny little flaw to push people away.... I'm talking about every woman you've ever given a damn about.... You're going to wind up alone, House." [#119 Kids]
  • House: "21-year-old male, comes in with grinding of the teeth."
    Wilson: "And House gives him a stroke, totally blows out his pupil."
    Foreman: "You scared a guy into stroking out?"
    Wilson: "Does that surprise anyone here?" [#120 Love Hurts]
  • House: "I don't know how to have casual conversation. You think you're talking about one thing, and either you are and it's incredibly boring, or you're not because it's subtext and you need a decoder ring." [#120 Love Hurts]
  • Stacy (sarcastically): "Right, you suddenly trust doctors, love puppies and long walks in the rain."
    House (referring to his leg problem): "The walks are out." [#121 Three Stories]
  • Stacy: "You avoid work like the plague. Unless it actually is the plague." [#121 Three Stories]
  • Stacy: "He's not big on middle ground." [#121 Three Stories]
  • Wilson: "Be yourself: cold, uncaring, distant.." [#122 Honeymoon]
  • Stacy:"You browbeat patients, intimidate them, lie to them. If you think you're right you don't give a damn what they think." [#122 Honeymoon]
  • House: "Medical screwing. It's what I do." [#122 Honeymoon]
  • House: "It's one of the great tragedies of life something always changes." [#122 Honeymoon]
  • Wilson: "You have a cane, nobody even likes you."
    House: "I'm not terminal, merely pathetic; you wouldn't believe the crap people let me get away with." [#202]
  • Foreman: "You ever think about writing a book on office politics?" [#203]
  • House: "Hey, I can be a jerk to people I haven't slept with. I am that good." [#203]
  • Wilson (speaking about a doctor who treats patients with TB in Africa): "He cures thousands of people every year, you cure, what? 30?"
    House: "McDonald's makes a better hamburger than your mother because they make more?"
    Wilson: "Oh, I see! So you hate him because the lives he saves aren't as good as the lives you save." [#204]
  • Foreman (about House's behavior): "Abusive and unprofessional. If he hadn't done it, we wouldn't have seen the problem." [#204]
  • Dr. Charles (who treats thousands of people in Africa): "...doctors like House cling to objectivity like a three-year-old to a blanket; don't get too worked up, stay calm, stay cool and maintain that correct perspective. The only flaw in their argument is when you have millions of people dying the correct perspective is to be yelling at the top of your lungs." [#204]
  • Cuddy: "I get that you like to shock people. Stun them out of complacency, out of stupidity." [#204]
  • Cameron: "He's a doctor. World famous." [#204]
  • Stacy to House: "You're confident, arrogant, but you're never certain unless there's a reason to be certain." [#207]
  • Stacy to & about House: "Such a hero. Always righting wrongs. Who cares who you have to manipulate." [#208]
  • Stacy to House: "What are you hiding?"
    House: "I'm gay. Oh, that's not what you meant. It does explain a lot though. No girlfriend, always with Wilson, obsession with sneakers." [#208]
  • Stacy to House, who won't let up on where her cross is: "Leave it alone, Greg."
    House: "Yeah, I'm good at that." [#210]
  • Wilson to House, after House pushes Stacy away: "Wilson: This was no great sacrifice! You sent her away because you've got to be miserable."
    House: "That kind of psycho-crap help get your patients through the long nights? Or is it just for you? Tough love make you feel good? Helping people feel their pain?"
    Wilson: "You don't like yourself. But you do admire yourself. It's all you've got, so you cling to it. You're so afraid if you change, you'll lose what makes you special. Being miserable doesn't make you better than anybody else, House. It just makes you miserable." [#211]
  • Foreman to House: "I thought you didn't believe in God." [#213]
  • Foreman to House: "The House I know never uses phrases like 'most commonly'" [#220]
  • Foreman to House: "The House I know never uses phrases like 'most commonly'" [#220]
  • Wife of Patient (in House's hallucination): "You're Dr. House, aren't you? ...You treated a friend of mine. She told me you only talk to people if you have to, and then you insult them while showing off how insightful you are." [#224]
  • Wilson to Cuddy about House: "Just because he was right, doesn't mean he wasn't wrong." [#301]
  • "I don't like hypocrisy." [#312]
  • "The world doesn't suck any more today than it did yesterday." [#312]
  • "Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were." [#312]
  • "Everything is rational." [#312]
  • "We are selfish base animals crawling across the earth. But because we've got brains if we try real hard we can we can occasionally aspire to something that is less than pure evil." [#312]
  • "If there are no answers, why talk about it?" [#312]
Department of Diagnostic Medicine:
  • Vogler (new Chairman of the Board on the department): "It's a financial black hole. Department costs us $3 million a year, treats one patient a week." [#114 Control]
  • House overruling all of his assistants: "But unless I've been named as the fourth part of the Axis of Evil, invaded and occupied, this is still not a democracy." [#115 Mob Rules]
Television Shows House Watches or Mentions:
  • "General Hospital"
    • "Do you have cable TV here somewhere? 'General Hospital' starts in eight minutes." [#101 pilot]
  • "The OC"
    • "I don't need to watch the OC, but it makes me happy." [#110 Histories]
  • "Matlock"
    • "I watched Matlock last night." [#109 DNR] (Note: He could have been joking.)
  • "24"
    • "You should call Jack Bauer." [#221]
  • "The L Word"
  • "X-Files"
Movies He Mentions:
  • "I have seen every scary movie ever made." [#114 Control]
  • Jaws: "We're gonna need a bigger boat." [#302]
  • Casablanca: Long paraphrase to someone who doesn't recognize the reference. [#304]
  • Dog Day Afternoon: "Attica! Attica!" [#304]
Quotes, Dialogue About Dr. Gregory House:
  • A nun: "You hide behind your intelligence."
    House: Yeah, that's pretty stupid." [#105 Damned if You Do]
  • A patient: "Thanks for sticking with the case.
    House: "I can't do anything else." [#109 DNR]
  • The wife of a patient: "You got a big Keep Out sign stapled on your forehead." [#112 Sports Medicine]
  • Senator/patient: "It must be miserable, always assuming the worst in people.... You're clever, you're witty, and you are a coward! You're scared of taking chances.
    House: I take chances all the time, it's one of my worst qualities.
    Senator: "On people?"
    House: "Wanting to believe the best about people doesn't make it true."
    Senator: "Being afraid to believe it doesn't make it false."
    House: "Well, that's very moving. It's a shame I don't vote." [#117 Role Model]
  • Vogler: "Guy's never done what he's told. Don't see why he's going to start now." [#116 Heavy]
  • Vogler: "His attitude toward humanity? He thinks we're all idiots and liars." [#116 Heavy]
What David Shore, the Creator of House, says about the character:
  • Shores says "...about House's character--his stubbornness and his refusal to admit weakness."
Additional Information about Doctor Gregory House, MD:

Quotations, etc. Copyright Heel & Toe Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, et al.
Pictures from the show copyright Fox Broadcasting Corporation
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