Sure, there were medical mysteries and personal drama, but the best reasons to watch House, MD, were the one-liners and the quippy back and forth. Here are the 10 greatest quotes that made House so memorable.
1. Dr. House: “As the philosopher Jagger once said, ‘You can’t always get what you want.’”
House tries to blow off his boss, Dean of Medicine Lisa Cuddy with a bit of “philosophy” from the Rolling Stones. Later in the episode, Cuddy retorts “I looked into that philosopher you quoted, Jagger, and you’re right, you can’t always get what you want, but as it turns out if you try sometimes you get what you need.” The song, and themes like disappointment and compromise became recurring themes throughout the series. As did verbal sparring between House and Cuddy.
2. Dr. Foreman: “You stash your drugs in a lupus textbook?”
House: “It’s never lupus.”
Lupus, with its broad range of symptoms is proposed as a potential diagnosis in almost every episode of House -to the point that it became a running joke for the series. House hiding a stash of drugs in a lupus textbook was a wink and nudge for longtime viewers.
3. House: “It’s a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what.”
“Everybody lies” is one of House’s guiding philosophies. That’s why House always relies on tests – and a little bit of breaking and entering – more than on patient histories.
4. Dr. Cameron [with Foreman and Chase]: “We’ve got rectal bleeding.”
House: “What, all of you?”
The diagnostic team definitely saw lots of shocking and even disgusting symptoms, but usually only in the patients. But far be it from Dr. House to let an opportunity for a great one-liner to slip by.
5. House: “I’m certainly curious about the logistics. Did you stand on a table?”
Maddy: “Pretty much he’d lay flat, and spin me.”
This is probably not the answer House expects when he asks a little person patient with an average height husband about her sex life. The surprise of seeing a patient get the better of House is funny, but the mental image makes her comeback unforgettable.
6. House: “Cigarettes. One twice a day, no more, no less. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking is one of the most effective ways to control inflammatory bowel, plus it’s been established that you look 30% cooler.”
If there’s two things that make House House it’s his willingness to take an unorthodox approach to medicine and his flippant wit.
7. Cuddy: “What are you watching?”
Rachel: “TV, you bloody scallywag.”
Cuddy’s daughter picks up some pirate talk from an age-inappropriate cartoon House let her watch while babysitting. Really she should count herself lucky that’s the worst that happened, and anyway, it was adorable and hilarious to hear a three-year-old call her mom a bloody scallywag.
8. Cameron: “Despite the wisdom of pop songs there’s no point in putting our lives on hold until love comes along. We’re both healthy and busy people, and we work together so it’s convenient.”
Chase: “Like microwave pizza?”
Chase may have been skeptical at first, but Cameron’s suggestion that the pair hook up for convenience turns into one of the most memorable and long lasting relationships in the show. But then, things get much more complicated than microwave pizza.
9. Dr. Remy Hadley (aka Thirteen): “How long have you worked here? House’s people have personalities that range from nosy to, ‘Pardon me while I do this cavity search.’”
It makes sense that diagnosticians would have a curious streak, but between the breaking and entering and the gossip and drama, the doctors at Princeton Plainsboro do seem to take things to extremes (but that’s why we all watched, wasn’t it?)
10. House: “People suck. People have turned you from a guy with a swollen tongue into a guy with one eye, one ball and a stapled-on face. If you want someone to hold you while you cry yourself to sleep at night, choose warm and soft. If you want someone to write you a poem, pick the sensitive loner. If all you care about is that something’s done right, pick the guy with the metal head.”
House is trying to convince a patient to trust a surgical robot, but you could almost imagine he’s talking about himself. Sure, he doesn’t have a metal head, but he’s not exactly warm and soft either. But that may just be what makes House such a genius.