House M.D Quote: For eight seasons, House M.D. was one of the strongest dramas on all of television, featuring a stellar ensemble cast including leading men Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard. But though the series was ostensibly a drama about damaged doctors and the patients they treat, the series also had a lot of biting humor in it, thanks in large part to Dr. Gregory House’s sharp wit and total lack of a politeness filter.
Even over a decade after the series premiered, the series’ humor still largely stands up. Though some jokes have aged poorly, with changing social beliefs and mores, much of House’s own humor stands the test of time and remains truly hilarious to this very day. Here, we’ve recapped just 10 of the best examples of the jokes we’re still laughing at after all these years.
10“I’m Sorry. I’m About To Lose You Because I’m About To Drive Into A Tunnel In A Canyon On An Airplane While Hanging Up The Phone.”
Dr. Gregory House isn’t exactly known for having the best bedside manner in the history of television doctors. If any potential patient is known to mildly inconvenience him in any way, his rude and short-tempered personality rears its head and usually gets him in trouble.
Take, for example, when an elderly man portrayed by Carl Reiner is told to consult with him regarding an ongoing medical issue. After the patient is given House’s phone number to contact him at any time, House’s patience immediately wears thin, leading him to hang up on the old man in spectacularly rude fashion.
9“There’s No ‘I’ In Team. There’s A ‘Me’ Though, If You Jumble It Up.”
House isn’t exactly known as being a real team player, either. Despite having a team of qualified medical professionals under his guidance for the entire series, even though the team changes a few times over the course of the series’ run, House often does what he wants, regardless of what his subordinates or superiors think.
This behavior is evident as early as the series’ first few episodes, including during a charged confrontation with his superior Dr. Cuddy in which she reminds him, time and again, that his team’s participation in consultations is essential. His above response perfectly summarizes his feelings on the matter.
8“There Is Not A Thin Line Between Love And Hate. There Is In Fact A Great Wall Of China With Armed Sentries Posted Every 20 Feet Between Love And Hate.”
The back and forth love story between House and Cuddy was one that the series stretched out for entirely too long. Regardless of whether you rooted for these two, there’s no denying that fact. But there’s also no denying that their drawn-out rapport led to some moments of great humor, particularly between House and his best friend, Dr. James Wilson.
In the series’ third episode, Wilson tries to confront House about the nature of his feelings for Cuddy. But before Wilson can get in the real questions he wants to ask, House offers this pitch-perfect sarcastic response.
7“I Cared For Eight Seconds, Then I Got Distracted.”
House likes to act like he never cares about anything or anyone because it’s easier for him to live that way and not have to fear being hurt by anyone. House likes to be in control of everything in his life, even the tiniest things he clearly has no control over.
In the sixth season episode, “Baggage,” House is reunited with Alvie, his friend from his stay in a psychiatric ward portrayed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. During the episode, Alvie is scheduled to have a court hearing regarding his citizenship, and House, discussing this matter with his own therapist, simply deflects that “I cared for eight seconds [about Alvie], then I got distracted.”
6“Do I Get Bonus Points If I Act Like I Care?”
As we’ve just explored, House likes to live his life in a way that allows him to care about as few people at any given time as possible. One of the people he pretends not to care about for as long as he can is Dr. Cuddy, for whom he harbors long unrequited and eventually briefly requited feelings.
Many of their earliest interactions, therefore, find House being unnecessarily cruel to Cuddy as a way of deflecting his true feelings and keeping himself at a safe distance from her, including in the second season episode “Humpty Dumpty” when he icily asks her the above question regarding a patient she is close with.
5“What’s The Opposite Of ‘Thank You’? I’m Pretty Sure It Ends In ‘You.'”
Sometimes, House gives voice to the kind of brutally honest and snarky remarks that we all wish we had the bravery to say. He never expresses any kind of filter, no matter who is present at the time, and he somehow always knows exactly what to say to get his point across, no matter how savage it might be.
In the eighth season episode “Blowing the Whistle,” House masterfully tells off his new team of subordinates in a way that is totally cheeky, and a perfect way for the series to get a clear swear word laden remark past the censors.
4“Well, As The Philosopher Jagger Once Said, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.'”
The Rolling Stones are a recurring theme in the entire series of House, as their songs pop up frequently in key moments and crucial episodes alike. The song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is one that appears in references and uses multiple times, and it perfectly encapsulates House’s beliefs on life.
As early as the pilot episode, House is stating his world view when he references the so-called “philosopher Jagger” who gave voice to his own sarcastic and jaded worldview.
3“He Did However Just Get Hit By A Bullet. Just Mentioning.” “He Was Shot?” “No, Somebody Threw It At Him.”
One of the series’ best episodes is the season two two-parter “Euphoria,” which finds the medical team rallying together to save the life of one of their own after Foreman is afflicted with a mysterious illness. The two episode arc starts with a different case, however, after a police officer winds up in the hospital from a gunshot wound, only to present with the same mystery illness that Foreman eventually catches.
During the initial debrief of the case with his team, House is given the perfect opportunity for one of his snarkiest remarks of all after Cameron, clearly missing the point, asks a needless question regarding the patient’s current state.
2“I’m Gonna Pretend To Go To Work Now.”
House likes to avoid difficult emotions whenever he can, as we’ve already discussed. But he also relishes in taking the childish way out of difficult conversations, often to greatly hilarious effect.
In the sixth season episode “Remorse,” House gets into an argument with Wilson about his inability to apologize to Cuddy for some of his latest cruel behavior. But rather than engage in a meaningful conversation, House tells Wilson plainly, “I’m gonna pretend to go to work now,” before comically and loudly typing on his computer keyboard and making typewriter noises.
1“I’ve Heard Your Name.” “Most People Have. It’s Also A Noun.”
Sometimes, the opportunities present themselves for the perfect time to make a pun, and you just can’t resist them. House finds himself in one of those all too perfect to resist scenarios when a hospital inspector arrives in the series’ fourth season.
Clearly having real fun with the man from the moment they meet, House is presented with the opportunity to humiliate him in public pretty quickly. After the inspector tells House that he’s heard of him before, by saying “I’ve heard your name,” House simply can’t resist, totally embarrassing the man when he retorts, “Most people have. It’s also a noun.”