After eight years of watching House M.D., we've all learned something very, very important: Your medical malady is never as simple as it seems, and if you faint, you probably have some archaic disease that most modern doctors have never studied because it was removed from medical dictionaries in 1892. Good luck finding that one on Web MD.
Hugh Laurie might have spent the finale seeking the cure for his own familiar turmoils, but House has long been known as the medical series with all the completely left-field diagnoses. While Laurie has yet to diagnose a patient with constant involuntary orgasms like the sexy doctor set over on Grey's Anatomy, he's certainly managed to shock us on a weekly basis since he first tapped that cane to the floor of Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital in 2004.
And while many of the final verdicts are shocking in the manner in which the diseases and disorders are contracted or the sheer rarity of their appearances in modern medicine, there were at least 21 (and a half) diagnoses in the past eight years that had us saying, "W. T. F."
21 1/2. Two Separate Cases of Leprosy. On One Series.
How this series ended up with one case of leprosy in its eight years is a wonder, but two? That's insanity. Leprosy is extremely rare in the United States and according to the World Health Organization, most U.S. cases come from people who've immigrated from countries with dense populations and poor sanitation and healthcare. Also, leprosy has been around since Biblical times. How is it that two people in Dr. House's care have had the disease? I repeat: Insanity. (Hence the extra half point).
20. That's An MP3 Player Stuck Where the Sun Don't Shine.
Sometimes, the answer isn't some complicated disease in a history book. It's a simple, head-smackingly obvious answer. When one Season 1 patient refuses to sit down, the Princeton-Plainsboro set is forced to realize that he's suffering from an object lodged in his anus. (Shudder.) Let's hope he just bought himself a bigger iPod — one that can't get stuck in any of his orifices.
19. Ma'am, Your Son Has Orange Skin Due to Too Many Carrots.
Okay, too many carrots and a Niacin overdose. But still, it's the diagnosis that proves you really are what you eat. Plus, how great would it be as a kid to be able to tell your mom: Yes, there is such a thing as too many vegetables. Take that, Mom!
18. House Prescribes Cigarettes to Curb Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
He's just a wild and crazy guy, everyone. The diagnosis itself if a little disgusting, but House's remedy is classic. Put that in your pipe and (don't) smoke it, Mr. Surgeon General.
17. Your Watch Band Is Too Tight. You Should Probably Fix That.
When a patient comes in complaining of extreme numbness in his arm, we're sure it's a stroke or the heart attack symptoms we've all learned about from watching too many sitcoms, but in truth the poor guy just as trouble dressing himself properly. Or he's really afraid of watch bandits. Loosen up, my friend.
16. That Baby Is Sticking Toys Up His Nose to Rescue a Toy Cat. Aw?
A man comes in with his baby brother three separate times because the child will not stop sticking trucks and toy firemen in his nose. House figures out what the problem is: There is a toy cat stuck in his nose and the little boy was sending rescue vehicles in to save it from his nose hairs tree. Adorable... and also gross.
15. You're Not Pregnant. That's Just a 30-Pound Tumor in Your Uterus.
We thought this case might have been one of those "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" tales (one of the ones in which the mother doesn't have the baby in the toilet), but nope! This is House, not some rinky dink basic cable medical drama. That "baby" is a ridiculously large benign tumor that no one seemed to notice. Jaws. hitting. floors.
14. Sexsomnia. Is a Thing.
House keeps trying to tell his patient, who is complaining of bruises and rashes, that they are the result of sexual encounters, but she swears she's been celibate. Nope. Wrong. She's been celibate when she's been conscious, but as soon as she falls asleep, the hanky panky begins. The patient suffers from sleep-walking-sex or, more officially, sexsomnia.
13. A Farmer Contracts Flesh-Eating Bacteria From His Trusty Pup's Saliva.
Yeah, yeah. We've heard of flesh-eating bacteria before. What's the big deal now? Well, let's think of it this way: You get home from work and your dog, Peanut Butter, is so excited. He's jumping up and licking your face and you're thinking, "Aw. This is the cutest thing ever. My world makes sense again and my day is no longer relevant." Then BAM. Peanut Butter's affection gives you a flesh-eating bacteria problem. Pretty crazy, right? That's what I thought.
12. An S&M Aficionado Has Damaged Arteries From Recreational Strangulation.
S&M is all good fun until your arteries are damaged. Take that into account next time you don that leather body suit. And if you're as unlucky as House's patient, you might also have to explain this diagnosis to your parents, which is probably worse than having damaged arteries in the first place.
11. The Metal Pins (I'll Wait) in a Patient's Head (Take Your Time) Are Displaced By Magnets (I'm Sorry, What?)
The metal pins in House's patient's head probably could have killed her on their own, but surviving one miracle wasn't enough. We had to bring magnets into the equation, move these killers around a little bit, and then try to save her.
10. A Girl Suffers From Scurvy. In 2006. Really.
Scurvy is not just for pirates and ye mangy dogs. It's also for girls who've apparently not come in contact with normal food for months on end. When House discovers his patient is suffering from the old-timey disease, her prescribes her the most sarcastic remedy possible: A glass of orange juice. Get it together, Scurvy girl.
9. That Toothpick You Swallowed Didn't Digest Properly. Weird.
A teen boy has a respiratory attack while making out with his girlfriend, and after the doctors go through the medical ringer, it turns out the dummy swallowed a tooth pick, which pierced his intestine and started all this madness. Lesson: Don't swallow tiny, wooden, pointy things that slightly resemble a mini-ninja weapon.
8. Precocious Puberty is Not As Cute As It Sounds.
A young girl reaches puberty at age six (that's the "Precocious" part) and it's all because she's being affected by her creepy dad's sexual-enhancement cream. The kicker? He's using the cream because he's trying to keep up with his young girlfriend: His daughter's teacher. That's a whole lotta nope right there.
7. Breckin Meyer Has a Bezoar. Which Is Not a Mythical Creature.
Bezoars are extremely uncommon and disgusting: They are masses that become lodged in the gastrointestinal system. House originally thinks Breckin's is a regular bezoar, comprised of undigested food, but it turns out ol' Breckie's been into the hard stuff: Experimental antacids have caused the bezoar to grow and cause a mess of uncomfortable symptoms. I bet you'll listen next time your mother tells you to chew before you swallow.
6. Your Seven-Year-Old Gunshot Wound Is Poisoning You, FYI.
When an agorophobic patient's phantom illness won't quit, House digs deeper and finds he's suffering from lead poisoning. But agorophobes don't go outside. Where is the lead from? It's come from tiny shards of a bullet from a gunshot wound from seven years ago. We're all going to die, aren't we?
5. Mama Always Said Tattoos Were Bad News, And Yours Is Poison. (Yes, Actual Poison.)
When one patient suffers from amnesia suddenly, House struggles to find the source. It turns out the ailing wretch is allergic to his own tattoo and the allergy was triggered by an extreme long distance running (wait, long-distance running isn't already an extreme sport?) habit. I'm never running again. Ever. (Woo! Now I have an excuse.)
4. Mos Def's Life Is Actually a Horror Movie.
Locked-In Syndrome is extremely rare and is reserved for only the creepiest horror movie plots. The syndrome finds patients paralyzed completely, except for their eyes, which can still shift and see everything. Until this episode aired, I thought this was something Stephen King and his horror writer friends made up over beers. It is now my single greatest fear. Thanks, Hugh Laurie.
3. Oh, That's Just Your Average Hemlock Poisoning. NBD.
Hemlock wasn't the final diagnosis for this House patient, but it was correct one on the way to the final verdict. I'm fairly certain that the last time someone was poisoned, men still referred to those fabric things on their legs as "pantaloons." And that's appropriate, because this poisoning took place as part of a Renaissance fair(e) power struggle. Which reminds me, I need to mark down that upcoming Renaissance Fair in my planner... so I can move across state lines before it happens.
2. The Doctor Is Officially High on Toad Eggs.
Toad roe is not something you've probably ever heard of because it's a delicacy in far away South East Asia. But what's really important about this fishy little snack is that it will get you totally high. Dr. Richardson is acting a bit of a fool when Amber Tamblyn gives House a break and discovers that Richardson sneaked off to an underground seafood festival, where he ate questionable toad eggs (are there any other kind?) and started tripping. Let's keep this quiet lest it become a bigger "epidemic" than vodka-tamponing.
1. Yep. You Inhaled a Piece of Food. That's it. Right There in Your Lung.
Sometimes, the problem is anything but medical. My friend, when we joked about being so hungry we could inhale our food, we were kidding. Take a minute to stop and smell the roses... wait. We should use another metaphor. Or not. Just take your time and don't literally take your food into your lungs. That's bad, mmkay?
Are we missing any of your favorite crazy House cases? Let us know! Share 'em in the comments.
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Ah the unwanted guest. It’s been the subject of many a movie. You know the kind: Messy doesn’t respect your privacy stops up the toilet has sex with someone in your living room using butter and nearly burns the house down. That’s Dupree (Wilson) to a tee and for newlyweds Carl (Matt Dillon) and Molly (Kate Hudson) having Dupree in their house is downright disastrous. At first Carl is psyched to have his best man as his couch guest while Molly is less than enthused with Dupree’s well-meaning antics. But when Molly starts feeling abandoned by Carl’s workaholic tendencies—as he in turn tries to impress his demanding new father-in-law (Michael Douglas)—suddenly Dupree’s good-natured personality and carefree wisdom is comforting to Molly much to Carl’s chagrin. But don’t fret. This three’s-a-crowd scenario will work out some kind of resolution as the loveable guest shows how a little inner Dupree-“ness” might just be one of life's hidden secrets. With Dupree Wilson is attempting to break away from the buddy comedies he’s known for such as Starsky and Hutch and Wedding Crashers in which he mostly plays the pithy straight man. There are definitely moments of true Wilson brilliance in Dupree especially when he’s avoiding a building security guard by throwing “seven different kinds of smoke” at him. But playing off someone slightly wackier than himself is really Wilson’s forte and in trying to carry a whole comedy on his own he’s not nearly as successful as say Jim Carrey or even Jack Black. It also doesn’t help that Hudson and Dillon aren’t able to pick up the slack. Hudson is appealing as the beleaguered Molly and Dillon seems to be getting better looking with age—but together they are one big ball of bland especially Dillon who is sorely miscast as the straight guy. On the other hand Douglas does a nice turn as the overprotective daddy who can’t let his little girl go. Basically Dupree is Wilson’s big vanity project. As the film’s main producer the funnyman shopped the script by first-timer Mike LeSieur around and got a deal right away—no doubt based on Wilson’s previous moneymaking comedies. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo brothers best known for helming Welcome to Collinwood as well as several episodes of TV’s Arrested Development do the best they can with the Dupree material. But it’s a shame Wilson doesn’t have the same discerning tastes as his frequent collaborator director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums). You Me and Dupree is just well ordinary and no amount of Wilson mad-cap energy and wily antics can raise it up into the comedic stratosphere.
Since they were young girls growing up in the Midwest Connie (Nia Vardalos) and Carla (Toni Collette) have shared the same dream--to become the next biggest thing to hit musical theater but so far performing in an airport lounge is the closest they've come. Their lives change however when they witness a murder by some nefarious drug dealers and in an attempt to escape end up in Los Angeles which has "no dinner theater no musical theater no culture at all." It's the perfect place for them to hide out and all goes to plan until Connie and Carla happen upon a local drag club. Suddenly they see an excellent way to elude their pursuers--and fulfill their need to be on stage at the same time. Pretending to be men dressed as drag queens Connie and Carla are soon headlining at the club belting out the show tunes they love. They become a huge hit getting the fame and recognition they've always wanted--but as time wears on the whole charade turns out to be a real "drag" ("pun intended " as the gals like to say) especially when Connie falls for nice guy Jeff (David Duchovny). Still with the killers hot on their trail Connie and Carla have to stay incognito--at least until they can find a way to come out of the closet without getting killed or disappointing their growing legion of fans.
The very charismatic Vardalos wowed audiences with her first feature the smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding and is probably feeling more than a little pressure to follow up with something just as good especially since the Big Fat Greek spin-off TV series failed miserably. Luckily she succeeds with Connie and Carla due in large part to her co-star Collette who finally--after a string of dramatic movies such as The Sixth Sense and The Hours--gets to use the comedic skills she deftly showed in her feature film debut Muriel's Wedding. Together the actresses' natural rapport and infectious charm permeate the film and despite a sometimes hackneyed script they keep things lively and boy can they sing! Vardalos and Collette make the most of their musical theater backgrounds working the stage and making the film's musical numbers truly memorable. Vardalos also displays a fair amount of chemistry with Duchovny as the straight Jeff desperately struggles with his burgeoning feelings for someone he believes is a man. The last little plus is C and C's supporting cast including the bonafide drag queens the girls befriend at the club. Led by the Tony-winning Stephen Spinella (Angels in America) as Robert/"Peaches " who also happens to be Jeff's estranged brother the supporting guys/dolls add that certain La Cage joie de vivre.
As she did in My Big Fat Greek Wedding writer/actress Vardalos' script speaks from the heart with genuinely fresh funny and down to earth dialogue. Apparently she did loads of dinner theater in her early years so she's familiar with the subject. Unfortunately she relies on a contrived Some Like It Hot plot about vengeful drug dealers to get Connie and Carla to L.A. but once the film gets into drag it zings. Connie and Carla is also in capable hands with director-actor Michael Lembeck (The Santa Clause 2) a former song-and-dance man himself at the helm. The broad comedic style he picked up directing countless television sitcom episodes serves well here and he turns the musical numbers into mini show-stoppers each one topping the next. The last is the best of course when the girls launch into "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No" from Oklahoma capped by a special guest appearance from the musical theater goddess herself Debbie Reynolds. Classic.
The inspirational real-life story of Seabiscuit is a history lesson worth being taught. During the height of the Depression this too-small unruly glue factory-bound racehorse triumphed over great odds to win races--and the heart of a nation. He eventually beat the Triple Crown winner of the day War Admiral in a 1938 match race heard by millions nationwide on the radio. Yet in addition to the horse itself Seabiscuit revolves around the three men who groom train and care for the animal--three men who are each wounded souls in their own right. There's owner Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges) a born salesman with a kind heart who makes a fortune selling Buicks in Northern Calif. but it means nothing after he loses his son in a tragic accident; there's trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper) an obsolete cowboy whose world of wide open plains is slowly vanishing under barbed wire train tracks and roads; and jockey John "Red" Pollard (Tobey Maguire) a young man who is torn from his impoverished family at the beginning of the Depression and lives a hard life as a part-time jockey part-time boxer. They're all beaten but somehow when the four come together--it's magic. Even though the film suffers from the you-know-how-this-is-going-to-turn-out syndrome as well as venturing a bit much into the melodramatic Seabiscuit still lifts your spirit and shows how despite a time of great suffering the underdogs gave hope that the American Dream could be possible again.
The talented trio handles their tasks admirably. Bridges harkens back to his performance as the idealistic car inventor Preston Tucker in the 1988 film Tucker; Howard like Tucker is a dreamer successful in his endeavors great at public relations but perhaps a little too trusting of others. Bridges fits comfortably into this role but digs deeper this time showing Howard's pain--and his ultimate salvation in his winning horse. Maguire is also well suited as the lanky Red but the poor guy sure takes a beating playing the role. It's gut-wrenching watching the downtrodden Red starve himself so he can still be considered for jockey jobs or getting the snot kicked out of him in a boxing match which ultimately results in him losing sight in one eye. Then to top it off Red shatters his leg in a riding accident weeks away from the big race against War Admiral. It's tough being Red but Maguire doesn't shy away. As for Cooper he shines once again. After winning an Oscar for his turn in Adaptation the underrated actor shows how good he really is by giving another exquisite performance as the horse whisperer-like trainer. It's the quiet moments that work best; when Smith is sitting whittling outside Seabiscuit's stall letting the horse get some rest--with barely a trace of a smile on his lips as he ignores the swarm of reporters around the stable. And in wonderful moments of hilarity William H. Macy gives a great performance as "Tick-Tock" McGlaughlin a conglomerate of those colorful radio announcers who gave the craving public blow-by-blow accounts of the horse races during the Depression. Macy gets out-loud laughs every time he shows up.
Seabiscuit is a labor of love--a love for anything to do with horses and horse racing which may not necessarily be exciting to all although the movie's message will speak to everyone. Based on Lauren Hillenbrand's best-selling novel of the same name writer/director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) plunges headlong into the story of this inspirational horse carefully setting up the history surrounding his rise to stardom. The cinematography is extraordinary. Ross expertly blends archive footage within in the movie where at times you feel like you are watching another well-made documentary á la Ken Burns. One particular moment where this works best is when at the start of the race between War Admiral and Seabiscuit Ross switches to archive images of real folk listening to the race on the radio as you hear the real-life commentators giving the details. Of course showing the final stretch of the race is the payoff and though you know who is going to win you're on the edge of your seat anyway. It's after this however where the film begins to lose its momentum and lapses into clichéd sap. Seabiscuit hurts his leg too and is deemed never to race again. He convalesces with Red on Howard's farm until they both miraculously heal well enough to race one more time. It's almost too much to believe even though it is still a true story. Seriously how much can one man and his horse take?