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Season 4 Episode 10

It's A Wonderful Lie

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 29, 2008 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
623 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A mother's sudden paralysis during a indoor rock-climbing incident leaves her daughter injured, and House's new team looking for a cure. Meanwhile, House organizes his new recruits' Secret Santa gift exchange... with a few twists of his own.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Mary out of Christmas

    I enjoyed this episode primarily for the clinic side plot. It was intriguing that House up until the last 2 minutes was spouting atheistic anti-Christmas nastiness. Then at the end, he saves the patient, of course, and visits midnight mass where the devout clinic patient is in the manger re-enactment. I have watched the scenes leading up to this several times. Why does House find this women so appealing that he drops his beliefs and shares evening with her? Is she really a prostitute, or does she just allow him his nasty assumptions and wins him over with her wry smile? Is she lying or just not divulging the whole truth? Does she convert him or is he there just because she intrigues him? Way deeper than the over the top antics of the rest of the show. Excellent writing.moreless
  • Old team meet New team!

    I love the chemistry and dialogue between the characters the most about this show and then it is how interesting the case is. I was impressed with both of these requirements especially House/Wilson and Thirteen/House. Although the clinic patient and House were rally good together and I loved those scenes especially the last scene in the church with their cheeky smirks!

    The Secret Santa sub-plot was quite funny and the actual case was entertaining. And the scene at the main desk with the new team and the old team was very good. Anyway, good episode but now there is no games or competitions it feels a bit off like what other running storylines can the writers come up with?moreless
  • Classic Episode.

    If anyone was worried about the new team and their effect on the show, I think they should have their worries eased by this episode- it was classic House.

    The new team finally seemed to blend in with each other and also find themselves as character. 13's very much like Cameron used to be as far as caring about her patients, yet she also clashes with House and doesn't love him like Cameron did. Kutner is quite childlike yet provides great comic relief, whilst Taub seems to be a cross between Foreman and Chase. On the mention of Foreman, it was nice to see him back involved in the teams runnings.

    The case itself was interesting, and the patient focus was also classic House from the earlier Seasons. The daughter telling the blunt truth but caring was actually quite haunting to watch- credit to the guest stars acting. It was also the first episode for a while that House goes back to his favourite prognosis that "everybody lies". Meanwhile, House plays a secret santa game, and makes everybody give presents to him! (except Foreman by the looks of it). It provided some good comic moments, and also showed the developing bond between the new team. I did like the end of the episode when the new team meets with the old team.

    There was also a welcome return of a clinic patient, who flirts with House providing some good scenes.

    Overall, I understand why people may be a bit off with this Season, and indeed I myself looked at this episode and thought of immediate negative thoughts because of the lack of the old team, but basing it on face value it is a classic- House was full of one liners, his scenes with Wilson were classic, the team memebers banter has improved, there's a clinic patient and an interesting case. A great episode.moreless
  • The Christmas episode of Season 4.

    This episode was basically about the truth about honesty, once House's method is proved wrong. Since when is it good to lie. Everybody lies according to House, but not to this patient, I would hate to share everything with my mom, that would be just awkward. My favorite scene is when the old fellows and the new fellows come together for the Christmas spirit. I loved that montage. And House ends up again with Wilson, then alone of course. The patient is cured, after being brutally honest. I guess it was a Christmas miracle. Sorry for all the Christmas references. An okay episode. I also like the whoel Secret Santa plot, hilarious. I loved Kutner in this episode.moreless
  • The Christmas episode of Season 4.

    This episode was basically about the truth about honesty, once House's method is proved wrong. Since when is it good to lie. Everybody lies according to House, but not to this patient, I would hate to share everything with my mom, that would be just awkward. My favorite scene is when the old fellows and the new fellows come together for the Christmas spirit. I loved that montage. And House ends up again with Wilson, then alone of course. The patient is cured, after being brutally honest. I guess it was a Christmas miracle. Sorry for all the Christmas references. An okay episode. I also like the whoel Secret Santa plot, hilarious. I loved Kutner in this episode.moreless
Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Dr. Gregory House

Omar Epps

Omar Epps

Dr. Eric Foreman

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer

Dr. Robert Chase

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Dr. Allison Cameron

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson

Janel Moloney

Janel Moloney

Maggie Archer

Guest Star

Liana Liberato

Liana Liberato

Jane Archer

Guest Star

Cheyenne Wilbur

Cheyenne Wilbur


Guest Star

Kal Penn

Kal Penn


Recurring Role

Peter Jacobson

Peter Jacobson


Recurring Role

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the scene where House is talking to Jane and they are eating lollipops, Jane's hair changes between shots. When seen from the back, her right braid appears to be over her shoulder. However, when seen from the front, the same braid is now behind her shoulder.

    • In the opening scene, we see a second rope on the floor next to Maggie but on the close shots the second rope isn't there anymore. In the same scene, when Maggie has her hands problem, she let go of the rope and we see the end of rope passing through her hands well before her daughter hit the ground. Therefore the rope is too short for the girl to go all the way down.

    • In the beginning of the episode Maggie is holding the rope with her bare hands. When someone is climbing up and has a safety rope, the person who is holding the rope usually doing it in gloves because if the climber slips the one who is holding the rope may burn his hands and instinctively drop the rope with the climber.

  • QUOTES (37)

    • House: Things have their place when you hang them from Christmas trees.

    • House: I saw something amazing. Pure truth.

    • Kutner: She called her mom a slut?!?
      House: No. I called her mom a slut.

    • House: (unveiling an Apple iPhone from the gift box) Wow! Now either that costs more than 25 bucks, or I'm seriously starting to doubt Steve Jobs' business strategies... Thanks!

    • House: See. Clear, simple statement of facts describing their cooperation with absolutely no attitude or fear.
      Dr. Cuddy: Something's gotta be done.
      House: Oh yeah.

    • House: Have you people no holiday spirit? Bring me the egg-nog of good cheer!
      Dr. Foreman: House, if you have something to say, say it, if you don't, give us a chance to get home before Santa.
      House: Scrooge.

    • House: Listing all the possible causes is only impressive if you can do it reverse alphabetically.

    • Thirteen: The only thing we found in the ecstasy was.... ecstasy.
      House: Well, that never hurt anyone.

    • Kutner: He lies.
      House: My ears are burning.
      Dr. Foreman: Tell 'em you're done firing people.
      House: Well, if I lie, that would be little reassurance.

    • Thirteen: She's not a liar.
      House: Okay, this is gonna be a tough case. I have almost no knowledge of alien physiology.
      Thirteen: Everyone lies, but there's an exception to every rule.
      House: Actually, there isn't. That's kinda what makes it a rule.

    • House: Are you a doctor?
      Jane: I'm 11.
      House: That's not an answer, that's an evasion.

    • House: There's a reason that everybody lies: it works. It's what allows society to function, it's what separates man from beast.
      Dr. Wilson: Oh, I thought that was our thumbs.
      House: Do you wanna know every place your mother's thumb has been?
      Dr. Wilson: I'm sorry, I missed rehearsal. Am I taking the "truth is good" side? Don't you usually take that part?
      House: Lies are a tool, to be used either for good… no, wait, I got a better one. Lies are like children. Hard work but they're worth it. Because the future depends on them.
      Dr. Wilson: You are so full of love… or something.

    • Thirteen: You catch her lying?
      House: Not yet.
      Thirteen: Wouldn't "no" have been a shorter answer?
      House: Wouldn't you not talking make this a shorter conversation?

    • Melanie: Prostitutes wear religious symbols?
      House: I think they just like kneeling.

    • Dr. Cuddy: You owe me fifty bucks.
      House: Then you owe me half a lap dance.

    • House: Do you spell "homie" with a "y"? I want to be respectful.

    • House: On the other hand, you are now a team, you've gotta work together. The simple fact is giving people crap makes people like people. So spend 25 bucks, learn to love.

    • House: Conflict's built right into the name. Santa's about sharing, a secret's about withholding.

    • Kutner: So you've got Huntington's?
      Thirteen: Nope.
      Kutner: But House said that you…
      Thirteen: If I wanted to talk about it, why didn't I bring it up?

    • House: If you don't know how to lie, you don't know how to tell when you're being lied to.

    • Kutner: Why don't we just double the amount we can spend?
      Dr. Foreman: Nope.
      Kutner: Can't afford another $25?
      Dr. Foreman: If we allow people $50, people will spend $60.
      Kutner: Ah, so you can't afford another $35.

    • House: Well, that sucks. 4,300 saved e-mails and not a single mention of "lesbionic, " "sanchez," or "man-gina."

    • House: It's just a climbing knot.
      Taub: But what does she use it for? Try bondage.
      House:I did once. She just tied me down and whined about how hard it is to be Dean of Medicine.

    • Kutner: It's not Christmas yet.
      House: I remembered. I'm not a Satanist, I'm a druid.

    • Dr. Wilson: I've been looking for this all morning.
      House: Did you look in the box on my desk? Oh, by the way, your mom called. Your dad's dead.

    • Dr. Wilson: Have you ever consider channeling your powers to, I don't know, bring peace to the Mid-East?
      House: I couldn't do that.
      Dr. Wilson: But if they ever got it, you could screw it up.
      House: Yeah, that's more where my powers lie.

    • Melanie: No rash on my labia. Do you need to take a look?
      House: I'm saving my money for a Red Ryder BB gun.

    • House: Where are we going?
      Dr. Wilson: Nowhere. I just know it hurts you.

    • Kutner: You guys mad at me?
      Thirteen: Nope, you had no choice.
      Kutner: Of course I had a choice. You had no choice once I made my choice.
      Thirteen: And now I'm choosing not to be mad at you.
      Kutner: Why?
      Thirteen: 'Cause it'll drive House nuts.
      Dr. Foreman: You think that'll make your lives better or worse?

    • Dr. Wilson: You tell people the cold hard truth all the time, you get off on it.
      House: Because I don't care. She cared.

    • Dr. Wilson: The angels of Christmas have finally given House a present he can appreciate it.
      House: Oh don't ruin it, don't pin this on Christ, he's got enough nails in him.

    • House: Take off that hat.
      Dr. Wilson: It's Christmas, it's a reindeer.
      House: It's a moose. On a Jew.

    • House: The only reason they give multiple reasons is you're searching for what the person wants to hear.

    • Kutner: Who's that from?
      House: Santa, obviously, because you know I worship him. No, wait, I mean Satan. I always get them confused.

    • Dr. Foreman: Did you buy House a present?
      Dr. Chase: Why would I?
      Dr. Foreman: To screw with me.
      Dr. Chase: Then I'm gonna say yes.

    • Roger: I had known her for less than an hour and she offered to take me home. There was no need to drug her... not that I would.

    • Kutner: Good, then can we do Secret Santa?
      House: I liked you better 15 seconds ago when you were afraid for your job.

  • NOTES (6)

    • International Air Dates:
      Australia, February 20, 2008
      New Zealand, April 1, 2008 8:30pm TV3
      Brazil, April 17, 2008
      Italy, April 20, 2008 on Canale 5
      Latin America, Arpil 17, 2008 on Universal Channel
      Bulgaria: May 15, 2008 on NTV
      United Kingdom: May 22, 2008 9pm on five
      Denmark: June 7, 2008 on SBS Net
      Israel: June 15, 2008 on HOT 3/YES Stars 3
      The Netherlands: September 11, 2008 on SBS6
      The Czech Republic: November 3, 2008 on TV Nova
      Germany: October 28, 2008 on RTL
      Hungary: October 29, 2008 on TV2
      Greece: November 22, 2008 on Star
      Sweden: April 21, 2009 on TV4
      Poland: May 14, 2009 on TVP2

    • This episode was voted the "Worst TV Show of the Week" by the Parents Television Council the week of its airing because of House's sexual discussions with the patient's daughter, his method of proving his diagnosis, and his interactions with the clinic patient.

    • Injoke: House shows his team an e-mail on Maggie's computer. It reads: Sorry to hear you won't be coming along on the Halloween Day Climb. You're going to miss Matt's famous Ghou () Dance. Not to mention the wine and smores. Pam. The episode was written by Pamela Davis, and directed by Matt Shakman.

    • Music:
      Hark the Heralds Angels Sing by Frank Sinatra
      Trim Your Tree by Jimmy Butler
      The Twelve Days of Christmas by Frederic Austin
      The Little Drummer Boy by The Fab Four
      God Rest You Merry Gentlemen by Roy Hargrove
      Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Ramsey Lewis Trio
      Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas? by Staples Singers

    • Jacobson, Penn, and Wilde are now credited as "Also Starring."

    • Jennifer Morrison appears but has no dialogue.


    • House: Okay, antibiotic cream for you and a love glove for Francis.
      This is a reference to Francis the Talking Mule, a celebrity mule featured in seven movie comedies in the 1950s.

    • House: I'm saving my money for a Red Ryder BB gun.
      References the 1983 film titled A Christmas Story, directed by Bob Clark and starring Peter Billingsley. The plot of the movie revolves around little Ralphie (Billingsley) and his eagerness to get a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas despite the fact that his relatives and teachers and even Santa Claus assure him it's too dangerous.

    • House: ... and a second-edition Conan Doyle.
      Referencing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of detective Sherlock Holmes, which House is often compared to.

    • House: Her friend sent her a Garfield cartoon. That cat sure does love lasagna.
      Referencing the long-lived comic first created by Jim Davis in 1978. As of this episode's airing it holds the Guinness record as the most widely syndicated comic strip. It features the adventures of Garfield, a large orange cat, his owner Jon, and rival pet Odie. It has been made into two feature live-action films and several TV shows and specials.

    • Title:
      References the 1946 movie called It's a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. In this film an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing him what life would've been like if he never existed.

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