Season 1 Episode 21

Three Stories

Aired Monday 9:00 PM May 17, 2005 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (67)

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out of 10
1,792 votes
  • Brilliant!

    This was easily one of the best written episodes of House that I have ever seen. Three different stories, all told by House. I loved the twist at the end!
  • About this episode

    It had wonderful written.
  • The twisted flashback, where House turns out to be one of the characters of the 3 stories.

    the best episode of season 1! If it wasn't for this episode i wodn't be watchin season 4 today! Very well directed and well written. This episode has deserved the ratings it has recieved.

    This is my personal favourite of the season because of the difference in this episode and the of the episodes shown on House. It is clear that House has an excellent team of doctors because of Cameroon's catch on the problem with the patient(House)

    In this episode we also know the reasons for House's injury, and the kind of person he has become. Easily the best episode of the season!
  • Hands down the most impressive episode of House to date.. and with the show entering it's sixth season, it'll probably be the best example we have to date.

    I remember watching Three Stories when it first aired back in 2005. After seeing it for the first time, I knew I had seen something great, probably the best episode of the season, but it wasn't until just watching it again that I realized how great the episode was. Six seasons in, and this is still one of the most memorable, clever and entertaining episodes of the show.

    David Shore writes the episode in a way where we seem to get the usual cases that House's team usually investigates.. however, over time, we learn that the case that House is presenting to the class is actually HIM; he's telling them about how his leg came to be injured. Of course, watching it again, you can see how he sets it up perfectly so that we could possibly infer that it was him he was talking about the whole time ("Three guys walk into a clinic.. their legs hurt.") But the fun is in watching the stories unfold and combine into House's story. We learn a little bit about him by listening to him tell stories about other people.

    This episode also introduces us to his last girlfriend, the last person who was physically and emotionally close with him, which helped us get to know more about him as a person. We learn he was a jerk long before his leg hurt, but that Stacy kept him grounded. Hearing that he would give his leg for her was an entirely different side of House, one that wasn't necessarily there before.

    This episode was well-written (I believe it won an award, but don't hold me to it) and well acted. It combined humor, drama.. and, well, a little bit of everything. If you ever need to show somebody an episode of House to convince them to watch it, show them this. It's just too good to pass up.
  • The story of House


    Looking back after seven seasons (and going into an eighth,) I still see "Three Stories" as my favorite episode out of them all. Sure there have been more exciting episodes; better produced episodes, but "Three Stories" is the one episode I would refer to anyone who has never watched an episode of "House". Though, at this point, I'm quite sure that it would be rather difficult to find one who hasn't.

  • "Three guys walk into a clinic. Their legs hurt."

    First of all, this is quite possibly my most favorite House episode of all time. Written beautifully, the acting was flawless, and the story lines flowed spectacularly.

    House gives a lecture, because one of the professors is out ill (again). He pulls from his memory three times where three different patients have all had their legs hurt, for significant (or not) reasons.

    What is great about this episode is how you can watch the 'class' grow in size over it. At the beginning, you have the three main students who answer House's probing questions. As the episode draws on, and, in particular, at the end of the episode, the room is packed, and even House's team have come to watch at the back of the room. Pretty soon it's not just about the students in the room, but everyone who heard about House's lecture has come to see it, and you are drawn in, learning in this 'lecture'.

    A great episode overall, 10/10.
  • Best of Season 1

    Without a doubt the best this Season had to offer. Don't get me wrong i practically loved all episodes, but this one is impressively clever, interesting, and finally more than just 6 people get to see the "gift" that is House to the hospital. We finally get to see for ourselves why and how did Dr. House lose his leg muscle, all this explained in a fictional story he made up (him being the actual patient, eventually) based on the story of 3 different patients with 3 different lives. Just started re-watching House M.D. episode by episode and this one was the episode i still like the most and probably next time i'll re-watch it it will still be my favorite episode. 10/10 always. Bloody well done
  • this wasd a good ep

    in this ep of the show house . house is forced to give a lexure to a group of medical students and he tells them three stores of people that came in and one of them is about him and its really very interesting to find out and also in this ep houses ex comes back but not for him but to get help for her ill husband and house does not really want to take the case he does not know if he can deal with it this was a good ep i thought very intense and that is why i gave it a 9

    i hated this episode!!!! :(

    i am such a huge fan of House! But this episode was sooo painful to watch. it seemed like it was dragged on forever! this was an incredibly annoying flashback. i get that the writers needed to show us how House injured his leg, and how he became damaged, and how in love he was with stacy.

    But they could have very well done that some other way rather than 50 minutes of droning chat with House in an auditorium talking to a bunch of students. Not only did it get irritating, but it made me mad! out of respect for the 50 dollars i paid for this DVD, i didn\'t skip the rest of this episode.

    and the incredibly annoying medical scenarios that were being portrayed. with the farmer guy, and carmen electra. ugh!

    this episode had me sooo bored!

    my favorite part of this episode was when... 2 or 3 of the students were arguing whether the woman who told the surgeons to cut out a piece of the muscle, anyway... did the right thing. when they were saying "she saved his life" "but its not what the patient wanted" "well the patient's an idiot!"

    that part was pretty cool
  • House History...

    This was, quite simply, the best 40 minutes of a TV show I have ever watched.

    The storyline was beautifully written, incorperating House's ex-girlfriend into the mix, whilst introducing her history with House, a process that can be so drawn out in many lesser series, all in one masterstroke of House giving a lecture to medical students.

    Each storyline was beautiful developed and cleverly wove into one. He bounces off the class very well, and it was written in such a great way that I am quite sure they will never be able to top this episode.

    The audience gets to see a more indepth look into House's character, his past relationship, his feelings towards medicine, humanity and the afterlife. A truly remarkable, and inspiration episode. I would rate this higher than ten if I could. Simply a masterpiece.
  • One of the best episodes of House ever and really emotional.

    House is forced by Cuddy to hold a lecture in front of some students and he tells them three stories about patients who come to the hospital and complain about leg pain. The first one is a young volleyballplayer who's diagnosed with cancer in her leg and whose leg has to be amputated. The second patient is a farmer who seems to be bitten by a snake but it turns out that his dog had a bacteria in his mouth which caused his leg pain. The third patient seems to be Carmen Elektra but then turns into house who has an infarction in his leg. His current girlfriend Stacy supports him but in the end decides that a part of his muscle could be removed so he had a chance of a pain-free life.

    This was one of the best episodes I have seen yet. I really liked that the stories got mixed up and they were suddenly in another room or Carmen Elektra would turn into House. and we finally got to see how House became the House he is today and why he and Stacy broke up. Finally, the students (and I) learned that nothing is like it seems to be and a hurting leg can be so many things.

    In the end, I really liked the mix of emotions and funny scenes and this mixture makes this a very special episode.
  • The greatest episode of House, MD to date.

    I have been an avid watcher of House since the beginning. I remember being resistant to the show at first, House was a jerk, and some parts of the show were unrealistic. I do remember at one point falling in love with the show. Recently, after buying the first 3 seasons on DVD, I have been able to watch them over again in order. Being a medical student, I have always been interested in the medicine involved in the diagnostics. That is why it surprises me that "Three Stories" was the episode that made me fall in love with the show. It is an extremely well-written and entertaining episode that reveals as much about House in one episode than we have learned about his inner-self in the whole series combined. The episode is highly dramatic but seems to explain a lot about why House is the way he is. I highly recommend, if you are easing someone into the series who has previously not watched it, to make them promise to reserve judgment until after viewing this episode.
  • Truly amazing!

    Although sort of confusing, still you really have to listen, the three stories are super intriguing, the farmer, the volleyball player & House. The whole time you are trying to figure what is going down,a also with the room full of students, very thrilling. I also like how House bends time when he is talking about the past & all of a sudden he brings up the farmer which they haven't even treated yet, as House's past unravels more & more, Stacy returns and shows how he got his leg messed up & why he is so loveless cause his ex jacked up the surgery, I never really liked her since the start. Anyways I like how he got attatched at the end & he didn't even realize the class was over. An amazing cliffhanger & episode!
  • In order to avoid clinic duty, House agrees to give a lecture on diagnostic medicine to future practitioners. In doing so, he not only teaches a valuable lesson to the students but reveals some important details about himself.

    This is far and away one of my favorite episodes of the series. House begins to give a lecture full of the off-color humor that we are accustomed to and tells a story reeking of the cynicism that ultimately makes him such a great doctor.

    The format of the episode was excellent and the direction was impeccable. If you've watched the show before you know that House tends to capture your attention with his devil may care attitude towards the profession that he undoubtedly loves and just when he's managed to capture your eyes, your ears, and your heart, he gives you a piece of himself as well. This episode was no exception.

    I learned more about Dr. Gregory House in this episode than in any other episode that I've watched this series and you'll have to believe me when I say that I'm an avid watcher. In the episode Carmen Electra makes an appearance, things are not always what they seem, and he even manages to squeeze in an unexpected diagnosis in the end. But that's all in a day's work for the doctor we love to hate.

    This episode is indeed a series classic and television as we know it would not be the same without scripted shows like this one. Thank heavens for "House," cynicism and all.
  • Finally we get more insight into House!

    This episode is definitely one of the greats. We finally get to learn what happened to House's leg! I think House should be forced to lecture all the time. He makes it so interesting that I want to become a medical student. It is engrossing how he manages to spin three separate diagnostic stories about legs and not only manages to make it fascinating, but a learning experience too. And of course, classic House, he also manages to throw in a hefty amount of hilarious sarcasm. The writers also decided to bring House's old flame onto the show, which was a good choice for it leads to many antics later. I'm just excited that I finally know how House's leg got the way it is!
  • Brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, very clever.

    This episode uses the medium of TV to its best advantage, as we jump, with the students, into each episode as it is described. The three stories are interwoven cleverly, and we, like the students, are captivated by House's tale. I'm from England, and as such have been vaguely aware of Hugh Laurie for a long time. This series, and this episode, shows I vastly underestimated his acting ability. The moments of silence are just as powerful as the moments of speaking, as House relives his experiences with the benefit of time having passed. The team sneaking in is a nice touch, as is the way the hall generally is far fuller at the end than at the beginning. I can imagine the messages being flashed round the hospital.
    In summary, brilliant writing, brilliant acting, brilliant staging and a very, very strong episode.
  • The best House episode...

    In this episode, House is forced to lecture a group of college medical students. But, he must deal with former-girlfriend Stacy who comes to him to ask for help with her new husband, Mark. Dr. House reveals many cases to the medical students, including a farmer bit by his dog, a teenager athlete, and a regular working man. All of these people turn into House, himself, and reveals why House began walking with a cane. The most revealing episode is right here. This is the penultimate episode of the first season, and is a must-watch for first-time House watchers. I give it a 10.
  • Like everyone else, my #1 favourite episode so far.

    It's probably the most innovative episode of any series i've seen in a while. The stories where interwoven very well. The dude who wrote this episode should be proud. It's probably the only time I've actually thought "Wow, what a great episode" about something on TV. House was even wittier than he usually is, which is saying a lot if you've even heard ONE House-ism. Man, this 100 word minimum sucks. That's honestly all I had to say. I guess I'll have to stretch it out a bit. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. There.
  • Three Stories

    I hate episodic television. It was my 14 year old son who got me to watch the first few episodes of House and I was hooked. But I still worried that it would digress into soap or melodrama -- Vogler as the typical \"evil-doer,\" Cameron as a predictable love interest, and the the introduction of Sela Ward as the spurned lover.

    But nothing prepared me for story development and intracacy of \"Three Stories.\" It was nothing short of brilliant -- the interweaving of the stories, the simple idea of a classroom lecture, the evolution of the stories and the reveal of the story-lines and the surprises of character. It was simply astonishing at every delicate turn.

    What the writers, producers and editors did on \"Three Stories\" is nothing short of inspired - and I would know. I am an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and I work everyday to try to create stories and develop characters with the subtleties, the movement back and forth (both in story and editing), with the moments of revelation that the House team managed to achieve in this one episode. Fabulous.
  • One of the best and most creative TV episodes that I have seen in a long time.

    This is without the best episode in the first series of House. At first the episode threw me off with its different narrative structure but once I got into it I found it very enjoyable and extremely well structured. The three stories is a different approach to House that works really well and the interaction with the medical students is what makes it really entertaining. It is refreshing to see a episode that is so drastically different from the standard format House normally follows. It would however not work so well as a constant narrative structure but for a once off it really is something special.

    One of the most creative and original TV episodes that I have watched in a long time!
  • The Finale of Season One

    While technically the penultimate episode of the first season, it's clear that "Three Stories" is a major step in the character of Dr. Gregory House. The season finale, in my view, is more of a segue between this season in the next. It sets up a painkiller addiction for House and tells us that Sela Ward will be a permanent addition to the cast.

    I feel that this episode is bittersweet because it shows us that House could have been a much better show in a different setting. It's still painfully obvious that all the other characters (with the exception of Dr. Cameron) are barely one-dimensional types for House to play off of. And that puts a lot of weight on the main character and it's like putting a diamond next to stones. Sure, the diamond is still beautiful, but it seems oddly placed and draws attention away from the stones.

    So how could have the show been better? By having House be a professor. It allows the character to speak endlessly, bounce off others, impart wisdom, and allow for fun storytelling. This episode should be the standard instead of the anamoly.

    Nevertheless, I still like that it gives more insight into House as a man who clings to his leg because he feels so incomplete already. To lose it would make him less than whole in both spirit and body. And through his own character flaw, his body mimics his own self-loathing and pain. It's clear that this is a damaged man who has consciously blamed Stacy for revealing his pain to the world.

    I only wish they hadn't made the reveal of House being the golf-patient halfway through the episode. I think it would have made for a much more powerful and subtle ending if we had simply seen him limp away. Respect the audience, and they will respect you in turn.
  • One of the best

    This episode was one of the serices that I was thinking about it after even 2 days...

    The Characters were well in place and Dr House went throught his life. the first 10 min I though this is not the type of the serices , but as it gets through, I saw the story behinde the mind of the words......

  • My favorite episode from the first season. The blending of the stories with reality and with each other was excellent.

    This was a well done episode that also develops House's character. I loved the way the stories were intertwined like he was trying to keep the interns on their toes. I liked the way that the interns would appear in the room with the patient. It was also interesting to see House's past and the rest of the cast getting involved at the end once they realized it was him.
  • House has to give a lecture to med students, so he gives them three stories about leg pain. As the stories unfold (on-screen), the identity of each character changes and makes for very interesting television.

    This episode was amazing. Hugh Laurie is magnificent. I love episodes of shows that show what is in people's minds. The fact that one of them turned out to be House was a great hook. The ineraction between the students and House was great, and the story of House and Stacy was very telling and dramatic. It showed his negative feelings toward her and why he couldn't see her. I'm glad the two other stories didn't totally work out in the end, since this show does that a lot. At least one of them lost the leg. This episode segues into the finale nicely. Very well-written, acted, and told.
  • The Defining moment that made this show and instant classic.

    Every new show has that first season episode that defines it it terms of quality, writing and unexpected twists that pop up around unseen corners - for House this was it. This episode had everything that we expected it to be and more.
    This was the episode where our main character's backstory was revealed. We launched into the background of House and found out that the skeletons he held in the closet defined the bitter person he is today. We learned about his previous relation with Stacy. A woman who loved him so much that she was willing to overlook his arrogant streak. Much to our surprise, it seemed that House was just as cracky then, before he was crippled, as he is now. It seems the betrayal he suffered, although somewhat justified, led him down this path of bitterness.
    Still we love House not because of his nicities, but because of his flawed genious. Like a modern Sherlock Holmes he countinues to fascinate me with his genious and rather ordinary human flaws. The writers of this show outdid themselves with this Emmy-nominated episode.
  • How to make a forced lecture meaningful for both the speaker and his audience...


    Right there, that about sums it up.

    However, there's a word count, so here goes:

    After getting into this series during reruns (I got snow instead of Fox before this), I have been impressed with each installment that has been aired thus far.

    This one takes the series to another level.

    Who could imagine that a forced lecture and a chance run-in with his former lover could turn House, the consummate speech-dodger, into such a clever and eloquent speaker?

    Of course, he tells this from the perspective of three different cases, but slowly, those cases become one and then it becomes more personal.

    And as par usual, House manages to annoy, badger, flummox and try the med students' patience. (I especially liked when he tried to "duck" out of finishing the lecture.)

    But as his team begins to sit in on his tale, his lecture begins to show his true colors---what House is describing to the med students is something he knows all too well. And is something he continues to live with still.

    Would House have done as brilliant a job had he not run into Stacy? Maybe. Or maybe he would have just skipped the damn thing altogether.

    But it poses a valuable question to his students, his team, his colleagues, and most importantly, himself----how do you deal with the consequences of both your actions and the actions of those made on your behalf?

    In short, a brilliant episode. I wonder if the finale was this good.
  • An excellent example of how to truly tell a story well.

    It would have been so easy to just have the details of House's infarction detailed in a straight forward manner, without embellishment or fanfare. But David Shore chose to cleverly reveal that tale as a lecture given by House in which he recounts his own experiences in the guise of three patients who are suffering with leg pain. These individual stories all formed a composite of House's own medical history and served to prove that indeed inventive, creative and intriguing entertainment can still be found on television. Prime-time storytelling at its finest. A definite classic and well worth the title of Season's Best.
  • Simply put: a fantastic hour of television; everything that makes "House" great.

    Unique, unparalleled, the reason to watch House. I adored the classroom framing, the way the class slowly filled during the course of the episode. I loved the Carmen Electra tangents at the beginning and the way he interwove scenes with Chase, Cameron and Foreman with his narrating.

    House is a medical show. It's been done to death. This sort of episode has been done before, too... but something about this makes it different. Makes it... special. This is by far one of my favorite episodes in terms of originality, humor, tension...

    The only misstep in an otherwise perfect hour is the absence of Wilson. I think he should've been at least a little present in the flashbacks. But that's just being picky. I enjoy the Wilson-House snark, so I missed it a little here.

    Top drawer episode!
  • Excellent I find myself watching this one over and over

    This is my all time favorite, I love the way they told the stories and kept you in suspense. I knew that in the end one of them would be Greg\'s story. The line about Cujo was brilliant, what I like most about House is his keen sense of humor. He makes you laught out loud with his snied remarks. He\'s not trying to be funny his insensitivity just comes out that way. Fantastic
  • House lectures a med school class, telling the stories of 3 interesting cases all involving leg pains.

    This, by far, is the best episode of House so far. Completely different in it's storytelling from other episodes, it is revealed how House's leg was hurt. It shows that House was still a sarcastic man before and that he is not a sarcastic man (completely) because of his leg.
    Keeps your attention, cleverly written, series classic.
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