Merry Little Christmas is a third season episode of House which first aired on December 12, 2006. Tritter offers House a deal and to put pressure on House, Cuddy cuts off both his work and his Vicodin.
Tritter and Wilson greet House. Wilson tells House he has told Tritter about the forged prescriptions. Tritter offers House a deal with no jail time, but House turns them both down flat. Tritter tells him to either take the deal within three days or go to jail and lose his medical license.
Wilson runs after House to tell him that rehab won't be that bad. House breaks in on Cuddy who is treating the short-statured daughter of a dwarf. House can't resist making jokes and starts making a diagnosis of the daughter. He guesses that Cuddy has no idea why the daughter's lungs collapsed.
House gets his team together to talk about the daughter. Cameron thinks the daughter's dwarfism is also suppressing her immune system. This would explain the negative test for tuberculosis. They do a gallium scan to spot any infections. House keeps making fun of the mother's height. The mother gives back as well as she takes it though. House makes a pass at the mother.
Meanwhile, Cuddy is reprimanding Wilson for snitching to Tritter. She thinks House will go to jail out of spite. Wilson suggests taking away House's Vicodin. Cuddy resists, but finally agrees.
The gallium scan is inconclusive. Foreman is thinking about lung cancer. House thinks that there is a problem with the liver - the brightness of the scan in that area is lighter than the brightness of the other parts of the body. House orders his team to ultrasound the liver, but Cuddy bursts in and tells House he is relieved of his duties and his Vicodin is cut off until he takes the deal. He tells Cuddy that she will be begging him to take the case before he begs for pills.
The rest of the team goes to work on the case. They talk about whether Cuddy is doing the right thing. The scan shows it isn't lung cancer, but the patient starts coughing and vomiting. It turns out the patient's liver was failing. They look for anything that might be causing cirrhosis. Cameron confronts Wilson about turning in House, but Wilson defends himself. Cameron reminds Wilson that his own life got easier when he turned in House, and that his pretending his motives were pure is why she has a problem with him.
Foreman catches House trying to break into Cuddy's desk and asks him about the case. House refuses to help. Foreman agrees to help him break into the desk if he helps him with the case. House tells him that whatever is wrong with the liver will spread to the pancreas. Foreman breaks into the desk, but House can't find any Vicodin.
Chase comes back from his environmental scan. Cuddy comes in and asks why Foreman ordered a test of the pancreas. Wilson guesses that Foreman went to House. However, Foreman's test was negative and Wilson tells him that House was acting out of desperation. Cuddy orders more liver tests.
Meanwhile, House goes to a clinic faking an old auto accident injury. The doctor offers him codeine, but House manipulates him into Vicodin, but the doctor won't give opiates to a new patient. The doctor finally figures out House is a doctor and calls security.
As they go to do a test on the daughter, she loses consciousness and her breath smells fruity, an indication of acidosis.
Cuddy comes to House to tell him to take the deal and help the patient - she's producing no insulin, showing the problem has spread to her pancreas. House tells her to give him pills and throws her out, telling her she will have to deal with the patient's mother if she dies.
The team talks to Cuddy about keeping House off the case. They argue about whether cancer or an autoimmune disease is responsible for the disease. Cuddy orders a lumbar puncture and a test for Lupus. The mother feels that the team has no idea what is wrong and asks why House isn't on the case. They tell her that House is sick.
Cameron goes to see House who is suffering from withdrawal. She treats cuts on his arm and asks for help on the case. She realizes House cut himself to release endorphins. House thinks it is Stihl's disease, a minor infection may have triggered an autoimmune response.
Cameron comes back to Cuddy with House's diagnosis. She tells her House is in pain, but his powers of diagnosis aren't affected.
House comes in telling Wilson he only has one day to go before the deal runs out. However, House is clearly suffering from withdrawal and asks for a prescription to help his nausea. Wilson tells him to go to rehab to get it. House sneaks a look at one of Wilson's patient files. He breaks in on Wilson with a recent widow and confronts him about the daughter. The widow asks House to leave. However, Wilson realizes that he came in to steal the patient's oxycodone.
Wilson and Cuddy agree that House's diagnosis makes sense and that they didn't think of it. Wilson goes to Tritter and goes back on the deal because House saves lives others can't save. Tritter argues House doesn't need the Vicodin, but Wilson says he will refuse to testify despite the threat of jail time. Tritter says both Wilson and House will go to jail.
The patient starts bleeding.
House tricks the pharmacist into giving him the oxycodone destined for the dead patient. The pharmacist does get House to sign the log, but House takes the pills himself.
The patient is getting worse, on the verge of a multi-system failure. The team can't agree on a diagnosis and keep arguing between cancer and autoimmune diseases. Cuddy asks for a half-hour to think about it.
House is in the cafeteria when a little girl in a wheelchair asks for one of his French fries. They start arguing about whether her stuffed toy is a bear or dog. Cuddy comes in to tell him that his diagnosis of Stihl's was wrong. Cuddy realizes House got pain meds and tells him the disease is either a cancer or autoimmune. House tells the little girl you can't just call a bear a dog. All of a sudden, House tells Cuddy to X-ray the patient's leg.
The leg shows normal growth, which is impossible for a dwarf. The daughter isn't a dwarf despite her mother being a dwarf and her height. They realize that something is wrong with her pituitary gland and that Chase was right - it was Langerhans' cell histiocytosis. They rejected it because there were no neurological symptoms, except there was - her reduced height. However, like the dog and the bear, being called a dwarf didn't actually make her a dwarf.
House tells the patient and the mother that the condition can be treated and that the daughter will respond to human growth hormone and grow to a taller height. The daughter resists the HGH, but House says there are lots of reasons for her to grow to normal height. The mother confronts House about how she treated her daughter and he confronts her about using her medical condition in a vain attempt to make her a better person. He tells the mother to lie to her daughter if she has to, but to convince her to take the HGH. The mother talks to the daughter and convinces her to take the HGH.
Wilson comes to House to talk about the patient and to remind him it's Christmas Eve. House calls his mother and leaves her a message.
Wilson comes to House's home after calling three times. He finds him passed out on the floor.
House goes to Tritter to take the deal, but Tritter turns him down - he found out about the oxycodone he swiped. He wishes House a Merry Christmas as he leaves.
- Wilson and Tritter arrange a deal to help House.
- In an attempt to make sure House takes the deal, Cuddy suspends him from the case and becomes the Attending instead. She also revokes his Vicodin.
- Cameron confronts Wilson over his betrayal of House.
- House goes to St. Sebastain's Hospital in hopes of securing a new script, but eventually fails. He promptly leaves before hospital security can kick him out.
- Cameron arrives to see House and learns that he has been cutting himself.
- House attempts to steal oxycodone from a dying man, but Wilson catches him before he leaves the room.
- House ODs on oxycodone.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- The doctor at the clinic offers House 'Acetaminophen with Codeine', but when asked for Vicodin he refuses, claiming the the clinic has a policy against prescribing opiates to new patients. Codeine IS an opiate, an alkaloid derived directly from the opium poppy.
Merry Little Christmas
Words and Deeds