It's a Wonderful Lie
January 29, 2008
Episode Number
4.10 Rating
Final Diagnosis
Atypical presentation of breast cancer
Zebra Factor
Maggie: "You don’t even know what I have."
House: "What you have is one last Christmas with your daughter. One last chance to give her a present. The truth. It‘s inexpensive. Highly valued. You never have to stand in line to return it the day after Christmas."
Maggie: "What are you talking about?"
— It’s a Wonderful Lie

It's a Wonderful Lie is a 4th season episode of House that first aired on January 29, 2008. It is a Christmas episode. House has seemingly met his match when he treats a woman and her young daughter and they insist on being honest with each other. However, when the mother’s case appears hopeless, House pulls off a Christmas miracle. When Kutner suggests a Secret Santa, House decides to both test the cohesion of his team and get a bonus for himself.

Once again, the series turns back to its main theme. As in Paternity. we have an adopted child whose adopted parent refuses to tell them the truth. Unlike Paternity however, the child hasn't figured out the truth yet.

When we compare this episode to the following season's key episode, Birthmarks, this theme - the main theme behind the credo Everybody lies, comes into sharp focus. In Paternity, the 17 year old Dan has figured out, without his parent's help, that he's adopted. In Birthmarks, we learn that 12-year-old Gregory House has also figured out that his "father" isn't his biological father. Here, 11-year-old Jane is still oblivious to the fact despite the clue that gives it away to House, who figures out the relationship in all three cases and faces denial and evasion all three times.

In retrospect, House is desperately trying to convince Maggie to avoid the fate he suffered, finding out the one "big lie". He manages this when he seems to find a mother-daughter pair that seems to defy his credo, and when he sees the direct effect of what brutal honesty brings to a relationship. In Daddy's Boy, he makes the same observation of his putative father - a person with an insane moral compass that won't let them lie about anything; a fine quality in a police witness, but a lousy one in a dad. When House does find out about the big lie, it drives a permanent wedge between the two men as House realizes his father isn't nearly as honest as he seemed to be.

Even the clinic patient gets in on the act, telling House that she hasn't revealed to her own mother that she works as a prostitute. She realizes that although the truth would make her "righteous" (a wonderful religious allusion) that it would also deeply hurt her mother and that the grace of God isn't worth the cost. Even more ironically, she appears at the end of the episode as the Virgin Mary, turning the tables on House by misleading him as to her own sexual limits, only to let him off the hook.

In the sub-plot, House becomes upset that the creativity of his new team has been stifled by their new found job security and works to manipulate them into distrust. However, he finds his new team up to the challenge and although the manipulation works, the team unites instead showing them to be very much House's equals in this regard.

Recap Edit

A young girl is climbing a rock wall while her mother Maggie belays her. The girl slips, but her mother has a hold of the rope. However, all of a sudden, the mother can't hold onto the rope anymore and the daughter drops to the floor. They realize the daughter has a broken arm, but the mother is no longer able to move her hands.

Taub is explaining to the rest of the team that the patient has been to several doctors who haven't been able to figure out what is wrong with her hands. House comes in and tears down the Christmas decorations. Kutner denies it was him who put up the decorations, but House figures out it was him by process of elimination. Kutner then asks to hold a Secret Santa. Thirteen tells House that it’s unlikely the patient is lying as her own mother died of breast cancer without telling her about her illness and she was determined not to do that to her own daughter. House tells them to MRI the patient's chest to look for breast cancer despite the patient’s preventative double mastectomy and then goes to speak to the daughter about her mother's drug use. The daughter denies the mother uses anything stronger than marijuana. House cross-examines the daughter about lying when the daughter denies ever doing it. House is surprised by the daughter's candor, however, when she is able to tell him that her mother has sex on her stomach to stop her various lovers from staring at the scars from her mastectomy.

House discusses the necessity of lying with Wilson. Wilson looks at the patient's scans and dismisses the possibility the cancer has recurred. However, the patient has had multiple sexual partners. The team has ruled out an STD, but House thinks it's related. Taub and Foreman go to speak to her sexual contact, who denies doing anything wrong. However, the contact appears to be always thirsty and they diagnose him with the same thing the patient has. He admits to giving the patient Ecstasy and the doctors admit they lied about the diagnosis.

Taub comes back to report about the Ecstasy. House is not impressed that Taub is so straightforward and fearless around him.

They start treatment for Ecstasy overdose. All of a sudden, the patient starts complaining that the lights have gone off. They realize she has gone blind.

The Ecstasy turns out to be pure - no other toxins. Ecstasy wouldn’t explain the onset of blindness days after she took it. Kutner is surprised that House has agreed to a Secret Santa. They choose names and start discussing the case. House orders an environmental scan, including the computer. Foreman thinks it is Kearns-Sayre syndrome, but House dismisses it because of the lack of family history. He allows Taub to test for MS and check for bleeding in her eyes.

They start testing the patient's eyes and discussing why House thought the patient was lying. The patient's eyes look fine, so they aren't the problem.

House tells Wilson the Secret Santa is designed to drive everyone apart. He thinks that buying the wrong gift proves how little they know about one another.

Kutner and Thirteen come back with the patient's computer. Foreman thinks the paralysis and blindness might be a conversion disorder - something psychological. House decides they have to trick her mind. Thirteen opposes it, but they try to convince the patient's daughter to lie to her mother even though the daughter believes her mother won’t lie to her. However, the daughter won't agree because she won’t believe her mother is depressed.

Taub gives the patient a placebo and starts talking about the daughter with the patient while the rest of the team keeps the daughter distracted and talk about the Secret Santa. The daughter mentions that her mother buys the best presents for the teachers with whom she gets along least.

House tells Wilson that his name was the only one in the Secret Santa draw. However, the team has also figured this out, and they get Kutner to agree not to buy House anything.

The patient starts getting worse as her lymph nodes swell so much they cut off her airway.

House figures the swollen lymph nodes rule out a conversion disorder. House goes through the patient’s e-mail until Thirteen stops him. However, House has realized she might have sarcoidosis - she's been cutting back on physical activity. House gets his first present - an iPhone.

The team starts testing the patient, and try to figure out who bought House the iPhone. However, House just stole it from Wilson. Thirteen tells the team to stop speculating who bought it - it was obviously House . However, they realized the patient is now bleeding out of her eyes. They have ruled out sarcoidosis but now fear she will bleed to death. House orders a bone marrow aspiration to determine why she isn't producing platelets. Kutner asks why House got a present when he's his Secret Santa. He then gives House a present anyway.

Chase starts the aspiration by drilling into the patient's bone, but Foreman notes that it is smoking, meaning the bones are harder than the steel drill bit.

They can't find any hot spots in the bone scan that would indicate higher bone density, but Foreman doesn't think Kutner screwed up the test - he believes her entire skeleton has the same high density. Kutner comes up with a diagnosis for this symptom that House rejects until Kutner reminds House that any other cause of the bone hardening would be fatal.

House tells Wilson his gambit worked, the team attacked Kutner thinking he screwed up the test.

Taub tells the patient if they are right she will need a bone marrow transplant from her daughter. However, the patient objects to the daughter donating or even being tested despite the low risk to the daughter.

Taub finds a 5/6 bone marrow donor, but House wonders why the patient doesn't want the daughter tested - she's likely to be a perfect match. Taub gives House a present too. However, Thirteen comes in to say the transplant won't help - the blood test for what they hoped she had was negative. Her condition has to be terminal. Thirteen gives House a present too. House agrees to tell the patient she's terminal, but tells his team they can‘t go home until they have a diagnosis. However, while they search Kutner points out there are dozens of terminal diseases that could account for the symptoms. Kutner apologizes for breaking down and buying a present, but the rest of the team quickly forgives him - it will make House crazy. The daughter comes in to ask for a marrow test.

The patient rejects the prognosis, but House tells her she knows that her daughter's marrow test will show they aren't related. The mother admits she didn't want to have her own kids because they would have the same genetic problems she had. The daughter's biological mother was a drug addict and the patient promised not to tell. The daughter comes in to confront her mother about the prognosis and the mother says the doctors may be wrong. The daughter tells her she’s dying and it's not going to be okay.

House goes to the hospital Christmas party and describes to Wilson all the expensive gifts he got from his team (a watch from Kutner, a vintage LP from Thirteen and a second edition Arthur Conan Doyle from Taub). He then tells Wilson about seeing the daughter be honest - the pure truth of telling her mother she's going to die. He realizes the daughter did it because she cared about her mother. When they discuss the fact that things don't care about what happens to them, House gets an idea.

House starts singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to his team. He orders risperidone, an antipsychotic, and promises a Christmas miracle.

House tells the patient that breast tissue sometimes gets mixed up in the developing fetus and winds up in the wrong part of the body. They rejected breast cancer as a possible cause of bone hardening because they couldn’t find it in her chest. House injects her with the respiradone, which causes milk-producing tissue in her body to swell. They find milk producing tissue behind her knee. House orders surgery and chemotherapy.

House's new team meets with Chase and Cameron for a party while House heads out alone.

Clinic Patient Edit

A woman comes in complaining of a sore throat and stomach pain. House diagnoses her with strep throat. She worries about it being contagious, and House figures she's a prostitute worrying about passing it off to clients because she's wearing a St. Nicholas medal and, among other things, Nicholas was the patron saint of prostitutes.

However, the patient comes back. She has a rash on her neck. House thinks it is gonorrhea, but she says there is no rash on her labia. Her lips also look like she has lipstick although she's not wearing any. The only disease that would cause it would be from an equine animal, like a donkey. House quizzes her about it, suggesting she contracted it from participating in a donkey show, and she admits to having recent contact with either a donkey or mule. House diagnoses her with contagious ecthyma, a form of streptococcus. House prescribes an antibiotic crème, and the patient invites him to her show.

Later, House goes to see the patient’s show - she's playing the Virgin Mary in a nativity play and appears to be sitting on a real mule.

Major Events Edit

  • The hospital celebrates Christmas.
  • Lawrence Kutner, Chris Taub and Thirteen officially start work as House's new diagnostics team. In addition, the opening credits give Kal Penn, Peter Jacobson and Olivia Wilde an "Also Starring" credit for the first time.

Zebra Factor 2/10Edit

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in women the patient’s age, although the presentation was a strange one.

Title Edit

The title is a reference to the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.

Trivia and Cultural References Edit

  • Fox originally planned to show this episode earlier, in time for Christmas, instead of in early January. It was delayed because of the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike, which forced Fox to spread out the episodes that had been written before the strike started.
  • The rock climbing scenes were shot at Boulderdash Indoor Rock Climbing in Thousand Oaks, California. The wall shown is "The Prow" - 45 feet high that leans back slightly against the vertical
  • St. Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop who, among other things, served as the inspiration for Sinterklaas (a gift-bringer in the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Germany), one of the origins of Santa Claus. He is the patron saint of children, coopers (barrel makers), sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, Aberdeen (Scotland), Galway (Ireland), Russia, Greece, Hellenic (Greek) Navy, Liverpool (England), Bari (Italy), Siggiewi (Malta), Moscow (Russia), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Lorraine and the Duchy of Lorraine (France) and, yes, prostitutes. His patronage over prostitution was from an act of generosity that saved three sisters from prostitution when he provided all of them with money for a dowry.
  • The Trojan Horse was ostensibly a large sculpted horse that the Greeks offered to the Trojans as a gift during the siege of Troy, ostensibly to promote peace between the two sides. However, it was actually a subterfuge - Greek soldiers were hidden inside the horse and once the Trojans brought it inside the city's walls, the soldiers got out and opened the main gate for the invading Greek forces.
  • Although it may sound sexy, an "Alpine Butterfly" is a type of knot used in climbing. It can be made from the middle of a rope without access to the ends, but remains secure if stress is put on the loop or on either end of the rope. Climbers can use it as a foothold or handhold.
  • Garfield is a comic strip about a large tabby cat by Jim Davis that has been syndicated since 1978.
  • Red Ryder BB Gun is a reference to the 1983 film A Christmas Story.
  • More about Satanism and Druids. Wilson’s wish of “Happy Solstice” to House plays to House pretending to be a Druid as the solstices were important dates in pre-Roman Britain.
  • Kwanzaa is a celebration of West African culture held in the United States for one week starting the day after Christmas.
  • The second edition Conan Doyle House receives is another reference to Sherlock Holmes
  • A Dreidel is a toy top associated with Hanukkah.
  • "A love glove for Francis" refers to Francis the Talking Mule, a character featured in several Universal-International film comedies during the 1950s.
  • Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio. It is also mentioned in Post Mortem
  • Ebenezer Scrooge is the protagonist of the Charles Dickens short story A Christmas Carol
  • The sound clip that starts when Thirteen asks "who's going to tell the patient she's dying" is a combination of the song "Sun King" and "The Little Drummer Boy"
  • Upon receiving the final diagnosis Maggie says to her daughter, "I love you." Jane responds "I know." This may be a reference to the famous exchange between Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode 5 the Empire Strikes back.
  • This is one of several episodes where the opening scene suggest the wrong character will be the featured patient.
  • Cameron appears in the episode, but has no dialogue.
  • The e-mail seen on Maggie's computer while House searches for clues says "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." Pam is most likely episode writer Pamela Davis and Matt probably refers to episode director Matt Shakman
  • Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry parodied the original "It's a Wonderful Life" on their show A Bit of Fry & Laurie. Laurie portrays Fox Network head Rupert Murdoch in the sketch.
    Fry & Laurie It's a Soaraway Life Segment

    Fry & Laurie It's a Soaraway Life Segment

Reviews Edit

  • users gave the episode an 8.7. They picked Janel Moloney as their most valuable performer.
  • IMDB viewers rated the episode an 8.5 with 27.1% of voters giving it a "10". 81.9% of voters gave it at least an "8". It scored best with females under the age of 18 (9.0) and worst with males under the age of 18 and the staff of IMDB (7.5)
  • Polite Dissent loved both the relationship between Maggie and Jane, and the plot about Secret Santa, giving the "soap opera" aspect an A. However, he was less enthusiastic about the medicine. He gave the medical mystery a B, the solution a C-, and the overall medicine a C based on some that was good and some that was terrible.
  • One group that hated the episode was the Parents Television Council, who chose it as their worst television episode that week. They cited House's discussions about the mother's sex life with her daughter Jane, his use of drawing breast milk to prove his diagnosis, and his interactions with the prostitute Melanie in the clinic.

Medical Ethics Edit

One of the most contentious issues in treatment is whether or not it is ethical to treat a patient with a placebo - essentially misleading them into believing they are being treated when, in fact, they are not.

In the immediate case of Maggie in this episode, it is clear in modern medical practice that giving the patient a placebo is totally inappropriate in cases of conversion disorder. The patient should be assessed and treated by a psychiatrist and the attending should let the patient know the possible diagnosis and provide reassurance. In most cases, a definitive diagnosis of conversion disorder requires ongoing treatment until the condition can be resolved.

In addition, it's not clear how the term "placebo" should be defined. Should it include every treatment that has no defined therapeutic effect but may still be helpful (like bedrest and even psychotherapy) or only those treatments that are designed to have no all?

It should be noted that in clinical trials, the control group will be given something that looks like a treatment, but isn't (usually saline). However, clinicians have noted that this gives rise to the "reverse-placebo" effect - patients often realize that they are on the trial drug because of side effects, while those not on the drug soon realize that what they are being given is not therapeutic. This expectation can affect how the patient perceives the drug is working, and they tend to over report improvement when there are side effects. Later in the series, when Foreman is in charge of a clinical trial, he even accidentally learns that the therapy and the placebo have different smells, and from that learns that Thirteen is on the placebo.

The question is incredibly complex and there are many cases where issuing a placebo is the entirely correct procedure, such as a patient demanding antibiotics for the flu. In that case, it is clear that the placebo will have the exact same therapeutic effect on the disease as the "real drug" - none at all.

The series first toys with this issue in the Pilot where House prescribes mints to a patient suffering from a vague set of symptoms. Unfortunately, in some cases (including the one in that episode) the "treatment" works. There's no question that patients "improve" on placebos, but as the late British-Canadian oncologist Rob Buckman pointed out when questioning alternative medicine, there are only three outcomes when a treatment is tried - improvement, deterioration, or nothing at all. Since many diseases either resolve without treatment (e.g. the common cold) or stay the same no matter what treatment is given, a placebo may seem to have therapeutic effect and this basic fallacy can even fool doctors.

In fact, although the "placebo effect" seemed to be well documented, a clinical trial actually showed that patients given nothing at all had the same rate of improvement as those "given" a placebo. In other words, "no treatment' was just as good as a "placebo" and the placebo effect could, in the end, be a placebo effect - we think it's going to be there, so we see it when there's evidence that seems to confirm our hypothesis.


  • The belaying rope used is too short for the purpose. You can see the belaying rope run entirely through the Maggie's hands as Jane falls. Belaying ropes are always at least twice as high as the upper support for the rope so that both ends of the rope will lie on the ground.
  • In some shots, there is a rope on the ground beside Maggie, but in others it is no longer there.
  • Maggie should be wearing gloves when she's on the belaying rope. A sudden move of the rope could cause a rope burn and, in that case, the instinct of the person holding the rope is to let go of it.
  • Hardening of the bones should most properly be described as osteosclerosis. Osteopetrosis is one disease which presents with osteosclerosis.
  • The doctors confuse osteopetrosis, a genetic disease which does cause greatly increased bone density, with diffuse bone metastasis, which also causes increased bone density.  In a female patient presenting with increased bone density, breast cancer should be part of any competent differential diagnosis, particularly when the patient has no family history of osteopetrosis but does have a family history of breast cancer.
  • In addition, there is a second cause of osteosclerosis that, although not curable, is also not dangerous - benign osteopetrosis.
  • If you try to drill into a bone affected with osteosclerosis,it will shatter, not be resistant to the drill. Although the bones become harder, they also become more brittle. In any case, it is doubtful that any organic structure, no matter how hard, could resist a stainless steel drill.
  • Bone marrow aspirations aren't performed with surgical drills, but with specially constructed needles.
  • Although metastasis of breast cancer can cause osteosclerosis, it will be specific to sites where the cancer has migrated to. It won't affect the whole skeleton.In addition, if the cancer were that widespread, the prognosis would be very poor.
  • Although risperidone can cause breast tissue enlargement and milk production, it rarely does. If it does, it happens after several doses and after a long period of time.
  • When they think Maggie has a conversion disorder, they try to treat her with a placebo. However, that never works. Conversion disorder requires ongoing psychiatric treatment.
  • Dialysis is not used to treat an ecstasy overdose, although it is used to treat an overdose of an unknown drug or toxin. It could be they believed it was something mixed with the ecstasy was causing the symptoms.
  • Contagious Ecthyma is self-resolving. Melanie didn't need antibiotics and House should know better than to give them to her. It also doesn't affect donkeys, only sheep and goats.
  • During the scene where House and Thirteen have an argument as they walk down the hall, the position of her necklace watch changes.
  • When House and Wilson are outside talking just before House's eureka moment, there is snow on the top of the street lamp. Street lamps use incandescent bulbs and if it had been dark for any period of time, any snow on the lamp would have melted.
  • During the lollipop eating session with House, the position of Jane's braid changes.


Music Edit

Quotes Edit

Dr. Gregory House: Gifts allow us to demonstrate exactly how little we know about a person. And nothing pisses a person off more than being shoved into the wrong pigeonhole.

Dr. Gregory House: The notion of picking one time of year to be decent to other people is obscene because it's actually validating the notion of being miserable wretches the rest of the year.

Dr. Gregory House: Who told you it'd be a good idea to put up superficial representations of a hypocritical season celebrating a mythical figure?

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

Dr. Gregory House: The problem with sleeping with strangers is they're strange.

Dr. Gregory House: I figured I could sow dissension and get a few ties and sweaters.

Dr. Gregory House: You talk to your kid about sex so she'll think you're open about everything. Keeps her from asking questions about the things you don't wanna talk about.

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

Taub: [about House] He lies
House: [coming up behind him] My ears are burning.

House: [complaining to Cuddy] See. Clear, simple statement of facts describing their cooperation with no attitude or fear.
Cuddy: [sarcastically] Something's gotta be done.
House: Oh yeah.

Jane: Your boss is weird.
Taub: Yeah, he is. He thought he'd get information you have not been telling us by...
Maggie: ...being a jerk?
Taub: You'd be surprised how often it works.
Jane: Why would people lie to a doctor.
Foreman: Dozens of reasons to lie, only one reason to tell the truth.
Taub: You've never even been tempted? Lies do sometimes smooth things out and make life easy.
Maggie: Yeah. Your life easy?
Foreman: Not even close.

Thirteen: I'm not the one who has based his entire world view on the proposition. If I'm wrong, so what?
Kutner: So, you're getting Huntington's?
Thirteen: Nope.
Kutner: But House said you...
Thirteen: If I wanted to talk about it, why didn't I bring it up?

Thirteen: Tough to get into the head of someone who actually trusts people, huh?

House: I saw something amazing. Pure truth. She told her mother that she was dying. Stripped her of all hope.
Wilson: That sounds horrible....
House: It’s like watching some... bizarre astronomical event that you know you’re never going to see again.
Wilson: You tell people the cold hard truth all the time. You get off on it.
House: Because I don’t care. She cared. She did it anyway. She did it because she cared.
Wilson: When you care about someone...
House: lie to them. You pretend that their constant ponderous musings are interesting, you tell them that they're not losing their boyish good looks or becoming worn out and...
Wilson: I stand corrected. Loved talking with you.

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

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

House: [unveiling an 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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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: [referring to a wrapped box on House's desk] 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.

Release Dates Edit

  • United States - January 29, 2008 on Fox
  • Canada - January 29, 2008 on Global
  • Australia - February 20, 2008
  • New Zealand - April 1, 2008 on TV3
  • Brazil - April 17, 2008
  • Latin America - April 17, 2008 on Universal Channel
  • Italy - April 20, 2008 on Canale 5
  • Bulgaria - May 15, 2008 on NTV
  • United Kingdom - May 22, 2008 on five
  • Denmark - June 7, 2008 on SBS Net
  • Israel - June 15, 2008 on HOT3 and Yes Stars 3
  • The Netherlands - September 11, 2008 on SBS6
  • Germany - October 28, 2008 on RTL
  • Hungary - October 29, 2008 on TV2
  • The Czech Republic - November 3, 2008 on TV Nova
  • Greece - November 22, 2008 on Star
  • Sweden - April 21, 2009 on TV4
  • Poland - May 14, 2009 on TVP2

In Other Languages Edit

Yet another episode where the title is lost in translation.The original movie was known as "La Vie Est Belle" (Life is Good) in France and "¡Qué bello es vivir!" (How Good it is to Live) in Spanish. Neither survives substituting the word "Lie". In Romance languages, the word for lie is from the Latin "mendacium". The nearest English equivalent is "mendacity", which is from the same root. English gets the noun "lie" (in the sense of an untruth) from the German "lugi".

  • France - Pieux Mensonge (Eng. White Lie or, literally, Pious Lie)
  • Quebec - La vérité, rien que la vérité? (Eng. The Truth, Nothing but the Truth?)
  • Spanish - Qué mentira más maravillosa (Eng. What a Wonderful Lie)


Video Edit

House Performs A Christmas Miracle - House M.D

House Performs A Christmas Miracle - House M.D.

Previous episode:

It's a Wonderful Lie
Next episode:
Featured articles
July 2017 August 2017 September 2017
Kenny Arnold It's a Wonderful Lie Larger than Life
This article was the featured article for August, 2017.