House Wiki

Season Four Episodes:

  1. Alone
  2. The Right Stuff
  3. 97 Seconds
  4. Guardian Angels
  5. Mirror Mirror
  6. Whatever It Takes
  7. Ugly
  8. You Don't Want to Know
  9. Games
  10. It's a Wonderful Lie
  11. Frozen
  12. Don't Ever Change
  13. No More Mr. Nice Guy
  14. Living The Dream
  15. House's Head
  16. Wilson's Heart


Cuddy: "You have an obsession with an actor or the character he plays, I feel for you. You need to work it out. But I need you to do it when the hospital’s accreditation and my job are not on the line."
House: "You want the star of the hottest daytime drama on T.V. to die in your hospital?"
Cuddy: "No. I want you to cure him without committing any more felonies."
— Living The Dream

Living The Dream is a 4th season episode of House which first aired on May 5, 2008. While House is watching his favorite soap opera, he starts to think that one of its male actors is suffering from a serious medical condition. No-one will take him seriously, so House goes to extraordinary lengths to get the patient to Princeton-Plainsboro. However, his treatment plan is compromised by his patient being convinced he’s crazy and the hospital’s annual inspection. Cuddy assigns Cameron House’s paperwork so she can keep an eye on him, but when the patient takes a severe turn for the worse, will Cuddy let House try something risky again?


A soap opera actor steps into his limo, but the driver isn't following directions. The actor finds himself locked in, and House driving the limo.

Meanwhile, a hospital accreditor surprises Cuddy with an inspection visit. House arrives at the emergency entrance with the actor. House tells the actor he has a brain tumor. The actor realizes that House is the “nut job” doctor who has been calling his publicist. When the actor screams for help, House screams for a wheelchair. He then starts describing the actor's symptoms - difficulty reading from the teleprompter. House promises to do one test and drive him home. The actor agrees if House will just give him cab fare instead.

Cuddy is briefing the doctors on the inspection visit and tells House's old team (Cameron, Chase and Foreman) to stay behind. She asks them why House was driving a limo and, when they don’t know why, she asks them to keep an eye on House. Chase refuses (because Cuddy doesn‘t threaten to fire him) and Cameron agrees to finish House’s charts even though she‘s got a department to run. Foreman denies that House has a case, but Cuddy asks why he didn’t know about the limo.

House is testing the actor's vision. House pumps the actor for inside info on Prescription Passion and he finally gives something up. The actor is sick of the plot twists. Foreman finds House and House realizes that the hospital is being inspected and Cuddy has sent Foreman to keep an eye on him. House confirms the actor has problems in his visual field. However, Foreman realizes House is lying about the results and tells the actor. The actor leaves angrily, but House tells him it only means the symptoms are intermittent.

Wilson is having back pain because of Amber's uncomfortable mattress. House finds the actor in the elevator and tells Wilson that Amber is going to be out for herself. House then sedates the actor, who collapses, so he can perform an MRI on him.

Thirteen and Taub do the MRI, but wonder why the patient is sedated. Taub recognizes the patient as the actor from House's favorite soap. However, the MRI is clean, showing no tumors. The actor wakes up. Thirteen and Taub try to rush the actor out of the hospital, but not until he finds Cuddy to complain. However, the actor's foot suddenly goes numb and he can't walk.

House denies that he's responsible for the foot numbness, but Cameron, who's there keeping track and doing House's charts, says it might have been the result of the fall from the sedation.

Kutner performs an EMG test to make sure that the actor didn't fall and hurt his foot. Kutner and the actor discuss who has the better job. Kutner thinks the actor has a cool job, the actor thinks Kutner has a job that means something. Kutner tells him to quit, but the actor says it’s not that easy.

House is watching recordings of the soap opera and trying to point out symptoms to Taub, Foreman and Thirteen. Thirteen wonders if she dated one of the actresses. Cuddy finds House and tells him to let the actor go until the inspection is over. She wants him to behave while the inspector is there. He says he will behave if she gets him a high definition television. Kutner reports the numbness is not the result of an injury - it's a real symptom. House orders tests for toxins and goes to do an environmental scan of the studio himself while sending his team to search the actor‘s home.

Wilson and Amber go shopping for mattresses. Amber is negotiating by claiming she is pregnant. Then she lies about their employment status to get about $500 knocked off the price. Amber has to leave to go to work and tells Wilson to buy whatever mattress he wants. Wilson calls House to let him know that Amber let him choose the mattress. House tells him that it's a trap to see if he will choose the mattress Amber wants.

House visits the soap set and finds nothing out of order. The gin bottles in the dressing room are all gifts from fans. His co-star describes the actor as a non-drinker who drinks fake gin on the show, and he has no bad habits and no history of sexual misbehavior. However, House realizes that the patient is impotent, probably from eating too many sunflower seeds and getting too much vitamin B6. Kutner and Thirteen want to confirm, but House wants to start plasmapheresis. They agree to try to give him an erection. The actor agrees, but is humiliated. Kutner and Thirteen discuss what the actor should do about being dissatisfied with his work. The actor gets an erection and has an orgasm, which shows that it isn't B6 toxicity, but all of a sudden the actor goes into tachycardia and cardiac arrest.

They manage to get the patient stable again. They discuss what caused it, but none of the diagnoses fit. House thinks its hyperthyroidism, but Taub wants to test. Cameron once again chips in by stating the test is necessary. However, Foreman agrees with House - they have to irradiate his thyroid. However, when they leave the room, Foreman tells the team he was just humoring House - he agrees with the rest of the team that the test is necessary and orders the test, saying that by the time House finds out they will have the results and have started treatment if House was right.

Cuddy finds House in the morgue eating, a violation of hospital rules that will most likely result in penalties if the inspector finds out. House demands a high definition television, again, as a condition of behaving. The inspector catches them in the morgue but Cuddy has hidden the food. House threatens to spill the beans, but Cuddy uses a code word to let House know his demands will be met and House keeps silent. Cuddy sends House out of the room, but before he leaves, House steers the inspector away from where they hid the food.

While they deliver House’s new television, Cameron is chastising House over his charting. House tells her he avoids charting so one of his fellows will do it. Cameron says she misses the job, but tells House she doesn‘t miss him.

They run an iodine trace test on the patient to check his thyroid function. Taub tells the patient he used to love doing meaningless plastic surgery and that meaning isn't everything. The test shows that the body isn't filtering the iodine - the patient's kidneys are failing.

House is upset that they didn't take his advice - the test actually hurt the patient even though it showed it wasn‘t a thyroid problem. House wonders why Foreman went behind his back and figures it was because the inspector is in the hospital. Taub speaks up and says it must be an autoimmune disease. Instead of running tests, House tells the team to measure everything in the hospital to ensure nothing is closer to the ceiling than guidelines allow.

Amber and Wilson are making out on the new mattress. Amber wants to know why he bought the firm mattress. She thinks he did it only to please her, and tells Wilson never to do anything but take care of himself again.

House and the patient discuss whether the patient should quit, but again he says he can't. House reminds him that the only thing stopping him is his fear of not having something to fall back on. However, at that point, the actor starts spouting dialogue from the soap opera. House finds out the patient has a very high fever. The patient thinks he's his character on the soap.

The patient obviously has an infection, but they can't figure out which one. Despite being on antibiotics, the patient is now in a coma. They decide to look for fungus and parasites because they can see those under a microscope.

House goes mattress shopping with Wilson. They discuss diagnoses. Wilson wants a waterbed, and House tells him he can get one if he wants. House looks at a flower on the pillow and gets an idea.

House comes back and tells them the patient has an allergy. All the infection tests came out negative. House notes that the patient isn't improving on antibiotics. He wants to give him steroids, which will kill the patient if it is an infection. Foreman argues that the allergic vasculitis that House thinks has caused the fever is very rare. House argues that the fact the disease hasn’t responded to antibiotics makes it likely it isn’t an infection. House goes to get a large dose of steroids. However, the Pharmacist won't give House the amount he asks for without approval from Cuddy, especially with the inspector in the hospital. House grabs the steroids and the pharmacist calls Cuddy.

Cuddy goes to confront House. She tells him to confirm because following protocol has already saved his patient twice. House proposes that she call security after he gives the patient the drugs. Cuddy lets House proceed without calling security and leaves, but fears she will lose her job.

Cuddy comes back with negative results from the allergy tests. Cuddy rushes to the patient to give him antibiotics again, but she finds out he is recovering. However, they have no idea what the patient was allergic to. The patient thanks House. However, House admits he was wrong and tells Cuddy she should have stopped him.

The inspector confronts Cuddy and tells her the rules are there for everyone. She counters that House saved the patient.

Amber is having trouble sleeping on the waterbed, as is Wilson. Wilson says he hates the waterbed and Amber says she 'kinda likes it'. He wants to return it and Amber agrees. They cuddle on the floor. They are both glad he tried it out. Amber says she will make sure the store takes it back.

House is still wondering why the patient improved on steroids. He puts down his drink whilst watching the patient, back on television on the soap, and watches the patient drink a fake gin and tonic on his new high definition screen. He calls Cuddy, who tells him House’s actions resulted in a $200,000 fine for the hospital. He realizes the patient has been drinking fake gin but real tonic water. The bubbles on the high definition screen showed it was real tonic. House didn‘t see the bubbles on his standard definition television. The patient is allergic to quinine because his symptoms started when his character started drinking a lot of fake gin and real tonic two months earlier. Cuddy says she’s going to take back the television anyway. House asks what Cuddy is wearing, but she just bids him good night.

Major Events[]

  • The hospital undergoes a surprise inspection.
  • House kidnaps Evan Greer, the star of his favourite TV soap, Prescription Passion and brings him to the hospital for some tests.
  • Cameron is temporarily assigned to the Diagnostics Department to clear up House's untouched files and paperwork, as well as to keep an eye on him during the inspection.
  • Wilson buys a waterbed for himself but soon realizes that he hates it.
  • The inspector fines the hospital $200,000.
  • After House implied that Thirteen is bisexual in the previous episode, she practically comes out to her coworkers while they're watching Greer's scenes, stating, "I think I dated that nurse," but she quickly comments that she didn't in fact date the actress.

Zebra Factor 7/10[]

Severe allergic reactions aren’t rare. However, the patient’s reaction is very rare - as Foreman said “a one in a million reaction”.

Trivia & Cultural References[]

  • The title might refer to the actor not living the life he wishes, his later case of delusion in which he acted as if he was actually inside one of his episodes, and later, Wilson standing for his own ideas, also regarding which mattress he should buy. Stated by House, "live the dream" when he questioned about the water bed.
  • The award House is holding in the actor’s dressing room is an Emmy. Hugh Laurie was nominated for an Emmy five times for his role as House, but has never won one.



Previous episode:
No More Mr. Nice Guy

Living The Dream
Next episode:
House's Head