You Don't Want to Know
0000048248 20080428165510
20 November 2007
Episode Number
4.08 Rating
Final Diagnosis
Zebra Factor
House: "You eat a lot of beets. You have an electric toothbrush, and you sleep less than six hours a night."
Flynn: "That’s impressive."
House: "The red betamine from the beets stains the plaque deposits on your teeth which are then swirled by your spinning toothbrush. The heavy lids and your prematurely aging skin tell me that you’re carrying a major sleep debt."
— You Don’t Want to Know

You Don't Want to Know is a fourth season episode of House which first aired on November 20, 2007. Kutner and Cole take time out to see a magician, but the show nearly ends in tragedy when the magician has a heart attack during a trick. When Kutner tries to get House interested in the case, House figures the magician just screwed up and challenges Kutner to prove that there is something wrong with the magician before taking the case. However, when the magician takes a turn for the worse, all the symptoms point in the wrong direction until House remembers Cameron’s favorite zebra.

Meanwhile, to keep the applicants busy, House offers one of them the opportunity to keep their own job for a week while putting two others on the bubble. He challenges them to steal Cuddy’s thong. Astoundingly, Cole is the winner and the rest of the team starts to suck up to him to get him to choose someone else for the axe. However, when Cole makes his choice, House figures something is wrong.

Finally, House gets through Thirteen’s aura of mystery when she gets mad at herself for doing something clumsy and House does some digging to find out the reason behind Thirteen‘s drive and ambition that contradicts her seeming fatalism.


Kutner and Cole are at a magic show and a reluctant Cole gets the chance to help the magician with the Chinese Water Torture Chamber Trick. However, while the magician is in the cell, he starts bleeding from his mouth. Cole realizes its not part of the act, calls for help from Kutner, and gets the magician removed from the chamber.

House is distressed that he still has five candidates but no patients. Kutner tries to talk him into taking the case of the magician, who had a cardiac arrest just after entering the water. House agrees to allow Kutner to do tests, but says he will fire Kutner if he can't find anything wrong. House gives the rest of the applicants a challenge - to get Cuddy's thong. The winner gets immunity and gets to nominate two people, one of whom will be fired.

The applicants discuss whether they should go through with it, but they all know Amber will.

Thirteen comes in to help Kutner with the patient, but all of the magician‘s tests seem to be normal. The magician entertains them with tricks.

Taub and Amber are hanging around Cuddy. Amber proposes an alliance, but Taub isn't interested. They’re both planning to get her thong wet. Taub tries to spill coffee on Cuddy, but fails. Amber's gambit is to help at the clinic.

Kutner goes to Foreman for help when he can't find anything wrong with the patient. Foreman suggests an MRI of the patient's lungs.

Meanwhile, Amber calls Cuddy to the clinic and then sets off a sprinkler. She succeeds in flooding the clinic, but Taub has waylaid Cuddy so she doesn't get wet.

Kutner tells the patient he might have a fungus in his lungs. However, as the patient is put in the MRI, he starts having extreme abdominal pain. Kutner spots signs of internal bleeding. Kutner and Thirteen report to House that there must be something wrong with the patient. Taub comes in with a thong, but House knows it's not Cuddy's (it's the wrong color), and figures out that Amber supplied the thong (and that she's not wearing underwear). Foreman gets them back on topic. House realizes the patient was screaming because he had swallowed a metal key - something that magicians often carry in their mouth to use in escape tricks. He goes down to surgery and finds it. House takes Kutner off the case and confronts the patient, saying he was hurt by the water cell trick because he's incompetent. However, the magician denies screwing up the trick. He astounds a then-unimpressed House with a magic trick that puts the chosen card on the side of the glass outside the room. The magician then gets a severe nosebleed.

Because of the nosebleed, House agrees the patient is really sick. He puts the thong challenge on hold. However, Cole comes up with a thong, but House and the other applicants thinks he's lying. They start a differential. Taub thinks it is cocaine. House orders an environmental scan and a heart blood vessel biopsy. House then confronts Thirteen about hiding a medical condition because she dropped a file. Thirteen denies anything is wrong.

Kutner and Taub go to the patient's home. They think Cole is lying about the thong. However, Taub finds rabbits.

House asks the patient how he did the trick. He refuses. House pretends to cut his intravenous line (by holding a short length of tube together with the actual line), but the patient picks the Vicodin from House's pocket. He tells the patient he has tularemia from his rabbits.

House realizes Cuddy isn't wearing any underwear, and she blushes when he mentions Cole. He goes to find Cole to ask him how he did it. Cole says it was mostly prayer, but refuses to discuss it further - it would ruin the magic. Kutner comes in to say the patient has passed out, is losing a lot of blood and it isn't tularemia. House tells the patients Cole has won the challenge. While they do a differential, House notices Thirteen’s hand is shaking. They decide cancer is most likely.

They prepare the patient for another MRI. He says he's going to die by that time tomorrow. Amber asks Cole who he will nominate to be fired. Cole is concentrating on the MRI. They spot internal bleeding all over the place, but no masses. They realize the patient might be right about dying.

Cole wonders if the sense of doom might be a symptom, but House dismisses it, saying it is no more impressive than his guessing all their pagers might go off. Kutner thinks it might be tainted blood from a transfusion. Foreman notices the patient’s immunoglobulin levels are low and thinks it is amyloidosis. Suddenly, all their pagers go off.

Cole and Kutner go to the patient who has another seizure. Kutner suggests that Cole pick someone else. Meanwhile, House is discussing with Wilson how Cole got the thong. Wilson suggests Cole had sex with Cuddy. Kutner comes into report that the patient's kidneys are failing. House thinks it is amyloidosis and orders a fat biopsy. House notices Thirteen’s hand is trembling. He gives Kutner two hours to check the blood to see if it's tainted.

Taub comes to Cole to bribe him - $5,000. Cole isn't impressed and hands back the money. Amber, Kutner and Foreman can't find any blood problems. The fat biopsy was inconclusive. They can't do blood cultures because there isn't time. House orders them to treat for amyloidosis, but Foreman stops them - he thinks the treatment is too dangerous even though he thought it was amyloidosis. House decides to give himself a blood transfusion to show there is nothing wrong with it.

Thirteen is monitoring House and he confronts her about her mother - he found out she died and Thirteen admits it was from Huntington's disease. Thirteen figures she might have it, but House tells her that she's probably just taking in too much caffeine - he switched out her decaf. Thirteen has not been tested for the Huntington's gene, and House is astounded. Suddenly, Thirteen notes that House has a fever.

They start discussing what is wrong with House. They discuss doing a biopsy on House because the patient will hemhorrage if they biopsy him. House denies he is sick despite his sweating. However, when he stands up, he feels dizzy and realizes his coffee has been drugged by his team. Cole and Thirteen prepare to biopsy House. Cole wonders why she hasn't asked him to give her immunity from being fired. House wakens and asks if the patient is still alive and Thirteen proceeds with a liver biopsy. House realizes it was Thirteen who drugged him, but she notes he drugged her too. After Thirteen leaves, he grabs a glove with Thirteen’s DNA to do a test on it for Huntington's.

Wilson tells House that they’re ready to irradiate the patient in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. They start talking about blood types, and Wilson wonders how House knows his. Suddenly, House thinks of something. He goes to the patient to ask him how he did his tricks, but the patient is still close mouthed. He tells the patient isn't dying - he was given the wrong blood type, type AB instead of type A. That‘s why he got worse immediately after his surgery, but it also explains his earlier heart attack. The patient was making antibodies that didn't match his blood type because he has an autoimmune disease - Lupus. The tests picked up the extra antibody and instead of testing type A, he tested type AB instead. The wrong type blood caused the bleeding and organ failure. He orders saline, type A blood, and steroids.

Cole nominates Amber and Kutner to be the choice to be fired. House asks why Kutner was nominated - he did well on the case and he’s Cole’s friend. House figures out that Cole made a deal with Cuddy to nominate whomever she wanted as long as he got immunity - Cuddy dislikes Kutner as he is a liability to the hospital. House fires Cole instead for giving Cuddy power she didn't already have. The other applicants say their goodbyes to Cole, but Kutner, clearly hurt by his friend's betrayal, leaves the room.

Thirteen confronts House about testing her for Huntington's. They don't look at the test results, with House dropping it in a trash bin.

Eliminations Edit

Cole is fired for making a deal with Cuddy behind House's back.

Final Four Edit

  • Amber
  • Thirteen
  • Taub
  • Kutner

Major Events Edit

  • It's shown that the number of candidates is now down to five.
  • While Kutner is off running tests on a magician, House challenges the rest of the applicants to steal Cuddy's thong.
  • Cole gets Cuddy's thong, earning him immunity.
  • In the challenge, Cole puts both Kutner and Amber up on the chopping block but House figures out that he made a deal with Cuddy. In revenge, House promptly fires Cole.
  • House notices Thirteen's hands shaking as she struggles with her pen.
  • Thirteen confesses to House that her mother died from Huntington's and reveals that she might have the disease. She learns that House actually switched out her decaffeinated coffee with regular coffee, which is why she became jittery.
  • House is shocked to learn that Thirteen hasn't even gotten herself tested for Huntington's yet.
  • Kutner reveals that he babysat Cole's young son.
  • It's implied that Kutner and Cole's friendship came to an end (or cooled considerably) due to Cole choosing Kutner as one of the fellows to get the axe.
  • It's revealed that House's blood type is AB while Wilson's is O.

Zebra Factor 6/10Edit

It’s finally Lupus. Lupus is very uncommon, and is less common in men. Its symptoms are also non-defining and can point to many other conditions. Lupus also happens to be the gag inside episodes where it is mentioned, usually the joke is that whatever the patient has, it is never Lupus.

Mistakes Edit

House was wrong about how blood is tested: Blood typing is done on blood cells, not antibodies. Blood type is tested by ABO typing. This is done routinely by separately mixing a sample of the patients blood with anti-A and anti-B antibodies and seeing if the blood reacts with the antibodies. If the blood reacts with both antibodies, the patient has type AB blood. If the blood reacts only with anti-A or anti-B, the patient has type A or type B blood, respectively. No reaction with the antibodies would indicate an O blood type. When you have blood type-A, it means you have anti-B antibodies. Type-AB has no antibodies for A nor B. Testing a patients blood for antibodies to determine blood type is not sensible.

Link to more info on the tests.

Trivia & Cultural RefencesEdit

  • The title has several references
    • Flynn insisting that House doesn’t really want to know how the magic tricks are done.
    • Cole refusing to explain how he came into possession of Cuddy’s thong
    • Thirteen refusing to test herself to see if she will develop Huntington’s disease
  • The Chinese Water Torture Cell was developed by Harry Houdini in 1911. Contrary to the biographical picture of his life, Houdini did not die performing the trick.
  • The blood in the tank rapidly rises, but blood is actually more dense than pure water (causing the blood to sink) and is approximately the same density as water from a public source (causing the blood to cloud or move slowly up or down).
  • Wilson notes that a relationship between Cole and Cuddy is still “Legal in the blue states”. In United States politics the Blue States are those that generally vote for Democrats and tend to have liberal laws. New Jersey is generally considered a blue state even though it currently has a Republican governor. He could also be referring to the states involved with the Union during the American Civil War - states that fought to end slavery of blacks.
  • House realizes that 13's mother is dead, and she retorts, "So is Grover Cleveland."
  • The Pitcairn Islands are a small inhabited group of islands where the residents are primarily descendants of the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty. It currently houses about fifty people, which makes it the least populated distinct territory on Earth. The majority of Bounty descendants left Pitcairn and moved to Norfolk Is, off the east coast of Australia.
  • When House confronts Thirteen about the possibility she has Huntington’s, she counters that he could “get hit by a bus tomorrow”. Later in the season, House is on a bus which gets hit by a garbage truck.
  • More about fire sprinkler systems. Setting off one sprinker head, as Amber did, would not cause the entire system to discharge water.
  • Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer were both credited for this episode, but didn't make an appearance.

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