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Dr. Gregory House, MD.
Possibly one of the greatest TV doctors of all time.
Today, we’ll be looking at a few insights of his that may (or may not) be appreciated by escape room enthusiasts.
But first, for those of you who haven’t watched the show, and have no idea who House is, here’s a primer…
Dr. Gregory House 101
Gif via giphy.
As you may have guessed, Dr. Gregory House is the protagonist of the TV show House, M.D. (which makes it an eponymous TV show I guess…a fact that English nerds should find absolutely enrapturing).
Right…nerd jokes apart, the show ran from 2004 to 2012, across 8 seasons.
Dr. House headed the Diagnostics Department at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, with 3 doctors on his team.
But that’s not what made the show famous.
What made it famous was the character of Dr. House.
He wasn’t the handsome, caring physician that audiences were used to seeing (think Douglass Ross from ER).
He was always irritable, as removed from being professional as chalk from cheese, took Vicodin (an opioid) constantly to deal with pain in his leg, and frequently put his patients’ lives at risk…
He had Sherlock Holmes-level insight into human behavior and pathology, and was able to come up with stunning diagnoses that frequently turned out to be correct, ultimately saving his patients.
The imperfection of the protagonist, and of the diagnostic process - with other doctors on House’s team frequently facing dilemmas on whether to follow orders they felt were reckless, House himself facing disciplinary proceedings and even prison - on the show was what made it so brilliant, and so popular.
As you can guess, the series was quotes-fodder. And here are some of those quotes that you may…or may not…appreciate inside one of our escape rooms.
Needle in a haystack
Dr. Allison Cameron: “Needle in a haystack.”
Dr. Gregory House: “It’s worse than that. We don’t even know it’s a needle we’re looking for.”
From: Season 1, Episode 4 - Maternity
Dr. Cameron was one of the three doctors on House’s team at the time. They’re scrambling to find out what’s behind a possible epidemic sweeping through the maternity ward at the hospital.
When you’re playing an escape game, the basic idea is that you look for clues on the way forward. You always have to keep your eyes open for the next clue.
But you may have no idea what the next clue looks like. And it’s not as if it’s going to be labeled “Clue”. So, sometimes, you may have to keep looking around the room, touching and manipulating objects (without trying to force anything) with no idea what it is that you’re looking for.
The world doesn’t work that way…
Dr. Gregory House: “The problem is, the world doesn't work that way just because you want it to.”
From: Season 1, Episode 16 - Heavy
The team is trying to figure out what caused a 10 year old girl to have a heart attack. The girl also happens to be overweight, a fact that neither she nor her mom like being brought up.
When you’re in an escape room, sometimes things may not turn out as you expect.
The knob you think should twist may just be immobile. The light may not be meant to be unscrewed. The goblet with liquid inside may be a decorative prop - shaking it won’t make the liquid change color.
Trying to force anything like that won’t take you close to winning the game; may result in liabilities for damaging the room, and may even injure you if you tamper with electrical; equipment.
So, just accept that the room may not work the way you want it to, and move on.
Finding out how chemicals interact
Dr. Gregory House: “You want to know how two chemicals interact, do you ask them? No, they're going to lie through their lying little teeth. Throw them in a beaker and apply heat.”
From: Season 1, Episode 13 - Cursed
House is curious as to why a sick child isn’t all that excited about his father, and he’s trying to force a reaction out of either the child or the father to find out why.
This isn’t to do with escape rooms per se, but about holding team building events in an escape room.
In complete contrast to passive events, an escape room throws participants into a thrilling situation where they either swim together or they sink.
It’s the direct participation of everyone that makes escape rooms good for team building events.
Dr. Gregory House: “It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies.”
From: Season 1, Episode 21 - Three Stories
House has been asked to give students a lecture. As you would expect, he eschews the traditional lecture model, choosing to tell them about three different cases and challenging them to make diagnoses.
As part of that, he reveals his mantra that all patients lie about something or another, and their doctor has to figure out what they’re lying about.
Yes…this has nothing to do with an escape room. You can’t go around suspecting every member of your team is lying; you’d never be able to proceed beyond the first few clues in an escape game.
But this is a post about Dr. House, and it would be incomplete without his most famous quote.
Doing something wrong, but great
Dr. Gregory House: “You took a chance, you did something great.”
From: Season 1, Episode 9 - DNR
Dr. House and Dr. Foreman are trying to figure out whether the latter made a mistake with a patient.
This applies to life in general, as much as or even more than, it applies to escape rooms.
You can’t be right all the time. Sometimes, you’ll make mistakes. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to do what you think is right, from acting on your beliefs.
If you liked this blog post, you may want to check out:
The post on Gibbs’ rules that our fans will appreciate,
Our selection of TV villain quotes that fit inside an escape room, and…
A list we made of songs matching the escape room atmosphere.
Finally, if you’d want more content like this, bookmark our escape room blog so you can easily access it whenever you want to, in future!