House, M.D., being a medical show and all, certainly has its share of gory moments. The visual effects take us up nostrils, down throats and into various other bodily caverns. But there are moments that just seem to stay with us, memorably gross—beyond the oh-so-ordinary blood and guts of the operating room and the blood-gushing orifices of so many opening teaser sequences.
So, in the sprit of Halloween—and given there is no new House episode this week—I present this trip down memory lane to revisit the best gross-out moments in House, M.D. history. Here are my top candidates, and feel free to add your own in the comments section. So, let the gore-fest begin:
“Fidelity” (1×07) African sleeping sickness patient Elyse hallucinates bugs bursting through a huge boil on her arm, which we observe through her point of view.
“Detox” (1×11) After House has figured out that Keith was suffering naphthalene poisoning from a termite invasion in his home, he sends the team to confirm. Breaking through the walls of Keith’s bedroom, we see swarms of the little critters pouring out of the walls. Still gives me the shivers. Actually, “Detox” has several fairly shiver-inducing scenes, including one where the team stick a needle in Keith’s eye, another, where House intentionally smashes his fingers with an old brass pestle.
“Distractions” (2×12) House treats a patient Adam with severe burns over most of his torso. He treats the burns the old fashioned way, just like Napoleon’s physician—with maggots. Maggots, as you may know feast on dead tissue, thereby cleaning the wounds nicely.
“Who’s Your Daddy” (2×23) House’s patient suffers reverse peristalsis and literally has bowel movements from her mouth. As House says, it gives new meaning to the word “potty mouth.”
“No Reason” (2×24) After he is shot at point-blank range, House lays on his floor bleeding. He has an elaborate hallucination about a patient whose symptoms get increasingly quite disgusting. At one point, his testicles explode, and in one of the episode’s final scenes, House cuts into him with a robotic apparatus, slicing open his entire torso. It qualifies as one of the series most gross gross-out moments, but it’s also horrifying, because for a moment, House believes he has actually murdered a patient in cold blood.
“Informed Consent” (3×03) In the teaser segment, famous cancer researcher Ezra Powell collapses while running an experiment. As his lab rats escape, the feast on the researcher’s face.
“Insensitive” (3×14) House treats Hannah, a teenage who cannot feel pain. During a brain procedure, she pulls out the tubes and wires inserted in her head—no anesthesia. And to top that, House pulls a 25-foot tapeworm from her belly!
“Top Secret” (3×16) “Top Secret” is sort of a gross-out fest in itself. The patient suffers from vaginosis in his mouth, and causes him to have a disgusting discharge coming from his mouth. House is having some health issues and catheterizes himself to find relief. In a dream, House’s catheter urine collection bag bursts and leaks all over the floor, causing Chase to slip.
“Resignation” (3×22) The head of House’s patient explodes and leaks all over the place while she is undergoing tests.
“Under My Skin”(5×23) The patient, a ballerina, suffers a rare reaction to antibiotics and begins sloughing her skin in large sheets.
House returns November 9 with “Known Unknowns.”