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House: Damned If You Do

House has a new patient whose hands are red with boils. She is a nun and all of her fellow nuns believe her condition to be stigmata. After what seems to be an allergic reaction to the medicine House prescribes, Cuddy orders him to research the case. During an MRI, the nun starts to suffer from convulsions. House wonders if her past is coming back to haunt her, as the doctors provide different theories about the nun's condition. However, only one of them has the correct answer.

Episode Info
Episode number: 1x5
Production Number: HOU-106
Airdate: Tuesday December 14th, 2004

Director: Greg Yaitanes
Writer: Sara B. Cooper

Alternate Airdates:

FI (MTV3) Oct 19, 2006
Czech Republic Nov 01, 2006
NL (SBS 6) Jun 05, 2008

Guest Stars
Elizabeth MitchellElizabeth Mitchell
As Sister Mary Augustine
Lucinda JenneyLucinda Jenney
As Sister Mary Eucharist
Dakin MatthewsDakin Matthews
As Marvin/Santa Claus Guy
Lori RomLori Rom
As Sister Mary Pius
Ann DowdAnn Dowd
As Mother Superior

Co-Guest Stars
Main Cast
Hugh LaurieHugh Laurie
As Dr. Gregory House
Lisa EdelsteinLisa Edelstein
As Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar EppsOmar Epps
As Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean LeonardRobert Sean Leonard
As Dr. James Wilson
Jesse SpencerJesse Spencer
As Dr. Robert Chase
Jennifer MorrisonJennifer Morrison
As Dr. Allison Cameron


House is bored with charting duties during the Christmas seasons. Cuddy reminds him that he has a patient at the clinic and House reluctantly goes to see her. He finds three nuns in the room. The patient is Sister Mary Augustine, and she has blistered red hands. Sister Mary Pius thinks that it's stigmata, but Sister Mary Eucharist hushes her up. He diagnoses it as a reaction to dish soap, and he proscribes a drug for the allergic reaction. As she takes it with some tea from the monastery, House goes back to the desk, and Sister Eucharist comes out to thank him for his secular diagnosis. Sister Pius comes out and says something is wrong. House goes in and finds Sister Augustine having breathing problems. He takes a syringe of epinephrine out of a drawer and gives it to her for what appears to be an asthma attack. Her breathing becomes better, but she says that her heart is beating fast. House realizes that it's beating too fast, and calls for a nurse as he administers CPR...

Read the full recap
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
John DenverRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Mohr & GruberSilent Nightover the closing montage

Episode Quotes
Dr. House: We are condemned to useless labor...
Dr. Wilson: Fourth circle of Hell. Charting goes a lot faster when you eliminate all classic poetry.
Dr. House: Writing down what we already know to be read by nobody. Pretty sure Dante would agree that qualifies as useless.
Dr. Wilson: You're over two weeks behind in your charting.

Dr. Cuddy: What are you, eight?
Dr. House: Could an eight-year-old do this? (makes a face)
Dr. Cuddy: Better stop it or it'll stick that way.

Dr. House: I've been a doctor for years – why do I have to keep assuring people that I know what I'm doing?

Sister Eucharist: Doctor? I want to thank you for your patience.
Dr. Wilson: She talking to you?
Dr. House: I don't know. She's certainly looking at me.

Sister Eucharist: The sisters tend to interpret their illnesses as divine intervention.
Dr. House: And you don't? Then you're wearing an awfully funny hat.

Dr. House: What the hell are those?
Dr. Cameron: Candy canes.
Dr. House: Candy canes? Are you mocking me.
Dr. Cameron: No. It's, it's Christmas, and I, I, I thought...
Dr. ]House: Relax – it's a joke.

Dr. Chase: I hate nuns.
Dr. House: Who doesn't?

Dr. House: I also recognize that I am human and capable of error.
Dr. Wilson: So you might have screwed this up?
Dr. House: No.
Dr. Wilson: So it's merely a theoretical capacity for error?
Dr. House: Good point. Maybe there isn't one. Maybe that's my error.

Dr. House: (sarcastically admitting to giving the nun the wrong dosage of epinephrine) So there I was, in the clinic, drunk, I opened the drawer, closed my eyes, take the first syringe I could find...

Dr. House: I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn then you are.

Sister Eucharist: (The hypochondriac nun) tends to believe in things that aren't real.
Dr. House: I thought that was a job description for you people.

Dr. House: What do you know about the nun?
Dr. Chase: Which one?
Dr. House: The cute one. I think she likes me. The sick one, obviously.

Dr. House: And the old nun thinks the sick nun is a big fat nun liar.

Dr. House: You hate nuns. You can't hate someone if you don't know them.
Dr. Chase: Know any Nazis? Maybe I hate them on principle.

Dr. House: I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone, that someone is probably the last person you should ask.
Mother Superior: Ah. And have you been speaking to Sister Eucharist?
Dr. House: She ratted out her fellow sister pretty quickly.
Mother Superior: Oh.
Dr. House: If I were you, I'd have her repeat a year of nun school.

Dr. House: I had to open her blouse to do CPR, and I learned two things. Nuns can have nice breasts, and she has a tattoo on her shoulder. Of a skunk. Now, maybe it's the sacred skunk of Joseph...

Dr. Wilson: Sixth circle of Hell?
Dr. House: Confined in a sweat box with a bloody nose and all the tissues are soggy.
Dr. Wilson: I think that's the Seventh.
Dr. House: Nope. The Seventh . . .
Dr. Wilson: God, you must be fun at parties.
Dr. House: I think we both know the flaw in that theory.

Dr. House: You know how it is with nuns. You take out their IUDs, they just bounce right back.

Dr. Wilson: You wanna come over for Christmas dinner?
Dr. House: You're Jewish.
Dr. Wilson: Yeah, Hanukkah dinner. What do you care--it's food, it's people.

Episode Goofs
Dr. House is listening to a patient's heart with a stethoscope. However as the shot cuts to his face you can see the stethoscope is not in his ears.

Cultural References
Episode Title: Damned If You Do

This refers to the quote made famous by Eleanor Roosevelt. The full quotation is, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

House: How do you solve a problem like dermatitis?

House is playing off of the main chorus of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" from the musical The Sound of Music.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorDavid Shore
Executive ProducerPaul Attanasio  |  David Shore  |  Katie Jacobs  |  Bryan Singer
Co-Executive ProducerJohn Mankiewicz
Supervising ProducerMatt Witten  |  Thomas L. Moran
ProducerGerrit Van Der Meer
Consulting ProducerSara B. Cooper  |  Daniel Sackheim  |  Peter Blake (2)
Associate ProducerBruce J. Nachbar  |  Steven Heth  |  Marcy G. Kaplan
Production DesignerMark Hutman
EditorSue Blainey
CastingAmy Lippens
Unit Production ManagerGerrit Van Der Meer
First Assistant DirectorCarol Green
Second Assistant DirectorKorey Pollard
MusicJason Derlatka  |  Jon Ehrlich
Music EditorMichael Baber
Costume DesignerCathy Crandall
Key GripMarlin Hall
Camera OperatorSteven H. Smith
Set DesignerLynn Christopher
Set DecoratorCindy Carr
Location ManagerMichelle Latham
Transportation CoordinatorSteve De Leon
Property MasterMatt Cavaliero
Production Sound MixerBeau Baker
Script SupervisorIra Hurvitz
Production CoordinatorTammi Campbell
Script CoordinatorDustin Paddock
Assistant EditorJason Freeman
Post Production SupervisorJ.R. Nachbar  |  Allen Marshall Palmer
Supervising Sound EditorBarbara Issak
Re-Recording MixerGerry Lentz  |  Richard Weingart
GafferThomas R. Barone
Director of PhotographyWalt Lloyd
Story EditorJoel Anderson Thompson
Art DirectorRobert Henderson (1)
Executive Story EditorLawrence Kaplow
Costume SupervisorKaren Bellamy
Main Title ThemeJon Ehrlich  |  Jason Derlatka  |  Massive Attack
Visual Effects SupervisorElan Soltes
Production AccountantJane Williams (2)
Department Head HairKarl Wesson
Casting AssociateStephanie Laffin
Medical Technical AdvisorHarley Liker  |  Lisa Sanders  |  Michael Giordano  |  Bobbin Bergstrom
Department Head Make-upVivian Baker
Executive In Charge Of ProductionAlex Garcia (2)  |  Brian Pines
Assistant To The Executive ProducerJenny Paul  |  Jason Taylor (3)  |  Matt Lewis  |  Rachel Light
Technical ConsultantDavid Foster (1)
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