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Why Dr. Gregory House's Name Means More Than You Think In House

Since he first entered the scene in 2004, Dr. Gregory House has been everyone's favorite sarcastic, Vicodin-addicted TV doctor with a cane and superior attitude. He's not the kind, caring medical professional who holds the patient's hand and sympathizes with their troubles — he's the one who calls them a moron and does what needs to be done, consequences be damned.

David Shore's not-so-realistic medical drama, House M.D., ran for eight seasons on Fox and starred English actor Hugh Laurie as the genius diagnostic expert at Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. For years, audiences were amused by Dr. House's quick wit and wild antics, and yet also sympathized with the character's struggle with addiction and self-destructive behavior. Fans watched in awe as House solved impossible medical mysteries with his top team of doctors, the core group played by Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, and Jennifer Morrison (of Once Upon a Time fame). However, while the name "House" might now instantly bring to mind a tall, bearded and blue-eyed curmudgeon with a cane, some fans may have never thought to consider just where the name itself originated. 

As it turns out, Dr. House was named after another famous solver of mysteries that you may have heard of. It may not be a surprise to some, especially fans of literature, that the title and character of House was inspired by the stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

The world's greatest detective has a lot in common with television's crankiest doctor, even besides the fact that both characters are experts at solving difficult mysteries.

The character of Gregory House is a tribute to Sherlock Holmes

Series creator David Shore has been quite open about basing his series on the classic sleuth. When asked about this during a 2008 interview (via The Paley Center for Media), he explained, "I've always been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. There's something really wonderful about that character." 

He elaborated further, explaining that this even inspired the character's name — from Holmes (think "Homes)," he came up with House. And while this might be the most obvious clue, Shore pointed out it isn't the only direct inspiration, citing that just as Sherlock Holmes had his Watson, Dr. Greg House has his Wilson. As House fans know, Dr. James Wilson (played by Robert Sean Leonard) is House's best friend, and is one of the few characters on the show who will call out House on his bull. The two friends often butted heads throughout the series, but in the end always had each other's backs.

House also has to contend with hospital administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy, whose duty it is to keep the often reckless House on a short leash. It's possible that Cuddy could be loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes character Lestrade, a police detective who often consulted Holmes when needing help with a difficult case, and who also was often skeptical of Sherlock's unconventional methods. 

And last but not least, there is the famous address shared by both House and Holmes: Sherlock is known to reside at 221B Baker St. in London, and if you look carefully, you can see the same numbers listed on House's apartment building

Now that you know where Dr. House got his name, you'll no doubt notice many other similarities between the characters on your next binge-watch of the series.