From 2004 to 2012, the highly regarded Fox medical drama series House MD enchanted viewers and critics alike. The series routinely turned in some of the highest ratings on television, featured some of the highest quality acting from stars like Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard, and frequently introduced thought-provoking medical cases and mysteries that would leave viewers puzzling for answers long after episodes were over.
Further improving its standing as one of the best medical series in television history, House was also never as soapy as some of the other medical dramas on television during that same period (and yes, Grey's Anatomy, we're looking at you). With that being said, however, the series never shied away from the romantic complexities that arise between doctors in highly stressful jobs - whether they kept their romantic life within the hospital, or took it outside.
Plenty of couples got together and broke up and got together again over the course of the series. But some of these couples were much better written than others. We take a look at the best and worst couples the series ever pursued.
10 Best: House and Dominika
Sometimes, the best love stories result from the most unlikely of circumstances. Gregory House and Dominika Petrova ostensibly had absolutely nothing in common - and certainly had no reason to be getting married, when House married Dominika at the end of season 7 in order to assist her in getting her green card. With a sizable age gap between them, and a frequent language barrier early enough in the "relationship," it seemed like this was destined to be a plot that amounted to nothing. At least, at first.
But in the series' eighth season, after House is released from prison, his relationship with Dominika develops into something truly touching and emotional. They begin to genuinely fall for one another, even in the face of their marriage potentially being found as fraudulent. House falls for her to the point that he even conceals from her the fact that her citizenship status has been approved, in order to keep her around longer - which, of course, backfires horribly.
9 Worst: Taub and Rachel
Few characters in the entire series of House are more fundamentally unlikable than the petulant, spoiled, and totally devoid of self-control Dr. Chris Taub. Dr. Taub's background as plastic surgeon is one that is clouded in murky mystery, though hints regarding NDAs and non compete clauses are offered throughout the series. But made all the more clear - in conjunction with that past, and other incidents - is his inability to remain faithful to his poor wife, Rachel.
Why Rachel continues to stay with Chris, and put up with his unrepentant philandering ways, is one of the greatest mysteries of the series. As is the fact that Taub is desirable to any women at all, when his personality is so repugnant. But for Rachel to spend so much of her life with him, and to have a child with him... Well, that just boggles the mind. Rachel deserved much better - and she was barely a character as it was.
8 Best: House and Cameron
Sometimes, a love story doesn't have to be requited to be an enjoyable one. Take, for example, the case of Dr. Allison Cameron and Dr. Gregory House. As one of the members of House's elite team of specialists during the series' first three seasons, Cameron quickly found herself falling for the moody, withdrawn Dr. House - despite their age difference, and all indications that he had no interest in her at all.
Yet as much as House may have insisted he wasn't interested, the show's continued focus on their relationship suggested otherwise. The duo would go on a romantic date, as well as a few casual outings that could be construed as dates. They shared a kiss, which House returned, to Cameron's delight. And even as Cameron progressed in a relationship with another doctor, the series continued to rely on Cameron's feelings for House as a key point of conflict and emotional depth.
7 Worst: Cuddy and Lucas
It's never a good sign when a romantic relationship only begins after one character has been tasked with following and gathering information about the other. But that's exactly what happens in the case of Dr. Lisa Cuddy and her longtime boyfriend, Lucas - a private investigator hired by House to learn more about Cuddy's private life.
Overall, Lucas is a winning character, and Michael Weston was a great addition to the series - especially in his comedic scenes with Hugh Laurie. But nothing about the relationship between Cuddy and Lucas is believable or enjoyable, in large part due to the fact that Dr. Lisa Cuddy was always one of the series' biggest and most poorly written problems. Lucas seems like a decent guy, who deserved a whole lot more than to be used as a pawn in the gradual development of House and Cuddy's back and forth relationship.
6 Best: Foreman and Thirteen
These two deserve a spot if only for how seamlessly their names blend into a 'shipping portmanteau. Admit it, Foreteen is one of the cheesiest and also most convenient relationship portmanteaus you've ever seen. While their ship name may be cutesy and sweet, the relationship depicted between Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley and Dr. Eric Foreman was arguably one of the series' more emotionally ambitious adventures.
Thirteen knew that she had limited time left in her life, after receiving the diagnosis of Huntington's Disease. But that didn't stop Foreman from doing everything within his power to try to find a way to improve her health, even if it meant compromising a double blind medical study. The two had an often tumultuous, but undeniably passionate relationship, featuring some of the series' most touching scenes. But in the end, things couldn't work between them, as they both had far too many trust issues and walls interfering.
5 Worst: House and Stacy
In some sense, the very existence of the series House and the character of Gregory House as we know him and (mostly) love him is indebted to the relationship between House and his ex-girlfriend, Stacy. It was during his relationship with Stacy, after all, that House suffered the injury that resulted in his permanent disability, pain, and Vicodin addiction - all as a result of a medical decision Stacy helped to make on House's behalf.
But in reality, nothing good came of this relationship, even if it made House the man he is. The way the series treats the relationship in the present timeline is problematic at best, with Stacy compromising her status as legal advisor to the hospital because of her past with House, and the two even engage in a brief affair with one another, despite Stacy's marriage to her long time love, Mark.
4 Best: Amber and Wilson
Most of the best love stories on this series don't have happy endings. But none of them had as tragic and totally heartbreaking an ending as the relationship between Dr. James Wilson and Dr. Amber Volakis. When Amber was applying to become one of the new specialists on House's team during the fourth season, the bold and brutally honest doctor hit things off with House's best friend, Wilson.
Wilson had long struggled with finding someone he truly wanted to be with, having had multiple marriages fail often as a result of infidelity. But with Amber, it seemed as though the two had found their perfect other halves, quickly becoming quite serious with one another - only for things to come to a tragic, sudden end when Amber died as a result of a bus crash that she was only present for as a result of House's selfish behavior.
3 Worst: Chase and Cameron
Just because a couple gets married on a series doesn't mean that they ever should have. Furthermore, just because two actors are romantically involved in real life, that doesn't mean that their characters should become romantically connected, either - especially when there's no discernible on screen chemistry between them. Few relationships on House were as poorly thought out and sloppily executed as the one between teammates Dr. Allison Cameron and Dr. Robert Chase.
From the very beginning, the pair clashed: Chase came from a very privileged background and was frequently shown to be arrogant and confrontational, while Cameron hid a very emotional backstory and preferred displays of kindness and openness to confrontation. It certainly doesn't help matters that the pair first hooked up when Cameron was high, nor that Cameron never really got over House, nor that, you know, Chase murdered a patient. But hey, the show wanted us to believe in their love story. That's on them, not us.
2 Best: House and Wilson
Sometimes, the best love stories of all are the ones that are never intentional, and never fully addressed. And sometimes, the most romantic love stories of all are the ones that exist purely between two best friends. From the very beginning of the series, it was immediately clear that the most important relationship in Gregory House's life was his friendship with his longtime best friend, James Wilson - the Watson to his Holmes. No matter what House did, or how much pain he caused, or how many people he saved or hurt, Wilson was always there for him.
People even often wonder, throughout the series, whether the two aren't an item, and while it occasionally leads to some moments of lighthearted humor that could still be seen as queerbaiting, there's no denying these two men love each other, regardless of what way the love is felt and shown. At the very end of the series, with their futures uncertain, the two men ride off into the sunset together on their matching motorcycles. No other ending would have felt authentic to these characters.
1 Worst: House and Cuddy
Characters who are often at each other's throats for seasons on end usually wind up getting together in the world of television. Love hate relationships are the bread and butter of the entertainment world of romance - and for that reason, the relationship between Dr. Gregory House and Dr. Lisa Cuddy should have worked. One of the biggest problems of the relationship is, as we've already discussed, the many problems with the character of Cuddy herself.
But worst of all, the relationship was consistently shown to be completely toxic, featuring multiple instances of Cuddy lying to protect House and compromising the safety and integrity of the hospital. Not to mention House downright stalking Cuddy, intervening in her personal life and overstepping every possible boundary, and - when he doesn't get his way - driving his car right into Cuddy's house. Nothing about this relationship ever said it was a true love story - except for the show itself. We have nothing to say about that.