TV series fanatic. Enthusiast. Foodie. Over-thinker. Dreamer.


The character of Dr. House is largely based on Sherlock Holmes, so much so that “House” is a play on “Holmes” which sounds like “Homes”.

Both the characters are extremely observant and have a remarkable sense of deduction and often give quick conclusions after the briefest encounters. And strangely enough, both House and Holmes liked to work on interesting cases that aren’t taken up by other doctors/investigators.


“Wilson” is also a play on “Watson”, here both of them being doctors and both being the protagonist’s best and only friend.

Dr. Watson is said to have two wives in Conan Doyle’s books while in the series, Dr. Wilson has divorced three wives.


Many might have missed those few scenes where a glimpse can be caught of Dr. House’s home address which reads 221B Baker Street on his driving license card (in S07E13) and 221B written on the door of his residence. It’s a direct reference to the legendary 19th century detective.


Though not vividly captured in the current BBC’s adaptation of Sherlock, but in the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle we see that Holmes was addicted to cocaine and often experimented with it when he got bored (Sherlock though did show a certain nicotine addiction of the consulting detective). House has a similar Vicodin-addiction that began after he started taking painkillers for his constant leg pain and got used to the drug.


Holmes was known to play his violin (very well, in fact) especially when he was pondering over a case. In the series, we see House playing a number of instruments, with the piano being shown often as something he found a solace in. He did lay the harmonica and the guitar as well in certain episodes.


The name of the patient in the series’ pilot episode is Rebecca Adler, a nod to the infamous “Irene Adler” who was the antagonist in Sherlock Homes’ first short story “A Scandal in Bohemia” and had outwitted Holmes. Interestingly, in S05E11 of the series, Dr. Wilson refers to a certain “Irene Adler” (calling House’s one true love) when House was explaining his colleagues why he threw away a special gift. More surprisingly, that valuable gift was a rare medical text on diagnosis written by a “Dr. Joseph Bell” who was also believed to be the inspiration for the character of Sherlock Holmes (as told by Arthur Conan Doyle) in the first place.


In the episode titled “No reason”, the person who shoots Dr. House bears the surname “Moriarty”, echoing Holmes’ arch nemesis Professor Moriarty who had once tried to kill Sherlock Holmes.


We know that in the short story, “The Final problem” Sherlock Holmes had faked his death to make the world believe he is dead. In the last episode of House (S08E22 titled “Everybody dies”) at his funeral, Dr. Wilson was cut short of his emotional speech by a text message that says “Shut up, you idiot” which reveals soon after that House faked his death too.

Image Credits – NBC Universal Television

Did you find more such subtle references? Let us know in the comments!


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