House M.D.: Season 5, Episode 16

The Softer Side (23 Feb. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 1,094 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

House's team resents being made complicit in a web of lies parents have told their son when he's brought in for treatment that may be related to his intersexuality. Meanwhile, no one's content that House is happy.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Allison Cameron (credit only)
Dr. Robert Chase (credit only)
Meagan Gordon ...
Young Woman


An intersexual boy has collapsed on the basketball court. His parents have never told him he has both male and female cells and they (that is, the overprotective mother, who seems to be wearing the trousers) don't want the team to tell him either. For Thirteen, withholding the truth from the kid is easier said than done. To everybody's surprise, House acts kind and actually seems to be... happy, which makes everyone think something fishy is going on. Written by Marco van Hoof <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »



Release Date:

23 February 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Julia Campbell's real life husband, Jay Karnes, appears in the episode, "The Social Contract." See more »


During "urethroscopy" Taub is using a tool which is apparently way too thick for a boy's urethra. It is in fact a gastroendoscope which is intended to go into a gullet (a much wider passage). See more »


Dr. Gregory House: You gonna eat that?
Dr. James Wilson: Have at it... You just asked my permission before you took my food?
Dr. Gregory House: Yes we can.
See more »


References Vertigo (1958) See more »


Bobski 2000
Performed by Galactic
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User Reviews

Hard to like
26 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

House treats a boy who may be a girl, and whose parents have kept this information from "him" for years. The kid has severe stomach pains, which turns out to be a lot of nothing. But things get complicated when an MRI of the boy throws everything for a loop. House meanwhile is acting way too mellow, to the point of passing out on the job, and everyone suspects him of using heroin. They're close. The episode is too much of a soap opera for me. Foreman and 13 are still hiding their affair from House, or so they think. Cuddy emotes way too much over House's odd condition. And so on and so forth. The case itself isn't all that interesting, either. It almost seems like a rehash of an episode from way back when, involving a girl who turns out to also be a boy. Only good thing about that episode was the girl was played by a very attractive young model who flashes her very lovely teats at House to make a point. Make that two points.

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