The Softer Side
Episode 16 of 24 within Season Five. Item 103 of 179 overall.
Production number S5E16.
Liz Friedman - Writer
Deran Sarafian - Director
12 votes

The team encounters a teenage boy who collapsed from severe pelvic pain after playing basketball. Tests reveal the boy has genetic mosaicism, or both male and female DNA, and the boy’s parents inform House and the team that the boy is unaware of his condition.
They consciously chose a gender for him when he was born and raised him accordingly, never telling him about his unique condition. However, when his condition worsens and his life is threatened, the parents wonder whether they made the right decision.

Meanwhile, Cuddy and Wilson suspect something is wrong with House when he starts acting way too nicely. When they discover the shocking answer, they must face the prospect that House may be changed forever.

original airdate--February 23,2009     rating--14.85 million

network: FOX

songs--Theme Song: "Teardrop" by Massive Attack

  1. "Ride On" by The Source
  2. "300" by Soul Coughing
  3. "Bobski 2000" by Galactic


Preliminary diagnoses:

  • At first House and the team thinks it is dehydration. The parents ask House for a MRI to look for a blind uterus and House agrees to do this. When the patient has a heart problem during a procedure, they think it might be drugs or toxins but a search of his house turns up nothing except a poem. Then the patient's liver and kidneys start to fail.

Final Diagnosis--Dehydration complicating adverse reaction to MRI contrast material due to poor kidney function

  • House quits in the middle of the case and when he comes back figures out that Jackson had dehydration (aggravated by a high number of energy drinks he consumed causing the fluids given in the ER not to work quickly) and everything else was caused by the contrast used in the MRI House agreed to do to please the parents.


related items

Previous episode :
102 Unfaithful
Next episode :
104 The Social Contract

regional titles

The Softer Side