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Exclusive First Look: The First House Season 8 Poster! What Does It Mean?!

The marketing gurus over at Fox are forcing us to put on our thinking caps where House‘s Season 8 key art is concerned.

The first teaser poster features the shadow of Hugh Laurie’s titular MD against a marked-up chalkboard, his iconic cane resting off to the side. It’s a provocative image to be sure, but the message it conveys is a mystery wrapped in an enigma and thus open to varying interpretations.

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What do you think it means? Look it over and then scroll down to read some of Team TVLine’s theories.

Michael Slezak | “With the premiere titled “20 Vicodin,” I wonder if that’s how many pills House was able to smuggle into prison, or score during his prison stay. If so, he’d have had to go through long stretches of sobriety to make the supply last, so perhaps each of the rows on the chalkboard represents his longest Vicodin-free periods. Note that the rows do not all contain the same number of lines, which is somewhat peculiar in and of itself. There’s 15 in one row, 17 in another, etc., and 112 total.”

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Matt Webb Mitovich | “Sure, Slezak, get all thinky on us. I think it’s as simple as seven full rows of tick marks equals seven seasons. And now, with the lone scratch, we’re starting Season 8. That’s why the tallies aren’t bunched in the usual groups of five, because they instead represent just ‘a run of episodes.'”

Andy Patrick | “I think it means he’s doing an homage to Bart’s detention blackboard from the opening of The Simpsons.”

House Scoops and Spoilers are Running 24/7 on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello

Intriguing hunches. Personally, I’m leaning towards Slezak’s argument, with a slight tweak. I think the 112 lines represent the number of Vicodin tablets House consumed during his prison stint, and the “20 Vicodin” title refers to how many he has left.

Thoughts? Which theory most closely matched yours? Hit the comments!

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169 Comments
  1. rachel says:

    Theres 118 If You Include The Lines Going Side To Side. Then Theres The One By Itself. I Think The One Represents House And The 18 Equals Big Love Cuz Hes One Of The Candidates For Cuddys Job

  2. ryan says:

    They are musical tabs, plain and simple. House has always had an influences in the arts, especially blues. Perhaps he is dipping into his musical passion to deal with stress and pain since he did lapse at the end of the last season. I could easily see him joining a band and pissing off Cuddy!

    • Say, What? says:

      Do you really think House joining a band would piss off Cuddy more than him attempting to parallel park in her dining room?

  3. Bean says:

    House it’s on cocaine :))))

  4. Lol says:

    The number of bitter LE/huddy fangirls who keep whining and bitching about the show while claiming they don’t care anymore XD

  5. michael says:

    the ticks are season but number of ticks is number of episodes where he used vicodin. (i think)

  6. niazi says:

    he’s going to jail .. !!

  7. Alex says:

    I see stitches.

  8. lindsay says:

    if he only has 20 vicodin, each row might be how long he managed to go without popping one… then he takes one, and crosses off the row. and with the new row starting at the bottom we are shown that he just caved again.

    that or the 8 seasons.

  9. Snorky The Walrus says:

    There’s an unmistakable correlation between # of hash marks and # of episodes. Their significance, however, eludes me. (Get geeky and graph it… You’ll see what I mean.)

    Hashes: 15 16 17 11 16 16 19
    Episodes: 22 24 24 16 24 21 23

    • Stephanie says:

      I was thinking the same thing and looked up the # of episodes. I agree the lines are seasons, but too few hash marks to be episodes in each season. I do not think it correlates with the episodes he did or did not take meds, since he was sober for large portions of last season. I am stumped. Does it just look pretty and we are over analyzing it??

  10. lindsay says:

    like slezak said, der

  11. jess says:

    Hasn’t happened yet but probably will since he tried to run dr. Cuddy over with a car in her livingroom!

  12. Rhett says:

    Its not the number of episodes in each season, the ticks dont spell anything using the alphanumeric scale (OQQKPPSA ??), it doesnt represent anything chemically (Phosphorus, 2X Chlorine, Sodium, 2X sulfur, Potassium, Hydrogen) that I can tell so far. Im trying to find a search engine that will let me input the # of specific elements and spit out what it might be, but I know for a fact its not Vicodin (C 26 H30 N2 O5). It COULD be representing a huge search through the corresponding episodes for each season (might be something significant that happened in each of those episodes that will be re-addressed in the final season). Also taking into account Kardiac’s point if you do add the final line through it all it still doesnt mean anything obvious (cant be number of episodes, doesnt equal an alpha code (P R R L Q Q T A)and still doesnt mean anything chemically). I checked all the initial episodes numbering and they dont have anything in common at first glance ie same writer, director, plot significance etc and neither do the ones that add 1 to the numbering. Ive got the bug now so Im gonna dig deeper. I’ll post again if I find anything. Prolly gonna end up being something really simple.

  13. Niki G says:

    I agree with it meaning that each line represents a season. The fourth line is a lot shorter. So was season four. It was the shortest due to the writers strike if I recall correctly.

  14. Starr says:

    He almost never lost ne body. N hes a pill head. Lol best doc I knw

  15. Nada says:

    he’s insane, he wrote a diagnosis in a code but he can’t understand himself and now he tries to decode what he wrote.

  16. MarcO says:

    Let’s see…

    If House kept his bitchy-ass attitude while in the clink, he’s spend a lot of time in solitary. In one year’s time, might these hash marks count the number of days in solitary that he’s spent?

    Just a guess.

  17. John says:

    How about the writers want you to think so you’ll keep the show in mind so you’ll be ready once it comes back on…LOL Simple enough.
    Look at the HBO Sopranos the ducks keep popping up but in the end meant nothing… just ducks. LOL Simple enough..

    • Nada says:

      you’re right! this ad doesn’t really mean something, House is in jail and that’s all. Like season 7, House as a clown, it’s just a promo for the show and there’s nothing behind.

    • Finally! says:

      At last! John and Nada, I think you figured it out. It means absolutely nothing. Its just a BS promo and there was no other news coming out over the past few days; therefore…

  18. whiidt says:

    It’s the seasons. We all seem to agree on that, but we something to combine it with…. Yet it’s not the number of episodes Cuddy or Wilson was in the show…. Maybe the number episodes we saw him using vicodin? Or all the episodes he figueres out ‘the puzzle’ /saves a patient…

  19. Paula says:

    The lines represent a season. Note that line 4 is shorter than the others, which fits because season 4 had only 16 episodes. The lines don’t represent episodes, just number of seasons.

    And the last line is the 8th line, which represents the 8th season. And the poster is about ep 8.01 which is represented in the first tick mark

  20. CAS says:

    Every horizontal Line is one season, the last one is the first episode of the new season, he must be in prison… for the acr crash at Cody’s home.

  21. John says:

    David Shore already said the season starts with House being in prison. Combine that information with the picture…mystery solved.

  22. Anne says:

    I just love it!

  23. mike stechishin says:

    Its a phone number in code… The 1 is just the start of the new season or life… 7 seasons… 7 digits…

  24. jon says:

    It could be how many days he has done in prison and or how many days he has left of his sentence till he is released, or how many peoples lives he has lost

  25. Hidra says:

    I’m looking forward to House in jail! :-)

  26. Tasos says:

    Maybe House’s counting the people he hurt over these years and he is feeling remorse!!Prison can change you!

  27. It’s how many patients he’s saved, grouped by year or season, however you want to look at it.

  28. katie says:

    In order for this picture to make any sense it would have o be a part of an episode. I don’t think theyd involve seasons or strikes i-e an episode. So perhaps days off vicodin, days in jail, days without cuddy.

  29. angelica says:

    just means 7 full seasons and the begining of the 8th

  30. Becky says:

    I believe, since they already did some spoilers with the new season TV ads, that the”20 Vicodin” are the pills that he throws up in the air to get out of a fight. The ticks on the wall are how many days he has been working in the hospital/ward. We all know that he meets someone, while visiting a psychiatric ward, and she goes back with him to work on his team. I think that is how many days he is at the ward, either as a doctor or as a patient I think is the mystery.

  31. Sid says:

    They are all H’s. It has been Dr.House all the 7 seasons. Even the title HOUSE has H in a square..may be there is something other than Dr.House this season….

  32. Katie says:

    I think it just refers to the idea that he’s run out of warnings and this is like the last strike

  33. DOGGY says:

    I think
    1) The cane on the wall maybe means that House will not use it anymore
    2)The rows represents the episodes , Vicodin =the end of the series
    3)The shadow means that we are gonna see another House maybe different ..a change to his behavior

    He is in jail and just wait the day he is gonna be free and make them all pay about what he pass their…maybe all this jail,number,vicodin belong to the past after jail who knows

  34. Stephanie says:

    The marks are not for episodes in each season. Season 1 = 22; Season 2 = 24; Season 3 = 24; Season 4 = 16.

  35. Craven Morehead says:

    you are all morons. the easiest explanation is most likely. the first seven lines represent seasons 1 – 7, and the lone line on line 8 represents the first episode of season 8. freaking idiots.

  36. rosaura reyes says:

    what i like from house was his simplicity and now is a lot of drama with drugs and sex he is a doctor that was the drama before

  37. Claudio says:

    This represent the number of people saved by season

  38. monkeygurl says:

    “How lovely is my Wilson, let me count the ways! One, thou art more faire than a summers day and more temperate………….”

  39. Jessica says:

    Ok, I think each row DOES represent each season, including the single tick mark for the premier for season 8. The number of ticks each season may or maynot represent the number of patients saved, but rather the number of people he’s affected patients and coworkers. Either way, this is to represent the idea that House maybe a hard-ass who’s methods are forever breaking laws and moral standards but he’s also in the pokey thinking about them and the sum of his life’s work. I think this means he’s gonna’ save a prison guard who’s caught with confiscated vicodin and he keeps the vicodin during the first episode :)

  40. missweetycandy says:

    .. maybe 112 days without news of Wilson, his team, Cuddy !
    or 112 pick up the garbage !!! i can’t wait to see the others…

  41. Mafalda says:

    maybe it’s the number of times we saw him take a vicodin on the show? or maybe it’s nothing, just house is in jail…

  42. D says:

    164 days in prison?

  43. Denise says:

    Well, House DID commit a crime against another, (groans are completely understandable), ‘house’ and apparently fled the scene, so incarceration of some kind would be a natural outcome. Because over years we’ve learned that Gregory House has special powers, (not created by poor writing

  44. Jane says:

    Am I the only one who’s more interested in Taub’s storyline?

  45. Rich Finnigan says:

    The number of days between the season finale of season 7 and the first episode of season 8

  46. Really? says:

    I can’t believe how much effort people are putting in to solving this non-mystery.
    Seriously, people. He’s in jail. He’s counting the days. Mystery solved. Now step away from the computer and go make some real friends.

  47. Karin says:

    I’m liking all the theories and think it’s a combination of a representation of the seasons of House and the number of days he’s been in jail. Maybe 8×01 will take place on his last day in jail with flashbacks of the rest of the time he spent in jail?

    I can’t wait for the season premiere. Hugh Laurie and House are full of win!

  48. Dani says:

    It’s the number of days until his liver falls out of an oeraphis in his body. Which one? Tune into the season finale!

  49. Dani says:

    Awesome poster! Not sure what it means but I;m really looking forward to seeing House in jail and how he reacts.

    Oct 3 is too long to wait!

  50. Carter says:

    Oh my god people, it’s simple…it’s just the number of days he’s been in prison

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