Bigger jackass: Lieutenant Worf or Doctor House?

Recently I saw an old episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (as opposed to the relaunch starring Wil Wheaton, set to begin airing on Netflix in June). I don’t recall the episode title, but it must have been around the third season or so, judging by the high collars, tight uniforms, and Troi cleavage. Anyway, at the beginning of the episode, Worf was leading an away team on some Q-forsaken planet when a female officer under his command was killed by an alien land mine or whatever. Said officer had a kid on board ship: a boy named Jeremy, about ten or so, whose father had already been sacrificed to the Great Bird of the Galaxy. Worf got angsty over the dead officer and told Troi that he wanted to perform a Klingon ritual with Jeremy making them blood brothers or suchlike. Troi, in a rare moment of doing her actual damn job, told him that Jeremy, having just become an orphan, might not be up to handling such a thing, to which Worf replied, “Yeah, who cares what’s best for the brat? It’s my right under Klingon law & custom and all that shit.”

This was hardly atypical behavior for Worf. He got better on Deep Space Nine, but rare was the TNG episode in which he did not earn a brutal one-handed beatdown from Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel or some other suitably superstrong hot chick. Worf is easily the biggest jerk in all of Trek, if you ask me.

But not the biggest jerk in all of television. Not necessarily. Doctor Gregoiry House – the Hughg Laurie character from THE OLIVIA WILDE PROGRAMME – is also a contender for that honor. I’d list all the examples of his douchebaggery but there aren’t enough electrons. On the other hand, he at least had the excuse of suffering from chronic leg pain on account of having half his right calf cut off, not to mention having to spend the entire series not having sex with Wilson, which I’m sure he found very hard.

Anyway, here’s the thread question. Who was the bigger jerk: Worf or House?

Worf might grumble while doing it, but he nodded when overruled.

Try picturing Hugh Laurie in full-on Greg House mode asking to raise the shields, and being told ‘no’. And asking to fire phasers, and being told ‘no’. Captain, says House, I must advise against beaming the Romulans on board; er, yes, duly noted, he’s told. Does he emulate Worf, or do his eyes go wide as the disrespect gets loud?

House was an ass before his leg surgery. His leg pain didn’t make him that way. It was more because he had a hard non-emotional father. Worf had genuine friends who actually cared for him personally apart from his value as a competent starship officer. House had trouble forming and keeping relationships and thought he didn’t deserve to be happy. Worf took care of Data’s cat. He tried his best to raise his son on the Enterprise, even though he had to send him to his foster parents eventually. He had a relationship with Deanna Troi, a very sensitive and empathic individual. He married Jadzia Dax and placed his love for her above his duty, even though it cost the success of the mission they were on.

House wasn’t a complete ass, though. At least he helped Wilson spend the remaining time he had left to live before dying of cancer.

Worf was a stranger in a strange land, never fully fish nor fowl.

House is immersed in his own native and natural culture…and disdains it with great contempt.

Worf tries to fit in. House works as hard as he possibly can not to fit in.

He *fed *him.

Worf broke Deanna’s heart, driving her so mad with grief that not ten years later she married Will Riker. WILL RIKER. Nobody deserves that.

On the other hand, because of Worf we got to see Jadzia Dax in a swimsuit.

Nah. If Word had just gone to the planet with the talking oil slick instead of Tasha Yar, he coulda died instead of her and Yar would have eventually ended up on Deep Space Nine and probably would have ended up with Dax and/or Kira.

And Spot mysteriously turned into a girl cat not a full season later.

WORF ATE THAT POOR KITTY. Everybody knows it.

Worf was still learning to live and work among humans in the early TNG seasons, I can forgive him for wanting to keep hold of his Klingon identity by trying to treat the non-Klingons according to his customs. House is just an ass, a super smart one, but still an ass, and this coming from someone who likes him

I’m not sure how this is even a debate. Somehow I’ve blocked the whole Jadzia thing from my mind, but still.

Think about House for a moment. Talking to a dying patient, say, or a woman who wants to save her unborn child. No compassion or empathy, at all. None. Medicine was only interesting to him in that it presented interesting problems to solve. Whoopsie, we guessed wrong about the patient’s medical condition and completely suppressed their immune system, so they died? “Huh, whaddya know. I’ll have to think about where I went wrong.” Not out of any feeling of remorse for the dead guy, but just because House can’t stand being wrong.

I am not a House fan.

In the example in the OP, Worf is trying to do the right thing. That’s why he proposes the Klingon ritual in the first place: He (perhaps mistakenly) thinks that that sort of thing is what the kid needs right now. And he even realizes that he might not be the best judge of such things, enough that he asks the best-qualified person aboard about it. And, heck, he even has very good reasons for being a poor judge of human culture and emotions.

In the post-Nemesis novels, Worf adopted Spot and grew to respect him as a mighty hunter. He also appreciated Spot’s aloofness. :smiley:

House was such an asshole that if I was his patient (unwillingly), I’d tell him I wouldn’t ask him for air if I was suffocating, and then actually slap him away if he really was trying to save me from suffocating.

I watched that episode not so very long ago.

Worf is 100%, totally and completely right. Sure, other people wouldn’t entirely understand the ritual, but Worf was grieving over a senseless loss. Every culture has rituals associated with mourning. Leaving aside the issue of life after death, they certainly help those left accept the pain and begin to heal. The supposedly “enlightened” humans completely failed to deal with that, and ended up causing the episode’s central conflict. In fact, part of the episode’s resolution comes from Worf.

It’s easy to joke about Worf. Yes, he was aggressive and often stubborn, but he had heart and demonstrated many skills outside of combat. While there was much to learn, he showed that he could deal in politics and science as well as punching aliens.

Worf is hardly a jerk, but if he were, he’d have a good reason to be one, considering how often his friends shit all over his suggestions.

Yup. Nobody mentioned yet that Worf was the Federation ambassador to Qo’noS. House was the ambassador of Jerkitude.

As **Trinopus **mentioned, Worf was a “stranger in a strange land,” which every Trek incarnation had at least one of. I assume to appeal to all the disaffected geeks in their audience (yours truly included).

House, on the other hand, was an exercise in catharsis (if that’s the right word). He did things that all of us *wish *we could do (insult our boss, refuse to do our job, make fun of strangers, blow shit up, etc.), but don’t dare to do because we have to live in an actual society. Watching him do it gives us a certain amount of satisfaction.

So, to answer the question: apples and oranges. No basis for comparison.

I haven’t seen as much of House, but I’m going with him.

Worf could be an ass on occasion, but he also had his sweet side–which was why he remained attractive to women in spite of being the Kiss of Death for them.

Where’s my cheesecake recipe?

I thought Data was the “stranger in a strange land”. Worf was raised by humans in human culture from the age of six. He knew all about human behavior and values, he just thought they were inferior to Klingons.

Most of Worf’s problems are because of his insistence to follow Klingon culture. They’re the ones rejecting him, not the federation.

It’s odd that both Worf and Data are so clueless about federation culture. Worf was raised by humans and both attended, and graduated from, Starfleet academy. Worf had to have been to at least one party where a bong was passed around. He should have inhaled and maybe mellow out a bit.

That was funny. Like someone in the comment section said. How did I miss that? It is so obvious now. And like someone else said, a good fraction the time when he was “no ed” he was right!