Upon hearing the devastating news that Lisa Edelstein would not be returning to House for season 8, I decided I had to give her a proper farewell by attempting to create a list of some of her best moments on the show. This hasn’t been an easy task. In nearly every episode, there are Cuddy scenes that I love because they’re either hilarious, poignant, dark or bold. Cuddy has served as a love interest for House (arguably since the pilot episode of the series) and as his superior at work whose impossible task is to keep him in line.

In season 7, the romantic feelings between House and Cuddy were finally, albeit briefly, explored. Whatever your opinion is on the break-up, or “Huddy,” Lisa Edelstein’s presence on the show has been a staple in the series, and her leaving will be creating a huge void for the writers to fill. I always saw House and Cuddy as an epic couple, two people that everyone knows will inevitably end up together in the end. Her leaving has thrown a serious wrench in my prediction of the future of the series, and I have to wonder, what will happen to House without Cuddy? Furthermore, how will Cuddy be replaced at PPTH? For now, let’s pay tribute to an amazingly gutsy, funny, intelligent female character: Lisa Cuddy, and the wonderful actress that plays her, Lisa Edelstein.

10. Season: 5
Episode: “Joy to the World”

At this point in the series, Cuddy has wanted a baby for almost three years. After several failed attempts at invitro and a horribly botched attempt at adoption, Cuddy’s baby Rachel literally fell into her lap. My favorite Cuddy scene in this episode comes in the final moments. House comes in to see Cuddy keeping vigil over the baby. He asks quietly, “What are you going to do?” And Cuddy shares, barely containing her glee, that she’s going to foster and adopt her.

At this moment, things change between the two of them. It’s clear in one brief moment that Cuddy’s new priority is this baby, and with a small smile, House backs out of the room to leave Cuddy and her new baby to bond. It’s a triumphant moment for Cuddy’s character and as fans, we’re rooting for her to get what she wants, but also saddened to see her focus shift from where it has always been: on House.

9. Season: 3
Episode: “Top Secret”

Anyone else miss this type of flirtation between House and Cuddy? In this episode, House knows his patient, but he has no idea how he knows him. Finally, House realizes he was Cuddy’s date to a hospital function a long time ago. The last scene shows an overconfident House thinking he has bested Cuddy, but really she toys with him and tells him to “Get over me.” Of course, we realize she doesn’t mean it. She’s having too much fun flirting with him. These two had so much potential at this point! This was also the scene where it was subtly slipped in that House and Cuddy had a history together that was no as platonic as their current relationship. Huddies rejoice! This was a hopeful moment.

8. Season: 2
Episode: “Who’s your Daddy?”

In this episode, Cuddy chooses to put her trust in House as she goes through the necessary treatment for invitro fertilization. In one scene from the episode, she shuts the blinds, closes the door, and has House inject her.  House does this willingly and the scenes ends up being one of the sexiest of the season.  Later in the episode, Cuddy is angry at House when he interviews one of her potential sperm donors, proving that while his genes might be strong, he was a loser.

“Pick someone you trust,” House says. “Someone like you?” Cuddy asks. “Someone you like,” House says before he bolts. It’s that lingering look on Cuddy’s face and the last scene where she goes to him and almost (arguably) asks him to be the donor that makes their relationship so complicated, multifaceted and unique.

7. Season: 7
Episode: “Selfish”

When I think of some of the funniest scenes of this season, this episode comes to mind. House trying to convince Wilson that his relationship with Cuddy is real ranks as one of the best on the show. Cuddy groping House in front of Wilson always makes for good comedy. The three of them in a scene together is pure comic gold and is grossly underused! Too little, too late I suppose.

6. Season: 3
Episode: “Words and Deeds”

Cuddy is House’s savior. There is no question. In this episode, she perjures herself to save House from jail time that he got himself into with Tritter, his detective nemesis for several episodes. That moment Cuddy is on the stand and makes the decision to lie for House is another turning point for their characters. She and him share a moment of intense eye contact; House never realized that she would support him so openly.

Cuddy has put it on the line for House before, but she’s taking bigger and bigger risks and House knows it. At the end of the episode, she tells House, “You owe me,” and reminds him that he’s got a long road ahead of him. Wilson and House share a surprised look as they both realize just how much Cuddy risked by lying on the stand for him.

5. Season: 4
Episode: “House’s Head”

Now we all knew Lisa Edelstein/Cuddy was sexy before this episode, but after this episode, the whole world was drooling. It’s House’s fantasy that allowed us to see Cuddy strip, so we have his dirty mind to thank for one of the sexiest scenes on television. You have to give it to Lisa Edelstein. She’s in shape, she’s beautiful, and beyond sexy. That was quite a way to blow May sweeps out of the water, Fox. This year’s non-Cuddy strippers had nothing on our favorite dean of medicine.

4. Season: 6
Episode: “5 to 9”

Let me start by saying my reasons for enjoying this episode certainly have nothing to do with Cuddy’s one minute man, Lucas. This episode was all about Cuddy and it was a long time coming. My favorite moments from her in this episode were the more subtle ones. I loved her and House talking in her car as adults, trying to problem-solve. I loved her even more in the elevator, attempting to gather her scattered thoughts. Her speech to the hospital employees at the end where she was able to share her triumph over the insurance company Atlantic Net was inspiring; her happiness was what made House smile at the end. It was reminiscent of his smile in “Joy to the World.” It’s always a shame when Cuddy never sees how elated he is at her happiness.

3. Season: 5
Episode: “Joy”

Lisa Edelstein’s acting in “Joy” was raw, vulnerable, and beautiful. In this episode, Cuddy is meeting the mother of the baby she plans to adopt. Everything is going well until Becca, the mother, realizes she’s not ready to give up her baby. Antagonized by House relentlessly throughout the episode for choosing to adopt, Cuddy finally lashes out at House in the final moments of the episode, only to result in a heated first kiss between the two characters. She’s not wearing makeup, or her usual tight outfits and high heels. It’s just her, open and in pain with House trying to make her feel better. A strong moment for the both of them in this classic Cuddy episode.

2. Season: 7
Episode: “Now What?”

This season’s highly anticipated opener featured Cuddy and House’s first time and numerous discussions about their relationship. What really made me pick this episode though, is Cuddy’s last speech about House being the most incredible man she’ll ever know. Granted, this whole episode is a bit tarnished for me in the wake of “Bombshells” since every fear House had about them came true, but when this episode aired, I was full of hope and anticipation for this relationship to blossom and for these two intelligent characters to finally get the much-deserved chance to be together. Lisa Edelstein’s face when House tells her he loves her is one of relief, vulnerability, and true love. Well done!

1. Season: 6
Episode: “Help Me”

Even with an episode like “5 to 9,” it was still hard to get inside Cuddy’s head and understand what she was really thinking. Until “Help Me,” Cuddy was choosing Lucas as her boyfriend, even to the point of agreeing to marry him. “Help Me” showcased a number of great Cuddy/Edelstein moments. One of my favorites was when House was under the rubble with her and his patient and admitted that he should have amputated his leg given the chance. Cuddy’s tears allowed us to understand the relief of guilt that she must have felt over the choices she helped make regarding House’s leg. The final scene, of course, is the reason this episode is her best moment.

Finally admitting that she’s in love with House, she saves him from himself one last time and they tenderly kiss, ending a season of House happily, for a change. Her smile to him in that moment was pure joy, something that we, as viewers, have been wanting for for quite some time.

It was extremely difficult to narrow down Lisa Edelstein’s finest moments on the show. Here’s a brief list of some honorable mentions that I had to cut in order to keep my list to 10:

– The scene with Wilson in “The Itch” where Cuddy explains what would happen if her and House were to be in a relationship.
– The last scene in “Games” where Cuddy tells House, “Well, at least the games are over,” and House asks “How long have you known me?”
– In “Wilson’s Heart” when Cuddy tells Wilson he should wake Amber up to tell her goodbye and when she stays by House’s bedside and tells him to rest.
– In the fourth season episode “Ugly,” House teases Cuddy about her wardrobe (per usual) and by the end, they watch how the patient’s documentary assaults House’s character and makes him nice!
– Remember in “Unwritten” when Cuddy explains how she enjoys their uncommon relationship? I miss them!
– Every scene between the two of them in “Let them Eat Cake.”
– When Cuddy asks House, “Do you like me?” in “Insensitive” after he interrupts her blind date.

Lisa Edelstein will be sorely missed from the series House. While compiling this list, I was reminded again, just how vital she is to the series.

I know I missed some of your favorite Cuddy moments!  Comment below to tell me what I missed and tweet me @TVTherapy and @BuddyTV to share your favorite Cuddy moments via Twitter!

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Lisa Palmer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV