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Scrubs is an American sitcom on NBC created by Bill Lawrence , who also co-created Spin City.

The show, which premiered in 2001, focuses on the professional and personal lives of several characters working at Sacred Heart, a hospital in an unspecified city (assumed to be in the vicinity of Los Angeles, CA), and is currently in its fourth season.



The show premiered on October 2, 2001. What distinguishes it from other sitcoms are its use of narration, unusually verbose characters, abrupt segues between subplots, scenes of surreal escapism (usually presented as the thoughts of the main character), and poignant scenes where the characters address how doctors deal with death, the delivery of dire diagnoses, and other hospital-related/personal issues. It also lacks a laugh track, a typical device in most sitcoms. The show is structured around various storylines, which are thematically linked via voice-overs, intended to deliver a small life-lesson and often a joke.


Main cast

  • Zach Braff as Dr. John 'J.D.' Michael Dorian, the affably nerdish narrator and main character—initially an intern and later a resident in medicine—who provides the narration most of the time. He is afraid of sharks, has a strange thing about pennies and collects scarves. Currently Co-Chief Resident. Nicknames: Newbie, Bambi, Q-Tip, numerous female names.
  • Sarah Chalke as Dr. Elliot Reid, a close friend of J.D. and fellow medical resident, although the boundaries between friendship and relationship have often been crossed. It is a running joke in the show that she and J.D. slept together every season, although creator Bill Lawrence has hinted that this may cease in order to avoid cliché storylines. She votes Republican and is insecure about her eyebrows. Currently Co-Chief Resident. Nicknames: Barbie, Blonde Doctor, Stick, Marshmallow, Smelliot, Roller-Moler.
  • Donald Faison as Dr. Christopher Duncan Turk, called 'Turk' (or occasionally called 'Turkleton' by Dr Kelso), who is J.D.'s best friend, diabetic, a surgery resident, and married to Carla as of the end of Season 3. His cell phone number is (916) CALL-TUR, although he hopes that people will dial the 'K' anyway. Nicknames: Gandhi, Turkleton, Chocolate/Brown Bear.
  • Neil Flynn as the unnamed janitor, who has made it his business to terrorize J.D. We know a few facts about his personal life: he is married and has a son, and his hobbies include taxidermy (he once rid the trees by the hospital of all the squirrels). He also refers to people by physical characteristics. He is very nice to Elliott (whom he knows as "Blonde Doctor") and, as of season 4, seems to have romantic feelings for her. Nicknames: Soft-Scrub, Supercuts.
  • Ken Jenkins as Dr. Robert 'Bob' Kelso, the truculent chief of medicine for the hospital. He appears to be more interested in profit and staying out of legal trouble than helping patients. He and the Janitor are the only major characters whose personal lives we do not see in detail. Although appearing cold, Dr. Kelso does appreciate those around him, which is completely unknown to his staff. He has a tattoo of the word 'Johnny' on his butt. Nicknames: Bobbo, Bob Cat, Bobbotron, Beelzebob.
  • John C. McGinley as Dr. Percival 'Perry' Cox, J.D.'s sarcastic, bitter mentor, who routinely belittles him. However, he is secretly proud of J.D.'s progress. When in a good mood, he addresses J.D. as "Newbie", and when in a bad mood, he addresses J.D. using traditionally feminine names, or occasionally, classic dog names. He also usually calls Turk "Ghandi" and calls Elliot "Barbie". Doug is referred to as either "Pee Pants" or "Nervous Guy". Cox shows the same lack of respect for his superiors - he calls Dr. Kelso "Bobbo", "Bob-cat", "Beelzebob" or other such names. Unlike Dr. Kelso, Cox is shown to have a soft side, and to have a strong sense of medical ethics. Nicknames: Per, Per-Per, Big Dog.
  • Judy Reyes as Nurse Carla Espinosa, a strong-willed nurse who is married to Turk. She often refers to J.D. as "Bambi". She has a tendency to tell people their faults without them asking, and give unwanted advice. Nicknames: N/A.

Recurring cast

These cast members have appeared in numerous episodes since the show's incipience but remain credited as guest stars.

  • Michael Hobert as Lonnie, the medical resident under the supervision of J.D. and Elliot. He and J.D. occasionally spar with each other over insignificant incidents, but Lonnie has been spending an increasing amount of time with J.D. and Elliot. Introduced at the end of Season 3, his role has continued to increase.
  • Johnny Kastl as Doug "Nervous Guy" Murphy, the nervous and terribly inept colleague of J.D. and Elliot. After being the only person in the history of the hospital to repeat his third year of residency, he transferred from medicine to the morgue in Season 4, where his extensive personal knowledge of botched medical procedures makes him an expert coroner.
  • Sam Lloyd as Ted, the divorced hospital lawyer whose desire to kill Dr. Kelso is surpassed only by his unfortunate inability to have an opinion; he is part of a barbershop quartet with three other administration workers from around the hospital called The Worthless Peons. He is prone to panic and outbreaks of excessive sweating.
  • Robert Maschio as The Todd, the jockish surgery resident who is friends with Turk, and who attempts to turn every sentence into a double entendre. He loves high-fiving. He is, however, a competent surgeon. There have been hints that his excessive boorishness towards women is over-compensation for homosexuality. He has a fixation with tight-fitting men's underwear ("banana hammocks").
  • Christa Miller as Jordan Sullivan, Dr. Cox's ex-wife, who is his only rival for sheer sarcasm. She slept with J.D. before he realised that she was Dr. Cox's ex-wife. In Season 2, she gave birth to Dr. Cox's son, and the two have since rebuilt their relationship and live together, albeit in a non-marital arrangement. She is on the hospital's Board of Directors.
  • Aloma Wright as Nurse Laverne Roberts, who spends her days at the hospital watching soap operas and keeping up with inter-office gossip.

Major guest cast

Important roles have been played by:

  • Tom Cavanagh, as J.D.'s older brother Dan
  • John Ritter, as J.D. and Dan's father Sam Dorian; just as on 8 Simple Rules, Scrubs featured an episode dealing with the character's death, following the real-life death of Ritter
  • Scott Foley, as Elliot's on-again off-again love interest Sean
  • Michael J. Fox, as Dr. Kevin Casey, a medical attending with obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Brendan Fraser, as Jordan's brother Ben Sullivan (character died during the 3rd season)
  • Heather Locklear, as Julie, a representative of a pharmaceutical company, lusted after by the men of the hospital
  • Tara Reid, as J.D.'s unfaithful ex-girlfriend Danni Sullivan and Jordan's sister
  • D.L. Hughley, as Turk's brother Kevin.
  • Freddy Rodríguez , as Carla's brother and Turk's nemesis Marco
  • Josh Randall , as Elliot's new love interest introduced towards the end of the 4th season
  • Julianna Margulies, as cold-hearted malpractice attorney Nina Broderick
  • Amy Smart, as J.D.'s one-time love interest, and wife of a comatose car crash victim, Jamie Moyer or Tasty Coma Wife (TCW)
  • Heather Graham as attending psychiatrist Dr. Molly Clock, whom J.D. had a crush on
  • Rick Schroder as Nurse Paul Flowers, whom Elliot dated during the 2nd season
  • Elizabeth Bogush as Alex Hanson, a social worker at the hospital and who dated J.D. during the first season. She turned out to be a drug addict.
  • Martin Klebba as Randall the Crotch-Punching Midget, who became a janitor in Season 3. Whenever J.D. thinks about or meets him, he says, "Powerful tiny fists." Randall joined the Janitor's impromptu a capella band, along with Troy the Cafeteria Worker (Joe Rose ) in season 4 to help the Janitor impress Elliott.

Alan Ruck, Michael Boatman , Barry Bostwick, Alexander Chaplin and Richard Kind , who previously worked with Bill Lawrence on "Spin City", have also guest-starred, as have Clay Aiken, Colin Farrell, Sean Hayes, Christopher Meloni, Jay Mohr, Matthew Perry, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Sullivan, Dick Van Dyke, Jimmie Walker, Lee Ermey, Kelli Williams, and Hattie Winston .


Season 1

  1. My First Day (aka Pilot)
  2. My Mentor
  3. My Best Friend's Mistake
  4. My Old Lady
  5. My Two Dads
  6. My Bad
  7. My Super Ego
  8. My Fifteen Minutes
  9. My Day Off
  10. My Nickname
  11. My Own Personal Jesus
  12. My Blind Date
  13. My Balancing Act
  14. My Drug Buddy
  15. My Bed Banter & Beyond
  16. My Heavy Meddle
  17. My Student
  18. My Tuscaloosa Heart
  19. My Old Man
  20. My Way or the Highway
  21. My Sacrificial Clam
  22. My Occurrence (Part 1)
  23. My Hero (Part 2)
  24. My Last Day

Season 2

  1. My Overkill
  2. My Nightingale
  3. My Case Study
  4. Big Mouth
  5. My New Coat
  6. My Big Brother
  7. My First Step
  8. My Fruit Cups
  9. My Lucky Day
  10. My Monster
  11. My Sex Buddy
  12. My New Old Friend
  13. My Philosophy
  14. My Brother, My Keeper
  15. His Story
  16. My Karma
  17. My Own Private Practice Guy
  18. My T.C.W.
  19. My Kingdom
  20. My Interpretation
  21. My Drama Queen
  22. My Dream Job

Season 3

  1. My American Girl
  2. My Journey
  3. My White Whale
  4. My Lucky Night
  5. My Brother, Where Art Thou?
  6. My Advice to You
  7. My Fifteen Seconds
  8. My Friend the Doctor
  9. My Dirty Secret
  10. My Rule of Thumb
  11. My Clean Break
  12. My Catalyst
  13. My Porcelain God
  14. My Screw Up
  15. My Tormented Mentor
  16. My Butterfly
  17. My Moment of Un-Truth
  18. His Story II
  19. My Choosiest Choice of All
  20. My Fault
  21. My Self-Examination
  22. My Best Friend's Wedding

Season 4

  1. My Old Friend's New Friend
  2. My Office
  3. My New Game
  4. My First Kill
  5. Her Story
  6. My Cake
  7. My Common Enemy
  8. My Last Chance
  9. My Malpractice Decision (aka My MalPractical Decision) (Part 1)
  10. My Female Trouble (Part 2)
  11. My Unicorn
  12. My Best Moment
  13. My Ocardial Infarction
  14. My Lucky Charm
  15. My Hypocritical Oath
  16. My Quarantine
  17. My Life In Four Cameras
  18. My Roomates
  19. My Best Laid Plans
  20. My Boss's Free Haircut
  21. My Lips Are Sealed
  22. My Big Move
  23. My Faith In Humanity
  24. My Drive-By
  25. My Changing Ways

Season 5

Renewed by NBC through the end of Season 5 in May 2004.


The show is filmed in an actual abandoned hospital (the old North Hollywood Medical Center), with most of the props and items on the show having been supplied by the cast and crew. This allows for the crew to film exteriors at the same site as interiors.

Although initially only a recurring guest character, Neil Flynn was promoted to a main character in season 2. If the show was cancelled in its first season, it would have been revealed that the Janitor was simply a figment of JD's imagination.

Although we hear much about Dr. Kelso's wife Enid (nicknamed Bunny), she remains an unseen character. This is also true for his son, who it is strongly implied has homosexual tendencies.

The title sequence is quick and does not even feature credits (they roll after the sequence), but merely fast-moving pictures of the cast at work in the hospital. At the start of season 2, a longer opening credits sequence was added which featured recurring characters and credits, but was deemed to be too long by NBC who wanted to use more time for the episodes, so the sequence was quickly deleted. In occasional episodes, where they are running particularly short on time, only a brief title card saying 'Scrubs' and 'created by Bill Lawrence' appears. The chest X-ray in the title sequence was hung backwards during the first season, then corrected briefly for season 2, but then returned to being backwards.

Sam Lloyd formed a band in college with George Miserlis , Paul Perry and Philip McNiven . In an episode of season one, they guest starred appearing as Ted the lawyer's group of singers (named the Worthless Peons) who all work at the hospital, and appeared twice in season two. Their repertoire on the show included singing television themes (both old tv shows and primetime ones), and singing telegrams that resemble advertising jingles. In an episode near the end of season three, one of the band members quit, but by the season four episode, My Ocardial Infraction, the band were back together as they attempted to outperform the Janitor's band of hospital service staff (named 'Hibbleton').

Most of the episodes are narrated by J.D., and the episode titles usually start with "My...". As of October 2004 three episodes have been narrated by other characters : "His Story" (narrated by Dr. Cox); "His Story II" (Turk) and "Her Story" (Elliot).

Tom Cavanagh was especially hired to play J.D.'s brother because of his uncanny physical resemblance to Zach Braff.

A 2002 episode "My Old Lady" won a Humanitas Prize in the 30 Minute Category. Also in 2002, it won an Artios award for Best Casting for TV, Comedy Pilot from the Casting Society of America . In 2003, it won the BMI TV Music Award. It has been nominated for three Emmys, and numerous other awards.

As of 2005, all but two of the women J.D. has slept with since the start of the series have had unisex names.

Several Scrubs crew members have appeared in minor speaking roles, for example writers Gabrielle Allan and Mike Schwartz. Schwartz has a recurring role as a delivery man.

In episode 4.9 "My Malpractical Decision" Turk changes his cellphone number to 1-916-CALL-TURK. Writer Bill Lawrence actually registered this number, and a few curious callers were surprised when cast or crew members answered the phone, which is placed on the set. The number usually takes you to a voice message which tells you the latest information regarding Scrubs.

External links

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04