Scrubs (TV series)
The show, which premiered in 2001, focuses on the professional and personal lives of several characters working at Sacred Heart, a fictional hospital in an unspecified city, and its fifth season is scheduled to begin on 3 January 2006.
The show premiered on October 2, 2001. What distinguishes it from other sitcoms is its use of narration, unusually verbose characters, abrupt segues between subplots, breakneck pace and scenes of surreal escapism (usually presented as the thoughts and reveries of the main characters), counterpointed by poignant scenes where the characters address how doctors deal with death. It also lacks a laugh track, a traditional device in most sitcoms. Also, unlike most sitcoms, it uses a one camera setup (as opposed to a multicamera setup). 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. The series is also notable for numerous cameo appearances by well-known actors.
The theme song of the series, performed by Lazlo Bane, is entitled "Superman", and can be found on the album All The Time In The World, as well as on the first Scrubs soundtrack. Bill Lawrence credits Zach Braff for finding and suggesting "Superman" as the theme song. The lyrics ("I'm no Superman") relate to the show's theme of its characters' fallibility.
During the second season, NBC briefly used a lengthened credit sequence to include members of the extended cast such as Neil Flynn (the janitor), but returned to the original credit sequence due to a negative fan reaction. The opening theme consists of the last few bars of the song, but the complete song has not, so far, occurred in an episode, though the music video for the song (available at the Scrubs website and directed by Zach Braff) does use footage of the actors and sets. The menus of the first and second season DVD sets of the show feature the song in its entirety.
- Zach Braff as Dr. John Michael 'J.D.' Dorian
The affably nerdish narrator and main character—initially an intern and later a resident in medicine—he provides the narration most of the time. He is afraid of sharks, hot air balloons and escalators, acts strangely around pennies, does not believe in karma (ep. "My Old Man"), believes in karma (ep. "My Karma") and collects scarves. Served as Co-Chief Resident for his fourth year at Sacred Heart, and took a job as staff internist there at the end of the fourth season. Nicknames: Newbie, Bambi, Q-Tip, Scooter, Alfalfa, Peepee Lafritz, The Boat, Whiz Kid, Dorothy (nickname given to him when he played the lead role in his high school's production of The Wiz), numerous female names (such as "Clarabel" and "Marjorie"), and wants to be called Tiger or The Boat, does not like to be called Johnny. His preferred cocktail is the Appletini, "easy on the tini".
- 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 at least once during each of the first three seasons, although creator Bill Lawrence has hinted that this may cease in order to avoid cliché storylines. Her rich parents always provided everything for her throughout her life, which she accepted despite growing a slight hatred towards them. This caused her to feel somewhat nervous to have to suddenly depend on herself while working at the hospital, and even more so when her parents cut her off financially in season 2. She has cold hands (which she attributes to bad circulation), doesn't like to be touched (implied to be because she is a WASP from Connecticut), votes Republican, speaks German and French, and is insecure about her eyebrows and her "camel" butt. According to J.D. and various patients, her bedside manner is too cold and machine-like. Served as Chief Resident during her 4th year of residency, with J.D. as Co-Chief Resident. At the conclusion of Season 4, it was announced that Elliot received an endocrinology fellowship at a different hospital, requiring her to leave Sacred Heart. Bill Lawrence has confirmed (1) that despite the move she will return in Season 5, and remain friends with the rest of the cast. Nicknames: Barbie, Blonde Doctor, Stick, Marshmallow, Smelliot, Roller-Moler.
- Donald Faison as Dr. Christopher Duncan Turk
Also called 'Turk' (or occasionally called 'Turkleton' by Dr. Kelso), he is J.D.'s best friend, diabetic, a 4th year surgical resident, and married to Carla as of the end of Season 3. J.D. likes to tell people that his middle name is Duncan because his father liked doughnuts. He and J.D. own a preserved yellow labrador named Rowdy. His cell phone number is (916) CALL-TUR, although he hopes that people will dial the 'K' anyway. Fans who dialed the phone number found that they were actually connected to "Turk's" voicemail, who told them he was gone for the moment and would be back at the start of the next season. Nicknames: Gandhi, Turkleton, Chocolate/Brown Bear, Turtle Head, Black Whale, and Baldie.
- Neil Flynn as Janitor
Has made it his business to terrorize J.D. His hobbies include taxidermy (he once rid the trees by the hospital of all the squirrels). He has made some claims about his personal life, such as that he is married and has at least one child, that he is a Christian, and that he went to Harvard, but no one has ever found out if these are true. As revealed in a few flashbacks, his mother's strict parenting influenced him (indirectly) to become a janitor. He speaks Spanish and Korean. It is revealed in the storyline that 'Janitor' actually played the role of a transit policeman in the film The Fugitive (1993). Neil Flynn actually did play the part, mixing reality with the storyline; Janitor shares this secret only with J.D. He also refers to people by physical characteristics. He is very nice to Elliot (whom he knows as "Blonde Doctor") and, as of season 4, seems to have romantic feelings for her. The Janitor character was initially to be used as a figment of J.D.'s imagination and if the show had been cancelled during the first season or the first half of the second, it would have been revealed to the audience in the finale. Since then he has had encounters with most of the other regular characters and, aside from Elliot rebuffing his romantic advances, few of the others ever get the better of him, even the head of the hospital Dr Kelso or the ascerbic Dr Cox. Nicknames: Soft-Scrub, Lurch, Supercuts, Jolly Green, Frankenstein, Sir Plunge-a-lot (secretly by the nurses), Giant man (by a little girl), Stretch, Jumpsuit and Sasquatch.
- 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; on the grounds that if he permitted pro bono treatment towards impoverished patients, the hospital would close. He and the Janitor are the only major characters whose personal lives we do not see in detail. It is known that he can play the guitar and wrote numerous country songs in college, a number of them about his now wife Enid "Bunny" Kelso. He was in the navy in the past, which he refers to from time to time. He claims to have a tattoo of the word 'Johnny' on his butt. He has two children, one who is portrayed as a gay heavy metal fan and another who is his secret love-child 'Kwong Tri Kelso', presumably the product of his love of Asian prostitutes. He is a strong advocate of nepotism. Very much despised by Dr. Cox who refuses no opportunity to insult his boss and even knocked him on his butt at the end of Season 2. Nicknames: Bobbo, Bob Cat, Backdraft, Bobbotron, Beelzebob.
- John C. McGinley as Dr. Percival "Perry" Cox
J.D.'s sarcastic, bitter mentor, who routinely rants at and/or 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 "Gandhi" and calls Elliot "Barbie". Doug is referred to as either "Pee Pants" or "Nervous Guy". He can also speak Spanish. Cox shows the same lack of respect for his superiors — he calls Dr. Kelso "Bobbo", "Bob-cat", "Beelzebob" or other such names. His loathing for Dr. Kelso is one reason why he has not advanced up the professional ladder, another being his determination never to accept career assistance from others. Unlike Dr. Kelso, Cox is shown to have a soft side, and to have a strong sense of medical ethics. He has feelings for Carla, who is one of the few people in the hospital he can stand, and "totally gets" him. When Carla is hurt by Turk's unwillingness to communicate with her, Cox protectively exacts revenge on him, exclaiming that "Nobody hurts Carla and gets away with it". These feelings were never resolved, but also have not been mentioned for years. He is divorced from Jordan, played by Christa Miller Lawrence, but the two have since come back together after the birth of their son Jack. While Jordan told Cox she was impregnated by a hotel staff member, during labour she admits to JD that Cox actually is the father. Ted reveals that the pair were not in fact divorced, however after initially welcoming this the two got properly divorced as the revelation was beginning to sabotage their relationship. Nicknames: Per, Per-Per, Big Dog, Buster Brown, The Big Cheese, The Coxinator, Coxy, Chief.
- Judy Reyes as Nurse Carla Espinosa
A strong-willed nurse from the Dominican Republic who has been married to Turk since the end of Season 3. She can speak Spanish. Despite Elliot's best efforts, Carla didn't feel particularly close to her at first, although now they are good friends. Conversely, she and J.D. (whom she refers to - affectionately - as "Bambi") have a fairly close friendship. She is protective towards J.D. and stands up for him when Dr. Cox shouts at him for no reason. She claims that of all the interns she has worked with, J.D. is the only one whose approval of her she has actually cared about, to the extent that she feigned an interest in black and white photography so he would think she was more intelligent. She has a tendency to tell people their faults without them asking, and give unwanted advice. No one makes fun of her as all the other characters are scared of her when she gets upset. She has a strong love of family, which spreads across her three sisters and brother. She enjoys wearing scarves and pirate earrings. Nicknames: Nurse Turkleton, Karla from the Block.
These cast members have appeared in numerous episodes since the show's beginning but remain credited as guest stars.
- Charles Chun as Dr. Nguyen (pronounced Wen)
An attending surgeon who was also Turk and the Todd's mentor for the first three years. He seems very serious but does lighten up and make jokes from time to time. There is much we don't know about him, including his first name, but we know that he is married, as well as a fan of the band Erasure and their song "A Little Respect" (Ep 1.03 "My Best Friend's Mistake")
- 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. He is married with three children "that he knows of", and can grow a moustache in one day. Introduced at the end of Season 3, his role has continued to increase. Michael Hobert also appeared as an extra in the pilot. In a Season 4 episode, he was part of the "Triple Giant Doctor."
- Johnny Kastl as Dr. 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 internal medicine to pathology in Season 4, where his extensive personal knowledge of botched medical procedures makes him an expert coroner. Also he is under the impression that the dead bodies in the morgue are after him after having a lot of them falling on him.
- Sam Lloyd as Theodore "Ted" Buckland
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 (played by The Blanks) . He is prone to panic and outbreaks of excessive sweating. He lost his hair in the 8th Grade. He has also tried to commit suicide in a number of episodes.
- Robert Maschio as Dr. Todd "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, even though he has had several women back to his place. He has a fixation with tight-fitting men's underwear ("banana hammocks" or Speedos). Maschio previously had two small guest appearances on Lawrence's Spin City. Although it is widely believed that Todd's surname is Quinlann, Maschio confirmed on the Season one DVD bonus commentary that his character has no confirmed surname.
- Christa Miller Lawrence 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. She is also the older sister of one of J.D.'s ex-girlfriends. 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, but gets a full-time position at the hospital at the end of Season 4.
- Aloma Wright as Nurse Laverne Roberts
Spends her days at the hospital watching soap operas and keeping up with inter-office gossip. She has made many comments about others "having to answer to Jesus" implying a religious background. Although her husband Mr. Roberts has been mentioned many times, he, like Dr. Kelso’s wife Enid, remains an unseen character. She nicknamed her breasts "Paris" and "Nicky", claiming they are the namesakes for the Hilton sisters.
- Bellamy Young as Dr. Miller
In the middle of Season 3 was one of the new surgeons and is at times the female version of Dr. Cox in regards to her personality. Dr. Cox was at one point attracted to her and even helped her with a patient she treated by organising the patient's band(The Polyphonic Spree) to come and play with him whilst still in the hospital. After the final episode of season 3 she hasn't made another appearance.
Major guest cast
Important roles have been played by:
- Tom Cavanagh, as J.D.'s older brother Dan, who still lives with his mother in his home town and works at a bar. J.D. is slightly embarrassed of him. He also was close to having a relationship with Elliot Reed, J.D.'s on again and off again girl friend.
- 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 two-time ex-boyfriend Sean Kelly.
- Michael J. Fox, as Dr. Kevin Casey, a medical attending and also a surgeon with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Brendan Fraser, as Jordan's brother and Dr. Cox's best friend Ben Sullivan, who died of leukemia during season three).
- Heather Locklear, as Julie, a representative of a pharmaceutical company, lusted after by the men of the hospital. Had a relationship with Dr Cox which lasted less than a full episode.
- Tara Reid, as J.D.'s two-time ex-girlfriend Danni Sullivan and Jordan's sister.
- D.L. Hughley, as Turk's brother Kevin who got divorced and "got the hell out of there."
- Freddy Rodríguez, as Carla's brother and Turk's nemesis Marco.
- Nicole Sullivan, as a flighty and nervous recurring patient Jill Tracy: Elliot and her get along extremely well due to how alike they are.
- Josh Randall, as Elliot's new love interest introduced towards the end of the 4th season.
- Julianna Margulies, as cold-hearted malpractice attorney Neena 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 and was Elliot's friend and mentor.
- 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 was revealed 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 acapella band, along with Troy the Cafeteria Worker (Joe Rose) in Season 4 to help the Janitor impress Elliott. Troy, also spits in J.D.'s lunch everyday because J.D., without thinking, said he was stupid.
- Mandy Moore (Braff's real-life girlfriend) will appear in Season 5. Her role is still unknown.
- Jason Bateman will also make an appearance in Season 5. Braff made an appearance in Bateman's FOX sitcom Arrested Development in 2004.
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, Lee Ermey, Colin Farrell, Sean Hayes, Cheryl Hines, Phill Lewis, Christopher Meloni, Jay Mohr, Matthew Perry, Ryan Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Jimmie Walker, Kelli Williams, and Hattie Winston.
The cast and crew of the show have been vigilant about keeping the location of the fictionalized Sacred Heart hospital a secret, although many fans continue to speculate about where the show takes place. Based on current clues, the show seems to take place somewhere in the state of California, although the particular region is unclear. These clues include:
- Throughout Season 3, Elliot took a commuter train to visit her then-boyfriend Sean (played by Scott Foley), who worked as an animal trainer at a SeaWorld theme park. SeaWorld has locations in Orlando, Florida, San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California.
- During episodes that air during the winter months, characters are seen wearing winter clothing such as coats, gloves, and scarves, suggesting that the climate is a more temperate one than that found in Florida or Texas.
- Exterior shots on the show reveal very flat land with palm trees and other features of hotter climates.
- In episode 4 of the first season, Carla states that a third of the hospitals patients speak Spanish as a primary language, which may reflect upon the demographics of the location.
- During episode 9 of the fourth season, Turk reveals his new cell phone number to be (916) CALL-TUR. The area code 916 corresponds to the metropolitan area of Sacramento, which contradicts other clues about the show's location. Many fans have pointed out, however, that the area code for cell phones can correspond to where the phone was purchased, implying that Turk may have bought his phone in the Sacramento area and brought it to Sacred Heart's home city. Fans who dialed the phone number found that they were actually connected to "Turk's" voicemail, who told them he was gone for the moment and would be back at the start of the next season.
- In episode 4 of the fourth season, a conversation between Elliot and Dr. Molly Clock establishes that the time difference between the location of the hospital and Greenland is three hours, as Greenland is largely UTC-3 (though this varies from UTC to UTC-4), this places Sacred Heart in UTC-6, or Central Standard Time.
- In episode 14 of the fourth season, Dr. Cox avoids telling Jordan about his vasectomy by making up a story about fishing in San Diego on a trip that only takes a few days. This provides further support for Sacred Heart being California-based.
- The opening theme song makes references to the 405, which is a freeway situated in Southern California
In fact, the show is taped in an abandoned hospital in Southern California, near Sherman Oaks, on Riverside Blvd. The hospital is clearly visible from the 101 Freeway. It can be inferred that by the clues given, the fictional location of the hospital is somewhere in California, whereas the physical location of the hospital is Sherman Oaks.
On December 1, 2005, NBC announced that Scrubs will be returning to the air on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 with two new episodes from 9-10PM. The network will continue to air two fresh installments each week until the start of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Following the return to regular programming, Scrubs will air at least one new episode each week, and possibly be joined by another sitcom. The title of the Season 5 premiere is "My Intern's Eyes."
In July 2005, Comedy Central announced that it had acquired syndication rights to the first five seasons of the show and will begin airing them in the fall of 2006.
In Canada, Scrubs was formerly aired by the CTV network. Due to competition from other popular programs airing at the same time in the United States, Scrubs is no longer seen regularly on this network. However, the vast majority of Canadians have access to NBC, the American home of Scrubs, and are able to watch it at the same time as the American audience.
In the UK, Scrubs can be seen, in a slightly confusing and cumbersome arrangement, on Channel 4, E4 (and E4+1), Sky One, Paramount Comedy (and Paramount Comedy +1) and ABC1. E4 currently premiere new episodes.
In New Zealand "Scrubs is aired on TV2 with repeats screening weeknights at 6.00
Complete Soundtrack List
- A complete list of music used on the television program can be found at the following website: .
- The Blanks who performed such songs as "Charles in Charge", "Facts of Life" & "Underdog" as The Worthless Peons (Ted's Band), visit their official website at  to hear their album "Riding the Wave".
In its first three seasons, Scrubs received Emmy nominations for casting, editing, and writing of a comedy series. Following its fourth season, the show received additional nominations for Best Comedy Series, Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Zach Braff), Best Editing for a Multi-Camera series (although the series is predominantly shot single-camera, Episode 17 of Season 4, "My Life in Four Cameras", has a brief segment shot multi-camera, sitcom-style), and casting. The show also won the 2002 Humanitas Prize, 30 minute category, for the episode 'My Old Lady'.
- 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. Bill Lawrence states that having the X-ray backwards was intentional as it signified that the new interns were inexperienced.
- 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 multiple times in Season 2. Their repertoire on the show included singing television themes (both old cartoons and primetime shows), 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 Infarction, the band were back together as they attempted to outperform the Janitor's band of hospital service staff (named 'Hibbleton').
- The titles are also often riffs on pop culture (as, indeed, is the entire show); the best abuse of the rules is probably "My Ocardial Infarction", a twisted reference to the medical name for a heart attack.
- Most of the episodes are narrated by J.D., and the episode titles usually start with "My...". Originally the narrations were supposed to be J.D.'s journal entries; the idea was later nixed but the episode titles remain. 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). There has been talk of a "Her Story II", to be narrated by Carla.
- Tom Cavanagh was especially hired to play J.D.'s brother because of his physical resemblance to Zach Braff.
- As of 2005, all but one of the women J.D. has slept with since the start of the series have had unisex names, the exception being Neena.
- Sarah Chalke always wears different colored bras during shirtless scenes. She has not worn the same color twice.
- 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. (Note the number works when dialing without the "K" at the end)
- Neil Flynn is an experienced improv comedian, and as such, ad-libs many of his lines. The writers specify what outcome a scene with the Janitor should have, and Flynn fills in the dialogue.
- Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay's music has appeared in multiple episodes of Scrubs. Episode 1-24 featured the song Beautiful World, 2-01 had Hay himself playing his acoustic version of the Men at Work song Overkill while following J.D. around the hospital, 2-13 ended with the staff singing Hay's song Waiting for My Real Life to Begin, in 3-13, Braff sang part of the Men at Work hit Down Under, and 4-17 included Hay singing the Cheers theme song.
- Dr. Cox's habit of referring to J.D. by girls' names was put in the show after the writers noticed John McGinley doing it to Zach Braff.
- Variations on the theme include Cox calling J.D. the names of female pop singers and famous dogs following "bestiality rumours" when JD practiced kissing Rowdy at home after a long drought of no women in his life.
- Episode 1.23 "My Hero" features a shot of a white-board displaying the characters’ new rotations. In addition to recognizable character surnames the board also features the names Spiller (surname of episode director Michael Spiller) and Lawrence (a reference to series creator, executive producer and sometime director Bill Lawrence).
- Episode 4.25 J.D. moves out of his and Turks apartment, his new room number is 47 - often seen as the most reappearing random number in the universe, there are even special internet forums created just for discussing the phenomenon of number 47.
- Actresses Christa Miller Lawrence (as Jordan Sullivan) and Aloma Wright (as Nurse Laverne Roberts) have worked together previously in episode #4.24 of "The Drew Carey Show" (titled "Good Vibrations"). Miller had a main role as the character Kate while Wright had a guest appearence as a security officer. Wright would appear once more in episode #7.21 ("Never Been to Spain) as Mrs. Taylor.
- Christa Miller Lawrence is married to Scrubs' creator Bill Lawrence. An episode features footage of character's Jordan Sullivan and Perry Cox's wedding. The footage is in fact of Miller and Lawrence's wedding (Season One Episode "My Bad").
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- Episode Transcripts
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- Featured songs and music
- Scrubs at the TV IV Wikide:Scrubs