Nonstandard Prescription YKTTW Discussion

Nonstandard Prescription
A doctor uses his Rx pad to prescribe something other than a medical treatment.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-08-13 09:52:22 sponsor: RobinZimm edited by: DAN004 (last reply: 2015-01-28 23:02:42)

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DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

I don't know if my insurance covers this.

Dr. Cox: I'm gonna go ahead and write you a prescription for two testicles; and you feel free to get this filled out whenever you want.
Scrubs, "My Déjà vu, My Déjà vu"

It is a commonly understood fact that when a doctor believes a patient requires a particular regimen of drugs to treat their condition, they will use a particular type of form to indicate what this patient should be given. However, something else may be prescribed instead:

  • It can be used to prescribe treatments beside drugs (for example, if a prescription is needed for a pair of crutches to be covered by insurance). This is unusual, but is Truth in Television.
  • Something random (whether it can actually help the patient in some way or not) is prescribed; often Played for Laughs.


  • What About Bob?. Bob hunts down his psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin, who's on vacation in New Hampshire. Dr. Marvin makes Bob promise to go home, then writes Bob a prescription advising Bob to "Take a vacation... from your problems". This backfires, because it inspires Bob to take his vacation right there in New Hampshire, and he becomes The Thing That Would Not Leave in the Marvin household.


Live-Action TV
  • Multiple times on Scrubs, usually by Dr. Cox (although Turk once wrote Carla a prescription for himself, suggesting she "apply him to a sensitive area").
  • House, M.D.:
    • House offers to write a woman a prescription for a wet cloth after she'd brought her son into the clinic for "rashes" (it was red dye).
    • Another episode has House filling a prescription bottle with candies in order to get an annoying patient without a real problem to leave. Later, the patient comes back and asks for a refill because it worked so well.
    • In the episode "Damned If You Do", House gives a mall Santa a prescription for cigarettes as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.
  • In the Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "The Cycling Tour" Mr Pither goes to a doctor to ask for directions to Iddesleigh. "Normally I would have asked a policeman or a minister of the Church, but finding no one available, I thought it better to consult a man with some professional qualifications, rather than rely on the possibly confused testimony of a passer-by." The doctor writes something down and tells Mr Pither to take it to a chemist (pharmacy in the US). The next shot is a chemist looking at the paper and giving Mr Pither the directions.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Wolf In The Fold", Doctor McCoy had Scotty visit a club with a bellydancer saying it was prescription. In the films, Bones drinks Romulan Ale for "medicinal purposes".
  • Saturday Night Live: Christopher Walken has a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.

  • One mystery magazine story has a doctor kidnapped by a sick/wounded criminal. He writes out a prescription with a lot of Latin words, which a fellow criminal takes to the pharmacy. It's a basic painkiller plus "call the cops, I'm being held at this location."




Web Comics

Western Animation:
  • In King of the Hill, during marriage counselling, the councilor prescribes Hank and Peggy a motorcycle, because they had been planning on buying a pair of motorcycles and riding around the country together.
  • The Simpsons: In a Treehouse of Horror episode when Maggie starts growing tentacles they take her to see Dr. Hibbert.
    Homer: Is there anything you can prescribe, doctor?
    Dr. Hibbert: Fire! And lots of it!

Real Life

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