Perhaps it's because a hospital environment makes people feel more than a little vulnerable, and anxious about whether their caregivers have their best interests in mind. Perhaps it's because anywhere but
a hospital, an orderly's occasional job of subduing unruly patients would brand them as a bad guy's Mook
. Or perhaps it's simply High Octane Nightmare Fuel
to imagine any
medical professional turning bad, and it's orderlies who tend to catch the flack because we really, really
want to believe our doctors and nurses are trustworthy.
Whatever the reason, many orderlies in fiction are depicted as petty or not-so-petty criminals, taking advantage of their patients and the trust of their hospital superiors. When he's not stealing patients' medication to sell on the street, any orderly who's not a faceless extra is bound to be rooting through their belongings for cash and jewelry. An orderly with lower tastes may procure drugs from hospital stocks for personal use, or secretly trade them to addicts under their care in exchange for sexual favors. The creepiest of all don't bother to barter, molesting patients who are too drugged, restrained, unconscious or crazy to report the offense.
- No page on Creepy Orderlies would be complete without Buck from Kill Bill, who raped comatose patients and made a sideline in pimping their bodies out to others (usually truckers like him). He ends up as one of the Bride's first victims when she gets out of her four-year coma, losing his truck (the Pussy Wagon) and his duds in the bargain.
- Terminator 2. Sarah Conner is locked up in a mental institution. An orderly licks her face while she's strapped down and apparently comatose.
- Shock Treatment: Rest Home Ricky. He isn't all that bad of a guy from what we see of him, aside from him working for Cosmo and Nation Mc Kinley at Dentonvale (and by extension, Farley Flavors). Gets a Pet the Dog moment when it's revealed during one song that he has a relationship going with Nurse Ansalong.
- In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, one of the Westin Hills orderlies tries to persuade ex-junkie Taryn to hook up with him, offering to share the contents of the hospital's drug cabinet with her.
- An unintentional example of this is found in Look Who's Talking, when John Travolta's character puts his grandfather into a nursing home and explains his daily medical care to the orderly. Later on the medical care is neglected and Grandpa goes a little nuts; it's revealed that the orderly speaks no English and so could not have complied with the medical instructions. Not so much a malicious creep as negligent one, not to have admitted he didn't know what he was doing.
- An episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent had a sociopathic orderly called Hal Shippman (i.e. he was named after a Real Life doctor who turned out to be a serial killer). He was just a Red Herring though, despite bordering on being a Complete Monster.
- Any time a hospital is the scene of a Law & Order investigation, it's a safe bet at least one suspect and/or unlikeable witness will be an orderly who steals meds, smokes weed on duty, or got fired from a previous job for groping a patient. Make that an especially safe bet, if it's Law & Order: SVU.