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Characters: Scrubs
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    Main Cast 

John "JD" Dorian (Zach Braff)

"I don't think people are meant to be by themselves. That's why if you actually find someone you care about, it's important to let go of the little things, even if you can't let go all the way. Because nothing sucks more than feeling all alone, no matter how many people are around."
The king of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Simply known as JD, he is the show's protagonist and resident doctor. The show depicts the problems and fears he has to face in the hospital, accompanied by his Inner Monologue. JD may just be the embodiment of a Cloudcuckoolander for his most prominent habit of daydreaming, which almost always ends with a weird comment said out loud which, of course, nobody but him understands. Despite being an enthusiastic, clumsy person with a lot of self-doubt, he is an intelligent good-by-heart doctor, who cares deeply about his patients.

Associated Tropes:

Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke)

Elliot: My therapist thinks my trouble in bed stems from a basic fear of intimacy. But I just think it's just because any type of repetitive motion makes me nauseous. Oh, and since I was a little kid, I've always had nightmares about being crushed.
Carla: That poor shrink.
Neurotic but sweet.

Elliot is another promising young doctor, who initially showed signs of fear and low self-esteem as an intern, but has later grown to become a confident, yet extremely odd, doctor in the series. She has a tendency to ramble on about her issues as well as stories about her life, but she's extremely intelligent and takes her profession seriously when she must. Due to a fear of commitment, she has a constant on-again-off-again relationship with JD.

Associated Tropes:

  • Adorkable
  • All Girls Like Ponies
  • Ambiguously Bi: She has an occasional habit of flirting with other women when sufficiently drunk, and was apparently very close to her lesbian room-mate in college.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Never assume that a little girl from Connecticut would never fight dirty.
  • Blonde Republican Sex Kitten
  • Break the Cutie: Mid season two her dad cut her off financially and she had to fend for herself for the first time in her life. This took a toll on her and life didn't start looking up until about season five when she took a private practice job.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Butt Monkey: In the early seasons.
  • The Cast Show Off: Elliot speaks fluent German and French because her actress, Sarah Chalke actually speaks both those languages.
    • Sarah Chalke being quite good at roller skating was also shown in the show a few times.
  • Character Development: Starts out very good, but she suddenly becomes a complete foil of what she used to be.
    • Note how she dresses as she becomes more confident.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: "STOP FINISHING MY AWESOME JOKES!" (J.D.'s "Oh my god" was a genuine reaction by Zach Braff, who did not expect her to get so shrill).
  • Cute Clumsy Girl
  • Demoted to Extra: In season 9.
  • Dojikko
  • Drama Queen: Self confessed.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: A childhood of harvesting apples gave her enormous finger strength, enough to lay out JD with a single poke to the chest.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Her father named her "Elliot" because he wanted to have a son. Her desire to please him is part of what leads her to become a doctor (widely seen as a man's profession).
    • Which seems odd, considering that Elliot has two brothers anyway.
    • Given that Elliot mentions that they once tried sending her gay brother Barry to "Hetero-Camp", it's likely that her other brother Bradley also failed to live up to her father's ludicrously high expectations. It definitely would make sense that she was supposed to be the son he wanted.
  • Girliness Upgrade / Progressively Prettier: Beginning in the third season. This was due in part to Executive Meddling (as NBC wanted a Hotter and Sexier female lead to better attract the coveted young male viewer demographic), although in-universe it's justified as her getting a makeover to gain needed self-confidence.
  • Hollywood Nerd
  • Hospital Hottie
  • I Knew It: In universe. She even has a dance for it.
  • Important Haircut: Elliot's "new me" has different hair!
  • Insistent Terminology: Due to being very uncomfortable with various sexual terms. For starters, she uses "bajingo" instead of "vagina".
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to JD's Feminine Boy.
  • Moment Killer: Trope Namer
  • Morality Pet: She is this to the Janitor.
  • Motor Mouth: Talks at the speed of light whenever she gets upset/excited.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Very much so. The writers even claimed they tried to think up ways for Elliot to be in just her bra at least once a season.
  • Tomboyish Name: Elliot's proud of having a mostly 'male' name, to the point that she's annoyed when another member of staff, Veronica, changes her name to 'Ronni' not long after Elliot arrives.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Her behaviour in Season 3, where she's dating Sean, then hops into bed with J.D, who is still in love with her, only to go running straight back to Sean when he unexpectedly turns up. The fact she accuses him of not being a good friend to her when he is angry about the way she treated him is the lowest point.
    • It didn't stop there either in the later seasons. And there's her treatment of Keith during the short time they were engaged.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Complains in Season 5 that Dr. Cox "has always been a total bastard" to her, ignoring the fact he punches Kelso out for mistreating her, made her and J.D co-chief residents so they would learn to get on and various other Pet the Dog moments. Not to mention, he arguably has been even worse to J.D than Elliot.
    • Also does it in the later seasons too.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Frick!"
    • "Bajingo" (meaning "vagina") and "Kaboodle" in one episode for ass. Strangely, an early episode has her say "vagina" with no problem.
  • "Well Done, Daughter" Guy: Her dad, though she eventually learns to rely on her own self-respect

Christopher Turk (Donald Faison)

"You know, I love how kids of divorce really have the market cornered on family dysfunction. But let me share with you a typical Thanksgiving at the Turk household: It starts with my mother yelling at my sister for yelling at my grandmother who's yelling at the television screen, which happens to be the microwave. And then my militant brother Jabari - formerly Bob - gives my father attitude for using the word black, even though he's referring to the turkey. Which, by the way, only got burnt because instead of turning the oven off, my bi-polar aunt Leslie tried to shove her head in it. But you know what we do? We kiss... and we hug... and we apologize for all the things we said... 'Cause a month later, we gonna get together and do it again at Christmas!"

JD's Black Best Friend, who JD has known since they were roommates in college, and Carla's husband. He's a very skilled surgeon but his arrogance sometimes exceeds his talent. His attitude does come across as a typical jock, but he takes his work seriously and is atypical as a surgeon in that he strives to get to know his patients. He loves basketball, video games, using slang, and making sweet love with his wife.

Associated Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Kelso thinks his name is Turk Turkleton, which is why he calls him Dr. Turkleton all the time. This was revealed after Kelso got really drunk at Turk's wedding.
  • Bald of Awesome: In one episode, Turk confesses to a patient that he shaves his head because he's going bald.
  • Black Best Friend: Subverted in the later seasons, where he's nearly as much of a geek as JD is.
  • Book Dumb: He was a C student in high school, but managed to get into medical school and eventually makes head surgeon.
    • He explains that by saying that when he realized he wanted to be a surgeon, he got his head in the game.
  • Catch Phrase: "That's what I'm talkin' about!"
  • Character Development: Turk is probably the only character to remain consistent throughout the entire series. His main development was in becoming noticeably more responsible thanks to having to cope with his diabetes, being married to Carla, and becoming a father. He doesn't have nearly the same level of character arc that J.D., Elliot or even Dr. Cox have.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Occasionally he's this to JD.
  • Dented Iron: He gets diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in the fourth season, which shook him up because he has always been very physical and athletic and now has to worry more about his health and diet.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: When the Todd finds out that Turk's middle name is Duncan, JD claims it's because Turk's dad loved donuts and he tells JD to stop saying that.
  • Happy Dance: Comes in several named subcategories aswell.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With JD.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Actually Truth in Television. Studies have shown that surgeons who play video games improve their reaction times and dexterity.
  • I Shall Taunt You: If Turk wins a bet or an argument, he will dance in your face.
  • Jerk Jock: The first impression of him from co-workers which is, of course, wrong.
  • Large Ham: He has his moments
    • (after beating Carla in an arm wrestling match) "DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET, CARLA, DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU MESS WITH THE WARRIOR!!"
  • Last Name Basis: Even with his wife. But then, that's nobody's business but the Turks'.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Turk and JD can sense whenever the other has hooked up. In fact, they even have a Sex-Gong that they ring to let the other one know, even if they are several miles away.
  • Only Sane Man: When he and JD are not being Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • Perma Stubble: His shaved head has this.
  • Salt and Pepper: With Turk being "Chocolate Bear"
  • Surfer Dude: Probably the first impression one gets from him
  • The Spock: No matter how often he appears to care about his patients, he'll still say he works better without emotion or attachment.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In the beginning of the series his confidence outweighed his actual skill, it was humbling to learn that several other surgical interns were actually better than him. In fact it was only J.D.'s encouragement to spend more time with his patients that put him good enough to get a Surgical Attending position. But by the end his leadership ability became his greatest asset, nearly everyone in the hospital nominates him to become the new Chief of Surgery.
  • Vititrolic Co-Workers: With Doctor Cox. They aren't friends, but they're both egotists who love competing and trying to one up the others and have a strong amount of respect for one another.
  • The Watson: Sometimes, to JD.

Percival "Perry" Ulysses Cox (John C McGinley)

"I did it, I'm a genius, I'm a huge brain in a ripped-up body, I am Jesus H. Cox M.D..."
Not your average Mentor Archetype

JD's mentor (much to his chagrin) and resident doctor of Sacred Heart. He comes across as a typical Dr. Jerk with a huge ego to match. However, he believes his hard teachings mold interns to competent doctors and he cares more about treating patients that deserve help rather than the budget of the hospital. He has a tendency to rant on about anything that ticks him off even slightly.

Associated Tropes:

  • Alcoholic Parent: His father was this and often took it out on him and his sister. It was so bad that it's difficult for Cox to be around his sister because it reminds him of those experiences.
  • The Alcoholic: It's a major part of his character that he does drink a lot. It really comes to the forefront in "My Fallen Idol."
    • Jordan claims that Jack's first full sentence was "Daddy drinks a lot".
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Delivered by J.D. when Cox is talking to Ben at the event.
    "Where do you think we are?"
    • He also managed to deliver one to Jordan in an argument, which rendered her speechless and unable to come up with a proper retaliation. Needless to say, he was overjoyed.
  • Badass
  • Broken Ace: When Cox says he's the best, nobody disagrees with him, but he has some huge issues.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: This is actually a plot point in that he is too good of a doctor to get fired but he absolutely hates the bureaucracy of the hospital and jumping through hoops to get promotions that would get him anywhere besides a basic staff attending doctor. J.D. is the only person to make him understand that his attitude was getting in his own way and he slowly starts taking on leadership positions that let him make a difference rather than just complain about it.
  • Byronic Hero
  • Character Development: He suffers the least amount of Flanderization in the series and manages to grow as a character while keeping his original nature.
  • Character Tics: His habit of touching his nose. John C. McGinley stated that this is an homage to Paul Newman's character in The Sting.
    • He also holds his hands together behind his head whenever he's worried or stressed. This is lampshaded by Carla at one point where - after showing him that he's not reaching his patient - she asks if he wants to put his hands behind his head. He does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He gives snarky one-liners when he isn't ranting
  • Deuteragonist
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy
  • Dr. Jerk
  • Embarrassing First Name
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: His first, middle and last name are all odd in their own way. Percival "Perry" Ulysses Cox.
  • Even Doctor Cox Has Standards: He often calls people out on their worst moments, like Dan hooking up with Elliot or Murray being a selfish dick about his dad who knew he wasn't his biological father, but stayed in the game anyway.
  • Freudian Excuse: For having Abusive Parents, he developed incredibly well, and one may forgive him any Kick the Dog scenes.
  • Friendly Enemy: With the Janitor.
  • God Complex: Look at his character quote. He even admits it.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • Has a Type: Has a thing for strong women who don't take any of his crap. He prefers them brunette, but is happy to settle for a blonde ball buster.
  • Heroic BSOD: "My Lunch"
  • Hey, You!
    • Kelso = Bobbo or Bobcat
    • Elliot = Barbie
    • Turk = Gandhi
    • JD = Newbie, every girl name in existence (Except for the names of female characters in the show.)
      • On at least one occasion he literally called JD "Girl's Name."
      Dr. Cox: Hey, girl's name!
      J.D.: What?
      Dr. Cox: Gimme a break, I got a lot on my mind, Ellen—oh! Look at that, I bounced back.
  • Hollywood Atheist
  • Insufferable Genius: Is there a moment when he doesn't brag about his skills as a doctor? Let it be granted, because he really is that good.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his attitude and speaking to everyone—coworker and patient alike—with disrespect, Dr. Cox genuinely wants to help people and when he's incapable of doing so it affects him strongly. Also, the finale of season 8 revealed he truly did like JD after all, though he admits it when he thinks JD isn't around.
    • Part of his attitude is motivated by the fact that he sees it as the only way to get people to listen to him.
    • Before Jack's baptism, JD comments that Cox is actually very tolerant of many things (except Hugh Jackman).
  • Knight in Sour Armor
  • Large Ham
  • The Last DJ: In some ways he's a deconstruction of this trope: he lives for his job and has far too much integrity to kiss ass and play the games needed to climb ranks in the hospital. That in turn leaves him locked out of any chance to change things, and the more he complains about how the hospital is run or goes outside the rules to help patients, the closer he comes to actually getting fired for good and being unable to help patients at all. It takes a whole range of people trying to give him wake up calls and several opportunities falling into his lap before he realizes that he can get himself into a position of authority and improve certain things without compromising his integrity.
  • The McCoy: A lot of the time, especially when with Kelso.
  • Meaningful Name: He's named after a knight of the Round Table and a famous Greek hero, which is fitting, given JD's idolization of him. "Percival" is particularly meaningful, given his Knight in Sour Armor tendencies, and his commitment to helping patients at any cost.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • The Nicknamer
  • No Respect Guy: His perception.
  • Papa Wolf: When Kelso delivered a particular vicious tirade towards Elliot, Cox showed up out of nowhere and promptly decked him.
    • Lapses into Hypocritical Heartwarming since we later learn he makes Elliot cry several times a day, but even he has standards!
    • He also spends an episode trying to find somebody to give his daughter an injection- he didn't want to do it because he didn't want her to associate him with pain.
  • Parental Substitute: To JD. He hates it. Although from a certain point of view one wonders if he knows he's not the best role model for JD and is encouraging him to not see him as one.
    Cox: (exasperated) "Look! We have me! A emotionally-crippled narcissist! And you (JD's brother Dan), an emotionally-crippled narcissist who is in a bathtub filled with by now is mostly his own urine! Hopefully we can come together and make ONE fully functioning adult!"
  • Perma Stubble: In season 5.
  • Pet the Dog: A lot.
  • Rant Inducing Slight
  • The Sage
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: The exact reason why he hates Kelso
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to JD's Sensitive Guy.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Mainly justified in this approach; he wants his interns to learn, as quickly as possible, that lives depend on them, and that eventually they must rely on their own skills rather than outside assistance
  • Stepford Snarker
  • The Wisecracker
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Tough Love: This is part of his Sink or Swim Mentor shtick.
  • Verbal Tic: He eloooongates his words when particularly riled.
  • Vitriolic Co-Workers:
    • With Turk. They aren't friends, but they're both egotists who love competing and trying to one up the others and have a strong amount of respect for one another.
    • Also with Dr. Kelso. They both know that their viewpoints and work are necessary to keep the hospital functioning but by GOD do the two hate each other.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy
  • With Friends Like These...: With J.D.

Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes)

"Well, you're a surgeon. So, you've got the god-complex, the cockiness, the whole "married to the job" thing. You're cute, but you're very, very aware of it. You have no idea what I'm like, so all of your feelings for me are coming from down there [points at his crotch]. But most of all, I'm looking for the real thing; and you're nothing but a little boy who's not used to being told "no." So there's a bunch of reasons. Pick your favorite."
Just breathes Team Mom

She's the Spicy Latina who's the resident nurse of Sacred Heart and wife of Turk. Carla molded JD and Elliot over the years with her tendency to be there for them, which has resulted in their friendship. She can be rather hotheaded to people and feel like her friends are overwhelming her with her quirks, but she cares about them and it shows.

Associated Tropes:

  • Action Girl
  • Berserk Button: Carla is not Puerto Rican, she's Dominican.
    • If anyone implies that being a nurse is in any way inferior to being a doctor...watch out.
    • Honestly, anything she doesn't approve of can set it off depending what it is.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: If Turk so much as looks at another woman, she goes nuts and yells at him.
  • The Dreaded: Comedic example, but not even Cox and The Janitor have the guts to say anything bad about her. Even Kelso from the seasons, before he was softened up, avoided getting into a direct confrontation with her, especially when it pertained to work matters.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In one of JD's dream sequences, as a Shout-Out to Mortal Kombat and X-Men.
  • Gossipy Hens: With Laverne.
  • Gratuitous Spanish
  • Hospital Hottie
  • Lysistrata Gambit: At the drop of a hat. Elliot can do this to Turk just by being Carla's friend.
  • Mama Bear: So much so that she once admitted that being the mother figure to the rest of the cast was "like crack" to her.
  • The Nicknamer: Calls JD "Bambi" sometimes.
  • Only Sane Woman: The sanest of the principal cast and mostly everyone else who works at the hospital
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In-universe. For a nurse Carla has a lot of power in the hospital, and this was BEFORE she was head nurse. Lampshaded by JD's monologue after one episode where the only doctors present were himself, Elliot and Turk.
    JD: (Inner Monologue while he, Elliot and Turk walk out the hospital) "Tonight we practically ran the hospital. But tomorrow, we'll go back to being the most under-appreciated people here."
    Camera goes past them and focuses on Carla.
    Carla: "Hey guys, wait up."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "You know what your problem is?"
  • The Reliable One
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: If everyone else in the clinic wasn't as nuts as she viewed them, Carla's characterization would likely lean more as a Never My Fault Control Freak.
  • The Sage: Rarer than Cox, but still apparent.
  • Spicy Latina
  • Team Mom
    Carla: "You think I enjoy being den mother to all of you!?"
    (Everyone gives her a "Well duh" look)
    Carla: "Okay fine. It's like crack to me."

Robert Kelso (Ken Jenkins)

"Dr. Dorian, do you not realize, that you're nothing more than a large pair of scrubs to me? For God's sake, the only reason I carry this chart around is so I can pretend to remember your damn name!"
He may not look like the devil...

The Chief of Staff of Sacred Heart, Kelso is a snide and grumpy old man who allows improper practices and makes strict rules for the sake of the hospital's budget. However, he does show some care to certain people, even if it's extremely rare and his decisions in the hospital aren't always easy to make for him.

Associated Tropes:

  • Badass
  • Bad Boss
  • Big Eater: To a realistic degree.
  • Characterization Marches On: The early seasons largely presented him as a Jerkass that was only interested in money, but gradually he was shown to have far more depth to him.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dirty Old Man
  • Dr. Jerk
  • Flanderization: His goofiness. It later seasons it became his main personality trait.
  • For the Lulz: When he switches a cup of decaf for regular that Turk was going to give to Carla, he remarks as he leaves "What a fun day."
  • Genghis Gambit: His solution to the hospital staff spending too much time arguing about the morality of the Second Iraq War, make them all unite in their mutual hatred of him.
  • Grumpy Old Man
  • Hard Head: According to The Janitor, who was a paid a few bucks to whack him in the head with his mop handle, it just made him angry.
    Janitor: He's got a head like a mountain goat.
  • Jerkass: He cheats on his wife and keeps her doped up on anti-depressants, openly dislikes his gay son, and treats his staff like crap.
    • Hidden Heart of Gold/Jerkass Façade: Sort of. He's not above being a Jerkass to those that work for him. However, decisions that can harm some patients and simultaneously benefit the hospital take a toll on him — even though he doesn't let anyone else see it. He also revealed that he's well-aware of the staff treating patients without insurance, but pretended not to notice. And although he does seem to really have a bad relationship with his wife, he does care deeply for his son, remaining connected and offering advice, even at one point seeing if JD was free to date his son and getting angry at Perry for making fun of him.
      • He has a good relationship with his wife too (more or less). It's hinted she is his college sweetheart, and when she dies in the 9th season he reveals that he's taking longer hours at the hospital purely because he doesn't like going home to an empty house. Given how open he is with everyone else about his infidelity it might be reasonably speculated that she knows and is okay with it, since in the end the two are still married after all those years (not to mention, the anti-depressants are designed purely to kill her own out-of-control sex drive). His treatment of Edith is mostly Played for Laughs, but read between the lines and it's clear he cares about her.
    • In his Day in the Limelight episode, he specifically states in his narration that he often takes on the role of the Jerkass to unite the staff. When he temporarily drops it, the entire staff is torn apart, nearly killing a patient who he cares deeply about.
      • He also has a group of Morality Pets with his gardener's family.
      • On the other hand, the only reason he stopped being a Jerkass....was because he was taking less hours, and he's STILL not a nice person...he's more a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk, then the latter. Or, in his own words, a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling.
  • Icy Blue Eyes
  • Insistent Terminology: Refers to Turk and Carla as "Mr and Mrs Turkleton". Even when Turk points out that isn't his last name.
    Turk: "Sir, you do know my last name isn't Turkleton?"
    Kelso: "Not yet. Turkleton. Not yet."
  • Kick the Dog: Pretty much any scene he appears in with Ted to the point that while everyone else tries to save Kelso's job Ted is absolutely elated when he retires.
    • Pet the Dog: Though when he retires Kelso tells Ted "Thanks for everything" and when he eventually leaves the hospital makes sure to give Ted a fond farewell.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Mean Boss
  • Mentor Archetype: In late season 7 and throughout season 8, after retiring he is able to drop the "mean bureaucrat" facade and tap into his years of experience as Chief of Medicine and as a doctor in general to guide the characters. In particular, he helps Dr. Cox with understanding the responsibilities that come with being Chief of Medicine and teaches J.D. that he needed to be what Dr. Cox was to him, a thankless Morality Chain.
  • Necessary Evil: Crosses over with Zero Approval Gambit and Mean Boss. As the Chief of Medicine, Kelso has to do what's best for the hospital, even if that means some patients end up dying as a result of his decisions.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father left him and family when he was a child, using a bicycle. As such he hates bicycles.
  • Put on a Bus: Subverted twice. When he's fired in season 7 he seemingly leaves the hospital for good, however season 8 keeps him as a regular by having him hang around the hospital coffee shop all day. At the end of season 8 he decides to leave Sacred Heart to become a doctor again else where, even taking his favorite chair from the copy shop with him. Then come season 9 there's a Time Skip and he takes a teaching job at the new hospital after his wife dies.
  • Race Fetish: For Asian women.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
    "Write this down, Perry. I'm old, and I honestly don't care what people think about anything I do." (farts) "That was me, folks!"
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: To Cox, especially in the early seasons.
  • The Stick
  • The Spock: His primary role. He is all to willing to coldly sacrifice individual patients for the good of the hospital. However, its been shown that he really doesn't enjoy it and he gets moments that bring him closer to being The Kirk.
  • Tragic Bigot: In "My Five Stages" it's revealed that he's apparently this toward... bicycles. More specifically, to anybody who associates with them.
    Kelso's Father: Son, Daddy's got to move on. And I just want you to know that since the car is in your mother's name, I wouldn't be able to leave the family forever if it weren't for your bike.
  • Zero Approval Gambit: He lets himself be hated because it rallies the staff together AGAINST him.

The Janitor (Neil Flynn)

"You seem unhappy. I like that."

The Almighty Janitor who has a dislike of doctors, especially JD. When he's not tormenting JD at every chance he gets, he tells zany stories (which are mostly lies) to the staff and helps out Elliot when he can. He's also insane.

Associated Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Implied from most of the times he's actually telling the truth about his past, which include things like his parents sticking him in a cat carrier.
  • Almighty Janitor: The absolute embodiment of this trope.
  • Badass: He's frequently pulled pranks on Kelso and gotten away with it.
  • Breakout Character
  • The Bully: To J.D.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In-universe example. In the Season 9 premiere, Turk states that the Janitor didn't know JD was leaving the hospital for good. Upon being informed of this, the Janitor just disappeared and no one knows where he went.
    • Doubles as a Call Back to the show's first season, where he was originally supposed to be a figment of JD's imagination.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death Glare
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A big fan of this. Especially to JD.
    JD: "Oh, it looks like I did something wrong. I guess this means you'll decapitate me for it right?"
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: "His Story III." The Janitor feels like he doesn't make a difference in the hospital, but then a paralyzed patient he spent the episode talking to thanks him for treating him as a person and not as an object.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Even his Hospital ID lists his name as "The Janitor".
  • Everyone Has Standards: Is very nice to Elliot, even though he doesn't even know her name and just calls her "blonde Doctor".
    • He tells Sunny the reason he didn't go after her when she and two other interns touched his cart was because he didn't think she was strong enough to handle it. Of course, this turned out to be a test of character, in which she succeeded (unlike JD).
  • Friendly Enemy: With Dr. Cox.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Everything JD says to him is taken in the most insulting way possible.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Type B... more or less. He told Elliot that she was the only person on the hospital staff that treated him as a person. Neil Flynn also theorized that the Janitor's pranks were a very odd way of showing overtures of friendship to JD.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not a jumpsuit, it's a shirt and pants!
  • Jerkass
  • Karma Houdini: Despite all of the horrible things he's done to J.D., some of which could have permanently injured or killed him, he parts with J.D. on good terms.
  • Multiple Choice Past: He tells a lot of things about his past, most of which are Blatant Lies.
  • The Nicknamer
  • No Name Given: Lampshaded and obviously played for laughs. In the season 8 finale, the Janitor apparently reveals his name to JD, but as soon as JD leaves, someone else walks by and calls the Janitor by a different name. Word of God says the name given to JD, Glen Matthews, is his actual name. Also at Turk and Carla's wedding it appears he actually did give his name to Danni, who says Hey Glenn while Ted and Doug fight about which of them she is referring to, having both made out with her recently and competing over who she is giving more attention to.
  • Not so Above It All: While normally immune to insults and the like, he will become genuinely sad when told he doesn't make a difference.
  • Pet the Dog: Has some moments of this with Elliot and Ted. With the latter, for a while he's the only person that actually makes an effort to be nice to him.
    • His goodbye words to Laverne as she's dying.
  • Refuge in Audacity
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Turk informs him J.D. doesn't work at Sacred Heart anymore, he drops his mop, and walks out of the hospital. Never to be seen again.
  • Screwy Squirrel (to JD)
  • Secret Test of Character: Informs JD in the finale that the reason for all his pranks are because JD failed one in the Pilot. Turns out the penny in the door fell out of JD's pocket accidentally and the Janitor saw it happen, but punished JD because he kept lying about it.
    Janitor: It was a test of character. You failed. And you lost out on a wonderful friendship.
  • The Sociopath: Again, to JD. He IS capable of empathy- in one episode, he spends it talking with a bedridden person who requires a computer to speak to keep him company. He often sticks up for Elliot on several occasions.

    Supporting Cast 

Todd "The Todd" Quinlin (Robert Maschio)

"I'd like to double her entendre!"

The Todd is a plastic surgeon at Sacred Heart. He loves hitting on women (presumably) for sex and hands for high-fives as well as showing off his physique. He's also a good friend of Turk.

Associated Tropes:

  • Abusive Parent: After a session with Molly, she stated his behavior stemmed from an abusive mother.
  • Anything That Moves: "The Todd appreciates hot, regardless of gender, age or disability."
  • Bi the Way: After years of being Ambiguously Bi, in Series 8 it's revealed he's sleeping with the Hendersons. Both of them.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Several episodes depict him swapping between his normal personality and a very serious, confident doctor (e.g. My Hero. That episode compared Turk and The Todd in their skills, showing The Todd is much more single-minded on the task while Turk is easily distracted by everything else he has to do). Because of that single-mindedness, while The Todd may appear to be an idiot, when he's in surgery, he is one of the best by far because he is so focused on the task at hand.
  • Catch Phrase: "(Insert word here) Five".
  • Casanova Wannabe
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: His high-fives are hard.
  • Double Entendre: Half of his M.O.
  • Fanservice/Fan Disservice: His love of banana hammocks. Fanservice to some, but disservice to others.
  • Freudian Excuse: Molly working with him says that he's behavior stems from a poor childhood.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The other half of his M.O.
  • Hidden Depths: He's a surprisingly nice guy on closer inspection (He's very rarely mean or malicious to anyone) and an excellent surgeon.
    • He actually seems a little ashamed when he needs Turk to spellcheck his Thank You card to Kevin Casey, and discovers he misspelled his own name.
  • Jerk Jock: It's mentioned frequently that Internal Medicine are the geeks and Surgeons are the jocks of the hospital, of which Todd proudly wears as a badge of honor.
  • Large Ham
  • Licensed Sexist
  • Lovable Sex Maniac
  • Serious Business: Somebody else initiating high-fives. He even ignored a sex joke because he was so worked up about it.
  • Shirtless Scene: Kinda hard to show off the "banana hammock" without it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: His arrogance sometimes surpasses Cox's.
  • Spell My Name with a "The"
  • Third-Person Person: Sometimes does this.

Theodore "Ted" Buckland (Sam Lloyd)

Dr. Maddox: [looking into Ted's briefcase] Hey... How come all you have in there is a smiley face button and a revolver?
Ted: Well one's in case I get sad, and the other is in case I get really sad.

Resident lawyer of Sacred Heart. A lot of bad luck befalls him and he's pretty much awful at his job, enabling him to bellow his trademark "Awwwww...!" He's also the leader of an A Capella band.

Associated Tropes:

  • Butt Monkey
  • The Cast Show Off: "The Worthless Peons" is Sam Lloyd's actual group, "The Blanks." Even outside of that they make an effort to showcase Ted's very real singing talent.
  • Catch Phrase: As mentioned above, "Awww..." might as well belong to Ted with a copyright attached to it.
  • The Chew Toy
  • Clothes Make the Legend: His suits are almost always cheap and horrible looking.
  • Driven to Suicide: One episode has him standing on a ledge of the hospital and pledging that someday he'll have to courage to jump. He finally jumps at the end of the episode only to have his fall broken by a pile of trash that the Janitor was hiding from Kelso.
  • The Eeyore
  • Hair Today Gone Tomorrow: Some episodes show him having an impressive head of hair when he started working at the hospital. On another occasion, he says he went bald at fourteen. Another episode implies he had hair when he got married.
  • In-Series Nickname: His mom calls him Thunder.
  • Perpetual Frowner: So often smiling actually hurts and it is said that sadness is his default expression.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Because no one ever expects him to be there.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Finally gets a girlfriend in Season 8 and gets to show her off to the people who thought she was made up.
    • Too bad it's revealed she left him for Hooch in his appearance on Cougar Town.
    • "Thanks for everything, Ted. Sincerely."
    • The Janitor starts befriending him in Season 7.

Jordan Sullivan (Christa Miller)

"If you talk again, I'm going to eat you!"

A member of the board at Sacred Heart Hospital, and Dr. Cox's ex-wife-ish. Saying she has a vindictive personality is putting it mildly.

Associated Tropes:

  • Ascended Extra: Was originally only supposed to appear in one episode, but due to her popularity (and also perhaps to a small extent due to being married to the creator), she became a recurring character for the rest of the series.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Dr. Cox before getting back together with him, and even with J.D in her first appearance.
  • Butt Monkey: Everyone is hers, except her children. Usually.
  • Catch Phrase: "For funsies!"
  • Freudian Excuse: Subverted — She once claimed that her acerbic personality was due to her parents being mean to her, but it turned out she was lying.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Jordan gives one of these to the entire cast at the end of the first season.
  • Happily Married: Inverted; she and Dr. Cox seem to have a much better relationship divorced. Finding out in a later episode that they were still legally married worsened their relationship and they filed for divorce again.
    • While the never actually marry again, season eight puts them on the path to acknowledging they actually love each other and not the childish Slap-Slap-Kiss they ALWAYS had going on before.
  • Jerkass: Even moreso than Dr. Cox.
    "There's nothing like looking into someone's eyes and seeing part of them die. Oh! There it goes. Bye bye hope. Bye bye."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Both of her pregnancies.
  • Really Gets Around
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After becoming a mother, she slides from a Jerkass to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. She still likes to screw with people's heads, but it seems to lose most of her earlier maliciousness and be more harmless pranking;
    Jordan: For funsies!
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Janitor feeds scone to Kelso = Jordan wanting sex. "Mama's heating up!"

Laverne Roberts (Aloma Wright)

"Junior, I don't know what you're doing in my area, but you better be looking for some bandages because you're going to need them when I get through with you."

Head nurse of Sacred Heart (formerly), Laverne is a devout Christian with twice the sass of Carla and a huge love for soap operas.

Associated Tropes:

  • Catchphrase: "Mm-hmm."
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Death by Irony: She constantly tries to prove Cox wrong and tell's him that everything in life happens for a reason. The morning after she convinces him that he might be wrong, she is caught in a car accident on the way to work, putting into a coma and eventually killing her.
  • Flat Character: In early seasons, she was just Carla's friend and Sassy Black Woman. She got a bit more depths to her later on.
  • Holier Than Thou: She snarks at people by using her religious beliefs against them.
  • Sassy Black Woman
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Delivers one to Dr. Cox as he wouldn't stop challenging her Christian faith with several rants

Doug Murphy (Johnny Kastl)

"They're like my children... my big dead children."

Formerly a resident, he is now the coroner of Sacred Heart. He's a big screw-up and he talks about his love for the job nonchalantly.

Associated Tropes:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Dr Cox notes he's killed so many people, he's starting to think he's a government agent.
  • Black Comedy: He's killed a lot of patients and that's funny.
    Coroner: Have you seen this before?
    Doug: Seen it? Upstairs, they call that "a Doug"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be as weird as 99% of the other staff of the hospital and horribly incompetent when trying to treat living patients, but (in part due to killing so many patients) he is an extremely skilled coroner.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Determinator: Despite being a nervous wreck, killing a lot of patients and being the only person in the history of Sacred Heart to repeat their third year of residency; Doug never falters in his dedication to try to be a good Doctor. He fails miserably, but its the trying that counts, right?
    • You could theorise he never cracked under pressure like other more confident interns, because that happened so long ago, that being in that state is normal for Doug.
  • Hidden Depths: Originally a one-note failure as a doctor, it's later revealed that he's killed so many patients it makes him easy to identify a cause of death, so he became a top-rate coroner.
  • Lethal Klutz
  • Nervous Wreck: He's nervous about... everything.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lollipops
    • A habit he seems to have picked up from the other coroners. Maybe it helps with the smell.
  • Villainy Discretion Shot
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He's a horrible doctor, but he wouldn't be out of place as a Medical Examiner on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, Law & Order, Cold Case or any of the other CSI rip-offs.
  • Yuppie Couple

Hooch (Phil Lewis)

"Hooch is crazy."

A surgeon who Turk and JD love to mess with. He has a very short fuse.

Associated Tropes:

  • Back for the Finale: In JD's last fantasy in the Season 8 finale.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He seems quite cheerful and friendly at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that he's deeply unstable.
  • Butt Monkey: A favorite of Turk and JD's. His status as one is what drives him crazy
  • Catch Phrase / Running Gag: "Hooch is Crazy"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After being caught by a prank involving bouillon cubes put in the shower-head, his response is to threaten to run the perpetrator over in his S.U.V.
    • Some interns following Hooch around for a day led to a hostage situation
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: There's a reason people say he's crazy.
  • Phrase Catcher: Said fondly / in amusement: "Hooch is crazy."

Keith Dudemeister (Travis Schuldt)

A medical resident at Sacred Heart. First introduced as a timid intern, he eventually becomes very popular, adapts to his hospital responsibilities and starts dating Elliot, to whom he eventually proposes.

Associated Tropes

Denise Mahoney (Eliza Coupe)

A intern introduced in Season 8 who becomes a Resident in Season 9. J.D. takes her under his wing. She's not very good at being caring and compassionate.

Associated Tropes

  • Character Development: Under J.D's influence, she becomes a little better with being compassionate and able to be kinder to her patients and co-workers, in Season 9, she's able to genuinely have a proper relationship with a med student.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As harsh, angry and unfriendly as she is, she does care deep down, she's just unable to openly express it properly.
  • Really Gets Around: She loves fat dudes, they don't expect commitment and they're really grateful, so they put in a lot of effort.
  • What the hell, J.D.?!: She gets pissed off at J.D. for trying to apologize for giving her a hard time for going through with a procedure that ended up helping find out the patient's illness, since his pushing her to be more compassionate is helping her being a better doctor.

Dan Dorian (Tom Cavanagh)

J.D.'s less successful older brother. Usually shows up Once a Season and mooches off of his brother.

Associated Tropes

  • Big Brother Bully: He's still bullying JD even as an adult.
  • Broken Pedestal: At some point JD started seeing him as a loser.
    Dan: (solemn) "Look. My brother will never look up to me. But he hangs on your (Cox) word."
  • Jerk With a Tiny Heart of Bronze: Dan has always been a jackass to J.D., sleeping with his college girlfriend, sleeping with Elliot, constantly bullying J.D. as they grew up and whenever Dan showed up, he mooched off of J.D., constantly annoyed him and gave him all kinds of hell for no reason other then For the Lulz. But he made it clear that Dr. Cox took being J.D.'s mentor more seriously out of concern that J.D. would become a cynical jackass who hated his job (Season 3), comforted J.D. when their dad died and bought J.D. a new car. (Season 7)
  • What the hell, J.D.?: He wasn't happy that J.D. told him that he's meant to be the loser of the family.

Grace Miller (Bellamy Young)

An attending introduced in Season 3. She's a incredibly condescending Jerkass and sees any attempt to defend her from men as sexism. She was written out of the show at the end of Season 3.

Associated Tropes

    Notable Patients 

Mrs. Tanner (Kathryn Joosten)

"Listen, Dr. Dorian, there's not one thing I regret as I lay here right now. I'm ready. I really am."

An old lady who refused to undergo dialysis because she decided she had lived a long and eventful life and wanted to die peacefully.

Associated Tropes:

Jill Tracy (Nicole Sullivan)

"Hey guys, how are you? I'm great! You know me, I'm up, up, up, up, up, and then some fashion nazi on the E! Network says that pear-shaped people shouldn't wear stripes, and whoosh, guess who's ear-deep in mint-chocolate chip ice cream. Meheehee."'

A recurring patient of the Sacred Hospital. J.D. and Cox found her rather annoying. She passed away in season 5 due to rabies, which triggered the events of "My Lunch". She's one of the most recurring patients of the series.

Associated Tropes:

Ben Sullivan (Brendan Fraser)

"Pictures capture moments in time. When they're posed, they're not real. You know, I hate that whole, like, "gneen!" thing. That's why, at a party, you'll see me in the bushes with my camera."

Ben Sullivan is Jordan's little brother, and close friend to Dr. Cox. Infamous for taking photographs all of the time. Ends up in Sacred Heart as a patient suffering from leukemia. Played by Brendan Fraser.

Associated Tropes:

  • Camera Fiend: Ben's hobby is taking pictures of people when they aren't expecting it.
  • Fun Personified
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dr.Cox of all people.
  • Anyone Can Die: Ben dies from complications due to his leukemia.
  • Wham Line: The subject of two very powerful ones.
    Ben: Come on JD. We both know that none of this is real. note 
    • And in his final appearance;
    JD: Where do you think we are? note 

Mike Davis (Michael McDonald)

A semi recurring patient in the early seasons. A man who has a habit of being unable to hold his tongue, which gets him injured enough to be in the hospital

Associated Tropes

  • Back for the Finale: He appears in J.D.'s last fantasy in My Finale.
  • Brutal Honesty: Arguably a deconstruction, since it gets him in a lot of trouble.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A very harsh example.
  • Jerkass: He's really rude to the doctors looking after him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He never shuts up when he really needs to and it gets him in a lot of trouble with people.

     Med School 

Lucy Bennett (Kerry Bishé)

A medical student at Winston University. She serves as the new narrator for Season 9. She loves horses and believes if they could talk they would be wise.

Associated Tropes

Drew Suffin (Michael Mosley)

A medical student at Winston University giving it a second go. He had previously been in jail and was apparently shot by a 12 year old. He describes jail as "cold". He is in a relationship with Denise. He is apparently Dr. Cox's favorite student; at one point Drew was forced to tape a "#1" sign to his chest by Cox, which is shortly replaced by a pink t-shirt saying "#1"

Associated Tropes

Cole Aaronson (Dave Franco)

A medical student at Winston University. His family donated a large portion of money to get the new Sacred Heart Hospital built and as such, Cole believes that he can do whatever he wants, as he is "untouchable". While spoiled, arrogant, and immature, he occasionally reveals himself to have a good heart.

Associated Tropes

ScandalCharacters/Live-Action TVSCTV

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