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Orderlies Are Creeps
Well, that was creepy. And random.

Just so we're all clear, what's going on back in the reality of the insane asylum is that orderlies are raping the shit out of us, right?
— "Sucker Punch: The Abridged Script", The Editing Room

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 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 or outright raping patients who are too drugged, restrained, unconscious or crazy to report the offense.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • 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 life (by means of heavy steel door), his clothes and his truck (the Pussy Wagon) in the bargain.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Conner is locked up in a mental institution. An orderly licks her face while she's strapped down and apparently comatose. When this preeminent Action Girl kicks his ass, the audience usually cheers.
    • The extended cut features the same orderly and his pal zapping her with a stun rod and beating her with a baton earlier in the movie, making his eventual bashed-in face all the more richly deserved.
  • 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 McKinley 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: Dream Warriors, 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. The other main orderly Max (played by a young Laurence Fishburne) averts this, since he's a friendly, lenient guy and genuinely wants to help the kids.
  • 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 a negligent one, not to have admitted he didn't know what he was doing.
  • The mental institution in Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007) remake seems to be completely run by creepy — and downright criminal — orderlies. The nurses are heartless, the orderlies rape the female patients, electroshock therapy seems to be a common treatment, and Michael Myers was degraded, insulted and beaten on a daily basis. (And Dr. Loomis wonders why Michael's mental state only worsened once he was in the care of these "professionals!") Special mention goes to the necrophiliac ambulance driver in the sequel.
  • Blue in Sucker Punch. Though the Mind Screw makes it unclear whether he's actually murdered any patients in the real world, what is relatively clear is that he's willing to take bribes to arrange unnecessary lobotomies, has a slimy demeanor, and is not above trying to rape a lobotomized girl.
  • The Orderlies in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest are little more than sadistic thugs, gleefully man-handling the patients who go against Nurse Ratchet.
  • The orderly in Happy Gilmore, played by Ben Stiller, is the quintessence of this trope. He subjects the retirement home residents to long quilting sessions which he sells for personal gain. If anyone complains, they're punished by "pulling landscaping duty". In deleted scenes, other things the residents are forced to do include things like operating a phone sex line. In a deleted scene, he is thrown out the window by an angry Happy Gilmore after he's lied to by the orderly that his grandmother had "senilitis maximus" after she told Happy what was going on.
  • Zep from the first Saw was an orderly who kidnapped a woman and her young daughter, then tormented the husband with photos of them tied up and threats to murder them at a specified time. Granted, it wasn't his idea to do so, but considering Zep ends up dead anyway, he *could* have defied Jigsaw at the cost of his own life rather than terrorizing a helpless girl and her mom.
  • The unnamed orderly in Criminally Insane feeds the patients dog food, and scarfs down chocolate bars in front of the eating disorder-afflicted Ethel with the smuggest look on his face. Ethel kills him by hanging him with a cord.
  • The eponymous character in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet is raped and impregnated by an orderly. She gets her revenge when she rips his head off while running amok through the asylum shortly after giving birth.
  • The orderlies in the hospital at the beginning of Return to Oz later show up in Oz as the wheelers.
  • An orderly in Troma's Unspeakable sexually abuses a comatose woman, and the patient shitting herself isn't enough to stop him from going down on her (yes, "scat cunnilingus").

     Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • An orderly in the beginning of the Highlander: The Series episode "Patient Number 7" gropes and attempts to rape an out-of-it girl. Before he can, the real villains of the episode break in and shoot him.
  • The Invisible Man has an episode where orderlies at sleep clinics variously administer electroshocks to make a woman dream she is having sex and program various random people to become killers under the delusion that the chosen targets are going to kill them.
  • One NCIS investigation into 'roid rage among marines at a Navy hospital uncovered an orderly who'd been under-dosing patients so he could sell the rest of their meds on the street.
  • Some of the orderlies in Kingdom Hospital are awfully creepy, although not necessarily bad people.
  • Jimmy The Overly-Touchy orderly from Scrubs season 8. It's nonsexual so he's not portrayed as villainous, just weird. It's Played for Laughs.
  • On Perception, an orderly terrorizes mental patients as a masked boogeyman and murders a co-worker to cover up his abusive behavior.
  • Played for Laughs in The Kids in the Hall in the sketch where the Headcrusher gets his fingers broken and must undergo physical therapy. The dead-eyed orderly who wheels him down the hall responds to his anguished screams by muttering that if he doesn't stop crying, he'll hit him. (And Nurse Unloop does hit him, despite not being a Battleaxe Nurse.)
  • On 1000 Ways to Die, a creepy orderly with a foot fetish liked to groom the feet of cute-looking comatose patients as they laid down in their hospital beds. He died when one of them kicked him in the face due to a triggered reflex, sticking the lollipop he was eating inside his throat and causing him to suffocate him to death.

     Music 

    Video Games 
  • The orderly from Michael Gentry's Interactive Fiction work Anchorhead is generally a foul-mouthed, unpleasant person who is usually seen reading a porn magazine, and will occasionally make a lewd remark.
  • Sanitarium has a few examples - in the first act, one willfully leaves Max and several other patients in the burning tower because Max apparently stole and crashed his car, while the third act has one who threatens and bullies Max. They're not real.
  • Ace from Ruby Quest. Granted, he was probably a good guy before things started going to hell, but now...
  • In American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns, Alice's experience with the two Jerk Ass orderlies who tortured her in the mental asylum she stayed at manifest in the creepy Wonderland versions of Tweedles Dee and Dum. You fight them in the first game, but they make a non-combative appearance in one of the creepiest sequences of the second, in the same asylum Alice stayed in.
  • Inverted and Played Straight in Psychonauts. The original orderly of Thorny Towers was Fred Bonaparte, a friendly loser who took time out to help a particularly nasty patient named Crispin. However, their interactions made Fred lose his sanity as fast as Crispin regained his, and soon he was a suffering patient as Crispin was made this trope in his place.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the flashback portion of the Scooby-Doo short "Scrappy's Birthday", Shaggy and Scooby are harassed by an orderly at the veterinary hospital where Scrappy is born.

    Real Life 
  • One of the many, many terrible things for which Florence Nightingale famously called out 19th century hospitals was the fact that many of the nurses and orderlies were whores who prostituted themselves and took advantage of patients in the hospital wards.
  • In April 1997, a man named John Powell died at Drake Memorial Hospital in Cincinnati of unknown causes. The coroner detected a whiff of Bitter Almonds. Further tests confirmed murder. The investigation quickly revealed that one of the hospital orderlies, Donald Harvey, had been around so many patients who died that he'd been nicknamed "The Angel of Death". Eventually, Harvey was convicted of 24 murders, but claimed as many as 70, mostly of hospital patients but including a couple of people Harvey knew outside of his work.


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alternative title(s): Creepy Orderly
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