Trivia / Scrubs

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Dr. Maddox, played by Courteney Cox, makes fun of Dr. Perry Cox's last name.
    • It is revealed that The Janitor was in The Fugitive. Neil Flynn, who plays The Janitor, really did play that role.
    • A very dark one - you know that episode where Hooch threatens to run somebody over? Guess which actor actually had fatally run someone over in the early nineties. Go on. Guess.
    • In "My Last Chance", JD is watching Sixteen Candles (starring Molly Ringwald) with Dr. Molly Clock and internally exclaims "God bless Mollys everywhere!". That particular episode featured an EMT played by Molly Shannon.
    • In "My Last Words", Turk tells a patient about how he used to be a football safety in college. Guess where the character played by Donald Faison, who played Turk, ends up playing in the movie Remember the Titans? He starts out on offence but is moved to safety.
    • In "My Unicorn" JD finds a patient's son that has a problem with his name that "makes him sound like a old man." Did I mention he's played by Mathew Perry who also played a character with a name that "makes him sound like a girl"
    • In Season 9, Lucy mentions that Dr. Cox used to be roommates with Michael Bolton. Dr. Cox shoots back that he hates Michael Bolton.
    • In "My Cold Shower", during Dr. Cox's imagine spot, he holds a knife the same way as John C. McGinley character Edgar Vess from Dean Koontz's Intensity miniseries.
    • Cox also says "what do you say there, Bob?" sometimes - something John C McGinley also said in Platoon.
    • Bill Lawrence cameos as the officiant at Janitor and Lady's wedding - with a line about joining them together "as only the creator can..."
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Zach Braff found the song "Superman" by Lazlo Bane and suggested using it as the show's theme.
  • The Cast Showoff: Several of the actors are actually good singers. Sam Lloyd (Ted) in particular is the leader of an A Capella band, and they get to sing a lot on the show. A Musical Episode has most of the cast members sing as well.
  • Channel Hop: Moved to ABC in the 8th Season. Interestingly enough, the show was ABC produced anyway but aired on NBC. This was because the show pre-dated a change in what incentives each network looked for in a show. In 2001, it was more common for networks to buy shows from each other's production companies (though usually only after the network that technically produced it passed. This is true in the case of Scrubs: ABC originally declined to air the show), because the only way to profit off a show was through the network charging for commercial time (how much they charged was based on ratings), and an eventual syndication deal, through which the production company and the broadcast network would split the profits. By the mid-00's, broadcast ratings were down across the board (meaning networks couldn't charge as much for ads), but the DVD and online markets were rising. Only production companies made money from the DVD and online download sales. This was the tipping point at which networks started to only broadcast shows made by their own production companies, because then if the show didn't have great ratings but had a strong cult audience who would buy the DVD's, the parent company of both the network and the production company would still profit.
  • The Character Died with Him: John Ritter played J.D.'s dad in season one and in a flashback in season two, while Ritter died during season three. Season four had the character die and a few episodes spent with J.D. dealing with the repercussions, the shows own way of respecting Ritter's memory.
  • Creator Couple: Series creator Bill Lawrence and actress Christa Miller (Jordan Sullivan); the wedding video Dr. Cox watches in My Bad (Jordan's first appearance) is actually Bill and Christa's, which is why only Christa can be seen.
  • Directed by Cast Member:
    • Zach Braff directed 7 episodes during the show's run, including the 100th episode. He also played a major role in the music used for the show which is one of the biggest strengths of Scrubs.
    • A lesser known example: Michael McDonald of MADtv fame guest starred as a patient in 3 episodes before directing 6 episodes in the later seasons, some of which he acted in. This eventually led to him being hired as a consulting producer, staff writer, frequent director and sometimes actor on Bill Lawrence's next comedy series.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • After Masi Oka joined the cast of Heroes, and Scrubs moved to ABC, Oka was point-blank told by NBC execs that if he continued to make guest appearances on the show, he would be fired from ''Heroes''. Despite the fact that they allowed many of their other actors to continue making guest appearances on other shows, even on other competing networks. Obviously, this was NBC just being petty over the show switching to ABC, despite NBC's own treatment of the series.
    • Elliot's makeover at the start of Season 3 was because the executives wanted a sexier female character to market to the male demographic.
    • Season 9 was originally supposed to be a spin-off series titled Med School, but ABC meddled enough to make it Season 9, which did not go down well with fans.
  • Fake American: Sarah Chalke (Elliot) is Canadian.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: It's more like Neil Says Something Funny.
  • Out of Order: Shortly into production on the eighth season the decision was made to have Courtney Cox in the first three episodes as Dr. Maddox, the new Chief of Medicine replacing Dr. Cox. This caused a bit of a hassle to keep continuity as "My ABC's," the fifth episode, was intended to be the season opener and was filmed first. As a result the first few episodes of the season feature elements that are recycled in "My ABC's" without comment or irony, such as the discovery that Katie is a manipulative twerp and J.D. giving Denise the nickname "Joe" for the first time, again. They did film a new scene for "My ABC's" where Elliot mentioned her and J.D. getting back together, as it now happened in the immediate previous episode "My Happy Place."
  • Playing Gertrude: Keith is meant to be Elliot's boy toy. His actor Travis Schultz is a year older than Sarah Chalke.
  • Post-Script Season:
    • The sixth season built up to wrapping up the various plot-lines: Elliott was getting married to Keith, who brought out the best in her; Turk and Carla had a lovely family set up with their baby daughter, Izzy, and the same was true of Dr Cox and Jordan with their kids, Jack and Jennifer Dylan; JD was as neurotic as ever, but mostly unchanged and dealing with the alienation that his dislikable habits led to; Laverne had been Killed Off for Real ... and at the last minute, they got renewed for season seven. Suddenly, JD finds out that Kim lied to him about her miscarriage, Elliott's dysfunctions with Keith got turned Up to Eleven, and instead of the (admittedly kind of depressing) ending that things had been shaping up for, we got a cliffhanger season ending and a season premiere that really only served to once again point out that JD and Elliott were the endgame couple.
    • Season 7 would have been the last season if it weren't for the 2007-2008 writers' strike.
    • The show's Grand Finale which wrapped up pretty much every main characters' arc occurred at the end of its eighth season. It was then picked up for a ninth where it was retooled to focus on a completely different group of characters in a setting only tangentially related to Sacred Heart.
  • Prop Recycling: Some special-made props that feature in J.D.'s fantasies are often brought into the regular world. The giant stethoscope for "Dr. Toilet" is later shown as a prop J.D. uses when entertaining kids in pediatrics. In the sitcom episode, the Janitor is shown in a light blue uniform. In a later episode he asked for a new uniform and got the same one, learning that it made him less intimidating.
  • Real-Life Relative: Ted has a picture of his mother in his office. The picture is of Sam Lloyd's mother in real life.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: JD's lack of knowledge about sports came from Zach Braff incorporating an aspect of his own personality into the character (despite JD having sports memorabilia in his room in early episodes).
  • Reality Subtext:
    • In the episode "My Catalyst", Michael J. Fox plays a doctor with OCD - a neurological disorder that all-but usurps control of the body from the active portions of the head - played by a man diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which accomplishes the same thing in a vastly different way. In an interview after that episode aired, Fox stated that he allowed his frustration with Parkinson's to help inform the character of Dr. Casey.
    • The deep, deep friendship between J.D. and Turk ended up reflecting the real-life relationship between Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who met on the show but quickly became actual best friends and have remained so years after the show ended.
    • Ted's band is in fact 'The Blanks', a group his actor Sam Lloyd formed with his friends in college.
  • Retroactive Recognition: After Ed got fired, he moved to Pawnee to became an administrative assistant in the Parks and Recreation department.
  • Romance on the Set: The stunt actors for JD and Elliot met for the very first time filming the bungee jumping scene in the second season. They later got married. The cast and crew even helped with the proposal.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Tom Cavanagh is virtually identical to Zach Braff, making their stint as brothers natural. John Ritter is similar as their dad.
  • Star-Making Role: For Zach Braff in particular. And while much of the cast has had some prior work, this series rose their standing significantly.
  • Throw It In!:
    • After realising Neil Flynn was a great improv comedian, the writers began to write most of the Janitor scenes with the simple direction "Neil says something". The Outtakes definitely attest to the fact that often the crew had no idea what he was going to say in any given take.
    • Todd's last name. He once wore an ID tag that said Quinlan on it and fans theorized that was his last name. The show decided to roll with that theory.
    • Cox's habit of calling JD girls' names is something John C McGinley does to his friend John Cusack in real life.
    • John Ritter ad-libbed the line "I pooed a little" during the pull my finger scene. Zach Braff had to bite his tongue to stop Corpsing.
    • Characters like Snoop Dogg Intern, Dr Beardface and Colonel Doctor were just extras who were called that by cast and crew who didn't know their real names. They became literal Ascended Extras and given featured roles on the show.
  • Trope Namer: For Insult to Rocks and Moment Killer.
  • Tuckerization: JD and Turk are named after the show's medical consultants - Dr Jonathan Doris and Dr Jon Turk. Molly is partially named after the other one - Dr Dolly Klock.
  • What Could Have Been...:
    • Don Lamb could have ended up as JD.
    • Neil Flynn auditioned for Dr. Cox originally.
    • Had the series been cancelled at the end of Season 1, the Janitor was going to be revealed as a figment of JD's imagination. (This was foreshadowed by the Janitor only interacting directly with JD and being seen by him... barring a few rare moments.) This intention was continued early into Season 2, but Neil Flynn's insistence that he get to act with the other cast members (and consequentially be given more to do) reversed it.
    • Neil Flynn was contracted to return in Season 9 as a cast member, but only if he didn't find a regular role somewhere else. Had The Middle not been picked up, Flynn would've been a regular in the final season.
    • During one of the later seasons, there were conversations had about bringing Arrested Development Tobias Funke on as Sacred Heart's in-house shrink. It ended up being too complicated to work out a deal with all the parties involved.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Michael Hobert, who had a reocurring role as Lonnie the intern, originally played a patient getting a CAT scan by JD, in the pilot episode. The actor was one of the crew members.
    • The actress playing Lady appeared in a much earlier episode as a new doctor doing research at the hospital.

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