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Orderlies Are Creeps

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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 (unless their superiors are just as bad, or worse). 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.



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    Comic Books 
  • Parsons. a Fat Bastard orderly in Locke & Key who ends up suffering Death by Racism.
  • In Runaways, the Cloak imposter who assaulted - and, it is implied, raped - Dagger turned out to be an orderly at a hospital - specifically, the hospital where she ended up.
  • Done to varying degrees in Arkham Asylum, particularly the stealing drugs and being a little too rough on the patients on account of how they're criminally insane.
  • In Robyn Hood: The Curse #1, an orderly takes a disturbing interest in Sam while she is in a coma in the hospital. However, while he is getting inappropriately physical with her, the monster that is possessing her manifests and kills him.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Subverted in the Homestuck AU Brainbent. Equius is an orderly, and he certainly has a creepy demeanor (quiet, sweaty giants in sunglasses tend to be offputting), but he's actually perfectly harmless, and indeed quite sweet underneath his stoic exterior.
  • Averted in the Fullmetal Alchemist AU fanfiction Asylum (FMA). Alex Louis Armstrong is the main orderly at the titular asylum, and he's sweet as can be, acting as the Token Good Teammate among the staff alongside Dr. Maes Hughes. His actual moment of doing or saying anything is dramatically pulling Ed into a big bear hug after hearing the latter's tragic backstory and he's actively assisting the patients in their attempts to escape.

  • 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 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 I 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.
  • Dr. Hoenneger's assistant in The Wolfman (2010) is a total asshole to Lawrence during his time in the asylum, and enjoys mocking him as he administers the various tortures that passed for medical treatments in the Victorian Era. He's even named "Creepy Guard" in the screenplay. He gets his comeuppance, of course, when it turns out Lawrence isn't just a lunatic who believes himself to be a supernatural monster, but actually, you know, the Wolfman.
  • 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").
  • In Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, Tyler is an orderly who works at the rehab clinic, accepting sexual favours from patients in exchange for drugs. He also harasses Bridgette, getting uncomfortably close to her, and refusing to let her have the monkshood unless he's allowed to inject it.
  • The Monster Maker: Steve has no issue obeying every morally dubious order Dr. Markoff gives him, and seems to take perverse delight in being ordered to tie up Maxine.
  • In Deadpool 2, Deadpool takes to calling the orderlies that run the Mutant Reeducation Center "pedophiles", something Cable gets in on in the climax.
  • In The Burning, an orderly treats Cropsy like a sideshow attraction, trying to scare an intern by showing him off. He instead gets the shit scared out of him when Cropsy grabs his arm.
  • In Blackenstein, a white orderly at the veteran's hospital, jealous at not having been able serve in Vietnam, delivers a long angry to tirade to Eddie about how stupid he was to be suckered into fighting. Also, when the limbless Eddie says he is thirsty, he mockingly suggests that Eddie reach over and pour himself a glass of water. Eddie's first act after being turned into a monster is to find the orderly and kill him.

  • Edward Lee and Wrath James White's The Teratologist opens with a scene of a creepy orderly's nightly routine of repeatedly raping a severely physically and mentally disabled patient. And since he gets off on the disgusting-ness of it, he deliberately neglects to bathe her or see to her other hygienic needs.
  • Most, if not all the orderlies at the asylum in The Law of Nines work for the Big Bad, and abuse Jax and Alex's Mother.
  • The doctors in The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls are described as this.
  • Pelafina in House Of Leaves is convinced (rightly or not) that the attendants at the mental hospital have been raping her on a monthly basis.
  • In Deadly Quicksilver Lies, the Rainmaker pays off some of the orderlies at the Bledsoe's insane ward to toss the fence's enemies in with the crazies.
  • The orderlies in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest act as Nurse Ratchet's enforcers. MacMurphy beating one up in a fist fight is considered a triumphant achievement for the patients.
  • In Spider's Bite, the first Elemental Assassin novel, Gin kills an orderly at a mental hospital who has been raping patients.
  • A subplot of Sweet Valley High book #13 had Elizabeth and Jessica working as hospital volunteers. Elizabeth is increasingly unnerved by the way an orderly keeps staring at her and the book culminates in him kidnapping her.
  • Averted in The Silence of the Lambs and its film adaptation, where Barney, the main orderly in charge of taking care of Hannibal Lecter, is consistently portrayed as a pretty decent guy, and even Hannibal himself seems to have some kind of affection for him. The facility's administrator, Dr. Chilton, is a creep, though, and seems to be one of the few people Hannibal truly hates.

    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 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.
  • In Teen Wolf one of the orderlies at Eichen House takes clear pleasure in the power he has over the inmates, looking for excuses to restrain them. He also murdered patients, including Lydia's grandmother, believing himself to be ending their pain.
  • On ER, Elizabeth notices an orderly leaving a patient's room and doesn't think anything of it. . .until she later walks into the room and sees that woman is covered with bruises, having been raped.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Frame of Mind", Riker wakes up in an alien asylum where he is a patient and told that the Enterprise is an elaborate fantasy his mind created to cover up the truth about an extremely violent murder he committed. The burly orderly who supervises him doesn't have enough sense to not openly taunt the potentially psychotic person about this. Of course, this causes Riker to freak out and lash out at him before being sedated.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "World Enough and Time", Bill gets shot through the chest and wakes up in a creepy hospital with a cumbersome artificial heart attached to her, where she's forced to work as a cleaner. Her only friend is a slightly creepy but charming hospital orderly known only as "Razor". It turns out that he's the Master, and he's setting her up to be turned into a Cyberman.
  • The X-Files. Inverted in "Excelsis Dei", when an elderly resident psychically-rapes a female orderly. Turns out the residents in the nursing home aren't being treated well, but as a male orderly points out, he's only being paid minimum wage so there's not much incentive for him to do his job properly.
  • Inverted in Penny Dreadful season three, where Vanessa's flashbacks show the orderly at the asylum she was locked up in as pretty much the most decent individual in the entire place. Said orderly was the only human being who cared about Vanessa during her time there and tried to help her however he could. Unfortunately, soon after her release, the orderly died and was resurrected as "the Creature" by Dr. Victor Frankenstein.
  • One Life to Live's Blair Daimler is the result of her mentally ill mother's rape by an orderly at the asylum.


  • Ace from Ruby Quest. He apparently used to be a nice guy until the overturn of the facility, which turned him into a dreaded Eldritch Abomination's servant.

    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.
  • In American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns, Alice's experience with the two Jerkass 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yasuko from Spirit Hunter: NG (specifically its novella) initially appears to be a warm and caring midwife. Her true colours are slowly revealed until she finally steals the Urashima Woman's baby, assaults her when she tries to get it back, and buries her corpse in the lake alongside all the fetuses she also stole from the hospital.

    Western Animation 
  • In the flashback portion of the The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show short "Scrappy's Birthday", Shaggy and Scooby are harassed by an orderly at the veterinary hospital where Scrappy is born.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Tickled Pinky", when Rocko goes to the hospital for an appendectomy, he's briefly tormented by a pair of thuggish, condescending orderlies.
  • A very mild version in the SWAT Kats episode "Enter the Madkat." The involuntarily-committed former comedian Lenny Ringtail is harassed by an orderly whose desk is right outside of his cell. The orderly frequently listens to The David Litterbin Show, hosted by Ringtail's hated professional rival, a David Letterman Expy, even though he knows it causes Ringtail to become agitated and hit his own head against the wall.

Alternative Title(s): Creepy Orderly


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