15 Things You Didn’t Know About Scrubs

Published on July 30, 2015. Updated November 11, 2019

The NBC medical comedy Scrubs aired from 2001 to 2010 and tells the hilarious story of J.D. (Zach Braff) as he begins his medical internship with his best friend Dr. Turk (Donald Faison). J.D. learns to survive his crush on fellow doctor, Elliot (Sarah Chalke), and the constant humiliation from resident Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley), while figuring out what kind of physician he wants to be  As the series progresses, he becomes a resident and is eventually promoted to residency Director and transfers to another hospital.  However, he makes a lot of mistakes, a few enemies, and even a few babies along the way. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Scrubs!

15. The Janitor

Most of the Janitor’s lines (Neil Flynn) are improvised and actually don’t appear in the script. It was allegedly reported that one of the scripts said, “Whatever Neil says,” according to IMDB. In fact, all of the actors are encouraged to improvise and experiment with the script.

Scott Garfield / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

14. Cancellation

After eight seasons, Judy Reves (Carla) and Zach Braff (J.D) were set to move on from Scrubs, but creator Bill Lawrence wasn’t ready to end the show. Instead of doing a spinoff, the show was re-tooled and moved to a medical school with new actors, and Donald Faison (Turk) and John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox) stayed on. The new format didn’t work and the show was cancelled after season nine.

Karen Neal / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

13. ‘I’m No Superman.’

While working on the pilot episode of Scrubs, Zach Braff suggested using the single “Superman” for the opening sequence by Lazlo Bane and it became the show’s theme song.

12. The Real M.D.s

The show’s main characters were named after Scrubs’ real medical advisors. J. D. was named for Dr. Jonathan Doris and Turk’s name was inspired by Dr. Jon Turk. In addition, Dr. Molly Clock (Heather Graham) is similar to Dr. ‘Dolly Klock,’ another advisor.

Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo

11. Hey Neighbor

Over the course of the series, Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) calls J.D. (Zach Braff) by every girls’ name imaginable. McGinley does the same thing to his  real life neighbor, actor John Cusack.


10. The Creator’s Wife

Creator Bill Lawrence is actually married to the actress Christa Miller, who plays Jordan Sullivan, Dr. Cox’s wife, and they have three children together. Miller was also Maxim’s first cover girl.


9. When Pam Goes to the Hospital

Scrubs is actually filmed in a real hospital called North Hollywood Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley and is located in California. It was renovated to accommodate the show and was featured in the season five finale of The Office when Pam finds out she is pregnant. The hospital has since been torn down.


8. I Heart Redford.

John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox) is actually a big Robert Redford fan. Redford starred in the 1973 film The Sting and would rub his nose in the movie before crossing his arms to signal that everything was okay and McGinley does the same thing when he plays Dr. Cox as a tribute to the film.

Richard Carwright / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

7. Love at Great Heights

In the episode “My First Step” (Season 2, Episode 7), Elliot and J.D. go bungee jumping, but the actors Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke remain on solid ground. Instead, Braff and Chalke’s stunt doubles take the leap for them and in real life the stunt doubles got married after meeting on that jump.

Source: ABC

6. Different Character, Same Scrubs

Sarah Chalke (Elliot) borrowed her Scrubs’ lab coat when she played dermatologist Dr. Stella Zinman on How I Met Your Mother. The name ‘Elliot’ is covered by a pocket protector when she portrays Ted’s love interest.

Monty Brinton / © CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

5. Spin City

What do Spin City and Scrubs have in common? The same producer Randall Winston and creator Bill Lawrence. They brought in many of Spin City’s cast to appear as guest stars on Scrubs including: Barry Bostwick, Heather Locklear, Alan Ruck, Michael Botman, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Kind.


4. Hooch

Phil Lewis who plays Hooch, the crazy and insane surgeon, is best known for his work on the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Lewis also served a year in prison for manslaughter when he killed a women while drunk driving in 1993.

(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/PictureGroup)

3. Shenanigans Back Stage

The actors and crew of Scrubs are allowed to bring their dogs into work who stay on one of the hospital floors. Donald Faison (Turk) doesn’t like dogs, especially since they left him ‘treats’ outside his door. Little did he know it was actually Robert Maschio (Todd) who moved the dogs’ doo-doo to Faison’s dressing room.

Bob D’Amico / ©ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

2. The Fugitive

J.D. (Zach Braff) discovers that the Janitor (Neil Flynn) was actually an actor who appeared in The Fugitive (1993) as a transit cop. Neil Flynn was in that movie, and therefore, the Janitor’s real name should be Neil Flynn, but it is revealed that his name is Glen Matthews.

Dean Hendler / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

1. Canadian Girl

Sarah Chalke (Elliot) is a Canadian actress who grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She gave up her Canadian citizenship and became an American in 2008, which is common for actors who are tired of applying for visas to work in the United States.

Bob D’Amico / ©ABC / courtesy Everett Collection
Cast Of Scrubs: How Much Are They Worth Now?


Cast Of Scrubs: How Much Are They Worth Now?

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