Top 10 Best Running Gags on Scrubs
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Top 10 Best Running Gags on Scrubs

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
The best "Scrubs" running gags are worthy of a high five from Todd. Our countdown includes the Janitor's pranks, calling J.D. girls' names, the rants of Dr. Cox, and more!
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Top 10 Scrubs Running Gags


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Scrubs” running gags.

For this list, we’ll be going over some of the best recurring jokes from the medical sitcom “Scrubs.”

It’s entirely possible we overlooked your favorite gag, since we’re no Superman, so leave yours in the comments below!

#10: The Janitor’s Absurd Stories


The unnamed Janitor who works at Sacred Heart, the hospital the show takes place in, is…well, quite the strange character. A compulsive liar, the Janitor often tells outlandish stories about himself and his colorful past. These include everything from having formerly been in the “janitor branch” of the military to not believing in the moon. And the thing is – the guy is so weird, it’s hard to know what’s real and he’s made up to mess with people! But that element of mystery is just part of what makes the Janitor such a fun character!

#9: The Janitor’s Alter Egos


Along with his penchant for lying, the Janitor also loves pretending to be other people and taking up odd jobs in addition to his custodial work. He’s even pretended to be chief of medicine! Depending on the day, these alter egos can be as simple as him putting on different accents, like British and German. He also adopts more elaborate facades, however, like pretending to be his own twin brother, “Roscoe.” Perhaps his most recurring character is “Dr. Jan Itor,” his doctor persona, which he uses whenever he wants to literally “play doctor.” Say what you will about the guy, but the Janitor is quite the skilled actor.

#8: Calling J.D. Girls’ Names


In many ways, Doctor Perry Cox proves to be a fantastic mentor to J.D., but he’s also incredibly abrasive and insulting to the young doctor. As part of this campaign of belittlement, Dr. Cox refers to his protege almost exclusively by various girls’ names instead of his own. Dr. Cox can get pretty creative with these and apparently puts a lot of thought into the practice – Mondays are apparently for names most common among specific ethnic groups. Then again, it’s also funny when he doesn’t put any effort into it at all: [“Hey, Girl’s Name!”] While the whole thing may not do much for J.D.’s self-esteem, it’s a great running gag.

#7: The Janitor’s Pranks


In addition to being a consummate liar, the Janitor is also a grade-A troll and prankster. The most frequent target of these tricks is J.D., whom the Janitor has a longstanding grudge against. He rarely passes up any opportunity to humiliate, embarrass, or bamboozle the goofy doctor. Still, that doesn’t mean other characters are exempt. The Janitor doesn’t give a damn about what most people think, so he’ll even go after authority figures like Dr. Cox—or even Dr. Kelso. It’s always satisfying seeing him bring people down a peg…even if he sometimes suffers for it.

#6: Todd’s Innuendos


Doctor Todd Quinlan, better known as “the Todd,” is the hospital’s resident horndog. Women, men, Ms. Pac-Man—the Todd does not discriminate. And he will take any and every opportunity to twist the words in someone’s mouth into an innuendo. His timing is borderline supernatural, and he’ll show up whenever someone says anything that can be even vaguely construed as sexual. The Todd knows when he’s needed, and he evidently puts a lot of work into being there when people deliver a good set-up. What can we say – the Todd has a way with words: [“You know doctor, I’m getting a little tired of all the sexual innuendo.” “In your end-o.”]

#5: “Hooch Is Crazy.”


Sacred Heart is full of strange characters, but arguably the most unhinged is Dr. Hooch. At first a slightly severe surgeon, Hooch is gradually driven insane over the course of the show— at least in part as a result of J.D. and Turk’s antics. Given to intense overreactions to things like people saying his name or following him around, Hooch gets more and more mad as the show goes on, which makes characters laughing off his comical criminal insanity all the funnier. It only happens in J.D.'s fantasy as he leaves Sacred Heart, but it was still incredibly satisfying to hear Hooch admit what we’ve known all along: [“Hooch IS crazy!”]

#4: Todd’s High Fives


In addition to his lewd remarks, the Todd is also famous for his love of high fives. He’s so enthusiastic about them that he’ll give five for just about any event. Not only that, but he’s so strong that his high fives are usually accompanied by a whip crack sound effect and the other person experiencing a lot of pain. And of course, he’s gotta’ seal it with a snap! The Todd gives high fives so often that he even names them based on the situation. According to the overly enthusiastic surgeon, he has actually brought someone back to life with one. Whether that’s true or not, the Todd’s fives are divine in our books.

#3: J.D. & Turk’s Friendship


J.D. and Turk have one of TV’s greatest bromances. The two of them are so close that it can sometimes seem like they’re in love. And they are, sort of, though not exactly romantically. Their friendship is a frequent source of humor, as they can sometimes go a little overboard. From being together on Turk’s honeymoon, to a full-blown musical number, Turk and J.D.’s brolationship is as funny as it is heartwarming. And sure, other characters may lampoon the closeness of their friendship, but they’re just jealous. We know we are!

#2: The Rants of Dr. Cox


Doctor Cox can command a room. And when he gets particularly worked up about something, he tends to go on extended rants about the subject. These usually involve haranguing his residents, particularly J.D., but they also extend to things he generally dislikes. The man has turned yelling and complaining into a veritable art form, and when his momentum gets going, it’s impossible to look away or not to laugh as he manages to be threatening, instructive, and hilarious all at the same time! Still, he could go a little easier on Hugh Jackman…[”Hugh Jackman is Wolverine! How dare he?”]

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Eagle!”
Whenever J.D. Soars, He’s Always So Majestic

Dr. Kelso Calling Turk “Turkleton”
The Man Doesn’t Care That He Gets Turk’s Name Wrong & It’s Hilarious!

Ted’s Band
They May Be Called “The Worthless Peons” But They’ve Got Legit Pipes!

The Rage of Dr. Cox
The Man’s a Great Doctor, But Boy Does He Have Anger Issues!

J.D. & Turk’s College Flashbacks
Somehow This Adorkable Duo Was Even Dorkier in the Past

#1: J.D.’s Fantasies


If there’s one running gag that defines “Scrubs,” it’s J.D.’s fantasies. Always in his own head, J.D. has a very active imagination. This leads to a lot of funny, and frequently elaborate fantasies on his part. Although other characters get a few of their own, J.D.’s are easily the most recognizable. And when he does snap out of them, his commentary on them makes for excellent non sequiturs. What we wouldn’t give to live in his head for a day … [”Oh great, there he goes off into his fantasy world”]
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