Unscripted Scrubs Moments That Were Kept in the Show
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
These unscripted "Scrubs" moments had to be kept in the show. For this list, we'll be looking at the most notable lines, moments, characters, and running gags that this show's writers might not have planned but were too good not to include in the final cut. Our countdown includes Todd's last name, Sam Dorian has an accident, calling J.D. girls' names, and more!
Unscripted Scrubs Moments That Were Kept in the Show
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Unscripted Scrubs Moments That Were Kept in the Show
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most notable lines, moments, characters, and running gags that this show’s writers might not have planned but were too good not to include in the final cut.
Are you aware of any other unscripted Scrubs moments? Let us know in the comments.
#7: Todd’s Last Name
Pop quiz: what's Todd's last name? If you said Quinlan, you must be a "Scrubs" superfan! After all, Todd doesn't always seem to know. Rumor has it that, in a roundabout way, it was the fans who chose this family name for the high-five-loving surgeon. As the story goes, viewers once spotted the name on his ID and assumed that it was his family name. Once the idea caught steam, the writers decided to jump on board and make it official. Although, we'd also easily believe Todd randomly picked up any badge. Still, we offer the writers the highest of high fives for seemingly going along with this fan theory.
#6: The Extras Who Got Promoted
When Manley Henry, Bob Bencomo, and Geoff Stevenson were hired as extras on “Scrubs,” they probably thought they had a pretty good deal. Wear white coats, walk around in the background and play doctor. However, they soon became almost as synonymous with the show as the main cast, and were promoted. Fans came to know them as Snoop Dogg Attending, Colonel Doctor, and Doctor Beardface— oh, sorry, Beardfacé. Over time we saw more of these Sacred Heart team members and even watched Snoop Dogg Attending find love. If a “Scrubs” reboot never happens, we’d happily catch up with these three iconic characters instead.
#5: Sam Dorian Has an Accident
“My Old Man”
As you probably recall, the phenomenal late comedy giant John Ritter played J.D.’s dad Sam in the show’s first two seasons. When we first meet him in season one, we quickly learn that he has a pretty juvenile streak. He even brings out the classic “pull my finger” gag. Despite his exasperation over his father’s childish antics, J.D plays along. Sam’s impromptu response to the age-old prank surprised us all, Zach Braff included. Apparently, the actor had to try his hardest to maintain his composure. Ritter was set to become a recurring character, but was sadly taken from us too soon. Still, with hilarious ad-libs like these, his legacy lives on.
#4: Zach Braff Reacts to Elliot's Screech
Elliot Reed can be very expressive when she gets animated. This is especially true when she’s angry and her voice rises several octaves. In this episode, she tries to crack some jokes which appear pretty antiquated to anyone well-versed in classic TV comedies. When the others reach the punchline before her, she screams back in frustration. Only her voice gets so piercing that it’s surprising the human ear can still hear her. Apparently, no one expected her voice to get so high, and Braff’s reaction was reportedly genuine. Is that a hint of a smirk we see on his face right before the opening titles appear? We would have started laughing instantly.
#3: Calling J.D. Girls’ Names
One of the show’s long-running gags is how Dr. Cox insists on belittling J.D. by calling him typically female names. Actor John C. McGinley revealed to the Huffington Post that this unscripted inclusion started as an inside joke between him and his friend John Cusack. He then decided to try it out in the first episode; creator Bill Lawrence liked it so much that he told him to keep doing it, and it became a part of his character. Cusack isn't the only Hollywood legend who influenced Dr. Cox's character, either. You know how he often rubs his nose before crossing his arms when he's mad? That's reportedly a nod to Johnny “Kelly” Hooker, the character played by Robert Redford in "The Sting."
Any “Scrubs” fan lifted off the ground and spun around is compelled to yell gleefully. Indeed, it became one of the show’s most memorable recurring jokes. But did you know that it all began with an impromptu ad-lib from Zach Braff? In the season one episode, “My Hero,” Jordan’s brother, Ben, insists on throwing J.D. over his shoulder and spinning him around. At first, he’s reluctant, but he quickly starts to enjoy the ride and asserts his first of many “Eagles!” Were it not for Braff himself, we never would’ve gotten the iconic line. After that, we often saw Turk take on “Eagle” duty. According to Donald Faison, Braff also came up with his odd yet endearing “Chocolate Bear” nickname. Talk about Guy Love!
#1: A Lot of What the Janitor Said
Aside from the main gang, there was perhaps no funnier or more memorable character than Sacred Heart's janitor. The kooky custodian often shared the wackiest quips, anecdotes, and jokes, and we have seasoned improviser Neil Flynn to thank for that. The actor was so funny that the writers happily let him ad-lib to his heart's content. In some cases, scripts would leave a spot for him to say whatever he wanted, because they knew he'd produce pure comedy gold. As Flynn jokingly shared, they could still take the credit! Needless to say, he would certainly keep his castmates on their toes! Indeed, his interactions with J.D. are among the show's highlights. There was never a dull moment when the janitor was around.