There are few television shows in today’s binge-centric age more underrated and underappreciated than Scrubs (in terms of sitcoms and single-camera comedies). Throughout eight seasons in the 2000s, Scrubs churned out a slew of quality episodes and storylines, never really reaching the levels of popularity achieved by Friends and How I Met Your Mother, despite an undoubtedly dedicated fanbase.
One of the show’s very best aspects is the collection of characters, from the main seven to those recurring players who have a fantastic role across the eight great seasons of the show and the ninth weaker spin-off. All have their iconic quotes, some even being their first and last lines.
10 The Todd
“The Todd” is one of the funniest and most beloved recurring characters throughout Scrubs, making his debut in the pilot as a dumb-jock surgeon, made clear with his first line, “T-man. Aghhhh!” followed by high fives in typical Todd fashion.
Todd makes his final appearance in the show’s final episode “Our Thanks,” making a Todd cameo where he talks about his idea for a series of erotic wines, with his final Scrubs line being “Patent pending five. Drink up boys.” perhaps the most Todd final line ever.
9 Ted Buckland
Sticking with popular recurring characters, the late Sam Lloyd’s Ted Buckland was always a joy to watch on-screen, providing a slew of hilarious moments. He also debuts in the pilot episode, immediately establishing Ted’s role with his first line, “The hospital does not want to be sued. Being sued is not a good thing.”
Ted Buckland appeared in another Bill Lawrence show Cougar Town, but in terms of Scrubs, his last appearance came in season nine’s “Our Histories,” where he sets off with Gooch. His final line is “Well honey, play me out.” as he bids farewell to Sacred Heart for good.
8 Laverne Roberts
A constant until her passing in season six, Laverne provided many laughs as a sassy nurse and close friend of Carla. Nurse Roberts does not get much to say in the first episode, with her only lines coming at the end of the episode when she tells J.D. Mr. Burskey has died with “I need to see you in Mr. Burskey’s room.”
Laverne’s final line comes when she is in a coma, appearing to Carla as a sort of conscience figure when Carla struggles to say goodbye, and it is words of encouragement to her friend saying “Go on, girl. You can do it.” as Carla finally says goodbye.
7 The Janitor
Moving onto the show’s main seven characters, the Janitor is so often the source of hilarity in the show, with so many ad-libbed moments and hilarious interactions, including his first with J.D. which starts with the source of all their issues, “The door is broken. Maybe the fifth time or so it don’t open.”
The Janitor does not stay for season nine but has one brief appearance in the first episode in a flashback when it is revealed he left, never to return, after J.D.’s departure, with his final line being to Turk “But, he’s coming back after his vacation?” leaving Sacred Heart after Turk makes clear J.D. is gone for good.
6 Bob Kelso
For a good few seasons, Dr. Bob Kelso was the resident bad guy in the story. Of course, at the very start of the pilot, Kelso makes himself appear like a sweet old Chief of Medicine starting his time in the show with “Okay, gang. I’m Dr. Bob Kelso, and I’m your Chief of Medicine. So, I just want to encourage you all to think of me as your safety net. Because I promise you, we’re family here.”
By the end of the show, Kelso is retired, enjoying life, eventually working at the med school after Enid’s passing, and is overall a more fleshed-out character. His final appearance is in the penultimate episode of season nine “Our Driving Issues,” with his last line being a thank you to Dr. Cox, saying “That’s the good stuff. I swiped it from the bar at the country club.” in reference to a bottle of whiskey Kelso leaves for Perry.
5 Carla Espinosa
Resident mother figure throughout the show and crucial part of both the hospital and the lives of the characters, Carla Espinosa is a constant source of sass, care, and maturity, summed up in her first line with J.D. “Aww, first day, Bambi? Carla will take care of you.”
Carla’s time in the show came to an end in season eight, only appearing by name in season nine. Her last line is very much in the same vein as her first, with it being a heartfelt goodbye to J.D. by saying, “I’m gonna miss you, Bambi.”
4 Perry Cox
Despite being brutal to the other characters constantly, and having many personal issues, Dr. Cox is undoubtedly one of the most consistently brilliant characters in the show. He is immediately established as no-nonsense when he interrupts J.D’s greeting with his first line, telling him to “Place an IV for me.”
Dr. Cox was one of the few characters to stay for season nine and last until the finale where his last line is “it’s happening again.” after Drew asks him for love advice, with Cox presumably talking about his past with J.D.
3 Elliot Reid
Like most sitcoms, Scrubs has its on-again-off-again couple in the form of J.D. and Elliot, with J.D.’s obsession with Elliot established right from the get-go. Elliot’s character is initially a bit different from what fans will get to know, and in the pilot, her first line is simply “I love Pac-man.”
The two do, of course, get together and are fully in love by the time of the show’s end in season nine. Elliot did not last the whole of season nine, leaving with J.D. in episode nine, with her last words being in the makeshift babymoon where she asks J.D. for a kiss with “J.D. come here.”
2 Christopher Turk
Just like there are will-they-won’t-they romances in sitcoms, there is the best friend of the main protagonist, with that role filled by the hilarious Chris Turk. Turk’s first line is a simple “S’up” to J.D. which is then followed with his second line, “Dude, be whiter.”
Turk was another of the only characters to stick around for the entirety of season nine, and his last line does not feel like a last line since the season was cut short. In an attempt to bond with a cool student, Turk makes himself look a fool when talking about the eels, finishing the episode by shouting “Rock music! Rock… what am I doing?”
Finally, onto the show’s main character, John Dorian, is a great protagonist who undergoes a good amount of growth in the show. One thing that never really changes with J.D. is his deep down love for and need to be a doctor, but that did not stop him from being a nervous wreck for his first day “Since I was a kid, I’ve been able to sleep through anything – storms, sirens, you name it. Last night, I didn’t sleep.”
J.D.’s final appearance and dialogue are a lot less satisfying due to the extra season of the show, with J.D.’s final time in the show being in “Our Stuff Gets Real” where his final line came in the credits sequence where Lucy finds him in the morgue, “I’m playing hide and seek with Turk. Don’t tell him I’m here. Close me up! Close me up.!
NEXT: Scrubs: The 5 Most Likable Characters (& 5 Fans Can’t Stand)
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