Scrubs Wiki

Dr. Cox reluctantly hugs J.D. ("My Finale")

In Scrubs, many characters constantly strive for approval from their family, friends, colleagues, mentors, or others. J.D. always yearns for signals and messages of recognition from others, notably Dr. Cox.


  • Since his first day, J.D. seeks the approval of Dr. Cox. He occasionally receives affirmation, but only in rare circumstances. He often misinterprets, or forcibly reinterprets things Dr. Cox does or says to make them seem like approval.
  • Elliot tries to earn the approval of her father Simon. He is a doctor at another hospital, and she entered medicine to prove to him that she could be successful, even if she is a woman.
  • Ted often misinterprets what other people are saying as either praise, or as an insult due to his severely stunted self-esteem.
  • Janitor often sought the attention of "Blonde Doctor", and would go out his way to help her.
  • The Brain Trust members would always strive to please Janitor.

Underhill sucks up to Duncook ("Our New Girl-Bro")

Sucking Up

J.D.'s interns suck up. ("My Rite of Passage")

Sucking up is a form of blatant approval-seeking. Many characters are natural suck-ups, but others have to (sometimes painfully) force themselves to suck-up for personal or professional reasons.

Comedy Comedic TechniquesPratfallRecurring gagsSlow Motion GirlsNicknames
Drama Dramatic TechniquesMusic
Themes ApprovalEducationFamilyFriendshipLife and DeathLoveMentorshipRivalriesSex
Alternate realityBreaking the fourth wallClip showCultural referencesFantasiesFlashbacksJanitor storyMeta referencesNarratorsStory episodes e