One of the very first fantasies in Scrubs is J.D. imagining marrying and having a happy married life with Elliot. ("My First Day")

In Scrubs, the concept of family is examined in many episodes. Some characters struggle for acceptance from their family, while others struggle to accept their embarrassing families. Similar to the search for love and approval, the concept of a family is something most characters strive for, or at least have a basic need for. Throughout the series, many families were formed through marriage, and several children were born.

Families in Scrubs

3x14 Sullivan family 9x1 Pregnant Elliot My Soul on Fire, Part 2
Cox & Sullivan Dorian & Reid Janitor
3x5 Baxter My Best Friend's Wedding
Kelso Turk & Espinosa



My Old Man

J.D.'s father Sam Dorian visits. ("My Old Man")

Main article: J.D. & Dorian and Reid families
  • J.D. doesn't have a strong bond with his mother Barbara because she left him and Dan with their father when J.D. was just a child.
  • J.D. is embarrassed by his brother Dan because he is an underachiever, but their dynamic shifts to jealous when Dan gets his life together. ("My Big Brother") ("My Inconvenient Truth")
  • Sam, J.D.'s father, was loving toward his sons, but J.D. also was embarrassed by him. J.D. realized that although Sam was down on his luck, he didn't try to burden J.D. with his problems and reconciled with his father's lack of success. ("My Old Man")


3x9 Elliot Lily poolside

A young Elliot and her mother Lily Reid ("My Dirty Secret")

Main article: Elliot Reid & Dorian and Reid families
  • Elliot has a large family, and uses stories of her various family members to connect to others or to other circumstances.
  • Elliot often recounts occasions her mother Lily did things that ruined her childhood.
  • Born into a family of doctors, Elliot must prove herself to her father Simon. She eventually asserts her independence but is cut off financially.


3x6 Marco at funeral

Carla and Marco at their mother's funeral. ("My Advice to You")

Main article: Carla Espinosa & Turk and Espinosa families
  • Carla's family and heritage are very important to her. Her mother, although bossy and loud, was loved by Carla until she passed away.
  • Carla's siblings are protective of one another. Her brother Marco and her sisters Gabriella and Maria stand up for each other and never fully appreciated Turk for marrying their sister.


2x15 Turk proposes

Turk proposes to Carla. ("His Story")

Main article: Christopher Turk & Turk and Espinosa families
  • Chris' older brother Kevin Turk seems to be a loving brother, but rarely visits his brother. He did not make it to his brother's wedding. (Note: This is likely because the actor, D.L. Hughley, could not commit to the episode.)
  • Chris' mother Margaret Turk is loving and protective of her son.

Dr. Cox & Jordan


Ted re-divorces Perry and Jordan. ("My New Game")

Main article: Perry Cox & Jordan Sullivan & Cox and Sullivan families
  • Although he is rough on the outside and gives off the impression that he is self sufficient, Dr. Cox eventually realizes he has a need to settle down with Jordan, and their two children solidify this idea.
  • They do not like being legally or technically married, and decide to re-divorce each other when they find out their papers never went through. However, they do start wearing their wedding rings again when Dr. Cox becomes the Chief of Medicine. ("My New Game") ("My Nah Nah Nah")
  • Perry's short patience holds true for his sister Paige Cox. He doesn't like talking to her due to her fervor toward religion. ("My New God")

Dr. Kelso


The closest we ever see of Enid Kelso. ("My Urologist")

Main article: Robert Kelso & Kelso family
  • Dr. Kelso often talks about how much he hates his wife Enid Kelso. Sometimes on the phone, he is sweet to her. Most likely, he is rude when talking to her for the same reason he is rude at all other times: the hospital has hardened him.
  • Dr. Kelso's son, Harrison Kelso, often does things that Dr. Kelso does not approve of, but he still loves his son and accepts how he lives his life.



Janitor and his "father" talk. ("My Old Man")

Main article: Janitor & Janitor's family
  • Since very little is actually known about Janitor, little is known about his family. He often makes up stories about his parents or siblings.
  • Once, a man who claimed to be his father visited Sacred Heart. He had similar tenancies to Janitor, but was also hard on Janitor. ("My Old Man")
  • Janitor shows his need for a family by falling in love with and marrying Ladinia Williams.

See Also

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

Dorian & ReidKelsoCox & SullivanTurk & EspinosaJanitor's family

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