- “I do what I do the way I do it and that's pretty much it.”— Janitor ("Our Meeting in the Broom Closet")
The Janitor was an unproductive custodian and handyman at Sacred Heart Hospital. He rarely actually performed the duties of his job, but rather spent his time plotting how to annoy J.D., on whom he performed many pranks. He was an avid liar, and nearly every story or anecdote he told people was a fabrication. He also led the Brain Trust group and seemed to be the leader of the custodial staff.
Janitor was married to "Lady" Williams, but for a long time was infatuated by "Blonde Doctor" Elliot Reid. He competed with Dr. Cox at times, but his biggest competition was from Dr. Kelso, who often bothered him about not doing his job. He was afraid of Carla, but occasionally pranked Turk.
Janitor was portrayed by Neil Flynn and appeared in 166 episodes of Scrubs as a main character for seven seasons. He first appeared in "My First Day" and was last seen in a flashback in "Our First Day of School", in which he simply walked out of the hospital after learning that J.D. was never returning to Sacred Heart.
At Sacred Heart
Janitor took great pleasure in making J.D.'s life as difficult as possible. He worked at Sacred Heart Hospital for 15 years, and in 2001, he revealed that he was 37 years old. ("My Mentor") He claimed to have been working at the hospital for a "long time" and looked distraught and upset when Dr. Maddox fired him, but he ultimately scammed the hospital into giving him his job back. ("My Jerks") ("My Happy Place") The Janitor admittedly hated everybody. ("My ABC's")
FamilyVery little about Janitor's family is known, because he told so many different stories about them, any of which could be true. He once joked that he was J.D.'s father. He had a father whom other hospital staff members saw; however, he later claimed that his father had died before he was born. ("My Words of Wisdom") When J.D protested, saying he had met his father, the Janitor replied, "You met a man." Janitor claimed to have grown up believing that his mother was his sister and his father was his brother; he called them "sister-mom" and "brother-dad". ("My Own American Girl") He said that his mother once snapped her index finger because his dad was late to church and that when she dented the car, his dad threw himself down the stairs ("My Point of No Return"). He had a stepmother who was Inuit. He claimed to have a deaf sister and a brother who was a stripper. He also claimed that he had a stepbrother named Cleet who was older than his parents, hit a mid-life crisis, fought with his father constantly and slept with his mother. He claimed he was married to a woman with only a pointer finger on one hand and thumb/pinky on the other. He complained that J.D. made him miss his son's (named Timmy) school play by making him work ("My First Step"), but later, he said that he did not have any children and didn't want any until medicine was advanced enough to make a child with gills, with whom he would go treasure hunting. Janitor also claimed on several occasions to have gone to China and had a baby with a local. In one of J.D.'s fantasies, he appeared in his son's school room on Career Day, presenting himself as Dr. Ján Ïtor.
Departure from Sacred Heart
After J.D. left Sacred Heart ("My Finale"), Janitor didn't initially believe it. He waited for him to return, but the next day, Turk confirmed to him that J.D. wasn't returning, and Janitor dropped his mop and left the hospital. Nobody heard from him again. ("Our First Day of School")
- Full list: List of Janitor's lies
- Full list: List of Janitor's pranks
- Full list: List of Janitor's temporary jobs
- Main article: Janitor story
Janitor was a wonderful liar and story teller, and could get nearly anyone to believe anything he said, even if they knew of his tendency toward dissembling. He fooled people into believing a variety of crazy stories, some of which turned out to be true. He proved that he was once a world-class 100-meter hurdler. ("My Bright Idea")
Janitor often did things that didn't quite line up with the normal flow of Sacred Heart. He appeared in nearly every episode of Scrubs from Season One to Season Eight, and many strange subplots were dedicated to or driven by him. Most of these were fueled by his vendetta against J.D. and his quest to prank him at every opportunity.
Janitor frequently tormented all of the employees at the hospital, especially J.D. The two exceptions were Carla, whom he appeared to fear, and Elliot, whom he had a crush on. However, after the death of Laverne, he went to the bar along with other staff members and bought a round of drinks for everyone.
Ever since the Janitor saw J.D. put a penny in a door, he devoted half his life to annoying him and playing pranks on him. He tormented J.D. daily, and took anything J.D. said to him as an insult about being nothing but a janitor. The Janitor also sometimes took it upon himself to give J.D. a reality check when he felt that J.D. was being smug, ("My New Game") ("My Jiggly Ball") ("My Identity Crisis"), claiming that J.D. "forces him to make his life miserable." ("My Own Worst Enemy") J.D. was Janitor's most common victim and was picked on by him nearly every day. Janitor understood J.D.'s profession and didn't get in the way of his job, but merely made things a little more difficult. Despite this, the two shared some unusual bonding moments over the years. For example, after thinking he saw Janitor in The Fugitive, J.D. received confirmation that Janitor had acted in the film: He admitted that he wanted the actor to be the Janitor because it would make him more human and show that he had used to have dreams and ambitions, even if they didn't work out, rather than just being a jerk. Janitor also helped J.D get to Kim's ultrasound, although this could be the result of Janitor's falling out of a fast-moving vehicle. The Janitor was willing to put aside his rivalry with J.D. when it was in the interest of others, such as when they worked together to help Ted get a girl (though this alliance ended when Ted got the girl). He was also willing to be kind to J.D. on occasion, such as when J.D.'s father died. It is discovered the Janitor can speak sign language, the Janitor helps J.D. speak with a deaf patient and his father, J.D. and the Janitor do not fight while they help the patient ("My Words of Wisdom")
Janitor married Ladinia Williams, who was referred to as "Lady", the only exception being during their wedding ceremony, when the Justice of the Peace called her by her full name. He wore sweaters, brought her flowers, and lied to her about his peculiarities. He tried to reveal who he was slowly so she would not freak out. They finally got married on vacation in the Bahamas, and she made him happy because she accepted him for who he really was. ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
To the annoyance of J.D., Janitor was very nice to Elliot and often helped her out when she was in trouble. Elliot appreciated this and called him "sweet". Janitor called her "Blonde Doctor" because he didn't actually know her name. He learned her name once while on a date, but then continued to refer to her as "Blonde Doctor". He proposed to her, but she didn't notice. ("My Unicorn")
Janitor didn't often speak to Turk, but when he did, he treated him much as he did J.D.
Carla & Other Nurses
Although Janitor rarely spoke to Carla or any other nurses, he could often be found around the reception area with all the nurses, suggesting that he liked being in that area and with them. He did occasionally talk with Carla, however, and as with Elliot, he often helped her out. He also found Carla very scary and rarely confronted her because of her rants, although he once tried to blackmail her into giving him her baby so he could sell it, and got the entire hospital staff to hate her after she refused to grant them favors on Kelso's behalf.
In the custodial society of Sacred Heart, he was seen as a leader, and the other custodians seemed to obey his every command. He also often worked with other hospital employees, such as Troy, to annoy J.D. His original Brain Trust was composed of maintenance staff, but over the years, the membership changed. He rarely did his actual job, but the other cleaning staff never complained, presumably out of fear.
Dr. Maddox didn't appreciate Janitor's pranks and began to question who he was. She asked him what his name was and got a very smug response. She then checked his name tag, and when she found it said "The Janitor", she fired him on the spot. ("My Jerks") When Dr. Cox was looking for ways to get Maddox fired, Janitor helped. After she was gone, he got his old job back simply by showing up. ("My Saving Grace") ("My Happy Place")
Although Dr. Cox didn't respect Janitor for his profession, they often shared moments together. Janitor was one of the few people who didn't fear Dr. Cox. Both Janitor and Dr. Cox seemed to be annoyed by J.D., with Janitor even helping Dr. Cox catch J.D., and they shared their thoughts sometimes. They didn't talk much inside the hospital, to keep up the Janitor's street cred, but they were bar buddies for a while. They were both experts on "hating people" and seemed to have a mutual respect for this fact. ("My ABC's") According to Carla, both of them were "borderline psychotics who hate everyone".
- Taxidermy (especially squirrels)
- "Blonde Doctor"
- Floors (he thinks of them as his children and has given them names)
- Tormenting J.D and others at Sacred Heart
- Vanning ("My Best Laid Plans")
- Hibbleton ("My Ocardial Infarction")
- His old mop
- Breaking and entering
- The adrenaline rush from lying to someone's face ("His Story III")
- Honey Bunny sandwiches ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
- Legal Custodians
- Brain Trust
- Scooter pie
- Banana Hammocks
- Being called stupid
- Not having his own office ("My New Role")
- Audrey Hepburn ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
- Being called "Jumpsuit" (His uniform is not a jumpsuit, it's a shirt and pants.)
- People named Josh ("My Manhood")
- Being stared at while eating
- Full list: Janitor's nicknames
Besides his catalogue of alter-egos, Janitor is bestowed upon many nicknames. Few people know his real name, and others either call him "Janitor" or a nickname.
- He is called "jumpsuit" by many people because he wears an outfit that looks like a jumpsuit.
- Because he is tall, people call him height-related nicknames such as "Lurch", "Stretch", "Big Monkey" and "Jolly Green". He was once called "Giant Man" by a little girl at the playground while taking incriminating pictures of Dr. Cox and Jack, which he showed Jordan as revenge (S04E21).
- People call him many custodial-related nicknames including "Sir Mops-a-Lot" and "Moppenstein".
- Just once, when he says "Hey Ellen" to a staff member, she replies "Hey Kitty" (S03E16)
- Ephraim (Stuttering alter ego)
- Klaus (German alter ego)
- Nigel (British alter ego)
- Roscoe (Fake Brother)
- Unnamed character afraid to go back to prison ("My Saving Grace")
- Dr. Ján Ïtor
- Dr. Elliot Reid ("My Female Trouble")
- Tommy ("My Finale")
- It is revealed in the DVD commentary that if Scrubs wasn't renewed for a second season (something the creators were almost sure would happen), it would've been revealed in the Season One finale - "My Last Day" - that The Janitor was a figment of J.D.'s imagination. Note that in Season One, the Janitor only occasionally interacted with characters other than J.D.
- The Janitor changed the address in his files to 0001 Cemetery Drive because the character Lurch in the Addams Family lived there because Dr. Kelso calls him "Lurch".
- Claims to have the ability to sense when squirrels are afraid and when people don't mind talking to him in "His Story III".
- The Janitor has many strange hobbies and skills, and one of the biggest is taxidermy. This is especially true when it comes to squirrels, as he is shown to have a gigantic squirrel army at one point in the series, although he says later in the episode he traded them all for a stuffed dog, Steven. He apparently lost his taxidermy license after killing all the squirrels that were in the vicinity of the hospital.
- He can speak sign language, Spanish, and Korean.
- The Janitor has a key to everything in the Hospital, and mainly uses his keys to break into personnel files, having already seen Dr. Kelso's, Dr. Cox's, Jordan's, as well as having seen J.D.'s paycheck.
- Much like Dr. Cox, the Janitor also refers to staff members by nicknames. The Janitor's nicknames for people are often descriptive phrases, such as Blonde Doctor (Elliot), Incredibly Handsome Guy (Keith), Irritable Townswoman of Color (Dr. Cox's fantasy representation of Nurse Shirley in "My Princess"), or Supposedly Straight Surgeon (Todd).
- In the episode "My Identity Crisis", J.D. has to learn everyone in the hospitals name as a bet to The Janitor, which he thinks he does. But then Janitor puts a picture of himself up and J.D. says, "No one knows your name".
- The Janitor is also revealed to start his day with a bath on top of Sacred Heart. He is also able to distribute four-story atomic wedgies, which he does to Todd.
- Janitor has a knack for carrying out his off-the-wall ideas, such as the newspaper entitled the Janitorial, and getting everyone to call J.D., the "co-chief resident" in Season Four.
- He claims not to believe in the moon, and suspects it is simply the other side of the sun.
- The Janitor has mentioned that he went to Harvard in the episode "My Brother, Where Art Thou?" while also saying he went to Yale in "My Déjà vu, My Déjà vu".
- Janitor did not appear in the episodes "My Lucky Day", "My Last Words" (the days after he was fired) and "My Absence", among others.
- When the Janitor was a baby, his mother would sometimes leave his crib in the driveway and on one incident, a marble fountain fell on him. (This coincidentally also happened to Ted)
- The Janitor claims to not be in "the line of peons" that fear Dr. Cox, and has pranked him on a few occasions, but in "My Choosiest Choice of All" it seems as though he fears him.
- He claims to have a brother who is a stripper. ("My Rite of Passage")
- He also claims that he thought his Grandmother was his mother, as his sister who was actually his mother.
- The aforementioned penny in the door is suspected to be another fabrication made up by the Janitor; a quick enough eye will catch that the year said penny was minted (which he wears around his neck) in 2006, postdating the incident by roughly six years.
- In "My Last Day", the same door with that was jammed with the penny, is jammed again, and a new intern suggests that the jam may be caused by a paper clip. If the door had been jammed by a paper clip, this intern would've possibly been tormented throughout his entire career at Sacred Heart by the Janitor, much like J.D. had.
- It turns out that deep down the Janitor actually likes J.D., even confessing in "My Finale" that if J.D. confessed to accidently jamming the door with the penny, they could have been friends.
- It is hinted at in "My Identity Crisis" that the reason for Janitor's actions may be a result of inhaling cleaning fluid fumes regularly.
- Janitor has made reference to children many times, however this may be another one of his stories, or he may be widowed.
- He has a tattoo of a mop, though it is never seen, but mentioned by JD when he asks "who gets a tattoo of a mop?" upon watching the janitor get undressed and into a new uniform.
- In "Our Meeting in the Broom Closet" it is revealed that he has a secret room in one of the broom closets of Sacred Heart which has a desk that contains assorted office supplies, a TV on the wall, and some cleaning supplies.
- During Season Eight, Bill Lawrence promised to tie up loose storylines as it was assumed Scrubs wouldn't return. He promised to give Janitor a real name and in interviews provided one hint: that it was the same as his character in Clone High.
- In "My Finale", Janitor revealed that his name is "Glen Matthews". It was assumed this was a lie because an orderly calls him "Tommy" seconds later.
- On April 8, 2011 Bill Lawrence posted a video on Facebook confirming that Janitor's real name is "Glen Matthews".
- Previous Theories:
- Many fans speculated that the Janitor's name was Neil Flynn, as he admitted to playing the role of a cop in The Fugitive, a part played by Neil Flynn in real life.
- J.D. was the first person to discover that Janitor was in The Fugitive, but seemingly never considered the possibility of looking through the movie's credits to find the Janitor's real name.
- In "My Conventional Wisdom" he told a coffee bar worker how he got his name. After he finished the barista said "you don't look Asian". The viewers don't hear the name and the story so it might be another alter ego.
- In "My Buddy's Booty" a man congratulating the Janitor for making a joke appeared to have said "Nice one Tom," yet he actually said "Nice, you tell 'em."
- According to "Scrubs: The Complete Collection", Bill Lawrence answers a fan question about Janitors real name. The response is Josh, for J(anitor) O(f) S(acred) H(eart), but Bill Lawrence immediately states that he made that up on the spot, seemingly referring to the acronym, but not necessarily.
- In an interview dated 8/20/2009, Bill Lawrence stated that nobody really knows Janitor's real name.
- This was contradicted in his later Facebook and Twitter posts and videos.
- → See and enjoy 261 pictures of Janitor at Images of Janitor.