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[J.D.] isn't coming in today. He's on a mini-vacation and it isn't just today, he's not coming in tomorrow, which by the way is my day off but not anymore. I am coming in early and I'm staying late because life is too darn short to spend the day bonding with my family when I could be roaming the halls of this hospital without the possibility of running into that bearded hug monster you call a best friend.Dr. Cox

"My Absence" is the ninth episode of Scrubs' eighth season. J.D. is away on a vacation, which makes Elliot miss him and Dr. Cox happy. Carla tells Turk that she is pregnant again, but nobody is excited except for him. Sunny doesn't find any help when she tries to keep a brain-dead patient alive.


Dr. Cox tells the interns a patient is hopeless.

Callous Carla

While leading rounds, Dr. Cox makes fun of Denise and is annoyed by Sunny. He shows them a patient who is in a coma, and tells the interns that he does not care about the patient because he is "a potato." Later, Sunny tries to ask Cox for help in keeping the patient alive because his sister is coming from England to say goodbye, but Dr. Cox tells her again that he does not care, but she should ask Carla. Carla replies that she will try. As he is leaving, he notices that Sunny is all by herself tending to the patient. Cox then stops by Carla's apartment and tells her that she has upset him by not caring for the patients anymore. The next day, Sunny is tired and craving some dopamine, which she accidentally gave herself. Carla realizes that she is not caring anymore, and decides to stay after her shift to help Sunny.

Carla and Elliot celebrate Carla's pregnancy.

Pregnant Carla

Meanwhile, Carla reveals to Turk that she is pregnant again. Turk tries to find J.D., but he is on vacation for two days. He can't find anybody who is enthusiastic about his second child, so he lies to Stephanie and tells her that it will be his first child. When Stephanie sings him a song, Carla overhears and tells Stephanie that it is not their first, which infuriates Stephanie. Later, Ted, who has been showing off Stephanie to everyone at the hospital, warns Turk of her rage. She yells at him and he apologizes.

Kelso talks sense into Elliot.

Lonely Elliot

Elliot and Denise are treating a patient, Peggy Townesend, who has pneumonia. Kelso tells them some tests to run on her, and tells the doctors that he is an old friend of hers. Kelso immediately likes Denise's spunk. Some time later, Peggy dies. This comes as a shock to Elliot since it was a simple diagnosis and she should have recovered. Kelso explains to her that she was ready to die because her husband had already passed on. Elliot, who has constantly been texting and talking to J.D. on her cell phone, tells Kelso that she will never be like that, to which he replies that she already is. The next day, Elliot does not answer J.D.'s calls and demands an apology. In the cafeteria, Kelso tells Elliot that it is a good thing to get that emotionally attached to something, especially if it makes them happy. Elliot then calls J.D. and over speakerphone he narrates how change happens to everybody, but who we really are never changes.

Ted and Gooch are happy.

Guest Stars

Kate Micucci as Stephanie Gooch


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Last Salutation" by Randy Coleman


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I like her, she's got girl balls.Dr. Kelso

That old broad an' her dead husband got my engine raving, too. I need some action. Luckily, cheeseburger day at the caf' really brings out the fatties.Denise

Denise likes the big fellas.Elliot [to Ted]
Oh, check out the ripples on that gentleman. Ouh, it's like somebody threw a boulder in a pond. Fat dudes rule - they never expect commitment and they try so hard in the sack.

Plus, they're just so grateful afterwards.
Well, I'm just gonna put this [cheeseburger] out here for bait, and see what ambles out of the forest...

J.D. was sitting in that exact chair when we had our third kiss.Elliot

Oh, that's very romantic. I will try not to drill any more farts into it.Dr. Kelso

Carla, if you're going to get upset every time your husband does something stupid, then you're going to be upset every second of every minute, and every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, every day...Dr. Cox

I was prepared to go to century.Dr. Cox

Can a brother get at least a mazal tov?Turk

I wish I was emotionally healthy enough to love someone so much that I died after they did. I was with that dude last night. The only way I'm gonna die after him is if he had a heart attack while he was on top of me... crap, I just turned myself on.Denise

Relationships are all about taking the leap of faith. That's why it's called "jumping in.Dr. Kelso

Look. Sooner or later, everybody in this place stops caring about hopeless, terminally ill, braindead coma patients and interns who want so save the world. You somehow managed to hang on quite a bit longer than the rest of us. Carla, you are a wonderful nurse, you got a husband, plus you got a kid, plus you got another kid coming. It was completely unfair of me to expect more of you than anyone else in this dump. Now, brace yourself, 'cause here it comes: I - Percival Ulysses Cox - am sorry.Dr. Cox



  • Dr. Cox's middle name, Ulysses, is revealed in this episode.
  • Zach Braff and Neil Flynn do not appear in this episode. There is no usual narration, but J.D. does provide his opinion over Elliot's cell phone's speakerphone.
  • Sonja Dey makes her first non-webisode appearance.
  • Ted mentions that Gooch is his first girlfriend, however, earlier in the series it is mentioned that he used to have a wife.
    • He also mentions having a Junior High girlfriend in Season Four, explaining to Janitor (while helping him to win over Elliot in a bet against Dr. Cox) that he got his girlfriend in Junior High by getting her best friend to like him, by posing as her dad so she could rent a car. ("My Best Laid Plans")
  • When Elliot puts her cellphone in Dr. Cox's lab coat, she puts it in his left pocket, though Dr. Cox finds it in his right pocket.