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So, when I saw you in the hall this morning and I said, "How's your penis?" and you didn't want to talk about it...Todd

"My Balancing Act" is the thirteenth episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D. tries to develop his relationship with Alex, but Dr. Cox keeps paging him back to the hospital. Turk and Carla are having sexual problems. Dr. Cox tells the interns not to be afraid of Dr. Kelso.


J.D. ruins Janitor's dinner.

J.D. asks out Alex Hanson when she is stuck in an MRI machine, and she turns out to be very attractive. However, their date ends with Dr. Cox paging J.D. back to the hospital. Later, Alex and J.D. discussing having a date at the hospital, but Alex wants one that ends with either a kiss or breakfast the morning after. They agree to meet at a restaurant that evening.

J.D. finally diagnoses his patient and decides to stay and help Dr. Cox with the treatment, causing him to show up 80 minutes late for his date with Alex, finding that she has already left. The next morning at the hospital he tries to apologize, but Alex dumps him. That evening he finds her on a date with another man and decides to ask her for another chance, confessing that he's been so obsessed with his medical career he's forgotten how to be a responsible partner. After Alex declines, J.D. waits with a patient in their room and is surprised by Alex. They kiss and have a romantic picnic dinner on the floor of the hospital.

Meanwhile, Turk and Carla are having a sexual problem. Elliot knows something is bothering Carla, but Carla is reluctant to confide in her. Turk wants to tell J.D. about the problem, but has to discuss with The Todd instead. Carla finally tells Elliot that she didn't have an orgasm while having sex with Turk. Elliot responds that she has never had an orgasm herself, but has sabotaged a lot of relationships by never talking things out with the guy she's seeing. Later that evening, Elliot attempts to give herself an orgasm atop a washing machine, miles away Carla and Turk talk through their problems. Carla tells Turk that she worries about the future. Turk tells Carla that he doesn't, and he says that is why they are perfect: he keeps them present in the moment, and she keeps an eye out for things ahead.

Dr. Kelso makes Dr. Cox do rounds, and while doing so Dr. Cox tells the interns not to let Dr. Kelso scare them. Dr. Kelso returns to conducting rounds and finds that no one around the hospital is afraid of him, including his usual punching bag Ted. Dr. Kelso slinks around the hospital as a shell of his former self until Dr. Cox provokes him into an argument restoring Kelso's fury and fear.

Recurring themes

     More: FantasiesFlashbacksJ.D.'s girl namesJanitor's pranks and lies

Dr. Kelso is Carrot Top.



  • Dr. Cox being "coerced by the forces of evil" (Dr. Kelso) to do rounds. Kelso doesn't want to do rounds because he is sleeping.

Janitor story

Janitor thinks that J.D. is staring at him rather than Alex, takes offense, and is so uncomfortable that he can't eat his lunch anymore. A similar scene occurs later on at a restaurant.

J.D.'s girl names

  • Lillian
  • Clarabelle

Guest Stars


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "New Slang" by The Shins


My therapist thinks my trouble in bed stems from a basic fear of intimacy. But I just think it's just because any type of repetitive motion makes me nauseous. Oh, and since I was a little kid, I've always had nightmares about being crushed.Elliot

That poor shrink.Carla

Hey, uh, Alex, I am so sorry, but I went to the restaurant, I guess I just missed you. And then I— I called your house, but there was no answer. And then I actually stopped by your house, and I guess you didn't see me — which was sort of odd, 'cause I was standing next to the pizza guy while you were paying him...J.D.

I hate smiling.Dr. Kelso


  • For the first time (and probably the only), Dr. Cox calls Doug Murphy by his name for the remainder of the series he refers to him as "nervous guy".
  • It is revealed that Elliot never had an orgasm before this episode, although in a later episode, she mentions that college classmates joked about her "orgasm face", which cannot be true if she never had one.
  • Just before J.D. tells Dr. Cox he thinks Mr. Yeager has kuru, Jim Coari (who plays Mr. Yeager) is opening and closing his mouth (probably because of the discomfort caused by the tube in his mouth).
  • Kuru is a progressive neurological disorder that occurs primarily in the Fore natives who live in the New Guinea highlands.
  • Dr. Cox quotes "the zebra rule" ("If you hear hoof beats, assume horses, not zebras") from the book House of God by Samuel Shem.
  • In the ending scene in which J.D. and Alex make their peace, the elevator's light indicates it's on the third floor, but the plate on the wall beside Alex reads "2ND FLOOR SOUTH".
  • The song "New Slang" by The Shins (which played at the end of this episode) is also played in Garden State, the 2004 movie that Zach Braff starred in, wrote, directed, and chose the music for.
  • Dr. Cox says, "I assumed that you were afraid of missing Judging Amy", alluding to the CBS legal drama.
  • Turk's saying "I love you" like Astro is a reference to the dog from The Jetsons, which first aired in 1962.