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 a girl who is stuck in an MRI machine, and she turns out to be hot. However, their date ends with Dr. Cox paging J.D. back to the hospital. Later, at the cafeteria, J.D. stares at the girl, Alex. They say that they could always have a date at the hospital, but Alex wants one that ends with either a kiss or breakfast the morning after.

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 J.D. is busy trying to diagnose one of his patients. Dr. Kelso makes Dr. Cox do rounds, and while doing so, Dr. Cox tells the interns not to let Dr. Kelso scare them.

J.D. finally diagnoses his patient, and he and Dr. Cox work late to treat him. J.D. shows up 80 minutes late for his date with Alex and finds that she has already left. He tries to apologize, but Alex dumps him. 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. She also says she has sabotaged a lot of relationships by never talking things out with the guy she's seeing. Dr. Kelso does rounds and finds that the interns are no longer afraid of him, no matter how hard he tries to scare them. Even Ted is no longer afraid of him.

J.D. later finds Alex on a date with another guy and begs for a second chance, but she declines. 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. Cox provokes Dr. Kelso. They get into an argument, and the old order is restored.

Later that day, Carla tells Elliot that she can give herself an orgasm by sitting on top of a washing machine. J.D., sitting in his patient's room, gets paged to "turn around", and Alex is there with a picnic basket. They kiss and have a romantic picnic dinner on the floor of the hospital.

Recurring themes

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


Dr. Kelso is Carrot Top.


  • Elliot laying a brick.
  • Dr. Kelso removes his face and is shown to be 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.
  • 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.
  • Carla and Elliot start talking about Carla not having an orgasm before J.D. tells Dr. Cox that he thinks Mr. Yeager has kuru. Nonetheless, their conversation is still at the same point when the scene shifts to J.D. being 80 minutes late to his date with Alex.
  • 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.

Title explanation

J.D. tries to balance work and his new girlfriend, Alex.

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