I've been making out with a married man while his sick child slept a few feet away. Oh my god! I've become my mother!Elliot

My Big Bird is the eighth episode of Scrubs' fifth season. Turk and J.D. try to get a thank you out of Mr. Sutton (Jason Bateman) who's life was saved by J.D.. Carla convinces people to all put in money for joint lottery tickets. Elliot accidentally kisses a man thinking he was single, but is then chased around the hospital by his wife.


5x8 J.D. and Turk screaming

J.D. and Turk are stalked by ostriches.

J.D. is proud to have saved a patient, Mr. Sutton. After escorting Sutton out of the hospital J.D. hoped he would be thanked but wasn't. This nagging feeling distracts J.D. from another patient; Mr. Foster, who comes to the hospital complaining of coughing and shortness of breath. Dr. Cox believes its a simple case of pertussis as Foster mentions he has recently been on a trip to India and Foster's radiology scans are clear, but J.D. has him stay for more tests. Foster dies and Dr. Kelso calls for a Morbidity and Mortality conference to discover how Foster died and to blame the doctor who screwed up. J.D., Turk, Elliot and Carla, are in the focus of the interrogation and each go through the sequence of events that led to Foster's death in reverse.

5x8-Garbageman hug

J.D. hugs a garbageman

J.D. and a reluctant Turk go to Mr. Sutton's house in an effort to get a thank-you. After narrowly escaping Sutton's pet ostriches, Turk leaves for the hospital without J.D. and J.D. asks again for Sutton to thank him, but he still refuses as J.D. was only doing his job. As a garbage man, Sutton is never thanked for doing his job and believes no-one deserves that courtesy from him. J.D. is left realizing how under-appreciated people really feel.

5x8-Where's that whore

Elliot hides from Millie.

Elliot is caught making out with a patient, Jimmy, who she thought was a widower when he said his wife was "no longer with us". Later that day, Jimmy's wife Millie comes to the hospital and realized Jimmy meant Millie was simply out of town. Elliot ends her relationship with Jimmy, but he then confesses what he did with Elliot to Millie (possibly lying and leaving out the fact that Elliot thought she was dead). Millie promptly screams "Whore!" at Elliot and begins to hunt her down. Elliot is given care of Foster, but is too busy to take care of him as she is still hiding from Millie. In the end, Elliot decides to stop running and confronts Millie, saying it was a simple misunderstanding. Keith asks for Carla to be called in to take care of Foster due to Elliot being pursued by Millie, but she is too busy prepping the staff for the lottery. Care of Foster goes to Cox, but wasn't on call and at home, leaving no-one to take care of Foster.

5x8-I'm a whore

Elliot is bound, gagged and stuck to the hospital wall

The doctors and interns remember how Foster died. The intern team tried several methods to save Mr. Foster when he began crashing, but Foster slowly died. Being the on-call surgeon, Turk was paged, (by Keith after Carla told him to page him) when Foster's health began to fail, but was stuck in traffic. J.D. was busy waiting for his garbage man to show up to collect his trash so he could thank him (because Mr. Sutton was a garbageman and asked J.D. "How often do you think I get thanked?") and Carla (along with Ted, Janitor, and all of the other nurses) was busy watching the lottery. Elliot (who was supposed to cover for J.D.) was gagged, and taped to a wall outside the hospital entrance by Millie with a sign saying "HI! I'M A WHORE!!!".

5x8-Doug exonerates gang

Doug saves the day

Doug arrives from the morgue with Foster's autopsy report and informs the conference on his fate: Foster died of a pulmonary embolism caused by the long plane ride from India. This should have been noticed on the radiology scans, leaving Dr. Flannerly, the radiologist-on-call to take the heat and the gang off the hook. That evening the gang are celebrating, toasting "To bad radiologists!" but before anyone can take a drink Dr. Cox arrives and coldly reminds them that they got off lucky and can never lose focus with any of their patients. The gang, having realized that while none of them caused Foster's death they all neglected him while he was at the hospital, suddenly can't celebrate and leave without drinking the beer. The next day, the gang are back at work treating patients. This time they each have a "ghost" of Mr. Foster following them representing that they must carry their mistakes with them to avoid repeating them.

Recurring Themes


5x8-Pregnant Turk

A pregnant Turk

5x8-Mazel Tov

Elliot's Jewish wedding

  • Ted asks Carla what she would do with $100,000,000 and she says she would spend it on giving Turk a male pregnancy.
  • Carla asks Janitor "what would you do with $100,000,000?" The Janitor then has a fantasy of owning a trained shark, so he can invite JD over and have it attack him.
  • When Carla asks J.D. the same question, he responds with the floating-head doctor fantasy.
  • Elliot dreams of spending her share of the lotto winnings on a Jewish Robot husband.
  • Dr. Cox spends his share on a glass box to keep Jordan in, complete with hammer to smash the box in case of "sex emergency".


  • Technically, the majority of this episode is a flashback focusing on the events leading to Mr. Foster's death.

Janitor story

Janitor is asked by Carla what he would do with $100,000,000 - and he thinks of getting trained shark, so he can attack J.D. with it. He then pitches in money for lottery tickets after being persuaded by Carla, but unfortunately they lose.

Episode Running Gags

5x8-Shoe Shopping

Shoe shopping

  • Male staff members zone out whenever a female mentions "shoe shopping," a ploy which all females use to distract men; they can be snapped back to reality by saying a random sexual phrase. Dr. Cox is immune to this, due to Jordan having used the "shoe shopping" line repeatedly in the past.
  • Turk's cell phone ringtone is Beethoven's 5th Symphony, which goes off at inappropriate times. Turk answers his phone and says "Mom, not now!"
  • J.D. and Turk each get kicked through Mr. Sutton's window by the ostriches.

Guest Stars

5x8-Mr. Sutton

Jason Bateman as Mr. Sutton

  • Jason Bateman as Mr. Sutton
  • Allison Smith as Millie Brown
  • Jordan Murphy as the Robot Groom
  • Peter Jacobson as Mr. Foster
  • Valentino J. Ferreira as a Cop
  • David Doty as Priest
  • Gerald Downey as Jimmy
  • Michael Learned as Mrs. Wilk
  • Tia Easley as Elliot's Intern
  • James R. McMann as Dr. Terry Flannerly


5x8-Losing the lottery

Ted, Carla and the Janitor, among others, lose the lottery

I'm a garbage man. How many times a day do you think I get thanked?Mr. Sutton

You're off by about six.


Dude, don't sweat it - It says here that the ostrich is generally a docile creature.Turk

Thank God!J.D.
It also says their kick can kill a man!

Hey Carla, did you hear the lottery's up to a hundred million? If I win that baby it's separate beds for me and my mum!Ted

Yeah, and you could spend the other $99,999,000 on therapy!Carla

Why ostriches?J.D.

They're such majestic creatures, don't you think? And, you know, they're kind of like my children. Plus, I make belts out of their necks.Mr. Sutton

I gotta admit he looks pretty phat in your kangol.J.D.

Sorry I’m late. I got the keys to my Miata stuck in the cadaver.Doug

Hey, Dr. Cox. You wanna put in for some lottery tickets?Carla

Oh gosh, Carla! I would, I really would! But you see, I already set fire to a big pile of money just this morning!Dr. Cox


  • Jason Bateman and Zach Braff appeared on each other's sitcom. Zach appeared in Arrested Development and Jason appeared in this episode of Scrubs. Braff and Bateman also co-starred in the film The Ex.
  • When Perry tells Ted to set the time for 10 seconds, Ted actually counts to 14 seconds.
  • In Perry's rant about "Things that Have a better chance of happening than you winning the lottery", one of the things he has time to list is Britney Spears having another hit record. Ironically in 2007, a year after this season, Britney's album Blackout was released and Spears has had three #1 hits since this episode first aired.
  • The ostriches are a reference to the comedy film 'Dude, Wheres My Car'.
  • Peter Jacobson, who plays the patient Mr Foster, would later appear as Dr. Chris Taub, a plastic surgeon on the TV medical drama House M.D.
  • While she is hiding from the wife of the man she kissed, Elliot tells Keith to go tend to Mr Foster. She is leaning against the door he needs to exit, and yet somehow Keith apparently manages to leave the room without her moving.
  • When Doug and Ted are trying to straighten the patient with rigor mortis and Ted flies into the window, it can be clearly seen that the patient's legs are moving and that he is alive.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Floating Head Doctor.
  • When Jason Bateman's character Mr. Sutton gets up from the wheelchair in the beginning of the episode, you can see the camera crew in the reflection on the sliding glass door.

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