- “I guess I came over here to tell you how proud of you I am. Not because you did the best you could for those patients... but because after 20 years of being a doctor, when things go badly, you still take it this hard. And I gotta tell you man, I mean, that’s the kind of doctor I want to be.”— J.D.
"My Fallen Idol" is the twenty-first episode of Scrubs' fifth season. Friends try to cheer up Dr. Cox after the accidental death of several patients on his watch but J.D. refuses to see Dr. Cox after he sees Cox at work drunk. Meanwhile, Turk can't connect with an extremely extroverted surgeon, Dr. Stone.
Dr. Cox shows up to work drunk after the death of three patients. ("My Lunch") Carla convinced the others that as a family they have to be there for Dr. Cox. Carla, Turk, Jordan, Dr. Kelso, Elliot, and even Keith unsuccessfully take turns trying to get him out of severe depression. When it's J.D.'s turn to sit with him, he backs out at the last minute. He infuriates Carla and Elliot when he refuses to go see Dr. Cox, forcing Carla to send The Worthless Peons, who sing "Put on a happy face" and the Todd, who tries sex humor, instead. J.D. justifies his decision because he can't deal with doctors who drink on the job.
J.D. is ultimately the one to pull Dr. Cox out of his depression, after realizing why he really didn't want to see his mentor. He goes to Dr. Cox's apartment and tells him that he knows Dr. Cox wanted him to show up earlier even though he would never admit it. He also reveals that he tried to convince himself that he didn't come over because Dr. Cox had shown up to work drunk. But that really wasn't the reason. J.D. was scared. He admits that after all these years he still sees Dr. Cox as some type of superhero who will help him out of any situation he's in. And that he needed that. He admits that is his own problem, not Dr. Cox's, and that he'll deal with that.
J.D. also reveals that he came over to also tell Dr. Cox that he was proud of him. Not because he did the best he could for those patients, but because after 20 years of being a doctor when things go badly he still takes it this hard. J.D. sincerely admits that is the kind of doctor he wants to be. This admission has a significant impact on Dr. Cox.
Later on while gathered in a bar with everyone else, a visibly happier Dr. Cox makes a point to go up to J.D. in private and thank him using his actual name, rather than a girl's name as he usually does.
Meanwhile, Turk has a problem with the new surgical attending; Dr Stone, an Orthopedic Surgeon, stereotyped to be the most jockish surgeons around (much to Turk's liking), is actually quite the opposite, too much for Turk's comfort. J.D. on attempting to assist Turk initially points out that Dr. Stone is a "Sensie", or sensitive guy, like J.D., but eventually concludes that Dr. Stone is a "nut job" as he has seven kids with six ex-wives and is currently separated from his current pregnant wife.
- J.D. as a pilgrim burying a 12 year old.
- J.D. imagines that a patient called 'Donkey-Boy' actually has a donkey's head.
- J.D. performs a public service announcement on Münchausen Syndrome.
- J.D. tries to hug Turk to celebrate their favorite team winning the World Series only for Turk to flip him over.
- Elliot notes that when she wants to get away, she goes to a field, but gets hit by a sky-diver parachuting into the area. She later ends up making out with the guy.
- After J.D. refuses to spend time with Dr. Cox, Carla sends Ted's band and the Todd in his place.
The Janitor discusses ways to make Turk cry, while doing so he produces a "knife-wrench". As he walks away he tries to pocket the knife-wrench, and manages to stab himself. He then uses the knife wrench against J.D. instead of Turk.
Episode Running Gags
- Turk has a reflex where he flips people over when they try to hug him, doing it to J.D. in a flashback, and then later to Dr. Stone.
- Paul Adelstein as Dr. Stone
- Philip McNiven as Roy
- George Miserlis as Crispin
- Paul F. Perry as Randall
- Lo Ming as Dr. Kim
- Christina Miles as Gloria
- Andrew Miller as Jack Cox
- Rowbie Orsatti as Pilgrim Kid
- Mike Peebler as Male Patient
- Brad Sachs as Male Patient #2
- Paul Shively as Mr. Ketay
- Randall Keenan Winston as Leonard
- Jordan Zucker as Lisa
- Ryan Braun as Intern
- Hayden Bromberg as Another Kid
- "Something Else" by Gary Jules
- "Winter" by Joshua Radin (changed in the DVD version)
- "Put On A Happy Face" from 'Bye Bye Birdie'
- “Why is there an intern in my bathroom? It's not my birthday!”— Jordan
- “Knife-wrench! Practical and Safe.”— Janitor
- “Knife-wrench! For Kids.”— Janitor
- “When my brother Barry came out of the closet my parents sent him to hetero camp.”— Elliot
- “Newbie, give me a little trouble, I'm having some help here...”— Dr. Cox
- “Daddy drinks a lot.”— Jack Cox
- “J.D., thank you.”— Dr. Cox
- “Hello, Perry. I don't really know why I'm here, but Nurse Espinosa said if I didn't swing by, she would stop coming over to my house and giving instructions to my pool boy. He speaks perfect English, but he doesn't have any front teeth, so I can never look at him without laughing. Heh, heh, heh. Anyway, I don't know what she expects me to say to you. I mean, all you do is bust my ass day in and day out. I guess you -- you keep me in line on those rare occasions when I lose sight of things. You could say we balance each other out pretty well. Whew. Perry, the hospital needs you. I need you. What the hell are you doing?”— Dr. Kelso to Dr. Cox
- “Hey, sunshine. You gonna at least say hello? Nothing? Listen. I know you keep blaming yourself for this, but you just can't. When my mom died I thought that because I was a nurse I should have been able to prevent it somehow. But over time, I realized that bad things are going to happen. And beating yourself up isn't going to help anyone.”— Carla to Dr. Cox
- “You're probably wondering why I didn't show up before, huh? I know you wanted me to, even though you'd never admit it. Normally I would kill to get into this apartment. And you try and keep me out. I say try, because at your Superbowl party, which I was not invited to, I was lucky enough to be able to watch the second half from right over there. I was the bearded Domino's employee you invited in because I said I was a fan of Jerome Bettis, who ever the hell that is. Anyway, I tried to convince myself the reason I didn't come earlier was because of you coming into work drunk. But that's not it. I was scared. I guess after all this time, I still think of you as like this superhero that will help me out of any situation I'm in. I needed that. But, that's my problem, you know? And I'll deal with that. I guess I came over here to tell you how proud of you I am. Not because you did the best you could for those patients. But because after 20 years of being a doctor, when things go badly, you still take it this hard. And I gotta tell you, man, I mean, that's the kind of doctor I want to be.”— J.D. to Dr. Cox
- This is one of the few episodes where Dr. Cox calls J.D. by his real name.
- Dr. Cox only says 21 words in this episode. Meanwhile, Jack Cox says his first complete sentence, "Daddy drinks a lot".
- This episode was clearly inspired by the Season 6 Episode 3 of M*A*S*H, titled "Fallen Idol". Radar is injured while traveling to Seoul for some "R and R" after Hawkeye insisted that he go and have some fun. To drown his guilt, Hawkeye proceeds to get very drunk and is called to perform surgery while still under the influence. After Hawkeye leaves the OR midway through surgery to throw up, the other members of the 4077th realize his state. When Radar wakes up after surgery and finds out what his idol Hawkeye had done, he loses respect for him. The pair argue and Hawkeye, at the disgust of all at the 4077th, berates a still recovering Radar for putting him on a pedestal. After talking to Colonel Potter, Radar realizes that while he may no longer idolize Hawkeye it does not mean he can not respect him as an equal. The pair repair their friendship and Hawkeye presents Radar with the Purple Heart.
- Earlier where Turk hasn't discovered his diabetes, he mentions his doctor, Dr. Kim, who makes his patients take their pants off, and he says that he had to take his pants off when he was in for pink-eye. In this episode, a patient comes in too with pink eye, and is forced to take his pants off.
- J.D. gives an incorrect description of Munchausen Syndrome. When someone fakes or induces an illness in themselves it's Munchausen Syndrome, when they do it to someone else such as a child it's called Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, which is what he's actually checking for in this episode.