- “You gotta get back in the game, Coxie!... Okay, Coxie was a mistake. Pretend I didn't say Coxie.”— J.D.
"My Hero" is the twenty-third episode of Scrubs' first season. Dr. Cox is too scared to be there when Ben undergoes chemotherapy. Dr. Kelso tricks Elliot and Carla into revealing what they really think of him. Turk is annoyed when a Whipple surgery is handed over to his rival surgeon, Bonnie Chang.
J.D., Dr. Cox, & Ben
When J.D. can't find Ben in his hospital room, he thinks Ben is depressed after learning he has leukemia. He and Jordan find Ben playing with the children in the pediatric ward. This cheerful bravado is just a front, and later Jordan, J.D., and Ben are gathered glumly in Ben's room. J.D. thinks they need some help to lift all their spirits. Dr. Cox strides into the room and tells Ben, Jordan, and J.D. that if they pull together as a team, they can help Ben beat the cancer.
Ben's blast levels are dangerously high. Dr. Zeltzer, the oncologist, wants to start him on chemotherapy immediately. Ben expects Dr. Cox to be there at his first session, but Dr. Cox excuses himself, disappointing Ben. Ben goes through his first chemo session with Jordan by his side. J.D. goes to Dr. Cox's home to confront him for abandoning a patient. Dr. Cox says that Ben isn't a patient from whom he can distance himself; Ben is his friend.
Turk and Bonnie
Turk is upset when he doesn't get to perform a Whipple procedure. Bonnie Chang, his competitive colleague, gets to do the procedure instead. Turk confronts Dr. Wen and insinuates that Bonnie only got the surgery because she and Dr. Wen are both Asian. Later, Turk apologizes to Dr. Wen, who tells him that he doesn't have to be the cliche of the competitive surgeon. Turk, in a very competitive manner, immediately asks Dr. Wen if he is indeed the best surgical intern. Dr. Wen tells him no, the best surgical intern, believe it or not, is The Todd, because The Todd doesn't overthink anything and is always in the moment.
Carla, Elliot, and Dr. Kelso
Dr. Kelso is very harsh on the interns during rounds. He thinks of it to himself as "tough love". Dr. Cox tells Dr. Kelso that all the interns hate him. Dr. Kelso then tells Elliot that he is sorry about his behavior at rounds earlier, and hands her an "anonymous" evaluation form. Carla grabs the form from Elliot, eager for the opportunity to vent her anger at Dr. Kelso. She writes an insulting and borderline obscene evaluation with Elliot's approval. Later, they find out that Dr. Kelso didn't give evaluation forms to any of the other interns, only to Elliot. When he confronts Elliot and asks her how she could write such filth, Carla starts to say something, but Elliot quickly covers for her and says she wrote it because she expected it to be anonymous and thought it was funny.
In the end
Dr. Cox, Ben, Turk, J.D., and Carla all sit by themselves, each feeling alone. Then each decides to somehow be brave and confront what's bothering them. Turk tells Dr. Wen that even though he may not be the best right now, his future is bright. Carla tells Dr. Kelso that she wrote the evaluation, not Elliot. Elliot tells Dr. Kelso what she really thinks of him: that he is mean. J.D. heads toward Ben's room to be supportive in Dr. Cox's absence, but finds Dr. Cox already sitting by Ben's bedside. Dr. Kelso is a little bit nicer to the interns during rounds. The chemotherapy ends up working for Ben and his leukemia goes into remission. J.D. decides that even though he has flaws, Dr. Cox will always be a hero to him.
- Dr. Cox flies up and out of the window like Superman.
- When Dr. Cox bails on Ben after he starts chemotherapy, J.D imagines that he, Ben, Dr. Cox, and Jordan are on an episode of MTV's The Real World.
- J.D. sees Dr. Cox wearing a superhero's red cape, which slips off his shoulders and falls onto the floor.
Janitor tells J.D. that J.D. doesn't know anything about him, including his name, because he doesn't care. He then proceeds to tell him some intimate details of J.D.'s life and thoughts. J.D. guesses that he has been looking through his personnel file, but then Janitor reveals more secretive information. J.D. is spooked because Janitor is aware of things that he should have no way of knowing. Janitor mocks him and then says that he is J.D.'s father, which creeps J.D. out. In the final moments of the episode, we see Janitor break into J.D.'s locker and read his diary.
J.D.'s Girl Names
- “I am so not speaking to you, Rhonda, thank you!”— Dr. Cox
- “Ummm, I got about a thousand patients I gotta look after, so no, I'm probably going to miss this first one, but I will leave my lovely and talented assistant Kimmy. Okay?”— Dr. Cox
- Robert Clendenin as Paul Zeltzer
- Brendan Fraser as Ben Sullivan
- Lela Lee as Bonnie Chang
- Philip McNiven as Roy
- George Miserlis as Crispin
- Paul Perry as Randall
- Brennan Louie as Child #1
- Katya Abelsky as Child #2
- "Speed Racer" and "Underdog" themes, performed by The Blanks/The Worthless Peons
- "Fresh Feeling" by Eels
- “If you say "I don't know", I'll show you what I learned last week in my crotch-punching class.”— Jordan
- “I think it's great that you're going back to school!”— J.D.
- “I think it's great that you're going back to school!”— J.D.
- “I don't like much freedom down there. It makes me tingle in my giblets.”— J.D.
- “That's right! You run away! Run away from the truth!”— Janitor
- “"He'll always be a hero to me." What a girl. What else we got? Theater camp. Ha ha. Bingo.”— Janitor
- “Dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun-dun, shiny scalpel, dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun, gonna slice him up.”— Todd's thoughts
- This episode contains numerous allusions to Dr. Cox as Superman:
- Dr. Cox flies out of the window, just like Superman.
- The cape that falls off Dr. Cox's shoulders looks like Superman's cape.
- When Dr. Cox walks away, he stops, stands with his hands on his waist, and turns his head to the left, as Superman often did.
- While the characters are watching Wings, Dr. Cox and J.D. talk about how much they like Tony Shalhoub. Tony Shalhoub would later star on Monk and beat Zach Braff for an Emmy.
- When Dr. Cox says, "Congratulations! Your DiMaggio-like streak for saying nothing even remotely interesting is still alive and well", he is referring to Joe DiMaggio, a baseball player who achieved the monumental feat of hitting in 56 games in a row.
- When it is revealed that The Todd is the best surgical intern, he is telling a nurse that he wants to schedule a "pylorus sparing pancreaticoduodenectomy." This procedure is a modification of the Whipple procedure, which Turk and Bonnie are competing for in the beginning of the episode
- It is revealed that J.D. writes his thoughts in a diary, which is then narrated through each episode.
- On the surgical whiteboard, appendix is misspelled as "apendix", varicocele as "varicoscale", and tonsillectomy as "toncilectomy" and a surgery on the board that reads "add ameatplatetome." It also includes the names Spiller (surname of episode director Michael Spiller), Lawrence (surname of series creator Bill Lawrence), and Winston (producer Randall Keenan Winston).
- The board shows that the Whipple procedure is being performed by "Lee", which is the surname of the actress playing Bonnie (Lela Lee).
- Dr. Cox calls J.D. "Johnny" instead of a girl's name.
- This is the first instance of what the Janitor's name is when he asks J.D. to say it aloud but cups his hand over his I.D. badge so he can't read it leaving his name a mystery.
- J.D.'s first girlfriend, Sarah Briggs, was based on Bill Lawrence's girlfriend, who had the same name. According to the DVD commentary, Lawrence wonders if Briggs ever thinks about him.
- J.D's mother's maiden name is revealed to be Turner and his middle name is revealed to be Michael.
- Originally, the episode was written to feature The Worthless Peons' rendition of the Superman theme song, but when the rights couldn't be obtained, the song was changed to Underdog.
- In the commentary, it is revealed that when the cast members were repeating one another's actions, Judy Reyes (Carla) did the movements in the opposite direction. The editors flipped the shot, which is why her name tag is on the opposite side from the one she normally wears it on.
- The Worthless Peons are the real-life a cappella band of Sam Lloyd, who plays Ted. When Bill Lawrence found out about Lloyd's band, he found an excuse to put them on the show. This episode is the first time we see The Worthless Peons perform.
- This is the first time that J.D. uses the phrase "Eagle!"
- Both Turk and Todd have internal narration in this episode. This is the first time anyone other than J.D. has internal narration.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Paul Zeltzer.
- When The Worthless Peons sing and J.D. walks past, the items on the desk change from a pile of folders and a bedpan to a pile of folders and a box of medical supplies.
- Janitor following J.D., breaking open his locker, and reading his diary was foreshadowed in "My Occurrence", when Ben pointed out that Janitor followed J.D. constantly. The scene is similar to a photograph shown before of Janitor sulking behind the lockers.
- J.D.'s view of Dr. Cox as a hero culminates in "My Fallen Idol".