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Unless all of you want to see me turn a two syllable word into a six syllable word I re-he-he-he-heally think that we should keep looking.Dr. Cox

"My Life in Four Cameras" is the seventeenth episode of Scrubs' fourth season. A health scare causes the hospital to be flooded with people believing they have E. coli. J.D. imagines what life would be like if it was a sitcom. Dr. Cox tries to stop Dr. Kelso from making a budget cut which would result in someone getting fired.


J.D. crowd surfs on all the people wanted to be seen

J.D. & the Writer

A morning news report states 27 deaths resulting from an E. Coli breakout so the hospital is flooded with people who believe that they have it. J.D. and Elliot are forced to screen patients. Upon finding out that he is treating Charles James, a former writer for Cheers, J.D. rushes him upstairs so he and Turk can recite their favorite lines from Cheers.

Carla & Turk

The night before, Kylie came over to the apartment for Sanford and Son night. Carla felt romantically competitive after seeing how affectionate Kylie and J.D. were and she and Turk decide to schedule kisses like J.D. and Kylie are doing. They both get distracted easily and lie to get out of their second kiss, unfortunately, they catch each other in the act and regrettably find that their relationship has lost its spark.

Kelso's budget hunt

Meanwhile, Dr. Kelso announces that he will be closing one of the hospital wings in order to save money. Dr. Cox, after some persuasion by Jordan, decides to prove to Kelso that they can make the budget cuts, but inevitably discovers that he has to fire someone. He decides he must fire the cafeteria worker with the least tragic story, which is the cheery, dorky and child-like, Kenny.

Sitcom Sacred Heart

After Elliot comes up to J.D. and asks him where he was, J.D. tells her what he was doing. Elliot is furious at J.D. and demands that he tell Charles that he's fine. Right after she says that, Charles coughs violently, making J.D. ask how long he's been coughing like that, to which Charles replies that he's had it for a few months. J.D. smugly asks Elliot if that cough needs an ex-ray chest to which she beatenly replies. Upon discovering that Charles has lung cancer, J.D. fantasizes about what would happen if life was like a sitcom: Sacred Heart Hospital is made much brighter, the female staff are dressed more seductively and the doctors get huge cheers from the live studio audience when they enter the ICU.

J.D. does an end-of-show sum-up in his sitcom

Charles regrets that he hasn't done all the things that he wanted to do in his life, so Elliot agrees to fulfill all of his requests, with some help from J.D.. They go on a hot air balloon ride, have lunch at the beach and go to a carnival. Dr. Cox and Jordan in the meantime attempt to save Kenny's job. After stating that they need $26,372, they see a banner for a talent show. 1st prize is, conveniently enough, the exact amount needed to cover Kenny's pay. Dr. Cox tells the staff that one of them needs to win so the Hospital can cover Kenny's salary.

Elliot and Carla do Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in Swissgerman, the Janitor does stand-up comedy, badly. J.D. and Turk do "World's Most Giant Doctor Goes To The Farm". After such bemusing entries it looks like all hope is lost until Kenny sings Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" and wins the money. Elliot takes another look at the chart and says that it's not Charles James that has lung cancer, but James Charles. While J.D. is saying aloud his thoughts and what he's learned, the sitcom writer faints, to which J.D. responds that "this isn't right".

In the end

We then return to real life, and discover that Charles has died. Turk and Carla need to work on their relationship, and Kenny is fired by a regretful Dr. Cox. After a tough day, J.D. can go home and temporarily forget the problems the hospital throws at him and his friends by watching sitcoms.

Recurring Themes

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

Janitor arrives in the sitcom to a large studio audience applause


  • J.D. imagines that life is a sitcom.


  • Elliot treats her favorite weatherman who's had a heart attack. Elliot waits until the exact moment his condition stabilizes, before getting a picture with him.

Janitor story

J.D. and Turk perform World's Most Giant Doctor for the talent show.

4x17 Turk on bottom of WMGD.png

Janitor tells Jordan and Dr. Cox that he uses his keys to read the staff's personnel files. He's the one who suggests that Dr. Cox fire the least pathetic of the cafeteria staff. Janitor teaches J.D. about mopping, showing him his "sweater mop" and "beige cord pants". He then enters the talent show doing his terrible stand-up routine. When nobody laughs at his jokes, Janitor threatens to start unplugging patient's life support machines.

Oh, brother. Look, I, uh...either start laughing or I start unplugging your machines.Janitor, when his routine bombs

J.D.'s girl names

  • Loretta
Loretta, relax. I've been in every ridiculous TV induced panic there is.Dr. Cox

  • (As J.D. has his face painted like Spiderman, Dr. Cox obviously calls him...) Spidergirl.
Spidergirl.Dr. Cox

[J.D. tries "slinging webs" out of his wrists]

Guest Stars

Clay Aiken as Kenny singing "Isn't She Lovely"


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder (performed by Clay Aiken)
  • "Let's All Go To The Lobby" by Quincy Jones (parody performed by Donald Faison)
  • "Where Everybody Knows your Name" (a.k.a. Cheers theme song) by Gary Portnoy (original airing only)
  • "The Streetbeater" (a.k.a Sanford and Song theme song) by Quincy Jones (parody performed by Donald Faison)



Carla was certainly trying to be as adorable as usJ.D.'s Narration

[J.D. loses an arm wrestle to Kylie]
Argh, darn it, you won!J.D.
Unfortunately, Turk wasn't on the same wavelength.

[Turk emphatically beats Carla at arm-wrestling]

Loretta, relax, I've been involved in every ridiculous TV induced panic there is. Poison pills, SARS, West Nile, North Face, South Fork, East River, Monkeypox, Pop Rocks, Toilet Snakes, Mad Cow, Bird flu, Swine flu, and, quite frankly, every other flu that you could really only catch if you're actually fornicating with the animal it's named for. And as a parting gift, I will tell you this: Narrow it down to two symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea. Because it's just not E. Coli unless it's firing out both exits.Dr. Cox

OK, listen up, everyone. For budgetary reasons, we are turning the bathrooms on even-numbered floors into patients rooms. To sum up, floors two and four are no longer for one or two. Actually, there's still a bathroom on two, but then my joke wouldn't have worked.Dr. Kelso

"Woman! Woman! I am not a lollipop!" - Turk

Quiet down now! It is time to watch the show. Yes, it's started, don't be lickin' me no mo. Matter fact, could you get me a handy wipe?Turk, (Sung to the Sanford and Son theme song)

Are you just gonna roll over like that?Carla

That's weird, I asked him the same thing last night.Jordan
Where's the outrage? The anger? The hate?

Again, last night!
You've gone soft.

[Gasps] OK, now it's getting spooky.

It's floating wicker propelled by fire!J.D. on why he's scared of hot air balloons

Let's take a look at our other options. Gandhi? You appear to be a man that is utterly without talent. Unless, of course, you wanna count the fact that you are the 20th best basketball player in a predominately white hospital?Dr. Cox

"No, this is my new sweater mop." - Janitor

Is that my new sweater?J.D.

No, this is my new sweater mop.Janitor
It went dynamite with my beige cords!

You mean my beige cord sponge?

You know what, save your breath! I'm about to get in a hot-air balloon and get Evil Knievel on my own ass!J.D.

Are you humming the "let's all go to the movies" song?Carla

Is that not our song?Turk
It's sung by hot dogs!

Wait a second! This chart isn't for Charles James, it's for James Charles! He's the one who has cancer, not you!Elliot

And who cares about him! He's anti-Semitic!J.D.
Well, that's a load off my mind!Charles James

Unfortunately, things around here don't always end as neat and tidy as they do on sitcoms. Relationships aren't always magically fixed in 30 minutes, you have to work on them. Problems don't always have easy solutions. And around here, nice people don't always get better. And at times like that, it's always comforting that there's something that can pick your spirits up.J.D.



  • The episode won an Emmy Award in 2005, ironically for Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing, despite Scrubs normally being a single camera show.
  • The sitcom fantasy was filmed in front of a live audience. Sarah Chalke talks about it on the DVD episode commentary, stating that a contest was held by the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM, for the most hard core Scrubs fans to be a part of the 'live studio audience'. A special set was even built just for this episode.

Elliot wearing a push-up bra with a topless man behind her

Sitcom Fantasy

  • This episodes features a lengthy pastiche of sitcom TV shows. Although billed a workplace sitcom, Scrubs earned an early reputation for balancing both comedic and dramatic elements and for featuring a highly accurate representation of the modern American medical system. Throughout its run Scrubs features many references, cameos, and fantasies about the cast and crew's favorite sitcoms.
  • Elements heightened in the sitcom fantasy include:
    • In the "sitcom world" of J.D.'s fantasy, most of the female characters, including Elliot, Carla, Jordan and the nurse standing behind the nurses' station, are wearing low-cut blouses and short skirts. Elliot is also wearing high heels and her famous push-up bra. In addition, when the Janitor walks in, a man can be seen at the nurses' station who is wearing shorts and no shirt.
    • American Idol winner Clay Aiken makes a cameo appearance. Cameos and musical acts are tactics used by tactics to attract new audiences.
    • Scrubs does not feature a laugh track but the sitcom fantasy does.
    • The set is very clean and the colors and saturation are very bright and colorful.
  • There are many hidden references to sitcoms within the episode:
    • The character of Charles James is probably a combination of the names of the creators of Cheers - James Burrows, Glen Charles and Les Charles.
    • References to Cheers are made throughout the episode. John C. McGinley appeared in the second season of its spinoff Frasier in the episode "Seat of Power".


  • In the fantasy talent show, Elliot is reciting a German translation of the "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" speech from "Romeo and Juliet".
    • In the German translation, she actually speaks Swiss German dialect
    • Elliot correctly recites: "O Romeo, Romeo – Warum bist du Romeo? – Verleugne deinen Vater und entsage deinem Namen – oder wenn du das nicht willst, so schwöre mir..." However, that recitation stops at a point, where it makes no sense, as it is incomplete. The English original would be: "O Romeo, Romeo! – wherefore art thou Romeo? – Deny thy father and refuse thy name – Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn..."
  • Following the recitation when the talent show's audience is shown, John C. McGinley is smiling and appears to be on the verge of laughter, while Christa Miller holds her hand in front of her face as if trying to cover her smile and trying not to laugh.
  • Dr. Cox had made a comment about turning the word really into a six syllable word, but he changed it into seven syllables.
  • At the beginning of the episode, when J.D. is crowd-surfing, a man can be seen carrying him through the crowd.