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That's really very sweet of you to think that you're that important.Ben Sullivan

"My Occurrence" is the twenty-second episode of Scrubs' first season. Dr. Cox's best friend and Jordan's brother, Ben Sullivan (Brendan Fraser), causes trouble in the hospital for many people. J.D. comes to like Ben and wants to hang out with him and Dr. Cox, but has trouble accepting bad news about him.


Ben has injured himself.

Dr. Cox and a patient share an excited hug for a very long time, until the patient kisses Dr. Cox on the cheek. J.D. walks in, confused until he learns the patient is Ben Sullivan, a good friend of Dr. Cox's. Ben has a nail shot straight through his hand, which he uses to tease J.D. until he faints. It turns out that Ben is Jordan's brother, but when she divorced Dr. Cox Ben chose to spend more time with him. Ben likes to take candid pictures of people to the annoyance of Jordan, who also doesn't like that Ben continues to work unsafe contract work. Dr. Cox and Ben want to go for a beer, and they ask J.D. to come along — but only as a designated driver.

Turk is prepping a patient for surgery, but just as he is about to remove a testicle, he and the other surgeons notice that, while the patient is supposed to be Jewish, he isn't circumcised. Todd comes into the O.R. asking if there is a mix-up, because his appendicitis patient doesn't have an appendix.

Meanwhile, Jill Tracy is back at the hospital. She has been traveling since her last breakdown, and she is engaged. This makes it easier for Elliot to tell her that her vomiting and nausea are because she is pregnant. Jill is confused, because she and her fiancé haven't had sex yet.

Ben, J.D., and Dr. Cox go to the bar.

Dr. Kelso makes it clear to Turk that near-accidents are not good for the hospital and that the patient should never find out. Turk agrees to keep his mouth shut. Elliot races to Jill's room to tell her that there was a mix-up and she isn't actually pregnant, but Jill is already on the phone with her fiancé, explaining that she slept with other people.

While playing pool at the bar, Dr. Cox notices that Ben's hand is still bleeding. Ben mentions that he cut himself shaving last week and it wouldn't stop bleeding either. Dr. Cox and J.D. take him back to the hospital. Tests show that Ben has leukemia. J.D. needs to bring the results to Ben and Dr. Cox, but he thinks about how many mix-ups have happened in the hospital lately and lies, saying they haven't come back yet. He visits the intimidating hematopathologist Dr. Fred Bobb and requests Ben's blood work be redone, which results in a healthy non-leukemia result. While cheerily leaving the hospital Ben takes a group photo, causing J.D. to realize that he's been selling himself an impossible story, that Ben's test results are correct and that Ben unfortunately does have leukemia. He shares the news with a stunned Ben and Dr. Cox.

Recurring Themes

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

Doug meets Dr. Bobb


  • Jordan gives Ben an Indian burn, and his arm actually catches on fire.
  • When Doug enters Dr. Bobb's lab, blood is squirted on the window and a hand claws for help.
  • The whole of the second half of the episode is a fantasy, starting when J.D. walks into Ben's room as Dr. Cox and Ben are putting cards on their foreheads. The fantasy is about J.D. being unable to come to terms with Ben having leukemia. In the fantasy, Carla, Dr. Kelso, and Dr. Bobb give him clues that he is imagining a better outcome than the reality. The game is up when Ben asks for a posed photo with the whole group.

Janitor story

  • Janitor claims that he only works an hour and a half a day and spends the rest of the day following and tracking J.D., who isn't sure if it's a lie or not. Janitor shows up in the background of all of Ben's pictures of J.D.

J.D.'s Girl Names


  • Gladys
Gladys, if you could chalk it without pleasuring it, that'd be terrific.Dr. Cox

  • Clara
All right, Clara, you can go ahead and order yourself a cosmopolitan—I'll just grab a cab home.Dr. Cox

  • Janice
Oh, Janice, are those the test results we've been waiting for?Dr. Cox

Guest Stars


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Daydreams and Lies" by Keren DeBerg
  • "Hold On Hope" by Guided by Voices


Jordan hurts Ben.

Name an actress. J.D. could tell you which movie she appeared in naked.Turk

You are clumsy. That's why stuff like that keeps happening.Jordan

They don't keep happening.Ben Sullivan
How many times have you hurt yourself with that nail gun?

Oh, come on!

What? With that nail gun—it's a new nailgun. If it would've been with the other nail gun, then yeah, the estimate would be slightly higher.

So, what's that, like your lucky board or something?J.D.

Oh, that? No, it's a nail-gun accident.Ben Sullivan
Oh my God, that's disgusting!

I already dosed him with morphine, and the X-ray says the nail went straight through, so it's not that big a d— Oh, dear God, she's getting woozy! Quickly, show her the bloody side!Dr. Cox
Look at that!
Yeah, yeah!

Touch the nail!
Touch the nail!
Wanna touch it?
Touch it!
Touch the nail! Touch my nail! TOUCH IT! LICK THE TIP OF MY—!

[J.D. passes out]

Pictures capture moments in time. When they're posed, they're not real. You know, I hate that whole, like, "gneen!" thing. That's why, at a party, you'll see me in the bushes with my camera.Ben Sullivan

You're a little weird, aren't you.J.D.
Just a little bit.Ben

Wait, why would you want a picture like that? I thought you said that posed pictures aren't real?J.D.

Come on, J.D. None of this is real. You know that.Ben
What do you mean?

Think about it.


To be continued...



  • When Brendan Fraser was asked to appear, he told creator Bill Lawrence that he wanted to really develop his character over two episodes, which is why this episode ended with "To Be Continued".
  • Throughout the episode, there are several hints that J.D. is imagining the events:
    • When Ben goes to talk to J.D., Ben's gauze is off and there is no visible injury from the nail.
    • Ben, who hates posed photographs, asks for one to be taken.
  • Ben's photos that are shown through the episode and the following one were shot by Brendan Fraser himself on the set, both on and behind the scenes.
  • When Ben first talks to Jordan in this episode, she says he looks pale. Although it seems that she says so just to screw with him, Ben might actually be pale because of the leukemia.
  • Leonard, the security guard, is seen without a hook for a hand. This might be an error, or the episode might take place before Leonard's ice-machine accident.
  • The title of the episode is a reference to "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," a short story in which a man about to be executed escapes in the nick of time, only to die when it is revealed that he imagined the whole thing.
  • In this episode, Turk takes part in a surgical operation to remove a man's testicle. Years later, Turk would lose one of his testicles due to his daughter kicking him in the groin. ("My Manhood")
  • While J.D. is going through pictures Ben has taken at the end, J.D. is seen at the pool table in the bar and you can see the crew in the background.


  • When everyone is in the cafeteria, J.D. is drinking apple juice, but moments later, he is shown with a milk carton, and Elliot has the apple juice.
  • Ben asks J.D. why Janitor is always following him in the photos Ben has taken. This is the first time anyone other than J.D. acknowledges Janitor's existence verbally, but since a large part of the episode is a fantasy, this might have been just in J.D.'s head.
  • When J.D. recalls the various clues that he was fantasizing, the scene with Carla is slightly modified. "Either your instincts are right, or your brain is trying to protect you from something" becomes "Either your instincts are right, or your brain is trying to protect you from the truth".
  • In this episode, Elliot says that she is 26. In "My Musical", she says that she is 29, but more than five years pass between these two episodes. Therefore, one or the other must be a mistake. (Or she may not want to reveal she's over 30.)
  • Dr. Kelso always calls the staff by last name. However, he calls Todd by his first name.
  • Jill Tracy says, "And then I went to Florida to swim with the Dolphins! And I don't mean the fish." Dolphins aren't fish; they are mammals. But Jill was making a joke because she was inferring she swam with the Miami Dolphins NFL team.
  • J.D. drinks beer despite saying in later episodes that he hates beer.
  • When Elliot talks about Jill's water bottle, she points to her left, facing Jill. However, when the camera cuts to Jill, the water bottle is standing behind her.
  • When J.D. is outside of the hemopathologist’s office reviewing Ben’s “lab work,” the chart he is looking at is actually for a 66 year old male and it is actually an echocardiogram report and not any sort of lab findings at all.