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My machines!Dr. Moyer

"My Own American Girl" is the first episode of Scrubs' third season. Elliot gets a makeover after a disastrous re-encounter with Sean Kelly (Scott Foley). In addition, J.D. has problems with a patient but can't get Dr. Cox's help. The staff members slack off at work because they can tell when Dr. Kelso is coming.


Carla, J.D., and Turk need help.

After being punched in the nose by Dr. Cox, Dr. Kelso is now detectable from a distance because he makes a whistling sound when he breathes. Everyone, particularly Ted, takes advantage by slacking off when he's not around. However, because no one will admit to seeing the incident Dr. Kelso can't fire Dr. Cox and therefore takes his anger out on him by making him spend his weekends giving prisoners their yearly physicals, forcing him to spend his free time away from his new son Jack.

Resentful that helping Elliot has cost him time with his son, Dr. Cox refuses to help J.D. with a particularly troublesome patient Mrs. Farr. Unfortunately for J.D. the only ones willing to help him are Turk, Carla, and Elliot, though she is so deep in her personal rut that she would be more a hindrance than a help.

Elliot runs into Sean

After much soul searching and self abuse—brought about by a disastrous encounter with her ex-boyfriend Sean Kelly, who is now seeing someone else, and the fact that her friends don't need her help—Elliot decides she has to turn herself around. After getting a completely new look she marches into the hospital and forces the petulant head of radiology to test J.D.'s patient. Finally, with some gentle coaxing from Dr. Cox J.D. figures out the woman's illness.

Dr. Cox realizes that he cannot continue being complete enemies with Kelso, so he apologizes and fixes his nose. J.D. realizes that Elliot's new style of beauty has reminded him of his feelings for her, but as he is about to say something, Sean approaches and picks her up from the hospital. They are apparently back together.

Recurring Themes

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

An empty cafeteria


  • At 5:00 on a Friday afternoon everyone suddenly disappears from the cafeteria except J.D. and Steven, who then dances away.

Janitor story

  • Janitor mostly plays along with the crew as they avoid Dr. Kelso by listening for his whistling nose.
  • He also encourages Elliot to be different if that is what she wants.

J.D.'s Girl Names

  • Zsa Zsa, used by Perry Cox & J.D. J.D. is wearing earphones and cannot hear what Dr. Cox says to him, but his internal narration notes that he can read Dr. Cox's lips..
Well, Zsa Zsa. Now you've put me in quite the pickle. You see, with those earphones on, you can't hear me, but! the odds are highly against you cracking open that yapper and annoying me today. So, what to do? What to do? What to do? Ahh, hell.Dr. Cox

  • Gwyneth

Elliot's new car.

Episode Running Gags

  • Everyone reacts nonchalantly to a breakdancing orderly named Steven.
  • Elliot buys a new car to help her confidence but when a door is left open and unattended it is knocked off by an oncoming vehicle.
  • Dr. Kelso's nose makes a weird squeaking noise.

Guest Stars

Scott Foley as Sean Kelly


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Beautiful Day" by U2
  • "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • "Faith" by George Michael


Sean and his new girlfriend.

Dude, what's the rule about white boys dancing in public?Turk

Not allowed unless you're gay.J.D.

Well, I heard your sister started drinking again.J.D.

I'm still not great at smack talk.J.D.'s narration
So wait, it's not supposed to be true?

Elliot's makeover.

I may have painted his toenails for funsies.Jordan

Time spent wishing is time wasted.Janitor


Whose machines?Turk

How was that helpful?J.D.


Elliot's childish room.


  • This is the second episode of the show to be both written and directed by the show's creator Bill Lawrence, with the first one being the Season Two finale "My Dream Job".
  • There was some minor confusion among press releases caused this episode to have two titles: "My Own American Girl" and "My American Girl".
  • This episode marks the first time Elliot uses the word "frick".
  • Dr. Moyer's "My machines!" tantrum eventually became an internet meme, featured heavily on
  • The prison examination room is a remake of the hospital X-ray room. The sounds in the background were added during editing.


  • When J.D. is talking to Dr. Cox, the camera is pointed at J.D., and it shows his hair down and over his forehead. But when Dr. Cox leaves and J.D. turns around, his hair is pushed back and styled.
  • After he gets on the elevator, Dr. Cox takes his flashlight out of his pocket when the camera is facing Dr. Kelso. In the next shot, he reaches into his pocket to take out the flashlight again. In the shot after that, he's holding the flashlight by his side.
  • It is said in the narration that J.D. can read Dr. Cox's lips, but in Season Six's "My Long Goodbye" he needs to ask for help to learn what Dr. Cox said.

Medical notes

  • Medically, Dr. Moyer made no mistake when he claimed that a patient had colitis. "Traveler´s diarrhea" is also a form of colitis and radiology can not be used to distinguish between infectious and other colitis. In fact, it was Elliot who made a mistake when she did not know this.
  • J.D.'s patient has familial Mediterranean fever, which is a rare, hereditary disease most commonly seen in ethnic groups with origins around the Mediterranean. The symptoms include fever, joint pain, and abdominal pain, and because these symptoms are nonspecific, the disease is often misdiagnosed.