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Now, even though I won't be performing the transplant, I am a key member of the surgical team. It's too complicated to explain what it is I do, but in layman's terms, I... I guess you'd call it watching.Turk

"My Rule of Thumb" is the tenth episode of Scrubs' third season. Turk refuses to perform surgery on a patient with whom Dr. Cox is good friends. Danni (Tara Reid) wants to move in with a reluctant J.D. Carla and Elliot help the terminally ill Maggie Himsel fulfill her last wish: losing her virginity.


Cox and Turk face off over Barry Iverson.

Dr. Cox is in a good mood because his friend Mr. Iverson is on the top of the liver transplant list. After giving Turk a verbal dressing-down, Elliot becomes motivated to determine if Dr. Cox's attitude is just a show or if he truly dislikes Turk. Carla asks him and he tells her he thinks that Turk isn't good enough for her. The tables turn when Dr. Cox learns that Turk will be conducting Mr. Iverson's surgery and discovers he has broken hospital policy by drinking a small amount of alcohol while on the transplant list, suggesting he might not look after the new liver. Turk refuses to sign off on the surgery, saying the alcohol consumption disqualifies Mr. Iverson from receiving the liver. Dr. Cox tries to change his mind but Turk refuses, arguing that it would be unfair to the donor. Turk then shows Dr. Cox the patient, Stephanie, who the surgical team has decided will get the liver. He tells Dr. Cox that Stephanie has proven responsible and deserves it more because she has followed the rules. Reluctantly, Dr. Cox accepts this.

Carla and Elliot are arrested.

Maggie is Carla and Elliot's terminal patient. She is 38 and regrets still being a virgin. Carla and Elliot try to find a male prostitute for her but are arrested and call J.D. to pick them up. Maggie eventually has sex with Ted without the help of Carla and Elliot, and spends a warm and happy moment with the lawyer in her hospital bed.

Danni moves in and brings men with her.

Meanwhile, Danni explains to J.D. that she wants to move in with him after seeing Jordan and Dr. Cox having sex. J.D. realizes he doesn't want Danni to move in and tries to convince her not to, but she has already gotten a set of keys for the apartment. Despite his reluctance, Danni moves in with J.D..

At the end, Carla asks Dr. Cox what he really thinks about Turk. He tells her Turk is "a complete tool," but she could do a lot worse. After he moment of weakness he decides to put fear back in his teachings for the residents to take him seriously and gives them a truly fearsome speech about responsibility.

Recurring Themes

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

Danni plans to stay awhile


  • A little person wearing a karate gi jumps out of J.D.'s locker and punches him in the crotch.
  • Dr. Cox's breath of happiness spreads around the hospital and lifts everyone's spirits, most notably Ted's, who was just about to commit suicide by jumping off the roof.
  • J.D. walks in on Dr. Cox and Jordan having sex with bondage. There is a large masked man chained up in the corner, and suddenly the karate midget jumps out from the shadows and punches J.D. in the crotch.
  • Danni is in J.D.'s and Turk's apartment, and she and the whole room are covered in toilet paper rolls.
  • J.D. sits reading a book in the corner of the apartment while men wearing nothing but banana hammocks are dancing round the apartment with Danni.

Janitor story

Randall hides in J.D.'s locker

In J.D.'s fantasy, Janitor's spirit is lifted by Dr. Cox's breath of happiness, and he starts dancing with his mop. In the real world, he warns J.D. not to open his locker anytime soon for an unknown reason.

J.D.'s Girls Names

  • For some reason, Dr. Cox calls J.D. "porn star" instead of a girl's name.

Guest Stars

Martin Klebba as Randall


Ted is about to jump.

     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Happy Go Lucky Me" by Paul Evans
  • "Its Raining Men" by the Weather Girls


Cox and Jordan having sex.

3x10 second crotch punch.jpg

Todd is immature.

Elliot takes a picture.

Danni's male dancer friends.

Hey, Bobbo, now when the dark prince does finally call you home, please promise me that you'll donate your body to science. And I don't mean medical science, I mean NASA. Because when those buzz-cuts have all but given up on trying to figure out just exactly what a black hole is, and they get one look at that space where your heart was supposed to be, well by-gum, you know they're just gonna say, [southern drawl] "Awwww, shucks! That's what it is!"Dr. Cox

Hey, champ! What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap? Bob Kelso. How ya doin'.Dr. Kelso

There'll be banana hammocks everywhere!J.D.

Oh! I'm sorry! Are you talking? Because I've decided to keep my finger on the button, so I actually can't hear anything that's going on in there. But, for fairness' sake, I've decided to do your end of the conversation. It goes a little something like this: "Blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, cool hip-hop lingo, blah-blah, blah-blah-blah."Dr. Cox


  • This is the first episode where Dr. Kelso uses the "two thumbs" joke: What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?
  • This episode initially was shot as a medical marijuana episode. Elliot and Carla were supposed to get marijuana for a chemotherapy patient. However, NBC's executives didn't allow such a controversial storyline so they had to reshoot the episode involving getting them a man whore for a patient who never had sex before, with which there was no problem. (Source)
  • Carla claims that Dr. Cox never told her what he thinks about Turk. However, he did tell Carla what he thought about her fiancé in "My Brother, My Keeper".
  • The only regular cast members that aren't shown when Dr. Cox is lifting everyone's spirits are Doug, The Todd and Laverne Roberts.
  • The only cast member who was not affected by Dr. Cox's good mood is Dr. Kelso, who is disappointed that Ted did not jump off the roof of the building.
  • J.D. referring to Carla and Elliot as Lucy and Ethel is a reference to characters of the same name from I Love Lucy. The two women always get in trouble, like Carla and Elliot did in this episode.
  • When Elliot is talking to her patient, she talks about a time in high school when she had an "orgasm face", yet in a previous episode she told Carla that she has never had an orgasm. Elliot's romantic life is full of differing stories.