We've secretly replaced this doctor's blood with hepatitis blood. Let's see if he notices!Janitor

"My Sacrificial Clam" is the twenty-first episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D. gets jabbed by a needle and fears he might be infected with Hepatitis B, causing him to become afraid of his patients. Turk feels insecure about his weight, and Dr. Cox offers to help him get in shape. Elliot's work life is disrupted because of her new boyfriend, Sean Kelly.



J.D. gets stuck with a needle

Turk puts on weight and is teased by Carla, which bothers him. Meanwhile, as J.D. and Nurse Roberts check a patient's hepatitis B viral load, J.D. is accidentally stuck by the blood-filled needle. He fears he has been infected and has tests done. While some people are supportive, others, like Dr. Kelso, are less helpful. Janitor mocks him in his usual tone.

Elliot spends the night with Sean, prompting teasing from others in the hospital. Carla tries to reassure Turk that she meant nothing by her joke about his weight, and says that no doctor in the hospital is in shape. Her words are undermined when a very fit Dr. Cox walks by.


Sean and Elliot kiss, but then she dumps him.

J.D. treats four doctors, who scare him by telling stories of their colleagues' getting infected by their patients. Elliot and Sean discuss their sex life. Intrigued by Dr. Cox's fitness, Turk looks to him for advice on how to stay in shape. Dr. Cox mocks him by showing him his "future"—several increasingly overweight African-American men—and then invites Turk to work out with him.

At rounds, Elliot screws up her answers and fears that her relationship with Sean is the cause. She becomes increasingly agitated at Sean, who has no idea why she is angry. J.D. is more and more terrified that he might have hepatitis B. The tests then reveal that he is healthy, but he is still scared by the idea of catching something from a patient. His fear causes him to lose the respect of his peers, and he turns a meningitis patient over to Dr. Cox. Carla, feeling ignored by Turk, asks him to spend time with her. Elliot apologizes to Sean for her outbursts, then realizes that their relationship isn't working and breaks up with him. Dr. Cox refuses to give J.D. back his meningitis patient, and J.D. realizes that Dr. Cox wanted him to get over his fear himself.

Recurring Themes

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


Zombie-like patients.


  • Sick patients are all around J.D., shuffling toward him and making zombie noises.

Janitor story

  • J.D. asks Janitor to be nice to him for once, and Janitor starts annoying him by being overly nice. When Janitor invites J.D. to a baseball game, J.D. thinks he is mocking him, but Janitor pulls tickets out of his pocket and tells himself that he will never reach out to J.D. again.

J.D.'s Girl Names

  • Belinda
Oh, and Belinda, do you know what else is real contagious? A big ole smile!Dr. Cox

Guest Stars


William Daniels as Dr. Douglas, Eric Laneuville as Dr. Lamar, Stephen Furst as Dr. Franklyn, and Ed Begley Jr. as Dr. Bailey.


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "All in My Head" by Shawn Mullins
  • "Upside Down" by Jackpot



J.D. is afraid of zombies.


Turk struggles through a workout led by Dr. Cox.

Is he gonna make it?Janitor (as mop-puppet)

Doesn't look good.Janitor

I know a guy who can "take care" of him for us. (laughs, then dead-seriously) One phone call.Ted

Dumbass says what!Dr. Cox

What?The Todd
I said "Dumbass says what!"




Dr. Cox mocks J.D.

  • The four doctors J.D. treats are portrayed by Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Stephen Furst, and Eric Laneuville, all of whom starred as doctors in the television series St. Elsewhere.
  • All in My Head was a candidate for the title theme, but was rejected in favor of Superman.
  • A young doctor showed interest in joining the Janitor in going to a ball game, contrary to the original plan of having Janitor be a figment of JD's imagination during season 1.
  • In Latin America, for the whole episode, Dr. Cox's name was subtitled as "Dr. Kox".
  • When J.D. asks for his patient back from Dr. Cox in the locker room, Dr. Cox puts on his lab coat and starts walking down the hall. Between shots, the collar on his coat changes continuously.
  • Title explanation: J.D. sacrifices his safety for his patients and stops being a clam (a withdrawn person).

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