Catch me, stud!... You know, most guys woulda caught me. I love that you didn't!Elliot

"My Self-Examination" is the twenty-first episode of Scrubs' third season. J.D. publicly humiliates Elliot and himself upon discovering he doesn't love her. Turk has problems writing his wedding vows, and Marco Espinosa's return doesn't help things. Jordan refuses to fight with Dr. Cox, therefore he ends up pointing his anger toward Janitor.


J.D. wakes up with Elliot in his arms the morning after stealing her away from Sean Kelly, and he realizes that being with Elliot wasn't what he wanted after all. After asking Danni and her new partner for advice, however, J.D. resigns himself to the fact he might as well stay in a relationship with Elliot even if he doesn't love her.

3x21 Cox carried away

Cox is carried about by Janitor's minions.

Jordan believes that fighting with Dr. Cox is affecting their son negatively, and decides to stop. This frustrates Dr. Cox, who starts looking for someone else to fight with, and ends up evoking the wrath of the Janitor, who has his fellow janitor underlings tape Dr. Cox's mouth and hands and lock him in a morgue drawer. After J.D. opens the drawer, Cox breaks out of his bindings with brute strength and takes his anger out on J.D. Carla takes the task of ordering pens, and asks Dr. Cox if she should order "clicky-tops" or "twisty bottoms." Although Dr. Cox doesn't care either way, he tries to pick a fight with Dr. Kelso, who demands his own personal set of "clicky-tops" due to frustration with the "twisty bottoms." Dr. Cox realizes that he is addicted to fighting.

Turk and Carla's wedding is fast approaching, and they are supposed to be writing their own vows, but Turk hasn't started, and his life is also made difficult by the fact that Carla's brother, Marco, is in town. When the Catholic priest who will be performing the wedding says that they can't read their own vows, Turk nearly escapes having to write them, but Marco then suggests that they read them at the rehearsal dinner. It looks as though Turk is still in trouble, until Marco volunteers to write the vows out of love for Carla.

3x21 JD and Elliot at dinner

J.D. and Elliot at the rehearsal dinner.

At the rehearsal dinner, Turk learns the hard way that Marco stole his vows from When Harry Met Sally, and Carla is angry with him. As Turk and J.D. discuss their relationship problems, Turk explains to J.D. what love really is, using himself and Carla as an example; this works in Turk's favour, as his speech on the subject gets him back into Carla's good graces, but it also proves to J.D. once and for all that he should tell Elliot the truth, and he breaks up with her (by casually saying "I don't love you.") Elliot lashes out, knocking J.D. over the table in front of everyone, but then resumes eating dinner nonchalantly.

Dr. Cox and Jordan also get their love back on track when he explains to her how important fighting is to their relationship; they agree not to fight in front of Jack, but to continue in private.

Recurring Themes

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

3x21 JD put to sleep

J.D.'s mother puts him to bed.


  • J.D. remembers his mom, who says that no woman would ever love him as much as she did.

Janitor story

Janitor is in a bad mood after losing the election for Union President to Randall. Elliot and J.D. witness "the arrival of the Janitors" in the morning when Janitor drives in his van and many janitors exit the back of it. Later, Dr. Cox picks a fight with Janitor, who has his fellow custodians carry Perry away and trap him inside a morgue drawer.

J.D.'s Girls Names

  • Sheila, used by Perry Cox when he was angry about being tied up and locked in a morgue drawer by Janitor.
Sheila!Dr. Cox

Guest Stars

3x21 Randall elected president

Martin Klebba as Randall Winston


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Follow Through" by Gavin DeGraw


[Marco arrives in a the back of a truck with a sheep]

Marco! The invite says no dates, man! No da...dang!Turk

3x21 Danni and Danny

No soup for you!

Oh, he is so the Soup Nazi! Trick him!J.D.'s Narration

What is it again? You're like out of luck in the soup department...?J.D.
No soup for you!Larry
Ha. Rad!

Well, you have to do something.Carla

No I don't, you jackass!Dr. Cox

Turk, I need your help, man. It's about Elliot.J.D.

Why, did you sleep with her again?Marco
How does everybody know about this?

Catch me, stud!... You know, most guys woulda caught me. I love that you didn't!Elliot

Why would I idealize women?J.D.

What's your mom like?Danni
I love you, honey. You're the smartest, handsomest, sweetest boy in the whole world. And no matter how hard you look, you will never find a woman who'll love you as much as I do.Barbara Dorian

Have you been working on your vows?Carla

Define "work."Turk
It's the difference between special birthday sex and no sex on our wedding night.

Yeah, I do like the special birthday sex.

[While standing over Dr. Cox who is tied up in a morgue drawer]

I can only assume you're saying "Let me out or I'm gonna kill ya"...not gonna happen. Listen, I'm in a rare position of power here, okay? So I'm only gonna let you out if you admit that you're my mentor. I know! I know that makes you angry, but-- Uh-oh! Okay! Okay! You know, I'm fine the other way! However you wanna do--J.D.

If you don't wanna fight in front of Jack anymore, I understand that. But I don't think that means we gotta stop altogether. I mean, Jordan, you are an unpredictable, passionate person, and you challenge me each and every day. And, honestly, that's the reason I can imagine being with you when I'm seventy and you're sixty-five and your face is forty and your boobs are twenty-nine.Dr. Cox

My face'll never look forty.Jordan
You're right, my bad.

When I look into your eyes, I see the future. I see kids, I see name it, I see it. The weird thing is, though, as long as I see your smile, none of that stuff scares me.Turk, to Carla


  • Randall Winston says in the commentary that Billy Crystal donated the clip from When Harry Met Sally... because he was a huge Scrubs fan.
  • When Elliot is tying J.D.'s tie in her apartment, you can clearly see the clock on her wall isn't working because the second hand doesn't move at all throughout the entire scene.
  • When J.D. and Elliot are in the morgue, the x-rays on the light-boxes are backwards.