I've taken a lot of positive steps this year but when it comes to standing up to Kelso, I just...I can't get over that hump yet. He's like my white whale.Elliot

"My White Whale" is the third episode of Scrubs' third season. J.D., Turk and Elliot get their own interns, and each have a different teaching style. J.D. goes for the friendly approach, but loses his intern's respect because of this. Elliot's interns choke when Dr. Kelso is present. Dr. Cox and Jordan ask Dr. David Norris (Christopher Meloni) to be Jack's pediatrician.


After J.D., Turk, and Elliot get their own set of interns they realize that they all have their individual teaching techniques. J.D. is having problems teaching one of his interns and he turns to Elliot for help. Elliot refers the intern to her boyfriend, Sean, who gives training tips that he learned at SeaWorld. J.D. hates getting help with his interns from Sean, but Sean helps him realize that the root cause of his intern troubles is their lack of respect because he tries too hard to be their friend. J.D. realizes that in this case it is better to be respected than to be liked and thus begins speaking to his interns more sternly.

Lunch at Seaworld

Elliot's intern problems are not so dire. Bruce is struggling as a doctor despite trying his best. He performs extra erratically when the Chief of Medicine Dr. Kelso is present. Elliot convinces Bruce to play to his strengths and he stands up to Kelso by demonstrating his beatboxing talent.

Dr. Cox tries to become a client of Dr. Norris'

Meanwhile Dr. Cox and Jordan are looking for an experienced pediatrician. They finally meet Dr. David Norris who is great with children but his demeanor is an exact match of Dr. Cox. Naturally they hate each other. Jordan and Dr. Cox's son Jack develops a cough and they take him to Dr. Norris who is busy with another patient, telling them to come back the next day. An irate Dr. Cox steals Dr. Norris' prized possession: a puppet. He says that he will not return it until Norris looks at Jack. After a change of heart, Cox returns the puppet and Norris tells Dr. Cox that because he is a doctor, he has the "burden of knowledge," and everything that happens to Jack will get blown out of proportion.

Recurring Themes

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

Elliot and J.D. on a boat


  • All of J.D.'s interns are monkeys.
  • J.D. takes Elliot on a romantic boat ride, tossing a tied up Sean overboard and beating him with an oar.


  • Dan draws on J.D.'s forehead with a permanent marker. Two weeks later, when J.D. goes to pick up his prom date, it shows that he has the word "PROM" on his forehead.
  • A dorm buddy asks for help moving, and J.D. eagerly volunteers. J.D. agrees to walk a young girl's dog while she goes to have casual sex with his friend Miguel. The same dorm buddy returns and asks for help moving back into his old room, and J.D. agrees to help, because he "knows where it all goes."

J.D., before his prom.

Janitor story

Whilst J.D. is writing a note on a sheet of paper leaning against the wall, the Janitor removes the sheet of paper from under his pen, causing a black line to tarnish the wall. The Janitor tries several methods of removing the pen which refuses to come off, until he eventually just paints over it. But for a brief period of time he considered burning down the wall.

Episode Running Gags

  • The voice in J.D.'s head tells him to kick Sean in the crotch.
  • Carla is addicted to "the rush" of telling people what to do.

Guest Stars

Christopher Meloni as Dr. David Norris


     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman by Bryan Adams
  • Disappear by Dina D'Allesandro
  • "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton


J.D.'s interns are monkeys.

You be nice to the teacher, okay? I'm sleeping with him. [To self] Oh, my God! I haven't said that since college!Elliot

Well, Sean, unfortunately for me my interns aren't mammals.J.D.

J.D., they are.Sean Kelly
I don't care, Sean!

Cox mocks Dr. Norris.

Look, buddy, most of the parents I deal with are jackasses; now, don't get me wrong, you're in the top five.David Norris

Thank you!Dr. Cox

Your brain's gonna tell you to be a little self-conscious, but you just need to ignore the voice in your head.Sean Kelly

Kick him in the crotch and run.J.D.'s narration
I'll try, Sean!J.D.

Turk and J.D. in college

Hey, Sean, you were right about me and my interns. I guess I owe you an apology.J.D.

Damn straight, you do! You know what your problem is, Bambi? You're- [Turk picks her up and carries her off.] Oh! Turk! Please? Just one more second? I need the rush! Please? I'm coming back for you!Carla
J.D., it's no big deal. We both know that it wasn't about that. Well, you... you like Elliot.Sean

Don't sweat it.
You're not pissed off? I'd be pissed off. Why aren't you pissed off?

I dunno. I guess I just... I don't see you as that much of a threat.


Toss a bound Sean overboard

  • When Dr. Cox is sitting in Dr. Norris's chair petting the cat, the scene is an homage to the James Bond villain Blofeld.
  • Dr. Cox says that Jordan hasn't let him make any decisions about their son, despite him naming their son Jack in "My Interpretation".
  • Dr. Kelso says that he would like to "hear Bruce's beefboxing thing". The fact that he uses the word "hear" suggests that he knows what beatboxing is, despite the fact that he apparently doesn't know the correct name for it.
  • When Turk says "These, right here, you see these names? They are called patients. This one needs brain work, this one needs a heart...", J.D. replies "This guy needs courage". This is an allusion to The Wizard of Oz a book/movie/musical in which Dorothy, a young girl, helps a scarecrow, a tinman and a lion find a brain, a heart and courage. The Season Six episode "My Way Home" is an homage to the movie.
  • The title is a reference to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, in which a character named Captain Ahab loses his ship, crew, and his life in pursuit of a white whale upon whom he has sworn revenge. Elliot mentions that Dr. Kelso is her white whale.

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