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.


3x3 Cox and Norris

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

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. 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 exactly like that of Dr. Cox. Meanwhile, Elliot realizes that she needs to stand up to Dr. Kelso.

One of Elliot's interns, Bruce, is struggling as a doctor. He tries really hard, but usually gets nervous whenever Dr. Kelso is present. Bruce stands up to Kelso by demonstrating his beatboxing talent.

3x3 Lunch in front of killer whale

Lunch at Seaworld

Jack, Dr. Cox's son, develops a cough, and they take him to Dr. Norris, who is busy with another patient, and Norris tells him to come back the next day. Dr. Cox, who is angry at what Norris said, 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.

J.D. hates getting help with his interns from Sean, but then Sean points out that the reason why he has problems with his interns is because they don't respect them because he wants to be their friend. J.D. realizes that, in this case, it is better to be respected than to be liked.

Recurring Themes

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

3x3 Elliot in bikini

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."
3x3 JD prom

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, Because at first he was going to burn it but while Turk and J.D were walking past Turk suggested he should just paint over it.

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

David Norris

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


3x3 Monkey interns

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!

3x3 Cox mocking Norris

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.

3x3 JD and Turk in college

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.


3x3 Sean duct taped

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 musical/movie in which Dorothy, a young girl, helps a scarecrow, a tinman and a lion find a brain, a heart and courage.
  • 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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