Season 1 Episode 1

My First Day

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Oct 02, 2001 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
628 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

John Dorian, "J.D." to friends, is a boyishly handsome, self-deprecatingly funny, likable guy who would be confident if he only realized his assets. Four years of medical school have prepared J.D. for his first day as an intern at Sacred Heart Hospital - but he has his doubts. As J.D. is thrown into the chaotic world of hospital life, we not only get to see the quirky characters that he encounters, but also hear the humorous commentary of thoughts streaming through J.D.'s head.
By J.D.'s side is his best friend since college, the handsome and confident Chris Turk. As a new surgical intern, Turk struts around with a gregarious and cocky demeanor that hides a terror that he only admits to J.D. Both guys initially have the hots for their attractive fellow intern, Elliot Reid, but J.D. quickly finds out her beauty is only surpassed by her hyper-competitive attitude.
Guiding the interns' education are those with more medical experience. Dr. Robert "Bob" Kelso, Chief of Medicine, wants the interns to think they can count on him. On the other side of the personality spectrum is Dr. Percival "Perry" Cox, a steamroller of a man short on patience. Watching over the interns with a caustically teasing but caring demeanor, is Nurse Carla Espinosa, a woman who is motherly and sexy at the same time - which appeals mightily to Turk.moreless

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  • Great format.

    I thought this pilot was definitely a great start off the the show, all the characters were introduced, the format was also introduced. I love the format of this show. In the perspective of a guy named JD. He can't do it on his own (Hence the theme song). He has funny thoughts in his head, that really show what he's thinking but he never actually says what he's thinking. We were introduced to some possible relationships in this show such as JD/Elliot, and Turk/Carla. We see some of the jerk doctors such as Dr. Kelso, and even Dr. Cox at times, but he was classified as the "good guy". The janitor was also a funny character. A great start.moreless
  • A great pilot for a great, quirky show

    The pilot of Scrubs focuses on the first day of interns at the hospital Sacred Heart. The main interns that are focused on are J.D, who is an awdward, light hearted person. There is also Turk, J.Ds best friend since college and there is also Elliot, an intern to whom J.D is immediately attracted. Once this has been established, the interns realise when they enter the hospital is that they "don't know jack". The reality of the hospital is then displayed to the interns. J.D. meets Dr Cox, a doctor who he sees as insensitive at first, but learns to aspire to him and Dr Cox is now, in J.Ds mind, a mentor. This idea sets the basis of the entire programme, where J.D. constantly tries to impress him. The episode also has a fairly sad ending, as again it shows how realistic working in a hospital is. Overall, this episode, with a mixture of humour, flashbacks and more serious moments has a great formula going which will become the basis of Scrubs for the rest of the seasons :). A great episode.moreless
  • My First Day is a really good episode, especially for a pilot. It really captures how J.D. is feeling as a new intern and also sets up the personalities and feelings of the other characters in the show. You learn a lot. Overall, very good episode. :)moreless

    My First Day is the pilot episode for Scrubs. It takes place in an un-named hospital, because according to DVD commentary, they were still deciding hospital locations when it was filmed. The rest of the series takes place in a different hospital, named Sacred Heart Hospital, and there is no more changes after that. It starts out as J.D. waking up and being nervous about his first day at a hospital. It basically really captures the overwhelming emotions of going into a hospital as an intern, not entirely knowing what to expect.

    Characters are established early on, such as J.D's best friend Turk and Turk's future wife Carla and attending doctor, Perry Cox. The off and on again relationship of J.D and Elliot is also quickly established. The chief of medicine, Robert Kelso, is also shown and his relationship with J.D. is established.

    This episode generally introduces all of the characters and how the interact with one another. Character development and actions are made here. I like this episode, because it really sets Scrubs up for what it's going to be. A serious medical show from a first person perspective with humor thrown in to mellow out all the drama. It is done very well here and overall, this is a great introduction and set up for what the rest of the series is going to be like over the course of the next 8 years.moreless
  • awesome

    this was a great episode but of course it was the first scrubs episode thats why last night when i watched the finale last night it was like an ending of this whole series but of course it was the great episode cause bill lawrence of course he made the 1st and last episode amazing just like every other episode ok so thats why they made this episode awesome jd was scared but i loved when they sang good time also bill lawrence it was de ja vu in season 8 because bill lawrence is very smart to maki it like this also its funny with tedmoreless
  • Scrubs took its first step in the right direction.

    I thought that this episode of Scrubs was really good for being a pilot episode. It really showed all of the characters in their personality that they will carry for the entire series running. It wasn't really the funniest episode by any means but it did give a good descrption of everyone and gave the viewer a good idea of what to expect from the show. Dr. Cox is the good guy, Dr. Kelsow the bad guy. J.D. and Turk are best friends and even the janitor got a nice role in this episode. Overall, it is a must-see for any Scrubs fan, just to see how much the same they are from start to finish.moreless
Judy Reyes

Judy Reyes

Nurse Carla Espinosa

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Dr. Elliot Reid

Donald Faison

Donald Faison

Dr. Christopher "Chris" Duncan Turk

John C. McGinley

John C. McGinley

Dr. Percival "Perry" Ulysses Cox

Ken Jenkins

Ken Jenkins

Dr. Robert "Bob" Kelso

Zach Braff

Zach Braff

Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian

Ted Rogers

Ted Rogers

Mr. Burski

Guest Star

Timmy Deters

Timmy Deters


Guest Star

Jake Fritz

Jake Fritz


Guest Star

Aloma Wright

Aloma Wright

Nurse Laverne Roberts

Recurring Role

Neil Flynn

Neil Flynn

The Janitor

Recurring Role

Sam Lloyd

Sam Lloyd

Ted Buckland

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • At the end of J.D.'s sitcom fantasy, Dr. Cox says, "What the hell are you doing?", then J.D. glances at the TV where you can see a picture of Dr. Cox pushing the same patient whom he is currently pushing.

    • In the end credits, a longer version of "Superman" by Lazlo Bane is played instead of just the notes score.

    • During Ted's orientation in the beginning of the episode we can see Matt Winston's character Dr. Jeffrey Steadman without glasses, although in all his other appearances in this and other episodes he's never without them.

    • In the scene where J.D. is dreaming about racing Elliot, The Janitor is seen standing in the crowd across the finish line.

    • Featured Music:
      "Superman" by Lazlo Bane (Scrubs theme)
      "Away" by Leroy (J.D. gets ready for his first day)
      "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick (Elliot races J.D.)
      "Over Me" by Tricky (Turk assists J.D. in draining Mrs. Pratt's stomach fluid)
      "Please Forgive Me" by David Gray (J.D. experiences his first night on-call)

    • This episode is the only one in which you ever see Elliot wearing glasses. She wears them during the second round of the episode, and she never wears them again.

    • In the scene with J.D. actually performing a procedure towards the end of the episode, Dr. Cox calls J.D. "J.D.", not some other girl name.

    • During the scene in which Dr. Cox is telling J.D., "Dr. Kelso is the most evil human being on the planet", the "dead" old lady sitting behind him in the wheelchair has her glasses on from one angle and then off in another. Also, when Dr. Cox wheels her around, her glasses continually disappear and reappear between shots.

  • QUOTES (43)

    • Dr. Kelso: Ok, gang, I'm Dr. Bob Kelso, and I'm your Chief of Medicine, so I just want to encourage you all to think of me as your safety net. Because I promise you, we're all family here, now, then, go get 'em, doctors.

    • J.D.: I guess i get a little goofy when I'm nervous. (Growls) You see, today isn't just anyday. It's my first day. I'm the man...

    • Elliot: If you're talking about getting the Bursky autopsy, I already called the family for you. And they said fine, and to thank you, and I'm sorry... They didn't say that last part, I did.

    • Carla: That's enough.
      J.D.: Sorry. It's a very big moment for me.

    • Dr. Kelso: Dr. Dorian, do you not realize that you're nothing but a large pair of scrubs to me? For God's sake, the only reason I carry this chart around is so I can pretend to remember your damn names!

    • Dr. Kelso: Okay... Uh, did you ask the Bursky family for permission to do an autopsy?
      J.D.: They're still in there with him, sir.
      Dr. Kelso: It's a teaching hospital, son, you gotta ask.
      J.D.'s Narration: Just tell him you can't see Mr. Bursky again. He'll understand.
      J.D.: Sir, do you-do you think I could skip just this one?
      Dr. Kelso: Why, sure, sport.
      J.D.'s Narration: See? Every story needs a good guy.
      Dr. Kelso: In fact, why don't you just head on home. You look kinda tired.
      J.D.: I am pretty tired!

    • J.D.: Well, I think it's okay to be scared.
      Turk: Well, I need you to tell me that every once in a while, man.
      J.D.'s Narration: He needs me?
      Turk: Anyway, I just came to check up on you; see how you're doing.
      J.D.'s Narration: Ask him to move in again.
      J.D.: You know, Turk, the offer still stands if you wanna...
      Turk: Dude, I already took the keys out your bag.

    • Laverne: I need to see you in Mr. Bursky's room.
      J.D.: Are you flirting with me? You are, aren't you!

    • Dr. Kelso: Hey, Champ! First night on call starts soon, huh? Gosh, you must be excited.
      J.D.'s Narration: Agghh!
      J.D.: You bet'cha.
      Dr. Kelso: Oh! About Mrs. Pratt... I heard you wanted to put her on the hospital's transplant list. I just thought I'd recommend keeping her on dialysis a little while longer, maybe we'll get lucky!
      J.D.: No problem, sir.
      Dr. Kelso: Great! Have a ball... on call! Hehe... A little poem for you.

    • Turk: Wait. Tell me if I'm going too fast, okay?
      Carla: Lose the clothes.

    • J.D.'s Narration: I was sitting on the floor for two reasons. One, I tried to lock Elliot in that supply closet, and she kicked me - hard.

    • J.D.: I thought we cared about each other...
      Elliot: Oh please, if you didn't want to sleep with me, you'd have done the same thing.
      J.D.: Well, I'll tell you one thing, the last thing in the world I wanna do is sleep wit'cha now!
      Elliot: Do me right here.
      J.D.: Okay.
      Elliot: See!

    • J.D.'s Narration: My first code. See, here's how it works: Someone's heart fails, they beep everyone. The first doctor in has to run the room, tell everyone what to do... Basically decide if the patient lives or dies. What am I, crazy?

    • J.D.'s Narration: Draining Mrs. Pratt's stomach fluid'll get my spirits back up.

    • Dr. Kelso: The necrosis and infected stool most likely indicate what, Dr... Dorian?
      J.D. looks to Elliot for help.
      Elliot: I don't know!
      J.D.: Sir, I have no idea.
      Dr. Kelso: Dr. Reid, can you help him out?
      Elliot: I'd say it's superior mesenteric insufficiency.

    • J.D.'s Narration: I wonder if Turk's having the same experience I am.
      Turk: I am such a stud!
      J.D.'s Narration: Probably not.

    • Boy: Daddy, why did you marry mommy?
      J.D.: Well, Tiger, I gave her an answer during rounds, and she screwed my brains out.

    • Carla: We're waiting for Dr. Cox.
      J.D.: Hi doctor, I'm-
      Dr. Cox: Place an IV for me.
      J.D.: We'll talk later.

    • Elliot: I'm probably "Miss Hyper Competitive". I mean, it used to be a big problem for me. "Used to" - past tense.
      J.D.: Hey, are we, like, racing?
      Elliot: Yes!

    • J.D.: Hey, I was, uh, I was paged.
      Carla: Aww. First day, Bambi?
      J.D.: Yeah.
      Carla: Carla will take care of you.

    • J.D.'s narration: You ever notice how quickly some people make an impression?
      Dr. Steadman: (Fantasy) I'm a tool. I'm a tool. I'm a tool, tool, tool; an unbelievably annoying tool.
      J.D.: Yeah.

    • J.D.'s narration: Since I was a kid, I've been able to sleep through anything -- storms, sirens, you name it. Last night, I didn't sleep.

    • (In an elevator full of people)
      Mr. Bursky: I just had bad gas. What are you testing me for?
      J.D.: We need to know if your gas could be harmful to others.

    • Turk: Todd, J.D. J.D., this is my man, Todd.
      J.D.: What's goin'...?
      J.D.'s narration: (After having his hand slapped by Todd) And like that I was back in high school. You see, surgical interns are all slice 'em and dice 'em. They're the jocks. Medical interns, we're trained to think about the body. Diagnose, test. The medical interns...well, we're the chess club.

    • J.D.: I became a doctor to help people, but orientation yesterday didn't really focus on patient care.
      Ted: The hospital doesn't wanna be sued. Being sued is not a good thing.

    • Dr. Cox: Look, worst case scenario, you kill somebody, and that hangs over your head the rest of your life... But that is the absolute worst case scenario. Come on, newbie, look: Just have the nurses do all the stuff you're still too chicken to do, which I assume covers just about everything, and if you have a really rough admission-
      J.D.: Call you?
      Dr. Cox: No! I was gonna say go hide in the closet again!

    • Mr. Bursky: So, what's it like being a young, hot-shot doctor?
      J.D.: It's like... Did you ever go see a movie that everyone told you was great, and then because of all those expectations, you ended up totally disappointed?
      Mr. Bursky: Movies nowadays have too many special effects.
      J.D.: Yeah, that was pretty much my point.

    • Turk: This morning, I had my hands inside of a guy's chest. I couldn't even see them! I should not be allowed to do stuff like that. Whazzup.
      J.D.: And you weren't scared?
      Turk: One way or another, everyone stops bleeding. That is so deep.
      Carla: No it isn't.
      Turk: It's a little deep.

    • J.D.: Dr. Kelso, he's always telling me, you know, "You've gotta stay positive!"
      Dr. Cox: I'm gonna go ahead and say this just as carefully as possible so I don't overstate it: Dr. Kelso is the most evil human being on the planet. And may, in fact, be Satan, himself.

    • Dr. Cox: Carla, can I ask you a personal question? Do you spray the perfume on, or do you just fill your bathtub up with it at home and splash around in it?

    • Elliot: Anyway, I know what you're thinking.
      J.D.'s narration: Your butt looks like two Pringles hugging.
      J.D.: No you don't.

    • J.D.: The medical interns are having a Pac Man tournament. Apparently we're all twelve.
      Elliot: I love Pac Man.
      J.D.: Me too. I love watching it, I love playing it, I love all of it.

    • Ted: Finally, doctors, if there is a mistake, don't admit it to the patient. Of course, if the patient is deceased - and you're sure - you can feel free to tell him or her... anything.

    • Elliot: I just hate it. I hate the "darlins" I hate the "sweethearts" ...
      Carla: You don't need to tell me how hard it is being a woman around here.
      Elliot: Well, you're certainly furthering the cause by wearing a thong to work and hooking up in the on-call room. Word gets around.
      Carla: You talk like that, do you even know my name? I spend every second of my life either here, or taking care of my mom. So, yeah, maybe I needed a little closeness. I'm sure you never had a quickie at the club, right? Or snuck some skinny, flat-butted college boy up to your sorority room. And my thong? I happen to think it makes my ass look good. And some days, I need to feel good about something around here. And you judge me? Well, guess what, word does get around, Miss "Out For Herself", so you can dump on everyone here if you want; but you will not hurt me.
      J.D.: Her name's Carla, by the way.

    • Dr. Cox: Now whatta ya say, champ; you got a urine sample in there for me?
      Billy: But I just did, five minutes ago.
      Dr. Cox: I know you did, but here's the thing. I'd like you to take this cup, put it on the ground, close your eyes, and just go nuts! Whatta ya say!
      Billy: Cool!

    • J.D.: Turk practically had sex in the on call room.
      Dr. Cox: You realise I have no idea who Turk is, but good for him!

    • Elliot: So every male in my family is a doctor: My dad, my grand-dad and my brother. I guess that's why dad gave me a guy's name....made me play girls. I'm joking.
      J.D.: I know. I would have laughed if you'd paused.

    • J.D.: You know how I'm totally down with the rap music?
      Turk: Dude, be whiter.
      J.D.: Here's the thing: TuPac, DMX, Dr. Dre, in most of their songs, these artists use an extremely volatile racial slur...the "N" word.
      Turk: I got it.
      J.D.: Right. My question is this: If we're both singing along, and knowing that otherwise I would never use the word, am I allowed to say...
      Turk: No.
      J.D.: See, that's good for me to know. I didn't...I didn't know that.

    • Dr. Cox: Why does this gomer got to try and die every day during my lunch!
      J.D.: That's a little insensitive.
      J.D.'s narration: Mistake.
      Dr. Cox: The man's 92 years old, he has full dementia, he doesn't even know we're here. He is inches from Carla's rack and he hasn't even flinched.
      Carla: Aw, so sweet.
      Dr. Cox: Yeah, it is...
      J.D.: What about his subconscious?
      Dr. Cox: (leans in close to the patient) Eisenhower...was a sissy. (quickly stands back up, patient doesn't react)
      Dr. Cox: (To J.D.) I think, by the grace of God, we're gonna be okay. Oh, and from now on, whenever I'm in the room, you're definitely not allowed to talk.

    • J.D: (To Janitor) Maybe there's a penny stuck in there.
      Janitor: Why a penny?
      J.D.: I don't know.
      Janitor: Did you stick a penny in there?
      J.D.: No, I was just making small talk.
      Janitor: If I find a penny in there, I'm taking you down.

    • Dr. Cox: Pumpkin, that's modern medicine. Advances that keep people alive that should have died along time ago, back when they lost what made them people. Now your job is to stay sane enough so that when someone does come in that you actually can help, you're not so brain dead that you can't function-for the love of God, what?
      J.D.: Its just... do you think we should be talking about this in front of her?
      Dr. Cox: Her? She's dead. Write this down newbie, if you push around a stiff, nobody will ask you to do anything.
      J.D.: You've been like a father to me.
      Dr. Cox: Fair enough, you want some real advice? If they find out they nurses are doing your proceedures for you, your ass will be kicked out of here so fast it will make your head spin.

    • Dr. Cox: Did you actually just page me to find out how much tylenol to give to Mrs. Lensner?
      J.D.: I was worried it could exasterbate the patient's...
      Dr. Cox: Its regular strength tylenol. Here's what you do: Get her to open her mouth, take a handfull and throw it at her. Whatever sticks - that's the correct dosage.

    • J.D.'s narration: And four years of pre-med, four years of med school, and tons of unpaid loans have made me realize one thing...
      Nurse Kearney: (Close-up) Good. Could you go drop an NG tube on the patient in 234, and call the attending if the lavage is positive?
      (J.D. fidgets and looks around nervously)
      J.D.'s narration: I don't know jack.

  • NOTES (11)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Czech Republic: December 10, 2012 on Prima COOL

    • The set used in J.D.'s sitcom dream with Elliot is also the set of the ABC comedy My Wife And Kids.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2003 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Episodic Comedy, and, the 2002 C.S.A. (Casting Society of America) Award for Best Casting For TV-Comedy Pilot.

    • The x-ray with the show's title shown in the beginning is turned the wrong way: the heart should be seen on the right hand side. This was an intentional mistake put in by creator Bill Lawrence to represent the core idea of the show: young doctors in over their heads. Bill Lawrence reminds viewers that this goof was completely intentional in interviews, DVD commentaries and virtually any other available opportunity.

    • International Titles:
      -Croatia: Stazist (The Intern)
      -Estonia: Kollanokad (The Newbies)
      -Germany: Die Anfänger (The Beginners)
      -Latin America: Docs
      -Portugal: Medicos e Estagiarios (Doctors and Interns)
      -Russia: Klinika (The Clinic)
      -Slovenia: Mladi zdravniki (The Young Doctors)
      -Sweden: Första hjälpen (First Aid)

    • While Scrubs' regular episodes are shot at the former North Hollywood Medical Center, the pilot episode was filmed in another hospital in Glendale, California which, incidentally, has since been torn down. Some of the scenes in this episode had to be re-shot in North Hollywood though, making the continuity of this episode somewhat difficult for the crew.

    • Special thanks were given to Dr. Jonathan Doris and Dr. Jon Turk, two medical experts who no doubt have influenced two main characters' names.

    • Sacred Heart Hospital is named after the school which Christa Miller Lawrence, (wife of writer Bill Lawrence) attended.

    • Bill Lawrence has stated that if the show had only lasted a year, at the end of the season the Janitor would've been revealed to be a figment of J.D.'s imagination, which is why he never interacts with any of the other characters this season.

    • At first, Scrubs was set to air on ABC, but was turned down, so NBC picked up the show. For the ninth season, Scrubs moved to ABC.

    • Scrubs is filmed at a real life medical clinic. The clinic has been closed for years and the producers decided to use the building. Plus most of the items on the set were bought in by the cast.
      NBC leased and refurbished the disused hospital for the program. The lower and upper floors of the hospital are used as other sets and production offices.
      A lot of the cast bring their dogs to play on set. The floor above the one they film on is vacant. That is where the dogs hang out.


    • The Janitor is similar to Gordy, the janitor in "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" in the way that Gordy is always trying new tricks to get the weasel, which is the same thing Janitor is doing to J.D.

    • When J.D. is is trying to calm himself down, while all these people are walking past him quickly as time goes, alludes to the music video for "Numb" by Linkin Park, where a similar scene occurs.

    • In the first scene, when J.D. gets up from bed he is wearing a Clone High t-shirt.
      "Clone High, USA" is a show created by Bill Lawrence.

    • When Turk first meets Elliot, he says "Ellliioottt" and points his finger to her head.
      This alludes to the movie E.T., where the main character was a boy named Elliot and was approached by E.T. the same way.