Season 1 Episode 4

My Old Lady

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Oct 16, 2001 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
613 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The three interns are each assigned patients with various illnesses. Statistically speaking, one of the three is going to die. J.D.'s patient is 74-year-old Mrs. Tanner, who is in renal failure. 20-year-old David Morrison is Turk's hernia patient and Elliot's patient Mrs. Guerrero only speaks Spanish and might have lupus.moreless

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  • great

    JD, Elliot, and Turk each get 3 patients with different diseases, and they all bond with their patients. However, at the end of the episode all 3 of them die from their diseases. JD, Elliot and Turk are sad but happy they got to spend time with these people.

    This was pretty emotional. I watch Scrubs for the comedy factor of course, but this episode, whilst being sad, is also a really good episode. It's not the best ever but it was an enjoyable episode from the first season. Had few funny parts and the ending was pretty sad. Final grade- B+/A- or somoreless
  • Emotional.

    "Did you know that one out of three patients in a hospital die?" A brilliant concept taken to all new levels with the Scrubs cast. This show came off as a comedy, but this episode showed it's dramatic side, with a lot of emotional & sad scenes. This episode was perfect, especially for an episode so early in the series, you wouldn't expect it to be this good, but truly it was. JD has an old lady, Carla & Elliot have a Hispanic lady, and Turk has a guy with hernia supposedly. What I loved about this episode, is that every character was taken in depth. JD comes in to self realization that he needs to do more with his life. Or something as simple to sitting in the grass, thinking. Elliot is afraid, in general. Carla shows her true colors when she expresses why she hasn't been getting along with Elliot in the beginning. Turk learns to be closer with patients. An unexpected ending: all three patients die. The narration and editing of this episode was flawless. Definitely a tearjerker in the end. I give Scrubs props for this episode. Great job, Scrubs!moreless
  • Greatest Episode of the season.

    Scrubs has so many great episodes.

    And i think this is the one that set the bar for all the episodes. There are so many great things about this episode.

    First, the old lady herself, she is so sweet! I wish my grandmother was more like her. Even though she is so sick, it is importuned to her to be at the birthday of her granddaughter.

    There is also some comedy. The line between the comedy and drama is so thin. It is written so strong.

    The end made me cry. JD sitting with the woman in his free time. Talking to her and trying to convince her not to give up. When she died, it was perfect. so peacefull. There was no better way to end this episode.moreless
  • A sentimental episode

    This is a slightly less comedic episode compared to the last few. This time around, Eliot, Turk and J.D. try to connect with their respective patients. It's a little more on the dramatic side as each doctor tries to overcome their frustrations at each patient's declining health, but learn to accept it, as all doctors must. Carla and Eliot also make amends, with the help of J.D. and Turk. The episode ends with J.D. taking his patient's advice, sitting on the grass thinking about all the things that have yet to be done. There is also a cool scene with the Grim Reaper. J.D. plays him in chess and I imagine that's how a lot of doctors feel about their patients. I'm new to the show, but I'm glad it shows a softer side as well, along with great laughs.moreless
  • The first emotional Scrubs episode.

    This was the first Scrubs Episode that was a little deeper. It is very, very easy to remember. Even when you haven't seen it in years, it's just one episode you don't forget about. Each one of the three Interns gets a new patient. Each patient unfortunatly dies in the end, but the Intern learn from their expirence. Unfortunaly, there isn't too much Dr Cox in this one. But Mrs Tanner is a very likable character. There is also some development in the Carla/Elliot relationship going on. Usually i do not like these overly dramatic scenes with sad music etc. But the ending of this episode (with the song Hallelujah by John Cale) is a expection. Even though this episode was very serious, it still had a few funny parts!moreless
Donald Faison

Donald Faison

Dr. Christopher "Chris" Duncan Turk

John C. McGinley

John C. McGinley

Dr. Percival "Perry" Ulysses Cox

Judy Reyes

Judy Reyes

Nurse Carla Espinosa

Ken Jenkins

Ken Jenkins

Dr. Robert "Bob" Kelso

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Dr. Elliot Reid

Zach Braff

Zach Braff

Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Mrs. Tanner

Guest Star

Esther Mercado

Esther Mercado

Mrs. Guerrero

Guest Star

Jennifer Naimo

Jennifer Naimo

Gina Tanner

Guest Star

Charles Chun

Charles Chun

Dr. Wen

Recurring Role

Neil Flynn

Neil Flynn

The Janitor

Recurring Role

Mike Schwartz

Mike Schwartz

Delivery Man

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Turk is with his patient he says, "thanks I'll take your fruit cup", but when he gets up he leaves the fruit cup on the tray and grabs the red jello.

    • When Turk's patient David assumed that no-one has ever heard of "The Catch", Turk replies with, "Joe Montana to Dwight Clark, NFC Championship game, no time left on the clock." This is not entirely true, as there were 51 seconds left on the clock at the time of "The Catch".

    • When J.D. is avoiding to enter Mrs. Tanner's room and is forced to do so only by the Janitor and his floor polisher machine, if you watch the scene carefully, you can see the Janitor's shadow in the corridor, meaning he was just around the corner all the time.

    • Featured Music:
      "Dracula from Houston" by the Butthole Surfers (Opening scene)
      "Hallelujah" by John Cale (Final scene)

    • In the scene where "a ton of bricks" falls onto J.D., if you watch carefully you'll notice that he flinches a second before they fall, indicating that he knew what was about to happen.

    • When J.D. asks Mrs. Tanner if she lived in another country, she says in Japanese, "I lived in Kyoto for about five years".

    • When J.D. and Death are playing Connect-4, if you count the number of chips placed, J.D. has placed eight, whereas Death has just placed his sixth to win. Since each player in Connect-4 places their chips in turn, it seems that J.D. placed two extra chips at some point during the game. Yes, J.D. was apparently trying to "cheat Death".

    • The opening scene features a fantasy sequence where J.D. "rewinds" a fight between Elliot and Carla, so he can "do over" his part in the whole thing. The first run through, Carla says: "If she's from el barrio, she must not like music". Second time, she changes the line by saying: "If she grew up in the barrio, she must not like classical music".

  • QUOTES (22)

    • (Turk is performing a surgical procedure)
      Surgical Intern: We are so lost.
      Turk: We are not lost.
      Surgical Intern: Go left here.
      Turk: It's right.
      Surgical Intern: You passed his Cooper's ligament three times already. Just stop and ask for directions.
      Turk: You wanna drive this thing? 'Cause I will pull, I will pull this thing over and let you drive this thing.

    • J.D.: "Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower".
      Mrs. Tanner: Done.
      J.D.: Fine. "Go to the top of the Meiffel Tower".
      Mrs. Tanner: Oh, now you're making stuff up.
      J.D.: No, I'm not; it's right here, you can look at it!

    • J.D.: You didn't tell them, did you.
      Mrs. Tanner: It didn't come up. Look, they don't need that burden; besides, they'd just give me a bunch of reasons to change my mind.
      J.D.: Speaking of which, I took the liberty of jotting down a few things I think everybody should do at least once in their life.
      Mrs. Tanner: Oh, no.
      J.D.: Okay. "Number One: Eat a sausage-and-pepper hoagie from Enrico's".
      Mrs. Tanner: Well, of course I've done that.
      J.D.: "Number Two: Go to Asia".
      Mrs. Tanner: (Something in Japanese)
      J.D.: I'm gonna take that as a yes, and I'll also check off "Learn a foreign language".

    • Elliot: Speaking of Heparin, have you slept with Turk yet?
      Carla: What!?
      Elliot: I'm sorry, I'm-no, I'm sorry...too personal.
      Carla: I like to wait. I like a guy to want it so bad he basically thinks he isn't gonna get it ever. Then when he's lost the will to live, that's when I jump him.
      Elliot: So, how long does that usually-
      Carla: A month, maybe two. What about you?
      Elliot: I like to use sex as an ice-breaker.
      Carla: Ah. And how's that working out for you?
      Elliot: I guess I don't have what you would call high self-esteem.

    • J.D.: Okay, enough of this. I don't think any of you realize how serious this is. Right now we need to be worried about your mother, your grandmother...your...I'm sorry, we-we haven't met, I'm Dr. Dorian.

    • Mrs. Tanner: Just until Samantha blows out her candles. What are you gonna wish for, honey? Uhhhhm....a bike?
      Samantha: Nope.
      Mrs. Tanner: A doll house?
      Samantha: Nope.
      J.D.: How about the ability to make quick decisions?
      Samantha: Umm...nope.

    • J.D.: Look, I don't know how it's been with your other doctors, but when you're under my care, you stay in the hospital until I say it's okay for you to leave.
      Mrs. Tanner: We saved you a plate.
      J.D.: I don't care about food right now!
      J.D.'s narration: Oh my God, are those s'mores?

    • J.D.: Dr. Kelso...hi. I wanted to get your opinion about a patient. She's uh...a seventy-four-year-old renal failure, Mrs. Tanner.
      Dr. Kelso: Oh, of course! One of our frequent fliers - she's a neat lady.
      J.D.: That's what I said!
      Dr. Kelso: Nobody likes a brown-nose, son.

    • Elliot: I called down and requested a Spanish-speaking nurse. English, huh? I'm a chunky monkey from funky town.
      Carla: I'm gonna have a little trouble translating that.

    • David: Oh, see, this is embarrassing - you guys are wearing the same outfit. Don't sweat it, I'm not wearing pants.

    • J.D.: I'm...I'm...I'm the doctor.
      Guy: What are you, sixteen?
      Woman: Oh, this is unacceptable.
      Guy: What'd you have, like, coupons to this hospital, ma?
      Woman: I should-we should have gone to my doctor.
      Mrs. Tanner: Now that's enough! Now, sure, he's young, but he's probably a very good doctor. Are you a good doctor?
      J.D.: It's kinda too soon to tell.

    • David: Hey, come on man, it's the fourth quarter, you got a minute?
      Turk: Sure.
      David: Cool.
      Turk: David, right?
      David: Yeah.
      Turk: I'm Turk.
      David: What's want some IV?
      Turk: No, I'm good.

    • Delivery guy: I've got a ton of bricks for Dr. Dorian. (Hands J.D. a pen and extends his clipboard. A pile of bricks falls on J.D.) Could I get that pen back?

    • Dr. Kelso: Spare me.
      Turk: (Laughs) Oh, that's good! (Dr. Kelso gives him a weird glare) You know ''re not joking, are you sir?
      Dr. Kelso: Not at the moment.

    • Dr. Cox: Well, if she refuses dialysis, then there really is no ethical dilemma, is there?
      J.D.: But what about our duty as doctors?
      Dr. Cox: (In mock crying voice) But what about our duty as doctors? (Back to normal voice) Look. This is not about Mrs. Tanner's dialysis, this is about you. You're scared of death, and you can't be; you're in medicine for chrissakes. Sooner or later, you're going to realize that everything we do around here, everything is a stall. We're just trying to keep the game going, that's all. But, ultimately, it always ends up the same way.

    • J.D.: You have had an amazing life.
      Mrs. Tanner: Good, then we agree. Now, aren't there other patients you need to be seeing?
      J.D.: Me? No, no, I've been off for two hours.

    • J.D.: I admitted this really neat old lady today.
      Turk: "Neat?" Dude, the 1930s called and they want their lingo back.

    • Mrs. Tanner: Sweetie, I'm seventy-four years old, I'm ready to go.
      J.D.: Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another...eighty or ninety years.
      Mrs. Tanner: I think you're being a little irrational.
      J.D.: No I'm not.
      Mrs. Tanner: Everybody dies sometime.
      J.D.: No they don't.

    • Turk: Dude, the League of Women Voters called and they want to know where to send your membership info.
      J.D.: You're using that "somebody called" joke a lot.
      Turk: I know, I can't help it. I got a hernia patient to take care of.
      J.D.: What's his name?
      Turk: Well, his name is Hernia Patient, but we've gotten close so I like to call him "Hernia".
      J.D.: He must feel so safe and taken care of.

    • (J.D. and Death are playing Connect Four)
      Death: I win.
      J.D.: What? Where?
      Death: Here.
      (Points to the game)
      Death: Diagonally.
      J.D.: Pretty sneaky Death.

    • Dr. Kelso: Gosh, sport, I sure hope you're not using that phone to make a personal call.
      Turk: No. Actually that was David Morrison's father. He's a patient of mine. Dave's a good kid.
      Dr. Kelso: Well he sound's teriffic. You two becoming best pals?
      Turk: Yeah.
      Dr. Kelso: Well you know what we should do? The three of us should play a game of stick ball. Sure, all we need is a stick and a ball and a pocket full of dreams. Or we could take turns bowling your patient down the hallways of my hospital.

    • Elliot: Mrs. Guerrero is a forty-year old lupus patient who presented with shortness of breath so I started her on a hepron drip and ordered a VQ scan. I just wanted to run that by you.
      Dr. Cox: One...two...three...
      Elliot: (Interrupting) So should I continue with the hepr...
      Dr. Cox: It's really important that you let me get to ten.
      Elliot: Well, I just thought...
      Dr. Cox: Listen, cookie, you've been here over a month, this is Medicine 101. I don't want every little thing run by me, I don't wanna give you my two cents worth, but if you every do want to know my opinion, rest asured it will always be that you're an incredible pain and that every time I see your cut-ie-doll face it just makes me wanna pick you up and shake you until all the hours of my life that you've wasted fall out. Now laugh.
      Elliot: What?
      Dr. Cox: Laugh, so she doesn't think I'm yelling at you. (Starts laughing and leaves)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Original International Airdates:
      Czech Republic: December 13, 2012 on Prima COOL

    • The music in two of the sequences in this episode was changed by the time it got to DVD; the music when it was originally aired included a song called "Why We Gotta Die?"

    • This episode won the 2002 Humanitas Prize in the 30 Minute Category.
      This episode was nominated for the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.

    • "Push Thrombolitics" is not a real medical term. Bill Lawrence says in the commentary that this term was used because the writers knew that it would irk the show's medical consultants.

    • According to Zach Braff, he was mad at Sarah Chalke during the filming of the episode's final scene. When J.D.'s friends join him as he relaxes in the park, Zach interacts with the other two actors and doesn't look at Sarah.


    • J.D. playing death in Connect-Four mirrors the 1970's Connect-Four commercial complete with the dialogue "Pretty sneaky, sis."