Season 3 Episode 1

My Own American Girl

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Oct 02, 2003 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
264 votes

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Episode Summary

A run-in with her old flame Sean and an accident in her new car lead Elliot to the realization that nothing good has happened to her in the three years she has been at Sacred Heart. This realization drives her to take drastic measures, including a complete makeover, both inside and out, in an attempt to change her luck. Meanwhile, J.D. gets stuck with a patient, whose diagnosis he can't quite pin down, and when Dr. Cox denies him any assistance, he looks to Carla and Turk to help him out. While Dr. Cox is busy not helping J.D., he takes the time to make amends with Dr. Kelso.moreless

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  • The group teams up to find a diagnosis.

    What a way to start the season, at first I wasn't very impressed with this episode, but as the episode continued, I started to like it more & more. The group teams up to find a diagnosis on a patient, and they have to go through certain obstacles to get the diagnosis with Cox's help. As Cox is being punished for what he did in the season 2 finale, when he punched out Kelso. While being punished by Kelso, Cox is having trouble getting to see his baby. Elliot is sick and tired of being treated like garbage, so she decides to change her image. She also encounters an old boyfriend, Sean that finds out she is absolutely insane. Elliot's transformation was crazy, she looked like a completely different person. After 2 seasons of taking crap from everybody else, she finally decides to do something about it which I certainly enjoyed. There is even some hint of JD/Elliot interaction, but the story is never that easy, since Elliot is now with Sean, the guy that she encountered in the beginning of the episode. The supporting cast was very good in this episode as well. Carla wants Turk to get jealous so she goes out her way to get him jealous, another enjoyable plot. So I can tell that season 3 definitely has a new style, by the looks of this episode, I'm enjoying it so far. Solid season opener.moreless
  • Classic Scrubs-ness.

    What a great start to season three. (in my opinion the earlier seasons are the best)

    "well I heard your sister started drinking again!" ...I'm still not good at smack talk. This episode has classic Dorian moments. Ones that will make you laugh no matter how many times your watch this episode. Dr. Kelso's squeaking nose (from being suckered punched by Cox on last season's finale) is one of those classic jokes the Scrubs team knows how perform excellently. Ken Jenkins is an amazing Kelso. Also Dr. Cox shines as his usual self. The mentor at the perfect time and then taking credit. I wouldn't expect anything else.

    Elliot's (hilarious) spinelessness continues to add to her self confidence. Her car doors getting knocked off probably didn't help very much. "That girl is extra strength crazy." "Being such a much mess that your friends don't even ask you for help." After some great advice from Janitor and a very angry montage, Elliot comes back with a bad ass attitude and wows everybody. The revival of Sean brought a huge smile to my face. I love that he and Elliot are the same kind of person, and yet he's way more normal. Plus his buzz cut and that he works at Seaworld makes him way more lovable. With his surprise visit to Sacred Heart at the end, you can tell Sean was going to be here for a whilemoreless
  • great

    This episode is really good because elliot finally gets her rights she gets a huge make over also she gets tough and stands up to the person who owns the cat scan machine guy it was also a great episode to start a new season i mean it gets obvious that the season gonna be about elliot and j d carla turk and every one else in sacred heart hospitals surprised so this is a great episode and one of the best way that bill lawrence should start the 3 rd season of the show scrubs ! ! ! !moreless
  • Elliot, frustrated that everyone walks all over her, and desperately needing to change her bad-luck streak

    This is not a bad episode, but i don't think that it holds the Season 1 and 2 standarts Scrubs set for itself. Elliot isn't statisfied with herself anyone and decides to cut her hair and change her style. But how does that actually change the person she is? I really love Elliot though and it's great that there is a episode focusing mainly on her. It was a good episode, really. But after the amazing final, i actually expected something suberb. It would have been a 8.5 in my opinion, but Dr Cox's rants and the scenes between him and Kelso saved it. All in all, it was good but Season 3 had better episodes.moreless
  • The beginning of the change of Elliot's character

    Elliot is starting to become my favourite character over JD and this is one of the most important Elliot episodes. There is a difference between Elliot in the first two seasons and Elliot in new episodes she has pulled herself together and become a more competant doctor. This is a good and bad thing as I prefer Elliot in the first two seasons as she is a more interesting character but the decision to change her personality sort of worked as it was believable and realistic that she would get her life sorted. In this episode Elliot get's sick of getting walked all over and wants to get her life sorted she meets her ex-boyfriend Sean and sees he is doing well but realises she may want him back. In season 3 Elliot and Sean are together for most of the season. Everything has gone wrong since she became a doctor and she wants to put this right. It is nice to see he deal with things and grow in this episode. The ending is nice as it shows that JD ,Carla and Turk really do need Elliot and they work as team to find out what's wrong with a patient. The episode blended well with the song "American Girl" which i've never heard before really fitting and the story with JD being linked with Elliot at the end. But a lack of good jokes and the emotion though good not being great stop it from being perfect.moreless
Donald Faison

Donald Faison

Dr. Christopher "Chris" Duncan Turk

John C. McGinley

John C. McGinley

Dr. Percival "Perry" Cox

Judy Reyes

Judy Reyes

Nurse Carla Espinosa

Ken Jenkins

Ken Jenkins

Dr. Robert "Bob" Kelso

Neil Flynn

Neil Flynn

The Janitor

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Dr. Elliot Reid

Mark Meismer

Mark Meismer


Guest Star

Jennifer Lothrop

Jennifer Lothrop


Guest Star

Lee Arenberg

Lee Arenberg

Dr. Moyer

Guest Star

Christa Miller-Lawrence

Christa Miller-Lawrence

Jordan Sullivan

Recurring Role

Scott Foley

Scott Foley

Sean Kelly

Recurring Role

Aloma Wright

Aloma Wright

Nurse Laverne Roberts

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • This episode marks the first time Elliot uses the word "frick". It becomes a common curse for her in future episodes.

    • When J.D. walks in the building and is talking to Dr. Cox, right before Dr. Cox leaves, the camera pointed at J.D. shows his hair down and over his forehead, but when Dr. Cox leaves and J.D. turns around, his hair is all pushed back and styled.

    • Familial Mediterranean Fever: J.D.'s patient is suffering from "Familial Mediterranean Fever." FMF is a hereditary disease most commonly seen in members of ethnic groups with origins around the Mediterranean, such as Sephardic Jews. Symptoms typically include fever and joint and abdominal pain. FMF is frequently misdiagnosed because it is fairly rare and because its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. There is now a genetic test to see if a person has FMF.

    • Featured Music:
      "Faith" by George Michael (sung by Zach Braff)
      "Beautiful Day" by U2
      "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    • In this episode, Cox takes his flashlight out of his pocket after he gets on the elevator, when the camera is facing Kelso. In the next shot, Cox reaches to take the flashlight out of his pocket again. Then in the next shot, he already has it out and his hand is by his side.

  • QUOTES (36)

    • Dr. Cox: Now, I would've never figured it out unless you guys had done the leg work. You four deserve all the credit, really... Mrs. Farr, Dr. Cox has saved the day! Don't ya just love it?

    • J.D.'s Narration: It feels good to work as a team and gather all the pieces of the puzzle together so we can finally look Mrs. Farr in the face and tell her... we still don't know what the hell she has.

    • Dr. Cox: But, still, I'm starting to think it would be smart if you and I were to bury the hatchet. What do you say, there, Bob?... Come, on, handsome!
      Dr. Kelso: Listen up, ace: You will always be a royal pain in my ass, and I will always be waiting for the day when I get to jam that knife into your side once and for all; and you know it as well as I do!
      Dr. Cox straightens Kelso's nose.
      Dr. Kelso: Much better, thanks!
      Dr. Cox: You're welcome.
      Dr. Kelso: People don't change, Perry.

    • Dr. Kelso: Oh, so you're going to sock me again. Good God, Perry, at a certain point you're just beating up an old man.

    • Dr. Moyer: I'm head of the radiology department. You call me in from home to do an abdominal CAT-scan that could wait until Monday morning? Well, guess what? It's not happening.
      J.D.: Look, Dr. Moyer-
      Carla: Sir-
      Dr. Moyer: MY MACHINES!
      Turk: Whose machines?
      Dr. Moyer: MY MACHINES!
      J.D.: How is that helpful?

    • J.D.: Dr. Cox, I managed to get some tests done on Mrs. Farr...
      Dr. Cox: Look, Gwyneth, you're old enough now to hear this from me: Every time I go out of my way to help you children, I get nothing but trouble. Now this is the first five minute window I've had in the last week to be with my son. And I'm just not gonna have you pirouetting around in here while my heart is breaking inside.
      J.D.: Sorry.
      Jordan: Your heart is breaking inside? That is so embarrassing for you!
      Dr. Cox: Thank you for that.

    • Turk: I don't understand how you think you can get this cardiologist to do an echo-cardiogram for us.
      Carla: I've worked in the Cath. Lab before - I understand how these guys think. Plus I had a one-nighter with him a long time ago.
      Turk: Okay! Oh-ho-ho! You're telling me this guy in here got tasty treats?
      Carla: Turk! I worked here eight years before you showed up - I had sexual needs.
      Turk: Okay, first of all, that's disgusting.

    • Laddy: See, because of the way I laid on top of you, I can tell people this is an x-ray of Siamese twins! How cool is that!
      J.D.: It's so cool, Laddy, let's never talk to anyone about it, ever!

    • J.D.: Look, I know you're the only x-ray tech on tonight, all right? But I just need a quick abdominal scan to make sure Mrs. Farr doesn't have an obstruction.
      Laddy: Uh-uh-uh! Don't want to know who they are! Don't want to know how they're doing! Just wanna go "click-click!" and get 'em out of here! Now, your lady's about forty people down on the list. And as always, uh, there are no cutsies.

    • Dr. Cox: That's, uh, that's my son.
      Prisoner: He's adorable. Can I keep it?
      Dr. Cox: No, no you-you certainly may not! Bad man.

    • Turk: She wanted to come back and help. And I wasn't gonna let my baby be here all alone with all sorts of guys eyeballing her privates and whatnot.
      Carla: If you can't muster up some sincere jealousy, don't even bother.

    • Sean: I thought you hated this place 'cause of that time you--you got sick here?
      Elliot: You remember that?
      Sean: Y-you got sick on my face...
      Elliot: Oh, no, that wasn't the smoothies - you just said you thought you were falling in love with me, and sometimes when I get really uncomfortable I hurl.
      Sean: I know, I get-I get a little, uh... gassy.

    • Elliot: You know what I realized when I was dragging my car door around? I cannot remember the last good thing that happened to me at this place. I mean, what is it about me that makes everybody walk all over me?
      Carla: No self-confidence.
      Turk: You could be a baby sometimes.
      J.D.: Your voice gets really high when you're upset.
      Elliot: Rhetorical question, okay?

    • Carla: Well, he didn't know I was engaged, so he asked me out to a movie tonight.
      Turk: Well, if he's paying, give a brother some Snow Caps!
      Carla: Turk, why don't you ever get jealous?
      Turk: Woman, look at me! How can someone with all of this here be jealous of any of that out there!

    • Carla: Hey. You guys know that unbelievably handsome new anesthesiologist?
      J.D.: Yes.
      Turk: No.
      J.D.: No.

    • Dr. Cox: Ohh... Come on, Bob, I can't even remember the last time I saw my son, and you-you-you're a father, for God's sake; you understand, don't you?
      Dr. Kelso: My son was recently kicked out of his Hari Krishna sect for being too much of a hippie, and is currently residing in the Portland subway system. The point, Perry, is that the only thing I care less about than my son... is your son. Have fun at the Big House.

    • J.D.'s Narration: Elliot's unlucky streak continued with the head of the radiology department.
      Elliot: Dr. Moyer. Uh, you told me my patient had colitis, and it turns out it was just traveler's diarrhea?
      Dr. Moyer: So? Sounds like good news.
      Elliot: Yeah... He took it as bad news, maybe 'cause of the unnecessary colonoscope I shoved three feet up his pooper?
      Dr. Moyer: What do you want me to do?
      Elliot: Uh, apologize to my patient and tell him it was your mistake, no big deal?
      Dr. Moyer: Think I'm gonna pass on that one. See, I got you pegged as one of those spineless types that's not gonna cause me any trouble no matter what I do. So, thanks for stopping by, and don't forget your car door.
      Elliot: I just didn't want it to get stolen, okay?

    • J.D.: So, Dr. Cox, can you, uh, look at her chart?
      Dr. Cox: Newbie, did you not see what just happened? Kelso is so far up my ass that I can taste Brylcreem in the back of my throat.

    • Dr. Kelso: Perry, great news: I managed to swing it so that you get to go over to the state pen. today and do the annual inmates' physicals!
      Dr. Cox: Well, hell's bells, Bobbo, if you want to fire me, just do it!
      Dr. Kelso: I would, but even though this room was quite crowded when you sucker-punched me, apparently nobody saw it happen.
      Ted snickers under his breath and Kelso glares at him.
      Ted: Uh, saw what happen, sir?

    • J.D.: Ahh, I cannot figure out what's wrong with Mrs. Farr. I gotta go ask Cox.
      Turk: Why won't you ask me?
      J.D.: You're a surgeon - you just cut people up, you don't actually know anything.
      Turk: Oh, yeah.

    • Carla: Mrs. Farr is still having acute abdominal pain.
      Mrs. Farr: So, what's wrong with me, doctor?
      J.D.'s Narration: Oh, good Lord, I have no idea. Okay, don't panic, just do what all doctors do in this situation and fake a page.
      J.D.: Uh-oh. Got a Code 3 down the hall.
      Mrs. Farr: What's that?
      J.D.: Uhhh, Code 3? Not as bad as a Code 4, but a hell of a lot worse than a Code 2!

    • Elliot: Oh, my God! Isn't she beautiful! I mean, this car has totally maxed out my credit, but my self-esteem's been so low lately that I think it's worth it. Don't you?
      Delivery Guy: I just deliver the cars.

    • J.D.'s Narration: ...Surgical and Medical still play each other in basketball.
      Surgeon: I'm gonna toast you so bad, your momma ain't even gonna recognize you!
      J.D.: Yeah? Well I heard that your sister started drinking again!
      J.D.'s Narration: I'm still not great at smack-talk.
      J.D.: So, it's not supposed to be true?
      Turk: No. Ohhh, let it pour, big guy.

    • Dr. Cox: Well, Zsa Zsa. Now you've put me in quite the pickle. You see, with those earphones on, you can't hear me; but! the odds are highly against you cracking open that yapper and annoying me today. So, what to do? What to do? What to do? Ahh, hell-(he yanks the earphone out of J.D.'s ears) Stop addressing me as "Dr. Cox" in front of your patients. When they find out my actual name, they tend to page me with questions when they realize just exactly how inept you really are. Oh, and as an added safety measure, from now on, I'll only be responding to Doc, Doctor, Ceasar, or The Big Cheese, and noooo, I'm not joking. Not now, not ever.

    • Dr. Cox: Now, I'm real sorry I cold-cocked you there, Bob. I shouldn't have done that. Even if it did feel so damn good I changed my pants afterwards.

    • Dr. Cox: Oh hey, Bob-cat! Listen, I was hoping that maybe you could get someone to cover for me out at the prison tonight. I know that the very idea of you doing a favor for me makes those ass cheeks clench up so tight that you could shove a lump of coal up there and probably crap out a diamond. Right?

    • Mitchell: Carla, love to, really, but, it's already six and it's my son's birthday tonight.
      Carla: How old is he?
      Mitchell: He's ten.
      Carla: And how long ago was that night that you told me you were single and you took me dancing?
      Mitchell: Eight years. I'll see you in the patient's room.

    • Janitor: No, I'm a winner. But, I will tell you something that my grandmother told me when I was a kid; even though at the time I thought she was my mother. She said, "Time spent wishing is time wasted." Now, she died shortly after that, and my sister - who actually was my mother - she never got over it. Neither did my brother-dad. But the point is this: If you want to be different, then be different!

    • Elliot: What are you doing in here!?
      Janitor: It's...the men's room.
      Elliot: I know! I mean, it's not like I thought those were some kind of new female urinals, and then...tried them, and found them...oddly comfortable...

    • Jordan: Don't you love the outfit?
      Dr. Cox: You know, I always wanted to be the father of a tiny gay sailor. Jordan, come on, we agreed that we would wait until he's quite a bit older before we started systematically ruining his life, right?... Right?
      Jordan: I may have painted his toenails for funsies.

    • Laverne: You'll be okay, Marshmallow.
      Elliot: Laverne, do you call me "Marshmallow" because I'm soft and easily flattened?
      Laverne: Well, yeah... But, if it makes you feel any better, it's also because you're very white.

    • J.D.: I don't think you'll be having breakfast with us tomorrow.
      Mrs. Farr: Why, am I going home tonight?
      J.D.: No, the cook died.

    • Sean: Hey, Elliot! How you--how you doing?
      Elliot: You look great! Except, the buzz-cut has kind of tapped into this recurring dream I have where my dad makes me marry this army colonel named Johnny Case who, as it turns out, already has a wife in the Philippines. Anyways, she and I become friends, but then she smothers him with her thighs and then frames me for it.
      Sean: Well, yeah, I'm-I'm doing about the same, too.

    • Ted: So, you're engaged to that surgeon guy?
      Carla: Mm-hmm.
      Ted: Is it serious?
      Carla: No, Ted. We swing.

    • Elliot: Janitor, have you ever looked at yourself and wished that you were different in every single way?
      Janitor: No. I'm a winner.

    • Elliot: You're gonna give the patient the screening, and I'll tell you why. Remember that patient of mine you screwed up? Well, I'm going to tell him it was your fault and then I'm going to spend every waking second helping him figure out how to emotionally and financially bitchslap you even if the end result is that we both get our asses fired. Your move, Chuckles.

  • NOTES (2)