Season 3 Episode 14

My Screw Up

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Feb 24, 2004 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (90)

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out of 10
1,132 votes
  • Toucing moments toned down by the unnecessary (yet good) comedy

    I know I'm somewhat new to this series since I just binge watch it a few weeks recently on Netflix. But I gotta admit the comedy and drama are good, although sometimes it feels a tad stereotypical and repetitive.

    This episode in particular is good but also makes me a little angry in some ways.

    The particular thing that made me angry is the comedy that seems to tone down those important moments.

    I mean, the first time . learns of Ben's leukemia he's got all those 5 stages of grief, and yet after Ben is dead, he only shows little sign of grief as if Ben is just another patient of his (he plays gin with Leonard the guard afterwards as if nothing the other characters treated as if nothing really tragic happens to him.

    So, when the twist happens, I just kind of surprised yet too sad about it like I should, since the other characters just made some jokes a few moments ago.

    In my opinion this whole it was like going to a best friend's brother funeral after I went to see a funny movies with my other best friend. It in turns create a mixed up feeling of joy and sadness. Which then angers me since I feel it's not sad or touching enough to be a heartfelt episode, yet it's not funny enough to be a hilarious episode.
  • Still. Cry. Every. Time. I. Watch. It.

    Even many years later.
  • A surprising twist that could shake everyone to their core.

    This was definitely one of the best of the series, out of all the twists Scrubs has had in the past, this one by far has been one of the best. I've rewatched this episode 3 times, and I finally think I got it. Ben was alive when he came to Sacred Heart, but the patient that died that Cox blamed JD for, that was Ben. He came for Jack's first birthday but when he got his leukemia checked, that's when he went in to cardiac arrest and died, everything else was in Cox's imagination. I got so much chills at the end of this episode, it literally shook me to my core, and this episode was so emotional, it was shocking. Scrubs is a comedy, but it always has some emotional scene in each episode, whether it's Elliot changing her image, 1 out of 3 patients dying in a hospital, finding out you're patient was trying to commit suicide or cancer in this case. I think what made this episode really sad is that we knew Ben as an actual character, he wasn't just any other patient. Danni, Jordan's sister, also makes an appearance for the birthday/funeral. Basically in this episode, one of JD's patients dies on him, and Cox blames JD. He takes all his patients and wont go home. In the end, it turns out the one that died was his best friend, Ben. Meanwhile Turk & Carla both have something they want to change about each other, but they don't go through with doing it in the end. We get a Carla/Kelso moment, which we haven't seen since season 1. Elliot worries about her newly found Bunyan, as Sean is coming back in a few weeks, and she wants to get it removed before he comes back. She ends up getting it removed in the end.

    All the minor side plots seemed pointless by the end, Ben has died, which reminded me what a great show Scrubs is, amazing episode that has a bit of everything.
  • Not one of the best episodes of the series.

    The best episode of history of TV. Coming from Scrubs Season 3, note that. Who else can think there might be just one slightly better episode than this one? If you think that, you're in denial. "My Screw Up" deserves that title, for me it was flawless. I dislike there are already tons of reviews to this one, and who wrote them are not even close to be as [scrubs] fans as myself. Anyway, I wrote a 're-view'. Everybody here already stated why this is the best of the series, I'm going to skip that part then. So, the episode starts we have JD displaying his gift as a doctor when rubbing Elliot's foot. JD has his bunion face joke. The subplot is quickly introduced when Carla decides to keep her last name Espinoza after marrying. Then is Jordan asking Perry what come up for the adults in Jack's birthday, Cox has his russian roulette joke, JD interrupts asking if he should bring his piñata helmet. And my second favorite part of the whole episode is: "Jordan: The only reason we invited you is because for some reason you have your own SpongeBob Squarepants costume.
    J.D.: It was a gift.
    JD's narration: From me to me!" HAHAHAHA
    It gets funnier when Danni walks in and JD quickly says he destroyed the videotape they made. And there is this hi-larious scene, let's just say it ends up with JD saying "Now I'll never gonna meet Bob Saget." That kind of humor really amazes me, only on [scrubs]. Next, it's time for Ben's grand entrance, he scares the hell out of JD, Ben takes pictures of him while bleeding. All this hilarity already and the theme song hadn't even played yet. So the rest of the episode is just FUNNY. Like Turk's mole talking "Finally a brother can breathe!", the giant afro guy with a hook playing cards with JD "Nice hand. I meant the cards." There is "Yeah! I am the King of Gay Chicken!" The shower shorts! Featuring the complementary shower wallet! Oww! Another LOL moment. "OH MY GOD, HE'S GONNA DIE!" There is the drunken human alarm clock. And this quote, "Listen. My butt is fabulous. A slice of that up here, that's just me spreading the wealth." "You wanna quit then quit. But you sir, are a worthless peon, and you will always be a worthless peon! Sir, you know my band, The Worthless Peons?" Hilarious! And special mention for Ben playing with Elliot as a puppet. Of course, there's more funny stuff to check out. ALSO, Carla looked stunning in this episode!
    I felt like they really tried to make this episode beyond very special, aiming to almost perfection. Every little detail and the humor is top class. It blows me away how funny the episode was and that is just secondary this time, the drama factor was primary, what made the episode. Obvioulsy the best part was the ending that would never get old, and still gives me chills everytime I see it. What a terrific episode, is an honor and pleasure to watch.
  • Scrubs in top form!

    "My Screw Up"

    Grade: A*

    Understandably, this episode was Scrubs came out as a shocker to some viewers when the plot twist is revealed that Ben was the patient who died at the hospital, but the way the writers have cleverly hidden it away from first viewing is amazing. The biggest giveaway is that Ben says that he'll have his camera with him until the day he dies, and that he doesn't have it when he's a ghost. Most importantly though, I think this episode contributes to Dr. Cox's character very well in that he understands that not everyone is perfect and that there's a time for forgiveness. Not realising that Ben was dead also showed us new light to him, understanding the ways of life from Ben's ghost and having to get on with people he sees everyday. The final scene with J.D waking up Dr. Cox with the quote "Where do you think we are?" on realising he is at Ben's funeral was an extremely powerful and moving scene, showing us that even a character like Dr. Cox can have a soft side to him. Overall, the build up was flawless, the episode was funny, and has a brilliant plot twist I didn't see from the start! A must see for all viewers!
  • Probably the finest Scrubs episode. Combines incredible comedy with a real emotion at the end. I haven\'t seen anything this good since Blackadder\'s Goodbyeeee.

    This is by far my favourite Scrubs episode as not only is it quite hilarious, but the story is also very well written with a very emotional end.

    The episode starts with Ben returning, which leads on to one of the most classic lines of the series:

    Ben (To JD): You know something? You have slept with both of my sisters, so that means that you and I have something in common.
    *JD Leaves*
    Ben (To Dr. Cox): Too weird?

    Throughout the series the Ben-Dr.Cox relationship has been, in my opinion, one of the most comical and interesting ones, and this makes the ending all the more sad.

    Meanwhile, the comedy in this episode is above the Scrub\'s average, which is already very high. For example:

    Dr. Kelso: Ted you know my rule about personal problems. I\'m not interested unless it involves my loved ones... Or possibly my wife.

    This episode is already shaping up to be one of the greatest, but what really lifts it up above the rest of them is its fantastic story and highly emotional end. I have not been this affected by a comedy since Blackadder\'s Goodbyeeee.
  • Well worth watching

    Although Scrubs is known for it's comedy, it's nice to see it take a break from it's usual "laugh-out-loud moments". Scrubs has been known for a few serious episodes (e.g episode 53 - "My Fifteen Seconds"). However, an episode like this, an event close to some of the main characters, reminds us that things aren't always funny and for the best. Some episodes include moments that remind us of this (such as JD's constant search of the perfect person, and his realisation that she is with another man), but "My Screw Up" shows that the show's known sarcastic character who never shows his feelings and emotions, actually does feel. At the end of this episode, you may have to try hard to fend back those tears.

    I highly recommend that whoever hasn't seen this, watches it.

  • For a comedy show, this episode showed a lot of heart and depth

    For the run of Scrubs, this has to be one of my top three favorite episodes. While my other favorites are geared more towards the comedy aspects, this one is an emotional favorite because of the depths that it goes to show Dr. Cox's real personality. While the comedy subplots about Ben's usual antics, as well as Turk's mole and Elliot's foot are great, it is the relationship between Ben and Cox that are the heart of the episode. Dr. Cox goes to great lengths in his refusal to believe that his best friend has died. His torment is further exacerbated by the fact that he asked J.D., the young doctor that he had been mentoring, to run Ben's tests. After Ben's sudden death, Cox's grip on reality is anchored only by Ben's presence in Cox's mind.

    Every time I watch this episode, I am stunned by the complexity of the writing. There are so many instances that Cox refuses to accept what has occurred, whether due to the shock of Ben's death or his outright denial of it, that still get me every time I see it. Cox, true to form, has difficulty accepting that Ben had a hand in his own death (his two year world tour and no doctor exams during same), instead trying to blame it on J.D. by stating that "the kid screwed up". The scene where Ben tells Cox to forgive himself, and Cox's realization that he is at Ben's funeral instead of Jack's birthday is one of the best written in the history of the series. I was also thoroughly moved the fact that it was J.D. who was contacted by Jordan to make certain that Cox was present at the funeral, and that J.D. was the one person who stood vigil with Cox at the gravesite well before the funeral began. Although Cox wouldn't admit it, it is a testament to how strong his relationship with J.D. is, not only from J.D.'s perspective but Jordan's as well,
  • Amazing Episode.

    This episode is amazing. I really never saw the ending coming and even if it was sad and brought tears to my eyes, I still loved it.

    It has this "Sixth Sense" feeling over it and still I was surprised...well I didnt realize that it was like mentioned movie until the very end...but still!

    Brendan Frazer is one of the best guest-stars ever, and his character Ben Sullivan is great.

    Sad, funny at times...and it will make you cry! Well atleast it made me cry. And it's interesting to see this other side of dr.Cox. And paired with Ben, it somehow manages to get hilarious amidst the sadness.
  • my screw up is amazing.

    the episode (spoliers!!!!!!!!)
    out with jack's first birthday coming up and dr.cox does not want j.d to be there on the behalf dannie would be there. jordan's brother ben (brendon fraiser) come's back and reveals to dr.cox he hasn't seen a doctor about his cancer in the last two year's he's been gone exploring the world. dr.cox ask j.d to run some test for ben while he's gone. j.d say's no because he has to many patients. as soon as dr.cox returns j.d tell's him that ben has entered cardiac arrest. dr.cox imediatly blames j.d for it. but ben is standing right next to dr.cox saying "it's not the kids' fault" dr.cox eventually forgives j.d. at the end you see dr.cox in a suit talking to ben. "you know you didn't have to get all dresed up for this." "well i am dressed up do you see any holes in these pants. you have to forgive you're self." "you are so annoying" "ya" "ok, so were's you camera? aren't you going to take some pictures?" the camera skans over to j.d "pictures of what?" "you know the usua crying baby's peope singing happy birthday to my son who have never met him before" the camera turns back to dr.cox but ben is gone. j.d then say's "where do you think we are?" it then show's them walking in a cemetery and looking at ben's casket.

    for me this episode was very powerful. even though there was othere story's going on,the main focus was on ben. even though ben was a minor character he was a great character.
  • Fantastic episode with fantastic acting.

    This is one of my favourite episodes, it's very deep and it shows Dr Cox's soft side. I had to watch this episode twice before I understood the whole plot.
    What I don't like is that Ben dies 20 minutes after he came to the hospital, I mean, he went all over the world in two years, and then he died 20 minutes after his first visit on a hospital, what are the odds?
    Except of that the whole Ghost thing is clever and well written. The last scene is very emotional and sad, and the music is fits perfect. This is an almost perfect episode!
  • woah. I was blown away by this episode. this is one of the most beautiful episodes of a television show that I have ever seen. It's really well done. Beautiful.

    This episode blew me away. This episode was not at all what I expected compared to most of the humorous previous episodes. Honestly, I think that having such a sad and serious episode was very brave of the writers, however; it was a complete success. Evertime I see this episode it brings tears to my eyes. The episode is beautifully done. I love how this episode purposefully makes in unclear which one of JD's patients has just died, whether it was Dr Cox's brother or the elderly man, and I love how Ben follows Dr Cox around at the end of the episode, telling Dr Cox not to be too hard on himself, and not to be too hard on JD. Overall, this episode is just absolutely beautiful, and a must-see for fans of the series who have not seen it yet.
  • This episode is a culmination of the brilliant writing and acting potential that was evident from the moment the series premiered.

    Most of the time, a big name guest star appearance on a TV series reveals a lack of creativity in the writing department. Not so with Scrubs. No series utilizes guest stars as well or as creatively. The preceding episode featured Michael J. Fox as Dr. Kevin Casey, Perry's rival, and Fox played against his type as an obsessive compulsive surgeon imprisoned by the very ability that made him a good surgeon. I thought that guest appearance couldn't be topped, but I was wrong. Brendan Fraser returns in this episode as Jordan's brother, Ben, and it's a warm, heartwrenching and oddly uplifting performance.

    Fraser is engaging and funny, the brother and friend everyone would want. And when he leaps to J.D.'s defense against the verbal onslaught from Dr. Cox, he again evokes the spirit of a protective big brother. While Fraser dominates the episode, he never overshadows the other performers, and this episode deftly uses the strength of all the actors involved.

    When it becomes clear at the end of the episode that Ben has died, it is truly a "wow" moment, and you realize that this episode outdid "The Sixth Sense" with this twist of events. Zach Braff really shows his dramatic side, and his question to Dr. Cox near the end of the episode ("Where do you think we are?") is a near-perfect acting job.

    Every good TV series has one episode that you must watch every time you come across it, even if you've already seen it a hundred times. For "Scrubs," this is that episode.
  • Jordan's brother Ben returns, mistake by Dr. Cox which he blames on J.D. puts a strain on their relationship. Dr. Cox's son is having his first birthday party, and Ted and Carla both have problems that they are looking for help with.

    Brilliant, definitely one of the best, probably THE best episodes of Scrubs. This is my favorite show on TV and this episode tops them all. It gave you the laughs that you expect from Scrubs, combined with the drama and deep moments that make Scrubs one of the best shows on television. A very well-written episode, and a very creative, tear jerking ending. This episode shows Dr. Cox's sensitive side, and shows his vulnerability, and strengthens the relationship between J.D. and Dr. Cox. Brendan Frasier's character is great as always, and all of these things tie together to make this an amazing episode.
  • Best episode

    This episode shows exactly what scrubs can do on a drama level. Probably one of the the best written episodes that they writers came up with. It brought comedy and drama together in a brilliant way. The ending was probably the best ending Scrubs has ever seen. The soundtrack was perfect fitting in Joshua Radin's 'Winter' at the end really made it a moving moment. This epsiode is slightly better than My Lunch in due to the suprise factor that is at the end, in my opinion anyway. Long live Scrubs, lets hope they write another blinder like this in Season 8 for the last few episodes.

  • By far the best episode of the series.

    Just look what percentage of people have voted "perfect" for this episode! I watched every single one of them. However, while "My Lunch" was slightly disappointing after all that number one episode hype (don't get me wrong I still consider it number two), "My Screw Up" was far better than I had expected. Moreover, the final scene is the best of the series. I don't even want to count how many times I watched it over. Everything about it was just perfect. The performances of McGinley, Fraser, and Braff were outstanding, the music, the makeup, the costumes, the camera work... - everything! I really miss an episode of that quality in the recent seasons.
  • Stunning.

    This is without a doubt, one of the single greatest episode of a television show I have ever seen. The fact that a comedy can make me unabashedly cry even on repeat viewings is stunning at the least. The whole episode is good, but the ending.... oh seriously the ending. It is unbelievable, just glorious. It is kind of amazing that they kept making episodes. It's almost like when and athelete wins that championship and then retires walking out on top. They cannot possibly make a more beautiful perfect episode. Hell I hope the show lasts 20 seasons but no matter what happens, this will always be its greatest episode. It's one of T.V.s best.
  • Scrubs goes Six Sense on us! Hard to do, but it worked out for the best.

    I liked the episode! I like the drama of Ben dying, the comedy between Dr. Cox and Ben, and the mystery of us thinking Ben's alive when he's really dead. What does it for me is the last few minutes, when we realize Ben has been dead the whole time and we are not at Jake's birthday party we are at Ben's funeral. One of the few times we see Dr. Cox cry, and JD is there for him to help pick up the pieces. JD slowly puts his hand on Dr. Cox's shoulder, though Dr. Cox doesn't move but you still know how much it means to him that JD is there for him.
  • Ben returns.

    Appearently everyone expect for me thinks that this is perfect. It COULD have been a perfect episode and it is definatly one i will remember. The main plot with Ben was FANTASTIC! Congratulations to the writers for this one. I had to watch it twice to realize how cleverly plotted it actually was. The twist at the end was wonderful. The problem with it is the subplots. If they would have had better ones, it would have been perfect! But the Elliot foot story was just weird. Carla and Turk were totally boring (which they have been since they got engaged). The only good thing about these two subplots was that a few of the jokes were funny.
  • One of J.D's patients die. Dr. Cox makes a huge deal about it. Ben (Jordan's brother) is back in town. Turk is going to remove his mole. Ben keeps trying to get Dr.Cox to go to his sons birthday. But before that he has to apologizes to J.D.HUGE SURPRISE.

    Best episode of scrubs I have ever seen. It was a tearjerker with some humor especially with Turks mole. It was good seeing Ben's character back again on scrubs. John was a great actor in this episode every time I see this episode I wanna cry because there's so much emotion. The surprise twist in this episode is so unbelievable and unexpected. It was just such a brilliant episode. This episode also show's how much people cared for Ben and also how much they care for Dr. Cox. It also shows how Dr. Cox deals with such strong problems in his life.
  • another amazing epsiode!

    for a start when ben got back i thought oh class he's back i loved the twist they had with him in season 1. little did i know they would totally do the same with this epsiode!

    what a twist! i swear i didnt see it coming! when j.d says "where do u think we are" i thought we were at the funeral of the old guy for some reason!

    but seriously dr cox is sucha great characteer watching him go off the rails like that makes for very entertaining tv!

    loved that epsiode. love this show! really enjoying this season!!
  • The best episode up to this point.

    This has to be the best episode of Scrubs up to this point. The writing, creativity, and acting are excellent. Scrubs always does a good job at mixing comedy and drama and this one shows how well they have mastered it. The death of Ben was so unexpected the first time I watch this episode it really moved me. Everytime I rewatch it I tend to get a little misty eyed. Being able to see Cox react at the end when JD asks him if he knows where he it was tough to watch. This is one of the series episodes that will always be hard to top. A must see for any fan of Scrubs.
  • This episode transcends the limits of perfection.

    The same as all of the reviewers here, i am not different. I do believe that this episode, My screw up, is indeed unbelievably amazing. This episode not only reveals Dr cox's emotion, but reveals the emotion of every human being.

    Dr. Cox, in this episode, i believe is a metaphor. He is used to represent the fact that even people who seem to be cold, who want their impression to be arrogant and etc., do, indeed, have a soft side within their hearts. When the chief of medicine says something like " you might find out that that thing that you hate so much, is the very same thing that you'll miss, when its gone" ( I believe that is what i heard, although I am not exactly accurate) it also demonstrates how people who act strong, do have the tendency to express their softness to others. Nonetheless, it also shows the vulnerability of humans when it comes to emotion. Although some people try to be unemotional as much as possible, they still end up being weak, when it comes to their weakness. This episode has been, i believe, to be the best one yet (of course, I have only seen season 3 and i have yet to see season 4-7). It has provided the viewers with a sense of reality and a moral lesson; whereas no matter how strong you are, there will always be an exposed and defenseless spot deep down within your inner soul. Which is what makes this show completely unprecedented to others.
  • a great episode with a surprising twist to it

    i was amazed at this episode, i unfortunately already knew the twist before watching it but it was never the less a brilliant episode.

    It was interesting to go back and see how no one interacted with ben and how when he said he would carry his camera with him "till the day i die" was indeed what he did.

    The most amazing part for me was the way Dr Cox was so hurt by the loss of his friend that he drove himself into denial.

    A very special episode which can only be matched by similar "emotional" episodes of scrubs such as 'My Lunch'.
  • Just the best episode of anything yet.

    I saw Brendan Fraser on stage in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof just after I first saw this episode... Just a simply amazing actor, vastly under-rated, and he makes this episode, as someone previously stated, the most memorable ever.

    It was handled quite similarly to the Laverne incident in season 6. Beautiful.

    Bill Lawrence just seemed to reach his peak with this episode. Before all the siliness. Not that it's not still great, cos it is. Just that things just don't seem to be made with the same level of rigour and inventiveness. When programmes like Scrubs and Arrested Development get the can and the contents of your neighbors garbage start becoming prime-time televisual entertainment...

    Please Television Folk, more like this cheesey pleasey...
  • A eerily good ep.

    This episode was really intersting. In the begining you really do believe that it is the other patient that died and it isn't until the very end of the ep. that you actually see that it was Ben and I just started crying becouse he was a great occasional character and even though i am sad that he died I am glad that they saw him out in such a good episode. Also and i don't know why but my fav. part of the episode is when - Ghost - Ben is mimiking Eliot and falls of the counter, even though it was just Dr Cox's imagination it was still hillarious. A really good episode representing the best that scrubs has to offer. Also Brenden Fraiser is always funny and very nice to look at Hehe
  • This is what Scrubs is all about.

    This is one of the best, if not the best, Scrubs episodes. "My Screw Up" was able to be hilarious, but really really sad in the same time. The fact tha Dr. Cox didn´t accept Ben's death at the beginning, makes you realize that he in fact is a caring human being. It saddens me though that Brendan Frasier's character is never coming back. He is a great actor and putting him side to side with John C. Mcginley... well, they just make a great sarcastic pair.
    This episode is, in one word, fabulous. The final moments of this episode are heartbreaking and shocking. Just seeing Dr. Cox cry was a mayor deal!
  • one of my favorite episodes

    I loved this episode. I don't cry. This episoded made me cry the first time I saw it, and I almost cried the second time I saw it. Yet again, Scrubs was able to be hilarious, but really really sad in the same episode. It just shocked you when you first saw it that Ben actually died. And poor Dr. Cox not quite believing it and still talking to him. I thougt the funeral was the saddest when they made it seem like it was Jack's birthday, and then J.D. came up to Dr. Cox and asked who he was talking to then Ben disapeared.
  • A great example of while Scrubs is a funny show, it has its sad moments.

    Wow, along with "My Lunch" I'd have to say they are the two best and saddest episodes. The episode starts while Jordans family comes to town. Ben hasn't been checked since his lukemia 2 years ago so Dr. Cox asks JD to look at him. Cox has to leave and tells JD that his patient wont die in 20 minutes. When he comes back however, the patient is dead. Dr. Cox blames JD, even though Ben tells him its not his fault. Finally, Ben confinces Cox to forgive JD. The next scene shows Cox talking to Ben about where his camera is and tells JD if he's gonna take pictures at his sons birthday party. JD asks Cox where he thinks he is. They are in fact, at a funeral. The patient JD had lost was not the old man, it was in fact Ben. The end of the episode shows Ben's funeral and JD and Jordan conforting Cox. Great episode. Though sad, it proves the writers of Scrubs are unique and write very well.
  • This is not only one of the finest examples of why Scrubs is a great show, this is a perfect example of how good TV should be done.

    Why is this episode "TV at it's finest"? Because it's real and it's sad while still being memorably funny and unique. It's well written and it's so heartbreaking and it's just everything that makes life what it is. Wrapped up and sold with solid performances from all involved. This episode only works when all pistons fire properly. If the actors can't sell the emotion, if they can't keep the comedy in tact then the drama loses it's meaning. Life is funny and life is sad and you can be on top of the world and fall moments later and that is why "My Screw Up" holds true.

    The plotline is best left to a viewing rather than me reitterating it here. What is important, and the reason this review is being written, is that it deserves to be singled out as being the best episode of a show that is already held to a pretty high standard. Especially for a comedy-drama hybrid. Scrubs has a unique ability to not only make you laugh, but to make you think and to make you appreciate the good in your own life. It can, in some instances, even make you cry. And this is the episode that will reveal that to you. Even if you are not a Scrubs fan, this is one episode that you would enjoy watching it cold with no previous input. If you haven't seen it, buy the third season DVD set. If you have seen it, stop reading this and go watch it again.
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