Season 1 Episode 18

My Tuscaloosa Heart

Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Mar 12, 2002 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
306 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

J.D. has a patient who's rude to him and the nurses and eventually dies from cancer. J.D. feels awful for not giving him his full attention and worries maybe he could have saved the guy if he was nicer to him. Meanwhile, Elliot is convinced that Dr. Kelso is the one singing a song called "Tuscaloosa Heart" on a tape given to her by a patient who claims he went to college with Bob. And Dr. Cox finds himself trapped in a love square: He's falling in love with Kristen Murphy, his intern, just as his ex-wife reappears demanding sex – and there's also his crush on Carla.moreless

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  • JD feels responsible for his patient's death.

    This episode was enjoyable, definitely some development for some of the characters. The plot line I enjoyed the most was Dr. Cox's plot line. Cox juggles three girls: Carla, his ex-wife Jordan, and a new intern he's dating: Kristen. It was great to see Jordan reprise her role, again. Turns out Cox and his ex-wife still have sex. Which is a problem for Cox since he is now seeing Kristen. He blows her off to move furniture with Carla. It was funny to see it all blow up in Cox's face. I was beginning to like Kristen, but now she's gone. Now I'm sort of seeing some love again between Cox & his ex-wife. So I'm looking forward to more scenes with them together. Meanwhile JD's jerk patient dies and he feels as though it is his fault, he asks everyone if it is his fault, and the board has some questions. Turns out he didn't overdose him but he did treat him differently than he would a nice patient. As usual, I enjoyed the Cox/JD conversation. The weak plot of the bunch was definitely Elliot's plot. She thinks Kelso is a singer, once she hears some tapes of a man singing, that would sound like him. Once Turk & Elliot confront Kelso, he denies it. But in the end, the twist is he actually does play guitar. And "Bunny" from his songs are his wife. I was happy to see some character development (finally!) with Kelso. A great episode. I though Cox's plot was definitely the best.moreless
  • One great episode.

    This is Scrubs at it's finest. It had great jokes, also great reaccuring onse (i usually don't like reaccuring jokes!). I really enjoyed the Cox Kristen/Carla/Jordan story line. It was nice to get a glimpse of his softer side for once. I also liked the more 'serious' story line JD had in this episode. All in all, the episode had a perfect mix between funny and serious scenes. The Dr Kelso story line, i didn't enjoy as much as the others. Don't get me wrong, it was also nice to see that Kelso is actually a human being. But the story line just wasn't the best choice for Kelso. I liked the ending thought, since he wrote the song for his wife Enid, who he seems to hate now.moreless
  • The softer sides emerge...

    I love this episode because it gives the viewer a softer look at both Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox. Although I enjoy the usual uncaring attitudes of both of these characters, it is nice to occasionally get a look at the softie that lies buried deep in each of them. Kelso's long-lost singing career reveals something about why he is so bitter and unkind, and Dr. Cox shows a little-seen vulnerability that makes him all the more lovable. These moments are made powerful by the way these characters are portrayed in the majority of other episodes, and they demonstrate how skilled the writers of this show are at developing all the dimensions of each character.moreless
  • Fine example

    A very funny episode!! It was so hilarious at the part when Dr. Kelso was like, "And then in 1977 I died on the crapper!" It was so funny!! This episode was really funny, which is no surprise, of course - it contained the usual Scrubs humor that I look for in an episode (and which I usually find) and this was a just pretty good episode, as all of the Scrubs episodes usually are. A very funny episode in my opinion. I am glad that Jordan is appearing a lot because I like her and she is funny. A funny episode, of course, which is unusual. A good episode!!moreless
  • Elliot works with a patient who once went to college with Dr. Kelso.

    A very funny episode!! It was so hilarious at the part when Dr. Kelso was like, "And then in 1977 I died on the crapper!" It was so funny!! This episode was really funny, which is no surprise, of course - it contained the usual Scrubs humor that I look for in an episode (and which I usually find) and this was a just pretty good episode, as all of the Scrubs episodes usually are. A very funny episode in my opinion. I am glad that Jordan is appearing a lot because I like her and she is funny. A funny episode, of course, which is unusual. A good episode!!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

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Dr. Elliot Reid

Zach Braff

Zach Braff

Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian

Kelli Williams

Kelli Williams

Kristen Murphy

Guest Star

Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw

Mr. Sloane

Guest Star

Eric Saiet

Eric Saiet

Jerry Donovan

Guest Star

Christa Miller-Lawrence

Christa Miller-Lawrence

Jordan Sullivan

Recurring Role

Neil Flynn

Neil Flynn


Recurring Role

Cody Estes

Cody Estes

Young J.D.

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In the scene where J.D. is asking Dr. Cox about Mr. Simon, Dr. Cox's raincoat is zipped down to his chest in one shot, then the camera switches to J.D., and in the next shot Dr. Cox's jacket is zipped all the way up.

    • Turk claims that Dr. Kelso uses the word: "Bunny" in his lyrics because no-one writes love songs with the name: "Enid". However, there is a song by the Barenaked Ladies called "Enid".

    • Featured Music:
      "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
      "My Tuscaloosa Heart" by Ken Jenkins

    • In the flashback where J.D. walks into his parents room at night while they're having sex, the "father" speaks and it's obvious that it's Dr. Cox doing the voice.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • J.D.'s Narration: I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm akay, I'm a kay. I'm a kay? What the hell does that mean?

    • Dr. Cox: No, wait a minute - you don't have to go... you know, if... if you don't want to.
      Jordan: Oh my God, are you really that lonely?
      Dr. Cox: Kinda, yeah.
      Jordan: All right, I'll toss you a quickie, but no talking.

    • Jordan: That was really great and all, but next time would you do me a favour and not look at me in the eye, it really gets in the way of what I come here to do.
      Dr. Cox: Then, for God's sake, stop turning around!
      Jordan: Oh, that's classy.

    • Kristen: Moving furniture with that nurse you have a crush on. That's your "hundred percent"?
      Dr. Cox: No, no, no, no, the hundred percent actually came well after that. Look, her boyfriend was there the entire time, and if you want to know the truth, bailing on you is far and away the best thing that could have happened because it made me realise that I was sabotaging myself again. What, if you don't believe me, ask Jordan. Would you please tell her what I said to you right before you left this morning.
      Kristen: Left where?
      Dr. Cox: Uhh... um... uh...
      Kristen: You're unbelievable.

    • Jordan: See, I told you when he saw us together he'd fold his arms and do the teeth thing.
      Kristen: You know, he did the same thing the first time I saw him naked.
      Jordan: No way, same here.
      Kristen: Really?
      Jordan: Yeah.
      Dr. Cox: Ohh-kay, this is beyond horrible.
      Jordan: Would you relax, Perry, I just came by for a board meeting and I wanted to meet the new lady in your life... and warn her.
      Kristen: Thank you.
      Jordan: You're welcome.
      Dr. Cox: Kristen... this is my emotional baggage. Baggage... Kristen.

    • Dr. Kelso: Dr. Dorian, we have examined Aaron Simon's file. Before we begin, do you have any last words?
      J.D.: I'm a kay? That was terrible, can I have a do-over?

    • Elliot: Ten songs about "Bunny", not one song about his wife.
      Turk: That's because it's physically impossible to write a love song about anyone named "Enid".
      Elliot: Turk, don't you get it? This tape shows exactly why Kelso is... Kelso! I mean, he-he used to be this beautiful, wonderful, sweet, caring man; he-he found the love of his life and somehow she slipped through his hands.
      Carla: Oh, that is so sad.
      Turk: Have you guys ever stopped to think that maybe Bunny is just a real bunny.
      Carla: Baby, that's just stupid.
      Turk: Yeah, I know.

    • Kristen: Hey, you.
      Dr. Cox: You got a minute?
      Kristen: You know what would make surgery quicker? If we didn't have to be so clean.
      Dr. Cox: Listen, I-I gotta say something to you here, you, uh... you are so great. You know, you're sexy, you're smart; God knows you're dangerous.
      Kristen: Do you think I'm a spy?

    • J.D.'s Narration: Okay, so you got a good eight, nine minutes of sleep last night. Just remember it's a new day; yesterday's gone and it's never coming back.
      Carla: Bambi. About yesterday.
      J.D.: It's back?

    • J.D.'s Narration: We all know what goes on in the bedroom...
      Turk: Baby, since we're up...?
      Carla: No.
      Turk: Okay. Oh, okay.

    • Dr. Kelso: Having a late-night tea party, are we? Oh, I guess my invitation must have been lost in the mail. Well, as long as I'm here, I'm partial to Lemon Zinger.
      Elliot: Sir, the reason Dr. Turk is here is because his patient is going into surgery tomorrow; but I was kind of hoping we could do an ERCP first?
      Dr. Kelso: Ahh, you're breaking my Tuscaloosa heart. Just turf him.

    • Elliot: I'm sure that was Dr. Kelso singing.
      Turk: It wasn't.
      Elliot: Yeah, but what if it was?
      Turk: Elliot, stop. Okay, please, I don't want to have this conversation again.
      Elliot: I really think it was him.
      Turk: It wasn't.
      Elliot: Yeah, but what if it was?
      Turk: Oh, good Lord, woman.

    • Dr. Cox: Look, I am seeing someone right now - who, by the way, is great - and yet there's this other woman who I cannot get out of my head. She's totally unavailable, which may be why I can't get her out of my head, and maybe, and this is a whole new theory - I keep thinking of this other woman - the unavailable one - because I am so afraid that the first thing might actually work out and God forbid I ever do something that might actually make me happy. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?
      Jordan: Oh my God. If I have to stay here and listen to this crap, I'll need a stronger drink.
      Dr. Cox: I hate you.
      Jordan: I hate you, too, honey.
      Dr. Cox: Fair enough.

    • Dr. Cox: Listen, Sweetcheeks, I am seeing someone who-
      Jordan: Let me guess, let me guess - dark haired, domineering, doesn't take any of your crap? You see, a lesser person would mock your inability to move on. I'm going to consider it an homage.
      Dr. Cox: There is something so...soft about you.

    • Carla: You don't have to hide from Mr. Simon.
      J.D.: I'm not hiding from Mr. Simon, I have a new exercise program; it's called 'Short Bursts'.
      Carla: Mmm, is it working?
      J.D.: Do you have to ask?

    • Turk: Why do you care so much, anyway?
      Elliot: I mean, I think it would be so interesting if there was this whole, like, romantic, creative, vulnerable side to him... I think it's a fascinating study of human behaviour.
      Turk: I think you're a fascinating study of human behaviour.
      Elliot: The music's not that bad.
      Dr Kelso (on tape): "You played a part/sweet Bunny/you broke my Tuscaloosa heart..."
      Turk: "My Tuscaloosa heart"?
      Elliot: You have to admit, if that was him, it'd be pretty weird.
      Turk: You have to admit, you're pretty weird.
      Elliot: Stop doing that!
      Turk: You stop doing that!

    • Dr. Cox: Hey, Kristen, slow down!
      Kristen: You have no idea how many times you're going to say that tonight.
      Dr. Cox: Boy, you're making it hard.
      Kristen: You're going to say that, too.

    • Dr. Cox: Please, you know I love doing favors.
      Carla: You hate doing favors.
      Dr. Cox: But I like doing them for you, that's a fact. Now listen, even though I am in the best shape of my life - and I am, by the way...I mean, fact of the matter is you could pretty much bounce a damn quarter off my butt, you know, if you...if you wanted to.
      Carla: I...don't have any change.

    • J.D.: Me no likey mean guys. Have you seen my stethoscope?
      Elliot: No. Um, Maybe you left it in one of the girl's bathrooms?

    • Dr. Kelso: Dr. Reid, one of the nurses found your stethoscope in the bathroom.
      Elliot: Oh, thank you so much, sir...
      Dr. Kelso: This isn't it, sweetheart. I had them leave yours where it was. Let's try to be a little more responsible, shall we?

    • Turk: I told you what to do if the stitches on your chest start to itch.
      Mr. Sloane: Don't scratch.
      Turk: Unless they're really itchy. Then you go to town, you go nuts, you do your thing.

    • Kristen: You are a brave man. You're an attending here and not only you're dating a med student, you're holding hands with her in public.
      Dr. Cox: Well, normally I would never do this, but there are mitigating factors.
      Kristen: Like what?
      Dr. Cox: Well, for starters, you are very hot.

    • Carla: Hey Bambi, you know Mr. Simon made one of the night nurses cry?
      J.D.: Which one?
      Carla: Frank.
      J.D.: Frank used to be a Navy SEAL.

    • Mr. Sloane: I think I went to college with that guy.
      Elliot: Oh, lucky you.
      Mr. Sloane: Used to play his guitar every Saturday night at this coffee house off-campus.
      Turk: Remember the guy's name?
      Mr. Sloane: Oh...Robbie, something, I think.
      Elliot: You know, Dr. Kelso's name is Bob, which is short for Robert, and Robbie is another nickname for Robert!
      Turk: Like, oh, my God!

    • Mr. Simon: About time, idiot.
      J.D.: Okay, Mr. Simon, good morning, how ya feelin'?
      Mr. Simon: I was just asking Nurse Fajita here if guys get extra points for asking stupid questions.
      J.D.: No sir, I was just trying to assess how your...
      Carla: Bambi, don't bother.
      J.D.: Sir, if there is anything we can do to make your stay here more comfortable...
      Mr. Simon: You can kiss my man-sized ass.
      J.D.: Okay, will you hold me after? Hahaha...maybe we shouldn't bother.

    • Jordan: Hey honey, I'm home! You know, you should lock your door there's horrible people out there.
      Dr. Cox: There's horrible people right in here.
      Jordan: May you forgot how this works, see, when I say that "Hi honey" thing, you take your pants off. See, that's the rules of the booty call.
      Dr. Cox: Jordan, believe me, I enjoy our meaningless, post-divorce sex as much as the next guy you will marry, but your timing ca-ould not be worse.
      Jordan: Oh...maybe you don't remember the terms of our settlement. When Jordan needs sex, Jordan gets sex.

    • J.D.: You guys awake?
      Turk: Holy son of a cracker!
      Carla: Turk, not now, maybe in the morning before work.
      J.D.: Just thought I'd talk to you guys.
      Turk: J.D., when you were a kid, did you used to walk into your parents room in the middle of the night?
      J.D.: Yes, once.

    • Elliot: Why don't we just say something to him?
      Turk: Like what?
      Elliot: Um I don't know, I heard some of your songs and I think they're extraordinary.
      Turk: Elliot, don't.
      Elliot: I won't.
      Turk: Pinkie swear?
      Elliot: I heard some of your songs and I think they're extraordinary!
      Dr. Kelso: Excuse me?
      Turk: You swore!
      Elliot: You know what, just forget it, we won't bother you any more.
      Turk: Sir, whatever happened to bunny? We gotta know.
      Dr. Kelso: Well actually, the music came before bunny. I learned to play the guitar growing up as a young rap-scallion in Mississippi but things didn't really take off until I moved to Memphis. Then I met the Colonel and the hits just kept coming. Unfortunately, it went to my head, I gained a lot of weight, starting wearing a white jump suit, and ate tranquilizers like they were trail mix.
      Elliot: Sir...
      Dr. Kelso: Then, in 1977, I died on the toilet. Or did I?

    • Dr. Cox: Yup... Looks like you screwed the pooch there tinkerbell.
      J.D.: But I didn't over medicate him...
      Dr. Cox: Of corse you didn't. I always check your orders after you make them. But, if you're wondering if you treated Mr. Simon differently because he's a complete jerk, then I think you know the answer to that one already, don't ya?
      J.D.: Depends on what you mean by differently.
      Dr. Cox: I have to warn you, I just got dumped in front of my ex-wife, not ten minutes ago, okay Betty? Its always easy to treat the nice ones nice? But your drug addicts, your child abusers, your garden-variety jerks oww-man.
      J.D.: You know it's barely misting out.
      Dr. Cox: It's my hair. If it even gets damp it frizzes out and becomes wildly unmanageable.
      J.D.: Mine too!
      Dr. Cox: It was a joke, ya girl!

  • NOTES (2)


    • Tuscaloosa Heart
      The episode title is a reference to the song "Tuscaloosa Heart", which is played during the episode.

    • Elvis: Dr. Kelso's sarcastic rant about his past life as a singer is an allusion to the life of Elvis, right down to "dying on the crapper."