Christopher Turk

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Dr. Christopher Turk, M.D.
Scrubs character
First appearance "My First Day"
Last appearance "Our Thanks"
Created by Bill Lawrence
Portrayed by Donald Faison
Nickname(s) Brown Bear, Chocolate Bear, Turkleton, Turkleberry, Gandhi
Gender Male
Occupation Surgeon
Title Chief of Surgery
Family Mr. Turk (father)
Margaret Turk (mother)
Kevin Turk (brother)
Bob "Jabbari" Turk (brother)
Unnamed sister
Spouse(s) Carla Espinosa
Children Isabella "Izzy" Turk (daughter)
Unnamed daughter (implied to have been born by season 9)

Kevin (Brother)

George (cousin)
Religion Roman Catholic

Christopher Duncan "Chris" Turk, M.D.[1][2] is a fictional character in the American comedy-drama Scrubs, played by Donald Faison. Turk appeared in every episode of the series except three season 8 episodes, "My Saving Grace", "My New Role" and "My Lawyer's in Love". Faison is the only original cast member, besides John C. McGinley, that returns for season 9 as a regular cast member.


Commonly known by his surname, "Turk" is the best friend and former roommate of the series' protagonist, J.D. (Zach Braff). Turk was J.D.'s roommate at the College of William and Mary and at medical school, and the two have an extremely close relationship, which is best described as "guy love" in the season 6 episode "My Musical". J.D. claims that Turk's middle name, Duncan, was chosen due to his father's love of doughnuts.

Starting in season 1 as a surgical intern, he worked his way up to attending surgeon (season 3) and later the chief of surgery (seasons 8 and 9) at Sacred Heart Hospital, where the series takes place. In season 1, he begins dating Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), the Head Nurse; at the end of season 3, they get married. He and Carla have an infant daughter, Isabella ("Izzy"), as well as another daughter mentioned in season 8 and 9. He could have a son, who is shown in season 8 finale "My Finale", when J.D. visualizes his future.[3]


Turk is a very competitive person. He says that his competitive nature drove him to "play everything" in high school, and also cites it as the main reason that he became a surgeon. At one point, he also says "winning is more important than friendship. My Gram-Gram taught me that".[4] It also accounts for his antagonistic relationship with Chief Attending Physician (and fellow "alpha male") Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley). In season 1, they compete for Carla's affections, and consistently insult and annoy each other throughout the series. In the season 6 episode "My Turf War", they fight a battle of wits over a hypochondriac patient; Turk eventually tricks Cox into losing, eliciting Cox's grudging respect.

Turk has two brothers, Kevin (D.L. Hughley), who paid for Turk's college and medical school;[5] and Jabbari (formerly Bob), who is described as "militant". He also has a "bipolar Aunt Leslie".[6] He also mentions a sister. Turk notes that while his family is dysfunctional, it is very close.[6] Turk's mother is a Jehovah's Witness, although Turk himself is Roman Catholic as evidenced by his attendance of Mass and his wearing of a small crucifix around his neck. When Turk's faith in God is shaken after being on call for Christmas Eve, witnessing horrific injuries, he feels lost. However, as Turk looks out to see the star of a Christmas tree in the local park, reminding him of the Star of Bethlehem, he rushes to the site to find a girl giving birth and helps her deliver. After that, his faith is restored.[7]

Carla catches Turk's eye immediately, although she is reluctant to go out with him at first because of his arrogance, purely physical attraction to her, and his god complex.[8] He impresses her by telling her that she should give Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke), with whom she does not get along, a break; she agrees to a date with him, and they soon become a serious item.[8] In season two, they get engaged after Carla initially rejects his proposal. They then spend the whole of season 3 planning their wedding, which happens, albeit with a few problems, in the season finale.

During season 4, the two experience some marital trouble; in "My Best Laid Plans", they briefly separate when Carla finds out that Turk is maintaining a friendship with an ex-girlfriend without telling her that he was married. The situation is worsened in "My Lips Are Sealed", when Carla and J.D. share a "friend kiss" after getting drunk together. Eventually, the two fix their relationship, and at the end of season four they agree to begin trying to have a baby. They spend most of season 5 trying to conceive, finally succeeding in the sixteenth episode of the season, "My Bright Idea". Their baby, Isabella, is born after some complications in "My Best Friend's Baby's Baby and My Baby's Baby".

In "My Cake", Turk is diagnosed with type two diabetes; he initially jokes about this as a way of coping with his fear about the disease, but now takes it seriously.[9] In "My Manhood", it is revealed Turk had a testicle removed when his daughter, Izzy, kicked him in the groin, causing testicular torsion.[10]

Turk and J.D. are best friends and surrogate brothers. They both attended the College of William and Mary (Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence's alma mater), where they roomed together.[11] They share a goofy sense of humor; for example, they both enjoy dancing "the robot",[12] "dramatic slow running", pretending to be "multi-ethnic Siamese doctor", and also pretending to be the "World's Most Giant Doctor." He and J.D. own a stuffed Yellow Labrador Retriever named Rowdy which they treat like a live dog. J.D. was also Turk's best man,[13] and, is the godfather of his and Carla's child, Izzy.

There have been several joking allusions to the fact that they are so close as to almost be a couple. However, they best explain their relationship in their duet "Guy Love" in "My Musical": "It's Guy Love/That's all it is/It's Guy Love/he's mine, I'm his/There's nothing gay about it in our eyes." Carla is generally supportive of Turk and J.D.'s close relationship, although she occasionally gets jealous. In "My Old Friend's New Friend", while witnessing their ecstatic reunion after she and Turk return from their honeymoon, she wistfully remarks, "Maybe one day he'll love me like that"; in "Her Story II", she refers to J.D. as Turk's "boyfriend".

In "My Half-Acre", Turk joins the air-band, Cool Cats, with The Janitor (Neil Flynn), Ted Buckland (Sam Lloyd), and Lloyd the Delivery Man (Mike Schwartz).

When J.D. leaves Sacred Heart in "My Finale", Turk makes a large banner outside the hospital that says "Goodbye J.D.". Though the two realize that their relationship will never be the same, they still remain best friends. In J.D.'s fantasy/flashforward, the Turk family spends a Christmas together with J.D. and Elliot (now married), as well as Dr. Cox's family. It is also revealed that Izzy eventually becomes engaged to Sam (J.D.'s son).

Turk is often incorrectly referred to as "Turkleton" by Dr. Kelso, despite not being his name. It even gets to the point that at Carla and Turk's reception, Dr. Kelso drunkenly stated that he thinks Turk's name is Turk Turkleton. After their marriage, Dr. Kelso even starts referring to Carla as "Nurse Turkleton".

Production details[edit]

  • The episode "My Malpractical Decision" reveals that Turk's cell phone number is (916) CALL-TUR (225-5887), although he states that he hopes that people will dial the 'K' anyway. At first, fans who dialed the phone number found themselves connected to an actual phone located on set. Several fans reported many cast and crew members picking up the phone and having live conversations with them (Zach Braff, who plays J.D., accounted for this in his own blog). The phone soon became overloaded with calls, and callers were re-directed to a voice mail message from Turk or Carla announcing that Turk was out, but would be back at the start of the next season. The voice mail was later changed to one including Braff plugging a website and movie. As of December 2006, the message was one of Neil Flynn (who plays the Janitor) advertising for the season premiere of Scrubs. As of February 2007, the message changed to one of Sacred Heart's security guard, Leonard, promoting Scrubs on Comedy Central. As of January 2008, the message is of Doug Murphy (Johnny Kastl), one of the show's supporting a website, as well as the Scrubs blog and podcast. As of July 2008, the message was of the Janitor saying "...this is J.D., I can't get to the phone right now, but leave a message and I'll call you back immediately. If I don't, feel free to come after me and personally harm me." He then advertises the episode "My Princess". As of April 2009, the message is Dr. Cox advertising the new season on ABC. As of May 2009, when the number is dialled the automatic message "I'm sorry, the number you have called is not in service. Please check the number and dial again," suggesting that the number has been deactivated. As of Feb 2010 this number is now giving the message "I'm sorry but this mailbox is full please try again later.", suggesting it has been reconnected. As of 2013 the number now belongs to a cell phone that belongs to a private citizen in the Sacramento California area.
  • Turk's name is based on that of real-life physician Dr. Jon Turk, a medical consultant for Scrubs.[14]


  1. ^ "My Fault". Scrubs. Season 3. Episode 20. April 22, 2004. NBC. 
  2. ^ "My Female Trouble". Scrubs. Season 4. Episode 10. November 16, 2004. NBC. 
  3. ^ Scrubs Season 8 - "My Finale" JD's Future YouTube.
  4. ^ "My Number One Doctor". Scrubs Season 7. Episode 6. December 6, 2007. NBC.
  5. ^ "My Brother, My Keeper". Scrubs. Season 2. Episode 14. January 23, 2003. NBC. 
  6. ^ a b "My Brother, Where Art Thou?". Scrubs. Season 3. Episode 05. November 6, 2003. NBC. 
  7. ^ "My Own Personal Jesus". Scrubs. Season 1. Episode 11. December 11, 2001. NBC. 
  8. ^ a b "My Mentor". Scrubs. Season 1. Episode 2. October 4, 2001. NBC. 
  9. ^ "My Cake". Scrubs. Season 4. Episode 6. October 12, 2004. NBC. 
  10. ^ "My Manhood". Scrubs. Season 7. Episode 8. April 17, 2008. NBC. 
  11. ^ "My Perspective". Scrubs. Season 6. Episode 09. February 15, 2005. NBC. 
  12. ^ "My Hypocritical Oath". Scrubs. Season 4. Episode 15. February 1, 2005. NBC. 
  13. ^ "My Best Friend's Wedding". Scrubs. Season 3. Episode 22. May 4, 2004. NBC. 
  14. ^ Jon Turk, M.D. "Real-Life Medicine". Autobiography from private practice website. Accessed September 10, 2011.