J.D. (Scrubs)

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Jonathan Michael Dorian, M.D.
Scrubs character
Jd season9.jpg
First appearance "My First Day"
Last appearance "Our Stuff Gets Real"
Created by Bill Lawrence
Portrayed by Zach Braff
Cody Estes (Young J.D.)
Nickname(s) J.D., Newbie, Vanilla Bear, Bambi, Q-tip, and a variety of girls' names
Occupation Doctor of internal medicine at Saint Vincent's Hospital
Title Residency Director
Family Sam Dorian (father, deceased)
Barbara Hobbs Dorian (mother)
Dan Dorian (brother)
Nana Hobbs (maternal grandmother)
Grandma Dorian (paternal grandmother, deceased)
Dr. Simon Reid (father-in-law)
Lily Reid (mother-in-law)
Dr. Barry Reid (brother-in-law)
Dr. Bradley Reid (brother-in-law)
Spouse(s) Elliot Reid
Children Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian
   (with Kim Briggs)
Unnamed daughter
   (with Elliot) [1]

Jonathan (Jon) Michael "J.D." Dorian, M.D. is a fictional character in the American comedy-drama Scrubs, played by Zach Braff. He is the narrator and main character of the series (seasons 1-8). He provides voice-over to the series which fills the roles of his internal thoughts and an overall narration in the show, often linking the story arcs in each episode thematically. He was born in Trotwood, Ohio.

J.D. appeared in every episode during the first eight seasons except two season 8 episodes, "My Absence," in which he is only heard through a cellphone, and "My Full Moon".

Braff was a regular cast member for the first eight seasons, and appeared in six episodes of season nine to help transition the series into its new format. For his portrayal of the character, Braff was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2005, and received three consecutive Golden Globe Award nominations in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Character background[edit]

J.D.'s name is based on that of Dr. Jonathan Doris, a college friend of series creator Bill Lawrence.[citation needed] Doris served as a medical advisor on the show.[citation needed] According to Zach Braff, he feels that after seven years, there is not much of J.D.'s personality left to be explored, except for his relationship with Christopher Turk, while Lawrence has stated that the seventh season was to show J.D. finally growing up, in order to satisfy many fans who did not want to see him stay the same.[2]

However, Braff also says that J.D. has gradually evolved over the series, but at the same time cannot evolve too much, as they need to "[give] the fans what they want, which is to see the characters be themselves."[3]

Fictional character biography[edit]


J.D.'s most prominently featured quirk is his habit of daydreaming.[4] When this happens, he tilts his head back and to his left, blankly looking upwards. The sequences played out in his daydreams are of surreal scenarios and situations that have just been mentioned or wondered about, often in an exaggerated manner. Many of these are followed by a comment from him which, although in keeping with his daydream, sounds strange and is often highly unrelated to the initial topic, very often earning him odd looks from nearby characters in the scene. In Season 1 he is shown to be afraid of giving people injections as he hesitates when giving a patient an injection and hesitates when giving a car accident patient a chest drain after he suffers a pneumothorax but he overcomes his fear and performs the operation.

Despite his numerous flaws, quirks and personal insecurities, J.D. is shown throughout the series to be a very skilled doctor. He is described as having compassion for his patients, and a lot of determination and enthusiasm for his job.[4]

Family Life[edit]

He grew up in Trotwood, Ohio. He was born sometime around 1976, given he is currently in his mid-thirties. In a season 1 episode (2001), JD states that twenty years ago he "had a little trouble with his "esses"" because he was five. In season five JD celebrates his 30th birthday in the episode, "My Day at the Races".[5] His father is Sam (played by John Ritter), who was absent most of young life, is very unreliable, and mooches off his son, flaws that J.D. both seeks to avoid repeating but which he ultimately forgives his father for. His mother is Barbara Hobbs Dorian. He has an older brother, Dan (Tom Cavanagh), with whom he has a love/hate relationship.


He begins the show as an intern; after a year, he becomes a resident, then an attending physician in internal medicine, and eventually residency director. J.D. begins work at Sacred Heart under Attending Physician Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley), who generally refers to J.D. as "Newbie" or by a variety of girls' names. J.D. thinks of Cox as his mentor, which Cox adamantly denies. As much as he hates to admit it, however, Cox respects J.D. as a doctor and even cares about him as a person, even offering him personal advice on a few occasions.[4]

J.D. is also engaged in a constant battle with the Janitor (Neil Flynn) from the very first episode. The Janitor is trying to open a jammed door when J.D. suggests there may be a penny stuck in it. When it turns out that there is a penny stuck in the door, the Janitor vows revenge. Throughout the series, the Janitor is constantly playing tricks and pranks on J.D. In "My Finale", it is revealed that J.D. did accidentally put the penny in the door. The Janitor saw him drop the penny, but because he never admitted it, decided that J.D. had failed a "test of character", thus igniting their feud.

In season 9, he becomes a visiting professor at Winston University, a medical school built on the old site of Sacred Heart, which has been torn down. At first, he has trouble engaging his students, but eventually forms a bond with the series' new main character, Lucy Bennett (Kerry Bishé), whom he counsels through the rigors of life as a doctor. In "Our Histories", however, he tells her that he eventually plans to move on, and that she must find a new mentor before he leaves. Finally, in "Our Mysteries", he leaves his teaching position and steps back from mentoring Lucy, determined that she must learn to function on her own. He last appears in "Our Stuff Gets Real".


He often spends time with Chris Turk (Donald Faison), his best friend and surrogate brother, whom he first met when they were roommates at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The pair continued to be roommates even as they progressed to become interns and residents.[6] J.D. is often shown to have a codependent relationship with Turk, regularly going through some stages of depression whenever he can't be with him. Fans and commentators have described the relationship as a "bromance"[4]

On his first day, he also meets Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), a nurse who looks out for him and affectionately nicknames him "Bambi". In "My Finale", she reveals that she calls him this because he needed to learn how to walk (meaning to become a doctor).

Romantic history[edit]

He meets and forms a connection with Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke) in the pilot episode and finds himself attracted to her. In seasons 1 to 3, a running joke in the series was that J.D. would sleep with Elliot at least once in each season, although the show's producers have indicated that this ended to prevent the characters' development being constrained by clichés. The two form a romantic relationship in "My Drug Buddy," which falls apart in the following episode when they realize that they do not work as a couple.

He has had romantic and sexual liaisons with various women besides Elliot, including Kim Briggs (Elizabeth Banks) -- the mother of his child Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian -- as well as Dr. Cox's ex-wife Jordan Sullivan (Christa Miller), and Jordan's younger sister Danni Sullivan (Tara Reid).

It is not until the conclusion of season 6 that J.D.'s relationship with Elliot appears to rekindle; the episode "My Point of No Return" ends with J.D. and Elliot lying on a bed in the on-call room, leaning in for a kiss. The action remains unresolved until season 7, where Elliot backs out. They both then say that the almost-kiss had nothing to do with their feelings for each other. In season 8, it appears that their relationship has been rekindled; in the episode "My Happy Place", J.D and Elliot speak about their past relations, and after Dr. Kelso tells them to do whatever it is that makes them happy, they leave the hospital holding hands.

In the next episode, "My ABC's," they acknowledge having started dating again. During the filming for season 8, Sarah Chalke said in an interview that she couldn't imagine J.D. and Elliot not being together romantically.[7] In the season 8 finale, it is suggested through a flash forward in the style of a home movie that J.D and Elliot will marry and have a child.

In season 9, it is revealed that J.D. and Elliot are in fact married and expecting a child. This is punctuated by an extremely awkward morning ritual in front of Elliot's class where J.D. kisses her stomach for every month she is pregnant and says "and thank you for making mommy's boobs bigger"; Elliot then puts her breasts on his head. In their final appearance together, "Our Stuff Gets Real", they go on a "babymoon", a romantic getaway for expecting parents.


Like Elliot, Carla, Cox and the Janitor, the J.D. character makes a cameo appareance in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, trying to reanimate Miss Piggy. However, Piggy and the Scrubs cast finally breaks the fourth wall, with the actors portraying themselves.


  1. ^ Gonzalez, Maria. "Scrubs: Is it a Boy or Girl for J.D. and Elliot?". BuddyTV.com. December 08, 2009. Accessed: September 09, 2011.
  2. ^ Biller, Jennifer, et al. "Tube Talk - Scrubs’ Zach Braff and Bill Lawrence interview". Edited transcript of a conference call interview. October 23, 2007. Accessed August 28, 2011.
  3. ^ "More On "Scrubs" From The Zach Braff - Bill Lawrence Interview".
  4. ^ a b c d Keveney, Bill. "'Scrubs' sews things up as the end draws near ... or not" USA TODAY. 5 Jan 2009. Accessed 6 August 2011
  5. ^ "My Office". Scrubs. Season 4. Episode 02. 2004-08-31. NBC.
  6. ^ "My Perspective". Scrubs. Season 6. Episode 09. 2007-02-15. NBC.
  7. ^ "Sarah Chalke on Britney, the Bahamas, and Braff in a Speedo". Buzzsugar.com. July 23, 2008. Accessed August 28, 2011.