Power Rankings: Scrubs - Best Characters
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Hospital dramas are a staple for network TV. ER, Grey's Anatomy, every public service department in the city of Chicago. All of these shows strive to capture the tense drama of these life or death scenarios, but very few can capture the lighter side of these characters and their everyday interactions. This is where Scrubs comes in.
Scrubs found that perfect balance between tackling real life issues intertwined with comedic set pieces. The ending result left fans a blubbering mess as they wiped away tears of laughter and feels from their face. This is our list of the top 10 characters from Scrubs.
*Before we begin we want to give a special honorable mention for Rowdy.
Character: Ben Sullivan
Bio: Ben Sullivan is Jordan Sullivan's brother and despite Dr. Cox having divorced his sister, he and Cox are very close. Upon a visit to Sacred Heart due to a board that got nailed through his hand, Dr. Cox and J.D. diagnosed Ben with leukemia.
Why we love them: It's rare to see a guest appearance show up on a list like this, but Brendan Fraser's run as this character quickly became a fan favorite. Not only was he a positive light to compliment the traditionally pessimistic Dr. Cox, but his character arc was the driver of some serious character growth of our main characters. Coming off of the events of Ben's death, we got to see both J.D. and Dr. Cox deal with the conflict of acceptance in their own ways.
Character: The Todd
Bio: Dr. Todd "The Todd" Quinlan, MD is a surgeon who works at New Sacred Heart. Despite his immature, perverse, and jock-like disposition, he is known to be a talented and knowledgeable surgeon.
Why we love them: In a show that doesn't take itself too seriously, "The Todd" is the driver of the inappropriate humor in the show. Typically, a chauvinistic character like this would quickly fall into the "villain" role of the show. Somehow, "The Todd" pulls it off with a certain charm that helped him become the most seasoned supporting character of the show.
Best Moment: How does one rank one Todd Five over the rest? We can't, so we will just show all of them.
Character: Laverne Roberts
Bio: Laverne Roberts, RN was a nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. During their years together as nurses, she and Carla developed a rapport, but Laverne's first loyalty was always to Jesus and her faith. She often tried to persuade Dr. Cox, Dr. Kelso, and others to hold themselves to higher standards. Despite being very religious, Laverne had her own personality tics. She was an avid fan of soap operas and loved to gossip. She never took anybody's sass.
Why we love them: In a show chock-full of over-the-top characters, you need someone to keep you grounded. Every time a character started to lose their way, Laverne was right there to show them the right path.
Character: Bob Kelso
Bio: Dr. Robert "Bob" Kelso, MD was the Chief of Medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital from 1985 until he willingly retired. He was in medicine for many years, including during the Vietnam War, until he turned 65 and quit his job. He stayed in Coffee Bucks for the next year, enjoying free muffins.
Why we love them: Some men just want to watch the world burn. What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap? Bob Kelso, nice to meet you. Despite that cold exterior, fans deep down knew that Kelso had moments of warmness, even if we only saw glimpses of it.
Character: Carla Espinosa
Bio: Carla Espinosa, RN is a full-time mother of Isabella Turk and her other unnamed daughter, and was the Head Nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital's Intensive Care Unit before giving birth to her second child. She worked as a nurse for eight years before meeting her eventual husband, Chris Turk, best friend Elliot Reid, and good friend J.D.
Why we love them: There are so many priceless rivalries in this show. Cox vs Kelso, Cox vs JD (at least one way), and of course JD vs the Janitor. Somehow, Carla was immune to all of this. She is the only character that always had a connection and the respect with all of her counterparts. Whether it was her connection with Laverne, watching out for "Bambi", keeping Cox in his place, or her all-time great TV relationship with Turk, Carla was in a lot of ways the heart of the hospital.
Character: Elliot Reid
Bio: Dr. Elliot Reid, M.D. is an endocrinology expert working in a private practice out of New Sacred Heart Hospital. She began as an intern at the original Sacred Heart, where she continued her residency. She left briefly to pursue a fellowship, but ended up back at Sacred Heart, where she shortly after entered private practice.
Why we love them: Elliot's character probably changed the most over the course of the series. Not only was she a great character from a comedic perspective, but she showed amazing growth in her arc from an insecure intern to a confident doctor.
Bio: The Janitor (confirmed by series creator Bill Lawrence and officially revealed in the Season Eight finale "My Finale" to be Glenn Matthews) was a sadistic and unproductive custodian and handyman at Sacred Heart Hospital. He rarely actually performed the duties of his job, but rather spent his time plotting how to annoy J.D., on whom he performed many pranks. He was an avid liar, and nearly every story or anecdote he told people was a fabrication.
Why we love them: The Janitor was probably the most reliable character of the show. You would be hard pressed to find a time when the infamous "Fugitive Cop" was on the screen and didn't steal the scene.
Best Moment: Hard to believe it all started with a penny...
Character: Perry Cox
Bio: Dr. Percival Ulysses "Perry" Cox, M.D. is the Chief of Medicine and Attending Physician at New Sacred Heart Hospital. Dr. Cox worked at Sacred Heart Hospital for many years and educated many interns and residents through his tough-love style. He quickly became J.D.'s reluctant mentor, although he didn't permit use of the term.
Why we love them: Dr. Cox tries so hard to keep up that cold exterior, but deep down fans know how much he truly cares about his patients, as well as his favorite mentee J.D. Dr. Cox is wildly entertaining as the hospital's resident cynic, but it's the emotional scenes where he shows his softer side that truly set him apart.
Character: Christopher Turk
Bio: Dr. Christopher Duncan Turk, MD, commonly known mononymously as simply Turk, is the Chief of Surgery at New Sacred Heart Hospital. He has been J.D.'s best friend since college, and the two started as interns at Sacred Heart on the same day. On that day, he met his eventual wife Carla Espinosa.
Why we love them: He's funny, confident, and a great dancer. What's not to love? He also helped establish the greatest love story of the show. His relationship with Carla is fine too...
Character: Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian, M.D.
Bio: J.D. is the main protagonist of Scrubs and is portrayed by Zach Braff. He is first seen in the pilot episode "My First Day" and is seen in 167 of 168 episodes. He narrates nearly all of the episodes, and viewers also get to see inside his mind as he has the tendency to daydream.
Why we love them: When you go the hospital you want a doctor like "Bambi". He cares for all of his patients and goes above and beyond to give them the care they deserve. Also, whether it's the lovable bromance between him and Turk, the father/son-esque relationship with his mentor Dr. Cox, the will-they-won't-they connection with Elliot, or even the escalating arms race with the Janitor, J.D. is the heart of the show by driving the strongest relationships with the rest of the cast. All of this came to fruition during possibly the show's most famous scene, "The Book of Love".