- “I do what I do the way I do it and that's pretty much it.”— Janitor ("Our Meeting in the Broom Closet")
Glen Matthews, more commonly known as the Janitor, was the unproductive custodian and handyman at Sacred Heart Hospital until he left and was never heard from again. 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 is an avid liar and nearly every story or anecdote he tells people is a fabrication. He also lead the Brain Trust group and seemed to be the leader of the custodial staff.
Janitor is married to "Lady" Williams, but for a long time was infatuated by "Blonde Doctor" Elliot Reid. He competed with Dr. Cox at times, but his biggest competition was from Dr. Kelso who often bothered him about not doing his job. He is afraid of Carla, but occasionally will prank Turk.
Janitor is portrayed by Neil Flynn and has appeared in 166 episodes of Scrubs as a main character for seven seasons. He first appeared in "My First Day" and was last seen in "Our First Day of School" in a flashback where he simply walked out of the hospital after learning J.D. was never returning to Sacred Heart.
At Sacred HeartEdit
Janitor took great pleasure in making J.D.'s life as difficult as possible. Janitor worked at Sacred Heart Hospital for 15 years, and in 2001 he revealed that he is 37 years old. ("My Mentor") He claims to have been working at the hospital for a "long time" and looks distraught and upset when Dr. Maddox fires him, but he ultimately scams the hospital into giving him his job back. ("My Jerks") ("My Happy Place") The Janitor admittedly hated everybody. ("My ABC's")
FamilyEditVery little about Janitor's family is known, because there are so many different stories about his family, any of which could be true. He once joked that he is J.D.'s father. He has a father who other hospital staff members have seen; however, he later claims that his father died before he was born. ("My Words of Wisdom") When J.D protests, saying he had met his father, the janitor replies, "You met a man." Janitor claims that he grew up believing his mother was his sister and his father was his brother; he calls them "sister-mom" and "brother-dad". ("My Own American Girl") He says that his mother once snapped her index finger because his dad was late to church and that when she dented the car his dad threw himself down the stairs ("My Point of No Return"). He has a stepmother who is Inuit. He has claimed to have a deaf sister and a brother who is a stripper. He also claims that he has a stepbrother named Cleet, who was older than his parents, who hit a mid-life crisis and fought with his father constantly and slept with his mother. He claimed he was married to a woman with only a pointer finger on one hand and thumb/pinky on the other. He complains that J.D. made him miss his son's (named Timmy) school play by making him work ("My First Step"), but later, he says that he does not have any children, and doesn't want any until medicine was advanced enough to make a child with gills, with whom he would go treasure hunting. Janitor also claims on several occasions to have gone to China and have a baby with a local. In one of J.D.'s fantasies, he appeared in his son's school room on Career Day, presenting himself as Dr. Ján Ïtor.
Departure from Sacred HeartEdit
After J.D. left Sacred Heart ("My Finale") Janitor didn't initially believe it. He waited for him to return, but the next day Turk confirmed to him that J.D. wasn't returning and Janitor dropped his mop and left the hospital. Nobody heard from him since. ("Our First Day of School")
- Full list: List of Janitor's lies
- Full list: List of Janitor's pranks
- Full list: List of Janitor's temporary jobs
- Main article: Janitor story
Janitor is a wonderful liar and story teller, and can get nearly anyone to believe anything he says, even if they know of his tendency towards dissembling. He fools people into believing a variety of crazy stories, some of which turn out to be true. According to himself, he was once a world-class 100-meter hurdler which he proved. ("My Bright Idea")
Janitor often does things that don't quite line up with the normal flow of Sacred Heart. He has appeared in nearly every episode of Scrubs from season one to season eight and has many strange subplots dedicated to or driven by him. Most of these are fueled by his rivalry against J.D., and his quest to prank him at every given opportunity.
Janitor frequently torments all of the employees at the hospital, especially J.D. The two exceptions are Carla whom he appears to fear, and Elliot who he had a crush on. However, after the passing of Laverne, he went to the bar along with other staff members and bought a round of drinks for everyone.
Ever since the Janitor saw J.D. put a penny in the door, Janitor has devoted half his life to annoying him, and playing pranks on him. He torments J.D. daily, and when J.D. says anything to him, Janitor takes it as an insult about him being nothing but a janitor. The Janitor also sometimes takes it upon himself to give J.D. a reality check whenever he feels that J.D. is being smug, ("My New Game") ("My Jiggly Ball") ("My Identity Crisis"), claiming that J.D. "forces him to make his life miserable." ("My Own Worst Enemy") J.D. is Janitor's largest victim, and is picked on by The Janitor nearly every day. He does understand J.D.'s profession and doesn't get in the way of his job, but merely makes things a little more difficult. Despite this, the two have shared some unusual bonding moments over the years, such as when J.D., after seeing Janitor in The Fugitive, received confirmation that Janitor had acted in the film after J.D. admitted that he wanted the actor to be the Janitor because it would make him more human and show that he had used to have dreams and ambitions, even if they didn't work out, rather than just being a jerk. Janitor also helped J.D get to Kim's ultra sound, although this could be the result of Janitor falling out of a fast moving vehicle. The Janitor is willing to put aside his rivalry with J.D. if it is the interest of everyone else, such as when they worked together to help Ted get a girl though this alliance ended when Ted got the girl. He is also willing to be kind to J.D. such as when his [J.D.] father died.
Janitor is currently married to Ladinia Williams, who is only ever referred to as 'Lady', the only exception being during their wedding ceremony when the Justice of the Peace calls her by her full name. He wears sweaters, brings her flowers, and lies about his peculiarities to Lady. He tries to reveal who he is slowly so she does not freak out. They finally get married when they make a vacation on the Bahamas, and she makes him happy because she accepts him for who he really is. ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
To the annoyance of J.D., Janitor is very nice to Elliot and often helps her out when she is in trouble. Elliot appreciates this and calls him "sweet". Also, Janitor calls her "Blonde Doctor" as he doesn't actually know her name. He learned her name once while on a date but has since continued to refer to her as "Blonde Doctor". He has proposed to her, but she didn't notice. ("My Unicorn")
Janitor doesn't often speak to Turk, but when he does, he's often acting towards Turk as he does with J.D., annoying him but he doesn't do this much.
Carla & Other Nurses Edit
Although Janitor rarely speaks to Carla or any other nurses, he can often be found around the reception area with all the nurses, suggesting that he likes being in that area and with them. He does occasionally talk with Carla, however, and like with Elliot, he often helps her out. He also finds Carla very scary, and rarely confronts her because of her rants that she may attack him with, although he once tried to blackmail her into giving him her baby so he could sell it, and got the entire hospital staff to hate her after she refused to grant them favors on Kelso's behalf.
Cleaning Staff Edit
In the custodial society of Sacred Heart, he is seen as a leader and the other custodians seem to obey his every command. He also often works with other hospital employees to annoy J.D., such as Troy. His original Brain Trust was composed of maintenance staff, but over the years the membership changed. He rarely does his actual job, but the other cleaning staff never complains, presumably under fear.
Dr. Maddox Edit
Dr. Maddox doesn't appreciate Janitor's pranks and begins to question who he is. She asks him what his name is, and she gets a very smug response and Janitor doesn't take her seriously and gives her no respect. She then checks his name tag for his name, and when she finds it says "The Janitor" she fires him on the spot. ("My Jerks") When Dr. Cox is looking for ways to get Maddox fired, Janitor enlists to help. After she is gone, he gets his old job back simply by showing up. ("My Saving Grace") ("My Happy Place")
Dr. Cox Edit
Although Dr. Cox doesn't respect Janitor for his profession, they often share moments together. Janitor is one of the few people that doesn't fear Dr. Cox. Both Janitor and Dr. Cox seem to be annoyed by J.D., with Janitor even helping Dr. Cox catch J.D, and they share their thoughts sometimes. They don't talk much inside the hospital, to keep up the Janitor's street cred, but they were bar buddies for a while. They are both experts on "hating people", and seem to have a mutual respect for this fact. ("My ABC's") According to Carla, both of them are "borderline psychotics who hate everyone."
- Taxidermy (especially squirrels)
- "Blonde Doctor"
- Floors (he thinks of them as his children and has given them names)
- Vanning ("My Best Laid Plans")
- Hibbleton ("My Ocardial Infarction")
- His old mop
- The adrenaline rush from lying to someone's face ("His Story III")
- Honey Bunny sandwiches ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
- Legal Custodians
- Brain Trust
- Scooter pie
- Banana Hammocks
- Being called stupid
- Not having his own office ("My New Role")
- Audry Hepburn ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
- Being called "Jumpsuit" (His uniform is not a jumpsuit, it's a shirt and pants.)
- People named Josh ("My Manhood")
- Full list: Janitor's nicknames
Besides his catalogue of alter-egos, Janitor is bestowed upon many nicknames. Few people know his real name, and others either call him "Janitor" or a nickname.
- He is called "jumpsuit" by many people because he wears an outfit that looks like a jumpsuit.
- Because he is tall, people call him height-related nicknames such as "Lurch", "Stretch", "Big Monkey" and "Jolly Green".
- People call him many custodial-related nicknames including "Sir Mops-a-Lot" and "Moppenstein".
- Ephraim (Stuttering alter ego)
- Klaus (German alter ego)
- Nigel (British alter ego)
- Roscoe (Fake Brother)
- Unnamed character afraid to go back to prison ("My Saving Grace")
- Dr. Ján Ïtor
- Dr. Elliot Reid ("My Female Trouble")
- Tommy ("My Finale")
- It is revealed in the DVD commentary that if Scrubs wasn't renewed for a second season (something the creators were almost sure would happen), it would've been revealed in the Season One finale - "My Last Day" - that The Janitor was a figment of J.D.'s imagination. Note that in Season One, the Janitor only occasionally interacted with characters other than J.D.
- The Janitor changed the address in his files to 0001 Cemetery Drive because the character Lurch in the Addams Family lived there because Dr. Kelso calls him "Lurch".
- Claims to have the ability to sense when squirrels are afraid and when people don't mind talking to him in "His Story III".
- The Janitor has many strange hobbies and skills, and one of the biggest is taxidermy. This is especially true when it comes to squirrels, as he is shown to have a gigantic squirrel army at one point in the series, although he says later in the episode he traded them all for a stuffed dog, Steven. He apparently lost his taxidermy license after killing all the squirrels that were in the vicinity of the hospital.
- He can speak sign language, Spanish, and Korean.
- The Janitor has a key to everything in the Hospital, and mainly uses his keys to break into personnel files, having already seen Dr. Kelso's, Dr. Cox's, Jordan's, as well as having seen J.D.'s paycheck.
- Much like Dr. Cox, the Janitor also refers to staff members by nicknames. The Janitor's nicknames for people are often descriptive phrases, such as Blonde Doctor (Elliot), Incredibly Handsome Guy (Keith), Irritable Townswoman of Color (Dr. Cox's fantasy representation of Nurse Shirley in "My Princess"), or Supposedly Straight Surgeon (Todd).
- In the episode "My Identity Crisis", J.D. has to learn everyone in the hospitals name as a bet to The Janitor, which he thinks he does. But then Janitor puts a picture of himself up and J.D. says, "No one knows your name".
- The Janitor is also revealed to start his day with a bath on top of Sacred Heart. He is also able to distribute four-story atomic wedgies, which he does to Todd.
- Janitor has a knack for carrying out his off-the-wall ideas, such as the newspaper entitled the Janitorial, and getting everyone to call J.D., the "co-chief resident" in Season Four.
- He claims not to believe in the moon, and suspects it is simply the other side of the sun.
- The Janitor has mentioned that he went to Harvard in the episode "My Brother, Where Art Thou?" while also saying he went to Yale in "My Déjà vu, My Déjà vu".
- Janitor did not appear in the episodes "My Lucky Day", "My Last Words" (the days after he was fired) and "My Absence", among others.
- When the Janitor was a baby, his mother would sometimes leave his crib in the driveway and on one incident, a marble fountain fell on him. (This coincidentally also happened to Ted)
- The Janitor claims to not be in "the line of peons" that fear Dr. Cox, and has pranked him on a few occasions, but in "My Choosiest Choice of All" it seems as though he fears him.
- He claims to have a brother who is a stripper. ("My Rite of Passage")
- He also claims that he thought his Grandmother was his mother, as his sister who was actually his mother.
- The aforementioned penny in the door is suspected to be another fabrication made up by the Janitor; a quick enough eye will catch that the year said penny was minted (which he wears around his neck) in 2006, postdating the incident by roughly six years.
- In "My Last Day", the same door with that was jammed with the penny, is jammed again, and a new intern suggests that the jam may be caused by a paper clip. If the door had been jammed by a paper clip, this intern would've possibly been tormented throughout his entire career at Sacred Heart by the Janitor, much like J.D. had.
- It turns out that deep down the Janitor actually likes J.D., even confessing in "My Finale" that if J.D. confessed to accidently jamming the door with the penny, they could have been friends.
- It is hinted at in "My Identity Crisis" that the reason for Janitor's actions may be a result of inhaling cleaning fluid fumes regularly.
- Janitor has made reference to children many times, however this may be another one of his stories, or he may be widowed.
- He has a tattoo of a mop, though it is never seen, but mentioned by JD when he asks "who gets a tattoo of a mop?" upon watching the janitor get undressed and into a new uniform.
Real Name Edit
- During Season Eight, Bill Lawrence promised to tie up loose storylines as it was assumed Scrubs wouldn't return. He promised to give Janitor a real name and in interviews provided one hint: that it was the same as his character in Clone High.
- In "My Finale", Janitor revealed that his name is "Glen Matthews". It was assumed this was a lie because an orderly calls him "Tommy" seconds later.
- On April 8, 2011 Bill Lawrence posted a video on Facebook confirming that Janitor's real name is "Glen Matthews".
- Previous Theories:
- Many fans speculated that the Janitor's name was Neil Flynn, as he admitted to playing the role of a cop in The Fugitive, a part played by Neil Flynn in real life.
- J.D. was the first person to discover that Janitor was in The Fugitive, but seemingly never considered the possibility of looking through the movie's credits to find the Janitor's real name.
- In "My Conventional Wisdom" he told a coffee bar worker how he got his name. After he finished the barista said "you don't look Asian". The viewers don't hear the name and the story so it might be another alter ego.
- In "My Buddy's Booty" a man congratulating the Janitor for making a joke appeared to have said "Nice one Tom," yet he actually said "Nice, you tell 'em."
- According to "Scrubs: The Complete Collection", Bill Lawrence answers a fan question about Janitors real name. The response is Josh, for J(anitor) O(f) S(acred) H(eart), but Bill Lawrence immediately states that he made that up on the spot, seemingly referring to the acronym, but not necessarily.
- In an interview dated 8/20/2009, Bill Lawrence stated that nobody really knows Janitor's real name.
- This was contradicted in his later Facebook and Twitter posts and videos.