- “I'm a man. I have needs. Please say there will be cuddling.”— J.D. ("Our Stuff Gets Real")
Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian, M.D. was a doctor of medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital for eight years until he moved to be closer to his son Sammy. He is currently working as Residency Director at St. Vincent's Hospital.
J.D. is married to Elliot Reid and is best friends with Christopher Turk. He strives for the approval of Dr. Cox, but less so since becoming an equal in their profession. He made the best of working under Dr. Kelso's leadership, where he often sought Carla Espinosa's advice. He was harassed by Janitor on a regular basis before leaving Sacred Heart.
J.D. is portrayed by Zach Braff and is first seen in the pilot episode "My First Day", and is seen as a main character in 167 of Scrubs' first 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. J.D. is last seen in "Our Stuff Gets Real" as he and Elliot are expecting their baby girl. It is assumed she has been born since then and that he is still working at St. Vincent's.
Dr. John Michael Dorian is the Residency Director at St. Vincent's Hospital. He claims that the reason he got into medicine was a high school teacher named Mr. Peters. J.D is around 35 years old in season 9. At Sacred Heart Hospital, J.D. was an intern for one year, a resident for three years, and an attending for four years. At Sacred Heart J.D. has served in various positions and roles, besides practicing internal medicine. He served as Co-Chief Resident with Elliot Reid for his fourth year at Sacred Heart. He also worked as Staff Internist, from the end of his fourth year until his last day. J.D. is characterized as a legitimately good doctor, who honestly cares for his patients. ("My Extra Mile") ("My Number One Doctor")
J.D.'s parents are Barbara Dorian (née Hobbs) and the late Sam Dorian. He has one older brother, Dan. His parents expected a girl, and had no name prepared for a boy, so until he was 3, he was called Joanna. Sam and Barbara were divorced when J.D. was about 7 years old, and Barbara has married 6 times since. Sam died during J.D.'s employment at Sacred Heart. ("My Cake") Other members of J.D.'s family are Grandma Dorian (Sam's mother), Nana Hobbs (Barbara's mother) and Great-Aunt Judy.
J.D. is in his mid-30s and is married to long-time love interest Elliot Reid. He previously lived with best friend Christopher Turk during college, med school, and for the first four years at Sacred Heart, and Elliot during the fifth and part of the sixth year at the hospital. He has lived in four apartments and on a half-acre over his eight years at Sacred Heart. For a while he was in a relationship with Kim Briggs, who gave birth to his son, Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian. After Kim moved away with Sammy, J.D. started to realize how much he loved his son. One weekend at Kim's apartment, J.D. decided to move so he would be closer to Sammy. ("My Cuz") While visiting Kim at her job to drop off Sam, he was offered Residency Director for St. Vincent's Hospital, which he took. Although his friends were upset by this decision, he felt fulfilling his role of father was the most important thing in his life. ("My Chief Concern")
J.D. has several oddities about him, particularly his daydreams. The daydreams, or fantasies, are usually ignited by conversations he is in. His friends and co-workers know he fantasizes, and have used it on occasion to their advantage. He also narrates his own life in his head. He is extremely sociable, but is physically and socially awkward at times, sometimes saying strange things. In his early years at Sacred Heart he drove a Volvo, but it burned on the side of the road while Turk was driving it. He drove a scooter named Sasha until it got gunned down by cops. J.D. currently drives a Toyota Prius that Dan gave him as a gift. He also has a fear of pennies.
As a Professor
As a professor, J.D. really wanted his students to like him. He tried very hard to be like the inspirational professors in movies, but none of his students took a personal liking to him when he invited them out for beers. He took the role of a mentor with Lucy, as he knows how to defeat Dr. Perry Cox. ("Our First Day of School")
During his first year at Sacred Heart, J.D. initially struggled to find his footing, but eventually got a hold of it and became comfortable with medicine. The most difficult thing around the hospital, however, was the politics and drama surrounding his co-workers. He and Elliot had an unsuccessful fling while his best friend Turk found his soulmate Carla. He also forced Dr. Cox to become his reluctant mentor and encountered the villainous Janitor. (Season One)
His second year at the hospital, and his first year as a resident, J.D. faced more challenges as a doctor, including how to balance a real life and the rigorous schedule of being a doctor. (Season Two) His third year, J.D. struggled to manage his feelings for Elliot and eventually spilled the beans, ruining her relationship with Sean. He decided that he wasn't in love with her so he quickly dumped her, which only made things harder for him. (Season Three) His fourth year was full of difficulties. He was kicked out of his apartment after Turk and Carla got wed, and was still at odds with Elliot, whom he was forced to work with as Co-Chief Residents. Plus, he was still meddled with by Janitor whenever the opportunity arose. (Season Four)
As a first-year attending, J.D. had a crop of interns for which he was responsible. He continued to lean on Dr. Cox and friends for advice. He also met Kim Briggs whom he found out he had impregnated on the first date. (Season Five) During his sixth year at Sacred Heart, J.D. felt like a fifth wheel around Turk, Carla, Elliot and Keith. He developed an embarrassing medical symptom, and was lied to by Kim when she left town. (Season Six) Things got better in his seventh year, highlighted by when he became a father to Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian. Kim left him just as Elliot left Keith, making him free to pursue his dream girl once again. (Season Seven) J.D. and Elliot started dating again, this time successfully. J.D. continued to enjoy being a doctor and teaching new interns, but took a better job at a hospital closer to his son, leaving Sacred Heart for good. (Season Eight)
Elliot Reid is J.D's wife and they have a little girl together. On J.D.'s first day it is revealed that J.D. is extremely attracted to Elliot. However, her excessively competitive attitude prevents them from forming a relationship at this point. Due to his busy work he gets caught "in the friend zone." ("My Best Friend's Mistake") However, the two begin a romantic relationship months later. ("My Drug Buddy") In following weeks they realize that they do not work as a couple. ("My Bed Banter & Beyond") The two break up, but become friends again with Turk's involvement. ("My Heavy Meddle") However, it is eventually revealed by Jordan that Elliot still harbors feelings for J.D. ("My Last Day") The two continue to harbor feelings for each other that flair up once and again, sometimes ending up in sex. ("My Monster") ("My Sex Buddy") When Elliot is dating someone else seriously, J.D. gets extremely jealous. ("My Fault") But when she commits to him seriously again, he understands that he wants what he can't have; and now that he has Elliot he doesn't want her anymore. After a long period of anger, Elliot and J.D. become good friends again. ("My Self-Examination") ("My Common Enemy") The two temporarily live together, and when Elliot gets engaged to Keith Dudemeister he realizes their friendship has drifted far from what it was. ("My Turf War")
J.D. struggles with his renewed feelings for Elliot, considering whether breaking up with her was the worst mistake of his life. ("My Conventional Wisdom") After Elliot dumps Keith and Sammy is born, the two nearly share a kiss, but hardly talk about it for several months. ("My Point of No Return") ("My Princess") After being best friends again for some time, J.D. and Elliot began dating again, when Dr. Kelso noted, that they do everything a couple does, except have sex. They talk about their previous mistakes and finally come to the conclusion that it's actually a good idea to date again ("My Happy Place"). Although they promised to not let drama get in the way of their happiness, Elliot needs for J.D. to confess his love for her. He reveals that she is his dream girl, and that he loves her more than he loves Turk. ("My Soul on Fire, Part 2")
Christopher Turk is J.D.'s best friend. The pair have been roommates since college and through several years at Sacred Heart Hospital. ("My Perspective"). There is never a lack of laughter or fun when the two are together, but they have had their off days. ("My Bad Too"). J.D. and Turk share many similar interests in games, movies, television, and music. Where Turk is athletic and suave, J.D. is nerdy and clumsy, but when they are together they get along fantastically. J.D. does get possessive of Turk at times, even bringing to question if they are a couple. In season 7, J.D. tells Turk that it's not like they are a married couple. Turk tells him that they are married a little bit. J.D. says "I know, and I love it." J.D. has several nicknames for Turk, and has told him that he can't live without him. Turk and J.D. are also the proud co-owners of Rowdy, who holds a special place in their hearts. When J.D. announced he was leaving Sacred Heart, Turk got upset because the two had never been separated for more than a couple of weeks. ("My Chief Concern")
Perry Cox is J.D.'s reluctant mentor who only offers "tough love" ("My Mentor"). Dr. Cox verbally disrespects J.D. by calling him demeaning girl names. However, Cox knows that he needs to be a role model for J.D., and throws in the occasional compliment to re-energize a sullen J.D.. Also, when J.D.'s father, Sam Dorian, passes away, Cox comforts him in his time of sadness. ("My Cake") As much as he doesn't admit it, it has been revealed that Cox respects J.D. as a doctor, heeds his advice, respects his opinion, and even cares about him as a person. ("My Fallen Idol") The clingy and needy personality of J.D. and the dependent and masculine personality of Dr. Cox rarely jive, but because they share a common goal in their professions and sometimes a common enemy, they are brought together to be a good team. J.D. is so focused on being a part of Dr. Cox's life that he even got Jordan to name her second child Jennifer Dylan. ("My Long Goodbye") He was almost Jennifer Dylan's godfather, though Dr. Cox prevented this by bargaining with Jordan. After Cox's promotion to Chief of Medicine, J.D. took up the job of the guy who nags him to get things done around the hospital, and is seemingly successful in these endeavors. ("My New Role") ("Their Story II") J.D. only finds out how his mentor honestly feels about him in ("My Finale") when he gets Sunny to trick Dr Cox into telling her that he believes J.D. to be "the best doctor to go through the hospital" because of how much he cared, and that he was not only an extraordinary physician but also an extraordinary person; he saw him as a friend. In the time after J.D. left Sacred Heart, Dr. Cox has begun to treat him as more of a friend and an equal.
J.D. and the Janitor always seem to be at odds, but the Janitor seems to almost always come out on top. At first, it seemed as if the Janitor was always gunning for J.D., ever since he believed J.D. jammed a door with a penny. ("My First Day") The Janitor uses lies, pranks, and sometimes clever schemes to trick J.D., usually with the intention of making him look like a fool. These pranks have ranged from relatively harmless to criminal, the most extreme of which involved the Janitor destroying J.D.'s scooter and kidnapping and locking him in a water tower for a day. J.D. is such an emotional person he lashes out in angry pouting yells. In the Janitor's mind, J.D. brings these actions upon himself by feeling superior to people like the Janitor and generally considers him a punk. The Janitor has shown understanding to J.D. before, but only in rare cases. ("My Way or the Highway") ("My Cake") J.D. has successfully tricked the Janitor before, but in the end the Janitor always seems to have the last laugh. ("My Own Personal Hell") Once J.D. leaves Sacred Heart, the Janitor sees no reason to stay and simply walks away from the hospital and never comes back.
Carla Espinosa has been a friend and helping hand for J.D.. When he was in his first year at Sacred Heart Carla taught him lessons about dealing with the pressures and people of the hospital. As he grew as a doctor, he realized that he was surpassing Carla's expertise, but to this day respects her for her many years at the hospital. ("My Nickname"). Carla trusts J.D., but often complains about how he and Turk can act so immature, and are sometimes more of a couple than her and Turk. Even though they shared one drunken kiss, Carla is one of the rare people in Sacred Heart that J.D. hasn't tried to or successfully slept with. However, they maintain a strong friendship and often the two of them go out together, and usually have a lot of fun. ("My Moment of Un-Truth") ("My Nickname") When J.D. decided to leave Sacred Heart to move closer to his son Sammy, Carla says she would really miss him. ("My Finale")
J.D. and Kim Briggs were romantically involved, and had a child together. J.D. met Kim his fifth year at Sacred Heart. ("My Urologist") The couple has a rocky start and the relationship is really put to the test when she reveals that she is pregnant right after their first date. They debate about keeping the baby or not, but ultimately choose to keep it. After Kim moves to Tacoma for another job she reveals to J.D. that she had a miscarriage. ("My Road to Nowhere") At a convention, J.D. runs into her and discovers that she was lying. ("My Conventional Wisdom") J.D. feels betrayed by her lie and takes off. Kim chases him down and convinces him to work things out. The two decide it's best to make up for the sake of the child, and move in together and decide on a name for the child. ("My Rabbit") ("My Point of No Return") When Kim is giving birth to Sammy, J.D. physically can't tell her that he loves her, and she ends the relationship once and for all. However, they remain on generally good terms and J.D. is fully involved as a devoted father to Sammy ("My Hard Labor").
J.D. had taken the role of a mentor to Lucy Bennett and he helped her deal with her stressful school, life, and relationships. Because he is well experienced with Dr. Cox's belittling, he could guide her through them to be a successful medical student. However, since he was only teaching at Winston University for a short while, he gave her some guidance on finding a mentor to replace him when he left. J.D. and Lucy seem to have a lot in common in addition to their daydreaming. ("Our Role Models")
Although J.D. was the one who gave Dr. Cox the advice to pick one medical student and connect with them, he becomes jealous when Perry takes an interest in Drew Suffin. Perry has a seemingly unhealthy obsession with Drew to the point of forcing him to wear a #1 sign, and later a pink #1 shirt, which anger's J.D. because despite being much older, he still craves Perry's attention and admiration. He does however, teach Drew how to deal with Dr. Cox.
- See Category:J.D.'s Romantic Partners for a list.
Even though he is very goofy and emotionally bizarre, J.D. is still human and longs for love and companionship. He has had many romantic involvements over his years at Sacred Heart, and most of them seem to end because he is afraid of commitment or the person he was into didn't turn out to be who he thought they were at all. Besides Elliot and Kim, J.D. has been involved with Jordan, Alex Hanson, Molly and Lisa, all employees of Sacred Heart. He has also been involved with patients and their family members, such as Jamie Moyer, Danni, and Neena. He uses his position as a doctor to attract those outside of the hospital as well, such as he did with Kylie. J.D. has also been on blind dates, such as with Julie Quinn.
J.D.'s "me time" hand is his left hand. ("My Lucky Charm")
- Full list: J.D.'s likes and dislikes
J.D. enjoys many things: appletinis, pirates, unicorns, cute baby animal imagery. Some of his interests are peculiarly feminine. On the other hand, he strongly dislikes many things, including pennies, robots, water parks, and jiggly ball. He shares stories and anecdotes about things he likes and dislikes with his coworkers, friends, and complete strangers.
He is also a big fan of musical artists including Journey, Billy Ocean, Toto, and the soundtrack of Les Mis. His favorite TV channels and programs are Animal Planet, Candid Camera, Sanford and Son, Grey's Anatomy, and Lost.
- Full list: J.D.'s nicknames
- "Bambi" was bestowed upon J.D. by Carla Espinosa on his first day at Sacred Heart. ("My First Day") She named him Bambi because he was timid and jumpy - like a deer - about being a doctor. He didn't like it and tried to shake it, but it stuck and ended up becoming a term of endearment, used until his last days at the hospital. ("My Nickname") ("My Finale")
- Dr. Cox uses a variety of girls names to belittle him.
- Q-tip is what Nurse Laverne Roberts commonly calls J.D. because his hair on his skinny body make him look like a cotton swab.
- Jordan Sullivan pretended to forget J.D.'s initials and called him a variety of other names including D.J. and R.J.. She even called Cox J.D. during sex just to really antagonize him.
- Dr. Cox often calls him Newbie which he bestowed upon him his first day due to him being new and it stuck.
- The name John Dorian is based on John Doris, college friend of creator Bill Lawrence.
- J.D. and Turk attended the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is where creator Bill Lawrence went.
- He can't watch TV and eat at the same time.
- J.D. can't talk and ride his scooter at the same time.
- J.D. collects scarves.
- J.D. has the ability to communicate telepathically with Turk.
- As seen in various flashbacks, J.D. had a mullet in high school, college, and medical school.
- J.D. carries a monopoly top hat with him for good luck. (My Own Personal Jesus)
- Once almost got married to a gay man who hung out on his Half-acre, but then escaped and got arrested for running on to the stage where the Blue Man Group performed whilst painted blue and having glitter dumped all over him.
- J.D. has not yet actually "killed" a patient yet because as in J.D.'s imagination, none of his deceased patients blame him for their death, although they do mention that he "wasn't a great doctor", and was very nervous, "like a little bird" this can be viewed that J.D has not forgiven himself for their deaths. In the same dream we learn that flapjacks are not allowed in Heaven and are presumably evil. ("My First Kill")
- J.D. was the mascot for his high school girls volleyball team where his costume was a bandanna and half-shirt. On road games he wore spurs even though the team weren't the cowboys. The costume made him feel pretty. ("My Last Words")
- J.D. says he didn't play sports in high school in "My Last Words", but in "My Jiggly Ball" he says he was a gymnast in high school. However, he stops himself from revealing it to avoid getting insulted by Dr. Cox for it, which ties in with J.D.'s feminine personality.
- In nearly every episode in which a sports-related topic comes up, J.D. is clueless. Yet in "My Blind Date" he has knowledge of baseball tradition. (Although if you look closely at the head of his bed he has a book about baseball there. It's visible when he hooks up with Elliot during "My Bed Banter & Beyond.)
- J.D. may be a Democrat ("My Number One Doctor").
- J.D. doesn't like beer, but in "My Mentor" he goes to Dr. Cox's apartment with a six-pack of light beer. In My Occurrence, he goes out for a beer at the bar with Dr. Cox and Ben. Also, in "My Lucky Charm" it's mentioned that J.D. and Turk make their special "party ice" out of beer. In a fourth occurrence, J.D. and Turk approve of Jake, Elliot's then boyfriend, because he got them another round of beer in My Drive-By.
- J.D. thinks that his beard in Season Eight makes him look like a young Kenny Loggins. ("My Jerks")
- J.D. is wiener cousin to Sean Kelly ("My Cuz")
- J.D.'s 6th grade girlfriend's name was Olivia.
- J.D.'s high school prom date's name was Amy.
- J.D.'s right testicle is significantly larger than the left one. ("My Transition")
- Many characters mock and ridicule J.D. for his daydreams, yet it is noted that in the His/Her/Their Story episodes, as well as "My Big Bird" and "My Full Moon", that the other characters have bizarre fantasies as well.
- When Kim and Elliot, are comparing J.D. and Sean Kelly's skills in bed, Kim state's that J.D. is better at sex, but Sean is better at foreplay. Elliot disagrees saying J.D. is great at foreplay, he just takes the play part too literally. ("My Cuz")
- Unwanted fantasies can be forced on J.D. through suggestion. ("My Happy Place")
- J.D. was once banned from Sacred Heart's men's rooms by Dr. Cox. ("My Balancing Act")
- J.D. and Elliot's daughter was conceived under a Christmas tree, which was not at their home, but still at the lot. ("Our White Coats")
- J.D.'s social security number is revealed by the Janitor, who was looking in J.D.'s personal file to know who made more money (the Janitor did), to be 987-65-4320. The Janitor is then able to trick J.D. into giving him his pin number, 3674. ("My Dream Job")
- J.D. claims that a drunk clown hurt him once. ("My Blind Date")
- J.D. dislikes robots because of one of his fantasies. ("My Long Goodbye")
- J.D. is left-handed. ("My Butterfly")
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