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My Old Lady

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"My Old Lady"
My Old Lady
  Season One, Episode Four   
Writer Matt Tarses
Director Marc Buckland
Air Date October 16, 2001 on NBClogo

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Pretty sneaky DeathJ.D.

"My Old Lady" is the fourth episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D. tries to convince his 74-year old patient, Mrs. Tanner (Kathryn Joosten), to start dialysis in order to prolong her life. Turk becomes friends with his patient, David Morrison, after watching a football game together. Elliot learns Spanish from Carla so she can talk to her patient Mrs. Guerrero.

Synopsis Edit

1x04MrsTannerEscapes

Mrs. Tanner escapes from Sacred Heart

J.D., Turk and Elliot each get a patient. Statistically, one of these three is going to die. J.D.'s patient is a 74-year old woman, Mrs. Tanner. Turk has to perform surgery on David Morrison, and Elliot's patient, Mrs. Guerrero, only speaks Spanish.

All three of them try to get close to their patients and talk to them. Mrs. Tanner at one time leaves the hospital to celebrate her granddaughter's birthday in the park. J.D. goes there and takes her back to the hospital. Turk and David watch a classic football game on TV and Elliot learns some Spanish from Carla to be able to talk to Mrs. Guerrero.

In the end, all three of the patients die and the young doctors have their first experience with death. Mrs. Tanner chooses to die because she thinks she is old enough and doesn't want to have dialysis, while Turk's and Elliot's patients died due to their sickness and the doctors couldn't do anything to save them.

Recurring Themes Edit

     More: FantasiesFlashbacksJ.D.'s girl namesJanitor's pranks and lies

1x04grimreaperconnect4

J.D. plays with death

Fantasies Edit

  • J.D. rewinds time to take back a comment he made to Elliot and Carla, only to say it again.
  • Mrs. Tanner escapes from Sacred Heart as if it were a prison.
  • J.D. pushes Samantha Tanner's face into her birthday cake.
  • J.D. and the Grim Reaper play Connect 4, and the Grim Reaper wins (diagonally -- pretty sneaky).
  • A ton of bricks falls on J.D.

Janitor story Edit

Janitor threatens J.D., and later intimidates him with a floor waxer.

Guest stars Edit

1x04cakefaceplant

Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Tanner

Music Edit

     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Dracula from Houston" by The Butthole Surfers
  • "Hallelujah" by John Cale

QuotesEdit

1x04ElliotCarlaAngry

Carla and Elliot turn on J.D.

Hello? I'm the doctor!J.D.

[family continues to bicker]
I'm...I'm...I'm the doctor.

What are you, sixteen?Tommy Tanner
Oh, this is unacceptable.Gina Tanner
What'd you have, like, coupons to this hospital, Ma?
I should--we should have gone to my doctor.
Now that's enough! Now, sure, he's young, but he's probably a very good doctor. [to J.D.] Are you a good doctor?Mrs. Tanner
It's kinda too soon to tell.

1x04rewind

J.D. rewinds his mistake


I'm a chunky monkey from funky town.Elliot

I'm gonna have a little trouble translating that.Carla


'Neat?' Dude, the 1930s called and they want their lingo back.Turk


I feel like you're missing out. Like, this Mrs. Tanner, she's got this...incredible energy and...and warmth.J.D.

Dude, the League of Women Voters called and they want to know where to send your membership info.Turk
You're using that "somebody called" joke a lot.

I know, I can't help it. I got a hernia patient to take care of.
1x04bricks

J.D. is hit with a ton of bricks

What's his name?

Well, his name is Hernia Patient, but we've gotten close so I like to call him "Hernia".
He must feel so safe and taken care of.

Shut up.


Speaking of heparin, have you slept with Turk yet?Elliot

1x4 JD Sits with Mrs Tanner

J.D. sits with Mrs. Tanner


Sweetie, I'm seventy-four years old, I'm ready to go.Mrs. Tanner

Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another...eighty or ninety years.J.D.

TriviaEdit

1x04TurkTalks

Turk talks with David's father

  • Zach Braff said that he was mad at Sarah Chalke while filming this episode. In the final scene, J.D. does not look at Elliot and just interacts with Turk and Carla.
  • Again, like in "My Best Friend's Mistake", Dr. Cox doesn't call J.D. a girl's name.
  • First appearance of the Grim Reaper and Lloyd.
  • The line Mrs. Tanner says in Japanese, means, "I lived in Kyoto for about five years."
  • The Connect 4 scene is a parody of a Connect 4 commercial from the 1970s, which features similar dialogue. It also parodies The Seventh Seal, in which a knight plays chess against the Grim Reaper.
  • J.D. tries to cheat when he plays Connect 4 with the Grim Reaper. He has placed eight chips, while the Reaper only has placed six.
  • This episode received a Humanitas Prize.
  • This is the first episode to use the Fantasy Flash.
  • When Turk is with his patient and says "Thanks, I'll take your fruit cup", he leaves the room with a red jello.
  • Turk states that "the Catch" is "Joe Montana to Dwight Clark, NFL Championship game, not time left on the clock". However, there was 51 seconds left on the clock at the time of "the Catch".
  • In the "ton of bricks" fantasy, J.D. flinches a second before the bricks fall on him.
  • In the "rewinding" fantasy, Carla first says "If she's from El Barrio, she must not like music", but the second time, she says "If she grew up in El Barrio, she must not like classical music".
  • The name tag that Dr. Cox wears when he first enters Elliot's patients room says "Paul Cox".
  • The music in two of the sequences was changed by the time it got to DVD. The music when it originally aired included a song called "Why We Gotta Die?".
  • This episode won the 2002 Humanitas Prize in the 30 Minute Category, and was nominated for the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.
  • "Push thrombolitics" is not a real medical phrase. Creator Bill Lawrence says in the commentary that it was used because the writers knew it would annoy the show's medical consultants.

Title explanationEdit

J.D. gets an old lady as a patient.


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