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- “I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm akay, I'm a kay. I'm a kay? What the hell does that mean?”— J.D.
"My Tuscaloosa Heart" is the eighteenth episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D. worries that his neglect caused a patient's death. Turk, Elliot, and Carla discover that Dr. Kelso wrote love songs when he was younger.
J.D. has a cancer patient, Aaron Simon, who is rude to him and the nurses. When Mr. Simon eventually dies from his illness, J.D. worries that he neglected the man and caused his death. Although a Morbidity and Mortality conference clears him of any fault, he still feels guilty, until Dr. Cox assures him that all doctors face these thoughts.
Dr. Cox's own problems come in the form of his complicated love life: He is dating and falling in love with Kristen Murphy, a surgical student, just as his ex-wife, Jordan, reappears demanding sex—and there is also his crush on Carla. After he sleeps with Jordan and blows off a date with Kristen to help Carla move a dresser, he decides that he has a problem and should commit himself more fully to Kristen. Shortly after this decision, however, Kristen learns about Jordan and Carla and breaks up with Dr. Cox anyway.
Meanwhile, Elliot is convinced that Dr. Kelso is the man singing country songs (including one called "My Tuscaloosa Heart") on a tape given to her by a patient. Turk doesn't believe it, until Kelso uses the phrase "my Tuscaloosa heart" in conversation. Both of them now wonder why all of the love songs star someone named "Bunny" instead of Kelso's wife. When they finally ask him, he denies being the musician on the tape and tells an obviously fabricated story claiming to be Elvis Presley. However, it is later revealed that Kelso was lying; "Bunny" is his nickname for his wife.
Recurring themes Edit
- Dr. Kelso puts J.D. blindfolded before a firing squad.
- J.D. imagines himself with sweat pouring down his face when Carla tells him not to be nervous.
- Dr. Kelso offers J.D. a cigarette as if he were facing a firing squad.
- A young J.D. walks into his parents' bedroom in the middle of the night.
Janitor story Edit
Janitor wanders the halls using a stethoscope as a walkie talkie and calls J.D. "killer" when J.D. thinks his neglect led to a patient's death.
J.D.'s girl names Edit
- “Yep, it looks like you screwed the pooch there, Tinkerbell.”— Dr. Cox
- “I have to warn you: I just got dumped in front of my ex-wife not ten minutes ago. Okay, Betty?”— Dr. Cox
Episode running gags Edit
- J.D. meets a mentally challenged patient, Jerry Donovan, also nicknamed J.D. He calls the patient "J.D. #1" and himself "J.D. #2" because the patient is a few years older. Whenever "J.D. #1" sees him, he says "Hey #2", and J.D. responds with "Hey #1".
Guest Stars Edit
- Cody Estes as Young J.D.
- Eric Saiet as Jerry Donovan (J.D. #1)
- Steven Shaw as Mr. Sloane
- Jack Shearer as Aaron Simon
- Kelli Williams as Kristen Murphy
- "Dance of the Sugerplum Fairy" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- “Could have been the neglect. Could have been the terminal cancer.”— Carla
- “I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm akay. I'm a kay. I'm a kay? What the hell does that mean?”— J.D.
- “Son, that crap is for hippies.”— Dr. Kelso
- “Well, actually, the music came before Bunny. I learned to play the guitar growing up as a young rapscallion in Mississippi, but things didn't really take off until I moved to Memphis. Then I met the Colonel, and the hits just kept coming! Unfortunately, it went to my head, I gained a lot of weight, started wearing a white jumpsuit and ate tranquilizers like they were trail mix.”— Dr. Kelso
- “Sir—”— Elliot
- “Sir—”— Elliot
- “Then, in 1977, I died on the toilet... Or did I?”— Dr. Kelso
- In the flashback of J.D. walking in on his parents, the voice of the father is that of Zach Braff. John Ritter would be cast in the next episode, "My Old Man", to play J.D.'s father.
- In "Her Story", Carla complains when Turk wakes her up because she can't fall asleep again. However, in this episode, she has no problem going back to sleep when J.D. wakes her and Turk up.
- For some reason, Turk, Carla, and Elliot don't come to the conclusion that "Bunny" could be Dr. Kelso's affectionate nickname for Enid.
- In the scene where J.D. is talking to Dr. Cox about Mr. Simon, Dr. Cox's raincoat is zipped down to his chest in one shot. Then the camera switches to J.D., and in the next shot, the jacket is zipped all the way up.
- Turk says that it's impossible to write a love song about somebody called Enid. However, The Barenaked Ladies have a song called "Enid".
- Dr. Kelso's sarcastic rant about his past life as a singer is an allusion to Elvis (right down to "dying on the crapper").
- Title explanation: Elliot finds out that Dr. Kelso used to sing blues songs, including one called "My Tuscaloosa Heart".