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My Way or the Highway

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Look, I'm just a janitor, I don't know much, but I do know this: You need surgery.Janitor

"My Way or the Highway" is the twentieth episode of Scrubs' first season. J.D. fights against Turk and Janitor who both advise everyone to get surgery. Elliot finds out she has a crush on her patient Sean Kelly (Scott Foley). Dr. Cox is angry at Dr. Kelso for firing two nurses for no good reason.



Elliot tries to impress Sean

J.D. is annoyed that Turk's games always end up with him winning. In return he wants to play "tip over the trash can" much to the annoyance of Janitor. Dr. Cox doesn't like that J.D. gave Mr. Hoffner lots of medical options, including surgical. As a surgical consult, Turk advises Mr. Hoffner to do the surgery which makes J.D. upset because he would prefer to treat him medically. Mr. Hoffner opts for surgery. When J.D. goes to talk to Dr. Cox about his decision, Dr. Cox doesn't have time to listen. J.D. in turn talks to Mr. Hoffner himself who says he made the decision himself, based on advice from other people, including Janitor. When J.D. is trying to convince his next patient that he should go the medical route, he is convinced by J.D.'s new confidence - and a thumbs up from Janitor.


Dr. Cox and Dr. Wen compete.

Elliot's patient, Sean Kelly, immediately attracts her. Elliot flirts with Sean on the cardiograph and finds out he is single. Elliot takes Carla away and asks why Sean didn't ask her out, even though she told him she was single. Carla tells her to wait and see what happens but shortly afterward he gets released. When Elliot gussies up to impress him, Laverne informs her that she needs to immediately see a patient. When she is through, she is covered in trash including poo, which leads into an awkward conversation about poop with Sean. In the parking lot, Elliot chases after Sean but is splashed by a puddle. She tastes it to prove it's not poo to Sean, she pulls him in for a kiss and makes him ask her out.

Dr. Cox is really happy with the coffee made by a special nurse even though Carla mentions Dr. Kelso has just fired two nurses. Dr. Cox tells Dr. Kelso it was wrong to fire two good nurses, and in turn Bob fires the coffee nurse and Carla blames Perry for arguing with him. The nurses are upset about the extra workload, and give Dr. Cox the cold shoulder.

Recurring ThemesEdit

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


"A surgeon and a doc above it all."


Scrubs Side Story

Fantasies Edit

  • Scrubs Side Story: Surgical and Medical doctors sing a chorus as rivals (similar to West Side Story); J.D. and Turk sing to each other upon a balcony of how they are "a Surgeon and a Doc above it all". A scene towards the end of the episode shows Dr. Cox and Dr. Wen singing the same song to each other.
  • J.D. and Turk continue their song, but Turk throws J.D. from the balcony, and makes J.D. admit to being his "biatch".
  • J.D. runs to tell on Turk - to Dr. Cox, dressed up to be J.D.'s father. Between sobs, J.D. tells him the story as Dr. Cox comforts him.
  • All of J.D.'s patients in the ward, and a nurse all declare they are having surgery. Turk then appears with a large knife and a large smile.

Janitor story Edit

J.D. tips over a bin prompting Janitor to knock his pile of paperwork over in retaliation. The Janitor spends the rest of the day convincing all of J.D.'s patients they need surgery.

J.D. and Turk's GamesEdit


Turk and J.D. play "Steak."

  • J.D. and Turk play several games, dubbed "J.D. and Turk's Games" throughout the episode.
    • Tossing hats onto Rowdy.
    • Steak: The first person to eat their steak wins.
    • Ankles: The first person to get embarrassed and pull up their scrubs loses.
    • Walking into the hospital.

Episode Running Gags Edit

  • After Dr. Cox embarrasses Dr. Kelso, and then later when he apologizes for it, the interns look away out of fear, except for Doug, who can't bring himself to, due to being enthralled by the moment.

Guest Stars Edit


Turk and J.D. play "Ankles."

Music Edit

     List of music featured in Scrubs

  • "Above It All" (a.k.a. "Scrubs Side Story") performed by the cast

Quotes Edit


Medical doctors vs. surgeons.

You're damn right I'm competitive. See, that's what makes me a good doctor - I want to win at everything every day, and you should, too.Turk

I love to poop.Sean

Oh my god, I can't believe I talked to Sean for ten minutes about poop.Elliot

Relax, nobody knows.Carla
Hey, poopy.Laverne

He doesn't know that I cry sometimes because I'm not sure if there's a cat heaven.Carla

Trivia Edit


Elliot shows Sean how flexible she is.


J.D. cries to Dr. Cox.

  • First appearance of games that Turk and J.D. play: The First One To Throw The Hat On Rowdy, Steak and Ankles.
  • When Turk wins Steak, there's actually still a lot of steak left on his plate.
  • First appearance of Sean Kelly.
  • Carla reveals that she has had sex with patients "tons of times".
  • The patient Mr. Hoffner, returns in "My Drive-By" to have his gallbladder removed.
  • Mr. Hoffner and some other patients acknowledge the Janitor, contrary to the Season One's idea of the Janitor being J.D's imagination.
  • In this episode, Elliot demonstrates her gymnastic abilities (such as doing a split), which she demonstrates again in later episodes.
  • When J.D. calls Turk Benedict, he is referring to Benedict Arnold, who originally fought for American Independence from the British Empire as a general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, until he obtained command of the American fort at West Point, New York. He then switched sides, joining the British Empire.
  • The fantasy where the surgical and medical interns dance is an allusion to West Side Story, in which there is an ongoing fight between Italian and Puerto Rican gangs to control the streets of New York. The opening scene of the movie shows the gangs walking/dancing towards each other with similar music.
  • The title refers to how physicians want to go the medical route ("my way", as J.D. is a physician) and surgeons want the patient to go the surgical route ("the highway").

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