Before Scrubs came along, the big doctor-based shows we had to choose from were E.R. and Chicago Hope — but while they were big hits, they didn’t make us laugh. Scrubs proved that sometimes even doctors had a rough time figuring out life and handling death, while simultaneously making a hospital setting a little less scary.
Scrubs currently airs reruns on Comedy Central, which may entice you to watch Scrubs streaming from the very beginning. The show has nine seasons — sort of. Based on its success, they tried to do a spin-off bringing in new doctors (one played by The Disaster Artist star Dave Franco) while fazing out the original cast, but unfortunately, it just didn’t land.
Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, and Judy Reyes were the heart of the show, which — in total — ran from 2001 to 2010. Running for a total of 182 episodes, it’s a good idea to watch Scrubs online and recognize its importance to 2000’s television.
Here’s how to watch Scrubs streaming online.
How to Watch Scrubs Online & Stream the Complete Series
Among all the streaming services, Hulu has exclusive rights to every episode of Scrubs. There are a couple different options when signing up for Hulu, but either one will get you access to the show’s complete library:
If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
If you want to go from watching Hulu’s on-demand library to watching MLB games or other live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels. It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
After signing up for either of the above options, you can watch any episode of Scrubs on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Scrubs Seasons Are There?
The show was on the air for nine seasons. The first seven of those seasons were on NBC, and then the show was picked up by ABC for their final two. Here’s what happened in each season.
Scrubs Season 1
24 Episodes | October 2001 – May 2002
J.D. (Braff) and his best buddy Turk (Faison) experience their first year out of med school together as interns at Sacred Heart Hospital. Quickly, they’re introduced to another intern named Elliot (Chalke) who J.D. develops a bit of a crush on. As for Turk, subtly yet quickly forms a relationship with Carla (Reyes), a nurse who also works there. The interns experience their first brush with patient death, and Turk, who’s in surgery, has issues with making sure he’s made no mistakes while operating on patients.
Scrubs Season 2
22 Episodes | September 2002 – April 2003
The Janitor, played by Neil Flynn, was bumped up to series regular in season two, which also saw J.D. officially become a hospital resident. Elliot moves onto a boyfriend named Paul, who works as a nurse, and Turk proposes to Carla…but has to wait awhile to get a yes. J.D. starts dating a woman named Jamie, played by Amy Smart, whose husband recently passed away.
Scrubs Season 3
22 Episodes | October 2003 – May 2004
Elliot, who starts fresh with a makeover, tries to tackle a long-distance relationship after a new boyfriend needs to take a 6-month trip to New Zealand. Dr. Cox realizes he’s not as young as he used to be after a back injury. Michael J. Fox is introduced as a visiting doctor who suffers from OCD. An episode this season, titled “My Screw Up,” won a well-deserved Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.
Scrubs Season 4
25 Episodes | August 2004 – May 2005
J.D. and Elliot are both promoted to chief residents, but they have issues sharing the title — especially with their romantic history. Carla accidentally loses Rowdy, Turk and J.D.’s stuffed dog, after a cleaning and has to replace him with an alternate. The staff also paid tribute to John Ritter, who played the role of J.D.’s dad, in the episode “My Cake,” by announcing the death of his character.
Scrubs Season 5
24 Episodes | January 2006 – May 2006
J.D. is promoted to the same level as Dr. Cox, his mentor. Elliot briefly leaves Sacred Heart for another position, but quickly returns to the hospital after not being the right fit. Turk and Carla figure it’s time to start trying for a baby, even though Turk still doesn’t totally feel ready just yet. Speaking of babies, J.D. gets the surprise of his life during the season finale. Mandy Moore, who dated Braff off-camera, made an appearance this season as a character named Julie Quinn.
Scrubs Season 6
22 Episodes | November 2006 – May 2007
The creators chose to experiment with a musical episode in season six, but most of the season focused around J.D.’s relationship with Dr. Kim Briggs, who he impregnated without actually having sex — which, yikes. Kim tells him that she lost the baby to avoid the pressure of a long-distance relationship, but later in the season, J.D. realizes she was lying. Carla and Turk also give birth to their first baby in the season’s second episode.
Scrubs Season 7
11 Episodes | October 2007 – May 2008
Season seven meant to be the final season overall, but then the creators struck a deal with ABC to keep the show going. Due to the writer’s strike, the season was much shorter than average. The episodes that aired included one with the Janitor creating a newsletter called “The Janitorial”, and an episode where Turk’s candy bar habit is limited severely due to his diabetes. The final episode was narrated by Dr. Cox and was fantasy-themed.
Scrubs Season 8
19 Episodes | January 2009 – May 2009
During their first season on ABC, Courteney Cox joined the cast as the new chief of medicine, replacing Dr. Kelso. This season includes a memorable Sesame Street episode, starring Oscar the Grouch, Grover, and a few other Muppets. In the finale, J.D. considers taking a new job to be closer to his son, and since he’s back together with Elliot, she’s affected by the change as well.
Scrubs Season 9
13 Episodes | December 2009 – March 2010
J.D. and the original cast show up in a couple episodes, but the main focus is the three newest interns — Lucy, Cole, and Drew. Lucy, played by Kerry Bishé, was the show’s new narrator.
What Are the Best Scrubs Episodes?
The best episodes of Scrubs found a way to make you laugh and cry. While the show is mostly a comedy, the most memorable episodes focused around the very-real concept of loss. The show was so well written that certain episodes just stick with you. Here are the best Scrubs episodes — but as a warning, just know you might need to grab a tissue or two.
Season 1, Episode 4: “My Old Lady”
J.D., Elliot, Carla, and Turk all become attached to patients — for Elliot and Carla, it’s a bonding experience. The two don’t hit it off in the beginning of their relationship, but get to know each other when Elliot depends on Carla to speak to her patient in Spanish. As for J.D., he’s with a woman named Mrs. Tanner who’s prepared to die — and puts that on the table as a solution to her health condition.
Season 3, Episode 14: “My Screw Up”
This episode brings the return of Ben Sullivan, Jordan’s brother who had cancer and went through chemotherapy earlier in the show. He didn’t follow up with treatment, which brings consequences. As a side-plot, Turk is considering removing his mole, and makes a bargain with Carla that he’ll get rid of it if she changes her maiden name after marriage.
Season 5, Episode 20: “My Lunch”
A past patient’s organs are donated to three different patients in need. Dr. Cox reminds J.D. that he should never blame himself for a patient’s death, as when that starts happening, there’s no coming back. But, the pair makes one huge mistake that has a lot of dire consequences.
Season 6, Episode 15: “My Long Goodbye”
Things get personal at Sacred Heart after one of their own is brought in. Nurse Laverne suffers after a car accident that leaves her brain dead. One by one, the cast says goodbye — with the most emotional being Carla, as it takes her some time to accept what actually happened to her friend.
Who Are the Actors in the Scrubs Cast?
The cast of Scrubs had chemistry that helped make the show such a success. Here are the main players who appeared throughout the run of the show.
Braff stars as the central character in Scrubs — the series primarily follows his relationships and career development, and he serves as the show’s narrator. Since the show aired, Braff both starred in and created the indie movies Garden State and the 2014 film Wish I Was Here. He recently tried his luck at another television show, called Alex, Inc., but it was canceled after one season.
Faison is Braff’s best friend, both on and off screen. Faison appeared in 178 episodes of the show. Prior to, one of his most notable roles was in the 1995 film Clueless. Since Scrubs wrapped up, he played Phil Chase on the television show The Exes.
Chalke, who was previously known for Roseanne, played the part of Elliot Reid, the intern who eventually gains the title of senior attending physician. Chalke had a notable role on How I Met Your Mother and is currently appearing on the Roseanne reboot — but as an entirely different character.
Carla’s been at Sacred Heart the longest out of the gang. As for Reyes, she became a pro after modeling her character after her sister, who is actually a licensed nurse. Reyes, who has since appeared on shows like Jane the Virgin and Devious Maids, didn’t appear in any episodes of the final season of Scrubs.
Dr. Cox offered guidance through tough love, but — aside from the teasing, he was a very important part of J.D.’s life. John C. McGinley was in 178 episodes of the show and currently stars in the show Stan Against Evil, which was renewed for a third season this January.
Kelso was the chief of medicine, who had a turbulent relationship with Dr. Cox. This year, he played Elder Sam in the Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Janitor was reportedly going to serve as a figment of J.D.’s imagination if the show was canceled in season one but ended up becoming an important part of the cast. Flynn went on to play Mike Heck on The Middle. You might not have recognized him at the time, but he’s also Cady’s dad in Mean Girls.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Scrubs?
Throughout the run of Scrubs, there were a ton of notable guest stars who made their way around Sacred Heart. Here are some of the most notable.
Ryan Reynolds as Spence
It may be tough to believe, but Deadpool himself had a bit part on Scrubs back in 2003, playing one of J.D. and Turk’s college buddies in an episode titled “My Dream Job.”
Matthew Perry as Murray
Plagued with the name of an old person (and many patients in the hospital) Matthew Perry was in a season four episode called “My Unicorn,” and played a character who was considering giving his father a kidney.
As you likely know, Brendan Fraser was in a few episodes of Scrubs, playing Jordan’s brother.
Aziz Ansari as Ed
Aziz was only on a couple of episodes of Scrubs, playing an intern. It was right before his big break as Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation. On his Tumblr, Ansari wrote, “Working on the show was a lot of fun, unfortunately, I couldn’t do both Scrubs on ABC and Parks and Recreation on NBC, so Dr. Cox had to give me the ax.”
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Scrubs?
Scrubs was created by Bill Lawrence, who also worked on shows like Clone High, Spin City, and Cougar Town. Lawrence is also credited with writing 14 episodes. But even though Bill was the brains behind the clever show, he had a little bit of help. Here are some of the other individuals who made Scrubs such a success.
Debra Fordham: Scrubs Writer and Co-Producer
Fordham both produced and wrote episodes for the show, with most of them airing early in the series. Since, she’s worked on Hart of Dixie/em> and Nashville.
Janae Bakken: Scrubs Writer and Co-Producer
Janae Bakken has worked on Anger Management and the television show Baby Daddy since Scrubs ended
Michael Spiller: Scrubs Director
Spiller directed 20 episodes of Scrubs between 2002 and 2010, which is the highest amount of any other director involved with the show.
Where Scrubs Ranks in the Television Pantheon
There’s a reason why Scrubs is still in syndication — and why Zach Braff still has people pass him on the street who yell out J.D.’s famous “Eagle!” catchphrase. Scrubs managed to combine strong humor with a lot of relatable emotion. The characters were relatable, meaning the cast could easily see themselves in their shoes, feeling their pain whenever they lost a very important patient.
Thanks to J.D.’s imagination, it also helped us remember that we’re never too old to dream. “Shot with a single camera and without an audience, it allows for imagination sequences similar to those in Ally McBeal. Without an audience requiring laughs every 15 seconds, they could get serious, sometimes very serious, and keep the show intellectually honest,” said IGN writer Andy Patrizio, in a 2005 piece about the show’s first season. It’s a show that captures the importance of every human’s life and story, even if that wasn’t how it was originally intended.