The musical episode of show is not a new idea. Everything from Grey’s Anatomy to Riverdale has dabbled in the musical arts for the small screen. That being said, there are many different ways that episodes can handle the music. Sometimes a singular song (or group of songs) is simply a strong overarching theme. Other times, characters are seen singing popular songs in a form of mini-musical. However, there is one television sing-along episode that I find is head and shoulders above the rest: Scrubs‘ “My Musical.” This episode is not only a short form of Broadway, but it is also an incredibly diverse mixture of original songs, all choreographed to a T. “My Musical” is much more than the run-of-the-mill musical episode. Scrubs is able to pull off incredible musical numbers that have viewers singing the mini show-tunes for weeks to come.
Before we dive into the songs and dance numbers, we need to figure out where we are in the series of Scrubs at this moment in time. It is towards the beginning of Season 6, and lots of story lines are already in motion. J.D. has already had numerous relationships and is currently living with fellow main character and past partner Elliot. Turk and Carla are recovering from the birth of their first child and trying to see if she is ready to go back to work or to stay at home. Additionally, every other main and minor character is as involved as ever, so this episode is a turning point of sorts. Without farther ado, let’s explore the episode!
“Welcome to Sacred Heart”
The inciting incident of the episode is pretty straight forward. As with nearly every other Scrubs episode, this episode is book ended by medical malady. In this case, a woman passes out in the park and hears singing from nearly every person around her when she comes to. She is immediately taken to Sacred Heart hospital where we hop right into the first musical number, “Welcome to Sacred Heart.” This song is a very big production with many different moving parts, and it is very reminiscent of older-style musical numbers.
In the song, our sick woman (Ms. Miller) is introduced to everyone at the hospital with musical splendor. While this does not really move the plot along, it kicks off the episode in the best way possible. All the main character’s pitch in to explain to Ms. Miller what is going on and where she is, mixed in with old Broadway-style choreography with 50 other extras for good measure. I am reminded of other famous opening dance numbers like “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray to the much more recent “Another day In The Sun” from La La Land. There are many different moving parts, and they all add up to a great kick-off to the episode.
“Everything Comes Down To Poo”
Scrubs might be the only show (or other form of entertainment about that matter) that has a good song about poop. In this musical number, we see Turk and J.D. doing their initial tests on Ms. Miller when they ask her for a stool sample. All of a sudden, we are treated to a funny little number about why poo can answer so many different medical questions. Its both entertaining and educational, which is a rare feat. Like they sing in the episode, “It may sound gross, you may say shush, but we need to see what comes out of your tush.”
This song is also an example of the impressive medical side of Scrubs. Many shows today about hospitals or politics present very real scenarios, but they are so dramatized it is hard to see what is real in any given situation. Scrubs always tried its best to present their episodes with real medical situations tied into them. In this case, “Everything Comes Down To Poo” is almost like a song straight out of Schoolhouse Rock. The song actually provides real reasons for why one’s poo is important during a diagnosis. I dare you to find a song in a television-musical that is this informative and entertaining.
“Gonna Miss You Carla”
This is a fun little number with some attitude in it. This is also the first song where the plot actually moves forward just a little bit. Obviously in an episode with the focus on the music is gonna be lighter on the story, but that does not mean it is nonexistent. In this song, a bunch of the more secondary characters like Ted, Laverne, and Doug are all singing with Carla as she contemplates coming back to work or staying at home with her new baby. Like the title says, they are all singing why they are going to miss her for the next year while she is on leave. There is not really much more to it than that, as there isn’t even much choreography to it. That being said, it is one of my favorite songs in the whole show.
While the premise of this song is very straightforward, it is nevertheless an important topic of discussion even today. So many families need to figure out what to do once their children are born. Does one parent stay home? If so, who? Do you pay for day care, or find a permanent baby-sitter? How do you afford it all? These questions aren’t fully addressed in the song, but it is easy to see the anguish on Carla’s face as her friends are singing goodbye to her. Eventually, the gears in her head turn and she changes her mind, but it is never an easy decision to make nonetheless.
“The Rant Song”
This song is like the last one. It moves the plot along, but is on the lighter side as far as musical numbers go. In this scene, Ms. Miller is talking to Dr. Cox to try and tell him that she is not crazy (hint: Dr. Cox is not impressed.) Meanwhile, J.D. comes in for a bit of butt kissing. At this point, Dr. Cox has had it and he breaks into a song about how annoying J.D. is. To wrap it all up, Dr. Cox asks Ms. Miller to shut him up, and he will run another test on her. After one big operatic way of saying “shut up J.D,” Dr. Cox and Ms. Miller shake on it and go off to get her another test.
“When The Truth Comes Out”
This song serves sort as an ending to the first act of the episode. Here, all the plot lines sort of come to a head in a nice and tidy fashion. After conducting that last test, all the characters get together to walk Ms. Miller back to her room. All of the songs come together into one on their big Les Miserable-esque march. I mention Les Miserable because the march is eerily similar to the ever so famous “Do You hear The People Sing.” It is yet another nod to famous musicals while also employing an effective tactic to further the story. The writers could have done a stationary song in front of the hospital bed, but the marching literally moves everything forward. It may seem obvious, but is flawlessly done nonetheless.
In the song, Ms. Miller is getting more and more hysterical while questioning if she is crazy or not, Turk and J.D. are singing a reprise of their poo song, Carla and Elliot are questioning their commitments to Turk and J.D, and it all comes to boil in one sweet moment. Right as the song comes to a crescendo, the song switches gears to carry us into the next part of the story. Dr. Cox comes to tell Ms. Miller the results of the test they just ran—she has a massive aneurysm on her temporal lobe that could be causing her to hear all this singing. Immediately, the story switches right into the second act.
This song is perhaps the best one in the whole one in the whole episode. It is a platonic love song between Turk and J.D, and it is every bit amazing as you can imagine. Seeing as it is the sixth season, it is no surprise how deep their bromance goes. Throughout the song, the two of them sing to Ms. Miller how much they know about each other, how much they mean to one another, and it actually is really sort of sweet. Every line can honestly make anyone chuckle/ I know I did. As a matter of fact, this song was so good it was one of the music videos that came out of the episode.
“For The Last Time, I’m Dominican”
This song ties right into the end of “Guy Love,” which occurred only moments before. Right before this song, Carla and Elliot confront Turk and J.D. to tell them what is bothering them. Elliot goes first and tells J.D. that she wants to live alone. J.D. does not take it well and promptly exits. Carla then tells Turk that she actually wants to work instead of staying home for a year. Turk also does not take that well and proceeds to get her ethnicity wrong by saying “I thought family was the most important thing to Puerto Ricans. Right away we are treated to a fun song about a couple in the midst of a power struggle. They go back and forth defending various parts of their relationship in a song that could have come right out of Rent, while ultimately coming to an agreement on what to do (Carla is coming back to work).
“Friends Forever/What’s Going To Happen”
Right at the end of the last song, we get to see the resolution of J.D. and Elliot’s squabble. J.D. quickly apologizes and says that it would not be the worst idea for him to move out. Right after, he goes into song about how they will be OK and be “Friends Forever.” Slowly, more and more characters start to join in and sing in front of Ms. Miller. This song should make everyone think of the 1950s and “We Go Together” from Grease. There may not be a jukebox in the scene, but the song was written to be exactly that: a fun, party-ish moment for the characters.
Meanwhile, In the middle of the “Friends Forever” dance number, Ms. Miller slows things down and starts singing “What’s Going To Happen,” as she is really worried. She is about to go into surgery, and laments on a few things she never got to do in life. This twist is very sudden, almost abruptly so, but it is extremely successful in the moment. While the entire hospital staff is having fun singing their cares a way, Ms. Miller breaks out into her own version of “Life Support” from Rent. The main cast stays there to comfort her throughout the climax of the episode, and I certainly got the warm-fuzzies during this really sweet song. Right after, the show comes to a close with a successful surgery and Ms. Miller hearing no more singing.
This episode may have been a little light on the plot, but the entire show played like a scene right out of a West End show or one of the best movie musicals. The large production value, intense choreography, and well-written songs actually make this one of the best episodes in the entire series of Scrubs. Moreover, the fact that this episode was nominated for five different Emmy’s is a testament to just how good it is. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go learn the steps to “Everything Comes Down to Poo”…