I always tend to skip season 1, because the show was just starting to gain its footing, and didn't quite have the quirky attitude it developed in seasons 2 and beyond.
Some of the best episodes of the series, however, come from it's most serious and heartfelt moments. That's what made Scrubs great: while it was a comedy set in a hospital, it knew how to be serious at just the right times.
Because it would be too difficult to rank the episodes, I just wrote down episodes that I thought were the best of each season. I won't go into too many details, but if you ever get around to watching the show (and you should), be sure to set your distractions aside and enjoy these episodes in particular.
Synopsis: Scrubs follows J.D. and his friends through the process of going from lowly interns to doctors at Sacred Heart Hospital. J.D. is best friends with Christopher Turk and an on-again, off-again relationship with flighty Elliot Reid. The show also follow's Turk's relationship with nurse Carla Espinosa. Trying to get them into shape are Perry Cox and Bob Kelso, while the Janitor just keeps trying to mess J.D. up in any way he can. Hijinks ensue.
Season Two's Best
My Own Private Practice Guy (episode 17)
I love this episode because of the duel between Kelso and Turk. When Kelso parks in the lot where the basketball court is, Turk unplugs Kelso's Ms. Pacman machine. They are constantly battling each other throughout the episode, leading up to the match at the golf course where, after Turk wins the hole, Kelso has to tell Turk something, and watching an old man say that is hilarious to watch. Eventually, they both realize that basketball and Ms. Pacman are their stress relievers, and both come to a mutual understanding about it.
Season Three's Best
My Brother, Where Art Thou? (episode 5)
I love this episode because J.D.'s brother Dan shows up and actually helps J.D. out for a change. J.D. has become cynical about his job and it seems like he no longer enjoys it, something that Dan's never seen before. Dan actually goes up to Dr. Cox and tells him to be a better mentor to J.D. because J.D. is turning more into Cox every day. I loved how Dan stood up for his little brother, after a few episodes of Dan being a giant pain for J.D.
My Porcelain God (episode 13) My Screw Up (episode 14) My Butterfly (episode 16)
These three episodes are some of my favorites, and they aired almost in successive weeks. My Porcelain God was the second episode with Michael J. Fox, a surgeon who suffered from OCD. Unlike his first episode, Dr. Casey finds comedy in his OCD through a toilet (the "epiphany toilet") the Janitor put on the roof. Elliot can't decide what she wants to do with her life, and Dr. Casey leads her (with a toilet paper trail) to the roof, where she gets her own epiphany.
My Screw Up has a fantastic twist at the end that I won't spoil here. But, unless you already know about it and you're looking for it, you'll never realize what the twist is until it hits you at the end.
My Butterfly shows two different options that could be followed for several plots: Turk's surgery, Carla's do-rag search, and Elliot's stuffed animal quest. You feel like the episode wrapped way too quickly...until they take you back to the beginning and you do the whole episode over again with different choices being made!
Season Four's Best
My First Kill (episode 4)
I love this episode because of the unlikely pairing of Carla and the Janitor. Initially the Janitor was only meant to be a figure of J.D.'s imagination, and that's why the Janitor only interacts with him in season 1. Eventually in season 2 the Janitor talks to someone else, and it's really a shock to see!
In this one, Carla loses Rowdy, J.D. and Turk's taxidermied dog. With the Janitor's help (and expertise in stuffing squirrels and other animals) she gets a new dog that looks almost just like Rowdy.
My Female Trouble (episode 10)
I love this episode because, in the end, Jordan, Carla, and Elliot show how tough and strong they are. Girl power! I certainly felt good after this episode.
My Life in Four Cameras (episode 17)
Similar to My Butterfly, this single camera show turns into a multi-camera sitcom thanks to J.D. wondering how all these plots would be resolved on a TV show. They borrow a lot of weird plot ideas that would have been used in 1970s and 1980s sitcoms, put the ladies in skimpy outfits, and have a lot of audience laugh tracks. But in the end, the idea is that those crazy comedies we love are perfect ways to bring us out of reality, and the occasional bad day.
Season Five's Best
My Way Home (episode 7)
I love this episode because it uses the Wizard of Oz as inspiration: Turk is looking for a heart (donor), J.D. is trying to get home, Carla feels like she doesn't have the courage to become a mom, and Elliot needs the brains for an endocronology Q&A session. In the end, they realize they've had those things all along. Plus the Janitor is painting colored lines all over the hospital, and the yellow line leads to the exit.
My Big Bird (episode 8)
I love this episode because a patient dies and there's an M&M session to figure out who's at fault. In the flashbacks you see that all the medical staff are responsible because they are too wrapped up in their own plots to care about the patient. But it all ends up being for naught because of a technical error, and they all go free without reprimand. However, Dr. Cox reminds them how horrible they'd been, and the episode ends on a haunting note.
My Cabbage (episode 12)
This episode works really well after you've been binge watching, because you've been seeing Mrs. Wilkes in B-plots for a few episodes, and she finally gets to leave the hospital in this episode. Everyone gets a chance to say goodbye and good luck to her, and it's great to watch...UNTIL THE END. It made me so mad! But in a good way. I won't tell you what happens - just watch for yourself.
My Lunch (episode 20) My Fallen Idol (episode 21)
If you ask a Scrubs fan the episode that stands out, they will 90% of the time say My Lunch because of how heartbreaking it is. You look back at all the other serious episodes of Scrubs, and this one trumps them all. It is incredibly emotional and depressing, and leads perfectly into My Fallen Idol, where roles are reversed and J.D. gets to step up and not just be a buffoon. This is his first step to becoming a great doctor.
Season Six's Best
My Coffee (episode 3)
I love this episode pretty much because of CoffeeBucks. I was re-watching the series, plus I had watched Cougar Town, which also has CoffeeBucks, and to see it make its grand entrance here was very entertaining.
My Musical (episode 6)
The songs in this episode are spectacular, and everyone gives it their all. Probably my favorite musical-themed episode of all time.
My Long Goodbye (episode 13)
A very sad episode where a long-term secondary character dies. But I love the episode because Dr. Cox and Jordan's baby girl is named Jennifer Dylan...J.D.
Season Seven's Best
My Identity Crisis (episode 4)
I love this episode because of J.D. imagining Dr. Cox at home, a la Risky Business, but is interrupted by J.D. and Turk also coming into the shot in that classic way!
Sometimes episodes are great for the overarching plot. And sometimes it's great because of one laugh-out-loud gag. This is the latter.
My Bad Too (episode 7)
By far, the funniest part was the Space Invaders - parking lot edition.
My Waste of Time (episode 10)
Two words: Legal Custodians.
My Princess (episode 11)
I love that we don't spend much time in the hospital, because we are instead with Dr. Cox and Jack as Dr. Cox tells him a story that seems very similar to a normal Scrubs episode...but in a magical realm instead of a hospital. The interpretations of the characters works really well for everyone, and the end is very heartbreaking.
Season Eight's Best
My ABCs (episode 5)
I love this episode because of the appearance of the Sesame Street Muppets. However, the best part of this episode is the melancholy version of the Sesame Street theme that's played at the end, when J.D. is very emotional over the death of a patient and his intern, Denise, just doesn't get it. Ugh, it gets you right in the gut.
My Lawyer's in Love (episode 8)
The first episode with Gooch, Ted's love interest! I couldn't believe how emotionally invested I was in this pair, but after seeing Ted's troubles over the past seven seasons, it was fantastic to see him get a storyline that wasn't depressing for his character.
Dr. Cox also sees that Ed (who I'd forgotten was played by Aziz Ansari) is just making up excuses and isn't cut out to be a doctor. I cheered when he gave him his pink slip. And you can't miss when you use Our Lady Peace's song "Innocent" to wrap up the episode. I've always loved that song.
My Soul on Fire (episodes 14&15)
I love this episode because it's the Janitor's wedding! Plus, this is the first episode I watched where I saw J.D. and realized he was fiiiiiiiine. The scruff and the beachwear looked great on him. All the plots of this episode were great - from Carla's frumpiness and concern for her kids to Dr. Cox pretending like he had work to do when he didn't to Kelso's refusal to leave the bar at all...even for the wedding. Another great song is played at the end, when Sam Lloyd plays a mellow, soothing version of OutKast's "Hey Ya."
Have I mentioned that I'm glad that J.D. and Elliot are together, no strings attached? Because it was about time.
My Finale (episodes 18&19)
I have to mention this one because it is the end. I don't feel like season nine qualifies as true Scrubs, but more like a spinoff, so I don't include it. Besides, this wraps up our characters perfectly! It's sad but wonderful at the same time. I'll miss these guys.
I would love to hear your favorite episodes - comment below!