There is a lot of stand out characters and performances on Scrubs, the whole main cast delivers really, but perhaps the most renowned performer on the show is John C. McGinley as Dr. Perry Cox. Like all main characters, Cox is realistic, with so many flaws, yet still makes you like him, and is one of the good guys of the show.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of times throughout the show’s nine seasons where Cox just takes his issues too far and becomes momentarily unlikable, with the flip side being that he becomes hugely sympathetic.

10 Felt Bad – When Nobody Shows Up To His Apartment

In “His Story,” rather than follow J.D., we follow Dr. Cox, and it is a good insight into his life and inner workings.

We see him go through a lot in that one episode as J.D. chooses not to work with him anymore, sick of his abuse, and we also see him in therapy. The saddest moment in the episode comes when, right after J.D. drops him, we see that none of the doctors he invited to his apartment for pizza, beer, and sports showed up.

9 Hated – When He Is TOO Harsh

Dr. Cox gets shown to have pretty severe anger issues throughout Scrubs, and these often lend themselves to verbal bombardments on the other characters.

As hilarious as they may be, they are usually harmless, but sometimes they are too harsh. Namely, when Cox tears J.D. to shreds for Elliot standing up to him, or when he degrades Elliot to the point where it has to be abuse, which happens a lot.


8 Felt Bad – When We Find Out What Happed With Him & Jordan

It was a mystery for a while in the show why Jordan and Perry did not work out. It seemed as though their scariness and toxicity complimented each other well.

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We find out in “My Private Practice Guy” though that Jordan had slept with Dr. Cox’s old mentee Petey while they were married, in the full knowledge that the two were having issues. A combination of this and Dr. Cox’s emotional absence and abuse are what he attributes to splitting them up.

7 Hated – Punching J.D.

When J.D.’s dad died, Cox tried a lot to help him, but due to how broken up J.D. was, and how emotionally crippled Cox is, it resulted in J.D. getting punched in the face.

Cox goes on to make this up to J.D., but his inability to control his anger for a friend who just lost his father was pretty cruel.

6 Felt Bad – Not Connecting With Jack & Getting Lied To By Jordan

When Jack is newly born, Cox reveals that he feels nothing towards the little guy, and he feels very guilty about it.

At the same time, both the audience and other characters have the knowledge that Jack is actually Dr. Cox’s baby, not a bell or busboy from Greece.

5 Hated – When He Sabotages His Success & Happiness

Dr. Cox is a very damaged individual internally as has already gotten touched on, and one of his most significant and most frustrating flaws is when he gets in the way of himself.

Everyone points out to him that he needs to play the game just a little to be successful and make a difference, and so often, he sabotages himself. Whether it be in his route to Chief of Medicine or his life of happiness with Jordan and making friends, he so often holds himself back.

4 Felt Bad – “My Lunch” & “My Fallen Idol”

One of the most famous scenes in Scrubs comes in “My Lunch,” when Dr. Cox loses three patients due to the organ transplants he called for being infected with rabies.

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It is utterly heartbreaking, and in that episode and the next, we see Cox truly broken until J.D. finally pulls him out of the pit.

3 Hated – Getting The Vasectomy

When Cox and Jordan have a pregnancy scare, Dr. Cox takes a couple of days off work for a fishing trip where he apparently injured himself.

Very quickly, we find out Cox actually got a vasectomy behind Jordan’s back and tried to lie to her about it. Jordan never reacted badly, but it till made Cox very unlikable for a brief time.

2 Felt Bad – “Where Do You Think We Are?”

Probably the saddest moment in all of Scrubs is when J.D. asks Cox, “Where do you think we are?” It turns out that we were watching the funeral of Cox’s best friend, and Jordan’s brother Ben.

The whole episode is genius, making us think another patient from earlier had died, with Cox blaming J.D. But, in the end, it becomes clear why he was so angry, why he was working so much, he had lost Ben. That end scene with “Winter” playing is genuinely affecting and upsetting.

1 Hated – Brushing Off Sexism & Sexual Assault

When Elliot gets offended by Dr. Kelso’s use of sweetheart as a term for the female doctors, Dr. Cox’s advice is to suck it up and get on with the quasi-offensive term.

Later, when Cox, Kelso, and Todd are in a sexual assault seminar, Cox gets Carla to see things from Kelso and Todd’s points of view, despite them being despicable deviants. He does mean well, and it does eventually help, but this level of being okay with sexism and assault is not good.

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