Movies - TV
The Scrubs Storyline The Series' Creator Couldn't Stop
Pretty much every long-running sitcom has some kind of "will they/won't they" storyline between two of its leads, and "Scrubs" was no exception. JD and Elliot spent most of the first three seasons in varying states of angst over their romantic tension, before seemingly breaking up for good near the end of Season 3. Many similarities can be drawn between the J.D./Elliot storyline and that of Ross and Rachel from “Friends.”
The difference is that unlike "Friends," the creators of "Scrubs" were genuinely uninterested in revisiting the couple after the big Season 3 break-up. When asked about the pressure to have JD and Elliot end up together, showrunner Bill Lawrence said: "When the show started [...] the network was, like, 'Put 'em together! Maybe they won't fall in love, but they'll still kiss!' [...] but for me, I didn't want to do that. I was, like, 'I want this to be about medicine.'"
After the Season 3 breakup, J.D. and Elliot spend Seasons 4 thru 7 exploring friendship after a breakup before reuniting in Season 8. Regarding the decision, Lawrence explained: "I didn't want them to end up together, and everybody else did, and I acknowledged that, whether I liked it or not.”
He continued, “'Look, most shows would do this in the very last episode, where J.D. and Elliot finally get together, but if we can have them be boyfriend and girlfriend right from the start, where they just start dating again and it's not the storyline that dominates the year but is just something that's happening in their life, [...] then I'm fine with it.' So that was the compromise: put 'em together to make people happy, and yet the series doesn't become about them."
We don't get to see how things end up with the couple, but we get a montage at the end showing where things could lead. Ultimately, Lawrence was right to avoid the "Friends" ending, as his show always understood that relationships take work. There's no real reason to assume Ross and Rachel wouldn't just break up again after the finale, but "Scrubs" spends its final season giving us a reason to believe in JD and Elliot.