Elliot Reid, M.D. is a fictional character played by Sarah Chalke in the American comedy-drama Scrubs.
Elliot is a close friend and former fellow attending physician to series protagonist J.D. (Zach Braff). The boundaries between friendship and romance have often been crossed throughout the show's run, however.
She is also close to Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes) and Chris Turk (Donald Faison), the series' other chief characters. During the course of the show, she has had several romantic relationships, and becomes engaged to fellow Sacred Heart doctor Keith Dudemeister (Travis Schuldt) in season 6. She breaks off the engagement in season 7, however.
She is the daughter of Simon and Lily Reid (Lane Davies and Markie Post), and is of German descent. Her father is Chief of Medicine at a private hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut. She grew up privileged but love-starved; she once attributed her many neuroses to the way she was treated by her parents. Her mother, a cold, self-absorbed alcoholic, constantly pressures her about her love life and her appearance and encourages her daughter's insecurity about sex (she once told Elliot to "never let a man put his dirty how-do-you-do into your bajingo"). Elliot's mother had multiple affairs, including with the Reids' Latino pool-boy, Jorge, an unnamed Pakistani oil rig tycoon (while she was engaged) and several of Elliot's boyfriends. Elliot's mother once told her that the only way to get men to marry her is to get pregnant. Elliot also has problems with her father, as she is constantly attempting to get his attention and prove to him that she is a capable doctor; In "My Nickname", she says that everything she does is 98 percent motivated by a desire for her father's love, and two percent by chocolate. She eventually stands up to him in "My Fruit Cups" after he pressures her about her career choices and tries to push her into specializing in gynaecology. Subsequently, her parents cut off financial support, forcing her to fend for herself.
Elliot has four brothers, one of whom is named Barry and is gay. Elliot indicated that she found Barry's Playgirl magazines once and that Barry used to dance for Japanese businessmen, prompting the Reids to send him to 'hetero camp.' She also has a brother named Bradley, with whom she used to play 'The Wonder Twins. She mentioned in "My First Day" that all the men in her family are doctors (including her father, grandfather and her brothers).
The family also had a Latina maid/nanny named Consuela, with whom Elliot was very close. Elliot has indicated that Consuela sometimes filled the maternal role in place of her mother. When she was 11, Elliot's father told her that Consuela died, but Elliot later discovered that her father had her deported for putting knives in the fork drawer of the Reids' kitchen. She grew up on an orchard, where she learned to fight from chasing away apple thieves and nurtured sexual fantasies about being seduced by the same thieves.
Elliot also has a great aunt Sally and a demented Great Uncle who wears an eye patch and says 'Honka Honka' when he goes to the bathroom. J.D. once met them when they visited the hospital, and it became an inside joke between them. Almost everything the audience finds out about Elliot's childhood comes from her tendency to tell "over-the-top." This leads her to share random and often bizarre facts about her past while conversing.
Elliot becomes engaged to Keith Dudemeister, in the episode "My Cold Shower". In true Elliot fashion, she insists that Keith's proposal be the picture-perfect moment from her childhood, so she ends up planning it herself, just as she takes over the maid of honor duty of planning the bachelorette party from Carla.
In Season 1, Elliot says she is 26 years old ("My Occurrence"), the general age of an intern after entering college at 18, four years of college and four years of medical school. This would also make her the same age as fellow interns J.D. and Turk and would logically make her 31 in the show's sixth season. But in Season 3 ("My Dirty Secret"), Elliot again gives her age as 26 and in the sixth season ("My Musical") she gives her age as 29.
Elliot attended Brown University, where she was in the sorority Omega Beta Gamma (which writer Janae Bakken was a member of, but which does not have a chapter at Brown) with best friend Melody O'Harra.(Keri Russell) She also played tambourine in a Christian rock band in college. At Sacred Heart, Elliot begins as an intern and later becomes a resident after a gruelling, year-long internship. She serves as Co-Chief Resident with J.D. during season 4. At the end of that season, she briefly leaves to take on an endocrinology fellowship at North County University Medical Center, which ends five days later, after her research partner finds the cure to the disease they are researching. After a brief spell at a free clinic, she returns to Sacred Heart and becomes a senior attending physician. At the end of the episode "My Coffee", she accepts an offer to become a private physician, allowing her to receive double the pay, still work at Sacred Heart, and never have to deal with superiors Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) or Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins) again.
When first introduced, Elliot is portrayed as a socially awkward, hyper-competitive chatterbox who puts her foot in her mouth at every conceivable opportunity (in "My Mentor", she asks an overweight woman "When's the baby due?", and accidentally insults Turk's Jehovah's Witness mother by describing people of that faith as "crazed, annoying busybodies".) She also has a tendency to tell over the top, seemingly random stories about her childhood and past, which don't always get to the point she was trying to make.
Elliot has cold hands (which she attributes to bad circulation) and doesn't like to be touched (implied to be because she is a WASP from Connecticut). She is a Republican, is fluent in German and French, and is acutely insecure about her eyebrows, her "camel butt," her feet, her cheeks and her bangs. She also has panic attacks, and describes herself as being claustrophobic, germophobic and "phobiaphobic". Among her many house rules is that she cannot talk or be talked to while she is on the toilet, or talk to or be talked to by anyone who is on the toilet. It is also believed that she is a vegetarian because in the episode "My Monster" it is one of her many requirements that a person must have to be her roommate. She also mentions in the pilot episode that her parents expected a male child, possibly accounting for her masculine first name. According to J.D. and various patients, her bedside manner is cold and mechanical, although in more recent seasons she's been shown to bond with several patients. Her bedside manner (or lack thereof) is the reason that Dr. Cox decides to split the role of Chief Resident between her and the more sensitive, but less decisive, J.D.
Elliot has hangups about sex and relationships which are often attributed to her mother's bizarre affairs. She constantly uses the pseudo-curse "Frick!" whenever she is upset, and has even used modified versions such as "Holy Frick!", "Double Frick!", "Frick on a Stick!" and "Frick on a Stick with a Brick!" She is also hesitant to use the clinical names for reproductive body parts (i.e. referring to the vagina as a "bajingo" or "Hoo-Hoo" and the penis as "peepers", "peep", "schwing-schwong" or "Slinky-Doo"). In one episode, she insists that Carla's cervical mucus be referred to as "icky-sticky". She sometimes has trouble saying "sex", instead referring to it as "intercourse". In the season six episode "My Words of Wisdom", she tells Carla that she will start substituting "caboodle" for "ass" since she has "loose morals" and is "living in sin", so that she is "still hoping to get into heaven by not being a potty-mouth". Her first orgasm ever results from sitting on a running washing machine; Carla suggests she try it after Elliot admits she has had never had one. A running gag in Season 5 is Elliot's sexual fantasy about owning a cider house and catching a Mexican apple thief, who then chases her to the tasting room, where they make love so loudly that they can be heard all the way in the distillery.
She has a fear of cats, all of whom instantly attack her if she "even makes eye contact". She had to face this fear when moonlighting for several days at a veterinary clinic. Other running in-jokes involve the notion that she bears a resemblance to Gary Busey. As revealed in the episode "My Big Move", one of her breasts grew more slowly than the other, but that "Lefty caught up in college." In "My Fishbowl", Elliot admits to having tried to commit suicide at age 16; the attempt failed when the lake she planned to drown in had a boat race and she was hit on the head by four oars. She decided to drown herself because Virginia Woolf, her idol at the time, killed herself in this way. In this episode, Elliot confesses to a depressed patient that "I spent my entire childhood as an awkward, lonely outcast, with a floozy mom who liked to talk about how fat I was. I had zero self-esteem. I struggled with that for years; I still do. But the only difference between the two of us is that I was smart enough to know that it's never too late to come back from."
In Season 3, Elliot undergoes a noticeable transformation; she begins dressing and grooming herself in a more sexually provocative manner, and adopts a somewhat more assertive and self-assured personality. This was the result of a directive from NBC's marketing department, which wanted the show to have a sexier female star to offer the network's coveted young male demographic. A short feature on the Season 3 DVD set entitled "The New Elliot" explains the reasons for the makeover, and the response it engendered from Chalke and the show's writers.
Elliot seems to have a great amount of physical strength, particularly in her fingers and her thighs. J.D. has described her fingers as "biceps" and as being like those of a "rock-climbing jazz pianist." On J.D.'s thirtieth birthday in "My Day at the Races", she carries him the final two miles of a triathlon; J.D.'s narration notes she has "ridiculously strong thighs", despite being very thin. She has often served as the base for the "World's Most Giant Doctor," with J.D. perched on her shoulders, and an over-sized lab coat enclosing the whole. In "My Ocardial Infarction", she suggests "World's Most MOST Giant Doctor", which consists of three people instead of two. JD tells her that he knows her thighs are strong, but not that strong, so she demonstrates how powerful her thighs were by breaking a plastic tray between them. (As a side not, World's Most MOST Giant Doctor", consisting of Elliot, Turk, and JD respectively, seemed to reach to a second or third story window).Elliot can also sneeze with her eyes open.
It has been shown that when Elliot gets upset her voice becomes very high pitched and she starts speaking faster. When she does this only Carla and a patient named Jill Tracy (Nicole Sullivan) can understand her, whereas other characters hear only squeaky gibberish.
Chalke, speaking about her character, has stated how much Elliot has changed throughout the run of Scrubs. She has stated that at the start of the series, Elliot is a competitive and independent person until she realizes that she needs the help and support of her co-workers. Talking about Elliot's transformation in the episode "My Own American Girl", Chalke stated that the transformation didn't really help Elliot's life and that Elliot is still "on a never ending journey to find respect and now she's a lot more confident and together."
J.D. and Elliot have a complex relationship, as they are close friends but often grapple with their romantic feelings for each other. In Season 1, after initially entering "the Friend Zone" in "My Best Friend's Mistake", J.D. and Elliot start a relationship in "My Bed Banter & Beyond", but soon break up. They repair their friendship, but it is later revealed that they still have feelings for each other and they begin sleeping together again in "My Monster". But their arrangement to sleep together as "sex buddies" without romantic involvement ends after only a few days, with J.D. having realized that he had deep feelings for her. In Season 3, J.D. again realizes his feelings for her as she rekindles her past relationship with Sean, but later in the season J.D. and Elliot sleep together again and although Elliot initially decides to stay with Sean, she later leaves him to be with J.D. However, this relationship ends when J.D. breaks up with Elliot after realizing that he doesn't love her . In Season 4 they once again repair their friendship and then move in together in Season 5.
J.D. and Elliot also have a very close friendship, built on their shared experiences as residents at the hospital, similarities in their personalities and the knowledge of each other's quirks and issues. J.D. and Elliot often seek support and advice from each other on personal and professional issues. Between "My Day at the Races" and "My Musical" they are also roommates. In late Season 6 J.D. begins to realize that their relationship is not as close as it had previously been, and they both resolve to try harder. In the episode "My Cold Shower", J.D. realizes that he may still have feelings for Elliot; in the season finale "My Point of No Return", J.D. and Elliot lean in for a kiss after a night of discussing their doubts about their respective relationships. However, in "My Own Worst Enemy", the Season 7 opener, Elliot realizes she is making a mistake and pulls away, asserting that the almost-kiss had nothing to do with her feelings for J.D.
Later on in the season, there are some subtle hints that Elliot and J.D. may be getting closer, and possibly romantic. For instance, in the episode "My Waste of Time", the episode ends with J.D. and Elliot sitting in a cafe, commenting on how everyone thinks they're together, then playing with J.D.'s son Sam, as if they were a family. Also, the translation to a conversation that Turk and Carla had in Spanish about Elliot and JD seems to back this up:
* Carla: You know what I love? Now we can talk about people even if they're in the room.
* Turk: (About J.D. and Elliot) Like them. I bet you that in five weeks they will be together again.
* Carla: Do you think so? Some people won't like it.
* Turk: Yeah.
Elliot and Carla initially clash over their duties at the hospital and because of Elliot's somewhat condescending attitude towards Carla, but they gradually grow closer. Carla becomes a source of personal and professional advice for Elliot; for her part, Carla reveals before her wedding (in "My Best Friend's Wedding") that she feels closer to Elliot than to her own sisters. However, conflicts have often arisen in their friendship, such as when Elliot disrespects Carla's role as a nurse and friend ("My Fifteen Seconds"), when Elliot gets a fellowship at another hospital ("My Changing Ways"), leaving Carla behind. Carla is also occasionally annoyed by Elliot's perfectionism, such as when Elliot does not even let Carla perform the maid of honor duties before Elliot's wedding. However, there has been one moment of sexual tension (granted imaginary) between the two when Carla & Elliot passionately kissed in a fantasy sequence.
Elliot and Turk are fairly close friends, and sometimes advise each other at tough times. In "My Cabbage", they argue about Elliot not putting his phone number in her cell phone and, in "My Coffee", Elliot is surprised when Turk actually defends her when she is insulted by other staff members. In "My No Good Reason", Turk reveals that any girl J.D. has ever gone out with has become instantly hideous to him, which is displayed when Elliot walks by and Turk sees her as an ugly man. This is contradicted in the episode "My Interpretation," where Turk has a series of sexual fantasies about Elliot, but Carla assures him that they are meaningless. Turk also hates that Elliot is a Republican and that she supports the war in Iraq, and mocks her for it in "His Story IV".
Elliot and Dr. Cox do not normally get along well; Cox usually refers to Elliot as "Barbie", or 'Blondie', or any other version of either of these two nicknames. There have, however, been examples of him helping Elliot or respecting her as a doctor. In "My Blind Date," he relies on her as a replacement "go-to guy" when J.D. is busy. In "My Big Mouth" and "My Moment of Un-Truth," he helps her as a doctor, and in "My Ocardial Infarction" Cox even claims that Elliot is a better doctor than J.D. He even goes as far as to defend her from Kelso's wrath by punching him in the face in "My Dream Job".
In season five, Elliot and Cox go through a period of mutual hatred, with Elliot alleging that Cox has no respect for her in spite of her respect for him. Elliot even begins an "I hate Cox" chatroom, which ends up with just her, two interns and 14,000 lesbians. Cox mends that rift by admitting that he needs her help with a patient. Later, when Elliot treats a patient who is a doctor in private practice, Cox's teasing backfires when the doctor offers her a job with him, which she accepts. Soon after, Cox accuses her of "selling out", and includes her in his general hatred of private practice doctors. Cox now calls Elliot "Private Practice Barbie", and refuses to admit he is jealous of her new job. In "His Story IV", Cox, along with Turk and others, tease Elliot for being a Republican; At one point Cox calls Elliot "Karl Rove, but with smaller boobs."
Janitor (Neil Flynn) appears to have an unusual soft spot for Elliot. He even develops romantic feelings for her to the extent of buying an engagement ring and attempting several times to propose marriage in Season 4. Despite this fact, they seem to be friends, although Elliot still doesn't know the Janitor's real name. He is also the one who suggests her change in attitude in "My Own American Girl". Later, in season 4, Janitor makes a bet with Dr. Cox that he and Elliot will end up dating. Janitor tells Elliot of his bet (Cox's Porsche for Janitor's van), and Elliot immediately pretends to be seeing him to spite Dr. Cox. Janitor, after receiving his Porsche, pushes his luck and takes Elliot out on a date. When his plan blows up in his face and Elliot finds out, she's angry at first but admits that she "actually had a good time." This is also the first episode in which Janitor says Elliot's name; until this point, he has referred to her as 'Blonde Doctor', an appellation he says almost as if it were one word. He tells her that the reason he likes her is because she is the only one in the hospital who treats him as a real person. Despite their altercations, Elliot seems to have a strong friendship with him. Being that he was invited to her wedding while other friends as like Ted and Doug weren't.
During the first season, Elliot is terrified of Dr. Kelso, and consequently spends many nights studying medical books to be ready for his harsh questioning. During her brief stint working at another hospital, Kelso does not even notice that she is gone. When Elliot goes into private practice, he refuses to speak to her, and ignores her, constantly knocking her over while pretending that she is invisible. However, in "My No Good Reason", Elliot finally thanks Dr. Kelso for her medical training, and gives him a deceased patient's dog to replace Kelso's beloved dog Baxter, who had died in an earlier episode. He stops ignoring her, but still calls her a 'pathetic excuse for a doctor'.
Elliot starts a sex-only relationship with Keith Dudemeister in "My Buddy's Booty", much to J.D.'s chagrin. Eventually, however, they begin a romantic relationship, and, after navigating a rough patch where Elliot starts to get scared she is getting in too deep, they declare their love for each other. Keith proposes to Elliot at the end of "My Turf War," and she says yes in the following episode. Elliot soon realizes that she does not truly love him, however, and cancels the wedding in "My Own Worst Enemy". While trying to let Keith down easy, she ends up sleeping with him again and scheduling a date line dancing, until she realizes that she is starting a cycle, and eventually re-dumps him. Because of this ordeal, Keith only refers to Elliot as "Pig Whore" or, after the re-dumping, "Skanky Straw-Haired Pig Whore".
Elliot meets Sean (Scott Foley) in late Season 1, when he is a patient of hers. Knowing that he has the many of the same insecurities as her, Elliot is instantly attracted to him and eventually asks him out. Their relationship soon ends, however, as Elliot finds herself unable to juggle a relationship with the stresses of her internship.
Elliot meets Sean again at the beginning of Season 3, when he is with another girl. They begin dating again (much to J.D.'s consternation, as he is once again in love with her.) Sean is revealed to be a marine biologist and dolphin trainer at SeaWorld. The relationship soon runs into trouble, as Sean is forced to move to New Zealand for six months on a work assignment and the couple attempt to maintain a long-distance relationship. In "His Story II", Elliot cheats on him with J.D., but then quickly goes back to Sean when he returns from New Zealand and proves his commitment to her. J.D. initially agrees to remain silent about Elliot's infidelity, but when Sean and Elliot begin planning to move in J.D. tells Elliot how he feels, prompting her to leave Sean for J.D. ("My Fault") After the short, brutal end of the relationship, J.D. attempts to patch up Elliot's relationship with Sean, but to no avail. ("My Best Friend's Wedding".)