How One Eerie Scrubs Joke Accurately Predicted The Future

How One Eerie Scrubs Joke Accurately Predicted The Future

In what was originally intended to be a bizarre throwaway line, Scrubs managed to predict the future in an eerie coincidence. Though primarily a comedy, Scrubs‘ unique blend of medical drama with off-the-wall cutaway gags and deeply touching character development has helped cement its reputation as one of the most beloved series of all time. Though Scrubs‘ status as a perfect medical comedy-drama is already a unique distinction, there are many other aspects of the show that set it apart from other comedy fare.

Scrubs‘ large cast of gifted actors not only helps with both the comedic and the dramatic sides of the show’s story, but they also lend themselves well to its many larger-than-life characters. One such character is the Janitor (Neil Flynn), an enigmatic figure whose distinct oddness defines most of his storylines on the show. The Janitor was primarily seen as an antagonist to J.D. (Zach Braff), but to other characters, he was often little more than Sacred Heart’s eccentric custodian.

Related: Why Scrubs’ Opening Credits X-Ray Gag Was Deeper Than You Realized

However, one joke made by the Janitor in Scrubs season 6, episode 7, “His Story IV,” makes the character appear genuinely psychic. In a throwaway line at the end of the episode, the Janitor matter of factly states: “in my opinion, we should be looking for Bin Laden in Pakistan.” The only context for the line is that he and J.D. are debating the Iraq war and that he wants to prove that J.D. isn’t as knowledgeable as he believes he is. “His Story IV” first aired in February 2007, four years before the death of Osama Bin Laden shortly after his hiding location was uncovered in Pakistan.

When the episode first aired, the joke was simply that the Janitor was secretly more intelligent than his eccentric nature would indicate. However, real-life history has given the joke a whole new layer, making it appear that either Scrubs‘ Janitor was part of a secret conspiracy in which he genuinely knew where Bin Laden was hiding or that he was able to predict the future successfully. This seemingly random joke was once in line with the Janitor’s kooky personality, but time has changed it into something else entirely.

By having the Janitor successfully predict Bin Laden’s hiding place, Scrubs inadvertently added another layer to the already enigmatic character. As the Janitor’s private life was deliberately kept shrouded in mystery, his genuine foreknowledge of Bin Laden’s location further builds the mystique surrounding the character. Though the clairvoyant joke was quite obviously unintentional, it adds another meta layer to the character of the Janitor that reinforces the original intention of the joke: that Sacred Heart’s custodian knows more than he appears to.

Though the exact identity of Scrubs‘ Janitor is mostly kept ambiguous, his ability to correctly guess the hiding place of Osama Bin Laden four full years before his capture adds yet another layer to the fascinating tapestry of his characterization. Though there may have been some educated guesswork in the Scrubs‘ writers’ room, the choice to use Pakistan as the joke’s punchline proved eerily prescient. Not only did this strange coincidence help Scrubs predict the future, but it also makes the character of the Janitor even more interesting in retrospect.

Next: Scrubs & Malcolm In The Middle Shared Universe – Theory Explained

Though Scrubs’ comedy is well known for heavily featuring nonsensical cutaway gags, one joke actually predicted the future with incredible accuracy.

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