Scrubs is a medical comedy-drama that ran from 2001 to 2010 spanning 9 seasons. It’s a show that follows a group of young doctors in Sacred Heart Hospital. This TV show is famous for its fast slapstick humor with many cutaway scenes mostly happening in our protagonists’ heads. But, it’s important to point out that this show knows how to get dark because this is a medical drama. Just a few of our core characters are J.D., Turk, Elliot, Carla, Dr. Cox, and the infamous Janitor. Here are the 12 best shows like Scrubs you need to watch!
1. Fleabag (2016-2019)
Type: Comedy- drama series (BBC Three & Amazon Studios Co-Production)
Synopsis: “A dry-witted woman, known only as Fleabag, has no filter as she navigates life and love in London while trying to cope with tragedy. The angry, grief-riddled woman tries to heal while rejecting anyone who tries to help her, but Fleabag continues to keep up her bravado through it all. Comic actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the titular character on the series, which is based on Waller-Bridge’s 2013 one-woman show of the same name.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: Fleabag is a series focusing on one individual only referred to as Fleabag in the show, she is an unreliable narrator and she speaks to us, the audience. This is just like in Scrubs where we have J.D., who is also the narrator of the show and we can hear his inner thoughts and see his fantasies play out. So if you want to see a 20-something struggling to navigate love, relationships, and keeping their sanity mixed with a lot of comedy and snarky comments, you will love Fleabag just as much as Scrubs. Plus, Fleabag is perfect for binging, only 2 seasons with 6 episodes!
2. Arrested Development (2003-2019)
Type: Sitcom (Fox production, Netflix revival)
Synopsis: “Michael Bluth finds himself forced to stay in Orange County and run the family real estate business after his father, George Bluth Sr., is sent to prison for committing a white-collar crime. He tries to juggle the wants and needs of his spoiled and eccentric family while being a good role model for his teenage son, George Michael.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: If you crave some goofy comedy just like in Scrubs, you will definitely find it in Arrested Development. This is a sitcom where we follow a level-headed Michael Bluth trying to juggle business and his crazy family. Just like Scrubs, this is a perfect show to watch and unwind, just a few things to look forward to in Arrested Development: Michael Cera’s face, magic tricks, and blue man.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021)
Type: Police procedural comedy series (Fox production, later NBC production)
Synopsis: “The detectives of Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct — hotshot Jake Peralta, overachiever Amy Santiago, tough-as-nails Rosa Diaz, sweetheart Charles Boyle, devoted family man Sgt. Terry Jeffords and clueless best friends Scully and Hitchcock — make up a loveable and offbeat squad that must get its act together when the office gets a new captain, the no-nonsense, unflappable Raymond Holt. Along with civilian office manager and social butterfly Gina Linetti, nothing will stop the crew from doing does what it does best — bust the bad guys.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: Missing the J.D. and Turk dynamic? Wishing to see more mentor-student relationships like Dr. Cox and J.D.? Or craving another rivals-to-lovers relationship like J.D. and Elliot? Well, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has it all! Plus, it is a police procedural show so prepare for a lot of crime solving.
4. Malcolm in The Middle (2000-2006)
Type: Sitcom (Fox production)
Synopsis: “The Cleavers they ain’t. Mom is a screaming control freak, Dad is a goofy human hairball, oldest son Francis escaped the family at a young age, Reese is just a criminal, Dewey is a space cadet and young Jamie is the scapegoat. The middle kid, Malcolm (who delivers the narrative for the capers of this whacked-out clan) is a brainiac who doesn’t want to be burdened by his genius.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: At first look, this sitcom doesn’t have very much in common with Scrubs. But, I will argue that the way the kids in the show are growing up and finding their way, is the same as our doctors in Scrubs. In the first season of Scrubs, the main character are not much more mature than the Wilkerson kids. They are both shows filled with excellent humor, fast cut-away scenes, full of pranks, and gags. Not to mention, they both really showcase the early 2000s aesthetic and feels. Bonus, both shows have unforgettable opening themes.
5. Ted Lasso (2020-)
Type: Sports comedy-drama (Apple TV+ Original)
Synopsis: “An American football coach is hired to manage a British soccer team; what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for in optimism, determination, and biscuits.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: Always when I rewatch Scrubs, I love how it makes me feel a lot of emotions, primarily- hope and sadness. Ted Lasso evokes the same emotions. It is a show about how you should never give up and how you can find the best of friends in places you least expect. And also a very important message from both of these shows is that it is okay not to be okay sometimes.
6. Community (2009-2015)
Type: Sitcom (NBC production, Yahoo! Screen revival)
Synopsis: “When fast-talking lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) finds his degree has been revoked, he is forced to go back to school at Greendale Community College. Hoping to score points with a pretty coed, he invents a study group and invites her to join it. Imagine his surprise when she’s not the only one who shows up for help with Spanish from the “board-certified tutor” he proclaims himself to be. Though his command of the language is anything but good, the members continue to meet and end up learning a lot about themselves.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: Just like Scrubs, Community brings a new style of comedy to our small screens. The community really found its stride in the second half of its first season, when they started parodying other TV shows or movies. This show has iconic moments like the best paintball and the biggest pillow and blanket war in history! Also, both of these sitcoms have large ensembles, so the showrunners can have fun developing each core character and pairing off different characters in each episode.
7. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
Type: War comedy-drama series (CBS production)
Synopsis: “Members of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital care for the injured during the Korean War and use humor to escape from the horror and depression of the situation. Among the 4077’s people is Capts. Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce and “Trapper John” McIntire, Majs. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan and Frank Burns, and Cpl. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: M*A*S*H is the only series that shares the medical theme with Scrubs. And we can’t forget the unforgettable bromances in these TV shows- J.D. and Turk, Hawkeye and Trapper. All best friends who pull hijinks together. These shows are not afraid to showcase some dark moments in people’s lives that make you think deeply about things and sometimes shed a tear. Also, they make us remember that in the medical profession- people die every day.
8. Abbott Elementary (2021-)
Synopsis: A group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — find themselves thrown together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children.
Why it’s like Scrubs: A sitcom that follows a wide-eyed protagonist who is sometimes naïve, constantly has to defeat the evil boss, but at the end of the day surprises everybody with their brilliant problem solving or fails epically. Sound familiar? Janine, the J.D. of Abbott Elementary, will bring so much hope, optimism, and laughter into your life so it is a sin to miss this show. Also, Abbott Elementary has only one season, but it has been renewed for a second one- so start watching it before it becomes a worldwide sensation!
9. New Girl (2011-2018)
Type: Sitcom (Fox production)
Synopsis: “After going through a rough breakup, awkward and upbeat Jess (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three single guys. Intelligent and witty Nick is an underachiever who took the bartender off-ramp on his road to success. Schmidt obsesses over his social standing and looks at Jess as a personal project. Winston is a competitive former athlete who, after realizing he will never become a pro, moves into the loft. Together with Jess’ best friend, Cece, they bond to form an unlikely, and dysfunctional, family.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: New Girl has a core group of friends who are condemned to each other by their living situation, so of course friendships bloom, romance is born, and stupid fights break out all the time. And our new girl, Jess, loves to sing and dance, just like J.D. and Turk. If you miss this chaos after rewatching Scrubs, definitely check out the gang that lives in the loft 4D.
10. That 70’s Show (1998-2006)
Type: Period sitcom (Fox production)
Synopsis: Set in the mood ring and polyester era of the 1970s, the series is a retro-hip situation comedy about an eclectic group of friends on the verge of adulthood. They live in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where they yearn for independence amid the growing pains of becoming adults.
Why it’s like Scrubs: Let’s be honest sometimes J.D. and Turk sometimes have jokes like immature teenagers. If you love that humor That 70’s show is the perfect show for you to binge next. The ionic gang from Point Place, just like in Scrubs, a have unique and now cut-away scenes that appear in most episodes. And the relationship between Eric and his father Red pretty much gives the same vibe as J.D. and Dr. Cox. Not to forget, the opening theme is Rock ‘n’ Roll, man!
11. Parks And Recreation (2009-2015)
Type: Political satire mockumentary sitcom (NBC production)
Synopsis: “Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her own career) by helping local nurse Ann Perkins turn an abandoned construction site into a community park, but what should be a fairly simple project is stymied at every turn by oafish bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, governmental red tape and a myriad of other challenges. Leslie’s colleague Tom Haverford, who delights in exploiting his position for personal gain, is as likely to undermine her efforts as to help her, while her boss, Ron Swanson, is adamantly opposed to government in any form, even though he’s a bureaucrat himself.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: If you looking for a sitcom full of light-hearted humor and imperfect loveable characters, Parks and Recreation is the show for you. It is fast-paced and full of wholesome moments just like Scrubs. The romance between Amy and Ben is just as deserved and magical as J.D. and Elliot’s. Every character is perfectly written, unique, and grows over the course of 7 seasons. Unlike Scrubs, Parks and Recreation have an amazing last season and a beautiful last episode.
12. The Office US (2005-2013)
Type: Mockumentary sitcom (NBC production)
Synopsis: “This U.S. adaptation — set at a paper company based in Scranton, Pa. — has a similar documentary style to that of the Ricky Gervais-led British original. It features the Dunder-Mifflin staff, which includes characters based on roles in the British show — and, quite possibly, people with whom you work in your office. There’s Jim, the likable employee who’s a bit of an everyman. Jim has a thing for receptionist-turned-sales-rep Pam — because office romances are always a good idea! There’s also Dwight, the co-worker who is successful but devoid of social skills and common sense.”
Why it’s like Scrubs: If you are looking for another goofball, a lead protagonist after J.D. and Turk, look no further than Office’s Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute. Michael steals every scene he’s in with his awkward humor and big heart, while Dwight will make you question his sanity through all 9 seasons of the show. This is another revolutionary TV show that has become a classic- just like Scrubs.