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What Happened to Donald Faison's Character Turk on Scrubs? The Character Had a Special Ending
Faison, who stars in NBC's new comedy Extended Family, has been sharing behind the scenes secrets about his time on Scrubs on his podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach + Donald.
It’s been a long time since his days “rollin’ with the homies” in the 1995 hit movie Clueless. These days, Donald Faison is actually playing the stepdad to teens, now starring in NBC’s new comedy, Extended Family, as Trey.
It's not his first foray into television, though. In fact, Faison’s popularity also grew with another memorable role: Dr. Chris Turk on the NBC sitcom Scrubs. The beloved medical comedy ran for nine seasons from 2001 to 2010. But what exactly happened to Turk on the hit show?
Let's break down Turk's ending on Scrubs.
Who is Turk on Scrubs?
Dr. Chris Turk, known by his surname on the show, started in Season 1 as a surgical intern at Sacred Heart Hospital, where Scrubs takes place. By Season 5, he’d worked his way up to attending surgeon, and by Season 8 he was named chief of surgery.
Faison and Zach Braff, who plays the show’s main character and narrator, John Michael “J.D.” Dorian, announced in 2020 they were rewatching Scrubs for a new podcast, called Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach + Donald.
“We started thinking of doing this for the people who did watch the show, fans of Zach and I, who are wondering what we’re doing and how we’re doing,” Faison told PEOPLE. “This is a great place to check-in and hopefully enjoying conversations between two best friends.”
On the podcast, Faison shared some behind-the-scenes secrets of one of his most famous moments on the series: The Turk dance. It happened in Season 5, Episode 9, called “My Half-Acre.”
Faison said on the podcast that he was newly divorced when filming the episode, and the night before they filmed the scene, he’d been out dancing at clubs. But, he also showed up late to the set the next day, and hadn’t read the script.
“He was supposed to have prepared a dance,” Braff said in the podcast. “It was in the script, but he never got around to that.”
RELATED: The Best Guest Stars in Scrubs
It turns out, Faison’s dance to "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe was unrehearsed.
“I’ve been dancing to this song since I was 18 years old, since ’92 when it came out,” Faison said on the podcast. “I’m sure I could figure something out. That’s what you saw.”
Faison also admitted the Turk dance was done in one take.
“What you see, what’s become so famous, and what is a Fortnite celebration dance, is something Donald just improvised on the spot,” Braff said on the podcast.
Turk's memorable relationships with J.D. and Carla on Scrubs
Turk and JD’s friendship was one of the most endearing storylines on Scrubs, with many fans in love with their “bromance.” The characters started the show together as interns in Season 1, but also had been friends since their college days, according to CBR.
The pair had several wacky traditions, like the annual steak night, which included eating as much steak as possible followed by a dance, as well as their Eagle pose. Their love for each other was even immortalized in a song, called “Guy Love,” which aired in Season 6, Episode 6’s “My Musical.”
The two also happen to be BFFs in real life.
“He is my best friend, yes,” Faison said on the podcast. “When Scrubs was over, we remained best friends. I loved working with Zach. It’s easy.”
Faison also said the two felt a connection immediately.
“As soon as I met Zach, I knew … you know when you meet your significant other, if it’s a real relationship, you kinda felt it right away?” Faison said. “I’ve never felt such chemistry.”
Braff even served as a groomsman in Faison’s 2012 wedding to CaCee Cobb — and walked her maid of honor, pop singer Jessica Simpson, down the aisle.
On the show, Faison's character found love, too. Turk and nurse Carla Espinosa, portrayed by Judy Reyes, were couple goals from the time they started dating in Scrubs’ second episode. Eventually, Turk asked Carla to marry him in the hospital parking lot, and the characters went on to have two children.
Reyes was a guest on Faison and Braff’s podcast, and Faison made it clear he still holds her dear in his heart years later.
“When I think of Turk and Carla, I think of Carla and you too, Judy, as like an ex of mine, even though it was just work,” he said on the podcast. “It’s like I have so many fond memories, and I ruined it, and I spoiled it by the show going off the air.”
Reyes also shared that she felt chemistry with Faison on set, which led to their characters having such a good love story.
“I don’t think that I’ve ever had a kissing scene like that before, where we’re just making out and I stuck my tongue in his mouth,” she said on the podcast.
What happened to Turk in the Scrubs series finale?
It was a happy ending for Turk at the end of Scrubs. The unofficial series finale, called “My Finale,” aired on May 6, 2009, ending Season 8. Turk remained best friends with J.D., and was still happily married to Carla, who was now the head nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. J.D. also had a vision of the future in the episode that implied his son, Sam, would go on to marry Turk and Carla’s daughter, Isabella.
Scrubs was renewed for Season 9, but was commonly called Scrubs: Med School, and saw a few changes for Turk. The show no longer took place at Sacred Heart, which had been torn down, but rather at a teaching hospital built on the site, called Winston University. By the end of Season 9, Turk was a visiting professor of surgery at the university.
Although Scrubs is over, it lives on as Braff and Faison recap the show in their podcast. You can also watch all nine seasons of Scrubs right now on Peacock.
You can also watch Faison’s new comedy, Extended Family, on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC and the next day on Peacock.