In the world of drama, there are plenty of shows about hospitals with good and caring doctors, like Grey’s Anatomy, E.R., or even House. But sitcom-doctors tend to play by a different set of rules, and often times they are a lot less competent than their dramatic counterparts. With that in mind, let’s look at five or the most hilariously awful sitcom doctors of all-time.
Dr. Nick Riviera – The Simpsons
Worst Offenses: Where to begin with this one? Well, his pick-up line of choice is “seriously baby, I can prescribe whatever I want!” But I’ll go with his debut appearance in “Bart Gets Hit by A Car,” when his incompetence is so naked to the eye that Marge decides to admit his lack of credibility as a doctor, costing the Simpsons a million dollars in the process.
Redeeming Qualities: Well, he does manage to perform open heart surgery on Homer in “Homer’s triple Bypass,” but it’s hard to give him much credit when Lisa told him what to do the whole way through. Still, when Grandpa Simpson demands to see a quack, Dr. Nick leaves him a satisfied customer, and invents the disease “skin failure” in the process.
Dr. Zoidberg – Futurama
Worst Offenses: In “Fry And The Slurm Factory,” Zoidberg is asked to operate on Bender, who has a fever, but warns that he’s an expert on humans, not rob-its. He then immediately mistakes Fry for a robot. In “The Tip Top Of The Zoidberg,” his inability to operate on humans is fully fleshed out, as he brutally mangles the entire Planet Express Crew, with Fry developing Muppet Gangrene Syndrome (“it’s not easy being gangrenous!”). Most evidence suggests that Zoidberg is hardly an expert on humans or rob-its.
Redeeming Qualities: In “Stench And Stenchibility,” he actually appears to be a fairly competent doctor, as he performs a nose transplant on his girlfriend, Marianne, who was born with no sense of smell. Additionally, when Hermes gets out of control with his robot upgrades, Zoidberg keeps the spare parts to turn Hermes into a ventriloquist dummy, and then back to his old self. For all his faults, there are times when Zoidberg seems to randomly get it right.
Dr. Hartman – Family Guy
Worst Offenses: Has been sued by literally every patient he’s ever had (“just look at this file!), and as we see above, is too busy with his comedy schtick to simply tell Peter whether or not he’s healthy. Finally, he’s been known to prescribe Viagra and Cialis as Anti-depressants.
Redeeming Qualities: Well, he’s kind enough to continue treating Peter after he accuses of him of sexual assault during a prostate exam. He even goes so far as to donate one of his kidneys to Peter, saving the lives of both Peter and Brian. Dr. Hartman may not be the best surgeon in Quahog, but he is a pretty nice guy.
Dr. Doug Murphy – Scrubs
Worst Offenses: The above video covers most of the big ones. He frequently loses sight of cadavers, and in an awkward situation at a funeral, gives us the classic line “your niece had beautiful guts.” Dr. Murphy is generally clumsy, and always seems to mess things up in the worst possible way, no matter how much he tries not to.
Redeeming Qualities: Umm…well, he tries really hard. I mean, it’s not like he’s lazy or he wants to fail, and he has repeatedly tried to turn his career around, but things just always seem to find a way of getting worse.
Dr. Leo Spaceman – 30 Rock
Worst Offenses: Seems to have absolutely no idea how the human body or medicine works. Gives us classic lines like “medicine is not a science” and “we have no idea where the human heart is.” Also, he’s often very unprofessional around his patients “I could give you something for that….but I’m not supposed to have sex with my patients.”
Redeeming Qualities: In spite of his obvious faults, Tracy swears by him, probably because he’s willing to tell it like it is (“your blood tastes like root beer”). Plus, he did apologize for the cigarettes his Nazi Doctor Grandfather sold to children, so you know he means well.