Top 10 Fictional Doctors You Don’t Want An Appointment With
There are plenty of fantastic fictional doctors. Whether it’s the cantankerous, but brilliant Dr. Gregory House on House or the inexplicably “McDreamy” Dr. Derek Shepherd on Gray’s Anatomy, there are plenty of top-notch made-up medical professionals ready to take the best pretend care of their imaginary patients. But not every fictional doctor is a selfless super-healer. A lot of them are dangerously under qualified, psychotic, or just plain nasty. Here’s a list of the top ten worst fictional doctors:
10. Dr. Giggles (Dr. Giggles)
When you hear a name like Dr. Giggles, you’d be forgiven for conjuring up an image of a lovable old doctor who uses humor to ease his patients’ suffering- a Patch Adams type who dispenses chuckles along with medicine. Unfortunately for anyone who books an appointment with the good Dr. Giggles, the only thing being dispensed is murder! Gory, gory murder. Although not an actual MD himself, Dr. Giggles feels most at home dressed up in scrubs and a mask. The son of a psychotic doctor, he escapes a mental institution to wreak medical-themed revenge on the townspeople who shut down his old man’s chop shop years before. Armed with needles, scalpels, and in one particularly nasty consult, a tongue depressor, Giggles cures several sexy young teens (it is a slasher movie after all) of the most common disease of all, life. With his disturbing giggle and stabbing-based approach to healthcare, Dr. Giggles is definitely a fictional doctor to avoid.
9. Dr. Doom (The Fantastic Four)
More of a scientist than a medical doctor, Victor Von Doom is still not the guy you want to be in charge of managing your care. A power-hungry megalomaniac, Doom spends his time cooking up evil schemes, hurting the innocent and generally being the best supervillain he can be. Show up at his castle looking for a little TLC and you’re likely to end up as either a pawn in some world-conquering masterplan, or at the very least on the wrong end of some unholy experiment. Even if he wasn’t an inherently evil madman, one look at his iron mask should be enough to make even the most desperate sick person go back to the Yellow Pages. Worn to hide hideous scars he sustained in an experiment gone awry, the mask is proof positive that this guy doesn’t have the first clue about medicine. Are you telling us that a supergenius inventor, with degrees in just about every field there is, can come up with nothing better than a dirty old metal mask to hide his scars? Going to see Dr. Doom would be like going to see a barber with a bad haircut. Dumb.
8. Dr. Zoidberg (Futurama)
The resident sawbones for the folks on Futurama, Dr. John A. Zoidberg is a complicated character. On the one hand, he’s a human-sized lobster from the year 3000, which is pretty cool. One the other hand – the doctoring hand- he’s the worst doctor in the history of medicine. And that includes the guys who used to use leeches to cure everything. Lacking even the most rudimentary understanding of human anatomy, Zoidberg has difficulty telling men and women apart, has no idea what any of the major organs do, and frequently leaves his patients ten times worse than he finds them.
Even outside the office, Zoidberg’s a terrible doctor. He’s incredibly poor, eats out of garbage cans, and is frequently the target for all manner of physical and emotional abuse. When he does put someone under the knife, he generally butchers them. Every once in a while he pulls off a successful head transplant, but for the most part he’s just a lobster in a lab coat. Except a lobster in a lab coat would probably make a more accurate diagnosis. Or at the very least, a more delicious meal.
It can’t be fun being a dentist. Everybody hates you, even if you’re great. No matter how awesome your dental skills are, how can anyone truly like a person who makes their living drilling into people’s teeth? It’s a thankless job, but luckily for our sugar saturated mouths, several fine men and women heed the call and help us undo the damage we do every day to our chompers.
And then there are dentists like Dr. Christian Szell. Not only is he a dentist, he’s a Nazi Concentration Camp dentist. Those are totally the worst kind! In Marathon Man, Szell (as played by Lawrence Olivier) terrorizes and tortures Dustin Hoffman with the tools of his trade to make sure it’s safe to get his stolen diamonds. He’s a dentist, so just a regular check up would have been enough to get the toughest nut to crack. But since he’s a Nazi dentist, he drills into Hoffman’s teeth without any painkiller. Yeouch!
6. Doc Holliday (Tombstone)
Now, no one’s arguing that a visit to Doc Holliday wouldn’t be cool. As played by Val Kilmer in the kick-ass modern western Tombstone, Holliday is a heavy smoking, hard drinking, gambling badass who cracks the best jokes, gets the hottest women, and generally spends his day being the most awesome guy in the room. Unfortunately for anyone with a toothache, Holliday is also a dentist. Well, a sometimes dentist. He mostly makes his living playing cards and shooting people, only turning to dentistry when his poker luck runs dry. In the movie, he never once puts his hands into anyone’s mouth. At least not for dental purposes. And lucky for them. You see, besides being a man of many appetites, Holliday also suffers from tuberculosis, a highly contagious fatal disease that causes its victims to cough uncontrollably. Even in the Old West where most people’s understanding of science was limited to “vampires hate garlic,” people had sense enough to avoid seeing a dentist who frequently erupted into uncontrollable fits of coughing. No matter how charming he was.
5. Dr. Lecter (Silence Of The Lambs)
Arguably the most famous evil fictional doctor of all time, Hannibal Lecter is well known for treating his patients more like groceries than people in need of care. Not only is he a psychotic cannibal who frequently murders and eats his patients, he’s also kind of a snob. Most of the people he ends up sautéing came to him for help with mental health issues. But the oh-so-discerning Lecter is easily bored by their bourgeois problems and like that other famous psycho, Bugs Bunny, can’t help imaging them as giant turkey legs lying on his psychiatrist’s couch. Sure, every once in a while he’ll spare someone if they’re interesting (or young and attractive like FBI agent Clarice Starling), but if you book an appointment with Dr. Lecter odds are you end up the feature ingredient in his latest culinary creation. You should have known something was up when he prescribed garlic cloves and a spicy dry rub marinade for your depression.
4. Dr. Emilio Lizardo (Buckaroo Banzai)
There’s always an air of mystery around a doctor. For most people, a visit to the doctor is like a conversation with someone who knows a lot more about Star Trek than you do. You may understand some of the words and get a reference or two, but mostly you just nod your head, trust that the person knows what they’re talking about, and try not to fall asleep. But what if that mysterious knowledge was only the half of it? Take one Dr. Emilio Lizardo in the 80’s cult masterpiece Buckaroo Banzai. Sure he’s a brilliant doctor who knows tons about all sorts of bigheaded science stuff, but he’s also a lizard alien from another dimension with a bizarre accent, outlandish hairdo, and the posture of an Alaskan King crab stuffed into a human body. Not the kind of guy you want to strip down to your undies in front of. But really, Lizardo’s name should have been a dead giveaway. For future reference, stay away from doctors whose names sound like creepy animals. Sorry, Dr. Ratso!
3. Dr. Steven Brule (Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!)
Of all the MDs on this list, Dr. Steven Brule from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job has to have the most suspect qualifications. Barely intelligent enough to carry on a basic conversation, Brule’s glaring lack of understanding of the human body, basic social codes, and just about everything he comes into contact with do little to instill confidence in any potential patients. Despite the fact that he’s reached a position of authority as a TV expert on health, Brule’s “Rules” (his ridiculous health tips) usually involve nonsensical advice for problems totally unrelated to medicine. To top it off, Brule looks and dresses like someone who has never seen a mirror. With his thick glasses, wild perm, and as depressing brown and mustard colored wardrobe, he looks like he should be selling furniture in 1978, not dispensing medical advice. But hey, Dr. Lecter was brilliant and he ate people, so maybe a dumb doctor is the way to go.
2. Dr. Mindbender (G.I. JOE)
Just like Doctor Brule, G.I. JOE bad guy Dr. Mindbender loses points right away for the way he dresses. We know COBRA does things a little differently, but there’s no reason for a licensed medical professional to show up for work wearing skin-tight purple pants, knee high boots, no shirt, a monocle, and a cape. It’s just unprofessional. Sure, he’s got a pretty good body, but come on buddy. Save it for the beach. Only an organization as lame as COBRA would hire a madman genius who specializes in mind control and is able to successfully clone an evil warlord from the DNA of history’s greatest warriors, but doesn’t own a shirt. Mindbender is also COBRA’s chief interrogator, a position he achieved despite the fact that he looks like a Nazi trying to blend in at a gay pride parade. Seriously, how effective at drawing out secret information can he be? One look at this clown and even the wimpiest prisoner isn’t going to crack, he’s going to crack up. For all his genius and mastery of the human mind, one question continued to plague Dr. Mindbender for his entire evil career. How do you torture someone who can’t stop laughing?
1. Dr. Zaius (Planet of the Apes)
To be fair, if this list was being written for a comedy website on the Planet of the Apes, Dr. Zaius would be a lock for the top ten best fictional doctors. Among chimps, he’s a well-respected, brilliant ape who is a leading figure in his society. His counsel is sought in the most serious matters and his wisdom is cherished by all who know him. Any sick gorilla would give his last banana to have Dr. Zaius on the case. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t think termites are a healthy snack or throwing our own feces is the best way to make a point, Dr. Zaius is one evil monkey doctor. Incapable of seeing humans as anything more than a “pestilence” to be wiped out, Zaius’ approach to human medicine involves too little compassion and way, way too much castration. Under his merciless care, Planet of the Apes hero Charlton Heston is tortured, experimented on, and eventually sentenced to death. He escapes, but not before Zaius has done some serious damage to him. Proving once and for all that that old saying is true: “No matter how well educated, respected, or esteemed he may be, never trust a damn dirty ape!”
By Geoff Shakespeare