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WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

"If you're down he'll pick you up, Doctor Robert

Take a drink from his special cup, Doctor Robert

Doctor Robert, you're a new and better man

He helps you to understand

He does everything he can, Doctor Robert"
—"Doctor Robert," The Beatles

Sometimes a Back-Alley Doctor, sometimes an otherwise respectable doctor, Dr. Feelgood serves as a catalyst for another character's dangerous or unethical prescription drug habit. They may have promised to "do no harm," but at the end of the day, they either are oblivious to the fact that the patient has a problem, or they just don't care.

The Trope Namer is the Motley Crue song, in which the titular doctor does many things (including making cocaine for the Mexican mob.) Not to be confused with the Aretha Franklin song or the British pub rock band.



  • A recent Apartment 3G has Professor Papagoras providing fake prescriptions for insomnia pills, in exchange for (it is very loosely implied) sex.


  • The doctor in Requiem for a Dream who continues to write Sara Goldfarb a prescription for diet pills, even when she complains of strange side effects and is clearly developing an addiction.


  • Dr. Spaceman (pronounced Spa-CHEE-man) from both Arrested Development and Thirty Rock.
  • House: Dr. Gregory House is his own Dr. Feelgood, what with the Vicodin addiction and all. However, due to the rules against doctors writing prescriptions for themselves, he usually has Wilson or one of his minions get the goods for him.
  • Referenced in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, when a new neighbor asks Lois who her doctor is. Lois asks what the problem is, and the neighbor replies "back pain," and goes on to imply that she will say anything to get the pills she wants. Lois replies, "Sorry, my doctor's honest."
  • Sandy, the former choir teacher on Glee, sets up a pot-dealing ring after he's prescribed medicinal marijuana and even refers to his prescriber/supplier as "Dr. Feelgood."
    • Not to mention Terri doling out psuedophedrine when she becomes the school Nurse (despite not actually being a nurse.)
  • Tracey Ullman plays one in this sketch.
  • A New Tricks episode focusing on the death of a rock singer, had his former band mates point the detectives at 'Doc' who supplied them all with drugs back in the day. The guy turned out to be just a dealer rather than actual doctor.
  • A Victim of the Week on The Glades was one of these and the clinic he operated was a 'pill mill'. It turned out that the clinic was only one of a whole chain of pill mills operated by a corrupt medical company. Also the dead doctor was doing it so he could raise money for medical supplies to send to earthquake ravaged Haiti


  • Motley Crue's song is, of course, the Trope Namer, although it's never clear if the character so nicknamed is a doctor with profitable sidelines or a simple dealer with a memorable handle.

 Rat-tailed Jimmy is a second hand hood/Deals out in Hollywood

Got a '65 Chevy with primered flames/Traded for some powdered goods

Jigsaw Jimmy, he's runnin' a gang/But, I hear he's doin' okay

Got a cozy little job/Sells the Mexican mob/Packages of candycaine

  • "Mother's Little Helper," by The Rolling Stones, is about 1960s mothers needing to take prescription "uppers" to keep up with all their daily duties. It includes a warning about overdoses of prescription pills.
    • And though she's not really ill/There's a little yellow pill...
    • Doctor please, some more of these/Outside the door, she took four more.
  • The Beatles "Doctor Robert" from Revolver. "If you're down he'll pick you up/Take a drink from his special cup.../Well, well, well you're feeling fine/Well, well, well he'll make you"
  • An astoundingly honest and straight-forward one is the subject of 'I Buy The Drugs' from Electric Six.
  • Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" has verses apparently sung by such a doctor:


Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anyone home?

Come on, Come on, Come on, now,

I hear you're feeling down.

Well, I can ease your pain

Get you on your feet again.

    • Kind of out of context (like most Pink Floyd Songs on that Album). Pink Floyd, the character, has already gone well into an overdose at this point. This is a paramedic trying to revive the character, Pink Floyd, for the concert he is suppose to perform. The rest of the conceptual album The Wall, Pink Floyd (the character) is in an ideal world created by his own mind. Noting the contents of "In The Flesh!" being rather dramatically different than "In The Flesh?".


  • The doctor who first prescribed Mary Tyrone morphine in Long Days Journey Into Night, as well as the doctors who continue to do so while she's Off the Wagon.
  • Wendla, the female teenage protagonist in the original stage play of Spring Awakening, is killed by pills prescribed to her as an abortifacient. The doctor never tells her she's pregnant and insists they are for anemia.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Venture Brothers.: Dr. Venture visits a "Tijuana doctor" for a resupply of his pills. Initially the doctor balks at prescribing such a large amount of drugs. The doctor was insulted that Dr. Venture assumed he'd just grant a prescription because he was a Mexican doctor. Dr. Benjamin helped smooth the ruffles.

Real Life

  • Startlingly common in real life.
  • Perhaps one of the best known cases is that of Dr. George Nichopoulos (known as, Dr. Nick,) who prescribed Elvis Presley drugs from 1967 until his death in 1977. "Dr. Nick" gave Elvis his ultimately fatal supply.
  • Michael Jackson seems to have accessed pain killers through several of these, and a particularly unethical one, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and grievous negligence in his death by prescribing a surgical anesthetic as a sleep aid.
  • One of the strangest is the London dentist who, after giving John Lennon and George Harrison their checkup, invited them for late-night coffee. The coffee was spiked with LSD. They both liked it enough that they thanked him.
  • The Beatles song "Dr. Robert" was about the real-life New York City doctor Max Jacobson (despite the National Health reference) whose nickname was the Trope Namer. He got involved with JFK, giving him several controversial treatments. Some of these involved illegal drugs such as methamphetamines. Many of Kennedy's medical problems and treatments were only recently declassified