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Just so we're all clear, what's going on back in the reality of the insane asylum is that orderlies are raping the shit out of us, right?
—"Sucker Punch: The Abridged Script", The Editing Room

Perhaps it's because a hospital environment makes people feel more than a little vulnerable, and anxious about whether their caregivers have their best interests in mind. Perhaps it's because anywhere but a hospital, an orderly's occasional job of subduing unruly patients would brand them as a bad guy's Mook. Or perhaps it's simply Nightmare Fuel to imagine any medical professional turning bad, and it's orderlies who tend to catch the flack because we really, really want to believe our doctors and nurses are trustworthy.

Whatever the reason, many orderlies in fiction are depicted as petty or not-so-petty criminals, taking advantage of their patients and the trust of their hospital superiors. When he's not stealing patients' medication to sell on the street, any orderly who's not a faceless extra is bound to be rooting through their belongings for cash and jewelry. An orderly with lower tastes may procure drugs from hospital stocks for personal use, or secretly trade them to addicts under their care in exchange for sexual favors. The creepiest of all don't bother to barter, molesting or outright raping patients who are too drugged, restrained, unconscious or crazy to report the offense.


Comic Books


  • No page on Creepy Orderlies would be complete without Buck from Kill Bill, who raped comatose patients and made a sideline in pimping their bodies out to others (usually truckers like him). He ends up as one of the Bride's first victims when she gets out of her four-year coma, losing his truck (the Pussy Wagon) and his duds in the bargain. And possibly his life, but no one cares about that.
  • Terminator 2: Sarah Conner is locked up in a mental institution. An orderly licks her face while she's strapped down and apparently comatose.
  • Shock Treatment: Rest Home Ricky. He isn't all that bad of a guy from what we see of him, aside from him working for Cosmo and Nation McKinley at Dentonvale (and by extension, Farley Flavors). Gets a Pet the Dog moment when it's revealed during one song that he has a relationship going with Nurse Ansalong.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, one of the Westin Hills orderlies tries to persuade ex-junkie Taryn to hook up with him, offering to share the contents of the hospital's drug cabinet with her.
  • An unintentional example of this is found in Look Who's Talking, when John Travolta's character puts his grandfather into a nursing home and explains his daily medical care to the orderly. Later on the medical care is neglected and Grandpa goes a little nuts; it's revealed that the orderly speaks no English and so could not have complied with the medical instructions. Not so much a malicious creep as a negligent one, not to have admitted he didn't know what he was doing.
  • The mental institution in Rob Zombie's Halloween remake seems to be completely run by creepy - and downright criminal - orderlies. The nurses are heartless, the orderlies rape the female patients, electroshock therapy seems to be a common treatment, and Michael Myers was degraded, insulted and beaten on a daily basis. (And Dr. Loomis wonders why Michael's mental state only worsened once he was in the care of these "professionals!")
  • Blue in Sucker Punch. Though the Mind Screw makes it unclear whether he's actually murdered any patients in the real world, what is relatively clear is that he's willing to take bribes to arrange unnecessary lobotomies, has a slimy demeanor, and is not above trying to rape a lobotomized girl.
  • The Orderlies in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are little more than sadistic thugs, gleefully man-handling the patients who go against Nurse Ratchet.
  • The orderly in Happy Gilmore, played by Ben Stiller, is the quintessence of this trope. He subjects the retirement home residents to long quilting sessions which he sells for personal gain. If anyone complains, they're punished by "pulling landscaping duty". In deleted scenes, other things the residents are forced to do include things like operating a phone sex line. In a deleted scene, he is thrown out the window by an angry Happy Gilmore after he's lied to by the orderly that his grandmother had "senilitis maximus" after she told Happy what was going on.
  • Zep from the first Saw was an orderly who kidnapped a woman and her young daughter, then tormented the husband with photos of them tied up and threats to murder them at a specified time. Granted, it wasn't his idea to do so, but considering Zep ends up dead anyway, he *could* have defied Jigsaw at the cost of his own life rather than terrorizing a helpless girl and her mom.
  • The unnamed orderly in Criminally Insane feeds the patients dog food, and scarfs down chocolate bars in front of the eating disorder-afflicted Ethel with the smuggest look on his face. Ethel kills him by hanging him with a cord.
  • The eponymous character in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet is raped and impregnated by an orderly. She gets her revenge when she rips his head off while running amok through the asylum shortly after giving birth.
  • the orderlies in the hospital at the beginning of Return to Oz later show up in Oz as the wheelers.


  • Edward Lee and Wrath James White's The Teratologist opens with a scene of a creepy orderly's nightly routine of repeatedly raping a severely physically and mentally disabled patient. And since he gets off on the disgusting-ness of it, he deliberately neglects to bathe her or see to her other hygienic needs.
  • Most, if not all the orderlies at the asylum in Law of Nines work for the Big Bad, and abuse Jax and Alex's Mother
  • The doctors in The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. It is about a Bedlam House, after all.
  • Pelafina in House Of Leaves is convinced (rightly or not) that the attendants at the mental hospital have been raping her on a monthly basis.

Live Action TV

  • An episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent had a sociopathic orderly called Hal Shippman (i.e. he was named after a Real Life doctor who turned out to be a serial killer). He was just a Red Herring though, despite bordering on being a Complete Monster.
    • Any time a hospital is the scene of a Law and Order investigation, it's a safe bet at least one suspect and/or unlikeable witness will be an orderly who steals meds, smokes weed on duty, or got fired from a previous job for groping a patient. Make that an especially safe bet, if it's Law and Order SVU.
  • An orderly in the beginning of the Highlander the Series episode "Patient Number 7" gropes and attempts to rape an out-of-it girl. Before he can, the real villains of the episode break in and shoot him.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In the flashback portion of the Scooby Doo short "Scrappy's Birthday", Shaggy and Scooby are harassed by an orderly at the veterinary hospital where Scrappy is born.

Video Games

  • The orderly from Michael Gentry's Interactive Fiction work Anchorhead is generally a foul-mouthed, unpleasant person who is usually seen reading a porn magazine, and will occasionally make a lewd remark.
  • Sanitarium has a few examples - in the first act, one willfully leaves Max and several other patients in the burning tower because Max apparently stole and crashed his car, while the third act has one who threatens and bullies Max. Of course, they're not real.
  • Ace from Ruby Quest. Granted, he was probably a good guy before things started going to hell, but now...
  • In American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns, Alice's experience with the two Jerkass orderlies who tortured her in the mental asylum she stayed at manifest in the creepy Wonderland versions of Tweedles Dee and Dum. You fight them in the first game, but they make a non-combative appearance in one of the creepiest sequences of the second, in the same asylum Alice stayed in.
  • Inverted and Played Straight in Psychonauts. The original orderly of Thorny Towers was Fred Bonaparte, a friendly loser who took time out to help a particularly nasty patient named Crispin. However, their interactions made Fred lose his sanity as fast as Crispin regained his, and soon he was a suffering patient as Crispin was made this trope in his place.

Real Life

  • One of the many, many terrible things Florence Nightingale famously called out 19th century hospitals for was the fact that many of the nurses and orderlies were whores who prostituted themselves and took advantage of patients in the hospital wards.
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