"Grey's Anatomy" returns to ABC for it's 13th (that's right, thirteenth) season this Thursday (September 22nd), and the new season will – yet again — be down a couple of fan-favorites, including Dr. McDreamy and badass bone-breaker Callie Torres. So, needless to say, there will definitely be a few new faces introduced to fill the gaping void left by the departing long-timers.
But that's nothing new. In fact, although the show is named after one (eventually, three) of its central lady doctors, a lot of important women and men in doctor coats, nursing scrubs, paramedic uniforms, and patient robes have graced the halls of Seattle's most storied medical facility over the last 13 years. And so, to celebrate the inevitable onslaught of newbies, here's a look back at all of the characters that have made the show what it is so far, ranked by how much we like them.
(Note: The kids aren't included in this list because they're all number one in my book.)
Dr. Ellis Grey
Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) could probably cure a full-blown case of hyperthermia with a single look, because that woman was COLD. It was also really irritating how much her narrative revolved around some antiquated “can’t have it all” cautionary tale about women balancing success at the workplace with healthy personal relationships. The message seemed to be: Can’t have your name on the textbooks without having your off-paper namesakes suffer. Screw that noise. She did get some redemption in her younger form (played by Sarah Paulson) for being one of two mold breakers in her generation, but she still made “Mommie Dearest” look like Mother Teresa.
Dr. Jason Myers
Dr. Myers (Charles Michael Davis) was a man who went by many names — including Chest Peckwell, Super Douche, and Assface — and in the end, he earned at least the latter two when he hit Jo during a fight and she kicked his ass as a result. So, yeah, Super Douche sounds about right.
Dr. Taylor (Larry Cahn)’s stint on “Grey’s” was very short-lived, despite him being the self-proclaimed premier anesthesiologist of the entire hospital. You might recall that Taylor — who didn’t even get a first name — had a drinking problem and got so tossed on the job that he let a two-year-old patient wake up mid-brain surgery on Derek Shepherd’s table. It was an epic, irredeemable fail. He should’ve just stuck to his crosswords and left the sauce at home, obvi.
Thatcher Grey (Jeff Perry) had good reason for being an angry bird — his first wife carried on a long affair and treated everyone around her like crap, and his second wife died unexpectedly on Meredith’s table from what should’ve been a completely routine procedure. But that doesn’t excuse his abandonment of her, or the slap heard ‘round the hospital.
Dr. Graham Maddox
If you don’t remember him, don’t worry. You’re probably not even supposed to. But Dr. Maddox (Nick D’Agosto) was an OB/GYN resident under Dr. Herman whose skills weren’t up to scratch enough to warrant her truly mentoring him, but who was a suitable enough bed buddy to keep him around. Meanwhile, he was always rude to Arizona and pretty much disappeared once Herman did.
Dr. Erica Hahn
Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) might’ve been made of solid brass and all, but anyone who stands in the way of Cristina Yang’s fated ascent to cardio greatness is persona non grata forever. Especially when she tried to play chicken with a bunch of first-years over a donor heart. Her thing with Callie was also completely awkward.
It’s hard to not develop an eye roll from hell while thinking about Sloan Riley (Levin Rambin), Mark’s grown daughter from a long-ago relationship that he only found out about when she was 18 and had been kicked out of her mother’s house for getting pregnant. Most of the time she acted like a rude opportunist who cared about exactly zero people other than herself. Eventually, she did agree to a risky surgery that saved her baby’s legs, but her attitude and conceit weren’t overcome by that one good deed.
Dr. Lauren Boswell
Yeah, Dr. Boswell (Hilarie Burton) might be a brilliant baby brain surgeon and all, but she’ll always be the woman who Arizona cheated on Callie with during the superstorm that one time in my booik. She totally knew Dr. Robbins was married, but that wasn’t even a speed bump for her. Rude.
Dr. Norman Russo
Dr. Russo (Stephen Mendel) almost made a grave mistake when he was subbing in for Arizona with a fetal patient. She had to race to the scene and force him to scrub out so he didn’t kill a woman’s fetus by delivering it too soon for NICU viability. The worst part was how he stuck to his guns about everything, even though he was outnumbered and outclassed by Alex and Arizona.
Dr. Marshall Stone
Dr. Stone (John Cho) was a primo example of why all those hazing days of no sleep are a terrible idea. His sleepiness at the wheel caused a pile-up accident which killed a woman. So much for "do no harm."
Dr. Margaret Campbell
The Dinosaur a.k.a. Dr. Campbell (Faye Dunaway) was having trouble letting go of her right to cut people open, and her patients were paying for it. Cristina called her the hospital relic (whose credentials were still impressive, seeing as she was the first female surgeon the hospital ever had, so mad respect for that), but once she had to repair her own botched operation, she threw in the towel at long last.
Dr. Matthew Savoy
After the Denny Duquette wire-cutting incident, Dr. Bailey had a lot of ‘splainin to do about how her interns had run amok under her watch, and the one to peg her with questions the hardest was Dr. Savoy (Todd Babcock). He said it wasn’t personal, but he gave her the side eye from hell over holding a patient’s baby, and she promptly put him in his misogynistic place.
It wasn’t Dr. Milton (Marty Lodge)’s decision to evacuate the room when a bomb was discovered in the patient’s wound cavity that made him a shit. It was the fact that he peaced out only after telling the poor paramedic with her hands wrapped around it that it was bound to turn her into pink mist. That was a WTF moment to end them all right there.
Dr. Vincent Orsen
Dr. Orsen (Peter Birkenhead) was a ruthless dude who was willing to ignore the fact that a would-be donor still had brain activity for the sake of the harvest … basically, any organ donor’s worst nightmare come to small screen life right here. Thank goodness George called Derek Shepherd in to shut that shifty shit down.
Dr. Renee Collier
Derek almost let his second marriage go the way of his first — only with him in the cheat seat this time instead of his wife — when he got a little too friendly with his colleague at the National Institute of Health, Dr. Collier (Scottie Thompson). She would’ve been happy to take it beyond the sudden kiss they shared, but he was smart enough to walk away right then and there, even if he did forget to grab his phone on the way out.
Dr. Darryl Nessbaum
Dr. Nessbaum (Andy Milder) was aiming eggs at all kinds of faces when he showed up to teach everyone about hernia repairs, but you can’t cross (-stitch) Richard Burke or Miranda Bailey, nope.
Dr. Tom Evans
Dr. Evans (Scott Cohen) was too cool for school, apparently, because he turned down the opportunity to join the teaching hospital’s cardio wing, which was both a disappointment and a relief to Cristina, because she didn’t want to lose Teddy Altman in the process of getting a new heart chief.
Scrub nurse Rose (Lauren Stamile) was lovingly dubbed the “McRebound” by Addison Shepherd when Derek hooked up with her during a break from Meredith, and that was cruel and all but also quite accurate. When it ended up not working — because of course it didn’t — she actually cut Derek during surgery and decided to bow out for another ward. McByeBye!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chump who failed to answer his page on time and came too late to save Derek Shepherd. Three cheers for Dr. Cohn (Larry Cedar) finishing his fancy dinner while letting an actual neuro doc die on his table.
Dr. Nicole Baylow
Oooh girl, Dr. Baylow (Miss Pyle) met her match when she had Dr. Bailey in her residency group back in the day because, first of all, she wasn’t a super good doctor, and second of all, she was too concerned with herself and hospital gossip to actually pay any attention to what was happening around her ... including the fact that she was quickly being superseded by her supposed underling. We can thank her for the birth of Badass Bailey, so that’s always a plus.
Dr. Harry Victor
Add Dr. Victor (Chris Hendrie) to the list of people who’ve been put in their place by Dr. Bailey. They call him “Limp Harry” because this is one urologist who doesn’t concern himself with the patient's penile nerves during surgeries — though of course, Bailey eventually found a way to save some poor chump's nerve and remove a tumor. Boom; sorry guy.
Dr. Elizabeth Chen
If given the choice between Dr. Chen (Kerri Higuchi) and just about anyone else in the OB/GYN unit, go with the other guy because this lady has mucked up far too often. Remember when she severed a baby’s arm during a flubbed C-section and almost caused the wing to miss another’s heart defect which would’ve been potentially fatal if it continued to go undiagnosed under Chen’s watch? Grade “F” for her many horrifying fails.
Dr. Robert Stark
Dr. Stark (Peter MacNicol) was a pediatric putz who took credit for Alex’s idea to use a sterilized ping pong ball as a cavity filler for a girl’s surgery. He was also negligent to patients and had to be literally stopped mid-surgery for his brash and aggressive techniques. Then, he went and hit on April and solidified his status as a full-on joke. He did save Callie, Arizona, and their then-baby Sofia, but by then the damage to his reputation was done.
Roberta Thompson (Roma Maffia) was one of the crustiest members of the board when the doctors’ plane crashed. Seeing her get ousted by the docs who bought back their own hospital was honestly pretty sweet.
Dr. Darren Parker
In a case of history repeating, Cristina Yang found herself in the arms of another top cardio honcho during her stint at Mayo Clinic, and this time it was Dr. Darren Parker (Steven Culp) who had her number. He’s the one who made her work with Dr. Thomas, who was old school but also wise. She wasn’t finding in him the same inspiration and ambition that she’d had in a similar circumstance, so when he pulled the plug on Thomas’ career just before the man freaking died, Cristina told Parker “peace.”
Dr. Andrew Perkins
Dr. Perkins (James Tupper) was summoned to the hospital to evaluate all the docs after the mass shooting incident, and he ended up sticking around just long enough to have a thing with Teddy then skedaddle off to a job in Germany — which he tried to bring Teddy along for, but she refused. If that all sounds boring, it’s because he kinda was. Handsome as the day is long, but just as dull.
Dr. Mitchell Spencer
This. dude. was. a. dingbat. Not only did “Dr.” Mitchell (Joe Dinicol) accidentally tell a woman that her husband was going to die by talking about his dismal condition right in front of her, he also —when she started to flip — loosened her neck brace and almost paralyzed her. He then puked at the mere mention of a brain decomposition, which was weak AF.
As a Thanksgiving treat in Season 2, we got a taste of the turkey that was Dr. Kent (Michael Matthys), who spent a comical amount of time searching for “The Nazi” and telling Bailey herself about his search. He thought it just had to be a dude, because patriarchy things. It was great when he realized his mistake. Take that, jackass.
Dr. Nelson (Phil Abrams) definitely deserved his “JV Shepherd”/”Shadow Shepherd” title, ‘cause the second best neurosurgeon is also the first loser, and everybody knew it. He came and went without event and no one gave a crap about him, on-screen or off.
Blink and you’d miss him, but Dr. Domner (Jim Gleason) did perform a lifesaving liver transplant on the spot.
Dr. Mel Barnett
Dr. Barnett (Philip Casnoff) had a thing about passwords, and was merely subbing for Arizona during her recovery when he went buck wild with his cyber security campaign, much to Alex’s hilarious chagrin.
When you’re a neurosurgeon working on a fellow premier neurosurgeon, things are bound to get heady. Dr. Schacter (Jim Turner) could only promise an 80% return to original McDreamy form after Derek was injured in his plane crash, so Derek got a second opinion — from ortho, no less — and left Schacter’s plan in the dust. It wasn't personal, doc.
Dr. Jordan Kenley
Dr. Kenley (John Sloman) was good with the kids he treated, but he was not popular with his colleagues. His death, in front of a patient no less, didn't exactly earn any tears from the staff or the viewers
Dr. Alma (Illeana Douglas) figured out that Miranda was OCD by messing with her instruments. She was brave to go messing with a woman’s scalpels, I’ll say that.
Dr. Dreyfuss (Becky Wu) was taught a very public lesson about what not to say in the event of a co-worker’s death. She smarted off about the hospital not being johnny on the stick with Derek Shepherd's neurology department replacement, and Arizona laid right into her in front of everyone. As she deserved.
Dr. Ryan Spalding
Laughing at patients — even ones with random objects lodged in their rectums — is never good practice for a doctor, and it certainly doesn’t make for a character worth rooting for. Dr. Spalding (Brandon Scott), AKA “Intern #4.2," managed to make it through round two of residency, but he ultimately faded into oblivion after the Mercy West residents joined the fold. Oh well. No love lost there.
Dr. Andrew DeLuca
OK, OK, so he’s pretty much a mini Mark Sloan looks-wise, and Dr. DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) has definitely proven his medical worth — like that time he turned a door into a makeshift blackboard for a patient — but what he did to Maggie was low-down dirty dog status. Here’s a guy who constantly complained about girls not taking him seriously, and then as soon as Maggie made their tryst official, he bailed. Jerk.
Dr. Polly Preston
Polly (Vedette Lim) was a total pawn in Arizona’s pocket meant to convince Alex to join her peds fellowship, and she knew it.
Dr. A. Knox
Dr. Knox (Payton Silver), an attending anesthesiologist, has quietly been a part of so many of the series’ most significant surgeries, doing a bang up job of making sure his people are always under, and even correcting a surgeon when they got the blood bag count wrong during a procedure. That’s … about all there is to say about him, though.
Dr. Pierce Halley
Apart from being one third of the least riveting love triangle the show (or maybe even TV at large) has ever had, Pierce was kind of a fuckboy. He cheated on Megan, who then left him for Steve, and that was after he made her cry during his band’s performance. He ultimately got what he deserved: a job he hates down at the morgue.
Intern Laura (Candice Afia) did not survive the merger resident cuts, though it’s probably for the best because she made fun of the face transplant patient that one time, which is a major no-no.
Dr. McQueen (Leith M. Burke) was the kind of doc who always acted like his word was bond and wouldn’t suffer any questions or challenges. He and Teddy had a chest puff-off over a patient once, and guess who won?
Dr. Kevin Fisher
Sadly, Dr. Fisher (Regi Davis)’s psychiatric skills often went unused because he was either too late or too unconvincing. Harrumph.
Operating on the nether regions of your boss is probably pretty intimidating business, but Dr. Fischer (Stewart Skelton) was a pro about making the right professional call to fish the fish out of Larry The Board Guy’s man parts.
Dr. E. Gendall
Dr. Gendall (Adam Lazarre-White) is the only oncology resident to be featured on the show so far, and he took over Izzie’s cancer treatment once her tumors stopped growing. He wasn’t the most helpful person in the world, but he wasn’t harmful, either. His utility started and ended at providing someone for Dr. Swender to dump her unwanted patient onto.
Dr. Audrey Shaw
Dr. Shaw (Irene King) had absolutely no idea what she was doing at any given time, but she was adorable.
Dr. Daisy Pepman
Remember how ridiculously swanky the dermatology wing was, and how overly peppy its resident Daisy (Kathleen Early) was? That was just weird. Nobody’s that happy at Seattle Grace.
Dr. Sydney Heron
Woof, this woman. Dr. Sydney Heron (Kali Rocha) subbed in for Bailey during her maternity leave and was a little too saccharine for everyone’s tastes. She had a reason for her cheery demeanor (it was her coping mechanism from losing a patient), but she was still much too much.
Larry (Mitch Pileggi) had the prestigious honor of being chairman of the hospital board once upon a time, but what really sticks out (or in, rather) about him is that time a candiru fish got stuck in his penis after he peed in the Amazon River. Yowza. He was also quite shifty when it came to the merger thing.
Tucker (Cress Williams) and Miranda were married for a long, long time, so he should’ve known better than to give her the old “job or me” ultimatum. The fact that he also started seeing other women before the ink was even on paper for the split was pretty raw.
The remote doctor (voiced by Cullen Douglas) who played big brother to everyone in the hospital to monitor the docs’ efficiency had a better personality than a lot of the people he watched over. He also stopped Leah Murphy from violating a patient’s religious tenets during treatment, so he wasn’t at all useless. That said, there’s a reason Dr. Bob didn’t stick; the camera thing was invasive and completely uncalled for.
Dr. Morgan Peterson
Morgan (Amanda Fuller)’s time as a surgical resident was short lived, as was her little baby Tommy. He was born way too early and ultimately couldn’t survive outside of her womb, even though she and the peds gave him the best possible chance in the NICU. Her boyfriend, Chris, ditched right when the goings got rough with baby Tommy, so Arizona Robbins and Karev stepped in to be a support system for her. Whatever happened to her is unclear, but she damn sure better not have gone back to that scumball Chris.
Dr. Jeff Russell
Like most heads of the cardio unit, Dr. Russell (Dominic Hoffman) appeared to have a healthy amount of respect for Christina Yang, but it was only a ploy to get her to use her newfound board member powers to get his department more money. And when Yang lost the Harper Avery Award on account of Dr. Avery’s family putting up the final cash needed to buy the place, meaning no one at Grey Sloan would ever win, Dr. Russell dipped with the quickness because he was an unapologetic opportunist and he knew a dry levy when he saw it.
Dr. Colin Marlow
OK, OK, so Dr. Morrow (Roger Rees) was the man for whom the “Marlow transplant” was named, so he was right up Yang’s alley on paper. But how she carried on a romantic relationship with this guy for three years is befuddling. He was big enough to walk away when he witnessed Cristina propping up Dr. Burke’s ego by asking a question he knew she knew the answer to, but still. He was a little gross.
Dr. Rebecca Swender
Dr. Swender (Kimberley Elise) was a superstar of the oncology ward, but she didn’t like the influence Derek Shepherd’s recommendations had on her patient, Izzie. She lost out, of course, but whatever Derek said, everyone pretty much did, so she got a little butthurt and ultimately bowed out of Izzie’s treatment.
Dr. Raj Sen
Since Dr. Sen (Anjul Nigam) is a psychiatrist, whenever he’s around it means there’s something extra awesome going down, like that hysterical pregnancy or the man that downed a bunch of doll heads. It’s a good thing he wasn’t chosen to be Meredith’s roommate, though, because he hasn’t always seemed so on the up and up himself.
Dr. Emma Marling
There was nothing wrong with Emma (Marguerite Moreau) except for her timing. She was one helluva cook, marked off the entire checklist of cool girl hobbies (that’s reading, wine, and food), seemed to be a pretty proficient practitioner, and was kind. But Cristina Yang is Cristina Yang, so Owen couldn’t help himself but stray. Emma never found out about that last bit, which was a complete relief.
Dr. Dani Mandvi
Ah, Dani (Amrapali Ambegaokar), how we barely knew ye. Dr. Mandvi, perhaps better known as “Intern #4,” attempted to treat Cristina for her icicle stab wound but couldn’t read an x-ray, and was one of the interns who worked furiously on diagnosing Patient X (who was actually Izzie). Despite trying her hardest to make the cut after Seattle Grace merged with Mercy West and sent ¾ of her class packing, unfortunately she didn’t survive the slash. Tough break.
Dr. Tim Redmond
Dr. Redmond (Kovar McClure), an attending dermatologist, got talked into joining the budget cut revolt the old-fashioned way: Dr. Shepherd pointed to their kiddos’ shared daycare and reminded him that it was a good thing they had an ER just downstairs, riiiiight? He bought it like a total dad.
Dr. Leo Byrider
Dr. Leo (Winston Story), in addition to being a dead ringer for John Cusack circa 1985, was obsessed with draining pus ... but otherwise faded into his dud resident group and disappeared when the merger with Mercy West went down. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dr. Rob Stanton
Dr. Stanton (Amol Shah) is why Derek Shepherd was a terrible matchmaker. He tried to set Bailey up with the radiologist, and he was fine and nice enough, but it was like five seconds after her divorce from Tucker was filed, so it was a nonstarter.
Dr. Steve Mostow
Intern Steve (Mark Saul) survived the merger class cut, probably due to his mad guitar and blogging skills, but despite the fact that he was one of the most promising members of his class, hasn’t been around much since he called it off with Megan, despite being the father of her baby. Points for his bravery in going lights-out with Pierce and letting people practice epidurals on him and all, but the paternity test nonsense with Megan was a major turn-off.
Dr. Graciella Guzman
Ugly Betty knew how to put in a line. She also came up with the “dud resident” moniker for Izzie and was smart enough to head for the exit sign before Sadie let someone slice her open for the impromptu appendectomy. Otherwise, she was pretty unmemorable.
You might remember Dr. Claire (Tymberlee Hill) as the intern who almost castrated a guy under Izzie’s watch. Or, more likely, you don’t. Needless to say, she didn’t make the cut, in more ways than one.
Dr. Heather Brooks
Challenge yourself to remember one significant thing about Dr. Brooks (Tina Majorino) a.k.a. Mousey besides the fact that she was electrocuted in the basement. It’s hard, right? That’s ‘cause she was kind of that awkward background intern who was just … there. The most significant thing she ever accomplished was playing guinea pig on the LODOX machine and finding a marble that’d been stuck up her nose for decades. She was a walking womp, and even she knew it.
Dr. Katharine Wyatt
The hospital’s resident psychiatrist Dr. Wyatt (Amy Madigan) certainly had her hands full, what with Meredith’s mom issues and Owen’s PTSD and all. Unfortunately for her, she was pretty much a breakthrough-and-run sort of character, as both patients got to a point of, well, getting somewhere, only to ditch out on treatment shortly thereafter. Does that make her a good therapist or a terrible one? Who knows. But at least she got people to open up.
Dr. Helen Fincher
Dr. Fincher (Lorraine Toussaint) was secure enough in her doctorly worth to bring in Meredith Grey to assist with her psych treatment of a nervous patient. A lesser person might’ve been stingy about her skills, but Helen was too good for that nonsense.
Dr. Ramsey (Adina Porter) came in to sub for Derek when he was recovering from his plane crash injuries, and suffered the brunt of his undiagnosed control freak syndrome when he stormed into her OR and told her what to do. She was nothing but courteous to him, but unfortunately he saw that as a weakness and tried to insert his (unsuccessful) opinion. Her response to that was kinder than mine would’ve been.
Dr. Virginia Dixon
Dr. Dixon (Mary McDonnell) was a brilliant surgeon who felt like she got played by Seattle Grace over a donor heart. She also had Asperger's Syndrome, and wasn’t a fan of the rampant three-foot personal space bubble disruption that happened around that place. She might’ve still been a good fit, because the cardio wing was in desperate need of someone stellar like her, but the hospital didn’t offer her enough dough to make her time there stick.
Dr. Sam Bennett/Dr. Pete Wilder/Dr. Violet Turner/Dr. Naomi Bennett
These four docs — Bennett (Taye Diggs), Wilder (Tim Daly), Turner (Amy Brenneman), and Bennett (Merrin Dungey) — are getting lumped together, here, because they were all one-shot characters introduced solely to preview what was to come in Addison’s spin-off “Private Practice.” They were all beautiful and interesting, but we were given exactly zero time to explore any of them further, because we were meant to watch what happened next on other show. End of story.
Dr. William Thorpe
Meredith landed yet another admirer in the form of Dr. Thorpe (Scott Elrod), a visiting oncologist from Bauer Army Medical Center. The two hooked up too soon after Derek’s death, so she put ice on their flame once she realized her mind and heart weren’t ready, but Dr. Thorpe said he’d wait for her. Five bucks says we never see this guy again.
Dr. Julia Canner
As an eye doctor, Julia (Holley Fain) could totally see that she was stepping in Lexie's way by dating Mark, but she still wanted to get serious with him — like, really, really serious — fast. After the plane crash killed Lexie, though, Mark realized his heart belonged to someone else and ended it with her before passing away himself. Overall, she was alright? I guess? It was kinda neat when she and Derek Shepherd co-operated on that one patient.
Dr. Charles Percy
What happened to Dr. Percy (Robert Baker) was pretty fucked up, even if he was a major tool sometimes. Charles was one of the Mercy West transfers who walked around like a big shot, and once suggested that a large patient be CT-scanned at the zoo. Even so, when the widowed Gary Clark went on a shooting rampage and found Charles hiding, he was one of the surgeons who went down and tried to be brave in his final moments. Sad face.
Dr. Reed Adamson
Poor Reed (Noah Zehetner). She had her moments of being a little … caustic, like when she insisted on using George’s old cubby and tried to sell her body for a scrub-in with Alex Karev, but she still didn’t deserve what came to her; she was the first shot by Gary Clark in his rampage against the hospital where his wife had died.
Dr. Isaac Cross
Dr. Cross (Joe Adler) had an unrequited crush on Jo that was equal parts sad and hilarious. Remember when she made the poor kid fetch cheese for a house party and then pretty much shooed him away when he delivered? D’aw. Poor fella’s kind of always getting silenced and backgrounded, but he doesn’t seem to mind it all too much, so at least there’s that.
Dr. Craig Thomas
Dr. Thomas (William Daniels) wasn’t one of our Seattle-based pals, but he was still legit enough to belong on this list. Yang’s Mayo Clinic mentor was as a soulful sort who went full throttle to treat that patient with a huge aneurysm, even when he was on probation for being a slowpoke who used a lot of obsolete methods. He literally died on the goddamn job because he was such a boss. His words of wisdom about being unafraid to fly made Yang’s whole snowy trip to Michigan worthwhile. Also, he was totally Mr. Feeney-esque, but even better. R.I.P., fella.
Patricia (Robin Pearson Rose)’s first appearance on the show happened when she transported the severed penis of a rapist whose victim, erm, bit back. You’d think it’d be all downhill from there, but Patricia was pretty much always in the thick of bonkers situations, like manning the syphilis outbreak-inspired condom instructional and giggling at a bowel obstruction x-ray. She was hilarious.
Nurse Eli (Daniel Sujata) wasn’t afraid to stand up to a know-it-all doctor or two in his time because he knew his shit, and he also had Miranda under a bit of a romantic spell, too. It wasn’t meant to last — their fling got Ben back in the business of being her main squeeze — but she had fun with him while it lasted. His confidence was king, albeit sometimes misplaced.
Dr. Alana Cahill
Remember the budget boss that was Alana Cahill (Constance Zimmer)? She was a certified pain in the ass, nickling and diming the doctors to death over their surgery times and budget cut suggestions, but she was also just doing the job she’d been hired to do. She ultimately failed, and the hospital had to be bought by the Harper Avery Foundation at the last minute, but still, she tried.
Dr. Connie Ryan
Anyone who can perform a successful C-section in the dark is a star, and Dr. Ryan (Lisa Gay Hamilton) successfully delivered Derek and Meredith’s baby in the middle of a power-crushing crisis like it was nothing.
Dr. Norman Shales
Whether Norman (Edward Hermann) was really the world’s oldest intern or not, he was pretty long in the tooth when he was coaxed by the voice in his head to join the surgical residency. The adorable former pharmacist was terrible at the gig and got in the way all the freaking time, but when he had a stroke during an assist, he was in the exact right place at the exact right time. Derek Shepherd was able to remove the clot and save his life and mental functionality, and Dr. Shales believed it was fate; that his wife was mind-voice telling him to be around surgeons when his stroke would hit. So, he flittered off to join the psych residency … ‘cause that’s a better fit for superstitious people? OK.
Dr. Oliver Lebackes
Dr. Lebackes (Patrick Fabian) had a good enough sense of humor about being called Dr. Butthole due to his specialty work with the human sphincter, but then he made that moniker a double entendre by firing Alex Karev from his pediatric clinic after finding out he was going for a spot on Grey Sloan’s board. Even so, damn if he wasn’t a patron saint about using all his loot to take time off to help Syrian refugee children.
Dr. David Moore
Dr. Moore (Ethan Embry) was a welcome breath of levity during Arizona’s darkest times, and treated her with actual kitten gloves while fitting her for the prosthesis. She needed this dude so hard right then, especially for his dangerously dark leg jokes.
Dr. Lizzie Shepherd
Of all the many sisters Derek’s got floating around, Lizzie (Neve Campbell) was the only one with nerves. That is, she’s the only one who was willing to share her nerves to help repair Derek’s hand. She was also incredibly sweet to Meredith and showed the requisite level of squealy feels when they talked about Zola.
Dr. Penelope Blake
Penny (Samantha Sloyan)’s unwillingness to demand a certain treatment protocol for Derek Shepherd played a part in his death, and Meredith made her pay for that mistake time and time again during her stint at the hospital. So, it’s completely understandable that she’d want to take off to explore greener pastures where she’s not the house villain. That said, she will always be the woman who stole Callie and Sophia away from Seattle, so boo that. But she gets major points for having a matching name and hair color thing going on.
Dr. Preston Burke
For a man whose hands were world famous, Dr. Burke (Isaiah Washington) was also kind of a wang sometimes. Who can forget how much hellfire Mr. Burke rained down on Cristina, only for him to wind up walking out on her? Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Oh, and remember when he was sneaky AF and had Yang doing his surgeries for him on the sly while he took all the credit? Ugh. Despite all that, though, Preston was a massive part of the series’ original appeal, and he did get some major redemption for jilting Yang at the altar by later offering her a literal dream job.
Look, as much as we might want to hate on Hannah (Christina Ricci) for cutting and running from the scene of the bomb, it’s a pretty understandable reaction to have. The fact that it put Meredith in the position of having to hold onto it until the bomb squad could come and help wasn’t her fault. She gets a pass for it all on account of natural instincts that might’ve sent any one of us running for the door in her situation.
I’m not gonna fall in line with the shame brigade and call Olivia Harper (Sarah Utterbuck) the Syph Nurse, but she was kind of a troublemaker around the intern circle. Her squeamishness was pretty understandable when it came to leeches, but otherwise? She was mostly meh.
Dr. Megan Nowland
Megan (Molly Kidder)’s unexpected pregnancy was the source of a lot of hubbub. Not only did it cause a rift between her ex-flame Pierce and the guy who ultimately fathered her child and became her husband, Steve, but it also led to an unlawful termination lawsuit between her and the hospital after she didn’t make the merger cut. She was hired back by Derek, who wanted to let her prove herself as a doctor, but was never seen or heard from again. Maybe she finally made into the peds program? Who knows. (And, honestly, who cares?)
Dr. Keating (Jennifer Say Gan) was good with bad news when she told Meredith that she probably wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again after her miscarriage. She was wrong, of course, but she was at least nice about it.
Dr. Hurst (Craig Susser) wasn’t exactly wrong when he called out Yang for being a basket case after the crash, since she did need to be spending more time up at psych ward and less on the surgery floor. He also had the stones to stand up to Owen over his questionable treatment of his own wife. Technically Owen wasn’t his boss, since he was just the Chief of Surgery, but dayum that’s a risky argument.
Dr. Tracy McConnell
Dr. McConnell (Joey Lauren Adams) might’ve looked sweet as pie, but she was a damn fine competitor for the Chief of Surgery position — not as much so as Bailey, of course, but still, noble lady. She was prolific, sunny-smiled, philanthropic, and, of course, a whip-smart surgeon. It’s a compliment to Bailey that she was given such a tough fight.
Dr. Jennifer Stanley
Never questioning a doctor’s methods is common courtesy; never questioning a mortician’s methods is canon. That’s a lesson Bailey learned the hard way when she stood across the dark basement slab from Dr. Stanley (Melinda Page Hamilton). The woman gave it to her in the best way. As much as Bailey has snapped back at people for toeing her territory, she should’ve known better. This lady’s eye daggers were sharper than 10-blades.
We can thank Nurse Tyler (Moe Irvin) for a couple of things: failing to guard the door so Cristina Yang could strip for Preston Burke and ultimately get walked in on by his parents (hey, a patient’s code blue >>> her 20 bucks payment for the guard dog gig) and coining the term “McSteamy” … even if he was originally referring to Derek Shepherd when he first said it.
Dr. Mara Keaton
Dr. Keaton (Rebecca Hazlewood) was brought to Seattle Grace Mercy West to spy on Jackson Avery by — who else? — his nosy mom. She was a damn fine doctor, so she scoffed at the idea of becoming Catherine’s guinea pig, and instead saw an opportunity to spend some time with Jax as payback for the insulting mission. Win, gurl.
Dr. April Kepner
April (Sarah Drew) flitting off to the battlefield to save soldiers in crisis was an understandable act of desperation. The woman had just lost her baby in a painful and unthinkable way. But she should’ve known that by doing so, she left Jackson to heal his own wounds without her and that their marriage would suffer as a result. The way that she returned and wanted to pick right back up — not where they left off, but where they started — was absurd, and dropped her cool point ratio exponentially. She can still turn this thing around, but for now, she’s on the shit list. Not saying we need to go back to her virginal farm girl routine by any stretch, but she should at least be empathetic to others’ feelings again.
Nurse Ruth (Teresa Huang) spends most of her time in the background, gophering information to and fro between the docs, but you've gotta hand it to her for stepping up to the plate of Owen’s controversial new shift change ideas, despite the fact that she’s a mom whose husband works two jobs.
Dr. Leah Murphy
Dr. Murphy (Tessa Ferrer) is probably best known for getting in the middle of the Calzona ship by sleeping with Arizona during her break with Callie, and then invoking the hospital’s anti-fraternization policy on behalf of herself and Dr. Edwards after they were both ditched by their respective love interests. However, even though she was ultimately fired from the residency and advised to do ordinary doctor work, she still came back and got down to business after the mall explosion, knowing that they’d be short-staffed and in desperate need of all the help they could get. So, that was decent.
Dr. Shane Ross
Apart from being Cristina’s random hook-up for a spell and constantly interrupting his teachers, Dr. Shane “Dopey” Ross (Gaius Charles) was pretty boring. Sure, he had that energy drink meltdown crisis and did some decent work with the 3-D printer, but otherwise? Not much doing. His decision to follow Cristina to Zurich seemed like an eventless throwaway exit that merited very little emotional response.
Hey, she might not have been the most significant character in the history of everything, but Nurse Gloria (Kate Mines) sure could make an interruptive entry to deliver a message … even when it meant reading vulgar text messages aloud in the O.R.
Jane Doe/Rebecca Pope
Alex Karev’s first brush with being a good guy came during his treatment of ferry crash victim Jane Doe (Elizabeth Reaser), who showed up a banged up pregnant lady with no name and a mysterious sense of sadness that Alex was drawn to. Once her memory returned, though, it turned out she had a name and a husband to speak of, so she was completely conflicted and lost her mind. Once she tried to kill herself in Karev’s kitchen after a hysterical pregnancy, she had to be institutionalized, and we never did find out whether she recovered or not. Pity.
Dr. Nathan Riggs
Dr. Riggs (Martin Henderson) is a curious case. On the one hand, he’s a charming dude who seems to want to make things right with Owen and probably isn’t responsible for the death of Evelyn (his wife and Owen’s sister). On the other, he’s no McDreamy, and whatever’s happening between him and Meredith is going nowhere fast.
Dr. Izzie Stevens
Welp, we can credit her with one thing: every “Grey’s” fan in the world knows exactly what an LVAD wire is and how not to handle one after meeting Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). She had her ups and downs throughout her time on the show, of course: on the bright side, she was generous enough to donate all her Denny Duquette inheritance to the free clinic that, sadly enough, has since faded into oblivion, and her little brain games were always fun for group unity. Plus, her backstory with her mom and her teen pregnancy humanized the hell out of her. Even so, she was still a crap friend and an even worse romantic partner, and she is not one bit missed right now.
Mr. Torres (Hector Elizondo) had a hard time accepting that his daughter was gay ... he even tried to convince her to pray the gay away with their old priest. Once he finally did come around, he was/is awesome. Whatever compassion he’d been hiding behind all that cross-wielding ultimately came through, and he made sure to be there for his girl’s wedding and punch everyone right in the feels.
When it happened, the big bomb-in-the-hospital arc seemed so absurd, but looking back, it was child’s play in comparison to all the other moments of cray that have happened at the cursed hospital since.
In it, first responder Dylan Young (Kyle Chandler) emerged as a steely-eyed hero, who helped talk Meredith through steadily releasing herself from imminent doom after she got stuck with an unexploded bazooka projectile in her hands. Suckily enough for him, though, after he’d extracted the device and carefully began to carry it away from the scene, it went off and turned him into liquid right there in the hall. No good deed goes unpunished, right?
The good news is, his death came around the same time that Coach Eric Taylor got life in “Friday Night Lights,” so we got to see a lot more of his imminent coaching skills there.
Dr. Lucy Fields
Dr. Fields (Rachael Taylor) was instrumental in ensuring that Callie had a healthy pregnancy with Sofia, and she also knew a reverse peacocking act when she saw one by way of Alex Karev’s buffoonery. She had the chance to take a coveted job at Baylor, but instead decided to go treat sick kids in Malawi. So, she was a pretty rad lady all around.
Dr. Jo Wilson
Ughhhh, Jo, Jo, Jo. Dr. Wilson (Camilla Luddington), which is apparently not her real name, has so much potential as a character. She was a runaway from a bad marriage who has bravely beaten so many odds, but her jealousy and commitment issues have been way too drawn out and exaggerated. Something substantial needs to give with this girl soon, because her relationship with Karev has been way too much of a focal point up to now. She deserves better.
Dr. Owen Hunt
Dr. Hunt (Kevin McKidd) has dealt with a ton of demons in his past, but now that the PTSD thing seems to be a relic of his past, he’s free to help Amelia begin her life again, both professionally and personally. Credit is due to Owen for being there during Yang’s D&C — even though he really, really didn’t want her to go through with it — but he also constantly tormented her about giving up their would-be baby to the point where if she didn’t go, he’d have to.
Lucky for him, Sandra Oh cried uncle on the show, and he got to stick around and talk about something else for a change—- otherwise, he was quickly climbing the ladder of unlikability.
Henry Burton (Scott Foley) might as well have been called Denny Duquette 2.0, because his extended stay at the hospital was an obvious effort to tug at some similar heartstrings. It was effective enough, of course, because it really was sad when he ultimately succumbed to his sickness. He was a pretty sweet guy, and he brought Teddy some much-needed humanity.
Dr. Finn Dandridge
Ah, McVet. Dr. Dandridge (Chris O’Donnell) was essentially just Meredith's placeholder for Derek while he and Addison tried to repair their broken marriage, but he was nice enough … and super cute. There wasn’t much to him outside of the fact that he was good with pets and knew how to break the bad news about the dog gently, but if his timing wasn't so piss poor in starting something up with her, they might’ve had a shot. As it was, though, he had no chance.
Mrs. O’Malley (Debra Monk) turned out to be a gentle lady who had a lot of perseverance and grace about herself, despite some crazy difficult times — like the death of her husband and son, and her own incapacitation — and her touching heart-to-heart with Callie (formerly an O’Malley herself) about her hesitance to come out with her relationship with Arizona was an excellent bit of closure for both of them.
Aw, sweet, sweet Susan Grey (Mare Winningham). Unlike Mer’s mom, Mrs. Grey 2.0 had a very gentle demeanor, and really seemed to care about Meredith’s emotional well-being as well as foraging a relationship with her new family. It sucked big time when she got sepsis and died unexpectedly. Big time.
Dr. Arizona Robbins
Look, she’s a great mom and knows just how to talk to all those “tiny humans” she calls patients up there in on the peds floor. But it’s gonna take a long time for the echoes of Arizona (Jessica Capshaw)’s endless lost leg screams to stop ringing. If it weren’t for that, she’d be up there with the best of ‘em ‘cause dayum if that women can’t tug a heartstring with those kiddos, and now that she’s got those Dr. Herman-esque utero skills at play, she’s saving babies before they’re even born. Plus, it was pretty big of her to agree to a cross-country custody agreement with Callie, but still — the fucking leg thing. Ugh.
Sigh, Adele. Sigh.
Adele Webber (Loretta Devine) put up with a lot from her husband, and in the end all she ever really wanted was to be loved. It was cosmic fuckery (or Shonda Rhimes’ endless cruelty, take your pick) which gave her the same horrendous disease Ellis Grey had, just when Richard was starting to realize that maybe the grass was greener on his own home turf. Gulp. She was a strong, feisty little lady, and she totally deserved better than she got on all accounts.
Matthew (Justin Bruening)’s flashmob proposal to April was goals incarnate, but it was never truly meant to last. They were both religious and proven to be 90% compatible on paper, but the heart wants what it wants, and Matthew’s formidable courtship skills and adorkable shyness had nothing on Avery’s dreamy eyes. Nice guy; horrible sense of timing.
Strum, baby, strum. Poor Kyle Diaz (Wilmer Valderrama) was a hot, flirty musician who traveled the world, but he began to lose his battle with multiple sclerosis once he started experiencing tremors in his hands. Since this show doesn’t often abide by the professional line-drawing between doctors and patients, he and Edwards ended up engaging in a sext-filled romance, and he had a really rad brain operation where he played his guitar on the table. Things went south for him, though, after he survived a second tremor fix but was diagnosed with meningitis. He and Edwards were not OK at that point, but they reconciled ever so briefly before he coded in the O.R., leaving her broken-hearted yet again. Bummer.
Dr. Teddy Altman
Dr. Altman (Kim Raver) started out as a downright device character, meant to drive an irritating wedge between both Cristina and Owen and Cristina and her heart surgery dreams, as well as to illuminate some of Owen’s war history. Once that plot line came to a merciful end, though, she became a pretty cool chick, and she and Cristina formed a bond that only Cristina could understand. When she married patient Henry Burton to give him her insurance and then got emotionally involved with him, he died on Cristina’s table, so Teddy tortured her with an endless barrage of questions about her care decisions. Cristina rolled with it, despite everyone else’s protestations, and repeated herself a trillion times before Teddy heard what she needed to to make peace with the loss. She eventually went back to Medical Command, but her time at the hospital helped reveal something fascinating about Cristina’s sense of understanding and patience (and her unimpeachable technique, of course), so you kinda gotta love her for that. Plus, she was a badass war hero, so, mad props are in order there, too.
Dr. George O’Malley
George a.k.a. 007 (T.R. Knight) had a pretty brutal send-off, especially after he'd already failed his boards and had to start all over, but he was mostly fun while he lasted on the show. Sure, his obsession with Meredith was ridiculous, and he acted like a brat far too often, but the O’Malley fam’s various hijinks were a highlight of the early seasons, and he will forever be credited with causing Bailey to use the word “vajayjay” on the show during her childbirth scene. Too bad he got maimed by a bus and wasn’t even recognizable in his final moments. Way harsh, Tai.
Dr. Sadie Harris
Dr. Harris (Melissa George) was batshit in the best way. Not only did she slice her shoulder to let the other interns stitch her up, but she also allowed them to perform an unsupervised appendectomy on her, just for the sake of letting Lexie perform a surgery. Ultimately she was too whacked to last, but it was fun as hell watching her try to convince Meredith to fly off like the free bird she once was.
Dr. Ben Warren
Mr. Miranda Bailey a.k.a. Dr. Warren (Jason George) showed some serious guts by giving up his attending anesthesiologist gig for a shot at the surgical residency, even though he ultimately couldn’t hack it in the program. (Hack being the operative word, after he botched an unsupervised C-section and lost both the mom and her baby.) Despite his professional misgivings, though, he’s a hopeless romantic and a really, really sweet stepdad to little Tuck.
Dr. Nicole Herman
Dr. Herman (Geena Davis) was a wonderfully brazen boss bitch, who was ready to pass the torch and take her inevitable trip across the rainbow bridge until Arizona went and got her hopes up about having surgery on her brain tumor.
The good news is, she did survive the snip. The bad news is that she also lost her sight in the process and can never work her fetal miracles again. At least she has a sense of humor about living out her days at the Blind Institute?
Dr. Stephanie Edwards
Dr. Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) got the bitterest shaft at first. She and Jackson were totally together and even attended April’s wedding as a couple, but then he up and took off with April, ending both of their relationships in the process. Then, to make matters even worse, she had to stick around to bear witness to their honeymoon phase at her own freaking workplace. Sour grapes ensued, but Steph eventually rose from the relationship’s ashes and found a new mentor in the form of Amelia and the neuro wing. She was also graceful enough about the Japril situation to treat the pair oh-so-delicately when she realized the bad news about their first baby-to-be. Classy gal, that one.
Joe and Walter
Thanks for the memories, Joe (Steven W. Bailey)! It’s kinda sad he’s not around anymore because Joe was a hoot, and he could always sense when something was wrong with the interns haunting his bar (including doing Cristina a favor and firing her from the bar during her brief departure from the residency). Plus, his aneurysm inspired one of the coolest procedures to ever happen on the show — it involved his temporary deadness — and it was completely adorable when he and Walter (Jack Yang) adopted the baby twins whose mother’s life they helped save.
The We Heart Denny club is still brimming with membership, because the doomed patient was a sweet talker who wore whatever heart he had left on his hospital gown sleeve.
Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is probably the most memorable patient the hospital’s ever had, and not just because he inspired the interns to commit an act of gross negligence to save his life and, when he died anyway, left his crazy fortune to Izzie. Everybody wanted to be on the receiving end of his endless compliments, because he was a damn stud.
Bokhee the scrub nurse may not say much, but when she does speak, everyone in the room pays attention because she knows her shit. Not only is her side-eye game incredible in the operating room, but that’s a real-life nurse playing her, and she’s been known to give the docs some vital advice from time to time. Bokhee’s the secret MVP of the whole damn place.
Dr. Lexie Grey
Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) was almost too wholesome to truly belong in the Seattle Grace-Mercy West-Whatever-It-Was-Called-At-The-Time Hospital. In fact, between Lexipedia’s photographic memory, her quirky hairstyle transformations, and the way she threatened to make Mark Sloan a better person (despite breaking his penis), she was like a walking set of Christmas lights, brightening the place up to unrecognizable proportions. So it makes sense they’d take her out in grim fashion, but who knew it’d happen so soon? It would’ve been swell to see the sisterly squad make it to four, because Lexie and Maggie would’ve been so fun together.
Dr. Maggie Pierce
Maggie (Kelly McCreary) is still pretty new to the scene, but her credentials earned her top billing at the start. She just so happens to be the long lost love child of Richard and Ellis, but she has none of the hang-ups associated with that weighty distinction. Unlike Meredith, she never experienced the harsh tongue-lashings her biological mom had to offer, so her attitude is mostly whimsical and fresh ... except for when it comes to that fuckboy Andrew DeLuca. She’s better off without him anyway. Boy BYE.
Dr. Mark Sloan
Ahhh, McSteamy. Dr. Sloan (Eric Dane) was originally meant to be full-on eye candy, and his many shirtless scenes from early on prove as much. Eventually, though, his heart began to show through all the cuckolding brouhaha with the Shepherds, and he and Derek began anew as bromantic as ever. Also, his ephemeral friends-with-benefits thing with Callie was weirdly adorable and, of course, begot Sophia. His first daughterly sitch with the runaway teen (Leven Rambin) was pretty confusing, tbh, but kudos to him for being down to grandpa in theory?
Dr. Alex Karev
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Dr. Karev (Justin Chambers) started out as the senior superlative winner-in-waiting for “Most Likely to Play the Beach Boys’ ‘I Get Around’ at His Funeral,” but he’s turned things around. Now he’s the kind of guy who brings the top shelf booze to the sob fest, groaning on the surface but secretly loving the drama. Ever since Izzie got cancer, he’s been a different dude altogether, and we hope he never reverts back to the insulting, misogynistic pompous ass we first knew him to be.
Dr. Addison Montgomery
Addison (Kate Walsh) may have been McHot, but that was the least important thing about the neonatal magicmaker. She originally came in as the ~other woman~ to MerDer, whose bedroom antics broke up her own marriage and introduced the world to McSteamy. But her poise and elegance were so undeniable that she eventually became a fan favorite and earned her own spin-off series. H/T to the tree that gave her poison oak in the lady bits, though, cause let’s be honest; she kind of had that one coming.
Dr. Jackson Avery
Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) might have started out as a transfer-turned-plastics protege with a fancy family name, but at this point, he’s carrying his own weight. Sure, he’s still doing boob jobs and lipos and lifts on the regular, but he’s also giving burn victims a whole new set of skin and otherwise improving peoples’ lives, all while healing up his own internal scars. Oh, yeah, and he’s hot. The Japril ‘ship has run aground for now, but we’re still hoping they’ll set sail again once April realizes she’s been too wrapped up in her own head to make it work.
Dr. Amelia Shepherd
Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) has had a rough time tackling her addiction and coping with Derek’s death, but her ascendance into the hot seat of chief neuro guru has been nothing short of magnificent. Now she’s performing procedures that no one else would (or could) touch — well, except for her brother — and while she’s still got some serious issues of self-doubt, she’s only getting better. She’s a hot mess, no doubt, but she’s so easy to root for.
Dr. Richard Webber
Dr. Webber (James Pickens Jr.)’s surgical skills are all well and good, but what’s really made this character so watchable all this time is how ridiculously beautiful his heart is. Sure, he made some controversial choices in his past by carrying on an extramarital affair with Meredith’s mom, and his collapse over the deterioration and death of his first two big loves was pure tragedy, but the man’s a walking teddy bear, and you gotta love how he’s always got a good joke in the queue even in the hardest times. He may not be chief anymore, but he’s still the de facto leader of the place.
Dr. Derek Shepherd
Pour one out for Dr. McDreamy. Whatever the real-life reasons behind Dr. Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) exit may have been, the man was an icon of the show for a long, long time. Not only was he oh-so-fine and the swoon-y object of Meredith’s affections — we can be glad they never broke up again before he died, at least — but he was also a total miracle-maker. Whenever he stepped into that O.R. you just knew something special was about to happen. The interns raptly watching from the rafters were all of us, tbh.
Dr. Callie Torres
In her first season, Callie (Sara Ramirez) was kind of annoying. Looking back, though, it was her most irritating early moments that set the stage for how baller she’d be later on in her screen life, like when she dropped trou at Meredith’s house and peed with the door open and didn’t wash her hands (gasp!) or when she made the hospital basement her personal underwear dance headquarters. Her competence as an orthopaedic surgeon is flawless (no matter how pissed Arizona still is about losing her leg, groan), and her journey towards self-acceptance was pretty outstanding to watch. Her custody battle with Arizona was groanworthy, especially since it was all in service of preserving a still-new relationship with Penny, but whatever. Callie will be sorely missed.
Dr. Catherine Avery
The other Dr. Avery (Debbie Allen) does tend to overstep personal boundaries … like, a lot. But she’s still a rad urologist with one helluva resume, and she’s keeping Richard Burke in line like no one else ever has. Her new graduation to grandma status is going to be a delight to watch, assuming she can keep her advice to herself for a while, at least.
Dr. Miranda Bailey
Let’s just pretend that ridiculous OCD filler bit never happened, k? Because apart from that random throwaway arc that served no purpose whatsoever, Dr. — excuse me, CHIEF — Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has been one of the most consistently badass women to ever appear on the small screen. Not only is her ambition and utter professionalism unyielding, but she’s also been a beacon of body positivity (don’t act like you didn’t cheer when she was shaking it in that negligee), and she’s been an amazing moral compass for the whole hospital throughout. Having her as a boss would probably be pretty terrifying, but, hey, she’s one hell of a teacher.
Dr. Meredith Grey
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo)’s journey from that little girl getting yelled at all the time by her overbearing mother to that intern who accidentally slept with her boss to, eventually, the kind of woman who manages to find a teachable moment in everything — even with the doc that just let her husband die — has been a joy to watch for twelve whole seasons. She has been the soul of “Grey’s Anatomy” in more than just name, and has seriously gained in both strength and fascination factor every single year. Also, some of the best moments of the entire series have come when she downs a few tequilas and lets fun Mer fly.
Dr. Cristina Yang
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) has taken her leave of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, and it was the most bittersweet departure of all because, frankly, the joint just wasn’t good enough for her. She deserved to get some new fancy digs, but by leaving she also created a giant, gaping, unfillable hole in the show. Without her epic dance-it-off parties, her unshakeable resolve, and the literal way with which she steamed up the screen in her romantic pairings, it’s just not the same. She was my person, and I sure hope she makes it back to Seattle before this thing is through.