It still stings: The worst story Grey's Anatomy has ever told (2023)

Editor's note:TV goes on, but we don't. In our new feature seriesIt still stings, we experience emotional TV moments that we just can't get over. You know the ones where it still provokes a reaction months, years, even decades later? We are here for you. We scold because we love. Or once loved. And of course, when it comes to finals in particular, there will be someSpoiler:

It still stings: The worst story Grey's Anatomy has ever told (1)

Bring up the voiceover.

The human brain is a funny thing. It can love something completely, yet never fully forgive or forget a past transgression.

(Video) The worst things that had happend to Meredith Grey #greysanatomy #goviral #trending #meredithgrey

There's no show I love more thanGreys Anatomy. It's my person. As with any long-term relationship, the show annoys me at times. I've also forgotten so much about what happened on the show over the years, especially in the early seasons (Meredith had a dog! Chris O'Donnell was on the show! Lexie and Alex slept together!). There are so many bad plot points that I have forgiven the show for. I'm really almost over last season's ridiculous episode where Alex (Justin Chambers) left the show via a voiceover. But there's one storyline that I can't forgive or forget, no matter how hard I try.

My friends, I'm here today to talk about the worst story everGreys Anatomyever told. I am of course talking about Dead Denny/Ghost Denny/The Denny Who Shall Not Be Named.

Cardiac patient Denny Duquette (Jeffery Dean Morgan) was admitted to the hospital formerly known as Seattle Grace on January 15, 2006, completely innocent. As he told Izzie (Katherine Heigl) when they first met, he was a "Capricorn, single, loves to travel and cook." With his hoarse voice, reserved half-smile, 5 o'clock shadow and smoldering eyes made Morgan even wore a hospital gown sexy. Izzie fell in love with him and so did we. Her was a traditional courtship of flirting and declarations of love. She sewed him a sweater and cut the L-VAD wire to move him up the transplant list. You know, the usual When Izzie accepts Denny's proposal, he tells her, "You're going to stop my heart and it's brand new."

After being saved dramatically, Denny died abruptly in the season 2 finale. Izzie's illegal actions had saved him, but then he suffered a stroke and died before he could see her in her prom dress (yes, there was a prom at the hospital. Don't ask.).

(Video) Meredith Confronts the Doctor Who Killed Derek - Grey's Anatomy

Initially, Denny was one of the best charactersGreys Anatomyever created. And it seemed that perhaps even for a show with a penchant for killing characters, the writers and producers were beginning to regret Denny's untimely death. In the show's third season, Meredith drowned and was left in a coma (the first of many times the show nearly killed Meredith). With her life at stake, Denny appeared to encourage her to fight for her life. Of course, this wouldn't be the last time Meredith sees dead people. They are everywhere.

In Season 5, Alex and Izzie are in a relationship. Izzie realizes her heart patient is the man who was supposed to get a heart years ago, before she illegally put Denny on the transplant list. And suddenly Denny (with Morgan as a special guest star) is there looking all sexy like James Dean in a just right white t-shirt, watching over his mistress. Of course, Izzie freaked out more than a little, and as viewers we're already skeptical of a character bringing the show back from the dead for a second time...even though he looks great in those jeans and was just as charmingly flirtatious as ever. "I'm here for you, Izzie Stevens," he keeps telling her.

It doesn't help that Dead Denny's introduction comes at a creative low point for the series. Melissa Georges Sadie has just been introduced. Allegedly an old friend of Meredith'sthat we had never heard ofShe insists on calling our beloved title character "Death" and gets all the interns to practice an appendectomy on her. Her character is horribly crunchy. When I rewatched those episodes, I had forgotten every single intern except Lexie (Chyler Leigh).

Meanwhile, Heigl had been providing DRAMA behind the scenes. In the summer leading up to the fateful fifth season, Heigl retired her name from Emmy for a memorable storytellingLos Angeles Times, "I didn't feel like I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination, and in an effort to preserve the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from the competition." Ouch. It's almost as if the writers were like, "You think what we gave you in season four was bad, wait 'til you see what we can bring in season five."

(Video) Top 10 Saddest Grey's Anatomy Character Deaths

At the same time I was dealing with Dead Denny. I wasn't exactly happy that he was back on the show, but I was okay with it. Until the ninth episode of the fifth season entitled "In the Midnight Hour". Denny and Izzie do something they could never do in their lifetime. That's right. they are having sex A lot. This is a show where everyone sleeps with everyone, anytime, anywhere. But that, my friends, was the proverbial bridge too far. "I'm a dead man who loves you," Denny said as we all covered our eyes and screamed.

And this romance with a dead man lasted forever. Okay, maybe not forever, but way too long. Instead of telling her what was going on, he kept talking in riddles, repeating the mantra "I'm here for you" like a broken toy. We had no idea what was going on either, but we wanted it to stop.

I mean, if Dead Denny really loved her, couldn't he have just told her from the start that she was sick? Izzie didn't find out what was wrong with her until four episodes after Denny left. She had metastatic melanoma that had spread to her brain. At that point we just didn't care. A great character has been ruined. And even that didn't get rid of Dead Denny. He returned for two more episodes to tell Izzie that her brain tumor had returned. POOH.

(Video) Top 10 Grey's Anatomy Cast Feuds

I've been thinking a lot about this horrible story lately when both Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight returned to the series as ghosts from the past. Once again, Meredith is in a coma (I told you the show loves to almost kill Meredith). But this return of characters was light-hearted and cathartic — an absolutely delightful surprise, not a groany plot twist. A quick breather from the current horrors of our world. An opportunity to visit old friends. Maybe it's because Dempsey and Knight didn't have as much drama surrounding their respective departures from the show. Maybe it's because Meredith sees her in dreams and we, the audience, understand what's happening, but I was thrilled to see her again.

Yet true to his ghostly spirit, here we are almost 12 years later and the memory of Dead Denny has never faded. So much has happened on the show since then. To put it in perspective, Kim Raver's Teddy Altman joined the series, left the series, and returned to the seriesafterthe entire story of Dead Denny had happened. Morgan's career has since thrived as he has had memorable rolesThe good wife,supernatural, Andthe Walking Dead. But still, there's a part of me that will always think of him as "Dead Denny."

Keyword "How to save a life".

Check out the final voiceover:We continue. We keep watching. We welcome new characters and say goodbye to others. But we never forget the worst storyGreys Anatomyever told.

(Video) Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Grey's Anatomy Moments

Now in its 17th season,Greys Anatomyreturns with new episodes on March 4th.

Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, member of the Television Critics Association, and assistant television editor forPaste. She wasn't allowed to watch much TV as a child, now her parents have to live with it as a career. You can follow heronsTwitter(@AmyTVGal).

Follow for the latest TV news, reviews, lists and features@Paste_TV.


What is the famous line from GREY's anatomy? ›

1. "Knowing is better than wondering. Waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying." -Meredith Grey, Season 1 Episode 6.

What is the trauma quote from GREY's anatomy? ›

Alex Karev

It doesn't matter how tough we are. Trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives. Trauma messes everybody up.

What was Derek Shepherd's cause of death? ›


Fans may never recover from this one. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) — aka McDreamy, aka Meredith's one true love — died in a car accident in season 11. "The decision to have the character die the way he did was not a difficult one in the sense of, what were the options," show creator Shonda Rhimes said in 2015.

What was the point of season 10 episode 17 GREY's anatomy? ›

Owen is moving to Germany to head up a military medical unit with Terry. Her career, her research, her home, are not in his vision for their future. Cristina decides that the only way to keep Owen in the country is to give him what he really wants and she never wanted, a baby.

What is the most famous episode of GREY's anatomy? ›

Grey's Anatomy
  1. 1. “ It's the End of the World” (37.88 million viewers)
  2. 2. “ Some Kind of Miracle” (27.39 million) ...
  3. 3. “ Drowning on Dry Land” (25.76 million) ...
  4. 4. “ As We Know It” (25.42 million) ...
  5. 5. “ Time Has Come Today” (25.41 million) ...
  6. 6. “ Walk on Water” (25.20 million) ...
  7. 7. “ What Have I Done to Deserve This?” ( ...
  8. 8. “ ...
Mar 6, 2022

What is the most liked episode of GREY's anatomy? ›

These Are the Best Grey's Anatomy Episodes, Ranked
  • 8 Into You Like a Train.
  • 7 Give Peace a Chance.
  • 6 True Colors.
  • 5 Fight the Power.
  • 4 Now or Never.
  • 3 As We Know It.
  • 2 Silent All These Years.
  • 1 Sanctuary + Death and All His Friends.
Mar 3, 2022

What was Lexie GREY's last words? ›

Lexie Grey – Grey's Anatomy

Last Words: “Meant to be.” How She Died: The plane Lexie had been on had crashed in the middle of the woods.

What is the saddest episode of GREY's anatomy? ›

Good Mourning (S6 Ep1) - 8.5

At the end of season five, fans are shocked to learn that patient John Doe had been George all along. In the premiere episode of season six, he dies on the operating table. Heartbreak is evident all over the hospital as doctors start to cry.

How unrealistic is GREY's anatomy? ›

As Dr. Remien pointed out, the majority of the cases are medically accurate, but that's only because the show doesn't go into very much detail. “As far as medical shows go, Grey's does a decent job when it comes to the cases,” she explained. “However, they rarely dive into detail about the cases.

Does Meredith sue for Derek's death? ›

During Thursday's “The End is the Beginning is the End” episode, Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Arizona and Callie learn that they won the lawsuit — and are awarded $15 million each — that will be paid from the pocket of the hospital's insurance company.

What were Derek Shepherd's last words? ›

Derek Shepherd – Grey's Anatomy
  • Last Words: “Hey, it's me. I'm on the ferry. ...
  • How He Died: Hit by a truck.
  • Why His Last Words Were So Great: This isn't exactly the last thing Derek says, but it is the last time we see him onscreen.

How long were Meredith and Derek married before he died? ›

"Whether Derek was going to walk out on Meredith and leave her high and dry, that was going to suggest that the love was not true, that the love they had for 11 years was a lie, and McDreamy wasn't McDreamy." She continued: "As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me is ...

Who is the first main character to leave GREY's anatomy? ›

Knight (Dr. George O'Malley) Knight was the first major cast departure for Grey's, leaving in tragic yet heroic fashion at the end of season five.

What was the saddest death in GREY's anatomy? ›

'Grey's Anatomy': The Most Devastating Character Deaths, Ranked
  1. Denny Duquette (Season 2, Episode 27)
  2. Derek Shepherd (Season 11, Episode 21) ...
  3. George O'Malley (Season 5, Episode 24) ...
  4. Lexie Grey (Season 8, Episode 24) ...
  5. Andrew DeLuca (Season 17, Episode 7) ...
  6. Mark Sloan (Season 9, Episode 2) ...
Nov 3, 2022

Why does it say 400 at the end of GREY's anatomy? ›

Grey's Anatomy is ending its 18th season with a big event: two episodes, the second of which is the 400th of the series!

What is the most interesting season of GREY's anatomy? ›

1. Season 2. Between the train crash, the bomb blast, Denny's LVAD wire, and Burke's potentially career-ending gunshot wound, Season 2 had Grey's Anatomy's best medical crises. And it also had the best cast additions, with Addison, Callie, and Mark joining the cast roster.

Who makes the most per episode on GREY's anatomy? ›

Between her per-episode fee, plus her syndication income, Ellen Pompeo makes about $20 million or more per season of Grey's Anatomy.

Is Grey's Anatomy losing viewers? ›

Grey's Anatomy's viewership has been declining for over a decade.

What is the funniest episode of GREY's anatomy? ›

What is the funniest episode in GREY's anatomy?
  • Season 1, Episode 1: "A Hard Day's Night" ...
  • Season 2, Episode 12: "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" ...
  • Season 6, Episode 15: "The Time Warp" ...
  • Season 8, Episode 13: "If/Then" ...
  • Season 8, Episode 14: "All You Need Is Love"

Is Meredith GREY a pick me girl? ›

Meredith Grey is a prime example of what pop-culture defines as a “pick me”. Urban Dictionary, the ultimate guide for all things pop culture, defines a pick me as “an individual who begs for the attention, acceptance, and approval of a certain group in different things.

What are the most stressful episodes of GREY's anatomy? ›

"Death and All His Friends" — Season 6, Episode 24

The hospital shooter episode of Grey's Anatomy is one of the show's most jarring. It was unexpectedly bloody, and it showed no mercy — taking the lives of several doctors and forever changing those who survived.

Was Lexie Grey pregnant? ›

During Season 5 Chyler Leigh was pregnant.

Since it wouldn't be right for her character Lexie Grey, the writers and directors managed to hide it through baggy scrubs and coats. The writers did have her stress eating as a way to give some sort of reason for her gaining weight.

What was Lexie Greys cause of death? ›

Lexie Grey dies after a fatal plane crash involving Lexie, Derek, Meredith, Mark, Cristina and Arizona. Watch this classic Grey's Anatomy scene from Season 8, Episode 24: Flight to see Mark's final goodbye to "Little Grey" and Meredith's breakdown after she learns the news.

Did they CGI Lexie Grey? ›

It turns out we were correct, but thanks to some CGI, the cameo happened anyway. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dane confirmed that Leigh had to remain in Vancouver and the show had to "work some magic." "Chyler could get here but then she couldn't get back to Canada," he explained.

Which GREY's Anatomy episode is the scariest? ›

“The Sound of Silence” aired in the 12th season of Grey's Anatomy. It features the lead character, Meredith Grey, getting attacked by a male patient.

Who dies in season 18 of GREY's anatomy? ›

With enough blood only for one of them, Simon made the call himself, choosing to die but save his wife. Simon got to hold his newborn son for a few seconds before he took his last breath in one of the most emotional scenes of the finale.

What is the saddest TV show episode? ›

Spoilers ahead, naturally, but grab the tissues because you'll need them.
  • Skins - "Cassie" ...
  • Girls - Season 6, Episode 8. ...
  • How I Met Your Mother - “Bad News” ...
  • The Last of Us - “Long Long Time” ...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - “The Body” ...
  • Futurama - “Jurassic Bark” ...
  • It's A Sin - “Episode 3” Content. ...
  • Scrubs - “My Screw Up” Content.
Jan 31, 2023

What is the most accurate doctor show? ›

Surprisingly, TV comedy Scrubs ranks as the most realistic medical show with an overall score of an 9/10.

What type of person watches GREY's anatomy? ›

What type of people watch Greys anatomy? The target audience for Grey's is the 18-49 demographic, therefore many of the viewers can relate or are going through similar situations as the characters in the show which keeps the audience involved and interested.

Why is GREY's Anatomy so inaccurate? ›

For one, Grey's Anatomy doesn't accurately portray the administrative side of the job, according to Dr. Saltz. “The amount of paperwork and administrative work everyone has to do in a hospital these days is not accurately portrayed, because it is boring,” she said.

Does Meredith have Derek's baby after he dies? ›

As we all know, our beloved Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) died during the April 23 episode of Grey's Anatomy. But did you know that Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) was pregnant with Derek's baby when her husband passed away? Watch the video above to meet baby Ellis, Mer-Der's beautiful daughter!

What was Penny's role in Derek's death? ›

Derek was rushed to the small teaching hospital where Penny worked to be treated for a blunt force trauma head injury. Though Penny pushed for a CT scan for Derek, her superior ignored her which led to Derek's death.

Does Derek divorce Meredith? ›

Before his death in 2015, Derek was happily married to his longtime partner and wife Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The couple had three children together.
Derek Shepherd
SpouseAddison Montgomery ​ ​ ( m. 1996; div. 2008)​< Meredith Grey ​ ( m. 2009)​
ChildrenZola Grey Shepherd Derek Bailey Shepherd Ellis Shepherd
12 more rows

Was Derek's death foreshadowed? ›

Derek Foreshadowed His Own Shooting

He was on the receiving end in the Season 6 finale when an embittered former patient arrived to take revenge on Derek for being unable to save his wife's life. Here, Derek arrived at work not knowing he would be near death by the end of the day when he felt a bullet pierce his body.

What was Derek's last message to Meredith? ›

In his message, Derek reaffirmed his commitment to Meredith and their kids. “We're gonna do this a lot more when I get home, by the way. You, me, and the family, we're just going to take a day and ride the ferryboat — all day if we want. I love you, Meredith.

What song is playing when Derek dies? ›

Meredith ultimately decided to take Derek, who was "dead but not really dead," off life support, and the whole thing was heartbreaking. It didn't help that Sleeping at Last's cover of Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" was playing during MerDer's final moments together.

Who does Meredith marry after Derek dies? ›

Meredith Grey
SpouseDerek Shepherd (deceased)
Significant otherFinn Dandridge (ex-boyfriend) Nathan Riggs (ex-lover) Andrew DeLuca (ex-boyfriend) Nick Marsh (boyfriend)
ChildrenZola Grey-Shepherd Derek Bailey Shepherd Ellis Shepherd
10 more rows

How long does Meredith stay gone after Derek dies? ›

Drama Rundown: Meredith goes missing for an entire year (it's only one episode) to cope with the loss of her husband — when she pops up again, surprise! She is giving birth to her and Derek's third child, Ellis. She moves back into her mother's house, where Maggie and Amelia eventually join her.

What happens to Meredith when Derek dies? ›

When Derek died at the end of Season 11, fans were heartbroken. Meredith and the show would never be the same. Meredith took her husband's death hard and she dealt with it the only way she knew how. She disappeared with her children in the middle of the night, and only returned when she gave birth to her third child.

Who has been on GREY's Anatomy the longest? ›

Only three actors have remained the entire time: Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr.
  • Owen Hunt: 327 episodes (season 5-present) ...
  • Alex Karev: 358 episodes (season 1-16) ...
  • Meredith Grey: 407 episodes (seasons 1-19) ...
  • Miranda Bailey: 407 episodes (season 1-present) ...
  • Richard Webber: 407 episodes (season 1-present)

How much money does Ellen Pompeo make per episode? ›

In fact, the role has made Pompeo one of the highest-paid actresses on the planet—she earns $20 million per year from the show. That's an impressive $550,000 per-episode salary.

Who did Meredith choose Finn or Derek? ›

After her surgery, Meredith makes a decision between Derek and Finn, telling Finn that he is a good man and probably a better man, but Derek is "the one".

Who is Bonnie when Meredith dies? ›

Due to highly positive fan reception, Monica Keena would return again as Bonnie Crasnoff, despite her character's death, in Season 3, Episode 17, "Some Kind of Miracle," as a ghost while Meredith Grey was in limbo.

Who was toxic on Grey's anatomy? ›

While reflecting on his past roles, Isaiah Washington called out his experience on the allegedly “toxic” Grey's Anatomy set as an example of mistreatment. “Every single day I was a problem that was being reminded, 'You're No.

Who dies in Greys in order? ›

Who all dies in GREY's anatomy in order?
  • Dylan Young: Season 2, Episode 17. ...
  • Denny Duquette: Season 2, Episode 27. ...
  • Ellis Grey: Season 3, Episode 17. ...
  • Susan Grey: Season 3, Episode 23. ...
  • George O' Malley: Season 6, Episode 1. ...
  • Charles Percy: Season 6, Episode 23. ...
  • Reed Adamson: Season 6, Episode 23.
Nov 17, 2022

How long was Meredith's longest surgery? ›

Clocking in at 27 hours and 8 minutes, Meredith Grey breaks the hospital record for longest single surgery.

What is Meredith GREY's catchphrase? ›

So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live?

What is Cristina Yang's famous line? ›

Confident Cristina Yang quotes
  • 1. “ Being a hero has its price.” — ...
  • 2. “ Don't give up on yourself.” — ...
  • 3. “ Don't question my medical decisions.” — ...
  • 4. “ You're on your own. ...
  • 5. “ There are no teams here, no buddies.” — ...
  • 6. “ I'd say wish me luck but I don't need it.” — ...
  • 7. “ ...
  • 8. “
Dec 26, 2022

What does Derek always say? ›

It's A Beautiful Day To Save Lives.”

Like any other character on the show, Derek Shepherd had his signature line that he was famous for. He felt good about himself and he found purpose in what he did just by saying “it's a beautiful day to save lives”.

What was the first line in GREY's anatomy? ›

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" premiered in 2005, and many major characters have since left the show. Cristina and Alex say their first lines during the season-one debut, "A Hard Day's Night."

What is Meredith Grey diagnosed with? ›

Alzheimer's disease first found its way to Grey's Anatomy in the pilot. In that episode, Meredith's voiceover narration was revealed to be a story she was telling her mother at an assisted living facility. Could Meredith's subsequent voiceovers be stories she now tells her three children sometime in the future?

What was Derek's last words to Meredith? ›

In his message, Derek reaffirmed his commitment to Meredith and their kids. “We're gonna do this a lot more when I get home, by the way. You, me, and the family, we're just going to take a day and ride the ferryboat — all day if we want. I love you, Meredith.

What was Meredith's illness? ›

As you know, Meredith, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), and Dr. Kai (E.R. Fightmaster) are on the brink of curing Parkinson's disease.

What race is Cristina Yang? ›

An atheistic competitive intern of Korean-American ancestry, she first desired to become a doctor after a childhood car accident which killed her biological father. Yang also had dyslexia, and was raised in Beverly Hills, California by her mother and supportive Jewish stepfather.

Is Cristina dyslexic? ›

Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy

Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6. That's decades before she lands at Seattle Grace Hospital. Four seasons into the show, viewers learn that Cristina got straight A's all through medical school.

What was the last thing Cristina said to Meredith? ›

As for Meredith, it turns out that Cristina's parting words — “He's very dreamy, but he is not the sun — you are,” she says — helps Meredith stand up to Derek and fight to stay in Seattle.

Does Derek have autism? ›

Ricky Gervais has since said that Derek is not disabled, or autistic, as many (including myself) assumed. Gervais says, “Derek was meant to be different. He was meant to be marginalised by society.

What disorder does Derek have? ›

The question of what Derek's problems are is central to the controversy. Objectors to the pilot took it as a given that the character is disabled and that therefore the show mocked someone with a disability. "Autism" and "learning difficulties" have been confidently cited.

Was Derek toxic? ›

Throughout his relationship with Meredith he was such a toxic person to her. When things don't go out his way, he punishes her like she murdered someone. He was making her decisions throughout the entire relationship.

What is the saddest episode on GREY's anatomy? ›

Good Mourning (S6 Ep1) - 8.5

At the end of season five, fans are shocked to learn that patient John Doe had been George all along. In the premiere episode of season six, he dies on the operating table. Heartbreak is evident all over the hospital as doctors start to cry.


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