Here's A Look At How 5 'Grey's Anatomy' Characters Left The Show

5 Fan-Favorite ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Characters Who Left The Show And How

Grey’s Anatomy fans learned yesterday that another doctor at the hospital would be leaving the show at the end of the season. TV Line reports that there is no news how Stephanie Edwards will exit, other doctors have either left the hospital or died on the show when the actors have wanted to leave. Here’s a look at how five fan-favorite Grey’s Anatomy characters left.

1. Derek Shepherd – Killed by a Semi

One half of the Grey’s Anatomy fan-favorite love story, Derek Shepherd, was killed off towards the end of Season 11. Fans were devastated, as they had no idea that this was coming. Rumors quickly spread that Shonda Rhimes had killed off the character out of spite, after arguments behind the stage with Patrick Dempsey. It later turned out that Dempsey wanted to leave, and Rhimes realized the only loyal way to take Derek out of the show was to kill him off.

Fans quickly boycotted the show, but it hasn’t seemed to have done anything. Season 12 was picked up, and the show is currently part way through Season 14. Rhimes doesn’t know how Grey’s Anatomy will end, so it looks like the show will remain on ABC for some time.

2. George O’Malley – Killed by a Bus

George O’Malley was the second main character to leave Grey’s Anatomy. He was also the first heartbreaking doctor death that fans had to work through. After signing up for the U.S. Army, O’Malley was sent home to be with his mother before leaving for Iraq. He never made it there and was hit by a bus instead.

Throughout the episode, George was so swollen and beaten that the doctors didn’t recognize him. It was only when George was able to write ‘007’ on Meredith’s hand that they (and the viewers) figured out it was him.

3. Preston Burke – Left Cristina at the Altar

Preston and Cristina were a side love story in Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 and 2. While they were both very different, they were driven doctors and quickly fell in love over their shared interest in cardiothoracic surgery.

In the end, the differences were too much for even them. After Cristina panicked and thought about leaving Burke at the altar, he decided that the marriage wouldn’t be right. He walked away and didn’t return until the end of Season 10. It turned out that Burke’s departure was linked to some behind the scenes problems. Otherwise, Burke may not have been the first main character to step away from the show.

4. Cristina Yang – Left for Switzerland

It looked like Cristina was going to leave before her departure at the end of Season 10. During Season 9, the character decided to take a fellowship at Mayo Clinic. Grey’s Anatomy spent the first half of the season telling the story of Cristina learning some of the older techniques and gaining appreciation for her mentor Dr. Craig Thomas.

Luckily, she returned to “Seattle Grace Mercy Death,” as she nicknamed it, but only for another season and a half. Sandra Oh decided that it was time to move on and the character needed to be written out. Despite the potential to kill her off, Rhimes decided to have Cristina and Burke meet again in Switzerland, where Cristina was given his medical research facility.

Fans rejoiced knowing that Cristina would live. Her relationship with Meredith is the true love story of Grey’s Anatomy.

Shane Ross also left at the end of this season, becoming Cristina’s own resident and friend in the foreign country.

5. Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan – Killed in a Plane Crash

Technically, Mark Sloan died 30 days later, but it was still from injuries sustained in the plane crash. Grey’s Anatomy Season 8 had the most shocking and tear-jerking episode ever. The episode before the finale ended with the plane crashed in the woods. It was only in the season finale that we learned we would say goodbye to a character.

Lexie was the first to die when trapped under one of the plane’s engines. It turned out that Chyler Leigh wanted to leave and Rhimes believed this was the best way to give the character a strong exit. Sure enough, it was a bittersweet moment, as she and Mark got to share the dream future they had. Eric Dane also wanted to move on, which led to Mark suffering heart problems from the crash and falling into a coma. His medical directive stated that machines would be turned off if there was no change after 30 days.

Will Stephanie be killed off in some ghastly way or walk away with the prospect of a positive career? Tune in for more Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]