Grey’s Anatomy aired it’s pilot episode 11-years-ago, introducing the world to Meredith Grey, a surgical intern at Seattle Grace hospital who just found out she had a one night stand with her “boss’ boss.” Since then, the show has gone on to have 12 seasons, is renewed for season 13, and continues to draw in new fans and hold on to their old ones.
Although Rhimes has since become known as the George R. R. Martin of ABC, fans continue to watch Grey’s even when their favorite character is killed off or leaves. Here are some of the most heartbreaking deaths fans have experienced in the past 11 years of Grey’s Anatomy. With any luck, Shonda may take a break from killing off fans’ favorite characters this season.
1. Ellis Grey
Meredith Grey and her mother didn’t have the best relationship. In fact, one could say Ellis Grey is the reason Meredith has so many issues. Still, when Ellis died, Meredith was walking through her own kind of purgatory after drowning. Ellis was the one who gave Meredith the push she needed to keep living and that was probably the best gift she ever gave Meredith.
2. Denny Duquette Jr.
If you’re a big Grey’s Anatomy fan, by now you’ve learned love on Grey’s doesn’t usually last. Izzie learned this the hard way when Denny died soon after he proposed to her.
3. Susan Grey
On Grey’s Anatomy there is almost always some kind of family drama, usually within the Grey family. But when it came to Susan, the only drama was how much she wanted her husband, Thatcher, to have a relationship with Meredith. Susan was unbelievably kind and loving towards Meredith and it was completely unfair that she died all because of a case of the hiccups.
4. George O’Malley
— murillo (@mulliror) March 27, 2016
George’s death proves no one is safe on Grey’s Anatomy. When a John Doe comes in after being hit by a bus, no one really thinks too much of it. But when he writes on Meredith’s hand, “007,” it becomes clear the John Doe is really George. The most devastating moment was when Izzie was in the elevator and the doors opened to reveal George on the other side, indicating he had died.
5. Mary Portman
The shooting episode of Grey’s Anatomy was horrific but one silver lining was that Mary, Bailey’s long time patient, survived. However, viewers later discovered Mary ended up in a coma three months later after finally having her surgery and her husband had to unplug her. What made Mary’s death so terrible was nothing really went wrong in her surgery, she just never woke up.
6. Henry Burton
Henry was one of the sweet characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Not only did he love Teddy, but he was genuinely kind to everyone. It was unbelievable watching Cristina operate on him, not knowing that it was her mentor’s husband. Then, when Cristina found out the truth, her devastation was heartbreaking.
7. Lexie Grey
– was supposed to become a great doctor
– an actual puppy
– deserved so much more pic.twitter.com/e7Kj8DS6Ee
— vane (@jungnhoseok) March 27, 2016
“Little Grey” was the sister Meredith never knew she needed. Although unwanted at first, Meredith and Lexie became very close and nothing hurt more than when Meredith asked Cristina, “Where’s Lexie?” after the plane crash. Gone way too soon, Lexie will forever be missed.
8. Mark Sloan
— sofia (@sphsbush) March 27, 2016
After the death of Lexie Grey, losing Mark just seemed wrong and right at the same time. Although no one wanted to see Mark die, knowing that he and Lexie would be together after the plane crash made it just a little bit better. Still, in general, it would’ve been great if they just didn’t die.
9. Adele Webber
Grey’s giveth and it taketh away. For a little while, it seemed like Adele might be okay; but, in the end, she passed away on the night of Bailey and Ben’s wedding. Nothing hurt more than seeing Meredith and Richard crying silent tears as they remembered Adele at the wedding.
10. Derek Shepherd
derek shepherd deserved better pic.twitter.com/86SWxozv1o
— felipe (@greysulkin) March 26, 2016
Death is clearly a common thing on Grey’s Anatomy but no one really believed Derek would be killed off the show. It’s Derek! But it did happen and in the worse way. After saving multiple people from a car accident, Derek himself gets hit by a truck and ends up brain dead because the surgeons there were rather incompetent and did everything wrong. The fact that Derek, a brain surgeon, ended up brain dead was lost on no one.
11. Samuel Norbert Avery
A lot of people have died on Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s rare that a character dies whom viewers haven’t even had a chance to really meet yet. When April and Jackson discovered there was something wrong with their baby, the shock was heartbreaking. What was even worse was April hoping for a miracle that would allow her baby to be okay and never getting one. The death of Samuel then led to the downward spiral of April and Jackson’s relationship that was just as hard to watch.
Did we miss any big Grey’s Anatomy deaths? Share which moment you still can’t forgive Shonda Rhimes for.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment]