Over its first thirteen seasons, Grey’s Anatomy has brought fans to tears more times than we can count. Executive producer Shonda Rhimes has brought so many great characters onto the show, just to kill them off in moments of pure shock and sadness. Here’s a look back at the deaths that made us cry the most.
Samuel Norbert Avery
First-time parents Jackson and April induced their baby early so that they could have a few minutes with him. Samuel suffered from type 2 osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare bone disease. A baby’s death is never easy to watch, but this one caused fans to go through an entire box of tissues in one of the saddest episodes of the entire series.
Charles Percy (Robert Baker)
A hospital shooting victim, Charles’ death could have been avoided. But when Dr. Bailey couldn’t get him to the operating room because the elevators were down, she sat with him until he passed peacefully.
Adele Webber (Loretta Devine)
The chief’s wife suffered from Alzheimer’s for a long time, and we knew she wasn’t well. However, her sudden death after receiving an operation from Dr. Bailey (who postponed her wedding to perform the surgery) was a difficult one for fans who had loved her since the series began.
Henry Burton (Scott Foley)
Suffering from a condition where tumors grew in his body, Henry visited the hospital frequently and ended up marrying Dr. Altman for the insurance. The two eventually fell in love, but it wasn’t long before he needed emergency surgery. Cristina couldn’t save him, and she didn’t even know who she was operating on until it was all over. When Owen tells her it was Henry that she was working on and lost, it was almost too much.
Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh)
As Grey’s Anatomy fans know, love and death came all at once for Lexie, who was pinned under plane wreckage after a crash. While she lay dying, she and Dr. Sloan profess their love for each other and make plans for their future life together, knowing none of those plans will ever happen.
Mark Sloan (Eric Dane)
While Dr. Sloan was saying goodbye his love, he knew he didn’t have much longer to live. A victim of the same plane crash as Lexie, he dies back at the hospital from injuries he suffered from the crash. RIP McSteamy.
George O’Malley (T. R. Knight)
One of the original interns in Meredith’s class, George was the loveable underdog that could never seem to get ahead. George jumps in front of a bus to save someone, and when he is brought into the hospital, he is unrecognizable. For much of the episode, he is “John Doe,” and his peers have no idea who he is. But, the moment Meredith realizes it’s George turned out to be one of the most heart-wrenching and sob-inducing scenes in Grey’s history.
Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey)
Meredith and Derek’s love story started in episode one and was the central focus of the series for years. From dating to love triangles to marriage and kids, fans followed their emotional relationship each week and couldn’t imagine Grey’s Anatomy without him. However, after a car crash that left fans stunned, Meredith had to take him off life support. Arguably the saddest death ever on the show, and it came out of nowhere.
Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
Denny was a heart patient that fans immediately fell in love with, as did Izzy Stevens. For weeks, we watched him battle viral cardiomyopathy while wooing Izzy at the same time. He finally got a heart transplant and asked Izzy to marry him. After she said yes, Denny suffered a stroke while alone in his room and died, resulting in the most gut-wrenching, soul-crushing death in the history of the show.
Season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres Thursday, September 28, on ABC.
[Featured Image by ABC]