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'Grey's Anatomy' is loved by many. Here's a breakdown of the show's most essential episodes for newcomers.

The A-Z’s of Seattle Grace: A beginners guide to the best ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ episodes

The best time to start a show is 16 seasons in, right? But with Grey’s Anatomy, new fans discover the show every day on streaming services, binging until they’re caught up to catch new episodes on ABC. Of course, 15 seasons of episodes is a lot to watch at once, and sometimes you just want to skip the filler and hop right into the good stuff.

We’ve got the scoop on all the hot doctor drama at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, so you can skip right to season 16. We’ll go over the big pieces of history with each doctor, and even highlight a couple of past episodes we recommend you check out in your spare time.

In case you’re a little slow today, this does mean spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy seasons 1-15 below. We are also only focusing on characters who were main for at least two seasons, or who are main in season 16, because too many people have walked the halls of Grey Sloan.

Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)

Let’s start with our main girl, who bears the namesake of the show in the first place. Meredith started as an intern at Seattle Grace Hospital (same hospital, got renamed to Grey Sloan in season 9). Her intern class also includes Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl). Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) runs the surgical intern program, while Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) oversees the entire surgical department. 

The Grey family legacy

The biggest part of Meredith’s story is her constant desire to escape her mother Ellis Grey’s (Kate Burton) legacy. Meredith’s mother also worked at Seattle Grace as a top surgeon, who won awards and even invented another use of laparoscopic operations. Surprisingly, Meredith doubted her choice to be a doctor until her mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. 

Leading into season one, Meredith is the only one who knows of her mother’s condition. She keeps it a secret for as long as she can, until season three when she’s admitted to Seattle Grace. While there, she continues to verbally abuse her daughter and even calls her ordinary, which leaves Meredith suicidal. Meredith ends up letting herself drown during a boating accident, and while in a coma, she ends up in a version of the afterlife.

While she’s in a coma, her mother ends up passing away, and when the two meet up in the afterlife, Ellis tells her she was never ordinary. Meredith ends up naming her youngest child after her mother. 

Sister, Sister, Sister

Of course, the Grey family tree continues to be messy. Thatcher (Jeff Perry) and Ellis separated and Thatcher remarried. Meredith got two half sisters out of her dad’s new marriage, Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Molly (Mandy Siegfried). But unknown to her until season 10 is that Ellis had an affair with Dr. Webber and Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) resulted out of that union.

Let’s start with Molly first, as her role on the show is small. Molly is pregnant with her first child and ends up getting transferred from Mercy West to Seattle Grace, which brings step-mother Susan Grey (Mare Winningham) into Meredith’s life. Since she’s not actually Meredith’s mother, Meredith denies having any relationship with her. But she eventually warms up to Susan before Susan’s untimely death in season three.

Lexie joins the new group of interns coming to Seattle Grace after her mother’s death so she can stay in Seattle and take care of her father. Lexi and Meredith struggle to hit it off at first, but Cristina helps bring the two closer together. Lexi ends up with plastic surgeon Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and the two stay close until Lexi’s untimely death in the plane crash at the end of season eight. The hospital gets renamed in her memory. 

Jumping forward to season ten, new doctor Maggie Pierce applies to be the new cardiothoracic surgery head when Cristina leaves. But after talking with Dr. Webber, he figures out Maggie is his daughter with Ellis Grey. Maggie ends up getting close with Meredith as they’re only five years apart, and Maggie often helps her with her kids when she’s working and can’t get a nanny.

In season 12, when Meredith runs away after her husband’s death, Maggie is the only person Meredith leaves a note for, yet Maggie still feels abandoned. Once Meredith comes back, Maggie moves into her home with her. However, the drama still creeps up between the two as Meredith enters a secret sexual relationship with Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson) and Maggie develops feelings for him. Maggie eventually moves on. Currently, she’s seeing Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). 

McDreamy and Meredith

Of course, you can’t tell Meredith’s story without mentioning McDreamy, A.K.A. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey). From season one, Shepherd is set up as Meredith’s love interest, considering before she starts working at the hospital she has a one night stand with him. 

A nice wrench is thrown in the plan in season two when Derek’s wife Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) comes to Seattle Grace. Arguably the most iconic entrance of all time: “Hi I’m Addison Shepherd, and you must be the one who’s screwing my husband?” But everything manages to work through that, with Addison leaving Seattle by the end of season three (for Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice), and the two divorcing, leaving room for McDreamy and Meredith.  

At the end of season five, the two get married after Derek proposes in an elevator, and have their vows written on Post-it notes. Of course, naturally they try for children, but after a hospital shooting where Meredith watches him nearly die, she suffers a miscarriage and they go for adoption. The two adopt an adorable baby girl named Zola. 

Of course, both are involved in that lovely plane crash that kills Meredith’s half-sister and the two are part of the group that not only sues Seattle Grace but then buys the hospital and renames it after Lexie and Mark. Minus some work rifts, Derek and Meredith’s relationship is solid until McDreamy meets his McDemise in season 12 after the neurosurgeon gets murdered by incompetent neurosurgeons

“You’re my person”

Just as key to Meredith’s growth, fellow intern Cristina Yang has been Meredith’s best friend since their first days at Seattle Grace. The two quickly bonded in season one, and throughout the ten seasons Sandra Oh was on the show, the two easily had a stronger relationship that Meredith and Derek. 

While at first it was a bit competitive, you’d never be able to tell by the end of the first season as the pair become inseparable. Every moment in Meredith’s life, good or bad, Cristina was by her side. The same applies for Cristina. When Cristina booked her abortion appointment, she put down Meredith as her point of contact, because Meredith is “her person”, the one she can go to no matter what the situation

Season one gave us the iconic person speech after Cristina got pregnant and got an abortion without telling her boyfriend Burke. She ends up pregnant again and miscarries, again without telling her boyfriend, but this time he figures it out. Somehow, the two stay together, even ending up on the altar, but Burke ditches Cristina on the altar, and guess who was the main one to help get her through that ordeal? That’s right, Meredith.

Not everything’s all dark and depressing for Yang

Don’t worry, Cristina eventually finds temporary happiness with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). While Owen accidentally abuses her due to his PTSD from his time in the military, after counseling they reconcile and reconnect. 

During the hospital shooting, Owen is one of the injured, which forever seals the two together. When Cristina ends up leaving to go to Switzerland, Owen and Cristina officially end their relationship and he moves on to one of Meredith’s half sisters. 

Cristina was also one of the ones injured in the plane crash, and ends up divorcing Owen because he is head of surgery at the hospital, and them being married would make it harder for doctors to get the money they deserve for the lawsuit. They stay together until Cristina’s departure in season 10. 

Oh yeah, Cristina leaves in season 10 and you will 100% cry watching Meredith and Cristina dance it out one last time. They always dance it out in the hospital to try and destress while dealing with the craziness at the hospital and she refuses to leave without doing it one more time. Cristina has not reappeared since then. 

Alex Karev

It may seem like this show is mostly about Meredith, and you’re right. However, other characters have been around just as long as Meredith, like fellow intern Alex Karev. While he started on the show as that guy who will dismiss what you say yet do exactly what you say, he slowly became more likeable as time goes on.

Becoming a pediatric surgeon fellow, Alex continues to say he hates children, but ends up being beyond kind to his young patients. Throughout the first couple of seasons though, he is a complete asshole to his fellow surgeons and his patients. Izzie tries to get in a relationship with him, but Alex cheats on her and just overall is terrible to her. Course, even after they break up, he still has feelings for her. 

After Izzie, Alex dates a Jane Doe whose name ends up being Rebecca (Elizabeth Reaser) who comes into the hospital after a boat crash. The two hit it off at first, but as she begins to remember her identity, it turns out she just got out of a bad marriage, and Alex wants nothing to do with her. 

Alex and Izzie, together at last… for now

Of course, the two play will they or won’t they for a little bit, until Rebecca attempts suicide and ends up in the psych ward. Since Alex was there for Izzie when George died (more on that later), she was there for Alex through all this and they end up back together

Then Izzie gets diagnosed with deadly skin cancer, so the two end up getting married instead of Meredith and Derek. Izzie ends up getting fired thanks to Alex though, so the two get divorced.

Then we get to the hospital shooting episode, and Alex gets shot but saved by Lexie and Mark. When Arizona leaves, he becomes the Chief of Pediatric Surgery while she’s away in Africa, but then ends up causing problems when he turns in Meredith for messing with the Alzheimer’s drug trial. This leads Meredith to lose Zola, who she was trying to adopt, but Alex steps up and tries to fix it. 

Alex then ends up together with intern Jo (Camilla Luddington), and thankfully, Alex somehow holds it down with her. After beating up her abusive boyfriend, Jo knew they were good together. Also during this time, Alex buys Meredith’s old home, and he lives with Cristina and Jo.

Jo is the true love

Of course, that isn’t to say their relationship hasn’t had issues. Alex’s abusive father becomes an ER Patient, and Jo encourages him to reconnect with Alex. But this backfires and Alex lashes out at Jo for making the two reconnect. But the two reconcile at April’s wedding and move past it, though Alex’s dad does pass away. 

Alex is desperate to marry Jo, but Jo continues to resist, until it’s revealed that she’s actually still married. Her abusive husband doesn’t know where she is and she changed her name to escape him. While Alex is disappointed to hear this, he understands. But when he goes over her apartment to try and see her, she’s down to her underwear with another intern on top of her. 

Alex beats the crap out of Andrew (Giacomo Gianniotti) to the point where he’s on the verge of death. He takes him to Grey Sloan, lying that he found him like this on the street, but they get onto him. 

Meredith finds out the truth, and while she protects him at first, she realizes Andrew wasn’t going to do anything to Jo and needs to turn Alex in. But Alex beats her to it, and he is arrested for assault. He gets suspended at work and has to prepare for trial.

Jo begs Alex to just take the plea deal, because if she goes on trial, her name would be a public record and her husband could find her. But Meredith begs Alex to not go because with Cristina gone, he’s her new person and she can’t lose him too. Alex ends up trying to take the plea deal, but Andrew dropped the charges, so he’s free. 

After all this, Alex ends up going to a conference to track down Jo’s husband and try to confront him, but he realizes that could endanger Jo and doesn’t. He fesses up to her when he gets back, and she realizes how much he cares about her and how willing he is to protect her. Jo begins the process for filing for divorce from her husband. 

Of course, because this is Grey’s Anatomy, her horrible husband shows up (Matthew Morrison) to sign the divorce papers and continue to harass her. Thankfully, his ass is killed in a hit-and-run, and Jo is free to be married to Alex for eternity. But Jo then goes on the hunt for her birth parents, and finds out she was the result of rape, which throws her into a downward spiral that sends her to the psych ward. But Alex helps her through it. 

Alex becoming Meredith’s new person

We mentioned earlier that Meredith freaks out on Alex when he may get locked away because he’s her new person. Surprisingly, their friendship ends up staying close together, especially when Cristina trusts him enough to leave her shares of the hospital and her seat on the board to him (even though Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) ends up getting the seat).

Alex still owns Meredith’s house when Derek dies, and he calls her every day when she disappears to try and keep track of her. When she goes into labor with Ellis, Alex is the one she put down for her emergency contract so he’s the one to show up and help her. He ends up selling her house back to her and moving into his own apartment with Jo. 

Miranda Bailey

Our current Head of Surgery, Dr. Bailey is a kick-ass woman who has been on the show as long as Alex and Meredith too. In the beginning, she’s the resident affectionately titled “The Nazi” looking after our interns in the first few seasons. She’s definitely tough, but she’s got a mama bear level love for her co-workers, even if she doesn’t show it.

She’s also pregnant with her first son, and has to give birth while her husband’s recovering from a car crash. Our boy George is there to help her through, and in his honor, the baby’s name is William George Bailey Jones. While tough to deal with while working through her residency, Miranda is killing motherhood.

What she’s not killing is the discipline of her interns, as they’re all causing trouble. Cristina is keeping secrets about Burke’s condition, Izzie killed a patient cutting is LVAD to get him his heart transplant faster, and Webber is on her back about her interns. 

Miranda ends up so broken about being a surgeon she opens a free clinic in the hospital, with the help of Izzie, but ends up losing the title of Chief of Surgery to Callie (Sara Ramiez).

Miranda’s surgical comeback

While heartbroken over losing the title, she makes it clear that she has Callie’s back, and even ends up making Webber regret his decision. She shows exactly who she is when she’s forced to help a white supremacist who needs surgery even though he verbally abuses her. It’s clear that she is a professional no matter what, especially when her home life starts breaking down.

Miranda ends up separated from her husband, so she’s stuck balancing single motherhood and trying to pick a surgical specialty. She starts leaning towards pediatrics, but Webber does everything in his power to get her to not become a pediatric surgeon. She ends up staying in general surgery, but because she gets divorced and needs to balance her work life with her son. 

By staying in general surgery, Miranda has time to not only take care of her son, but also look over Izzie as she goes through chemo. She realizes she cares about her interns and co-workers as if they were her own children, which makes the hospital shooting 10 times worse for her. Charles Percy (Robert Baker), one of the surgical residents from Mercy West, ends up getting shot in front of Miranda and she does everything she can to save him.

But due to the crisis, Miranda can’t get him into an operating room in enough time, and he dies in her arms. You’d think after all that she’d never want to set foot in the hospital again, but because she’s stronger than her pain, Miranda walks forward. Another patient of Miranda’s, Mary (Mandy Moore), ends up passing away shortly after from unknown causes which messes with her too.

She takes some time off and spends it with her family, but when Miranda returns, it’s back to business.

The Alzheimer’s drug trial

One of the biggest keys to Meredith and Derek’s relationship was a drug trial for Alzheimer’s patients the two worked on together. However, Webber’s wife Adele (Loretta Devine) ends up having Alzheimer’s, and Meredith threatens the integrity of the trial by helping Adele out. 

Alex finds out, and rats her out, which gets Meredith fired, and breaks up Derek and Meredith. Webber steps down from the Chief of Surgery role to avoid rumors, and Meredith tries her hardest to hide all this from the adoption counselor, but fails to and loses Zola in the process. 

Miranda berates Meredith for her action, but Webber encourages her to forgive Meredith and invite her onto the trial for a new diabetes medicine. Miranda does so, and ends up being a shoulder to lean on while she tries to repair her relationship with Derek. 

Ben and Miranda and BCB

While all this is going on, Miranda gets herself back on the dating game, hooking up with Mercy West anesthesiologist Ben Warren (Jason George). After the shooting, the two break up, and Miranda starts seeing a nurse named Eli (Daniel Sunjata). She ends up realizing her true feelings for Ben and begins another relationship with him. Of course, he gets an internship in California right as they move in together. 

Thankfully, true love reigns supreme, and the two become engaged. Miranda becomes known as “Booty Call Bailey”, because anytime her fiance is in town, she is automatically in a better mood, and constantly trying to have sex with him. But of course, this is Grey’s Anatomy, so their wedding is anything but normal.

On the way to the wedding, Miranda gets called to surgery to save Adele, and then goes off to get married to Ben. Eventually, Ben ends up flying home to Seattle and leaves his internship to spend more time with his wife, which doesn’t satisfy her at all. 

Miranda’s OCD

One of Miranda’s most defining incidents in the later seasons was an investigation launched after three of her patients died from the same infection. It’s discovered that the hospital bought permeable gloves that Miranda had been using, which spread the infection to all three patients. She feels contaminated, and ends up shutting everyone, even Ben out over this incident. 

After Ben flies home from California to get her out of her bubble, she at least returns to work, but she still refuses to go into the OR. When Webber gives her a stern speech, Miranda finally returns to work and works the OR during an upcoming storm. But after this incident, Miranda starts acting strange, and ends up diagnosed with OCD. 

Due to the stress of the job and the past few years specifically, Miranda ends up having a heart attack that makes her put her priorities in order. She takes a break from Chief of Surgery and her husband, but eventually returns to both. 

Izzie Stevens

Now that we’ve covered the three long term actors (Webber really doesn’t do much outside of everyone else’s stories), let’s dive into some of the big names you need to know who either left the show, or joined midway. Katherine Heigl made a name for herself thanks to Grey’s Anatomy, as well as a name for herself for her unprofessionalism on set that got her fired halfway through the sixth season. 

But that’s drama outside of the show. Izzie has plenty of her own drama to deal with. Right from season one, Izzie and Alex start feuding with each other when he finds her lingerie modeling photos and shares them around the hospital. The two reconcile and end up dating. But once Alex cheats on Izzie, they end their relationship. 

After all this, Izzie reveals that she was pregnant at 16 and gave the baby up for adoption, with no contact with the child for her entire life. Of course, this means her daughter Hannah (Liv Hutchings) ends up at Seattle Grace with cancer and needs a transplant from her mother. Izzie gives her daughter her stem cells to help her fight leukemia. 

Oh, poor Denny . . .

Denny really deserved better than Izzie. She falls in love with him while he’s in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant. The two end up engaged, but then Denny’s condition goes downhill. Izzie gets desperate and cuts Denny’s LVAD wire to worsen his condition, raising his place on the transplant list. Of course, he dies after getting a new heart thanks to a stroke, and Izzie becomes $8.7 million richer.

Izzie isn’t all bad, she helps Miranda open a free clinic in the hospital, named after Denny. Somehow, after all this, Izzie wasn’t fired even though she purposefully endangered the life of a patient. 

Her next victim? George

George is together with Callie (Sara Ramirez), but since Izzie is a homewrecker by nature, she sleeps with George and keeps it as secret as possible. George is one of the two people Izzie trusts with the info about her daughter, and supports her through her daughter’s visit to Seattle Grace. Izzie ends up falling for George, and lucky for her, Callie finds out about George’s infidelity and breaks up with him.

Come to find out, they have no chemistry together and end up breaking up. Around this time, Alex is dealing with the whole Rebecca situation, and Izzie supports him through the ordeal. Izzie starts to hallucinate seeing Denny, which leads to the discovery of her melanoma. Also don’t forget the Denny ghost sex! 

5% chance of survival

Izzie should not have lived through her cancer treatment. She was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma, which spread to her skin, liver, and brain. The hallucinations were caused by the cancer in her brain! Once admitted, Derek is the one in charge of removing the tumor from her brain, but another one ends up growing back. 

During all this, Izzie is working on planning Derek and Meredith’s wedding, but they end up gifting the wedding the Izzie and Alex after all the cancer issues. Izzie can’t even get herself down the aisle, but it’s worth it because it’s beyond beautiful. 

After the wedding, Izzie goes into surgery to get the second tumor removed, which causes the loss of her short-term memory. She does regain it, but ends up flatlining nearly immediately after. She dreams of meeting George in an elevator, who is in the other room flatlining and failing to be saved. 

All of her friends completely ignore her DNR order and bring Izzie back from the dead. Of course, Izzie is heartbroken after George’s death. But she recovers, and ends up going back to work, and immediately screwing things up again. She ends up getting fired after yet another careless mistake. She leaves Alex a note while also blaming him for getting her fired, and he’s pissed that she left.

Izzie does make a reappearance and tries to salvage her marriage, but Alex isn’t letting her be forgiven that quickly. Izzie then goes into the sunset, never to be seen again. Our favorite trainwreck, gone for good this time. 

Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez)

We’ve gone through all our players who started on season one, so now it’s time to go on about the ones who joined the train after it started. Nearly as old as everyone else, Callie joined as an orthopedic resident in season two. While originally a love interest for our dear George, it turns out she’s actually bisexual and gets herself some lovely girlfriends.

When she was first introduced in season two, she and George hit it off and Callie ends up moving into Meredith’s home with George. The two drunkenly get married in Las Vegas, but of course, around this time Izzie and George have their secret fling. The fling destroys their marriage and Callie not only moves out but gets a divorce. 

While all this mess is happening in her personal life, Callie gets promoted from orthopedic resident to chief resident at the hospital. However, she struggles to adapt to the role, and ends up being demoted. But all hope is not lost for Callie.

Erica and Callie sitting in a tree . . .

The new head of cardiothoracic surgery Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) comes to Seattle Grace, and immediately the two hit it off. The two end up together after Erica plants a surprise kiss on Callie in an elevator. 

Both explore their bi-sexuality with this relationship, as neither have been with a woman before this. Callie ends up struggling to deal with her sexuality, and cheats on Erica with Mark Sloan. While Erica initially forgives her, they continue to fight and Erica ends up breaking it off and leaving Seattle Grace. 

Time for a lil’ Arizona

Of course, Callie isn’t alone for long. Pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) comes into the picture, and Callie and Arizona begin dating. During this time though, Callie finally comes out to her family, and her father disowns her and cuts her off. But Arizona sets up and supports her. Her father does come around and inevitably supports her. 

While she begins her relationship with Arizona, Callie is also dealing with not being named attending surgeon, and lashes out on Webber. She leaves Seattle Grace and heads to Mercy West, where she ends up named attending. Of course, Mercy West merges with Seattle Grace and she ends up back in the halls. 

Later on in their relationship, Callie makes it clear she wants kids, which upsets Arizona and the two separate. Then the hospital shooting happens, and shocker, they realize how much they mean to each other. Arizona changes her stance on being childless. 

The end of Callie and Arizona, aka the rise of Callie and Mark and Arizona

Arizona gets picked for a huge grant to go to Malawi and help underprivileged children for three years. Callie begrudgingly agrees to go, but in reality she has no desire to leave Seattle. Arizona feels this, and breaks off the relationship so she can go with no guilt or emotional baggage. 

Callie, heartbroken, ends up back with Sloan for a one night stand. The two also live together in the time Arizona is gone. Arizona comes back, begging for Callie, but Callie wants nothing to do with her. It turns out her one night stand resulted in a child between Callie and Mark. 

Arizona has no desire to have Mark continue to be in her and Callie’s life, but agrees to raise Callie’s child. The pregnancy moves along nicely, and Arizona ends up proposing to Callie en route to a weekend getaway. But before Callie gets a chance to say yes, the two get pummeled by a truck. 

Arizona gets away okay, but Callie is severely injured. In a musical episode for some unknown reason, Addison comes back from her Private Practice and removes Callie’s premature baby, saving her life and her child’s. Callie wakes up, and accepts Arizona’s proposal. Mom and baby recover completely and get discharged, so Callie and Arizona can start wedding planning. 

A wedding that cost a leg

During the wedding planning, Callie’s mom is just as homophobic as her dad. But she also has issues with her granddaughter, since she came from a one night stand. Of course she comes around too though, eventually.

The two marry in a gorgeous garden wedding, officiated by Miranda after the original minister had to back out. Since everything’s working out, it’s time for everything to go horribly wrong again! 

Arizona was one of the surgeons on that cursed flight, and while she at least lived, she lost a leg in the process. When she was brought back to Seattle Grace, Callie was the one who had to make the call about her leg. This drama continues to hang over them for a while, even through all the lawsuits and the near bankruptcy of the hospital. By the end of season nine, the stress causes Arizona to cheat on Callie, which breaks the two up.

Arizona continued to hold a grudge against Callie over her leg, saying Callie didn’t lose anything in the plane crash. Callie responds saying she lost Arizona. Callie moves in with Meredith and Derek, taking the baby with her, and ends up returning to her apartment, kicking Arizona out. She also tells Arizona that the only one who needs to go to therapy is her, and stops attending couples therapy. 

The real end of Callie and Arizona

After their breakup, Callie ends up getting another visit from her father, who reveals some insight into her parents’ relationship. Callie’s father cheated on her mother, but her mother took them back. That second chance is what resulted in Callie. Take a guess what Callie does based on that. 

Surprise, Callie tries to get back with Arizona, inviting her to move back in. While they were separated, Arizona slept with another resident, but Callie forgives her for it. To try and help rebuild, the two purchase a house together and try for another child. But Callie is no longer fertile, which works out because they are too unstable for another child right now. 

Our favorite couple give couples therapy another go, and get an interesting assignment. They’re told to go 30 days without sexual activity, living separate lives while under the same roof. They fail and sleep together before the end of the 30 days. At the end, Arizona realizes she can’t live without Callie, but Callie can live without her, and they officially break things off. 

Penny and New York

Getting back into the dating scene, Callie starts seeing a resident named Penny (Samantha Sloyan) who may have been involved with the reason Derek Shepherd died. Of course, that doesn’t matter to Callie too much, but it explains why Penny isn’t happy being at Grey Sloan, as Meredith makes her life hell. Penny ends up getting a grant to move to New York.

Callie wants to go with, and tries to bring her daughter with her. Arizona is having none of that though, and fights for sole custody of her daughter. She wins, but Arizona ends up willing to have shared custody, because both moms deserve to be happy. The two will alternate school years with her, and they split holidays. Callie agrees, and moves to New York with Penny. 

This may seem like the end, but Arizona stays on the show after Callie leaves, and then ends up leaving for New York too. It’s rumored that Callie and Penny broke up, so Arizona leaves to make amends with Callie and stay together forever. 

Mark Sloan

Mark’s character arc starts off interesting, as he’s the one who ruined Derek and Addison’s marriage by sleeping with Addison. But Derek eventually forgives him and the two move on. During their relationship though, Addison becomes pregnant but eventually aborts the baby. Mark eventually transfers to Seattle Grace as the attending plastic surgeon. If you’ve heard of McSteamy, Mark is your guy. 

Mark is so close to Derek that he’s slept with all of his sisters at least once. He’s also slept with Callie at one point. Don’t forget that Mark was also attracted to Erica, and tried to convince Callie and Erica to have a threesome with him. But the real star of Mark’s romantic life is Lexie Grey. Mark realizes everyone thinks he’s a slut, so he dials down his romantic life, but Lexie makes him turn it back up. 

The mysterious daughter

He realizes how messy his love life has been when his daughter Sloan (Leven Rambin) shows up on his doorstep, pregnant and homeless. Her mother kicked her out for being pregnant, and Mark lets her move in with him. Of course, by then Lexie and Mark are living together and it upsets Lexie that he’s letting her stay here. The two end up splitting over this. 

Sloan has a lot of issues with the pregnancy, so this gives Mark an excuse to go to LA and see Addison. While in LA, the two sleep together again, but Mark refuses to keep it a secret from Lexie. When he gets back, Mark confesses, but Lexie confesses she slept with Alex during their break. The two refuse to get back together. 

When the baby officially comes, Sloan puts it up for adoption, and Mark and Callie step up to raise the baby together. For her own reasons, Sloan refuses to allow this and ends up leaving Seattle, which leaves Mark distraught. Naturally, slutty Mark ends up with Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), though she’s in love with Owen. 

Sloan returns to Seattle, pregnant again with a baby boy. Not wanting her to make the same mistakes again, Mark reassures her that he is her father and he will support her unconditionally. Sloan listens to her father, and lets a random couple adopt her son. 

A shotgun brings people closer, yet so far apart

During the hospital shooting, Mark steps up to help Lexie save Alex, who she’s seeing at the time. After everything returns to some semblance of normal, Lexie ends up having a nervous breakdown. Mark is worried for her, and has her committed to the psych wing of the hospital to try and help her work out her issues.

Lexie is hurt by this, but realizes that Mark is doing this because of his undying love for her. Lexie goes to talk with Mark, but catches Mark kissing and ultimately sleeping with Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone). Callie also ends up having a drunken one night stand with Mark during her breakup with Arizona.

Sofia Robbin-Sloan-Torres

Mark ends up impregnating Callie, and is delighted by the news. But during this time, he made up with Lexie, and Lexie’s mad that he’s having a child with Callie and leaves him again. 

Lexie and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) start dating in this time, which ruins the bromance that Jackson and Mark have going on. Mark tries to use Jackson to find out what’s going on with Lexie, but Jackson, concerned about his relationship with her, lies to him. 

While Lexie and Jackson are together, Sofia is born. Mark tries to be involved in his daughter’s life, to the dismay of Arizona. Mark eventually gives his blessing to Lexie and Jackson, telling Lexie he’ll finally let her go. But Lexie reveals she still loves Mark but has to make Jackson happy. Because of this, Mark repairs his friendship with Jackson, even if his feelings to Lexie are apparent to Jackson. 

Til death do us part

In natural Grey’s fashion, Mark’s life starts going right before everything goes horribly wrong again. Arizona finally warms up to Mark, as she witnesses him being a great father to Sofia. Mark finds new love in the form of Julia, though it breaks up Jackson and Lexie because she’s jealous. Lexie admits to Mark that she’s jealous of Julia, which leaves him torn between the two. 

Perfect time for a nice calm plane ride, right? Mark was one of the surgeons on the fateful flight. Mark works to try and save Lexie from under a pile of debris, but when he knows she’s going to die, he stays by her side until she takes her last breath. He confesses that he has and always will love her, and she reciprocates his feelings. 

Once Mark and the rest of the surgeons returned to the hospital, Mark has a surge of energy. He breaks things off with Julie, saying it’s unfair to stay with her when he still loves Lexie. He even fixes things with Jackson, and gives him the advice to tell the person you love that you love them when you get the chance.

But alas, Mark ends up dying from his injuries sustained in the plane crash. In his will, if he showed no signs of life in 30 days, he was to be taken off life support. During a vigil for him on the 30th day, the plug was pulled and Mark passed on. In him and Lexie’s honor, the hospital was renamed Grey Sloan Memorial when the remaining surgeons bought the hospital. 

April Kepner

One of the Mercy West who joined the Seattle Grace staff, April is originally hated by most of her colleagues. She’s portrayed as super religious, a big part of it being tied to virginity. Of course no one in Grey’s likes her, they’re all sex addicts and she has no interest in it. 

Lexie blackmails her by stealing her journal where she keeps her thoughts, though she later apologizes. Initially, April gets fired after making a mistake that killed a patient, Derek hires her back once he’s made chief of surgery. In her gratefulness to him, April acts as his assistant, running around doing errands for him. She gets nicknamed “Shepherd’s flunky” over this. But while working with Derek, April develops an interest in neurosurgery. 

When it comes to the hospital shooting, April is the one to discover Reed Adamson’s (Nora Zehetner) body, one of her Mercy West colleagues. She ends up running into the shooter, but talks her way out of it thanks to sharing her life story. 

The adventures of April and dating in Seattle

Obviously, April can’t stay single for long, and ends up losing her crush on McDreamy for a crush on Alex. Alex and April almost sleep together, but April still remains a virgin. Jackson and April become close thanks to the merger, and when he finds out about Alex, he assaults Alex for trying to make her break her values. 

April then dates Arizona’s replacement, Robert Stark (Peter MacNicol) who steps in while she’s in Africa. Of course, Robert is a dick to everyone besides April, and the interns make fun of April for dating him. The two end up breaking up. The interns continue to make fun of April, especially after she’s promoted to Chief Resident. None of her coworkers take her seriously as chief.

With the rest of the surgical interns, April prepares to take her boards. The night before though, April sleeps with Jackson and loses her virginity. She continues to question the decision into the next day, which makes her uneasy during her board exams. 

April ends up being the only resident to fail their boards, and leaves Seattle. But before she can, Jackson tries to get with her romantically, but April thinks he feels guilty for sleeping with her. 

Months after these events, Owen tracks down April at her family farm, offering her an attending position at Seattle Grace. The plane crash left holes in the staff and Owen still sees greatness in April. When she returns to Seattle, she continues to sleep with Jackson, though she claims she wants to “revirginize”. 

Love, no marriage, and no baby carriage

April ends up having a pregnancy scare with Jackson, but Jackson steps up. He says he’ll marry her if the test comes back positive and take care of the child. April is relieved when the test comes back negative, but Jackson takes it as she’s relieved she doesn’t have to marry him, and the two break up. When Miranda’s wedding comes around, the two decide to take separate dates as a way to help move on.

Jackson’s date is intern Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), who he ends up sleeping with and starting a relationship with. Jackson tells April this, but she tells him they can’t be friends until she gets over him. Thankfully, hot Christian paramedic Matthew (Justin Bruening) comes into the picture and April starts dating him. April turns to Jackson for dating advice, but it’s clear Jackson hasn’t moved on either, because he’s jealous of Matthew. 

Being the good Christian she is, April tells Matthew that she’s no longer a virgin, and lied to him, which leads to him dumping her. But he does take her back, forgiving her for her lies. The two end up getting engaged, but April still has feelings for Jackson through all this. April thinks Jackson died in a bus explosion, and confesses her love for him before she finds out he’s actually okay.

The runaway bride

At April and Matthew’s wedding, Jackson stands up and confesses his feelings for April. Jackson’s also still dating Stephanie during this time, in case anyone forgot. April ends up running away from her own wedding with Jackson, and unknown to anyone else, the two elope. The two try to keep their marriage a secret, but a rule change at the hospital makes them reveal it to everyone. 

Of course, no one in Jackson’s family is happy about this. The legendary Harper Avery award is named after Jackson’s grandfather, so there’s a lot of money in the family. Rich enough where Jackson is only on the board of directors at Grey Sloan Memorial because his mom bought it when she invested in the hospital while it was going bankrupt. Since no prenup agreement was signed, the family demands they fill out a postnup agreement. 

When it comes time to discuss children, April and Jackson hit a rough patch over what religion to raise the child in. So naturally April becomes pregnant as they go through their rough patch. However, early on they find out the baby has brittle bone disease and won’t live past birth. April gets induced at 24 weeks, giving birth to baby Samuel, who they baptized and then dies shortly after in his parents’ arms. 

Neither one of them takes it well, putting a rock in their relationship. April ends up going with Owen to serve as a trauma surgeon in the military to help her process her grief, a decision that Jackson is not at all okay with. April continues to put off her return, pushing her tour longer and longer. By the time April surprises Jackson at home, Jackson has the divorce papers ready to go.

Baby number 2, where are you?

The morning the two are supposed to meet to finalize their divorce, April finds out she’s pregnant with their second child. April tries to keep this secret from Jackson, but Arizona rats her out, which makes the divorce even more problematic. Jackson’s mother urges him to fight for sole custody of the baby, while April gets a restraining order against Jackson. 

But when Jackson re-reads their wedding vows, he realizes the best thing for the baby is for him and April to raise it as friends. April agrees, and their daughter Harriet is born. But Ben Warren has to deliver April’s baby via C-section, without anesthesia. Also Ben does this on Meredith’s kitchen table at her house with a steak knife. 

After all this, April goes through a crisis in faith, especially after she has three patients in a row who all seem like wonderful people who end up dying. Arizona blames April for their deaths, which sends her on a downward spiral. Her addiction to partying and sex is so bad, the new group of interns nickname her “The Party.” She doesn’t let anyone help her, not even Jackson.

Jackson has other issues going on during this time through his grandfather’s legacy. 13 women came out accusing Harper of sexual misconduct, which causes the Harper Avery Foundation to be renamed in honor of Jackson’s mother, Catherine. The Catherine Fox Foundation lives on in the remains of the old foundation. 

However, a terminal patient comes in who helps bring April to her senses about her faith. One of the patients who died was her ex-fiance Matthew’s wife, so Matthew and April end up back together after she returns from her crisis. The two end up getting married, and April leaves Grey Sloan to go help provide medical care for the homeless of Seattle. 

Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson)

One of April’s army buddies, Nathan joins the staff of Grey Sloan as a new cardiothoracic surgeon. Owen and Nathan also were friends at one point, but Owen blames Nathan for the kidnapping of his sister, so their friendship did not end amicably. Nathan was with Megan (Abigail Spencer), but then Megan found out about Nathan cheating on her, so she left him. Shortly after, she ended up being kidnapped. 

Nathan’s real drama though is the Grey sister love triangle. Initially, Nathan sleeps with Meredith in a one-night stand, but then it turns into something more serious. Meredith is still having issues getting over Derek after his untimely death, but Nathan pursues her nonetheless. However, Maggie is also crushing on Nathan, which Meredith is aware of. Meredith finally agrees to enter a relationship with Nathan at the end of the day.

However, Owen’s sister and Nathan’s ex-fiance Megan shows up alive, leaving Nathan stuck between Meredith and Megan. Meredith pushes Nathan to go off with Megan, saying that she would do the same thing if it was Derek. It takes some time for the two to find a rhythm again, but Megan begins to trust Nathan again when he brings her son from Iraq to the US. The three of them move to LA, and Nathan leaves Grey Sloan.

Owen Hunt

The first army man in Seattle Grace, Owen definitely is not like his traditional surgery colleagues. Owen literally stabbed a bunch of pigs and had the residents work to save their lives as practice on live beings. When he first comes to Seattle, he manages to piss off nearly everyone in the hospital. Keyword nearly.

Cristina is obsessed with Owen after he manages to perform a tracheotomy with just a ballpoint pen. The two end up dating for a bit, until Owen’s PTSD leads him to accidentally choke Cristina. Owen seeks psychiatric help after the incident to help him manage his PTSD better. However, a fellow veteran patient motivates Owen to reenlist in the military, a decision Cristina is 100% against.

The real beginning of Owen and Cristina

Cristina makes it clear that she doesn’t want Owen doing another tour because she doesn’t want to see him die. Cristina’s concern for Owen’s wellbeing amazes him, drawing the two closer together. Owen then goes and ruins his chance at Cristina’s love by bringing his ex to Seattle. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) served in the Army with Owen, and ends up running the cardiothoracic surgery department, which Cristina works in.

The two break up over Teddy, but then in the hospital shooting, Owen gets injured. Cristina realizes how much he means to her thanks to this, and the two begin dating again. Owen and Cristina rush to marry each other after the shooting, not wanting to risk being separated anymore, which all of Cristina’s friends advise against. 

During this time, Cristina figures out she’s pregnant, and wants to get an abortion. Owen is not happy about the decision, and the two split once again. This ends up being a big issue in their relationship, as Cristina never wants children, and Owen wants kids, a housewife, and a white picket fence. 

A promotion always brings trouble

After the Alzheimer’s trial issues with Meredith, Webber steps down as Chief of Surgery, so Owen fills his shoes. Owen’s job ends up ruining his friendship with Teddy, because he lies to her about her husband’s death to make sure she continues performing the surgery she was in. Teddy blames Owen for his death.

His love life gets a boost, as Owen ends up going with Cristina to her abortion appointment, but then he ruins it all. After getting in a fight with Cristina, Owen goes out on a one-night stand. Cristina finds out and ends their relationship, though no formal divorce goes through. 

Once Cristina passes her boards though, the two get back together, only for Cristina to reveal she’s leaving Seattle to work in the Mayo Clinic. She leaves for a bit but does return. In this time, Owen does reconcile with Teddy, but ends up “firing” her from Seattle Grace so she can start fresh somewhere else.

Owen is also the one who makes the decision to fire April since she’s not board-certified, but ends up regretting that and brings her back on later. His friendship with April is what motivates her to enlist as an Army surgeon, which brings the downfall of her marriage. 

Cristina comes to visit throughout her time away, and the long-distance hurts their relationship. Owen is still in love with her, but since he’s the chief of surgery, they get divorced so Cristina can get her split of the plane crash money. They reconcile before Miranda’s wedding.

Bye-bye Cristina, hello Amelia

As we already established, Cristina ends up leaving for Switzerland. Owen knows that he would be holding Cristina back and had no good reason to keep her in Seattle, so he supports her decision. But before they officially get divorced, Owen wants the two of them to spend her last two weeks together. When Cristina is leaving Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen is in the middle of surgery, so the two share one final silent goodbye between the gallery glass.

With Cristina gone, it’s time for a new love in Owen’s life. Enter Amelia Shepherd. The two start off having an on-again/off-again relationship. The two do eventually get married, with Amelia proposing. Both have a strong desire for a “real family”, and seem like a good fit. Within their first year together though, Owen starts looking to divorce Amelia, blaming it on her changing her stance on children and other erratic behavior. 

Amelia ends up telling Owen to go be with Teddy, and Owen takes her seriously. He flies to Germany to be with Teddy, sleeps with her, and then admits that he’s there because Amelia told him to. Teddy gets mad, and rightfully so, since he’s treating her like his last choice. She sends him back to Seattle alone. 

Of course, like we learned with Izzie, Amelia has a brain tumor and her crazy behavior was symptoms. Owen didn’t recognize any of it, blaming Amelia solely for their marriage problem, which in turn Amelia blame Owen for pushing the blame on her and not recognizing the symptoms. Even though they’re going through the divorce process, Owen and Amelia continue to sleep together. 

Owen’s journey into fatherhood

Since he doesn’t know what the future holds for him and Amelia, Owen begins fostering Leo, a baby resulting from a teen pregnancy. Amelia finds Leo’s mother Betty (Peyton Kennedy) on the street addicted to drugs, so she brings her to live with Owen and Leo in their home. Owen and Amelia work together to care for Leo and Betty, which helps heal their relationship. 

Everything is going great for the happy couple until Teddy arrives with news that Owen’s one night stand with her resulted in a baby. She held off telling him because Teddy knew Owen would leave Amelia because of his desire to be a father, and she’s still bitter that she’s not Owen’s first choice. Because Teddy’s right, Owen is mad since he would’ve never made up with Amelia if he knew Teddy was pregnant.

Owen does declare he chooses Amelia, but his behavior towards Teddy and her pregnancy says otherwise. Ameila permanently leaves Owen because of the way Owen is treating Teddy. Owen officially adopts Leo and welcomes his daughter with Teddy, and since he’s newly single now, Teddy decides to take back what she said and date Owen. 

Andrew DeLuca

When Andrew is introduced as an intern in season 11, the other interns are already on the wrong foot with him. Andrew made the other attending surgeons think he was attending because of his appearance and helped out with the victims in the collapsed tunnel. Because of this, Andrew ends up moving in with Arizona. 

Andrew pursues Maggie Piece at first, but is too professionally intimidated by her to continue the relationship. Later, he becomes interested in Jo. The two go out for drinks, and Jo gets outrageously drunk, so Andrew helps bring her home. Jo gets home and begins removing her clothes, which trips Andrew to look like he’s on top of her right as Jo’s boyfriend Alex walks through the door.

Alex assumes that Andrew got her drunk and is trying to take advantage of her, so he beats him senseless. Since Alex beat him within an inch of his life, Andrew naturally presses charges, but that sets off the other staff at Grey Sloan. Everyone is close with Alex, so they feel uncomfortable not supporting him. 

Andrew even offers to move out of Arizona’s house, since he knows she’s Alex’s best friend and mentor. But she rejects the offer. Andrew ends up retracting the charges in the knick of time for the sake of Jo. 

Another ex arrives at Grey Sloan: Shocker

As Andrew enters his residency, his ex-girlfriend Sam Bello (Jeanine Mason) becomes an intern. Also joining the team of Grey Sloan is Andrew’s sister, Carina (Stefania Spampinato) who enters a relationship with Arizona, much to Andrew’s horror. Of course, Carina doesn’t like that Sam is in Seattle, feeling that she’s stalking Andrew. 

Andrew and Sam begin another relationship for a little while, but shortly after Sam leaves Seattle to avoid deportation. Andrew is heartbroken, so much so he drunkenly kisses Meredith at Alex and Jo’s wedding. But it turns out it wasn’t an accident, as Andrew had developed feelings for Meredith. After pursuing her, Meredith and Andrew enter a relationship. 

In his professional life, Andrew’s father comes to town to start on a new study. Andrew signs on, hoping to use it to move forward in his career. However, as he’s done in the past, Andrew’s father lets his mental illness ruin the project. After this new failure, Andrew and his father have a confrontation, that causes his father to leave Seattle. 

Meredith and Andrew’s relationship continues to get more serious, to the point where Andrew will commit crimes for her! Meredith tries to save a child by committing insurance fraud, and Andrew takes the fall for her. He lands himself in jail, but Meredith admits her love of him and says she won’t let him stay there. Meredith then works on bailing Andrew out. 

Stephanie Edwards

Stephanie became a doctor because she has sickle cell disease, and wants to give back to the industry that helped her live this far. She has high hopes for her surgical career, almost mirroring Cristina’s arc in the beginning of the show. It makes perfect sense why Stephanie would be working as an intern under Cristina.

While attending Miranda’s wedding, Stephanie goes as Jackson’s date, since the two have been casually dating in the wake of him and April’s breakup. They hook up in the back of his car, but he ends up leaving her to get back with April. Stephanie then ends up dating a patient, but they break up and shortly after, the patient dies, scarring Stephanie.

Testing without consent

While working under Cristina, Stephanie helps Miranda with a patient dealing with SCID. Miranda decides to use a deactivated HIV cell to try and help deliver enzymes to the patient, which the patient’s parents consent to. However, during the procedure, the patients’ parents revoke consent, but Miranda continues anyway. 

When the patient’s numbers suddenly improve, Stephanie approaches Miranda about it, and she fesses up. Miranda comes clean to the parents, leading to a legal hellscape between the parents and the hospital. Stephanie ends up covering for Miranda, saying that she didn’t tell Miranda that the parents revoked consent. The pending lawsuit from the parents is dropped, and Stephanie walks away with only a one-week suspension. 

After all this, Stephanie turns to Amelia as her new mentor, developing an interest in neurosurgery. Stephanie works side by side with Amelia to help a fellow colleague, Dr. Nicole Herman (Geena Davis) to remove a brain tumor that looks impossible to remove. While the surgery is successful, it turns out Dr. Herman had a stroke which left her in a coma for a few days after surgery. When she does wake up, she’s blind.

However, she’s still grateful that the girls were able to remove her tumor and give her a new life. Amelia declares her and Stephanie superheroes for managing to remove the tumor successfully, which solidifies Stephanie’s interest in neuroscience. 

Burn, baby, burn

Stephanie continues her work in the hospital, but ends up losing her privileges after getting into an argument with a patient. A uber-religious couple brings their sick son into the hospital but refuses treatment for him. Stephanie lashes out, throwing a tablet at the wall near the father. She’s mandated to go to therapy, but returns after three sessions. 

After she returns, Stephanie is taken hostage by a hostile patient who raped another patient. With a scalpel to her throat, Stephanie has to try and help him escape the hospital, but Miranda put the hospital in lockdown to try and find the two of them. The patient tries to light a fire to escape, but Stephanie ends up stealing the alcohol from him and setting him on fire to escape. 

The patient ends up walking near a flammable canister, so Stephanie tries to prevent an explosion but fails. She is only injured in the explosion. After she receives treatment for her injuries, Stephanie resigns from Grey Sloan so she can spend some time exploring the world outside of hospitals, something she never got as a kid. 

Teddy Altman

Owen and Teddy became close during their time in the Army, so Owen asks Teddy to come to Seattle to mentor his girlfriend at the time, Cristina. Of course, when Cristina finds out they’re exes, it makes her uncomfortable for a bit. But Cristina ends up offering to break up with Owen to keep Teddy in Seattle, so Teddy stays, and Cristina and Owen stay together, for now. 

Cristina and Teddy continue to go at it throughout Teddy’s time in Seattle. Teddy constantly takes Cristina off duty because of her overconfidence and her defiance against Teddy. Part of this also ties back to Teddy’s feelings for Owen. 

During her time in Seattle, Teddy grows close with Arizona and enters a relationship with Mark. But Mark and Teddy are both in love with someone else (Lexie and Owen, respectively), so they amicably break up. Teddy then gets together with a doctor who’s only in Seattle for a short time, which he points out to her when he’s breaking up with her.

Later on, Teddy meets patient Henry Burton (Scott Foley), who’s in the hospital with a rare genetic disorder. Henry has run out of money to fund his health insurance, so Teddy marries him so he can have coverage under her plan. She only realizes how much of an impact this has on him when he has a near-fatal incident that is solved thanks to his new health coverage. 

From fake love to real love

While Teddy and Henry’s marriage started out of convenience, Henry began developing feelings for Teddy. Initially, Teddy didn’t feel the same way, but when Andrew comes back asking if Teddy will move to Germany with him, she realizes she loves Henry. The two begin living like a real married couple, but then Henry passes away from his disorder.

Teddy ends her friendship with Owen because he didn’t tell her about Henry’s death until after she was finished surgery, making her think he put work over her emotions. Around this time Owen and Cristina are going through their rough patch in regards to her pregnancy, which makes Owen and Teddy’s issues worse. Finally though, Miranda calls out Teddy, telling her that she knows this isn’t Owen’s fault and needs to move on.

Teddy starts acting amicably to Owen again, and ends up mending their friendship. But before that, she begs Owen to tell Cristina not to move from Seattle, which Owen tells her he owes her no favors. It turns out Teddy was asking this because the Army offered Teddy a new job, but Teddy wanted to stay in Seattle in case Owen broke up with Cristina. 

Owen goes out of his way to fire Teddy, so that way she has to take the job in the Army like she wants to. Teddy understands why he’s firing her, and makes up completely with him before she leaves Seattle. Teddy doesn’t reappear until season 14 when Owen makes a mess of things sleeping with her and creating a child between the two of them, while dating Amelia. 

Amelia Shepherd

The youngest of the Shepherd children, Amelia is like her brother Derek in which she practices neurosurgery. Originally starting out in LA on Private Practice, Amelia takes over Derek’s job as chief of neurosurgery at Grey Sloan when Derek leaves for D.C. Before this, she made small appearances taking care of her niece and nephew.

She formally moves in with her sister-in-law and brother when she starts at Grey Sloan. But Amelia deals with constantly living in her brother’s shadow. Shortly after she starts at the hospital, Amelia enters her relationship with Owen. Amelia stops wanting to mix work and her personal life, and breaks up with Owen.

After Derek dies and Meredith runs off for a year, Amelia works through her grief by working like crazy. She holds a grudge against Meredith, but then realizes it’s stupid to hate Meredith when she lost her husband too, and the two reconcile. Shortly after Meredith’s return, her half sister Maggie moves in with Amelia and Meredith. 

Like we already discussed with Owen, the two marry, but Amelia’s personality starts to change thanks to a brain tumor discovered by Andrew’s sister. Their marriage problems were already bad, but now knowing that Amelia’s behavior was signs of a brain tumor that Owen ignored, their marriage is even more strained. Then Owen runs off with Teddy, Teddy gets pregnant, and Amelia and Owen divorce formally. 

Shane Ross (Gaius Charles) 

Part of the new batch of interns that comes in after the plane crash, Shane is adamant to become the next Derek. He clings onto Derek as a mentor, working through his neurosurgery cycle. However, Derek ends up picking fellow intern Heather (Tina Majorino) to be his intern, angering Shane. 

After he gets snubbed by Derek, Shane ends up going under Cristina in the cardiothoracic field. When Shane sticks up for Cristina during an argument over the 3D printer between Meredith and Cristina, Cristina kisses him, initiating a short-lived sexual relationship. 

At one point during a superstorm, Shane asks Heather to go look for Webber, even though Miranda asked him to do it. Heather goes to the basement and steps in live water, electrocuting herself. Derek and Shane try to save her but she ends up dying. Shane becomes a workaholic trying to cope with the pain.

As part of his workaholic attitude, Shane develops an energy drink addiction that leads to a sleep deprivation-motivated breakdown. However, his breakdown also ends up killing Alex’s father who Shane was looking over. It takes a great deal of time for Shane to cope and come back, but as soon as he does, he leaves for Switzerland with Cristina. 

Leah Murphy (Tessa Ferrer)

Leah fits in perfectly because she has sex with half of Grey Sloan by the time she’s through her first season. As part of the interns joining after the plane crash, Leah sleeps with Alex in his quest to sleep with every intern. She gets hung up on him before moving on to Arizona when Arizona and Callie are broken up. 

Again, Leah gets hung up on Arizona. She goes as far as reporting Arizona and Callie’s marriage and filing a sexual harassment claim against Callie to break up Arizona and Callie’s marriage. She tries to also get Stephanie in on this based on how she’s been treated by Jackson.

While she’s hung up on everyone she’s slept with, Leah is screwing up professionally. After a bunch of mistakes, Webber tells her surgery is not right for her and fires her from Grey Sloan. She leaves for a bit, works at a different hospital, and then returns in the 13th season as a resident under Maggie in the cardiothoracic division. By the end of the season though, Leah has left Seattle once again.

Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli)

Ah yes, the guy who’s glasses fell off during surgery. Levi made a great first impression during his first day as a resident. Since Jo was the one who he was in surgery with, Levi apologizes to her, so naturally they have a one night stand. But Jo gets back together with Alex, so it goes no further.  

Levi ends up sleeping with orthopedic fellow Nico Kim (Alex Landi) and comes out as gay, giving us our first male homosexual relationship in the regular cast! Of course, Alex walked in on the two screwing in the back of an ambulance, so not 100% good. 

The biggest thing to know about Levi is he’s the reason Meredith gets fired. While taking care of the child that she’s committing insurance fraud with, Levi notices the bracelet says Meredith’s mom’s name. Levi asks Miranda about this, which initiates the investigation that gets Meredith, Webber and Alex fired. Levi reveals this at Meredith’s medical commission hearing when he is called to testify. 

Thomas Koracick (Greg Germann) 

A former mentor of Amelia’s Thomas is brought to Grey Sloan to operate on Amelia. Thomas scrubs up to help remove the brain tumor. While he’s in Seattle, Thomas romances Teddy while she’s pregnant with Owen’s child. Who doesn’t love an awkward triangle? This also leads to Thomas punching Owen at one point for the way he talks of Teddy. Of course, he loses when the baby comes, as Teddy gets back with Owen. 

Thomas also helps out with Catherine Fox’s surgery on her back when it’s discovered she has cancer. Because of how the tumor is, Thomas is only able to successfully remove 95% of it. The doctors throw a party to celebrate the surgery’s success, which leads to plenty of individual drama within every group of doctors. 

Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) 

Our most recent surgeon, Link joined as a recurring in season 15 but did get promoted to regular for season 16. Another former sick kid motivated to become a doctor, Link knew Jo when they were younger. Throughout season 15, Link pursues Meredith, but Meredith keeps blowing him off for Andrew.

By the end of the season, Link gets together with Amelia after her divorce from Owen. Link ends up getting Amelia pregnant as well. Throughout this season, Link is also dealing with his parents getting back together after going through a rough divorce before. 

If you think you’re ready to take on Grey’s Anatomy, you can catch up on the first half of season 16 now on Hulu, and tune in to the second half of the season starting January 23rd, 2020 on ABC.

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