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'Grey's Anatomy' is a cruel mistress, tearing our hearts apart with each tragic death. Here are all the characters who deserved much happier endings.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: All the characters who deserved a happy ending

Since Grey’s Anatomy’s debut in 2005, the show has become notorious for its constant tragedy and slaying of main characters. You can fill a book with all the deaths occurring within the immensely popular hospital drama. We’re gonna discuss the show’s major characters who deserved so much better than what they got. Warning: this list contains major spoilers, so tread carefully. 

Denny Duquette

Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s first appearance as Denny Duquette was in the middle of season 2. His heartfelt romance with Izzie Stevens instantly won the hearts of Grey’s Anatomy viewers – however, all the fans’ love in the world couldn’t save his heart. 

In season 2’s tragic finale, Izzy anticipates a romantic evening with her fiancé Denny only to find out he dies from complications from what appeared to be a successful heart transplant.

Although his death occurs early on in the series, the pain still resonates amongst Grey’s Anatomy fans as one of the first untimely deaths of the series’s major characters. 

George O’Malley

Soft & beloved George is killed by being hit by a bus while saving a woman’s wife in the season 5 finale. Due to his facial disfigurement caused by the accident, none of his friends were aware that he was lying on the table. It isn’t until George is able to signify his personal moniker “007” to Meredith, that the staff was able to recognize his identity.

After finally becoming a resident and hoping to become a military doctor, the audience was ready for George’s bright future only for his life to be cut short. Out of all the Grey’s Anatomy characters, George O’Malley is one everyone wanted better for. 

Lexie Grey

Meredith’s paternal half sister Lexie is first introduced in season 3. Lexie’s bright & sweet personality made her an instant fan favorite. Her relationship with Mark Sloan is a constant struggle but equally romantic, and this couple is one of the show’s greatest highlights. 

However, in season 8, after five seasons of knowing the character, Lexie dies in a horrific plane crash. It’s hard to believe she truly died due to the abruptness of her death. Watching Meredith’s agony and Mark’s final loving words makes this season finale trauma-inducing to all its viewers. Lexie & Mark truly deserved a happy ending.

Mark Sloan 

Mark Sloan, the promiscuous plastic surgeon and Derek Shepherd’s best friend, is also critically injured in the season 8 plane crash. However, the audience became optimistic due to his safe return in the season 9 premiere. Mark initially shows he’s recovering from his severe chest wound from the plane crash. Yet, in true Grey’s Anatomy fashion, Mark suddenly succumbs to his injury and falls into a coma.

Due to his prior refusal of being put on a ventilator, Richard Webber respects his wish and pulls the plug. In his & Lexie’s honor, the hospital was renamed Grey Sloan Memorial. One of the audience’s most cherished couples, the two Grey’s Anatomy characters will always be remembered. 

Derek Shepherd

“McDreamy” was without a doubt loved by all of the viewers. Meredith’s true love and the hospital’s famous brain surgeon tragically loses his life in the season 11 episode “How to Save a Life”. 

On his way to the airport, ready to fly to Washington D.C. to quit his federal job to finally reunite with Meredith, he witnesses a severe car crash. As expected, Derek instantly rushes to the scene to offer his medical expertise. After saving everyone on the scene, Derek returns to his vehicle only to be hit at full speed by a semi-truck. 

Derek is transported to a nearby hospital, only to be neglected by the lead surgeon and die as a result of malpractice. Without a doubt, Derek’s death is considered the most painful death in the show’s history. 

With a total of seventeen seasons, Grey’s Anatomy has gone through a tremendous amount of ups & downs. Although, sometimes it feels like mostly downs. The characters listed, and many others on the show, deserved so much better than what the writers gave them. However, the show’s constant catastrophes and numerous deaths won’t stop us from watching anytime soon.

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