WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!
If you love Grey’s Anatomy as much as we do, you were probably devastated by last night’s episode. That’s right: McDreamy is dead. RIP Derek Shepherd, you will be missed.
The April 23rd episode will surely go down in Grey’s Anatomy history as one of it’s most heart-wrenching. It will probably be ranked among other tragic events such as George O’Malley’s death in “Good Mourning” (season 6, episode 1), the hospital shooting in “Sanctuary” (season 6, episode 23), and the plane crash in “Flight” (season 8, episode 24). All Grey’s fans remember these pivotal moments, but there are plenty of less acknowledged tragedies that we have been shocked with. Here are the top underrated tragic moments of Grey’s Anatomy.
9. Lexie and Meredith’s brain surgery gone wrong (season 8, episode 17). Lexie and Meredith are both working neurology and operate together on a young woman with a brain cyst. They then try to remove a benign tumor without waiting for Derek, and close up thinking the surgery was a success. However, in removing the tumor they damaged the part of the brain that forms words, leaving the patient unable to speak. This leaves Derek furious, and Lexie and Meredith feeling overwhelmingly guilty. Lexie especially is crushed by the results of their actions.
8. Callie realizes her parents haven’t accepted her as being gay (season 6, episode 5). Callie was so disappointed to realize her father came to see her only in hopes of “praying away the gay.” Her parents’ homophobia and inability to accept their own daughter left us all sympathizing with Callie.
7. Meredith and Alex are in an ambulance crash while caring for a premature baby (season 8, episode 9). The ambulance that Meredith and Alex were riding in breaks down on a dark highway. They have a premature baby with them, so they call Arizona for help but the call disconnects. Their ambulance is then hit by another car, and Meredith steps outside to see three bodies on the ground. This event makes the list mostly because of it’s suspense factor.
6. Meredith finds out Derek is married (season 1, episode 9). Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a tragedy by Grey’s Anatomy standards. No one died, nothing exploded, there wasn’t even a surgery. However, after a season of Meredith and Derek beginning a beautiful romance, Meredith is blind sided when his wife Addison arrives. She naturally feels betrayed, and it looks like the end of MerDer. We later find out that they are separated because she cheated on him, but the initial discovery is still a shock.
5. Arizona having to cope with the loss of her leg (season 9, episode 3). We know this is technically a repercussion of the fateful plane crash, but it was so devastating for Arizona and Callie that is deserves to be acknowledged separately.
4. Jackson saves a little girl from a bus right before it explodes, nearly dying in the process (season 9, episode 24). This episode is well known for the birth of Meredith’s son, Bailey! While Meredith is delivering her child, a bus flips over outside the hospital and catches on fire. While the doctors rush to help the victims, Jackson ends up inside the bus searching for a little girl, rescuing her at the last second. April screaming Jackson’s name when the bus explodes gives us chills, as does Jackson walking out of the flames like a superhero.
3. Callie and her unborn baby almost die in a car crash (season 7, episode 18). This was the first and only musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy! It is also the episode where Arizona and Callie get into a car accident, Callie is rushed into emergency surgery while her (subconscious?) watches, Mark is told he cannot operate because he’s too invested, and they have to deliver Callie’s baby prematurely. Fortunately both Callie and the baby live, but it’s a pretty traumatizing episode.
2. Mark Sloan flashback videos (season 9 episode 1). Yes, the deaths of Mark and Lexie are extremely tragic. One of the most painful subsequent scenes is a home video of Mark at Callie and Arizona’s wedding three years prior. He tells the person recording that if he were to marry anyone, it would be Lexie Grey. At this point we know that Lexie is dead and Mark is dying, making his dream impossible. #SlexieForever
1. April and Jackson lose their baby (season 11, episode 11). This is one of the saddest storylines we have seen on Grey’s. April and Jackson were thrilled about their pregnancy, until it was revealed that the baby had a rare and deadly disease. At the advice of Jackson’s mother, Catherine Avery, April was soon induced. They had the baby baptized upon birth, name him Samuel Norbert Avery, and held him for a short time before he passed. It broke everyone’s hearts to hear April say “he squeezed my finger!… and then he let go.” The episode was rightly named “All I Could Do Was Cry,” because as the audience, all we could do was cry too.