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The 5 Most Tear-Jerking “Grey’s Anatomy” Episodes Ever

Grey's Anatomy is infamous in the television world. Early in the show’s run, the series became known for its tragic twists and turns. This medical drama has put its characters through countless devastating accidents, traumas, injuries and even natural disasters. With storylines that involve situations like active shooters, explosions, and plane crashes, the series has had a plethora of heartbreaking moments. Being a dedicated fan of Grey's Anatomy is definitely not for the weak-hearted; it takes immense emotional strength to endure each episode (and a very large box of tissues) With the series’ sixteenth season set to premiere at the end of September, let’s take a look back at the 5 moments in Grey’s Anatomy that are guaranteed to make you ugly-cry. 

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  • "Losing My Religion" — Season 2, Episode 27 — When Izzie didn't get to Denny in time:
    • Over the course of several episodes, Denny, a heart patient at Seattle Grace, and Dr. Izzy Stevens had cultivated one of the most heartwarming relationships in the entire series. With Denny on the verge of death, he is suddenly given the heart transplant he has needed for so long. With Denny even proposing to Izzy after his surgery goes well, the future could not seem brighter. . . Until Izzy returns to the hospital to find Denny had unexpectedly passed on due to stroke. With Izzy in tears while being curled up next to Denny’s corpse, any viewer can expect to sob uncontrollably. 

  • "Now Or Never" — Season 5 Episode 24 — When Meredith Realizes It's George: 
    • In the fifth season finale, a John Doe enters the hospital after being hit by a bus. The man is unable to speak, and his injuries are so significant, no one can identify him–until he outlines the numbers "007" on Meredith's palm. Suddenly, she realizes it is Dr. George O'Malley, one of her best friends who they joked had a “license to kill.” In one of the most heart-wrenching moments of the series, O'Malley, who had been a staple in the cast since the pilot, passed away due to his injuries. 

  • "Death and All His Friends" — Season 6, Episode 24 — When an active shooter roamed the halls of the Seattle Grace
    • In yet another season finale, the hospital faces its most heart-pounding situation yet. After a man’s wife dies at Seattle Grace, he blames the surgeons, causing him to come back for revenge.With a shooter loose in the hospital, no one is safe. Derek gets shot, Alex fights for his life, and several interns even lose their lives. This episode will have you on the edge of your seat and weeping into your pillow. 

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  • "Flight" — Season 8, Episode 24 — When Mark said goodbye to Lexie:
    • I'm not sure if you've caught on yet, but season finales are almost sure to leave you crying on your couch. This time, at the end of season eight, the Grey's Anatomy faces a whole new kind of catastrophe. Meredith, Derek, Lexie, Mark, Christina, and Arizona are left stranded h in the middle of the wilderness after their plane crashes. Mark stays by Lexie's side as she slowly succumbs to her injuries, telling her how much he loves her. Mark is left heartbroken when his soulmate dies, and the audience feels just as sorrowful. 

  • "How To Save A Life" — Season 11, Episode 21 — When Derek Shepherd died:
    • Every single one of these moments were heartbreaking and tragic, but they pale in comparison to the loss of McDreamy. After eleven season of falling in love with Derek, Meredith loses her soulmate and the father of her children when he is left with an irreparable brain injury after a fatal car accident. This blur of an episode will have you in pieces.

You may be asking yourself why someone would ever choose to put themselves through so much heartbreak, but as any Grey’s fan will gladly tell you: This show is one-of-a-kind. So, turn on Netflix and grab some tissues because Grey’s Anatomy is a series you definitely want to see!

After three years at Cal, Brianna Brann graduated UC Berkeley in 2020 with a double major in Economics and Media Studies! She is originally from Santa Clarita in Southern California, but she loves the weather, nature, and people in the Bay Area. In addition to her unmatched passion for film and television, she also enjoys visiting the beach, playing with her dog, and hiking outdoors!
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