Grey’s Anatomy is one of the only TV shows that can make us simultaneously long for the heated embrace of a lover while also fear tragic heartbreak so intensely we’d be fine staying single for good. Because usually, one surgeon’s hot sex session is another surgeon’s date with tears and tissues. Of course, even love can’t come out unscathed on a show that prides itself for its gut-wrenching, heart-pounding mishaps. Remember when the Seattle Grace doctors were in that insane plane crash and Lexie dies right after Mark (a.k.a. McSteamy, a.k.a. the love of her life) tells her that she’ll survive and they’ll be together forever?
And other times, we just want to throw something at the TV screen because we just can’t with the annoying love games these doctors play that we’d hate to have to deal with ourselves. Here are the top moments from everyone’s favorite medical drama that make us thank the heavens we’re single.
16. When Meredith Finds Out the Man She’s Been Sleeping With Has a Wife … Because She Just Showed Up
Season 1, Episode 9
The chemistry between Meredith and Derek has always been, well, obvious. And we loved seeing Meredith get the butterflies every time McDreamy so much as threw a passing glance in her direction. But life can clearly never be easy for Meredith, so Derek’s wife Addison shows up to sort of put Meredith in her place and reclaim her role in Derek’s life. It was just as cringey as it sounded. Meredith didn’t ask for that; she didn’t even know Derek had a wife! No one ever asks to be known as “the other woman” or be labeled a homewrecker, and even though Derek and Addison’s marriage was far from a fairytale, that doesn’t make some weird affair feel any better for the other lady involved.
15. When Christina Gets Left at the Altar
Season 3, Episode 25
There are very few times when we actually see the great Christina Yang cry, and this episode was one of the saddest of those times. Burke and Christina have had a rocky relationship from the start. The fact that they’re both complete opposites of one another didn’t really make things any easier. Burke wanted someone to settle down with, but when he finally convinced Christina to marry him and have the wedding of his dreams – he left her at the altar?! Not only that, but Christina also returns home to her apartment to find that Burke had packed all of his belongings and left without a word. Poor Christina was literally suffocating in her wedding dress. Being left at the altar is probably a bride or groom’s worst nightmare.
14. When Distance is an Issue
Season 7, Episode 7
Deciding to leave your significant other behind to do good work abroad can be a difficult choice, and it really was for Arizona and Callie. They were actually set to go to Africa together so Arizona could help young orphans who don’t have access to a pediatric surgeon, but when she realizes that Callie is ruining the opportunity for her, she tells Callie not to come. Can you imagine going away for three years and leaving the love of your life behind at the last minute?
13. When April Leaves Her Fiance at the Altar
Season 10, Episode 12
We all know that April and Jackson were kind of meant to be together, but we were fine to settle for April marrying Matthew. They loved each other, and Matthew was a pretty good guy, so as far as fans of Grey’s were concerned, team Mapril was going to happen and that was a-okay. But then Jackson had to be dramatic and object to the marriage at the last possible second. Typical. Some may say it’s romantic, but let’s jump ahead a couple of seasons when Jackson and April have kids together and things aren’t looking up for them and you know that it’s not as romantic as it seems. Kind of makes us wish that April had just ended up with Matthew like she was supposed to in the first place.
12. When One Mistake Almost Meant the End of a Future
Season 7, Episode 22
So, Meredith has made some mistakes, lots of insane mistakes that even put her life in danger. But her mistake of tampering with Derek’s Alzheimer’s trial by giving Richard’s wife the actual drug actually put not only her career in jeopardy but also her future with Derek. In this episode, Derek delivers what are probably the harshest words we’ve ever heard him utter: “I don’t know if I can commit to you anymore.” Yikes. We could see the tears in Meredith’s eyes, but we could actually feel them running down our own cheeks. It’s crazy to think that one wrong move could make your whole relationship come crashing down.
11. The Ring-Pinning Fiasco
Season 9, Episode 23
Just when things were looking up for the newly-wedded Arizona and Callie, the former cheats on Callie with another surgeon and it’s HEARTBREAKING. The way Callie found out was pretty devastating. Callie told Arizona that her trick for keeping her ring safe when she was married to George was pinning it to the inside of her scrubs. Arizona begins to do the same, and after a steamy session with another surgeon, Arizona accidentally switches scrubs with her mistress just for Callie to see her wife’s rings on another woman’s scrubs. (#DoctorProbz) Oh, brother! We couldn’t believe Arizona would go and jeopardize one of the most incredible things she had because she felt a bit of lust.
10. When Denny Died
Season 2, Episode 7
Traveling back in time a little, seeing Izzie’s reaction over Denny’s death made us honestly afraid to ever find love ourselves. The intern went to extreme measures to keep him, a patient, alive so they could be together – only to have him die unexpectedly. Izzie is so distressed that she lies on the bathroom floor for days, but even before that, it was heartbreaking to see her so upset and clinging to his lifeless body. Tears 4 days.
9. When Owen Pulls That Seriously Shady Move on Christina in the O.R.
Season 8, Episode 9
One of the most twisted things to ever happen on Grey’s is when Owen forces Christina to operate on her mentor Teddy’s sick husband during a surgery that would lead to his death. Except, Christina had no idea that the person she was operating on was Teddy’s husband, and when Owen finally comes clean, she frantically breaks down in what was one of the most raw Christina moments we’ve ever seen. And Teddy herself is obviously devastated for a plethora of reasons in that very moment, too.
8. When April Regretted Her First Time
Season 8, Episode 21
It’s totally your own business who you sleep with, and for April, losing her virginity to Jackson the night before their board exam was something that felt right for her in the moment, but the choice instantly turned to regret the next morning. What’s probably worse is that Jackson, who enjoyed their connection very much, had to hear that being with him was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened. Ouch! It was pretty clear that Jackson was starting to catch feelings for April, too, but her religious beliefs made their first time together just feel wrong.
7. When Dr. Percy Confesses His Love as He’s Dying
Season 6, Episode 24
In what was one of the wildest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy history, one of the surgeons, Reed, was the first to be shot by a disheveled gunman in the hospital. Another surgeon, Dr. Percy, who was close to Reed, also gets shot and despite Dr. Bailey’s efforts to save him, he succumbs to his injury. While he’s just seconds away from dying, he tells Bailey to tell Reed that he’s always loved her. Okay, someone get us tissues, please! The saddest part about this is that Percy had no idea that Reed was dead all along. It was such a sweet, innocent dying request that couldn’t be fulfilled.
6. When Lexie Died
Season 8, Episode 24
Remember when we said Lexie died in a plane crash — seconds after Mark promised they’d be together forever? It was incredibly painful for Mark to lose someone he loves. So painful that he refused to let go of her dead, limp hand and he ended up making himself sick from staying out in the cold with her corpse.
5. When Lexie Dyed Her Hair to Get Over the Breakup
Season 6, Episode 14
…but before there were plane crashes and before there was a dead Lexie, things weren’t so simple for her and Mark. Never finding the right timing, Mark and Lexie broke up, and she does what most people going through a breakup would do: she dyes her hair blonde. Remember those teenage years when you swore you wouldn’t let your ex get to you so you coped by changing your appearance in probably the worst way? Oh yeah, this brings back all of those memories.
4. When Callie’s Mom Ruins Her Wedding
Season 7, Episode 20
After Callie gives birth to Sophia, she and Arizona are all set to get married (finally). But unfortunately, not everyone is happy that the two women are ready to spend the rest of their lives together. Callie’s mom refuses to even touch her granddaughter because she disagrees with her daughter’s decision to marry a woman. This creates an upsetting situation for Callie because she always envisioned her wedding day as a blissful and happy moment, but her mother’s homophobia was ruining the experience for her. It was seriously heartbreaking to think that someone who should love you no matter what could ruin something so important for you because they have hate in their hearts.
3. When Owen Had an Affair
Season 8, Episode 17
And just when you thought all was fine in the world of Owen and Christina, Owen goes and cheats on the so-called love of his life. Mind you, they weren’t “taking a break” or even thinking of splitting up. They were married. He just decided to turn his back on their vows. When Owen decided to ruin his whole life because of feelings he had one night, we were all left wondering if any love could be trusted.
2. When Lexie Breaks Down Over Mark
Season 8, Episode 22
The worst thing about love is probably feeling so vulnerable. It’s such a confusing feeling when the person you love also causes you pain because they don’t feel it too or they don’t feel it as strongly as you do. Lexie was all too relatable when she broke down in front of Derek explaining how she’s trying to tell Mark that she loves him but can’t because he thinks that she’s still in love with Jackson. The complicated webs we weave. Seriously, what do we even do with ourselves here?
1. When Derek F*&^ing Dies
Season 11, Episode 21
Seeing someone go through the pain of losing the love of their life is especially heartbreaking and enough to possibly not make you ever want to fall in love in the first place. And because Grey’s couldn’t spare us from that pain, Derek had to die when Patrick Dempsey left the show. (Did he quit? Was he fired? The world may never know.) In Derek-like fashion, he saved four people from a bad car accident on a remote road, and when all the ambulances had gone away, he gets hit by a truck and winds up in surgery. He eventually dies at the hospital and Meredith has to come unplug him. Because — of course, she has to deal with that $h*!.