‘Grey’s Anatomy’: 10 saddest characters, ranked

over Grey’s Anatomy‘s 19 seasons and counting, it depicted the life of its doctors as they manage their personal and professional lives and how the two often collide. And with many behind-the-scenes episodes, the show features countless characters, from hospital patients to staff and their loved ones. And of course, not all of them stuck around.

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While Gray Shows a lot of tragedy that has claimed the lives of many characters, not all of which exist in exciting, devastating ways – some have moved on to other opportunities, bringing joy to their characters while still leaving room for a comeback. But many others were saddened, whether it was because of the tragic deaths or the characters who didn’t have much emotion.

10 Cristina Yang

Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) on Grey's Anatomy

Cristina is one of the original group of trainees introduced in Grey’s Anatomy pilot, and she became Meredith’s best friend—or “her”—and worked her way up to become a cardiothoracic surgery fellow. Cristina is played by Sandra O.

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After 10 seasons, Cristina left Seattle Grace to work in Switzerland, and while it was a great move for her character and gave her a happy ending, it was bittersweet, too. Cristina is a beloved character, and no one wants to say goodbye to her, especially after so many years.

9 Meredith Grey

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Gray stands shocked in the hospital in Now or Never, an episode of Grey's Anatomy
Image via IMDB

For 19 seasons, Ellen Pompeo There is someone who plays Meredith Grey, the main character of the series. Over the years, fans have seen Meredith go through everything, from falling in love with Derek and losing him to personal grief.

Meredith finally moved to Boston with her children to work to find a cure for Alzheimer’s in season 19. She first moved on to a smaller role before leaving, and although it was the right move for Meredith and her family, her departure was the end of an era.

8 Andrew Deluca


DeLuca was hospitalized who had a relationship with Meredith and often struggled with his mental health. He has people playing by Giacomo Gianniotti and also appear in Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19– In fact, it was the crossover between the two shows that caused DeLuca to be stabbed in a valiant attempt to stop sex trafficking after a previous attempt to warn his colleagues was fired as part of his mental illness.

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DeLuca’s attack damaged several vital organs, and he died on the operating table. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, he appears on the beach with Meredith during his ongoing COVID-19 infection, where he delivers a moving speech about how he doesn’t regret taking action to help others. And although DeLuca’s death was sudden and violent, it was the result of a selfless act and a great way to end his time on the show.

7 Alex Karev

Justin Chambers Alex Karev Grays Anatomy

Karev is among the characters presented in the first season Grey’s Anatomy, and finally he married Jo after a lot of ups and downs. He is also the father of Izzie’s twins, although they were conceived through IVF unbeknownst to him. He has people playing by Justin Chambers.

Karev is among the characters that got a happy ending, because he left with Izzie and their twins in season 16. But his immediate exit became a shock, and what makes it more sad is the fact that it is explained entirely through letters and has a great impact on other characters, especially his wife, Jo. It also destroys all the growth Karev has as a character.

6 Charles Percy


Charles Percy is a surgeon who came as a result of the merger between Seattle Grace and Mercy West, and his attitude made him disliked by the fans. He has feelings for his colleague Reed and is played by Robert Baker.

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Percy was one of the many injured in the attack on the hospital in season 6, and he eventually died in Bailey’s arms after they realized that the elevator’s lights had been turned off, making it impossible to get him the help he needed. Bailey’s realization that she couldn’t help him was the worst, and his death was one of the saddest.

5 Lexie Gray

Chyler Leigh Lexie Gray Grays Anatomy

Lexie arrives at Seattle Grace Nursing Home as an intern in season 3 and is later revealed to be Meredith’s half-sister. Despite not getting along at first, she eventually developed a relationship with her colleague Mark Sloan. Lexie is played by Chyler Leigh.

Among the tragedies that occurred at the hospital was the plane crash at the end of Season 8, and sadly, the beloved character Lexie did not survive. She is also one of the few dead characters to return to Meredith in a dream sequence while she is ill with the coronavirus.

4 Mark Sloan

Eric Dane Mark Sloan Grays Anatomy

Mark Sloan was first introduced in Season 2 as Derek’s best friend and nicknamed McSteamy, aka “McDreamy.” Derek’s. Sloan is the head of plastic surgery, and he has an on-again, off-again relationship with Lexie. He has people playing by Eric Dane.

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Like Lexie, Sloan was injured in a plane crash in season 9, finally succumbing to his injuries after receiving life support. Like Lexie, Sloan reappears during Meredith’s beach dream sequence. The hospital was renamed Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital in their honor and gave their love story some closure, albeit a tragic one.

3 Denny Duquette

Denny Duquette from Grey's Anatomy

Denny is a patient in the hospital who needs a heart transplant – and he and Izzie begin a relationship. Although Denny received a new heart, he died of a stroke after surgery and was discovered by a devastated Izzie. He has people playing by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Denny was a beloved character for his warmth and humor, making his death unexpected and heartbreaking. It ranks among Grey’s most memorable moments. Like other Grey’s characters that left, Denny made more appearances later, especially to Izzie’s surprise.

2 George O’Malley


George, nicknamed 007, is one of the five original trainees at the time Grey’s Anatomy Began and fan favorite character, known for his loyal and caring nature. He has people playing by TR KnightWho was nominated for an Emmy for his work.

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George’s death is one of the most devastating and shocking in the series. After deciding to join the army, he was hit by a bus while trying to save a woman’s life and could not be recognized when he was taken to the hospital. The staff only realized who he was after he spelled “007” in Meredith’s palm. He eventually died during surgery, then returned during a dream sequence as Meredith was battling the coronavirus in season 17, 11 years later.

1 Derek Shepherd


Derek is a neurosurgeon at Seattle Grace, and after several seasons of his relationship with Meredith, the two are married and have two children. He has people playing by Patrick Dempsey.

Similar to George, Derek was hit by a bus while trying to help others and was taken to the hospital for treatment in season 11, and a devastating voice revealed that he knew everything that happened to him but was unable to communicate with the paramedics and eventually died. He, too, returned during Meredith’s battle with COVID, appearing in a dream sequence in the season 17 premiere.

Next: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Biggest Series-Changing Moment’

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