The Best MerDer Episodes on Grey's Anatomy, Ranked

best merder episodes grey's anatomy, meredith and derek, ellen pompeo, patrick dempsey
Grey's Anatomy via ABC

The story of Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey will go down as one of the greatest love stories in the history of the earth. I mean really, no other drama TV stories have anything like it to compare. It's been full of fights, tears, joy, and laughter throughout the years on Grey's Anatomy.

Let's never forget how rough the beginning of Grey's was for those two. Just when it seemed like Derek (Patrick Dempse) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) were hitting it off, Derek's wife, Addison Montgomery (Kate Wash) showed up to turn Meredith's world upside down. At that point we weren't sure what the fate of Derek and Meredith was, or if what was supposed to be the greatest love story was totally hopeless.

Of course, the two made their way back to each other, eventually starting a family together. They had three beautiful children together when Derek was ripped from Meredith and the rest of us due to a car accident. It wasn't easy for any of us to accept the death of Derek, but it makes their love story that much more epic.

At least we have the memories! Check out our list of the best MerDer episodes in the history of Grey's Anatomy.

And don't forget to vote for your favorite (and least favorite) Meredith and Derek episodes of all time. Because your voice deserves to be heard when it comes to MerDer!

Did we miss your favorite episode? Let us know!

A Hard Day's Night

Grey's Anatomy on ABC

The first episode of Grey's is the classic awkward morning after sex scenario. Meredith leaves Derek, her one-night-stand in a rush to get to her first day as a surgical intern at Seattle Grace. She thought the awkwardness would end, but it only got worse when she got to work!

Bring The Pain

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

In this Grey's Anatomy episode, Meredith comes to Derek completely vulnerable. He's at a point where he must choose to go back to Addison, or stay with Meredith. Meredith approaches to Derek with the famous line, "pick me, choose me, love me" practically begging for him to love her.

Now Or Never

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

We thought it would NEVER happen, but it finally did. Of course, we wanted to see the big beautiful wedding but they just couldn't do that for us. Meredith and Derek can't do anything normal in fact, so they wrote their wedding vows down on a Post-it Note and called it a day. It was beautiful in their own MerDer kind of way!

Freedom, Part 2

Grey's Anatomy on ABC

This one was all Meredith, surprisingly. She took time to trace the house they planned to build together entirely with lit candles. It clearly took a lot out of Meredith to act sentimentally, and Derek knew this.

Drowning On Dry Land

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

This episode kept us all at the edge of our seats. Derek dove into the freezing water to save Meredith from nearly drowning, because honestly, what would he do without her? Thankfully for everyone, Meredith made it out alive.


Grey's Anatomy via ABC

This episode has a rocky start with all of the drama that goes down at the hospital. While both Derek and Meredith are finally home for the night and exhausted, they get a knock at the door. Their social worker is holding Zola and informs them that they've been granted full custody of her. This is a very special moment for the them, they're finally parents!

Elevator Love Letter

Grey's Anatomy on ABC

Derek gets really cheesy in this episode. For his marriage proposal to Meredith, he covers the walls of the elevator with brain scans of all of the cases they've worked on together. Totally can't relate to this one, but its freaking adorable.

I Was Made For Lovin' You

Grey's Anatomy on ABC

When Meredith finds out she's finally pregnant, she decides to get creative with informing Derek. Meredith gives Zola a "World's Best Big Sister" shirt, making sure Derek reads it. This encounter was so innocent and pure, it gave us real hope for the future of MerDer.

What A Difference A Day Makes

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

On the morning of their wedding Derek gave Meredith a special one of a kind gift-- a colon! That's right, Derek got Meredith a colon to operate on that day. How thoughtful.

Break On Through

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

Derek and Meredith share a special moment in this episode when he walks in on her having a panic attack. Derek approaches her and talks her through her anxiety, showing how patient of a guy he really is. This moment is still early on in their romance, and tells a lot of the future they'll have together.

Staring At The Sun

Grey's Anatomy on ABC

In this episode we see a really steamy moment between Meredith and Derek. The two share a romantic candlelit bath together, it's almost too hot to handle! Who said romance was dead?

How To Save A Life

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

This is the last time we see the star-crossed lovers together. This episode definitely goes down in Grey's history as the most bittersweet. Derek lies in a hospital bed on a ventilator while Meredith stands over his lifeless body. She makes the painful decision to take him off life support, and say her last goodbye. What a heart breaker this one was. MerDer forever.