The 12 Biggest Character Departures In The History Of Grey’s Anatomy

We seriously want Shonda to bring these characters back!

The 12 Biggest Character Departures In The History Of Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy has been around for 13 seasons. That means there have been a lot of characters that have gone in and out of the Grey Sloan Memorial doors! While this often means that we get a bunch of new and fresh faces, it also means that some of our favorite characters have gone, too. And most of the time, they leave in an unforgivable fashion. So, here are the biggest departures in Grey's Anatomy history!

1. Derek Shepherd

This happened in Season 11, and we're still not over it. We thought that Derek would be fine after saving multiple crash victims, but he was taken by a truck and a poorly staffed hospital. He did not deserve to go out like that and we have missed him every day since.

2. Cristina Yang

A lot of Grey's fans haven't watched the show since Cristina's departure in Season 1, and to be honest, we don't blame them. Cristina was iconic and her role could never be filled. We loved her loving exit with Meredith, but we hope she comes back soon!

3. George O'Malley

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

Most fans are in agreement. GEORGE O'MALLEY DIDN'T DESERVE TO GO OUT LIKE THAT. He was so good until the very end. I mean, who else would have sacrificed their lives for a complete stranger?

4. Stephanie Edwards

Edwards was the latest character to leave Grey's Anatomy, and she was a complete badass until the very end. She burned a rapist alive, for crying out loud! We're just happy she was able to leave on her own terms!

5. Izzie Stevens

While we're happy that Izzie didn't die from her cancer, we're not entirely satisfied with how she left the show. She just left. She left Alex. She left her job. She left everything behind. And for what? Her exit storyline was so slow and it still feels unfinished.

6. Teddy Altman

Teddy's departure was absolutely heartbreaking. After Teddy lost her husband, Henry, she turned down her dream job for her best friend, Owen, who needed her most. In a time where we weren't sure who was staying and who was going, we were delighted to see her stay! But, in one of the most underrated moments of friendship on Grey's, Owen let her go. Thank god Teddy is coming back in Season 14!

7. Mark Sloan


Just like Derek's death, Mark's death was a surprise. He made it back from the plane crash and had one day of happiness. Then, things went horribly wrong and suddenly, we were saying goodbye to McSteamy. And no. We're NOT over it.

8. Lexie Grey

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

Speaking of the plane crash, Lexie Grey's death is unforgivable. How could Shonda do that to her? And to Meredith? And to Mark? her last moments were heartwrenching. RIP Little Grey.

9. Erica Hahn

This one happened quick, but it still stung pretty badly. Callie was just beginning to figure out her bisexuality, but Erica couldn't deal with it. Then, she left Callie and the hospital.

10. Addison Montgomery

Even though we didn't get a proper goodbye from Addison on Grey's Anatomy, we're pretty happy with the ending she found on Private Practice. But, hopefully, this means that she'll come back in upcoming seasons!

11. Preston Burke

We were all shocked when Burke left. He seemed to be the perfect fit for the next Chief of Surgery. Then, he was on his way to becoming Mr. Cristina Yang. But, then he left her at the altar and just vanished! So strange.

12. Denny Duquette

Grey's Anatomy via ABC

While he wasn't part of the main cast, it certainly gutted us when he died on Grey's Anatomy, especially after surviving the debacle with the LVAD wire and Izzie's "What about me?" speech. Honestly, it's like Shonda's mission is to give us a false sense of hope just so that she can cut us deeper!

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