Character Sheet for ''Series/GreysAnatomy''. Characters are listed in order of billing in the credits.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Main Characters]]
!!'''Dr. Meredith Grey (Portrayed by Ellen Pompeo)'''

Meredith Grey is the {{Narrator}} for the series, giving a voice-over dialogue for every episode (with very few exceptions). Daughter of a world-famous surgeon, she has been dogged by allegations of nepotism--especially after she also found out that she was sleeping with her boss, also-world-class neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd. The show follows her adventures as she attempts to navigate the world of internship (and eventually residency) at Seattle-Grace Hospital. As the star of a medical drama, Meredith deals with a lot of crap.

* AbusiveParents:
** Ellis Grey was extremely negligent and incredibly harsh to Meredith. As Alzheimer's sets in, we get scenes of her yelling about how little she respects her daughter.
** Her father, Thatcher, flat-out abandoned them both in Meredith's childhood and again in adulthood.
* [[AloofBigBrother Aloof Big Sister]]: Is this to Lexie at first, but thaws the ice as the two grow closer.
* BrokenBird: Whooo boy! One has to wonder if Shonda Rimes has an enemy out there named Meredith Grey for all of the crappy things that happen to Meredith starting from ''before'' the show even starts, never mind what comes after.
* CharacterDevelopment: In the fourth season, she starts talking therapy and begins to actually acknowledge and address her problems.
* CoolBigSis: Eventually evolves into this for Lexie.
* DisappearedDad
* DeadpanSnarker
* DrowningMySorrows: Meredith and tequila.
* GrumpyBear
** TheEeyore
* HappilyMarried: To Derek
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Cristina
* HospitalHottie
* InSeriesNickname: [[spoiler:Following her plane crash, she became a frightening attending, described as a monster of mythic proportions, awarding her the nickname of ''Medusa''.]]
* LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Before settling down with Derek.
* LoveTriangle: With Derek and a variety of other men, such as Finn.
* MissingMom: Loses her biological mother in 3x17, though this allows her to bond with her father's new wife Susan. Then ''she'' dies six episodes later.
* MoralityPet: For Richard.
* {{Narrator}}
* ReallyGetsAround: Before her relationship with Derek stabilized, she was in the habit of getting drunk and picking up random men for one night stands.
* [[spoiler: TenMinuteRetirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.]]
* TraumaCongaLine: She's the star of a MedicalDrama. What do you expect?
* [[WellDoneSonGuy "Well Done, Daughter" Gal]]: Toward her mother. Her father too, to a lesser extent.
* [[YouAllMeetInAnInn You All Meet In A Bar]]: How she met Derek.

!!'''Dr. Cristina Yang (Portrayed by Sandra Oh)'''

Meredith's BFF--or "person," in the show's parlance--Cristina ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS no H]]) is an InsufferableGenius whom Meredith nonetheless takes to. Bluntly sarcastic, MarriedToTheJob and unashamedly ambitious, she has chosen to specialize in heart surgery, and is known to jump at the opportunity to do cutting-edge, impressive operations. Sandra Oh won a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe for the role after the show's first season.

* CoolTeacher: Not only has one in the person of [[BoyMeetsWorld Mr. Feeny]], but (much to the audience's surprise) ''becomes'' one as an attending surgeon supervising the latest crop of interns.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DefrostingTheIceQueen: We're still in the defrosting process, but she's gotten much, much better. Lampshaded by Bailey in season 9 when she notices Cristina starts to show that she cares about her interns and even gave Bailey relationship advice.
* DesignatedVictim: While there's plenty of trauma to go around the whole cast, it seems like most season have a story arc that causes Cristina to become [[InelegantBlubbering a sobbing wreck]].
* DisappearedDad: Her biological father was killed in a car crash when Cristina was 9. She tried to hold his chest back together with her hands. [[FreudianExcuse It didn't work.]]
* DrJerk
* GeniusSlob: Her personal hygiene is fine as you'd expect of a surgeon but in episode 10 of season 2 we see her apartment is close to TrashOfTheTitans level of messiness as opposed to Burke's place which she claims would be clean enough to perform surgery in.. She even tells Burke that she hired a maid once, but she ran away.
* [[spoiler: GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Averted when she gets one in the eighth season premiere, leading to tension with Owen.]]
* HappilyMarried: To Owen. [[spoiler: For a while, at least.]]
* HeroicBSOD: In season seven following the shooting in the [[WhamEpisode season six finale]]. Again after the events of season 8.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Meredith, sometimes to the point of overshadowing her actual marriage.
* HotForStudent: Shacked up with her cardio professor while at Stanford.
* InsufferableGenius: And how!
* [[spoiler: IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Cristina let Owen go in the Season 9 finale so that he can have a family of his own as Cristina did not want to be a mother.]]
* MarriedToTheJob
* TheSnarkKnight
* SpellMyNameWithAnS
* StarCrossedLovers: Cristina and Owen love each other but have faced countless obstacles in their relationship and break up every season (But eventually they get back together. This remains to be seen in Season 10)
* [[spoiler: TenMinuteRetirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.]]

!!'''Dr. Alex Karev (Portrayed by Justin Chambers)'''

A late addition to the pilot (Chambers had to be stitched in during re-shoots), Alex personifies TroubledButCute and benefits from the AllGirlsWantBadBoys trope. When not sleeping his way through the interns, he's also a pediatrics specialist, suggesting that his ManChild tendencies are good for something.

* ADayInTheLimelight: Narrated a Season 9 episode instead of Meredith.
* DisappearedDad: druggy, alcoholic, abusive. Played by James Remar.
* DrJerk
* ExecutiveMeddling: the cause for his existence as a character. TropesAreNotBad!
* FreudianExcuse: Had a shitty childhood, with an [[AbusiveParents abusive father]], causing him to be put in foster care in his teens. Then he dates a patient who later goes crazy. Just when things start to be looking up for him after getting together with Izzie, she gets cancer, leading to their marriage. Then Izzie [[spoiler:gets fired]], she leaves him, then gets shot and almost dies in an elevator giving him PTSD. Then his brother has a mental break due to his schizophrenia, trying to kill his sister, causing him to be put in a mental institution. Now he has survivor's guilt after [[spoiler: the plane crash, which he was supposed to be on.]] No wonder he sleeps with interns.
* HasAType
* HospitalHottie
* IJustWantToBeLoved
* {{Jerkass}}
** JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Has his moments, but most of the time he just seems like a...
** JerkWithAHeartOfJerk
* LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces
* LoveTriangle: Between Izzie and Lexie.
* ManChild
* PromotionToParent: Took care of his younger brother and sister because of their parents' mental problems/drug addictions.
* ReallyGetsAround: Tends to sleep with interns a lot.
* TroubledButCute

!!'''Dr. Miranda Bailey (Portrayed by Chandra Wilson)'''

Originally nicknamed "the Nazi" for her no-nonsense attitude, Bailey was gradually revealed to be NotSoAboveItAll. One of the few characters that every other character likes. Has a son, Tuck, by her husband Tucker.

* BlackAndNerdy
* [[spoiler: HeroicBSOD: After she accidentally gives several patients a staph infection, leading to their deaths. It's discovered that the gloves mandated by the {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s at Pegasus Holdings were defective, but Bailey still takes it hard. ''Very'' hard.]]
** [[spoiler:TheseHandsHaveKilled]]
* HospitalHottie
* InSeriesNickname: In fact, she earned two nicknames:
** She was once called "The Nazi", because she was the most severe attending of the hospital. She didn't mind being called that, since she likes names that inspire terror. However, after her surgery on a racial supremacist (who had the Nazi swastika tattooed on his torso), she made it pretty clear that no one was allowed to call her that anymore.
** Beginning season 9, she has a new nickname, radically different from her ancient one: [[spoiler:B.C.B, which stands for ''Booty Call Bailey''. She is ''not'' amused when she discovers it.]]
* MamaBear: Toward her son, Tuck, along with her former interns.
* MarriedToTheJob: Almost literally, after her divorce from her husband.
* NotSoAboveItAll
* OneOfUs: After a teenager gets himself encased in concrete, she bucks him up by referencing [[StarWars Han Solo]]'s adventures in carbonite.
** In season 9 when she and Webber are accompanying the survivors of the plane crash on their flight back to Seattle she tells Dr Webber she keeps thinking they're [[Series/{{Lost}} going to crash on a tropical island and be attacked by a polar bear]].
* PlatonicLifePartners: Miranda will drop everything to help Richard (including operating in emergency on Adele, Richard's wife, on her wedding day), and Richard is very protective of her. Their relation is so strong that Adele actually wondered if Richard didn't cheat on her with Miranda. Also, in season 9, [[spoiler:Miranda takes it very hard when she believes Richard turned his back on her, something which pushed her even deeper into her massive HeroicBSOD]].
* [[spoiler:RunawayBride: Was engaged to marry Ben. Didn't at first, because Adele came into the hospital, but eventually did.]]
* SassyBlackWoman: Has her moments.
* SecondLove: [[spoiler:With Dr. Ben Warren]].
* TeamMom

!!'''Dr. Richard Webber (Portrayed by James Pickens Jr.)'''

The Chief of Surgery at Seattle Grace, Dr. Webber is just as no-nonsense, and just as secretly-a-TeamDad, as Bailey is. A well-respected surgeon who has spent most of his career in Seattle, he also carried on a long-term affair with Meredith's mother Ellis, while his own wife Adele looked the other way. He is also the closest thing to a father figure Meredith has.

* TheAlcoholic: Recovering but fell off the wagon in season six, he gets better.
* DaChief: Stepped down in season six [[spoiler:after falling off the wagon,]] and in season eight [[spoiler:to take the fall for Meredith after she tampers with Derek's clinical trial.]]
* LoveTriangle: Between Adele and Ellis. Notable for being part of his BackStory and for having gone on for a ''very'' long time.
* MarriedToTheJob: So much that it was one of the reasons he neglected his wife.
* MentorArchetype
** BadassTeacher: God help you if you ever threaten his hospital and his students.
** CoolTeacher: Was one to Miranda during her internship, and the two of them developed a strong relationship based on mutual respect and actual friendship.
* MoralityPet: Meredith. As Derek notes, Richard is the picture of professionalism in all things regarding the hospital, ''except'' for when something concerns Meredith Grey.
* NotSoAboveItAll: There is one instance where he helps Alex to pull off pranks on a male nurse who Alex really dislikes. He became quite more relaxed ever since he forwent his job as Chief of Surgery.
-->'''Richard''' (to Alex, after catching him in the act of pulling pranks): You need to step up your game.
* OlderAndWiser
* PlatonicLifePartners: Miranda will drop everything to help Richard (including operating in emergency on Adele, Richard's wife, on her wedding day), and Richard is very protective of her. Their relation is so strong that Adele actually wondered if Richard didn't cheat on her with Miranda. Also, in season 9, [[spoiler:Miranda takes it very hard when she believes Richard turned his back on her, something which pushed her even deeper in her massive HeroicBSOD]].
* TeamDad

!!'''Dr. Derek Shepherd (Portrayed by Patrick Dempsey)'''

Our first sight of Meredith Grey, in the pilot episode, was of her waking up naked on the couch, realizing she was late for her first day as an intern at Seattle Grace, and shooing her one-night-stand partner out the door. Our first sight of Derek Shepherd, new Seattle Grace hire and God Of Neurosurgery, was when Meredith was assigned to his service and recognized him ''as'' her one-night-stand partner. Despite Meredith's concerns over sleeping with her boss, the two entered into a functional relationship... Only to have it disrupted by the arrival of Derek's estranged-but-still-legally-wed ex. And then the second season started and things got ''really'' complicated.

* AndStarring: Credited as "And Patrick Dempsey"
* BadassBeard
** BeardOfSorrow: Grows one in season five during his HeroicBSOD arc.
* [[spoiler:CareerEndingInjury: Damages his hand in the plane crash, causing him to only get 80% function back and his hand going numb during a surgery. Eventually fixed.]]
* CatchPhrase: "It's a beautiful day to save lives."
* DaChief: Briefly in season six, resigns following the shooting.
* HappilyMarried: To Meredith, despite their issues
* HospitalHottie
* InSeriesNickname: [=McDreamy=].
* KnightInSourArmor: ...Or, in the alternate universe, [=McDreary=].
* MrFanservice: Had a couple scenes where he was shirtless, and even one scene when he is supposedly completly naked because he and Meredith were making out in the living room and were caught during the act. With time passing, he no longer provided this service, leaving this job to Mark Sloan and Avery.
* LoveTriangle: With Meredith on one corner and either Addison or Nurse Rose on the other.
* PermaStubble
* [[spoiler: TenMinuteRetirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.]]

!!'''Dr. Calliope Torres (Portrayed by Sara Ramirez)'''

One of the first new characters to be added to the cast, Dr. Torres first appears in the second season as a LoveInterest to George, who at the time had just had a chance to consummate his crush on Meredith--she was having a weak moment, with the end result that it [[GoneHorriblyWrong Went Horribly Wrong]]. Needless to say, Callie looks appealing by contrast. An orthopedics specialist, Callie lives in the basement of Seattle Grace to save on rent and get a jump on awesome overnight surgeries. She frequently acts as a conscience to the other characters.

* BiTheWay
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Iphigenia.
* FullNameBasis: Well full ''first'' name, Arizona is the only regular character to call her Calliope instead of Callie at least to begin with, though eventually she does start using Callie too with Calliope only being used occasionally.
* HappilyMarried: To Arizona
* HospitalHottie
* [[TheMcCoy McCoy]]
* ParentalAbandonment: when she comes out of the closet, her father disowns her.
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Mark, despite the fact that they have had sex quite a few times. [[spoiler:This eventually gave us Sofia.]]
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In season three.
* SpicyLatina
* SuddenlySexuality
* TheCastShowoff: In the {{musical episode}}. Sara Ramirez was in the original cast of ''{{Spamalot}}'', for which she won a Tony Award.
* [[spoiler: TenMinuteRetirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.]]
* TwoferTokenMinority: Bisexual and Latina.

!!'''Dr. Arizona Robbins (Portrayed by Jessica Capshaw)'''

An attending physician in pediatrics, Arizona was raised in a military family and was named after a battleship. She is TheSpock to Callie's [[TheMcCoy McCoy]], despite being typically more upbeat and childlike in comparison, and the two have formed a stable marriage together.

* [[spoiler:AnArmAndALeg: The plane crash results with her having her left leg amputated above the knee]]
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Following her amputation, she just lies on her bed, doesn't seem to leave her apartment, which she still shares with Callie, and doesn't take care of her daughter. She harbors a lot of resentment towards Callie too, and not even the death of Mark seems to move her.]]
* GenkiGirl
* HappilyMarried: To Callie
* HospitalHottie
* LipstickLesbian
* MilitaryBrat
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In season six.
* TheSpock
* [[spoiler: TenMinuteRetirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.]]
* TokenMinority: Not for ''Grey's'' itself, which actually has a more racially diverse cast that RealLife Seattle, but for the television industry as a whole: when Robbins was PromotedToOpeningTitles, she became the ''only'' lesbian starring character on primetime television.
* [[spoiler: YourCheatingHeart: On Callie with Dr. Lauren Boswell at the end of Season 9. The marriage ain't so stable now.]]

!!'''Dr. Owen Hunt (Portrayed by Kevin [=McKidd=])'''

A former CombatMedic who toured in Iraq, Hunt serves as Seattle Grace's foremost trauma surgeon. He has an aggressive, sometimes-unorthodox training style and a lot of confidence, which endeared him to Cristina. However, he wants children and she doesn't, which has proved to be a source of friction in the past.

* TheAtoner: For the plane crash, with a dose of trying to avert the BystanderSyndrome, after discovering that he signed off on changing the charter company contract without bothering to check the new company's safety records.
* {{Badass}}
* DaChief: Starting in the third episode of season eight.
* [[spoiler: DeclarationOfProtection: Owen tells the shooter that if he touches Cristina, he will kill him. There are also other events where Owen saves and protects Cristina from harm.]]
* HappilyMarried: ZigzaggedTrope. He and Cristina get married, but it only works out so well because he wants BabiesEverAfter and she doesn't.
** AmicablyDivorced: Then they go for this, and are arguably closer as exes than as spouses.
* Nice Guy
** [[spoiler: BewareTheNiceOnes: Cristina and Owen did not talk about the abortion ever since it happened, leading to suppressed emotions and Owen breaks in mid Season 8.]]
* TheMcCoy: to Cristina's [[TheSpock Spock]].
* ThePerfectionist
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In season five, episode six.
* SoleSurvivor: After his first appearance, he returned to Iraq, where his entire unit was slain.
** ShellShockedVeteran: Suffered from PTSD upon his return. This was his major arc throughout season five.
* StarCrossedLovers: Cristina and Owen love each other but have faced countless obstacles in their relationship and break up every season (But eventually they get back together. This remains to be seen in Season 10)
* [[spoiler:TenMinuteRetirement: In Season Nine, in protest of the other characters' ten-minute retirements. His is even shorter than theirs, lasting less than an episode.]]
* [[spoiler: YourCheatingHeart: Sleeps with a patient's friend while angry with Cristina over her abortion.]]

!!'''Dr. Jackson Avery (Portrayed by Jesse Williams)'''

One of four new residents introduced in Season Six after Seattle Grace merges with the nearby Mercy-West hospital, Jackson was originally viewed by the main characters as interference and competition. Time and familiarity have made him more accepted, however, and he is currently a plastic-surgery fellow. Though his grandfather is the famous Harper Avery (of the Harper Avery Foundation, and the Harper Avery Award), and his mother the nearly-as-famous Catherine Avery, Jackson was never pushed much because he was "just the pretty one," and became a driven surgeon of his own accord.

* BigBrotherInstinct: To April, following her nearly losing her virginity to Alex, causing him to punch Alex in the face.
* TheCharmer
* DisappearedDad: Abandoned him after he couldn't handle the pressure of being an Avery. His mother Catherine (who presumably married into the family, since she still goes by Avery today) raised him single-handedly.
* MrFanservice: See WalkingShirtlessScene.
* HospitalHottie
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In season seven.
* [[spoiler:SexEqualsLove: At first played straight. Subverted after April's pregnancy scare.]]
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Tends to take his shirt off frequently.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: with April.
** UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo
*** SpeakNowOrForeverHoldYourPeace
* YouAreInCommandNow: [[spoiler:The bankruptcy plot is resolved when the Harper Avery Foundation buys out the hospital, unexpectedly resulting in Jackson becoming chairman of the board.]]

!!'''Dr. April Kepner (Portrayed by Sarah Drew)'''

Another of the newly-introduced residents, April has gone on to be a trauma surgeon. She is principled, hard-working, neurotic and--quite surprisingly for the show--a 28-year-old virgin, by choice. Rhimes created the character as a DesignatedMonkey to be disliked and fired after two episodes, but changed her mind and kept her around; this might explain the audience's LoveItOrHateIt response to the character.

* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler: To start, getting fired, tripping over the body of her best friend and getting covered in her blood during the season 6 finale. Then in season eight, she loses her virginity to Jackson, the guilt over breaking her promise to Jesus causes her to fail her boards, causing her to get fired by Owen and all of her offers rejected.]]
* ChasteHero
* ControlFreak
* GenkiGirl
* [[spoiler:GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Starts getting on with Jackson, repeatedly.]]
** [[spoiler:ButWeUsedACondom]]
* HospitalHottie
* {{Ingenue}}
* PromotionToOpeningTitles: In season seven.
* OddFriendship: uptight, conservative April with upbeat, confirmed-lesbian Arizona.
* OnceASeason: Gets fired. Possibly a nod to her original purpose.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot
* SecondLove: Matthew, an EMT who is also waiting for marriage.
* [[spoiler:WackyMarriageProposal: Matthew arranges a {{flashmob}} to the tune of The Proclaimers' "(I Would Walk) Five Hundred Miles", which Meredith declares true proof that he and April are perfect for each other. She accepts.]]

!!'''Dr. Jo Wilson''' (Camilla Luddington))

One of a new crop of interns introduced in Season 9 and PromotedToOpeningTitles in Season 10, Jo seems to have it all together, with Alex mockingly calling her "Princess." But this is ''Grey's Anatomy'', of ''course'' she has a DarkAndTroubledPast.

* ActorAllusion: Alex's nickname also refers to the fact that Luddington's StarMakingRole was as [[BritishRoyalFamily Kate Middleton]].
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: benefits from it at one point, with at least one LampshadeHanging / {{deconstruction}} behind her back.
* HappilyAdopted: was abandoned by her mother at six weeks old, bounced around foster homes and for at least some period lived out of her car.
* InUniverseNickname: Cristina calls her "Ponytail."
* LikeBrotherAndSister: with Alex.
** WillTheyOrWontThey: ...until it isn't.
*** ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe
* [[PromotedFanboy Promoted Fangirl]]: Camilla Luddington is excited to be playing Alex's LoveInterest.

!!'''Dr. Shane Ross''' (Gaius Charles)

The only male amongst the new five newbies, Shane is dead set on getting into the neurosurgery program. Shepherd isn't so sanguine.

* AmbitionIsEvil: evidently being set up for this in Season 10.
* FalseFriend: sometimes tries to backstab Heather Brooks, Shepherd's ''actual'' choice as his protégé, in order to supplant her.
** [[spoiler:GoneHorriblyRight: this leads to her death, when he substitutes her as the person assigned to find Dr. Webber, himself OnlyMostlyDead by electrocution. Brooks herself wasn't so lucky.]]
** [[spoiler:HeroicBSOD: once she croaks.]]
* ThePollyanna: Eternally upbeat, at least in Season 9.
** InUniverseNickname: Cristina calls him "Happy," as part of her ThemeNaming of "interns after [[SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarves Seven Dwarves]]" thing. (As Jo's nickname indicates, [[OddNameOut she wasn't able to keep up the sequence]].)

!!'''Dr. Stephanie Edwards''' (Jerrika Hinton)

The emotional one of the group, she is primarily known at this point for being Jackson's rebound after breaking up with Kepner.

* BlindWithoutEm: subverted in Season 10 when she gets laser surgery.
* HiddenDepths: recently revealed to be a former cheerleader. This was her first CharacterDevelopment on the show.
* LoveInterest: to Jackson.
** SatelliteLoveInterest: {{discussed}} during the bankruptcy arc. Jackson starts trying to find a new job elsewhere and Stephanie is horrified to realize she is planning to follow him.

!!'''Dr. Leah Murphy''' (Tessa Ferrer)

The sarcastic one of the group. She's careful about who she lets her guard down with.

* [[spoiler:IfItsYouItsOkay: with Arizona.]]
* IneffectualLoner
* KnightInSourArmor
* TheStoic

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Former Main Characters]]
!!'''Dr. Izzie Stevens (Portrayed by Katherine Heigl)'''

The EstablishingCharacterMoment for Isobel Stevens came in the fourth episode of the show, after Alex discovered that she modeled lingerie under the stage name "Bethany Whisper" and pasted her pin-ups all over the hospital. Izzie stripped down to her underwear and castigated the other characters for their sexism, pointing out that her modeling career has allowed her to escape the bank-breaking student loans they all have to live with. She then embarked on an ill-fated relationship with heart-transplant patient Denny Duquette, in the process earning the show one of its two acting Emmys. However, Heigl wanted to focus on her family and burgeoning film career, and asked to be written out.

* AuthorAvatar: According to Shonda Rhimes, who should know.
* {{Bridezilla}}: An unusual version in that she's not even the bride: Meredith passed to Izzie all planning for ''her'' wedding as a way to cheer her up and keep her busy during chemo. (Conveniently, the WhyWasteAWedding trope pops in later.)
* TheChick
* HospitalHottie: She was even a model, which is why she had no student debt like the others.
* IHaveThisFriend: She gives her interns information about "Patient X" as a way of both teaching them and figuring out what's wrong with her. Also, unusually for this trope, none of the interns ever make the connection that she ''is'' Patient X.
* IllGirl: ...Though they ''do'' figure out that she has skin cancer.
* ISeeDeadPeople: Hallucinates Denny throughout the fifth season, which seems to be evidence that she's simply gone mad. Actually, the cancer has reached her brain.
* NeverLiveItDown: {{Invoked}}. After she cuts the wire on Denny's LVAD, other characters rib her about it endlessly. Having said that, in a ''real'' hospital this would have resulted in legal action and possibly jail time, not just a (voluntary) resignation followed by probation, so if anything she's a KarmaHoudini by way of the RuleOfDrama.
* PutOnABus: Following [[spoiler:being fired]] she divorces Alex and leaves.
** CommutingOnABus: Returned a few times before leaving for good in the twelfth episode of season six. Heigl has since mentioned that she would be open to doing a few more appearances to wrap up loose ends, but Rhimes says it's unlikely, as bringing her back in would disrupt her long-term plans for the show.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight
* ShamingTheMob:
-->"And what are these? Oh my God, breasts. How does anybody practice medicine hauling these things around?"
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: Justified. The few patients who recognized her from centerfolds all went on to question her credentials as a trained doctor. Because, after all, [[DoubleStandard a woman can't be both beautiful and smart]]. (Well, okay, the DoubleStandard ''itself'' is not justified, but the fact that people would ''[[HumansAreBastards employ]]'' it...)
* TeenPregnancy: Revealed in an early episode. Later, she gave her daughter a needed bone marrow transplant.

!!'''Dr. George O'Malley (Portrayed by T.R. Knight)'''

One of the original five interns, George was the token nice guy, nursing a very visible crush on Meredith. He then moved on to Callie but ended up caught between her and and Izzie, failed his intern exams, and struck up a friendship with Lexie after being, essentially, held back a year. Eventually he decided to join the Army as a trauma surgeon and save lives. [[GoneHorriblyRight Which he did]].

* ADayInTheLimelight: The first character to provide voice-over narration besides Meredith. Since then, a number of others have gotten to as well.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: a long-standing thing for Meredith.
* ButtMonkey: '''Definitely.''' Spends most of the first season as hapless comic relief. Ends it by getting over his crush on Meredith and [[HopeSpot going on a date with a cute nurse]]. ...And coming down with syphillis.
--> '''Izzie:''' *walking in on George bent over a gurney with his pants down* "What are we doing?"\\
'''Meredith:''' *poised at his backside with penicillin syringe* "Curing George's syph."\\
'''George:''' "''Breaking George's spirit.''"
* DoggedNiceGuy
* [[spoiler:[[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dragged a Bus on Him]]]]
** [[spoiler:ForgottenFallenFriend: After his death, he is rarely mentioned again.]]
* ExtremeDoormat: Has his moments.
* FourthDateMarriage: Had one with Callie, essentially.
* [[SheCleansUpNicely He Cleans Up Nicely]]: YMMV, but, on any given day George can come off looking kind of sweaty and pudgy and unkempt. But seeing him showered and in a suit, especially his [[spoiler: army uniform]], WHOA.
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:Has saved a girl by literally throwing himself in front of a bus, has joined the Army to save lives, and the girl is now enamored of her KnightInShiningArmor. ...In the finale of Season 5, where he dies.]]
* LoveTriangle: Between his best friend Izzie and his actual wife Callie.
* NiceGuy
* ObliviousToLove
* OpenMouthInsertFoot
* OutOfFocus: In the fifth season, he doesn't do much. This is part of why they wrote him out: they ran out of ideas for what to do with him.
* RealitySubtext: Early in the show, George is constantly asked whether he's gay. He's not, but his actor T.R. Knight is.
* YourCheatingHeart: On Callie with Izzie.

!!'''Dr. Preston Burke (Portrayed by Isaiah Washington)'''

The head of cardiothoracic surgery, Burke was ambitious and sometimes arrogant, with his eye set on succeeding Richard as the Chief of Surgery. He and Cristina started a quirky, intense relationship that would have led to marriage if he hadn't done that "leave your bride at the altar" thing.

* AndStarring: Credited as With Isaiah Washington
* CareerEndingInjury: Is shot at the end of the second season, resulting in tremors in his right hand. Cristina goes to great lengths to cover it up.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Not literally, but Dr. Burke's "pick on one guy" intern training method is based on a technique employed by actual [=DIs=]. Yes, this makes George [[FullMetalJacket Private Pyle]]. 
* InsufferableGenius: Not as much as Cristina, but still had his moments.
* PutOnABus
** RunawayFiance
** RealLifeWritesThePlot: Isaiah Washington was summarily fired at the end of Season Three for homophobic slurs against T. R. Knight. Thus Burke leaves Cristina at the altar and sends his mother to collect his things.

!!'''Dr. Addison Montgomery Shepherd (Portrayed by Kate Walsh)'''

Addison knows how to make an entrance: her first line was also the last line of Season 1, ''and'' a WhamLine: "Hi, I'm Addison Shepherd. And you must be the woman who's been screwing my husband." The story of [[HowWeGotHere How She Got Here]] is gradually explained over the next few years: she and Derek married right out of med school, and she eventually cheated on him with his best friend. Derek walked away without even bothering to file for divorce, and she carried on with the best friend until realizing she still loved her husband and wanted him back. An opening in [=OB/GYN=] at Seattle Grace was the perfect opportunity. The TriangRelations continued for some time, and while Meredith won Derek, Addison got a consolation prize: her own SpinOff, ''PrivatePractice'', which was set in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles and ran for six seasons before wrapping up in 2013.

* AscendedExtra: Was only set to appear in five episodes in season two. Ended up with her own SpinOff.
* FemmeFatale
* FieryRedhead
* HospitalHottie
* LastEpisodeNewCharacter: Though she still got first billing in the guest-star list, despite appearing onscreen for all of 20 seconds.
* OddFriendship: Poised, composed Addison with down-to-earth, irreverent Callie. Also provides a MetaTwist: unusually for this show, which per WordOfGod is about "smart women competing with each other," their friendship does ''not'' have {{Drama Bomb}}s dropped on it every other episode.
* PutOnABus: To ''PrivatePractice'', at the end of Season Three. This has not precluded the occasional CommutingOnABus, both to and from Seattle.
* YourCheatingHeart: While Derek was quite obviously hurt about it, he eventually admitted that his own emotional distance from Addie did not help things.

!!'''Dr. Mark Sloan (Portrayed by Eric Dane)'''

The "[=McSteamy=]" to Derek's [=McDreamy=], the two have been close for a very long time; he even served as best man at Derek's wedding to Addison. ...And then was the "best friend" she cheated on Derek with. His presence as a GuestStar in the second season caused quite some strain (Derek punched him), but after he joined Seattle Grace's permanent staff they were able to patch up. This on-and-off-again pattern kind of set the tone for all his other relationships: with Callie, his {{Platonic Life Partner|s}} with whom he had a daughter, Sofia; and with Lexie, his most long-standing romantic entanglement. Mark was written out during the first two episodes of Season Nine, possibly at Dane's behest and possibly because ExecutiveMeddling reduced the show's budget.

* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: To Lexie, when [[spoiler: she's dying.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:In the Season 9 opener after spending 30 days in a coma, Derek and Callie pull his plug as he requested in his Living Will]]
* AnythingThatMoves: To the point that the nurses actually ''unionized'' against his love-em-and-leave-em attitude.
-->'''Bailey''' (to said nurses): I would like to offer my thoughts on Dr. Sloan. This man is a whore. Has always been a whore and probably always will be a whore. But I mean that's not a secret. He's not keeping it hidden. (...) He's nasty.
** NoSell: The one time he tries it on Cristina.
* AscendedExtra: Was only set to appear once in season two, until fans asked Shonda Rhimes for him to come back, which lead to his PromotionToOpeningTitles in season three, episode three.
* TheCasanova
* DeadpanSnarker: Has his moments.
-->'''Mark''' (to Derek who is in the elevator with Meredith, Addison, and Rose): I bet you're wishing that you're taking the stairs right about now.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Derek.
* HospitalHottie
* ItsAllAboutMe: Prior to his CharacterDevelopment.
* InSeriesNickname: In his first appearance, he is given the nickname [=McSteamy=].
* LadyKillerInLove: With Lexie and/or Julia.
** According to him, it's just Lexie, and it always has been.
* MrFanservice: Shows up at the end of the second episode of season three in Addison's hotel room, barely wearing a towel.
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Callie, despite the fact that they have had sex quite a few times, [[spoiler: which eventually gave us Sofia.]]
* PermaStubble
* ReallyGetsAround
* YourCheatingHeart

!!'''Dr. Alexandra "Lexie" Grey (Portrayed by Chyler Leigh)'''

Meredith's half-sister was produced after their mutual father, Thatcher, re-married without telling Ellis. She and Meredith initially had a frosty relationship, due in no small part to Meredith's ParentalAbandonment issues, but the two eventually became quite close. Sweet, emotional and featuring a photographic memory, Lexie became something of a TagalongKid for the five interns, forming a relationship with Jackson and a crush on George. Her most enduring romantic entanglement, though, was with Mark Sloan. Chyler Leigh, who is kind of CrazyAwesome in real life, eventually decided to move on to other projects, but not before helping to contribute to the Season Eight finale, one of the whammiest {{Wham Episode}}s of the series.

* AllLoveIsUnrequited: to George.
* BadassAdorable
* BreakTheCutie: Boy, howdy! For as many horrible things that happen to Lexie, you gotta wonder if Shonda hates her as much as she hates Meredith!
** [[spoiler: KillTheCutie]]
* [[spoiler:[[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped a Plane on Her]]]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: Appears in the last two episodes of Season 3, before her formal introduction in the Season 4 premiere.
* ExtremeDoormat: Goes out of her way to befriend Meredith in Season 4, including eating an omelet made by Meredith. This puts on a new spin on "LethalChef" because Lexie, who knows she is allergic to eggs, ate the thing anyway.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Lexie's younger sister, Molly, appears in Season 2, mentioning her older sister who is in med school at Harvard. Considering that Lexie herself didn't appear for another two seasons, this was either Shonda Rhimes planning out her MythArc or planting a SchrodingersGun.
** As mentioned, Meredith doesn't know her father remarried. Cristina drops the WhamLine on her: "Did you meet your sister?" Molly herself doesn't learn of the relation until her return appearance.
* GoOutWithASmile
* HospitalHottie
* PhotographicMemory: She has such a prodigious ability that she remembers everything, even minor details. This allowed her to ace her residency exam. She got pretty famous among her colleagues thanks to it, and they frequently refer to her as ''Lexipedia''.
* UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo: Starts off with a thing for George, but he's too focused on his own problems.

!!'''Dr. Erica Hahn (Portrayed by Brooke Smith)'''

Burke's former rival, and replacement head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hahn was a workaholic who ran Cristina ragged, partially because Cristina reminded her of herself. She became romantically involved with Callie before being unceremoniously written out in the middle of Season Five. Members of the press, and Brooke Smith herself, have alleged ExecutiveMeddling and an attempt to "de-gay" the show, though creator and showrunner Shonda Rhimes claims it was the natural end of Hahn's character arc.

* AscendedExtra: Had a few appearances in seasons two and three before becoming a regular in the fifth episode of season four.
* ButchLesbian: Arguably
* ChekhovsGunman: Not only Hahn herself, but also her patient--he was supposed to get the heart Izzie stole for Denny.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Throughout season four she was a massive bitch toward Cristina, banning her from her OR. After Richard telling her that she needed to be a better teacher and starting a relationship with Callie, she became more likeable.
* DrJerk
* PutOnABus
* TheRival: To Preston Burke.
* SuddenlySexuality
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Her reaction when she learns of Izzie's LVAD antics: she criticizes Webber's administration and demands Izzie be fired. Webber shoots her down, and when Callie defends the hospital and Izzie (in that order) as well, Erica gives up.
** ScrewThisImOutOfHere: We see her heading to her car after breaking up with Callie.
** WhatHappenedToTheMouse: However, no suggestion is given that we'll never see her again. Cristina has to deliver an InfoDump about it next episode.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Sandra Oh (Cristina) had played Brooke Smith's lesbian lover in an unrelated production, and the two mentioned that they would be comfortable with their characters hooking up.

!!'''Dr. Teddy Altman (Portrayed by Kim Raver)'''

Theodora Altman is a friend of Owen's, having served as a trauma surgeon alongside him in the Army. Hired as a new head of cardiothoracic surgery and a mentor for Cristina, she initially saw Yang as a rival due to her own [[AllLoveIsUnrequited unrequited]] feelings for Owen. Later she got involved with Henry Burton, an ill man with a rare disorder, and married him so that he could take advantage of her health insurance. This was really the only thing she did on the show, which might explain why Kim Raver did not accept a contract renewal when the option was offered her.

* ActionGirl: Prior to her first appearance, she was in the Army along with Owen.
* CitizenshipMarriage: To Henry
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage
* PutOnABus: After [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Raver decided to leave the show]]. [[spoiler:She is fired by Owen in the Season Eight finale so she can take an awesome new post at Army Medical Command.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Supporting Characters]]

!!Dr. Ellis Grey (Kate Burton)
Meredith's mother, introduced in the pilot episode as the person Meredith is narrating the show to. [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness This got dropped]], but the fact that Mrs. Grey has early-onset Alzheimer's did not. This simply adds to Meredith's troubles, as one of Ellis's last (lucid) thoughts was that she wanted her condition kept secret. And, as of the pilot episode, she doesn't have a lot of lucid thoughts anymore.
* AbusiveParents: Was not precisely supportive to Meredith.
-->"I raised you to be an extraordinary human being. So imagine my disappointment when I wake up after five years and discover that you're no more than ordinary. What happened to you?"
* TheAce: A world-renowned surgeon. After she retires due to her illness, everyone assumes she's off working medical miracles somewhere.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:After her first break-up with Richard, when Meredith was six. While Meredith watched.]]
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: in the pilot, she's the person Meredith is {{Narrator}}ing to.
* IceQueen
* ItsAllAboutMe
* LoveTriangle: Married Thatcher, but quickly met Richard Webber.
* NoSocialSkills: Has a habit of saying whatever crosses her mind. Then she got Alzheimer's and lost that filter and things got ''worse''.
* OppositesAttract: With the warm TeamDad we call Chief Webber.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: At the end of "The Time Warp" she and Webber have a drink at Joe's in memory of their deceased patient, when she sees Webber has a club soda she tells him it's not an appropriate drink to toast an Irishman with and orders him a vodka. It's not explicitly said but it seems from his reaction that Webber may have known he had a problem and been sober at that time.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Because of her disease, we find out.

!!Thatcher Grey (Jeff Perry) and Susan Grey (Mare Winningham)
Meredith's spineless father and his new wife. Though Thatcher is typically too intimidated to bond with Meredith, Susan did her best for both of them, alternately pleasing and confounding her stepdaughter with attachment-style parenting. They have two daughters, Lexie (see above) and Molly (Mandy Siegfried).
* TheAlcoholic: Thatcher.
* DirtyCoward: Thatcher.
* MyBelovedSmother: Susan. Meredith grew to appreciate it eventually.
* NeverMyFault: Thatcher.
* ParentsAsPeople: Thatcher particularly.
* YourCheatingHeart: Thatcher ''knew'' that Ellis was carrying on with Richard, which is part of why he left.

!!Joe The Bartender (Steven W. Bailey)
The bartender of the bar nearest the hospital, which serves as one of the major nexii of the show (along with the operating rooms and on-call rooms).
* TheBartender
* HasTwoDaddies: Not Joe himself, but his two children, whom he adopted with his partner Walter in the third season.
* NoLastNameGiven
* StraightGay

!!Adele Webber (Loretta Devine)
Webber's long-suffering wife. Richard believed that he was able to keep his affair with Ellis secret from her, but discovered in the second season how wrong he was. He stayed with her out of honor, though. Like Richard's other great love, she too develops Alzheimer's, and eventually needs to be committed to an assisted-living facility. She earned the show its other Emmy as a Guest Actress.
* MamaBear
* ProperLady
* UndyingLoyalty: To her husband. He shows it back, though in different ways.

!!Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
A major character in the second season, Dennison Duquette had congestive heart failure spent several years waiting for a transplant. After he arrived at Seattle Grace, he and Izzie fell in love, leading her to (essentially) short-circuit the mechanical bits of his failing heart to bump him to the top of the transplant list. It worked, but then he died anyway, which was [[SarcasmMode a very upbeat and happy way]] to end the second season.
* [[spoiler:DeadPersonConversation: Has a lot of these with Izzie in Season 5.]]
* [[IllGirl Ill Boy]]
* ImAManICantHelpIt
* OrganTheft: Was essentially the beneficiary of it, thanks to Izzie. This becomes a plot point later when Michael Norris, the person who was ''supposed'' to get that heart, shows up at Seattle Grace.
* UnexpectedInheritance: To Izzie, in the form of $8.7 million.

!!"Jane Doe" / "Ava" / Rebecca Pope (Elizabeth Reaser)
A character introduced in the third season, she was a victim of the same ferry-boat crash that [[DramaBomb almost killed Meredith]]. Pregnant and amnesiac, she was brought back to the hospital for repairs and facial reconstruction surgery, during which time she and Alex became involved.

* DomesticAbuser: The father of her child, which is why she fled. Makes it a little less understandable why she eventually went back to him instead of staying with Alex.
* IdentityAmnesia
** QuestForIdentity: She is offered three different options for the face repair. To help her choose, Alex names them Maggie, Elizabeth and Ava.
* IllGirl
* TheBusCameBack: Returns in Season 4.
** PsychoExGirlfriend: In name only, as she's an ex who turns out to be psycho (Borderline Personality Disorder)
** HeroicBSOD: After her pregnancy is revealed to be hysterical.
** DrivenToSuicide: Fortunately, Alex is on hand.

!! Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George)
An anesthesiologist from Mercy West, introduced in the 6th season during the merger arc. He quickly becomes romantically involved with Bailey, though this becomes complicated by his dreams of pursuing a further education and becoming a full-blown surgeon.

* FamilyVersusCareer: a RareMaleExample. [[spoiler:Chooses "family" by quitting his residency and resuming his old job at Seattle Grace Mercy West Grey Sloan. Even more interestingly, Miranda ''calls'' him on it, feeling very disappointed that he gave up surgery for her and her son.]]
* LongDistanceRelationship: with Bailey, because his residency is elsewhere.
* NiceGuy: One of the few characters ''everybody'' likes. They also trust him enough to let him scrub in on nerve-wracking surgeries even when he's just in town to visit his wife.
* PutOnABus: to the SpinOff "''OffTheMap''," where he provides the current page quote.
** TheBusCameBack: after ''Off The Map'' was canceled.
* SecondLove: Bailey's.

!!Dr. Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen)
Jackson's famous mother. She becomes an alternative love interest to Webber, especially after Adele begins to completely forget who he is.
* CoolOldLady
* MyBelovedSmother: Has shades of this.
[[/folder]]

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