This is a character page for former main characters of the Grey's Anatomy shows: this means that they left a show on which they were a main character before that show ended.
Dr. Derek Shepherd (Portrayed by Patrick Dempsey)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-11); Private Practice (S2, S5); The Video Game
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.
- And Starring: Credited as "And Patrick Dempsey"
- Beard of Sorrow: Grows one in season five during his Heroic BSoD arc.
- Career-Ending Injury: 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."
- Da Chief: Briefly in season six, resigns following the shooting.
- Death by Irony: Dies of an undetected brain bleed, with his internal narration knowing exactly what to do without being able to communicate, but especially because the only neuro guy at the podunk hospital he's taken to is at a big dinner and doesn't want to leave, with Derek open on the table for hours. When his doctors find out that they just killed the damn best neurosurgeon in America because of missing a CT they get some BSODs, Penny especially.
- Happily Married: To Meredith, despite their issues.
- Hospital Hottie: Known around the hospital as McDreamy.
- In-Series Nickname: McDreamy.
- Killed Off for Real: In season 11 episode 21, from a head injury.
- Knight in Sour Armor: ...Or, in the alternate universe, McDreary.
- Mr. Fanservice: Had a couple scenes where he was shirtless, and even one scene when he is supposedly completely 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.
- Love Triangle: With Meredith on one corner and either Addison or Nurse Rose on the other.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: Arguably this with Mark and Owen. Mark and Derek grew up together and Owen was introduced pretty dramatically out of nowhere in Season 5. All three eventually become good friends.
Dr. Cristina Yang (Portrayed by Sandra Oh)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-10, S14); The Video Game
Meredith's BFF—or "person," in the show's parlance—Cristina (no H) is an Insufferable Genius whom Meredith nonetheless takes to. Bluntly sarcastic, Married to the Job 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.
- Cool Teacher: Not only has one in the person of Mr. Feeny, but (much to the audience's surprise) becomes one as an attending surgeon supervising the latest crop of interns.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her most defining trait, along with her being an exceptional surgeon, which naturally leads to her being an Insufferable Genius.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen: 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.
- Designated Victim: 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 a sobbing wreck.
- Disappeared Dad: Her biological father was killed in a car crash when Cristina was 9. She tried to hold his chest back together with her hands. It didn't work.
- Genius Slob: 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 Trash of the Titans 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.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted when she gets one in the eighth season premiere, leading to tension with Owen.
- Happily Married: To Owen. For a while, at least.
- Heroic BSoD: In season seven following the shooting in the season six finale. Again after the events of season 8.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Meredith, sometimes to the point of overshadowing her actual marriage.
- Hot for Student: Shacked up with her cardio professor while at Stanford.
- Insufferable Genius: And how!
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: 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.
- Karma Houdini: An odd example. Though plenty of horrible stuff happens to Cristina on a more or less regular basis, it's all mostly random. Whenever she does something wrong, however, especially in regards to believing she's above the rules whenever she disagrees with them, she is never punished, only rewarded, which leads to absolutely no character development in regards to her arrogance.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: 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)
- 10-Minute Retirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.
Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens (Portrayed by Katherine Heigl)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-6); The Video Game
The Establishing Character Moment 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.
- Author Avatar: 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 Why Waste a Wedding? trope pops in later.)
- Hospital Hottie: She was even a model, which is why she had no student debt like the others.
- I Have This Friend...: 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.
- Ill Girl: ...Though they do figure out that she has skin cancer.
- I See Dead People: Hallucinates Denny throughout the fifth season, which seems to be evidence that she's simply gone mad. Actually, the cancer has reached her brain.
- Nice Girl: Was one of the nicest people on the show.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: 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 Karma Houdini by way of the Rule of Drama.
- Put on a Bus: Following being fired she divorces Alex and leaves.
- Commuting on a Bus: 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.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!
- Shaming the Mob:"And what are these? Oh my God, breasts. How does anybody practice medicine hauling these things around?"
- So Beautiful It's a Curse: Justified. The few patients who recognized her from centerfolds all went on to question her credentials as a trained doctor. Because, after all, a woman can't be both beautiful and smart. (Well, okay, the Double Standard itself is not justified, but the fact that people would employ it...)
- Teen Pregnancy: Revealed in an early episode. Later, she gave her daughter a needed bone marrow transplant.
Dr. George O'Malley (Portrayed by TR Knight)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-5); The Video Game
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. Which he did.
- All Love Is Unrequited: a long-standing thing for Meredith.
- Butt-Monkey: Definitely. Spends most of the first season as hapless comic relief. Ends it by getting over his crush on Meredith and 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."
- A Day in the Limelight: The first character to provide voice-over narration besides Meredith. Since then, a number of others have gotten to as well.
- Extreme Doormat: Has his moments.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Had one with Callie, essentially.
- 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 army uniform, WHOA.
- Hope Spot: 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 Knight in Shining Armor. ...In the finale of Season 5, where he dies.
- Love Triangle: Between his best friend Izzie and his actual wife Callie.
- Out of Focus: 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.
Dr. Preston Burke (Portrayed by Isaiah Washington)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-3, S10)
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.
- And Starring: Credited as With Isaiah Washington
- Career-Ending Injury: 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.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: 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 Private Pyle.
- Insufferable Genius: Not as much as Cristina, but still had his moments.
- The Bus Came Back: Returned in Season 10 to offer Christina a job managing his new hospital. She accepts, which becomes the basis for her eventual departure from the series.
- Put on a Bus: He dumps Cristina at the altar, removes his belongings from their apartment and is never seen at Seattle Grace hospital again.
- Runaway Fiancé: He leaves Cristina at the altar and sends his mother to collect his belongings from their apartment.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Isaiah Washington was summarily fired at the end of Season Three due to allegations of having said homophobic slurs against T. R. Knight. Thus Burke leaves Cristina at the altar and sends his mother to collect his things.
Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery Shepherd (Portrayed by Kate Walsh)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-8); Private Practice (S1-6)
Addison knows how to make an entrance: her first line was also the last line of Season 1, and a Wham Line: "Hi, I'm Addison Shepherd. And you must be the woman who's been screwing my husband." The story of 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 Triang Relations continued for some time, and while Meredith won Derek, Addison got a consolation prize: her own Spin-Off, Private Practice, which was set in Los Angeles and ran for six seasons before wrapping up in 2013.
- Anti-Villain: Type IV as she's not a bad person, just a rival to Meredith.
- Ascended Extra: Was only set to appear in five episodes in season two. Ended up with her own Spin-Off.
- Last Episode, New Character: Though she still got first billing in the guest-star list, despite appearing onscreen for all of 20 seconds.
- Odd Friendship: Poised, composed Addison with down-to-earth, irreverent Callie. Also provides a Meta Twist: unusually for this show, which per Word of God is about "smart women competing with each other," their friendship does not have Drama Bombs dropped on it every other episode. They also became friends by both having slept with Mark.
- Preppy Name: Izzie discusses this when she gets the nearly $9 million inheritance from Denny, asking Addison how she handles being rich."Addison Forbes Montgomery Shepherd. That's a lot of names. A lot of rich-sounding names."
- Put on a Bus: To Private Practice, at the end of Season Three. This has not precluded the occasional Commuting on a Bus, both to and from Seattle.
Dr. Calliope "Callie" Torres (Portrayed by Sara Ramirez)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S2-12); The Video Game
One of the first new characters to be added to the cast, Dr. Torres first appears in the second season as a Love Interest 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 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.
- Brainy Brunette: While it's a given since she's a doctor, Callie is also noted to be very applied in studies. Her study cards for the interns' exams are considered legendary, and she also has a infallible "Torres Method" for studying, which Dr. Webber directly asks her to share with Meredith in order to help the latter in the resident's exams.
- The Cameo: Makes a non-appearing cameo in Arizona's final episode via text messages and Sara Ramirez' "The Story" playing.
- Cartwright Curse: Nearly every major character she's had sex with has had something terrible happen to them. George and Mark both died, and Arizona nearly lost her life in the same incident that led to the latter's death, but still ended up losing her leg in the process. In retrospect, Erica was probably smart enough to get out while she still could.
- The Cast Showoff: In the musical episode. Sara Ramirez was in the original cast of Spamalot, for which she won a Tony Award.
- Closet Key: In season 5, Callie was this for her then-girlfriend Erica.
- Cure Your Gays: Callie's father brings her childhood priest to the hospital to convince her that faith can cure her sexuality. She is righteously furious.Callie: You can't pray away the gay!
- Deadpan Snarker: Is pretty good at delivering some great one liners.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Iphigenia.
- Full-Name Basis: 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.
- Happily Married: To Arizona, until they divorced.
- Has Two Mommies: She has a daughter, Sofia, with Arizona.
- Odd Friendship: Callie seems to have a penchant for these.
- With Owen, in recent seasons which makes sense, when you consider that they were married in the Alternate Universe episode.
- With Meredith, after Cristina is gone. Callie was never exactly on particularly bad or great terms with her, but theyre more or less confidants now.
- With Bailey, which started more or less during Season Five and stayed through.
- She also has a camaraderie with Cristina, whose personality is nothing like hers, that rises from them being roommates for a few seasons. Indeed when Cristina went through her Heroic BSoD in Season 7 at the same time that Callie was heartbroken by Arizona's depart to Africa, they spent almost an entire episode just hanging around together.
- Parental Abandonment: When she comes out of the closet, her father disowns her.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Mark, despite the fact that they have had sex quite a few times, but never had any romantic feelings for each other other than lust. This eventually gave us Sofia.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In season three.
Dr. Mark Sloan (Portrayed by Eric Dane)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S2-9); Private Practice (S2-3); The Video Game
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 Guest Star 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 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 Executive Meddling reduced the show's budget.
- Always Someone Better: Derek was this to him his whole life, which may have contributed to him sleeping with Addison. Still he considered Derek his best friend above all and came to terms with his jealousy, even joking about his Always Second Best status from time to time.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Lexie, when she's dying.
- Anyone Can Die: 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.
- Anything That Moves: 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.
- No-Sell: The one time he tries it on Cristina.
- Ascended Extra: Was only set to appear once in season two, until fans asked Shonda Rhimes for him to come back, which lead to his Promotion to Opening Titles in season three, episode three.
- Deadpan Snarker: 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.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Derek.
- It's All About Me: Prior to his Character Development.
- In-Series Nickname: In his first appearance, he is given the nickname McSteamy.
- Ladykiller in Love: With Lexie and/or Julia. According to him, it's just Lexie, and it always has been.
- Mr. Fanservice: Shows up at the end of the second episode of season three in Addison's hotel room, barely wearing a towel.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Callie, despite the fact that they have had sex quite a few times, which eventually gave us Sofia.
- Really Gets Around: He probably slept with nearly all the nurses in the hospital. From the main cast, he has been with Lexie, Addison, Callie, Teddy and Reed.
Dr. Alexandra "Lexie" Grey (Portrayed by Chyler Leigh)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S3-8); Private Practice (S5); The Video Game
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 Parental Abandonment issues, but the two eventually became quite close. Sweet, emotional and featuring a photographic memory, Lexie became something of a Tagalong Kid 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 Crazy Awesome 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 Episodes of the series.
- All Love Is Unrequited: To George.
- Badass Adorable: She is incredibly sweet and adorable, and she is one of the smartest, most promising surgical residents at Seattle Grace due in part to her photographic memory. As Derek puts it: "She has a photographic memory, we're all out of our league."
- Beware the Nice Ones: She is one of the nicest and well-meaning doctors on the staff, but tends to snap back when pushed too much.
- Brainy Brunette: Graduated from Havard (as a class valedictorian to boot!) and is shown to be a smart and resourceful surgeon.
- Break the Cutie: Boy, howdy! For as many horrible things that happen to Lexie, you gotta wonder if Shonda hates her as much as she hates Meredith!
- The Cutie: She is upbeat, rather naive, very caring, and serves as the Tagalong Kid to the interns.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gets crushed by plane debris at the end of Season 8.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in the last two episodes of Season 3, before her formal introduction in the Season 4 premiere.
- Extreme Doormat: 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 "Lethal Chef" because Lexie, who knows she is allergic to eggs, ate the thing anyway.Lexie: I'm an adult child of an alcoholic. That is what happened to me. I have boundary issues. When Meredith made me eggs this morning, I couldn't not eat them. I had to pretend I wasn't allergic to eggs and now I have a rash covering my entire body.
- 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 Myth Arc or planting a Schrödinger's Gun.
- As mentioned, Meredith doesn't know her father remarried. Cristina drops the Wham Line on her: "Did you meet your sister?" Molly herself doesn't learn of the relation until her return appearance.
- Grade Skipper: She skipped the third grade.
- Hospital Hottie: Her attractiveness is mentioned by both residents and patients.
- The Ingenue: In the beginning, she's a sweet, kind, little socially awkward and endearingly naive girl who wants nothing but to get closer to her older sister Meredith. She grows more cynical due to the sheer amount of Break the Cutie moments, but still retains a childlike innocence and devotion to her closest ones.
- In-Series Nickname:
- Little Grey, used usually by residents or attendants, to distinct her from her older sister.
- Lexipedia, due to her excellent Photographic Memory.
- Go Out with a Smile: She dies smiling from hearing Mark's Anguished Declaration of Love for her.
- Kill the Cutie: Dies at the end of season 8 due to a plane crash.
- Nice Girl: Lexie is a very caring, friendly, and kind girl.
- Photographic Memory: 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."
- Really Gets Around: Has a lot of sexual partners and of the main cast has slept with Mark, Alex, Jackson, and had an unrequited attraction towards George.
- Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In the season 4 episode "Lay Your Hands On Me," when Meredith cooks an omelet for her, due to Lexie's Extreme Doormat tendencies towards Meredith and her delight at Meredith doing something nice for her, she eats the omelet even though she is allergic to eggs. She ends up getting a full-body rash.
- Sorry to Interrupt: Lexie has an unfortunate knack for walking in on people in the middle of making out or having sex, which results in poor Lexie making the most mortified expressions. For instance, once, she walked in on Callie and Arizona having shower sex.
- Tagalong Kid: Even though she's not actually a kid, she's the youngest of the main cast and is Meredith's little sister, so she tends to be treated like this trope by everyone else.
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Starts off with a thing for George, but he's too focused on his own problems.
- Youthful Freckles: Lexie has freckles, which reflect her youth and naivete.
Dr. Erica Hahn (Portrayed by Brooke Smith)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S2-5); The Video Game
- Ascended Extra: Had a few appearances in seasons two and three before becoming a regular in the fifth episode of season four.
- Butch Lesbian: She is more androgynous in mannerisms and style than her lover Callie. Though the writers said that it would be a little too obvious and stereotypical to make the tough, confident woman (who turned down Sloan) a lesbian...and then made her one. And then fired her. Saved only by Brooke Smith's excellent acting (see the "you are glasses" speech).
- Chekhov's Gunman: Not only Hahn herself, but also her patient—he was supposed to get the heart Izzie stole for Denny.
- Coming-Out Story: She realizes she is gay after dating Callie.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: 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.
- Dr. Jerk: She's rather abrasive to just about everyone, patients included.
- Put on a Bus: She leaves the show after getting into a fight with Callie.
- The Rival: To Preston Burke.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: We see her heading to her car after breaking up with Callie.
- This Is Unforgivable!: 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: No suggestion is given that we'll never see her again. Cristina has to deliver an Info Dump about it next episode.
Dr. Arizona Robbins (Portrayed by Jessica Capshaw)
Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S5-14)
An attending physician in pediatrics, Arizona was raised in a military family and was named after a battleship. She is The Spock to Callie's McCoy, despite being typically more upbeat and childlike in comparison, and the two have formed a stable marriage together.
- An Arm and a Leg: The plane crash results with her having her left leg amputated above the knee.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Arizona smokes when she is nervous, a habit that she hates.
- Comfort Food: When her brother died, she ate a lot of donuts to feel better.
- Disabled Snarker: During recovery after the plane crash, Arizona snarks at Callie out of resentment that she allowed Arizona's leg amputation.
- Exiled to the Couch: She sleeps on the couch until Callie is ready to forgive her for cheating with Lauren.
- Fatal Flaw: Spends an episode trying to figure out hers, due to Mark saying she should know what it is before trying to get Callie back after leaving her to go to Africa and then coming back. At the end of the episode he tells her that her flaw is that she bails when things get hard, which makes her unreliable.
- Genki Girl: Especially during work, where she has to play the part to sick children. Though she's quite energetic out of the hospital too.
- Happily Married: To Callie until they separated.
- Has a Type: So far her two significant relationships have been with Callie and Eliza, both are vaguely ethnic (Ambiguously Brown and foreign language speaking) orthopedic surgeons.
- Has Two Mommies: She has a daughter, Sofia, with Callie.
- Heroic BSoD: 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.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Arizona is rather feminine in appearance and personality, and she is attracted to women.
- Military Brat: Her father is a colonel, and her brother died in war. She was even named after a battle ship.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: For Nick, an old friend, who refers to her by many nicknames — all of which are cities in Arizona. This leads to her "My name is not Flagstaff" speech which is really about dealing with loss.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In season six.
- Really Gets Around : Before getting married to Callie, slept with a lot of nurses of the hospital and after her break-up with Callie, with the help of wingman Richard Webber.
- The Mentor: To Alex, when he starts to specialize in pediatrics. When Callie suffers a car accident and has a high-risk operation with Arizona watching from the gallery, Alex leaves said surgery to go to Arizona's side.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Along with the other plane crash survivors to protest the sale to Pegasus.
- Token Minority: Not for Grey's itself, which actually has a more racially diverse cast that Real Life Seattle, but for the television industry as a whole: when Robbins was Promoted to Opening Titles, she became the only lesbian starring character on primetime television.
- She's now a Twofer Token Minority because she is a lesbian and physically disabled.
Dr. April Kepner (Portrayed by Sarah Drew)
Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S6-14)
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 Designated Monkey to be disliked and fired after two episodes, but changed her mind and kept her around; this might explain the audience's divisive response to the character.
- Break the Cutie: 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.
- Butt-Monkey: Among her peer residents, who mostly just considered her annoying or didn't take her seriously. They didn't even see her as a contender in the run for chief resident, and when she won the job, it took a long while for her to get their respect.
- Characterization Marches On:
- When she first arrives to Seattle Grace, much like the other residents from Mercy West she acted a tad rude to others and sometimes had a feel of Bitch in Sheep's Clothing going on. After she gets fired and returns, she is a lot better and plays more the part of The Ingenue and Genki Girl, though she slipped back into her old part a few times. Meredith even lampshaded at one point, and she apologized saying it was habit.
- In the episode which reveals April is still a virgin, she gives as main reason the fact that she waited too long, and men seem to find her annoying. She even gets close to sleeping with Alex of all people, thanks to a newfound crush. In later episodes however anything about her chastity is portrayed to be closely related to her Christianity and that she didn't have sex before because of a promise to Jesus, which makes those other episodes mentioned before quite the Early Installment Weirdness for that aspect of her character.
- Chaste Heroine - Used to be, until she lost her virginity to Jackson.
- Day in the Limelight: She gets to do the narration in Season 11 episode 11
- Genki Girl: She's a ball of uptight energy.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Starts getting on with Jackson, repeatedly.
- Happily Married: To Jackson, at first. But now they're not even married anymore.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In season seven.
- Odd Friendship: Uptight, conservative April with upbeat, confirmed-lesbian Arizona.
- Once a Season: Gets fired. Possibly a nod to her original purpose.
- Open Mouth, Insert Foot: She is rather prone to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Her first child with Jackson is stricken with osteogenesis imperfecta, and dies in the womb.
- Second Love: Matthew, an EMT who is also waiting for marriage.
- Runaway Bride: Until a love confession from Jackson prompts her to leave her husband standing at the altar while she and Jackson run away in his car, and get married fifteen hours later.
- Took a Level in Badass: Kepner slowly but surely become more assertive as more time passes. Eventually, in season 11, she decides to join the army to treat people on the field. Nearly a year after, she is back, and by the conclusion of "Time Stops" there is no doubt that she is badass.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: 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. Shane Ross (Portrayed by Gaius Charles)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S9-10)
The only male amongst the new five post-plane crash interns, Shane is dead set on getting into the neurosurgery program. Shepherd isn't so sanguine.
- Ambition Is Evil: Evidently being set up for this in Season 10.
- False Friend: Sometimes tries to backstab Heather Brooks, Shepherd's actual choice as his protégé, in order to supplant her.
- Gone Horribly Right: His actions lead to Brooks' death, when he substitutes her as the person assigned to find Dr. Webber, himself Only Mostly Dead by electrocution. Brooks herself wasn't so lucky.
- Heroic BSoD: Once Brooks dies.
- In-Universe Nickname: Cristina calls him "Happy," as part of her Theme Naming of "interns after Seven Dwarfs" thing. (As Jo's nickname indicates, she wasn't able to keep up the sequence.)
- The Pollyanna: Eternally upbeat, at least in Season 9.
Dr. Stephanie Edwards (Portrayed by Jerrika Hinton)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S9-13)
The emotional one of the group, she was primarily known for being Jackson's rebound after breaking up with Kepner, then moved on to get her own back story and new boyfriend.
- Blind Without 'Em: subverted in Season 10 when she gets laser surgery.
- The Determinator: the best example would be the season 13 finale, where she goes through a burning part of the hospital in order to save a young girl. However, this event leads to her Put on a Bus moment at the end of the season.
- Hidden Depths: recently revealed to be a former cheerleader. This was her first Character Development on the show.
- Ill Girl: Stephanie was born with sickle-cell disease, and spent much of her childhood in-and-out of hospitals, which led to the decision of her becoming a doctor.
- Love Interest: to Jackson.
Dr. Leah Murphy (Portrayed by Tessa Ferrer)
Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S9-10, S13)
The sarcastic one of the group. She's careful about who she lets her guard down with.
- Ambiguously Gay: Sleeps with Alex, and then with Arizona... and then never expresses romantic or sexual attraction to anyone after that. It's terribly unclear whether she was bisexual to start with, or if she just decided that If It's Arizona It's Okay.
- The Bus Came Back: After leaving for not performing well in the residency program, she excels elsewhere and is welcomed back to the program/show when Penny leaves. This causes some shake-ups in the show.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Maybe with Arizona.
Dr. Nathan Riggs (Portrayed by Martin Henderson)
Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S12-14)
Cardiothoracic surgeon who worked with April Kepner during her time in Jordan. After bringing a patient to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, he got a job working there. Seems to have some Unfinished Business with Owen Hunt.
Dr. Alex Karev (Portrayed by Justin Chambers)
Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S1-16); Private Practice (S2); The Video Game; B-Team
A late addition to the pilot (Chambers had to be stitched in during re-shoots), Alex personifies Troubled, but Cute and benefits from the All Girls Want Bad Boys trope. When not sleeping his way through the interns, he's also a pediatrics specialist, suggesting that his Manchild tendencies are good for something.
- Advertised Extra: In season 1, anyway. There was a recurring nurse that had more screentime than him at the time. After season 1, this became a non-issue.
- Character Development: Went from a Jerkass intern at the hospital to much more well-mannered man who displayed more empathy towards his co-workers and patients. He even became Meredith's person after Cristina's departure, and these guys didn't exactly see eye-to-eye in earlier seasons.
- A Day in the Limelight: Narrated a Season 9 episode instead of Meredith.
- Disappeared Dad: druggy, alcoholic, abusive. Played by James Remar.
- Dr. Jerk: He is rather cold, callous and brusque. Unless a child in involved.
- Friend to All Children: The one exception to his Dr. Jerk tendencies. He ends up in Pediatrics.
- Freudian Excuse: Had a shitty childhood, with an 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 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 the plane crash, which he was supposed to be on. No wonder he sleeps with interns.
- Jerkass: Initially, Alex started out as a character whom most fans would attest was unlikeable. By season 13, he was considered one of the best characters on the show.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eventually.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At his worst.
- Love Triangle: Between Izzie and Lexie, but then Izzie left him and Lexie died. He's currently dating Jo.
- Promotion to Parent: Took care of his younger brother and sister because of their parents' mental problems/drug addictions.
- Put on a Bus: During season 16 he leaves Jo to live on a farm with Izzie after finding out she used their embreyos to have kids
- Really Gets Around: Tended to sleep with interns a lot before forming a relationship with Jo.
- Relationship Upgrade: In Season 11, Alex discovers he is now Meredith's "person" due to Christina's departure. He attempts to help Meredith with Margaret Pierce claiming to be her half-sister.
- Troubled, but Cute: He has a lot of issues but he is still attractive.