Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Grey's Anatomy Supporting Characters

Go To

Present and former supporting characters on the TV show Grey's Anatomy

    open/close all folders 


RN Olivia Jankovic neé Harper (Portrayed by Sarah Utterback)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S1-6, S14)

A nurse who briefly dates George but gives him syphilis after having previously slept with Alex. She is a sideline friend of the group and one of the nurses most likely to put up with surgeons in general, but is still vocal during the nurses' strike.

  • Put on a Bus: In season six she loses her job because of the merger with Mercy West, though she hadn't appeared for a few seasons at that point.
    • The Bus Came Back: Comes back in a late season 14 episode as the mother to a patient.
  • Really Gets Around: Olivia has slept with multiple doctors — Mark, Alex and George that we've seen — and helped spread syph.
  • Typhoid Mary: She's given this nickname when it is discovered that she had the syphilis that spread through the hospital (though she got it from Alex, who probably spread it further than she did).


    Dr. Sen 

Dr. Raj Sen (Portrayed by Anjul Nigam)

Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S1-2, S4, S13)
A psychiatric doctor at the hospital.


Joe The Bartender (Portrayed by Steven W. Bailey)

Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S2-7); Private Practice (S2)

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).

    Denny Duquette 

Dennison "Denny" Duquette, Jr. (Portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S2-3, S5)

A major character in the second season, Dennison Duquette had congestive heart failure and 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 a very upbeat and happy way to end the second season.

  • Organ Theft: 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.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: To Izzie, in the form of $8.7 million.

    Finn the Vet 

Dr. Finn Dandridge (Portrayed by Chris O'Donnell)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S2-3)
The vet for Meredith, Izzie, Derek, and Addison's shared dog, Doc. He forms a relationship with Meredith after hounding her, though he assumed that she and Derek were together as they were the listed owners of Doc. On their first date, he takes her to birth horses.

  • Dark and Troubled Past: One reason he could go with Meredith well is because, like her, everyone around him dies. His mom died when he was young and so his father gave up on life, and he's already widowed in his 30s.
  • Disposable Love Interest: Especially in retrospect, but can be seen anyway, is how tangential his character was as a love interest for Meredith. He was primarily used as a catalyst for the MerDer reunion, and was quickly dropped.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Though he is Meredith's boyfriend for a while, a lot of his appearances are with Derek.


"Jane Doe" / "Ava" / Rebecca Pope (Portrayed by Elizabeth Reaser)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S3-4); The Video Game

A character introduced in the third season, she was a victim of the same ferry-boat crash that 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.

  • Domestic Abuse: 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.
  • Driven to Suicide: Fortunately, Alex is on hand.
  • Heroic BSoD: After her pregnancy is revealed to be hysterical.
  • Ill Girl: Her story relies on her being introduced as dying and pregnant, and her romantic life comes from the hospital stay.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: In name only, as she's an ex who turns out to be psycho (Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Quest for Identity: She is offered three different options for the face repair. To help her choose, Alex names them Maggie, Elizabeth and Ava.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns in Season 4.


Dr. Steve Mostow (Portrayed by Mark Saul)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S4-8)
A beleaguered resident who regularly gets the main characters' undesired jobs. His girlfriend, also a resident, becomes pregnant at one point.

  • Genius Ditz: A downplayed version, as he is an awkward klutz but is actually very competent at his job.
  • Satellite Character: Him and most of the rest of his intern class, though he definitely gets the most airtime and lasts longest of them all. His and Megan's romance is also satellite: a great story, but it plays out purely in the background of the show.

    Sadie Harris 

Dr. Sadie Harris (Portrayed by Melissa George)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S5)
One of Meredith's old friends who is briefly a resident at Seattle Grace but is not really cut out for the job; she is less focused on her career than Meredith was an undergraduate. Reveals that they have matching morbid nicknames for each other: Death (Meredith) and Die (Sadie).

  • Ambiguously Gay: Though her sexuality is never stated, she unashamedly flirts with Callie. Meredith also implies in season 14 that they might have been more than friends.
  • Idiot Ball: She makes the other interns give her an epidural and then supposedly unnecessarily operate on her without telling anyone else.
  • Ironic Nickname: Merdith's nickname for her is "die", even though she's a very perky character. Although, she does seem to have a death wish.
  • Nepotism: Out of all the characters who could do it, it's explicitly stated that Sadie only got into Seattle Grace's residency program because of her father, and that this is why she is kept on so long despite doing so many dumb things.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Sadie's attitude to her methods of "studying" all through med school, but she gets found out by George when she struggles with the basics.

    Gary Clark 

Gary Clark (Portrayed by Michael O'Neill)

Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S6)

When his wife dies, he cannot live with his loneliness and blames the doctors of Seattle Grace who treated her, specifically Derek who was Chief at the time and performed her surgery, returning to the hospital armed and ready to kill.

  • Assassination Attempt: Derek is his primary target, but the one he doesn't actually kill.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The death of his wife, and then the medical malpractice suit he pursued getting thrown out, makes him feel a sense of injustice and this wife was killed without meaning.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Asks Bailey if she's a surgeon, too. She has the same kind of scrubs on as the other surgeons, but Clark doesn't recognize these and believes her when she says she's a nurse. Some of the relevant issues are alluded to at other points later in the show — at one time, Lexie has a paranoid patient who notices her different colored scrubs and that her labcoat doesn't have a name, thinking she's there to hurt him (she had to change because of medical waste on clothes); much later Maggie mentions that people still assume she's a nurse because she's black.
  • Murder-Suicide: Was left with one bullet when he was being talked down from killing any more people, so shoots himself.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Clark tries to kill as many surgeons as he can, not just to disguise his revenge on Derek but because he has internalized for himself that surgeons are too close to playing God and are all evil (but it's mostly just wanting to kill the doctors he believes killed his wife). Proven when Bailey lies that she's a nurse and he lets her go.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: When he thinks he's finally killed Derek, he feels no solace and is still just sad.
  • Wham Episode: His return at the end of season 6 to murder everyone.
  • The World Mocks Your Loss: A minor version — when he arrives to kill all the doctors, he mostly notices them when they are interacting with their romantic partner, which probably fuels him more since for those few seconds he skitters around as if he has cold feet.

    Charles Percy and Reed Adamson 

Dr. Charles Percy (Portrayed by Robert Baker) and Dr. Reed Adamson (Portrayed by Nora Zehetner)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (Percy: S6, S8, S12; Reed: S6)
Residents transplanted from Mercy West during the season 6 merger, Percy gets some characterization whilst Reed is left a bitchy character device until they both die at the end. Due to Percy's growth — becoming friends with Izzie and Bailey, and showing some redeemable qualities — he makes some posthumous appearances.

  • Accidental Misnaming: Reed calls Percy "Charlie", a nickname he hates and though he has corrected her she's never heard his protests.
  • Alpha Bitch: The depth of Reed's characterization is a bitch who leads April along with her.
  • Expy: Percy was one of Karev in early seasons, which is probably why he became liked. Reed seems to have been an antagonist version of (and antagonist to) Izzie, maybe, but was really more just created as a mean girl.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Percy made a few appearances, though just in flashbacks and alternative storylines. Neither are otherwise ever mentioned again, even though Reed was supposedly April's BFF. Jackson and April (the only people who really liked them) quickly forgot and became part of the Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan gang. Bonus for Jackson being the one to come up with the name Grey+Sloan, not even thinking about these two.
  • Unrequited Love: Percy really likes Reed, who barely knows he exists. He asks Bailey to tell her when he's dying, not knowing that she's already dead.

    Lucy Fields 

Dr. Lucy Fields (Portrayed by Rachael Taylor)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S7)

A neo-natal surgeon and OB/GYN, as well being a fetal surgery fellow. She was the doctor for Callie's pregnancy with Sofia and began dating Alex Karev. After Alex initially turned down the position at Namboze clinic, Lucy took it instead, ending their relationship.

  • Idiot Ball: After easily reassuring Callie, Arizona, and Mark that nothing was wrong with their baby, she failed to give Callie steroids for the baby after Callie and Arizona were in a car accident. She then got her competence back when she stepped in and knew what to do to deliver a baby trapped in a woman's intestines instead of her uterus.


    Heather Brooks 

Dr. Heather Brooks (Portrayed by Tina Majorino)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S9-10)
Heather Brooks was one of the five new surgical interns introduced in season 9.

  • The Ace: She is very naturally competent at neurosurgery, which is why Shane becomes hostile towards her.
  • Adorkable: Is the season 9 designated cute and quirky intern.
  • Expository Hairstyle: Her pixie cut used as characterization.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the first episode of season 10.
  • Super Reflexes: Is tested by Derek for competency by him throwing things at her, most often phones.

    Matthew Taylor 

Matthew Taylor (Portrayed by Justin Bruening)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S9-10, S14)

A paramedic at the hospital who starts a romantic relationship with April, sharing her Christian ideals and being a really nice guy who still gets left at the alter when April runs off with Jackson. Has a child in season 14 with his new wife, Karen, whose preeclampsia is missed by April, leading to her death. At this point, his interactions with April are completely awkward, despite Matthew's continued working as a Seattle paramedic. However, they reconnect and then marry.

  • Celibate Hero: Because of his faith he sticks to remaining a virgin until marriage.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Is left at the altar by April in season 10.
  • The Bus Came Back: When he briefly returns in season 14, though it's not a very happy return.
  • The Woobie: He's a nice guy whose fiancee left him and whose wife died shortly after giving birth.

    Nicole Herman 

Dr. Nicole Herman (Portrayed by Geena Davis)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S11, S14)
"I was fine. I got fine with dying. And then you infected me with your stupid — with Shepherd and her plan, and your stupid hope. And now, it's harder than ever to hand all this over. I don't want to. I'm scared to. And I'm scared to let go of it, and it's all your fault, so... I think the very least you can do is deserve it. Take over, do well, make me not regret it. Can you do that? Please?"

Grey Sloan's Head of Fetal and Maternal Surgery, who personally approaches Arizona to offer her a Fetal Surgical Fellowship. It turns out that she has brain cancer and wants to give someone she deems most capable and able (i.e. not the OB/GYN residents) all of her in-depth knowledge of the developing field, as it's not taught or even really written down anywhere. She becomes close friends with Arizona, who convinces her to allow Amelia to try and resect her monster of a tumor. The surgery is successful, but Nicole does lose her sight. Opens the Robbins-Herman Center for Women's Health in New York with Arizona at the end of season 14.

  • Eccentric Mentor: Nicole is far from brutal and doesn't just drop Arizona in it, but she's arrogantly playful and seems to relish in making Arizona squirm.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: It's implied that Nicole is somewhat significantly older than Arizona (the reactions to Arizona finding her having sex with a resident), but they become great friends.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: To facilitate Arizona learning fetal surgery so quickly, Nicole is on the brink of death — and for a while Arizona doesn't know. She doesn't die but is blinded, letting Arizona step up.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: What Nicole is viewed as — extremely talented in her field and not needing to have fellows but if she picks you, you do it.

    Isaac Cross 

Dr. Isaac Cross (Portrayed by Joe Adler)

Appears in Grey's Anatomy (S11-13)

A youthful resident, who at one point contracts TB. He likes to be involved with the hospital and its surgeons' events, and has a brief crush on Jo Wilson.

    Penny Blake 

Dr. Penelope "Penny" Blake (Portrayed by Samantha Sloyan)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S11-12)
"I know this place can be competitive.. and that you can be an insecure bitch sometimes, but you would not be talking behind my back if you weren't scared to death that somebody might give you a run for your money! And I might be from Dillard, but I am here now. I'm right behind you, breathing down your neck, and I am a dark freakin' horse!"

A surgical resident who transferred from Dillard Medical Center, prior to its closure, who treated Derek Shepherd after his car accident. She is dating Callie Torres, who she invites to move with her to New York upon winning a grant. Causes controversy in the fact that she kind of killed Derek, even her girlfriend turning on her. Callie's ex-wife Arizona is initially taken by how "pretty", "perky" and "perfect" she is, but gets more resistant when Penny starts work at Grey Sloan and becomes a larger part of Callie's life. They get an off-screen break-up in season 14.

  • Extreme Doormat: Starts as this due to her introduction being, well, "killed everyone's friend/husband/brother the amazing neurosurgeon and started dating a head of department before even working here". However people warm to her, and she toughens up when she realizes she's not really got in on any surgeries.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: After being part of the team that "killed" Derek, she returns as Callie's girlfriend at Meredith's dinner party, having not told Callie about the Derek thing despite it probably being pretty easy to know they were close friends. When Meredith gives The Reveal, and after Amelia has calmed down, the couple get away and break-up briefly before deciding to face the adversity since Penny is going to work at Grey Sloan so there's going to be hate anyway.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Everyone gushes over how pretty she is, to the point that it's most of her early characterization, when this has never happened to anyone else. She is pretty, but isn't particularly something for everyone to rave about, especially when set against the rest of the cast since everyone is really attractive — honestly, compared to most of them she's probably one of the objectively least "good-looking" when measured by features which are usually striking. One description was "a plain-ish Addison".
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Seeing as they're surgeons, it's not the best standard to break up with someone for having a patient die due to others' choices despite their best efforts; of course, it's implied the short breakup is more due to Penny not telling Callie about it and the potential for multiple peoples' hurt feelings if they stayed together and Penny spent time around Derek's family. They get back together, though.
  • Only Sane Man: She really wanted to get Derek a head CT but was shot down by the other surgeons, despite the head lac and no immediate method of treatment.

    Eliza Minnick 

Dr. Eliza Minnick (Portrayed by Marika Dominczyk)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S13)
"It happens everywhere I go. Everyone hates the agent of change. I'm used to it, I'm good at it, but you should be prepared that they'll hate you, too, for bringing me on. Also, if I take the job, I work alone. I like Dr. Webber, respect the hell out of him, but if I come on, I don't share authority. I am the authority."

An attending orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine practitioner, Eliza enters Grey Sloan as an education consultant to get more advanced results from the residency program. Though she is abrasive to most members of staff, she immediately takes a liking to Arizona Robbins and pursues a relationship with her while facing the opposition from the senior staff for the implementation of her program. Initially liked by some residents for winning them more surgeries, she becomes turned on by everyone but Arizona (who she wins over mid-season) by the end of her single-season appearance for being too cut-and-dry, undermining the opinions of attendings, and not supporting the residents when they really need her.

  • All-Powerful Bystander: Takes this position in several surgeries she steals for residents, saying that it's their surgery but she'll be in the OR ready to step in if they need her. Backfires when she turns out not so all-powerful when she needs to intervene.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Is involved with most of the surgeons because of her job, where she literally forces her way in, and is initially liked by some residents (who all turn off her) and Arizona. Gets unceremoniously fired just for being the different/not liked one who takes procedure too seriously. She then ghosts Arizona, so loses her faith, even though she shows good qualities and isn't particularly unlikable.
  • Heroic BSoD: When a kid dies during a surgery she is assisting in, she turns pale and can't say anything but hide in the attendings' lounge. She reveals to Arizona that she's never had a child die on her before, and it feels horrible. This is the start of her actually opening up to people (well, Arizona).
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: She teaches the residents this way, having them solo or lead on surgeries they've studied far more than they were ever allowed to before. It was also the very literal way she was taught to swim as a child, why her faith in it works.

    Sam Bello 

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Bello (Portrayed by Jeanine Mason)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S14); B-Team
An ex of Andrew's who deliberately did not want to work with him, but has ended up at Grey Sloan anyway. She is an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, and is at threat of being deported before getting a job at Cristina Yang's cardio institute in Switzerland, voluntarily leaving the US.

    Vik Roy 

Dr. Vik Roy (Portrayed by Rushi Kota)

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S14-15); B-Team
A confident intern who turns out to be squeamish and needs provocation not to panic under pressure.


RN Frankie Shavelson

Appeared in Grey's Anatomy (S15)

The popular chief nurse who has a son by herself, dying in childbirth and leaving many hospital staff distraught.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: