Furthermore, it seems likely that Reed's fighting-flirting relationship with Karev would've driven a wedge between him and Izzie, creating overlapping Love Triangles with tension for Karev over Reed vs. Izzie (Major Plot) and for Reed with Karev vs. Percy (Minor Plot). However, with Izzie finally out of the picture that left only the less interesting Minor Plot, so instead the writers put Karev between established major characters (Lexie and Sloan).
A few examples:
George Dad dies, marriage fails, fails intern boards, GETS RUN OVER BY A BUS AND DIES
Izzie loses the love of her life right after he proposes, gets ridiculously rare form of skin cancer and almost dies, gets fired from her job after surviving brain cancer
April: best friend is shot and killed right in front of her, goes against her Christian beliefs and loses her virginity before marriage, which causes her to freak out and fail her residency boards, resulting in her getting fired and having to move back home to her parent's farm.
And then who could forget poor Lexie?: excited to find out about half-sister—sister/sister's friends treat her like shit for the better part of a year, loses the love of her life to his kids—twice, abandoned by her boyfriend in the psychiatric ward after surviving a shooting massacre, loses her current boyfriend to her ex-boyfriend (in a manner of speaking), and then—the kicker, she GETS CRUSHED BY PLANE DEBRIS just as the love of her life professes his undying love for her!! and that's just a list of the major things that go wrong for Lexie
Now I know that Grey's can, arguably, be described as a cast full of Woobies because horrible things happen to everyone. But I feel like, aside from Meredith, the writers have it out for the happy people the most.
Grey. God only knows how she's related to Meredith—another half-sister, a first cousin once removed through Ellis's cousin, another woman Thatcher impregnated, whatever. But she is, and she will find out, and she will start going by her new last name, so that if (when) Ellen Pompeo decides to leave the show, they have a new narrator and main character to slot into her place, and they don't have to change the title.
- Jossed, though you were right that Meredith gets a new half-sister. It just turns out to be Maggie Pierce, who was adopted and her father is Richard Webber
- Jo admits to Deluca in the Season 12 finale that she ran away from an abusive husband and that Alex doesn't even know her real name.
- I would say jossed, but even at the time this was added this was an exaggeration. Like Derek, Amelia has a habit of taking on hopeless cases, but she has her share of successes as well.