1 of 10
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh)
Oh’s Cristina Yang saw the hospital through 10 seasons—and its countless name changes—before she left “her person” for a top cardiothoracic job in Switzerland. The cosmic perfection of this job is that she inherited it from her former mentor (and former fiancé, Dr. Preston Burke).
2 of 10
Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington)
Did Burke deserve a little more of a goodbye? I think there’s an argument to be made there, but I at least felt his goodbye was true to his character. Burke would’ve just walked away. Not to mention that his final speech was one of the show’s greatest, and it gave us this moment, which is another Grey’s classic.
3 of 10
Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)
Originally, Izzie walked away after she thought that Alex got her fired, but she later returned to tell him about her new job and to show him she was cancer free. I will admit that it was a great moment to watch Alex stick up for himself and tell her that he deserved someone who would stay, but I hated how this show made me dislike Izzie toward the end. I liked liking Izzie! And her final comment to Mer about this not being home but just some place she worked? Harsh, and very unlike Izzie.
4 of 10
Dr. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight)
Did George deserve to be dragged under a bus? Hell no. But I understand why they did it, and it did create one of the single most shocking moments in TV history. As much as I feel George deserved more, the chills I feel when I think about that “007” moment reminds me what a great impact it had. And seeing him in uniform meeting Izzie at the elevator? I loved that. Confession: I would’ve been happier with both George’s exit and Izzie’s had they died together.
5 of 10
Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith)
Hahn was a talented heart surgeon, and yet the thing that drove her away from the hospital was romance? I was not a fan of this one. After Hahn’s “You can’t be kind of a lesbian” speech to Callie, she literally just walked away from everything. And dramatically, I didn’t miss her much.
6 of 10
Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver)
Teddy never fully recovered from losing Henry, but I loved that she was going to turn down a new job in order to stay with Owen, who was going through Cristina troubles. But instead, Owen decided to put his friend first, and he fired Teddy. There were tears. There was a hug. And Teddy told Owen to fight for Cristina.
7 of 10
Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh)
Addison’s original departure didn’t have much flare, other than the convertible she was driving, but what I enjoyed more was what I call her secondary departure. After returning to Seattle for the first time post-L.A., she gave Meredith a speech about fighting for Derek that remains one of my favorite Addison moments of all time.
8 of 10
Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh)
Lexie’s death certainly carried an emotional punch, but aside from Mark’s speech, it didn’t sit well with me. For starters, there wasn’t much of a shock factor because we knew she was leaving the show, but even putting that aside, I thought her death was a little too violent. There are a number of ways you can kill someone via plane crash. Did she really have to be pinned down and spitting up blood when Mark confessed his love?
9 of 10
Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane)
I hated to see Mark go, but at least he got an entire episode dedicated to his farewell. We got to spend a little time walking down memory lane, and then we got to cry with Derek and Callie as they sat by his bedside. Plus, I won’t ever stop loving that they let him wake up and be McSteamy one last time before saying goodbye.
SPOILER ALERT! The next slide reveals a major plot point from "How to Save a Life"; if you haven't seen it and you don't want to know, best to head back to the EW home page and read something else now.
10 of 10
Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey)
Oh, McDreamy: If there's anything worse than losing our beloved Dr. Shepherd to brain injuries from a car crash (after he saved four people from a different car crash), it was listening to Derek's inner thoughts as the surgeons at a teaching hospital slowly, agonizingly fumbled through his care. "You're too late," he said, totally conscious, but unable to speak. This one was a real punch in the gut for us... and for Meredith.