Learn the lingo
After 14 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, there’s so much to catch up on — and so many catch phrases to learn. Follow along to celebrate the medical drama’s upcoming 15th season, and our special Grey’s Anatomy collectible covers.
This one is a doozy. Ellis Grey, Meredith’s late mother, passed away from the devastating disease in season 3, and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) herself tested positive for a few genetic markers in season 9. There’s also a (wholly unvetted) fan theory circulating on the internet that posits the show will end with Meredith’s own positive diagnosis.
Bomb in a body cavity
One of the most stressful scenes in recent TV memory went down after the Super Bowl in 2006, when the Grey’s hospital staff was presented with a bomb implanted in a man’s torso. Meredith successfully removed the explosive, but it went off as the bomb squad was carrying it down the hallway — killing, to all our dismay, a character played by Kyle Chandler.
Feel like having a really ugly cry? Cue up this song by Snow Patrol and remember that it played over the scene of Izzie (Katherine Heigl) clinging to a lifeless Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Dance it out
Working in a hospital as dramatic and emotionally taxing as Grey Sloan Memorial takes a toll, so the best remedy is to quite literally Dance. It. Out. All the better if said dancing is done with the aid of copious amounts of tequila.
All the best action (and yes, we mean that in every sense of the word) goes down in the elevators of Grey Sloan — which is why EW chose to stage part of our photo shoot in that exact spot.
Of the many recurring motifs on Grey’s Anatomy, ferry boats seem to touch many of the show’s characters. The late Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) was totally obsessed — which is why Addison (Kate Walsh) threw her wedding ring off one and why he left a message for Meredith from the deck of another on what would prove to be his last day on earth. And, who could forget that tragic ferry crash in season 3?
Take a good look at this face, because it’s the face of evil. Gary Clark (played by Michael O’Neill) lost his wife due to complications of cancer surgery, which is of course tragic. But he channeled that rage and went on a shooting rampage at the hospital. The resulting episode was a pivotal one for the series, but we’ll never forgive Gary.
"How to Save a Life"
This song basically IS Grey’s Anatomy. (And Grey’s Anatomy is the reason so many people know the Fray.) It played over a season 2 montage of the doctors doctor-ing and popped up again during the musical episode.
A picture can say a thousand words, but this one only needs seven: “Cristina’s got an icicle in her stomach.” Don’t worry, it was removed and Cristina (Sandra Oh) had her first kiss with Owen (Kevin McKidd).
We’re still wondering what happened to Joe, the propieter of Emerald City (later renamed Joe’s Bar). The drinking establishment still stands, but everyone’s favorite bartender-turned-camping-buddy (played by Steven W. Bailey) is gone.
When dancing it out just isn’t doing the trick to soothe your stress, try knitting a sweater.
Medically speaking, this is a left ventricular assist device. Grey’s Anatomy speaking, it’s part of what led to Denny Duquette’s sudden death.
McDreamy. McSteamy. McMarried. McBastard. McDouchey. McLife. McVomit. McVet. It works for everything.
The true unsung hero of Grey’s Anatomy, Bokhee (played by real-life nurse Bokhee An), is a scrub nurse who’s there whenever you need her. But really, she’s in, like, every scene.
Years before the DM, things went down in the on-call room.
In a much happier use of the office supply than in Sex and the City, Meredith and Derek exchanged vows (and signed their “wedding” into “law”) on a Post-it in the hospital locker room.
The first episode of season 3 is otherwise known as the quarantine episode: Shepherd and O’Malley (T.R. Knight) are forced into a confessional due to a possible outbreak of the plague and wind up discussing the fact that Derek wants to divorce Addison for Meredith. That’s some quarantine.
Ratty little Dartmouth T-shirt
“It was a Thursday morning. You were wearing that ratty little Dartmouth T-shirt you look so good in. The one with the hole in the back of the neck. You’d just washed your hair, and you smelled like some kind of flower. Then you leaned to me and you kissed me, soft. It was quick, kind of like a habit. You know, like we’d do it every day for the rest of our lives.”
Seth and Amy have “really?!” and Grey’s Anatomy has “seriously?!”
The liquor that needs no introduction.
Underwear on a bulletin board
Thank you, Shonda Rhimes, for writing a scene that allowed Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) to exclaim, “Which one of you left your damn drawers on my surgical floor?” (For the record, it was Meredith, and they were on the bulletin board because Addison found them wrapped up in Derek’s laundry and decided to have a field day.)
Perhaps the most lasting term to have entered the Grey’s Anatomy vernacular, whether Shonda Rhimes likes it or not. And no, we’re not going to explain to you what it means.
Grey’s often goes beyond the workplace drama element and actually teaches its audience some useful medical knowledge. In this case it’s the Whipple procedure, which is a very specific treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Hey, you try to find a more creative word from a medical show that starts with the letter X.
You're my person
The friendship between Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey is one of the most important relationships in screen history (yeah, we said it), and this declaration of love is the perfect embodiment of their bond. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
This is just an excuse to end on a positive note: A shoutout to one of our favorite characters on Grey’s Anatomy (played over the years by Aniela Gumbs, Jela K. Moore, Jael Moore, and Heaven White.)