Grey's Anatomy gave us an incredible thing: emotional attachment. It seemed that every character we loved, we loved deeply. Then, of course, because we can't have nice things, Shonda Rimes went and killed our favorites.
I would like to point out that this list has been complied by studious debate, meaning I asked my co-workers and friends and we yelled at each other. There are going to people who didn't make the list, but that doesn't mean their departures weren't sad. I would also like to mention that Meredith's dog, Doc, isn't on this list. That's because it's so sad we can't even talk about it.
17. Heather Brooks
Heather was an intern that didn't annoy us beyond all reason. She was eager to please and loved to throw in a joke at the wrong time. She met an untimely death when she went to check on Richard Weber and ended up stepping in a patch of water that was filled with an electrical current. She died, we cried, and Grey's lost another soul.
16. Izzie Stevens
There has been much debate over Izzie's placement on the list. The final decision is based off the fact that we didn't really care all that much. By the time Izzie left, she was already grating on our last nerve. She deserved a new start, and the only reason it really made us sad is that Alex Karev needed a win, and he didn't get one.
15. Erica Hahn
The problem with Erica Hahn is that she forced Callie into a relationship and made her commit, then she up and left. She just walked away from it all and I really didn't care for it.
14. Callie Torres
In theory, Callie should have been higher on this list. She was a tell-it-like-it-is kinda gal and stayed with the show for a long time. I'm not sure if it was the timing (after season 11, nothing seemed dramatic anymore) or whether it was because she moved to New York to be with a girl she just met, but Callie's departure wasn't one that I really cared for.
13. Preston Burke
The only, and I mean ONLY, reason Preston Burke is on this list is because of how he left Christina. Watching Meredith have to cut Christina out of her wedding dress after Burke left her at the altar still makes me teary-eyed when I think about it. Burke, himself, leaving was sad because I really thought he made Christina happy. But if you're going to do it in this terrible way, then you don't deserve my tears.
12. Denny Duquette
Denny was another point of contention among colleagues. Some loved him and wanted him #1, but I don't think those people really paid attention. Denny caused a lot of unnecessary drama, whether or not it was his fault. Watching Izzie weep while she mourned the loss of her fiancee still made me cry (I'm not a total monster) but to be honest, I was happy when this story line was over.
11. Reed Adamson
This was tragic because it was so unexpected. Reed's death is what let us know something terrible was about to happen. She was the first casualty during the mass shooting, and watching her lifeless body fall to the floor sent chills up my spine.
10. Adele Webber
Watching Adele Webber deteriorate from Alzheimer's over the years really broke my heart. She was Richard's everything and kept him in line. Watching Bailey operate on Adele in her wedding dress was emotional enough, but then to watch Meredith and Richard attend Bailey's wedding with tears in their eyes, knowing Adele was gone, was what broke me.
9. Teddy Altman
Teddy was ready to give everything up to stay for Owen. But he knew she couldn't do that. Instead, Owen had Teddy fired so that she could go pursue her dream job. Watching their love for each other be both the hindrance and the help that gave Teddy her future was heartbreaking. Teddy knew this was the end of her and Owen, and he told him to fight for Christina. THIS IS TRUE LOVE.
8. Henry Burton
I know what you're thinking. How is Henry higher than Teddy? Well first off, Teddy DIED. Second, his whole story was tragic. He had a condition which caused tumors to grow in his body and ended up marrying Teddy for the insurance. The two fell in love for real, and watching him die was too much to handle, especially since Christina was the one operating on him. Yang wasn't allowed to know it was Henry, and when she found out she had killed him, she was inconsolable.
Bonnie was the young woman who was impaled on a metal rod with an older gentleman, Tom. It was unlikely that both of them would survive surgery to be removed. Bonnie was so incredibly calm and accepting of her fate, which made it that much more upsetting for us as viewers. All she wanted was for her boyfriend to know she loved him. It was too much.
6. Charles Percy
Charles was another casualty in the mass shooting at Seattle Grace. It's funny, I never liked the character until I realized he was going to die. Hearing him beg for his life while confronted with the shooter, watching him be dragged down the hallway, and then watching Dr. Bailey start screaming in despair when she realized they couldn't get Percy the help he needed...I was a damn mess. Percy asked Bailey to let him know he wasn't dying, and she couldn't do it. Percy died in Bailey's lap, and so did a little part of my soul.
5. Lexie Grey
SHE. DID. NOT. DESERVE. THIS. Lexie did not deserve death. She deserved a happy ending with Mark Sloan and a family and a dog and everything else she wanted in life. SHE. DESERVED. BETTER.
4. Mark Sloan
This HURT because NO ONE was expecting it. Mark was fine after the plane crash. He was going to be a dad to Sophia, and a damn good one at that. Mark had changed for the better, and I truly believe it was Lexie's death that killed him. I know medically that's not what it was, but in my heart of hearts I know that's what did him in. I stopped watching the show for a solid 4 weeks after this episode because I was not ready to deal with the aftermath.
3. Derek Shepherd
Can Meredith Grey ever catch a break? She never should have had to pull the plug on her husband. And watching her explain it to her kids? I could not keep it together. Through the entire episode, Derek is in a coma but his brain is still alive. He knows what needs to be done to save him, and he's trying to send that message. Imagine knowing there's a way to save you and you can't do a damn thing about it? Heartbreaking. After this happened, I officially lost all hope in the show. Sure, I still watched it, but I knew it was never going to be the same.
2. Christina Yang
Christina needed a change. I knew this. Everyone knew this. She was left at the alter, she was treated like garbage by her mentors, she went through many traumatic events with Owen, and still she stuck around because she knew Meredith needed her. When Christina Yang left, so did another piece of my soul.
1. George O'Malley
I will admit, when George wrote "007" in Meredith's hand, I didn't understand what was happening. Then it all came back to me and I literally started screaming. Shouts of anger, frustration, sadness, they all escaped my mouth. How on EARTH could the world be so cruel to George O'Malley. He deserved more than what he was given (especially from Izzie) and he deserved to be happy. When Izzie is flat-lining and the elevator doors (to metaphorical heaven) open, and we see George standing there in his military uniform, there has never been a moment in television that has made me cry as hard.
Which Grey's Anatomy departure did you find the most emotional?