Grey’s Anatomy is one of those shows that nobody can get enough of, and that’s why it has been running for as long as it has. Throughout the years since its start in 2005, there have been a number of relationships between the characters. Some of those pairings were thrilling, but there are people that probably never should have got together in the first place.
Being that there aren’t that many characters, it only makes sense that they’re all going to date each other at one point or another. The interesting part is that fans get seriously emotional about couples on this show, and there have been some hectic storylines.
Some of the characters have lost their significant others due to their untimely demise, a betrayal or irreconcilable differences. This is a list of people we love and people we hate and how they came together at different times during the 13 years of this top-rated show.
30 Meredith And Nathan Kept Hope Alive
It’s hard to start dating after the loss of a significant other, and this is why Meredith Grey and Nathan Riggs were perfect for each other. Meredith had lost her husband Derek a few years back, while Nathan had also lost his fiancée years before. When Riggs arrived on the show, Hunt was immediately threatened and wanted nothing to do with him, but he and Meredith became super close. According to Women, the two never actually make anything official due to the discovery of Nathan’s “late” fiancée being alive, but fans everywhere were hoping that Meredith had finally found her new beau.
29 Cristina And Preston Weren't Meant To Be
The reason Cristina and Preston are mentioned twice on this list is because while they were pretty toxic for each other in the end, they started out being the cutest couple around. Preston fell in love with Cristina despite him being an attending and her being an intern, and they were together for a long time before he proposed. Unfortunately, the attending got cold feet and fled the day of the wedding, ripping their relationship and Cristina as we knew her apart. According to Hollywood, we all disliked Burke for leaving the way he did, but mostly because we loved them as a couple so much it was hard to see it end.
28 Alex And Jo Are Newlyweds — Maybe?
Alex and Jo are an odd couple that viewers never thought would work out. These two characters were extremely different. Alex was the bad boy while Jo was reserved and kept to herself. Little did we know that these two would go through many ups and downs and would even break up—but as the saying goes, if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out.
It must have been meant to be because, according to Bustle, Alex and Jo were married on a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy and the couple couldn’t be happier, though the latest episode has us wondering if their marriage was even official and what that could mean.
27 Meredith And Derek Were A McDream
Derek and Meredith were not always the perfect couple; they were a one-night stand that ended with them working together. Over time, they eventually found their way back to each other.
According to Screen Rant, this coupling was meant to be since the very first episode; this is what all fans wanted. Viewers had to sit through the emergence of Derek’s wife that tore apart his relationship with Meredith all the way through his marriage to Meredith and eventually his demise a few seasons back.
26 Jackson And April Are Deeply Missed
Jackson and April were a couple that nobody expected but everybody loved when they happened. The tragic loss of their first child together ripped this beautiful couple apart, and there was no fixing it, though. As reported by TV Guide, the actress who played April was super upset when she learned her character would no longer be smitten with Jackson Avery. She admitted that she was under the impression that she and Jackson were going to find their way back to each other in the end, but unfortunately that did not happen before her upsetting departure from the show.
25 April And Matthew Brought Innocence At A Time When We Needed That Most
Another exciting couple that nobody saw coming—either time—is April and Matthew. Their story began when they met during Season 10; the couple got engaged and almost made it to the altar before April ran off with Jackson. Years later, during Season 14, Matthew had lost his wife and April saved his baby, bringing the two back together. According to Elite Daily, nobody was pleased about these two finding their way back to each other because they wanted April and Jackson more than anything.
24 Cristina And Owen Still Make Us Wonder
Cristina has been through a lot of heartbreak and hard times, but her relationship with Owen was one of the ups for at least a little bit of time. Cristina was still a little screwed up from being left at the altar by Burke, and Owen was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time as a doctor on active duty. He had so many issues that viewers watched as Owen almost choked the life out of Cristina in his sleep during one of his freak-outs.
According to TV Guide, this coupling is seen as one of the best love stories there ever were on Grey’s Anatomy.
23 Callie And Arizona Might Be Living Happily Ever After
Callie has also had her fair share of relationships on the show. The interesting thing is that she started straight and as the show progressed, she began having more and more lesbian relationships—which fans probably weren’t expecting. An impressive aspect of Grey’s Anatomy is that there are so many diverse situations, and lesbian couples are included in that diversity.
These ladies were together for quite some time, bringing a daughter into the world together and almost dying together. They had been through it all, and according to Digital Spy, they are another Grey’s favourite couple! Arizona left the show last season to move with their daughter to New York in an effort to be closer to Callie.
22 Miranda And Ben Aren't Doing So Well
Miranda Bailey has always been known as a tough lady, according to Grey’s Anatomy viewers. Nobody saw her as the relationship or childbearing type. Her character surprised everyone when she began a relationship and eventually married Ben Warren. Lately, the couple has been going through a rough patch. Warren is now a firefighter—which scares Bailey more than anything — but despite Bustle’s talk of the couple getting a divorce, many viewers believe this couple will stick it out based on their undivided love for each other. Ben and Miranda have stuck together through a lot of heartbreak, and we hope they will stay strong!
21 Mark And Lexie Are Together Forever
Another couple that nobody expected—but was able to pull at our heartstrings as viewers—was Mark Sloan and Lexie Grey. Lexie comes to the show as Meredith’s kid sister that she never knew about, and eventually, she sparks an exciting relationship with Derek’s former best friend, Mark. This couple was so passionate about each other throughout the entire show until Lexie’s untimely demise.
According to Vulture, this coupling ranked at number 7 on the top couples list featured on Grey’s Anatomy. These two were extremely passionate despite their age difference, and viewers everywhere loved them.
20 Richard And Catherine Are A Testament To Marriage
Richard Webber is another character who has been through quite a lot. These days he has been sober for quite some time, and he has finally completed grieving for his late wife and been able to settle down with somebody new. He meets and falls in love with Catherine Avery, who happens to be perfect for him. The two butt heads a lot, but they’re still very much in love and probably will be until the show comes to a close. It’s nice to see Richard finally happy and at peace with his life.
The question looming now with the discovery of Catherine's tumour is how long that peace will last.
19 Teddy And Owen Are Growing Their Family
Teddy and Owen are another couple that was never actually a couple, but they have been back and forth about it a lot. Earlier in the year, Owen decided that he and Amelia were done and he flew to Germany specifically to see Teddy. At first, she was happy to see him—and the two had a fantastic night—but the more and more that they talked, the more Teddy realized Owen wasn’t ready for this.
According to The Post, she saw right through him and ended up kicking him out by the end of the episode. The thing is, now she’s pregnant with his kid, and nobody knows how Owen is going to react—or Amelia, for that matter.
18 Erica And Callie Were A Dynamic Duo
Callie Torres has had many relationships throughout seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and the one with Erica was by far the one that caught viewers off guard the most. The reason for the surprise was because this relationship was her first with a girl before realizing she was interested in both women and men.
According to ABC 13, Callie only hooked up with Erica to take her mind off other things. The problem occurred when Erica revealed that she was a lesbian because Callie wasn’t sure what she was quite yet. After their breakup, Callie found herself, and the show never saw Erica Hahn again.
17 George And Olivia Would've Been So Cute, Though!
George is one of those characters from Grey’s Anatomy that everybody misses because of the tragic way he went out. Nobody saw it coming, similar to his quick relationship with Nurse Olivia. This particular nurse had just gotten out of a friends-with-benefits style relationship with Alex Karev, and the time she spent with George blew up when she gave him an infection.
According to Romper, this developed her nickname — syph nurse — which was most likely the reason for her departure of the show after her fling with George O’Malley. Although she gave him said infection, fans did think her and George would have been adorable together.
16 Webber And Ellis Go Way Back
The original Grey’s Anatomy couple that had to hide their relationship was Richard Webber and Ellis Grey. Viewers didn’t see much of this relationship because it went on before the start of Grey’s Anatomy, but we heard a lot about it—enough to make us want to see it on screen.
Ellis is Meredith Grey’s late mother, and together she and Richard had a daughter whom Ellis gave up for adoption. The interesting thing is that daughter ends up coming into the picture on Grey’s as a cardiothoracic surgeon!
15 Derek And Addison Are Old News
The most infamous of the Grey’s Anatomy couplings concerns the reappearance of Derek’s estranged wife, Addison. After Addison betrayed Derek with his best friend Mark, Derek left home and found work at what is now known as Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The show tried to get these two to work, but everyone knew Meredith was the one for Derek, and eventually, the memory of Derek and Addison faded away. We wondered whether Addison would show up for Derek’s funeral, but we never saw her.
14 Webber And Adele Were Something Sweet
Richard Webber had been married since the start of Grey’s Anatomy, but the marriage had significant issues between his infidelities with Ellis Grey and then his dependency issue later on in life. Adele was so in love with her husband, though, that she did whatever she could to support Richard, even though many thought she should have left him in the dirt long before she passed on in Season Nine.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor who played Webber talked about how his relationship with Catherine got him through Adele’s passing. More points for that relationship!
13 Cristina And Burke — Take Two
This is the couple in Grey’s Anatomy that everybody loved but then realized—probably too late—that it was toxic. Preston Burke often hid his relationship with Cristina, which should have been the first sign. Both of these two are strong-minded, which is why they probably weren’t the best together. According to a plethora of fans posting on Reddit, hardly anyone liked the relationship between these two. Although it was heartbreaking to see Cristina go through what she did when Burke left her, fans everywhere were happy to see her finally move on—she deserved so much better.
12 Teddy And Henry Crossed Boundaries Together
This was a couple that nobody saw coming because Henry was Teddy’s patient, to begin with. Teddy showed her heart with this patient because she married him specifically so he could receive medical treatment under her insurance. It certainly made for an interesting storyline. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who got a chance to interview the actress who plays Teddy, this was written into the show because they wanted something unique.
11 Maggie And Jackson May Not Make It
These two are currently in a complicated relationship on the show, and whether or not they are right for each other is the question that all fans are still asking. Maggie is an energetic individual who has a hard time breaking down her walls for people, as is Jackson. This makes the two seem perfect for each other, but as the episodes come in these two seem to be moving farther and farther away from each other. As of right now, according to Bustle, the current question is how long are they going to be an item?
10 Arizona And Carina Didn't Score Much Screen Time
Finding love after a severe break up can be difficult, and the relationships that follow aren’t always the best. Arizona found a quick fling in Carina DeLuca when she appeared on the show during Season 13. The duo was refreshing because it had been so long since Arizona had a love interest in her life, but because Carina wasn’t a regular on the show, it was only a matter of time before the coupling didn’t work out and somebody left.
9 Arizona And Eliza Were Contentious From The Start
Another quick fizzle of a relationship was the fling between Arizona and Eliza Minnick. The reason this was so controversial is because of how Eliza was seen by everybody else in the hospital—as a monster. Arizona thought differently, though, and she was extremely attracted to her. But because of Eliza’s role in the hospital, the relationship was doomed from the start.
According to Entertainment Weekly, this was so entertaining because it fell under the forbidden love category.
Fortunately, Arizona realized her mistake before she got too far in and the couple went their separate ways before long.
8 Callie And Penny Had A Tough Road Ahead
Some relationships are forbidden because of family and friends, and this relationship was one of those. Penny happened to be the doctor on the scene when Derek was brought into the hospital, and she was, unfortunately, the one responsible for his passing.
As we can imagine, when Callie brought Penny to a friend's dinner one night, things quickly went south. Although Callie moved to New York to be there for Penny, things didn’t work out since she was single and waiting for Arizona when she decided to move to New York as well.
7 Owen And Amelia Are Finding Their Way
Owen and Amelia found each other in the midst of a rough patch for both of them—this should have been the first red flag. Amelia was struggling with the loss of her brother and continuing to stay sober. Owen, on the other hand, was having a rough time with a lot of things, and he found much comfort in Amelia.
The problem was that they both had so much going on that they didn’t have much to put into a relationship. According to Elite Daily, the two are healthier now and may find their way back to each other.
6 Callie And George May Have Been The Oddest Pair
Some people get together, and fans love it; other times, fans really dislike it. There have been a few times on the show where fans were downright confused instead. The pairing of George and Callie was one of those moments.
According to Zimbio, these two were named Grey’s Anatomy’s most mismatched couple.
Callie was very confident and sure of herself, while George was a young, insecure intern. Nobody was really sure what attracted this duo to each other, but nonetheless, they were cute while they lasted—even if it wasn’t that long.
5 Alex And Rebecca/Ava Offered Empathy
Although Alex is well known as the tough guy on the show, he does have a sweet side which has come out the few times he has fallen in love. Two of his three serious relationships haven’t been right for him, and this was one of those. Rebecca came into the hospital as a Jane Doe who Alex helped nurse back to health. He eventually fell in love with her while taking care of her, and it all went downhill from there. The moral of the story is to never fall in love with a patient; it always ends badly, according to E! News.
4 Alex And Izzie — The Couple We Still Want Back
This was both Alex and Izzie's first serious relationship on the show. They started as interns together and grew close the more they worked together. In the beginning, everyone thought Alex and Izzie were going to be the IT couple forever, but that all changed when Izzie one day disappeared from his life. Alex may be a lot to handle, but he didn’t deserve the heartbreak he got from Izzie, and Grey’s Anatomy fans everywhere are excited to see him happy with Jo, finally.
As reported by TV Line, the actress who played Izzie on the show—Katherine Heigl—is also super happy to see his character settling down and happy.
3 Maggie And Andrew Were... Cute
The relationship between Maggie and Andrew was one that nobody saw coming, the reason being that Andrew was an intern while Maggie was already an established doctor—as we know doctors and interns shouldn’t mix.
Fans chatted about this coupling on Reddit, and the overall consensus was that this fling was cute and lighthearted.
It offered viewers a much-needed break from the significant amounts of drama that this show and its couples usually put out into the world. Although they didn’t work out, they were cute while they lasted!
2 Stephanie And Jackson Made Things Awkward
Jackson has had his fair share of love interests throughout his time on Grey’s Anatomy. One of the first was Stephanie Edwards, whom he was with right before running off with April on her wedding day, having quickly told Steph he was "sorry."
Although the couple seemed cute together, viewers came to the understanding that Stephanie was more or less just a placeholder until the real love of his life was free for him.
Stephanie definitely deserved more than that.
1 Denny And Izzie — The Heartbreak Of The Century
The relationship between Denny and Izzie is the wildest and most heartbreaking relationship of all time! The only reason why we knew it wasn’t going to work is that Denny was, of course, a patient, and Izzie was one of his doctors. The difference in this doctor/patient relationship is that all the others were flings, while Izzie was falling madly in love.
According to E! News, the couple was even engaged on the show before Denny tragically passed due to a clot that nobody could have seen coming. Izzie refused to leave her fiancé’s side until Alex finally pulled her away. It was a heartbreaking episode, one that many fans will never forget.
References: Bustle, Women, Screen Rant, TV Guide, Elite Daily, Vulture