It's hard to think of a show that inspires more mixed emotions than Grey's Anatomy. On the one hand, many fans are still loyal to the long-running drama and will watch until the very end... but on the other hand, many have said goodbye long ago. Regardless of how we feel about the hospital drama that is now in its 15th season, we can all agree that there have been some stellar storylines and gasp-worthy moments throughout the years.
Of course, there have been a few misses in terms of episodes as well. Let's take a look at the 8 best Grey's Anatomy episodes, along with two of the worst.
10 Best: A Hard Day's Night (Season 1)
In a perfect TV world, a show's pilot is perfection. It explains the characters, the setting, the tone, and previews any major romantic storylines, tension, and conflict. In the case of Grey's Anatomy, the very first episode is really, really good.
This is when Meredith and Derek meet at a bar, spend the night together, and then learn that she's an intern and he's a doctor at the same hospital. It's enough drama to make viewers want to tune in for more. The pilot also introduces the original friend group on the show: Cristina, George, Izzie, Alex, and Meredith. This was the heyday of the show, that's for sure, and fans often miss that dynamic.
9 Worst: In The Midnight Hour (Season 5)
One of the worst episodes of Grey's Anatomy definitely has to be when Izzie and Denny's ghost sleep together. The season five episode "In The Midnight Hour" is still crazy confusing, even all of these years later.
It's often tough to suspend disbelief when watching a dramatic series. It's clear that sometimes, plot points won't make a ton of sense, and viewers will have to sigh and keep watching anyway. But for many fans, this was going way too far, and it's not a very popular storyline. While TV moments should always be memorable, this is one scene that fans wish they could forget.
8 Best: Drowning On Dry Land (Season 3)
If Meredith is "dark and twisty" the majority of the time, then the season three episode "Drowning On Dry Land" really cements her reputation. As the episode title suggests, she almost drowns, and it's Derek who ultimately saves her.
This is not only super dramatic but it's a beautifully crafted moment, too. That's what makes this one of the series' best episodes. It's scary to watch Meredith almost drown, and even though viewers breathed a huge sigh of relief when she survived, this was a reminder that nothing about Meredith's life (or the show in general) is easy.
7 Best: Death And All His Friends (Season 6)
After Grey's Anatomy had been on the air for a few seasons, crazier and crazier scenarios started happening at the hospital. That's how the season six episode "Death And All His Friends" came about.
It's a stand-out because when Gary Clark brings a gun into the hospital because his wife died there, the doctors have to deal with a mass shooting. Even though they're used to dealing with all kinds of tough situations, this was one of the scariest, and we were on the edge of our seats hoping that everyone would survive. Sadly, Percy lost his life in the shooting.
6 Best: Didn't We Almost Have It All? (Season 3)
Sometimes the best TV weddings are the ones that don't end up happening. That's definitely the case with the failed wedding of Cristina and Burke. When he leaves her at the altar in the season three finale "Didn't We Almost Have It All?" it's a big surprise and also a super emotional scene.
With some hindsight, we realize that there are many dramatic scenes that revolve around weddings on Grey's Anatomy. Izzie and Alex, Amelia and Owen, April and Matthew... It seems like no couple can say "I do" without everything going wrong, either during the ceremony or on the way to it. But this episode still stands out.
5 Best: Flight (Season 8)
Grey's Anatomy felt a lot like Lost in the season 8 finale, "Flight" when the doctors' plane crashed. While this series definitely has a history of super gasp-worthy finales, this was still incredible to watch.
Meredith, Lexie, Mark, Arizona, Cristina, and Derek are all in various states of injury and/or fighting for their lives. This episode has a particularly beautiful moment between Mark and Lexie. This episode is one of the best ever because it sets up so many storylines for the future, including the deaths of Mark and Lexie which affect everyone at the hospital and the fact that Arizona loses her leg as a result.
4 Worst: How To Save A Life (Season 11)
Could the episode when McDreamy dies be anything other than one of the worst? No way. That's why the season 11 episode "How To Save A Life" is one of the least beloved of the series.
It's safe to say that fans are still mourning this loss. The most frustrating moment is watching the doctors make tons of mistakes and realizing that there is no hope for Derek to be saved. While we know that Patrick Dempsey was leaving the show and that many shows kill off a character in that situation, it still hurt to say goodbye to him.
3 Best: Fear (Of the Unknown) (Season 10)
While Meredith and Derek's love story is obviously a focus of the series, fans are all about Meredith's relationship with someone else: Cristina. Sandra Oh played the part with toughness and grit (and with a sneaky heart that fans knew was hiding underneath her cynicism).
It was devastating to learn that Cristina was leaving to move to Switzerland, but thankfully, fans got one final moment between the two best friends, and it was epic. That makes the season 10 episode "Fear (Of the Unknown)" one of the best of the series. Known for their two-person dance parties, Cristina and Meredith danced one last time. Fans still miss Cristina, but at least it was a proper goodbye.
2 Best: Now Or Never (Season 5)
When fans think of Derek and Meredith, they think of one thing: the post-it note wedding. This Grey's Anatomy moment has become so well-known and so beloved that it had to make this list. Therefore, the season five episode "Now Or Never" is one of the best that the show has done.
Although it would have been cool to see Meredith and McDreamy tie the knot in a more traditional sense, that's not exactly her style, and it was pretty romantic to watch the two of them exchange vows in this way. This moment goes down in Grey's history since now, of course, McDreamy is no longer. It has even more emotional weight today.
1 Best: Tied: It's The End Of The World & As We Know It (Season 2)
The best episode of Grey's Anatomy is actually a two-parter: the season two outings "It's The End Of The World" and "As We Know It." No fan could ever forget these episodes: a man shows up at the hospital with a bomb literally in his body. Meredith keeps her hand in there and it's an extremely tense situation.
People also remember these episodes because the great Kyle Chandler guest stars as the head of the bomb squad. This is a shining example of Greys Anatomy at its very best: the doctors working together to fix a surprising and life-or-death situation. Even if we don't feel quite the same way about this show anymore, we will always look back fondly on the very best episodes.