Grey’s Anatomy features impossibly quotable dialogue, lovable characters and insane medical cases all set to amazing soundtrack. It also reminded an entire generation that ‘80s heartthrob Patrick Dempsey was still incredibly dreamy. The long-running series has plenty of romances, both undeniably epic and utterly forgettable. Seriously, few shows throw their characters together with quite as much abandon as Grey’s Anatomy. It’s often fun to watch, but sometimes the results are cringe-worthy as well.
For every relationship that made viewers swoon, there was another that had them looking for an excuse to leave the room. We all love Grey’s, so let’s take an honest look at the show’s best and worst couples.
11 Best - Nico And Schmitt
Nico Kim and Levi “Glasses” Schmitt are the newest couple on this list, having just debuted in the show’s current season. Grey’s Anatomy has long been one of the most progressive shows on television, but oddly, this is the first love story to unfold between two male doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial. That’s not why they make the cut here though. It’s because Nico and Schmitt are adorable and the chemistry between Alex Landi and Jake Borelli is undeniable.
At first, Nico was unwilling to give Levi a chance on account of the doctor’s previous lack of experience with men. However, after an impassioned speech from Levi, Nico saw the error of his ways and they are now officially a couple.
10 Worst - Jackson And Maggie
It’s unclear why it’s so important to Grey’s to make Jackson Avery and Maggie Pierce work as a couple, but they just don’t. For one thing, Jesse Williams and Kelly McCreary have zero chemistry. For another, their romance is painfully dull. So, no sparkage combined with a major lack of drama makes for a boring couple that no one is rooting for.
Maggie and Jackson are both awesome characters in their own right and honestly, they deserve so much better than being stuck in this relationship. Here's to hoping that fans won't have to suffer through their romance for too much longer.
9 Best - Cristina and Burke
Cristina Yang and Preston Burke were one of several couples that made those early seasons of Grey’s so compulsively watchable. While it is true that this relationship has been over for quite some time, Cristina’s more recent and longer romance with Owen simply can’t compare. These two truly understood each other. Plus, Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington really clicked onscreen.
From Burke spooning Cristina after her ectopic pregnancy to Cristina desperately trying to hide Burke's tremor, their relationship was full of ups and downs and honestly, it was kind of always doomed to fail. However, that visual of them dancing together in the kitchen is one that most viewers will always remember.
8 Worst - Owen and Amelia
Owen Hunt and Cristina Yang may not have been the greatest couple, but they were a way better match than Owen and Amelia Shepherd. The relationship between these two was just a mess - or, a plane crash, as Owen called it - from start to finish. Most fans were grateful when they called it quits. Even blaming the worst aspects of their romance on Amelia’s brain tumor couldn’t salvage this one.
Viewers thought that they’d seen the last of this dismal pairing, but the two found their way back to one another eventually. They recently broke up again, hopefully this time for good. Seriously guys, we just want you to be happy.
7 Best - Izzie and Denny
The tragic romance between Doctor Izzie Stevens and heart patient Denny Duquette Jr. was another relationship that made season 2 one of the show's best. Viewers knew that this love story was never going to have a happy ending, but that didn't stop anyone from hoping that it would. There have been plenty of iconic Grey's moments that had fans reaching for the nearest box of tissues, but few have been quite so gut-wrenching as Izzie showing up in a literal prom dress and finding Denny already dead.
The chemistry between Katherine Heigl and Jeffrey Dean Morgan was palpable and viewers fell for Denny right along with Izzie. However, the less said about his season 5 return as a ghost/hallucination, the better.
6 Worst - Alex and Ava
After swooning over the doctor/patient romance between Izzie and Denny, the one between Alex Karev and Jane Doe/Rebecca/Ava was a huge disappointment. Part of the issue was the staggering lack of chemistry between Justin Chambers and Elizabeth Reaser, but the larger problem was that this storyline simply dragged on for far too long.
Ava’s identity crisis raised some interesting questions, but the show was too focused on her lackluster relationship with Alex to adequately explore any of them. She kept leaving and every time she reappeared, fans cared a little bit less that she was there.
5 Best - Callie and Arizona
The romance between Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins wasn’t just the first major relationship between a same sex couple on Grey’s Anatomy, but it was one of the show’s longest as well. After Callie’s miserable marriage to George and her completely sparkless fling with Erica Hahn, it was awesome to see the orthopedic surgeon find someone who was actually right for her.
It is true that things were never okay for these two after the plane crash, but they still remain one of the most compelling couples on Grey's. There’s a reason why they lived happily after - even if their reunion had to happen offscreen.
4 Worst - Callie and Penny
Callie and Penny Blake were basically the anti-Calzona: absolutely no chemistry, nonsensical and twelve shades of bland. You might say that the worst thing about Penny was that she didn’t fight hard enough to get Derek the medical care that would’ve saved his life. However, then you would be forgetting about the fact that she hung around for way too long and ruined one of Grey’s best characters: Calliope Iphegenia Torres.
Honestly, the Callie that we all know and love would not have uprooted her entire life, and dragged her daughter and former partner through a brutal custody battle, all for someone that she barely knew.
3 Best - Jackson and April
Aside from the fact that there was some major heat between these two, Jackson Avery and April Kepner just made sense. April was kind of a divisive character for the first few seasons that she was in the series. However, her relationship with Jackson really showed her in a different light, adding some more depth in the process.
Jackson and April are undoubtedly one of Grey’s Anatomy’s most memorable couples and their end was particularly heartbreaking. Many fans are still crushed that they never found their way back to one another. Sure, the writers ended up reuniting April with the guy that she left at the altar, which is nice and all, but seriously, Japril for life.
2 Worst - George and Izzie
The relationship between George O’Malley and Izzie Stevens is widely considered the greatest romantic misstep in Grey’s history. These two had developed an awesome friendship over the years and frankly, it undermined the intelligence of the audience to assume that we’d need them to wind up in bed together.
Making matters worse was the fact that Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight had plenty of chemistry, at least until they started making out. At that point, watching them together honestly felt kind of icky, as the two had become more akin to siblings than anything else.
1 Best - Derek and Meredith
As if there was ever any doubt where these two would wind up on the list. Meredith has had her fair share of romantic entanglements over the years, but her love story with Derek remains the most epic of the entire series. Staying true to this couple is the whole reason that the only option for writing Patrick Dempsey off the show was to kill Derek.
Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo had an onscreen intensity that was simply off the charts and few moments in the show’s history can compare to Derek’s soul-crushing demise. It was the romance between Der and Mer that captivated viewers from the beginning and the characters really grew together over the years. No matter how much time goes by, fans will continue to miss McDreamy.