Grey's Anatomy remains a juggernaut in the ratings and one of the most successful ABC drama series ever. In its past season, the fifteenth, Grey's even surpassed the original long-running medical drama, ER, to become the longest-running medical drama of all time.
The series is known for its drama and romance: all of its doctors have hooked up with each other, with patients, and with interns during the fifteen years its been on television. But which love triangles are the best of the best? We're ranking the top ten love triangles on Grey's Anatomy from worst to best and recalling some of the series' glory days.
This was one of the strangest love triangles on Grey's Anatomy and perhaps evidence of the writers not knowing what they wanted to do romantically with these characters. For starters, George was never a good boyfriend to Callie. He was hung up on Meredith and Izzie during the entire tenure of them being together.
Then he and Callie finally got to a good place and George decided to further demolish the relationship by cheating on her with Izzie. Callie had strong feelings for George—they even got married! But ultimately, their relationship didn't last. Turns out, Izzie and George weren't right for one another, either, as they learned the hard way they were better off as friends.
This is a triangle that came to a head in the most recent season. Teddy and Owen have had a complicated relationship since they were introduced to the series. For them, it appears they can't get together due to bad timing or other extenuating circumstances. Every time they have tried to be with one another, someone else gets in the way.
They had issues when Owen was with Cristina, and then Owen went to Germany and yet it still didn't work out. Teddy eventually got pregnant with Owen's child, which caused problems with Owen and Amelia. Ultimately, Owen chose Teddy, so it appears they might finally get their relationship on track. And poor Koracick will be left in the dust.
This was a pretty stale love triangle as far as the big Grey's love triangles go, but it's still worth noting because it caused some of the first real conflicts between sisters Maggie and Meredith. Nathan Riggs was a short-lived character who came through the show like a comet before his eventual departure.
He had beef with Owen over his past romance with Owen's sister, a romance that ultimately ended the love triangle anyways since Meredith recognized Riggs was still in love. But Maggie had feelings for Nathan, who was completely infatuated with Meredith. The two did share some passionate make-out sessions, but nothing serious ever came from it.
Jackson and April are one of the most popular couples out of all fifteen seasons of Grey's Anatomy. For a show that has had countless couples and pairings, that is saying a lot. The two of them weren't without their strife, however. The most notable conflict between them was in their beginnings. April was with Matthew, and the two were even set to get married.
But she was still hung up on Jackson. At her wedding, Jackson was dating Stephanie at the time. That didn't stop him from standing up in the middle of the ceremony and announcing his feelings for April. The two of them ran off, leaving Matthew and Stephanie in the dust.
Before Meredith and Derek could get together, the two of them had to undergo their fair share of challenges and obstacles. While Finn, Meredith, and Derek never had the dramatic power of the original heavyweight love triangle (Addison Montgomery, anyone?), it was still a pretty prevalent storyline in the show's second season.
It overlapped heavily with Addison's storyline with Derek and the Meredith/Derek/Addison love triangle. Meredith began to date the vet who was looking after their shared dog, and Derek became jealous of their pairing. Ultimately, Meredith had to make a decision between the two men, which culminated in a steamy hook-up at the hospital between Derek and Mer.
When Callie and Mark became a thing, many fans were happy to see the long-time friends become physical with each other. Callie's realization that she was bisexual opened up a lot of possibilities in her story arc. She and Mark had a really powerful bond with each other, but then Callie fell in love with Arizona.
Of course, this became further complicated by Callie getting pregnant with Mark's child. A child that she and Arizona decided to raise together as their own. But Mark was still the baby's father, which made him a permanent fixture in their relationship. It caused some difficulties over the years, but ultimately Callie and Arizona were the real love story.
Season two of Grey's Anatomy has long been considered one of the best seasons of the series, even to this day. It helped catapult Grey's to the massively popular medical drama it is today and was one of the most-watched seasons of television of all time. This series had multiple love triangles going on simultaneously.
One of the most notable is the one that occurred between Izzie, Alex, and Denny. Fans had been waiting for Alex and Izzie to get together for a while, but Alex was no match for Izzie's special bond with the charming Denny. Unfortunately, this love triangle came to a tragic end with Denny's death. But he came between Alex and Izzie again later on as a ghost!
This love triangle wasn't featured heavily in the present-day, but it composes the backbone of the show's history and is referenced many times over the course of the series. While married to Adele, Richard had a well-known affair with Meredith's mother, Ellis Grey.
Even though Ellis has Alzheimer's, she often refers to her relationship with Richard as if it is still ongoing. Eventually, Richard did choose Adele, but it is clear he always loved Ellis. They even had a daughter together, Maggie Pierce, who eventually came on the series. Sadly, Richard actually lost both women, as Adele also died in the series.
This is easily one of the most iconic love triangles on the series. Addison Montgomery was torn between McDreamy and McSteamy in her days on Grey's Anatomy. The reason she and Derek's relationship took a tumble is that she had an affair with his best friend, Mark Sloan, while they were married. Then she came to Seattle to try and work on saving their marriage, only for Mark to follow her there.
While she and Derek were trying to fix things, Addison was pulled back to Mark at times. Mark was still in love with Addison, and he always has been. Eventually, she and Mark try to have a relationship again, but it's clear Addison is still hung up on Derek, who is hung up on Meredith.
This is the top-ranking love triangle because, even though it didn't last all that long, it was one of the most shocking twists on the series when Addison showed up at the end of season one to announce she was married to Derek and Meredith had been sleeping with her husband. Addison's arrival opened the door for plenty of dramatic possibilities.
Addison desperately wanted to fix things with her husband after having an affair, but Derek was far too in love with Meredith to ever truly entertain the possibility. Meanwhile, Meredith was certainly intimidated by Addison, but she couldn't stay away from Derek. Even when she tried to date someone else, Finn, it didn't amount to much because of her feelings for Derek.