Grey's Anatomy: 5 Best Character Arcs (& 5 Most Disappointing)

If there's one TV series that loyal fans have a lot of thoughts and feelings on, it's Grey's Anatomy. It's logical that watching a show for more than 15 seasons would cause passionate reactions, and that's even truer with so many characters to keep track of.

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Whether a main character is making a big professional choice that feels wrong or they're messing up their love life, we have some opinions. While many of the characters arcs on the hospital series have felt really compelling and nicely crafted, others aren't the same at all. Here are the five best character arcs on Grey's Anatomy, along with the five most disappointing.

10 Best: Cristina's Confidence In Not Wanting To Be A Mom

When Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) get married, fans could probably tell that whether or not they would start a family would come up at some point. It has always been clear that Cristina has decided not to have children.

In the seventh season, Cristina's character arc is all about her choices about her body and her future. She gets pregnant  and doesn't want to be a mother, and this is devastating for her marriage since Owen isn't compassionate about it. But Cristina stays strong and she knows that she's making the right choice for herself. In the eighth season, Cristina has an abortion. Thanks to good writing plus strong acting from Sandra Oh, this is one of the best storylines on Grey's Anatomy.

9 Disappointing: Amelia's Brain Tumor

Talk about one of the most disappointing character arcs on Grey's Anatomy. When fans learned that Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) had a brain tumor in the season 14 premiere, it was supposed to be the reason why she has always acted so dramatic.

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But that feels like an easy way out instead of a real, interesting, meaty character arc. Amelia had such a moving, powerful arc on the Grey's spin-off Private Practice when she was a drug addict whose baby died, so it seems a shame that her character has been treated like this.

8 Best: Bailey's Heart Attack

In season 14, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has a heart attack. This episode gives fans the opportunity to take a look at her background, which is fascinating since we didn't know that much about her before. It turns out that Bailey has always been a Type A kind of person and she has always put a ton of pressure on herself.

This is one of the best character arcs on the show because it makes Bailey realize that she's not immune from getting as sick as the patients that she tries to help every day. And she has to realize that being strong can mean being vulnerable and getting help, too.

7 Disappointing: Alex's Court Case And Violence Against DeLuca

Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) has shown awesome character growth since he began as an intern at Seattle Grace. He was the attractive person that everyone wanted to be with but he was gruff, rude, and unpleasant to be around.

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Then he changed and became a good friend, a love interest for Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), and Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) person after Cristina Yang left. But it all changes when he hurts Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) because he thinks that he's hitting on Jo. Alex has to go through a tough court case, and it's just incredibly disappointing to watch him fall this far.

6 Best: April's Virginity

Sure, some might say that the fact that April Kepner (Sarah Drew) is a virgin when she first starts working at Seattle Grace is a lame storyline that should never have happened. But when we think about it, this is actually a really great character arc, and it's one of the show's best.

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Why? Because April finds herself attracted to Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and she has to come to terms with her romantic feelings for him and her super religious background. This all happens around the same time that she has to take her board exams, and since she doesn't pass, she realizes that she has to be a bit more grown-up in order to make her doctor dreams come true. April shows a lot of character growth, and she changes from someone who gets upset at every little thing to a much more mature adult.

5 Disappointing: Ben Getting Put On Probation


Ben Warren (Jason George) gets put on probation at the hospital because he makes the seemingly innocent decision to perform surgery on a woman who was pregnant. The problem? He didn't have the right tools or even the go-ahead for this, which makes it a huge no-go.

This setback in his career totally changes him as a person, and after this, he makes the choice to leave his job behind so he can be a part of the Seattle fire department. This seems less of a character realizing his growth and true potential and more of a reason for him to join the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Station 19.

4 Best: Jo Overcoming Her Past

Jo Wilson has always been a tough girl who clearly has been through some things. It turns out that she has a husband and he's been extremely abusive toward her, which is why she ran away from him.

This storyline allows Jo to come to terms with her past, her present, and what she wants for her future. Once Alex knows what's going on, Jo and Alex are able to finally get married and commit to one another. It's very emotional to watch Jo be able to finally move on.

3 Disappointing: Callie Dating Penny Then Wanting Custody Of Sofia

Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins in Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy fans would really love to live in a pretend universe where couples who have long since parted ways are now back together. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) are one such couple.

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It's definitely disappointing when Callie dates Penny Blake (Samantha Sloyan) and then decides that they should leave Seattle, move to New York, and oh yeah, take Callie and Arizona's daughter Sofia with them, too. Arizona is given legal custody. Sure, the general feeling is that Arizona and Callie are going to be in NYC together from now on, but that's not enough to save this character arc. Callie's choices aren't cool, from literally dating the person who led to Derek Shepherd's death to fighting Arizona for their daughter.

2 Best: Owen's PTSD

It's such a shame that Cristina and Owen's marriage falls apart because they are a beautiful couple. And they work through one of the most tragic and difficult things that a couple can deal with: Owen's PTSD from being a war surgeon

In a really sad scene, he starts to chokes Cristina when they're sleeping, and that proves how serious his condition is. They do end their relationship (at least for a time) and he realizes that therapy is a good idea, visiting Dr. Wyatt (Amy Madigan) at the hospital. It's emotional to watch Owen deal with his past, and he has one of the show's best character arcs because he actually starts changing, growing, and getting better.

1 Disappointing: April Questioning Her Faith

In the fourteenth season, April starts experiencing depression and doesn't think that there's any point in believing in anything anymore. Her patients keep dying and so she thinks that religion doesn't matter.

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It's a disappointing character arc because it doesn't really make any sense. April has always had setbacks at the hospital, both personal and professional, and she has never felt this miserable before. It's pretty boring to watch her question her faith and it's not a very well-crafted arc. She's not saying anything that people haven't said before. While fans miss this character, it's safe to say that she deserved to be treated a lot better.

NEXT: Grey's Anatomy: All Of Mark Sloan's Relationships, Ranked

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