Grey's Anatomy is known for its dreamy doctors and steamy romances. Aside from the insane medical cases set to an unforgettable soundtrack, it has also been praised for its undeniably quotable dialogue. The series may have been named for Meredith Grey, but Cristina Yang has always been a fan favorite. The doctor was not only Meredith's "person", but she's also responsible for some of the show's best quotes.
Cristina was brilliant, no-nonsense and pretty funny for someone who rarely smiled. Even though she left the series back in season 10, the character is still sorely missed. Let's take a look at 10 of the most memorable things that Dr. Yang has said over the years.
10 “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.”
This season two quote perfectly sums up Cristina Yang’s life philosophy. The doctor doesn’t accept crap from anyone, which is why so few people have ever dared to cross her. Cristina has always known who she is and absolutely refuses to apologize for it.
It’s these qualities that make Cristina such a beloved character. Fans never had to guess what she was thinking. They could always count on her to tell whoever she was talking to exactly how she felt. Cristina was always one of the strongest characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Her words here may not be eloquent, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not true.
9 “She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.”
Nothing else could explain the friendship between Meredith and Cristina quite so well as this quote that Cristina use to explain things to Burke in season 3. While the romance between Meredith and Derek was often at the center of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s easy to see that the heart of the show was always the relationship between Meredith and Cristina.
They were each other’s “person” for the entire ten years Cristina was on the show and there was amazing chemistry between Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh. Whether they were dancing it out or getting through to each other when no one else could, it’s safe to say that neither would’ve survived without the other.
8 “Oh, screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain."
One of Cristina Yang’s best qualities has always been her confidence. It’s not like she doesn’t have the skill to back it up. Of course, she would rather be complimented on her brain than her physical appearance. Many women would prefer to hear about how smart they are versus whether or not someone thinks they’re pretty.
Cristina said these words to Owen in season 7 and by that point, the guy really should have known better. He and Cristina had been involved for years, so he probably knew her well enough to know how such a compliment would go over.
7 “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.”
Cristina said this to Meredith in reference to her relationship with Derek just before leaving Seattle for good in season 10. We’re still not over it. Mer and Der had built quite a life together, but it had gotten to a point where the former needed to start putting her own dreams ahead of the latter’s career. Cristina gave her some valuable life advice one last time.
Just because Derek was a dreamboat didn’t mean that Meredith should let him make decisions for her. The next season would be hard on Grey’s most famous couple. Sadly, by the time they worked it out, it would be too late.
6 “I don’t have a sour puss. This is just my face.”
No matter how far we come, there still seems to be this idea that women need to smile all the time. When a patient asked for Cristina’s opinion in season 7, he made the mistake of referring to her as “the one with the sour puss on her face.” Cristina responded with this classic statement.
Luckily, she had April there to back her up, lest anyone think that she was kidding. Again, Cristina was a funny person, but it wasn't too often that she cracked a smile. The patient really was just looking at her face. Cristina wasn’t in a bad mood. She was simply existing.
5 “Shut up. Dance it out.”
When asked about important life lessons learned from Grey’s Anatomy, many fans will tell you they learned the value of “dancing it out.” Whatever was going on in Meredith and Cristina’s life, they could always dance their troubles away, at least for a little while. It was even the way the two women spent their final moments together before Cristina moved away.
This comment was made to Meredith in season 4. She was attempting to talk to Cristina yet again about her troubles with Derek... while Cristina was desperately trying to dance out her own issues. Cristina’s response was completely understandable.
4 “I can do hot in my sleep. I look hot in scrubs. I’m a hot person.”
There’s that trademark Yang confidence again. Cristina said this in season 2 before her first proper date with Burke. The two had been sleeping together but had yet to really see one another outside of the hospital. On top of worrying about what dress to wear, Cristina also had to think of stuff to actually say to him in a completely different context.
Thankfully, Cristina wasn’t really concerned over her appearance at all. Sure, she was nervous about the date, but in terms of looking good for Burke, let’s just say she was feeling pretty self-assured. Obviously, he was already crazy about her anyway.
3 Pretty good is not enough, I wanna be great.
Cristina said this in season 5 and it’s another quote that could’ve only really come from her. Not that everyone else on Grey's wasn’t striving for greatness, but she simply wouldn’t accept anything less. For Cristina, in work and life in general, there was no other option.
It wasn’t just that Cristina wanted to be amazing that made it so. She worked hard and remained steadfast in her goals regardless of what life threw at her. We could all stand to think a little more like Cristina, especially in terms of what we’re capable of. Imagine how much you could accomplish with all that confidence.
2 “Being aware of your crap and actually overcoming your crap are two very different things.”
Here’s some more life advice that Cristina gave to Meredith back in season 4. Self-awareness is indeed an important part of the process, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you’ve actually dealt with your issues. Meredith was aware of her “dark and twisty” nature for quite some time before she actually made some real progress.
It is true that you can’t fix something until you know it’s broken, but it’s still an uphill battle. Meredith was extremely lucky to have her person beside her for so much of her difficult Grey’s Anatomy journey. Both Meredith and fans would be delighted if Dr. Yang ever returned, even for just a single episode.
1 “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely, and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next..."
"We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or we can step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant.”
Much like Cristina had words of wisdom for Meredith before she left town, Dr. Yang also had some advice for the viewer. Everything in Cristina’s life was about to change and that’s absolutely terrifying. She could’ve chosen to remain where she was out of fear, but instead, she left behind her job, the man she loved and her person behind when she moved out of Seattle.
What Cristina said is so true. Isn’t it better to assume that what comes next will be amazing rather than unbearable? If we imagine the former, it’s almost impossible to breathe, let alone make a move. Cristina persevered and so can we.