Grey's Anatomy: 20 Things Wrong With Izzie Stevens We All Choose To Ignore

She was a fan favorite on Grey's Anatomy, so fans were torn up when her character took a hit and left the show.

Ask any Grey’s Anatomy fan which former character they would like to be brought back to the show to bring their storyline closure, and the answer will be almost hundred-percent in favor of Izzie Stevens. The character will be gone from TV for 9 years by 2019, yet here we are still talking about her. Of all the characters on the show, Izzie had the most incomplete exit. She suddenly went up and away into the distance, never to be heard from again. But we’re not satisfied, and fans will be hoping for a one-off return for Izzie up until the show ends.

She was part of the original interns the show was based on, and Katherine Heigl remains the only main cast actor to win an Emmy for her role. Izzie was the sweetheart of the series at least until the third season. Her personality was of one who sought to find the best parts of a person before her and overlooked the sides that would turn someone else off. This made Izzie one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy and ensured she remains fresh in our minds.

There were still parts of her, however, that didn’t sit well with fans. A lot of these came up starting from the third season when her personality went less good girl and more bad girl. Some of these have to do with uneven writing while others are parts of her history which she tried to hide.

So, take a look at 20 Things Wrong With Izzie Stevens We All Choose To Ignore.

20 Walking out on Alex

Izzie is still remembered as a good character by long-term fans as her departure from the show was completely uncharacteristic. In Season 4, she had selflessly offered support to Alex while he had been involved with a mental health patient; but in Season 6 it looked as if she had vehemently loathed Alex.

After getting fired from the hospital, Izzie took off to parts unknown without informing her husband of her whereabouts or why she ran off. Alex never got the chance to offer his support this time around as Izzie never gave him a chance to show her he could be a great husband.

19 Ghost Denny

It’ll take a brainwiping mechanism to extract the knowledge of Izzie getting things done with a ghost. In Season 5, when Izzie was feeling bad from the effects of her cancer, she saw Denny as he was shown to be a personification of the disease for her. This was both poignant and interesting, that is until she started getting far too close for comfort with him.

Denny was never really there – in ghost form or in person. This means that Izzie was spending suspiciously long hours by herself and coming back all happy. Let’s not delve further into the implications over what happened here.

18 Being With Denny while dating Alex

Izzie didn’t handle the situation between herself, Denny and Alex at all right. Alex was noticeably jealous of the time Izzie continually spent in Denny’s company, and even made his displeasure over it clear. Although she didn’t view Denny as a romantic partner then, she still treated him as if he were her husband.

Denny was openly flirtatious with her; something that was obviously not just in passing. You could argue she was emotionally with Denny while keeping Alex along as her ‘official’ boyfriend. Alex didn’t get treated much like a romantic partner at this time so you can understand why he was so annoyed at the situation.

17 Using her trailer park history as an excuse

At first, it was cathartic when Izzie would burst out at people for assuming she was just a pretty face who had a privileged life and was most likely the Queen Bee in school. She would give people a reality check by informing them of her actual past as a girl from a trailer park who had a tough upbringing without a parental figure.

This was a good enough angle until she started using the “trailer park girl” on and on whenever she needed to win an argument. Eventually, we were all were aware of where she came from and didn’t need yet another Izzie Stevens special about how harsh her childhood had been.

16 Being the other woman

Izzie’s fall from grace in the eyes of the viewers started from the end of Season 3 when she and Geroge O’Malley had a one-time thing with each other. This angle could’ve been buried away, but the plot called for Izzie to attempt a clandestine relationship with George while he was still married to Callie.

Her justification that she was in love made her look like a clueless little girl and her hand in destroying a marriage was something she might never redeem herself from. If George hadn’t at least prevented things from getting physical, Izzie was perfectly happy being the Other Woman.

15 Treating George the wrong way


Before she saw George as a romantic interest, Izzie thought of George in completely the opposite way in Season 1. George was a little goof around that time and was socially awkward but likable enough that the girls felt very comfortable around him.

Izzie was so casual with George that she would walk around him without being dressed decently. This made the poor guy look like a little brother figure to the girls around the male interns, which led to brutal teasing for George from Alex. Izzie even found George’s situation quite humorous and her treatment of him as a little brother-type didn’t make life easy for George.

14 Blaming Alex for getting herself fired

Izzie was meant to be written out in Season 6 due to personal differences between Katherine Heigl and Shonda Rhimes. Shonda probably didn’t do her best work when writing Izzie’s exit as the character was thoroughly disgraced before disappearing.

Due to mistakes on her part, Izzie was fired from the hospital. But it made no sense why she subsequently blamed Alex for her problems. This was a fair bit of lazy writing as it didn’t match with her characterization. In-universe, however, we can’t do anything but accept that Izzie placed the blame squarely on Alex’s shoulders for not being there for her upon her firing.

13 Not telling anyone about her sickness

It wasn’t clear what the angle of Izzie’s brain tumor was going to be like when first introduced. Initially, it looked as if she might be seeing a ghost, but this later morphed into a terminal illness. Even after that clarification the way Izzie handled her ailment made no sense.

She didn’t tell anyone at first, instead choosing to hide it from everyone. Later on, she would relay the information to Cristina, only to ask her not to tell anyone about it. When Cristina tried her best to help Izzie recover from her disease, she told her she didn’t want to get it fixed. Make up your mind, Izzie!

12 Hiding Her modeling background

Izzie’s background kept creeping up on her at regular intervals as the seasons progressed, While she seemed like a normal person as the other interns, there were secrets of her passed she hid well away. One of these secrets was the fact that Izzie had been a model for a magazine before settling for a career as a doctor.

She’d done modeling as a necessity rather than a profession, but that didn’t stop Alex from teasing her. Izzie would then embrace that part of her, thereby negating any taunts Alex had, but had she been open about it from the start no one would’ve had the chance to make fun of her in the first place.

11 Treating a Deer instead of humans

Izzie’s sensitive side was always more apparent than the other interns – save for George O’Malley – and that was displayed time and again. This emotional side would at times turn into a fatal flaw as she would be incapable of dealing with issues in a professional manner; frequently choosing to overlook job responsibilities to tend to something that wasn’t her problem.

On her first day as Resident, Izzie chose to treat a deer, that had been hit by a truck, over mentoring the new interns. Although this would’ve made the audience like her, it was thoroughly unprofessional; something that should have resulted in her being reprimanded by seniors.

10 Committing a crime

The Season 2 finale might have been the show’s most-watched finale, but had its events occurred in real-life Izzie Stevens would’ve spent some time in a jail cell, or at least been fired. Izzie chose to cut Denny’s LVAD wire in order to move him to the top of the list of recipients for a new heart. In doing so, Denny went into a terminal condition that necessitated him receiving the heart before the person originally selected.

Not only did it do Denny absolutely no good (he bit the dust almost instantly after getting new heart), it should’ve landed Izzie in jail for committing a crime.

9 The number of times she’s been fired/quit

Speaking of jail and getting fired, how many times does a person get chances after chances only to blow them off? Izzie has both quit and been let go from the hospital numerous times. She quit after Denny passed away, only for it to be waved away because why not?

She was then fired by the hospital after being cured of her cancer, only for Derek to plan to rehire her. We know they’re all friends and everything, but it does get ridiculous if a person gets free passes for committing big mistakes and purposefully made decisions that harmed others.

8 Leaving Alex in debt

Not only did Izzie leave Alex high and dry once she fled to her fancy exile, but she also left the poor guy under mountains of debt. Alex probably felt like Romeo when he married Izzie in a surprise wedding, but his Juliet didn’t think of all that when she ran away after their marriage was official, meaning her cancer treatment costs were now Alex’s headache.

Between paying for his no-show wife’s bills and student loans of his own, Karev had his hands full for a long time in Season 6 before Shonda’s magical wand made all his problems disappear from the show and never be mentioned again.

7 Cutting Contact with friends

The Izzie we saw in Season 6 might as well have been someone else entirely as she ditched the people who stuck up for her numerous times. The LVAD fiasco didn’t go out of hand because everyone vouched for her and refused to give her up. She was revived from a guaranteed dying scenario (read on further below for that) because they all cared for her.

How did Miss Stevens repay the favor? She completely cut contact with everyone from Seattle and relocated someplace else. Meredith was shown making calls to Izzie to ask her to come back when Alex was down in the dumps, but maybe Izzie changed her phone number?

6 Hiding her Pregnancy

Those girls that live a troubled upbringing don’t know how to single out the bad boys from the good, especially when they become teenagers and hormones are all over the place. Going along these lines was Izzie, and when she was 16, she had a child who she gave up.

This was omitted from her introduction (because why would they tell us that straightaway?) and came up when the story called for it. Her teenage pregnancy never factored in later storylines and hardly anyone remembers Izzie was a mother at all. Considering the plot was lame in any case, no one really cares for this.

5 Being With An Unreliable Alex And Then Getting Hurt

We mentioned earlier than Izzie liked the bad boy type guy – with the exception of George who was anything but that –  and she found herself falling hard for Alex Karev. Alex had been a complete meanie to her and her friends up until that point but Izzie couldn’t help but be attracted to him.

Despite knowing he wasn’t someone to be trusted, she still chose to start seeing him. There were big signs that Alex would fall off the relationship and get together with someone else, but rather than accepting this and dumping the guy, Izzie ended up being hurt when Alex did just that and got together with Nurse Olivia. But you were warned, Izzie.

4 Where is she?

Okay, let’s just say it openly: where the heck is Izzie? She took off without telling anyone where she was going and hasn’t been seen since on the show. People who went far away such as Cristina or Teddy were still known to be where they went to, despite having the left the country, but no one can locate Izzie Stevens.

Maybe the characters in-universe are aware of the whereabouts of Izzie, but the viewers don’t know what she might be up to. We had a chance to know in the 300th episode through Alex, but he opted out from gaining that knowledge.

3 Her influence has still kept Alex damaged

No matter how much the show wants us to believe Jo is the one for Alex, there’s no looking past that Alex still has the highest place for Izzie in his heart. Izzie fled in Season 6, yet even now in Season 15 she is mentioned by Alex on a frequent basis.

In Season 12, he mentioned to Meredith that he saw Izzie as his soulmate and in subsequent years the influence Izzie had on him still remains. Why else would he bring Izzie up on momentous occasions? In Season 14, a patient who resembled Izzie unsettled him considerably, showing he still hasn’t gotten over her.

2 Not getting fired for engaging in Doctor/Patient relationship

Izzie loved Denny so her LVAD wire cutting was justified and so on and so forth…that’s what fans like to believe, but factually there is no way the two could’ve gotten as far as they did. Doctors and patients are not meant to fraternize because it is a serious ethical issue, yet Izzie openly began dating a guy with terminal heart disease.

Moreover, she was sympathized with rather than being let go for loving someone with a terminal problem. If a real-life scenario was applied, it would’ve been curtains for Izzie’s career long ago.

1 She was revived despite the DNR

When it was Izzie’s time to be on the hospital bed at the end of Season 5, she was on the edge of passing away before she was ultimately revived in the premiere of Season 6. That’s great and all but there’s a problem: she signed a DNR that stated she wasn’t supposed to be resuscitated.

And yes, we know it’s a show and we shouldn’t take things so technically, but she did sign the form that said her body was not to be tampered with upon her passing. This shows the doctors of Seattle Grace don’t care much for ethical quandaries as it’s easy for them to simply ignore the rules.


Can you think of anything else wrong with Izzie Stevens from Grey's Anatomy? Let us know in the comments!

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