If you're a Grey's Anatomy fan then you know who Meredith Grey is. She has been the main character on the series for its entire sixteen season run and thus far Ellen Pompeo shows no sign of slowing down. She is easily the show's anchor, hence why her character's name is in the series title.
If Pompeo is out, then Grey's would probably end. That said, even though Meredith is still an immensely popular character, she has had her fair share of dumb moments. But she's also had some incredibly genius moments too!
10 Genius: Meredith realizes George is John Doe.
In the fifth season of the series, one of the first notable and beloved characters died. We all know that Grey's Anatomy is famous for killing off popular characters, just look at Lexie and Mark. But George came first. At the end of season five, his character was planning on enlisting in the military, but he never quite makes it there.
He gets hit by a bus and winds up in the hospital. The entire thing is the result of a tragic accident but George's face is so deformed that no one recognizes him. Only Meredith figures it out after he writes "007," his intern nickname, on her hand.
9 Not Genius: Sticking her hand on an explosive.
During the second season of the show, Grey's Anatomy truly hit its stride. One of the best episodes of the season and even the series happened about mid-way through when a patient gets wheeled into the hospital with an explosive still inside him. Kyle Chandler guest-starred as a bomb technician and the team does everything they can to both save the patient's life and prevent the bomb from going off.
At one point, Meredith gets swept up into the exchange and winds up putting her hand inside his body cavity once the other nurse gets too frightened and runs off. Obviously, her intentions were good but it wasn't the smartest decision for Meredith to wind up with her hand on a bomb in the first place.
8 Genius: Earning Chief of General Surgery.
Meredith is one of the best surgeons at the hospital and she's been there for a long time considering only her and Alex have made it through their intern years and still work at the hospital all this time later.
She eventually begins to work her way up the ranks until eventually, Bailey promotes Meredith to Chief of General Surgery. It's a job that she truly deserved after everything she's been through and everything she's done at the hospital. It's a mark of how much Meredith has grown since her medical career first began.
7 Not Genius: Telling a gunman to shoot her.
The hospital shooting storyline was also one of the show's most tragic and devastating. While it is, unfortunately, a very realistic plotline, especially in today's climate, it was incredibly shocking when it initially aired. We know that Derek gets shot and Cristina is forced to save him but at one point, Meredith tells the gunman to shoot her instead.
While her intentions were clearly honorable, it still wasn't exactly a smart move to ask a volatile gunman to kill her. Ultimately, the stress and trauma of the entire incident cause Meredith to have a miscarriage as she was pregnant at the time.
6 Genius: Ensuring she's getting paid fairly.
After Meredith gets promoted to Chief of General Surgery, she eventually comes to realize that she isn't making the same amount of money as the people who had the job before her. Upset about this discovery, she goes to Bailey and asks to be paid the same as them.
Bailey agrees to make that happen. It might not seem like a huge thing but Meredith was brave in going forward and asking for what she deserved. A lot of women are sadly underpaid, especially when compared to their male co-workers, it was good for Meredith to try and change that.
5 Not Genius: Rejecting Lexie at first.
When Meredith first meets Lexie Grey, she essentially wants nothing to do with her. Lexie was the other daughter of Thatcher Grey and he was a much better father to Lexie than he ever was to Meredith.
It's understandable why Meredith would feel some resentment toward her half-sister and not necessarily want to be best friends with her but at the same time, Lexie had nothing to do with the way Thatcher treated Meredith and her mother. It was never Lexie's fault. Meredith was unnecessarily harsh to Lexie for a while. It would have been nice had they been able to get along earlier.
4 Genius: Deciding to let Derek go.
During season eleven, Grey's featured one of the most shocking character deaths yet. Derek Shepherd was killed off by being hit with a car while trying to help someone else out. It was in character for him to die that way but still incredibly surprising to long-time viewers of the series.
Sadly, there were a lot of rumors about things going on off-screen that lead to Derek's ultimate demise. Still, it was heart-wrenching to watch Meredith grapple with yet another death in her life. She had to be incredibly strong to ultimately decide to pull the plug on Derek's life support and let him go. But it's what he would have wanted.
3 Not Genius: Tampering with the Alzheimer's trial.
Meredith's intentions when she decided to tamper with the Alzheimer's trial were good. She wanted to help Adele Webber. But still, it was definitely not one of her smartest moments. She wound up getting fired because of it and it even put their adoption of Zola in jeopardy in addition to causing some serious trouble in her relationship with Derek.
It would have been a good idea for her to think through the decision more because Adele wound up dying anyway. Sometimes Meredith tries to do what her heart tells her to but she ignores every other rule to do so and it winds up making things worse in the end.
2 Genius: Winning the Catherine Fox Award.
Meredith managed to achieve something that even Cristina didn't. She won the prestigious Catherine Fox Award (previously known as the Harper Avery Award). She won the award after she performed the groundbreaking abdominal wall transplant surgery on Megan Hunt.
The entire process occurred while Nathan was still at the hospital. After all was said and done, Nathan and Megan eventually left Seattle together. But the surgery was one of the pivotal moments of Meredith's career and the award was well-deserved.
1 Not Genius: Putting a fork in the MRI machine.
During one episode of the series, Meredith was tending to a patient with a fork sticking out of her neck. She winds up needing to get an MRI, but Meredith lets her go in the MRI while the fork is still in her neck!
An MRI is essentially a giant magnet so that should have wound up going terribly and potentially even getting Meredith fired. But the show never talks about it. This was more of a writing fault than it was of the characters but it's certainly worth noting as one of the show's biggest mistakes.