Before we begin this list, let's break down one of the true elements of Grey's Anatomy. These doctors save lives on a daily basis and will give us an occasional laugh and some tears along the way. But what sets Grey's apart from most shows are the unions. Not the friendships, but the love triangles, the breakups, the getting to-know-one-anothers, and the long-lasting connections that some share.
Thinking back to the beginning of Grey's Anatomy, there have been numerous hookups, one night stands, and missed chances. But what makes the essence of the show are the true romances. Now, a hookup is not considered a romance. A romance is something that had to have some legs to it and a pretty good storyline. The doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital are good for those one-week relationships, but the really juicy stuff stems from the romances that had viewers choosing sides. This is what this post is about. The real romances that have taken place over the last 15 seasons.
Here is every Grey's Anatomy Romance, Ranked.
31 Izzie Stevens & George O’Malley
Guess the writers wanted to have a little fun with the storylines here. No way this was going to last. George was the quiet guy while Izzie was the outspoken rebel.
30 Meredith Grey & William Thorpe
We all thought Meredith was ready to get back into the game. However, poor William was the sacrificial lamb letting Meredith know now was not the time to be moving on after Derek's death.
29 Miranda Bailey & Tucker Jones
Their marriage was never as important to the show or fans as others. Not too much on-screen time and after a while, we forgot Bailey was even married.
28 Callie Torres & George O’Malley
The writers have to give George something, right? At that time, Callie was just coming into the picture, sleeping in the basement and aloof from the others.
Their pairing and marriage were just not of good taste as there was never any real chemistry there.
27 Derek Shepherd & Addison Montgomery
There was never anything really there for fans to get attached to. By the time Addison came around, Meredith had already stolen Derek's heart.
26 Callie Torres & Penny Blake
Talk about snagging the wrong person. Callie fell in love with the woman who could have saved Derek then turned her against the world and made her move. Penny had a good heart, just bad timing, I guess.
25 Mark Sloan & Teddy Altman
Mark figured it was time to grow up and start a real relationship while Teddy just wanted to have some fun. The sad part is, besides Lexie, they would've been great together.
24 Arizona Robbins & Eliza Minnick
Not sure what fans hated more, their relationship or Eliza in general? The sneaking around was funny but every time, I wished they had got caught just because.
23 Lexie Grey & Jackson Avery
By far one of the weirdest romances on Grey's Anatomy. While it was centered around Lexie and Jackson, there was a third party involved--Mark Sloan.
22 Arizona Robbins & Carina DeLuca
The chemistry between these two was awesome. While the majority of their romance was built upon sex, it was still fun and exciting watching Arizona take charge of her life while engaging with the carefree Carina.
21 Maggie Pierce & Andrew DeLuca
Why not? Before Jackson came along, this romance had a chance to become one of the favorites. They both are quiet, keep to themselves and their chemistry was off the charts. But Maggie, not ready to reveal it to anyone, tried to keep it a secret.
20 Meredith Grey & Andrew DeLuca
Didn't see this one coming and now that it's here, sure didn't see it lasting as long as it has. But DeLuca does remind some fans of a young Derek.
19 Richard Webber & Catherine Avery
Love never dies. Richard Webber deserved it and while Catherine was not the obvious choice in the beginning. She has managed to let her guard down just enough to love Richard back the same.
18 April Kepner & Matthew Taylor
Matthew fell in love with the right woman but at the wrong time. Being snatched away at your wedding would normally spell doom forever, but these two found a way to make it back to one another.
17 Jackson Avery & Maggie Pierce
After fans got over the initial reaction of that whole stepbrother and sister issue, this pair seems to work. Maggie is a bit awkward and Jackson is in your face bold.
The opposites attract theory works well for them.
16 Preston Burke & Christina Yang
Two headstrong people who put work first, never giving a second thought that their relationship was bound to end tragically.
15 Jackson Avery & Stephanie Edwards
Was really on the fence regarding this relationship. There weren't too many issues, just weird chemistry. It was as if they were thrown together with no direction.
14 Richard Webber & Ellis Grey
Let's be truthful here, their affair and love is the real backstory behind Grey's Anatomy. The love was real between the two. So much so that they had a secret child together and helped forge the father/daughter bond between Meredith and Richard.
13 Meredith Grey & Nathan Riggs
The first real shot at love Meredith had since Derek's death. At first, Meredith put Nathan through the wringer but he never let up. She eventually came around only to lose him to his first love. So hard to watch.
12 Richard Webber & Adele Webber
Name a couple that has been through more hardships than Richard and Adele? From affairs to sickness, and death, they stared the storm in the face and tried their best to fight it off.
11 Izzie Stevens & Denny Duquette
Talk about loving a person and risking it all. Her love for Denny almost cost Izzie her career. There were some powerful feelings involved.
10 Christina Yang & Owen Hunt
When one wants a family and the other doesn't, how are you supposed to make that work? Opposites attract but in this case, they fought against the good times they shared.
9 Owen Hunt & Amelia Shepherd
Why not? What is so wrong about these two that they can't seem to get it together? Maybe it was Teddy or maybe it's the tumor that has been removed. But last season, fans were rooting for them until Teddy and Owen came to their senses.
8 Alex Karev & Jo Wilson
The Odd Couple who somehow managed to fight though their personal demons to find happiness.
7 Miranda Bailey & Ben Warren
One of our favorite couples on the show. We've watched them go through the ups and downs of marriage and parenting.
6 Alex Karev & Izzie Stevens
Doomed from the start as neither was willing to give any sort of ground to the other. It was constant fighting which made for great TV but no way to live a relationship. There was love and respect there but not enough to make it last.
5 Jackson Avery & April Kepner
By far one of the best couples on the show. Their romance started off as a one night stand then grew into an Altar-stealing marriage. Despite their ups and downs, they both made the decision that was best for them in the end.
4 Mark Sloan & Lexie Grey
Stupid airplanes. That accident took away one of the purest relationships on Grey's Anatomy. There was no way one could've survived that crash and lived on without the other. It just wouldn't be right.
3 Nathan Riggs & Megan Hunt
How can anyone hate on this romance? This was well before we were introduced to Meredith, Owen, Derek, or anybody. This couple survived kidnapping, death, new relationships, a kid, and a family feud. What is meant to be, is meant to be.
2 Callie Torres & Arizona Robbins
Really thought this was the one to go the distance without any real hiccups. And in the end, they made their way back to one another.
1 Meredith Grey & Derek Shepherd
The standard by which all Grey's relationships are measured against. Rocky, but funny, and still worth every sticky note.