For a series that has spanned more than 300 episodes, it's not strange to have a large number of cast changes over the years. Grey's Anatomy is entering its sixteenth season this month, and the cast looks much different than it did when the series first began.
But some characters left abruptly or had their time cut mysteriously short, either for creative reasons or off-screen decisions. Here are some of the shortest-running cast members from Grey's Anatomy.
12 Melissa George as Dr. Sadie Harris
George's character, Sadie Harris, was brought on to cause drama and conflict among the interns. Sadie was an old friend of Meredith's. It didn't take long for her to stir up mischief including conducting an illicit appendectomy with fellow interns like Lexie Grey.
Eventually, Sadie got caught cheating by George O'Malley. Instead of confessing to her mistake, she decided to leave the hospital for good. She even attempted to convince Meredith to join her.
11 Nora Zehetner as Dr. Reed Adamson
Reed was one of the many doctors who transferred to Seattle Grace after the infamous Mercy West merger. She had an abrasive personality and didn't get along with many of the doctors. Reed saw them as her rivals.
However, she did form a close friendship with April Kepner and even had a one night stand with Mark Sloan. Sadly, Reed was one of Gary Clark's victims during the hospital shooting.
10 Martin Henderson as Dr. Nathan Riggs
Henderson was brought on the show to play Derek's replacement, Dr. Nathan Riggs. His character had a tumultuous history with Owen and became a love interest for both Maggie and Meredith. Unfortunately, fans never warmed to Nathan.
He was on the show for three seasons, which may seem like a lot, but given the show has 16 seasons, it's not in the grand scheme of things. Riggs winds up moving with Owen's sister, Megan, to Malibu and resigning from Grey Sloan.
9 Brooke Smith as Dr. Erica Hahn
Erica was a recurring character who shows up between seasons 2 and 5. Initially, she is introduced as a fierce rival to Dr. Burke. Eventually, she gets a job at Seattle Grace Hospital and starts a romance with Callie.
But their fling is short-lived as Erica was abruptly written off the show. Rumor is, ABC executives didn't think Smith was conventionally attractive enough to be in a relationship with Callie. That was never confirmed, but Shonda Rhimes did say there wasn't enough chemistry between them.
8 Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery
Who could forget Addison Montgomery? After her show-stopping entrance in the season one finale, Addison went on to become a fan-favorite character. She was popular enough to get her own spin-off series in Private Practice.
However, despite the legacy she left behind on Grey's Anatomy, she really wasn't on the series for that long. Addison left by the end of season three to move to Los Angeles for a fresh start.
7 Gaius Charles as Dr. Shane Ross
Shane Ross was one of Cristina Yang's residents. The two began a sexual relationship at one point in the series. Charles only remained on the series for seasons 9 and 10 before he decided to leave the show.
His character was written off by having Shane beg Cristina to go with her when she left the hospital. In the series, he dealt with tremendous guilt over his friend Heather's death and also had an addiction to energy drinks at one point.
6 Robert Baker as Dr. Charles Percy
Charles was another of the doctors who transferred to the hospital during the merger with Mercy West. He was best friends with Jackson Avery and eventually formed a friendship with Izzie Stevens too.
He also had a crush on Reed, but he never got the chance to tell her. Charles died during the hospital shooting after recurring for three seasons. His final episode count was only 13.
5 Tessa Ferrer as Leah Murphy
Leah Murphy is one of the most hated characters in Grey's history. It's not surprising she was written off the series after only two seasons. She got into a relationship with Arizona after her split from Callie and became clingy.
Then she filed a harassment claim against Callie to cause further problems between them. Ultimately, Richard fired her. However, Murphy was brought back in season 13 for some reason, although it didn't last long before she disappeared again.
4 Tina Majorino as Heather Brooks
While some of the new interns in seasons 9 and 10 weren't well-liked, fans did like Heather, probably because of the actress, who was a beloved character on Veronica Mars.
Heather had a brief sexual relationship with Alex Karev at one point, and even Derek took a liking to her and offered to teach her about neuro. Sadly, Heather was electrocuted and died during the season 10 superstorm.
3 Lauren Stamile as Nurse Rose
Unfortunately for Lauren Stamile, her character, Rose, was only put on the show to become another obstacle in the way of Derek and Meredith's future relationship. Even Addison called her "McRebound," and didn't realize Rose heard her say it.
Derek and Rose didn't stay together long before Derek broke up with her. Rose claimed to be over, but then she cut Derek with a scalpel in surgery and realized she probably wasn't. Ultimately, she transferred to pediatrics, and we don't see her again.
2 Marika Domincyzk as Dr. Eliza Minnick
Eliza Minnick was detested by most fans when she first arrived because she caused a lot of conflict and drama at the hospital. She totally changed the way things were run as she was hired to implement new protocols and watch how Richard Webber ran things.
However, once she entered a relationship with Arizona, people began to warm up to her. Then during the hospital fire, Eliza fails to do what Bailey asks of her and gets fired. She leaves without even saying goodbye.
1 Jeanine Mason as Dr. Sam Bello
Jeanine Mason's character, Sam Bello, became a popular character when she joined the show in season 14. She embarked on a romantic relationship with Andrew DeLuca. Unfortunately, her character was eventually threatened with deportation.
Meredith helps get Sam a job working with Cristina in Switzerland. In reality, Jeanine Mason landed the leading role in the CW series Roswell, New Mexico and decided to leave the show for that.