8 Grey's Anatomy Stars Who Are Best Friends (And 7 Who Are Frenemies)

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey in Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy has been on TV for 14 seasons. In this current era of entertainment, that's a modern miracle. It's survived cast members coming and going, numerous television trends, and continues to still be one of the most-watched medical dramas on the small screen.

A big part of its success is due to the chemistry between actors. It's not every time that a network scores a home run with casting, but it's safe to say that Grey's Anatomy got it right for the most part.

Naturally, many fans believe that the way the characters behave on the screen is exactly how they are in real life, too – but this couldn't be further from the truth.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen Pompeo, who portrays Dr. Meredith Grey on the show, revealed exactly what it's like behind the scenes.

"Now, I don't think it's a secret that we had a real problem at Grey's for a long time. On the outside, we were a massive success, but there was all of this tumult on the inside: It was a lot of rivalry, a lot of competition," she said.

She continued: "It starts with actors behaving badly, and then producers enabling them to behave badly. And, by the way, I'm guilty of it, too. I saw squeaky wheels getting all the f**king grease, so I was like, 'OK, that's how you do it,' and I behaved badly as well."

This begs the question, are any of them actually friends in the real world? Surprisingly, yes.

Here are 8 Grey's Anatomy Stars Who Are Best Friends (And 7 Who Are Frenemies).

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15 Friends: Sandra Oh And Kevin McKidd

Sandra Oh's Cristina Yang and Kevin McKidd's Owen Hunt had a tumultuous and passionate relationship in Grey's Anatomy, which many critics hailed for its depth and genuineness.

In the real world, they're so close and playful that you'd swear that they were a married couple.

McKidd, though, is happily married and thus his relationship with Oh is purely platonic. You only need to check out their Twitter conversations to see that the two are the best of buds.

It's not unusual to see them call each other "babe" and "honey," or for them to hype up the other's new project.

While there are many TV lovers who despise their co-stars' guts, Oh and McKidd's relationship is a friendship goal for everyone.

14 Frenemies: Ellen Pompeo And Patrick Dempsey

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey in Grey's Anatomy

Pompeo's Meredith Grey and Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd were Grey's Anatomy's favorite sweethearts, and we can never forget how devastating McDreamy's death was on poor Meredith.

Behind the scenes, however, Pompeo and Dempsey were never friends.

The showrunners played them up against each other, always threatening Pompeo that if she didn't renew her contract, they still had Dempsey.

"They did [it] for years. I don't know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals," Pompeo told The Hollywood Reporter. "There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that."

Pompeo doesn't seem too sad that Dempsey is now gone from the show, as it's probably benefited her paycheck and mental health.

13 Friends: Jerrika Hinton And Camilla Luddington

Camilla Luddington's Jo Wilson and Jerrika Hinton's Stephanie Edwards were as thick as thieves at Grey Sloan. With Stephanie now gone from the show, Jo will need to find a new buddy, but it's unlikely that she'll ever forget her true BFF.

Outside of the medical drama, though, Hinton and Luddington can continue their friendship with no storyline drama or producer intervention.

Much like their characters' obvious goodwill towards each other, these two ladies get on like a house on fire off screen as well.

Chatting to Glamour about her first day on set and working with Luddington, Hinton said, "My first impression was that we were going to get along great"-- and she got it spot-on.

12 Frenemies: T. R. Knight And Shonda Rhimes

The departure of T. R. Knight from Grey's Anatomy was a shock for everyone. His character, George O'Malley, had become one of the most beloved peeps on the show, and then he was gone.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his departure from the popular series, Knight didn't hold back about his reasons.

He bemoaned his character's treatment over time and referred to a gradual breakdown of communication between himself and executive producer Shonda Rhimes.

"My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George]. And with respect, I'm going to leave it at that," he said.

Additionally, Knight mentioned how Rhimes discouraged him from coming out publicly – something that Rhimes vehemently denied.

11 Friends: Ellen Pompeo And Sarah Drew

The departure of Sarah Drew from Grey's Anatomy left a lot of people shocked. Matters were made worse when it was speculated that the reason for her and Jessica Capshaw's departures was due to a pay dispute.

Reportedly, the two stars weren't happy that Ellen Pompeo made more money than them.

Pompeo dismissed these claims as nonsense and stated that the ladies wouldn't approve of such false information being spread.

In an Instagram post, Pompeo wrote a tribute to Drew.

"Thank you to [Drew], you served up the sugar and spice for nine years and it's been a blast. Your passion and talent for storytelling has touched so many people, provoked thought and Grey's is a better show because of it and you," she wrote.

10 Frenemies: Shonda Rhimes And Katherine Heigl


This one is on Katherine Heigl. In 2008, she pulled out of Emmy contention, stating, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination."

The showrunners, especially Shonda Rhimes, were outraged by her comments, considering how much screen time Heigl's Izzie Stevens received on the show.

However, they didn't fire the actress, who left on her own accord in 2010.

Speaking about a new show to The Hollywood Reporter years later, Rhimes said, "I don't put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don't have time for it. There are no Heigls in this situation."

Yikes. It doesn't sound like they'll be exchanging Christmas cards any time soon.

9 Friends: Katherine Heigl And Kate Walsh

Despite Katherine Heigl rubbing most of her co-stars the wrong way, she has a friend in Kate Walsh.

Both actresses are no longer on Grey's Anatomy, but it seems like they've kept in touch over the years.

In 2013, Heigl posted on Facebook: "Having the time of my life at said wedding with Kate Walsh, Josh Kelley, Kate's amazing fella Chris, and of course my girl Chey!"

She also shared photos from the photo booth that showed her and Walsh having a good time at the Upstate New York wedding.

Maybe it's the fact that both actresses received so much heat in their respective stints on the medical drama that brought them closer together as friends.

8 Frenemies: Kate Walsh And Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo and Kate Walsh in Grey's Anatomy

It seems like the Grey's Anatomy cast members are a bit of a jealous bunch. After Kate Walsh's character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, received her own spinoff series, Private Practice, her fellow cast members felt blindsided by the news and weren't exactly congratulatory.

"The rest of the cast seemed instantly resentful of [Walsh]. They each thought they'd be the one chosen to get their own show, and now they're giving Kate the cold shoulder," a source explained to Star.

Apparently, Ellen Pompeo took the news extra hard, as she "seemed particularly peeved because she felt that, as the star, she should have been consulted."

Sheesh. It sounds like no one on Grey's Anatomy celebrates their colleagues' successes.

7 Friends: Ellen Pompeo And Justin Chambers

Considering that Justin Chambers and Ellen Pompeo are veterans of Grey's Anatomy, it should come as no surprise that they've spent a lot of time together.

After all these years as co-stars, it's almost impossible for them to not be friends.

When quizzed about Chambers' character, Alex Karev, being a potential love interest for Meredith, Pompeo said to E! News, "Justin is one of my favorite people on the planet. We're really close, and it does feel weird. To potentially maybe have him as a love interest would be like kissing my brother."

Pompeo isn't giving us lip service, either, as the two have shared many close moments over the years and it's blatantly obvious that they enjoy each other's company.

6 Frenemies: Ellen Pompeo And Katherine Heigl

After Katherine Heigl's Emmy faux pas, she didn't exactly endear herself to her castmates. Naturally, she annoyed Grey's Anatomy's star Ellen Pompeo, who's fiercely defensive about the series.

Chatting to the New York Post, Pompeo tried to be diplomatic about the Heigl debacle but couldn't resist taking a stab at her the same time.

"When Katie left, it was tough. You could understand why she wanted to go – when you're offered $12 million a movie and you're only 26. But Katie's problem is that she should not have renewed her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise, and then tried to get off the show. And then her movie career did not take off," she said.

5 Friends: Jesse Williams And Sarah Drew

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew in Grey's Anatomy

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew arrived on the Grey's Anatomy set at the same time. Being the newbies on the scene, they struck up a friendship and you can find many pictures of the two goofing around backstage all over the net.

When Drew left the show along with Jessica Capshaw, Williams took to Twitter to air his sadness about their unexpected departures.

He tweeted: "Sarah and Jessica are easily among my very favorite people and co-workers, so this news [expletive] sucks. Their immense talent speaks for itself but it's them as people that I'm so grateful to know, privileged to have worked with and learned from. To say they'll be missed is a massive understatement."

4 Frenemies: T. R. Knight And Isaiah Washington

Okay, this is a weird one. During an on-set fracas between Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington, the latter reportedly used a homophobic slur toward T. R. Knight.

The reason is because Knight was late to film a scene and Washington got impatient about it.

Initially, Washington denied that he'd directed the comment at Knight. However, he later released a statement to PEOPLE.

"I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set. Both are beneath my own personal standards… I have nothing but respect for my co-workers… and have apologized personally to everyone involved," he said.

As we all know by now, Washington got the boot from the series after the incident.

3 Friends: Sandra Oh And Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh in Grey's Anatomy

Watching the friendship of Meredith and Cristina blossom, it's evident that it also brought the actresses Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh together in real life.

After spending so long as co-stars, Oh decided it was time for a change and left Grey's Anatomy in 2014.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Oh discussed her emotional last scene with Pompeo.

"It was deeply emotional. It was the last scene that Ellen and I shot. I can't speak for how it was for her to shoot that, but at the very end, I remember feeling for our chests embracing. I'm holding her and I can hear that she's tearing up. I was holding her and it felt like we were one body," she said.

2 Frenemies: Patrick Dempsey And Isaiah Washington

Arguably the most high-profile Grey's Anatomy bust-up involved Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington.

Reportedly, Washington became agitated that T. R. Knight was late to film a scene, while Dempsey wanted to wait for their co-star. A full-blown argument developed between the two men.

According to a source, "Isaiah was running his mouth off. Isaiah verbally attacked Patrick – he tore into him. Patrick's voice escalated and he did tell Isaiah to '[expletive] off' – that was as heated as Patrick got."

Later on, Washington did make a joke about the whole thing, complimenting Dempsey's "pretty blue eyes" after the pair came close to exchanging blows on set.

The incident ended up being the catalyst for Washington's exit from the show.

1 Friends: Kate Walsh And Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez and Kate Walsh in Grey's Anatomy

When Kate Walsh left Grey's Anatomy for Private Practice, her co-star Sara Ramirez told PEOPLE, "I think she is amazing, and I am going to miss her ... [Kate] is an enormously talented woman, and I think she is so much fun to watch. I wish her continued success."

As it turns out, the two ladies stayed in touch over the years.

Ramirez has been spotted attending Walsh's birthday party in the past, and the two of them have even gone out dancing together.

When a fan tweeted Ramirez about her dancing on tables, she responded with: "Going dancing with Kate Walsh is the best."

We all need friends like Ramirez and Walsh in our lives.


Do you know any other Grey's Anatomy actors who are friends or frenemies? Let us know in the comments!

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