15 Embarrassing Roles Grey's Anatomy Stars Want To Forget

There's no denying the success of Grey's Anatomy. The show is one of the most popular on the planet, from the mind of genius showrunner Shonda Rhimes, and starring some brilliant talents such as Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, and Chandra Wilson.

This year, ABC's renewal of the series even saw it set a record for a network primetime drama, as it was confirmed the show would go into a fifteenth season.

It's fair to say that Grey's is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Part of what makes Grey's so special is the amount of incredible stars that have walked through the doors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, but it's not always been such an exciting career path for all those involved.

In fact, we think that some of the actors and actresses to make up the Grey's alum would rather skip to this part of their career, than look back on some of the roles they've taken on before!

As much success as they may have found playing surgeons for Shonda, there are a slew of projects many of the cast members have been a part of that didn't quite reach the dizzying heights of Grey's. While we do love focusing on their best work, today we're instead going through some we think they'd rather drop from their résumé.

Here are the 15 Embarrassing Roles Grey's Anatomy Stars Want To Forget.

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15 Ellen Pompeo In Old School

Released back in 2003, Old School was a comedy movie starring the likes of Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, and Luke Wilson in the leading roles. What Grey's Anatomy fans are more interested in, however, is the inclusion of Ellen Pompeo, who played Wilson's character's high school crush, Nicole in the flick.

Tackling the role of a woman scorned following a reveal that her on-screen boyfriend is being unfaithful, Pompeo's character has the last laugh when her former other half drives off a bridge, passing away in an explosion.

Yes, it really did get that dark. This isn't a woman to be messed with.

Though the movie dropped over a decade ago, Pompeo looks as ageless as ever. The goofy comedy failed to make a big impression in the box office, taking just $87 million, but still making a marked improvement on its budget of $24 million.

Old School isn't exactly a timeless comedy classic, so Pompeo wouldn't be shouting from the rooftops about her role in the movie. Still, it did see her cement herself as one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and a couple of years later she would go on to front Shonda Rhimes' biggest ever show. Not too shabby.

14 Eric Dane In X-Men: The Last Stand

We won't lie -- there were a number of different projects we could have chosen for Eric Dane when it comes to embarrassing past roles. Eventually, though, we had to settle on his portrayal of Multiple Man in X-Men: The Last Stand.

The mutant is a smart one, managing to outwit the authorities by placing a number of versions of himself all over the place, but Dane was never given the chance to truly shine in The Last Stand.

In fact, the whole movie was a bit of a bust when put up against others in the series.

While it wouldn't be fair to poke the finger of blame at Dane, there has to be a reason he was never asked back for another X-Men outing.

Grey's fans are used to seeing Dane as the charming lady's man, Dr. Mark Sloan, otherwise known as McSteamy. In tragic events that took place in the show's season 8 finale, Sloan had to say goodbye to the love of his life, before fans also had to say goodbye to him in the season 9 premiere.

His disappearance from the show was a huge loss, and still something viewers feel right in their gut to this day.

13 Katherine Heigl In Prince Valiant

Katherine Heigl's time on Grey's is marred with controversy; there were plenty of rumors swirling during her later years on the show that she had a feud with the series' producers because of her refusal of an Emmy nomination.

She didn't think her work as Dr. Izzie Stevens was worthy of such an accolade, and so pulled herself out of the race before she was even given the opportunity.

It led to her being written out of the show for good, never really being given a proper exit.

It's a shame, as Heigl was expert in the role, and Stevens was a character viewers really wanted to root for. Even during that "jump the shark" storyline of her sleeping with the ghost of her deceased ex...

Though for some, that may be embarrassing enough, Heigl has a whole host of projects that we look back on with one eyebrow raised. One in particular saw her play Princess Ilene in Prince Valiant.

Based on the myth of King Arthur, the movie saw Heigl falling for Stephen Moyer's portrayal of the titular character.

It's all incredibly cheesy stuff, and we imagine the star cringes whenever she looks back on a scene from the production.

12 Chyler Leigh In Not Another Teen Movie

When Chyler Leigh first made her Grey's debut, Lexie Grey wasn't a character who immediately resonated with the fans.

She was whiney and irritating, always bugging her older sister Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), and seemingly more interested in the men of the hospital than actually doing her job.

Then, in her later seasons, Little Grey finally worked her way into the hearts of people watching. Her romance with Mark Sloane (Eric Dane) was a sight to behold, and while the two never got to spend their happily ever after in each other's arms, they did have a fitting send off.

It came in the form of a hugely emotional moment in the season 8 finale, that's stamped in the memory of anyone who's ever seen it.

So, when you look back and take a look at 2001 comedy, Not Another Teen Movie, it's hard to see Leigh stepping into the role of geeky Janey Briggs. As the center of attention for all the wrong reasons, she becomes the subject of a bet, in which one boy is dared to turn her into the prom queen.

There's absolutely zero depth to this character, or the movie. Sure, it's fun if you're looking for a little brain numbing, but aside from that, this stains Leigh's résumé rather than really adding to it.

11 Justin Chambers In Seasons Of Love

Look at that smile. Justin Chambers is always flitting between the surgeon you really root for, and the guy you want to slap across the face in Grey's, and it's that reputation which has really solidified his character Alex Karev with some incredible emotional depth.

So, when you see him as Hocking Linthorne in four-hour mini-series Seasons of Love for the first time, it's quite a lot to take in.

The drama is one that spans four decades, and while Chambers doesn't take the leading role in the production, his costume alone is enough to make a lasting impression. Seeing Karev in an outfit like this would provide plenty of laughs for his Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital colleagues, and we're not sure he'd ever be able to live it down.

Seasons of Love is quite the watch, with four hours of action taking place after the Civil War in rural Ohio.

At its heart a romance, the production is pleasant enough, but certainly of a lesser quality to that which Chambers is now used to.

The actor is never given the opportunity to really show off his acting chops throughout the 240-minute mini-series, and that's the real embarrassment for Seasons of Love.

10 Chandra Wilson In The Cosby Show

Chandra Wilson is probably regretting her time spent on The Cosby Show for obvious reasons as of late.

A little earlier this year, Bill Cosby -- who fronted The Cosby Show for eight seasons -- was convicted of assault, with sentencing set for September. Once known to the world as "America's Dad," Cosby has been held on house arrest in his Philadelphia mansion since his conviction in April.

Turning 81-years-old in July, the disgraced actor is expected to live out the rest of his days behind bars.

In Grey's, Wilson plays the fiercely independent Dr. Miranda Bailey, and has left a solid mark on the franchise ever since its first days. As one of the fan-favorites and a primary reason that audiences keep coming back for more, she's one of television's most iconic and inspirational female characters.

Miranda Bailey is everything a man like Bill Cosby would be a fool to go up against.

Though The Cosby Show really did help propel Wilson into the spotlight, the star is probably wishing she had another launchpad so that her time on the series isn't something that's now tainted.

She did, however, put on a brilliant performance throughout her time on the show, and that's something we can still to this day celebrate.

9 Patrick Dempsey In Scream 3

He may have been as McDreamy as ever throughout the third Scream movie, but Patrick Dempsey probably regrets stepping into the horror franchise in what is roundly recognized as the worst entry in the Scream series.

Starring as Detective Mark Kincaid, Dempsey worked closely alongside Courteney Cox's Gale Weathers, with the two hoping to solve the murders which had befallen the fictional town of Woodsboro for the third time.

Though there was a point in the movie where audiences and the characters thought Kincaid was in fact the attacker, he instead almost fell victim to the true criminal.

Fortunately, he survived, but didn't make a comeback for 2011's Scream 4 despite being offered the chance to do so. His character was thus written out of the script.

Though this horror flick isn't one people love to go back and watch, it did see Dempsey work alongside Neve Campbell, who of course plays Sidney Prescott. The two would reunite on Grey's years later, with Campbell jumping into the series for a two-episode supporting role, as one of McDreamy's many sisters.

His chemistry with the rest of the Scream 3 cast was a sight to behold, but the writing let Dempsey down throughout.

It would have been nice to see the actor given the opportunity to make a franchise return, but it wasn't to be. With all of that being said, Dempsey now probably hopes to forget his time within the Scream series.

8 James Pickens Jr. In Roseanne

Still strong in the ratings, Roseanne was once a series that shocked by tackling taboos of its time.

Raking in awards and leading the charge for sitcoms to really push the boundaries of what was deemed necessary, the series was progressive and eye-opening. Unfortunate it is then to see just how much controversy not only surrounds the new episodes, but its lead star, Roseanne Barr.

Barr is somebody who's unafraid to rock the boat. At one time, she dressed up as Hitler for a photoshoot in Jewish magazine Heeb. At another, she took to Twitter and tweeted out the home address of the parents of Trayvon Martin's attacker, George Zimmerman. It would be fair to say that she doesn't have the best judgement.

When it comes to politics, Roseanne has a friend in President Donald Trump. The current POTUS even rang her to personally congratulate her on the big viewership that her series' return saw. For some, that's enough to be put off by the star.

It would be unsurprising to learn that James Pickens Jr. may regret his time starring in Roseanne. 

Still, he did make a return in this year's comeback, so perhaps he's not as embarrassed by the titular star's personal troubles or political leanings as one would imagine.

7 Sara Ramirez In You've Got Mail

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks led classic 1998 movie You've Got Mail, so what a lot of people don't remember is that Sara Ramirez actually starred in the film as Zarar's cashier, Rose.

Not much can be said about the character, other than her being increasingly hostile with Ryan's character, until Hanks turns up and charms her socks off.

The character is an incredibly stereotypical one, and the sort of thing Ramirez would now likely fight against.

Still, it was one of her earliest performances, so she should definitely be forgiven for taking the opportunity to appear in such a huge movie alongside such big names.

Looking back in cinematic history, roles such as this one were used over and over again by filmmakers in a bid to poke fun at workers such as Rose. It's a shame, and certainly not something that ages well, but was a real product of its time.

We much prefer remembering Ramirez's time on Grey's as the no-holds-barred, take no prisoners Dr. Callie Torres.

For a decade she entertained us, making us both laugh and cry, and we can't wait to see her make a comeback to the show in season 15. It's going to be an emotional one.

6 Kevin McKidd In The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns

Does anything really need to be said about this one when you see the picture? Unless Grey's character Owen Hunt is enjoying a Halloween party, we never thought we'd see him in this sort of get-up.

Starring as Jericho O'Grady in The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns, this is most likely a role Kevin McKidd doesn't enjoy discussing when looking back on his lengthy career to-date.

The Hallmark Entertainment movie was made for television, and saw McKidd star alongside the likes of Roger Daltrey, Randy Quaid, and Colm Meaney in an enchanting little tale.

Split into two parts, the movie is almost three hours long in total, and is a true sight to behold. It may be charming at times, but McKidd is lucky that any casting agents took him seriously after he took part in this one.

This role is lightyears away from the one we've seen McKidd take up in Grey's.

Hunt is a damaged man who's been through a heck of a lot, working his way into the hearts of viewers thanks to his charm and infectious personality.

The character's relationship with Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) is lauded as one of the most realistic the show has seen, with sparks flying between the pair whenever they shared a scene.

5 Jessica Capshaw In The Love Letter

Grey's fans know Jessica Capshaw as the brilliant Arizona Robbins, M.D.; a woman who has a huge heart and a place inside for everybody.

Going through a number of traumatic events -- including losing her leg following a plane crash in the show's eighth season -- Capshaw has proven that her emotional range and acting ability is enough to rival any Hollywood star.

So, when we look back on her past work and see she starred in The Love Letter alongside her real-life mother, Kate Capshaw, we had to do a double take. We'd seen the movie plenty of times, but didn't remember her being in it at all.

That's because her role in The Love Letter is an incredibly small one where she hardly says a word, appearing alongside her mom to simply stare at a man and then walk away.

It was probably a thrill for the actress back in 1999, but now that she's been a part of one of TV's biggest shows for some time, this isn't exactly a career highlight.

Still, with Capshaw now out of Grey's and open to other work offers, we think she could add a few more gems to her resume to bury this one deeply!

4 Sandra Oh In Arli$$

Sandra Oh is arguably the most brilliant star to come from Grey's. As Cristina Yang, she would deliver a plethora of unique scenes, tearing down those who would oppose her with ease, and coming through with emotional performances whenever the time would call for it.

Who can forget the moment she had to complete surgery on McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) while a serial hospital shooter had a gun pointed at her head?

Now, we're not saying Oh isn't brilliant in Arli$$ -- because she absolutely is -- but some of the costumes she had to wear in the role of Rita Wu were hideous. The one in the picture above looks like she's attempting to cosplay The Riddler from DC Comics.

Fortunately for Oh, she's a woman who can pull pretty much anything off.

Though we imagine she doesn't look back on Arli$$ with the fondest memories thanks to some more exciting career opportunities in later years, it's still something she can be proud of.

The show didn't have a fan in The Simpsons family, however. In one episode when Marge, Patty, and Selma are watching television, all three scream and reach for the remote control to turn over the channel because they hear Arli$$ is about to air.

3 Jesse Williams In Greek

In Grey's, Jesse Williams is a pretty fantastic member of Team Plastics, called Dr. Jackson Avery. Blessed with good looks and a lot of skill, Avery often has to work harder than those he shares a workplace with, simply to prove he's not riding on the coattails of his grandfather, who has a perfect reputation as a surgeon.

Williams being a handsome chap is something that has followed him throughout his real-life, as he's been typecast in roles that see his good looks make up a big chunk of his character.

One of those roles was in ABC Family drama series Greek. Though he only starred in two episodes, Williams was referred to as "The Hotness Monster," which we imagine would make the actor blush if he were reminded of it.

With two girls battling for his affections across the two episodes, the star probably didn't have to do much acting on this show.

Projects such as this one are pretty much a staple of any up-and-coming actor, so to see Williams in Greek isn't at all surprising. With such brilliance now surrounding his name and his career, however, this wouldn't (and shouldn't) be high on the watchlist of his most adoring fans.

2 Sarah Drew In Everwood

Created by Greg Berlanti, Everwood ran for four seasons and included some names that are instantly recognizable. Alongside Grey's own Sarah Drew, stars of the show included Emily VanCamp, Chris Pratt, and Debra Mooney.

Imagine a new series nowadays with people such as those involved. It'd be a massive hit through star power alone.

Drew joined the cast in the show's third season as an extremely shy young girl named Hannah, who was sent to Everwood so she wouldn't have to watch her father -- who was suffering from late-stage Huntington's Disease -- suffer in his final days.

Her performance at times was incredibly moving, but never really reached the heights of what was being demanded.

Given quite the intriguing storyline to deal with, Drew unfortunately failed to make a lasting impact. This may have been down to the show ending after its fourth season, but the actress was pretty green throughout the series.

Fortunately, ever since her debut in Grey's as the bumbling April Kepner, Drew has become a firm fan-favorite with audiences.

She's had some harrowing storylines to deal with and has shown an emotional depth unlike anything she's done in previous work. Though she's now no longer a part of the series, she's left a permanent mark on the franchise. It wouldn't be the same without her.

1 Camilla Luddington In William & Kate

With another Royal Wedding right around the corner, and America's own Meghan Markle making her way into the British Royal Family, we've been watching just about anything we can related to the Royals.

So, imagine our surprise when we went back to the William & Kate Lifetime movie, only to find Camilla Luddington in the role of the Duchess of Cambridge.

These Lifetime movies, while entertaining, are often hilariously bad.

You've just got to take a look at the recent Harry & Meghan Lifetime movie to get a feel of what Luddington was dealing with here. It would have felt like the role that would see her cement herself as a massive name in the industry, but the real Kate Middleton would have squirmed along with the rest of the world watching this one.

In Grey's, we've seen Luddington's Dr. Jo Wilson turn from one of the most sheepish new residents of season 9, into a true leading surgeon of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Luddington's performance consistently impresses viewers, and while audiences sometimes fear change, her addition to the show has only made it better.

So, to look back and see her working with a flimsy script in William & Kate is a major step back. We'll stick to Grey's.


Can you think of any other roles that the cast of Grey's Anatomy would want us to forget? Sound off in the comments!

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