Grey’s Anatomy is a show that needs no introduction but this articles does so here it is. The series focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships. And for anyone who watches the show you know they certainly do maintain those personal relationships – perhaps the on-call room deserves a new name. When a show becomes this popular, people naturally begin to want to know everything about it. We’re here to help you out, enjoy these facts about Grey’s Anatomy.
Grey’s Anatomy Facts
32. Alex who?
The character Alex Karev was not in the original pilot script; his role was inserted into the pilot as an afterthought in order to provide a foil, as well as male companionship for Dr. George O’Malley. Since he wasn’t added until after the pilot was shot, scenes with him were either re-shoots or digitally altered.
31. The show that does not end
Shonda Rhimes said on an interview that she had a clear idea for the show’s end, but its success kept growing to the point that her ending was no longer proper, so she decided to use the idea on a storyline and come up with another ending.
30. Sorry Dr. Burke, you’re not McDreamy
It is common in major TV and film productions for the stars of the show to become famous in roles other than those they originally sought. Sandra Oh was initially looking to audition for the part of Dr. Bailey. On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Isaiah Washington (Dr. Burke) said that he had auditioned to play the role of Dr. Shepherd.
29. McDreamy vs. McSteamy
The first person to refer to Dr. Sloan as “McSteamy” was Meredith. However, Meredith was not the first character in the show to use the term “McSteamy” in general. Nurse Tyler was the first to say it, instead of “McDreamy”, as he most likely misheard.
28. Notes from the nurse’s station
The producers of Grey’s Anatomy released a novel in 2006 depicting the lives and happenings of two bit-part characters; Joe the Bartender and Nurse Debbie. The book is double sided written in Blog and IM form, while gossiping on the actions of the Grey’s characters. The events discussed give background information for Joe and Debbie themselves, and give insight on the events and cases the doctors deal with in the show.
27. The #ShondaThursday Family
Many actors that have appeared in Grey’s Anatomy have gone on to play roles in Scandal, one of Shonda Rhimes’ other shows. Actors include Scott Foley (Henry Burton), Kate Burton (Dr. Ellis Grey), Jeff Perry (Thatcher Grey), Robert Baker (Dr. Charles Percy) and Amanda Fuller (Dr. Morgan Peterson). Moreover, Kelly McCreary (Dr. Maggie Pierce) appeared in two episodes of Scandal before appearing in Grey’s Anatomy. Finally, Valerie Cruz guest appeared in both series. I guess when you get on Shonda’s good side, she really takes care of you.
26. Is that a hint?
Meredith’s dreams in the first episode of season 5 can be considered a foreshadowing of Derek’s death in season 11, since both events involve Derek’s car being rammed by a much larger vehicle (a bus in season 5 and a truck in season 11). Also, when Meredith creates a giant blueprint of candles on Derek’s land, he says “Stay here. Wait for me.” These words are also the last words he told Meredith before leaving for a flight to DC.
25. Don’t Leave us McSteamy!
Eric Dane (Dr. Mark Sloan) decided to leave the show. Shonda had a hard time deciding what to do with his character so she decided the best option was for him to die. In an interview, she had stated that she did not want Mark to be mourning the loss of Lexie and that they’re still together somehow.
24. Surgeons Have Surgery Too
All of the original interns (Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Alex Karev, George O’Malley, and Isabel Stevens) have had surgery at some point in the series. Meredith for liver donation to her father, an appendectomy, and a c-section, Christina for an ectopic pregnancy, Alex for the gunshot, George after he got hit by a bus, and Isabel for her cancer, as well as a transplant surgery for her daughter’s cancer.
23. Fairy Godmother Yang
In the hospital shooting episode when Meredith tells Cristina Yang she is going to be a godmother, Cristina says if they get into a plane crash she will keep the child. Lo and behold, at the end of Season 8, Meredith, Derek, and herself are all in a plane crash.
22. Jackson & April Forever
Sarah Drew (April) and Justin Bruening (Matthew) knew that Jesse Williams (Jackson) was going to interrupt their wedding when they began filming season 10. When they read it in the table read for season 10 episode 12, they weren’t shocked.
21. Real world experience
Washington (Dr. Burke) learned all the surgeries he performed on the show. He shadowed surgeons so often that Rhimes was almost certain he could have replicated the actual procedures. “I think if he stopped at an accident on the street he’d know exactly what to do,” Rhimes told Oprah. “He has pulled shifts at hospitals where he follows the surgeons around for 48 hours.”
20. Double Labor… Ouchy!
Sarah Drew, who plays April, went into labor 13 hours after filming her character’s first birth scene. “It was a big, long 10-hour work day of doing the labor and delivery scene on the show,” Drew told Access Hollywood. “And, I went home, it was 8 p.m. and at 6 a.m., I woke up with a really intense contraction three-and-a-half weeks early, so [I] didn’t think I was in labor.” She was! Hannah spent 11 days in the NICU, but was thereafter doing “great.”
19. Shonda Loved Surgery
Shonda was always obsessed with surgery. “My sisters and I would call each other up and talk about operations we’d seen on the Discovery Channel,” she told Oprah. “There’s something fascinating about the medical world — you see things you’d never imagine, like the fact that doctors talk about their boyfriends or their day while they’re cutting somebody open. So when ABC asked me to write another pilot, the O.R. seemed like the natural setting.”
18. McDreamy Since Day One
Patrick earned the nickname “McDreamy” before his character did. “When we were shooting the pilot, Patrick was seriously the most adorable man we’d ever seen on camera,” Rhimes told Oprah. “We’d watch the monitor and think, ‘Look at his dreamy eyes!’ So we started calling him Patrick McDreamy, and it stuck.” Miss you, Derek.
17. Bailey… A Blonde? No Way!
Miranda Bailey was the only role written with a character description: “tiny blonde with curls.” She was loosely based off Rhimes’ mother. But when Chandra Wilson auditioned, Rhimes was convinced she was perfect. Funny enough, Sandra Oh originally auditioned for the part of Bailey. But Oh loved the character of Cristina Yang and asked if she could read for her.
16. Grey’s Antomy, The Musical
Rhimes enlisted the help of Chandra Wilson, Sara Ramirez, and Kevin McKidd to put on a concert for some ABC producers to convince them that infamous musical episode in Season 7 would be a great idea. In the musical episode, when Callie was singing over her injured body, they used a double and then just digitally mapped Ramirez’s face onto the body.
15. Pregnancy Tricks
Pompeo got pregnant while filming Season 6, but instead of making her character, Meredith, pregnant as well, the writers had the character give part of her liver to her estranged father, Thatcher (Jeff Perry), so that Pompeo could be confined to bed rest to hide her pregnant belly under sheets.
14. Not in Seattle?! But where?
Though most of Grey’s Anatomy is shot on a soundstage in Los Angeles, Meredith’s childhood home is a real house located in Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. The roof of local ABC affiliate in Seattle, KOMO-TV, is used to film scenes when helicopters land on the roof of the hospital.
13. Happened to a friend of a friend of mine
All the medical storylines are found in medical journals that the writers read or from stories that viewers send in that they find interesting. When cast members “perform” a specific medical procedure during an episode, they are given tons of material to understand how it would be done in real life.
12. Ellen is a strong one
In the show, Meredith Grey lived through the death of her mother, her sister and her husband. Ellen Pompeo (plays Meredith) hasn’t had it that easy either – her mother died of an overdose of painkillers when she was just four years old. Ellen said that the death of her mother has led her to appreciate life much more.
11. Early days of Ellen
Ellen Pompeo’s TV debut was in 1995, when she starred in Law & Order. At this point, she’d only landed roles in commercials and small independent films. She also had a small role in Friends as the girl Ross and Chandler had a pact not to pursue.
10. Third time’s a charm
Jessica Capshaw auditioned for the show a mere two weeks after giving birth to her first child because she loved the series so much. She was auditioning for the role of Nurse Rose and it ended up going to Lauren Stamile instead. She came back a few years later to audition for the role of Sadie, which went to Melissa George, before finally landing the role of Arizona Robbins.
9. The Post-it Marriage
In the post-it note marriage scene Patrick Dempsey actually wrote down everything that Meredith and Derek said on the notepad. The plan was to use a post-it from the prop department for the closeup shots later but Dempsey was so in the moment that he wrote down everything the characters said perfectly and so the actual notes were used.
On September 2014, Pompeo announced that whenever Grey’s run on TV ends, she will not continue acting. In fact, she doesn’t think very highly of acting as a living, stating, “I definitely feel myself transitioning. I don’t find acting terribly empowering.” She also added, “I don’t find acting to be a particularly noble way to make a living. I’m not saving anybody’s life, I’m not a teacher, I’m not working for UNICEF. I don’t think I’m some big deal.”
7. Who’s Ms. Grey?
Over the course of the series, Meredith has always been referred to by either her first or last name or as Dr. Grey – that was until Preston Burke’s mother broke new ground with a Grey’s first. In the second episode of the series’ fourth season, Preston Burke’s mother comes back to town to gather the rest of her son’s belongings after his wedding to Cristina was unexpectedly canceled. It is in this episode that Preston’s mother refers to Meredith as Miss Grey – making Preston’s mother the only person to ever refer to Meredith as Miss Grey.
6. She won in the end
The original plan for Addison was for her to show up for a brief period to add a little bit of tension and drama to Meredith and Derek’s lives. As time went by, the fans fell in love with Addison – something the writers had not originally expected to happen – and they decided to keep the character around for the long haul.
5. Yes, Mr. Williams
Before hitting it big as an actor, Jesse Williams (Jackson Avery in the show) was, wait for it, a high school teacher! Williams attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he graduated with a double major in African American Studies and Film and Media Arts. After college, Williams scored a job as a high school teacher at a Philadelphia public school where he taught American Studies, English and African Studies for six years before making his way to Hollywood.
4. The Broadway Star – Dr. Torres
Before she stole our hearts as Dr. Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy, Sara Ramirez won over fans and critics alike with an award-winning run in Broadway’s Spamalot. So just how did Ramirez make the leap from Broadway to primetime? During an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ramirez revealed that a top ABC executive loved her work in Spamalot so much that they reached out to her with the offer of a lifetime.
3. Dr. Vegas?
Believe it or not, Patrick Dempsey was not ABC’s first choice to play Dr. Derek Shepherd! As it turns out, ABC first offered the role to Rob Lowe who would turn down the part and would instead join CBS’ drama pilot Dr. Vegas (yeah, you’re not the only one who has never heard of the series).
2. Cut the blue wire…I mean red!
When asked during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter if there was a character she wished she hadn’t killed off, Rhimes admitted she would have spared Friday Night Lights alum Kyle Chandler, who played bomb squad member Dylan Young in season three. “I probably wouldn’t have blown up Kyle Chandler,” Rhimes said. “We were filming the episode and [Chandler] was pitching me ideas on how he could stay.”
1. The “Va-Jay-Jay”
Now permanently wedged in our colloquial vocabulary, “va-jay-jay” made it into the script of Grey’s Anatomy after Rhimes heard one of her assistants say it on set. Why’d she use it? Apparently ABC said she was using the word “vagina” too often.