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12 Things You Notice When You Re-Watch Grey’s Anatomy From the Beginning

On one hand, it’s hard to believe Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for more than a decade. On the other, though, it seems as though the time has flown by in a blur of impossible-to-pronounce medical diagnoses, near-death experiences and many, many hookups in the on-call room. But a lot of time has passed, making it easy to forget some of the details of the drama’s early years. 

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Thanks to Netflix, every season of Grey’s is available for streaming, and, c’mon, who doesn’t love a good Grey’s binge-watching session from time to time? However, if you re-watch the medical series from the beginning, you’re bound to notice a few things you didn’t pick up on the first go-round. 

Here are just a few of the most conspicuous things we found when we started playback from season one. 

That original opening title sequence, y’all

Wow, it’s been so long since Grey’s had a title sequence that we forgot all about it. That or we chose to block the comically kitschy thing out of our brains. The garish mix of medical instruments and “sexy” stuff like high heels is low-key hilarious.

As much as we love Alex now…

He was kind of a huge ass for, well, many seasons. This started to go south when he publicly humiliated Izzie in season one, and that turned out to be the tip of the iceberg when it came to his bad behavior. It’s amazing fans put up with him long enough for him to become a fan favorite.

Season two could hold a mind-blowing clue

When Meredith’s mother first came into the hospital in season two with Alzheimer’s, we didn’t know much about her yet. That would come in later seasons through flashbacks. But after watching the series up to its current point, it seems as though conspiracy theorists could be right. What if everything that happens after this point is a dream Meredith is having? Derek’s wife had just shown up, and he’d decided to try to work it out. Meredith’s life wasn’t what she wanted it to be, and she was paranoid about getting Alzheimer’s like her mother. So… what if she did or something else happened to her and everything that came after was just a product of her psyche?

Finn didn’t get a fair shake

During Derek’s failed attempt to save his marriage to Addison, Meredith starts seeing the vet who cares for the dog she and Derek co-parent. The vet, Finn, is played by Chris O’Donnell and was recently widowed. Of course, Derek and Meredith’s love eventually eclipses poor Finn. Alas, he was probably too pure for the Grey’s world anyway.

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It’s a miracle Grey Sloan hasn’t faced more malpractice suits

For this supposedly being a top-rated trauma center and teaching hospital, the good doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital sure seem to make a lot of mistakes. Sure, doctors are human too, and they can’t save everyone. However, they seem to make bad judgment calls and made medical errors more than most. 

Hold up — did they reveal Derek’s death to us in season five?

Shortly after the iconic moment in which Derek makes Meredith a house of candles, she starts having a recurring dream about Derek’s death. In the dream, he gets in a horrible car accident and Meredith watches as his life slips away. Sound familiar? Consider this too: In the same episode, he says, “Stay here. Wait for me” — which also happen to be his last words to Meredith before his actual death of a car accident in season 11.

Every episode is titled after a song

We didn’t check every single title, but we googled enough titles to feel confident making this assertion. The very first episode? “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles. The title of the episode in which Derek dies? “How to Save a Life” by The Fray (you had to see that one coming, right?).

Alex needs a Mc-Nickname

Derek was McDreamy and Sloan was McSteamy, but why didn’t Alex get a Mc-nickname? Is it just because he was a resident? The thing is, though, he hooked up with some major characters along the way, including Addison (sort of) and Callie. He was a hot ticket and therefore should have his own Mc-nickname.

The curious case of two half-sisters

Meredith is shocked to learn she has a half-sister, Lexie, when Lexie becomes an intern at Seattle Grace. But then she gets the same shock later down the road when another half-sister, Maggie, shows up at Grey Sloan. It’s easier to understand how she wouldn’t have known about Maggie (no one really did), but did she really never realize her dad, Thatcher, had a family?

Derek wasn’t always so McDreamy

It seems like sacrilege to say this, but Derek wasn’t exactly the most upstanding dude. In the beginning, he slept with Meredith and neglected to mention he was still married. Then he ditched her for Addison only to cheat on Addison with Meredith. Around that time, he called Mer a whore. Derek is vindictive after Meredith tampers with his Alzheimer’s trial, telling her she can’t raise the newly adopted Zola. And let’s not forget he almost hooked up with someone in D.C. too.

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Alex is always drawn to damaged women

Remember Rebecca (aka Ava), the woman who originally had amnesia and then later became suicidal? And then, of course, there was Izzie, who went off the rails after Denny Duquette died only to later find out she had a brain tumor. Jo isn’t exactly damage-free either — she used to be homeless, and she barely escaped an abusive marriage.

The surprises are never not surprising

It doesn’t matter if you’ve re-watched Grey’s one time or a hundred times, you’ll never not be affected by the most shocking moments. When Denny dies of a stroke? Heartbreaking. When a gunman shoots up half the doctors and residents in the hospital? Anxiety-inducing. And when Derek does actually die in a car accident? The darkest day. 

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