‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Is Dr. Webber Actually Immortal? Somehow, He Still Lives

Over 17 seasons (soon to be 18), many people have come and gone from Grey’s Anatomy. Some of our favorite characters have left without warning. But others who have faced death are still holding on. For instance, for all that Dr. Webber has been through, he still manages to live. Which some people feel must make him immortal.

The life of Dr. Webber

ABC's 'Greys Anatomy' stars James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber
ABC’s ‘Greys Anatomy’ stars James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber | Mike Rosenthal via Getty Images

Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) was a part of the original cast of Grey’s Anatomy. On day one, he gave the speech that he gives to all new interns. “A month ago, you were in med school being trained by doctors. Today, you are doctors,” he told them.

He is a major player, part of virtually every episode. And he’s someone audiences can count on to always be there. Part of his solidity is the fact that no matter what may come his way, he is invincible. Surviving alcoholism, sleeping in his office because his wife Adele (Loretta Devine) kicks him out, watching her develop Alzheimer’s and subsequently die, and much more. There is always a story being played out with him in the center of it all.

However, it is the fact Dr. Webber has more lives than a cat that baffles some of the Grey’s Anatomy fandom.

How much can one man survive?

Dr. Webber was the hospital’s chief when the show began. His pending retirement was mentioned as early as season 1, episode 2, though it really became a storyline in season 2. However, it remains a topic of discussion, like at his 65th birthday in season 10, when Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) gives him a brochure on retirement.

As pointed out by a Reddit user recently, since the start of Grey’s Anatomy, Webber has “battled a brain tumor in season 1, an electric shock in season 9, and even cobalt poisoning in season 16.” During the cobalt poisoning, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) also finds Webber about to cut himself with a scalpel because he is the only one who can fix what is wrong with him.

Among those near-death experiences, he was threatened by a gunman in season 6, episode 24. The lead-in was that the shooter wanted revenge against those who took his wife off life support. Webber convinced Clark to kill himself instead with the one remaining bullet.

In season 11, episode 20, Webber is driving to work and is close enough to see a plane crash as it goes basically over his car. Although it isn’t a near-death for him, he retells the story throughout the episode, with each telling slightly more “dangerous” for himself.

Dr. Webber lives on in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Every show deserves to have a teddy bear-type character that everyone can turn to. For the staff at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, that teddy bear is, has, and always will be Dr. Webber. Therefore, whether you love him or not, the one thing we can always count on is that he will simply “be” invincible and immortal.

In fact, most fans would be very upset if they were to tune in and one day find that he was leaving the show.  We laugh with him, we cry with him, and we will always want more of him. He is just as significant as the two other always there characters: Meredith, who is the designated star of the show, and Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) who we love for her spunk. Webber has simply been through too much for us to stand for him being gone from the show.

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