‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Fans Actually Hated the ‘Ghost Denny’ Plot

To this day, Denny Duquette is remembered as on Grey’s Anatomy‘s most unforgettable and compelling patients.

Many fans and viewers still frequently discuss Denny’s role on the show, which says a lot considering his character reaches back to the very initial seasons of ABC’s medical-based television series. When audiences were first introduced to Denny during season two they learned he was a patient of Doctor Preston Burke.

Denny had been living with a viral cardiomyopathy diagnosis which eventually led to his heart giving out. Much of his storyline revolved around Denny’s fight for a heart transplant.

Throughout his medical journey at Seattle Grace Hospital the viewers saw him get to know the medical staff and team, and there was one doctor he had a very special connection with. 

A look back at Denny Duquette and Izzie Stevens’ love story on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ 

Katherine Heigl on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Katherine Heigl on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Randy Holmes/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

From the start, the connection between Izzie Stevens and Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy was undeniable. The more time the pair spent together the stronger their feelings for one another became. Of course, there was the ever so slight issue of Denny’s impending death. However, as the saying goes, love can often make people do crazy things, and in this case, that is exactly what happened. 

Izzie’s judgement on the show became clouded when she found herself lying to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in order for Denny to get a heart transplant. The situation became extremely dicey when Izzie and the other residents put Denny’s life in danger in order to create the test results that corroborated Izzie’s lies that she told UNOS.

Denny was able to survive the situation at hand and even received the heart transplant he needed so badly. Unfortunately, it still would not end well for his character. Shortly after proposing to Izzie Denny died of a stroke. However, as many Grey’s Anatomy fans already know, that would not quite be the end of Denny Duquette. 

Izzie Stevens and Denny Duquette part II

After Denny dies Izzie goes through a bit of a rough patch. It makes complete and total sense.

However, things start to get incredibly weird when Izzie begins seeing Denny’s ghost. At first, Izzie chalks it up to residual grief, especially since at the time she was working on a case that had an odd and unsettling connection to her former flame.

As Izzie continues to see Denny’s ghost she began thinking maybe he was haunting her. Eventually she confides in Alex Karev who she was dating at the time, but he didn’t seem very concerned, and neither did she, which continues to be a sore spot for fans and viewers. 

Why did some fans and viewers of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actually hate the ‘Ghost Denny’ plot? 


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The moment Izzie Stevens appeared on screen having sex with her dead fiancé might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, or, in this case, the storyline.

So many of Grey’s Anatomy‘s fans and viewers hated this plot and storyline, for quite a few reasons, but there seems to be one glaringly large one. Many people have expressed their biggest issue with Izzie Stevens’ hallucinations is that the circumstances surrounding them were hard to believe. Eventually Izzie and the other doctors realized she was hallucinating from a result of cancer.

This still seems to be a huge point of tension considering all the character’s medical background and knowledge. This Reddit thread illustrates the many unpopular opinions fans have felt towards this infamous storyline.

As one Reddit user simply put it, “The main problem with this plot is that it went on forever before she (A DOCTOR!) realized that, no, seeing and feeling a ghost is NOT normal.”

Overall, though many people loved Denny’s characters, they didn’t care for his extended posthumous storyline.