‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Fans Still Can’t Handle This ‘Supergirl’ Shout-Out

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a doctor from Seattle!

That reference makes no sense in a vacuum, but it makes perfect sense if you watch both Supergirl and Grey’s Anatomy and are hip to the fact that the second most important character on the show is played by Chyler Leigh, who was on Grey’s in a former life.

And this isn’t even the first time the show has referenced one of its actors’ past work. 

Fans catch a sly reference to the past

Chyler Leigh on the red carpet
Chyler Leigh | Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Sharp-eared Supergirl viewers on Reddit caught the reference on a recent episode when Leigh’s character was talking to another woman, who asks, “So you were a  doctor before you joined the FBI?” Leigh’s character responds, “I had a job, actually, up in Seattle for awhile.” 

That couldn’t have been a coincidence, and viewers got a kick out of the in-joke, with one person making their own in-jokes: “What made you leave Seattle?” “Was in shooting and then a plane crash” “Seattle!” “Well the plane crashed on the way away from Seattle…” “Were you really a doctor” “Surgeon” “Specialty?” “It was going to be brains.”

Then another person pointed out “I just realized after seeing this post, her name is Alexandra “Lexie” Grey on Grey’s Anatomy and Alex Danvers on Supergirl.” That one must be a coincidence. Probably? Either way, one other viewer finally saw the light, saying “OMG NOW I REALISE WHERE I KNOW HER FROM!” 

Leigh flies from Seattle to National City

Leigh had been on Grey’s Anatomy from 2007 to 2012 playing Lexie Grey, the half-sister of the main character Meredith Grey. The newer Grey earned the dubious distinction of being named the “most pointless” character on the show because, as one fan put it, “All she did in the end was break up with Mark and then sleep with the next available guy until she died.”

Lexie died a particularly traumatic death when she perished in a plane crash at the end of season 8. In real life, Leigh said she was leaving the show to spend more time with her family, and her departure wasn’t one of the stormier ones that Grey’s Anatomy is rather infamous for. However, it wasn’t long after she left Grey’s that she got the gig on Supergirl in 2015. 

In the superhero show, Alex Danvers is the title character’s adoptive sister in that her family took Kara Zor-El in after she crash-landed on Earth and helped her become Kara Danvers. When Kara decided to become a superhero, she joined forces with her sister, who is the director of a government agency that defends Earth from alien forces – the kind Supergirl keeps tangling with. 

‘Supergirl’ plays with its actors’ past

Supergirl is played by Melissa Benoist, whom viewers met on Glee in 2012, when she was one of the new batch of kids that arrived at McKinley High School after the seniors graduated. Benoist’s character, Marley Rose, was a poor shy girl with a strong voice seen as a new Rachel, the Glee club star (Lea Michele), who had moved to New York City. 

After Supergirl started in 2015, Benoist gave an interview to EW, (one where she references an eye injury that she later revealed was the result of domestic violence) where she was asked about doing a musical episode. She replied, “It’s kind of a running joke though because I’m not the only one on the show that does. Jeremy Jordan is an amazing singer. Mehcad Brooks is a rapper. Chyler Leigh is a singer. I think David Harewood sings as well. We’ve all joked that it would be funny. I don’t know if the producers have seriously thought about it.” 

Eventually, they did. Grant Gustin, who plays the Flash on Supergirl’s sister show, had also appeared on Glee. This led to a crossover Flash episode that gave Benoist and Gustin excuses to sing. Benoist sang the standard “Moon River” while she and Gustin at the hands of a villain called The Music Meister, who was played by Darren Criss, another Glee veteran. 

Leigh hasn’t sung on Supergirl, but she did sing Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 AM)” on the musical episode of Grey’s