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Amelia Shepherd might not be the first name people think about in Grey’s Anatomy, but it doesn’t mean her character doesn’t pack a punch.

Since her first appearance on the show, the oft-embattled doctor has been through the wringer and cannot seem to catch a break. Like so many victims of trauma, Amelia sometimes lashes out. With this in mind, fans on Reddit asked what friendship with Amelia would be like in real life. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Who is Amelia Shepherd?

According to her page on Fandom, Amelia is one of the best neurosurgeons in Greys universe and has appeared in all three series under the umbrella. Like her older brother, Derek, she was bit by the medical bug early and followed her dreams until she reached the top of her job.

However, it didn’t come this far without some hiccups in the road. Amelia is an alcoholic who struggles to maintain her sobriety.

Add to this the death of her brother, a pregnancy, several bad relationships, and her toxic relationship with family, and it’s easy to see how she ended up the way she is. Speaking about this with other fans on Reddit, one user took all of this into account when asking a straightforward question. 

Will Amelia be your friend?

CATERINA SCORSONE | Ron Batzdorff via Getty Images

Amelia tends to be on the right side of things, but she can also have a penchant for self-destructive behavior that, purposefully or not, bleeds into the lives of other doctors and patients. The entire discourse started when Reddit user u/bookworm6879 asked a simple question.

“Would you be friends with Amelia IRL? I like Amelia, but she’s seen like an exhausting person to be friends with?” 

Many other users echoed that same sentiment, with the word “exhausting” getting repeated several times throughout the thread, as u/pimpdaddy30 put with the short, concise, “No, she’s exhausting.”

While people acknowledge that Amelia isn’t a bad person — which Grey’s is filled with — the baggage of her extra drama combined with her lackluster people skills make her a chaotic force that many people do not want a part of. 

Amelia’s addiction helps explain some of her issues, which many credit for remaining true to life. However, the aftermath of her struggles, from addiction to her tumor to her brother’s death, has changed her forever. 

“I drink coffee with recovering addicts all the time … fascinating and enchanting women,” wrote u/Lybychick. 

Others see her as a classic case of ADHD and trauma. Whatever the case may be, Amelia is one of the most three-dimensional characters in Grey, and the fact that she is hard to read shows a shocking level of nuance for a show that’s oft accused of sacrificing quality for melodrama. Still, in a funny way, Amelia fits right in

 While she might have a heart of gold, it sometimes comes at the cost of social norms. 

Amelia on Amelia


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The fans are not alone in picking up on Amelia’s quirks. Scorsone herself has been open about the way she views her character on the show. Honing in on the chaos, trauma, and demons of her former life, Scorsone lets that drive her performance. After all, she notes that trauma isn’t something that people get over. It’s something that becomes a part of them, for better and worse. 

“This is a very core trauma for Amelia, and there’s something about trauma that goes beyond logic,” she explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “When someone has undergone serious trauma, regardless of whether you think objectively — “Yes, this person is going to be very patient and accepting of it” — but there’s something in the nature of trauma itself that makes whatever it was that traumatized the person almost unsayable.”

Scorsone deserves a lot of credit for tapping into something tangible on a show that sometimes misses the mark when it comes to representing problems such as this. Amelia is far from perfect, but her willingness to let her past play out in front of others is also commendable.

Yes, it sometimes backfires in self-destructive ways, but it comes from the best possible place. Perhaps the question shouldn’t be about whether one would be Amelia’s friend, but how they might handle a friend like her in real life.