‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Everyone Hates Thatcher so Much

Since the beginning, Grey’s Anatomy has always had characters fans collectively can’t stand and even hate. Many of these characters redeem themselves and become beloved characters, such as Addison Montgomery and Alex Karev. But some characters never really redeem themselves and continue to incur fan’s hatred, particularly Meredith’s mom, Ellis Grey. But let’s not forget Meredith’s father, Thatcher, in Grey’s Anatomy, either.

Who was Thatcher Grey?

Ellis was absolutely horrible to Meredith, even after Ellis was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. During a brief lucid episode, Ellis was displeased that Meredith was not the extraordinary person (in her opinion) that she raised her to be, saying, “Imagine my disappointment when I wake up after five years and discover that you’re no more than ordinary.” Needless to say, Meredith was deeply affected by the actions of her mom.

Meredith’s mom was definitely not her only dysfunctional parent. Her father, Thatcher Grey, left when she was a child, which he consistently blames Ellis for, saying she forced him to leave. And not only did he leave, he got a whole new family and ignored Meredith most of her life. Even when Meredith was older and Ellis was suffering from Alzheimer’s, he did not contact her and seemed oddly resistant when Meredith tried to connect with him. 

Fans really do not like Thatcher (for good reason)

Thatcher Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Thatcher Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’| Danny Feld/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

One user on Reddit started a thread titled, “Just a reminder, Thatcher Grey was the WORST,” and other users were quick to respond in support of this statement. Thatcher gave fans ample reasons to hate him outside of just being an absent father.

One user pointed out, “He has the nerve to put all the blame on Ellis, because she’s such a difficult woman!”

Other users referenced his alcoholism necessitating a liver transplant, for which Meredith ended up being a donor, saying, “Meredith didn’t have to help him at all, she only did it cause Lexie guilted her into it.” 

But one of the worst things Thatcher did, according to fans at least, was after his second wife, Susan, died due to complications from hiccups. When a distraught Meredith informed Thatcher, he slapped her and broke down. The day of her funeral, Thatcher came to the hospital, more than just a little drunk, and screamed at Meredith, informing her she was not welcome at the funeral, reiterating that Susan trusted her and she killed her.

One user simply stated, “He slapped Meredith. He was the absolute worst.” 

How did Thatcher die?

After Lexie died (sob), Thatcher remained sober, but did not reconnect with Meredith. In fact, Richard found out through a friend at AA that Thatcher had acute myeloid leukemia and was dying — and he was the one who told Meredith, encouraging her to see him before he died. She did not end up visiting until right before he died, and they initially had a very awkward conversation until Thatcher revealed that he had gone to Derek’s funeral. He said he knew if he talked to her it would be for him, not her, so he left without talking to her, letting her grieve.

After that admission, they were able to talk more easily and Meredith told Thatcher about her kids and Maggie. He expressed regret for not knowing her kids, and after she told him a little bit about Zola, Bailey, and Ellis, he peacefully died with Meredith next to him.   

Probably the best thing that came out of Meredith’s father leaving and getting a new family was Lexie. But of course, with this being Grey’s Anatomy, it couldn’t last. At least Lexie and Mark are together on Meredith’s beach.

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