These Past ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Storylines Did Not Age Well

Still going strong after 16 seasons on the air, Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most successful shows on television. The show consistently draws in viewers and has made Shonda Rhimes a household name.

Over the years, there have been several memorable storylines that fans love to watch over and over on Netflix. Stories like the hospital shooting (and Christina’s subsequent PTSD), the plane crash, and the Meredith/Derek/Addison love triangle have kept fans watching.

But then there are episodes where some fans wonder if they are watching the same show. Episodes that you look back on and they only get worse. Yes, even great shows have episodes and storylines that don’t age well. For Grey’s Anatomy, there are three that jump to the top of the list. 

Izzy’s brain tumor

Izzy sees Denny's ghost on Grey's Anatomy
Katherine Heigl and Jeffrey Dean Morgan on Grey’s Anatomy | Photo by Scott Garfield/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

If Katherine Heigl was looking for a storyline deserving of an Emmy, this wasn’t it. For many fans, the episode where Izzy’s love interest and heart patient Denny dies is one of the most heartbreaking and moving episodes. But the storyline a few seasons later seriously gave fans bad feelings about the character and the relationship. 

As we would later find out, Izzy had cancer. She started to suffer hallucinations, including very intimate hallucinations of her dead ex. The fact that none of her friends noticed this is just another thing that makes this storyline age so poorly. Izzy ends up sleeping with Denny all over the hospital and at home and many of the episodes just came off as weird.

Looking back at some of the innovative and groundbreaking episodes over the years, it’s hard not to feel that the quality of this storyline was subpar. 

The Meredith and George hookup

This one felt wrong at the time and it definitely hasn’t aged well. Grey’s Anatomy is known for powerful storylines. There’s usually a purpose to the stories and they tell them in an engaging and entertaining way. But the storyline between George and Meredith just seemed forced.

George had always been in love with Meredith and Meredith had always been in love with Derek. So when George and Meredith hooked up, fans were left confused and betrayed. 

It was always obvious that there was nothing between George and Meredith other than a strong friendship. Meredith knew it, the fans knew it, and even George knew it. So why the writers felt it necessary to do this storyline is still confusing. Looking back over a decade later, it’s just one of those storylines that you fast forward through when you are watching reruns. 

The death of Dr. Derek Shepard

As the air date approached for Patrick Dempsey’s final episode, fans knew what was coming. Derek was going to die. But fans did not know how he was going to die. The manner in which he ended up in the hospital was not too surprising. There have been plenty of car accidents during the show. It was a simple and straightforward way to kill him off. But knowing that his death was due to a medical mistake, that was a different story. 

After the show aired, fans dwelled more and more on his death. Didn’t he deserve more than a medical mistake? No one would sit on top of a hill and reach down for their phone. And why wasn’t Amelia called to say goodbye?

For many fans, Derek’s death seemed rushed and disrespectful. And that’s not even counting the fact that key characters, like Christina and Addison, were missing from the funeral and that whole Penny storyline. For many fans, this is one storyline that only gets worse over time.