Skip to main content

Grey’s Anatomy is well known for its drama. That’s a large part of the reason it has such great ratings. It’s also known for its toxic characters.

While waiting for the next season to premiere, fans on Reddit discussed the most toxic characters that have appeared on the show over the years. Here are the top three characters, and the reasons why fans both love and hate them.

Mark Sloan

Eric Dane as Mark Sloan on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Eric Dane as Mark Sloan on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Michael Desmond/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Fans were on the fence about Mark. He had moments when he was a complete jerk, only to switch to a really sweet guy within the same episode. To say that he left fans conflicted was an understatement. 

When Mark first appeared on the show, it was to reconnect with Derek after he slept with Addison. That sort of became a theme for Mark. He would sleep around with multiple women, but due to his roguish charm, he was often forgiven for it.

Fans had a hard time forgiving him when he cheated on Lexie, however. She had grown from an annoying character no one could stand to one of the most prominent on the show, and the way he treated her left fans heartbroken.

Mark did manage to make things right, as he always did, and fans were heartbroken when he was later killed off. Fans continue to argue about whether he was truly a toxic character or not. 

One fan summed it up well when they said: “I actually don’t think Mark was toxic. He was very upfront about who he was and what he wanted.”

Owen Hunt


‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Seeing Michael O’Neill in Other Shows Still Brings Back Bad Memories

Few characters get as much hate as Owen Hunt. From the first episode, it was clear there was potential between him and fan-favorite Cristina Yang. Yet he strung her along, pressured her into a relationship, and showed very controlling behaviors. 

Once that relationship ended, Owen went on to show the same tendencies with other women. He also had a vicious temper that didn’t win him any points with fans.

One fan stated, “For me OWEN he brings out the worst in every woman with whom he has been with, EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.”

Another Reddit user said, “I really believe it’s Owen. Over the years he’s become the one with the least redemptive qualities, if he hasn’t lost them at all yet.”

Derek Shepherd

Patrick Dempsey starred as Derek Shepherd on the show, and it wasn’t clear whether Dempsey or the character he played caused more conflict. There were plenty of rumors that Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo didn’t get along behind the scenes.

Yet Dr. Shepherd, also known as McDreamy, was considered the most toxic character on the show by many fans. 

There were many red flags that McDreamy wasn’t such a dreamboat after all. The biggest red flag came in the season one finale when it was finally revealed he was married. This happened when his wife Addison showed up and announced it to Meredith. The fact that Derek was livid that she outed him was very telling.

Things went downhill from there. He cheated on Meredith multiple times, took credit for their medical trial, and refused to let Meredith move on.

One Reddit user said:

“For me, it’s Derek, but there’s a lot more to it than just narcissism and playing with Meredith’s feelings. He slut-shamed her and got so angry, treating her horribly, after she started to move on while he was still with Addison, he was extremely selfish, and was overall just a very self-righteous person and bad husband. At least the other characters get called out on their crap and have worked on themselves.”

Many fans feel that things got dark after Dempsey left the show. But then things smoothed out and began to pick up again. Now that season seventeen is swiftly approaching, fans are eager to see who will be the new character who really shakes things up at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.