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Grey's Anatomy

The Worst Parenting Moments in Grey’s Anatomy

We saw how Catherine Avery meddled in her son Jackson's (Jesse Williams) life in Episode 5, Season 8: “Loss, Love and Legacy” of Grey's Anatomy, but compared to some of the doctors' parents, she's a saint! We got down to thinking about the most despicable parenting we've seen, and here are our picks for the worst offenders and their crimes:

5. Jane Burke
We've heard of bridezillas, but what about future-in-law-zillas? That's pretty much how we can describe Preston Burke's mom, Jane. She and Cristina (Sandra Oh) got off to a bad start when she walked in on her would-be daughter-in-law stripping for Burke. And then Jane pretty much commandeered the wedding and insisted on Cristina becoming more of a Burke. She even plucked Cristina's eyebrows to oblivion! We're surprised Cristina wasn't more of a runaway bride.

4. William Bailey
A Christmastime visit from her dad made Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) yuletide anything but merry: he criticized her harshly for pursuing her career while her marriage dissolved. But Bailey, never one to be submissive, argued that she was waiting for the true love that he and her mother shared and that her son was still well-loved and healthy. You go, Miranda!

3. Carlos Torres
Parents just don't understand, indeed! When Callie (Sara Ramirez) came out to her father, he did not take the news gracefully. He pretty much excised her from his heart and from his bank accounts. Worse, he came back with a priest to try to pray the gay away. Luckily, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) stepped in on Callie's behalf and convinced him that she's still his same old daughter and she's just as deserving of his love as ever.

2. Thatcher Grey
What with the absence and the drinking, Thatcher Grey was never a model father. But he reached a new low when he smacked Meredith after she couldn't save his second wife, Susan. Luckily for him, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) forgave and forgot — to an extent — and now father and daughter are cordial.

1. Ellis Grey
Meredith summarized Ellis's crimes recently when she was trying to convince Owen (Kevin McKidd) to support Cristina's abortion. She argued that a woman, like Ellis, who has a child despite prioritizing her career will end up resenting her child. We saw this firsthand when Ellis became lucid one day at Seattle Grace and berated her daughter for valuing happiness over ambition and becoming "ordinary." That burns! Good thing Ellis was nicer in Meredith's near-death experience.

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