There are so many awesome shows on the air — too many, our DVRs might whine — but few have influenced our cultural lexicon quite like Grey's Anatomy. There have been over a hundred episodes, and it almost seems like each episode has over a hundred quotables. But aside from being funny or significant, some quotes just encapsulate the character's personality perfectly. So we present to you our picks for each character's quintessential line of dialogue. See if you agree...
...Not only because it is a catchphrase of nearly every character but because Izzie in particular had a lot to be incredulous about: her nearly-nude portraiture being bandied about the locker room, her being tasked to resuscitate a deer in the parking lot, her fiance being offed by an errant blood clot, her multi-million-dollar windfall of an inheritance from said fiance, her steamy sexcapades with the ghost of said fiance, her best friend jumping in front of a bus, et cetera, et cetera.
Derek: "It's a beautiful day to save a life."
That's the Derek (Patrick Dempsey) we know and love: optimistic and charming with just a pinch of God-complexy arrogance.
Bailey: "But I am Dr. Bailey. I hear everything. I know everything. I'm watching each and every one of you. And I will return."
Not even impending childbirth could keep the indomitable Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) down. She's five-feet-zero of pure Surgical-Nazi omnipotence.
Meredith: "Okay, here it is: your choice. It's simple — her or me — and I'm sure she is really great. But Derek, I love you, in a really, really big pretend-to-like-your-taste-in-music, let-you-eat-the-last-piece-of-cheesecake, hold-a-radio-over-my-head-outside-your-window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me, choose me, love me."
And thus, shipper picspams on Tumblr were born. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but this Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) quote alone cemented Mer/Der's place in the great fictional romances of all time.
Addison: "And you must be the woman who's been screwing my husband."
Helluva entrance, Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery-Shepherd... all leggy and fabulous and to-the-freakin'-point!
Lexie: "I love you. Oh, God... oh, my God, that just came flying out of my face. I love you. I just... I did it again. I love you. I do. I just — I love you. And I have been trying not to say it. I have been trying so hard to just mash it down and ignore it and not say it. I am so in love with you. You’re in me. You’re like — it’s like you’re a disease. It’s like I am infected by Mark Sloan and I just can’t think about anything or anybody and I can’t sleep. I can’t breathe. I can’t eat. And I love you. I love you all the time. Every minute of every day. I love you."
Diarrhea of the mouth? Yes. But hugely romantic and gratifying? Also yes. Kudos, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh)... and R.I.P.
Mark: "If there's anything I can do to cheer you up... I'm around. Day or night. Night in particular."
McSteamy or Man Whore? Wherever you fall in your judgment of Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), you can't deny that, by all indication, he's a rock star between the sheets.
Alex: "Today's the day my life begins. All my life I've been just me. Just a smart-mouthed kid. Today I become a man. Today I become a husband."
No character has experienced more growth than Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Think about it. He once was a crass ass. Now he's a crass ass who saves babies and puts his own life on the line for his coworkers.
Richard: "You can make your way back from anything."
And Richard (James Pickens Jr.) should know: the way he's recovered from alcoholism and rebuilt his reputation twice seems not only impossible but improbable.
Callie: "I am excellent. Any other hospital would be thrilled to have me. I build arms and legs out of nothing, I am a god. I am a superstar."
Callie's (Sara Ramirez) confidence and hardcoreness are two of the reasons we fell in love with her... the third being her underwear dancing, of course.
Arizona: "This is not general surgery on a miniature scale. These are the tiny humans. These are children. They believe in magic. They play pretend. There is fairy dust in their IV bags. They hope, and they cross their fingers, and they make wishes, and that makes them more resilient than adults. They recover faster, survive worse. They believe."
When you think of Arizona (Jessica Capshaw), you think of deserts, cacti, and mesas... oops, we mean sunniness, idealism, and sneakers with wheels. And, of course, an unyielding love and respect of children. Is it just a coincidence that after her character debuted, there was an on- and off-screen Grey's baby craze?
Owen: "We can do this. Just meet me halfway. All you have to do is say yes."
Cristina has no other soulmate than Owen (Kevin McKidd): this we believe with every fiber of our couch-potato bodies. And watching their romance unfold and ebb and flow has been alternately exultant and upsetting. So we focus on the lovey moments like this one.
Cristina: "It's like candy but with blood, which is so much better! "
Cristina (Sandra Oh) is probably more quotable than any other character on the show, but if she has one love in life, it's surgery. And gnarly medical cases. And, yes, blood.
Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.
Dan is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @SixFourDan.
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