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Meredith Grey

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Meredith Grey

Meredith Grey
Grey's Anatomy character
The season nine promotional photograph of Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey
First appearance "A Hard Day's Night"
1x01, March 27, 2005
Created by Shonda Rhimes
Portrayed by Ellen Pompeo (adult)
Nicolette Collier (young)
Claire Geare (age 3)
Aria Leabu (Season 11 flashbacks)
Nickname(s) Mer
Twisted Sister
Dirty Mistress
The perfect 12 year old
Occupation Chief of General Surgery
at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
Board Member at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
Title Chief of General Surgery
Family Ellis Grey (mother)
Thatcher Grey (father)
Lexie Grey (half-sister)
Molly Thompson (half-sister)
Laura Thompson (half-niece) Maggie Pierce (half-sister)
Spouse(s) Derek Shepherd (2009-2015) (his death)
Significant other(s) Finn Dandridge
Children Zola Grey Shepherd (daughter with Derek)
Derek Bailey Shepherd (son with Derek)
Ellis Shepherd (daughter with Derek)

Meredith Grey, M.D. is a fictional character from the hit medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy, which airs on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States. The character was created by series' producer Shonda Rhimes, and is portrayed by actress Ellen Pompeo. Meredith is the series' protagonist, and was introduced as a surgical intern at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital (later Seattle Grace-Mercy West Hospital, and still later Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital), eventually obtaining the position of resident, and later obtaining the position of attending, and on October 1st, 2015 Was named Chief of General Surgery. As the daughter of world-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, Meredith struggles with the everyday life of being an attending, maintaining the relationship with her one-night stand and eventual husband Derek Shepherd, her new-found motherhood, and the friendships with her colleagues.

Meredith is the narrator of the show and serves as the focal point for most episodes. Pompeo's connection with Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) is acclaimed as a high point of the series. Rhimes has characterized Meredith as not believing in good or bad, but doing what she thinks is right. Pompeo has been nominated for several awards, winning many of them, for her performance on the show. Grey has been positively received by television critics, with Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times referring to her as "the heroine of Grey's Anatomy". News of Pompeo leaving arose when it was made clear that her contract ended after the eighth season. Speculation occurred again when Rhimes reported that Grey's Anatomy will be returning for a ninth season. TVLine reported that Ellen Pompeo has signed on for two more years, along with her fellow cast members.

Pompeo's performance has been well received throughout the show and she has been nominated for multiple awards for her portrayal of the character in the long running ABC medical drama including Satellite Award for Best Actress and multiple nominations at the People's Choice Awards for Best Actress winning at 39th People's Choice Awards in 2013 and again in 2015 at 41st People's Choice Awards, Pompeo has also received a Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series nomination at the 64th Golden Globe Awards.


  • Storylines 1
  • Development 2
    • Casting and creation 2.1
  • Professional career 3
    • Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 3.1
    • Seattle Mariners 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Dr. Meredith Grey is the daughter of world-renowned surgeon Ellis Grey, who suffers from T.R. Knight), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Grey initially resists Shepherd's advances, but they eventually begin a relationship. She is surprised by the arrival of Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), Shepherd's wife, having been unaware that he was married. Shepherd struggles to choose between the two, but ultimately returns to Montgomery. Grey is devastated and turns to searching for her father, Thatcher, though their brief reunion fails to give her any closure regarding her childhood. She learns that her father remarried and had two more daughters, which is why he never fought for her. Grey has a series of one-night stands, including one with O'Malley, who is in love with her. When she cries in the middle of their encounter, their friendship temporarily ends. Grey embarks on a relationship with veterinarian Finn Dandridge (Chris O'Donnell), but it comes to a close when she reunites with Shepherd.

Her mother experiences a completely lucid day, and expresses her great disappointment at how ordinary Grey has turned out to be. Following a ferryboat accident, Grey is knocked into the water and has to be rescued by Shepherd. She flatlines at the hospital, and awakens in an "afterlife", where she interacts with deceased former acquaintances. Ellis dies in the interim, and Grey meets with her mother, who tells her that she is anything but ordinary and urges her to wake up. Grey is subsequently resuscitated. She is promoted to a resident, as her half-sister Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), begins working at Seattle Grace Hospital as an intern. Grey initially rejects Lexie's attempts to form a relationship, but slowly softens towards her. Shepherd pushes Grey to make a greater commitment to their relationship than she feels able to, and the two break up once more. He begins dating a nurse, Rose, and Grey sees a therapist, Dr. Wyatt (Amy Madigan), to seek happiness. She initiates a neurosurgical clinical trial, enlisting Shepherd as a consulting neurosurgeon. The trial fails repeatedly, but the final patient they treat survives, which leads them to reuniting and moving in together. When Stevens is diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma, Grey convinces Shepherd to operate on her. He agrees to perform the surgery, and later proposes to Grey in the hospital elevator. Stevens begins to plan the perfect wedding for a reluctant Grey, but when, on their wedding day, Shepherd discovers that Stevens has a second brain tumor, the couple let her and Karev marry instead.

The development of Grey and Shepherd's relationship, during season three, was disliked among television critics.

Grey and Shepherd marry by writing their wedding vows on a donate part of her liver to him. Thereafter, she discovers she is pregnant soon before a hospital shooting, endangering Shepherd. In the midst of the crisis, Grey miscarries the baby. She learns that she has a "hostile uterus", which leads her to consider her other possible genetic flaws. Shepherd, worried about the possibility that she will develop Alzheimer's, initiates a clinical trial hoping to cure the disease. Grey opts to work on the trial, with Shepherd. When the chief of surgery, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.)'s wife, Adele, is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she receives a spot on Shepherd's trial. Grey tampers with the drugs so that Adele does not receive the placebo. She and Shepherd decide to adopt Zola, an orphaned baby from Malawi, and make their marriage official. When the truth about Grey's tampering comes out, however, a furious Shepherd tells her he cannot raise a child with her. Grey is fired, and tries to conceal both this and her marital separation from the adoption counselor. Although Webber steps down as chief of surgery and takes the blame for the trial tampering to protect Grey, Zola is taken away. She and Shepherd reconcile and fight to get Zola back, eventually having her returned to them. Meanwhile,Meredith experiences several traumatic events, such as an ambulance accident with Alex Karev (Alex Karev). As her last year of residency is coming to a close, the residents travel around the country, searching for the best jobs in their specialties. In order to finish their residency, the residents must take the medical boards, and Grey passes them successfully. She decides to take a job offer at The Brigham and Women's Hospital, and is subsequently involved in an aviation accident, killing Lexie, and leaving her and her co-workers stranded.

Following their rescue, Grey becomes an attending general surgeon at Seattle Grace Mercy West. Her newfound attitude leads to her being dubbed "Medusa" by the hospital's new interns. In mid-season, Grey becomes pregnant for the second time. In the aftermath of the plane accident, the hospital is sued and eventually found guilty of negligence. Each victim including Shepherd, Yang, Robbins and herself must receive $15 million of compensation, which leads the hospital to a near bankruptcy as the insurances refuse to pay. Those doctors and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) buy the hospital with the help of the Harper-Avery Foundation to prevent it from closing, and each become members of the new directing board. She asks Bailey to perform gene mapping on her to finally know whether she has Alzheimer's genes like her mother or not and she tests positive for more than one of the genetic markers for the disease.

During this time, Meredith discovers she is pregnant again and she gives birth to a son. The baby is delivered via C-section during a storm because it was not in the correct position. While stitching Meredith up, the obstetrician who operated on Meredith is called away to another patient and intern Shane Ross completes the stitching. When blood begins to appear from everywhere, Meredith diagnoses herself in as being in DIC. Bailey performs a spleen removal, which saves Meredith's life. In return, Derek and Meredith name their son Bailey.

Having given birth and having two kids at home Meredith is torn between being a great surgeon and a great mother citing multiple times "I don't want to become my mother". This causes a rift between her and Cristina as Meredith is no longer up on the current evidence to support clinical judgement. Derek agrees that he would step back from surgery and take care of the kids more and let Meredith shine. Meredith is called to make a decision about Richard's care as he named her as POA after he was electrocuted during the storm. Meredith currently takes up a research study that includes 3D-printing a portal vein. Meredith and Cristina, still not seeing eye to eye, continue to argue and keep their distance from each other until Cristina approaches Meredith at April's wedding saying that she's doing all of it alone while Meredith has a husband and kids to support her. Meredith admits of being jealous of Cristina because she has become what they both set out to be (great surgeons) and nothing but time and focus to dedicate to surgery. They realize that they are becoming different people and growing apart. Cristina later decides she has to depart Seattle. Meredith and Derek's relationship begins to struggle again when Derek goes to Washington DC to meet with the president in taking on a clinical trail. He comes back to Seattle with a chance to work in the National Institutes of Health in Washington DC and has found Meredith work in James Madison Hospital. Meredith is upset because she has built a life in Seattle and a family and doesn't want to move.

Meredith helps Cristina write her Harper Avery speech and is there when she loses. Having struggled to come to terms with it, she finally accepts that her best friend is going to moving across the globe. They say goodbye and dance it out one last time. Cristina says to Meredith that "Don't let what he [Derek] wants eclipse what you need. He's very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are". Derek later decide to stay in Seattle with his family. Unbeknownst to Meredith, a plausible half-sister, a daughter of Ellis and Richard, starts working at Grey Sloan Memorial.

Meredith finds out she has a half sister called Maggie Pierce who is now working in Grey Sloan Memorial. Meredith thinks she would have remembered if her mother was pregnant and thinks Maggie is lying until she finds a hospital document confirming the revelation. Meredith tries to piece together her relationship with her mother and half sister by going through old videos of her mother. She eventually recovers her repressed memories of the pregnancy when she's views her mother's diary and has a change of heart, choosing to accept her and begin building a relationship. While her relationship with her grows, her relationship with Derek stalls because he constantly keeps telling her he gave up a chance in Washington D.C. to stay with her and later confesses to Amelia he feels drained from the focus he has to give on his family. Meredith later tells him to go to Washington DC and they part ways, with her being left with the children alone.

Meredith is widowed when Derek Shepherd is a victim in a car accident and taken to a poorly trained non-trauma center hospital which fails to recognize his head injury. Derek becomes brain dead, and police arrive at Derek and Meredith's residence to notify her that Derek has been in an accident. Meredith begins to imagine arriving at the hospital and seeing Derek in stable condition, alive and alert. The scene then switches to reality with Meredith arriving at the hospital to see Derek in grave condition, where she spends time with him and then consents to remove him from life support, shortly before she's hit with the first waves of morning sickness.

After Derek's death, Meredith returns to Grey Sloan Memorial to inform the others of his passing. Following the funeral service, Meredith impulsively packs up her children and flees to an unnamed location. Months pass by while her friends and family are unaware of her whereabouts. Eventually, we are shown the parallels between Meredith and Ellis' lives. Both have lost the love of their life, both run away from Seattle following their loss, and both eventually give birth to a daughter. We are again reminded that "the carousel never stops turning." Meredith names her newborn daughter after her mother, Ellis. Meredith returns to Seattle and the hospital, where we see her begin a surgery as her symbolic first step of moving on. After Dr. Bailey becomes chief she dumps all of her patients on Meredith. At the end of the day Dr. Bailey then appoints Meredith as the Chief of General surgery and she Meredith accepts the position.


Casting and creation

Whether or not Pompeo would return after her contract expired, had always been a speculative question.
Pompeo discovered Grey's Anatomy after a year of doing nothing but reading scripts looking for the project that suited her best.[2] While casting actresses for the part of Meredith Grey, series' creator Shonda Rhimes said: "I kept saying we need a girl like that girl from Moonlight Mile, and after a while, they were like, 'We think we can get that girl from Moonlight Mile.' I spent time with her and got to know her, and then we started casting for the men." She reported that Grey was not an easy role to cast.[3] Rhimes was informed that the actress in question was Pompeo, who had a deal in place with ABC, having previously tested for a pilot show on the network.[4] It has been speculated that Pompeo was the first character to be cast, but when asked, she said she did not know of this.[5] When asked of how she created Pompeo's character, Rhimes said:

Pompeo was cast as the program's titular character, described by Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times as "a prickly, independent sort whose ambition, and ambivalence, is fueled by the fact that her mother was a gifted surgeon and now suffers from Alzheimer's."[7] Grey also serves as the show's narrator, and as such was likened in early reviews to Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the narrator and protagonist of Sex and the City.[8][9] After her initial contract with Grey's Anatomy expired, Pompeo negotiated a new one, in which she would be paid US$200,000 per episode, making her the highest-paid cast member on the show.[10] In 2012, Forbes recognized Pompeo as the eighth highest-paid actress on television, with a salary of US$275,000 per episode for her role on Grey's Anatomy.[11]

Pompeo's second contract with Grey's Anatomy expired after the eighth season, and speculation arose that she would be leaving after this.[12] In September 2011, Pompeo reported that she is open to the idea of extending her contract, if invited. She told TV Guide: "I would never turn up my nose at [Grey's Anatomy]. As long as the stories are honest and truthful, and Patrick [Dempsey] and I feel there is material for us to be passionate about, it still beats a 9-to-5 job any day. If I hear from the fans that they want us to keep going, then I would continue because we owe them everything." E! Online reported in May 2012, that Pompeo, as well as all original cast members have signed on for two more years.[13] With the Huffington Post‍‍ '​‍s announcement of season nine having officially been renewed, the contract is set into place for Pompeo to return.[14]


  • Storylines 1
  • Development 2
    • Casting and creation 2.1
  • Professional career 3
    • Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals 3.1
    • Seattle Mariners 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Whatever I come up with, [Pompeo] is always game to play. She's been so good at what she's done that I've just let the character do what I've wanted the character to do, which has been wonderful. She's managed to sell every single thing because she's really believed it. The incredible thing is that you can have no fear to write what you think because she is always able to deliver.

Executive producer Betsy Beers on developing Pompeo's character[15]
Grey is the protagonist and focal point of the series. She has been called "intelligent, compassionate, hard-working, oftentimes outspoken, easily distracted, and indecisive" by Grey's Anatomy executives.[16] Pompeo says she is unaware if her character knows how to have fun, adding: "All of my scenes with [Dempsey] are the same—we're either breaking up or having sex."[17] Her personality has evolved over the past few seasons from depressed, to happy and "fixed". Pompeo said to Good Morning America, "I am so incredibly lucky to have Patrick [Dempsey], to have the chemistry that we do, we have an amazing relationship, and it's like any other relationship, you have your ups and downs. But we work it out, and we've found a way to do this for this long and still get along, and make it work and believe in what we're doing." Pompeo told Entertainment Weekly: "It's awkward with Patrick [Dempsey] because he's like my brother. As soon as the camera is off, I'm like, 'Is your hand on my butt?' But there are millions of girls who have been waiting for this, so I feel an obligation to the fans."[18] Rhimes used the dog "Doc", which Meredith and Derek shared, as a metaphor of their relationship during the second season.[19] She characterizes Grey as doing what she thinks is right:
McKee deemed Grey and O'Malley's sexual encounter irreversible.
The character had a one-night stand with George O'Malley, in the second season. Series writer Stacy McKee, said of the sexual encounter: "There’s no turning back. There’s nothing George and Meredith can do. The damage is done – things will never be the same. They’ve just changed something important in their lives FOREVER and…they are freaking out."[21] Grey's character development has also been known as an influence on the creation of her half-sister, Lexie Grey. Particularly, it has been made clear that they both share the same motives. McKee offered her thoughts: "Meredith and Lexie both want to succeed. They want to be strong. They want to feel normal. They want, so much, to be whole. But it’s a struggle – a genuine struggle for them. Being hardcore doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes, they have to fake it."[22] Grey's personality has been compared with that of Alex Karev's. Rhimes offered the insight:
"I like to create moments for him and Meredith. Because, in my head, they are very similar people. Even though Karev can be such an ass, even though he’s arrogant, even though he gave O'Malley the Syph. He and Meredith are both lost, both lonely, both former screw-ups who got their acts together. In another lifetime, they would be really good friends. So throughout the season, we watch them pause from time to time to look at each other and see that they are mirrors of one another.
— Shonda Rhimes, Grey Matter[23]
Pompeo fights for a truthful storyline for her character—she wants it to be realistic and says you can't always wrap it up in a neat little package.[24] Referring to Grey's tampering with Shepherd's trial, Pompeo said: "Listen, what Meredith did clearly crossed a line. Derek has a right to be pissed."[25] Following the tampering, Rhimes said she believes that Grey and Shepherd are meant to be together and that it in the end, they will end up with each other.[20] Grey's relationship with Cristina Yang, has been looked upon as "sisterhood", and Yang has repeatedly referred to Grey as "her person". This led to the two being dubbed "the twisted sisters". At the conclusion of season three, the duo went on a "honeymoon" together, and Rhimes called it her favorite detail of the finale.[26] Grey has been characterized, by some, as "whiny". Rhimes offered her insight:

Rhimes felt that the 100th episode showed well Meredith's evolution throughout the show from a "dark and twisty girl" to a "happy woman". She said: "She is the thing her mother wished for her. She is extraordinary. Because, to get past the crap of your past? To move on? To let the past go and change? That is extraordinary. To love? Without fear? Without screwing it up? That is extraordinary. It makes me happy to see her happy."[28]

Following the departure of Patrick Dempsey's character, Rhimes was quoted as saying that "...Meredith and the entire Grey’s Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless." [29] With at least a year left in Pompeo's contract with the show, viewers are sure to witness some of the most difficult times of Meredith's life yet.


The character has received reviews ranging from overwhelmingly positive to weary response from television critics throughout the course of the show. Grey has constantly been defined as "the heroine of Grey's Anatomy".[31] At the time of the show's inception Newsday's Diane Werts praised the character stating, "Like Hugh Laurie's irascible "House" title character, star Ellen Pompeo's newly minted Dr. Grey conveys such substance that you simply can't stop watching."[32] Ellen A. Kim of Amazon said the show overdosed on her "overly simplistic" voice overs.[33] After Pompeo not receiving an Emmy nomination for her work as Grey, McNamara of the Los Angeles Times suggested that Pompeo, "who has worked very hard and against all narrative odds to make Meredith Grey an interesting character at last" should have received a nomination at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.[34] Later, during the the twelfth season Western Gazette gave Ellen Pompeo the credit for carrying the show and re-ittirated." (It's) time for Pompeo to finally win an Emmy Award."[35]Tanner Stransky of Entertainment Weekly referred to Grey as the "trusty voice over master" of Grey's Anatomy.

Pompeo's connection with Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) is acclaimed as a high point of the series.

Former television columnist for The Star-Ledger Alan Sepinwall expressed his boredom on the focus given on Grey's relationships storylines while reviewing the second season's finale: "On those occasions when Meredith's not involved in a plot about her love life, I do kind of like her, but those moments are so infrequent compared to her constant angsting over McDreamy -- not to mention all those seemingly unrelated storylines that always turn into a metaphor for that relationship -- that I really, really can't stand her."[36] During the show's third season, the development of the character received negative reviews, with Cristopher Monfette of IGN stating that her storyline has become "some bizarrely under-developed sub-plot about depression and giving Derek a season's worth of reconsidering to do."[37] Also during the third season, Robert Rorke of the New York Post noted the decline in Meredith's role in the show, expressing disappointment: "She used to be the queen of the romantic dilemmas, but lately, she's been a little dopey, what with the endless McDreamy soliloquies."[38] Similarly, found their storyline in the fourth season overused, "This whole 'Oh I need more time,' but 'Oh, I'm jealous if you look at someone else' angst was tired in the second season, frustrating in the third and now a total channel changer. The will-they-or-won't-they plot doesn't work because they've already been in and out of that relationship too many times. Meredith is a nag and McDreamy is henpecked."[39] On a more positive note, her relationship with Shepherd was included in AOL TV's list of the "Best TV Couples of All Time" and in the same list by TV Guide.[40][41] During the sixth season the development of the character was praised, Glenn Diaz of BuddyTV commented that "You gotta love Mer when she's gloomy.", in addition to praising Pompeo's performance. In her review of the episode Tainted Obligation she wrote "I felt for Meredith, but after Lexie's heartfelt begging and pleading, I was happy that Mere finally grows up and casts her selfishness aside. Three seasons ago Meredith would never have dreamed of putting Lexie first, and I was proud of her for giving up part of her liver—her offer to get to know her dad was an even bigger milestone."[42] Reviewing the first part of the eighth season, TV Fanatic lauded the character and wrote: "this season belongs to Meredith Grey. She is the heart and soul of the show and has been outstanding. This is a character that used to be so dark and twisty and has now grown into a more mature woman. Ellen Pompeo has been at the top of her game this season."[43]

Wit & Fancy praised the transformation of the character and stated, "Of course Meredith will still make rash decisions like when she took off with Zola, or tampered with the trial but she does things out of love and the kindness of her heart now and not because she is dark and twisty. Considering where Meredith was at the beginning and where she is now, I think she went through a remarkable journey and did more than just growing up, she finally became “all whole and healed“."[44]

Maura O'Malley of Bustle also lauded the development of the character ahead of season 12 saying, "When the series began, Meredith was just a girl sitting in a bar celebrating the exciting next phase of her life. She had graduated medical school, she was starting her residency at a prestigious hospital, and she was simply looking for a no-strings attached, one night stand. What she got instead was a complicated romantic relationship that rivals Romeo and Juliet — but the key is, she wasn't searching for love. Working and learning were — and continue to be — her priorities, while McDreamy was simply an added perk. Hopefully, the new season of Grey's Anatomy will reflect this change in tone, because Meredith is a strong, independent woman — and she will be just fine."[45]

Later in the series, Ellen Pompeo received critical acclaim with numerous critics lauding her portrayal of the character. Reviewing the episode She's Leaving Home CarterMatt called her the "anchor" for Grey's saying, "Throughout, this was an episode completely anchored by Ellen Pompeo, who has done some of her best work ever on the show the past couple of weeks. Tonight, she cried, she fought, and she learned that she was carrying his child."[46] and added that Pompeo is often "ovelooked" saying, "Her subtlety is probably why she is often overlooked."[47] Rick Porter of Zap2it reviewing "How to Save a Life" wrote, "Without Meredith, and without one of Pompeo's strongest performances in her long time on the show, "How to Save a Life" would have run the risk of coming across as a baldly manipulative death episode, the likes of which the show has done several times before. He added. "How to Save a Life" may not be the ideal Emmy-submission episode for Pompeo, considering Meredith is off screen for more than half of it. But it's among the best work she's ever done on the show."[48] USA Today also lauded Pompeo saying, " In some ways, the episode (How to Save a Life) was even more of a showcase for Pompeo. She had some of the more memorable and well-played scenes, from her angry response to the doctor who tries to tell her what her choices are, to her resignation when she realizes she has to comfort and motivate the young doctor whose mistakes cost Derek his life."[49]

The relation between Meredith and Cristina has been acclaimed and been a highlight of the show. Mark Perigard of the Boston Herald considered the friendship to be "the secret core of Grey's". Aisha Harris of Slate called their relation The Best Female Friendship on TV adding that "With those two characters, showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her team of writers created one of the most nuanced and realistic portrayals of female friendship on television."[50] Samantha Highfill of Entertainment Weekly called Cristina and Meredith the best female friends on TV because "they don’t try to be". There’s nothing fake about them, which is a rarity in how female friends are portrayed on television. She further went on to call them 'soulmates', " And even though they’d never dare get sappy enough to say it, they’re soul mates.[51] Margaret Lyons of Vulture (magazine) called the friendship " dream BFF relationship." and the primary focus of the show, "One of the series' calling cards has been its depiction of female friendship and particularly the primacy that friendship enjoyed over romantic relationships." [52]

Mark Perigard of the Boston Herald considered Meredith's friendship with Cristina (Sandra Oh) to be "the secret core of Grey's".

E! at the time of Sandra Oh's exit wrote, "In Grey's Anatomy's 10-year history, the doctor duo has been through a lot together: weddings, deaths, plane crashes, bomb threats, shooting, you name it, they've lived (and danced) through it. " and added, "And with the three words, "You're my person." Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey solidified their status as the small screen's best best friends ever."[54] Marama Whyte of Hypable wrote, "Critically, the key relationship in Meredith’s life was not her romance with Derek Shepherd, but her passionate, indestructible, absolutely enviable friendship with Cristina. Talk about relationship goals; who wants McDreamy when Cristina Yang could be your person. These two were the real powerhouse, and Shonda Rhimes didn’t shy away from making the audience remember this. Derek was the love of her life, but Cristina was her soul mate. More than anyone else, Cristina challenged Meredith, was honest with her, and inspired her. For these reasons, it was Cristina who was constantly the source of Meredith’s character development, not Derek."[55]

Pompeo's character has also been used to define the image a strong woman, Bustle previewing the 12th sesson wrote, "Meredith Grey has always been capable of being on her own. Grey's Anatomy is about Meredith's journey. Men and romantic interests are a part of her life, but they are not the priority. She doesn't need McDreamy. Grey's Anatomy doesn't need McDreamy. So even if the writers do decide to create a new love interest for Ms. Grey (Martin Henderson, perhaps?), it wouldn't matter. I have faith that the show's writers will do this storyline justice, because TV needs more strong single women — and Meredith seems like the perfect candidate." The site added, "This past season was almost a trial run for a McDreamy-less Grey's Anatomy. When Derek left for Washington D.C. to pursue his research, Meredith stayed behind and focused on her own career. She didn't chase him. Her priority were her children and the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Meredith showed that she would never put aside her own dreams and aspirations for a man, and I believe that this won't change after Derek's death."[56]

Pompeo has won and has been nominated for multiple awards for her portrayal of Grey. She and the Grey's Anatomy cast won Best Ensemble in a Television Series at the 2006 Satellite Awards.[57] During the following year's ceremony, she was named Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.[58] She was among the Grey's Anatomy cast members awarded the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series accolade at the 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards,[59] and received nominations in the same category in 2006[60] and 2008.[61] Pompeo received a Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series nomination at the 64th Golden Globe Awards – the program won Best Drama Series at the same ceremony.[62] Also in 2007, Pompeo and the female cast and crew of Grey's Anatomy received the Women in Film Lucy Award, which honors those "whose work in television has positively influenced attitudes toward women."[63] Her performance has garnered two People's Choice Award nominations. At the 37th People's Choice Awards, she was nominated against Dempsey and Oh in the Favorite TV Doctor category,[64] and the following year, she was a contender in the Favorite TV Drama Actress category.[65] Since 2012 Pompeo has received nomination at the People's Choice Awards every year in two categories at 40th People's Choice Awards alongside Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh respectively. She won the Best Drama Actress Award at both the 39th People's Choice Awards[66] and the 41st People's Choice Awards.[67] In 2007, show-business awards reporter Tom O'Neil commented that Pompeo was overdue an Emmy Award nomination for her role in Grey's Anatomy.[68] Readers of O'Neil's awards website, The Envelope, included Pompeo in their 2009 nominations for Best Drama Actress in the site's Gold Derby TV Awards.[69] Entertainment Weekly launched the EWwy Awards in 2008, to honor actors who have not received Emmy nominations. Pompeo was nominated in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category, and placed fourth, with 19 percent of readers' votes.[70]



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