**WARNING: This piece contains spoilers from Seasons 1 through 18 of Grey’s Anatomy!)
Grey’s Anatomy has given us 18 seasons of inspirational, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking quotes. Never afraid to comment on contemporary issues, Grey’s has taken us on journeys alongside grounded characters who somehow know how to say exactly what we need to hear in the moment.
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We’ve chosen eight of the show’s deepest quotes that we think will inspire you to view love, loss, and life in a new way.
It always feels like there is just one person in this world to love…
Full Quote: “It always feels like there is just one person in this world to love. And then you find somebody else, and it just seems crazy that you were ever worried in the first place.” – Lexie Grey
Everyone’s favorite little sister, Lexie Grey, tells this to a young patient in a heartbreaking dilemma: she and the boy she is in love with both have cystic fibrosis, an illness that puts them at risk by being in close contact with each other. The patient can either stay with the boy she loves, risking his life, or decide to move on and protect them both.
Whether we’re getting over a break up or moving on from someone we never had the chance to date, this quote serves as a reminder that there are so many people out there who can love us — we just have to give ourselves the chance to go find them.
You want to be a mess, be a mess… I can take it.
Full Quote: “You want to take it on out on me, go on. You want to yell and hit and scream because things are hard at home, okay. You want to be a mess, be a mess. I don’t care, I can take it.” – Alex Karev
After losing their patient in surgery, Alex Karev comforts a distraught Meredith with these honest words. This quote reminds us of the beauty of unconditional love — we can be as messy as we want in front of the people who love us, and they are going to keep loving us anyway.
Unconditional love spans beyond the confines of romantic relationships, and can be just as meaningful when we find it with our friends.
Just let yourself be happy…
Full Quote: “Don’t spend all your time wondering what you are, or who you like, or whether it’s right for you or wrong for you. Just let yourself be happy.” – Callie Torres
Callie Torres and Mark Sloan have arguably one of the best friendships on the show, and this line from one of her many lectures to him shows us why. As Mark laments his romantic troubles with Lexie, Callie reminds him not to get caught up in the details.
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Scrutinizing who we love, why we love them, and what that love means can easily get in the way of our relationships. This quote reminds us that sometimes it’s more simple than that — we have to choose the love that will make us the happiest, no matter what anyone else thinks.
If you love someone, you tell them.
Mark Sloan’s final words to his plastics-posse-protégée, Jackson Avery, serve as an excellent reminder about the bravery in being bold. It can be easy to decide that there is too much risk in being vulnerable with someone else – it can be terrifying to tell someone else how you feel without knowing how they’ll respond.
This quote reminds us that sometimes we just need to take the risk and be bold in letting others know how we feel. That kind of boldness can help us find the passionate love that we desire.
Horrible things happen – Happiness in the face of all that is not the goal…
Full Quote: “Yes, horrible things do happen. Happiness, in the face of all that, that’s not the goal. Feeling the horrible, and knowing that you’re not gonna die from those feelings, that’s the point.” – Dr. Wyatt
As much as Grey’s has inspired us with its love stories, it doesn’t shy away from exploring the pain that occurs when we lose love. Meredith Grey is no stranger to loss, and explains her feelings of grief surrounding the loss of her patients, relationships, and family to her therapist, Dr. Wyatt.
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Instead of telling Meredith to try and see the positive, Dr. Wyatt’s quote reminds us that sometimes, in the face of loss, the best thing we can do is just survive. She reminds us that simply being able to carry ourselves through these horrible moments is enough, and eventually, this will carry us back to the beautiful moments, too.
I lost myself for a long time…
Full Quote: “He took something from me. He took little pieces of me. I lost myself for a long time, and I promised myself I’d never feel that way again.” – Cristina Yang
Losing other people is incredibly difficult, but there is a unique pain in losing ourselves. Cristina Yang, who is often viewed as one of the strongest and most confident characters on the show, leans in to her vulnerability as she explains how her loyalty to ex-fiancé Preston Burke led her to betray herself.
This quote reminds us that we can lose ourselves when we compromise our values for other people. We can lose ourselves when we decide to value someone else’s happiness more than our own. Cristina’s words show us how, eventually, we must learn to forgive ourselves for all of the little ways that we can let ourselves down. As we learn from our past mistakes, we discover how to treat ourselves better in the future.
Never let go. Never give up…never surrender
Full Quote: “Fight until you can’t fight anymore. Never let go. Never give up. Never run. Never surrender. Fight the good fight. You fight even when it seems inevitable that you’re about to go down swinging.” – Amelia Shepherd
As she prepares to perform a death-defying brain surgery, iconic neurosurgeon Amelia Shepherd reminds us to find courage, and to believe in ourselves even in the most difficult moments in life. Overcoming self-doubt, her co-workers’ fears, and less-than-favorable odds for success, Amelia pushes on, and ends up saving the life of her patient.
This quote reminds us that the only way to truly lose is to stop trying, and encourages us to keep fighting even when we feel like hope is lost. Sometimes, that last leap of faith will be the one that brings us to success.
We show up for each other in spite of our differences…
Full Quote: “At the end of the day, the fact that we show up for each other in spite of our differences, no matter what we believe, is reason enough to keep believing.” – Miranda Bailey
No article about Grey’s Anatomy would be complete without a quote from the master of speeches herself, Dr. Miranda Bailey. As her fellow doctors fight to save her son after he’s seriously injured, Miranda fights to keep her hope and faith alive.
Miranda holds on to her faith as she’s uplifted by the other doctors, finding comfort in the sense of community that they create together. This quote reminds us that at the end of the day, in spite of all of the things that pull us apart, we can always find our way back to each other.
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