Only A True Grey's Fan Can Match This Quote To The Character

There's nothing like a long-running series to form a cultural cornerstone for a whole swath of the viewing public, and among the broadcast television juggernauts that are not variations on NCIS, Grey's Anatomy stands out. Actress Ellen Pompeo has played Meredith Grey for fourteen seasons on the hit series, and led Grey's Anatomy from Grey's beginning as an intern, through the development of her life and career—and the lives and careers of her classmates, and some family members, too.

The show has also sparked a minor revolution in both the use of female leading characters and characters played by people of color; this is part of what inspired series creator Shonda Rhimes, who set out to make a show that would delve deeply into the professional lives of women. Critics consistently call it one of the top television dramas of all time, and audiences agree. The multiple award-winning show has a devoted following that has waxed and waned over the years, but high viewership has always kept the show's ratings in the top echelons consistently over the years. With vivid, sometimes groundbreaking characters (and so many of them), there are memorable lines galore that move from 2005 all the way to this past May. So, here's the challenge: Which characters said the following things?

1Who said this: "Rule number one: Don't bother sucking up. I already hate you. That's not gonna change."

From the beginning, the show has demonstrated the charming, and vulnerable, and tough, sides of doctors, nurses, administrators, and bosses. Some bosses can be tougher than others, but few in viewers' lives will actively frighten their underlings the way a senior person in Grey's fictional hospital can, and that goes double for critical care staff. While explaining how things were going to work, who said this: "Rule number one: Don't bother sucking up. I already hate you. That's not gonna change."

2Who said this: "You want to call me Dr. Model? That's fine. Just remember that while you're still sitting on two hundred grand of student loans... I'm out of debt."

Sometimes the characters got into arguments about all kinds of things. When they did, the viewing audience got to examine the issues raised, too. How does a person go about banking enough money for college at all—let alone paying for medical school? In one memorable fight, the characters got into it over a certain set of choices. Who said this? "You want to call me Dr. Model? That's fine. Just remember that while you're still sitting on two hundred grand of student loans... I'm out of debt."

3Who said this: "Syph-boy. It's got a nice ring to it; kind of like Super-boy, only diseased."

The interns did not just argue; sometimes they joked around with each other in a way that could be by turns good-natured or a little mean-spirited. Just like real people do, these fictional folks could cross the line sometimes. Word got around in their little circle that a certain colleague had what used to be called in bygone days a "social disease"—when it did, who said this? "Syph-boy. It's got a nice ring to it; kind of like Super-boy, only diseased."

4Who said this: "When are you gonna figure out that I know everything?"

The interns' lives were intense at work and at home, and sometimes the tension (and its inevitable release) spilled over from home into the workplace rather than the other way around. This could make for some juicy gossip, which probably helped break the tension of their incredibly tense workdays. In the middle of a pointed conversation about each other’s personal lives—complaining about a certain someone's screaming orgasms and the lack of sleep those caused—who said this? "When are you gonna figure out that I know everything?"

5Who said this: "You were like coming up for fresh air. It's like I was drowning and you saved me. That's all I know."

The characters in Grey's are often articulate—sometimes painfully so. Their inner dramas hit viewers hard and have such staying power (in part because they articulate so beautifully what they are experiencing, whether it be joyous or painful—but especially painful). In the course of talking about why this character was so shell-shocked and in need, who said this? "You were like coming up for fresh air. It's like I was drowning and you saved me. That's all I know."

6Who said this: "...when you decide how important it is for you to hate me... let me know."?

These beloved characters' lives spill over into the workplace in a big way sometimes, and personal and professional overlap in ways that can get uncomfortable. Relationships form and sometimes shatter under the constant pressure. Like any human being struggling to be direct and as honest as possible with the people close to them in those moments when it counts most, they sometimes confront each other. Who said, "...when you decide how important it is for you to hate me... let me know."?

7Who said this: "That's not a dog, it's a hyena that escaped from the zoo, dressed in dog clothing."?

The life of an intern is not all conflict, death, and anguish, of course. Once in a while there are moments of fun, and things can get downright funny—even if only for a moment or two. Grey's does have its fair share of those moments, though maybe not as often as a tearful fan might hope. In the middle of an ongoing saga about a dog, who said, "That's not a dog, it's a hyena that escaped from the zoo, dressed in dog clothing."?

8Who said this: "I have held your hand, every time you asked. I've earned the right to be seen. To be respected."?

At a particular moment, one character's feelings bubbled over in a measured outburst that Meredith's dog precipitated. The dog did not mean to trigger an argument, of course, but the perceived contrast in behavior between the loving patience Meredith showed her pet and the character who said this line got to be too much. After suffering for long enough, who was it that finally blasted out this, "I have held your hand, every time you asked. I've earned the right to be seen. To be respected."?

9Who said this: "Everybody in this hospital has those days, Addison and no one makes a scene in front of their peers. Get it together."

Sometimes just letting loose is a really bad choice, and sometimes it happens in front of inconvenient (not to mention professionally damaging) witnesses. When Addison lost it with Derek and screamed at him about Meredith in a semipublic place, she shrugged it off as a manifestation of her having particularly bad day. Who called her on it with this line? "Everybody in this hospital has those days, Addison and no one makes a scene in front of their peers. Get it together."

10Who said this: "I'm happy to say the lines and do whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing if it will make everyone feel more comfortable. But I don't—I don't know how to do this."

What a person does in crisis can be defining for who they are as a person. Sometimes people rise in response to pressure, and sometimes they break. Professional pressure is nothing new or unusual for the interns, but personal tragedy comes out of the blue for them. In numb disbelief, who said this? "I'm happy to say the lines and do whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing if it will make everyone feel more comfortable. But I don't—I don't know how to do this."

11Who said this: "Sometimes you have to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. Mistakes are painful, but they're the only way to find out who you really are."

One of the enduring reasons for Grey's huge appeal is the gentle (or not-so-gentle) life-lessons embedded in every episode. Most often those come in the form of voice-overs from the central character, but sometimes they don't. Whose voice was it that gave us these wise words to live by? "Sometimes you have to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. Mistakes are painful, but they're the only way to find out who you really are."

12Who said this: "I am a happily independent, successful woman and I like it that way, only when you say stuff like this, it just makes things too hard."?

Central to the show's main purpose is the portrayal of strong, independent women who have complexity and depth—that core mission has been part of the Grey DNA since before the show even started filming. Every once in a while—rather than showing their independence—they actually voice it in so many words. Who said, "I am a happily independent, successful woman and I like it that way, only when you say stuff like this, it just makes things too hard."?

13Who said this: "You're probably not gonna want to be friends with me anymore, because the sheer intensity of my happiness is going to make your teeth hurt."

Sarcasm happens when people are under pressure. It can be funny, and sometimes it can put people off balance—wondering whether what is being said is intended to be taken seriously or not. In a moment of self-deprecation—and somewhat confusingly for those hoping the character really was choosing a life of uncomplicated joy—who said the following? "You're probably not gonna want to be friends with me anymore, because the sheer intensity of my happiness is going to make your teeth hurt."

14Who said this: "Last time I saw you, you stole my patient's heart, and then you got shot. Karma rocks."

Popularly put, karma is the word for what people mean when they say, "What goes around comes around." It can be like the universe taking revenge on one's enemies. A character on Grey's once reveled in this idea while talking to an old adversary about past events and how much the character was now enjoying the situation. Who was it who said this? "Last time I saw you, you stole my patient's heart, and then you got shot. Karma rocks."

15Who said this: "Talking first is for losers, I'm winning."

The central characters can get so wrapped up in what's happening to them that they get a little bit unhinged sometimes, each in their own particular way. When all of the craziness comes together in one room, for one person to see and appreciate—and comment on—it can be a moment of pure comedy gold. Who was it in a scene like that, who refused to speak to someone else and said, "Talking first is for losers, I'm winning."

16Who said this: "This is the happy ever after part. And in the happily ever after, the guy is there all the time."

One thing—Grey's certainly is not a fairy tale, with everything coming out all right in the end. That does not mean that the characters do not wish they were in that kind of story, however—everyone probably does at one time or another. When a moment arrived that looked like a long-running difficult situation would finally be resolved, who said? "This is the happy ever after part. And in the happily ever after, the guy is there all the time."

17Who said this: "I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive."

The greatest puzzle most people face is how to go on when it seems impossible to keep going. When survival seems impossible but the person still survives, it can feel like a kind of miracle. Part of what makes stories and shows about medicine (like Grey's, for example) so compelling is facing that mystery, and getting a glimpse of how other people overcome their own impossible odds. So who said this? "I believe that believing we survive is what makes us survive."

18Who said this: "You're going to have to put up with me being nice and sweet for a little while."

Central as female characters are to the show, the women as portrayed are not usually what one would normally describe as "sweet" or "nice." They are often tough as nails, deliberately closed off emotionally, even stoic. This can be mistaken for heartlessness however, but these women are too caring for their own good. Now and then, the softer side throws someone else off. Who said this? "You're going to have to put up with me being nice and sweet for a little while."

19Who said this: "I am not optimistic, I am not hopeful. I am sure. I am steady."

The characters on Grey's do not just live through their work; their work defines who they are as human beings. When faced with a major life event, this character drew on their experience as a doctor to come up with a way to put into words what it meant to face the future. It was not the most poetic way to approach the occasion, but it rang true. Who was it who used these words? "I am not optimistic, I am not hopeful. I am sure. I am steady."

20Who said this: "People are stupid, and just want to be loved. It's the only reason anybody does anything."

Along with their brilliant medical minds, some of the characters are keen observers of human behavior. This skill goes with being able to work with people effectively in any capacity, whether it is their bodies, minds or both. Now and then, viewers get to hear some of their accumulated wisdom, which can hit a little too close to home sometimes. Who made this observation? "People are stupid, and just want to be loved. It's the only reason anybody does anything."

21Who said this: "You were in a lion fight, Stevens. Just because you didn't win doesn't mean you don't know how to roar."

The competition in their work can be overwhelming, and the characters do on occasion have moments of self-doubt in the middle of their struggles. Worst of all is when they feel they have lost a fight. Those moments are rare, but they are all the more unnerving because they are not part of what normally happens for these characters. Who reassured another character with these words? "You were in a lion fight, Stevens. Just because you didn't win doesn't mean you don't know how to roar."

22Who said this: "I need you to pretend that I can do this, even if you don't believe. Because if you abandon me now, I will never make it."

Confidence in the operating room does not immediately translate to confidence in the rest of their lives. The doctors on Grey's can be profoundly unsure of themselves, and they rely on each other not just for professional advice and support in their work, but—in a pinch—for emotional backup, too. Who pleaded this to their friend? "I need you to pretend that I can do this, even if you don't believe. Because if you abandon me now, I will never make it."

23Who said this: “Yes, horrible things do happen. Happiness in the face of all of that, that's not the goal.”

Sometimes the wisdom in the show comes out through the experiences and everyday challenges that the characters face and overcome in every episode. Sometimes however, the characters find themselves in situations where someone is dispensing wisdom because to do so is part of the job at hand. One character in particular had an ongoing series of interactions that fit this description. Who noted this? “Yes, horrible things do happen. Happiness in the face of all of that, that's not the goal.”

24Who said this: “You didn't get your claim in Montana from the bank. You got it 'cause you put a fence around it and shot the ass off anyone who walked by.”

Characters have other personality traits besides being driven doctors, saving lives in the face of overwhelming odds and under enormous pressure. Some are rough, some are gentle, and some are unable to put anything gently—no matter how critical it is that they try. Who revealed their cowboy nature when they said this? “You didn't get your claim in Montana from the bank. You got it 'cause you put a fence around it and shot the ass off anyone who walked by.”

25Who said this: "Now you're good. You're excellent and you can win all the contests. But if that's why you're doing this then you shouldn't be."

Questioning one's motives in a highly lucrative profession should come with the territory, but in medicine, it gets more complicated. It can be about achievement, perfectionism, self-justification, or even guilt. In any case however, since the job is about saving lives the motives of these doctors are rarely questioned by someone else. Who poked someone with this declaration? "Now you're good. You're excellent and you can win all the contests. But if that's why you're doing this then you shouldn't be."

26Who said this: "You make me wanna be better. You make me want to be good. And I think I can. With you. I think I can."

Brilliant as they are in the operating room, the characters on Grey's sometimes fumble with expressing themselves when the moment comes to make a simple declaration to someone they care about. It can seem so obvious when one is on the outside looking in and watching the scene, but in the heat of an intense emotional time which person struggled to say this? "You make me wanna be better. You make me want to be good. And I think I can. With you. I think I can."

27Who said this: "I'm going to keep talking relationships and rainbows and crap. And I'm going to make plans for tomorrow. Because that's what you do, Karev, you make plans."

Humor gives some characters a way to blunt the sharpness of the pain they themselves feel as they talk about something really difficult. It can be way to speak the truth when no one involved in a conversation can handle the whole truth. Who gently mocked Alex while communicating the following, about the grief they carry about the deaths of children? "I'm going to keep talking relationships and rainbows and crap. And I'm going to make plans for tomorrow. Because that's what you do, Karev, you make plans."

28Who said this: "I have no clout with God. God doesn't even know who I am. Which sucks because I could... I could use some help."

The old joke is that doctors—particularly surgeons—like to play God. They certainly feel like the problems of the human race are theirs to solve. So if a person feels like they are God, where does that leave them when they are in need and want to pray? Who mourned their lack of religious connection with the following? "I have no clout with God. God doesn't even know who I am. Which sucks because I could... I could use some help."

29Who said this: "Look, I've destroyed lives before. Several in fact, and yours is not one of them."

Doctors hold their patients' lives in their hands, and they sometimes hold more than those—they hold the happiness of the people who are close to them, too. When faced with a colleague's crisis, one character attempted to do the right thing—something that would set the colleague back on track as well as get shouted at for their trouble. Who defended their actions this way? "Look, I've destroyed lives before. Several in fact, and yours is not one of them."

30Who said this: "I don’t care what you do. Just go do something with your life because you have one."

Loss and grief are complex, and it fits with Grey's—such a complicated show—that the characters try to grapple with this complexity and that they do it in a way that is itself complex. As the series has gone on, some characters have left—some to return later and some are gone forever, perhaps to appear again in flashbacks. When facing someone's death, who told Amanda the following? "I don’t care what you do. Just go do something with your life because you have one."

31Who said this: "I didn’t want to do this, I didn’t want to have to come to you for anything, ever."

Sometimes the high stakes decision a character is called on to make involves the life or death of someone who they do no want to save, particularly. Sometimes what a character is asked to do is not performing a medical procedure. One character begged another character in the following way, and faced a challenge that was an emotional risk, only indirectly a physical one. Who was it? "I didn’t want to do this, I didn’t want to have to come to you for anything, ever."

32Who said this: "If you're having feelings, then you need to shut them down. You need to shut them down and talk to him about his future and remind him that he has one, past all of this pain."

Part of what the characters do to support each other looks almost abusive—sometimes they are talking each other into the toughness of mind that doing the job requires. Weakness can mean death for their patients, and few if any of the characters on Grey's allow the space for that kind of vulnerability. Who said this? "If you're having feelings, then you need to shut them down. You need to shut them down and talk to him about his future and remind him that he has one, past all of this pain."

33Who said this: "There is always a way when things look like there’s no way. There’s a way to do the impossible, to survive the insurvivable. There’s always a way."

When faced with the possibility of death, some people rise to the occasion, and if they are patients, they make their doctors rise, too. Doing the impossible is simply what happens on a normal day for these characters. Sometimes the most inspiring words come from the most unexpected source—so which unexpected source said this? "There is always a way when things look like there’s no way. There’s a way to do the impossible, to survive the insurvivable. There’s always a way."

34Who said this: "You think a successful career is gonna make you happy. You think you know things; you know things and nothing else matters. No one else matters. People do matter."

Perhaps the most unexpected moments in episodes are when a character does something surprising, or comes to a moment of self-realization. These characters think a great deal, occasionally about themselves and what they want out of life, and—now and then—they awaken suddenly to things about themselves. This makes for great drama. Who insisted this? "You think a successful career is gonna make you happy. You think you know things; you know things and nothing else matters. No one else matters. People do matter."

35Who said this: "Breakthroughs don't happen because of the medicine. Real breakthroughs happen because someone is scared to death to stop trying."

Sometimes the show tackles more specific questions than the meaning of life, like the state of research science, and how that rarefied world operates within a hospital. Surgeons and medical researchers share a drive for success that makes them face impossible odds and keep going. When one character talked about the urgent need for more Alzheimer's research and why it drove this character, who said this? "Breakthroughs don't happen because of the medicine. Real breakthroughs happen because someone is scared to death to stop trying."

36Who said this: "You're married! You don't get to have an opinion about my pathetic forays into internet dating."

As things like Internet dating have surfaced in the wider culture and become a normal part of everyone's existence, they show up in the lives of the characters on the show, too. In the middle of an outraged description of a bad date, someone got a little testy with the person they were talking to about the whole undignified experience. Who was it that said this? "You're married! You don't get to have an opinion about my pathetic forays into internet dating."

37Who said this: "You are fearless, and I don't mean that in a good way. Most people don't tell the guy with the gun to shoot them."?

Facing impossible tasks can be a kind of courage; it certainly requires courage to keep going when the job is impossible, or dangerous, or both. Courage has many forms—not all of them good. This is because there is a reason for fear, a reason that has to do with staying alive to fight another day. Who told Meredith, "You are fearless, and I don't mean that in a good way. Most people don't tell the guy with the gun to shoot them."?

38Who said this: "I am a hundred percent certain that if I let you back in my life again you will hurt me again, so I don't want to see you. This isn't a ploy."

With long-term characters there are long-term relationships that come and go, and break into tiny pieces beyond repair—sometimes. Two characters had a spectacular breakup on the show. One of the two tried to patch things up with the other after coming back from leaving, but their ex's response was this. Who said it? "I am a hundred percent certain that if I let you back in my life again you will hurt me again, so I don't want to see you. This isn't a ploy."

39Who said this: "There is more than one soulmate for everyone. I mean, someone like you, there'd be a line out the door as soon as word got out."?

Just because the characters are driven and sleepless most of the time and usually make really bad decisions (occasionally even disastrous ones) about their personal lives does not mean that the show has no whimsy or romance. It does; no one but a complete romantic could talk this knowledgably and convincingly about soulmates. Who said, "There is more than one soulmate for everyone. I mean, someone like you, there'd be a line out the door as soon as word got out."?

40Who said this: "If you can think of a reason, any reason at all why the universe is so screwed up... and random and mean, now would be an amazingly good time to tell me."

The meaning of life comes into focus when life and death are daily trials, so it is not surprising that the universe sometimes seems capricious and cruel to these characters. They see so much trauma that some of it rubs off on them. Who had this to say after an accident involving a close friend? "If you can think of a reason, any reason at all why the universe is so screwed up... and random and mean, now would be an amazingly good time to tell me."

41Who said this: "I got legally married in a church. Look how well that turned out."

Self-deprecating humor seems to be what the characters on Grey's are most comfortable with; maybe it fits in best with their need for control. It also helps them let off a little bit of steam, relieves some of the enormous pressure they feel. In response to obstacles in the way of a good friend's wedding, someone offered the following thought about the nature of marriage. Who was it? "I got legally married in a church. Look how well that turned out."

42Who said this: "They're not quirks. They're these scary, nitpicky rules just to drive me crazy."

The characters work in such close quarters with each other, so many hours every day, that it would impossible for them not to get on each others' nerves at least sometimes. They are all unique too, with their own foibles and odd things that they must have just right in order to be able to work happily. One person's quirk—however—is another's deal breaker. Who said this? "They're not quirks. They're these scary, nitpicky rules just to drive me crazy."

43Who said this: "I want you to make a list of every surgery that you have ever dreamed of performing. Shoot for the moon and I will try to get you some."

Winning in surgery does not look like winning in an Olympic sprint, or even like graduation day. Winning comes in the shift to confidence, and the rewards are less tangible but more real. When one character moved into a more advanced way of functioning in the operating room, someone told her this—who was it? "I want you to make a list of every surgery that you have ever dreamed of performing. Shoot for the moon and I will try to get you some."

44Who said this: "My problems will still be my problems tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that."

Life hands all of the characters trouble, some more than others, but everyone's individual trouble feels like the most insurmountable of all—and it is—at least to them. Once in a while though, someone will be in the middle of their misery and pain and have a clear moment of perspective that lets them breathe again and move on. Who said this? "My problems will still be my problems tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that."

45Who said this: "Do not look for friends here. You won't find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will."

Ultimately, every surgeon has to be able to do the best work they possibly can, at the personal cost that they are most able to pay. For some, that means sacrificing any chance at having a happy home life, marriage, family. One of the doctors is especially solitary—and doesn’t necessarily mind giving those things up. Who said this to Cristina? "Do not look for friends here. You won't find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will."

46Who said this: "My version of family isn't like your version. You guys give each other crap and then you laugh about it. You'd walk through fire for each other."

Having a personal life and a real family is among the things characters give up in the name of becoming the surgeons they hope to be. Some choose not to do that. In either case, they have regrets—but time is limited and making hard choices is part of their job. Who said this about her idea of family? "My version of family isn't like your version. You guys give each other crap and then you laugh about it. You'd walk through fire for each other."

47Who said this: "Dr. Bailey doesn't need to bring anything. She is the thunder."

Viewers get so used to the central characters that it can be surprising how a new character responds to an old audience favorite. Bailey in particular had a dramatic moment of self-righteous anger in defense of a genome lab, in which she put herself on the line to save it—which caused a stir among the new interns. They were not sure if they had caused her indignation, or the board had. Who commented by saying this? "Dr. Bailey doesn't need to bring anything. She is the thunder."

48Who said this: "She'll never love again, but she's holding it together. That is crap. You've given up."

As new characters arrive, they take their places in the fabric of the show, telling hard truths at every tough moment to try and make each other better people and better doctors. They go deep, just as the original cast did, with as much complexity and making as many mistakes, and they challenge each other and everyone else around them. In Meredith's grief, who said this to her? "She'll never love again, but she's holding it together. That is crap. You've given up."

49Who said this: "This has never been my experience of happiness. That it lasts."

Life really can be awful. The alternative is definitely a worse outcome, though. What might look like symptoms of depression in most people comes off as simply a realistic appraisal of the situation for the surgeons on Grey's—or as realistic an appraisal as their constant brushes with death will allow them. When two characters were discussing the love life of another character, one of them said, "This has never been my experience of happiness. That it lasts." Who was it?

50Who said this: "I am like a rare, exotic bird, and if you stop me from teaching, I may be the last of my kind."

All the surgeons on Grey's are unique, and it can be a joy to watch them develop and live as they stumble through their lives. Each one has their own particular niche, and a set of talents that is irreplaceable. One doctor needed to defend the practice of their specialty and tried to convince the hospital to commit more resources, and said this while doing so. Who? "I am like a rare, exotic bird, and if you stop me from teaching, I may be the last of my kind."

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