Seriously, Grey's Anatomy Leaves McMark

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The One, Only McDreamy
You know a show has become a hit when it starts leaving a mark -- however small -- on contemporary culture.

The characters on Grey's Anatomy are known for their witty banter, and a couple of their catch-phrases have become a part of the American lexicon. Beginning very early in the first season, a "McLabeling" trend.

The first reference was, obviously, to Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd. Smitten with Derek from day one, Dr. Meredith Grey used the term to convey that he was, in her estimation, the quintessential heartthrob.

As the clever phrase caught on with audiences and cast members alike, other characters (and pets, and inanimate objects) began being McLabeled.

Derek's former best friend, Dr. Mark Sloan, was nicknamed "McSteamy" by the interns when he visited Seattle Grace. In addition to his handsomeness, Sloan was also Addison Shepherd's infamous former lover, contributing greatly to his McSteaminess -- and the "McVomit" George was about to choke down if forced to listen to his counterparts gush over Sloan any longer.

When Addison (who is "McHot" herself, according to normally macho intern Alex Karev) and Derek decided to reconcile, Meredith lamented losing her "McLife" and adopted a shaggy "McDog" to help herself cope. When her canine companion fell ill, he was treated by Finn Dandridge, who promptly became known as "McVet."

McVet & McDog
Additionally, the characters often overuse "seriously" both at the start and the end of sentences, making their questions or statements more emphatic.

Creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes says that Krista Vernoff, one of the show's top writers, used the saying all the time, and it quickly grew contagious, spreading to the cast and permeating its dialogue.

What do the writers have in store for us next season? We can only wait and see, but chances are that these and other amusing trends will surface.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."