23 Most Epic Grey's Anatomy Episodes

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Grey's Anatomy has aired 11 seasons' worth of episodes from 2005-present, and despite so many changes, there is no end in sight.

As we gear up for Season 12, we've picked out the most emotional, OMG-worthy and otherwise notable installments of ABC drama.

It was hard to narrow the list to just 23 (out of 244!) but these are the ones that stand out most to us over the years. How about you?

1. A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night
The series opens with Meredith removing a sofa pillow from the bare bottom of a man named Derek. The rest is history.

2. Freedom

As the fourth season finale gets underway, Meredith Grey works with Dr. Wyatt to understand what her mother was trying to tell her. By the time it ends, she has found catharsis, and her partner in life.

3. Map of You

Map of You
This Derek-centric hour was one of the high points of Season 10 so far, proving that the show's still got it.

4. Beautiful Doom

Beautiful Doom
As much as we love the majority of the collective cast, there is just something electric when the story is centered on Meredith and Cristina, as this Season 9 installment proved.

5. Dark Was the Night

Dark Was the Night
Henry passed and Teddy doesn’t know. Mer and Alex are stuck in the rain with a newborn and some bodies in the street. Cristina realized who she performed surgery on... and the news came that Zola is not coming back. Shonda tugged at our heartstrings on this one.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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."

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.