Tragedy strikes Grey's Anatomy quite often. So much so that even the 11 worst leave out some notable ones, but these are the events that truly scarred us.
Arizona and Callie had already survived the car crash, the plane crash and all the drama that came with them? Then Arizona and Callie got Arizona pregnant and things were starting to look up, only for her to suffer a miscarriage. It was devastating.
Shane Kills Heather ... and Alex's Dad
Shane's victims get the two-for-one treatment here. Already knowing it's pretty much his fault that Heather died after he sent her to find Richard and she was electrocuted during the perfect storm, Shane goes through PTSD because of her death, takes on way too many shifts in the hospital and ends up losing Alex's dad in surgery because of a mistake he made.
Yes, she pulled through, but Meredith drowning following the ferry boat crash near the end of Grey's Anatomy Season 3 was tragic on many levels. Namely, seeing our heroine's skin turn blue as she faded into the great beyond, and knowing that she was seemingly depressed and giving up on life ... but also that the show made a serious plot utterly ridiculous by bringing back Denny and the bomb squad guy into the afterlife scene.
When Cristina suffered a miscarriage in Season 2, no one even knew she pregnant with Burke's baby. Moreover, no one knew how to comfort or help the steely, serious intern who never let her guard down ... until she did. Such outpouring of emotion and a masterful performance by Sandra Oh at a crucial point in the character's evolution made the miscarriage storyline doubly powerful.
Burke is Shot
In part two of the three-part Season 2 finale, seconds after Izzie decided to cut Denny's LVAD wire and force him to the top of the transplant list, Dr. Preston Burke was shot, leaving him unable to do the surgery and leaving his own life in the balance. Burke survived, but Isaiah Washington's character sustained damage that left his surgical future in doubt, and in Season 3, things were never the same - for the character, the show, or the actor.
Izzie Gets Cancer
Izzie Stevens became stricken with cancer near the end of Season 5, with the situation so dire that she married Alex in what was to be a farewell of sorts. She pulled through at the end of the season, just as she and George briefly met in the afterlife/elevator, but she was never the same, and soon enough, off the series due to Katherine Heigl's personal issues with the show.