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Six Favorite ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Speeches

As previously established, Shonda Rhimes (creator of hit shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) is really, really fond of giant moving speeches. There’s usually one per episode, which is why making a list of favorites is difficult, because there are so many to choose from. When I thought about it though, I realized that out of the many speeches in Grey’s Anatomy, there were a select few that were extremely memorable to me. Here are my six favorite Grey’s Anatomy speeches:

1. Meredith Grey – “Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me”

Meredith: I lied. I’m not out of this relationship. I’m in. I’m so in, it’s humiliating, because here I am, begging…

Derek: Meredith.

Meredith: Shut up. You say Meredith and I yell, remember? Okay. Here it is. Your choice? It’s simple. Her, or me. And I’m sure she’s really great. But Derek, I love you. In a… really, really big… pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you.

So pick me. Choose me. Love me.

Season 2, Episode 5: “Bring The Pain”

This is a well known and much quoted in-joke among me and my few friends who watch Grey’s Anatomy. As amusing as the over-the-top love confession and the whole ‘unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you’ line is, this is a pretty cute speech. It brings feelings of nostalgia for the early seasons of Grey’s when everyone was alive (except for the patients that died in every other episode, that is) and the relationship between Derek and Meredith was still budding.

2. Callie Torres – “You Don’t Destroy The Person You Love”

Callie: She was healthy twenty pounds ago. You just wanted her to be hot, especially if you were gonna move in with her, right?

Will: I loved her!

Callie: You didn’t love her, you just didn’t want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for your ego, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn’t love her, because you don’t destroy the person that you love!

Season 4, Episode 4: “The Heart of the Matter”

Oh, Callie. Homegirl is going through a lot of shit in this episode dealing with her husband George’s infidelity, gossipy co-workers, and a humiliating at-work incident, which finally culminated in her blowing up at a recently deceased patient’s admittedly asshole boyfriend. The above transcription pretty much speaks for itself. I love this scene for all of the usual reasons: impeccable acting skills coming from Sara Ramirez, and great writing.

3. Cristina Yang – “Why I Do This”

My dad died when I was nine. In a car accident. I was with him in the car. While we waited for the ambulance, I tried to keep his chest closed so he wouldn’t bleed so much. When he died, my hands… felt his heart stop beating. That’s why I do this. It’s also why I win all the contests.

The patient’s name is Tom.

Season 5, Episode 7: “Rise Up”

I have so much love for Cristina Yang’s everything. In this scene, when Owen accuses Cristina of not caring for the patients, of going into medicine purely for the prestige and the rush, Cristina sits him down and corrects him by telling Owen a story about her father. Sandra Oh’s acting here is highly nuanced and definitely helped make it that much more memorable for me.

4. Izzie Stevens – “Dr. Model”

You wanna see it? You really wanna see it? Fine! Let’s look at that tattoo up close and personal, shall we? What are these? Oh, my god! Breasts! How does anybody practice medicine hauling these things around? And what have we got back here? Let’s see if I remember my anatomy. Gluts, right? Let’s study them, shall we? Gather around and check out the booty that put Izzie Stevens through Med school!

You wanna call me Dr. Model? That’s fine. But just remember that while you’re still sitting on two-hundred grand in student loans, I’m out of debt.

Season 1, Episode 4: “No Man’s Land”

Girl was badass. Alex had pulled a douchebag move on Izzie by going around the hospital and pasting pictures everywhere of her from an underwear modeling gig she’d done during medical school, but Izzie refuses to let herself be publicly shamed or humiliated. The room goes quiet as she makes some really great points in her furious speech, and Alex ends up looking like a huge idiot.

5. Preston Burke – “I Am Preston Burke”

I am Preston Burke, a widely renowned cardiothoracic surgeon. I am a professional. And more than that, I am a good and kind person. I am a person that cleans up behind myself. I am a person that cooks well. And you, you are an unbelievable slob. A slovenly, angry intern. I am Preston Burke! And you, you are the most competitive, most guarded, most stubborn, most challenging person I have ever met.

And I love you. What the hell is the matter with you that you won’t just let me?

Season 2, Episode 18: “Yesterday”

Preston finds out that Cristina was keeping her own apartment on the side even though she’d agreed to move in with him, and at the end of the episode, confronts her about it. I’m not entirely sure why this particular speech stands out so much for me – there are several others that I could have put in this spot that are probably more deep or memorable to other viewers – but for some reason, Preston’s speech is still one of my favorites.

It probably has something to do with Cristina’s face as he monologues at her; she was eating when he came into the room, so her cheeks were stuffed with food like a chipmunk and she has to keep chewing even as he yells that he loves her. It’s real yet hilarious at the same time.

6. George O’Malley – “You Knew Better”

George: You said you would be straight with me. He could have lived for weeks, or… or months. We could have had months with him. My mom, she could have had months with him!

Chief: He wanted to fight the cancer, George –

George: HE DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER! You knew better!

You shouldn’t have done it. You shouldn’t have done it.

Season 3, Episode 12: “Six Days: Part 2”

Aw, Georgie Porgie. It’s been years since the character died but I still miss him. George’s dad had gone to the hospital where his son worked – Seattle Grace – for a surgical procedure, and had asked Bailey and the Chief to try to cut out all the cancer cells even though it was risky. When George finds out his dad is dead, his grief and anger at Bailey and the Chief is palpable. T.R. Knight’s delivery in this scene is so painful to watch – in a fantastic, amazing, really sad sort of way – and I still tear up a little every time I watch it.

Which are your favorite Grey’s speeches? Comment below! 

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  • Anu Priya

    Can you please tell me who is the writer of these awesome speeches in the show? Especially Meredith Grey, I mean, is it just one writer who writes her character or there’s a bunch of them?

    • Grey’s Anatomy has a team of writers, who probably all collaborate in some form in writing the speeches and characters. According to IMDb, the episode with Meredith’s “Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me” speech was written by show creator Shonda Rhimes.

  • Arizona’s “Good man in a storm” speech (S6 E5) is not only thrilling, but should be required viewing for every parent agonizing over a choice of their child they cannot abide.

    “She is who you raised her to be.”

    (I do not like what Arizona did later, by the way. But in this moment, she is magnificent)

  • Mana Sputachu

    “The thing about addiction is, it never ends well. Because eventually, whatever it is that was getting us high, stops feeling good, and starts to hurt. Still, they say you don’t kick the habit until you hit rock bottom. But how do you know when you are there? Because no matter how badly a thing is hurting us, sometimes, letting it go hurts even worse.”

  • Just a thought

    I liked Grey’s Anatomy in the first season but then in season 2 with that pathetic begging Meredith with the “pick me, choose me, love me” speech, I couldn’t take it anymore. That was the weakest , pathetic ,and most demeaning moment a woman could ever have. I never watched it again!

  • How about this?

    I liked Derek’s wife better than that barfly, one night stand skank Meridith.

    • knmiller89

      Haha how is Meredith a skank?
      She didn’t know he was married, she genuinely loved the guy, and ended up marrying him & having 3 kids with him.

      Not defending everything she did, but calling her a skank is BS.