When “Grey’s Anatomy” premiered back in 2005, no one could have predicted what a sensation it would become — or how long it would end up airing. And part of the reason why fans fell in love was because of the twisty, long-haul love story between Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey and Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd.
Eighteen years later, we can admit that perhaps their romance didn’t have the best start; Derek was literally her boss’s boss when they first met, even if they didn’t realize that the very first time they slept together. But their will-they-won’t-they romance — full of obstacles medical, mental, and romantic — is still one of TV’s greatest. And even though it technically came to an end when Dempsey left the show in 2015 and Derek was killed in season 11, episode 21, the legacy of their love continued on the show (and Dempsey briefly returned as the character in 2021). Pompeo herself left the show in early 2023, though she’s left the door open for a comeback.
Ahead, we rounded up some of our favorite MerDer episodes. Some feature iconic declarations of love. Some feature the lowest moments in their lives, in case you really want to cry. And some have important developments in their relationship as they find their way back to each other over and over again. These are 15 of the best “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes for Meredith-and-Derek fans.