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Ranking the Grey's Anatomy Finales, From Least to Most Painful

Apr 30 2016 - 1:20pm

You know the pain scale the doctors use at hospitals? Where they ask you to rate your pain from one to 10, with one being the least painful and 10 being the most? Well, it turns out it's the perfect model when it comes to Grey's Anatomy finales. As you might recall, last year's season 11 finale [1] is remarkably light, probably to make up for the fact that Derek Shepherd dies just a few episodes before. Now, as we draw closer to the 12th finale, we're not exactly sure what to expect. All we have is a cryptic "wet" Instagram from Ellen Pompeo [2]. To help us prepare for potentially rough waters ahead, we're ranking all of the previous season finales on that famous medical scale, from least to most painful. Keep reading as we assess our Grey's Anatomy pain levels from the past 11 season finales.

No Pain at All: Season 11

OK, so, there's a bit of a caveat with this one. Like obviously, we were in pain during the season 11 finale. Derek Shepherd had just died mere weeks before, and if all the internet reactions [3] were any indication, we were devastated. What we will say, though, is that the season 11 finale [4], by compare, is light in trauma. No one dies. Sure, April and Jackson are on the rocks, but Webber Richard and Catherine Avery get married. Alex and Jo decide to move in together. Meredith and Maggie are bonding. And Amelia and Owen might be getting back together. It might be the most hopeful finale of them all.

Very Mild Pain: Season 7

Compared to all the other finales, season seven's is among the most mild. Cristina finds out she's pregnant, but she doesn't want to keep the baby. Meredith learns it was Alex who ratted her out for tampering with Derek's trial. It's sad, yes, but not heart-wrenching.

Mild Pain and Discomfort: Season 1

This finale is more surprising than anything else, because Addison Montgomery arrives, revealing that Derek is, in fact, a married man.

Noticeable Yet Tolerable Pain: Season 4

All the doctors are desperately trying to save a boy trapped in a block of hardening cement, but the real sadness comes when Erica Hahn breaks up with Callie and leaves for good.

Moderate Pain: Season 10

Last season's finale doesn't have any major death or destruction, so it's downright tolerable compared to most of the others. However, it's the last time we see Cristina [5] before she moves to Switzerland, and though we were well-prepared for Sandra Oh [6]'s exit from the show, it still hurt to say goodbye. (We'll always have that dance scene [7], at least.)

Strong, Distressing Pain: Season 9

After a storm rattles the hospital and turns off the power, Meredith is forced to give birth during a blackout, and she almost bleeds out in the process. Also, Jackson comes close to getting blown to bits in the wreckage of a bus crash, and Dr. Webber gets electrocuted trying to get the power back on.

Very Distressing, Piercing Pain: Season 3

It's devastating when Cristina, who notoriously shuts off her feelings, gets left at the altar and subsequently has a breakdown.

Deep, Intense Pain: Season 2

We're not even sure what made us cry harder: the shocking scene where Izzie finds out Denny has died, or the following, where Alex lifts her and carries her out of the room.

Utterly Horrible Pain: Season 5

At the end of season five, we have two main characters' lives on the line. We find out George is the man who's been hit by a bus. He's hanging on by a thread while Izzie flatlines on the operating table. Losing both seemed like too much to bear.

Excruciating, Unbearable Pain: Season 6

The hospital shooting went down in Grey's Anatomy history as two of the most intense hours on the show. We could barely breathe the whole time, especially when faced with the prospect of losing both Derek and Alex.

Unimaginable, Unspeakable Pain: Season 8

Just when we thought every bad thing that could possibly happen had already happened, a plane filled with six main characters crashes, taking our breath with it. It's impossibly hard to watch that scene between Lexie and Mark, where he admits he always has and always will love her. And then she dies, and breaks our heart in the process.


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