Grey's Anatomy: Every Moment That Made You Swoon the Last 14 Seasons
It's hard to capture the essence of Grey's Anatomy, but if we had to boil it down to a single word, we'd use "love." Sure, the show captures love for friends and oneself. But let's be real: it's been crushing it in the romance department. Meredith and Derek are iconic — who could forget Meredith's house of candles or Derek's elevator proposal? Throughout the years, we've also found ourselves invested in ships like Japril and Calzona, risking a broken heart every few episodes or so. Because we know that, no matter how ugly things can get, a swoon-worthy romantic moment is always right around the corner to lift us up.
Paying homage to season 15's "Season of Love" theme, we've compiled the most romantic gestures throughout the course of the show's run so far. Get ready to relive all 14 seasons of bittersweet sobs and muffled screams of delight. Tissues are mandatory for this ride.
Season 1, Episode 1: Derek Tries to Make Small Talk
The show pretty much begins with Meredith and Derek having an awkward conversation after their one-night stand. While Meredith's trying to keep a cool distance, Derek's making small talk with her about her mom's house. He's joking around about another hook up, but he's also sweetly trying to get to know her.
Season 2, Episode 5: Meredith Asks Derek to Pick Her
Ah, yes, this is perhaps one of the most iconic lines in the show's history of heart-wrenching monologues. At this point, Meredith's more than slightly annoyed that Derek hasn't signed his divorce papers yet. But she loves him. So, of course, she tells him in a heartfelt speech where she lays out all of her feelings on the table, even throwing in a Say Anything reference.
Season 3, Episode 8: Meredith and Derek Are Trying to Take It Slow
After spending time apart, Meredith and Derek try to get back together by taking it slow. Obviously, the next logical step is to share a candlelit bubble bath. Effective? Maybe not, but it's very romantic.
Season 4, Episode 17: Meredith Builds Derek a House of Candles
Meredith and Derek have been amicably friends and coworkers. But when they get good news about their clinical trial patient, Meredith decides to go all or nothing by building Derek the house of their dreams with candles.
Season 5, Episode 19: Derek Proposes in an Elevator
Meredith and Derek have had their differences this season, especially concerning the treatment of a death row prisoner and Derek's reaction to losing a patient. But Derek's declaration of love for Meredith shows the enduring power of their relationship. You really have to be into someone if you're going to deck out an elevator with brain scans to impress them.
Season 5, Episode 24: Meredith and Derek Have a Post-It Note Wedding
Meredith and Derek end up giving their wedding to Izzie and Alex — which isn't really a big deal, since they were never big wedding people anyway. But their plans to go to city hall to get their marriage license fails when they get caught up with work and life drama, so they make vows to each other on a Post-It note. We're not happy-crying whatsoever.
Season 6, Episode 24: Arizona Tells Callie That She Can't Live Without Her
Calzona is just so darn good. After the terrible massacre in the season six finale, Callie tells Arizona that she doesn't want kids if that means she can't be with her. But romantically, Arizona swoops back into her arms and tells her that she can't live without Callie and their ten kids.
Season 7, Episode 17: Arizona Tells Callie to Marry Her
Calzona has been on the rocks throughout the seventh season. Arizona is annoyed with Callie for her fixation on Mark's troubles, and after a heated exchange, she tells Callie to marry her. The peds surgeon wants the rings and the commitment. It's a sweet, albeit spontaneous, proposal. The moment is short-lived, and you'll know what we mean if you watch Grey's gut-wrenching musical episode.
Season 8, Episode 22: Lexie Tells Mark Those Three Words
Remember Slexie? They were just so sweet, even though Mark's romantic and personal relationships always ended up being messy. Despite all of Mark's flaws, Lexie always knew that she loved Mark. At the end of season eight, she strikes up the courage to tell him, even though they're dating other people.
Season 8, Episode 24: Mark Tells Lexie That He Loves Her One Last Time
The season eight finale more or less confirms that anything terrible can happen on Grey's Anatomy. On the off chance that you forgot, it's none other than the soul-crushing plane crash episode. As Little Grey is hanging on to her dear life after the accident, Mark declares his love for her.
Season 9, Episode 7: Meredith Tells Derek That Zola's Going to Be a Big Sister
Derek might be dreamy and all, but if we're being honest, Meredith's usually the one who goes for the romantic gestures. After finding out that she's pregnant, Mer buys Zola a "World's Best Big Sister" shirt. It's nearly impossible to suppress your smile after watching this moment.
Season 10, Episode 13: Jackson and April Elope
Poor Matthew. He never stood a chance amidst the hot, early flames of Japril. Just as Matthew and April are about to get married, Jackson tells her that he loves her . . . in front of everyone they know. They run out of the church together and elope with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" strumming in the background. A bit abrupt? Yes. Romantic? Oh, very much yes.
Season 10, Episode 15: Callie Helps Arizona Relearn Skating
Calzona has been delicate since season nine, after Callie makes the decision to have Arizona's leg amputated. While the Dr. Boswell and Leah dramas are still fresh, the couple find a nice, intimate moment to reconcile when Callie helps Arizona relearn how to skate with her prosthetic.
Season 11, Episode 21: Meredith Tells Derek It's OK to Go
After Derek's stint in Washington, it almost looked like Grey's iconic couple would make it. But the dreamy brain surgeon gets into a terrible car accident and ends up brain dead. And when Meredith finally gets to him, she tells her husband that he can go. Be right back, we need to get more tissues.
Season 12, Episode 23: Meredith and Nathan Make Out
After a heated argument with Nathan about Derek, Meredith makes a bold first move and kisses him. They were never meant to be, but they do share great chemistry in this moment.
Season 13, Episode 24: Meredith Watches Nathan Leave
In the season 13 finale, Nathan learns that Megan is still alive. Though he still has feelings for Meredith, she pushes him to see his long lost love, which leaves her all alone as the sad Calum Scott version of "Dancing On My Own" plays in the background. But there's nothing more romantic than wanting what's best for the person that you care about. Plus, Meredith more or less realizes in this moment that she's going to be OK dancing on her own.
Season 14, Episode 15: Jo Proposes to Alex
In a candlelit room, Jo delivers a romantic monologue to Alex, who frantically searches for his ring. She then reveals to him that she's wearing it. Now that the MerDer ship has sailed, we're investing all of our emotional energy into Jolex.
Season 14, Episode 24: Matthew Proposes to April
The Japril fanbase is strong, but the showrunners have made it really hard not to root for Matthew and April. This season, they now both share the experience of losing a loved one. After reconciling for a few months, they even survive a terrible accident together. So Matthew's sweet, spontaneous proposal following the aftermath of Jo and Alex's wedding is just the cherry on top to this beautiful relationship that bloomed in season 14.