7 of the most devastating breakups on 'Grey's Anatomy'

ABCCristina Yang and Owen Hunt couldn’t agree on what they wanted.
  • The medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” is known for its romantic relationship and devastating breakups.
  • Many of the show’s couples, like Callie and Arizona or April and Jackson, broke up after getting married.
  • Some couples that are still together now, like Ben and Miranda, had previously broken up.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

The medical show “Grey’s Anatomy” is known for its dramatic twists and romantic encounters. It’s also known for its heartbreaking breakups.

From weddings that never happened to goodbyes that were never said, memorable couples on the show have broken up in some fairly intense ways.

Here are seven of the most devastating breakups on the series.


April Kepner and Jackson Avery went through a lot together.

ABCTheir wedding was filled with drama.

Viewers couldn’t believe when April Kepner and Jackson Avery got together and the couple’s entire relationship seemed like a whirlwind that was filled with hardship.

Avery and Kepner literally ran off together to get married. Then, they conceived a child, Samuel, who would not live long after birth. The two later had another child, Harriet, but their relationship didn’t last.


Preston Burke and Cristina Yang weren’t meant to be.

ABCHe left her at the altar.

Cristina Yang was always a bit of a commitment-phobe but when Preston Burke proposed and planned a wedding with her, it seemed like these two would walk down the aisle.

But viewers couldn’t believe it when Burke decided that he couldn’t go through with the wedding. He left Cristina at the altar and Meredith Grey was left to comfort her.


Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd broke up before they really committed to each other.

ABCThey later had kids together.

Before these two ever got together, they split up. After Meredith found out that Derek Shepherd was married, she gave him the chance to choose her over his wife, Addison Montgomery.

But when she waited for him at Joe’s bar, Derek didn’t show up. He chose Addison instead.

Of course, we all know that Meredith and Derek would get back together, get married, and have children. But that doesn’t make this iconic couple’s first breakup any less upsetting.

Read More: 11 of the most heartbreaking moments on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’


Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens were one of the earliest relationships in the series.

ABCThey even got married.

Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens were an on-and-off couple but when they were on, they were on. They got married and Alex stayed by Izzie’s side as she battled cancer.

But by season six, Izzie left Alex and he realised that he didn’t want to be with her either. Their breakup made sense but it was hard to watch since this was one of the original couples that formed on “Grey’s.”

Read More: Here’s what all the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actors who left the show are up to now


Cristina Yang and Owen Hunt had their ups and downs.

ABCThey weren’t meant to be.

Cristina didn’t have much luck in love during her time on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She and Owen Hunt worked really hard at their relationship for quite some time but it wasn’t built to last.

Ultimately they didn’t want the same things; Owen really wanted children and Cristina didn’t.


Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins had some tough times.

ABCThey had been married.

After Arizona Robbins was injured in a plane crash and Callie Torres had to make the difficult decision to have Robbins’ leg amputated in order to save her life, the pair’s relationship was never the same.

At one point, they went to therapy to try to work things out but at the end of the separation period recommended by their therapist, Callie realised she was happier alone than with Arizona.

Seeing this once-happy couple break up and fight for custody over their daughter was tough for viewers to watch.


Miranda Bailey and Ben Warren had some difficult moments.

ABCThey have since gotten back together.

During season seven, Miranda Bailey had to call things off with Ben Warren for the sake of her own mental health. She’d just survived the hospital shooting and it greatly impacted her – Ben wasn’t there when it happened and both of them struggled to cope with that.

But Miranda began focusing on her mental health and the two found a way to make their relationship work. They would eventually get back together, get married, split up, and get back together again.

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