The 10 Best ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Episodes Out of the First 400, According to Fans

Grey's Anatomy Derek Meredith Patrick Dempsey Ellen Pompeo
Scott Garfield/ABC/Courtesy: Everett Collection
Derek and Meredith in the episode "Now or Never"

If you’ve watched ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning — since Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) first day at the hospital then called Seattle Grace — you’ve now seen exactly 400 episodes of the series. Grey’s reached that 400-episode milestone with the Season 18 finale, “You Are the Blood,” which has an 8.9/10 average score on IMDb.

That score is stellar, but IMDb voters’ top 10 Grey’s Anatomy episodes all have scores above 9, with the top-voted episode scoring 9.7 — a sign of near-perfection.

We’re listing the current top 10 below, but you can also check out the show’s lowest-voted episodes if you’re so inclined. (Seems like Grey’s fans care very little for the episodes that had Justin Chambers and Patrick Dempsey exiting stage right.)

10. Season 14, Episode 7: “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”

The show’s 400th episode just aired, but it’s the 300th installment that kicks off this list. As Meredith wins a Harper Avery Award (now known as a Catherine Fox Award), she and Alex (Chambers) meet patients that remind them of the rest of the M.A.G.I.C. intern class. “The nostalgia in this episode had me weeping through most of the hour,” one IMDb reviewer wrote.

9. Season 10, Episode 24: “Fear (of the Unknown)”

Despite the chaos of a mall explosion in this Season 10 finale, Cristina (Sandra Oh) still gets a chance to dance it out with Meredith — and to say that it’s Mer, not Der, who’s the sun — before leaving Seattle for good. “This is a beautiful episode that brings out all the best aspects of Grey’s Anatomy,” an IMDb user said.

8. Season 12, Episode 9: “The Sound of Silence”

Of course, the show’s Denzel Washington-directed hour would rank in the top 10! In this installment, a patient brutally attacks Meredith in the ER and leaves her unable to hear or speak. “My favorite Grey’s episode possibly in all 12 seasons, and Denzel knocked it out of the park!” one fan raved.

7. Season 2, Episode 27: “Losing My Religion”

In the second season-ender, the interns face the consequences of cutting Denny’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) LVAD wire, Mer has to choose between Derek (Dempsey) and Finn (Chris O’Donnell), and Izzie (Katherine Heigl) shows up just moments too late for her and Denny’s prom date. “The crying, oh, the crying,” an IMDb user wrote. “My face is wet, my shirt is wet. I have seen this episode at least 10 times, but the crying will never go away. I think Denny dying is perhaps the saddest moment of the entire series.”

6. Season 2, Episode 16: “It’s the End of the World”

The show’s famous Super Bowl episode starts with a patient showing up at Seattle Grace with a bomb in his chest, stabilized only by the hand of paramedic Hannah (Christina Ricci). Meanwhile, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) goes into labor as her husband arrives at the hospital via ambulance. “This episode is the best thing I have ever seen on TV,” a fan said.

5. Season 2, Episode 17: “As We Know It”

In the very next episode, bomb squad leader Dylan (Kyle Chandler) helps Mer & Co. get the bomb out of the patient’s chest, but the explosive detonates in his hands, nearly blowing Mer up, too. “Part 2 of this masterpiece is just as good as part 1,” an IMDb user observed. “The acting is so incredibly awesome, by all of the usual cast and the guest actors also.”

4. Season 5, Episode 24: “Now or Never”

As Izzie flatlines post-brain surgery, the Grey’s Anatomy writers hit us with the revelation that the John Doe who stepped in front of a bus to save a pedestrian was George (T.R. Knight). One fan called “Now or Never” “primetime television at its best,” adding, “This episode had it all: brilliant acting, heartbreaking moments, and perfect execution. I cried my heart out.”

3. Season 15, Episode 19: “Silent All These Years”

The painful history of Jo’s (Camilla Luddington) childhood dovetails with the story of a rape victim at the hospital in an episode that was shown to have raised public awareness of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and its confidential, 24/7 hotline. “This episode is important, it is powerful, it is raw, and it is empowering,” one reviewer wrote.

2. Season 6, Episode 23: “Sanctuary”

In the first half of the Season 6 finale, an aggrieved widower brings a gun to Seattle Grace and starts exacting fatal vengeance on the doctors he believes to be responsible for his wife’s death — and anyone else standing in his way. “Throughout this episode, you will begin to feel like you know the characters on a more personal level and even identify with them,” an IMDb user said. “It might seem crazy for me to say this, but I even identified with the shooter. He was grieving the loss of his wife, and he was desperate for a way to cope.”

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1. Season 6, Episode 24: “Death and All His Friends”

In the second half, Mer and Cristina race to save the lives of the wounded Derek and Owen (Kevin McKidd), while Bailey and her patient, Mary (Mandy Moore), try in vain to get the dying Percy (Robert Baker) to safety. “The acting was flawless from everyone, and I felt as though I was right in the hospital fearing for my life,” wrote an IMDb reviewer.

Grey’s Anatomy Seasons 1—17, Now Streaming, Netflix
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