TV & Movies

There’s A Meredith & Derek Easter Egg In Grey’s Anatomy Season 20

Listen closely...

'Grey's Anatomy' Season 20 Has A Meredith & Derek Easter Egg
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Ever since Grey’s Anatomy debuted in 2005, the series has been known for its buzzy, eclectic soundtrack — from making mainstream hits out of alternative bops, to platforming countless artists for some of the show’s most emotional moments. (Sleeping At Last’s “500 Miles” cover from the show’s storm two-parter in Season 9? Try not to cry on your next rewatch!)

But sometimes, the simplest flourish of the show’s original score is enough to get the tears flowing, like the musical Easter egg that could be heard in Season 20’s “Never Felt So Alone.” The next Grey’s Anatomy episode won’t be until May 2, so this is the perfect time to catch up on the MerDer homage you might have missed the first time around.

A Subtle Nod To Grey’s History

During the Season 20 episode, Meredith is upset that her son, Bailey, became ill with appendicitis while she was away from home. As she told Dr. Webber (who helped get her back to Boston with his Catherine Fox Foundation plane), the experience brought back traumatic memories of Derek’s death.

“Even the best hands make mistakes: bleeding, perforations,” Meredith says. “It’s the middle of the night. They’re tired. Mistakes happen.”

Later, Meredith told Webber that she wished she had Derek to lean on in times like this. “I mean, of course I miss him,” she says. “It’s just really only when the kids wake up in the middle of the night, and I don’t have anyone to talk to.”

Disney/Anne Marie Fox

If you listen closely during the vulnerable moment, you can hear a familiar piano melody playing in the background. It’s the original music, aptly nicknamed their “love theme,” that has been used to score Meredith and Derek’s relationship since their earliest encounters. (Yes, it even plays during the iconic “Pick me, choose me, love me” scene.)

Sound Familiar?

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time MerDer’s theme music popped up after Derek’s death. It could be heard during the couple’s encounter on Meredith’s illness-induced dream beach in Season 17, for example.

But to have those familiar notes play at a time of reflection for Meredith is especially impactful. Like real-life memories of loved ones, the song sneaks up on fans in a quiet moment — a subtle reminder that no matter how much time has passed since Derek’s death, he is still very much a part of Meredith’s (and Grey’s Anatomy’s) story.

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It’s also a testament to the beloved series’ longevity. As the longest-running primetime medical drama in history, Grey’s Anatomy is able to weave in nostalgic Easter eggs that feel well-earned due to the passage of time.