Grey’s Anatomy may be a soapy medical drama about a group of hot doctors who have a lot of near-death experiences and sex in on-call rooms, but for 17 seasons, Meredith Grey has also been imparting a lot of wisdom along the way. All of the characters have their own memorable lines from the show, but as the lead, Meredith gets a lot of the best material. She narrates most episodes with voiceovers that contextualize the events of the series with the greater issues going on in the characters’ lives as well as the broader world in general. Those quotes are easy to apply to our own personal struggles, not just the fictional ones at Grey Sloan Memorial.
There are, of course, times when
Meredith’s quotes don’t have a larger meaning, and are instead just funny or witty (like the epic takedown she delivered to Derek when he slut-shamed her). Meredith is the first to admit she’s a little dark and twisty inside, but that’s never stopped her from trying to live her life to its fullest and impart her best advice (or her best commiserations) to colleagues and viewers alike. Here are her 20 best quotes from the show so far. Season 1, Episode 5
“Being an adult:
totally overrated. I mean seriously, don't be fooled by the hot shoes and great sex and no parents anywhere telling you what to do. Being an adult is responsibility. Responsibility really does suck ... Adults have to be places and do things and earn a living and pay the rent.” Season 1, Episode 5
“We’re adults. How did that happen and how can we make it stop?”
Season 2, Episode 5
“Pick me. Choose me. Love me.”
Who could forget one of Meredith’s most epic lines to Derek?
Season 2, Episode 8
“You can't wait for someone to fly underneath you and save your life. I think you have to save yourself.”
Season 2, Episode 20
“We’re friends, real friends, and that means no matter how long it takes, when you finally decide to look back, I’ll still be here.”
Back when George was on the show, Meredith said this to him when the two were in a fight. But it holds true for all of Mer’s friends.
Season 2, Episode 24
“I’m all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore.”
This was Mer’s response when Derek slut-shamed her. Meanwhile, she’d tried to be with him and he’d rejected her, so it was none of his business what she was doing. She made sure to tell him as much.
Season 3, Episode 13
“You gotta wonder why we cling to our expectations. Because the expected is just what keeps us steady, standing, still. The expected is just the beginning. The unexpected is what changes our lives.”
Season 4, Episode 6
“You don't have to be tough every minute of every day. It's okay to let down your guard. In fact, there are moments when it's the best thing you can possibly do — as long as you choose your moments wisely.”
Season 4, Episode 10
“Some days, the whole world seems upside down. And then, somehow, improbably and when you least expect it, the world rights itself again.”
Season 4, Episode 15
“Not everybody has to be happy all the time. That’s not mental health. That’s crap.”
Season 5, Episode 24
“I think it is important to take the time to tell the people you love how much you love them while they can still hear you.”
This is true for Meredith especially, because a lot of people in her life suddenly die.
Season 8, Episode 20
“Letting go is the easy part, it’s the moving on that’s painful. So sometimes we fight it, try and keep things the same. Things can't stay the same though. At some point, you just have to let go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it's the only way we grow.”
Season 9, Episode 3
“When we follow our hearts, when we choose not to settle, it’s funny. Isn’t it? A weight lifts, the sun shines a little brighter, and for a brief moment, we find a little peace.”
Meredith doesn’t know peace very often on
Grey’s Anatomy, but following her heart in romances with people like Derek Shepherd and Andrew DeLuca resulted in some of the few times she’s been truly happy. Season 9, Episode 24
“There’s an end to every storm. Once all the trees have been uprooted. Once all the houses have been ripped apart. The wind will hush, the clouds will part, the rain will stop, the sky will clear in an instant. But only then, in those quiet moments after the storm, do we learn who was strong enough to survive it.”
Meredith is talking about the literal storm that sent patient after patient into the ER, but also the metaphorical storms that arise in life.
Season 10, Episode 12
“Failure is inevitable, unavoidable. But failure should never get the last word. You have to hold on to what you want ... Never give in, never give up. Stand up. Stand up and take it.”
Season 11, Episode 3
“Vulnerability isn't the opposite of strength. It's a necessary part. You have to force yourselves to open up, to expose ourselves, to offer everything we have and just pray that it's good enough. Otherwise, we'll never succeed.”
Season 11, Episode 3
“My career is just as important as his. I am the sun. I am the sun, and he can go suck it. I am the sun.”
This is a callback to one of Cristina’s best quotes, when she told Meredith not to let Derek eclipse her. “He's very dreamy, but he is not the sun, you are,” Cristina said. Meredith never forgot that.
Season 11, Episode 24
“No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s going to rise again.”
Season 12, Episode 9
“Don't let fear keep you quiet. You have a voice. So use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answers. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes. Just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence.”
This is one of Meredith’s most powerful quotes from the episode where she’s attacked by a patient and nearly dies.
Season 13, Episode 19
“I go a little dark and twisty, but then I come back.”