April Kepner's road on
Grey's Anatomy has been long and tumultuous, and actor Sarah Drew has maneuvered the character through some murky waters with grace, strength and compassion. As someone who started out as a newcomer during the hospital merger, April has become a character that will leave a hole in the fabric of Grey's Anatomy when she departs at the end of Season 14. In honor of everything she's done for the show, below are some of April's best moments on Grey's Anatomy over the years that you may have forgotten about.
April's character development has been knocked out of the park. When she first waltzed onto the show, she was a little annoying, a little misunderstood, and definitely not someone you'd expect to become one of the most compelling figures of the show. But Drew navigated April's storylines with extraordinary talent, sucking viewers in and making them
really care about her. "I think Sarah's acting is one of the main reasons April is so loved by the fans now," wrote one Reddit user, scully79. "She has so much range and subtlety that it makes you see April's inner turmoil and all her emotions." And in these moments below, Drew's ability to steer April's story really stand out.
When She Started In Orange Scrubs
April has become such an icon of the show that it's almost hard to believe she made her first appearance on
Grey's donning orange scrubs, and was just one of the many doctors arriving from a neighboring hospital in Season 6. In her first episode, April was little more than a meek resident carrying around a little red diary on the surface, but she soon exploded to the forefront of the hospital. Oh, how far we've come.
When Lexie Steals Her Diary
Speaking of the diary, in one of Lexie Grey's most downright mean moments, she reads some of April's private entries and uses them against her in an effort to throw her off her game, as competition between the two groups of doctors intensifies during the merger. It's a kick to the gut as a viewer, even years later upon rewatch, and though the two make up soon after, it's the first real glimpse
Grey's gives of a young April's shaken confidence.
When She Was In Love With McDreamy
Ok, maybe not
in love, but April was crushing on Derek in a big way, and even her future husband Jackson was quick to point it out. Nothing ever came of it, of course — Derek and Meredith were married at this point and it was little more than a harmless crush that was easy to tease her about. It's still something that seems so far removed from the April we know today, but is kind of adorable to look back on.
Reed and April were close from the get-go, with a friendship that seemed to date back long before viewers met them. Reed also happened to be the first casualty of Gary Clark, a former patient's husband who came into the hospital seeking vengeance after his wife's death.
April was the one who found her, and was also the first one to alert Derek that there was a shooter in the hospital, staggering into his office covered in Reed's blood, and in shock.
When She Came Face To Face With The Shooter
Drew was never a bad actor — not even close. But damn if the hospital shooter episode didn't immediately bump her several rungs above simply another unremarkable ensemble player. She absolutely nailed it this entire episode. When she rattled off all the details of her upbringing and family in the hopes that it would humanize her in the eyes of a killer, I don't think you're human if you didn't get chills.
When She Kept Meredith Company After Derek Was Shot
Meredith was going through
a lot when Derek was shot and Cristina was operating on him, and for much of that procedure she didn't even know the gunman was in the operating room with them. April was the one who sat on the floor with her and held her hand as they both reeled from the losses the hospital had sustained, and those they were still in danger of saying goodbye to.
When She Was Made Fun Of For Being A Virgin
Yes, April was a virgin in her late 20s and she will not be shamed for it, damn it. It was something her colleagues liked to tease her about, but in this glorious bar scene, she shut everyone down.
That's right — remember when doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital were actually terminated for making mistakes and bypassing protocol? During a particularly chaotic day at the hospital,
April neglected to check a patient's airway for soot after they'd been involved in a fire, and it eventually lead to that patient's death. There was a large scale investigation launched figure out who was responsible for the tragedy, and when April was found to be at fault, she was let go. (She was rehired by Derek after he became chief of surgery.)
She Started A Bar Fight The Night Before Her Boards
As she and Jackson sat at a bar together, agonizing over their boards, some jerk came up to her and implied some pretty unsavory things about her — like that she's being given special treatment in her career because she's a woman. In a truly badass moment, she punched him in the face.
When She Lost Her Virginity To Jackson
In this moment, April was the one who took control (after that same bar fight, I might add) and told Jackson she was ready to have sex. This moment really solidified the bond that the two would come to have with one another, and now it's hard to imagine Jackson without April.
When She Failed Her Boards
The big bad boards were always in the back of Grey Sloan's doctors' minds, and in this heartbreaking moment, April learned that she had failed the pivotal tests every surgeon must conquer. It eventually lead to so many closed doors that she left the hospital a second time, though that move wasn't permanent.
When She Moved Back To Her Parents' Farm
After she failed her boards, April moved back to her parents' farm in Ohio and apparently spent plenty of quality time with cattle and pigs. Luckily, shortly after the plane crash that rocked the hospital, Owen headed back to retrieve her, ensuring that viewers had plenty more years of April to enjoy.
Her Flirtation With Dr. Stark
This is a weird one. Dr. Stark, the jerk who took after pediatrics after Arizona headed to Africa, became very close with April, and she even accepted an invitation to have dinner with him outside of work. It soon became clear, though, that they weren't on the same page — Stark was much more interested in April than she was in him, and a romantic relationship never seemed to be truly in the cards.
When She Became Chief Resident
Much to the
disappointment of Alex and Meredith, April was awarded the coveted position of chief resident. It came on a bittersweet day, as it's the same time the hospital fields a hefty body count as a result of a plane crash, but her hard work paid off. It was a long road afterward, as she struggled to get the other doctors to take her seriously as a leader, but it set even more of the foundation for the badass April we know and love today.
When She Signed Divorce Papers Without Telling Jackson She Was Pregnant
This was a big moment in which April really brought on the wrath of Catherine Avery, and also a shockingly negligent side of Arizona. April knew that she was pregnant when she and Jackson signed their divorce papers, but she didn't want him to stick around in a marriage that he didn't otherwise want, just because they were going to have a baby together. That's understandable, but it's also a pretty big thing to keep from your soon-to-be-ex-husband. Jackson — and Catherine — found out about the pregnancy after Arizona decided to let April's pregnancy news slip.
The Stephanie-Jackson-April-Matthew Conflict
At the same time Jackson was dating Stephanie, April was gearing up to marry Matthew. This eventually lead to Jackson interrupting April and Matthew's wedding, and April deciding to run off with him, leaving both Matthew and Stephanie in the dust.
When She Was Owen's "Best Man"
A very pregnant April was in charge of holding onto Owen's rings ahead of his and Amelia's wedding ceremony, reminding fans how close those two became throughout the series and as they bonded over their shared military experiences. Despite the honor April had on Owen's wedding day, let's just say things didn't go as planned. When she headed back to her house to find the rings, her water broke while only her and Ben were present. It was one of the most harrowing episodes, thanks in large part to Drew's stunning performance as Ben pulled off an emergency C-section without any real medical equipment.
Though fans of
Grey's have known for a while now that Drew is leaving the show, it's still hard to believe that April has gone through all of these storylines and struggles only to have her story cut short. April's moments on Grey's — whether they're listed here or any of the many more she's given viewers over the years — will likely go down as some of the most compelling performances TV has seen in recent history.