Fans Share The Exact Moment Grey's Anatomy Went Off The Rails

Fans Share The Exact Moment Grey's Anatomy Went Off The Rails
Image credit: Legion-Media, ABC

When was the beginning of the end for the medical drama?


  • Grey's Anatomy is gearing up for its 21st season.
  • But the show's once-massive ratings have declined significantly over the years.
  • New episodes struggle to recapture the magic of the drama's early seasons.
  • Many fans attribute this decline to a pivotal moment that changed the show's dynamic and set off the chain of events that led to its demise.

The latest news is that Grey's Anatomy has been renewed by ABC for another season (21st), which comes as no surprise to longtime viewers, really. With its steady ratings and dedicated fan base, the medical drama can go on for another 20 seasons. Heaven knows, its numbers are big enough for that.

But when you compare the ratings of the latest seasons to those of the first few, one thing becomes crystal clear: Grey's Anatomy has lost half of its original audience and has become a shadow of its former self.

The fans who have stuck with the show for two decades and rewatched it a few times can't help but notice how good the early seasons are compared to what we see today. So when did things go downhill?

Looks like fans can pinpoint the exact moment.

The Turning Point

The discussion of Grey's Anatomy's declining ratings and quality is a hot topic on social media accounts dedicated to the show. And each time, fans seem to find a consensus: the tragic plane crash in Season 8 is the pivotal moment when the medical show began to lose its magic.

The tragic accident claimed the lives of fan-adored characters Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan, leaving fans in mourning. But that was not the only reason for the decline. After all, we have seen major characters killed off before.

The crash set off a chain of events that altered Grey's Anatomy forever.

Fans Share The Exact Moment Grey's Anatomy Went Off The Rails - image 1

Post-Crash Fallout

Season 9 saw the aftermath of the plane crash. The survivors received hefty settlements ($15 million each) that plunged the hospital into financial turmoil. To save their workplace, the characters decided to buy it with the help of the Harper Avery Foundation.

Thus, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital was born and those who were employees yesterday became bosses. This, however, didn’t bring new exciting plot lines. Instead, the show was robbed of its original vibe, and the stakes (coupled with suspense) became almost non-existent.

With the doctors now owning the hospital, the dynamic shifted drastically. Characters were elevated to positions of power overnight, instead of going through crucial career development arcs over the next few seasons.

Worse, the once-central theme of a passion for medicine and curious medical cases took a backseat, replaced by personal dramas that failed to capture the essence of the early seasons.

Departures & Losses

But the downward spiral didn't end there. As the series progressed, fans were dealt more blows. The couples that had been the focus in the absence of Lexie and Mark also began to disintegrate. Callie and Arizona, as well as April and Jackson broke up. Cristina left in Season 10, and Derek tragically died in Season 11.

The arrival of the new interns was supposed to fill the hole left by all the losses and departures. But in reality, it felt more like a bizarre rebranding of Grey's Anatomy, once the greatest medical drama in existence.

Looks like the show just wasn't strong enough to survive that fateful plane crash.

Source: Reddit.

Do you agree that the plane crash in Season 8 was the beginning of the end for Grey's Anatomy?