Grey’s Anatomy: 10 Greatest Betrayals, Ranked

One of the things that the long-running ABC show Grey’s Anatomy does best, apart from being a medical drama, is handling the entire web of human relationships. And with relationships, come betrayals and misunderstandings.

RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: The Main Characters, Ranked By Work Ethic

If someone wasn’t cheating on their partner, they were doing things that betrayed their friendships and showed a severe lack of respect. Whether it was Derek betraying Richard Webber’s trust by telling on him when the latter clearly considered him a good friend, Miranda Bailey’s disappointing behavior with her mentor Richard, or Mark Sloan sleeping with his best friend’s wife, emotional turmoil has always been at the heart of the series.

10 April Filing For Restraining Order Against The Averys

April Kepner with Jackson Avery

April Kepner was quite a kind and considerate person. However, there were quite a few times where she could be rather impulsive or behave in ways that were really rather questionable in nature.

For instance, there was a moment where April ended up filing a restraining order against Jackson after she heard Catherine admit that she and Jackson were going to try and take the baby away from her. Instead of talking to Jackson, April jumped to the conclusion that what Catherine had said was the truth and began proceedings. While April did realize her mistake as soon as she spotted the crib Jackson bought, fans never forgot the shock on Jackson’s face when he received the papers.

9 Catherine Buying Pac-North To Get Back At Richard

Catherine Fox in Grey's Anatomy

Richard joined Pac-North after he was fired from Grey Sloan for supporting Meredith in the insurance fraud debacle. Unfortunately, Richard had a tiff with Catherine shortly after he was fired.

When the latter realized that he had joined Pac-North, she went ahead and purchased it out of sheer spite so that Richard would have no choice but to return to the hospital where she worked at. Many fans believed that it was petty of her and rather mean-minded, exalting her power simply to make a point. There was no doubt that Richard had felt rather betrayed by the woman he loved in this moment.

8 Owen Cheating On Cristina

Owen and Cristina were the second lead couple of the show for a long time but their relationship wasn’t without its problems. Owen and Cristina loved each other but they wanted different things from life and their marriage fell apart pretty soon.

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But even though they had their differences, Owen cheating on Cristina with a random woman at a bar was definitely not the best way to let off the steam. Understandably, Cristina was infuriated by being betrayed thus.

7 Teddy Sleeping With Tom

One of the more recent acts of betraying trust happened in season 16 when Teddy Altman ended up sleeping with Tom Koracick the same day that she was supposed to get married to Owen.

Shockingly, Teddy’s shenanigans with Tom got mistakenly recorded in her mobile phone and accidentally sent to Owen. The latter was heartbroken and the strain on their relationship has still not been cleared up, even though the series is half-way through its 17th season.

6 Arizona Betraying Callie Torres


Callie and Arizona were one of the show’s power couples, so it came as a shock to fans when the latter ended up cheating on Callie with Dr. Lauren Boswell.

Of course, Callie and Arizona’s marriage had been strained ever since Arizona had to have her leg amputated following season 8’s shocking plane crash. Arizona had never quite forgiven Callie and they had often argued over the decision numerous times. Although the couple agreed to make sure they were constantly communicating with each other over their feelings, many fans were shocked at how the infidelity (and break up) came out of nowhere. As fans know, it took a while before Callie could forgive Arizona.

5 Addison Cheating On Derek

Addison Montgomery Shepherd appeared out of nowhere in the season 1 finale as Derek’s wife. Although she had been faithful to him on the show, the writers did reveal that Addison had betrayed Derek by having an affair with Mark, which resulted in fleeing to Seattle.

RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: 10 Most Shameless Things Addison Did (& Should Be Proud Of)

To make matters worse, Derek also learned that Addison and Mark also had a three-month relationship before she came to Seattle looking for a reconciliation. As fans expected, Derek was deeply hurt by her revelation.

4 Derek Going Back On His Promise To Meredith

Derek Shepherd was a flawed individual despite being the dreamiest doctor in town. He offered to stay back at home with the kids while Meredith could take some time off for her research and career.

Derek, however, had to eventually go back on his promise when he got a call from the President of the United States and was asked to be part of a brain-mapping project for the White House. He wanted to move to DC with his family so that he could take up the opportunity. However, that meant that Meredith would have had to give up all her friends and her own career in Seattle to build a new life from scratch in DC, with two kids in tow.

3 Bailey Replacing Richard

Richard Webber was Miranda’s mentor and almost a father figure to her. So it came as a shock when she simply replaced Richard as the head of the surgical residency program with one of the worst characters in the Grey’s universe, Eliza Minnick.

Bailey agreed with Catherine when she suggested that she needed to take a look at the hospital’s residency program, and even forgot to inform Richard that he had been replaced. Richard was shocked and disappointed and his relationship with Miranda suffered for a while.

2 Mark Betraying Derek

Of course, one of the greatest betrayals in the series has been Mark Sloan betraying his best friend, Derek, by sleeping with his wife.

RELATED: Grey’s Anatomy: Derek Shepherd Vs. Mark Sloan – Which Character Is The Best?

Mark and Derek were much more than friends, they were more like brothers who had grown up together. Derek’s parents had showered Mark with love, treating him like a son, and then Mark ended up betraying Derek in the worst possible way. He also slept with Derek’s sister, Amelia, and his sister-in-law, Lexie, which didn’t exactly make things better. Of course, he loved Lexie, but his relationship with Derek took a huge hit after his affair with Addison.

1 Meredith Tampering With Derek’s Clinical Trial

Meredith Grey tampering Alzheimer's clinical trial

Possibly the worst betrayal that anyone went through in Grey’s Anatomy was Derek Shepherd, who discovered that his clinical trial had been tampered with by none other than Meredith Grey herself.

Meredith was trying to do what she thought was the right thing by changing the envelopes in the trial. Since Adele’s health had declined due to Alzheimer’s disease, Meredith tampered with the trial to make sure she was eligible for the medication instead of the placebo. However, Derek and Meredith’s dream relationship hit a rough patch when Meredith’s betrayal was discovered. While he did eventually forgive her, Meredith did have to apologize to several of her co-workers for her actions.

NEXT: Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith’s 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Traits

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