Since its debut in 2005, hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy has dominated television as a critical and commercial ratings juggernaut. Here’s what you need to know about writer-producer Shonda Rhimes’ long-running hit series.
1. Meredith Grey is a doctor, but her real calling was to be an app developer: The defining trait of protagonist Dr. Grey is that her talents are wasted in medicine and that she should have instead studied computer programming in college. She frequently tells colleagues her brilliant app ideas and, in the pilot episode, comes up with the concepts for Uber, Snapchat, Airbnb, and Tinder years before they were actually developed in real life. Although she values her work at Seattle Grace Hospital, every time Meredith saves a patient’s life, she bitterly mutters, “I wish I was Mark Zuckerberg.”
2. When the bell rings, all the doctors fuck: Grey’s Anatomy is known for its many steamy romances and love triangles that occur whenever the Fuck Bell rings. All the doctors immediately stop whatever surgeries they’re doing, strip completely nude, and have passionate sex in the hospital hallways until the bell ceases clanging precisely one minute later. As diehard fans know, any doctors caught still having sex after the second ringing of the Fuck Bell are escorted from the hospital by men in black hoods and never seen or mentioned again in the series.
3. Shonda Rhimes includes a warning if she wrote the episode on the toilet: Rhimes occasionally writes scripts while sitting on the toilet, and these episodes are just as good as episodes written at her desk. However, out of respect for her viewers, every episode written on the toilet has a large red disclaimer at the bottom of the screen saying, “CAUTION: TOILET EPISODE,” so people can choose not to watch if the idea of seeing an episode written on the toilet makes them uncomfortable.
4. Grey’s Anatomy has a spin-off television series called Dr. Yang’s Prize Volcano!: Meredith’s best friend, Dr. Cristina Yang, was written off Grey’s Anatomy in 2014 to become the host of a game show where contestants answer trivia questions to make the Prize Volcano erupt in a shower of awards. You never know what treasures the Prize Volcano contains. It could be anything from a surround-sound speaker system to patio furniture, a brand-new Ford Fiesta, or even the grand prize of one million dollars. Everybody’s a winner on Dr. Yang’s Prize Volcano! The spin-off quickly became more successful than the original show, and in 2016, Dr. Yang’s Prize Volcano! released new episodes twice a day, and they were seen on more than a billion TV screens across the world.
5. In one episode you get to see a man’s guts: In one of the most thrilling and memorable scenes in television history, the season seven episode “Guts” lets you see what it looks like inside a person. It’s pink and weird and slimy in there, and years later, fans are still talking about how gross the guts looked. Grey’s Anatomy has had many exciting moments throughout its run, but nothing yet has topped seeing guts!