The doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital have been in our lives for 12 years now. We’ve seen them go through marriage proposals, pregnancies, messy divorces, plane crashes, mass shootings and unexpected deaths. We’ve also seen them cure the incurable and perform surgeries that haven’t even been performed in the real world.
And while we are totally in love with the characters and their lives, we can’t help but notice there are some inconsistencies in the show. Nothing that regular folks would notice, but for diehard fans these plot holes and continuity mistakes can be, well, interesting. After all, what fan doesn’t take pride in noticing things that nobody else does?
From boom mics being reflected in windows to massive medicine errors, these are the 15 inconsistencies we find to be the most interesting.
15 Denny Duquette’s time of death is unclear
Denny Duquette--heart patient at Seattle Grace Hospital and love interest of Izzie Stevens--dies in the last episode of Season 2 (sorry if this is a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen this episode by now, you probably never will, stop kidding yourself). Dr. Bailey is the one that breaks the news to Chief Webber, who is sitting alone in the dark. She comes in and tells the Chief that Denny died at 7:42 that evening. However, the scene starts with a very clear shot of Chief Webber’s watch showing it’s 6:30pm. So, either Dr. Bailey has a sixth sense that allows her to predict the future or whoever edited this episode doesn’t know how to read an analogue watch. We get it, it’s hard.
14 Miranda has a magical vajayjay
In Season 2, Episode 17, Dr. Bailey’s water breaks and it goes all over George’s shoes. Seconds later, Izzie gets her a wheelchair and she and George help her sit in the chair, but by then Bailey’s jeans are completely dry!
To be fair though, when a woman’s water breaks, it doesn’t happen like in the movies. Only a slow trickle of fluid comes out of a woman’s private area, and it’s usually just her who notices it. But considering that Miranda’s water is supposed to “break all over George’s shoes”, how is it possible that her pants are completely dry? Maybe she has a magical vajayjay that dries itself in a matter of seconds. If that’s the case, good for her! No judgement here.
13 Arizona can’t diagnose a simple disease
In the episode titled “Throwing It All Away,” Arizona treats a kid named Jared Cole, who has Byler’s disease and severe jaundice, edema and frequent fevers. Arizona notes that if the bile continues to build up, the kid could suffer from liver failure or cirrhosis, which is the medical term for end stage liver disease. However, instead of saying “cirrhosis,” the actress who plays Arizona says “psoriasis,” which is a skin disease and has nothing to do with the liver. Now, we would like to think that a respectable doctor like Arizona wouldn’t confuse two diseases that have literally nothing to do with each other, especially because the consequences of that happening would be devastating. Just imagine being that poor kid who’s struggling with liver failure and on top of that he’s told he has an incurable skin disease!
12 Derek is not always the bright doctor we’ve been led to believe
In the episode “Band-Aid Covers the Bullet Hole” Derek treats a woman named Sylvia, who has a fork stuck in her neck. Apparently she was giving her husband some well-deserved “special attention” under the table during brunch when a shock went through her body that made her clench. Her husband’s reaction was to grab a fork and stab her with it.
Now, this storyline alone is pretty hard to believe, but let’s say anything is possible in TV land. But then Derek tells Meredith to do an MRI on the woman. Now, we’re no experts here, but isn’t an MRI basically a huge magnet? I mean there’s a reason absolutely no metal is allowed inside of those machines. So, perhaps doing an MRI on a lady with a fork stuck in her neck is not such a good idea. Just saying.
11 Pigeons aren’t free to fly away
At the beginning of the eighth episode of Season 2, George stands on a street corner with a bagel in his hand. Unfortunately for him, a pigeon craps on his food and he gets angry and drops it. The pigeon takes advantage of this situation and starts eating the bagel. While the bird eats it, it’s possible to see a red clasp with a long wire attached to the pigeon’s left leg so it won’t fly away. Granted, you have to really be looking for the wire to notice it--and the dude that falls from the rooftop in the next scene makes it hard to even care, but it’s one of those things that once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
10 Boom Mics follow the cast wherever they go
At the beginning of the seventh episode of Season 1--back when nobody knew Derek and Meredith were sleeping together--, Meredith arrives at the hospital in a hurry. She’s late because Derek stayed over at her place. When she gets out of the car and walks towards the hospital, the boom mic is clearly reflected in the car’s window, following her as she walks and talks to Christina. Now, we don’t know how you feel about this, and we understand this is a common mistake, but for us it makes the whole scene less believable. As far as we know, normal doctors aren’t followed around by gigantic mics trying to capture their every word. But hey, maybe we’re wrong. There are, after all, some pretty famous doctors out there.
9 Second floors appear out of thin air
Remember that scene in Season 2, Episode 18, when a bomb explodes, almost killing Meredith? Just in case, let us remind you. Dylan, the bomb squad captain, slowly makes his way out of the OR after Meredith puts the bomb in his hands. Meredith then walks to the door to watch him go, and as she steps out into the hallway, the bomb explodes. The scene cuts to Meredith flying backwards, then to a shot of windows being blown out, then back to a rear shot of Meredith hitting the floor. Now, when this happens, there’s no second floor at the end of the hallway, but then the scene finishes with a final aftermath shot with an entirely different hallway, with a visible second floor. As far as we know, second floors don’t just appear out of thin air.
8 Derek doesn’t have good memory
In that same episode Meredith tells Derek she cannot remember the last time they kissed. He apparently remembers every detail: it was a Thursday morning, she was wearing her Dartmouth T-shirt and he was running late for surgery. She had just washed her hair and smelled like “some kind of flower.” He describes the kiss as soft and quick, like a habit. Now, that’s all very romantic, but it’s also very untrue. The last time they kissed was after Addison arrived in Seattle and they had stopped seeing each other. You’d think the writers would know when their two leading characters shared their last smooch! Or maybe they did but wanted to throw the audience off. If that’s the case, it worked. But somehow we doubt that it was.
7 Apparently lions grow new teeth
In the episode titled “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” Richard and Jackson remove a lion’s tooth that had gotten lodged in their patient’s leg. According to the storyline, the patient was attacked by a lion at his girlfriend’s place.
However, at the beginning of that same episode, Meredith, Derek and Zola see that same lion crossing the street in front of their car. This is supposed to happen after the lion attacks Richard’s patient, but when the lion roars, it is clear it’s not missing any teeth.
So, unless lions can grow their teeth back, there’s a huge continuity mistake in this episode. Also, are we really expected to believe the lion lost its tooth by just biting Jackson’s wimpy patient? No offense to the writers, but that seems unlikely.
6 The sun never sets in Iceland, apparently
In the episode titled “The Heart of the Matter,” Meredith’s intern, Norman, misreads the room number on a chart and delivers the wrong test results to a woman named Gretchen Bitzer, who for a short period of time believes she’s dying. As a result, she dumps her boyfriend, quits her job, insults her boss and books a trip to Iceland, to experience “the sun never setting.”
Now, while the sun does set very late there, Iceland is located south of the polar circle and does not have midnight sun. And even if it did, season four is supposed to take place in the fall, so there wouldn’t be midnight sun anyway. So, not only is this woman’s life ruined, but she’s going to be very disappointed when she gets to Iceland.
5 Drinks change colors
There’s a continuity mistake in episode 16 of Season 5 that distracts us from an otherwise very romantic moment between Owen and Christina. Almost at the end of the episode, Owen brings a clear drink over to his girlfriend and tells her she is a lot like Dr. Campbell: stubborn, opinionated and smart. He says forty years from now, he’ll have to pry the scalpel from her hand. Christina says he’s gonna have to pry it from her “cold, dead hands,” and then takes a sip of her drink, which is now dark! When exactly did she get up and poured herself a new dark drink, we don’t know. Then Owen says she’s missing the point. He wants to be around her forty years from now! That’s nice and all but we can’t help but notice that the drink is back on the table and it’s clear again!
4 Chief Webber has his priorities all mixed up
In the episode titled “If Only You Were Lonely” Richard is in bed in his pajamas when he is woken up by the fire alarm. He gets up and starts yelling for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease. After getting no response from her, he rushes into the kitchen to put out the fire, but he’s now wearing his work clothes! So, are we expected to believe that he woke up, heard the fire alarm, and thought to himself “how embarrassing would it be to put out a fire in my pjs… I’m gonna change before I go downstairs”? Now, that’s a man with his priorities straight! Forget the fact that his wife could be in imminent danger or that his house could be on fire, he’s not going downstairs without the proper attire.
3 Meredith always has time for fashion
This inconsistency is very similar to the last one. In the episode of the plane crash (Season 8, Episode 24), at the five minute mark, we see Meredith wearing scrubs, frantically asking Christina for Derek. Christina tells her she doesn’t know where he is but that she should go find him while she and Mark stay with Lexie, Meredith’s sister.
Yet when we see Meredith again a few scenes later, she’s looking for Derek while wearing a jacket! Now, this raises many questions, like, where did she get that enormous jacket? Did she happen to find it while looking for her man and thought “it might get cold later tonight and this jacket could come in handy”? Maybe we’re being a little too critical but it just doesn’t make sense to us that in a life-or-death situation, she would put on a jacket!
2 Christina may have OCD
In episode three of Season 1, Dr. Bailey tells the interns she needs someone to go up to the OR floor because Burke needs assistance in his surgery. All the interns raise their hand, except Meredith, who’s annoyed that everything is always a competition in the hospital (but seriously, isn’t life like that everywhere?) Bailey picks George, so the rest of the disappointed interns lower their hand. Nothing weird about that, right? Except that somehow Christina lowers her arm twice. The first time, Izzie is right next to her and is looking straight at Dr. Bailey. The second time, Christina hits Izzie as she lowers her arm and Izzie turns to her, annoyed that she got hit. It’s clear to us that someone in the editing room wasn’t paying close attention.
1 Does nobody care about Izzie?
Remember when Izzie was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic melanoma? Luckily, she survived but then she got fired from the hospital’s surgical program and blamed her then husband, Alex, so she wrote him a Dear John letter and left him.
Episodes later, Izzie came back but it was too late to save her relationship with Alex. She kind of wanted to get back together with him but he told her that though he loves her, he deserves better. It was a rough episode for Izzie. She never came back after that.
Now, we understand that it was the actress who left the show and that’s why Izzie never came back to the hospital, but are we seriously supposed to believe that all of her friends never tried to get in touch with her after she left? We understand why Alex didn’t, but why did nobody else thought of calling her and say: “hey, Iz, how is that cancer going?”