Grey’s Anatomy: Minor Characters Who Stole The ShowPublished on August 29, 2017. Updated April 8, 2020
Grey’s Anatomy fans have been through a lot of ups and downs during its many seasons when it comes to the main characters of the show. From shocking and tragic exits of main characters to trying to keep up with Meredith’s ever-dramatic life and the people in it, the revolving door of characters has never stopped, meaning the series has had quite a few minor characters slip through almost unnoticed. While many minor characters have been completely unmemorable, others have been completely unforgettable! Since there have been so many great characters who only appeared in one episode, this list only looks at characters who were around for multiple episodes and really made an impact on viewers, so here are 10 minor Grey’s Anatomy characters who stole the show:
10. Virginia Dixon
Way back in season five, Grey’s introduced Mary McDonnell as Dr. Virginia Dixon and she quickly made her impact on Seattle Grace as well as viewers. Although she was only in three episodes, Virginia Dixon’s powerhouse knowledge in cardiothoracics and being one of the most respected doctors in the specialty made her a formidable addition to the hospital, and the fact she also had Asperger’s made her even more admirable. Dixon brought a new dynamic to the group of doctors and by being a doctor with Asperger’s she added a whole new dimension to Grey’s, which many fans wish had lasted much longer than just her three episodes.
9. Heather Brooks
A lot of interns have come and gone through the many seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, but only a few have become notable members of the show and were heavily focused on in storylines, including Heather Brooks. After appearing in the very first episode of season nine, Brooks featured heavily in the entire season as an energetic yet annoying intern dubbed “Mousey” by Cristina Yang. Despite being annoying she often found herself at the center of a lot of the hospital’s drama surrounding the core characters and Derek even ended up mentoring her after seeing a lot of natural skill in her. Between her constant talking and sometimes unsettling jokes, Brooks often stole the show in every scene she was in and her death ended up being one of the most surprising of the series as she had become one of the most well known minor characters of the show.
Season three of Grey’s Anatomy was the source of some of the biggest character developments for the show’s main characters, and for Alex Karev, it was all thanks to Jane Doe/Rebecca Pope/Ava. After first appearing in season three’s “Walk on Water” when Alex found her severely injured following the ferry crash, Rebecca became a very important minor character for eighteen episodes, and no one could predict the dramatic and truly wild storyline her character would go through. While she started out as a patient with almost complete memory loss and a love interest for Karev, things became continuously more and more complicated. Karev’s relationship with Rebecca was the first glimpse fans had of Karev really being a good guy at heart and after an intense storyline in which fans were truly invested in Rebecca as a part of the show, her character was really not given the ending she deserved as it was simply determined she needed to be institutionalized and no one heard from her again.
7. Ellis Grey
It has always been difficult understanding Meredith Grey and things only became more complicated when her mother was revealed to be the legendary doctor Ellis Grey who now suffers from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember much about her life or the way things have happened. The revealing information Ellis Grey’s story told about not only Meredith’s childhood, but how it was then affecting her life as a doctor herself at Seattle Grace kept fans at the absolute edge of their seats. From the affair with Richard to revealing half-siblings of Meredith’s that fans never knew about, Ellis Grey was one of the most important minor characters on Grey’s Anatomy through her 20 episodes on the series. Between her incredible addition to the complicated storylines the show had created and her powerful delivery as a once great doctor now struggling with Alzheimer’s there is no doubt that Ellis Grey stole the show.
6. Shane Ross
When it came to the interns Heather Brooks (aka Mousey) and Shane Ross (aka Dopey) were kind of a team. While Heather was energetic and more aloof, Ross was energetic but determined compared to the way Cristina Yang was in her internship, but without the same talent. Ross’s emotional turmoil often became the focus of the scenes he was in and his storyline took center stage following Brooks’ death and the guilt he felt. Not to mention Ross also became one of the most memorable minor characters because of his very surprising relationship with Cristina Yang. He lasted much longer than the other minor characters with 46 episodes and became a very intricate part of the storylines involving the core characters and had audiences also invested in his character’s development, often stealing the spotlight away from the main characters.
5. Lauren Boswell
Grey’s Anatomy has never had any problem bringing in new characters for a short period of time to shake things up for fans, and one of the most effective minor characters, even if she is one of the most hated, was Dr. Lauren Boswell. Boswell appeared in three episodes in season nine and wasted no time having all eyes on her as she brought not only brilliant medical expertise, but also her homewrecking ways storming through the halls of the hospital. After fans watching Callie and Arizona struggle with recovering their marriage and romance following the plane crash that cost Arizona her leg, Lauren Boswell swept in and seduced Arizona in record time. As the catalyst for Callie and Arizona’s break up, there is no denying that Lauren Boswell most definitely stole the show, even for the brief time she was there.
During the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Joe became one of the most consistent minor characters as the owner of the bar across the street from the hospital which was frequented by much of the staff. At first Joe was portrayed as the typical bartender, listening to everyone’s problems, but it didn’t take long for his character to develop and he became one of the most well-liked characters on the show, even for just the few scenes he was in. Joe was the first gay character on the series and he and his boyfriend Walter even attended the guys’ camping trip in “Where the Boys Are.” Joe always provided wisdom when needed, and well-timed jokes making him the star of many of the scenes with the bar and as one of the best minor characters of the series, fans are still upset that he was never seen again after season seven’s “Slow Night, So Long.”
3. Adele Webber
No matter what role, big or small, the talented Loretta Devine takes on, fans can be assured that she is going to steal the show. As the wife to the hospital’s Chief of Surgery, Richard Webber, in the early seasons, Adele Webber was only seen in 22 episodes, but proved to be one of the most interesting and captivating characters of all despite her limited role. Adele was stronger than anyone knew as she had to deal with a lot more than was realized as Richard’s wife, including his affair with Ellis and eventually her own battle with Alzheimer’s. The progression of the character as well as Devine’s powerful performance without a doubt made Adele Webber one of the most prominent and most memorable minor characters of all.
2. Denny Duquette
There will be many who would argue that Denny Duquette wasn’t even a minor character because of the impact the character has had on Grey’s Anatomy and its fans. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny Duquette first appeared in season two’s “Begin the Begin” and in only 23 episodes became one of the most beloved characters of the series and part of one of Grey’s most iconic relationships. Denny was handsome, charming and charismatic which meant it was easy for him to become the focus of every scene he was in. It is safe to say that Izzy wasn’t the only one who fell in love with Denny through those episodes, as millions of Grey’s fans did as well, making him not only a show-stealer, but one of the most iconic characters no longer on the series which is pretty impressive for a minor character.
1. Finn Dandridge
Looking back, it is hard to believe that Chris O’Donnell as Finn Dandrige was only in nine episodes of the series during seasons two and three. After Derek played with Meredith’s emotions and chose to try to make things work with Addison, Finn swooped in and, although it seemed as though Derek and Meredith were meant to be, Finn was a strong contender. He was also smart, attractive and charming, but much more caring about Meredith and it didn’t take long for fans to start thinking Meredith would be much happier with him. Just when no one expected Meredith to get over Derek, Finn almost made it happen and along the way became a very popular main character who most definitely stole the show and the attention away from all the Meredith/Derek drama as fans started to cheer for Meredith and Finn.