15 Grey’s Anatomy couples ranked on their relationship functionality

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Grey's Anatomy
GREY’S ANATOMY – “Girlfriend in a Coma” – A patient gives Meredith some clarity on her dating situation around the holidays. The strain on Bailey and Ben’s marriage comes to a head. Meanwhile, Betty drops a bomb on Owen and Amelia on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, FEB. 7 (8:00-9:01 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Mitch Haaseth)JUSTIN CHAMBERS, CAMILLA LUDDINGTON /

When it comes to dysfunctional romance, Grey’s Anatomy has become somewhat of an expert.

Over the years, Grey’s Anatomy has warmed and broken our hearts over and over with its sweet, wild, and sometimes completely nonsensical couplings.

When doctors date doctors — and sometimes, uh, when doctors fall in love with their patients? — chaos almost always ensues. Sometimes these relationships end up working out. Sometimes they’re so tragic and unhealthy fans let out a collective sigh of relief when they’re finally over.

Here are some of the most dysfunctional romances the show has given us — and some that function so well, we hope they never, ever come undone.

15. Izzie and Denny

This is the Grey’s Anatomy relationship that first ruined “Chasing Cars” for an entire fandom forever, but that doesn’t mean it was a functional romance. In fact, these two would have likely never worked out in the end, even if Denny had survived the whole ordeal.

It’s not his death that made their romance so dysfunctional, though everything leading up to it certainly contributed to the resulting chaos. The fact that Denny was Izzie’s patient, therefore making the whole thing unethical and problematic from the start, isn’t even the worst of it.

Functional relationships are built on trust and understanding, and the fact is, Denny should have been able to trust Izzie to do the right thing when it came time for him to go. She didn’t. She risked not only her own career, but those of the people around her. And she took a healthy heart away from someone who needed it more.

Izzie would have thrown her entire life and career away for him even if he’d survived — a life and career she had worked so hard for so many years to build from the ground up. And he would have let her. 

That’s not a sign they would have lasted even if things would have worked out in his favor in the end. She would have ended up resenting him, even if she did truly love him.

Some relationships just start out wrong and never make it past that. Izzie and Denny had their moments, but as sad as their ending was, it was likely for the best.