This article is based on "51 Things You Probably Didnt Know About Greys Anatomy". If you're interested in reading more, check out the link at the bottom of the article. Sources for each individual fact are found under each fact.
"I don't see what McDreamy or McSteamy see in her." "She's McHot."
2/22 Rob Lowe was offered the role of Derek Shepherd but turned it down because ABC dramas tended to flop and he had already signed on to a CBS show called Dr. Vegas. He admitted that Grey's Anatomy had a better script and in the end Dr. Vegas was cancelled after 5 episodes.
3/22 Shonda Rhimes loved watching surgeries on Discovery Channel with her sisters. She was fascinated by how surgeons would discuss the most mundane things about their relationships or children while someone's life was in their hands. This juxtaposition inspired her to create Grey's Anatomy when ABC approached her about a new pilot.
4/22 The character of Alex Karev was written after the first episode had already been shot. The writers wanted to provide a male companion for George O'Malley so shot Justin Chambers' scenes separately and added them in digitally.
5/22 Chandra Wilson, Kevin McKidd, and Sara Ramirez performed a concert for ABC producers to convince them that a musical episode was necessary.
6/22 Isaiah Washington learned all his surgeries before performing them on the show. He frequently followed surgeons for upwards of 48 hours to feel what a typical shift is like.
7/22 Shonda Rhimes wanted the characters to start the show as interns because she wanted to take a hard look at the feeling of not really knowing what you've gotten yourself into.
8/22 Jessica Capshaw auditioned for the show a mere two weeks after giving birth to her first child because she loved the series so much. However she was auditioning for the role of Nurse Rose and it ended up going to Lauren Stamile instead. She came back a few years later to audition for the role of Sadie, who went to Melissa George, before finally landing the role of Arizona Robbins.
9/22 In the post-it note marriage scene Patrick Dempsey actually wrote down everything that Meredith and Derek said on the notepad. The plan was to use a post-it from the prop department for the closeup shots later but Dempsey was so in the moment that he wrote down everything the characters said perfectly.
10/22 Hilarie Burton (who played Lauren Boswell) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who played Denny Duquette) are a couple in real life.
11/22 Taylor Swift is such a big fan of the show that she named her cat Meredith after Ellen Pompeo's character.
12/22 The network complained that the characters said "vagina" too much, despite vagina being the anatomically correct word to use and the fact that it was being used on a medical show where penis was said regularly with no complaint. The writers opted for va-jay-jay because it sounded funny but fought the vagina point and eventually won.
13/22 Shonda Rhimes wanted to set the series in her hometown Chicago but decided against it since another medical show, ER, was already set there.
14/22 During the pilot process the show's name was changed from Grey's Anatomy to Complications and then changed back to Grey's Anatomy. The title is in reference to Gray's Anatomy, a popular human anatomy textbook by Henry Gray.
15/22 While filming Flight Chyler Leigh opted to stay under the plane wreckage for the better part of two days rather than coming in and out to make it easier on the crew.
16/22 The names on the OR board are crew members on the show.
17/22 To date Ellen Pompeo is the only actor to have appeared in every episode of the series.
18/22 Before joining the cast Sara Ramirez starred as The Lady Of The Lake in Spamalot, a role for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2005.
19/22 Kevin McKidd actually speaks with a Scottish accent when he's not on the show. If you want to give it a listen, watch him in Made of Honor.
20/22 Shonda Rhimes never planned on having certain characters as certain races except for Miranda Bailey who she pictured as a petite blonde with curly hair. Still, she left it open the agents if they had anyone who could fit the character description and in the end Chandra Wilson, who is African American, got the role. This colour blind casting process resulted in many interracial relationships, including Cristina Yang and Preston Burke in which neither character is Caucasian.
21/22 Katherine Heigl withdrew from the 2008 Emmy race because she felt she wasn't given enough material that season to warrant a nomination and wanted to make sure that other actresses who were given more material were considered.
22/22 All five original surgical interns each underwent surgery themselves: Meredith for a liver donation and c-section, Alex for a gunshot wound, George for a bus accident, Izzie for brain cancer, and Cristina for an ectopic pregnancy.