‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Characters We Need to Return in Season 17

Grey’s Anatomy is thrilling fans with surprise appearances from all of our old favorites. Patrick Dempsey’s return as Derek for multiple episodes is definitely a storyline that will go down in Grey’s Anatomy history. T. R. Knight reprised his role as George on the beach and gave fans a rollercoaster of emotions in the best way. Chyler Leigh, who portrayed Lexie, and Sarah Drew, who portrayed April, are both set to return in future episodes as well, much to fans’ delight.

So who else do we want to see (dead or alive) have their big return moment? Let’s discuss.

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Let’s be honest, Alex Karev stole hearts with his character development, evolving from the underdog of the group to one of the best characters on the series. Fans were absolutely devastated at the news of his exit and many were not satisfied with his out of character ending; because let’s face facts, while it is in character to want to be there for his kids, it is not in character for him to leave his wife. He is one of the most loyal characters, leaving his loved ones without a goodbye or any sort of real closure besides a letter (oh the irony of that — if you know, you know) is not the Alex Karev we know and love.

Before the show comes to an end, we need one last Alex and Meredith moment. If he was still on the show, we all know he’d be by her side right now. Fingers crossed Justin Chambers comes back for some real closure. The show truly isn’t the same without him.

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Jessica Capshaw portrayed one of the first members of the LGBTQ+ community to be represented as a series regular on network television, ensuring Arizona Robbins will never be forgotten and her legacy will always be important. Arizona never shied away from her sexuality, embracing the fact that she was a proud lesbian. Many fans have shared how Arizona helped them with their own sexuality, showing how television can truly have an impact in real lives.

Arizona first appeared on the show in season 5 before exiting in season 14. Her character was written out with grace, Arizona deciding to do what’s best for her daughter and move New York so Sofia can have both of her mothers in her life.

ABC/Danny Feld

Sara Ramirez brought the the longest running LGBTQ+ character in television history to life; Callie eventually owning her sexuality and coming out as bisexual. She also gave Latinx people a way to see themselves on screen, which was so crucial for TV when she joined the show in season 2 and still is. Fans had to say goodbye to Callie in season 12, which involved a heartbreaking custody storyline between her and her ex-wife, Arizona. The character meant a lot to multiple different communities, allowing them to feel seen and heard.

Thankfully, she wasn’t killed off, going off to New York with her daughter. The Orthopedic surgeon’s return would definitely be an important one for fans, the show needing this character’s voice in the mix.


While the show does still mention Cristina, nothing compares to having Sandra Oh on our screens. The actress left the show in season 10, Cristina moving to Zurich and becoming the director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The storyline also involved Preston Burke’s return. Cristina was always a fan favorite and still is, you can’t think of Grey’s Anatomy without thinking of Cristina. Everyone needs a friend like Cristina. The character also allowed Asian Americans to see themselves as a main role rather than a side character. Cristina was brilliant and never apologized for it, a lesson every woman needs to live by. She knew her worth and she never failed to go after what she deserved.

Fans have constantly expressed their desire for Oh to make an appearance before the series ends and with all of these returns, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Cristina is next.


Everyone’s heart broke when saying goodbye to Mark Sloan, fans having the cruel ability to see his last moments before his death and that devastating small end scene with him taking a video of his daughter with co-parents, Arizona and Callie, before accidentally turning the video onto himself and smiling into the camera. Eric Dane joined the show in season 2 before being killed off in the beginning of season 9. Now, this appearance is definitely possible since his death followed directly after the love of his life, Lexie’s.

With Lexie being the next character on the beach, hopefully we get some sort of cameo from Mark to confirm the two happy and at peace together in the afterlife. We saw Deluca being welcomed on the beach by his mom to signify his death, could that similar scenario occur with Lexie and Mark as she leaves the beach?


Kate Walsh joined the show at the end of season 1 before leaving at the end of season 3, which resulted in her own spin-off show, Private Practice. The show went on for a total of 6 seasons. She quickly became a fan favorite and ever since her exit and the end of Private Practice, fans have wanted her to return to Grey’s Anatomy. Could now be the chance to somehow write her back in?

Be sure to watch new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, Thursdays at 9pm ET.

2 thoughts on “‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Characters We Need to Return in Season 17

  1. If Cristina, Alex, or Mark come back, I’d be overjoyed. Actually everyone is your list would be good to see again.

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