Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo Reveals She Was 'Horrified' By Iconic McDreamy Scene

Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd’s love story on Grey’s Anatomy will likely go down as one of the greatest romances in television history. Forget the fact that McDreamy was killed off of the ABC medical drama back in Season 11, and that Season 18 has Meredith well on her way to new love with Dr. Nick Marsh. MerDer will live on forever in the hearts of Grey’s Anatomy fans. But Ellen Pompeo has revealed she was “horrified” with one specific moment from Meredith and Derek’s past — one that fans have held onto as one of the show’s most iconic moments.

On her podcast Tell Me, Ellen Pompeo spoke with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay about the famous “Pick me. Choose me. Love me” scene on Grey’s Anatomy. Back in the Season 2 episode "Bring the Pain," Derek was struggling over whether to divorce Addison and continue a relationship with Meredith, or break things off with the then-intern and give his marriage another chance. Meredith confronted Derek at the hospital and tearfully begged the neurosurgeon to sign the divorce papers. Pompeo said she was appalled at what was being asked of her character. 

When I read that scene, I was horrified. I was like, ‘I’m gonna beg a man?’ And then on top of it, you know, it’s like Meredith’s sobbing. I don’t know if it was in the script or not, or the on-set producers wanted me to cry when I was doing the scene. And what’s funny about that scene is I’m bawling my eyes out, but I’m bawling not for the reasons in the scene. I’m bawling because I was like, ‘I can’t believe that I’m on TV begging a man to love me.’

The tears were real, guys. Ellen Pompeo said that while her 12-year-old daughter is not allowed to watch Grey’s Anatomy yet, she did happen upon the famous scene online one day. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, as Pompeo's daughter had quite a similar reaction to the “terrible” scene. In the star's words:

And my daughter was like, ‘Mom! Why did you beg a man to love you?’ And I was like, well praise Jesus that she’s asking me this question and her head is already in the right space at 12. But what do I say? And then I was like, you know, I didn’t write that. I didn’t want to do it. But that scene is wildly popular, right? That just goes to show you how much I know, right? I was like, ‘This scene is terrible, I don’t want to do this scene!’ Yet, it’s like one of the most popular scenes in television history.

Ellen Pompeo makes a good point in saying that Meredith’s pleading for love probably shouldn’t be held as the pinnacle of romantic moves. Know your worth, Meredith and all the other women out there!

And not for nothing, but Derek picked Addison, chose Addison, and loved Addison following Meredith’s desperate speech, at least for a while. MerDer was an inevitable conclusion, of course, and the couple eventually married (three weddings in fact) and had three children together.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 will resume at 9 p.m. ET November 11 as the second half of a crossover event with Station 19 in which not everyone will survive. Also check out our 2021 TV Schedule to keep up with all of the premieres through the end of the year.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.