16 Times Derek Was Actually The Worst On Grey’s Anatomy

I know, I know. Derek Shepherd is everyone’s favorite heartthrob. A fantastic husband, father, and neurosurgeon, taken from us too soon. Plus, McDreamy Speaking ill of Derek, especially after his untimely death earlier in the series, is basically a one-way ticket to the Grey’s Anatomy doghouse. Sure, Derek was great, except when he wasn’t. Which was often.

His and Meredith’s relationship was always fraught with drama, and believe me, he didn’t often make Meredith’s already tumultuous life any easier. She made plenty of mistakes and missteps through their relationship, yes, but there were also countless times when Derek’s behavior was irritating as hell. Let’s reflect on all those times when the late doctor was anything but dreamy…

When He Was Cheating On His Wife

Sure, Addison cheated on him first with Mark Sloan (R.I.P.), so any bad behavior on the part of Derek was probably excusable, but still. He was a grown man in an adult relationship — he and Addison should have been completely clear on what exactly their relationship entailed. Instead, he flitted off to Seattle, leaving her behind in New York, and began sleeping with an intern. The messed up power dynamics of literally everyone on Grey’s Anatomy sleeping with their superiors is its own issue, but Derek especially shouldn’t have been engaging if he wasn’t perfectly clear with his WIFE that they were officially seeing other people.

When He Didn’t Even TELL Meredith He Was Married

This is definitely way worse than the actual act of cheating on Addison, TBH. Derek made Meredith “the other woman” when she would have reassessed the situation had she known the whole story. Instead, she was blindsided by a rightfully offended Addie. And instead of simply being in a weird intern-boss sexual relationship that wasn’t quite official, Meredith was now caught in the middle of two people with a long history. She didn’t ask for that! She just asked to hook up with the hot guy at the bar, who, if he was a responsible and upfront guy, would have disclosed his marital status to her the moment he found out they’d regularly be seeing each other at the hospital.

When He Still Slept With Meredith When Working Things Out With Addie

The Addison vs. Derek vs. Meredith onslaught continued as Derek tried to salvage his marriage, but still made eyes at Meredith every chance he got. Instead of trying to truly dedicate himself to making things work with Addie, the woman he made vows to and spent years of his life with, he skated through the motions with her while really remaining infatuated with Meredith. Yes, Addie made the first bad move, but she’s making huge efforts to make things right and apologize, and it’s clear how sorry she is. Also, two wrongs don’t make a right! The fact that Derek doesn’t respect that enough to even break things off officially before emotionally checking out should have been a big red flag to Mer.

When He Leads Meredith On Even After He Goes Back To Addie

The zig-zagging continued! Meredith was well aware that Derek hadn’t let her go even when Addison arrived at the hospital and started working there, but he still lead her on. Not just by flirting and stealing glances, but by actually hooking up with her on occasion. She basically had to lay her heart on the line and beg him to love her instead of Addison, and that’s something that no woman should have to do. It’s something no one in any relationship should have to do, really. If the person you love isn’t readily loving you back, and instead keeping you on the backburner while prioritizing someone else, it’s time to peace out.

When He Tells Meredith She’s Just Like Ellis

This was a big one — everyone knows the fraught relationship Meredith had with Ellis and the abuse that she put upon her daughter. The fact that Derek was privy to this sensitive information — information which Meredith was extremely reluctant to divulge — and used it to throw in her face in a moment of anger, is definitely not a good thing. It’s hard to remember any instance in which Meredith used a blow so low when arguing with Derek. When you know someone so intimately and know all their secrets, the last thing you should ever do with that privileged information is use it against them.

When He Slut-Shames Meredith For Moving On

Derek acts extremely antagonistic when Meredith starts to move on from him, even though HE is the one who chose his wife. Though it’s infuriating, it did lead to a pretty badass Meredith Grey monologue: “You don’t get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done. So all the boys, and all the bars, and all the obvious daddy issues, who cared? Because I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I’m all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore.”

When He Kisses Another Woman When Meredith Is Afraid To Commit

After the long and tumultuous road to Meredith and Derek finally giving this a shot, Derek is immediately impatient with her when she’s unwilling to jump headfirst into a relationship. I mean, after he flew back and forth between her and Addie, I’d be pretty wary to put all my eggs in his basket, too! But instead of empathizing and understanding that she might need a little time to get into full “girlfriend mode,” Derek ends up kissing Rose, a nurse he’s sharing the OR with. Maybe this guy should have gotten out of the hospital once in a while — did he know there were other women available aside from those he worked with?

When He Tells Meredith She Should Be Worried That He Met Someone At The Bar

This is a particularly smarmy Derek move. He talks to Lexie — MEREDITH’S SISTER — at the bar, and then immediately makes it some weird kind of power move on Meredith to imply she needs to step up her romance game. He tells Mer that he met a girl at the bar — nothing happened, but he says she was pretty, and he noticed. Um, OK. Meredith asks if he means she needs to be worried that he’s about to stray, and he drops this line on us: “Should you be worried that I met a woman? No. Should you be worried that, for me, flirting with that woman was a highlight of my week? Yeah, you should be worried.” Congrats, Derek. Go flirt.

Every time he was arrogant and cocky

Especially the further on Grey’s Anatomy went, the more Derek seemed to think he was the top dog. And he was — he was an extremely talented surgeon and he certainly had earned some of this confidence, but he still walked around like he owned the place even when he wasn’t the chief. He always talked back to Richard Webber, who was usually his only superior, and always thought he knew best. And when it came time to care about Meredith’s career, he never put the same stake in it as he put in his own. And yet, he expected Meredith to be unwavering in her support of him.

When He Pushed Amelia Away When She Needed Him

Derek and Amelia’s relationship was always strained, but there’s so much more he could have done. It has to be unimaginably difficult loving and supporting an addict as they try to recover, but Derek was a literal brain surgeon with unending resources he could have continued to utilize for Amelia. At the very least, he shouldn’t have harbored such a resentment toward her. He was downright mean when she came back to Seattle, and though it wasn’t an easy situation by any means, he shouldn’t have been so reluctant to let his own flesh and blood back into his life.

When He Tried To Dictate Meredith’s Friends’ Living Arrangements

Derek was extremely chill with Meredith’s friends one moment and then trying to legitimately kick them out of the house the next. Sure, it makes sense that when he and Meredith were locking down the relationship, getting married and thinking about kids, that he wouldn’t want a bunch of co-workers sleeping in their home. But for a long time, they were still living in Meredith’s home — it wasn’t his decision! And he was pretty bratty about it. Meredith had no real family to speak of, especially before Lexie, Amelia and Maggie showed up, so to act so nonchalant about her making her longtime friends move out of the home was definitely not OK.

When He Punched Mark In The Middle Of The Hospital

What on earth is it with Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and doctors thinking they can just clock each other in the middle of the hallway, even when patients and family are in plain view? Especially with the way Derek acted like he owned the hospital, you’d think he would better control his emotions. But no. When Mark Sloan appeared in the hospital, Derek was unable to forget that his former best friend had slept with his wife — understandable — but instead of taking care of business after hours or in private, he unleashed his wrath where everyone could see.

When He Acts Like Meredith Has To Give Up Her Life For His Dreams

Derek is called upon for an extremely prestigious job in Washington, D.C., working for the freakin’ president. That’s a huge opportunity, and Meredith should support it, but the way Derek presented it didn’t do him any favors. He basically proclaimed that the family was moving to D.C. for his job, and acted all taken aback when Meredith didn’t jump up and down with glee. The decision to move across the country with an entire family should be something you sit down and discuss logically, not just assume you know your partner’s answer already. Meredith wasn’t exactly reasonable in this situation either, but after the way Derek started the conversation, who would be?

When He Kisses His Assistant Before Crawling Back To Meredith

WHY CAN’T DEREK STOP KISSING PEOPLE WHO AREN’T HIS WIFE? This seems to be a pattern McDreamy just couldn’t break. While working in D.C., Meredith was back in Seattle and Derek’s assistant plants one on him. He does tell Meredith, to his credit, but why did this random woman think that this was a viable option in the first place? To kiss a married man? He certainly could have shut her down more than he actually did, and it’s pretty horrifying that even years into their relationship Meredith had to wonder if he still has a wandering eye. It doesn’t matter if the kiss just solidified how much he loved Meredith — he shouldn’t have needed that development in order to reach that conclusion.

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