10 filler episodes you can skip to save time

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With nearly 400 episodes spanning nearly two decades, Grey’s Anatomy has a wide selection of installments. Not all of them may be relevant to the story of Meredith Gray or the other doctors at Gray Sloan Memorial, leaving a few entries in the series that can be skipped over with little impact on how viewers follow the seasons.

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Those who binge-watch need an overview of episodes they can skip without being left in the dark by the following events. From flashbacks that add little to the plot to gimmick-based stories made purely for fan service, it’s best to know which one Grey’s Anatomy episodes can be removed from watchlists.

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Season 3, Episode 7 “Where Are the Boys”


Alex and George about to fight in GREY'S Anatomy

The majority of qualified physicians seen in Grey’s Anatomy are away from the hospital in this episode. Most of the men go on a camping trip where things spiral out of control, including Burke’s hand shake and George’s fight with Alex injuring one of their fellow campers.

Even the action within the hospital is made up of repetitive stories, such as Izzie’s attempt to mourn Denny’s death and Mark making fruitless moves on Meredith. The episode largely repeats the same arc of previous chapters without resolving any of them.

Season 6, Episode 15 “Time Warp”


Bailey talks to a patient in Grey's Anatomy

Fans were well aware of Richard’s affair with Ellis from season one, so watching an episode dedicated to telling that story in flashback form was pointless. Additionally, Bailey’s early days in the hospital are detailed and how she came to be who she is.


While it contextualizes the characters’ past very well, the episode offers no new material or revelations for fans. It’s mostly meant to give viewers a picture of what happened, instead of hearing it from the characters. Overall, skipping this episode doesn’t change how viewers perceive the protagonists.

Season 7, Episode 6 “These Arms of Mine”


Doctors look at a photo in Grey's Anatomy

A documentary is filmed at the hospital regarding the aftermath of the shooting in the previous season’s finale. The episode focuses primarily on medical cases rather than character relationships, with only Callie and Arizona’s decision to go to Africa together providing some progress.


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However, this resolution only comes at the end, and the majority of events have characters separated and working on their own cases. From Bailey’s failed treatment of Mary to Derek’s attempt to perform surgery on his injured hand, this is an episode where the characters try to do better but not really too far.

Season 7, Episode 18 “Song Under the Song”


Callie watches the operating room in Grey's Anatomy

In all fairness, this episode featured one of the most biting surgeries in Grey’s Anatomy when doctors treated Callie after her accident. And yet, it’s an overly fanciful story that could have been condensed into a few scenes if the show didn’t want there to be an out-of-place musical instead.


Most of the episode’s content is about the doctors breaking into song as part of Callie’s hallucinations. It is certainly fun for those who love Grey’s Anatomybut is also completely pointless since the plot does not advance until Callie’s operation is successful at the end.

Season 8, Episode 7 “Put Me In, Coach”


Teddy Altman plays baseball in Grey's Anatomy

In another whimsical episode, doctors at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital take part in a softball competition. The basis of the story is to provide doctors with a chance to learn about teamwork and cooperation, which is well done but irrelevant to the overall plot.


Back at the hospital, the remaining characters get subplots that carry over from previous episodes without reaching a conclusion. Much of the entertainment comes from the game of softball, and only viewers who prefer a change of backdrop should care about this episode.

Season 8, episode 13 “If/Then”


Alex and Meredith smile at each other in Grey's Anatomy

Many thought Alex might be Meredith’s “person” on Grey’s Anatomy, but this episode imagined him as her potential love interest. It sees Meredith dreaming of an alternate reality where all the characters’ lives have taken a different path, only for them to end up in the same place.

It’s an interesting twist on what fans know about the series, but it’s by no means an essential watch overall. The episode is simply a nod to fans who speculated on the “What if?” storylines from previous stories, with the outcome having no bearing on the events of the rest of the season.

Season 12, Episode 11 “Unbreak My Heart”


April and Jackson are a fan-favorite couple whose breakup lasted a long time onscreen. This episode was basically a highlight of their relationship, with April reminiscing about all the good times before things took a bad turn that resulted in their divorce.

Aside from the reveal that she’s pregnant at the very end, the events here can be ignored. Of course, those who love the couple’s story will no doubt love to check it out due to the presence of so many happy moments they enjoyed. Besides that, however, there’s no need to watch it since April’s pregnancy is brought up again in the next episode.

Season 13, Episode 8 “The Room Where It Happens”


Doctors performing an operation in Grey's Anatomy

Focusing on one case as the setup for many others in the past, the story here is about a patient’s surgery that doctors know nothing about. This allows each main character to reminisce about tragic incidents from their past, which is ultimately the main content to watch.

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Since events that have already taken place are not factored into current events, the sole purpose of the episode is to learn more about the characters’ past adventures. Those who want storylines resolved can move on to the next one as things pick up from the same place.

Season 13, Episode 20 “In the Air Tonight”


Meredith watches a child in Grey's Anatomy

Offering various framing devices is a way that Grey’s Anatomy ensures fans are always watching, and this series entry takes place entirely on a flight. Also, only Meredith and Nathan Riggs are featured, which means the other characters take a break and don’t participate in the story.

As the couple’s relationship progresses to the point where Meredith is ready to be with Nathan, that was already a no-brainer, and the episode doesn’t cast them as romantic either. It makes for entertaining viewing with the way Grey’s Anatomy weaves an episode about a plane, but isn’t that important to the big picture.

Season 14, Episode 20 “Judgment Day”


Doctors seated in a seminary in Grey's Anatomy

There are a lot of subplots in this episode without any story really taking on importance. The main point of attention is the behavior of the assistants when they are accidentally given weed cookies. Elsewhere, the doctors at the hospital learn new secrets about each other.

While some important tidbits like Jackson’s dark family past are significant in their own way, it’s still not nearly as important for fans to consider this a major episode. The hilarity that ensues is best watched with cookies, but can be ignored by viewers who don’t want to go that route.

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