The 10 worst things Richard and Meredith have done to each other

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Richard Webber and Meredith Gray are two of the oldest characters in Grey’s Anatomy, having been on the show since its inception. They love each other very much, as evidenced by Richard’s worry for Meredith during her Covid coma, but they have done deplorable things to each other in the past as well.

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Whether by accident, neglect, or even just meanness, the way they have acted towards each other makes fans wonder if their relationship is as healthy as it sounds.

Richard had an affair with Ellis Gray

Richard and Ellis stand and smile

This affair happened long before the series began, but it still had an extremely lasting impact on Meredith’s life, culminating in the reveal of her stepsister, Maggie Pierce. Having an affair with a married person is the wrong thing to do.

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With Richard and Ellis, it was even worse, as it separated Meredith’s mother and father and made Ellis resent her daughter more. In fact, Ellis was so upset by Richard leaving her that she cut her wrists in front of Meredith, possibly traumatizing her in the future.

Richard employed Derek’s killer

Penny in her scrubs

While Miranda Bailey was the one employing Penny Blake, Richard knew it and didn’t tell Meredith. Blake was one of the doctors who treated Derek Shepherd before his death due to negligence on their part. No one would want to work with one of her husband’s murderers.

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Despite all of this, Richard knowingly kept Blake’s new position at Meredith’s Secret Hospital. Not only was this a huge betrayal on a personal level, but Meredith was also on the hospital board. She should have been informed of Blake’s employment out of professional courtesy.

Richard employed Addison Montgomery

Addison Montgomery is one of the most popular Grey’s characters, evidenced by the positive reaction to her recent return in Season 18. However, during her first appearance, she was greatly disparaged by fans simply because she was Derek’s wife.

Bringing her on board was a cruel thing to do, as it caused Meredith’s first breakup with Derek. Meredith was clearly distraught when Derek picked Addison, as evidenced by the fact that she ended up getting drunk at Joe’s Bar. Richard’s decision ultimately caused Meredith a year of anguish.


Richard was ungrateful to Meredith

Richard confronts Meredith in Grey's ANatomy

In the Season 9 finale, Richard ended up being electrocuted in the hospital basement. He was eventually found, but suffered serious injuries. Meredith was chosen as the health care attorney, and she chose to perform a difficult operation to keep Richard alive.

After Richard woke up, he berated Meredith furiously for keeping him alive. It was heartbreaking to watch Meredith be devastated by her words. Plus, it was a rare occasion when Richard was being deliberately cruel for no reason or excuse.

Richard got drunk at work

Richard webber

During season 6, Richard started drinking again and it greatly affected his social and professional life. Meredith was one of the first people to realize he had fallen from the wagon, but Richard asked her not to tell anyone. It was an unfair position to put Meredith in.


First, it put Meredith’s career in jeopardy, as she was an accomplice in hiding a surgeon’s drinking problem. Second, Richard’s drinking affected Meredith’s relationship with her husband, as she was uncomfortable keeping such a secret from him.

Meredith was complicit in Richard’s drinking

Grays Anatomy Meredith Gray

Richard’s drinking was his fault. However, a good friend would try to encourage Richard to get help. Meredith knew he was drinking but still didn’t do anything. In fact, she took advantage of the situation because Richard started tutoring her.

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Plus, Meredith refusing to say anything hurt Richard even more. He continued to drink and lost his job as head of surgery. Not to mention, Meredith’s inaction also indirectly caused complications from several of Richard’s botched surgeries.


Meredith got Richard fired

Meredith and a lawyer in Grey's Anatomy court

Richard is no stranger to malpractice, having been fired or demoted at least 3 times during the series. However, not all of these occasions were his fault. In Season 7, Meredith intervened in a medical trial, for which Richard was blamed.

While Meredith’s actions were noble, they cost Richard his post as Chief of Surgery. Richard worked incredibly hard to earn this role, overcoming racism and alcoholism in order to rise through the ranks. Meredith wasn’t thinking about the consequences of her actions and how they would affect those around her.

Meredith refused to invite Richard to her wedding

Richard in the basement of the hospital as he tries to set up the generator after the power outage in Grey's Anatomy

Richard is a father figure to Meredith, which is why it was so surprising and hurtful when Meredith refused to invite Richard to her wedding in Season 5. It was a very selfish act on Meredith’s part, as Richard is essentially his non-biological father.


Granted, they were fighting heavily during this time, but even Derek asked Meredith to reconsider. It is evident throughout Grey’s that Meredith and Richard are like family, so it’s definitely one of the worst things Meredith has ever done to Richard.

Meredith is constantly putting herself in danger

Meredith and Richard are extremely close, which is why it must hurt Richard so much to see Meredith lying at death’s door on several occasions. Some of them cannot be helped, like Meredith who contracted a severe case of coronavirus.

However, there are other instances where Meredith has been deliberately reckless. When Meredith got her hands on an actual bomb, for example. It caused Richard unnecessary pain to see his surrogate daughter act so cavalier with his life, especially in the first few seasons.


Meredith blamed Richard for his tragic childhood

Meredith and her mother had a very controversial relationship. Ellis emotionally neglected Meredith and when Meredith was older she blamed Richard. Granted, Richard and Ellis had been having an affair, but Richard was not responsible for Ellis’ poor parenting skills.

It was unfair of Meredith to condemn Richard. He already felt guilty enough and Ellis seemed to be using Richard as an excuse. A lot of people have been hurt, but they don’t use it as an excuse for shameful parenthood. Besides, Richard made up for it by acting like Father Meredith really deserved.

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