Happy Birthday, Patrick Dempsey! Here Are Your 10 Best ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Moments
Patrick Dempsey flashes that McDreamy grin of his (Vivian Zink/ABC)
Dr. Derek Shepherd, Meet Intern Meredith Grey (Season 1)
In his first scene with "Grey's Anatomy's" protagonist Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey plays the charming Dr. Derek Shepherd so effortlessly that it is pretty much impossible not to fall for him right along with her. In fact, he's so charismatic that it's difficult to criticize him when he lies about being new in town just to up his chances of winning over Meredith.
Derek and Meredith Steam Up the 'Prom' (Season 2)
This is the episode in which Dempsey earns the title "leading man." Although it's Derek's best friend, Dr. Mark Sloan, who earns the nickname "McSteamy," Derek and Meredith's sexy sojourn in an exam room during the hospital's "prom" is plenty steamy. From Derek's first smoldering look to his desperate kisses, everything about this scene screams "Derek loves Meredith." Too bad he's married to someone else when it happens.
Derek's Big Breakdown (Season 3)
When Meredith has a brush with death after a ferry accident, everything about Derek's reaction is noteworthy. However, it's his near breakdown after yelling at Meredith's distant mother, Ellis, that still stands out in our minds years later. Dempsey perfectly captures Derek's anger at Ellis, and the misery he feels after pondering the possibility that Meredith intentionally threw herself into the water.
McDreamy vs. McSteamy (Season 5)
This unforgettable showdown ostensibly occurs because Mark admits to sleeping with Meredith's sister. It's more accurately viewed as the result of Derek's anger and regret over failing to save a patient -- not to mention years of built-up tension between these best buds, who have shared a love interest on more than one occasion.
Derek Pops the Question (Season 5)
Derek definitely knows how to romance a girl -- at least when the girl in question is a burgeoning neurosurgeon. In one of the show's most memorable scenes, Derek proposes to Meredith in an elevator covered in CT scans from their most meaningful, challenging, and successful surgeries together. How could she say no?