Hypothetically, it should be easy to figure out the ages of everyone on Grey’s Anatomy. The series began in 2005, and most people are about 26 years old when they start their medical residency. The story begins when heroine Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) enters the first year of her residency program, so, she should be about 26 at that point and about 42 now, 16 seasons later, right? Wrong.
The timeline of Grey’s Anatomy is bonkers. Over the last 16 seasons — and 14-and-a-half years — the ABC drama has gone through its fair share of time jumps, flash forwards, and confusingly long “years.” For example, did you know the first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, which are, all together, 61 episodes of television, took place over a single calendar year? One measly year, countless breakups, hookups, and makeups over roughly 2,562 minutes of TV.
Then, there were time jumps during seasons 11 and 12 to deal with the death of Derek Shepard (Patrick Dempsey). And there’s the simple question of how long a pre-Grey's Meredith traveling through Europe and how much earlier that backpacking trip took place ahead of the three-season long “year” that is the start of Grey’s Anatomy. And the fact that people can’t decide if those three seasons represent 2004 into 2005 or 2006 into 2007 (in real life, the series starts in 2005, but season 3 wrapped in 2007). These people have gone through a lot!
We told you this entire thing is A Mess. So, let’s try to figure out how old everyone really is — keep reading for the closest thing you’re going to get to answers.