Grey's Anatomy/A Hard Day's Night

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A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night
Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate March 27, 2005
Production Number 101
Written by Shonda Rhimes
Directed by Peter Horton

1x02 →
The First Cut Is the Deepest
Grey's AnatomySeason One

A Hard Day's Night is the first episode of the first season of Grey's Anatomy.

Starring: Ellen Pompeo (Dr. Meredith Grey), Sandra Oh (Dr. Cristina Yang), Katherine Heigl (Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens), Justin Chambers (Dr. Alex Karev), T.R. Knight (Dr. George O'Malley), Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey), James Pickens, Jr. (Dr. Richard Webber), Isaiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke), Patrick Dempsey (Dr. Derek Shepherd)

Guest Starring: Skyler Shaye (Katie Bryce), Randall Arney (Mr. Bryce), Kate Burton (Ellis Grey), Robbie Troy (Mrs. Bryce), Moe Irvin (Nurse Tyler), Lynn Marie Stewart (Nurse), Laura Carson (Gloria Savitch), Sean Palmer (Intern #3), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Intern #2), Richard Gilbert-Hill (Small Town Doctor), Grinnell Morris (Intern #4), David Vegh (Tony Savitch), Kathleen M. Darcy (Anaesthesiologist), Brad Pennington (Radiologist), Noelle McCutchen (Nurse #2), Josh Bywater (Intern #1), Gregory Erff (Mr. Jones), Billy Wood (Senior Resident)


Plot Overview

Meredith Grey has been living under the shadow of her famous surgeon mother all throughout medical school, but in her first day as an internship at Seattle Grace Hospital she has a chance to prove herself. Or, she would if she weren't too busy freaking out about the day ahead of her. She and three others are assigned to "The Nazi," Miranda Bailey. What starts as a one-night stand becomes the bane of her life when she discovers that the man she slept with is her boss. And, to top it off, she's saddled with the case of a teenager with a mystery affliction.

While Meredith wrestles with the problems she faces and gains a friend in Cristina Yang. Dr. Burke decides to give the first surgery of the interns' careers at the hospital to George O'Malley. Unfortunately for Burke, O'Malley made the biggest mistake a doctor can make when talking to the family of a patient; making a promise.

After a scare involving Katie Bryce, Meredith's patient, going into seizures, Meredith and Cristina attempt to figure out what's wrong with her. Meredith does this mainly for her own personal sanity, but Cristina is enticed by Dr. Shepherd's promise that the one who figures out why Katie has been seizing will get to scrub up and assist in her surgery. They eventually take a chance and figure that her illness may have been caused by a small aneurysm caused by a fall she suffered while training for rhythmic gymnastics. They manage to guess right, but Shepherd doesn't pick them both; he picks Meredith.

Meanwhile, in George's first surgery, the patient dies and he is told off by Burke when he finds out about the promise fiasco. Because he promised that the patient would be fine, he's given the responsibility of telling the wife of the patient that she's a widow. While he wrestles with the personal demons involved with this, Cristina and Meredith have a falling out over Shepherd's decision. However, the surgery goes as planned and the two make up towards the end of their 48 hour shift.

After her shift is over, Meredith goes to see her mother who turns out to be in a nursing home suffering from some kind of degenerative memory condition, possibly Alzheimer's. Despite all the talk of Meredith's genius doctor mother, she can't remember her own daughter, much less being a doctor herself.



  • Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes
  • O.A.O.T.S. - Dance
  • Thirteen Senses - Into the Fire
  • Butterfly Boucher - Life is Short
  • Vaughan Penn - Ready to Rise
  • BANG sugar BANG - Super Cool
  • Jem - They

Arc Advancement





The Show

  • Alex Who?: The reason why Alex Karev seems out of place in this episode is because his character was a last minute addition and his scenes were composed of reshoots that were edited into the finished pilot.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • A Hard Day's Night: The title of the episode refers to the Beatles song of the same name. The song was released as the title track for the soundtrack of the movie A Hard Day's Night. The title of the song was inspired by a Ringoism, where he said "It's been a hard day..." before realising that the sun had gone down and suddenly interjected "Night!"
  • Dr. Kevorkian: Dr. Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist who championed the cause of the "right to die" and physician assisted suicide. Until he was tried and convicted of second-degree homicide, he had assisted the deaths of over 100 patients. He was sentenced to 10-to-25 years in prison.
Meredith: If I hadn't taken the Hippocratic Oath I'd Kevorkian her with my bare hands.

Memorable Moments


  • Cristina: That's the Nazi?
George: I thought the Nazi would be a man.
Meredith: I thought the Nazi would be... the Nazi.
Izzie: Maybe it's professional jealousy. Maybe she's brilliant and they call her a Nazi because they're jealous. Maybe she's nice.
Cristina: Let me guess. You're the model.
Izzie: [to Bailey] Hi, I'm Isobel Stevens, but everyone just calls me Izzie.
Bailey: I have five rules. Memorize them. Rule number one, don't bother sucking up. I already hate you, that's not gonna change.