Grey's Anatomy (2005– )
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The Self-Destruct Button 

Izzie and George find out about Meredith and Derek, while Cristina makes a discovery of her own. George thinks an anesthesiologist is drinking on the job, and Meredith deals with a young girl who has had illegal surgery.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Richard Webber (credit only)
Digby Owens
Claire Rice
Tina Rice
Mr. Rice


Derek and Meredith try to be discreet as they spend the night together at Meredith's house, but their haggard appearance speaks volumes to Bailey, who warns Meredith to end the relationship. Meanwhile, George suspects an anesthesiologist of drinking on the job, Alex treats a former competitor who now finds honor in self-mutilation, Izzie has to deal with a patient who won't let his girlfriend go, literally, and Cristina battles a case of what seems to be the flu. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance




Release Date:

8 May 2005 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode's title references the song "The Self-Destruct Button", originally sung by Dana Monteith. See more »


When Christina is turning around to look at the observation window in surgery, she has her head turned half way up, the camera angle shifts, and it is suddenly back down again and turns all the way again. See more »


Dr. George O'Malley: How's a pompous cocky jackass like you always have women all over him?
Dr. Alex Karev: Little bluebell pills. Lots of them.
Dr. George O'Malley: Oh c'mon.
Dr. Alex Karev: Float like a butterfly sting like a bee. O'Malley, you think too much, can't you see it? You gotta dance and jab, dance and jab! Like me. I am the Ali of this place.
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Cosy in the Rocket
(Main Title Theme)
Written by Carim Clasmann and Galla Durant
Performed by Psapp
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User Reviews

Things begin to shape up
30 July 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

This was the first episode of Grey's Anatomy I ever saw, in December 2005 on Italian TV (it aired right before a Nip/Tuck rerun I wanted to tape), based on my brother's recommendation. In a way, I'm glad I started watching the show regularly from this point (I saw the previous six episodes much later on DVD), as this is the one where all the main characters are already perfectly defined and allowed to interact in an appealing mixture of comedy and drama.

Most satisfyingly, almost everyone has something relevant to do in this episode: Meredith and Derek keep getting hell from Bailey because of their relationship (even Izzie freaks out on the subject), George suspects an anesthesiologist drinks on the job, Izzie gets to deal with a patient who literally won't let his girlfriend go (he swallowed her keys) and Cristina gets what appears to be a bout of the flu.

The Self-Destruct Button is, for the most part, a very funny episode, one that allows even the usually bland protagonist some better moments (not too many, though) and gives the likes of Wilson and Dempsey a chance to expand on the comedic potential they have shown previously, while leaving room for a subplot whose development promises to be very good. Plus, a key-swallowing guy: don't see that very often, huh?

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