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)
Dr. Derek Shepherd
Claire Rice
Tina Rice
Olivia Harper
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

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Drama | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »



Release Date:

8 May 2005 (USA)  »

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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 Dr. Shepherd is getting ready for the hemispherectomy, he drinks an espresso after scrubbing and does not re-scrub before surgery. No surgeon would handle food or drink after scrubbing. See more »


Dr. Preston Burke: [taking the X-ray and showing it to Bailey walking by] You remember this guy?
Dr. Miranda Bailey: Ay, the tattooed masochist
Dr. Preston Burke: Had himself shot again
Dr. Miranda Bailey: Glad to see he's still stupid
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Performed by Tegan and Sara
Vapor/Sanctuary Records
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User Reviews

Things begin to shape up
30 July 2008 | by 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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