"Grey's Anatomy" Episode Titles Are From Popular Song Titles

And They Often Reflect a Theme in That Episode

Every episode title of every Grey's Anatomy episode is taken from the title of a song, which very often may reflect some dramatic theme found in that episode. Here are some of the more famous songs that were used as episode titles the long-running series. 

Season 1: "A Hard Day's Night"

The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" Album Cover
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The very first episode title was taken from the Beatles, "A Hard Day's Night," the 1964 classic. 

In this episode, the interns begin their long hard day at Seattle Grace, after young Meredith hooked up with a man at the bar who turns out to be an attending physician, Derek Shephard.

Did you know: Of the nine cast regulars from the first season of Grey's Anatomy, four characters are still present in season 13. 

Season 2: "Something to Talk About"

"Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt was the song title that inspired episode 7 of the second season. Bonnie's hit was released on 1992's Luck of the Draw album. 

In this episode, the hospital staff gossips about Meredith, who has been dumped by Dr. McDreamy, Derek Shephard

Did you know: Canadian actress Sandra Oh, who played Cristina Yang, was arguably the most successful member of the Grey's Anatomy cast, earning a Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild awards, and five Prime Time Emmy nominations for Supporting Actress.

Season 3: "Walk on Water"

The 15th episode of season 3, called "Walk on Water," is named after the Boston rock band Aerosmith's 1995 single. 

This episode takes place at the scene of a ferry boat accident, in which Meredith is accidentally pushed into the water.

Did you know: the director of this episode, Rob Corn, has directed nearly half of all Grey's Anatomy episodes, with 30 under his belt. He also was responsible for another long-running hospital drama Chicago Hope. 

Season 4: "Kung Fu Fighting"

Carl Douglas' disco single, "Kung Fu Fighting" was the inspiration for the sixth episode of season 4, which features two would-be brides fighting in a bridal store. Also in this episode, Webber organizes a gentlemen's night out, with the guys wondering what to expect from their Chief of Surgery's adventure.

Did you know: actress Kathryn Heigl, who plays Izzy Stevens, began her career as a fashion model, and won a Prime Time Emmy Award for Supporting Actress in 2007. 

Season 5: "Dream a Little Dream of Me"

Cristina meets Major Owen Hunt, who pulls an icicle out of her abdomen in the first episode of season 5, which is named for words Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas, sings in the song "Dream a Little Dream of Me," released in 1968.

Did you know: Doris Day originally recorded this classic song in 1956.

Season 6: "Death and All His Friends"

Episode 24, the last episode of season 6 is the dramatic episode in which Gary Clark goes on a rampage through the hospital, killing many people. The episode title, appropriately, is taken from the Coldplay song, "Death and All His Friends," released in 2008.

Did you know: although season 6 was widely criticized as the worst season of Grey's Anatomy, the final episode, "Death and His Friends," was acclaimed as the best episode ever. 

Seaons 7: "I Will Survive"

Gloria Gaynor's 1978 disco hit, "I Will Survive" lent its name to episode 21 of season 7, in which Meredith becomes notably tense and work and personal pressures build up and she prepares for a visit from a social worker who is evaluating her fitness as a parent. 

Did you know: the director of this episode, Tom Verica, is the actor who plays Sam Keating on another Shonda Rhimes drama, How to Get Away with Murder. 

Season 8: "All You Need is Love"

The Beatles classic "All You Need is Love" from 1967's Magical Mystery Tour album is the fitting title for episode 14's Valentine's Day episode, in which the ER becomes filled with romantics. 

Did you know: Justin Chambers, who plays Alex Karev, is another cast member who began his career as a model. His first major acting job was as a cast member for the daytime drama, Another World. 

Season 9: "I Saw Her Standing There"

Yet another Beatles tune, 1968's "I Saw Her Standing There," is also the title of episode 4 of season 9, in which Arizona gets her prosthetic leg after losing hers in the plane crash 

Did you know: the Beatles contributed eight songs that became episode titles for Grey's Anatomy? This is the most of any artist. 

Season 10: "Thriller"

In episode 7 of season 10, ghouls, zombies, and ghostly apparitions invade the emergency room, and fittingly, the episode is named after Michael Jackson's 1982 hit song, "Thriller."

Did you know: "Thriller" (the album) is the all-time best-selling album in all of popular music, selling more than 65 million copies

Season 11: "How to Save a Life"

In this monumental 21st episode of season 11, Derek saves two lives when he happens across a car crash, but is hit by a truck on the highway and is rushed to the hospital, where he is declared brain dead. 

The episode gets its title from The Fray's hit song, "How to Save a Life."

Did you know: actor Patrick Dempsey, who played Derek Shephard, was first married at age 21—his bride was 48 years old. Dempsey is also an accomplished race car driver, competing in many pro-am events, including 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

Sesason 12: "The Sound of Silence"

In episode 9, Meredith is rendered silent because her jaw has been wired shut after it was deliberately broken in order to fix injuries suffered at the hands of a violent patient.

Simon and Garfunkle's hit song from 1964, "The Sound of Silence."

Did you know: This episode was directed by Denzel Washington, the noted actor, and winner of two Academy Awards. 

Season 13: "Both Sides Now"

Bailey and Meredith find themselves pitted against one another when both of their patients are in need of a liver transplant. Fittingly, the episode is titled "Both Sides Now," after the song written by Joni Mitchell and recorded first by Judy Collins in 1967. 

Did you know: ​Chandra Wilson, who plays Dr. ​Miranda Bailey, ​is a frequent episode director for Grey's Anatomy. 

Season 14: "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story"

The finale of Hamilton lends its title to the landmark 300th episode. Meredith's plans to get to the Harper Avery Award ceremony are delayed when an amusement park accident fills the ER - including three patients who strongly resemble her former friends and colleagues Izzie, Cristina, and George.

Did you know: A handful of Grey's Anatomy alumni have taken to the Broadway stage. Sara Ramirez, who played Callie Torres, has a Tony Award for her role in Spamalot, and T.R. Knight, aka George O'Malley, has starred in multiple plays on the Great White Way.

Season 15: "The Winner Takes It All"

Named after one of ABBA's hit ballads, the episode revolves around Amelia and Koracick's attempt to operate on Catherine's cancer. As it turns out, the episode title hints at a darkly punny twist later in the plot.

Did you know: This episode marks the final appearance of Thatcher Grey, Meredith's father, who has been a recurring guest character since the very beginning.

Season 16: "A Diagnosis"

For once, the episode title is straightforward about telling viewers what to expect in the plot, which revolves around Andrew's increasingly desperate attempts to diagnose a patient's mysterious malady.

Did you know: This is an episode of one TV show named after an original song from another TV show. "A Diagnosis" was written for the CW musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.