The Biggest and Most Unforgettable Moments on 'ER'

1999-2000 Anthony Edwards, Alan Alda, And Laura Innes In 'Er.' (Photo By Getty Images)

 Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Over its 15-year history, NBC's ER has had some profound and unforgettable moments. From the shocking death of Dr. Romano to the touching exit of Nurse Hathaway, these are the moments we feel defined this historic drama series.​

Dr. Ross Saves Boy From Flooded Culvert

George Clooney Stars In Year 5 Of Er

Handout/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

ER was never known for its spectacular visual scenes, but one of the few extraordinary and epic moments occurred in season two when Doug Ross (George Clooney) heroically jumps into a culvert to save a boy from drowning. Once he emerges from the water, with the boy in his arms, a bright light comes from the helicopter directly above and shines on the two—a moment that took our breath away.

Prisoners Escape the ER

Goran Višnjić on 'ER'

As season finale moments go, one of the most intense in ER's history occurred in Season 12. Sam's ex is brought into the ER following a prison fight; however, their plan was to escape to freedom via the ER. When Luka puts a wrench in their plan, the prisoners drug him and strap the doctor to a gurney. The prisoners grab Sam and her son and head towards the door, but a shootout ensues and Jerry is shot. A pregnant Abby collapses outside the trauma room where Luka is lying paralyzed on a gurney, watching his wife suffer—and there wasn't anything he could do to help.

Dr. Greene Dies

Greene and Hathaway on ER

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

After separating from his wife due to his bizarre behavior and his daughter's negligence with their infant daughter (which almost killed her), Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) discovers he is dying of brain cancer. He goes to Hawaii to spend his final days and is reunited with his wife and two daughters before slipping peacefully away.

And They Lived Happily Ever After....

Julianna Margulies and George Clooney in 'ER' ('A Hole In The Heart').


Hulton Archive / Getty Images

While many couples came together (and usually broke up) on the series, one of the most memorable relationships was that of Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway. Over the years, the two just couldn't seem to make their relationship work, and when Carol became pregnant with twin girls, we had hoped that Doug would return to be with the woman he loves. When Carol decided to leave County General, she headed to a beautiful lake house in Seattle with her girls and was reunited with Doug. In the final season, Carol and Doug returned and it was revealed that the two really did live happily ever after.

Death by Helicopter

Paul McCrane and Laura Innes star in NBC's primetime drama 'ER', year VII.

 Hulton Archive / Getty Images

He was the doctor you loved to hate—Dr. Romano was always known for being cold, heartless and just plain mean. Admit it, you had hoped Romano would get a taste of his own medicine. In Season 8, Romano lost his arm following an accident with a helicopter. Imagine our surprise when lightning strikes twice and Romano was crushed to death by a helicopter in the ambulance bay right after chewing out Morris for smoking pot on hospital grounds.

Carter and Lucy Are Attacked

Kellie Martin

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The poor doctors at County General have had their fair share of violent encounters with patients over the years. One of the most traumatic encounters took place during a Valentine's Day episode in Season 6 when a schizophrenic patient stabs Carter, and as he falls to the floor, he sees Lucy lying under a bed in a pool of blood. The doctors tried all they could to save Lucy's life, but the sweet med student didn't make it. Carter became addicted to painkillers following this incident, leading to some severe consequences in the long run.

Paging Dr. Gant

Eriq La Salle as (Dr. Peter Benton)
Eriq La Salle as (Dr. Peter Benton).

 Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Dr. Benton was a no-nonsense doctor, teacher, and colleague. In fact, many wondered over the years if Benton had a sensitive side. As we learned over the years, Benton was simply trying to be the best of the best, and he expected his students to achieve the same results. When Dr. Gant (Omar Epps) became Benton's surgical student, he received the same tough treatment the others had experienced over the years. As the time came to receive his first evaluation, Gant feared the worst and ultimately committed suicide by jumping on the El track. He was brought to County General but was unrecognizable. It wasn't until Dr. Gant's pager began going off in the trauma room that we realized he was the patient being treated.

Ray and Neela—Together at Last

Parminder Nagra as Neela

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Doug and Carol may have been the epic ER couple, but Ray and Neela had their share of moments over the years. Their chemistry was undeniable and even when she was married to Gallant, we always hoped these two would finally end up together. However, when a tragic accident took both of Ray's legs, he left town and the woman he loves. In the final season, Ray returned with brand new legs and the chemistry was as potent as ever. Neela decided to leave County General to pursue a new life, which included finally being with the gorgeous Dr. Ray!

Ambulance Explosion Rocks the ER

Mekhi Phifer (R) and his fiancee Oni Souratha

Joey Foley/Getty Images

Many things have exploded over the years, but one of the most tragic explosions took place in an ambulance with Dr. Pratt trapped inside. He survived the explosion, but despite the best efforts from his fellow colleagues, Pratt dies from a carotid tear.

15 Fabulous Years of Excellence

Cast members (from left to right): Anthony Edwards, Laura Innes and Noah Wyle act in scene in NBC's primetime drama series 'ER', year VII.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Many believe that ER had grown tiresome over the last few years, but in reality, this gem of a show never wavered in excellence from those early glory days when it was one of the highest-rated series on television. In its fifteenth and final season, some of the show's most memorable and vital characters returned to bring ER into its final hours: Doug Ross, Mark Greene, Susan Lewis, John Carter, Peter Benton, Carol Hathaway, Kerry Weaver, and Ray Barnett. This historic series has proven that doctors are not gods; they are human just like the rest of us. ER may be gone, but it will never be forgotten.