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6 'Grey's Anatomy' Reddit Theories That Explain How The Series Could End

The twists and turns that have come with Grey's Anatomy cannot be understated. The medical drama's 16 (and counting) seasons have been filled with ups, downs, accidents, happy moments, and a ton of deaths. Sadly though, the series will eventually have to end at some point. The writers will surely have a lot to wrap up when it comes to finishing the series, but these Grey's Anatomy Reddit theories suggest what could be in store for the end of the show.

Since the writers of Grey's seem to love a full-circle moment, many of the theories suggest themes from the past will come up in the final episodes. Other theories center around plots that would bring old cast members back: Although many have died (like George O'Malley, Derek Shepherd, and Lexie Grey), and others have moved away from Seattle (like Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens, and Alex Karev), there are a bunch of ideas out there for how these characters could be brought back. Whatever happens, it's clear fans want to ensure the end of the series is as epic as the series itself. Here are a few ways Reddit users think the series could end.

1. Richard's Retirement Brings Everyone Back

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Richard Webber has been a staple of Grey's Anatomy from the start, but his retirement is looming, meaning his journey at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital must soon come to an end. As Reddit user GARGOYLE_EXPERT suggested, this could be a perfect opportunity to bring everyone together one last time to end the series. "The best way for them to end Grey's is to have Richard finally retire, and they bring everyone who isn't dead back for a big party," the user wrote. "They get Cristina, Addison, Callie, Arizona, April, Alex, Izzie, etc. We get to see their families and how everyone has changed/evolved since the beginning. They have an hour of nostalgic flashbacks and then it ends with everyone dancing."

2. A Major Accident Brings Everyone Back

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Grey's Anatomy has had its fair share of wild accidents on the show, and some users think the writers might squeeze at least one more in to wrap things up. "Meredith dies or almost dies (depending on how tragic they want the series to be)," user BOTK_TA hypothesized. "All of the major past actors/actresses come back for one big finale. Meredith has visions of Derek, George, Lexie, Ellis, and Mark. Alex, Izzy, Cristina, Callie, Arizona, April, and Addison fly in." Although sad, it would be an opportunity for old colleagues to reunite in the wake of the major accident.

3. Meredith & Cristina Will Reunite

Another popular theory for the end of Grey's brings the iconic duo of Cristina and Meredith back together. If you recall, Cristina left Grey Sloan after Season 10 when she moved to Zurich, Switzerland, to take a job. "I want the show to end with Meredith leaving with her kids to Zurich. I want her and Cristina to be end game," used Einafets08 posted.

4. Meredith Will Be Diagnosed With Alzheimer's

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The theory Meredith will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's has been circulating for awhile now, since Meredith's mother was diagnosed in Season 3 and Meredith herself tested positive for several of the disease's markers in Season 9. Many Reddit users are into this theory, but they have differing ideas of how an Alzheimer's diagnosis would affect the end of the series.

"I'm still sticking with the theory that Meredith has Alzheimer's and the show has been intern Zola reading the journals of her mother," Reddit user tralalala1234 guessed. User Rhysieroni similarly suggested: "I think it ends with Mer being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and we see a grown-up version of Zola or one of the other kids finding her journals, which are her voiceovers that she does every episode."

Other users think an Alzheimer's diagnosis could set up a perfect situation to bring back old cast members. Much like in Season 8, Episode 13 — an alternate-reality episode in which Meredith's mother is never diagnosed with Alzheimer's — the finale could do something similar. "In the grand finale of the show, a nostalgic Meredith glances toward the empty main hub of the hospital, beginning to imagine what it would be like if everything had stayed the same over time. If nothing had changed. No accidents, no painful grievances, and no words left unsaid," suggested rosesandcoffee. Fans would see George O'Malley consulting with patients, Izzie and Alex buzzing around as a medical power-couple, Mark and Lexi together, and Derek still by Meredith's side.

5. The Children Will Continue Their Parents' Legacies

Medicine clearly runs in Meredith's family, so it's no wonder why some fans think her children Derek Bailey Shepherd, Zola Grey Shepherd, or Ellis Shepherd could be incorporated into the series end. "I figured out a new way of how Grey's can end: Zola and/or Bailey are now going to be interns at Grey Sloan Memorial," user azuredraconis suggested. "Zola and/or Bailey are the kids of famous surgeons just like Meredith was with Ellis." Another user also thinks eldest daughter Zola could even "buy [her parents'] dream house back."

6. Richard Webber's First Speech Will Return

On Meredith's first day at the hospital, the chief of surgery Richard Webber delivered an impactful speech to her and her fellow interns, saying:

Each of you comes today hopeful, wanting in on the game. A month ago you were in med school being taught by doctors. Today, you are the doctors. The seven years you spend here as a surgical resident will be the best and worst of your life. You will be pushed to the breaking point. Look around you. Say hello to your competition. Eight of you will switch to an easier specialty. Five of you will crack under the pressure. Two of you will be asked to leave. This is your starting line. This is your arena. How well you play, that’s up to you.

Reddit users think Meredith could be next in line for the chief of surgery role, and since Grey's writers love a full-circle moment, the series might end with her (or Bailey) repeating Webber's words. User mercy_death wrote: "I always thought the very final scene will be an older Meredith using Richard's speech to introduce new interns."

Grey's Anatomy has been renewed for a Season 17, so fans will have at least one more season to build toward whatever epic series finale is in store. However, there is speculation it may be the last season. As creator Shonda Rhimes has said in the past, she'll keep writing Grey's as long as Pompeo is in, so the fate of the show may truly rest in Meredith Grey's hands.