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Grey's Anatomy Fans Really Wish Lexi Had Stayed On The Show Longer

With its deep well of cast members, "Grey's Anatomy" has a history of introducing characters that rise to become fan favorites. Such was the case of Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), the half-sister of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who first appeared in the series in Season 3. With her unique brand of perkiness, valuable photographic memory, and unforgettable romance with Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), it didn't take long for the character to find herself in numerous stand-out scenes. To many fans, Lexie showed much promise as a beloved character on the show. However, her overall time on "Grey's Anatomy" wasn't long.

In Season 8, Lexie died in a plane crash. Her death came as an unexpected blow to fans, but the real reason Chyler Leigh left "Grey's Anatomy" had to do with the actor requesting to be written out of the show. It was an amicable move behind-the-scenes, and Lexie's death gave "Grey's Anatomy" one of its most powerful dramatic moments that was felt for quite some time. Still, as expressed on Reddit, some fans really wish Lexie had stayed on the show longer.

Lexie won in a fan poll by a big margin

In a Reddit post asking fans which character they wished had stayed longer on the show, many wish Lexie Grey had stuck around. Out of 1,400 votes, Lexie won the fan poll with 676. The following most-voted characters in the survey don't even come close, with George O'Malley and Addison Montgomery racking up 231 and 342 votes, respectively. So, why did so many vote for Lexie? Well, as one fan noted, Lexie may have been chosen based on the poll's options. Izzie Stevens, Preston Burke, and Adele Webber round out the rest of the poll. However, other notable characters who left quite tragically, like Mark Sloan, are absent. "I answered Lexie, but I would choose Mark as my #1 given the choice," u/villzzuri wrote. 

But some fans may have felt that Lexie deserved more time on "Grey's Anatomy" because the character never reached their potential. Fans in another Reddit post focused on how Lexie never had enough time or attention from writers to get the level of depth she deserved. If Lexie had stayed longer, it could have been an opportunity to reverse that. "Underused character," U/Grab_Specialist posted. "Could have been so much more developed and well done. And most of her relationship with Mark Sloan was just stupidly pining away for him." U/Aquarian_Girl also felt more time could have helped, as they wrote, "I really liked her and wish she'd stayed in the show longer and that they'd developed her in other ways."

Lexie got to appear again after her death

Sometimes the untimely death of a beloved character on TV doesn't necessarily mean that's the last we ever see of them. The latest seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" have leaned into playing the reunion card, but Season 17 might still be one of the show's highest points in that regard. In the episode "Breathe," Meredith Grey fights for her life during the COVID-19 pandemic and reunites with her sister Lexie Grey in some imaginary beach derived from Meredith's mind. It's the closest the series can play to going beyond the grave while still trying to stay a grounded medical drama. Yet it also got fans excitedly talking about Lexie's return.

It also gave Chyler Leigh another unique "Grey's Anatomy" moment. According to Leigh's interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor had to film her scenes in Canada with a green screen due to travel restrictions during the pandemic. It might have been a surreal experience talking to inanimate objects for her scenes, but Leigh still ultimately thought it was special. "The tribute of this season is really towards first responders and their experience during the whole pandemic, so to be part of that was obviously very special," Leigh said to Entertainment Tonight. "And to be able to close the chapter for Lexie and to appear in a way where she's not eaten by wolves. It was a special experience to be able to be part of that."