Gratitude, appreciation, giving thanks. No matter what words you use, they all mean the same thing. Happy. We're supposed to be happy. Grateful for friends, family. Happy just to be alive. Whether we like it or not. Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.

Thanks for the Memories is the ninth episode of the second season and the 18th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

None of the doctors can resist cutting as Izzie tries embrace the season by making a perfect thanksgiving dinner but doesn't know how, however Burke saves the day and helps her, while Cristina, Meredith, and Alex hide at work instead of helping Izzie; and George has to embrace his own O'Malley tradition by shooting a turkey.

Full SummaryEdit

Episode in detail.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Addison Montgomery-Shepherd
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Holden McKee
  • Jerry O'Malley
  • Ronny O'Malley
  • Nurse Olivia Harper
  • Joe
  • Coby McKee
  • Dr. Kent
  • Cheryl Leonard
  • Guy
  • Hal Leonard
  • Walter
  • Levi Johnson
  • Harold O'Malley

Main CastEdit

Special Guest StarEdit

Guest StarsEdit



Medical NotesEdit

Holden McKeeEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Minimal consciousness
    • Temporal parietal scalp laceration
    • Epidural hematoma
  • Treatment:
    • Residential care
    • Stitches
    • Amphetamines
    • Surgery

Holden was a firefighter who was injured by falling debris and was believed to be in a persistent vegetative state. He was in residential care. He fell from his bed and his insurance required him to get checked out at the hospital before he could go back. He had a scalp laceration, which they stitched up and they also ran a CT. While he was at the hospital, he opened his eyes and tracked Meredith's voice. Derek determined that he wasn't PVS. He was minimally conscious. Derek believed they might be able to wake him up. They administered amphetamines to give his brain a push. He woke up soon afterward, but still had minimal mobility due to muscle atrophy. An MRI revealed an epidural hematoma. They operated to try to fix the bleed, but he died during the surgery.

Bailey's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Third-degree burns
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Bailey treated a patient with third-degree burns over half his body, which he sustained while trying to deep fry a turkey.

Bailey's Other PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stab wound
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical extraction

Bailey operated to remove a knife from a man who had been stabbed by his wife.

George's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Truncal vagotomy

George tried to tell his brothers about a surgery he assisted on.

Levi JohnsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Foreign body in esophagus
  • Treatment:
    • Foreign body removal

Cristina treated Levi, who had swallowed a wishbone. He needed surgery to remove it.

Harold O'MalleyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gun shot wound
  • Treatment:
    • Debridement

Harold was shot in the butt by one of his sons. George took him to the hospital to remove the birdshot.

Unseen PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Whipple

Richard mentioned a whipple happening when he was meant to be going home.


Song Performer Scene
"Nu Nu (Yeah Yeah)" Fannypack
  • Izzie is preparing for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Meredith tries to sneak out of the house.
"New Song (From Me to You)" Dressy Bessy
  • Alex gets a voice mail from Izzie as he tries to study.
  • Cristina calls George to ask where they keep the liquor.
  • George wants Cristina to come get him.
  • Addison calls Derek.
"Too Hard" Mark McAdam
  • Alex tells Meredith he failed the medical boards.
  • She helps him feel better.
"Dance" The O.A.O.Ts
  • Burke and Izzie perform surgery on the turkey and Joe and his boyfriend make bets.
  • Cristina leaves in frustration to get liquor.
  • Burke goes back to help Izzie.
  • George's family talks about cars.
"Serenade" Emilíana Torrini
  • Izzie goes to set the table.
  • Bailey and Cristina operate on the patient who swallowed the wishbone and talk about Burke.
  • Dr. Kent comes looking for the Nazi and Bailey sends him to the pit.
  • Holden is prepared for surgery.
  • Derek and Meredith talk.
  • George comes back into his dad's room.
"Not Going Anywhere" Keren Ann
  • George tells his dad about how he saved the man's life in the elevator.
  • Mr. McKee dies as Meredith starts to scrub in.
  • Derek tells Coby about his father's death.
"Sad Eyes" Josh Rouse
  • Meredith and Derek say goodbye.
  • Meredith watches from outside as they enjoy Thanksgiving in her house.
  • Alex comes up and Meredith sends him inside to Izzie.
  • Bailey tells Richard to go home.
  • Dr. Kent overhears Richard call her the Nazi.
  • Burke tells Cristina about himself and she tells him about the surgery she helped with.
  • Derek goes to the trailer, where Addison is waiting on the step.
  • Addison asks if Derek's done hurting her yet.
  • Meredith is sitting at the bar when a man sits down next to her. She lets him sit down and buy her a drink.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode's title originated from the song Thanks For the Memories, originally sung by Bob Hope.
  • This episode scored 20.33 million viewers.
  • The season 2 DVD set includes an extended version of this episode as well as an audio commentary by writer Shonda Rhimes and editor Susan Vaill.
  • The dialog between Burke and Izzie when they are cooking dinner is almost exactly the same as George's appendectomy in the pilot. It even had the same background music.
  • This is the first Grey's episode to begin with a rap song.


Episode StillsEdit


Cristina: Where does Meredith keep the booze?
George: I don't think she has any.
Cristina: How is that possible? She's a WASP. Liquor is like oxygen to a WASP.
George: Which is why we're out of liquor.

Cristina: (about inviting Burke to the Thanksgiving dinner) What was I supposed to do? Blow off my boyfriend for Thanksgiving? I tried to. He wouldn't blow. He's like something sticky that won't blow off.

Joe: Hey, this is my boyfriend Walter.
Cristina: Whatever. Tell me you brought liquor.
Joe: I brought pie. Pumpkin.
Cristina: You're a bartender!
Joe: Did you bring scalpels?

Bailey: I like Thanksgiving. Day people spend with their families. Too much family time triggers depression, repressed childhood rage, bitter disputes over the remote and way too much alcohol. People get stupid. People get violent. People get hurt.
Meredith: And that's a good thing because?
Bailey: Surgeries, Grey! Lots and lots of surgeries.

Harold: George, Jerry is a dry cleaner. Ronny works in a post office. I drive a truck. You're a surgeon. You're not one of us. I know it and they know it. You make sure we know it.
George: Dad.
Harold: I'm, I'm not blaming you. It makes me proud that you're so smart. Like I did something right. It's just... We try! We try to include you but, you don't like the stuff that we like. And we don't know how to talk about the stuff that you want to talk about. You're not one of us but, damn it we don't treat you like you're stupid. You treat us like we're stupid. And maybe we are but we're your family. Give us an inch, Georgie. Every once in a while, pick a car.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.

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