The hit drama Grey’s Anatomy has seen its fair share of well-known, talented actors and actresses come and go. In a way, the series has become recognizable for its guest stars. Actress Samantha Sloyan, who is best known for her work in the thriller The Haunting of Hill House, made her Grey’s Anatomy debut in season eleven. She came onto the show during one of its most iconic and infamous episodes to date, “How to Save a Life.”

Sloyan portrayed the critical character Dr. Penelope Blake, or Penny. She stayed a part of the show until season twelve, where she made a hasty exit. During her time in the drama, the character made quite an impact. Here are ten things that even the most steadfast Grey’s fans might not even be aware of when it comes to Dr. Penny Blake.

10 Penny Pushed For The Infamous CT Scan

Derek Shepard met a very sad and untimely fate in the very first episode that Penny appeared on. After his accident, he was rushed to a small teaching hospital where Penny pushed for a much needed CT scan.

She should have pushed a lot harder because she was overridden in her medical request by her superiors, and as a result, Derek passed away. Penny will always be known for her role in the passing of McDreamy, which was definitely the worst thing the character ever did.

9 Fans Are Not Pro Penny

Grey’s Anatomy has had many complex characters over the years. Some have been truly lovable (looking at you, George and Denny,) while others grated on fans’ nerves, making misstep after misstep. Derek Shepard falls in the middle of Most Beloved characters. He had his fair share of bad moves, but in the end, he was our Derek and Meredith’s person and earned a place in viewers’ hearts forever.

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Because of the role that Penny played in Derek’s death, she is not well received by Grey’s Anatomy fans. No one can seem to separate her from the sad episode where they first met her.


8 One Grey Sloan Memorial Fan

After Penny played a part in Derek’s death per se, she pops back up in Meredith’s life as Callie’s love interest. Callie brings Penny to a dinner party thrown by Derek’s widow, which was awkward, to say the least.

Later she takes employment at Grey Sloan Memorial, and not everyone is thrilled over this new hire, with the exception of Callie. Things between the doctors heat up pretty quickly, and their love seems permanent.

7 Not A Fan Of School

Because of Penny’s quick stint on the show, we don’t know as much regarding her background as we do some other characters. In the episode “All Eyez on Me,” we learned that Penny was not a fan of high school.

While she clearly had the brains to rise to the top of her class and become a doctor, she didn’t love the social aspect of her four educational years. The reason for this, per Penny, is because of her high school’s cheerleaders. 

6 Penny In The Middle

Fans may recall that before Penny, Callie was in love with Arizona. The two committed their lives to each other and even started a family, welcoming little Sophia into their lives.

Callie moves onto Penny, but when Penny accepts an opportunity in New York City, things between Callie and her former partner get sticky, leaving Penny in the middle. The hard feelings revolve around the custody of Sophia.

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5 Her Show Exit Had To Do With Another Character

Penny’s character came onto the scene during Derek Shepard’s exit, but after that, her role became heavily intertwined with Sara Ramirez’s character, Callie.

Ramirez left the show in season twelve, which might be part of why Penny was also let go from future scripts. While that very well may be the season for the quick exit, other fans point to the fact that Penny was never a huge hit with fans.

4 Trouble Putting Down Roots

In the two seasons that involved Penny, we saw her move about quite a bit. She was at the small teaching hospital where Derek passed away; then, she came aboard at Grey Sloan Memorial. Penny wasn’t there long before discovering that she had been accepted for a New York City position.

Moving around is something embedded in the character. Viewers learned in the episode “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” that Penny moved around as a kid because of her mother’s job as a petroleum seismologist.

3 Fan of Mac And Cheese

The college years are all about trying new things and figuring out who you really are. For Penny, college was here she tried macaroni and cheese for the first time ever.

It was a strange reveal and an even more odd thing to imagine. Who goes through their entire childhood without a bowl of cheesy pasta? This tidbit isn’t a huge part of Penny’s story arc, but it humanizes her character.

2 Lover Of Physics

Penny’s character seems to be a lover of science, generally speaking. She grew up watching her mother work as a petroleum seismologist, and then she decided to go into medicine following her high school years.

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While Penny has what it takes to be a great neurosurgeon (even Amelia had to admit that to herself at one point,) she is a secret lover of physics. When it comes to science, Penny is all about it.

1 Name Mess Up

Penny’s name was not mentioned in words during her debut episode, “How to Save a Life,” but her character’s moniker was revealed in closed captions as Edie. For whatever reason, when we meet Penny again, on the arm of Callie at the infamous dinner party, she is reintroduced as Penny.

Not too many Grey’s characters have gone through a name change during their time on the series! This and spearheading Derek’s demise are her two claims to fame during her time on the show.

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