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How 'Grey's Anatomy' Decides Which Characters To Kill Off

It has a lot to do with the actor's off-screen behavior.
PHOTO: Getty Images

One of the most entertaining parts of watching Grey's Anatomy through the years has been seeing which characters live and which get killed off, and with Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins) and Sarah Drew's (April Kepner) upcoming exits, fans have been speculating about if either of them will ~survive~ the season finale. 

Ellen Pompeo spilled some details, saying that the endings for both characters are not tragic.

"You only get killed off when your behavior is bad. If you're a nice actor, you die nice," Ellen said. She mentioned Sandra Oh as an example, whose character left Seattle to work in Switzerland. "[She] left in the most amazing way. She gave everybody so much notice."

OH. So if you have bad behavior off-screen, it means you'll see a tragic demise on-screen? Okay, that's interesting. Let's do a quick inventory of how different Grey's characters have been killed, shall we?

Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) died in a car crash. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) got hit by a bus. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) died in a plane crash, and so did Mark Sloan (Eric Dane). Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) was killed by a sudden blood clot after surviving open heart surgery. Hmmm... so weird. I'm not sure what conclusion to draw here?? No shade intended by Ellen, I'm sure.

As far as the ending of the series goes, creator Shonda Rhimes has always said she'll do the show as long as Ellen is on board, but that may be changing soon.

"We're getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together," Ellen told Us Weekly. Here's how we all feel about that:

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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