Grey’s Anatomy: Why Was George Called “007”?

A big part of Grey’s Anatomy’s success is due to its combination of comedy and drama, and while it has seen a number of tragic moments, it also makes way for a good dose of humor, such as when the characters are given different nicknames. One of the most unforgettable ones was George O’Malley’s “007” nickname, but why did he earn that particular nickname and how did it impact him? Grey’s Anatomy shows no signs of stopping soon, and over the course of more than 15 seasons, it has seen many heartwarming moments but also many tragic ones, especially with those characters who were killed off.


Grey’s Anatomy follows the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attendings as they juggle their personal and professional lives, which overlap and create a lot of drama inside and outside the hospital. Grey’s Anatomy is led by Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who started her journey as an intern at Seattle Grace Hospital (now named Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital) and is now Head of Surgery at the same hospital. As she has spent the majority of her professional life at Grey Sloan, Meredith has met many people and also lived through many tragedies, such as the death of George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), one of her closest friends who had one of the most heartbreaking deaths of the series so far.

Related: How Grey’s Anatomy Teased George’s Death In The Very First Episode

George O’Malley was introduced in Grey’s Anatomy season 1 as an intern alongside Meredith and other fan-favorite characters, such as Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), and Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), but unlike all of them, he was given a tragic ending. George’s journey in Grey’s Anatomy was full of ups and downs, and like his fellow interns, he earned a couple of nicknames, most notably “007”, which came in handy during his final moments.

What Happened To George O’Malley In Grey’s Anatomy?

On his first day as an intern, in Grey’s Anatomy premiere episode, “A Hard Day’s Night”, Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) chose George to assist him on a surgery. George performed the surgery perfectly until he accidentally pulled the purse strings and broke them, causing the patient to bleed, so Burke pushed him aside and finished the surgery. Because of this incident, George O’Malley earned the nickname “007”, as he had “license to kill”, but this nickname wasn’t exclusive to George. A few episodes later in season 1, Izzie convinced Cristina to perform an unauthorized autopsy so she wouldn’t be known as the new 007, and in the novel The Grey’s Anatomy Guide to Healing with Love, Sydney Heron was the 007 of her generation.

George failed his intern exam as he was distracted by other problems, and even though he eventually became a resident, he suddenly decided to join the U.S. Army in Iraq. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr) gave him his last day off so he could spend time with his family, but on his way home, George jumped in front of a bus to save a woman’s life. George was brought to the hospital, but he was severely disfigured, so much so that he was unrecognizable, and it was the infamous “007” nickname that allowed the staff to know who they were trying to save. George managed to trace “007” on Meredith’s hand, who quickly notified the rest that “John Doe” was George. Unfortunately, his brain swelled during surgery, and George was declared brain-dead. “007” is not a fun nickname to have in the world of Grey’s Anatomy, but it helped George a lot when he needed it the most.

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