Karen Fratti
September 28, 2017 1:48 pm
ABC

Grey’s Anatomy has been on for so long — Season 14 premieres tonight — that it’s hard to remember a time we lived without all of the characters in our lives. Before there was This Is Us, Grey’s was The Show To Watch if you needed a good cry. And although it’s known for its crazy cliffhangers and plot twists, it’s always hard to lose a cast member. Each one hurt in its own special way, but there are so many reasons that Cristina Yang is the one Grey’s Anatomy‘s character we’ll never stop missing.

Fact: Cristina Yang should be everyone’s role model.

Sure, Yang (played by Sandra Oh) was a little hardcore and definitely had a one-track mind when it came to her career, but she was also an insanely good friend. She was even nice to Alex sometimes before he got good! Yes, Cristina Yang has always been and will always be the best friend we totally wish we had, if only because she’d definitely tell us when we have something in our teeth or fall for the wrong person.

Here are some more reasons why Yang is the best. (Please come back to us.)

1She literally saved everyone.

When people remember Yang, it’s usually because of her work ethic, but her most epic moment was when she literally kept everyone alive after the plane crash in “Flight.” After the plane crash of Season 8, Yang, with only one shoe, stayed up for days while everyone else goes in and out of consciousness, even though she was just as traumatized, obvs. They lost Lexie right away, but Yang made sure everyone else (including Mark Sloan, who died in the hospital months later) made it back to Seattle alive. That’s hardcore.

2She knows how to set boundaries.

Yang never does anything she doesn’t want to. Although she can be wrangled into things, her boundary setting is top notch.

3She’s not uptight at all.

A lot of times, Yang is remembered as being one tough woman, and she is. But Yang also taught us that it’s possible to be driven and know how to have a good time.

4She got very real.

Although she often keeps her emotions tucked away while she processes them, when Yang gets real, she gets very, very real. She knows how to be vulnerable and tell people when she’s hurting, which is an amazing trait to have.

5She never doubted herself.

From the very beginning, Yang knew what she came to do at the hospital. Although it’s sometimes hard, she never lets her personal life get in the way of being an amazing cardio surgeon.

6She’s the world’s greatest friend. Period.

Yang and Meredith had their fair share of disagreements and major fights, but they always worked it out. Even in the first few episodes, when Yang discovered Meredith and Derek’s relationship (and McDreamy chose Grey for a surgery over Yang), she didn’t judge her new friend. She understood that life is complicated even when it’s unfair. Although we do wish she had talked Mer out of some of those terrible sweaters from the early seasons.

7She demanded respect.

Yang never seemed to doubt her worth as a surgeon. She always knew she was “brilliant” and made sure the men in her life could deal with that.

8No one could break down like her.

If anyone knew how to have a total breakdown, it was Yang. Obviously, mental health isn’t something we take lightly, and Yang had her fair share of struggles. When she finally did let things get to her, she would check out entirely, which isn’t always a bad thing. Hey, one time, she even got great furniture out of it.

9She never ragged Meredith for her moves.

OK, no one looks really cool while they’re “dancing it out,” but Cristina definitely had the better moves. And like a true BFF, she never even make fun of her friend for looking kind of ridiculous.

10She was all about girl power.

Cristina leaving was heartbreaking. During her final season, she and Meredith had a huge fight in which she sort of implied that Meredith couldn’t be “great” at work because she was a mom. Which is why her parting advice to her best friend was so perfect — and definitely much needed once Derek died.

11She always knew what she wanted.

In Season 1, Yang got pregnant by Burke and decided to terminate the pregnancy. Later on, when Owen was fighting hard (like, really hard) for a baby, Cristina didn’t let herself get sidetracked. She proved that it’s OK for a woman to not want kids and not change their mind about it. Much like knowing that she’s a surgeon, brilliant, and beautiful, Yang always knew she wasn’t a mom.

12She gave great advice.

Yang was the queen of telling people to STFU. But she always gave pretty wise, if hard to hear, advice to her friends.

13She knew what was important.

Like really, she took no BS.

14She always knew how to have a good time.

As serious and career focused as she was, when Yang had free time, she played hard.

15She was so good at flirting.

Yang had some crazy power over the men in her life. They were captivated by her.

16Like really good.

Yea, Meredith had McDreamy, but all of Yang’s men were definitely the better catches in the long run.

17She made no apologies.

For anything at all.

18Even Callie was moved by her.

And Callie wasn’t scared of anything, really.

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