Grey’s Anatomy: Teddy’s 4 best (and 4 worst) traits


Teddy Altman could be a polarizing character in long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, but her fairly complex and layered character arc makes her one of the most relatable people on the show. When Teddy first got to know the show, it was easy to see why Owen considered her his best friend. She proved to be an exceptional surgeon, who had a kind and generous heart.

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However, as the show progressed, fans soon learned that it had some flaws. Not only could she be a bit petty and selfish, but there were also times when Teddy would put his colleagues in awkward positions for something he was doing. However, Teddy remains one of the Grey’s Anatomy more interesting characters.

8 The worst: impulsive

One of Teddy’s worst traits as a person is that he is overly impulsive. Possibly her most impulsive action on the show to date has been her whirlwind marriage to the handsome Henry Burton, who suffered from severe heart disease and desperately needed health insurance to pay for his ongoing treatment.

Teddy decided to marry him so she could have health insurance. While it was a disinterested gesture, others may argue that she married a complete stranger to avoid her residual feelings for Owen. Fortunately, the Teddy-Henry duo worked wonders on audiences, who were heartbroken over Henry’s tragic death.

7 Best: generous and selfless

Teddy holding Henry's hands on Grey's Anatomy MRI machine

Teddy’s impulsive behavior towards Henry also indicated his extreme generosity and kindness. Only the most selfless person would be willing to help a random individual with no strings attached.

Teddy had also never tried to ruin Owen’s relationships even though she had been in love with him for a long time. She told him about her feelings, but that was after she had suppressed her emotions for a long time. Her complicated relationship with Cristina also stemmed from her disinterest, where she somehow felt compelled to help Cristina when she realized that Owen had chosen her. On many occasions, Teddy had put the happiness of his friends above his own.

6 Worst: reserved

Unfortunately, with every good trait, comes a trait that isn’t so great after all. Teddy could be extremely secretive, unable to divulge truths even to the people he loves.

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For example, when he found out that he was pregnant with Allison, Teddy decided not to tell Owen for months. After he found out that he and Amelia had a family of their own, it seemed that Teddy had initially planned to return to Germany and stay there indefinitely. There was also the fact that he had two secret adventures, which resulted in several people being injured.

While Teddy never intended for his secrets to cause trouble, he did prove that perhaps honesty was the best policy.

5 Best: cooperative

Teddy with Nathan and others ready to operate in Iraq at Grey's

Teddy had worked as an army surgeon, which had probably instilled in him a great team spirit. Whatever the circumstance, Teddy knows how to work well as a team, even if he is involved in a dispute with his colleagues. For example, when all the elevators got stuck during a big storm, Teddy was one of those surgeons stuck with a severe trauma patient with Owen and Amelia (“Shelter from the Storm”).

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The situation was tense, but when it mattered, Teddy cooperated so that the patient could be saved. He also worked amicably with Owen after Henry’s death, despite holding him responsible for some time.

4 The worst: difficult and insensitive at times

Teddy on Grey's Anatomy

Teddy is not bad by nature, but sometimes she can be a bit tough and cross a line. For example, many fans thought that the moment he told Cristina that he loved Owen was disrespectful and insensitive considering that he knew how much they loved each other.

Although Jo was wrong to get involved, some fans thought Teddy had crossed a line by throwing Alex’s departure in Jo’s face. While Teddy is mostly kind, there were a few moments when he could be a bit hasty.

3 Better: a good teacher

Teddy teaching Cristina during surgery at Grey's

Despite the affection of the two surgeons for Owen, Teddy proved to be a good teacher and mentor to Cristina. She vowed to help Cristina and became her mentor after Preston Burke and Erica Hahn left the hospital.

Teddy might have been more inclined to mentor Cristina once he discovered that she was important to Owen. Despite causing tension in their relationship when he told Cristina that he loved Owen, at the end of the day he taught Cristina everything he knew.

two Worst: critical

Teddy battles depression Grey's Anatomy

Unfortunately, Teddy has been shown to be a bit of a hypocrite regarding this personality trait. While Teddy has complained that people are judging her for her mistakes, fans are quick to point out that she has done the exact same thing to the other characters.

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When Megan returned, Teddy judged Amelia for not being at Owen’s side, despite not knowing the whole situation. When Teddy also found out about Meredith and Nathan’s affair, he began to question Meredith’s medical judgments and convicted her of agreeing to lead the operation. While Teddy was right that no one has the right to judge her, she should also treat others in the same way.

1 Best: Brave

Teddy performing surgery in Grays

Teddy’s stint as an army surgeon means that for all her flaws, she is heroic. Her career as a trauma surgeon has taught her to make the best use of limited resources. She is a brave woman who has saved many lives, both on and off the field.

It takes courage and commitment to serve as a military surgeon and she has courageously fulfilled her responsibilities when it comes to fans.

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