Movies & TV Shows

Cristina’s 10 Best & Shadiest Burns, Ranked

Grey’s Anatomy recently returned to air with season 19, and fans are falling in love with it all over again. There is a variety of new characters involved, and some fans are saying the new season feels like old Grey’s again. However, there is something special about older episodes that these new ones can hardly accomplish.

And it might be that most of the original characters like Cristina Yang have left the hospital and the new ones fail to measure up to the iconic flagship cast. There was just something special about Cristina insulting everyone around her, and generally being better than everyone else.


“Why? Cause You’re Dumb As A Box Of Hammers?”

Season 6, Episode 21

Cristina Yang looking at someone with a slight smile.

Being the surgical prodigy she is, Cristina can afford to be a little too self-confident sometimes. In a rare moment when she’s actually trying to teach her interns something new like talking to patients and their families, the interns kind of prove her point.

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When one of them replies they’re not great at analogies, she provides an example that is also a burn to their intelligence. She even brings the analogy home by explaining that this was an example, which sort of stings a little more.


Season 7, Episode 9

Cristina Yang staring judgingly at someone on Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy is a show that does tragedy mixed with humor really well, and that comes across when Cristina quits being a surgeon due to her severe PTSD post the mass shooting at the hospital.

She’s bartending and brings everyone a drink she invented, called Early On-Set Alzheimers. When the doctors say it’s too strong and switch to other drinks, Cristina calls them all babies. It seemed the only person able to keep up with her was Bailey, who thought the drink was delicious.

“First-year med students. Too dumb to find the toilet.”

Season 7, Episode 12

Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) in Grey's Anatomy

Some burns are cleverly disguised, but in this case, Cristina isn’t holding anything back – least of all her feelings about the first-year med students. Even though she once was a first-year med student, she has a clear distaste for them.

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The students, however, actually prove her right in this case. They demonstrate that even though someone is smart enough to get into med school, they won’t necessarily finish it. It’s one of the most hilarious interactions she has, and Meredith is quick to agree with her on this one.

“Are You Guys The Slow Class?”

Season 8, Episode 3

Cristina Yang looking concerned on Grey's Anatomy

If there is one thing Cristina doesn’t like it’s the med students and the new interns. Being as smart as she is, comes with certain disadvantages, and she is tired of dumbing it down to teach her interns. She delivers this painful burn to the new group of interns, and it is as offensive as it is hilarious.

Of course, the new interns are fresh out of med school, and probably very confused when it comes to certain things, but having completed medical school, they are anything but stupid. But Cristina acts like her intellectual abilities make her somehow better than everyone else.

“I Won’t Have Time To Talk To You.

I’ll Be Too Busy Being Better Than You.”

Season 10, Episode 20

Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy

Meredith and Cristina’s friendship is one of the more iconic on the show. They were more sisters than friends, bordering on being true family despite not being actually related. They have a similarly dark sense of humor, and it often comes in handy when they interact because some of the things they say to each other can be really offensive.

When Cristina is in the running for a Harper Avery, she confidently states that once she gets the award, she won’t have time to talk to Meredith anymore – she’ll be too busy being better. Luckily, Meredith knows her friend well and doesn’t take this burn the wrong way.

“Fifty says she’s back in the cuckoo’s nest by lunch.”

Season 7, Episode 2

Cristina Yang in her Stanford sweatshirt with her hair down in her apartment in Grey's Anatomy

Another popular victim of Cristina’s shady burns is Lexie. She’s Cristina’s intern, so she should probably be immune to those already, but this is where Cristina’s dark humor comes through.

When Lexie suffers a breakdown after the mass shooting at the hospital, she ends up in the psychiatric ward until she feels better. This is, of course, nothing to be ashamed of and completely normal after trauma. When Lexie starts acting weird, Cristina bets on her losing it again. It’s one of the most insensitive things she says on the show.

“No Wonder You Are So Organized…

…You Have Virgin Superpowers.”

Season 7, Episode 21

Grey's Anatomy's Cristina Yang

The friendship between Cristina and April is iconic and underrated, and April is very often on the receiving end of Cristina’s burns. This particular quote was disguised as a compliment, but Cristina can’t help herself.

She keeps talking about how the lack of sex is making her more organized and reminds April that it must be the reason she’s always so organized. April’s virginity becomes almost an inside joke between the doctors, and Cristina is as ruthless as always.

“Good. You Almost Make Me Want To Learn Your Name.”

Season 9, Episode 7

Cristina Yang puts her hands behind her head and leans back in Grey's Anatomy.

Cristina is always quick to show people that unless they are as brilliant as she is, they don’t really matter. She gives her interns numbers instead of learning their names and is adamant about not learning them.

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This could even be considered a nice thing for Cristina to say to one of her interns, however, it’s the almost that makes this one of the best burns she ever delivered. It tells the person that even though they did one thing right, it’s still not quite good enough for Cristina Yang.

“Oh Come On. I’m Dark?

…I’m Not The One Going Around Choking People In Their Sleep.”

Season 6, Episode 2Cristina Yang with her hands together looking serious in Grey's Anatomy

Cristina’s sense of humor can get very dark at times, and she often gives the impression she doesn’t care about certain things. Her bedside etiquette can also be lacking, and Owen is quick to point that out while conversing with a psychiatry doctor.

Cristina is quick to return the favor, by bringing up an incident that happened between the two due to Owen’s military-related PTSD. It would not be the nicest thing to say, even if it was meant as a joke, especially because Owen felt very guilty about it. It’s just one of the things that makes this one of the worst relationships on the show.

“Only People That Never Win Any Awards Say That.”

Season 6, Episode 16

Cristina looking intently at someone in Grey's Anatomy.

This time, Cristina’s teacher Teddy is the target of the burn. Cristina is one of the most ambitious characters in Grey’s, and she is confirmed to have done amazing things even after the time she left the show. So winning awards is a clear goal for her.

But someone like Teddy might not necessarily share Cristina’s affliction for awards. She’s been in the military, and her priorities likely lie elsewhere. Cristina is quick to remind her that only people who never win awards say they don’t care about awards, implying she is that person.

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