#CalzonaForever: Revisiting Callie and Arizona From 'Grey's Anatomy's' Iconic Love Story

Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins' romance started with a kiss at a 'Grey's Anatomy' staple, Joe's Bar.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
By

Mar. 12 2024, Updated 1:30 p.m. ET

(l-r): Jessica Capshaw as Dr. Arizona Robbins and Sara Ramirez as Dr. Callie Torres
Source: ABC/Netflix

Some people believe you shouldn’t find love where you work. Yes, I know there’s another term for doing such a thing, but I’m keeping it classy for one of my favorite fictional LGBTQIA+ couples: Callie and Arizona from Grey’s Anatomy.

For several seasons, Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Arizona Robbins’ (Jessica Capshaw) love story kept Grey’s fans in a chokehold.

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Whether they were melting our hearts every time Arizona called Callie her “government name,” “Calliope,” or they were having a too-hot-for-TV pizza night, Callie and Arizona, or “Calzona,” stole our hearts and infuriated us at the same time, as most Grey’s couples tend to do, honestly.

Sadly, Arizona and Callie’s romance ended in a divorce. However, with love like theirs, we could always see them go for another round of marriage, breakups, and finding their way back again.

Callie and Arizona connect with a bar bathroom kiss in Season 5, ep. 14, “Beat Your Heart Out.”

(l-r): Jessica Capshaw and Sara Ramirez as their 'Grey's Anatomy' characters, Dr. Arizona Robbins and Dr. Callie Torres
Source: ABC/Netflix

Callie and Arizona’s relationship began in Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy. At the time, Callie, who we already saw married and divorced Dr. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), casually hookup with Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), had discovered a development in her sexuality. However, after a brief fling with Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), Callie was heartbroken when Erica unexpectedly ended the relationship and quit Seattle Grace Hospital.

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Amid Callie’s grief, Arizona spoke encouraging words to her in the bathroom at Joe’s Bar. As Callie cried, Arizona assured her there would be plenty of women “lined up” to date her when she was ready. Arizona asked her if she knew anyone specifically, which caused Arizona to kiss her and say, “I think you’ll know.” So smooth!

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Callie and Arizona deal with obstacles early into their relationship due to homophobia.

Sara Ramirez as Dr. Callie Torres crying
Source: ABC/Netflix

While Arizona kissed Callie in a bar bathroom, the pediatric surgeon became standoffish when she realized Callie was what some would call a “baby” in the LGBTQIA+ community. Nonetheless, she removed her biases, which were hot and heavy until Callie’s father, played by Hector Elizondo, came to visit. Once Callie’s dad realized she and Arizona were dating, he begged her to return home with him.

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When Callie refused, he cut her off financially and stopped returning her phone calls. The cut-off from her dad forced Callie, who grew up wealthy, to work extra shifts at the ER to make ends meet. She initially pushed Arizona away but eventually told her what was happening, and they figured it out together.

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Season 6 shows the first Calzona breakup occurs over their opposing views on having kids.

(l-r): Callie crying as she and Arizona break up,
Source: ABC/Netflix

Season 6 began with Arizona helping Callie through some troubling times. Her ex, George, died in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 5 finale after a bus crash. Additionally, Callie quit her job when she couldn’t get an attending position. However, when Callie supported Arizona when she lost one of her favorite patients — a boy named Wallace (Khamani Griffin) who shared her birthday — Arizona realized Callie was the one and told her she loved her for the first time.

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Unfortunately, Calzona’s troubles began soon after they exchanged I love yous. Arizona told Callie she doesn’t want to have kids during a conversation, to Callie’s horror. Although Callie tries to convince Arizona to change her mind, they eventually break up.

Several episodes later, a shooting occurred at the hospital, forcing Callie and Arizona to work together to save the children in Arizona’s unit. The tragedy allowed them to see their love was worth keeping as well, and they were back on track.

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The second Calzona breakup in Season 7 resulted in Callie conceiving a baby with Dr. Mark Sloan.

(l-r): Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres and Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins
Source: Getty Images

While Calzona paused the baby conversation and moved forward, they faced another obstacle in their relationship in Season 7. In the months following the hospital shooting, Arizona received a grant to help care for children in Africa. The move meant Arizona would be living in Africa for three years. Callie, who doesn’t want to travel long distances, begrudgingly agrees to go with Arizona.

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Arizona senses Callie doesn’t want to move. Callie’s passive-aggressive attitude causes them to argue on the way to Africa. During the argument, Arizona suggests Callie stay there, and she moves to Africa alone. Callie then gives Arizona an ultimatum, stating, “If you go, we are over!” Arizona replied, “We are standing in the middle of an airport, screaming at each other. We're already over.”

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Season 7, Ep. 18, “Song Beneath the Song,” tests their relationship when Callie almost dies in a car crash.

Callie and Arizona’s breakup resulted in Callie doing everything possible to forget about being left at the airport. She eventually rekindles her situationship with Mark and tries to move on. However, several weeks later, Arizona returns from Africa and tells Callie how much she misses her at her doorstep. Callie gives Arizona the cold shoulder, letting her ex know she broke her heart.

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Arizona begs and pleads to get back into Callie’s good graces. Eventually, Callie decides to let her guard down and tell her she’s pregnant with Mark’s baby. She asks Arizona if she’s still ready to make things work. Arizona agrees to co-parent with her and Mark, though she’s not OK with them raising a baby with the hunky plastic surgeon.

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However, when Callie nearly dies in a car crash on their way to a BNB, Arizona, Mark puts their differences aside in between musical numbers (did you know Calliope means music?) and cares for Callie and their newborn daughter, Sofia Robbins-Sloan.

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Callie and Arizona get married in Season 7, Ep. 20, “White Wedding.”

Callie and Arizona were stronger than ever after their near-fatal car crash and the birth of their baby girl. In “White Wedding,” they made their love legal when they decided to get married. Unfortunately, not everyone in their life was supportive, primarily Callie’s mom, played by Gina Gallego.

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After shaming her daughter for being a bisexual woman, marrying another woman, and having her child out of wedlock, Callie’s mom refused to stay for the wedding. Thankfully, the wedding continued, with Callie and Arizona wearing dazzling wedding dresses while being officiated by Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson). Callie’s dad also made it to the wedding after previously leaving with her mom, just in time to dance with his daughter.

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Season 8 was The best Calzona season… until the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ plane crash

Season 8 is often the season I refer to as “the Grey’s Anatomy calm before the storm.” The storm means, of course, the plane crash in which Arizona, Mark, Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), and Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) were stranded in the woods, and Lexie died.

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Before that horrific time, many Grey’s couples were on an upswing, especially Calzona. The pair was finally happy and staying together, and they even gave their co-parent, Mark, advice on their relationship. Arizona and Mark also had a sibling-like rapport as they bonded over Coc au Vin.

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The aftermath of the plane crash led to Arizona cheating on Callie in Season 9

The Season 8 plane crash forever shifts Grey’s Anatomy as fans know it. The crash resulted in the deaths of Mark and Lexie and was responsible for the reason we now call Seattle Grace Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (though, depending on who you ask, it’s a “his mama named him… situation).

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The crash also caused Arizona to lose one of her legs, as it had to be amputated at Callie's orthopedic surgeon’s request. Although Arizona begged Callie to save the leg, she knew amputation, followed by a prosthetic leg, would be best in saving her wife’s life.

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The decision causes tension between Callie and Arizona, eventually resulting in Arizona having an affair with Dr. Lauren Boswell (Hilarie Burton). While the affair is brief, Callie discovers it and confronts Arizona. During their argument, Arizona told Callie she would never understand her pain because she wasn’t in the plane crash and didn’t lose anything. Callie then tells Arizona, “Apparently, I lost you.”

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Season 10 shows Callie and Arizona briefly reconcile.

Season 10 opens with Callie airing her and Arizona’s dirty laundry in front of their friends and colleagues. She then leaves their home and becomes a “sister wife” with Meredith and Derek. After Callie almost loses her license in a malpractice lawsuit regarding a high-profile double amputee patient named Travis Reed (Jason Dechert), she realizes what’s essential and forgives Arizona.

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However, Arizona reopened its old wound when her hookup with a resident, Dr. Leah Murphy (Tessa Ferrer), resulted in the hospital changing its policies regarding romantic relationships within the hospital.

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Callie and Arizona officially divorced in Season 11

In Season 11, Callie and Arizona’s relationship is in trouble for a familiar reason. During Season 10, we discovered the couple had privately dealt with Arizona miscarrying their second baby. After the miscarriage, Arizona shared she didn’t want to have any more kids, stating their daughter, Sofia, was enough for her.

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Callie wanted more children and was upset that Arizona switched specialties to become a neonatal surgeon. The couple agreed to begin counseling, where they’re advised to spend 30 days living separate lives. During that time, Callie realized she didn’t want to rekindle her marriage and asked Arizona for a divorce.

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In Season 12, Callie’s new girlfriend ruins her and Arizona’s co-parenting relationship… among other things

Season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy showed Callie and Arizona attempting to move on with their new lives as single women. To no one’s surprise, Callie wasn’t single for very long. However, no one expected her to date Dr. Penelope “Penny” Blake (Samantha Sloyan). For those unaware, Penny was one of the infuriating doctors who failed Derek when he was fighting for his life after a truck crashed into his car. Woo, the tears I cried while watching the episode “How to Save a Life” were too much!

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Penny, who had been dating Callie while being a resident at Grey Sloan, didn’t sit well with many of Callie’s friends, especially Derek’s wife, Meredith. Nonetheless, they were fine until Penny received an offer to attend a fellowship in New York. Callie again agreed to move with Penny, only this time with her and Arizona’s daughter, Sofia.

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Arizona refused to allow Callie to take their daughter and sued Callie for full custody. The nasty custody battle divided the hospital and resulted in Callie losing the case. Thankfully, Arizona decided it was time for them to stop the madness and agreed to arrange a custody agreement that served them both. Callie eventually moved to New York with Penny.

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Arizona hints at reconciling with Callie in Season 14 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

After Callie’s departure, Arizona dated around a few lucky ladies, including Dr. Eliza Minnick (Marika Domińczyk) and Dr. Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato). But when she realizes Sofia is unhappy in Seattle, she decides to move to New York and quit Grey Sloan Memorial so Sofia can have both of her moms.

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Arizona revealed in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 finale that Callie and Penny broke up. She also confirmed that no one had driven her “crazy” quite like Callie, though she didn’t see them reconciling anytime soon. However, fans held on to hope as Arizona smiled when Callie texted her, “I can’t wait to see you!” in Arizona’s final Grey’s scene.

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Arizona’s Season 14 exit meant fans had to wonder what happened between her and Callie once they were in the same city. With Arizona returning to Grey’s for Season 20, there’s hope Calzona is back and spicier than ever!

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

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