Still reeling from the news of Canada finally putting a stop to the FOREVER running series Degrassi, I thought it would approps to look back on the most ridiculous times the show felt it necessary to fulfill its dramatic tagline, “It Goes There.” I remember the first time I saw Degrassi I was at a friend’s house who had rich people cable (at the time) thus allowing my thirteen-year-old eyes access to “The N”. I watched as a bunch of middle schoolers/possibly high schoolers(?) had sex AND exotic Canadian accents. I was hooked. The day my family finally got digital cable was a day of rejoice. I could finally binge Degrassi. And I did. Hard. I learned a lot of dirty things from this show and their whoreish characters but I also learned via kidz bop intro each episode that whatever it takes (pregnancy, STDs, death) they knew they could make it through. And they did make it through, until they got cancelled. So here’s my ode to the corruption of my youth. Thanks for getting rich people cable when I was thirteen, mom and dad!
10. Toby starts eating laxies so he can wrestle. (Season 2, Episode 9)
I mean c’mon. Toby is a pudgy nerd and looks like he’s 10 for basically the entire series so the writers try to throw him a bone here and give him some drama and it’s embarrassing that this is what they came up with. Toby makes the wrestling team and realizes his weight is no match for Sean’s muscles (sup, Sean?) So he tries to drop a weight class by feasting on laxatives so he can shit out 30 lbs or something. PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT TO BE BETTER AT WRESTLING. Toby, you don’t even crash diet right! Hit the gym, pal. I pretty much don’t remember a thing about Toby for the rest of the show, except that he befriends terrifying Rick and also turns into Mr. Steal Yo Girl after JT dies and flirts up on Liberty. Oh, Tobes.
9. Spinner pops a boner all day, erreday. (Season 2, Episode 5)
Obviously not as dramatic as other issues but Spinner having to give a presentation in class and going all boner jamz taught me all about the binder cover-up. CLASSIC puberty. It’s all fun and boners until Spinner eventually gets testicular cancer. Because why not? If only he knew then what was to come. He would’ve appreciated his surprise boners a little more.
8. Manny debuts a bedazzled bright blue G-String. (Season 3, Episode 3)
Manny Santos decides one day that she’s #OverIt being the quiet, lame sidekick to aggressively feminist Emma so obviously the quickest way to stop being a square is to hike your thong up 6 inches above your Limited Too flare jeans and strut down the main hallway at school. This was a precursor for what to expect with Manny…a casual pregnancy (at 14), boob job and hooters viral video all before graduation and an eventual acting career. You do you, girl.
7. Emma meets her online boyfriend/predator. (Season 1 Episodes 1-2)
Lil baby Emma chats it up all day on AIM with Jordan, “a boy from another school district” and they decided to finally meet up at a hotel, as 12-year-old cyber couples tend to do, and SHOCK CITY it’s a middle aged creep looking for some preteen lovin. This was scandalous for it’s time, the peak of AIM, when making up a screen name and pretending to be someone from another school to talk to your crush was suuupes normal and also could’ve led to rape apparently. Unfortunately for everyone she didn’t wear her dolphin jeans to meet Jordan.
6. Ellie’s mom sets the house on fire and then gets pissed when Ellie moves out. (Season 4, Episode 5.)
So we know Ellie is the Goth girl who slices her wrists, that’s her cross to bear but her mom is a real asshole. She shows up to parent’s night wasted then goes home and covers herself in Jack and torches the house a little bit. So Ellie’s all peace out I’m moving in with my boyfriend. Ellie’s mom slaps the shit out of Sean and demands Ellie comes home until she shows her mom the carrying case she has for all of her sharp objects to injure herself and then mom is like ok you can leave again and I’ll continue to turn this house into kindling. WHAT? is with all the shitty parents in this series. Alex’s mom loses all their money and forces Alex to strip so they don’t get evicted, Craig’s birth dad is the worst human ever (more on that later), Ellie’s mom is addicted to the sauce, Emma’s dad is in a home because he took too much acid and ruined his brain. Apparently Degrassi parents WENT there too.
5. Paige gets raped and sings to her rapist to feel better. (Season 2, Episodes 7-8)
Paige is annoying AF. She dresses like an atrocity, overplays the cool bitchy girl and calls everyone “Hun”. So when hottie soccer player Dean hits on her I was all YESS, a spicy storyline for annoying Paige. Then he casj invited her to a party and raped her. So that ruined things. Obviously traumatized she decides to unleash all of her emotions in a coffeehouse performance with band PMS. Dean sits front row and Paige is all I’M NOT YOUR POOR THINGGGGG and he storms out probably because she’s terrible at singing but Paige takes this as a victory. It’s cringe worthy at best.
4. Craig’s entire existence is THERE. (Seasons 1-8)
Craig is probably the worst character in the history of characters. Any outlandish thing you can imagine, he embodies. First we learn that Craig’s birth dad beats the shit out of him and Craig contemplates stepping in front of a train because his dad is so scary but then no worries, Craig’s dad dies in a car accident. Craig laughs at his funeral because his dad was a dick but also ya boy Craig was a little unstable right from the get go. Then he bangs Ashley and Manny at the same time and doesn’t think it’s all going to blow up in his face. It does. He also knocks Manny up because sleeping with 2 girls without condoms is SO MUCH BETTER than just one. Season 4 brings about bi-polar Craig who runs away from home, asks Ashley to marry him then has a very public meltdown. Craig is prescribed meds to act like a normal person in society again. Later on, Craig’s band sees a little fame and he starts touring but you know what a rock tour brings? Lots of drugs, duh. He gets hooked on the nose candy and everything is going dandy (nailed it) until he’s onstage and gets a gnarly cocaine noise bleed. Oopsie. Oh that’s just Craig, the bi-polar, man whore, beaten, drug addict. I do not and will not ever miss you, Craig. I will however, continue to be baffled with how you managed to ‘trate every girl in Degrassi.
3. Emma gives her first blowie in a van by the river and catches Gonorrhea. (Season 4, Episodes 14-15)
Our sweet little Emma who once fell for the basic plot of To Catch A Predator grew UP over the course of this series and this arc was probably her most shocking, yet also still hilarious. Reeling from witnessing a shootout at school, she recovers by going down to the ravine at night to kick it with 22-year-old high school “student” Jay who may or may not have lived in a van by said ravine. It turns out sketchy Jay runs somewhat of a brothel out of this van and basically gets around the clock beej’s and rewards the chicks by giving them a colored bracelet they can parade around school to show they got all up in that D. Emma soon finds out that he also rewards his biddies with a mean case of Gonorrhea. YIKES. I think she promptly went back to picketing for biodegradable lunch trays after she was cleared of the ‘rea.
2. JT gets stabbed to death at a house party. (Season 6, Episode 11)
In an event to secure another few seasons and apparently make Degrassi seem like it’s one town over from da hood, a rivalry with another high school is created and some shady-lookin, long-haired MF’ers start a little East Canada/West Canada beef. JT always the peacemaker and formerly the little squirt with the spiky hair somehow becomes a target for this Canadian group of hoodrats and they roll up on Liberty’s birthday party and stab JT to death. This was when I officially quit Degrassi. There’s a difference between it GOING there and it taking a high school rivalry and within the matter of minutes having it heightened to a little stabsies of the most laidback character in Degrassi history. I’M STILL NOT OVER JT’S DEATH. RIP JT.
1. Rick shoots up the school and gives Jimmy a new home in a wheelchair. (Season 4, Episodes 7-8)
Rick and Terri are an adorbzies high school couple until Rick suddenly goes Hulk Hogan on her and puts her in a little bit of a coma. Rick sliding into Degrassi and then telling Terri she’s fat and smashing her head in is ridiculous enough but the writers were like you know what? That didn’t really GO there.
So they sent Rick away for a while until we kinda forgot about his creepy existence but then pulled a fast one on us and brought him back. Emma, always the activist of Grrrl Power, immediately gets the whole school to make Rick feel like the piece of garbage that he is. Then Spinner drops paint on him and feathers him as a prank and suddenly Rick’s runnin’ through the 6 with his woes runnin’ through the hallways with a glock. He shoots Jimmy, paralyzing him for life (or a couple seasons) and then offs himself…all while wearing feathers.
Of course this is the most dramatic thing to ever happen on Degrassi and the most memorable but above all I’d like to thank this episode for creating this:
PLAY US OUT WHEELCHAIR DRIZZY