The 100 Most Intense Moments of Degrassi’s First 10 Seasons (50-26)

50. Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes Run Amok In Canada

4.20 “West Eng Girls” & 4.21 & 22 “Going Down the Road” Parts 1 & 2

Caitlin and Joey were the it couple of ’80s Degrassi: Canada’s own Ross & Rachel. Though I never saw much of Degrassi Junior High/High, I got to know their story due to it being continued on Degrassi: TNG. The very first episode was even about the two meeting for the first time since their epic breakup in 1992. That was in the TV movie School’s Out, and was meant to be the end of Degrassi. Wikipedia says the plot of SO is largely about Caitlin and Joey’s romantic relationship following the end of the school year until Joey cheats on her with a girl named Tessa. That movie sounds intense too, there was even an abortion and a deadly car crash, and those were the subplots! School’s Out was so intense it made Canadian history:

[T]he scene where Caitlin utters the infamous line “Tessa Campanelli? You were fucking Tessa Campanelli?” was the first time the word “fuck” was heard on Canadian broadcast television.

— Wikipedia

So the Joey-Caitlin Saga (JoCa) ends with a nasty breakup. However, Degrassi was the biggest thing in Canada since Neil Young, and a hungry nation yearned for more. So when the franchise was restarted in 2001, with a new cast of kids, Joey and Caitlin were brought back as adults. A small portion of the first four seasons centered on the two. In the premiere episode, we learn that Caitlin went on to be a famous TV nature host with her own show (Ryan’s Planet), but then ends up working for a local TV station. I like to believe she was demoted for drinking on the job. In the 90s, Joey got married to a woman who left her abusive doctor husband (but didn’t bother to get her son, Craig, out of that environment),  had a daughter with him and then died. The audience never saw his wife, but did see Joey go from a smooth teen of ambiguous ethnicity in the 90s to a bald used car salesman in the 2000s.

JoCa got back together at some point. I forget when and damn if I will look it up. Caitlin received an offer to go around the world to report on AIDS, but didn’t want to do it because she thought it would be the end of her relationship with Joey. Caitlin was dumb like that. 1.) it was a huge opportunity for her career 2.) like Joey could do better. Before Caitlin, Joey could only get women to go out with him by offering them free cars. He offered so many girls so many free cars that he almost lost his house, so Caitlin had to buy it for him.

Anyway, for the final three episodes of season 4, Kevin Smith (the character) came to Degrassi Community School to film a high school movie, probably with a lot of dick jokes. Kevin Smith (the real person) used to masturbate to Caitlin Ryan back in the day. I think the real Smith was in his twenties at the time that the girl who played Ryan was 15, but whatever. So real Smith got in touch with the Degrassi people to make his sexual dreams come true. In the episodes, he seduces Caitlin away from Joey, by making out with her in a bar when she is drunk, and then having sex with her when she is crying and hysterical. Even in a fantasy, this is the best Kevin Smith could do.

Maybe Caitlin was under the mistaken impression that Smith could further her career. It still marked the end of JoCa. The Degrassi producers were willing to destroy their oldest and most famous pairing–the one that they centered the end of the original series around and made Canadian TV history–to fulfill Kevin Smith’s masturbation fantasy.

Shows you how much the producers value their own show.

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While in Canada Kevin Smith stole Caitlin Ryan away from Joey. That had to hurt, we all knew somebody was going to take her since Joey is barely a man, but Kevin Smith? That’s like losing a boxing match to a guy with no arms.

–Kevin Smith/Jason Mewes Character Bio

Also, Jason Mewes hit on all sorts of underage girls. Both in character and real life.

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Look at how Jason spends his time hitting on all the teenage girls. In commentary, Jason says he wanted to sleep with all of the girls.

49. Paige Gets High

5.03 “Death of a Disco Dancer”

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Now Paige and Alex are high as a kite at the college fair. They don’t do anything but laugh a lot, but that’s pretty much all you do when you smoke pot. They should have tried to play Excite Bike high, they’d do really good and that would make the game seem interesting for once. I would have liked it more if the scene got really trippy, with psychedelic graphics and that one Jefferson Airplane song playing in the background.

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Paige has to meet the rep from Banting all stoned. She tries to handle herself and play it cool, man, real cool. But she just ends up giggling and admits she is high.

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Well, Paige was rejected from Banting because of that. Plus the rep told her mom, so Paige is grounded. Remember kids, drugs will ruin your life forever, even if you a only do a tiny bit once. It got Paige rejected form the university she had always dreamed of going to, even though she has only mentioned that place in this episode. And Alex’s mom is still a whore on welfare. Well, I guess Alex didn’t lose anything from smoking pot, her life sucked already. But hey, she got free pot.

48. Spinner is Expelled/Drunk

4.16 “Eye of the Tiger”

This was the beginning of Spinner’s fall from grace following the shooting. I blame his haircut, it was disgusting and un-manly.

Jay uses the mixture of rum and coke as an analogy for his friendship with Spinner. You see, Jay tastes like fire and rubs people the wrong way. But Spinner is sweet and refreshing. And when they get together, someone ends the day in a wheelchair.

Spinner then takes the keys to Joey’s car and heads outside for a joyride. Now the crew is concerned about Spinner. They don’t want him to go drunk driving and possibly hurt himself and others. A season ago, no one would have dared get in the way of Spinner endangering other people’s lives. But now they are all “Stop trying to put people in wheelchairs, Spinner. One is enough.”

47. Craig Invites Spinner to His Slumber Party

2.06 “Drive”

The first three seasons of this show had so many great moments like this. They weren’t serious or important to the show’s overall story, but they were fun little scenes that we carry in our hearts forever.

Craig inviting the guys over gave rise to the greatest conversation in all of Degrassi – and human – history.

Spinner: Because we are going to party!

Craig: No party Spin.

Spinner: Girls?

Craig: No girls.

Spinner: Booze?

Craig: No Booze.

Spinner: Donuts?

Craig: That we can do!

46. Paige Starts a Fire in Her Dorm

6.14 “Free Fallin'” Part 1

Paige Michalchuk got accepted into Banting University despite an episode last season that had her not get accepted due to meeting the admissions rep while stoned. Paige is under a lot of pressure to be first Polish person to graduate college*, and snaps.

Hey did you hear the joke about the Pollack who went to college?

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Back at school, Paige is feeling the pressure. So she decides to do the only logical thing: burn the school down. This works out well until she realizes that fire is dangerous.

* I don’t think her brother, Dylan, finished college before going to Switzerland to play gay hockey.

45. Darcy/Manny Catfight

5.18 “High Fidelity” Part 1

It all had to do with Spinner, of course. This was the run-up to the graduation of season 1’s 8th graders, though none of the characters here would graduate for another two to four years due to the appearance of the Degrassi Time Warp.

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Spinner is at the movies on a date with Darcy. Darcy starts bitching about Manny coming on to him. Spinner doesn’t need to hear no woman yapping about her problems so he heads to the lobby. He meets Paige and Paige gives him a free bag of candy. Sweet! Things are looking good for Spinner.

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Darcy calls Manny a slut so Manny has to throw down. “That is the last time anyone ever calls me that!” Manny yells.

Which is a hilarious thing to say, because we called Manny a slut all the time. Even in episodes where she didn’t do anything.

Manny and Darcy fight. And remember, they are fighting over Spinner so there’s going to be a lot of blood and broken bones. Needless to say, one girl would be walking way from that fight dead if Spinner had not used his well defined biceps to pry the girls apart.

The problem is that Darcy is mad because Spinner is not a virgin like she is. Why the fuck did she ever think he was, he’s Spinner after all? That’s like dating Bill Gates and being under the impression he’s poor. Then again, Spinner did lie and tell Darcy he was a virgin. And you DO NOT contradict Spinner.

Girl on a Date with Spinner: Look at how beautiful the bright blue sky is.

Spinner: It’s orange. The sky is orange!

Girl: Yes Spinner. You are correct. Well thank you for walking me to my house. You’re really sweet.

Spinner: You mean my house. This is my house.

Girl: um…um…but…

Spinner: Excuse me?

Girl: No sir! I am sorry sir. [Girl begins to undo Spinner’s zipper.]

Spinner: That’s right. Now tell your family it was nice to have them visit, but they have to get out of my house now. And make sure they leave all that furniture. That’s mine too.

44. Mia Goes to Paris, Baby Stays in Canada

9.01 & 02 “Just Can’t Get Enough” Parts 1 & 2

Like Shane Grimes before her, Nina Dobrev was rescued hired away from Degrassi by the CW. She traded in the role of Mia Jones, teen mom, for a vampire’s girlfriend on Twilight: the Series. I think her character is dating two vampires at the same time.

Dobrev needed to leave for a new show in another country, so her character had to disappear permanently. Except Mia wasn’t yet at graduation age, so it couldn’t be an organic departure (graduation). About half the time a major character has to exit abruptly, the writers will try write him or her an out, usually to pursue music. For Darcy, it was a trip to Kenya to build a school, which she hastily announced in the very same episode she left. She must have built the entire city of Nairobi by now. Seriously, Darcy’s little sister, Clare, is a main character now, and not having Darcy come back maybe wouldn’t have been such a big deal–until their parent’s divorce. Now it’s weird that Darcy can’t be around because Grimes has better things to do. Darcy has been in Africa for several years now and no one has ever said why.

Then there is Mia’s departure. She became a model in the first episode of season 8, and in the season 9 premiere, was given an offer to move to Paris to further her career. This will be kickass for her, but not so much for the baby she has as a unwed teenage mother. JT can’t take care of the baby, he’s dead. The father is still around, but he is also a teenager, so has no money to care for it. Mia pawned her little mistake onto her mother and set off for France. I wonder if Mia’s child is young enough to completely forget her mother’s memory. Because she will.

Mia’s an asshole.

Mia waits for Peter in the abandoned factory he lives by looking as cute as button with no visible stretch marks for some reason. Mia tells Peter that she has been anointed “The New Euro-Fresh Face” by French President Sarkozy and will be moving to Paris to model. Peter says he will go to Paris with Mia. If this means that the Peter character is going to be gone from the show, I am all for it. He can leave his awesome Flea poster with me. Flea would be so ashamed to be learn he was an inspiration for Studz that he would barely be able to work up the ability to bone your mom.

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