Degrassi

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800px-Degrassi-10 logo 2779.jpg
Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through.
Opening Theme

Formerly titled Degrassi: The Next Generation, Degrassi is a Canadian Teen Drama about a group of kids in a Toronto high school and the problems they face. Started out in 1979 as the mini-series The Kids of Degrassi Street, it has gone through several incarnations since then. The current version started in 2001 and has some of the kid actors from the 1980s show as adults. Produced and aired in Canada by CTV (2001–09) and MuchMusic (2010-present); it airs in the US on the Nickelodeon-owned cable network Teen Nick (formerly The N).

This show is very much like a Soap Opera, with constantly shifting relationships and angst, but can be as serious as a regular television drama. On the plus side, the Soap Opera format lets it go much deeper and more long-term than the average show about teens (no solving problems in twenty minutes, and most of the kids have gone through real Character Development).

On the negative side, the show is as melodramatic as adult soaps. Hardly an episode goes by without one of the kids catching a social disease, escaping their house before it burns down, being diagnosed as bipolar, cutting themselves, losing all of their friends in a single night, getting beaten into a coma, shooting up the school, etc. In the very first episode, Emma narrowly avoids getting raped by a pedophile she met online (and Emma's mother got pregnant with her as a teen on the 1980s show). There are times when it feels like one giant Very Special Episode stretched out into a Story Arc (except that the very special problem isn't resolved in twenty minutes).

However, the show is worth watching for three reasons. First, this is one of the few exceptions to Dawson Casting; the teenage characters are all played by actual teenagers, and they're very good actors. Many Degrassi alums have gone on to star in American teen dramas and movies, despite now being in their twenties. Second, despite the famed Anvilicious-ness of the show, some of the lessons taught by the show are really important for the teenage audience. Degrassi is usually cited as one of the few "earnest" Teen Dramas and the show has won a Peabody in 2011 for the portrayal of Adam, the first regular transgender character in the history of teen television. Thirdly, the show has a very teenage morality (or what the writers assume to be one anyway) -- tattling on other teens is portrayed as a bigger sin than bullying or stealing, for example. This means that a Family-Unfriendly Aesop is as common as a straight one, and although the show is extremely preachy, it's not predictable.

Starting in the 10th season, the show is using with a daily telenovela format for the first 24 episodes of the season. There's also a episode recap page that needs some wiki love. Boycott the Caf is a website that gives humorously skewed reviews and summaries of Degrassi episodes, and is a fountain of fandom in-jokes.

Tropes used in Degrassi include:
  • Abhorrent Admirer: There are a few examples of this throughout the series.
    • Liberty is presented as this in the early seasons when she falls for Sean and starts trying (painfully unsuccessfully) to seem like a "bad girl" in order to impress him. Subverted when Sean introduces her to Trey "Towerz" Hightower, who does not consider her abhorrent at all.
    • When Connor expresses interest in Clare, she sees him this way, especially after he becomes violent towards Alli and poorly handles her rejection.
    • Love Queen 16, Connor's online friend, exaggerates about her age and good looks on the internet.
    • Arguably, Imogen starts off as this towards Eli, who wants nothing to do with any woman besides Clare. By the beginning of season eleven, Eli has a change of heart and sees her as a legitimate romantic option.
  • Above the Influence: Sean in the season 1 finale, at least in fanon. Played straight in Rock This Town.
  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Subverted as Jenna hitting KC with her guitar is treated seriously and the first sign that she's losing it dealing with the pressure of being a teen mom.
    • However, the point wasn’t taken by the rejoicing fandom.
    • Subverted when Connor received the same punishment for interacting with a female online predator that Emma did. Mr. Simpson was involved in both situations and took them both seriously.
  • Abusive Parents: There are several examples in the series.
    • Craig runs away in early seasons because his father hits him.
    • When Ellie's father leaves for Iraq, her mother's alcoholism becomes out of control. She ignores Ellie, leaving her to fend for herself, and is emotionally abusive on the rare occasion when she is actually awake. Unlike most abusive parents in the series, however, Mrs. Nash makes a commitment to change and sticks to it.
    • K.C.'s parents are presented as abusive in season eight. Subverted when his mother goes to rehab and becomes a kind and responsible parent.
    • Despite the assumption that Jane hates her father for leaving the family, in season eight it is revealed that he sexually abused her as a child.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The student council is apparently unsupervised and the Student Council President and class reps seem like they make the school run alongside the faculty. They plan dances, fundraise and get Natasha Bedingfield to perform at prom. The president is widely respected and the student council races are intense.
  • Accidental Pervert: JT staring at Craig's penis. Then Craig saw JT, Toby, and Danny come out of the stall. I'm sure Craig was convinced Manny was The Beard.
  • Actor Allusion: The season 9 school play, Space Awakening. (May be more of a Shout-Out since Jake Epstein's gone from the show)
  • Adam Westing: During the fifth and sixth seasons, almost every commercial and webisode consisted of the characters making fun of how melodramatic the show was. And when Degrassi actors appeared on any other teen show, it was always to mock their character.
  • A-Cup Angst: JT has a really small penis.
    • Jimmy's impotent.
    • Manny has A-Cup Angst despite being at least a D cup.
    • Subverted by Clare when Jenna spreads rumors that Clare is getting implants in a desperate attempt to get KC back. Clare stuffs her bra as a joke and then proclaims that if she actually wanted KC back, implants would not be necessary.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Every teen character, since the focus rotates to different characters.
  • Adorkable: Toby, JT, Wesley.
  • Affectionate Parody: Boycott the Caf
  • Alcoholic Parent: Ellie's mom
  • All Abusers Are Male: Though Degrassi has at least one rape or instance of domestic violence every two seasons, every character who experiences these things experiences it from men. Paige is raped by Dean, Craig is abused by his father, Darcy is raped by a faceless man, Jane, as a child, was sexually abused by her father, KC is abused by his father and later sexually abused his coach, and Fiona is abused by her new boyfriend Bobby.
    • An inversion is Ellie’s mother, who abuses her. She is portrayed as more of a victim (at least by Alex) by the end of her story line.
    • Another inversion has arrived in the form of a woman Connor met online who touches him inappropriately and suggests some...unsavory things.
  • The Alleged Car: Toby's bubbe's car.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Heather Sinclair for Holly J is a mild version; in season seven she admits to Toby that she feels she's in the shadow of Heather. She eventually gets over this.
    • To a lesser degree, Darcy is one to Clare. In season eight, Clare tells KC that she feels like Darcy is the pretty/attractive/popular/etc one and she's just the smart one. She also grows out of this.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: JT.
    • Spinner also makes a big deal about Craig not being a virgin. Averted by Sean, whose first time is the subject of much Fanon because it's never revealed.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Inverted by Shane Kippel in real life! He is Jewish, but he has tattoos.
  • Amicably Divorced: Ashley's parents are still good friends after they divorced. This is mostly because he's gay and they're better off as friends.
  • A Nice Jewish Boy: Toby
  • An Aesop: Every time a Degrassi character does something morally questionable, one of these is coming.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: Emma can sometimes seem like this.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Danny (Seasons 4-6)
  • Anyone Can Die: JT dies unexpectedly. This was the show's way of sending off an actor who wished to leave for college.
  • Arc Words: "Whatever it takes!"
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Riley. Subverted when he comes out in Season 9 Season 10 and dates Zane.
  • Arranged Marriage: Sav's parents are militantly strict about dating in season 7 and express similar feelings about Alli's relationships in season 8. Both children are expected not to have relationships until their parents find them suitable matches. Sav ignores this advice in season 7 and dates Anya. Despite his repeated attempts to get his parents to accept Anya as his girlfriend (at least for the time being), they set him up with Farrah in season 9, leading to the dissolution of his relationship with Anya. Meanwhile, Alli sneaks around her parents to date Johnny and Drew. When Sav starts dating Holly J, she tells his parents that they are more than friends and they barely bat an eyelash. Alli goes through quite a bit more drama after they discover her sexual history and see her discipline record at school. Eventually, they drop their belief in arranged marriages and Alli is allowed to freely date Dave.
  • The Artifact: After a while, all of the characters that Toby interacted with either left or died, Toby didn't really have anything to do on the show.
    • Spinner played this role in seasons 8 and 9, working at The Dot while dating Jane. Occasionally, he would mention his old Degrassi friends to Holly J as a Continuity Nod.
    • Mr. Simpson, while still a major character, is the last remaining adult who was a kid on the '80s show. His screen time off campus is limited, Emma and Spike are no longer closely tied to the school, having only Connor to interact with at home.
    • Connor is becoming this now that the gifted program is never depicted anymore. Clare and Alli are never seen talking to him and even Wesley mostly interacts with Hannah.
    • Clare has been on the show since season 6 when she helped Darcy deal with her Stalker with a Crush. The Edwards family is still on the show, but they almost never mention Darcy despite the fact that she was supposed to return for second semester in season 8.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Kevin Smith was a fan of the original series and had a crush on Caitlin. Present day, he makes a guest appearance as himself and kisses the adult Caitlin.
  • Assumed Win: In the second season, Liberty is all set to go onstage and accept first place in the science fair, only to be beaten by Emma.
  • The Atoner: Spinner, who genuinely tries to redeem himself after what happened to Jimmy.
    • K.C. spent some of season 8 working to not be who he was at his last school.
    • Most of Riley and Zane's dynamic is Riley trying to please Zane.
  • Axes At School
  • The Baby Trap: Anya sets one of these in Season ten for Sav. Combined with Law of Inverse Fertility or Did Not Do the Research on Sav's part, perhaps.
  • The Bully
  • Badbutt: Jay and his crew in season 3. They are seen doing malicious things like breaking a vending machine to steal candy bars, but leaving the money alone. Offering Sean candy bars as payment to keep him quiet, and stealing candy from diners. Boycott the Caf has given them the nickname "The Candy Bandits"
  • Bait and Switch Credits: The credits for Season 10 suggest that Anya gets pregnant with Sav's child. This turns out to be a lie Holly J comes up with, to hurt Sav's chances at running for class president.
    • The credits hinted at a twincest plot line in Degrassi Takes Manhattan that turned out to be a one-time drunken jealousy display.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Done by Paige in seasons 1 and 2, then Manny in seasons 3 and 4.
  • The Beard: Part of Riley's attempt to convince himself that he's straight is getting into a relationship with Anya and trying to sleep with Fiona...
    • Fiona willingly let him use her as a beard to avoid sleeping with someone that isn't her brother avoid facing her own homosexuality.
    • Ellie was Marco's Beard during his "confused" stage. Played with in the fact that Ellie had feelings for Marco, and pretending to be his girlfriend was a sort of compromise for her.
    • In a rather unusual manifestation of this trope, Adam calls Fiona on using him as this. Because he is transgender, Fiona manages to date someone identifying as male while still seeing him as a girl in her own mind. This allows her to avoid the reality of her lesbianism.
    • Riley uses a girl his mother sets him up with this way, for at least one episode.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Manny to get Sully, a character no one remembers. Though Sully disappears in a couple of episodes, this tactic seems to do it for Craig as well.
    • Alli takes nude photos of herself and texts them to Johnny to keep Johnny DiMarco's interest after they decide to wait a long time to have sex again.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Clare and K.C. played a puppy love version of this throughout Season 8. At the end of the season they really hit a stride for it. Where anytime either spoke the other took it the wrong way.
  • Berserk Button: God help you if you call Adam a girl or insinuate that he isn't a "real" man. Justified Trope, since Adam has gone out of his way to explain his transgender situation to others and has been repeatedly bullied and teased for his situation.
    • A good example of this is in Cry Me a River, where Dave implies that Adam shouldn't be allowed to use the guy's bathroom, and even dresses like a woman and tries to use the girl's bathroom to prove a point. He then gets kicked off his radio show.
  • Beta Couple: Perhaps Ashley and Jimmy in season 1.
    • Anya & Sav were the beta couple to other pairings such as Spinner and Jane and Declan and Holly J during Season 7-9.
    • K.C. and Jenna started out as beta couple to Drew and Alli during The Boiling Point. At the same time, Drew and Alli could have been considered the beta couple to Clare and Eli, based on fan reactions to them.
  • Betty and Veronica: A few variations of this were done.
    • Craig (Archie), Ashley (Betty), and Manny (Veronica)
    • Craig (Archie), Ellie (Betty), and Manny (Veronica)
    • Spinner (Archie), Paige (Betty), and Manny (Veronica, noticing a pattern with Manny here?)
    • JT (Archie), Liberty (Betty), and Mia (Veronica)
    • Gender flipped with Emma as Archie, having to chose between reliable, old-flame Sean (Betty) and bad boy Peter (Veronica)
    • KC (Archie), Clare (Betty), and Jenna (Veronica)
    • Drew (Archie), Alli (Betty), and Bianca (Veronica)
    • Gender flipped with Clare as Archie, Connor as Betty (smart, Hollywood Nerd), and KC as Veronica (Bad boy)
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Holly J's birth mother. She's a match in blood type and wants to give Holly J her kidney, but she wants $20,000 for it
    • Marisol, oh lord, Marisol. She'll reveal your deepest darkest secrets in public with a smile on her face the whole time.
    • Drew is a notable male version. He'll be nice and friendly to your face, but if it suits him he'll walk right over you without a second thought; up to and including committing a felony and hate crime against someone who's supposed to be his teammate all over a position that he doesn't deserve to begin with.
  • Black and Nerdy: Liberty, Damian, Connor, and Dave when he's not hanging out with KC and Drew who are only his friends when it's relevant to the plot.
  • Blackmail: Jimmy blackmailed his own father for cheating on his mother in order to get money for stem cell surgery. Sadly, we never saw the aftermath of this.
    • Drew threatened to expose Riley's secret if Riley didn't step aside for QB1.)
  • Bland-Name Product: Jimmy had a first-generation mp3 player. Top of the line. No, it's not an iPod; it's an mp3 player. Either way, Spinner stole it.
    • MyRoom, Facerange, ChatSoFast, Fortnight.
    • Not Pizza Pizza, Print Three, Mrs. Vanelli's or Beatrice. As a general rule anything dealing with actual physical products that are unfamiliar to US viewers are real Canadian brands unless explicitly intended to be independent small businesses, while anything media-related is Brand X to the point of having invented two fake TV channels - local station CQJH and US cable music channel TVM - despite being affiliated with CTV (and by extension their Toronto O&O station) and MTV or Much Music.
    • Heck, they didn't even use the in-universe Instant Star which they themselves own, calling the show Jenna was on "Next Teen Star" instead. (Just how many Toronto-based-but-too-big-to-be-Canada-only musical talent contest reality shows open to underage High School students are there?)
    • Canadian universities. TU (Toronto University)=U of T (University of Toronto), Banting=Queen's, Smithdale=York. U.S. universities are referred to by their real names.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Paige/Marco/Ellie trio
  • Book Ends: Season 11 starts and ends (well, part one of season eleven, anyway) with the song "Young Blood" by The Naked and Famous. At the beginning it's Clare getting ready for the first day of second semester, at the end it's Sav leaving Degrassi for good.
    • Season 2 starts with Craig's abusive dad leading to a manic episode and ends with Craig's abusive dad leading to a manic episode.
    • A bit of a reversal: Season 10 part 2 starts with Alli and Clare on the school steps talking about Alli's drama with boys and the season ends with the two friends on the schools steps talking about Clare's boy drama.
    • Cast example: First time we meet Alli, she's with Sav on the school steps and the do a little brother/sister argument before they walk in. Last episode with Sav as a regular castmember, he's with Alli and they make brother/sister quips and walk down the school steps and walk away from Degrassi.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Which leads to many, many Meet Cutes.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: In The Curse of Degrassi, Rick Murray's ghost possesses Holly J, causing at some points for Holly J's eyes to become completely black
  • Breakout Character: Holly J
  • Break the Cutie - Majority of the cast
  • Break the Haughty: Paige. At the beginning of the series, she was the Alpha Bitch, but she went through so much that she evolved into one of the more sympathetic characters.
    • And then Spinner and Jimmy decide to pull pranks on Mrs. Kwan for putting them in detention. By the end of the day she ends up sobbing in her car, and takes a leave of absence. They found out the next day that she was very stressed at the time from poor money, double shifts, and a husband on chemo.[1]
    • Holly J is another example of this, but nothing too traumatic compared to Paige.
    • And then there's Fiona, who from the Season 9 movie on gets put through a lot.
  • Breather Episode: "Take On Me", the WPR Breakfast Club episode, could be thought of as this, considering it sits right in between Manny getting an abortion, and Terri suffering a life threatening-coma inducing injury (which winds up in her leaving the show). The rest of Season 3 after this (besides the aforementioned Terri episode) may be this too, considering how dark the first half of the fourth season is.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Eli and Clare
  • Brother Chuck: Spike, Derek, Blue, and Leia out of Title Cast (not counting those that graduated).
    • Many many more recurring characters. Most of the time we at least get a Continuity Nod admitting they existed.
    • Long after Darcy left the show, her mother re-married and asked younger sister Clare to be Maid of Honor leaving long-time fans to wonder if Darcy was even invited to her own mother's wedding.
  • Bully Hunter: Eli.
  • Butt Monkey: Toby—both of his only friends died to school violence in a middle-class Canadian suburban school, he was the last virgin left of his cohorts, and he hardly got any screen time or lines after Season 3 because he's Hollywood Homely.
    • And Paige. The rape (which we're supposed to find sympathetic) and her complete failure at every career and ambition and relationship she's ever had (which we're supposed to find hilarious, if the background music is any indication).
    • Craig. Just Craig.
    • You can't forget Sav. That kid has been beaten up by a really angry gay man for basically no reason and the scene where he's the temporary lead singer of Studz at the school's Beach Bash and Peter, all methed-out, marches up and starts shoving him and yelling at him was hilarious. He went from overly enthusiastic to really scared and confused in seconds.
    • Holly J gets a lot more retribution than she actually earns during seasons 7 and 8. Most of it directly relating to Mia, which explains it.
    • Bad luck always manages to find poor Alli... even when she's trying to set things right it blows up in her face.
  • But We Used a Condom: Justified Trope, in the case of JT and Liberty. JT used a king-sized condom and it slipped off.
  • The Cameo: If you're a SYTYCD fan, you were squealing with glee when Jean-Marc Genereux showed up as Adam and Bianca's dance instructor.
    • Famous Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie had the honour of being a one scene wonder in Degrassi Takes Manhattan as the divorce lawyer. (If you look closely, you can also see him dancing at the wedding during the last few minutes.)
  • Canada, Eh?: For American fans, counting the instances of the word "aboot" or, better yet, "soary" can quickly turn into a drinking game. At the same time, though, "eh" is almost never heard spoken by the characters.
    • The show later did a self-parody of Canadian stereotypes during Kevin Smith's (himself a huge fan of Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High) appearance on the show. He was there shooting a movie called Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh, and a clip showed from the movie featured every Canadian stereotype known to man (the metric system, hockey, bilingualism, moose, Mounties, snow, aboot, eh), courtesy of Alanis Morissette as a high school principal.
  • California Doubling: The Hollywood movie was mainly filmed in Toronto, with a few outdoor scenes actually in California.
    • There was more doubling in Degrassi Takes Manhattan with the majority being filmed in Canada except for the street sequences.
  • Canada Does Not Exist: More a 1 than a 0 on the 10-point scale discussed on the trope page. It's openly set in Toronto, but characters use generic lingo when talking about things like standardized tests and drivers' licenses, when actual kids in Toronto would more likely use Ontario-specific terms. This has gotten worse in later seasons.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Sort of; see entry.
  • Canucks With Chinooks: Ellie's first major storyline begins with her father's deployment to Afghanistan. Later on, Sean joins the army and his last appearance was between the end of basic training and his first deployment.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: To TeenNick, and they actually Lampshade this in a recent commercial.
    • Notably it's a Cash Cow for them from broadcast revenue only as TeenNick/Viacom doesn't have merchandising rights. DVDs, for instance are distributed through Funimation and then later Echo Bridge.
    • Likewise, Viacom doesn't patrol YouTube fan videos, that being left to Epitome itself-and producer Stephen Stohn who is also one of the highest-powered entertainment lawyers in Canada - has tweeted appreciative responses to fanvids.
  • Cast Herd: Since we have Loads and Loads of Characters in this show, most characters usually fit into some group, whether it be by grade or clique. Examples includes the Minor Niners, the Gangs of Bullies, the Garage Bands, etc.
  • The Cast Showoff: Many of the cast members are musically talented and the show goes so far write it in as part of their characters. See Ashley, Craig, Manny, Janie and the Studs, Jenna etc. This usually leads to characters being remodeled with no real reason except to show off the cast's musical aspirations: Photographer Craig becomes Rock Star Craig; Wannabe-Director Peter becomes Rock Star Peter; Aimless Loser Jay can suddenly play drums for Studz (yeah, right!).
  • Celebrity Lie: Leia claims to know Pete Wentz
  • Central Theme: Dealing with adversity can be tough, but if you work hard and work on your flaws and believe in yourself, you can prevail. Hence the theme song's lyrics; "Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through."
  • Channel Hop: From CTV to MuchMusic.
  • Character Blog: Throughout season 1 and 2 there was a "school website" for Degrassi, where all the students had their own regularly updated blogs, usually discussing what happened in the recent episode. A glimpse of the site made cameo appearances now and then on computer screens. But once season 3 started the entire website was cut, which was a shame considering Craig's post about dealing with his father's death were really touching.
    • The closest there is now are the character's personal twitters, which are updated periodically during and between episodes. Sometimes they even give hints to what will happen in the coming episode.
    • An excerpt from Kendra's old blog is on Boycott the Caf on her character page, to illustrate how it's for the best that we never saw her, judging by her terrible spelling.
  • Character Focus: Every season tends to focus more on one character in particular. Season 1 was all about Emma. Season 2 was Craig's time to shine. Season 3 was Marco. Season 4 is described as "The Sean show featuring the candy bandits. Season 7 is Darcy. Season 10 is Clare with a smidgen of Eli and quite a bit of Fiona. Season 11 (the first half) was shared between Fiona, E Clare, and Drew.
  • Character Shilling: Happens quite a bit with Mia during Season 8, much to Holly J's (and many fans') annoyance.
    • One particularly Egregious example was in Degrassi Takes Manhattan, when Jay was telling Spinner that Emma wouldn't screw him over like Jane did. Because Emma NEVER cheated on anybody. It's especially perplexing that Jay would talk Emma up like this, because a few years ago, she basically prostituted herself to him. For rubber bracelets.
  • Characterization Marches On: All the time. The show has Loads and Loads of Characters but only a handful that the powers that be bank on for big storylines. So when minor character becomes an Ensemble Darkhorse or they shove a Flat Character into the spotlight to see if they can handle a big storyline, the characters can go through a change of personality.
    • Manny is probably the biggest example of this, followed by Fiona. As she left the series, she's pretty much a Good Bad Girl, which makes her earlier scenes in the show look really strange. Fiona was a Flat Character who was bat-shit insane in season 9, and in season 11 she's much more well-rounded and really only kept the loneliness part of her season 9 quirk. As a matter of fact, Fiona and Declan seemingly switched personalities mid-season. When first introduced, Fiona was the friendly new girl and Declan was the arrogant bad boy. Mid-season Declan had somehow become socially popular and Fiona had somehow become a stuck-up bitch.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Everything about Craig.
    • In season 2, Craig's dad abused him, and then died.
    • In season 3, Craig, being an orphan, wanted to start his own family.
    • In season 4, Craig's abusive father and grabbing Manny's arm, are explained by bipolar disorder.
    • In season 6, said bipolar disorder probably explains Craig using cocaine.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Several characters are introduced slowly in the series before joining the main cast.
    • Darcy appeared a few times in season 4 before becoming a recurring character in season 5. Bonus points for her first scene being with Spinner.
    • Clare was in one Darcy-centric episode before her introduction as a recurring character in season 8.
    • Fitz, Wesley, and Zane each appeared in an episode of Season 9 before gaining a title spot in Season 10.
    • Jess, a new recurring character for The Breaking Point was a part of Alli's Big D Dance Crew.
    • Similarly, Marisol was in a few episodes of Season 10 and was Promoted to Opening Titles in season 11.
  • The Cheerleader
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    • Daniel Clark: "I'm screwed, man!"
    • Sam Earle does this on occasion: "You told me TO PLAY BASKETBALL!"
    • Munro Chambers often does this whenever he has to portray strong emotions.
  • City of Adventure: About once a season they remember that Toronto is bigger than one high school and one street of businesses.
  • CN Tower Effect
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The uniforms introduced in Season 10. Grade 9=Yellow, Grade 10=Purple, 11=Red, 12=Blue.[2]
  • Comedic Hero: Toby
  • Compilation Movie: The hour long episode "Shout" is frequently aired alongside "How soon is now" on The-N as a movie length super-special episode.
  • Compressed Vice: Oh so much. Often done for the sake of An Aesop, usually the characters suffer the worst effects immediately upon engaging in the vice of the week. Noticeably, they're often fully healed/cured by the next episode, with little more than occasional offhanded references in the form of 'Remember when...'
  • Continuity Nod
  • Continuity Snarl: "Vegetarian" Emma eats KFC and squid in season 2. Similarly, Hazel eats hot dogs in season 3.
    • Ellie also mentions being a vegetarian in one episode of season. This fact is never mentioned again, and later episodes show her eating meat.
  • Control Freak: Liberty is the more classic example on the show.
    • Emma shows this a lot, but she has a different focus than Liberty.
    • Paige enjoys her social life and social circle to be just so.
    • Darcy to some extent before she is raped.
    • Holly J and her Benevolent Dictatorship while student council president.
    • Fiona during Degrassi Takes Manhattan.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Toby and JT get caught looking at porn. Their punishment? To keep watching looking at the porn sites... while their parents watch with them. To add to this they had to also watch Gay Porn, which neither enjoyed as much as the fandom wanted them to.
  • Cool Car: Sean drives an illegally modified race car. How cool is it? It's basically the terrestrial version of the Millennium Falcon when you think about it.
    • Eli drives a hearse.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Jay towards Emma in season 4 "Secret."
  • Couch Gag: The movable-letter sign. Not usually an actual gag but it usually has something to do with the episode. Or an upcoming episode.
  • Covert Pervert: Toby and Rick make up a game to see how many girls they can get to kiss them, the girls only think of them as shy and nerdy, so they don't suspect a thing, except for Emma, who just plays along.
  • Creature of Habit: Connor, but this is related to his Asperger's.
  • Cringe Comedy: Most of the lighter moments actually turn out to be this.
    • If anything involves Wesley, it's gonna make you feel bad for laughing. He's a beautiful disaster.
  • Cultural Translation
  • Cute and Psycho: Shy, quiet, homicidal Rick.
  • The Dandy: Peter, then later Declan
  • Darker and Edgier: Post-Emma Nelson episodes (season 10-present) even some newer episodes receive TV-14 instead of normal TV-PG.
  • Dating Do-Si-Do: The former Trope Namer.
  • Dawson Casting: Famously averted.
    • A unique zig-zag does occur, though: As the seasons go on, some of the older Degrassi students do, in fact, end up portrayed by actors in their early twenties. An example would be Charlotte Arnold as Holly J, who was seventeen when she was cast as a Grade 10 in season 7. In season 11, Holly J is in her final semester, with Arnold at 22.
  • Dead Person Conversation: There was the Tear Jerker mini, I'll Never Forget
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jimmy owns this trope.
    • As do a fair few others, like Holly J, Clare, Liberty, Adam, Paige, and Ellie.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Holly J in season nine, which may be a part of being held hostage at the end of season eight. She's still quite a Control Freak and obviously still thinks of everyone as losers, but she's become much more open to her peers. By season 11 (her final season), Holly J had evolved into a smart, mature young woman who genuinely cared about her friends. Almost all traces of her nasty side had disappeared by the time she graduated.
  • Demoted to Extra: Happened to many characters, but Toby is probably the most notable example.
    • Connor received this treatment for a while, with his only major plot line involving panty stealing, but seems to be making a comeback in season eleven.
    • Likely to happen to Hannah, who showed signs of becoming her own character for a while.
    • Happened to the seniors for the most part of season 11, mostly to give more attention than they should have to Eli and his play.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Gonorrhea?
  • Did Not Do the Research: You get FOUR points for taking all five tricks when going alone in euchre. Otherwise, you only get one point for taking three or four tricks. On the flip side, your opponents get four points if you go alone and lose. Yeah, going alone's usually a bad idea. On the other hand, a hand where you can go alone will appear several times per game, which leaves one to wonder why Ellie thought Alex couldn't.
  • Died Happily Ever After: JT and Liberty. Confirmed in the Degrassi Mini "I won't forget you"
  • Directed by Cast Member: Stefan Brogren
  • Disappeared Dad: Several characters have deceased or estranged fathers
  • Disney Acid Sequence: In the season 2 episode "Take my breath away" it opens up with Manny having a sudden fantasy of Craig singing a love song to her while she wears a silver diamond covered ball gown.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Eli and Fitz both may be the show's best example of this. Eli insults Fitz over a parking spot. Fitz takes this out on Eli's car. Fitz attacks Adam for the same slight against him before, Eli steps in to shift focus back to him. Leading to a very insincere attempt at peace, getting Eli a knee to the groin. Eli gets Fitz arrested over all that. Fitz can't accept that Adam wants to be treated like a guy, leading to a fight. Eli gets Fitz in trouble for something Fitz didn't do. To try to get peace Clare agrees to go out with Fitz. Eli undermines this with poison, and Fitz gets a knife. At any point Fitz could stop being insane, or Eli could just let it go. But the pair are too pigheaded and egotistical to ever consider this.]]
  • Distaff Counterpart / Spear Counterpart:
    • Alex/Sean before she suffered Villain Decay
    • Emma/Kelly before Season 9 rolled in.
    • Liberty/Damian
    • Jane/Spinner, lampshaded by Jimmy
  • Distributor Induced Plothole: When TeenNick, then The-N didn't show Accidents Will Happen, they only showed the subplots of these episodes once, in slapped-together "mini" episodes meaning that if you missed these mini episodes and didn't have the internet to watch Accidents Will Happen, then the future plots of just how Toby and Jimmy ended up in detention in Take On Me along with Liberty dating Towerz later on that season would not make sense. Also, Emma makes a reference to Manny's pregnancy the following season, which wouldn't make sense at all. This was rectified when The-N finally showed Accidents Will Happen three years later.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The wrestling scene between Riley and Peter(See below).Peter even lampshades it. It's likely a shout-out to the frequent slashing between the two in fandom.
  • Doomed by Canon: Emma sees her dad at a mental hospital. Of course she concludes he's a doctor there. But in the original Degrassi Junior High, he either jumped or fell off a bridge after the first time he took acid.
  • Double Aesop
  • Double Standard: Just about all the standard gender based double standards you can find in a high school, you'll find here.
    • Manny was a memetic slut for a long time after season 3, even when Americans didn't know she ever got pregnant.
    • When Emma cheated on Peter with Sean, Sean was portrayed as heroic for it.
    • Similarly, whenever any female character helps somebody cheat on their significant other, they're almost always bashed by the fanbase. When the males do the same? Not so much.
    • Ellie had a caught-in-the-moment-one-time-only affair with Craig. She confesses this to Jesse to be honest with him. Jesse then tells her that he did the same and wanted to be honest with her too. She gets furious at him and storms out.
    • In the episode Don't Let Me Get Me, the school itself facilitated double standards courtesy of its woman only self-esteem seminar.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: J.T. was killed off after Ryan decided to leave the show to go to college.
    • Raditch was Reassigned to Antarctica in shame after the school shooting because Dan Woods was involved in other productions in L.A. and didn't want to continue commuting back to Toronto.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Spinner, Manny, Liberty, Jane, Ellie, and Fiona have all done this.
  • Dysfunction Junction: and how!
  • Easily Forgiven: Peter. Just Peter.
    • Emma is actually a more extreme case since unlike Peter, her actions are either forgiven by the end of the episode or completely glossed over, whether it's betraying her best friend, getting her boyfriend kicked out of the dorms, or blowing up The Dot.
  • Education Mama: Mrs. Torres, especially regarding Drew.
  • The Eighties: The first nine seasons' episodes were named after '80s songs. Just for good measure the school's main office phone number is (416) 867-5309.
  • Erotic Dream: JT (about Liberty), Wesley (about Anya), and Fiona (about Holly J)
  • Erotic Eating: Anya, with fruit in a dream that Wesley had, and later (unintentionally) with a mozzarella stick on their date
  • Escalating War: Between Degrassi and Lakehurst during season 6.
    • Not to mention the one between Fitz and Eli during Boiling Point...
  • Estranged Soap Family: Spinner's sister Kendra, who vanished after season 3 and didn't even come to her brother's wedding.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "Put the lighter away, fliphead."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Sean. Granted, the only guy in canon is Marco. Still, Marco, Emma, Manny, Paige, and Ashley all make some unambiguous romantic overtures toward Sean.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: The reason given behind the math class's intense focus on polynomials. One of the writers really had trouble with them in school.
  • Everything Is Online: And nothing is blocked by the school computers. Pay-to-play MMORPGs, teachers' Facebook pages and Chatroulette,[3] all accessed from the Media Immersion computer lab, figure in the tenth season.
    • Subverted in The Breaking Point when EVERYTHING gets blocked due to added security.
    • Word of God is that this is the reason why the show doesn't have an Info Dump about the issue of the week as often as the original Degrassi did.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies (Degrassi of the Dead)
  • Executive Meddling: The censorship on The Teen Nick. It Got Worse once the show got popular in America, which meant that The N had the clout to effect creative changes. The resulting "Americanization" is sometimes cited as one of the reasons why the show Jumped the Shark.
    • Nobody watches the even more bastardized daily US syndicated version which is chopped up in order to let stations go through the motions and declare it educational in the FCC's view.
    • In-universe, the school itself has suffered two forced mergers, one an expansion from grades 7-8 to 7-12 before being telescoped back to 9-12 again, and a slightly different mission almost every year with the result that in less than a decade a showpiece high-tech magnet middle school has been transformed into a struggling inner-city high school with metal detectors, standing police presence, a major bullying problem and a bad reputation in the community.
  • Expanded Universe: The comics "manga".
  • Expy: Cast members introduced in Season 1-3 can be directly compared to cast in the previous series.
    • From Season 7 on they started introducing cast to fill the standard roles on the Popularity Food Chain or a Six-Student Clique. Meaning that you can draw parallels between new cast and older cast to a degree. How well the two fit shifts wildly between examples. Manny and Alli[4] is probably the best fit, with Riley and Marco[5] being the worst fit.
    • Declan is in the same vein as Gossip Girl's Chuck Bass except not as nearly as contemptible or evil.
    • Eli and Bianca are admitted Expies of Ellie and Jay, respectively.
    • Twitter Account Heather Poulette plays out rather similarly to the titular Gossip Girl. Being aware of all things at the school while being a character.
  • Face Heel Turn
  • Fandom Nod: Tristan and Tori have a YouTube vlog that reviews West Drive's newest episodes, just like these girls do with Degrassi.
  • Fake High: JT and Toby think they're high on Ecstasy, not knowing that Sean replaced the pill with asprin.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop Frequently uses morals that are right in world of teenagers but not necessarily adults.
  • Fan Service: Many throughout the seasons.
    • Manny stripping. Need I say more?
    • Darcy wearing the sexy schoolgirl uniform for Peter's photo shoot
    • Some Stripperiffic Sensual Spandex dresses in the episode "Hungry Eyes", worn by the Purple Dragon spokesmodels. In response to criticisms that she's too "predictable", Emma becomes one of these models, then realizes the ideals behind the product and makes a stand...by removing her Purple Dragon outfit in front of the entire school. That's...definitely not predictable, Emma.
    • The wrestling scene in Beat It part 2 between Peter and Riley...
    • Fiona and Declan's titillating and inappropriate relationship eventually leading to her drunkenly planting one on him.
    • How often Spinner is shirtless in Degrassi Takes Manhattan. Also Spinner and Jay in suits.
    • On the other side, the pool party at the start of the movie has Jane, Holly J, and Fiona in very nice bikinis. Later on you get the same trio wearing some very nice party dresses.
    • Speaking of Holly J, how can one forget the little "routine" she did for Sav during The Breaking Point?
    • Riley and Zane's workout in 99 Problems.
    • Of the non-sexual variety, posters on TV.com have contributed to Degrassi canon. The line "You can't accept me as a sexual being." just had the nouns switched.
      • So did d.tv users: The Dot was a thread with a dot.
  • Faux Yay: The Lexicon Of Love started out as this but was subverted by the fact that Paige and Alex really do hook up.
  • Feud Episode
    • Happened a couple of times with Emma and Manny in season 3. First in "U Got The Look" when Manny gets her infamous makeover and starts flirting with JT while she is interested in another guy. Emma tells Manny she's leading JT on. Manny then tells Emma to either mind her own business or stop talking to her. They make up pretty quickly after this, but their bigger fight comes later that season in "Against All Odds" when Emma doesn't approve of Manny helping Craig cheat on Ashley. They don't talk to each other for what appears to be several months in-universe. Things between the two are finally patched up when Emma helps Manny out with her pregnancy. They also got into some arguments where they temporarily stopped speaking to each other in seasons 4, 5, and 6. However, these fights didn't last for too long.
    • This also happened several times with Jimmy and Spinner throughout the series. The worst was when Jimmy stopped talking to Spinner for the rest of season 4 and a good portion of season 5 after finding out he was responsible for Rick shooting him.
    • Anya ended her friendship with Holly J after realizing she was sick of being treated like dirt. While the two do eventually reconcile, they never quite go back to being best friends (Fiona is Holly J's current best friend).
  • Fiction 500: Peter. And later Fiona.
  • First Kiss
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Five-Man Band: Some of the cliques tend to be this:
  • Flamboyant Gay: Marco acts this way in later seasons. Also, Zane's friend at the art gallery is a pretty classic example.
  • Flat What: Clare's reaction to Jake attending Degrassi.
  • Food Fight: happens in Season 2
  • Foreshadowing: Expect any major storyline, and all pregnancies, to be foreshadowed a season before.
    • The Ho Yay page has an interesting conversation between Craig, Sean, and Marco, foreshadowing Marco's homosexuality.
    • Liberty eating all the hors d'oeuvres, just before her pregnancy.
    • Sean is an Expy of Rick from the original Degrassi Junior High, from the jean jacket to the Granola Girl girlfriend. Guess who puts down another character named Rick?
    • Rick wears Claude's old glasses.
    • Craig freaking out at the dance. abd freaking out at Manny's abortion.
    • Joey mentioning Tessa Campinelli to Craig.
    • "Who do you want to vote for: The freak or the queer? By the way, I'm the freak."
    • Subverted: Manny obsesses over her weight, but Emma has the eating disorder.
    • Jenna's pregnancy is hinted at early on in season 10, but she dismisses it and takes diet pills to lose the weight.
    • The biggest one yet comes out of Snake's lips at the end of the last episode of The Boiling Point. "When you all get back from break...you won't recognize this school at all."
    • Why does it look like Adam is wearing JT or Toby's baggy jeans from the first season? Because it’s not so easy anymore to find boys' jeans that conceal girl hips? Or because the new uniforms have taken the lion's share of the wardrobe budget?
    • Fiona's alcoholism. Pretty much the only case on the show of an addiction being foreshadowed for more than one episode.
  • Four Is Death: Season 4 has more tragedy than any previous season, including a school shooting, and it's only matched by season 6, which has a major character dying. Also, before Sean completes the Five-Bad Band, Jay's clique consists of four people.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: More like "No Dates Marriage", as Spinner and Emma barely even interacted during their years on the show.
  • Freak-Out
  • Friends Rent Control: The apartment that Ellie, Marco, Paige, and Alex (replaced with Griffin later on) shared looked a little more spacious than what four college students could realistically afford.
  • Gag Penis: One very early episode involving Spinner.
    • On the other extreme, JT certainly qualifies.
    • Not to mention Craig. JT snuck a peak and looked like the monster was going to attack him.
  • Gang of Bullies: The Candy Bandits/Sesame Street Posse of season 3 [Jay, Sean, Alex, Amy, and Towerz]
    • Later on Johnny, Lucas, Derek, and Bruce the Moose.
    • And now we have Bianca, Fitz and Owen
  • Garage Band: Downtown Sasquatch, Studz, Janie and the Studs
  • Gayngst: Riley. Marco also dealt with this a lot, along with Paige and to an extent, Alex.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ellie and Craig's "hardcore funking" session in "Weddings, Parties, Anything."
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Played with when Toby overhears Paige talking about her desire to date girls. Also, probably partial justification for the Darcy/Paige kiss in the Degrassi mini, Party Etiquette 2 and the Paige/Ellie kiss in season 7.
  • Going Commando: "Do you SEE any visible underwear?... that's right - because I'm not wearing any."
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Putting Jay and Silent Bob in a pg-13 show makes their lack of Cluster F Bombs incredibly noticeable.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Spinner has these in one of the "Extra Credit" graphic novels. Paige is his angel (referred to, unsurprisingly, as "Paingel"); Manny is his devil.
    • Emphasis on "pain"
    • Many episodes show two characters playing the role of superego and id to another character, sometimes even with one on one side of the character and the other on the other side. This is done most remarkably in the season 2 finale, where Craig's dad comes back, and Ashley (being the superego) is polite, while Sean (being the Oedipal id, and, unlike Ashley, canonically knowing Craig's family issues) spits.
  • Graduate From the Story: The show itself hasn't ended yet, however this is an option for how characters leave. It's one of the nicer options. Compared to someotherways they cycle the large cast.
  • Grease Monkey: Sean
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Inverted from the Trope Namer: Marco thinks the Washington Redskins are a hockey team.
  • Groin Attack: Eli, courtesy of his tormentor, Fitz.
    • And then Fitz himself gets the same treatment, this time from Adam.
  • Half-Identical Twins: The Coynes
  • Halloween Episode: "Degrassi of the Dead" has cafeteria food turn the high school into Ground Zero for the Zombie Apocalypse.
    • The year after, it was "The Curse of Degrassi," where Holly J is possessed by the ghost of Rick Murray.
    • Monster Moon is a series of four halloween minis set in Season 10.
  • Hand Wave: Why are grade 9s still going to middle school? Because the middle school doubles as a high school.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Spinner whenever he is around Marco after he came out. To the point where there was an entire episode where Marco eventually had to get it through Spinner's head that he doesn't need to feel threatened by his presence.
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen | The Ghost: Heather Sinclair and Heather Poulette
  • Heel Face Revolving Door - Naturally.
    • Sean starts out a face. Then he steals Spike's laptop (heel). Then he fixes Snake's car (face) and really gets redemption when he kills Rick. Then when he comes back, he goes into this weird heel face limbo where he clearly does villainous acts but is actually Peter's victim.
    • Spinner starts out a face. Then he steals Jimmy's iPod mp3 player, but is only a heel for one episode. Then in season 4, his friendship with Jimmy gets worse, but by the end of season 5, it gets better.
  • Heel Face Turn: Generally it keeps you from getting put on a bus, as maintaining a villain is more work. On the male side Jay and Peter start out as antagonists and bullies, for the girls Paige, Alex, and Holly J all start off with various levels of cruel.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: JT and Toby.
    • Of course Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes as themselves.
    • Danny and Derek show this till the latter is put on a bus, replaced with Sav. **Johnny and Bruce show this as well..
  • High School Dance
  • Hollywood Law: The only reason Peter's not in prison at this point. Not to mention Spinner and Jay, who essentially orchestrated the events that led up to the shooting. And while we're at it, was Alex ever punished at all?
  • Hollywood Tone Deaf: Hazel, despite the fact that Andrea Lewis can sing quite well, and Fiona in season 9.
  • Homage (The episode "Take On Me" is a specific homage to The Breakfast Club (Hazel is the princess, Toby is the geek, Jimmy is the jock, Ellie is the basketcase, and Sean is the rebel). The episode "Love Is A Battlefield" is also an homage to The Devil Wears Prada.)
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Snake is nearly twice the size of Spike.
    • Jake Epstein is over six feet tall. Cassie Steele is 5'1".
  • Humiliation Conga: Holly J went though this in Seasons 7 and 8.
    • Alli in Seasons 9 and 10 (10 especially. Luckily, she comes out of it stronger)
  • Hypocrite: Emma. Just Emma. The worst of her MANY hypocritical moments was dating Peter behind Manny's back after making a "no more lies" pact.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Starting in the second season, episode titles were named after 80s songs up until the tenth season, when they began to be named after songs from the 2000s.
  • Idiot Ball: To be fair, it's usually quite plausible idiocy
  • Idol Singer: Craig is a male example of this.
    • Aubrey Graham aka. "Drake"
    • Eventually and quite inevitably Cassie Steele in the new Hollywood movie
    • Jessica Tyler in season 9. her character, Jenna literally becomes this in season 10.
  • If It's You It's Okay Paige/Alex
    • In season 7, Paige tells Griffin that Alex is the only girl she ever liked, which basically makes her interest in women a moot point.
    • For an inversion, Marco's a Kinsey 5, the one exception being Ellie in one particular episode. It is unclear, however, if Marco genuinely liked Ellie or if they were simply growing too codependent.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Mia during season 7
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Mia (Season 8)
  • Incompatible Orientation: Ellie and Marco during season 2. Manny even says Marco's the perfect boyfriend...almost.

Marco: "I can't be what you want me to be."
Ellie: "Can't... or won't?"
Marco: "... I'm gay."

    • It looks like it's heading this way for Fiona who's fallen in love with Holly J
  • Informed Judaism: Toby celebrates Hanukkah and slips into gratuitous Yiddish at times.
    • And then there's Hazel, who practices Informed Islam. We know she is a Muslim because she is Somali, goes to mosque, and observes Ramadan. We also know she eats sausage.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Sean and Ellie. Oddly, they were dating at the time.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The Shep in season 8, Jenna in season 9
  • "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It": It looks like this show is "going there..." Declan concocts a plan to finally get Holly J back in his life and ends up alone with her and he starts initiating sexual contact—Holly J doesn't want to, and she verbally says "No, we shouldn't be doing this" but eventually she gives in and kisses him. This is done with no force, but it looks like Holly J will be disturbed by this in the following episode. Of course, since this is such a controversial subject with a very popular couple, this has already caused a Broken Base with one side saying Holly J should've said "NO MEANS NO!" and the other saying Declan raped Holly J.
    • This was also invoked as Dean's defense when on trial for raping Paige His lawyer claims she was heading into that room expecting or even asking for sex and that she got what she wanted.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: The title is alternately pronounced with /a/ or /æ/,
    • The first letter in Ephraim Ellis's name is pronounced /i/.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Danny goes to Cornell (despite the fact that he didn't actually start doing well in school until Grade 12).
  • Jerkass Facade: Sean seems to like the world at arm's length, but he's not actually a bad guy. Holly J seems fond of not showing weakness, so to avoid pity she lashes out with cruelty.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jay starts off as a Jerkass bully, but later evolves into a guy who can be an ass at times but is actually very caring, mostly brought about by his relationship with Manny.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Toby
  • Karma Houdini: Some characters get away with bullying and Jerkass behavior. Alex is never punished for her role in the prank for Rick, and Emma and Mia usually aren't called out on their Jerkass moments.More recent examples are Drew and Owen who went from homophobic bullies to romantic leads in the blink of an eye.
  • Killed Off for Real: Rick and J.T.
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Joey Jeremiah is shown in a series of commercials for his car lot. The commercials largely follow this model.
  • Lady in Red: Liberty and Bianca during their respective proms. And both were wonderful.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the episode "I want Candy", Ashley says that the school is cursed and alludes to the unrealistically high number of tragedies that have been happening there... Naturally, the other students act like she's nuts.
    • This also doubles as a Funny Aneurysm Moment when you consider that she says this before, the shooting, gonorrhea outbreak and J.T.'s murder...
    • There's a in-universe teen drama on Degrassi called West Drive that is mocked for it's melodrama... as well for actors getting stuck with the role.
    • Alli does this in the season 9 premiere, in response to the high amount of students who play musical instruments and have participated in Hollywood films. "Since when did our school become a bizarre White version of Fame?"
    • The webisode "Good Times" pretty much lampshades the entire series' penchant for soap opera-ish drama and character pairing.
    • The car Craig and co. stole from Joey Jeremiah's lot to go joyriding in was a big, aging blue Oldsmobile 88. The same make, model and color as the one Joey stole from Snake's parents to joyride back in the day.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: - [[spoiler: Spinner and Emma after an Accidental Marriage, in the second TV movie.
  • Limited Social Circle
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Meta-example, "Degrassi" itself was originally one.
  • Lisa Needs Braces: Sean in season 1. He ends up losing his braces and acne in season 2 and fans were for the longest time divided over whether he or Craig was hotter.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Manny does this to Paige, kicking off a Cat Fight
  • Loads and Loads of Characters (Season nine has 24 actors in the main cast and that's not counting actors returning from their bus trips to show up for one episode or two and the faculty and other adults. Previous seasons have had about the same amount of characters. Season 10 drops the credits cast to 22, but adds several recurring characters.)
    • Season 11 has 25 main cast members, and maybe 8-10 recurring.
  • Local Hangout: The Dot from Season 3 onwards.
  • Long Bus Trip: Darcy has transferred to West Beverly High and shows no sign of returning. And Mia's left to angst over vampires model in Paris.
  • Love Dodecahedron: A lot.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Emma gets an interesting variant in season 3. She thinks Shane is a doctor who works for the mentally handicapped, but he's actually a patient. Then Shane takes her and her mother hostage.
  • Male Gaze: Happens to Sean in season 2 and Manny in season 3, with an air of Fan Disservice (shots of Marco licking his lips and a shot of a 13-year-old's butt, respectively) just for fun.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Subverted in Season 1, when Jimmy is just as nervous about having sex with Ashley as she is. He just is better at hiding it.
    • Subverted again with Post-Friendship Club Spinner, who pushes Darcy away when she reluctantly wants sex with him, knowing that it was wrong. He manages to stay true to the Christian thing until he stops dating Darcy in Season 6.
    • Peter doesn't pressure Darcy into having sex, but he clearly thinks he is ready, and is very eager to have sex with her.
    • The first time Holly J attempted to have sex, Blue outright said "I won't have sex with you," but they did hardly know each other at the time. Blue was eager, but has a shred moral fiber to him.
    • Along with Alli and Johnny.
    • Also used with Declan and Holly J.
    • Bianca tempts Drew to go to the boiler room, despite the fact that he's dating Alli. He goes with her, of course.
  • The Masochism Tango: Joey and Caitlin, Emma and Sean, Johnny and Alli...just about anyone and anyone.
  • Meaningful Name: Emma, who was named after the Emmy Degrassi Junior High won for the Teen Pregnancy storyline that led to her existence.
    • Heather Sinclair is named after the movie Heathers, with the "Sinclair" part coming from a porn star's name. Marco del Rossi is named after gay porn star Marco Rossi.
  • Meet Cute: Sean and Ellie met...in detention!
    • Clare and Eli meet when Eli runs over her glasses with his hearse.
  • Missing Episode (US television didn't show an episode about abortion until nearly four years after it aired in Canada)
  • Missing Mom: Terri (died), Craig (died), Jenna (out of the picture)
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Anya in Season 10.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: Done in a Very Special Episode with a Muslim girl, who is teased and harassed by Paige and Hazel. The girl's stand at International Day is vandalized, and Hazel reveals that she's Somali, not Jamaican, and she too was Mistaken for Terrorist before she came to Degrassi. The Muslim character and International Day, however, are never spoken of again.
  • Mistaken Nationality: A number of fans thought that Manny was Latina (specifically Mexican), but in fact, Manny is Filipina (in real life and on the show). In many cases, this was based on her last name, Santos.
  • Mood Whiplash: More often than not the cold open introduces the main dramatic crutch of the episode. Then suddenly happy music starts playing and you hear "Whatever it takes!"
  • Morning Sickness: Pretty much every pregnant character
  • The Movie (Degrassi Goes Hollywood, and Degrassi Takes Manhattan)
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Peter frames the hypotenuse for possession, but fits the trope in spirit.
  • Mushroom Samba: Jagged Little Pill comes to mind. Paige/Alex shippers called themselves Potheads for a while as well.
  • Musical Episode: "Rock and Roll Highschool" is pretty close when the story revolves around the characters in a battle of the bands. Ashley and the girls sing an angry rock song directed at Craig. Spinner and Jimmy rap, and Craig sings an apology to her.
  • Musical Theme Naming: The majority of the episodes are named after songs from the 1980s. As of season 10, songs are named after hits in the '00s..
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: When Sean returns and gets back together with Emma he puts her purity on a pedestal until he finds out that she gave Jay head in exchange for cheap plastic bracelets in season 3 after the shooting. Despite his own hookup with Amy who is supposed to be the "biggest slut" of the Ravine and is suspected to be spreading STDs it takes great amounts of convincing for him to forgive Emma her one mistake.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Liberty didn't tell JT about her pregnancy for the first three months and waited six months to tell her parents.
    • Jenna keeps hers quiet, only telling her brother, K.C., and Alli... until she tells the entire world on TV.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Spinner with Toby and Kendra, Danny early in JT and Liberty's relationship.
  • Mysterious Past: Pretty much every hot new guy of the moment has one of these.
    • Craig was presented as mysterious and it turned out his dad abused him.
    • Sean was presented as a mysterious bad boy who Emma "just couldn't stay away" from. Until it turned out he wasn't really a bad boy.
    • Blue supposedly had one but stopped existing in the Degrassi universe after Holly J broke up with him, aside from making some sexual comments about Fiona to Riley. Looks like we will never know what his "mysterious" secrets were.
    • KC used to be something of a mysterious bad boy.
    • Eli has one, we get to find out a little of it.
  • Mythology Gag: Rick's glasses are a reference to Claude from Degrassi High
  • Name's the Same: The team's called the Panthers and the school colours are blue and gold, just like Friday Night Lights.
    • The section of Toronto the school draws most of its' students from is called Riverdale.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Averted with Liberty, but played straight with the other nerdy characters.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Characters will suddenly have new talents and abilities depending on whatever is going on in that episode.
    • A bunch of the girls suddenly being on the girl's hockey team in one episode. **A bunch of the girls spontaneously being on the school's gym team.
    • In season 3 when everyone became musicians.
  • New Transfer Student: A few every season to refresh the cast with non-Freshman.
    • Season 6 prominently had Mia.
    • Season 7 had a Transfer School, bringing us Lakehurst characters (Anya, Damien, Holly J, Jane, Jonny, Lucas, and Sav)
    • Season 8 had Leia and Blue.
    • Season 9 gave us Declan, Fiona, and Jenna. Dave is not.
    • Season 10 we have Adam and Drew.
    • And then in season 11 we meet Jake, Clare's new love interest.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The first half of season 10: Written and shot in spring 2010, first aired July–August 2010, canonically takes place between September–December 2010. This leads to some unintentional Real Life Writes the Plot Fridge Horror when you realize that the events of My Body Is A Cage happen after the high-profile suicides in September 2010 that led to heightened awareness of harassment of LGBT teens.
  • Nice Guy: Jimmy. Toby too.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted. Until Paige decides that she's not "really into labels" and was more If It's You It's Okay for Alex.
    • And of course Alex was now a lesbian, never mind that she'd previously been in a long-term relationship with Jay and obviously slept with him.
    • Apparently Peter was supposed to be written as bisexual (possibly in a relationship with Riley), but the storyline never came to be.
    • Finally is averted with Imogen.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Averted with Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and Alanis Morisette. Played straight with Kid Elric, an Expy of Kid Rock.
  • No Dress Code: At least three girls over the years have been shown changing from parent-approved clothes into something skimpier in the girls' bathroom before class.
  • No Ending: So, so much.
  • No Going Steady
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: JT never showed interest in Liberty until she gave up on crushing over him.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted in Season 1 when Emma got her first and wound up giving a book report presentation in oversize gym shorts with JT and Toby mocking her.
    • Also subverted when Adam drops his tampons.
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Justified in-series when Ms. Oh tells Eli (and the whole class) that the teachers hate enforrcing the new dress code just as much as the students hate wearing it.
  • Not Himself
  • Not So Different: It could be argued that towards the end of The Boiling Point, Eli became JUST as bad as Fitz.
  • No Woman's Land: Pakistan apparently. Oddly enough, not Somalia.
  • The Obi-Wan: Kevin Smith in the episodes he's in seems to be this to anyone he has major screen time with.
  • Officially Shortened Title: Starting in Season 10, the show dropped "The Next Generation" from the title.
  • Off-Screen Breakup: Emma/Chris, Toby/Kendra, Liberty/Towerz. All established in the same episode too.
  • Oh Crap: Clare has a rather terrifying one when Eli reveals his play's plot: A story of how she manipulated him and fell for Fitz.
  • Oh Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us: In season 9, Declan and Holly J find a fanfic wherein Declan is inserted into a vampire story that seems to be The Mockbuster of Twilight in the Degrassi world. It was an interesting choice from the writers considering that Twilight crossovers wherein Clare, Declan, or often Emma were pulled into a Twilight world were incredibly common in actual fan fiction for several months before this episode aired.
  • One Steve Limit: Slight aversion. JT and Jimmy are both really named James, but this was never really an issue.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Spinner is the most obvious example and many other characters go by shortened forms of their given names.
    • Fitz too. Even Mr. Simpson doesn't call him by his real name.
    • In the early years everyone knew Mr. Simpson's nickname is Snake, even if Emma was the only one to call him that to his face on a regular basis, and then only after they became family.
  • Only Sane Man: Role tends to get passed around among characters depending on the story. Only person who was consistent was Jimmy.
    • Clare looks to be stepping into the role, if the first few episodes of Season 10 are an indication.
  • Only So Many Canadian Actors: The trope's central nexus. See the Trivia page for details, and imagine someone saying the whole thing in one breath.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Marco's parents, who had quite possibly the most stereotypical Italian accents ever. It slipped in the episode where Marco came out to his father and his father talked with a regular Canadian/English voice. Surprisingly, this actually worked and made the scene a lot better.
    • The entire cast tries to break themselves of their Canadian raising too, eh?
  • Opposites Attract: JT and Liberty fit this trope to a T.
    • Seems to be heading there between Clare and Eli.
  • The Other Darrin: In "Degrassi Takes Manhattan", there's an obvious Toby look-alike.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: As Boycott the Caf has pointed out(scroll a bit more than halfway down), the four principals since 2001 track astonishingly well to the last four U.S. presidents.
  • Out of Focus: Many fans forget that Toby was one of the most prominent characters in the first season (in fact, he was THE most prominent male). After he second season, his screentime gradually diminished until he was Demoted to Extra.
  • Outrun the Fireball: No, really. In the Degrassi Of The Dead Halloween special, Manny does exactly this.
  • Pair the Spares: Jimmy and Hazel could qualify for this trope as well, as their respective best friends, Spinner and Paige were an item at that point.
    • Spinner and Emma in Degrassi Takes Manhattan get together. There is fan speculation that this happened because Spinner and Emma were the only remaining unpaired characters from the original show whose actors were still willing to be on Degrassi (besides Liberty who appears for two seconds).
  • Parental Incest - Jane was molested by her father.
  • Plenty of Blondes: You have a combination of less lovable blonds as well as a bunch of blond guys.
  • Potty Failure: Holly J in "Hide and Seek".
    • Not to mention Jenna's accident after taking too many diet pills.
  • Popularity Food Chain Characters that appear twice obviously shift seats between seasons.
  • Product Placement: Plenty in the tenth season. Several for Skype, the Zeno "Hotspot", etc.
    • Pizza Pizza, especially early on when the mall food court's used for scenes that would later take place in The Dot.
    • Snake's Alienware laptop was a pretty prominent one in earlier seasons.
    • And in later seasons whenever something is done for charity, the charity will be Free the Children.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Mrs. Torres sometimes slips and calls Adam by female pronouns and/or his birth name.
  • Put on a Bus: Emma, Spinner, Liberty, Manny, Jay, Peter, and the rest of the graduates including Jack, Spike, Joey, Caitlin, and Mr. Raditch.
  • Psycho Lesbian: In the In Too Deep previews, Fiona is shown behaving in a predatory manner towards Holly J.
  • Raging Stiffie: Spinner. And in the newer season, Wesley.
  • Rape as Redemption: Paige is less of the Alpha Bitch after her rape; she even lets Ashley back in the club.
  • Real Life Relative: Craig's little sister, Angela, is played by Alex Steele. Craig's on again off again love interest Manny is played by Cassie Steele. Lampshaded by Craig: "She reminds me of my half-sister."
  • Rearrange the Song: In "Cabaret", Paige and Terri change Ashley's piano piece into a highly electronic teen-pop song to perform at the talent show. She does NOT like this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Emma is very fond of them, especially when she's standing up for a cause.
    • Anya gives a glorious one to Owen in season 10 in regards to his sexism.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Rick. Poor, poor Rick. Rick, who put a girl in a coma, came back to school with homicidal intent. Poor, poor Rick.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Holly J in the mini episode Queen Bees, after The Reveal she's younger sister to Heather Sinclair, while Marco and Ellie drag Paige away Holly J's eyes flash red.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Spinner's Red alongside Jimmy's Blue during the early seasons. Later Alli's Red has to be checked by Clare's Blue.
  • Reformed but Rejected: Happens first with Rick in Season 4, then with Spinner the following season.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Dave is the best example, as his introduction is lamenting this trope. Characters not outright introduced as a New Transfer Student can be this, but most of the time it isn't stated explicitly.
    • Imogen in season 11 is an excellent example of this. In the first major episode she appears in, she tells Eli that she has gone to Degrassi for two years and recaps everything she "overheard" at Vegas Night, which occurred in the middle of season 10. Presumably, she was always a student at Degrassi, but she just never appeared in a scene with the current cast before.
  • Retcon: JT's sister and mother are mentioned in the first season but later he is shown as living with only his grandmother; Paige calls into school pretending to be her mother in Season 3 to excuse herself from school to skip and uses a Czechoslavakian accent, but later when her mother is cast and physically on the show she has no accent; and various characters' grades and ages are all over the place.
    • Seasons Six and Seven were the 2007/2008 school year, and seasons Eight and Nine were the 2008/2009 school year. Season Ten appears to be taking place in the 2010/2011 school year, yet treating the last two seasons as if they were just the previous school year.
    • Liberty skipping a grade seems to have been retconned out as well, since the press release character descriptions in the later seasons listed her as being the same age as the others in her class. Plus, there's Danny's existence.
  • Retool: The pilot episode made it clear the show was planned to have just as much, if not more focus on the original adult cast, but by the third episode it was clear they changed their mind and now the focus is centrally on the kids.
  • Rock Star Parking: The school's parking lot is improbably small for what's depicted as an average-size High School. Yet, a shortage of student parking is never an issue.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: There were definitely traces of this between Jenna and Clare early in season 9.
    • Fiona and Holly J have this in season 10, particularly in the "In Too Deep" promo.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: I don't know where Emma found those flaming dolphin pants she has in the first season, but it's so bizarre that you can't help but think "Yeah, I want that."
  • Running Gag: JT has a very small penis. He is extremely insecure about this. There, I saved you a lot of time.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Perrino
  • Sad Times Montage: One happens in the episode of Ellie's self-destruction and personal life getting overwhelming.
  • School Play
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Considering how much leeway they get for stuff worn over or under the school polo shirts, removing them after school shouldn't be a big deal, but a lot of people still don't bother.
  • Secret Relationship: Paige and her teacher Matt. Peter and Emma. Declan suggests this with Holly J.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man - In Trope Name order:
    • Craig and Sean (Should be noted at times they do switch.)
    • Jimmy and Spinner, during and after Jimmy and Spinner's falling out its Marco and Spinner.
    • Peter and Riley, Season 10 Peter is replaced with Zane.
  • Serious Business: Just about anything.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Holly J, Jane, and Fiona during Degrassi Takes Manhattan
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: Parodied when Holly J shakes her hair out in a failed seduction attempt.
  • She's All Grown Up: Emma and Liberty (despite efforts to keep her Hollywood Homely), as both were pretty awkward looking when the show first started (the latter was even lampshaded by Emma: "You've come a LONG way since Grade 7.").
  • Shirtless Scene: Sean and Spinner in "Careless Whisper", complete with Marco's Male Gaze.
    • We also got shirtless Sean in When Doves Cry (and Craig in a much squickier context), and in seasons 3 and 4, Sean not only has shirtless scenes but pantsless scenes. Finally, we had Emma making out with a shirtless Sean - in her PowerPoint!
  • Shock Value Relationship: Manny tries to scare her incredibly strict Asian father by bringing the 20-something year old high school drop-out mechanic Jay over for dinner. It backfires when her dad actually really likes him. Later in season ten Clare brings Eli over for dinner to spite her parents for getting a divorce, by using his black clothes and hearse to make him sound like a freak. Much to his fury.
  • Shout-Out: The title.
-Connor: What is the velocity of an unladden swallow?
Wesley: African or European?

-Eli: You're tearing me apart, Clara!

    • A rather subtle one to singer Carly Simon in "Rock And Roll High School"

Ashley: Poor self-absorbed Craig thinks that the song's about him.
Ellie: So vain.

  • Shower of Angst: Darcy in "Standing in the Dark"
  • The Show Goes Hollywood: Degrassi Goes Hollywood.
  • Shown Their Work: Mainly when it comes to locations mentioned. Recently mentioned is Ithaca, an obscure and relatively small city in southern New York state, which, given the distance, would require an overnight stay.
    • Averted, however, with Ajax, which is only a twenty minute drive from Toronto and is a flimsy excuse to write Alex off of the show.
  • Shrinking Violet: Terri in early seasons, Anya in season seven.
  • Silent Bob: Towerz and The Silent Bob.
  • Six-Student Clique Early Seasons give us the younger class: J.T. (Head), Sean (Muscle), Toby (Quirk), Emma (Pretty One), Liberty (Smart One), and Manny (Wild One)
    • Season 8 had Studz and their girlfriends: Peter (Head), Danny (Muscle), Sav (Quirk), Mia (Pretty One), Leia (Smart One), Anya (Wild One). You can swap the last two if you find Leia's constant lies wilder than Anya's... constant manipulations. Or you can just put them both as The smart ones.
    • Season 10 brings us a segmented version: Dave (Head), K.C. (Muscle), Connor and Wesley (Quirky Duo), Jenna (Pretty One), Clare (Smart One), and Alli (Wild One). However, Jenna and Clare are not friends, Clare and K.C. are not friends, but everyone else freely hangs out.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Rick in season 4.
  • Sixth Ranger: Sean just doesn't stay with one clique very long.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Overall, not quite as shiny as most Hollywood teen dramas. The school itself is well-equipped and maintained, but not architecturally flashy enough to qualify as an Elaborate University High; while individual students' circumstances vary from "very, very shiny indeed" to "as gritty as it gets in Canada".
  • Slumber Party: Subverted.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Real Life "De Grassi Street" signs are seen in establishing shots. No in- or out-of-universe explanation as to why it was condensed to one word for the school's name has ever been offered.
    • Also, it's "Clare" not "Claire"
    • Damian's name is probably the most misspelled in the fandom.
    • Tweens on the Internet always misspell "gonorrhea".
  • Spicy Latina: Alex, later Bianca.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Craig was very prominent in season two, and soon his drama pretty much overwhelmed everyone else. The most Egregious example: Liberty giving birth was actually reduced to an extremely short B-plot in favor of yet another Craig episode.
    • Emma, especially in Season 6.
    • Mia (Season 8 mostly).
    • Holly J. Just look at the opening credits after S8.
    • Couples-wise, Sean/Emma and Paige/Alex (Season 6), Ashley/Craig/Manny (Season 3), Jay/Manny (Season 7), and Peter/Mia (Season 8).
    • Eli and Clare were given a lion's share of screentime (and they've DEFINITELY stolen the spotlight on Fanfiction.net) , along with Holly J, Alli, and Fiona (non-couple wise) in Season 10.
    • The first half of Season 11 could have basically been called "The Eli Show".
    • Seasons 11 also suffers this from Drew.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Jimmy/Ashley, Craig/Ashley, Craig/Manny, Sean/Emma, Dylan/Marco, Spinner/Paige, Spinner/Darcy, Paige/Alex, Joey/Caitlin... hell, basically anyone and anyone else.
    • JT and Liberty deserve special mention here, due to their tragic circumstances.
  • Stepford Smiler
  • Stock Footage: In the season 3 episode "I want candy" the outside shot of the hospital is clearly the same clip used in the season 2 finale episode. You can even blatantly see craig walking towards the building, even though he's not in this episode.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Dylan, Riley, Sam, Zane
  • Student Council President: Marco (Season 4), Liberty (Seasns 5-7), Holly J. (Seasons 8-10). Damian was president at Lakehurst until the merger.
  • Stylistic Suck: Among the Deleted Scenes from Season 1 is a "Where are they now" piece on several original characters done in the style of an amateur VHS home video. The audio on some segments is almost inaudible.
  • Sudden School Uniform: Played straight with it being implemented over a weeklong break in the middle of the school year, subverted by it being in place ever since.
  • Suddenly Sexuality:
    • Alex's shift from being straight to lesbian was less than expected or really set-up. There was no in-series explanation for why she stopped liking men. Which was especially jarring given the subtext of her sleeping with Jay regularly. Then again, one could deduce that Alex simply hadn't come to terms with her sexuality yet and was using Jay as her beard. When you look at her behavior in "King of Pain", this seems even more plausible.
    • Her initial love interest, Paige, also did a sudden sexuality shift. But her becoming bi was marginally better handled. ...until it vanished from her character when Alex was Put on a Bus.
    • Fiona gave no obvious signs she liked girls during her entire initial season (Season 9, if you keep score). With only some minor hints at it in Season 10 (her possessiveness over Holly J, her flirting with Clare while drunk). Most of which might be explained away as her mood disorder making her... 'dramatic'.
      • This is not universally agreed on. Many fans speculated that Fiona was a lesbian (or at least hiding something) early in season nine when she admitted to Riley that she purposefully sought out a fake relationship with him. Despite the fact that she is supposed to be his beard, she is actually more opposed to heterosexual activity than he is. Riley at least wants to try kissing her, but Fiona is completely uninterested. In fact, she tells him "if I thought you were straight, we wouldn't be doing this." Her decision to pursue Riley is prompted by Declan's insistence that her ex-European pen pal did not count as an ex-boyfriend. Even her relationship with Bobby seemed mostly for show. After a summer of therapy and family tension, her mother set her up with Bobby hoping he would be good for her. The relationship is difficult for her to get out of mostly because it was arranged by both their families. It doesn't seem to stem from a spontaneous and natural attraction, whereas Fiona's interest in Holly J starts off slowly with jealousy and nastiness and progresses to actual romantic attraction.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Jenna just thinks she's getting fat and even uses diet pills to try and fix her "weight problem."
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Jane, Craig when he sings Ashley a song in the battle of the bands.
  • Take That: One to energy drinks (or to school sponsorship of products) with Purple Dragon. Several to Bush in the Jay and Silent Bob episodes.
  • Teacher-Student Romance: Paige and Mr. Oleander, though technically he was only a TA and three years older than her. Later Manny and her professor.
    • Sav and Mrs. Oh seem to be heating up in season 11
  • Teens Are Short: Averted. At the height of 5'8, Miriam McDonald was taller than her on-screen mother, Amanda Stepto. Stepto is only 5'2.
    • Played straight when practically any teen characters interact with the very tall Stefan Brogren.
  • Teen Drama
  • Teen Pregnancy: Manny (terminated the pregnancy), Liberty (put the baby up for adoption), Mia (raising her child), and now Jenna (keeps it for a while before giving it up for adoption). Emma is the result of one, and her mother had a second unplanned pregnancy (albeit at around age 30).
  • The Bus Came Back: Ashley Kerwin (season 5 finale-season 7), Sean Cameron (season 6), and Caitlin Ryan (season 7 episode "Jesse's Girl).
  • The Tell: Ellie Nash cooks when she's angry, according to Marco.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: Sav's drummer search in Jesus, Etc.
  • Their First Time
  • There Is Only One Bed: Heterosexual version: Ellie and Sean. Sean sleeps on the couch.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • JT and Toby, replaced with 'the fuzzheads' Danny and Derek.
    • Anya and Chantay Leia Chantay are female versions.
  • Three Amigos: Dave, Wesley, and Connor.
    • Clare, Eli, and Adam. (with more romance than the above.)
  • Title Drop / Title Theme Drop : They like to work in the phrase "Whatever it takes" whenever they can get away with it. It's stenciled on the wall of the school's weight room.
  • Title: the Adaptation
  • Token Minority Couple: Remember when Jimmy and Hazel were a couple for 3 seasons? It's alright if you don't, apparently the writers only rememebered when it was relevant...which wasn't a whole lot.
    • Danny and Chante had traces of this in season 9, particularly since Danny is the only person Chante ever dates.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Alex & Paige.
    • Jane and Darcy in season seven. Darcy is replaced with Holly J in season nine.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Emma starting in Season 4 ("What will people think of me if Chris goes out with Liberty next?"). Many fans consider this moment to be the turning point of Emma's character and when her Jerk Sue colors first really started to shine.
    • Derek in Season 8. Before that, he at least had some sort of remorse for his more Jerkass moments (such as framing Danny for shoplifting).
    • KC in Seasons 9 and 10.
  • Toplessness From the Back: Emma in the Purple Dragon episode. Manny's "I'm going to be famous" scene.
  • Tragic Hero: Craig and Ashley. Also Rick, sort of.
    • Sean Cameron, anyone? At this point, Sean is the only one who can possibly understand Rick, was one of the few people who actively defended Rick, and...kills him. Then he is called a hero for it.
  • Training Montage: When Owen helps Anya get in shape for the armed forces.
  • Transsexualism Adam was actually born Gracie.
    • Adam "Gracie" Torres is the first teenage transsexual character to be depicted on scripted television.
  • Trickster Archetype: Mike Lobel is on record comparing Jay to a spider. Would that be Iktomi or Anansi or...
  • Troperrific
  • Troubled but Cute: Sean first, during most of his time on the show.
    • Spinner was next, after Rick's death and Jimmy's being shot.
    • Peter, but fans thought he came off as a metrosexual Jerkass Then they toned him down dramatically in season 8, so now he's just the pretty, yetgeneric guy).
    • K.C. during season 8 and 9
    • Eli and Adam for different reasons during Season 10
  • Tsundere: Paige and Alex.
  • Twincest: Declan and Fiona have been giving off not-so brotherly vibes ever since their promo, and the actress who plays Fiona has hinted at a potential incest story arc in Season 10.
    • In Degrassi Takes Manhattan, Fiona tells Holly J, "Boyfriends are temporary, brothers are forever."
  • Twofer Token Minority: Jimmy (black and disabled), Connor (black with Asperger's), Zane (Asian and gay), Sav (Indian and Muslim), and Manny, Liberty, Chantay, and Leia (female and nonwhite). There are even several threefers: Hazel and Alli (nonwhite, female and Muslim), and Alex (lesbian, female, and Latina).
  • Two Lines, No Waiting
  • Two-Teacher School: It seems there's only about four teachers in the entire school, with Mrs. Kwan teaching English to the entire school, Mr. Simpson teaching Media Immersion for every student for all four years, and Coach Armstrong being the health teacher, math teacher, and P.E. teacher for all grades and classes, as well as the coach for every sports team in the school.
    • And recently, this seems to have extended to Ms. Oh, Mr. Perino *sp*, and Ms. Dawes.
  • Unable to Cry: Liberty after JT's death
    • Emma when Manny outs her Anorexia to her family.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Happens twice with Toby (three times if you count Manny rejecting his invitation to a dance)
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Someone needs to lock Clare and Eli in a closet or something.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: J.T, Spinner sometimes.
  • Verbal Tic: Well, one, there's Rick, and two, he tends to put things in a list.
  • Very Special Episode: Almost every episode
    • In the vein of a very special Blossom, we have Emma blossoming into womanhood, Spinner's erections, JT's wet dreams, and JT's very small penis. One in each of the first four seasons.
    • Then there's the episode where Paige gets raped, Marco comes out, Ashley's dad comes out, Craig's dad abuses him, Craig develops bipolar disorder, Liberty winds up needing extra math help but everyone thinks she's sleeping with the math teacher.
  • The Unfair Sex: Jane's flirting with Declan and subsequent cheating wasn't portrayed nearly as bad when Craig did it to Ashley in Season 3. Averted when Spinner reacts badly to finding out.
  • Wham! Episode: "Jagged Little Pill" is by far the first Wham! Episode: Drugs, heavily implied middle school sex. No one died, but still...
    • Time Stands Still
    • Rock This Town
    • The very last few seconds of "All Falls Down" does this.
    • Season 7's Standing in the Dark, which had Degrassi merging with Lakehurst and Darcy getting raped at a party and later attempting suicide.
    • Season 11's Dead and Gone. A particularly interesting case in that while nobody dies, there's still heavy build up and plenty of suspense.
  • Wham! Line: "She wants twenty-thousand dollars."
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Spinner and Emma getting married under the influence
    • Darcy waking up next to Peter after she was drugged and raped.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: While both running for student body president. Sav and Holly both have posters that resemble real-life political propaganda. So, basically a vote for Sav is a vote for Barack Obama, and a vote for Holly J. is a vote for Chairman Mao.
  • "What the Hell?" Dad: A lot of fathers and other male role models fit this. At least for the boys. For the girls, on the other hand...
  • White Shirt of Death: JT was wearing one when he was stabbed.
  • Whole-Plot Reference
  • Wild Teen Party: Most notably "Rock This Town"
  • Windmill Political: Emma is prone to these.
  • With Friends Like These...: While it wasn't a very comedic example, Holly J and Anya were like this in season seven and eight. Chantay has shown this with every one of her friends when gossip circles them.
  • Working Title: Ready, Willing and Wired.
  • Worthy Opponent: In a deleted scene from "Back In Black", Sean sees Rick as this.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Horribly averted (or subverted?) when Fitz and Owen find out that Adam is biologically female. They don't hit him - they pick him up and throw him through the double doors breaking a wire-reinforced glass pane.
    • Reinforced when Fitz refuses to fight Adam, and suggests Adam fight Bianca.
    • That valiant theater nerd, Rick? He hits girls.
    • Sean angsts about accidentally hitting Emma when she tries to get between him and Jimmy. Of course, Emma doesn't see it as an accident.
  • X Called. They Want Their Y Back.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Emma's screen name is xXsparklespazXx.
  • Yandere: Eli towards Clare at first, but now Imogen from season eleven is shaping up to be this towards Eli.
    • Rick. Emphasis on "yan". Abusive boyfriend, paranoid about other guys wanting his girlfriend, does not take rejection well...
  • You Go, Girl!: Jane. Football.
  • You Look Familiar: Alex's girlfriend Carla and a friend of Joey's girlfriend Diane were played by the same actress.
    • Alex Steele will be returning later in season 11 but as a new character, not Angie Jeremiah.
  • You're Just Jealous: This was practically Manny's Catch Phrase for awhile. Emma also pulled this card when Liberty called her out on passing out weed brownies during a dorm event.
    • Manny uses this one against Paige to dismiss Paige's warnings about Dean. Although it was pretty typical behavior for Paige to try to stop other girls from dating guys she liked (see her awful treatment of Terri), Paige was actually telling the truth about Dean.
    • Maya's (accurate) feelings about Tori's anti-Zig behavior.
  • Zen Survivor

Notes

  1. There was a Crowning Moment of Funny along the way, however, when Kwan's ESL students who were missing dinner to study, chipped in and bought the prank-call pizzas.
  2. This holds rather than rotates into the second year of the new dress code, causing a minor Edit War on the Character Sheet as the Wiki Magic digested it, as well as forcing everyone In-Universe to buy new school shirts every year.
  3. Okay, versions of them
  4. Girls restrained by a very conservative family structure dealing with becoming sexual beings with level headed best friends (although Manny ended up switching roles with Emma in the later seasons)
  5. both were in the closet