With the exciting news of the all new Degrassi revival series coming to HBO Max, YEM wants to take you back a few decades to some of the best episodes in Degrassi history!
The show loves it’s drama. Filled with peer pressure, sexual identities, teen pregnancy, and self-identity, Degrassi dives into diverse, complicated characters who want love and redemption. Starting at the beginning of the 2000’s, the characters and ideas within the show are still relevant today. Here are YEM’s top 10 episodes, in no particular order:
Season 4 Episode 19- “Moonlight Desires”
Marco Del Rossi was the 2006 Valedictorian of his class and is continuously concerned about his sexuality which is his main storyline throughout the show. This episode deals with more of his relationship issues along with a tough topic of donating blood.
Caitlin’s public access TV show is coming to Degrassi High and Marco wants everything to be perfect. Well, when he heads to donate blood, one of the nurses come up to him and tells him he can’t donate because he has had sex with another man. She says that within the gay community there is a higher risk of the HIV infection. This of course upsets Marco and is all caught on camera.
Season 4 Episode 8- “Time Stands Still: Part 2”
This is a raw one. In the conclusion of this episode, Rick brings a gun to school, upset about a prank that Spinner and Jay trick him into believing was Jimmy’s fault. He shoots Jimmy in the back, paralyzing him for the rest of the show. The episode is intense and affects everyone at the school.
Later in the hall, Rick runs into Toby, Sean, and Emma. He then threatens Emma and Sean jumps in and the gun goes off, killing Rick. It’s a ripple effect and is one of the best and most impactful episodes of the series. Jimmy is bound to a wheelchair and Sean leaves soon after due to the guilt of taking someone’s life, even by accident. It’s a timely piece that is one of the best episodes to cover the subject of school shootings in a TV show.
Season 6 Episode 11- “Rock This Town”
Manny is trying to get over Craig and decides to throw a secret party to do so. Everyone knows how secret parties go at Degrassi, though. Soon everyone knows and it gets out of control fast.
When students from Lakehurst arrive unexpectedly, things take a turn for the absolute worst. The ongoing school rivalry only gets worse and tensions rise. J.T. finds two guys from Lakehurst peeing on his car and it ends with J.T. getting stabbed and left for dead. This was hard news for Degrassi and specifically for Manny, Sean, Emma, Toby and Liberty. And of course, the fans.
Season 1 Episode 1- “Mother and Child Reunion”
We can’t do this list without the iconic pilot episode. This is a fun class reunion episode with classes of 1992 and 1993. It introduced main characters and relationships between graduated parents and their children starting their career at Degrassi High, like Spike and Emma.
The episode also immediately dives into the drama and pressures of being in high school. Emma has an online boyfriend named Jordan who says he’s coming to Toronto for a school field trip. Emma’s friends try to tell her it’s a bad idea and dating online can be dangerous. She eventually decides to meet up with Jordan. In part 2, the friends were proven right and Emma is in a tough situation.
Season 3 Episode 19- “It’s Raining Men”
This episode ignites the budding relationship between Marco and Dylan and is considered Marco’s first “real” kiss! For six months Marco has had his eye on Dylan, but things have been kind of gloomy since Tom came into the picture.
With some help from Spinner, Marco asks Dylan out on a date. The two go through some rough patches during the date like dealing with Marco’s homophobic father and being afraid to hold Dylan’s hand at the movies, but in the end Dylan asks him out on another date. And of course, they even share a kiss!
Season 7 Episode 6- “Death Or Glory: Part 2”
After finding out he has testicular cancer, Spinner takes steps in the wrong direction. Dealing with his aggression and the looming reality that he might die, he begins recklessly acting out and picking fights.
He gets in a fight with Lukehurst guys, and Jane and Jimmy are trying to help him come to his senses, knowing he has much bigger problems than fighting. Spinner doesn’t handle his emotions of the situation well, but who would?
Season 6 Episode 19- “Don’t You Want Me: Part 2”
This episode revolves a lot around Alex and Paige and the status of their relationship since Alex took a new job as a stripper. Alex feels guilty for taking the job to help her mom pay rent and paying off the credit card her ex racked up. Her and Paige get back together but only until Paige finds out about the stripping.
Paige sees what she’s doing at work and they get in a fight that ends in a breakup. However, Alex then realizes she doesn’t really want to give up her soul and quits the job. She meets back up with Paige at the dance and they get back together.
Season 1 Episode 5 of Next Class– “#ButThat’sNoneOfMyBusiness”
This season 1 episode covers bathroom equality rights. Goldi asks Maya to perform a show for the Feminist Club during their protest for bathroom equality. The club wants one of the rarely used boys’ bathrooms to be converted to for girls because the girls’ bathroom always has super long lines.
Maya is hesitant at first, not seeing herself as a feminist, but Goldi points out that feminism is about equality. And of course, Maya loves equality. She decides to join the cause and the Feminist Club successfully makes the bathroom available for women!
Season 2 Episode 10- “#OMFG”
This episode is all about high school relationship drama. Lola shuts down Shay’s request to date Tiny which causes Shay to act out during their championship volleyball game. Hunter attempts to define his relationship with Yael but is ultimately afraid of hurting him again. And, Zoë’s burning intensifies as Winston begins to second-guess their relationship. She finally gives into her true self and comes out to him as gay. They remain friends and attend the game together.
In the end, Lola does agree to let Shay date Tiny, and Shay tries to text him. However, Shay doesn’t show up and when the game is over, Shay learns that the Degrassi fan bus crashes, with Tiny inside. There’s so much suspense in this one.
Season 4 Episode 10- “#KThxBye”
Class of 2017 graduates! Zoë and Rasha are prom queens, the truth of the bomb threat is revealed, and a beautiful montage of the students’ social media pages of where they are and what they’re doing now.
Zig meets Esme outside and she tries to apologize and offers Zig to ride off on the motorcycle she bought for him with her. After he says no, Esme starts destroying the motorcycle and admits she called in the bomb threat! She attacks Zig but eventually falls to the ground weeping as he hands her over to the guidance counselor.
You can watch all of Degrassi on HBO Max in 2022!