R.I.P Degrassi + The Top 5 Unforgettable Moments
After 14 seasons of the being everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure, the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation has been cancelled. Consistently unafraid to ‘go there,’ Degrassi has made headlines for its depictions of teen pregnancies, school shootings, drug addictions, abortion and rape. Degrassi has never been one to censor its content or strive to fit any mold other than its own. Whether you were a huge fan, or have only tuned in to catch clips of Drake in a wheelchair, we know we’re all feeling a little bit nostalgic about the end of this teen sensation. So in honor of the show’s finale, here are the top 5 most iconic moments of the show’s early days because let’s face it, nothing was the same after our favorite sad boy rapper graduated from Degrassi High.
Jimmy Brooks’ freestyles
Before Drake was ‘Drizzy’, he was Jimmy Brooks — a high school basketball star with a dream who famously becomes handicapped when he gets shot in a school shooting. In foreshadowing the Toronto native’s bright future, Jimmy Brooks had his occasional free style on the show. Although his rhymes fell short of Champagnepapi greatness, we could always tell that he was destined for a career bigger than his life in the 6.
Manny Gets Hot
Three years before Justin Timberlake declared that he had brought ‘SexyBack,’ Manny was establishing herself as Degrassi High’s resident sex symbol—or trying to. In Season Three’s episode U Got the Look, Manny declares, “I want to be Hot” as she sheds an oversized sweater and unveils her new midriff-baring look. Forget diamonds, an aggressively high-waisted bedazzled thong is a girl’s best friend. As with any display of female sexual empowerment on television, Manny ends up having sex with her best friend’s boyfriend and gets pregnant later in the season.
The Penis Pump
The charming, quirky and wholesome J.T Yorke managed to capture the hearts of preteens worldwide with his bright eyes and even brighter smile. Although, J.T’s violent exit off the show brought many of us to tears, we can never forget the time he thought his junk wasn’t good enough for the girl of his dreams, Manny. Upon finally getting a chance to date the school hottie, J.T begins to feel that maybe Manny isn’t that into him. To make matters worse, J.T accidentally gets a glimpse at her ex’s enormous shlong in the locker-room, making him even more self-conscious. Although we all love J.T for long or short, he decides to invest in a penis pump to boost his self esteem. Unfortunately, Manny ends up catching him using the pump, and discovers that his emotional maturity may not be much larger than his penis, leading her to break things off — poor ol’ J.T.
While the students of Degrassi High certainly know how to have some fun, the show also knows when to get serious and doesn’t mind confronting topics that some may find sensitive. Back in season 3, Manny learns she’s pregnant with Craig’s baby and although Craig wants Manny to have the baby, she decides that she is not ready to be a mother. Her best friend Emma is initially distraught by her decision, but ultimately supports her when she realizes that Manny has a right to choose what do with her body — a right that many Republicans are still struggling to comprehend. Manny then tells her mother and together they go to get the abortion. The portrayal of this ‘right to choose’ was somehow deemed too controversial to be shown in the U.S and wasn’t aired here until 2 years after its initial premiere.
Emma’s Cyber Boyfriend
From the very first episode, Degrassi has never shied away from tackling controversial topics. In the two part series premiere, Mother and Child Reunion, Emma is on the cutting edge of 2001 technological realness with an online boyfriend named Jordan. After finding out her cyber Prince Charming would be in Toronto for a class field trip in the middle of summer because, you know, that seems logical, Emma decides to throw caution to the wind and go meet him at a hotel. Naturally, he’s an adult who lures Emma into a hotel room with a box of pizza under the guise of being Jordan’s teacher. As an added bonus, there’s a riveting and totally underrated scene of her friends, Toby, Manny, and J.T., trying to guess the answers to security questions for Emma’s email account.