The Degrassi franchise has long been a staple for teens and tweens in North America, covering controversial topics such as sex, teen pregnancy, abortion, drug use, homophobia, racism, and death.
Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High had opened a door for discussion on issues the public were often too afraid to talk about. We could relate to these characters, and see them as our friends, classmates, or even ourselves.
It’s hard to believe the beloved franchise is already on its fifth installment, creating entertainment even the current generation can relate with.
Here are 12 facts about Degrassi that’ll bring you back to high school.
1. Producers for Degrassi Junior High advertised casting calls through flyers and notices through Toronto newspapers.
2, The majority of the Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High cast wore their own clothes and did their own make-up on set.
3. In 1992, Stefan Brogren, who (still) plays Archie "Snake" Simpson, was the first person to say the f-word on Canadian television.
He said, "Joey Jeremiah spends his summer dating Caitlin and f***ing Tessa."
4. Brogren has been on the show since 1987, and has been part of the series longer than any other actor.
He is now a director of the show and appears as the school's principal.
5. Co-creator Linda Schuyler came up with Degrassi, the series name, from the street she grew up on.
6. Prior to creating the TV series, Schulyer worked as a junior high school teacher.
7. Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High were both filmed at a real school in Toronto.
Degrassi Junior High was filmed at Vincent Massey Public School and Degrassi High was filmed at Centennial College.
8. Degrassi Junior High won an Emmy Award for the episode "It's Late," in which Spike finds out she's pregnant. In honor of the award, the baby was named Emma.
9. Stacie Mistysyn, who played Caitlin Ryan, was nicknamed "sock head" and "skunk" because of her homemade sock headbands and hair dye.
10. Director Kevin Smith is a huge Degrassi fan and had a crush on Mistysyn's character during the 80s.
When he made his guest appearances on Degrassi: The Next Generation, the script called for him to kiss her.
11. Nick Hope, who played Derek "Wheels" Wheeler, died in 2007, reportedly after struggling with alcohol and drug issues, mirroring his character.
His family wouldn't find out he was dead until four years later.
12. Since Degrassi is Canadian, producers made sure all of the music on the show was from Canadian artists or bands.
Bands like Gowan and The Box often heard on the show.
What was your favorite memory of Degrassi?