For a lot of us Millennials, Degrassi was a pretty iconic TV show. We grew up with it, we resonated with the characters, and we still think that Drake will always be Jimmy, regardless of how successful he is as a rapper.
Speaking of Jimmy, Drake (AKA Aubrey Graham) has admitted to getting stoned before auditioning for the part of Jimmy Brooks on the show. Obviously it ended up working out for him!
This one is going to blow your mind: the school building in Degrassi: The Next Generation doesn’t actually exist! As in, the show simply used a set rather than an actual school to film. Sometimes tourists travel to Canada asking to see the school where the show was filmed, only to be disappointed. Doesn’t that just kind of crush your hopes and dreams knowing you can’t actually go there?
Remember Angela Jeremiah, Craig Manning’s little sister from seasons 1-5? She was played by actress Alex Steele, who is actually Cassie Steele’s (Manny Santos’) little sister in real life! What’s more is that Alex actually went on to play a completely different character, Tori Santamaria, for a brief amount of time in season 11. That makes her one of the only actors to play two separate characters on the show.
Remember how Paige, Ellie and Marco all lived together once they graduated from Degrassi? Well, as it turns out, the three of them actually did live together in a condo in real life. That just makes my heart happy.
In season 2, Terri MacGregor becomes a successful plus-size model. In real life, the actress who plays Terri, Christina Schmidt, is also a successful plus-size model, and actually left the show to pursue her modeling career. She’s been featured in Italian vogue and has been in ads for Torrid, among others.
Kevin Smith made a few cameos throughout the series, for which he actually wrote his own dialogue. Smith also apparently loved the original Degrassi series when he himself was a teenager. He had a crush on the character Caitlyn Ryan (played by Stacie Mistysyn), and even got to kiss her during one of his cameos!
In season 10, the show introduced transgender character Adam Torres (played by Jordan Todosey). Adam was actually the first-ever scripted transgender teen character in television history. How cool is that?
Speaking of Adam, originally the show’s writers wanted Adam to be an androgynous lesbian character named Zoe instead. It’s probably good that they changed their minds, seeing as Adam was such a groundbreaking character! Hopefully his character helped a lot of transgender teens out there through their struggles.
All of Spinner’s (AKA Shane Kippel’s) piercings on the show are real. He even asked the show’s producers for permission before getting each new piercing. He was only allowed to keep his noticeable tongue piercing after he proved to them that it would not negatively affect his speech.
Adamo Ruggiero, who played Marco Del Rossi, actually auditioned for the part of Craig Manning initially. I for one am glad he wasn’t cast as Craig, because he was absolutely perfect as Marco. Jake Epstein ended up being cast as Craig.
The US actually censored quite a bit of the show’s material for American audiences. For example, earlier episodes were edited to remove homophobic slurs and sexual connotations. Additionally, many countries (including the US) refused to air the episode where Manny has an abortion.
This one is for you OG Degrassi fans. Emma Nelson’s character was named after the Emmy Award that Degrassi Junior High won in 1987. The episode that won was called “It’s Late,” and was about Spike’s (Emma’s mom’s) pregnancy.
Clare Edwards, played by Aislinn Paul, dated Jake Martin (Justin Kelly) in the show at one point. Their relationship on-screen looked like a regular one, but interestingly enough, their height difference was so much that Paul often had to stand on a box when they filmed scenes together - she was 5’2” and he was 6’0”!
The character to appear in the most episodes in the show is Stefan Brogren, who plays Archie “Snake” Simpson. He’s been part of the Degrassi franchise longer than any other character, making his first appearance in 1987. Aislinn Paul has appeared in the second-most episodes.
Shane Kippel lost more than 50 pounds after the first season of Degrassi: The Next Generation aired. He reportedly was embarrassed after seeing himself on screen and worked hard to lose the weight for future seasons.
Did you know any of these Degrassi facts? Let us know in the comments!