In Canada, nine episodes have viewer discretions on them, "Time Stands Still (Part 2)" (school-shooting), "Shout (Parts 1 & 2)" (rape), "Secret (Parts 1 & 2)" (oral sex and gonorrhea), "Don't You Want Me (Parts 1 & 2)" (stripping), and "Jane Says (Parts 1 and 2)" (child molestation). However, in the United States, only "Shout" came with a viewer discretion warning.
During season two, Terri MacGregor becomes a successful plus size model. In real life, the actress who plays Terri, Christina Schmidt, left the show to become a real life plus size model. She is represented by B&M Models in Toronto and has been featured in Italian Vogue, as well as ads for Torrid, MXM, and Nygard.
In the episode "Take My Breath Away" (2x10), Craig and Manny go on their first date. Later while Craig is talking to Jimmy and Spinner, he says Manny kept reminding him of his little sister, Angie. In fact, Cassie Steele (Manny) and Craig's little sister Angie (Alex Steele) are sisters in real life.
Five characters from Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High have made regular appearances on the show: Snake (now Mr. Simpson), Spike, Joey, Caitlin and Mr. Raditch. Others have made guest appearances or cameos when circumstances have called for it.
As of 2012, five characters have had the Degrassi logo on their backs at the end of the opening theme. The first was Marco Del Rossi from seasons 3 through 7. Second was Jane Vaughn from season 8 to 9. Alli Bhandari starting season 10, Drew Torres in season 11, and lastly, Clare Edwards in season 12.
All of the piercings Spinner (Shane Kippel) displays throughout the show are real. Kippel asked permission from the producers before each piercing, especially his tongue stud which is most noticeable in seasons 3 and 4. He was allowed to keep the piercing after proving it did not affect his speech. While Kippel's piercings were real, all of the piercings Stacey Farber sported while playing the role of Ellie Nash were fake.
By far the most famous Degrassi alum is Aubrey Graham, aka Drake. After wrapping up his character, Jimmy Brooks, Graham went on to become a Grammy Award winning rap musician gaining worldwide fame. He has since released four albums and done collaborations with musicians such as Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne.
Both parts of "Accidents Will Happen" were not aired in the United States prior to 2006. US based channel, The N, premiered the episode during an "every episode ever" marathon of Degrassi before the premiere of the sixth season despite the episodes originally airing in Canada in 2004.
Liberty, Marco, and Manny were not seen in either "Time Stands Still" installment despite being series regulars. Even though they were not in either installment, all three characters exhibited disgust with the event in later episodes; Manny breaks up with Spinner after he confesses, Marco teams with Jimmy and Craig in alienating Spinner, and Liberty adapts Dracula into a play to help the school heal and see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Every girl romantically linked to J.T. Yorke had been pregnant at some point; Manny terminated her pregnancy with Craig's child, Liberty gave up her and J.T.'s son for adoption, and Mia had a daughter from a previous relationship.
A total of ten characters were held back one or more year in school: Sean Cameron, Ashley Kerwin, Jimmy Brooks, Gavin 'Spinner' Mason, Rick Murray, Fiona Coyne, Drew Torres, Tori Santamaria, Mike Dallas, and Imogen Moreno.
All of Spinner Mason's girlfriends had been sexually taken advantage of in some way. Paige was raped by Dean at a house party, Manny was filmed topless by Peter while drunk at a party, Darcy was roofied and date raped at a ski resort, Jane was molested by her father, and Emma was stalked and nearly molested by an internet predator.
A total of eight characters have been diagnosed with a mental or learning disability: Craig Manning and Eli Goldsworthy are bipolar, Spinner Mason has ADHD, Anya MacPherson and Zoe Rivas have dyslexia, Connor DeLaurier has Asperger's Syndrome, Joey Jeremiah has disgraphia, and Liberty Van Zandt has dyscalculia.
Jimmy and Spinner have both helped each other through issues with their genitals. Spinner confided in Jimmy when he was experiencing uncontrollable erections as well as when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Jimmy confided in Spinner when he was experiencing erectile dysfunction as a result of being paralyzed.
Emma, Manny, and Liberty have all been nude in public. Emma took her Purple Dragon dress off in front of a crowd. Manny took her dress off for Peter's video camera when intoxicated. And Liberty has streaked after getting drunk.
Degrassi Community School only had grades 7 and 8 in the first season. At the beginning of season two, Degrassi was expanded to house grades 7 through 12. The city's budget cuts were cited as reason for closing a high school and expanding Degrassi.
Shane Kippel, Miriam McDonald, and Cassie Steele were the only original student cast members to remain on the show until 2010. The other original student cast members left anywhere from seasons 7 through 9.
Similar to his character, Gavin "Spinner" Mason, Shane Kippel is a drummer in real life. Kippel drums in a rock band, Dear Love, in and around Toronto, Canada. He has a presence on Twitter and regularly tweets fans and his former Degrassi cast mates.
Daniel Clark left acting altogether after wrapping up his character, Sean Cameron, in 2007. He went on to major in Political Communications at New York University where he worked as a digital news associate for ABC News. He is an anchor and associate producer for Fusion in Miami, FL.
Jake Epstein made the move to Broadway after wrapping up his tenure on Degrassi as troubled musician, Craig Manning. Epstein has starred in Broadway musicals such as Green Day's American Idiot, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and played the lead role of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Sarah Barrable-Tishauer left acting altogether after her time with the show was over. She played the over achieving Liberty Van Zandt, so it is no surprise that she left to pursue a career. She is working in Canada as a graphic designer.
Toby Isaacs, played by Jake Goldsbie, and Terri McGreggor, played by Christina Schmidt, were the only original characters to never have sex during the course of the show. Emma, Manny, Liberty, J.T., Ashley, Craig, Sean, Jimmy, Hazel, Spinner, Paige, and Ellie all lost their virginity at some point throughout the show. Toby dated Spinner's sister Kendra but the relationship ended before intimacy as did Terri's abusive relationship with Rick.
Spinner's adopted sister, Kendra Mason (played by Katie Lai), was suddenly written out of the show after the end of season 3 in 2004. The last episode in which Lai appeared as Kendra was the season 3 finale titled "The Power of Love." After that the character was never seen or mentioned again.
Shane Kippel lost over 50lbs after the first season in 2001. Kippel stated that seeing himself as Spinner Mason on television embarrassed him and motivated him to lose weight for future seasons. As a result, Spinner went from being just the basketball manager to actually becoming an athlete. Spinner went on to play soccer, field hockey, and basketball.
Christina Schmidt was the first original cast member to leave the show after less than three full seasons. Although Schmidt left prior to the finale of season three she remained in the opening sequence.
Although Alex (Deanna Casaluce) was involved with the paint and feathers prank on Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis), she did not receive the same punishment that Spinner and Jay received. The two boys were ultimately expelled from Degrassi after admitting responsibility for the prank while Alex went on to stay in school, graduate, and become friends with Jimmy who was paralyzed as a result of the prank.
"Shout" was aired as a 90min special in the United States. The US based channel, The N, combined both installments of "Shout" and "How Soon is Now?" into one episode despite the last half hour taking place at the end of the school year.
"When Doves Cry," "Tears are Not Enough," "Accidents Will Happen," "Time Stands Still," and "Ghost in the Machine" were not aired separately in the United States despite being two-part episodes. The US based channel, The N, aired each set as a 60min specials to keep the series runs shorter.
The US versions of many earlier episodes were edited to remove a majority of gay slurs, homophobia, sexual innuendos, and sexual activity. Unedited "director's cuts" of the episodes were aired in Canada and can be seen on the home DVD releases.
Charlotte Arnold auditioned for a total of four Degrassi roles before landing the role of Holly J Sinclair; she originally auditioned for the roles of Manny and Emma, a character who never made it into season four, and Anya.
Most of the popular kids referred to Emma as "Cause-girl" due to the fact that she was always protesting something. Paige stopped referring to Emma as the nickname after they joined forces to protest Rick Murray returning to Degrassi after abusing their friend, Terri.
Ellie Nash was involved with every member of Craig's band, Downtown Sasquatch, at some point in time. She gave her number to Spinner, acted as Marco's girlfriend, was crushed on by Jimmy, and she kissed Craig twice. She was also Ashley's best friend.
Three relationships have begun in detention. Sean Cameron started dating Ellie Nash and Jimmy Brooks started dating Hazel Aden after sneaking onto the roof of Degrassi during detention. Liberty and J.T. began dating after kissing in detention they received for insulting Principal Raditch.
Peter was the first character to have a secret relationships that were not due to infidelity. He was forced to keep his relationship with Emma a secret due to her best friend hating him. He was also forced to keep his relationship with Darcy a secret due to their parents not approving.
Two characters crashed a vehicle after finding out Liberty was pregnant. Toby crashed his remote control car into a trashcan when J.T. told him and J.T. crashed his car into a bus stop when Liberty told him.
When desperate for cash, Marco has turned to gambling twice. He began playing online poker and played poker illegally with Jay's mechanic buddies while trying to fund a Spring Break trip with Spinner. He later began betting on horse races while trying to get money to go to clubbing.
Jimmy and Ashley have only almost had sex. In season one, Ashley decides to tell Jimmy she's ready to have sex just to try and get back at Paige but the couple ultimately decided they weren't ready. In season six, the couple once again tries to take their relationship to an intimate level but Jimmy experiences erectile dysfunction as a result of being paralyzed. Even though the couple dated through season seven, it was never revealed on if they were ever successful in having sex.
The start of the feud between Degrassi and Lakehurst began after a fight broke out between the students in the episode, "Can't Hardly Wait." It also served as the introduction of Lakehurst transplant, Mia Jones (Nina Dobrev), who started the fight after an ex-boyfriend insulted her at a basketball game.
Banting University was always referred to by Degrassi students as the "Harvard of the North." Paige Michalchuk was accepted into Banting and wound up dropping out before completing her first semester. Damian Hayes and Liberty Van Zandt were both accepted, but Damian was the only one to attend. Mr. Simpson and Paige's mother, Rose, were the only known Degrassi characters to complete an education at Banting.
Even though Emma and Liberty graduated from Degrassi as friends they did struggle with their friendship since grade seven. Emma unintentionally starts a rumor that Liberty was being molested by Coach Armstrong, Liberty blames favoritism as a reason why she lost the science fair to Emma's "Mind-Body Connection" project, Emma gets jealous when Liberty begins crushing on Chris Sharpe, Liberty's ex-boyfriend J.T. was murdered at a party thrown at Emma's house, and Liberty kisses Emma's boyfriend Damian at senior prom.
Three actors from the Canadian television series, Radio Free Roscoe, appeared on Degrassi at some point in time. Nathan Stephenson appeared as Griffin, Kate Todd appeared as Natasha the Purple Dragon girl, and 'Al Mukadam (I)' appeared as Mohammed, the boy who made fun of Terri for being overweight.
Alex Steele is the only actor in Degrassi history to portray two different characters. She originally debuted as Craig Manning's half-sister, Angela Jeremiah, but she was written out of the show after season 5. She returned in season 11 as a new character, Tori Santamaria.
Darryl Armstrong committed suicide on January 30, 2005 in Toronto. He played Dylan Michalchuk's ex-boyfriend, Tom. He appeared in the season 3 episode, "It's Raining Men," less than a year before his death.
The Dot Grill debuted in season three as a new hangout for Degrassi students and members of the local community. Characters who have worked at The Dot include Gavin 'Spinner' Mason, Paige Michalchuk, Jay Hogart, Emma Nelson, Peter Stone, Holly J Sinclair, Mark Fitzgerald, Leo Lauzon, and Eli Goldsworthy.
Spinner worked at The Dot Grill from season 3 all the way through season 9 working his way up from a bus boy to the manager. Spinner made a cameo in season 14 and revealed himself to still be working at The Dot Grill as he conducts Eli's job interview.
Spinner lied to everyone but Holly J about being accepted into the Police Academy. Law enforcement was listed as one of his career options in season 6, but he didn't decide to apply until season 8. His application was ultimately rejected.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
As of 2014 there have been seven deaths: Craig's dad (car wreck), Rick (school shooting), J.T. Yorke (murdered by Lakehurst thug), Anson (murdered by Bianca), Campbell Saunders (suicide), Paula (cancer), and Adam Torres (car wreck from texting and driving).
Four characters have made attempts to kill themselves during the show. Ellie almost drowned herself (she can't swim) in "Degrassi Goes Hollywood" but is saved by Craig. Craig himself jumps in front of a train in season 2 but is saved by Sean. J.T. Yorke overdoses on drugs due to his stress of losing Liberty, his job, Toby, and his family. He is rushed to the hospital on time though. Darcy slits her wrist in season 7 after she was raped but is found in time by Manny in the showers.