-> ''"Canadians have always been innovators, and this show was a trend-setter. There would be no BeverlyHills90210 if Degrassi Junior High hadn't done it first with [[HotterAndSexier poorer, uglier kids.]]"''
-->--'''Host''', 2008 Gemini Awards

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/degrassijh_9554.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:To this day, the fumes from [[EightiesHair the hairspray used in this show]] are still hanging in a massive, immobile cloud somewhere over Lake Ontario.]]

The second series in the ''Degrassi'' franchise (third if you count the half-hour film ''Ida Makes a Movie'' as freestanding, as it originally had been intended), and the one that put ''Franchise/{{Degrassi}}'' on the map for good. It re-used some of the actors from ''Series/TheKidsOfDegrassiStreet'', but playing different characters. The series lasted from January, 1987 to March, 1989. A total of 42 episodes in three seasons.

The series was created by Creator/{{CBC}} as an educational tool for teens, to teach them about "hot button" topics like eating disorders, teen pregnancy, losing parents, etc. Most episodes followed a fairly standard formula: one of the kids has ADayInTheLimelight where they deal with some nightmarish problem. At the same time, another kid has a comic adventure that mirrors the main A plot (TwoLinesNoWaiting). At the same time, several arc plots floated around the show, and each episode would move the arc forward a bit (often serving as {{Foreshadowing}} for the A and B plots of later episodes).

Described like that, it sounds like a crappy VerySpecialEpisode. What made it more than that was the willingness to (sometimes) have unhappy endings, and for the consequences to last more than an episode -- when a character fails a grade, the whole next season shows him struggling with the stigma.

When it first aired, the show was ground-breaking for dealing with these hot topics without censorship or neat happy endings; it became a cult hit in America via Creator/{{PBS}}. The most notable American fan was one KevinSmith, who later achieved his life's dream of romancing the character Caitlin (the same character he named Caitlin Bree in ''{{Clerks}}'' after) in ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration''. (There are persistent rumors that AaronSpelling wanted to license an American version of ''Degrassi'', but couldn't get the rights, so he created ''BeverlyHills90210'' instead.) After all the shows that have come since, it doesn't look very daring. Most notably, it treats gays sympathetically, but doesn't dare have a gay main character or even a gay recurring character; guest stars have to do. (The current ''Series/Degrassi'' series, as of Season 12, has had multiple gay, lesbian, and bi main characters and even a trans main character.) There are also several dated moments that were plausible for 1980s teens, but are bizarre now, like when TheDitz hears about anorexia for the first time and wishes she had it.

Fans of ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' will be surprised at how more conventional the show is. Adults are right more often in ''Series/DegrassiJuniorHigh'' (it tends to use ParentExMachina instead of AdultsAreUseless). But the biggest difference is that the entire cast of the older show are naive, frightened kids at heart. Even [[HighSchoolHustler The High School Hustler]] and the AlphaBitch turn out to be insecure and uncertain when the mask is removed. This sets it apart far more than the omnipresent EightiesHair -- modern shows tend to have teens who are far more crafty. (Compare the AlphaBitch on both shows. Stephanie, in the older show, bullies people because she's in deep denial about how needy, insecure, and naive she is. Paige, on the new show, is a ruthless shark with no fear and no weaknesses.)

Followed by the sequel series Series/DegrassiHigh.

Another American fan was Albert of Website/TheAgonyBooth, who [[http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Degrassi/ has plans to recap every DJH episode]].
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!!This show provides examples of:
* ACupAngst: Melanie had an episode on the subject.
* AbusiveParents: Rick's dad, and Kathleen's mom.
* {{Adorkable}}: Arthur, Yick, Melanie, Snake and to some extent, Joey.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: Degrassi ''loves'' this trope
** In season 1, Joey likes Stephanie who is interested in Wheels (who initially likes her back but gets tired of her at the end of the season).
** Yick likes Melanie, who has a crush on Snake. In season 3, Allison likes Snake but he clearly prefers Melanie.
** In season 2 Stephanie likes Simon but he chooses Alexa over her.
** In season 3 Caitlin likes Joey but he's still pining over Liz.
** In season 3 Dorothy has an unrequited crush for Yick.
** The twins are both interested in Clutch but he only likes Lucy.
** And probably a lot more, and even in ''Series/DegrassiHigh'' there are several examples too.
* AlphaBitch: Stephanie.
* AntiHero: Wheels
* AsianAndNerdy: Yick Yu. Actually a double subversion. He has to study extra-hard to overcome the stereotype of Asians as dumb jocks -wait, ''what''!?
** Originally going to be played straight, but the actor thought it was too stereotypical.
* BigEgoHiddenDepths
* BlackBestFriend: Susie, to Caitlin.
* BrokenBird: Lucy and Liz.
* BrokenTreasure
* BrotherChuck: Voula, Caitlin's best friend Susie, Rick and many others.
** The very first episode brings us Joey's best friend Hank. It seems like he will be a major character and will get into all sorts of mischief with Joey over the years. You'll never see him again.
* TheBully: Dwayne and his two minions. Don't get too attached to the minions. They appear in only one episode.
* CanadaEh: Somewhat subverted. While the [[CanadianAccents accents and some of the language]] used were a dead giveaway, there was nothing really stereotypical Canadian about the show. It really demonstrated just how Rust Belt UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}} in the '80s was.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Almost always -- but one episode subverts it completely.
** In ''Trust Me'', Spike getting expelled ''which had been built up to all season'' was shunted to a rushed B-plot while the plot of Snake, Wheels and Joey joyriding Snake's parents' car is unnecessarily stretched out to get to consequences.
* CanonDisContinuity: Any and all of the above-mentioned attempts to portray the setting as anyplace other than Toronto.
* CharacterDevelopment
* CastingGag: Many plots were based on what happened to the actors playing them.
* ClipShow: The 4th episode of season 3 ''Season's Greetings''.
* ComedicHero: Arthur and Yick.
* ComicTrio: Stephanie and the twins Heather and Erica. Joey, Snake, and Wheels.
* ControlFreak: Kathleen.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Typical ''Series/TheKidsOfDegrassiStreet'' plot - Kid goes downtown to buy clothes on his own for the first time. First major DJH plot - TeenPregnancy.
* DateRapeAverted: Happened to Steph in one episode. And Wheels in another infamous Degrassi episode. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGQIBQcTWtk Watch here and try not to be creeped out]].
* ADayInTheLimelight: Pretty much every got gets the spotlight at some point.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: The last episode ends with the school burning to the ground.]]
* DemotedToExtra:Happened at least once an episode with some of the leads who clearly appeared not being billed in the closing credits.
* TheDitz: Alexa and Simon.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim
* DumbBlonde: Simon.
* TheEighties
* EightiesHair: Particularly Steph.
* ExtravertedNerd: Alex and Dorothy.
* FakeAmerican: Simon who was supposed to be from New York -- the actor didn't even attempt an accent.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The show was rather good at throwing out hints that wouldn't be followed up on until later. One episode before we learn Kathleen's FreudianExcuse, there's a blink-or-you'll-miss-it giveaway of what's wrong with her. Also notice how cozy Shane and Spike are in the second episode of the first season. This will be important later.
-->-Have you ever been to a party where something '''didn't''' get broken?
--->-'''Snake''', 15 years before he'd go away for a weekend and his stepdaughter would hold a WildTeenParty that ended with a kid [[ItWasHisSled getting stabbed in the street]].
* FreudianExcuse
* GayBravado: Before Snake realizes his brother is. [[UnfortunateImplications Also, the stereotype that all gays have AIDS. And you can get AIDS from shaking hands.]] As Lucy would say, it's the 80s.
* GentleGiant: Snake.
* GratuitousRap: Caitlin and Rick's environmental rap. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEShF34ImgI So bad it must be seen]].
* HeightAngst: Episode five, "The Great Race." The B-plot was Arthur and Yick being jealous of how tall Snake was, while he found his height made him unable to play soccer.
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: Lucy's parents. Caitlin's brother.
* HomoeroticDream: Caitlin got a VerySpecialEpisode all about these.
* HourglassPlot: Joey and Wheels, Melanie and Kathleen.
* ImagineSpot: When Wheels confronts his birth father.
* ItIsAlwaysSpring: After the first few episodes, they decided to film only during summer vacation.
* {{Jerkass}}: Kathleen, and how -- she only gets to PetTheDog once, and one episode later, it turns out she's expecting a favor in return.
* JerkJock: Jason Cox and the Degrassi boys' soccer team.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Joey, Stephanie, Lucy; actually a lot of people.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: Kathleen.
* LeaveMeAlone
* LonelyRichKid: Lucy.
* LongBusTrip: Stephanie, Rick, and Suzie all get put on a bus never to be seen again after season two. Stephanie was said to be going to school in France. Rick and Suzie just vanished.
** A Degrassi tie-in novel has Suzie moving out of the school district. Considering Rick's [[AbusiveParents home life]] it not unlikely this is what happened to him as well.
* LongLostUncleAesop: Snake's brother.
* LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Lucy's attempts at love with Paul and Clutch. One was a drunk and the other looked like Steve Urkel from ''FamilyMatters''.
* HighSchoolHustler: Joey -- subverted in that his schemes usually blow up in his face.
* MissConception
* MoodWhiplash: The insanely bright and perky theme song leads to a lot of this - especially in the teasers. Perfect example: ''The Cover-Up''.
* MsFanservice: Steph, though nowadays she looks silly more than anything.
* NaiveEverygirl: Melanie
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: Early on, they referred to the setting as a "hick town" and characters exchanged U.S. currency. Contrast with recent seasons of ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' where both the Canadian and [[UsefulNotes/{{Toronto}} city]] flags fly from the school building and the LocalHangout's name comes from a nickname of Toronto.
* NoDressCode: By necessity early on (unless someone's specific clothing was important to the plot, their clothing was the actor's own). In the series pilot, Stephanie changed from her parent-approved clothes to something more revealing in the girls' washroom before class.
* OperationJealousy: Stephanie tries to make Wheels jealous by flirting with his best friend Joey (who has a huge crush on her). It fails when Wheels finds out and both guys turn their backs on her.
* ParentalAbandonment: Wheels.
* ParentExMachina
* PetTheDog: Almost every character gets to do this. One episode Joey will be selling fake drugs to grade 7s. The next episode he will be concerned about Rick's abusive home life.
* PictureDay
* PluckyGirl: Spike.
* PowerTrio: Joey, Wheels, and Snake.
* ProductPlacement: Skippy peanut butter, Canon cameras, and Dipps granola bars in the ''Degrassi High'' episodes.
* PutOnABus: Voula disappears after the first season. In an early second season episode, she leaves a message on Lucy's answering machine telling her how happy she is living in the suburbs.
* TheQuincyPunk: Averted with Liz. A socially conscious punk.
* RagsToRiches
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Many of the stories were based on real life incidents of the actors, most noticeably Joey joyriding a car after Pat Mastroianni had done the same with the Playing With Time company van.
* RichBitch: Lucy, although she does become sympathetic.
* RunningGag: The P.A. announcements.
* SchoolNewspaperNewshound: Caitlin, although she isn't the maestro most anime examples are.
* SchoolPlay
* ASimplePlan
* SlumberParty
* TheSnarkKnight: Liz.
* SoapBoxSadie: Caitlyn, Liz, and Lucy.
* SpearCarrier: Suzie.
* StarCrossedLovers: Stephanie and Wheels, Joey and Caitlin; also played for laughs with Snake and Melanie.
* StuffedIntoALocker: On ''Degrassi Junior High'', it was traditional to stuff students into the broom cupboard rather than a locker.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Joey
* SternTeacher: Raditch.
* TeenDrama: TropeMaker.
* TeenPregnancy: Spike with Emma.
** Wheels and Spike were both the result of one. Wheels was given up for adoption while Spike's mom kept her.
* ThemeTune: The Zit Remedy's song always plays when one of them does something stupid. Which is often.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Arthur and Yick.
* TitleDrop: Half the episodes.
* TrashTheSet
* TrojanGauntlet: Twice. Once with Wheels and later with Joey.
* TroubledButCute: Rick
* TwoTeacherSchool: Mr. Raditch and Ms. Avery.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The shows producers intentionally avoided references to then current pop culture or celebrities. All of the songs and bands were created for the show. Any TV shows, movies, or celebreties mentioned were fictional (such as Soap Opera actor Damon King). Neverthless, the shows pacing, 80s style music, hairstyles, fashion, and Mr. Raditch's mustache have dated it.
* UnusualEuphemism: "You broomhead!" and "Narbo!"
* VerySpecialEpisode: Every episode.
* TheVoice: The Principal.
* WhamEpisode: Early in the first season when Spike got [[TeenPregnancy pregnant at 14]].
* WritersCannotDoMath
* YouGoGirl
* YouLookFamiliar: A lot of the kids played different characters on ''The Kids of Degrassi Street'')
* ZanyScheme
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