Characters / Degrassi Junior High

Top Index | Junior High and High (See also: Degrassi High)
Season 5 Graduates | Season 7 Graduates | Season 9 Graduates | Season 11 Graduates | Season 12 Graduates | Season 14 Graduates
Season 16 Graduates (Next Class 1) | Grade 11 Class (Next Class 2)
Misc. Students | Misc. Adults

Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High have Loads and Loads of Characters. Here are some of the more well-knowns: WARNING! Spoilers abound!

...but if that's not spoilerrific enough, here's a direct link to the character sheet of the adults on the sequel series.

Michelle Accette

Played by Maureen McKay

  • Ascended Extra: After very few episodes involving her in DJH, she became a major character in DH.

Melanie Brodie

Played by Sara Ballingall

  • Intoxication Ensues: She takes marijuana brought to a party by Kathleen. She ends up being the one most effected by it.

Tessa Campinelli

Played by Kirsten Bourne

  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on her boyfriend Alex with Yick. This was way before she broke up Joey and Caitlin.


Played by Steve Bedernjak

Simon Dexter

Played by Michael Carry

  • Pretty Boy: Both the character and the actor playing him were models.
  • Satellite Character: Unlike every other character in DJH and DH, he never gets a plot built around his character. He basically exists to hover around Alexa.
  • Unwanted Harem: After appearing in a commercial/magazine, he quickly (and only temporarily) gains a group of fangirls which follow him around.

Heather and Erica Farrel

Played by Angela and Maureen Deiseach

  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Erica was the wild one while Heather was the good girl.
  • Twin Switch: They pull one off during a date with Clutch. It backfires when Clutch ignores them and falls for Lucy.

Lucy Fernandez

Played by Anais Granofsky

  • Lonely Rich Kid: It's sad when she all but begs Voula to stay with her when her parents leave her alone again.

Joey Jeremiah

Played by Pat Mastroianni

  • Breakout Character: The most well known character from early Degrassi.
  • Break the Cutie / Break the Haughty: When he failed grade eight in Degrassi Junior High and again when he's diagnosed with dysgraphia in high school and is placed in a special education class.
  • The Bully: A very moderate version of this in season 1 (to Arthur, Yick, Melanie), but completely averted afterwards.
  • Casanova Wannabe: He tries to get with everyone and fails before Caitlin takes an interest.
  • Catchphrase: He always says "Trust me" when he's trying to convince his friends to do something stupid. In one episode, he says it so much that that's the title! This is finally lampshaded in the series finale when Joey is worried about his date with Caitlin.
    Wheels: Relax, everything will be fine. Trust me.
    Joey: Don't say that! Every time we say that it's a disaster!
  • Character Development: He's introduced in season 1 as an obnoxious,immature, egotistical jerk. While still keeping these traits, he becomes a more likable and good person as the seasons went on.
    • This is sadly subverted in The Movie where he Took a Level in Jerkass again.
    • He's actually worse than he ever was in the movie! Even in his early days, he was a good friend. In the film, he treats Snake like crap.

Stephanie Kaye

Played by Nicole Stoffman

  • Date Rape Averted: Avoided this from an older soap star with a horrible mullet.
  • Darker and Edgier: Her character after the first season. Her parents divorce and her lack of self worth leads her to consider suicide. She gets better.
  • '80s Hair: Her hair might be the most dated element of the show.
  • Expy: She was the first Degrassi girl to change into more revealing clothing in the girls' washroom beofre class, a trick later used by Manny Santos and Alli Bhandari.
  • Funetik Aksent: She spells her name Kaye. K-A-Y-E. Calling her Kobalawski is just a Berserk Button.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: At her core, this is pretty much how she feels.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Once she cakes on the makeup, trashes up her clothes, and teases up her hair, she becomes the hottest 14 year old in Canada. Or so we are told.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: She pisses off everyone by the end of first season.
  • The Protagonist: She is the most prominent character during the first season of Degrassi Junior High and her story arc bookends the season.
  • Put on a Bus: To a private school in the last three seasons.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The actress left the show and went on to star in a sitcom with former football star Lyle Alzado. This forced the writers to bring spotlight to other characters.

Arthur Kobalowski

Played by Duncan Waugh

  • The Artifact: Once Stephanie left, his character moved into the background. By Degrassi High, he was Demoted to Extra. Ironically this would also happen to Ashley and her brother Toby in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Their characters were very much based on Steph and Arthur.
  • Demoted to Extra: Along with Joey and Steph, he and Yick were the stars of Degrassi Junior High. But by Degrassi High, he is relegated to more of a background character,
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He has a major crush on Caitlin, but she makes it clear she is not interested. Other than that the poor guy gets no other romantic subplot. Which is saying something for Degrassi.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: He was suppose to be part of a bullying plot during Degrassi High. But the actor had grown so large that it wasn't believable.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Arthur and Yick were usually part the B-plot in every episode during Degrassi Junior High.

Luke Matthews

Played by Andy Chambers

  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Although not a dealer, he was responsible for making Shane try acid through peer pressure. It was the 80s.

Shane McKay

Played by Bill Parrot

  • Catch-Phrase: "You should be kicked in the head!"
  • Let's Just Be Friends: Spike and him attempt this after the pregnancy, but it doesn't work.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: After his accident.
    • The Bus Came Back: He went to visit Spike for the last time in DH, the year after the accident who left him mentally disabled.
    • He seemed to be far higher-functioning in DH (when he was receiving intensive outpatient therapy while living at home with his family) than in TNG (after he had been warehoused in an institution his entire adult life).
  • Teen Pregnancy: Most of his plot deals with the problems he faces as a teenage dad. It ends after his drugged induced accident.
  • The Other Darrin: The only character (in the old series, anyway) to be played by two different actors. Jonathon Torrens played Shane in an episode of Series/Degrassi where Emma meets Shane for the first time.

Kathleen Mead

Played by Rebecca Haines

Rick Munro

Played by Craig Driscoll

  • Abusive Parents: His abusive father.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Caitlin and ultimately Kathleen.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Abruptly disappears after season two of DJH with only a passing mention by Caitlin in season three. He would be the first in a long line of Brother Chucks in the Degrassi franchise.
    • Actually he's the second, with Voula being the first.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His father beats him for giving Joey a soda.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Caitlin finds this out during the episode Smokescreen.
  • Troubled, but Cute: The first of Degrassi's troubled cute boys that would continue with his [[Expies]] Craig Manning and Sean Cameron in TNG.

Christine "Spike" Nelson

Played by Amanda Stepto

  • Ascended Extra: Spike was only present in two episodes in season 1. Later she got a bigger role thanks to her Teen Pregnancy storyline.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: It's never mentioned how she got the nickname Spike. Most people assume it's the hair, though.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Her mom was surprisingly accepting of her pregnancy at 14. Although this wasn't exactly portrayed as a good thing.
  • Perky Goth: While more punk than goth, her appearence belied what a polite and sweet girl she was.

Alexa Pappodopoulos

Played by Irene Courakos

  • Ascended Extra: Sometimes in season 1, you can see her in the background but she didn't have a real part until season 2.
  • Be a Whore to Get Your Man: Wore Stephanie's "sexy" clothes to go after Simon. Her mom made her give them back since it made her look like a hooker.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Constantly believes her relationship with Simon to be on the verge of implosion.
  • The Ditz: To go along with Simon to form a Ditz Couple.

Liz O'Rourke

Played by Cathy Keenan

  • Animal Wrongs Group: Hates Caitlin because she uses medicine tested on chimps for her seizures.
  • The Quincy Punk: Averted. Although she has the look and attitude, she cares about issues like abortion and animal rights.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Anti-abortion and pro animal rights. She is one of the few characters on television who is portrayed as pro-life, but not for religious reasons. She abhors abortion because her mother nearly aborted her.
  • Tsundere: To Joey early on, but after he tries to put the moves on her, goes to constant "tsun".

Caitlin Ryan

Played by Stacie Mistysyn

  • Ice Queen: Her portrayal after dumping Joey for Claude in Degrassi High. Joey even calls her an "Ice Maiden" at one point.
  • I Can Change My Beloved: She sometimes sees boys as projects to fix. Rick and Joey call her out on this.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Before Emma, there was Caitlin. Most of her plots revolved around her and some cause.
  • Skunk Stripe: Sort of; he hair isn't actually black, but she has medium to dark brown hair, and during season 3 of DJH, and the first season of DH, she had a blond wave in it.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Joey. Even though they are madly in love, no matter how hard they try, it never seems to work.

Archibald "Snake" Simpson

Played by Stefan Brogren

  • Chick Magnet: He has many girls crushing on him in both DJH and DH (Melanie, Spike, Michelle, Amy, Allison). Subverted in The Movie where, for some reason, he was unable to get any girl and even made fun of because of this.
  • Cool Loser: In The Movie, he becomes a full fledged Butt-Monkey.
  • Foreshadowing: In his very first appearance, running for student council against Stephanie, we see him standing on the steps of the school talking about what he'd change if he were in charge. Almost certainly nobody in 1987 knew what his being on the show would lead to, but the " won't recognize this school at all" scene at the end of The Boiling Point might be a deliberate Call-Back.
  • Gentle Giant: Borders on Lovable Coward.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He is, unfortunately, the one to discover Claude's body in the bathroom. Though he bravely reports it, he is still very traumatized by it and drops out of school for a week or two to recover.

Claude Tanner

Played by David Armin-Parcells

  • Boom, Headshot!: though we don't actually see it, Snake mentions that upon discovering Claude's body, only half of his face was left.
  • A Death in the Limelight: He only appeared in a few episodes in season one, before committing suicide near the end of season two.
  • Dirty Coward: He doesn't even bother to help Caitlin when she's about to be caught by the police after spray painting a nuke building factory.
  • Driven to Suicide: You Should Know This Already.
  • Emo Teen: An over the top 80s version.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: "Hey Caitlin! I have a great idea for a date. Let's go spray paint slogans on a nuclear weapon parts making facility! And then I'll run away when I might get caught, leaving you out to dry!"
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: His name is pronounced as "Clohd" (as in, the word "oh"), NOT as "Clawd", as would normally be.

Derek "Wheels" Wheeler

Played by Neil Hope

  • Laser-Guided Karma: School's Out ends with him in jail.
  • Never My Fault: Blames all his bad behavior on the death of his parents. Wheels' inability to accept culpability angers and disgusts Snake who refuses to forgive him for twelve years.

Yick Yu

Played by Siluck Saysanasy

  • Demoted to Extra: No longer a cute kid, he find himself Out of Focus during Degrassi High.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: He has dreams where he, you know, kinda, "leaks".
  • Pass Fail: Though from Laos, he tries to pass as being from the Chinese upper class in order to make his family history "interesting".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He turns into a total jerk in Degrassi High. It coincides right with the breakup of the Arthur and Yick bromance.

Dwayne Myers

Played by Darrin Brown

  • Arch-Enemy: To Joey, but they reconcile after Dwayne discovers he is HIV-positive and Joey agrees to keep his secret.
  • Ascended Extra | Chekhov's Gunman: Is a seemingly one-off character appearing in a couple episodes of DJH, only to get full blow main character status in Degrassi High.
  • Odd Friendship: He started one with Joey in the second season of Degrassi High.
  • Terrible Trio: Tabby, Nick, and Dwayne. The least threatening trio of bullies ever.
  • Very Special Episode: His entire plot took over season two of Degrassi High. It was the early 90s and AIDS was just starting to be talked about.

Lorraine "L.D." Delacorte

Played by Amanda Cook

  • Girliness Upgrade: Averted. Although Lucy tried.
  • Ill Girl: Is diagnosed with Leukemia in season one of Degrassi High.
  • Put on a Bus: Her last appearance is during the first season of DH, and after that it's said that she's off adventuring with her dad after her brush with Leukemia. Lucy makes several video diaries for her, up until the very last episode of DH. However, none of this is present, nor is she in fact anywhere to be seen in School's Out.
  • Makeover Montage: Lucy gives her one and it makes her look much worse.

Alex Yankou

Played by John Ioannou

  • Ascended Extra: He is a Satellite Character in DJH, but finally got some plots of his own in DH. The actor had been part of the Degrassi cast since The Kids of Degrassi Street.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He actually succeeds in landing a girlfriend in Tessa. Before she dumps him for Yick.