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Trivia / Degrassi: The Next Generation

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  • Actor-Shared Background: Lola is originally from Argentina, like her actress Amanda Arcuri, who is of Argentinian descent (although she was born in Canada).
  • Adored by the Network:
    • In the United States, TeenNick loves showing marathons and has done so throughout the run of the series. They've even began airing reruns in syndication across the United States.
    • MuchMusic treats it as their flagship drama, especially since their only first-run Canadian dramas are it and Epitome stablemate The L.A. Complex.
  • Banned Episode:
    • US television didn't show the episode "Accidents Will Happen" in which Manny gets an abortion until nearly four years after it aired in Canada.
    • In Australia, The ABC skipped over "Jagged Little Pill", causing some confusion when "Karma Chameleon" mentioned Ashley taking ecstasy and ruining her friendships. Likewise, the abortion episodes were skipped over despite being referenced later.
    • "Bitter Sweet Symphony (Part 1)" was also skipped over on Pluto TV, possibly because of the fact that it deals with suicide. It was restored to the run a few months later.
      • Despite Pluto TV rectifying the ban on "Bitter Sweet Symphony (Part 1)", "West End Girls," "Goin' Down the Road (Part 1)," and the TV movie/season 12 finale "The Time of Your Life" have been consistently skipped over since the channel launched for inexplicable reasons. It may be due to paying royalties to Kevin Smith, but ever other Degrassi episode he's been in has been shown without issue... It may be just a glitch on Pluto's behalf.
      • The season 12 season finale/TV movie "The Time of Your Life" has also been skipped for whatever reason, despite PlutoTV shows the season 8 movie "Degrassi Goes Hollywood/Paradise City" and the season 9 movie "Degrassi Takes Manhattan/The Rest of My Life" airs normally as part of the run.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: To TeenNick, and they actually lampshaded this in a commercial.
    • Notably it's a Cash Cow for them from broadcast revenue only as TeenNick/Viacom doesn't have merchandising rights. DVDs, for instance are distributed through Funimation and then later Echo Bridge.
    • Likewise, Viacom doesn't patrol YouTube fan videos, that being left to Epitome itself-and producer Stephen Stohn who is also one of the highest-powered entertainment lawyers in Canada - has tweeted appreciative responses to fanvids.
  • The Cast Showoff: Many of the cast members are musically talented and the show goes so far write it in as part of their characters. See Ashley, Craig, Manny, Janie and the Studs, Jenna etc. This usually leads to characters being remodeled with no real reason except to show off the cast's musical aspirations: Photographer Craig becomes Rock Star Craig; Wannabe-Director Peter becomes Rock Star Peter; Aimless Loser Jay can suddenly play drums for Studz (yeah, right!).
    • Tiny's promposal to Shay lets Richard Walters show off his dance prowess.
  • Channel Hop: From CTV to MuchMusic, MTV Canada, and now, Family Channel. In the United States, the series switched from TeenNick (formerly The N) to Netflix.
  • Creator Backlash: The head writers, Shane Kippel (Spinner), and Miriam Mcdonald (Emma) have stated that the marriage between Spinner and Emma is unrealistic, and they don't buy it. Both actors have stated they preferred their characters with other people. I.E Spinner with Jane, and Emma with Sean, respectfully.
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  • Dawson Casting: Famously averted. A unique zig-zag does occur, though: As the seasons go on, some of the older Degrassi students do, in fact, end up portrayed by actors in their early 20s. An example would be Charlotte Arnold as Holly J, who was 17 when she was cast as a Grade 10 in season 7. In season 11, Holly J is in her final semester, with Arnold at 22.
  • Deleted Scene / Edited for Syndication: On the show airing on Noggin's nighttime teen block The N, some lines were deleted or edited differently. Happened at first with season 2 episode "Careless Whisper", where during a sex education class and when the subject of homosexuality was brought up, Spinner made a highly inappropriate joke saying that gay meant "Got AIDS Yet?", which caused some of the classmates to giggle and their teacher to scold him. The comment itself was taken out, which led to some confusion in watching the episode again and wondering what was so funny and why the teacher was yelling at Spinner. It occurred again in season 3 "Pride, part 2", when Spinner wrote on the bathroom wall "Marco is a fag" in the Canadian airings, it was changed to "Marco is gay" in The N airings, as well as many utterings of the word "fag" were muted out of both parts.
    • In a case of the editing making it worse, in Season 7 when Emma protests Purple Dragon energy drink by taking off her dress in front of the entire school, the US version of the episode cuts the last quarter second (or so) of the reveal shot. In the Canadian version the camera pulls back to reveal the top edge of Emma's panties, the US version doesn't. This wouldn't be so bad, if every comment suggested she was completely naked.
    • Similarly, Leo slapping Alli hasn't been shown on Australian TV. That said, the cut was thin enough that you could easily work out what happened.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Several episodes have been directed by Stefan Brogren (Snake).
  • Executive Meddling: The censorship on The N/TeenNick. Things went bad once the show got popular in America, which meant that The N had the clout to effect creative changes.
    • Nobody watches the even more bastardized daily US syndicated version which is chopped up in order to let stations go through the motions and declare it educational in the FCC's view.
    • In-universe, the school itself has suffered two forced mergers, one an expansion from grades 7-8 to 7-12 before being telescoped back to 9-12 again, and a slightly different mission almost every year with the result that in less than a decade a showpiece high-tech magnet middle school has been transformed into a struggling inner-city high school with metal detectors, a standing police presence, a major bullying problem and a bad reputation in the community.
  • Fake American: Sarah Fisher, who plays Becky, and Craig Arnold, who played Becky's brother Luke (two American nationals from Florida) are actually Canadian. Annie Clark, who played Fiona, and Landon Liboiron, who portrayed Fiona's brother Declan (who are American nationals from New York), are also both Canadian.
    • This trope is justified in the sense that Degrassi is a Canadian show with a Canadian Production Tax Credit, and the Only So Many Canadian Actors trope applies to the max.
    • The reason why Kevin Smith appeared As Himself is that is the only involvement he could have without jeopardizing the tax credit, at least for the episodes he appeared in.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Both Melinda Shankar (Alli Bhandari) and Raymond Ablack (Sav Bhandari) are of Indo-Guyanese, not Pakistani backgrounds.
    • More directly, Shannon Kook is South African and plays Zane with a generic North American accent with no evidence whatsoever that Zane's anything but Canadian by birth.
    • In an Irony as She Is Cast, Andrea Lewis is actually half-Jamaican, unlike her role of Hazel who pretended to be.
  • Fandom Nod: Tristan and Tori have a YouTube vlog that reviews West Drive's newest episodes, just like these girls do with Degrassi.
  • Fan Nickname: The Candy Bandits came from Boycott the Caf; The Breaking Point stuck despite Stephen Stohn's repeated tweets that the second half of season 10 isn't officially called that.
  • I Knew It!: The plot of Bittersweet Symphony was hyped up as being shocking and unexpected. Which it would have been, if so many fans hadn't guessed that Cam was going to commit suicide months in advance.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Jayne Eastwood, Marc Donato and Lauren Collins, who starred in this series, also starred together in in The Noddy Shop, where Jayne played Aunt Agatha, and Marc and Lauren played Dewey Lester and Roxanne.
  • Name's the Same: Like Junior High, the team's called the Panthers and the school colours are blue and gold, like Friday Night Lights.
    • The section of Toronto the school draws most of its' students from is called Riverdale.
      • Except both examples would actually precede the others as Next Generation started in 2001, whereas Friday Night Lights started in 2006 and the real Toronto Riverdale neighbourhood was established in the late 1800s.
  • Only So Many Canadian Actors: The trope's central nexus.
  • The Other Darrin: In "Degrassi Takes Manhattan", there's an obvious Toby look-alike.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: eClare, Semma, Crellie, Crashley, Jashley...
  • Real-Life Relative: Craig's little sister, Angela, is played by Alex Steele. Craig's on again off again love interest Manny is played by Cassie Steele. Lampshaded by Craig: "She reminds me of my half-sister."
  • Reality Subtext: The trolling/Gamergate storyline in Next Class is partially inspired by an incident where Winston's actor Andre Kim was exposed for previous racist/sexist tweets and comments. Linda Schuyler even stated the potential to turn that scandal into a teachable moment.
  • Recycled Script: There are only so many dramatic things that writers can do to torture teenagers in a long-runner such as this, so quite a few plotlines, with the same messages, are recycled after enough time has passed from the first occasion in order for it to not be redundant: problematic love affairs between students and teachers, teen pregnancies ending in either abortion or adoption, struggling with coming out as gay, addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, suicide, and so on. Of course, repeated discussion doesn't make these messages any less important and all of the aforementioned issues are bound to repeat in different groups of teens; as such these plotlines can be recycled fairly easily especially after the gap in time before the show was Un-Cancelled.
  • Scully Box: Aislinn Paul had to stand on an apple box while filming scenes with Justin Kelly, because she is only 5'1", while he is around 6'0.
  • Screwed by the Network
    • The show was canceled by TeenNick in 2015, and while it did get a great send-off, it was canceled very abruptly (as executive producer Stephen Stohn detailed in his book), leaving Epitome scrambling to find a home, which ended up being Netflix...
    • ..who then screwed the show themselves. After Next Class season 4 ended summer 2017, there was no news or updates on the show for an entire year. Which of course lead rumors to run rampant including a persistent one that Netflix was trying to retool the show with a completely new cast with some American actors and different tone, much like their premiere teen drama 13 Reasons Why. In September 2018, Stefan Brogen finally confirmed that the show was canceled.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Most of the show's current cast did Kid Coms before this show.
  • Un-Cancelled: Netflix picked up the series after TeenNick and MTV Canada canceled it.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The show itself was originally not to be a direct Degrassi spin-off. The show was to be about a STEM middle school, hence the emphasis on technology in season one. Emma was intended to be a character on the show mostly as a Shout-Out to Degrassi Junior High. Eventually, the show evolved into The Next Generation show we know today.
    • Show producers flirted with the prospect of doing The Movie back in the mid-2000s. Warner Brothers was in talks to distribute and Kevin Smith would have been in charge of production. The movie fell apart due to commitments from the production of the show making time off to film a movie impractical. Three made-for-television movies based on the series have been produced, but a Degrassi theatrical film has yet to, and likely never will, be made.
    • The character of Eli was originally supposed to be an Expy of Rick Murray: a shy, quiet, suicidal maniac with a very Darkand Troubled Past who falls in love with Clare when he becomes his English partner and becomes dangerously obsessed with her, but they decided to take a different turn for his character.
    • Alex Steele, who played Angie Jeremiah in the earlier seasons, wanted to reprise her role for Season 11, who would later attend Degrassi as a freshmen, but since the show now focuses on a new set of young characters, dropping all of its older cast members from the '80s original and Next Generation versions and Pat Mastroanni, who played Joey Jeremiah (Angie's father), is no longer on the show anymore, they decided not to write Angie Jeremiah in for Season 11, but to write in a new character name Tori Santemaria for her instead.
    • A Spin-Off was planned following Manny and the others who moved to L.A to pursue entertainment careers; for business reasons Epitome chose to make what became The L.A. Complex a freestanding series instead.
    • According to a Much Talks Degrassi special, Cam's suicide was planned before they even cast Dylan Everett to play him, and because they liked him so much they almost dropped the entire storyline all together. However, they decided to follow through with it in the end.
    • Craig was first introduced as Emma's love interest but then became Manny's instead (presumably so that Emma could continue her long torturous relationship with Sean). A Degrassi Mini showed what the show would have been like had Craig dated Emma instead (she even gets knocked up like Manny did!)
    • In season 4, Toby and Kendra were going to have sex in an episode. The actress' family objected to the script and ordered their daughter off the show, which explains Kendra's disappearance.
    • Jay and Darcy were originally written as siblings (he even warns Toby away from her in a early appearance), however this was quickly dropped.
    • There was supposed to be a storyline that involved Peter realizing that he was bisexual and developing feelings for Riley. This idea was later dropped when Jamie Johnston (Peter) left the show. Drew Torres was originally supposed to be bisexual as well (presumably to be somehow involved in a Love Triangle with Riley and Zane), but was later rewritten as heterosexual instead. They finally got the chance to do a bisexual male character with Miles in season 13.
    • The character of Leia was originally written to be an Alpha Bitch-type, unstable pathological liar, but due to the inexperience of the actress, they re-wrote the character to reflect her skill (with her lying being done due to shyness). Imogen was later developed as such but they later went into a different direction with her being the Cloud Cuckoolander. They were finally able to do the character in season 15/Next Class with Esme.
    • Jake Martin was originally named Noah Bradley until he was cast (Justin Kelly having played a character named Noah before). Also, his mother was apparently dead, but then that changed to his parents being divorced.
    • Dalia Yegavian originally auditioned for the role of Goldi before she was cast as Rasha.
    • According to the season 3 DVD, there were at least two plots that didn't make the cut. In Our House, Spinner originally had a plot about getting a big head after acing an exam. As for The Power of Love, the main plot was originally much different, with Ellie, Sean, Alex and Jay boycotting Marco's Bollywood themed dance, causing a rift between he and Ellie.
    • Mike Dallas was originally going to be Eli's bully for childhood (something Eli alluded to in season 10), but that didn't end up making it into the script.
    • Before the show was canceled by Netflix, season 17 (Next Class seasons 5 and 6) was already written and casting was underway. Among the topics that show would focus on was school violence and student activism (in the wake of the 2018 Stoneman Douglas school shooting) as well as #MeToo/sexual harassment.
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  • Working Title: Ready, Willing and Wired.


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