List of Degrassi characters
The following is a list of characters who appeared in the teen drama series Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High (including the immediate follow-up made-for-television movie, Degrassi: School's Out), which are part of the Degrassi universe.
Hundreds of actors appeared the series throughout their run. Among the student characters, the show generally focused on a select group of characters, however minor characters were occasionally the central protagonists of episode plots. No plots centered on adult characters, though they were often important plot devices.
Degrassi Junior High ran for three seasons, and was followed by Degrassi High, which ran for a further two seasons, and a made-for-television movie Degrassi: School's Out. Seasons 1 through 3 refer to Degrassi Junior High, and seasons 4 and 5 refer to Degrassi High and School's Out.
In order of first credited appearance:
|Character name||Portrayed by||Seasons featured|
|Stephanie Kaye||Nicole Stoffman||1–2|
|Stephanie Kaye was born as Stephanie Kobalewsky in 1973. After her parents' divorce, she took her mother's maiden name Kaye. Popular, beautiful, but naive, Stephanie was the school president of Degrassi Junior High. She reinvented her image to become more "mature". Eventually, this image catches up to her as she tries to grow up too fast and stumbles upon problems because of this along the way. She would routinely leave her home for school dressed in relatively conservative apparel then change into something provocative after arriving at school.
Stephanie was one of the most notorious characters in the Degrassi franchise, as well as one of the most controversial. Her sexualized image and apparent disregard for self-respect was a heavy storyline in the show's first two seasons. In season three, Stephanie was said to have gone to private school in Europe after her mother wins the lottery. In reality, actress Stoffman decided to pursue her acting career elsewhere.
|Voula Grivogiannis||Niki Kemeny||1|
|Joey Jeremiah||Pat Mastroianni||1–5|
|Arthur Kobalewscuy||Duncan Waugh||1–5|
|Yick Yu||Siluck Saysanasy||1–5|
|Archie "Snake" Simpson||Stefan Brogren||1–5|
|Susie Rivera||Sarah Charlesworth||1–2|
|Derek "Wheels" Wheeler||Neil Hope||1–5|
|Wheels was born Derek Michael Nelson to a pair of teenaged parents, but shortly after his birth he is adopted by John and Ellen Wheeler in a closed adoption. Wheels, Joey and Snake together form a garage band called "The Zit Remedy", later shortened to "The Zits" in high school.
Wheels first appears as as a grade eight student in Mr. Raditch's homeroom class. Wheels attempts the first of two ill-fated dates with class president Stephanie Kaye, which ends early when she gets sick from having consumed too much alcohol. Stephanie asks him out again, Facing peer pressure to "go all the way", Wheels purchases a box of condoms from a drug store. When he shows up at Stephanie's house on date night, he learns that Stephanie's mother is also the pharmacist who sold him the condoms. When Wheels loses interest in her, Stephanie attempts to make him jealous by openly flirting with Joey. Shortly after his fourteenth birthday, Wheels meets his biological father Mike Nelson, a struggling musician. He later counsels pregnant classmate Spike on whether to keep her unborn child or put her up for adoption. Wheels explains that he is grateful to both his natural parents for having given him a chance at a better life, and to his adoptive parents for providing that better life to him.
Wheels' poor grades become an issue in season two and Wheels learns that he is near-sighted and begins to wear glasses. Wheels also enrolls in after-school tutoring with Ms. Avery, forcing him to put music on hold. During a break from a tutoring session, he witnesses substitute homeroom teacher Mr. Colby attempting to sexually molest classmate lUCY and breaks it up. Lucy confided in him, and Wheels promised to corroborate her story when she eventually came forward.Thanks to the extra tutoring, his grades improve enough that he is allowed to resume playing music with the Zit Remedy. Later, Wheels and Joey sleep over at Snake's home when his parents leave him on his own for the weekend. They stay up all night and when they wake up late the next morning, Wheels realizes that he is going to be late for an optometrist appointment. Joey drives them both in Snake's parents' car, despite having neither a driver's license nor any formal driving skills. After they get caught—for fixing a broken tail light—Wheels' parents forbid him to associate with Joey as a result. Wheels heads into final exams still concerned about his grades; he gets promoted while Joey learns he's being left back. Despite these factors, the Zit Remedy perform live for the first time at the end-of-the-year dance.
At the start of season three, John and Ellen Wheeler are killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Wheels was to have been with them that evening; instead he lied about having to study before sneaking off to Joey's house where the band recorded a demo of "Everybody Wants Something." The grieving Wheels withdrew from his friends, then blamed Joey for him not being with his parents that night. Wheels eventually reconciled with Joey and Snake, who was unable to articulate his grief. Wheels is then cared for by his maternal grandparents, but the tragedy affected him for the remainder of the show's run. He takes to using his parents' death as an excuse for his own failings, and is hostile to his grandparents' attempts to discipline him. After receiving a postcard from his biological father, Wheels hitchhikes to see him in Port Hope, Ontario; along the way, he is nearly molested by a traveling salesman who gives him a ride. Mike is surprised to see him and dashes Wheels' dream of living with him; after introducing Wheels to his pregnant fiancé, Maggie, Mike sends Wheels back to his adoptive grandparents. Later in the season, Wheels cites his parents' death as the reason he turns down an offer to drink beer with Snake and Joey.
Wheels, Joey, and Snake enter high school with their bond intact. In a move to display maturity, they change their band's name from the Zit Remedy to "The Zits". They each survive a hazing by bully Dwayne, shoot a music video for "Everybody Wants Something", try to get into a strip joint together, and perform in a "feminist" horror movie directed by Lucy. Wheels also shares a passionate kiss with Heather, but does not reciprocate her interest in him.
The final season revisits Wheels' conflicts with his elderly grandparents. They eventually tire of his lies, disobedience and theft, and evict him. Joey's parents allow him to stay at the Jeremiah house. Wheels is eventually kicked out when he is suspected of stealing from Joey's mother. The theft and Wheels' attempt to shift the blame drive a wedge between Wheels and Joey, though he later confesses. Snake's parents refuse to let Wheels in the Simpson house but Snake, though fed up with Wheels' attitude, takes pity on him and lets him sleep the night on the porch. Wheels and Joey reconcile their relationship when Wheels performs at the school talent show, alongside Joey and in place of Snake.
In the made-for-television movie Degrassi: School's Out, Wheels is assumed to have graduated from high school, is working as an auto mechanic, and is preparing for a move to Calgary to be with his girlfriend Karen. In a twist of irony, Wheels also has become a heavy beer drinker. At a summer party, he drives Lucy under the influence of alcohol to pick up snacks, and collides with another car. In doing so, he temporarily blinds and partially cripples Lucy, and kills a young child in the other car. Although Wheels had long worn out Joey's and Snake's sympathy after incessantly lying, stealing and refusing to take responsibility for anything, Joey nevertheless visits him in pre-trial confinement. However, Wheels' inability to accept culpability angers and disgusts Snake, who refuses to forgive him. He was charged with "criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing injury times two, and drunk driving". Taking responsibility for once, he pleaded guilty to all charges.
Wheels is released from prison by the time the events of Degrassi: The Next Generation, take place. He appears in the series' pilot episode "Mother and Child Reunion". His appearance, however, is only shown on the Canadian version on CTV and not on the American version shown on The N. In the American version, Snake is nevertheless shown harbouring disgust with Wheels over the way his life turns out, and Wheels can be seen in vintage still photographs being viewed by the characters. Two years later, Joey finally manages to reunite the old friends when taking Snake out bowling to get the latter's mind off of his leukaemia and chemotherapy. Snake initially wants nothing to do with Wheels, but they bond over both having wanted to die (Wheels after killing the child, and Snake while dealing with his ailment and its treatment). The three friends, now balder and hopefully wiser, loudly sing Everybody Wants Something on the ride home in Joey's convertible.
|Shane McKay||Bill Parrott||1–4|
|Lucy Fernandez||Anais Granofsky||1–5|
|Lucy is portrayed as a wealthy rebel who seems to essentially live alone, her parents being shown as workaholics who are always out of town on business trips. The lack of attention from her parents causes her to act out recklessly, including shoplifting from department stores and throwing wild parties at her house. She becomes the target of a predator teacher, Mr. Colby, who touches her inappropriately, and who she later reports to the authorities after he goes after Susie. Lucy is also the first of her grade to date older boys, including Paul, an 11th grader from Borden High School, who she breaks up with after he tries to go "too far", and Paul's friend, Clutch, who she has an on-and-off relationship with. Lucy is also shown to be a budding filmmaker, shooting the music video for The Zit Remedy's "Everybody Wants Something", as well as the feminist horror film "It Creeps!". In Grade 11, she begins dating school president, Bronco, and in senior year, she runs for school president and wins. In School's Out, Lucy has graduated as the class valedictorian. However, tragedy strikes when an intoxicated Wheels gets behind the wheel of a car with Lucy and crashes into another vehicle, killing a child. The accident renders Lucy temporarily blind.
Lucy substantially recovers from her injuries. Her eyesight is restored (whether in one or both eyes is unclear) and, having completed extensive physical therapy, she is able to walk well with the use of a cane. She completes an honours bachelor's degree, a master's degree and most of the work toward a Ph.D.. She appears in the series premiere of Degrassi: The Next Generation, in which she attends a joint reunion of her class and Joey's. A day before the reunion, Joey sells her a blue Volkswagen New Beetle in preparation for her relocation to New Mexico to run her company and complete her doctoral dissertation. She also returns in the second season episode, "White Wedding" as one of Spike's bridesmaids for her wedding to their former classmate Snake.
|Erica & Heather Farrell||Angela & Maureen Deiseach||1–5|
|Melanie Brodie||Sara Ballingall||1–5|
|Kathleen Mead||Rebecca Haines||1–5|
|Kathleen was introduced as a secondary character who disapproved of school president Stephanie and her provocative wardrobe but eventually went on to have a much greater role in the series. She acted as the sour, troubled foil to Caitlin throughout much of the series, often seen competing with her for grades. In season two, we are introduced to Kathleen's alcoholic mother whose behaviour is severely affecting her daughter. Kathleen invites Caitlin, Nancy and Tim to her house to prepare for a quiz show appearance and is humiliated to find her mother at home and noticeably intoxicated. In a later episode from the third season, Kathleen invites Melanie, her best friend throughout much of the series, to her house to work on a science project. Her mother is, again, drinking heavily and Melanie learns about Kathleen's burgeoning problem with anorexia nervosa when she sneaks a peak in her personal diary. Melanie takes pity on Kathleen believing that her eating disorder is stemming from her problems at home. She confronts Kathleen and tells her to get help. Kathleen is furious that her secret is out, but that day passes out in the middle of the school hallway.
Kathleen eventually does get counseling, but her problems continue into high school. Kathleen begins dating a boy named Scott Smith. He turns out to be an overly possessive boyfriend and physically assaults Kathleen during a quarrel. Kathleen eventually involves the police and frees herself from Scott.
Kathleen seemed to have conservative political and social views. Throughout the series she seemed to have homophobic views, is against sex before marriage and is critical of animal rights activism. Her sober presence made her unpopular with many of her peers. Although Kathleen often seemed conservative and uptight, she also showed a rebellious side. In junior high, she and Melanie get Joey Jeremiah to sell them drugs. Joey actually just gave them vitamin pills, and when the girls found out, they were infuriated. In high school, she found marijuana joints hidden in the tampon dispenser in the girls' washroom. She hides them in her purse and takes them to Diana Economopoulos' birthday sleepover party. She offers them to the other girls, and everyone except Caitlin smokes it. Kathleen makes fun of Caitlin when she refuses to try it.
In Degrassi: The Next Generation deleted scenes, Kathleen is shown being jealous of Caitlin's success after high school.
|Rick Munro||Craig Driscoll||1–2|
|Caitlin Ryan||Stacie Mistysyn||1–5|
|Lorraine "L.D." Delacorte||Amanda Cook||1–4|
|Christine "Spike" Nelson||Amanda Stepto||1–5|
|Alexa Pappadopoulos||Irene Courakos||1–5|
|Simon Dexter||Michael Carry||2–5|
|Bryant Lester "B.L.T." Thomas||Dayo Ade||2–5|
|Liz O'Rourke||Cathy Keenan||2–5|
|Michelle Accette||Maureen McKay||2–5|
|Dwayne Myers||Darrin Brown||2, 4–5|
|Tyson Talbot||Jason Cox||1|
|Keith White||Tim O'Connor||1–5|
|Ken Hung||Wai Lee||1–2|
|John Ioannou||Alex Yankou||1–5|
|Arlene Lott||Nancy Kramer||1–5|
|Danah-Jean Brown||Trish Skye||1–3, 4 (background extra), 5|
|Christopher Charlesworth||Scott "Scooter" Webster||2–5|
|Kyra Levy||Maya Goldberg||2–5|
|Chrissa Erodotou||Diana Economopoulos||1 (background extra), 2–5|
|Trevor Cummings||Bartholomew Bond||3–4, 5 (background extra)|
|Jacy Hunter & Sara Holmes||Amy Holmes & Alison Hunter||3–5|
|Tammy Campbell||Trudi Owens||3, 4–5 (background extra)|
|Andy Chambers||Luke Matthews||2 (background extra), 3–5|
|Kirsten Bourne||Tessa Campanelli||3–5|
|David Armin-Parcells||Claude Tanner||4–5|
|Krista Houston||Joanne Rutherford||4–5|
|Byrd Dickens||Scott Smith||4–5|
|L. Dean Ifill||Basil "Bronco" Davis||3 (background extra), 4–5|
|Character name||Portrayed by||Seasons featured|
|Daniel "Dan" Raditch||Dan Woods||1–5|
|Mr. Raditch is the English teacher in Degrassi Junior High and the assistant principal in the Degrassi High series.
|Karen Avery||Michelle Goodeve||1–4|
|Ms. Avery is the Geography and Social Studies teacher in Degrassi Junior High and the school librarian in the Degrassi High series.
|Doris Bell||Deborah Lobban||1–3|
|Doris is the school secretary in Degrassi Junior High.
|Mr. Lawrence||John Bertram||1–3|
|Mr. Lawrence is the unseen school principal in Degrassi Junior High.
|Spike's Mom||Rhonda Kristi||1–3|
|Ms. Nelson is Spike's mother in Degrassi Junior High.
|Mr. Colby||Marcus Bruce||2|
|Mr. Colby is the substitute teacher in Degrassi Junior High. He is a predator, who inappropriately touches Lucy, and later Susie.
|Louella Hawkins||Susin Nielsen||2–3|
|Louella is the school janitor and custodian in Degrassi Junior High.
|Mr. Garcia||Roger Montgomery||3|
|Mr. Garcia is the Math teacher in Degrassi Junior High.
|Jim Walfish||Adam David||4–5|
|Mr. Walfish is the English and Literature teacher in Degrassi High.
|Mr. Webster||John Weir||4–5|
|Mr. Webster is the Science teacher in Degrassi High.
|Mrs. Perry||Florence Darnell||5|
|Mrs. Perry is the Special Education teacher in Degrassi High.
- "Canadian Awards Database History Search for "Degrassi"". Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. 2010. Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2010-04-22.