photo: Teen Nick

This Friday (July 22), "Degrassi" will finally drop its sixteenth season on Netflix. 

The virtually indestructible teen drama is like nothing else on television. Its reliance on character types, soapy melodrama, and Very Special Episodes doesn't *exactly* seem like a winning formula, yet the show has managed to survive (and even thrive) for nearly two decades, bouncing back from multiple network changes and even a cancellation.

Last season — its fifteenth overall, and the first in its newest "Degrassi: Next Class" incarnation — introduced us to a slew of fresh faces and ushered off a few older ones, thanks to the show’s now-characteristic high turnover rate. And so, in honor of the show's return, we're taking a look back at the best (and worst) main cast characters who graced and/or tormented Degrassi Community School's halls and ranking them accordingly. This is high school, after all:

85

Luke Baker

Luke had the dubious distinction of being the only member of the main cast who was also a rapist. He is, without a doubt, the single worst major character in "Degrassi" history. He went to jail, and I've tried hard to forget about him ever since.

84

Derek Haig

photo: CTV

Derek was, at first, just an annoying prankster (alongside his BFF Danny). But once he joined the football team, he became a legit menace. Most memorably, he was one of the players who violently beat up Jane after she joined the all-male team. Disgusting.

83

Bruce the Moose

photo: MuchMusic

Bruce, who didn’t even earn a last name, was a one-dimensional bully. He somehow managed to hang around for three entire seasons as Johnny DiMarco's perpetual shadow, but showed virtually no redeeming qualities during that time. He was also one of the players who beat up Jane when she joined the football team. Take a hike, Moose.

82

Principal Raditch

photo: CTV

Raditch was the WORST principal. He allowed the obviously-unhinged Rick Murray back into Degrassi, and then turned a blind eye when the student body bullied him. Raditch inadvertently set in motion the events that would lead to Rick’s school shooting. For that, he's one of the worst.

81

Owen Milligan

Early Owen was homophobic and transphobic — just not a cool dude, by any stretch. His later relationship with Anya improved him a bit, but not by much.

80

Dave Turner

Ugh, Dave. He was initially a transphobic asshat to Adam, even going so far as to dress in "drag" to mock him, though they eventually patched things up. Then, Dave cheated on Alli after pining after her for years. The kid was such a doofus.

79

Hunter Hullingsworth

Hunter is every terrible stereotype about gamers and nerds, dialed up to 11. He wasn’t blatantly awful when he was first introduced, but he quickly devolved into the worst sort of adolescent male — sexist, racist, and a self-professed “meninist.” I thought that he couldn’t get any worse after harassing Maya online and then doxxing her, but then he went and brought a gun to school. I sense that they’re going to try a redemption arc for him, and I’m not down for that, despite the fact that Hunter's portrayer is easily one of the most talented actors that "Degrassi" has ever had.

78

Kelly Ashoona

photo: CTV

Remember that time an obviously white dude was supposed to be playing an Inuit character? Yeah. Kelly was around for only a handful of episodes and essentially only served as a “College Years” love interest for Emma. And the college years were kind of terrible in general.

77

Blue Chessex

photo: CTV

Blue was Holly J’s Kelly — hot, but 100% useless. My beloved Holly J was way too good for him. Also, his name was Blue fucking Chessex. He didn’t last long on the show, understandably.

76

Damian Hayes

photo: CTV

Damian completes the hot-but-useless-guy trifecta. This dude somehow managed to get with Manny, Liberty, and Emma in the span of nine episodes. Nine. That alone is impressive, but beyond it, he was mostly memorable for cheating on Emma with Liberty at prom. So pretty, but so dumb.

75

Wesley Betenkamp

photo: MuchMusic

Wesley was possibly the least memorable character to ever grace the school's halls. I honestly can't call to mind a single thing he ever did. He was a generic nerd stereotype and eventually vanished completely in mid-Season 11, as a sophomore, without even a proper send-off. Yikes.

74

Leia Chang

photo: CTV

Leia was another forgettable character. She was best remembered for pathologically lying about knowing Pete Wentz *personally* and being Mia’s boring, tag-a-long friend during the atrocious “Mia is a model” arc. She LARP'd with Anya that one time, which was probably the most interesting thing that Leia ever did.

73

Baaz Nahir

photo: Netflix

We know almost nothing about Baaz yet, other than that he's one-fourth of the gamer club and went along with Hunter's truly despicable online harassment of Maya in Season 15. So everything we know about him is terrible, basically.

72

Yael Baron

photo: Netflix

Yael, girl, what were you thinking getting so wrapped up in Hunter’s meninist nonsense quest? Girl gamers are an underrepresented group, so it was hugely disappointing to see her so heavily under Hunter’s thumb, turning a blind eye to his overt sexism, for as long as she was.

71

Toby Isaacs

Toby never had much to do other than be J.T.'s less funny sidekick. His male eating disorder storyline was important (albeit brief), but he also did some weird, inappropriate things like kiss Liberty about four seconds after J.T. died. Not cool, Toby.

70

Caitlyn Ryan

photo: The N

Caitlyn was awful. Her relationship with fellow OG Degrassi alum Joey Jeremiah devolved into a huge mess during their time on "TNG." Then she slept with Ellie’s gross boyfriend Jesse — at the newspaper office where they all worked. Not a good look, Caitlyn.

69

Vijay Maraj

photo: Netflix

Like the other gamer club members, we know little about Vijay. But his attempt at forming a relationship with oblivious Tristan was adorable and heartbreaking, so Vijay gets a bit of a boost above the other three gamers.

68

Peter Stone

photo: CTV

Peter did so many terrible and/or cringeworthy things. He framed Sean for drug possession, he manipulated and filmed drunk Manny flashing him (though that “I’m gonna be FAMOUS!” moment is truly iconic), and he was addicted to meth for one full weekend. Peter’s eventual redemption arc only sort of worked — his later behavior and relationships with Mia and Darcy never outweighed his earlier nonsense. And Stüdz was better minus Peter. #SorryNotSorry

67

Mia Jones

It hurts my heart to rank baby Nina Dobrev this low, but Mia was a mess and a half. She came between OG super-couple Liberty and J.T., made J.T.'s death all about her, and then proceeded to completely forget about her young daughter while making extremely questionable decisions in pursuit of her modeling career. Mia's modeling arc was one of the stupidest (and least believable) storylines ever. No one was overly miffed when she up and left for Paris abruptly at the start of Season 9. Except maybe Peter.

66

Terri MacGreggor

photo: CTV

Poor Terri. She had that plus size modeling storyline, which was cool, but then she got tangled up with obvious-creep Rick. She was around for the first three seasons, but she’s mostly known for falling into a coma after Rick pushed her down and accidentally made her hit her head on a cinderblock. So while she wasn’t actively terrible, we didn’t really get to know her all that well before she was unceremoniously shipped off to “private school” post-coma.

65

Marisol Lewis

photo: MuchMusic

Who makes out with a guy when he's got a girlfriend and a newborn? Marisol does — and KC was very much not worth it. On top of that, she was the worst friend ever, blabbing about Katie's bulimia and using it against her. Marisol's later relationship with Mo was cute, but not enough to redeem her truly awful behavior.

64

Johnny DiMarco

I will truly never understand why "Degrassi" dropped the ball with Johnny's redemption arc. He started off as a friend of Drake Lempkey, the little devil who killed J.T., but improved so much in the subsequent seasons. His brief reappearance as a college student in Season 10 proved that he and Alli could have been great, but instead, they let it fizzle and Johnny's character development kept stalling until he left for college. Lame, show.

63

Zig Novak

Zig constantly looks confused. He's the quintessential fuckboy: sleeveless tank tops, chronic cheater, saying loads of ridiculous, sexist, problematic crap. Even beating up Hunter for trolling Maya was a stupid way to handle the situation, making it worse instead of defusing it. His treatment of Cam prior to Cam's suicide was similarly atrocious. Not cute. He did seem to truly love Maya (though he's got a crap way of showing it), so I'm giving him a slight break.

62

Jake Martin

photo: MuchMusic

Jake was cute and funny, but his one big storyline (the love triangle with his stepsister Clare and Clare's obvious one true love Eli) was snooze-central. Jake's later romance with Katie was only marginally more interesting.

61

Zane Park

Zane was cool and had great hair, but he was really only there to be Riley's boyfriend and occasionally talk to Anya, who was apparently his only friend. Sad.

60

Jack Jones

photo: MTV Canada

Who? Oh, right. She was the one who dated Imogen and wasn’t Fiona. That was nice and all, but Jack didn't actually do anything else. Imogen and Jack were certainly cute together, and she wasn’t bad, per se — she was just yet another pointless love interest character.

59

Becky Baker

Becky was Adam's girlfriend and rapist Luke's sister, and that's about all I can remember about her. That, and also it being extremely weird that she dated Adam's brother Drew so soon after Adam's death.

58

KC Guthrie

Yes, he had a troubled background and yes, KC and Jenna giving up their baby was very sad, but KC also cheated on Jenna with Marisol while he and Jenna had a newborn. Before that, he all but cheated on Clare with Jenna. The dude was a mess, but at least he had a complete arc and left on a good note.

57

Jenna Middleton

Jenna literally showed up at Degrassi and introduced herself as a boyfriend-stealer and then everybody was really shocked when she went ahead and stole boyfriends. Her Next Teen Star arc was painfully boring, though her unplanned pregnancy and eventual struggle with adopting out her baby were both genuinely moving.

56

Danny Van Zandt

photo: CTV

Liberty's little bro was fine after he chilled out with the pranking, but not particularly memorable.

55

Daphne Hatzilakos

photo: CTV

Peter's mom (and the former Degrassi science teacher) was the principal for a few years when Raditch was forced to resign after fucking things up at the school. She was the best principal Degrassi ever had, but she made out with the very married Snake Simpson one time and that was terrible.

54

Shay Powers

Shay's OK. Fingers crossed they actually do something with Shay this season. Pining for Tiny for all of Season 15, only to unceremoniously lose him to crappiest-friend-ever Lola, was not a good look for the obviously smart Shay.

53

Mo Mashkour

His eventual relationship with Marisol was sweet, but the suicide jokes post-Cam's death were really, really weird. Mo was unfortunately rather forgettable beyond that.

52

Chantay Black

Chronically underused and sassy as heck, we hardly knew Chantay. All too often, she was used as a stereotypical snobby sidekick and rarely had the focus of an episode when she wasn't somebody's love interest. She also managed to stick around Degrassi and the Spirit Squad for what felt like 15 years.

51

Jane Vaughn

On the one hand, Jane was the first girl to join the Degrassi football team, which was ridiculously cool. I loved her sense of self and undeniable badassness. On the other hand, she cheated on Spinner with Declan in what was easily the most nonsensical and pointless adultery storyline that "Degrassi" has ever done.

50

Hazel Aden

Another chronically underused character, Hazel was often relegated to being Paige's sidekick and/or Jimmy's girlfriend, though she and Jimmy were admittedly super cute. We got the briefest insight into her background as a Somali immigrant, but the show did nothing with that after the one Hazel-centric episode where she lied about being Somalian and then admitted it. Hazel, you coulda been a contender. SMH.

49

Connor DeLaurier

The puberty fairy was very kind to Connor, but he never managed to live down the panty-stealing fiasco in my mind. His later relationship with Jenna was cute, though.

48

Riley Stavros

I'm glad that they didn't simply replicate Marco's coming out storyline, and instead told the story of an altogether different type of gay man: a traditionally masculine athlete coming to terms with his sexuality. That said, I didn't end up getting too attached to Riley.

47

Joey Jeremiah

photo: CTV

Joey was an OG character, from way back in the Degrassi Junior High days. His fatherly relationship with my beloved Craig was great, but he sort of fell off the radar very unceremoniously towards the end, when his portrayer no longer wanted to play the character.

46

Winston Chu

photo: MuchMusic

Winston is adorable, and his support of Miles' coming out during his relationship with Tristan was great, but cheating on Frankie with Lola was very not okay. Points off for that.

45

Lola Pacini

photo: MTV Canada

Lola is stylish AF and has cool hair, but she's got a penchant for kissing and/or dating her friends' love interests. You're on notice, Lola.

44

Drew Torres

Try as they might to redeem him after early seasons of d-baggery, Drew never quite clicked for me. He was best when he was with Bianca, but then they broke up and Drew way overstayed his welcome on "Degrassi."

43

Winnie Oh

photo: MuchMusic

She hooked up with Sav! She was his teacher! I don't care that Sav was 18 or whatever; the whole thing was weird. I suspect it was a time-filler to give Sav something to do through graduation, albeit a terrible one.

42

Ashley Kerwin

Goth Ashley indirectly gave us Ellie, which I'm hugely thankful for, but the most interesting thing Ashley ever did was spearhead the band "Hell Hath No Fury" that had Craig's burning head as its logo. I'm pretty sure Season 6 Ashley was secretly a robot.

41

Darcy Edwards

Darcy's rape storyline and its aftermath were both genuinely moving, but beyond that her "good Christian girl" turned cheerleader shtick was kind of boring. Her attempted seduction of Mr. Simpson and lying about his sexual harassment still haunts my nightmares. Ew.

40

Esme Song

photo: Netflix

Esme is a far more interesting antagonist than Season 15’s other villain, Hunter. Her manipulation of Miles (and her drug-pushing) was downright sociopathic. Faking a suicide attempt to keep him around? That’s some next level deviousness. The fact that all of this bad behavior is hidden beneath a prim and proper exterior is extra-eerie. She’s awful, but she gets points for being legitimately terrifying and psychologically intriguing.

39

Tristan Milligan

Tristan's physical transformation was very impressive, but he kind of sucks in a cheap Holly J-knockoff sorta way. He also has repetitive relationship-centric storylines. Tristan/Miles definitely sucks and is a distinctly unhealthy relationship.

38

Tiny Bell

photo: Netflix

The gang storyline and Tiny's brother Vince's arrest were both sad, but Tiny himself tends to be really underutilized. He basically did nothing at all in Season 15 except be a love interest for both Shay and Lola, which wasn't particularly enthralling.

37

Katie Matlin

Katie's transformation from preppy hard-working girl to "edgy" chick was very reminiscent of Ashley's good-girl to goth thing earlier in the series, but Katie pulled it off so much better. She was a fairly interesting character and her relationship with her sister Maya was nice, particularly in the aftermath of Cam's death.

36

Jonah Haak

photo: Netflix

His hair is bad, and he should feel bad about that. But actually, as a character, he’s not terrible. Stealing money from Becky while they dated was super shady, but his burgeoning Season 15 relationship with Frankie was actually amazing. "Degrassi" isn’t usually any good at taking its time with slow-burn romance (everyone falls in love in about two episodes), but Fronah (Jankie?) was excellent. He needs to stay far away from Maya, though, because I don’t trust these writers to keep male-female friendships platonic.

35

Frankie Hollingsworth

photo: MTV Canada

Frankie is the second best Hollingsworth sibling. She and Winston were cute, but she and Jonah have definite "Degrassi" supercouple potential. Beyond that, and beyond her body image issues, we don't know much about her just yet.

34

Goldi Nahir

photo: Netflix

Goldi is a super cool, no-nonsense feminist, which is awesome. But beyond that we don't really know her yet.

33

Grace Cardinal

photo: Netflix

Grace is OK. Her friendships with Maya and (formerly) Zoe are cute, and the reveal of her cystic fibrosis was really sad. She's got that inexplicable crush on Zig though, which docks her more than a few points.

32

Spike Nelson

photo: CTV

Emma’s mom was a character in her own right on the earlier pre-“TNG” series, but she never amounted to much in the later series. Aside from being Emma’s mother and Snake’s wife, we never learned anything interesting about her, beyond that she owned a vibrator for like a minute before Clare and Alli creepily stole it.

31

Tori Santimaria

Tori was great! But she was unceremoniously shuffled off after a mere two seasons. Lame.

30

Alex Nuñez

Alex was great when she was (far too briefly) with Paige, but then that "Lextasy" stripper storyline happened and was god awful. Like, painfully bad. And then Palex was no longer. Sadface.

29

Snake Simpson

photo: MuchMusic

This dude has seen some shit. In his many, many years at Degrassi (both in the original series and the “TNG” reboot), he’s been privy to school shootings, teen pregnancy scares, sexual assault admissions, and (most horrifyingly; thanks, Darcy) sexual assault accusations. He’s definitely not as good of a principal as Hatzilakos, but he’s mostly a cool dude, despite the fact that he cheated on Spike with Hatzilakos that one time.

28

Liberty Van Zandt

Liberty and J.T. were an original 'Degrassi' supercouple, which I guess makes her significant? Their adoption storyline was really one of the earliest major, ground-breaking stories on "TNG." But Liberty on her own was hit-or-miss — early Liberty was usually a one-note know-it-all, and later Liberty had some extremely weird, out-of-character moments (making out with Emma’s boyfriend at prom?!).

27

Declan Coyne

There was something admittedly charming about Declan, despite trying my best to avoid falling for the misunderstood poor little rich boy cliche. He and Holly J should have been endgame because their chemistry was off the charts. He was basically male Holly J (only less flawless), and their matching sassiness paired together nicely.

26

Sav Bhandari

Sav, his swooshy hair, and his musical abilities were great. He made some questionable choices, but I liked him with both Anya and Holly J (that's kind of blasphemous to say, isn't it?). The very brief Ms. Oh romance near the end of his time on the show was weird, though, and I'm still kinda creeped out that "Degrassi" was explicitly condoning a teacher-student relationship.

25

Clare Edwards

One half of the second best Degrassi couple of all time, Clare was so, so much better (and a more well-developed character) than her older sister Darcy, but also often suffered from Emma Nelson know-it-all syndrome. Also bad? Her relationship choices (aside from Eli) were head-scratchers. She gets all the bonus points available for the utter hilarity that was "Madame Degrassi's" vampire erotica, though.

24

Jay Hogart

photo: CTV

I admittedly have a soft spot for Jay, despite his indirectly getting Jimmy shot. He was a big ol' cheater at first, cheating on Alex with both Emma and that random chick Amy. But the unintentional hilarity of Emma confronting Jay with "You gave me a social disease!" cannot possibly be overstated, and Jay's relationship with Manny was amazing and transformative for both of them.

23

Mike Dallas (aka "Dallas")

photo: MTV Canada

The boy was fine as heck. His storyline in the aftermath of Cam’s suicide was amazing and heartbreaking, and his relationship with Alli ended up being surprisingly great.

22

Alli Bhandari

Beautiful Alli and her three foot long fake eyelashes were too often used in relationship storylines, but Clare's best friend had her moment when she graduated and went off to Cambridge University like the BAMF she is. Alli was great.

21

Emma Nelson

Meh. Maybe it's weird to rank the very first de facto protagonist this low, but Emma had an often unbearable holier-than-thou, sanctimonious attitude. Her friendship with Manny and relationship with Sean were the two best things about her. Her "rebellious" arc ("social disease!") was so completely out of left field and lame AF. Emma's eating disorder storyline was fantastic, but that was the best she ever was on her own.

20

Miles Hollingsworth III

In a show that often relies on character types, Miles is a breath of fresh air. The misunderstood poor little rich boy (Declan 2.0) became so much more through the discovery of his fluid sexuality, his abusive father, and his dealings with his obviously-disturbed little brother Hunter. His unhealthy relationship with Tristan is awful, though. He's gotta find another guy or girl to start fresh with.

19

Maya Matlin

Maya has become one of the best female heroines that the show has had in years. Her trolling/doxxing storyline was devastating and so, so important. Maya spiraling in the aftermath of her boyfriend Cam's death was incredible, too. She needs to get far away from fuckboy Zig asap, though. Really, she's better off focusing on her cello because the only guy that's come close to measuring up to her was now-dead Cam. She's also just a tad too *perfect*/universally adored by every male to rank higher.

18

Imogen Moreno

The human personification of the word "adorkable." Imogen was super cute, particularly her bra protest storyline and her relationship with equally-adorable Fiona.

17

Fiona Coyne

Fiona was truly adorable, much more so than her twin brother. Her friendship with Holly J was consistently great and the Fiona/Imogen romance was almost too adorable to handle. Fimogen should have been endgame, obvs.

16

Bianca DeSousa

Bianca arrived at Degrassi as an obvious Alex Nuñez knock off — a troublemaker, a rebel, a promiscuous girl. She was also pretty transphobic and rude, most of the time. But Bianca had a fantastic arc after accidentally killing Anson the gangbanger and, thanks to great and gradual character development, became one of the best characters that the show's ever had. Plus, she was consistently funny and managed to make Drew likable (a feat in its own right).

15

Gavin "Spinner" Mason

I've got a complicated relationship with Spinner. On the one hand, I'll never quite forgive him for getting Jimmy shot and for marrying Emma, thereby preventing the inevitable Sean/Emma endgame that literally everyone knew was meant to be. He also never treated Paige like the actual goddess that she was. His romance with Manny and a few of his hairstyles still give me nightmares. His testicular cancer storyline was pretty good, though, and he was on the show for so damn long that eventually, of course, he became a real boy. Yay, character development!

14

Jimmy Brooks

Don't be all up in his fries, dawg. Jimmy was a good friend and sidekick, but not terribly interesting pre-paralysis. There was his relationship with Ashley (which went up in smoke once she flipped out and kissed Sean while on ecstasy) and his basketball playing, but that was pretty much all there was to Jimmy. Post-paralysis, Jimmy became more interesting, as we watched him come to terms with his new situation. Jimmy was also one of the most consistent characters — unlike nearly every other Degrassi male, he was a good boyfriend to all of his girlfriends and never actually cheated on anyone. For that, Wheelchair Jimmy gets all the kudos.

13

Anya MacPherson

Anya was the sweetest little cupcake to ever grace the halls of Degrassi. Everything from her braces to her LARPing to her best friendship with Holly J to her relationship with Sav was adorable and perfect. Except for that one time she got addicted to cocaine for a hot minute. But we don't talk about that. Overall, though, her arc from Holly J's blah sidekick to a kickass army chick was amazing.

12

Campbell Saunders

Cam's portrayer, Dylan Everett, was probably the single best actor "Degrassi" has ever had. Cam was a sweet kid suffering from mental illness, and Cam's gradual breakdown and suicide was one of the most gut-punching, devastating stories that the series has every pulled off. They've been warning us for years that they go there, but I really didn't expect them to go there. To this day, watching the episodes leading up to Cam's death are painful.

11

Zoe Rivas

photo: MTV Canada

Zoe hasn’t been around as long as characters like Bianca, Holly J, and Paige, but I sense that we’re going to get a similar complex and well-developed character arc from her. I adored the way the show handled the aftermath of her rape and her eventual coming out storyline. It was also an interesting choice to not completely redeem her — she’s still kind of a horrorshow in Season 15, when she hooks up with Zig to “punish” Grace for not loving her back, it’s a bit bonkers. She’s not all good or all bad. She’s complicated and, so far, one of the most intriguing characters the show has had. More please!

10

Eli Goldsworthy

Let's be honest: Eli was, at first, Craig Manning 2.0 — only with better hair and writing instead of music — right down to their shared bipolar disorder. But Eli's discovery of his mental illness (and eventual coming to terms with it) was remarkably well-written and acted. Munro Chambers is also one of the better actors to appear on the show. His on-off romance with Clare was swoon-worthy, despite being soapy and melodramatic AF most of the time.

9

Adam Torres

Poor Adam was too good for this world. His FTM gender transition storyline was the first of its kind on "Degrassi," so he's hugely significant in that respect alone. He was also a total sweetheart, and all anybody wanted for him was to find love with the human personification of vanilla ice cream, Becky Baker. So, naturally, he crashed into a tree and died, thanks to texting while driving. Damn it, show, stomping all over our emotions like that.

8

Sean Cameron

Sean and Emma were one of the earliest (and longest-lasting) super-couples in "Degrassi" history. He was the quintessential bad boy with a heart of gold, but he grew into so much more. Sean saving Emma and Toby from gun-toting Rick was an amazing, classic moment in the series, and that’s when he won my heart forever. However, I'm still sore over the fact that he got shipped off to war never to be seen again, and that Emma got married to Spinner. Spinner. Semma was supposed to be endgame! Oh, the humanity.

7

Manny Santos

Manny had one of the greatest and most realistic character arcs on the show. She was also the source of SO MANY iconic moments — the waist-high blue thong, the "I'm gonna be FAMOUS!" flash, and "cuckoo bananas," just to name a few. She went from Emma's "cute" and overly innocent sidekick to promiscuous (and often self-destructive) scene-stealer, and it worked. Manny gradually finding herself and Cassie Steele's incredible performance were the best. Plus, her eventual endgame relationship with Jay? One of the all-time greats — and one of the very few should-be-endgame couples that actually did wind up being endgame.

6

J.T. Yorke

Beloved J.T. was gone far too soon. His prescription drug abuse storyline was a little weird, but I loved virtually everything else about him, as did every other character on the show — making his sudden and shocking murder-by-stabbing all the more devastating. Fuck Drake Lempkey, that little shit.

5

Craig Manning

Craig was frustrating a lot of the time but I adored him, that charming asshole. Cheating on Ashley with Manny was incredibly shitty, as was his manipulation of Ellie's affections in the midst of his persistent cocaine addiction, but Craig's backstory was devastating, as was the discovery of his bipolar disorder. Poor Craig.

4

Paige Michalchuk

My beloved Paige, the queen bee of Degrassi, had the best character development of just about anyone in the series. She started off as a stereotypical high school mean girl (that iconic “Hottie” tank top, though) then eventually developed into an incredibly well-rounded and likable character. Her date rape storyline was fantastic, as was her way-too-brief relationship with Alex Nunez. She gets a few points off for sticking with Spinner for as long as she did (girl, why?), but hey, nobody’s perfect.

3

Marco Del Rossi

Marco was one of the best characters from the moment he debuted in Season 2, particularly in his friendships with Ellie and Paige. His on-and-off romance with Paige's brother Dylan was consistently adorable, and his coming out storyline was truly ground-breaking and incredible.

2

Ellie Nash

Ellie was the best and the coolest, and it repeatedly broke my heart that she never got what she wanted. Her self-harm storyline was devastating, and her friendships with Paige and Marco were two of the very best on the show. Craig/Ellie (aka, the single greatest relationship in "Degrassi" history) should have been endgame and no one can tell me otherwise. Just remember that last airport kiss and try to tell me otherwise.

1

Holly J Sinclair

I don't even know where to begin with Sinclair the younger. The mythical Heather Sinclair's little sis was the best character to ever grace Degrassi's hallways, hands down. Holly J's sass, her style, her unflappable sense of self ... even in her earliest appearances, when she was legitimately terrible, she was wonderful. Holly J consistently had the best lines, and her portrayer, Charlotte Arnold, rocked every single one of them. Her kidney damage storyline was amazing and capped off an essentially perfect character arc, taking Holly J from one-note bitchy teenager to actual kind human woman. When she left to go to Yale, her dream school, it was clear that the writers wanted to end her storyline on the best possible note because they loved her as much as we all did. She didn't need to end up with a guy — she's freakin' Holly J Sinclair. Holly J forever, y'all.