Peter and Mia’s problems were always a little vanilla for my taste (Modeling is hard! The cops caught me drag racing in my new convertible!), but they made a damn good-looking couple, so I let ’em squeak their way to the bottom of my list.
16. Drew (Luke Bilyk) and Bianca (Alicia Josipovic)
Drew and Bianca’s relationship was always more of a cautionary tale (this is what happens when you get mixed up with gangs, drop out of high school and try to elope in Vegas), but they were there for each other through a lot — including Adam’s untimely death — so it was pretty hard not to root for them.
15. Sav (Raymond Ablack) and Anya (Samantha Munro)
I’ve always been a sucker for forbidden romances… though I should probably admit that I almost paired Anya with Owen in this gallery. (Whatever, they were hot together. Not soar-y.)
14. Riley (Argiris Karras) and Zane (Shannon Kook-Chun)
In a post Dylan-Marco world, being gay at Degrassi was no big deal, as evidenced by (almost) everyone’s overwhelming acceptance of Riley and Zane as a couple. If memory serves, being gay even helped Riley get into a better college. So… everybody wins!
13. Declan (Landon Liboiron) and Holly J. (Charlotte Arnold)
Declan and Holly J.’s drama always felt more like Gossip Girl than Degrassi, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was fun to see Canada’s take on the Upper East Side.
12. Paige (Lauren Collins) and Alex (Deanna Casaluce)
All that needs to be said about this relationship is that it blossomed after Paige had a heart-to-heart with Kevin Smith. Yes, that Kevin Smith. And while it wasn’t built to last, it was nice while it lasted. (Except the part where Alex became a stripper. That part was sad.)
11. Maya (Olivia Scriven) and Zig (Ricardo Hoyos)
Kudos to Mrs. Matlin for giving her daughter what every teenage girl dreams of: a live-in bad boy of her very own. And extra points to Maya and Zig for being the only couple on this list to continue onto Degrassi: Next Class.
10. Darcy (Shenae Grimes) and Spinner (Shane Kippel)
Maybe I watched Beauty and the Beast too many times as a kid, but there was something so right about good-girl Darcy trying to make it work with bad-boy Spinner. Their relationship was give-and-take, like when he gave her some of his pot during chemo and she took him to Friendship Club — but unlike the aforementioned Disney movie, this fairytale didn’t have enough magic to last.
9. Adam (Jordy Todosey) and Becky (Sarah Fisher)
This relationship was a personal favorite for two reasons: Not only was it the first real relationship for a trans character on Degrassi, but it also made Becky slightly less insufferable for a brief period of time. As I watch her croon her sappy tunes with Jonah now, I sometimes wonder if that Becky — the one who put her heart before her faith — ever really existed.
Also… R.I.P., Adam! (Don’t text and drive, kids.)
8. Jimmy (Aubrey “Drake” Graham) and Ashley (Melissa McIntyre)
Quite possibly the longest-running couple in Degrassi history, Jimmy and Ashley were faced with all those typical teen relationship problems… like that time she deleted his rap off their track, and the time he couldn’t get a boner after Rick shot him. I know they broke up for reals in Season 7, but I prefer to imagine they’ve gotten back together and are still making sweet music somewhere.
7. Marco (Adamo Ruggiero) and Dylan (John Bregar)
The show’s first same-sex couple, Marco and Dylan were everything back in the day. Watching them slowly come together (anyone up for a game of volleyball?) was a thrill, and watching them battle the odds (aka Marco’s homophobic parents) was inspiring. That said, their relationship should also serve as a lesson for all other Degrassi couples: Break up when you graduate. It’s just not going to last. (Soar-y!)
6. Manny (Cassie Steele) and Jay (Mike Lobel)
I don’t think anyone would ever refer to Jay as the perfect guy, but there’s no denying he was at least the right guy for rebel-without-a-cause Manny. Remember when she hired him as her date to the debut (pronounced: day-boo)? Or when he seduced that Smithdale admissions director for her? Or when they helped Emma and Spinner tie the knot? (Actually, I think we’d all like to forget that last one.)
5. Emma (Miriam McDonald) and Sean (Daniel Clark)
Let’s be real: We all knew (or know, as the case may be) an Emma-and-Sean in high school. She was the naïve good girl with a dial-up modem, and he was the thick-browed gangsta with a bench press addiction. (Is it weird that I was bummed when their pregnancy scare turned out to be a dud? At this point, that kid could have been the star of Degrassi: Next Class.)
4. J.T. (Ryan Cooley) and Liberty (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer)
This one’s too painful to write about. Just know that they happened… and it was perfect.
3. Fiona (Annie Clark) and Imogen (Cristine Prosperi)
After watching Fiona lust after Holly J. to no avail, it was nice to see her with someone who could actually reciprocate her feelings. (Plus, doesn’t “Fimogen” sound like some sort of adorable, squishy Pokémon?)
2. Craig (Jake Epstein) and Ellie (Stacey Farber)
For the record, putting this pair at No. 2 was not an easy decision. With their drug problems, self-harm issues and non-stop drama, Craig and Ellie were the ultimate Degrassi crazy train back in their day. Their romance was epic… just not quite as epic as my No. 1 couple (which, incidentally, Ellie and Craig basically inspired.)
1. Clare (Aislinn Paul) and Eli (Munro Chambers)
Come on, did you really expect to see another couple atop my list? Eli and Clare have been through more together than any other Degrassi couple, including cancer and the loss of a baby — not to mention Eli’s bipolar disorder, which nearly cost him his life in Season 10. Heck, even their ‘shipper name (Eclare!) was perfection.