Degrassi Wiki
Degrassi Wiki

"No, I just got my period. For the first time. Menstruation you may have heard of it, happens to oh, 50% of the population. Perfectly natural. Nothing to be ashamed of, right Ms. Kwan? "
— Emma Nelson in Coming of Age.

Emma Nelson is a Class of 2007 graduate of Degrassi Community School in Toronto, Canada, who also attended Smithdale University along with Manny and Liberty. She is the lead character and main protagonist of Degrassi: The Next Generation, born during season 2 of Degrassi Junior High. She was originally portrayed as an idealist and environmentalist who consistently voices her own opinions. Having originally been known for being responsible and mature, yet uptight, she would later evolve into much more of a three-dimensional character.

Emma is the daughter of Christine Nelson and Shane McKay. Her stepfather is Archie Simpson, the principal and former Media Immersions teacher of Degrassi Community School, and her half-brother is Jack Simpson.

She is the longtime best friend of Manny Santos. She is also best friends with Liberty Van Zandt and her husband Spinner Mason. She is close friends with and Toby Isaacs and was also close friends with J.T. Yorke (before his death). Additional friends of hers include Darcy Edwards, Chantay Black, Jay Hogart, Holly J. Sinclair, Craig Manning, Peter Stone, her godbother Connor DeLaurier, and her ex-boyfriend, Sean Cameron. She was enemies with Alex Nuñez.

She married Spinner Mason, a former student of Degrassi, in the summer of 2008.

She was portrayed by Miriam McDonald in Degrassi: The Next Generation and Degrassi: Next Class, and was portrayed by Ashlee Henricks and Samantha Morrison in Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High.

Character History

Original Degrassi: Seasons 1–5

Near the end of the first season of Degrassi Junior High, Emma was conceived by Spike and Shane McKay, Spike's ex-boyfriend, at a junior high school party in Lucy Fernandez's house in the season one episode, It's Late.

In June 1989, Spike eventually went into labor at the grade 8 graduation dance at the end of season 2, in the episode, Pass Tense. Both of them were 14 when Christine, who goes by Spike, got pregnant. Shane and Spike broke-up, but Shane paid child support.

Emma's first on-screen appearance was at the school's Christmas party in the season 3 episode, Season's Greetings, when Spike's babysitter cancelled on her so Spike had to take care her at school. With Spike a teen mother, Emma was a semi-regular on the series with various on-and-off appearances as an infant and toddler.


Emma and Spike in the original Degrassi series.

In Taking Off (1), Shane goes to a Gourmet Scum concert, which he bought the tickets for using Spike's child support money, Shane took acid, got high and then proceeded to jump off a bridge, it is not known if this was an intentional suicide attempt or an accident. After the accident, his parents placed him in a hospital permanently, which resulted in a distant separation between him and Emma.


Emma's very first on-screen appearance.

At age three, Emma visited her father at the hospital he was staying at. After that, Spike kept Emma away. She is spoken of twice by Spike in the television film, School's Out!, and in the film's closing shot, Spike is seen dancing with a young blonde girl consistent with Emma's then age of four years. Emma and Spike would later appear in Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Interim (1993–2001)

In Venus (2), it was revealed that Emma had been best friends with Manny Santos since daycare. The two girls seemingly befriended J.T. Yorke in elementary school, as they are revealed to already be friends in the series' premiere episode Mother and Child Reunion (1).

Spike also takes Emma to the wedding of Spike's old friend Joey Jeremiah to Julia Manning, and Emma dances with the bride's son, Craig Manning, as revealed in When Doves Cry (1). Although the best man is Emma's future teacher and stepfather Archie Simpson, the two will not have seen each other for quite some time prior to the start of her grade 7 enrollment, as neither recognizes the other on sight in the first Next Generation episode, Mother and Child Reunion (1).

Degrassi: The Next Generation

Character Background

Emma was born in June 1989. (The Degrassi Junior High episode in which she was born had actually aired on 28 March 1988, but Emma’s birth year was retconned in Degrassi: The Next Generation to have her be 12 when the sequel series started in 2001. Because she was aged down one year, this allowed Emma to be in the same grade as four of her fellow original characters in D:TNG, Manny Santos, Toby Isaacs, J.T. Yorke and Liberty Van Zandt.) She is the daughter of original Degrassi characters Christine Nelson and Shane McKay, and is the only youth in Degrassi: The Next Generation to have been depicted as a child in the earlier series.

She is known as the school's "cause girl" known for arranging many protests and boycotts for various causes. She has evolved from a good, simple character to a complex one over the course of the series. For example, since season 1, she was a fairly undramatic character, having only a few dramatic experiences, until season 4 when she was held at gunpoint by classmate Rick Murray, had became anti-social with PTSD and had Oral Sex Jay Hogart, contracting gonorrhea as a result. In season 5, she was diagnosed with Anorexia nervosa.

Emma broke the Nelson women's multi-generational cycle of unplanned teen-age motherhood and beautician careers, Emma graduates from high school having never been pregnant (despite a momentary scare in season 6) and is bound for university. Despite the fact that Degrassi has an ensemble cast, Emma is usually considered the protagonist of the show for the first seven seasons.

Character Development

When the writers came up with the idea for a reunion special, they realized Emma would be starting middle school, and made the planned reunion special into a pilot for a new series. Emma is, therefore, literally the title character of The Next Generation and one of the two title characters of the show's pilot episode, Mother and Child Reunion.

In addition to serving as a tie-in to Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, teenage Emma was initially written as The Next Generation's counterpart to the earlier series' character Caitlin Ryan (played by Stacie Mistysyn). Both rabidly pursue various environmental and social causes, and Emma's first boyfriend, Sean Cameron began as a near-duplicate of Caitlin's first, Rick Munro (very similar back-story, abusive parents, nearly identical wardrobe, interest in motorcycles, interest in the girl's causes only as it let him be close to her).

Moreover, Caitlin's father was a teacher, as would be Emma's stepfather, beginning in the second season. Emma's interaction with Rick Murray and his demise strikingly parallel Claude Tanner's reaction to Caitlin's rejection. As is normal for television series characters, however, Emma soon grew into a unique individual, a collaboration of Miriam McDonald and the series' writers.

In addition, due to Degrassi: The Next Generation having had a longer run than either of its two parent series, Emma receives far more screen time in D:TNG than her mother Spike or Caitlin had collectively in either predecessor series.

Season 1

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Emma, as she first appears in season 1.

In Mother and Child Reunion (1), Emma is seen with Manuella Santos reading a love email from a boy named Jordan. Later her mother Spike Nelson asks if she's ready to go. Emma tells her to wait. Her mom comes into her room and tells her to turn off the computer. Emma tells her that she was just showing Manny her reunion website. Emma's mom tells Emma to go. Manny leaves while Emma lingers to read another email from Jordan. Emma walks away from the computer when new email pops on her computer. Emma stops, looks at it, hears her mom telling to go with them, and leaves.

Later when they arrive at Degrassi, she is seen with Manny and J.T., carrying boxes to the school. Emma tells Manny that her mother rushed her out of house so fast that she didn't get to read her new email. She says she hopes it's from Jordan. They then talk about the email Jordan sent to her last night. She explains that Jordan said, "I got over six thousand names on my petition to keep the polar wildlife refuge untouched. Thanks for your help with all this Em, and for your great idea. You're the best." Leaving Manny to smile at how cute her growing online relationship with Jordan is becoming.

Emma said that she suggested the petition and Jordan did all the work. Emma says that Jordan is so committed. But while Emma and Manny are so deep into conversation, they don't notice J.T. behind them struggling with the big box he has, eventually falling over causing the box to burst open and everything flies, and Emma and Manny run over to him. Rather than putting everything back in the box and getting up and leaving, and they look at all the '80s merchandise that her mother owned, such as a photo from the '80s with The Zit Remedy in crazy wigs, leaving them all to laugh and Emma explain that people in the '80s were weird.

After they help J.T., the three of them continue walking with the boxes. They meet Mr. Simpson. And Archie is wowed at much Emma has grown up, but tells them to go have fun. The trio leave the boxes on the ground for Mr. Simpson to reminisce with and leave the hallway. They all run around the school knocking on the lockers, and come across the Media Immersion room, and Emma obviously wants to go in to check the newest email from Jordan. They then meet J.T.'s friend, Toby Isaacs, who was checking out the school with his father. Emma then decides to sneak into the Media Immersions room to read her emails. Emma brings Manny with her and tells J.T. and Toby to stand guard. Later, Emma tells Manny to calm down and if they get caught, she'll say she forced her. Emma reads her email and tells Manny that Jordan is coming here and wants to meet her tomorrow. Emma, Manny, J.T., and Toby leave Degrassi and go play in the playground. Emma tells Manny that she want to meet Jordan, but told him that she's in high school. Toby tells Emma that it could be really dangerous meeting someone off the net. Emma says that he's not a stranger and that he emailed her his picture. She then says she's known Jordan a lot longer than she's known him, after all the hostility, they have a short water fight.

Manny explains that Jordan is 16 and is coming here on a school trip. J.T. says it's summer. Emma says he organized it back in the spring and tells J.T. to quit making this into something that is not. After the conversation, the four of them have more fun a water gun fight. Emma leaves her friends and returns home to her room, when she sees her mother and a lady at her computer.

Emma asks her mother why she's on her computer. Spike tells Emma that it's our computer. Emma asks if next time she could ask before trespassing. Spike then tells her to next time be more polite to her guest. Emma notices that the lady next to her mother is Caitlin Ryan. Emma is then excited and talks many facts about Caitlin. Spike and Caitlin are both shocked and leave her room. Emma and Manny then checks all of Emma's e-mails to see if she could find any flaws about Jordan before he comes.

Manny advises Emma that it might be dangerous. Emma says they'll meet in public. Manny also advises Emma to talk to her mother. Emma asks if Manny doesn't think that she should meet Jordan. Manny responds by bumping her on the forehead. Later in the night, Emma is asleep but wakes up when she hears Spike, Caitlin, and Lucy Fernandez coming in the house and singing Everybody Wants Something by The Zit Remedy. The three spot Emma coming downstairs and Caitlin talk to her. They talk about Jordan and Emma asks if she should be with him. Caitlin tells her to take a chance... go for it. even if her friends don't think it's right. Emma goes to the computer in her room and replies back to Jordan saying she is totally into meeting him. Repeating what Caitlin said; "Sometimes you gotta take a chance... go for it."

In Mother and Child Reunion (2), Emma is waiting for her mother to leave the house so she could go see Jordan. Before she goes, she calls Manny. Emma lies and says she's not going to see Jordan. Manny says she's so relieved. Emma says maybe she can meet him when she's older. Manny agrees and asks if she wants her to come over. Emma lies again and says that there's this show about the wildlife refuge and she really wants to watch it for Jordan. Manny says she can help her research, but Emma says it's okay and that she really needs to concentrate. Emma says she'll call Manny tomorrow. The call ends. Later, Emma goes to a hotel by cab. She goes inside, waits in the lobby, and calls Jordan. She leaves a message says she's a little early so she'll just wait down here. Also in the message, she almost says what she's wearing but instead says he knows what she looks like. She finishes leaving the message.

Emma meets a man holding a box of pizza named Mr. Nystrom. He explains that one of his students was supposed to be meeting a girl. He asks if she's the girl. Emma says yes. Mr. Nystrom says that he's Jordan's teacher. The man says Jordan is so excited to meet you. Emma says she's excited to meet him. Mr. Nystrom invites Emma to come to his room to have dinner. Emma looks worried. Mr. Nystrom says that he could sent Jordan down after he eats. Mr. Nystrom says that Jordan wanted her to sign his petition.

Emma decides to go with him. While they're walking to his room, Mr. Nystrom says that next week Jordan will send the petition to the United Nations. Emma is amazed and says that's incredible. Mr. Nystrom says Jordan is a pretty impressive kid. They then enter his room. Mr. Nystrom knocks on another room and tells the guys that pizza is here. Emma sits down with Mr. Nystrom. Mr. Nystrom takes out a video camera and explains that he and the guys are going to be making a video journal of this trip. Mr. Nystrom says that the guys are going to be back in here any minute, and shares the pizza with Emma.

Mr. Nystrom says that Jordan talks about her all the time, and says he hears that Emma's a fellow hiker. Emma starts to get uncomfortable and leaves. She finds out the door is locked and goes into the nearby bathroom and locks the door. Emma realizes that Mr. Nystrom is Jordan. Emma says that she wants to go home. Mr. Nystrom tells Emma that he'll go down to the lobby so she can leave.

Emma then unlocks the door leaves the bathroom. She tries to open the room door a second time, but Mr. Nystrom comes from behind her and closes the door. He threatens to tape her mouth if she makes a noise.

Meanwhile, Manny has tried to get a hold of Emma and realizes that she must have lied and gone to meet


Emma hugging her mother

Jordan after all. Manny runs to Degrassi and tells Spike and Snake about what had happened to Emma. Snake and Spike drive to the hotel and run to the room.

Emma hears knocking on the door and realizes that her mother is at the door. She escapes the man and leaves the room. She leans against the wall facing Mr. Nystrom's room. Spike asks if she's okay. Emma watches as Mr. Nystrom is caught.


Emma being harassed while she's with Mr. Nystrom

Emma finds out the next day that Mr. Nystrom was a repeat offender and loses her computer's tower for the time being. She and her mother argue about how Emma kept Jordan a secret from her for eight months and about last night. Emma tells her mother that she didn't tell her about Jordan because she doesn't understand her problems. Spike tells Emma that she does and they have to keep talking about their issues. Emma adds that she was so scared and she and Spike hug.


Emma and Sean experience an unsteady relationship in season 1.

Emma began crushing on new boy, Sean Cameron when he moves to Toronto with his brother, Tracker. He is unhappy due to being held back in 7th grade and longed to go to eighth grade with his classmates. It is revealed that he had been there for a few months last year, and evidently was friends with Jimmy Brooks. But Sean grows do dislike Jimmy because Jimmy constantly teases Sean about being held back.

At the dance that night, Emma has to go without it, but she comes alone, and finds Sean has come too. Jimmy again makes fun of Sean by deciding that he could come to the "8th graders only party" Sean shoves him against a wall. As their principal is about to walk by, Emma comes to Sean's rescue. Emma asks Sean to dance, he agrees and they hold hands. The next day, Emma tells Manny that although he may seem tough and mean on the outside, he was really sweet on the inside.

In the episode, Coming of Age, Emma has her first period, embarrassingly, at school. Luckily, Manny discovered the blood leak before anyone else did, dragging her best friend into the bathroom and tracking down a pair of oversized gym shorts for Emma to wear the rest of the day. Unfortunately, Emma was slated to present a book report in English in front of the entire class that day. While awkwardly trying to explain the book and hold up the large pants, J.T. scoffs and asks if Emma wet her pants. Emma announces matter-of-factly that she got her period, stunning everyone.

In the episode, Parents' Day, Emma protests about N.A.K. (News About Kids) and she writes an article about recruiting against it for The Grapevine. Sean thinks it's stupid, and during Parents' Day, she gets into a fight with his brother. He confirms her article as "Looks like garbage, smells like garbage" and crumples it up. Sean is a bit annoyed, as he does like Emma. The next day, the two call a truce.

Friday night season 1 degrassi emma and sean semma

Emma and Sean have an awkward first date

The year went by, and Sean and Emma had been friends for a while, but she still liked him more than just a friend. When he finally asks her to hang out, she doesn't know if it's just a "friend thing or a couple thing". After consulting with Paige, she eventually figures out it is a date, and when they finally go out, it turns out to be one disaster after another. The next day, Sean tells Emma that he had a great time and doesn't want to stop seeing her.

In the episode, Rumours and Reputations, Emma witnesses Coach Armstrong's arm around Liberty. Emma begins to suspect Armstrong is sleeping with Liberty when she sees Armstrong pass the girl a note outside of school. Emma tells Manny who is overheard by Terri, and rumor is spread through the school. Just after a student council meeting, Ashley lets Liberty know why everybody is talking behind her back. The next day, Liberty hears Emma and the gang talking about her and she runs into the bathroom. Emma promises her to track down the source and thus, finish the rumor. Emma tracks the sources down to Terri, who tells Emma she was the one who started it by talking to Manny. Emma, ashamed and embarrassed, tries to tell Liberty but math class has started. Everybody begins to laugh when Armstrong asks Liberty a question. Principal Raditch demands Armstrong and Liberty see him outside when Emma tells them it was she who started the rumor. Once again in the bathroom, a humiliated Liberty tells Emma she has a learning disability that Armstrong was helping her with, and is tired of Emma always trying to scope out an issue, when she should just stay out of people's business, and "go back to saving dolphins and whales, cause when it comes to helping you people, she sucks."


In Under Pressure, fearing he failed his midterms, Sean let his stress and anger get the better of him and got into a fight outside of the school with Jimmy Brooks. Emma followed him out to the alley, where both boys were about to fight. Emma begged Sean to stop it. Both Sean and Jimmy told her to leave. The boys began the fight, and Emma stepped between them. Sean told Emma to get out and accidentally pushed her to the ground, then after that Emma leaves. The next day Emma breaks up with Sean, leaving them both heart-broken.

In Jagged Little Pill, Sean attended Ashley Kerwin and Toby's disastrous party

Emma crying

Emma crying over Sean.

at the end of the year, but only because J.T. mentioned Emma would be there. Though he attempted to talk to her, Emma paid no attention. She ran out of Toby's bedroom, with Sean and Manny at her heels. As Sean repeats her name over and over, she told him that if she knew that he was coming, she would have stayed home. Ashley takes Sean into her room. When she finds him crying, she tells him how everyone expects her to be a good girl, and for him to be a bad boy. They kiss. Jimmy finds out and attempts to talk to Sean. When Sean walks outside, he finds Emma crying. Just as he is about to comfort her, she turns to Toby and hugs him, crying harder. Sean walks away sadly.

Emma becomes a feminist at Degrassi Community School. She berated the Spirit Squad as "sexist," and chided Manny for wanting to try out, though her real motive was that she hated the idea of Manny being more popular than her. Emma also started to favor the extreme group PETA.

Season 2

When Emma learned her mother and her teacher, Mr. Simpson, were dating, she was very annoyed and disgusted by the thought, which made things awkward between her and Snake at school.


Emma and Manny at the 80s dance in season 2.

At the time, Emma was crushing on a new grade 9 student named Craig Manning. In an attempt to get closer to him, she and Manny snuck into the '80s dance with Craig's help.

It turned out he was interested in Manny, instead of Emma. Crushed that Craig liked Manny, Emma went home upset and caught her mom and Snake kissing on the porch. Disgusted she ran inside and cried in her room. Spike went to talk to her and promised that even though she was dating Snake, Emma would always be her number one priority. Emma eventually learned to deal with her mother dating Snake. Eventually Snake would propose to Spike.

As the wedding came closer, trouble showed up when Spike found out she was pregnant. Spike knew Snake didn't want children right away and considered abortion. Emma was upset and tried to take control over things.


Emma and Sean share their first kiss at Snake and Spike's wedding.

Emma found out that Manny had invited Sean to the wedding, she told her not to invite him. When Emma thought she had ruined the wedding, she goes to the only person that she can trust. Sean tells her that no one will hate her, and he's right. The wedding does happen, and Sean shows up. When he arrived, Just Jane (a slow song) is playing, and he asks her to dance. Just like their first dance together in season 1. They then share their first ever kiss.

Emma continued her misguided use of protests for everything that isn't exactly how she likes it with a boycott of genetically modified food in the cafeteria, handing out fliers and information on why it was wrong. After being told by Mr. Raditch why she was wrong about the cafeteria, Emma decided to use the morning announcements for her own extremist agenda. Her ploy to "boycott the caf" backfired when she initiated the students to start a food fight. For causing the fight, Emma was suspended for a day. Instead of backing down, however, Emma continued her tirade, getting her suspended for a week.


Season 3

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Emma in season 3.

Emma was being mistaken for Snake's daughter at school. This launched her desire to meet her biological father. After asking Spike about him and getting nowhere, Emma decided to find him herself, using the Internet to find listings for Shane McKay (her father's name). The next day, she skipped school with Craig to search for him. After a series of missteps, Emma and Craig finally found him at a home for the mentally disabled. After falling (or jumping) off a bridge during the original Degrassi Junior High series, Shane landed on his head, causing permanent brain damage. His parents placed him in the home. After Emma and Shane's emotional reunion is cut short by a nurse, Emma gives him her address so he can write to her. Forced to call Joey for a ride home after missing the last train, Emma faces her frustrated mother. While Emma was angry at her mother for lying to her, she eventually came to see that Spike was just trying to protect her.

While Spike, nine months pregnant, was at home knitting a scarf for the baby, Shane unexpectedly arrived at the house. He pushed his way in and flew into a rage upon discovering that he wasn't a part of Spike and Emma's new family. Emma arrived home just as Shane was trashing the house and Spike went into labor. Emma calmed down Shane with an ultimatum ("If you hurt my mom, I'll never speak to you again") and then called Snake. Emma's half-brother, Jack, was born healthy and happy.

Manny's new look and personality put Emma off; she thought Manny was cheapening herself for popularity and told her as much. Manny was appalled that Emma would not support her the way Manny had always done for Emma. The two remained to be friends, however, until Emma walked in on Manny making out with Craig, who was dating Ashley Kerwin, on Emma's bed. The next day, as Manny tried to apologize, Emma wouldn't hear it which causes them to end their friendship for the time being.

Manny called Emma a "prude princess" and Emma retorted that at least she wasn't "the school slut". Manny and Emma would mostly remain distant at best, and frictious at worst, until late in Season 4.


Emma and Sean start out strong in season 3

Emma, dealing with the revelation that Snake had cancer and the pressures of having to watch the baby, had little time for Sean anymore. Feeling neglected, Sean began taking up with Jay Hogart, his girlfriend Alex Nuñez, and Towerz. Emma was less than pleased with Sean's affiliation with this group of thugs, but wrote it off long enough to make out with Sean in the ravine while they were supposed to be clearing it of trash. The romantic moment was cut short by fellow volunteer Kendra Mason, who quickly ran off after discovering the two. Emma, however, was embarrassed, and got back to work, leaving Sean annoyed. Afterward, Sean confronted Emma about being too uptight, upon which Emma called Sean "pathetic" for hanging with people like Jay. Sean got angry, and slammed her locker door shut, leaving Emma hurt. Trying to reconcile the relationship, Emma was shot down by Sean and gave up on their relationship for good. To add insult to injury, Sean helped his new friends steal Snake's brand new laptop so that Jay could get an intake for his car. This was, once again, not the last time Sean and Emma would date.

A new student named Chris Sharpe caught Emma's eye while she was rebounding from her relationship with Sean. She felt too nerdy to date him, but Manny helped sex up her image in {C {C}time for a rave that Chris was DJing at. Though they had a private romantic moment and even kissed, Emma wouldn't date Chris because he was still with his girlfriend. Emma did eventually date Chris, however, over the summer between freshman and sophomore years. On their first date, Emma almost ruined the relationship by getting back at Sean for dumping her. She knew about the stolen laptop, and followed him one day, hopping to bust him and Jay Hogart, along with his new gang. She followed him a few feet behind, and turned the corner. She almost jumped. Sean was blocking her way. He apologizes to her, but then tells her what he does is none of her business.

Snake's cancer took a toll on everyone in Emma's family. Once, while doing some work on the computers after school with J.T., Emma discovered Snake's will. Convinced Snake's chemotherapy had failed, Emma buckled under the irresistible stress. Alex, who had been tormenting Emma since her breakup with Sean, offended the younger student, causing the typically mild-mannered Emma to engage her tormentor in a violent catfight in the halls of Degrassi. Later, Emma discovers Snake's chemo had actually put his cancer in remission.

Season 4


Emma in season 4.

Emma and Chris broke up over the summer, but he was still talking to her. Liberty had shown an interest in Chris, which resulted in Emma finding out. She decided to prevent Chris from going on a date with Liberty, because she was too worried about what people would think of her if Chris went out with Liberty next. Liberty then eventually figured out what Emma was trying to pull, and told her, "It's easy for me, letting you go—straight to hell." However, it became apparent that Chris wasn't looking for a serious relationship with Liberty.

As Emma entered 10th grade, she became friends with Paige and her friends. When Rick Murray returned to Degrassi, she and Paige thought up ideas to make Rick's life hell and force him to leave Degrassi. After protesting for "Students Against Violence", Emma and Paige were able to make the school body despise Rick. In an attempt to buy forgiveness, Rick approached Emma with a check for $500 for the cause. This caused Emma to pity Rick, although she denied it in the public eye.


Emma stops Alex from punching Rick

To prove to her new friends that she wasn't softening towards Rick, Emma purposely tripped Rick at The Dot, causing him to spill coffee over himself. Rick then started to stand up to hit Emma and Jay, scared for Emma, jumped up from the table. Grabbing Rick by his shirt, he shoved him outside. Emma, Paige, Spinner, Jimmy and Hazel followed. "Let him go!" Emma shouted. Alex told her that she had started this, and Emma stopped her from getting the next hit on Rick.


Rick pointing his gun at Emma, while Sean and Toby stand in the way in horror.

After saving Rick from bullying, Emma, along with old friend Toby, became the only people who didn't bully him. Rick developed a crush on Emma, however, and she shot his advances down brutally. After being humiliated on live television Rick came to Degrassi with a gun. While he tried to shoot Emma for not accepting his crush on her, Sean stopped him and, in the struggle, Rick was shot and killed with his own gun.

Sean and Emma then started talking to each other again. In Back in Black Emma thanked Sean for saving her life and hugged him. In the same episode, a reporter asked Sean if he wanted to see an interview of his parents. He unwillingly agreed, taking his girlfriend, Ellie, with him. His mother was crying to the cameraman and saying how the recent events could have resulted in her never seeing him again. Emma had been talking to Jay, asking him where Sean was. As soon as Jay had pointed to a truck-like van, Sean threw a television from the back. He told Ellie that she was just acting for the cameras and that she didn't really mean all her emotions. Ellie and Jay tried to reason with him. He climbed into Jay's car and asked him, Ellie and Emma to come with him to Wasaga Beach so he could express himself to his parents. Sean arrived to his house and stood up to his parents, but eventually decided to stay with them to help himself cope after the stress of the shooting.

Degrassi Emma

Jay introduces Emma to the mysterious van in the ravine and tells her it's for hooking up.

In the aftermath of the shooting and Sean's departure, Emma became melancholy and isolated, appearing nearly emotionally unstable and distancing herself from everything in her life (it could be inferred she was suffering a small case of post-traumatic stress disorder).

Jay seemed to have taken a liking to Emma, even though he was still dating Alex. At the same time, the now-mischievous Emma discovered what Alex's best friend Amy's colorful bracelets meant. Girls "earned" bracelets for performing different sex acts down at the ravine. That same day, when Emma was walking home, Jay pulled the car in front of her, blocking her way. She had originally been listening to music with Sean's headphones; Jay gives her a ride home. Emma met Jay at the ravine to see what it was like.


Emma and Jay share a kiss

After seeing two couples getting out of a van, Jay and her went inside. Jay kissed her, and she pulled away. Jay told her the van was for "hooking up", and asked her if she knew what a blowjob was. Emma left, but Jay grabbed her by the arm, and gave her a blue bracelet, telling her that "every player wins a prize." After Amy and Alex made fun of Emma's hesitation to kiss her co-star in the school play, Emma flashed her blue bracelet, immediately shutting Amy up and leading Emma to think the bracelet was a form of "Amy Kryptonite". After leaving Amy confused about the bracelet, Jay told Emma that Amy "earned" her bracelets. Emma felt like a loser, so she performed oral sex on Jay and used the shooting as an excuse to keep her parents from reprimanding her when they'd found out she was sneaking out in the middle of the night. After successfully manipulating her mother and stepfather, she went to sleep with a smirk on her face as she proudly admired her new bracelets.

Alex came to the rehearsal after a doctor's appointment and punched Amy, saying she was going to get her and who else was sleeping with Jay for "your little bracelets." A scared Emma took off her bracelets before Alex could see them, but not before Manny saw them and realized what Emma had been doing. Emma soon found out she, Alex, and Amy had contracted gonorrhea and was humiliated when Manny found out and told Emma's co-star in the school play not to kiss her or risk getting the disease. Word spread. Emma had a girl's night with Manny and her new friends Darcy Edwards and Chantay Black to help herself get over it, and began an innocent flirtation with her new next door neighbor, Chester Hosoda. Chris was obviously was hurt by both Emma's racy and ill-lived relationship with Jay, and her contracting gonorrhea, but covered for it by making rude and sly comments in Media Immersions class during the student-teacher Matt Oleander's lecture.

She is briefly shown in Goin’ Down the Road Part 2 shooting the final scene for a movie, smiling (presumably happy she is able to put her disasterous school year behind her.)

Season 5


Emma in season 5.

At the beginning of season 5, Emma developed a crush on a new boy, Peter Stone. However, he seemed more attracted to Manny than Emma. At a party that he invited them to, Manny got drunk and flashed her breasts to Peter, who filmed them and later e-mailed the video to the entire school, after she rejected him. When Emma discovered this video, she knew who had taken it, and was furious at Manny for doing such a thing, and upset with Peter for taking advantage of Manny and humiliating her. After Manny's parents kicked her out, Emma took pity on her, and allowed her to move in with her.

Later, Peter began following Emma around, smooth-talking her. She initially refused his advances, because of what he did to Manny, but couldn't help but enjoy how he made her feel special. Confused about her feelings toward him, and unable to tell Manny what was wrong, she planned a revenge with Manny, that would involve her seducing Peter at a party, stripping him, and taking embarrassing photos of him with her camera phone. However, the plan backfired when they made out in his room, and she discovered he had no private space. She could relate to this, since she had to live in the basement and doesn't have private space either. They began dating in secret.

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Emma and her parents.

After the premiere of Kevin Smith's film Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!, Peter and Emma snuck into the empty theater to make out. In there, they discovered Snake and Ms. Hatzilakos making out. At home Emma confronts Snake, telling him that she didn't know if she would tell Spike or not.

The following day, after she arrived home from school, her mother became concerned that she was sick. When Snake arrived home, he had sold his motorcycle to buy tickets to Mexico. Spike was ecstatic, saying she didn't "deserve such a perfect husband." Emma angrily told them to stop it, and Snake was forced to confess. Spike and Snake went upstairs to argue, and Spike chewed Snake out for not considering Emma's feelings, and kicked him out of the house. Emma tried to convince him to stay, but he said he needed to stay at Joey's house for a while to figure out what had gone wrong.


Emma faints in the hallway

Ever since Snake left, Spike and Manny became more dependent on Emma to help around the house. After Manny begged Emma to help her lose weight so she could fit in her jeans again and so she could get an agent, Emma put both of them on a strict diet. They successfully restrained themselves for two days, then gorged themselves on vegetable moussaka after Emma invited Snake over in an unsuccessful attempt to reunite him with her mother. Emma was upset that they had undone all their dieting so quickly, and convinced herself and Manny to get rid of it by vomiting.

After a few days of strict dieting, Emma catches Manny in the hallway eating pizza. Emma tries to get Manny to purge it up in the bathroom, but Manny tells her that her she had reached her dieting goal and that one slice of pizza won't kill her. Manny ran out of the bathroom, while an exasperated Emma tried to follow, but since she hadn't eaten in days, she got weak and fainted.

Panic Attack

Manny holds Emma, as she has a starvation induced panic attack after not eating for days.

Later that night, Manny found Emma editing out photos of thin models from magazines. Manny, who got the agent, told Emma that she heard about what happened in the hall earlier, speaked her concerns about Emma's eating habits, and found out that she hadn't eaten anything for a few days. Emma was convinced that she looked "gross" and "disgusting". Emma promised that she would eat when Snake brought over dinner again. Emma ate the food happily, but snuck off during the meal to purge herself.

It had been weeks and Emma was still continuing these eating habits. Manny found Emma's food diary and said she was going to show it to Emma's mother. To stop Manny from revealing her secret, Emma told Manny about her relationship with Peter, and then blames the secret and her concern for Manny's feelings as the reason for her eating disorder. Manny discontinues her concern for Emma who responds with an equal amount of distaste for her former friend. The next day, Manny warns Peter about Emma's mysterious eating habits, right after they kissed in front of the front steps of Degrassi, going completely public with their relationship.


Emma had been seeing Peter more often before she told Manny about them, and that gave Peter the chance to notice Emma's strange behavior too. Peter tells Manny about his concerns and despite the animosity between Manny and Peter, the two team-up to tackle Emma's issue by informing Spike and Snake, who had since reconciled. When the four of them confront Emma with an intervention, she runs to the basement and suffers from a starvation-induced panic attack, leaving her unconscious. She awoke in the hospital and Spike told Emma she is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

Through the rest of the year, Emma got better and watched her eating habits very carefully with the support of Manny, Peter and her parents. She was seen during the season finale doing much better and healthier.

Season 6

Emma Peter Season 6

Emma and Peter in season 6.

On his 16th birthday, Peter's father gives him a brand new convertible. Peter and Emma go for a fun ride and stop at a gas station after few hours later. He tells her how he's the luckiest guy in the whole world, and leans in to kiss her. Their kiss is interrupted a few seconds later when someone calls Emma's name. She turns around to see that Sean, who has returned to finish his senior year, and is living with Jay. Emma introduces him to Peter, who is clearly uncomfortable with Sean around.

The next day, Manny, Spinner and Mr. Simpson are all excited to see Sean again. He is quickly taken back into Degrassi's family tree. After school, Manny upgrades Sean on everything that went on after the shooting and informs him about Emma's anorexia issue last year. Sean apologizes for all the trouble and then invites all three of them to the illegal street races. Peter and Emma accept, while Manny stays behind.


Emma in early season 6

At the race areas, Peter gets into a minor argument with Jay, and challenges him to a race. Unfortunately, the police show up during the race. Sean quickly grabs Emma and they take off in his car to escape the cops. They pull over to the side of a road and make out, finding old feelings for each other. She felt guilty and told Sean that Peter was her boyfriend now. Emma started to become distant from Peter after her kiss with Sean and explained that she need her own space at the moment. Peter assumed she was dumping him and thought that she was starting to have feelings for Sean again.

At school, drugs were found in Sean's locker. He accused Peter, but then Emma denied Peter's role in the crime. Jay talks him into getting revenge by street racing Peter in a battle for Emma. Sean was involved in a hit-and-run, which occurred during the race. He calls 911 but Jay explains that he will be charged for the incident and then tells him to drive away. Sean who is confused drives off and sneaks into Emma's house to ask her for help. Emma and her family are informed about the incident. She soon finds Sean hiding in her basement and tells him that she don't care about him anymore. As a result, Sean turned himself in to the cops.

Emma is later informed by Jay about Sean's troubles, and that he is going to court. Emma then sees Sean with a black eye and takes pity on him. She attempts to raise money for a proper lawyer for Sean's case by selling raffle tickets at the school's costume dance without permission, but she fails to raise enough and finds a public defender instead. After discovering that it was Peter who planted the drugs in Sean's locker, she breaks up with him.

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Emma and Sean finally make amends in their relationship.

Emma helps Sean get a lawyer, and he wins his case. In the episode, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," Emma is seen waiting by the jail's exit. Sean comes through, grabbing her in a tight hug. Emma gives Sean a picture of them from their first date in the episode, Friday Night, which was six years earlier. Sean tells her how he wished he could go back in time when she was proud of him. Emma to support Sean and lets him stay at her house until he gets his life back in order.

Over a romantic, candlelight dinner at The Dot, Emma continues to tell Sean that nobody’s perfect, not even herself. Sean becomes suspicious and suspects Emma then did something that she hasn’t told him about. He asks Jay what Emma was talking about, but Jay doesn’t tell him either. However, Sean eventually gets Jay to tell him what happened with Emma. He reveals that she gave him oral sex two years ago, in the ravine, back in the season 4 episode, Secret. Sean loses his temper and attempts to punch Jay only to wind up hurting his fist on the wall He then runs to Degrassi and confronts Emma. She tries to remind Sean that it happened over two years ago, right after she had Rick’s gun pointed at her face and claims that it was a hard time for her during that year. Furiously, Sean breaks up with her, quits his job and attempts to leave again, back to Wasaga Beach. At the airport, the picture of him and Emma from six years ago stops him. Sean knows that he has made a terrible mistake and goes back to fix things. He returns to Emma’s house and she tells him that she can’t be perfect and can’t be everything he expects all the time. Sean apologizes and he and Emma make up again.

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Emma in late season 6

In the episode, Rock This Town, Emma and Sean plan to make love for the first time while her parents are away for the weekend, but Manny, after recently breaking up with Craig, decides to throw a party that night to get over her break up. However, Emma gets drunk and ends up throwing up the whole night. The party ends up being a celebration for Liberty’s birthday. That night, J.T. is stabbed and killed by a Lakehurst student. Emma, Manny, Sean, Toby and Liberty mourn over the loss of their friend at the hospital and Degrassi holds a memorial service in honor of him.

In wake of J.T.'s death, Manny moves out of Emma's house and returns back home in the episode, If You Leave. Emma begins feeling lonely and gets angry at Manny, who she felt was acting as if J.T.'s murder never happened. At the Degrassi vs. Lakehurst cheerleading competition, a disturbed Emma, convinces the crowd to chant, "Go home Lakehurst". Manny yells at her in the hallway for ruining the event and they almost get into a fight with many other students. Emma is later confronted by Snake and admits that she's upset that J.T. is dead and angry because everyone is moving on. Snake points out that everyone is angry but that she cannot turn that anger towards Manny. Emma and Manny soon forgive each other.

Sean and Emma's relationship has been going perfect and they decided to take things to the next level, and have sex. However, trouble comes when Snake runs into Emma and Sean buying birth control at a drug store. Emma tells her step-father that she and her mother had the talk already, but Snake gets angry because he is not included in these types of discussions. Emma attempts to talk to her step-father, but he refuses to listen.

A few days later, Emma delivers a presentation in Snake's media class about women and sex, and how men, when confronted with sex, can't handle it at all. She mentioned that all guys have this ideal of women being perfect pure angels, but as soon as they did anything obscurely sexual, they were instantly called sluts or whores. After seeing her presentation, Snake tells her that he was just remembering how life was when she was young, and how hard it would be to let Emma go.

Soon, Emma suspects that she’s pregnant with Sean's child. When she learns that Sean had different plans after high school, to join the armed services, she becomes really angry. After he asks her what’s going on several times, she confesses to him that she thinks she might be pregnant. When she is about is take a pregnancy test, she gets her period, revealing that she is not pregnant. Sean leaves for basic training soon after.

Season 7

On their way to Degrassi, Emma tells Manny that she feels worried, because Sean has not written to her yet and she has not received a letter from the university she had applied to. When they arrive at school, they discover that the energy drink where Purple Dragon has tried to taken over Degrassi to sponsor the upcoming badminton tournament. Damian Hayes runs into them and tells Emma that Purple Dragon was recruiting Degrassi girls to be their spokesmodels.


Emma as a Purple Dragon spokesmodel.

Later that day, Liberty calls for a meeting to discuss the effects of Purple Dragon in the school politics and suggested boycotting the model’s recruiting. Upon hearing this, Emma says "If you want to change the face of Purple Dragon, be the face of Purple Dragon", implying to be one of the models. After becoming a model, Emma decided to thank Damian for giving her the idea by kissing him in public. This causes Natasha, the leader of the Purple Dragon girls, to ask her to not interact with the customers that way.

Later on, Bruce comes on to Emma, touching her shoulders and hair, implying that he wanted to feel her up, along with other things. Emma throws the drink she was offering on him, and yelled at him not to touch her. Natasha once again told her that she needed to work on her attitude if she wanted to remain as a model.


Manny uses a poster to cover naked Emma.

When she was changing her clothes at the end of the day, Emma was about to drink some Purple Dragon, but Natasha informed her of the high calorie count in the drink and claiming that Emma was wearing the largest size of dress as a way to watch her weight. During the end of the tournament, Emma criticizes Purple Dragon and, after Natasha tells her that she wasn’t able to talk like that while she was wearing the purple dress, she takes off her dress, leaving her standing naked in front of the entire audience. Later, Snake tells her that Ms. Hatzilakos had decided not to give her a suspension since she was proud of Emma for taking a stand, so she only had to have two detentions for violating the dress code.

During season 7, Emma also had to deal with Snake's false accusation of sexual harassment. In the episode, Live to Tell, she was furious at a very troubled Darcy for falsely accusing him and threatened to tell everyone about what a pathetic liar she was. Later, in the episode, Got My Mind Set On You, Emma was upset due to the accusations affected her at school, and she turned to Damian for guidance and they soon began a relationship, meaning that her and Sean were officially broken up.

Later, however, in Another Brick in the Wall, Emma seemed to have a change of heart on the whole situation. She really asked Darcy to help her to get Mr. Simpson to come back to school, and was very supportive of him. This was most apparent at the end of the episode when her mother leaves for a little while, and Emma chooses to stay with her stepfather because she felt he needed

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Emma and Sean's final moments together. Their new photo shows the grown maturity between the two since season one.


Snake finally returns to school for good in the episode, Everything She Wants. However, Sean also came back for a visit before being shipped off to Afghanistan for war. They did not get back together, but Sean did ask Emma for a new photo showing a possible spark between the two. Sean may have said that they have both moved on, but he will always love her in one way or another.

Near the end of the season, in the episode, If This Is It, Emma and Manny are both accepted into their respective programs of study at Smithdale University and submit the forms to room together in the dormitories. Their last step is to wait for their approaching graduation.

In the season finale episode, We Built This City, Emma finds out from Toby that Liberty was having an affair with her latest boyfriend Damian during their Senior Prom while everyone was in the pool. Liberty is left distraught after everyone finds out, and it wasn't until she delivered her valedictory speech that Emma, Manny, and Toby forgave her. Emma tells Liberty that she dumped Damian and that she was not ready to throw away six years of friendship together. After they received their diplomas, the four of them visit J.T.'s memorial, whereupon Toby places a graduation cap next to J.T.'s portrait and Liberty moves the tassel to the (wearer's) right to symbolically include their late classmate with their graduating class.

Season 8

Emma Season 8

Emma in season 8.

In the first season 8 episode, Uptown Girl (1), the girls arrive at Smithdale University. Liberty and Manny are unloading bags as Emma says goodbye to her mother and Snake. The three of them excitedly walk inside. However, Emma is fully shocked when she finds out that she and Manny are not rooming together, as she had planned.

Later, Manny is shown having a great time participating in Freshman Week games when Emma comes up to her to tell her that she fixed their problem. Manny first introduces her new roommate Gwen, but Emma ignores her. It gets awkward when she announces that she and Manny were now roommates again. When Liberty arrives, Emma lets her know that she and Manny are her new roommates, along with a girl named Kelly. Liberty and Manny are unenthusiastic about it as they were now having fun meeting new people. A guy walks in with his stuff and introduces himself as Kelly. Realizing that no one is happy, Emma says she will sort everything out. Kelly answers that the housing office explained that there were no more rooms available.

Later that day, Kelly absentmindedly walks in the room while Liberty is changing, and hides from embarrassment. Emma shows up with breakfast for everyone, but is left alone because they all had plans recently. Feeling lonely, Emma calls home when Kelly walks in awhile later. She tells him that she plans on going home until Frosh Week is over because it was too stressful for her to make friends so early. Kelly tells her he came from the Yukon with not knowing anyone, and grabs his water gun. He invites Emma along to the beach battle. At the water fight, Emma is shown to be having fun and gladly thanks Kelly for inviting her. Manny and Liberty come along and apologize for not wanting to room with her. Emma accepts their apology, and then mentions she has plans with a few people she met.

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Emma and Manny at Smithdale University.

In the episode, With or Without You, Manny and Emma both set there sights on their "single" roommate, Kelly. While in class, Manny and Emma notice Kelly's intelligence, and both consider asking him to be their partner for their own projects. When they ask him to be their project partners, he declines because he tells them he's with Liberty. Manny and Emma are left as partners, even though they're best friends and they already know everything about each other. While working on the project, they both realize that they have feelings for Kelly and decide to go for him. Manny complains that Emma always seems to like the same guys she does, but Emma thinks that they shouldn't do this again. After thinking it over, both girls decide not to go in that direction again.

However, without containing themselves, they dash to see who Kelly has feelings for out of the both of them, and when they open the sock cover handle to their room, they see Kelly in bed with Manny's former roommate Gwenyth. Kelly uncomfortably asks if they didn't see the sign of privacy, being sock on the door. Emma and Manny awkwardly leave and laugh together as they close the door. Later on, after finishing up their project, the girls confront Kelly in the kitchen and tried to say everything. He tells them that he is now dating Gwenyth, but decides to make a rule that he should also not date either of them because their roommates. Manny and Emma agree to this, and promise each other to stop questioning whom he likes. However, Emma eventually asks if he would date either of them. Kelly reveals that he may be interested in one of them, and then leaves for the library. Emma and Manny look at each other and ask themselves which one, but they then decide that they wouldn't go that far, and decide to drop it then and there.

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Emma at Smithdale.

In the two-part episode, Lost In Love, Emma feels that she and Kelly might be getting closer after he teaches her the chords of the berceuse My Bonnie. She becomes determined to go on a proper date with him after his break up with his girlfriend, Gwyneth. Kelly takes Emma to the movies and upon returning to the dormitory, nearly kissing, Gwyneth interrupts them, still upset about their breakup. Feeling sorry for Gwen, Kelly takes her out for coffee to talk. Emma assumes that Kelly and Gwyneth are going to reconnect and in disappointment, she goes home for the weekend. Manny tells Kelly why Emma went home and now feeling bad about her, he appears in front of her house playing and singing My Bonnie to make amends. Emma lets him in, and they talk over the disagreement and they make up.

In the episode, Touch of Grey, Emma reveals how annoyed she is of being referred to as Kelly's girlfriend by everyone at Smithdale. Determined to create a distinct university identity, Emma borrows some pot that was gifted to Kelly by one of his friends and successfully smokes it with Becca and Gwenyth. The girls think Emma is hilarious and give her the new nickname, Blaze. Emma is so happy to shed of her plain girl image with the girls and now wants to reveal it to everyone. She shares weed brownies with everyone at the annual


Kelly kisses Emma goodbye

Floor Olympics. Manny and Liberty feel something is going on and when they see Emma acting odd they begin to worry, about their college reputation, and hers. Liberty tries to confront her later, but Emma simply laughs it off saying that everyone had a great time and that she and Manny were just jealous.


Emma smoking weed with Becca and Gwenyth.

However, that night, Emma and Kelly awake to find an ambulance taking Becca away to the hospital. The next morning, Vickie reveals to Emma and the others that Becca was in a diabetic coma after forgetting her insulin due to ingesting Emma's drugged brownies.

Later that day, the campus cops raid everyone's rooms. Emma realizes that she had not yet got rid of the brownies, but by the time she calls Kelly to throw them away, the cops had already found them, putting Kelly and the girls all under suspicion. Emma ran back to her room only to find that Kelly had taken the responsibility and was kicked out of Residence Hall for the year. Emma felt bad since it was her fault, but Kelly forgave her and explained that she belongs with Manny and Liberty. After this episode Emma and Gwenyth become friends.

Emma Degrassi Goes Hollywood

Emma in Degrassi Goes Hollywood.

In Degrassi Goes Hollywood, Manny becomes depressed and all she wants to do is cry and mope around with Emma and Kelly. Worst of all she thought that her boyfriend Mick would be there for her and when he visits he just begins to insult her and tell her how she is a nonsense and a infamous actress. Manny starts to cry. Manny and Mick breakup. After, Emma tells her to stop moping around and to get to L.A. Manny, however, would not because Jay is driving the bus with the Stüdz. Emma brings Manny to the bus, and forces her to go with Jay and have fun. Emma is overjoyed when she hears about Manny's acting job and band performances.

Season 9


Emma at her BBQ

Emma returns to college after winter break for her second semester. She has grown closer to younger kids at Degrassi, like Holly J., Jane and Chantay, and has also become friendly with new boy Declan. Emma soon beigns to question if she can handle the workload of Smithdale, and her love life with Kelly begins to fail. Soon she finds out that real love is closer than you think.

In Holiday Road, Kelly and Emma stop at Degrassi to raise awareness for their Re-Cycle project. Emma and Kelly stay over the Simpson-Nelson residence and sleep on the couch together. Kelly is seen playing video games with Connor and Jack. Kelly is annoyed how he cannot do things he wants, it's always Emma's way. After a chat with Spinner, Kelly gives into temptation and eats meat. Emma is upset to find out that Kelly cheated on being a vegan.

Emma and Kelly have a fight, Kelly tells Emma that he feels like the Re-Cycle project is like work, not getting paid and he doesn't want to do it. Kelly decided that he had the final straw, he breaks up with Emma and his father finds him an engineering job for the summer. Emma tells him she never wants to see him again. At Degrassi where she has her presentation on the Re-Cycle project without Kelly, she is bombarded with questions about Smithdale.


Emma in season 9.

Emma gets annoyed and reveals that she is failing due to her skipping class to make friends. Snake is shocked. Emma decides she wants to drop out of college or at least take a year off. Emma is upset because everyone is moving on with their lives except for her; Manny goes back to Hollywood, Liberty joined a sorority. Spike and Snake try to calm her down. Emma talks to Spinner and asks if he ever regrets staying here when all of his friends moved on and he says he loves where he is. She says she envies him. Emma eventually decides to go on the Re-Cycle project for the summer, but university is on hold because she feels that Smithdale is not right for her.

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BFFs: Manny and Emma!

In Degrassi Takes Manhattan, school is out for Jane and Spinner is happy that it's going to be the summer of a life time. But, when he learns that Jane is going to be going to a college in California, he is stressed beyond belief, forget to mention that Emma comes at a bad time, and asks for a job at The Dot. Spin gives Emma the job and tells her no sandwich maker. After, he feels that Jane will only be here for the summer and he doesn't want to fight, so he goes to her graduate and makes her happy. The next day, he goes to Declan's pool party to surprise Jane, and ends up overhearing Jane and Holly J. talking about Jane's affair with Declan. When they get out, Spinner goes crazy and breaks it off with Jane, then punches Declan.

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Emma, apologizing to Spinner during the explosion at The Dot.

Back at The Dot, Manny is back in town with her boyfriend Jay. She first comes into scene by surprising her best friend Emma at The Dot, who has just got a new job there. Excited to be home from Hollywood, for a fun-filled summer with her best friend and her boyfriend, Manny is completely revved up with energy. Jay asks Emma for a Spin-wich, Spinner's famous self-entitled sandwich, Manny asks for one as well. Emma is nervous because Spinner told her not to use the sandwich griller until he got back. Putting matters into their own hands, Emma makes a sandwich for Manny and Jay, not noticing that the sandwich griller was sizzling. Moments later the fire alarm goes off and it begins to flame, everyone makes it out in time to see The Dot explode before their eyes. Spinner comes in time to see what is going on, depressed about breaking it off with Jane, and now even more so about The Dot burning down.

Later, Spinner goes to The Dot and tells his boss that it was his fault that The Dot burned down, just as Emma walks in. She talks to Spinner and says that he didn't have to take the blame. The next day Spinner and Emma spend some time together playing basketball.

The next few days pass, and Spinner is putting all of Jane's things into boxes, and is being depressed and mopey. Then, all of a sudden, Manny, Jay, and Emma break into his apartment, and pretty much kidnap him. He wants to know where he is going, but they insist that it's a surprise and they want him to cheer up. The guys take Spin to Niagara Falls, to gamble and have a fun time. Manny and Jay's intentions are to get their friends Emma and Spinner together, so they leave them to be at the casino tables. A few moments later, Jay is worried that they should go stay and hang with them, but Manny tells him that they should leave them to be. The next morning, Manny knocks on Spinner's door to wake him up to go get breakfast with everyone, and she notices that Spinner is half-naked, and Emma in a veil. Manny feels this is awkward, and she asks Emma if that's a veil she's wearing on her head. Then Jay walks in.


Spinner and Emma on their wedding day.

Spinner and Emma tell them that they woke up and to find a wedding picture, and to see a ring on her hand. Manny and Jay tell them to get dressed and come downstairs to see if they can get a refund on the ring and veil, and to see if they can get "divorced". They get dressed and they all go down to the casino again, and confront the crazy lady that married them. Manny is a little frightened of the lady clutching onto Jay, asks if they can get a refund. The lady tells them no, and then says that they got a good price, $2,000 for the ring, and over $500 for the dress, which was the money winnings Emma and Spinner won from playing.


Emma and Spinner in their final episode.

The day they get back, Manny and Jay go to Spinner's apartment for a few minutes, to ask him if they want them to get find them a divorce lawyer, but, Emma and Spinner continue to love each other, and bond, especially in a game of basketball. A day or two later, they're home and Emma has Manny over her house. She tells Manny that her and Spinner are actually in love, and that they want to get married. Manny tells her that if she's really sure about this she better talk to him one more time, she does so, and comes home upset, crying to Manny that he said, "if they ever get divorced" or something in that sense. Emma is upset, and Manny stays and helps cook dinner when Spike and Snake got home from camping. Spinner runs in moments later with a bouquet, and tells what's happening to Spike and Snake. Manny finds him cute, and that if Emma doesn't marry him then she will.

At Emma's wedding, Manny is prepping and getting ready, and she goes to say some words to Spinner, and sees Jane kissing him goodbye and thinks more of it. She then gets into an all out bitch fight with Jane, punching, scratching, and kicking her and Manny ends up on the floor. Spinner is surprised, and helps Manny up, he tells her that Jane is there to just say goodbye, and not to ruin the wedding. Manny is okay with that, and straightens herself up and asks if she looks good. She then leaves for the wedding ceremony. She watches Jay marry them, and she is happy to see her best friend, Emma get married. She is also surprised to see Liberty. At the after-party, Manny sings her song written for the wedding, "I Trust You".

Degrassi: Next Class

Season 2


Emma is impressed by Lola's drive

In #ThrowbackThursday, Emma walks up and greets Liberty asking what was going on and Liberty is shocked that Simpson didn't tell and Emma says it didn't come up during Sunday dinner with her, Spinner and her parents. Lola explains to her that this is a protest because her boyfriend Tiny was suspended unfairly. Emma says she loves Lola's passion and tells her and Shay about the time she went naked for a protest. When Lola asks did if it worked, Shay tells Lola it's not the same situation. Grace gives Emma a sign and she joins the protest and walks with Liberty catching up with her. Emma and Liberty were standing behind Tiny when police tries to stop them made a comment about Lola and Shay demanding and apology.


Season 13

In Barely Breathing, Margaret asks Archie how he would feel if people started spreading lies about [his daughter].

Season 14

In Firestarter (1), Snake tells Clare that Spike was pregnant with Emma while she was at junior high.

Next Class Season 2

In #ToMyFutureSelf, Spinner mentions to Maya Matlin that he and Emma are planning on buying a house.


Degrassi Junior High (Season 3)

Degrassi High (Season 1)

Degrassi High (Season 2)

Degrassi: the Next Generation
Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Degrassi: Next Class (Season 2)


Emma Nelson can be described as a tall girl with blonde hair and brown eyes.

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Emma's usual style in Season 1.

In Season 1, Emma dressed like a typical 12-year-old girl, with T-shirts, sweaters, jackets, jeans and normal sneakers.

Her hair was a dirty blonde and had a bobcut to it and if not, it was in pigtails and ponytails. Emma wore an filthy pair of jeans which featured dolphins leaping out of the water on the sides of her legs.

In Season 2, Emma's style didn't change much, but her hair color was noticeably lighter.

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Her style in Season 3.

In Season 3, her style in this season was the most underrated. She wore mostly green colors (maybe due to immoderate environmental origins) and her hair was much longer and usually straight. She also had braces on her teeth.

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Emma's change of style for her sophomore year.

In Season 4, Emma's style changed the most. Her hair was light honey blonde, and had bangs. Her hair was usual wavy or blunt straight. She wore skin-tight shirts that showed cleavage and mostly skirts and tights and skinny jeans alongside mostly Converses.

In Season 5, Emma's style has been changed from the somewhat 'provocative' style from last year. Her bangs are growed out and her hair was a bit lighter, usually in waves. He wardrobe was more casual.

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Emma's style for mostly Season 5 and 6

In Season 6, her style was mostly the same as last year and her hair was the same color. She wore more button-ups, that showed cleavage.

In Season 7, Emma returned for the rest of the semester, with her hair being much lighter, maybe a darkish platinum honey blonde and her bangs was usually swept and styled in waves. Her skin tanned and she wore mostly loose yet 'sexy' sweaters, skirts and boots.


Emma in Season 7.

In Season 8, Emma went to school with a darker hair color, still blonde, but just dark. Her style consisted of mostly shorts, form-fitting shirts and button-ups. By late Season 8, her hair was now light brown with honey blonde highlights.

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Emma in Season 8.

In Season 9, Emma was back to blonde hair and her style was mostly shorts, tank tops or dresses.


  • Emma: "Read it again, Manny." (First Line) - Mother and Child Reunion (1)
  • Emma: (To Lola) "Do you have some extra signs?" (Final Line) - #ThrowbackThursday
  • Emma: "When I gamble, I only bet on a sure thing." - (Deleted scene from The Rest of My Life)
  • Emma: "I REALLY hope you're Mr. Simpson." - Mother and Child Reunion (1)
  • Emma: "People in the '80s were weird!" - Mother and Child Reunion (1)
  • Emma: "Do you wanna dance?"
    Sean: "Yeah." - Eye of the Beholder
  • Emma: "Actually, I just got my period. For the first time. Menstruation, it happens to about, oh, 50% of the population. Perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed about, right Ms. Kwan?" - Coming of Age
  • Emma: "You were supposed to be a doctor, not a patient." - Father Figure (2)
  • Manny: "Emma, are you going to talk to me? I explained already, I thought you were coming home late."
    Emma: "Don't you feel bad for what you did, or feel for Ashley?"
    Manny: "If Craig really loves her, than why does he keep coming back to me?"
    Emma: "Coming back...? Manny, no."
    Manny: "You knew Chris had a girlfriend."
    Emma: "Which is why I came home."
    Manny: "I think you chickened out."
    Emma: "I made the right choice and it's something that you should think about."
    Manny: "You want me to make a choice? Fine, I choose to stop hanging out with you."
    Emma: "You don't want to be friends?"
    Manny: "Not with a stuck up, prude princess."
    Emma: "Good because I don't want to be friends with the school slut." - Against All Odds
  • Emma: (To Peter) "Hi. Welcome to Emma. I'm Degrassi."
    Peter: (Smiles) "Nice to meet you, Degrassi." - Venus (1)
  • Ms. Hatzilakos: "Morning, Emma."
    Emma: "Don't talk to me." - The Lexicon of Love (2)
  • (Emma to Spinner): "Get me a Double Dot Burger. With bacon." - Holiday Road
  • (Emma enters her house and finds Manny, Peter and her parents sitting in the living room.)
    Emma: "What's going on?"
    Spike: "Come sit down here, honey. Manny and Peter came over here because they're worried about you."
    Snake: "It's not just them. Your teachers told me that you're having trouble in school."
    Emma: "They're lying."
    Snake: "No, they're not, Emma. We want you to go talk to someone: a therapist about why you're not eating."
    Emma: (Irritated tone, raising voice) "I am eating. There is nothing wrong!"
    Peter: "You're hiding food."
    Manny: "You've got major psycho mood swings."
    Spike: "You're just not you, and we're worried."
    Emma: "And you guys are all so perfect? You take advantage of drunk girls (Peter), you are the drunk girl (Manny), and the last time I checked, you were making out with his mother (Snake.)"
    Snake: "Emma, you need to calm down."
    Emma: "No, I need to get out of here."
    Manny: "You can't go, Emma. We need to get you help."
    Emma: (Shouting) "You did this. You told them. This is all your fault, Manny." - Our Lips Are Sealed (2)
  • Peter: "It's just a little fun. What do you have against that?"
    Emma: "Nothing. I'm all about fun. In fact, if fun were people, I would be China."
    Sean: (Smiles) "Okay..." - Here Comes Your Man (1)
  • Emma: "Peter, did you break into Sean's locker and plant the pot, the same way you broke into mine."
    Peter: "Okay, Sean is a loser. He always has been and he always will be."
    Emma: "Answer the question."
    Peter: "Well, what do you want me to say."
    Emma: "The truth!"
    Peter: "Everything I did was to keep us together. Sean is scum and he deserved what happened to him."
    Emma: "When you see me in class, don't look at me. When you pass me in the hall, don't talk to me, because you and me are done!" - True Colours
  • Emma: "Where's my lucky bra, the one that gives me Manny boobs?" - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Snake: "Your mom and I just needs some time away, but thanks for staying with me."
    Emma: "I believe in you, Dad. Don't make me regret it." - Another Brick in the Wall
  • Emma: (To Becca and Gwenyth) "Hey. Do you wanna, like, blaze?" - Touch of Grey
  • Emma: "For the first time in my life, I agree with Jay Hogart." - Degrassi Goes Hollywood
  • Snake: "Be careful and call if you need anything."
    Emma: "I'll be fine on my own. I love you." - Holiday Road
  • Emma: (to Jay) "It's a toasted sandwich, not brain surgery!" - The Rest of My Life
  • Emma: (to Manny) "Did you know that yogurt has carbs?...'cause I didn't...know that." - Hey Ladies
  • Emma: "Chris and I broke up in July."
    Toby: "Sorry. Kendra and I broke up in August."
    Liberty: "Sorry. I believe I was abducted by aliens over Labor Day weekend...And Towerz and I broke up."
    Emma and Toby: "Sorry." - Ghost in the Machine (1)
  • Snake: "Emma! No hard drive means no server means no classes for the day. I need to handle this right now."
    Emma: "'Cause you obviously can't handle the fact that I'm a sexual being! And you can't keep avoiding it forever." - Love My Way
  • Mr. Simpson: "Your theme?"
    Emma: "Women and sex. More specifically it’s about how men have stifled women’s sexual expression throughout history."
    Manny: "Right on sister." - Love My Way
  • Manny: "Em, what's wrong with your eyes?"
    Emma: "I'm trying to kill Chris with my mind."
    Manny: "Oh. Goody. Then you can get Spinner, Jay, Craig, J.T., Nate and Sean." - Modern Love
  • Emma: "You think it's fun to laugh at the tub of lard? It's not! I know what's wrong, so you can stop pointing it out!" - Our Lips Are Sealed: Part 2


  • Counting Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes, Emma appeared in more episodes before their first absence than any other character. Emma appeared in Mother and Child Reunion (1) (101) to Drive (206) which is 21 consecutive episodes. The first episode in which she did not appear was Shout (1) (207).
  • Emma and Snake are to only characters to appear in the four main incarnations of Degrassi.
  • She appeared in 18 episodes of Season 7, more than any other character in that season.
  • Emma is considered the protagonist of the first 7 seasons.
  • Emma is the first character in Degrassi to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (after the shooting in Time Stands Still (2)).
  • Emma is the first character in Degrassi to speak to someone online that she met in person.
    • The others were Darcy, and Connor. All three's online friends turned out to be predators.
  • Emma and her best friends Manny and Liberty have all been nude in public.
    • Emma took her Purple Dragon dress off in front of a crowd.
    • Manny took her shirt off for Peter's video camera when intoxicated.
    • Liberty went streaking on the Smithdale campus after getting drunk.
  • Emma Nelson strongly resembles former characters Caitlin Ryan. She shares some similarities with former characters Clare Edwards and Maya Matlin and current character Frankie Hollingsworth.
    • Like Caitlin, Emma loved the environment. She looked up to Caitlin and considered her an idol.
    • Like Clare, Emma was the protagonist of the series and of her year.
    • Like Maya, Emma acted out following a traumatic event (Emma hooked up with Jay following the school shooting. Maya started partying and hooking up with Harry following Cam's suicide).
  • Emma and Manny have had more relationships than any other girl in Degrassi history.
  • Emma and Alli are the poker masters of the show, Emma being the "Yoda" of cards.
  • Emma's favorite song was "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield, as said in We Built This City.
  • Emma, Manny, and Liberty have all been romantically involved with Damian.
  • Emma and Manny have both been romantically involved in Spinner, Jay, and Damian.
  • Emma is one of several girls to reveal herself on camera or in public.
    • She took her dress off at a Purple Dragon meeting.
    • Manny took her shirt off in front of a camera, while Peter was filming her.
    • Darcy posted racy photos of herself online.
    • Liberty was streaking and the newspaper snapped photos.
    • Alli sent nude photos to her then-boyfriend Johnny DiMarco.
    • Bianca's racy photos were sent out to the entire school by Alli.
    • Clare took pictures of her breasts to put them on Asher's computer.
    • Zoë sent a topless picture to Zig. (In Season 14).
    • The Power Cheer team participated in the Degrassi Nudes scandal, where they sold topless photos of themselves through OomfChat to other students in Degrassi.
  • Emma is one of eight characters to have had an STI (she had gonorrhea). The other seven are Dwayne, Jay, Alex, Amy, Darcy, Griffin, and Johnny.
    • Dwayne contracted HIV from Penny.
    • Jay, Alex, and Amy all had gonorrhea.
    • Darcy contracted chlamydia from her rapist.
    • Griffin was born HIV positive.
    • Johnny had genital warts.
  • Emma is one of eight characters that have dealt with an eating disorder or negative body image (she had anorexia nervosa). The other six are Kathleen, Terri, Manny, Katie, Toby, Jenna, and Tristan.
    • Kathleen, Katie, Toby, Manny, and Tristan all suffered from eating disorders. Manny's was as a result of Emma's influence and control.
    • Terri and Jenna did not have eating disorders.
  • Although credited as a regular in Season 9, she only appeared in one episode and Degrassi Takes Manhattan.
  • Emma has been called by three different last names at some point throughout the series - Nelson, Simpson (though she didn't change her last name), and Mason (although after she married Spinner, she did not change her last name, as stated at the end of Degrassi Takes Manhattan.)
  • Emma, Manny and Spinner are the only teenage characters who remained regulars on the show until Season 9. That being said, Liberty left the series after Season 8, but came back to make a brief appearance at Emma's wedding.
  • Emma accidentally burned down The Dot after Manny and Jay asked for sandwiches.
  • Emma, Marco, Sean, Melanie, Anya, Lucy, Jess, Spike, and Clare are the only characters to have braces.
  • Emma enjoys knitting, as does her biological father, Shane McKay.
  • In a Degrassi mini, Emma reveals she is attracted to Toby, but she also thinks of him as a brother.
  • In Can't Live With 'Em, Spike reveals that Emma was classified as a 6 week premature baby.
  • Emma was one of six characters that was followed into their freshman year of college as a regular. The other five were Manny, Liberty, Paige, Ellie and Marco.
  • Emma was the first character that went through a pregnancy scare. The second was Anya, and the third was Alli.
  • Emma was vehemently pro-life in earlier seasons, seeing as her mother had the option to abort her, but chose not to. Her views may have changed, as when she had her pregnancy scare, she said abortion was one of her options.
  • Emma is one of sixteen characters who have been sexually assaulted.
  • Emma was the first character to be played by a different actor/actress. The second was Mr. Accette, the third was Shane and the fourth was Mrs. Matlin.
  • Emma was named after the Emmy award Degrassi Junior High won for the episode It's Late in which she was conceived.
  • She lost her virginity to Sean sometime during season 6.
  • Emma was the second out of four people to be caught with a form of sexual protection.
    • She was caught buying condoms and picking up birth control by Snake.
    • The first was J.T., who was caught with condoms in his locker by Spinner.
    • The third was Joey, who was buying condoms at the pharmacy when he was caught by Craig and Marco
    • The fourth was Dave, when condoms fell out of his bag and was picked up by Imogen
  • Emma is the first character to have a storyline about menstruation, and the only character to have a storyline about her menarche.
  • Emma is the second character to be fully nude at school. The first was Joey and the third was Eli.
    • Emma stripped off her dress in protest of Purple Dragon Energy Drink.
    • Joey walked naked through the Degrassi High cafeteria to raise money for a new car.
    • Eli started showering in the girls' locker room before running through the school nude..
  • Emma is the first child of teen parents to not be adopted or aborted. The second was Isabella and the third was Rocky.
  • Emma is one of the ten characters to appear as regular cast members after their graduation. The other nine are Manny, Liberty, Paige, Spinner, Marco, Ellie, Katie, Peter, and Eli.
  • Emma is the third character to set fire to a building, the others being Mrs. Nash, Paige, and Miles.
    • Emma set fire to the Dot.
    • Mrs. Nash passed out drunk while cooking, setting fire to her house.
    • Paige intentionally started a trash can fire in her dorm at Banting.
    • Miles was expelled from his former boarding school for arson, and later intentionally sets a banner on fire in the Degrassi hallway.
  • She is a graduate from Toronto University, having enrolled there after leaving Smithdale.
  • Emma is the second character to catch their parent having an affair. The other three are Caitlin, Jimmy, and Miles.
  • She had the first line in Degrassi: The Next Generation, which was "Read it again, Manny."
  • Along with Manny, J.T. and Toby, she is one of four characters to appear in all 15 episodes of Season 1.
  • In Tears Are Not Enough (2), she attended Albert Manning's funeral.
  • Along with Archie Simpson, Manny Santos, Spinner Mason, Liberty Van Zandt, Christine Nelson, Darryl Armstrong and Laura Kwan, she is one of only eight characters to appear in all of the first nine seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
  • Charlotte Arnold, who later played Holly J. Sinclair, auditioned for the role of Emma.
  • Emma was a fan of Brideshead Revisited.
  • Emma was not a fan of West Drive. In What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost? (1), she described it as "so issue of the week."
  • In Mother and Child Reunion (2), it was revealed that her email address is
  • In School's Out!, she attended Alexa Pappadopolos and Simon Dexter's wedding on October 19, 1992.
  • In the 2015 interview Straight Talk with Adamo Ruggiero, Shane Kippel admitted that Spinner's marriage to Emma was unrealistic, and that Spinner and Jane should have ended their tenures on the show, at the very least, with the potential to rekindle their relationship in the future, if not as a married couple.
  • Emma had a poster of Our Lady Peace in her bedroom implying she was a fan.
  • She and Manny enjoyed watching Grey's Anatomy.


Main article: Sean-Emma Relationship
Main article: Emma-Chris Relationship
Main article: Jay-Emma Friendship
  • Jay Hogart (Hook-Up)
    • Start Up: Secret (1) (414)
    • Break Up: Secret (2) (415)
      • Reason: Although it wasn't a real relationship, Jay gave her gonorrhea after they had oral sex.
Main article: Peter-Emma Relationship
Emma Peter Season 6
Main article: Damian-Emma Relationship
Emma and damien
Main article: Kelly-Emma Relationship
Main article: Spinner-Emma Relationship


Friendships Relationships Conflicts Attractions Love Triangles Siblings
Emma-Manny Friendship Sean-Emma Relationship Emma-Alex Conflict Craig-Emma Friendship Damian-Emma-Liberty Love Triangle Emma-Jack (Siblings)
Emma-Liberty Friendship Emma-Chris Relationship Emma-Paige Conflict Jay-Emma Friendship Craig-Manny-Emma Love Triangle Emma-Connor (God-Siblings)
Emma-Toby Friendship Peter-Emma Relationship Emma-Mick Conflict Emma-Sean-Peter Love Triangle
J.T.-Emma Friendship Damian-Emma Relationship Emma-Rick Conflict Emma-Manny-Peter Love Triangle
Craig-Emma Friendship Kelly-Emma Relationship Jay-Emma Conflict Spinner-Emma-Jane Love Triangle
Emma-Darcy Friendship Spinner-Emma Relationship Daphne-Emma Conflict Kelly-Emma-Manny Love Triangle
Jay-Emma Friendship Emma-Darcy Conflict Sean-Emma-Toby Love Triangle
Emma-Holly J. Friendship Sean-Emma-Jay Love Triangle
Emma-Chantay Friendship
Caitlin-Emma Friendship
v - e - d

Degrassi: The Next Generation Main Characters

AlexAlliAnyaAshleyBlueBruceCaitlinChantayClareConnorCraigDamianDannyDarcyDaveDeclanDerekEllieEmmaFionaHatzilakosHazelHolly J.J.T.JaneJayJennaJimmyJoeyJohnnyK.C.KellyLeiaLibertyMannyMarcoMiaPaigePeterRaditchRileySavSeanSnakeSpikeSpinnerTerriToby