"What can I do for you? I'm Shane McKay."
Shane McKay, now mentally disabled, reveals his identity to his biological daughter

Father Figure (1) is part one of the first episode of Season 3 of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. It originally aired on September 17, 2003 on CTV Television and on October 3, 2003 on The N. The episode was directed by Bruce McDonald and shares its title with the song by George Michael.


Emma is mad that people keep assuming she is Snake's daughter, so she decides to ditch school with Craig and find her real father, Shane McKay. When she does ultimately find him, she is not prepared for what she sees. Spike goes into labor when Shane makes a trip to the Nelson household.

Main Plot

Spike is planning on doing a home-birth, and has been drilling Emma and Snake all summer to prepare them.

On the first day of school, Emma is mistakenly called 'Emma Simpson' by Ms. Hatzilakos in roll call, and Emma makes a slight protest. Later that day, she is seen looking at an old School Yearbook from the '80's, and is seen staring at her dad Shane McKayAshley asks who it is; Emma declines to answer and tells her to drop the question. Craig says they might as well ask Mr. Simpson then and Emma finally caves in and tells them, saying; He got her mom pregnant and then left. Ashley is surprised to find out that that is Emma's father. Emma tells them that she's only met him once, when she was 3 years-old, and that he was a doctor. She tells them she likes to look at his picture sometimes, to wonder what he may have been like.

Emma comes home that day to see Snake still painting her old room, while singing a song. She asks him if he changed her last name at school, because Ms. Hatzilakos called her by the wrong name. Snake gladly declines, and that the new Secretary knows she is his daughter. Emma denies his remark, and saying she's not his daughter and says that she only has one dad; Shane. Spike scoffs, and asks if she is literally talking about Shane, which seems to tick Snake off somewhat. Spike tells Emma that he hasn't been in her life for ten years. Emma corrects her, by saying eleven, which doesn't help. Spike questions where all this is coming from. Emma asks where he is, and Spike angrily denies and Emma gets upset and leaves. Snake tells Spike that one day she's going to have to tell Emma the truth about her father. 

At the baby shower, we see Spike's old friends, The Farrell Twins, and Liz O'RourkeCaitlin meets Joey's new girlfriend Sydney and talks about her and Joey's crazy love ride, not even knowing Sydney is Joey's new girlfriend. Emma than approaches Caitlin at the baby shower, and asks her what she know's about her father. Caitlin tells her that's a question she should really ask her mom. Emma says she already did, with no luck. Caitlin declines and pleads to not tell Emma anything about Shane.

That night, Emma can't seem to sleep. So she gets out of her bed and goes upstairs to the living room to search for her father on the internet. She finally finds him after a few unsuccessful tries. 

The next day, she runs to Sean with joy and excitement about how she found her father and wants to meet him now, meaning she wants to ditch. But Sean happily declines by saying he has class and doesn't want to skip. Emma is surprised the bad-boy doesn't want to skip a class to get to meet her own father with her.

Emma runs to Craig for help to go look for her father. She tells him she thought he'd understand with his life the previous year. Craig agrees with joy and they ditch to go looking for him.

Emma and Craig come upon Shane's address, but when they get there, he turns out to be an actual doctor who is African-American, and Emma is upset to find out it wasn't him.

Later that day when Emma and Craig return, Craig is trying to look for more stuff about Shane so they can find him this time. Emma tells him about Snake's Alumni Committee book with everyone he's ever known address. She looks in there, and finds Shane's address, but is shocked that it is all the way in Stouffvile.

Emma and Craig jump on a train all the way to Stouffvile. They arrive at the address, and see that it's an Assisted Living Home Building. Craig finds Shane's room number, and tells Emma to sneak up to his room. She does so, and finds him in his room.

Emma stumbles upon Shane's room, and sees that he is Developmentally Disabled. She doesn't know if it's him, and says she's looking for Shane McKay. He replies that he is Shane McKay.

Sub Plot

Spinner is having a hard time finding the "perfect" gift for Paige. Knowing Paige is unhappy with her current locker location, he tries getting Jimmy to give him his locker. Spinner thinks this will be the "perfect" gift for their four month anniversary.

  • Paige (to Spinner): "This is it, start of grade 10; a whole new year. I'm just so happy I have you to share it with."
    Spinner: "Me too, honeybee."
    Ellie: "Honeybee? Did he just say honeybee?"
    Craig: "Yeah, I bet you guys have pet names too."
  • Caitlin: "Having a good time?"
    Emma: "Yeah. Great. Amazing."
    Caitlin: "Uh, this is Caitlin you're talking to, so for real."
  • Emma: "It's an old yearbook. From the 80's."
    Craig (Looking at the yearbook): "Oh my God, it's Joey! With hair!"
  • Paige: "Fail English, no biggie. Fail gym, then we need to talk."
  • Ms. Kwan: "I'll see you in class, Gavin. Grade 9 English, that is."
    Spinner: "Go ahead and laugh. Laugh at the big dummy."
    Paige: "No one was laughing, hon."
    Jimmy: "Uh, I was."
  • Shane (to Emma as he shows her a picture of herself when she was young): "This is my daughter, Emma, but she doesn't love me."
    Emma: "Why do you say that?"
    Shane: "She never visits me."
    Emma: "Maybe because she couldn't find you, until now. I'm Emma!"

  • "Chameleon" by Wanda Bell
  • "Hard Road" by Sam Roberts
  • "Love 101" by Meeka
  • "(You're A) Strange Animal" by Gowan