"We'll ask the crowd at the assembly tomorrow and see what they say; would you rather vote for the freak, or the queer. By the way, I'm the freak."
Alex threatens Marco's campaign

King of Pain is the third episode of Season 4 of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. It originally aired on September 21, 2004 on CTV Television and on October 8, 2004 on The N. The episode was written by story editors Shelley Scarrow and Sean Reycraft and directed by Stefan Scaini. It shares its title with the song by Sting and The Police.


Marco runs for Student Council President, but he could lose more than just the presidency when he finds out who his opponent is: Alex. Meanwhile, Emma becomes jealous as Liberty gets closer to Chris.

Main Plot

Marco reveals his sexuality to his mom but doesn't tell his homophobic father, as he isn't ready yet, but when he decides to run for School Council President, his opponent (Alex) decides to play dirty politics by threatening to reveal his homosexuality at the Election assembly, which his dad is going to attend.

Many of Marco's friends, including Paige, Craig, Spinner and Hazel, are shocked when they learned that Alex is going to run.

Once the day of the big debate comes, Alex reveals her campaign as her being a "freak," but even though she threatened Marco about his sexuality, she decides to keep it a secret, deciding at the last minute that it is wrong to use homophobia as a winning tactic.

However, Marco ends up winning the presidential position and in a move of forgiveness, he happily makes Alex his vice-president.

This makes Ellie (who's already friends with Marco) become friends with Alex quickly.

Sub Plot

Liberty has a crush on Chris. Emma finds out about Liberty's crush, and tries to prevent Liberty from going with Chris anywhere.

Although Manny is originally all for helping her best friend, she decides against it when Emma tells her that the reason she is embarrassed is that she would never want people to know that Chris dumped her only to go out with Liberty, referring to her friend as a geek, much to Manny's horror and tells Liberty about it thus ending her friendship with Emma.

  • This episode is named after the song "King of Pain" by Sting and The Police.
  • Marco officially came out to his mom in this episode.
  • Marco got 321 votes, while Alex got 209.
  • Shannon Kook-Chun who portrays Zane Park was an extra in this episode (source)
  • This episode marks the end of Marco and Dylan's first relationship.
  • This episode marks the start of Marco and Dylan's second relationship.
  • The original title for this episode was "Don't You Want Me?".

  • Alex (To Marco): "We'll ask the crowd at the assembly tomorrow. Who would they rather vote for: the freak or the queer? By the way, I'm the freak."
  • Paige: "Ice patches, bottomless pits, dog crap and Alex; pedestrian hazards to avoid."
    Alex: "Nice shirt, hate to bloody it."
    Paige: "Nice attitude, hate to deflate it by reminding you that you're a loser."
  • Emma: "I'm just having a hard time letting Chris go."
    Liberty: "Well, I won't have a hard time letting you go... Straight to hell."
  • Liberty (To Emma): "You're dead to me."
  • Marco: "Take this picture and make your dormmates jealous."
    Dylan: "They're straight."
    Marco: "Then make them uncomfortable!"
  • Manny: "When Liberty sees an opportunity. She goes for it. She's like a rabid wolverine."
  • Marco: "Hey, I get to pick my vice president."
    Alex: "And I get to pick my nose."

  • "Sore" by Buck 65