"Manny, sweetie, you are so gonna be the star of the show. After me, of course."

Wannabe is the twelfth episode of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Main Plot

Paige starts a Spirit Squad at school, which Manny wants to join and become a cheerleader. Emma, who is against cheerleading, publishes a critique about it in the school newspaper. However, Emma's intentions were also due to the fact that she was furious that Manny chose to hang out with Paige. Manny soon starts hanging out with the in crowd, but Emma tries to warn her that Paige is using her. Manny believes that Emma is just jealous that she had made new friends, but eventually realizes that Emma was right about Paige. However, Emma also apologizes for trying to stop Manny from doing something she enjoyed.

Sub Plot

Meanwhile, Spinner, Liberty, J.T. and Toby team up in hopes of winning a million dollar prize offered through a Pringles chip can contest. The point is to find an ace of spades and an ace of clubs at the bottom of any Pringles can. The contestant will win upon finding each symbol in a can. While Toby and J.T. already have the spades, they don't have the clubs. However, when J.T. finds the ace of clubs, he forgets where he put the ace of spades, putting the whole group in horror and suspense. Later after they find the ace of spades they then realize it really the ace clubs and they have two of the same pringles cans.

Extended Overview

Paige is finally accomplishing her goal of starting a Degrassi Spirit Squad. Liberty is interviewing her, Hazel and Oscar about their idea on starting it. The three say it's good exercise, builds leadership skills and boosts school spirit. Liberty thanks them and leaves. Just then, Manny walks up to Paige and says that she would like to try out. Paige asks what she can do. Manny proudly runs to the end of the hall and does a great cartwheel. Impressed, Paige and Hazel ask an excited Manny to put her name on the sign up sheet.

When Paige makes a video announcement later that day, Emma watches disgusted and tries to tell Manny that cheerleading is over and not important to the current century. Manny says that cheerleading is huge and more popular than ever. Emma doesn't give up and says that it is sexist and wrong. She then turns to Manny with a surprised look and asks if she's really thinking of becoming a pom-pom pumping robot. Confused and unsure of what to do, Manny tells Emma she's right and asks to talk about something else.

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J.T. and Toby enter a Pringles can contest and try to win the million dollar prize money.

In another part of the school, J.T. and Toby are stuffing their faces with Pringles chips. Mr. Raditch walks by and then asks what they are doing. The two boys tell him that nothings going on, then quickly turn around and continue eating their chips. In the cafeteria, Spinner watches the two as they walk in with a bunch of Pringles cans. They spot Liberty and ask for her chip can. She asks what's going on and the guys reveal that their trying to win a contest. The point is to find an ace of spades and an ace of clubs at the bottom of any Pringles can. The winner will get a million bucks upon finding one of each symbol. Toby says that they have already found the ace of spades, but have it hidden in a secret place. They still need the ace of clubs and the deadline is in three days. They ask Liberty for her can again. She hands it to them and Toby looks inside while J.T. takes the chips out. Toby then covers the can with wide eyes and says that the can says try again. Liberty takes the chip can from J.T. and looks inside. She smiles and sees the ace of clubs at the bottom. J.T. and Toby follow her as she starts to walk away and ask to make a deal.

Meanwhile, Emma and Manny walk by Paige in another part of the cafeteria. Paige asks to see her awesome cartwheel again. Manny looks at Emma nervously and doesn't move, but Paige tells her that if she wants to be on the Spirit Squad, she can't be shy. Manny smiles and puts her tray down, then does her cartwheel. Impressed, Paige admits that she is getting jealous. In the girls washroom, Manny happily remarks that Paige and Hazel are the coolest kids in school and that it was a pretty big deal that they were talking to her. Emma points out that the big deal was that nobody in the school was noticing the bad side of cheerleading. Manny tries to tell Emma that not everyone feels that same way she does. Upset, Emma says that she wants to grab everyones attention somehow.

In the library, J.T. and Toby are trying to get Liberty to give up her chip can. They offer a 50/50 split in the prize money. Spinner comes out from behind a bookshelf and correct their deal from 50/50 to 45/45. Spinner threatens the three of them to give him 10% of their cuts in return for him giving them protection. Toby stares at him confused and says that no one knows about their deal except for J.T. and Liberty. He finally catches on when he sees Spinner walking closer to him with crossed arms. Later on, J.T. promises to bring the ace of clubs tomorrow and Spinner says that he will keep the ace of spades can with him for protection.

After school, Paige and Hazel run into a worried looking Manny outside and ask her what's wrong. Manny says that Emma is taking her whole sexist cheerleading thing a little too far. Paige asks how far and Manny nervously says that she might write an article for the school newspaper. Paige sighs and says that Manny need some time to hang out with her and Hazel. Manny excitedly says that they could hang out at her house for a while. At Manny's house, Hazel and Paige are looking through her closet to get new wardrobe ideas for Spirit Squad uniforms. Suddenly, the phone rings and Manny tells Paige and Hazel to keep quiet when she saw that Emma was calling. Paige tells Manny to make sure that Emma wasn't going to write her article for the newspaper. Manny answers the phone to have Emma asking if she was coming over to study. Manny makes up an excuse and says that she doesn't feel well. She then asks Emma if she was still going to write her article. Emma assures her that she is not going to. Paige then mocks Emma's idea on the idea of stopping the Spirit Squad. Emma listens closely and asks Manny why she can hear Paige talking. Embarrassed and feeling a bit guilty, Manny says that Paige will be leaving shortly and then she can come over to her house. Angered by Manny hanging out with Paige, Emma hangs up.

Manny Cheerleader 112

Manny has fun during Spirit Squad practice while Emma watches disapprovingly from outside.

The next day, the Spirit Squad enters the gym to start practice. Hazel says that they are going to start practicing a new move and shows them the toe touch. She lifts her leg up as her foot goes high up in the air. Paige says that Hazel's was good, but Manny could probably do it much better. She asks her to try it and Manny does a perfect toe touch, followed by a split and then happily waves her pom-poms over her head. Paige comments that Manny is going to be the star of the show. Meanwhile, Emma is watching from the hallway window with a frown and then stomps away in anger. She decided that it was time for her to write an article.

Emma rushes off and finds Liberty in the school news editors office. She asks her to publish a new article for The Grapevine. Liberty takes it and reads Emma's top headline, "How can we advance as women if some of us insist on wearing short skirts and dancing like bimbos?" Liberty says that it sounds rather harsh, but Emma suggests that she could make it way worse. Liberty reminds Emma that Manny signed up to be on the Spirit Squad and that it seemed a bit much to be attacking it. Emma tells Liberty that Manny is one who is acting like a phony person and just joining the Spirit Squad for popularity and attention.

In the hallway, Emma runs into Paige, Hazel and Manny. Emma glares at them and hands Manny her sample copy of The Grapevine. Paige reads the first line, "The Spirit Squad’s only spirit is the spirit of sexism", and asks Manny if she can believe what Emma wrote about her. Manny gives Emma an angry look, then crumples the paper and throws it on the ground. Emma picks it up and watches Manny as she angrily walks off to the washrooms.

In the girls bathroom, Emma enters and throws her sample article in the garbage. Manny says that she is shocked that Emma would write that about her and then tells her to get Liberty to cancel it from the school newspaper. Emma reminds Manny that they have been friends since kindergarten and asks how she could ditch her just because an eighth grader is finally talking to her. Manny says that it is not like that and all she wants to do is become a cheerleader. Emma gives her a disgusted look. Manny then asks why it would be so bad if she became friends with Paige in the process. Emma is shocked and says that she can't believe that Manny actually thinks Paige is her friend. Manny then asks how is it hard to believe that someone cool likes her for once. Emma tries to warn Manny that Paige is just using her, but Manny yells back that Emma is just jealous. Manny then says that the difference between Paige and Emma is that Paige is fun, while Emma is too boring. Emma turns around with a sad look and says that Manny better not come crying to her when Paige stabs her in the back.

Meanwhile, in media immersion, Toby gives away some electronic equipment to a girl, while Liberty walks around with brand new boots. J.T. asks why Toby gave all his stuff away. He reveals that he's upgrading his whole electronic system with the new million dollar prize that they will be winning soon. J.T. informs him that he may want to take it easy for a while. Toby's eyes widen and he asks if J.T. has the ace of spades can. J.T. says that he has just temporarily misplaced it, but knows it's somewhere in his room. Toby grabs J.T. and asks how he could lose their chance of a million dollars.

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Paige and Hazel sneak away the school newspapers to tear out Emma's article about the Spirit Squad being sexist.

Back in the hall, Manny spots Paige and Hazel sneaking two stacks of school newspapers into the gym. She follows them inside and asks what they are doing. Paige says that they are simply making some editorial changes. Manny realizes that Paige and Hazel are tearing out Emma's article from the school papers. Hazel says that Emma's article is really going to hurt their chances of starting the squad. She then looks at Manny's expression and asks if she still wants there to be a Spirit Squad. Manny says yes and then Paige hands her an article to tear for proof. Manny hesitantly takes the paper and quickly tears out the page.

Meanwhile, Toby's mind is going crazy over the fact that J.T. can't find the ace of spades can. Spinner and Liberty come along and tell him that he better find it. Liberty says that her dad can sue him. Spinner warns J.T. that if he doesn't find the can, he will stuff him in his locker. J.T. suddenly remembers that the can is in his locker. They four search through J.T.'s locker and throw everything from inside on the floor. J.T. finds it and hands it to Spinner, cheering for joy. Spinner looks inside, then groans and calls J.T. a moron. He shows them the inside to reveal that both cans hold the ace of clubs. Angry and frustrated, Spinner walks away and calls J.T. a loser. Toby and Liberty then finish the situation by stuffing J.T. in his locker and locking it shut.

In the media immersion room, Paige, Manny and Oscar are looking at uniform designs until Mr. Simpson and Emma walk in with the torn school articles. He asks if anyone knew about the papers. Paige innocently said that she had nothing to do with it. Mr. Simpson explains that vandalism could result in suspension. Manny stands up and tries to confess, but Paige butts in and says that she may know who did it. She claims that she saw Hazel with the articles and acting sneaky. Mr. Simpson nods and says if issues like this continue, Degrassi's extracurricular activities will be stopped.

Later in the hall, Paige approaches Manny and informs her that two more people just signed up for the Spirit Squad. Manny ignores her and asks why she backstabbed Hazel. Paige says that she had to give up somebody and that she was simply looking out for the squad. Manny says that she does not want to be involved in Paige's dirty work. Paige reminds Manny that she was there during the time when they were tearing the papers. Manny angrily says that she only tore one sheet out. Paige says that she will tell Mr. Simpson that Manny did them all if she does not shut up soon. Manny starts walking away and says that she will ask who he believes. Paige furiously asks what is her problem and says to watch her mouth. Manny glares at Paige and asks in a bold way, what she is going to do to her. Paige doesn't answer and instead stomps off saying that Manny's attitude sucks and good luck making the squad now. Emma watches Manny from behind the hallway door and walks off with a smile.

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Emma and Manny apologize and make amends with each other.

Later that day, Emma walks over to Manny's house and finds her out on the front steps. She asks if she could sit down next to her and Manny says yes softly. Emma sits down and then apologizes for how she's been acting. Manny assures her that it was okay, but Emma admits that she should have encouraged her to be a cheerleader, and not attacked her. Manny says that she does not have to be sorry since the Spirit Squad was full of a bunch of phony pom-pom girls. Emma still insists her apology. Manny confesses that all she wants to do is be a cheerleader and have fun, but it became too complicated. Emma then asks if she was still going to join the Spirit Squad. Manny says that after what she said to Paige, there was no way she would even be allowed back. Emma tells her that Paige is mean, not dumb and that she would be really stupid to cut Manny from the squad. She then compliments her on how cool it was when she stood up for herself that day. Manny smiles back at Emma, showing that the two had finally reconciled.

  • This episode shares its title with the song "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls.
  • The tentative title for the episode was "Friends 4Ever".
  • The official Degrassi YouTube channel has this episode listed as Wannabe (aka Friends 4Ever).
  • The character featured in the final freeze frame for this episode was Manny (for the first time).
  • The scene where Manny is waving her pom-poms during Spirit Squad practice is one of the clips used in Cassie Steele's video montage in the season 6-7 opening credits.
  • This episode marks the first time that Hazel's name is actually revealed on-screen.
  • Hazel and Paige tell Manny that they need twelve cheerleaders and they currently only have eight. However, during their practice, there were only six people.
  • In the scene where Emma walks out of the bathroom, there is a poster blurred out on the background wall. This only appears in the United States.
  • In the United States, The N edited out the scene where Paige says, "FYI, your attitude sucks" and simply cut to the part where she says, "Good luck making the squad."
  • This episode marks the start of the Degrassi Spirit Squad, later known as the Power Squad.
  • This episode marks the beginning of Paige and Manny's long running conflict.

  • (J.T. and Toby are stuffing their faces with Pringles chips)
    J.T: "I can’t taste them anymore. I can’t taste anything anymore."
    Toby: "It’s just the sodium. Keep going, faster."
    (Mr. Raditch comes walking up the stairs and sees them)
    Mr. Raditch: "What exactly are you two doing?"
    J.T. and Toby: (Muffled voices) "Nothing."
  • Paige: "Oh, look. It's Little Miss Save The World."
    Emma: "Oh, and it's Little Miss Plastic. Shouldn't you be out testing your makeup on animals?"
    Paige: "Shouldn't you be out hugging trees?"
  • J.T: "It’s in a plastic bag." (Grabs a blue bag) "There it is. Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs, we’re rich."
    Spinner: (Looks at the cans) "You moron! They’re both clubs!"
    J.T: "Oh no! Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs, they’re so similar."
    Spinner: "I knew it was a mistake, by hooking up with a bunch of loser grade sevens." (Walks away)
    J.T: "Guys, come on." (Liberty and Toby stuff J.T. in his locker and close it) "Help! Help!"
  • Paige: "Manny, what is your damage?"
    Manny: "You, Paige!"
    Paige: "You better watch your mouth."
    Manny: "Or you'll what? Spread lies about me? Deface my locker? Just try it."
    Paige: "FYI, your attitude sucks. Good luck making the squad!"
  • Emma: "Um, what are those."
    Liberty: Aren't they the most beautiful boots ever?"
    Emma: They are... they're something."

  • "Wild Side" by Sarah Saint