Degrassi: The Next Generation

Season 1 Episode 15

Jagged Little Pill

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2002 on Much Music
out of 10
User Rating
137 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


It's the end of the school year and Ashley and Toby's parents are away for the night. They both break the "only one friend each" rule, and soon there is a party. J.T. brings ecstasy to the party and Sean switches it with an aspirin, leaving the real thing with Ashley. Tired of her goody-two-shoes image, she decides to take it, leading to disastrous results. Toby and J.T. believe they have taken the real thing and start tripping out. Sean tries to talk to Emma, but winds up hurting her even more.


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  • FINALLY the new Degrassi show starts to find it's identity and address real issues in a way reminiscent of the brilliance of the original Degrassi series

    I didn't grow up on Degrassi like many Canadian thirtysomethings these days did, but I can relate completely to everything about the original Degrassi Junior High TV show, the follow up show Degrassi High, or the TV movie finale School's Out. So much so that I watched the entire franchise in less than a week and was simply blown away by how similar it was to my own experiences growing up (something I'm still in the process of doing). Wanting more of that, I obviously went ahead and gave the Next Generation series a try, but more often than not in that first season I found myself thinking "This just doesn't have the same...spirit as the original series did". It didn't feel real and authentic. Until I saw this episode, that is. This episode could practically have been ripped out of one of my junior high diaries, as I too had some of my very first drug interactions with ecstasy and that seriously changed me from there on out like that experience changes Ashley in this episode and like it has to many other young people when they go out there, try drugs, make their first mistakes, and really start to actually learn about responsibility and what "being an adult" is all about. This episode, much like the second episode in season one of the original Degrassi Junior High where the character Stephanie (who is very similar to the Ashley character here) ends up drinking some alcohol from her friends parent's liquor cabinet before the big dance and how she screws up one of her friendships because of how she acts when she's drunk with Voila. It's the same situation here really, where Ashley winds up feeling the heart-ache of her first real break up while also hurting all of her friends feelings with the callous things she says about them. This right here is where this show finally found it's footing and started to deal with some real issues where there wasn't a happy ending when the show was over. That realism has always and will always be the main appeal of the Degrassi franchise, and I was thrilled to finally see the reboot come into it's own in this episode here. It's just a shame it took them so long and so many mediocre episodes before they could get here. This is one of the few season one episodes of TNG that I can honestly say have that same "spirit" as the original Degrassi franchise did, and that's what makes it so damned good.moreless
  • End of the School Year bad things are destined to happen

    Its the end of the school year and I have to say this episode pretty much centers around Ashley. Now I saw season 2 before I saw season 1 so I knew what was gonna happen. But it happened a little differently then I thought. I thought it really changed Ashley as a person and that was awesome cause Jimmy got what he deserved. But I found when everyone was leaving to be pretty unbelieveable. Just cause the girl took X and dumps Jimmy everyone wants to leave. Bullsh*t, thats not how things work in real life thats what our parents wnated us to do, if there is drugs leave but thats not how things happen. If you see someone doing drugs its whatever. But overall I thought it was a great episodemoreless
  • JT and Toby try to score; Sean succeeds.

    This is a pretty good episode. I like how the A plot (Ash taking X) and B plot (JT and Toby trying to get Sean's advice on sex) were so linked; Degrassi rarely does that anymore. Fans will love Ash's double entendres in her dialogue with Jimmy. (Poor Jimmy. Humiliated in front of everyone.)

    This was the first of a string of enjoyable drug episodes, and the really odd thing is, and I might be on crack for saying this, Sean and Ash would've made a cute couple. At least better than Sean and Emma. Or JT and Toby.

    All that trouble over a jagged little pill.moreless
  • Ashley takes "E" and makes a fool of herself. J.T. invites Emma and Sean over to the same party.

    This was a great way to end the 1st season of Degrassi: the Next Generation. With a Party. It's interesting to see more drama in Ashley's life. First fighting with Tobey, her dad being gay her band and now drugs. I can't beleive J.T would bring drugs in the first place. He is usually such a goofy kid. Sean was so smart when switching the pills. I would have been wierd to see Tobey and J.T. high. Ashley made such a fool of herself when she took that pill. She danced with Liberty and broke a vase. She totally destroyed the house and her relationship with Jimmy. It is sad at the end when she's crying. I also wish that Sean would give Emma a second chance. He probably will in the next couple odf seasons. I give this episode a 10/10.moreless
  • Good ep!

    At the end of the year a night at Ashley's, turns into the party of the year. Toby invites Sean and JT as his guests and JT has a little "party favour", he's brought Extacy. When Sean tells them he's going to the kitchen to split the pill into half so Toby and JT can take it, he runs into Ashley. He switched the Extacy with asprin and gives the extacy to Ashley telling her to throw it out. Meanwhile, Paige is pressuring Ashley to have more fun so Ashley takes the extacy. She then calls Jimmy and his friends and Jimmy quickly discovers Ashley is high. JT and Toby also invited Emma and her friends over so Emma and Sean fight. Sean is heartbroken. Ashley then cheats on Jimmy and makes out with Sean. Then Jimmy finds out and Ashley publically dumps him and then she even makes fun of Paige. The next day while trying to clean the house up Spinner comes by to inform her that Jimmy wants to break up and gives her some things Jimmy had of her. Ashley is now no longer popular and her only friend is Terri.moreless
Michael Kinney

Michael Kinney

Mr. Armstrong

Recurring Role

Linlyn Lue

Linlyn Lue

Ms. Kwan

Recurring Role

Maria Ricossa

Maria Ricossa

Ms. Kerwin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At the end of this episode, while Terri and Toby are cleaning, Terri is not wearing a necklace. However, when the camera cuts to Terri for about three seconds, a "T" necklace that disappears later is clearly visible.

  • QUOTES (27)

  • NOTES (4)

    • Dan Woods (Mr. Raditch), does not appear in this episode.

    • The-N aired it as part of season 2.

    • The-N cuts and adds the following:
      1) Changes background music slightly in credits.
      2) Instead of Sean getting an aspirin, he gets a vitamin for women.
      3) Edits Sean saying "Chew it slower. It gives you a better high."
      4) Deletes the scene of Emma seeing Sean and Ashley kiss.
      5) Adds about three seconds to the epilogue.

    • Jagged Little Pill ranked 91 and 7 on the Degrassi Crash Course Countdown for Kisses and Disses and the Most Intensely Bad Move.


    • The title of this episode is the same as an album by Canadian singer, Alanis Morissette, which was released in 1995. This is the first episode to be named after an entire album rather than one song.

    • The Idea Behind Placebos
      J.T. brought ecstacy to the party, and Sean was smart enough to replace it with aspirin. The aspirin in this situation is a placebo, which is a drug that a person takes and believes has a certain effect, but the drug really does nothing at all. Placebos are used in medicine to determine how a person's expectations of a drug influence the effectiveness of the drug, aka "Mind over Matter". Sometimes placebos are all that is needed because the person believes the drug is working, kind of like how J.T. and Toby thought they were high on "E" when they really weren't.

    • J.T.: (referring to girls) You know, how you score like Sundin.
      J.T. is referring to Mats Sundin, who, at the time, was the captain of the NHL team, Toronto Maple Leafs.

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