Dirt Off Your Shoulder (1) is the eighth episode of Season 11 of Degrassi. It aired on July 27, 2011.


The pressure of coming up with an appropriately profound script for the school play—and having to talk to Clare about it for the school paper—is hammering away at Eli. His anti-anxiety meds are helping, but they can't work miracles. Will a new heroine enter the story to save the day? K.C. is trying to do right by Jenna and their baby, but there's a seemingly endless amount of right to do. When his job gives him the opportunity to actually socialize like a normal teenager, is it wrong for him to take the relief where he can get it? And Riley's mom is barely returning to speaking terms with him after he tried to come out to her...and even that small bit of civility seems contingent on him going on dates with a family friend. Is it worth it to just stuff himself back into the closet until college to keep the peace?

Main Plot

Because of his medication, Eli is able to talk to Clare without losing it. She tells him she needs to interview him as part of the drama section in the newspaper. However, later in class, Fiona doesn't like the idea that he pitched for the show. When he goes to Ms. Dawes, she tells him it's not his best work and suggests he comes up with a new idea. Ms. Dawes also asks what Clare thinks of the concept and Eli sadly tells her that they broke up. Ms. Dawes seems upset by the news. He doesn't have someone to brainstorm, especially since Adam has the radio gig. He realizes he's out of time when Clare shows up for the interview. Stressed, he takes another pill and Adam suggests he make the plot up. He tells her he has to go write but will tell her the story later. At home, Eli struggles to write or come up with an idea. Frustrated, he takes another pill and lies on the bed. The next morning, he realizes he dozed off. Bullfrog Goldsworthy comes in and asks if he's okay. Eli tells him everything's "scrambled" and that he's in a "creative slump." Bullfrog suggests that he limit his stresses by quitting the play, but Eli refuses. Bullfrog tells him there will be time for writing when he's better. In Drama, Eli gives Fiona a letter of resignation. She asks if it's because of her disapproving of his idea, and tells her that he just can't do it. She tells him that she'll need to find somebody else to write and considers Clare. The second Fiona asks Eli if Clare's a good writer, Eli rips the resignation out of Fiona's hands and tears it to shreds. Later, Eli still struggles to write. He looks over to the main lobby where Jake and Clare are talking. When he see Clare and Jake laughing and walking off together with their arms around each other, he tries to calm himself but freaks out and crashes a computer. Imogen, who was watching, runs over to him and tells him Ms. Oh is coming. She tells him to hide the evidence and he asks how. She then dives onto the floor. Ms. Oh asks her what happened and Imogen gets up with a bloody nose. She tells her that she tripped over a loose cord. Ms. Oh asks if she's okay and takes her to the nurse's office. Eli watches in confusion and she leaves turning to look at him before exiting. Eli catches Imogen as she exits the nurse's office, wiping her still bloody nose with a tissue. He asks who she is and she introduces herself. She tells him she's been going to Degrassi for a couple years and tells him what she knows about him (i.e.: his name, that he dated Clare Edwards the prior semester and that he crashed his hearse for her). She tells him that his anxiety pills are what could be causing him his unwanted stress, and plugs her nose with tampons. When Adam asks about Imogen, she says Eli punched her and walks away. Adam comments on her being a "psycho". Eli agrees, but not convincingly. He watches Imogen as she leaves walking down the hall.

Sub Plot

After trying to come out to his mom in the previous season, Riley finally gets him mom to talk to him again when he cancels plans with Zane so he can talk to Athena. Zane is at first upset but then is happy that Riley's mom is even talking to him again so let's is slide. Later, he goes to dinner with Athena. They start having a good time, talking about school and colleges until he realizes his mom set them up on a date without telling him. At school, Riley's mom is impressed with Riley and reveals how he made a big impression on Athena. She tells him that his father will be able to make it for a birthday dinner for Riley, and suggests he bring a friend. Zane asks Riley about the night before. Riley lies and tells him that his mom had stuff that needed lifting and that they talked. Zane asks if Riley'll have the talk with his dad and Riley answers with a maybe. Riley leaves but gets a text. Zane gets the phone but isn't pleased. Later, Riley sees Zane over by J.T.'s memorial. He laughs at him playing hide and seek and Zane, upset, accuses him of "hiding." Zane turns to Riley and asks him if he's cheating on him. Riley's stunned at the accusation and Zane shows him the text message and storms off. Riley reads it in which Athena says she had a fun time on their "date."

Third Plot

K.C. has to take an extra shift at work which leaves Jenna upset considering she has the baby all day. At work, he complains to Marisol about Jenna, saying she is upset that he's working too much. She suggests that she can help out by playing a game where they guess if the customer's relationships will work out. After work, Marisol suggests he stay, but he's reluctant. She reveals, everyday after work, they have a "clean-up party" and he joins in. Upset, she hangs up on him. Dave joins K.C. for lunch, who's managing his days because of work, school and Jenna. Dave asks if he has time for fun but K.C. scoffs. Marisol then stops by and says she had a fun time in which K.C. agrees. K.C. asks Dave if it's weird if he had fun at work and Dave says it is and once Marisol says he had fun last night, Dave say "Oh, 'work'."

  • Fiona (to Eli): "(Sighs) I will never understand the power Clare Edwards has over men."
  • Eli (to Fiona): "Picture this: Heather Poulette as the troll queen."
  • Jenna (to K.C.): "Oh, that's right; Civics class might break out into a dance party."
  • Imogen(to Eli): "Ms. Oh's coming! Hide the evidence!"
  • Imogen (to Ms. Oh): "What do you think happened? I tripped over a loose cord. This place is a death trap."
  • Zane (to Riley): "Be honest, Riley. Are you cheating on me?"
  • Eli: "How's your nose?" Imogen: "It's fine, but I might need a smelling nose dog for a while. They have those, right?" Eli: "I.. really don't think so." Imogen: "Good. Maybe you can you smell for me?"
  • Eli: "Likewise, but who are you?"Imogen: "Oh nobody, really."
  • Imogen (About bloody tissue): "Hold this for a sec?" Eli: "... Okay.."
  • Adam: "What happened to your nose?"Imogen: "No need to worry, Adam Torres. Eli Goldsworthy just punched me in the face! Don't provoke him, he's an animal!"

  • "Get Loose" (remix) by Quanteisha - Marisol's Little Miss Steaks party song.
  • "Big Bird in a Small Cage" by Patrick Watson - Heard when Eli struggles with creativity and takes his pills.
  • "Honey Women Lady Cutie" by Alexander Fairchild - Imogen is a freak!