The love triangle of Joey Jeremiah, Caitlin Ryan, and Claude Tanner began in the first season of Degrassi High, when Caitlin developed a crush on Claude while dating Joey. Caitlin was in the center of this love triangle.
Joey and Caitlin are dating as they enter high school, however Caitlin develops a crush on Claude in the beginning of year. Caitlin puts off breaking up with Joey for a while, and eventually does. Caitlin begins a relationship with Claude, and at a point Claude convinces Caitlin to protest by spraying graffiti on a factory's wall late at night. They go through with the protest, however a guard shows up, and they try to run away, but Caitlin gets stuck in a fence while trying to get over it, and Claude decides not to help her, and runs away. Caitlin ends up getting busted, and lands a court day, and she breaks up with Claude for leaving her to get caught. When finding out that Caitlin broke up with Claude, Joey started making jokes about it, which angers her. Then when the talent show comes along, Claude continues to attempt to win Caitlin's forgiveness, he fails to do so, resulting in his suicide. At home, after finding out Claude committed suicide, Caitlin finds flowers and a note from Claude, she gets angry and throws them out.
Original Degrassi Season 4
In A New Start, Joey and Caitlin are talking in the hallway, and say they'll see each other in lunch. Caitlin meets Claude Tanner while paying for her student activity fees. In Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Joey asks Caitlin to wear a bikini for his music video for The Zits (formerly Zit Remedy), saying she had a great body when she wore a bikini all summer. Caitlin is offended he would even ask and calls him a "chauvinist pig."
In Dream On, Caitlin keeps appearing in Arthur Kobalewsky's dreams, but his alarm goes off before he can kiss her. In French class, Arthur and Caitlin are paired up for an assignment to be completed over the weekend. After class, Joey spots Caitlin in the hallway and asks if their date is still on for Friday. She says yes, but seems uninterested. Caitlin continues to develop her friendship with Claude, who she has a lot in common with. Joey is worried that Caitlin might be mad at him and asks if anything is wrong, but she distractedly tells him no. At lunch, Caitlin tells Maya Goldberg that she and Joey are pretty much over because she has more in common with Claude. Claude asks Caitlin out to a movie for Friday night, which she accepts, even though she had plans to see a movie with Joey. When Caitlin and Arthur worked on their French project, Caitlin asks Arthur to help her lie to Joey. They told Joey that she had to cancel their date to work on the French assignment. Even though she's really going on a date with Claude. Arthur finally plucks up the courage to ask Caitlin out too, but she tells him she'd rather just be friends. On Monday, Caitlin tells Maya about her date with Claude and says "I think I'm in love."
In Everybody Wants Something, Caitlin's crush on Claude, intensifies even more, even though at first she feels there are just friends have seen a few nice movies and have had fun, Maya, Can tell perfectly well that she is falling in love with Claude and wants to be more than his friend. Then, she encourages her not to lead Joey on and still date Claude behind his back and risk having Joey find out he's being cheated on and have his heart broken, and that she should break it off with Joey if she wants to begin a relationship with Claude . After she and Claude have their first real kiss in the school hallway in front of some lockers. She then finds Joey walking by who fortunately didn't see the kiss. She leads him to an empty classroom. She tries to break it off with him nicely, explaining that they hadn't been getting along to well lately, with Joey apologizing for being so busy with making the Zits music video lately. She explains to him next that she still likes him just not like she did before, she says it's nobody fault they just went different directions she likes politics and the environment, he liked music and his band. That she is quiet and boring and he is fun and outgoing, that she thinks they should stop seeing each other. Joey can immediately guess that it was all because of Claude since he had seen them spending a lot of time together at school but never thinking anything of it. She's asked are you going to go out with him? She shakes her head to say maybe. She looks sad as she sees Joey sadly leaving the classroom and walking down the stairs.
In Nobody's Perfect, Mr. Walfish pairs Caitlin and Joey together to work on acting out a Shakespeare scene which by this time she wants her and Joey to still be friends, but he wants to know what went wrong in their relationship and how he can change to be the guy she used to love. She explains that it's not him it was her she changed from how she used to be, meaning that perhaps she wanted to just date older or more mature guys not guys her age or younger.In All in a Good Cause, Claude tells Caitlin that a local factory in would begin to be making electrical systems for nuclear missiles soon and he was thinking about getting the people for peace to form a rally against the factory and possibly have them stop. She was trying to help people join the rally, during which time Maya Goldberg complained to her she hadn't been spending very much time with any of her friends since she begun dating Claude. After they found out, people for peace wouldn't be able to do anything for a month in which mass production in the factory would already begin by then, Claude encouraged her to come with him that night to sneak over the fence to spray paint some anti nuclear slogans on the walls. After she and Claude spray painted some anti nuclear slogans on the walls, a security guard spotted them, Claude was ahead so he was able to get over the fence before she was so he ran off as fast as he could to avoid getting caught, leaving her to stay behind and take the blame for the whole thing. Then next day she breaks up with Claude because she was really mad that he lied to her saying he wouldn't be afraid to get caught, but he ran off scared and didn't even help her get over the fence and because she was given a record and charged with trespassing and vandalism and had to go to court in two weeks from then.
In Testing One, Two, Three..., Caitlin is first approached by Claude who Caitlin just ignores. He tries to apologize for getting her in trouble with the law and having to go to court, she finally stops ignoring him and tells him "if you're really sorry you'll come to court with me". Later she is approached by Joey who has from some source heard she broke up with Claude and she is told in a rude joking manner "Hey so I heard you broke up with that other guy! You just chew us up and spit us out don't you?" She storms off mad and annoyed both at Claude for the trouble he had got her into and Joey for being rude and insulting her about her break up with Claude. She is later approached by Claude who tells her he won't be able to go to court with her. She is furious because she knew his parents would say no if he asked to go to court during school time instead of just not saying anything and just going. After he tells her he's afraid that if the security guard from the factory who would be at the trial recognizes him he could get in trouble too and his stricter parents would probably kick him out of the house. She begins to snap at him saying how it was all his idea and she had went along with it. That he just ran and didn't come back to help her get away too. She accidentally slaps him in the nose giving him a painful and slight nosebleed and makes his glasses fall to the floor when she reacts from him trying to grab her arm to help her calm down. She later is seen in detention where she finds Joey who earlier had been really upset about discovering his learning disability and was thinking of quitting school and got into a fight with Dwayne Myers. She encouraged him not to give up on school and to keep trying, because no one is perfect and that she had a problem too. She had a physical problem with epilepsy that could keep her from doing some things such as running or playing some sports but she doesn't let that stop her. Then next morning Maya tells her she cancelled an upcoming doctors appointment so she could go with Caitlin to court for support, she then smiles to see Joey back at school and hands him a copy of Mr. Webster's more challenging retake test.
In It Creeps!!, Caitlin is asked to star as Debbie in Lucy Fernandez's school project a feminist horror film where all the guys are killed. She wasn't too sure about it at first but after considering her feelings after her break up with Claude and realizing all the guys get killed, she accepted the part.
Original Degrassi Season 5
In Showtime (1), Caitlin has moved back home now and at school she was being steadily bothered by Claude who wanted them to try their relationship again, even after one year after they had broken up. She told Maya sometimes she wished he would just go away. Not realizing at the time how sad and depressed he had been at the time and how soon her wish would come true. The next day he gave her one last white rose and told her he came to say good bye and she wouldn't have to worry about him anymore. Thinking he was just going away to visit someone like say some relatives. she had no idea what he really meant until later when she and the whole school later found out he meant good bye because he was off to kill himself leaving her and the whole school in mourning, she is shocked and hurt that he did it and she blames herself thinking he did it out of a broken heart and he died because he couldn't live without her love but she wouldn't have him. Later she came home to find out someone had sent her flowers, they were from Claude telling her his final good bye, she is hurt and throws the flowers out.
In Showtime (2), Caitlin is still mad and hurt about Claude's suicide, and decided not to go to his funeral. She has nightmares in which Claude tries to contact her again. The next day she finds a old earring Claude gave her long ago as a memento and remembers their first kiss and tries to forget it and not cry and throws it out. Later that night she agrees to tutor Joey with some science lessons and homework to help him pass the science course, but she was still so mad and upset that she was very impatient short tempered with Joey and wasn't in the mood for his jokes and called him a numb brain. she apologized and realized she did want to talk about Claude as much as she though she didn't and Joey helps her understand that Claude was a total jerk and he didn't love her he wanted to hurt her and to not give him the satisfaction she cries and Joey give her his support and they hug. A few days later she is seen in costume on stage getting ready for the talent show she is happier now and thanks Joey for being so caring supportive during that past week and kisses him on the cheek.
In One Last Dance, after finding out that Degrassi High would be closed down the next year for maintenace and repairs, at the time they weren't sure if they would be in the same school the next year. So Joey asked her to the last dance because at the time it might have been their last chance to. The night of the dance Caitlin was very late because she couldn't make up her mind on exactly which dress to wear. When she got inside the school she didn't see joey there and she got mad thinking he left because he knew she was always late. She didn't realize Joey had been waiting a long time and just went to a washroom to fix his hair and talk to a sad and depressed Dwayne who was copying with the whole school finding out he was now HIV positive. Just when she was beginning to think he stood her up and leave with Maya. Joey shows up at the last moment they happily apologized to each other for being so late and they had a great time dancing and they shared a kiss beginning their second relationship.
- This was Degrassi's first love triangle.
- This is the first of two love triangles to result in the suicide of a male participant. The second involved Zig Novak, Maya Matlin and Campbell Saunders, who was the one who committed suicide.
- This is the first of four love triangles in which a male participant dies. The second was J.T.-Liberty-Mia Love Triangle, the third was the Zig-Maya-Campbell Love Triangle, and the fourth was Adam-Becky-Imogen Love Triangle.
- Caitlin felt guilty about Claude's suicide but Joey helped her cope.
- Joey and Caitlin's close friend Archie Simpson found the body of Claude in the school bathroom.
- Joey often deliberately mispronounced Claude's name to annoy Caitlin.
- Caitlin believed both boys would only cause her trouble.
- This was the first time that Joey and Caitlin were involved in a love triangle with a classmate. The second was with Tessa Campanelli. They were later involved in a third love triangle with Joey's then girlfriend Sydney.
- Claude was in the Class of 1991 while Joey and Caitlin were in the Class of 1993. However, Caitlin eventually graduated in the Class of 1992.