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Parents' Day

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"Your parents should be proud of you. I certainly was."
— Snake to Toby

“Parents' Day”
Season 1, Episode 5
Anne Marie Jeff 105
Information
Can. Airdate

November 18, 2001

U.S. Airdate

April 15, 2002

Prod. Code

105

Writer(s)

Aaron Martin (story)
Yan Moore (teleplay)

Director(s)

Eleanore Lindo

Episode Guide
Previous

Eye of the Beholder

Next

The Mating Game

Parents' Day is the fifth episode of the Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Plot Synopsis

Main Plot

Parents' Day is approaching fast and Toby has been dreading the event. He knows that his mom and dad can't be in the same room together without going ballistic, which is why he's desperate to keep at least one of them away from school on Parents' Day. He cooks up a scheme to convince his parents not to attend, but it doesn't work and both his parents attend. When things lead to arguments, Toby stops his parents from fighting again.

Sub Plot

Meanwhile, Ashley and Paige vie for the attention of a Hollywood casting agent, who happens to be Toby's mom. It turns out that she was more interested in Terri than the other two girls. Also, Emma is annoyed by the "News About Kids" morning announcements program because she thinks it's biased. She takes action and writes an opinion piece paper recruiting against it.

Extended Overview

J.T. and Toby are dreading Degrassi's looming Parents' Day but for vastly different reasons. Toby is dreading seeing his divorced parents in the same room, as they always fight and J.T. isn't looking forward to disclosing the "D" he received on his latest math test.

Elsewhere, Emma is annoyed in homeroom when the morning announcements feature News About Kids (N.A.K.), a morning program that uses product placement to an irritating degree. But Emma believes that school should be a commercial free zone and not a place to recruit future consumers. She also takes objection to the subject matter. This week it's an editorial piece about Squeegee Kids, or in other words, the teenagers that attempt to extort money from people by squeegee-ing their windshields without asking. N.A.K. makes it clear that they think this money is used to purchase tattoos or drugs. Idealistic Emma is furious that they stereotype these teenagers, claiming that they are poor and are just trying to make a living.

Meanwhile, Ashley is worried about the N.A.K. kids taking over her morning video announcements. Terri and Paige and assures her that everyone likes her better than N.A.K. Terri then suggests Ashley should get an agent. She reminds her that Toby's mom is a casting agent, and Ashley's good looks combined with her on-air experience make her a shoe-in to get signed. Ashley and Terri leave the bathroom chattering excitedly while Paige stays behind with a look for unhappiness spreading across her face.

Outside the school, Toby is trying to get J.T. to help him come up with a plan to keep his parents from reuniting at Parents' Day. Ashley sees them and bounces up, asking Toby if it's true his mom is an agent. Toby is surprised by the question, but confirms that it's true. Ashley is happy to learn that his mother is definitely coming to Parents' Night, much to the confusion of the boys. Toby and J.T. join a table that Manny and Emma are sitting at, while they continue the conversation about N.A.K. Emma is on a tangent about how the show is biased, how it doesn't encourage students to think for themselves, and how the producers are trying to buy our brand loyalty in homeroom. She walks away saying "I could talk or I could take action."

Emma rushes off to see the school principal, Mr. Raditch, about her feelings on N.A.K. and its unfair bias and inappropriate product placement. The principal tells her that the school brokered a deal with N.A.K. In exchange for showing their announcements at school, N.A.K. purchased 18 new computers for the media immersion lab. Emma counters that the agreement is actually bribery, but Raditch tells her that the parents voted for this, and that not every student is fortunate enough to have a computer at home. He suggests she write an editorial for the school paper, if she feels strongly enough about it. Her paper had to be in by four o'clock that afternoon, in order to make the next edition. Emma happily agrees.

In the hallway, Paige is still thinking about Ashley's intention to get an agent and worries that Ashley is prettier than she is. Paige then asks Spinner if he thinks that Ashley's prettier than her. He doesn't answer and she tells him that Ashley is attempting to get an agent. Spinner claims he could totally see Ashley on TV. This makes Paige really jealous. Furthermore, Ashley tells Terri that she signed them up for the welcoming committee at Parents' Day, which means she'll be the first person Toby's mother sees. Paige chooses that moment to let Ashley know she has competition.

Meanwhile, Emma and Manny are in the media immersion center to work on Emma's editorial. Manny is amazed that th principal suggested she write the article, since Emma was actually attacking both the school and the PTA's decision. The two girls converse about the subject matter for a moment and then Sean interjects with a rude comment. He doesn't seem to appreciate Emma's subject.

On the other side of the computer lab, Toby realizes that Emma is right. He could whine about Parents' Day or he could try to stop the inevitable confrontation from ever happening. He shows J.T. his plan, which is a letter on Degrassi letterhead with Mr. Simpson's scanned signature printed at the bottom. The letter praises Toby's grades and informs his parents that they don't need to bother showing up at Parents' Day because Toby is doing so well it isn't necessary. J.T. isn't so sure it'll work, but Toby is confident it will.

105 Parents Day 076

Emma gives Liberty her article on how N.A.K. is biased.

At the end of the day, Emma runs down the school hallway to hand in her article to the newspaper office. Liberty, the editor, tells her she's 17 minutes late and the deadline is up. Emma reminds her that even professional publications give extensions. This seems to work because Liberty accepts the article then, but not without telling her that this is a one time deal.

Back at the Kerwin household, Toby is in the kitchen with his father, trying to convince him that the letter is real. His father doesn't buy it though and asks Toby what is really going on. Toby is reluctant to tell, but finally cracks under the pressure and admits that his mother is planning to go too. Jeff starts to rant about his ex-wife and saying that it was so typical of her not to tell him. Toby explodes, saying "You guys can't even be in the same room without freaking out!" Jeff tries to calm his son down, promising that things are much better between them now. Jeff asks Toby what it is that he wants, and Toby tells him that he wants both of them there, just not together, but Jeff swears that things will be okay.

Parents' Day finally arrives. Terri is helping Ashley get ready in the girls bathroom, for meeting the parents and Toby's mom. Paige comes out of a stall wearing a yellow sparkly top that's very short. Ashley questions her clothing choice and realizes that Paige is showing off for Toby's mom.

Meanwhile, Toby and Jeff are waiting for his mom, Anne Marie, to show up. When she arrives rather late, Jeff starts to make some disparaging remarks but catches himself. Ashley greets her but is interrupted by Paige, who makes a flattering but obvious remark about Anne Marie's outfit. She thanks her and tries to move on, but Paige insists on introducing herself. She is finally able to get away, and she, Toby, and Jeff head off to meet his teachers.

105 Toby

Toby snaps at his mom and dad during Parents' Day.

They meet with Mr. Simpson, but are so caught up in their own ex-marital troubles that they can't listen to what the teacher is trying to tell them. They bicker throughout, blaming each other for any problems Toby may or may not have, and thoroughly embarrass their son. Mr. Simpson is sympathetic to the boy's plight but seems unsure of how to handle the situation.

After a few minutes, the fight escalates even more and a frustrated Toby finally lets them both have it, telling them that it's his own fault he hasn't done his homework and that neither of them are to blame. He tells them, "It's my life? So, it's my problem. Stop blaming each other and then using me as another excuse to argue." Toby's outburst seems to quiet his parents, who look ashamed by their own behavior. Mr. Simpson reclaims control of the meeting and they are able to move on to more constructive matters.

105 Tracker Emma Sean

Tracker and Emma argue over her opinion piece on N.A.K. news.

In the hallway, Spike is complimenting Emma on how well she is doing in school. They discuss her editorial as Sean and his older brother, Tracker, come out of the room and overhear the last part of the conversation.

Just before they leave, Tracker makes some rude remarks about Emma's column, which hurts Emma. Spike remains silent, allowing Emma to handle the situation. She claims that it's her piece and that she's right, in that students shouldn't be force-fed advertising while we're at school. She then tells Tracker that if he doesn't get it, then he's the idiot. Spike and Sean try to diffuse the situation but neither Emma or Tracker are willing to let it go. He tells her that the article is garbage and that without school computers, Sean would not be able to keep up in school, since not everyone is as fortunate as Emma is. She then says that her article isn't garbage. Tracker finally claims that there are two sides to a story - her opinion and his and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, leaving Emma very annoyed.

105 Terri

Instead of Ashley or Paige, Terri has caught the attention of Toby's mom, much to Paige's dismay.

After the meeting ends, Toby and his parents exit the cIassroom, where Ashley is anxiously waiting. She appears to be interested in how Toby's conference went. Not to be outdone, Paige appears much too friendly with Toby, calling him "hon" and loudly praising him on his new attitude toward improvement. Anne Marie ignores all this and bids her son goodbye and saying that his message came to her attention loud and clear. Ashley goes on to say what a pleasure it was to see her again and just as she is about to mention her interest in acting, Paige butts in and hands Anne Marie a picture of herself saying, "Something to remember me by." She takes the picture, leaving a very smug looking Paige behind to gloat. However, before she leaves Anne Marie approaches Terri who is over by the exit door. She hands Terri her card and suggests she give her a call if she's interested in acting, saying that she has an interesting look. She leaves behind a shocked but pleased Terri and a very outraged Paige.

The next day, Sean is in the computer lab, working on something. Emma comes in and he moves his belongings from the chair next to him so she can sit. Emma instant messages him from her computer, apologizing for the scene with Sean's brother. They message back and forth without speaking aloud, and Sean tells her that her article "wasn't garbage." Emma smiles back.

In the hall, Mr. Simpson catches up to Toby to talk to him about the scene at Parent's Day. Toby immediately apologizes for his parent's behavior but Mr. Simpson assures him that it wasn't his fault. Toby tells him that even though the incident was awful to behold, he's glad it happened because it cleared the air and now things can change. As Toby is about to leave, Mr. Simpson tells him that he is aware of the letter Toby forged and he suddenly becomes very stern. Toby tries to explain but Mr. Simpson tells him to start explaining with a ten page essay on why it's wrong to falsify documents. Toby sighs and turns around, about to leave again, but Mr. Simpson stops him, saying, "By the way, good work yesterday. Your parents should be proud of you. I certainly was". Toby then turns and leaves with a smile.


  • This episode is not named after any songs, films or books.
  • Although credited, Aubrey Graham (Jimmy Brooks) does not appear in this episode.
  • The character featured in the final freeze frame for this episode is Toby (second time).
  • There is no soundtrack or music featured in this episode.
  • This episode marks the first mention of Heather Sinclair. Terri is the first to mention her.

Goofs

  • Near the end of the episode, when Emma sends the e-mail to Sean in the computer lab, you can see she is replying to a message called, "That was brutal". It wouldn't make sense because Sean looked surprised when he got Emma's e-mail.

  • Paige: (To Ashley) "Oh, here we go again."
    Ashley: "Here we go what again?"
    Paige: "Every time N.A.K. claims your airspace, you go all manic-depressive."
  • Jeff: "You don’t want me to go to Parents’ Day?"
    Toby: "I didn’t say that."
    Jeff: "You didn’t need to. Are you doing that badly in school or what? Talk to me Toby."
    Toby: "Mom called, okay? She wants to go tomorrow."
    Jeff: (Raises voice) "And she didn’t even tell me. That is so typical of your mother."
    Toby: "See? You guys can’t even be in the same room without freaking out."
  • Mr. Simpson: "Toby, can I speak with you for a minute? Listen, yesterday…"
    Toby: "I just want to apologize again for my parents’ behavior."
    Mr. Simpson: "Toby, it wasn’t your fault. Are they always like that?"
    Toby: "Only when they’re together. Honestly Mr. Simpson, yesterday was good. It cleared a lot of air."
    Mr. Simpson: "I’m glad. Oh, listen, before I forget, next time you want to forge my signature, maybe you should spell my name correctly, and erase the file from the server."
    Toby: "Mr. Simpson, I can explain."
    Mr. Simpson: "Good, why don’t you start with a 10 page essay on why it’s wrong to falsify documents, say by tomorrow morning."
    (Toby sighs and starts walking away)
    Mr. Simpson: "One final thing. Good work yesterday. Your parents should be proud of you. I certainly was."


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