“The Mating Game”
Season 1, Episode 6
November 25, 2001
April 22, 2002
Yan Moore (story)
Jimmy and Ashley's eight month anniversary is approaching, but with Paige playing Juliet to Jimmy's Romeo for their English class assignment, Ashley wonders if she will be forced to have sex with Jimmy in order to keep him interested. In the meantime, Doctor Sally, the local sexual education professor, is also coming to Degrassi to teach the students about teenage sexuality, puberty and safe sex
The grade sevens are assigned a media immersion assignment on endangered animals and in an attempt to get closer to Emma, Toby rents a DVD for them to watch for their projects. However, he's upset when she ditches the DVD night to spend time talking to her new crush, Sean.
In their English class, Ashley shows Terri what she got Jimmy for their anniversary. It's a silver chain that has the letter A (for Ashley) and a J (for Jimmy). Ashley worries over whether Jimmy will like it, but Terri assures her that it's perfect for him. Ms. Kwan then assigns a project to help the students understand Shakespearean language. She breaks them into groups. Jimmy is chosen to play Romeo, but it's not Ashley who will be playing Juliet, it's not even Terri. It was Paige, and she seemed quite smug about it. Ashley isn't thrilled to learn she's playing the nurse, especially since Paige won't stop quoting Juliet's lines and rubbing it in her face.
Meanwhile, J.T. and Toby are in Media Immersion talking about the impending arrival of Dr. Sally, otherwise known as the "sex lady". Sadly, she's just there to talk to the eighth graders. J.T. is annoyed and says that upperclassman get all the luck. Then, Mr. Simpson calls the class to order and reminds them that they are to begin building a website on an animal of their choice. Emma decides to do hers on an endangered turtle from the South Pacific. While Mr. Simpson talks about the project, Toby falls into a dream-like state, watching Emma. He snaps out of it, trying to hide his crush from his friends.
In another part of the school, the eighth graders are talking with Dr. Sally, who was giving an embarrassing and graphic speech involving arousal, erections, unplanned pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases. The students giggle uncomfortably, especially when she pulls out a condom and demonstrates how to put on, using a banana as a model. Spinner asks a question about how a couple knows when they are ready to have sex, and referencing Ashley and Jimmy's relationship as an example. He doesn't mention any names but everyone knows whom he means because they are the only couple at Degrassi to last eight months up to now.
After class, Terri, Paige and Ashley are congregated in the hallway, discussing the embarrassing sex talk they were forced to endure. Paige thinks that it was good that Dr. Sally was so blunt, as it was unrealistic to expect everyone to wait until marriage to have sex. However, Ashley is furious with Spinner for embarrassing her by bringing up her relationship with Jimmy. Paige questions their relationship and Ashley defends it by bringing out her anniversary gift from Jimmy as proof of his devotion. It appears to be a pink heart made from clay and it was clearly home made. Paige isn't impressed, even when Ashley tells her that it was supposed to be his heart. Paige still claims that while Ashley got him a $50 chain, he only got her a hunk of clay.
During lunchtime, Jimmy finds Spinner reading Romeo and Juliet in the cafeteria. Spinner tells Jimmy that Juliet was a wild child, who had sex with Romeo at age 13. Just then Paige comes up to tell Jimmy that she's already got her lines down for their project. One of the other guys mentions that he heard Paige got down with a camp counselor last summer. Jimmy reminds them that he's taken by Ashley, but the others just laugh at him, pointing out that Ashley will never even let him past second base.
Elsewhere in the cafeteria, Toby and J.T. join Emma, Manny and Sean at the table and they discuss their project for Mr. Simpson's class. The others are a bit startled to learn that Toby is doing his project on a turtle, since Emma already signed up to endangered turtles for her project. Toby then suggests that he and Emma get together tomorrow night to watch a documentary on endangered species. Manny suggests they watch it at her place and then Emma invites Sean to join. Toby's face falls, knowing well about Emma's little crush on him. Seeing how upset Toby is about Emma inviting Sean he sighs and says he has other plans.Back in Ms. Kwan's English cIass, Paige and Jimmy are rehearsing then their scene from Romeo and Juliet. Paige kisses Jimmy, while Ashley is watching. She interrupts the scene in frustration. Ms. Kwan then steps in and tells the fictional couple that their chemistry is great and to take it from the top. Ashley isn't happy.
After class, Terri tries to calm down Ashley by reminding her that it's just a homework assignment and that she has nothing to worry about. Paige comes along and Ashley confronts her about flirting with Jimmy. Paige tells her to calm down and then hints that perhaps Jimmy's bored with Ashley and that if she were her, she'd make sure he wasn't.Ashley, worried about what Paige said, finds Jimmy at his locker and plants a kiss on him. He's surprised and Ashley insecurely worries that he didn't like it. When he tells her that he did like it, she quietly tells him she has a surprise planned for their anniversary. She tells him her parents and Toby will be out of the house for the night, and she's ready to do it with him.
While walking home from school, Jimmy admits to Spinner that Ashley told him she's ready to give him the ultimate gift. Spinner seems proud of Jimmy and suggests that they celebrate this heroic occasion by buying condoms.
Back at the Kerwin house, Ashley and Terri are hanging out in her bedroom, looking stuff up on the computers. Terri questions whether Ashley and Jimmy are truly ready for this step. Ashley assures her that they are and that her decision has nothing to do with Paige. Terri doesn't let up and Ashley's insecurity gets the best of her by telling off Terri and saying that she wouldn't understand since she's never dated before. Terri is clearly upset and says she's leaving. Ashley looks sorry but she doesn't call her friend back and apologize.
The next day, Emma is in the computer lab trying to find information for her project but nothing comes up on the search engine. Toby notices her frustration and offers to help. He punches a few buttons and a group of sites come up. Emma is impressed, while Toby slips into another daydream about her but she snaps him out of it.
Out in the hallway, Emma and her friends are about to head over to Toby's house to watch his DVD on endangered species, but just as they are about to leave, Liberty walks up to them and reminds Emma that she promised to help proofread this issue of The Grapevine. She tells her friends she'll be there in an hour.
Meanwhile, Ashley's walking in the house and is surprised to see her mother is still home. Ashley rushes over to answer a knock at the door before her mother does. She opens it to find the mail man delivering her package of condoms. After her credit card is approved, she heads back inside and hides the package from her mother.At the same time, Spinner and Jimmy are inside a store picking out condoms themselves. Jimmy looks nervous and it doesn't get any easier when the cashier gives him a hard time about it, offering different colors and sizes. The cashier finally stops and rings in the purchase.
A nervous Jimmy takes his condoms and heads over to see Ashley. She opens the door and the couple head into Ashley's room and sit on the bed. They appear to look very uncomfortable and can't even look at each other. After some time, Ashley and Jimmy finally get over their initial nervousness and finally lie down and start kissing. Ashley still can't get into it and finally pushes herself off of Jimmy and stands up, leaving a confused Jimmy lying on the bed. Ashley rushes out of the room and gives herself a pep talk, telling her to grow up. She goes back into the bedroom and tells Jimmy that she can't do this after all. Jimmy happily admits that he isn't ready to sleep with her either. After their admission, the tension immediately dissolves and everything seems back to normal between them.
Back at school, Liberty and Emma are still going over the copy for the next issue of the paper. Liberty suggests going for a smoothie but Emma can't, as she forgot she promised to help Sean with something. Liberty takes off and Emma heads to the media immersion room to help Sean with his project on Springer Spaniels. She's surprised by his choice of animal and Sean explains that he used to have one but he had to leave him when he moved in with his older brother. He seems sad about it, which touches Emma.
Meanwhile, Emma still hasn't shown up to watch the DVD at Manny's house, and Toby is impatiently waiting. He, Manny, and J.T. are sitting outside her house, while Toby frets glumly. He can't believe she never showed up. Manny tries to balm his hurt feelings, by telling him that she probably couldn't get away from Liberty. J.T. comments that Emma is lucky she missed the documentary because it was so boring. Toby gets up and leaves.When Toby gets home, he heads upstairs and opens the door to Ashley's room and finds Ashley and Jimmy playing like children with the condoms they both bought, by blowing them up like balloons. Ashley sees Toby in the doorway and tries to cover for what they're doing. She and Jimmy stutter over each other, quickly fabricating a story about making decorations for the dance. He picks up a condom up off the floor and warns them to put them away before their parents get home. Toby then goes to bed, leaving Ashley and Jimmy behind, laughing. Jimmy then opens his gift from Ashley and happily tells her it's perfect.
At school the next day, Manny and Toby are joined by Emma in the hallway. She apologizes for not showing up to watch the DVD and admits she ran into Sean and they started talking. Toby is furious and can't believe she couldn't even be bothered to call them. Emma is surprised by his anger, but Manny then admits that Toby had a major cruch on her.
In another part of the hall, Spinner walks up to Jimmy asking him about how everything went, but Jimmy admits that they didn't do it, using the excuse that Toby interrupted them. Spinner tells him that that sucks for him and Ashley. Meanwhile, at the same time, Ashley comes up to Terri and apologizes for making mean remarks to her and also explains about what happened the night before. Terri's relieved to learn they didn't do it and accepts Ashley's apology. She talks about how well Jimmy took it when Ashley admitted how she wasn't prepared for having sex yet and about how perfect everything was again.
- This episode shares the same title as the 1959 film, The Mating Game.
- Although credited, Dan Woods (Principal Raditch) does not appear in this episode.
- As of this episode, Emma, Manny, Toby, J.T. and Mr. Simpson are the only five characters to appear in every episode.
- This episode marks the first appearance of the math teacher and sports coach Darryl Armstrong in a recurring role.
- The character featured in the final freeze frame for this episode is Ashley (first time).
- This is the first episode to deal with sexuality.
- If you look closely at the website that Emma finds on Toby's search engine, you will notice that the entire site is just the same sentence repeated over and over again.
- Emma types "endangered turtles" into the fictional search engine "Might Find It," but doesn't get any matches. However, by typing "endangered turtles" into Google results in 1,390,000 matches.
It seems odd that Emma's search would result in zero matches, considering the broad subject matter.
- When Ashley steps outside to pay for the condom delivery, the front door appears to be made of glass.
However, when the camera angle switches to the back view of the deliveryman as he swipes her debit card, the door is solid wood, with no window or glass door at all.
- Liberty has a different shirt on during different camera angles.
- The N had a parental discretion warning for this episode, because it dealt with strong sexual content.
- This is the first time that Ashley and Jimmy tried and failed to have sex. It would happen again in Can't Hardly Wait.
Regular Cast (Ordered alphabetically)
- Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty Van Zandt
- Stefan Brogren as Archie Simpson
- Daniel Clark as Sean Cameron
- Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk
- Ryan Cooley as J.T. Yorke
- Jake Goldsbie as Toby Isaacs
- Aubrey Graham as Jimmy Brooks
- Shane Kippel as Spinner Mason
- Miriam McDonald as Emma Nelson
- Melissa McIntyre as Ashley Kerwin
- Christina Schmidt as Terri MacGregor
- Cassie Steele as Manny Santos
- Sue Johanson as Dr. Sally
- Christian Potenza as Cashier
- Adrian Roberto as Guy
- Liberty: "I could help you with your assignment. I get straight A’s."
J.T.: "I get straight D’s. So why rock the boat?"
- Jimmy: "For our anniversary, Ash wants to give me the ultimate gift."
Spinner: "A Ferrari?"
Jimmy: "You’re such an idiot. No. What Juliet gave Romeo."
Spinner: "Ash wants to have sex? Man, you’re going to get some? You got horseshoes up your butt."
Jimmy: "Yeah. Cool, huh?"
Spinner: "To mark this heroic occasion, I think you better get little Jimmy Jr. there a present."
Spinner: "Condoms, you idiot."
- Store Clerk: (about buying condoms) "Are you sure this is the right size for ya? We got small, medium, large, and extra large."
Jimmy: "Those-those are fine."
Store Clerk: "You also got your choice of regular and super sensitive."
Jimmy: "Just-just ring them in."
Store Clerk: "But then there's colors to think of! Personally I think a little bit of colour spices things up."
Jimmy: "Just-just ring them in, please."
- Emma: "Hey, guys. Sorry about last night."
Toby: "Liberty chew your ear off?"
Emma: "No, I ran into Sean, we just started talking. He used to have this dog…"
Toby: "So you didn’t even bother showing up? Not even a phone call?"
Emma: "What’s the big deal?"
Toby: "You said you’d come. What kind of friend are you anyway?"
Emma: "What’s his problem?"
Manny: "Uh, he’s got a major crush on you."
- "Something To Say" by B2Krazy