The Grade 7s is the friendship between Emma Nelson, Manny Santos, J.T. Yorke, Toby Isaacs and Liberty Van Zandt. Their friendship began prior to Season 1 of Degrassi: The Next Generation as Emma, Manny and J.T. were friends in grade school while Toby and Liberty met them at the start of grade 7. Throughout their friendship, Manny had a falling out with them in season 3 and Emma in season 4, they manage to fix their problems and reconcile their friendship. In 2006, J.T. died after being stabbed in the back and following his loss the school dedicated a memorial to him. The group disbanded after graduation but before leaving a cap on J.T.'s memorial to symbolize him graduating with them. Emma, Manny, and Liberty remained close when they decided to attend Smithdale University.

Friendship History 

Degrassi: The Next Generation

Season 1

In Mother and Child Reunion (1), Emma, Manny and J.T. were shown to be good friends for several years. Manny and Emma meet Toby for the first time through J.T. and become friends. 

In Mother and Child Reunion (2), it is revealed that Toby is highly computer savvy which comes into great use when J.T. and Manny come together to save Emma from making a possibly life-threatening mistake. Fortunately, Toby hacks into Emma's email to find the location of the online person that she was supposed to be meeting up with. Next, he, J.T. and Manny hurry to find Emma's mother Christine Nelson and Archie Simpson to inform them of Emma's whereabouts. Thanks to Toby, J.T. and Manny, Emma is saved from danger.

In Eye of the Beholder, Manny and Emma run into Toby and J.T. and learn that they stayed home to look at porn. The two boys also tell them that Toby's father Jeff Isaacs and stepmother Kate Kerwin came home early and made them look at porn sites with men in order to teach them a lesson on objectifying women. Emma and Manny are amused and disgusted by their story and call them losers. 

In Secrets and Lies, Emma and J.T. are sitting next to one another in Media Immersion class. While the 7th graders are talking about Liberty's weird behavior after class, Emma tells J.T. that she has a major crush on him. Emma and Manny mock J.T. about Liberty Van Zandt's crush on him.

In The Mating Game, 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. Meanwhile, out in the hallway, Emma, Manny and her friends are about to head over to Toby's house to watch his DVD on endangered species. Afterwards, Emma still hasn't shown up to watch the DVD at Manny's house. Manny, Toby, 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.

In Coming of Age, Emma, J.T., Manny, and Toby are all tanning outside together. 

In Jagged Little Pill, Emma, Toby, Liberty, Manny and J.T. attend Ashley's disastrous party. 

Season 2

In Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Toby and J.T. are all dressed up for the 7th grade only dance, and greet Emma and Manny before walking into the dance. 

Season 3

In U Got the Look, Emma tells Liberty about Manny and J.T. and Liberty is upset about it because of her crush on him.

In Gangsta, Gangsta, J.T. is talking with Toby in the hallway about Amy and Sean kissing in class. Emma approaches them, and J.T. quickly begins to talk about how horrible and mean Sean is, for Emma's sake. Emma thanks him, but says she is over Sean. The two tell Emma about the rumors that Sean's gang is stealing stuff left and right from the school.

In Accidents Will Happen (2), Emma, J.T., Toby and Liberty are present in the cafeteria when Ashley Kerwin announced that Manny was pregnant with Craig Manning's child.

In It's Raining Men, J.T. hosts a party at Toby's house after he stars in a commercial for French fries and Manny attends it. 

In Our House, Liberty sets Manny up with J.T.

Season 4

In Ghost in the Machine (1), Toby, Liberty, and Emma tell each other about their break ups over the summer.

In King of Pain, Manny realizes that Liberty has a crush on Chris and shows it to Emma. The next day, Manny reveals to Emma that Liberty and Chris have a date, and compares Liberty to a rabid wolverine. After Emma tells Manny that she is embarrassed over what people will think if Chris goes out with Liberty after her, Manny tells her that is the meanest thing she has ever heard, and later tells Liberty what Emma said, who ends her friendship with Emma. 

In Mercy Street, Liberty invites Manny, J.T. and Toby over to her place for a beginning of the year hot tub party and Manny brings up Emma. Liberty calls Emma a backstabber and is still mad from when she was jealous of her and Chris. Manny tells Liberty that her relationship with J.T. isn't working out so well and Liberty asks if she wants to break up and Manny unsurely says maybe. They are then shown in the washroom as Emma brags about hanging out with Paige in an attempt to make them jealous. 

In Voices Carry (1), Emma and Manny are apart of J.T. and Liberty's Dracula play in minor roles. 

In Voices Carry (2), Emma and Manny refuse to do J.T. and Liberty's revised "Degrassi musical" play when J.T. and Liberty show the cast "The Radish Song." 

In Back In Black, Toby tells Manny that J.T. isn't being a good friend to him, as he is refusing to go to Rick Murray's funeral with Toby. Manny tells off J.T., and attends Rick's funeral with Toby, even though she did not know Rick personally.

In West End Girls, Liberty and J.T. give Manny her ballots to vote for King and Queen of Prom. Emma is walking with Manny and Toby when Toby asks Manny to prom. Later, Emma dances with Toby instead at prom when Manny was trying to escape from him since she doesn't want to be seen with him

Season 5

In Venus (1), Toby, Emma, Manny, Liberty, and J.T. walk into school together.  

In Venus (2), Manny walks over to J.T. and Toby and asks what they're watching on the internet and J.T. responds by showing her a video of a monkey sniffing his butt and Manny, who doesn't seem very happy, says it's very funny.

In Foolin', Manny, Liberty, Emma, J.T., and Toby all go out to see a movie together. After J.T. makes a joke about his and Liberty's sex life to Toby, Liberty overhears and dumps soda down J.T.'s pants. Emma is in the background laughing at Liberty's actions. Later, Emma, Manny, and Toby are staring at J.T. and Liberty talking to the police officers while in class.

In Turned Out (1), Mr. Simpson plays a tape from J.T.'s after school job as a children's host on television, which Emma, Manny, and Liberty all find adorable.

In Our Lips Are Sealed (2), Liberty is in class with Manny and Emma. 

Season 6

In True Colours, Emma, Liberty, and Toby discuss a theme for the school's dance. Later, at the dance, Emma tries to sell a ticket to Toby to raise money to buy Sean a lawyer. Toby asks how she is going to pull it off without the student council or Ms. Hatzilakos's approval. Manny approaches them and asks why they are selling tickets, and Toby tells her that they are for the fund to hire a lawyer for Sean. Emma dismisses Toby, as she didn't want Manny to know, and he walks away. 

In What's It Feel Like to Be a Ghost? (2), after Toby is beaten up by the Lakehurst students, Emma and Manny coo over him and his injuries. Emma carries his backpack for him, and Manny kisses him on the cheek. 

In Rock This Town, Manny and Emma are by Manny's locker and Manny is hurt by Craig and takes a photo of him and rips it up, Emma then makes a sarcastic comment and Manny suggests she throw a party and Emma says no parties up until J.T. suggests Manny does throw a party for Liberty's birthday, then Emma looks at Manny who squeals with excitement. At the party Manny notices how drunk Emma is and gives her some water. Toby attends Liberty's birthday party, and J.T. confesses to Toby that he is still deeply in love with Liberty. Toby tells him, if he does love her, get her back. J.T. tells him he will get her back, and goes looking for her. Sadly, J.T. is fatally stabbed by Drake Lempkey. Seconds after Drake and Johnny run away, Liberty appears and she rushes to J.T.'s side, desperately trying to get him up. She panicked and screamed for help as she held J.T. in her arms. At the hospital, later that night, the doctor asks to talk to a family member of J.T.'s with a worried expression. Toby steps up and tells the doctors he's J.T. brother and that he can talk to her. The doctor reveals that J.T.'s aorta was punctured and that he has passed away. Emma, Toby, Manny, and Sean embrace Liberty when she finds out the news. 

In The Bitterest Pill, Toby tells Mia that his and J.T.'s last conversation was about how he wanted a bowl of oatmeal, and Manny questions him if that is really what they talked about. He reveals to Manny that by oatmeal, he meant Liberty, as he was still in love with her. Manny convinces Toby to not tell Liberty right away, even though he was going to before she spoke to him. Before the memorial, Toby admits to Manny that he kissed Liberty the day before, which leads to her hitting him and making him promise to take back the kiss between him and Liberty. Manny and Emma are worried about how Liberty is handling J.T.'s death. 

Season 7

In Love is a Battlefield, Toby shows Emma and Manny the article about Manny and Damian Hayes uniting the schools on the computer. In We Got The Beat, Liberty and Emma attend at Manny's Philippine Debut. 

In Bust a Move (1), Manny, Ashley, Emma and Liberty are going to Smithdale over Spring Break.

In Bust a Move (2), Emma, Manny, and Liberty along with Ashley, Spinner, Jay and Jimmy, go to the Purple Dragon concert. Inside the concert, the group waits to see who the surprise guest singer is. The guest singer is revealed to be Craig Manning, who has become famous. Emma and Liberty are happy that Manny and Jay worked out their differences, and got back together.

In Hungry Eyes, Emma, Manny, and Liberty joined the Purple Dragon group, but Manny and Liberty were later dismissed. 

In We Built This City, Emma says that every time she looks at Liberty and Damian Hayes, it looks like they're in on some kind of secret. Liberty then announces that Natasha Bedingfield is playing at prom, which excites Emma, as "Unwritten" is her favorite song. At prom, Liberty arrives, and Emma says that she looks gorgeous. Manny, Liberty, and Emma have a "best girlfriends forever... and Toby" hug before the prom when they realize they're all going their separate ways soon. They decide to ignore that fact and just enjoy prom. However, during the prom, Liberty sneaks away with Damian to a private room. When Toby reveals that Liberty and Damian hooked up, Emma dumps Damian and is angry with Liberty. Manny, Liberty, and Toby do not forgive Liberty until she breaks down crying in her valedictorian speech about how special friends are for the journey through high school together. They all reconcile, and place a graduation cap by J.T.'s memorial garden at the school. As they stare at the memorial and think of J.T., Liberty turns the tassel. 

Season 8

In Uptown Girl (1), Manny, Liberty, and Emma arrive to Smithdale University with each other, excited for the beginning of a new point in their lives. Manny and Emma were supposed to room together, though there was a mix up in the housing arrangement, and Liberty and Manny were assigned rooms on the same floor, while Emma was not. Feeling left out, Emma went back to housing and changed the rooms to a quad along with Kelly, believing that Kelly was a girl. She made the change without asking Manny and Liberty leaving them both upset with the change, even more so when they learn that Kelly is a boy, not a girl. Emma begins to feel lonely because Manny and Liberty were off, busy with new activities, while she just hung around their dorm room. Kelly convinced her to put herself out their to new money, and the two squirt Manny and Liberty with water guns when they were on their way to apologize to Emma for making a big deal about the room change. 

In Didn't We Almost Have It All, Liberty is all set to join her mother's sorority, but when a new sorority approaches her with more options but higher prospects, she tries to prove to everyone that she can handle the party lifestyle. Manny and Emma tell Liberty that she should still be herself and shouldn't change for the sorority. Liberty mentions that she had a boyfriend who was murdered (referring to J.T.), and he was the father of the baby that she gave up for adoption. Later Liberty wakes up, she's in the hospital because she was getting her stomach pumped. Manny, Emma, and Kelly are the ones who took her to the hospital. Later on, they buy Liberty green tea to let her know they're there for her. 

In Touch of Grey, when Emma was passing around the pot brownies for the floor Olympics, Emma was all high and Manny and Liberty were worried. They sat her down and told her that marijuana isn't good, but she just laughed and ran off. 

Season 9

In Holiday Road, Emma is upset because everyone is moving on with their lives except for her; Manny goes back to Hollywood, Liberty joined a sorority.

In Degrassi Takes Manhattan, Manny and Liberty attend Emma and Spinner's wedding.

Degrassi: Next Class

Season 2