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Shane McKay
Degrassi Junior High
Degrassi High
Degrassi: The Next Generation
First appearance "Kiss Me, Steph" (Degrassi Junior High episode 101)
Last appearance "Father Figure" Part 2 (Degrassi: The Next Generation episode 302)
Cause/reason committed to sanitarium
Created by Linda Schuyler and Yan Moore
Portrayed by Jonathan Torrens (2003);
Billy Parrott (1987-1990);
Occupation none
Significant other(s) Christine "Spike" Nelson (junior high girlfriend)
Children Emma Nelson
Relatives Mary McKay (mother)
Rev. Steven McKay (father)
Carl McKay (elder brother)
Address Burkholder Manor, Stouffville, Ontario;
formerly or near De Grassi Street in Toronto
Nationality presumably Canadian

Shane McKay is a fictional character on the Degrassi series. His first appearance in the series was as a student on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, portrayed by Billy Parrott during Seasons 1-4. On Degrassi: The Next Generation, he is portrayed by Jonathan Torrens. He was a boyfriend of Christine “Spike” Nelson, and consequently the father of Emma Nelson.

Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High

Shane began dating Spike when they were both 14 years old and in grade eight. They had their first (unprotected) sexual encounter at a party held at classmate Lucy Fernandez's house, and Spike later discovered that she was pregnant.

Shane was wary about revealing his impending fatherhood to his conservative parents, Steven and Mary. The McKays had previously expressed a wish to send Shane to private school, like his older brother Carl, and Shane worried that revealing that he had made Spike pregnant would seal their decision to send him away. He finally told them about the situation, and the McKays were terribly embarrassed and wanted him to have nothing to do with the baby, believing it would be put up for adoption as soon as it was born. Just as Shane had feared, they again intended for him to transfer to a private school--however, Shane refused and insisted to be there for Spike when the baby was born.

Spike gave birth to their daughter, Emma, over the summer while Shane was away at camp. At the start of the new school year, Shane repeatedly pleaded with Spike to see the baby but was rebuffed. He eventually proved to Spike that he did want to share the responsibility for Emma when he began paying her child support each week (one half of his allowance), but she still did not allow him to see the baby. At Christmastime, Spike's baby-sitter dropped Emma off with Spike at school, having had to leave due to a personal emergency, and Spike finally allowed Shane to hold his daughter for the first time.

A few months later, Shane debated whether to use his allowance to pay Spike his monthly child support as planned or to buy tickets to the Gourmet Scum rock concert that many of his classmates were attending. In the end, he decided to use the money for the concert tickets and told Spike that he simply did not have any money that month. Spike soon discovered his lie and yelled at him for his selfishness. At the concert, Shane's friend Luke obtained LSD for them to take, and Shane decided to try the hallucinogenic drug. He failed to return home that night.

The police found a badly injured Shane the following day underneath a bridge--whether he had jumped or fallen remains unclear. Shane remained comatose at the hospital for several weeks before regaining consciousness near the end of the school year. He returned to Degrassi briefly to attend the end-of-the-year dance, albeit using a walker and being assisted by Luke.

Shane paid a visit to Spike the following year, while she and the rest of his former classmates were attending Degrassi High School. It is evident that his accident had left him somewhat mentally disabled, and we learn that after going to rehabilitation he was now attending a school for special-needs children.Shane was never quite the same, constantly telling people, quote, "You stupid idiot! I hope you get kicked in the head!!!" Whenever they displeased him. Shane invited Spike to go to a movie with him; Spike, though sympathetic toward his situation, declined but offered to still be his friend.

Degrassi: The Next Generation

Shane's daughter, Emma, had grown up never knowing who he was or what had happened for him to have never been around. Now 14 and with her mother expecting a new baby any day now, Emma became even more curious about the father she had never known and became determined to find him. Spike proved to be little help, as she refused to discuss Shane and forbade Emma from looking for him. Emma ignored her mother's wishes and searched the Internet for listings for Shane McKay, and with the help of her friend Craig Manning, she skipped school to track him down.

After a series of missteps, Emma and Craig finally found Shane at a home for the mentally disabled, in which his parents had placed him some time ago. Shane initially does not believe Emma is his daughter, still thinking that Emma is a toddler as in the picture he keeps by his bedside, but he realizes that she is in fact his child and the two tearfully embrace. Shocked to learn about her father's brain-damaged state, Emma returned home and angrily confronted Spike for hiding this from her all these years. However, Snake later explained Spike's side of the situation--she had taken Emma to visit Shane at the home when she was three years old, but he had become agitated and began a tantrum. Spike was worried that Shane might inadvertently hurt Emma. Though she was still angry at her mother for lying to her, she began to understand that Spike was only trying to protect her.

Shane unexpectedly arrived at the Nelson-Simpson house while Spike was home alone, and became upset to discover that he was not a part of her new life and family. He threw a tantrum that sent Spike into labor. Emma arrived home to discover Shane trashing the house, and she calmed Shane with an ultimatum ("She's my mom, and if you hurt her, I will never ever speak to you again") and his knitting--which she had seen earlier at his home calmed him after his outbursts. Emma's half-brother, Jack, was born happy and healthy, and Emma shared a moment with her father before the nursing home arrived to pick him up. Shane was pleased to have a new picture of Emma (one Craig had taken in his hospital room the day before), and bid his daughter goodbye.


In "Father Figure, Part 2" (season 3), when Emma meets Shane, he is given knitting to calm himself when she has to leave. When Emma comes back from Stouffville, Spike is seen knitting, also to calm herself.

At the beginning of season 6, Emma states that after fighting anorexia, she likes to knit because it calms her down.

In Degrassi: TNG Shane is portrayed by a different actor than in Degrassi Junior High. He was played by Jonathan Torrens.



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