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Paige Michalchuk is a fictional character in the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, portrayed by Lauren Collins. In an episode it was stated that Paige was raped when she was 15 in the year of 2002 and that she turned 16 in the beginning of season 3 which was 2003. Which places her year of birth in 1987.
Paige was originally presented as the stereotypical 'queen bee'; rich, snobby, and popular. However, as the series progressed, she became a more three-dimensional character, evolving into something of a heroine. Her most common word is "Hon" or "Sweetie".
In the second episode, Paige states that it was a "new year, new look, new Paige". Her friend Ashley Kerwin also believes Paige is getting in the middle of her relationship with Jimmy Brooks, which makes her feel pressured to have sex with him.
It is revealed to Ashley that her father is gay. While trying to help Ashley with her dad's dilemma, Ashley throws milk in Paige's face because Ashley believes Paige was being mean. It is then revealed that Paige was only trying to help Ashley as her brother, Dylan Michalchuk, is gay.
While high on ecstasy at a party, Ashley calls Paige a hag. Paige, disgusted, leaves the party, along with everyone else. Soon after, Ashley's popularity plummets and Paige becomes the most popular girl in school.
Paige, still furious over Ashley's behavior the previous school year, eventually forgives her. As Terri McGregor and everyone else gravitates back to their old group, Ashley messes things up by accidentally insulting Terri and then accepting a date from Sean. This accidentally leads to Jimmy thinking that she wants to rekindle their relationship. Paige angrily excludes Ashley from her clique, and threatens to exclude Terri as well if she continues to be Ashley's friend. Reluctantly, Terri leaves Ashley to be with Paige and Hazel Aden. Paige triumphantly maintains her popularity.
The boys' soccer team plays against their rival team from Bardell. Paige, as a cheerleader, has to cheer them on. She spots the star of the team, Dean, and likes him instantly. He invites Paige and Hazel to a house party and she accepts. While at the party, a girl – presumably an ex-girlfriend of Dean – attempts to warn Paige about him. Paige, assuming she's jealous, ignores the advice.
Paige later asks Dean to go upstairs, hoping they could talk, though Dean assumes Paige wanted to have sex with him. They start kissing, and Dean pushes her onto the bed. Paige tells him that he is moving too fast, but Dean pins her down and rapes her.
The next day, Spinner confronts her about Dean, not knowing the truth, and implies she is a slut. She slaps him and storms away. Later, in an attempt to win a songwriting competition, Paige brings back together her old band, PMS, complete with Ashley (who only joined for Terri's sake.), who had written a song about rape. Paige becomes angry with Ashley over the haunting lyrics and Ashley, confused, attacks Paige for having "no emotions".
Paige later breaks down and tells Ashley about the rape. Ashley agrees not to use the song, but right before the band is about to perform in the contest, Paige recognizes Dean in the audience, and decides to sing Ashley's song after all. Dean, upset, walks out. The next day at school, Paige goes to the school counselor and seeks help, finally admitting that she had been raped.
After a few months of therapy, Paige finally feels that she is ready to let it go and move on, having finally learned that she did not deserve to be raped. She then discovers that Bardell had made it into the basketball playoffs and that Dean would be coming to her school for the game. Paige tries to avoid him, but he sees her and begins taunting her. She eventually breaks down and confesses to JT that Dean raped her. JT tries to beat up Dean on the basketball court, getting Dean suspended from the game. Spinner finally finds out that Paige was raped and goes after Dean himself. Paige breaks up the fight and tells Dean that she is going to press charges.
After almost two years of crushing on Spinner, over the summer, Paige and Spinner became an item.
Paige discovers that enemy Ellie Nash cuts herself, and when Ellie refuses help, Paige secretly tells the school's counselor about Ellie's problem. When Ellie overhears Paige talking to the counselor, she becomes angry at Paige until she convinces her to see the school counselor. Afterward, Ellie is thankful for what Paige did and the two become friends.
Hazel is the first to notice that Terri is in an abusive relationship with Rick, and tells everyone about Terri's predicament. A couple months after their breakup, Terri gets back together with Rick and Paige is caught in the middle. Paige gets into an argument with Rick, who storms off; Terri defends him and berates Paige. Terri later ends up in the hospital due to the abuse she was still receiving from Rick, and Paige at first blames Spinner, but then blames herself. Paige then visits Terri regularly, but is distraught when Terri decides to leave Degrassi.
The Rape trial doesn't get underway until season four. Dean's lawyer grills Paige with questions about how many men she had been with. Paige angrily shoots back that she was a virgin before meeting Dean and that she would not have chosen to lose her virginity to a guy she had met at a party. However, the judge reluctantly finds Dean not guilty of rape, due to the lack of witnesses and physical evidence. Therefore, the rape legally never took place. Sometime after the trial, Paige attends a party at Dylan's college. In an attempt to relieve herself of her stress from the trial, Paige gets drunk and flirts with several guys at the party, even though she is dating Spinner at the time. Paige tracks Spinner down and tries to sleep with him, but he refuses, which makes Paige angry. The two argue; Spinner feels that Paige would never get over the rape, while Paige is angry and depressed that no one seemed to sympathize for her.
She steals Spinner's car keys, drove to the frat house where Dean is rushing and tells everyone in the house about her rape. Dean takes her outside, denies raping her, and demands she stop telling people. But, a few moments later, he proudly admits that he did indeed rape her. He walks off, telling Paige that she should call him should she ever want to get together with him.
Paige, infuriated by Dean's indifference, crashes into his car with Spinner's car. Dean calls the police on Spinner, and he is arrested. Spinner takes the punishment for Paige, but she eventually confesses to the crime. Paige apologizes for wrecking Spinner's car and begs him to take her back. He does, and Paige promises to pay for the damages to his car.
After Rick returns to Degrassi, Paige, Spinner, Jimmy and Hazel try to get him kicked out, but have no avail, even after Marco and Alex talk to Mr. Raditch about how dangerous he is. Emma, trying to get in with the popular crowd, vows to help Paige get back at Rick, for Terri's sake. However, after Jay begins beating Rick up, Emma puts a stop to it, angering Paige and the others. When Rick has paint dumped on him as part of a prank, he returns to the school with a gun; he considers shooting Paige, but decides not to when she expresses her sympathies and admits that she was disgusted with the prank. Rick then goes on to shoot Paige's fellow student, Jimmy, later in the same episode.
After Paige totals Spinner's car, she is forced to find a job. She tries working at The Dot, the Degrassi students' favorite hangout, but discovers that she is horrible at waitressing and is subsequently fired. She then sets out to find a new job, but, unfortunately, the only job she can find is working at the movie theater in the mall with Alex Nuñez. This irritates Paige, as she and Alex had never gotten along, and Paige feels that she was better than Alex. The two eventually warm up to each other, and become good friends and eventually lovers.
After Hazel informs Paige of Spinner's possible romantic involvement with Manny Santos, Paige is suspicious that Spinner no longer likes her. While working at the movie theater one day, Paige witnesses Spinner and Craig Manning getting into a fistfight over Manny. She then ends their relationship once and for all.
Paige later dates Matt Oleander, a teacher's assistant at Degrassi. Paige and Matt go to great lengths to hide their relationship. One day at school, Manny catches them kissing, but doesn't say anything at first. Soon afterwards, Paige and Manny get into a physical fight in the hall, which Matt and Ms. Hatzilakos break up. Manny angrily calls Matt "Mr. Pedophile," which raises suspicions, and Matt is called into the office. Paige is also called into the office, and is shocked to learn that Matt had said she was stalking him.
Paige confronts Matt, but eventually agrees to go along with his story. The next day, Paige has a meeting with her teacher, Archie "Snake" Simpson, Ms. Hatzilakos and Matt. She confirms Matt's story and then says that she wants to be transferred out of his class. They refuse to let her change, so Paige says she wants to change schools. Because her school year would be lost, however, they refuse to let her. Mr. Simpson doesn't believe her, as he had overheard Hazel teasing Paige about Matt one day in class. He tells Ms. Hatzilakos, and Matt finally confesses to his relationship with Paige. Matt is fired and the couple start openly seeing each other. At the end of the season, Matt leaves Toronto for the summer, after getting a job planting trees in the Yukon
Matt returns and meets up with Paige at a restaurant. Paige has high hopes that they could be together after graduation, but Matt breaks up with her; he already has a job lined up and tells Paige that he couldn't live the structured life she wanted. He gives Paige marijuana as a parting gift, but this only angers her, and she storms out of the restaurant. Alex and Paige later share the weed and both get stoned. Paige almost ruins her chances at getting into Banting University by announcing to a representative of the school at Degrassi's university fair that she was high.
When Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh? premieres, Alex is excited to go. Although Paige is reluctant to go because she was cut out of the movie, Alex finally convinces her to come and enjoy time together. To get into the after-party, they pretend to be a lesbian couple. Inside, they begin to dance provocatively in the middle of the floor. Jay criticizes Alex for "putting on a show for everyone", but Alex replies that the night isn't about her, it's about Paige. Alex walks Paige home, and they stop by Alex's house to get shoes (Paige left her shoes at the premiere). Paige chats with Alex's mother, who mentions that Alex talks about her all the time. Later, Alex begins to talk to Paige about their dancing, but is interrupted by her mother's boyfriend yelling and accidentally knocking Alex over an end table. They head to Paige's house so Paige could try to aid Alex's injured arm and Alex says how good it felt to be away from the chaos of her own house. They eventually kiss. Paige is very confused, pretending it didn't happen and insisting on sleeping on the couch.
The next morning, Paige refuses to talk about the kiss and says she just can't deal with what is happening. This upsets Alex, who then avoids her. In class, they agree to meet at the lane way. There, Paige says being around Alex makes her laugh; Alex says being around Paige makes her be a better person. Paige then kisses Alex, unaware that Jay is watching from a distance. Afterwards, Jay antagonizes Hazel by telling her what he saw. Hazel then confronts Paige, asking if she became lesbian and didn't tell her. Paige is caught off-guard and says she just got caught up in the moment and Alex meant nothing to her. Alex overhears the remark and was hurt.
After talking to Kevin Smith about the situation, Paige decides to stop caring about what other people thought, and pursues a relationship with Alex. She goes to Alex's apartment, and when Alex returns home, Paige asks her if she has "room for a stupid girl." Alex saying she "already had one of those." Paige then asks her if she "had room for someone who's ready to stop worrying about what other people think." She said she was wrong when she said Alex didn't mean anything to her because right now, she meant everything. They begin to date; this makes Hazel uncomfortable, but she ultimately accepts it.
As graduation nears, Paige insists that Alex plan on what to do after high school. She refuses, and says that she was is on the same time table Paige was, and has to do things when they are right for her. She is unsure of what she wants to do, but decides that she wouldn't be happy following Paige to college and becoming her 'lapdog'. As the fight reaches a climax, Alex decides to break up with Paige. At the end of the graduation, Alex and Paige hug, indicating that there is no animosity between them.
During the season finale, Paige and Spinner have a brief reconnection. She and Alex had broken up around the same time Spinner had broken up with Darcy, so they comfort each other and even kiss. Spinner goes to see her after reconciling with Darcy, with the intention of letting her down easy, but when they reminisce about the past, they kiss again, which eventually leads to them having sex. When Darcy finds out about it after reading Spinner's text messages, she tearfully breaks up with him.
Spinner believes that Paige wants to get back together with him, but she informs him that sleeping together was just a one time thing and it was what she needed to say goodbye to Degrassi. Though upset he ultimately accepts that there is no longer anything between them and reconciles with Darcy.
Paige has a farewell party to kick off the beginning of everyone's new lives. As the party goes on, Paige helps Marco realize that moving on isn't such a bad thing. However, soon Paige begins to crumble under the pressure of university life and has frequent panic attacks. Though she is failing her classes, she feels overwhelmed with pressure to stay at Banting.
While trying to convince Alex to stop asking why she was back in town from Banting so soon, Paige kisses Alex. Paige brushes it off by saying it was only a 'good night kiss'. Later, Alex tells Paige's mother about the failing papers she found in Paige's car. Paige, angry at first, later admits to Alex she lied because she doesn't want Alex to think she is a failure. Shortly after this, Jimmy and Spinner hire Paige to be the business manager for their t-shirt company.Paige wanted to return to her pre-Banting glory and that included dating. Following Alex's advice to get out and 'play the field', Paige begins to see Ellie's ex-boyfriend, Jesse, and Spinner at the same time. As Paige develops feelings for Jesse, Spinner develops them for Paige.
Eventually, Paige decides to stop seeing Spinner and continues to date Jesse, following a fight between Spinner and Jesse at the mall. Later, when Paige and the others are having drinks at the Dot, Alex and Paige get into an argument, at the end of which Alex storms out. Paige follows her out and angrily asks what is wrong, and in response, Alex kisses her and confesses that she loves her. Paige says she couldn't deal with that at the moment, and walks away, leaving Alex heartbroken.
Paige then dates Jesse exclusively, after Ellie gives her 'permission' to date her ex. Soon afterwards, however, Paige breaks up with him, telling Alex that she and Jesse have nothing in common.
When Paige visits Alex at her movie theater concession job, she discovers that Alex is once again single, having broken up with Carla. Later, Paige informs Alex that she is also single, having broken up with Jesse. She admits to Alex that her life is not on track like she'd imagined it to be, but that she is happy being with Alex. Paige kisses Alex, but Alex rejects her. Confused, Paige says that she thought Alex was open to dating her again, but Alex tells her that she keeps being hot and cold, and she can't deal with it.
Paige expresses her uncertainty about her sexual orientation, telling Alex that while Alex might be okay with being a lesbian, she doesn't know what she is. Alex tells Paige that she's bisexual, but Paige is reluctant to accept that; her family already has a gay child, she says, so she "has to be straight". Paige says that her family is already dealing with her dropping out of Banting, so she doesn't want to burden them with another crisis. She tells Alex that her parents expect her to give them grandchildren, and that Alex has no idea how much pressure is on her. Alex snaps back that Paige's idea of pressure is nothing like what she has to deal with. When Paige tries to comfort her, Alex rebuffs her, saying that Paige can't both break her heart and comfort her as well.
In "Don't You Want Me (Part Two)" Paige tells Alex that she truly does care about her and asks Alex to be her "sweetheart". Alex kisses her and says that the kiss is her answer. Paige is elated to be back together, and even happier to learn that Alex is supposedly quitting her job at the cocktail bar (which is a lie). She shows up at the bar with a bouquet of roses for Alex, only to discover that Alex is working as a stripper. She confronts Alex about it backstage, saying that she is worried about her, wondering how bad her life must be for her to stoop so low. She leaves, hurt, tossing the bouquet at Alex.
Paige later meets Alex at the Dot. She is willing to wipe the slate clean and ignore Alex's stripping. She tells Alex about a job at her mother's business, but Alex turns her down, stating that she already has a job. Paige is angry and hurt that Alex is still a stripper, as it 'kills her' every night Alex is doing that. She and Alex argue, and Paige leaves angry once again, saying that she can't deal with Alex stripping.
At the Degrassi Winter Dance, Paige has a friendly conversation with Spinner, who expresses disbelief that Paige is attending the dance alone. However, a moment later, Alex shows up, wearing the red dress Paige had bought her. Alex remarks that this is her first ever Degrassi dance, and Paige, still a bit hurt, makes a sarcastic remark about Alex's dress belonging on the floor at her job. However, Alex then confesses that she has given up stripping, which makes Paige happy. Paige then comforts Alex, when Alex goes on to say she has 'nothing left', telling Alex that she still has her.
Paige invites Alex to dance and leads Alex onto the dance floor, where the two joyfully embrace.
Once Squatch Designs goes out of business, Paige is interviewed for a new job as an assistant in the fashion magazine industry. She gets the job, but learns too soon that it's harder than expected, especially since Alex — helping Paige out by driving her to and from work, as well as on errands for her job — is so unreliable. After several mishaps at work, Paige decides that she needs a vacation and takes a day off, and Alex and Paige part ways. However, when attempting to take a second day of vacation, Marco and Ellie help Paige realize that she needs this job to advance in her career, and she eventually returns to work.
Paige starts dating her new roommate Griffin, and the two have sex. She later discovers that he is using an HIV cocktail, meaning that he is HIV-positive. Griffin reveals that he was born with HIV, and that all the drugs he has taken have helped. Despite his initial secrecy, Paige wants him to stay. Whether Paige herself has HIV is unknown, since they used protection, and it will take some time to get results.
Paige's father buys her a condo away from Toronto. Paige breaks the news to her roommates, Marco and Ellie. This causes them all to move out and away from each other. It is now confirmed that Paige's character is going to be returning in a few episodes in Season 8, but not a starring role any longer.
- Gavin 'Spinner' Mason
- Matt Oleander
- Start up: "Bark at the Moon" (413)
- Broke up: "Death of a Disco Dancer" (503)
- Reason: After a long time apart from Paige, Matt finds Paige's life too structured and orderly.
- Alex Nuñez
- First Relationship
- Start up: "Lexicon of Love, Part Two" (511)
- Broke up: "High Fidelity, Part One" (518)
- Reason: Alex felt that she was holding Paige back. Alex needed to find her own way.
- Second Relationship:
- Start up: "Don't You Want Me, Part Two" (619)
- Broke up: "Love Is A Battlefield" (703)
- Reason: Both realized that they were too different.
- First Relationship
- Jesse Stefanovic
- Start up: "Love My Way" (616)
- Broke up: "Don't You Want Me, Part One" (618)
- Reason: Paige said she felt like his therapist and got sick of him talking about Ellie.
- Griffin Pierce-Taylor
- Start up: "Talking In Your Sleep" (717)