How much do you remember about "My So-Called Life"?

By: Abi Luftig
Image: ABC

About This Quiz

"My So Called Life" was a teenage drama that ran for one season but left an indelible mark on teens and adults alike. Dealing with themes like homelessness, drug abuse, sexuality, and identity struggles, the show's 19-episode run was critically acclaimed. Now that it is being streamed online, it has found a new audience with Millenials. How much do you remember about the so-called lives of the students of Liberty High? Take the quiz to find out.

What is the name of the main character?

The main character, Angela Chase, was brought to life by Claire Danes in one of her first roles. Since MSCL, she’s gone on to star in "Romeo + Juliet," "Temple Grandin," and "Homeland."

What is the name of her good-girl former best friend?

Sharon Cherski was played by Devon Odessa, who had previously appeared in small roles in sitcoms like "Step by Step," "Full House," and "The Facts of Life." Odessa originally auditioned for the part of Rayanne and was surprised when the producers wanted her to play Sharon.

What is the name Angela’s new female best friend, who struggles with drug abuse?

Rayanne Graff was played by A.J. Langer, who had previously played Melissa Drexell on "Drexell’s Class." She recently played Erica Warner on "Private Practice." Graff suffers from Fibromyalgia and has been an advocate for Fibromyalgia awareness for many years.

Rayanne and Angela are also best friends with a boy who struggles with his sexuality and heritage. What is his name?

Rickie Vasquez was played by Wilson Cruz, who went on to appear in "The Red Band Society," "Party of Five," and "13 Reasons Why." When he came out in the final episode, Rickie became the first openly gay teenage character on American network TV.

Angela has a major crush on a bad boy musician named ______.

Jordan Catalano, an entire generation’s first TV crush, was played by an understated Jared Leto. Leto has become known for his roles in critically-acclaimed, but slightly disconcerting movies, such as "American Psycho," "Requiem for a Dream," "Fight Club," and "Dallas Buyer’s Club."

Angela is oblivious to the fact that her next-door neighbor has been in love with her since childhood. What is her neighbor’s name?

Brian Krakow was played by Devon Gummersall. He was the only other actual teenager on set, besides Claire Danes. He was 14 at the time. In addition to appearing on "Roswell" and "The Last Ship," Gummersall has also begun directing, recently taking the helm of an episode of "Nashville."

What is the name of Angela’s little sister who often feels ignored by her family?

Angela’s often-overlooked kid sister, Danielle, was played by Lisa Wilhoit, whose performance earned her a Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Youth Actress in a Drama Series. Danielle is said to be four years younger than Angela, but in real life, Lisa Wilhoit is only two years younger than Claire Danes.

The show takes place in the suburbs of which Pennsylvania city?

The show is set in a fictional suburb of Pittsburgh called Three Rivers. Many things in and around the Pittsburgh area are called “Three Rivers” in honor of the town being surrounded by three rivers: The Allegheny, The Monongahela, and The Ohio.

Angela and her father, Graham, give each other the silent treatment with regards to Angela attending what band's concert?

Graham gives the tickets to Angela, who scalps them at Jordan’s suggestion. The Grateful Dead formed in 1965, and toured in one form or another almost continuously until 2015.

What color does Angela dye her hair in the first episode?

Rayanne convinces Angela to dye her hair red in the pilot episode. However, it is repeatedly noted throughout the show’s run that her hair color is not red, but “crimson glow."

A running gag in the show was to mention a character who was never seen on screen. What was this character's name?

Tino was said to be a friend of Rayanne’s, a bandmate of Jordan’s, and somebody’s cousin. He is mentioned at least once in every episode but is never seen on screen.

Which two characters get locked in the school basement on Halloween?

Brian accidentally lets the door close behind them and the pair is stuck in the basement until morning, when the school custodian finds them and lets them out. During this episode, it is revealed that Rayanne is afraid of the dark.

To what decade is Angela transported in the Halloween episode?

Angela is transported to the 1960s to meet the ghost of local legend Nicky Driscoll, who bears a stark resemblance to Jordan Catalano. Angela is dressed as a 1960s teen for Halloween, Rayanne is a vampire, Sharon is a cat (who is repeatedly mistaken for a rat), Rickie is dressed as Brian, and Danielle is dressed as Angela.

What phrase from their childhood does Angela say to Sharon when her dad had a heart attack?

Near the beginning of the episode, the audience sees elementary-age Angela and Sharon after Sharon has had her tonsils removed. Sharon tells her getting her tonsils removed hurts, and Angela tells her to squeeze her hand as hard as it hurts. As teens, Sharon tells Angela that her silence when Sharon needed her hurt, and Angela repeats the phrase from their youth.

An avant-garde anti-establishment substitute English teacher shook up Liberty High, and also discovered that which character was functionally illiterate?

Roger Rees played Vic Racine, a substitute teacher who was passionate, but also uncaring. He later says about Jordan, “That kid who just left here. That extremely smart kid. It seems that nobody ever bothered to notice he never quite learned how to read!” Jordan is later diagnosed as a rudimentary reader with low literacy skills.

Sharon and Rayanne form an uneasy alliance when they agree to lie about what?

Sharon and Rayanne never saw eye-to-eye and there was a lot of jealousy about who was Angela’s best friend. However, they made alliances when they needed to, such as who wrote the sexy poem, staging an anti-Jordan emotional intervention for Angela, and Rayanne taking Sharon to the hospital to visit her dad.

Who does Angela call when Rayanne overdoses on ecstasy and alcohol?

Rayanne throws a party that quickly gets out of control. Her mother, Amber, shows little to no interest in the obvious fact that her daughter is overdosing and storms out, prompting​ Angela to panic and call her mom. After Patty takes Rayanne to the hospital to get her stomach pumped, she tells Angela that she had a friend in college who was a lot like Rayanne, but did not survive her overdose.

Rayanne auditions and gets the lead in what school play?

Rayanne auditions at Angela’s urging and gets the lead role of Emily in "Our Town." It was written Thornton Wilder in 1938, and won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Abyssinia Churchill tutors Angela in what subject?

The episode before midterms shows Angela struggling with Geometry and pretending she’s staying afloat, juxtaposing her with the student next to her, Abyssinia, who is aceing the subject but pretending she’s struggling because she doesn’t want to draw attention to herself. Abyssinia tutors Angela in the bathroom before the midterm, and later appears as the stage manager in the school production of "Our Town."

Which character was shown to be homeless in the Christmas episode?

Jordan reveals to Angela that Rickie is crashing in a warehouse with other homeless teens, and Rickie ends up living with the Chases for a short time. However, he feels like an outsider and ends up being fostered by Mr. Katimski, who becomes a mentor to him.

Which character ends up accidentally handcuffed to a bed?

Patty and Graham went out of town to a bed and breakfast with Hallie Lowenthal and her latest boyfriend, leaving Angela and Rickie to look after Danielle. Rayanne comes by to visit Rickie, finds a pair of handcuffs belonging to the Chase parents, and proceeds to handcuff herself to the bed. She promptly loses the key, and the group, expanded to include Sharon and Brian, end up having to take the bed apart to free her.

Patty runs what family business?

Patty takes over the family business, Wood and Jones Printing, after her father, Chuck Wood, has a stroke. This is said to have happened approximately two years before the start of the show.

Patty eventually fires Graham in order to let him go after his dream of becoming what?

From the first episode, Graham is shown to have culinary skills but ignores this to help run the family print shop. In 2004, TV Guide released a list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time,” and despite his flaws, Graham Chase made the list at #49.

Mr. Katimski, the new English teacher, reveals that Rickie’s full name is what?

When calling roll on his first day, Mr. Katimski calls Enrique Vasquez, which is met with immediate teasing. Rickie is embarrassed by his full name. Mr. Katimski uses this as a way to subtly hint that Rickie shouldn't hide his sexual orientation, saying “nobody should hate who they are."

During the Christmas episode, Rickie and Jordan bond over what?

Rickie escapes his abusive uncle. When Jordan realizes this, he confides that his father used to beat him up, until Jordan was big enough to defend himself. He threw a chair at his father in self-defense and his father has been too scared to hit him since.

Graham becomes business partners and plans to open a restaurant with whom?

Hallie Lowenthal is probably the most universally despised character on the show. She flirts with Graham almost right away, despite having a fiance named Brad. Brad dumped her and she goes through a series of boyfriends, while continuing to flirt with Graham.

Which character was initially interested in Brian, but then developed a crush on Rickie?

Delia Fisher was a new student at Liberty High, who was asked to the World Happiness Dance by Brian Krakow (who, of course, screws it up due to his feelings for Angela). She later develops a crush on Rickie and is “honored” to be the first person he comes out to.

What book is Angela's class reading in the pilot episode?

Angela’s class is reading Anne Frank’s "Diary of a Young Girl," which she really enjoys and feels a personal bond with Frank. "Diary of a Young Girl" was published in its original Dutch in 1947, and in English in 1952. It has since been translated into more than 60 languages.

Rayanne’s mother tells Angela's fortune using what?

Tarot cards began as playing cards in the mid-15th century. They were not used for divination purposes until the late 18th century. Many places in the world still use tarot cards for games and divination.

Who wrote The Letter in the series finale?

The series ended on a cliffhanger, with Angela being confronted with Brian’s feelings for her, just as Jordan pulls up to pick her up for a date. Series creator Winnie Holzman has said in interviews that if MSCL had gotten a second season, Angela would have chosen Jordan, who would have made more of an effort and a serious relationship would have evolved. She said that Brian would have started dating Delia, but would continue to pine away for Angela.

Where do Angela and Jordan Catalano meet to make out?

Jordan and Angela start making out in the school’s boiler room, a room Angela says people go to for one reason and one reason only. However, his refusal to even acknowledge Angela outside of the boiler room led to another alliance between Rayanne and Sharon, who are both concerned about Angela’s ability to “handle the boiler room."

Jordan wrote a song called “Red” that Angela thinks is about her. The real Red is what?

Jordan drives a red 1972 Plymouth convertible. Jared Leto’s brother, Shannon, played the drummer in his MSCL band, which eventually led to the Leto brothers co-founding 30 Seconds to Mars a few years later.

What was the name of the dance everyone ends up attending, in various pairings?

Brian is set to attend the dance with Delia, but ditches her to take Angela, despite her making it clear that she was only tagging along for a ride. Delia ends up dancing to Haddaway’s “What is Love” with Rickie, which started her crush on him.

What detail of Angela's fake ID does Jordan screw up?

Brian points out the error to Jordan, saying that the ID was supposed to prove that Angela is 21. When Jordan seems confused, Brian replies, “According to this, she was born yesterday.”

Who joins Jordan's band as lead singer but chokes on stage?

Rayanne is shown to have a fantastic singing voice but she suffers from stage fright. She runs off the stage, forcing Jordan to step up to the microphone. Rickie and Angela later laugh and applaud as Rayanne busts out the theme song to "Sesame Street" while in line to see a movie, but the laughter fades as Rayanne accepts a drink from a stranger, falling off the wagon.

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