The Degens from Upcountry (short for "degenerates") are an unorganized group of louts who form the Hicks' primary antagonist on Letterkenny through Season 4. One or more of their number scrap with the Hicks on numerous occasions.
The terms degen or degenerate are used to label anyone guilty of bad behavior, on various occasions. Katy is the first to use the term, of various individuals coming to the farm to challenge Wayne's title as Toughest Guy in Letterkenny (Super Soft Birthday):
Look, keep it at the end of the laneway. No degens on the property. — Katy
The Hicks also use the term liberally against those who exhibit offensive behavior, beliefs, or personal habits, including their own.
Degens from Upcountry, however, refer to a specific collection of troublemakers known to the the Hicks, mostly hailing from outside Letterkenny.
List of Degens
- Jivin' Pete (Ian Ronningen) — at the beginning, the Hicks discuss his various personal problems but note that he's a "real good guy." He begins hanging out with degens, however, and under their influence changes for the worse. Dan calls him a "decent" guy later (Sled Shack), and finally observes "Jivin's not really a goods guy any more" (MoDeans 2).
- Rat Ass (Derek Barnes) — so named for his hairy ass, the possession of which Katy can confirm (Super Soft Birthday).
- Sled Ted (Jason Lee Bell) — so named for his obsession with riding and fixing sleds, and known for his large brutish hands.
- "Alistair Orson Westwood Yates" — a degen whose name is not initially known (Way to a Man's Heart), but who is known for skulking around town repeating slurs and other uncouth remarks.
- Soupy Campbell and Spider Creamans — the Hicks find a package belonging to them in the dollar store parking lot.
The Hicks ascribe all manner of bad behavior to the degens, and resent that they must spend so much time fighting them (Bradley Is a Killer). According to the Hicks, the degens are egg huckers, nose pickers, and mailbox ruiners known for
- Having poor personal hygiene (Super Soft Birthday)
- Fighting dirty, like pulling hair (Super Soft Birthday)
- Disrupting the annual St. Patrick's Day party (St. Perfect's Day)
- Wearing mantis green leis to said party, when everyone knows leis are Hawaiian
- Harassing Pitter Paddy, the festival's mascot
- Pissing outside (Puck Bunny), by the signs of which the Hicks conclude the degens are the ones who have trashed the sled shack
- Having their fingers up their nose (Puck Bunny)
- Littering with dirty, butt-filled cans (Puck Bunny)
- Being racist (Puck Bunny)
- Being "homophobists" (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Holding a particular hatred of the Ginger and Boots (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Honking and hollering at girls (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Talking to girls when they're not interested in talking to them (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Doing snooters and such (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Trashing MoDean's II (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Drinking at 11a.m. (Bradley Is a Killer)
- Using slurs like "bitch" and "fag" (Bradley Is a Killer)
The Hicks have a number of run-ins with various groups of degens starting with the events of St. Perfect's Day, continuing to come into town to wreak havoc despite never winning a scrap. After degens trash the sled shack, the Hicks make a plot to draw them out and beat them up so badly that they will never return, recruiting Joint Boy, Tyson, and McMurray to help (Puck Bunny); McMurray has a particular hatred of them (St. Perfect's Day). After the backup crew is forced to leave, however, they change strategy and instead install Boots and the Ginger to deter them. The degens are last seen initiating a donnybrook on the Rez in Way to a Man's Heart, in which they are repelled by a combined force of the Hicks, hockey players, and Natives. This defeat seems to have been decisive, as none has troubled the peace in Letterkenny since.
Confrontations involving degens include the following:
- Wayne fights with Sled Ted and Rat Ass (Super Soft Birthday).
- The Hicks, McMurray, and hockey players drive off degens who are ruining the St. Patrick's Day party (St. Perfect's Day).
- Wayne accosts Jivin' Pete and his buddies outside MoDean's (MoDeans 2).
- The degens show up to beat up the Hicks at their fishing hole in Quebec, but their French doppelgangers return to assist (Les Hiques).
- They attempt to return to MoDean's after trashing it, but Bradley frightens them off (Bradley Is a Killer).
- The "Degen All-Stars" show up at the Rez to attack Axe and Slash, who return to Tanis's embrace as a result, and are fought off by the combined efforts of the Natives, the Hicks, and the hockey players (Way to a Man's Heart).