Daria's 10-minute pilot, available only on the home video, consisting of crudely drawn black-and-white stills with accompanying dialogue. Set in "Modern Day High School." Daria asks Kevin the football player to lend her a pencil, which he immediately interprets as a come-on. Daria decides to have a little fun with him and pretend that she likes him, but when he breaks up with his girlfriend, Daria blows him off. Kevin comes to Daria's house to ask her out, but when he meets her sexy sister Quinn he decides to run off with her instead. Character personalities are slightly different here than in later episodes: Daria is more mischievous and saucy, and Kevin is portrayed as less of a brain-dead moron--more like a good-natured jock who is simply clueless about girls.
On their first day at Lawndale High, Daria and Quinn have to take a mandatory psychological exam, where perky, popular Quinn passes with flying colors, while sarcastic loner Daria is forced to enroll in a self-esteem course, where she meets the equally sarcastic Jane. Meanwhile, Quinn goes to great lengths to prevent people from knowing she's related to Daria, since she thinks that it will ruin her popularity.
Daria and Quinn get enrolled in a college-prep course, where they are given the assignment of visiting the college of their choice. Their parents decide to take them to their alma mater, Middleton College. Things start to go wrong after Daria goes into business writing term papers for cash, and Quinn gets elected "keg queen" at a frat party.
The school starts a fundraiser to build a student coffeehouse, and after Daria and Jane fail at selling candy bars, Daria is asked to perform on stage opening night to earn the extra credit points. She ends up reciting an anti-communist story she wrote that starts a riot and has the place closed down.
Mrs. Barch, a science teacher who despises men thanks to her bitter divorce, has her class pair up to do a rat-in-a-maze project. Daria is paired with dimwitted jock Kevin, whom she distracts with the Pigskin Channel while she does all the work herself. Kevin's girlfriend Brittany, meanwhile, is paired with the sleazy Upchuck, who makes Brittany his slave by blackmailing her with a picture he took of her and some guy in the backseat of a car. At Daria's house, Quinn hits on Kevin nonstop, and jealous Brittany becomes convinced that both Morgendorffers are trying to steal him from her.
Desperate to avoid a meeting with a family therapist, Daria substitutes for Quinn on a babysitting gig. The family she ends up sitting for are the sickeningly-sweet Lester and Lauren Gupty, who have raised their kids Tad and Tricia into brainwashed little angels that only watch The Weather Channel on television, and avoid any sugar and junk food. It will take an artist extrordinare(yes, Jane) to rescue Daria from this nauseous night, and the Gupty kids from the sheltered lifestyle they've become so accustomed to.
Brooke, a Fashion Club hopeful, gets a nose job, and Quinn is deemed shallow for saying the new nose is merely "cute". The other Fashion Club members subsequently also get nose jobs, and so Quinn goes to get one too, but the doctor plays on Quinn's insecurities and talks her into getting about $6000 worth of surgery. Quinn doesn't have that kind of money, and becomes more determined to get it after Brooke has further surgery done and looks gorgeous. It's up to Daria to convince her she's perfect and doesn't need to change a thing.
Daria and Jane head off to Alternapalooza with Jane's brother Trent and his friend Jesse. Daria finds this to be an awkward experience due to her strong attraction to Trent. The Fashion Club, meanwhile, dress "alternative" and head off to the festival, but on the way, they decide to go outlet shopping instead. Back home, Helen and Jake use their kids' absence as a chance to "spice up their marriage".
Jake and Helen take the kids on a camping trip, which doesn't go well after Jake starts obsessing over his rocky relationship with his late father. Then it goes straight to hell when Jake, Helen and Quinn eat psychotropic berries and go insane. Meanwhile, Jane and Trent attend their dysfunctional family reunion.
Tommy Sherman, former Lawndale High football star, visits the school when a goalpost is named after him. He turns out to be a complete jerk that insults or propositions everyone he meets, particularly Daria, whom he calls a "misery chick". Daria and Jane crack a few jokes about wishing he were dead, and seconds later he is killed when the goalpost falls on him. Suddenly everyone comes to Daria for advice on dealing with the traumatic incident, because they all think she's obsessed with death, and Jane starts avoiding her because she feels responsible.
Mrs. Dafoe, the art instructor, asks the talented Jane to submit a poster about student life and submit it into a contest. Jane draws a pretty girl looking into a mirror, with Daria adding a very negative poem about bulimia. The poster does not go over well with the school principal, Ms. Li, who orders it changed and submitted against their will. Daria and Jane don't take this without a struggle.
Quinn writes a paper in Mr. O'Neill's English class that the teacher really likes and recites to the class. Quinn becomes scared that she will now become an outcast because people think she's a "brain", but just the opposite happens: she becomes a popular brain, and starts to work with it. Daria, meanwhile, finds herself losing her own identity since Quinn is the school brain now.
The Morgendorffers are invited to the wedding of Helen's niece, and Helen insists that her daughters be bridesmaids. At the wedding, Helen keeps getting angry over issues she has with her sister, Rita, whom she despises. Daria, meanwhile, meets her other aunt, the cynical Amy, with whom she has quite a few things in common.
Their old hippie friends, the Yeagers, who haven't changed a bit, visit Helen and Jake. An issue is raised over which family is living the better life now: the laid-back, old-fashioned Yeagers, or the modern, upwardly mobile Morgendorffers. Quinn takes an interest in the Yeagers' aloof, cynical son Ethan, who ends up telling her about their parents' former problems with the law. Daria, meanwhile, heads off to a flea market with Jane, Jesse and her continuing crush, Trent, where they attempt to sell Trent's old records.
Mr. O'Neill assigns his class to make short films. Daria and Jane decide to do theirs on a day in the life of Quinn, the purpose being to show everyone how shallow Quinn is. They get some great footage after Quinn freaks out over her pores, but Daria starts having second thoughts after noticing Quinn actually has some depth.
Helen and Jake take Daria and Jodie to visit Grove Hills, a private school for A-students. Helen and Jake don't get along too well with Jodie's ultra-conservative black parents, while Daria and Jodie find out the students at Grove Hills are extremely stuck-up. Jodie tells them off, much to Daria's delight. Back in Lawndale, Quinn loses favor with all 3 Fashion Club members, and, afraid to be alone, comes to Jane's house and drives her nuts.
Daria is asked by Mr. O'Neill to write a story featuring people she knows as fictional characters. She develops a serious case of writer's block, and after several aborted story attempts (including takes on The Graduate and Sense and Sensibility), she starts to lose hope, until Helen gives her some advice. Daria winds up writing a great story about her family in the future.
Helen suggests that Daria get contact lenses after a bad driving lesson, which Daria eventually agrees upon. However, Daria finds the contact lenses extremely uncomfortable and doesn't want to wear them anymore. But, not wanting to go back to the glasses, she winds up spending a day wearing neither one and bumping into people. Eventually, Brittany gives her some helpful advice about being herself.
Ms. Li asks (read: orders) everyone to volunteer during Volunteer Week. Daria, Brittany and Kevin volunteer to read for senior citizens, but the seniors only like the perky Brittany and Kevin and are put off by Daria's unenthusiastic voice. The Fashion Club, meanwhile, volunteer to donate clothes for the homeless, but accomplishes nothing by being too picky about what to donate.
A quasi-fantasy episode in which 2 guys approach Daria dressed as a leprechaun and Cupid. They claim to be the spirits of St. Patrick's and Valentine's Days, and they ask her to help them find Halloween, Christmas and Guy Fawkes Day (a British holiday), who have escaped from Holiday Island. Daria at first doubts them (who wouldn't?) but then becomes convinced after Cupid puts a love spell on Helen and Jake. The 3 runaway holidays, as it turns out, have formed a band with Trent.
The Fashion Club president, Sandi, talks Quinn into organizing the school dance, but Quinn doesn't do a very good job at it, since Sandi turns the entire Fashion Club against her. Quinn unloads the job on Jane, who turns the dance into a tribute to Jackson Pollock that becomes a huge success. At the dance, Quinn gets most of the credit for what Jane did, and Daria and Jane meet 2 guys whom they hit it off with--until the subject of who they're related to comes up.
Val, the editor of a self-titled teen magazine along the lines of "seventeen", comes to Lawndale High to hang out with Daria, after reading Daria's paper that Mr. O'Neill submitted. Val turns out to be an egomaniacal thirty something airhead who's trying way too hard to look and act like a teenager. How long before Daria tells her off?
Daria and Quinn get jobs at the mall, neither of which goes over well for them. Daria works at a nut stand, where she gets salary deducted because she doesn't smile; what's worse, her co-worker, Kevin, is completely incompetent. Quinn works at the pet store, where she finds she has to work with "un-cute" animals as well as cute ones, and ends up causing havoc.
Jake suffers a mild heart attack, which makes Daria aware of his mortality for the first time. She then has to deal with his judgmental mom coming to stay with them while he recuperates, and Jake confronts his mom about the way she views his military-freak father. Meanwhile, a pair of obnoxious radio DJs broadcast from Lawndale High for the entire week, and Daria finds that the only way to make them go away is to shame them into leaving.
Daria finally gets her driver's license, and soon thereafter has to drive to a nearby town to bail Jane and Mystik Spiral (Trent's band) out of a traffic violation. Unfortunately, she makes the mistake of taking along Quinn, who gives their money to a handsome hitchhiker. Daria and Quinn end up having to work together to get that money back.
A series of strange events--government agents visiting the school looking for anyone who's "different"; Mr. DeMartino getting arrested; Trent writing cheerful music--lead Daria and Jane to suspect alien presence at Lawndale. Meanwhile, a misunderstanding of something Mr. O'Neill says leads people to believe Daria and Jane are "atomic communists".
Principal Li forces the entire school to raise funds by going on a casino cruise, on a run-down toilet of a ship. There, Quinn gets stood up by her date; Mr. DeMartino deals with his gambling addiction; and Daria and Jane try in vain to get some sleep. Eventually the ship crashes into a garbage scow; many jabs at Titanic ensue.
Mrs. Bennett has the class get into pairs for a budgeting project. Daria, angry at Jane for spending so much time with Tom, pairs up with Jodie instead; meanwhile Jane pairs up with Brittany. Daria and Jodie try to start their own business, but have trouble getting a loan from a bank because of their age and possibly Jodie's race. Jodie gets mad at Daria when she is criticized for using her father's clout in order to succeed. Meanwhile, Jane and Brittany try to purchase a car, but the car salesman seems much more interested in getting a date with Brittany.
Mr. O'Neill arranges a wilderness survival camping trip for the class, in order to experience firsthand the man-against-nature element of "The Call of the Wild". And experience it they do, what with Quinn's admirers electing to carry her bags instead of the food and supplies; Ms. Li ignoring student safety in order to get publicity from the trip; and a nasty blizzard that traps everyone in a cabin. Meanwhile, Helen and Jake stay in another cabin in the woods, hoping that their time alone will increase their level of intimacy and communication. They have trouble communicating until an injured and near-frozen Mr. DeMartino intrudes on them.
Kevin crashes his new motorcycle, injuring his knee. Temporarily unable to play football for the team (thereby also having to break up with Brittany), he can do nothing but feel sorry for himself, and the team goes on a massive losing streak that destroys the reputation of the school and the town. Taking a cue from Tom, Daria suggests that Kevin lecture to children about the dangers of motorcycles--which helps rebuild Kevin's self esteem, but does nothing for the team (whose replacement quarterback is a dangerous psycho). Kevin must make a decision: continue lecturing, or help the team out.
When members of the football team get suspiciously perfect scores on Mr. DeMartino's history test, he suspects that one of them stole the answers--specifically Kevin, who was on academic probation at the time. Mr. DeMartino threatens to fail the whole class unless the guilty party confesses, and Daria later makes sarcastic jokes about killing Kevin for ruining her otherwise perfect academic record. At home, Daria has a dream that Kevin was killed, and although numerous people have a motive, Daria is considered the chief suspect. She enlists the relatively useless help of "Upchuck's Angels"--seen here as the Fashion Club with voluminous hair--to prove her own innocence. This episode manages to poke fun at numerous '70s action shows, including Hawaii Five-0, The Fugitive, and, of course, Charlie's Angels (duh!).
Mr. O'Neill has his students each try something they are sure to fail at, so that they can achieve personal growth. Daria attempts to have her parents ground Quinn so that she can't attend a fashion expo; Jane tries to dress fashionably conformist in an attempt to fit in; Kevin tries to be a bad athlete; Brittany tries to be unpopular by constantly talking about social issues; Jodie tries to talk her parents into letting her kick back during the summer; and Mack tries to teach Kevin about the 3 branches of government. Though Daria, Jodie and Mack fail in their tasks (and therefore succeed in the assignment), the other three unexpectedly succeed in their attempts. Kevin gets kicked off the football team after losing a game, and Brittany alienates the cheerleading squad, who try to replace her with Jane. Since nobody's life changed for the better thanks to their attempts, Mr. O'Neill feels he has failed as a teacher--until Daria and Jane convince him that by doing so, he has succeeded in
Daria goes to the drugstore to buy toilet paper, not knowing that the Lawndale High Homecoming Parade is going on that day. By the time she gets out of the store, the street is crowded and she has a hard time getting home. She runs into Tad Gupty (the boy she babysat in Pinch Sitter), who has lost his parents. Reluctantly, she decides to help Tad out, and while they search for his parents, they run into Tom, who has been waiting for Jane at the wrong drugstore. Daria still resents Tom for all the time Jane has been spending with him, but she heads with him to the other drugstore to find Jane. During the course of the day, as Daria and Tom spend some time together, they find that they actually sort of like each other.
Daria accompanies Jake to a businessmen's convention, while Quinn invites the Fashion Club for a sleepover party. At the convention, Daria and Jake have trouble finding much common ground, and Jake tries to suck up to an egotistical restaurant tycoon who wants to take him ballooning--something that, given Jake's fear of heights, could prove very dangerous. At the sleepover party, the girls give Helen a makeover while she asks them advice about dealing with Jake. During the course of the night, Quinn and Sandi can barely hide the intense dislike they feel towards each other.
As an assignment from her law firm to determine if she has the makings of a partner, Helen takes the family to a therapy spa. The psychologists there evaluate them, and it is revealed that Daria is the only one of the four who is truly well rounded, despite her use of sarcasm to push people away. Helen, meanwhile, finds that she is a ruthless, win-at-all-costs shark who puts her career before everything else, including her family. Naturally, this gets her the promotion. Jane sets up "Jane Cam", a website that broadcasts her fairly mundane activities in her room. This does not go over well with Tom, who unwittingly shakes his ass for the entire world to see.
A labyrinthine discount-bulk-warehouse superstore serves as the destination for several characters. Jane goes there to buy Gummi Bears (for art supply purposes) after Tom ate hers. Daria accompanies her to buy new shoelaces, because Quinn stole the ones from her boot to repair a bag. Trent and Jesse go there to buy a headlamp and scented candles, respectively, and Tom accompanies them so he can find Jane and make up with her after their argument. (Walking with the two musicians, their half-brained purchase ideas drive him nearly up the wall.) The Fashion Club goes to the warehouse store to buy sunscreen and various other beauty needs, and, of course, their incredibly high standards prevent them from making any actual purchases. The free-sample cheese logs at the store become quite popular-an obsession, in fact, for hungry Mr. DeMartino, whose food budget is incredibly tight, and for Mrs. Johansen (a 300-pound hypoglycemic woman who is a recurring character). Kevin's dad, Doug, is holdi
When Jake's car doesn't start when he's supposed to pick up Quinn and the Fashion Club from the mall, the girls reluctantly take the bus, winding up in a creepy neighborhood and having to walk the rest of the way. Meanwhile, a worried Jake has Trent pick him up in his barely-operating vehicle, and they (along with Daria and Jane) search for Quinn and her friends. This storyline frames three ghost stories set during different decades, with the cast playing roles accordingly. "The Rattling Girl of Lawndale", told by Stacy, is about a girl in the 1960s (Sandi) that, in an attempt to become the most popular girl at Lawndale High by getting rid of the fat in her eyelids, became anorexic. At the school dance, she showed up so bony that when she danced, she made an annoying rattling sound and everyone laughed at her. Humiliated, she ran off, disappeared, and took her revenge by making the eyelids of all the girls at school puffy, causing the girls to become unpopular.
Quinn begins to take an interest in guardian angels, and after narrowly avoiding getting crushed by a chandelier; she becomes convinced that she has a guardian angel looking out for her. She then avoids the salad dressing that gives her friends food poisoning, thus deepening her belief. Daria looks at Quinn's behavior with skepticism and amusement. Jane, however, suspects that Daria's attitude toward it is fear that Quinn may be right, since everything seems to turn out okay for people like Quinn no matter how idiotic they behave. Brittany's father throws a huge party for his daughter for getting a C-minus average, and she invites everyone at school, even getting Mystik Spiral to perform. It is here that Quinn's good luck streak ends, after she spills juice on her new jeans and then shatters Brittany's gift (an expensive crystal bullhorn) by sitting on the mixing board controls, causing the amplifier feedback to go at full blast. Quinn feels depressed and disillusioned about her guardi
After Jake accidentally causes a kitchen fire, the family goes to stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks while the damaged areas are repainted. At the hotel, Helen and Jake find themselves relaxing to the point of being oblivious to what's around them. Quinn is courted by Bobby, a handsome bellhop who offers her various luxuries for free, claiming that his uncle owns the hotel. After he asks her out, Sandi (ever the eager backstabber) tries to convince Quinn that Bobby is a stalker. Quinn dismisses Sandi's suspicions as paranoia, but it is later revealed that Bobby lied about his uncle being the hotel manager. He had planned to pay for the luxuries by hacking into the hotel's computer and deleting the charges, and Quinn is horrified that she almost went out with a... "computer geek." Meanwhile, Daria goes to stay with Jane for the duration. While there, she and Tom start bonding over intellectual topics that go right over Jane's head, and Jane becomes jealous.
Jane plans to dye her hair to resemble tiger stripes, and to do it she enlists the help of Daria, who is reluctant for fear she will screw it up. While Daria is applying dye, Jane asks her why she has been spending so much time with Tom, a topic that Daria finds uncomfortable. Afterward, the dye job looks horrible, and Jane accuses Daria of deliberately screwing it up. With some prodding from Trent, Jane realizes she has been acting a bit paranoid, and after she dyes her hair back to normal she apologizes to Daria, who once again insists that she is not trying to steal Tom. Afterward, Tom and Daria have a talk where he says that the problems he and Jane are having are not caused by her, and she says she is not interested in him and doesn't want to stab Jane in the back. Then they passionately kiss. Racked with guilt, Daria confesses about it to Jane, who storms off angrily. Jane breaks up with Tom, though it becomes an amicable breakup as Jane realizes Tom and Daria make a better coupl
Facing a lack of funds, Principal Li accepts a generous sum of money from a soda company, in exchange for letting them promote and advertise their product on campus. Daria has a problem with the fact that the school is being used in this manner, however, everybody--the school superintendent included-feels she has no right to complain since the arrangement is bringing the school the money it needs. Unfortunately, Ms. Li fails to meet the profit quota the soda company requires, and is forced to increase promotion of the product, to the point of including it in athletic uniforms and lesson plans. Ultimately the effort to amend the situation proves too much for her, and the soda company is forced to pull out of the deal (though it still leaves its logo in several strategically placed areas).
As the six-month anniversary of Daria and Tom's relationship approaches, Daria starts to feel like Tom is taking her for granted, since they never go out on dates or do anything romantic, like Tom did with Jane. She can't get herself to bring up the issue with Tom, but she talks to Helen about it, and Helen advises her not to expect too much or else she'll be disappointed. She realizes that though Tom didn't realize that the anniversary was approaching, neither did she at first (Quinn had to remind her). Additionally, Tom explains that he's not the romantic type--he did the romantic stuff with Jane only when he sensed their relationship was falling apart. The two of them decide to celebrate their anniversary even though they really don't have to. Meanwhile, Jake joins the staff of an internet start-up company. He is twice the age of the other employees, and never quite figures out what they're saying (they speak in buzz-words and techno-jargon) or what the company actually does. Though
Sandi breaks her leg, and during her recovery gains a considerable amount of weight. Having violated the Fashion Club's strict maximum weight requirement, she resigns her presidency, placing Quinn in charge. Out of respect for Sandi (though partly because Sandi guilt-trips her), Quinn resigns too, but Stacy and Tiffany find it impossible to run the club without them--and their incredibly steep entry requirements prevent them from recruiting any new members. Meanwhile, Daria and Jane--who have been making a series of friendly wagers--make a bet as to whether the Fashion Club will dissolve completely, and they each try to influence Quinn in order to win the bet. Jane--who predicts the club will fall apart--convinces Quinn not to take over as president, but Daria subtly convinces her to help Sandi lose weight. Once Sandi gets back to her original weight, the Fashion Club gets back together, though with a noticeable shift in power.
Daria and Quinn attend a reunion at Camp Grizzly, the summer camp that is the source of nothing but bad memories for Daria. There, Quinn finds that the crowd she hung out with is a little too much like the Fashion Club, and Daria finds that she's too antisocial for her own good--especially after she starts pushing away a fellow misfit, Amelia, who really looks up to her. However, by refusing to follow a crowd, Daria inspires Amelia to stand up to Skip, the obnoxious "big guy at camp" whose self-imposed authority everyone is afraid to question. Trent starts getting fed up with Mystik Spiral, and Jane suggests that he give Daria and Quinn a ride to camp, then stay in the woods for a while to think things through. Trent and Jane meet an elderly storekeeper and his wife, whom Trent first thinks are full of country wisdom, but who turn out to be lamebrained purveyors of inedible snack foods. The experience is not a total loss, though, as it provides Trent with inspiration for a new song.
Daria writes a story that she plans to submit to publication, but is reluctant to let anyone read it. She gives it to Jane and Tom to read--Jane thinks it needs a little work, but Tom likes it and encourages her to submit it. She submits it to a magazine, but it gets rejected. This discourages her, but she decides to give it another go after learning Jake went through a similar situation with a song he wrote when he was her age. The Fashion Club seeks to win a humanitarian award by donating a mirror for the school bathroom, but they first have to get the money to buy the mirror. They decide to start a newsletter and sell it, but get discouraged when all of the fashion predictions they publish turn out wrong. Meanwhile, after learning of the reasons behind her niece Erin's failed marriage, Helen starts to keep a close eye on Daria, making sure she isn't rushing into sex with Tom.
When Principal Li fails to honor the raise promised in the teachers' contracts, the teachers go on strike. Substitutes are hired to take their place, including a spaced-out elderly woman to take over for Mr. DeMartino; and a sleazebag for Mr. O'Neill's class who is soon fired for hitting on Tiffany. That substitute's replacement is none other than Daria. Quinn starts to fear that the truth about her sibling relationship to Daria will come out, especially when she keeps having to defend Daria in front of her friends. Daria tries to teach the class Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", and when she assigns a test, Quinn finds that she knows the play well enough to ace it. When Quinn gets a much better grade than the rest of the Fashion Club, Sandi brings up the question of Quinn's relationship to Daria. Quinn finally admits, with no shame, that she and Daria are sisters. While the strike is going on, the Lane siblings end up helping the teachers.
A gazebo at the Lane residence collapses, and Jane and Trent decide to have it rebuilt because of its sentimental value to their brother, Wind. Jane tries to sell her paintings at an art fair to pay for the repairs, and winds up getting hired to re-create famous paintings for a gallery. Though this becomes financially lucrative for Jane, she gets no creative stimulation from it and contemplates quitting. Meanwhile, Trent hires three slackers to fix the gazebo, and is unsuccessful in getting them to actually do any work. At the art fair, the Fashion Club let a caricaturist draw them, and are so insulted by the drawing that they plan to sue him, a mission that they are persistent at despite Helen's advice against it. Ironically, when Jane and Trent's parents come home, they say that they plan to get rid of the gazebo; and Stacy keeps the caricature drawing because, unbeknownst to anyone else, she liked the way it turned out.
Helen encourages Daria to invite Tom over for dinner, but Daria is reluctant to do so because she fears Jake's erratic behavior will embarrass everyone, especially after he starts obsessing over catching a squirrel that's been knocking over his garbage cans. Helen tells her that she will try to control Jake if Daria invites Tom over. Quinn, meanwhile, decides to find one boy to date exclusively, to show that she is mature enough to do so. Her detailed search for the lucky guy is based entirely on fashion sense, and it's ultimately narrowed down to Jamie, Jeffy and Joey. However, Daria starts playing with her mind and giving her unrealistic expectations for what an exclusive relationship entails (i.e., being together 24/7, adjoining burial plots, etc.), and during the course of a couple of days Jamie and Joey are both dumped, leaving Jeffy the one to come to dinner with Tom. At dinner, Jake's squirrel problems end up causing male bonding between him, Tom and Jeffy, and the three of
Jane starts dating Nathan, a guy whose clothing and lifestyle are extreme vintage retro, mixing elements from the 20s, 30s and 40s. She is charmed at first by his ways, and even starts dressing in retro outfits, though Daria and Tom don't quite share her enthusiasm. However, it soon becomes obvious that Nathan takes his lifestyle way too seriously, and the relationship ends. Meanwhile, Upchuck begins performing magic acts in yet another attempt to attract women. Surprisingly, he is successful this time--he wins Stacy's heart, as well as her participation in a Houdini act he performs for the entire school.
Helen's sister Rita asks her to handle her daughter Erin's divorce, and Helen reluctantly agrees despite the fact that she and Rita never get along. Rita ends up coming without Erin to the Morgendorffers', and as they hammer out the details of the divorce, their usual rivalries start to spring up, mainly revolving around their mother's favoritism toward Rita. Jake is unable to handle all the fighting, and decides to leave the house until Rita goes away. Daria calls Aunt Amy (who is like an older version of herself) to come and help mediate, but Amy only ends up joining in the argument herself. Ultimately, it is Daria and Quinn who help patch things up between the three sisters. The whole ordeal affects Daria and Quinn's outlooks: the talk of divorce makes Daria uneasy about spending time with Tom, while the rivalry between the sisters makes Quinn fear that she and Daria might someday wind up the same way. Meanwhile, Stacy and Tiffany find themselves inadvertently breaking a Fashion
As graduation looms over the horizon, Helen encourages Daria to apply for a scholarship. Due to her lack of extracurricular activities, the only scholarship Daria has a good chance at is one sponsored by the Wizard Corporation, which only requires that its applicants enter an essay contest. Daria's essay makes her a finalist, but she finds herself competing for the scholarship with Jodie and Upchuck, both of whom appear to have a greater chance at winning. Additionally, Daria finds that the corporation has extremely racist and sexist business practices, and as the interviews approach, she questions whether she really wants to pander to their level in order to win. Meanwhile, academic underachiever Jane starts to feel left out. This season has had a running joke involving Jake's failed attempts at cooking. Here, he receives a huge bulk order of hot dogs by mistake and tries to make the best of it.