A Very Daria Christmas
A Daria Fan Fiction by the Alchemist
Mr. O’Neil’s classroom. Mr. O’Neil is in front of his desk teaching and questioning his students about A Christmas Carol.
O’Neil : Now, I know that ghosts and Christmas spirits may seem a bit spooky, but really, isn’t the end just so very uplifting?
Daria : (softly) So uplifting that I lifted myself up by the seat of my pants and flew away.
Jane : So, why did you come back?
Daria : (shaking her head) Damn. I guess this is reality after all. (looking around) A nightmare brought on by too much pizza seems so much more fitting. (Bt) Although, an acid trip would explain this much better …
Brittany : (VO) Of course it’s uplifting! It’s got Mickey Mouse in it!
Kevin : (VO) Good one babe! You got one!
Jane : It’s better than an hour on the phallic nature of Christmas trees.
Daria : Or the yonic nature of the wreath … Ugh, my stomach still hurts from last night.
Jane : Hey, no one forced you to eat …
Daria : Yeah, but anchovies, sausage, meatball, onion, garlic, and artichoke hearts on the same pizza?
Jane : You’re the one who suggested that the Spiral may as well go for ALL the disputed toppings
O’Neil : (VO) Kevin, I must say that I find this most disturbing. Did you actually read the book?
Kevin : (VO) Book?
Daria : I just failed to see why it takes four hours to decide on toppings for four pizzas being eaten by four different band members. And don’t get me started about the llama…
O’Neil : (VO – frustrated) Somebody else, perhaps? Daria?
Daria : It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …
O’Neil : Um, Daria? That’s from a different book.
Daria : (matter of fact) Oh, I know. It just fits the season so well.
Mr. O’Neil shakes his head as the bell rings.
O’Neil : Goodbye class! And, uh, …
O’Neil picks up a book titled ‘Politically Correct Seasonal Greetings’, flipping to a bookmark
O’Neil : … Happy Holidays!
Andrea : No thanks. I have other plans.
Mr. O’Neil looks concerned, then takes a pen and crosses out the ‘Happy Holidays’ line in his book.
Hallways of Lawndale High. Quinn and the Fashion Club are walking down the hallway as a group.
Quinn : So, will you all be at my Christmas party on the 23rd?
Stacy : Sure Quinn. It’s so good of you to have it.
Tiffany : Yeah, parties are such a good place to show off your new Christmas clothes.
Sandi : Tiffany dear, the party is before Christmas…
Tiffany : Oh …
Sandi : Now Quinn, you did ask your mother this year? I mean, we wouldn’t want a repeat of last year’s fiasco, now would we?
Quinn : (concealed nervousness) But of course Sandi. Everything is completely taken care of …
Cut to the interior of the Morgendorffer Living room. Quinn enters the front door, dropping her bag at the front steps.
Quinn : Mo-om? Are you home?
Getting no response, Quinn is about to go upstairs when faint voices are heard from the kitchen. Quinn walks towards the kitchen, and is about to loudly announce her presence when she sees Jake on the phone. Catching herself just before she says anything, she stands just around the corner listening to Jake on the phone.
Jake : Why no. No problem at all! (Bt) Of course you can come down for Christmas, we’d love to have you. (Bt) You’re always free to visit little Jakey mother … as long as you don’t send me off to military school again. (Bt) I know that wasn’t you. (Bt) So we’ll see you for Christmas?
Quinn backs away from the kitchen with a concerned look on her face, and slowly and quietly makes her way back through the living room and up the stairs.
Cut to Jane’s room. Daria is laying on Jane’s bed, reading as Jane searches her closet.
Jane : I knew I left that tube of Cadmium Red around here somewhere …
Daria : You mean Fire Engine Red isn’t close enough?
Jane : (mock outrage) And you call yourself an artist!
Daria : No, I don’t.
Jane : Hmm. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense then.
Daria : Since when has that ever stopped you?
Jane : Hey! (rummaging through closet) I think I found it!
Daria : So, any big plans for Christmas break?
Jane : (mixing paints on a palette) Let’s see. Mom’s off in Romania, studying the intricacies of lead crystal. Dad’s in the Australian Outback, trying to photograph the pristine wildlife environment. Penny was last seen in Argentina after the junta had her deported . Wind is currently living with a group of Mormons until he gets his last two divorces legalized, and Summer is heading to Canada to rescue Courtney and Adrian from the ‘evil’ French-Canadians in Quebec. Which leaves Trent and me sitting alone with Chinese takeout and a cup of coffee. Assuming he wakes up, that is.
Daria : (impressed) Wow. They make you look almost normal …
Jane : I’m not sure how to take that …
Daria : In the manner in which it was intended. A mortal challenge to your integrity.
Jane : (smirking) Nice to know that you care.
Daria : I take it this is a Lane family tradition?
Jane : Well, one year my Dad decided to surprise us by dressing up as Santa. It was a real surprise alright, given that it was Valentines day …
Daria : Well, uh, if you’re not doing anything, would you like to come over to my house for Christmas?
Jane : And interfere with the innermost workings of the Morgendorffer family celebration?
Daria : That was the plan. (Bt) Besides, my Aunt Amy always comes over for the holidays, ever since my mother realized that I was more personable when she was around. Or more accurately, we get together and try our best to avoid our little bouts of family togetherness. (suggestive) If I could get you over, there’d be as many of us as there are of them. Just think of the possibilities.
Jane : Warm food?
Daria : Warm EDIBLE food.
Jane : Well, you sold me. Sign me up. (Bt) Will, uh, Tom be there?
Daria : (slight disappointment) No, he’s spending most of his vacation in his family’s cabin in the mountains of Colorado.
Jane : Jealous?
Daria : Naw. Elsie promised that she’d make him pay. I just asked that she bring back 51% of the corpse for proper identification.
Jane : (teasing) And which 51% of the corpse would this be?
Daria looks shocked/enraged at Jane’s innuendo, turning away with a hurt expression on her face. Jane suddenly looks concerned, and walks over towards her bed, putting the palette down. Just as she reaches the bed, Daria spins around and hits Jane with a pillow. Stunned, Jane falls backwards and starts laughing.
Jane : I should have known …
Cut to Morgendorffer kitchen. Helen is on the cordless phone as Quinn enters.
Quinn : Mo-om!
Helen : (turning away from the phone for a second) Quinn, I’m on the phone! (into phone – faux sympathy) Oh Rita, I’m so sorry. (Bt) No, I had no idea. (Bt) Just terrible. (Bt – warily) Well, I suppose. What about Erin? (Bt) Oh, I see. Well, I guess its OK. (Bt) Yes, I’ll see you soon.
Helen hangs up the phone and turns towards Quinn.
Helen : Great news! Rita’s coming to visit us for Christmas!
Quinn takes on a frightened demeanor.
Helen : Come on Quinn. Rita isn’t all THAT bad …
Quinn : Just promise me that you won’t make a scene. Having the police come to our house for my MOTHER would be, like, the height of unpopularity. I’d just DIE!
Helen : (sighing) Did you want something?
Quinn : (nervously) Um, there’s, like, this big party on the 23rd …
Helen : OK … Where is this party?
Quinn : (softly) Um, here?
Helen gives Quinn a disapproving glare
Helen : And when were you planning on telling me?
Quinn : (reluctant but determined) Well, I TRIED to tell you last week, but you were on that big case all week …
Helen : (slightly humbled) Oh. (Bt) You can have the party on two conditions.
Quinn : (nervously) Ok …
Helen : One, you also include Amy, Rita, Jake, and me.
Quinn : (thought VO) Do I mention Grandma? (out loud) And number two? (thought VO) I guess that’s a ‘no’ then.
Helen : I want you to include your sister as well.
Quinn : But mo-om!
Helen : Take it or leave it.
Quinn : Fine. I hope you’re happy wrecking my party.
Interior of Daria’s room. Daria and Jane are sitting on the bed, watching SSW.
Jane : Hey, would it be OK if Trent came over for Christmas too? If he wants to, that is.
Daria : Sure. (Bt) The Spiral isn’t doing anything?
Jane : Nope. They all prefer to spend it with their families.
Daria : Ingrates …
Jane : You said it sister!
As Daria gives Jane a strange look, a knock is heard at door
Daria : I’m sorry, all lines are busy. Please hang up and try again.
A second knock is heard, after which a worried Quinn opens the door and enters.
Daria : Quinn, you know the penalty for unauthorized entry.
Quinn : (preoccupied) Huh?
Daria : (matter of fact) What do you want.
Quinn : Um, could I ask you something?
Daria : Would it matter if I said no? (Jane chuckles)
Quinn : Daria! This is serious!
Daria : Don’t worry Quinn. I’ll stay far, far away from your little party.
Quinn : How did you … That’s not why I’m here!
Daria : Well, it’s obviously not for the stimulating conversation …
Quinn : This important! It affects both of us!
Jane : Strapless.
Daria : Definitely. And clown feet.
Quinn : (frustrated hyper mode) Amy, Ruth, and Rita are all coming for Christmas this year!
Daria stops in mid comment, slowly turning to look at Quinn.
Daria : What was that?
Quinn : (normal tone) Grandma Ruth, Aunt Amy, and Aunt Rita are all coming here for Christmas.
Daria : MOM invited them?
Quinn : Well, mom invited Rita. Dad invited Grammy.
Daria : Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Cut to later, still inside Daria’s room
Jane : What’s the big problem?
Daria : We’re about to be visited by the three Christmas spirits.
Jane : Amy, Ruth, and Rita?
Daria : Cuervo, Tanqueray, and Finlandia.
Jane looks at Daria in concern.
Daria : (explaining) My mother has a certain ‘special’ way of dealing with her sisters and in-laws.
Jane : I see …
Daria : But usually the police are pretty discreet about it…
Jane : Police? Do tell …
Daria : Well, remember that wedding ?
Cut to downstairs, Morgendorffer living room. Jake is watching TV, looking slightly concerned as Daria enters the room.
Daria : Dad? Something wrong?
Jake : Oh, nothing really. (Bt) I invited your grandmother over for Christmas without asking your mother. I hope she isn’t too mad.
Daria : Um, dad? Did you know that mom invited Rita?
Jake : (pauses a second, then laughs) Good one kiddo. I needed a bit of cheering up …
Daria : Um, its not a joke dad.
Jake looks at Daria for a second with a curious gaze
Jake : You’re serious?
Daria : Afraid so.
Jake : Oh.
Daria : So I wouldn’t worry too much. At least until they arrive.
As the two are talking, Helen enters the front door, noticing Jake and Daria talking. With a resigned look on her face, she walks over to the couch to sit down. As she does so, Daria stands up.
Daria : Well, I’ll bet you two have plenty to talk about. I’m going to, um, take a walk.
Cut to the streets of Lawndale. There is a covering of snow over the town, with a very light snowfall as Daria walks down the street. As she does, we see a figure walking in the opposite direction coming up to Daria. As the camera zooms in on the two, we see that the approaching figure is none other than Charles Ruttheimer the Third, wearing a hat with a sprig of mistletoe suspended over his head.
Upchuck : Oh, sweet Daria, certainly you know the importance of maintaining tradition. Give in to your innermost desires, and let your feelings flow free.
Daria : I can’t. My mother is a lawyer.
Upchuck : But certainly an educated, nubile young woman like yourself knows of the, rowr, exciting possibilities that mistletoe provides. Just think of what its legendary powers could mean for us …
Daria : Oh, I certainly agree that the power of the mistletoe would be most useful. (Upchuck looks excited) According to legend, the goddess Frigga was worried that her son, Balden, was in danger. (Upchuck’s expression turns from excitement into confusion). As such, she made all of the animals and plants of the realm swear an oath not to harm his son. Unfortunately, they missed the lowly mistletoe, and Balden was killed through Loki’s trickery. (hopeful) Are you offering to re-enact this legend for me?
Upchuck : Feisty! (Bt) Fear not, sweet Daria, for I will return!
Daria : Damn! And I tried so hard …
Cut to the interior of Daria’s room. Daria is on her bed, reading a book when someone knocks at the door.
Quinn : (VO) Daria? Are you in here?
Daria : That depends. What do you want?
Quinn opens the door and enters Daria’s room, leaving the door open.
Daria : Yes Quinn?
Quinn : (uncertain) Um, (quickly) would you want to choose music for the holiday party?
Daria : (confused) The holiday party with your friends and our relatives. Which I have no desire to attend, and you have even less desire to have me make an appearance?
Quinn : Uh, yeah.
Daria : OK Quinn, what’s the deal.
Quinn : Do I need a reason to offer to help my only sister?
Daria : Yes.
Quinn : (resigned) Well, mom said that I had to try and include you. Something about ‘coming out of your shell’.
Daria : If mom wants me to ‘come out of my shell’, she can dry roast me, pack me in a paper bag, and throw me to some screaming fan in the bleachers to crack me open and feast on my insides …
Jake : (passing by the open door) Hey! Go easy on your mother. It was a very, uh, experimental time for everyone.
Daria and Quinn slowly turn to look at each other.
Daria & Quinn : (in unison) Ewww …
Quinn : (still a bit creeped out) Uh, so, about the music?
Daria : (subdued) Sure. I’ll do it.
Quinn : (surprised) What?
Fade to the next scene as Quinn looks at Daria with a mixture of suspicion and uncertainty.
Interior of Jane’s room. Jane is painting while Daria looks through a number of different CD’s.
Jane : Going well, amiga?
Daria : Yup. I’m picking out which songs I want, and I’ll have Tom help me burn the CD’s for the party.
Jane : You’re really getting into this. Dare I ask why?
Daria : Would you believe that I finally decided to open up to my fellow classmates at Quinn’s Christmas party?
Jane : No.
Daria : What if I said that I would finally be able to express my artistic side?
Jane : Striike two.
Daria : (resigned) Or if I said that Quinn will be worried sick?
Jane : Now, that I believe. But if she doesn’t want you to help, why did she offer?
Daria : Well, my hypothesis is that she figured that I would never agree to choose the music for the party, and therefore she would technically have fulfilled her obligation to my mother.
Jane : So you accepted a task you loathe simply to annoy your sister? That seems like an awful lot of work …
Daria : Anything for the cause. (Bt) It helps that my relatives and the fashion club are also within ground zero…
Jane : (worried) Um, dare I ask exactly what music you’ve selected so far?
Daria : Let’s see. (looking down at a notebook) Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain, Pink Floyd – Brain Damage, The Beatles – Happiness is a Warm Gun, Alanis Moirsette – Uninvited, The Beatles – All the Lonely People, Weird Al – The Night Santa Went Crazy …
Jane : (impressed) I see. (concerned) But won’t people get mad at you?
Daria : That depends on two things. First, that those in attendance will be intelligent enough to figure out the pattern, and second, that the music will actually be used.
Jane : Huh?
Daria : I lay you odds that right now, Quinn is picking out music just in case …
Cut to Quinn’s room as she extracts a box marked Christmas CD’s and begins looking through them, selecting a few.
Cut back to Jane’s room
Jane : You know, if you were to put a few normal songs at the beginning, I’ll bet that Quinn wouldn’t bother listening to the whole thing …
Daria : You want me to compromise for the sole purpose of showing up my sister?
Jane : Well, you’ve come this far…
Daria : (sighing) I suppose that if the snowball’s already melting, the blowtorch only speeds the inevitable.
Jane : Now there’s the cheery, upbeat Daria we all know and love!
Daria : Cool. Would you introduce me to her please?
Fade to later in the day, the Lane kitchen. Jane closes a cupboard door and turns just as Trent walks in.
Trent : Hey Janey. (heads towards a cupboard)
Jane : Hey Trent. Don’t bother, the cupboard is bare.
Trent : (confused) Huh?
Jane : There’s no food.
Trent : Hmmm. That’s disappointing. I was hungry too …
Jane : Trent, you’re always hungry. Unless you’re asleep.
Trent : Unless I’m asleep, I’ve fallen too deep, I find myself counting, vast herds of sheep. Nope, won’t work.
Jane : Um, Trent? Any plans for Christmas?
Trent : Well, not unless ‘X’ shows up again …
Jane : (warning tone) Trent, I thought we agreed not to talk about that …
Trent : Oh yeah. Sorry.
Jane : So …
Trent : The band’s all going to hang out with their families. (regretful) So I guess I’ll be here alone again …
Jane : Trent, would you like to come with me to the Morgendorffers for Christmas? Daria invited us.
Trent : (eyes lighting up) Hey, that’d be cool. (Bt) Um, are we supposed to bring gifts or something?
Jane : I don’t think you have to worry about it. Just be sure to do your laundry, and everything will be fine.
Fade to the Sloane Residence, living room. Daria and Tom are on the couch, each holding a wrapped gift.
Daria : I should warn you that I’m really horrible at choosing presents. I guess that comes from a lifetime of guilt-induced buying …
Tom : Are you saying that Quinn actually let you buy a gift for her? That YOU picked out?
Daria : As long as I kept the receipt. Most stores have a reasonable return policy for exactly that reason. Although store credit at Billy-Bob’s Redneck Paradise is of limited utility to the princess of pleather.
Tom : You didn’t!
Daria : Well, not this year, at least.
Tom : Well, at least you don’t get dragged off to see relatives and business associates who only remember you from when you were six and are ‘amazed at how much you’ve grown’.
Daria : No, we import them.
Tom : (nervous chuckle) Oh, yeah. Sorry about that.
Daria : Just promise me one thing. If things really get bad …
Tom : Yes?
Daria : Could you pay my bail?
Tom : (laughing) Sure, what are friends for?
Daria : (awkwardly) Well, um, here.
Daria hands Tom her present, which Tom carefully unwraps, removing the ribbon and tearing off the wrapping paper to reveal a small brown box.
Tom : A box! And in brown! Just what I always wanted!
Daria : (smirking) Open the box, you idiot …
Tom : Oh, I see. Inside the box, right. I knew that all along…
Tom opens the box to reveal tissue paper. Unwrapping the tissue paper reveals a harmonica.
Daria : Well?
Tom : I don’t know what to say. (Bt) Um, how do you play this?
Daria : (smirking, hint of amusement in her voice) Well, that’s for you to figure out. It’s quite useful for annoying parents during undesired trips, especially when you’re just learning …
Tom : (smiling) Nice. Thank you. Now its my turn.
Tom hands Daria his gift, which is a small box that is quite simply wrapped.
Daria : (playful sarcasm) What, no ribbon? No bow?
Tom : (faux meek) Well, you see, I’m a guy, and, well, I’m pretty bad at wrapping gifts.
Daria : Why don’t you just hire someone to do it for you?
Tom : (sincerely) Its just, um, not the same.
Daria : Oh…
Daria tears off the paper to reveal a small jewelry box
Daria : (worried) Um, jewelry?
Tom : Just open the box …
Daria opens the box to reveal a pendant. The cord is a simple black, and hanging from it is a sterling silver ankh, in a very simple, yet elegant style.
Daria : Wow. Thanks. (Bt) How did you know I would like this? (reassuring) And I definitely do …
Tom : Well, it just seemed like you. I’m not sure why.
Daria : (sincerely) Thank you Tom.
Tom : Don’t mention it.
As the scene fades out, we see Daria give Tom a gentle hug.
Cut to Cashmans. Quinn and the Fashion Club are shopping for attire for the Christmas party.
Stacy : Red and green? Who came up with that combination?
Quinn : I know, its, like, so cliché. I mean, its all good for holiday combinations and stuff, but like, I would never wear it.
Sandi : Yeah. Fashion should be chosen, not dictated …
Tiffany : (VO) Um, guys? Does this look cute?
The camera pans over to reveal Tiffany in a tight ‘naughty elf’ type of outfit, sporting a short skirt with a slit up the side and a tight fitting top.
Quinn : Um, Tiffany? This isn’t a costume party …
Tiffany : Oh, its not? Hmmm …
As Tiffany walks back into the dressing room, Quinn, Sandi, and Stacy turn back to each other.
Stacy : So guys, who are you going to the party with?
Sandi : I think I’m going with Matt, unless Aaron asks me first …
Stacy : (meekly) Oh, but Aaron asked ME to the party.
Sandi : I see.
Stacy : Um, Quinn, who are you going with?
Quinn : I was thinking of asking the French exchange student. He seems pretty nice …
Sandi : Quinn, you are a member of the Fashion Club. You should not be asking boys on dates. They should come to you.
Quinn : What, so we seem all helpless and dependent on them? If I feel like asking someone on a date, why shouldn’t I?
Sandi : But what if he turns you down. Could you possibly deal with the permanent and irreversible damage to your reputation that would be involved?
Quinn : Well, yes, I could. People don’t care if I get turned down for a date, they only care if it makes me uncomfortable. If it doesn’t bother me, then its no fun to make fun of me over it.
Stacy : But, if you asked him, doesn’t that mean that you care?
Quinn : Um, yeah. But, like, if I don’t take a chance, then I’ll never know if it would be, like, worth it …
Stacy : OK … But, like doesn’t it bother you if they say no?
Quinn : Well, yeah. But if I stay civil and don’t make a big deal over it, people just don’t notice.
Tiffany enters in a semi-formal dress as Quinn finishes talking.
Tiffany : They don’t notice? (looks down at dress) Then I guess I need a different dress…
Quinn : (smiling slightly) Not the dress Tiffany …
The scene fades out as Quinn, Stacy, and Sandi move to help Tiffany with her dress selection.
Interior of the Morgendorffer Residence. Daria is on the couch, watching TV when someone knocks at the front door. Putting down her book, Daria walks over to the front door, opening it to reveal Aunt Amy.
Daria : Aunt Amy! How are you?
Amy : Oh, pretty good. Life goes on. How’s life around here? (Bt – slight teasing) I hear you have a man now …
Daria : (embarrassed but bemused) Well, yeah. That would be Tom.
Amy : And do I get to meet this mystery man?
Daria : No. He used a day-old palm frond to fan me, so we chained him in the basement for a few months.
Amy : (chuckles) Now that’s my favorite niece. (Bt) But really, do I get to meet him?
Daria : (slightly downcast) Unfortunately, he’s out of town for the holidays.
Amy : You really like him, don’t you?
Daria : What does that mean?
Amy : Well, you actually seem to miss him …
Daria : Um, yeah. There’s more to it than that, if you think you can handle it.
Amy : (sarcasm with a touch of concern) He’s carrying your baby?
Daria : (chuckling) No, nothing like that. (Bt) My grandmother Ruth and your sister Rita are also coming over for the ‘festivities’
Amy looks at Daria for a second, gauging her expression.
Amy : You’re serious, aren’t you?
Daria : Regretfully, yes, I am. (Bt) Hopefully you’ll stay despite the company. I can use all the sanity I can get.
Amy : Hey, I had to live in the same house with Rita and Helen as a child …
Daria : If you don’t mind my asking, how did they deal with each other before they could legally drink?
Amy : (smiling) Poorly. You up for some food?
Daria : Sure.
Daria and Amy head back out the door, talking between themselves as the door closes and we cut to black.
Morgendorffer Residence. Quinn is in the living room when someone knocks at the front door. Turning off the television, Quinn walks over to the door, answering it to reveal Grandma Ruth.
Ruth : Why Quinn, what a lovely surprise. How are you doing?
Quinn : Oh, not too bad. A bit busy with school, college applications, and my fashion club duties and all.
Ruth : Oh, that’s so cute. My precious little Quinn, all worried about college and classes …
Quinn : (a little annoyed at Ruth’s tone) Um, thanks Grandma.
Ruth : (looking around) Quinn? What happened to the curtains your mother put up last time I was here?
Quinn : (thought VO) A quart of kerosene and a 55-gallon steel drum (out loud) Well, there was an, um, accident, and we had to get rid of them,
Ruth : Oh no! Was anybody hurt? Why didn’t you call me?
Quinn : Oh, it was a little thing. Nothing to get excited about …
As Ruth looks around for a second, Quinn thinks, and then takes a step towards Ruth’s bags.
Quinn : (gesturing at the bags) Here, let me help you with these. You’re staying in Daria’s room.
Ruth : Oh.
Quinn : Is there a problem?
Ruth : Well, her room is kind of, well, creepy.
Quinn : Yeah, I know. I think she, like, likes it that way or something.
Quinn picks up one of the smallest bags and heads up the stairs. Gathering her remaining bags, Ruth follows Quinn up the stairs.
Cut to a typical restaurant. Daria and Amy are sitting in a booth overlooking the hallway of the mall. Daria is talking as Amy listens intently.
Daria : So that’s the basic Tom story. Additional extras are at the rate of one plate of cheese fries, or an acceptable equivalent, paid before the time of the story.
Amy : You really are Helen’s daughter, aren’t you.
Daria : I’m not sure how to take that …
Amy : (bemused) An observation. Nothing more.
Daria : Right. Of course, if I get mad at you, then I get more time to spend with either the fashion club, my parents, or Rita and Ruth.
Amy : A real catch-22?
Daria : Well, No Exit would seem to fit better …
Amy : (laughing) Christmas is a time to bring all families together, to remind them why they left in the first place …
Daria : Strange, Jane said something very similar about her family …
Amy : Great minds think alike …
Daria : And apparently, so do yours.
Amy : (mock hurt) Hey, is that any way to talk to your favorite aunt?
Daria : Would you prefer to spend more time with your favorite sisters?
Amy : OK, that’s check and mate. I’ll be good.
Daria looks at her with an amused gaze
Amy : Well, I’ll try and be nice to people …
Daria continues to stare
Amy : OK, I won’t kill anyone.
Daria : Now that I can believe.
Amy : (smirking) Same old Daria …
The camera pans around, showing the window and the hallway outside the building. Continuing through the window, the camera continues down the hallway to reveal Upchuck and his mistletoe contraption approaching a group of women.
Upchuck : Hello my lovely ladies. One line please, no pushing.
Woman 1 : You’re kidding, right?
Woman 2 : As if!
Woman 3 : Maybe after a few too many shots … right before the coroner arrives.
Upchuck : Rowr, feisty! (Bt) Fear not, for I know how to treat a woman right.
Woman 2 : By leaving?
Woman 3 : He sort of reminds me of someone. That’s it, James Bond. (Upchuck smiles) On estrogen.
The first woman laughs as Upchuck slowly backs away
Upchuck : (trying to save face) Should you desire a night of unbridled passion, you need only call my number …
The three women all break into laughter as Upchuck turns and leaves, a slight hint of disappointment on his face.
Interior of Daria’s room. Daria is on her bed, with Ruth’s suitcases nearby, reading as Quinn enters.
Daria : If I didn’t know better, I would say that that was Quinn. But it couldn’t be. Quinn knows that you have to knock first.
Quinn : Daria, could I ask you something?
Daria sits in her bed, completely ignoring Quinn.
Quinn : Daria? (annoyed) Daria? (Bt) Fine!
Quinn exits the room, closing the door as she does. Immediately after the door is closed, someone knocks at the door.
Daria : Who could that be? (mock friendliness) Come in!
Quinn enters the room with a look of frustration and annoyance
Quinn : Was that really necessary?
Daria : You try and teach you sister some basic civilization and simple rules, and what do you get? Nothing but trouble.
Quinn : Whatever.
Daria : Did you have some reason for brightening my doorstep at this marvelous hour?
Quinn : What?
Daria : Why are you here?
Quinn : Well, like, you took French, right?
Daria : That does not answer my question Quinn.
Quinn : But did you?
Daria : A little. Why do you care?
Quinn : Well, I was going to ask that French exchange student to be my date for the Christmas party, and I was wondering how to ask in French …
Daria : And why should I help you?
Quinn : Because you’re my sister? Who wants to help me? Me, the sister who just happened to come across a waterproof bed sheet before Grandma’s visit …
Daria : I see. Well, I suppose you leave me no choice.
Quinn : So, like, you’ll do it?
Daria : Sure, what are sisters for. Besides a source of backup organs, that is.
Quinn : Daria, Ewww …
Daria : Try this. (as she writes on a sheet of paper) "Comment est-ce que je peux m’inscrire dans l’armee francaise? J’ai mon propre drapeau blanc."
Quinn : But, I don’t hear about Christmas at all …
Daria : (trying to keep a straight face) It’s a formal form. I figured that you would want to describe the details of the party yourself.
Quinn : Oh, yeah. Thanks Daria.
Quinn leaves and shuts the door behind her.
Daria : Oh, I don’t need your thanks. Just give me a camera when you pop the big question …
Morgendorffer kitchen. Helen is going through the cabinets and making a list when the front door opens. Walking into the living room, Helen comes upon her sister Rita entering with her bags.
Helen : (mock enthusiasm) Rita! How nice of you to come. How was your trip?
Rita : Not too bad. My new Land Rover really cuts through snow quite well.
Helen : Land Rover?
Rita : Well, after the whole mess with my Paul, mother was concerned about me driving in the snow. So she bought me a car to keep me safe.
Helen : Did she?
Rita : Helen, you’re not still mad about Erin’s wedding, are you?
Helen : Now why should I be mad that mother always seems to play favorites?
Rita : And just what is that supposed to mean?
Helen and Rita stare at each other for twenty or thirty seconds, after which Helen shakes her head.
Helen : You’re going to be staying in Quinn’s room. Here, let me show you where it is..
Helen heads up the stairs with a purposeful stride. Rita sighs, picks up one of her bags, leaving the rest in the living room, and heads upstairs. As they do so, Amy and Daria enter through the front door.
Daria : Uh-oh. It appears that Rita has arrived.
Amy : Could be worse. I don’t see a knife or a bloody glove anywhere …
Daria : Try dredging the river. (Bt) So, I guess you’re staying in the basement. At least you get a bed. Of sorts.
Amy : Oh, the bed doesn’t matter that much. Although having two stories between me and my sisters is definitely a plus.
Daria : Need help with your bags?
Amy lifts a single carry-on bag, placing the strap over her shoulder.
Amy : Nope. I travel light. Makes the getaway that much easier…
Dinner at the Morgendorffer Residence. The entire group is assembled in the dining room. A ham, scalloped potatoes, and dinner rolls adorn the table.
Ruth : Well, well, Helen, this looks quite good.
Rita : Dare I ask where you bought it?
Helen : Rita! You don’t believe that I could make this myself?
Rita : All I really remember of your cooking is catsup. Lots of it.
Helen : Hey!
Rita : And where did you ever get this nice platter with the Price Chopper logo?
Daria : Party, thrown by Quinn, two years and two months ago. One veggie platter, with low-fat dip.
Rita : (suspicious) And you decided to keep the platter? For such an auspicious occasion?
Daria : Well, from what I’ve seen so far, the good crystal would just end up broken over your head. At least with aluminum, you can pound out the dents afterwards…
As the camera pans slightly, we see that Amy appears quite bemused, Helen is both appreciative and embarrassed, Quinn is confused, Jake is attempting to avoid the whole situation, and Ruth is concerned.
Ruth : Daria! How dare you talk to your aunt that way. Why, in my day, we would never have spoken to our elders in such a manner!
Daria : But in your day, people died in polio epidemics, wandered in search of work during the depression, and women were expected to stay at home, tend house, and raise children. If it’s all the same, I think I’ll stay here in my day, thank you very much.
Ruth looks at Daria with a loaded glare, but rather than continue with the argument, reaches for the potatoes. As she does so, Quinn leans over to whisper in Daria’s ear.
Quinn : Um, Daria? Didn’t mom buy this dinner?
Daria : (softly, to Quinn) Yes.
Quinn : So, um, why did you tell Rita that she made it?
Daria : I didn’t. I told Rita that the platter was from your party, which is true. She never asked about the actual dinner …
Quinn : But isn’t that, like, a lie of (thinking) remission or something?
Daria : That’s omission. And the answer is probably yes. But it stopped their arguing. For now.
Cut to later in the evening, still in the dining room. The assembled crowd looks pretty much finished, and a pot of coffee is passed around the table.
Daria : Mom? Would it be OK if I stayed at Jane’s tonight?
Helen : But we’ve got guests Daria!
Daria : I’ll be back tomorrow. But Jane has no less than three empty beds in her house, and all of the beds here have been spoken for.
Helen : You’ll be back to help prepare for the party tomorrow?
Daria : Mom, would I dare miss that?
Helen merely stares at Daria, saying nothing.
Daria : (subdued) Fine, I’ll be back in time to help prepare for the party.
Helen : Then I guess it’s OK …
Quinn : Um, mom? Can I go too? The couch is like, so bad for my complexion, and I just don’t know if I can risk that much damage to my skin this close to the party.
Helen : Daria?
Daria : I suppose a big ‘hell no’ is out of the question? (Helen nods) Well, how about ‘I’ll ask Jane’?
Helen : So if Jane agrees Quinn, you can stay with her too.
Quinn : Thanks!
Later on, after dinner. Daria is in the living room when Quinn comes downstairs.
Daria : OK Quinn, why do you want to stay at Jane’s?
Quinn : Well, it’s close, and I know I would actually get a decent bed …
Daria : That may satisfy mom, but you’re going to have to do better with me …
Quinn : A potential beauty disaster isn’t enough?
Daria : If you were really worried about it, you wouldn’t have let mom give Rita your room without a fight.
Quinn : (sighing) Fine. I just, like, don’t really want to stay here tonight.
Daria : You’re scared?
Quinn : No. I just, um, wanted to spend time with my sister …
Daria : Bullshit. You’re really worried, aren’t you? (Bt) Why? Mom and dad, Rita, Ruth, and Amy will all be here …
Quinn : (smirking) Your question answers itself.
Daria looks a bit surprised at Quinn’s response.
Daria : Oh. But they’d be asleep …
Quinn : Mom will be up cleaning and preparing. Ruth will inevitably get creeped out by your room
Daria : (interrupting) Ah, my evil plan is working
Quinn : (undaunted) And with my luck, Rita will decide to come down as well. I just, like, don’t want to be on the couch in the middle of the whole mess …
Daria : And if Jane had said ‘no way’?
Quinn : The garage.
Daria : Very funny.
Quinn : I’m serious.
Daria : But wouldn’t that (imitating Quinn) be a fashion crisis of epic proportions?
Quinn : (shrugs) Hey, it’s all relative. Relatively speaking, relatives are much worse than the garage …
Daria : Take you all night to come up with that one?
Quinn : (matter of fact)Nope. Just twenty minutes.
Daria : (lifting a duffel bag) Well, I’m heading over to Jane’s. Try and be there before ten, OK?
Daria leaves the house as Quinn heads back upstairs.
That evening, at the Zon. Daria and Jane are in the crowd, drinking soda as a band (not Mystik Spiral) plays onstage.
Daria : I used to think that Icebox Woman was about as bad as it got.
Jane : Now you see that no matter how bad things seem, it could always be worse.
Daria : And probably will.
Jane : My, aren’t we the little optimist today.
Daria : Damn, I’ve been working on fixing that …
Jane : Positive thinking classes?
Daria : Platform shoes.
Jane laughs briefly.
Jane : Family troubles?
Daria : I’ll give you two guesses.
Jane : No.
Daria : Wrong.
Jane : (smiling) Maybe.
Daria : Also wrong. Congratulations. You now qualify for the Lawndale High football team.
Jane : Oooh! Can I be the water wench?
Daria : (chuckling) Sure thing, Lane. You can … Uh-oh. Um, lets go, uh, sit at that table, OK?
Daria heads off for a table. Looking around with uncertainty, Jane follows with trepidation.
Jane : Um, Daria? Something you want to tell me?
Daria : (pointing) See that table over there?
Jane : The one with the cute French guy? Daria! (teasing) What would Tom think?
Daria : (sardonically) And what about the OTHER party at the table?
Jane : You mean the one with the strawberry blonde … Oh. Quinn?
Daria : Yep.
Jane : What’s she doing here?
Daria : Well, not much else is open, and I’d guess that she’s here to ask the ‘cute French guy’ to be her date at her party.
Jane : So, why are we hiding?
Daria : Um, she may have come to me asking for help with a few French phrases…
Jane : And the phrases you gave her?
Daria : Bear little resemblance to her desired question.
Jane : And you don’t think she bothered to check up on you?
Daria : We’ll know in a few minutes. I’d just like to be inconspicuous for a while …
Pan over to Quinn and the exchange student, Jacques.
Jacques : ( noticeable French accent) So Quinn, how do you like this, how shall I say, show?
Quinn : The band? Um, they’re … loud.
Jacques : (laughing) You could be a politician. Always diplomatic …
Quinn : Um, Jacques? Comment est-ce que je peux m’inscrire dans l’armee francaise? J’ai mon propre drapeau blanc.
Jacques looks at Quinn for a second, and then laughs slightly.
Jacques : Amusing. But I don’t really think that’s a good idea. You’re not exactly well suited for the job.
Quinn : (confused) But why not?
Jacques : Because, well, you’re, um, a woman?
Quinn : But … Oh my god! You’re gay? (Bt) I’ll bet it was Sandi’s fault …
Jacques : Gay? Why is being happy a bad thing?
Quinn : Um, not gay as in happy. Gay as in, uh, like, dating men?
Jacques looks shocked for a second, then starts to laugh.
Quinn : What? What’s so funny?
Jacques : You don’t speak French, do you? (Quinn nods her assent) Do you know what you asked me?
Jacques leans over and whispers in Quinn’s ear. Quinn listens for a second, then her face goes red with anger.
Quinn : I’ll kill her!
Jacques : Oh, have a sense of humor. (Bt) What did you really want to ask me?
Quinn : (nervously) Um, like, would you want to go with me to my holiday party tomorrow?
Jacques : Sure, as long as you wear a uniform …
Quinn : I swear, I’ll kill her!
Jacques : Just wound her. It is Christmas, after all…
As the camera pans back to Daria and Jane, Quinn looks both relieved and embarrassed at the whole exchange.
Daria : Um, Jane? Would you mind if we left? It would appear that Quinn failed to verify my little statement.
Jane : And?
Daria : And I need to go fortify my room while there’s still time.
Jane : So why should I leave too?
Daria : I’d like to have a witness present at all times …
Jane : Spoken like a lawyer.
Daria : If I didn’t need you right now …
Jane : Promises, promises …
Cut to Casa Lane, Summer’s room. Daria is laying on the bed reading when an angry Quinn barges through the door.
Daria : I swear, the help at this hotel is just atrocious. (to Quinn) I’m sorry miss, this room is taken.
Quinn : (angrily) How can I join the French Army? I have my own white flag?
Daria : Well, did he tell you?
Quinn : No, I accused him of being gay!
Daria : (trying desperately to keep a straight face) Usually, I wait for the third date for that sort of thing.
Quinn : Daria! I actually like this guy! Why would you do something like this to me?
Daria : Quinn, I figured that you would check up on me anyway. I wouldn’t set out to humiliate you unless I was there to enjoy it.
Quinn : Gee, that makes me feel a LOT better.
Daria : So, what happened after that?
Quinn : Luckily for you, he thought the whole thing was rather funny. Or else you’d be watching your back right about now …
Daria : Unlikely. I can’t see my back without a mirror…
Quinn : You know what I mean!
Daria : Yes, and I also know that all of your markers are now missing their felt tip.
Quinn : (surprised) But … how did you know?
Daria : Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and you’ve played right into my hands …
Quinn : Eeerghh! You’re just lucky that it turned out OK. Because otherwise …
Daria : You’d be even more annoying?
Quinn : Arrgh!
Quinn storms out of the room, leaving Daria still sitting on the bed.
Daria : (to self) Hmm. Wonder if she’ll realize that I also made the party CD’s?
Morgendorffer kitchen. Daria, Quinn, and Helen are in the kitchen. Helen is trying to organize preparations for the holiday party.
Helen : … so your father went out to some fancy grocery store to pick up supplies for the party. (softly) Now why didn’t he just head down to the regular supermarket?
Daria : Because the specialty store is over an hour away. Which keeps him out of the house during most of the preparation time.
Helen : What! Why didn’t he say so?
Daria : Because you’d say no?
Helen : Damn. OK, Daria, you get to cut vegetables.
Daria : Muahahaha … (evil overtones) I control the fate of the lowly vegetables. To hack into them as they plead for their lives. Wholesale destruction and dismemberment of produce…
Helen : (frightened) OK, Quinn, you cut the vegetables.
When Helen isn’t looking, Daria shoots Quinn a triumphant look.
Quinn : But Mom! That isn’t fair!
Helen : Life isn’t fair Quinn. Daria, get out the vacuum and clean the living room.
Daria : At once, mein fürer.
Helen : (warning tone) Daria …
Daria : Oh, fine. Spoil what little fun I find in the daily drudgery …
Helen : (as Daria leaves) Now I see why some species eat their young …
Cut to casa Lane. Jane is in the living room, dressed in a simple black skirt with a red blouse when Trent walks in, dressed as usual.
Trent : Janey? I didn’t know you owned a dress …
Jane : Very funny Trent.
Trent : So you do?
Jane : Well, no. But Summer and Penny did.
Trent : Oh. (Bt) Is that thing at Daria’s today?
Jane : Yep. (suspiciously) What are you doing up so early?
Trent : Well, sometime this morning, I heard this annoying high-pitched whine. Did you get a new alarm clock or something?
Jane : Yeah, it’s called Quinn.
Trent : Hmmm … I haven’t heard of that brand.
Jane : Trent? Quinn? As in Daria’s sister?
Trent : Oh yeah, Daria’s sister. (Bt) But why was she here?
Jane : Long story. Come on. We’ve got to find you some better clothes.
Trent : (sniffing his shirt) But these are still clean!
Jane : Trent, this is a semi-formal party. Which means no exposed knees or t-shirts.
Trent : But your knees are showing …
Jane : I’m wearing a dress. (Bt – teasing) I could probably find something for you if you want.
Trent : No thanks. Dresses do not compliment my legs, and I just can’t wear heels. Don’t ask me why, I just can’t.
Jane : (uncertain) Um, Trent, promise me something?
Trent : Huh?
Jane : (pleading) Please never tell me that story. Ever.
Trent : But it’s a really neat story …
Fade to the next scene as Jane grabs Trent by the wrist and drags him up the stairs.
Fade in to Quinn’s room. Various pieces of clothing are scattered everywhere as Quinn searches through her wardrobe for the perfect dress.
Quinn : I told mom that I needed more time to get ready, but no.
Quinn takes out a gray turtleneck and a sweater from her closet.
Quinn : (holding the combination up to herself in the mirror) Not bad. Fits the season, but it doesn’t do much with my figure. (looking some more) OK, that’s a maybe.
Quinn turns to place the combination in a rather significant pile on her bed.
Quinn : (turning back into her closet) OK, what’s next?
Cut to Daria’s room. Daria is standing in front of her closet. We see that it contains a few copies of her basic outfit, a couple of pairs of jeans, a few t-shirts, and a few garment bags on hangers at the far end. Moving to the far end, Daria pulls up the covering on the first garment bag to reveal the bridesmaid dress (from I Don’t).
Daria : Ugh. I thought I burned this. (Bt) Oh, yeah. How could I burn something that mom spent so much money on. (heavy sarcasm) It’s much better to just let it sit at the back of my closet forever …
Reaching down to the next bag, lifting the cover reveals an emerald green dress that glitters brightly in the ambient light.
Daria : Wha? Hmmm … bright, glittering, gaudy … Quinn! I found your missing dress!
With a resigned sigh, Daria reaches for the next bag, revealing a simple navy blue one-piece dress. Removing the dress, Daria sighs as she looks back into her closet.
Daria : Of course, it would have to be formal. We couldn’t have people mingling in comfortable clothing, now could we? There’s nothing like restrictive clothing to remind you how much you despise these functions.
Daria removes the dress from the bag, shrugging a reluctant acceptance. As she begins to change, the phone rings. Sighing, she picks up the phone.
Daria : Hello?
Tom : Daria? It’s Tom.
Split screen between Daria and Tom, heads only.
Tom : (playfully seductive) So baby, what are you wearing?
Daria : (attempting to be seductive, but not entirely succeeding) Nothin’ but my undies, darlin’.
Tom : (surprised) Really?
Daria : (matter of fact) Yup. (Bt) I’m getting changed for a holiday party Quinn is throwing this evening …
Tom : Wait, you’re going to a party, at your house, with your sister, voluntarily? What have you done with the real Daria?
Daria : (faux defensive) That’s none of your damn business! (Tom chuckles) Since my relatives will be involved, I’m, well, obligated to go.
Tom : So your mother forced you?
Daria : Yep. How’s life out there?
Tom : Oh, downright boring. One can only play so much Scrabble at once. Although my ‘in-laws’ seem to have an unusually high tolerance for the game.
Daria : Ugh. I’m sorry. Any hope for parole?
Tom : Since I’m too young to fetch beer or champagne, no. But the harmonica has worked wonders …
Daria : High annoyance factor?
Tom : Until I was forbidden to practice within 200 feet of any family member we still like …
Daria : Glad to be of service.
Tom : Well, I’ve got to be going. There’s only one phone here (turning) Back, back I say! (turning back to the phone) so there’s a bit of, well, competition. (to someone offscreen) No, I am not done yet. (to Daria) I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas.
Daria : Thanks. We who are about to die salute you.
Tom : (chuckling) That’s the spirit. Give ‘em hell.
Daria : Or vice versa, methinks. Merry Christmas. Talk to you later?
Tom : Count on it.
Tom hangs up as the camera returns to Daria, who by now has gotten into her blue dress. As the camera follows, Daria walks into the bathroom, looking in the mirror as she opens a drawer. Fumbling, she extracts a tube of lipstick, and tentatively applies it.
Daria : Well, it’s A look, at least.
Staring into the mirror, Daria removes her glasses, squinting slightly at her reflection. Reaching back into the drawer, she removes her contact case. She moves to open it, hesitating for a moment, then returning it to the drawer.
Daria : (to self) I can deal with the lipstick, but I see no good reason to punish my eyes to appease simple vanity. They never did anything to me after all …
Fade to the party in full swing. There are several groups of people together, talking and eating appetizers when Helen enters the room.
Helen : OK, I’m going to put on some Christmas music for everybody.
Reaching down, she removes a CD marked Party CD #1, looking at it a bit strangely at first, but putting it into the CD player. As she does so, the camera pans over to Quinn.
Quinn : (thought VO – remembering) I figured you’d check up on me … I would never embarrass you unless I was around to enjoy it (softly, out loud) Daria made that CD. (Bt – looking at Daria) Crap …
As Quinn waits nervously, a traditional rendition of silent night is heard.
Quinn : Phew! (turning to Jacques) So, what do you do in France to celebrate Christmas?
Jacques : We are French! (playful tone) We drink champagne, eat good food, and enjoy ourselves!
The camera pans towards the stairs to reveal Stacy and Ruth talking with each other.
Stacy : So, you’re Quinn’s grandmother?
Ruth : Yes. Such a nice, pretty girl.
Stacy : Yeah, Quinn’s great …
Ruth : She should watch all that studying though. It’ll give her wrinkles.
Stacy : (worried) Really? Oh no! What if I get wrinkles too?
Ruth : I wouldn’t worry dear. You look like a nice, pretty girl too. I’m sure you’ll find a nice husband someday.
Stacy : (looking up) Really?
Pan over to Sandi and Rita, talking together.
Rita : So then my son-in-law Brian arrests Paul for alleged illegal technology transfers to China and sends him to federal prison…
Sandi : Oh, that is like, so wrong. He could have at least warned you, so you could get ready for the stresses of single life again.
Rita : I know. Isn’t that always the way with men? Inconsiderate little bastards sometimes, and quite, um, fulfilling from time to time.
Sandi : Yeah, but some more fulfilling than others. (both laugh slightly)
Rita : So now I have to get back into the whole dating scene. I mean, I could just date Robert, but he’s just so beneath me.
Sandi : You should definitely hold out. The more selective you are, the more people will want to date you …
Pan over to the far corner, where Daria, Amy, Jane, and Trent are standing.
Daria : Aunt Amy, I’d like to introduce you to Jane and Trent, two of Lawndale’s most tolerable residents.
Jane : Nice to meet you Ms. Barksdale.
Amy : Amy, please. Ms. Barksdale is my mother.
Trent : (extending his hand) Uh, welcome to Lawndale?
Amy : (dropping to one knee and kissing his hand like a medieval knight) The honor is all mine, my liege.
Daria and Jane exchange a bemused look, and then start laughing as Trent begins to blush.
Daria : (laughing) Amy, you promised to be on your best behavior.
Amy : (with a mischievous smirk on her face) I lied.
Trent : You girls are weird …
Daria : If you think we’re weird, just go talk to some of the other girls here …
Jane : (whispered to Daria) You wouldn’t have been saying that a year ago …
Daria : (responding) Don’t be so sure. Witnesses ruin a good strangulation.
Jane : Daria, you sweet talker you!
Daria : Oh, shut up Jane.
Trent : Uh, Amy? Are you sure you’re not Daria’s mother?
Amy : Pretty sure Trent. I’ve heard that childbirth is something you don’t usually forget …
Daria : I guess that means that the sanity gene is recessive …
Jane : (thinking) But then … that means that Jake is a carrier?
Daria : OK, big problem in the plan. Random mutation is unlikely …
Amy : (smirking) Hey, if you were married to Helen …
Daria : "Daughters in same-sex marriages with their own mothers, next on Sick Sad World"
Amy laughs. In the background, we hear the music change from traditional Christmas music to Cypress Hill’s "Insane in the Brain". Daria begins to speak as Amy looks up in surprise.
Daria : I took the liberty of selecting some appropriate music for the assembled guests.
Amy : Um, but won’t someone complain?
Daria : Expecting Quinn in five .. four .. three .. two .. one ..
Quinn walks into the shot and up to Daria
Quinn : Daria! What’s the deal with this music? Can’t you ever just help me without embarrassing me?
Daria : Now, what kind of a sister would I be if I did that? Besides, people seem to like the music.
As the camera pans and zooms out, we see people dancing to the music.
Male Voice : (VO) This is so much better than that cheesy Christmas music.
Female Voice : (VO) I know. Quinn really knows how to throw a party …
Daria : See Quinn. Your reputation is unharmed. Now shouldn’t you get back to your French lessons? (Bt – teasing) I hear they have some interesting ways to kiss …
Quinn : Daria! Can’t you just, like, leave me alone!
Quinn returns to her date as Daria and Jane exchange a bemused glance
Jane : That wasn’t very nice …
Daria : No, but neither is stealing all the credit for the ‘interesting’ music.
Amy : You two are incorrigible.
Jane : Jealous?
Amy : Nope. You see, I get to leave Lawndale in a few days.
Daria : Sure, rub it in …
Cut to the end of the party. Most of the guests have left already, and Daria, Jane, Trent, and Amy are sitting in the couch around the living room table.
Daria : Well, it appears to be about time to head out and get some sleep. Hopefully before the cleanup begins …
Amy : Well, it was nice meeting all of you. And Daria, I really enjoyed your selection of music …
Jane : Thankfully, no one picked up the hidden message.
Daria : (heading out) Well, I’ll see you tomorrow morning Aunt Amy. I’d invite you to stay at Jane’s, but I don’t think that my mom would appreciate the gesture.
Amy : That’s OK. I shared a house with them for long enough that I think I’ll survive another night.
Daria, Jane, and Trent head out the front door.
Streets of Lawndale. Daria, Jane, and Trent are walking down the street.
Daria : Well, that was interesting. No deaths, no mutilations.
Jane : Yet. There’s still a few days ‘till Christmas.
Daria : True enough. But with a little luck, maybe they’ll all survive on their own.
Jane : Daria, are you turning into an optimist?
Daria : And failing good behavior, I do happen to have a spare bottle of chloroform …
Jane laughs briefly as they continue to walk, passing a small bridge. As they do, Daria notices a figure standing on the bridge, looking over the edge.
Daria : Um, if you’ll excuse me Jane, I’ll catch up with you at your house.
Jane : (confused) Um, I guess …
Daria : I’ll explain when I get back, OK?
Jane : Do I have a choice?
Daria : No.
Jane : Then I’ll see you back at the house.
As Jane and Trent continue on their way, Daria walks down to the bridge. As she gets closer, we see that the figure on the bridge is none other than Upchuck himself.
Daria : Charles? Are you OK?
Upchuck : I’m fine.
Daria : (attempting to interject a little humor) You’re not thinking of jumping – that life would be better if you were never born?
Upchuck : (pointing) That’s the other bridge.
The camera pans to follow Upchucks gesture. As it does, we see a bridge in the distance, entirely in black and white, with the background fading as colors slowly morph into a gray-scale world. On the bridge is a man in a top hat, looking over the edge. Suddenly, he jumps, splashing into the freezing water below. Slowly, the camera pans back to Upchuck and Daria.
Upchuck : Maybe next time the angel won’t bug me for directions.
Daria : (shaking her head) What are you doing out here Charles?
Upchuck : If I ask you something, would you answer honestly?
Daria : I believe that if you don’t already know the answer to that question, no answer I give you will be sufficient to guarantee that.
Upchuck : Am I a hideous, no-good wretch?
Daria : Well, yeah.
Upchuck looks at Daria in surprise.
Daria : To let you in on a little secret, we all are. Nothing you can do about it.
Upchuck : Well, why am I so hideous to the ladies? (Bt) Not a single taker for the mistletoe.
Daria : (sighing) Charles, how would you describe yourself?
Upchuck : Depressed, lonely loser …
Daria : OK, how would you have described yourself last week?
Upchuck : Suave, sophisticated, knowledgeable, a true ladies man.
Daria : Funny, I would have chosen slimy and obnoxious.
Upchuck looks hurt by this, then slowly turns to Daria.
Upchuck : But why?
Daria : You come across as a comical twerp, so full of himself and his own bravado that he doesn’t even notice that other people exist for anything more than his own pleasure.
Upchuck : (under breath) Well, I certainly know that THAT is true …
Daria : Charles, how would you feel if a girl came up to you and crudely propositioned you as a cheap ploy to get into your pants?
Upchuck : With my luck, I’d wake up before the good part …
Daria : (shaking her head) Men! Look, just tone down the whole ‘secret agent’ act. It only works if you have a script in front of you. Try and act, well, more normal, and don’t proposition every girl you meet.
Upchuck : I could just hide in a cave for the rest of my life.
Daria : True. But the bear might choke on your carcass, and I can’t have that on my conscience. Just try talking to people rather than trying to seduce them. I’ve heard rumors that it can be quite effective, although I’ve never actually tested them.
Upchuck : (walking up to Daria) Thanks Daria. (Bt – softly to himself) God I hate the holidays …
Daria leans over and gives Upchuck a small kiss on the cheek, prompting a look of extreme surprise on his face. With a very slight movement, Daria moves her head over Upchuck’s ear.
Daria : I will deny this ever happened, and if you say anything, I WILL throw you into the river myself. But Merry Christmas.
Daria walks off, leaving an astonished Upchuck behind, tenderly rubbing his cheek and attempting to come to grips on the night’s events.
Jane’s room, later that night. Daria enters through the door to see Jane painting on her canvas.
Daria : Hey.
Jane : Hey yourself. You OK?
Daria : Yeah, pretty good. Just pretty surprised, that’s all.
Jane : How so?
Daria : Well, ever since I heard that Rita and Ruth were coming over, I figured that everything would degenerate into a hideous mess.
Jane : Cynicism?
Daria : Previous experience.
Jane : Ah. I see …
Daria : But, well, everything went fairly well at the party. Ruth’s desire to mould young minds in her image fit with Stacy’s inherent ‘pliability’, and Rita’s intense narcissism matched perfectly with Ms. Sandi Griffin. Even Quinn seemed relatively happy with that Jacques guy. Maybe there’s hope for them after all …
Jane : Daria! Do I detect a hint of wishful thinking?
Daria : Never.
Jane : (narrator-like tone) And Ms. Daria was so touched that her heart grew three sizes that day.
In the background, several police sirens abruptly begin, and appear to be getting closer.
Daria : Unfortunately, the pericardial sack failed to grow, and she died the next day from congestive heart failure.
A knock is heard at the door, which Daria opens to reveal Aunt Amy.
Amy : Trent said you were up here. Do you still have that spare bed?
Fade to credits as Jane and Daria laugh.