Midterm Mania

A Daria Fan Fiction by the Alchemist

Episode #504


DISCLAIMER – Daria and cast are wholly owned by MTV. I am merely borrowing them for the duration of this work. I try and have them back on time, but I make mistakes sometimes. What? You thought that it was MTV’s fault that they cancel Daria showings at the last minute?


Scene opens with Daria and Tom sitting in Pizza King, sharing a pie.

Daria : So, how did the big college trip go?

Tom : Oh, not bad. (Bt) Although, I have to wonder if there are any qualifications for some of their recruiting officers.

Daria : You were that impressed?

Tom : Of course. (Bt – mocking) They work to maximize diversity of the student body in order to empower individual students to realize their inner potential…

Daria : And that means what exactly?

Tom : You know, they didn’t know either. (Bt) Although one of their interviewers was rather impressed with my essay.

Daria : Which essay was that?

Tom : Well, they asked you to make up a question and answer it. (Bt) My question was ‘Do I want to write yet another essay?’

Daria : And the answer?

Tom : ‘No.’ (Bt) So, we’re meeting Jane at some point?

Daria : Yep. She said she would stop by after the drama club meeting.

Tom : Drama club? (looks at Daria with a suspicious gaze) That doesn’t sound like Jane …

Daria : Well, I may have had something to do with it …


Cut to later, still in Pizza King

Daria : So then Mr. O’Neil comes over and breaks the news, and Jane is just sitting there with such a look of shock. If only I had my camera.

Tom : You know, that’s truly evil.

Daria : Thanks. I try my best.

Tom : (impressed) Remind me never to get on your bad side.

Daria : But which side is my bad side? (Quinn-mocking tone) They’re both good!

Tom : OK, now that’s frightening.

Daria : (slight chuckle) "Tis better to be feared than loved."

Tom : (sweetly, looking at Daria) I’m not so sure of that anymore …

Daria : (mock arrogance, smirking) And that, my dear, is why women will always win in the end.


Tom stifles a reply when a haggard looking Jane walks in and collapses in the booth.

Jane : Daria? Does your mom know a good criminal lawyer?

Daria : (concerned) Um, Jane?

Jane : Just considering my options for Mr. O’Neil.

Daria : (warily) OK …

Jane : And when I’m done with him, its your turn.

Daria : You realize that if you kill me, you’ll never pass your midterms, don’t you?

Jane : Damn you, Daria Morgendorffer.

Daria : Take a number. (Bt) Are you almost done with the decorations?

Jane : Finished this afternoon. Oh, you may want to stop by the opening night…

Daria : Is the play actually that good?

Jane : Now how likely is that? (Bt) Just watch for the black strobe light hidden in the audience.

Tom : This is where we should be afraid, right?

Jane : Its simply amazing what shall quantities of UV sensitive pigments can do for the set of Romeo and Juliet …


Daria and Tom look at each other with a surprised gaze, and turn to stare at Jane.

Daria : So I take it you’re not likely to be asked to ‘volunteer’ again?

Jane : About as likely as Ms. Li hosting a charity ball.

Daria : (somber) Then you have learned well. (Bt) There is nothing more I can teach you

Jane : Good. I doubt I would survive another lesson.


Jane picks up a slice of pizza and begins eating

Daria : Was there anything else you learned?

Jane : (warily) Not to leave you at the mini-golf course?


Slight pause as Daria gives Jane a blank stare.

Daria : Where I will end up searching the mall for someone to give me a ride home. (Bt) During the fashion extravaganza. (Bt) Where I run into the Fashion Club, Upchuck, and salespeople who don’t take no for an answer.


As Daria speaks, Jane’s face takes on an air or regret.

Jane : I got off easy, didn’t I?

Daria : Well, I tried to avoid permanent bodily harm …

Jane : Oh. (Bt) I’m sorry.

Daria : You’ve paid your dues. (Bt) Moving from one morbid subject to another, ready for midterms?

Jane : Now what are the chances of that?


Cut to Morgendorffer residence, front door. Quinn opens the door to reveal a concerned-looking Stacy standing at the front door.

Quinn : Um, Stacy? The fashion club meeting isn’t for another half an hour.

Stacy : (nervously) Um, yeah. (Bt) I know.

Quinn : (suspiciously) Stacy? Is something wrong?

Stacy : Um, (worried) no, never mind.


Stacy turns nervously and starts to walk away.

Quinn : Stacy? Did you want something?


Stacy stops for a second pondering, and slowly turns to face Quinn.

Stacy : Well, uh, (Bt – hyper) I have to do well on this exam or Mr. DeMartino will call my parents!

Quinn : (thinking for a minute) Oh, that’s right. (Bt) So, you wanted to study with me?

Stacy : Well, I tried to ask Sandi if the Fashion Club was going to study, but she kept asking me if she thought that Mark or Brent was more popular this week, so she could choose who to go out with Friday and who to date Thursday.

Quinn : (thought VO) Sandi study? What’s next, Daria dating? Oh, wait … (out loud) OK …

Stacy : So then I asked Tiffany, (Quinn chokes down a laugh) but she says that studying makes her look fat. (Bt – nervously) So …

Quinn : (sighing) Stacy, would you like to study with me after the Fashion Club meeting?


Stacy’s eyes light up as Quinn makes the offer.

Stacy : (excited) Thank you Quinn! (Bt) What will we tell Sandi?

Quinn sighs as the scene fades out.


Pizza King Interior, the same booth as before. Daria, Jane, and Tom have almost finished the pizza as the camera zooms in on the three.

Tom : O’Neil?

Daria : He has this problem with large, important tests like midterms. He’s concerned that they place undue stress on students, possibly damaging their self-image.

Jane : So instead, he usually comes up with some obnoxious project that we need to present to the whole class …

Daria : …thereby guaranteeing that our self image is utterly annihilated.

Jane : Fortunately, we have him beat.

Daria : OUR self image can’t possibly get any lower.

Jane : Which prepares us perfectly for Mr. DeMartino’s exams.

Daria : Hey, at least you know the answer will never be ‘A’.


Tom looks at Daria with a confused gaze

Tom : Care to explain that?

Jane : Seems that Kevin decided that the ‘midterm’ was a grading sheet for the semester, where you fill in your own grades. So he figured that he deserved all A’s.

Daria : Mr. DeMartino figured this out, and ever since, his midterms and finals will never have ‘A’ as a valid answer.

Jane : And yet, Kevin still continues to answer all A’s.

Tom : How is it that he will graduate?

Daria : (heavy sarcasm) Because the ability to throw a football is much more valuable to society than a good education. (Bt) We all know that the world’s problems are due to inequities in the global allocation of pigskins.

Jane : That, or the fact that he brings honor to (imitating Ms. Li) ‘Lawndale High’.

Daria : I wonder how she gets Mrs. Barch to go along with her little scheme?

Tom : Blackmail?

Jane : Extortion?

Daria : Or simple records fraud.

Tom : Do you really think she would go that far?


Daria and Jane look at each other for a second, and turn back to Tom

Daria & Jane : (in unison) Absolutely.

Tom : (maniacal laugh) Excellent. My evil plans are working perfectly. Soon, the world will be mine!

Jane : (bemused) Daria, did you forget his medication this morning?

Daria : (serious) Sorry. Nurse Ratched was running late.


Jane and Daria smirk at Tom, who is feigning outrage at the two.

Jane : Daria? (glancing at Tom) Are you busy tonight?

Daria : Well, I do have some free time …

Jane : Would you mind if I came over? I’ve been trying to study for math, but Mystik Spiral locked themselves in the basement on a lyrics quest. Can you imagine their music after two days of non-stop brainstorming?

Daria : I have trouble imagining Trent going six hours without sleep…

Jane : Don’t. For once you start down the dark path …

Tom : … forever will it dominate your destiny?

Jane : No, its just not nearly as exciting as you would think.

Tom : Oh.

Jane : So, tonight?

Daria : Sure, why not.


Cut to the Morgendorffer Living room, where the Fashion Club is finishing up a meeting

Sandi : And that concludes this meeting of the Fashion Club.


Sandi gets up to leave. Tiffany starts to get up as well, but Stacy remains seated.

Sandi : Stacy? Are you coming?

Stacy : Um, (nervously) I’m staying to study with Quinn. (Bt – meekly) For midterms?

Sandi : Quinn?

Quinn : (sweetly) Yes, Sandi?

Sandi : Is it true? Are you going to be here (venomously) studying?

Quinn : (unphased) Well, I had planned on passing my midterms on Wednesday …

Sandi : (angrily) What are you implying Quinn?

Quinn : (thought VO) Besides the fact that you’re an idiot? (out loud – sweetly) Oh, nothing Sandi. (faux admiration) I just wish I was as smart as YOU so I didn’t NEED to study …

Sandi : (arrogantly) Well, I was planning on going home to study with Tiffany, but I suppose that I could stay here with you.

Tiffany : But I thought …

Sandi : Did you forget Tiffany?

Tiffany : Um, yeah …

Sandi : Is that OK with you Quinn?

Quinn : (thought VO) Would it make a difference to you? (out loud) Well, if you think its best Sandi …


Cut to later in the day. Quinn and the Fashion Club are ‘studying’ - Quinn is reading and checking her notes, Stacy alternating between reading and asking Quinn questions, Tiffany is applying mascara, and Sandi is working her way through the Waif ‘History of Fashion’ special issue. The door opens to reveal Daria and Jane entering the room.

Daria : (assessing the situation) Um, maybe we should head upstairs.

Jane : I think you’re right.


As Daria and Jane turn to head upstairs, Quinn gets up and intercepts the two.

Quinn : (looking at the books) Studying for midterms?

Daria : (warily) That was the plan …

Quinn : You know, there’s a lot more room down here …

Daria : Quinn, are you asking ME to study with YOU?

Quinn : Well, that’s not exactly … I mean I didn’t … That is … (Bt – conciliatory) Yes.

Jane : And what brings about this turn of events? (Bt) Hell freeze over again?

Quinn : Um, … (softly) I don’t want to be a waitress.

Daria : Come again?

Quinn : To have any hope of getting into a good college, I really need to do well this year.

Daria : And this affects us how?

Quinn : Have you ever tried to study with Sandi?

Daria : I make it my business to avoid Sandi if at all possible. (Bt) At least when I’m unarmed.

Quinn : (annoyed) Daria, I’m being serious! We’re trying to study history! (Bt – softly) At least, some of us are …

Daria : I don’t remember Mr. DeMartino lecturing from Waif when I took the class …

Jane : Well, you know those declining education standards we keep hearing about? Case in point.

Quinn : Ha ha, very funny. (Bt) Please?

Daria : Quinn, you know how these things are handled …

Quinn : (sighing) Ten

Daria : Thirty

Quinn : Fifteen

Daria : Twenty

Quinn : Done. (Bt) Ten dollar bonus if Sandi leaves early.

Daria : Fine by me.


Daria, Jane, and Quinn walk back into the living room. Daria and Jane take out their books, and sit on the floor around the table.

Sandi : Um, like, Quinn’s sister? We’re trying to study here.

Daria : OK by me. Jane?

Jane : No objections.

Daria : Well, we voted, and you can stay.

Sandi : That’s not what I meant. (Bt - annoyed) Would you just leave so I can get back to work?

Daria : This is my house, and I will study wherever I want. You are welcome to stay if you so desire.

Sandi : Ugh! You are so … so … so … last year!

Daria : Damn. I was going for last decade.

Sandi : I don’t have to sit here and listen to this!

Daria : You’d prefer to stand?

Sandi : Eeergh! I will not stay here with that THING.


Sandi stands up and picks up her backpack.

Daria : Well, OK. Bye now!


Sandi storms out the front door as Daria and Jane commence studying. Quinn looks on with a slight smirk, and even Stacy looks a bit bemused.

Tiffany : Where did Sandi go?


The four turn to look at Tiffany with surprise.

Quinn : Um, she left Tiffany.

Tiffany : But why would she do that? Weren’t we, like, studying?

Quinn : (exasperated sigh) Sandi just couldn’t handle studying with my sister around.

Tiffany : Oh yeah, your sister. (Bt) She looks a lot like your cousin you know …

Stacy : Um, Tiffany, Quinn’s cousin is her sister.

Tiffany : Ewww… Your mom married her brother? Gross …


Daria looks extremely amused by the whole exchange, and Jane is desperately trying to keep from breaking out laughing at Tiffany.

Quinn : Tiffany, this is my SISTER, Daria. OK?

Tiffany : Uh, OK. (Bt) So where’s your cousin?

Quinn : Oh, never mind.


The four return to studying as Tiffany takes one of Stacy’s books and starts slowly reading.


Jane : You know, I almost would prefer trigonometry …

Daria : What’s the problem with vectors? Just think of them as lines …

Jane : But there are all the dots and stuff thrown in there …

Daria : Its like a projection. Think of projecting a flagpole shadow onto the side of a pyramid. How long would the shadow be?

Jane : Is that all it is? Then why do they call it a dot product? Why not something intelligent?

Daria : They’re mathematicians. We’re lucky it was this simple.

Jane : (thinking out loud) So, if I were to take problem (3), and dot (214,12) with (156,48), I would get …


Jane takes out her calculator and starts entering numbers. After working for a few moments, she drops the calculator in annoyance and turns to Daria.

Jane : Um, Daria? What’s 214 times 156? The batteries in my calculator just died.

Daria : (reaching for her calculator) Just a second…

Tiffany : Thirty three thousand three hundred eighty four?


Daria looks down at her calculator, and then back at Tiffany with a look of astonishment.

Daria : How did you know that?

Quinn : (surprised) Wait, she’s right?

Tiffany : Um, that’s just the answer …

Daria : But how did you know that? Did you figure it out?

Tiffany : No … It just, um, is. (Bt) Like if you mix red and blue, you get purple.

Daria : Tiffany, what’s the five hundred twenty three times sixteen thousand two hundred five?

Tiffany : Um, eight million, four hundred seventy five thousand two hundred fifteen?


Daria punches some numbers into her calculator, and looks in awe. Zooming in, we see the exact same answer that Tiffany gave.

Quinn : (skeptical) Daria? Is she right?

Daria : Exactly correct.

Quinn : (incredulous) Wait, you’re saying that TIFFANY is good at MATH?

Daria : It would appear so. (Bt) Tiffany? Are you getting good grades in math?

Tiffany : Uh, no …

Quinn : Why not?

Tiffany : They ask, like all these questions about people and how old they are and stuff …

Quinn : And?

Tiffany : They don’t even tell you what they’re wearing. (Bt) That’s, like, sooo wrong.


Daria and Jane give Tiffany a look of surprise.

Jane : Why should it matter what they’re wearing?

Tiffany : Whenever I do these problems, Sandi always wants to know what they’re wearing. So it must be important …

Daria : And if Sandi jumped off a bridge, would you?

Tiffany : Uh, no. (Bt) Not again …


Daria and Jane give each other a look of incredulity as Quinn and Stacy simply stare at Tiffany. Tiffany, for her part, goes back to reading, not realizing that she is the center of attention.

Jane : First, we drive off Sandi, and now Tiffany is a repressed mathematician? (Bt) What’s next?

Daria : Slaying the Hydra?


Cut to later that evening, dinner at the Morgendorffer residence. The family is gathered around the table. Jake is reading the paper as Helen, Daria, and Quinn finish their meals.

Quinn : Can we, like, hurry up? I’ve got a date tonight, and I need time to accessorize.

Daria : Funny. I’m going out with Tom tonight, but it only takes me five minutes to get ready. Do I go with the ten-dollar bills, or the twenties?

Quinn : Well, excuse me if I want to look my best when I go out. As Vice President of the Fashion Club, it is my duty …

Daria : (interrupting) And excuse me if I prefer someone to like me rather than some overpriced piece of fabric …

Jake : Um, girls?


Daria and Quinn turn to look at Jake as he lowers his paper.

Jake : Girls? Um, your dates aren’t, well, pressuring you to do things, are they?

Daria : (resigned) Dad, we’ve had this conversation before. Remember? I believe you said that you trusted our judgment …


Daria starts to sit back as Jake thinks for a second, but both are surprised when Quinn responds as well.

Quinn : Yeah daddy. (slyly) We certainly wouldn’t do anything that you and Mom wouldn’t have done at our age.

Jake : Helen! Did you hear that? GAH! (Bt) My little girls!


Jake leaves the table, with Helen following close behind and attempting to calm him down. Quinn sits back with a smile on her face.

Daria : That was pretty mean …

Quinn : Yeah, I know. But now he probably won’t ask us anymore.

Daria : The ends justify the means?

Quinn : Works for me.


Quinn heads out to get ready for her date. Daria takes her plate over to the sink, and heads into the living room to go upstairs. Before she makes it to the stairs, Helen calls her from the living room.

Helen : (sweetly but dangerous) Oh Daria, could I have a word with you?


Daria reluctantly turns and takes a seat across from her mother.

Daria : Did you want something mom?

Helen : That wasn’t very nice in there. What you did to your father.

Daria : Talk to Quinn about that. It wasn’t my idea.

Helen : I plan to. (Bt – resigned) With you dating now and going off to college soon, I worry about you.

Daria : (warily) OK …

Helen : I would feel better if you would take a self defense class that the firm is offering. (Bt) I’d like to know that you can take care of yourself, should the need arise.

Daria : (unsettled) And if I would prefer not to take the class?

Helen : Then you don’t have to take it.

Daria : What, no bribe? No threats?

Helen : Daria! Would I do that?

Daria : (deadpan) Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Helen : (disappointed) Well, I won’t. This is your choice.

Daria : (warily) OK …

Helen : (sighing) Daria? Now that your father is thinking about himself and his military school classmates and what they were like at your age, what exactly do you think he’s going to do?

Daria : I’m not sure what you mean …

Helen : Do you think he’s less likely now to try and explain EXACTLY what high-school boys are like?

Daria : (realization) Oh God!

Helen : Exactly. (Bt) Now, I could be persuaded to tell him about our little ‘conversation’ after I found Tom’s pants …

Daria : You mean (hyper – imitating Helen) Oh my God! Daria? Are you pregnant? Did you use protection? Why didn’t you come to me? He didn’t force you into anything, did he? Please tell me you were careful!

Helen : (embarrassed) Well, after that.

Daria : (resigned) Let me guess, the self defense class is the ‘persuasion’, no?

Helen : That would be an acceptable arrangement for me, yes.

Daria : I thought you said there would be no bribes or threats?

Helen : Think of it as a reward, not a bribe.

Daria : (under breath) First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

Helen : (suspicious) What was that?

Daria : (sighs – defeated) I said OK. I’ll do it. When is the class?

Helen : This weekend.


Fade to the next scene as Daria gets up and heads upstairs.


Interior of a movie theatre, which is largely deserted. Daria and Tom are seated in the back as the movie ends.

Daria : Thanks for the movie. (nervously) I had a nice time tonight.

Tom : Good. That was my intention. (Bt) And thank you.

Daria : For what?

Tom : You’re trying.

Daria : (blushing) (mumbles)

Tom : Oh, come on now. Let’s not get mushy.

Daria : (softly) OK.


As Daria and Tom get up to leave the theatre, Tom gives Daria a big kiss. Daria blushes slightly, but is obviously reciprocating.

Daria : (contented) Mmmm.

Tom : Yeah.


Daria is about to respond when the theatre lights are brought to full brightness, startling both Daria and Tom.

Daria : (uncertain) Well, we should probably be going …

Tom : (slightly disappointed) Yeah, I guess so …


Both Daria and Tom look at each other a bit awkwardly, when the janitor comes in and begins to sweep the floor. Seeing this, the two turn to leave the theatre, with Tom taking Daria’s hand as they go. Daria looks down at Tom’s hand for a moment before speaking.

Daria : You know, soon enough you’re not going to be able to take advantage of me like this.

Tom : (mock horror) You mean I’ll have to pay for the pizza?

Daria : Well, since you offered … (Tom shoots Daria a dirty look) OK, OK. I concede the point.

Tom : Studying for the bar, are we?

Daria : I got cornered by my mother before leaving tonight.

Tom : And?

Daria : She’s worried about me. (Bt) She maneuvered me into taking a self defense class.


Tom looks like he’s about to laugh, but quickly stifles the laugh when he sees the serious look on Daria’s face.

Tom : Maneuvered?

Daria : Compliments of your pants, my father’s worry, and my sister’s ill-timed discovery of sarcasm.

Tom : I take it you don’t particularly want to go?

Daria : In the absence of extenuating circumstances, such as the constant nagging by my father about the facts of life, no, I would not go.

Tom : Any particular reason?

Daria : Its just so .. so ..

Tom : Boring? Embarrassing? Time-consuming?

Daria : Conventional.

Tom : Huh?

Daria : Well, it’s kind of hard to explain …


Tom looks at Daria with an expression that says ‘try me, please’

Daria : Its just, um, unusual. I always knew exactly who I was, which was usually quite different than my, um, classmates. (proudly) I was an outcast, and damn proud of it. (Bt – softly) But now, I have an, um, (Bt – nervously) boyfriend, (Bt) and my obnoxious fashion-obsessed sister – cousin hybrid is actually studying. Its all very … confusing.


Daria looks nervously at Tom, trying to figure out what to do next. Tom stops and gives Daria a hug.

Tom : Thank you.

Daria : (confused) What?

Tom : I know that was very hard for you. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I’m glad you felt you could share it with me.

Daria gives Tom a relieved smile

Daria : (softly) You’re welcome?

Tom : (changing the subject) So how was the study date with Jane?


Streets of Lawndale. Daria and Jane are walking on their way to school.

Jane : Are you sure we have to go to school today?

Daria : Well, midterms are tomorrow, so most of the teachers will be desperately trying to cover the entire semester in a day in the vain hopes that their students will be awake this time through.

Jane : Hah! I’ve got that beat. (smugly) I brought a tape recorder.

Daria : I suppose you sleep with a book under your pillow as well?

Jane : (joking) You think that would work?

Daria : Well, osmosis would suggest that knowledge should move from regions of high concentration to those of low concentration. I guess your head would count.

Jane : Hey!

Daria : Did I tell you that my mom cornered me last night and ‘encouraged’ me to take a self-defense class this weekend.

Jane : Encouraged? (Bt) What, is she worried about Tom? (Bt - teasing) This doesn’t have anything to do with that night…

Daria : (warning) Jane …

Jane : Hey, I graciously donate my boyfriend to the cause of corrupting you …

Daria : Gracious? (Bt - uncertain) Corrupting?

Jane : What, you think that just because I’m over him, I ain’t gonna give you a hard time?

Daria : (sardonically) Yeah, what are friends for? (Bt – slightly depressed monotone) I suppose I deserve it though.


Jane looks at Daria, and is surprised to see Daria’s dour expression.

Jane : (changing the subject) So, why did you decide to take the class?

Daria : Well, it was either that, of have my father continually trying to explain what the average military school cadet my age is looking for in a girl.

Jane : Ouch. That’s dirty pool.

Daria : Hey, you dance with a lawyer, and the lawyer don’t change.


Cut to next scene inside Ms. Barch’s classroom. We see the words EXAM REVIEW on the chalkboard. Upchuck is laying face down against the wall in the front of the room.

Barch : So while the lioness goes out to hunt and provide for the pride, the lazy male sits around like a bum, being served by the females of the pride. Free to leave at any minute, after twenty two years of meals and laundry, for a pretty young thing with more plastic than brains …

Jane : (To Daria) Will this be on the test?

Daria : Don’t worry Jane. You have one specific asset that will permit you to pass the midterm.

Jane : Um, a good crib sheet?

Daria : Nope. A pair of X chromosomes.

Jane chuckles slightly as Ms. Barch continues on her tirade.

Jane : This may be a stupid question, but weren’t we learning chemistry this year?

Daria : Oh, but it’s so much more difficult to malign men while teaching chemistry.

Jane : You don’t think she’s up for a challenge?

Daria : Jane, this is Lawndale.

Jane : Oh, right.

Barch : Now class, what would you call a creature that sleeps all day and goes out on the prowl at night?


The class is silent, with no-one volunteering to answer. Daria begins to raise her hand when a male voice is heard. As the camera pans around to reveal Mack, the whole class turns in surprise that a male would dare to speak without being asked.

Mack : Um, your ex-husband?


As the class continues to stare, we see Ms. Barch stare at Mack for a few moments, and then give a small laugh.

Barch : (slightly less hostile than usual) Not bad Mack, (Bt) for a male. (Bt) Although I was looking for nocturnal.


As Ms. Barch moves to resume her ‘review’, a small moan is heard



As we fade to the next scene, we see Upchuck shrink closer to the wall in fear.


Hallway, Lawndale High. Quinn is standing at her locker with Joey and Jeffy nearby as Daria and Jane are walking by.

Quinn : Um, guys? Did you want something?

Joey : Um, Quinn? Could I study with you? I need your help on midterms.

Jeffy : Me too! I’m dumber than him.

Joey : So can we study with you? (Bt) I’ll take you out for dinner afterwards.

Jeffy : I’ll take you to Chez Pierre!

Joey : I’ll take you, um, somewhere better?

Quinn : Guys? Are you sure you don’t want to study alone?

Joey : But you’re like, smart now.

Jeffy : Yeah, you’re like, a brain, but not a brain.

Joey : Please help us!

Quinn : (reluctantly) OK. You can come study with me this afternoon.

Jeffy : So, Chez Pierre afterwards?

Quinn : How about we just order a pizza while we’re studying?

Joey : I’ll get the pizza!

Jeffy : I’ll get two!


Pan to Daria and Jane as the 2J’s continue to fight over Quinn. Daria looks slightly annoyed at the whole exchange, while Jane just looks amused.

Jane : They’re like little puppies or something. (Bt – sarcastically) And they’re fighting over her brain! Who would have thought?

Daria : (sourly) Not quite like puppies. Even if you hit them on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, they still don’t seem to learn.

Jane : (surprised) Daria?

Daria : Sunday paper. New York Times. (Bt) They just kind of squeal and go looking for Quinn.

Jane : Well, at least they’re house trained …

Daria : One can only hope.


Daria and Jane turn and walk into Mr. O’Neil’s classroom. They are about to sit down when they see Mrs. Manson standing with Mr. O’Neil at the front of the room.

Jane : Do you by any chance feel a sense of doom falling upon this classroom?

Daria just stares at Jane with a ‘well, this should be obvious’ stare.

Jane : I mean more than usual.

Daria : Maybe Ms. Manson is here to help Mr. O’Neil?

Jane : Why? You haven’t turned in any assignments recently …

Daria : I am touched by your esteemed opinion of my work. (Bt – menacing tone) Beware the misery chick, for she is subtle in her ways, and quick to anger.

Jane : Yeah, so I’ve noticed …


Mr. O’Neil walks in front of his desk and begins the class.

O’Neil : Class. Class! (Bt) Now I know that lately we’ve been reading a lot of, well, icky literature …

Daria : (to Jane) Maybe I should lend him my best of surgical mishaps book?

Jane : (to Daria) Let me know. I’ll bring a camera.

O’Neil : And I was concerned that some of you might be thinking of, well, unpleasant thoughts. (Bt) So I asked Mrs. Manson to give a class lecture on paranoia …

Daria : (to Jane – annoyed) They really are all out to get me …

Manson : Paranoia is a common term, but what does it really mean? (Bt) From a psychiatric perspective, paranoia is a term used to …

Cut to later in the class. Mrs. Manson has just finished her lecture, and Mr. O’Neil comes to the front of the class again.

O’Neil : OK class, lets all thank Mrs. Manson for her wonderful presentation on the dangers of paranoia.


A sickly half-clap is heard briefly, but the class as a whole remains mostly comatose.

O’Neil : Um, thank you class. (Bt) Now, instead of a midterm tomorrow …

Jane : We will return to our regularly scheduled program?

O’Neil : Um, no. (Bt) I’d like everyone to give a presentation this Friday on the effects of paranoia. You can either use a real life example, or you can take examples from literature.

Jane : Um, Mr. O’Neil? Do they have to be paranoid now, or can we induce paranoia in order to complete the assignment?

O’Neil : (paling slightly) Oh my! (Bt) Jane? You shouldn’t, well, uh, …


As Mr. O’Neil tries to answer Jane, the bell rings, and the class files out, leaving a worried Mr. O’Neil at the front of the class.


Morgendorffer living room, later that day. Quinn, Stacy, Joey, and Jeffy are sitting around the table attempting to study.

Joey : Um, Quinn? Who won World War One?

Quinn : (annoyed) We did, Joey.

Jeffy : Uh, then why did they make a sequel?

Joey : You dummy. It was in their contract! See? It says right here in the book that World War Two was, like, consequential or something…


Stacy and Quinn exchange a look of dismay at their ‘study’ partners.

Quinn : Um, Joey, Jeffy? Could you get us some sodas?

Stacy : With a little slice of lemon?

Joey : I’ll get you a soda Quinn.

Jeffy : No, I will.

Quinn : How about you both get a soda, one for me and one for Stacy.

Joey : Um, OK


Joey and Jeffy head into the kitchen as Quinn and Stacy return to their studies.

Stacy : How is it that they always seem to pass?

Quinn : They’re on the football team. (Bt – looking at the book) How did we?


In the background, we hear two cars being started and driving off. Hearing the sound, Stacy looks up from her book and looks around.

Stacy : Um, Quinn? Are those cars leaving?

Quinn : (not looking up) Probably …

Stacy : (confused) But, why would they just leave? (Bt) Didn’t they want to be here?

Quinn : Oh, that would be because there’s no soda in the kitchen.

Stacy : Did you know that before they asked? (Quinn nods) So, where did they go?

Quinn : My guess is the store to buy some. (Bt) More history?

Stacy : If you want to, Quinn …


As Stacy and Quinn resume studying, we see Daria walk in the front door. Before she can move out of the living room, Quinn approaches her.

Quinn : Hi Daria! Studying?

Daria : Actually, I’m just standing here at the moment.

Quinn : (annoyed) Were you planning to study?

Daria : And why do you care?

Quinn : Joey and Jeffy asked me to help them study …

Daria : (deadpan) I hope you brought protection …

Quinn : DAARIA! Ewww. (Bt) They wanted help for the MIDTERM. But they’re, well, like …

Daria : Morons?

Quinn : Well, yeah. (Bt-pleading) Would you study down here with us again?

Daria : (matter of fact) Quinn, I am heading up to my room. I have no desire to subject myself to a night of ‘studying’ with football players. They’re all yours.


Daria heads upstairs as an annoyed Quinn returns to studying.

Cut to the upstairs, Daria’s room. We see Daria lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Getting up, she walks over to her closet, opening the door to reveal a few of her usual outfits, a couple of different t-shirts, and three pair of jeans. Closing the closet, Daria walks back over to her bed.

Daria turns on the TV.

TV : Is your makeup causing you to retain water? Cosmetic conundrums, next on Pretty Popular Planet


TV : And in the newest wrinkle in the election coverage, we have just received word that Ronald Reagan has filed for a recount of the 1984 election …


TV : Buy Simpson’s individual flood preventors, just the right size for workaday tidal waves


TV : Next on the lifetime network, six straight hours of Abruptly Amy for your viewing pleasure


Daria turns the TV off and picks up the phone, dialing a number.

Daria : Hello?

Trent : Hey Daria

Daria : Hey Trent. Is Jane around?

Trent : Don’t think so. She went running I think. Something about saving her eardrums for marriage …

Daria : (bemused) Still on that lyrics quest?

Trent : Yeah. Great stuff coming. That alien was really helpful …

Daria : (concern) Alien?

Trent : Yeah, one of those humanoid ones with the red and white skin …

Daria : Trent, are you sure that wasn’t the pizza boy?

Trent : (realization) You know, that would explain why he had pizza with him …

Daria : Good luck Trent. Hope you find those lyrics.

Trent : (matter of fact) Oh, we’ve already found them. We just don’t know what language they’re in yet

Daria : (contained disbelief) Bye Trent.


Daria looks at the phone with amusement as she dials another number

Daria : (to self) Good old Trent.

Elsie : Hello, Sloane residence, Elsie speaking.

Daria : Elsie? Is Tom in?

Elsie : I don’t think so. I think he got dragged off to some function with my father.

Daria : Ah, the hard life. Well, thanks anyway.

Elsie : Would you like me to tell him you called?

Daria : No, that’s OK. I’ll talk to him later.


Daria hangs up the phone, looking a little disappointed. Returning to her bed, she reluctantly removes a textbook and begins reading.


The next day at Lawndale High, during midterms

Quinn and the Fashion Club in Mr. DeMartino’s classroom. Quinn is reading the questions and looking confident. Stacy is a bit pensive, but appears to be actually answering the questions. Sandi looks largely apathetic, and Tiffany is choosing her answers to make nice patterns on the answer sheet.

Mrs. Barch’s Classroom – Daria and Jane are reading through tests marked ‘For Female Goddesses Only’, which appear to be a few pages thick. Pan over to Upchuck, whose test is marked ‘Evil Chauvinistic Male Scumbags’, and is approximately as thick as a ream of paper. The camera continues to pan to reveal Mack, who is taking a test with the label ‘Almost Tolerable’ at the top, and which is only about twice as thick as Daria and Jane’s.

Mr. DeMartino’s Classroom – Daria and Jane are working on the test in the foreground when Kevin gets up to turn in his exam. As he does so, we see that he has marked the card with all ‘A’s’ once again.

Mrs. Bennett’s classroom - Quinn and the Fashion Club are seated, taking tests. Quinn is reproducing one of Mrs. Bennett’s chalkboard diagrams on her exam.

Math Classroom – We see Jane and Daria taking what is obviously a quite nasty math test. Daria seems unconcerned, and Jane looks distinctly annoyed. Nonetheless, she appears to be making decent progress on the test.


Cut to after exams. Daria and Jane are sitting in Pizza King, with a full pizza pie in front of them.

Daria : Well, that’s over.

Jane : Yeah, only two more to go. Ever.

Daria : You think you’ll miss it?

Daria and Jane look at each other for a moment.

Daria & Jane : (in unison) Nah …

Jane : So any bets on how well Kevin the wonder boy did this year?

Daria : Well, I’m guessing he raised his score in DeMartino’s class to a two this year.

Jane : A two? How do you figure?

Daria : THIS year, I’ll guess that he spelled his name right.

Jane : Daria! When did you become an optimist?

Daria : When I saw him write it on the desk before the exam?


Zoom out as Tom enters the scene. He enters the booth, sitting next to Daria and grabbing a slice of pizza for himself.

Tom : So how were the big bad midterms?

Jane : They huffed and they puffed, and they blew chunks.

Tom : That good?

Daria : Actually, they weren’t all that bad, considering. (Bt) Just a real waste of a day.

Jane : Speak for yourself. (Bt) They have it in for me. I just know it.

Tom : Aww, getting paranoid, are we?

Jane : I’m only paranoid because they’re all out to get me.

Tom : Come on, they cant ALL be after you …


Tom is about to say more, but he stops suddenly and looks at Daria. As the camera pans around, we see Daria staring into space with an evil grin on her face.

Tom : Daria? (Bt) Are you OK?

Jane : (noticing Daria) Uh oh. (Bt) Daria, just tell me that you aren’t planning your revenge against me. (Bt) Again.

Daria : (realization) Huh? (Bt) Oh, don’t worry Jane. You are safe. (Bt) As is the young Thomas.

Tom : (mock relief) My cup runneth over.

Jane : You can get the napkins then …

Tom : (mock obedience) At your service, my liege.


As Tom is about to get up, Daria leans over and whispers something into his ear. Tom’s eyes go wide, and he doubles over in laughter. Jane looks on, uncertain as to what’s going on.

Jane : Daria? (Bt) Is there something you’d like to tell me?

Daria : Um, I really shouldn’t right now.

Jane : But you can tell Tom?

Tom looks at both Daria and Jane, and wisely flees the scene to find napkins

Daria : Jane, I really can’t tell you right now.

Jane : Were you making fun of me?

Daria : (shocked) Jane! (Bt) Please trust me. It has nothing to do with you, and you will find out in due time. Just wait a few days, and all will be revealed.

Jane : But why could you tell Tom?

Tom walks up with a small stack of napkins unnoticed by Daria and Jane. Seeing what is going on, he turns back for more napkins.

Daria : (weakly) Um, its just different. (Bt) Trust me?

Jane looks at Daria skeptically, but decides against pressing the issue. Tom returns with a large (1") stack of napkins and evaluates the situation

Tom : Um, is this enough?

Jane and Daria look at Tom and the stack of napkins

Jane : Yeah, I think that should do. (Bt) For the next year or so …


Exterior of the Better Days Nursing Home. Daria rings the bell at the front door, and talks to the attendant for a few moments.

Interior of the nursing home, Daria entering a patient’s room. The nurse introduces Daria to the resident, who shakes her hand. Daria sits down and begins talking and taking notes.

Cut to later. Daria closes up her notebook and thanks the elderly gentleman. Smirking, she heads out of the room.

Cut to the next day, inside Mr. DeMartino’s classroom. Quinn and the Fashion club are seated as Mr. DeMartino hands back the exams, face down on the desks.

Stacy : (excited – as she turns over her exam) Wow! Guys? How did you all do?

Tiffany : Uh, 68

Sandi : (paper clearly marked with a 70) Seventy-nine

Stacy : Eighty-nine

Sandi : How about you Quinn?

Quinn : (turning over exam) Um, 103.

Tiffany : But, isn’t, like 100 the highest or something?

Sandi : Remember, Tiffany dear, that QUINN got EXTRA CREDIT. (Bt) Although that sounds suspiciously like something only a BRAIN would do …

Quinn : (taunting) What, are you jealous Sandi?

Sandi : (confrontational) Why would I be jealous. Brains have to like, know stuff and read and study and all. (Bt) I guess that explains why your outfits and Stacy’s have become significantly less fashionable over the past week.

Stacy : Oh no! (looks at self) I’m wearing STRIPES!

Quinn : (to Stacy) Stacy, stripes are IN now. (sweetly to Sandi) Sandi, perhaps SOME of us would actually LIKE a job that permits us to stay in a vertical position

Sandi : (livid) And just what are you implying?

Quinn : (faux surprise) What, are you too stupid to figure it out? (Bt – condescending) I could get you a book on it if you like. With lots of nice pictures and everything. (Bt) Or maybe an instruction manual? You know, insert Tab A into Slot B and all that?


Sandi looks furious at Quinn, and is about to say something when Mr. DeMartino walks past to the front of the room.

DeMartino : Well CLASS, now that I have RETURNED your PATHETIC EXCUSE for exams, would ANYONE like to plead for LENIENCY?


Fade out to the next scene as Mr. DeMartino continues to berate the class over their exams, and as Sandi glares at Quinn with an utterly hostile gaze. Quinn, for her part, is sitting back in her chair, unconcerned.



Interior of Mr. O’Neil’s classroom. Upchuck is giving his presentation on paranoia.

Upchuck : So this is really a common problem for me, as many women are paranoid when I first approach them. (suave) But once they get to know the real Chuckmeister, their paranoia melts away, and they soar to heights of pleasure rarely known …

O’Neil : Um, that’s very (Bt) interesting Charles. (Bt) Moving along then. (Bt) Daria? Are you ready?


As Upchuck takes a seat, we see Daria come to the front of the room with a few sheets of paper and a box. She deposits the box on Jane’s desk as she walks to the front of the room. Jane opens the box to reveal a video camera and a note that reads "Record the reactions. All will be revealed."

Daria : Good morning everyone. For my report, I interviewed a resident at the Better Days Nursing Home, who for reasons of confidentiality will be known as Mr. B.

Pause as Daria turns the page of her notes.

Daria : Now, when Mr. B was a young man, he visited a psychiatrist of his own free will, because he was worried that his paranoia was affecting his life. Can anyone guess what his psychiatrist told him?

Daria pauses on the off chance that there are actually volunteers, waiting a few moments before continuing.

Daria : His psychiatrist assured him that it was all in his mind, that everyone couldn’t really be against him, and that he should get on with his life. Well, he did. (Bt) The year was 1938, the place, Germany.

Jane looks up in surprise, and extracts the camera to begin to film Daria and the class

Daria : Mr. B returned to his life, working as a machinist in a small German hamlet, and attending synagogue every week. (Bt) Within two years, Mr. B was the sole Jewish survivor of his hamlet, and weighed a mere 90 pounds when allied soldiers liberated his concentration camp in 1945.

Pause as Daria turns to the last page of her notes. Jane looks at the note, and, stifling a laugh at Daria’s turnabout of the situation, pans her camera to capture the class reactions to Daria’s presentation.

Daria : (smirking) Mr. B’s tragic story illustrates that paranoia need not be a negative force in all situations, as it is indeed possible that they ARE all after you. (Bt) Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Daria returns to her seat with a smirk, to find her note with "Nice One" written at the bottom, signed by Jane. Most of the class is looking somewhat unsettled, except for Jane who is quite amused, and Jodie, who shakes her head in disbelief. The camera centers on Mr. O’Neil, who is paler than his chalk, as the scene fades out.

O’Neil : Oh dear …