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  • Acceptable Lifestyle Targets: Helen Morgendorffer is the breadwinner of the family, and she's shown as being incredibly out of touch with her family (Though more in touch than Jake) and microwaves frozen lasagna for the family to eat every night. Jake meanwhile is often the one who is shown cooking and acting like the traditional mother, and likewise has quite a few quirks.
    • Averted in which Daria and Jane seem unbothered by their flatness.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Sandi a complete Alpha Bitch who thinks Quinn is just another girl to socially dominate, or does she actually view the members of the fashion club as friends, despite being a domineering Libby? There's proof of both sides.
    • It might be both; by the Grand Finale, she seems to be the latter, but for alot of the series she was the former.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced: After nearly a decade of having to settle for heavily censored episodes, and blurry recordings online, MTV finally decided to get around to putting the entire series on DVD.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Freakin' Friends." It sounds just shitty enough for us to believe it's a Mystic Spiral song, and no more.
    • Every freakin' song in the musical episode.
  • Die for Our Ship: Tom Sloane is extremely despised by the Daria/Trent shipping base, as well as very bitter Daria/Jane shippers and Daria/Nobody shippers that wanted Daria independent. Since Daria was single at the end of the show, at least one of those camps won out...though since Daria imagined an ideal future for herself in season 2 where she was married, presumably she wants to get into a successful relationship at some point in her life.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song to the show is pretty catchy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Fashion Club member Stacy Rowe; long after the show ended, Stacy ended up becoming arguably one of the show's most beloved characters amongst the show's fanbase.
    • The goth, Andrea; despite being an incidental character who only has a handful of lines throughout the entire series, no last name, and almost no plot information, she got a large fan following anyway.
    • Helen's sister, Amy Barksdale, has gotten so popular among the fanbase that you might forget she only appeared three times in the series.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Pretty much runs off this trope.
  • Fan Disservice: The end credits tended use Ms. Li for this with disturbing frequency, showing her in her bathing suit, as a showgirl and as a soccer player sans shirt, among other things.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: The love for the Daria/Trent pairing can easily lead into Ship-to-Ship Combat. Ironic, considering that the show points out that neither of the men Daria gets romantically entangled with are her one true love, leaving her unattached and single at the show's end.
    • There's also a large segment of the fandom that's very pro-Quinn/Stacy, as well, though this one borders on Crack Pairing.
    • Another strong pairing for fans was actually Daria and Jane.
  • Flanderization: Jake started off a little clueless, but otherwise normal at the very beginning of the first season. By the end of the season, he became a crazy highstrung manchild who always ranted about his screwed-up childhood and remained that way for the rest of the series.
    • Subverted with Ms. Barch following "The Daria Hunter": Barch still remained a man-hating, borderline Straw Feminist divorcee (only now she beats up Mr. DeMartino), but she doesn't act that way around Mr. O'Neill.
      • Actually, that's sort of arguable: her tirades against men seem to This Troper to go down once they start dating. It's possible that it's more just the writers putting that part of her character Out of Focus in favor of shipping gags, though.
    • Towards the end of season three's "Jane's Addition", Jake, Helen, and Quinn (after having had no screen time in the episode), each call out off-screen:

 Helen: Meeting!

Jake: Golf!

Quinn: Date!

Daria: Sarcasm.

  • Girl Show Ghetto: This show managed not to fall into it.
  • Growing the Beard: While the first season was solid, it wasn't until season 2 that the show introduced visible Character Development while maintaining its humor.
  • High Octane Nightmare Fuel:
    • "Legends of the Mall."
    • The original animatic "pilot" has a few shots of Daria with a quite scary giant grin that looks more fitting for the Joker.
    • "My Night at Daria's" features a doctor reaching down Jake's throat with a pair of tongs and pulling out a rather centipedish parasite.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Geoffrey Arend, the man who voiced the show's resident Casanova Wannabe Upchuck, is now married to Christina Hendricks (Joan from Mad Men).
  • Ho Yay:
    • Daria and Jane "Les Yay" - so much so, the characters even addressed questions about them being lesbians in lead-in segments during a marathon. Including them getting married in one; Jane was the groom, for the record.
      • To the point where fans have actually concluded that it would be more in character for Daria to date Jane instead of Trent or going back to Tom.
    • In another tableau from the same marathon, Jane has artist gear set up for nude model Daria who is hiding behind a changing board: when Daria refuses to come out (!), Jane remarks that she'll have to draw her "from memory".
    • Stacy once said she liked Quinn best out of everyone in the Fashion Club, and Quinn is usually much nicer to her than the other two are. When Stacy starts growing more of a backbone, she's no longer afraid to take Quinn's side against Sandi's during arguments.
    • Kevin and Mack are together almost more than either of them with their canon girlfriends...to the point where when they crash a bridal expo, a jeweller tells the two that he makes rings for same-sex couples and "...what [they] do with the ring is [their] business!"
    • Foe Yay: A case could be made for Quinn/Sandi.
      • Sandi/Stacy is also fairly popular.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr. DeMartino, Mr. O'Neill, and Ms. Barch (emphasis on the "Jerkass" part for Barch and DeMartino), but these three do have their moments where the viewer can't help but feel sorry for them.
    • Mr. DeMartino grew up with a mother who sent him to live with his strange, twisted neighbors because she didn't want her dates to know she was a single mother (and later, his best friend married said mom) and lost his love of teaching because of idiot students like Brittany and Kevin.
    • Ms. Barch: Abandoned by her husband after 22 years of a bad marriage and now blames all males for being just as bad as her husband (until Mr. O'Neill comes along). Watch that scene in "The Daria Hunter" when she finds out that Mr. O'Neill actually cares about her plight. When she says, "You're sensitive, yet you're a male," she sounds like she's about to cry.
    • Mr. O'Neill isn't as much of an overt Jerkass as the other two, but Daria's mom does consider him creepy and he does push his pie-eyed beliefs on others without thinking that others will disagree with what he believes. The Woobie parts are obvious: Mr. DeMartino is his friend, Ms. Barch roped him into a Pitbull Dates Puppy relationship which scared O'Neill (at first), and, much like DeMartino, he has to deal with students who aren't as bright as Daria.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Brittany. She shows signs of insight and intelligence, most notably in The Daria Hunter. If she was truly hiding that intelligence, it's likely she just showed it because she wanted to win.
    • Brittany seems to be much more Hidden Depths than Obfuscating Stupidity. For that, Quinn is a better example--she's brighter than she acts but does not want to risk her popularity by becoming too brainy. When she gets the same (low) score as the rest of the Fashion Club on her P-STAT, she's convinced that she can do better and hires a tutor, which helps her do much better in school.
  • Recycled Script: "Fair Enough," "Just Add Water," and -- to a lesser extent, "Anti-Social Climbers" are just "The Daria Hunter" at a school-run Renaissance fair, a dingy casino cruise, and in the woods. There are some changes, but the following gags/scenes are the same for most or all the episodes:
    • "The Daria Hunter," "Fair Enough," and "Just Add Water" had Miss Barch making out with Mr. O'Neill ("Anti-Social Climbers" had a Fully-Automatic Clip Show of the three times Barch and O'Neill made out when Ms. Barch thinks back to when she vowed never to pull another man's weight again).
    • "The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" both had scenes of Jake and Helen fighting near the end of the episode.
    • "The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" had scenes where it's established that Ms. Li and Helen hate each other.
    • "The Daria Hunter" and "Anti-Social Climbers" took place during a field trip in the woods.
    • "The Daria Hunter," "Just Add Water," and "Fair Enough" had Daria and Jane trying to get out of whatever social function they were in (Daria and Jane skipped the paintballing trip to go to the Great White Shark museum in "The Daria Hunter," Daria and Jane were trying to get some sleep after staying up all night watching a marathon of "Sick Sad World" on "Just Add Water," and Daria and Jane tried to run from Upchuck by getting on a Ferris wheel, only to end up sharing the ride with a sobbing Stacy in "Fair Enough")
    • "The Daria Hunter" and "Anti-Social Climbers" ended with someone getting left behind (Sandi after she finally found a hidden bathroom and Jake and Helen after Ms. Li took their distributor cap in "The Daria Hunter"/Kevin in "Anti-Social Climbers")
    • "Fair Enough" and "Just Add Water" both end with Kevin and Brittany stranded somewhere (Brittany continues driving despite that she is miles away from the school in "Fair Enough"/Kevin and Brittany are stuck on the casino cruise's only lifeboat in "Just Add Water")
    • "The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" had scenes with Jake and Mr. DeMartino together (though in "Just Add Water," Jake doesn't remember Mr. DeMartino as the guy who shared his flask of whiskey with him and traded stories about their HilariouslyAbusiveChildhoods)
  • The Scrappy: A good chunk of the fanbase, particularly the surprisingly large number who are educators themselves, hate Mr. O'Neill with a passion, mostly because they've seen a number of teachers like him in Real Life and know the kind of damage they're capable of.
  • Ship Sinking: Glenn Eichler has been emphatically opposed to the Daria/Trent pairing.
    • It may be worth noting, however, that Trent's voice actor said in an interview that he himself could see the two of them making a go of it if they were to ever meet up again later in life.
  • Ship Tease: Eichler also has admitted that the few episodes that might have indicated a Daria/Trent ship were done to tweak fans expectations.
    • Daria and Jane appear as a bride and groom in the Daria Day intro for "I Don't." A few others poke fun at the pairing, and at one point Daria mentions "those rumors about us."
  • Values Dissonance: Daria fans from the U.K. may find the episode when Tom's propositioning Daria to have sex with him to be a bit bothersome, specifically when Tom whipped out a condom right at that moment. Daria thinks Tom carrying a condom around made him some kind of horndog, even though Tom carried one around for safety's sake, just in case he ran into such a situation. In the U.K., sexually active teens would act the same way Tom did, since they would not behave responsibly otherwise. Daria, however, reflects the U.S. teens' attitude that stowing condoms around automatically makes a guy promiscuous and untrustworthy.
  • The Woobie: Stacy Rowe; her status as a Woobie is generally agreed amongst the fandom as being the big cause for her Ensemble Darkhorse status.
    • Jodie can be woobie-ish when she talks to her parents. She just wants to relax for a little while, yet her parents make all sorts of plans behind her back and actually try to live her life for her. Anyone can understand why her parents give her so many opportunities, but they literally force her into them without listening.
    • Every member of the Morgendorffer family gains Woobie points at some point or other. Particularly notable moments are in "Psycho Therapy" for Helen, "Jake of Hearts" (and any flashback to his childhood) for Jake, "Monster" for Quinn, and "Boxing Daria" for Daria herself.
    • Mr. DeMartino is definitely one; he's a dedicated educator who's been broken by having to deal with Ms Li as a boss, watching his students (especially the dumb athletic ones, go off to lives where they make more money in a month than he'll make in a year) come and go year after year, dealing with Ms Barch (who tries to frame him as being an illegal citizen for the evilulz), and pretty much knowing that no matter how hard he tries with Kevin and Brittany, he'll never be able to reach him.
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