Brittany invites Daria to her upcoming party as a thank-you for helping her in art class. When Daria finds out that Quinn will also be at the party, she decides to attend (with Jane tagging along) in hopes of humiliating her sister.
When Daria helps Brittany with an assignment in art class, Brittany thanks her by inviting her -- "just this once" -- to her upcoming party. (Of course, it's a back-handed compliment, as Daria was only invited because Brittany promised "not to invite any more really attractive girls.") Daria doesn't want to go, but is eventually persuaded by two people: Jane, who sees it as an opportunity to get some really great sketches; and Quinn, who's deathly afraid that Daria will do something to embarrass her (which, naturally, proves to be the biggest incentive of all). After turning down Helen and Jake's offer to drive them to the party, Quinn gets a ride with Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie -- three members of the football team who have become Quinn's biggest admirers (read: slaves to her every whim) -- while Daria and Jane get a ride with Jane's musician brother, Trent, on whom the normally stoic Daria appears to have more than a passing interest. Unfortunately, Jane only has a brief opportunity to kid her about it before arriving at the gate house for Crewe Neck, the gated community where Brittany lives. Daria's on the guest list, but Jane is not; however, they're able to slip past the guard when Jane distracts him with some of her "life drawing" sketches. The party itself is your typical teenage bash: music, munchies, and making out in the laundry room. While Daria and Jane are given a tour of the house by Upchuck (who only got invited because he dissected Brittany's frog in science class), Quinn is waited on hand and foot by Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie, but immediately goes into hiding once she sees Daria and Jane arrive. Daria, however, is not about to let her off the hook that easily; besides, she figures, torturing Quinn is the only fun she's likely to have at the party. Quinn finally bribes Daria to leave her alone when she starts telling embarrassing stories to Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie. Satisfied, Daria tracks down Jane (who had slipped off to the make-out room with a boy she had met) and both leave the party, just one step ahead of both party crashers and the cops (who were called by a neighbor upset about the noise). As the party ends, Upchuck drives up and gives Daria, Jane, and Quinn (who was left rideless when Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie beat each other up) a ride home.
Historical & Cultural References:
- This episode marks the beginning of "the crush," Daria's ill-fated infatuation with Trent that would last nearly three seasons. It would start showing cracks in "Lane Miserables" (#308) and "Jane's Addition" (#313), and it would finally be crushed (pun intended) in "Dye! Dye! My Darling" (#413) and "Is It Fall Yet?", when Daria began dating Tom Sloane.
- Tiffany's last name, Blum-Deckler, is first mentioned in this episode, though it isn't a specific reference to her (it's on the security guard's list of "allowed" Tiffanys, along with Hodge, Fairchild, and the bogus Duke). It was officially revealed on MTV.com's now-defunct Daria page.
- "You're a great hostess, cupcake." -- A reference to the Hostess Cupcakes snack food.
- "They're grrrreat!" -- The tagline for Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal.
- "I can name that tune in three notes." -- A reference to the 1970s TV game show Name That Tune.
- "It's the Soul Train, beep beep, get on board." -- Soul Train is the 1971 dance/music TV show with an African American focus that is still going strong today.
- "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." -- A quote from German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). The quote was also used in the opening credits of the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian.
- "Come As You Are" is a song by the rock group Nirvana, from their 1991 album "Nevermind."
- Daria telling Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie that people say she and Quinn look alike is possibly a reference to the 1963 TV series The Patty Duke Show, in which the title actress plays look-alike cousins.
- Brittany asking if the arrival of the police means they're on TV is a reference to the long-running 1989 Fox TV series Cops, in which a camera crew accompanies real police officers on the job.
(Three J's approach)
Jeffy - Hey, Quinn, can I carry your books?
Joey - Hey, Quinn, can I carry your... pencil?
Jamie - Hey, Quinn, can I carry your, uh, um... got anything else?
Quinn - A hair scrunchie?
Jamie - Great!
Daria - Careful. Don't hurt yourself with that scrunchie.
Ms. Defoe - (examines Daria's drawing) Good work, Daria. Your cube is bursting out of the picture plane. You've really created the illusion of depth.
Daria - I'm thinking of going into politics.
Kevin - Yo, Mack Daddy. You coming to Brittany's party?
Mack - Don't call me that, okay? What's this party for, anyway?
Kevin - Um...
Mack - Stop if it starts to hurt.
Kevin - You're on the team, dudes. When a cheerleader has a party, all the football players are automatically invited.
Mack - It's on page six of the play book.
Quinn - You can't expect me to choose a boyfriend right away. That would be like eating the first pancake off the stove. You have to feed one to the dog.
Brittany - Maybe I could help you out in something.
Daria - Well, you could show me how to twirl hair around my little finger and look vacant.
Brittany - (twirls hair and looks vacant) I don't know if that's something you can teach.
Daria - You're really bursting out of the picture plane here.
Jane - Oh, yeah. That particular model was quite bursty. I think she had her bursts done.
Daria - If you want to go, just make believe you're me. When you're popular, all unpopular people look alike anyway.
Jane - (puts on Daria's glasses and imitates her) "Hi, I'm Daria. Go to hell." (normal voice) It won't work. My face is too expressive.
Helen - Daria, I'd like it if you'd keep an eye on Quinn at this party.
Daria - I don't know what I did, but it couldn't have been that bad.
Jane - Thanks for the ride, Trent.
Trent - No problem. I needed a break anyway. I've been practicing for ten hours straight.
Jane - Daria, would you say sleeping with a guitar in your hands counts as practicing?
Trent - As long as you don't drop it.
Daria - You really want to do this?
Jane - You know, just because people are cliquey and snotty is no reason not to like them.
Daria - Or hate them.
Jane - Chin up, nose up, let's go.
Daria (flatly) - It's the Soul Train. Beep-beep. Get on board.
Jane - So, have fun?
Daria - Well, I didn't talk to a whole bunch of new people, I made Quinn want to throw herself down a well, and I'm going home with a bonus sock. All in all, a great night.
(Quinn approaches, her shoes squishing)
Daria - What happened to your fan club?
Quinn - They beat each other up. It was kind of... what's that thing, when stuff turns out funny? Moronic.
Jane - Ironic.
Daria - She was right the first time.
Delayed Reaction Review
Food for Thought:
Was there some kind of subliminal advertising deal going on here? A couple of lines of dialogue provide (probably) unpaid for advertisements for Hostess Cupcakes and Frosted Flakes. Despite the blatant-ness of them, they were both funny and sort of added to the episode. However, I just hope that the scenes that contained these jokes weren't added just for these jokes.
"I Hate You"
Both Daria and Jane say this line after the other diffuses a possible "romantic" (or the closest to romantic as Daria and Jane can get) situation. The first was after Daria and Jane got dropped off and Jane tried to keep Daria away from her older brother (or maybe she was pushing Trent onto Daria, hard to tell). The second time was when Jane tried to hook up with "Bobby Big-Head." The both of them seem almost afraid to lose the friendship of the other.
Her line "perspective is hard" can be taken at way more than face value. She only wants unattractive girls at her party. She worries about being changed into a righty (she already is one). She has major trouble understanding a simple explanation and she thinks that she is on Cops. Earth to Brittany, Earth to Brittany...
First for the Undercard: Popular vs Unpopular:
This is the major theme of this episode. The party goers (especially the Fashion Clubbers) are checking out the popularity of the others. The only people who would talk to Daria and Jane were Upchuck (who was in the same boat) and those two guys that they met (who probably needed to "hook up with a girl who is more popular").
Now for the Main Event: Daria vs Quinn:
Daria is trying to undermine Quinn and "ruin her life." Quinn doesn't even want to be around Daria ("out of place everywhere on Earth"). Daria revels in doing this; the story she told Joey, Jeffy and Jamie about "having to go" was funny and did its job.
This episode is a great example of Daria. It shows how Daria is different from the mainstream popular people. She is more of an iconoclast and goes to the beat of her own drummer but she does revel in the comedic aspects of the popular people who completely ignore her. This one is a classic.
Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved]. Used with permission. The views presented here are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily be those of Outpost Daria Reborn.