Nut Store Manager,
Mr. Matthews (pet store manager)
When the results of her career aptitude test show that she's best suited to be a mortician, Helen forces Daria to get a job to improve her interpersonal skills. Daria ends up working at the mall nut stand... with Kevin.
When the students receive the results of their career aptitude tests, Jane learns that she's suited to be an accountant (the same answer she's received every year, thanks to her selecting the same letter for each question), Kevin is suited to be a gas station attendant, Quinn is perfect as a neck model, and Daria -- thanks to her apathy and her lack of desire to interact with other people -- is destined to be a mortician. Helen insists that Daria get a job to improve her interpersonal skills and focus her career goals, and makes Quinn get one as well (so she can pay for her $500 modelling portfolio on her own). Daria opts instead to take social skills counselling at school, but when that ends in failure (due to Tiffany's glacially slow approach), she's forced to take a job that Jake sets up with a client. Daria's not thrilled to work at the mall's nut stand, and is even less so when she finds she's working next to the brain-dead Kevin, but that's topped by her humiliation when Trent finds out about her job, despite Jane's best efforts to steer him and Jesse away. When Jane is unable to coax Daria out of the store's back room, she puts in a call to Helen and convinces her that Daria is being hidden away from the public while the less qualified Kevin is put in the spotlight; enraged, Helen storms into the mall and "rescues" Daria. They both encounter Quinn, who's caused a ruckus at her pet store job when she enlists the help of Joey, Jeffy and Jamie to find a boa constrictor she accidentally let out of its tank. In the end, everyone ends up losing their jobs, including Kevin (thanks to the ever-jealous Brittany).
Historical & Cultural References:
- The purple scarf Quinn wears at her job is the same one that she was trying on in "Through A Lens Darkly" (#301).
- Jesse's line, "My soul's waves of grain," should sound familiar to Trent: it's from "Ow! My Nose," the song that Mystik Spiral played at the Zon in "Ill" (#209).
- "Misery loves company" being the basis for Daria and Jane's friendship recalls "Esteemsters" (#101)... specifically, the fact that they were both miserable in Mr. O'Neill's self-esteem class.
- The title of the episode is a pun on the 1934 film It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.
- The nut stand that Daria and Kevin work at is called It's a Nutty Nutty Nutty World.
- The pet store that Quinn works at is called Our Furry and Scaly Friends.
Quinn - (clears throat) Does anyone notice anything special about me?
Daria - Yes. From just the right angle, I really can see through your head.
Helen - "Your lack of interest in personal interaction makes you an ideal candidate for working with the dead." Daria, have you given any thought to your career plans?
Daria - I guess I'll just wait around for people to kick the bucket.
Helen - I can't believe you're not more ambitious.
Daria - You want me to kill people to drum up business?
Tiffany - You're that girl from Quinn's house.
Daria - Are you getting counseling, too?
Tiffany - (trance-like) I'm the counselor. It's volunteer work... to help the socially... challenged.
Daria - You're going to counsel me? Of course. It's some kind of cosmic payback for being too ironic. Okay. Is this going to take long?
Tiffany - (begins reading very slowly) "You... too... can learn to... make..."
Daria - Yes?
Tiffany - "... friends. Making... friends..."
Daria - Why don't I read that to myself? That way, we can both be out of here before we graduate.
Tiffany - "Making friends... is..."
Daria - (taps foot impatiently) Fun? Interesting? Impossible?
Tiffany - "... important. Friends can be... very..."
(clock ticks from 3:00 to 3:01)
Daria - Useful? Supportive? Purple? What?!
Tiffany - You made me lose my place. (grunts softly in frustration) Let's see... "Making friends... is... important..."
Daria - Now they're making me look for a job.
Jane - I thought you said they gave you a choice.
Daria - It's been 24 hours since I met with Tiffany. As far as I know, she's still there counseling me.
Jane - Should I come down and visit? Offer some moral support?
Daria - You've already seen me in enough humiliating situations.
Jane - So what would one more hurt? Misery loves company.
Daria - You don't have to tell me that. It's the basis of our whole friendship.
Manager - Congratulations, Daria. Despite your $15 penalty for unsmiled nut sales, you're our first salesperson of the day.
Daria - I've always dreamt of the day my picture would hang in a nuthouse.
Trent - "You've hijacked my brain."
Jesse - "Moth to a flame."
Trent - "If you don't release me..."
Jesse - "It'll really be lame."
Trent - No.
Jesse - "I'll forfeit the game."
Trent - Nah.
Jesse - "My soul's waves of grain."
Trent - I've heard that somewhere before.
Jane - You're driving me insane!
Trent - Too many syllables.
Jane - Hey, look! Monster trucks and naked models! Naked, naked, naked!
Trent - Um, you know what? I don't want any peanuts after all.
Jesse - But you said they hijacked your brain.
Trent - Well, now I think a burger has taken over my brain.
Jane - I can't believe it. Finally someone I know is attacked by animals, and I and my video camera are nowhere to be found.
Daria - I'm not sure if cute little furballs milling around your feet really constitutes an attack.
Jane - Hey, you don't know what they were thinking.
Delayed Reaction Review
Join the Workforce:
It's understandable that Daria would be apprehensive about getting a job. Most teenagers are. However, Daria is more concerned about getting the job Helen wants her to have (the one that requires personal interaction and helps her "career"). Remember, Daria only smiles when she has a reason. It also seemed that her entire family was out to foil her plan to only look for a job. Quinn found a job at the first place she went and Jake actually got Daria a job (probably at Helen's urging). How does a high school job do anything for your career, except to motivate you to get one?
Slow Down There, Fellow:
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Tiffany's volunteer work. Daria said it all by mentioning that this situation was just "too ironic." No matter how slow she went, the fact that she can read at all is a minor miracle. I especially liked Daria's attempts to finish the sentences because I do that all of the time (I get frustrated with even the shortest of pauses in a conversation; I don't know how I would've handled this). There is no doubt in my mind that Tiffany is still sitting there, counseling away.
Self-References of the Week:
I'm a big fan of self-referential humor (a lot of my humor is that way), so I liked the two self-references that I caught. The first is the whole "not smile unless I have a reason" thing. Daria had a reason, but it wasn't because she was happy. The second was Daria telling Jane that she's already seen too many of Daria's humiliating experiences. So have we. That was just too clever.
Not So Out of It:
I was thinking of making the "Trent Oblivion Factor" one of the next Daria Theories, but he is being portrayed as much more perceptive lately. It was Daria's worst nightmare for Trent to see her working at the nut hut and as soon as he realized she was there, he respected her boundaries and didn't embarrass her. If you want oblivion, look no further than Jesse.
Nuts, Nuts, Nuts:
Both Quinn and Daria may have fared better in their first attempt at working if they had gotten each other's job. Daria's responsibility is more suited for taking care of animals in the pet store environment. On the other hand, Quinn's bubbly personality could make for a happy nut dispenser (who wouldn't have bought $15 worth by not smiling). We all know she belongs in the nut house.
Jane comes to the rescue again. She may have felt guilty that she couldn't stop Trent and Jesse from getting to the nut house (they were a bit single-minded; their brains were hijacked). That bit of guilt translated into convincing Helen that Daria was being oppressed. Brilliant.
"It Happened One Nut" didn't really make too much of an impact on me. Maybe it was just me, but this episode felt like it went right through me. It moved a bit too slow at times and some of the scenes seemed out of place (like the whole opening sequence with the career aptitude tests). The way that Jane and Daria related in this episode really worked (I would expect Daria to get mad in that situation). There were some very funny one-liners and visuals (like the Three J's running from the pet store screaming). To sum it up, I can't say it was bad, but I can't say it was good, either.
The Bottom Line:
It went through me like a gallon of Mexican water (not that that's always a bad thing).
Copyright © 1999 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.