Summary: Smelling a new market, MTV attempts to retool 'Daria'. [Originally published 1/31/05]
[A slow tinkly version of 'You're Standing On My Neck' plays, accompanied by a montage of distinctly familiar babies and toddlers in assorted mischief, looking as cute as possible.]
Got to get off,
This is my cot,
I may go potty,
We've got to be content,
Singing in our play-pen
Laughing at everything
With friends we'll be alright,
Our days are always bright,
We're singing in our playpen,
We're learning and playing,
Just like we planned it,
We're singing in our playpen,
We're singing in our playpen,
We're singing in our playpen.
[Focus on a smiling Daria. She blushes.)
[The title 'Daria Babies' appears in building blocks.]
Out Of The Playpen.
JAKE: You know, I just can't get over how cute our babies are!
HELEN: They're not all ours, but they all are very cute.
JAKE: Well, our friends the Lanes, Thompsons, Griffins, Rowes, and the rest entrusted us with them.
HELEN: That's right, dear. Well, I have go win a case!
JAKE: And I have to stock up on dip! There's a big sale.
HELEN: Yes. But you have to take care of the babies.
JAKE: Oh, right. I'll go later.
(Helen heads over to the play-pen, containing toddler versions of Daria, Jane, Quinn, Sandi, Stacy, Tiffany, Kevin, Brittany, The Three Js and Andrea. A jaunty melody is heard.)
HELEN: Be good, and don't get up to mischief while I'm away.
No one is allowed to go outside, not today.
Now Jake will be in charge, good day!
[Exit Helen. Focus on the playpen. The toddlers are communicating in a language only they hear.]
DARIA: The parents are gone. What will we do?
JANE: It's a good time for drawing.
[Kevin is shown holding a miniature football and helmet]
KEVIN: Q.B! I'm...Q.B.
DARIA: Yes Kevin, I know. How about we sing a song? 'I like you, you like me...'
QUINN: No! Lets go on an adventurer.
SANDI: I agree. Let's do what Quinn said.
DARIA: But we were told to be good. We can't go outside!
QUINN: Gee Daria, you are so boring. Lets go!
[Before Daria and Jane can react, the rest of the gang grabs a toy wrench and unlocks the play-pen! They head out. Daria and Jane remain.]
JAKE: Might just have a nice glass of milk!
[He immediately falls asleep. The babies crawl under his chair.]
SANDI: Gee Quinn, is that girl like your sister?
QUINN: No Sandi! She's, she's, some girl who is not my sister...
STACY: Uh, guys, where are we going?
STACY: Where outside?
[Soon, the babies have indeed gone outside. What dangers could possibly ensue?]
[Cut to Daria and Jane]
JANE: You know Daria, I like this. The quiet isn't bad.
DARIA: They'll soon be noisy again...I hope.
[Cut to Jake, muttering.]
JAKE: Damn Mad Dog, doubt my parenting skills will you... 'Parenting is for girls, Jake!' ... Well I'm going to show you right! I can do it! ZZZZZ.... [Snores]
[Cut to other babies]
JEFFY: You're so smart Quinn.
JOEY: Yeah, smarter than your dumb sister.
QUINN: She's not my sister!
QUINN: Thanks guys!
STACY: Quinn, is this a good idea? Lets go back inside.
SANDI: Gee Stacy, relax. Nothing will happen.
[The open door instantly blows shut. The babies are locked outside!]
QUINN: What do we do now?
STACY: Oh no, we're locked outside!
SANDI & BRITTANY: With no bottles!
ANDREW: Scary too.
QUINN: Oh, if only we had listened to Daria and Jane!
[Cut to the interior of the playpen. Daria and Jane are quietly singing and drawing, when loud crying becomes audible.]
DARIA: There's that noise!
JANE: Looks like they've done it again.
DARIA: Better save them.
[With stirring music in the background, Daria too unlocks the playpen. They crawl past the oblivious Jake, still muttering about his father.]
JANE: How can we help?
DARIA: [With determination] Get the blocs Jane.
[Cut to backyard. Within minutes, it has grown dark, with coyotes howling somewhere in the distance. The babies shiver and continue to cry.]
QUINN: Oh, if only we had listened to Daria!
SANDI: That Daria girl was right.
[Suddenly, the door opens, revealing Daria and Jane atop a pile of blocks. The day has been saved!]
SANDI: Gee, thanks Daria.
STACY: Yeah, thanks!
KEVIN: I'm the Q.B!
DARIA: It was nothing.
QUINN: What about the blocks?
JOEY: And the wrench?
[Daria and Jane appear bemused]
DARIA: It was a figure of speech. Lets go in before Mom gets back!
[The babies begin their return journey, some walking, some crawling. Another jaunty melody begins.]
BRITTANY: That's the last time I go outside like that!
We could have been clawed, clawed by a cat!
Who saved us from danger?
SANDI: Daria, that girl who's like a stranger.
STACY: And Jane, who really likes her art,
QUINN: We thank you with our...
QUINN: Hearts? Eww!!
[Upon reaching the playpen, the babies fall asleep as one. Coincidentally, Jake awakens at this time. He walks over to check on the babies.]
JAKE: Aw... Sleeping peacefully... They're still so cute! I still can't get over it!
[Helen enters, with her sisters.]
HELEN: Good news Jake, we won the case! The defence witnesses couldn't hold up to my cross-examination and soon cracked. The jury came to a verdict in minutes, and Eric is talking of a promotion! Isn't that great?
JAKE: Sure is honey! Hiya Rita!
[Rita is shown, almost identical to her 'Daria' appearances.]
RITA: Hi. How are you?
JAKE: Just super! Helen, who is that other woman standing with you? I forget.
HELEN: Jake, this is my sister Amy. She was in town and decided to visit.
[Jake attempts to hide his lack of recognition. We soon see why. This woman is a disturbingly cheery doppelganger. Amy Barksdale may be a cartoon character, but she has principles.]
'AMY': Just had to see the family! Your children look so sweet, as if they've been sleeping all along. And they're so cute!
HELEN: They look so sincere.
'AMY': You're right, sister. [Hugs Helen] Sincerity is a great way to deal!
[The babies are awoken by the commotion.]
QUINN: Well I've sure learn-ed my lesson.
DARIA: Thats right kids, don't go outside when unsupervised.
JANE: Listen to your elders, or bad things can happen!
DARIA: Quinn certainly knows that now.
JANE: Or does she? Anyway, I should return to 'Smiling Family In Red'.
DARIA: Good idea.
[Daria is shown reading 'Baby's First Book Of Phenomenology, the cover stating 'Existenz for infants!"]
'AMY': One thing Jake, why are there so many kids here anyway?
JAKE: You know, I've never thought about that!
[At this allegedly humourous conclusion, all and sundry laugh, closing on a touching group hug. Fin.]