Episode Guide

Too Cute
Episode #109 - June 16, 1997
Written by Larry Doyle

Song List Entries For This Episode
Oops! List Entries For This Episode
Transcript For This Episode
"Pinch Sitter" (#108)
"The Big House" (#110)

Regular: Daria, Quinn, Helen, Jake, Jane, Brittany, Kevin, Upchuck, Sandi, Stacy, Tiffany, Joey, Jeffy, Jamie, Andrea, Ms. Barch

Guest: Brooke, Dr. Shar

Non-Speaking: Mack

Summary: When a classmate has plastic surgery to get a new nose, Quinn is convinced that she's "less than perfect" and needs plastic surgery herself in order to stay competitive in the cuteness department.

Full Synopsis: While Ms. Barch uses Kevin in an "experiment" to determine how a person's looks affects the behavior of others, Quinn is faced with this challenge in a different way, as Fashion Club hopeful Brooke shows up at school with a brand-new nose job. Everyone else "oohs" and "ahhs" about it, but Quinn's reaction, while positive, is not quite as enthusiastic. Sandi, ever ready to jump on a moment of weakness, accuses Quinn of being shallow, and manages to psych Quinn out and convince her that she's "less than perfect." Helen and Jake flat-out refuse to let Quinn get plastic surgery to correct her perceived flaws, forcing her to take matters into her own hands. She fakes being sick in order to cut school for a clandestine visit to Dr. Shar, the ethically questionable plastic surgeon that treated Brooke, but she's too nervous to go by herself. Enter Daria, who will be "taking Quinn home" -- or so Quinn tells Ms. Li, anyway. In reality, Quinn wants Daria along because she's honest and she probably knows Quinn better than anyone else. When they arrive at Dr. Shar's office, Quinn's insecurities are played like a violin by the doctor, who tells her that a mere $6,000 will allow her to achieve the perfection she craves. She also tries to win Daria over, but Daria remains stubbornly skeptical of Dr. Shar's "Frankenstein approach" to beauty. Quinn, however, becomes even more convinced when she sees Brooke, who now sports supermodel lips and hips, and starts taking up a collection to raise the money (an idea she got from the ever-sarcastic Jane). Predictably, the fundraising doesn't work, but Quinn is still determined to find a way, even after Daria swallows her pride and tells Quinn that she's perfect just the way she is. What finally convinces her to drop the whole idea is, ironically, Brooke, who suffers a "nasal relapse" and is now even less cute than she was before all this started. And Kevin finishes his experiment by employing a time-honored method of getting people to talk to him while he's wearing his "ugly face": he gives them money.

Interesting Tidbits
Historical & Cultural References:
  • The Khmer Rouge was the totalitarian regime that seized control of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The horrors of their rule were depicted in the 1984 film The Killing Fields, which starred Sam Waterston and John Malkovich.
  • Sandi's comment about "that thing Quinn always wears" is probably an in-joke regarding how the characters almost never wear anything other than their normal outfits, which is a budget-saving measure for the animators (since drawing new outfits for each episode takes time and money).
Memorable Quotes
Sandi - Example: I would never tell Quinn that she looks cute in that thing she always wears.
Quinn - I don't have a "thing" that I always wear.
Sandi - If you say so.
Quinn - I have lots of things which I wear at different times, far apart in time.
Sandi - As you wish.

Sandi - Quinn, there's that girl you know. Let's ask her. (starts waving) Hello! Quinn's cousin or something.
(down the hallway, Daria and Jane are talking; they look to see Sandi waving for Daria to approach, and Quinn crossing her arms to tell Daria not to approach)
Daria - You'll have to excuse me. My sister wants me to stay away. (walks away as Jane smirks)

Quinn - What's rhinoplasty?
Daria - Exactly what it sounds like.
Quinn - Well, they could use it, I guess.

Guy - We've been here an hour! When's my girlfriend gonna get her new rack?
Receptionist - Dr. Shar is very busy, sir. Quinn Morgendorffer!
Guy - Hey, wait! We were here first! (sees Daria walk past) Oh, whoa, emergency. I understand.

Dr. Shar - All right, funny gal, your turn!
Daria - No. Thank you.
Dr. Shar - Nothing to be afraid of.
Daria - I'm not afraid.
Dr. Shar - It'll be fun!
Daria - I don't like fun.

Daria - So, first she tells Quinn that she can fix her up for six thousand dollars.
Jane - Miss Pert 'N Pretty? What can she possibly need for six G's, other than a new personality?
Daria - Wait, there's more. Then she announces for twenty grand, she can fix me. Which means she can make me look like Quinn.
Jane - Sheesh, what would you want to look like that loser for? She needs six thousand dollars' worth of plastic surgery!

Jane - Oh, Daria, don't be shy. Show me your boobs.
(with a sigh, Daria brings out the implant box and opens it)
Jane - Hmm. Why did I think this would be more interesting?

(Upchuck holds up implant in one hand)
Upchuck - Hmmm. Call me country bumpkin, but... what is it?
Jane - It's a fake boob.
(Upchuck shudders, drops the implant back in the box, and runs away with a screaming case of the willies)
Jane - I guess he's not quite ready for a physical relationship.

Quinn - I need to borrow six thousand dollars.
Daria - I don't have six thousand dollars.
Quinn - It's an emergency!
Jane - Well, if it's an emergency... (reaches into pocket)

Daria - I can't have this on my conscience.
Quinn - You don't have a conscience.
Daria - What I meant was, I don't feel like it.
Quinn - You've got to! Where else am I gonna get six thousand dollars?
Jane - Take up a collection?
(Quinn smiles in appreciation and exits)
Daria - You're paying for my therapy.

(in the girls bathroom; Quinn is making her sales pitch to Andrea, who is applying eye makeup)
Quinn - So you see, when you contribute to my surgery, it's like we're all sharing the surgery. We're making a statement about solidarity!
Andrea - Solidarity?
Quinn - You know, sisterhood is powerful!
Andrea - Aren't you a little worried that there may be a hell?

Boy #1 - So, what do we get if we pledge?
Quinn - You get to look at me walking around like this all day. (shows picture from Dr. Shar)
Boy #2 - No, like, what do we get?
(both boys laugh, sounding vaguely reminiscent of a certain idiot duo from Highland, Texas)
Quinn - The same thing you're getting now: nothing.
(Quinn exits, leaving both boys confused)

Quinn - I mean, I like being attractive and popular. It's, like, me, okay? So if Dr. Shar makes everyone else attractive and popular, then I'll have to be even more attractive just to keep up, and then if they, like, go back her to catch up to me, then I'll have to go back, and pretty soon it'll be like one of those vicious things! (melodramatic tone) Where will it end Daria? Where will it end?

Quinn - Yeah, now she looks even less cute than she did before. Maybe the Fashion Club should send her flowers or something. I mean, since I guess she won't be joining anytime soon.
Daria - You all must be very upset about that.
Quinn - Hmm. Well, we're like a built-in support group for each other.
Daria - A regular Khmer Rouge.
Quinn - Well, blush is more like it.
Mike Quinn's
Delayed Reaction Review

Insecure: With Dr. Shar preying on Quinn and the Fashion Club and attempting to woo Daria, one thing that could have slipped past everyone is Helen's insecurity. During a conversation about Brooke's nose job, she plunged herself into a tirade about how women are judged more by their looks than men are (which is true, but beside the point) that ended with her contemplating getting a boob job.

Ugly Duckling: What is with all of the talk in this episode about Daria being ugly or hopelessly unattractive (I am aware that it was one of the jokes of the episode)? Sure, she doesn't dress to flaunt any attractive attributes she may have but she still doesn't look that bad. Despite the fact that she goes out of her way to hide it, she does have some "natural beauty."

Stay Out of the Shallow End: I'm not sure about the idea of "think about something for a few seconds" means you're deep, but it does make some sense. There is some major friction between Sandi and Quinn in this episode. Quinn didn't really do anything to merit being cast out like she was but she also didn't do anything to dispute the "shallow" label, either. She did take up a collection for her plastic surgery, you know.

Sisterly Love: Daria finally caved and told Quinn what she probably thought all along, that she is perfect, physically anyway. Quinn thinks that Daria is just playing one of her games, but she is being as sincere as she can be about anything involving Quinn. Under all of that hostile posturing is a whole bunch of caring. Damn conscience!

Like I said before, and I quote Austin Powers, "this sort of thing ain't my bag, baby." I'm not a fan of the Fashion Club-heavy episodes and this one is no different for me. It has a good moral and does a decent job of getting it out (don't worry about your looks or how others see you). However, I personally can't really relate to much of what I saw.

Grade: C+

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.