Beavis and Butt-head and Daria

by CF
Version 4.0, June 2008


Daria was a spin-off from MTV's earlier animated series Beavis and Butt-head, in which Daria Morgendorffer was introduced as a minor recurring character. From the perspective of a Daria fan, this essay reviews Daria's appearances in Beavis and Butt-head to see how her character evolved.


Since we had little prior exposure to Beavis and Butt-head, our research began with several previous essays on Daria's appearances in the Beavis and Butt-head series [1, 2, 3]. Our aim was to merge and extend this information to provide the most comprehensive analysis possible of Daria in Beavis and Butt-head.

Guided by the earlier authors' episode synopses, we purchased ten Beavis and Butt-head video tapes containing episodes featuring most of Daria's major speaking roles [4-13]. For the remaining episodes we relied on an online digital recording [15] and other essayists' transcripts [19, 20, 21]. Combining information from all of these sources allowed us to review all of Daria's speaking appearances in Beavis and Butt-head.

A Matter of Appearance

Within the context of their different animation styles, Beavis and Butt-head's "Daria" is clearly the same girl as in the Daria series. Daria in Beavis and Butt-head has all of her usual physical trademarks:

She appears stockier in Beavis and Butt-head than in Daria, but this can be attributed to the fact that the fifteen-year-old Daria has not completed her pubescent growth spurt. (Daria designer Karen Disher states in the documentary Behind the Scenes with Daria that there was a conscious decision to make Daria taller and slimmer in her spin-off series.)

Beavis and Butt-head's animation is rather inconsistent. Earlier episodes are drawn more crudely than later ones, and this can even provide a rough guide to the age of episodes. It also has some impact on Daria's physical appearance, sometimes within individual episodes. For instance, Daria looks quite different between the long shots and close ups in Babes 'R Us.

Highland High Fashion

Daria's wardrobe is more varied in Beavis and Butt-head than in Daria. Through the course of the series she wears three distinct outfits.

  1. Pale yellow jacket, orange-ish pleated skirt, gray shirt, bare legs, brown boots, and a small necklace.
  2. Yellow jacket, tan skirt, gray shirt, black leggings, brown boots, and a small necklace.
  3. Black jacket, red skirt, white shirt, black leggings, dark brown boots, and a small necklace.

This last outfit defines the "classic" Beavis and Butt-head Daria look. It was used after the character was firmly established and started to appear regularly. The distinctive black jacket and red skirt make Daria easy to spot in classroom or crowd scenes.

The necklace Daria wears throughout her time at Highland High appears to hold a quartz crystal. Her attachment to it is interesting, given that she never wears any kind of jewelry at all at Lawndale (with the short-lived exception of her navel ring in Pierce Me).

The Name's Morgendorfer, Daria Morgendorffer

In most Beavis and Butt-head episodes our heroine is referred to merely as "Daria." However, her surname, "Morgendorffer," is confirmed in the episodes Scientific Stuff and Water Safety. Also, in Sporting Goods we see Daria's byline on an article in the school newspaper, "by Daria Morgendorfer [sic]." Presumably the animator's misspelling of Daria's surname was not deliberate - her name is spelled "Morgendorffer" in Beavis and Butt-head merchandise [23].

Beavis and Butt-head both delight in teasing Daria about her uncommon name, calling her "Diarrhea." However, in a rare display of respect, Butt-head makes an effort to avoid calling her this to her face on many occasions. (Beavis, who is even stupider and less sensitive than Butt-head, always does so.)

That Daria Voice

Tracy Grandstaff was Daria Morgendorffer's speaking (and singing) voice throughout the Daria series. Therefore, it's pleasing to note that Ms. Grandstaff also supplied Daria's droll monotone in most Beavis and Butt-head episodes.

However, Daria's voice is noticeably higher and more expressive than usual in the Beavis and Butt-head episode Walkathon. It has been strongly rumored [16] that Janie Mertz (a.k.a. Lisa Collins), later to be the voice of Brittany Taylor, Sandi Griffin and Andrea in Daria, played the part of Daria Morgendorffer in this episode.

Beavis and Butt-head in Daria

Before examining Daria's appearances in Beavis and Butt-head, we consider two Daria episodes that legitimize her prior existence in the Beavis and Butt-head universe (even though Beavis and Butt-head themselves never appeared in, and were never mentioned in, the Daria series).


In Esteemsters [14], the first regular Daria episode (March 3rd, 1997), we learn that the Morgendorffers have just moved to Lawndale from Beavis and Butt-head's home town of Highland. While trying to encourage Daria to be less judgemental of her fellow students and increase her chances of making friends, Daria's mother Helen says, "You don't want it to be Highland all over again," thereby establishing the link with the Beavis and Butt-head series.

Also noteworthy is that, in describing her first day at Lawndale High, Daria says, "There are some interesting idiots in my class." This is consistent with her appearances in Beavis and Butt-head, where she seems to have been entertained by the pair's stupidity.

Boxing Daria

Boxing Daria, the final regular Daria episode (June 25th, 2001), is also relevant, but in a much less obvious way. Although a number of Daria episodes, e.g., Pinch Sitter and Camp Fear, feature flashbacks to Daria's pre-Lawndale experiences, none of these contain any detail about the Morgendorffer's home. However, in Boxing Daria we see extensive flashbacks to an event that took place when Daria was six years old. At this time the Morgendorffers lived in a single-story house which the teenage Quinn later refers to as "the old house [emphasis added]." Since Daria's sister remembers living in only one house prior to Lawndale, the residence shown in this episode must be the Morgendorffer's Highland home (which was never shown in Beavis and Butt-head [1]).

The other important point made in Boxing Daria is that Daria had considerable trouble making friends from a very early age. As we will see below, this may explain her willingness to associate with Highland's other social outcasts, Beavis and Butt-head.

Daria in Beavis and Butt-head

Beavis and Butt-head follows the misadventures of its eponymous heroes, two brain-dead, hormonally-driven students at Highland High School. Their only goals in life are sex, drugs and heavy metal music, but they only ever manage to score the last of these, and even then only on television. Their extreme stupidity makes them outcasts among their fellow students and drives their teachers insane (sometimes literally). Although they frequently annoy the people around them, as often as not Beavis and Butt-head wind up the victims of their own backfiring schemes.

For a Daria fan, Highland High School has much in common with Lawndale High. Highland's Principal McVicker is just as rabid as his Lawndale counterpart, Angela Li. Highland's Coach Bradley Buzzcut shouts at his students even more often than Lawndale's Anthony DeMartino, and he has not one, but two, bulging bloodshot eyes. Highland's hippy teacher, David van Driessen, is virtually indistinguishable from Lawndale's sensitive new-age guy, Timothy O'Neill.

Otherwise, however, the two series are very different. Beavis and Butt-head's stories are only 5 minutes long (excluding commercials and music clips), compared to Daria's 20 minutes, thus providing little time for character development. Where Daria relies on skillful wordplay, Beavis and Butt-head uses slapstick and vulgarity to achieve laughs. Finally, where Daria's Lawndale is depicted as a pleasant, but dull, middle-class town, Beavis and Butt-head's Highland is decidedly impoverished and bleak.

Most of Beavis and Butt-head's screen time is dedicated to the duo themselves and their long-suffering teachers. Surprisingly little time is given to other students, although regular victims of Beavis and Butt-head's antics, such as classmate Stewart Stevenson, appear occasionally. Thus, even though she features in only a small number of episodes, Daria Morgendorffer stands out among Highland's students as someone seen frequently with Beavis and Butt-head.

Below we describe all of Daria's major appearances in Beavis and Butt-head, in order of their original broadcast dates [22]. Full transcripts of Daria's speaking roles are given and Daria's attire is documented, where known.

Episode 6. Scientific Stuff (May 17th, 1993)

Scientific Stuff [15] marks Daria's first televison appearance [22], and is also notable as the Beavis and Butt-head episode that gives her more screen time than any other.

At the episode's beginning Beavis and Butt-head's recreation of the Challenger space shuttle disaster so offends their science teacher, Mrs. Dickie, that she tells them they must do another science report, this time with Daria. In an unsubtle piece of exposition she also introduces Daria to the television audience. (Daria is wearing outfit 2.)

Dickie: And this time I want you to work with Daria Morgendorffer, our straight-A student who won the science award last year.
Daria: But Mrs. Dickie, Beavis and Butt-head are complete imbeciles!
Beavis: Yeah, she's right!
Dickie: Now, Daria, I'm sure this will be a learning experience for all concerned.
Butt-head: Oh no, we have to work with Diarrhea!

Daria's eyes widen with horror when Mrs. Dickie mentions her name and her whiny protest reveals that she is really upset at being paired with Beavis and Butt-head.

Later, she arrives at Beavis and Butt-head's house and knocks on the door. (Butt-head is gainfully occupied kicking empty cans around the floor while Beavis watches.)

Butt-head: It's her.
[Daria enters]
Daria: Hey, Butt-head.
Butt-head: Hey, Dia ... I mean, Daria.
[As Daria walks in past the pair she looks heavenward with exasperation]
Daria: You guys think of any new science projects?
Beavis: Yeah. If you pour salt on a snail a lot of scientific stuff happens!
Butt-head: [holding a magnifying glass] We could burn some ants!
Daria: How does a person learn a skill like that?
Butt-head: Everything I know, I learned from my dad.
Beavis: Yeah, me too!
Daria: Really? You both have the same dad?
Butt-head: Er, we're not sure. It's possible!
Daria: [thinking] Hmmm ... I think I have an idea for a science report!

Back in class, Daria presents her report, using Beavis and Butt-head as guinea pigs. Beavis demonstrates his ability to play "Yankee Doodle" by rapping himself on the forehead with his knuckles, while the class looks on in slack-jawed amazement.

Beavis: By changing the shape of my mouth I create different vibrators ...
Daria: [whispering behind her hand] Vibrations!
Beavis: Uh, vibrations ... that can be used to play a song. My uncle taught me this trick, only he used a bat!
[Everyone applauds, including Daria]
Beavis: Thank you.
Butt-head: Here's something my dad taught me. If you, like, take three deep breaths and then you blow on your thumb, sometimes you pass out.
[Butt-head begins to demonstrate, while Beavis resumes his "song"]
Daria: And so we raise an age-old question: Idiocy - Genetic or Environmental? I think our examples of Beavis and Butt-head indicate that both are contributing factors.
[Butt-head passes out]
Daria: I rest my case!

Afterwards, sitting primly on the couch in between Beavis and Butt-head [1], Daria congratulates the boys on their effort.

Daria: You guys were great! I don't know anyone else who'd be willing to make such fools of themselves.
Butt-head: Hey, Diarrhea!
Daria: [cautiously] Yeah?
Butt-head: Do you, like, get periods?
Daria: Butt-head, why don't you try this experiment? Analyze the friction caused by digitally oscillating your weiner!
[Beavis and Butt-head laugh]
Butt-head: That was cool!

This first appearance by Daria is extraordinary in that her character emerges fully defined. Years before her "debut" in Esteemsters, her academic credentials are firmly established, and she already displays her trademark sarcasm and cunning.

Indeed, later Daria episodes seem to borrow from Scientific Stuff. In The Lab Brat, Daria is similarly forced to undertake a science project with a mental midget, but manages to turn the situation to her advantage. Also, episodes such as Pinch Sitter again show how she will shamelessly exploit others for the purposes of a school report.

The relationship between Daria and Beavis and Butt-head is much more antagonistic in these early episodes than in their subsequent encounters. In later episodes Beavis and Butt-head seem to develop some (small) respect for Daria and she is (slightly) less rude towards them.

Episode 25. Babes 'R Us (June 23rd, 1993)

In Babes 'R Us [6], Beavis and Butt-head see an advertisement for a female mud-wrestling bar and decide to practice by wrestling each other in a mud puddle in their front yard, while wearing bikini tops. (The aim of the game is to remove the tops.) Daria comes walking by (wearing outfit 1), on her way home from school.

Daria: What are you guys doing?
Beavis and Butt-head: [chanting] Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha. Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha. Diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.
Daria: Get a life! What exactly do you call this?
Butt-head: We're gonna be cool! Like the American Gladiators!
Beavis: Yeah!
Daria: What's with the bikini tops?
Butt-head: We're gonna get a real woman! Down at Babes 'R Us.
Beavis: Yeah!
Daria: Oh, they're gonna love you guys!
[Daria walks away quickly]
Butt-head: That was cool!

Daria found this early encounter with Beavis and Butt-head so memorable that she refers to it much later in Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead.

Episode 28. Sign Here (July 6th, 1993)

In Sign Here we first see Daria in David van Driessen's class [19].

van Driessen: Now people, do you know what I mean when I say that animals are sentient creatures? Daria?
Daria: They think and feel just like us?
[Beavis hits Butt-head with a ruler, Butt-head fails to hit Beavis with a book, and there is much scuffling, shouting and laughing from the pair]
van Driessen: Well, just like most of us, anyways.

It then transpires that van Driessen is trying to keep a furrier out of town and seeks to elicit sympathy from the students.

van Driessen: Who can tell me how they kill these poor little animals that they use to make those furs? Anybody?
Daria: Anal electrocution?
van Driessen: That's correct.
Beavis: What's that mean?
van Driessen: Tell the class, Daria.
Daria: Fifty thousand volts up the butt!
[Daria smiles, as the rest of the class gasps and Beavis and Butt-head giggle]
Butt-head: That'd be cool!

On this occasion Daria's fascination with morbid subjects proves to be an advantage. She is also characteristically pleased with the discomfort her graphic description causes [1]. Butt-head is amused by Daria's comment. In fact, although he doesn't always understand what she means, Butt-head often laughs at Daria's sarcastic remarks and calls her actions "cool".

Episode 35. Incognito (September 8th, 1993)

Incognito is one of several Beavis and Butt-head episodes which is rarely seen due to its controversial subject matter, in this case guns in schools. As the episode opens van Driessen is lecturing the class on photosynthesis. When he reveals that the material is non-examinable the class cheers and waves their hands - Daria included - which wakes Beavis and Butt-head from their slumbers [21].

Butt-head: What's going on Daria?
Daria: This won't be on the test.
Butt-head: What test?
[Daria sighs, then returns to her notetaking]

Beavis and Butt-head then irritate a gun-packing student named Earl who responds by threatening them. The next day they arrive at class in disguise. As van Driessen continues his (surprisingly long) lecture, a bullet strikes his blackboard, apparently coming from outside the classroom. Daria rushes to the window to investigate.

Daria: There's the kid!

At this point Earl decides to retaliate.

Earl: You shooting at me, punk?
[He breaks a larger hole in the window and fires a warning shot in the air]
Earl: Mr. van Driessen don't like people firin' at him when he's diagrammin' photosynthesis!
Daria: Earl, you don't like Mondays, huh?
Earl: I don't like any day.
van Driessen: Well, I guess he won't be disrupting this class anymore.
Daria: Not running away from warning shots, he won't.

The episode ends with van Driessen confiscating Earl's gun and adding it to his large collection of such items. Given the state of Highland High's educational environment, it's little wonder that Daria doesn't look back fondly on her time there.

Episode 44. Sporting Goods (October 4th, 1993)

Sporting Goods [5] is by far the best of the Beavis and Butt-head episodes reviewed for this essay. Not only does Daria play an important part in the plot, but the episode is genuinely funny. At the beginning Beavis and Butt-head are seen sitting on the doorstep of their house. Daria walks up (wearing outfit 3) with a large camera on a strap around her neck [17].

Butt-head: Hey, Dia ... er, Daria. Where'd you get the camera?
Beavis: Yeah! You look like one of those "papa-nazis" [paparazzis].
Daria: My parents made me join the school paper. The paper made me fashion reporter because I'm a girl. I hate fashion!!! There's no fashion in this town! I want to be an enquiring photographer.
Beavis: Yeah, yeah! Then you can take pictures in the girls' locker room.
Butt-head: Yeah, and enquire about how they'd like to please Big-Daddy Butt-head.
Daria: God, you're gross!
[Daria raises the camera and takes their photograph]
Beavis: Hey, why'd you do that?
Daria: You never know, National Geographic might call!
[Daria walks away quickly]
Butt-head: She thinks we're cool!

This exchange is important because it mentions Daria's parents in the Beavis and Butt-head universe, and it shows that even at this stage Jake and Helen were pressuring Daria to become involved in extracurricular activities. Daria's attitude to being made fashion reporter obviously foreshadows her later obsessions at Lawndale High. Her little diatribe is also animated in an amusing way - she shakes her head violently as she rants against sexism and fashion.

Later, in gym class, Coach Buzzcut learns that Beavis and Butt-head are not wearing regulation athletic supporters. (He discovers this by delivering Beavis a crippling blow with a medicine ball.) They are therefore sent to "Buddy's Sporting Goods" to buy appropriate equipment. However, when it is found that even the smallest available supporters are too big, Buddy gets the idea of giving Beavis and Butt-head racketball eye patches to use as supporters. They retire to the changing rooms to try them on. For reasons unknown, they decide to both use the same booth, even though others are free, so there is much commotion as they struggle to change in the confined space. At this point Daria enters the store with the camera and a clipboard.

Buddy: Hi, can I help you?
Daria: I have some questions about active-wear.
Beavis: [in the changing room] Cool!
[Daria does a double-take]
Beavis: Snug 'nads!
[Daria does a double-take]
Butt-head: [in the changing room] The family jewels are secure!
[Beavis and Butt-head emerge wearing nothing but T-shirts and the eye patches]
Beavis: How do we look?
[Daria does a double-take]
Daria: Wow! Even smaller than I thought!
[Daria takes a photograph as Beavis and Butt-head pull their T-shirts down to their knees]

This sequence is hilarious thanks to Daria's responses to the noises coming from the changing room. She does three eye-popping, jaw-dropping double-takes in rapid succession and then delivers her final line with gusto. For viewers familiar with the older, more reserved, Daria these reactions are extremely funny.

Daria is not seen in the episode again, but at the end Coach Buzzcut humiliates Beavis and Butt-head by brandishing a copy of the school paper, The Highland Herald. The front page has Daria's picture of the near-naked Beavis and Butt-head, with the headline "Highland High Fashion: The Thong Has Arrived!" (As noted above, the byline misspells Daria's surname.)

Episode 47. Citizen Butt-head (October 18th, 1993)

Citizen Butt-head [11] is a double-length special in which Bill Clinton visits Highland High. Daria is one of several honor students chosen to ask him a question. Through a series of misadventures, Beavis and Butt-head get a pass to the gymnasium where the students are waiting. They sit next to Daria (who is wearing outfit 2) [17].

Daria: Beavis and Butt-head!
Butt-head: Hey, it's Diarrhea!
[Beavis and Butt-head laugh]
Daria: They picked you guys to meet the President?
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: The President of the United States!
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: The guy who runs the country! ... Who's here to talk to us right now on national television!
Butt-head: Er, we got a pass.
Beavis: Yeah!

After Clinton arrives he asks for questions from the students. Daria walks up to the microphone [18].

Daria: Mr President, in your campaign you promised to help every young person get a college education. Did you mean that or were you just jerking us around?
Butt-head: Daria's cool!

Daria's question displays her usual bluntness, and impresses even Butt-head. While Clinton is giving his answer, Beavis and Butt-head get an idea.

Butt-head: Hey, Beavis, that microphone makes your voice real loud.
Beavis: Yeah, loud, loud! Let's try it!
[Butt-head snatches the microphone from Daria]
Daria: Butt-head!
Butt-head: [into microphone] Whoa!

Beavis and Butt-head then suggest that the U.S. President should use his position as leader of the world's most powerful military force to launch unprovoked attacks on other countries. Angry secret service agents converge on Beavis and Butt-head as they continue to mock the President.

Beavis: The streets will flow with the blood of the non-believers!
[Daria grabs the microphone back]
Daria: Uh, forgive them Mr President. Um, Beavis and Butt-head are emotionally, er, you know, special.
Butt-head: Yeah, we got a pass!

Whether Daria intervenes to save Beavis and Butt-head's skins or the reputation of Highland High is unclear. Nevertheless, her tactic works and Clinton praises Beavis and Butt-head for coping so well despite their apparent handicap. He awards them Students of the Year. As he does so, he stands directly in front of Daria, completely upstaging her.

Episode 71. Water Safety (April 7th, 1994)

In Water Safety [12] Coach Buzzcut is supervising swimming lessons at the Highland High School Natatorium. Daria is in attendance, wearing a red one-piece bathing suit. (This seems to be Daria's preferred style of swimwear. She wears a one-piece suit in the Daria episode Camp Fear and the opening credits of the movie Is It Fall Yet?) At one stage she is practising staying afloat when Beavis starts providing a manic version of the Jaws theme as accompaniment.

Daria: Shut up, Beavis!
Buzzcut: Thank you, Miss Morgendorffer! Next! Butt-head!

However, Butt-head is found lying on the bottom of the pool and, after Beavis makes a pathetic rescue attempt, Coach Buzzcut is compelled to dive in and save them both. Before he does so he entrusts Daria with the equipment he is carrying. (To attract her attention, Buzzcut puts his hand on Daria's head. She doesn't flinch at this condescending gesture.)

Buzzcut: Miss Morgendorffer, please commandeer my clipboard and whistle!

As Daria takes the items she looks wide-eyed with alarm at the whole situation.

Following the inevitable rescue, Coach Buzzcut decides that Beavis and Butt-head can be put to some useful purpose after all.

Buzzcut: OK, class! Beavis and Butt-head have volunteered to serve as CPR dummies for our emergency lesson!
Daria: Oh, gross!

Daria's reaction sums up that of all the students, and Buzzcut is ultimately forced to perform the loathsome duty himself.

Episode 80. Butt, Is It Art? (May 9th, 1994)

Daria gets only one line in Butt, Is It Art? [9], but it's a classic. Mr. van Driessen is taking the students on a field trip to an art museum. (Daria is wearing outfit 3.)

van Driessen: Now, works by the master painters of the centuries!
[Beavis and Butt-head break into laughter. Daria enters]
Daria: He said master painters!
[Daria exits]
Butt-head: Oh!
Beavis: Yeah, master painting is cool.

Episode 92. The Great Cornholio (July 15th, 1994)

This episode introduces Beavis' amusing alter ego, The Great Cornholio, who emerges whenever he overdoses on sugar. On this occasion Beavis and Butt-head raid the sugar supply in Stewart Stevenson's kitchen. Beavis completes the transformation to Cornholio in van Driessen's class, his antics giving Daria her only line in the episode [20].

van Driessen: Beavis! Please sit down.
Beavis: Are you threatening me? I am Cornholio!!!
van Driessen: Come on, Beavis. Take your seat. Now, technically America is not a democracy but a republic ...
Beavis: [to Daria] You have T.P.? T.P. for my bunghole?
Daria: Get out of here, Beavis.
Beavis: Um. Okay. Heh heh ... heh heh ... [walks out of class]

Episode 100. Walkathon (December 10th, 1994)

In Walkathon [9], Beavis and Butt-head are sitting outside a convenience store drinking "slurpees" when Beavis suffers from brain freeze. Daria (wearing outfit 3) walks into the scene carrying a clipboard. (As noted above, Daria's voice sounds odd.)

Daria: Hello boys. Er ... learning how to drink from a cup, Beavis?
Beavis: Shut up! ... Diarrhea.
Daria: How come you guys aren't out collecting pledges for the walkathon?
Butt-head: Errr ... pledges?
Daria: [sighs] The way you raise money in a walkathon is you get people to pledge money for every mile you walk.
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: People give you X amount of money if you walk Y number of miles.
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: You get people to pay you to walk.
Butt-head: Cool! Why didn't you just say so?
Daria: So, will you guys pledge for me?
Butt-head: Er, OK. Like how much?
Daria: How's a quarter a mile sound?
Butt-head: Er, two quarters a mile?
Beavis: Seventy-five cents!
[Butt-head elbows Beavis in the face]
Beavis: Aaagh!
Butt-head: I just said that, dumbass! OK, a dollar!
Beavis: Ten!
Daria: [writing] "Beavis and Butt-head, ten dollars a mile, each!"
Butt-head: Hey, er, don't you have to, like, do something for us now?
Daria: OK, fair's fair. For every mile you walk, I'll pledge a nickel for you guys to split.
Butt-head: OK.
Daria: Great! See you at the walkathon.
[Daria exits, while Beavis and Butt-head laugh]
Beavis: Um, what's so funny?
Butt-head: We just totally ripped her off!
Beavis: Oh, yeah! Cool!

Daria is not seen again, and Beavis and Butt-head's attempts to take a short cut in the walkathon end in disaster. (Daria does not get her money; Beavis and Butt-head cannot pay their pledges and are forced to walk off the debt.)

This is a typical encounter between Beavis and Butt-head and Daria, with the moronic pair barely able to comprehend what she is saying. Daria is quite happy to take advantage of their stupidity, demonstrating the same mercenary attitude she would frequently display in Daria's early seasons. The only surprising aspect of the episode is Daria's uncharacteristic willingness to enter into the spirit of the walkathon.

Episode 104. Career Day (December 16th, 1994)

In Career Day [4] Mr. van Driessen offers his students the chance to get a day off school to observe a vocation of their choice selected from the Career Day displays. Wandering around the displays, Beavis and Butt-head find Daria (wearing outfit 3) standing at a booth labelled "Publishing - A Future for Those Who Read."

Man in Booth: We do mostly educational and technical manuals.
Butt-head: Who's gonna buy that crap?
Beavis: Yeah, really!
Daria: Beavis! Butt-head! You're supposed to be exploring career opportunities.
Butt-head: These jobs are stupid!
Beavis: Yeah! Everyone, like, works in a booth.
Daria: These people don't work in booths! They're here to answer questions and help you plan your future.
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: ... Your life after graduation ...
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: Well, if you guys don't pick a career, van Driessen won't let you skip a day of school next week.
Butt-head: Er, skip school?
Beavis: Yeah, it's cool!

As usual, Beavis and Butt-head have a difficult time understanding Daria. The most interesting aspect of this brief appearance by Daria is her choice of Career Day booth. Even at Highland High it seems she was thinking of a career as an author, as confirmed in later Daria episodes such as Write Where It Hurts and The Story of D.

Episode 112. Wet Behind the Rears (January 29th, 1995)

In Wet Behind the Rears [9] Coach Buzzcut and Principal McVicker embarrass Beavis and Butt-head by arranging a fire alarm while the duo are changing after gym class. They are forced to go outside in their underwear, where Daria (in outfit 3) and the other students are assembled. As they emerge, Daria ensures that the pair do not go unnoticed.

Daria: [offscreen] Hey, look, it's Beavis and Butt-head!

Daria is not usually so vocal, but evidently this opportunity was too good to miss. (Actually, since the shout comes from offscreen, there is no conclusive evidence that Daria speaks this line, rather than one of the other girls in the group. Nevertheless, the voice sounds like it could be hers, so it is widely assumed to be so, especially since she is shown to be among the crowd beforehand.)

Episode 136. Spare Me (September 12th, 1995)

In Spare Me [10], Beavis and Butt-head are offered the chance for "a ride" with two "babes" whose car has a flat tire, provided they can fix it. As the duo struggle hopelessly to get the wheel off, Daria walks upon the scene (wearing outfit 3), just as Beavis and Butt-head have convinced themselves that no-one will notice the tire is still flat.

Daria: Flat tire, huh?
Butt-head: Damnit!
[Butt-head throws the tire lever which bounces back and knocks him out]
Daria: You guys are so stupid.
[Fast forward to Daria finishing changing the wheel]
Daria: I hope you two paid attention because this will come up again.
Butt-head: Errr ... yeah. So, like, er, if you'll excuse us there's, er, still work left to be done.
Beavis: Yeah! Go away ... Diarrhea.
Butt-head: This is gonna be cool!
Beavis: We're gonna score!
Babes: Thanks guys!
[They drive off, leaving Beavis and Butt-head behind]
Daria: You guys are never gonna get any!

Episode 145. U.S. History (November 20th, 1995)

When U.S. History [9] begins we see Daria (wearing outfit 3) standing in front of Mr. van Driessen's history class concluding a presentation on John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Daria: [pointing to a diagram on the blackboard] And when this "magic bullet" went into the President's chest it had to make a sharp turn in order to exit his body from the neck. Then it would have had to turn right, then left, and somehow have enough energy to hit the Governor in the front seat. Clearly the assassination was a conspiracy.
[Daria sits down]
van Driessen: Thank you, Daria, that gave me the chills.

Unfortunately, Beavis and Butt-head are less well prepared for their oral reports. Mr. van Driessen explains to them that they will be left behind if they don't give presentations. (Beavis and Butt-head are sitting in their usual seats, in the rear of the classroom, with Daria several rows ahead.)

Daria: [turning around] You guys'll never graduate.
Butt-head: Never masturbate?
Daria: Graduate! It's when you're all done with school.
Beavis: Er, you mean, like, school ends?

Following this revelation, Beavis and Butt-head give rather pathetic impromptu "history" presentations.

Daria shows off her usual academic prowess in this episode and, from her choice of subject matter, again reveals the morbid interests she would display frequently in Daria. (She also refers to JFK's assassination in the Daria episode Gifted.)

Episode 153. Sprout (January 17th, 1996)

Daria's encounter with Beavis and Butt-head in Sprout [7] is brief, but especially amusing and revealing. Van Driessen has assigned the class a project to grow food plants, to help the students reconnect with nature. Beavis and Butt-head decide to grow corn because they want to make nachos. They dump the packet of seeds on the ground in their backyard and are standing around waiting for something to happen when Daria walks up (wearing outfit 3) [18].

Butt-head: These seeds suck!
[Daria enters]
Daria: I knew you guys would screw this up. I just had to see for myself.
Butt-head: What do you know about nachos, Daria?
Beavis: Yeah ... Diarrhea!
Daria: Not much, but I do know you're supposed to plant the seeds ...
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: ... in the ground!
[Beavis and Butt-head stare blankly]
Daria: I know it sounds crazy, but I've seen it work. Then you have to give them water and then some plant food. And it helps if you talk to them too. In the meantime, I hope you guys don't starve to death!
[Daria leaves]
Beavis: Stupid Diarrhea!
Butt-head: Really! Well, you heard her, dude. Let's get 'em in the ground!

(Tracy Grandstaff's delivery of Daria's lines is excellent, with just the right degrees of sarcasm, frustration and resignation, in that order.) Beavis and Butt-head then attempt to follow Daria's instructions, but their technique of stomping the packet of seeds into the ground, smothering them with junk food, and then yelling at them doesn't have the desired effect. (Amazingly, a sprout does appear, but Beavis and Butt-head fail to notice.) Interestingly, Butt-head once again avoids using Daria's insulting nickname and he respects her advice.

Daria's arrival on the scene is also curious. She openly states that she has gone out of her way to see what Beavis and Butt-head are up to. Lacking any friends, the younger Daria seems willing to seek out the company of Highland High's other misfits, even though she and they are clearly at opposite ends of the intellectual spectrum.

The episode ends with another fascinating detail. Mr. van Driessen displays all the students' plants on his desk, in paper cups with the students' names printed on them. Daria's effort stands out from the rest of the plain green seedlings - it's a small red rose-bud. Perhaps the Misery Chick has a romantic streak after all?

Episode 200. Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead (November 28th, 1997)

As its name suggests, this is the final Beavis and Butt-head episode [8]. In it Beavis and Butt-head are presumed dead, and the teachers celebrate, although Mr. van Driessen is a little more sensitive.

van Driessen: Does anyone have something to share about Beavis or Butt-head?
[Silence from the class]
van Driessen: Anyone? Um, Daria, I've seen you talking with them.
Daria: Well, I guess it's kind of sad that they're dead and all. But it's not like they had bright futures ahead of them. I mean I remember this time I was walking home from school ... there they were ...
[Flashbacks are shown from Babes 'R Us, Butt, Is It Art? and U.S. History]
Daria: I rest my case!

(Many other flashbacks are shown in this episode. Notably, Daria also appears in a non-speaking role during Coach Buzzcut's flashback to the events of No Laughing.)

The importance of this episode is that van Driessen singles Daria out of the whole class when looking for someone who regularly associated with Beavis and Butt-head. Indeed, as we've seen in other episodes, not only is Daria the only student who talks voluntarily to Beavis and Butt-head, but she even goes out of her way to do so. Furthermore, Daria is never shown interacting with any other students. Given Daria's well-known difficulties in making friends, the sad inference is that Daria, a misfit due to her high intelligence, is forced to seek companionship with Beavis and Butt-head, two outcasts due to their astonishingly low intelligence. With such a past, it's no wonder that Daria values Jane Lane's friendship so highly in Daria.

Non-Speaking Roles

Daria appears in numerous episodes as a background character in crowd and classroom scenes. Documented examples include Premature Evacuation [9], Steamroller [7], Head Lice [7], Generation in Crisis [11], Sexual Harrassment [11], Crisis Line [4], Just for Girls [5], It's a Miserable Life [3], Party [3], Substitute [3], Tainted Meat [3], The Trial [3], Animation Sucks [1], Bride of Butt-head [1], Bus Trip [1], Candy Sale [2], Cyber-Butt [2], Evolution Sucks [1], Manners Suck [1], The Miracle That is Beavis [1], The Mystery of Morning Wood [12], No Laughing [1], P.T.A. [7], Scared Straight [1], Temporary Insanity [13], Let's Clean It Up [2], Held Back [2], I Dream of Beavis [2], and Womyn [10]. Some of these appearances are extremely brief. For instance, only the back of her head is visible in P.T.A and The Mystery of Morning Wood. She is also glimpsed in van Driessen's class in the 1996 feature film Beavis and Butt-head do America.

Surprisingly, given the brevity of these appearances, they provide some unexpected insights into the younger Daria's character. They include numerous instances of Daria unquestioningly following the actions of her classmates, although in the later Daria series she frequently criticizes conformity. For instance, in Generation in Crisis (episode 90; July 14th, 1994) [11], Mr. van Driessen asks his class to settle down when they start throwing things at each other. Daria is among the miscreants. Daria raises her hand along with the other students in response to a leading question from a substitute teacher in Substitute (episode 158; March 5th, 1996) [3]. She poses for the class photo in Tainted Meat (episode 108; December 29th, 1994) [3]. She joins her classmates in buying merchandise from "Mr. Candy" in Candy Sale (episode 116; April 8th, 1995) [2]. Overall, while attending Highland High School Daria seems to have been more willing to join in with others than she would later be at Lawndale High.

Even more surprising is her willingness to display emotion in public. For instance, in No Laughing (episode 18; June 2nd, 1993) Coach Buzzcut threatens to send Beavis and Butt-head to "Hope High School for delinquents" where they will have their "asses kicked" on a daily basis. At this remark, all the students, including Daria, laugh out loud [8]. This early appearance by Daria (she is wearing outfit 1) seems strange when compared to the opening scene of Daria's credits! Daria also laughs at Butt-head's incompetent comment, "I rest on your face," at the end of his testimony in The Trial (episode 54; November 4th, 1993) [3]. The older Daria never allowed herself to be so demonstrative at Lawndale, even in private. It seems that while Daria was growing up in Highland, and still constructing her cynical world view, she was less guarded than she would become later. (Of course, a less appealing explanation is that Beavis and Butt-head's animators, in response to broad directions in the script such as "the students laugh", simply drew Daria doing the same things as the other animated characters!)

Indeed, Daria's experiences at Highland High School evidently helped shape the strong opinions about society she held by the time the Morgendorffers moved to Lawndale. This point is made explicitly in It's a Miserable Life (part of the 1995 Beavis and Butt-head Christmas special, December 19th, 1995), which provides the series' only direct comment on Daria's personality. In a fantasy sequence showing a world in which Butt-head never existed, Daria is shown smiling, singing Christmas carols and holding hands with a boy [17]. The inference is that Beavis and Butt-head played a major part in forging Daria's low opinion of her fellow man. Although we cannot place too much significance on this alternate reality, the brief scene showing a truly happy Daria is curiously poignant.


As we have seen, the complex and fascinating character of "Daria Morgendorffer" emerged almost fully formed in the Beavis and Butt-head series long before Daria went to air. Although her appearances in Beavis and Butt-head are disappointingly brief, Daria was already shown to be smart, cynical, acerbic and alienated. In addition, her academic talents and desire to become an author were already in evidence. She was also shown to be a little less guarded and withdrawn than her older self. Nevertheless, her mercenary actions in Beavis and Butt-head episodes such as Scientific Stuff and Sporting Goods are "classic Daria." Therefore, in this author's mind at least, Daria's adventures at Highland High School are a worthy addition to the Daria canon.


  1. M. J. Pollard and C. E. Forman. Daria on Beavis and Butt-head. Accessed July 2003. Includes an image from the episode Scientific Stuff.
  2. "CincGreen". Daria - The Highland Years. Accessed July 2003.
  3. "Larissa, Bridget and Robin". Before Daria. Accessed July 2003.
  4. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head to the Rescue. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1801. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2000. Includes the episodes Career Day and Crisis Line.
  5. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head in School Jocks. VHS Video Cassette VSM 2147. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2001. Includes the episodes Sporting Goods and Just for Girls.
  6. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: The History of Beavis, Part 1. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1810. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2000. Includes the episode Babes 'R Us.
  7. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: History of Beavis, Part III. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1980. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2000. Includes the episodes Sprout, Steamroller, Head Lice and P.T.A.
  8. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head in Brushes with Death. VHS Video Cassette VSM 2149. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2002. Includes the episode Beavis and Butt-head Are Dead.
  9. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: Star Pupils. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1747. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 1999. Includes the episodes Walkathon, U.S. History, Butt, Is It Art?, Premature Evacuation and Wet Behind the Rears.
  10. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head Get Lucky. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1751. CIC Video, 1999. Includes the episode Spare Me.
  11. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: Law-Abiding Citizens. VHS Video Cassette RFM 1531. Rainbow Products Ltd, 1997. Includes the episodes Citizen Butt-head, Generation in Crisis and Sexual Harrassment.
  12. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: Self Improvement. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1815. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 1999. Includes the episodes Water Safety and The Mystery of Morning Wood.
  13. MTV Home Video. Beavis and Butt-head: Hard Cash. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1691. Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 1998. Includes the episode Temporary Insanity.
  14. MTV Home Video. Daria. VHS Video Cassette VSM 1688. CIC Video, 1998. Includes the episode Esteemsters.
  15. "Triste Monde Tragique". Triste Monde Tragique - Videos. Accessed July 2003. Includes a low-resolution recording of the episode Scientific Stuff.
  16. TV Tome. Beavis and Butt-head - Episode Guide. Accessed November 2003.
  17. "Phill". Phill's Daria Page. Accessed January 2004. Includes images from the episodes It's a Miserable Life, Sporting Goods and Citizen Butt-head.
  18. W. Law. Daria: Tribute from Australia - Images. Accessed January 2004. Includes images from the episodes Sprout and Citizen Butt-head. Warning: This web site contains pop-up advertising.
  19. James B. The Daria Fandom Blog: 21 March 2005. Accessed June 2005. Includes a partial transcript of the episode Sign Here.
  20. "Food God". The Kindom [sic] of Beavis and Butthead: The Great Cornholio Script. Accessed June 2008. Includes a complete transcript of the episode The Great Cornholio. Warning: This web site contains pop-up advertising.
  21. The Daria Wiki. Incognito. Accessed June 2008. Includes a partial transcript and an image from the episode Incognito.
  22. Wikipedia. List of Beavis and Butt-head episodes. Accessed June 2008.
  23. S. Johnson and C. Marcil. This Book Sucks. MTV Books, 1993. ISBN 1-86359-311-X.


"Beavis and Butt-head" and "Daria" and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.