Tiffany dazzles everyone with her speed reading

The following are various essays that explore different aspects of the Daria phenomenon (the TV show, fan activities, and more). Some are written by the webmaster, while others are written by guest authors.

If you have an essay that you would like to see posted here, send it via e-mail (attached to the message, if at all possible!) to for consideration. (Note that submitted essays that are not accepted may be rejected for any reason, with or without comment.)

The Angst Guy
Austin Covello
C.E. Forman
Peter Guerin
Michelle Klein-Häss
Peter Paccione
Martin Pollard
Mike Quinn
Daniel Suni
Guy Wheatley
Kara Wild

Note that the e-mail addresses of the authors are provided solely for the purpose of constructive feedback to their essays. They do not want to be spammed, so please don't abuse the privilege!

My Essays

My views on Daria, Trent, and the whole "shipper" aspect of Daria fandom and fan fiction.

Essays by Admonisher
On Crossovers
An analysis of the most controversial genre of Daria fan fiction (next to the shipper story) -- the crossover/parody story -- with insights and advice to both readers and would-be crossover story authors.
A Rant About "Evil" Tom
The "Evil Tom" phenomenon inspired this rant, wherein the author essentially does the equivalent of William Shatner's "get a life!" SNL sketch. It may not apply to everyone, but there are fans out there that REALLY need to read it.

Essays by The Angst Guy
Jane and the Lanes
It is possible, with a little math work and careful study of Daria show scripts, to work out the approximate ages of Jane Lane's many siblings and the circumstances of their birth, feeding interesting speculation about the Lane family's history and the sources of their interpersonal problems. More fanfic about the Lane family is called for.
Jane Lane: Hero in the Making?
Is Jane Lane the offbeat artist soon to become Jane Lane, Hero for Hire? Her genetic code might hold the answer, thanks to a potential stockpile of famous Lane ancestors, courtesy of science fictionís Wold Newton family!
Rita is Better Than Helen or Amy!
Rita Barksdale deserves better press than she's gotten in Daria fanfic. This essay attempts to rectify the situation using material from the episodes themselves as proof of her basic goodness. Fanfic plot ideas are appended for everyone's use.
The Sound of Muzak
Music can have a big influence on fanfic, and Daria fanfic even moreso (as music was an integral part of the Daria experience). Here, TAG goes into detail on his musical influences.

Essays by Bacner
On the Topic of Geneaology and "Daria"
The geneaology of the various characters in Daria is examined, with some interesting results.
Grandfather Freud's Look on "Daria"
In the previous essay, Bacner examined the characters' family histories. Here, he speculates on what makes them tick.
The Families of Lawndale
In Bacner's third essay, the dynamics of the other Lawndale families (the Griffins, Landons, Taylors, and Thompsons) are explored.
The Relationships in Lawndale
Bacner's fourth essay concentrates on the various relationships in Lawndale (and not necessarily M/F ones, either).
Sister, Sister
For his fifth essay, Bacner delves into the psyches of Helen, Rita, and Amy... "the Bickering Barksdale Sisters."
On the Topic of Lord Toede and Daria
Bacner's sixth essay re-visits Daria and her family history.

Essays by C.F.
Beavis and Butt-head and Daria
The mysterious C.F. documents and analyzes Daria's appearances in Beavis and Butt-head.
Welcome to the Dariahouse
This essay explores the extraordinary similarities between the television series Daria and the motion picture Welcome to the Dollhouse. Is our favorite TV show just a cheap rip off?

Essays by Austin Covello
In Defense of Sandi
Is Sandi really as bad as everyone thinks? Austin doesn't think so, and tells us why.
The Stacy Phenomenon
Stacy has become a cult favorite among Daria fans. Why? Austin speculates on why this is so.
Movie Madness: Rumors, Fears, and Ideas
Austin explores the relevant concerns of a Daria movie, and offers some ideas for plots.
The Top Thirteen Ways "Daria" Would Be Different If It Were An Anime
Something on the lighter side this time around, as Austin presents his ideas on how Daria would be different if it was an anime.
Process of "Stacy Rowe, Evangelion Pilot"
Austin goes a little more in-depth and behind-the-scenes regarding his most complex Daria fanfic to date, plus gives us a sneak peek at the (eventual) sequel.

Essays by C.E. Forman
Writing Where It Hurts
C.E. is somewhat troubled by the state of the Daria fanfic community these days. Why? Read on...
This Show Sucks
Recent events prompted C.E. to dig up an old essay from several years ago. The insight it contains may make some people uncomfortable, so be warned.

Essays by Peter Guerin
Columbine's Most Wanted?
After the Columbine High School shooting, the thoughts of the media turned to the Goth lifestyle, MTV, and so on. Peter asks, would this excessive media scrutiny extend to Daria and Our Heroine and her bleak outlook on life?
American Animation's Finest Hour
An essay that makes a case for why "Fire!" and "Dye! Dye! My Darling" have reached a high-water mark for U.S. cartoons.
The Summer of Our Discontent
Peter explains how adversity in the TV-movie "Is It Fall Yet?" helped create major character changes to the cast of Daria.
The Beginning of the End
Peter waxes philosophical about the final season of Daria, and speculates on what may be some of the unspoken reasons why the show is ending after five seasons.
Daria Fandom's Goetterdaemmerung?
Peter answers specific charges and accusations against the Daria fan community that were put forth in a recent series of essays by fanfic author Ruthless Bunny.
Hail and Farewell, Daria
Peter's swan song to Daria, discussing the series finale movie "Is It College Yet?" as well as the state of fandom as the series concludes.
Slaughterhouse Daria
Peter's mad as hell (about The N's heavy censorship of Daria) and he's not going to take it anymore!
Cynicism Is Painless
Peter compares Daria to M*A*S*H. (M*A*S*H?!? Say what?!! Read on...)

Essays by Michelle Klein-Häss
Morons in the Control Room
October 5, 1998
The ineptitude of the persons in MTV Operations responsible for the glitches in the Summer 1998 broadcasts of Daria prompted this rant, along with a plea for the fans to write to MTV and express their displeasure.
Control Room Update: The Battle Has Been Joined!
December 18, 1998
An update to Michelle's original essay regarding technical glitches, with the announcement that the production staff is now on the case and is keeping a close eye on MTV's treatment of Daria.
Daria Fandom: A Question of Gratitude
December 18, 1998
Michelle's ruminations on the demise of Planet Daria, the last of the three original Daria mega-sites (along with Sick, Sad World and, and the possible unspoken reasons for it.
From Now On, Please Keep It Real!
March 15, 1999
Michelle's views on the controversy over the third season episodes "Daria!" and "Depth Takes a Holiday," and where it might be leading the Daria staff and its fans.

Essays by Peter Paccione
The Barksdales: Daria's Southern Heritage
Peter (aka "The Historian") explores the Morgendorffers' Southern roots by comparing the fictional Barksdales to the real-life family (which dates as far back as the American Civil War!).
Quinn Morgendorffer: An Analysis
Peter's second essay analyzes Quinn Morgendorffer and tries to find out what makes her tick.

Essays by Mike Quinn
The Ladder Theory
Mike compares the attributes of Daria and Quinn (intelligence and natural beauty) and their various interactions.
The Running Gag Theory
Mike attempts to gauge the effectiveness of the running gags in various Daria episodes.
Fair Enough is Enough
The episode "Just Add Water" prompted this rant, and a plea from Mike for a moratorium on Peggy Nicoll scripts (or, at least, the recycling of ideas over and over and over again).
The Hidden Intelligence Theory
Is Brittany really more intelligent than she portrays herself to be? Mike tries to sort out the clues.
The Fashion Club Dynamic
Mike performs a detailed analysis of the Fashion Club, how its members interact with each other, and from his observations offers five possible outcomes of their continued conflict.
Friday, 2200
Mike wonders what the impact will be from Daria's move to Fridays at 10:00pm EST, traditionally the "dead zone" of TV broadcasting.

Essays by Daniel Suni
Cynic's Complaint
What started out as a rant about the fourth season premiere, "Partner's Complaint" (#401), turned into a much bigger treatise on what direction Daniel thinks the show should be taking... and why it's not doing so.
On Comedy, Drama, and Emotional Involvement
A depressing analysis on how the emotional pattern of the show has been altered and why, according to Daniel, our favorite show is going down the drain.

Essays by Guy Wheatley
A Quip Above the Rest
A general, gestalt essay that examines the appeal of Daria to its fans compared to other (non-)animated programs, with snapshots of the headtrip that was Guy's own descent into Daria fandom.
The Joy of Shunning Sex
An essay examining Daria's asexuality, suggesting that such a stance works to her advantage compared to other teen TV show.
All For One and One For None
An examination on why Daria voluntarily chooses her solidarity with Jane and only Jane, whilst keeping all of her other peers at arm's length.
Objectivity Free Landslide Victory
An arguement championing Season Three's superiority over Season Four, attacking the notion that Season Four is heads-and-shoulders above the previous one in content.

Essays by Kara Wild
On the Subject of Quinn and Rape
The topic of rape has slowly become a part of Daria fan fiction; Kara examines why Quinn seems to be taking the brunt of it. (Warning: persons not comfortable with this subject are advised to steer clear. Also, this essay contains spoilers for several Daria fanfic stories, including "Sins of the Past" by Martin J. Pollard and "So Turns the Wheel" by Michelle Klein-Häss.)
The Unflappable Jane Lane
Jane has been in every episode of Daria to date, but how well do we really know her? Kara ponders this question, and attempts a search for answers.
Amy: Savior or Chimera?
Aunt Amy has been in only two episodes to date, yet she has captured the imagination of Daria fans (and fanfic authors) like no other. Kara examines this phenomenon, and offers a contrary opinion: the fans are way off base...
The Helen/Jane/Jodie Connection
Kara focuses on the three people who tend to influence Daria the most, and attempts to prove that they, in many ways, are all really different sides of the same coin.
The Off-Canon Approach
Kara defends off-canon writing in Daria fan fiction, and reveals a dirty little secret...
The Moderator Is In
Kara clarifies her position as a moderator on the Outpost Daria Reborn message board, explaining what she does... and, more specifically, what she will not do.
It Happened to Jane
Jane's foray into conformity in "The F Word" prompted this stinging essay from Kara. But just who is Kara berating: the writers, or the fans? Read on for the answer.
The Other Side of The Kiss
Kara takes an in-depth look at the events in Season Four and concludes that, contrary to popular belief, Daria really did not have feelings for Tom when she kissed him in "Dye! Dye! My Darling."
Anatomy of a Tom Hater
Kara offers explanations for why many Daria fans never warmed to Tom Sloane.

Miscellaneous Essays
(Alphabetical by Author)
The Difficulties of Writing Fan Fiction
by MJ Brault
One fanfic author's rant on the difficulties of writing fan fiction.
Has It Fallen Yet?
by Caira
Caira provides an analysis of Daria and the reasons why he believes the events of Season Four do not bode well for the future of the show.
Daria's Love Life
by Starah Choe
Starah's essay focuses on Daria's romantic side (Trent and Tom, specifically) throughout the entire run of the series.
Byronic Daria
by Hannah Edlen
Originally a class assignment, Hannah's essay compares and contrasts Daria Morgendorffer to the typical Byronic Hero.
Improbable But Not Impossible
by Fayth S.
Fayth S. makes the case for a Daria/Trent relationship.
An Appeal For Sanity
by Rey Fox
On December 11, 1999, in an eerie repeat of events from a year before, the Lawndale Commons web site closed its doors. Rey expresses his thoughts on the incident, the circumstances behind it, and appeals to the Daria fan community for a little sanity.
The Daria Temporal Analysis Project
by Richard Lobinske
An examination of short and long term time references in the series episodes, movies and books to help fanfiction writers. Includes event timelines based on different assumed years for the series run.
by Luhrman
Luhrman ruminates on our favorite "goth chick."
See Daria Run
by Chris Majors
FAQ creator Chris Majors' thoughts about Daria's behavior and attitudes, and where they may be taking her in future episodes. Written just after the episode "See Jane Run" first aired.
Another Day in SubUrbia
by Bryan McGucken
Bryan channels the spirit of William Shatner as he bids adieu to the Daria fan community.
Why Bother?
by Paperpusher
Paperpusher ponders the nature of fan fiction, and why its authors write it. Some of the conclusions may surprise you.
Match Maker, Match Maker?
by Brielle Potter
Brielle offers an argument against the portrayal of Jane as some kind of crazed Yenta for Daria and Trent (or anyone else, for that matter).
Why Did It Come to This?
by Brian Taylor
Brian analyzes the fourth season of Daria, and basically explains why he didn't like it.
Repeat to Yourself: It's Just a Cartoon
by The Unknown
The mysterious stranger known only as "The Unknown" offers some sage advice for people who start to take this stuff just a little too seriously...