What If
By Thomas

Thanks to Milo for helping me with my grammar and for Beta reading.

(Daria's room. Daria and Jane are sitting on the bed. Jane is reading from a magazine. The front cover reads "Sick Sad World Illustrated")

Jane: If you could be a fictional character. Who would it be?

Daria: Melody Powers.

Jane: What animal do you think represents you the best?

Daria: A turtle.

Jane: How is it I know in advance what you're going to say?

Daria: Don't make up questions of your own.

(The door opens. Quinn comes in. She has a terrified look on her face)

Quinn: You have to hide me! Don't let the mummy take me! (dives under Daria's bed)

Jane: Did what I saw just happen?

Daria: You mean my sister coming in here and hiding under my bed because the mummy is after her?

Jane: Yeah that.

Daria: No that didn't happen. Next question.

Jane: If the mummy was chasing your sister. Would you. A. Save her. B. Do nothing. C. Hand her over.

(Off Camera) Quinn: A! A!

Daria: I told you not to make up questions of our own.

Jane: Oh well. If you could be an animal. What would it be?

Daria: Godzilla.

Jane: And you Quinn?

(Off Camera) Quinn: A peacock.

Jane: Quinn. Its the male peacocks that are beautiful. The female are these dull brown birds.

Daria: Now, now. We have to keep an open mind. If Quinn wants to have a sex change, who are we to judge.

(Off Camera) Quinn: (annoyed) Oh ha ha.

(There is a knock on the door)

(Off Camera) Quinn: Its the mummy! Don't let him take me.

Daria: (loud) Come in.

(The door opens. A guy comes in. His face is covered in bandages)

Daria & Jane: AAAAAAAAAAH!

Guy: Sorry. Wrong room. (leaves)

Quinn: (crawls out) Is he gone?

Daria: What was that?

Quinn: (speed rant) Its Zack I promised I would go on a date with him but then he fell of his bike and hurt his face and I didn't get the chance to cancel it and then he showed up here and dad let him in but I can't date him now because if people see me with him looking as the mummy they would laugh at me and...

(Quinn stops to inhale. Daria slaps a hand over her mouth)

Daria: Thank you. I think we got the picture.

Jane: But why is he chasing you around the house? I mean, you're not that attractive.

Quinn: (beat) Ha ha. I think it may be those pain killers I've seen him eating like candy at school. (sits on Daria's bed)

Daria: What do you think you're doing?

Quinn: I can't leave now, can I? He might still be out there.

Daria: Oh brother.

Jane: Now, now. She can join us. Next question. Quinn, if you could only save the life of one member of your family. Who would it be?

Daria: The guy who wrote these questions must be a total sadist. I want to meet him.

Quinn: Lets see... Dad is easier to get money out of, but mom makes the most money. Dad is nicer, but mom is easier to talk to... I'll say mom.

Jane: And you Daria?

Daria: Quinn.

Jane & Quinn: What!?

Daria: I speak from experience. Back when we were camping and the rest of you ate poisonous berries (1). Mom and dad are both stronger than me, I couldn't just have taken their hands and walked out of the wood. You're the only one I would have been able to save if mom hadn't brought her phone along.

Quinn: You really mean that? You would have saved me?

Daria: Sure I would. How can you even doubt that?

Quinn: (starts crying) You would save me, and I didn't even think of you. Huuuuuuu.

Jane: Oh look. You made her cry.

Daria: My day is made.

Jane: Makes you think doesn't it? I mean what if your parents had died back then and you only had each other. Maybe you would have gotten as close as me and Trent.

Daria: Jane. There are thing I'd rather not think about. Anything involving my parents being dead and being close to Quinn are among them.

Jane: You're right. Sorry.

Quinn: (stops crying) How about what if you and Trent had been a couple?

Daria: Excuse me?

Quinn: (smirk) Come on. I know you had the hots for him. Imagine what it would be like if you had brought him home back then...

(As Quinn continues to speak, the scene dissolves to a shot of the Morgendorffer kitchen. Jake, Helen and Quinn are sitting at the table having dinner. Daria and Trent comes in)

Daria: Mom, dad. I want you to meet my boyfriend. His name is Trent and he plays in a band.


Helen: But sweetie. You can't date him. He's much to old for you.

Daria: Mom I just turned 16. Thats old enough to date a 21 year old.

Jake: He's 21!!! My heart. My heart stopped beating.

(Jake falls to the ground. Helen leans over him)

Helen: Oh my God. Daria killed Jake.

Quinn: You bastard.

Trent: If he's dead. Can I have his lasagne?

(The scene dissolves back to Daria's room)

Jane: Just when did she get so witty?

Daria: Beats me. But I'm sure its nothing we can't cure with a good beating.

Quinn: Oh come on. Like that isn't what would have happened.

Daria: Okay. So maybe back then it would have been a definite no-no. But now I'm 18. I could go out with Trent today if I wanted to.

Jane: Oh yeah. I can just imagine what that would be like...

(As Jane speaks, the scene dissolves to a shot of the front seat of Trent's car. Its late. Trent is driving. Daria is riding shotgun)

Trent: Daria there's something I need to tell you.

Daria: (blushes) Yes Trent.

Trent: We can't use you as our song writer anymore.

Daria: Excuse me?

Trent: We thought we could be successful if we had you to write us some better lyrics. But the manager of the Zen says that your songs are making people depressed. And they buy less booze when they're feeling depressed.

Daria: What do you mean, depressed? I write about life as it is.

Trent: Exactly.

(The car drives up to the movie theater. Monique is standing outside)

Trent: Thanks for the ride.

Daria: (beat) You drove me here.

Trent: Oh thats right. But you can drive me home later if you want to.

(Trent steps out of the car. He and Monique starts kissing)

(The scene dissolves back to Daria's room)

Daria: Hate you.

Jane: Why? Isn't what I described pretty much how your last date went? Except you didn't get pierced this time (2).

Daria: Double hate you.

Quinn: But what if you and Trent met 10 years from now? Then the age difference wouldn't be such a big deal anymore.

Daria: I don't think you want to know what I think that would be like. Jane would hate me.

Jane: So that would make us even.

Daria: Good point.

(Daria ponders this future for a moment, and begins to speak. The scene changes to the front of the Chez Pierre. A car pulls up front. Older versions of the Morgendorffer's get out)

Quinn: Mom can I borrow your phone? I just want to make sure...

Helen: No Quinn. You can't borrow the phone. Your kids are fine. There's no need to call home. We agreed that this evening it would just be the four of us. No husbands or children.

Quinn: (sigh) I guess you're right. I can manage without thinking about my kids for one evening. (pause) Daria can I borrow...

Daria: Quinn they're fine. Didn't you see who the babysitter was? Tricia Gupty. We used to babysit her. Isn't that ironic?

Quinn: (smiles) Yeah. To think Tricia has gotten this big. Last time I saw her she was just a little girl.

Daria: And now she's old enough to be a babysitter. Do you think she'll look after your kids the same way I looked after her (3)?

Quinn: (nervous) What do you mean.

Daria: Deprogramming, mud-wrestling, alternate fairy tales...

Quinn: My babies!

(Quinn tries to run away but Jake grabs her)

Jake: Calm down kiddo. You know Daria is just teasing.

Quinn: (beat) I am not a kiddo anymore dad.

Daria: She just behaves like one.

(Quinn sends Daria a dirty look)

Helen: Honestly Daria. You're 28 years old. But you're still playing tricks on your sisters mind.

Daria: Must be something genetic.

(An older Trent wearing the uniform of a parking guard takes their car and drives away with it)

Jake: Did you see who that parking guard was?

Daria: Who?

Jake: Trent.

Daria: Trent?

Helen: You know. Jane's brother.

Daria: Jane?

(The scene changes back to Daria's room)

Jane: You're right. I hate you.

Daria: Don't worry. It'll take me more than 10 years to forget you. But lets face it. In that time Trent will be a distant memory to me.

Quinn: Or maybe he'll be a famous musician and you'll be a famous writer. And you meet each other in New York and fall in love. Wouldn't that be romantic?

Daria: And maybe gold will come out my ass. Only someone who hasn't heard Mystic Spiral playing could think they would become famous someday.

Jane: And only someone who hasn't read what you're writing...

Daria: Drop dead Lane.

Quinn: I don't get you two. We never talk to each other in the fashion club like that. So how come you're always together?

Jane: We met in self-esteem class (4). And our collective misery was so great it gave birth to a wonderful friendship.

Daria: We're friends?

Jane: Drop dead Morgendorffer.

Quinn: I wonder what it would be like if one of you hadn't taken that class...

(As Quinn speaks, the scene changes to one of the Morgendorffer kitchen. Helen is talking with Quinn)

Helen: Have you got any idea what to do about Daria? She's so miserable its contagious. And its only gotten worse since we moved here. She's been all alone.

Quinn: Mom its time you face the truth. Daria doesn't belong here. Lawndale is a place for happy people, its no place for someone like Daria. You have to send her somewhere she can be among her own kind.

Helen: You think so?

Quinn: Yes. You need to send her away. There are places that can deal with girls like her. Thats where she belong.

Helen: I guess you're right.

(Outside the Morgendorffer's house. A cab drives off. Daria is sitting on the back seat. Helen, Jake and Quinn are waving goodbye)

Helen: Bye sweetie.

Jake: Bye kiddo.

Quinn: (relieved) Only child at last.

(Aunt Amy's kitchen. Amy is making breakfast. Daria walks over and hugs her)

Amy: Good morning Daria.

Daria: Morning Aunt Amy. I'm so glad I came here.

(We return to Daria's room)

Daria: I'm impressed. You were this close to bodily injury. But you saved it in the last minute.

Quinn: (innocently) Why? Where did you think I would have the cab take you?

Jane: How is it she behaves like one person when she's with us, and like another when she's with the fashion drones?

Daria: Popularity syndrome. Who you are depends on who you're with.

Quinn: Yeah. So?

Jane: I wonder. If one of us hadn't taken self-esteem class, would we be popular today?

(Jane begins to speak. The scene changes to the interior of Lawndale High. Jane is walking down the hall with Evan. Kevin, Jamie, Joey and Jeffy run past them. Joey is holding a football)

Kevin: Get the ball, get the ball.

Evan: (disgusted) Animals.

Jane: What do you mean?

Evan: To them staying in shape is just something they do so they can meet on the football field and run around like pigs. They don't get the whole "your body is a temple" philosophy like we do.

Jane: I know. Look I have to talk with the people on the Lowdown about that report on the track team's mini marathon. See you tonight. (leaves)

Evan: Good idea. We should get at least as much space as those... (shudders) Pigs.

(The editorial room of the Lowdown. Daria is sitting at a desk. She's wearing boots, blue jeans and a black T-shirt. Jane walks over to her)

Jane: Hi. You're the one doing the "Dear Daria" column right? I recognize your picture from the paper.

Daria: So theoretically I could be my twin.

Jane: Huh?

Daria: Just kidding. Take a seat. What can I do for you?

Jane: (sits down) I have a question. And its not something I think I can write to you about. I sort of need to have a heart to heart. If you know what I mean.

Daria: Go on.

Jane: I'm on the track team. And that makes me one of the popular people. I'm not saying that I regret it. I had a great time. A boyfriend, lots of parties, and people to be around.

Daria: But?

Jane: I'm also an artist. I just haven't really found the time to do any art these last years, and I had Ms Morris... You know.

Daria: Fix your grades. Can't write about that I'm afraid. Ms Li would shut us down.

Jane: (beat) But graduation is soon. Then there won't be a track team anymore. And when Ms Li hands me my diploma she might as well be handing me a roll of toilet paper. Now I'm wondering. Was being popular worth it?

Daria: Sounds like you picked the same way out as I did.

Jane: What do you mean?

Daria: Working for the school paper is the same stunt I pulled at my last school. I don't really want to be here. But it gives me a social circle, respect, and popularity even. When I moved here I thought I could manage all on my own. But I couldn't. So maybe you neglected your art to go running instead because you couldn't manage on your own either. But that doesn't mean you can't still be an artist.

Jane: (small smile) You haven't even seen what I do.

Daria: Can I?

Jane: You really want to?

Daria: Sure. I can do an article on you even. We can go there now. Have you got a TV by the way? There's a new Sick, Sad World on this afternoon I don't want to miss.

Jane: (smiles) Hey. That's my favorite show to.

Daria: Let me just say goodbye to my boyfriend first.

(Daria gets up and walks over to Ted Dewitt-Clinton)

(We return to the reality that is Daria's room)

Daria: Must... control... fist... of... death.

Jane: (shrugs) You can't be with Tom if we newer meet, now can you. You rather not have a boyfriend at all?

Daria: Or maybe I would have the wrong kind of boyfriend.

Jane & Quinn: Huh?

Daria: You're assuming that if we hadn't met each other, we wouldn't have had any friends. But who's to say thats how it would have been? I mean what if I had had friends but the wrong kind.

(The scene changes to Groove Hill. Its graduation day. Daria and Graham are sitting on the grass)

Graham: So we made it at last.

Daria: "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger". Nietzsche.

Graham: You mean the messiah.

(Daria and Graham giggles)

Daria: (looks around) Look at all these people, all smiling. (mock voice) Doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

Graham: You certainly changed a lot since you came here. I remember how you were always going on about right and wrong. And look at you now.

Daria: I know. And to think I didn't even want to come here.

Graham: So why did you?

Daria: I couldn't stand the thought on living in Lawndale another day. There was nothing to keep me there.

(Helen, Jake and Quinn walks towards them)

Daria: Oh great. That which makes my life miserable is coming this way.

Graham: Tell me about it. The day I found out I was adopted was the happiest day of my life. You're sure they're...

Daria: Afraid so. My birth-certificate is genuine.

Graham: Ever thought of telling them how you're really feeling about them?

Daria: Now they did pay for my stay here. (evil grin) And even with that big scholarship I got, I could still use a bit of extra cash.

Graham: You're a girl after my head. See you later.

(Graham leaves. Helen, Jake and Quinn walk up to Daria. She gets up and hugs them)

Daria: Mom, dad, Pinochio.

Quinn: Mu-ooom do something.

Helen: Now Quinn. You know Daria is just teasing.

Jake: My little girl is graduating.

Daria: Dad do you think we can have a conversation where you don't make fun of my height?

Jake: But kiddo I didn't...

Helen: Jake. You know Daria is just kidding. (to Daria) How are you sweetie? And how are all your friends doing? Graham, Lara and Cassidy?

Daria: Fine. Except Lara, she's dead.

Helen: What! What happened?

Daria: She couldn't handle the pressure anymore. She locked herself in her room a month ago, and when they broke the door down, they found her lying on the floor. It seems she had tried swallowing a history paper.

Jake: But that's awful.

Daria: (shrugs) I know. But then I tell myself its like road-kill. The price you pay for traffic.

(Helen, Jake and Quinn stare at Daria in shock)

Daria: (smiles) Hey I was kidding. (voiceover) Not.

(Back to Daria's room)

Jane: Evil Daria. That was actually scary.

Daria: I can also tell one with evil Jane.

Jane: No thanks.

Quinn: Can you tell one where you don't insult me?

Daria: But Quinn. Thats was if I was evil. I would never insinuate that you have wood for brains by calling you Pinochio. Would I Jane?

Jane: No Daria would never do that. Just as I would never call you Pinochio either.

Quinn: I swear. If you say it one more time I'll leave.

(Daria smirks. Jane gets a big grin on her face)

Quinn: (buries her face in her hands) Oh no.

Jane: Was she also like this at your old school?

Daria: I didn't see her there. I was a freshman at Highland High when she was still in eight grade. But it was nothing like Lawndale. We had all the stuff we don't have here. Gangs, drugs, poverty. You name it.

Quinn: Come on, I'm sure it wasn't that bad.

Daria: You lived there. Are you going to tell me you've forgotten what Highland was like?

Quinn: No I haven't. It was just like this place only different.

(Quinn begins to speak about Highdale High. The scene changes. Daria and Quinn walk trough the main entrance)

Quinn: Our first day at school. Isn't this great?

Daria: I hate great.

(Sandi, Stacy and Tiffany walk over to Quinn)

Stacy: Hi who're you?

Quinn: Quinn Morgendorffer.

Sandi: Cool name.

Quinn: And this is my sister Daria. She dresses horribly. But that's because she's poor. She can't afford to be fashionable.

Sandi: Do you want to join the fashion gang? I'm looking for a new vice president. We help the fashion unfortunate.

Tiffany: She's turned us into missionaries.

Quinn: Sure.

(Back to Daria's room)

Daria: "This is my sister"?

(Quinn laughs nervously)

Daria: The "fashion gang"?

Quinn: You said they had gangs there.

Daria: I can't believe it. You've actually forgotten what Highland was like, haven't you?

Jane: I think, I can imagine how it must have been.

(As Jane speaks, the scene dissolves to Highdale High. Daria, Jane and Brittany are walking down the hall. Brittany is wearing normal clothes and her face is scarred)

Brittany: Can we go to a party this weekend?

Jane: Have you gotten an invitation?

Brittany: (sad) No. Not since I got released from the hospital last week.

Daria: Maybe we can have our own party.

Brittany: (happy) Really? Can we invite Jodie.

(Jane sighs)

Daria: Jodie won't be going to party's anymore. Ever.

Brittany: Why not? What's happened?

Jane: She got arrested while you were in the hospital. Possession of heroin with intent to distribute. On school grounds. Mandatory sentencing. You know the rest.

Brittany: (shocked) But Jodie would never...

Daria: No but Mack would. And she was naive enough to hold on to his stash for him.

Brittany: But couldn't she just explain it wasn't hers?

Jane: (to Daria) Tell me again why we're hanging out with her.

Daria: (to Jane) Because no one else will. Not since that drunk driving incident with Kevin where she went through the windshield.

Jane: (to Daria) And why exactly is that any of our business?

Daria: (to Jane) It's not. But every brain should have a friend who knows martial arts.

Jane: (to Daria) So why do I have to hang out with her?

Daria: (to Jane) Its a package deal.

(Cut to further down the hallway where Andrea is banging Quinn against the lockers)

Andrea: This is for telling me black is out of style.

Quinn: But it is. (Andrea bangs her against the lockers) Aaaah!

Andrea: This is criticizing my hair.

Quinn: All I said was to use a scruncie. (Andrea bangs her against the lockers) Aaaah!

Andrea: And this is...

(Brittany grabs Andrea from behind, slams her against the lockers and holds her there)

Quinn: Daria! (hugs Daria)

Jane: (lights a cigarette) Tell me Andrea, are you into branding.

(Andrea shakes her head vigorously)

Jane: Touch that girl again and you will be. (holds the burning cigarette an inch from Andrea's face) Got it?

(Andrea nods)

Jane: Let her do.

(Brittany lets go of Andrea who runs off)

Quinn: Oh Daria. She attacked me, and my friends they just ran away and left me.

Daria: What did I say would happen next time I had to save you from your big mouth?

Quinn: Huh?

Daria: Wrong answer. (hits Quinn in the stomach)

(Back to Daria's room. Quinn is staring at Jane with open mouth)

Daria: Not bad. I liked the ending. But you also got it wrong. Highland High was a school, not a scary movie. We didn't have disfigured students beating each other up in the hallway.

Jane: So I wouldn't be able to burn people with cigarettes?

Daria: Not inside a non-smoking area.

Jane: Damn.

Quinn: Okay Daria. If you know so much. Why don't you tell us what it was like.

Daria: If I must.

(Scene dissolves to Daria's version of Highdale High. The hallway. Quinn is being harassed by Buttjamie, Jeffyhead and Jovis, a nightmarish fusion of Bevis and Butthead and the three J's)

Buttjamie: Ha, ha ha. Hey Quinn. Will you, like, go to the movies with me?

Jeffyhead: Hi, hi, hi. You asked her to go to the movies.

Jovis: Ho, ho, ho. I bet its a porn movie.

Quinn: Leave me alone! I'd rather date a cockroach.

Buttjamie: Ha, ha, ha. She said cock.

(Daria and Jane walk past them. Quinn uses the opportunity to run away. Buttjamie, Jeffyhead and Jovis dances around Daria and Jane)

Jeffyhead: Diarrhea. Cha, cha, cha.

Jovis: Jane Laid. Cha, cha, cha.

Jane: Did your sister just succeed in making our lives even more miserable?

Buttjamie: Ha, ha, ha. She said suck.

Daria: (sigh) Why don't you go to the roof? I heard Kballs and Brithole are making out in the tool-shed.

Jeffyhead: Cool.

Jovis: No it's not. Remember the last time Brithole beat us up for looking at her?

Buttjamie: Oh yeah.

Daria: All you have to do is wear a blindfold. Then she can't see you.

Jeffyhead: Smart.

(Buttjamie, Jeffyhead and Jovis runs off)

Jane: You know. Some day Brithole will start asking who keeps sending them her way.

Daria: So? Brithole doesn't know anyone called Diarrhea.

(Back to Daria's room)

Jane: You think this is funny?

Daria: Excuse me?

Jane: First you tell me my story isn't what Highland High was about. And that's okay since I was never there. Then you say you're going to tell what it was like. But instead you tell a story that's ten times weirder than mine.

Daria: Maybe. But that's what it was like.

Quinn: She's right. Its all coming back to me now. What Daria described is just like those stories I heard. I used to think it was something she made up. Until that incident where those two... (shudders) things got set back to the eight grade.

Daria: But of course they didn't keep them there.

Jane: Hold it! Since when did it become you and Quinn against me?

Daria: Jane I swear. I know its hard to believe. But what I described is what Highland was like.

Jane: Fine. If thats how you want it. (gets up) Maybe you'll have regained your senses by tomorrow. (leaves but forgets to close the door)

Daria: Jane wait.

Quinn: Let her go. We can do this without her. (picks up the magazine)

Daria: Oh brother.

Quinn: (reading aloud) If you had to...

(There is the sound of Jane screaming out in the hallway)

(Off Camera) Jane: AAAAAH!

(Off Camera) Zack: Sorry.

(Off Camera) Jane: Are you lying in hiding or something?

(Off Camera): Zack: I'm thinking that Quinn must be inside one of these rooms. If I wait long enough she'll have to come out.

(Quinn moves closer to Daria)

Daria: Touch me and I really will hand you over.

(Off Camera) Jane: Are you on something? (pause) No forget I asked that.

(Off Camera) Zack: I hope she comes out soon. The movie I'm taking her to started half an hour ago.

(Off Camera) Jane: What movie is it?

(Off Camera) Zack: "Rocky and Bullwinkle".

(Off Camera) Jane: Can I go with you instead?

(Off Camera) Zack: Um... Okay.

(Off Camera) Jane: Lets go. But I'm driving.

Quinn: Did Jane just agree to go on a date with the mummy?

Daria: Quinn the first rule of this game is that you don't get to make up your own questions.


(1) "The Teachings of Don Jake"

(2) "Pierce me"

(3) "Pinch Sitter"

(4) "Esteemers"