Episode Guide

The Lawndale File
Episode #311
Written by Peter Elwell

(opening theme song)

(at school auditorium)

Ms. Li - Settle down, young people! Now, before the varsity interpretive dance team begins its performance -- "History, We Are You" -- we have a brief announcement from some special guests, agents...

(agents shoulder Ms. Li away from podium)

Male Agent - No names.

Female Agent - No credentials.

Male Agent - Student, we'll be brief. We've received some disturbing reports from this school, and we're asking for your cooperation.

Female Agent - Keep your eyes open. Watch for people who are different. They know who they are.

Male Agent - And with your help, kids, so will we.

(students begin muttering)

Jane - "Different," eh? Hmm... I wonder what I get if I turn you in?

Daria - More free time to spend with Kevin and Brittany.

Jane - Curse you different ones and your insidious logic.

(at Jane's house)

SSW Announcer - (on TV) From outer space to in your face! Aliens walk among us! A Sick, Sad World exclusive.

Daria - Oh, look, they're going to explain the return of disco.

Man - (on TV) The aliens aren't coming. They're already here. They could be your friends, your family. They act almost normal, but something's off.

Jane - Yes, the TV. (turns TV off) If there were any aliens smart enough to come here, they wouldn't be stupid enough to come here.

Daria - There goes my trick ear again. What was that?

Jane - Let's say I'm an alien and you're you.

Daria - Part of this better be hypothetical.

Jane - Now, why would I, a being from the highly advanced planet Zippotron, travel light-years just to take over your body and go to high school?

Daria - Because Wednesday's Jell-O day?

Jane - Exactly. Wouldn't it make more sense to rig up some remote system of control? Neck implants or something? Then they could make you do stuff like go to the mall or think about hair without actually having to do it themselves. Makes more sense than a full-scale infiltration.

Daria - Oh, yes. Much, much more sense.

Jane - All right, then.

(guitar strumming cheerily)

Daria - What is that music?

Jane - I don't know. It's been going on for two days.

Daria - You don't know how much I want you to tell me that isn't Trent playing.

Jane - You don't know how much I wish I could.

Daria - Hmm... maybe there's something to your remote control theory after all.

(at Daria's house)

Helen - Come on, Daria. Something interesting must have happened yesterday.

Daria - Hmm... nope.

Jake - How about that friend of yours? What's new with her?

Daria - Not much.

Helen - What about the newspaper? Read anything interesting lately?

Daria - Hmm. I did see an article by an efficiency expert who claims one really intense conversation with your child over breakfast is worth a whole week of unfocused parenting. Did you catch that article?

(uncomfortable pause)

Helen - Well... how about TV? Seen anything good recently?

Daria - Just the usual crazy guy claiming aliens are walking our streets.

Helen - Well, of course they are. Many of them can't afford a car. No shame in that.

Daria - Hmm... what?!

(phone rings)

Helen - I'll get it! Jake, keep up the momentum.

Jake - Ten-four. Heck, Daria, your mother's right. We were all aliens at one point or another, right, kiddo?

Helen - (answers phone) Hellooo?

Daria - We were all aliens?

Helen - Quinn, telephone!

Quinn - (offscreen) I'll take it up here!

Helen - Why didn't she come down for breakfast? Daria, is anything wrong with Quinn?

Daria - If this weren't a school day, I might have the time to begin answering that.

(Quinn enters)

Quinn - Morning!

Jake - Morning, sunshine.

Helen - Why, look at your hat.

Daria - What's with the new look, daddy-o?

Quinn - New look? What new look? I'm dressed like I am every day, more or less.

Jane - (voiceover) Neck implants or something? Makes more sense than a full-scale infiltration.

Helen - (voiceover) Well, of course they are. Many of them can't afford a car.

Jake - (voiceover) We were all aliens at one point or another. Right, kiddo?

Daria - (voiceover) You know that spending too much time with your family makes you hear voices. Get out! (out loud) Well, me, oh my, look at the time. I'd better get to school. Bye! (leaves)

Helen - Well, that was odd. Quinn, is anything wrong with Daria?

Quinn - If this weren't a school day, I might have time...

Jake - It's not like her to act so prejudiced against immigrants.

Quinn - What?

Helen - All of a sudden, she doesn't like aliens.

Quinn - Who does? Aliens impregnate you and then they pop out of your chest and kill you while you're trying to eat lunch. What's to like? Gotta go! Bye! (leaves)

Helen - What exactly are they teaching about immigration at that school?

Jake - I don't know, honey, but that sounds like a fascinating topic for a discussion!

Helen - Oh, Jake, give it up. (leaves)

(Jake instantly falls asleep)

(at school)

Daria - No, I'm not saying Quinn's an evil space creature.

Jane - Oh, go ahead. It sounds so cool.

Daria - I just think it's strange that she's suddenly covering up her neck.

(Kevin and Brittany walk past)

Jane - Hmm. When was the last time you saw Kevin without his neck thing?

Daria - You're talking implants?

Brittany - I heard that, and it's not true! (leaves)

Jane - I guess she thought you meant her U.F.O.s.

(Mr. O'Neill enters)

Mr. O'Neill - U.F.O.s? (shivers) Have you been watching The X-Files? I know I have.

Daria - And that's good.

Mr. O'Neill - But you know what's interesting?

Jane - Why do you encourage him?

Mr. O'Neill - All this creepy science fiction is just a throwback to the old Cold War paranoia.

Daria - Aliens in the sky, communists under the bed.

Mr. O'Neill - Exactly, Daria! And accusations flying, all because of atomic jitters.

(Joey and Jeffy walk past)

Mr. O'Neill - (to Daria and Jane) You're a communist! You're an alien!

Daria - (to Jane) Trade you Cuba for Jupiter.

Mr. O'Neill - One stood for the other in those old movies.

Daria - Now tell us about the time before microwave popcorn.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, gosh, does that take me back!

(at Quinn's locker)

Sandi - Quinn, if you refuse to explain your strange outfit, I'm afraid the Fashion Club will have to consider sanctions.

Quinn - I'll tell you later, I promise! I swear! It's not an anti-fashion statement.

Sandi - Very well. But we have only your word to go on.

(Joey and Jeffy enter)

Joey - Hey, Quinn, Mr. O'Neill says that girl from your house is an atomic communist.

Jeffy - Yeah, and her friend's an alien.

Stacy - Eww!

Tiffany - Gross.

(at Kevin's locker)

Kevin - I knew it! It's just like when they made us have pep rallies for field hockey. We're being invaded by communists!

(Mack enters)

Kevin - Bro! Daria and Jane are communists planted by the government to wreck team sports.

Mack - Remember that game when you fell on your head? Remember how you thought Vince Lombardi was sending you plays from hell?

Kevin - Heaven, bro! Vince Lombardi did not go to hell.

(Tiffany and Stacy walk past)

Tiffany - But... if Quinn's cousin is an atomic communist from Mars, shouldn't she have a more interesting outfit?

Stacy - Stop it, Tiffany! You're scaring me!

Tiffany - Sorry.

Mack - Yeah, yeah, I heard it, too. (leaves with Kevin and Brittany)

Upchuck - Two of my favorite luscious ladies out to enslave Earth males and end gym class? (purrs) Someone's been reading my dreams.

(outside the school)

Jane - A lot of weirdness around here lately.

Daria - Yeah. I won't be sorry to see this day end.

Jane - You say that every day.

Daria - Oh, yeah.

Jane - Although this one was especially strange. But the worst is over.

(doors fly open)

Mr. DeMartino - Remove these restraints! Governmental thugs! This isn't Stalingrad!

Male Agent - You're damn right, pal. And it isn't going to be.

Mr. DeMartino - You can't do this. I'm an educator!

Female Agent - Say it again! It only makes it easier.

(agents leave with Mr. DeMartino)

Jane - Um, the worst is over now?

Daria - Don't bet on it.

(at Daria's house)

(Daria walks past Quinn's bedroom)

Stacy - Quinn, I'm so happy you're still one of us.

Tiffany - Really.

Quinn - Well, God, Stacy, what did you think?

Sandi - Quinn's right, Stacy. Just because she was acting completely weird and not confiding in her dearest, most loyal friends is no reason to decide she'd finally given up her sad charade and revealed herself as a two-faced, little... (sees Daria) Um, let's resume discussing... plaids... later.

Stacy - Plaids?

Sandi - Yes, Stacy. Plaids.

Stacy - (nervous) Okay, plaids.

Quinn - I'll see you to the door and, you know, open it and stuff. (Fashion Club leaves)

Stacy - (voiceover) Quinn, I'm so happy you're still one of us.

Daria - (voiceover) Would you stop with the voices already?

(on phone with Jane)

Jane - Come on, not even aliens would give the planet to the Fashion Club. You're getting paranoid.

Daria - I'm not talking about aliens. But there's something out there. Something stupid.

Jane - You get rattled too easily. By the way, can you come over here right now? I'm really scared.

Daria - I see. And to what do I owe this mood swing?

Jane - It's Trent's song. You gotta listen and tell me if it's getting more cheerful.

Daria - Now who's paranoid?

Jane - Come on, I'll order a pizza. And don't tell your folks where you're going. I don't want your mother getting all... motherly.


Jake - Hey, kiddo! Going out?

Daria - Yeah, I'm going for, um... a power walk.

Jake - A power walk? (runs into kitchen) Helen, Helen, it's Daria! She just went for a walk!

Helen - That's encouraging.

Jake - Encouraging?! Don't you see? Daria's turning wholesome and Quinn's a beatnik. What's going on?

Helen - Well, it's simple. They've switched personalities. (giggles)

Jake - They have?!

Helen - It's a joke, Jake. Geez!

(Quinn enters)

Jake - Oh, Quinn! Hi, honey! (normal voice) Your mother and I couldn't help noticing you and Daria have been acting a little... different lately. Is there anything we should know?

Quinn - Uh, let me think. Today Mr. O'Neill said that Daria is some kind of communist and she's out to destroy the American way of life. Okay, I'm going to Sandi's. Bye! (leaves)

Helen - Oh, my God! Did you hear that?

Helen - Oh, Jake, that man O'Neill has a screw loose. Besides, communists like downtrodden aliens.

Quinn - (enters) I remember now. He said she was an atomic communist. Okay, see you! (leaves)

Jake - Gak! An atomic communist!

Helen - Jake, if you want I'll call that Mr. DeMartino. He's a bit high-strung but he's a fixture at that school, and he can tell us if anything odd is happening.

Quinn - (enters) Oh, yeah, and Mr. DeMartino was led off in handcuffs. Toodle-oo! (leaves)

Jake - God! G-g-g-g...

Helen - Oh, my.

(walking to Jane's house)

(branches rustle)

Daria - Come on now. Aliens don't hide in the bushes. It's probably just a stalker. Yes, a stalker out to plant a teen in a shallow grave. Perfectly normal. I feel much better now. (walks down street)

(kissing and moaning sounds)

Brittany - But, Kevvy. Kevvy!

Kevin - Huh?

Brittany - Didn't you say we were going to follow her and save the world and stuff?

Kevin - Oh, yeah. But I don't think we have to save the world right this second.

Brittany - Great!

(Kevin and Brittany resume making out)

Upchuck - (purrs softly) Que passionato!

Kevin - Hey! We're trying to save the world here!

(all shine flashlights at each other)

Upchuck - And I'm trying to find the space maidens' ship so they can take me back and make me their love slave.

Kevin - Oh, cool.

(Jodie and Mack turn on their flashlights)

Jodie - Well, you were right. Everyone has gone crazy.

Mack - I knew you'd try something, Kevin. I figured I owed it to the team to keep you from humiliating yourself.

(bushes rustle)

Mack - Mr. O'Neill? Don't tell me you're hunting communists, too?

Mr. O'Neill - (laughs nervously) I wouldn't call it hunting. I heard a rumor about secret police kidnapping educators and spiriting them off to the gulag. But me? No. I frequently go for walks with a, um, flashlight in case the streetlights go out.

Upchuck - These reds come red-hot from the red planet itself. We're talking Mars.

Mr. O'Neill - Charles, I think you mean Marx. (drops flashlight) Darn! There goes my flashlight again!

Jodie - Where'd you drop it?

(all begin searching for flashlight)

(at Jane's house)

Jane - You made it. Cool. I was starting to... whoa!

(Daria and Jane stare at flashing lights in the woods)

Mr. O'Neill - Found it!

Jodie - Great. Now maybe you can answer our question. Why are we all sneaking around with flashlights?

(lights disappear one by one)

Jane - Did we just see a U.F.O.?

Daria - You're getting paranoid. It's probably just an informal get-together of local stalkers. You know, hang out, swap stories, try out each other's skeleton keys.

Jane - But only an idiot would go stalking with a flashlight.

Daria - Come on. This is Lawndale.

Jane - Oh, yeah.

(in the woods)

Mr. O'Neill - You're right, Jodie. We've all been acting very foolish.

Kevin - Hey, man, speak for yourself.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh! Sorry, Kevin. But I wonder if maybe a rally might be in order. You know, something before classes to promote understanding, remove the fear, and increase the peace.

Kevin - That's when we have practice! He's trying to destroy football. He's one of them!

Brittany - Who?

Kevin - Um... I thought you knew.

(at Jane's house)

(guitar strums major chords)

Jane - Is that song getting happier or am I just getting more miserable?

Daria - It's verging on bouncy, all right. But please, continue with your delightful presentation.

Jane - Okay, looky. (holds up drawing) You've got these government types at school telling us to watch out for weird behavior. Then the alien nut on TV says the same thing. Meanwhile, your parents are weird, your sister is weird, and all the kids at school look at us funny.

Daria - That's not new.

Jane - Yeah, but now there's respect. And that song? Maybe it's the alien signal and Trent's beckoning to the U.F.O.

Daria - Ah, but the U.F.O. went away.

Jane - Well, maybe aliens don't like sucky music and he's actually trying to save humanity.

Daria - When do we get to the crop circles?

(music stops)

Jane - Uh-oh. The music stopped. (rolls up drawing and hides it under bed)

(Trent enters)

Trent - Hey... what's going on?

Daria - Nothing.

Jane - Nada.

Daria - Not a thing.

Trent - Hmm...

(uncomfortable pause)

Daria - Um... that's some song you're working on. It's different.

Trent - Nothing different about it. Nothing at all. I gotta go and, uh, practice my same music that uh... isn't any different from the other stuff I play. (leaves)

Daria - What was that?

Jane - You're starting to get weirded out, aren't you?

Daria - No, absolutely not. (doorbell rings) Eep!

(Jane slowly opens front door)

Artie - Pizza!

Jane and Daria - Aaaaah!

(at Jane's house)

Artie - Could you hurry up? I got other pizzas to deliver, and if I don't get them there on time, they're free. I really gotta go.

Daria - On your way over here, you didn't see any, um, lights in the sky or anything?

Artie - Oh, no! They're back?! (slams door closed) I hope they don't plan to experiment on me this time. I was a mess the last time. See, they replace your skin with synthetic skin that stretches real tight on your head in the summer.

(in the kitchen)

Artie - That's why they come at night. It makes it easier to steal your dreams. They got this big, big suction device that...

(time passes)

Artie - ... and anyone who tells you aliens are taking over their body is nuts. All they want is our skin 'cause your skin remembers what it feels.

Trent - Hmm. Hey, you ever written any lyrics?

Artie - Uh-oh. (pager beeps) Fired again? Man, this happens all the time. Ever since my encounter with those darn aliens!

(at Daria's house)

Jake - We've got to face it, Helen. We're the enemy! We're the people we marched against! That's why Daria has turned communist! That's why we've lost our little girl!

Helen - Jake, Daria's never once called us capitalist pigs or running dogs for the bosses. This is probably just her way of engaging in some kind of social activity.

Jake - Socialist, you mean! What's happened to us? The house, the cars, my relaxed-fit pants! All these things, all this relaxing? We've got to recapture that hard moral core and get back to the soil.

Helen - All right, Jake, no more coffee after dinner.

(Daria enters)

Helen - Back from your power walk, sweetie?

Daria - Um... oh, yeah.

Jake - So you're walking for power, is that it? Want to take over? Kick over the whole apple cart? Well, let me tell you, young lady, if it's a group you want to join, there's a little bunch I know called the human race, and it ain't half bad!

Daria - Yeah. Thanks, Dad. That's tremendously helpful. (leaves)

Jake - Ha!

Helen - Let's just make that no more coffee for you ever.

(at school)

(Daria and Jane arrive at rally)

Daria - Uh-oh.

Jane - Yeah.

Kevin - So that's why I say commies aren't team players, so keep them out of team sports. All right!

Brittany - Yay, no commie team!

Mr. O'Neill - Um, thank you, Kevin. But actually, the communist is your ultimate team player. The team is all; the individual, nothing.

Kevin - Oh. Well then, never mind. All right!

Brittany - Go, commies, go!

(cheers and applause)

Mr. O'Neill - Good morning. As you know, we're here to clear up some misunderstandings and suspicions so we can all feel better about each other and ourselves. So without further ado, I present to you a work in progress, a solo performance I call "Nothing to Lose But His Chains: The Life of Karl Marx." The year is 1848.

(exercise tape begins playing)

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, dear, that's my exercise tape.

(Mr. DeMartino pushes through crowd)

Mr. O'Neill - Anthony! You weren't kidnapped!

Mr. DeMartino - All right! I finally convinced those glorified dogcatchers from Immigration that I am not an illegal alien. But now I have a question. Who told them I was?

Ms. Barch - Oh, anyone can make a mistake. Damn it!

Upchuck - Maybe it was the mind control babes from space, Mr. D., trying to create a distraction.

Mr. DeMartino - Who?

Upchuck - Them. (points at Daria and Jane)

(everone stares at Daria and Jane)

Daria - Um, I hate to wreck a perfectly good lynching, but you're the ones acting weird.

Kevin - Us? Mr. O'Neill said you're out to destroy football.

Mr. O'Neill - No! I was telling them about how communists and Martians are the same.

Daria - That'll clear things up.

Kevin - So there's no communist unfiltration?

Upchuck - And there's no alien takeover?

Jane - Oh, I don't know. How do you explain that? (points at black-clad Fashion Club)

Quinn - Don't say it. Let them kill us.

Tiffany - We're dressed this way for Fashion Club solidarity.

Sandi - One of us has a problem. That's all you need to know.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, dear! What kind of problem?

Sandi - A private problem.

Stacy - It's a neck zit!

(crowd reacts in horror)

Quinn - Stacy!

Tiffany - Don't worry, Quinn. They still don't know it's you.

(Quinn screams and runs off)

Stacy - Uh-oh.

Tiffany - Did I say the wrong thing?

Sandi - Don't worry about it.

Jane - I liked it better when they were under alien control.

Daria - It was more believable.

Mr. O'Neill - So you see, everyone? Mr. DeMartino's disappearance, all these communist and alien worries... simple misunderstandings, all of them. What do you say we cement our newfound unity by joining hands and singing "Man in the Mirror"?

(kids boo, groan, and leave)

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, dear.

(Jake and Ms. Li enter)

Jake - See? Look! What'd I tell you? Secret hush-hush gatherings right out in the open!

Ms. Li - What is going on? I didn't approve any assembly. This is a breach of discipline.

Mr. O'Neill - But I...

Ms. Li - (struggles with megaphone) People, people... how do you get this to work? Disperse immediately. Damn piece of crap. Kids are half deaf from their damn music, anyway. This assembly is unauthorized... oh, the hell with it.

Jake - Hey, can I try that thing?

(at Jane's house)

Jane - So you finally convinced your dad that you're not a communist?

Daria - Yeah, I'm showing him how much I love money by hitting him up for it every chance I get.

(music on TV begins)

Jane - Hey, it's Trent's hell music!

Daria - So that's why he was acting strange. He was writing a jingle.

Trent - (singing in TV commercial) If you don't have a car or your present car sucks, go to Happy Herb with a few thousand bucks. Then you can drive here, you can drive there, drive where you want, Happy Herb don't care. It won't make you better or smarter, that true, but you can drive around when there's nothing else to do. So go buy a car, buy a damn car, hit the road to nowhere in your Happy Herb car.

Happy Herb - (on TV) I'm Happy Herb, and I sell cars, so come on down.

Trent - So now you know.

Daria - Oh, um, nice jingle.

Trent - You don't have to tell me. I'm a complete sell-out. But I really needed the gig.

Jane - What's the going rate for an artist's soul these days?

Trent - 20 bucks, an hour of free studio time and a set of tires.

Jane - That's it?

Trent - They're new tires.

(Sick, Sad World music begins)

Trent - Hey, look, it's that guy.

SSW Reporter - (on TV) And what unspeakable acts did the space beings perform on you?

Artie - (on TV) They took my flesh and replaced it with an alien synthetic skin. A skin capable of sensations you can't even imagine. But that's not the worst of it. (begins sobbing)

Jane - Uh-oh, he's gonna get his skin wet and shrink it.

Artie - (on TV) They used me, and then they made me lose my job.

SSW Reporter - (on TV) You saw it first on Sick, Sad World. Alien love goddesses are depriving Americans of their skins and their jobs.

(TV shows illustration of Jane and Daria in "space vixen" outfits)

Trent - Hey, cool.

Daria - We should be upset, right?

Jane - I don't know. Those outfits look pretty good.

(closing credits)